24 January, 2021

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Open Letter To Ranil And Champika; Shed Mutual Suspicion And Talk

By Vishwamithra1984 –

“I shall argue that strong men, conversely, know when to compromise and that all principles can be compromised to serve a greater principle.” ~Andrew Carnegie

Ranil Wickremesinghe 1This missive is addressed to Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka, the Leaders of the United National Party (UNP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) respectively. But it is not a “for your eyes only’ memorandum. Whoever wishes to read it could read the letter and draw his or her own conclusions and make their own assertions. The country is evidently heading for a crucial election. The Presidential Elections which everyone is talking about and getting ready for is no election to elect Provincial Councilors or Pradesheeya Sabha members whose scope of work and horizon of vision are limited and perennially lacking in the national context. All Provincial Council administrations, except perhaps in the Northern Province, are blindly subservient to the ‘Center’, treating the terrain as a breeding ground for corrupt and nepotistic practices rather than for future parliamentarians. Those who are already warming the governing seats in these councils are running amok, as was seen in the last five years and paying ‘puja’ to, as Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka quite rightly called, the “family politbureau’ in order to receive more favorable grants and wishes for their own unsophisticated advancement.

It is in that context that the leaders of the UNP and JHU should look at the forthcoming Presidential Elections. It is incumbent upon them, if they are really serious about displacing the current President from office, to explore all possibilities, not just one or two, to secure an electoral victory at the Presidential Elections. What does Ranil have to do and what does Champika have to accomplish in order to come to a common understanding and launch a combined effort to achieve victory? If Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka are serious about their common goal, then there is a way. To show that way is the primary objective of this communique. Before going any further, there is one other significant question that the writer needs to clarify. Why did I select these two parties and their leaders?

  1. Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP
  2. Champika Ranawaka and JHU

1. Ranil Wickremesinghe and UNP

The UNP is the strongest Party in the Opposition. No meaningful opposition can be launched without the active support of the UNP and it is still so. In the personal view of the writer, it is the only mainstream political party reasonable people would associate themselves with. The people’s faith in the UNP’s versatility in the management of the country’s economy and its open-economy principles that have propelled the country from the stranglehold of archaic socialist economic policies of the left-wing in general and the Bandaranaike-principles built around the ‘dependency-on-State’ mindset in the nineteen seventies in particular, has not waned. Furthermore, nepotism which seems to be an integral component of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and its other ‘right-wing’ allies, does not hold any validity with the UNP. The only instance where nepotism played a role in the UNP was way back in 1952, at the very inception of Independent Ceylon when D S Senanayake expressed his wish that Dudley should succeed him after his demise. (Source: J R Jayewardene of Sri Lanka, Volume 1 –A biography by Professor K M de Silva). But when J R took over the Party the picture changed and a new dynamic set in. I dare say that, if not for J R’s vision, R Premadasa would never have got where he was under any other leader of the UNP of the past. Sajith Premadasa and the two Dissanayake brothers, Navin and Mayantha launched themselves into politics after the demise of their respective fathers and not while their fathers were in power or for that matter, alive and they were elected to office due to their own individual strengths. The‘Accident of birth’ syndrome did not work in these cases as it is doing in the Rajapaksa clan.  So, there is no dispute that the ‘nepotism’ badge cannot be attached to the UNP. One fine example that nepotism is not the yardstick by which positions in the Party are carved out is when Ruwan Wijeyawardene, the grandson of D R Wijeyawardene, volunteered to hand over the mantle of the UNP Youth League to Harin Fernando recently (However, Harin has been appointed Deputy National Organizer and Ruwan retains his post). UNP needs to head the Opposition coalition, if there were one. Its voter-base, although it has dwindled to a very large extent due to various issues, is a must for any opposition coalition.

Yet, it is reported, that Ranil Wickremesinghe does not want to carry any IOUs to form a future UNP-led government. Ranil needs to shed that fear and inhibition if he ever wants to scale the ‘greasy pole of power’ in Sri Lanka. Politics, as Otto von Bismarck said, is the art of the possible. Compromise is the father of many a political deal that has benefited not just one party but many. IOUs are inherently part of that ‘art’. If Ranil does not want to call it a compromise if such a term is hurting his ‘manhood’, then call it something else. Call it middle-ground, or halfway-point or whatever but make it happen.

