25 February 2015

They’ve kept the baby and the bathwater!

Kolombians are a distinct people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think. They have things to say.  A lot of things to say.  The entire country can learn from them. This is the eighteenth in a series published in 'The Nation' under the title 'Notes of an Unrepentant Kolombian'.  Scroll down for other articles in this series. 

There are many things that distinguish us Kolombians, things that separate us from the riff-raff, the yakkos, the baiyas or whatever you might want to call them.  One of the most important but least acknowledged marks of distinction is our ability to resist all temptations to trust politicians.  Yakkos on the other hand are marked by an embarrassing penchant for believing anything and everything that a politician says, even if he/she has lied and got caught lying before. 

Take for example all the grand promises made by the Maithripala-Ranil campaign.  Well, first of all, the yakkos believed it was a ‘Maithripala campaign’.  The most alert among the yakkos thought it was a ‘Maithripala-Ranil’ campaign but we knew better.  It was a Ranil-Maithripala campaign and even the dumbest of dumb yakkos must know this by now.  Anyway, to get back to our point, the yakkos not only paid a lot of attention to the campaign promises, the lengthy, convoluted and full-of-contradictions manifesto, and the 100 Day Program, they actually believed that Ranil (well, in their eyes, Maithripala) was serious about it. 

To be honest there were weak moments when I too worried that Ranil actually believed some of the things he said and was serious about his promises.  I was relieved when Ravi completely hoodwinked the wide-eyed, rice-eating yakkos who were murmuring ‘maithreepaalanaya…maithripaalanaya’ as though it was a mantra.  He showed his class with the budget.  If he can sell nothing as though it was everything he’s my main man, a Kolombian through and through.  He’s so smart that he can take wickets with no-balls, delivering from half way down the pitch without the umpires, batsmen, the third umpire or even the cameras noticing.  If I had my way I would get Lasith Malinga to feign injury and ship good old Ravi the Allrounder to New Zealand. 

I got carried way, sorry.  Blame it on euphoria, folks.  I am thrilled.  All doubts have been cleared.  Ravi wasn’t about to throw baby with bathwater.  Neither was Ranil.  No, not even Maithripala will flush a good thing down the tube.   A good thing for us Kolombians, that is.  Assuming he has half the whatnots that Mahinda had of course.  With Mahinda one could never be sure but even he didn’t let us down.  The particular baby I am talking about here is the Port City.  I was for a moment worried that the baby would be tossed out with Contract Bathwater, but no, we will have the bathwater and the baby.

What’s important about letting the project roll on has nothing to do with the virtues of the project itself.  What’s important is the signal: this Government won’t change anything.  The more things remain the way they are the better it is for Kolombians. 


Other articles in this series: