21 October, 2020

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Puswedilla, Politics And Provincial Elections

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

Having spent the better part of a decade overseas and exactly six months back home, I’d say the most accurate political insight I have got was at the showing of the satirical play Puswedilla, at the Lionel Wendt in May.

When a savage political satire produced in an urban centre for a sophisticated audience shows the Opposition leader as a snivelling clown and a pathetic prop while the President dominates the socio-political scene through sheer force of personality, and has the audience cheering, then the UNP is in some serious electoral trouble including in its own social constituency. Then again, who’d have thought that Mr Wimal Weerawansa, who hardly exemplifies urbane charm, would have beaten the leader of the UNP in the popular vote in the district of Colombo?

A satire such as Puswedilla staged not late at night on a campus or bohemian coffee club but at the city’s leading theatre tells me that however distorted and devalued our democracy it isn’t a dictatorship or tyranny that we live in. The stormy cabinet meeting on the 13th amendment some weeks back contrasts with the UNP’s Working Committee decision around the same time, to sack over a dozen dissidents. In which dictatorship does open dissent and plurality of views in the Cabinet stand in stark contrast to the suffocating atmosphere in the main Opposition? The conformist zombies do not seem to be in the regime but in the main opposition.

A week after watching President Puswedilla dominate the Lionel Wendt stage through his personality, I unexpectedly encountered the real President at a cosmopolitan wedding in Colombo of two well–educated articulate youngsters, one of whom was a former student of mine with a postgraduate degree from London. It struck me that Mahinda Rajapaksa has even more compelling and politically effective a personality than his version on the stage, and that was not due to forcefulness, but because he had the most disarming charm and appeal in the room. People like him.

In President Puswedilla’s and the play’s punch-line, he decides to make the Leader of the opposition the Prime Minister and then swiftly moves to pre-empt Ajith Lovedasa, the aspirant leader of the opposition, from taking over the vacancy by threatening to split his governing coalition, continue to rule with a simple majority, transfer some 40 plus MPs back to the Opposition benches thereby creating a bigger Opposition than the present UNP which has barely 41, and make his son the Leader of that marginally larger Opposition. Before the audience burst into laughter and applause, there was a second of stunned silence. The scariest thing was that though the drama intends a touch of the amusingly absurd, the arithmetic actually hangs together. In real life as in the satire Mahinda Rajapaksa does have that option, thanks to the ‘push factor’ so intrinsic to the Opposition leader.

The drama also makes clear that there is only one potential candidacy, one potential Opposition leadership that disconcerts President Puswedilla, making him reach for the button of his doomsday weapon of parliamentary reverse arithmetic. That is the candidacy of Ajith Lovedasa, callow youth though he is depicted as, given to bursting into ballads on public occasions.  One cannot help but wonder why President Puswedilla or his real life counterpart would be in the least apprehensive about the candidacy of the seemingly unthreatening Lovedasa or his real life avatar. Could it be that the incumbent intuitively sense that here is an ‘outlier’ who could have a resonance among provincial/rural voter as well as the urban underclass?

The counter-assertion of defenders of the UNP’s status quo is that Ranil almost won the presidential election of 2005; that he lost because of a boycott by the LTTE, and therefore he is not merely a viable candidate but within striking distance of the Presidency at his upcoming outing, especially if that election is against the backdrop of economic hardship and a spoiler third candidate splits the UPFA vote.

This line of argument fails to identify or chooses to avoid three fairly fundamental issues. Firstly, why Mr Wickremesinghe was vulnerable as Mahinda Rajapaksa was manifestly not, to the LTTE boycott. The answer is that Ranil Wickremesinghe had rendered his electoral fate vulnerable to an LTTE boycott as Mahinda had not. It is still relevant. To put it crudely, Ranil was dependent on the ethnic minority vote while Mahinda by contrast, had got his base and his basics right.

As explained to me by a maestro of campaigning (for a viable leader that is, not for himself), Sirisena Cooray, the segundo of President Premadasa, there are four fundamentals:

  1. One must have a saleable product. If the product is not saleable, no marketing machinery or campaign, however superb, can do the job. The candidate must be saleable.
  2. The candidate himself/herself must not become an issue, a lightning rod.
  3. The candidate must aim at and be capable of winning the majority of the majority. In a country in which 75% are Sinhalese, this means winning over a majority of the Sinhala majority.
  4. Doctoring the vote can never win you an election. Only politics can. The election has to be won squarely. Stuffing the ballots or subtler manipulation can only enhance the margin of a victory you have already won by fair means.

