Fifth Column

5th August 2001

Reds keep the greens at bay

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My Dear Wimal and Tilvyn,

I thought of writing to you when I heard that you were holding discussions with Satellite, asking her to cancel the referendum in return for your support. To be honest Wimal, most people are really shocked and surprised at what you two are doing, along with the other reds.

You will recall that no so long ago most people did not like you because you had not once, but twice tried to come to power using the bullet instead of the ballot. In that process thousands of young men died and their families are still grieving for them.

Then you decided to try the democratic pathway to power and now you have been successful to some extent, though you have to thank J.R. and his PR system for that. And now, thanks to Rauf, you appear to hold the balance of power.

To begin with, we were always a little puzzled by your statements that though your aim was to bring down Satellite's government, you would not help in the formation of a green government either. Then, when the greens tried to force their way into Parliament you kept away from that saying it was not the correct thing to do. And then, when the greens launched their street protest you kept away from that too and saved yourself Satellite's rubber bullet treatment.

You really let the cat out of the bag when the greens wanted to write to AB asking him to resummon Parliament and you refused to co-operate with that too, arguing that it would be unconstitutional. Ah, my dear Wimal and Tilvyn, since when did you who staged two armed insurrections resulting in the deaths of thousands of men, decide that writing a letter to the Speaker would be unconstitutional?

And now when you say that you are prepared to allow Satellite a grace period of one year at a time people are calling her J. R.'s elder sister when it comes to using the constitution to her advantage, it does seem that you too have begun to cling on to the saree pota.

It's a sorry state of affairs because here was chance for you to impress the average voter with what you could do at a time when most of them are disgusted with both the blues and the greens. And already people had begun to appreciate you for your principled politics and for donating your MPs' salaries instead of using it for personal benefit.

So, my dear Wimal and Tilvyn, while it is true that what you do may well decide how long Satellite and her government survives, you must also realise that what you do now may also decide your own future as a party. We hope you make use of that opportunity because most people seem to think that if the reds and the blues get together, the country will be marooned!

Yours truly, Punchi Putha.

PS- Remember, when Satellite made a promise to you to abolish the executive presidency? You swallowed her bait and withdrew from the presidential election and she ran away with your votes and won? So, won't you be once bitten twice shy, at least?

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