Loving the Nation While Screwing its People

The Sri Lankan PM Ratnasiri Wickramanayake said yesterday that anyone who opposed taxation didn’t love the country. He went on to explain that taxation brought in revenue for the state coffers, and therefore any attempt to reduce that was unpatriotic. He was talking to a gathering of families of dead servicemen at a ceremony to award scholarships to the children of aforementioned servicemen, but the PM was obviously taking a dig at the Supreme Court’s ruling on fuel price reduction.

The Supreme Court ruled on December 17th that the price of a litre of 90 Octane petrol be brought down to Rs100 from its current price of Rs122 in line with falling global crude. 95 Octane is priced Rs15 higher than 90, and the SC ordered that this margin be reduced as well. The SC ordered the GoSL to implement the ruling by midnight. So far the GoSL hasn’t. Why? Because no one’s told the buggers, apparently. Yesterday, Parliament decided to postpone passing the SC ruling into law as they hadn’t received notification of the said ruling in writing. Continue reading “Loving the Nation While Screwing its People”

The War of the Claymores

The Claymore directional fragmentation mine seems to have captured everyone’s imagination lately as a sort of all-purpose magic weapon. We’ve seen it accused of the attempted assassination of Gota Rajapakse, the attempted bus bombing in Pettah, the Hotel Nippon bombing in Slave Island last week, as well as the Col Charles assassination yesterday (6th January). Google Grenadiers and other armchair warriors wax eloquoent about the mine’s magical capabilities, extolling it as the perfect way to Win The War — the Hind gunship, long-range sniper, and the LRRPs, have all had this supernatural status bestowed on them from time to time. Continue reading “The War of the Claymores”

Was the CFA Worth Saving?

The Mahinda Rajapakse administration finally decided to do what many people seem to have wanted it to ever since it took power. It has formally pulled out of the Ceasefire Agreement, a truce which for over a year has remained only on paper while the GoSL and the LTTE went for each other with teeth bared.

So what does this really mean? 2007 saw the Security Forces overrunning the Eastern Province, making probing attacks on the Jaffna Peninsula, bombing the LTTE top brass, and begin the first tentative thrusts into the Wanni. We also saw a rash of terrorist pinprick attacks in the south in the form of IEDs and suicide bombers. Sounds like a war, doesn’t it? And it is. So what does the CFA pull-out mean on the ground? Continue reading “Was the CFA Worth Saving?”