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Letter from Haramanis Aiya
An occasional feature...
Haramanis is the old family "retainer" at the now rundown coconut plantation (pol watta)
Dramatis Personae or Naluwo
{short description of image} Kumari Bandara Chandralatha: Chairperson of the Jayapura Housing Scheme 'Vikaara'
Ranoris: Secretary of the Jayapura Housing Scheme Beligaswatte
Maheepaala: Chandralatha's chief henchman
'Lamputhel' Karune: Petrol shed manager and operator of Housing Scheme generator.
'Kappam' Velu: The protection racket man and chief saree smuggler
'Kannadi' Bala: Velu's 'tholkaya' ('talking chief')
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Haramanis Aiya Suhada saakachawa
Aney Loku Mahattaya,
Balanna! That Ranoris is a real kapati-rala! You see, the sudhu mahattaya from Redd Barna had been trying to stop our goriya with Kappam Velu. So he had arranged for Kannadi Bala and someone from the Jayapura exco to come and have a ‘suhadha saakachchawa’ at the buffet at Brown’s Beach Hotel.
So Ranoris sent the Iskola Mahattaya, ‘Gini Poli’ Mudalali and the Mowlana. But HE has gone to Colombo and met the manthrithumas! He has even made a speech saying that now that he and Kappam Velu were having ‘suhadha saakachchaa’, Redd Barna should give money for the Housing Scheme development fund.
So he can always say that he was not involved and that Iskola Mahattaya was responsible!
Nothing happened at the buffet.
The Iskola Mahattaya made a speech, then Bala made a speech.
Bala said that the goriya was due to Chandralatha’s earlier vettu (that was the time when Iskola Mahattaya was Chandralatha’s vettu adviser, so he was looking very embarrassed!). Bala said first that Velu wants all the kappam, but later said he will agree to part of the kappam if he gets part of the money that Ranoris is asking from the sudhu mahattayas. Anyway, Bala says that there will be no gori for a few months.
The Redd Barna people will have to invite them to the buffet again, for more ‘suhadha saakachchaa’.
Chandralatha is hopping mad (pissu wetila)! She first said that one of her relatives must go to the buffet. Now she is saying that she will not agree to any 'hora givisuma' that the Iskola Mahattaya agrees with Bala.
But now the Iskola Mattaya and Bala have agreed not to agree until January, so Chandralatha cannot say anything.
Actually I think Ranoris and Chandralatha have a ‘hora givisuma’, so that they can go on savaari. I mean they are all shouting but nothing is happening! Kathava thamai!
Your old servant, Haramanis. 21st Sept 2002.
Crazylanka tip: Refer to our Dickshonary if you don't understand the politicalspeak!
Vandhanaawé gihillané!
Aney Loku Mahattaya,
Not many things have happened in your old village since I my last letter, which is why I have taken so long to write.
Ranoris went on a 'vandhanaawa' to Munneswaram. They say he has done a 'pooja' to get rid of Chandralatha. Chandralatha went to go shopping at Majestic City, but when she heard that Ranoris had done a 'pooja' she came running back to Jayapura. Balanna!
Meanwhile, Puransisco Appuhamy, the Chief Publicity Officer went to Colombo to make a speech. He is not even a Member of Parliament, but he is asking to be made Speaker! So all the Jayapura big bugs were out of the village at the same time! Maheepala had a 'hartal' on the main road against Ranoris and 'All Night' Ravindra, for putting up the prices at the co-op. Ravindra put the prices down again. I think he is doing this to annoy Maheepala.
Do you remember Prasanna? He was that draughtsman at the Pradeshiya Sabha. Now he has been elected Chairperson of the Gramodhaya Mandalaya. He is jealous of Ravindra, who keeps the co-op open all night. So he decided to put lights on the Gramodhaya Mandalaya office. So the Gramodhaya Mandalaya was alight all night, but the rest of the Housing Scheme was in darkness because the generator is not big enough.
'Lamputhel' Karune is furious because people will say it is his fault for the lights going off.
The latest news is that Chandralatha and Ranoris had a 'suhadha saakachchaawa'. (kathawa vitharai!!)
None of their supporters like it because they think they will do a 'MOU' so that they can go on 'savaari' again.
Your old servant, Haramanis
3rd September 2002
Ranoris and Kadiru Mahattaya
Aney Loku Mahattaya,
Balanna! we are having all kinds of keli-sellam here in your home village. 'Junthu' Marikka said over the loudspeaker at the 'Junthu Record Bar and Communications Centre' that Chandralatha was plotting to remove Ranoris and make 'Kadiru Lucky' Vice Chairperson instead. Samare, who runs the 'Mango Style Fancy Goods' has written a letter to Chandralatha saying how to remove Ranoris, which Junthu was showing to everybody at the record bar. Chandralatha demanded that she be allowed to announce over the same loudspeaker, but Junthu said that no time was available. Then Ranoris said that Chandralatha was trying to dissolve the exco of the Jayapura Housing Scheme. Chandralatha sent Kadiru to see him and they had a long talk.

