Category Archives: Politics

Publicity, Productivity, Profits, Politics and the Public

Publicity, Productivity, Profits, Politics and the Public

I may be able to write a dissertation on each of the items mentioned above but the intentions are brief and entirely different.
I have made few resolutions after the last general election.
1. One was not to tune in to local TV including not watching Cricket unless of course our one and only Mahela is on song.
2. Two was to stop buying national papers including Sunday Editions.
3. Three was to stop engaged in political discussion of any kind.
4. Take my public profile and publicity to the lowest possible level, down to the email level, where I was only a digital entity with no worth at all and lot of guys/girls except my close friends will delete any electronic message of mine in a flash, without even reading the heading.
Mind you, email has taken even the little privacy we had and with the common courtesy.
5. Five was to increase my productivity leaps and bounds and post a blog everyday if possible related to Linux, its derivatives, utilities, its goodies, baddies and the uglies and if I cannot find a topic in Linux to post some of my bizarre dreams if not some scientific stuff.
Like the five precepts I have not broken any one of them except the number TWO.
My productivity had been exponential and come November even before our short vacation I was on mental vacation preoccupied with the Wonder Budget 2012.
I had only one irritation for the entire year which was uncalled from one of my nasty colleagues (I wonder could I call him a colleague now that this event did happen without any provocation?) and since I was almost on top of the world I could manage that episode with three days of Metta Meditation.
When one has free time bad habits creep in. that was also accidentally.
I want to fix a new Air Pump to the fish tank in which the old one was malfunctioning (thanks to our Electricity Board’s not so constant voltage this was not the only gadget I lost this year). I had everything but two steel nails long enough and strong enough to support the Air Pump.
Mind you I got up at 11.30 A.M. I wanted to make some tea and my wife told me there is no sugar for tea but lunch was almost ready.
Then we had visitors and I jumped into their car and told them if I do not get to his hardware shop by 12 P.M, I have to hold this pump in that position till Monday. He was almost closing and I collected what I wanted except the double sided stickers to stick the telephone splitter on the wall now ready for free fall.
Bought some pastries and walk up to catch a three wheeler and in a flash of bad judgment I walked into the newspaper stall to see a large pile of Sunday English papers, not sold. I bought two publications which I decline to make public here because it will give bad publicity (what I am going to write is bad anyway) to them but suffice is to say not Sunday Observer. I wanted some critical analysis of the budget not some Yes, Sir entries from the Yes Men.
Came home first thing first cup of tea first.
Fixed the air pump and filled the tank with water to the required water pressure to see everything was OK.
Treat for my dog and sat to read the paper.
First the cartoons and Andy Capp, Wizard of Os and the others and then to the pictures of the young lassies and bogged down to reading about the budget.
There were so many advertisement and feature sets or supplements it took half an hour to find the pages with budgetary analysis.
What did I get for 100 Rupees?
Good dose of budgettorrhoeal (new Sri-Lankan word coined by me joining budget and diarrhoea) analysis.
It sickened me.
There were panel discussions and everybody who is somebody is hiding behind another.
It was we go round the mulberry bush scenario.
It was like collective responsibility of the cabinet of ministers.
I was none the wiser.
I can say lot about the budget but that is I am wasting my time.
I raise few question and get into the rel reason for this writing.
1. In the year we had the elections there was no proper budget.
Is it proper?
The common knowledge was that most of the money was spent on irregular activities except paying the salaries.
2. Was there a proper assessment of the budgetary forecast for 2011, objectively?
At least retrospectively did they analyze it before stepping into new budget.
3. Do we need a Central Bank?
4. Do we need a Treasury and a Treasury Secretary?
5. Do we need a huge public service now that like what was done to Central Bank we can streamline or stream role any institution with Executive Power including the Universities?
6. Have anybody analyzed the debt crisis that is slowly creeping into our hand to mouth economy?
7. Do we need to debate this White Paper / White Elephant any length of time in the parliament?
I am not asking this with any bad taste but only with thinking about my grandchildren.
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Real reason I am writing this was to highlight that lot of people depend on the Sunday Paper for lot of publicity and to get their voice heard and get rid of bad goodies and bad debts.
Is the money spent by majority of them is going to the coffers of the paper magnets without any help to the advertiser.
Has anybody done any research on the effectiveness of this mega advertisement strategy?
Is the money well spent?
Can we do it in a better way?
I call it the Amazon Way.
Why not going for digital methods?
The Sunday Paper is thrown away the very next day and it is a huge waste of money and paper (along with rain forest).
The digital stuff remains in the Server.
Are we still carrying the Hana Miti (Bundles of Jute)?
If one has some good, goodies to sell one should go beyond the local boundaries (at least South East Asia) and start selling digitally.
That is my advice.
It might have some teething problems and might have to take “head on’ the initial inertia but given time an cloud computing coming to existence that is the way forward.
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Dream 02 of course is a fragmented dream

Dream two (2) of course is fragmented dream.
The full version was dreamt for me (until he takes over the spell cast on me) by Maha Brahma.

