24th September 2000
What's the name of the game?
5 th Column
|My Dear Rauf,
I did not think that I would be writing to you so soon after writing to your late leader but these things happen and now you are in charge - or so it seems. It must be a shock to you but I'm sure you will take up the challenge.
But Rauf, why I thought I must write to you was because I was more than a bit puzzled by what you have said and done so far in your short spell as leader- or should it be 'co-leader', really?
We all saw your late leader appear on television a day before his demise. He appeared a thoroughly disgusted man and said he would have nothing more to do with the government.
Why, Rauf, he went so far as to say that once the polls are over he would sit in the Opposition. Whether he meant that the blue side will be in the opposition or whether he would sit with the greens we do not know. Anyway, he even said he would not be talking to Satellite until the elections are over!
And then the terrible helicopter crash occurred and you were elected as leader and what do you do, Rauf? You to meet Satellite to discuss future co-operation, even though your late leader had said he would not talk to her until after the election. Would he have approved?
Then, you return from the meeting and insist that you should be given your late leader's ministry if you are to continue in the government- even after Satellite has announced that she herself has taken over the ministry.
If that does not happen, out you go from the government, you say. You know, Rauf, under the constitution we all believed until now that it was Satellite who had the power to decide who gets which ministry. But it seems things change with time, don't they?
And the next day we are all very confused because you are appointed to your late leader's ministry and you describe Satellite as the best leader this country ever had and everyone seems to be living happily ever after.
You know what, I think Satellite must have wanted her name in the Guinness Book of world records for being a minister for the shortest period of time- probably less than twenty four hours- and that is why she took over the ministry herself before handing it back to you!
If your leader was around, I'm sure he would have been puzzled too by your decisions because he will recall that when that dispute with Fowzie arose, you were one of those who were very adamant that you could not work with Satellite - and your late leader agreed to even resign from his ministry because of that.
But now, when you have been given the ministry, it appears that all that has changed and you are very happy to work with her. So, Rauf, now you can understand why we are all confused by all this.
Of course, we have seen this type of thing happening with people like Ronnie and Dinesh for their own reasons but we are surprised that it has happened to you too!
Anyway, we must wish you best of luck for the election because you will need a lot of it, if you are to make any impact!
PS- Now that you have got the job, I suppose the Colombo port will have to employ a lot of people from the Kandy district, if you are to follow the policies of your late leader. But then, Rauf, what will happen to all those people who have been promised jobs from Kalmunai and Akkaraipattu?
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to