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The Fifth Column

8th March 1998

Of boycott and burning issues

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Sunday - Just got back from Polonnaruwa where the Mobile Service was on. It looks like some of Preme’s ideas were not bad, after all. We are following quite a few of them now - the Mobile Service, the Samurdhi, the garment factories. One thing I won’t be able to follow, though, is getting up at four o’ clock in the morning.

Monday - I asked Ratnasiri and the others to get going on the Wijeyapala issue. Apparently, some of our chaps are scared because they think they will also be summoned before commissions when they are out of office. I told them not to worry about that because that wouldn’t happen for another ten years, at least!

Tuesday - Oliver is asking for more. But I told Anu he will have to go, to save embarrassment for all of us. Reluctantly, Anu agreed. After all, it was my own Commission that blamed him for inefficiency. Anyway, we can think of a DPL job for him a little while later, I told Anu.

Wednesday - Ranil has announced a boycott of Parliament. Ah, that makes our job so much easier. Must get GL to get all the difficult Bills through Parliament during this month. And must ask Jeyaraj to find out whether we can’t cut their salaries this month. After all, they are paid to represent the people and if they don’t do that, why should they be paid? GL tells me it’s a trick to avoid the Wijeyapala issue. I told him to go ahead anyway, because we wouldn’t have got a two thirds majority anyway..........

Thursday- Another bomb, this time in Maradana. Called Anu quickly; I thought he might have resigned this time also! Anyway I told him it looks like they can strike whenever they want, wherever they want, despite all of the so called ‘’security’’. Anu says he can’t do anything more about it, even though we have had three bombs in six weeks this year!

Friday - Somebody has burnt that Aranayake journalist’s house. Mangala doesn’t know who did it. I told him we are worse than the UNP because they at least know who was doing what. I asked him whether we could say the UNP did it to discredit the government, but he says that would be stretching it too far. Finally, we agreed to say that some Police people were trying to discredit the government. I hope Rajaguru doesn’t faint again!

Rajpal Abeynayake's Column

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