23 April, 2024

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Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s Accomplishments & Challenges

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

The upcoming presidential appears to be narrowing to become a contest between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The political house of Sajith Premadasa is a house divided according to insiders and outsiders, and he will have to first put his house in order before he can be a serious contender in the presidential election. The impending contest between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Anura Kumara Dissanayake will be a very different one when compared to past presidential elections.

First to be noted is the organizational disarray of the mainstream political parties and their electorally opportunistic alliances. The disarray is obvious and needs no elaboration. It also explains why President Wickremesinghe, the nearly fifty year veteran of a 77 year old party, is still looking for a political launcher for his presidential candidacy. Officially, he will be a UNP candidate with the elephant symbol, but he is looking to be acclaimed as the candidate of a grand alliance. Media columnists are writing about such an alliance, but there are no signs yet of any alliance, let alone a grand one.

The support for President Wickremesinghe is mainly based on his successful stabilization of the economy from where his predecessor left and ran away. Those who are genuinely and perhaps exclusively concerned about the economy do think that Ranil Wickremesinghe should be elected as President to continue managing the economy. But this premise has at least two limitations.

One, while it is fair to give Mr. Wickremesinghe credit for what he has done, it would be a stretch to claim that what he has done is something miraculous and that he should contest and be elected President for a new term to continue performing economic miracles. The economy cannot be restored by magic or miracles, and no one should lose sight of the fact that the current stability is primarily due to the moratorium on debt payment. What happens when debt repayment is restarted?   

The second limitation to the Wickremesinghe candidacy is that the support for Mr. Wickremesinghe is neither broad nor deep. Otherwise, he should be the one who is topping opinion polls and creating the buzz that Ranil is the man to beat. Mr. Wickremesinghe himself is quite coy about his candidacy. Either he is keeping everyone guessing, or he is guessing himself. It may be that the President is looking for a broad appeal imploring him to contest the presidential election to keep saving the economy. Similar to the circumstance in which he acceded to the desperate request of Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a helping hand. But there is nothing like that happening now. No appeal by any credible alliance for Ranil to be a candidate. The whole tentativeness of the situation is a symptom of the disarray of the political establishment.

That brings me to the second unique aspect of the upcoming presidential election. That is the emergence of the JVP/NPP as real contender for winning power democratically, and whose unity of purpose and organizational discipline stand in stirring contrast to the opportunism and disarray of the mainstream parties. The JVP’s emergence as a viable contender is as much due to its own maturity as it is due to resonating objective conditions. The Aragalaya that drove Gota away may have turned the tide for the JVP. But it goes beyond that, and it shows the people’s real hunger for an alternative political leadership. And it shows that the people are not warming up to Ranil Wickremesinghe in spite of all the learned views about his capabilities as an economic manager.

AKD’s leadership

The consolidation of the JVP and the emergence of the NPP as its electoral front also owe a great deal to the seemingly collegial leadership of Anura Kumara Dissanayake. He is unique in Sri Lankan politics as the one political leader who has filtered up through the social layers among the Sinhalese without being part of a mainstream political party – the UNP, the SLFP, and later the SLPP. The devolution of political leadership in Sri Lanka – i.e., the transitioning of political leadership from the decadent upper strata of society to the emerging generations – could be a study in itself.

The fact of the matter is that such a transitioning has not been as common in Sri Lanka as it has been in India. There is a long trace of leadership transitioning in India, both at the state and national levels. One of the early manifestations was the rise of K. Kamaraj first as Chief Minister of Madras State (now Tamil Nadu) in 1954, and later becoming Congress Party President and “king maker.” The last two decades have seen the ascent of Narendra Modi first as Chief Minister of Gujarat and now the soon to be threepeat Prime Minister of India. There is nothing common at all about the politics of the two men, but they represent the shifting of leadership from the upper echelons to the lower strata of India’s hugely stratified society.

In Sri Lanka, the example of President Premadasa could be cited as an exception, but it was an exception that proved the rule and failed to become a trend. The JVP and the LTTE interventions could be seen as violent and misplaced efforts to force a transitioning of leadership. Both efforts ended in failure, and the reality now is that even the traditional leadership formations have now imploded. There was the much touted recent transitioning in Tamil political (ITAK) leadership, but that seems to have got mired in legal battles in district courts. The saving grace here is in the recourse to court battles instead of gun battles. There have been shifts in leadership among the Muslims and estate Tamils, but even the new organizations representing the two communities have become mere appendages to mainstream alliances. They too are suffering from the organizational disarray of their mainstream principals.

