Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday broadsheet newspaper on 12 November 2013
Robert S McNamara, who was US Secretary of Defence under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, then served as President of the World Bank from 1968 to 1981. Despite his contentious legacy in the US government, he is credited to have shifted the Bank’s focus to population and poverty issues.
McNamara, whom I once interviewed when in retirement, had a razor sharp mind and a wit to match. The story goes how, in the early days of his Bank appointment, he was visited by three highly accomplished Ceylonese officials — all of who happened to be well built men.
“Do you gentlemen represent the starving millions of Ceylon?” McNamara reportedly asked them with a sarcastic smile.
“No Sir,” one of them replied. “We represent their aspirations!”
The Ceylonese trio – who epitomized…
View original post 1,133 more words