Ranoris and Kadiru get along very well (they were classmates at CWW Kannangara Primary School), even though Junthu said that Chandralatha is replacing Ranoris with Kadiru. Now Chandralatha says she won't dissolve the exco.
'Cycle' Jackson is now the secretary of the Jayapura Sports Club. He has organised a sports meet and athletes from all the neighbouring villages have come. There were 'cheena patas' and 'ahas vedi' at the opening. But 'Cycle' didn't invite Chandralatha, only Ranoris and that girl who won the 'Avurudhu Kumari' contest at the Honolulu Hotel. Chandralatha was very angry and was shouting everywhere that she should have been the Chief Guest.

Murugan organised a strike on the estate, but Chegaram said he could get the demands from the management without striking. So Murugan told Chegaram to go ahead and called off the strike. So the labourers lost a day's wages for nothing. Both Murugan and the Moulana of the Madrasa have said they will support whoever gets most votes in the exco. The Moulana is angry with Ranoris (even though they both went to CWW Primary) because he didn't take any action when Velu assaulted the Madrasa seminarians.
Maheepala has called a hartal on Monday because Ravindra has put up the prices in the co-op. Sella Dara Maduwa put up the price of firewood, saying that Chokka is now taking subscriptions from them, which he didn't do earlier.
Meanwhile nobody is doing any work. It is not like the good old days when you used to stay at the estate.
Your servant, Haramanis
10th August 2002
Chandralatha's Malla
Aney Loku Mahattaya,
Chandralatha's Malla

Cartoon: The Island 28th July 2002

Now that you are a big shot in England, I hope you will not forget us.
I would just like to tell you what has been happening in your home village.
The Jayapura Housing Scheme Management Committee met last week to discuss matters of importance to the residents. The Chairperson, Chandralatha, was in the Chair.

At the outset, Chandralatha told the committee that there was no truth in the allegations made by Ravindra, the co-op manager, that she had bought two trishaws from Batu Miris Watte Motors instead of from Richard Pieris. She said that she had bought one Bajaj only and that Ranoris, the Vice Chairperson could go and see it at her Walauwa. Batu Miris Watte Motors had acted as agents only for Richard Pieris.

Ranoris told the committee that he didn’t have time to go and inspect the Bajaj because he had an urgent appointment with the Minister in Colombo. Ravindra said that Chandralatha had bought an expensive ‘malla’ from Majestic City in Colombo and that she was carrying a cassette player in it.

Ranoris told Ravindra to shut up. Ranoris said the Minister would give extra funds and he told Karune, the manager of the petrol shed, to reduce the price of Kerosene oil. He said that Housing Scheme subscriptions would be collected in a different way from now.
He has told Chokka, the accounts clerk, to change the question from ‘Gedara Salli Thiyanavada’ (gst) to ‘Vaesiyani, Aadaara Thiyanavada’ (vat).
The watcher at the housing scheme gate has complained that Murugan, the estate kangani, had come at night to the watcher’s hut and abused him. He had slept on the watcher’s donkey bed and had only gone home because John Aiyya, the Security Manager had come in the early morning and taken him away.
Now Murugan is fighting with Karune because Karune wants to put an anicut in the estate stream. Ranoris went to Colombo and met the Minister. His photo has even come in the ‘Dinamina’ and he was shown on Swarnavahini.
The Minister has praised Ranoris for talking to ‘Kappam Velu’ and pacifying him. However, Velu’s friend Bala has arranged for a news item to go in the ‘Dinamina’ saying that Ranoris has not told the Minister to give Velu the ‘commission’ he is asking for. The Housing Scheme general meeting was held in the Community Centre. Chokka was telling them to agree to the new subscription collection. Then Maheepala got up and started shouting that Ravindra has said that Chandralatha has got a ‘galkatas’ in her Majestic City malla.
Then Maheepala’s supporters all started walking towards the chairman shouting against Raviindra. Ravindra was not present because he has gone to meet Musa, the Chairman of the ‘Imran Khan Model Village’. However, Ravindra’s supporters have assaulted Maheepala’s supporters and vice-versa.
Chokka has meanwhile got the new subscription put into the minutes! So you see what you are missing here!
Your old servant,
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