By Gamini Weerakoon
Reconciliation Guru Con Hathaway, specially flown down from London was on the podium lecturing on 3Rs for Reconciliation of the UNP and SLFP at a seminar conducted by the National Government.
Reconciliation does not come about naturally because you wish it. You should have read Tony Blair’s talk on 7 Points of Reconciliation in Colombo last week. Likewise it’s not easy for you of two parties who have been at each others throats for decades to kiss and make up, said Con the Guru to his audience.
The Guru held that there were many aspects that needed attention for reconciliation but he would stress only on three points.
The first was to realise the importance of the 3 Rs—not Reading, Writing and Arithmetic as taught in school. There was also the need to forget the 3 Rs that was compulsory learning for all Sri Lankans in the past decade : Rajapaksa, Rajapaksa and Rajapaksa. Of course there were many other minor Rs which were not really needed but knowing them helped.
As you know times have changed and now there are the New Three Rs— Ranil, Ravi and Royal.
Getting to the top
If you are a man or woman in a hurry and want to get to the top, don’t search for ladders or as lady teachers who climb the tallest building in school to get the principal to change his mind. Mug up the Three New Rs.
What about Maithri- I mean the president—doesn’t he count queried a Maithri loyalist from the audience.
A loyalist Royalist sprang to his feet and explained: Of course Maithri counts very much. Remember he too is a Royalist from Polonnaruwa. We Royalists make no distinction between Colombo Royalists and those from the provinces.
That is so agreed Thora Silva, also from the audience. How many Colombo Royalists can you have considering the fleets of school vans dashing to Colombo from outlandish places like Matugama, Attanagalla and Kegalle etc despite a so called Two mile residential rule? Scholarship examinations produce Royal results. But this Good Governance government has not been good at all.
Thora Silva continued: While the countrywide cry was to have good, honest , honourable and educated MPs, you kicked out a very honourable man who is by far the most educated: S.Thomas’, Rhodes Scholar, PhD Oxford, Visiting Fellow University of London and University of Cambridge, Vice Chancellor University of Colombo among many other qualifications. You kicked him out and welcomed GCE failed thugs who were kicked out by the electorate.
Guru Con Hathaway: Mr.Thora, You proved my point. He didn’t have one of the 3 Rs— Royal— so essential for reconciliation of estranged political parties. There would have been intra party quarrels. Being qualified is a distinct disadvantage. Aluthkade boys would have ganged up against the Oxford boy.
Loyal Royalist: Mr.Thora, you forgot to mention that he was a great player. He played all sides.—batted for Chandrika, Ranil and Mahinda. The professori spoilt his record giving private tuition to the Clown Prince and being kicked around by an unqualified Monitor. He deserved to be kicked out.
Thora Silva: But he still remains the most qualified even if all your qualifications are put together.
Con Hathaway : Forget old school rivalries.
The next essential factor for reconciliation is to avoid talking about ‘isms’. Forget about the: Colonialism, Communism, Socialism and Capitalism. These things promote divisions. The world too has forgotten about them with the end of the Cold War.
Eksath Magampura from the audience: What about Family Band-ism. That was the main target at elections. Even Maithri came out with all guns firing on Family Band-ism. It is also called Nepotism.
Guru Con: Well this kind of ‘ ism’ is spreading globally. There was President George H.W. Bush , followed by George W Bush and now the brother Jeb Bush is running from the family. There was Bill Clinton and now Hilary Clinton wants to be president, Fidel and Raul Castro; Nehru, Indira, Rajiv, Sonia and now Rahul, Zulficar Ali Bhutto and Benazir and of course our own Bandaranaikes…..
Magamapura: all that is nothing compared to our latest clan- Mahinda, Gota, Chamal, Basil Namal, Yoshita, cousin Amb. Udayanga in Moscow Cousin Amb. Jaliya in Washington, cousin Sashindra Basnayake Nilame of Kataragama Devale and Chief Minister Uva and many more to come.
Guru Con: My last point is to avoid lambasting the United States. Pandang Perera: Because of trade relations?
Con: Also that but more important is that many in the former Kitchen Cabinet held dual citizenship in the United States.I don’t know how many will be in the new cabinet but there got to be some. If you can creep into America and get dual citizenship you can creep anywhere. Besides I notice that there is a Dulles well up with the Rajapaksa clan .He may have ancestral relations there; there was John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State to President Eisenhower and his brother Alan Dulles, CIA Chief.
Pandang Perera: Not at all. He is not an American Dulles but a Matara Dallas Allahaperuma. St Servatius and Ananda but American resident as well.
Guru Con: My final advice is not to lambast America. It is the last refuge of the American bashers.