A slap in the face of Mother Lanka
My Dear Chris,
I thought I must write to you because, in the last few weeks, your name has been in the headlines virtually every day although very few people had heard of you before that. Ah, what fame a mere slap in the face can bring, even though it is in fact a slap in the face for the whole country!
There are those who wonder what you were doing as our representative in London, when you were in fact a medical doctor and not a career diplomat of the Foreign Service. That is hardly surprising though, because diplomats are now foreign to our Foreign Service which is more of a Family Service.
I am told the reason for your being our representative in London is because Professor Geneva Losing picked you for the job. I am not blaming you for that, of course, but I am not sure why that chap is allowed to make such choices, because whoever he picks ends up embarrassing all concerned!
Why, remember how he picked a young lady who was in his department when he was in the university and placed her on the bench of the Supreme Court? It all went well for a while until she wanted to be independent and was quickly sent home-what a disaster that turned out to be!
Chris, we are now told that there would be an ‘inquiry’ into this ‘slapping’ incident. I am not quite sure what this inquiry is supposed to find out because no one has ever denied you were slapped. So, its only task will probably be to find out whether slapping you was justified and that got me thinking.
I am sure that Vass chap will come up with one excuse or another. And believe me, there are a few tried and trusted excuses that he will try to offer and I want to warn you about them, so that you can be prepared. Unfortunately though, most of these excuses are likely to work against you.
The most famous among them is the ‘Mervyn’ excuse. It may be suggested that you slapped yourself, all as part of a performance to educate the Sri Lankan public, probably on how diplomacy or foreign relations work. Mervyn is still a minister after all that, so don’t expect this Vass chap to lose his job.
They may also offer the ‘Malaka’ excuse. In this, what matters is not whether you were assaulted or not, but whether you were supposed to be there. Already, we have heard Keheliya tell us that you had ‘gate-crashed’ that party in New York. Very soon, they may call explanations from you for that!
We also have the less complicated ‘Duminda’ excuse. This might be popular because it is one used by ‘monitoring’ MPs. That Vass chap may say ‘mata mathaka nehe’ and we all accept that and carry on as if nothing happened. This may be favoured because Vass was also in ‘high spirits’ at the time.
Then there is the ‘Hambantota Mayor’s’ excuse. Despite all the drama, Chris, it will be said that you were slapped with a toy hand and that it was in good faith with no intention of hurting you. I know that this is slightly far-fetched but believe me, in this Paradise of ours, even this works.
There is a more complicated version of this and that is the ‘Rishard’ excuse. In this, it can be said that although that Vass chap is alleged to have slapped you, it was not his fault because someone else used his hand to slap you without his knowledge. It worked well for Rishard, so it could work for Vass too.
And finally, there is the ‘Ramith’ defence. Who knows, medical experts will be summoned to testify that Vass was sleep walking at the time of the incident and that is why he didn’t know what he was doing. If there are cricketers who sleep walk, why can’t there be monitoring MPs who sleep walk?
Chris, I know that you have resigned already but you can rest assured that your place in history is now assured-as the country’s first diplomat to be slapped. Why, Professor Geneva Losing, in his inimitable way, might even say that this shows how much our Foreign Service allows freedom of expression!
PS- Thinking of the ‘Duminda’ excuse, Chris, I think you missed a trick there by resigning. You should have used the Hirunika method: you talk loudly to the media for a few months about seeking justice for yourself and how there is no law and order in this ‘system’ but lo and behold, before you know it, you could be a provincial councillor and singing Mahinda maama’s praises and talking about how he has been like a father to you!