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Up, up and away – well, not quite away


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I am writing in much lighter vein today, having dispensed with the drug mafia last week. But don’t let that weigh heavy on your barometer or allow your windsock to flop. Since there are some smiles in the mix together with the satire. However diabolical these goings-on may seem, there’s always a cloud in the silver lining. Therefore remind yourselves that if angels can fly, it’s because they take themselves lightly.

Before we get our tails caught in a crosswind, let’s rehash the basics of the Beaufort scale – an internationally recognised measure of weather.

BS1: Calm

BS2: Light air

BS3: Light breeze

BS4: Gentle breeze

BS5: Moderate breeze

BS6: Fresh breeze

BS7: Near gale

BS8: Gale

BS9: Strong gale

BS10: Storm

BS11: Violent storm

BS12: Hurricane


Sail on now, silvery moon… reportage being based on recent celestial events such as lunar eclipses and aeronautical eventualities like airports: 

BS1: CALM. Stay calm. Customs officers at BIA keep their cool despite a Kuwaiti couple losing their shirt over a brace of canines being declared as contraband. These Arab tourists have gone to the dogs… now keep your shirt on!

BS2: LIGHT AIR. The century’s longest lunar eclipse proves to be a no-show due to inclement weather. In addition to the blood moon, the red planet plus the international space station were reputedly visible to stargazers across six other continents. Sri Lankan sky-watchers were doubly disappointed – Moon and Mars in one night – but brushed it off with a light air on social media. (If you’re on Facebook, you’ll know immediately that this is Fake News.)

BS3: LIGHT BREEZE. An irked Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Ltd. strongly warns those dangerous criminals, the country’s children and other juvenile joyful playing people, that kite flying is strictly prohibited in a radius of five kilometres around any of the nation’s 14 airports. An irate taxpaying public wonder who will strongly caution those other puerile players, the national carrier’s clock watchers and pencil-pushers on the take, about ripping off a state asset with their waste, mismanagement, bureaucracy and the big C. “Go fly a kite!”

BS4: GENTLE BREEZE. The incumbent administration can barely contain its glee at the announcement last month that the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport is to be closed – due to low (read nil) demand, despite the venue once being popular for the temporary storage of paddy. “What a breeze it’ll be,” wheezed a former prez, an old geezer, out of breath at the prospect of airport, port, port city, etc. being named after him.

BS5: FRESH BREEZE. The criminally propagandistic cabal defending an erstwhile regime rattles sabre by pointing out that in April of this year, an Antonov An-225 (NATO or North Atlantic Treaty Organization codename: ‘Mriya’) touched down at the MRIA (NATO or No Action, Talk Only codename: ‘Mria’).

BS6: STRONG BREEZE. The erstwhile regime can barely contain its glee as a second Antonov – the world’s second-largest cargo carrier – touches down at MIA – er, MRIA. Stony silence from criminally propagandistic incumbent administration apologists.

BS7: NEAR GALE. Incumbent administration proudly announces the Greater Trinco area development plan, positioning Hingurakgoda Airport (codename: HA) as the gateway to the east.

BS8: GALE. Erstwhile regime points out that Batticaloa Airport (codename: BA) had previously been launched under the same banner. HA! HA! laugh the lackadaisical laggards, who dare not say BA! to leading lights.

BS9: STRONG GALE. Aviation and aeronautical experts scratch their heads in mutual mystification. Who do these politicos think they are? Loonies!

BS10: STORM. China claims that China Bay area (codename: CB) must be developed by China, because it bears a Chinese name. A previous president (codename: CBK) scoffs at how these Chinese roll (codename: ‘Chinese rolls’). 

BS11: VIOLENT STORM. India jumps in on the side of CBK – having previously parachuted parippu as an airdrop over JR – to say that it must have a share of Hambantota since the harbour area is famous for its humbugs (AKA ‘the Regime’).

BS12: HURRICANE. The USA looks askance at all of these goings-on in the South Asian region, begging to know what gives India the right to air their graces around an Ocean mistakenly named after the Indian subcontinent by an erstwhile empire (AKA ‘the Empire’ or BE – and not to be confused with ‘the Regime’, whose motto was never ‘To BE or not to BE’). And never mind how the Chinese rolls, if there’s oil in the Gulf of Mannar – moon or no moon – we’re in like no one’s business, by Mars! by Jove! (Just trying to BE like the British, but with more money and pizzazz – not to BE confused with pizzas, which are a type of Indian ‘Chinese roll’).        

(Journalist | Editor-at-large of LMD | Writer #SpeakingTruthToPower)


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