Ilankai Tamil Sangam

23rd Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

What a Flying Menace!

by Sharmini Serasinghe, Daily Mirror, May 8, 2007

No two words, something very fishy is going on here.

These days I sleep under my bed; not necessarily because of flying tiger bombs, but because of our military’s unique and deadly air defence system. We are now in more danger from our own anti-aircraft fire than we are from flying tiger bombs - at least the fellows know how to whack their targets with more accuracy.

Those bullets I’m told which our air defenders use, are big ones, about half an inch in diameter and if they hit a house they will go through the walls of a house and come out the other side, before entering the next house. Mighty Moses!

So you know, the next time there is a power black-out, heralding yet another visit from those fly-by-night tigers, followed by a spectacular display of a sound and light show courtesy our air defenders, please don’t just remain indoors, but creep under the nearest bed, or there is a very real possibility of those neighbourhood-visiting bullets going right through you.

What a performance our dearly departed in heaven must have been treated to on that fateful Saturday 28th April night; must have been clambering for the front row seats, to watch the high-drama circus unfold down in hell - Sri Lanka!

While those of us still amongst the living, were glued to the idiot-box, gritting our teeth and cursing the weather gods for messing things up for our batting boys, and depriving our planeload of junketeers of the glory of holding that much sought after cup over their tinted nuts (would have gone down well with the grass-root vote bank no?), the flying tiger menace revisited us to lift the tail over our heads once again, adding to our torment, and returned unscathed once again to the Wanni, much to our humiliation. What a blithering mess!

There followed spectacular displays of fireworks courtesy our air defenders, causing immense confusion amongst us power-cut-suffering cricket fans, wondering if our boys had whacked a couple of sixes during the power cut, to knock the Aussies out, hence the celebrations with fireworks. Then came the air defenders’ gun fire aimed at all directions, with some of us almost joining our dearly departed in heaven in the process. Orders had gone from the top I’m told, to the air defenders to bring the flying tigers down by any means. By any means they did, almost finishing off some of us poor earthlings in the process, but bring the tigers down, they could not. What a show I tell you!

But this is Sri Lanka, nothing unusual!

The latest spin off from this flying tiger menace is that our only international airport is to shut down at night; no telling when those flying tigers will decide to lift the tail in that direction, while our air defenders have still not figured out, how to tackle the flying menace. Brilliant stuff! Aspiring foreign investors and tourists please note, no night business here; flying tigers on the loose.

These flying tigers have so far carried out three unchallenged air strikes, all at night, not with Kfirs and MiGs but with small planes without lights. Thrice they have flown in undetected, bombed us and returned to their hideout unscathed. We on the other hand have Kfirs and MiGs amongst other high tech gadgets, which supposedly go on almost daily bombing sprees over tiger infested territory. What on earth do they bomb besides the innocent, dumb wildlife? Of course we are fed with verbose commentaries ad nauseam on “successful air strikes, taking of target” etc. What on earth are they blabbering about?

If one takes stock of the amount of bombing we have done, successful air strikes, taking of targets et al over the past year, one begins to wonder if there is anything left to bomb in those areas. If these bombing sprees have actually been successful as they are said to be, what are we continuing to bomb? How come the tiger flying machines are still intact? Why in heaven’s name are the tigers still around? Shouldn’t we have been rid of them many moons ago? No two words, something very fishy is going on here.

The state of war in the country is spawning a host of military strategists among housewives, in their spare time. Included among them is yours truly. The other day while waiting for my special two-egg omelet to fry to crispy proportions, the thought struck me, why are our ‘defenders’ concentrating only on our Colombo airport? Aren't there any other vital targets the flying tigers could choose to whack? I don't want to mention any specifics here, lest the tiger fellows get some bright ideas and land me in a soup; absit omen.

Does this mean that blackouts will be landed on all those likely targets? No, curfew in the sky will not work, so what about shutting the likely targets down at night like our only international airport and pretend they don’t exist? Like the police idea of traffic control is to close all the roads. Talk about the ostrich syndrome! I am afraid if we stick to old form, we will go for some hi-fi military equipment, 3D or even 4D, and the inevitable allegations of commissions made thereafter. How about more UAVs, or are they also blind at night?

We might also consider giving some basic training to our highly ‘intelligent’ boys, who are finding it rather tough to locate the tiger flying machines, not to mention their take-off and landing places, even after three unchallenged attacks. Some areas we have certainly succeeded in bombing to smithereens are our economy, foreign investment and the tourism industry. Sri Lanka is no longer the tourist hub but a terrorist hub and a safe haven for terrorists of all kinds.

Ah! but who cares about foreign investors and tourists men, we just print the money when we run short of it; who cares about inflation, after all it is only the common man who has to bear the brunt of it no? We just sit back and make the best of it while it lasts.

We are after all Sri Lankans!