The Sunday Leader

Guilty Pleasures At The Parliament

By Raisa Wickrematunge

No dough (or doughnuts),” state schools, hospital canteens and prisons were told last week. The state was going on a diet, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena explained.
This, coincidentally, occurred around the same time an increase in wheat flour (and bread) prices was announced. But that, of course, was merely a coincidence. (Although, of course, it would probably cut down the price of wheat flour imports).
It was time Sri Lankans started eating more healthy food — more rice, fruit and vegetables. So, no more delicious short eats at school canteens. No more buns, cake or bread. And definitely no doughnuts. (Unless the bakers used rice flour, as the government suggested as an alternative. Unfortunately, the All-Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association claimed it was difficult to find quality rice flour to make bread).
So, will the nation switch to a healthier (and cheaper) diet? Buth packets instead of malu paan, patties and cutlets?
Not every institution has been affected by the wheat flour ‘ban’ of course.
For instance, parliament convened as usual on Wednesday. In fact, it was business as usual in the MPs’ dining area in parliament, The Sunday Leader discovered.
Bread rolls were served with lunch. At tea time, the MPs feasted on sandwiches, rolls, cutlets and butter cake.
In fact, sandwiches and butter cake were on offer in the press room at tea time as well.
But surely, this could not be. Could it be the Health Ministry’s concern for the nation’s wellbeing did not extend to its fellow MPs? Surely not. Perhaps, the noble acts which naturally stem from governing this paradisical isle involve such strenuous physical exertion that the Ministry feels they deserve some butter cake from time to time. Perhaps their desire to serve citizen and country is so strong that they would rather save other people’s lives first.
Whatever the reason, there was no apparent shortage of wheat flour — that deadly ingredient causing waistlines to expand across the country.
“I wonder if your antics will result in all the cake and other yummy stuff being removed from the menu? Maybe in future we will be served green gram and halapa instead!” a dejected MP commented (the selfsame MP who so obligingly recited the lunch and tea menu for that day).
Incidentally, it is learnt that some government MPs could only giggle ruefully when they heard of this reporter’s quest for wheat-flour products.
No need to feel guilty, MPs. After all, it could have been much worse. At least there were no doughnuts.

7 Comments for “Guilty Pleasures At The Parliament”

  1. Yakolis

    The Height of Hypocrisy! And whose brother is one of the Biggest Rice Mudalalis in Sri Lanka? Three Cheers (using kasippu) for the Buth Packet Boys.

    • kumudini

      SL are are a nation of Diabetics . I do hope the people will be educated to switch over to a healthy lifestyle . Like in the UK a healthy menu for the school children is a must . The goverment is heading in the right direction .

  2. Hope all can remember when MR came to power, he said that all should eat KURAKKAN, its the staple diet down southbecause of the CHENAS CULTIVATION. Thank God MR did’nt come out & ask all to eat KURUKKAN insted of Wheet flower.

  3. Ruwan Ferdinandez

    Raisa, A quality piece of work, a witty and factful article. You are growing fast and running away from your half-baked journalist colleagues. Keep it up!

  4. Ranjith

    Sheer shamelessness and nudity of polliticos of Sri Lanka on exhibition for people with a milligram of gray stuff in the apex.

  5. Aru

    Unta sandwiches, rolls, cutlets and butter cake. Apita buth, mungata and cowpea. Remember what happened to the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Govt.

  6. boorugona


    oya para suddange katha walata apita wadak na

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