How long can Diana romance the whirlwind political dance

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  • Has the nation’s heirloom chest of prudish values become its Pandora Box that prevents progress

Many Lankans face a tough time in catching up with Diana: Diana, the irrepressible; Diana, the unstoppable; Diana, the elusive Gamage. A tough time keeping step with Diana who has always managed to stay ahead of poisoned-tipped darts freed from political bows.

She’s out of the box while the rest of them are cramped within the heirloom chest of solidified history, and, together with its stolen relics from a Victorian prudish past, stay locked up, unthawed, still in the Ice Ages.

She’s out in the open, freed from past chains, while the rest still hobble, with their ankles manacled to the hoary heirloom chest, refusing to dump overboard the deadweight hoard, even when it weighs down and threatens to sink the fast leaking boat.

Local time is far behind Diana’s quick step. Her ideas, coming from affluent cultures, seem radical, shocking, and permissive to those clinging to heirloom wreckage, even though they are common stuff in mundane life, even stale in Western countries.  Some have been used, some rejected, but whether used or dumped, they have never been disposed of without a cursory check for soundness.

Local time has lagged way behind Diana’s plan to cash in on hash, now old hat to the West, and older hat to native fathers who had used the wonder plant in ayurvedic medicine. With Canada legalising cannabis for recreational use in October 2018, Diana found parliamentary voice in October 2021 to be the trendsetting MP in the House.

After stabbing the SJB which had nominated her to the House from its national list, and crossing over to the government ranks to embrace ‘the 20A empowered’ Gota with both arms, she hyped the old 60’s ‘make pot legal’ call in her debut speech to Parliament and demanded the immediate cultivation of ganja on an industrial scale. It made the national headlines, it arrested public notice.

A new star was born that day in the celestial firmament of Lanka’s politics, whose bright glitter, dwarfed and dimmed the fading twinkle of ageing stars. Never mind that her hobby horse ‘Grow ganja in Lanka’ slogan, failed to get the attention it, perhaps, deserved as a potential dollar-spinning market for home-grown ganja, but was given short shrift and cruelly  impaled upon the guardian sword of the heirloom trove.

Sufficed that a trail-blazing comet with a fiery tail appeared in the Lankan skyline; and left all agog, anxious with fear to know what doom it portended for the nation.

Local hospitality was slow in serving, the bohemian feast Diana craved to offer the swarm of fun-seeking tourists, who have flown to let their hair down and clothes to dry in the warm tropical nights of a steamy demi paradise. Hedonism’s virtues are to be practised, not merely preached.

As Tourism’s State Minister, she sought to smash the traditional mould of hospitality, the staple diet of sun worshipping on wave-laved shores in the morning, religiously praying for a golden brown tan. In the afternoons, the pilgrims’ circuit, to gaze at the grandeur and the splendour of stupas in ruins, showcasing the glorious past of the island race. And in the night, the crème delight, a cultural performance in the hotel foyer with a bevy of male dancers, jumping, somersaulting, dancing with great zest the sacred Kandyan Ves.

DIANA: Her clock is always set ahead of Destiny’s local time

‘And that wraps up the night. Hope you had a jolly time. Tomorrow we will go and see the elephant at Yala. We leave sharp 5. So remember, have an early sleep.  God bless. Good night.’

When you really think about it, perhaps, Diana – give the devil its due – does have a point.

Does the interest the tourists visibly show, when marvelling at the crumbling ruins our forefathers had built, feigned as the same feigned interest we show, when we arrive to an invited dinner at a friend’s home and he draws out the family album – or worse  –  screens an old black and white 8mm film on his home movie projector, showing how his grand and great grandfathers had lived, marvels at the magnificent homes they had built on their sprawling estates, with a running commentary to boot on the opulent lifestyles they had so richly led?

Does the endless praise of his long family tail leave you dying for a sick bag?  Or do you — while the ice melts in the awaiting drink — shout encore, encore, show us some more, some more?

Apart from the herd follower who does the ‘Grande Cultural’ tour to snap his ‘I was here’ photo to WhatsApp home, the excursion is fine for an elite set of art fans with an architectural and archeological bent, the sort of highbrow travellers who patronise the opera since they have an acquired taste to appreciate the aesthetic beauty in its musical score.

But what do we give to quench the thirst and sate the need of thousands of young visitors, who come to imbibe the sweet taste of life that seethes upon their fiery tongues?

Diana clamoured to open up the dark shuttered night and threw light on her risqué plans to rouse Colombo from her slothful sleep, and make her come alive when the moon’s up and blood and passions rise. Nightlife had to swing with jazz in each beat, and rhythm in every stride. The atmos had to throb to the primordial beat of the jungle drum where life’s strife and life’s fears — flung to yesterday’s gaudy light — had no place and stayed exiled in this starry wonderland by night.

What she proposed though somewhat risqué to the closed-minded had been for long the norm at most tourist destinations.

From dusk to dawn a nonstop revelry of flashing neon signs that stilled kaleidoscopic night and gave the fleeting scene frame by frame for all to live the moment. The carefree air, the restaurants’ delectable fare, with families and friends engaged in lively chatter and laughter. Couples entwined divine, toasting with wine, new found love in a holiday romance; while single swingers on the hunt, swig their beers on street seats, people watching with keen and avid interest.

And next door or next road, in bars where Bacchus roar, the spirits rise from every pore, while the jukebox plays an old country tune to make the singer rise and croon, somewhere else in the neighbourhood, some make fortunes, some fortunes lose. High rollers play the tables for high stakes while others play for larks, both infatuated with Lady Luck, in whose fickle loyalties, though well known, all place their utmost faith.  In massage parlours down the street, their cares are balmed and lulled to sleep.

