23 September, 2020

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No Confidence

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The Prime Minister is facing two motions of no-confidence, not just the one. One is formal the other informal but no less real. Each one deals with one of the two aspects that go to constitute the PM’s public life. The two motions of no-confidence, the first de jure and the second de facto, are the motion that will manifest itself in Parliament, and the other, the mounting and increasingly public dissent within the UNP, which is rising up from below.

The no-confidence motion pertains to Mr. Wickremesinghe’s conduct in Government. Whether or not it secures the requisite numbers, the very move means that his Prime Ministership is leaking lifeblood because the signatories and probable voters, include members of his Cabinet. To be sure these are members of his coalition partner the SLFP. But that’s cold comfort.

If the members of your cabinet bring a vote of no-confidence against you – which they are doing fairly openly—then how do you continue to function in that cabinet and how does that cabinet continue to function?

If your coalition partner gathers signatures for a vote of no confidence against you, how can that coalition continue to function?

If the party that is led by the Executive president, the Head of state and government is rebelling against you, the Prime Minister, how can that administration continue? 

And if all these do continue despite the motion of no–confidence and with a national election looming late next year, how can the country continue to be governed, the state apparatus continue to function?

How will the economy perform with the obvious and inevitable negative impact on investor confidence?

Running alongside all of this is the crisis within the UNP, the main party of the governing coalition. The coverage started with one TV station but now it has spread to all the private stations. Every evening on the TV news, some group of UNP members or the other, in some part of the country or the other, call for the replacement of Mr. Wickremesinghe as party leader. The message goes directly into the drawing rooms across the nation: “he’s been party leader for almost 25 years and we just cannot sell him as leader in our villages!”

While the UNP parliamentarians seem willing for the most part, to settle for Mr. Wickremesinghe remaining as leader albeit with—and on condition of—a drastic and immediate devolution of power within the party to younger, more popular figures, the party activists and elected representatives at the grassroots have organized themselves and are demanding new leader before the next round of elections. As one of them rang the alarm loudly at a media briefing: “thava thiyenne avuruddai maasa atai!” (“We have just another year and eight months to go!”) The grassroots activists and elected representatives have their finger on the pulse.    

So, Mr. Wickremesinghe is facing rebellion and rejection on both fronts—the government and the party. Make that three fronts: the Parliament, the Cabinet and the UNP. No leader can face such combined rejection and continue his political career as a leader. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s leadership may not end in weeks or months, but it is certainly over. He is bleeding out from death by a thousand cuts, many of them self-inflicted. The only question is whether he will go now, or continue to inflict discredit and damage on his government and his party, not to mention the country and the economy, before he is unceremoniously cast out at the end of this government’s disastrously dysfunctional term.

Right now Mr. Wickremesinghe is trying to survive by playing one rebellion off against the other and splitting them from within. He may achieve some modest tactical success but he cannot prevail. What he is trying to do is play off the inner-party dissent against the governmental and parliamentary dissent.

The UNP wants a change in the party but it is less committed to a change of Prime Minister. The UNP seems to be saying that it want to save its electoral viability as a party, but is willing to keep Ranil on as Prime Minister for the next two years. The Parliament and especially the SLFP seems to be saying that it does not really care what the UNP does within—and the worst nightmare of some in the Pohottuwa is that the UNP will replace Ranil as leader and select someone less chronically unelectable—but that neither the SLFP nor the JO are willing to accept him as the Prime Minister and work with/under him.

The Pohottuwa is devoted to him as an electoral foe but what drives it up the wall is his policy direction because it drives its larger constituency up the wall. The SLFP’s problem is that association with him is killing it as a party and their individual electoral futures as well.

The SLFPers simply cannot stay with him as PM and aspire to win their areas at any future election. They would rather leave the Government and take their seats in the opposition, not least because both the SLFP and the JO know that even if Ranil survives the no-confidence motion with the support of the TNA and Chandrika (i.e. her ‘groupuscule’ of SLFP MPs), that is a lingering kiss of death for the government from here on in. No Southern Opposition could conceivably hope to have a better target than Ranil plus the TNA.

