20 September, 2020

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Friendship And Enmity

By Malinda Seneviratne – 

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Addressing the UN General Assembly last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa subsequent to what can be called a pointed but relatively mild critique of the movers and shakers of the organization, reiterated the bottom-line of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy: ‘Friendship towards all and enmity towards none.’

We live in a world where it is not easy to distinguish friend from enemy or worse are required as per diplomatic courtesies to call everyone ‘friend’.  It gets more difficult if you belong to the powerful class.  The USA, for example, is at war with Syria and the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) even as Syria and IS are at each others’ throats.  The US is at loggerheads with Iran, but that country is against the IS.  The US sees friend in Saudi Arabia but that country is not exactly anti-IS.

The edge that the USA has, though, is the ability to do as it pleases without having to explain these contradictions.  In short, the USA can say ‘Our foreign policy is simple: enmity to all and friend to none’. It won’t stop the rest of the world from listening to Barack Obama and even cheering his double-speak, absolute disregard for history, utter lack of remorse over error and crime and indeed a celebration of both as justified and of benefit to all including victims, respectively.

Mahinda @UN 2014Those who are less privileged (in terms of wealth and firepower) can afford to have a friend-to-all foreign policy and demonstrate it for the most part.  It won’t elicit any cheers though.  We do not live in a happy world and that is the reason.

Still, if sentiments have worth, the Sri Lankan position has to be applauded.  It is not too different to sentiments once expressed by the former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, again at the UN, ‘we support the notion of nuclear power for peaceful purposes for everyone and we are against anyone having nuclear power designed for non-peaceful purposes.’

Let’s face it.  Sri Lanka can take the most principled positions in any forum and still go ‘unheard’ and have pernicious and destructive agenda thrust down its throat.  Articulation is easy but enforcement unfortunately is not in our hands.

But what is not possible in one forum can be possible elsewhere.  This is where President Rajapaksa has work to do, can-be-done work that is.  What guides engagement with the rest of the world can also guide all domestic engagement as well, especially since he is the all-powerful chief executive of the country.

Again, we see the dilemmas and the privileges of the powerful.  What the USA, for example, does and does not do (regardless of slick Obamian rhetoric), the confusion of identities (enemies and friends), scant disregard for objection and celebration of bad as good (with raucous cheering) we see here in Sri Lanka as well.

It is all done in the name of the people, in the name of development, justice, improving opportunities, buttressing political stability and the like, but there’s palpable disenfranchisement and disempowerment even as there is some truth in the claims made.  At times the regime seems people-friendly, but at times it appears extra-friendly to some people and not others.  At times it appears at odds with the constitution and with the law.   There have been occasions when the high and mighty has sided with wrongdoers and defend wrongdoing and clearly show enmity to the victims.

President Rajapaksa, perhaps more than any national leader since Independence has shown an enormous capacity to forgive and forget, and to turn enemy into friend.  There have been times when he has not exactly acknowledged error and arrogance of his political associates but has nevertheless taken corrective measures.  This is why many want him and no one else to intervene and resolve disputes.  He has the people’s pulse, he has the constitutional powers and he has the parliamentary numbers to put the system in order, re-invent the institutional arrangement and ensure compliance of politician and official so that no one has to depend on his kindness when seeking redress for wrongs done to them.

That would be the best ‘friendship’ (to all) that he can deliver. That would be the legacy that lasts.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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  • 11
    1

    Modi and Mahinda hold talks in the US – Colombo Gazette

    THANK YOU PM MODI FOR GIVING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR PHOTOSINGHNO FOR THIS LONG WAITED MOMENT. OUR POOR MASSES HAVE POCKETED OUT SLRs 1000 MILLION FOR SOME OF THESE PICTURES SHOT OUT IN NY CITY DURING A WEEK LONG PERIOD. THIS PHOTO TELLS A STORY OF A THOUSAND WORDS ITSELF. DESPITE BEING AN EDUCATED AND WITH YOUR EXCELLENT COMMAND IN ENGLISH YOURSELF YOU CHOSE TO HAVE AN INTERPRETER TO COMMUNICATE WITH POTOSINGHGNO. WHY? REASON THAT EVERYBODY ELSE CAN UNDERSTAND EXCEPT HIM!
    THAT IS THE TYPE OF LEADERSHIP WE SRI LANKA HAS AT PRESENT. COMMON SENSE MAKES NO PART IN HIS LIFE.
    YOUR EYES ARE NOT ON HIS. SIGNS OF UNCOMFORTABLE NATURE. YOU COULD IMAGINE THE PATHETIC SITUATION OUR FELLOW COUNTRY MEN GOING THROUGH.

