Now it’s the end of the line for us—at sword’s point!
“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about the Rupavahini?”
“Why, their employees kept away from work for a few hours on Friday, Bindu...” Percy explained.
“And why did they do that?” Bindu wanted to know.
“They did that because some of their employees were being attacked on the streets...” Percy said.
“So, what do they want now?” Bindu asked.
“They want Mahinda maama to take measures to stop these attacks, or they would resort to trade union action, they say...” Percy observed.
“But thaaththa, that is a strange request...” Bindu pointed out.
“Why do you say that?” Percy inquired.
“Why, thaaththa, it is not as if Mahinda maama was staging these attacks...” Bindu declared.
“No, of course not,” Percy said, “no one has suggested that...”
“But doesn’t it imply that Mahinda maama is at least in a position to stop these attacks if he wants to do so...”
“I am not so sure about that,” Percy said, “but Mahinda maama has already said that these attacks should not be a reflection on his government and that they may be due to personal issues...”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu asked, “is that a good enough explanation?”
“Why are you concerned about that?” Percy asked.
“Why, thaaththa, isn’t everyone saying that these attacks began after a certain incident?” Bindu queried.
“There certainly seems to be a coincidence between Doctor Dutugemunu’s visit to Rupavahini and these events...” Percy conceded.
“Is that why everyone is saying that he is responsible for all this?” Bindu demanded.
“Don’t forget, Bindu, that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that even Doctor Dutugemunu is entitled to that assumption...” Percy cautioned.
“That may be so,” Bindu agreed, “and anyway, there is no evidence to say that Doctor Dutugemunu is responsible for any of these incidents...”
“That is exactly what Doctor Dutugemunu himself would say...” Percy observed.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu protested, “that is not the issue here...”
“I thought that is exactly the issue because everyone seems to be blaming Doctor Dutugemunu for everything that happens except the rising prices for which they blame Bandula...” Percy declared.
“No, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “the issue is not whether Doctor Dutugemunu is responsible or not for these attacks on Rupavahini employees, but about the earlier incident at Rupavahini...”
“What about that?” Percy demanded.
“Everyone saw what happened there and whether Doctor Dutugemunu was responsible for that or not...” Bindu pointed out.
“But how does that relate to what is happening now?” Percy asked.
“That is exactly the point, thaaththa,” Bindu argued, “even if that is not related at all to what is happening now, the fact is that nothing has been done about the previous incident...”
“I thought they appointed a committee to inquire into that incident...” Percy recalled.
“They may have appointed a committee, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “but you know how committees are; I think there is even a committee to reduce the cost of living...”
“So what do you think must be done?” Percy asked.
“Why, thaaththa, since the whole country saw live on television what happened that day, shouldn’t Doctor Dutugemunu be asked to resign at least until the inquiry against him is over?” Bindu suggested.
“I am not so sure about that,” Percy said, “that is something for Mahinda maama to decide...”
“And obviously Mahinda maama doesn’t want to take that decision...” Bindu said.
“And as a result, Rupavahini has threatened to stop all live telecasts...” Percy observed.
“Oh, they should never do that, thaaththa” Bindu said. “Why is that? Are you worried that they will not show your cricket matches?” Percy wondered.
“No, thaaththa, if they stop their live telecasts and if Doctor Dutugemunu walks in to Rupavahini again, we won’t be able to see anything that happens thereafter...” Bindu said, "and who knows, Doctor Dutugemunu will then deny that he ever walked into Rupavahini and that it was someone else who was pretending to be him..."
Percy knew he couldn’t quite disagree with that because with Doctor Dutugemunu, anything was possible.