28 September, 2023


JVP & SJB Issue Ultimatums After Ranil’s Hint At Being A Full Term PM

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

In a series of public rallies and speeches last week, both the JVP and the SJB have been issuing ultimatums, calling upon the Ranil-Rajapaksa government to step down and hand over the government to their respective alliances in parliament. Neither ultimatum is a response to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s hint at being full-term PM, i.e., continuing as PM for the remainder of the term of the current parliament. Rather, the JVP and the SJB seem convinced that nothing much is going to change under Ranil Wickremesinghe, and now is their time to step in and lead an interim government. Neither party has the numbers to do anything in parliament. The JVP has three and the SJB 54, but their unstated logic might be that if Ranil Wickremesinghe could become Prime Minister leading only himself as a nominated MP, why not they? Their stronger argument is the failure of the current interim Prime Minister to show even some results or changes on the ground.

According to Sajith Premadasa, “the super Prime Minister has failed.” Anura Kumara Dissanayake recalled the high expectations that greeted Mr. Wickremesinghe’s appointment as PM and the fact that “Nothing (of the sort) has happened. The crisis has worsened. In the meantime, the Rajapaksas have been enabled to come out from their hiding places.” The worst point in the worsening of the crisis was the realization that the country’s fuel stock has dropped to a day’s requirement. And there was nothing palpably done to manage the supply and distribution of scarce goods even after Mr. Wickremesinghe became Prime Minister nearly two months ago.

Dr. Usvatte-aratchi has written a very timely article (The Island, July 1), on Sri Lanka’s “scarcity economy.” Sri Lankans are experiencing not only the full pains of a scarcity economy, but they are also suffering all the worsts of a scarcity polity. Parliament has become the biggest hoarder of idiocy and inaction. While an early election to throw out the whole lot of them is a virtual impossibility, it will also be no easy task to forge an effective and efficient interim government out of the current parliament. That is the national dilemma and it is not clear how it will be resolved by the JVP’s and the SJB’s ultimatums, whether carried forward separately or jointly.

Although both Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Sajith Premadasa have issued ultimatums, it is the words of the JVP leader that seems to have caused a stir in political circles. The Island editorial on Friday, July 1, captioned it as “JVP’s call to arms” and described the JVP strategy in three phases: “bringing down the incumbent government, forming an interim administration and holding a general election.”

A general election in the current circumstances is anathema to most observers, even though in fairness to the JVP – its leader is not calling for an election literally tomorrow or in any immediate sense. The call for election must be understood in the same figurative sense as the aragalaya’s call for expelling all 225 MPs. Much was made of it when the expel-all-225 call emerged from Galle Face, but no one took notice when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured the people from Kotte that they have the power to throw out the whole 225 lot. That was in his last ‘biweekly statement’ on the economy.

The JVP/NPP, even though miniscule in parliament, may have greater credibility because of its unity of purpose and capacity for mass action. The SJB and its leader lack credibility not only in the country but also internally among its own MPs. The two parties and their leaders have been virtually absent from parliament throughout the aragalaya revolt. Neither of them was effective in articulating the people’s protest with the business of parliament. Even after Ranil Wickremesinghe became Prime Minister, the two parties should have been constructively badgering the new government about all and every aspect of the situation in the country on a daily basis. But the both the JVP and SJB have been missing in action – the SJB, somewhat predictably, and the JVP, quite surprisingly.

While the JVP/SJB ultimatums can be understood in the hopeless gravity of the current circumstances, there is very little to see by way of organizational build up or political momentum that has led to the two ultimatums. More importantly, insofar as the intended outcome is an interim government, the two parties ought to demonstrate the new dynamic in parliament that they will be able to achieve and at least present an outline of a lean (15 at most) but competently effective cabinet that can be forged out of this parliament. They should also indicate how they would address such little details as the continuance of the current President and the continuing role of the current Prime Minister.

