Tough times for City Fathers
At the time of
writing this editorial, the fate of the Colombo Municipal
Council (CMC) appeared in the balance with speculation that the
country’s premier local body is to be vested in a Commissioner.
It is doubtful whether bulk of the ratepayers in the City
would care very much if the incumbent administration was thrown
out on its ear given the shoddy state of affairs in the running
of its affairs. The writing was on the wall though when an
independent group sponsored by the UNP got elected.
The imbroglio that followed saw the opposition staking a
claim for the hot seat lending itself to intrigue and manoeuvre
which relegated the ratepayers to mere bystanders in the
The result was accumulating garbage, neglected roads, damaged
drains, flooded roads and a rise in the cases of dengue to which
the incumbents who comprised a motley band amateurs with no
experience in any form of civic administration had no answers.
Whatever decision is taken, the Government should ensure that
the changes contemplated should not relapse into the status quo
or a mere changing the pillow for a headache.
Measures should be taken for a full revamp of the CMC
structure not only to see to it that the citizens of Colombo are
properly served but also to regain the status once enjoyed by
Colombo as the Garden City of Asia.
While on the topic it must be stressed that a mere
beautifying the city is not the remedy for the multifarious
problems that beset the city capital.
There is much to be done in the form of housing and
infrastructure not only to meet the demands of city dwellers but
also for the benefit of the staggering one million floating
population that throngs the city on a daily basis.
The Government should not shy away from pumping the maximum
resources to upgrade the City from its present parlous plight
for fear of being accused of favourable treatment to Colombo a
la Colombata kiri gamata kekiri. After all, it is the commercial
capital which mirrors the well-being or otherwise of a State.
Bishen Bedi has
done it again. It appears that he has an obsession with
Mutthaiah Muralidharan. One can understand peer jealousies in
any field of endeavour and sport is no exception - especially
when the Sri Lankan spin wizard has almost quadrupled the
wickets haul of the former Indian great.
Bedi clearly carries a chip on his shoulder vis-a-vis the
exploits of the smiling assassin who is on the threshold of
being the highest test wicket taker in the world.
One notes that with every improved performance Murali had
been at the receiving end of barbs thrown at him by Bedi.
The cricketing world was least prepared for his outbursts
this time around. After branding Murali a chucker and cheat in
his previous comments the turbaned tweaker of yesteryear has
called Murali a Monster if reports quoting him are correct.
We are not comparing here the relative merits of the two spin
greats who plied their art generations apart.
We are not unaware that as with any endeavour or discipline,
sports too derived the advantage of encroaching modernisation.
Cricket is no exception and it is not fair to compare the
deeds of different players of different vintages. But Bedi has
violated an unwritten rule practiced by all the purveyors of the
same art in this gentlemen’s game.
Bedi has forgotten that he and Murali are in the “spin
bowlers club” and no cricketer in the present or past has heaped
abuse or calumny on one of his ilk.
Through his conduct Bedi has disported himself as a spoil
We urge Murali to forge ahead with single minded purpose the
goal of breaking the world record in the forthcoming tour Down
Under where the whole sordid saga began.
How ironic it is that it is the same country that tested and
cleared him of all charges. What more proof does Bedi need.