||The politics of Tamil party unity
By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Four political parties representing Sri Lankan Tamil interests in a significant gesture
last week decided to sink differences and combine together in a Tamil Nationalist Alliance
and face the forthcoming Parliamentary elections as a single front. A memorandum of
understanding giving effect to this decision
was signed by the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), All
Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and Eelam
People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF).
The four party alliance has decided to contest all five electoral districts in the
Tamil dominated Northern and Tamil majority Eastern Provinces. In addition, the new entity
is also exploring possibilities of fielding lists in the Puttalam, Gampaha and Colombo
districts where sizable concentrations of Sri Lankan Tamils reside. It is doubtful whether
the Tamil alliance could get a seat in these districts although there is a remote
possibility in Colombo if great numbers are mobilised. The idea of contesting in these
districts stems from two reasons. Firstly to garner as much votes as possible to gain more
representation on the national list and secondly because of the individual ambitions of
prominent Tamils based in Colombo and the suburbs.
United under Sun
There is also a lot of behind the scenes activity with the People's Liberation
Organisation of Tamil Eelam led by Dharmalingam Siddharthan son of TULF stalwart and
former MP for Manipay V. Dharmalingam, ardently wooing this coalition to get his political
front the Democratic People's Liberation Front also into this grouping, while exploring
other possibilities of alignment ranging from the EPRLF faction led by ex-North-East
Province chief minister Annamalai Varatharajapperumal to the People's Alliance itself.
The four Tamil parties have decided to contest under the TULF symbol sun. In addition
to this the tentative lists of candidates also demonstrate a TULF dominance in all
districts except the Wanni where the TELO with three sitting MP's holds the edge. TELO
leader Amirthanathan Adaikkalanathan alias Selvam is leading the campaign here while the
TULF does so in other districts. In Jaffna it is TULF senior vice President and
Veerasingham Anandasangari; Batticaloa is led by sitting MP Joseph Pararajasingham;
Trincomalee is under TULF Secretary - General R. Sambandan. Amparai or Digamadulla has
Ariyanayagam Chandra Nehru of the TULF. The latter is a newcomer but the son of a veteran
Federal Party politician "Arapporani" Ariyanayagam of Thirukkovil.
The weightage and prominence given to the TULF in the tentative lists is somewhat
uneven with that party getting the most number of places on the candidate list. This
imbalance however can be rationalised on the basis that the TULF had the most number of
seats in the last Parliament, has broadbased support on a greater scale and possesses a
credible record as a widely acceptable Tamil political party. Compared to the TULF of the
1976 -1983 period when it won 18 of the 19 Tamil seats in the 1977 elections the party is
only a caricature of its former seld.
Yet like the Tamil saying that even a sleeping elephant is taller than a standing
horse, the TULF though diminished still remains ahead of its other allies. There are
indications however that the finalisation of candidate lists will be quite controversial
and delayed until practically the last moment because of internal tussles over candidate
choice and party allocations.
The Tamil Congress is the oldest Tamil political party dominating politics in the
forties to mid fifties. It struck a lean patch from 1956 to 1965 but perked up in 1965 and
1970 with three seats each. The Congress went unrepresented in Parliament from 1977 to
2000. Its name however was kept alive by the irrepressible Kumar Ponnambalam during this
time. The party's image underwent a change in the last few years before Kumar was killed
because of his courageous political role in defying President Kumaratunga's role. His
deputy Appathurai Vinayagamoorthy won from Jaffna in 2000. Interestingly, the Tamil
Congress is reportedly including Kumar's son Gajan Ponnambalam as a candidate in Jaffna
this time. The young lawyer in his twenties may be perhaps the first instance of a third
generation in Sri Lankan Tamil politics.
The TELO is at its strongest in the Wanni with vote banks in both Vavuniya and Mannar
districts. It is not equally strong in other districts but has a presence particularly in
Velvettithurai where it controls the Urban Council. The EPRLF is now a rump. Most of its
popular and efficient leaders like Subathran, Sugu, Shanthan, Thurairatnam, Nivas etc with
their followers have defected to the faction led by Varadarajapperumaal. Others have gone
over to Douglas Devananda. Suresh Premachandran the EPRLF secretary - general is
practically alone now and has very few cadres left. Including the EPRLF was in a sense an
act of mercy extended to Suresh by the other parties.
The four parties themselves are of different hues. The TULF and ACTC are moderate non -
violent parties with a proven track record in Parliamentary politics. The TELO and EPRLF
began as armed Tamil militant groups and combatted the Sri Lankan state till 1987. Both
parties accepted the Indo -Lanka accord and entered the political mainstream. In 1988, the
EPRLF being the blue eyed boys of India dominated the New Delhi imposed North - East
Provincial Council. In 1989 the EPRLF got seven and the TELO two seats in parliament
contesting under the TULF umbrella. 1994 saw both parties deprived of seats in the
The killing of a PLOTE Parliamentarian in Vavuniya in 1998 saw TELO leader
Adaikkalanathan become MP. TELO fortunes revived considerably in 2000 and three MP's were
elected from the Wanni. The EPRLF however split into the Suresh and Perumal factions. Both
fared miserably last year.
The four Tamil parties were united until the union hopelessly divided among themselves.
There were many squabbles during pre-coalition negotiations and at one point all chances
for unity seemed lost. Fresh efforts were made by groups of Tamil professionals,
intellectuals and business persons. These efforts were supplemented and complemented by
pressures from two other directions. One was the yearning expressed by the people of the
North -East particularly, student and community organizations.
The other was from Tamil expatriates. The Tamil parties particularly the TULF and ACTC
could not resist these. And so a reluctant coalition was formed. Even now candidate
finalising bickering threatens to destroy the fragile unity. But the Tamil politicians
themselves have been pleasantly surprised by the positive response by the people at this
development. This grassroots pressure may act as a deterrent to disunity at least until
the elections are over.
The Tamil people, particularly in districts with heterogenous populations are
overjoyed. The past years have seen Tamil political divisions fragmenting Tamil votes and
reducing Tamil representation. This was particularly felt in Trincomalee last year and in
Amparai in 1994. If Tamil parties entered elections with a divisive approach there was
every chance that representation in Trincomalee and Amparai would have been lost and
reduced in Batticaloa and Wanni. The four party alliance does not mean that other Tamil
parties would not be contesting. They will.
It is also clear that independent groups would be financed and let loose by interested
parties to divide Tamil votes. Yet, the limited unity achieved by these parties would help
to rally Tamil people to a sufficient extent around their front. The Broad Tamil umbrella
network of Tamil organizations in Amparai district the Tamil Maha Sabha announcing its
full support to the new alliance is a clear illustration of Tamil feelings over this
There is great happiness and jubiliation among the Tamil people about the Tamil party
alliance and hopes expressed about it being extended in due course to cover all shades of
Tamil opinion . It is very likely that these Tamil politicians will also cater to those
expectations and make lofty pronouncements about greater Tamil unity and peaceful
settlement etc. Given past history these exhibitions and expressions of unity are not to
be taken very seriously.
