3 March, 2024


A Strange Star In The Dark Christmas Sky: The National Peoples’ Movement 

By Grusha Andrews

Ranil has flashed his 70 year old “classy, cultured, democratic and constitutional” Pidurangala political buttock to the UNPers and the people of this country. He has, for the umpteenth time, shown us who he really is. He has conveniently forgotten the people who took to the streets in the thousands to defend democracy. He has appointed his “Ageing Royal Boys’ Club” complete with Ravi Karunanayake, to a shameful cabinet. Although I am not a fan of saying ‘I told you so’, dear readers and desolate, misguided and FOOLISH UNPers, may I now say – I told you so! To quote my article published 14th December 2018: 

“This victory will be your victory till tomorrow. Tomorrow the UNP will claim this to be their victory alone. They will build their new kleptocracy with wheeler dealers like Ravi Karunanayake, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Wasantha Senanayake and Rajitha Senaratne to enthrone them, justifying themselves through the court verdict”

Ajith, Harsha And UNP, You Poor Babies!

Just in case the poor UNP supporters, the Ajith P Pereras and Harsha de Silvas of the UNP think it’s going to get better, Baby, it won’t. Here is another quote from the same article: 

“The supporters of the UNP and the citizens who protected the UNP for good 50 days will be forgotten. Because in the anatomy of the UNP runs the despotic, unruly, corrupt blood”.

The bloodthirsty, despotic, looter Rajapaksas and their slavish cronies are going berserk trying to make sense out of the mess they have walked in to in absolute arrogance. Somehow Mahinda Rajapaksa looks like a poor beggar on the political street and his mythical magical political opulence is now more like the skeleton of an aged bison (pun intended!). As of yesterday’s Looter Cabinet, Ranil is no longer heads a government. Ranil heads a Rogue Regime.

All mirth, unwarranted sarcasm and “I told you so”s aside, the Christmas Sky of Sri Lanka looks hopeless and dark. 

But wait, is there a single star in this political sky? 

Looks like it. 

National Peoples’ Movement

In a small conference room at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute a few days ago, a cross section of Sri Lankan society came out as the National People’s Movement. Appearing to be spearheaded by the Deshodaya arm of the Sarvodaya Movement, 13 professional and other organizations presented a rationale and the aims of this movement. It brings together diverse organizations to become a third social force that can be an alternative to the looter regimes of Ranil and Mahinda. I share below, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne’s short and eloquent speech outlining the broad objectives of the National People’s Movement. 

National People’s Movement: The Power To Recall

The National People’s Movement cleverly recognizes the bottlenecks to decent politics in Sri Lanka. The most important factor preventing the professionals from joining democratic movements in Sri Lanka is that the movements themselves are purely political .The majority of the government servants are prevented from active politics by the law. Even in the private sector, the involvement of an employee in politics does not serve well and may not align with company policy. Hence, in the interest of their profession and income, most of the people who have the capacity, knowledge and the drive to propel Sri Lanka towards a decent society are prevented from contributing to the democratic processes. 

The National Peoples’ Movement has emerged as a social movement which anyone can lawfully join within the framework of the law. The political activists of this social movement will be select few and do not constitute all of the movement. Those who wish to engage in active politics may forsake their government or private sector jobs to join the future political wing of the movement. 

The other prominently positive feature of the National People’s Movement is that it does not constitute one type of persons. It is a vibrant collection of professionals, youth, environmentalists, social workers, grass root  activists, gender justice advocates, educationists, civil society workers, civil servants and women who have come together to find a socio-political alternative to the current bunch of rogues.

I share below another video of the short speech by Engineer Palitha Abeywardhane, representing the United Professionals’ Movement. “We are not coming forward to ask for car permits and salary increase. We have come forward because many real professionals will come forward to serve the democratic process as long as the current rogues are in charge.  We are not coming forward having earned our money, educational qualifications- we are coming forward to repay. We stand for a constitution that has the power to recall representatives who turn their back on the people’s mandate”. 

