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My dear Wimaley,

I thought of writing to you after hearing that you had published a book telling us what the ‘hidden story’ about the ‘aragalaya’ was. You launched the book at an event this week and made some sensational claims, reverting to your favourite theme once again: international conspiracy.

The allegations you make are quite outrageous. They have raised quite a few eyebrows and generated a great deal of publicity. That is exactly what you want, isn’t it, Wimaley, if you are a down and out, two-bit politician who is trying to sell his book and capture the limelight?

Here we were, Wimaley, thinking all this time that the ‘aragalaya’ was a spontaneous outpouring of public anger brought about by the hardships imposed on the people by the government due to poor economic management and corruption in high places. Now, you come along and tell us it was not.

We are not surprised that you make this claim. After all, you began your working life as a journalist, calling yourself ‘Wimalasiri Gamlath’. At some point, you must have realised that being a writer can get you only so far, but being a politician can take you much further. That is what you decided to do.

You got the attention of the people while in the camp of the rathu sahodarayas by a being a speaker who yelled at the top of his voice and spouted rhetoric. You were very gifted in that aspect: People liked to listen to you for sheer entertainment, even if they knew that you may be talking nonsense!

You may have known that the rathu sahodarayas being what they are, you would have never reached the top there, even if you were their star attraction on election platforms. So, you left them, formed your own party and joined Mahinda maama.

Since then, it has been all about generating headlines, isn’t it, Wimaley? A believer in the theory that any publicity is better than no publicity, you staged a ‘fast unto death’ opposite the United Nations office, asked us to boycott Google because it is American and said that Parliament should be bombed.

Your infamous ‘fast unto death’ to protest against UN boss Ban Ki Moon’s decision to appoint a panel to probe the end of the Eelam war was such an anti-climax. It ended after two days when Mahinda maama offered you a glass of water. Some even said you ate biscuits on the sly during the ‘fast’!

You haven’t always topped the list for credibility and integrity, Wimaley. Why, there is that ongoing case about your wife’s alleged forged passport. Your actions while being a minister were the subject of investigations and you even had to spend some time in remand as a result.

With all this history, Wimaley, you must pardon us if we take your latest effort with a pinch of salt. You tell us, without a shred of evidence to back your claims, that the ‘aragalaya’ was an American conspiracy with Indian support and that their lady in Colombo, Julie, made it all happen.

You say that Uncle Sam wanted Uncle Ranil removed as PM, along with Gota maama. The letter for his removal was sent to Gota maama but he refused to sign it, you claim. Do you want us to believe that the diplomatic Julie orchestrated the queues for fuel and gas and set up Gota Go Gama as well?

If we are to believe you, the unlikely hero in your story is our Speaker, the dear old ‘other’ Mahinda, who, you claim, bravely stood up to Julie and refused to be appointed President when she visited him and demanded that he take up the top job – though the chap can’t even control our MPs in Parliament!

Julie has refuted everything you said and called your book fiction. You thanked her for having read your book translated and reading it in a day. In fact, you may have inadvertently given her career as a diplomat a huge boost by making her look more influential than what she actually is!

However, you need to be careful, Wimaley. Just the other day, that former Navy commander was slapped with a ban against entering America. You might soon earn that honour too, but if you do, I am sure you will market that as a badge of honour!

The story goes that in libraries, our Constitution has been moved from the section for books on ‘Law’ to ‘Periodicals’ because it is amended so many times. I am wondering where your book will be found – would it be, as Julie says, in the ‘Fiction’ section, or are ‘Fairy Tales’ more appropriate?

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS: Just days after your book was launched, another case against your wife for allegedly preparing forged documents was scheduled to be heard this week. Now, will you be telling us that Julie visited the Magistrate concerned and demanded that this case be taken up immediately, Wimaley?

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