The FP and ACTC along with the Adanga Thamil ottrumai Munnani of C. Sundaralingam and
Ceylon Workers Congress under S. Thondaman came together in 1972 to form the Tamil United
Front. Sundaralingam's policies on caste were repugnant to civilised opinion and therefore
was gently eased out first. The Tamil United Front became Tamil United Liberation Front in
1976 and adopted the Tamil eelam resolution the CWC bowed out gracefully expressing
reservations. The 1977 election problems about seat allocations saw Kumar Ponnambalam lead
significant sections of the Tamil Congress out of the TULF. Although Congress leaders like
Sivasithamparam and Anandasangari remained in the TULF the bulk of G G Ponnambalam
loyalists went with the son and from 1978 onwards the party functioned independently under
Despite this 1977 elections saw a grand manifestation of minority community unity.
Apart from the traditional FP and TC persons several leftists like V. Ponnambalam and A.
Viswanathan also supported the TULF at election time. There was also a significant
arrangement with the Muslim United Front led by M H M Ashraff. the MUF contested under the
TULF symbol of sun depicted as rising sun in Tamil politics. There was also an alliance
with the CWC that contested in Colombo Central and Nuwara - Eliya - Maskeliya under the
cockerel symbol. "As the cock crows in the Up Country and Colombo Central the Sun
will rise in the North - East" was the campaign slogan. So it did and how! Appapillai
Amirthalingam became Opposition leader. Yet, what happened with the passage of time was
disintegration of unity and erosion of support despite the massive mandate for eelam in
1985 saw four militant groups the LTTE, TELO, EPRLF and EROS form the Eelam National
Liberation Front (ENLF). This front along with the PLOTE and the TULF forged a common
approach in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu at the time of negotiations with the
government team led by H W Jayewardene. This unity led to nothing concrete. Soon matters
deteriorated to the tragic point of fratricidal warfare and assassination of rival
In 1989 the Indian government imposed a unity from above and got the TULF, EPRLF, TELO
and newly formed ENDLF to contest under the TULF symbol. That grouping got 10 seats. The
unity achieved did not last long. The past years have also seen several Tamil parties
joining forces for elections and then slipping back to the confrontation mode thereafter.
Both the TULF and ACTC have kept a safe distance from aligning with these groups for two
reasons. One is for fear of angering the LTTE and the other to prevent alienation from the
people. These parties feel that their supporters will not like them to align with gun
toting groups who collaborated and collaborate with the Indian Army then and Sri Lankan
army now respectively.
Fear of LTTE
It is this revulsion that deterred these parties to a great extent from aligning with
the others. Nevertheless Community pressure and other compulsions have brought about this
unity. The run up to the union demonstrates that the seeds of future dissension have
already been sown. The underlying factor for this is the electoral system itself. The
motive for a larger party to tie up with a smaller one is that it hopes to increase the
vote aggregate through votes brought in by the other and gain more representation. The
smaller party hopes to gain some representation by attaching its lesser volume of votes
with the greater party's number.
The actual reality is that on most occasions the larger entity increases its
representation at the expense of the smaller party and not vice versa. This has often been
the case in ethnically mixed electorates where parties field a combined community list.
Minority votes go on to increase the vote tally and entitle that grouping to more seats.
But candidates from the majority community get more preferences and therefore more seats.
This however can be off set in instances where minority candidates are proportionately
lesser and majority more.
This factor is at play in the N - E scenario in a different way. The TULF is the
equivalent to a 'majority' in all districts except the Wanni in this coalition. It needs a
coalition only to enhance its tally and come first in the districts and get the bonus
seat. There is an intra - regional variation. It would like to align with the TELO in the
Wanni, and get at least one or more there by increasing the vote tally. It does not want
to share in the East where it is far ahead of other parties. It fears that a relatively
powerful candidate from the other grouping may be lucky enough to get a seat.
In Jaffna it would like to align with the Congress and TELO in order to face the
challenge posed by the Eelam People's Democratic Party. The TELO has some cadres who may
be of help to the unarmed TULF in standing up to the armed EPDP. As far as the Congress is
concerned the TULF hopes to get utilise its vote bank.
In the last election the EPDP got 41,000 plus votes to the TULF's 32,000 plus votes.
The Congress got 11,000 plus votes. So the combination of forces and the enthusiastic wave
generated through a united alliance may get the TULF coalition at least five seats. But
when it comes to preferences, the TULF candidates may get more than the Congress persons
and therefore the seats.
This may be the primary reason for the Congress insistence earlier that it would
contest on its own in Jaffna and as part of the coalition in others. The Congress has a
votebank in Jaffna that may enable it to get a seat definitely and possibly two if it
struck it out alone. In other districts it does not have such support. So the Congress by
projecting an extremely pro - LTTE line could have possibly fared better in Jaffna by
playing the lone ranger. The exigencies of coalition politics has ruled this out.
In the case of the TELO its compulsions towards a broad unity is possibly for three
reasons. The Wanni people threw out the PLOTE because of its oppressive activities
particularly in taxing and extortion. The TELO dressed briefly in authority for one year
has also been doing the same. This has eroded its support base and an influx of other
votes into a common kitty would be useful. Secondly, it may be lucky in sneaking its way
to some seat in Jaffna or Batticaloa. Thirdly, and more importantly it may like party
chairman N. Sri Kantha to be on the national list and get in to Parliament.
The EPRLF led by Suresh Premachandran is in very bad shape and had no choice whatsoever
in getting into an alliance. It is however doubtful whether Premachandran can gain
anything tangible by this union except to keep his party afloat.The TULF however gains
something by the alliance despite its professed reluctance to converge.
The party though the strongest in this alliance is somewhat jaded. The last year saw
its votes decrease in Trincomalee and Batticaloa. In Jaffna and Wanni the EPDP and TELO
got ahead of it. The TULF has been promising that it would do its best to end the war but
failed to do it.
The Kumaratunga administrations partiality towards the EPDP has deprived the TULF out
of funds for development or jobs for the boys. Given the way that the EPDP has
strengthened itself over the past year an extra effort is required to overcome the
challenge. There is also Devananda's charge that the TULF visits Jaffna only for elections
and then slumbers in Colombo like vendors setting up shop annually for 'Kovil Thiruvilaa'
(temple festival) time.
There is also the need to get more than double EPDP representation in the next
election. It is only then that any new dispensation would find it favourable to
accommodate the TULF. For all these reasons the unity platform is useful. That unity could
give the impetus needed. Tamil expatriates may also contribute to party coffers under this
situation. More importantly the people could be galvanised into rendering active support.
