The Fifth Column

25th August 1996

Bravery, cowardice

Saturday - It's nice to be back from Korea. I was relieved that no mass disaster (like Mullaitivu) occurred during my absence, or they would want me to rush back and then they make a big fuss when I don't. Made a note to tell Thilan and Navin a thing or two. The papers, as usual will make a big issue of it - they will accuse me of either travelling with somebody or leaving them behind!

Sunday - The papers are full of Anu's alleged remarks about Mallo. Mallo wants to sue, they say. I can just imagine the court notices - "Anura Priyadarshi Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, Plaintiff, vs Leuke Bandara Anuruddha Ratwatte, Defendant! " I'm sure Mallo will try to call me as a witness, but of course, I can evade that thanks to JR! Anyway, Mallo likes these court cases - must remind Amma about how he once went to court against her; that should make her have second thoughts as to who she should support in this battle...

Went to Badulla in the evening for a rally. The crowd was encouraging, though I am not sure whether they just came to see me. Told them that I plan to stay the full six years. That should upset Ranil a little, though I hope Velu doesn't get any ideas...

Monday - It's our second anniversary in power. Not bad, when some people didn't think we will last even six months. Even I was worried at the start because I knew it will be tough with people like Thonda, Ashraff, Srimani and Mahinda in the cabinet. Now I know, none of them will ever resign unless I sack them!

Ranil, they tell me, has organised "anniversary" celebrations at Hyde Park. He has even invited the parents of Mullaitivu soldiers, they tell me. A real copy cat he is - trying to do what we did with the "Mothers' Front" at the last election.

Tuesday - Asked DiMoo to write to Srimani to do something about Ravi. That chap is talking too much, thinking he is some kind of Lalith Athulathmudali. Anyway, it's time the DUNF also realises that I mean business...

Wednesday - Some chaps in India have decided to give me an award for "bravery in dealing with the LTTE." A lot of people will be jealous about that, I'm sure. Why shouldn't I get an award, when Kadi got an award for 'Man of the year?' Someone asked me why they didn't give that award to me and I told him that if they did, they would have insulted all the "men" in my Cabinet!

Thursday - Kadi tells me that the British Foreign Secretary chap is coming this way next week. Told Kadi to brief him thoroughly - including the fact that I might be late to meet him if Ramzi doesn't do the 'Konde' on time. "Don't worry", Kadi tells me, "Anne would have told him about that!"

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