    BUT HONOURABLE SIR, AS YOUR HIGH COMMISSIONER KNOWS TOO, BEAR WITH THIS SITUATION FOR A FEW MORE MONTHS PLEASE. SRI LANKAN PEOPLE OF COURSE WILL NEED YOUR FAR SIGHTED SUPPORT TO BUILD GREAT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SRI LANKA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD TO RESUSCITATE THE GOOD-NAME, HONOUR AND DIGNITY THAT WERE ERASED FROM THE FACE OF OUR COUNTRY. HENCE WE URGE PM MODI IN A VERY RESPECTABLE WAY TO BE KIND WITH OUR PEOPLE. WE ARE GETTING READY WITH;

    VEN SOBHITHA THERO + MESSRS RANIL + ANURA+ FONSEKA+ KARU+ SMABANTHAN + HAKIM +MANGALA +NIMAL+ MAITHRI +HARIN+ RUWAN +SAJITH……++++ OF COURSE THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND THE WHOLE NATION IS IN ONE FORCE TO PUT POTOSINGHGNO IN THE SEA AND FORM THE GOVERNMENT FOR PEOPLE TO BRING IN NEW HOPES AND DIGNITY. LONG LIVE MY BELOVED MOTHER LAND, SRI LANKA

    • 5
      1

      Malinda you write pure drivel!

      Really, the world is not and never was black and white – you are NO international relations specialist and this is naive BULLSHIT!

      Even we Sinhala Modayas can see that you write rubbish…and you are a true Sinhala Modaya who should know when to SHUT UP!

      Or, please write about Mahinda Rajapaksa and Goon Gota being the next Jayalalitha Jeyram of South Asia – war criminals who will be imprisoned for ill gotten gains!

    • 4
      0

      Malinda [Edited out], I suggest that you read the book; When Victims Become Killers by Mahmood Mamdani of Columbia University.

      We are tired of your sob stories about how Sinhala Buddhist modayas have been victimized by all and sundry from time immemorial! The Brits, the US, India, Tamils, Christians are all BAD GUYS…

      Fact is that it is the Sinahala Modayas who have since 1948 independence been the greatest PERPETRATORS of VIOLENCE – real and EPISTEMIC – in the Miracle of Modayas – before and after the Monster Prabakaran.

      SInhala un-Bubuddhist Modayas like your who systematically DISTORT Buddhism, history and the truth because of your own INSECURITIES and inferiority complex to attack minorities in the Miracle of Modayas are the cause for the rise of Monster Prabakaran and his LTTE murders.

      I know you love to wallow in victim-hood, simplistic us-them Manichean binaries (“we are the good guys and you are either with or against us) ..etc. But really, Malinda, Get a life, man!!! Find another JOB and spare us your drivel… and stop wollowing in your fake Sinhala Buddhist misery!

    • 2
      1

      Malinda seems to have taken the job of DJ to this day.

      Not only the world – but increasing large fractions within UPFA and opposition cant digest MR family politics to this day. Thanks to him we cant go to UK and any western nations today. We are branded as tamil murderes.

  • 7
    2

    White washer and Shill Malinda Seneviratne –

    “Addressing the UN General Assembly last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa subsequent to what can be called a pointed but relatively mild critique of the movers and shakers of the organization, reiterated the bottom-line of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy: ‘Friendship towards all and enmity towards none.’”

    Mara Raja is a liar, simple.

    So, is this your job this week as White washer and Shill of MaRa?

    White washer and Shill Malinda Seneviratne, don’y you have any shame? What did your mother tell you?

  • 6
    1

    JAILING THE POLITICIANS – COLOMBO GAZETTE

    POTOSINHGNO NEXT?

