2 April, 2023


Maithri From Zero To Hero

By Ranga Kalansooriya

Dr Ranga Kalansooriya

Dr Ranga Kalansooriya

It was from zero to hero last January – within six months hero to zero – but again on Tuesday this week President Maithripala Sirisena attempted to revive his position back – from zero to hero. So far he has been successful but the SLFP’s tug of war is now in the courts.

This is politics in Sri Lanka. Never a dull moment – and full of surprises. In fact the entire landscape of contemporary politics in Sri Lanka was always designed and destined by surprises. If we analyse at least past 25 years – assassination of President Premadasa, Gamini – Lalith assassinations, Chandrika’s emergence and her second term Presidency thanks to LTTE suicide bomb, Mahinda’s victory in 2005 thanks to LTTE’s boycott of northern votes, Maithri’s candidature and his victory, and also the developments thereafter for the past six months were perfect case studies for such political surprises.

These three cartoons appeared in media within last six weeks are perfect examples to the turn of events within a short span of time. Cartoonists send a humorous but strong social message relates socio-political issues or personalities and this is how Dasa Hapuwalana of Lankadeepa explained the recent political developments of the country, mainly with regard to the conduct of the President. But the cat is out of the bag now and we see a heavy internal battle within SLFP, the main constituent party of the UPFA after the “ballistic missile attack” on Mahinda by Maithri.

Cartoon - Maithree_UNP-June17He, during the much awaited speech, justified retaining SLFP and UPFA Chairmanship under tremendous pressure while attempting to clarify how it was important in delivering the 100-day promises in a battle through Parliament. President’s repeated claims about a Prime Minister of 47 seats in a 225 member Parliament was a signal that he himself had to handle Parliament battles single-handed, even to the extent of safe guarding the minority government against no-confident motions. Also he exposed clandestine plans to bring Rajapaksa back as Prime Minister following the no-confident motion against Wickremesinghe.

This speech spelt out the reasons for his silence and clarified his stand, much to the relief of Yahapalana supporters. But against many odds, he never stated that he was cornered and pushed to the wall by his own two general secretaries – Anura Yapa and Susil Premajayath, the most powerful duo of his camp mainly during an election period. Also he never explained how Rajapaksa camp got strengthened day by day – against all his attempts to thwart their plans and retain his grip within the party.

Cartoon - Maithree_July 13Rajapaksa who assured his political retirement on January 8 night at a closed door meeting with Ranil Wickremesinghe and requested his and his family safety (as we read in media), first made his appearance through a window frame in Medamulana within 48 hrs of his defeat. And then he went up to his roof-top with a megaphone to address a crowd in front of his house two days later, followed by daily temple visits cum politico-religious rallies, established an electoral office in Abhayaramaya, Narahenpita and then established a strong wing within the Darley Road SLFP headquarters. His buddies started rallies from Nugegoda without him on stage but at the last one in Matara he did not get into the political stage but got on a parapet wall to watch the rally. Maithri was watching the expansion of Rajapaksa camp – not day by day but on hourly basis – and responding to each single action of Rajapaksa in an attempt to retain his grip within the SLFP and UPFA, but he continued to fail. Maithri was a solitary fighter in that game.

Cartoon - Maithree_July 16Against all gossips of a newly emerging Mahinda – Maithri coalition, the President categorically claimed that his hostility towards Rajapaksa still remains intact and he was still against grating nominations to his predecessor. As explained through his own words Maithree had three choices. First was to resign from his party leadership – but it will allow Rajapaksa to comfortably replace him as party leader and run for polls at a point of strength. Thus, he did not want it to happen. The second option was to deny his nominations – and the Rajapaksa camp was ready with a strong plan B along with prepared nomination lists, party symbols and manifestos where again he would emerge from a position of strength. The third was to provide Rajapaksa and his cronies with nominations against all his wishes. One comment that appeared on social media after Maithri’s Tuesday speech was “Maithree pumped air into the balloon of Rajapaksa, let it go up and shot at it with a sharp bullet.”

