Totally disappointed, abjectly depressed, irreparably hopeless. That’s this cat for you. And why pray, you may well ask. Why the crestfallen negativity? At least if this column-writing cat is not purring with happiness, she does not groan with disillusionment. She sees the glass half full always. Not this time dearie. She sees an empty glass. That is one drained of all anticipation and hope. She who was so full of hope with Yahapalana setting in and the Medamulana crowd sent back to Medamulana, or so we were made to believe, is now chock-full of disappointment.
This feline stood up for Yahapalana through thick and thin, good times and bad, and when everyone and his neighbour started saying things like: “They are all the same; this lot is no better than the previous rogues; politicians are all the same” and much much more, she, this feline, stood up for the top two and a couple of others on second and third levels of the governing hierarchy. She waved flags of praise; she shouted for joy when the price of gas cylinders was slashed; she pointed out to everyone how the African rogue states and banana republics the previous government wooed as the only countries willing to be friendly, were tossed aside and substituted by Great (?) Britain and the United (?) States of America. This cat argued and brought out every little good thing done by the government. She adored Maithripala S and Ranil Wicks. She abhorred MR and GL and all the rest of them. To what purpose?
Another of his jokes?
Her abject state of depression is because the handouts to Members of Parliament, the entire lot of them, are going to be increased. She ceased reading about this act of utter generosity, malicious and totally mistimed, once she knew it was a fait accompli. She actually had the inanity to think that the idea mooted by the Prime Minister to pay much more to Members of Parliament, already receiving benefits far in excess of what most of them deserve, was one of his jokes. She has approved of how he gets up, brings his coat lapels together and says something in reply to an idiocy expressed from the opposite side of the House, looks at those behind him for approval and laughs loudest himself at the humour he has just let fall.
This cat praised his ability to defuse situations with a sleight of funny tongue; how he pulverized a pompous opposition member with a lash of words with more than a dash of levity. Many thought he should not do this; not treat matters of importance with levity but that’s at least to this cat who admires British subtlety in humour.
And now, he, the Prime Minister of free Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has brought this motion of enriching the MPs more. Not one of the usual opponents of any motion mooted by the government, like Anura K Dissanayake or old Vasu has raised a protest. Not a squeak though they shout so much for the poor and downtrodden and against capitalists and capitalism. This cat feels thoroughly let down.
She tried to, as usual, make excuses and view Ranil W as very sure about what he was doing and that he must be having a very strong aim with the good of the country at heart to give more to MPs. She was shooed down by her friends.
If he was garnering ‘yeas’ to pass the new constitution with a two thirds majority he could have thought up a temporary handout. Now the salary enhancement will be a permanent feature, like the totally unjustified pension paid MPs after just five years of sitting comfortably on the chairs in the House and probably dozing. Rip Vans have been captured on camera with one tubby SLFPer, now with the government, often seen dozing with important debates proceeding.
Many have commented on the PM’s move in the print media and on TV. Some have substantiated their comments with statistics to show how much MPs already get and horror of horrors, a few not having passed even 8th grade in a village school and some not even the GCE O/L. A bachelors degree is a rarity among the Members of Parliament and is it only Dr Harsha de Silva who holds a doctorate?
A friend jeered getting himself into a frothing fit by quoting the PM as having said MPs have to give monetary gifts each time they attend a funeral or wedding so they need more. Advice on this matter is not to attend these ceremonies and use the saved time on their electorates.
The PM is said to be emulating Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore who stopped corruption by increasing salaries. Apt with people who have work ethoses; with persons of conscience; with those who appreciate benefits given them and mend their ways. NOT in Sri Lanka. People here are bottomless pits. The poorer for more free handouts; the higher for more benefits; the wealthy for more wealth. Lee’s method will not work with our MPs. If they are used to pocketing commissions, receiving bribes, they will collect the extra one lakh from the people’s kitty and still solicit and rob.