Leading the new party
My dear GL,
I thought of writing to you after some time when I heard that you are now the leader of a political party. Well, congratulations, who would have thought that you would be still in the news, forming new political parties a few months after your 70th birthday!
They call you ‘chairman’ of the new party and not the ‘leader’. Is there more to this than meets the eye? And, we all know this will be Mahinda maama’s outfit but he is yet to become a member of this party and officially at least, remains with the Blue Party. Explain all this to us, will you, GL?
GL, many people in our country blame poor Satellite for many things. They say that that she did nothing for our country during her eleven years as the boss and that she has no legacy to be proud of. What they don’t realise is that she does have legacy that she has left behind: you!
You were wasting your years and your brains, just signing papers and attending ceremonial functions at the Colombo University when Satellite realised that you could be of more service. She invited you to join her ‘National List’ so you could enjoy a free ride to Parliament – and what a ride it has been!
No one knows why she picked you of all the people available. My own theory is that she chose anyone with the name ‘Lakshman’ and included them in her Cabinet: she had four of them: you, one from Kandy, another from Divulapitiya and then of course, the brightest of them all, Lakshman K.
Whatever her faults, Satellite quickly realised who was smarter among the two ‘professional’ Lakshmans. So, she put you in charge of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and asked the ‘other’ Lakshman to mind Foreign Affairs, so he could convince the world that the Tigers were terrorists.
That didn’t stop you, GL, from using your knowledge of law. Why, even though you don’t talk about it much these days, you were the one who drew up plans to hand over effective control of the North and East to the Tigers for ten years. That proposal thankfully never saw the light of day.
What I admire about you, GL, is your flexibility. No sooner you realised that Satellite was on her way out and the Greens were likely to get in to power, you switched sides and joined the Green Man although today, Satellite and the Green Man are best friends – and they are both not talking to you!
Just as much as you sold your ‘ten years for the Tigers’ plan to Satellite, you came up with an idea for the Green Man – a ‘ceasefire’. It was good while it lasted but we all knew it won’t last long and when it ended, the Green Man was forever scarred as the chap who tried to hand the country to the Tigers.
That though was his problem. All you had to do was to bide your time, look at which way the wind was blowing and jump ship. You soon realised it was Mahinda maama’s turn and there you were by his side, deserting the Green Man. Clearly, you had no permanent friends, only permanent interests!
And lo and behold, while you were with Mahinda maama, the man who was explaining the virtues of the ceasefire only a few years ago was now telling the masses why we should go to war with the Tigers. Of course, they didn’t need a Professor of law to tell them that and the war was won, anyway.
After the war was over, Mahinda maama gave you the job you wanted the most: External Affairs. Again, you made your mark, letting our country lose year after year as Uncle Sam brought resolution after resolution against us at Geneva. So much so, they began to say GL stood for ‘Geneva Losing’!
It surprises me that you didn’t try to cross over to Maithri’s side when he won. We are not sure whether we should interpret that as being blindly loyal to Mahinda maama or whether we should believe those who say you were not wanted by Maithri, the Green Man or Satellite, ever again.
Whatever the reason, Mahinda maama has rewarded you with the title of ‘chairman’ of his new party. I am sure he will try to make use of your unique talent – that of trying to explain the simplest of things in the most complex way, so that no one understands what you are saying and we are all confused!
We wish you well, GL. Being ‘chairman’ will be a good way to go into retirement. After all, when Mahinda maama, Basil and Namal take over the real business of the new party, you will be back to what you did at the Colombo University – just signing papers and attending ceremonial functions!
PS: I know you are a Professor of law but I’m sure you are clever at literature too, so I was wondering whether you could explain to us whether good old Shakespeare had you in mind when he wrote about Cassius, saying he “has a lean and hungry look, he thinks too much; such men are dangerous”!