    RULE OF LAW..!, MY DEAR ITS ABOUT RULE OF LAW…!!! RESPECTABLE NATIONS RESPECT THE LAW OF THEIR LANDS MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. THEY NEVER TRY TO USE TO COOK THE RULES TO MAKE SOUPS. WHEN STUPID MONKEYS TAKE THAT IN TO THE HANDS, NO ONE CAN STOP IT FROM BECOMING PARADISE OF A;

    KUDU, GANJA, KASIPPU, GANIKA, SLAVERY, SOBANA, HORA, MERA, WANCHA DUSHANA, MAKOLLA, MINIMARUM, SWINDLING OF 60% OF PEOPLE’S MONEY

    THAT IS WHY WE ARE WORKING TO RESCUE THE NATION AND FORM THE PEOPLE’S GOVERNMENT FOR PEOPLE UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF;

    VEN SOBHITHA THERO + MESSRS RANIL + ANURA+ FONSEKA+ KARU+ SMABANTHAN + HAKIM +MANGALA +NIMAL+ MAITHRI +HARIN+ RUWAN +SAJITH……++++ OF COURSE THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND THE WHOLE NATION IS IN ONE FORCE TO PUT POTOSINGHGNO IN THE SEA AND FORM THE GOVERNMENT FOR PEOPLE TO BRING IN NEW HOPES AND DIGNITY. LONG LIVE MY BELOVED MOTHER LAND, SRI LANKA

  • 8
    1

    GIFTING OF US$ 1 MILLION TO PALESTINE PEOPLE AND POTOGIMMICKS

    Gifting of people’s money to an amount of US$1 million is not a problem for SL people, though they have their own problems of eating and drinking themselves now in the country. Knowing the amount of distress the Palestinian people underwent during the raids and missile attacks etc. on them by neighboring Israel we too should have shared their anguish and torment for obvious reasons. The problems happened were politically motivated hence we cannot take sides. However our POTOSINGHGNO offered the said money, just like his own money, to help Palestinian people with an ulterior motive.

    Though this was a more than a month old story, i was utterly surprised to see that this money has been given to Palestinian people only yesterday, much long after the calamity has already taken its toll.

    What would be the use of having money now? POTOSIGHGNO is, as I am trying to show clearly, a show man. POTOSINGHGNO says he is a big friend of Palestinians but did not send money until he is able to take POTO at handing it over to President Abbas. I suppose if President Abbas did not come to see him, like many others came from around the world for UNGA, this money would have not gone to Palestine people at all?

    Do POTOSINGHGNO really and genuinely care about the humanitarian causes?

    We do not like our country getting into cheap levels by cheap tactics by its narrorw-minded leader.

  • 8
    4

    Malinda Senevirathne:

    You say you are Harvard educated. But, see how you bent completely for the free laptop and the interest-free car loan.

    Obama is a black guy who suffered a lot in his own country. Yet, see how Oaama is behaving like a white.

    Strange world.

    What money, prestige and status can do.

    • 2
      0

      Jim Softy. I used to think so too until I read the rants of Cynthia McKinney the former Congresswoman who has been saying for years that all US Lawmakers have to sign a pledge to support Israel at every turn. Nobody has refuted her and it is believable as the Israel Lobby is so influential there. Their influence is feasible as the political donations, of which the US politicians receive $Millions, from the Jewish entrepreneurs, of whom there are many, are filtered through the Jewish Lobby. They are impartial as they donate to both sides. The government system there is so cackhanded that The President is toothless without the support of the Congress. E.g. He pledged to close Guantanamo and even signed an Executive Order as one of his very first orders. Despite international condemnation, Guantanamo is still there.

    • 1
      0

      Jim,

      Have some sense in your head for a change!

      “Obama is a black guy who suffered a lot in his own country. Yet, see how Oaama is behaving like a white.”

      Obama is the President of the United States of America, which is home to all Americans, and not just for the Blacks. How do you expect Obama to be, just looking after the Blacks? It is incumbent on Obama to act on American interests and working towards wealth creation and social justice. Do you have any criticism about those policies that he adapted? I am sure there are areas you can point your finger at him, but do not for goodness sake talk about Black this and that!

