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The Fifth Column

30yh August 1998

Lessons from Lanka

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My Dear Bill,

I was so sorry to hear about the mess you got yourself into last week, Bill; that is why I am writing to you now. If only you had asked over here in Paradise Isle what to do about that little problem of yours, Bill we could have helped you keep your job and your reputation!

You know, Bill, to start with, you should have imposed a local censorship on news related to your private life. That way, you can stop any article damaging to you appearing in the press - whether it is related to your private life or not. Of course, for this you would need good, loyal censors but if you had a problem there we could have helped you on that because there are plenty of them here.

Then, Bill you should have stopped all this talk of Monica in the very early stages. First and foremost, you should have told Monica that she should never refer to you by name. If she had to say something she should have said "powerful official in the White House" or some such thing!

Then, Bill when things got out of hand, you should have taken more decisive action. You could have easily got a friendly Congressman to go to the Capitol and call Monica some name. Of course, you can't call her a black American male, but you could have got someone to say that she looks like a Chinese female or some such thing.

And then, even when that fellow Kenneth Starr was digging up all the dirt on you, you did nothing to stop the damage. And, like a fool, you denied everything. You shouldn't have denied anything, Bill, it only proves that you are guilty. What you should have done was to have issued a vague, thinly veiled threat saying "I will reveal everything at the appropriate time". Then, everybody on the other side including Monica and her lawyers get frightened and start panicking, Bill.

Then, Bill you have committed another mistake - you have accepted a tie given to you by her as a present. The rule in these things, Bill is not to give or take presents be they ties, apartments, double cabs or vitamin supplements. You see, you may have given Monica vitamin supplements in all good faith and then she might turn around and say that you gave her steroids!

And that reminds me, Bill, while they were testing Monica's dresses for telltale signs of your presence, did you ever ask them to test Monica's urine? You know Bill, that's a sure way of getting her banned from the White House. It will discredit her and make her look like a liar. Then, no one will believe what she says and you would have won half the battle.

Anyway, Bill, I know most of this advice is of no use to you, now that you have made your confession. But when you have trouble, the next time around, give us a shout and we will be there to help you. We are, after all, the experts, you know!

Yours Truly,

Seeni Bola.

Rajpal Abeynayake's Column

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