20 October, 2020

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MR’s Breakaway & SLFP’s Family-Rule Mindset

By Vishwamithra1984

The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life … A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors … Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.” ~ George Orwell

MahindaSuccession of leadership of political parties is always a subject of controversy. In Sri Lanka, all these political entities which came into being in the early part of the 20th Century, the overall political dynamic has been that they were basically founded on either political ideology or representing a particular social class. Ceylon National Congress, not as a political party, but as the mainstream political entity of the Legislative and State Councils days, was in a sense the source of all political activity at the time. The dominance of the Ceylon National Congress in the political mosaic in Sri Lanka cannot be denied. Its pre-eminent role in shaping and defining the national political discourse and drafting and enacting laws and legislations to suit the individual lines of that mosaic in the period immediately preceding Independence in 1948 has been adequately chronicled.

Yet the baton of leadership of the Ceylon National Congress, inaugurated in 1919, beginning with its founding leader Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, passed from one hand to the other without discrimination against any ethnicity, caste or creed. Its nucleus was the Colombo/foreign-educated elite representing all ethnic groups, Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and Berger. Its secular stance on almost all national issues was commendable and the sense of camaraderie demonstrated among its members was exemplary, at least in the first few years of its operations. The first cracks in this union of multi-ethnic Congress appeared when Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam resigned from the Congress in 1921. Delivering the ‘Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam Memorial Oration’, on January 19, 2009, Dr. Brendon Goonartane, scholar physician, said:

Many independent thinking people had expected that at the elections which followed in 1921, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam…, would be elected the Member for the Town of Colombo, while Sir James Peiris, a prominent member of the Low Country Products Association would be elected to represent that association. What in fact happened was that the Low Country Products Association elected Sir Henry de Mel to represent them, while the Town of Colombo elected Sir James Peiris (brother-in-law of Sir Henry) unopposed.

Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam’s untimely resignation from the Ceylon National Congress, following this election result, marks the beginning of the distrust that arose between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities thereafter, which has culminated in the horrendous ethnic war which has devastated our country in so many ways”.

So occurred the maiden crack on the fabric of the first, most dominant and multi-ethnic political alliance in Sri Lanka. Democracy intertwined with party politics was a new concept for Sri Lanka. Having been a subject people of the British Monarch for nearly one and a half centuries, constitutional governance and related reforms that were implemented in 1822 with The Colebrook–Cameron Commission followed up by other successive commissions saw the Sri Lankan polity meandering towards the beginning of the 20th century, yet with no real mass representation at the helm of her leading political organizations.

This is an era in which the leftist parties were entangled in their own ideological squabbles. The cracks that surfaced in the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the first political party proper in Ceylon, spread into significant fissures later and gave birth to the Viplavakari Lanka Sama Samaja Party (VLSSP) led by Phillip Gunawardena and the Communist Party (CP) led by Dr. S A Wickramasinghe. However, these breakups of the left parties did not produce the same consequences that were generated by the first fracture in the then leading national political party, United National Party (UNP).

When S W R D Bandaranaike, although the sitting Leader of the House, realized that he was not the chosen successor to D S Senanayake. In fact Bandaranaike joined the new party that was formed by D S Senanayake without dissolving his original organization Sinhala Maha Sabha. As per Kumari Jayawardena’s critical analysis of the emergence of the Sri Lankan elites at the evening of the British Raj, Nobodies to Somebodies, the nobodies of the 19th and 20th centuries beat the somebodies of a bygone era. While the Bandaranaikes inherited and represented the low-country Sinhalese aristocracy, the Senanayakes, Kotalawelas and Jayewardenes and the rest were essentially the products of the new mercantilist class gradually progressing into a capitalist class in Sri Lanka. While the Senanayakes came from the traditional Sinhalese-Buddhist but Colombo or overseas-educated, the Jayewardenes represented the Colombo or overseas-educated professional class.