Part One of the dream goes like this

1. I was given huge load of linen by some godforsaken guy and he came to collect it soon after giving me a call.

2. At the time of the call the top part of the bundle which was 4 by 6 foot size an 6 foot in height (which appeared to me like bedsheets) was in disarray and fallen sideways and leaning on the doorway and preventing the door being opened when the guy comes to collect the load.

3. I was rearranging the lot and with the sound of the telephone I was woken up.

Before the interpretation was released Maha Brahma asked me a question.

Why are you sending half of a dream, he asked?

Sir, this was a armchair dream and mind you it is a day time dream?

Why are you dreaming at day time?

I could not help, Sir.

We are on industrial action and we have given up our headships and the head chair was empty and I sat on it to see how it feels like without administrative work like filling e-forms and mundane stuff like timetable for students and annual calender.

Then the head’s telephone rang and I was woken up.

I was annoyed that the dream was interrupted rudely but unfortunately for me there was nobody to answer the call.

Did you answer the call?

No Sir.

Why?

It is head’s telephone if I answer it, I will be in trouble.

Why?

If the guy on the other side is from FUTA, he might think I am secretly working.

If the guy on the other side is from the Ministry, he might mark another stupid head is working and add to his statistics.

The beauty is that lot of guys who never had an opportunity to sit on this big chair (like our politicians wanting to sit on high chairs of others when they are sleeping) to see how it feels like and when a call comes unlike me, answer it.

Even before caller’s call ends, guy says, wants to be head speaking for head.

It must be a lucrative post for aspiring candidates.

No Sir it is only Rs.1000/= and not even enough to pay the monthly telephone bill and we pay from over pocket the telephone bill.

Or I see.

Why then people want to be heads?

It is a very good and open question Sir but I think it is a dress rehearsal for becoming a politician, I believe .

Sir, can you tell me the full dream.

Part Two of the dream.

Mind you I like your futuristic dreams shall we make some arrangement for the first part for you to dream and the second part for me to dream and it saves me reading a long email.

No problem Sir, till our industrial action is over we will be dreaming of a pay hike and dreaming is our objective proposal and vision for miracles in this country, like Martin Luther King, we do like to dream even day time now.

He told me the setting is not at your home but at the laundry.

The guy who was dreaming had come to collect the dues (linen) after 3 months on credit card (that is the time laundry takes no responsibility for the clothes). He could not pay for the bill.
He was a professor of political science. Unfortunately had not got any salary hike he dreamed of, for 10 years.

Then before he pays the bill, the guy who gave the first load has given him a second load and that is the reason for it falling sideways.

If the dream was continued the guy gets a heart attack and dies at the laundry.

Was it me Sir?

No you stupid?

These are futuristic dreams not current.

Then?

The guy is a Professor of Political History of Sri-Lanka and this is ten years from now.

Had I let you dream the rest of the dream you would have had a heart attack and die in your armchair (dream).

I saved you in nick of time.

But what’s the point Sir, the way the things are developing in this country we do not have to dream.
We Know for certain we want get anything for our lifetime.

That is not the point.
If you die I won’t get these lovely dreams.
I love them and if you go who is going to dream for me for the first half of the dream.
It is my hobby and I won’t die for eons unlike you!
I am going to have this fun only till you live and Aryubovan for You.

Sir, there are 20 million people here.
We dreamed that we bring the world cup home for the second time round but we did not.

Those dreams are mediocre and not futuristic like yours and lasts only a day and people get on with their work as nothing has happened.

But pay hikes are our daily dreams not only of professors Sir.

Every Sri-Lankan who is able is dreaming of a pay hike.

Only problem is politicians do not see that way.

Sir, can you pass one of these lethal dreams to the treasury secretary and let him dream it in full, instead of me.

That is criminal know?

But if he goes millions will be happy millions time (we made billion in India to be happy by losing the World Cup and we deserve a pay hike at least at Indian Level) and there will be pay hikes!

Well I will see about it and in any case he is in the geriatric age group isn’t he?

I got to go.

Interpretation.

It is 10 years from now.

