Columns - 5th column

Something tells me things are not the same…

By Rypvanwinkle

My dear Mahinda maama,

I thought I must write to you because it is now one year since you won the last big election that enabled you to keep the top job for another six years. Surprisingly, hardly anyone seems to have noticed the anniversary, although that is because you took oaths again only after some time!

Also Mahinda maama, one year anniversaries may not mean much for you because you were able to pass the eighteenth amendment and are now looking at six year anniversaries instead. But do be careful about that because I feel it will be the Blues and not the Greens who will eventually oppose your plans!
I know it has been a mixed year for you, Mahinda maama. While you have been able to retain your popularity and generally do as you want, some are asking serious questions about how you intend to govern for the next six years.

That is because you have had some setbacks too over the past year, most of them internationally rather than at home. After all, the row you had with Ban ki Moon and your trip to Oxford are not exactly the highlights of your CV!

Believe me, Mahinda maama, now that the war is over, most people are not really worried about the constitutional amendments that you enacted or about independent commissions to monitor elections. Right now, they are worried more about the price of green chillies and coconuts!

We have heard your ministerial pundits tell us that all this is because of the recent floods and that the price of chicken, bread, coconuts, vegetables, eggs and everything else would have come crashing down if not for these floods.

I am no expert in economics, Mahinda maama, but it is as if our country would have been an absolute Paradise and everyone would have lived happily ever after if not for the floods. Surely, Mahinda maama, can’t they at least find a better explanation?

And of course we have Uncle Mervyn from Kelaniya threatening to imprison people if they don’t grow their own bandakka and vambatu. We all know what he is like, Mahinda maama but what most people are asking now is why you don’t crack the whip on him and kick him out?

Then, another of your ministers is saying you never promised a two thousand five hundred rupee pay hike at once when you asked us for our votes a year ago. He says what you meant was that it would be given over the next six years. Well then, those who voted for you should have done so in six instalments as well!
And, talking of votes, we remember the time when your party men ridiculed the Greens saying they could not even submit a nomination list properly. Now that most of your own nomination lists for the local government elections have been rejected, I wonder what they would say.

Of course, I am sure you must be quite annoyed because in most of the places where elections are held, all that your party had to do was submit a proper nomination paper and you would have won. But then, when that has not been done, you can hardly expect to win, can you?

But, Mahinda maama, there are still some things working in your favour. Take the Greens, for example. Ever since you called for this election, they have been squabbling about who should be their next leader instead of trying to fight the election. With enemies like these, who needs friends?

I know your next immediate challenge is staging the cricket World Cup successfully. Again, I do not know why you tolerate people who think that ‘interim’ means permanent but at least, we do stand some chance because the Honourable Sanath has been dropped, although it has been at the expense of poor old Vaas!

Then, Mahinda maama, there are other events which may seem to be working out in your favour but about which we have our concerns. Take the incarceration of the General which was upheld this week by the highest courts, for instance.

I know that now everything appears to be above board and legal, Mahinda maama, but somehow I find that most people believe having the General behind bars while Karuna is a minister and KP is a VIP prisoner is not quite right.

Then, I heard that even the Mahanayakes have submitted a request for a pardon for the General. As someone who generally heeds the advice of the Sangha, I think you should think about it, Mahinda maama, instead of making a martyr of someone whose political shelf life is short anyway…

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha

PS-When you next travel overseas, Mahinda maama, why don’t you tell us where you are going and why instead of making it seem like everything is hush-hush. Otherwise, there is wild speculation about you being arrested for alleged war crimes and what not, and that is certainly not good for your health!

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