A quintessential representative of the somebodies at the time, Bandaranaike, who once was determined to be superior before he became equal to the products of the new-rich low-country Sinhalese, lost the first round to the so-called nobodies. Bandaranaike’s superior debating and oratorical skills overshadowed the corridors of the State Council and his rhetoric, according to the historian Professor K M de Silva, was matched only by G G Ponnambalam inside the governing houses in Sri Lanka. Moreover, the succession of leadership from father to son, D S to Dudley, in the governing party, UNP, closed the door for Bandaranaike and his leaving the UNP and forming the SLFP was justified by this uncanny foresight. Bandaranaike, as most politicians, knew that in the ultimate analysis, politics is pursuit of power and he was most proficient in ascertaining the brutal truth of it.

However, S W R D Bandaranaike who founded the SLFP was far from making it a family party. During his leadership, which was relatively short- from 1951 – 1959- he did not allow any of his family members to meddle with the workings of the government or the party. That was remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that, a political party that opened the doors to the so-called common man closed the door to its logical successor after Bandaranaike’s death, C P de Silva, because he hailed from a non-Govigama caste. That indeed was a tragedy of national consequences. The veneer of family rule became attached to the common man’s party after its leadership passed hands from Bandaranaike to his widow. The family bandyism that was openly practiced by its new leaders and silently observed and countenanced by the grassroots and other party stalwarts in fact gave birth to a new party although it remained to be called the SLFP. The serfdom-mindset that prevailed during the heyday of the Bandaranaikes (S W R D’s father’s ancestors) found a new home and the refuge it provided to this servile psychosis paved the way for the Rajapaksas to emerge as the new owners of the party of the common man.

Maithripala Sirisena is a new phenom. For the first time after the death of its leader, the party that was founded on his birthday, Maithripala Sirisena is offering an alternative route to the party. Does the common man realize it? I do not know. But I’m sure that the common man who is always heralded as the prime mover of the movement that S W R D gave birth to and led is in a psychological conundrum. If the SLFP is determined to continue as a family-centered political party, then the membership and the grassroots would invariably choose to do so. But the very election of Maithripala Sirisena who was the General Secretary of the SLFP, who could be classified as a genuine product of the Bandaranaike-transformation, proved beyond any shadow of doubt that, whatever the SLFP and its membership and parliamentarians decide, the country is sick of family-rule. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appeal is to that fringe, the fringe that dwells on the threshold of family-centered power and its consequential cascading of that power to those who are close to the family. Plainly put, that is sickening and dehumanizing a noble profession which is a continuing relationship with the masses for the service of man. Any attempt to bring the Rajapaksas back to the SLFP would be a betrayal of the supreme cause of its founder.

In my next column I intend to discuss the various fissures that erupted within the United National Party even though its focus might be of a totally different texture and character. Sri Lankan society, after almost five hundred years of foreign rule, Portuguese, Dutch and British, was right throughout her history was conditioned by the rule of a king. A mindset that was set by such a process which was adherent to a one-man rule, a modern concept of government through a multi-party system originated in modern Europe and practiced by an educated electorate may look alien at the beginning and slow and lethargic during the process. When one follows the rhetoric of the Rajapaksa-related politicians, one cannot help but discover that feeding such a mindset has tangible political consequences. Their intention is to feed it and feed on it.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gamil.com

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Vishwamithra1984 –

    //“The essence of oligarchical rule is not father-to-son inheritance, but the persistence of a certain world-view and a certain way of life … A ruling group is a ruling group so long as it can nominate its successors … Who wields power is not important, provided that the hierarchical structure remains always the same.” ~ George Orwell”//

    Thanks. Yes. Father, Son, Husband, Wife, Daughter Son , Nephew etc.

    This mold has to be broken in the “Democratic” “Republic” of Sri Lanka, the Land occupied by Paras, so that the other Paras have some reasonable chance, to govern, steal and wreck havoc.

    Make All candidates disclose theit wealth, Education level, expertise, experience and IQ’s, so the the populace with common sense and stupidity can make theur selections.

