How many sticks are there in your matchbox?

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Against stupidity, very Gods themselves contend in vain.  
– Friedrich Schiller 

The Politicians of Sri Lanka have uttered some historically memorable words in their tenure. For example, it was Minister Bandula Goonewardena who said some years ago that an ordinary family could sustain themselves by Rs.2,500 for a month. Wimal Weerawansa, once invited Sri Lankans citizens to boycott Coca Cola, email , google and youtube. But that was some time ago. Now we have Sarath Weerasekera. Earlier in these columns too, we have expressed extreme gratitude for the great amusement that he provides the public, especially in these hard times. It was Minister Weerasekera who seconded in Parliament a proposal to amend the constitution to make it compulsory that a Presidential Candidate be a family man with children. That alone says a lot about the intellectual superiority of the man. Quite unfortunately, the idea did not go far.   

Some are quite critical of Weerasekera being appointed the Minister of Public Security in Charge of the Police. Yet, we believe that he has the ideal portfolio. Given the pristine past record of the Police force, who better than Sarath Weerasekera? A good horse needs a good jockey, we believe. Detractors are jealous. We are not jealous. We like a bit of amusement, too. 

Let’s take the very recent case of a bomb at the All Saints Church, Borella. As Catholics, we know how peaceful and quiet that magnificent church is, as we visit it for a brief prayer whenever passing it. Planting a bomb is not difficult during day time as the Church is quite a lonely place, unless you really believe in an omnipresent God watching your every move.  

Bomb planting   

Whoever planted the grenade, seems not to have believed that Gods is watching. Incidentally, I have always felt that God watches you all the more keenly when you are up to some mischief. But in this case, it was the all-powerful CCTV surveillance cameras that caught the misdeed intended. Now according to Minister Weerasekera, it is the Sacristan of the Church Muni, who is the main culprit.   

On what basis does this honourable gentleman make this assertion?  

Well, on a lot of solid and concrete evidence, of course. Would a person of Weerasekera’s calibre utter things to the media, otherwise, no matter how funny or amusing sometimes he could be, which also, is a tremendous qualification to hold this prestigious post in charge of the police.   
Firstly, Sacristan Muni has been serving the church for over 16 years, and what better person to mastermind an attack of this nature? Ah, when it comes to masterminds, can anyone forget the incisive and brilliant assertion made by Sarath Weerasekara that Zahran Hashim and the Islamic Fundamentalists were the sole master planners behind the Easter Sunday attacks and nobody else? It was utterances of this nature that convinces us that he is a person of unsurpassable intellect and brilliant logic. All the more reason to believe that he was the fifth most instrumental person, as he claims, to have brought down the LTTE. It is jealous detractors like the former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, who disagree. But those are not important opinions, are they?  

Back to the old days   

Back to our story of the Handunkooru (joss sticks) bomb. We know terrorists are innovative and creative. Those insurgent youths in the jungles made home-made bombs which were crude yet effective explosives. But that was 35 years ago, we thought. But now it seems, they are still en vogue. Especially when this was a case where, Islamic fundamentalists are presumably the obvious suspects, after the Easter Sunday attacks, it sounds more interesting. May be they have run out of those high explosives and backpacks, eh? Anyway, it is not important whether a bomb comes with a handukooru, ginikooru (matchstick) trigger or a suicide bomb vest. What is important from the terrorist’s point of view is that maximum damage is caused. That is why the bomber who attacked the Katuwapitiya church asked a bystander for a church that had the highest number of congregators on the pretext of selling candles to the worshipers. Candles then, handunkooru now, isn’t it? Anyway not our concern. But the corner chosen, hardly seems to have reaped dividend if it exploded.  

The Police Brilliance   

Well, the reason why Muni, and three others have been arrested as suspects is very interesting. Muni was the first person to have seen a suspicious object and alarmed the parish priest. Secondly, he is claimed to have confessed that he had stuck some handunkooru and ginikooru to the bomb or something like that. But for those dim wits who are not yet convinced that Muni is the mastermind of the alleged attempt, the clincher, according to Minister Weerasekara is that the box of matches that was in Muni’s possession had lost a few matchsticks. Does anyone need anything more to be convinced that Muni is the man? We thank Sarath Weerasekera and the Police for this brilliant, incisive and spectacular break through that would have stopped Sherlock Holmes dead in his tracks.   
Why should a person who has a box full of matches use a few if not for some fishy activity, ha? Why can’t he keep it full all the time? These are the crucial questions the police are now asking. And the claim by his Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith that Police are getting such confessions somehow, shows the utter lack of knowledge on the Part of the Cardinal on how our prestigious police force do such things. Anyone who has been to a Police station would, testify to the genial and friendly atmosphere that invites them even as a complainant of a minor offence. So the Cardinal’s innuendo is extremely unreasonable and an attempt to slander an exemplary police force that is universally known for their unbiased integrity and independence. We are very confident that Muni would vomit more such things during the interrogation. We would not be surprised, if he, in fact confesses to be the mastermind behind the Katuwapitiya attack also. That is the professionalism of our Police force.  

Why waste time?  

As an afterthought, let me clearly state that there is no need at all to watch CCTV footage from the morning when a bomb is found in the evening. Time is a very precious commodity for a benevolent group of persons such as the Police force of Sri Lanka. What is the use of watching a limping man coming to the church, then dilly dallying with something at a corner, which, by pure accident happens to be the very spot where the said bomb was placed by Muni the Mastermind? What is so suspicious about that limping man bolting out of the church premises in perfect gait in a hurry. Can’t you limp your way in to a church and exit not limping? It’s a constitutional right.  
Those ignorant simpletons who do not know that matchsticks and incense sticks are dangerous weapons should at least now realize that. Thankfully, God has blessed us with brains such as that of Sarath Weerasekera to enlighten us. I will be rushing to the All Saints Church today, to thank God for that!   

courtesy Daily Mirror

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Disclaimer: How many sticks are there in your matchbox? - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

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