Saturday, January 30, 2010

Defeating Fonseka: The Final Blow for the LTTE

By Dr. Stephen Long, Los Angeles, California

My last article about Sri Lanka was entitled, “Is Sri Lanka Crazy Enough to Elect a Retired General as President?” Yesterday’s election answered that question with a resounding “No!” It actually answered a number of questions with a resounding “No!” Here are a few of those questions:

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who was a convicted rapist, serial womanizer, and alleged wife beater?” That’s what I like: a role model for the nation’s youth.

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who was a national hero last May, and became a traitor in November?” Another inspirational role model for the kids.

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who was duped into being a puppet for the traitor Ranil, the next ‘Executive Prime Minister,’ according to his statement during a recent interview on GTV, a Tamil network in Europe’?” He thought no one was watching.

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who, in his ignorance of geography, offered free land that doesn’t exist for every newborn – forever?” Come on, General, do the math!

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who is so arrogant and fiscally-irresponsible (not to mention patronizing) that he would promise high raises for everyone in the country – in both private and public sectors?” Once again, General, do the math!

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who had a son-in-law who, under his aegis, illegally sold weapons to both the LTTE and the Army – and pocketed millions for the family coffers?” Do I hear the word “hypocrisy” anyone? Kinda makes me laugh – or hiccup – or is that “Hicorp”?

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who tried to bribe MP’s in order to gain their support?” This is so hypocritical it makes me want to roll around on the floor.

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who threatened to put his own officers in jail because they came forward with embarrassing information against him?” Earth to General: read Dale Carnegie.

“Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who lied when he said the Defence Secretary gave orders to kill LTTE cadres who waved the white flag?” Someone quickly get the fire extinguisher; the General’s pants are blazing!

This last question is the most critical: “Is Sri Lanka willing to elect someone as President who, because of backroom promises, would leave the barn door wide open for the LTTE to re-group and start the terrorist war all over again?”

There are many more questions like this – the list is a long one – to which the electorate wisely said “No!”

In a conversation I had this morning with my wise, analytical, and insightful friend, Ven. Maitepe Wimilasara, he said, “Fonseka’s defeat is the final end of the war with the LTTE. They’re finished for good.” I have to agree with him. If Fonseka had won the election the horror would have begun again, and we wouldn’t have President Rajapakse to defeat them. A resurgence of the LTTE would have been pure delight for the Diaspora supporters overseas, the Tamil Nadu political leadership, and the LTTE remnant still licking its wounds and hiding somewhere in Sri Lanka – just waiting for the right opportunity to pounce. Sorry Charlie; no more pouncing.

Yes, I believe it’s finally over, and we’re all grateful beyond measure.

I offer my heart-felt congratulations to President Rajapakse for winning his re-election – just as I congratulated him for winning the war against the terrorists when I was in Sri Lanka last May. I know the President to be a good man who is just, fair, highly-intelligent, and sincere about his love for the people he is privileged to govern.

By the way, I have a list of important questions for him, too. I hope he will answer “Yes!” to all of them very soon, and not be offended by my asking.

“Mr. President, are you willing to really put a stop to corruption in your administration – I mean really stop it?”

“Mr. President, are you willing to give key Government positions to men and women who are truly qualified – and fire people you hired for purely political reasons, like the accountant in charge of the Central Bank, and the Mercedes-betting gangster at the Labor Ministry who is a constant source of embarrassment for you?”

“Mr. President, are you going to arrest Fonseka’s son-in-law and see that he is tried for illicit weapons trading – and prove that Fonseka was behind the whole charade?”

“Mr. President, are you willing to mend fences with the Western Powers by allowing appropriate investigations for alleged war crimes, and claims of abuses of power and interference with the media?” I admired you for sticking to your guns last May and insisting that the Western Powers mind their own business. It’s time now, though, to shake hands and work it out.

Finally, “Mr. President, are you willing to respond calmly and wisely the next time you are confronted by Fonseka and his misguided and mismatched political cronies?” I ask this question because they are not going to go away just because they lost an election. Ranil, for one, has had a taste for power and has proven that he will stop at nothing to get it back.

In conclusion, I am confident that President Rajapakse will have “Yes!” answers to all of these important questions, and that the next six years of his administration will bring peace, prosperity, and many tourists to your beautiful land. After all, nearly 60% of the electorate gave him this mandate with these expectations.

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