ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 42

Odds & Ends

Servicing another record?

Sri Lanka has one more potential entry for the Guinness Book of Records. Recently, Sri Lanka signed an Acquisition and Cross-servicing Agreement with the US. The signatories were Sri Lanka's Secretary/Defence Ministry and US ambassador Robert O. Blake, making the occasion unique. It was the first time that two Americans signed a bilateral agreement, one representing the US and the other representing a client country.

Lest the slip shows

The new Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama was recently reported as having said in Washington the following;
"Three years ago, the country was not heading in any clear direction, but today, with the political consensus initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the dynamics have changed, enabling the country to pitch itself to a delivery mechanism for a sustainable peace."

Now, the US admin insider pointed out that according to RB's CV, as we all know, it was exactly three years ago that RB joined the then administration. So did he join a government that was "not heading in any clear direction"? He should watch out for such faux pas as it damages his credibility by leaps and bounds.

Avoiding the press

Minister of Nation Building Jagath Pushpakumara went to India on an official visit. When he arrived in Chennai airport, he was informed that a group of journalists were waiting outside to interview him. Hearing this, the minister decided to stay inside the airport to avoid the scribes. He left six hours later only when he was informed that the journalists had moved on to the other terminal to take a connection flight to another Indian city.

Why the deputising?

Deputy Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya tabled in Parliament an explanation that Minister Milinda Moragoda made to Parliament in July 2005, giving an explanation on the allegations that have been levelled at Mercantile Credit Ltd. ???- in which he has a stake - by a Parliamentary Committee report. The Deputy Finance Minister tabled a set of documents on Government action taken with regards to allegations contained in the recently released COPE report. As to why Mr. Siyambalapitiya had to table an explanation on behalf of another MP is not clear when the MP himself could have given it himself. After all he may have graduated to the level of a minister but Mr. Moragoda’s main obligation is to Parliament as an elected MP.

None for us

The api wenuwen api advertising blitz by the Government to support the armed forces has gone down well with many in the country but as this column said a few weeks ago, the failure to include the police in this campaign is causing some heartburn among the men in khaki. In fact, some in the Special Task Force (STF) which is part of the Police and has been in the frontline of the fighting with the LTTE and played a leading role in the Eastern Province, are disheartened too by the step-motherly treatment meted out to them in the advertisement. It definitely is api wenuwen api for the policemen.

Victim of power struggle

But in the process one of the best ex-intelligence men of the Navy has become the victim of this power struggle in the blue camp. He is certainly an unlucky man.

Earlier he left the Navy being caught in a moon giriya, who was angry thinking the bright intelligence man was in a rival camp. Now is he in custody for having Tiger books in his residence?

Even scribes studying the striped variety would read their publications. Unfortunately for our man his other crime is he is very fluent in Tamil and is married to a Tamil.

The story is that it was he who built up links between Karuna, the JHU and the JVP at the height of the Buddha statue crisis.
Toothpaste grin flies again.

The man who got seenibole off the hook by ensuring that the prosecution was done upside down is certainly an enterprising man.

This man with a perennial toothpaste grin has become a globe trotter hardly missing a trip abroad. He certainly knows how to sell himself better than the commissioners he is constitutionally required to assist, especially by hoodwinking our gullible ‘boorucrats’ who are taken in by his title of dee gee.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.