Rabid cusses running amok

| by Prabhath Saha-Bandu

( November 5, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) We do not subscribe to the derogatory epithets used to describe the masses such as ‘asses’ and ‘the swinish multitude’. Nonetheless, we keep wondering what really makes them elect asses as their representatives.

Minister Mervyn Silva and his son, Malaka, are in the news, more often than not—always for the wrong reason. The latter has got involved in a nightclub brawl once again. Had his victims been Sri Lankans they would have been left with no alternative but to run away sans a few gnashers, nursing their crushed jaw bones and bloodied noses. But, unfortunately for him, he assaulted a British couple. He was further remanded yesterday. He was, in effect, sent from one hospital to another. (It is only the sons of ordinary parents who are sent to remand prison for being on the wrong side of the law!)

Malaka got away with attacks on police and army officers on previous occasions, but this time around the government has apparently tried to make the law look less asinine by allowing him to be arrested and remanded—sorry, hospitalized. However, it knows more than one way to shoe a horse. We will see, before long, how he will be let off the hook.

It looks as if there were a state within the state of Sri Lanka. Prabhakaran blundered by taking up arms and unleashing mindless terror to carve out a separate state. Had he become a government minister instead of waging a guerrilla war he would have been able to run the North and the East according to his whims and fancies with his sons assaulting military officers and grabbing their guns; the government would have called the lethal weapons in the hands of his cadres ‘toys’! He would also have been able to tie all public officials in those parts of the country to trees and run his empire the way Kelaniya is being ruled by Viceroy Silva, who thinks he is the reincarnation of a warrior king.

Malaka claims to have been slapped across the face in Saturday’s brawl. If his father had done that to him when he had a brush with the law for the first time he would not have made a public nuisance of himself. The intrepid Britisher who acted in self defence and landed a thundering slap on the face of the aggressor, we are sure, is the most popular person in Sri Lanka at present! For, he has done something which both our police and army have pathetically failed to.

An army major set upon by Malaka and his goons in 2012 took it lying down and even withdrew his complaint under duress. Due to the shameful manner in which he acted after being assaulted by a bunch of ruffians who should have been made to rue the day they were born soldiers are said to consider it an insult to be promoted to the rank of major!

The British High Commissioner in Colombo does not have to huff and puff to go all the way up the hills to meet the Buddhist prelates in Kandy or grace ceremonies in faraway places or make donations to strengthen the UK-Sri Lanka relations. There is a very easy way of achieving that goal at no cost. He can encourage more British males like the one who proved his mettle on Saturday to come here and visit night clubs scourged by local political dregs and their sons!

No wonder the government’s popularity is plummeting and frantic efforts have had to be made to shore up its crumbling image, both locally and internationally. With a bunch of violent politicians and their equally incorrigible progeny within its ranks does the government need enemies?

It is not only the economic woes of the public that bring down governments; rabid cusses in the garb of ruling politicians also do.

(The writer is the editor of the, The Island, a daily newspaper based in Colombo, where this piece was originally published.)