ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday June 08, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 54
Columns - 5th Column  

A vociferous Opposition gives spice to life! Something to ponder!

By Rypvanwinkle

Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about a bullock cart race?”
“Which bullock cart race is that” Bindu’s father Percy asked, “I thought the Sinhala New Year season when we have all these races is over now…”
“No thaaththa,” Bindu explained, “it is about the Greens getting into bullock carts to protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices…”
“Well,” Percy said, “that is good for a laugh and then all we do is forget about it…”
“Why is that, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.
“Why,” Percy said, “isn’t that true of most things that the Greens do these days?”
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu queried.
“Why, first they said they were going to the ‘pola’ to protest against the rising cost of living… ” Percy recalled.
“And their leader did in fact go to a few ‘pola’s, thaaththa…” Bindu pointed out.
“But we soon forgot about that and they too abandoned the idea…” Percy observed.
“But didn’t they come up with some other idea?” Bindu asked.
“Ah, yes,” Percy said, “it was then that they thought of smashing pots and pans…”
“And what happened to that?” Bindu wondered.
“Why, they did that too and we forgot about it soon afterwards…” Percy remembered.
“But that was because they hit on another idea…” Bindu argued.
“Yes,” Percy said, “it was then that they hit on this idea of travelling in bullock carts…” Percy said.
“But that is not such a bad idea to protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices, thaaththa…” Bindu countered, “Even JR did that in his time…”
“It would not have been a bad idea had they done it properly…” Percy declared.
“What do you mean?” Bindu demanded.
“Why,” Percy said, “their idea of a protest is to come in their luxury cars and jeeps, get into a bullock cart, travel a short distance in it, long enough for the cameras to take their pictures and then get back into their luxury vehicles and drive off…”
“That may have happened in some instances,” Bindu conceded, “but you can’t expect the Greens to go about in bullock carts forever, can you?”
“Well, they didn’t, because they soon hit on another idea to protest against the price hike in petrol and diesel…” Percy noted.
“And what was that, thaaththa?” Bindu inquired.
“Why, they asked everyone to stop their vehicles and toot their horns at a certain time…” Percy remembered.
“And what’s wrong about that?” Bindu asked.
“Well, nothing except that we will forget about that too after a couple of days…” Percy said.
“But if it was such an insignificant protest, why did the police go to courts to try and stop that?” Bindu demanded.
“Well,” Percy said, “I suppose the Police were only following instructions and anyway, they should have had better things to do like preventing bombs from exploding rather than trying to stop someone from tooting a horn…”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu said, “if all this is the fault of the Green Man, why is everyone else so scared of him?”
“Why, who is scared of him?” Percy wanted to know.
“Why, thaaththa, they are hoisting black flags when he returns from an overseas visit and then they try to prevent him from going to Parliament; so, some people must surely be scared of him…” Bindu argued.
“I’m not so sure about that…” Percy said.
“Why, these people were even trying to make fun of what the Greens said during the bullock cart protest…” Bindu recalled.
“Why, what was that?” Percy asked.
“Why, they were laughing at the slogan ‘apey gona apita hondai’…” Bindu remembered.
“Then,” Percy said, “they should change the slogan to match their campaign against the Green Man…” Percy suggested.
“And what would that be, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.
“How about ‘ungey gona apita hondai’…?” Percy asked.

Bindu didn’t quite know what to say to that.

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