It is important to note that the simple act of inter party unity itself has been hailed as
a great achievement and viewed as a happy event in the Tamil media. The TULF can also
renew its refrain of calling for peace and talks with the LTTE in a concerted manner now
in harmony with other parties.
Self centred vision
In spite of these advantages the TULF was 'hemming' and 'hawing' because of its
fractured and compartmentalised approach. It did not need the EPRLF at all. It wanted the
TELO in the Wanni but not elsewhere. It wanted the Congress in Jaffna but not in other
places. This tendency to view segmented limited gain above the larger and overall benefit
that could accrue after broader unity was achieved was strengthened by the selfish motives
of leaders who were blinded by the parochial, self - centred vision of individual victory
alone. The situation required therefore an extraneous intervention to jolt the party into
senses. Although, unity materialised through external pressure the welcome response of the
Tamil people has proved a tonic to those leaders who opposed unity earlier.
The Tamil party alliance hopes to ride the crest of a wave and hope to get 15 to 20
seats at the polls. It is too early to assess the situation right now. But it is useful to
be cautious because voting patterns do not always stick to correct arithmetic when a
configuration of parties face elections as a common front. Different vote banks react
differently to multiple parties posing as one entity. there is also intra - party
sabotage. Tamil Nadu Manila Congress leader Karuppia Moopanar who died some weeks ago
summed this position up best when he said once "In coalition politics two and two are
not always four; it could be five or it could be three".
Back to the future
The key component of the Tamil party alliance strategy to win elections is the tactic
of basking in LTTE glory. By emphasising the pre - eminence of the LTTE in negotiations
and ruling out any parallel exercise the alliance is negating itself of any overt role in
any future peace process. It has also encapsuled the essence of the Thimphu principles as
its political goal.The assertion of self - determination and homeland principles however
go far beyond Thimphu in time. It was emphasised first in the FP convention at Mallakam in
1974 and the TULF convention in Pannakam in 1976. The new alliance therefore is turning
'back to the future' by espousing these principles afresh in the current context. The
objective is to mobilise ultra - nationalist Tamil opinion by adopting a posture that
comes nearest to the outright position of the LTTE.
This stratagem however has given rise to a viewpoint particularly among Sinhala
hardliners that the new alliance is an LTTE inspired creation and that it is to the LTTE
what the Sinn Fein is to the Irish Republican Army. This crude attempt to discredit the
alliance by Sinhala hawks has its own logic and motives. The Tamil parties too would like
such propaganda and will most probably not try to counter it during election time because
of the impact on Tamil voters. Dissociating openly with the LTTE openly could be
counterproductive as voters may not opt to vote whereas the impression that it is indeed
close to the LTTE would be advantageous in getting more votes.
Not the real McCoy
The LTTE too is not likely to dissociate itself with this alliance publicly at this
juncture because it would prefer this grouping to get more seats than others particularly
the EPDP. It may also be pleased with the memorandum of understanding drafted by the new
alliance as it affords pride of place to the LTTE, acknowledges its contribution to the
Tamil struggle and endorses the principles of self determination and homeland. Therefore
it will not undermine its chances of success as far as possible. This may be one reason
for the LTTE keeping quiet about the self - serving notices issued under various names by
Tamil scribes supportive of the Tamil party alliance. The notices purportedly issued by
the forces of Pandara Wanniyan, Ellaalan, Kulakkottan and Sankiliyan etc in recent times
about elections do not seem to be in any way the 'real McCoy'.
Despite this preference towards this alliance the LTTE is unlikely to endorse it
openly. There are many reasons for this . Given the security situation in the North - East
the chances of elements supporting the government and its minions are capable of rigging
the election on a massive scale. In that context, the defeat of a political configuration
backed openly by the LTTE would reflect badly on the LTTE. Secondly, it does not trust
these parties fully particularly some individuals and would not like to issue testimonials
keeping the future in mind. Thirdly, any open encouragement by the LTTE to the Tamil
public to vote for a Tamil party could be misconstrued by the people as the end of the
road for revolutionary politics something which the tigers do not want at this juncture.
This reason may even compel the tigers to discourage people in their territory from
voting at the cluster booths. The LTTE would not want the Tamil people to get enmeshed in
the Parliamentary politics trap that it abhorrs and regards as the major cause of Tamil
misfortunes. Those who labour under the delusion that the LTTE will want to promote
political groups or individuals as fronts or agents to further its interests in
Parliamentary politics could draw a lesson from Kumar Ponnambalam. In spite of his
political views Kumar was not encouraged by the LTTE to either contest the Presidency or
lead an Independent group.
In spite of these issues, the fact that some Tamil parties have forged an alliance is
by itself a source of satisfaction. It was only some weeks ago that both the Sri Lankan
and Indian Tamil parties found themselves unable to agree on common representatives to be
appointed on behalf of their respective communities on the Constitutional Council. That
duty was delegated to the 'Sinhala' prime minister and opposition leader because of Tamil
divisiveness. In that context this alliance as well as the Thondaman - Sellasamy -
Chandrasekeran alliance are welcome features indeed.
The games begin
In the Rome of yore when a gladiator in the arena fell but was still alive, the victor
would turn to Caesar and await his signal as to whether the fallen combatant was to live
or die. Depending on his whim and the mood of the crowd, Caesar would signal 'thumbs up'
or 'thumbs down.' In the latter case, of course, the vanquished gladiator would be
butchered forthwith by his antagonist. Life was cheap in them days Rome.
Just as the emperor's thumb set in motion a train of events that spelled life or death
to the unwary, so it is with Chandrika Kumaratunga's tongue. Whenever she has uttered the
magic word that spells hope for the disgruntled: 'elections' - a train of events too
ghastly to recall has unfolded, bringing untold misery to many of her countrymen.
Election violence on the scale the People's Alliance has unleashed had never been seen
in this country prior to Kumaratunga's advent. The 1994 general election that brought
Kumaratunga to power took place in an atmosphere of almost uncanny calm. Voter turnout
almost everywhere except Jaffna was remarkably high. Not a single candidate of the PA was
hurt and an examination of the newspapers of the time shows that even minor violence was
exceedingly rare. The complaints there were focused on illegal posters and cut-outs. Once
the PA settled into office however, all that changed within weeks. The murder of Gamini
Dissanayake, Kumaratunga's rival in the November presidential election, wrought gleeful
claims of intra-UNP rivalry from the PA, with even the then IGP piping in to say there was
no reason to believe the LTTE were responsible. Dissanayake's death served as a clarion
call to the PA goons, who unleashed on the UNP's organisers islandwide a campaign of
terror from which there would be no rapid recovery.
From then on, whenever Kumaratunga has signalled her 'thumbs down' heralding elections,
the train of events has been the same: intimidation at grassroots, pre-emptive police
transfers, bribes by way of hand-outs to the voters and an endless barrage of abuse and
calumny against the opposition on the state media.
