15 December, 2017

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Are We Another “Ford Nation?”

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

For those of you unfamiliar with the manner in which the name of the man who created a very significant spin-off to the industrial revolution in his automobile manufacturing plant is often used, it might, perhaps, be necessary to describe what Henry Ford achieved, warts and all, in the matter of modern industrial production methods.  However, in the age of Google and given the space constraints of this column, I don’t have the luxury of being able to delve into that particular piece of the United States’ economic history. One of the things, though, that evolved over the years was also a very negative use of the brand name of the first mass-produced automobile: the word was used as a (very negative) acronym to read Fix Or Repair Daily or Found On the Road Dead, disparaging to say the least.

Recently, the Canadian, then US and now even some of the European media, have begun to provide headline coverage to another man bearing the same name, the Mayor of Canada’s largest city, Toronto, and one that has been stereotyped by the rest of North America as a great place in which to live but not to visit because of its basically law-abiding and, therefore dull, persona.  All that has changed with the emergence of the most flamboyant of civic politicians.  Rob Ford, the Mayor of Toronto, has succeeded in grabbing the headlines in a manner unprecedented in Canadian politics at any level with his totally irrational behavior.  His mea culpa to driving under the influence of alcohol, association with members of the criminal underworld, smoking crack cocaine and other acts that could be considered beyond politically suicidal is without precedent in Canadian politics at any level.

However, what is even more significant is that, not only is the Mayor of Toronto’s behavior without precedent, it has not resulted in a total erosion of his support.  Recent polls indicate that there is a hard-core minority of Toronto electors, referred to as the “Ford nation” who continue to support their man (apey miniha in local parlance) unwaveringly!  Jeffrey Simpson, a long-standing columnist at what is considered Canada’s “National daily,” the rather staid Globe and Mail, titled a recent column, “Ford Nation stands by its man. No. Matter. What.”  While I have never subscribed to Mr. Simpson’s political leanings, I have respected his journalistic skills and basic integrity, so I read what he had to say on the web-edition of the Globe and Mail with interest.

He claims that there is something like a 30% chunk of the North American population that provides unflinching support to those they see as representing their own interests and all available statistical evidence appears to support this contention.  These are not large-“C” Conservatives in the traditional sense but those who don’t want “government interference” in what is often anti-social and illegal behavior, terming it, as the late unlamented Margaret Thatcher did, as evidence of the dominance of a “Nanny State” mentality.  That 30% – a mathematical minority – can win election for their representatives in situations of low voter turn-outs.  While Sri Lanka has not reached the depths of voter apathy that the so-called Western Democracies have, there has been a clear trend in that direction in recent elections.  The inherent dangers of that kind of apathy, coupled with the very real threat of violence directed at political dissent of any description  will, if it hasn’t already, bring a nation described as a “vibrant democracy” for most of its post-independence history to a pretty sad nadir , assuming that point has not already been reached!

With the massive erosion of the Rule of Law, the impact is felt even more strongly in rural Sri Lanka where the vestiges of law and order that still exist in urban centres are conspicuous by their absence.  Exacerbating this state of affairs is the fact that many of the traditional, often informal, organizational structures that existed in the village that provided the much-needed checks and balances in daily life, have crumbled thanks to years of dog-eat-dog capitalism parading as “economic liberalization” and you have a largely-rural nation at a pretty sorry pass!  Want a bit more icing on that particular cake?  How about the “traditional left,” many with revolutionary pretensions, being a large part of the problem rather than presenting even a theoretical solution to it!

The resemblances of day-to-day life in Sri Lanka to what is considered shockingly aberrant in Toronto are eerie to say the least.

We have politicians who are alcoholics, serial rapists, pedophiles, murderers and the like being showered with praise by those above them and provided with every possible material acknowledgement of their loyalty.  All it takes, not only to survive what should be the fall-out of totally uncivilized behavior but to use that very behavior as a stepping stone to bigger and better things, is unwavering loyalty to the-powers-that-be!  It’s as simple as that and the lesson is driven home at every level and from every angle, from the impeachment of a Chief Justice to Cabinet-level politicians being seemingly immune to prosecution for stoning members of the judiciary.

In the circumstances, is there any doubt that we are another “Ford Nation” that needs to be Fixed Or Repaired Daily?  Perhaps, more important, how long can we afford that particular luxury?

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Latest comments

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    Is this bloke running out of ideas in bashing Srilanka?

