The Fifth Column

31 March 1996

Too many answers

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "why are they having so many commissions these days?"

"That," Bindu's father Percy said, "is because there were apparently so many wrongs committed not so long ago..."

"But why is everybody fighting about these commissions now?"

"Why, what are they fighting about?" Percy wanted to know.

"Why, the UNP is saying that one commission has breached Parliamentary privilege..."

"I suppose Parliament itself will look into it..."

"That is what the Speaker has promised..."

"Very soon," Percy said, "there will be so many commissions that someone will have to appoint a commission to monitor all these commissions..."

"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"

"Why even the best of commissions can take decisions which may not be the appropriate one..."

"What does that mean?" Bindu wanted to know..

"Why, they now want to pass a resolution in Parliament saying that it was not proper to have stripped Ms. B of her civic rights sometime ago..."

"Won't that cause problems, thaaththa?" Bindu asked.

"No, they won't have any problem getting it passed through Parliament," Percy assured.

"No," Bindu argued, "doesn't that decision cast doubt on certain important events?"

"Like what?"

"Why, thaaththa, if Ms. B was not stripped of her civic rights, then she would have been able to contest the first Presidential election..."

"Yes, that is an argument," Percy agreed.

"And, if she contested, the results could have been different..."

"That too is a possibility," Percy said.

"So, won't all those election results and the appointments that followed be illegal?"

"We will have to ask that question from someone who knows about the law..."

Percy suggested.

"Who? G.L., Choksy or Lakshman Kadirgamar?"

"I suppose the answer will depend on whom you ask..." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"Choksy will say no; G.L. will say yes and Lakshman will write to the President about it and everything will appear in the newspapers the next day..." Percy said.

"But, no one will resign..." Bindu said.

"Yes," Percy agreed. "No one will ever resign..."

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