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He knows how to follow tyre tracks and avoid booby traps
By Rypvanwinkle

“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about Muralitharan?”
“Why,” Bindu’s father Percy inquired, “has he crossed yet another milestone?”
“It does look like that...” Bindu said.

“Why, what has he done now?” Percy wanted to know.
“He has got a new appointment...” Bindu said.
“Ah, yes,” Percy recalled, “I heard that he has been appointed as vice-captain of the team....”
“I am not so sure about that,” Bindu said, “I thought he had just been selected as part of the team...”
“What do you mean?” Percy was puzzled, “I thought he was a vital member of the team all these years...”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu protested, “that was in a different team; now he has resigned from that team and joined the blue team...”

“I think,” Percy said, “we are talking about two different teams...”
“And,” Bindu said, “I think we are talking of two different Muralitharans...”
“Yes,” Percy agreed, “I am talking of Murali the cricketer who is now the vice-captain of our team...”
“And I am talking about Muralitharan the politician, who is now a non-cabinet minister in the Cabinet...” Bindu said.

“So,” Percy observed, “it has not been a bad week for the two Muralitharans...”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu asked, “do you think Muralitharan the politician will be as successful as Murali the cricketer?”

“What do you mean by that?” Percy wanted to know.
“Well, will he break as many world records and be as successful?” Bindu inquired.
“To begin with,” Percy said, “he too is controversial, just like his cricketing namesake...”
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.

“Why, Bindu, he first split with Prabhakaran and very few people survive for long after doing that....” Percy pointed out.
“That is true,” Bindu conceded.

“And now,” Percy noted, “not only has he split with Prabhakaran, he has also split with his other colleague, Pillayan...”

“So, he is not much of a team man, ” Bindu said, “he prefers to go it alone and do things his way...”
“I suppose you could say that,” Percy said, “but like Murali the cricketer, some of his actions have got him into trouble....”

“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu queried.

“Why, he is alleged to have gone to England on a forged passport...” Percy remembered.
“And what happened then?” Bindu was curious.
“Why,” Percy recalled, “he was detained and had to spend some time in jail, so he was out of action for several months until that controversy was sorted out...”
“What do you think he will do now, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.

“Well, I suppose now that he is not only just a minister but also a member of the blue party, he would have to forget about being the boss and play as a member of the team...” Percy declared.
“Doesn’t that depend on how the captain will use him, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.
“Well, the captain has used him already...” Percy said.

“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.
“Why, Bindu, first he was used to create a rift among the Tigers,” Percy explained, “and now Mahinda maama has used him again to create another split within his own outfit and he has left them and joined Mahinda maama’s blue team...”.

“I suppose you could say that,” Bindu said, “but do you think he will break any more records?”
“He has already broken a very important record, Bindu...” Percy said.
“And what record is that?” Bindu asked.

“Why, he must be the only former terrorist who is now a minister in the government he fought against...” Percy said.
Bindu knew he couldn’t argue with that.

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