Ivan Amarasinghe to Michael Roberts –a personal communique dated 15 November 2019 which I have taken the liberty to publicize …. deploying our common groundings at St. Aloysius and Ivan’s wide cosmopolitan experience
Over the last six weeks, I have been doing the rounds at all levels: 1. grass roots peasantry in Colombo and Galle, 2. Plantation Tamil sector in the Central and Southern provinces, 3. villages from Hikkaduwa, Galle, Akmeemana, Baddegama, Deniyaya, Akuressa, Weligama, Unawatuna, Habaraduwa and along the coast up to Hambantota, Beliattha communicating with local people; 4. the peripheral urban Sinhala Buddhist areas, 5. the inner Colombo Black-Whites; 6. Local MPs; 7. Governor of Southern Province (being my cousin who sided with MS in 2015!); doing the flood relief activities with him and the various Provincial and Local Council heads while staying in his official residence and being an “embedded” traveller in his official vehicles.
Ivan with the Catholic Bishop of Galle Revd Wickramasinghe, and Dr Ramesh Pathirana, and Malcolm Gunasekera
8. I have also been to a Viyathmaga meeting in plush Ramada Hotel in Cbo 3 (of all places; and listening to self-aggrandising, self-appointed “Viyath”/pundit-experts triumvirate of Priyath G, Cabraal and Godahewa; what a bore and waste of my time!
9. lunch with Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Deniyaya at his sisters and again lunch with MR, CR, GR, NR, Weerawansa and Amaraweera et al at Medamulana home. They were much better than the Viyathmaga bores! The discussions were on the people’s needs and the country’s needs more than poppycock boasts of port creations and Central Bank better during Cabraal and so was the ESC under Godahewa!! The best parts were that the upper echelons were never castigating or mudslinging or plotting devious scams against their political opponents.
10. I even managed to organise a courtesy call on the Bishop of Galle, the Rt Rev. Wickramasinghe (with the opportunity taken to visit my old school St Aloysius and that massive church up the aptly named Mount Calvary! I reminisced how as a little kid I used to trudge up the Mount Calvary with my suitcase of books to school thinking of Jesus carrying the cross up the Mount!). Anyway, the discussion included Dr. Ramesh Pathirana MP for Akmeemana, my cousin Malcolm Gunasekera an ex-planter and my nephew of the Edirisinghe Walauwwa clan from Baddegama; both my cousin and nephew being staunchly Roman Catholic and former die-hard UNPers. The Bishop was most graceful, affable and spent over 1 hour on that Sunday talking with us about all the future potential for upliftment and assistance to his flock of over 17000 in his diocese. No, we did not entreat His Holiness to pray to his flock to vote for GR. He knew that his message will reach GR when he becomes President in a few days. (Note the accentuation on the certainty of election, which is mine and many more).
So there we are Mike, that’s my contribution about ground realities to your mail message about blitkriegs from Alan Keenan et al of the self-appointed “International HR mafia” who have realised that the next few years under GR is gonna be manna from heaven for themselves to make a huge fortune from NGOs and adoration from the self -international babyminders brigade who also will get a load of kicks by shouting threats like “we’ll get you one day by hook or by crook” to our UN representatives in Geneva nad Washington. To hell with the bloody lot of them opportunists, I say.
The future will be bright for Sri Lanka in a few hours from now.⬅️