2. Champika Ranawaka and JHU

minister Champika RanawakaChampika Ranawaka’s case might be a little more difficult, yet he must realize that he is negotiating from a position of weakness, although it may be portrayed as one of strength. Champika Ranawaka has not tested his voter-base at any given time as he has not contested on his own as yet. Securing a mere 25% of the votes cast for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) is no great achievement when Wimal Weerawansa and Duminda de Silva, both of dubious political stature,  secured 58% and 30% respectively and it is no major negotiating position either. But Champika’s strength grew over the last two years, not because he or his party has accomplished a great deal in the Ministries they held but the socio-cultural line that the JHU in general and Champika in particular have been pursuing has been attractive to the greater majority of Sinhalese Buddhists in the country. Champika and his fellow JHU politicians have not been tarnished with corruption and nepotism; their cry for Sinhalese-Buddhist domination of the nation’s character has gained traction and if the natural magnetism towards that cause could be diverted against the Rajapaksas and the current regime and identified with a UNP-led Opposition, the potential of such a political force could be enormous. But he needs to soften his stand on the 13th Amendment. The 13th Amendment is the law of the land and it is part of our Constitution. Champika and the JHU have to acknowledge that reality. Instead of portraying themselves as enemies of the Tamils, they need to represent themselves as peacemakers. They must remember that history was always changed by peacemakers when the war-mongers turned it into dust and ashes.

Agreeing on a common program, a common platform and a common goal and without resorting to disbursement of positions under common candidate and Prime Ministerial positions etc., they must meet on the same grounds that unites them and not what sets them apart. If that happens, Sri Lanka might have another chance of breathing free air again. If not, what follows might be too gruesome to pen. If, on the other hand, Champika Ranawaka resolves to stay on with the Rajapaksas and defend that corrupt regime at the next Presidential Polls, he and his Party would be tarred with the same ugly, black brush.

Stranger political deals have been made. Coming together of Ranil Wickremesinghe and Champika Ranawaka is not an impossibility.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    Oh my lord the Author is either insane or a UNP-opportunist who comes from a Sinhala Buddhist background. Only someone of that ilk could dream up the possibilities of a UNP-JHU coalition.

    The UNP, since J.R’s era, is an ultra neo-liberal party, right-leaning party. Under J.R the UNP was far more right wing and encompassed the racist elements of what it is to be right-wing (the 1983 pogroms is the glaring example). J.R’s mimicked Reagan with his own right-wing, ‘red scare’, and went further by purging over 60,000 JVPers, most of them whom were innocent students/non-militia personnel. Indeed it is that same bloody idiot J.R who cursed us with our current voting system as well as the presidential system.

    The UNP under RW however has evolved into a far more liberal racially tolerant (borderine equal status) party. RW sees brains and capability in his men as opposed to ‘boru ping’ and ‘pirith knools’. Unfortuantely, Ranil, with all his brains is yet to redesign a UNP which is more inclusive, less neo-liberal and more centrist. He murmurs the right things about universal education, health every now and again but his plans of evolving his party’s politics are yet to be heard out loud.

    Now the JHU, with Champika, Udaya and Ratana are a totally different kettle of fish. In the UK they would be the equivalent of Nick Farrage’s UKIP party or Marie Le Pen’s ‘National Front’ party in France. Both of these being ultra-right wing, racist parties which are just teetering on the edge of fascism. This is exactly where the JHU’s party politics and principles lie.

    Of course, like Farrage and UKIP, they talk the good talk about how democracy is being eroded, how there is rampant corruption and how this government is miserably failing its people. However, they have also clearly stated what their ideals and principles are. They have clearly stated they do not want to re-implement the 17th amendment but rather bring in a 19th amendment which would retain police and land powers at the centre.

    It is well worth mentioning that these same politicians have previously made racist statements against minority races in the country and have regularly aligned with Gotabaya Rajapaksa and their fascist para-military organisations namely Sihala Ravaya and BBS. In a recent statement the JHU ‘monk’ Ratana proudly stated that it was the JHU which took the SLFP-coalition by the hand and took it to wage war against northern civilians without fear or a conscience.