1. Global warming has peaked to 38 F and there is no alcohol (no yeast-no alcohol-the song no woman no pain- theme is adopted to no alcohol no fun) except imported in this country. The imported stuff is available in international institutions and hotels.

2. There is no rain for two years.

3. All rivers have run dry

4. Coal power for 2 hours at night for email services only for booking air tickets etc.

5. No laundry services at hotels.

6. People are asked not to wear anything like IMF boss while in hotels.

7. There is no air conditioning

8. There are no maids for cleaning especially in the International Buddhist Institute.

9. Buddhist monks are permitted to wear only the Andana Kadas by the hierarchy at International Buddhist Institute. There is a big vada (argument ) developing to wear or not to wear Andana Kada.

10. Some get heat strokes while in meditative mode in the tiny cubicles

The laundry load was Andana Kada from the International Institute.

Action necessary to prevent this scenario.

Grow trees in Colombo instead of developing international Hotels!
This applies to Kandy too.

Putting on Top of a Murunga Tree

I manage to find a two Murunga saplings and wanted to look after them till big enough and relocate them in a suitable place. I could not water them for three days and one wilted and whithered away. The other survived and started blooming prematurely. I resisted taking the flowers for a vegetable curry. I let them pollinate (which is rare with no bees around) and only one flower produced a pod.

Side by side there were two cocoa plants which germinated out of over 100 rotten seeds.
Similar fate descended one of them and I kept on watering it in spite of its stem looked like fire wood.
Murunga sapling disappeared but the stem which looked like tiny black wood after about 3 months started sprouting and few leaves appeared.
My gut feeling was correct. I thought this would happen because it is not a native plant but that comes from mid Africa.
African plants can stand adverse weather for long period of time.
Our slender plants cannot withstand adverse weather. Murunga was an example.

So my prediction is that we will lose lot of our biodiversity much more and faster than Africa loses.
Come coal power plant when operational that will aggravate the context much faster and swiftly.
I heard our energy minister thinking of a nuclear plant here.
I wish he looks at pictures of Hiroshima first and the current pictures coming from Japan.

Real reason for writing this is not for that reason.
I cannot go to sleep without a swipe at the local elections.
We have a saying in Sinhala put a man on a Murunga Branch (unfortunately not on the moon to bring rice some of them promised to bring) to mean let him eventually tumble down quickly.
I wish all the present candidates land on Murunga Branches.
Then we can see them falling off quickly with the cost of living going up by the minute.

Actually when we elect them that is what we want them to be (on a Murunga Branch) but they have devised and engineered some other methods to stay longer on the Murunga branch and unfortunately we cannot have the last laugh.

This one chance we have that we can give them a Murunga Treat and it will be a Maru or Mara (Devil) Treat.

Jurassic Park Tumbler Trembling and Political Tumble

In the midst of World Cup Cricket we have another match.
In this match the winners take it all and sometimes they take our freedom also away for a week prior and week after the election day.

Everything come to a standstill and at least this time we can divert our attention and watch cricket.

The day of the election when these young proteges parade the streets, it reminds me of the tumbler trembling cinematic effect depicted in the film, Jurassic Park.

Some of them bring similar fear to adults leave alone children.
That is how elections are fought in this part of the world.

There are no umpires like in cricket.

The officers who should act as neutral umpires are no more.
They tremble more than the voter when these political guys come near in numbers.
Some of course stooge to the lowest level where they even share free alcohol.
The police who suppose to bring the law and order are outnumbered by drunken supporters.

Alcohol sale is prohibited but they stock alcohol before the ban of sale.

If we have free and fair election, in actual fact it is the candidate who should tremble.

For some bizarre reasons even before the final vote is cast winners are already known and I do not know what this exercise bring to the ordinary citizen, except Tumbler Trembling Fear of Jurassic Park nature.

They are real dinosaurs who drain all public money.

But sometime we get  a kick when some of these corrupt politicians tumble down like Humpty Dumpty.

Full politicization of our Universities

I saw a long narration about my Alma Mater (University) which was probably written in malicious political intention and this is in no way an attempt to engage in a debate with the writer or answer any issues raised. But regret to say without the points I am raising here are not included in that essay, it cannot be taken as an academic exercise. I will leave it to a politically oriented person to address those issue academically. The points I am raising here could be used as a base.

I will put them in concise and precise manner since an average reader has no time to read long essays.

There is a little scientific but not political bias here.

I try to be in chronological order but not in logical order and the reader can assemble in logical order he wishes to.

The bottom line is politicians without vision and education principles are ruining all education including university.

