Both Tigers, Reds aim to control the country
"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera said, "what are the similarities between the Tigers and the Reds?"
" I can't think of any," Percy Udagedera, Bindu's father said, "I thought they were quite different from each other…"
"Why do you say that?" Bindu queried.

"Why, Bindu," Percy explained, "one wants more devolution of power, the other is very much against it…"
"Are you sure, thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.
"Why, Bindu, they say that was the reason why the Reds couldn't reach an agreement with Satellite at their recent discussions…"
"But thaaththa, what both the Reds and the Tigers really want is more power for themselves…"
"There is some truth in that argument…" Percy conceded.

"And they are setting about it in exactly the same way…" Bindu argued.
"How can you say that?" Percy retorted, "one is a recognized political party and the other is still an armed group which is a terrorist organization in the eyes of many people…"
"That's a theoretical difference, thaaththa…" Bindu said.

"Why do you say that?"
"Why, thaaththa, they behave in more or less the same way for the same reason…"
"And what reason is that?"
"Both the Reds and the Tigers want to control the country; one wants the South and the other wants the North and East…"
"How can you prove that?" Percy demanded.

"Why, thaaththa, the Tigers are talking to the Greens asking for control of the North and the East…"
"And what are Reds doing?"
"They were talking to Satellite and the Blues until a few days ago, demanding control of the South…"
"But there is nothing wrong with either of those two discussions…" Percy countered.

"Of course not," Bindu said, "but both the Tigers and the Reds are making demands far in excess of their actual strength…"
"But both sides have considerable support, don't they?"
"But thaaththa, the Tigers have never had support in free and fair elections and the Reds know they will never win anything more than third place which is why they are asking for an alliance…"
"But how can you say that their demands are excessive?

"Why, thaaththa, the Tigers want almost total control of finance, land and law and order in the North and East…"
"And what about the Reds?"
"They are demanding control of agriculture, education and the media, a few more seats in parliament and even the top job in the alliance they want to form…"

"But these are only demands, Bindu…" Percy argued, "if the other side doesn't agree with them, they can ignore them like Satellite has already done…"
"And it is then, thaaththa, that the trouble starts…"
"Why do you say that?"

"Why thaaththa," Bindu pointed out, "that's when unauthorized army camps begin to appear in the North, that's when ministers are refused entry to those areas and that's when people opposed to the Tigers are assassinated one by one…"
"But how are the Reds causing problems in the South?"

Percy wanted to know, "they haven't killed anyone or set up army camps…"
"But we are seeing strikes everywhere and hospitals have been crippled for so many weeks now and trouble is erupting in the universities…" Bindu said.

"But, Bindu," Percy argues, "the Reds say they have nothing to do with these problems…"
"And that is the same answer that the Tigers give about the problems in the North and East…" Bindu said.
Percy didn't want to argue with that.

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