Columns - 5th column

Give us a break, we’re No. One!

By Rypvanwinkle

My dear Ban Ki moon,

I thought I must write to you because you seem to be the most talked about person in our country these days, though I won’t go so far as to say you are the most popular. Why, some are even enquiring about your maternal relatives!

I guess all this fuss is about that report which the panel you appointed, to inquire into the last days of the Eelam war has been submitted. And just to add some spice to the story they say the report has been leaked!

Leaked or not, Moon, I now have strong suspicions that you are a clandestine member of our United National Party. No, I am not saying that because you and your panel seem opposed to military action against the Tigers. Just let me explain.

For the past few years, the UNP has been trying its utmost to be as ineffective as possible as an Opposition. They have helped Mahinda maama’s government on numerous occasions, with the type of policies and slogans that only they can manufacture.

Then, just when they seem to get their acts together and the price of bread increases by another three rupees, you come along and lend a hand to Mahinda maama by releasing you damning report. Naturally, he gets listed among TIME’s most influential people. Who else but the UNP can manage such a Rajapaksa-popularising policy?

Some say you waited until the New Year to release your report so that there will be no effigy burning and Wimal won’t be able to stage his farce unto death because it was the nonagathaya period anyway, but I won’t believe that either. That is because if you really wanted a time when Sri Lankans were distracted you could have released it on April 1 when everyone was focused on the World Cup Finals the next day. And the date would have been appropriate too, because it was a report mandated by you!

But no, you do none of that and instead release the report when the IPL is being played in India. Ah, who cares about the IPL-except our dear cricketers for whom the motto is IPL first and everything else, second! Now if you are puzzled by what that is all about, just ask Murali or Malinga, and they will explain all about that to you…

Anyway, Moon, now you have committed yourself into appointing a panel which has called for an international inquiry into what happened during the last stages of our war. Gosh, what a brave man you are!

I can just imagine the likes of George Bush (Jnr.), his somewhat smarter father George (Snr.), Tony Blair and David Cameron having sleepless nights. Why, they would be next, wouldn’t they, to be hauled up before one of your panels, for war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya?

I am sure some will argue that your report has faulted the Tigers too. And who will answer those charges, Moon? Well you can try Anton’s wife Adele in UK or, better still, that Rudrakumaran chap holed up somewhere in the US who calls himself Prabhakaran’s successor.

And don’t even bother accusing KP, because he has become our most distinguished foreign citizen, after Arthur C. Clarke’s demise-they might even re-name the Kotelawala Defence Academy after him, just like they did for Clarke at Moratuwa!

And down here in Paradise, we will always have a regular supply of our ‘patriots’ who must be trimming their beards and applying their hair gel before they face the cameras for another farce unto death at Bullers Road with the help of some biscuits on the sly.

I strongly suspect that these gentlemen and their supporters, even if they possess less than the usually allocated quota of intelligence, realise they are playing into your hands by portraying themselves as unrestrained hooligans as they did the last time around. But then, they need to get their fifteen minutes of fame and what other chance has dear Wimal got of making it to CNN and BBC, unless he falls off a cliff when he visits Sigiriya for the first time?

So, what happens next, Moon? You want Mahinda maama to stand trial for war crimes? And wouldn’t he love every moment of it? I do envy him, because just when Uncle Ranil is about to fade away after helping him for the last half a dozen years, here you come to help him along for the next dozen years. Ah, with enemies like you, who needs friends?

Well, if all this sounds too much for you now, Moon, it is not too late to pull out. You can always eat your own words and say that since the UN has always maintained excellent relations with Sri Lanka, you have decided to do nothing. If you have trouble in learning how to eat your words and in transforming yourself from tough talking official one day to purring pussy cat the next day we have someone who can coach you on just that; his name is Aluthgamage, look him up, will you-and don’t be mistaken by the beard, he is not Wimal!

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha

PS-I’m told you are doing all this to ensure that Uncle Sam and his clan will support your re-election bid, Moon. Now, you don’t have to go about appointing panels for that, we have another chap who will happily do that for you. His name is Dayananda and what’s more, he’s just retired and must surely be on the lookout for a job. Just don’t mention ‘computer jilmart’ when you talk to him…

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