By Sudat Pasqual –
Political humor is and should be an integral part of a democratic process. Humor can take on subject matter that could be otherwise difficult to broach and also challenge actors to discard unsavory policies and beliefs or at a minimum force those to consider the alternative.
Politicians are probably the easiest to lampoon because many, if not most come across as self-righteous pretenders and puffed up caricatures of the real thing. Pomposity and grandiosity is their main game plan. Therefore irreverence is one of the best ways to bring down the politicians by a notch or two. Lampooning can also draw the uninterested to become more active in political life of a nation. Involvement, especially of the youth is absolutely essential to sustain a vigorous and functional democracy. Never is lampooning more relevant than when a system is faced with the threat of teetering towards the horrors of authoritarianism and totalitarianism.
In recent times, Sri Lankans have been blessed/cursed by the emergence of political characters that are an irreverent writer’s dream. I don’t think one could actually create fictional characters more deserving of our ridicule than our lot on the Diyawanna, the Provinces, Palath Sabas and their off-springs.
In that spirit I place the below before you for digestion and re-gurgitation.
The Lord of the Ring – The Incubator
- MR lifting everyone’s sarong’s/sarees looking for defectors
- MR crying on Gota’s shoulder
- Gota circling the white vans
- MR running in circles with hair/moustache on fire shouting “Panno, panno, parayo”
- Basil with a fire extinguisher shaped bucket of money (with the caption “best used on humans”)
- Solheim did it
- It’s the diaspora
- MR signing hundreds of blank Ministerial appointment letters
- Declaration handing Ruwanveliseya to Rathana Thera
- Champika, I will sack Pavithri, please, please
- Savithri, I will make you beautiful and young, pretty please
- Merv the Perv with a spike looking for bull frogs to slay
- MR with a tattered fishing net trying to catch jumping frogs
- MR signing Presidential decree stating that no one named Maitripala or Sirisena is eligible to vote or contest in Presidential elections
- Namal promises to return all his cars
- MR with a stack of files in hand winking at portrait if J.Edgar Hoover
- GOSL ship taking water in high seas with rats lined up on deck and Nowegian and British Coast Guard vessels standing by
- Wild West gunfight scene with MR holding a six shooter and Maitripala holding a butter knife with the caption “Taking a knife to a gun fight”
- Rajapaksa clan studying map of Seychelles with magnifying glass. Mihin aircraft in the background
- Luxury vehicles and stacks of $ loaded to a fleet of ships
- Headlines in New York Times “Mystery buyer purchases Manhattan Island”
- Pile of Bandaranaike statues, road signs, plaques and name signs in landfill
- Draining of Parakrama Samudraya
- Polonnaruwa being converted to a China Town
- Mandarin declared as the official language of Sri Lanka
The Pretenders to the Throne
In order to be fair and balanced, the opposition also must be poked, prodded and laughed at. While the Opposition has righteousness and self- righteous indignation on their side, there are skeletons in their political closet (some living and breathing and others lying dormant for now).
26. Maitripala sitting on haunches expectantly looking up at CBK and RW holding bone
27. Maitripala led on a chain by RW
28. Goethe Institute Press Colombo churning out copies of Maitri Manifesto
29. Maitripala being baptised by Eran W and Dishan W at Kirimandala Mawatha
30. Security forces exiting North and East closely followed by sewer rats in LTTE uniforms
31. Maitripala and Ranil signing joint declaration giving all Tamils living in the Planetary system the Right of Return
32. Maitripala worshipping CBK
33. Maitripala kissing RW on the mouth.
34. RW and Malik doing a jig on Maitripala’s tombstone
35. RW to Mangala; “Phew, saved by the bell!”
36. Sajith sucking thumb and throwing a temper tantrum
37. Sampanthan kneeling in front of garlanded portrait of Maitripala
38. Karu committing Hara Kiri
39. Giant Trojan Elephant floating on Diyawanna Oya
40. RW and Maitripala dressed in identical herringbone tweed jackets with leather elbow patches
41. “I will make Maitri the Leader of the Opposition in 100 days” RW
42. Giant scissors over Ampara and the North East with SLMC and TNA initials on the scissors
43. Rauff with a sign “Can we have halal in Ampara only?”
44. Tilvin to Maitripala; “We’ll do the posters and stage decorations, but we don’t do Ministries”
45. Solheim leading Maitripala to the dance floor. CBK sulking.
Sri Lanka is a literate country but we do tend to be overly literal. Time has come to read between the lines and laugh at ourselves and the crazies that ruin our lives.