    Yes the JHU talk a good talk. They proclaim transparency and demand an end to corruption, which I have no doubt they will attempt to honour. Gammanpila and co are self-proclaimed environmentalists (despite having allowed illegal resorts to be set up in national parks under his watch) and they may do something positive to protect our wildlife which is under the most severe threat. But lets face it. This is essentially the Fascist Party of Sri Lanka. It is impropable and stupendous for us to be even contemplating of a union between such a force and a UNP which is just scratching on the surface of racial equality.

    In the unlikely even these two forces were to join, the JHU will grab Ranil by his collar and toss him to aside, along with their BBS goons and they will continue to run amok, with key military leaders on their side.

    A far more likely, far more plausible outcome would be to see the UNP-JVP-TNA-Democratic Front create a strong alliance, along with Mano Ganeshan and other opposition parties (NSSP etc). Despite their bloody history of maiming one another, both parties have grown up and their idiot leaders have died and given way to more progressive thinkers. Anura Kumara Dissanayake is probably the most eloquent, most hardworking MP in parliament right now, with the likes of Harin Fernando, Harsha De Silva trailing closely behind. These are all people of intellect and capability. These are the people who will find common ground and gain strength to remove this current SLFP family dictatorship from political office.

    If a unified front is from now onwards, it is likely to see at least a few government MP’s and coalition partners vacate their positions and join this new force.

    We are indeed heading for desperate times. But please, lets not call for desperate action. This will be the downfall for all of us.

    • 8
      0

      A well reasoned comment. The JHU can pretty much go rot in hell. They did attempt to talk to the great king who seems to have got in a huff and left the meeting in 15 minutes. So they can go it alone. But please do not even attempt to talk to the UNP. The UNP does not need these racists idiots on their band waggon. They are a spent force and if they go it alone they will take votes away from the king and that is exactly how this should play out.

      • 0
        2

        ” The UNP does not need these racists idiots on their band waggon “

        The LTTE fronts are openly partying in London celebrating the delisting (‘on a technicality’) from the terrorist list. Did Ranil W. attend any of the parties apart from the reported meetings with terrorist diaspora ? The UNP seems to have already decided on which racist idiots they want on their bandwagon.

  • 2
    9

    Imagine Champaka Ranawaka going to bed with the UNP leader who helped annihilate the whole Military Intelligence unit of the Nation, portraying them as a risk to Ranil’s security.

    Unless Champaka wants to commit Hara Kiri for the benefit of the Elite, Anglicans and the Vellalas.

    Even D M Jayaratna says ,no one in his right mind will want to join Ranil,because he can’t even have the support of his Deputies.

    He went even further to say that the UNP tortured and killed many SLFP Activists and Organisers ..

    Obviously this is a reference to the thousands who got murdered by the Prema Regime under the guise of killing the JVP.

    And Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe was a senior minister then, according to my Elders.

    • 6
      1

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Imagine Champaka Ranawaka going to bed with the UNP leader”

      Do you still believe Champika’s partner share a bed with this vile man?

      “according to my Elders.”

      They passed their stupid gene to you particularly and Sinhala/Buddhists in general from South Indian pool.

  • 5
    3

    The 13th Amendment is the law of the land and it is part of our Constitution. Champika and the JHU have to acknowledge that reality.

    This says a lot.

    For whose benefit ?

  • 3
    3

    Vishwamithra 1984,

    I find your proposition preposterous.

    To start with Ranil has proven himself incapable of grabbing great opportunities that were presented to him by the blunders committed by the MR brothers. He is inept and innefective. So don’t hold your breath that RW can sway the voters.

    Secondly Champika is a racist. His organization is a race based organization. He is also a great big liar – listen to his speech delivered in Paris a few months ago. Absolute nonsensical theories packaged as truth to reinforce the greatness of the Sinhala people.

    How can a coalition between an ineffective man and a lying racist sway the people from the MR Mafia family.

