Columns - 5th column

The beginning of an era of peace

By Rypvanwinkle

“Thaatha,” Bindu Udagedera asked, “what will happen to the Greens now?”
“Why, Bindu, they will continue to remain in the opposition…” Bindu’s father Percy explained.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu said, “they held this special meeting last week and now they are saying all their problems are over…”
“That is what they think,” Percy said, “but their troubles have only begun…”
“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu was puzzled.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy pointed out, “for all the noise that was made, I don’t think anything really happened…”
“But, thaaththa,” Bindu protested, “they said they adopted a new Constitution for the party…”
“And what will that do?” Percy asked.
“Why, thaaththa,” Bindu said, “that will enable them to hold elections and elect someone to lead the party…”

“But, Bindu,” Percy argued, “do you think elections will be the solution to all the problems in the Green camp?”
“Why not?” Bindu retorted, “after they have elected someone as their leader, everyone will have to accept it and then work with that person…”
“But, Bindu,” Percy pointed out, “the day after this special meeting of the Greens, the two groups in the party held separate press conferences…”
“And what does that mean?” Bindu wondered.
“Why, Bindu,” Percy declared, “it can only mean that they are still going their separate ways…”

“So, what happens next, thaaththa?” Bindu inquired.
“I suppose they will have these elections for the party’s top posts that everyone has been talking so much about…” Percy said.
“So, shouldn’t that solve their problems, then?” Bindu asked.
“It could,” Percy said, “but we must remember that there will always be those who say the elections were not free and fair…”
“Why is that thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know, “surely, no one can rig this election or arrange for a computer ‘jilmart’…”
“Why, Bindu,” Percy asked, “do you remember what happened when these elections were first proposed?”

“What was that, thaaththa?” Bindu queried.
“Why, Bindu, those who were challenging the Green Man wanted all types of people to be able to cast their votes to elect a leader…” Percy explained.
“And who are all these people?” Bindu asked.
“Why, they wanted to include even provincial councillors and organizers in the different electorates…” Percy observed.
“Why was that, thaaththa?” Bindu wondered.
“Obviously because those challenging the Green Man believed they would win if all these people were allowed to vote to elect the party leader…” Percy explained.
“And was that allowed?” Bindu inquired.
“Of course not,” Percy said, “the Green Man is too shrewd for that, so he blocked that proposal…”
“So, what happens now?” Bindu was curious.
“Well,” Percy said, “I suppose only a few selected people will be allowed to elect the leaders of the party even if there is an election…”

“But shouldn’t they still have an election and end this in-fighting once and for all?” Bindu asked.
“I suppose they should,” Percy agreed, “but that is even more of a problem…”
“Why is that, thaaththa?” Bindu wanted to know.
“Why Bindu,” Percy pointed out, “now both groups will start campaigning again even though they stood together and raised their hands together at the end of that special meeting last week…”
“And then they will start trading insults at each other…” Bindu observed.
“Yes,” Percy said, “in a few days, they might get back to that too…”
“So, thaaththa,” Bindu proposed, “would it be better if the Green Man and his challenger got together and came to some kind of agreement to try and work together?”
“Of course it would,” Percy said, “but I think that is quite unlikely for now…”
“Why is that, thaaththa?” Bindu wondered.
“Well, I suppose the Green Man still thinks he will be able to remain as the leader, even if there is an election for the job…” Percy declared.

“But what about his challenger?” Bindu inquired.
“I suppose he too now thinks he can win an election and become the party leader because he got a rousing ovation when he was speaking last week at that special meeting…” Percy said.
“But thaaththa,” Bindu said, “if he got such an ovation, wouldn’t he really be able to win an election for the party leader’s post?” Bindu wanted to know.
“I’m not so sure about that,” Percy said, “I think he will have his say, but the Green Man will eventually have his way…”

“Why do you say that, thaaththa?” Bindu asked.
“Why, Bindu, if the Green Man feels he will lose an election for the post of party leader, he will do what he did at the last big election where he was supposed to run against Mahinda maama…” Percy explained.
“And what was that, thaaththa?” Bindu wondered.
“Why, Bindu he will find someone else to run instead of him and let that person lose, so that he lives to fight another day…” Percy recalled.
“So,” Bindu asked, “who do you think is happier after the party’s special meeting, the Green Man or his challenger?”

“I’m not so sure about that,” Percy said, “but I know who the happiest person is…”
“And who is that?” Bindu asked.
“Why, that would be Mahinda maama of course…” Percy said.
Bindu knew he couldn’t disagree with that.

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