Way back home - gedera yana gaman
It is one of Tara de Mel's special teaching lessons. Some of Tara De Mel's handpicked teachers are teaching Sinhalese according to the way that only Tara De Mel would approve.So she says "now children, what does "Ratnasiri wikka" means in Sinhalese?

Why, even the slowest young kind in class knows that. The slowest young kid in fact gets up and says it means "Ratnasiri sold''.
The teacher is very happy.
But now she wants to show the difference what a word or two can do in Sinhala viyakarana.
So she asks ,"what does Rathnasirita wikka'' mean in Sinhalese?
The brightest kid gets up like a bullet, and says it means "It was sold to Ratnasiri.''

She is talking 2nd Grade Sinhalese here, so there is no doubt these questions relate to Rathnasiri, the coconut-tree climber.
But the same example is being given in the Tenth Grade political science class and here the brightest student gets up and says Rathnasiri wikka and Rathnasirita wikka can made all the difference.

But what have they sold to Rathnasiri that the political science class is worried about?? Certainly, even Tara De Mel will tell you, its not coconuts.
Did they sell Rathnasiri the Party?
Nuts. But wait a minute…
When the leadership of the UPFA was purloined and passed to Rathnasiri Wickremenayake the other day, the story that was doing the rounds was 'gedara yana gaman' (on the way home as the famous Supermarket says.) The lady wants to bid goodbye to politics.

She does. Like Miss Universe wants to give up her crown for instance. Like George W. Bush wants to give up the Presidency. Like the South Africans want to lose to Sri Lanka at the Test match..
Rathnasiri Wickremenayake was one of her old political buddies, and old here can be read in two senses. Ah another lesson in semantics children. It could be 'old' as in old friend, old comrade. Or it could be 'old' as in old refrigerator, old wristwatch, old sewing machine.

For the purpose of any political science lesson, we will have to think of the President and Rathnasiri Wickremenayake in the second sense folks. And I almost forgot, Tara de Mel, you too.
The President installs Rathnasiri Wickremenayake as the coalition leader.

With time, he acquires some gloss, like an old sewing machine doing the heavy duty work at the tailoring shop. Then, he is made the Presidential candidate.Then, with luck, he becomes President. Then, with luck, he becomes another D. B. Wijetunge. He is positively glowing in the aura of office. Why won't he be? One Chandrika Kumaratunge is running the country for him.

As far as home science students are concerned (is that science still alive?) all these old watches and Rathnasiris are not considerations that swim in to their ken. They will ask about the prices of kerosene and the cost of electricity. To this we have to move to the oracle. That is the former Minister of Tourism Gamini Lokuge. He appears on television, and he looks like something that has been washed in an old washing machine himself. Fresh and fluffy, rearing to go.

He says 'we are waiting for this government to make all the mistakes.'' He says, repeat: "We are waiting for this government to make all the mistakes". When they do he says (giggle giggle) we will move in. We hear he dreams of a country with a famine the size of Sudan - and a war the quality of Iraq. Forget about old refrigerators. And forget about the cost of living. It still looks to me like we are living in the same old country….

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