17 August, 2022


Lonely Politics – Maithri Style

By Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Mahinda Rajapaksa is an untouchable in the eyes of President Maithripala Sirisena. He made his bold and unexpected statement on the 14th of July 2014. “He does not approve of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidature at the forthcoming general elections as a UPFA contestant; yet, he is willing to relent to popular demand of his coalition partners in the UPFA and let him contest but not with his blessings”. Attempts by the UPFA to discard Maithripala Sirisena from the leadership of the SLFP and UPFA were thwarted by his legal advisors with an enjoining order on the 15th of July. President Sirisena has committed to remain neutral at the forthcoming General Elections. A leader of a party, who is not willing to lead his lot from the front, and thereby give the advantage to the opponent. A charge he will have to live with, at least until August 17th 2015, and probably thereafter should Mahinda Rajapaksa face a humiliating defeat.

President Sirisena has been named and shamed with everything on earth from traitor to betrayer of the common opposition by many (including me) for not taking a stand against Mahinda Rajapaksa’s zealous gamble in reentering electoral politics. Has he managed to clear his conscience with his (very very late) statement? Has he done justice to the people who elevated him to the highest office? Has he done justice to the party that he served for 49 years? These questions would remain in the minds of friends and foes through out the tenure of his presidency and may be engraved in his tombstone.

MaithripalaThe forthcoming election is turning out to be, not just about loyalty to political parties, but encouraging signs of principles in politics. The January 8th regime change has set in motion increasing signs of returning to the cherished democratic values that became a rare commodity with JR Jayewardene’s draconian Executive Presidential powers. For the first time in the Sri Lankan political history, issues of democracy, ethanol, corruption, drugs, nepotism, and more importantly, undesirables in parliament have become the most talked about platform slogans. The wheeler-dealers who have dominated Sri Lankan politics during the last three decades may disappear.

The UPFA, which was forced to give nominations to most of the sitting MPs of the last parliament (most of whom have multiple charges of indiscipline) have come under severe flak from their opponents for not cleaning up the undesirables from politics. President Sirisena’s attempt to influence positive changes failed. The Presidents legal advisors thwarted an attempted coup by the Mahinda Rajapaksa faction with an enjoining order against the SLFP’s attempt to convene a meeting of their central committee, probably to oust Maithripala Sirisena. Some have broken ranks from the UPFA and joined their foes in the UNP to fight their common enemy, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lankan’s who favour the new coalition, the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) will breathe a sigh of relief for the opportunity to continue their January 2015 quest for democracy and good governance. They will overwhelmingly vote for the elephant symbol. It is indeed a twist of fate that the likes of Champika Ranawaka and Venerable Rathana Thero were forced to join their arch rivals, Ranil and the UNP clan that includes the minorities to survive in politics. They would have ended up as political discards, should they have attempted to contest on their own. Their bold rebellion against the mighty Rajapaksas’ was briefly rewarded with success at the January 2015 Presidential elections, yet Mahinda Rajapaksa and the political orphans of the UPFA’s, Dinesh Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Wimal Weerawansa and Bandula Gunawardane struck back with venom by taking control of the UPFA. The unprincipled politicians wanted to regain power at any cost, found support in the leader of the opposition, Nimal Siripala De Silva, the SLFP and UPFA Secretary-Generals Anura Priyadharshana Yapa and Sisil Premajayanth. These politicians were in power for over two decades. Their unexpected role in the opposition during the last six months has been difficult without their perks and privileges.

While congratulating the movers and shakers of the newly formed United National Front for Good Governance, there needs to be a strong conviction amongst the partners to ensure that their noble ideals are adhered to, and no space is provided for the wheeler dealers in parliament to join the band wagon, post August 17th as evidenced after the January 2015 victory. The concept of a National Government is honorable, yet should not be at the cost of democratic values as experienced during the 180-day experiment with Maithripala Sirisena’s UPFA. The rogues joined a desperate Sirisena who wanted to bring in his promised reforms in 100 days. It became a free for all carnival with the most undesirables jumping the UPFA ship in support of the Maître led government.

