Shyamon Jayasinghe, writing from Melbourne

We don’t hear good news from Sri Lanka these days. Look at the following:

(1) An Army General arrested by Bribery Commission over allegations involving the procurement of arms (BBC 11/10/04)

(2) Anura Bandaranaike is on his sixth overseas visit since becoming a cabinet minister six months ago (Sunday Times 10/10/04)

(3) President’s advisors get “whopping allowances” (Sunday Times-10/10/04). According to this news report, Mr. Balapatabendi who is employed as Constitutional Affairs Advisor is paid Rs.60,000 per month plus vehicles and perks. Mr. Chandananda De Silva who is appointed Law & Order Advisor, in a country that could scarcely speak of law and order, is also paid a similar amount plus perks. And so on goes the list. Mind you, all this is in addition to their pensions.

(4) Mr. Tilak Karunaratne, leader of the Sihala Urumaya who cried fire and thunder against the “UNP traitors” and “Ranil traitor” has defected to the UNP (BBC) and is chief UNPorganizer, Bandaragama. He refused to deal with the Tigers one day and the next day he joins a party that is willing to give the Interim authority to the Tigers! This, incidentally, is a thorough lesson for many expatriates (assuming they take lessons) who went round cheering SU, collecting money for them, and having bodhi pujas for them. The JHU is in similar circumstances. The latter alleges intimidation by Champaka Ranawaka and other SU laymen. One prominent monk resigned recently and remarked that he had been wasting his time doing politics when he should have been at the temple! Buddhist wisdom should have dawned on him long ago.

(5) LTTE is continuing to build camps, fly their flag etc in government-controlled areas.

(6) DIG's house burgled. Attempted rape of a magistrate

(7) Cost of living is soaring to newer and newer heights.

Diyasena pahala wenna!



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