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The Fifth Column

13th September 1998

Raising funds abroad

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"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedara asked, "what is this fuss about talking to the Tigers?"

"That," said Percy Udagedara, Bindu's father, "is because the UNP wants unconditional talks with the Tigers...."

"Why do they want to do that, Thaaththa?"

"Why, Bindu, why are you surprised?"

"Why Thaaththa, it was the Tigers who killed a UNP President and a UNP Presidential Candidate....."

"But, Bindu, in politics, there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, only permanent interests...."

"But," Bindu was still puzzled, "why do they want to talk to the Tigers now?"

"Why Bindu, they say this is a 'New UNP'....."

"What is so 'new' about it?" Bindu wanted to know.

"They say they want to get rid of the corrupt people and the thugs...."

"They may want to, but those who have been found corrupt and the so-called thugs are still there," Bindu argued.

"But they have been sidelined".

"Yes," Bindu conceded, "but Thaaththa, why are they going to America now?"

"That," explained Percy, "is to raise funds for the party...."

"How will they do that?"

"Why, Ranil and Anura will go to America, there, they will hold fund-raising dinners...."

"What does that mean?"

"People will buy tickets for the dinner at which Ranil and Anura will speak. And, profits from the dinner will go to the party...."

"And how much is a ticket?" Bindu wanted to know. "They say it will be a hundred dollars."

"A hundred dollars to listen to Ranil?" Bindu was puzzled. "Why, what's wrong with that?" Percy asked.

"I might not listen to him even if I was given a hundred dollars." "No Bindu, you don't understand," Percy said, "It's not the speech that they are paying for...."


"These are party supporters who will anyway attend the dinner. The speech is just an added distraction...."

"But Thaaththa, the PA can do the same thing...."

"Yes," Percy agreed, "but who will speak on their behalf?"

"Why, there is the Professor....."

"I'm not so sure about that, no one seems to understand what he says...."

"In that case," Bindu said, "I know whom the UNP should send to America to raise more money...."

"Who is that?"

"Why, Thaaththa, they should send Rajitha...." Bindu suggested.

Percy didn't disagree.

Rajpal Abeynayake's Column

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