Diplomatic dung and dirt bags
The internet and electronic mail are great
inventions. Tens of thousand, if not
millions, would surely like to shake the
hands of the people who made this possible
and say a big thank you.
On the negative side, these innovations have
opened up vistas for worldwide communication
as never before. Millions of emails criss-cross
the globe in milliseconds and the art of
letter writing has been discarded for a new
argot that would take a cipher expert to
unravel. It is no surprise that many people
can no longer communicate in language that
is not only intelligible but grammatically
and syntactically correct.
The anonymous kind
Into this world of cyberspace has crept in
the anonymous writers, those who hide their
identities behind fictitious names and place
names hoping that mud they throw will not
splatter them too. These emails find their
way even to persons and organisations the
writers do not know, simply on the premise
that the wider the audience the more widely
the mud would be spread and so better the
Cyber space is crawling with these smut-rakers
who are aided and abetted in their pursuits
by others who not only instigate the
wallowing in the sewers but also provide
more muck to fling at the targets while
remaining carefully hidden from public view.
So like all good things, these inventions
that have led to all kinds of websites and
blogs are being used by sewer rats to engage
in what they know best. Sri Lanka has never
been short of anonymous letter writers. They
have thrived on making allegations against
others often for very private, personal and
generally vindictive reasons.
If they wanted wider audiences they had to
pay, for letters had to be sent by post.
Electronic mail has come as a blessing for
the new breed of anonymous writers who can
now reach hundreds of addresses at the push
of button instead of licking two dozen
It was always expected that cyber space
would be invaded by the anonymous brigades
that seem to have little that is productive
and useful to offer.
The result is that such anonymous missiles
are bombarding not just cyberspace but media
offices and media persons.
It does not matter where you are, where the
writers come from or where the rot
originates. Nothing matters any more.
It was no surprise therefore when one of
those anonymous missiles landed in this
office. It seems that this anonymous letter
writing (and now email writing) has engulfed
out diplomatic service too.
The pity of it all, as Shakespeare said. It
is bad enough when all sorts of odd-bods are
being foisted on the foreign service in the
name of diplomacy and posted near and afar.
It is surely intolerable when it becomes the
arena for slanging matches and scurrilous
writings egged by those here in Colombo who
provide some of the raw material to those
that revel in this sort of pastime.
The public knows well enough how stories
concerning the foreign minister were planted
in the media by neatly spun tip-offs from
within his own ministry and other places.
The same whistle blowers planted stories
about themselves as the greatest gift to
diplomacy since Bismarck and Metternich.
Such egoists who survive by setting one
against the other and the poisoning of minds
could not continue long without being found
out. They have, but they still continue to
try and create problems within the current
crop of diplomats by trying to set the
career diplomats against those appointed by
the political leadership.
The latest such attempt is an article we
received called "Jackals Hounding Sri
Lanka's High Commissioner To London."
This piece is said to have been written by a
person called Deepak Sharma and has a New
Delhi dateline. It is supposedly a defence
of Sri Lanka's high commissioner in London
and an attack on our ambassador in Geneva
and other appointees.
Given a population of one billion, there
would no doubt be a Deepak Sharma somewhere
in India and perhaps many more by the same
name. Whether there is one in New Delhi I
But if the idiot who wrote this had a
semblance of journalistic sense he would
have asked himself an elementary question
before pinning a New Delhi dateline.
Why would anybody in New Delhi bother if our
high commissioner purchased a motor car or
rented property or our residence in London
was collapsing? Is there not enough
happening in New Delhi and the rest of India
to attract the attention of this so-called
Deepak Sharma without his having to drag the
sewers of London, Geneva and Colombo though
I dare say there are some who have been
imported to Colombo in recent years who do
stink to high heaven.
There are several things in that article
which would be known to a very few people.
For instance it says that Colombo was
bombarded with complaints against our
ambassador to Geneva over an article
published in a local newspaper.
In the know
This is not to defend our ambassador there.
He is quite capable of doing so himself
without any promptings by me. The question
is how did this so-called Sharma, supposedly
based in New Delhi, know about the
complaints which would only have been
available to the Foreign Ministry and how
would he know that the Israelis also
Does our Foreign Ministry in Colombo leak so
badly that it is felt in New Delhi? Or are
there really some RAW agents planted there
in our Colombo office who all receive copies
of transmissions from other countries?
If this was meant to be a defence of our
high commissioner in London it has done her
a disservice by resurrecting allegations
written by so-called journalists that should
remain buried forever.
But then who knows, the intention of this
article might be much more insidious than it
first appears. Perhaps the real intention
was to create friction in London and between
and among persons now serving in our
The devil does create work for idle hands.
Those mediocrities parading as intellectuals
temporarily ensconced in positions in
and sidelined after their incompetence and
invidiousness were discovered, are trying to
create splits. All because their writ has
ceased to run beyond the toilet!
Little to do
They have little to do but renew relations
with so-called journalists who also parade
as experts on terrorism. Those who
previously claimed that they had
single-handedly vanquished the LTTE in the
UK, had the pro-Tiger TRO banned and a host
of other acts of derring-do are now ready to
share the kudos with career diplomats. My,
my, how badly modesty sits on this man who
was heard in Colombo during a visit there
claiming to be consulted on terrorism by
several diplomatic missions in the UK.
What readers would like to know is the real
author of this piece that has done more
damage to our high commissioner in London
and our diplomatic missions elsewhere than
the LTTE could have done in a hundred years.
Reading this it would seem as though some of
this material was leaked from London. How is
it that some unknown Indian in New Delhi
knows that the high commissioner's husband
has threatened to file action against an
editor of a newspaper in Colombo and a
journalist in London over allegations of
trying to make commissions on property
transactions? Who but the London High
Commission and the Foreign Ministry would
know intimate details about the extensions
given to some London-based diplomats?
Yet the man in New Delhi does. Is it not an
attempt to show that the London High
Commission has leaked the information and so
discredit officials there while attacking
the ambassador in Geneva to create
While the leaks were intended to sow
dissension and animosity in the Sri Lankan
diaspora in the UK and among diplomatic
officials, we might have been spared such
garbage if some pretenders to journalism had
not written in the Sinhala press in Colombo
even more nonsensical stuff to settle
personal scores as it appears to us here.
There is a Sinhala saying "yana yaka koraha
bindegena yanne." Maybe the man was doing a
hatchet job for that Foreign Ministry chap
who is desperately looking for a diplomatic
appointment. Some say they are relatives and
that is why such glorified reports were
first written by this person who thinks he
is a journalist because he strings a couple
of sentences together.
The actual writer's name begins with a 'D'
but it is not Deepak. No, no it is not
Donkey though if he is mistaken for one it
would be fitting.