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The Fifth Column

12th July 1998

Green horn cornered

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My Dear Green Horn,

I know I am writing to you at a time when you are facing many problems from within your own party, and everybody is blaming you for doing nothing about it.

You will agree with me that all these troubles started with this Wije's issue they cooked up through the Commission. But you can hardly blame them for that, can you, because your late uncle Dicky did the same thing to the Old Lady and split the Blues right into two with mother and son on two sides. Well, you are getting a taste of your own medicine, Green Horn.

Now, Green Horn, you had challenged Satellite to a Presidential Election. Don't be silly, Green Horn! What makes you think that just because you issue a challenge, Satellite will forego two years of her reign? And, even more importantly, what on earth makes you think that you can win?

She has used that as an excuse to get you to co-operate with postponing provincial polls. Then, she will use some excuse (the 'security situation', for instance) to postpone the Presidential Election and you will be left high and dry. If I were you, I would do everything to hold the Provincial polls, because the Greens have nothing to lose, really. If you win it's a great victory for your leadership; if you lose it is because of state-sponsored thuggery!

Then, there is this other problem about the Prince. I think you must firmly put him in his place. He must realise that he may be a prince among the Blues but when he is among the Greens he will always be an outsider. Unlike you, he could do anything and go back crying like a baby to Mamma and you bet they will take him back. If that happens, I think you should let him go because he has the extra-ordinary talent of messing up the affairs of whatever party he is in - maybe it comes with being the off-spring of two (not one) Prime Ministers. My advice to you, Green Horn, is to let him go. I've always maintained that Dearly Beloved did a lot of good to the Greens but the one bad thing he did was to take the Prince in, because of that, you Greens may have to suffer for a long, long time.

Then of course, you must deal with the Old Guard firmly. Show them that you are no longer a Green Horn in this business, though, of course, it was providence that helped you get where you are, after RW, RP, LA and GD all died leaving the Greens with no choice but you.

And you should also give a piece of your mind to All Countries Seen. I know you were his junior but that was when you were just a fresh faced kid out of law school. Now you must show him - and the others too - that you are in charge though you still retain that charming, fresh faced look of yours!

So, Green Horn, best of luck, you will need a lot of it!

Yours truly

Punchi Putha.

PS - Just like Crown Prince has a right to be the Blue Boss, you too have a right to be the Green Boss. It was not for nothing that they called the Greens, the 'Uncle Nephew Party' or 'Unge Nedeyange Pakshaya' is it?

Rajpal Abeynayake's Column

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