POLITICAL SKETCHBOOK                  by Rajpal Abeynayaka  

It is all about coming out of the closet….
"Getting the Indians to make pronouncements our matters is an interference in our affairs ,'' said Velupillai Prabhakaran. At least he was quoted as having said so.
The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka is supreme and I am his minion. I take orders form him. We shall soon raise the flag of Sri Lanka in Killinochchi. Sri Lanka not only has the best cricket team which I am very fond of, but the Sri Lankan politicians are the most equitable, and with them, there will be such harmony that even if I try my best I can't make enemies with them.

Prabhakaran said all of these things also. Don't be daft - no he didn't -- but he did say last week according to all confirmed sources that getting officials from India to pronounce on our seas and our security is an interference in our affairs.

Since when has Velupillai Prabhakaran developed a predilection of minding Sri Lankan affairs with an interest in safeguarding Sri Lankan concerns. Since he made that statement last week of course, which confirms the fact that he has always been a closet Sri Lankan. All he wants to do is bathe in Keerimalai, drink some Sri Lankan arrack (sangsthaa) and watch Muralitharan bowl googlies and flippers.

The real reason that Prabhakaran showed his Sri Lankan streak was however not due to any notion that patriotism is all about good timing. It has to do with the fact that Lakshman Kadirgamar was saying the same thing that he was saying, in the Sri Lankan parliament - - that "Sri Lanka has become a Hawkers street for foreign experts peddling their wares.'' Of course he didn’t say India-but then Nambiar is Indian isn’t he?

Now Kadirgamar can be appointed Ministerial Advisor for that part of Sri Lanka - -and the 'fatwa' that was declared on his head by Prabhakaran was all a big mistake, it was like the Fatwa on Salman Rushdie, all rhetoric and no muscle, something that Rushdie's wife alone was really worried about in terms of lost social life.

In fact this was the week for Sri Lankan patriotism, and there is no patriotism in Sri Lanka if there is no big neighbour called India, so you have to hand it over to big brother, which keeps impinging on Sri Lankan sovereignty so that the Sri Lankans can keep pulling together. If parliament resolves that India should intervene directly in Colombo by sending troops willy nilly like Madman Uncle Sam did in Baghdad, that would be the day that Kadirgamar will be breaking bread with Prabhakaran at the waadiya, (and Sumathipala and Ranatunge will be there too telling each other how sweet they have been all along.) Cricket will be disbanded as a sport as Sri Lankans would have found a new unifying passion in India.

But India was seen to be inducing even more indigenous sentiment, and even Mr Pakiasothy the analyst who speaks Tamil with a 'sausage sandwich' kind of London School of Economics inflexion was heard to speak in Sinhalese. What was he saying with fellow travellers such as Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha in the same assembly.

He said "Indiaaava nethuwa be….''' and they all leaned close to listen to him… they heard the nethuwa be? He wasn't saying he can't manage without the proper sausage sandwich lingo - no he wasn't, he was looking Ven Sobitha straight in the eye, and saying 'without India there is no solution.' He said 'saamaya venuven meeting ekak thiyanna kavuruth enne ne.'' "No one voluntarily agitates for peace in this country."

But he can call a seminar about Mambiar and Indians. With Chief Guest Prabhakaran and guest of honour Kadirgamar, he can get not just Ford Foundation and Soros to fund it - - he might even be able to get Bill Gates and Jennifer Lopez, the last who when I last heard, was richer than several countries…..

Right of Reply
An extremely personal and completely false story regarding me appeared in your newspaper of last Sunday. The writer of this piece of pure fiction has not even been able to correctly get the name of the host of what he calls 'a tamasha.' It was a small gathering of MP's and friends of Mr. Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, who got together to celebrate his anniversary and the President was present until the party ended. The absurdity of the writer is illustrated when he states: "he could not push his food beyond his face".

The Sunday Times, as I have always told you was the best paper on a Sunday and it has never indulged in personal and wild character assassination, unlike another Sunday paper. I have no objections to any criticism of my political conduct; in fact, I welcome it!

I am confident that you will not allow your newspaper to be dragged into the dregs of perdition. Anura Bandaranaike, M.P.,Senior Advisor to the President Our Political Editor says: While unreservedly respecting Mr. Bandaranaike’s right of reply, may we say that the distinction between the private and political conduct of a politician wears thin.


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