Birthday Parties and being sent Home | Sunday Observer

Birthday Parties and being sent Home

Disgraceful is the adjective that comes to mind to describe parliamentary sittings of Wednesday 8 March. Other words crowd in – vulgarly unruly, hooligan-behaviour, uncivilized actions. One MP did stand up and declare that the public were paying for parliamentary sessions and time was not to be wasted on unruly behaviour. True. Our money goes towards all the expense of Parliament ranging from star class food to superb seats in air conditioned comfort, not forgetting all the perks enjoyed by those who sit in Parliament.

Old saws hold true

My mother, in her true blue Sinhala-ness used a particular expression on those who had to serve the mahagedera, but were tardy. Illness, bereavements were all taken into account and the person affected helped. Mother’s expression was towards the lazy ones or those who thought they had no allegiance to the mahagedera while sponging on its munificence.

They were given plots of land to live in, till and grow vegetables, plenty coconuts and rice from the mahagedera and financial help in times of need. So if a Banda or a Menika was lazy and did not pluck coconuts, weed the vegetable plots or boil the paddy of the mahagedera with energy and commitment, Mother would pronounce: “thela vadivela.” Literarily it means ‘increase in oil’. The deeper contextual meaning is that with too much of the good life, laziness and indifference had set in.

This is so absolutely true of many of the sitting Parliamentarians of today. Sir John said, the sacred precincts of Parliament had been invaded by arecanut pluckers. Menika says worse. The unemployed, the racketeer, the trickster, the perjurer, the money grabber, the necklace snatcher have all been voted in and sit in the August House not debating matters of importance but waiting for a chance to pitch into arguments in strong and vulgar language and move to the pit of the House to pick a fight. It is just this that was made to happen in Parliament on 8 March, the guilty instigators being the Joint Opposition in whose ranks are thugs of the worst order cheek by jowl with a professor of law no less, and a vociferous tuition master.

Now, what was the cause of this rumpus? A judgement made by the Hon Speaker (bless him) that Mr Wimal Weerawanse, leader of the UNF (or whatever party) could sit as an independent member and not of the UPFA, but was not considered a leader of a party. That was what this Johnny Come Lately aimed at, to enjoy privileges of party leaders in Parliament. So the Speaker gave his ruling, justified and according to the rules of Parliament. That had the suave Weerawanse springing up from his seat and actually shaking his fist at the Speaker.

You take a ruling made by the Speaker, even if it goes against you. You asked for being considered an independent, no longer a part of the UPFA, and you got it. So sit down! No. One voice pipes in that the Prime Minister wanted Weerawanse accorded his wish of his status in Parliament being that of an independent member. Ranil W rose up and said yes to this, but that he did not voice a yes to his being accorded party leader status.

The Speaker read out from the rules governing Parliamentary sittings and suspended MP Dinesh Gunewardena for one week from Parliamentary sittings. Take it like a man Dinesh, you of good breeding, fine family and education. Don’t act like the thugs you sit with in the August House by the Diyawanne. We well know the truth of the saying that when you lie with dogs with fleas on them, you catch the fleas. But surely Dinesh, you can immunize yourself from the human fleas that can infect you. You should use your fine, respected family background and education in a decent school that should place you apart from the thugs who have been voted in.

The gods protect the Speaker

Sympathy of this woman, and all other sane people in Sri Lanka, (there still remain a number though fast declining to a minority) was with the Speaker. Poor, poor Gentleman Karu; having to deal with rot like this. He was very ill fairly recently. We don’t want the thugs and rabble-rousers, instigated by a certain person who stays safe holding meetings in temple premises and increasing his popularity with the riff raff of the country, to affect Mr Karu Jayasuriya’s health. Menika can bet her last seli valaluwa that when the Speaker went home, disgusted with humanity probably and surely fatigued, his medical doctor wife would have told him to give it up. You cannot work with thugs, she may have pleaded. But, take courage Honoured Sir, look at persons like Eran, Harsha, Ranjan, Thalata who sit with the flea-loused, but yet, remain honourable. Ranil remains cool. Be Speaker for the sake of the thousands of Sri Lankans who still are decent and admirers of decent behaviour.

Birthday party in Parliament!!

The bottom or core or focus of the rumpus on 8 March in Parliament while university students, spurred on probably by politicians marched to Fort, was/is no other than sleek Wimal Wee. And what else did he do on that day apart from pointing a fist at the Speaker and shouting his guts out? Why, he enjoyed his birthday. In Parliament no less, flanked by the ex Prez, Mahinda R, tuition master Bandula G and lovey dovey wifey and sweet daughter.

This cat’s innards protested and churned uncomfortably as she watched the Birthday Accused give bites off a piece of cake first to Sashi, then to the daughter, and Mahinda and others. Eek! Chik! How to eat what others have bitten into! This is a disgusting habit that has come to us from the decadent west, this feline presumes, and followed by such die hard nationalists as Wimal Wee who laid down his life for the country, armed with Lemon Puff, at the gates of the UN in Baudhaloka Mawatha trying to look parched and starved until the glass of tambili was held to him by the President of the Land.

What a stage managed piece of Theatre of the Absurd that was. It was also a bit of a Becket play to have these hardy nationalists who do not want our national anthem sung in Tamil, to sing vociferously “Happy Birthday, dear Wimal!!” To cap it all: the birthday cake was adorned with an icing-sugar-and-cream pair of handcuffs. This feline’s birthday wish is that the manacles be lifelong!

- Menika 

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