National Peoples’ Movement: Against All Inequality 

The strongest feature that can be observed in the National Peoples’ Movement is that it is inclusive in its anatomy. It appears to brings together alternate voices of all races, religions and geographies. Mainly through the grass root village based mechanism of the Deshodaya movement, it appears to have long arms reaching  the common man to empower and educate them to become stronger, more demanding citizens. It appears to be a movement aimed at empowering citizens and not enslaving them mentally and economically. 

The voices launched at this press briefing were diverse- culturally, racially and ideologically. There were a few hiccups at the event with Nagananda Kodituwakku who’s Vindivida Foundation is also a partner of NPM, when he went off like an aged bull in a China shop, launching personal attacks on individuals in his typical fashion. Persons like Kodituwakku must be considered with caution by any movement who attempts to build bridges across differences because love of ego and love of democracy are two different things. But on a positive note, Nagananada’s crusades have its own importance and place. The leaders of a peoples’ movement made up of complex ingredients should take strong steps to keep the course in line. Otherwise this too will be a failed attempt like many before. 

Mending The Error Of Our Ways

Our national past time is politics and discussing disgruntledly of politicians and their rogue ways. This should end. For some years now, many have been turning to JVP for inspiration and voting with the UNP or the PA. Inside the privacy of the polling booth 90% of us have been hypocrites voting against our principles, knowing full well that the rogues we vote for will betray us. But our social and cultural conditioning are so powerful that for all out big talk we don’t take the crucial step of coming out of our political comfort zone to give a chance to those who honestly intend to serve. 

Yesterday’s cabinet was my last straw. 

But when I look towards the Christmas sky, bleak, dark and damning, I see that there is a singular strange star. 

I hope the National Peoples’ Movement will chose wisely, lead bravely and become the third force and the alternative to the putrid, shameless political parties of Sri Lanka. 


There certainly is a strange star in the sky. 

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Latest comments

  • 9

    “A Strange Star In The Dark Christmas Sky”
    I would have gone with the title “A Strange Star In The Festive Christmas Sky”

    However how many million light years away?

    • 14

      Many thanks Grusha! Brilliant hats off as ever..
      Lets hope the strange star shines bright as it is up against formidable odds– the Trumpland juggernaut that has infiltrated many Lanka civil society groups
      Grusha, the elephant in the room that explains the return of the same crooks who looted Lanka headed by Bondscam Ranil as Cabinet members is Washington, which worked assiduously to bring Ranil Back to power as he is their puppet in the Cold War against China in Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean.
      Ranil Wickramasinghe is Trumpland’s puppet and his crooks, Malik, Ravi, Avant Guard Marapona, are back to continue the same neo con, neo liberal economic and US security project to beggar and asset strip Lanka and take it over as a strategic asset in Trump’s Cold War against China in the India Ocean. Ranil’s economic policy is written by MCC and IMF and they also play ethnic and religious identity politics to divide, distract and push the Global 1 percent agenda. Hence, TNA’s embrace of Bondscam Ranil..
      US Pacific Marines are now running a temporary Logistics hub in Trinco and drones collective land data.
      Who let the Dogs in? Please read John Pilger, the respected British journalist on the Coming war on China in the Frontline Magazine this month.

      • 5

        Dil and Grush, thanks a mil. The dogs are in the Parliament headed by Washington-backed Ranil Wickramasighe aka. the so-called Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, who really works for America First and the Global 1 percent.

        Bondman Ranil’s govt its seems actually has 57 Ministers and not just 30 as was promised to Civil Society – with all the so called non-cabinet, deputy, and national ministers been sworn in. Is this some sort of joke? 30 Ministers is 30 and there should be no more. Civil society must insist on this. Where is the JVP now? Is still trying to impeach the President who prevented further bondscams and looting of the Central Bank by Bondman Ranil and his thieves?!

    • 3

      A first step in the right direction is itself several million light years long!

  • 9

    Let us hope that this new ‘Star’ in the sky is not a ‘Shooting Star’ which burns brightly for a short time and then fizzles out rapidly.