In this scheme of unfolding disarray, it is fair to acknowledge the leadership and organizational achievements of Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the JVP and the NPP. This is not to say that they are going to win the upcoming elections and that they are going to provide a pathbreaking new government for Sri Lanka. Those proofs will have to come in whatever puddings they will go on to make. For now, as a point of political observation, what AKD has done so far needs to be acknowledged. India seems to have acknowledged  that, and it is irrelevant to the current argument why India may have chosen to do that. More to the point, there has been no Indian invitation yet, not even a hint of it, to the newly elected leader of the ITAK.

The gripe over AKD’s Indian visit is really a symptom of the uneasiness in political circles that are unable to come to grips with the disarray among the mainstream political parties and their alliances. Not to mention that for a host of good and bad reasons, the arrival of the JVP/NPP as a palpable parliamentary force is not palatable to many in the commentating business. It is again a symptom of the mainstream disarray that criticisms of JVP/NPP are emanating almost exclusively outside of parliament and from outside formal political organizations. Conversely, it is this vacuum that the JVP/NPP is filling up much to the irritation of its socio-genital opponents.

Their politics and ours

AKD’s media critics have been picking on his wearing a suit in Delhi. The task for Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the JVP/NPP is to respond to the sartorial politics of their critics with substantive politics of their own. “Their Politics and Ours,” is the title of an old pamphlet that Dr. Colvin R de Silva wrote in the early 1950s, intervening in the perennial debates within the left movement in the heady days of the Old Left. That was then. Not now, Anura Kumara Dissanayake does not have to get into polemic battles with anyone on the Left. He is in fact the only one on the Left, electorally speaking. He has to differentiate his politics from that of his media critics. “Their politics and ours” takes on a different meaning in the new context in which the JVP/NPP is emerging as a real parliamentary contender.

There is another difference between the heady days of the Old Left and Sri Lanka’s desperate times after the Rajapaksa yugaya. The challenge today is not to advance the cause of socialism but to salvage the economy from the pits that it has fallen into. Sri Lanka’s economic irony cannot be any starker, in that Sri Lanka and Pakistan are two economic laggards in South Asia that is now seen as the principal growth region for an unevenly sputtering world economy. India is virtually the sole economic engine of the South Asian region, and the challenge facing Sri Lanka is to get in stride with ongoing regional growth instead of lagging behind it.

The challenge facing JVP/NPP is to generate confidence about its abilities for managing the economy the same way it is demonstrating its abilities for political mobilization. As a political organization it does not have to rely on its leaders to read economic textbooks the way Che Guvera read them after the Cuban revolution. There are enough economists and economic thinktanks in Sri Lanka and the JVP/NPP should not feel shy about tapping them for ideas and as resources. Just as it would turn to health professionals for preventing and curing illness, or to engineers to build bridges and factories. There should be reaching out to professional resources in a very public way to enhance public confidence at the national level, the same way retired military and police officers are reportedly being enlisted at the electoral district levels.

Besides the economy, the JVP/NPP leadership will have to deal with the question of constitutional reform and clarify its position on what is still the island’s national question. On the question of abolishing the executive presidency, Mr. Dissanayake has provided a convincing response: there is no time to do it before the presidential election. President Wickremesinghe has said the same thing, but the difference between the two is that while Mr. Dissanayake is committed to abolishing the presidency, Mr. Wickremesinghe is not. That is a big difference, and one on which Mr. Dissanayake could and should publicly challenge the interim President. That would also be a substantive response to sartorial sniping. As dress codes go in politics, what’s in a suit? That which is substantive can be delivered in a bush shirt.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    2

    The main factor favouring Anura is that the larger populace is tired of the corrupt politics of the traditional politician. Wickremasinghe, himself tainted, will perpetuate such politics. Anura will not. His team-mates are credible, clean but inexperienced politicians. Rajapakses have a lot to loose. They will revive their ethnographic-religious brand of politics with the Buddhist priests on the streets. Anura’s counter is to join in with the Rajapakses. He runs to the Mahanayakes with trays of flowers. He has formed a group of returned soldiers very much in the “run- virayas” of the Rajapakse times. Is he imitating them? That would be a tragedy. He must announce a clear economic plan. He must tell us how he will deal with the ethnic problem. These two are the important issues that face the country. Without a solution to the debt problem and the ethnic issue our future is bleak. If the rhetoric of a system change and a new beginning is to be a reality, the NPP must give a clear indication of how they will face these twin problems

    • 13
      1

      Cicero: You say: “His teammates are credible, clean but inexperienced politicians”.

