My dear Herr doctor
Sorry to write an open letter but then you left
here so suddenly and secretively that even your brethren here were
wondering exactly where you were. Most of all you didn't leave a forwarding
address. The next thing I knew there you were trying to part the water
of Iranamadu tank like that fellow Moses in Biblical times. For a
moment I thought I'll send a letter care of the sluice gatekeeper
of Iranamadu reservoir. But you know what those postal fellows are
like. They would have thrown the letter and the whole mail bag into
the water and gone looking for that pot under the teak trees- that
is if your chaps haven't cut them down to build bunkers and a nice
bungalow for the boss.
I was still wondering what to do when last Sunday I saw some highly
effusive writing about you and your dear spouse that spilt onto a
second page. Myeee, I thought, you must be some leader, two pages
all to yourself written by your very own spin doctor. Even the poor
Queen Mother-bless her dear soul- couldn't get the BBC (some call
it the Blair Broadcasting Corporation but others prefer a more bovine
phrasing) to do that much for her.
Why, very soon that Harim Peiris chap who spends much of his time
polishing our dear president's image until it shines like a two candlepower
glow worm, will have his job cut for him, if you keep grabbing two
or more pages every Sunday.
It is from your
person polisher that I came to know that you are lovingly called
Bala Annai and your Australian wife Adele Aunty.
Talking of Adele Aunty, don't you think it is far better that you
stop dragging her around the jungles looking like a cross pollination
between Florence Nightingale and Mata Hari, when she could do something
useful in Australia like campaigning against discrimination against
the Aboriginals and for the restoration of their homelands instead
of trying to grab other people's land like the first Australians
did. But then I digress.
Your spin doctor also says that your full name is Anton Stanislaus
Balasingham. I'll bet all the pol sambol in my wangediya to one
missile in your arsenal your birth was registered at a church. Lucky
too, because had they registered your birth with some half literate
registrar in the wildest Chunnakam or wherever you come from, he
would probably have spelt your name as Stanislouse.
I mean the poor chap who collects fifty cents or so for every birth
registered, might have heard of Santa Claus, but how on earth would
he know anything of a Stanislaus.
Anyway if you have your own spin doctor could you get him to answer
all the questions that your brethren here, including the chaps forced
to cough up a couple of hundred quid each time your enforcers turn
up, keep asking me.
Frankly I had to tell them that I'm not their Annai's keeper. Then
they ask me why you could not do what they did recently-land at
Katunayake airport and then travel to the Jaffna peninsula without
being bothered by anybody. I told them that all I know is what I
read in the papers, especially that of your spin doctors which made
your Iranamadu saga sound like the Second Coming.
No wonder he spins even more than Muralitharan. In one of those
moments of over zealousness your spin doctor refers to the publicly
acclaimed arrival of the Balasinghams on March 25.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I did not see any photographic evidence
of public acclaim. I mean, normally if you are loved by the public
like that old friend of yours MGR, they would have lined the streets
waving flags and thrown garlands around your neck until you suffocated.
Even if the public hates your guts, if you had something like the
PSD behind you, you could always bet on those guys to whip up some
public enthusiasm and get them to cheer you so loud they would have
drowned the loudspeakers at any Pongu Thamil festival.
Don't tell me
your boss, once referred to by a powerful minister who was hastened
into the hereafter- with a little help from your side- as Die Fuehrer,
does not have the equivalent of a PSD that can be rustled up in
a hurry to urge some public participation? Now that I know you are
called Bala Annai, may I call you that? Thank you, thank you.
Bala Annai, you know very well what has happened to your Prime Minister
Tony Blair. What, not your prime minister? Well don't let the British
High Commissioner hear you say that, you carrying a British passport
and all that. Anyway Tony Blair's trouble is that there has been
too much spinning. I mean if they put Alastair Campbell and Jo Moore
and a couple of others into the English cricket team, they would
spin any team out before long.
