24th September 2000
A well known two line about politicos who are now busy campaigning to win the October 10 polls and become, among other things, our champions of democracy. It says they get campaign contributions from the rich and votes from the poor on the pretense that they are protecting each from the other. During polls campaigns years ago, politicians were known to visit poorer homes, walk straight into the kitchen and dip their hand into a pot and sample the food.
They were heard to tell the lady of the house how tasty her cooking was only to be reminded they were left overs from the previous day. Times have changed. In the new millennium where technological strides have revolutionised life, politicos or the gaffes about them, have also kept pace.
The latest one doing the rounds via e-mails is about the Sri Lankan Amathi Thuma or Minister. Once the Minister was returning from one of his globe trotting jaunts. There was a huge rush at the arrival lounge and the security guard told him "Sir, wait please !!" He responded quickly "75 kgs and walked ahead.." Before a tour of the United Kingdom and the United States, the Minister wanted to find out the time difference between the two countries. A supporter suggested he call the Tourist Board office. He rang and asked the receptionist "Could you tell me the time difference between UK and USA.." The polite receptionist promptly replied "One second Sir,…"
But the Minister said a hurried "thank you very much" and replaced the receiver.
This time the Minister was at a bar in down town New York. A man standing to his left told the barman "Johnny Walker, Single." His friend who stood close called for "Jack Daniels, Single."
Having obliged them, the barman turned to the Minister and asked "And you, Sir !.." He lost no time in saying "D.G. Gajanayake married !!" It was on his return to Sri Lanka that a Reporter asked the Minister for the main reason for his divorce. He lost no time with the answer – "marriage."
Former Minister and Puravesi Peramuna leader, Sirisena Cooray, was in tears at the funeral of Ports Minister and SLMC leader, M.H.M. Ashraff, last week. "He has done a lot for me personally," a confidante heard Mr. Cooray remark.
A missed blow from a 303 rifle on the late Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, brought him both to the limelight and politics.
Now a candidate for the Sihala Urumaya, former Naval rating, Vijitha Rohana, was on a panel discussion last Friday night on a private TV channel.
He praised late President J.R. Jayewardene for managing the conduct of the separatist war properly, at least for a while.
That was until Indian interference forced late Mr. Jayewardene to send Minister Lalith Athulathmudali, "to London to meet Reagan." He said Reagan had said he could not help.
Strong arm tactics by one candidate in the Kandy district is said to be causing serious problems for both UNP and PA candidates. The PA strong man does not want rivalry from any quarter complain his own men.
On Friday, UNPers found it difficult to hold a rally in any part of Wattegama.
No one would give them space for a stage.
The race for number one is making this strongman conduct a war like operation with his own private army.
Our man in a West Asian capital has temporarily suspended his work there. He is on leave and is back home.
The man is busy spearheading a campaign to bring victory to his son in law, who will become a minister soon.
If as a dentist, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne had to deal with many a wisdom tooth, as a politician he was dishing out words of wisdom during a panel discussion on a private TV channel last week.
He confessed that being a doctor (a dentist), he could not outsmart a politician who had built two luxury houses.
One was in cooler climes with a swimming pool !! Another, also with a swimming pool, was in Colombo !!
Some exponents of martial arts have found new jobs.
They are active in some villages of the north central province together with alleged deserters to support a candidate in the election campaign.
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