Toms, Dicks and Harrys
Posted on September 7th, 2019

Laksiri Warnakula

The other day, I was aimlessly browsing through the ‘YouTube’ going from one movie trailer to another and suddenly, there he was; Rowan Atkinson aka Mr Bean. I am a big fan of him and I thought at the time that I had seen all of his presentations that had come so far both on TV and also on silver screen. I was wrong.

And I struck gold. Mr Bean was delivering a eulogy to honour Tom, Dick and Harry, all of whom had perished together in an accident. Amidst my roaring laughter, which I found hard to stop, a little something was taking shape in my mind as I kept watching it.

Now, Tom was blind and he was also deaf. Tom had a great voice yet being both blind and deaf he didn’t know what hymn he was singing and people never knew what he was singing either. And then Tom actually didn’t know any hymns.

Leading Tom through darkness of life was Dick, who had a perfect eyesight and would lead Tom wherever he wanted to go. Unfortunately since Dick was also deaf he couldn’t hear where Tom wanted to go. However Dick never complained of his afflictions. Well he couldn’t because he was dumb too.

Then the duo had a permanent companionship with Harry, who could literally hear a pin drop. Yet being blind and dumb, he could not see to pick it up nor could he warn anyone else not to stand on it.  

And when they had returned from work in the evening, they all sat on the couch with Dick watching the television, Harry listening to the television and Tom insisting that it was time to buy a television.

There is a bit more to the above but this is enough to cover what I want to say about our own Toms Dicks and Harrys amongst those two hundred and twenty five from ‘Diyawannawa’.

Now our Toms, Dicks and Harrys constitute a no small number among those, who are inhabiting the palace in ‘Diyawannawa. Wouldn’t what they are good at fit in beautifully with the capabilities of late Tom, Dick and Harry of Mr Bean, in many ways, speaking metaphorically?

I am sure that it would be a very amusing and entertaining exercise to figure out as to who amongst them could fit into the shoes of each one of our late Tom, Dick and Harry?

Some of them say things without the faintest of idea about what they are saying, which they don’t know anything about, anyway.

Then there are some, who would attempt to lead, yet do not hear where others want to go. Then to make matters worse, they act as if they know where they are going, which they really don’t know. And they don’t tell the rest anything. So they all end up somewhere none of them want to be including the leaders themselves.

Now we have among them some, who could hear, but couldn’t see and then refuse to speak, so they wouldn’t say to others what and when to do something and what and when not to do another thing.

And lastly, referring to the scene, where the TDH trio were watching the television and poor blind and deaf Toms’ insistence that it was time to buy a TV, do you see any parallels with our own Toms from Diyawannawa? I am leaving it with you to find one, if not few. Though one thing should be kept in mind that our Toms including Dicks and Harrys, for that matter, are not as innocent and naïve as those of Mr Bean’s.

Now imagine a breathtaking and mind boggling spectacle; a tussle of a multitude of these Toms, Dicks and Harrys vying and wrestling for a seat in the grand buffet, engaging in all sorts of manoeuvres to outdo and outshine the others, something that puts them strictly apart from our late trio of T, D and H. After all these three were together till the end and tried their best to help one another, in spite of their afflictions, which they were not aware of.

The seventy-year long road is littered with the debris of our former Toms, Dicks and Harrys have created so far and then left. And their successors continue to follow the tradition, making the pile grow, high and higher.

Don’t we need a few, who could see, listen and have the voice to say courageously to all concerned as to what is wrong and what is right and act accordingly?

Some, who can and would clear the mammoth-size debris (no pun intended), the mega-size debts, once and for all, and begin to build the path to prosperity.

Laksiri Warnakula

7 Responses to “Toms, Dicks and Harrys”


    Like Laksiri and thousands of many others, I also enjoy Mr Bean. Laksiri’s skillful writing must be admired.
    Now let’s put some names familiar to our politicos, without any insult to each of them.
    Tom: Blind and Deaf, but had a Great Voice;
    Dick: Deaf and Dumb, but had a perfect Eye Sight
    Harry: Blind and Dumb, but had Super Hearing.

    Ranil cannot be either Dick or Harry, so Ranil who loves Democracy his own way.
    Chandrika can be either Tom or Harry, though Chandrika is partially Blind, she is NOT definitely Dumb, but may be Deaf;
    Maithreepala can be the Ideal Tom and he is our Executive President.

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Just watch this one , a very short one but explains what is going on in our country , compressed !

    GRATITUDE ! Is gratitude served by allowing to steal ? Not only Maha Bankuwa, MahaJana Bankuwa is also the same.
    Hemasiri Fernando , Sirisena’s ex-defence secretary is also trying to explain GRATITUDE.


    Many dicks here. Treating people as blind, deaf and dumb.

    Sri Lanka should completely STOP paying GRATITUDE to rich bastards.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    May be Tom, Dick and Harry are from the same family. Who knows.


    Hi Dilrook

    “May be Tom, Dick and Harry are from the same family. Who knows.”

    Clearly reading what wrote but not said, your wisdom identifies Rajapakse’s (not Bandaranaike’s) in the group of Tom/Dick/Harry.

    If Mahinda Rajapakse and Gota were: Deaf, Blind and Dumb, where will we find Sri Lanka today?

  5. Mario Perera Says:

    Dear Dr.Dissanayake,

    I am sorry to barge into a matter you are raising with Dilrook.

    I do not think anyone on this forum downgrades the political leadership given by the Rajapakses mentioned towards winning the war. The Rajapakses were hailed as royalty: Ayubowewa rajaneni was the theme of the day. I myself wrote a very emotional article on that subject. We recall the very patriotic speech delivered by Mahinda in parliament where he divided the nation into two categories: those who love and country and those who do not. all that was well and good and the Rajapakses rode the crest of the political wave at that time. But then, before long, the tide changed.

    In late 2009, when he was four years into his six-year term and hoping to capitalize on his popularity following victory over the Tamil Tigers, Rajapaksa called for a presidential election in early 2010. And what happened? HE LOST. To whom? To someone who was only a namesake within his party…and most of all, a man who betrayed him.

    The hard fact is that a man who reached the height of his popularity in 2009 was voted out of office in 2010. Is that not ASTOUNDING? The war winning president was ousted just one year after winning the war! He has gone down in local history as a one-term president!

    We are therefore obliged to distinguish the two vital traits he brought to the fore during that very brief period in office as President: fighter and ruler. He was successful as a ‘fighter’. He was considered a ‘FAILURE’ AS A RULER. His fighting qualities had to do with the armed forces. His ruler-ship qualities had to do with the people. The people who proclaimed infinite gratitude to him for giving political leadership to the army during the war, and wanted him enthroned, threw him out of office with revulsion while the memory of the war victory was still fresh in their minds.

    The stark lesson we must learn from this episode of the Rajapakses is that what ultimately counts for one elected to that high office is the quality of a RULER with feelings for his country and its people.

    The Rajapakses were not deaf, blind and dumb during those last stages of the war. But maybe the deafening sounds of that war made them so after. Going back to his speech in parliament referred to above, the people of Sri Lanka decided that he did not love the country enough to be elected for a second term.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  6. Dilrook Says:


    What I wrote relates to my experience of what happened to the nation after the war.

    Most Sri Lankans agreed with me.

    Arjuna won the world cup in 1996. We should have replaced him before the 1999 world cup. We failed. The team bounced back in 2003 under a new captain. Sadly we drive forward looking at the back through the mirror.

    The war ended in 2009 and there is no point fighting the same war. Today we have new challenges and we need new people capable of tackling these challenges. What worked in the war ‘pitch’ won’t bring wickets in today’s ‘pitch’.

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    Waiting for Sajith!

