What tsunami means: President times three
By Rajpal Abeynayake
George. W Bush President, Bill Clinton President, and George Bush, President were present at the Sri Lankan embassy in Washington to sign the condolence book. So, time was when they used to complain that they couldn't get an American Secretary General to drop in at our National Day celebrations.

Then, what are three US Presidents doing there? Ask Mr.T. Sunami. The Sri Laknan Ambassador in the United States does not know whether to laugh or to cry. He had been trying to get George Bush to do something about Sri Lanka for a long time now. And then just when it comes to the end of his tenure - - he is there, right under his nose at the Embassy, and as if that wasn't enough he brings two ex-President's with him to boot...But then newspapers back here are having a time of it writing the headlines. Here are some of the headlines considered by our scribes: "Tsunami brings three President's to our embassy.'' Won't do - - too insensitive. "Finally, Sri Lanka gets three President's calling.'' Won't do - - - sounds too much like gloating. "All the President's Presidents drop-by.'' Won't do, sounds too much like Watergate, which was certainly no tsunami….

If you think that Sri Lanka has got Presidents at its beck and call -- well, you ain't seen nothing yet. Colin Powell is going to be here, and so is Kofi Annan. "Everyday is no tsunami,'' headlined one Editor and blushed. Won't do of course. Utterly insensitive. But then he blushed again. Would he have ever thought he would live to see the day when everybody who is somebody in Washington comes calling here in Colombo?? So the Editor thinks, never mind that it is for all the wrong reasons. The Americans are hunting down the Sri Lankan embassy. "We have arrived,'' he writes in his diary. So what's his next article going to be: "Sri Lanka, the regional superpower? ''So, to recap, here are some thoughts from over the week-end. They are culled from "Subconscious thoughts of Tsunami hit Sri Lankans'' - - a proposed article soon to appear in a top best selling global newspaper.

Sri Lankan head of the Geological Survey Mr. Weerawarnakula: (thinks.) : "Hmm if I predicted the tsunami, I would have been famous- - - but would we have three American President's visiting our embassy?? No, I mean look at the bright side, right?'' Sri Lankan Ambassador in Washington: (thinks.) " The Tsunami had to come didn't it - - but if it had to come, why couldn't it have come at the beginning of my term, drat it '' Tourism Minister Anura Bandaraniake : (thinks.) "They think a Minister of Tourism should visit tsunami hit areas -- heh heh. Just because both start with 'T' Indeed.'' Tyrone Fernando: (thinks). "Either I was too early or the Tsunami was too late.

With the tsunami coming, being UN Secretary General for a Sri Lankan would have been -- well, a walk in the park….''Top man in charge of Japanese tsunami warning equipment lying unused in Peradeniya.: (Thinks, pondering why they never installed the equipment though the Japanese were continuously imploring them to) : "Yes, Mr. T. Sunami. Now I see the sea, now I see the sea…."

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