Fifth Column

14th January 2001

Watch out, Solheim is coming

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My Dear Satellite,

I thought of writing to you when I heard that the Solheim fellow has landed on your doorstep again, provoking so many protests and questions from all over the country.

What is baffling most people is this ceasefire offer, Satellite, because Prabha is not known to forego the chance of indulging in a few massacres every now and then. But suddenly he seems to have decided that enough is enough. It is like the South African team deciding to call off their next one-day international against Sri Lanka!

But you do deserve some credit, Satellite, because you decided against accepting the ceasefire when everyone else including your good friend Ranil wanted you to accept it. Even Prabha, who is a master of surprise, must have been surprised.

But what I like most is how you did that, Satellite. You got the PM to do all the talking. That way, if something went wrong he would have had to take the blame, just like Dinesh is taking the blame for the bus fare increase!

But, to tell you a little secret, Satellite, the people at large are now not so concerned about the war because they are waging a little war of their own every day to make ends meet. And that is because you have decided in all your wisdom to increase the prices of gas, diesel and bus fares and everything else too as a result.

You must be careful about that because even though the 'Unanduwak Nethi Pakshaya' is not doing anything about it, the Red Brigade is trying to gain advantage of the issue. That is why they staged that protest in Fort last week and got themselves tear-gassed. It is all good publicity for them at your expense and you must not allow them that because they might be well ahead of the 'Unanduwak Nethi Pakshaya' when the next elections come along.

Anyway, Satellite, how was your European tour? We saw you with the Queen but did you keep her waiting as well? The people over here are making a big fuss over what you did in Europe for well over a month reportedly at state expense but then you are also entitled to a little bit of fiddling while Paradise burns, aren't you?

But now that you are back, Satellite, take care in what you do with that Solheim chap. When he wants to meet you, just have your guards check him out thoroughly and make certain he is the genuine article, because he could be a suicide bomber, you know!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha.

PS - You have said in Paris, your favourite city, that you will change the Constitution by whatever means necessary and now the 'Unanduwak Nethi Pakshaya' wants to impeach you for that. I wish you would take note of the old proverb, 'Maaluwa nahinneth kata hindalu'. But then again, it is the Speaker who has to entertain the Impeachment motion against you and with Mallo installed in the Speaker's chair are you worrying?

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