Catch 22 for Douglas Devananda
Dr.Levins T.C. Rajaratnam
Feb 24, 2010

The archetypal Catch-22, as formulated by Heller, involves the case of John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces bombardier, who wishes to be grounded from combat flight duty. To be grounded, he must be officially evaluated by the squadron's flight surgeon and then found "unfit to fly."

"Unfit" would be any pilot that is actually willing to fly such dangerous missions: as one would have to be mad to want to take on such missions.

But the "problem" is that to be declared "unfit", he must first "ask for evaluation", which is considered as a sufficient proof for being declared "sane". These conditions make being declared "unfit" impossible.

The "Catch 22" is that "anyone who wants to get out of combat duty, isn't really crazy" [1] Hence, pilots who request a fitness evaluation are sane, and therefore must fly in combat. At the same time, if an evaluation is not requested by the pilot, he will never receive one (i.e. they can never be found "insane"), meaning he must also fly in combat.

Douglas Devananda has no option but to contest under the UPFA. After having made vociferous statements that he would contest under his party banner the EPDP, he has now crept under the carpet and reached his destination to contest under the UPFA.

According to M.Thambiraja of Tampi Holdings from Karainagar (the same village of Late T.Maheswaran) an applicant to contest in the Jaffna district under the UPFA, Douglas has confided in him this morning that he would be contesting under the UPFA as he has been advised that if he contests under the EPDP banner he would be defeated and that the other parties contesting in Jaffna would target him and accuse him as the person responsible for all the abductions, kidnappings and open extortion, the truth of which we do not know. Thambiraja worked hard day and night to get into the nomination list. He said he had got strong recommendation letters from the Governor of the Western Province, Hon. Alavi Moulana, Famous Film Director Mr. Chandran Ratnam, former M.P.Ameer Ali, and a future Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.

However, if the UPFA rejects the SLFP applicants and accepts the EPDP candidates then the UPFA would have to face trying circumstances of defeat in the North. The recent Presidential election results reveal that except for Kayts in the Jaffna electorate in all other places the opponent got the majority of votes. The admiration for the SLFP would be dashed 180 degrees by the EPDP cadres and Leader joining the UPFA and this would create another chaotic situation. In this labyrinth, The TNA and the UNP would be at an advantageous position.

Already the majority of the applicants who applied as SLFP candidates and faced interviews have prepared forms and are ready to submit them as independent groups and Alliances. Numerous candidates have already travelled to Jaffna disappointed owing to the news that Douglas is coming. Those good old days there was a phrase that "The tiger is coming" it now "Douglas is coming".

The people of Jaffna cannot be further terrorized by militant leaders who have private political parties with arms. The US State Department Reports indicate the gross atrocities committed by these groups and politicians.

Numerous applicants traveled from the Jaffna district collected application forms to apply at the cost of Rs.1000/= to the SLFP office. They were summoned on various dates for interviews to determine their vote worthiness. Most of them were academics, professionals and intellectuals. But with one sweep of a sheet of paper Douglas has intermeddled in the affairs of fairness and justice. Who is right or wrong is for the voter to decide.