The United National Party (UNP) and Ranil Wickremesinghe who shouldered the bulk of the responsibility in the campaign to bring Maithripala Sirisena as President were not provided the necessary recognition for their sacrifices. The UPFA led opposition’s majority in parliament paved the way for them to hold the President and Prime Minister to ransom over the 100-day reforms. The passage of the 19th Amendment to the constitution can be attributed as the single most significant success of Maithipala Sirisena. The other major reforms, including the reforms to the electoral process failed, mainly because of the opposition led by minor and minority parties. This may have been averted if the reforms were rushed through immediately after the January 8th victory and an early election announced.

While it could be argued that the President and other constituent members contributed their best to maintain a stable government and bring in the promised reforms, the treacherous behind the scenes activity of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his clan within the UPFA contributed to the unforeseen delays in implementing the 100 day programme.

The body language of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the United National Party seem to indicate that the bond between Sirisena and Wickremesinghe was always intact. Was it a strategy adopted by Maithripala to keep the coalition intact for the general election and destroy any momentum Mahinda Rajapaksa may have achieved with his bunch of corrupt and nefarious partners in the SLFP/UPFA? Whatever the reasons may be, Sirisena was seen as losing credibility until he spoke out, a speech that most Sri Lankans feel came a little too late. He should have stayed firm, and said a definite no to the candidature of Mahinda Rajapaksa and thereby eliminate the undesirables from Sri Lanka’s legislature. He would have proved that he was a statesman who changed the course of Sri Lankan history at the cost of his party.

Maithripala Sirisena made a conscious decision that he would take on the draconian ruler, Mahinda Rajapaksa. Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP scarified their pride and drew a lot of flak from party cadres for giving the leadership to Maithripala Sirisena during the January 2015 elections. All this has opened up opportunities to make Sri Lanka, the real miracle of Asia with a new crew who could pilot Sri Lanka to prosperity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 10

    You conveniently omit Sirisena’s reference to the Central Bank Bond scandal. You don’t have the testicles to ever examine our sordid history under the UNP. LET ME REMIND YOU N
    2. COMMISSION recommended stripping RW of his civic rights.
    3. Sooriyakanda
    4. Mass graves
    5. Tyre pyre funerals for dissidents.
    6. PRAA, and other Para military death squads.
    7. Mass disappearances not only of JVP Terrorists but SLFP , LSSP, supporters
    8. RICHARD DE Zosya
    9. 1983 ethnic pogrom led by UNP thugs.
    10 1983 destruction of union workers under JRJ using emergency rule.
    11. Expulsion of TULF from parliament
    12. Tens of thousands dead sinhalese at the hands of UNP
    13. Rigged elections
    14. Rigged referendum
    15 attacks on judges.
    16. Attacks on CJ Neville Samarakoon
    17. LTTE terror and ethnic cleansing if Muslims by tigers.

    You sir, are a Muslim racist hiding behind a veil of sounding objective and rational when all you’re is a person driven by hatred of Vain glorious defeated dictator but you’re bloody BLIND to RW and crimes against humanity.

    You sir are mute about heroin smuggler Muslims on the UNP ticket . You’re blind to ludicrous SLMC demands for more seats than your population .

    You have not dared to utter a word about why Semasinghe wanted to silence the COPE report.

    May the JVP WIN more seats than MR.
    Do you remember how many people were killed by the UNP and did you have the balls to utter a SINGLE word during 1987 -1989 or before MR lost? No did you write your great intellectual op-eds before Jan 8th like the brave Gamini Viyangoda and others or are you a freedom fighter post Jan 8th only? You’re engaging in deception.

    MR WILL LOSE BIG TIME. But you’re racist demands will continue. Heroin smugglers will become ministers in the UNP regime because your blind Muslim voters are as stupid as us .

  • 5

    Hilmy Ahamed, what is your point?

    Your ranting / rambling appear to be oozing out of an inebriated mind.

    Next time, make sure you are free of intoxication / hallucination before you write.

