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Avurudu Thel Keliya



We have moved from sugar sweetness to an oily slipperiness.

Will this season be remembered as the ‘Pol Thel Avurudda’ or the ‘Thel Pilika Avurudda’?

Those who celebrate Easter, will have a hard and painful time, with memories of those bloody blasts in churches, the failure to find the brains behind that carnage, and the incompetence of the State apparatus that enabled that huge tragedy to take place. 

Is there any difference in the state apparatus today? Is it any less corrupt, less politically structured and managed? Are we really in need of divine intervention to bring those responsible for that carnage, to book, and not the legal and judicial process that is meant to fight and put down crime?

Those who celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, even wearing the mournful black, must certainly remember the role of Judas, and the pieces of silver, that enabled the Crucifixion. How much of such silver is moving around these days; and how many business, administrative, and legal Judases are around, to ensure the success of Saubhagyaye Dekma, the flow of corrupt sugar sweetness and oily slithery?

The debate today is about Pol Thel – not much about the carcinogen in the imports, but on how best to get rid of it. The big and official call is to re-export it. Some voices of the people, including a few members of the Sangha, are against such re-exports. If it is dangerous to the health of the people of Sri Lanka, will it have no danger for people in the country it was exported from? 

That is not all. Why take it away before all stocks, in whatever godowns, Customs or private, are checked and the real carcinogen level identified, and the importers and/or distributors are brought before the law? There should be public cry to keep those stocks here, and prevent the oil importers and distributors slithering away from the law. Or is this the new meaning of  Saubhagya Thinking? 

We are moving to a really slippery Avurudda. There is Covid with its own problems, the sudden halt to  vaccinations with a Chinese vaccine being waved around, a rise in Covid infections in India – with a pause in vaccine imports from there, and clash of thinking among professionals and politicians on what vaccine to use. 

Is this confusion the stuff  of the new Avurudu season?

Minister Bandula Gunawardena has given the people an Avurudu Malla. Celebrate avurudu with this thousand rupee benefit. If you don’t have a thousand rupees, just drink some Pol Thel and let your worries slip down your throat. Hold on, what is the connection between cancer and Pilika Pol Thel? That is the avurudu query this season., 

What about all the kavun, kokis, mung kavum, and all those other layers of sweetness that comes from the frying pan and with even small amounts of coconut oil? Has the import of coconut oil taken away the traditional taste of the Aluth Avurudda?

What can the Saubhagya thinkers have in mind to meet this situation in the avurudu games. Will there be a new Thel Keliya where two persons with bodies covered with coconut oil – with or without carcinogen – have a fight with each other? Will any chief guest invited for an avurudu event have to walk on a special Pol Thel layered slippery path to the stage? 

Thel, Thel

and not Pol Thel is the new reality in governance in Sri Lanka. It is the slippery drive in corruption and political manipulation that is the substance of power today. Will there be a loud call for the ban on coconut oil imports? Not likely, because from what else is one to bring cancer threats to our people? Is it from dried chillies or the posible rice imports? 

Amidst all this pol thel fears and dangers, this avurudu season is one that has a much bigger show than the village festivities. It is a China-India competition. The Sino-Indo clash for control of official thinking and the policies in the coming months and years. Our President had a long phone chat with President Xi Jinping of China. There must have been much more  than coconut oil discussed there. This is  the follow up from Geneva. India had better be on the watch. Sino-Lanka connect, with the promise of a single party governance is the new Avurudu Promise for Sri Lanka.

The Pol Thel Keliya of today will soon take us to a Cheena Thel Keliya in politics and governance. What is mentioned as Saubhagye Dekma is in reality an Abhagye Sathya.Lets keep slipping down the path of national disaster, with enough carcinogenic oil to help us down the way.      

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Regulate sports in popular schools ahead of big matches



The Big Matches between popular schools in Colombo and main outstation cities are round the corner. In the past school sports was in the hands of former sportsmen and sportswomen who loved the game as well as their school. They devoted their time and money to coach the budding youth without any monetary gain for themselves.

