20 October, 2017

Ranil Does A Gandhi

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Strange things sometimes happen with canny drama. It was only two days ago- last Wednesday evening (20th November)-that I played the DVD of the Gandhi movie to educate my young grandson.

Just as India was about to get independence after the long Gandhi-led struggle Ali Jinnah, one of the leaders of the national struggle, expressed his decision to go for a separate Pakistan explaining that “Muslims cannot have the British removed in order to be ruled by Hindus.”  Throughout the campaign for Indian independence the Muslim-Hindu mutual tension had been running like a hot high voltage wire in the sky. Jinnah’s statement broke Gandhi’s heart. Gandhi went up to Jinnah and assured the latter that he could be the first Prime Minister of India. This incident was cinematically represented as sheer statesmanship in the larger interests of India. In the eyes of viewers the stature of Gandhi soared high and high.

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

The dramatic happenings today in Sri Lanka seemed to me to resonate somewhat with the above scenario. The United National Party Working Committee, the single biggest party in the country, met to decide on a ‘common candidate.’ The party is just out of its remarkable performance at Uva and is consolidating itself in the country, having united dissident factions. Ranil Wickremesinghe, who had valiantly held the party together through unbelievably turbulent years of Rajapaksa dominance and manipulation, was developing considerable self-confidence as a leader. Yet, Ranil is someone with a sharp sense of strategy. He thinks far ahead. What does he do? He goes up to Maitripala Sirisena, the SLFP General Secretary, and offers him the position of common candidate thereby putting his own self- interests aside.  He knows the country’s interests come first and that the abolition of the vicious Presidential Executive system is a sine qua non if Sri Lanka is to move forward. It is not possible to  engage in any sane politics without bringing down the system. A faulty political system can ruin its players-whoever they may be and whatever background they may come from. Wider social situations born of political arrangments often make evil of good men and women. The Executive Presidential system must go and the parliamentary election system must go. We have seen how under the current incumbent the twin systems have been dangerously toxic to the body politic and how it seriously degraded the dignity of citizens. The cry for its eradication was been raised across the island.

Wickremesinghe’s move would ensure the defeat of the regime whereas had he gone it alone with his party that task would have been compromised badly paving the way for a “third term of madness”. Only a man with a vison, and a sense of honesty would do a thing like this. Maitripala, while addressing via Sirasa TV rightfully praised the UNP Leader. Maitripala has been an honest guy among a pack of rogues.

I stand vindicated in having thought that Ranil Wickremesinghe has been the most underrated political leader in Sri Lanka. In times of national crisis leaders must follow this example. The flag of hope now waves for Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    6

    Shame-on you Shyamon.
    Get your historical facts right.
    Jinnah was never a PM of India.​

    • 1
      2

      LAL,

      IF YOUR READING ENGLISH IS NOT GOOD AT LEAST REFRAIN FROM COMMENTING TO SHOW YOUR DUMBNESS.

      VERY THOUGHTFUL ARTICLE!

      UNP HAVE FAILED IN A VERY CRITICAL HOUR OF TIME FOR THE COUNTRY.SAD.

      i WAS LISTENING TO AL JAEERA ” INSIDE STORY.”

      GTF( TAMIL FORUM) IS WAITING UNTIL PRESIDENT FALLS TO DRAG HIM TO HAIG.

      WE WILL VOTE TO MAHINDA TO PREVENT MAY BE ONLY THIS.

      WE CAN THINK OF ALL THIS CHANGES ONCE THE SECURITY THREAT IS OVER FOR OUR COUNTRY.

      • 3
        0

        Hiran Thilakaratne

        “GTF( TAMIL FORUM) IS WAITING UNTIL PRESIDENT FALLS TO DRAG HIM TO HAIG.”

        Mahinda was willing to sit on the electric chair in order to defend this island and his soldiers.

        If he is ready to fall on the sword to save defend honour of this island, why do you worry?

    • 2
      0

      @ Lal, before you bark up the wrong tree, first read and understand what writer has mentioned, Gandhi offered Ali Jinnah an opportunity to become India’s 1st PM. Theres a difference between being offered and being PM.

