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Sunday, September 25, 2022

The bad and good side of our world

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By Samsudeen Sarr

I had to hold on to my comments over the tragic assassination of the former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe until I gathered sufficient information about the background and motive of the assassin. However, it has, so far, been established that the 41-year-old unemployed Japanese suspect, Tetsuya Yamagami discreetly and meticulously planned the Friday attack on Abe for a while using a double barrel gun manufactured locally that left the prime minister with no chance of surviving his injuries. And for a motive, the attacker was quoted as harboring a grudge against Mr. Abe for supporting a special interest group that he mortally despises. Nothing is yet revealed about the group or who the members are and what they represent in Japanese society.

But I think the whole world is shocked by the fact that Japan with a population of about 125 million people is, unlike America, a country virtually devoid of gun violence and had rarely had such fatal public shootings. Besides, to kill such a man of prominence in Japanese politics, distinguished for his successes and leadership durability both nationally internationally, baffled the entire world.

By every measurement of his action, it is fair to conclude that Mr. Yamagami was merely driven by hate which perhaps was grounded on a false or weak presumption. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was not only the longest serving prime minister of Japan but was extolled for his progressive economic imagination and successes until their disastrous 2011 earthquake and tsunami that derailed Japan’s economic growth and stability. Then in 2020 he resigned on “health reasons” but was attributed by many people to his failures caused mainly by the additional effects of the pandemic.

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Anyway, while his funeral is scheduled to take place today and tomorrow, July 11 & 12 respectively, all I can say is to pray for Mr. Abe’s family and the Japanese people with the hope that such a tragedy will not be repeated there or anywhere else in the world.

That said, the world is once again trying to process the maddening civil disobedience unfolding in Sri Lanka where thousands of people stormed the capital Colombo and forced the president and prime minister into an untimely abdication from their duties. Both President Rajapaksa and his prime minister will resign on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. They have been in power for only three years but had, accordingly, fostered nothing but pervasive corruption with gross incompetence that ultimately crippled the national economy beyond redemption. The country could no longer afford to import fuel and basic food commodities that left the population no other choice but to storm and occupy the presidential palace and vowed not to leave until a new government is formed to succeed the ousted one. While many people question the feasibility of an interim unity government to replace the outgoing one, the people will definitely resist any attempt by the soldiers to seize power given the cognition that President Rajapaksa was a career soldier and once a lieutenant colonel in the armed forces.

It is indeed reported that the prime minister’s residence was torched to ashes while the presidential residence is still occupied by rowdy crowds with some abusing the facilities in the building while the guards stood by and watched. Total breakdown of authority!

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It is rather unfortunate, but the notion of forcefully changing any government in such a crude manner with the expectation of a swift transformation of the dynamics for the better may temporarily look positive but factoring all the implications and complications I think the whole excitement will amount to a pipe dream.

Without doubt, the resources of the country were somehow squandered by corrupt politicians and certain government officials; but it is also apparent that the global effects of COVID-19 and the Ukrainian war made the situation worse. And as long as the dumb war continues, more national economies across the world will be ruined and, one way or the other, affect the survivability of many governments.

However, on a positive note, I wish to conclude by congratulating every one of my readers Muslims and non-Muslims alike for the celebration of another enjoyable Tobaski.

There is nothing like celebrating Tobaski in the homeland, The Gambia. In total I have in my lifetime missed twenty-two Tobaski celebrations in The Gambia which were moments spent in dissatisfaction rather than the gratification derived from the event at home. As a matter of fact, in those twenty-years spent in America I can’t remember not working in any of those days. The only Eid worse than all Eids was the 1995 one which I spent being illegally incarcerated at Mile II prison and had pap (ogi) for breakfast, cow-belly for lunch and bonga fish for dinner.

Anyway, our elders used to joke about how if children were asked which day was the best in the year that they will all reply Tobaski day because of its ambiance of abundance and entertainment. The food was inexhaustible, the clothes, hats and shoes worn new and the evening reserved for taking pictures in our new outfits at professional photo studios.

By the way, who will be kind enough to send me my salibo or ndewenal this year? I will be going to statehouse for it tomorrow. Who wants to go with me? Just kidding!

However, if you send me my Ndewenal, I will pray for your long life, prosperity, good health and happiness and for you to witness many more Tobaskis in the future. Without the salibo, don’t expect much.

Cheers!

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