First that come to mind is Monty (Late Monty Gopallawa who was the Governor in Kandy) Affair.

Monty is a good friend of mine and good philosopher and I have no intention of incriminating any malice or disgrace to him, his father or his family except highlighting the wrong decisions made by the then education minister and only he is culpable of the grandiose mistake.

I must state here when I heard about the Monty’s demise I wrote a verse (sent to a paper but they did not publish it) and publish it in the web and it is still there. Only other person I have written a verse is our late Kadhiragarmar. That is to put in perspective the way I admire both personalities.

The story we have heard was that Monty did not have the required marks to enter the university. Then the minister gave orders to lower the marks of entry to accommodate Monty. In that process the candidates up to that point mark had to be taken in to all the universities. The universities did not have the proper infrastructure to accommodate the numbers involved and the race course adjoining the Colombo university was used as temporary shelter.

This was the beginning and I think the year was 1965.

Lot of things happened after that and in 1965 (may be later) police was called in to settle a dispute and police baton charged and one student had serious head injuries and he completed his academic studies with me many years later.

In 1968 Army was stationed in the Gymnasium with political motivation and what followed was nasty and I was there to witness it.

Then in 1974 on wrong (a racial issue) advice the practical examination for science subjects to enter the science streams were stopped.

Then Science Streams were made to be taught in mother tongue (Swabasha) and that was the death knell for outside world of scientific knowledge.

Between 1974 to 1976 (I need to be corrected here-I had left the university by then) another blunder was made by introducing area basis admission scheme but not on merits. This is of cause the violation of the rights of the student who obtained requires marks. They should be compensated in some academically acceptable way for this arbitrary politically motivated penalization.

In 1975 or 1976 we had a death of a student (I was a witness as a doctor in Kandy OPD) shot by police, a single bullet at short range.

We did not have a proper Vice Chancellor it could have been a Competent Authority (politically appointed, I believe) that was running the show.

In 1977 the UGC (and the act) was established leading to full politicization and the Chancellor and Vice chancellor were made on political affiliations.

There are many more blunders in our education and one of the biggest is when a wrong decision was made there was no discussion or and no attempt to correct it even when it was realized that the decision was not made on education principles but on political grounds with short sight.

These thing happened not in isolation but with connivance of academics who go for high seats and become stooges of politicians.

Down the ages with political intervention we manged to cancel the University Entrance Examination conducted by the University independently.

University has no choice in selecting the students they wish to have in their various faculties.

It is a game of lottery or lotto which is unprecedented unlike in universities abroad.

For over 60 years we did not have an Education Minister with some distant vision or understanding of real needs and I have a feeling the way we select our representatives we never will have..

There are lot of lapses in this summary of events but I will wind up with a down to earth story.

I had served six years of service and I wanted to go abroad.

For GMC registration I needed my degree certificate. I had applied it five years ago and when I inquired about it the registrar told me that they do not have money to buy the special paper for degree certificate ( imported probably from UK).

I could not wait and I was not bothered about the special paper and told the registrar I need a certificate authenticated by you and the vice chancellor, that is all what I want.

Finally with some persuasion, the vice chancellor agreed to give such certificate pending the original.

My father received the certificate many years later when I was abroad (I may be the only one who has two certificates for the same degree) and he kept it in his safe possession without telling me. He of course fell sick and was ill for a long period of time and his memory was gone. Then many years later after my father’s death my sister who had some of his precious paper belonging dumped them in a garage of my other sister.

One day I was looking for some old memorabilia in the garage, may be my father’s stamp album and some of his photos (one gone missing by that time) and I found my MBBS (Ceylon) Certificate, top part eaten by white ants.and bottom part still legible because of the quality of the print material.

It may be at least 20 years later I saw my original certificate.

Quite and outstanding achievement of mine.

I have two other outstanding achievements.

I decided not to attend any convocation for my life in Ceylon. Our convocation was canceled indefinitely for many years because they could not buy the paper to print certificates. We never had it. Some of my friends mostly Tamil are coming home (they are all over the world) in April for a get together and I need to remind this fact to them.

I never took a photograph with the degree paraphernalia (cloak).

But I still remain as a teacher of young adults who need direction.

E-governance and white lies

Please note that this is an update for a post on parafox and it is very easy to find a daily topic to write daily unlike in the West but it is very difficult to find a true story and I have decided to write a few of my fantasies related to my work with Apaya and Heaven. I have not decided whether to join Apaya or Heaven but like a true diplomat I prefer to shuttle in between them not knowing whether it is a fantasy or a real lfe situation.

