High riding coalition
or colluding to take people for a ride?
My Dear Mahinda Maama,
I thought I must write to you while you are busy
signing agreements with the Greens and everyone is hailing you as
the great statesman who finally got the two major parties in the
country working together.
I know it sounds quite impressive when described
in those terms, Mahinda maama, but I'm afraid there is a sense of
déjà vu in all this for most of us.
That is because it was only a few months ago that
we saw similar pictures of the rathu sahodarayas signing an agreement
with you while you were on your election campaign against the Green
Man. If memory serves me right, the only difference was that the
ceremony with the sahodarayas was on the lawn of Temple Trees and
not within its walls!
If you would care to cast your mind back to that
event, Mahinda maama, you would no doubt recall that you solemnly
pledged to establish a unitary state and not a united country, chase
the Norwegians away and tear up the ceasefire agreement.
Now, quite a few people thought that you would
indeed be able to do all this which is why they voted for you en
masse instead of the Green Man, especially in the deep south and
in the rural areas.
But of course, you are now sending delegations
to study the federal system in India instead of sticking to the
unitary state that you promised, the Norwegians are still very much
here and organising talks with the Tigers and you yourself proclaim
that the ceasefire is still operating, for what it is worth!
I am not saying all this is entirely your fault,
Mahinda maama, but the promises you made and your inability to stick
to them makes us wonder whether the same fate will befall this so-called
historic agreement you reached with the Green Man last week.
What is even more interesting is that a closer
look at the agreement tells us that there is nothing really agreed
upon in the 'agreement' except to say that the two parties will
"co-operate" on certain areas. Even the Greens' promise
to support the forthcoming budget is not mentioned in the deal!
Of course, there are those in the Blue camp who
think that the Green man is taking you for a ride and is buying
time for his survival in the Green camp where people either want
him out or want their share of the cake in the form of cabinet portfolios.
Then we know that there are those in the Green
camp who think that you are taking the Green man for a ride by promising
him a lot but in fact offering him nothing specific.
But what you must not forget, Mahinda maama, is
that there is still a large section of average citizens who believe
that, no matter what, both of you are taking all of us on a very
cleverly planned ride!
I know that is being very cynical, but what can
you expect when we have seen so many agreements come to nought and
so many promises broken with not even a word of regret? If you have
any doubts, just ask Wimal!
Think about all this, Mahinda maama, while you
ponder your next move. Of course, that will not be with the Green
Man, but in far away Geneva with a far more formidable adversary,
Velu himself. With him, you will need all the luck you can get to
come to any sort of agreement!
PS-But I suppose the best news for you this week
is not the agreement with the Green Man but reports that Satellite
has found herself a job with UNESCO, based in New Delhi. Out of
sight, out of mind, you must be thinking, because we all know that
with the two of you, absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder!