World Affairs







 This is Paradise


When patriots go marching in

All right don't laugh now. But who said this and when:

"The JVP is a party which is committed to protect our motherland. They have always proved their genuine desire to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country. Their decision to abstain from voting would enable the government to continue its drive to eradicate terrorism."

Right, so who said it? Mahinda Rajapakse? Basil Rajapakse? Gotabaya Rajapakse? Chamal Rajapakse? Karu Jayasuriya? Mahinda Wijesekera? Rajitha "dathbeheth" Senaratne? Dominic Chilcott? Keheliya Rambukwella? Wijedasa Rajapakshe? Lakshman Hulugalle? Pirapaharan? Colonel Karuna? Ranil Wickremesinghe? Mangala Samaraweera? SLMM? UNICEF?...

Come on make a guess? You are not going to lose your annual bonus, which anyway will be lost even before you could count it given the great economic boom this country is seeing under the Chinthanaya.

Even the tax men will not be able to get their hands on it, only because they already have their hands full of the VAT billions, thanks to the convoluted cover up that is going on.

They won't be able to lay their hands on this year's bonus because it will all end up in the grocery shops and vegetable boutiques. The months and months of high inflation the likes of which this country has not seen in a couple of decades at least if not in living memory, would have seen to all that.

One can quite understand your reluctance to place a wager on who it was who uttered these famous words which should surely go down with some of the memorable sayings of George W. Bush and our own Udurawana if all those stories floating around even recently about the man from Kandy, are true.

Okay, so you won't bet even your Christmas stocking on it. I quite understand why. So instead of keeping you readers on the edge of your seat and biting your nails to the bone, here is the answer.

Load of rubbish

It is that government-run newspaper called The Sunday Observer which said this in an editorial headlined "Victory for patriotic forces."

If you believe this rubbish you'll believe anything, even Santa Claus stocking up your stockings with goodies from a reindeer-drawn sledge or that Mervyn Silva qualified for a doctorate from an internationally-renowned university.

Is this the same JVP that in 1971 launched an armed insurrection against the then newly elected government of the present governing party? Those too young to remember or were not born at the time might be hoodwinked into thinking that the JVP is a 'great patriotic party' just because it abstained from voting at the third reading of the budget a few days ago.

If it was so very patriotic why did it not vote for the budget and be done with it instead of looking the other way when it came to the vote? What kind of cardboard patriots are these that did not have the guts to vote for this government?

That was the question being discussed one day last week when I walked into Paradise Club, our favourite watering hole down Duplication Road functioning nicely under the overlordship of Siribiris.

Thank heaven there are no Mala Keli Silvas and other assorted hooligans to disrupt and corrupt the orderly working Paradise Club where only the decent meet though some rather indecent types might mistakenly enter that place.

"I say chaps. How the hell can they call the JVP patriotic? Aren't these the fellows who killed policemen and our ill-prepared soldiers way back in 1971?" asked Kelly Kankendiri of a Californian think-tank in Colombo working on a thesis on youth unrest and violence.

"Not only in 1971. JVPers also killed policemen, soldiers and public figures in those three terrible years from 1987. If this was the work of patriots, no wonder somebody said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels," added Pandu Pusvedilla of the Notorious Peace Committee.

"Exactement, if you don't mind my resorting to the French," said Puli Pachch-athanni, the poet laureate of Pungodativu.

"The JVP which called themselves Marxists and looked to the communist nations outside for inspiration suddenly did a somersault and turned nationalist, actually ultra-nationalist because of the presence of Indian troops in our north. If the stupid JVP had not agitated and sown anarchy in the country, the Indians would have ultimately dealt with the LTTE and we would not have had this problem. I should know for I was in Jaffna during those years."

"If the JVP had allowed the Indians to battle the LTTE, eventually India with its superior forces would have prevailed; the JVP would not have to keep on shouting today about terrorism and egging the government to continue this war.

JVP's patriotism

Such is its 'patriotism' that the JVP during two periods of sheer anarchy and mayhem not only killed many in our security forces but are now screaming for war so that others can kill our soldiers this time."

"I think you chaps are being unusually hard on the JVP. They are patriots indeed," intervened Dr. Ananda (Andy to the foreign NGOs) Ansabage coming to the defence of those that some call the Rathu Sahodarayas.

"Don't you chaps worry. Very soon the JVP will be marching to the frontlines, to the forward defence lines as these defence- types call them, and challenging the LTTE to come and fight them. Just imagine this scenario, Somawansa Amarasinghe and Velupillai Pirapaharan in hand to hand combat. If they can find two elephants then it would be a re-enactment of the Dutugemunu-Elara battle. What a glorious tale to tell your grand children.

"How the leader of the patriotic Sinhala adventurists who led two failed insurrections did battle to slay the terrorist leader. How the mighty lion prevailed over the sly tiger. How the leader of one terrorist group that killed our soldiers defeated another terrorist leader who also kills our soldiers. What a story."

"Maybe those young journalistic pups who run the Sunday Observer, should read what their own newspaper said in the late 1980s about the JVP, how it called them killers and anarchists. At least those were the less abusive words by that newspaper then," said Kesara Kasalagoda, Royal College and SSC.

New tune

"But today is today and Pandangkumara's boys have changed their tune because now they dance to the Chinthana band," argued Andy.

"Then Andy, could you tell us something," asked Kandiah (call me Ken) Vinasapathi, a veteran of the former Civil Service. "If the JVP is now called patriots by the "Voice of Government" why did the JVP vote against the budget at the second reading? And why did the patriotic JVP abstain at the third reading? Weren't those unpatriotic things to do, not supporting the Chinthana budget?"

"Never question the dialectical tactics of Marxists turned nationalists," Dr. Andy Ansabage argued.

"Never question JVP leaders who run away to the safety of England perhaps believing in that old saying that those who fight and run away live to fight another day," added poet Puli Pachchathanni.

"Why, who ran away to old Blighty?" asked Mabel Manasgathe.

"Why Maby baby, didn't you know? It is Soma the weeraya, the JVP leader," said Hamid "Fast Cash" Mansoor, Colombo's casinopathi bursting into laughter.

"Lets drink to all our patriots. May they and their kind prosper even more in this coming year and may they fill our hearts with sadness and their pockets with 20 per cent commissions," said Ravi Rate Veda as they all broke into song to the tune of When The Saints Go Marching In.

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