The abuse of power has become mere routine for Kumaratunga. Having won the presidency,
Kumarat- unga has set out to enjoy it, replete with a palace for herself. Ensconced in the
immunity the constitution bestows on her, she has gone to town. Most visible among her
excesses is the abuse of the state media.
Rupavahini and ITN have become dedicated mouthpieces for the president and her twisted
and vulgar rhetoric. They have been dedicated entirely to defaming the opposition and the
private media. Kumaratunga knows full well that they will pay a heavy price for the
malicious lies they utter on her behalf, for letters of demand have already been sent by
former ministers G. L. Peiris and S. B. Dissanayake, and legal proceedings will no doubt
follow. But the heavy damages and compensation these entities will undoubtedly have to pay
will come not from Kumaratunga's purse but from the public coffers. She knows full well
not only that she can lie with impunity but that it is the state and not she who will pay
for her lies.
The issue of police transfer too, is one that will come to haunt Kumaratunga. No sooner
than an election is declared, but her lapdog, the IGP, orders the transfer of policemen
perceived to be unsympathetic to Kumaratunga to distant places where they can repent their
folly at leisure. What is more, policemen who can be relied upon to aid and abet PA thugs
and goons in their pogroms and campaigns of intimidation are strategically placed so as to
have maximum impact on the poll. Predictably, IGP Lucky (now frequently referred to as
'Lackey') Kodituwakku has proved himself and able lieutenant to Kumaratunga.
Notwithstanding howls of protest from the elections commissioner, he has kicked the 17th
amendment in the teeth and insisted on his right to transfer policemen in the midst of an
election campaign. And from the JVP, the lodestar of whose lives the 17th amendment
appeared to be, not a whimper of protest. So much for their sincerity.
In the prelude to the 1999 presidential election, Kumaratunga exhorted her ranks to
'win the election by hook or by crook.' In the eyes of many, it was 'by crook' that she
won. And it is by crook that she will attempt, once again, to win a parliamentary majority
come December 5. The mechanism is simple, and the machinery is in place. Prevent known UNP
families from voting. In known UNP strongholds, storm the polling booths and stuff the
ballot boxes. Threaten dutiful policemen with punishment transfers (the IGP has already
made it clear that he can and will). Threaten elections officials (all of who, after all,
are government servants) with a similar fate, so they do not lodge protests. Where the
opposition has organisers who are too big for their boots, assault them, burn down their
houses and parade their wives and daughters naked on the streets. That is the PA formula
for election victory, as was witnessed at Wayamba, and that is the only hope Kumaratunga
knows she has come December 5. That is why the desperate rhetoric, the hysterical media
The difference this year from last is that the UNP has sensed victory come what may, as
it did in 1977, when it turned Kumaratunga's mother out from Temple Trees, having
overstayed her welcome by two years. Ranil Wickremesinghe knows that even with moderate
government sponsored violence and intimidation, he can yet win through. What is more, the
entire spectrum of anti-Kumaratunga parties have joined together to defeat her: so much is
she hated and despised.
Even though her term goes on for four more years, Kumaratunga knows full well that were
she to fail to form the next government, her days in office are numbered. Key opposition
members have already stated publicly that they will boot her out in three months, and many
suspect she will flee, Marcos-like, long before then. The day of reckoning has for her
been long overdue, and it is only after December 5, that the true horror of her seven-year
reign will be exposed. When Bandaranaikes err, they do not err lightly; they err with a
flourish, bells, whistles, castanets and all.
The Big Apple: Symbol of vulnerability
By Amantha Perera in New York
Whatever their faults might be, Americans are good at one thing - finding catchy
phrases for everything. And so it has been with the site of the worst ever terrorist
attack in known history. The World Trade Centre is now 'Ground Zero.'
It is funny though when you think that no one actually knows how the term came to be
attributed. Some say it was the media; others refer it to the specialists who found
similarities with the site and the centre of a nuclear explosion. But no one is sure.
Infact Ground Zero was a term that was used loosely till September 11. Mainstream US
newspapers had used the term more than 32 times on the day the attacks took place, mostly
in stories relating to President George Bush's push for education reforms. But, the
meaning has been altered since then.
On the last week of a month long field trip to the US, I reached Ground Zero last week.
I reached it from the farthest point one could travel from the west of the country,
Hawaii. I traveled right through from the West Coast of San Francisco and reached New York
And the journey had fine tuned my mind to what to expect. From the laid back beach
attitude of the Hawaiian beaches through the anthrax paranoia of the streets of
Washington, I had travelled the tube to Ground Zero.
"Gosh, you guys are lucky..." screamed US journalists in San Francisco when
they got to know that I was headed for the next best place from Kandahar, Afghanistan for
a journalist. "Be careful," was the apprehension filled plea from loved ones in
Colombo. Driving into New York, the closer you get the stronger the sense that all is not
well. Police are all over the place, New Yorkers are quick to point out that it has been
since September 11.
Be it at the entrance to the tunnel that links Manhattan, or on the busy sidewalks,
huge Stars and Stripes decorate almost all the buildings. You enter the head office of
Chase Manhattan and the entire entrance is a huge US flag. Roads are closed closer to
important offices like the UN and tough screening is applied akin to Colombo.
Along with the US national flag, there is one more thought that rides the under
currents of New York, Osama bin Laden. At The entrance to the ferry to Staten Island his
wanted dead or alive poster is a grim reminder to the ferry riders as to who was
responsible to the gaping hole on the shore line, that still smokes. Bin Laden dominates
the thoughts of the city. He is the identification of the fear that something worse could
A fear that after all America is vulnerable. And to New Yorkers it is a funny sort of a
feeling that they cannot get accustomed to easily. After all their's was the city that the
world looked up to. Their's is the Big Apple. "Osama says he's so brave, Then why
does he s*** in a grave," Operaman, tried in vain to hide the chill that the name
drives in, at a concert held at Madison Square Garden last week to raise funds for the
rescue crews. His words echoed the lost in the forest attitude of the city. The view of an
experienced foreign services officer was much more convincing though of the real thing.
"A strong loss of sense of security," she admitted has set in. But at the site
of the crime that America accuses bin Laden and his followers of carrying out, the
sentiment is entirely different. The roads that lead to the WTC have been barricaded from
about three blocks away. But on the side walks the crowds troop towards Ground Zero. Like
pilgrims they walk, they come from all walks of life and from all over the world. Orthodox
Jews and Muslims, Americans and Indians and Pakistanis, they all come, walking slowly on
the sidewalk to reach WTC.
With cameras hung from necks, shoulders... some carrying every photography equipment
that you could imagine. They pass the church that survived the attacks with its high cross
still intact, and arrive just opposite where the WTC was.