  • 2
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    These are the people who became prime minister/Presidents since 1948.
    The first group do not have Full Sinhalese names. They are western educated converted to Christianity at some point of time.They are from four families(Senanayake,Bandaranaiyake, Jeyawardena & Mahinda)
    Don Stephen Senanayake,
    Dudley Shelton Senanayake,
    Sir John Lionel Kotelawala,
    Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike,
    Sirima Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike,
    Junius Richard Jayewardene, ,
    Ranil Wickremesinghe,
    Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake,
    Percy Mahendra “Mahinda” Rajapakse

    Eceptions are:

    Wijeyananda Dahanayake,
    Ranasinghe Premadasa,
    Dingiri Banda Wijetunga
    Disanayaka Mudiyanselage Jayaratne,
    Maithripala Sirisena

  • 7
    10

    Father Son , Daughter rule finished after the full benefits of free education kicked in.

    And the Elite and Anglican stronghold on the Srilanka Society and Politics was broken.

    And we, the non elite and non Anglican majority must thank Rajapaksa for that too , besides eliminating the Tamil Terrorists.

    Look what is happening in the UNP still.

    Because the Son couldn’t make the cut,the Nehpew, who couldn’t win a chook raffle even, for two decades ,is now ruling over 6 Million who are non Elite and non Anglican inhabitants who vehemently opposed him at both elections..

    The so called UNP Leaders who came to represent them are happy and content looking at their 34 Million Car Permit Lottery Tickets and collecting that LKR 10 Million on payable when able terms on top of the salary with all the the other perks,

    And keep themselves busy by helping the UNP Nephew to down grade Buddhism and divide the Mahawamsa Nation, to please the Vellalas and the Tamil Diaspora who destroyed the country for 30 years by funding LTTE Terrorist Pirahaparan..

    • 7
      1

      KAS
      You’re such a waste of the Earth.
      Nothing more to comment about your gibberish.
      Please stop repeating the same old Dribbles.
      Come to the Round table , where we can talk Serious Politics which may make some difference to the country and to people like me who happens to live in my country SL.

      • 2
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        May all sinns made by A Sumanaya be caused him to become a fly on Rajapakshe extrementa

    • 2
      1

      KASmaalam

      Did you know Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne believes he and he alone single handedly won the war?

      Is there any truth in this outlandish claim?

      • 0
        2

        Did you know Maj Gen Kamal Gunaratne believes he and he alone single handedly won the war?

        That is good.

        He knows how much he did.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,

        Now you are trying to confuse me..Aren’t you..

        Your Diaspora ally , Whiskey Madam swore the other day in front of the Yahapalana suckers an the BMICH, that she finished off your Thvailar Pirahaparan.

        At least 2/3rds of him ,after her dear cousin, Batalanada Ranil softened him .

        I thought Kamal , Shvendra and Gallege are War Criminals who killed White Flag waving, poor TNA supporters in Nanthikadal.

        That is what Batalanada Ranil’s new body guard and mouth piece, the only Field Marshal in our Mahavamsa Land told the the Bedouin Prince of the UN, and promised to give all the details.

        Wonder whether that LKR 70 Million set of wheels a santhosam from Batalanada Ranil and his Diaspora mates .

        • 1
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          KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

          Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunaratne recently published his version of the war in “Road to Nandikadal”.

          As with tradition in his book promotional interview published in FT, he says he won the war single handedly when the military hierarchy lost all faith in Sri Lankan armed forces.

          On the other hand you have been telling us it was MR (clan)who single handedly won the war.

          I would have thought it was VP who won the war for MR.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Native,

            So you believe Kamal Gunaratna.

            But you don’t believe Monk Mahavamsa..

            Whose B***s do you carry , may I wonder.

            Is it Batalanda Ranil’s , Bodhi Sira’s , Suren Surendran’s or just Vellala Sambandan’s.???…

            Or all in a bag like Santa Claus on behalf of the Elite….

            • 1
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              KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

              “Whose B***s do you carry , may I wonder.”

              Only mine and my own.

              “Is it Batalanda Ranil’s , Bodhi Sira’s , Suren Surendran’s or just Vellala Sambandan’s.???…”

              Are you looking for new employer? I am not in competition with you therefore please go ahead and apply for the job on offer. Tell me why do you want change your employer?

              Wish you well.

            • 0
              0

              KA Sumanasekera:-
              Did you know that ‘Monk Mahavamsa’ was a Tamil from TamilNadu?

