11 April, 2021

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No Confidence: The Reasons Ranil Must Go

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The mood in shifting in Sri Lankan society. It’s waiting with a mix of patience and restlessness, for the return of Mahinda’s leadership, but also something else. I sense a public in ferment, across classes. Society is waiting for ‘MR Plus’: Mahinda’s magnetic center-left Populism, upgraded and ‘weaponized’ to finish strong, with an Alt-Something.   

It was almost 15 years ago that the NGP Panditharatne Report (2004) noted that testimony from UNPers at the grassroots island-wide had a uniform theme: the problem of the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe!

It was entirely appropriate and heavily symbolic that none other than Vasantha Senanayake, great-grandson of UNP founder and the ‘Father of the Nation’, DS Senanayake, when pressed for the second time by the media on the issue of the replacement of the PM as part of a course-correction, said on prime-time TV news that “it [the PM’s replacement] was bound to happen the easy way or the hard way”. He followed this up last evening by saying on TV that if the matter isn’t resolved in the next two weeks, the UNP rebels could collect and “would easily exceed by about 15” the numbers needed for a no-confidence motion on the PM to pass in parliament.

By any standard of ‘good governance’ (‘yahapalanaya’) and political decency, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe should have resigned, or been made to, for five reasons. Firstly, he was responsible for the appointment of Arjuna Mahendran, against the explicit advice of the President. His crony Mahendran (who had been his appointee in 2001 as the head of the BoI) has been responsible for enormous damage to the economy, the citizenry, the Government and his own party, the UNP. Mahendran is now safely back in Singapore, where he came from. The Prime Minister showed atrocious judgment in retaining him and in seeking to continue to do so when the President wished to remove him. In any decently functioning country, the PM would resign or have been asked to fall on his sword.

Secondly, Mr. Wickremesinghe has been responsible for a crash in the electoral fortunes of his party. In 2018, the UNP that had just celebrated its 70th anniversary, has been beaten into second place by a party that is just a few months old, and that too, by a wide margin. The UNP is the predominant force in the Government, and yet, after three years in office it was convincingly beaten by a party that neither enjoys the status of being in office nor that of being recognized as it should, as the official Opposition. As the leader who led his party to defeat once again, Mr. Wickremesinghe should resign or be forced to by his party.

Thirdly, Mr. Wickremesinghe based his strategy and his strategic confidence on the alliance with and the subsequent split in the SLFP. The strategy failed abysmally. The populist Pohottuwa unofficially led by the iconic Mahinda Rajapaksa, sowed the seeds and reaped the harvest of an anti-incumbency protest vote. The official SLFP retained but a sizeable residue, which was hopelessly inadequate in preventing a Pohottuwa victory. Thus Mr. Wickremesinghe proved himself a dreadful political strategist, though a shrewd tactician in power struggles. As the architect not only of a failed electoral strategy, but far worse, of a trajectory or long term trend of electoral decline, it is ethically incumbent on him to resign as party leader.

Fourthly, Mr. Wickremesinghe is just not on the same page, in political, ideological and programmatic terms, as the country’s leader, President Sirisena. Worse still, he and his UNP see him as the co-leader if not the de facto leader of the country and conduct themselves on that basis. As with President Kumaratunga in 2001-2004, this attitude is counterproductive and unsustainable.

Fifthly, Mr. Wickremesinghe who is unpopular among the Sinhala Buddhist voters, has proved enormously toxic to his coalition partner the SLFP and to its leader, the country’s elected President, Maithripala Sirisena. While the SLFP split, the obvious question is why the liberal faction in government did so badly while the populist-nationalist faction in the Opposition did so well.

Why did the official SLFP with all the advantages of office, including the Presidency, fail, while the SLPP-JO with none of them, benefit and succeed?

Why did the SLFP’s voters shift as a bloc to Mahinda Rajapaksa who is not even the Opposition Leader and cannot run for the Presidency next year?

Why did the SLFP voter not stay with the incumbent President who is also the leader of their party?

Why did the SLFP voter in Attanagalle not stay loyal to the two-term former President and daughter of the legendary SLFP founder and of the first woman Prime Minister?

The answer is that subordinate association of the SLFP with the rightwing, pro-Western, cosmopolitan, Tiger-appeasing, proto-federalist Ranil Wickremesinghe is anathema to the SLFP vote-base which is overwhelmingly Sinhala. That association shipwrecked the SLFP, which is the only political – as distinct from institutional– power base the President has. Therefore it was only logical and legitimate that the President would seek to save his own party and power base, by replacing the present Prime Minister.

