POLITICAL SKETCHBOOK                  by Rajpal Abeynayaka  

French fries Americans and good timing
The US government officially declared that in Asia the LTTE will hopefully become a political player and not a terror group. Or something to that effect. The US government chose absolutely fun timing to deliver this official statement.

Imagine Saddam Hussein issuing a statement in Bhagdad (that's before he was removed, statue and all) saying “it appears that the US government is a sane law abiding regime; our investigations done in Baghdad bear out that position. We think that the US can be brought back into the fold of international law abiding nations.''

Next thing he knows, Uncle Sam sends missiles within inches of Saddam’s goatee -- and even his Information Minister is felled onto the floor as a blitzkrieg of American tanks roll in towards Baghdad.

Well, declaring that the LTTE is coming back into the political mainstream just when the organisation was walking out of talks (never mind for how long) was a small faux pas maybe for Uncle Sam. This from a country whose General's say civilians were shot, and add “it couldn't be helped, the chick got in the way.'' Oh and I almost forgot, George Bush first stated his intention to attack Iraq by telling his Cabinet official Condoleezza Rice "F--- Sadaam Hussein.''

Anyway, that American statement on the LTTE and Sri Lanka doesn't stop there but goes on to say that all Asian (or is it South Asian) countries were firmly behind America in its war on terror. War on terror? The Sri Lankan government was hemming and hawing and saying that UN action should be sought, even as the tanks were rolling into Baghdad - - and as an insurance policy the Prime Minister also added that Sadaam Hussein should comply with UN resolutions.

If the Americans call that support, why not ---- after all this government has nothing against Mac Donald's Happy meals. That's support enough - - and we didn't, the way the Americans re-named French fries freedom fries, go on and rename American piti liberation piti, did we now?

Milinda Moragoda has said that he can bring America - - to talks with the LTTE, you know , kind of pull uncle Sam by the leash and bring him to the table with Mr Balasingham and lot. Or so said Tamilchelvam.

We don't know if anything went on between the Americans and Moragoda after that statement was made by Thamilchelvam, but next thing you know, Moragoda was swearing to do to Thamilchelvam's statue what the American GI's did to Saddam's statue. No, no.

He was even more livid. He was determined to call everything off - yes, even to give up his ambitions to receive that prize beginning with the big N that's given annually by the Swedish.

Crossing your path with Moragoda is worse than a world leader crossing words with George Bush, and you can ask Thamilchelvam and Adele Balasingham that because soon they were on the phone apologising profusely to Moragoda. What could we say -- it was like , strange -- something like George W Bush apologising to Sadaam Hussein for invading Iraq and walking all over his face. With his clout with America, Moragoda will soon be accomplishing that too - except that he would rather have Sadaam for dinner.

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