      Obama as a Black man becoming the President of the USA, has broken the shackles and barriers that Black people perceived is preventing them from social advancement. He has shown the way implicitly and explicitly empowering all Americans as well as giving hope for the world at large.

      You stand for the Sinhala Buddhist hegemony and subjugation of the minorities, and you have no basis whatsoever to judge a man who has done so much for social advancement of underprivileged in America. When Ruby Bridgers visited the White House for viewing the end of school segregation exhibition, he remarked to Ruby B saying that, if she, as a child, had not braved to end the school segregation, he would not be standing as the president of USA now. What does that say to you? Obama’s legacy would be felt in years to come more positively.

      As for you, there is no hope; your head is filled with bigotry obscuring your outlook that you cannot see wood from trees!

  • 7
    1

    I do not know what Malinda smokes and drinks. He is the stupidest guy on earth to make these comments.

  • 5
    2

    Seneviratne’s simplification of the US foreign policy as enmity to all is somewhat dated and inaccurate. The post Bush policy of engaging with UN mechanisms and other international institutions and abandoning the unilateralist approach towards international affairs are evident in its approach to the Ukraine, Libya, rising China. Obama has chaired the security council twice meeting twice in his term.
    The new found appreciation of international institutions are not due to some new found moral compass to steer by, but rather a recognition of its own weakness and the need for international coalitions that can delay the decline of the pax americana world order.
    Like most make to order columnist Seneviratne appears liberal with opinion and frugal with facts. He should read more.

    • 2
      0

      Read what????????/.

      Ransid Mahinda Chinthanya???????///.
      This Harvard educated Idiot is writing like a year 1 kid! ,
      As you say,
      “At times the regime seems people-friendly, but at times it appears extra-friendly to some people and not others”.
      Correct man;
      Extra-friendly to, Only for Jarapassa Clan, Their goons and Some Axxe likers like a Maalindaa S.

      “President Jaraapaksa, perhaps more than any national leader since Independence has shown an enormous capacity to forgive and forget, and to turn enemy into friend.

      His good friends Are Former killing Squads of LTTErs,
      Looter Idiots Africans like Robert Mugabes like,
      Heroin Dealing Pakistanis, Malayeasians,
      Commission Crows Chinees,
      Casino and Prostitution Mafia kings and Gangs.
      Human Butchers.
      Where is your so called SINHALA BUDDHISM ?????????.
      This is a SHAME FOR US, BUDDHISTS;

    • 0
      0

      Your comments are so far removed the truth that they cannot be allowed to go unchallenged. There was NEVER any collaboration with the UN on what the US attempted to do in the Ukraine. It is now well known that the US spent US$ 5 billion undermining the democratically elected government and the resultant coup replaced him with a Zionist kowtowing to the US. Nuland’s “F**K the EU” comment is too well known dismissing all EU concerns. The Ukrainians whose economy is at least 60% dependent on Russia cannot now pay for the gas that they will need to warm their homes in the approaching winter. The industrial heartland in the East wants to revert to being part of Russia while Nazi controlled west wants EU affiliation. Some 9 million EU farmers whose products are no longer welcome in Russia also pay the price for US attempts to extend it’s hegemony (full spectrum dominance) around the globe.
      Libya too suffered because the US required a servile imbecile at the top. US/NATO flew
      26500 sorties (with at least 50,000 civilian deaths), on a concocted story that the people in the eastern city of BenGhazi were at risk. The US ‘concern’ for the Libyans were such that they even sent a CIA tool who had lived in the US for 20 years to take over the regime, but this failed, and he is still trying to take control with the help of UAE and Qatar. Hillary Clinton’s memorable comment “We came, We saw, and he died” celebrating the murder of Gaddafy certainly was not Shakespearean.. The whereabouts of a large part of the Libyan National Endowment was mismanaged by western banks (being sued in London) is another side of the story. Libya today is in ruins with no effective government, while it’s oil wealth is being shipped away. What happened to the Libyan armoury is another story, and is next extension of the story, with the attempt to replace the Syrian leader. I am sure you are familiar with that. Not all Muslims are fools. They realised that the US was intent on pitting Arab against Arab, before taking on the Iranians. China certainly has got the measure of the US and won’t be easily overcome. That war will be fought on US soil.
      All in all the US has absolutely no respect for any international organisation except NATO which is under it’s total control.