Politics of Renunciation

The tasks within parliament are by no means easy, but they are not impossible. While all 225 of the current lot cannot be replaced immediately in one fell swoop, they can be deliberately changed to retire the old worn-outs and bring in new talent. The Supreme Court (divided) ruling on the nomination of Dhammika Perera has opened a path to bring in unlisted but capable Sri Lankans as new MPs and appoint them Ministers in an interim government. There are more than a handful of Sri Lankans who can play a very positive role as interim cabinet ministers in addressing the country’s current challenges. An interim government can find Sri Lankans with far greater credentials to be in cabinet than the dubious experience of Dhammika Perera in running gambling outlets and hijacking corporate boards.

The JVP, despite its 3-member size, is by far the only Party that has indicated its willingness to sacrifice its MPs to bring in new MPs through the National List system. It is time that other parties also announced their readiness to retire some of their MPs to be replaced by new MPs. It is more than time that some of the old warriors in parliament announced their voluntary retirement either immediately or by way of an undertaking that they will not seek election or nomination to be an MP after the current parliament is dissolved. Wouldn’t it be a grand and gallant gesture if all Rajapaksa family MPs were to announce their political retirements effective immediately?

And it will not be asking too much of Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe to solemnly announce that he will retire from politics after his current ‘interim’ work is done in the present parliament. That he will not be a candidate again for any election in Sri Lanka. Such an announcement will open a floodgate for others to follow suit. Such renunciations are among the nobler parts of South Asian political culture, not to mention Sri Lanka’s own civilizational ethos. More importantly, political renunciations can be the only way to cultivate in the short term a polity of abundance in response to an economy of severe scarcity.

In his Friday article, Usvatte-aratchi emphasizes the point that “there is nobody compelling our government to seek support from IMF. They are free go elsewhere as some who recently were in their government still urge.” That is the stark reality which should not be missed “behind veils of jargon woven by financial analysts,” and “it is not something that we have a choice about.” The JVP’s critics have lost no time in questioning its position on seeking help from the IMF. That is a fair question to ask and one the JVP must answer if it is serious about being part of an interim government, let alone leading it. The JVP should do better than its old-left counterparts who went with their socialist cap in hand to the Russian Embassy in Colombo, looking for oil but got a humiliating lesson in current global realities.

Sri Lanka is not only going through the worst of times, but it is also caught up in the worst of worlds. A recent conference of Central Bankers in Portugal, headed by the big three from the US, EU and UK, presented a gloomy picture for the world economy with no immediate end in sight. That is also the reality that no interim government in Sri Lanka, with or without the JVP, can afford to miss. Add to that a world of polities in the west as well as elsewhere, which are divided between themselves and within themselves, the US being the prime, super-power example. Sri Lanka requires more than ultimatums (by the JVP and SJB) and full-term PM fancying (by Ranil Wickremesinghe) to get through its worst of times in the worst of worlds.

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Latest comments

  • 15

    Ranil came in thinking he can turn things around. So far he had been totaly unscuessful. Japan and IMF chief have said the government is misusing funds. World bank twice denied government claims of possible funding from WB. Ranil is “Mr.Unclean” especially after the so called “yahapalanaya” government

    • 8

      Rajan: The military is on the streets and Sri lanka is a US backed military dictatorship with US puppet Bondscam Ranil Wickramasinghe and US citizen Goat Rajapakse negotiating with the IMF to bailout US vulture funds and Sovereign bond debt holders by selling Sri Lanka’s ports, airports, telecom frequencies to US and Indian Companies like Adani also a front for BlackRock! The Military is on the streets So, Ranil will serve a full term with US backing !
      But Today there are also massive protests against IMF in Argentina and the Minister for economy has resigned. Gota and Ranil and the Washington Con-circus and its financial advisors should all to back to US– get out of the Indian Ocean and go back to the Pacific and Atlantic where they belongs. No one wants corrupt US backed dictators in the Indian Ocean world!

    • 3

      Ranil is not so stupid as to imagine that he can turn things around.
      What was in his mind is anybody’s guess.
      What was in the mind of those who wanted him there may be easier to guess.
      Frankly, one may debate which was the most rotten egg that made a bid for the job?
      Rotten eggs are rotten eggs..

