The ghost of Gotabhaya invades my dreams and nightmares

| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(January 23, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) I was drifting off to sleep when suddenly there appeared an officious looking Far-Eastern guy intoning, “Bewail the Ides of March.” Surely that was Calpurnia warning Julius Caesar of the impending betrayal by Brutus, his bosom buddy. No, it was Ban-Ki-Moon handing over a sheaf of papers to Gotabhaya. I was furious with the UNSG. How dare he intimidate our war hero who wiped out terrorism which plagued my motherland nigh on three decades and more.

 “I am but a mere insignificant mortal totally
unknown in the West where I am domiciled and
 pose no threat to the Rajapaksas or even ants
for that matter. Nobody takes me seriously
except myself and even of this I am not sure.”
I am so livid I have a good mind to report Ban-Ki-Moon to the petrol shed manager who runs the round the clock service station where our valiant hero earned a living in the guise of an ordinary worker and went under cover until he was ready to start the war against LTTE terrorists. By gum, did he send that Sun-God to his grave in Nandikadal along with his chums. That he is now haunted by their ghosts and the TNA, BTF, GTF, TGTE and the rest of the pesky Tamils abroad are of no consequence at all when he has incontrovertible evidence that the UNSG commissioned Darusman Report and Channel 4’s Killing Fields video documentary shown to the four corners of the world fabricated the whole sordid saga of war crimes.
It is but a myth that General Sarath Fonseka now incarcerated in prison and being charged with an much crimes as the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa – the lead actor in my dreams – could muster, actually commanded the war which eliminated the LTTE.
Rubbing my eyes I thought I was taking part in a bygone era in an ancient civilisation which spawned Michael Angelo who spent years hanging upside down from a high ceiling to create the Sistine Chapel and when he finished it was asked by his contractor whether he could not have done two more coats of paint for the price he was offered and Leonardo Da Vinci – not just a mere painter but predictor of air travel centuries before America’s Wright brothers invented aeroplane – and mathematician and scientist to boot.
Mona Lisa was rumoured to be the creation of Da Vinci’s sister but Romans being hot-blooded would rather commit harakiri than let a woman take credit for a masterpiece ergo he became the official painter of Mona Lisa.
That is neither here nor there and I am veering from the topic at hand. I wish to remind readers that this is just a dream or nightmare and I exonerate myself from this inevitable nocturnal sojourn and that the government which is bent on invading the minds of imaginative writers and frequently their mortal beings not to mention impulsive hacks and has so far succeeded in eliminating freedom of expression by way of `accidental murders’ of such beings in the form of abductions, torture, incarceration and forceful disappearances should steer clear of me and not pursue me.
I am but a mere insignificant mortal totally unknown in the West where I am domiciled and pose no threat to the Rajapaksas or even ants for that matter. Nobody takes me seriously except myself and even of this I am not sure. Such is my predicament that I do not know if I should even be given license to write never mind have it published.
But hey-ho, Sri Lanka Guardian obliges and Nilantha Ilangamuwa, its editor, needs a little relaxation after reading hard-core literary nuggets from Gramsci slave Dayan Jayetilleka and the likes of whom is a bit like eating kurakkan bread and suffering constipation. Not necessarily instant gratification but supposed to be healthy yet hardly titillating to the palate. I make no comparison to the president whose shawl epitomises grass-roots farmer in the hamlets of Hambantota growing kurakkan.
Abu Ben Adam may have woken from his deep slumber but I am still tuned to BBC’s Hard Talk show from Stephen Sackur. Is it as recent as June 2010? It is a pity that Gotabhaya could not hire Clinton’s PR team despite Bell Pottinger, the upmarket advertising firm engaged by his president’s men to teach him not to flail his arms and talk the talk like a beach boy scum. Gotabhaya did look a prat when he spluttered that ` Fonseka should be hanged for betraying his country and treason demands that he should be eliminated’ or such words to that effect.
Then I realised I was not dreaming. The Ides of March of my dreams metamorphoses into an Eastern Spring or rather a spring of discontent.
The writer is Asia Pacific Journalism Fellow at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, California and a print journalist for 21 years. She can be reached at

Author: Sri Lanka Guardian

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