24 August, 2019

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Is Ranil-Sajith Alliance Akin To JR-Premadasa Combination?

By Vishwamithra1984 –

“When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.” ~Edmund Burke

Sajith and RanilWith Sajith Premadasa getting on board the platform of the United National Party at the Uva PC election campaign, there were huge a sighs of relief, some from the diehard party supporters and others from those who wish that there were more united opposition to this seemingly autocratic Government and its merciless attacks on freedom of the press, right to information, good governance and accountability. While this sudden patching up of differences between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa may appear as an auspicious harbinger of events yet to happen, when one looks at it more objectively and with sobriety, one wonders as to why this ever had to happen at all.

Disunity in political parties, especially when they are in opposition and not in power, is a natural progression of events. They say that when in power there is unity and when out of power, all hell breaks loose. And for that matter, when out of power for two long decades, it must be utterly cumbersome for parliamentarians of the same party even to say hello to each other with any sense of cordiality and sincerity. Such is the nature of power; such is the nature of greed and lust. When out of power, all sorts of finger-pointing, accusations, one-upmanship, power struggles, scandal-seeking, digging out dirt on fellow parliamentarians and mean back-stabbing occur to the great disadvantage of the party and in the absence of iron-clad leadership at the top of the party, minions who had come to Parliament recently but are backed by unscrupulous vested interests, could sometimes assume uncommon significance. Leadership struggles of yesteryear were different. Contemporary politicians have willy nilly become victims of a culture that is being dominated by television and instant news that usually leads to instant stardom.

Some even go to the extent of comparing the Ranil/Sajith combination to that between J R Jayewardene and R Premadasa that existed in the Seventies and eighties. It is not only futile to do such a comparison; it is grossly unfair bordering on insult to the JR/Premadasa combo. Yet the circumstances that shaped the JR/Premadasa alliance and the players who were involved intensively in the making of that combination possible and who worked towards a final outcome of which J R Jayewardene was acutely committed to, were totally different in character, style of operation, the social backgrounds from which they emerged and even in the degree of commitment and promise to the cause of political victory at the hustings. Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Felix Dias Bandaranaike, her late husband’s relative were a very formidable duo. The arrogance of power wrapped in both Kandyan and low-country aristocracy, instead of concealing, burst asunder through the seams; fellow parliamentarians hovered around the ruling cabal like vultures waiting for crumbs; intimidation of rival political party supporters, harassing of their businesses and extracting vengeance for exercising the fundamental right of free thought and speech were determined as legitimate and rightful work of and for the common man. In a sense, the current President was schooled in these same grand corridors of power and its wielders seem to have done a good job of it.

Against such a powerful power-aristocracy, the United National Party (UNP) under Dudley Senanayake, though accepted by the country at large as a charismatic and just leader, lacked the foresight and raw courage to carve out a fresh path. Into this uncertain set of circumstances jumped R Premadasa, as a ‘man with the common man’s pulse’ and Premadasa organized, with the help of his Colombo ‘clan of courtiers’ led by Sirisena Cooray and the rest, the Citizens’ Front. Dudley Senanayake, the leader of the UNP, was terribly upset and felt betrayed by a man whom he had nurtured and nursed from the ‘Sucharitha’ days to be a Cabinet Minister in the ’65 – ’70 Government, but did not possess the stomach to call Premadasa and straighten him out. The result was the infamous Citizens’ Front gaining currency in the political marketplace in Sri Lanka. While Dudley was already at loggerheads with J R, Premadasa took advantage of this chaotic situation in the Party and went about the country advocating a more forceful and vibrant opposition to the Sirimavo/Felix combo. But in fairness to Premadasa, one would have observed that he, Premadasa, never ever challenged the leadership of Dudley nor did he demand that he should be awarded a more lucrative position in the Party hierarchy. Even J R who had by this time launched his own campaign on a matter of policy, neither did challenge the leadership of the Party.

J R Jayewardene remained the perennial second-in-command of the UNP. It was beyond any question that of all the second-tier leaders of the UNP since its inception up to 1973, the year in which he took over the party reins, J R possessed the highest amount of skills, ability, foresight and courage to be the leader of the UNP. But being the quintessential team-man he was, J R never tried to challenge the leadership of the party nor did he try to undermine it by means of boycotting or disregarding party policies and principles. A supreme example of J R’s willingness to subordinate his own personal ambitions to those of his Party was when Sir John Kotelawala became its leader after the resignation of Dudley. Whom did Sir John appoint as the Leader the House? It was J R who had been the prime mover behind the wheels that turned to make Dudley succeed his father a few years earlier when it should have been Sir John who was the most senior member of the Party at the time. In fact Sir John was the Leader of the House when D S Senanayake was the Prime Minister. How can anyone compare Ranil Wickremesinghe’s qualifications with such credentials of J R?

