ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 12
Columns - 5th Column  

No walk in Paradise this time for Satellite

By Rypvanwinkle

My Dear Satellite,

I thought I must write to you when I heard that you were back in Paradise. And to think that you have managed to stir some interest already, what with having no money to pay for your duty free purchases and then complaining that the cost of living had risen while shopping at a supermarket!

Anyway, Satellite, I don't think the people of this country are interested very much in your shopping because most of them now have the same problem - they don't have enough money to pay for what they buy! What they want to know is what you will be doing, if you will be doing anything at all, in your favourite pastime of politics.

We do know that you have given Mangala your 'blessings', but whether that will translate into votes is a different question. In fact some are asking whether getting your blessings will lead to Mangala losing the few votes that he already has! Of course, Mangala by himself - or even with that sidekick of his, Sripathi, in tow - cannot take on the might of the Medamulana quartet and that is why he has hitched his wagon to the Greens. But therein lies your great problem, don't you think?

For starters you would have to deal with the Green Man with whom you never saw eye to eye in the years that you were in office. And then, matters became so sour when he took over the Number Two slot that you eventually succeeded in forcing him out of office. So, could you now sit on the same stage with him and start throwing stones at your own party? And even if you did, what would the average citizen say about such antics? Of course, people in Paradise are now used to political high-jumps which are nineteen to the dozen but even then, the sight of a former leader of the country doing that would still be a first.

And then, even if you manage to make amends with the Green Man, what would you do with Seeni Bola, the man who wouldn't look you in the eye when you were swearing him in as a minister. Seeni Bola is already smarting under the skin about Mangala supporting the Greens and I am sure he would have some delectable comments about you too, in his own brand of literature that once landed him in jail.

Then of course, even if you did all this with a straight face for the sake of 'democracy', there remains the little issue of taking on the Medamulana might. Let's face it Satellite, you may think that the gentleman is a pretender to the throne but nevertheless, he now holds the highest office in the land and as a result, wields enormous power.

And if you have any doubts about that, just ask people like Ratnasiri and Maithripala, who were once your loyal servants but now say 'yes sir' without any hesitation to you-know-who. Everybody says the regime is down in the dumps and will collapse at any time but the King and his siblings carry on as if they had no problems whatsoever!

And why shouldn't he? Even a third of the Greens are in his pocket and he is confident he can win a few more if he were to dangle some portfolios and Benz cars (yes, of 'that' model!) before them! And, bless him, the strategy has worked for him in the past, so why worry at all?

Therefore, Satellite, you will need all the luck you can get if you are to win this battle. We know that you had earned a reputation of not being very efficient during your period of office. Who knows, with a little bit of luck, you might win some praise in comparison to your successor when he is finished with the job!

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha.
PS - And what about Mallo? As far as we can foresee, getting him on to your side is the best bet that you will be destined to stay in the Opposition, so I think you should leave him to his own pleasures of staring at the Sigiriya maidens...

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