Where are the Colombians?
Posted on January 21st, 2014

Gomin Dayasri

Colombians, it is alleged, are becoming Mahindians? -Those in a hurry for the curry; the fickle, the worms of Colombo, in the vision of authentic Colombians. Is it a divided caste within a class? Let’s dwell deep.

Exodus is not in hordes since most are made of sterner stuff ”with an abundance of true grit. If not for their strength of survival how is it to remain a lifetime loser, living on eternal hope alone?  Understandable, the promised regime change is like the revolution of the old left – permanently around the corner – takes fatal wrong turns, inviting periodic setbacks – it truly taxes the lasting powers of those synchronised for quick returns. Such cannot afford to linger on a shoestring for long. Come Geneva 2014! ” it might have to be export-oriented since the locals are not getting their act together.

Have to live and grin and bear the shame. Need not look afar – if a senior UNPer is progressing on a pilgrim’s path with a President on an official visit. Good Christians as blessed pilgrims never did cringe for state patronage to visit the Holy Land? – Righteous does it in good faith on their own, at their expense ” not as official baggage on a public jaunt. Is it the Opposition that sanctioned this sanctimonious act of piety as the pacemaker of an unholy alliance or is the culprit on a frolic on his own searching for god’s rich acre? Are today’s needy sent on pilgrimages abroad to accumulate merit to live better amongst those living amidst great hardship. Is such the quality of state sponsored Christian charity?

When many in society are booming purely because they have the right connections…why hibernate in a weary opposition when there is warm welcome beckoning? Overstayed in a  cold, inhospitable and arrogant climate. A reversing process needs a contact man, telephone call and a word to the correct ear for an audition ” of course the contact man is dumped when more prominent names come into the frame. In a climate where all are welcome with elections drawing near, the rush is on to an early bird phenomenon with limited plums in the basket.

It’s honey in the ear during the course of the cross-over, if it is loosely held out, that it is possible to accelerate the movement of another green politician to the blue column. Just hold out a false promise, it works wonders.

These new lads are more Alsatian-like than the old firm. They dance the jig to the tune of the Temple Trees orchestra. Face it – stranded in a world unknown and totally dependent for the bread and butter on Almighty they play ball to travel long.

Life is not cushioned in this fresh environ ” ostracized by old buddies whose company was congenial and affable. Now encounter the rough edges that need a show of tolerance if the desire is to survive and succeed. You got to be cherry with those in your book that ought to be loathed. Search for relatives whose philosophy was once deemed wonky because it was thought too radically left. Set table for a new set of diners at home, whose etiquette maybe weird. Forgo human rights for war crimes, take pride in night races to please the pups, invite the yako’s to the golf club, seek avenues to be a member in the diners club of prominent politicians, whose dinner service is often their operating theatre.

Don’t label my valued friend S.L. Gunasekera a racist; his vision is worth its value because it brings bulk votes of the urban middle class. He may sound a world apart but is closer to reality in modern trends. If you want to look a pretended moderate, mildly criticise fiscal policy to maintain a false equilibrium, without murmuring the names of Nivard or PB ” both are upfront in the big league. If you need to lash a government politician to enhance a mock image of impartiality, pick on simple Rajiv ” nobody’s love child, he is not taken seriously by the Ministry of External Affairs, to whom he offers garrulous advice, which as a matter of courtesy they should at least listen until it becomes unbearable.

Learn the words to join the chorus of popular Sinhala ditties sung at political parties; cut the clout for a moment if as a chairman of a blue chip consider it beneath to be heard humming a local tune: times have changed chum, in status symbols. If the need arises learn to eat dog food and enjoy it, if it is the filthy lucre you are searching for the old firm.

Greet Mervyn and Duminda as long lost friends and they sure would reciprocate with their accustomed charm ” treat them with respect: forget their past and eat your own words. Ensure the better half plays merry ball, though once she was high on principle, yet she is now a recipient too of freebies that needs a change in her style of dumb speech. Many a lady finds it easy being deaf and dumb, while enjoying the crumps. Let the good lady join the party substituting principle for plums. Fringe benefits availed will be the common talk among green-eyed friends and relatives – naturally they will ridicule behind backs and be charming upfront. Just laugh it off – who cares? So much is there in the year round hamper. With all the shortcomings, give all the luxuries in the world to the kids to cover ugly tracks.

Bear the embarrassment: face the hostility- survive and surface – its a bed of roses and pricks. Play the game of follow the leaders (emphasis is on the multiple), display servility and fawn, stand when you should sit and sit when you are beckoned, nod in agreement whether it meets with your approval or otherwise, talk less and listen more (they like being heard than listen to your worldly crap) and do as told. My boy, that is the secret of your success and soon you will overtake the party stalwarts of the venerable party. Old brooms are on exit route because they have ceased to be men of action. Deep down there is a complicated inferiority complex and in the search of sophistication, green is the attractive colour ”certainly it is not red.

Those are the thorny pricks but await the blooming rose that arrives with time. When the desired offering comes, grab it with both hands, convert the contract to the maximum: for they are too lazy to read the fine thin line or there is uneasy collusion by stealth, discovered belatedly by a lawyer in despair and its too late to rectify in covering tracks- so it stands hush, hush. There is no cause for panic for by now you are in bigger business or back with the greens with a giant bundle of green notes. Who cares…its public funds? Such cheat, not just the blues, greens and reds – but all the colours in the rainbow.