I am bit confused but following is a true story and factually correct about E-Governance and downloading for a fact.

Uploading is no better.

Comment I wrote for a National Daily not published due to its banal content.

It is very difficult to differentiate a lie from a the word E-governance in Sri-Lanka.

I prefer E-Governance  for a white lie because it is like WiKi Leakes very difficult to differentiate whether an American (for that matter any European diplomat) diplomat is talking through his Mouth or MOUSE or ASS.

I think they are trained not to talk from birth but to lie by all means.

Unlike our diplomats who do not know how to lie like Goerge Washinton in his prime and if they do lie it looks just like plain truth and nobody including Bun Ki Moon belives it a lie or not  a lie.

Whereas our politicians are trained to lie from birth and it is that their birth right.

If one cannot lie he or she is not good enough to be in the parliament or President House. Average Buddhists except Colombo 7 elite do not lie as a habit but only on demand by politicians at election meetings and political rallies.

Our national papers for their own survival lie on a regular basis like our George Bush they do not know how to tell the truth in plain English or Sinhala. We  are now portrayed as the heaven on Earth but if one goes to Batticoloa or North East the plain truth is evident in abundance.

This is just a big joke. i.e. E-Governance in Sri-Lanka is a plain lie but what I state below is truth and nothing but truth.

It takes almost 7 days to download 1.1 GB of Kororoaa of out of 1.5 GB and god only knows how long it takes to finish.

I was down with a miner flu and for three days I managed to download Light House Puppy of 223 MiB through Firefox and in spite of the computer being on overnight for three days. I am trying to download PocketWriter-Salix and it is stuck at 280 MiB currently and Saline was disconnected without completing three times.

Now I am talking about Saline like Predient Reagon our Health minister could not say the difference between a truth and a lie.

Our Health Statistics is the Biggest Lie of all which the WHO is very fond of exaggerating!

It is 3 am in the morning and I got up to empty my bladder.

Checked to see K-torrent is working (do the downloads only after midnight).

NO.

I stopped the normal download to read the English daily but Apache at their site is broken.

I have 250 paused downloads for the month of December (for updating current Linux distributions which I do at the end of each year).

K-torrent is inactive.

Firefox download speed is below 5KB per seconds.

I pay over Rs.7000/- to Telecoms and Rs.10,000/- electricity.

If I save three months of these bills and buy a ticket to Singapore I can download all these in the airport lounge for nothing but in triple not double quick time.

It is a shame that a National Paper not highlighting how Buddhists are downloading porn at Nanasalas.

Even we have 10,00,000 NanaSalas without English we cannot progress in IT industry.

All the alphanumeric characters are in English not Sinhala.

Progress does not come from data or rhetoric.

They come through hard work, dedication and concrete actions!

All my downloads are inactive at 3,30 am and bare bone facts speak for themselves.

Toilet Paper Catching Fire

There is a story circulating in Colombo Diplomatic Circles that a certain UNO Officer investigating or perhaps observing war crimes being enacted in his subjective presence was given a hot meal of Nai Miris (Cobra Chillies) as his taste.

The entree went like this.

He was told it was a Sri-Lankan top class delicacy that war heroes on both sides of the divide partake before their final assault.

Once you partake a little, then do not feel any other pain even due to gross injuries and it is also a mood elevating and quite similar to Onions for Indians.

He was quite take up by the introduction, instead of tasting a little he avail himself of a liberal quantity as it were a Dhana Festival in a temple and had to rush to the toilet.

Whatever, he did in the toilet did not allay his misery and he decided to pull a fag inside the toilet.

Moment he triggered the lighter there was a big bang and accidentally he lit the toilet roll too.

The flash of fire, smoke and the big bang alerted the security thinking that there was a bomb.

Surprisingly the young diplomat emerged without any significant injury or burns and in his flight and fright the burning sensation due to Nai Miris disappeared, instantaneously.

But he started running towards the back entrance and the fire exit.

The security officer thought he was a terrorist and followed suit.

He shouted stop.

I am UNO and BunKi Moon Man he said in his flight.

Eventually the security caught up with him.

When inquired he said there is a bomb in the toilet.

By that time one of the environmentalist emerged from the crowd and said his capsule worked wonders!

Everybody was puzzled.

Then he said he put a capsule of biogas making strain into the toilet before the meeting to test whether UNO officers consuming enormous natural resources of the friendly countries could produce biogas during a meeting.

And their shit or the scat can produce enough was his test finding with one capsule.

Now he is trying to patent his discovery to solve the energy crisis of today.