Fifth Column

10th September 2000

Acting many parts to win votes

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"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "why is everyone so interested in this election?"

"Why, Bindu," Percy Udagedera, Bindu's father said, "we will be electing our members of Parliament for the next six years."

"Is that why they are promising us everything, Thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"What are they promising?" Percy asked.

"Why, thaaththa, the greens are promising two thousand rupees and even the blues have promised one thousand hundred rupees."

"But those are the usual promises to get the vote, Bindu" Percy was not impressed.

"But they are fighting really hard to get our vote, thaaththa." Bindu observed.

"Yes," Percy agreed, "but they are fighting even harder to get the 'mannape'."

Percy pointed out.

"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"

"Why, Bindu, just take a look at all those posters."

"But thaaththa, aren't all these posters illegal?"

"Yes, Bindu, they are illegal and that is why the Police have been ordered to remove them."

"But thaaththa," Bindu argued, "if they are against the law how is it that the Professor of Law also has his posters?"

"I suppose," Percy said, "he has the most number of posters but you cannot blame only him when all the others are also breaking the law."

"At least," said Bindu, "he must be thankful that he was given nomination."

"Why do you say that?" Percy asked, "he was a leading member in the blue team."

"But thaaththa, so many leading members in the blue team have not been given nominations like old Lakshman and KB."

"Some say that SB cut KB." Percy observed.

"But thaaththa, even though those old faithfuls have been left out so many actors have been given nomination."

"That's not surprising, Bindu." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"This whole election reminds me of the movies."

"Why is that, thaaththa?"

"Why, the various crossovers from one side to the other is like 'Daval Migel re Daniel'."

"Then thaaththa," Bindu said, "all the thuggery and intimidation is like 'Raajya sevaya pinisai'."

"Then, Bindu, there are a couple of old movies also which are currently running."

"What are those thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Why all those past promises are like 'Kadawunu poronduwa."

"And because of that all the voters have become 'Karumakkarayo." Bindu suggested.

"Then," said Percy, "I think even 'Siripala saha Ranmenika' was screened again recently."

"But thaaththa," Bindu asked, "will all these movies stop after the elections?"

"I don't think so, Bindu." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"Just imagine what would happen if the blues fail to get an absolute majority in the House."

"Why, what would happen?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Then, Satellite will have to work with a Parliament dominated by the greens."

"What will happen then, thaaththa?"

"That will be the beginning of the most exciting movie of all."

"What movie is that?" Bindu asked.

"That," said Percy would be the beginning of 'Ege wairaya'."

Bindu didn't disagree.

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