April 1. This is the day on which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty four days – Mark Twain On this day, Thursday last week, this quote set us thinking on what the well-known American writer and journalist implied about All Fools Day. Did Mark Twain mean [...]

Sunday Times 2

Significance of All Fools Day


April 1. This is the day on which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty four days – Mark Twain

On this day, Thursday last week, this quote set us thinking on what the well-known American writer and journalist implied about All Fools Day.

Did Mark Twain mean that we the Homo Sapiens — the wisest of species among all living beings — act with wisdom on the remaining days of the year or he, being quite a cynic, was saying that we were as good as the fools we celebrate on that day?

It won’t be much difficult to make a decision in this regard. Readers can judge for themselves whether humanity around the world and in this Paradise-Isle, Lanka, too, acted as wise persons or bloody fools during the 364 days that preceded April 1, 2021.

For the past two weeks, we Sri Lankans had been confused and confounded about the numerals we have been using since time immemorial. It is being said that we are about to take off into the ‘Age of Digitisation’. Yet some arguments tended to contest the validity of 2+2= 4 in the context of the vote count on the resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Commission. The resolution on Sri Lanka which was against Sri Lanka moved by Western Powers and their allies received 22 votes while Sri Lanka and others states which backed Sri Lanka received 11 votes while 14 states abstained.

Based on the presumption that those states that abstained were not for the resolution Sri Lankan government loyalists added on the 14 abstention votes to their 11 votes and declared that Lanka triumphed. Thus, the numeral 22 became greater than 11 to government loyalists.

This kind of logic is revolutionary and stands the original Hindu and Arabic numerologists who developed what is called the Hindu-Arabic numerals — which we use — on their heads.

It certainly has revolutionary potential in that opposition parties, including the JVP, argue that on this line of thinking the last presidential election can be declared null and void. It is argued that on this theory President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who won with 6.9 million votes was rejected by 9.5 million electors, if votes received by all opposition candidates and all registered voters who abstained from voting are tallied as a single unit.

Rajapaksa loyalists have taken to high moral ground and are pointing out that morality taken together with the spirit of the UN Charter and human rights declarations should supersede mere numbers — statistics.

True, ‘statistics do not bleed’ but a scale to measure morality numerically or otherwise in politics has yet to be devised.

Patriotism is defined by some as: My country, right or wrong.

So, if anyone agrees with the assertion that 11 is greater than 22 is wrong, is he a patriot or traitor?

Easter Sunday bombing

Easter Sunday bombings of churches and tourist hotels took place on April 21, 2019 but the bombings still reverberate and are shaking the foundations of the political and administrative firmaments.

Ministers and provincial governors have resigned or made to resign, commissions to probe the attacks were appointed and the integrity of the country’s intelligence investigative agencies and those of reputed investigators questioned resulting in many top officials having resigned and/or are behind bars.

The former Defence Secretary and IGP are under arrest and so are top investigators that headed such units. The validity of a presidential commission report appointed to probe the bombings is being questioned as parts of the report have still not been released, it is alleged.

It does appear that the fallout of the bombings has been as devastating to Lanka as the bombings in terms of the economy and administration. The bombings appear to have had an inbuilt ability to create economic and political instability.

Indian intelligence agencies are said to have tipped off Sri Lankan counterparts about an impending attack by extremist Islamic terrorists but this advice, it appears, had not been taken seriously or ignored by the intelligence agencies. Even the security guards of MPs knew about it, Kumar Welgama MP said in parliament last week.

A reason for not acting on the Indian tip-off by our intelligence chiefs could be that they have been educated in lessons in history such as that of the Trojan Horse. They may have thought this was an Indian Trojan Horse placed in Lanka against the Pakistanis. Isn’t every terrorist act in the sub-continent according to New Delhi’s South block, Pakistan inspired?

Didn’t Mahinda Rajapaksa declare openly that his government was ousted in 2014 by a RAW conspiracy? Did our intelligence Chiefs go into the natural Sinhala defence posture: ‘Soodanam Sariraya’ (Save your body first)? It was only natural.

Nevertheless, high ranking bishops, mahanayakes, anunayakes and rebels because of their fundamentalist ecclesiastical beliefs want to know : Who committed the Original Sin?

The endorsement of the bombing of churches in Lanka was approved by the first and only Caliph of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Bagdadi (now no more courtesy Donald Trump) in a speech, though only as an aside. Isn’t that enough?

Our task today is to assess how wise or foolish we were after All Fools day. We leave it to the judgement of our readers.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa’s picture — with Cinnamon Cigar held jauntily in his mouth in a national suit banian posing like James Bond with a Cuban cigar — appears to be an attempt to promote ‘Cinnamon cigarettes’ to boost our home grown product but the anti-smoking juvenile hordes left behind by the late Prof. Carlo Fonseka are hounding him. Is Weerwansa doing the right thing by the Sri Lankan nation or is he posing off as Jamis Banda—the Sinhala replica of James Bond?

Udaya Gammanpila, the Energy Minister, had claimed a record for a Sri Lanka Minister, reports said, for climbing on a rope ladder to the top of an oil tanker. He is the first minister to have done so reports said. Was it wise for this minister to have risked his life performing this stunt, he being a precious commodity—a specialist theorist in anti-Rajapaksa party conspiracies? Did it draw away attention from the public outcry against alleged deforestation policies or coconut oil with aflatoxins found in the country?

Meanwhile, it is less than two weeks for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year and the singing of the Koha outside our window down Nawala way is getting louder and louder. C-nut oil is used to prepare all Avuruddhu delicacies. Will Aflatoxin C-nut oil prevent Kavun and Kokkis two of the vital 4 Ks (Kavun,Kokkis, Kiributh and Kolikuttu) for the occasion appearing on the festive table?

It will leave a bad taste in the mouth.

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