Columns - Double Take

Mrs. Anumaana unravels the coconut crisis with “LankaLeaks”

By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

With the festive season round the corner and food prices going through the roof Mrs. Anumaana has been pounding the pavement in search of a coconut priced at less than 50 rupees. Needless to say her efforts proved futile. Sunil who has an explanation for everything, as usual had an explanation for the skyrocketing coconut prices. He says he has it from an irrefutable source. It’s what everybody’s talking about – the all-new, all-Sri Lankan whistle-blowing website, “LankaLeaks.”

With the cyber revolution moving at lightning speed, first there was “OpenLeaks,” a breakaway group from Assange’s outfit, then there was “IndoLeaks” in Indonesia, “Balkan Leaks” in the Balkans and now the trend has hit Sri Lanka, with LankaLeaks.

With his newly acquired encyclopedic knowledge Sunil says the reason for the coconut crisis is that various people are breaking coconuts at shrines in different parts of Sri Lanka in order to bring curses upon the politicians. According to the (just- released) LankaLeaks cable on coconuts, it started with the elections earlier this year when several UNP constituents in Galle cleaned out the coconut supply in the district to vent their rage at the treachery of those in whom they had placed their trust, who betrayed them by crossing over to the government.

Then the DNA supporters started breaking coconuts at Mariamman Kovil in Kochchikade. Some people were stashing away lorry loads of nuts so as to have them in readiness to fling before the shrine of some suitably menacing deity, when the need arose. So no chance that the coconut crisis will ease soon declares Sunil, in a superior tone.

Among the other interesting disclosures in the classified government correspondence exposed on LankaLeaks is Sri Lanka’s plan to institute its own international peace award, parallel to the Nobel Peace Prize. Key figures among those being mentioned as likely candidates for the prize are Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Myanmar’s General Than Shwe and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

When Mrs. Anumaana inquired after the fate of Sri Lanka’s divided Opposition, she was informed that far from being divided, the entire Opposition was now fully unified. They had finally found something on which all 63 of them could agree, and that was Ranil Wickremesinghe’s role as Chief Opposition Poster Paster.

It had been submitted by numerous opposition MPs who had come to grief attempting to paste posters in different parts of the island, that Wickremesinghe was the only opposition MP who could paste a poster anywhere and not get arrested or beaten up by an ‘unknown’ gang. His new appointment is reported to have inspired fresh hope within opposition ranks.

Breaking coconuts at a religious event. File photo

But yet again it appears the government is poised to outwit its opponents with an even smarter plan. Another cable reveals that hard on the heels of the recent appointment of a mega-cabinet of 60 ministers with 31 deputies, plans are afoot to invent new cabinet portfolios for ALL government MPs, bringing the cabinet strength to a grand total of 161.

With this ‘100 per cent ministerial’ legislature in place, ALL government MPs will become entitled to ministerial privileges including new Prados and Pajeros, special allowances, lots of foreign travel etc.

Furthermore according to LankaLeaks the government intends to invite all members of the Opposition to join their ranks. Discreet inquiries reveal the response to this call will be unprecedented.

According to the government’s projections the opposition will be totally eliminated with this move, and there will be no further need to hold elections in the country.

Mrs. Anumaana was beginning to tire of this avalanche of political gossip when Sunil excitedly said a new cable had just gone online. Dated April 2010 it made the stunning disclosure that UNP MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara had NOT used Tippex to alter the Moneragala nominations list after all, but … Atlas correction fluid!

Mrs. Anumaana does not relish the thought of eating a curry made without coconut this Sunday but still, she has enough food for thought for a month of Sundays …

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