    • 4

      Lets hope this will provide a platform for the non politicians to work for there country in an organised way

  • 6

    It is possible. The right example will be the Aam Admi party in India.A common man,s party was launched by few professionals and civil servants.After launching in 2012 ,lead by Kejriwal ,a IIT alumni, was elected the first time in Delhi but were not political savvy to complete the term. They could not with stand onslaught of major party politicians who are mostly crooks and criminals. But the people recognized the goodness of them and gave a second chance with absolute majority. There are numerous road blocks thrown at them by the ruling government BJP. But they have navigated well and have managed to return some favors back to their bullies. They have been successful in spreading their influence in near by states and has been successful in winning seats What was initially a grass root movement is now turning into an alternate party witch has a say in elections.

  • 5

    Thank you Grusha,..

    A third force and an alternative to ” the putrid, shameless political parties of Sri Lanka” was the need of yesterday, one acutely felt today, and the only fervent hope for the future.

    Let us hope the National People’s Movement to grow into an irresistible alternative to decimate “The bloodthirsty, despotic, looter Rajapaksas as well as the corrupted UNP regime led by Ranil and his Royal clan.

  • 3

    National People Movement is a welcome initiative.

    All right thinking people must extend their support and join as partners.

    But it need not be an elite group.

    The word “professional” should be broadly defined to be inclusive of all provided of course they subscribe to the broad objectives of the movement
    My best wishes.

  • 2

    Dear Grusha;
    I have read a few good articles by you during the recent (perhaps current) political crisis. Your effort to wake people up to reality is admirable. I whole heartedly support (although I am just an individual without the backing of an organization) the concept of a third force. All parties have some good people. They should be invited to give up their current political positions to join. It will be a positive sign if they are prepared to give up personal benefits for the common good. Some good people within the JVP should be enlightened that the JVP will never be the third force with their atrocious history.
    As for your English, the skill is more than perfect. I read a comment a few weeks ago from someone who had not thought that far before commenting. Our good old Sinhala Man had sent a brilliant reply. I should have added regarding the comment that ‘reading only in Singhala limits the knowledge of the reader’, that he had been either too old or ignorant to realise that you read in a few more languages than one. As for the commentator, his reading seems to be limited to English. If he reads, Russian, German or even Singhalese he should have known that Grusha is a feminine name. Our Manel was the shining Grusha in Henry’s “Hunuwataye Kathawa.
    Good luck.

  • 0

    The speck in Grusha Andrews’ Sky, “The National Peoples’ Movement”, must prove that it is a star generating its own light.
    It must tell as to whether or not, realistically, only two teams are competing to hold the reins.
    The general perception is that both teams are bad. Is this correct?
    If “Yes” which team is the better. Why?

  • 3

    Hat off and bow down to Grusha! Yes we need a third force that will rid this country of the profanely putrid political ruling class who have raped this country dry time and again!

  • 3

    To date, I have seen many “STARS” coming into being over the sky of this piece of land of the Universe called Sri Lanka. The most recent among those “STARS” are named as “Viyath Maga”; “Eliya”; “Yukthiya”, “May 14th” NIO” etc… etc. After this recent “26Th October” “Revolution” I heard, another of a “Federation of Professionals Associations” spokesman (Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera) openly declaring at a public meeting ” Put this Constitution to the dogs and act as you wish (referring to the President)” ( Me Viyasthawa Ballata Danna. ). When you hear and observe the activities of these “Professional Organizations”, I feel that we would only see these “STARS” shining for a while and get burnt out of the energies and pass on to oblivion. Just listen to the popular figures who hold public conferences in various Districts and observe their presentations. Some of the examples are of those affiliated to “Viyath Maga”; “Eliya”; “Yukthiya”. Recently a prominent member from “Yukthiya” (Mr. Govindu Kumaranatunga) participated in a TV discussion “Aluth Parlimenthuwa” and the way he “Behaved” (presentation, body language the words uttered,) was far, far from being a “Professional”. So again these “Professional & Intellectuals'” organizations are becoming a “JOKE” or in my opinion another “DOG FIGHT” (BALU PORAYA). My question to all of them is: Why, if they call themselves Professionals and Intellectuals, cannot agree on a COMMON PROGRAME OF WORK and work as one BODY to find solutions for our present day problems? What, I have found so far as the reason for such disunity is: These Organizations are DIRECTED to achieve personal objectives rather than common objectives. We do not want “STARS” that get burnt out but possibly “PLANETS” that can orbit around us and bring a good life to the people and the country.

