ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 19
Front Page Columns
5th Column

Green and blue: The political glue

By Rypvanwinkle

Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "what is all this talk about a historic agreement?" Bindu Udagedera asked.

"Why, Bindu," his father Percy said, "they say that the Blues and the Greens will be getting together at last…"

"That is too good to be true…" Bindu said.

"Why do you say that, Bindu?" Percy asked.

"Why, thaaththa, that has never happened before in over fifty years since the two parties were formed…" Bindu pointed out.

"But it might happen now…" Percy was optimistic.

"But thaaththa," Bindu asked, "why should it happen now when it has never happened before?"

"Why, they say they have reached a consensus on most of the issues that they discussed and that they will soon sign an agreement…" Percy pointed out.

"That may be so," Bindu said, "but why would the Blues want to share power with the Greens suddenly?"

"Well," Percy said, "don't forget that they don't have a majority for themselves in Parliament…"

"Then, they can go for a general election…" Bindu argued.

"And they may not win such an election…" Percy countered.

"Why do you say that?" Bindu asked, "they say that Mahinda maama is still very popular, especially after the recent military successes against the Tigers…"

"But don't forget that the election will not be electing Mahinda maama; it will be electing members of Parliament …" Percy observed.

"That is true…" Bindu conceded.

"And, the Blues have never won an election all by themselves," Percy recalled, "when they have won it has always been in alliance with other parties…"

"That is of course so…" Bindu agreed.

"And there is also the Red factor to consider…" Percy said.

"What is that, thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Why, Mahinda maama tried his best to get the rathu sahodarayas to join his government, didn't he?" Percy asked.

"But he failed and now the rathu sahodarayas are casting unkind remarks about the Blues and even Mahinda maama himself…" Bindu noted.

"So, for the moment, Mahinda maama does not have either the Greens or the Reds on his side and his Blues are in fact a minority in Parliament…" Percy declared.

"Is that why he is now so keen to get the Greens on to his side?" Bindu asked.

"That may be a reason…" Percy said, "besides, it doesn't cost him anything…"

"Why, thaaththa," Bindu said, "wouldn't he have to offer the Greens some important cabinet portfolios?"

"That wouldn't be problem…" Percy said.

"How can you say that?" Bindu queried, "he already has nearly a hundred ministers…"

"So, what difference does it make if he has a hundred and twenty ministers?" Percy asked, "besides, the only people who would protest are the Greens but they wouldn't if they themselves are to be appointed…"

"But thaaththa," Bindu said, "what I still do not understand is why the Greens would agree to join the Blues when they should be aiming at forming a government of their own…"

"But, Bindu," Percy said, "they are faced with the prospect of six or even twelve years under Mahinda maama and that is a long time if you were to spend it in the Opposition…"

"So, the Greens and Blues will join hands and we will all live happily live ever after…" Bindu suggested.

"Now," Percy said, "that is where you got it wrong, Bindu…"

"Why do you say that, thaaththa?" Bindu was puzzled.

"If they join hands, they will live happily ever after," Percy said, "we, the people, will suffer perhaps even more than before because then there will be no responsible opposition o criticise the government if they are doing something wrong…"

Bindu couldn't disagree

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.