      Could you please tell me what you mean by “inexperienced politicians”?

      Does that mean comparable with “experienced” politicians like Ranil W; Mahinda R; Sajith; Ravi Karu; Jhonston; Rohitha; Mahindananda; Ranathunga; Nimal Siripala; MY3; CBK and a lot of others who held cabinet fortfolios over decades?

      • 12
        3

        You string together bad examples. Most of those you list are crooks. In the democratic system, there is a distinction between the executive and the legislature. A minister provides a bridge between the two. He has the ability born through learning of a subject area and experience in it as a politician to formulate policy so as to lead the executive in its implementation. This requires experience. The point is that the people in the NPP lack that experience. They are decent persons and have sufficient learning but lack experience. That is the point made..

        • 9
          0

          Cicero: Thank you. NPP is proposing a NEW culture of Governance, in that, a Cabinet Minister would be a knowledgeable person of the subject under his/her purview but acts in compliance with the legal and policy framework backed by a panel of experts with experience and know-how.

          This concept was explained in detail by AKD in an interview given to BBC recently.

      • 12
        1

        The JVP is wining the younger and better looking segment of the population ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7lz4M8Vmf4

        Ranil is wining the visually-challenged, OLs-challenged, older effeminate men segment.

        Why does Ranil has to make the choice …….. so easy for Native?

        • 9
          3

          Nimal,
          “The JVP is wining the younger and better looking segment “
          I don’t know about “wining” (I might attend the next JVP meeting if that’s true), but I see you have spent time looking at the cover photo on Vishwamitra’s 56% piece.

          • 5
            2

            The young JVP lady accepts that Tamil plantation workers produce a large part of our export income, but some JVP supporters on this forum deny it.

            • 3
              0

              “Tamil plantation workers produce a large part of our export income”

              Very true!

              The most invisible and neglected ……… but the most productive – for generations – ……… segment of Lankan workers.

        • 2
          3

          “better looking segment”
          🤣
          Whoever NF is, he seems like one heck of a guy…

      • 0
        1

        Douglas,
        You must be aware with your experience, the saying, “EVERY GENERALISATION HAS IT’S EXCEPTIONS”!!??
        The People/persons sighted by you CRITICALLY, fall into the latter category!!!??? EXCEPTIONS!!!
        Who shouldn’t be touched even with a “Barge Pole”!!!???
        MaRa tantamount to looting all development projects, Johnston, Road Making Expertise (“CARPETTING”) to making easy Money, Rohitha’s History ‘hinges on Railway between Kalutara and Aluthgama renaissance with Gold’ chains, Nimal the wondrous, sleeping giant with Big basket for generous donors, MY3 confined to Grama Sevaka duties and Charring Chena Cultivation!!!??? Why not name those, UNTARNISHED, who have provided excellence!!!???
        I’ll name one as example and for starters!!! UKKU BANDA WANNINAYAKE – humble but gigantic, Or from the other side of the divide, WILLIAM GOPALLAWA!!!??
        JVP/NPP are untarnished character without doubt and agreed but you must accept most of them are without much needed EXPOSURE and EXPERIENCE in Public administration and Policy Planning and Implementation and may have to depend on PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION for Guidance and expertise!!?? Unfortunately, Public service is depleted – Bad Management – “APEY AANDUWA” fanatics!!?? Nevertheless, I am only too well convinced, “Extreme, Intense and Fast-Forwarded Training on-the Job” to bring the new legislatures and Ministers to SPEED – 6 to 12 Months!!???

