President Mahinda Rajapaksa made
a pertinent observation when he told a Trade Union delegation
from the Customs that they were able to pursue with their
struggles, agitations and raise salary demands only because of
the efforts of the Security Forces battling terrorism in the
Inherent in the President’s remark was that there has to be a
country intact in the first place if the workers are to engage
in an occupation let alone demand salary hikes. This task of
keeping the country together is being carried out in earnest by
our valiant Forces by successfully keeping at bay the forces
striving for its separation.
The message of the President was that Trade Unions who have
the luxury of agitations should cotton on to this factor and act
with a sense of responsibility.
We hope that those who are planning today’s general strike
would spare a thought for our Armed Forces but for whose heroic
deeds the country would have plunged into disintegration.
Today amidst a laissez faire culture spawned by high
commercialism and a liberalised society we hardly spare a
thought for the sacrifices made by the valiant men on the battle
field. These war heros are taken for granted by the elite who
have no time to indulge their thoughts on events and happenings
outside their rarefied enclaves.
Too often we come across events and incidents that smacks of
callous regards towards the sacrifices made by the Armed Forces
fighting a ruthless band of terrorists seeking to dismember the
This is not confined to Trade Union campaigns alone. True,
life should move on and the public cannot be expected to be
wearing glum expressions to empathise with the soldiers on the
However, we should strive to balance our priorities and
strive for moderation. There is a need to do away with
unnecessary tamashas in the South that take on a carnival
atmosphere. There are certain entertainments that border on
vulgarity completely lacking in sensitivity towards the blood
sacrifices made by our heros on the battle front.
In this respect the ban imposed on late night musical shows
by the Minister of Environment although for a different reason
namely containing sound pollution has had a positive effect
curbing unbridled revelry incongruous with the ground situation.
Now that the Security Forces are on the verge of
accomplishing their mission the need of the hour is unity. This
can be communicated to the men on the battle field only through
a proper appreciation of their sacrifices, by providing them
ample morale support and empathising with their sacrifices.
Nothing less would suffice.
At a time the Army is making
much headway in the battlefield it would no doubt have warmed
the cockles of our fighting men to know that one their tribe was
going great guns on a different field.
We are of course referring to the new kid on the block
Ajantha Mendis who helped Sri Lanka clinch the Asian cup by his
mesmerising spell of spin bowling, a feat which would be the
talking point in cricketing circles in the days to come.
While his colleagues were battling the enemy with guns and
tanks the diminutive bowler got the better out of his opponents
by a mere tweak of his wrist in a more subtle manner using guile
and cunning to fell his opponents.
Sri Lanka cricket certainly has come up with a more than
adequate replacement to ageing maestro Muttiah Muralitharan.
Equally the Lankan Army could well lay claim to another
feather in its cap to follow in the victories achieved in the
arid jungles of the Wanni by coming up with another winner in
the form of Second Lt. Mendis of the Artillery Regiment who
would no doubt serve the cause of the Motherland with the same
dedication and fervour as our valiant heroes on the battle
front, in the days to come.
It would not be out of place here to also mention of deeds of
the that evergreen prolific wielder of willow Sanath Jayasuriya
who defied age and critics to notch up a match winning century
that help secure the Cup for Sri Lanka.
Both these cricketers have one thing in common. Their humble
origin prove that nothing can stand in the way of genuine talent
and perseverance. Theirs is also a typical tale of rags to
riches which shines as a beacon to all those who wish to aspire
to great heights irrespective of their pedigrees or social
They were aptly feted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a
ceremony at Temple Trees yesterday to congratulate the
victorious team. Our cricketers have certainly given all Sri
Lankans something to smile about even amidst the present
difficulties endured by the country on many fronts.