WELCOME TO THE LAND OF
Welcome to the land of the inane, repetitious
criticism. Says a statement issued by the Opposition that Sri
Lankan newspaper editors should have walked out of the breakfast
meeting with the President last week, no sooner had the
Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) members walked in, and
taken their seats.
This is the same Opposition which did NOT say that reporters
should have walked out when the Chief Justice’s backers -- a
motley team of lawyers – met the press and purported to state
what transpired at the Parliamentary Select Committee sessions
investigating the Chief Justice.
How many times do we have to say this -- unfortunately to the
point where it sounds so much threadbare and cliche like --- but
what is sauce for the goose, certainly isn’t sauce for the
gander these days, is it …?
The media, as per the sage wisdom of the Sri Lankan
Opposition, is to fold their laptops, cap their pens and show
their backs to the President and his Ministers when they are
talking about the PSC sessions and what allegedly transpired
when these sessions were ongoing, but they are supposed to be at
the edges of their seats, crane their necks, put their tongues
out and be all ears when the other side speaks about what
happened at these same proceedings?
The only thing being left unsaid here in the Opposition
statement, being that the media persons and editors should have
leant over, and licked the members of the Opposition --- let us
say for the sake of making this printable -- on their shins …?
There was the other recent criticism that the Colombo night
races disrupt community life, and should not be held because, as
for cricket, little children could play with bat and rubber
ball, but they just cannot play with toy racing cars!
If there is going to be a case made against the tourist
friendly policies of these times with such incisive and
intellectually stimulating criticism such as the one made above,
perhaps its time the Ministry of Power and Energy recognized a
new energy source. Hot air would probably beat thermal energy
anytime, particularly, these days, in terms of supply.
The criticism being about community life being disrupted with
roads being closed, perhaps the community life being spoken of
here must be the bar-hopping peripatetic night lives of the
Colombo NGO jet set. Apart from these people in the main, it is
a good question which community is being inconvenienced by the
closure of say Galle Face Centre Road, and perhaps one access
Certainly it’s not the vast majority of the suburban or rural
working classes that are inconvenienced by the closure of one or
two thoroughfares in the glamorous five star hotel sector of
Colombo. By the time the roads are closed for the races, the
Colombo working classes, the few there are actually working in
these chic districts, have boarded their buses and gone home
So it’s obvious which community’s inconvenience the critics
are so excruciatingly worried about. It’s the glitter set’s
little cosy coffee table chats that are being disrupted. That
certainly must be a profound calamity if you are earning
top-dollar in the NGO circuit and are losing the opportunity of
losing those dollars at the most glamorous five star addresses
in town …
Also forgotten is the fact that in the remembered past
(remembered by us) some of these roads were closed, particularly
during the administration of Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
-- that most learned and fashion conscious denizen of the
Colombo NGO critic set. The wag’s favorite description of
Kumaratunga’s time in office used to be ‘Colombo is closed,’
something of a tourist slogan those days.
In perpetuity, that is. From this, the current administration
turned Colombo into a bustling, 24/7, 365 day peaceful Mecca for
tourism, night life and cultural pursuits.
But then, two of Colombo’s chic district streets are closed
off for a night or two for races that are tourist magnets that
also put the city on the thrill-seekers map, therefore bringing
in bucks from high-spenders, and Colombo’s rigid intelligentsia
goes from mental rigour mortis to absolute rictus.
Their world ends, because while the event passes under the
radar of the larger Sri Lankan populous in their rural or
suburban dwellings far from Colombo’s chic district that go
about their daily and nightly lives regardless, these poor NGO
liberals have missed their nightly tipple. Ah, the pity of it.