Groundviews

The Five-Year Tongue Twisters

Photo courtesy ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES, via The Global Mail

[five times five things to try to say quickly]

1.

The misters assisted in shelling these shells on the seashore war,
The shells they shelled were not sea-shells, I’m sure.
Some of the people they shelled aren’t there any more.
And if they shelled the seashore during the war
Then I’m sure that whoever sells them the shells has more.

Hard to say. Hard to ring any bells. What are tongue-twisters for?

The terrorists failed to resist state terror and in fact assisted
In placing the targets that were shelled in the seashore war,
When people tried to flee to the sea they decreed
Give us one child, another, more—
And as the misters shelled the seashore during the war
The terrorists held the people as shell-shields before—

Hard to say. Hard to ring any bells. What are tongue-twisters for?

2.

The mighty military mounted a magnificent Mullivaikkal monument to most magnanimous majesty Mahinda. Mahinda manages most magnificently militarily!

3.

The soldiers’ shoulders share the shops. How many shops should the soldiers’ shoulders shoulder?

4.

The port supports many resorts.
How many forts does the port sport?
Who did those who run the fort thwart
In order to run the port’s resorts?

5.

Tourism (terrorism) terrorism (tourism) tourism (terrorism) terrorism (tourism)!
6.

Militarization of the nation needn’t ruin your vacation, even if it effaces reconciliation.
A bonny economy depends on your bonhomie.

7.

How much land would a land-grabber land
If a land-grabber could grab land?
He would land, he would, as much land as he could,
And grab as much as a land-grabber would
If a land-grabber could land land.

8.

The fishing permits admit mostly those who submitted in Sinhala.

9.

Smugglers smell money to be made from fragile fears and freedoms.
The boy brought by boat bellowed, broke.

10.

The torturers took Thambi’s thumbs.

11.

Who’s the braver, the grave-saver, or he who gave the waiver for the saver of the grave?
Whose fate is graver, the grave-saver, or he who gave the waiver for the saver of the grave?

12.

Our ūr, your ūr. Your ūr, our ūr.

13.

The widowed women wandered, wondering whether they were widowed.

14.

Seeing soldiers, she shivered, and stayed still and silent.

15.

White van white flag white van white flag white van white flag white van white flag

16.

The grease devil’s vile and violent behaviors bedevilled the villagers.

17.

A fishy new fashion for bashing the Fashion Bug.

18.

Putting the press under duress impresses upon them the import of writing reports of a sort of success.
The pressure of self-censure and colleagues in absentia leave much of the Fourth with much to express.

19.

What kind of incredible or traumatic cataclysm would result in a credible domestic mechanism?

20.

Professor Peiris protested a peck of prominent panels—
How many prominent panels did Professor Peiris protest?

21.

The international community’s relative immunity is another form of disingenuous impunity.

22.

Abroad, a brooding, tired Tiger turns, and tries, struggling, to strip his separatist stripes.

(Separatists from abroad funded separatists from within
with dollars, determined to never give in.)

23.

Majoritarianism authoritarianism majoritarianism authoritarianism

24.

Someone still insists on singing the song in Sinhala.
The same song should be sung in three tongues.

25.

The tongues twisted
together the tongues
twisted together the
tongues twisted together

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This article is part of a  larger collection of articles and content commemorating five years after the end of war in Sri Lanka. An introduction to this special edition by the Editor of Groundviews can be read here. This, and all other articles in the special edition, is published under a Creative Commons license that allows for republication with attribution.