What’s cooking?
Posted on July 15th, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal appeared in a local television show preparing what looked like a broth the other day. She was assisted by no less a person than legendary Sri Lankan chef Publis, who has stirred culinary passion in many of his admirers, both local and foreign.

The culinary show and Biswal’s mission here reminded us of a story about a crafty youth who made a ‘nail soup’. On a rainy night, penniless and hungry, he approached a miserly woman living alone. He thought of outwitting her instead of resorting to coercion to dull his hunger pangs. Having introduced himself as a cook specialising in making ‘nail soup’ he succeeded in obtaining a nail and some water from her. Thereafter, he managed to persuade his curious host to give him some vegetables and meat besides salt and pepper by telling her those ingredients would make the nail soup tastier! Finally, he discarded the nail and enjoyed the soup while the poor woman was gnashing her teeth.

The resolution on Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC at the behest of Biswal’s bosses in Washington last year was a diplomatic nail soup of sorts. The US and its allies succeeded in obtaining what they needed from Sri Lanka to achieve their goal. Fears being expressed in some quarters that the war crimes mechanism to be set up will be anything but domestic are not unfounded. The participation of foreign judges cannot be wished away. Political leaders here may bellow rhetoric, but the fact remains that they are under pressure to do as they promised as a co-sponsor of the resolution at issue. This is exactly what British minister Hugo Swire and some UN panjandrums have reiterated recently. All of them are cranking up pressure on Colombo to honour its commitments.

Having sought to curry favour with the western bloc by co-sponsoring the UNHR resolution in question the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government finds itself in the soup politically.

True-blue rogues

SLFP General Secretary and Minister Duminda Dissanayake tells us his party won’t nominate those who have done time to contest the next local government elections. His statement may have warmed the cockles of many a heart. But, the problem is that many a pair of shoes is worn out between saying and doing where politicians are concerned.

Carefully vetting all candidates as well as weeding out bad eggs is half the battle in cleaning Sri Lankan politics. The problem of social undesirables entering politics has to be tackled at source. But, the question is whether the same rule should apply to prisoners of conscience as one of our readers argues in a letter to the editor today.

The SLFP should reveal what it is planning to do with the would-be candidates who deserve to be behind bars but are out thanks to their power and wealth. One of the main allegations against the Rajapaksa government was that it shielded anti-social elements of all sorts including rapists, especially in local government institutions. Sadly, it was reported last April that a Pradeshiya Sabha chairman who had allegedly deflowered scores of women in the South was among the organisers of the SLFP’s May Day rally in Galle! That politician remained above the law because he was in the good books of the leaders of the last government. Will the SLFP nominate such elements to contest the next LG polls?

The UNP accused a notorious politician from Kelaniya of mounting attacks on journalists and media institutions while he was a powerful minister in the Rajapaksa government. But, he has gone scot free to all intents and purposes. Thankfully, he was not allowed to contest the last parliamentary polls, but denying nominations is no substitute for bringing him to justice. The so-called good governance administration ought to explain why he has been spared. Is it because he is now pillorying his former bosses?

If the SLFP General Secretary thinks the discerning public will take his declaration seriously, he is mistaken. He represents a party which has made a mockery of people’s will by not only appointing several candidates rejected by the people to Parliament but also making them Cabinet ministers!

One Response to “What’s cooking?”

  1. NAK Says:

    Nisha and Tom are heading to Trincomalee…….to celebrate Sambanthan’s b’day….LOL!!!
    They are coming to get Trincomalee,not to make soup.

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