One would surely be forgiven for wondering this Sunday morn whether it is the provincial hustings or the annual National Film Awards Ceremony that is scheduled to be held come March. The more one considers the lineup of those vying to be nominated for the planned event the more one gets the distinct feeling that [...]


Dark truths shadow beauty contest on poll catwalk


One would surely be forgiven for wondering this Sunday morn whether it is the provincial hustings or the annual National Film Awards Ceremony that is scheduled to be held come March.

The more one considers the lineup of those vying to be nominated for the planned event the more one gets the distinct feeling that it has less to do with the rough and tumble of common day run of the mill politics but more to do with the ritzy-glitzy glamour world of the show-biz glitterati contesting for the Lankan Oscars.

Consider those on the casting couch with star hopes spread eagled as they wait for their auditions to determine whether they got the oomph and the vamp to ride the political saddle with verve and staying power. Will they go all the way to boost their star ratings to a climax or will cherished hopes harboured in their ambitious breasts sag along the way and make them ponder whether it is wiser for the gentler sex, enveloped in a man’s rough political world, to take it easy lying down at a slower tempo and opt to bag a short and sweet cameo role instead?

Star parade for provincial polls: From left, Nadeesha, Gayesha, Ruwanthi and Ginger

So what will be the face, what will be the figure that will launch a million votes and raise the present flaccid poll’s flag to a new high of thrills and spins and, fluttering erect in the south westerly breeze, put the fun and the spunk back into the drab and damp monotonous drone of boring elections?

But first there is the mandatory requirement by law that they must declare their assets before they secure their votes. On Monday, the Elections Commissioner was quick to point this out insisting that those candidates who fail to reveal their assets will be deprived of their identify cards to enter polling booths. Hold your horses. He doesn’t have to worry a toss on that score. For once in election history, it is not only to the private gaze of the Elections Commissioner alone but to the delectation of the entire public that it has been already laid voluntarily, warts and all, without any cover up or attempt to conceal. For their face is their fortune, their figure their visa card to the next level of fame and riches and now power; ah power, widely believed to be most potent of all aphrodisiacs known to man.
The baring of assets has been made long before any legal deadline and prove beyond doubt that the vibrant, broadminded Sinhala culture of the glorious Sigiri apsara past, pulsate strongly still in their hot blooded veins. No top to toe black Muslim purdahs for them to upset any Bodu Bala feelings; and the rebel group’s demands for more transparency in public affairs and female personal attire will be met more than adequately and thus provoke no protest marches or religious attacks. Thus let’s have no more frivolous talk that this country is still wedded to the prudish Victorian mentality that cloaks piano legs and dictates prim and proper starched nanny dresses for the not so frigid female flock. No need to spell it out, suffice to say that our future political mistresses have been fittingly clad for every occasion they have been in, be it on the beach, a swim wear contest, a beauty queen pageant, a bed room scene; and never have committed a fashion gaffe by being over dressed for the kill. But it is to their credit that all of them have shed their sari of hypocrisy and emerged as the thoroughly modern Lankan lass geared in the genuine jeans of honesty and liberal outlook.

Now for the introductions, just a few samplings of the feast on offer.

First, the old sex siren of the silver screen, the no holds barred, frank and outspoken Geetha Kumarasinghe who never minces her words but gives it straight and, if need be, even below the belt. Age has not withered her nor has custom staled the firebrand in her and she has already thrown the gauntlet to younger starlets to contest her at their peril and unequivocally stated that she will be the Chief Minister of the South. This is her blockbuster movie with the script written by her, the film produced and directed by her and the star role acted with an award winning performance by her with the happy ending already enacted even before the first vote has been cast.
She is the prima donna of the polls opera, a Jayalalithaa in the making and one’s heart goes out to the sacrificial lamb the UNP has offered in the form of young hot model Nadeesha Hemamali to meet her in a gladiator’s duel unto dust. For all the manifest charms and the fixed ear to ear smile Nadeesha wears and the fair and lovely cream she garnishes on her face as part of her ‘photo shop’ treatment, there is no doubt that Geetha will have the poor filly for breakfast come March 29.

Then, if beauty is the name of the game, what of the former Miss Lanka Gayesha the bare-all star of the controversial film the Flying Fish who proudly and confidently declares: “With my beauty I will fight for the country “and says she intends, with her experience and knowledge to help create a whole army of beauty queens in Lanka. Alas, had such a force been in existence five years ago Lanka would not be facing a hostile Geneva summit for alleged rights violations by her brawny armed forces but a welcome open arms embrace for triumphing terrorism with her Mata Haris of Seduction who had won in beauty what their male colleagues messed up in muscle. And that’s not all. Her knowledge of foreign affairs is salutary and when asked by the Daily Mirror what she thinks of the present ties with India, replies, “We have an excellent connection with India. Some of our actresses have made their way to Bollywood as well.”

