The Fifth Column

14th April 1996

Queer deal

"Thaaththa" Bindu Udagedera asked, "What is all this fuss about Ms. B's civic rights?"

"They say" Percy said, "that it was not proper to have taken those away..."

"So, what have they done now?"

"They have passed a resolution that cancels the earlier resolution..."

"Can they do that?"

"Why can't they do it? Remember, the only thing that they couldn't do was to change a man into a woman...."

"That was in the days of the grand old man...."

"Even now, it doesn't seem much different..."

"But Thaaththa, what about Fowzie who also lost his civic rights? Didn't they do something about him?"

"Apparently they think it was appropriate to deprive him of his civic rights which is why they didn't include him in the new resolution along with Ms. B.... " Percy thought.

"But that wouldn't look very nice, Thaaththa...." Bindu protested.

"Yes", Percy agreed, "but it could become worse in the future..." Percy said. "How is that?"

"What happens if a future Parliament controlled by the UNP passes another resolution saying that the resolution passed last week was not valid...."

"Can a future Parliament do that?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Parliament has already set a precedent...."

"Anyway, Thaaththa" Bindu said, "It looked odd when Anura supported the resolution from the UNP side....."

"It should look odd...." Percy said.

"Why do you say that?"

"Why, if Thondaman can stage strikes against the government while being a member of the Cabinet, why can't Anura support his own mother from the UNP?" Percy argued.

"That is to say that two wrongs make a right...."

"I don't know about that" Percy said, "What I am worried about is the future....."

"Why Thaaththa?"

"See, Bindu Ms. B's civic rights were stripped on the recommendations of a Presidential Commission. Now they are altering the decision of that Commission...."

"So, what can happen in the future?" Bindu demanded.

"Why, how many Presidential Commissions are sitting now? They are supposed to be inquiring into the alleged irregularities of the previous regimes....."

"And, what happens then?"

"Why they will recommend punishments to people and a future government can come and declare all those decisions invalid...."

"Will that really happen, Thaaththa?" Bindu asked.

"Remember what they say about politics, Bindu...." Percy said.

"What's that?"

"They say", Percy said, "that politics is the art of the possible. In our country, politics is the art of making the impossible, possible, Bindu...."

"At least three people will agree with that, Thaaththa" Bindu said.


"Why Thaaththa JRJ, Thondaman and now Ms. B...." Bindu said.

They would certainly agree, Percy thought to himself.

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