  • 7

    It was the most confused statement that MS made on the 14th. He must have been preparing his speech for a few days to cover up his betrayal. He seems to have forgotten that it is because of the UNP that he is seated in the President’s chair and giving nomination to UNPs arch rival. He is an ungrateful and I do not what words to call him. What MR said about MS is on record. He called him a murderer etc etc. Now he is making a holy pious sounding statement. His SLFP which he wants to keep united, didn’t make him the the President. He got the block 4 million + votes of the UNP. He kicked the ladder that raised him by giving nomination to MR. If not for the UNPers who voted him, MR would have been the President and according to MS’s own words he and his family would be 6 feet under the ground.
    He could have refused to give the nomination- Was he scared of his former boss or did that mantra that MR has in his hand charmed him !!!Now he says that he won’t appoint MR as the PM. He will definitely appoint him and will make a confused statement to justify it.
    If he was a grateful and a sincere person, he should canvass for the UNP and not be neutral.
    Some who had called him a Judas were retracting after his speech on the 14th but to most of us it was an obvious cover up by JUdas.

  • 1

    Sirisena only lost credibility in the eyes of immature analysts and internet ranters !

    Many people wrote how this was the true functioning of democracy and how they respected the think tank that was behind Sirisena, to produce a counter move.

    Don’t make your mistakes greater by spewing forth more drivel.

  • 0

    Pres Sirisena no longer can continue to be Chairman of SLFP and UPFA and support UNP. It applies to former Pres CBK also. Both of them have to resign from SLFP and join UNP.
    What ever the allegations against MR and former Ministers, if the majority of party membership is against MS and CBK, these two has to resign.
    It is up to the Sri Lankan voters to decide whether to select SLFP/UPFA as next Govt not MS.
    MS has betrayed the party and now trying to use dictatorial powers on SLFP/UPFA. MS and CBK are not SLFP oriented. What they do is they are staying in the party and supporting UNP.
    They may be getting large amount of Money from foreign countries who are behind all these attempts to oust MR.

  • 0

    The Sirisena referred to MR has a King.. Same Sirisena has family members with a really large REstaurant in Polonnaruwa run by his son in law. Same man’s family has a big Hotel too. How does a Grama Sevaka’s son afford to go to very expensive Universities in England? Blind to one side while expressing outrage at the other because you have a racist agenda Hilmy. The SLMC greedy for power. They jump to the winning side all the time. They want more representation than their percentage of population. Heroin smugglers are in the cabinet as UNP members and running as UNP members in Puttalam. Have you bothered to write about those or even the Bond issue at all?

    MR will lose because a vain glorious man who LOST had no business trying to win again on another platform. RW will go berserk like they did from 1977 onwards when they get a predicted 2/3rd majority after Sirisena destroyed the SLFP. Yes the same SLFP which was targeted and attacked by the UNP. Mrs B victimized, so many attacked and so many killed by the UNP during the terrorist period and is betrayed by Sirisena. That is the issue here and not MR. He is scuttling his own party and how he sleeps at night is anyone’s guess.

    MS did not have the courage to refuse nomination and fix the party then and played a brilliant Machiavellian game. But all he has done is let down millions of Ordinary Sinhalese who are from the SLFP and expected some sort of arrangement and support to the grassroots movement. I do not care for MR but MS also voted for the 18Amendment and said Saadhu Saadhu all the way until he realized he was not going to be made PM and that MR was a greedy man. Duminda Dissanayake also fell out because his father was not made CM and was viewed as a Chandrika man. So it was also not on principle that they switched before Jan 8th. We all know why SLMC jumps: They are a very corrupt Muslim religious racist party only pushing racist muslim causes. They have to make money from whichever party is in power.

  • 0

    Malaysia which has a Muslim population but their percentage as the majority is far less than sinhala buddhists in Sri Lanka. They have only Islam as their official religion; Only
    .Sri Lanka doesn’t have an official religion but after 1972 it gave special recognition but it is NOT an official religion. Dumb Malay rule and buumiputhra rules forces people to study in Malay m they are repressive and since Mahatir Mohammed, it has become a pathetic slowly becoming autocratic backward Muslim nation.

    News item:
    A pop video of a Korean pop band embracing teenage girls in Malaysia has attracted heavy criticism and triggered a debate over the behaviour of young Muslim women in the country.

    Several girls, giggling and sometimes hesitant, can be seen acting out scenes from Korean dramas with different members of the band, all of which end in friendly hugs. A band member also kisses one girl on the top of her head.

    Islamic authorities for Kuala Lumpur, where the meeting took place, have said they will investigate the incident for possible violations of Sharia law, and have called on the girls involved to come forward to assist in the inquiry.

    What do you and Lateef say? We will never allow that backward Sharia in our nation.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.