The overtly political Millennium Corporation Compact themed Mural drawn on the perimeter wall of a supermarket in Beddegana in Pitakotte is being erased.
It looks like the firsts sign of the government walking back on its opposition to the US-deal.
Yesterday the Mural showed a fearsome dragon-like creature emerging from what looks like the US flag moving to devour Sri Lanka. Meeting the challenge in this mural are Sri Lankan soldiers marching resolutely to slay the dragon.
It looked like a depiction of the MCC Compact, the agreement that the defeated UNP-led government was about to sign with the United States, or at least what the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna campaign made it out to be to the voters.
Opposition to the MCC agreement was a major plank in the SLPP’s Presidential Election campaign platform with leaders like Wimal Weerawansha, Udaya Gammanpila and even the GMOA’s Dr Anuruddha Padeniya saying that the deal would mean a division of the country forcing people from the South to get visas from the Americans to go on pilgrimage to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.
This sentiment would have swung many a vote in the Deep South to elect President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
So as this “Muralism” drive is led by the SLPP youth, for those young minds, this was a natural work of art that they would want to display, after all, their party leaders had prevented this terrible American dragon from chomping down on our lovely little island.
But no, said some of the local residents who found the graffiti offensive. They called the supermarket company headquarters and complained, and some of those angry comments we hear went right up the chain of command.
Then we found out that when the local SLPP lads asked permission from the supermarket to paint their wall they had presented other inoffensive designs to the company management and received the go-ahead.
Now the supermarket has negotiated with the locals and they have agreed to replace the MCC- themed painting with something else, according to company officials.
That may be a good thing for the SLPP.
That is because although they demonized the MCC and the Americans during the campaign to win the majority-community vote, the SLPP now is projecting a softer stand and maybe edging towards cutting a deal and get their hands on those 480 million smackers the MCC comes with.
So why remind the good folk passing by Beddegana about what a terrible thing the MCC and the SOFA and ACSA are?