  • 1
    2

    Vishwamitra, what Nimal, BBS rep,Jim Softy and the great K.A.Sumanasekara said are true.I will not place Ranil as low, as bad as indicated by BBS rep, but Ranil has no ability to pursue a topic. Remember 2001-2002 when he ran to the US every other week.His other problem is that he suspect those in his own party. I believe the cross over of Karu and Dayasiri were due to his weakness. In Dayasiri, against whatever others say the UNP had a good second or third ranker, who need exposure. That man’s career in politics was ruined jointly by Ranil and Mahinda.

    Champika is good Technocrat. The day, if under a modified Executive presidency a cabinet of technocrats has to be formed, then Champika deserves a place as much as Harin, Eran, Harsha Anura Kumar, Vijitha Herath Mangala and a few more. The more will come from the JVP.

    What Ranil did with the Millinium City crowd was very bad. He listened to tales from some. probably from the forces itself. He is lucky that he was not prosecuted as a traitor.

    Ranil is petty minded. In both Fonsekas case and Shirani bandaranbayake’s case he could have taken a more forthright role. he avoided the problems with semantics.In Shirani Bandaranayakes case he appointed another nit wit John Amaratunga as the UNP man on the panel.

    He brought Keheliya, Jhonston, Mervin, Duminda,Lakshman Yapa,Ravi all rotters into politics.

    How do you explain the presence of Daya Gamage and Grero in UNP politics? Luckily Grero had left the UNP but does not buck the UNP like Jhonston or Mervyn, do you mean that Ranil is not carrying IOUs from daya Gamage and Grero. Did not JRJ ruin the industries paid for by the tax payer because he carried IOUs from Sinhala and Borah mudalalis?

    For all that is said by his crew, RW is still not pro people. He is the one who talked about filling the paddy fields in the Western province.The excuse for that I am told is because the WP paddy fields are low yielding.That problem had been solved by the present Govt by planting traditional rice, which do not require any input of modern agrochemicals and fertilizer.

    As BBS rep says he is one man who had lost all opportunities provided, either being lazy or did not want to displease MR or as some say, he had been looked after by MR..

    Champika is a racist accepted.The BBS accused Lalith K of ensuring the death of Soma priest. That was a false story, they could have pursued that accusation after accepting a Cabinet post-they did not- they came to power using his death.Why did the JHU keep silent on this matter? Was it engineered by one of them for the very purpose of coming to power.

    You say that the JHU is clean.Can you please explain two things. 1.What happened to the Benz that Ellawala Medhalankara wanted to use as a Kennel? 2. That transaction was justified by Champika and Gamanpila. They came on the TV on a number of days for that purpose.3.Why did they not condemn the attacks, the damage to the Mosques and the killings at Aluthgama? 4. Why did they not condemn Rathupaswela? Why did they vote with the Casino bill? Why did they not condemn Ganansara and Kiram Wimalajothi mudalali?

    I like to cut this short. Let me end this missive by saying that the UNP may have passed the Senhanayake era, it is the Jayawardena / Wijewardena era that is running the UNP.Ranil is JRJ’s nephew.

    Coming to Athureliya Ratana was he not one of the first persons to attack places of Christian worship.

  • 1
    1

    Mr Ruwan Wijewardna is not a symbol of nepotism ! The writers is totally mad ! How did this colombo fly by night with such mediocre skills get to where he is in politics ? Unless we argue in the typical sinhala logic-elite blood !The same argument used by the disastrous Chnadrika, the dubious Dissanayake boys, the empty Premadasa brat, Rajapakse monstrosity of blue balakaya and even Ranil the self appointed guru of it all. They all claim that they have a blood line which guarantees them leadership status.

  • 0
    1

    Vishwamithra, one more thing,With all the criticism of CBK on the basis that she did not want to get rid of the Executive Presidency, to be fair by her she attempted to do it in 2000. Who sabotaged the process, no body but Ranil. It was ranil’s man who burned a copy of the draft in the chamber itself.If Ranil had any objections to any of the clauses he should have taken it up when the discussions were going on.This indicate that Ranil is selfish – he did not care for the people who suffered under the EP – and that coupled with his ambition he did not have a foresight.

    All of us want the Executive Presidency got rid of.I for one do not wish to see the executive presidency replaced by a Prime MInister who is a dictator himself.

