Sri Lanka’s Politicians as a Scourge

Footprints In The Sands … by Derrick Mendis. s.j.


Politics in Lanka is a dirty game

Sans sense of honesty, honour or shame.

On election-campaigns that squander millions,

When in power, make illicit billions.


Full of corruption, nepotism, crime,

They leave no footprints in the sands of time,

Self-seeking, self-serving, power-drunk quacks,

Cover up their crab-like, crooked tracks.


Parliament’s pack of jokers, jerks,

Abuse their power for self and perks,

Goons and buffoons, men of straw,

Brazenly bend and break the law.


They promise us the sun and the moon.

Pledges broken or forgotten soon,

Barefaced, through their teeth they lie,

On hollow words can we rely?


They flagrantly flout every rule in the book,

To come into power by hook or by crook,

From one party to another they jump,

Kiss President’s feet and lick his rump.


In sumptuous luxury they wine and dine,

Make ample hay while sun doth shine.

Of life’s best things they have their fill,

The taxpayers have to foot the bill.


They trot the globe and have a ball,

In five-star hotel, shopping mall,

Lavishly splurge like duke or count,

On bankrupt Lanka’s state account.


Their life is sweet, a bed of roses,

Gobbling Lanka’s scarce resources,

Our so-called rulers, leading lights,

Are a bunch of social parasites.


Their hands are soiled, palms well greased,

Our people, rich and poor are fleeced,

Most of them to the core are rotten,

They flaunt and flash their wealth ill-gotten.


How could these robbers ever dare

Their numerous assets to declare?

An auditor’s test they will not pass,

Many would end up behind bars.


Crime and corruption they cannot battle,

In their own cupboards many skeletons rattle.

A sincere statesman I fail to see

Among Sri Lanka’s powers-that-be.


Idolized heroes of yesterday,

Made traitors, villains of today..

Free-media muzzled, my country’s bane.

Journalists, editors attacked and slain.


Many politicians are vermin, pests,

Who earn fast-bucks and feather their nests,

They leave no footprints in the sands of time,

But craftily cover up their tracks of crime.


Rev Fr Derrick Mendis SJ

Colombo 4.


A NOTE: This poem has been circulated a number of times previously.  However, it is worthy of repetition, particularly in the present context.
Its author is Fr. Derrick Mendis, a Jesuit Priest, who was a brilliant student. He obtained a BSc Honours Degree in Economics. He then decided to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. The day he passed out as a Chartered Accountant, he declared his intention of joining the Society of Jesuits, which engages in evangelization and apostolic ministry, working in education, intellectual research and cultural pursuits, promoting social justice and ecumenical dialogue.

He is an amiable individual and is not averse to a sip of “spiritual” refreshment on social occasions, to complement his love of food. He is a talented musician, plays the piano and guitar [as well as the electron organ, ukulele, and flute]  wonderfully, has a magnificent singing voice and a lively sense of humour. This all contributes to him invariably being the life and soul of any social gathering. He amazingly also finds time to indulge in his love for the sea, by way of swimming, snorkelling, spear fishing and fishing with rod and line. A big man, he rides a tiny scooter, is quite rotund and sports a thick – now grey – beard. He is a highly respected priest, whose sermons are apparently outstanding, with a fair sprinkling of humour. He is, of course, quite outspoken, as his poem indicates. He is now retired from his pastoral role, but continues to work with lepers. He is quite a personality!





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