So please be careful of these chaps who waver like a yo yo and lose
themselves in their own verbiage. They may quote Shakespeare, Frost,
Voltaire and even Andare-any fool who has a reliable book of quotations
can do that. Look I don't mean to run Adele Aunty or you down but
besides must have been warmly welcomed by your inner circle and
VP(Velupillai, silly) giving you a lending hand on your leaving
the water, it was not exactly public acclaim and adulation, was
it. Unless, of course, that mass gathering of five is to be interpreted
as a general hip, hip hooray and all that.
By the way,
I notice that VP has shed his camouflage uniform for bush shirt
and trousers. I'm not saying that he should be going around in verti
and banian. I quite understand. The traditional dress does not make
for a speedy exit in case the need arises.
But Bala Annai, where does your leader-dear me I almost said Die
Fuehrer- tailor his bush shirts. Is it JaffnaTailoring Mart or that
place in Chennai called Bondy Bazaar or something where Uma Maheswaran
and he began trading bullets like it was the gunfight at O.K Corral.
Just imagine what Kirthi Sri Karunaratne would write in his fashion
column if VP turned up at Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg's National
Day party in Colombo wearing one of those shirts.
Bala Annai, as one who has always been concerned about dress, can
I give you a tip. When you go to Bangkok for what these hacks are
calling "talks on talks", would you mind buying your boss
a few nice Thai silk shirts. In fact in that part of the world they
still wear those safari jackets that used to be donned by white
hunters in wildest Africa and India when gunning for lions and tigers-oops,
sorry. But I know they are still gunning for the big tiger over
Annai, another tip. When you go to Bangkok, please make sure you
pay your hotel bills. You remember last time you were in Colombo-
the place has changed quite a lot since you were last there- and
stayed at the Hilton Hotel or one of those luxury places. If I remember
correctly you and your boys-as the Christian padres in the north
refer to you I understand, but here in your country the UK, preachers
and boys are not mentioned in the same breath for some ungodly reason-
stayed at a hotel a couple of months or more.
Later, hacks on the local newspapers wrote that your chaps ran up
a huge bill including I'm told for drinks that are not usually consumed
by the abstemious. What is worse, they said, that the government
you did not recognise and was warring with, was left to settle the
bill. Bala Annai, already they are spreading lies about how you
wanted the government to provide you with a helicopter to fly you
here and there.
in Colombo and those JVP fellows are saying utter cheek-your boys
having blown up everything that Colombo had, now you want a flying
machine all to yourself and free too.
Chee, chee Bala Annai, if that is so, it is bad. I mean you can't
blow up those things and the Air Force men who fly them and at the
same time ask them to fly you around.
Another thing, when you go to Bangkok, please try to depart and
return through Katunayake airport. For one thing, you might want
to see whatever remains of the handiwork of your stormtroopers.
For another it would be bad for your image of a publicly acclaimed
person creeping out of some irrigation reservoir like those illicit
water tappers during the Yala season.
Even that JVP chap, what's his name Somawansa or Somasinghe or something,
got himself a Sri Lanka travel document and landed at Katunayake
Don't tell me there aren't a thousand and one persons in Colombo
alone who wouldn't like to lay their hands on the blighter. True,
the PSD was there to give him a guard of honour. All they didn't
do was to lay out the red carpet.
I'm sure if you had asked President Chandrika-who has welcomed your
return to Sri Lanka- she would have released some of those PSD types-
the ones not in prison that is- who are feeding themselves silly
and lolling around since our beloved president, like the mighty
Achilles, is sulking in her tent and not going round very much.
Bala Annai, you must, like Oliver Twist, ask for more from the government
before you agree to talking about what you want to talk about.
You have asked
to de-ban the LTTE. Cha, cha that is not enough. You must now ask
Ranil to ban all the other Tamil parties at the same time. I mean
if they go and agree that you guys are the greatest and the sole
representatives of the Tamil people why should they be hanging around
trying to cadge votes or a seat here and there. They are expendable
as your boss showed some other militant leaders years ago.
And what is this Annai, papers are saying you want an interim council
in the north and east for three years. Don't be silly. You want
to make a mistake like that fellow Mugabe and hold elections? Whaaat
elections aiyyar. If VP and you agree to have elections, cheee,
I'll never write to you again. Not unless you go and do something
silly like asking Karu Jayasuriya to light up the Wanni.