What tsunami means: President
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.
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
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.
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.
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…."