Ranil hopes that the contending or at least asymmetric motivation, aims and objectives of the foes within and without; the UNP dissidents and the JO-SLFP opponents, can be manipulated to crash into each other like dodgem cars, or at the least, retard the velocity of these twin moves against him. He must further hope that the Japanese would have put in a word for him with President Sirisena and that the perennially contending aspirations of the Sajith Premadasa and Navin Dissanayake factions will deadlock the dissent within.      

Going by the report in the Deshaya (of the Times Group) Mr. Wickremesinghe’s final card seems to be to move an amendment to the Constitution to abolish the executive presidency and to count on the JO to support him. From other reports it would appear that the JVP is the stalking-horse for this move.

Even if all these tactical moves work, the enterprise fails because he cannot prevail. This is because he has two affliction both of which are fatal. One is a terminal crisis of legitimacy. He brought in an old crony from his days as PM in 2001, and made him the head of the central bank despite his non-citizenship, his conflict of interest and the advice of the President. It was on the PM’s watch as Finance Minister and that of his appointee as Governor of the Central Bank, that a globally unprecedented scam was perpetrated. That ex-governor is now a wanted man and is absconding. Again unprecedented in the world, the Prime Minister who inducted him, appointed him, defended him (even when the President tried to remove him) and suggested the change in the method of auction, has got off with no consequence.

This damage to the Prime Minister’s credibility and legitimacy will never go away and increases with each passing day. It will become a hemorrhaging wound once the no confidence motion is debated, whichever way the vote goes. All those in the UNP and CBK faction of the SLFP who defend him, will be seen by the public and placed on the record as those who defended the morally indefensible. This is a politically and socially fatal wound.

The second fatal wound is his indubitable unpopularity at the electoral level. Indubitable because it is being said by the UNP itself. Not only is it indubitable it is also growing. Nothing can be done about this short of his removal because Mr. Wickremesinghe is what he is, both in terms of policy and personality. He failed to be elected President in 1999 and 2005 and his earlier term as elected PM ended in dismissal followed by electoral defeat. He has almost reached the end of the road as UNP leader. All that left is to figure just how much road is left. He has also reached the end of the road as PM. Again, all that remains is to see how many months or weeks he has left. If he stays till 2020 or tries to, governmental and state paralysis will set in, the economy will go into a downward spiral, and anarchy will arise. And nope, the military will not support Fonseka (who scored a grand total of 30,000 votes), and a second Presidential bid by him will be nothing more than a farce.

The no-confidence motion, accompanied or followed by Mr. Wickremesinghe’s replacement as party leader, is the only way to save the country the growing cost of the toxicity.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    1

    Don’t worry. Mahintha, Chamal, Dinesh have not singed the no confidence motion. Ranil will be the PM till 2020. No Rajafucksas ever again!

  • 6
    0

    Heard about Sajith Premadasa aka Keselwatta Faction which survives on the Funds collected by his dad while latter was holding the President Gig. .
    Who is the other Dude?
    Is he the leader of the Toiyya Faction ?.
    Anyway there is not much chop in any of the UNP faces which I see on TV or read about in News Papers.
    I know the NGO brigade love them , And the Western Embassies look after them and nurture them.

    Srilanka is a country where the 70% majority are Sinhala Buddhist and Catholic inhabitants.
    The majority of them are poor sods who find it hard to put the food on the table , let alone pay for Band Width and Face time their girl friends boy friend and mates.
    Is this UNP any help to this great majority?.

    Has the UNP got anything other than selling Public Assets to mates.
    Allow them to rip off the Public Purse and force the poor to pay for their basic rights to Education , Health Care and Transportation?….
    Wonder who drove that spanking new BMW in to the Piliyaladala Pond…

    • 5
      2

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Who is the other Dude?”

      Is it the Mahaweli kid whose father the public racist Dutta Gamani who burnt down Jaffna library ?

      Don’t you remember him?

      • 0
        1

        Dear Native,
        I liked it. the Not burning down your Eelaam Library of course.
        How come Dr Dayan is promoting a Public Racist’s son to take Dr Ranil’s Seat?.
        Then again as I said, there is not much Chop in Dr Ranil’s Cabinet.
        Mangi . Mallika ,Kabir, Akila Ranjan, Eran Dr Harsha , don’t sound exciting Do they?.
        Poodle Club Kid has soiled the pants thanks to Aloysious.

