Ryp Van Winkle (Sunday Times)
My Dear Satellite,
I haven’t written to you for some time now but I thought I should do so now because you seem to be in the news again, talking about our armed forces, what they have done and how they should be dealt with. Naturally, everybody is sitting up and taking notice and eyebrows are being raised everywhere.
Satellite, it seems that as long as we had ex-Presidents from the Greens, they were happy to spend retirement away from the public eye. JR hardly stepped out of Ward Place after he quit and Dearly Beloved never left Udunuwara. Sadly, the other Green ex-President didn’t have the luxury of retiring.
That appears to have changed after we began to have ex-Presidents from the Blue party. After all, Mahinda maama did promise to spend his days in Medamulana but instead of doing that, he is now busy trying to get his old job back, even if it means masquerading as a backbencher from Kurunegala.
To be fair, Satellite, we didn’t hear much from you either since you left your job, one year earlier than you expected to. It was when Mahinda maama began to ignore you completely and took the law in to his hands that you decided to look into ways and means of ousting him from the top job.
Many say that you were instrumental in planning Mahinda maama’s downfall. They say that even Maithri was reluctant to challenge Mahinda maama. It was you who convinced him to take on that task, with a little help from Sobhitha hamuduruwo, not to mention some support from the Green Man.
At that time, it did surprise us that you were teaming up with the Green Man and his party. We all remember how you gave him a torrid time when you were the boss and he won elections to become PM, sacking three of his ministers while he was overseas. Ah, politics makes strange bedfellows!
Really though, that shouldn’t have surprised us because it was you who once took rathu sahodarayas into your Cabinet and formed a ‘probationary’ government with them although it was the rathu sahodarayas who killed Vijaya. Then, you told us that you will do a deal even with the devil!
It is difficult to blame you for teaming up with the Green Man because some say that your greatest contribution to the country was not what you achieved during your eleven years in the top job but what you achieved by setting things up, so that Mahinda maama will be defeated at the elections.
Since then, you have been raising your voice every now and then, sometimes to tell us what you think about an issue but mostly to tell us why Mahinda maama should not be trusted with the reins of power ever again. While what you say may be true, don’t you think that this is getting too personal now?
If you care to reflect on what has happened, Satellite, the party that your father formed is now being torn apart into two groups. One faction which supports Maithri has your approval. Another group which backs Mahinda maama are hell bent on gaining control of the Blues, at whatever cost.
One would have thought that, as the daughter of the founder of the party you would have taken the lead in trying to restore unity to the party, so they can get together and fight against the Greens and the rathu sahodarayas. Instead, whenever you speak, you seem to divide the party even more.
Honestly, Maithri is not helping either. Most people voted for him because he promised to abolish the top job and now all his golayas are making noises to the effect that it should be retained. Of course, we shouldn’t complain about that to you because, if memory serves us right, you did the same thing!
Maithri has also surrounded himself with some of those who brought about Mahinda maama’s downfall. Many are asking how he can act against those who engaged in corruption and abuse of power during Mahinda maama’s time when the he has invited some of them into his own camp!
If this trend continues, this ‘Battle of the Blues’ will last for some time to come. When some people are now demanding a ban on big matches, it may even eclipse the other Battle of the Blues between Royal and S. Thomas’. Think about it, Satellite, before you scatter your pearls of wisdom next time!
PS- Whatever your faults, Satellite, people will praise you for not encouraging your children to take up politics. Of the other ex-Presidents who served for any length of time, only JR did so. Now, everyone wants their children in politics and just look at what a mess your good old friend Rajitha has got himself in to!