Any decent campaign strategist (a Lankan James Carville or David Axelrod) would know in his bones that Ranil does not fit this bill. He doesn’t come even close.

In 2005, the outgoing President was not exactly campaigning against Ranil and for Mahinda. At the least, there were mixed signals. This will not be the context, to put it mildly, at the next Presidential election.

The lame celebration of Ranil’s performance in 2005 incredibly ignores a fact so massive that it dominates not merely the politics of the day but this period of our history. That is, the war. Ranil’s supposedly narrow defeat took place before the war and the demonstration of proof that the Tigers could be defeated. Mahinda inherited a war which had not been won for decades, had been written off as unwinnable, and won it.

Between 2005 and today lies that monumental historic fact. That fact has given birth to another, namely that there has been a tectonic shift in social consciousness. The country moved on, and on the issues of security and sovereignty, will never go back again. Under Ranil the UNP remains stranded on the other side of the chasm. This alone makes him the worst of all possible candidates to challenge Mahinda Rajapaksa.

If that weren’t bad enough, there is a second fact that makes him a lousy candidate unless it can be contrived that his opponent is the guy who invaded the cricket pitch in Wales wearing a Tiger flag. That fact is that Ranil has no mass appeal, while Mahinda Rajapaksa is a warm, affable personality who also conveys strength and stature. He has proven that strength by presiding over the defeat of the enemy who loomed so large over our collective and individual destinies, Velupillai Prabhakaran— and that singular achievement has lent him stature. It will be diminished by other circumstances (as Churchill and de Gaulle learned) but that will take either a patriotic social democrat like Clement Attlee or another decade and a half.

The supersession of Mahinda Rajapaksa will neither be at the hands of Ranil Wickremesinghe, nor redound to his benefit. In point of fact, if the latter is perceived to be the beneficiary of a spoiler candidacy, that third candidacy will be blighted and the voters will be driven back to the incumbent, at least in the second preference.

So, come September (as the old song went) when the results of the provincial council elections in the former UNP strongholds of the Central province and the North West are in, some corporate entity should buy up the tickets of the next show of Puswedilla and ensure that every member of the Working Committee of the UNP and their spouses get to be in the front rows.

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Latest comments

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    Now you are talking mate!.

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      That Ranil is a shameless dictator is well known – nothing new here!

      This is another typical disingenuous paean of praise for Rajapassa from Dayan who desperately seeks another diplomatic posting – couched as obvious critic of the pathetic and unethical clown RW!
      What is relevant is that there are alternatives to Ranil and Rajapassa – Madam Chandrika Bandaranaiyake as come back kid would do to Rajapassa what he would do to the UNP! SHE CAN SAVE LANKA FROM BOTH THESE DICTATORS! CBK as comeback kid is obviously the BEST future and better President of Lanka!
      The Shameless Rajapassa family dictatorship that is looting the country must END soon!

  • 0
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    As always, a very good analysis by Dayan. But please, I just hope its not a prelude to a high jump by Dayan, because though MR does possess
    mass appeal, he has not used it wisely and the country pays dearly for it. Besides, Dayan best serves his country by not aligning himself with either side in politics.

  • 0
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    Hoping to see the new character ‘Gayan Winthilak’ the Ajith Lovedasa promoter in next Pusswedilla show ! :)

    • 1
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      or maybe one caleed Mervinson Jayatilleke.

      A shameless pseudo intellectual,living on his fathers reputation and his ability to con people into giving him diplomatic postings !

  • 1
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    Now what are you upto. Which foreign office do you see an openinng comming up?
    Old habits die hard.

    When Leela is the first to respond you sure should have something up your sleeves.

    • 1
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      or Dayan must have seen a white van coming on his way , in his dreams .

    • 0
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      “Now what are you upto. Which foreign office do you see an openinng comming up?”

      i don’t think DJ’s EX immediate boss Sajin Vass would allow him to work as an ambassador any more , DJ knows this fact very well, that’s why he had to let go his earlier posting so easily.

  • 0
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    While President’s decision closes one chapter of the Colombo’s political drama on the devolution contretemps and the future of 13th Amendment, it opens up another speculative chapter on the winners and losers of the NPC election with its footnote on the fair conduct of election.

