My dear Gota, I thought I must write to you today because today is the day you hope to be formally declared as the candidate for the ‘pohottuwa’ party for the next big race in about a hundred days from now. I know you must be very busy today, but I hope you will have [...]

5th Column

Goading Gota into action!


My dear Gota,

I thought I must write to you today because today is the day you hope to be formally declared as the candidate for the ‘pohottuwa’ party for the next big race in about a hundred days from now. I know you must be very busy today, but I hope you will have the time to spare a few minutes to read this.

The journey for you to get where you are today — just to get endorsed as the ‘pohottuwa’ nominee — has been tough. There were those who doubted that you will ever get there because there were so many questions hanging over your candidacy and whether you will be disqualified even before you began.

Why, there was the fact that you were a citizen of Trump land — and whether you would be able to get rid of that citizenship in time. Then, there were the many court cases pending in our courts, not to mention the one brought against you in Trump land for Lasantha’s murder. Still, here you are today!

There were also those who objected to you from within your own ranks, such as Vasu and Welgama. Maybe you can disregard Vasu who was once described by the Green Man as a shrivelled pumpkin but you would have to be careful about Welgama, because he does have a sizeable following.

Just when you thought that the going was tough and you might not be the ‘pohottuwa’ nominee, the Easter attacks happened. Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean this in any sinister way, but if there was one person who gained something from the terrible incidents that occurred day, it was you, Gota.

The attacks exposed how unprepared we were to the threats amongst us and how inefficient our present set of officials and politicians are. They began to compare that with how it was when you handled Defence. Why, one of your successors even called you the ‘Unofficial Minister of Defence’!

Suddenly, the entire country yearned for safety and security rather than go through another Easter Sunday calamity. They remembered that the country was safe and secure when you were in charge. What a boost that was to you: it silenced the critics who wondered whether you would be the best choice.

Still, Gota, there are some questions that need answers. There are quite a few cases against you in our courts. Some of them are getting dismissed and others are getting hurriedly postponed over the past few weeks. What would happen if you become the big boss? Will those victims ever get a fair trial?

Gota, those who support you say that when you were in charge, you transformed Colombo in to a beautiful city and everything ran like clockwork. They say that by getting you elected, you will do the same for the entire country and we will all live happily ever after- and so we should vote for you.

If we are to believe that you will revert to your old ways, we have to also think about all those who crossed your path who were attacked, abducted in white vans or killed. We know that you haven’t been found guilty of any of this but can you guarantee that such incidents will not happen again?

There was massive corruption by a group of cronies surrounding your clan when you were in government. Those who promised ‘yahapaalanaya’ should have investigated them and put them behind bars. They didn’t. Instead, they went on their own corruption spree, robbing the big bank.

As you now prepare to run the big race, Gota, we can see the same people gathering around you, offering you their support. So far, you have said nothing against them. Does it mean that, if you get elected, these people will be up to their old tricks again, bleeding the country of the peoples’ wealth?

I don’t know whether you realise this, but voters are trying to choose the lesser of two evils. They have to choose between a government that was inefficient, dysfunctional and did nothing for the past four years or they have to choose the previous government which ran like a family owned business.

It is important to keep this in mind. Most voters don’t want this lot to continue because, apart from changing the Constitution to reduce the powers of the big boss and robbing the big bank, they did little. They also don’t want a return to the previous era where corruption and lawlessness prevailed.

There is also the little matter about Aiyo Sirisena. Mahinda maama is still talking to him. Aiyo Sirisena’s stance is that if you wouldn’t let him run, he too would run and ruin your chances. That is typical of the man. If you do get the top job, Gota, you have to makes sure that he doesn’t ruin you.

We look forward to hearing your plans, Gota. You have the coming months to tells us. What happens next will depend on who is running against you from the Greens. If their captain does, you might as well start appointing your Cabinet now. If their vice-captain runs against you, it is anybody’s game!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS- As the ‘pohottuwa’ blooms today, there will be many promises made about the party being the alternative to the Blue party and how it will deliver prosperity to our nation. Can you give us a guarantee, Gota, that it will not be a party of the Rajapaksas, by the Rajapaksas for the Rajapaksas?

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