There they start clicking, and click and click and still click. The WTC site is the
biggest tourist attraction in New York. Day and night police and army officers try to
control over curious visitors who try to get a better picture by climbing on picket fences
or venturing beyond the barriers. Infact police have barred photographs from the best
vantage point open to the public as a crowd control measure.
The New York police issued more than 3000 temporary media passes within less than a
month from September 11. BBC alone sent 160 personnel and one Japanese company had shipped
60 to the US. In mid October the police stopped issuing passes as they could not manage.
There have been several incidents of the passes being confiscated by police when a
journalist stepped out of line. The State Department has adopted a stance of not getting
involved in such issues involving media and security personnel.
At the site itself, photographers run to obtain a good position. American TV channels
that have permanent camera locations allow others to use them and journalists pool and
share resources unlike I have seen any where else.
Among the Kodak pilgrims of our time, there are the signs of the real anguish that the
mangled steel towers of the WTC symbolise. Some visitors cry on the sidewalk. The pictures
of the missing and the dead still adorn the walls.
The recovery work continues monotonously, disrupted by the recovery of body parts,
which are taken out draped in the national flag. The debris is transported across the
river to Staten Island where FBI agents go through it. The clean-up operation will take
more than a year to conclude.
I came across a car, still unclaimed covered in dust, on the approach road to WTC. A
wreath lay inside the front seat, like a somber farewell to the owner who will never come
to claim the car. Just in front of the barriers I saw fire hoses, covered in dust, left
where they fell, when gigantic towers came down. On one such hose was a rose left by a
visitor with a silent message.
But such poignant symbols and the dust that kicks off while you walk are no match to
the street vendors who sell everything from imitation Rolexes to Stars and Stripes pins
made in China. They carry their wares in brief cases, or sometimes in their hands. After
all this is America and who would blame them. This is the city that epitomises the
New York is a city that would make you claustrophobic in ten seconds. Sky-scrapers vie
with one another to kiss the clouds. This is a city that sunlight fights to fall on the
streets and which proudly proclaims that it never sleeps. And it does not. Even on the
deserted streets surrounding the WTC, at any given time there is the curious visitor
making his way. New Yorkers are slowly but surely trying to get on with life. Difficult as
it may seem, the World Financial Center offices would be opening this week for the first
time since the attacks. (See box)
But this is a city whose psyche has been damaged as never before. "The attack is
going to change the way we deal with other countries," the foreign service officer
said adding that "the soul searching has begun but where it will end no one
knows." In the halls of the UN general assembly, the thought reverberates. American
State Department officers openly admit that the 'war against terrorism' can be interpreted
in so many ways by so many parties. "We need a definition for 'terrorism' but we do
not have one," one officer told The Sunday Leader.
Another observed that the future would depend a lot on the manner in which the US deals
with the Israeli-Palestinian problem. "You see, we have never looked at a leadership
for the Palestinians beyond Yasser Arafat. And the prospective candidates have chilling
resumes," he said.
On another front countries like Sri Lanka wait in the side line, knowing very well that
they have very little to give to the coalition, but a hell of a lot to gain if the dice
falls in their favour. They are pinning hope on countries that have put themselves on the
firing line domestically by supporting the US, to push the latter to make good its
"We are hoping that Islamic countries will put pressure on the US, once the
original objectives are met, to tackle the global phenomenon," a Sri Lankan diplomat
based in New York said. He argued that the dust kicked up by the US following the
September 11 attacks will help Sri Lanka in the future when it takes on the LTTE
But the battle cry for action is what dominates the American public. When 5000 lives
are lost when madmen ram jumbo jets into the city's landmarks who wouldn't call for more
Nevertheless, beyond that it is hazy as it can get. The favourite cocktail joke last
week in New York was that after his eventual capture, a sex change should be administered
on bin Laden and she should be packed to Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
The joke is a reflection of how confused the US public is. It has really been looking
for clues since September 11 and found way too little.
Tamil unity holds despite infighting
By J. S. Tissainayagam
The establishment of the four-party Tamil Alliance (TA) comprising the TULF, TELO, ACTC
and EPRLF, despite the ACTC's opposition to contest under the Alliance's symbol in Jaffna,
was the most important development in Tamil politics last week. Though these parties are
now all under one umbrella, their integration has spawned infighting over nominations for
seats in the five districts of the north-east and in Colombo.
This has resulted in critics sitting back and stating with scarcely-suppressed glee
that no move that seeks to forge an electoral alliance without a unified political vision,
work plan or programme, could be sustained. They also state that a grande alliance Tamil
unity cannot be achieved while excluding groups like the EPDP, PLOTE and the Vardar wing
of the EPRLF.
There could be nothing further from the truth. That there is no common vision or
programme among the Tamil parties is an idea that is both misleading and dangerous.
The contents of these columns last week was on how the recalcitrance of the ACTC was
tamed and it was brought in kicking and struggling to contest under a common symbol in the
Jaffna district. Following this, someone asked this writer whether it was not for a
political party to take an individual decision to contest either independently, or as part
of an alliance, depending on its own wishes.
Though nobody denies the decision-making autonomy of any individual party, the fact
remains that it has to adhere to the interests of the constituents it claims to represent,
as well as have a sense of overall responsibility to the public at large - in this
instance the Tamils.
If sovereignty of the people is the basis of parliamentary democracy, it is important
that the interests of the voters are represented and not the interests of individual
Observing the rivalry and back-stabbing that has come to define Tamil parliamentary
politics in recent times and how it led to a plethora of missed opportunities, a concerted
outpouring of feeling among the Tamils had begun to develop soon after the last elections,
for the Tamil parties to work together.
This has been articulated loudly and clearly, some of it through the media.
Tamils have learnt not to expect anything fantastic from their representatives in
parliament. Over the years they have seen limitations both in rectitude and intellect,
inherent in their MPs.
What is more, they have also learnt to give allowances to the confines within which the
Tamil parliamentarian is compelled to function. Secondly, the Tamils know that the greater
part of their political destiny is shaped by extra-parliamentary forces such as the LTTE
and the diaspora.
All what the Tamils want their MPs to do is to raise problems such as the insidious
aspects of the PTA and emergency legislation, the food embargo on the Wanni, the
harassment meted out to them by the security forces etc.
And to go a little further, perhaps making a well-informed and substantive contribution
on the creation of a new constitution if and when the matter comes up. In other words
Tamils are united in what they want their MPs to do. The disunity comes for the
So the infighting we see in the allocation of seats has nothing to do with the Tamil
constituents of the north and east and is a manifestation of the disease in Tamil
politics. Nominations for the Batticaloa district, is a case in point.
