2005: It's hard to say goodbye
My Dear Satellite,
I thought I must write to you when I heard Avamangala, your Jack of all trades (and master of none too) declare last week that you would be in the presidential chair till the very end of 2006.

Of course Satellite, we all know that Junius stayed on for the full dozen years allowed to him and Preme, had fate been kinder to him would no doubt have followed suit. Only Dearly Beloved left with a smile and a small pension, opting to tend his vegetable plot in Pilimatalawa rather than play political games in the Presidential Palace.

We also know that being a 'B', you were born to rule the land, or so you would have us believe, with malli being the only exception to the rule. But what puzzles most of us, dear Satellite, is the mathematics involved.

A smart child studying for the pahe shishyatvaya will tell you that one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine plus six is two thousand and five. You should know that too, given your recent exhibition of your knowledge of geography where you knew precisely how many countries there were in the world.

After all, that chap from the Aluthkade Hill did admit that he swore you in for a second time in Nineteen ninety-nine. There are many people who don't believe the man when he says he didn't do something, so when he admits to doing something, there's no reason to doubt him, is there?

What Avamangala tells us is that your second term begins after six years, in the year 2000, which can only mean that you took your oaths a full year earlier. And here we are, always blaming you for being late and keeping school children waiting whenever you attend a prize giving ? how unkind we have been to you!

But I do have to warn you Satellite. Even if you go on for another year you possibly cannot run for a third term and that chap Ranil is already dreaming of the job and saying he wants it for ten years. And honestly, if gas and petrol prices keep rising the way they do, I can't see the Blues being very popular even by 2005, let alone 2006…

Remember, Satellite, what happened to your dear old mother? The good lady too stayed on for two more years claiming that her term began only when the Republican Constitution was enacted in 1972 which makes us wonder whether this is something that runs in the family. Anyway, when she finally left in 1977, she was so popular that she was put away for another seventeen long years…

You are nearly sixty now, Satellite and if you are sent into the political wilderness for seventeen years, you wouldn't want to return. But spare us a thought as well. We wouldn't want to go green for another seventeen years too! Think about it, Satellite. After all, it is good to leave when people want you to stay rather than staying when people want you to leave…

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha
PS-But while you are still on job, don't forget to do something about Wimal. Last week we heard him calling you a 'pension giya police kaaraya'. Wimal himself looks like an agitated traffic cop when he speaks because he waves his arms about furiously, but just imagine what he would call you when you do actually leave your job!

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