10th September 2000
The first part of this candidate's name connoted God though the full name meant something else altogether.
He is contesting Gampaha on the National Unity Alliance ticket and exhorted from platforms that he had the blessings of the highest in the land.
The bluff was called off this week. None other than the highest in the land told a state run newspaper that no such blessings have been given to this candidate. A snub for NUA indeed.
He was greener than the greens then and changed colour only when he was refused a plum post – Sri Lanka's top man at UN.
Having turned blue, he now heads a body that deals with everything human.
Last week, the man had developed another alliance, this time with Ashy boy.
He phoned legal luminary, Desmond Fernando, to ask whether he would come on the NUA national list. The answer was a firm "no." A call from Ashy boy followed. The answer yet was an emphatic "no."
Some of the country's leading business entrepreneurs are reacting with trepidation when their telephones ring.
The reason? – Both PA and UNP candidates for the October 10 Parliamentary elections want donations for their polls campaign.
One of them, a man endowed with great wealth, was finding it difficult even after helping candidates from both sides.
Calls still kept coming. They were complaining that the man had given more money to the rival candidate.
One brazen green politico candidate, out on bail after being implicated in the killing of a rival young politico has a newly opened office in the city of gems.
And just as you enter, there is his glowing picture adorning the wall along with that of the green leader – all smiles.
But the alarming bit is the small notice put up for all to see calling for lips to be tightly closed: "Criticism of candidates strictly prohibited".
And the ruling party has had a problem with the educated types. One who loved to flaunt his doctorate has submitted the nomination paper not just with the name but with the 'mahacharya' bit. And there was confusion whether a man whose name starts with the letter 'M' in the Sinhala alphabet or a title starting with 'M' should be given a particular number.
And the battle was not settled with the man without the title claiming that nobody was born with a title and staking his own name.
Sri Lanka has a unique set of Cabinet Ministers, one was found watering the swimming pool in a five star hotel, one was filmed in the act of destroying the forest, felling valuable trees, another threw out onto the lap of a diplomat at a party, yet another was messing around with the brightest star on the track and field, and last but not the least a burly minister was found in a compromising position with another woman in the VIP room in the ministry by none other than his wife, said Mr. Anura Bandaranaike.
One of those who took the free ride, even after being an MP for just one week really did make hay while the sun shone. He did get a permit for a duty free vehicle and sources say that he had palmed it off to a gem merchant down south for a cool Rs. 5.5 million. Strange the person is not even contesting this time round.
Come election time and the newspapers have enough to publish of the deeds achieved by each ministry of course at a price. Two state media publications and a few private papers too published full page advertisement of six year achievement of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, on August 20. The total for the ad was Rupees Ten Lakhs Twenty Nine Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty and Cents Two. The Postal Department was asked to foot the bill. Invoice No. 1714. What an achievement.
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