5th Column

One more out of parliament

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My dear Diana,

I thought I must write to you now when everyone is talking about you after you were booted out of Parliament by an order from the highest court in the land. The way you conducted yourself, with your razor-sharp tongue and ‘come for a fight’ attitude, who would have thought this will happen to you? 

You even managed to take the limelight away from that visa issue. In the end, it was the actions of two individuals – that chap Sandaru at the airport and Oshala who battled you in court for many years – that mattered. They proved that sometimes a single person can make a difference, even in Paradise.

Despite the final outcome, it has been a long journey for you. Just a few years ago, you were merely the ‘owner’ of a little-known political ‘three-wheeler’ party, the ‘Apey Jathika Peramuna’. That came in handy when Sajith was desperately looking for a party to break away from Uncle Ranil.

You handed over the party to him. He renamed it the ‘Samagi Jana Balavegaya’, taking over all of the party’s most important posts. I suspect there would have been some discussion about what you would get in return. You were given one of only seven National List seats allocated to the ‘telephone’ chaps.

It took only two months after first attending Parliament for you to dump Sajith and join Gota maama to support the 20th Amendment that gave him almost absolute power. From then onwards, you were daggers drawn with the ‘telephone’ chaps, ridiculing and humiliating them whenever you could.

Few people remember this but Oshala, who launched this legal crusade, first went to court against you after contesting the last elections from the Green Party. Today he has won his legal battle against you but is no longer with the Greens. Instead, you are singing the praises of Uncle Ranil, the Green leader!

That legal battle took a long time. There were times when we wondered whether justice delayed would be justice denied. There were incidents such as Police going to court asking for a warrant to arrest you, to be told you can be arrested without one. Lo and behold, nothing happened thereafter!

Months later, when the court to which we appeal first heard your matter, they couldn’t reach a verdict. Opinion was divided among two learned gentlemen. A third was then asked to adjudicate. They reached a two to one split verdict in your favour. You must have thought you were off the hook then.

That was not the end of the matter. It made its way to the highest court. They have now ruled against you. Some believe that was because Geetha was unseated before you. That is also not true. She was a dual citizen, you are not. However, at some time both of you have used the same name, Samanmalee!

We listened to you after the verdict. You were unrepentant and defiant. It was a bit puzzling when you said you ‘respected’ the judgment but saw there was a political conspiracy behind it. If I were you, I’ll be careful about what you say about the highest court in the land. See what happened to Ranjan?

Talking of conspiracies, the court did ask why the CID didn’t investigate your alleged offences for three years, and why you were so privileged. There seemed to be  evidence of you obtaining several passports from Paradise without disclosing that you are a British citizen, still they did nothing!

Apart from losing your seat in Parliament, all those issues about obtaining National Identity Cards and passports without revealing your British links can be investigated now, opening up a Pandora’s box. There is only so much even Uncle Ranil can do to save you. We know what happened to Keheliya.

That is not all. You may even have to return all the expenses you incurred as a parliamentarian including costs for the wages and privileges you enjoyed for the last few years. That is what Geetha had to do when she lost her seat. I’m sure she will be first to protest if you are treated any differently.

Besides, Diana, you are dealing with a minister in charge of immigration whose authority you have undermined with all your shenanigans. He was so angry and wanted to take action against young Sandaru just for shouting at the airport. Can you imagine how keen he would be to punish you now?

Now that the highest court has castigated the cops for not doing their duty by not properly investigating you, they too must be keen to get to work. Beware, you can’t be complacent when we have an IGP who is so tough on crime that he uses even the native ‘Siddhalepa’ in innovative ways.

So, I am not sure that bad-mouthing the ‘telephone’ chaps in public is the best option. Most others who did what you did are behind bars in prison. You should lie low, count your losses and make a quiet exit. If you need advice on how to do that, just ask Gota maama, he can assist you with that!

Your truly,

Punchi Putha

PS: You could always return to your native Britain where King Charles may have a soft spot for you because you are named Diana. On the other hand, with hubby Senaka being the Field Marshall’s right-hand man, your verdict could be what pushes him to the Green camp. Either way, Sajith will be pleased!