The ACTC is allocated one seat to the TELO's two, and TULF's five in Batticaloa. At the
beginning ACTC suggested the name of Gnanamuthu Krishnapillai (Vellimalai), a native of
Batticaloa and 'acceptable' to the other constituent parties. This however was soon to
The ACTC high command in Colombo revised this position and nominated Rajan
Sathiyamoorthy, an ex-UNPer to contest. It is interesting to note that an ex-UNPer was
asked by the ACTC to contest on the TA list. It is said that there was a certain western
embassy too that was interested in promoting his candidature in the TA with ulterior
motives in mind.
This was however repugnant to Joseph Pararajasingham who leads the TA in Batticaloa. He
refused to lead the TA if Sathyamoorthy was included. The ACTC's position however was that
if it suggested a candidate it was the duty of the other constituent parties to accept it.
But Pararajas- ingham was in a dilemma: he had won last time by the skin of his teeth and
to have a powerful candidate like Sathiy- amoorthy could very well wreck his
(Pararajasingham's) chances. The stand-off ended when Krishnapillai and not Sathiyamoorthy
who was eventually the ACTC nominee.
Another interesting phenomenon is the nomination of S. Selvarajah who was not in the
early version of Batticaloa's TA list, but eventually found his way in. Selvarajah did not
win his seat at the last election, but was pushed up when Nimalan Savundaranayagam was
assassinated. The joke in Batticaloa runs that Selvarajah had received nomination "by
washing Blackfoot's feet white" with tears of entreaty!
The other interesting development is the fate of S. Ganeshamoorthy who won a seat
contesting in the PA interest at the last election. He crossed over to the UNP, but does
appear to be in the UNP's Batticaloa list at the time of writing. The crossing-over was
prompted by M. L. A. M. Hisbullah of NUA being asked to lead the PA's campaign in the
Batticaloa district and the LTTE expressing reservations about Tamils contesting on the
lists of the national parties in the district.
The Trincomalee TA list which comprises five TULF, one TELO and one ACTC candidate is
headed by R. Sambandan (TULF). In this district however, rivalry was not inter-party but
intra-party. The ACTC's candidate in 2000 election Subashini Chitravelu is not contesting
this time. In the wake of this, the ACTC's membership in the district wanted field one of
their own. A name canvassed as a good candidate Dr. R. Muralimanoharan. But on Thursday
night the ACTC's high command in Colombo issued an order that P. Sooriyamoorthy be
nominated as the ACTC candidate.
Sooriyamorthy has a checkered history. He was Trincomalee Urban Council chairman, where
he represented TELO. After a dispute he contested as an independent at the October 2000
elections, but lost. Sooriyamorthy is a power-block in his own right and helped by members
of his community.
When his name was sent in direct contravention to the desires of the Trincomalee's ACTC
branch, its members protested and threatened to resign. However Sooriyamoorthy's name was
eventually withdrawn and Muralimanoharan is the ACTC candidate
M. K. Eelaventhan, a veteran politician who spent many years in India is a possible
nominee of the TELO in Trincomalee. His candidature is opposed by certain sections of TA
because there is fear that it could introduce an unhealthy Indian element into Tamil
politics. If he is not nominated M. Thilakajothy will be TELO's candidate.
What could be also impact significantly on the elections is the report that the
approximately 15,000 Tamil voters in the 'un-cleared' areas of Trincomalee might be
allowed to vote this time. The TULF's candidate organising Mutur is K. Thurairatnarajah, a
retired assistant director of education, who is reportedly popular.
In the Jaffna district a significant development is the part T. Maheswaran, the UNP
candidate, is expected to play. His power-base lies in Karainagar on the northern coast
where he has extensive business interests and a large following from his community.
What is more, Maheswaran's candidature is also to the satisfaction of the TA, because
they hope he will able to bring to bear the necessary resources to counter Devanan da's
hold in the Kayts electorate, which is known as the latter's stronghold, and thereby split
the EPDP vote.
A thunderbolt in the Wanni was the rejection of M. Srikantha, leader, TELO. He did not
wish to contest Jaffna but wanted nomination in the Wanni because it was a 'sure' seat
judging from the three MPs the party returned last time. But fearing that his inclusion
might split the TELO vote, Srikantha's candidature was rejected.
The TA's leader in Amparai will be Chandra Nehru Ariyanayagam. Though the Tamil Maha
Sabai (TMS), an Tamil umbrella organisation in the district has lent his support to the
TA, Sangar who is an EPDP MP who won on the TMS ticket in the last election, is reported
to be trying to influence the voters away from the TA.
While such infighting and jostling for positions continue, there is one unqualified
advantage the TA has been able to achieve. Despite all the internal rivalry, it appears
these four Tamil parties will go to the hustings as a single entity.
This is in stark contrast to the parties representing the Estate Tamil community, whose
representatives succumbed to the temptation of going with the national parties, despite a
strong lobby that they should go as an alliance representing the interests of the
The drawbacks of this decision are now obvious with one group, consisting of S.
Sathasivam and others contesting on the PA list, while the CWC, UPF and others are to
contest on the UNF ticket.
It is not a case of who wins more seats in the plantations, but with ethno-nationalism
becoming a more potent force in local politics than ever before, the moral authority for
any one group to speak for the plantation community will be lost.
It is this reason that led to the Tamils of the north-east exert their utmost to lobby
for parties representing the people of their area to contest as an alliance. For too long
have the national parties manipulated the minorities for their own benefit. And only
strength in numbers and contesting through an alliance can offset this negative trend.
Setting the stage for mayhem
By Frederica Jansz
It would be enlightening to know if the affable Inspector General of Police, Luckdasa
Kodituwakku, believes he is only 'doing his duty' when he swings cops around, switching
chairs and positions, in an intense game of musical chairs that only he, Victor Perera,
the officer in charge of personnel at Police Headquartres and the head of state -
understand and control.
At least 69 police officers were last week transferred with a speed that has left many
of the cops mere tools in the hands of not only their police chief but also in the sullied
hands of politicos calling the shots.
Surely, Kodituwakku does not expect this nation to believe that all these transfers are
mere routine? It might suit Kodituwakku to bow meekly to orders barked at him by a mere
ASP - a strongman in the president's security division. But it certainly will not pull the
wool over the eyes of the general public who have long given up on respecting a police
chief who does not want to understand that his position is to ensure that rules are not
meant to be broken.
When Kodituwakku indulges in his game of chess, energetically pushing cops from one
position to another, the secret code of the game is 'win' and to win at any cost.
Kodituwakku will in effect bend over backwards, to ensure that his political masters are
returned to office come December 6.
After all, the police chief in his mind at least will doubtless justify his partiality
as 'merely doing his duty.'
This is how Mervyn Silva, PA member, also explains his uncouth, arrogant and disgusting
behaviour. After screaming obscenities at opposition politicos, Mervyn will thereafter
shuffle up to them and smiling crookedly, with an insane glint in his eye, say,
"Machang, I was only doing my duty."
