The knotty, the messy and the nutty
Posted on September 22nd, 2018

Laksiri Warnakula

We, Sri Lankans in a way are a lucky lot. There is always something to talk about, brag about and complain about (depending on whose side you are on). There is so much that is made to happen by the leaders of the country at any given moment of time that one can never be bored, despite the fact that often the said ‘so much’ is not for the benefit of the people. It is usually insignificant or mostly significant nonsense often based on hypocrisy, idiocy and what not (should I have added kleptocracy too here?).

Anyway, it is a mind-boggling kaleidoscope of a socio-economic landscape that keeps changing, which is also as picturesque and varied as the geographic landscape itself, where it is playing out.

For some time now, I have been keeping a closer eye than I usually do on what’s happening in the country. In other words, I have been spending a little more time than usual looking through that tube. And believe me it’s bewilderingly diverse and quite fascinating too. And I have opted not to include here the very fresh and the very hot such as the assassination plot leaving it for more comment by the concerned and investigation by the authorities.

I have for the sake of an orderly, albeit short, presentation, made them come under three different and short headings, even though this particular arrangement is just my personal preference.

There have been quite a few that could easily come under any of these headings. However, keeping brevity in mind, I have limited their number to a minimum and again I went along with my personal preferences, when selecting what I thought is relevant and would fit a particular heading best.

The knotty

The utterances by a Tamil woman-politician coming from the North invoking the spectre of a particular person (late), who was responsible for a 30-year old period of bloodshed and destruction in the country, made a huge uproar. It was, in spite of her subsequent statements, evident by its sheer diabolic audacity that there was hatred and malice behind what she said, directed towards the government and indirectly towards the Sinhala community. Understandably, the South, except very few, who saw it in a different light, reacted with equal venom, asking for justice and demanding legal action against her.

However, it seems that the legal actions and related issues are still being contemplated on, and we have to wait and see what is going to happen in the end, keeping in mind that here the government could be doing a very delicate balancing act.

I am not sure whether it’s because of the present governments’ customary strategy of procrastination, keeping things in limbo or letting them hang in mid-air going nowhere. Generally, it seems to like the idea of keeping sides involved in legal/political tussles or even other circumstances, in a state of anticipation, until time is ripe for it do whatever it thinks fit, politically correct and mostly politically and otherwise profitable at the same time.

Anyway, I tend to think that this is one among a few, a ‘knotty issue’, untying of which, will require legal and political dexterity and a fair amount of bravery too.

The messy

Listening to all the cacophony, bragging, propaganda, deafening noise and shouting that preceded it, I waited to see the day, when Colombo was going to be inundated; by people. I do not subscribe to any one individual political party or wing. I actually thought that it was a huge waste of productive labour and time that the organizers should have thought about, before putting country behind their political adventures, particularly at a time, when things are far away from being even marginally rosy for ordinary people of the country.

Yes. They came in considerable numbers, which I saw. However, they couldn’t conquer as they wished and they were nowhere near enough to fill and surround Colombo as planned, predicted and promised. Yet it still may have been big and loud enough to make the government sit still and give it some serious thought.

And I thought it was the end of it. I was wrong. The mess kicked off sometime during the course of that day. More than seventy people on their way to the rally became ill after drinking milk, distributed by certain people.

As usual speculations ran riot and that something had been intentionally added to the milk, an action aimed at sabotaging or disrupting the proceedings of the ‘Jana Balaya Kolombata’ rally, in a very dirty manner.

At first, I did not take much notice of it. Surely, at a time when chemical analysis is so developed with analytical instrumentation capable of detecting concentrations in such minute amounts as little as a one part per billion, you wouldn’t need equipment as complex as the ‘Large Hadron Collider’ to find out quickly, what was in that milk and how much of it, if something was there, which was not supposed to be there.

Then there was a lull with accusations flying to and fro, when the Milco chairman dropped a small bomb saying that the said milk was indeed spiked.

Now this would raise many an eye brow as this has never happened before. It is one thing to disagree with or not like the politically-motivated actions, and views of one’s political opponents, yet another to stoop down so low and act in such a disgusting manner.

It’s a very messy issue and the government needs to clear it quickly, bringing the culprits before the law, thereby cleansing its own name too and letting people know that punching below the belt is not one of their strategies or tactics, when facing opposing political manoeuvres.

The nutty

I am sure you have guessed it here. I have done a fair bit of flying on many an airline including Sri Lankan. And as for small snacks to nibble on, I was often given either peanuts or cashew nuts. Have I ever had any issue with them, irrespective of what airline I flew? Never. And trust me, I make sure that I eat all of what is in those smallish packets. And there were instances, when I asked for more.

Now it’s quite sad and in a way hilarious too, that this particular packet/packets of cashew offered to our president, who was on a homebound Sri Lankan flight, actually drove him nuts and to such an extent that he publicly said that even his dog wouldn’t eat it.

The clichéd saying apart, I am not sure whether the dogs are particularly fond of snacking on cashews. And on the other, had he said ‘even my parrot wouldn’t eat it’, it would have been a far more original remark and even a thought-provoking metaphor (a parrot’s green colour and its ability to mimic some words of human speech). Anyway, his point was clear.

There was something wrong with those cashews. Now apart from being in possession of cashews not suitable for human or presidential rather, consumption, what else is wrong with our national carrier? I am sure that those bad cashews gave our president enough food for thought in this regard.

Laksiri Warnakula


One Response to “The knotty, the messy and the nutty”

  1. Christie Says:

    Sri Lankan says the cashews were bought from Dubai.

    Looks like they grow cashews in green houses!

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