Dear Sri Lanka,

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In news this week, we have 13 MPs who’ve jumped sides from the SLPP to the Opposition and we couldn’t care less. Meanwhile, the interim budget discussions have reached its final stages and it is said that new laws are to be introduced to stabilise the economy. It is suggested that citizens over the age of 18 would have to register in the Inland Revenue Department to strengthen the tax regime. The eye-grabbing discussions however was the new retirement age for both Government and semi-government sector employees which is to be set at 60 and above. And of course everyone has the same question – the politicians too?

Now, given that the politicians themselves make the rules and are never the ones to follow or abide by them, the easy and obvious answer is, ‘no’ because half of them would have to walk out the door giving up all that they’ve worked ‘so hard for’. But of course, it’s perfectly fine to ambush the rest of the country who would now have to make new plans on such short notice while they still continue to enjoy their perks and privileges.

Meanwhile, chess champions are strategically creeping back to play their chance like a self-unseated MP who called himself a Cabinet Minister for perhaps less than 20 days before he turned in his resignation with the swearing-in of the new Head of State. After publicly calling on the current President to step down from his Premiership at the time, he now remarks that it was just a ‘technical’ statement based on a specific matter and now he is prepared to accept a ministerial portfolio pertaining to economic development. The former Minister of Investment Promotion also said he achieved a lot during his ministerial stint. Perhaps we weren’t acquainted with the said accomplishments because the world was more concerned about the colour of the pool water of the Presidential Palace, at the time.

Meanwhile, an iconic white elephant project is set to bloom after much await with ticket sales set to garner plenty of visitors. Given that the view from here should be spectacular, I envision all the influencers of the country are getting their socials ready – if the revenue is to be funnelled back into our economy well and good, and if it is not, the tallest building of South Asia is still being put to some use.

Apart from all newsmakers this week, people are still grappling with the high inflation and high cost of living. COVID-19 is still a menace, drive-by shootings are still on the rise and oh, (conditional) Presidential Pardons are still being handed out to people with political networks while people who barely committed a crime have to rot behind bars until their soul turns grey because they don’t have the ‘connections’.

Bottom line, nothing is happening but also so much is. Most of us are lost, confused and barely know how to deal with all the changes coming at us. We are aching like a Green Day song.

Sincerely,
Wake me up when September ends

By Dilshani Palugaswewa