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      Max have you found your father yet? don’t give up look for him am sure you will find him, In the mean time don’t forget your medication. I know it difficult with your head half way up the arse of gota and allowed only a short period of rest, what to do the price one has to pay to keep your [Edited out] out of jail.

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      Max – looks like you totally missed the point Emil is making. Better not to display your ignorance with your usually banal comments.

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        Hey Peter,
        What did i miss?Pl enlighten me.Whats this guy talking about?A ford truck or is it a Ford suitcase?Or is it about some other Ford nut?

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          Max – the last line of the first para and the last para should explain it. Hope you ‘get’ it!

          Cheers!

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    In native parlance Fix Or Repair Daily meant “thallu ford”.

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      When we do Thallu F. O. R. D,

      You will get Bloody Tired.
      Last week We have got CHOGOM Gal Banis. [ Very Hard Type Of BUNS].
      So Every body get ready to eat GAL BANIS with NEW Budget Milk Tea.
      Blessing from JRAPASSA and Looter Clan.

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    Well, the only man who could save Canada with his grand idea (some might say conspiracy) of web-based Forum is slowly decaying in a place called Halgolla in the backwoods of Galagedara.

    The relevance of this story that starts with Henry Ford to get to the obese Ford of Toronto shows the backruptcy of ideas this man has to offer.

    Guests at Halgolla home stay are said to report to the CID of subversive political lectures they receive, after coming to the joint hoping for a relaxing holiday.

    Shouldn’t the powers that be provide this man with some counselling to help him recover?

    After all the nation owes him some gratitude for displaying the ills of colonialism in the form of genetic degradation of humans.

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    Poorten’s Vibrant Democracy in post independent SL certainly served the Vellala Burghurs and the Vellala Sinhalese also, as good as in the pre independent era..

    It is only after Nanthikadal that the non Vellalas across all communities are starting to get at least a nibble at some of the privileges these Vellalas have taken for granted.

    Because of time and space constrains I can’t go into the nitty gritty either.

    PS labourers using Backhoes at the back of Mr Poorten’s backyard saving their backs, Bitumen layers,wearing Hard Hats and Fluro Vests on A9 to protect them from Colombo Vellalas’ Pajeros and Super Luxury Coaches plying to their mini Eelaam are a few obvious benefits.

    New Budget which Mr Poorten’s Cosmo mates and their Leader vehemently opposes, promises more development and more benefits to the poor.

    Even Canadian Jersy Cows are to be brought down to provide fresh milk to our proletariat babies.while the FORD lovers and their Diaspora mates in Toronto are being taken care of by their “crack smoking” Mayor.

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    If Ford is a unique character in Toronto, we seem to be infested with such Politikkas, their Offspring and Ape Minissu. Also the role of the village chandiya cannot be forgotten. We have the Police and Hamudawa to give people the works. Thats the way the game is played in Lankawe ape Lankawe.

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    Mr. Vander Pooten:

    Ford’s theory is Crap now in here.

    It is the Chinese theory now it is working.

    Those days americans were rich (the govt was bankrupt as it is today but the citizens were earning today as there won’t be a tomorrow) always earning ans spending because they were thinking about their second or third house in some where or their third or fourth automobile.

    Now they are poor. Now, they make the govt rich while they are eating crumbs.

    That is the CHINESE – CAPITALISM.

    Do you get it ?

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    Max bloody goat! Who is bashing Sri Lanka? You are the one who is running out of ideas because your head is stuck in your own arse! About Emil”s notion about Ford Nation what I can say is our nation is going to be a Do+nation to China.

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    Mr van der Poorten

    Nice little commentary on the coming colours.
    Yes, we have turned the point of no return and all that is left is for the last threads that bind us to our old inherent, much admired decencies, built up over centuries, and still flickering in some of the homes of our beloved land, to finally snap. Finding a public servant or a politician who professes and practices universally acclaimed standards is now an occasion for rejoicing. The country is polarising into those ‘with connections’ and ‘those without’; and the latter are well and truly stuffed. Thick-skinned pig-headedness is now the norm wherever you turn. Civility? How quaint. We are acquiring all the trappings of ‘development’ but look deeper and see the divisions. The barbarians have well and truly taken over and day by day they are setting new standards of degradation. Never mind the hapless fellatio loving Ford, we have our own share of deviants who, take my word, will more than match his low standards. There will be much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth and, possibly, more blood spilt before this country comes to its senses as it surely will one day. Till then we must keep the faith.

