Our leaders and associated symbols
Congratulations and all that to the yahapalanaya government of
Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Greens and Blues.
As I write this, I giggle to myself since people are busy deriding the
term yahapalanaya; worse, insulting the government.
The congratulations are mainly to the President who came in so
wonderfully and deposed Mahinda Rajapaksa who latterly seemed to believe
he was born to the presidential seat, palace and unlimited powers and
looked confident he would be voted in by the goats and buffaloes for
another five years until his son and heir claimed the Sri Lankan throne.
So it was thanks to an egg hopper hastily swallowed that heralded the
betrayal of a dictator and welcomed salvation to a nation burdened by
much corruption. Bravo and Cheers! That was a brave act since anyone and
everyone close to the former Prez and wanting to get cozier would have
sneaked the news his Party Secy and Cabinet Minister was about to
decamp. Ethakota – kaput!
Mercifully those who planned the cross-over kept their plans severely
under wraps even though one of the planners was a woman who was well
known for shooting her mouth in her own inimitable style.
Blessed day - January 8, 2015
Last year on January 8 we voted in long queues, came home, waited
with bated breath for the TV announcement of results, and then cheered
as Maithripala Sirisena won hands down. It was such jubilation to those
who felt the yoke of dictatorship even if mere ordinary citizens. We
celebrated real liberation. Democracy and the freedom to speak and write
were restored; we breathed a heavy sigh of relief at the disappearance
of the infamous white van and the leaders of that era. We had instead
the very composed, well spoken, dignified leader who gave promise of
maturing to be a statesman – Maithripala Sirisena. As his help karaya
was politically savvy Ranil Wickremesinghe who was above corruption and
had the country’s best interests at heart.
Warnings with January 8, 2016
We have just celebrated the first anniversary of that remarkable
January 8, 2015. How is the feeling this year? Muted is this cat’s
opinion. Sad but true. Menika won’t go into an analysis of the whys and
wherefores but she categorically affirms she has faith in the duo at the
Different from what others say. There is talk of an expansion of the
already bloated Cabinet; people are grumbling about the soaring cost of
living. But our gas is much cheaper and we don’t have to suffer
privation while watching VVIPs having a ball all the time: dansalas
galore; first class travel for hordes of suckers in chartered flights
and all that. Even the game of rugby has come back to its former manner
with no VVIP brats to be avoided physically. And in this game of all
Maidenform, Triumph to the fore
The media is entangled with bras!! Cartoonists, writers of feature
articles, senders of letters to editors are still preoccupied with bras.
Poor, poor President.
He mentioned whipping as punishment to the organizers of the Enrique
Iglesias’s concert for it being detrimental and damaging to the nation’s
cultural heritage of more than 2,500 years.
Poor, poor Mr Sirisena. He blotched his so clean copy book, he
damaged his calm and collected image by vituperating somewhat on a
trivial matter to most and definitely a non-est matter of concern to
those who subscribe to living and letting live. He seems not to be given
any reprieve. The bra is there for all to see.
I am sure the President rues the day he made his proclamation about
whipping and followed it up on the next day with the announcement of not
allowing Sri Lankans to parade the streets naked.
Totally unnecessary warning. If you need prudes, look among us Sri
Lankans. And so our sad association of this wise and good President with
an itsy bitsy piece of feminine lingerie. I do hope people of this
nation who are known for their short memories will forget this ill
advised threat and warning of the Prez. Some who admire him say it was a
conspiracy to downgrade him!!
Pinned on symbols
Let’s cast our minds back and consider whether former leaders had
symbolic tags affixed to them. Digging into this feline’s memory nothing
startling comes up but she does remember associated ideas with each of
our past leaders, at least her associations which could very well match
national identifications. D S Senanayake? Huge moustache; hands in
pockets of a safari shirt-coat; coming fourth in the year-end exams in a
class of four students at STC, Mt Lavinia.
Or so the story went. Sir Oliver Goonetileke – master cunning mind
hidden behind a round face and childlike stammer.
Dudley S – great rice-and-curry eater; buth gotta (name bandied
against all UNPers at the time due to the removal of a rice subsidy).
Sir John Kotalawela – Farm in Kent; Purple Brigade of society dames;
Collette’s cartoons and black swans at Kandawela. And of course egg
hopper breakfasts in his Ratmalana manor. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike –
Sinhala only sword; pancha balavega curse and electric eelness as
bestowed on him by Tarzie Vittachchi.
Sirima B. – tears and her sari pota that huge men clung to. W.
Dahanayake – his attending Parliament once in a loin cloth and taking
train to Galle from Temple Trees as just deposed PM. D. B. Wijetunga –
benign smile and relinquishing power so like a gentleman.
Chandrika B. Kumaratunga – glamour, choice Sinhala words like
dhooshana, beeshana and bahubootha; also irresponsibly scooting off to
Singapore with her early social secretary Ms Maharaja, sending her
security and protocol spinning. Also weeping with an injured eye winning
votes by the thousands.
Mahinda Rajapaksa? My word! The symbolic associations crowd the mind
furiously. Charm and cunning in equal measure; dansalas and much much
Last of all Ranil W. Looks innocent but is sharp. Smart and able to
hold his own with the smartest of world leaders sartorially and in
matters of politics.
Our present Prez – pair of glinting glasses; calm and collected;
greeted warmly by the British Monarch, His Holiness the Pope, and Obama.
But now this other unfortunate tag. We do hope that picture will soon
fade away. After all he fought with an all powerful dragon and won, with
no magic sword, so let’s restore him to the high ground he deserves.