Pig flu makes the Tigers eat grass

By Dushy Ranetunge in London

(April 29, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) On the morning of Saturday the 25th of April, the BBC world service telephoned me. A vehicle was on its way to provide transport to Bush House, in Aldwych.

Aldwych had many memories. It was the sight of my old haunt, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The small café adjoining the main entrance had the meanest toasted egg and bacon sandwiches in town and many a coup were plotted on those tables.

Aldwych is also the location of the Indian High Commission. This was where Nehru was beheaded recently, allegedly by an agitated bunch of flag waving protestors, some jumping in protest into that vast and ancient sewer known as the Thames River, because their team was losing back home. "Going back to your roots" has new gravitas.

Amidst the waving of the team flags, which is proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000, and adjusting the team scarf, they would whisper into their mobiles, checking the score, back home. It was not looking good. Two top players of the team, the Geneva veteran George and Daya, the masterful one, had surrendered. Winston Churchill looked on disapprovingly, as the Tigers ate grass at Westminster.

Sitting next to me in the broadcast room of the BBC World Service News Hour program was Simon Hughes MP. He was upset that he has been branded a Tiger supporter and prevented from entering Sri Lanka. "I am not a Tiger supporter" he said. "I am for the Tamils". The BBC presenter inquired if electoral compulsions were resulting in him being manipulated. The answer was, "yes".

Simon disclosed that he had just returned from Washington, and that they were pushing the Sri Lankan issue to become the top international issue in the World. There was talk of how the Sri Lankan issue was being discussed more and more in the corridors of power of the world’s capitals. They wanted a ceasefire and peace talks - on humanitarian grounds of course.

It all seemed to going Simon’s way, when some Mexican pigs entered into the fray. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly cause outbreaks of influenza among pigs. They go on to say that Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. Well to the disappointment to the Tigers eating grass at Westminster, Swine flu was sweeping up from Mexico at an alarming rate and 60 people had already died within a few days.

Alarm bells were ringing in the corridors of power. It has become the top story. To wear or not to wear facemasks is the question.

In 2007, during a Terrorism seminar at the Lloyds Building in the City of London, Sir Richard Mottram from the cabinet office stated that their risk assessments have determined that terrorism is not the biggest risk to Britain. The biggest risk is pandemic influenza, which could result in 700,000 deaths and cost 2% of GDP. Sir Richard Mottram was until 2007 the Permanent Secretary, Intelligence, Security and Resilience in the Cabinet Office.

The Western powers are scrambling to avert their worst nightmare from coming true. Pig flu has hit the fan.
-Sri Lanka Guardian