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      Play the game according to rules, Spring Koha.
      Sing under your real name, Emil Vander Pooten.

      Why aren’t you writing the hubris under that name. You got the ‘intelligence’ news that certain people make fun of you and your writings?

      That still happens. Though your foreign ‘sources’ may not know.

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        Little Peeved:
        Despite not having the “protection” that you do, I don’t have to adopt pseudonyms, “Spring” or any other “Koha,” to say what I want to. Unfortunately, your malicious viciousness appears to have been a dead giveaway and many reading this material tell me that they know exactly who you are. And that includes people who are ashamed to admit that they are blood relations of yours!

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        Little Peeved

        I am immensly proud to be mistaken for Mr van der Poorten; I only wish I had half the courage he has, to stand tall and write it like it is, in his own name. Openly and without favour, unlike us who have to hide behind our various noms de plume. I can assure you that I have NO connection, blood or otherwise, with Mr van der Poorten and If our writing styles are similar it is because, I suspect, we both go back to a time when education in Sri Lanka (Ceylon then) was at its zenith and we were greatly privileged to have english teachers who taught us properly (unlike the present ‘man woke on derabijja’ brigade). Heck, and we learned latin and greek too, to strengthen our appreciation of this alien but necessary language.

        We should safeguard Mr van der Poorten and his ilk otherwise we shall end up with a monocultural incestuous sinhala-buddhist mess with everyone going round smelling each others nether regions to seek out a bit of variety. To think that everything was panning out nicely for a newly independent Ceylon till a restless, insecure, opportunistic, short-sighted little man foisted his ‘sinhala ONLY’ political pettagama on the nation and the ensuing furore that led to the exodus of much of our english-educated citizens and the decimation of our burgher population. Who would have thought that the day would come when we would aspire to become a ‘trilingual’ nation – at least in MaRa’s chinthanaya.

        Little Peeved, if you still harbour doubts, and if you should ever pass my modest hacienda in our beautiful south, look for the model Koha that regales my door post – I love that bird and its erotic love calls. As for you Little Peeved, I see many of you and your illegitimate offspring as I fly around our magical island. Dim and harmless and much wanting to be heard and loved. Never fret; I will defend the right for you, Mr van der Poorten and all who wish to heard, to be heard.

        So, ‘Little Peeved’, or, should it now be ‘Much Peeved’ I hope you can find it in you to subjugate your native cunning/inquisitiveness and accept my confirmation that you are mistaken and you have read your coffee grounds incorrectly.

        I bear you no malice – go in peace.

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          Pooten, through this reply you have scored the stupidest own goal in anti-government website stakes.

          The bile, the stupid ‘mine is bigger than yours’ arrogance and the general lack of competency in the English language in this wste matter proves beyond doubt that you are a coward who attempts to hide behind pseudonyms and throw stones at the Sri Lankan society.

          Make an effort to read some of the Buddha’s teachings.

          You might even be able to learn a bit about the past of people like Ranmenika, Kirimenika and others who have suffered in Sri Lanka’s history and given rise to half-bred mongrels.

          I can say go in peace to you, but yor path only leads to the raging fires of hell! Suffer.

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            Little Peeved

            I don’t know who is laughing louder; Mr van der Poorten or I. Little Peeved, you are now morphing in to an obnoxious little shit and that is not funny. What annoys me even more is when you brought the noble one in to our little spat. What is this madness that we Sri Lankans have of trying to show off our buddhist credentials in every argument? Where were you when I stood on the stage of the YMBA hall in Borella one Saturday in 1962? extolling
            ………for I will not have that crown
            Which may be mine: I lay aside those realms
            Which wait the gleaming of my naked sword:
            My chariot shall not roll with bloody wheels
            From victory to victory, till earth
            Wears the red record of my name. I choose
            To tread its paths with patient……..

            Little Peeved, did you recognise those lines on the noble one? Please don’t come to talk to me about the life and teachings of the noble being. Certainly not in your present state though I have hope for every living being and even you may be capable of redemption. For now I will ignore your very un-budddhist exhortation that ‘I suffer in hell’ and I leave it to Mr van der Poorten for whom it was misguidedly intended to find it in him to forgive you too.

            Little Peeved, take your medicine and resist the descending red mist and the attendant paranoia. Life is too short for harbouring hard feelings. Go in peace and may the dusty road rise to meet you on your journey through samsara.

