Red Alert! Commentary on the Failures of GoSL pinpointed by Peiris and Malik

A Cricketing Friend with Senior Mercantile Firm Experience, 21 May 2021

If the powers that be sought the advice of these professionals the country would not be in the situation we are in. The army cannot decide what is best on medical matters……

A Pal from my University Days, 21 May 2021

Michael, Malik PEIRIS is one of the most eminent Sri Lankan scientists. Since what he says must be treated with utmost respect, I will send the paper to as many persons as possible. The most formidable problem is that we just don’t have the resources to base the control strategy of Science. That is a dilemma which these experts must understand. The situation is desperate.

With thanks and best regards

An Old School Leftist, 21 May 2021

This is what some of us have been arguing since April 2020 (a year ago!).

And, in failing to convince Govt and economic policy makers we, long ago, concluded that our worst fears were coming true:- most Govts and Biz policy advocates had triumphed in emphasising the smooth as possible functioning of capitalism is more important than public health. We were not surprised at this persistence in over-ruling pandemic measures in favour of market continuity because, in any case COVID-19 is a pandemic primarily due to global capitalism and the operation of mass markets (Wuhan), mass industry and mass transit all of which are dynamics of global capitalism. Malik Peiris, in his S.  R. Kottegoda Memorial Oration last year implied this in his concluding remarks.

My Thoughts from Afar in Adelaide, 21 May 2021

It seems to me that some parts of the world have moved into a deep unfathomable bottom of the ocean situation generated by a more treacherous strain of Covid since March (?) and April – at a time of nation-wide religious commemorations and holy days that involved mass congregations in India and Sri Lanka. That the various Indian, Bangla, Nepalese and Sri Lankan authorities failed to foresee the dangers seems evident … Now. Whether health specialists and drawing room web-buffs raised warnings in, say, early April is a question I raise.

That is to quibble … and to warn killer-email fanatics that they need to pause before firing machine gun words in a wide arc.

So, let me endorse my University-friend’s word of caution above: the danger is so profound and unprecedented and so demanding of (A) Funds and (B) a whole clutch of resources on a grand scale that we must be as balanced and as cautious in our drawing-room commentary as possible.

I was marooned in Sri Lanka from March to September 2020 and my observations and experiences then were as follows.

A = the measures vs Mr and Mrs Covid taken in 2020 by the new Gota-government displayed far greater efficiency than the bumbling Sirisena-Ranil cohorts displayed in normal time.

B = listening to the WHO and despatching a special Air flight to Wuhan to rescue Lankan personnel there and to bring them to Mattala airport for despatch to a Military hospital upcountry added up to a master stroke.

C = The quarantine arenas set up THEN seemed to work well – a comment guided in part by a report from a Sri Lankan doctor refugee who went through as a ‘patient’ on his return to the island.

D = The government also oversaw a country-wide election with due precautions and reasonable efficiency. That this moment of crowd assemblage did not generate a spurt in covid cases would seem to be due in part to Mr and Mrs Luck: viz, Mr and Mrs Covid had not yet transmuted into the Indian “verti-and-saree form’ [my formulation] that is pressing the conditions into the bottomless ocean depths.

E = I note that I travelled to Nilaweli and Thiriyai and thence to Passekudah-Polonnaruwa and also spent time in Galle during the months of July and August 2020. Visiting the specialist privately-run Charity known as ESCAT was an eye-opener as I also went with Roshan S and his aide, Kumari, in a tuk-tuk on field visits to severely handicapped working-class families (as it happens Muslim, Sinhala and Tamil).

**** ****

Roberts: “Mattala Route for Mercy Flight from Wuhan for Lankan Students,”

Roberts: “Bouncing … to meet Lord Shiva,”

perhaps Sri Lanka needs , NOW, to approach Lord Shiva!!


Filed under accountability, citizen journalism, coronavirus, disparagement, economic processes, education, island economy, life stories, medical puzzles, performance, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, slanted reportage, sri lankan society, trauma, working class conditions, world events & processes

2 responses to “Red Alert! Commentary on the Failures of GoSL pinpointed by Peiris and Malik

  1. Lakshman Gunasekara

    Mike: I resent being called an “Old School Leftist”! In fact I authorised you to use my own name, anyway. I cannot be “old school Left” because I am no longer Marxian but post-Marxian. And I no longer adhere to the traditional Leninist methodologies of revolutionary politics but lean more towards the more inclusive, anarchistic, styles of networks and politics that are relevant to a post-industrial society. Of course, some might say simply being part of the Left genre is GENERICALLY ‘old school’ (i.e. ‘old-fashioned’). If so, then I wonder what is ‘new-fashioned’ or ‘fashionable’? With capitalism and market theory even more dated than communism and social democracy, what alternative outlook do we have? Pure anarchism? Philosophically speaking, pure anarchism is not about social transformation at all, but about simply a way of doing things, of living.

    • THANK YOU for the clarification. I stand caned….. But wondering if there is some NIHILISM lurking somewhere …. and ONE is being moved into the realms of airy-fairy intellectual suepriority dwelling in the skies. Or should we switch the geographical space from the SKIES to the UNFATHOMABALE UNDERSEA DEPTHS !

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