The Fifth Column

1st June l 1997

Shuffle, sheiks and sarees

Shuffle, sheiks and sarees

Sunday - Everybody is asking me about the reshuffle. They want to know when it will be done and who will get what. There are even rumours that I want to put Mahinda in charge of Cultural Affairs. I did tell Bala to prepare the necessary papers and keep them at my office so I could just fill in the names and portfolios whenever I want. That way, it keeps everyone in suspense and that helps to keep people like Thonda, Ashraff and Srimani in check. Well if I can’t have those privileges, what’s the point of being chief Executive?

Monday - Richard is still dragging his feet on the campus issue. Very soon people like Vasu will call for student agitation and we will have another problem on our hands. Asked Richard to find an immediate solution, getting Alavi’s or even Mahinda’s assistance if necessary. It’s no wonder some people call him ‘wretched.’

Tuesday - So, here I am in Kuwait. It’s a really tiring business, having to wear so many sarees in one day. And, if they show these on TV back at home, I am sure someone will complain saying “My, she has so many sarees....” and Azwer might even ask a question in Parliament about it. Anyway the most difficult part of this trip is to recognise all these Sheikhs and know their names - they all look alike with their head dresses, beards and black robes.

Wednesday - I had to discuss the problems of Housemaids with these Kuwait chaps and I wish Mahinda was here.

But how could I bring him in the same plane with Thilan? They will start arguing about the Workers’ Charter and will be at each other’s throats before I could say B.O.I.! So, I brought Thilan with the Delegation at least he looks better in coat and tie!

Thursday - So Lohan has surrendered at last. Must ask Anu why it took so long, because this whole incident has embarrassed us so much. Must tell Rajaguru that we all know he supports us, but there is no need to remind us about that every now and again, to the extent of embarrassing us.....

Friday - Amma is off to China and I do feel quite jealous about it. No doubt they will roll out the red carpet for her. I wish I could get that treatment when I’m in virtual retirement. Or maybe I could, if Yaso or Vimukthi reaches the top...

Saturday - Srimani is again making some protesting noises. I think it was a mistake to have her in the team in the first place. But she was so innocent then and besides, I needed all the support I could get in Parliament. Ah I feel like going through that reshuffle right now...

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