    Jaffna has already seen some unpleasant acts of thuggery and mischief making targeted attack on the detractors of the regime, notably the TNA which is likely to win a majority in the NPC.

    Will acts of violence mar the much delayed exercise of NPC election?

    Will the TNA be allowed to rule the NPC in case they get most of the seats in a fair election?

    Only President OF THE COUNTRY can probably can answer these questions confidently.

  • 0
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    With foreign intrigue our true position of Political Leadership has never been highlighted rightly at the hustings. It has been distorted right along, mainly the last few held and Jokers as this DJ have attributed to the deceit committed. Leave alone the Northern vote had the voters who were delisted in the South were allowed, RW would have romped home comfortably. Then DJ speaks of how MR won the LTTE War which was thought as unwinnable. How did MR win the LTTE War? All because it was made possible by the US and the Indians together because MR and his American siblings are their brief carriers. Imagine the LTTE closing the Mawillaru anicut to draw the govt Forces to a staged war, burying all the heavy artillery and fighting with small arms? Why bury even a single weapon if they were to take on the Forces? Although both sides hyped there appears no battle, even for the LTTE strong hold Killinochchi that had all the bunkers for cover being left behind to expose the lot on a beach front with the promise of a getaway. It was even speculated how the US was even trying to stop the War and save VP, when in fact what the US did was just the opposite, after helping MR to clear the place of any Independent Observers including the UN. Is one serious that MR could have got rid of any, if he did not have the tacit support of the US and the Indians? Further the US slip shows badly when they protect and shield the very perpetrator of the mass crime Shavendra Silva in the very UN now, let alone a probe on War Crimes ever, but have brought in a diluted Resolution to deceive the world at the UN sessions?

    DJ quotes Sirisena Cooray another murderer in the Premadasa regime where he was given recognition then as the Foreign Policy maker which both have lost after RW taking over the UNP leadership and shutting the door of the UNP to these riff raff. Hence DJ’s ire against RW, understandable. Well let us see how long MR will be peddled by these forces and the scenario is becoming curious by the day.

    • 0
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      Gamini: Why was the US so interested in wiping out the Tigers?

      • 0
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        Also please ask yourself the question, why the US not going to interview Sharendra Silva profoundly ?

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        For the US no one is indispensable. The LTTE did serve the US up to the point they made use of the LTTE and now MR is being used as the go between, between India and China where the Americans are having their business interests in the region to dominate. If VP remained none of this would have been possible. Besides they have not eliminated the entire LTTE as they have made some of them to double cross VP, like the KP crowd.

        • 0
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          This is great. Thank you so much. You are very knowledgeable. It is great to have the likes of you in this forum, Gamini. It raises the quality of discussions from an analytic and intellectual perspective. Aren’t we, CT readers, so lucky to have you here.

          But I have a question. Small one. Long time ago, I have heard that the Tamils were of the view that because of the Trincomalee harbor and the interest Americans and Indians had in that, either of them (or both jointly) were going to come in, beat the sh*t out of the Sinhalese and create Tamil Eelam. Was there any truth in that? I have heard that some Tamils did not share this sophisticated view — so they were shot! Is there truth in this?

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            Jeevan there is one way to prove this War was a hoax. That is to obtain the list of the dead Forces for the thirty months from Jan 2007 to May 2009. It is on record in the Hanzard the MR govt revealing for the extention of the Emergency that 451 died for the period July, Aug and September 2008. Thereafter the govt went silent in revealing numbers when the list of the dead were sought. Going by 451 dead and over two thousand injured one could safely conclude that at least around two thousand soldiers died for the thirty months. Therefore if a list of the dead with names, ranks, regiments and addresses could be published for the public to counter check with their families, will reveal that the dead is no where near the figures mentioned, as there was no real battle, but only a propaganda war. When perusing the list one should be careful not to include the dead prior to Jan 2007 to swell the numbers as CBK did when she was asked to show the number of vehicles purchased for the monies passed in a particular year from an allocation, where she lined up some old vehicles also.

            Therefore if the numbers of the dead soldiers does not exceed even a hundred, where was this War fought???? By whom?? MR and family will have to be indebted to the Americans for arranging the LTTE to be massacred after duping them.