              Why are you believing His Lies?

    • 3
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      Believe or not, the way MR moved with his politics during the last 10 years was agaainst Bandaranayaka or any other predecessors principles.

      His could be a match with that of Gadafi, Polpot, Zimbawian Mugabe or th elike.

      These buggers who are the social scum were fully dependent on MR thugs since he had been distributing rice packets to them abusing andneglecting real grievances

      UNP had no enough parliamentarians to go against as a powerful oppo in the enviroment made by the previous authoratarian politics.

      JvpERS were shnining a voice against them, even today they have been doing their job.

      All the oppostion voice were either made silent using all anti human methods

      Rajapakshe should be jailed for all the undemocratic acts carried out as a state head.

      • 0
        0

        His could be a match with that of Gadafi, Polpot, Zimbawian Mugabe or th elike.

        Polpot is correct.

        Other two – you have watched only CNN.

        • 0
          0

          Bumsofty you seem to have made some progress. how come… ?

          is it not enough being a fly on their flowing toilets pits ?

          Rajapakshe makes every effort to score – whenever the chances are available like for example, the envoy is beaten, but the bugger has guts to say… see these men are following me…

          what would he have been telling if he was attacked ?

      • 1
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        Asumanasekara

        “Believe or not, the way MR moved with his politics during the last 10 years was agaainst Bandaranayaka or any other predecessors principles.”

        Actually if you think about what SWRD did, he irresponsibly planted the first weed in the minds of the people, and was watered and nurtured by every government since the advent of Aryan Pancha Maha Balavegya.

        • 1
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          Right these days in Germany, with millions of syrians got in, Germans across the country are against Dr Merkel- today than yesterday, but in the future generations would see her actions allowing them get into german soil as a great thing.

          Also with lanken being that hatred to COLONIAL masters, to that time, Banda had no other choice than go for sinhala only… even if that was not the best choice… dont you think so Mr NV ?

    • 6
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      Father Mother Daughter made enviroment a thug to run amok abusing their party politics.

      The thug ended up goo by 08 Jan 2015.

      Thug looted the state treasary as no leaders in entire south asia ever did.

      Thug abused the laws as no other leader in entire south asia eve did

      There had been no law and order even if the highest crime -murders were increasing…

      Even if people -innocient ones were asulted, nothing was done against, sinc etheir men were behind.

      Gotabaya the most aggressive in that Rajaakshe family was like the hang man made people missing. Wanathamulla Sunil had the chance to escape for his good karma

      Not just WasiM Thadjudeen but there had been many extra judicial killings occured, now with the current investigative mechanisms they come to surface day by day

      All the high abuses such money grabs were provable, but nothing was done.
      As an uneducated person Rajaakshe failed to judge on anything to that time.

      Social scum were given the upperhand in the society so that all crimes could go up as no times before.

  • 0
    2

    Most arguments about how grand SWRD and SLFP are without basis. Since Mrs. B, SLFP was a party ruled by the family. Mahinda Rajapakse tried to build it as a DA rajapakse legacy. He is still trying though.

    Your argument about the european system is better than one man king’s rule is also wrong. If you read the history Sinhale, Maha Bharatha, China…., story is very different. There were bad apples. Other than that, most kings were very good rulers. We did not here, Sri lanka imported rice in the past. But, how often the present system of governing imports rice to feed the citizens ?

    Right now, Maithripala Sirisena is not a grad position to appreciate. He has not done anything unique except making CBK happy. He also has appointed every time children of existing or retired politicians and the same thieves again. that is not a new phenom. It is just the same old corrupt politics. He had to remove some because they were against him. That is also who knows may change.

    So, if readers believe you they are dumb.

  • 2
    0

    Very good analysis.

    Rajapakse & some from his gang were insistant or determined to go to Malyasia. They purposely refrained from attending the Kurunegala SLFP conference. They have achieved their dual purpose.

    Since they say the Malaysian incidents at the temple and the airport have politics behind them, the Malaysian Government and their intelligence, GOSL & its intelligence must investigate thoroughly and rule out any conspiracy whether any body or any group fixed these events with the purpose of bringing back MaRa & Co using race and religion. If needed both governments could seek the assistance of Interpol and or CIA.