R Premadasa’s tea was brewed from a totally different kettle. While J R was a team man, Premadasa was a consummate loner. He was utterly uncomfortable in the presence of English-educated, sophisticated thinkers. The fate that befell Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali is the finest example of this particular trait of Premadasa. Yet Premadasa, to his credit, gave birth to the concept of ‘Premadasa exceptionalism’. His work ethics- second to none- and his oratorical skills in Sinhala which in the writer’s assessment was second only to that of Rohana Wijeweera, particularly as a platform speaker, his commitment to the déclassé and his burning ambition to be a vital player in the efforts of national development contributed to this exceptionalism that Premadasa could have been proud of being associated with.

Against such a healthy and vibrant backdrop of the dual-association of JR/Premadasa, Ranil/Sajith combo fades into mere insignificance. Both Ranil and Sajith have proven to be loners. Both of them seem to be extremely uncomfortable in ‘team’ environments. Both are closed personalities and yet they possess abilities and skills that are essential for leadership, but whether those skills and abilities could stand up to the grueling tests of hard and more lofty leadership positions is yet to be seen. While this alliance that has been brought about by circumstances and social needs, would deliver the desired results sooner than later, one must advise both of them, if they have not already done so, to sit down with the two volumes of J R-biography –‘J R Jayewardene of Sri Lanka’ by Professor K M de Silva. It is a must-read for any person interested in engaging in Sri Lankan politics.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    I enjoyed reading this piece, but I must say that certain references made to the late President Premadasa are uncharitable. True, the late P was not a beneficiary of a university education like Lalith and Gamini. But as a voracious reader with a remarkable intellect and retention power he commanded a vast knowledge of a wide range of subjects. He also held definite viewpoints on certain subjects and commanded an adequate knowledge of English to fluently express these viewpoints. He was such a studious person, I believe, he could deliver a speech on any political issue at an international forum off the cuff. The opinion once I held about the late President P was not complimentary to him. Later I could have a glimpse into his character and wisdom from a close quarter and I could not help developing a new respect for the great man.

  • 2
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    No.

    It is similar to Ranil-Sajith alliance in 2005 and 2010. On both occasions UNP lost.

    When they want to lose they form this alliance.

  • 4
    5

    Nice gay couple.

    I love gay people. Honestly!

    • 3
      1

      Lorenzo
      we know you love gay people. We saw that from your love towards
      ela kolla

    • 0
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      You said it madam!

      Media freedom at its BEST.

    • 0
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      Fathima Fukushima , Lorenzo, leela, Nanda, Amarasekera, Et Al. and avtars,

      “I love gay people. Honestly! :

      Are you a s Buddhist Monk. a Christian Priest or just a monk who is gay and homo?

      Lorenzo, what happened to your Lankaweb? Did it sink with its own weight of lies by you, and all the Shills, such ad Shinali shill Waduge etc? just Curious.

      Lankaweb refused to pit Amarasisri’s posts. Only Shills posts.

      http://cdn.cdncomputer.com/t/ds_legal.html

      “LankaWeb – Latest Sri Lanka News and Forum
      http://www.lankaweb.com/
      Latest News from Sri Lanka updated as it happens, including detailed analysis on Terrorism and Politics in Sri … communities through on line network of people.”

    • 0
      0

      F.K,

      Marry the bitch next door, it seamlessly matches your bunn!

  • 2
    3

    Vellala Ranil holding hands on stage with Dalit Prema’s son, Keselwatta Kid is the ultimate reconciliation between castes in the party of the Intelligentsia..

    In contrast, the UNP’s main ally the ITAK dominated TNA, is all high caste Vellalas although they purport to represent all Tamil Inhabitants in Srilanka, plus the Diaspora.

    But the actual number of Vellaslas among the inhabitants is a minority even among the Lankan Tamils.So says my Elders.

    If the Indian Tamils are taken into account . this minority shrinks even further making it a miniscule minority.

    But the 15 Resolution List they put out yesterday is a game changer, says the Defence Sec after going through each Resolution with a fine toothed comb.

    Vellala Ranil’s offer to Prabakran for a ISGA wan sanctioned by the TNA and drafted by Norway says the Defence Sec.

    The new 15 Resolutions are all aimed at the same ISGA, according to his analysis.