      • 1

        “Rotten eggs are rotten eggs..”

        Not really, it is very portent in the hands of peaceful protesters.

  • 12

    “…..After Ranil’s Hint At Being A Full Term PM…..”

    Ha….haa…..haaaa…..funniest joke in a while!!
    How can he complete a full term this time….. that he failed to do 5 times before…..???

  • 17

    Ranil’s fraudulent character still has about a few hundred followers. They are almost all in Colombo and that one old man in Australia, I think Alwis, now gone quiet like Old Codger..They are all financially established, having made money in various underhand ways or inherited from their crooked parents. They all are culturally alienated, pretending to a Western sophistication but really brown skinned conmen looking for opportunities to make money in anyway. Neither West or East , unwanted in both places.

    These spivs ( well dressed crooks) one theme is ‘only Ranil can do it !”

    There is no country in history which thought like this. A man who has been leader of UNP for 25 years , Prime Minister more than seven times( is it 8, sorry!) is now the new hope. Look at the state of the UNP and the country today ! It is not solely the Rajapaksas

    Ranil drops names of various people in the IMF so on hinting he can talk to them and they will immediately comply. Unless they all are closet gays , this will not happen ! See ,it is not happening you hundred morons. Your era is dead !

    • 10

      Who is behind Ranil? Defeated UNP politicians.He has given them anotehr lease of life -thanks to Gota. This is an illegal government. A person who was defeated b y the people in the last election has been given power to steer the economy and the country during this critical period. This is against the advice given by the Mahanayakas as well. What we need at this time is a leadership council with a rotating leader for 6 months(can be extended). It should consist not only party leaders but also capable professionals who can make a contribution to salvage the country. This is not a usual time. Very unusual.

    • 13

      No, I haven’t gone quiet. My time isn’t as unlimited as yours, so I prefer not to waste it, you see. “Never Argue With a Fool, Onlookers May Not Be Able To Tell the Difference” – Samuel Clemens.
      I suppose that applies to Rajapaksa slaves as well.

      • 10

        Who is foolish ?

        Can you show me one word I have said in favour of the Rajapkses ?

        However Ranil has cunningly organized things in such away that if you oppose the Rajapkses or any other evil, the only alternative is Ranil ! ( By hogging the UNP leadership) .

        Don’t you see it ? This ranil factor has not only ruined the UNP , it has also made it possible for all kinds of rascals to emerge as leaders. Ranil is the curse

        And don’t think Ranil is the only way, no man is indispensable. The only limitation is your mind. If your mind thinks ranil is a wonder boy, it is your reality

        • 7

          ha ha ha, Old Codger your pro ranil comments have so many likes while my anti ranil comments have so many dislikes !

          However when you take a vote in the country or even within the UNP it is the opposite result ! Ranil is simply hated .

          The propaganda machinery of Ranil ( a few old Royalists gays ) is so obvious and foolish.

          You think putting likes in front of your comments makes ranil strong ?

          • 11

            deepthi silva

            “You think putting likes in front of your comments makes ranil strong ?”

            Whether Ranil is strong or weak it is difficult to tell at this moment. However watch this clip and let us know by letting loose the Rana-viruses on unarmed civilians make your dear Gota and his hooligans strong and brave.


            By the way are you in love with Gota or his ***** carrying hooligans?

            • 1

              Native Vedda,
              the # of Dislikes
              is a measure of the stupidity
              of those with whom we interact!

            • 3

              deepthi silva

              By the way the hooligan who was kicking an unarmed peaceful civilian waiting to buy fuel at a petrol station in Yaggahapitiya, Kurunegala in north-western SriLanka has been identified as Lt. Col. Viraj Kumarasinghe, Commanding Officer of the 1 Sri Lanka National Guard of Sri Lanka Army.

              Ask your great king who in his new clothes to promote and send him on a diplomatic assignment abroad.

              By the way today two cases of assassination were dismissed in the Eastern courts.

