15 October, 2019

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Mangala Is Like A Dodgy Real Estate Salesman

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“…the whole yahapalanaya movement has been predicated on the abolition of the presidential executive; but this is to be abandoned as Sajith Premadasa sets his eyes on the tortuous one-man show political carnival that is the executive presidency.”

Selling Exercise and the Politician

Mangala Samaraweera could play it straight only for a short time. He, periodically, gives up his good work and takes to where his real skills are and that is salesmanship. Toward this metamorphosed end, Mangala would turn his back on everything he stood for during the days of ‘good behaviour.’ Without doubt, Mangala manipulates in the political stream and he decides to take the challenge and rescucitate a man thus far content with the backwoods and make him King. Mangala Samaraweera did that for CBK; he did it for Mahinda and now he is trying it to rehabilitate Sajith Premadasa taking the latter off his comfortable hole Down South, instilling the latter with a new ticker and passion, and attempting to have him positioned on the top. Until, of course, he decides to reverse course once again. 

Without doubt, a politician  must also be a good sales person. He has to market his own image and, then, to market the policy changes he desires to achieve on behalf of the people. Beneath all this, however, a responsible politician should stand on the ground of solid principles of policy and behaviour. On the other hand, this seems what Mangala Samaraweera lacks. He focuses purely on a particular sale of a property and then finds his way around to plot the path to sell that. In the current context of politics Managala’s chosen ‘property,’ is a given political personality and he cares not on what the latter stands for. Organising the winning game  for his chosen person is all he desires.

There is little difference from the real estate salesman and Mangala Samaraweera. One can imagine how such a feat can be a classic sales achievement of the highest order. Well, these are the periodic bursts that Mangala Saamaraweera makes. It requires a whole lot of deceit, exaggeration, a blind eye to the negatives, great cunning and fabrication. 

Sales pitch

The sales pitch is very important strategy for a salesman. Mangala Samaraweera has been adept at constructing such pitches that catch on. When acting as Mahinda Rajapaksa’s campaign manager, Mangala clinched the game in favour of Mahinda with his famous slogan, “Ranil is a Loser.” Remember that? And how that simply worked! So successful that pitch had been that, despite numerous election victories by Ranil Wickremesinghe, there are persons who like to believe in that myth. How could Ranil have been five times Prime minister had he not won? How could he have so skilfully negotiated the extremely difficult relationship with President Sirisena without leaving the administration into total disarray?How could he have beaten the infamous constitutional coup? Are these illustrations showing up the characteristics of a failed man?

Selling Tactics

I have seen selling skills best exemplified in the Real Estate salesman who could palm of a rotten piece of property for good money after  window dressing and big talk. A derelict property is shown up as ‘having full potential in a growing market.’ A decrepit lounge is nothing but ‘stunning and looking into the countryside.’ A new set of apartments have been ‘architecturally designed.’ How else can a design of buildings be done other than by an architect?

And so on… I may have laboured too much on these examples of sales pitches. However, I have done that to communicate how the mind of a real estate salesman typically works. Accuracy is immaterial and flexibility has no bounds while the aim of it all to ‘sell somehow or clinch the deal.’ No steadfast principles of behaviour can be discerned in that kind of task.

Turning Away from Ranil

Mangala worked all these years loyally for his leader, the Prime Minister, sharing the latter’s philosophy of liberalisation of the economy, independence of institutions, encouragement of private entrepreneurship, the need to abolish the Executive Presidency and so on. Now, he backs young and inexperienced Sajith Premadasa along  with the latter’s traditional and uninformed old-style economics. Sajith wants little to do with the open economy; he looks toward a ‘bit of socialism,’ as was in the failed past. These include state intervention in free trade, state controls on private entrepreneurship, price control, international and regional protectionism, state take over of private enterprises if needs be, and so on. That is the way Sajith understands economics. Mangala is with him here and, like a good real estate salesman, he can make that look sound as well. Mangala now supports his protege’s backward economic views.

The new sales pitch for Sajith is not yet out. However, one can  discern Mangala’s sporadic statements like ‘a time must come when we all must  retire.’ Ranil is in his commencing seventies, still younger than Mahinda. Mahathir Muhammed built Malaysian in his later sixties and early seventees. If one is unschooled and immature it doesn’t matter how young that candidate hell-bentis.

Besides, Sajith is hell-bent on building 1135 Chaityas and thousand Daham Pasalas. Are these the things that people want so badly? The fact is Sajith Prtemadasa has never taken part in any parliamentary discussion except in the subject of housing.

The ‘One man-show,’ of the Executive Presidency

Furthermore, the whole yahapalanaya movement has been predicated on the abolition of the presidential executive; but this is to be abandoned as Sajith Premadasa sets his eyes on the tortuous one-man show political carnival that is the executive presidency. We thought that, at least with Maitripala Sirisena the very idea of this vicious system had been made to look ludicrous and impossible in the eyes of the public at large. On the other hand, Sajith thinks otherwise. He has called for ‘a scientific study,’ to assess this institution.

It is clear that Sajith’s campaign style is already that of a pre-19Amendment Executive President. The one-man show has already surfaced. The many changes to government policy that Sajith assumes he would possess the powers of the pre-19 Amendment Chief Executive. This is far from the case. 

Presidential governance is very much in accord with the feudalistic and pre-feudalistic order of society that Sri Lanka had. Recall the monarchs of those days: they are accompanied by the vassal  elite who sing praises while heralding the arrival of the almighty. Citizens are on bended knees hoping for even ordinary requests to be granted. The power of the king is the all-important thing. In short, this was all a one-man show of power.

Who, then, wouldn’t like to be president? A goodly portion of the politics of power and greed that has been prevailing in Sri Lanka has been due to the attraction of the institution of the executive president. Take that away, and we will have a more moderate parliamentary struggle for joining the cabinet of ministers. The prime minister will be primus inter pares or first among equals.

Given he gets into power, will Sajith restore the old glory of pre-19th Amendment executive Presidency? One can witness the glory of the one-man-show when by Donald Trump  arrogantly holds up to the media camera his stupid ‘orders,’every-time he signs the latter. Will Sri Lanka return to such a model given that Sajith  wants to be at the driving wheel? Will Sri Lankans have to put up with that kind of thing? Will all the cruel acts of highway murder seen done  by the Philippine President reappear in Sri Lanka? In a parliamentary system of government the Prime Minister, ministers and executives have to be under the law and accountable to their actions to parliament.

In the contemporary age, such one-man-shows look ridiculous and hideous, reeking with the  undermining of the valuable principle of reaching broad consultation, consensus and collective decision-making. Despite all its weak points, the latter approach is superior and more effective. The sooner we can abolish the dreadful executive presidency the better it is. A nomination given by the United National Party to a candidate not committed to that ideal would be dreadful and disastrous.

Conclusion

It is, therefore, disappointing that the Sajith faction repudiated a last moment gesture of support for abolition by President Maitripala Sirisena himself. The President has now evolved into accepting that change. I thought that was an instance  of now or never. I hope it will never be never. As LankaEnews described, ‘that was a catch (udapanduwa) that should have been caught even in the penultimate overs of the game’.

Mangala Samaraweera, according to whose Sutra all this rebel conspiracy is hatched, should be ashamed if he is able to shun the role of the real estate salesman and look squarely and patriotically on the overriding need for right policy direction in order to uplift a nation so overwhelmed by poor people.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    5

    Don’t you just love it when the UNPers eat their own???😂😂😂

    • 10
      14

      Shimone, this is an ill informed article.
      The 19th amendment severely curtailed the power of the Executive Presidency and in fact the Prime Minister is now more powerful.
      In fact, it is important to retain the EP as it is a “check and balance” against the abuse of privileges, power and perks of the corrupt parliament and PM.
      Also, the President saved Sri Lanka from becoming a colony and military base of the US by refusing to sign SOFA and MCC project to land grab and turn Sri Lanka into a US aircraft carrier for that ROgue States wars on Chnia and Iran.
      At least Mangala learns from his mistakes! US puppet Bondscam Ranil must be impeached for corruption and treason asap.

      • 6
        10

        Mangy was happily crashing the Sri Lanka rupee on IMF instructions to push the country further into the IMF debt trap and Washington Bailout Business to set up military bases, but has learned his lesson..
        Better late than never. but he did irreparable damage to the economy of the country, on par with Bondscam Ranil and pent house Ravi K. who are the reason that no investor will invest in Sri Lanka due to corruption in the highest echelons of the finance sector. There is no FDI for Sri lanka and only a debt trap because of Bondscam Ranil, Mahendran, ravi K and Mangala all financially illiterate who should be behind bars. and lets now forget the callow economic advisor from Garbage importing Haleys, which should be boycotted by all Sri Lankans for bringing UK Diego Garcia Garbage from the US military base on Chagos Islands to Sri Lanka.
        Long live miracle of Modayas!

        • 4
          2

          Simon: It is Time for a new and younger generation of politicians to lead the country.All those over the age of 60 should be banned from contesting elections.

