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Tag Archive | president

A Sri Lankan Great Becomes The First Non-British President Of The Iconic Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC).

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the BBC original.


This is quite the honor and he was quite the cricketer and man. So, it is a win-win allround. I am pleased.

The MCC is the symbolic Temple of cricket — the guardian of the SPIRIT of cricket and nominally also its laws. Prior to the formation of the International Cricket Council (ICC) it was the ultimate authority and arbitrator of all matters cricket.

Quite the Club — with its world famous Lord’s Cricket Ground. I have visited the MCC many, many, many times. For nearly 10-years, until I left the U.K. in 1985, I was on their waiting-list for membership — which in those days was around 20-years for non-playing members, and, alas, I was not good enough to be considered as a playing member.

But, hats off to Kumar Sangakkara. Great honor. He is a lawyer by training and qualification. He will be a GREAT president.

So, some good news for Sri Lanka.

My beloved Lord’s Cricket Ground — home of the MCC.

 


Related Posts:
Check Categories ‘Sri Lanka’ & ‘cricket’.


by Anura Guruge


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“Gilford Well Company”, Gilford [N.H.]: Their Integrity Was Both Impressive & Humbling.

by Anura Guruge


Click to access their Website.


Click to ENLARGE. True class, and salt-of-the-earth.


As I chronicled here, we lost water on Wednesday morning and ‘Epping Well & Pump‘, to my sincere gratitude, got us up and running within a couple of hours — he problem having been a worn-out pressure switch. That was great. They, however, were quite adamant that I should replace my pressure tank, ASAP (then and there, if possible), for $1,250. I wanted a couple of days to think about it, especially as it had been an expensive and painful 6-weeks. First we needed a new boiler and then 4-days later I busted my knee and required expensive surgery.

I learnt a lot when we needed the boiler replaced. Chief among them was the benefit of talking to multiple folks and getting multiple perspectives, opinions and prices. And I am so glad that I did. We got the Biasi B10/5 boiler installed for nearly 1/2 the price of the first quite we got — and that was from the oil company I had used for 20-years and were supposedly my friends.

So, I decided to make a few calls. They were interesting and illuminating.

I called ‘Gilford Well‘ and, luckily, ended up speaking with Normal Harris III, though I did not know he was the President and co-owner at the time.

I asked him if he could please come over and give us some prices. He volunteered to come by the next morning. And he did.

Class act. I was impressed. Very forthright and helpful. I was blown away.

I had called upon the services of Gilford Well a long time ago — close to 20-years ago. This was when I lived in Gilford. I need a well drilled! It wasn’t a new house. It was a lakefront house that was getting water directly from the lake. There were issues with that and a well was the right way to proceed. Gilford Well got us up and running. But, being out in Alton I had not thought about calling them.

I am sure glad I did. Sure glad that I got to meet Norman. That was a pleasure and a honor.

Yes, I am sure I will be doing business with them — when I have a need. SMILE. Did you get that?

It is good to know that we still have companies such as ‘Gilford Well’ around.

Made my day. Thank YOU, Norman.


Related posts:
Check Category ‘Endorsements.


by Anura Guruge

Did You Know That People Were Betting That Trump Would Spew More Than 3.5 Lies In His Oval Office Speech!

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the ‘MarketWatch.com’ original.


This is amazing. Hard to credit. Beyond the PALE.

This is, rightly or wrongly, the U.S. President. Not the President of Sri Lanka or some other ‘developing’ country. The President of the United States of America.

Americans openly betting that he would LIE more than 3.5 times. LIE more than 3.5 times. Even one lie is too many.

And THEY WON. They won big.

The Fact Checkers at ‘The Washington Post‘ reckoned that he lied AT LEAST 6 times!

Sacré bloody bleu! 

Yes, we know he lies, BUT folks now taking it for granted.

This is SAD.


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Search ‘Trump‘.


by Anura Guruge


How Do The Obamas, e.g., Michelle This Weekend, Officiate At Weddings?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.




