JJ's sirens fail to tempt
It's so unfair of the army high command to have refused that offer of
sirens for military camps by Dr. Jayalath Jayawardana. What is he to do
with all the sirens he had placed orders for, when such a wailing
gesture is turned down so unceremoniously? I can't imagine him putting
them up round his home, surgery, clinic or political office to warn him
of the approach of too many of his voters asking for the favours that
politicians are expected to provide.
Dr. JJ is a very generous man, whose generosity may seem to flow with
a gush when it is directed at the LTTE. But there are many types that
make up this world and he is one such type. It may seem naive for army
camps to use sirens to be warned of any enemy advances near it. Just
imagine the sentries manning an observation tower at a remote military
camp spotting approaching tigers and sounding the siren in a call to
arms. All it would do is alert the tigers to the fact that they have
been spotted, and help them make a hasty retreat.
Real game plan
This could well have been the real game plan of the doctor in
offering the sirens. Not that he liked the tigers more as some believe,
but that he hates bloodshed in any form, the good man that he is, what
with papal audiences and all that.
It may have been better if Dr. JJ, in keeping with his usual practice
of philanthropy, had offered spectacles to soldiers to observe the
advance of the tigers. Any soldier with poor vision may have benefited
from them in spotting the advancing enemy. With all the considerable
financial resources at the good doctor's disposal, the army may even
have been able to negotiate for night vision glasses for its troops,
which can be really handy when it comes to spotting tigers lurking in
It could be that those who decided to turn down the offer of sirens
for army camps may have thought of the other sirens that can be
dangerous inside a military camp. I mean the classical siren, or the sea
nymph? part woman and part bird? that is supposed to lure sailors to
destruction on then rocks where they lived. What is dangerous for
sailors at sea could well be a threat to soldiers on land too.
Let's not forget that a siren is also a dangerously seductive woman,
or enchantress. One wonders whether Dr. JJ in all his concern for the
lonely life that soldiers lead in distant camps, cut away from family
and friends, had thought of distributing these live sirens to the
military camps. If so, are they to bring light relief to the soldiers as
an escape from their tough life, or to be put on display when the enemy
advances to attack, as an assured naughty diversion from their set goal.
The top strategists in the military must have pondered deep on the
value of such seductive women in military camps. Their thinking would
have weighed the advantages of such tempting sirens to distract the
enemy, against the disadvantages of creating unwanted human tension
within the camps.
Dr. JJ is among our best known? protectionists? He has given sirens
to people in Tiger threatened villages to raise alerts about terrorist
He has also given bullet proof glass casings to protect Buddha
statues and statues of the Virgin Mary. One may say he's got his own
spiritual protection well looked after, with blessings from more than
one side to keep him safe.
However, when it comes to using sirens for protection, the greater
need just now may be for his own party, the UNP; to have them at the
ready to sound the alarm when the next batch of jumbos make a move to
flee the green camps and enter blue terrain.
With all this talk of cross-overs that's going on, and the eager
expectations of a Cabinet shuffle, there will be a great demand for the
warning wail of the siren on Dr. JJ's own side of the political divide,
that's if there is a real divide today. Lets wait for the wail of the
sirens at cross-overtime.