The Betel leaf party now reorganising the party at the grassroots level held a meeting in an upcountry area recently. The newly elected secretarial one chaired the meeting.
A large group of party activists from Matale area was conspicuous by their noisy presence at this meeting. True to a pattern that had been faithfully followed at a series of previous party meetings, a section of the gathering loyal to the former strongman, began raising ruckus here too.
The secretarial one who had the advantage of having experienced similar situations before was ready to face situation.
He first asked the media personnel to leave the hall for a short while, and told the noisy protesters that he was prepared to take them into confidence if they were prepared to listen to him and that gesture of goodwill quietened them.
And now he addressed them: “We all have to unite. Otherwise, there will be no future for the party. Don’t take seriously hard-hitting statements our colleagues make from public platforms… We have to say certain things which our high ups want us to say.”
At this stage a vociferous activist directed a question at him. “Okay, let be what you say! But why is that foul-mouthed one from Badulla saying nasty things about our Lokka and the confidants of his former regime?”
The secretarial one in the chair greeted this question with a tell-tale smile and proceeded to give his answer: “Don’t take seriously what the Badulla man says. He says what I ask him to say!”
And they accepted this secret with a solemn silence.