          • 9

            Unlike you, I don’t write to get likes, nor do I give myself likes. I suppose your thumb machine has run out of batteries.
            “Who is foolish ?”
            Let’s say there is a guy who insists repeatedly that being gay affects intelligence.
            Let’s say there is a guy who keeps on and on about some bond scam while ignoring that Srilankan loses 25 billion a year.
            Which one of the above ( or both) is a fool?
            You decide.

          • 8

            “deepthi silva / July 29, 2021
            2 0
            OC , there is no point is these arguments. That there was a man called Caesar and that he conquered many lands is a fact, as there are several records of these.
            What he did in his bedroom must remain conjecture as much as what Gandhi did in his.”
            What would you call a person who writes the above, but still continues with a monomaniacal obsession with what Ranil does in his bedroom?
            A fool, perhaps?
            One who can write both these passages within months:
            “deepthi silva / April 28, 2022
            27 0
            Very good writing Sarath de Alwis. Shame , that our present day education in the local languages, cannot produce intellects of this quality.”
            And :”Ranil’s fraudulent character still has about a few hundred followers. They are almost all in Colombo and that one old man in Australia, I think Alwis,”
            A senile teenager?
            Sorry, DS, you asked for it. Now go away and learn to write sense.

        • 7

          Aiyooooooooooooooooooooo deepthi silva

          Gota is drooling. He expects tourists to arrive in billions.
          Two French women tourists have been raped in Trincomalee yesterday.

          What the hell are those 365,000 members of armed forces, 100,000 police, …. doing to protect the foreigners.
          Do you want dollars or not?

          • 3

            Native, please tell us where this is from, I couldn’t find it.

            ‘Two French women tourists have been raped in Trincomalee yesterday.’

            PS Are you a Breaking Bad fan? I saw that Tuco has appeared in these columns!

            • 4


              “PS Are you a Breaking Bad fan?”


              “Native, please tell us where this is from, I couldn’t find it.”

              I am sorry I could not remember where I read the news as I scan at least 15 news papers a day and a lot of whats app items as well (SJ should note, I am doing a Dayan here.).
              Usually I keep a copy of everything either important or nasty.

              I have checked almost all news papers published in the last two days, however I couldn’t find.

              I apologise for not being able to support my comment.

              • 1

                Native, thank you.


              • 0

                “…lot of whats app items as well “
                That is where the all spice gossip is.
                Forgot the glass ball?

          • 5

            Native and Old codger, a synonym for identical twins , may be like Ranil and MR !

            You keep sending me criticisms of Rajapakses as if I am responsible !

            Should you not direct them to your hero ranil, the unelected MP who decided to be PM under GR the military man ? Before that Ranil aimed to be PM under Sarath Fonseka, who lost badly however at elections. Then ranil became PM under Sirisena.

            Even now cant you see the cheap rascal for who he is ? The latest hoax is Ranil the nation saviour !

            • 3

              desperate silva

              There lived a certain man in Medamulana long ago
              He was big and strong, in his eyes a flaming glow
              Most people looked at him with terror and with fear
              But to Medamulana chicks he was such a lovely dear
              He could preach the Sinhala/Buddhism like a preacher
              Full of ecstasy and fire
              But he also was the kind of teacher
              Women would desire
              Ra ra Rajapaksa
              Lover of the beauty queen
              There was a cat that really was gone
              Ra ra Rajapaksa
              Medamulana’s greatest love machine
              It was a shame how he carried on

    • 3

      deepthi silva

      It appears Gota might succeed where SiriMao failed.
      The way things are Gota may ban all motor vehicles and re-export every motor vehicle as classic cars back to where they were manufactured.

      We will get used to the idea of travelling by bicycles.
      Please see what the Chinese were doing in the 1960s:
      Late 1960s/ Early 1970s China – Car and Bicycle Production, Industry, Automobiles, Colour Footage

      No foreign Exchange
      No Dollars
      No Petrol
      No Environmental pollution
      No Climate change
      No freak weather
      No accidents


      No need for Chinese built roads hence send the roads back to China along with SJ.

