Talk at the Cafe Spectator

Nenbutshushu rules the roost in Sakuland

Jayantha Palipane, the poor Ambassador in Japan, has been recalled by his country, albeit not by the powers-that-be.

Remember, he opposed some Buddhist cultist having an exposition of fake Buddha relics from Sri Lanka sponsored at the ‘highest levels’ of Government and faced the consequences with a recall, post-haste. That’s what you get for doing your job in the Foreign Service.

Now comes the news that his replacement is going to be a colleague who is close to this Nenbutshushu sect from Kobe, with close connections to the Osaka mafia – and those in Sri Lanka’s power elite.

This diplomat was even invited for their World Buddhist Summit last November while he was serving elsewhere much to the displeasure of the then Sri Lankan Ambassador in Tokyo. Overtly, a career diplomat is being replaced by a career diplomat, and not by a politikka’s catcher, but the yen for the yen to build those nine dagabos in the provinces remains high on the list of priorities.

And a ‘buzz’ – with no bite eventually

The black-coated legal fraternity have been at the butt-end of jibes all over the world, but when they are accused of breeding another variety of blood-suckers, all hell breaks loose.

Once before a magistrate has abused the Maharagama MOH when they walked into the house to check if he was breeding mosquitoes. The MOHs went on strike. And so it was the case, when the Colombo Municipality filed action in court under the ‘War against Dengue’ campaign in the city. The case was against one for breeding the other. Once action was filed and summons served, the black-coated practitioner made a dart to see Omar Kamil, the newly appointed CMC special commissioner, and pleaded his case.

To the Municipal Inspectors the accused had initially claimed the bare land next to his own residence as his family’s, but when he faced summons he denied ownership. The owner was – a resident of Mawanella, according to the assessment papers. Senior lawyers then saw him, once upon a time, the leader of the Unofficial Bar, making a surreptitious entry and exit from the Court premises before the case was called – as Omar Kamil gave orders to withdraw the charge. It’s nice to have friends at the top, what -- and have charges withdrawn behind closed doors.

There’s a buzz at Hulftsdorp Hill

The other buzz at Hulftdorp Hill is the entry of former Attorney General Shibly Aziz as a prospective candidate for the Bar Association Presidency come next February, and Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama’s wife, Deepthi, a lawyer herself, as a candidate from her hubby’s former constituency Nikawaretiya come next whenever for the parliamentary elections.

Nothing special for Lalith K

Amidst reports that Ceylinco boss Lalith Kotelawela is receiving special treatment in the prison’s hospital, while his wife is roaming around the world in a Burkha to avoid detection, we have it from one of his close associates that the ‘poor little rich man’ is positioned in a bed between a murder suspect and the wall. The only ‘comfort’ he has is the availability of a wheel-chair to get a move to the toilet.

See where Sandagiri is now

Admiral Daya Sandagiri has been appointed Director of the Vocational Training Authority of Sri Lanka. The VTA offers skills training through a network of four National Vocational Training Institutes, 14 District Vocational Training Centres, six Special Vocational Training Centres, and 199 Rural Vocational Training Centres.

Admiral Sandagiri was a former Commander of the Navy and later Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). Until a Supreme Court ruling that it was illegal, he served as Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Defence.

Foretaste for next police chief

Senior DIG Mahinda Balasuriya had a foretaste of what he hopes to inherit in the coming weeks.
He was acting Inspector General of Police this week. The present incumbent Jayantha Wickremaratne, due to retire next month, was in Singapore as part of Sri Lanka’s delegation to the first ever Interpol-UN Ministerial meeting.

Balasuriya, who has also served as Commandant of the Police Special Task Force (STF) is tipped to take over as Police Chief.

What’s in a skirt?

He was an engineer by profession but a man seated at the next table engineered his arrest this week.
It happened in a bar in Vavuniya. The engineer was critical of photographs of a lady government official of the district. She had worn a skirt whilst in China as part of the entourage of the first lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa.

The man at the next table turned out to be the lady’s husband. He dashed his glass of arrack and soda on the table and used his mobile phone to summon the Police.

The engineer, the son-in-law of a Magistrate, was taken into custody. Talking about skirts these days could get one into trouble.

Maldives need Lanka

With talk of ice in the Arctic melting away at a faster rate, one of the countries worried about Global Warming is Sri Lanka’s neighbour, the Republic of Maldives. Their Ministers are being taught to dive so they could even hold Cabinet meetings under water if the need be.

But for matters of command and management, the Maldives still needs Sri Lanka’s help. It has invited the Army’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) to lecture them on the subject. He leaves today.

Poor attendance

Less than a third of the Foreign Ministers of the 31-nation Asian Co-operation Dialogue (ACD) came to Colombo for the two-day event.

Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama's pet project estimated to cost Rs. 40 million was doubled. Additional costs included fee for buntings and cutouts along the delegates’ route from the Bandaranaike International Airport to Colombo. They prominently bore his picture in addition to that of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Now, Mr. Bogollagama is aiming to host an even bigger conference in Colombo where the costs will be in millions, much more than the ACD. This week, he will make the pitch for it when the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) gets under way in Trinidad and Tobago in the Carribean. President Rajapaksa will not attend the event. Instead, he will be represented by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake.

On the one hand, lending agencies are being told to fork out more aid to Sri Lanka. On the other, large amounts of money are being spent on international extravaganzas.

Soft corner for Lanka

For Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo, who attended the Asian Co-operation Dialogue in Sri Lanka, it was his first visit.

He had read so much about the country that he decided to stay back to see some of the beauty. Talking to Sri Lankan officials on the sidelines of the ACD sessions at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Yeo said he always had a "soft corner" for Sri Lanka.

The reason - it was a Sri Lankan doctor who helped his wife deliver all four of his children.

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