“Thaaththa,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “I think all the problems of our country are over...”
“Why do you say that, Bindu?” Percy was puzzled, “I thought our problems are only just beginning with all this fuss about a panel appointed by the United Nations...”
“Don’t worry, thaaththa,” Bindu assured, “we will be able to deal with that without much difficulty...”
“Why,” Percy asked, “is someone else also planning a fast unto death that will end in two and a half days?”
“No, thaaththa,” Bindu explained, “it seems that the government and the opposition are working together at last...”
“They have been doing that for some time now...” Percy argued.
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu inquired.
“Why,” Percy said, “the government has been doing pretty much what it wants to do and the opposition has been allowing the government to get away with it, so in a sense, they have been working together...”
“I didn’t mean that, thaaththa,” Bindu declared.
“Then, what makes you think that the government and the opposition are working together now?” Percy wanted to know.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “Mahinda maama has met Uncle Ranil and together they have agreed that they should work together to abolish the executive presidency...”
“Ah,” Percy said, “that is only a suggestion still, Bindu...”
“Why, thaaththa” Bindu asked, “don’t you think it will become a reality?”
“I won’t stage a fast unto death saying that it will....” Percy said.
“Then,” Bindu queried, “why do you think Mahinda maama wanted to meet Uncle Ranil?”
“Remember, Bindu,” Percy recalled, “what Mahinda maama wanted to do first was to run for another term of office...”
“Yes,” Bindu agreed, “that is true...”
“And,” Percy said, “we must remember that he didn’t see anything wrong with the presidency then...”
“So, what are you suggesting?” Bindu wondered.
“Then,” Percy explained, “Mahinda maama found that he couldn’t get enough support for his plan even from some of his own MPs, even though there were some greedy Greens ever willing to cross over to the other side...”
“Was that the only reason he abandoned the idea?” Bindu asked.
“Why, do you think there was another reason?” Percy queried.
“Some are suggesting that if he went ahead with plans to run for the presidency for another term that would have made someone else also eligible to run for another term and that was why he dropped the idea...” Bindu suggested.
“And who is this someone?” Percy asked.
“Why, thaaththa, it is Satellite, of course...” Bindu explained.
“That seems to be a good reason too...” Percy agreed.
“So, what do you think is the plan now?” Bindu wanted to know.
“So,” Percy observed, “he has now changed his tune and wants to have an executive prime minister instead...”
“But isn’t that what all the opposition parties were demanding all this time?” Bindu retorted.
“Yes,” Percy conceded, “so, that is why Mahinda maama is asking for the support of the Greens now...”
“And he is asking for support even from the Reds, they say...” Bindu remembered.
“That would be more difficult to get than the support from the Greens, I guess...” Percy pointed out.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu wondered, “even if that is Mahinda maama’s plan, why do you think Uncle Ranil is so happily going along with it?”
“Why, Bindu,” Percy said, “Uncle Ranil has more than his fair share of problems...”
“And what are those problems?” Bindu wanted to know.
“Why, there are those who are challenging his leadership of the Greens...” Percy observed.
“But how would supporting Mahinda maama help him in that?” Bindu demanded.
“I am not so sure about that, Bindu,” Percy said, “but these days Uncle Ranil must be more comfortable being with Mahinda maama than being among his own party members who are constantly sniping at him and making uncalled for unkind remarks...”“But thaaththa, this reminds me of the saying ‘come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly’...” Bindu said.
“Why do you say that, Bindu?” Percy wondered.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “the last time he went and met with Mahinda maama and offered to co-operate with him he lost eighteen of his top MPs including Uncle Karu...”
“That is true,” Percy agreed, “and those people are probably the reason why Mahinda maama is still where he is, today...”
“So, Uncle Ranil should be once bitten twice shy about all this, then...” Bindu suggested.
“Or else,” Percy proposed, “he too may have another cunning plan up his sleeve...”
“What plan could he possibly have?” Bindu was confused.
“Remember, Bindu,” Percy recalled, “the last time they agreed to co-operate, the Greens lost eighteen members and with it Uncle Ranil got rid of most of those who were opposed to him in his own party...”
“What are you suggesting, then?” Bindu asked.
“Maybe he is trying that trick once again...” Percy said.
Bindu wasn’t quite sure he could disagree with that.