Columns - 5th column

Has a finger in every political pie

By Rypvanwinkle

“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “who do you think is the least fortunate politician in our country?”
“I don’t think anyone who is a politician in our country is unfortunate, Bindu…” Bindu’s father Percy said.
“But some are not as lucky as others, thaaththa,” Bindu argued.
“Why do you say that, Bindu?” Percy wanted to know.

“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “see what has happened to Uncle Mervyn…”
“Well,” Percy said, “nothing has happened to him and some think that is part of the problem…”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu protested, “don’t you think he is being unfairly criticized?”
“And why do you say that?” Percy demanded.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “he has his way of doing certain things and then everyone accuses him of being a very bad person…”
“What do you mean by that?” Percy asked.

“Why, he first stormed the Rupavahini television station and ended up being daubed in paint and being humiliated live on TV…”
“Many think that he got what he deserved…” Percy declared.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu asked, “is it correct to embarrass someone like that in public?”
“But Bindu,” Percy said, “even Uncle Mervyn once embarrassed someone in public in a rather unfair manner…”
“Oh,” Bindu said, “are you referring to that incident when he tried to rid his electorate of the Dengue mosquito?”
“”Of course,” Percy replied, “who can forget that?”
“I think it was a brilliant way to educate people and get the message across that they will be punished if they do not do their duties properly…” Bindu suggested.

“But he tied a government officer to a tree…” Percy pointed out.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu observed, “in the end it was proved that it was all an act and that it happened with the full consent of that officer…”
“That is what they said at that time…” Percy said, “and we were all expected to believe that…”
“Then, thaaththa” Bindu said, “Uncle Mervyn was also blamed for trying to bring down the prices of vegetables…”
“When did he do that?” Percy was puzzled.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu explained, “that was the time when he banned the sale of certain vegetables in his electorate…”
“But Bindu, Percy pointed out, “one person cannot go about dictating laws all by himself and expect other people to follow them blindly…”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu persisted, “wasn’t his intention to make his electorate self-sufficient in vegetables?”

“That was his explanation…” Percy agreed.
“And I feel sorry for him,” Bindu said, “because people are blaming him once again…”
“Why, what has he done now?” Percy wanted to know.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “everyone is blaming him for the extortion racket that was going on at the new fish market…”
“But hasn’t he said he will resign if anyone can prove that he was responsible?” Percy inquired.
“Yes he has,” Bindu said, “but isn’t it unfair to accuse him of this too?”
“So,” Percy said, “Uncle Mervyn wants us to believe that this extortion racket operated in his electorate without his knowledge and blessings…” Percy declared.
“Of course,” Bindu said, “that is what he says and he challenges anyone to prove the accusations against him...”
“So,” Percy said, “what he is saying is that even though he could control the vegetables grown in the households in his electorate, he didn’t know that a mass scale extortion racket was being carried out at the fish market…”

“That is what he says, thaaththa” Bindu agreed.
“Then,” Percy proposed, “Uncle Mervyn is like Ban Ki-moon…”
“Why is that, thaaththa?” Bindu wondered, “although I am sure Ban Ki-moon will be flattered to know that?”
“Why, Bindu,” Percy said, “Ban Ki-moon also acts like Uncle Mervyn, doesn’t he?”
“How could you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu was puzzled.
“Why, he has one set of laws for countries such as the United States and another set of laws for countries such as Sri Lanka, just like Uncle Mervyn wants his own set of laws for his Kelaniya electorate” Percy explained.
“I suppose you could say that…” Bindu conceded.
“And Ban Ki-moon also believes in punishing Sri Lanka with his own style of inquiry and his arbitrary punishments just like Uncle Mervyn has his own style of punishing officers who don’t follow his instructions…” Percy observed.
“So, thaaththa” Bindu said, “what you are saying is that just like Uncle Mervyn tying a Samurdhi officer to a tree without any justification, Ban Ki-moon is also now trying to impose an international inquiry against Sri Lanka without any justification…”

“Ah, Bindu” Percy said, “now you get the picture…”
“Then, if Ban Ki-moon is so much like Uncle Mervyn” Bindu said, “I am afraid Uncle Mervyn’s days are numbered…”
“Why do you say that?” Percy was curious.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “I am sure Mahinda maama is waiting for the day when Ban Ki-moon leaves office…”
Percy didn’t quite know what to say to that.

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