Colourful sayings unique to JR

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By 2018-01-07

By Bandula Gunerathne

The Indian press had reported back in the 1980s that the personal life and political life of former President J.R. Jayewardene was both colourful and eventful. The former leader who was noted for relating wonderful stories from his vast political experience also had the knack for coming up with pithy comments. Back in the 1980s during a literary festival the former President had famously questioned whether literature was good to eat and his most unforgettable comment was that of the only thing Executive President could not produce in this country was to turn a man into a woman and woman into a man.

During a Gam Udawa celebration JR had wanted to utter the word Omelet but had only said Bittara Appa (Egg Hoppers) in Sinhala. He had said that the Gam Udawa celebration had resembled an egg hopper as he got confused with the English axiom that it was difficult to make an omelet without breaking an egg. JR had also famously described the Maduru Oya reservoir project the Maduruwa Oya as some of his pronunciation in Sinhala was both ridiculous and laughable at best.

The former President had also called female students who had participated at development project functions held under his auspices Madame. JR was also noted for having described the LTTE as a firm and not as a terrorist outfit while during his entire political life he described the Air Force as the aircraft force while the Navy was described as shipping force. The biggest political opponent for JR was former JVP honcho Rohana Wijeweera whom he addressed as Rohan Wijeweera.
He also famously termed the JVP not as Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna but as the Jathika Vimukthi Peramuna.

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