Flying in the face of the most basic survival instinct, the UNP opted to retain Mr. Wickremesinghe as its leader, and the SLFP’s Chandrika faction opted to remain in alliance with him as PM. Why so?  If one rules out political sado-masochism as a factor, that leaves money and ideology.

The strategic value of this island is high in the context of the competition between the US-India-Australia-Japan Quartet’s “Indo-Pacific” project on the one hand and the China-Russia strategic alliance’s “OBOR-Greater Eurasia” project on the other. Maintaining the status quo on the island is presumably worth quite a lot of money, Green cards, scholarships etc. In any case there must be some of that bond scam money sloshing around or black money coming in.

Money apart, there is also the ideological factor, which at bottom is a matter of social psychology. Marx says that the dominant ideology is the ideology of the dominant class. The Ranilian UNP is not dominated by classic bourgeois values and virtues, liberal or conservative—thus the note of dissent expressed by Vasantha Senanayaka, Pradip Jayewardene, Navin Dissanaike and Rajiva Wijesinha. The UNP is currently dominated by a stratum branded (even proudly tattooed by itself) as the “Toiyyas”, while the opposing Rajapaksa camp is said to represent the “Baiyyas”.

I find it impossible to translate either term—I’m guessing that “Baiyyas” mean plain folk (or rustics)–but “Toiyyas” is an updated version of the 1950s term “thuppahi” which is an update of an earlier epithet, “kalu suddhas”. The closest rendition in the English language would be Philip Gunawardena’s leftist label of “rootless cosmopolitans”, a social stratum which the Sinhala-Buddhist nationalist LH Mettananda referred to as a “microscopic minority”. Writing in the Ceylon Observer Magazine edition of May 1967, my father Mervyn de Silva commented on the same sociological phenomenon: “The Western-oriented Ceylonese is the perfect pasticheur. He is the intellectual counterpart of the Japanese manufacturer—he will copy anything or anybody.”

In this “Toiyyaland” Ranil Wickremesinghe is the poster-boy, the concentrated expression of everything Toiyyas aspire to: a patron-client relationship with the West. The symbol of the Toiyya UNP is not the proud tusker; it is a pet poodle in a Western lap.

But can retaining Ranil and patching up the Yahapalana model work? It can’t because it is a case of the blind leading the blind. A Western bloc that has not had a success anywhere for quite a while; a Western bloc that is in disarray even in Europe; a Western bloc that is in relative historical decline, is supporting and relying on a Lankan ally/alliance that is suffering dramatic social and electoral rejection.    

How will this end? All that is needed is to plot the trend lines and ask a few questions out loud. What is the likelihood that a new party that scored 45% on its first outing, within several months, will be unable to top it up with 5% and vault the 50% mark in the coming 500 days? How difficult can this be when it is clearly suctioning SLFP votes and those votes are down to 13% of which 5% can easily slide over to the SLPP-JO? If the SLFP remains in coalition with the UNP, how long will it be before has to fight the JVP for third place? The natural, organic convergence of 45% +13% is a sure-fire winner for the anti-UNP cause.

The crisis of Yahapalana can only be temporarily managed, not resolved. But the citizens have an exit ramp coming up.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    12

    This man waited unti this moment.

    Even if other parties would return, you DJ would not have chance to get posted to anyone.

    Please join the Uni AGAIN and try to continue with your lectures. At least then you can help the students not being like Rajeeva and GLP the edcuated idiots.

    You guys can do lot more if you would continue at Unis. You are no means fine to lanken kind of politcis. Your evasive thoughts can only mislead the nation and pave the way rascals to return and suck our rest of blood as had been the case prior to 2015.

    • 21
      5

      Dayan the D…..y, yes we know Ranil should go but then can you give one reason why MARA/GORA should come back. If you do not know, let me elaborate.

      1. To kill journalists and torch TV Stations.
      2. To shoot protesters at sight.
      3. Eliminate any dissent through White Vans.
      4. To protect murderers and plunderers.
      5. To bring back the law of the jungle.
      6. To bring animosity within communities.
      7. To bring back Rajathuma palanaya, where MAR/GORA/BASIL will be responsible for the running of the state with other relatives and henchmen including you, let lose to Rob, Rape, Murder and Plunder Mother Lanka, like their personal property.

      Are you really educated or an A….h…..?

      • 5
        3

        Ansar

        “5. To bring back the law of the jungle.”

        I object.

      • 6
        2

        Ansar – You are really posing this question to an ignoramus who is aspiring to be Minister of Foreign Affairs under RaPalanaya !

