Ban, ban, big ban!


Sunday Times

My dear Omalpe Sobhitha hamuduruwane,

I thought I must write to you when I heard that you wanted big matches banned because they promoted alcohol consumption and led to unruly behaviour and disruption of traffic. You were even planning to go to courts, planning to get an order from them, so that all big matches could be banned immediately!

That is such a novel idea, hamuduruwane, and you must be congratulated for thinking of such a brilliant plan. After all, some of these big matches have been played for well over a hundred years and they just keep going on and on. No one thought of challenging them — until you came along with this idea recently!

I am sure you realised that although big matches first began in the schools that the British built, the cancer is spreading. Now even so-called ‘Buddhist schools’ are playing big matches and have been doing so for decades. Surely, this is not what Colonel Olcott had in mind — which must be why you want it stopped.

Hamuduruwane, I can’t imagine why anyone should oppose such a brilliant idea but, because this years’ big matches will be played anyway, there may be the odd drunken old boy at these matches who will raise his voice against this, probably to the tune of ‘suranganita maalu genaawa’, but that is to be expected.

Of course, there maybe those who argue that if big matches promote alcoholism and indiscipline, we need to take measures to curb these problems instead of banning big matches. However, hamuduruwane, this has not happened for the past hundred years which is undoubtedly why you want to act decisively now.

What I am excited about is, with this being such a brilliant idea, how we can adapt this to other situations. Alcoholism, unruly behaviour and disruption of traffic must be the topmost problems that affect our country for you to come up with this suggestion, so we must take every possible step to tackle them.

Take traffic disruption, for instance. These days there is always a protest or a demonstration at the Lipton Circus or the Fort railway station, usually by some trade union or another. So, using your argument about banning big matches, how about banning all trade unions, so that they won’t be protesting anymore?

You would have noticed, hamuduruwane, that the other group of people who are protesting almost every day are university students who seem to spend more time on the roads than in their lecture halls. So, if we are to follow your system of dealing with them, we could end up closing down most of our universities!

I know some people will be against this, but I think you have a good case for closing down our campuses. Why, the best example of unruly behaviour and indiscipline comes from all the ragging that takes place in these institutions, so what better solution than to close them down and save some money?

Hamuduruwane, you must also give serious thought to what these doctors are doing. They are fighting amongst themselves, arguing that one groups of doctors should not be recognised. We can avoid wasting a lot of time arguing about this as we are doing now by simply closing down all of our medical schools.

Now, if we do that, people are sure to ask where we will get the doctors we need but then, we should be able to get by with a fraction of the doctors we have because most of them are either on strike or on the roads carrying placards and staging demonstrations, so I don’t think that would be a major problem.

We can go a step further with your thinking, hamuduruwane, and ban debates in all of our elected bodies like Pradeshiya Sabhas, Municipal Councils, Provincial Councils and even in Parliament, where unruly behaviour is at its worst. We can bring in a rule that, in these places, only one person can speak at a time.

Now if you really want to eliminate unruly behaviour, we have to ban this government of National Unity too, hamuduruwane. Their ministers fight with each other and call each other names. This is where the indiscipline begins. At least with Mahinda maama, whatever his other faults, no one spoke out of turn.

So, hamuduruwane, we are grateful for your suggestion to ban big matches. It opens our eyes to endless possibilities where we can go about banning everything that leads to problems and I’m sure, after we ban them, all will be well and our country will be a Paradise once more!

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS- There maybe a small problem about banning all the outfits that lead to indiscipline and unruly behaviour. That is because we would also have to ban Gnanasara hamuduruwo’s antics, the Bodu Bala Sena and other organisations which act in a similar way! What is your answer to that, hamuduruwane?

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