    The first task of the new deputy, Keselwatta Kid is to explain to his electorate and his followers who are one hundred percent Sinhala Buddhists, where he stands with this list of 15 Resolutions .

    Will the Deputy, Keselwatta Kid steer the UNP away from pro separatists camp towards a more modern, equitable live and let live arrangement for all inhabitants, in a peaceful, harmonious, terror free, secure environment.

    Or has he agreed to tow the same policy frame work that the Christian Faction Leader Ranil has put in place with his partne, the r TNA Leader Sambandan.

  • 2
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    It is amazing why Wiswamithra cannot understand the difference between the ground situation today and the days that JRJ and RP combine fought their battles to win 1977 election. At that time, essential food items were scarce, beard queues were long and rice barriers, chilli barriers were everywhere. When that bad situation was persistent and the government became unpopular many saw JRJ and RP duo as rescuers. With all that the duo managed get only 51% of the popular vote.

    Just to show what Ranil and Sajith is up against, let me remind readers that MR got 60% of the popular vote at the last general election. So, today’s situation is completely different. There may be some crossovers or dropout but on average people are happy for human-bombs that blasted our buses, trains and public places for thirty long years has completely ceased under MR. Check points that were there under every government have become a thing of the past. The country is at peace and anyone can travel wherever he pleases at any time.

    There is conspicuous development throughout the country. Supermarkets are there even in small towns. Never mind the price of a hopper is 200 or 500 rupees in five star restaurants, choon pann batta that cruise at village roads do brisk business in the evenings. And wayside cafes are busy catering to meet the demand for hopper and kottu buyers. And that’s the general situation today. No wonder Ranil, Sajith duo cannot rally as many voters at their venues as JRJ and RP did for 77 election.

    For those who want to work and earn but not so choosy, there are enough jobs and small business to do. Work you may not but, there are plenty of things to buy if you have money. I read Thisaranee questioning the usefulness of trendy Supermarkets for average wage is not enough to shop in them. She should know that people must not aspire things beyond their capacity otherwise they may become thieves. I am not saying that wage earners must be restricted to village fairs but we all have limits. As for me, I know how to manage my affairs within my income. Let 1.5 million tourists who visit Sri Lanka and well to do people like Ranil and his Colombian voters shop at trendy shopping malls. I must say, supermarkets, fashion shops and well stocked shops are there even in small towns today for less well to do people. For thriftier folks, clean and neat village fairs are coming up everywhere.

    Wiswamithra can say that the Government is mercilessly attacking the freedom of the press. But we see that there are more private TV channels, FM radios, daily papers, weekend papers, web sites and etc than the government ones. So much so, people can routinely watch live political debates where government and opposition politicians participate together. Such open action were not there during at earlier times.

    Wiswamithra is suggesting that the disunity of the UNP is entrenched because it is in the opposition. I am not saying that there is no truth in that but what is necessary to holds a political party together more than anything is the ability of the leader to guide his party to formulate policies that could win elections. Ranil has miserably failed in that. His scheming to win by all the minority votes and a bit of majority votes failed for he judged the controller of the minority wrong. Chandrika was successful in that only at her first election. Sheer luck won her next election.

    The fact that SB and a group of ministers criticized the Government of Executive President Chandrika and rock it and paved the way for a UNP to win prove my point further. Ranil had mismanaged that win because he didn’t know what voters expected of him. Mangal was chased out when he started criticizing MR Government. But he couldn’t either topple MR government or bring about a victory for the opposition since. And that shows an astute leader with foresight can hold the unity of a political party whether in opposition or government.

  • 0
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    When guys get high in the Sinhala South making them dance one of the songs they sing is “Sinhala jathiya kapothi wagey” or something similar. It is sung in part fun, part in fear of retribution to what they have done to themselves, the country and the minorities in the country. If Sajith – son of the notorious Premadasa and Hema, the Patron of the Container Smugglers of Contraband during RPs time- is one of the last hopes of the UNP to beat the Rajapakse regime in the UVA PC, that is admitting the country has lit the bottom. Is Sajith P known to have made an impromptu speech to any of the recognised
    think-tanks on any topic of relevance – at any time in the recent past.
    Is that the material for leadership to the UNP to lift the country out of the morass and decline of the past 9-10 years? Have Left-handers hijacked the UNP – Ranil, Malik, Mangala, Sajith???

    Backlash

  • 0
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    I did’nt realize left-handers were important for other things than cricket! I digress!!

    Elsewhere on the web I read that perennial crookster Tiran Alles had put forth some demands on behalf of Sajith Premadasa to Ranil W. I am inclined to think that this is Alles’ upteenth attempt at being relevant at something, other than the usual bag-boy role he is accustomed to.

