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Children of VVIPs – two Americans

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It seems to be a fait accompli of the SLPP that eldest son of Mahinda Rajapaksa is tipped to be the candidate from that party to contest the Presidential election to be held next year. At meetings some younger Pohottu MPs have been making their loud announcement that Namal will contest the forthcoming presidential elections.

Looking within the party or what remains of it, there does not seem to be a contender fit to be poised against him; he seems to be the inevitable choice for candidate. Listening to his speeches, it comes across he is trading on the so-called charisma of his father, the drawing power Mahinda R seemed to have had.

There are a handful of sons of previous regime politicians and Ministers who were or are up front. Kanchana Wijesekera has created quite a spark as Minister of Power. They say he was higher educated overseas and thus his panache and yes, the confidence he projects. Namal had his entire education in this land.

Other sons of political Big Shots? Cass knows no others already in politics for sure, so she leaves it to readers to find answers to this q. The editorial of The Island of Monday 28 August had as content matter Mervyn Silva with his son mentioned. The Merve has emerged recently on TV addressing the media. Political ambitions rekindled in the maverick? We well remember his terrible acts – all unpunished and met with only benign smiles and probably approval by the Big Man of the day. Merve’s son too played pucks as common parlance goes, particularly in the Odel of then against another VVIP son.

The father heading the Ministry of Health is not popular and actually expected to resign, so the son, who also was rather karachchal and attempted once opening the side door of the plane in which he was flying home, is not heard of these days.

The son of Anurudha Ratwatte, who served as Cabinet Minister of Power and Deputy Defence Minister during CBK’s two periods of being President, is again in the news. The case against him for intimidation of Tamil prisoners during an unofficial and unannounced visit to the Anuradhapura Prison was highlighted in a recent newspaper.

Of course, there is Sajith, son of ex PM and ex Prez. He was at the London School of Economics, though he did not graduate from the LSE. He is on a steady political path.One daughter of an ex-Minister was named in the Panama Papers as having stashed oodles of money in offshore banking, etc. No enquiries, no charges, no bringing back the money.

Ambassador Ms Kennedy  

In sharp contrast to most of our VVIP sons and daughters is the only surviving child of John F Kennedy, 35th  President of the US (1961 – 63), and wife Jacqueline – daughter  Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, 65 years old and the mother of two daughters and son. She is a very successful ambassador for the United States of America. It is said her family legacy of diplomacy informs her work.

When Obama won the presidential election in 2008 and chose Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State, Caroline wished to be elected to the Senate seat vacated by Clinton. Suddenly she changed her mind and declined. Reasons: her son John, third in family, was still in high school and her uncle Edward Kennedy was suffering from brain cancer and she wanted to spend more time with him. Four years later when John was in Harvard, Obama sent her as Ambassador to Japan.

She did good by having Obama visit Hiroshima in 2016, meet and hug a survivour. However, she got it wrong when she criticised the Japanese annual dolphin hunt. She fulfilled in part one of her father’s intentions, which was to visit Japan as Prez and meet the captain  of the  Japanese warship that rammed the  submarine boat he commanded in the Pacific – PT 109 – August 2, 1943. JFK was assassinated.  Caroline visited the widow of the captain. She is at present the US Ambassador to Australia.

Cass read an article, gazed at pictures and even watched a video given in the New York Times of Caroline’s visit to the Solomon Islands in the Pacific and swimming with her son, now 30 and graduated from Harvard Law School, between the islands retracing her father’s rescue mission when his boat was sunk by the Japanese. He sent a message on a coconut which was picked up by the islanders and given to Australian Navy officers who rescued John F Kennedy and his men.

On the reverse side of the coin is son of President Biden. He has long been an embarrassment to the seemingly mild mannered Joe Biden, who has undergone enough and more suffering. Soon after he was appointed a Senator, his wife and three children were in a vehicle accident which killed wife Nelia and their one year old daughter and injured Beau (3) and Hunter (2). He devotedly was both father and mother to the two sons. He met his present wife Jill in 1975 and married her in 1977.

His second son is an investment advisor and was in some African nations, etc. Remember Trump wanted him investigated by President Zelenskiy of Ukraine promising American aid for the favour done. Trump even appealed to arch enemy China to investigate Biden Jr.

Now, the five year probe on Hunter Biden’s deals may be heading for a jury trial, though he agreed to resolve tax and gun offences to avoid prison time.

Loud-mouthed Know-Alls

In addition to all the negatives that burden our dear land, she suffers a surfeit of men who think they know all from debt restructuring to medical drugs; and pontificate on all matters, invariably at odds with what is being done or contemplated, and against all decisions made. Admittedly, it is imperative to have critics and those who keep their eyes and ears open to what is going on, and minds alert, particularly in the spheres of how the country is governed.

But not oppose for oppositions sake or to gain leverage or votes. Many spout hot air just to be seen and heard. Not even a good or beneficial move can be made in the country without many groups protesting. However, they produce nothing useful; no remedial measures suggested.

For instance much shouting has occurred about trade scams and illegal money stashed outside the country. Have any of these wind bags raised a finger to right wrongs? No, only bellowed – the easiest things to do.  One such recent voice is that of Wasantha Mudalige.

And what do the Ordinaries opine? A constant dirge is what emanates from parched lips and sunk-in-despair hearts. The consensus opinion is that nothing will hoist Sri Lanka from its sunken state. Ever? Never?  A slender stream of hope glimmers through. Sri Lanka is not permanently mired in bankruptcy, debt, corruption, selfish self-preoccupation of those in power. A complete upheaval is needed, for the GOOD, most certainly not a revolution. There has to be Change:  in politics; most of those in Parliament and Ministers; the psyche of our 22 million population.


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