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      You are spot on Gamini,:) Please add more to your comments so that finally these readers would become clear why the american brought watered down resolutions against us lankens. If they are wholeheartedly interested in lanken issues. I have no doubt today, to see that US and Indian are the ones who killed our people by supporting srilanken idiamin – killing minded MR administration.

      When looking at the manner the US reacted in the post war sessions towards the SL – everyone would feel that the US and Indian should have involved in annihilation of the ltte rebels together with over 40000 innocent srilanken civilians.

      As you insisted it above, everyone would raise the question, if the US is wholeheartedly interested in the war crime investigations, why americans have no discussions goes to depth of the war end related issues with Sharendra silva ?

      Now with US ‘s bugging activities revealed to the entire Europe, we have no doubt that americans just play with us poor nations.They the opportunists play with poor nations on this planet.

      This DJ was just like “an Abiththaya”- small guy- to Premadasa regime, but he tries to bring all examples about Premadasa regime which took the lives of over 50k youth in the country in late 80tes for no reasons. Even today, numbers went missing in late 80ties to be numbered…. not only northern srilankens at the war end, but also there were southern srilankens that went missing in large numbers…. How can we learn lessons from Premadasa administration ? He was one of the brutal leaders … though he could be much less brutal than today^s srilanken Mugabe -MR.

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        “As you insisted it above, everyone would raise the question, if the US is wholeheartedly interested in the war crime investigations, why americans have no discussions goes to depth of the war end related issues with Sharendra silva ?”

        Americans have no jurisdiction on Shavendra or on sri lanka’s war crimes , Shavendra represents the UN in NY , you should be asking these questions from Ban kee moon as to why UN accepted alleged war criminal as sri lanka’s deputy ? if Americans are genuinely concerned , they must start enquiring on their own citizens (Green card holders)first.

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          Yes, Srilal, this is now becoming clear to the average. Earlier I thought for what reasons US needs to play with Ltters and lanken leaders. While further asking Lankens to improve HR issues through ineffective UN resolutions, NOT to interview key people like SSilva, SF and all others make us no clear why they behave in that way. This as speculated by Gamini is a most match considering all the happening, after all since the war is over. As you said, a candidate like Shravinda Silva – without having diplomatic credentials to have been appointed for the Deputy role is more than questionable. Predecessors of sri lankan high commissioner to the US are well aware the fact that the diplomatic appointments of the current regime are not on the basis of meritocracy. This you and many in our society today should have been asking yourself often seeing their weakly performances in the forums.

  • 0
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    In addition to not being saleable material RW has decimated the UNP and castrated Lovedasa. He is a master of self destruction and self defeat. MR could have no better foe.

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    Yes,yes I am very much on your side. Do not worry. I have to say a few things to satisfy the yankees once in a way and of course the Indians. But I am always on your side, you know your warm personality and all that. This is a sinhala buddhist country. Minorities have to behave like minorities, except the females amongst the minorities who need to be liberated no? What? White van? No, No, not necessary I am on your side always.

    • 0
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      Yes, indeed… I really dont know why our so called professionals behave in this way – as if they are compelled to do so. They seem to have no free opinions. …DJ should have been on hallucinated mode while focusing on the article. How dare he even feels MR to be a charm person. MR is all means a good actor always not focusing the due – he just ignores the issues that people think should be addressed by him promptly..

      • 0
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        That is because most of them belong to the oldest profession.

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    This is an unfortunately Pro Mahinda and anti Ranil fairy tale, although the writer explains his thoughts on the satirical play ” PUSWEDILLA”.
    I really have the feeling, that almost everyone today, be them politicians, political intellectuals, lawyers, senior analysts and the senior academics that they contributed their life experience and vision to the future of country all seem to have lost somehow somewhere.

  • 0
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    MR Charm offensives Dr. Jayatillake himself has found hard to resist. If only good leadership was determined by how personable a politician was.

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    MR established he has little par to his reputation as a hardened political actor when he is reported to insisted on personally being at a “Pusvedilla” play. His message is whatever people say “I am a democrat” and have what it takes to see a successful play, widely regarded as aimed against the weaknesses of the ruling clique.
    One must give him full credit for that.

    Senguttuvan

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      Sengu@
      “One must give him full credit for that.”

      to whom ?

    • 0
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      JR refused to take any responsibility or accept any short comings for the massive upheaval created by him during his tenure, same goes with Hitler , he was there for German people and was planning for the next 1000 years.

