The Fifth Column

6th October 1996

World record in price hikes

World record in price hikes

"Thaaththa" Bindu Udagedara asked, "what is all this fuss about Kilinochchi?"

"They say our troops have captured Kilinochchi...." Percy, Bindu's father said.

"But thaaththa", Bindu asked, "the Kilinochchi they showed on TV was deserted...."

"But even the Jaffna they showed soon after its capture was deserted...."

"Does the capture of Kilinochchi mean that the war is over?" Bindu wanted to know.

"Of course not; it may only be the beginning of another battle..."

"Why do you say that?"

"Why, they said they need more money to fight the war and raised petrol and diesel prices..."

"But thaaththa," Bindu asked, "didn't they say the same thing when they raised the price of bread?"

"Of course," Percy said, "So, with every slice of bread we eat, we are contributing to the war effort..."

"But" Bindu argued, "we must be also holding the World Record for the highest price of bread..."

"Ah, talking of World Records," said Percy, "I don't think that the World Record of that Joachim who ran 1000 miles will last long..."

"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"

"Why, at today's petrol prices, we will all have to start running instead of using cars..."

"But even that is a contribution to the war effort, thaaththa," Bindu argued.

"I suppose they will say that..." Percy grumbled.

"Thaaththa," Bindu asked, "why didn't they have a flag hoisting ceremony for Kilinochchi, like the one they had for Jaffna?"

"Maybe they couldn't find someone to hoist the flag," Percy said.

"Then they have forgotten one important person..."

"Who is that, Bindu?"

"Why, thaaththa, S.B.?..."

"I think they thought about him and decided not to invite him...." Percy said.

"Why, thaaththa?"

"Why, what will happen if he says the next day that the TV didn't give him enough publicity and call for General Daluwatte's resignation? Or, he may check on the General's qualifications..."

"Is this because of the fuss S.B. made about the Singer Cup finals?", Bindu asked.

"Yes", Percy said, "Why?"

"Then," said Bindu, "that is why my friends at school say our Sports Minister is called "Singer Baba!... "

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