Maithri’s decision to accept SLFP/UPFA leadership was widely criticized but his explanations could be justifiable – mainly to gain Parliamentary support for the implementation of his election pledges. But he failed to retain his grip as the party leader. Why? What was the mistake? To my mind he made a fundamental mistake in retaining the same office bearers who served under Rajapaksa regime, who back-stabbed him during the nomination battle. Anura Yapa was a strong confidante of Rajapaksa who was appointed to several responsible positions by the latter in order to safeguard the political interests of the regime. Remember the Parliamentary Select Committee to oust the Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake that conducted a rapid process within a few weeks under Yapa’s Chairmanship? Thereafter Yapa was ‘gifted’ with a powerful ministerial portfolio. Who was the immediate choice of Rajapaksa as the party general secretary when Maithri defected him at a crucial presidential elections? Thus, how can one expect Yapa to change his loyalty towards Maithri against Mahinda? A few changes in the party central committee did not bring him desired results. Both Susil and Yapa played a crucial role against their party leader to favor Rajapaksa.

On the other hand, Maithri claimed that all his attempts were to avoid a split within the SLFP. As Gamini Viyangoda, the convenor of the Purawesi Balaya explained Maithri put his party before the country. But be that as it may, I am puzzled whether Maithri – with his 49-year experience in politics – did not fore see the fact that a split within the SLFP rank was imminent whatever choice he would make out of the above said three options. He opted for the last option – provide nomination to Rajapaksa and then stab him in the back. One could easily argue that, the last option would destroy all the plans of Rajapaksa and make him but nothing at the general elections – as other two options would make him a strong candidate. But now it is clear that Maithri is not with Rajapaksa camp, Mahinda will not be appointed Prime Minister even he manage to secure majority seats, or even the opposition leader post. The last thing that Mahinda can expect is to become is a Member of Parliament for Kurunegala District.

Who has done et tu brute now?

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Latest comments

  • 16

    A good analysis. However, both MS and RW failed to strike when the iron was hot. They should have acted decisively on some issues f corruption, for which evidence was clearly available soo after 8th January, when MR and his camp were in shock, disaaray and retreat, the long experience of MS and RW, did not teach them this important lesson. MS under estimated MR and the the extent he can stoop. RW, should have insisted on earlier General Elections, once he realised the objectives of the opposition. the 100- day program was also a trap MS and RW set for themselves. The swallowed more than they could chew and failed to realise the opposition was would soon or later try to strangle them. Both under estimated their opponent and those backing/leading him. This was a serious mistake.

    Anyway, this is hindsight!


    • 8

      Ranga Kalansooriya

      RE: Maithri From Zero To Hero

      “It was from zero to hero last January – within six months hero to zero – but again on Tuesday this week President Maithripala Sirisena attempted to revive his position back – from zero to hero. So far he has been successful but the SLFP’s tug of war is now in the courts.”

      Thanks, good analysis.

      Had MS and RW dissolved the parliament just after passing 19A, it would have left Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cronies less time to recoup. One can always say things like that. That is water under the bridge.

      However, what Matripala Sirisena did on the 14th was brilliant, and caught Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cronies by surprise. Their counter was pre-emoted by the court challenge, and they are going to lose time. MaRa and cronies have been put on the defensive.

      Let us all hope Mahinda Rajapaksa and the cronies will be washed out on 17th of August.

      Then we can have the second celebrations for 2015, and sing

      MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa Ballata Giya

      ( They will be reborn as dogs- Maitripala Sirisena, both This life and Next Life)

      • 1

        Most probably Maithri From Zero To Hero to zero again after August 17th!

        • 0


          “Most probably Maithri From Zero To Hero to zero again after August 17th!”

          That depens on the ( Modaya, Mootal, Fool) /( Common Sense) Ratio.

          If the Ration is > 1, then back to Zero.

          If the Ration is < 1, then back to Hero.

          MaRa MaRa chatu MaRa Amana MaRa Hero For Modayas!

    • 11

      The culture of immunity and impunity that corrupt politicians in the SLFP and UNP enjoy today must end.
      Corrupt politicians have destroyed Sri Lanka and DIVIDED the people along ethnic, religious and caste line in order to RULE the moda masses and distract them from the corruption of their so-called leaders and representatives. The Parliament has the highest number of uneducated thugs per capita in Sri Lanka today because of the CULTURE OF IMPUNITY that politicians live by. There is one law for the moda masses and another for the politicians it seems and both Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mahinda Jarpassa collaborate to perpetuate the culture of impunity among politicians

      Susil Premjayanth and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa have serious corruption charges against them with regard to Petroleum scam and must be investigated. They support MR because he will prevent them being investigated, they are backing him. Nimal Siripala Silva is another corrupt clown and was in the pay of the Pharmaceutical Companies when health Minister.. Corruption in the core reason that the SLFP seniors all support Jarapassa as they profited from his turning a blind eye to their corruption…

      All the SLFP old guard needs to be fired and a clean younger generation brought in by Sirisena.

