Fifth Column

5th November 2000

But, there is only one cake?

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"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "where does Prabhakaran stay?"

"Somewhere in the jungles, Bindu" Percy Udagedera, Bindu's father said.

"Then, why don't they arrest him?"

"Why, Bindu, they don't know exactly where he stays," Percy explained, " if they knew they would have captured him and the war would probably be over by now."

"No thaaththa," Bindu said, "That's wrong."

"How can you say that?"

"They do know where he stays." Bindu argued.

"How can you be so sure?" Percy asked.

"Why, thaaththa, the Norwegians have had discussions with him, somewhere in the jungles."

"But I thought they said there will be no more discussions with him until he stops the war."

"But the Norwegians have gone to the North and met the man." Bindu explained.

"But the Prime Minister was saying there will be no more dealings with them until the war is fought to a finish."

"But thaaththa," Bindu pointed out, "the Prime Minister says he doesn't know anything about this."

"So, are you telling me that, the Norwegians came to this country, figured out where Prabhakaran was hiding all by themselves and then went and met him without even our Prime Minister knowing about it?"

"That is one possibility." Bindu agreed.

"What is the other possibility?" Percy wanted to know.

"The other possibility is even more dangerous." Bindu said.

"What is that?"

"That possibility is that when the Norwegians came here, we told them where Prabhakaran is hiding and they went and talked to him without telling the Prime Minister."

"And that means," Percy said, "that some of our people except the Prime Minister knew all this time where Prabhakaran was hiding."

"That could also be possible." Bindu agreed.

"There is another possibility, Bindu" Percy suggested.

"What is that?"

"It could be that even the Prime Minister knew where Prabhakaran was but he is pretending he doesn't know, just so that we will be angry only with the Norwegians and not with the government."

"There is yet another possibility, thaaththa." Bindu proposed.

"And what is that?"

"This could all be a UNP conspiracy."

"How could you say that?"

"Why, thaaththa, during the recent elections remember how Satellite was telling us that Ranil had all these links to the Tigers and how he was trying to deal with them secretly."

"So, what are you suggesting?"

"Maybe Ranil arranged the meeting between Prabhakaran and the Norwegians; that will explain why the Prime Minister did not know about it."

"But Bindu," Percy argued, "if Ranil can do all that without the government or the military getting to know about it, the government should be ashamed of itself."

"Or," Bindu suggested, "it may be that the government and the UNP got together

and asked the Norwegians to talk to Prabhakaran."

"What makes you say that?"

"Why, they were talking about forming a national government and maybe this was what they were really talking about." Bindu said.

"But Bindu," Percy said, "we are always blaming either the government or the UNP for this; there is another possibility that we have not thought about."

"What is that?"

"It could be that Prabhakaran himself came out of hiding and wanted to meet the Norwegians and invited them there."

"But thaaththa," Bindu wanted to know, "why would he do that after all these years in hiding."

"Why, he would have seen Rauf Hakeem demanding everything under the sun from Satellite and getting all his demands, so he may have been scared that there would be nothing left for him if he waited any longer." Percy explained.

Bindu didn't want to disagree.

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