ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 07
Columns - 5th Column  

Hats off to Toppigala: No big deal

By Rypvanwinkle

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "what is all this fuss about Toppigala?"
"Why, Bindu," Bindu's father Percy said, "troops have now captured that area..."
"Yes," Bindu said, "but what is so special about that, thaaththa?"
"Why, they say that the entire east is now under government control..." Percy explained.
"And why is that so important?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Why, Bindu, they are now planning to have elections in that area..." Percy observed.
"If they continue in this manner," Bindu said, "they will be forced to have elections elsewhere in the country also..."
"Why do you say that, Bindu?" Percy asked.
"Why, thaaththa, isn't everyone complaining about the cost of living?"
"I suppose they are," Percy agreed, "but some people are prepared to bear with that if they feel the war is being won..."
"But thaaththa," Bindu persisted, "isn't that part of the strategy?"
"What strategy is that?" Percy was puzzled.

"Why, thaaththa, some say that they are trying to get control of Toppigala, just so that people will forget worrying about the cost of living..." Bindu suggested.
"I can't see that happening..." Percy declared.
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?" Bindu asked.
"Why, Bindu, at the rate the cost of living is increasing, people will not forget the price hikes in a hurry, even if they liberate a dozen 'Toppigalas'...." Percy pointed out.
"Why is that, thaaththa?" Bindu queried.

"Why, haven't they increased the prices of petrol, gas and bus fares, all in the same month?" Percy asked.
"I suppose they have," Bindu conceded, "but they say it is beyond their control..."
"Why, remember they are the very people who said that if a government cannot control rising prices, such a government should not govern..." Percy recalled.

"But thaaththa," Bindu asked, "would it be any different if there was a different government? Like Uncle Ranil governing the country for instance?"
"I am not sure whether there would have been price hikes if he was governing the country," Percy said, "but I could be certain of something else..."
"And what is that, thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"There wouldn't have been a capture of Toppigala..." Percy declared.
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?" Bindu inquired.
"Why, even now Uncle Ranil is saying the capture of Toppigala is a worthless exercise..." Percy observed.
"Of course it is worthless for him..." Bindu countered.
"Why do you say that, Bindu?" Percy asked.

"Why, Mahinda maama is trying to become a hero with Toppigala and the people will at least for the time being forget about the price hikes..." Bindu said.
"That will be like when our people forget about both the war and the cost of living when there is a cricket match being played and we are winning..." Percy proposed.

"Toppigala is also similar to a cricket match, thaaththa..." Bindu suggested.
"How can you say that?" Percy was curious.
"It is quite like beating Bangladesh and then saying we have achieved a great victory, isn't it, thaaththa?" Bindu asked.
Percy was stumped for an answer to that.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.