ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
5th Column

Historic deal: Who's taking whom for a ride?

By Rypvanwinkle

My Dear Green Man,

I thought I must write to you soon, before you take off on yet another overseas trip to attend a seminar or meet some important person, but the real reason I am writing to you is to inquire about your new found love for Mahinda maama.

It was indeed surprising to see those pictures of all of you smiling for the cameras and claiming that you have reached what you call a 'historic' agreement. It was even more surprising to hear that the Greens had been offered Cabinet posts, but you weren't telling us whether you had accepted that offer or not!

We have all heard the old saying about having no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics, only permanent interests, but Green Man it must be said that this latest move is still a shock to a lot of people.

There are those who say that you are taking Mahinda maama for a ride by promising your support so generously without even the Premiership in return. They say that you will promise him the sun, moon and the stars-or G.L., S.B. and Milinda -- only to back out at the last moment leaving him rather embarrassed.

Then there are others who say you are killing two birds with one stone by getting some plum jobs for your people while at the same time ensuring that those who are clamouring for your ouster in the Green party are kept happy, at least for the moment.

But we all know that it may well be Mahinda maama who is taking you for a ride because after he gets some Greens into his Cabinet, especially the professorial types who were Blue to start with, they are likely to desert you and weaken your team at the time of the next elections, ensuring that you will be the longest serving 'Vipaksha Naayakathumaa'…

What seems to be certain though is that at the end of all this, the rathu sahodarayaas have been left high and dry. To be fair though, Mahinda maama gave them every chance of joining the government but they were playing hard to get and now they have to pay the price for that.

But Green Man, I must say that we are all impressed with Mahinda maama's handling of this delicate situation. If you thought Satellite was a handful, Mahinda maama is proving a harder nut to crack, what with his beaming smile and pat-on-the-back style.

Indeed, there are quite a lot of well-meaning people who believe that Mahinda maama as the boss and you as his second in command may be quite a reasonable option for this long suffering country of ours, but I think that is wishful thinking, as long as each camp has its own agenda and is adamant on retaining absolute control over everything.

Let us face it, Green Man. All this talk about a 'historic agreement' makes for catchy headlines and even more appealing photo opportunities, but isn't this all about ensuring some hold on power for some people all of the time?

If you can convince us that it is not about that, maybe this agreement will be worth the paper it is written on. But, with the likes of the learned professor in your ranks, I am not quite sure you would be able to do that…

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS-There is also something else that worries me about this 'historic' agreement, Green Man. For over fifty years since independence, perhaps we haven't had the best of governments but at least we have had a reasonable Opposition. Now, if this agreement becomes a reality, there is a chance that the next Leader of the Opposition might be our Weerawansa sahodaraya. And we shouldn't embarrass him by asking 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' because he may not know who wrote that either!

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.