What goes around comes around | Sunday Observer

What goes around comes around

19 March, 2023
Nihal P. Jayatunga
Nihal P. Jayatunga

SUBAWO: Author Nihal P. Jayatunga Minsara Publishers, Gampaha

This story in Sinhala centres around Suba, a young science student, who flees Sri Lanka after a hated politician Mihindu Gunasekara has her father, a veteran journalist, and almost his entire family murdered because he earned the politician’s wrath.

The plot is set in the time when the LTTE was dominating the North.

Reports from overseas about Suba inventing a super missile that can find its target even in the midst of a crowd without harming others, rattles Gunasekara and his crony Leelasena since both are responsible for the crime. Political pressure has obstructed police investigations.

They even prevent the local media from giving publicity to this horrifying crime, though the news is splashed across the front pages of the foreign press.

The fear of Suba taking revenge causes Gunasekara to be haunted by his criminal past. Also known as the ‘Forest Devil’ he and his crony Leelasena, a university graduate and a former State Timber Corporation Chairman have made big money by illegally felling trees and investing the money in foreign banks.

Before long the forest destruction results in streams, waterways and rivers running dry. A crook without an iota of shame, Leelasena contributes funds of rival parties so that whichever party that comes to power at an election, he would be at an advantage.

Gunasekara is furious with Ramawickrama, a top class journalist whom no politician can buy though Gunasekara as Deputy Minister had helped him in the past. Ramawickrama however continues to attack Gunasekara when he becomes Minister, exposing his crooked deals. The latter tries to bribe Ramawickrama by offering him foreign tours, diplomatic posts and even presenting him with a couch made of ebony.

These have no effect on Rama. Gunasekara however succeeds in buying another journalist from Ramawickrama’s staff and makes him editor of a new rival newspaper, but it soon loses popularity because of Gunasekera’s misdeeds.

Eventually Mother Nature punishes both him and Leelasena. Lightning strikes Leelasena while riding a horse, killing him on the spot. The sight of seeing the charred body makes Gunasekera fall seriously ill. Doctors find that his illness cannot be cured even after being taken abroad for treatment.

This novel correctly reflects Sri Lanka’s despicable politics in varying degrees over the past four decades My view is that the plot is ideal for a movie.

- By Janaka Perera