Political cover-ups and crooked politicians
politicians, particularly some of the so called
favourite ministers of the ruling hierarchy have begun
to consider themselves the undisputed saviours and
defenders of democracy and good governance. With a view
to shielding their own errors of commission and omission
and also their crooked manipulations and corrupt
dealings they would hasten at the drop of a hat, to
denounce in the vilest terms the elected opposition as
the sole perpetrators of villainy and violence in this
is no doubt that some of the big wigs of the past
regimes did resort to deceptive and villainous tactics
to achieve their own ends and consequently suffered dire
retribution, but that is history. Only a weak,
vacillating and ineffective ruling outfit would keep on
harping on the misdeeds of the previous rulers to cover
up their own sins. Apparently history is repeating
itself in greater measure in the present context.
present holders of political power had promised on oath
to wipe out thuggery and mayhem and foster peace,
goodwill and prosperity for the good of all people. But
are they doing it?
seem to have failed miserably and are now resorting to
the same methods of suppression and oppression to a
greater degree to stay in power. Their pious
proclamations claiming good governance and morality in
public affairs are one sided, twisted and hollow.
of the politicos apparently drunk with political power
display arrogant and utterly crude attitudes and seem to
think that the people they address are gullible fools
who cannot discern truth from falsehood, or sift the
grain from the chaff. Politicians expect the people to
believe what they utter as gospel truth.
alleged that having directed pre-planned attacks through
their hirelings on those who protest against oppression
and suppression, the aggressors themselves pose as the
victims, and the actual victims are accused of being the
aggressors on most occasions!
aggressors can be seen trying their level best to show
themselves as good natured beings of lily-white
character and blameless behaviour. This is nothing
short of a mockery of democracy.
loving people have had to go through all manner of
suffering, agony and deprivation. Their earnest prayer
and wish is for the dawn of a new era where good
governance and justice will prevail and where political
ruffians who plan and perpetrate villainy and misdeeds
would be hoisted with their own petard.
loving people have suffered terribly during the recent
past and continue to suffer heavily in the present
situation too. It is no wonder that well meaning
observers of the current political scene of turmoil have
begun to decry and condemn outright, that politics in
this country is the worst ever experienced.
New Year inventions
I believe that you have to try something at least once
before you categorise it as not doable. So rather
unfortunately, I decided to make the traditional New
Year sweetmeats at home, since I was sending some to my
in-laws overseas. I wanted to make them extra special
yummy! Glancing through my trusty Daily News Cookery
Book, it looked oh, so simple. Well, my friends, looks
first thing I thought I'd do was the konde kavums, since
my ma-in-law loves them. Well, a veritable river of
treacle and several bundles of jaggery went into the
mixture. Mmmm, yummeeee! Then, (alas) I had a brainwave!
I always thought these oil cakes were too heavy and
stodgy, and applying the doughnut theory, I thought, why
not add some yeast and they will turn out light and
springy. Stands to reason, doesn't it?
I thought that was a perfectly rational conclusion. My
cook though, didn't seem to think this was such a good
idea and shook her head rather dubiously. "Better not
add the yeast," she said. What did she know, I thought
to myself. So, there I was, raring to go. When the oil
was smoking, I dropped in the first spoonful. It
immediately exploded into smithereens like an atom bomb!
Batter too runny
a mini conference, and decided may be the batter was too
runny and so we added more flour to it. No luck, the
next one disintegrated in a similar fashion. Determined
not to accept defeat, I then proceeded to add eggs to
the batter. It stubbornly refused to oblige the cohesion
principle and fragmented into little bits. That was it!
I decided to now change my recipe and reinvent it as
added coconut milk and some nuts and spices to it, and
then I sweatily stirred and stirred and stirred! At one
point I thought my arm was coming out of its socket!
Finally all the spectators and commentators (a crowd had
gathered up to watch the fun, as light entertainment for
the evening) agreed that it was quite ready to be taken
off the fire and poured out to set. It would definitely
set, they said.
don't know why some people just don't stick to topics
they are familiar with ( the pot calling the kettle
black, you think?). Several long hours later, it sat in
a threatening, louring, gooey mass which couldn't
possibly be cut into pieces.
what? Eureka! Out came my large cake tins. The stubborn
mixture was forced into these and popped into the oven.
