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21 September 2014 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A British company has offered $ 1000 million (Rs. 130,000 million) offer for my pair of shoes, Minister of Cultural Affiars T.B. Ekanayake said speaking about his broken shoes during the visit of the Chinese President Xi JinPing last week.

The Minister was seen in a white pair of shoes with his toes coming out during the occasion of signing of many agreements with the visiting Chinese President.
“Even the office of the British High Commission was keen about it and made inquiries about the matter from my secretaries,” he said.

“But I am not prepared to sell it as many more offers might be on the way. However, I will keep my offer open till I get the highest offer,” he said.

The Ministerial toes became an instant hit on the net after the Foreign Correspondents Association (Sri Lanka) posted the pictures on its Facebook. It went viral.
Minister was tip-toeing when called to place his signature on an agreement between the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China and the Ministry of Culture and the Arts of Sri Lanka.

However, Minister Ekanayake maintained that they were the best matching pair he had, but were not in use for several years.
“Even Dudley Senanayke has had similar experience, when he participated in a ceremony in full suit without shoes as he had to throw them away due to the detachment of the soles on the way,” he said.

“These are minor matters to be bothered about,” he said
At a time when ministers have got used to wear pairs of shoes worth more than one hundred thousand rupees, the incident became a hot topic as a State Minister was clad in a worn out and bottomless pair during a State ceremony.
 

We heard that you were in an embarrassing situation?

No.
 

You had worn a pair of broken shoes when the Chinese President arrived?

Oh.  It happened accidentally.
 

That means?


I had a pair of white shoes. It is the pair of white shoes and the white national costume, which suited the inaugural occasion, isn’t it? I got my dust-covered shoes washed and wore. As soon as I got down from the car, the sole of one shoe gave way. When I put it inside the car and proceeded, the sole of the other shoe also gave way. By that time, both soles had given way. Only the upper part remained. It was the feet that touched the earth. I did not care. I went on because the upper parts were intact.
 

Nothing happened?

What happened? We are villagers. We can walk barefooted on the ground. We need no shoes or slippers.
 

How did it gain publicity?

When I was standing, nothing happened. When it came to signing the agreement, I had to stand and sit. Then, my sarong had moved to and fro and my feet had been visible. At the mean time, I had been videoed by the cameramen. I did not think that they had videoed my legs.
 

Didn’t anybody notice it?

No. Otherwise I could have felt.
 

Didn’t you have another pair of shoes at all?

Yes, I had. It was beautiful when white dress. Who can predict when would the shoes break? Anyway I sent a vehicle for another pair of shoes. It was not successful because the vehicle could not come back due to the closure of the roads at that time.

 

You had worn the white shoes and gone there to become attractive like a boy. Hadn’t you?

I am still a boy, not like a boy.
 

Weren’t you ashamed?

Why should I be ashamed of?
 

Because you had worn a broken pair of shoes?

I did not think that it would break. Nor did I think that they would pay their attention on my feet. However, I am happy because their attention had been focused from my face to the feet.
 

Weren’t you limping?

No. not at all. I am a villager who had used to chew a wad of betel and walk all over the village. My feet are unruffled by sand, gravel and stones.


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