Odds and Ends

More and more elbow space

As if grabbing government-owned marshlands is not enough, a certain Minister is now grabbing extra floor space for himself in his own Ministry building. We hear that all departments housed on the top floor of the building in Republic Square have been moved to the ground floor, and to the Board of Investment building on Baron Jayatilleke Mawatha.

The idea is to reserve the entire top floor of the Ministry building for the Minister, his Deputy, and his Secretary. Many are wondering what all these moves at the Foreign Office are costing the tax payer. Meanwhile, one observer questioned the logic of reserving an entire floor at the Ministry for a Minister who was hardly ever in the office. And even when he was around, he almost always operated from the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, which was meant for other purposes.

Hello, hello, where the hell are you?

A certain top ranker of the “hello industry” at the beginning of the year has been out of the country for more than three of the six months he has been in office. This person does not seem to require much of an excuse to take off for an overseas trip.

The worst part of it is that he helps himself to invitations extended to other members of his corporate team, including technical experts who have urgent technical matters to discuss with their tech peers abroad.

Meanwhile, important people who have been waiting for weeks to meet the elusive person on various business matters are getting very impatient. They wonder if they will ever get to meet the man, as he zips in and out of the country on his various extended “business” trips.

Whose turn next at the Port?

Now, with the Ports’ big boss ready to let go of the reins and move on/emigrate (he and his family seemed more rooted in Western climes than they ever were in their homeland), a certain high-flying whiz kid is said to be eyeing the soon-to-be-vacant Ports’ post. (This person, by the way, recently crash-landed after a disastrous venture that resulted in a mountain of debt and a long queue of banks and creditors holding dud IOUs). Meanwhile, a little bird whispers that the person tipped to land the job will be a “Wickrema”.

This is all because the dumb kid (oops, sorry, whiz kid) rubbed up the wrong way Ports’ big boss’s older brother, who happens to be the Minister in Charge.

Like a fox in a poultry yard

VIPs attending the SAARC summit who will be needing a place for private powwows between sessions will have the Parliament complex at their disposal.

A rushed refurbishment job is under way. Expect new red carpets, new chandeliers, and so on and on, because the task has been entrusted a now jobless whiz kid known for his extravagant ways.

Someone said in pithy Sinhala that giving the man this job was like entrusting the safety of a poultry yard to a fox.

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