Why Keynote Address Was Scrapped
Nodath and Sududath alumni of the Forward School for Backward Boys were at their Waterhole for the monthly survey of current affairs in the Resplendent Isle and the world at large. Before the proceedings commenced, the waiter warned that the price of Soda had gone up.
Sududath, staunch defender of the Rajapaksa regime wanted to know the reason for the price hike. He hadn’t seen it in the newspapers.
The waiter cited energy costs. Not only had the retail price been increased but energy costs were involved. It takes energy to cool the soda and the manager says the electricity bill is on the up, he said
‘Geneng Yakko hot Soda’ (Bring heated soda) an angry Sududath cried out but the waiter said that heated soda would cost even more, power being required to heat it up. Then bring tap water, Sududath ordered but he waiter said that even tap water would cost money because the management had said that the water bill had shot up and to charge money for tap water.
Nodath, impatient to get the proceedings going said: ‘Bring any damn thing soon’ and poured out the Golden Water of Life and pulled out a newspaper cutting.
The Malawi example
‘I shay, Machang we must have a woman as president, no? They will do much better than men’, he said reading out a report published last week, headlined: Malawi’s New President Sells Off Presidential Jet and 60 Mercedes.
Mrs. Joyce Banda the new woman president of Malawi had declared that she was ‘happy to offload’ the presidential jet (running costs 220,000 pounds sterling a year) and the fleet of 60 Mercedes ordered by her predecessor. She was used to hitch hiking and could use private airlines for foreign travel and would go to London for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in a British Airways plane, she had declared.
Typical of all women, said Sududath. Playing to the gallery no Machang? What’s the use of becoming president if you can’t have your fleet of Mercedes or BMWs and a plane to go wherever you want? Our president doesn’t make a song and dance about not having a presidential jet but has enough and more of those luxury vehicles. You can’t run a country on kitchen economics, he contended.
Nodath, the veteran UNPer and opponent of the Rajapaksa regime argued: You don’t need a presidential jet if you have a presidential airline at your beck and call. Now how did our president fly to Bangkok, fly back again to attend the wedding of Thonda’s son and fly back to Bangkok to complete the interrupted presidential visit? Like going to Galle Face and back to Kollupitiya and back to Galle Face again no? Who paid for the air ticket? And he then flew to London. Sududath: You are a typical Sri Kotha agitator waiting for a regime change. Part of the international conspiracy. A president of country has to go on official visits. Nodath: The Thondaman wedding was also official? Sududath: You don’t know our leader. He cares for his supporters unlike your Ranil. Nodath: But Ranil dropped in at Singapore to see Dee Moo in hospital. Must be learning from Mahinda. Anyway not a bad life, no? One day with Chingluck, next day at Thonda’s son’s wedding and the next day in London hob-nobbing with Royalty and world leaders. Not bad, not bad at all….
Sududath: You fellows don’t know what a difficult life he leads. Heard what happened in London?
Nodath: I know., I know. Of course, the poor fellow…. I read some time ago a news report that he wanted to sack Vermin from his ministerial post last year but the poor president has still not been able to do it. All that executive presidential power and he can’t sack Vermin! Now Vermin is more powerful with gold floating down the Kelani River. All Vermin has to do is to fence off the Kelani and claim all the Gold is his. He is the Gampaha District MP and Chief Organiser for Kelaniya. He will now be like the Goldfinger in the James Bond novel. No wonder the Americans are said to be interested in taking over Sri Lanka as that very perceptive commentator on World Affairs Champika Ranawaka said last week.
Sududath: Americans may want the Kelaniya Gold to come out of their economic crisis but will they want Vermin? Don’t you see the impossible challenges faced by our leader? He has to protect our national sovereignty and in doing so also save those like Vermin. The imperialists are plotting to oust him. It was a plot by the perfidious British and allies last week. They invited him to deliver the keynote speech at the Commonwealth Business Council and minutes before the event they cancelled the entire morning’s sessions including our leader’s address on the grounds that some expatriate riff-raff were shouting on the road. It was done to shame our heroic leader, to rub in his proud Southern Sinhala nose and moustache in the London mud and for you Sri Kotha fellows to guffaw. They did it before at Oxford.
Nodath: That’s all in your imagination – the extension of the conspiracy theory. What we heard from very reliable London sources is that it was the text of the speech of your leader that led to the cancellation. They had read it only minutes before the sessions commenced. Your leader had made proposals on how the European economic crisis could be overcome. He had proposed that the European countries should take loans from all and sundry – China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Rwanda and even the Democratic Republic of the Congo. If necessary he could put in a word with China. Damn the spiralling debt. If there are no sufficient funds coming in then print money like hell. If the high security printing press can’t cope, take over the printing presses of the newspapers to print currency. And the crisis could be overcome. He was personally aware of one country that came through their financial crisis this way but for obvious reasons he could not divulge the identity.
Nodath (continuing) it was all Cabraalonomics that would be disastrous to European economies in the long run but which the European nationals smarting under austerity measures would not be able to resist. Thus in the interests of all nations it was decided to scrap the keynote address. Sududath the defender of the Rajapaksa faith was livid. This is all cock and bull. The imperialists want to smash the Rajapaksa regime. Let the Commonwealth pundits come to Sri Lanka in November and we will show them how to run the economy, he vowed.