ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday October 7, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 19
Columns - 5th Column  

Lots of water has flown under the bridge- since 2003

By Rypvanwinkle

My Dear Bandula,
I never thought I would be writing to you in this manner but after hearing you scatter your pearls of wisdom last week about the rising cost of living-not to mention the price of bread-I thought I must, even if it was only to clarify a few doubts.

Make no mistake, Bandula, we have long admired you, firstly as a Mahajana Eksath Peramuna stalwart in days gone by and I am told you were quite popular as a tuition master teaching economics as well, so I am sure you know all about supply and demand and inflation, much more than we ever did!

And that is exactly what baffles most of us when we see you on television, day in and day out, asking the consumers of Sri Lanka to tighten their belts and loosen their purse strings. There you are on Monday telling us why you cannot control milk powder prices. Then, on Wednesday you are advising us on why you cannot control gas prices. And on Friday you would explain, with all the knowledge of economics at your disposal, why you cannot control the price of bread!

But what takes the cake was your explanation why you could not control the price of flour, and therefore, bread, Bandula. There you are, claiming that there was some law brought in by the UNP government in 2003 giving one company a monopoly over flour prices, apparently in return for a billion rupee bribe.

I have two questions for you about this, my dear Bandula tuition sir. Firstly, do you have a calendar with you? Do you know it is now 2007? If the UNP did something irregular in 2003 about flour and bread prices, did it take four long years for you to realise that? Surely, Bandula, that doesn't sound quite right, does it?

The next question is even more important, Bandula. Where exactly were you in 2003, Bandula? Now, if my memory serves me right, you crossed over to the UNP in 2001, won the general elections that followed and was a member of the UNP government until 2004. So, are you telling us that this bribe was given to a government of which you were a member?

But of course, Bandula, we must excuse you because we know that you suffer from major episodes of forgetfulness, much more than your average politician. Why, when you were in the UNP too you appeared on television on Monday, Wednesday and Friday telling us how the government was mismanaging the economy and how, given half a chance, you would wave your magic wand and set things right in an instant! The moment you join this government though, you seem to have forgotten all those solutions you had to the rising cost of living! Isn't that quite strange, Bandula?

Anyway, Bandula, I think you don't need to worry too much about all these price hikes now because Mahinda maama told us how we can control the cost of living at the Vap Magula last week. Didn't he say that he ate kurakkan flour instead of imported flour and drank cow's milk instead of imported milk and that is why he is, where he is today?

Doesn't that solve all your problems, my dear Bandula? Since we are all supposed to be following the ¡Mahinda Chinthana why don't we all do that because Mahinda maama, with all his wisdom has told us, Marie Antoinette like, ¡Paan neththan Kuarakkan kaapalla!

Yours truly,
Punchi Putha
PS-I don't mean to be rude, Bandula but since I am writing this to you, I thought I might as well let you know that people don't refer to you as Bandula Gunawardena anymore-they call you ¡Badumila Gunawardenae!

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