It seems like the Sinhala and Hindu New Year has brought us yet another re-creation of that hallowed ‘Western’ (as in ‘Wild West’) tradition: the circling of the wagons as ‘the Injuns’ come hollering down upon us in yet another attempt to destroy “2500 years of …..” This installment is provoked by a panel appointed by the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), Ban Ki Moon, issuing a report on the final days of the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), with specific reference to the matter of contravention of internationally-accepted protocols in conflict, and human rights abuses.
The narrative has taken a strange turn at its very inception with the first installment being information leaked to an English language newspaper controlled by the brother of a senior cabinet minister. Considering that the report has only passed from the three-person Committee to Ban Ki Moon and the Sri Lanka government at this point, one could surmise that, for reasons best known to him, the South Korean UNSG chose to leak the information to a newspaper with an acknowledged connection to the government. If one were to subscribe to this line of reasoning one could, legitimately, be accused of subscribing also to the (racist) belief that “Strange are the convolutions of the Korean mind!” There is also the possibility that you are that rarity: an Inuit searching desperately for a fridge!
Of course, no one in his or her right mind (or with a well-developed sense of self-preservation) would ever suggest that this could be a ploy of our government of a thousand ministers to stir the pot with that genius of public pronouncements, Keheliya Rambukwella, waiting in the wings to let fly with a stinging post-New Year denunciation of the UNSG who he will accuse of the worst kind of conniving to ‘do in’ what our Sixth Volume of the Mahavamsa will soon proclaim as our ‘Government of a Thousand Geniuses.’
This could be the cue for our Prince of Farces Unto Death to emerge out of a very brief retirement. That gentleman, after a stop of adequate duration to ensure he is appropriately coiffed for the occasion, will descend upon the United Nations offices in Colombo and assume a reclining position in a tent constructed of material befitting his rank as one of the primary sycophants at the Sri Lankan court. Of course, a saline drip will be appropriately concealed on the premises to ensure that our hero’s health is in no way jeopardized. Bulletins will be issued to the Western world from the city of lights, with the names of people of alleged eminence ‘dropped’ therein.
Most of these will not be known to students of international affairs. However, interspersed among these hortatory proclamations (a word preferred by this individual) will be some familiar names with, perhaps, a passing reference to a ‘snort’ from the late Lakshman Kadirgamar’s (presumably Cuban) “Rum Bothalay.”
Sri Lanka’s answer to the Capuchin Monks will traipse off to the studios of our captive radio/television stations and with an appropriately Oxonian inflection, deliver his Katay-Pittu oration while all the tame seals that comprise the ‘listening public’ of these Goebbelsian operations act as an open-mouthed audience.
The ‘Citizens Concerned About Human Rights but Not to the Point of Taking Any Risks’ will issue a statement. This will say something to the effect that they are all loyal Sri Lankans who will, unto their last breath, defend the honour of our country and proclaim, one more time, their belief in the munificence and sense of justice of Our Ruler on whom they will continue to depend for peace, goodwill, good governance and the rule of law to prevail in our land.
We will, again place in ‘protective custody’ those doctors who served in LTTE-controlled territory until the terrorists’ last redoubt was overrun by our security forces and, after providing them with adequate time to reflect on the history of that time and the time following when they were first clasped to the bosom of the government, have them brought before the television cameras to tell the world exactly what transpired before they were freed by the forces of then-General Sarath Fonseka.
The Oxford English Dictionary will be revised to ensure that its definition of ‘combatants’ is in line with that of our government’s spokespersons.
The toileting habits of the Indonesian, South African and U.S. citizens who served on Ban Ki Moon’s panel will be researched and, irrespective of the outcome, our current Prime Minister will read from the script used by his predecessor at the time he expressed the opinion that we, Sri Lankans, have no business listening to those who do not wash their behinds.
The Jathika Hela Urumeeyas will issue a stentorian appeal to all of us to come to the defence of Sri Lanka. They will organise a rally ‘In Defence of the Motherland.’ The parade will be led by S. L. Gunasekera, Gunadasa Amerasekera and Nalin de Silva. Such a demonstration of rational, Mathata-Thitha persons with the added ability to end sentences with a multiplicity of exclamation marks should easily convince the rest of the world (that part of the universe to the North of the Bentara Ganga) that they have always epitomised civility, peace and goodwill to all communities. In recognition of their contributions to the same precepts during very difficult times, “K.P”, Pillayan and Karuna Amman will be offered front row seats at all events organised by this group.
If there is still any lingering doubt about where the path of national reconciliation is headed, The Hon., Dr., Prof. Tissa Vitharana will, once again, proclaim the government’s commitment to delivering the ‘13th Amendment Plus.’ This proclamation will be carried in Cinemascope and digital stereo to all corners of the world.
As for the United Nations, its Secretary General and its constituent nations in the West, they will, once again, prove why they have been accused of being a ‘tut-tut brigade’ as they continue to stumble around, mouthing platitudes about human rights, rules of engagement etc., none of which will amount to the proverbial hill of beans as far as any sane person is concerned. This charade will continue until the dust has settled on this issue.
To bring closure to this process, we will apply to the Guinness Book of World Records for recognition as the nation first able to recreate 1984 in the 21st century.
If all of this proves anything, it is that, as Karl Marx said “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce” and to spend time trying to make sense of any of this is a monumental waste of time, the management of the circus being best left to the clowns!
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