Let truth re-echo like the sting of wasps | Daily News

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Let truth re-echo like the sting of wasps

Recently a JVP gasbag who has entered the Assembly through the kitchen door, not with a mandate from the people, threatened to topple the government using SAITM, as a scapegoat. The white coats with rusty scalpels, coming from all directions, threatened to topple the government by paralyzing Colombo, which ended in a fiasco.

An elderly and formally retired SLMC big shot, an incarnate of Donovan Andree the impresario, who craved for publicity, admitted he too will join the bandwagon to topple the government.

Despite the noise, the government will complete its term and return for another. There is no other way to stop the return but capture the bastions and fortresses of Jaffna, Trinco, Batticoloa and Borrella. As at today they stand impregnable. That is the lesson of history. When the incarnate of Hitler was riding shotgun, none of these individuals or groups raised a whimper on the day the Chief Justice was dethroned, or when an editor of a prominent newspaper was murdered at high noon on Galle Road, or when scores were abducted in white vans, or when top administrators who took over from the CCS, described as a gentleman's career, did not “choose to die resisting, or flee from dishonour, but lived submitting”, a poignant line taken from Pericles funeral oration after the Peloponnesian War, found in my Notebook.

Contract for Central Expressway

The hypocrites now assert that the present regime is corrupt to the core and point as an example the contract for the Central Expressway calling it a highway robbery simply because the contract was given to the Japanese without competitive bidding, which in my view is a device engineered by the wretched of the earth, to swindle.

The highway robbery epithet brought to mind an event that took place when as a 14 year old athlete, travelled to Kandy by bus, accompanied by the senior athletes, to participate in the Central Group Meet on the Asgiriya Grounds, to qualify for the Public Schools Athletic Meet at the Oval, in Colombo. The Bedford did not leave Kurunegala via Potuhera, the proposed entrance to the new highway but via Mawatagama.

Half way up the Galagedera Pass the engine had enough and displayed its anger with a steaming radiator, forcing the driver to stop the engine and the passengers to dismount. The regular traveller, who knew the script, scampered and returned with boulders to keep behind the wheels to prevent the bus rolling down the incline back to Kurunegala. The conductor ran somewhere and brought a bucket of water and quenched the thirsty engine. When the bus grudgingly limped into Kandy, a journey that took about 5 hours, it was late in the evening.

The De la Salle Brother in charge of the contingent took us to the Gym of St Sylvester’s College; an arena that had witnessed many a fight for the Stubbs Shield and reminded you will be staying here for the night and left. After he left the other athletes also left saying they will be staying with their relatives, leaving me alone to fend for myself.

St Sylvester’s was famous for producing Stubb Shield boxers like Bulner who routinely turned his opponents into pulp and there was nothing in the Gym but the paraphernalia associated with boxing, punching bags, gloves and the ring. I believed in ghosts then, and do believe in them now, even though it is not necessary for Satan to arrive in mufti, in an helmet with full face mask, since Lucifer has conquered given the crap about same sex marriage and abortions.

So I trembled, fearing a ghost of a Stubb Shield boxer, who had lost his bout, might creep and strangle. I had with me a basket of food, a blanket and a pillow. Placing 3 benches together, enjoyed the food, covered myself and praying to God to protect me from ghosts, both boxers and handlers, slept. Dawn had broken when I woke and got ready go to the Asgiriya Grounds with the other athletes, who had arrived after spending a restful night in the comfort of their relations.

High tech nightmare

The grounds were a revelation. Compared to the Annite ground which was an abandoned paddy field and alert whilst trotting not to be gored by enraged wild buffaloes. Asgiria was immaculate, designed to break records. The athletes who stayed away enjoying hot water baths, wholesome food and massage toned muscles, were eliminated. Only one senior athlete qualified coming third in the hurdles. Myself, a product of fire and brimstone, running bare foot on the damp ground, qualified, smashing the records of the sprints for juniors, and surpassing the times set by the seniors, stunning the high brows of Kandy.

Those were days where travel was primitive, exacting and trying. If there is technology to travel comfortably to a destination, what harm in spending extra resources to achieve that objective.

It is a miracle humans have stepped forward to construct the expressway which is a high tech nightmare. After the bus stalled climbing the Pass I was shivering outside because it was bitterly cold and covered with mist and looking down the precipice was hit by vertigo.

How many Japanese engineers and workers will lose their lives during the period of construction? God bless them. Squabbling over a few rupees makes us so ungrateful and miserly. Human life cannot be measured in rupees and cents. Spend a few more coins and get the project completed and reduce the travel time from Kurunegala to Kandy to 2 hours, that is, if you are the owner of a souped up Alfa Romeo sports. But for simple folks like you and me, reducing the journey time, even by a fraction, is a blessing.

Copy the Communist Party of China. The party is inviting primarily Japanese investors to turn their sleepy villages into thriving cities, attracting millions of tourists, topping 100 million in 2015. China and Japan, even though at each other's throats in politics, are bedfellows in economics. India is copying China, inviting Japan to build a bullet train in the state of Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Modi, at a cost of 17 billion dollars, compared to the cost of the Central Expressway, just a tip the wealthy give to bell boys. No bids were called, the contract, just like the Chinese, simply given to the Japanese, masters and experts of bullet trains and roads linking destinations with tunnels. 

 


 

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