Spying Opposition Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mervyn has whined, "Nayakathuma,
mama mage duty ne karanne," whether on that side or this side, Mervyn justifies his
abominable behaviour as one that is necessary to prove his loyalty to party colours.
If Mangala Samaraweera claims that the UNP have helped "cleanse the PA" by
taking the dregs or the 'ants' that supposedly sullied the ruling alliance for so long,
the UNP can return the same charge. In fact, the PA could not have scraped the barrel any
further when it pulled over a scummy politician of Mervyn's kind.
What is it about today's politicians that bring out the worst in them at the best of
times? For example, even some of the 'crossovers' are totally dumb when it comes to
addressing a press conference. Speaking to journalists, the 'new' entrants are at sea as
to how they should explain why they chose to change their colours at this precise moment
Instead, they indulge in a verbal diatribe that is anything but focused and can only be
accommodated on a political platform, as Sri Lanka's long suffering public and press corps
gaze mutely at one more political madcap who has played leap frog.
There are more 'gentlemen' waiting to crossover, they boast. It might be prudent for
the UNP to now contemplate putting up a sign, which will read 'house full.'
How Ranil Wickremesinghe will juggle cabinet portfolios come December, is indeed food
for thought. Already, some of the 'crossovers' have boasted that by December 6, they will
be ministers once more - albeit this time under the banner 'green.'
While these political shindigs are going on frenetically, the elections commissioner
locked horns with the police chief. Using powers vested to him under the 17th amendment,
the commissioner ordered the top cop to stay all political transfers of police officers.
The elections commissioner holds the power to deploy police officers who would have to
act under his direction and control during the period of an election.
Kodituwakku is however not to be outdone or outshone. His moments of misguided glory
are few and far between. Asserting that these police transfers are mere 'routine stuff,'
the police chief angrily retorted the polls chief demand to stay all police transfers.
"I have every right as the police chief to transfer my men," he says, adding
for good measure "that none of these transfers are politically motivated."
The Sunday Leader has today detailed some of these transfers which prove these cops are
all under orders to do the bidding of some politico.
After all what is the reasoning behind transferring SP Gamini de Silva of the
Directorate of Internal Intelligence to the ministerial security division with immediate
effect on Friday, October 19?
Can Kodituwakku in all honesty claim that the police transfers he ordered on Monday,
October 22, ordering IP P. G. S. Gunathilake OIC Sooriyawewa to Ambalantota as OIC, SI R.
W. W. P. S. N. Sampayo OIC Lunugamwehera to Sooriyawewa as OIC, IP H. K. Sumanasena of
Seeduwa police in the Negombo Division to Lunugamwehera as, OIC SI K. T. R. N. de
Karunarathne OIC Weeraketiya to the election secretariat at Police Headquarters and IP B.
Somasiri of Colombo Division (Cinnamon Gardens Police) to Weeraketiya as OIC, as being
mere routine transfers?
In addition, on the same day 57 other cops were transferred on the orders of the IGP.
ASP I. M. U. B. Illangakoon of Kurunegala to Nikaweratiya division, ASP W. G. Premadasa of
Dambulla district to Vavuniya, CI K. C. Hapuarachchi, HQI Matale to the ministers'
security division on special duty, CI G. P. H. Pathmasiri, HQI Kegalle to the ministers'
security division, also on special duty and ASP M. A. Gunaratne of Kelaniya division to
the ministers' security division are among 57 other police officers transferred last
What about the pledge Kodittuwaku gave his men when he took office as IG Police that he
would enact police transfers only at the beginning of each year, thereby allowing the
relevant cops time to appeal the said transfer if necessary.
One fact appears crystal clear - that Kodituwakku is determined to enact another
Wayamba. In 1998 soon after his appointment as IG Police, Kodituwakku allowed himself to
follow the dictates of political masters and transferred DIG Jagath Jayawardena as DIG to
The infamous Wayamba election, is today sad testimony to Sri Lanka's lost rights to
democracy and freedom of expression. DIG Jayawardena after having done the dirty work on
behalf of the government was after the disgraceful Wayamba election transferred with equal
speed back to his original posting as DIG Colombo.
The next cop to be transferred with certainty will be SSP Lionel Gallage of Kegalle.
Gallage last week detected a vehicle carrying army hand grenades, at Kegalle. The vehicle
also carried supporters of PA strongman, Maheepala Herath. Both, the grenades and Herath's
men were arrested. A senior police officer confided that this act of 'duty' by Gallage
would almost with certainty ensure he is transferred out off Kegalle.
It is near impossible to expect Lucky Kodituwakku to act impartially. In 1994,
Kodituwakku served during the general election as security coordinator for the People's
Alliance in the Matale district.
Depending on the PA
After having retired in January this year upon reaching the age of 60, the president
gave Kodituwakku another extension. The IG is totally dependent on the ruling PA to ensure
his own career survival.
By yesterday, (Saturday, October 27, 2001) Kodituwakku ordered the transfer of these
police officers. IP Tissa Gunathilake of Kegalle division (Avissawella) to Batticaloa.
R/IP Madurusinghe of Chilaw division (Marawila) to Wanathawilluwa. R/SI Thilakasiri of
Batticaloa division to Colombo. SI W. R. A. Chandrasiri Lal of FFHQ to Chilaw. SI N. M. D.
Navarathna of Kegalle Division (Mawanella) to Kandy. R/SI W. G. Dharmasena of Ampara
division (Uhaba) to Tangalle. R/SI Jothipala of Kantale Division (Wanela) to Tangalle and
SI T. K. G. Chandrasekara of Nugegoda Division (Athurugiriya) to Kegalle Division
If we are to believe Kodituwakku that these police transfers are routine, why were
these cops suddenly rotated? IP M. Somapala of Gampaha Division (Minuwangoda) to police
headquarters election secretariat. IP Sarath Silva of Nugegoda Division (Welikada) to
P.H.Q. elections secretariat. R/SI Senanayake of Nugegoda Division (Welikada) also to
P.H.Q. elections secretariat to name a few.
When senior cops are transferred requests to take their 'golayas' with them is also
acceded to by Kodituwakku. For instance, last Monday October 22, PCD 34679 Jagath of
Nugegoda Division was transferred to Hatton to be the orderly of SP Samaradiwakara. In
similar vein, PCD 24488 Silva of FFHQ was transferred to Welikanda police in the
Polonnaruwa Division to be the orderly of ASP M. B. Angunawala.
The fact that the cops - or rather the chief of police - each time an election is held
in this country is partial to the ruling party is the root cause for enabling a conflict
situation whereby no matter which political party wins the election the opposition will
The police are yet to understand that the onus for holding a free and fair election
lies fairly and squarely on their shoulders. If the cops can muster the courage to stand
tall and not bow to political pressure it will nullify attempts by any politician to using
bullets in order to win a ballot.
