Fifth Column

7th May 2000

Acting keeps everyone guessing

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My dear Satellite,

I thought of writing to you when I heard that you had just returned from your overseas trip. As you must have heard everyone was asking 'Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored.

Tell me Satellite, do you get one of these astrologers to pick and choose the times for your visits overseas? I ask because whenever you decide to pack your bags and hop into a plane there is some disaster in the country.

Next time you leave, tell us in advance, will you, so that we can be better prepared! Anyway, they tried to convey the impression that you had stopped your 'medical treatment' halfway and returned to the country to put out the fires at Elephant Pass. That's very courageous of you but then, that doesn't mean you have much confidence in your General relative, do you?

We can still remember the day it was announced that Jaffna was captured. The General was hailed as a 'Sapumal Kumaraya'. And, if I remember correctly, you summoned him to Colombo and made him a General, over and above senior army officers!

And then we heard the next announcement- you have declared a virtual state of war and the pay hike for ministers have been stopped from this month. I feel really sorry for those poor, poor ministers. They were given a raise for all their hard work- and with two years' arrears too! And now they are told we are at war, so they must forego their little luxuries.

Anyway I'll bet my last rupee that when the suspension on the pay hike is lifted they will get arrears again! Satellite, you also rushed to meet the Green Man soon after you returned to the country.

We thought you may be even thinking of a National Government to tide over the present crisis in the North. No, you just talk to the chap and we see both of you smiling at each other on TV and in the newspapers every now and then and thereafter, Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored.

How was your 'supervising' President, Satellite? Can you just let us in on a little secret and tell us why you didn't appoint the General, the Professor, the Sportsman or the Postman to 'supervise' your functions and preside at cabinet meetings while you were away? Were you afraid that if you did that they would try to throw you out and take your place?

Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored Censored, Satellite, they tell us that our electricity and phone bills charges will be increased in a few months time.

Why is that Satellite, if the country is developing at such a rapid rate under your guidance? Can't you settle that too, like you settle the problems of the war? I'm sure it will be well worth it, because general elections are only a few months away!

Anyway, Satellite, we hope that now that you have returned to the country you will do something about what is going on in the north. Or else, we will soon be reading about the re-adjustment Censored Censored Censored Censored!

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha.

PS- There's some talks of inviting the Indians again to the North. Well, that's about the only thing which JR did and you didn't do. I guess the good old man, wherever he is, must be having the last laugh!

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