My Dear Green Man and Sajith, I thought I must write to you as both of you prepare for the annual convention of the Greens next Saturday. While we hope that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s unruly scenes, I thought of writing to you to remind both of you on the greater [...]

5th Column

Greens miss the wood for the trees


My Dear Green Man and Sajith,

I thought I must write to you as both of you prepare for the annual convention of the Greens next Saturday. While we hope that there won’t be a repeat of last year’s unruly scenes, I thought of writing to you to remind both of you on the greater responsibilities that you now have to shoulder.

It is no secret that both of you don’t see eye to eye on many issues. It is also no secret, Sajith, that you believe that the Green Man has overstayed his welcome as the head of the Greens. That is why you called for elections last year in which your party convincingly elected the Green Man once again.

Now, Sajith, I know you still moan and groan about that election and complain that the Working Committee which elected the Green Man is stacked with his favourites but the fact is that the same Working Committee also endorsed you as the deputy leader!

I think that sends a significant message for both of you — that the Greens expect both of you to bury whatever differences you may have for the sake of the party. Sadly, I also think that in the past year both of you have conveniently ignored that message and gone your separate ways.

Green Man, I think we all know that in the year that has just ended, you went that extra mile to punish all those who were associated with Sajith. For example, you launched disciplinary inquiries against them and denied them nominations at provincial council elections, whenever you could.

On the other hand, Sajith, you and most of your disciples have not lost any opportunity to attack the Green Man in public, trying to belittle and humiliate him using certain media outlets. To give credit where it is due, I must say the Green Man has refrained from publicly criticising and ridiculing you, Sajith.

Believe me, Green Man and Sajith, in the past year, the blues have given you enough and more issues to talk about: the mess over A Level examinations and Z scores, the hedging scandal, the cheap petrol scandal, the university teachers strike, ministers acting like buffoons and now, an impeachment and racing cars for rich kids.

And what have you, as the major opposition party, done? Nothing, I daresay, except lose a few more provincial council elections. That of course is only to be expected because even hardcore Green supporters don’t feel like voting for a party that is ‘united’ only in name and nothing else!

Again I know that both of you have been accusing each other of carrying out Mahinda maama’s agenda within the Green party. I still don’t believe that either of you is doing that, but what is obvious to all of us is that the in-fighting between you two has helped Mahinda maama a great deal!

What baffles me is how you two can be fighting each other with such enthusiasm when your duty to the nation is to act as a responsible opposition. If only both of you channeled half that energy in to fighting Mahinda maama and the blues, your party — and our country — would be much better off today.

Green Man, you hope to pass a resolution on Saturday to crown yourself as party leader for six years instead of the one year that you were elected for and Sajith, you don’t like that. I can’t suggest a compromise but I think we all know that having leadership elections every year is also not a solution!

What would be more useful is for both of you to put your heads together so that the Greens could beat Mahinda maama and the Blues at the next major elections which are only a little more than three years away — but we hardly see you even talking to each other in public, let alone working together!

Then, Green Man, people are also complaining about your apparent lack of interest in opposing the impeachment against the lady who now stands accused of various offences. Many believe the Greens should be doing more about this and getting people on to the streets — and I think Sajith would agree.

Green Man, you say the lady has given many judgments against the Greens. That shouldn’t stop you from protecting justice and fair play or else, there would be no independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka hereafter. And surely you must have heard that in politics, your enemy’s enemy is your friend!

I think the best example for both of you is how Green Man’s uncle reorganised the party in the mid-seventies with Sajith’s father. I’m sure they too had their differences but both of them realised that defeating the Queen Bee was more important and worked together for that purpose.

The rest, as we know, is history. The Greens then ruled the country for seventeen long years. Green Man and Sajith, do you realise that in the last eighteen years, the Blues have ruled the country for fifteen? So, I hope that on Saturday both of you realise that the time to act is now!

Yours truly
Punchi Putha

PS-Do you know that in Mahinda maama’s cabinet of sixty two ministers, no less than fifteen of them have been with the greens at one time or another. Of course, Karu introduced most of them to Mahinda maama, but doesn’t it also suggest that something is not quite right at ‘Sirikotha’?

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