      2. Sirisena must get rid of Arjuna Mahendran as well and not be afraid to take on Ranil’s corrupt cronies.. We need investigation of Mahendran and his son in law and the company Perpetual Treasuries and its networks. There also must be investigation of Nivard Cabraal.

      Sirisena needs to take both bulls by the horns – MR and RW – both are corrupt in different ways..This way he will demonstrate that he in IMPARTIAL and a true good governance fighter!

      • 0

        Right on SM!

        Corruption is the core business of the majority of members of the Diyawenna parliament of corrupt criminals.. Mahinda Jarapassa is the King of Corruption in the Miracle of Modayas.

        Sirisena has behaved like a loku Modaya and allowed Mahinda Jarapassa to be given nominations in the SLFP which today is a party of criminal clowns, and enabled MR to be eelected to the Parliament of corrupt clowns.

        This is a grave stupidity because MR spreads the Virus of corruption, greed and ignorance where ever he goes, and he will continue to cause trouble in the Parliament of uneducated Modaya people’s representative and keep it at the lower depths unless he is tried and convicted for corruption and locked up in Prison – once he wins and he certainly will in this Miracle of Modayas!

      • 1

        Read history, Ranil wickramasinghe is also a corrupted politician too!

    • 7

      The writer is cock-a-hoop now that Maitree has blurted out his frustration and by doing so exposed his own impotence as a president. We should be thanking our stars that he was not the president when we were at war because we will be told he ‘tried to speak to Prabhakaran but he would not listen’. Such a vacillative and cowardly head of state will be the curse of this country.

      Ranga has conveniently left out the Mahendran affair. The so -called President wanted him this criminal out but Ranil the bulldozer told him to get lost. Even when he finally gets the balls to go public with it, the press does not ask Ranil to explain – he is, after all, from the correct background, went to the correct school and therefore not accountable for his cover up.

      Professional journalism would have required for a balance analysis of the speech – but from this bigoted writer, that would be too much to ask.

  • 4

    Don’t worry mate.

    You guys said the same about Mahinda getting the nominations.

    Another three Junior Ministers have resigned after Bodhi Sira’s back stabbing.

    Good SLFP people don not like the way Bodhi sira is being manipulated by the Western Consulates, UNP heavies , Diaspora and even NGOs who worked as couriers for Prabakaran.

    What the intelligentsia should focus on how impotent this President is.

    In Bodhi Sira’s own admission in front of whole Nation , he said he wanted the CB Boss sacked for fixing the last Govt Bond issue in favour of his Son in Law Alloysious and his crooked mates..

    But his unelected PM openly not only defied him.

    Ranil has taken COPE to Court.

    To try and cover up the Stink…

    How cool is that.

    What puzzles me is how our Maha Sanga , I mean some of the Maha sanga associate with this Ranil ?

    Shouldn’t they be holding Bodhi Pujas in their Temples from now till the Election Eve, to protect this 2500 year Nation from breaking up in to pieces according to the Wishes of the Tiger Supporters,both local and overseas, UNP Christian Faction Western Consulates , and the NGOs.

    • 14

      Mahinda’s Pala says that “What puzzles me is how our Maha Sanga , I mean some of the Maha sanga associate with this Ranil ?”.

      A better question would be why some of the Maha Sangha associate with the criminal Rajapakses.

      Poor old Suma aka HLDM is clutching at straws now that his paymaster’s days are numbered and he will have to find some menial gig Down Under to subsidize his pathetic existence.

      • 0

        Matty mate,

        You must be doing all right Down Under.

        Even the Dole, I am told is better than our MPs monthly pay packet.

        My elders tell me even our ex Politikkas including the so called Marxist Maoist Revolutioneries took protection Vivas to live there in comfort.

        But still cause trouble for the poor inhabitants back home.

        Is that true Matty?…

        • 0

          Sumana Pala, what would I know about conditions Down Under when I am domiciled in good ol’ Lanka, unlike you. And who would know more about the dole down there than you? And what was your excuse to get a visa, not persecution, surely???

          Anyway, you’ll have to exist on the dole, as your master will soon be history, so keep churning out your racist garbage while you can – not that it will make any difference to those “poor inhabitants back home”, who are a lot smarter than you give them credit for.

