Archive for March, 2009

And now for something completely different.

[Dramatic music plays in tandem with a montage of pictures]

BEYOND THE HEDGE – News over the top.

Female Presenter: Welcome back. Now we move onto our weekly special segment; ‘Muggers, Buggers, and Tree huggers’.

[Cut into an advertisement]

Deep, sexy male voice: The start of ‘Muggers, Buggers, and tree huggers’ is brought to you by: Lose some stress, have some of the best – Golden Cup Blend. [Video sequence of Kumar Sangakkara thoroughly enjoying a piping hot cuppa Golden Cup followed by the trademark smile]

[Ominous music plays]


Male Presenter: After our last segment on the effect of human flatulence on daffodils, tulips and hydrangeas, toady we are going to talk about something completely different; a group of ingenious individuals who are deployed around inconspicuous areas of Colombo to swindle, cheat, and steal your money, and in some cases, your dignity as well. [Camera cuts into a different angle] Beyond the hedge takes a look into a little known, reprehensible, sickeningly deceitful, but positively fantastic group of slick crooks that we would like to call: ‘The Alms Giving Operation’.

[Video of Colombo plays]

Deep, sexy male voice over: ‘A land like no other’. The Board of Tourism of Sri Lanka should be given credit for inventing a religious catch phrase to market the island nation. It is attractive, catchy, and contrary to many marketing gimmicks; completely honest. Colombo is the quintessential South Asian cosmopolitan city where you see a montage of sights ranging from the ultra rich driving around in Ferrari’s and Hummer’s on roads with potholes big enough to accommodate Indian outsourcing companies, to the thick headed wannabe rap stars complete with bandana’s, bling, All-Stars, and sub-machine guns. It has a montage of colorful people from the smartest educators and the brightest talent to males who worship Mariah Carey and think Steven Segal is god’s gift to Hollywood. ‘A land like no other’.

[Camera cuts into a different angle]

Amongst the many things Colombo is, it is also the center for many a scrupulous, scheming mind, that will come up with the most inventive and imaginative methods to rob people of their money and possessions. Gone are the days where burglars broke into houses and stripped you off your Jewelry, DVD Players, and Tommy Hilfiger underwear. This is the age of the criminal marketer, the age of brain over brawn in crime; the guy who systematically cons you with a smile on his face and a pat on your tush. Much has been said about the instigators of this trend; The Sri Lankan Government, so Beyond the Hedge will deviate from that to focus on a scheme that seems to be in its initial stages. We believe it is something that every law abiding Sri Lankan should be aware of.

[Camera cuts into a different angle]

We would like to name this group of ingenious criminals with something original. The name ‘Sri Lanka Freedom Party’ was taken and the name ‘Mervyn Silva Foundation for Free Media’ didn’t sound right, neither was it remotely connected. So we decided to coin them with the name; ‘The Alms Giving Operation’. One might ask why the name ‘The Alms Giving Operation’. It is simply because this gang of crooks will come to you in the guise of someone unassuming and cheat you off your life if they wanted to. Beyond the Hedge spoke to a couple of people who were at the receiving end of this scam.

[Cut into an interview scene in the middle of a remotely crowded street where a person who looks like a government worker is being interviewed by Beyond the Hedge]

Interviewee: These guys aren’t your everyday criminals. They are a syndicate of organized crime, minus the violence of course. Because I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t even touched the six times I got robbed. The most unlikely person will come and ask you for some money… In near PERFECT English too! And he’ll say that he’s out of cash and he needs to go to Kandy or Negombo or someplace and that he doesn’t have money. He’ll coolly push you to give about 60-70 Rupees and bugger off.

Interviewer: Sir you can’t use words like that…

Interviewee: Like what?

Interviewer: The ‘B’ word… We’re on Sri Lankan national television no… They don’t even show a cigarette being lit.

Interviewee: Ah OK OK… Sorry ah…

Interviewer: It’s OK. For my next question, how did you notice that this was some kind of scheme?

Interviewee: I got robbed six times didn’t I?

Interviewer: And where did you say you work for?

Interviewee: I work at the United National Party office in Kotte.

Interviewer: Probably explains why you didn’t notice you were being robbed under your very nose…

Interviewee: Hey! Are you trying to be funny with me?!? Ade, don’t say anything to the UNP ah! SB aiyata kiyala thoge kunu….