  • 2
    2

    US Foreign Policy has done a fantastic job on the inhabitants of the Middle East who in combination controlled 60 % of the World’s oil reserves and had the biggest FR surpluses in the world..

    If the UNP Christian Faction takes over, Uncle Sam and nephew Ranil will look after our poor rural inhabitants too , who by the way are the great majority.

    Prior to Praba, UNP and JVP had the best record in killings, political assassinations and dodgy deals.

    Those dreadful activities continued with more vigour , and some even in partnerships or on contract with Praba.for 30 years.

    SLFP has been pretty lame in that regard, specially killing opponents with in or outside.

    Even after Nanthikadal, no evidence of any change, except wild allegations.

    But the UNP and JVP have become the bastions of good governance, Ghandhian style care of the inhabitants and Human Rights Champions.

    And they are well supported by the ITAK and other militants who have now become parts of the TNA.

    No body cared about murder, killings, drug deals, arms smuggling kidnappings black markets, or human rights for three decades..

    And it is not even half a decade since Nanthikadal, all our do gooders want squeaky clean Democracy, with total Transparency.

    Did all the crooks, murderers, politicians , gangsters and even officials who operated with impunity for three decades disappear with Prabakaran?.

    Patience is what is needed from the great majority to allow the President to complete the current development phase in his next term.

    Opposition has the chance to expose the corrupt opponents and make them lose their official positions at elections ., instead of crying foul and making silly allegations.

    Have they done it in the last 4 or 5 major elections which were held since Nanthikadal?…

    • 3
      1

      K.A Sumanasekera

      Were you born to a puritanical Christian family and has never been allowed to enjoy pleasures of this world?

      Perhaps you are still rebelling against your disciplinarian upbringing. Its al right you can relax now.

  • 2
    1

    We expect noble behavior from monks because they preach noble things. We expect high standards of democratic practice from those countries that preach so high about democracy. We often get frustrated for even the simple mistakes they do because we expect high standards. We do not get that shocked to hear news from North Korea because we don’t expect that high things from those leaders.

    So, by preaching high values at UN, president Rajapaksa is putting Sri Lanka in a difficult situation that he and his family and cabinet of ministers cannot defend by deed. Gone are the days we can just preach and get back to business as usual. People see the deeds through free and broad availability of video evidence. How UVA election was conducted with broad daylight violence against opposition parties is not compatible with this big talk at UN – “friendship towards all and enmity towards none”. His appeal to trust Sri Lankan law enforcement capability is nullified by photo and video evidence of how the police behaved during the UVA violence against opposition parties.

    So, Malinda, this guy is not doing any justice to Sri Lanka by preaching at UN. We may disagree.

    • 2
      0

      thrishantha:

      Even though you are educated you comments are very dumb.

      • 0
        1

        Oh Softie, we missed your intellectual radiance! where were you?

  • 1
    0

    What is Michelle Sison still doing in Sri Lanka? She was ‘promoted’ to play underling to the blood thirsty Samantha Power at the UN. The US (and the Anglo proxies) can say/preach one thing and do the exact opposite and still pretend nothing is amiss. It’s behaviour towards Iran and Russia are prime examples.

    What the President has pointed out to the UNSG is absolutely true, but one cannot bank on Ban ki Moon. He knows where his next meal comes from.

  • 2
    1

    What a pathetic piece of writing!

    The bottom line of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy may once well have been ‘Friendship towards all and enmity towards none’ but this is hardly the case now. What we have seen under this administration is a silly effort to gratuitously and conspicuously offend and alienate the west. If the Rajapakse government has in fact followed the policy Mailnda Seneviratne (MS) says it has, there will be no reason for it to be talking ceaselessly of foreign conspiracies to get rid of it.

    And how can MS compare SL’s professed foreign policy position with the sentiments expressed by the former President of Iran who, in the context cited, was talking about nuclear weapons? Talk of comparing apples with oranges.

    And is MS dreaming? He certainly takes the cake with his assertion that “President Rajapaksa, perhaps more than any national leader since Independence has shown an enormous capacity to forgive and forget, and to turn enemy into friend.” Oh, yes? I suppose we should expect a certain Sarath Fonseka and a certain Shirani Bandaranayake to attest to that!