What then of the sporty songstress, the Dumninda Silva-backed, burgher-born Julian White now Muslim by marriage Ginger who claims to be a ‘galloping horse’? Without beating around the bush, she gets straight to the point changing species in midstream and says, “I was the black sheep of the family but I can change that. I will fight for people’s rights, I will provide service to infants and elderly, I will act when any urgency arises, I will not stay in one place for I am a working horse and I always gallop.” With such a power house of ‘going to dos’ packed in her, she hits the high soprano range and belts,” This is an opportunity in a lifetime for the public. To elect somebody like me who is known and who knows about them well.” And thankful for the grace of God we all must be for this once in a lifetime chance… Amen.

Then there is the pretty Ruwanthi Mangala, the tele-drama actress and housewife whose reason to enter the fray is solely because Duminda Silva invited her to contest.” I did not wish to disappoint him by refusing his invitation,” she says. With her confidence on winning based on a few phone calls she received expressing full support for her, Ruwanthi Mangala says being an actress is like being a politician. “We start our day around 4 am and end it past midnight.” She also admits she is clueless as to the contents of the constitution but adds that as artistes “we know our people’s expectations and the same understanding might not be in someone who is greatly educated in politics.”

But alas, Gayesha’s winged hopes may fall flat, Ginger may have her gallop called to a halt and Ruwanthi may have to disappoint Duminda Silva even before the hustings if the story that the UPFA nomination’s board had rejected their applications is confirmed. But since the official decision is to be announced only on 6th of February, they scoff the reports as being pure conjecture, with Ginger expressing 200 per cent confidence in being chosen. Good for her.

So what’s the prognosis? What does this sudden storm of a butterfly swarm bode for Lanka?

Beauty, they certainly have but do they have the brains for the job? But then again does it really matter when you compare their intelligence quotient with that of the male cadre? Ruwanthi Mangala may not know her constitutional ABC while Nadeesha Hemamali may have turned over her Chapter 13 as being a hoodoo number but do the male aspirants have any idea either when even most parliamentarians do not have even a passing grasp of it?

Today the voters’ choice is limited to the people the two parties nominate and put forward as their election candidates. Whether they are saw dust filled ex-beauty queens, wannabe film stars entering politics to grab a slice of fame, models briefly stepping out of the catwalk to stretch their legs, marauding thugs, heroin-peddling drug dealers, serial murderers, noted pedophiles, perverted rapists or whether they are honest, decent, learned, respected pillars of society possessing moral rectitude depend on the initial screening and acceptance at nomination stage by the two parties.

Who will become the people’s political masters and mistresses is in the party leaders’ hands. It is a responsibility that must be exercised prudently. If not, if the trend continues Parliament and Provincial Councils will be turned into circuses of clowns, with its hare brain members smiling, cheering and clapping at the Ring Master’s crack of the whip with no questions asked and no opinions expressed. Listening to their master’s voice and braying it aloud to the voting herd will be all they will be called upon to do.

This then is the darker side to the fun-filled and stardust sprinkled glamorous appearance of local celebrities on the election stage delivering hollow, inane, vacuous babble with the lofty air of the know all; but their attractive presence on the poll platform, though welcome for the light relief and gaiety they offer, cannot be entertained for the slots are limited to contest and the seats even fewer to occupy. Therefore the question that faces the nomination board of both parties must be who best can serve the nation, not who best has sex appeal to qualify as the people’s pin up girl.

Give 50 million bucks and make my day

Jathika Hela Urumaya champion Udaya Gammanpila has hit upon a novel indigenous plan to continue to be a winning player in the western idea of democratic elections.

With begging bowl in hand he flaunts his beggary as his vital asset and proof of his immaculate incorruptible character and touches the heartstrings of the nation by his slum underdog appeal to the Western Province voters to give him a hundred bucks each to enable him to finance his election campaign in the forthcoming elections.. Admirably he says, “I don’t want to be financed by rich businessman to whom I’ll have to be under obligation.”

But whether he wins or loses, Gammanpila would come up roses nevertheless.

With any luck, even if only 10 per cent of the Western electorate of over 5,000,000 people fall for his patter and each one donates a hundred rupees, Poor Little Rich Boy Udaya would still have struck gold with a bounty of Rs. 50 million even before a single vote is cast.

Share This Post


Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.