Saturday, February 18, 2012

Antony Fernando – a symbol of the ages – and a turning point – funeral

Fishermen and their families in Chilaw protested (non political) a few days ago against price increases of 50% on Kerosene and 37% on Diesel. They were vociferous but unarmed and in the ensuing engagement with the police and various units of the armed forces, Antony Fernando was shot in the head in COLD BLOOD along with others, and Antony died of his wounds.

Force of that nature against a group of fishermen was unwarranted. There was NO reason for the presence of ARMED personnel to quell a regional protest over a legitimate issue that affects ordinary people’s livelihood, and as usual no direct responsibility was accepted by the Government. Antony’s funeral is later today.

Antony’s wife has only recently left for employment in the Middle East and is expected to be at the funeral, and he left behind a son and daughter, both of primary school age. This is reflective of the struggle of the majority of people in Sri Lanka. A parent going overseas to earn some money to supplement an insufficient family income for survival is quite a common event.

There is no reason for violence at the funeral, if the Armed Forces and Police stay out of sight. Their presence is not necessary for crowd control, as the Catholic Church is capable of organizing the crowd that comes to pay their respects to one of their own, even if it gets too large. It is normal for the people to blame the government as they must have expected people to agitate and protest against this unprecedented fuel price increase, and should show restraint against this natural phenomenon, rather than act surprised or point the finger at people bent on causing mayhem. The fact they did not do so is reflective of the thinking of suppressing the freedom of expression on a justifiable protest. One dreads to think of the consequences of future protests, as the issue is expected to grow nationwide.

Each unnecessary death, Antony’s, and Roshen Chanaka’s during the protests in Katunayake, only adds to the legitimacy of the protest movement against policies that are clearly aimed at imposing undemocratic edicts upon people that have not been sufficiently debated in parliament and a consensus reached. The current form of Dictatorial rule, where the Cabinet is used only to rubber stamp does not sit well with those affected by them, who wish to defy impositions as being unreasonable.

It is now apparent that rule where non violent protest is suppressed, is the beginning of the end of that style of government. It cannot last long and the sooner we see their downfall without bloodshed, the better it is for society and country.


Anonymous said...

The thought of things to come turns my blood COLD

DIG Pujitha Jayasundera who is in charge of the 1500 security personnel sent to flank the funeral today was in fact the man who ordered the murder in COLD BLOOD.

Instead of being Interdicted subject to full investigation, he has been given the task of overseeing. I cannot think of anything more incendiary than that. Is the Government asking for confrontation? Is this the way they want people to learn a lesson that you cannot mess with them no matter what they do to you? You take your pick!!

How can anyone defend a regime in this state of inebriation, aka 'Drunk with Power'

Anonymous said...

The DIG Fox has been given the task of guarding the Hen house! What a travesty of Justice?

A protest about this is called for surely!!

Anonymous said...

The Funeral will be peaceful with no violence, but with unprecedented gathering of people who feel for the deceased and his family.

This of course will only happen if all the Security Forces stay completely out of sight.

Anonymous said...

Antony I hope your death is not forgotten and one day will gain some recognition in the History books as one whose COLD BLOODED MURDER by the State changed the mindset of people never to tolerate an unaccountable Dictatorship

Anonymous said...

These are all people working hard just to survive and have a decent life.

The powers that be in the regime are stealing from them every day to live in the lap of luxury.

Why do people vote for this type of government?

What is wrong with our people in the country?

The house maids of this country should STOP sending their money back home. Keep it in the bank abroad, and save it.

The government is robbing your hard work every day. You are the lifeblood of the country.

The hardest working and most dynamic. Save your money abroad and wait till the government GIVES YOU something for it.


Anonymous said...

it is sad to see how political this blog has become

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

Last Anon

I am sorry you feel that way, as it is a blog attempting to give commonsense suggestions for improvement of the quality of life in Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately in my opinion the Govt. is bent on improving the quality of life of a selected few against the overwhelming majority and therefore it is an attempt to make suggestions, pointing out the massive and unprecedented campaign of misinformation that is going on by the Government to fool the people into a false sense of security.

One main point I have stressed here and elsewhere is that less government would have given us a huge benefit far greater than we have achieved due to the massive remittances of nearly US$#) Billion in the past 7 years directly pumped into the economy by those working overseas.

The govt. has lived off and spent and wasted a lot of that benefit.

Need I say more? SO it is up to us to stand for the people who cannot speak for themselves to change the system at the risk of our lives from a repressive regime that does not tolerate dissent.

You will only feel it when you disagree with policy at a future stage, which no doubt you will in time! no matter how much you support the status quo at present.

You aint seen nothing yet!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for blogging.

Although some posters may discourage you like the last anon, we want you to know we look up to you as someone who cares about democracy, and the people of this country.

As you become more relevant in Sri Lanka over the years, you will have many people that will try and tear you down.

Some may even be your best friends or family, let alone your enemies.

Take comfort in that you are doing the right thing for the right reasons.

Sri Lanka would be a much better place with more people like you. Good luck and keep blogging!

Anonymous said...

Has Last Anon read the Daily News ?
I find it sad that the house by the lake did not even mention the electricity surcharge when all the other rags did.....Is this anything but political ? It is truely sad to see how some fools do not realize when they are being had....Golowata Kasaya titai kiyala kinana bahay ney.....

Anonymous said...

Mercifully the security forces stayed away out of sight, as the Catholic Church guaranteed a peaceful funeral. Maybe the forces read the blog and your confidence in the Church to handle the crowd was not misplaced.

Cheers to you the Catholic Church for a job well done and giving this man a dignified funeral and the thousands of people from all over country a chance to pay their respects to him, and to silently stand with him against injustice.

Anonymous said...

The blog may be getting political, but what is not in Sri Lanka? Read about Sinhabahu then!

Every 'bokuwa' in this country is build by an 'Athi garu J'..'s niyamaya or adahasa, according to 'M... C....'.

But the fuel, electricity hike? H.E was not aware and wasn't even in the country. This ministers kellinne pissu. A US conspiracy.