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    The foolish clown still dreams of becoming the President.He thinks the stars and his senile 80 plus executive committee will make his dreams come true.Let him live in Hope I won’t be surprised if he loses his seat in the city

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    The foolish clown still dreams of becoming the President.He thinks the stars and his senile 80 plus executive committee and the astrologers will make his dreams come true.Let him live in Hope I won’t be surprised if he loses his seat in the city

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    The same moronic thing was said of George W. Bush in the US–that he had charm unlike Al Gore/John Kerry; that people wanted to vote for someone with whom they could have a beer. We all know how it turned out.

    • 0
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      But the problem is guys like DJ having lived on the west for that long – to drop this kind of statements about MR and his admin I find simply ludicrous. Let is be the view of stupidity masses of the country, but why the educated people to share the same thought about the most corrupted leader that the country has ever produced ?

      • 0
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        “But the problem is guys like DJ having lived on the west for that long – to drop this kind of statements about MR and his admin I find simply ludicrous.”

        this is what we called “art of deception”, DJ is an extremely smart, opportunist (smart ass), he knows how to play the cards , in one article he goes lambasting MR administration, blaming every Tom ,Dick & Harry but MR (pussy footing ) , next one is damage control , busy on waxing eloquently (fear of reprisals ). DJ is fully aware of the fact that no more diplomatic posting is possible for him as long as de facto foreign minister Sajin Vass is at the helm.

        • 0
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          I really dont think that DJ^s smartness has been proved by this article. His intention of the article may be to covering up, but looking at the comments to this thread reveal that the opposite has been reactions from the readers. And in the same time, I hardly believe that DJ would need to work for diplomatic missions again. Further to the play- PUSSWEDILLA-; How can you compare a role of a play – in analysing the general views of the average of a society ? Why cant you separate the views of the audience from political sympathisers ? I still believe whoever attacks RW, passing vilifications of all forms to defarmate him, there is no other candidate remained to sending MR home forever.

          But this should be done through joint work with media providing the truths about the regime to the general public of the country. As we the CT readers are well aware, the average of the country are far from the facts related to many of the key issues of the regime. They are fed with wrong information to abuse them further.

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            Dear Siri,

            “I still believe whoever attacks RW, passing vilifications of all forms to defarmate him, there is no other candidate remained to sending MR home forever”

            i beg to disagree with you , i was also on the view that RW is a gentleman and genius politician , i was proven wrong many a times during the past years Siri , having said i still believe sympathy votes & boycott votes prevented his rightful victories both in 1999 and 2005 presidential elections.
            If RW contests the next presidential election , it will be a cake walk for MR , he would not need any “computer jilmarts “ or any other new strategies to defeat this hugely unpopular tyrant, half of the die hard supporters of Green party hate this “ Ra Daniel Daval Migel “ and of course SLFP supporters would never vote this guy, as they think he would give the country back to LTTE , just do a simple mathematical calculation , you will see what percentage he would get.

            Siri , if we want a real change here are few things that need to be done prior to the election.
            1) Reinstate 17 amendment before the election(independent election commission, independent police commission and independent judiciary )
            2) International /UN observers presence
            3) CBK support led charismatic person i.e Ven sobitha Thero

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              Thanks, Srilal@
              I appreciate your inputs.
              I cant know all these truths being away from the country for the last two decades,however, while being alert to sources via web, I feel our nation is completely misguided by wrongful propaganda.

              Suggestions you have added are anyway miles away being achieved before the scheduled election.

              1)Reinstate 17 amendment before the election(independent election commission, independent police commission and independent judiciary )

              THEY THE RULERS WOULD NEVER FULFIL ANY OF THESE IN COMING MONTHS.
              INDEPENDET POLICE COMMISSION WILL NOT BE THE REALITY SO LONG HIGHLY CORRUPTED LEADER LIKE MR IS IN POWER.

              2)International /UN observers presence
              THIS IS THINKABLE, THIS WAS ALSO THE CASE WITH GERMANY AFTER THE 2ND WORLD WAR IS OVER

              3)CBK support led charismatic person i.e Ven sobitha Thero
              HAVING READ THE LATEST ARTICLE IN WHICH CBK IS SAID TO HAVE MADE CLEAR NOT TO COME TO ACTIVE POLITICS – IS THE INFO I GOT THIS MORNING.
              HOWEVER, I BELIEVE, VEN SOBITHA CAN BE A GERAT HOPE FOR THE COUNTRY. BUT WHETHER THE MAJORATARIAN STUPID FOLKS WOULD GIVE HIM A CHANCE IS FAR FROM UNDERSTANDING TO ME. APART TO THIS, THERE CAN BE UNPOPULAR LEADERS WITHIN THE UNIVERSITY DONS AND HIGHLY PROFESSIONALS IN THE COUNTRY… IS MY THOUGHT.