Kodituwakku unfortunately has no shame or conscious. Two months ago, SSP Lalith
Gunasekera for the Ampara division suddenly received a transfer order from the IGP to
report to police headquarters. His order followed soon after he had prevented a gang of
Sinhalese thugs from inciting racial violence in Ampara after two Sinhalese persons
travelling in a lorry had been murdered purportedly by the LTTE at Akkaraipattu.
When SSP Gunasekera had contacted Kodituwakku to ask why he was being transferred -
Kodituwakku expressed equal surprise. "I did not know you had received a transfer
order," the police chief told the stunned SSP. What had happened in reality was that
the DIG for personnel at Police Headquarters, Victor Perera had enacted a political
request to transfer SSP Lalith Gunasekera out of the Ampara police division - and did not
bother to even consult or inform the IGP.
Since the IG Police continues to follow the dictates of his political masters it is no
small wonder that even his own men do not respect the uniform he sports as chief.
By the same yardstick, some 7000 teachers are being allegedly 'bribed' weeks before the
December 5, election. According to the UNP's media spokesman, Dr. Karunasena Kodittuwakku,
3280 acting principals have suddenly been promoted as principals and 3114 education
officers are to be absorbed into staff grades that will qualify them to serve as election
officers on December 5.
It is former Colombo district MP, Gamini Lokuge who unearthed this bid of 'bribery' by
The policy decision has been taken at cabinet level after the dissolution of parliament
and was presented not by the minister of education but by the minister for agriculture D.
M. Jayaratne, who also serves as General Secretary for the PA.
Meanwhile, Deputy Leader for the UNP, Karu Jayasuriya will seek legal redress against
state media institutions that continue to violate guidelines issued by the elections
commissioner. The commissioner has ordered that all print, broadcast and television media
and in particular the state media, must at all times during the period of this election
remain impartial to any political party.
'Right' must supersede 'evil'
Strict disciplinary action is to be initiated against any media institution that
chooses to ignore this ruling. Jayasuriya has already complained to the elections
commissioner that both the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting
Corporation are engaged in broadcasting and televising programmes that insult and make
false allegations against the main opposition United National Party.
The bottom line is this. The police chief, together with ruling ministers of the PA
government and some public officials are determined to win the December 5 election at any
cost. Thugs, bombs, and cops including the likes of Lohan Ratwatte will be part of a melee
that will be marked as one more election in Sri Lanka marred by political skullduggery and
mayhem. The likes of Mervyn and Kodituwakku will reign supreme - unless 'right' supersedes
'evil' and Sri Lankan's are given a chance - this time at least - to vote in a government
of their choice.
Remembering the Banda prerogative
We can walk with kings and not lose the common touch, can we not mon ami, you and I?
Oui Madame we can. We can also be humble when we really want to. Don't look so cross-eyed
dear, I'm referring to that little knee-grazing episode that went on betwixt you and
Bandula Gee when he hopped across. You know what they say don't you? The grass is always
greener on the other side. And if you ask any paradisian peasant, they will tell you that
there was an old wives tale that went something like this. Waasi paththata hoiiyya. Hurrah
for the winning side.
So you coaxed Bandu to have a little chitchat with you just like old times did you? you
wild thing. Promised him the heavens and earth. What can I say. A chip off the old
chopping block. Like mother like daughter. The old girl promised rice from the moon
(legend has it, she and Neil Armstrong were thick chums) and you promise the moon itself.
How I blushed with dismay dear, and wiped my hot and bedewed brow in a frenzy, when I
heard you had even invited the poor unsuspecting chappie for a cool cocktail and a bite of
devilled prawns on the beach. Did you think the night breeze pungently wafting through
your hair and playing havoc with his konday would seduce him into coming back? What a
little debauching minx you are. I am told on very good authority, (such good authority
that even when I hear hitherto unknown rumours about myself from this blighter I am
tempted to believe), that you coyly fluttered your eyelids and said you and he (Bandu not
my informant) were both so much alike and you two should go down to the beach and sort out
your differences (even though you too are so much alike) over a sip of Martini. Come to
think of it, you might have said drown your differences. I can't quite recall. But let me
tell you dearie that all you two seem to have in common is that you are both carbon-based
life forms. So are sheep.
I'm further advised that poor Bandu shivered momentarily before he was propelled out of
his socks and whizzing as far as he could from you. Even Susie could not have caught him
But to dear ole Bandu you had conceded many things in order to try and pry him loose
from the green grip. Admitting Ratwatte was corrupt but you had no choice but to appoint
him a minister again. It's funny dear how your executive powers wax when you need to
trample the paradisians, and wane like a wilting riceless moon when you have to use it
against an uncle. Priceless!
Have you relayed your feelings on uncle Hotgarden to the state media dear? Because the
last I heard, Mangy and the Noise have been hailing uncle as the hottest thing going, and
instead reviling SB and GL as the most corrupt.
But the professori is what Carl Gustav Jung might term a passive aggressive. He has
sent letters of demand whizzing hither and thither like from a tennis ball dispenser. He
is suing the state media and Mangy boy for a princely or should I say queenly sum of Rs. 2
billion. Good legal eagle that he is, the professori has advised Mangy not to dispose of
his assets whether they be bought with his credit card or otherwise, till the case is
over. What a bore for Mangy. Can't even throw out those dated silk scarves now.
But the Thomian professori will not stop there. He intends to beat his adversaries blue
black and blue. figuratively speaking of course. I have it again on good authority, that
the professori will be suing Lucifer.or was it Lucien and other eds personally. So Luci's
pipe will no doubt be bitten on a tad harder these days. No more will irresponsible
statements made by state media be paid off from public paradisian moneys. They will have
to fork it out themselves. Good thing too.
Poor chappies really. I feel quite sorry for them. Not only is the prospect of losing
their jobs looming before them, now, after the hustings defeat, they will have to be
endlessly in court having to pay the black courted vultures out of their own pockets. One
thing is surer than the sun setting darling. You Bandas will be nowhere in sight when the
going gets tough. That's what makes you so endearing to Thellie.
I'm also told you are back in the poster game. Boy. Someone must be making a packet out
of all this. So the posters are saying the crossovers took money to hop out. I'm wondering
dear, does the same principle hold true for mallo too?
I couldn't stop giggling in that girlishly charming way of mine darling, when I heard
that mallo accused bank defaulters of having paid the jumping beans. Hmmm! Refresh my
memory dear. Was it not mallo himself who recently delved into the fat purse of a
so-called bank defaulter by the name of Yes.Yasodara...no.Yasodha, and then funnily
enough, but don't hold your sides laughing, it was mallo himself who defaulted to pay back
But then defaulting on loans is a Banda prerogative no. One is not thrust into
seediness though one may often be born into it.