Police Superintendent H. Wickramasinghe - head of the security contingent assigned to Opposition UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe -- was refused leave to attend his daughter's wedding last Friday.
None other than the IGP Dr. Mahinda Balasuriya turned down the request on the footing that there was no replacement available.
Therefore, the bride's father had to do the next best thing to be present at his own daughter's wedding. He came with Wickremesinghe for the wedding. So, he was now on duty!!!
Range Bandara won't cross over
UNP's Puttalam District parliamentarian Range Bandara, a former policemen, has laid to rest speculation that he would join the government ranks.
He was one of the speakers when Ravi Karunanayake (Colombo District) opened a new UNP office in Colombo North on Thursday.
"People expected me to vote in favour of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. They thought I would cross over. I have no such plans. I will remain loyal to my party," he said during a speech.
Mess in the mess
It was a party at the roof top mess where the boss got into a mess just two weeks ago.
First, he was in such a good mood that he sang a few songs. A chorus and heavy hand clapping rendered the air. When the party ended, the boss had to be helped by aides, first to the lift and then to his car. This time it was a case of unholy spirits taking the better of him.
Questions on Ban-Rajapaksa ties
At the United Nations noon news briefing, there are occasions when some of the oddest questions are raised by the media. One of them is whether UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has any special relationship either with Sri Lanka or President Mahinda Rajapaksa because of his refusal to take a tough stand on alleged war crimes.
Is he soft on Sri Lanka because his son-in-law Siddarth Chatterjee had an affinity to the country because he served with the Indian peacekeeping force more than two decades ago? And was Ban friendly with the President having visited Hambantota when the secretary general was South Korea's Foreign Minister?
At the UN briefing last week, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky was asked:
"I had asked you to provide a summary - and you said that, I think, that you would - of the Secretary-General's relationship with Mahinda Rajapaksa prior to becoming Secretary-General, and whether the son-in-law of the Secretary-General served with Indian peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka in '87?"
Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, first of all, on the son-in-law, it's immaterial where he served at a time when he did not even know the Secretary-General's daughter and indeed the Secretary-General's daughter was a young girl. So, that is absolutely immaterial. It's absolutely immaterial. It predated the Secretary-General's work at the United Nations. It predates…
Question: Has the Secretary-General ever spoken about Sri Lanka with his son-in-law?
Spokesperson: This is really a little strange.
GROBR at the CAPRI
It was a case of G.R.O.B.R. (good riddance of bad rubbish) to the troubled leadership of C.A.P.R.I. (Circolo Amichevole Per Residenti Italiani) when the club's members unanimously elected a new set of office-bearers for the ensuing year on Wednesday night.
A high turn-out of 85 members expected a stormy meeting, like the weather that night, or 'fireworks', like they saw at a special meeting the other week, but it turned out to be a calm event.
The Capri, once one of Colombo's elite social clubs, is riddled with dissension among its members. They, however, decided to bury the hatchet on Wednesday and give the Order of the Boot to the remaining office-bearers.
During the past year, several senior members have been suspended and charge-sheeted for breaking club rules. This led to a massive uproar among the general membership wanting the ouster of the pesident and the vice president of the club - who themselves were found guilty by a fact-finding committee of breaking club rules in an alleged VAT scam.
Later, members found out that the man hired to settle the club's VAT dues with the Inland Revenue Department last year was not a "chartered accountant" as claimed by the president, but an accounting firm's retired clerk who had links with the Department.
This so-called 'chartered accountant' was paid Rs. 575,000 to settle a VAT claim by the Department. Now nearly two months after the Sunday Times revealed this scam and the Inland Revenue chief himself took over the probe into the matter, the chief has opted to sit on the file not knowing how to explain the Department's own conduct in the matter.
In the meantime, the club purged the remaining office-bearers and elected a new team to manage its affairs.
One of its senior members raised a glass of gin n tonic in the air-conditioned bar after Wednesday's annual general meeting and said "the club will regain its prestige now -- we will once again become an isle of Capri; we prevented it becoming another Ananda Bhawan". Others stood up from their bar stools, lifted their own glasses and said, "Cheers".