    SP needs to prove to us, the skeptical public, that he really cares about People, about his father’s party and about the future of his country.Talk is really cheap when he has not earned a dime in his life. He has been living off his father’s money or on his MP’s salary. Take your pick! One makes him a very rich time-waster, the other a dumbo, wasting our precious time.

    Sajith Premadasa is not going to win Uva for the UNP. Not in our life time. He barely can win his own seat in H’tota after all his efforts there. He did not have the confidence he could manage Colombo Central where his father held RECORD majorities, during his time. So much for his capabilities.

    Ranil W is hoping Mahinda’s bad-times will come soon, eventually. Afterall, the broken clock is also right, twice a day! So he is waiting, for misfortune to strike others, that will in turn make his good fortune. How miserable must one be, to succeed after another’s misfortune. Is’nt Moosalaya the correct term?

  • 0
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    The UNP must be scraping the bottom of the barrel to have to choose between RW and SP.

    RW: What has he done in the past twenty years except warm and chair and not do his job. He gets all the perks of office and is still taken seriously by foreign embassies, but he has a snowflake’s chance in hell of winning the presidency and is going to give MR a free 3d term. Leader of the Opposition? This inarticulate clown? Imagine if Colvin, NM, JR, et al in the opposition if the 18th Amendment was to be proposed. We would have thundering speeches, full of eloquence and learning, that would have galvanized the population. What did this loser do? Boycotted the proceedings! Duh!!

    CT and other websites are so full of reports of high crimes and misdeamenours, Night races, law college principal, sons & daughters as diplomats, UL Chairman. But where are the debates in Parliament? This loser is waiting for the people to be so tired of MR that he will come in by default. Pity the Colombo electorate won’t do what the Central Committee doesn’t have gonands for, not give this guy any votes in the election, but I think he will still hang on.

    SP: Son of a superstitious yokel beholden to Kerala witch-doctors, what has done to merit the mantle of leader of the UNP? Where are his speeches on policy matters, his leadership? He’s just waiting for the crown to fall on his head and then he will replay his old man’s yokel culture of building clock-towers and have his PSD abduct and kill the new Richard de Zoysa’s.

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    It is Premadasas who destroyed UNP. Premadasas are uneducated, uncultured, [Edited out] with no respect for decency. They have inborn voracity for power and wealth. They are rogues by DNA. They destroyed the vision and mission of JR. JR nurtured a succession plan for the party and a development model for the country based on an executive presidency system aimed at preventing racist, roguish and moronic SLFP beggars grabbing power of the country in another hingana-manioc-cycle thereby taking the country among to the developed nations in the world. But the shanty-born-and-bred lavariya Premadasaya with mudukku mentality destroyed all those goodies and visions for the country by grabbing political power and following his own egocentric and ego-inflating fantasies. The only thing that goes to the credit of RP is his patience without resorting to upsetting the party’s common cause until power is obtained from SLFP housewife and familiocracy. Like his ill-bred son Sajith, RP did not sleep with the powers that be and did untold damage to his own party. On the contrary, SP is a pawn and a proxy of Rajapakshas. He does not wish UNP to come to power. This subhuman, beast-faced and beast-minded, corrupt and dimwitted to the core pathetic creature of deformed Premadasa lineage is the perennial curse of UNP. From the very second he descended from the stage at Passara this animal began his perceived summum bonum mission of his life, “destroy UNP”. If one does not understand what I say just tune in to Sirasa paspadanguwa of kallathoni Maharaja at 7 p.m. every day and understand the meaning and direction of what they try to dump on public mind. This puppet as well as the Sirasa and other puppets are being maneuvered and manipulated by the Rajapakshas to achieve their divisive and undermining objectives on opposition political players. It is now clear to Rajapakshas that the common candidate is the truly foolproof winning trump card in presidential race and therefore they use Sajith to prevent UNP from agreeing to a CC. That is why this SP loser and Kili’s media rag are thrashing NGO karayo etc. and claiming and clamoring about green colour, elephant symbol and other sambals, about how JR and RP won, that UNPers are colour-blind except to green bla bla! The party is fully absorbed in the election to come in a few days while this deplorable eunuch is busy hitting Mangala Samaraweera, abolishing leadership council, appointing his own election campaign body, ousting KJ from leadership council etc.! Is this how a faithful soldier engaged in election battle must conduct himself to make his party win? Rather the fucker is full time engaged in waging a war within his own party! It is in the best interest of the party the sooner the bastard is got rid of the party never to return again and discover suitable talents to take over the party in future.

