An open letter to the Mayor of Colombo

Saturday, 19 May 2018 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Your Worship, the Mayor of Colombo,

Yesterday’s Daily Mirror reports that you are spending Rs. 7.5 m to “revamp” the toilets in your official residence. One CMC member has had the audacity to criticise it as being a waste of taxpayers’ money but you have replied that those toilets have not been used for four years (you make it sound like centuries) and are in a dilapidated condition, and so you will be going ahead with the “revamping”, while the public toilets (for us commoners) may be built by the private sector (not with taxpayers’ money, which obviously has better users). I like your reply, which is as it should be, in Yahapalanaya, with equality for all. 

While admiring your reply, I have a couple of suggestions. Once the toilets are revamped, and are ready for opening (at which possibly Hans Grohe will cut the ribbon), please invite your Leader for the first flush. Many of us are waiting for that flush.

The other suggestion is, please invite those bent-in-two, dressed in orange rags, insides-gnawing-with-hunger road cleaners and janitorial staff, who are common sights everywhere, for a walking tour of your toilets. They will love to see where you do in style and at their expense, what they do into holes in the ground.

Now, if the toilets are costing Rs. 7.5 m, forgive me for asking how much redecorating the Mayor’s bedroom will cost? Alright we’ll leave that for later but don’t invite your Leader for that opening ceremony. Or maybe you should because even Mangala is going back on his original “Ranilta Baa” slogan.

And then, another CMC member has complained that you are behaving in a dictatorial manner and are refusing to see even ministers without prior written appointments. To which you have replied, quite rightly, that much of your time is devoted to meeting with representatives of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (why, are they planning to move their headquarters to ‘Sri Lanka, the land like no other’?). Just imagine that cheeky complaint! Do these common people’s representatives think that you don’t know whom you should rub shoulders with?

And then again, there was another report in yesterday’s Daily Mirror which said that yet another CMC member had said that compensation for the Meethotamulla residents (yes, you must be holding your perfumed handkerchief to your nose when that name comes up!), had not been paid properly. You promptly replied that it had been. “No, it hasn’t been,” she replied and went onto say that she will provide documentary evidence. That document is no less than the Auditor General’s report, Your Worship, which states that CMC is to blame for improper payment of compensation. You can read that while seated on your new throne. 

I must now reluctantly end this letter, Your Worship, because my back is hurting. Worshipping you and writing to you at the same time, has not been easy for this commoner. (Not that I expect you to care, Your Worship!)

Citizen Fernando