My dear Ranjan,
I am writing to you because everyone is talking about you these days, although I am not sure it is for the right reasons. I am told that all this fuss is about a few words you spoke over the phone to an official. If a few words from you can make such an impact, you must be a very important man now!
At least you must be happy that people take you seriously now. We have known you and heard of you for many years. That was mostly as an actor. You were usually cast as the hero who runs around the bushes twirling a blade of grass with a lady after rescuing that damsel in distress from the villains.
So, even as an actor, I don’t think many took you seriously. No one thought that you would be the next Gamini, Joe or even Vijaya although there was a time when you tried very hard to imitate Vijaya. Besides, your films had silly names like ‘Come or Go Chicago’ or ‘Langin giyoth ehak ne’!
Maybe you too realised that although you could be an actor, you could become much more famous if you became a politician. Or, it may be that you were still trying to follow in Vijaya’s footsteps. Whatever the reason, you decided to enter politics and chose the Green party to try your luck.
What you didn’t realise was that while most successful politicians are good actors, most successful actors are not good politicians. Gamini and Malini are possibly our best actors and they both entered politics. They didn’t achieve much, did they? Vijaya did, but then, he was married to you-know-who.
When you entered politics, you were in the opposition. We admired your courage in taking the fight to the government and highlighting many an act of corruption. That was a strong government where Mahinda maama was king and everyone did his – and his brothers’- bidding but that didn’t deter you.
Why, you even went to the Middle East and inquired in to the conditions there, sometimes rescuing a stranded housemaid or two. Of course, there were people who criticised you saying that you were using distressed housemaids to further your political career but at least the outcome was beneficial.
Still, Ranjan, what we have learnt is that politicians in government are very different from politicians in the opposition. When they are in the opposition, they are humble, honest and make many promises. In government, suddenly they are arrogant, corrupt and tell you why all those promises can’t be kept!
So, what we saw last week didn’t surprise us. When you visited Divulapitiya to inspect what was going on, the television cameras were already there, ready to capture the ‘action’. Obviously, you told them you would be arriving. I suppose you wanted to be a hero once again, just like in the movies.
‘Shooting’ then began and you were supposed to rescue the villagers from the evil businessmen by making a few phone calls. Unfortunately for you, it didn’t all go according to the script because at some point, you seem to have lost the plot and started threatening and cursing a lady official.
Now, we don’t know whether that official is innocent or corrupt. But, if you don’t know about it already, there is something called the ‘Bribery Commission’ to which you could have complained if you thought she was corrupt, instead of cursing her like a common hooligan, in front of the cameras.
When you were making your films I believe you made a movie titled ‘Parliament Jokes’. Well, we did know that our Parliament is becoming more and more of a joke and that it is now full of jokers but isn’t it ironical that, after what happened last week, we have to consider you too as being one of them?
Why, in the last Parliament we had Mervyn who went around berating those who disagreed with him and tied officials to trees. In this Parliament, we have Palitha who hangs himself from ceiling fans. Now, we have you who want to hit officials on their ‘homba’ and wishes that ‘hena’ strikes them!
I am sure you realise this, Ranjan, but Mahinda maama lost the election because, apart from the corruption during his time, those around him were behaving like idiots, intimidating their opponents. Now, with people like you around, we must wonder what will happen to Maithri and the Green Man!
PS: I think there is someone you should meet and get some good advice from, Ranjan, and that is our Police Chief. I am not suggesting that you should ask him about the criminals you want to bring to book, but you should certainly ask him about the merits of using your phone in public – I am quite sure he will have some sound advice for you!