        Mate you have to think out of the Box.
        And suggest a few revolutionary ideas if you want your mate Vellala Sam to have his Eelaam , before this Yahapalanaya shit itself………

        • 2
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          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          “Mate you have to think out of the Box.”

          I do try to think outside the box at a cost.
          Tamil/Sinhala b***s carriers, racists, bigots (somass, Lal loo, Taraki, ….), stupids (sach, shenali, wannihami, sirinathan.Gunaratnam, …..Jimmy the dimwit, yourself) don’t let me. They drag me down to their level and try to beat me with their weapons (racism, bigotry and stupidity) and bury me in their own cesspits where they usually live and thrive.

          What do think Navin’s letter to the rulers of your former Colonial masters.
          Did he do a Gandhi, Patel, Nehru, ……………… who were educated in the sun never sets empire came home and kicked them out and took on the white man’s burden and made it into brown man’s burden?

          In Navin’s case he was educated in the UK paid from dad’s looted wealth , came home fired a letter in Englis, perhaps he is inviting the former colonial masters to take on Brown man’s burden and make it white man’s burden once again.

          You really love crooks don’t you irrespective of party affiliation.

          When you meet him next time, demand him to
          apologize to the book loving/reading people for what dis dad did in Jaffna on 31st May 1981

          return all the looted ola manuscripts and rare books back to the libarary

          apologise to the people of this island for the wealth his father looted from the state

          reimburse all what his dad looted from the treasury with interest.

          Do you know what his father did with apple orchard in down under? Did he sell the orchard and pay for the two son’s education in queen’s own country?

          • 0
            1

            Dear Native,
            You have a real gripe about this Navin. Don’t you?.

            But you are in the same ” Pit” with him plus Dr Ranil, Sampathar and Surendran.
            And having a go at Shenali jimmy, and everyone else who are trying to expose them .
            And prevent the disaster they are bringing in to our Land . which Gota saved after thirty years of Pirahaparan destruction, which was carried out with the generous help of the White Sahibs where Navin baby bought his education..

            Wonder whether you have the same gripe about Anton and Adele?..

            • 2
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              KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

              If he was a honourable man Navin would have apologised to the people for all racist activism, setting fire to library and for the looting and returned all the books and oolas and repaid all capital plus interest on money looted by his dad.

              Basil (10, 20, 30%) was the main understudy to the Dutta Gamani. What were you doing when Basil was picking crumbs from Dutta Gamani’s shoes.

              “Wonder whether you have the same gripe about Anton and Adele?”

              Knowing VP I don’t think they would have dared to cheat LTTE. One is gone and the other is too old to take up active mugging. If and when you decide to take her to ICC on war crime charges, feel free to do so where she can negotiate a peace settlement with the clan, crooks, war criminals, patriotic brigadiers, generals, admirals, ………… .

  • 7
    1

    Deyan ..you are dreaming to dislodge him.
    But he is a foxy and crafty man ..
    If he is ousted ..
    Who is next..
    Goata..
    CHAMPIKA ..
    NAMIL..
    WHOSE ELSE ?
    SRI LANKA DOES NOT HAVE GOOD LEADERSHIP?

  • 2
    0

    I heard CBK is thinking about defecting to Ranil’s side and she is waiting the out come. I think ousting Ranil is useless attempt as his presence would destroy UNP for some time to come. What important is make Ranil steps down and get infront of him again the CIABOC judges, Livera and Kodagoda group to find what really happened. I heard even during Dahanayaka, MRs B and JRJ times, Central bank was a favorite place for politicians. Even SWRD had been used to keep cars with the keys in his house and sell those to collect money for politics. PAskaralingam is from R pemadasa times, after that it was CBK and Ranil times. BOnd Scam in mass scale had begun during that time after 1994. So, the loss is humongous. What we do is recycling politicians. So, nothing changes except one from the former lot comes and tries to do the same again. JUst waisting time and money. Countries that are trust worthy to people by now would have finished most of what they should have done. Ranil does not go because he says, what he doing is the only he knows or that is the only job he likes. So, let him self destroy and wait until the elelction comes. He may try other thngs to juggle and that sshopuld not be allowed. Because NGOs and other are asking him to stay. Orumiththa nadu and Nasirishthan are not yet ful filled. Ranil was trying to say this new govt is Dharmishtha govt but he has proven it is the CONFUSED -Orumiththa govt. So, anti- people has a very good living example to say get it and self destroy yourself to Tamils.

