Half a glance at the campaign's better half
By Rajpal Abeynayake
Maithree Wickremesighe is running.
She is not the running mate - that honour goes to Karu Jayasuriya.
But she is the mate - and she is running. If that doesn't make her
running mate, that's not her fault. That's the fault of the English
Theoretically anyway, it's debatable if she is running.
But she appeared on television next to a dapper looking Wickremesinghe,
who had been tempered by non-stop campaigning, like a prawn in a
Japanese tempura. I don't mean that pejoratively either. It looks
like this election campaign did Mr. Wickremesinghe a great deal
of good. His voice has become hoarse, like he is in an advertisement
for some kind of lozenge. He looks very settled and calm.
Anyway, Maithree Wickremesinghe said in her television appearance
that she thinks Ranil never can tell a lie. Somebody told me that
when he heard about that one, he didn't know about Ranil, but wasn't
too sure about whether she could….
But that's just an aside.
Maithree believes in anything but asides.
She said that Ranil is the "alternative'' politician to all
conventional politicians - and that he never ever says anything
to hurt anyone's feelings, even in their marriage.
She said he is looking for solutions all the time for the country's
problems, even when the family is away on holiday.
We columnists are not supposed to comment on spouses generally in
this country, but now that Maithree has cast herself in the spotlight,
we have to say the facts about her are sacred - but comment is free.
If Maithree thinks that her husband doesn't tell a lie and is the
genuine article, they should have put out the message years back
I would have thought - as it would have done the country good, knowing
all of these Maithree secrets.
But they put her on the tube with days to go for the election.
Maybe we can ask Maithree the facts about the matter.
"What is it that is made you come out with these facts about
your husband's lily-white existence just a few days before the presidential
Maithree would say: "coincidence, of course".
What is it that makes your assessment of him - almost as if he was
a household pet, the 'Ranil can do no wrong thing' - look so much
like what appears in the campaign promotional material for Ranil
Matihree would say: "coincidence''.
"Why are so many coincidences happening all at the same time'',
we would obviously ask Maithree and she would say: "coincidence".
"English being your subject wouldn't you say that coincidence
sometimes can be the most beautiful word in the English language?'',
we might venture.
Maithree would say "in this instance, it's a beautiful word
no doubt but that's absolute coincidence.''
"So you mean you are not running for the post of, er, first
lady?" we might want to ask.
"Are you mad, if I was running, I would be campaigning no?"
"But your household secrets about Ranil - they sounded so much
like a campaign, right? I mean we thought nobody is perfect, but
now we learn that according to you Ranil is perfect."
"Perfect coincidence,'' she says and adds "I'm his mate
- but not his running mate.'' Then she fades into the Thurstan road
That figures out in the end. Running mates always don't run so hard
as Maithree does for her husband.
Look at Anura Bandaraniake. If he ran half as hard as Maithree,
they would have quit calling him running mate, and called him Mr.
Rajapakse's wife instead.