  • 1

    Survival is the motto of most of the politicians and for that’s they’re interdependent on one another. How can they extricate from the mess they are in? How many Buddhas , how many Jesus how come and gone? Your proposed movement must be free of stereotyped politicians but composed of people willing to work for the people honestly, to sacrifice if needed, and all that jazz? Can it be? It’s not discouragement but caution.. best of luck.

  • 4

    Ranil has to pretend that old royalists, chaps with fathers like Easmund W, chaps with connections to the corrupt dynasties who abused the innocence of this country like Wijewardenas , Jayawardens,Banadranayakes, Rajapkases have something special in them.

    Without that pretence he(also rajapakses) amount to nothing. So he must force the fools to believe in such arrant nonsense like family dynasties and political “blood”.It is actually cunning blood making aliving from politics.

    Do the fools realise what a wonderful life this fellow Ranil has led with public money and his con pretence to be a great liberal leader ? How many foreign trips in the last 40 years ? What are the hotels he stayed at / What did he eat ? How did he travel ?Just picture his life…The bummng of his followers, the ego boost, his power to snub and ignore others….

    • 0

      Thank you Grusha for your efforts ! Please publish this in Sinhalese too if you have not done that already. Also best wishes to the organisation.

      Whatever they do it has to be country before self. If the various individuals in these organisations are trying to polish their Egos then nothing will come out of these movements. As indicated in the article it looks like they have the capacity to reach out to common man. Nothing is going to change if the common voter is not educated.

  • 4

    In the Republic of Sri Lanka., both the electronic and print media have shown their subservient attitude towards the corrupt elements that occupy public office in the Legislature and the Executive for varied reasons. Probably because most of the media bodies are owned and controlled by politicians. Whereas in the west such anti-social elements are shown little mercy with name and shame game is adopted effectively as a deterrent to discourage corrupt elements holding public office. Although the media is considered the fourth pillar in norm of democracy, in this part of the world where the corruption has become a huge barrier to restore the rule of law, it is sad that the media has failed miserably. Nagananda’s strongly believes that sovereignty in the people is nothing but a farce unless those who exercise that power are honest and respect the rule of law.

    Unfortunately, the Chief Legal Officer of the government, the Attorney General of the Republic, has become a stooge of the government. He has led down the sovereign people in many occasions and has become probably the most corrupt public servant compelling Nagananda to charge him for corruption in number of times for serious abuse of public office for private benefit. The other worst institution in the Republic corrupt to the core is the Corruption Commission set up to fight corruption in the public sector. Therefore, in Nagananda’s view point the best way to restore some degree of responsibility in these institutions is to expose them with no mercy.

  • 1

    a movement is not enough
    they must form a new party to fight the next elections

  • 1

    NK is going backward by joining NPM. What is NPM going to achieve by inventing the wheel? Having you who have already expressed your intention to contest, there, they are talking about something else. Why cannot they say directly they support you or not? That is why some persons asked about Gotabhaya, Comment I made in NPM page is given below.
    “As always happen another organisation (National Peoples’ Movement) has been formed. Ultimate result will be the election of the same old set of rogues. Nagananda Kodituwakku and Rohan Pallewatta started meaningful campaigns and many were asking them to join hands if they really wanted to chase out the rogues and raise the country. Regretfully it seems that is not going to happen. Best example is what is happening with the JVP. People like them but at elections vote for the main two parties. No point in forming new fronts, get NK and RP to join hands.”

  • 3

    There is no argument we need true politicians. There were more before but now very few. And at the same time we need accountable and trustworthy political parties. We experienced a considerable progress in JVP and unprecedented backward in other main parties.
    It is highly welcome NPM .If you have a wish there is a way. Determination and commitment can achieve the goals of NPM. Country need peace does not matter witch party or who the leader is.