    It is time UNP and JVP come to a policy merger. Nowhere in the world there is now a total pure Marxism at operation. In fact Carl Marx wrote Marxism in a capitalist country to distribute the capitalist goodies among the working class in a reasonable way. A begging country like Sri Lanka drowned to the neck in debt cannot have Marxism in any acceptable and decent way. What is possible is to gradually introduce and include social and economic goodies and systems advocated in Marxism in the capitalist system. All our existing systems, relations, dependencies, strengths and assistance are based and linked to capitalist countries and without them we cannot advance in any meaningful way into the developed world. Besides the mindset of people are DNA bound to capitalism and no amount of Socialism sloganeering could change that mindset. Such type of complete system change is possible only after a radical, fundamental and sweeping social upheaval against the existing economic system. For such a radical mind transformation to occur there has to have been a long time existing colossal poverty, suffering, class division, abject hopelessness and simmering anger against the ruling elite and their system none of which finds existence in any sufficient amount in the current context. There is no socialism in China or Russia. China is bent on exploiting our country for the welfare of their own country. They would buy nothing from us but would sell to us even their used condoms as hair bands! This is not a joke but an actuality. What is feasible is that JVP engages with UNP and come to common platform of a modified economic model so as to address the real concrete issues social and economic with practicality without paying too much attention to the label of the package or from which ideology they came from.

    To end Rajapaksha kleptocracy every bit of hitherto wasted energy, unity and sanity is needed. Together we win and divided we die is the motto and reality. Alone, may be UNP could win, but JVP never would. But united, as sure as the sun rise is the winning prospect! There, prompted by the move, SF would rush in, all minority fronts would gather around, all Sinhala Buddhist fringe fronts would mobilize, and seeing the transformation and hope and the vistas of future which the Rajapakshas have been denying to the citizens those who voted for the UPFA mislead by the war victory marketing would swarm in to support the new Force of Hope and Future! Juggernaut Rajapaksha would be reduced to his own pronounced Katakirilli in the deserted land.

    Rajapakshas won’t let go though. They would hang on, rig the election results and even try to repeat SF incarceration! When SF was illegally arrested using the mercenaries in the Vegetable Army everyone went into the hiding and did nothing. This is where every bit of energy, grit, persistence and fearlessness of unity and sacrifice is needed. If it is the UNP or a particular candidate that they usurp power from and arrest after victory the reaction would be lackluster. But if it is the Common Candidate in whom all the stakeholders had placed their ultimate hope of salvation it would not be easy game for Rajapakshas to waylay and plunder another’s victory. Rajapakshas have everything to lose, so are the millions who laid all their eggs in one basket. One has lost everything, a spark of anger would be glowing, cyclone of denial, revulsion and revolution would be blowing across the entire country. Now is the time of revolution: the whole system must halt, strike, revolt. Firstly it would be the brave soldiers of social revolution who would dare to the roads which vehicles vanguard by bulldozers to roll over any Rajapaksha resistance. The news would spread and the others would follow with whatever anti-regime slogans and slings. The whereabouts of Rajapaksha must be known to the public and that is where they are heading towards to surround. This time they are going to nail the fucker on the head. The revolutionists must be prepared to hang on for a few days, choke and suffocate the life line of Rajapakshas long enough. And when the country goes into chaos mode and when the still Rajapaksha happy traitors are hit in the butt by the crippling conditions all would have to support the fight in order to survive-with no medicine, no fuel, no food, no transportation, no electricity, no functioning system survival would be impossible. The blood in everybody would be simmering in anger against Rajapakshas. Last days of the doom of Gadhafi would be the most sought after goal. This is the potential of a suitable Common Candidate and what the Regime is desperate to prevent using Sajith, Sirasa, Tiran and bankrupt two-cent media eunuchs.

    It is the spark of hope on Japan and magnanimity invoked in the Allies by JR that enabled Japan to rise from the dust and destruction of war and Hiroshima which the Japanese premier iterated, reiterated and echoed when he visited here the other day. Japan is still on Sri Lanka’s side sole due to JR’s noble and wise words and not due to anything the SLFPers or the Rajapakshas have done. In fact Rajapakshas antagonized Japan by meting out step motherly treatment to the premier a few days back acting on the agenda of the Chinese colonialists. Chinese must be handled decisively because it is they who are giving the Rajapakshas carte blanche strength to engage in more and more corruption and destruction. It is this type of farsighted and intelligent approach that is required to shape the destiny of this country.

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