      • 1
        11

        Ansar,

        Why don’t you go back to your Saudi Arabia and enjoy the democracy they have to offer you up there?

        • 6
          1

          Hey, Anwar you forgot a vital point in the list.
          TO SUBJUGATE THE JUDICIARY AND DEPRIVE IT’S INDEPENDENCE.

          DJ must answer if these allegations are true or false.

          He cops so much flak simply bbecause he refuses to remain impartial – the most essential feature in a good analyst.

      • 5
        1

        Hey, Anwar you forgot a vital point in the list.
        TO SUBJUGATE THE JUDICIARY AND DEPRIVE IT’S INDEPENDENCE.

        DJ must answer if these allegations are true or false.

        He cops so much flak simply bbecause he refuses to remain impartial – the most essential feature in a good analyst.

        • 6
          0

          Profound apologies to Ansar for getting your name wrong.

          I appreciate your concerns and your right to express them. We need people like you here, not in Saudi Arabia.

          Modern sri lanka must become a land of diversity; not a land of one track minds.

    • 14
      2

      This is one rare occasion I agree with Dayan.

      Ranil should go and let Sirisena and Rajapakse run the economy ……..now that the sweetheart period is over and the higher interest rates will kick in and the debt payments will double for loans taken by Mahinda from China …….let him come back and clean his own mess…….

      Ranil owes the country nothing and the country owes Ranil nothing ……………just go away and enjoy your retirement ………..and let Dayan and the JO-mob talk-up a good economy….. :))

      Now Sirisena is Milton Freedman, Mahinda is John Maynard Keynes (all great economists!)…………. and Ranil is just Ranil.

      The people deserve the Rajapakses and the Rajapakses deserve the people ………let the great love-fest begin ……. Why should anyone stand in the way?

      • 0
        0

        Nimal

        “Ranil Owes the country nothing”!?!?!?!?

        Wow, were you out cold during the last three years and just woke up?

        • 0
          0

          Yeah, tell me what he owes! :)) ………. Go on.

    • 0
      5

      The real rascals are RW, Ravi K, Arjuna etc… Proof is there at least with Ravi K’s rackets. So why not worry about these rascals.

      More to the point when a months old outfit gets 45% of votes one has to take it seriously. Some Colombo-based elites may wonder….? Yes, keep on wondering….

      You bet Dayan is making a point. Unfortunately the poor are suffering.

      • 1
        0

        Just forget all the players ………..Mahinda, Ranil, Sirisena,Donald …………just look at everyone as humans ………from the human perspective…………..

        Mahinda is 100% lies/deception

        Ranil, Sirisena 20% – 30% lies/deception

        Donald 200% lies/deception

        Ranil, Sirisena ………have very little hard core voter base

        Mahinda (not all the Rajapakses; the Rajapakses are nothing without Mahinda) has – and will always have – 45% – 49% hard core voter base which is the Sinhala-Buddhist heartland (study any electoral map)

        In any election Donald Trump – whatever he does or says – will always have the right of centre White-vote

        It’s easy to deceive people than tell them the truth ……….they just don’t want to know the truth………….they will demand for the truth, but want the truth to be what they want to believe

        But one good thing about the recent election is ……..it puts to rest the myth about SWRD’s popularity/principals/nativism…………

        The Rajapkses have usurped and supplanted the Bandaranayakes ………….

        The future generations ………….will hear about Mahinda’s “principals”

        Life goes on ……………and everyone lives happily ever after ……….

        The story ends.

  • 12
    2

    DJ is hallucinating. Smoking something really strong?

    • 2
      0

      Dionysus – Marijuana ??

  • 8
    4

    your problem dayan is that you studied politics and not economics and political victory can only end in economic disaster with the return of the rajapaksas.
    read my comments on Dr Constantines article for you to learn that the LG victory was won not by mahinda’s charisma or policies but by basils remarkable skills as an election organiser
    as regards ranil i agree with you but you will have to wait 2 years for him to depart as despite their talk no one is ready to bell the cat.
    he has them firmly in his grip

  • 10
    3

    Dayan the D…..y, yes we know Ranil should go but then can you give one reason why MARA/GORA should come back. If you do not know, let me elaborate.

    1. To kill journalists and torch TV Stations.
    2. To shoot protesters at sight.
    3. Eliminate any dissent through White Vans.
    4. To protect murderers and plunderers.
    5. To bring back the law of the jungle.
    6. To bring animosity within communities.
    7. To bring back Rajathuma palanaya, where MAR/GORA/BASIL will be responsible for the running of the state with other relatives and henchmen including you, let lose to Rob, Rape, Murder and Plunder Mother Lanka, like their personal property.