Finally, it decided to comply and set into a solid that
could be cut. I hereby name this dish kavol as I can
claim to be its inventor, and it does taste delicious!
very confident with the next dish, straight forward milk
toffee. Ah, nothing could go wrong with this one! Lots
of dried fruit and nuts were added to make it taste
good. The smell of it cooking was enticing! More
sweltering and stirring. Double, double, toil and
trouble! Then it looked most gooey and toffee-like and
passed the test to show it would set. Dash it!
test is not foolproof, folks! This one didn't set too!
Before I even asked her to, the cook had taken out the
trusty cake tins. I grumpily helped her to squish the
stuff in and put it in the oven. Okay, all's well that
end's well! That was satisfactorily cut up too. This
dish I shall name Double Trouble.
by now rather dubious about this whole exercise, but I
had bought this new kokis mould, surely that was simple
enough? I added some spice and chilli powder to the
mixture. My goodness, I lost patience after the first
few. I would melt down to a puddle if I continued!
cookie!" I called out. "I don't think I can do this much
more. Use this mixture and make some pancakes for
dinner. I'm going to buy the rest of the things from the
shops." "Good idea!" she vigorously nodded in agreement.
The savoury, spicy pancakes went down quite well that
night. And since I invented this recipe as well, I shall
name them kocakes. Or do you think pankis sounds more
appetising? Hm! Shall ponder on that one.
I didn't waste a single ingredient. All the balance
ingredients will be used in an inventive and creative
manner and incorporated into the daily fare. Waste not,
-Honky Tonk Woman
Double talk of the West
displaying of the LTTE flag by LTTE supporters in the
diaspora in the heart of the capitals of the countries
where it is a proscribed organisation, leaves room for
soul searching and question the commitment of these
governments to rid the world of terrorism.
one wonders the LTTE supporters managed to carry out
protest rallies in the heart of Westminster when those
who support al Qaeda or the Taliban would have been
promptly arrested if they did the same.
Foreign Secretary David Milliband has much soul
searching to do and justify his open support for
terrorism in a democratic country like Sri Lanka. It
brings to question his own maturity and the need to be
mindful of the actions of his government and his
said, he is deeply worried about the civilians trapped
by the LTTE in the safe-zone and calls for a ceasefire
and has voiced his concern at the LTTE using innocent
civilians as human shields and called on both the LTTE
and the government forces to show restraint.
sudden concern at a time when the armed forces are
finally ridding the country of the scourge of terrorism
from its shores leaves much to be desired not to mention
his commitment to rid the world of terrorism. He calls
for a humanitarian ceasefire saying, "It is vital that
the civilians are able to move away from danger to
safety." He goes on to say, "both the government and the
LTTE must abide by the obligations under international
when has the LTTE shown any regard for humanitarian law?
Where was the international community when the LTTE
violated the ceasefire agreement brokered by
and strengthened itself? Records show LTTE violated the
agreement thousands of times as against the 162 of the
LTTE had recruited 7763 new cadres within the first year
of signing the Ceasefire Agreement. In 2002 the SLMM
reported that the LTTE violated the truce 502 times
(90%) over that of the government troops. One cannot
forget how in 2006 the LTTE after having travelled to
Oslo refused to sit down for talks citing various
June 15, 2006 it carried out attacks on a civilian bus
carrying 150 persons leaving 64Sinhalese dead including
12 children and 75 injured. Two months later it carried
out massive attacks in the north and east. The duplicity
of the international community in what they perceive to
be their concern for the plight of the civilians trapped
by the LTTE is questionable, when it gives the
impression that the LTTE's past should be forgotten.
Milliband claims, "nothing excuses the reported use of
civilians by the LTTE as human shields, nor does the
LTTE's behaviour excuse any failings by the Sri Lankan
concerted efforts of his government to legitimise the
terrorists and put them on par with a democratically
elected government has contributed to the growth of
terrorism in the developing world. These are governments
which never brokered peace with organisations that
threatened their world, nor have they countenanced a
ceasefire agreement with an outfit such as the Taliban.
once have these governments looked independently at the
care provided to the civilians who flee the LTTE areas.
