If one has been in Colombo over the past 6months one would have definitely notice the transformation of Central Colombo. Roads and sidewalks have been paved and eyesores cleared and a transformation is taking place. It is also common to see Gotabhaya Rajapakse personally inspecting and instructing people on site on what is to be done.
One also sees hundreds of army personnel being drafted into help with the effort as I saw along the Canal behind Christ Church, Galle Face yesterday, where the newly renovated and upgraded waterway was being covered with grass sod, so as to prevent runoff flowing back into the Beira with the expected rains in the next few months.
I know many supporters and detractors of government acknowledging and giving credit where it is due, as proactive action has taken place, despite opposition from those who have been evicted from property that has been occupied for many years without title deeds. It was said that if not for this decisive action, the authorities will be ties up in courts by staying orders that would indefinitely delay any proposal or plan.
It is interesting that the primary beneficiaries of this clean up are the affluent people living in Colombo, and the tourists who visit and stay at the posher neighborhoods. It is reflective of the attitude of the leadership, that is concentrated on heaping benefits unequally. Ironically the UNP could never have helped the wealthy as much as this government has!!
The beauty of the political landscape also is that all the utterings are to help the masses but all the actions are to help the privileged few. This is electoral dynamite as seen by the recent election results, that despite the total lack of tangible benefits, the rhetoric and the belief that the Huge infrastructure projects are for the benefit of all, that ensures continuity of this style of governance for the foreseeable future.
I have no doubt that the exterior transformation of Colombo will take place, and we who benefit from it be glad of it, I just pity those who help transform it are not really even allowed to enjoy it. For example the fancy night market on Green Path on the side of Vihara Maha Devi Park is great for me as I only have to walk 5 minutes to get there, but with no night buses in Colombo, it is out of reach of the majority of the people in Colombo. Then again it is meant to be enjoyed by those who have wheels or can afford to hire wheels ISN'T IT!!!!
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