    I for one wish to see a more compact cabinet with Cabinet posts being shared among all parties and all cabinet Minister other than the Chief Minister not to hold Executive power.In such a scenario, even the Executive Presidency with the wings clipped – no freedom from prosecution, has to report to the Parliament may not be bad alternative.

  • 1
    0

    Ranil will find in easier, and not a shock that voters cannot digest, if he worked hard to build himself as a Common Opposition Candidate with the support of Sobitha, Fonseka, under cover SLFP dissidents, and Muslims, Tamils and Catholics who all hate MR.

    JVP may be more difficult to win over but they will give him their second preference vote – may be useful; who knows.

    Only thing is he must unconditionally promise to get rid of the executive presidential system within a very short time. He can easily consolidate a common nomination if he pledges this.

  • 2
    1

    Sumnane,

    I am no fan of Ranil. But it is better to go to bed with Ranil than to bed with a Swindler,Mass Murderer,Plunderer,Liar,Racist and a plain Hypocrite. All put together is only one man on planet earth and I hope you know who I mean.

    And for Ranil it is better to get on board all possible contenders including the Racist in Champika. He can then deal with them appropriately when the time is opportune.

    Now the focus should be to eliminate this MONSTROUS MURDERER from power at any cost even if it were to go to hell, let alone going to bed.

    • 2
      0

      As all this indicate this country suffers from a paucity of visionaries. Most are there for the benefit for themselves.

      To expect everything to be tickety boo when the Executive Presidency is abolished is puerile.Lot more to be done.The most important is HOW ARE THEY GOING TO RESURRECT THIS ECONOMY. THIS BIGGEST FOOLISH ACT OF THIS GOVERNMENT DID WAS TO PUT ALL THEIR EGGS INTO ONE BASKET – TOURISM AND CASINOS. Those are two industries that will collapse with the first indication of trouble.And trouble is something any man with an iota of brains will expect.

      Secondly, by the day the country’s ability to feed itself is fast becoming a myth.How is the government to be going to ensure food for the people.Water for the people in the NCP? Ensure that the basic source is hydro and not fossil based.

  • 2
    3

    LTTE killed Gamini Dissanayaka and 50 good people around him. in one blast close to Keselwatta,Kid’s own Turf.

    UNP and Ranil accused Chandrika of collaboration with Prabakaran to get rid of Dissanayaka, although Ranil was the main aggrieved party, after losing the attempt to become the Prez Candidate.

    That was 1994 , according to my Elders.

    Chandrika won the Presidency . Army killed one , just one LTTE senior.

    Prabakaran in retaliation Blasted SLN Sagarawardana with hundreds of poor sailors

    Sank Merchant ship Ocean Trader,

    Blasted two Navy Patrol Boats and destroyed a Navy Landing craft with another full load of Army Soldiers.

    This was just in a matter of months.

    Prez Chandrika straight away bent over and signed a sort of a surrender.

    Now the same Ranil is going behind the same LTTE supporters who financed these dastardly acts and proposed Toasts to Prabakaran’s brave deeds, and collected donations both voluntary and forced in truck loads from the Diaspora.

    Ranil now travel all the way to London to beg them to help him and their appendage the TNA to win the Government,

    And plead with them come over and look after the Dalits with their mega bucks which apparently run into Billions in EUROS, according to Ranil’s own mate Mangala.

    Ranil even hoping to feed the Dalits better and help to give them a Dole after winning the Election, according to his just published Election Manifesto..

    Ex Prez cousin Chandrka is right behind him and may even hold a high profile portfolio, especially if has frequent travel and control of Govt real Estate in Colomba 7.

    Don’t you feel like spewing… , .

  • 0
    1

    Here’s where I think we are heading. The JHU will hijack the SLFP through their man Gotabaya. Once in they will sideline Gota et al. The electorate has been conditioned to will for a Sinhala-Buddhist Nation.

    Democratically in power, they will follow the likes of Hitler-Mussolini et al,purifying the Nation according to their thinking.

    For certain, more people will die in my Motherland. My time frame 10 years.

    What do you folks think ?

  • 0
    0

    Can this writer tell us what’s common in politics between Champika and Ranil?

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