Wimal, Welikada and Huff and Lemon Puff

Huff and puff over vehicle ride to Welikada

(Daily Mirror)

My dear Wimal sahodaraya,

I thought I must write to you because I was shocked, dismayed and appalled to hear that you had been imprisoned among common criminals within the walls of the Welikada prison. Ah, how could they treat a decent, patriotic and virtuous man who is every inch a gentleman in such a degrading manner?

They tell us this is because you were misusing government vehicles. We assume that this is something that every politician does and that it is probably included in the job description. Anyway, they also say you misused about forty vehicles but what on earth were you doing with that many vehicles?

Whatever it was, no one can deny that you provide us great entertainment, from the very beginning when you were just a small fry among the rathu sahodarayas. People wanted to hear you speak, not because it was great oratory but because Annesley, Bertie and Samuel don’t perform anymore.

But you were also a young man in a hurry. You quickly realised that although the rathu sahodarayas were quite principled in their politics, people preferred to stay with the Blues or the Greens when it came to voting at elections, so your chance of getting anywhere in life with them were quite slim.

So, you did the next best thing: you broke away from the rathu sahodarayas and formed your own party. Of course, it didn’t matter to you that without you, the party was worth almost next to nothing. In fact, that would have suited your kind of politics. This new party was a ‘one man show’ and that man was you!

Knowing that you or your party wouldn’t be of much use by itself, you were then smart enough to tie yourself up with Mahinda maama. I must say, regardless of what people say about you, you were loyal to him like a faithful pet dog — more so than those in his Blue party, who switched sides and joined Maithri.

In return, Mahinda maama rewarded you with a ministerial position which, they now claim, you have used to distribute vehicles to everyone even remotely related to you. It was an important portfolio too — one from which someone went on to become President. You must have surely had similar ambitions!

When you held ministerial office, there was no shortage of entertainment. Your specialities were attracting attention and humiliating people. Why, who can forget how you staged that so-called ‘fast unto death’ near the United Nations’ office, protesting against Ban Ki-moon’s plans for a war crimes probe?

After some time, it was revealed that it was not a ‘fast unto death’ but a ‘fast with Lemon Puff’. Still, it seemed you couldn’t sustain even that because after a few days, when Mahinda maama visited you and offered you a glass of water, you meekly ended the fast, though Ban Ki-moon had made no concessions.

You were also quite clever at humiliating and embarrassing people. Why, at the last election, it was you who led the insults against Maithri, mocking him and calling him ‘Aiyo Sirisena’ at public meetings. I guess he had the last laugh because he won, your candidate lost and now you are locked up at Welikada.

Pardon me, Wimal sahodaraya, but I do need to clarify an important matter with you. Until recently, you were boasting that despite the Government’s claims of tackling corruption and abuse of power nothing has happened and that no one has been convicted yet. Therefore, you were saying those claims were false.

When you are charged, however, you claim that it is an act of political revenge. So, we are all confused because at first you challenge the Government to charge people who were corrupt but when they do, you cry foul. Of course, there are other, greater acts of corruption that are not probed but that is another story!

Even your arrest proved that you had not lost your talent for attracting attention. Those loyal and faithful to you — the few dozen that constitute family, friends and party members were there, wailing and cursing the Government. It was somewhat reminiscent of Madduma Bandara being taken for slaughter!

Once you were in prison, they said you had requested food from home. Being the good socialist that you are, Wimal sahodaraya, I thought you would welcome the idea of having to break bread with your fellow inmates. But food sent from home would have included a packet of Lemon Puff — and who can resist that?

Yours truly

Punchi Putha

PS: Your party chaps seem keen to keeps us informed about what you are doing in prison. Why, the other day they told us you had observed ‘ata sil’ on Poya Day. That is all well and good, Wimal sahodaraya, but don’t you think that if you had observed ‘pan sil’, especially the second and fourth precepts, you wouldn’t be in Welikada today?