What’s behind the Monster?
The Sri Lankan Army released this picture to a group of foreign journalists (including me) here in Colombo today. The photo is part of a bizarre photo-essay created by the decidedly grandiose sounding Media Centre for National Security, a small building on Galle Road which every foreign journalist visiting Sri Lanka quickly becomes reconciled to visiting for every little thing — clearances, interview permissions, stock footage, press briefings and everything in between. Their web team, which feeds news, photographs and video to the string of Sri Lanka’s security forces websites (Army.lk, Defence.lk, etc), works round the clock. No bull. They work 24-hours in shifts. But I need to come back to the photograph above. I’ve been looking at it off and on through the day today, but I still haven’t quite figured out what they’re trying to say. What the hell is Behind Every Monster? Are they referring to his wife, Mathivathini? Or maybe they mean the foliage? Or maybe they just thought it sounded clever. Or cheeky. For the life of me, I haven’t figured it out. I thought propaganda — at least the kind being dished out here — is supposed to get up and hit you with its obviousness. Are they saying Mathi is the real brain behind the Tamil Tigers? I’m open to suggestions, but this goes beyond the boggling. Do see the other photos. Worth every second of your time.