  • 3
    4

    The muslim dance may be that they are eyeing for Nasirishthan. Muslims were the killers but they are saying they are saints and propose various plans to recognize them.

    • 0
      1

      Islamaphobic troll comment.

  • 5
    1

    Waiting for the next piece by Shyamon Jayasinghe (or Vishwamithra). This is a good battle.

    • 4
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      Viswamithra and jayasinghe are writing about another country and another person. They dont know anything of present UNP leadership and especially Ranil. They live in cuckoo land

    • 1
      1

      No thanks. Had enough of Saimon, boring old fart who get kick out of Ranil’s a..s!

  • 0
    0

    the no confidence motion will fail as the jo and pals cant get a majority and ranil like ole man river will just go rolling along till 2020
    he does not care what happens to the unp after that as mahinda will give him an ambassadorship for looking after him all these years

  • 0
    0

    Hela
    Don’t waste your time reading the rubbish that these people write it makes one vomit. There are others of the same ilk like Geederick, Vionis, Hewlin all recently emancipated from illiteracy and grinding poverty so they imagine that rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous would leave a residue for them.They can’t even make an intelligible case for their views.

  • 1
    0

    Rambukwella’s son had sent a new sports car to a ditch. I heard Rambukwella saying why we old politicians can not have new cars and our children can not have fun. there should be some supportive services (subha sadhaka sangamaya) to old-politicians. He is asking duty free car permits for old politicians. It says, Ranil is willing to consider that.

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

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  • 1
    0

    Dayan- the naughty-immature 62 year old brat.

    You are again confessing that you are in a dream world.
    The no confidence motions are in a talk-talk-talk-stage only.
    Your other fantasy “Gota at the helm” is dream-dream-dream stage!

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

    6.2 million who voted for ‘Hansaya’ dug the grave for the whole nation. In history books we have to write President Sirisena as the person who brought ‘Yama Palanaya’ not ‘Yaha Palanaya’.

  • 0
    0

    To do is bad to not to do is also problematic. If No Confidence motion succeed there will be some turmoil. If it fails it could even be even worse. Some Yahapalanayos might walk across.

    Ranil’s survival is a bonus for Pohottuwa. His actions will drive voters to Pohottuwa and others.

  • 0
    0

    Who like to stand, who will back off would be divided by 21st or may not too and may be next year….I don’t know. Thero was betting on Brother Prince. After his American visit during the LG election, his newly cultivated sophistication, elatedness, class etc. were suggesting that he will run on US side. There are many points to be clarified. Castro Communist Thero has no idea of those. Sophistication is not enough; Brother Prince will have to learn of walking on the edge of a sword if he wants to stand for EP election. Slipping on that circus will not just kill him, but will Old King, New King and Ponny.
    New King is quite happy the first OISL report is killed and UNHRC cannot retract on that. That part is correct. But Old King better understand the other part than New King, so he knew UNHRC will find out alternates to that. You may remember the Osama Bin Laden used to say? “You have to always win to protect you, but we winning one time will take you off”. Old King knows defeating old OISL report is nothing, if the UNHRC is not giving up on that. That why when there were posters in the Colombo street walls, he warned Brother Prince is being taken for ride, while he has not artistic enough to walk on the sword edge.
    Remember how Ranil was turned into a Peking Communist after he too stood for West in the 2015 election? If the “Ring Master” Ranil had endured that much for Northeast Chinese Monsoon, Brother Prince will be nowhere to that wind. The inexperienced guy will be pushed down on the sword. That time it will be doubled edged, On from West and one from East. So we need to see yet the Brother Prince candidacy.

