Australia’s Turnbull bows out after Sri Lanka hopper meal

ECONOMYNEXT – Australia’s curry-loving Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who famously claimed he had the tastiest breakfast in Sri Lanka, was forced to bow out Friday becoming the latest victim of trade-mark back stabbing in Canberra.

When Turnbull stopped in Colombo while returning home from Israel in November last year, he had said he had the tastiest breakfast at his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official residence Temple Trees.

"Prime Minister Wickremesinghe hosted breakfast for Prime Minister Turnbull who said it was the tastiest breakfast he has ever had," Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement shortly after Turnbull left Colombo.

The 63-year-old merchant banker from Sydney is generally known to enjoy wok fried egg omelette or a red curry while sipping herbal green tea.

At Temple Tress, his menu included hoppers, a unique Sri Lankan food made even more popular by President Maithripala Sirisena.

It was after such an epicurean hopper meal at the same venue (Temple Trees) in 2014 that Sirisena defected from his party to emerge as a common candidate who toppled his host, then president Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Turnbull — a popular politician viewed as a moderate in his conservative Liberal Party — constantly fought off right-wing agitators during his near three-year stint at the helm.

He was finally undone by a determined challenge from his own Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who himself lost out to a stealth campaign by Treasurer Scott Morrison in a party ballot.

The transition to civilian life should be smooth for Turnbull, one of Australia’s wealthiest parliamentarians; politics was his fifth career after previous stints as a journalist, banker, lawyer and businessman.

A combative first phone call with newly minted US President Donald Trump, in which they clashed over an immigration deal, burnished his credentials at home as a sophisticated statesman who compared favourably with the rough political neophyte.

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But a wafer-thin parliamentary majority left him at the mercy of his party’s right-wing, and he struggled to loft his liberal agenda above the fray. His affinity to curry did not help him to curry favour with party stalwarts. (COLOMBO, August 24, 2018)

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