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    Emil did not think writing about how three people, THREE CONSERVATIVE SENATORS, – two men and one woman, two of those were reputed journalists in Canada who would report govt “misdeeds”. THAT IS THE STORY TO TALK ABOUT. Because, harpers man can not do anything without HARPER knowing it.

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      Jim Softy:
      Does your Thesaurus (assuming you know what that is) include the expression “red herring?”

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    Max Silva, Little Peeved, K.A. Sumanasekera:
    Can’t wait for the rest of your tribe to add their two cents worth to the cacophony constantly complaining about the quality of what I write while, obviously, religiously reading every line every week!
    As for the more-than-implied threat of a “white-van future,” that sounds suspiciously like an individual who tried (in the “war days”)to frame various people by having explosives deposited in their cars and then calling the closest check point with the information!

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      Mr Poorten

      Light reading is a respite from the heavy hitters from your camp, like PM Rudra. HR Kiruba.the Reverend,Dr Harsha and not forgetting our beloved Ms T.

      Besides I like Burghurs.

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        K. A. Sumanasekera:
        So you like “Burghers” do you?
        What kind? Double cheese, triple decker? You can’t even spell the name of the community to which I don’t belong! More reason for “tuition classes” for you and the rest of the morons, I’m afraid!

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        Mr Poorten,

        You invited the “Tribe”,

        Boy , haven’t they come big time.

        I liked the Chiks,when I was at school,and even after starting work.

        They are more fun than my own tribe, to tell you the truth.

        Can’t understand why you became a grumpy old Burgher?.

        Get into Gal and Pork Smore njoy life with a Pork smore

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    Henry Ford revolutionized the technology and mass production many others continued to copy and emulate even today. We used to have Ford vehicles in Sri Lanka running 100,000 miles during British colonial time. Now the Ford focuses on Left hand drive cars which are used in most of the world except a few British colonial countries. Ford owned and operated Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo Car to name a few. Ford also partly owned Mazda. Ford won “the international engine of the year” for the second year in a row award in the European competition judged by 87 auto journalists from 35 countries (Ford won the second year in a row best engine). The comparison of Toronto drug addict mayor named ford with a great company is like like Van der Poorten is comparing to Va der Sloot the teen rapist and murder.

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      Ignorant Van Dick

      You are indeed ignorant, but please don’t display it here.

      Your potted potty history of the Ford Motor Company was indeed selective. You left out the anti-semitism and the Nazi leanings and other transgressions that egregious Pappa Ford supported as he sought world domination for his little dream.

      ‘Now the Ford focuses on Left hand drive cars which are used in most of the world except a few British colonial countries’………………..so let’s see the few

      India – second most populous country, Indonesia – 4th, Pakistan – 6th, Bangladesh-8th…..and on and on and then the UK, South Africa and Australia etc etc etc. See the list below; some few, uh!

      The Incomparable Ignorant Van Dick. Thank God you hide behind a pseudonym. Go compare.

      Alderney
      Anguilla
      Antigua and Barbuda
      Australia
      Bahamas
      Bangladesh
      Barbados
      Bermuda
      Bhutan
      Botswana
      Brunei
      Cayman Islands
      Christmas Island
      Cocos (Keeling) Islands
      Cook Islands
      Cyprus[28]
      Dominica
      East Timor
      Falkland Islands
      Fiji
      Grenada
      Guernsey
      Guyana
      Hong Kong
      India
      Indonesia

      Ireland
      Isle of Man
      Jamaica
      Japan
      Jersey
      Kenya
      Kiribati
      Lesotho
      Macau
      Malawi
      Malaysia
      Maldives
      Malta
      Mauritius
      Montserrat
      Mozambique
      Namibia
      Nauru
      Nepal
      New Zealand
      Niue
      Norfolk Island
      Pakistan
      Papua New Guinea
      Pitcairn Islands
      Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
      Saint Kitts and Nevis
      Saint Lucia
      Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
      Samoa
      Seychelles
      Singapore
      Solomon Islands
      South Africa
      Sri Lanka
      Suriname
      Swaziland
      Tanzania
      Thailand
      Tokelau
      Tonga
      Trinidad and Tobago
      Turks and Caicos Islands
      Tuvalu
      Uganda
      United Kingdom
      British Virgin Islands
      US Virgin Islands
      Zambia
      Zimbabwe

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        Oh heck!