In discos, pounding to the retro beat, rockers take to the floor to hustle solo while DJs yet swirl discs to play that old funky rock and roll. In candlelit or in lustrous nightclubs with escorts beside, words are whispered with high hopes raised for the deepening lusty night. And when the band strikes up the ideal number to do the tango for two, they shake a leg and dance the night to evoke the right seductive mood and temper for souls to fuse as one before the sun arises.

This was the Bacchanalian spread Diana wanted laid out at Hedonism’s high altar for passing revelers to feast. She planned to make the spicy buffet a massive dollar spinner, and exploit the otherwise idle moonlit night and make it a source of the cash-strapped nation’s bread and butter.

Her plans, right or wrong, were not even considered. No discussions held whether the night hours could be opened with sufficient safeguards and control.

The proposal was met with the usual howls of protests by the readymade moral band, the pallbearers of the heirloom chest of false Victorian values, meant for the pyre but now carried around to be politically or otherwise used as the impassable bulwark to stop the nation’s forward march.

School education too has failed to catch up with Diana’s most enlightening plan to include sex in the syllabus. ‘Children are not aware of the real facts of sex’, she told Parliament last Friday. ‘This is why they fall into various trouble. Some schoolchildren do not know what a social disease is.  Some children may be infected with various social diseases without their knowledge as they are not aware of these diseases. They do not know the symptoms of these diseases.’

Sex education is not only of the birds and the bees but how to avoid unwanted pregnancies and to stay free of sexually transmitted diseases even when using her body for monetary advancement.

This week on Thursday the Daily Mirror reported how a 24-year-old woman in Panadura had claimed to have purchased a Rs. 100 million property from her earnings in the sex trade. On top of that, as she told the police after being found in a brothel, she had bought three luxury vehicles and was presently building another three-storied house in Piliyandala.

Good for her. Isn’t that what woman empowerment is all about, as true feminists, as Diana no doubt is, hold that a woman’s body is hers and hers alone and she can do whatever she wants with it. Prostitution is not a crime, so what’s the problem? Damn the moral brigade. Their morals won’t feed her, won’t earn her the millions she earned by putting her body to good use.

Poor Diana. It can be seen she is coming forth with pearls of wise ideas but at every turn, she’s rebuffed by the base swine, who, blinded by perverse prejudices, cannot appreciate its true worth, and throw it with the bath water.

Local justice is also not only lagging behind but can starkly be seen to be miles behind Diana’s strong lead on the home stretch of the case before court, which claims she is no citizen of Lanka but an imposter, a monumental fraud who deceived all to become a government minister and still has the audacity to hold public office without a blush.

Though many will be glad to see the last of her sweet smile, deported as an alien, some seem sad to see her go, especially some in law-enforcement agencies. Two months ago, on April 22nd, the Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna de Alwis said he will not be issuing an order to arrest Diana Gamage for offences committed under the Immigration Act since the CID had the necessary powers to arrest her. The CID pleaded they were awaiting Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam’s advice.

Can’t blame him if he, too, is dragging his feet and delaying his advice for many in Parliament and outside in the Establishment fear the loss of a woman whose ideas — though stale in the West — seem far ahead of local time.

On June 6, an Appeal Court judgment on a motion, seeking her disqualification as an MP since she is a British citizen, was postponed to July 25th.

But one day soon when destiny catches up with Diana Gamage, then what?

Should the Courts find her guilty as charged, not a dual citizen but, worse, not a citizen at all and order her to jail for perpetrating this monstrous fraud on the people, then, at least, some can find some comfort that, though behind bars, she is still on Lankan soil.

If not, and she is ordered to be deported, what can be done to keep this Oracle of Delphi in our midst?

The Government may, perhaps, be considering making the exposed Diana, although rooted in dishonor, an honorary citizen of Sri Lanka. And enable her to remain in the ranks of ‘Les Honourables’?

Clever boffins thrilled to sow the seeds of Mankind’s doom

Men can keep their sperm to themselves and women can keep their ova. They will be no longer needed to create divine life on earth.

‘As the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground,’ scientists in labs have found ways to create synthetic human embryos from cellular dust.

The amazing groundbreaking scientific discovery was announced on Thursday when US and UK researchers said they have created the ‘world’s first synthetic human embryo-like structures from stem cells, bypassing the need for eggs and sperm.’

“Unlike human embryos arising from in vitro fertilisation (IVF), where there is an established legal framework, there are currently no clear regulations governing stem-cell-derived models of human embryos.,’ James Briscoe, associate research director at the Francis Crick Institute, said.

Scientists say they could one day help advance the understanding of genetic diseases or the causes of miscarriages. That’s the same sort of thing scientists said when they split the atom and hailed it to be the future source of eternal energy, whilst not breathing a word of creating a force that can ignite a nuclear holocaust.

Now life is created without human sperm or egg. When sex becomes refundable, man becomes extinct.

If this was not enough to make man’s evolutionary wheel turn full circle, scientists working on artificial intelligence in US labs, soon will. Its first basic applications can be seen in ChatGPT, and soon AI will transcend man’s intelligence. With a synthetic human frame developed from synthetic human cells and powered with arterial intelligence, what more’s needed to hasten Mankind’s end?

Has the rot set in to end in man’s final destruction, with the original sin of yielding to desire, climaxing to become his final transgression?



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