ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 22
Columns - 5th Column

High riding coalition or colluding to take people for a ride?

By Rypvanwinkle

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!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

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!

Top to the page

Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.