  • 0
    0

    The other one Thero was betting is the 2nd generation Vaalaithoodda Kaadai. If Ranil sees he coming back to power will label him as Judas who betrayed the war hero (old King), then he will happily pass it to Vaalaithoodda Kaadai to have it for him all alone. Ponny is certainly out of all these, because he has already gone through all these. Ponny opposing Old Royals is not seen as traitorous.
    Other two things worth to see that Thero mentioning is abolishing EP and Chandrika’s part.
    Let see Chandrika first, less complex. She is straight forward within all Appa Diplomacy Sinhala political Intellectuals; probably learned from Vijay. She will be getting, foreseeably, only one chance to get a hold of SLFP; that will be when New King’s power ends in 2020. If she wants Vimukti in politics, she has to grasp SLFP at that time and oust out all New and Old Royals out of SLFP. Right now, if you throw it to the bitch, wanders on the streets, will not pick the SLFP. But, that is not be a bad deal for Chandrika, because that is an enhanced chance for her to gets back her daddy’s party from her enemies. The Attanagalla princes defeated the 17 years of UNP tyranny once before and she can do it again.

  • 0
    0

    By trying to abolish EP, provided Thero is correct, Ranil seems to be desperate. Nevertheless, doing like this might have been in the game plan of Ranil from the very beginning. One may remember how he took the support of TNA and the West and made his deal with China and kick out these guys once he signed the Sales deeds with China. The Abolition of EP, Abolitions of PR and devolution North East was the promises he gave to UNHRC as the alternate for Resolution 30/1. This became kwon as Secret Solution (New Constitution). Because Ranil did not like it go too much published as when the time for his plan are ripen, it will be a blockade for him take “U” turn on his promise. After the election, like it or not, Secret Solution has evaporated completely. He did not abolish the PR but created a new system, which renders the opposition only mouthless, powerless nincompoops. So, if he uses this opportunity to knockout EP from constitution, he is completely out of the hold of UNHRC. But on the other side one would not be sure that Old King would like EP go out of constitution, even if he cannot come as EP. (But in future he can.) Say, still, Ranil was success on that before 21st, then that is suicide mission for him.

    • 0
      0

      Mally ,
      Are you confirming Dr Ranil’s Yahapalana Secret Deal with Sampathar and Suren?.
      What about Whiskey Madam?.
      Anyway Dr Ranil’s LKR 25 Lakhs to JVP Prince Anukra must be the best investment Dr Ranil has ever made …..

  • 1
    0

    Future Game plan . The Rajapakshes will play behind proxies for sometime like they have done .

    I doubt they want Ranil out until Port city is completed.
    They have already taken their giant share ,they have also taken lot from many condo developers ,like the Prime Grand financed heavily by Chinese investment. The new ethnic colonization need to be completed at any cost ,we have no way of reimbursing it nor the present government has any way of recovering it .

    Until 2020 it is going to be inky pinky poly ,so just get on the wagon if anyone can and make hay while sunshine.,a lot are doing it already. Let 2020 take care the curses when it happens

  • 2
    0

    DJ, what is needed now is to get rid of the Prez who has let the people down and is protecting the Fukshas. RW has been trying his best to bring in governance but the farmer MS has not been allowing this to happen. Classic case is when the Prez did not want Fonseka appointed as law and order minister. The f…..wit MS is a rouge and crook who has deceived the people and is now trying to piggy back on the Fukshas. Your comments are irrelevant and display what a nincompoop you RW must stay around to get this country .out of the mess created by the Rajafukshas and by bootlickers like you who bend with the wind hoping for benefits.

  • 1
    0

    Sour Grapes Dayan, sour grapes…
    Ranil is 100 times more intelligent than you and he thinks light years ahead of you. It is only the JO along with a few SLFPs trying to oust Ranil. All that damage you are blabbering about, who cares, you think Ranil cares? It will make him even stronger.
    Dayan, you have not only lost your credibility but also turned into a laughing stock…

  • 2
    0

    The no confidence motion will FAIL. Already the US is actively working behind the scenes. Money is changing hands. NO RW will laugh at you later Dayan J . You will not have the last laugh. Ranil also become our President in 2020. NO Tamil or Muslim will vote for Goat-abaya or Basil Ten Percent. Without our Tamil or Moor vote, you cannot elect a President. So keep wasting oxygen.

  • 1
    0

    DJ has been hit by paranoia and he has just forgot everything what happened before 2015 January. He is too much worried about what happens to RW than his own family members.

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