        I forgot to highlight JAPAN where they drive on the LEFT and are one of the TOP THREE car producers in the world.

        I hope I have not been infected with a bit o’the Van Dicks.

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    Hey Spring Koha,
    What the f_k you have to say for the comparison of a drug addict mayor by the name of ford to a great company that changed this world immensly. Tell me a company or a country that did not harm its own people or violate human rights in this world. Japan is another ugly name I purposely ignored since the issue is not about a country. You are another ignorant pig who does not know to comment on the report and instead bring a plethora of other things. What I said about comparing a drug addict and a great company like comparing the reporter Van der Poorten is comparing to Va der Sloot the teen rapist and murderer. Please comment on that comparison if you are not so ignorant yourself. May be it hurt you about two Van der humans in comparison?

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      Ignorant Van Dick:
      You certainly picked a very appropriate nom de plume, particularly the last word!
      In case you didn’t know, Henry Ford was the worst single exploiter of his workers in that period of US history, had unarmed striking workers killed, set up factories in partnership with Stalin in the USSR and was acknowledged as the most prominent Fascist and anti-working class capitalist in the USA of that time, and that was the heyday of people of that kind beginning with the Carnegies and including the Rockefellers.
      Haven’t got time to try to educate the ignorant, otherwise I’d set up “tuition classes” for you and the rest of those being “sponsored” by your paymasters about whose identity there is very little doubt.

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    Emil van der Poorten
    Idiot comparison of a drug addict to a company. There was a president by teh name of Ford too. Set up classes how to rape and kill innocent teenagers.

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      Idiot Van De:
      Different name, same idiot! Some of your friends must be impressed by the fact that you knew that there was also a President called “Ford.” Good thing you didn’t have the same name because we’d have to give you a “Thallu” over some handy precipice in the interests of environmental hygiene!

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    Your idiot article, you still cannot defend no matter what your ca-caing under various names. Idiot, compare a man to a man and a Corporation to a Corporation. You go around blaming whole world to show more of your idiocity. Shut up or write some sensible article next time. Learn to write some useful articles instead of showing your idiocy. That’s all I said whether it is a drug addict Ford or Ford Company or anything person or thing no matter.

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      Ignorant [Edited out]

      Picture the scene here: I am doubling in laughter. Stitches. Joyous dull pain. Here’s me, a recalcintrant bastard at best, being, again, mistaken for the brave and forthright Mr van der Poorten. I am much honoured. How I wish I had the cojones to stand up and be heard in my own name.

      Is it open season or what? First, a little shit who masquerades as Little Peeved, now a turd playing an Ignorant [Edited out].

      C’est la vie; like the poor, the fools will always be with us.

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        Shit Koha,
        I do understand why you are upset.I share your grief.What a shame that that wonderful human being left us so early!Anyway i just had a wonderful time today at Nandikadal!

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    Idiot cannot understand the useless comparison he made in his article and keep driveling sh-t about whole world to cover it up. Just because your clone names have a foreign name, Van der Poo and know a little English do not think Sri Lankans are fools. Write something sensible idiot. I cannot say that anymore b-s-d-d.

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    Guys, Relax please..

    At least Mr Poorten lives in the Motherland, unlike the others who hang shit, but never seen the joint after getting their Visas.

    Also Mr Poorten keeps us entertained with his articles about the environment and the old colonial life.

    Despite what the Bullington Kid from Mr Poorten’s camp says we are still a vibrant Economy.

    Isn’t it only yesterday that the TNA heavy Sira,sang Hossanas to the Tiger Chief Prabakaran in our own Democratic Peoples Assembly.to coincide with the LTTE ohief’s birth anniversary.

    And that is freedom and we should be proud of it.

    Would Cameron and Harper allow the Muslim MPs in their respective Parliaments to make speeches on Bin Laden’s Birth or Death Anniversary?.,

    Old Fords are highly sought after, in Diaspora Lands.

    Mr Pooten can do a part time bussinees if can locate them and export to enthusiasts.

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    Dear Sumanasekera

    Blessed are the peacemakers! Just one small correction; I too live in the motherland but I do travel extensively, to earn my bread and butter…and a little jam too, and while I travel I never forget the words I learnt all those many years ago at my old school in Maradana, that go along the lines of
    Breathes the man with soul so dead
    who never to himself hath said,
    This is my own, my native land!
    etc etc etc.

    God bless Sri Lanka.

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