| by Pearl Thevanayagam

(March 21, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) If there is one person among the ten guests I would mostly love to have at my dinner table is Minister Dr Mervyn Silva. I love that endearing rascal and cherish his utterances. He lights up my day when I become too serious and worry about the state of the world, poverty of the majority at the expense of partying politicians, the injustices caused to those who cannot speak for themselves, violence against women and a host of other ills that has blighted this nation since the Rajapaksa government took over.

He is the archetypical court jester who can peddle drugs while fighting for temperance. Just as much as A.J. Ranasinghe vowed to drink slipper soup from Premadasa, our Mervyn wants Namal Rajapaksa to take over the mantle of the king when Mahinda kicks the bucket. We all live in hope.

Only Mervyn can get away with his escapades of tying dissenters to trees and vowing to bar bootleggers selling liquor in his enclave of Kelaniya, forcing one and all be they Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists or homosexuals and lesbians to observe Sil on Poya Days and by forever coming to the defence of his beloved President when the opposition lambaste him with vitriolic.

Mentally I am preparing for the day I come to my beloved country and extending an invitation to this honourable minister who is the bulwark of democracy and patriotism. I plan to engage my neighbour Mrs Lankage at John Keells Housing Complex to prepare with military precision Dr Mervyn Silva’s dietary requirements to the strictest code of epicurean taste.

Kola kanda for starters, hath mallung, rathu hal buth (washed just once so as not to lose the vitamins), bathappu velichcha miris, ala thel dhala (thel should be freshly extracted from coconut milk and not that BCC rubbish), lunu miris, lunu dehi, dhel white curry marinated in coconut milk, mustard, garlic, ginger and black pepper with fresh green chillies, Jaffna red onions (perhaps this not a good idea since the LTTE might have poisoned them so the ordinary Bombay onions) and karapincha. As Mrs Lankage hails from Matara she could despatch her husband Somatunga there to bring back meekiri and kitul pani for afters.

Cor blimey, I am drooling over this exotic menu since I have only had cheese on toast so far. Move over Publis of Mount Lavinia Hotel.

Now should Dr Mervyn Silva accept my invitation I promise to show my camaraderie by tying some minions in the village behind JKHS who support Ranil to the rambuttan tree. That will teach them a lesson or two.

Oh and I will invite some of my neighbours for the learned doctor to predict their future like he did for Sirimavo Bandaranaike and they could pay him in kind or cash in hand since direct debit into his account would make it a pesky nuisance with tax inspectors.

(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at pearltheva@hotmail.com)



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