But, see what has happened today. Sports coaches selected by the schools demand millions of rupees to coach the students. And this is readily agreed and paid by the school authorities. In the good old days the members of School teams were provided free meals during match days and also Sports equipment. But it is not so now. The school earn millions of rupees from big matches played for a duration of two, or three days in some cases, and this money could be utilised to buy the required cricket gear such as bats, pads gloves, boots, etc,. I understand a pair of cricket boots is in the region of Rs.18,000 to 25,000. Can a poor village lad who is enrolled to an affluent schools in Colombo, based on his performance in Education and Cricket afford this? These lads should be given all the support to continue in their respective sports rather than drop out due to financial constraints

Coaches in some schools are in the payroll of big-time businessmen whose children are, in the so called pools. Parents of children engaged in a particular sport should not be permitted to come in as sponsors as this would be rather unethical.

The Big Matches between popular boys schools are around the corner and I suggest that the Sports Ministry ensures performance based selections rather than on other criteria.




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‘Post turtle’ revisited




I have written about this amusingly thought-provoking creature, the ‘post turtle’ to ‘The Island’ around three years ago (appeared in the opinion column of The Island newspaper on the 19th of June 2018, titled ‘The post turtle era’). The story, which I am sure most of you have heard/read already, is obviously not a creation of mine and I happened to come across it somewhere, sometime ago. 

And for the benefit of those, who haven’t heard the story, it goes like this:

“While surturing a cut on the hand of an old Texas rancher, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually, the topic got around to politics and then they discussed some new guy, who was far too big for his shoes, as a politician.

The old rancher said, ‘Well, ya know he is a post turtle’. Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a ‘post turtle was’.

The old rancher said, ‘When you are driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, well, that’s your ‘post turtle’.

The rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he went on to explain. ‘You know, he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he is up there, and you just wonder what kind of a dumb ass put him up there in the first place’.”

Now I was having this nice, little siesta, the other day and suddenly there appeared ‘the turtle’ in front of me, sitting on a fence post, seemingly doing a precarious balancing act as the post itself was too high for it to give it a try to jump down to the ground. Not that it probably wanted to do it anyway for it looked quite contended and happy sitting there doing absolutely nothing. And no doubt some loyal and dumb all rolled into one, must have put him up there and been feeding it well too, for it looked quite contended and fat showing a thick head that kept turning to the left and then to the right, while its tongue kept on lolling out as if it was saying something, which must have been absolute gibberish and rubbish anyway.

What a fitting and symbolic representation, 

I mean this ‘post turtle’, of the lot, or the majority of it sitting across ‘the oya’, I mused on after I woke up from my snooze.

Many of them get there thanks to the gullible voter, who while ticking the boxes, thinks: he/she will surely deliver the goods this time as promised! 

And those two-legged post turtles inside the edifice, bordering the Diyawanna, like the one in the story, keep uttering sheer rubbish and spitting out incomprehensible mumbo jumbo, all in return with thanks to those, who tick the boxes in their favour.

Their statements such as ‘what is oxygen for, to eat?’, is just one among many such stupendously stupid utterances of theirs and I don’t want to tire you with the rest, for they are well known and far too many.

Now I have only one question for you before I end this:

When are we going stop being ‘those dumb asses’, once and for all?

Laksiri  Warnakula  

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Abuse of use of title Professor



I read with much interest the letter by Mr. Nissanka Warakaulle, regarding the above matter, in the issue of the Sunday Island of 18th April 2021. I agree fully with the contents of his letter. He should be very familiar with the regulations as he is a former Registrar of the University of Colombo. I wish to highlight another instance where it is abused. In the 1970s, the title of Associate Professor was created. Until then there were only three categories of Professors. Firstly the holder of the Chair, secondly a co-Professor and thirdly, an Emeritus Professor. There were also, Lecturers, Senior Lecturers and Readers. The title of Reader was replaced with the title Associate Professor, which is meant to be a designation, to be used after the name. However, this category of academics started using it as a pre-fix, dropping the word Associate!

Profesor Sanath P. Lamabadusuriya MBE
Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics,
University of Colombo

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