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              I do believe that truthful situation for our folks today is far from being repaired. It is comparable to a cancer that is discovered in the metastatic stage – giving no hopes. So, even if I and you (may not a significant fraction of the lanken 20mio population ?) could notice that people in general are totally indifferent, many in the country seem to have no idea about that. Their priorities are not to see a change in the system but above all to struggle for survival.

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              Even if the situation seen as “absolutely no go” for some like me – being out of the country, I have the impression that it should still be within bearable limits to the eyes of majority folks in the country. In a so called demo state as ours when the police force are criminals,the judiciary are traitors, and the investigators are fabricators, what can one do ?????????

          • 0
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            Dear Siri ,

            “I really dont think that DJ^s smartness has been proved by this article”
            of course not , generally speaking DJ is an educated, articulate, well informed intellectual and one of the best among our current diplomutts.

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    DJ has killed two birds with one stone. (1) He is
    trying to wean his way into MR’s good books so he may
    get another posting. (2) Exposed RW and his
    machinations.

    I saw Puswedilla too. What struck me strongly was
    the spontaneous crowd reaction whenever RW was portrayed
    or mentioned. He was booed and jeered. It was the same
    when there were parodies on Sajith Premadasa. I thought
    it was more on RW since the guy who played his role had
    some striking similarities on RW’s mannerism and speech.

    Though I do not usually agree with DJ, this one, I must
    confess was spot on. Of course, his bumming MR is altogether
    for another reason.

    RW has outlived his cause and purpose. To survive he had to
    turn to MR’s support. Hence, he became an MR lackey, meeting
    him privately on almost every month basis. Mind you, he has
    gone all alone for such meetings and avoided any publicity.
    There are occasions when he could not help get caught. One was
    when MR and brother Speaker Chamal were set to meet some
    school children. RW was also dragged to the stage and had to
    sit like a schoolboy with file in hand.There was a lot of media
    exposure. He told party confidantes sheepishly that he was dragged
    there.

    For RW survival is most uppermost. With his cronies like
    Malick Samarawickrema, Tilak Marapona, John Ameratunga and
    like minded persons, he managed to stay on top at the Working
    Committee. With that, without any vision or foresight, he took
    revenge on anyone whom he did not like. In the UNP itself, RW
    can count on only a few loyal supporters. That includes those
    who are players in sports that he loves most like Akila Viraj
    Kariyawasam and Sagala Ratnayake. So the UNP is partly politics
    and partly leisure for RW.

    The reaction of the socially elitist crowd at Lionel Wendt and
    their spontaneous reaction when RW was portrayed has a very clear
    message – a greater segment of those who backed RW do not want him
    any more. Why? What are the reasons? More than any, they all
    became aware that he was leader of the UNP and supporter of the
    UPFA. The latter in the form of MR he needed to survive. He sacrificed
    his friends for this.

    All this led to RW not making any public statements on any issue of
    public significance. He is either out of the country or has
    conveniently outsourced it to others in the party. He had not even
    spoken out on the Code of Ethics for Journalists, Keheliya’s son’s
    affairs or the moves to change the 13th Amendment. He lives in mortal
    fear of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. He will not make a single comment on the
    External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris or his Ministry. He fears he
    will not receive courtesies from Sri Lanka dpl missions abroad.

    Was Dudley Senanayake, J.R. Jayewardene, R. Premadasa like this?
    No, they were popular in their own way with the party membership
    and the public. Hence they were not paranoid and fear their positions.
    RW is paranoid about all those around him and needs MR most than his
    party stalwarts to survive. Herein lay the dilemma for the UNP and
    the future for Sri Lanka. There are no leaders in the opposition.

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    Interesting stuff indeed Gonawala Sunil. Though
    the Franchise holder of the name, from Batalanda
    days, is no more, you seem to be making a more
    positive contribution.