When I saw a news story this morning that Michelle Obama had officiated at a wedding over the weekend, it got me thinking. I kind of knew that ex-First Ladies do not have an automatic right to perform marriages. Yes, she, as a very qualified lawyer, could easily be a Justice of the Peace (JP), but I had never heard of her mentioned as a JP. Then I vaguely recalled that I had also read that Barack had officiated at a wedding.

Is that a prerogative of a President and does it get carried over even when he leaves office.

I had to look it up.

Aaaahhhh! Simple when you know. They became ‘Temporary Officiants‘. In their case that would not been very hard. Cool. Neat. Glad I looked it up.

I wanted to share.


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Search ‘Obama‘.


by Anura Guruge

Did The President Of ‘SpaceX’ Get The Job Because Of Her Befitting Name — ‘Shotwell’?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwynne_Shotwell


Never heard of her until earlier today. I went to have a quick look at CNBC and she was being interviewed. See below:


I like Elon Musk and SpaceX and as such stopped for a second to listen. She was impressive. I had not realized that SpaceX had a female President. Then I saw her name. Wow. ‘Shotwell’. What a great name for somebody heading a rocket company. You sure hope they shot well.

Given my fascination with names I had to look it up. Alas it is not a name that was given to archers. Shame that. They think it comes from a place name.

Never mind. Great name for the President of SpaceX. I hope she continues to shoot those rockets well


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Search on ‘space’.


by Anura Guruge

In Sri Lanka Women May Not Be Allowed To Buy Alcohol, But They Can — And Have Been — President Or Prime Minister.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access ABC News original.


Click to access the UK “Daily Mail” original.



I did not know about this ban — or its reinstatement — until a friend e-mailed me a link Monday morning. It was all news to I. I never knew that there was such a ban — primarily because I have never tried to buy alcohol in Sri Lanka.

Anywho … anybody who thinks that this ban reflects badly on Sri Lanka’s treatment of women obviously is not familiar with what makes Sri Lanka truly GREAT.

The World’s first democratically elected female Head of State (i.e., Prime Minister)
— in 1960. My aunty Bandaranaike.

Got that. FIRST female Prime Minister in the World.

We have also had a female President.

I am sure Hillary Clinton would have gladly forgone her right to buy alcohol if she could have been President. {Smile}

Something else to consider. This ban is said to have been instituted in 1979 — by Sri Lanka’s increasingly rabid Buddhists.

OK. Since then there have been two female Heads of State (albeit mother and daughter). They obviously did not see this as a major women’s issue — i.e., being precluded from buying alcohol.

Yes, Sri Lankans are funny — real funny — about everything to do with alcohol.

It is a Buddhist thing — though all that Buddhism asks from you is that you TRY and refrain from partaking in intoxicating substances.

Growing up in Ceylon (the prior name of Sri Lanka) in the 1950s and 1960s, alcohol was a taboo subject among middle- and upper-class Sinhala buddhists (such as my adoptive family).

My adoptive parents (and grandparents) were genuine teetotalers. Alcohol was never served at our house — even when my adoptive father was an Ambassador in Paris (France) and Washington D.C. My parents really frowned upon those that drank and had a hard time coming to terms that I was basically a hopeless wino.

Some of my uncles drank — and we all knew of their penchant for drink. But, they drank in private! It was a crazy society.

Yes, women not being allowed to serve or make alcohol is a problem.

But, not being able to buy alcohol should not really be a problem. For all of our faults, Sri Lankan males tend to be a gallant, chivalrous and RANDY bunch of buggers. We would never dream of letting a female buy a drink. We would always get them one. {Smile}

So …

Not good, BUT not the end of the world.

Yes, Sri Lankan Buddhists are a dangerous bunch. I have said that before.

But, do NOT extrapolate this to mean that women are downtrodden in Sri Lanka.

Just remember. Just remember: Sirimavo Bandaranaike — the World’s first female prime minister.


Related posts:
Search ‘Queen’.


by Anura Guruge


THE Queen, My Mother & The Queen’s Phone Number.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.




Doing the post on the Queen’s Christmas address yesterday, and then a couple of comments that ensued on Facebook, reminded me of a cute story involving my adoptive mother and the Queen.

