Sunday, June 20, 2010

The myth of the paragon of virtue!!!

Ohh how stupid I feel as I tap away these words. I was having a drink with a friend at Machang on Friday night and as we were talking I was speaking about a female friend of mine TC. I have known her for many years and was telling me what a god fearing virtuous god fearing straight laced lady she was. Till my friend smirked and told me but she was responsible for the break up of the marriage of RY! No way I said no bloody way. And just to make sure I called another colleague and told him that my friend who I was drinking with was making false allegations against TC and to prove him wrong. But someone could have kicked me in the gut when I realized it was me who was wrong. In fact she has been having a relationship with this guy for over ten years which ultimately led to him leaving his wife and kids.
Now please don't get me wrong. I am no prude and I believe everyone is entitled to do what they do. Even if it means having some fun on the side. Its not that I have not strayed. And I have female friends who have multiple partners which doesn't bother me a bit. Having said so on a personal level I don't like kids loosing parents even if the parents marriage is rocky. I firmly believe that a child needs both parents under one roof to be brought up properly. And if we brought them into the world then we have a responsibility to bring them up properly. But I think what really shook me was how I - someone who prides in being able to see through people - could have been so wrong!!!
And how I had harbored this imaginary perception of my friend. Does it also mean that I was the good friend I professed to be if I did not see what was going on in her life? But one things for sure this will not change my love, respect and affection for her.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Phone Images from Yala

Was lucky to see the tusker up close when we least expected it. Believe it or not we had gone to the main entrance in the afternoon to buy some Bombay Onions and on the way back this majestic beast was lounging about virtually right at the entrance of the park.

When we had stopped to admire the tusker we saw three army soldiers in an open tractor coming towards us. However they saw us and stopped the tractor to enable us to admire the elephant without interruption. We were full of gratitude and praise for these soldiers and thanked them profusely when we were leaving. The responded with slightly embarrassed smiles which we thought was kind of strange. But we really did not give it any thought at that time.

However one of my friends who had left his camera behind in the bungalow - which was just a couple of minutes away - wanted to come back and take some more pics of the elephant. When we came back we saw that the tractor with the soldiers had not moved. It was only then we realized that it was out of fear that these soldiers had stopped not out of kindness and concern. We actually saw one soldier cocking his gun just in case the elephant got aggressive. I hate to imagine what would have happened if the elephant mock charged the soldiers and they fired on it by fright.

Toilet Buddies

I don't know why the toilets of Yala are filled with frogs. There was one
even inside the commode but I am sure that you appreciate the fact that I
decided NOT to share a picture of it.

A sad sad situation.

The daughter of the guy who is our office tuk tuk driver died all of a sudden. She had gone through a terrible battle with cancer before but at the time of her death she was healed for over a year and the doctors had given her a clean bill of health when she collapsed all of a sudden after rupturing a blood vessel.
This happened in Nonagama, Hambantota the heart of the action where the modern miracle of Asia is taking place. But for these bereaved parents it was still the undeveloped backwoods of the past. They had to have an autopsy performed on their daughter but there were no doctors to do so. In fact there was only one doctor for the whole area who can conduct and official autopsy. And he does not work weekends. However much begging and pleading had fallen on deaf ears and even speaking to a deputy minister had not worked. They had a choice of taking the body to the hospital in Tangalle but they don't work Sunday. And they did not have the money to take the daughters body all the way to Matara. They had no choice but to wait for the weekend to be over. I am really saddened by what these people had to face. They have no influence and because of that they have to face the full force of our governments lethargic bureaucracy. Imagine if this person was a Muslim who had to be buried in. 24 hours what would have the families plight been? I don't have any answers only questions?

Friday, June 11, 2010


A custom of corruption

Just a few weeks ago the new sports minister shot his mouth off saying the three most corrupt institutions were the police, prisons and Sri Lanka Cricket Board. I was quite surprised that he had left out Customs and RMV. The past few days I have heard little nuggets of information how much people in these institutions make.

An average customs officer would make one million to one and a half million rupees a month. There are known situations of senior customs officers making as much as 50 million rupees a month. That’s 500,000 Dollars. Also a senior guy at the RMV makes an average of a Million rupees a day.

Now that the duties of most luxury goods have been brought down this kind of rampant bribery will not be necessary. And actually more money will be flowing into the state coffers. But do you think people who are used to that kind of income will be able to go back to living off a usual government servant’s wage of 20 – 30k? I doubt it. And I would not be surprised if moves are already NOT under way to sabotage this new duty structure. Only time will tell. Let’s wait and see.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sign(s) of the times

Yes, this is an email which I got but I wanted to put it up here to share it with you guys and for my reference as well.