    You forgot one thing though: RW was not elected
    by UNPers at a party convention. It was MR and
    some 250 STF men in uniform, armed with American
    built weapons, who foisted RW as UNP leader that
    day. The so called voters for the convention were
    all deviously manipulated by sissy Tissa Attanayake
    and other cronies of RW.

    RW should be thankful to late Velupillai Prabhakaran,
    the LTTE leader. He got rid of R. Premadasa to foist
    RW. So he became leader of the UNP under fortuitous
    circumstances. RW paid back Velu by signing the CFA
    with him. It turned out to be a political quid pro
    quo though not by design.

    Now, Sajith Premadasa (a c.c. or carbon copy of MR
    when it comes to ideology) but a glorious idiot with
    no political sense or strategy has been sidelined. He
    will never be able to get his old position of deputy
    leader back. The “white shark” Karu Jayasuriya stabbed
    RW twice in the back – once when he crossed over and the
    other time when he wanted to wrest the leadership from
    RW – is politically sidelined but not out. He has high
    hopes of becoming the presidential candidate with the help
    of Venerable Sobhitha and contest even RW. He and his cronies
    believe he (Karu)is more popular in the UNP than RW. But
    UNPers say even the peon in the party office is popular than
    Karu because he is known as a “back stabber.”

    So, one must not grudge RW contesting the presidential poll
    when it comes. He will be defeated resoundingly. But remember
    he will not give up his post as UNP leader. Who wants to give
    up leisure and pleasure as long as the tax payer can sustain
    them? Most certainly not RW!!!! Nor are his cronies who also
    love leisure, pleasure and treasure.

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      Buth Gotta @,
      yours are interesting points here. No doubt about that.
      But what would be the alternatives according to your analysis if UNP will easily be defeated in the next term ?

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    Despite this demolition job by Dayan, Right Wing Ranil can’t be written off completely.

    His is now totally protected and coached by the Elite elements lead by the non Buddhist heavies in the party.

    His action plan is to survive as long as possible , hoping to be the El Baraday of Srilanka if the Diaspora IC can do a “Cairo in Colombo”.’

    A few examples of his action plan ,

    He doesn’t say Yes or No to Sambandan’s demands for Guns and Land.

    But his Christian minders demand that Rajapksa bend over not only to Sambandan but to Indians as well.

    Yet they don’t want to come to the PSC and make their demands official.

    If TNA succeeds in having its own Police and even another couple CMs from UNP and JVP have their own, it will be helpful to pull off at least a Mini Cairo with the Moderate Vigilantes.

    A Big one like in Egypt is not possible as long as our Military stays loyal to the great majority of our inhabitant population.

    That is why the TNA and the Ranil Faction are hell bent on chasing the ex Military Officers from their Civil Jobs.

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    Ranil is a far-seeing gentleman

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    Siri – Thanks for your observation. Your question
    is what would be the alternative? That is why I
    say there is a dilemma. Its equivalent to the
    Sinhala saying Kapanna beri Atha Imbinna.

    You can do that with all sincerity and commitment.
    But remember Siri. Not many are going to vote for
    such a person. Then what happens?

    Ranil’s problem is he cannot reform and show the
    country he is a changed man. He is a weakling who
    has to fall on MR all the time. So the question is
    not one of an alternative. It is one whether he
    can ever make it?

    A vast mass of people have lost confidence in him.
    That is the tragedy Sri Lanka’s opposition politics.
    There is no one acceptable.

    But do not lose heart. Someone unknown can always
    emerge.

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    Piyumi Watawala – No one says RW has any problems
    with his sight. He can definitely see far. However,
    he has no vision and the complaint of most of his
    adversaries is that he is in cahoots with President
    Rajapaksa. Is it that kind of a leader you want for
    this country? Surely you cannot ignore such a vital
    fact in politics when your hero is sleeping with the
    other side?

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    DJ, Thank You for this characteristically well-crafted piece.

    RW must be given credit for his well judged withdrawal to allow SF to make a fool of himself at the last Presidential elections. However, when the next Presidential election comes, (and even the one after that) should MR present himself to the people, the result will be a foregone conclusion. Whatever faults might lie with his ministers and his government, the simple truth is that the goodwill MR earned by being the President who delivered peace will run and run.

    The sinhala-buddhist electorate will for the forseeable future show their gratitude to MR for delivering the country from terrorism; and they will, by the same token, be ready to entrust him with the job of keeping the peace for sometime to come.

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