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Yes we can! Let’s lead the way to shun all modern inconveniences!
By Rypvanwinkle

“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what is all this fuss about the budget?”
“Why,” Bindu’s father Percy asked, “who is fussing about the budget?”
“Why thaaththa,” Bindu said, “the reds have already said that they will vote against it and that is quite different from last year when they kept everyone guessing until the last moment...”

“But, Bindu,” Percy pointed out, “that is only one half of the reds; remember, the other half of the reds are now supporting the budget...”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu wanted to know, “is the budget really worth supporting?”
“Why do you say that?” Percy was puzzled, “after all, Mahinda maama has given us so many concessions...”

“And what are these concessions, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy pointed out, “the prices of petrol, diesel and kerosene have been reduced and that in turn will lead to reduced prices in everything else...”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu argued, “some are saying that this price reduction is not enough especially after world oil prices are half of what they were earlier...”

“Well, there is some truth in that,” Percy conceded, “but don’t forget that Mahinda maama has given us a pay hike as well...”
“That again is another issue, thaaththa,” Bindu argued, “because it is not a pay hike but an increase in the cost-of-living allowance...”
“But wouldn’t that be better when what everyone is complaining about is the cost of living?” Percy asked.
“I am not so sure whether there will be such a difference in the cost of living after all, thaaththa...” Bindu said.

“And why do you say that?” Percy inquired.
“Why thaaththa,” Bindu explained, “even though the price of fuel has come down and there is a decrease in bus fares as well, the prices of so many other items are likely to increase, they say...”
“Why is that?” Percy wondered.

“Why thaaththa,” Bindu observed, “the taxes on so many other items have been increased...”
“And what are all these items?” Percy wanted to know.
“Why, thaaththa, they have increased taxes on imported biscuits, chocolates, clothes and even fans and other electrical items...” Bindu declared, “they have even imposed a new tax on telephones...”
“But,” Percy protested, “they can hardly be considered essential items, can they?”
“That may be so, thaaththa” Bindu agreed, “but with the prices of so many items increasing because of the new taxes, I am not sure whether there will be any benefit at all for anyone from this budget...”
“But that is not the real problem in the budget, Bindu...” Percy said.

“Then, what is the problem, thaaththa?” Bindu queried.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy said, “the real problem would be whether the budget is passed or not...”
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy recalled, “can’t you remember all the drama that took place at the vote on last year’s budget, not once but twice with the reds playing hard to get...”
“Do you think there will be a repeat of that this year too?” Bindu inquired.

“Well,” Percy pointed out, “now at least some of the reds have already said that they will oppose the budget, haven’t they?”
“But thaaththa,” Bindu pointed out, “another group of reds have already said that they will support the budget; so, it should be easier for Mahinda maama this year...”
“Don’t forget, Bindu,” Percy cautioned, “the greens are also trying to win back some of those who deserted them...”

“No, thaaththa,” Bindu assured, “I am quite sure Mahinda maama will have his budget passed this year without difficulty...”
“How sure are you?” Percy demanded.
“Well, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “hard though it might be to believe, it will be as certain as having an African American in White House...”
Percy didn’t quite know what to say to that.

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