My adoptive mother over the years had met the Queen socially on a number of occasions — and there is a possibility that my mother spent some time with the Queen. That would have been in 1954 when the Queen visited Ceylon. My adoptive father was at that time the private secretary to the Prime Minister and as such was heavily involved with the visit and would have been at all the events and receptions — often with my mother. I was but 7 months old at the time and do not remember any of it. But, from what I recall from later snippets, they might have gone to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa with the Queen — on the official train. ‘They’ (i.e., the ‘government’) would definitely would have wanted my father around. He, though only 25 years old at the time, had a Ph.D. and was an acknowledged scholar and history buff. My mother and the Queen would have been 4 years apart in age, my mother born in 1930.

Anywho … my mother met the Queen, at least a few times. starting in 1954.

To say that my mother was a people person would not even get close to the truth. She had an exceptional capability. She has been compared to Mother Teresa and Princess Diana in that respect. There was something about her — it was organic and chemical. People were drawn to her and she to them. She was rarely without a smile and people somehow detected this amazing warmth she had for all — strangers in particular. All her life she had this child-like quality of innocence. She was totally without guile and people recognized that. She, from a young age, collected people’s contact information and birthdays. She had bulging address books and was diligent at sending birthday and Christmas cards. In her 40s she would send out 400 — 600 handwritten Christmas cards per year. She would start in mid-November.

OK … Somewhere during these meetings with the Queen she believes that she got the Queen’s personal contact information. It is possible. She might not have got it directly, but it is likely that it was given to her by one of the Queen’s staff. I never asked, but it is likely that the Queen got birthday and Christmas cards from my mother.

From 1968 when my father joined UNESCO to her death in 1992 she was very much a part of the European diplomatic circle. She socialized with Heads of State on a regular basis and to her they were always friends first and Heads of State second.

In late 1984, when my father was the Sri Lanka Ambassador in Paris, my mother answered the phone, in their official residence, in a fancy apartment block, very early in the morning. A stranger on the line informed her that this was going to be my father’s last day on earth and that he planned to assassinate my father before the day was done. He then hung up. Threats on my father’s life were not new and we had lived with it since the 1960s — given that he was a highly political figure. She did not rush off an and tell my father. Instead she calmly made one phone call — and this was around 7:30 in the morning. My father got out of bed because he could hear a lot of commotion around the building. He looked out. There were armoured cars and military personnel with heavy weaponry. Police cars with sirens followed.

That was when my mother informed him of the call. He asked her if she had called the police — though that is NOT what diplomats are supposed to do. They have a special ‘diplomat protection’ number to call. My mother hadn’t not called that number or the police. She had called President François Mitterrand, at home — on his personal line! I kid you not. She knew him and he had told her to call him if she ever needed anything. She took things like that literally. Appears that Mitterrand, her friend, was cool. Told her not to worry and that he would deal with it himself. Hence the army presence ahead of the police. I gather he called up later to make sure all was OK. Over the next few weeks he would have received a stream of flowers, chocolates and other gifts from my mother. So … my mother did not hesitate about calling Heads of State.

This was 1983. I had finally got fed up of trying to travel on a Sri Lanka passport — especially since I had to make business trips, on no-notice, on a regular basis. So, I decided to apply for British Citizenship. That was not going to be problem. I have lived, full time in the UK for 15 years, had an unlimited work permit and had been married to a British citizen for 9 years. So, I applied. And it dragged on.

One day, in late 1983, my mother, as was her wont, had called from Paris to see how things were.

I happened to mention that I was getting frustrated that I had not heard anything about my citizenship.

And she then says, quite casually: “Do you want me to CALL the Queen?

I kid you not. To her this was nothing. No big deal. She would just call up the Queen. And she would have.

I was mortified. “Amma, NO. NO. It is OK. Don’t call the Queen. That might be overkill”.

She eventually decided to call a MP (i.e., Member of Parliament) she knew. He called me to ask for details!

I did get my citizenship paper, in the mail, shortly afterwards THOUGH I am not sure whether the MP had any hand in that.

But, I still remember: “Do you want me to CALL the Queen?

There is no shadow of a doubt that she thought she could get through to the Queen. But, we will never know.


Related posts:
Search ‘Queen’.


by Anura Guruge


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