The late Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar had a fine and refined sense of humour.
At an after-dinner speech to felicitate the Sri Lankan cricket team in London last year, shortly before he was assassinated, he recounted the story of how the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin had wanted to change the name of his country to "Idi".
Amin instructed his foreign minister to canvas world opinion and return in two weeks. When he did not do so, he was summoned before the megalomaniac to explain.
The Ugandan foreign minister said: "Mr President, I have been informed that there is a country called Cyprus. Its citizens are called Cypriots. If we change the name of our country to 'Idi', our citizens would be called 'Idiots'."
Even Amin could see reason.