Talk at the Cafe Spectator

What's he doing there?

UNP "poll vaulter" S.B. Dissanayake found time from the electioneering to travel to India. His aides said he had gone on a pilgrimage and to attend a wedding.

Ad war in foreign media too

Whether President Mahinda Rajapaksa will win the presidential race on January 26 or not, he is surely winning the ad war. There are more Rajapaksa campaign ads in newspapers, websites, on television and radio than Sarath Fonseka ads.

As the campaign hots up, the Rajapaksa camp apparently believes that not only every vote counts but also every media outlet.

Probably it is this belief that has prompted the Rajapaksa camp to place its ads in mainstream British media websites such as the Daily Telegraph and the London Times. While the Telegraph had two Rajapaksa ads in its prime slots, the Times had three.

Dr. Kama Sutra

As the election campaign intensifies, television channels are falling over each other to host political talk shows.

Each evening viewers get the opportunity to watch all kinds of political dramas unfolding on their election screen. It was such a case last Thursday as well, but surprisingly, UNP MP Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena was engaged in a medical discussion.

People who tuned into the channel were treated to a discussion on some stimulating aspects what the Kama Sutra and in particular the role women's breasts play in sexual arousal. After all the dull and drab political programmes, this was one engaging discussion.

Guess who came for lunch

Some Colombo based heads of diplomatic missions were entertained to lunch on January 4 at the palatial residence of Kotte parliamentarian Ravi Karunanayake.

The guest of honour was opposition's main candidate Gen. (retd.) Sarath Fonseka. He answered several questions raised by the diplomats. Also present were UNF Leader Ranil Wickemesinghe and UNP deputy leader, Karu Jayasuriya.

Among the diplomats present were Norway's Ambassador Tore Hatrem and Australian High Commissioner Kathy Klugman.

Hear who's calling

Campaigners for President Mahinda Rajapaksa have come up with another innovation. A woman calls on the telephone and asks subscribers whether they would wish to hear a message from Mr. Rajapaksa. If the answer is "yes," a two minute message is relayed. Thereafter, the woman thanks the listener.

A few said they did not wish to hear the message.

Cut-cost Karu

UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya has turned out a private coach into his election campaign bus. To cut down cost and avoid use of his vehicle, more vehicles to transport his staff, he is using a 29-seater coach for the purpose.

He has got a table fixed in the middle of the bus to attend to work as well.


Fonseka fire on police chief

Police Chief Mahinda Balasuriya was on a whirlwind tour of Police divisions this week together with his number two, Senior DIG Nalin Illangakoon.

Meeting Police divisional top brass, Mr. Balasuriya briefed them on the benefits that accrued to the Police Department in the recent years.

Little wonder, the move angered the opposition's "common candidate," retired General Sarath Fonseka. He fired out a letter of protest to Elections Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake.

Police Chief's tour came amidst repeated claims by Gen. Fonseka that 90 percent of the armed forces and the police were backing him.

Whither Pillayan?

The two erstwhile comrades in arms, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan (Karuna) and Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, (Pillayan) vowed weeks ago to forget their differences and campaign for President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The former was earlier the eastern leader of Tiger guerrillas and the latter, his deputy.

Karuna accompanied Mr. Rajapaksa's son Namal on a campaign tour to the Muslim village of Kattankudi (Batticaloa District). Pillayan was conspicuous by his absence.

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