Victory looms but doesn’t bloom
My dear Satellite,
I haven’t written to you in a long time but I feel I must do so now, especially after hearing that you have been appointed as the Blue party organiser for Attanagalla, the electorate so dearly nursed by the ‘B’ family for generations. I am sure we will see you and hear of you more often in the days to come.
I am told this is part of a reorganisation of the Blue party by Maithri who has to get ready for local government elections which are now long overdue. Apparently he has also removed Kumar, Mahindananda and Piyankara as Blue party organisers in Matugama, Nawalapitiya and Anamaduwa.
Satellite, it must be a strange feeling to have been the big boss of the entire country for eleven years and then away from it all for another dozen years, only to return as an organiser for an electorate. It is a bit like asking Sanath Jayasuriya to return to the Sri Lankan cricket team as the twelfth man!
Of course, you are not the first to do something like this. Why, Mahinda maama went from being the all-powerful big boss to a mere backbencher in a few months. So, the day might not be far off when we might see both of you as backbenchers in Parliament. That would be fun, wouldn’t it, Satellite?
Naturally, the news that you had returned as the Blue party organiser for Attanagalla made me reminisce about the ‘good old days’ when you came into power. That is when I realised that even in your previous political journey, you didn’t waste too much time nursing the Attanagalla electorate.
Remember, you fled from the country to Old Blighty after Vijaya was assassinated by the rathu sahodarayas. When you returned, it was to contest the Western Provincial Council where you became Chief Minister. That only lasted just over a year because very soon, you became the Prime Minister.
That too was only for a few months because you were elected President. Having never held public office, returning from exile and being in the country for just over three years you were now President. You achieved that because you were in the right place at the right time- and had the right surname.
Do you remember what your alliance of political parties was called during those days? If memory serves me right, it was called the ‘Peoples’ Alliance’ or the ‘PA’. Some people said ‘PA’ stood for ‘Parakkui Arakkui’- and there was good reason why they said so. Will it be like that again, Satellite?
When we now look back at the period where you were in charge, what we realise is that there is nothing remarkable to speak of. You couldn’t negotiate properly with the Tigers, nor did you defeat them militarily. Some said that your most notable achievement was building a flyover at Ragama!
I suppose one of your greatest achievements was to bring professionals like Lucky K to politics and he was able to get the Tigers listed as a terrorist organisation. Yet, whatever good you did by bringing him in to politics was offset by also introducing a huge liability to politics- yes, none other than GL.
You had a tough time when you were in charge because, halfway into your reign, SB and a few others betrayed you which led to the Greens forming a government while you were still in charge. Of course, you plotted their downfall and outwitted the Green Man who was naïve enough not to impeach you.
That is why we were surprised when you so gladly teamed up with the Green Man to oust Mahinda maama and install Maithri in the top job. I suppose you never forgot how Mahinda maama got Sarath to boot you out of office a year earlier than planned. Ah, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
Satellite, it is ironic that history might record your greatest achievement as being not what you did when you were in office but what you did afterwards – by convincing Maithri to contest Mahinda maama and preventing a dictatorship – though some now have second thoughts about that change too!
When you meet Maithri, can you remind him of the promise he made to abolish the Executive Presidency and replace JR’s Constitution –or the ‘bahubootha viyavasthaawa’ as you used to call it. Maithri seems to have conveniently forgotten that promise – but the people who elected him haven’t.
Satellite, though we are still puzzled as to what your role will be as the Blue organiser for Attanagalla, we look forward to seeing you return. I am sure we will have plenty of entertainment from your speeches about what you did during your time – and young Chathura will now have some competition!
PS: When the next election is held in three years time, you will be seventy five years of age. Do you really wish to re-enter Parliament at that age, Satellite? I ask only because there are people who say that is never your intention but that you are baby-sitting the Attanagalla electorate – until young Vimukthi returns and takes over. Tell us, Satellite, is that your plan?