The Fifth Column

3oth June 1996

Going the way Hameed went

FRIDAY - Appointed a Committee to promote investment because everybody is saying that investors are running away from us. The usual people - G.L., Kadi, C.V., Kingsley and Dharmasiri had to be picked. Included Jeyaraj also, because he is already complaining about being dropped from the Cabinet. Whoever gave him the idea that he was Cabinet material, I wonder, though he may be better than, say, Bernard!

SATURDAY - Now they come and tell me that the time change causes traffic jams because schools and offices are starting at the same time! They ask me whether the office hours could be changed to nine o'clock. I told them it didn't matter to me - I come and go as I please and I'm usually late anyway - But I suppose people will blame me for this change also, saying I didn't think about this when I advanced the clock. Already, they are calling the new time, CBK time, so what next, I wonder?

SUNDAY - After reading the Sunday papers, everybody is asking me about the so-called re-shuffle. Even Bala wants to know whether he too will be re-shuffled! No, I told him, but there are three Luckys in the Cabinet and one of them might be unlucky. Poor chap, even after that hint, he can't figure it out - no wonder they say that now there is no difference between P.Cs in the Police and P.Cs in the law!

MONDAY - Had to attend a meeting at Meerigama, with one of the Luckys in attendance. Told them a thing or two about press freedom - not to speculate and publish idle gossip as if it was the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Huh, all these heroes of press freedom were silent during Preme's time, but now they are abusing their freedom, trying to insult us. Must tell Dharmasiri to tell the Lake House chaps to describe it as a "hard hitting speech" or they will publish it in the Women's Page...

TUESDAY - At last, found some unheard of chap to head Lake House. Bala tells me this is the fifth boss since we came into office - The UNP didn't have so many in their 17 years, he says. Of course, I told him, JR had Bodi but I don't have such loyal old faithfuls, simply because I am so much younger than JR! Amma is talking to the Doctors today after Fowzie messed up again. Since I can't sack all the Doctors, I really think Fowzie might add to the unemployment statistics which G.L. reminds me are quite high, anyway...

WEDNESDAY - Amma has unveiled a statue of FDB near the Viharamahadevi Park. Quite an appropriate place for FDB, I thought - the lovers in the park behind him, St. Bridget's opposite him and Rosy just across the road with Don Stanley's just to remind him of the 1962 coup! But the cheek of Mallo - he makes a speech and says that 'Amma would have loved to have FDB with her now'. Huh, if FDB was around, Amma would not only like to have him, but will insist on being President too - and, knowing Felix, she might have succeeded!

THURSDAY - Kadi wants me to talk to all the Ambassadors about the plan to rebuild Jaffna. I told him he could do it, but he insists I should be there to charm the old chaps and get them to dish out the Dollars. And he wants to go to India again just to meet Karunanidhi. You are beating Hameed, I told him but said he could go-after all, he is meeting Karunanidhi; if it was Jayalalitha, I would think twice...

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