          Bottom line is that US puppet RW is a corrupt dictator who has destroyed the UNP and Provincial Council System that was set up to protect and empower minorities., ironically with the help of Muslims and Tamils who all talk bullshit about Human rights and minority rights with the Colombo NGOs and their fake liberal buddies.

          Ranil and his finance are a total and utter disgrace and must GET OUT or be impeached!

      • 4
        1

        Stanley

        What rubbish are you talking about. The President hasnt saved you from anything. Contrary to all the Crap you read about in the papers about SOFA it was never on the cards and Trinco is not up for Grabs by USA and it never will be without Indias Consent. You are talking like a toddler and why do you think it has stayed idle for almost 71 years and that is because of Indias opposition. It could have brought in Billions of dollars in revenue but India woldnt have it. Whether you like it Sri Lnka is a kosu and comes within Indias Jurisdiction when her Security is at stake . Make no mistake. If in doubt ask the Chimp Rambuka . We are in for a trat when Gotha takes over and try to bring Cheenavedi in. Just listen to the song ” Poga Poga Therium”

      • 0
        0

        Don Stanley,

        “In fact, it is important to retain the EP as it is a “check and balance” against the abuse of privileges, power and perks of the corrupt parliament and PM.”

        Isn’t the above pretty flawed logic? The Executive President can never be the corrupt one?

  • 5
    0

    “Mangala Samaraweera, according to whose Sutra all this rebel conspiracy is hatched, should be ashamed if he is able to shun the role of the real estate salesman and look squarely and patriotically on the overriding need for right policy direction in order to uplift a nation so overwhelmed by poor people.”

    Shaymen,
    I have never heard of a ‘Honest Salesman’?. You are absolutely right. Unfortunately for the poor ‘Silly Lankan’ mass, there aren’t a single character in ‘Giniwannawa’ ( 225+1) with integrity and compassion.
    I have no respect for the whole lot, they have to go, all of them. CBK is another despicable character popped out again from nowhere, adding fuel to the burning fires and she has to be condemned and put where she belong as well.

  • 10
    4

    Sajith Premadasa is a politician in a hurry. He is only 52 and still wants to become next president come hell or rain. As pointed out by Shyamon he knows next to nothing of the art of governance, sound economic and fiscal policies for a better Sri Lanka. On the abolition of the executive presidency, he wants to carry out “‘a scientific study,’ to assess this institution.”
    Every presidential candidate, except Ranasinghe Premadasa, promised to abolish the executive presidential system, but none did it once assuming office. Even President Sirisena who stood for the abolition of executive presidential system bragged he was a one time president who had voluntarily given up executive powers vested in the President looked for legal loopholes to extend his term of office.

    Even during the dying days of his presidency, he wanted to obtain an opinion of the Supreme Court whether he can stay in office till May 2020! Some people bring glory to the office they hold, others bring disgrace. Sirisena is one of them.

    Sajith claims the Premadasas are not losers, unlike Ranil, so he will win the elections. Premadasa in his heady days even challenged the leadership of Prime Minister Duley Senanayake. He floated a separate organization as a challenge to Dudley while remaining a UNP MP. When Dudley died people blamed Premadasa for his early demise. Premadasa was stoned when he went to pay his homage to Dudley.

    Under JR too, he was a rebel opposed to the Indo-Ceylon Agreement and then the enactment of 13A.

    Sajith no doubt is following his father’s footsteps!

  • 2
    1

    Sri Lanka politicians consider winning an election the most important, NOT the way it is won.
    All this analysis is not even dreamed of, by our politicians.
    Sajith P has set impossible & idiotic goals – including visiting 15,000 villages.
    He will learn the truth the hard way.
    I hope that Ma Lanka will survive, in spite of many commissions of inquiry and how the election is fought to a finish.
    Meanwhile, public servants and pensioners have to fight bureaucracy and banks to survive.

  • 6
    2

    “It requires a whole lot of deceit, exaggeration, a blind eye to the negatives, great cunning and fabrication. “

    Spot on Shyamon. That is exactly what yahpalanaya is. Dilrukshi Dias further elaborated the hoax recently (you must have heard the confession).

  • 7
    3

    Shyamon’s sales pitch sounds hollow given the track record of his master Ranil and the whole yahapalana jilmart…….

