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One Year After The ‘Great Victory’

by Gamini Weerakoon

(June 14, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) One year after the ‘great victory’ two students of the Spoken English Diploma meet for a celebratory drink.

Pandang Pakshe: So-so, how-how? One year has come and gone and gone and come. Just like yesterday, no?

Vipaksha: Come and gone and gone and come? What for the telling. Lafin also comin, no? I don’t know whether I am coming or going. No job, no money. Hell of a joke no? Only patriots get jobs ah?

Pandang: Naturally traitors can’t be given jobs. Try to be a patriot like me.

Chinthanaya Only

Vipaksha: Aiyoo, don’t do bana talking. I went for English teachers’ interview and they asked me for a poem. I told them poem I learnt at ischool — Sir Walter Iscott on Patriotism. But they wanted modern poetry written by a professor on Mahinda Chinthanaya and they threw me out.
Pandang: So why don’t you learn the Mahinda Chinthana?

Vipaksha: Aiyoo, I learnt Bandaranaike Chinthanaya, Chandrika bakthi gee and now you tell me to learn this Chinthanaya? I am going to learn to play cricket.

Pandang: What cricket for you — not even pandu with pol pitthi bat and kadruru ball. How are you getting into a team?

Vipaksha: I bribed my son’s school coach to put my putha into team. He doesn’t know bat from ball but is in school First Eleven. The coach tells me that if I give him my motorcycle he will put me into the national team. Then I can go on playing as long as I want like Sonna boy.

Pandang: But what if they sack the coach because you can’t hold a bat or ball?

Vipaksha: Never mind, the coach says he will get the board or even the minister sacked if they sack me.

New Culture

Pandang: Good, now you realise the culture we are introducing. You can do anything and get away provided you are on the right side — the patriots’ side.

Vipasksha: Maara no? Horaage paradeesiya — Rogues paradise.

Pandang: But you still want to be English tuition master? Do you see a future in it?

Vipaksha: Of course I want to continue with my teaching. I also have ambition. I want to be a cabinet minister. Pandang, what do you want to be?

Pandang: I want to be ambassador. According for former minister Boggie only ‘appe minissu’ will be recruited. So I can have that shapely young thing in our diploma class as my secretary and yakko kollas in tuition class as diplomats.


Vipaksha: Why not some diplomats from the Foreign Ministry?

Pandang: Appoi no — not the potha peralanawa types. They will turn to ARS and FRs and say I can’t bring my landlord’s grand piano home as diplomatic luggage. Then what’s the use of being a diplomat?

Vipakshe: Now, one year has come and gone and one and come as they say. But have the people got?

Pandang: You are indeed a traitor. What have the people got? The biggest victory against terrorism in any part of the world. Why do you think they have been eating kiributh, kavuns and kokkis on the roads and lighting crackers the whole year round? What more do they want?

Vipaksha: But next year too are they going to eat and dance on the streets all year round?

Pandang: Now you are proving yourself to be a traitor. Does the president ask: What am I to do next year? He just celebrated his 40 years in politics and there will many more things for the people to celebrate with him. Life is a continuous celebration for the patriots.

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