      • 1

        Waltzing Matilda

        “Mahinda’s Pala says that “What puzzles me is how our Maha Sanga , I mean some of the Maha sanga associate with this Ranil ?”.”

        Very simple.

        Maha Sangha knows that Ranil’s policies are close to that of the teachings of the Enlightened Buddha.

        Maha Sangha also knows that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cronies policies and actions are close to that of the teachings of Mara, who opposed the Enlightened Buddha.

        MaRa Mara Chatu MaRa Amana MaRa Thakkadi MaRa

        [Edited out]

    • 2

      @ K A Sumanasekera alias ‘athal sumane,alias’HLDM’

      you say “Ranil has taken COPE to Court. To try and cover up the Stink…”

      Well how about GOTA taking an FR application to prevent his arrest ,what your view on that?

  • 8


    Your analysis of My3’s predicament is quite spot on.

    I think My3 should have stuck with the second option and allowed the Rajapaksa group to break away. A new party name, new symbol and new colours would bring a fair amount of votes from the racially manipulable Dutugamunu worshippers. However it would have sunk under the collective weight of all the other votes and the much harassed people of Sri Lanka hopefully could have closed the gates behind the corrupt rump of the Rajapaksa camp once and for all.

  • 8

    Let us face the facts. MR bought out RW on the dawn of the 9th Jan. That is the explanation for RW not mobilising the law against MR even when it was blatantly obvious to everybody that all corruption stemmed from MR. He and all his cronies, Yapa, SP and all, should have been arrested and imprisoned until all investigations were completed. That is what MR did to SF; he should have been given the opportunity to taste his karma outcome, but the stick on the mud RW fluffed it.

    • 0

      No is spot on. The whole reason for the bungling is due tonRW’s assurances to MR on the dawn of 9th.’January. which was compounded by My3’s when he said that no harm would befall MR. They must have thought in the first flush of victory that MR was out for the count like a dead snake having taken a beating and would not ever revive.That was.the mistake they made and had to face the consequences. They never realised that the snake was only injured badly and was feigning dead, and their failure to cremate it has caused it to resurrect.

  • 3


    You ask: Who has done et tu brute now?

    No doubt Maithri is the Brutus. Not just once but twice. He is also a Brutus to the yahapalanaya clan now.

    But beware, there are many Mark Anthonys out to avenge for Mahinda. And they are out now first to ensure Mahinda’s and UPFA’s handsome victory on August 17th. If they do succeed, Maithri will have to eat his own words and will be compelled to make Mahinda the Prime Minister. And more will come. Maithri will first be kicked out as the leader of SLFP/UPFA. And then possibly Maithiri will face an impeachment motion if Mahinda faction’s win on August 17 is massive.

    Interesting times are ahead. Let us wait and see the unfolding drama in the coming days and weeks.

    As you rightly said there is never a dull moment in the Sri Lankan politics.

    • 1


      You are reading too much into last few weeks events.

      The voters are yet to vote. Let them decide.

      If they chose candidates who are not to your liking blame voter stupidity. On the other if they vote in Mahinda you are duty bound to praise their wisdom.

  • 6

    Ranga Kalansooriya

    RE: Maithri From Zero To Hero

    Maitripala Sirisena lost a great opportunity to force Mahinda Rajapaksa to form a new party, Medamulana Crooks Robbers, Amana Party, M-CRAP and lose and be history.

    He should have insisted and Not given to all the Crooks and Criminals.

    Unfortunately, Mairtpala Sirisena did not have the guts.

    • 0

      Totally agree. His 49 years in politics has not taught him much ! He failed to think strategically and tried to be too ‘darmishta’. I am sure he failed to heed advice too.

  • 3

    MS showed how immature he is as a National Leader. Instead of making a Statesmen like speech, he made a childish diatribe saying I told Ranil to do this I hate Mahinda etc etc. Sad a Pambaya has been elected by the racist minority votes to ruin this country. The people on the 17th of August should send this Pamba Sena a strong message. And I hope all Sinhalese with an inch of self respect will not vote for UNP this time.

  • 0

    “It was from zero to hero last January – within six months hero to zero”

    Easy come … Easy go!

  • 0

    Had this been the other way round positions changed, and MR was President and desired to do what My3 should have done, I am sure he would have rejected all nomination to those he did not want to offer and would have got others members of his party to support his move either voluntarily or by threat and all would have fallen in line without uttering a word.