  • 9
    0

    Not just Mangala, but every politician in Lanka, with no exceptions are dodgy and yearning for “absolute power”. The early ones were testing the waters. But when JR saw the opportunity in 5/6 majority, grabbed it and rest is history. Soon after victory JR promptly called for resignation letters of all his party members, in testing his new powers. Witnessing the havoc caused by the executive presidential powers, every rogue who came after promised the dumb public to abolish, but went on not only to keep but added more powers, so that they could violate the constitution and parliament. at will. CBK simply lied and exploited the sympathy to get in and never ever wanted to abolish it . Then came the “mother of all crooks”, MR who wanted to be “life term president”. He had unlimited powers so much so, he could kick out the CJ overnight. Then came the civil movement who brought a looney promising the same. MS used his powers to stage a overnight “constitutional coupe “. He is now pretending to make fools believe and elect him again. So it does not matter who the next fraud is going be ??? What matters is the harm caused, by the given power. If they could not fulfill this most wanting change as promised for years, how do people expect them to keep rest of their promises in governing ????

  • 3
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    A figurehead president, Goppalawa style, wouldn’t have had the power to create a Presidential Commission of Inquiry. If not for the Presidential Commission on the bond scam, where the hero was the fearless and patriotic present AG, the scandal would have been swept under the carpet by the three stooges inquiry committee set up by SJ’s hero.

    Parliament is useless as acting as a check on the PM and his boyfriends. Only, a president can do that. So leave the 19A alone.

  • 2
    3

    We need only ‘ONE ‘ front to face against Gota the Dictator.
    UNF+ JVP +others should be able to send Gota to go back to USA.
    Ranil needs to give up politics. So yoo Sajith etc

  • 0
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  • 6
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    In 2015 it was a massive deception. It was a political coup. People were led to believe that we would go back to the pure Westminster model as existed before. It was later revealed that the intentions of abolishing was to create an Executive Primeminister in Ranil Wickramasinghe which would have definitely happened if not several clauses in the 19A were not blocked by the Supreme Court. Objective of this abolishion exercise is to break up the Sri Lankan state into federal blocks by removing presidential oversight over provincial councils. With all the idiocyncracies of Sirisenaa we wouldn’t have been aware of the magnitude and extent of massive financial frauds like the bond scam and wholesale trading of national assets would have proceeded unabated. If not for the 52 day drama by now we would have gone some irreversible distance in that direction.
    .
    What did the 52 day drama teach us? The defeated side (President) is not necessary and must be removed? NO, IT SHOWED THAT ALL THREE EXECUTIVE, LEGISLATURE AND JUDICIARY ARE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF THE MACHINE. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL PLAY OF CHECKS AND BALANCES.
    .
    SINHALESE MUST REALISE THAT MASSIVE FORCES ARE MOVING UNDERGROUND TOWARDS ULTIMATE BREAKUP OF THE SRI LANKAN STATE. WHY SHOULD WE PREVENT IT AT ANY COST? BECAUSE THAT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE ULTIMATE BLOODSHED.
    .
    AT THIS STAGE WE MUST RETAIN THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY SELECTED DIRECTLY BY THE MAJORITY.

    Soma

  • 6
    3

    Poor Samare. He won’t even get his Durawe Vote in Nupe. tis time .
    That is how sad the plight of this Real Estate salesman is.

    Samare is smart enough to know that Dr Ranil is a Loser..
    How can he get into Parliament unless he backs someone with at least some chance of winning something at the next two Elections.

    If Keselwatta Kid wants to destroy the Presidency ,Why should the Kid antagonize the whole Hog of the Elite, Anglican and Vellala Faction of the UNP and give Dr Ranil the final happy ending of erasing the Premadasa name from the UNP .

    That is after the Keselwatta Senior not only devoted his whole life , but also made the ultimate sacrifice of his life at the hands of the Bicycle Babu to keep the UNP in real power for at least for 6 years .

    The talk of the town is that 200,000 Expats with NICs are descending on Srilanka in November to cast their votes at the Election.
    Wonder Mr Jayasinghe will do the same to give Dr Ranil a fighting chance to become the only real Elite , Anglican President of Srilanka.

  • 2
    1

    sajith has said he is willing to abolish the presidency.

    mangala has to sell the property not to one person,but to 50% of the registered voters.However great he may have been as a campaign manager previously he cannot achieve success with the wrong candidate,hence his ditching of ranil who he is personally fond of.he will show sajit how to win.

  • 5
    0

    a used car salesman is the correct comparison .

  • 5
    4

    The entire damned shameless stinking lot needs to be put against a wall a shot without mercy.
    What SL needs is a dictator to iron out all its problems starting from scratch so that discipline will flow down from the executive to the man on the road. That person is no other than GR and hope he comes into power.
    If he can read this and hope he will he needs to rule with a iron fist enclosed in a velvet glove by whipping the arses of the law breakers and giving thanks to those who uphold the law be it the man on the road to the elite of the land. There is no other way.
    The medicine may be bitter but the cure is guaranteed.

    Over to you Mr Gotabaya Nandasena Rajapaksa.

