My Dear Peera, I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had got a new job. In a day and age where it is difficult for even young people to find work, you have landed a top position-with a house and car to go with it-so you are a lucky, lucky [...]

5th Column

Delivering false justice


My Dear Peera,

I thought I must write to you when I heard that you had got a new job. In a day and age where it is difficult for even young people to find work, you have landed a top position-with a house and car to go with it-so you are a lucky, lucky man!

They say that you were not the first choice for the post and that it was offered to several others who were even friends of the Boss but they refused because it was a job tainted with the disgraceful manner in which your predecessor was sacked. 

Now, don’t you worry, Peera about people making snide remarks about how you got the job. What matters is not how you got the job but that you finally got it. And I don’t think anyone can say that you are not qualified for the job either!

Why, we remember the days when you were like a General, when you were supposed to go to war against criminals. Being the smart man that you are, you quickly realised that your Boss’s friend is your friend too-even if it was possible that he was ‘tainted’.

That is why you held your fire when a couple of alleged criminals were caught, one from Kesbewa and the other from Kolonnawa. You let them go, regardless of the evidence against them because your Boss wanted them free.

Now, Peera, I know people will criticise you and say that what you did was not ‘correct’, but what is ‘correct’ and what is ‘wrong’ is a matter of opinion isn’t it, especially considering the rewards you are now getting in return for what you did?

Then there was that occasion when you had to go before an international forum and explain where a missing person was. If I remember right, Peera, you said that he was in another country and suggested that his ‘disappearance’ was staged to embarrass the powers that be.

I am not sure whether you really believed this at that time or not. You shouldn’t worry too much about it, Peera, because you were a great diplomat that day-and true diplomats are supposed to lie abroad for their country, aren’t they?

Of course later the truth came out and you had to publicly admit that what you said about the missing person was based on hearsay. So, when you were asked again where he really was, you quite cleverly said, “God only knows!”

I thought that was a really smart answer. They couldn’t summon God to give evidence, could they? And besides, once again you had saved your Boss.

After that little incident your reputation was in tatters. But being the resourceful man that you are, you hung around giving advice to those who sought it-and what good advice it turned out to be!

So, here you are now, hitting the headlines once again and being the most talked about man in town. It must be nice to return to the limelight when all you would have been dreaming of in your retirement was an overseas posting as ambassador, at best!

There is much work to be done in your new job, Peera, and that is why they chose you for the post. First and foremost, you would have to convince your colleagues to develop a mindset to try and take decisions based not on what is right or wrong but on who wants what done.

Then, Peera, you will also have to clean up the mess left by your predecessor. Now, she was a great advertisement for courage in the face of adversity but that is not your style, is it? Your motto is loyalty to the Boss-and all laws, rules and principles will be subject to this condition.

For instance, the Boss wants a previous decision declaring that your predecessor’s sacking was illegal, reversed. That will be a difficult task, believe me, Peera because men and women of integrity have given that verdict, but I am sure you will find a way out for the Boss, as you usually do!

So, Peera, we can hope for ‘better’ days ahead while you are in charge. There will be no more controversies and every decision the Boss wants ratified may be allowed. That way, we can put an end to all these demonstrations, protests and save some coconuts from being smashed as well!

Peera, I wish you the best of luck because you will need a lot of it. And by the way, when they accorded you a formal welcome and someone made a speech about your ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’, I noticed that quite a few people were confused, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS-If you are wondering why I didn’t address you with any titles before your name like we usually do for those in your position, I don’t think anyone will do that now after the name calling your predecessor was subjected to. I think the dignity of the job was lost after that.

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