    The news say “We Tamils” party has connection with ” DAP”. Any pro MaRa groups in Malaysia could have involved behind the scene.
    The possibility of Asian powers getting involved is there too and must be investigated and ruled out.

  • 3
    0

    Kussi Amma Sumana’s “thanks to the Rajapakses” says it all!

    Bribing the “Tamil Terrorists” to win the election and rip off the country, building his white elephants, ‘Helping Hambantota’ to swell his bank accounts, encouraging his sons and relatives to plunder what they can at the expense of the country (including those favorite “non-elites and non-Anglicans” of his), is what Rajapakse did – and is what our Kussi Amma (or Kakussi Amma?) is so grateful for.

    What a moron!

  • 1
    2

    What the author says is true. Unfortunately Ranil is not much better

  • 2
    0

    MR’s Breakaway & SLFP’s Family-Rule Mindset

    “……..S W R D Bandaranaike ….. founded the SLFP …..opened the doors to the so-called common man closed the door to its logical successor after Bandaranaike’s death, C P de Silva, because he hailed from a non-Govigama caste.”

    HLD Mahindapala and Izeth Hussain ilk do you people still think that there is no caste system among Sinhalese?

  • 2
    0

    SLFP is the most disgraceful party of all the parties. Bandaranayake brought the Sinhala Only policy which simply eliminated thousands of Tamils and Muslims from government service because of their incompetency in Sinhalese.The Sinhala Only policy was executed without any time lapse for the minorities to prepare for it. It was a country where 90 % of the jobs were government controlled.

    Srimavo legislated the most discriminatory policy in the world. She decreed that Tamil students have to score more marks than the Sinhalese to gain admission to the university. It was so disgraceful and obviously discriminatory that Badiudin Mahmood (minister of education) repealed it and substituted the current policy of Standardization. This was an indirect discrimination against Tamils who secured more seats in the University by their hard work.By the way this was the main reason for the Tamil youngsters to join LTTE.

    They brought Swabasha only. Even if the Tamils opted to study in English it was denied . They were forced to study in their own “Swabasha”. How do you think they can get jobs in a country with Sinhala Only as official language?. The “reasonable use of Tamil” was a joke because nobody replies a letter written to the government in Tamil. After all these they want Tamils to be loyal to a Unitary Srilanka. They want Tamils to sing the National anthem in Sinhalese.How is it gong to work?

    • 1
      0

      With all idiots being gotten in, it has become so.

      But it started as the party for common man.

      Truly saying, I enjoyed my childhood in 70ties with respect and dignity being given the first place in the country. But 78 consittution opened any idiots to do whatever they thought is right even if the situation held within its limits even if that bulldog Premadasa took the weapon to his hand.

      Had Lalith and the other goo men been alive, party would have been led to good direction, but the remained troka, Ranil suffered all the human losses. But his perseverance made what he is today, allowing us enjoying law and order at least to some extent.

      Slfp DAYS in 70ties are in my mind even if Mrs B s principles were criticised as no even rice is avaialbe for meals – but the system she started could end up with all propser, as the tamils are used to say even today- if the politics remained – UnpERS open economy destroyed the country to the manner Premadasa or Rajakashes could abuse it as bad soldiers took the weapons.

  • 2
    1

    “The country is sick of family-rule.”

    I dont think so, lots of families still there.

    “Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appeal is to that fringe”

    quite a fringe with millions of votes

    “Any attempt to bring the Rajapaksas back to the SLFP would be a betrayal of the supreme cause of its founder.”

    Bringing them back to the SLFP is what the SLFP leadership is trying to do, by ‘inviting’ them back. Obviously splitting the party is a bigger betrayal I would think.

  • 3
    0

    Anyway let it not be Mahinda Rajapakse, Chamal Rajapakse Basil Rajapakse, Gotabaya Rajapakse Namal Shashindra ETC. and In -laws. This reminds me of President JRJ when he said “I do not have a prince to be crowned.” It does not matter family members coming in but they must work for it and earn it not just parachuted.

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