POLITICAL SKETCHBOOK                  by Rajpal Abeynayaka  

The writing on the school wall
Dr Jayalath Jayewardene was looking rather lost recently at a Colombo embassy party. As if he was looking for some St. Bridget's Convent girls.

What Jayalath Jayewardne couldn't be accused of having very much, during his entire tenure as a government MP, was finesse. The LTTE, at least once upon a time considered Milinda Moragoda to be as delicate as a Perera and Sons sponge cake. He was treated somewhat like a debutante in a frilly dress at a Colombo coming out party.

But the LTTE never treated Dr JJ with any of this kind of gentility. There were various functions and public meetings in Jaffna at which they closed the door to the doctor because he rubbed all kinds of people on their wrong side.

His son took tar and brush, poster and paste, and like the JVP launching the parapet wall revolution he began writing on St Bridget's Convent walls and pasting posters.

The kind of language he used on those walls, now that's something beyond description. At least in these pages. A policeman who was passing by recognized what was being written was not exactly parliamentary language.

He wanted the words erased and the posters taken off -- but he got an earful of the same, and almost had his ear sliced off after which he ended up in hospital.

Dr Jayewardene then got his boy to apologize to the said Police officer. Perhaps there will be an apology forthcoming to the convent nuns about the language.

When Tony Blair's teenage son got drunk and disorderly, Blair said the young man will have to pay the penalty for his indiscretions.

This is why Blair's sons don't have a retinue of bodyguards. He doesn't have to guard the British public from them.

Another Minister, Mahinda Wijesekera said '' boys will be boys.''

That's when his son got himself into a similar situation.

What may his son be saying now watching Wijesekera attack his Ministry Secretary? "Fathers'' he will have to say '' will be fathers.''

Ranil Wickremesinghe for his part cannot discipline the fathers in his Cabinet. He can't even get them to say 'sorreeee ah''. What he can do on behalf of the fathers in his Cabinet is get rid of the laws covering juvenile delinquency. Close down probationary institutions.

These institutions are redundant with his Ministers and their families. Let boys be boys. Forget discipline by example.

Then he can also get his old school Royal College to change the school song: ''School where our fathers - learnt the way before us -- learnt of thugs and bashing men - we will do the same.''

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