    Are you really educated or an A….h…..?

    • 3
      1

      Most of what you have written apply to the current RW and MS mob as well. They are not saints.

  • 9
    4

    Dayan J Alzheimer,
    How come you have so much confidence in that uneducated, LYING, STEALING, MURDERING criminal clan from Hambantota?
    Cheers!
    PS: BTW Mr. Alzheimer, Namal Raja has posted a selfie on his social media today. Proudly posing with opportunistic, foul-mouthed, bigot Boris Johnson aka UK Foreign Minister. Namal Raja seems totally flattered to be photographed with Boris. After strongly objecting to that disgraced Brigadier being recalled to Sri Lanka. Namal Raja also protested a British Royal was invited to attend the independence day. Remember Dayan J Alzheimer? SHAMELESS HYPOCRITES! Whom are you fooling? Stupid people of SL?

    • 5
      0

      Dayan s criticisms have always been inconsistent.

      What matters for him is to get posted himself to somewhere.

      That is his target nothing else.

      The kind of balligeputhas should be punished by all gods if at all there are.

  • 6
    2

    ANOTHER FRUITFUL SESSION OF KEYBOARD MASTURBATION COMPLETED. THE THRILLS CUM WITH READING THE COMMENTS AND INSULTS.

  • 8
    5

    Full of BS no substance. so called Phony Political scientist. Why is that you are anti-ranil, anti-unp.
    Why are you so obsessed with the RAJAFUCKSA family??

    • 4
      0

      You surely sound like a REAR Admiral, certainly not a Front one!

  • 8
    2

    I can’t understand a person being a well-wisher of UNP, and still support and want MR back?

  • 6
    2

    We were waiting for this to come! Our own Brutus puts in the knife.

    Amidst all the recent gushing of the demented doc, this was the real driver. Get Ranil!

    This is, of course, what the doctor does best; kicking a man when he’s down.

    I suppose we should have expected nothing less.

  • 7
    4

    only if the population believed DJ’s rubbish

  • 9
    5

    Dayan the racist and warmonger, you have proved yourself TOXIC in this forum. Try displaying your garbage elsewhere.

    • 2
      1

      Kamalawathie Sameer
      Dayan does display his garbage elsewhere.

  • 4
    2

    Dayan J (DJ) seems to talk sense, at long last.Given that his empyrean is that of a MR Regime, and attempts to make a Collage art of how the political sphere would evolve into the future.

    It’s a universal fact that RW has made a mockery himself, and the party that is UNP, thus looping in all the senior members of the party to be part of that mockery.
    RW is of the hyper image that he is a Lipizzaner of a very rare breed, and he and only himself knows it all. in effect he has no footing on the ground situation prevailing in the country. He self assumes the role of the Cardinal economic strategist, which he is NOT.

    The end play is that the country is going through a scarious period and the general public is left hanging in suspense.

    It is high time that these meager politicians who only have their self interests as their first and ONLY priority, come to their senses and schematize a ‘way-forward plan” that would help the country to get back on track to economic prosperity.

  • 4
    4

    Mr. Dayan,

    You have nailed it this time. Ranil is indeed the poster child of the Toiyya clan.

  • 0
    0

    Most of what you have written apply to the current RW and MS mob as well. They are not saints.

  • 4
    4

    Yes, Dayan. Don’t worry about these Colombo “Mahattayas”. Some of them thought Pohottuwa will get at most 10%.

    Given that some young guns of UNP are openly challenging RW time will be on Pohottuwa’s side. Whether you like or loath MR, time is on his side.

    Farmers and other rural folks are suffering. As one of them put it “No roads, no ports but mounting debt with this lot”.

  • 1
    0

    Those who want UNP don’t want Ranil

    So those who want Ranil must go out with him & if confident try doing what MR faction did.

    problem solved.

  • 1
    0

    Certain people are “married” but prefer their pink lipped blue eyed boys to even share boxer shorts. Why can’t society accept them for who they are and be tolerant?

  • 5
    2

    Dr. DJ: “Reasons Ranil Must Go”. If you had the same FREEDOM you are enjoying now and the COURAGE to give reasons for “MR’s Regime To Go”, by now you would have been “HISTORY” and this Government would have one more like “Lasantha” case to investigate.

  • 4
    1

    Dayan Jayatillaka
    During the past week or so there were three articles on the 2012 Welikada Prison massacre. Did you read any of them? Get special permission from your employer and read at least one of them.
    Dayan, in every political leader one can find weak spots. Mahatma Gandhi had it, Nelson Mandela, Mao Tse Tung, you name them. Your hopping from a Tamil liberation front?
    RW is no exception. But what beats us is your obdurate support of MR family. The Welikada incident is just one example. Do you want us to get back there?

