My Dear Mahinda Maama,
I thought I must write to you and congratulate you on your victory-even if it means that this letter might get lost among all those congratulatory messages that you are getting these days, although you don’t seem to have got that many this time around!
To be honest, Mahinda maama, I was not surprised that you won, but I was indeed surprised by the margin with which you won because everyone expected a close fight and the election was being advertised as the closest contest ever.
I suppose you were following Margaret Thatcher’s tactic of ‘win a war and win an election’ and in this instance it paid off, even though your main rival was the very man who spearheaded the war effort on your behalf.
Of course, it was a clever move to quickly attach the Tiger label on to him because, ridiculous though it was, some people may have believed what your camp said because he was now with some of those who were sympathetic to the Tigers in the not too distant past.
Anyway, Mahinda maama, we were also a bit puzzled by your line up of main campaign speakers. We didn’t see the leading lights of the Blue party among them and were treated to the verbal barrages of the likes of Wimal, Rajitha and the newly recruited Johnston and SB-and I suppose that was because they specialized in mud-slinging.
Whatever the reason, Mahinda maama, the results showed that it worked. And of course, you had the state media supporting you like they never did before, getting even uniformed officers to speak on your behalf. Many thought that was overstepping the boundaries a bit, but now that you have won, I suppose you could say that it was all well worth it…
In hindsight, we could also say that you were helped a little bit by the General himself who admitted that he had no knowledge of the economy and started talking about ‘kalaveddas’ and of course made those notorious comments about people with white flags being shot.
It is true, Mahinda maama, that you have won, and with quite a substantial margin at that. But I suppose even you will not fail to realize that you have lost in the North and East just as convincingly as you have won in the South.
I think this is something to take serious note of, Mahinda maama, because it shows that those regions still don’t seem to trust you despite the alliances you have built with chaps like Douglas, Karuna and Pillayan. I suppose their message is that building roads and bridges alone are not enough-their other concerns need to be looked into, too.
To me, apart from your convincing victory, that is the most significant message that comes through from this election, Mahinda maama. Think about it, will you? After all, we don’t want another uprising in say, fifteen years from now-and who knows, the way things stand at the moment, a Rajapaksa may be at the helm even then!
Quite apart from all this, Mahinda maama, I think we should not forget the political genius of the Green Man. Everyone faulted him for forsaking the elephant and ‘betraying’ the Green party. But it turns out that had he contested, that would have been the end of his political career but now, he lives to fight another day. And what is more, he got rid of SB and Johnston too!
Anyway, Mahinda maama, I suppose before you get to work on your second term there are two issues to sort out: the general election that is due soon and the question of when your second term of office begins.
I suppose the general election will depend on how many Green MPs you can ‘win’ over to support a constitutional amendment. On the question of when you begin your second term of office, you might find that the ‘other’ Sarath’s verdict on Satellite may well go against you now!
In the meantime, Mahinda maama, it would be better if you can treat the General in a manner befitting the war hero that he is without hounding him like a common criminal. After all, being magnanimous in victory will only enhance your image-and persecuting him may make you look like a desperate despot instead of the decent democrat that we all know you are capable of being!
PS-When you are thanking all those who helped you in your campaign, Mahinda maama, don’t forget to give a farewell gift to the man who made it all possible; no, not Wimal or Dullas but our inimitable Dayananda, the good old Commissioner himself-his performance at the post-election briefing was memorable indeed!