ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday December 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 29
Columns - 5th Column  

So long my Prince! One love has to lose; it’s the patriots they choose!

By Rypvanwinkle

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "are the government's troubles over now?"
"Why do you think so?" Bindu's father Percy inquired.

"Why, thaaththa," Bindu said, "the budget was finally passed, wasn't it?"
"Yes, it was," Percy agreed, "but some will say that the government got four votes less than it got a month ago, so their support is on the decline..."
"But thaaththa," Bindu pointed out, "a month ago, they won with a majority of sixteen votes but this week they won with a majority of forty seven votes..."
"But Bindu," Percy said, "that was only because the 'rathu sahodarayas' abstained..."
"And that is what puzzles me most, thaaththa..." Bindu said.

"Why is that, Bindu?" Percy wanted to know.
"Why, thaaththa, they voted against the budget just a month ago and even after that, they were extremely critical of Mahinda maama and his government..."
"Yes," Percy agreed, "and they even said that they saw no need to change their decision to vote against the budget..."
"But when it came to voting," Bindu recalled, "they surprised everyone by abstaining from voting..."
"Of course," Percy said, "they will now say that they did so only to prevent the Tigers from gaining an upper hand in the war..."
"Is that true, thaaththa?" Bindu queried.

"What is true is that the rathu sahodarayas have just shown us that they are no better than the Greens and the Blues when it comes to matters of their own survival..." Percy declared.
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?" Bindu asked.

"Why, Bindu," Percy pointed out, "had the rathu sahodarayas voted against the Budget, there was every chance that the government would have been defeated..."
"How can you say that?" Bindu argued, "the government still had a hundred and fourteen votes..."
"But Bindu," Percy said, "had the rathu sahodarayas decided to vote against the budget like they did a month ago, there may have been some disgruntled Blues who may have also voted against it..."
"But why do you say that the Reds are now just like the Greens or Blues?" Bindu inquired.

"Why, Bindu," Percy said, "some Greens such as Uncle Karu and his 'horu' crossed over to Mahinda maama's side just to get a few cabinet posts and enjoy the perks of power..."
"And they said that they were doing that because they were patriots who wanted to serve the country..." Bindu recalled.
"And some Blues crossed over to the Green side because they were not satisfied with the cabinet posts they were given..." Percy said.

"And they too said that they were doing that because they were patriots who wanted to serve the country..." Bindu remembered.
"And now the Reds have not voted against the budget because they know that if the government collapsed and an election had to be held, they would be reduced to a handful of seats in Parliament..."
"And they will also say that they did that because they were patriots who wanted to serve the country..." Bindu said.

"So that is why someone once said that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel..." Percy said.
"If that is so, our parliament seems to be full of patriots..." Bindu observed.
"But there is a very good omen that the government may have finally got its act together, Bindu..." Percy suggested.
"What is that, thaaththa?" Bindu asked.

"Why, Bindu, the Crown prince has quit and sat with the opposition..." Percy declared.
"What is so special about that, thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Why, that is a sure sign that the opposition will remain in the opposition for a long time to come because it seems the Crown Prince is always destined to be in the opposition..." Percy declared.
Bindu knew he could not argue with that.

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