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Outside Politics

17th January 1999

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Things have changed

It was not so long ago when UNPers frowned on that affable British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, David Gladstone, who enjoyed diplomacy, driving double decker buses and Morris Minor cars.

He walked into a polling booth in Dickwella. It was not to steal a ballot box or to cast what we call a "hora" vote. The man who was learning how democracy was at work wanted to speak to officials and find out whether there were impersonations.

Woe be unto the poor man. He was accused of interfering in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. That episode was to see the unceremonious exit of Mr. Gladstone. Things have certainly changed. UNP now wants the diplomatic community to know more about our polls. Party top rungers are planning a new diplomatic offensive - to meet heads of missions or their representatives to brief them on the mounting violence at the Wayamba Provincial polls.

One Government Minister brands it a "wise move." He says "the diplomats will not complain the UNP is interfering in their internal affairs. They also know the UNP cannot ask for the votes of their countrymen."

The very long jump

It was party time at Hunters' Lodge with the Triple Crosser in great form. Promised good tidings from Wayamba had encouraged a good attendance from the engine of growth.

Now was the time to lay the foundation for more growth, come year 2000.

A late arrival was the greenest of them all and there was the half prince who projects for the Rajas trying to cozy upto him. How can we stop this violence in Wayamba? asked the Kommis Kakka, now exiled. Why not speak to your fair lady was the withering reply. Some onlookers were amazed. He may have been kicked out of orbit but the good times were really lucrative.

Was there no limit for opportunism? Others were more flippant. If things go the other way on the 25th one roll at the Kovil, will make him blue again!

Jungle Telegraph

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