People have manifestly lost interest in the LG polls, eclipsed by the World Cup cricket. They seem to prefer flannelled fools in action to real fools in kapati suit. But, the government has taken the mini polls seriously, given its high stakes. Its goons have stepped up attacks on the Opposition. The worst affected is the JVP, which is more vociferous and active than the UNP in the throes of a leadership crisis.
The latest incident of election related violence has been reported from Walasmulla, where some JVPers engaged in putting up a stage were attacked by a group of pro-government thugs on Sunday. Two of the victims have been hospitalised. The assailants are still at large. On Saturday at Weerawila, UPFA goons set upon a group of JVP activists injuring two of them. The attackers have gone scot free.
The JVP complains of police inaction and the police, true to form, claim they have initiated an investigation. (Has the IGP deployed special police teams to nab the culprits?) Even if a police investigation has commenced, what will become of it is not difficult to predict. It will drag on until the polls are over and then be hushed up. That is the way with all police probes in this country as we have seen over the past few decades when no ruling party minuteman was brought to justice. Time was when the SLFP was the victim of violence, but today it has become the perpetrator!
The government has to take the full responsibility for the dastardly attacks being carried out on the Opposition. Let no lame excuses be trotted out. If the government is really confident of a comfortable victory on March 17, it does not have to resort to violence, which is a clear sign of weakness.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his Independence Day speech last month, stressed the need for creating a law abiding society to achieve national progress. He must practise what he preaches. The onus is on him to ensure that the UPFA thugs are kept on a tight leash, especially in Hambantota, where attacks on the JVP and other Opposition activists are on the rise.
Big B goes gaga
Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan wants to take to journalism, of all trades! We thought it was politics which was the last refuge of all celluloid heroes and heroines! He is not in a hurry to cut his teeth on journalism, he says. He is planning to wait till next life to achieve his dream. (Maybe he has signed up for more films than he can cope with in this life!) If he thinks journalism is so glamourous, he is mistaken. He might change his mind if he knew the number of senior Sri Lanka scribes acting or dying to act in cheap soap operas which are as nauseating as some of the Bollywood trash!
`It is not possible in this life, but in my next life I would like to become a journalist,` Big B has told the media. We are puzzled. He is currently involved with Prakash Jha`s film, Aarakshan, described as a high voltage drama on caste based reservation in government jobs and educational institutions in India. Asked for his personal views on the controversial reservation policy, he has said he has no opinion to share on the issue and just utters the lines told by his director. Why should he wish to be, in his next life, what he already is? What could a person who is wary of expressing his opinion on a crucial issue but parrots something others say, be called, if not a journalist? Look at the respectable men and women working for the corporate media who play it safe without expressing any opinion so that they would be in the good books of all sides! They are so `balanced` that they would not even call someone who blasts buses packed with children to advance some macabre cause, a terrorist!
Bachchan or any other foreigner desirous of becoming a journalist does not have to wait till next life. He or she can come to this country where any bloke can start a website that specialises in mud-slinging and rumour mongering and be recognised as a journalist in no time.