  • 15
    5

    I grant, yet do not concede, that AKD has the chance of his life. Does he deserve it?
    .
    … there has been no Indian invitation yet, not even a hint of it, to the newly elected leader of the ITAK.
    This is a silly perspective. Whatever said and done, AKD is the Leader of a national party with an argumentative chance of extending his leadership to the nation. ITAK is a toothless ‘tiger’!
    .
    I must tell that I have lost all hopes for any immediate salvation to my people. I squarely blame Sampanthan for this mess. Anyone wanting to know why could ask for it.
    .
    I have a Q myself? Is the rise of JVP/NPP to the credit of Anura or to the discredit of UNP?

    • 3
      8

      Nathan: ” I must tell that I have lost all hopes for any immediate salvation to “MY PEOPLE” (emphasis by me)

      Who are these “My People”?

      • 11
        0

        Douglas,
        Should you have paid attention to the very sentence that followed, you would not have had the need to ask.

    • 12
      0

      ”Is the rise of JVP/NPP to the credit of Anura or to the discredit of UNP?”
      Good question. AKD is charismatic, a good orator & though nothing materialised from his various corruption allegations in Parliament, he proved to be outspoken & vocal without being a gutter mouth. He may not be ‘sophisticated’ as Premadasa jnr with his piano playing & impressive international academic achievements but from AKD’s conduct so far, I consider him as humble & sincere, a person I would like to see as the next President. However, when it comes to governance, I am not sure if the NPP, obviously, with JVP dominance, is best for the country, mainly because of its 23 or so coalition parties of all sorts, who I assume, would all want representation, coming to a consensus in the best interest of the country. I have yet to understand the ’empowerment’ of females championed by its women’s front & the objectives of 20 or more parties are yet to be seen.
      Cont.

      • 10
        0

        Cont.
        The Rajapakses may still be clinging on to the hope of a comeback, & like Trump’s popularity despite his narcissism, the Rajapakses cannot be dismissed, & RW too, may have hope, now that he managed to provide some stability but Premadasa jnr, has lost ground to AKD from being a major force to what AKD was at the last election. As political parties go, the SLFP is pretty much defunct, so is UNP but the SJB, if I am not mistaken, have a few experienced & competent people on board. In conclusion, my humble opinion is that AKD’s popularity has rubbed on the NPP as well but it is largely due to the failure of other mainstream parties to address their past mismanagement, abuse of power, cronyism & sheer corruption & reinvent themselves as credible with an inspired leadership.

      • 6
        1

        Raj,
        It seems that that, apart from the JVP, the other other 22 “parties” in the NPP aren’t really registered political parties, but JVP fronts and unions. For example, Asoka Ranwala, the CPC union leader, is on the Central Committee.
        However, to its credit, the NPP does have a number of women and minorities in its leadership.

      • 2
        0

        Dear Raj-UK,
        .
        Please await a more cogent response from me to the statements that you’ve made above, tomorrow.
        .
        I’ve got my right eye covered after it was operated upon today.
        .
        You’ve not understood the sort of coalition the NPP is; I’ll try to explain tomorrow, unless somebody like Douglas has done so by then.

        • 2
          0

          Sinhala_Man,
          Is Douglas working in tandem with you.
          Just being inquisitive; Nothing malicious.

          • 0
            1

            We certainly seem to toe the same line most of the time! However, he has clearly been a Marxist and a Trade Unionist for a long time. I have only just begun to appreciate those viewpoints.
            .
            So, he’s more reliable!
            .
            But no, I;m sure that he everything works out for himself. We’re both old, I think, and we both work things out as concerned, but non racist, Sinhalese. On certain matters I feel that you will see things differently because you have a Tamil background.
            .
            How I wish ethnicity and language didn’t matter as much as they seem to.

            • 1
              0

              Even though you make general statements, they are not accurate.
              ‘I wish ethnicity and language didn’t matter as much as they seem to’.
              No. Not just seemingly. That is reality.
              .
              ‘I feel that you will see things differently because you have a Tamil background.
              The differences should not be owing to me being a Tamil or you being a Sinhalese.

