Monday, August 22, 2011

The Grease Yakas -- an international conspiracy to embarrass Sri Lanka!

by Stewart Greasywalla

(August 22, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Sri Lankan people will be pleased to know that investigations carried out by a freelance foreign journalist has discovered that the 'Grease Yaka' incidents are just another plot to discredit the government. Working under cover, and at considerable risk to himself, the journalist was able to interview three of the Grease Yakas that the government claim does not exist!

The report by the journalist:

Acting on a tip off I went to Siyabalanduwa, an area which, for those readers who are not family with Sri Lanka, is situated in the South East a short distance from the city of Badulla. The information provided indicated that three such Yakas would be on the prowl for victims on a certain evening of the week. I therefore arrived at Siyabalanduwa in the late afternoon and had an early dinner so that I could position himself on the street, a likely victim for an attack.

The town quieted down quite early and apparently I was not the only one who had received information of a possible attack, the townsfolk wanted to get off the streets while it was still light. It was necessary to walk as quietly as possible while at the same time making myself obvious so that I was not suspected of being a Grease Yaka and lynched by a frightened mob. It was while I was standing in the cover of a faulty lamppost that I was set upon by 'something'.

The first thing I noticed was the pungent smell of grease as the Yaka enveloped me is his arms. I would have struggled but, quite frankly, was overcome by fear -- and the smell. I must have passed out because sometime later (it was half an hour, as it turned out) I awoke to find myself lying on the floor of an abandoned house. There was light from a paraffin lantern which sat on a rickety table in the centre of the room and I raised myself into a sitting position as quietly as possible. Then one of the Grease Yakas stood in front of me.

I confess that my heart was pounding in my heart. I had no idea what this creature intended to do with me or whether I would ever see the light of day. Then I heard a voice from behind me and turning my head, to my horror saw two more Yakas standing there. One of them was drinking from a bottle of Lion Larger.

"Bloody Hell", the one holding the bottle said. "It's a bloody foreigner".

"Oh bugger," said the one in front. "That's going to muck things up a bit".

Slowly, my heart slowed down to the point where it was only thumping in my breast. At least it was still pumping I thought to myself. Whoever these people were, they were not demons from Sri Lankan mythology that was for sure.

"Wha, wha, what are you people?" I stammered.

"At least he speaks English," said one of them.

I was totally confused. The three, men, as I now realised they were, came to stand in front of me. By the light of the paraffin lamp I was able to tell that they were tall, slim and wearing clothes that they, or someone, had liberally covered in foul smelling grease. My journalistic blood was up and I knew that I had a story; all I had to do was get it, and get out alive. I decided to try the tough guy approach.

Gathering my wits I put on my most authoritative voice. "I'll have you know that I am here at the personal invitation of a very, very high ranking member of the government. He is indeed even a close relative of the President himself!"

"Hmm", said one of them. "You see that's rather strange Old Chap. Because you see, we're here on the same instructions. In fact, our instructions came from the very person you claim to be representing."

"Go...Go....Gota.... ." I stammered.

"Now, now". He said. "It wouldn't do to give away secrets now would it?"

There was a loud commotion outside the house and without warning the door burst open and half a dozen heavily armed police officers entered.

The three "Yakas" were arrested and handcuffed. One of them quickly pointed out that I was not one of them and should be released at once. The Officer-in-Charge looked me up and down and said in perfect English, "I'm sure we can think of something to charge him with".

"Suggest you let him go, Old Boy, wouldn't want him giving the game away would we," said the same one.

I couldn't resist and despite any danger I might have been in asked the question. "What exactly is the game?"

"We've been running around dressed like this for days now, waiting to get arrested by the Sri Lankan police who will announce to the local public and the world at large that the whole Yaka story was just another plot by the west to embarrass the country. When they announce in the press that the Yakas are, in fact, foreigners dressed up to look and act like devils one of the ministries will announce that we were employed by a TV channel, I'm sure you can guess which one, I'm not going to tell you but it comes after 3 and before 5."

The three 'Yakas' were taken outside and loaded into a police van. I couldn't help but notice it was white and the registration plate seemed to have fallen off. The Officer-in-Charge took one last look at me and shrugged his shoulders before walking out.

I was left alone in the abandoned house with my thoughts my still hammering heart and what remained of my wits. I didn't want to leave the comparative safety of the house so waited for the morning. It took forever to come.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The US enters Sri Lankan airspace

Did they or didn't they and what if they did?

It is this same arrogance that allows the Americans to violate Sri Lanka's or any other country's airspace with impunity.
by Stewart Sloan

(August 10, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka Guardian) Recent reports in the Sri Lankan press have revealed that American airplanes entered the territorial airspace of Sri Lanka. Interestingly this has been both denied and confirmed by the government who are very good at first denying things and latter admitting to them. This comes in light of the fact that this same government is now admitting that civilians were killed in the final stages of the war against the LTTE. However, the intrusion into Sri Lankan airspace has been empathically denied by the US navy.

I don't know who I feel sorry for the most in this instance; the sovereignty of Sri Lanka has possibly been violated by the arrogance of a mightier nation. Let's face it: there is more destructive fire power in the USS Ronald Reagan, the aircraft carrier thought to be involved, than the entire Sri Lankan military apparatus. So, the fact remains, if the US did violate Sri Lankan airspace, what exactly is Sri Lanka going to do about it?

If the Americans are known for anything it is their pure, unadulterated arrogance. They come and go as they please which is blatantly evident by their actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Three years ago in Hong Kong a plain clothed American tried to leave the territory with a loaded ammunition clip in his possession. The carrying of any weaponry, including self defense items such as pepper spray is strictly controlled, and therefore this man was arrested and held. He was, he announced, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is known to be a domestic institution with no jurisdiction outside the continental USA, so by what right or authority was this fellow carrying a loaded clip. The immigration officers handed him over the police who held him while communications flew back and forth to the American Consulate General. They, with incredible arrogance announced that he was, in fact, an FBI agent and that they should release him IMMEDIATELY! No apology or explanation was received regarding the incident.

It is this same arrogance that allows the Americans to violate Sri Lanka's or any other country's airspace with impunity.

Whether they did or not one more thing is interesting. The Americans are displaying the very same arrogance shown by Mahinda Rajapakse and his brother, who, two years ago denied that any civilians were killed during the final stages of the war and then recently, very calmly announced that, perhaps, some might have been killed but that this amounted to nothing more collateral damage. No apology or explanation for this sudden turnabout was offered; they just offered it up and demanded that the people of Sri Lanka and the international community accept it. Interestingly, collateral damage is of course something else that the Americans know all about as in the first Gulf war more British servicemen were killed by American friendly fire than by the Iraqis themselves.

So on the arrogance front, it's one point to the Rajapakses' and one hundred and one to the Americans!

After all, who is going to argue with the USS Ronald Reagan?