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I admit that there are many methods to DDR, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how a fashion show can be part of it. 384 ex-LTTE were released on the 28th and the ‘highlight’ of that release was a fashion show!

He said that the highlight of today’s release of 384 ex-LTTE combatants to their kith and kin by the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadheera, at the Ramakrishna Hall in Wellawatte at 4.00 p.m. would be the fashion show by the ex-LTTE female combatants.

Island.lk

Reintegrating former soldiers into society is not an easy thing. There is trauma, there is hurt, there is hate, and you force them to strut around in front of the very people they were fighting? It boggles the mind. Is there really so little sensitivity and common sense in the authorities here?

Anyone who has been to Savoy knows about the huge queues that tend to build up there for the weekend movies. Usually I book my tickets online but this time my computer AND printer AND router were busted (thank you freaky weather and SLT) so Lady Janusis and I decided to give it a shot and stand in the queue and hope for the best. When we got there the queue was already pretty long, but the parking lot guy told us that the queue was for the Sinhalese movie playing there while we had come for the Jet Li movie (White Snake). He also suggested that we could jump the queue since none of the people were there to watch that movie. But hey, I am not that stupid. I am not jumping a queue with a mile of rabid movie-goers behind me.

So we ended up standing in the queue and that’s when the fun started. The queue was way past the parking lot by this time, but the weird thing was that with all the cars leaving and coming into the lot, the queue went THROUGH the parking lot and back on to the road. Imagine a slightly drunk snake with hiccups and you can imagine this queue. It went around cars and between cars, and when ever a car backed out everyone would start jumping around to avoid being run over. We had to keep hitting the back of vehicles to make sure they didn’t run over some kid or old lady. (Some of those drivers were pretty aggressive I tell you). Basically it was some pretty crazy stuff.

By the time we got out of the parking lot queue and on to the road queue, there was some guy trying to crawl up my ass. Seriously, I could feel him thrusting at me and wiggling. Sometime his arm was over my shoulder resting on the wall, and sometimes his man-boobs were on my back. I tried not to move too much to avoid the rubbing. Eh, I don’t get why people do this, I mean its not like I can move any faster just because he is man-bumping me. And HIS wife was standing so close to Lady J, that she kept stomping on her trouser legs. And every time that woman scratched herself, she would get her hand caught in Lady J’s scarf. It was such a wonderful relief to finally get the tickets and get out of the damned queue. I felt like I needed a bath, or to file a sexual abuse case, or eat ice cream (ice cream is a cure-all btw).

Either way the movie was crap, but I had fun anyway. After all, only part of the fun of going to a movie hall is the story line, the rest is good company and junk food. 🙂

There is a certain amount of pushiness and a general disregard of personal space in Sri Lanka. It’s not there all the time but sprouts out like a particularly virulent mushroom when ever there is a queue or a line. And it only get worse when it comes to driving. I find it particularly prevalent among bikers and three-wheel drivers and I call it the wedge method.

Have you noticed how bikes and three-wheelers poke their front wheel into any available space between vehicles on the road? You tend to give a little way then because no one wants a bike or three-wheeler bumping against you, but as soon as there is an inch more of space they shove themselves further in and you have to swerve to avoid an accident. It’s worse with three-wheelers. I wonder if they even know how big their vehicle is because they right at the front of that ‘wedge’, and as soon as they get a little space its you who has to avoid the large rear-end that inevitably swings towards you. I think they count on the fact that you will give way instead of risking an accident.

It’s got to be something in the (city?) culture. Anytime you are in a line there is bound to be an elbow in your side or a hand on your back. It’s extremely annoying.

Once you get past all the hype, the media frenzy, the hero worship and the brouhaha, Barack Obama is still an impressive figure; he has a commanding presence, when he talks people listen, and he is earnest. He breaks the lazy, fat American stereotype we are used to, and presents a fit, hands-on, roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-busy personality that automatically connects him to the middle and lower class people (which make up the majority anyway). He is a man that was born to be followed, and that’s not even talking through an American perspective. Obama now lives his life under an international microscope, with people following his every move. The techies out there are keeping their eyes on his (pink? purple?) Blackberry, and wondering what encryption in uses and where he got his holster (BB not gun). The dog lovers are checking out the canine addition to the White House, the ladies are drooling over his sculpted upper body, everyone wants to know how he eats his burgers and his detractors make fun of his name (see India) amongst other more major events.

The man is amazing, but not amazing enough to warrant so much hounding. Would Obama be as loved and needed if it wasn’t for people suffering through two terms of Bush and his inane ramblings? Would there ever have been a black American President if it wasn’t for the awful caricature of an American that preceded him?