    So the challenge today is how capable enough NPM to address the real causes of political bankruptcy.
    1.Greed,lust,ego,dignity and narrow mindedness of politicians.
    2.Religions. Government should not support any religion and should not invite religious priests to bless them. Real blessing is voters wish. Religion is a private and personal thing.
    3. Belief in auspicious time like myths.
    4. No any nationality , language speaking people and educated or not educated give priority. Treat everyone equal. All Sri Lankan.
    5. Country should be demarcated under population density and other administrative needs but not due to religious or language background.
    6.Effort to teach Singhala to other language speaking people and vice versa looks not successful. So effort to make English language as main language in future is worthwhile.Most of our religions not originated in our country. Most of the things we use in daily life are imported ones .Therefore considering of English Language is advisable.
    7.Change the voters ideology. listen to the song of Wayo – Gembo (Official Music song)

    NPM can do this. They have all skilled people. Transparency,compromise and discipline are the key factors.
    All the best.

  • 1

    Ranasingha Perera: Valuable contribution. Yet, I differ with you on No. 6. Teach everyone the “Official Languages of the country ( in this case of S/L) Sinhala & Tamil) to each and everyone irrespective of their ethnicity. In addition, English must also be made a “Must” to open up the country to the outside world. At present, like in the past, English is becoming a subject of the “Elite” and this must be stopped by spreading its teaching across the country. I cannot comprehend as to WHY these “Professional & Intellectuals” cannot start a “Political Party” and present the prospective candidates as the nominees at a Parliamentary Election, together with a “Plan of ACTION” for the country. The delay, in this course of action, gives ample opportunities to the all “Corrupted” politicians to go about the country and once again establish themselves as “SAVIORS” of the people and the country. Did you hear of the 250,000 “Jana Hamuwa” already planned by SLPP led by Basil R? This is an “EYE OPENER” to all these “Professionals & Intellectuals” . Where are THEY? Look at what Nagananda & Pallewatte are doing. They are going in different directions and do not make an ATTEMPT to understand and get together. They only create very fertile ground for the “Corrupted” to germinate in the minds of the People once again.

  • 3

    As a budding new political formation, the primary task of the National People’s Movement should be to win the confidence of the voting public with regard to the NPM’s credibility.
    Merely proclaiming that it has the active support of ‘Professionals’ will not suffice. It is common knowledge that corruption in all it’s forms is so rife in our Motherland that it has seeped into every layer of society – public and private – politicians, professionals & the public.
    The leaders of the NPM must seriously consider the immediate, voluntary Declaration of their Assets and undertake to continue doing so annually.
    The NPM as an Organization must demonstrate it’s desire for transparency by declaring it’s sources of income and items of expenditure on a bi-annual basis.
    If the NPM does not take the measures necessary to build a credible image for itself as a ‘Third Force’ consisting of committed, motivated, honest and sincere individuals who are ready, willing and able to place the interests of the Country above self at all times, then the NPM will be perceived as just another ‘me-too’ political party.
    Time is ticking, boys & girls
    There is no need for more speeches
    Action speaks louder than words
    Time to Walk the Talk
    The Voting Public is waiting ….. and watching.

  • 0

    There are some countries in the world that will remain in the ” Developing stage ” for many years to come.
    This is a sad fact and the reasons are many. Call it ” destiny ” or the ” curse of the Devas and Gods” . Only
    The Lankans can do something about it. Will they or can they ?

  • 0

    “The bloodthirsty, despotic, looter Rajapaksas and their slavish cronies are going berserk trying to make sense out of the mess they have walked in to in absolute arrogance.
    Has anything being proven? Those who are supportive of the NPM, should do so for a change for the better, not to engage in vituperative language to condemn others and create a movement that becomes like the ones they are trying to replace.

  • 0

    Dear Grusha

    Looks like you expected something in return; may be a chit MP position?

  • 0

    Now there have emerged a multiple of citizens’ or peoples’ movements whose objectives are similar but with different plans of action and operating separately from one and another. Will this serve any purpose. If the common objective is to usher in a ‘new political culture’ the JVP has already set its objectives and plan of action to work with the whole of the civil society. Let us all support the initiative of the JVP which has gained sufficient political experience and is a reliable political alternative.

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