        • 0
          1

          Dear Raj,
          .
          However dominant the NPP may be in the Legislature, that will not affect how they handle the Executive, or that is how I understand what the NPP to have been saying.
          .
          AKD is leader because at this time, at the peak of his powers, he is the likeliest to win elections. Ten years from now, he is likely to step aside for some younger person. The State, under NPP administration, is likely to keep subjects like Education and Health, and even certain Natural Resources (they count for Power Generation) and Transport, but other functions will be assigned to persons who have no affiliation to the JVP/NPP.
          .
          The clearest example that AKD has given relates to milk production. When he was Minister of Agriculture he had appointed a gentleman named “de Mel” with whom he had no previous acquaintance.
          .
          Ask more, but don’t always expect responses from a guy like me, who is only a conscientious reader and listener.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

    • 4
      0

      Nathan,
      .
      “I must tell that I have lost all hopes for any immediate salvation to my people. I squarely blame Sampanthan for this mess. Anyone wanting to know why could ask for it.”

      I am interested in knowing more from you. Thanks.

      • 2
        0

        leelagemalli,
        … Anyone wanting to know why could ask for it.
        Having been at the helm for a long time, Hon. Sampathan, considering his age, had a responsibility to ensure that there was continuity and a smooth transition, when he left office.

        • 1
          0

          I could elaborate, but that is beside your need, leelagemalli.

  • 6
    1

    ” ……… much to the irritation of its socio-genital opponents.”
    Please clarify the meaning of this new term. I am thoroughly mystified!

    • 8
      1

      Sociogenomics, also known as social genomics. An obvious typo or mistaken auto correction. No need to be mystified.

    • 0
      1

      Yes, Captain Morgan, it is so mystifying that I spent some time wondering where the sentence that you quoted came from.
      .
      Since it comes from the main essay, I think that it would have made sense to direct the question at Rajan Philips himself. As it is, sonali has come to the rescue.
      .
      However, whether typo or not, an explanation is to be found!
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociogenomics
      .
      So, there has been no mistake!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

  • 8
    2

    ” Is the rise of JVP/NPP to the credit of Anura or to the discredit of UNP?”
    Most of the political journalists or Professionals in CT now have moved their attention towards JVP/NPP or Anura KD. That is a great achievement for AKD. Three years back Gota (Rajapaksa family) was the choice of the Sinhalese people because of their anti Tamil, anti Indian and anti western propaganda. The economic collapse of the country in 2022 was gave an opportunity for both NPP and UNP (AKD and Ranil) to increase the support of Sinhalese to NPP but the control of the country to Ranil. Ranil created an image that he is a super man who saved the country economically and politically. In fact Ranil did not do anything other than borrowing money from imf with the support of USA. Ranil did not move different to Rajapaksas on corruption and racism. He continued to allow corruption and continue to allow racism. The question is how far these two factors have changed in the minds of the people from three years back?

  • 12
    3

    NPP still has to convince the public that they are not a threat to the business people and to the academia. They should not fear NPP as long as they are paying their due taxes and theren’t involvement of illegitimacy.
    NPP should give assurance to all the SL voters that their Government will not stand with the crooks and uneducated.
    Tamils in Northern,Eastern and Upcountry should vote for NPP in the hope that they will bring LAW & ORDER to the country. No other assurances needed for the Tamils.

    • 15
      1

      Naman

      JVP has had enjoyed its 60 year journey by tagging along most nasty partners and attaching themselves to the most nasty nationalist vermin of this island, with most stupid and anti people ideology.

      Yet they are not able to get around to look at and study federalist state models. They also deploy most PRIMITIVE AND IRRATIONAL arguments to keep themselves going. Their (none) argument under their socialist government they would not discriminate people for who they are, regions, …. and they would set up a Truth and Reconciliation commission to deal with all war crimes, human rights violations, ….. without any foreign judges or observers.

      Don’t you think JVP has not been serious nor truthful about our fundamental issues, democratic rights, moral issues, …….

      • 14
        0

        That could be equally true about Ranil, Native! :))

        There are no heroes in this 76-year story.


        People are just wasting time ……. fighting for their own false heroes …….. who have lodged in their minds.

  • 8
    4

    Rajan Philips: In your article, you state: ” The support for President Wickramasinghe on his “SUCCESSFUL STABILIZATION OF THE ECONOMY” (emphasis by me)…..where his predecessor left and ran away” and “One while it is to give Mr. Wickramasinghe credit for what he has done”

    Were you conscious of what you were thinking and writing?

    Can you please indicate the factual reasoning behind “Successful Stabilization Of the Economy” and do you give “Credit” for what he has done?

    Thank you.

  • 9
    2

    What has gone before him ……. if he just shows up, he is in front.

    What has he got to live up to?

  • 13
    2

    Douglas,
    “Can you please indicate the factual reasoning behind “Successful Stabilization Of the Economy” and do you give “Credit” for what he has done?”
    I agree with you that the not only Rajan Phillips but also some other writers come up with the same argument with that economic status of the country. There measure is based on that there is no ques, no protest but never look at the amount of unpaid debt of the country, increased poverty, increased cost of living etc. Have Ranil made any recovery from Bond scam? Have Ranil made any recovery from Rajapaksa family?

  • 14
    4

    Douglas is right in challenging the statement that Ranil W has lifted the economy from its doldrums. He and his cronies are the ones who put it there. Besides, the IMF, it was reported yesterday, has put SL on the surcharge list of the most indebted countries in the world. So Mr Philips is just mouthing what visiting American officials say about how Ranil has put the economy on the positive track. He simply has not, There is a long way to go. The impression is now being created that he is the only one who can handle the mess forgetting that he created it.

    • 3
      10

      Couldn’t have said it in any better or clearer words!

  • 10
    1

    “The support for President Wickremesinghe is mainly based on his successful stabilization of the economy”

    Don’t be too hasty to praise Ranil for his “economic skills” …… the ball is still in play. ………. Granted, he has well handled the corrupt element of the former government, in his own corrupt ways ……. and somewhat neutralized them temporally ……. they are just lying low and biding time ….. to come back and bite him in the ass as usual.

    Mahinda borrowed close to a billion dollars from the Chinese to build the Hambanthota Harbour …… Ranil sold the harbour with some surrounding land to the Chinese for a billion dollars. And gave back the billion to the Chinese to settle the loan. Did the Chinese get the harbour + 4000 acres for free? Can someone do Ranil’s math and prove Ranil’s great economic skill, please? …….. (I know the answer; it isn’t as bad as it looks but I’ll let you sweat. :)) )

    Look, you guys are academics …… you write academic tomes ……. if someone gives you a million dollars to invest and let you keep the profit you make …….. you will look at and analyse this whole shindig differently …… in a more realistic quantitative mode ….

    • 5
      2

      Nimal,
      “Granted, he has well handled the corrupt element of the former government, in his own corrupt ways …….”
      I think giving the port to China was a devious move, killing two birds with one stone.
      The Port is running fine now, under Chinese management., unlike under Rajapaksa management. Isn’t it strange that all the port and airline management experts turned out to be Rajapaksa relatives?
      The second bird? It removed opportunities for further corruption.

      • 3
        2

        Nimal
        There is much talk about ending corruption. Isn’t the port a good template for ending corruption in other places.?

    • 1
      0

      Nimal,
      “AND GAVE BACK THE BILLION TO THE CHINESE TO SETTLE THE LOAN.”
      If my memory serves me right, He didn’t settle the Loan for HPP!!?? Very well remember, RW saying at that time that USD 1+ Billion, would not be used to settle the HPP Chinese Loan, but some other urgently needed Purpose!!??
      In my recollection, that USD 1 Billion Chines Loan for HPP is still standing and On-Going!!!??? He used it for some other settlement, the proceeds of HPP sale to Chinese!!! Proof he is not senile yet!!!???

  • 5
    2

    Only thing Ranil did for the economy was to wring out the money from the Rajapaksas, or else. That’s why all those petrol lines went away. The rest was taxiing the heck out of the suffering worker-class. Now Anura on the other hand will tax the idle rich. No need for any experience, either political (to wine and dine and outwit crooks in parliament) or the capitalistic adventurism. All that is needed is good old-fashioned socialism where the country money is distributed evenly so the country can have a fresh start, with a cap on anyone accumulating over US$50,000 per year moving to a US$100,000 per year once the country comes out of the rut.

    • 3
      1

      Ramona,
      “That’s why all those petrol lines went away. “
      I know that , siiting in Pittsburgh, you couldn’t see the tanker loads of fuel that came from India. on credit.
      Please don’t tell me what happened in my country. I lived through it, OK?

      • 2
        3

        OC…..if so, we would be be in a US-100 billion debt, not the US$-83.6 billion the country is languishing to pay back. No, Ranil did manage to squeeze out some money from them and is riding high on it.

        • 3
          1

          Ramona,
          I remember you supporting Gota in 2019.

          • 1
            2

            OC,…..thought he was going to do the socialism thing.

            • 3
              3

              It’s like this OC :

              In 2019, my scale of things was like : JVP first, Rajapaksas 2nd, UNP last/never.

              In the absence of JVP at the last elections, I supported Rajapaksa, thinking that, “Ok…..they made a few mistakes…..made many mistakes….crooks to the core! But as they were for the Lankan Masses and going to eventually socialize things and atone for their mistakes, then there was some hope.

              No! Instead, they listened to fellows like Ranil and certain ambassadors, and thought they could utilize global mainstream and alternative monetary systems and make a fast buck off them. Actually they did, but it was sniffed out by the global financial watchdogs and pooled into Global Monetary restructuring and rebalancing.

              • 3
                2

                Ramona,
                “No! Instead, they listened to fellows like Ranil and certain ambassadors”
                Which planet were you living on? Have you any proof that Ranil told Gota to ban fertilizer? Did he tell them not to go to the IMF? Did he tell them to lock down the whole economy. Did he tell the CB to print money?
                Gota did it himself. And you supported him. I DID NOT

                • 2
                  1

                  OC,
                  Hmm….he did other things but,……the main thing he did was to influence Gota to develop the US$-millionaire & billionaire status of the Elite by amassing even more, the money of the suffering Lankan worker. Gota did so, but went his own way with it. Come to think of it, Ranil might have well influenced Gota on the things you mention so he could slowly creep into power. I supported Gota before the election. But near the elections, I saw what was happening with the big business push in an already bankrupt nation, and I wrote against it.

                  • 1
                    2

                    Ramona,
                    YOU supported Gota simply because you liked his face. He ruined the country, not Ranil. Now you expect people to vote for AKD because you like his face ?

                    • 3
                      0

                      Lame OC….just lame!

                    • 1
                      2

                      Hopefully, END UP WITH SAME RESULT!!??

                  • 1
                    2

                    Too Late for any GOOD Outcome!!????

              • 1
                2

                Bad Egg always remains one as Rotten Egg!? None other!!????

        • 1
          1

          He did some other way!!?? Bellimissa ‘Singapura’ – Ukraine Way!!!?? Supersonic Transformation effect of SLAF!!!???

    • 1
      1

      Wish one and all GLAD tidings!!?? USD 1,000,000 in kitty!

  • 2
    0

    I would like to see the luxury vehicle tax of yesteryear being reintroduced in the form of a one million per annum ”road maintenance tax” on non-commercial vehicles over 2000cc engine capacity.
    Most of these vehicles are a huge drain on the country’s forex in terms of fuel imports and spare parts, and they take a lot more space on our narrow roads particularly the V8’s, Defenders, Range Rovers and the like used by our corrupt politicians. Perhaps Sinhala Man can bring this to the attention of the hierarchy of his beloved NPP.

  • 4
    0

    Rajan Philips is in the same boat as Ranil when he pens the line
    ………Either he is keeping everyone guessing or he is guessing himself………
    On the contrary is Ranil coming or going .?…………………………
    Leading members of the Maha Sangha have met with MaRa and a few of his catchers at a Temple and expressed concern of the sale of Airports to Indian businessman………..
    Deshabandu Tennakoon has been now confirmed as IGP……….Tiran Alles had his way over Ranil………
    Is MaRa defacto and Ranil de jure ?

  • 0
    0

    1965 – ” Dudlyge Bade Masala Wade ” was the election slogan .

    1970 – ” Karawala Kumaraya ” against Ilangaratna was UNP slogan .

    1977 – ” Ship thief and Mahaweli thief ” aganist Lalith and Gamini
    were the game song .

    And up to date from then on , we have too many thieves police don’t
    catch so becomes the main topic in national politics so much so that
    that the Revolutionary JVP led NPP is now in the front promising to
    comb the jungle to arrest them and PRODUCE IN COURTS for legal
    action ! And one more masterly act from them is , asking the
    audience ” Are you here with us today for personal benefits ? ” ” No
    never , you are not here for any such promises ” answers the speaker
    himself who is most of the time AKD and occasionally other horses
    like Lalkantha and Tylvin or another front liner .We can guess what is
    in store with them .

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