    And to hark back to SL’s foreign policy, let’s keep things in perspective. Who really of the world powers really cares about it? SL can make all sorts of noises about it being non aligned and all that, but to what effect?

    Since SL was admitted to the UN what we have seen is an endless procession of SL leaders making that pilgrimage to New York to address the General Assembly (and often talk to mostly empty benches) and there to fatuously tell them of our ancient history and our glorious civilisation and wallow in an exercise of self delusion. And who has benefited from those costly excursions? Only the leaders and their bloated delegations have stood to gain. In terms of tangible results, the country has received little or nothing

  • 1
    0

    Malinda Mali,

    Perhaps you should switch to better quality ganja

    “President Rajapaksa, perhaps more than any national leader since Independence has shown an enormous capacity to forgive and forget”

    Former President Bandaranakye finds you hero most vengeful and she has expressed that publicly.

    Its time for you to start looking a for a new supplier. Your current one ain’t going to last long.

    Good luck bro.

  • 2
    1

    Senaka de Z. Sirwardena, et al. Obviously you know nothing about compute etiquette (no need to shout to spout venom) and know even less about Mahinda Rajapakse (MR).
    I’m no fan of MR but to claim that the donation to the Palestinians was for a photo opportunity is a travesty. Before MR was even an active politician, he was a busy Human Rights activist and he has been supporting the Palestinian cause from the outset.

    As for the deplorable double standards of the West, I’ll mention just one example. Fingers are pointed at MR for the way the LTTE leader was brought down. Yet, America entered Pakistan in a clandestine operation, took Bin Laden out of his home and killed him (and several others) in full view of the world. Similarly, leaders of Iraq and Libya were also killed without their rights being heard. On these operations Human Rights has taken a back seat.

    I need not look far to recognise sycophants from what they write and Malinda Seneviratne is certainly not one.

    • 0
      2

      ” America entered Pakistan in a clandestine operation, took Bin Laden out of his home and killed him (and several others) in full view of the world. Similarly, leaders of Iraq and Libya were also killed without their rights being heard. On these operations Human Rights has taken a back seat.”

      hadn’t it America ( Russia or Israel)some one else would have bombed the hell out of the whole building , obviously Obama cared about the other occupants , hence orders were issued to do minimal damage to the property and the rest of the occupants , as to Sadam and Gadafi’s rights being violated , that’s the joke of the century.

    • 0
      1

      HAI ZILAVIA
      As you have to understand that so many women were practising the world’s oldest profession for personal gains.
      It is no difference to Sri lankans also.
      THIS ONLY A GIVE AND TAKE Duty.

      DO You Like commodity bartering!!!!!.

      “”””””””””Senaka de Z. Sirwardena, et al. Obviously you know nothing about compute etiquette (no need to shout to spout venom) and know even less about Mahinda Rajapakse (MR). I’m no fan of MR but to claim that the donation to the Palestinians was for a photo opportunity is a travesty.”””””””

      Before Satisfying Barbaric Palestinians, He must Support and Help Poor Srilankans, You do not know how Those Barbaric Palestinians doing to Sri Lankans in middle east, not giving food or salary and run away with contact money.
      Just Check with Returnees how they suffered?.
      And Barbaric Palestinians getting donation from Oil Sheikhs and enjoying posh lives like JARAPASSA CLAN.

      DO YOU KNOW THAT.
      HAVE YOU EVER LIVED or WORK IN MIDDLE EAST with Barbaric Palestinians???//.

  • 0
    0

    ” This is why many want him and no one else to intervene and resolve disputes. He has the people’s pulse, he has the constitutional powers and he has the parliamentary numbers to put the system in order, re-invent the institutional arrangement and ensure compliance of politician and official so that no one has to depend on his kindness when seeking redress for wrongs done to them.” what a joke…………..!

    I think you are on your head. When you finish your break, you have to go to that pit again to pay.

  • 0
    0

    ‘Friendship towards all and enmity towards none.’
    Closer to home Malinda, i dare you to write a piece on the recent “friendly” punch up in NYC.
    I dare say a mental/keyboard block

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