Arjuna Mahendran: Reply by Bert Gunawardana

Thursday, 25 June 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

I thought I should not waste my time to respond to Bert Gunawardana (see FT of 12 June 2015) and also take valuable space in your well read and esteemed paper. However on second thoughts, I now feel, that his inaccurate surmising deserves an appropriate response. 

Bert Gunawardana in his letter on 12 June stated, “The main reason for the dip in popularity of the current Government is Arjuna Mahendran. 50% of the content of the no confidence motion on the Prime Minister is on Arjuna Mahendran.”

Gunawardana, you naively admit that you have not done a survey to check Mahendran’s popularity but who talked about his popularity. My response was in respect of your sweeping statement about the dip in the Government’s popularity you mentioned and not on Mahendran’s. No point in escalating this argument in respect of Gunawardana’s comment on the no confidence motion.

Your childish assertion that I have been given the contract to defend Mahendran, the Singaporean citizen deserves no comment but let me point out that Mahendran or for that matter any others will not need a Simple Simon like me to defend them when according to your own misguided assertion, the Prime Minister had gone miles in his defence for fleeing the country.

There is no gainsaying in the fact that many a respectable citizen, be it professionals, doctors, engineers or journalists had to flee the country due to physical threats to their lives by state sponsored goons during the previous regime. I do not know what prompted Arjuna Mahendran to flee the country but perhaps it may be in search of greener pastures but he was in a State institution that was subject to interference and meddling by authorities with change of political masters. This is unlike some others in uniform who fled the country .by worshiping at the feet of certain ministerial figures when the going was tough in the northern war.

Finally Gunawardana, your slip is showing when you give credit only to the former President for eliminating terrorism from this Country when in actual fact, it was our great Army and the defence forces led ably by General Sarath Fonseka who really did the job. Your adored former President only ridiculed and humiliated General Fonseka and it was up to the popular President Maithripala Sirisena to restore his dignity and respect. I cannot help but feel that President Sirisena could do well without personalities like you pretending to protect him.

T. Mallawatantri