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The Fifth Column

12th September 1999

Amude is only for the young

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"Thaaththa", Bindu Udagedera asked, "what is this fuss about an amude?"

"That" said Percy Udagedera, "is not a new thing"

"Why do you say that?"

"Well" Percy asked, "what have they done to the amude now?" 

"UNP members have staged a protest against education reforms wearing the amude" Bindu explained.

"But" Percy asked, "what has education reforms got to do with the amude?"

"That's what I wanted to know too" Bindu said.

"Now" Percy asked, "who staged the protest?"

"Some youthful members of the UNP" Bindu recalled.

"Ah", said Percy "that is the secret" 

"Why do you say that?"

"Why, Bindu they chose the amude for this protest not because it has any relevance to education reforms but because only young members will be involved in it"

"How can you say that?" Bindu retorted.

"Why, Bindu can you just imagine Ranil in an amude? Or, for that matter Ronnie? Or even Susil?"

"Why, thaaththa", Bindu recalled "they used to have the 'Vap magula' those days"

"And that's exactly what they must have remembered" Percy pointed out.

"Why, Bindu, it looked like a good propaganda exercise at first but those pictures of JR and EL in amudes were not exactly flattering, were they?"

"But thaaththa," Bindu argued, "Dahanayake even wore the amude to Parliament"

"But that was reasonable because he did so to protest against a rise in textile prices and anyway, it looked quite natural on him"

"So you think it was not reasonable for the young UNPers to wear amudes against educational reforms" 

"It makes no sense" Percy said, "and let's face it, Bindu, the amude looks good on some people and unfortunately Ranil is not one of them"

"But what happens if this trend catches on?" Bindu wanted to know.

"What do you mean by that?" Percy demanded.

"What would happen if those in the government also start wearing amudes?" Bindu asked.

"Ah" said Percy, "that would not be a pretty sight at all"

"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"

"Why, just imagine poor GL in an amude"

"I agree that wouldn't make a pretty picture"

"Then how about CV?"

"I guess" Bindu said, "he would wear the amude with a red handkerchief"

"Then, imagine Nimal Siripala in an amude" Percy suggested.

"That wouldn't look healthy at all; besides it would require a rather large amude" Bindu said. 

"So now you see why this amude is not a very attractive way to stage protests"

"Then," said Bindu, "that is why Ranil says that we can wear the amude if we are with the PA but that we can wear denims if we are with him"

"And that's not a bad idea" Percy agreed.

"Why do you say that?"

"Why, Bindu" Percy said, "just imagine satellite in a pair of denim jeans."

Bindu didn't know what to say to that.

Hulftsdorp Hill

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