Letter For Now – ‘Faith’ the only way to Sanity

Letter For Now – ‘Faith’ the only way to Sanity

Darling Sinna,

Thank you Sinna for your message via the toothpaste service Signal. I am not qualified to pronounce on this but those in the know say it’s so secure that the Moneypenny’s, Sallay’s, M’s, of this world have a hard time tracking you when it’s on the toothpaste variety known as Signal.

The presidential visit to the area known as the former conflict areas surely must denote that electioneering has started in earnest. No matter what anyone says especially our fellow citizenry from deep down South, from the agricultural areas around Medamulana too, the next leader of our country will be elected where the minorities play a crucial role.

Think about it, will any right-thinking, forward-facing Tamil from the former conflict areas, will anyone seriously vote for the Pohottua type? For that matter think about Digana and the Ambalangoda and Beruwela incidents. Which of those of the Islamic faith would bother putting their mark towards the Pohottua types?

Then of course comes that rather tetchy subject the Easter Tragedy. Sinna, it is still an unresolved sore for the Catholic minority. The outspoken Head of the Catholic flock in Sri Lanka has spoken quoting chapter and verse about the need for transparency and accountability. It is almost as though he is speaking to an empty house.

Even some of the so-called ‘better’ channels are not giving enough coverage to what you and I would both call the key areas: the rule of law and the achieving of our rights guaranteed to you and me by something called the Constitution.

The still unresolved issues around the Easter Bombings makes it difficult Sinna, to contemplate any of the Catholic vote going towards the Pohottua.

Sinna, it rather looks like the Red Brother, AKD is making the most gains. But one of his brothers unfortunately got it all wrong about the repayment of International Sovereign Bonds – our foreign borrowings – which was what we call a total disaster from a PR perspective.

It is best if AKD tells his Sunil to keep it firmly shut instead of trying to comment about everything including a subject he can hardly articulate for ‘A’ levels. Detractors of the JVP in fact had a field day, using his pronouncement as proof positive that the JVP don’t know even how to boil an egg.

Wait a minute Sinna. Do cast your mind back to the heady days of 2005. A new president had been elected, great friend of the Bandaranaike’s, both the families go a long way back especially the friendship between Anura Banda and Mahinda mama.

Do you remember what the then Leader of the Opposition said, when Mahinda mama’s government announced the USD 500m facility from an International Sovereign Bond? They made the astonishing announcement that when they come into power, they will not honour that repayment.

Who actually said this you ask? Who are ‘they’ I hear you yell. Shhhh. There’s no need to shout. It was none other than Ranil who said that. ‘They’ were the UNP. My gosh Sinna, don’t tell me you like the rest are myopic and forgetful too!

So, when the JVP said we won’t pay the ISB’s or whatever it is he exactly said, there’s a big sort of ‘who flung dung’ uproar and wow most of our dear networks carried that.

But most of these brethren from the Networks, don’t seem able to find the footage where RW – dearest Ranil – as clearly as the JVP – pointedly says we won’t pay when we are in power.

How ironic Sinna darling, that the same man who said he won’t pay is the President now that we have declared bankruptcy and are unable to pay.

So, you see Sinna, you must have the mind of an elephant. They don’t forget. Elephants that is. They have long memories. Like Mahinda – he knows what his party’s proxy RW said back in the days.

One of these fine days when the relationship between his Pohottua and RW finally cuts the umbilical cord, one can almost always be certain that the Pohottua types perhaps through young Shehan will bring this point up. What RW said back in the day and what he is saying now. Different strokes indeed, depending on how deep the water is.

My grannie always told me Sinna, that ‘my word is my bond’. It was she said a wonderful tool to have. You give your word, you handshake in acknowledgment and you get on. But the bondholders not only had the word of the Treasury but also have a written down document (the bond). Imagine how aghast they must have been when Sri Lanka announced its inability to repay their already higher-than-usual interest rates?

The truth is how many or who even, in the opposition are articulating the best way forward. They sure speak about it but when we search for specifics, we find that there is hardly anything spelled out. Most will talk in generalities. They will ‘improve’ implementation. They will forge ‘greater links with the international community’. Frankly Sinna, we have been doing this since ‘independence’ in 1948.

Look where we have ended up. And people say, ‘we have turned the corner’. Again, I must ask you Sinna, when you hear these aunties and uncles, seeyas and ayyas and mallies say ‘we have turned the corner’ please ask which corner they are talking of.

And Sinna: remember what uncle Ranna promises the Northern folk is nothing new. They – the Northern folk – have been promised this box of goodies for so long that the Men and Women from Jaffna smile sage-fashion, knowingly. They’ve heard it all before.

In turn Sinna, we in Sri Lanka cannot turn to anyone in particular: not Biden, not Modi, Not MBS not Sunak and certainly not Starmer: the likely successor to Sunak. The Labour Party takes a rather dim view of Human Rights violations including torture. Sir Keir Starmer, dear Sinna, knows all about that subject – he was made a Knight for services to Justice after serving his term as England’s Director of Public Prosecutions.

No chance that Starmer will be willing to compromise to hide our continued failure to eradicate state sponsored torture and other Human Rights failures. Sinna, bear in mind that you can expect Human Rights to be on the table in future trade negotiations.

Sinna, I must dash now dear. And keep the Faith. It is the best way to keep the Sanity. Do keep using Signal. Better safe than sorry.

God bless you,

Faraz – the man with the braces.