    Had if anyone had the courage to challenge MR he would have gone missing. All others will faithfully comply with the master’s orders knowing well their fate for opposing. Then as gratitude he would grant handsomely some of the loot he pilfered and stole from various places to all who supported him without a complain. Such is the leadership qualities of MR even though I will not approve it.

  • 0

    Some of My3 arguments are valid, but some are not. his argument for claiming party leadership is valid however the story of MR assuming PM post after coming through the national list seems fanciful.I do not think it is possible. best case scenario for MY3 is, hopefully some of his supporters may piggy back on the MR band wagon and come to parliament and switch sides to form a UNF government. that is if UNF is unable to garner a majority.
    Worst case is MR wins a majority and forms a government. I do not think MY3 will be able to deny MR especially since it is the peoples mandate. no SLFP senior would want to take up the PM post in such a scenario.
    Best option would have been for him to deny the nomination and make MR contest as a separate front and gather whoever is left and contest as a yahapalana broad front thus drawing the same battle lines like 8th January.

  • 1

    President Maithreepala should have known , that if he trys to sit on both chairs, he would fall in between

  • 1

    a good analysis,we cannot excuse MS and RW for allowing the MR regime to go unpunished soon after the election defeat

    Even if MS was not experienced in it ,RW was and he messed up in 2002 too when he allowed CBK to take the upper hand

  • 1

    MS has clearly displayed a culture of impunity that prevails in the highest office in Sri Lanka by his actions from day one.
    Is MS a seasoned politician? The answer is NO.
    He is a puppet to those brought him to the position he is in, today.
    And now subservient to them and carrying out their instructions.

    For those who brought MS to power treat his as a disposable item.
    Therefore, how could one imagine whether Sirisena is ever capable of taking action against Ranil’s right royal Cronies?
    The classic example is Arjuna Mahendra & the Bond Scam. Not only Sirisena was naive as to what happened & the governor still remain in the post. Sirisena knows next to nothing what he needs to do & moreover he is powerless to act against Ranil and his cronies.

    Sirisena’s controversial speech about MT is highly unbecoming to the position he holds.
    Today, the Government Cart is being drawn by Sirisena & Ranil in different directions and Government is going nowhere & neither Sirisena is is aware where it goweth’.

    BO… just because a dog bites you, Do you turn around and bite the Dog ?? Your presumption is wrong. Thats not what Yahapalanaya means.

    Amarasiri …. Its not that MS did not have the guts, instead it should be MS DO NOT HAVE GUTS.

  • 0

    A good write up. Wonder what HLD Mahnidapala is up to Down Under?
    Will now try to cosy up to Tony Abbott to be next Governor General appointed by QEII on the recommendation of Shelani Weduge!!!

  • 2

    People saw the emptyness of the yahapalane in 6 months
    Bond scams
    Family appointments
    Firing CJs illegally
    Stinking colombo
    Payment hawkers back
    Walim horu, thamba horu

    Force is coming! Force ofmthe common people!

  • 1

    KA SUMANE oh you opening your sepulchure mouth again with your racist comments, this time around the sri lankans are wiser than you can think and will definitely NOT vote the JARAPASSAS AND THE 40 THIEVES, they will be sent to oblivion where they cannot live normal lives anymore as they have robbed and plundered the sri lankan public, so naturally they have to cling onto the KINKONG to save their asses who himself is a major robber, plunderer, rapist and murderer of journalists and innocent sri lankans who asked for water to drink and fuel for their boats in chilaw.


  • 1

    If the right honorable President has read the constitution he should have known “…. clandestine plans to bring Rajapaksa back as Prime Minister following the no-confident motion against Wickremesinghe..” cannot be done under the constitution, even if it could be done and even if there was a plan to do that, wasn’t the parliament to be dissolved within a couple of months anyway, the more one listens to this President it almost seems either he is parroting words of someone else or he has no clue how to get out of the muddle he is in. How can he be the Chairman or the leader of a party/front while hoping that the candidates of that party should lose..beyond logic!

  • 0

    JR made Premadasa premier and tried to prevent becoming president which he couldn’t do ever since no alpha appointed as prime minister Ranil DBW Sirima Ratnasiri DiMu et al. Mahinda out powered all due to his southern base temple sects etc. Maithri is safe with a weaker premier than a stronger conspirator. He has found one in Ranil. It is going to be a hung, well hung House for games of an executive if he is reluctant to use the power vested in him then only he will be cypher otherwise not. The parliament has the potency for only a year after that prorogued dissolved called for new elections!

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