  • 1

    You all are still not thinking beyond the box. You all still wait until Gota or Ranil to resign so that one of your preferred MOPS can be elected to the the next President and PM. Why dont hyou think beyond the box in an extra ordinary time like this? Why don’t all the political leaders(opposition) and civil society leaders visit Mahanayakas and camp there until a convention is held to form an interim de facto government? mahanayakas can invite the military and police chiefs also. When there is breakdown of normal civilian life and basic needs are being not met, such a situation calls for extra ordinary solutions(interim). Mahanayakas together with otehr religious leaders should form a National Council of reputed citizens from different walks of life to guide the interim governance mechanism until elections are held. This can be a parallell organisation to th ineffective parliament and executive President. Armed forces and the police have to protect both. International recognition should be given to the National COuncil thus formed and the interim government with a de facto Prime minister or a President. Religious and other civic leaders should be an advisory body. Mahanayaksa should invite all ambassodors for a meeting as well.

    • 10

      PCT, Good idea but Mahanayakas only receive big gifts and do not soil their fingers to act. Our nation is full of talkers, but no one does any acts and deeds except robbery.

    • 4

      Peradeniya Critical Tradition

      ” Why don’t all the political leaders(opposition) and civil society leaders visit Mahanayakas and camp there until a convention is held to form an interim de facto government?”

      What for?
      Have you forgotten the Saffron Brigade have been running and ruining this island for more than 75 years, as backseat drivers? Haven’t we had enough? Are you trying to legitimise their unwanted interference? Asgiria Anunayake didn’t mind a fascist being elected to the top job. That was exactly what 6.9 did.

      Are you a secret admirer of Fascist Theocracy?

    • 2

      Peradeniya Critical Tradition,

      Mahanayakas don’t control the government. They simply advise political leaders. Sri Lanka is not a theocracy. The TNA (a terrorist organization) has more political influence than the monks, that is the reality.

  • 3

    VP & SJB Issue Ultimatums After Ranil’s Hint At Being A Full Term PM

    Ranil Magic is not charge because no power IMF advice, on strong anti-corruption measures & promotion of the rule of law. This is what they have studied it not that they gave the card to withdraw money from the ATM. His experience is good for old days, the full term he will be borrowing money It seems that he spoke good English and saw opposite on the ground. he wants to put on record of sri lanka he was a PM.

  • 1

    Author Rajan says, “While the JVP/SJB ultimatums can be understood in the hopeless gravity of the current circumstances, there is very little to see by way of organizational build up or political momentum that has led to the two ultimatums. More importantly, insofar as the intended outcome is an interim government, the two parties ought to demonstrate the new dynamic in parliament that they will be able to achieve and at least present an outline of a lean (15 at most) but competently effective cabinet that can be forged out of this parliament”. He is still thinking in terms of parliamentary solutions? Is this the only way open to suffering masses in Lanka? Protesting is one way to express disaffection. Are there other strategies avialable? How about a large scale, well coordinated Sathyagraha in front of…? Passive resistance.

    • 8

      Any Satyagraha can achieve only what is POSSIBLE,
      Now, Nothing is possible except to sell the family jewels = the dead ports, airports, the useless Port City etc.
      Even then.. even dollars to feed the masses will not be obtained,
      The well fed mega useless armed forces cannot be sold but can reduce expenditure by putting them to do agriculture. Some produce can be be harvested soon to alleviate hunger.

    • 2

      Ever thought of mass suicide?

    • 3

      Peradeniya Critical Tradition

      “Are there other strategies avialable?”

      Please find out from SJ who being a big time Mao supporter might have some tricks up his sleeves, or perhaps he could quote from his pocket size red book, or recommend a very very very long march while chanting anti-Hindian slogans, ………

      Here is some questions for so called leaders:

      14 March 2014 If one meets a powerful person—Adolf Hitler, Joe Stalin or Bill Gates–ask them five questions:
      What power have you got?
      Where did you get it from?
      In whose interests do you exercise it?
      To whom are you accountable?
      And how can we get rid of you? https://pragdave.me/blog/2014/03/14/tony-benns-questions-for-those-in-power.html
      Please now decide if you need the Saffron Brigade to democratise this island?

