15th July 2001
The lesson she failed to learn
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|The former leaders of Paradise had
gathered in the land of never return.
They were all discussing recent events in the land they earlier ruled.
"Whatever happens," said Junius, "I am a happy man now."
"Why do say that?" Sirima wanted to know.
"Why, all of you laughed at me and called me all kinds of names when I introduced my constitution but now your people are surviving because of it."
"That's true," Lalith said, "though they are still shamelessly calling it a 'bahubootha viyawasthaawa'."
"And they even called our referendum a 'kalagedi- laampu sellama'."
"And they are now resorting to that too." Junius noted with pride.
"Tell me," Gamini asked Sirima, "what do they want to know from this referendum?"
"They are asking whether Paradise needs a new constitution," Gamini retorted.
"But they are not specifying what constitution it is." Lalith protested.
"That's exactly the point." Sirima smiled.
"Why do you say that?" Premadasa wanted to know.
"Why, everyone will say 'yes' to that question in the referendum and then Satellite can bring whatever constitution that she wants." Sirima explained.
"That's like asking whether you want to eat and then giving paan and parippu regardless of whether you like it or not." Gamini argued.
"Yes," Lalith agreed, "It's like asking whether you want to marry and then ordering you to marry a particular person."
"But," said Sirima, "all that is in your constitution."
"I agree," Junius said, "but when I made that constitution I had only one aim in mind."
"What was that?" Premadasa wanted to know.
"I thought that it will ensure that the greens would stay in power forever."
"And it nearly happened that way," Premadasa said.
"Until Dingiri Banda spoilt it all by having the general elections before the presidential elections in 1994."
"And the Tigers wiped us all out," Lalith observed.
"But what do you think will happen now?" Sirima asked.
"Alright," Premadasa conceded, "Satellite is using our own constitution against us but there is no guarantee that she will be able to survive."
"Why do you say that?" Lalith asked.
"Why, she still has to summon Parliament in two months and they can then take up that no-confidence motion." Premadasa said.
"Or, Satellite may even lose the referendum." Gamini said.
"That's a possibility" Lalith agreed, "especially if Seeni Bola crosses over to the green camp."
"Satellite wouldn't be in this mess if she had learnt my lessons properly."
Junius broke his silence.
"Why do you say that?" Premadasa asked, "we all think that she has learnt
your lessons better than any of us."
"But she forgot one lesson," Junius said.
"What was that?" Lalith asked.
"Why, she could have asked for undated letters of resignation from all her MPs; then, Rauf would never have walked out on her, knowing that he will be sacked," Junius explained.
"You think of everything, don't you?" Sirima asked.
"But I still think that greens can emerge winners in this game," Junius said.
"How is that?" they all wanted to know.
"There is one indication that the balance may yet tilt in favour of the greens." Junius said.
"Why, have you taught some trick to your nephew that you didn't teach us?"
"No" said Junius sadly, "he doesn't seem to have learnt anything at all."
"Then what's the big secret?" Premadasa wanted to know.
"At last," said Junius, "Anura is tilting towards the blue camp and we all know that wherever he goes, he ends up on the losing side, don't we.?"
Even Sirima didn't disagree with that.
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