Not a great New Year’s start for the country – what with the assassination of an opposition politician and a bomb blasting a bus with service personnel in it on the very first days of the year! Inauspicious, would you say? The end of the past year was equally weird, with Mervyn getting his comeuppance in no small measure by the very folk he is supposed to represent as Junior Minister of Labour after a failed attempt in trying to intimidate and assault a news director of Rupavahini. The reaction of the Rupavahini staff certainly caused an upbeat mood in general, judging from the reactions in the media and of the folk with whom we talked to about it. However, the downside of that episode is that the ‘Authority’ confiscated the evidence in a blatant effort to conceal the truth and screw the ‘investigation’. Unbelievable! And what is even more unbelievable is that they are able to get away with such dictatorial actions. Did someone mention ‘justice’?

But then again, can we expect any better? And I’m sure we will have the tunnel-visioned and die hard supporters of the abusers of power either defend the actions of the powers that be, or simply turn a Nelsonian eye to what’s going on. Do they have no brains, no guts or what the hell is really going on in this country? Don’t folk here want justice and fair-play? Is anything at all justifiable in the name of defeating the LTTE? Or of staying in power? Protesters of what is seen as ‘abuse of power’ are labeled ‘traitors’ and the few principled politicians (like Wijedasa Rajapaksha) are ignored or even ridiculed by the banal cabal in the House.

The fact of the matter is that the country has reached a stage where those in charge don’t really give a rat’s ass about what anyone, or any country, or any international organization thinks or says. Platitudinous and patronizing statements are mouthed and it’s back to business as usual. So where do we go from here?

The reaction of the Rupavahini staff to Mervyn’s actions was one indication of the frustration and helplessness felt by many in the country that just happened to react to the situation and erupt in violence. And I’m sure it would have inspired (if that’s the correct word), or at least provided food for thought to others who are bullied and bossed around by egomaniacal individuals disguised as our representatives – and what a motley bunch they are, to be sure! Will they watch their step in future because of the Mervyn episode, or will the memories of the incident fade fast, obliterated by that power-drunk mentality that most of them have?

So this year has all the makings of an interesting twelve months and who knows what surprises are in store. All we can hope for is some respite from the ‘in your face’ abuse of power and even a semblance of decency from our supposed representatives. Hoping for respite from the rapidly rising cost of living and the continued violence will no doubt be ‘wishful hoping’, but what the hell – what more can one do than hope for the best and get on with what we call life?

How do you see it?