(November 27, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardain) Nodath and Sududath, alumni of the Instant English Taught Here in Six Months College, were having their usual political pow-wow at the Waterhole.
Sududath (SD): So, how, how Machang, budget and all that?
Nodath (ND): What for the telling. You saw on TV no? Pull Serial. Only thing missing Kadu pight and Pisst pight. Damn good for the UNP Bugg…rs. Trying to hoot our leader. It was like Julius Squeezer (Ask our English Lit master) — Like Veni, Vici, Vedi, no? —He came, he saw, We concurred!
SD (an UNPer): What Veni, Vida, Vici Machang. It was like Vedi, Vedi, Vedi!
ND: Now, now don’t exaggerate men. There was no Vedi like in Mulleriyawa.
SD: OK, OK. Hell of a performance in front of diplomats, VIPs and all no? Seven Star performance like for Shangrillas.
ND: Ha! Have you read the editorial comment in the president’s favourite paper? ‘… [He] managed the vicious invective directed at him from Opposition benches. He stood tall and took it all with equanimity…The seasoned politician that he was, the president never for a moment lost his calm and possession. This was an object lesson in the handling of rowdy conduct of a very offensive kind.
SD: Hear! Hear! Slaves in the press galleys raising a cheer for their master. But surely as the supreme leader and commander he could have asked his baying minions to shut up and it could have ended then and there?
ND: Right, right, you people don’t appreciate the good things he does. No doubt those foreigners would have enjoyed it. You don’t see such things in other parliaments, no? This show will make us qualify for top place in Miracle of Asia contest. Full House no? You saw Merviya in action? This kind of show will attract politically inclined tourists to come to Diyawanna Oya in bus loads.
SD: But do you call this parliamentary democracy?
ND: Ado Machang, you know there are democracies and democracies round the world. This is our democracy. You pellows have called our type, demo-crazy and demo-no-crazy and all kinds of names.
SD: And recently you introduced a new variety; Demon-cracy with Sudda Yakkas to scare women children and even men. Of course it provided an excuse to put soldiers, STF and police on the streets and into houses after the Emergency was lifted. We have our ways of doing things. There’s a method in your madness in governance, no? ND: Machang. We have hit the bottom of the bottle. I will order another never mind the Rs 50 hike before the budget. I will get the 10 per cent salary hike besides I can always make on the side…You know I am government side no?
SD: I’ll order the shandy.Waiter, water.
ND: Why water? You use to take coke or ginger beer…
SD: You fellows don’t read your own propaganda. Sweetened shandy is bad for diabetes. Listen to Fonseka, Carlo not Sarath. Cut out the booze Carlo shouts each day in the Daily Noise by himself and also through his howling young pack of anti-booze Rottweilers. But hard liquor and beer production is on the rise according the Excise Department.
Hard liquor has gone up by 41.1 million liters over the previous year while beer had risen by 15.8 million liters and the government is swimming on profits of the Excise Department.
ND: That’s financial strategy of the Mahinda Chintanaya. Carlo keeps crying out for Mathata Thitha (Full stop to drinking) while it reality it is Thithata Matha (Full stop is drunk). People think the government wants them not to booze while the government is making billions on booze. That’s strategic financial thinking. Confucius.
SD: This should be another Asian Miracle where people are giving up drinks while liquor production is rising and liquor in significant amounts is not being exported.
The question should be directed to Central Bank governor Nivard Cabraal because he is the expert on statistical ‘jill-mart’. Only two weeks ago he explained that Sri Lanka’s bid to stage the Commonwealth is in reality not significant loss because had Sri Lanka got eight of the votes which went to Australia the contest would have been tied!
In the final analysis before the bottle hits the bottom and the water is over, tell me what you think of the budget.
ND: In the final analysis, who speaks of a budget today – even one week after its presentation? Every one is talking of the ‘big pight’. Who won the pight? Who ran away? Ranil or Mahinda? There will be Parliamentary committee on the issue and of course we can expect an impartial decision.
The Mahinda Chintana strategy worked as always. Maybe he learnt it all from Confucius. The Confucian Strategy is: When there is no solution to any problem, create utter confusion. The real issue will soon be forgotten. Whether Confucius ever put out such a solution is not the issue. In Sri Lanka with Mahinda Rajapaksa it works.
Who cares about the rock blocking the entrance to the $ 4.1 billion (First stage $ 450 million) Hambantota harbour?
Who cares about the income- expenditure gap being Rs1.06 trillion, the National debt being Rs 5 trillion?
Or the Ports Authority incurring a loss of Rs 1.6 billion last year while the defence expenditure remains the same even after the war on terrorism ended 2 years ago?
Or who remembers the promised salary hike of Rs 2500 to all public servants?
All the people want to know is who won the fight? Mahinda or Ranil? We are indeed the Miracle of Asia.