    • 1
      5

      K. Pillai,

      Ranil W may have his weak spots. But he should not portray himself otherwise. The best example is his sexual orientation. He should come out of the closet rather than showing a fake marriage to the gullible public.

      • 2
        0

        This is below the belt and totally uncalled for. Besides it has no bearing on the topic under discussion.

  • 4
    3

    Dayan De Silva (Jayathillake since lately) had told us that his late papa and Esmund Wickramasinghe were the best of pals. He has also stated us that his papa was offered a top job by SWRD at SLBC when papa was just 24. He went on saying that his papa was a good fried of DA Rajapakse and Dayan De Silva (Jayathillake since lately) was a good friend of both George and Luxman Rajapakse. In such a scenario I can understand Dayan De Silva (Jayathillake since lately) taking the side of Mahinda Raja as opposed to Ranil the Wickramasinghe. But, I would like to warn Dayan De Silva (Jaythillake of lately) that only two Morons want Ranil W removed. Both of them are state ministers and the reason why they want Ranil removed is because they were not given junior minister or minister posts. Ranil has the numbers, Dayan De Silva (Jayathillake of lately) will not admit this.

  • 2
    2

    Who is Dayan Jayathilake ? , “Dayan is to Rajapakses what Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was to Henry VIII of Tudor England. It was said of Cardinal Wolsey that he was “feared more than he was loved and, in fact, he was loved by none.” But, in Dayan’s case he is feared by all for his friendship with Gotabaya and loved by Mahinda for his Machiavellian traits”.( Mr: Karikalan S. Navaratnam )

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/dr-dayan-jayatilleka-discovers-a-plot-and-also-the-proof/

  • 4
    1

    MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE had ben yesterday night to Bangalore to transfer his 900 acres to daughter’s name.

  • 3
    2

    A well known information sources says that Rajapakse family’s all the lands and real estates are in Bangalore. in Bangalore, they have Palaces like buildings.

  • 3
    0

    “No Confidence: The Reasons Ranil Must Go”.

    Lack of credibility the reason you should not be posting on CT. You wont do that either.

    Must, Should, Could is not going to happen. So can you cut the crap and stay out of CT, take a cruise or something and enjoy your old age.

  • 4
    1

    Vimukthi

    “But, in Dayan’s case he is feared by all for his friendship with Gotabaya and loved by Mahinda for his Machiavellian traits”.( Mr: Karikalan S. Navaratnam )”

    I am sorry to disappoint you, Dr Mahinda Rajapaksa (LLD + PhD X 3) used him like a condom and chucked him on the road. What exactly you find him in him that shows him having “Machiavellian traits”? There is nothing to fear this public racist. He once denied he had friendship with Dr Gotabhaya (DSc).

    I am not sure where you got these “ideas”.

    He takes 64 positions all at the same time hence you wouldn’t what he stands for.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    1

    Yes Dayan, MR-plus should be a populist leader for all Baiyas not just Sinhala Baiyas, but Tamil Baiyas as well, it is time Tamil Baiyas also stood up against the Vellala Toiyas.

    • 2
      0

      wannihami

      Hence the opportunity for you to light your cigarette from a burning roof.

      • 0
        1

        NV mate, no can do, it is dangerous to smoke in the closet

        • 0
          0

          wannihami

          Is that you smoke on the roof top?

    • 0
      0

      wannihami is correct………….

  • 1
    0

    with Mangala Samaraweera some one who is living now with ANIMISA LOCHANA POOJAVA also has been there or had instructed to go there. Probably she has Epilepsy (apasamaraya). She is upset sasying “APo than mage namath eliyata enawa”.

  • 3
    0

    Dayan is trying all available avenue.
    First he said LG results is binding on the central govt and the central govt should quit
    The he argued on the more than 50% voted for MaRa and Ranil should quit
    The he said constitutionally Ranil cant stay on he should quit
    After losing out all these arguments
    Dayan is now saying that he has no confidence in Ranil

    no on gives a two hoot about Dayan’s view on any thing thsesdays
    He like a frog in the mud croaking all the time ……

  • 0
    0

    Regarding Mangala Samaraweera’s HOPE for the PM post, some one who knew it (Gunasiri ?) had mentioned in a round table discussion, that the goddess had scolded him harsh and had said that you will not get it. Yet, Managala Samaraweera is still hopeful he would get the PM post.

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