Columns - 5th column

Blaming is so easy; convincing so difficult

By Rypvanwinkle

My dear Karu,

I thought of writing to you because you seem to be in the news these days, being branded as the latest ‘deshadrohiya’ that has betrayed our country.

I do feel sorry for you, Karu, because all this fuss is about a statement that you issued on Mahinda maama’s London visit where he was supposed to have addressed the students of Oxford but had to suddenly return because the Tiger cubs there had begun protesting.

So, instead of finding out who was responsible for that fiasco, the Blue party seems to have now thought of a strategy to discredit the Greens, so that everyone will forget Mahinda maama’s embarrassment and focus on these newly discovered ‘deshadrohiyas’.

First they set upon Dosthara Jayalath who appears to have been assaulted in a place no less than Parliament itself before he could even say ‘LTTE’! To be honest, Uncle Karu, that allegation was not surprising because it is not the first time the doctor has been accused of having links with the Tigers. Of course, the good doctor says he had nothing to do with what happened to Mahinda maama and I suppose we have to believe him unless someone can prove him guilty.

Then came the bright idea to label you as a ‘deshadrohiya’. We do know that you never uttered a word about war crimes, nor did you say anything about the Diaspora, but then, what you said was good enough for those who wanted to blame you.I know there are some in the Green camp who are now saying `that you are getting what you deserve. They are of course referring to the time when you decided to join Mahinda maama three years ago, leading a band of seventeen parliamentarians.

That it caused irreparable damage to the Greens is history. In fact, the Greens are still trying to recover from that blow because they are hopelessly divided even now and we are not sure whether today’s convention will unite the party once again. Besides, many of those who were led by you three years ago to join Mahinda maama are still with him and occupying senior positions in his government. Among them are the professor and the dentist who have been quite vocal in criticizing you. So, Uncle Karu, don’t be surprised if there are quite a few people among the Greens who would now say to you ‘serves you right’!

But of course you realized the errors of your ways and returned to the Greens a year after you left and not only were the Greens gracious enough to take you back, they even re-appointed you to the deputy leader’s post.

Since then, you have been of great service to the Greens and they too have supported you in return but you do realize, Uncle Karu, that if you hadn’t deserted the party three years ago, you would probably be its leader today!

But this time when they tried to attach the ‘deshadrohiya’ label on you, Uncle Karu, we saw quite an amusing sight. There was young Sajith who began to say that as far as he was concerned, the only ‘deshadrohiyas were the Tigers.It sounded as if he was trying to score some points at your expense, Karu. He seems to be one young man in a hurry and it would be good for him if he were to realize that leading a major political party in the country is not automatically handed down from generation to generation.

In the meantime Uncle Karu, not only would you have to defend yourself against all these allegations being hurled at you, you would also have to try and do something to resurrect the Green party to at least a shadow of its past glory.

As we see it, that won’t happen easily because on the one hand Mahinda maama remains enormously popular despite the despicable antics of some people in his government and on the other hand there are two people who are engaged in a do-or-die battle among the Greens: one saying ‘I’m leader for life’ and the other saying ‘I am the real leader because I’m somebody’s son’!

Well, if you can at least ensure that the Greens regain some of their lost glory, I suppose we can once again say ‘aavoth Karu, paayai hiru’ which, if I remember right, was your first election slogan when you ran for the Mayor of Colombo…

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS-When you crossed over to the Blues with seventeen MPs, I think they called you ‘Karuth ekka horu’. Now, after this latest ‘deshadrohi’ incident, I heard that Wimal sahodaraya was planning to taunt you with ‘kata eriyoth Karu, kiyannema boru’!

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