Editorial

Pusso and Pisso

Summary

Politicians are men and women of the moment. They don’t look ahead.

Wimal Weerawansa is a wordsmith. In fact there’s probably no parliamentarian among the current lot who comes close to him when it comes to turning a phrase. His one-liners are classic, whether or not one agrees with him. It’s caricature but very creative. In 2010, for example, he ended an analysis of the General Election result thus: ‘රටට ආදරේ අයට රට ගියා, බඩට ආදරේ අයට බඩ ගියා.’ Untranslatable, unfortunately, but essentially that the patriots won and the losers were washed out. ‘Bada giya’ refers to diarrhea. The dots are not hard to join here.

Now no politician would openly say ‘I am a traitor.’ Everyone ‘loves the country.’ And the people too. Everyone’s in this for the future of everyone else’s future. Wimal’s detractors could have used that line in January 2015 and again in August 2015. Just saying.

Wimal comes up with these pretty often. The latest was in reference to the Opposition’s theatrics in Parliament over the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution: ‘පුස්සෝ ටිකක් පිස්සු කෙලිනවා!’ [Pusso tikak pissu kelinava]. ‘Pusso’ would mean ‘empty-headed’ (reminds one of his play on Tilvin Silva’s initials, ‘M.T.,’ which he used when referring to the senior JVPer: MT [Empty] Silva). ‘Pisso’ would be ‘deranged.’ Join the dots — it’s easy.

The problem is that it’s all subjective. For Wimal, the Opposition is ‘mad’ and ‘empty headed’ to boot. That’s an opinion. If these are grenades they could be tossed back at Wimal and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna. As such, the very use of this phrase could be described as ‘madness on the part of an empty-headed person.’

Politicians are men and women of the moment. They don’t look ahead.  

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