Columns - 5thcolumn

Trust him to change his tune, and no further
By Rypvanwinkle

My Dear Seeni Bola,

I thought I must write to you because you are in the news once again, this time saying that you can contest the presidential election on behalf of the Greens and win-which leaves us all a little bit confused and that is why I thought I would address this to you.

Pardon me if I am wrong, Seeni Bola, but if memory serves me right it was you yourself who told us a few months ago that it was none other than the Green Leader who would be contesting Mahinda maama at the next election although his track record at this type of contest is rather disappointing.

Of course, at that time we all thought you were selling the Green Man a dead rope to hang himself on, politically. After all, even the Green Man would surely have to leave the leadership after losing three presidential battles, wouldn’t he?

And we all remember what the Green Man himself did in ’94 when he stepped aside despite being the Prime Minister and passed the buck to Gamini (and then later to his dear spouse) knowing very well there was no way to stop Satellite coming to power at that time!

Also, Seeni Bola, we all remember the big song and dance you made when you contested the central provincial poll recently. You made it sound as if it was the beginning of some miraculous renaissance of the Greens who have been down in the dumps lately, losing election after election.

But as we know, the end result was a disaster and your party ended with a less than creditable showing in what was formerly a Green stronghold. I know you would argue that you obtained a record number of preference votes but that is like Murali saying he got ten wickets for himself but lost the match!

And I am sure there would be people within your Green party who would ask how they could trust someone like you to contest a countrywide presidential election on their behalf when you cannot even win an election in your own province.

Remember Seeni Bola, you began your career as a leftist and then joined the Blues. You joined the Greens only because you were in a hurry to get to the top among the Blues and there were other rivals who appeared to be ahead of you in that race.

Therefore, as far as the Greens are concerned you are still somewhat of an outsider and some of them don’t trust you completely, especially since you continue to be good friends with Mahinda maama. So, there is this lingering suspicion that you are only carrying out a ‘contract’ for him...

But I suppose if you really want to contest Mahinda maama at the next big election, at least the Green Man wouldn’t mind. That is because it would save him the embarrassment of another defeat because his motto is not what he was taught at Royal –‘Learn or Depart’- but what their rival school teaches: ‘Be Thou Forever’!

I suppose what you would want to achieve by contesting Mahinda maama is to establish yourself as the virtual Number Two among the Greens. I admit that is not a bad idea in terms of enhancing future prospects, but I wonder what old Karu and young Sajith would think about that...

Contesting Mahinda maama is also a risky gamble to take, Seeni Bola, because a disastrous performance at the polls could ruin your political career for a long, long time to come. And who knows, if the Green Man is still around after you have contested and possibly lost-he will do his utmost to re-claim the leadership of the Greens!

So, Seeni Bola, I think you should really think long and hard about wanting to contest Mahinda maama. After all, the next big election is one where many Greens believe that they don’t have a real chance even if D. S. Senanayake were to run for them-so, what chance would a poor turncoat like you have?

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha

PS—They say in Sinhala, ‘maluwa nahinneth kata hindalu’. Even though you languished in jail for several years because of what you said Seeni Bola, you don’t seem to be once bitten twice shy, do you?

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