Hiding behind their hidden agendas they have constantly
downplayed the attempts made by the government to meet
the immediate needs of the civilians. What contributions
have these governments made to the Government of Sri
Lanka to meet the needs of the displayed civilians?
governments cannot deny the manner in which their
countries continue to be the financial hub for the LTTE
to collect funds despite it being a banned organisation.
What moral right do these governments have to question
the Government of Sri Lanka when their capitals are the
operating hubs of the LTTE? And what justification can
Norway give for Solheim's meeting with LTTE's KP who
incidentally is wanted by Interpol?
Law College: Incompetence personified
Sri Lanka Law College, a body formed by the Council of
Legal Education, is the only competent authority in the
country vested with the power to offer the qualification
of Attorney-at-Law, to the few hundred students who are
fortunate enough to pass the competitive entrance
examination for which nearly 8,000 candidates sit each
those who get in, well and good, but once you're inside,
the system tends to be quite funny.
it is noteworthy to observe the step-motherly treatment
you are subjected to, if you enter those Law College
gates having obtained your LL.B degree from a foreign
university, hence exempting you from the entrance
examination: you are on first glance branded as stupid,
someone 'who bought your degree for money.'
this is only the beginning of the cycle of
discrimination one is subjected to.
Another point that warrants serious concern is how rules
change with the blink of an eye, and how voiceless the
students really are. However, it should be stated that
the Law College Union run by the students for the
students does in fact resolve many an issue that may
oftentimes, they are left helpless by the system: e.g.
when the powers that be decided to, with one swish of
their magical wand, to do away with the written
exam/viva vocea for students who had failed one subject
out of the seven that make up the year's subjects, thus
resulting in students having to waste another period of
time at Law College, thus delaying the taking of oaths.
However, this time around, some extra ketchup was added
to the soup. one candidate who sat for the final
examination which was recently concluded
(October-December 2008) discovered that while he hadn't
sat for one particular examination paper, he'd actually
been given marks for that subject! Obviously he was
what of the nearly 75 students who had failed one
particular subject in particular, namely Commercial Law
2, for which an appeal has already been forwarded in a
bid to quietly quell the situation.
irregularities and haphazard decisions made by those
'responsible,' impact on the future of innocent students
who are left at the receiving end. Isn't it high time
that the authorities take corrective action to rectify
the situation before we all run out of time?
Great to see independent reporting
sent your article on the Kotelawalas by various people
who know what happened to our family, no one else does
in Sri Lanka. Those which do, don't know the entire
story or have chosen to keep quiet to keep the status
quo and justify their own financial gains.
E. S. Perera not only created many of Sri Lanka's larger
companies, he was a Lankan not a Briton. He argued
against the "Sinhala Only Act," he built many a church
and very 'un-Sri Lanka' like he insisted his name never
be allowed to be attached as reward for benevolent
kindness. He believed in fundamental responsibility to
his people all Ceylonese/Lankans and the constitution
and rule of law he valued above anything else; I lived
with him as a child.
to leave with my family when I was nine in 1971. Before
leaving for several years I remember Justin and Lalith
Kotelawala constantly in our house pestering my
grandmother to relinquish control of Ceylon Insurance,
helped by threats by Mrs. B.
Another pest was Upali Wijewardana who managed to wrench
control off my father by very dubious political means;
also with help from the above.
to leave. It's a shame. I resent having been forced out,
but so many have been why should I? Rules were very
strict - only 50 Pounds Sterling was allowed to be taken
out, no black market for us with high governmental
scrutiny and worse our citizenship was taken away.
Naturally my father didn't cope entirely well and passed
away not long after. In contrast my mother was opening
bottles of champagne when she heard and read your
article. She still refers to the Kotelawalas and Upali
Wijewardana and quite a few others as "snakes in the
Lanka needs more good people to stand up - when the
snakes take over where does democracy go? Why don't us
Lankans feel any need to look after one another - were
the British that clever in dividing us or have we done
it all by ourselves? I think the latter!
- Srian Perera