My dear SWRD, I thought I must write to you because, in a few days’ time, it will be sixty years since you fell victim to an assassin’s bullet and left us suddenly for the Land of Never Return. I am also writing to let you know that in a few weeks, the Blue party [...]

5th Column

The impending fall of the Blue party


My dear SWRD,

I thought I must write to you because, in a few days’ time, it will be sixty years since you fell victim to an assassin’s bullet and left us suddenly for the Land of Never Return. I am also writing to let you know that in a few weeks, the Blue party which you founded is very likely to die a natural death.

Your motive for founding the Blue party may not have been purely altruistic. Those days, DS was in charge of the Greens. With son Dudley and nephew John in the Cabinet you knew that you would be an ‘also ran’ for any leadership contest. So, you went your own way and formed the Blue party.

The Blue party you founded did even better than the Greens in keeping the leadership in the family. Your widow Sirima was the boss for decades after your demise and then passed on the baton to your daughter. Sadly, your son and heir never made it to the top, passing away after a stint with the Greens.

Then the leadership passed from the ‘Bees’ to the ‘R’s. What a change that was. Sirima was accused of nepotism when she had only Felix by her side but the ‘R’ brothers made a fine art of nepotism. One was the big boss. Then, the Speaker, a Minister and the Defence Secretary were all from the ‘R’ clan!

The ‘R’s would have taken absolute control of the Blue party and run it like their family business for the next fifty years, like your family did for the first fifty years, if not for a mild-mannered farmer from Polonnaruwa who had other ideas. At that time, many saw him as a hero and cheered him on.

That was four years ago, SWRD. This chap, Aiyo Sirisena, is the reason why the Blue party is on its death bed now. He came to power with the help of the Greens. He promised everyone that he will do away with the top job. The Greens thought he will stay neutral and allow them to run the government.

Instead, this chap took charge of the Blues, not realising that he had no mandate to do so because he was elected with Green votes. Most Blue MPs rebelled against him. They took shelter in the shadow of the ‘R’ boss, Mahinda maama, who was streets ahead of Aiyo Sirisena in playing this dirty game.

The Green were also happy because they believed that, with the Blues now divided, that alone would be enough to get them re-elected. So, instead of exposing and punishing those responsible for the misdeeds committed during Mahinda maama’s time, they allowed those investigations to drag on.

Ever hungry for power and annoyed by Aiyo Sirisena being in charge of the Blue party, Mahinda maama formed his own party. It is known as the ‘pohottuwa’ party because its symbol is a flower bud. At the last major elections, it swept the board and sadly, your Blue party came a distant third.

Now, Aiyo Sirisena is trying every trick in the book to hang on to power, if only for a few more days. Last year, he even appointed Mahinda maama as his PM betraying the Greens who got him elected. He was then rapped on the knuckles by the big court and told that what he was doing was illegal.

After ignoring his promise to scrap the top job for four years, Aiyo Sirisena has suddenly remembered it now. Just the other day, he called a sudden meeting of his ministers and wanted to do so, a day after dates had been set for the big race. With such a man in charge, everyone is deserting the Blue party.

Most have returned to Mahinda maama’s waiting arms. Some will cross over to the Green camp. A few fellows are still hanging on to Aiyo Sirisena but there is nothing really left of your beloved Blue party now, except its name, its history, what it achieved in the past and of course, the ‘hand’ symbol.

Aiyo Sirisena did have ideas of running the big race again, teaming up with Mahinda maama. The latter was too smart for that. He quickly appointed his brother as the candidate. That was when Aiyo Sirisena realised that his time was up and that his days are now numbered: fifty-six, to be precise.

It will be the first time the Blues will not have a candidate at the big race. If nothing drastic happens – such as Mahinda maama returning to resurrect the Blues. It will also mark the demise of your Blue party as a political force in Paradise. Sadly, your daughter Satellite can only watch from the sidelines.

You can still be happy, SWRD, because the Blue party you founded was a strong alternative to the Greens. It held power in Paradise for longer than any other party. You will always be remembered as its founder. Aiyo Sirisena will go down in history as the man who put the final nail in its coffin!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS – There was a time when the Blues were in charge when September 26, the day of your demise was a national holiday, Ceremonies were broadcast live from Horagolla. That will not happen again. Still, SWRD, we may have live broadcasts again to commemorate ancestors, this time from Medamulana!

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