Whatever it may be, every move of Obama’s receives an article, podcast, and analysis in response. During an interview on financial regulation, a fly got in the room and kept interrupting the President. With Mr. Miyagi type reflexes, Obama nails that fly (and it was pretty impressive I tell you, the only other move that comes close was Bush dodging the shoe). It may be silly to write an article about a man killing a fly, but the guy is pretty fast and the people love him, so what the hey. But since it was the President doing the swatting, and a fly doing the killing, PETA had to condemn the act. Of killing a fly. A fly…

PETA’s work is wonderful. I believe in what they advocate, but they just keep getting sillier and sillier. I don’t kill animals and I don’t eat meat, but the only impact they are making now is getting attention for themselves, and that’s also cos of the naked women. Hell, guys only go for their protests for the boobs (and there are plenty of nice ones too). PETA is becoming a laughing stock and a gathering place for bored young women who think their breasts are going to save countless pigs, cows, dogs and flies. They are trying to stop the stop the abuse of animal flesh through the exposure of human flesh, and its getting old and absurd. (And you horndogs can go google the pictures cos I am not putting them up here. This time)

It sucks to be Sri Lankan right now, and here’s why:

1. It is so hot now that your brain melts, and you feel like you are moving through sweat soup.

2. The government is so corrupt that you have a ‘Bribes’ column in your budget.

3. Politician play musical chairs across parties.

4. Terrorists can become MPs

5. You can hardly tell the difference from a terrorist attack and a government attack

6. A teacher can run away with a billion rupees.

7. Citizens pay taxes that go into killing other citizens.

8. The roads have more holes than Swiss Cheese.

9. The country is run by a monarchy that hides behind a democracy.

10. The national religion is headed by monks who advocate violence.

And did I say it was very hot? And that bombs going off no longer shakes us off our routine? And that idiots drive on roads infested with tri-shaws?

Sri Lanka has a lot of issues and it just keeps getting worse. I wonder how much longer we can hide in our little worlds before it all comes back and bites us in the bum.

Was reading the Daily Mirror today when I came across this –

JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva says the government cannot blame the rising cost of living on the war. Speaking to the media today the JVP MP said by blaming the cost of living on the war there could be serious repercussions on the military operations.

Now that is a statement that would draw an exclamation from any body, and certainly made me incredulous.

As of 2004, Sri Lanka had 8000 military personnel per million population, which was the highest in South Asia, as well as spending about 4.1% of the GDP on military expenditure. (According to the Strategic Foresight Group)

According to Global Security (2003) figures 606 million dollars were spent on Military Expenditure.

Now of course one shouldn’t highlight this sort of expenditure because otherwise people might actually realize that this war costs more than we could afford. Even these rough figures can show you that. Flattening the economy to win a war does not seem a fair trade to me.  But try telling that to machismo oozing war mongers..

Ever feel like the days run into each other like two runny-yoked fried eggs. Days feel just as yellow and just as sticky. You get tired of dealing with your superiors who you feel have dropped of an entirely different planet altogether; you get tired of dealing with your employees who feel that just cos you are nice to them, that you are stupid and can be taken for a ride; and you get tired of doing the same thing every day with nothing truly coming to fruition.

An accountant friend once told me a story about a business man who went to a village one day. He met a fisherman who was lounging on a chair drinking his tea and watching the sea. The businessman asked the fisherman what he does the whole day, and the fisherman replied that he went out on his boat midmorning, caught some fish for himself and some extra to sell, came back by mid-afternoon and cleaned up the fish and had the day to do what he wanted. The businessman was shocked. He said that the fisherman was wasting his life away. The fisherman asked him what he was doing wrong. The businessman answered saying that he should get up early morning, fish for as long as possible and sell off as much as he can. He should then save up the money for a bigger boat so he can catch more fish. After several years, he can get a second boat and hire more people and further increase his catch thus earning more and becoming rich. The fisherman asked the business man what he would do with all this extra money after so many years. Well, said the business man, then he could wake up late and not need to spend the whole day working, and could sit back with a cup of tea and watch the sea.

Life can end up being one long rat race where the track is a circle. Its best not to get caught up with running and aim instead for a goal. It also pays to get off the track sometimes and take a break.

Here are a few videos that always crack me up. One is a guy called Pablo Fransisco, a comedian who is good with voices and has no morals..

Another is one of my favourite groups (if you can call 2 a group) The Flight of the Conchords. Makes me think of business time differently.