ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 34
Columns - 5th Column

Pied Piper and Ali petav: everything is possible in fairytale politics

By Rypvanwinkle

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "what is all this fuss about a memorandum of understanding?"
"It does look like a memorandum of misunderstanding now," Bindu's father Percy said.
"Why do you say that?" Bindu wanted to know.
"Why, Bindu, some Green elephants want to cross-over to the Blues and Mahinda maama says he doesn't want to disappoint these elephants..." Percy explained.
"So, what is wrong with that?" Bindu asked, "there have been plenty of crossovers before..."
"But, Bindu," Percy pointed out, "there is a memorandum of understanding for co-operation between the Blues and Greens..."
"There is nothing wrong with that either..." Bindu argued.
"But, Bindu," Percy said, "if an understanding already exists for co-operation between the two parties, why should anyone want to crossover to the other side?"
"Why, thaaththa," Bindu declared, "how else can you get a Cabinet post?"
"But all those who are crossing over say they are not doing so just to get a Cabinet post..." Percy said.
"Why else would they want to crossover, then?" Bindu queried.
"Why, they say it is to serve their beloved country..." Percy said.
"Surely, thaaththa, if they so desperately want to serve the country, they can do so while being in the Opposition..."
"How can do that, Bindu?" Percy asked.
"Why, thaaththa, now the Greens are not protesting about anything that is happening because all they are interested in at the moment is the crisis in their party with some of them wanting to crossover..."
"And what would you want them to protest about?" Percy wanted to know.
"Why, thaaththa," Bindu asked, "what shouldn't they be protesting about?"
"Why do you say that?" Percy inquired.
"Well, they should be protesting about almost everything," Bindu said, "the rising cost of living, the lack of security even in the south of the country, the poor arrangements to deal with natural disasters, the spread of so many diseases..."
"But these are problems faced by any government..." Percy argued.
"But thaaththa," Bindu protested, "all this is happening despite having an extra-large cabinet..."
"But, Bindu," Percy said, "anyone who governs this country will face these issues..."
"But thaaththa," Bindu countered, "amidst all these problems, all the government wants to do is to start a new airline with somebody's name on it..."
"So," Percy asked, "what should be done about all this?"
"It may be common practice for governments to do what the government is doing," Bindu said, "but what is uncommon is for the opposition to do nothing about all this..."
"And why do you think that is happening?" Percy asked.
"The monks support Mahinda maama anyway," Bindu said, "the Reds can't say much because they too supported him and now some of the Green elephants are only interested in getting a Cabinet post..."
"But don't you think this crossover story might have a fairytale ending with everyone living happily ever after..." Percy asked.
"And what fairytale would that be?" Bindu wanted to know.
"It could be like the 'Pied Piper of Hamlyn' because everyone appears to be following Mahinda maama now..." Percy suggested.
"Or it could be like 'Ali Baba and the forty thieves' because they say the cabinet will have about forty ministers after the crossovers..." Bindu proposed.
"Maybe we should call it the 'Ali thief and the forty babies' because Mahinda maama is being accused of stealing these 'ali petavu'..." Percy declared.
"I think 'Ali thief and the forty thieves' will probably be more appropriate..." Bindu said.
Percy didn't quite feel like disagreeing with that.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.