[Cut into a video of the suburbs of Colombo]

Deep, sexy male voice over: Their cover as stranded travelers is not their only guise. ‘The Alms Giving Operation’ has more of these robbers, with many more devious plans, under their cloak of deceit and trickery. The more experienced and talented recruits probably advance to a more skilled stage after their rookie days. And these are the thieves that everyone should keep an eye out for. Beyond the Hedge spoke to a person who will enlighten us with the incident that involved one of these ‘expert conscripts’.

[Cut into an interview scene in a quiet, park like environment]

Interviewee: I’m telling you, these guys are experts. Real experts ah… I went for a Rugger match one day and just as I entered the complex, this guy comes up to me and cries out; “Machaaan! How are you?” in Sinhala… I was kinda confused because I couldn’t recall where I had seen this guy before. And I have this knack for remembering faces also. So, he goes onto ask me about how my father and mother had been and stuff and it was as if he had known me since I came out of my mother’s… You know… Thing… And I didn’t know what to do, so I was playing along, and being the Sri Lankan I am, I didn’t want to even ask him… You know, who the hell he was… And so, this guy then tells me (in Sinhala): “Machan, maara scene no, I couldn’t tell you… My father died last week! Maara upset scene machan. It happened so fast, I’m sorry I couldn’t even tell your father also. My mother’s also full upset machan, she’s not doing so good. And tomorrow, I have to organize the 7th day Pirith and I’m kind of stuck for cash… Kolla, is it possible for you to give me some cash?”

And I was like, really hesitant you know… And I told him that I didn’t have cash, which was obviously a lie… But he was like: “Machan, fit eke, please, give me some cash” and I told him I didn’t have change, and he was like: “Ah OK… I’ll change and give it to you as soon as I get back. I’ll give you a ring when I’m back here again…” And he made off with 500 bucks of mine! I havn’t been suckered like this EVER!

Interviewer: So didn’t you notice that this person was trying to take your money?

Interviewee: Not at all! He was so damn convincing! He’d make a super actor!

Interviewer: Didn’t you figure out that you hadn’t ever seen this person before?

Interviewee: NO! He was sooooo convincing. Plus you tend to get very paranoid when you’re tripping you know… Oh, I forgot to mention that! Heh! I was kinda blitzed at the time. Ganja makes you…..

[Cut into the Male Presenter of Muggers, Buggers, and Tree Huggers]

Male Presenter: Violence is escalating, and by what we’ve seen now, so is theft. It is about time that the Sri Lankan people show some awareness to this theft that is happening under our very noses. What’s more, it is imperative that we nip ploys like this in the bud before we move onto tackling greater theft like those carried out by rouges like Kotelawela, Sakvithi, and the Governemnt. That concludes our episode of Muggers, Buggers, and Tree Huggers for this week. In next week’s segment, we will be taking an in-depth look into the link of Homosexual bodybuilders to male colon distortions. We hope you are now more aware, informed and ready to face the world tomorrow. Until we meet again.

[Cut into an advertisement]

Deep, sexy female voice over: The end of ‘Muggers, Buggers, and Tree Huggers’ was brought to you by: Building you dreams – Paranaloka Construction Company [Video sequence of Kumar Sangakkara in a construction helmet, putting the final touches to a construction followed a thumbs-up and the trademark smile]



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Writer’s block is harsh. What’s harsher is when you have something in your mind but simply cannot put it into words. I’m going through a deluge of emotions that I am finding hard to comprehend. Many of these thoughts are austere, cynical, convoluted, and challenges the very foundations of everything that we believe in. 

I’m going through a series of realizations that have made me think; WHY? Why… So many things… 

It will take some time, but sooner or later I will be able to document all these opinions, ideas, questions, and realizations. Profound shit.

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After reading the above posts by Dinindu de Alwis and Bombaimotai (Osh’s blog), I couldn’t help but notice the tone that both of them had in common. It exuded a tone of affection towards our nation, it emanated a quality of exasperation towards the injustices done to our country, and it radiated with a sense of deep rooted connection towards mother Lanka.

Which makes me think…

 Will that pure intention and zeal ever see the light of day? Will it one day surface to shine on and release us from our bonds of corruption, lethargy, and futility? Will it shine on and bring an end to the darkness created by greed and prejudice that haunts our nation to this very day? Will it overcome the lure and temptation of power and wealth to rejuvenate this paradise that has been laid to waste?

Had Percy Mahinda Rajapakse endured and overcome the obstacles that have persistently indoctrinated the pure of mind and pure at heart, I believe that Sri Lanka would have been a better place.

Will there ever be a person who could ascend to the totem of power and use that power to deliver us from this quagmire we have put ourselves into? Even if there was a person who had the purest intention of selflessly serving the nation, what would the probability be of this person prevailing over the vices and depravity that is ingrained in our system? I am no pessimist, but I would say that the odds of the system prevailing over the pure at heart would have the final say. I’m not saying that it cannot be done. I’m just saying that it will take more than one person to rescue Sri Lanka from itself and its culture.

We have been traveling in a downward spiral ever since the day independence was gifted to us. Why is it that countries such as India and China continue to make strides in national development? Well for a start, they both fought for their independence. They broke away from the bonds of their oppressors through revolution and untainted love for something they believed in. We unfortunately were just given independence in a pretty little box with a shiny ribbon wrapped around it. And like other pretty little gifts with ribbons; once opened, it starts to lose its sentimental value and significance over time.

We are never proud of something that is truly ours. We mock our talent, ideas, and inventions and embrace something alien. We’re childish and immature enough to ridicule those who cannot properly express themselves in English. We’re gullible enough to believe and trust what anyone in power says for granted. We piss on our own jurisdiction and decrees. We’re fucking lazy! We have more public holidays than any other country in the world. We have sunk so deep into the mire of bribery and corruption, the light of day remains only as a memory. It is a pathetic state. And those who actually could do something to help Sri Lanka break away from this predicament lose hope looking at our disaster of a system and fly to foreign lands to seek happiness and prosperity for themselves and their progeny.

Even the fiercest patriots have succumbed to the delusion of power and wealth. Take a look at the once staunch critics of the government such as Wimal Weerawansa and Hemakumara Nanayakkara. They traded their voices and beliefs for worthless paper and a miniature throne. They were lured in by the call of the sirens of corruption on their way to the Promised Land of freedom and purity. Who or what are they now? Take a look at the so called ‘venerable monks’ who tarnished the name of the whole fraternity of Buddhist monks for a seat at the parliament and the luxury of a Mercedes Benz in exchange for their alms bowl and purity of mind. This system is powerful enough to attract those who will try to use it to their advantage and discourage and obscure those who are trying to expose it. And the ever gullible people of Sri Lanka STILL believe these bastards even after they’ve exposed their crooked selves. The Sri Lankan people are still following the carrot that keeps on luring them from one predicament to another.

It won’t be long until everyone bends to the will of a greater power. We are systematically being manipulated by the influences of nations that will soon acquire us like just another commodity, we’re unknowingly being bound and gagged into a space where freedom of speech and expression is nothing but urban legend, our political system has turned into the most successful get-rich-quick scheme in the country, and we are being manipulated into being people who can be commanded at the flick of a switch. Sooner or later, Sri Lanka would be transformed into an obscure little dot on the globe where it’ll actually become the pretty little satellite of India that everyone in the world thinks we are.

But how do we emancipate ourselves from where we are now?

I don’t know. I don’t think I could do it alone, and I don’t think you could either. I wish for a day where I see more of us out there, more of us trying to break away from these bonds that limit our words and curb our minds, more of us to reach out to the light from the darkness of the present, more of us to say no to the easy way out, and more of us to speak as one and condemn ourselves for riding on the wave of delusion and impurity.

Where and how do we move away from the predicament of now?

I guess we’ll only find out when we put all like minded people who are pure of heart, pure of reason, and pure of mind together and resist this ugly creature that is corruption, power, and greed; to gain freedom from ourselves. And only then will we be able to call ourselves true Sri Lankans.

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And I shed yet again.

I shed this skin, these eyes, and this voice.

I say goodbye to yet another obsession that was close to my heart. This isn’t the first time. And this won’t be the last. But it has been one of the toughest to cope with.

Never again will I step back into that life. Never again will I see through those eyes and feel with that heart. Never again will I lament in song or sway to the same beat.

It’s all over.

And now I put that all in a box; never to be used again. I won’t step back into that same skin again, but I will remember it whenever I’m looking for inspiration, whenever I’m looking for encouragement, and whenever I’m looking for hope.

I am at a loss for words………..


Thank you to everyone at Hamlet at Elsie’s Bar.

Thank you for the laughs, the warmth, the love, the friendship, and the memories.

It was a pleasure.





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