  • 1
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  • 1
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    Mangy boy knows to play his game, simply betting for the winning horse. But he has his own values which he has not compromised, say regarding LGBT or racial/religious non-discrimination which is not relevant to the present issue. Just because he decides to back Sajith does not mean that he is to be demeaned because in politics there are no permanent friends or foes but permanent interests. Unlike in the author’s adopted land it is crucial for a politician here to be in power. That is the point the author has missed. 19th amendment or otherwise the President of the country can turntables and that even Ranil knows which prompts him to contest for the post. Anton Balasingham, the LTTE ideologue, once described Ranil as a cunning fox, echoed by the film star turned politician saying that “Ranil kiyanne ugath kiyawapu soothara punchek”. Sajith is no where there. I too fear, like some, a Sajith era means another era of white vans, a culture instituted by his late father. Now it is in the public domain the testimony of a witness indicating on whose orders was Rohana Wijeweera was extra-judicially killed and cremated even while he was alive. Other than saying “Ehemai Ape hamuduruwane” no other response is welcome by Sajith if he gets into power. It is not easily forgotten, the head priest of Gangarama Temple saying “Sajith Hamu Aiyinwenna” way back in 2002. In so many ways Sajith may lack the finesse but the general population would prefer Sajith to Ranil. Unfortunately that is due to Ranil’s own doing. Shyamon! What can you and I do about it?

  • 1
    0

    khemage putha is a shrewd tactician when it comes to elections
    he abandonrd ranil for sajith only because ranil cant win and for no other reason
    there is no point in supporting sure losers at election time
    he has clearly stated that ranil has his good points but cannot win an election
    that is why he and many of ranils old buddies have switched sides
    under ranil unp has lost a record number of elections and the unp does not want to lose another one
    shyamon why is ranil having close ties to gota
    several articles in CT have pointed this out
    the unp cannot have a buddy of gota as its candidate

  • 0
    1

    Let’s not forget that it’s only in our little piece of paradise that a person with Mangy’s educational
    qualifications could have become initially Foreign Minister and now Finance Minister . What an absolute joke . Granted though , he is a Doctor of Spin .

  • 1
    0

    Guys, here we go. The election circus in Lanka has begun. Now a cremation issue has been converted by religious bigots to an election issue. RW says heis ashamed of Theras/monks (lead by none other than Ape Man ) breaking the law/court order. Gotha, says the courts are provoking the Theras, because they are above “. Low and odor “. Bottom line The Pimp and the Murderer have found their election issue to fight. Lankans have nothing but race and religions to fight elections. MORONS. Why do we need all these in depth discussions, debates and annalysis for issues which do not exist —employment, environment, economy, budget deficits, Blah,Blah, Blah.

  • 2
    1

    This sale is going to be such a disaster, Mangala’s real estate business will come crashing down soon after – reducing him to a used car salesman.

  • 6
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    Shaymon,

    Mangala Is Like A Dodgy Real Estate Salesman

    *** Be fair it is not just Mangala but the lot from top to bottom They are all Dodgy.But the deciding factor for Sri Lanka and it is a wake up call for all country loving Sri Lankans is the following..
    With the impending election of Gotha at the helm and in the words of Colonel Rambuka a DODGY DEAL is about to be struck to bring China back in which India using gentle persuasion( under RW) managed to keep out for the last 18 months. This was the cause of Friction between MS & RW which forced him to sack RW.. The threat of Indian invasion forced Maldives to ditch China loving incumbent leader. Unless Sri Lanka heeds the warning Sri Lanka will cease to exist. and India cannot and will not allow China back in again to install evesdropping instruments in Colombo Port.
    It is Dodgy Deal and end of Sri Lanka or sucum to pressure and toe the line and keep the limited Sovereignty.
    DO or DIE

  • 2
    1

    Great piece, Shyamon. What a fine writer you are

  • 0
    2

    Shyamon,
    Hey man, don’t you think that it is time for you to retire from writing this nonsense? Mangala Sutraya worked! Your side’s last ditch effort to stop Sajith on the track by abolishing the EP failed miserably! Your own hero Ranil will announce on Wednesday Sajith as the UNP presidential candidate. May be you may have one more fight to save yourself: Keeping power of the party in the hands of old guards!

    You know what? TNL is now giving prominence to GoRa over UNP & Ranil! For example, in yesterday’s (Mon 24/9) news, GoRa’s acquittal from Avant-Guarde case was the priority news while Ranil response to MY 3 was given the second place! Will you also follow the suite? KANNA HITHUNAHAMA KABARAGOYATH THALAGOYA VENAVALU! Do you expect us to support this double game?

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