SriLankan Airlines makes cadju forbidden fruit for Bird of Paradise Perhaps it was not the best of all possible ways in this best of all possible worlds to lodge one’s disquiet at the complaints’ desk and express dissatisfaction over the inferior quality of food served on the national airline the SriLankan merely because a couple [...]


MS cashiers Srilankan over nuts: JO cries over spoilt milk after phut

Sunday Punch 2

SriLankan Airlines makes cadju forbidden fruit for Bird of Paradise

Perhaps it was not the best of all possible ways in this best of all possible worlds to lodge one’s disquiet at the complaints’ desk and express dissatisfaction over the inferior quality of food served on the national airline the SriLankan merely because a couple of cadju nuts had made a ruckus in the presidential belly and caused it to rumble in an unbecoming manner hitherto unbeknown to the human anatomy or to medical science.

Dullas: Milk turned sour

Maithree: Cadju gone wrong

Especially when the nexus between the offending cadju and the consequent motions of hectic activity the plumb fruit is supposed to have caused is by no means based on solid evidence but on the loose supposition which a judicial court of law may well indeed flush down with ease and with contempt.

For who’s to say — it may well be asked — that the cause, the original sin was the cadju, now the forbidden fruit on the Bird of Paradise whose droppings after the presidential outburst, may have served to dip its prospects even further when it comes to enticing the jet setters with the slogan, ‘Fly Me and have a Taste of Paradise’, coming as it does with a presidential warning that food served on board may be hazardous to your stomach and may cause a rumpus in the bowels and that its unfit even for dogs, let alone humans to muck around with and gorge on it, merely because it came gratis.

But what’s the evidence such a presidential claim is based on? Can anyone identify with certainty, the real source of the president’s discomfort?

Was it some exotic diet the president tucked in to in Nepal the night before? Was it the cadju onboard – the prime culprit on the list of usual suspects when it came to this sort of disorder to be the first accused and held guilty by a glutton’s food court?

Or was it simply the fearsome prospect, landing as the president did at the Katunayake Port of Call on September 4th, the day before the September 5th hyped up Joint Opposition’s threat to converge upon the capital and lay siege on the city and topple the government with an imaginary force of 200,000 that made the butterflies dance in the presidential fuselage and cause the rumble in the intestinal jungle? And thus cause the fast depleting coffers of the nearly bankrupt airline to take a further nose dive and crash-land topsy turvy with its wheels in the air?

This week on Monday, addressing a group of farmers in Hambantota who did not grow cashew at all and who had no inkling as to what sort of nuts was served on board exclusively to SriLankan’s Business Class passengers, Sirisena spilled the beans on how he had got the groans after digging into some free cashew served liberally courtesy of the national airline.

Without munching his words he declared to a small group of farmers that: “Returning from Kathmandu, I was served some cashews on board a SriLankan flight, but it was so bad even a dog wouldn’t eat it.”

Not the sort of endorsement that you will expect the international flyer to take a shine to when it comes to deciding which airline to fly to visit his next travel destination, now, is it? Not the sort of enticing plug that will make the national airline soar from its present doldrums to new soaraway heights, now, is it? And the question on the public lip is why the President had to go public with it, when a simple summons to the present chairman to explain to him what had transpired on the flight and a request to do the needful would have sufficed? Why look up and spit when one knows the laws of gravity compel it to fall on the spittoon of one’s own face? Or in this case on the nation’s face.

But whilst the President was suffering from a spoilt cadju, his discomfort drowned only by the sounds of the turbo engines on the plane, thirty thousand feet below, on ground zero the Joint Opposition was making the extraordinary charge that some ministers of the government had spiked the Milco milk distributed free with poison to an unsuspecting crowd at the Lankan Mardi Gras held on September 5th to overthrow the people elected government and, in the words of Pavithra Wanniarachchi, to take the Government home with her to bed.

It was the day of the so-called Lankan Springs which JO leaders hoped an arrack driven and biriyani fed force would topple the government in power and bring Rajapaksa back to pluck the temple flower and offer it at the altar of his newly erected unconstitutional shrine.

Perhaps, like Sirisena bemoaning his close encounter with the Srilankan cadju kind, the joint opposition too, needed a scapegoat on which to heap the burden of their September 5th failure, to conceal the shame of their nakedness which was exposed in no uncertain terms, and shift the focus elsewhere whilst they gained time to gather the fig leaves to hide the flaccidness of their once high held rising hopes of capturing power through undemocratic, unsavory illegal means.

To turn the flashlight away from one of the greatest flops ever staged, they sought the ever ready media lights to make the claim that some ministers of the UNP had spiked milk packets with poison to make the participants fall sick. Apart from a few people who gave pose to TV glare and claimed they were relatives of those who had fallen sick as a result of drinking cow’s milk, the victims, if there were any, never came forward to say, ‘oh yes, we drank it and fell ill as a result of it.’

With one exception. Dulles Allahaperuma. But before the man himself made his appearance to announce his resurrection from a near death experience swallowing the milk of human unkindness, Mahinda Rajapaksa appeared on the TV screens to give a voice cut to announce the sad news that Dulles had been struck down for the last three days having swallowed the poison. This week, the nation may have heaved a sigh a great relief to see Dulles back on his feet after sipping cow’s milk, unlike the hordes who had to be hospitalised gulping gal, pol and moonshine on the streets freely distributed by the party organisers as a more powerful incentive than milk to join the party to overthrow a democratically elected government.

In the final analysis, all that can be said is that the nation’s patience was milked to the brim in the name of a lost cause.

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