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Tamil Nadu pained?

,"If the Tamil Tigers are wiped out, those political jokers who sympathise with them will most probably lose their income from them." - Army Commander, Gen. Sarath Fonseka

 One would have expected the Tamil Nadu politicians’ objections to the Army Commander’s statement to be over being accused of having received "income from the LTTE".  But this last does not seem to be the cause of their being offended.

 Rather, a fiasco is blowing over the use of the word ‘jokers’ by the Army Commander in reference to Tamil Nadu politicians.  It seems to have now led to an international incident with apologies being asked for from the President! 

 The touchy sensitiveness of the Tamil Nadu politicians and the seriousness with which the word ‘joker’ seem also to have been taken as derogatory by the Indian government, seems to display more than anything, differences between our two countries in the use of our colonially inherited English language,  as well as in our sense of humour.

 Should not someone explain to the Indians that the term "jokers" is used loosely in the Sri Lankan idiom for any person(s) whom one may not fully see eye to eye with, and is therefore only  a tad disdainful but not meant to be taken in the literal sense, and is not a defamatory term?  The common usage of the word is after all,only a tinge more disdainful than "chaps", "guys"  or ‘fellows’!

Dr. Mahes Ladduwahetty

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