    Yesterday’s MUCH BALLEY-HOOED “DECISIVE” MEETING between Sajith and Ranil to decide who would be President (and who by default would be PM) was a TOTAL FLOP with NO “DECISION” albeit ending on a “GOOD NOTE”!

    From the looks of it, and despite the so-called “Good Note” on which it presumably ended, it seems to me NEITHER CAVED IN and the “decision” is very likely to keep UNP voters in LIMBO for another few weeks until the day before the Nominations need to be SUBMITTED!

    When quizzed, the STOCK ANSWER of the party leaders to media questions is that whatever the STATE of DEMOCRAZY in Sri Lanka is, DEMOCRAZY is ALIVE and WELL inside the UNP, and that is the reason for the delay! But we know, that the LONG KNIVES are OUT, and BITTER IN-FIGHTING is RAGING within the SiriKotha!

    Ranil Wikunanasinghe has a HUGE problem. His POWER BASE is the Leadership of the UNP; he DARE NOT GIVE THAT UP! So, if SAjith gets to be President, Ranil cannot cede the UNP Leadership to him as is usual. But, under the 19A which will come into full force in 2020, the Presidency will be reduced to a FIGUREHEAD position, with most of the EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY given to the PM. So, hanging onto the PM position will be better for the Maximum Leader Ranil! But, but, but, he hates the VERY IDEA of an pushy ambitious person like Sajith getting the TOP JOB of President even if it is TOOTHLESS, except for the thorny issue of Party Leadership going to the TOOTHLESS ONE!

    That is why Ranil, the Great Manipulator that he is, is again talking about getting rid of the PESKY Presidency recently. Then, as PM, he would have EVERYTHING: the PM post with its EXECUTIVE POWER and the Party Leadership, perhaps for LIFE! For Sri Lanka such a SCENARIO would be WORSE THAN DEATH!

    We who don’t think much of the UNPatriotic Party, its Maximum Leader Ranil Baba and wish he and the current Govt would FADE AWAY into the woodwork ASAP, give them our very BEST WISHES in keeping their INTERNAL DEMOCRAZY going in full swing, LONGER the BETTER, until they miss the Nominations BOAT ALTOGETHER!

    Ranil-Sajith talks end in a positive note
    Wed, Sep 11, 2019, 08:37 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 11, Colombo: The much awaited talks between the Leader of the United National Party (UNP) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Deputy Leader, Minister Sajith Premadasa, regarding the upcoming presidential election and the UNP candidate for the election ended in a positive note, the sources at the Prime Minister’s office said.

    UNP seniors, Ministers Kabir Hashim, Malik Samarawickrema, Ranjith Madduma Bandara and Rajitha Senaratne have participated in the discussion which started at around 9.30 pm Tuesday at the Temple Trees.

    Discussions have been held at length about the strategies to be used by the UNP for the presidential election and the ways to secure a win at the election forming an alliance regardless of who will be party’s candidate, according to sources.

    It has been asserted that the intention of everyone is to continue working as the United National Front (UNF).

    Speaking to the media after these discussions, Minister Sajith Premadasa said that a positive outcome would be obtained within a short period of time and several rounds of talks will be held in the next few days.

    “The talks with the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have been very cordial and positive regarding the candidate who is contesting for the forthcoming Presidential election. The Prime Minister was in a positive mood and was of the opinion that all issues can be resolved through discussions in the next few days.”

    The Minister also said that the future plans, strategies and programs of the UNP and the UNF with regards to upcoming elections had been discussed at the meeting and a positive result can be expected in the next few days. Minister Premadasa said he is positive about the future discussions.

    Premadasa assured that there were no issues within the party and if there were problems, it could be resolved through negotiations.

    He pointed out that the UNP has always operated as a party and that the decision should be taken in consultation with the working committee. He said he is confident about the upcoming presidential candidacy.

    The Minister said although some claim that there are two sides in the UNP as Sajith faction and Ranil faction, there are no factions in the UNP.

    Premadasa said he was ready to continue the discussions and also hold talks with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in the next few days.

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