  • 4

    Do anyone wonder what would have happened in October 2018 if the TNA had supported MR and not Ranil W to remain as PM. They could have got something for the people of North and East!
    I am 100% sure we could have avoided the Easter Bombings of April 2019 that happened possibly with Maithri Srisena’s ‘BLESSING’

    • 3

      Whose intelligence do you question about the outcome of an MR–TNA alliance?
      The TNA can be daft, but not that daft.
      I will not go further into your IF hypotheses.

  • 2

    “Gota go home”.
    Do you electrify the nation with this sterile, empty impotent slogan.?
    We plead with Gota to resign, expecting Gota to accede to our pleadings and disappointed when Gota remains adamant.
    We are being naïve to expect Gota to resign voluntarily, why not assure him that he will be treated like our other former Presidents with all financial benefits, perks and privileges treated like a king in retirement, then he might relent.
    We expect miracles to happen!
    The aragalaya has lost the revolutionary spirit but instead revisit to the practices prevalent during the colonial era of sending petitions to the supposed benevolent colonial masters.
    Only a revolution that could topple the regime on their own, have the potential to create a new order- a new Sri Lanka struggling to born

    • 2

      you said you support Aragalaya, now you are saying that aragalaya has lost the revolutionary sprit and talking about revolution. what sort of revolution and who will lead it?

  • 2

    “Rather, the JVP and the SJB seem convinced that nothing much is going to change under Ranil Wickremesinghe, and now is their time to step in and lead an interim government.”
    What makes it certain that their stepping will make things any better.
    The MR fiasco seems to have upset SJB’s plans for a joy ride on the Aragalaya.
    The JVP has nothing to lose by dissolution of parliament.
    The question is whether the existing parliamentary system can even pretend that it can deliver the goods.
    The Aragalaya should stick to its guns, and move towards its logical conclusion..

  • 2

    Dear oc,
    Here’s a six minute account of what’s happened in Parliament yesterday, by Palki Sharma:
    Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s exchange with Ranil:
    Twenty-eight minutes in Sinhala. Also in Sinhala; a twenty-minute account of what happened in Parliament:
    This is by Bharatha Thennnakoon; he conveys his interpretations without unnecessary digressions.

    • 0

      Where is your NRIC number. I think this account is hacked.

  • 0

    “Aragalay” is a group of protesters who want6 to make radical changes to the existing system of present governance that is struggling with massive economic crisis with no end in sight.

    “Aragalay” presently is not a well structured organization with a clear vision and objectives.

    NPP/JVP and frontline socialists may be in it in a big way, but there are others also in it
    It is still a loose organization and is still evolving. I am supporting this broad organization. If sufficient numbers join this organization, they- the parts could influence the whole and could influence the decision- making process.

    If Tamils, Muslims and upcountry Tamils join in large numbers and participate in the struggle and joi9ntly undergo repression and suffering, naturally there arises comradeship and fellowship and polices evolve and crystallize around the grievances and aspirations of all around the protesters.

    There is no majority or minority in this scheme of things; all are equal as fellow members.

    If we stand in as mere observers, we will not be taken seriously and may be ignored and be irrelevant and will have no say in the final outcome.

    There is nothing intrinsically “right” and “wrong” in ideal terms, but what the revolution represent is the result of competing forces around the protesters.

    . Let us join the mainstream and reap the benefits and suffering equally and build up a new Sri Lanka.

  • 0

    I hate to argue with old uncles but for a minute what are the solutions that the JVP and SJB have to get dollars now to solve the problem and what kind of legitimacy or solutions do they have for us to be able to get IMF to help? inquiring minds want to know.

    I think even for fools to believe someone has to give a good enough story. I dont see anything here other than we will be more legitimate? What makes you more legitimate and what solutions do you have?

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