Columns - 5th column

Tell me what to say………

By Rypvanwinkle

Hillary was meeting Jayalalithaa in Chennai. A fly on the wall reports on their conversation.
“Hillary, do you know why everyone is interested in what you would say during your visit here?”
“Is it because they want to hear a former First Lady?”
“No, Hillary, around these parts they do not know of any ‘first ladies’ other than me…”
“Why are they interested about me, then?”
“They are all waiting to hear what you have to say about Sri Lanka…”
“Ah, Sri Lanka. Yes, it was on my agenda too…”

“So, you were planning to say something as well, Hillary?”
“Yes, I could, but of course I would also like to know what you think…”
“Honestly, Hillary you could say what you wish…”
“But what are your thoughts, Jaya?”
“Well, it is not really important for me now…”
“And why is that?”
“You know, Hillary, we use it here for our elections and say whatever we want about Sri Lanka to win votes in Tamil Nadu…”
“Yes, of course, I know that only too well. We too make statements to win votes all the time…”
“But Hillary, I have already said what I wanted to say, got my votes and won an overwhelming victory over that Karunanidhi chap…”
“So, Jaya, you don’t wish to say anything now?”
“One has to be magnanimous in victory, you know…”
“So, you plan to say nothing on Sri Lanka, then?”
“It is not quite that, you see, Hillary…”
“What is your plan, then?”

“Well, I have done my bit. Soon after getting elected, I have called for economic sanctions against Sri Lanka and talked about taking their leaders to task over the war…”
“And what does New Delhi think about that? Are they happy?”
“Oh, they don’t mind me saying anything as long as they don’t have to do anything about it…”
“But surely, Jaya, people in Colombo will be upset, won’t they?”
“I don’t think so, Hillary; I think they also understand I have to make these statements just to get my votes…”
“But wouldn’t they be upset when you call for economic sanctions?”
“I don’t think so; they are sending me bouquets of flowers and invitations to visit Sri Lanka…”
“Oh, I see…”

“Besides, we were responsible for some of their problems as well, Hillary…”
“Why do you say that, Jaya?”
“Why, we helped the Tigers to train here in Tamil Nadu and then they bit the hand that fed them…”
“Yes, and they killed your Prime Minister too, didn’t they?”
“Yes, Hillary, in fact I’m also quite happy to see the Tigers out of the way; there was a time when they were trying to dictate terms to us as well…”

“So, what do you propose to say about what we discussed, Jaya?”
“Was there anything that you wanted to discuss about Sri Lanka, Hillary?”
“There is some pressure, you know, to talk about these war crimes allegations…”
“Well, you can say what you want as long as we clearly indicate that it was said by you…”
“But I don’t really wish to talk about war crimes here, you know, because of what we ourselves are doing in Libya and what we did in Iraq and Afghanistan…”
“But being Americans you can pretty much say what you want and do what you want, can’t you? You don’t have to be principled in these matters…”
“Of course not, which is why we just disregarded Pakistan and went ahead with the operation to kill Osama…”

“So, Hillary, have you decided what you wish to say about Sri Lanka?”
“Barack’s election campaign is supposed to have received some funds from Tiger sympathisers, so if we say nothing that too wouldn’t be quite right, would it?”
“I suppose one could say that, Hillary. So what do we say, then?”
“Well, we could say we discussed how Sri Lanka could learn a lesson from India about reconciliation and issue a vague statement to that effect…”
“So, Hillary, does it mean the US will not pursue the Sri Lankan issue anymore?”
“Of course we will, Jaya. We don’t like to be told what to do by some small third world country…”
“What will you do then?”
“We will release that vague statement about Sri Lanka and then when I return home I will do the needful…”

“And what would that be, Hillary?”
“Why, Jaya, we will announce some kind of economic sanctions on Sri Lanka like cutting off our aid, just to teach those chaps a lesson…”
“You must be careful, Hillary. When you start supporting those who are left over from the Tigers, you never know what will happen next. We learnt it the hard way, you see…”

“What happens in a few years from now may not really concern me, Jaya…”
“Why is that, Hillary?…”
“I don’t have the problem that you have of having to make statements to get re-elected. Barack is running for a second term and by the time that finishes, I’ll be a pensioner. And besides, he deserves what he gets for beating me for the party ticket at the last election…”
And, on that note, the discussion ended.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other Columns
Political Column
US builds closer, strategic ties with Tamil Nadu
5th Column
Tell me what to say………
The Economic Analysis
Improved international ratings and assessment of the economy
Opposition quest for whodunit meets with more hedging
Focus on Rights
Reflections on political and other dictators
Talk at the Cafe Spectator
Supporters hired for Rs. 2,500
From the sidelines
Not issued on this week


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution