By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
These days the more Dayan Jayatilleka keeps writing his analyses he seems to be going down the drain. Credibility is the lifeblood of a writer and Dayan has been losing just that. I used to be an admirer of him but not anymore. Dayan’s only salvation now is to somehow wrangle a position from the regime of the Rajapaksas and languish until the regime folds up, which inevitably it soon would, as Uva shows.
I am referring to Dayan Jayatilleka’s piece in Colombo Telegraph captioned, “The Morning After Uva.” This piece shows the writer is unable to stomach the stunning result that the deeply rural voters have given against MR‘s regime and for the United National Party under Ranil Wickremesinghe. This is suggested, inter alia, by his interposing the statement that Mahinda Rajapaksa “deservedly” should win the forthcoming Presidential Elections. This inclusion is out of context and has the appearance of a forced entry in order to create an impression.
The UPFA victory is a mere Pyrrhic victory or a merely technical victory judging by the fact that the huge machinery of an established and powerful regime managed only – 18th Amendment notwithstanding – to scrape through while the hopelessly underrated UNP under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s leadership bounced back hugely to be positioned within a small striking distance of electoral triumph. UNP trounced the UPFA in Badulla that included the seat of high profile Minister, Nimal Siripala De Silva. They got their two majorities after the government had carved out three more seats in Moneragala at the expense of Badulla just before the election.
The other significant event is that the JVP trailed behind very badly despite the talent of its new leader, Anura Kumar Dissanayake. The voting reflected a two-party preference thus giving the signal to the general electorate that there is no place for small parties in Sri Lanka. Voters must take a stand either to let the regime have another term or oust the regime via the other major party, the UNP. The problem with the JVP is that despite having a considerable leader in Anura Kumar Dissanayake voters will not digest the Orwellian socialism of the party. JVP’s socialism and Marxism has disappeared from virtually everywhere in the world because such an ideology is not practical or desirable. Marxism would continue to be attractive only to habitually stirrers and recalcitrants. Sarath Fonseka is on a dying curve and the sooner he realizes that the better it would be for his nerves. Sarath Fonseka is a national treasure having won the war for the country. He got into a tragic hole after the regime ungratefully put him away in incarceration. The option for him is to dedicate himself to the UNP and work against corruption and power abuse.
Dayan Jayatilleka doesn’t want to acknowledge Ranil, his pet hate, but the fact is that Ranil showed considerable self-control and strategy and managed to reach the voters effectively. He addressed hundreds of meetings and said the right things in statesmanlike fashion. He reaps rewards for the hard battle he had to put on to keep the party intact despite myriad Rajapaksa maneuvers and the greed of those of his break-away party men who could not wait for a UNP government. He also made a forgiveness announcement to all rank and file dissenters. Ranil Wickremesinghe has shown rare emotional IQ in all these Horatio like defense.
Hats off to UNP’s new rising star-Harin Fernando– who came out a great hero after having shown a rare boldness and organizing capability. He can speak in all three languages and he is a Monash Political Science graduate. Great prime leadership material for a party and country that lacks that. Harin stood as an example to Sajith who had all along being on the sidelines demanding position before showing ability. Harin Fernando has demonstrated ability and deserves position. In this sense, Harin is more like Premadasa than the latter’s son has been.