The Fifth Column

7th April 1996

Too little too late

"Thaaththa" Bindu Udagedera asked, "What will happen to the power cuts? Will we have a total blackout?"

"Unless there is a lot of rain in the right places within the next few days that is not unlikely" Bindu's father, Percy agreed.

"But, Thaaththa" Bindu said, "Didn't they know that this will happen? Why didn't they introduce smaller duration power cuts earlier?"

"Then" Percy said, "We wouldn't have been able to watch the World Cup..."

"Even now" Bindu pointed out, "Some people want to postpone power cuts on the days we plan out matches in Singapore..."

"That may be the reason we lost to India so miserably last week..." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"Why, then we will stop watching them on TV and we can save some electricity..."

"Yes" Bindu agreed, "The way they played against India, they were not worth watching..."

"Maybe we should now say they have to pay a thousand rupees for every dropped catch and four thousand rupees for every boundary conceded...."

"We shouldn't be so harsh just because they played badly in one match..."

"But" Percy said, "Now that they are world champions they must realise that expectations are high whenever they play..."

"Yes, or else Shane Warne and Mark Taylor will say that the World Cup win was a fluke..."

"This is what is wrong with our people..." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"See we started talking about cricket and forgot all about power cuts...."

"But what can we do now? They cut five hours of electricity and ask us to switch off that extra light..."

"Too little, too late...." Percy agreed.

"But what were the powerful people in the Ministry of Power doing all these days?"

"They say they were hoping that there will be rain and we won't need any power cuts at all...."

"And maybe the General was busy hoisting flags in the North that he forgot he had another Ministry to look after...."

"But they say that the public was not co-operating with them to save electricity..."

"If they learn that much from the power cuts, it will be helpful" Bindu said.

"What is that?" Percy asked.

"Sri Lankans never do what they are told to do..." Bindu said.

Percy didn't disagree with that.

Go to Taraki's column
Return to the Editorial/Opinion contents page

Go to the Fifth Column Archive