Fifth Column

29th April 2001

"We will always have a place in some party"

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In the Land of Never Return, green leaders of yesteryear had gathered to discuss the present crisis in the green party. DS, Dudley, Sir John, SWRD, JR and Premadasa were all there.

"Actually as a matter of fact," said DS, " I am not surprised about what is happening there."

"Why do you say that?" Sir John asked.

"Why," DS said, " can't you remember how I was preparing for Dudley to succeed me and you published the 'Premier Stakes'."

"I have never admitted to doing that." Sir John retorted.

"And," said Dudley, "I left anyway, allowing Sir John to get on with the job."

Ah," said SWRD, "But it was I who should have got the job really, and that is why I left and formed the blues."

"That," said Sir John, "is a matter of opinion."

"Anyway," SWRD said, "this is nothing new for you; you have been having these problems with almost every leader unlike us."

"How can you say that?" Sir John demanded.

"Why," SWRD retorted, "after you and Dudley quarrelled, JR was quarrelling with Dudley."

"Well," said JR, "but we always forgot our differences and got together for the sake of the party."

"That may be true," SWRD conceded, "but once you left, Premadasa was quarrelling with Lalith and Gamini again."

"But remember," Premadasa pointed out, "Gamini also came back to the party again."

"Yes," DS said, "whatever happens, I think the party will survive."

"And remember," JR said, "whatever happens, we are still the single largest party."

"How can you say that?" SWRD wanted to know.

"Why," JR said, "we have always won elections on our own whereas you have never won an election on your own."

"Except when I formed the 'hath havula'." Dudley interrupted.

"Yes," Premadasa conceded, "but with the blues it has always been a mahajana eksath peramuna or samagi peramuna or podu peramuna." "But that is exactly why we should resolve this crisis quickly." Sir John said.

"Is there any way in which we can help?" Dudley wanted to know.

"I think," said DS, "they will sort out their differences and get together again."

"And stay in the opposition for another six years." SWRD teased them.

"Remember," Premadasa countered, "after every crisis, we have come back stronger and returned to power."

"Ah," said SWRD, "it's a pity JR didn't teach some of his tricks to his nephew."

"Yes," Sir John agreed, "maybe he should have obtained undated letters of resignation from all these fellows like JR did; then he could have sacked them at the first hint of trouble."

"Or else," Premadasa said, "he could have got them to pose for a photograph on the steps of Parliament like I got them to do."

"And who said I didn't teach my nephew any tricks?" JR asked.

Well, he doesn't seem to have learned any." SWRD retorted.

"Of course he has." JR said.

"And what's that?" DS wanted to know.

"He has given Anura a place and made him feel important; that's what I tried to do too. Remember, I made him the leader of the Opposition and he remained in that position for a long, long time."

"But Anura is now with the greens." SWRD retorted.

"Ah," said JR, "but it won't be long before we send him back, and when that is done, it will be the beginning of the end for the blues and we will be back in power in next to no time."

DS, Dudley, Sir John and Premadasa smiled. SWRD did not know what to say to that.

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