In Confidence
Posted on January 1st, 2011

Dr Bandula Kothalawala

Ma’am,

Oh, I must tell you what happened the other day. I was summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs. It was most hilarious. The learned Professor gave me a lecture or a sermon or a homily whatever -all rolled into one in Oxford prose! I could not bear it. No, no, not the accent. The accent was OK; it is the style, the vocabulary, gesticulations etc. He was really getting on my nerves”¦..

I must say I felt a bit embarrassed. I could not make out half of what he was saying.  It is his vocabulary, frankly. By the way, what does “mendacious” mean? (I had forgotten to take the pocket dictionary with me. Anyway, when I looked it up later, it was not in it.) I wonder if someone in the Office could mail a copy of the Oxford Dictionary to me, no, not to me, to the Embassy, I mean. It is going to be quite handy in dealing with the learned Professor!  Of course, there are on-line dictionaries, but, I am scared to look at the internet, these days. Do you have any news about our demarches on Julian? I can’t bother to spell his surname.  I have no doubt. Scans will oblige us. They were very good on rendition flights, weren’t they? The tricky bit is to get the guy out of London, I suppose.

It was so different with the other fellow (Bogolla), at least, I had no problem in understanding what he was saying. GL is an entirely different of kettle of fish. He goes on and on. Oh, my God! You can’t put in a word”¦ And the overbearing manner of almost talking down to people! You know, in Dacca, they, at least, show some respect for you, for your personality, for your country etc whatever they may say behind your back. To be honest, I was treated like a viceroy there.  I wonder how Rob tolerated all this here. It is totally different. They do not know what diplomacy means or do not seem to care to know”¦.

What was it like when you met GL? You did see him, didn’t you?

A very Happy New Year (without any leaks, I mean)!

Yours

Pat

PS  Did you know that Dr Hayes had to leave Colombo without a farewell call on the President? It seems the President did not want to see him again. It was odious. There you are!

Dr Bandula Kothalawala