    • 2
      0

      Lal:
      Trying to criticize and/or denigrate the author of this article is one thing, but accusing him of saying something he NEVER did is something else. Someone who does that hardly needs further description.

    • 2
      0

      Lal loo

      Gandhi offered Jina the post of Prime minister and asked him to name his cabinet before the break up of Colonial India.

  • 3
    0

    A very good analogy Shyamon. Best wishes to your grandson. Bensen

  • 2
    1

    A very shallow article! If Ranil had any chance of winning he would have contested. The fact is under his leadership the UNP has been so reduced that now for the second time the main opposition party cannot put forward a candidate. It is very iresponsible and taking huge liberties for an amature writer/historian to compare a great historical figure like Gandhi to little Ranil, a man of a different mould. As Ranil did the same thing with sarath Fonseka in 2009, this should read Ranil Does a gandhi 2( twice)

    • 0
      1

      “It is very iresponsible and taking huge liberties for an amature writer/historian to compare a great historical figure like Gandhi to little Ranil, a man of a different mould”.

      Hear, hear. Or if Saracchandra of Maname fame was arpund, he would have cried ” Asaw – asaw”. You really hit it on the nail, Harry Hatton.:-)

  • 1
    2

    One Daya Gamage lambasts UNP Leader Ranil W for nominating Sira as the CC.

    Wonder who this Gamage is?..

  • 2
    2

    Ex UNP heavy Mr Rambukwella accuses Norwegian Solly of smuggling the Legos Kits to assemble the LTTE Airforce Fighters Tiger 1 and Tiger 11.

    And it was on Ranil’s watch says my Elders.

    Will the JVP, JHU and even good UNPers like the followers of Keselwatta Kid raise these issues with CC Sira , when he takes the stage on behalf of the UNP ..

  • 2
    0

    Lal,
    Do not show your ignorance. Mr.Shyamon is correct.At that crucial time in India in fact Gandhi did offer the position of PM of the emerging state of India to Jinnah but he did not accept the offer.
    What would happen as a result of Ranil’s sacrifice only future would reveal………

  • 2
    0

    Where is our’political analyst’? He is hiding for his predictions were wrong. He never had Maitripala Sirisena in his equation. It was a case of Ranil not being good and Sajith or Karu fine. Something wrong with his cockeyed theories. He even backed Anura from the JVP.

  • 2
    1

    Shyamon,I may disagree with you.Gandhi and Mandela played selfless legendary roles and Ranil is yet to step into those shoes.I believe he took a calculated measure by supporting MS who is a thorough gentleman representing the rural folks of this country.Ranil knew if he contested the barrage of filth he has to face from MaRa regime and he could have become an easy pray.After all the new government if at all elected may not bring the same kind of executive powers to the elected president and it that situation leading the parliament as a prime minister is the best bet one can go for.
    He has agreed for this compromise as eventually all including him are becoming winners.The pivotal issue of abolishing executive presidency or either curtailing its powers are likely be addressed this time and whoever wins it is assured that there will not be any more unofficial “Monarchy state or family ” to dictate this land in future.
    Wider aspirations should be taken into account including minority issues and our long drawn ethnic problem hopefully will be resolved in a dignified manner acceptable to majority. Light at the end of the tunnel eventually and hopefully it will not fade away into darkness again.

  • 0
    1

    “Mr. Sirisena is a brave and decent man; possibly our last hope. He deserves better than to be overshadowed or drowned out by his current companions and patrons who represent and recall the failures of a past from which Mahinda Rajapaksa, to his lasting credit, rescued the country”.
    Dr Dayan https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-sirisena-surge-and-why-mahinda-is-still-way-ahead/comment-page-1/#comment-1710673

  • 1
    0

    A very well written observation most of the commenters not withstanding. RW is a rare breed of politician. On has to be of a certain background to appreciate this. Sadly to some who have continually denounced him do so with hidden motives or a perceived slight they may have suffered in the past. Sacrifice and duty don’t count in their world. Only unbridled ambition and so they think the same of their fellow country men.

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