Just a passing note: Mention Lalit’s name at the drop of a hat to look hygienic, vaguely talk of jogging with Gamini Senarath to show you are going places and remember to send season’s greetings to Wimal and Champika in the vernacular-their votes count. Instead of a ‘Hi’ learn to say ‘Jayawewa’ with much passion.

6 Responses to “Where are the Colombians?”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “Colombians, it is alleged, are becoming Mahindians?”

    I think it is the other way round. Mahinda has become a Colombian.

  2. Nanda Says:

    “Bear the embarrassment” – The Golden Rule of the Evil. No Moral Fear (Hiri) and Moral Shame ( Oththappa).

    O’ my child , this is the society you gave your blood for ?

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    The article seeps with sarcasm of the unethical ways to reach wealth and power. It exudes the sense that in the city of Colombo ethics, moral behavior, the words of the Buddha, Darhma have no place in reaching these lofty goals and in reality they do not.
    The Coca Cola company inside wisdom states “how you look” comes first, then “who you know” comes second and finally “what you know” comes third. This I got from an executive of the world famous Coca Cola company. No where is moral ethic or Christian values even considered. Those who lead this nation many come from Ivy League universities where students and their families interact. In those universities and in many other high ranking places of education the Fraternity and the Sorority play a crucial cultural role where those who are heads in the business world to the politicians get there by those they know. It is a small club of the elite among us and if one wants to join that elite they have to do exactly what was stated in the article.

    The Panchatantra which is “certainly the most frequently translated literary product of India”, and these stories are among the most widely known in the world” contain in it the darker side of man and how to deal with it. “An early Western scholar who studied The Panchatantra was Dr. Johannes Hertel, who thought the book had a Machiavellian character. Similarly, Edgerton noted that “The so-called ‘morals’ of the stories have no bearing on morality; they are unmoral, and often immoral. They glorify shrewdness and practical wisdom, in the affairs of life, and especially of politics, of government” and “Indeed, the current scholarly debate regarding the intent and purpose of the ‘Pañcatantra’ — whether it supports unscrupulous Machiavellian politics or demands ethical conduct from those holding high office — underscores the rich ambiguity of the text.”

    To gain wealth and power seldom if ever has virtue and ethic played a crucial role in it. Be it the Vatican or Washington or Beijing or Colombo it is the darker side of man that triumphs in achieving these goals.

    To quote Machiavelli which was sighted in this article “He who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation.” and “Princes (or tyrants or those who are ambitious) who rise to power through their own skill and resources (their “virtue”) rather than luck tend to have a hard time rising to the top, but once they reach the top they are very secure in their position. This is because they effectively crush their opponents and earn great respect from everyone else. Because they are strong and more self-sufficient, they have to make fewer compromises with their allies.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    My thoughts too.

    “Colombo: Sri Lanka on Wednesday accused the US of trying to divide the country, as wished by the rebel Tamil Tigers, through its resolutions against it at the UN rights body.

    The US embassy in Colombo has proposed to the government fulfilling of conditions which will lead to their holding back of the upcoming resolution at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), said Wimal Weerawansa, the Housing Minister.

    “The US embassy has informed the government that they are willing to hold back the resolution if Sri Lanka took action to withdraw troops completely from the north, confer full police and land powers to the northern provincial council, stop settlement of Sinhalese in the north and removal of high security zones,” said Weerawansa, also the leader of the nationalist National Freedom Front.

    “This is the separatist agenda. The US wants to justify ethnic cleansing practiced by the LTTE in the north. This is why they want to stop settlement of Sinhalese. Tamils can live anywhere in this country but Sinhalese were chased out by the LTTE. It is clear now the aim of the resolution. They want to separate this country.”


    Actually it was NOT the LTTE that chased out Sinhalese. It was done by JAFFNA TAMIL PEOPLE in 1977. LTTE was UNHEARD OF in 1977. They are doing it now too!!

  5. Nanda Says:

    Not entirely true.
    LTTE may not have properly organised that time, but , 4 buggers
    1. Parayaharan
    2. Uma Maheshwaran ( a surveyor) and two others I cannot remember now were on “wanted list” the government around 1974-1976 period. I saw the pictures.
    By the way LTTE (Jaffna) = Jaffna Tamil People ( 95% + 5% Charles’s Tamil friends), so two arguments merge.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    Colombians are an offshoot and a product of Colonisation & the Cold War. Both are items are done, finished and over with. Colombians should now spend their time and energy on UNIFICATION OF SRI LANKA and not on the ‘divide & rule’ principle of the Brits. The ‘divide & rule’ times are gone, finito, kaput ! Now is the time to unify the City of Colombo with the Rural areas. That way, Colombians can regain their honor, not otherwise.

    The time has come to concentrate on upgrading Basic Needs (Food, Clothing, Shelter), clean air, WATER (eliminating CKD) and Food, a good Education for all geared toward jobs, job creation, environmental protection, clean diplomatic relations with foreign countries, honest media reporting, and a host of other issues. Yes, Colombians can regain a sense of pride in being Sri Lankans and their honor too. Picture this : A group of Colombians receiving Awards for exceptional Services to Sri Lanka ! What a day that would be – and it is a possibility too. They have only to use a bit of decency – it’s still somewhere inside each of them.

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