23 October, 2017

Ranil- Man Of The Year!

By P.Bertie Ranaweerage

Bertie Ranaweerage

Bertie Ranaweerage

I was sacked by the UNP government whose Minister of Education was Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, for giving leadership to  the teacher trainees in Teacher Training colleges in the general strike in 1980. For over three years I had to undergo a plenty of hardships. Some fifty strikers committed suicide . I have never voted for the UNP  and never will. Yet I decided to write about Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP, not to attack him but to appreciate him.

All the good people of this country had been searching for a good man or a woman as a common candidate to send MR and his cabal home until Maitri’s great renunciation. I also took part in that noble endeavour by numerous ways including writing to Colombo Telegraph from time to time. In fact I tried to promote the former President CBK as she was for national reconciliation through power sharing. I knew very well, as many others, that Ranil would not be able to defeat Mahinda as the UNP was thoroughly disorganized, demoralized and split. And it looked like at that time that Ranil was not interested in contesting the Presidential Election.

Many thought that Venerable Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera would contest the Presidential election against Mahinda as he had started a campaign against the executive presidential system but many doubted his ability to defeat Mahinda. Being a Buddhist monk he was unlikely to be voted by non Buddhists  as well as the Tamils and the Muslims.

Ranim CameraIn the meantime our present day hero Ranil said that he would go to America to learn the latest trends in politics. President Mahinda sarcastically said that Ranil could  learn politics at Medamulana (President’s home) instead of going to America to learn politics. In fact he had received an invitation from Massachusetts Institute of Technology to study on how to formulate a constitution sans an executive presidency while conducting lectures for students there on Asian regional issues. He left for America at the beginning of April this year and arrived back after a period of one month. Soon after his arrival in Sri Lanka he announced that he would contest the Presidential Election dampening all the hopes of those who were campaigning for a common candidate who could win.

Ranil’s announcement was a fatal blow to the campaign of Sobhitha Thera and to all those who were fighting for democracy, rule of law and good governance . We were very much disappointed because we knew that Mahinda would win again and remain in power for many years as Ranil was not a challenge to him. But a voice in me said that it could be a ploy of Ranil to strengthen his party and rally his members around him .

Now we know that Ranil had not been serious in contesting the election though he publicly said that he would. It proves beyond any doubt how politically matured he is and was. He knew better than us that he would not be able to defeat Mahinda. In 2010 too he allowed the General to contest as his chances were very very slim against Mahinda after the war victory. When we look back we can see that Ranil was able to strengthen the UNP to a certain extent after he expressed his intention to contest the Presidential election.

Ranil’s announcement was good news for Mahinda and his cabal but they still doubted Ranil’s new stand due to two reasons. On one hand Venerable Sobhitha Thera was campaigning hard to find a common candidate and on the other hand the UNP was split mainly into two groups, as  Ranil’s group and Sajith’s group. As the UNP was divided it was possible, they thought, that Ranil would eventually not contest. Now it is in the public domain that an agent of Mahinda and Company, Tiran Alles and Tissa Attanayake held secret talks behind Ranil’s back to unite Ranil and Sajith. It was not that they wanted to strengthen the UNP but to ensure Ranil’s candidacy against Mahinda at the future Presidential election. When Mr. Ravi Karunanayake MP, revealed that Tissa was holding secret talks with the government Tissa first denied it but later admitted. The conspiracy succeeded as Sajith was convinced that it would pave the way for Sajith to realize his dream of becoming the leader of the UNP for Ranil would have to stand down and hand over the leadership to the next man in line after losing to Mahinda. Sajith came back to the party and accepted the deputy leadership and said he was  even ready to sacrifice his life for the victory of Ranil at the Presidential election. Tissa Attanayake said he was so happy as he was able to unite the party through his hard work. ( It is the job of the UNP to launch an investigation immediately to find out  whether Tissa Attanayake had been a secret agent of Mahinda cabal during the last few years for, on the nomination day Tissa joined Mahinda giving much needed oxygen to Mahinda.)

Now let us turn to Ranil. As he was a shrewd person he did not fall into the trap set by the conspirators. He knew very well that he was not popular enough among the voters to defeat Mahinda. By having secret talks with Chandrika either to field her or another as the common candidate Ranil has outmaneuvered all the plotters of his party and  the government. Finally he has not only defeated all the conspiracies to oust him from his leadership by some UNP leaders such as Sajith and Tissa Attanayake but also attempts of Mahinda to remain in power for another eight years. Some may say that it is too early to predict the defeat of Mahinda as billions are spent on Mahinda’s campaign and seek blessings of gods not only of Sri Lanka  but also of India. I talked to many in different parts in the country over the phone during the last two weeks. Almost all the educated people said that a change was necessary and they would vote for Maithri.

Now millions of people are eagerly waiting for the dawn of new era after January 8 next year. In the event Ranil decided to challenge Mahinda as his main opponent at the forthcoming election, there is little doubt that the little democracy we still have, would be buried by Mahinda during his third term. Even though Ranil’s  uncle, JR Jayewardene‘s constitution and rule paved the way for the destruction of the country, Ranil did a great service to the country by his sacrifice and determined support to Maithri and agreeing to the road map of the Opposition for a better tomorrow. Therefore I do not hesitate to name Mr. Ranil Wicremesinghe as the Man of the Year. I believe tens of thousands of Sri Lankans would  agree with me.

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Latest comments

  • 48
    3

    Yes, RW too had his short-comings in Politics being a staunch follower of his uncle JR’s policies. But in the current situation in which a change of Govt. is necessary to safeguard democracy and the welfare of all the people RW made a wise decision. He deserves all the applauds along with CBK, Sobitha Thero and others and also not forgetting the JVP leadership, who although not a part of the opposition coalition, are strongly campaigning for the defeat of MR and his family. As for Sajith he cannot expect to be a popular leader as he holds confused views and takes no clear position on any issue but is only anxious to become a leader. Whatever popularity he has is because he happens to be the popular R. Premadasa’s son. RP built himself on his own from the scratch and Sajith has none of his father’s qualities or abilities. Further with the emergence of Maithri, who comes from the rural background, whether he wins the forth-coming election or not, will be stand to be a good leader and a hope for the country.

    • 0
      20

      Ranil – the man of the year ????? – But I would say he is the “best cunning Eel in the current political Arena” – He certainly do not have any love for this country – He is only interested in maintaining his place as the longest serving opposition politician in Sri Lanka – last time SF saved his skin this time CBK/MS saved him – if you look deep into his mind he may be enjoying the chaoses in current Common opposition camp and will not care two hoots whether MS wins or loose – whatever happens Ranil can remain as UNP leader – Americans or other western countries will be happy to tag themselves to mouldable Ranil than to a hard a nut like MR — If anyone thinks by replacing MS with MR will bring in a new Era to this Country – I would say that they are living in Fools paradise – Can the motley assembly of hate mongers with bad smelling past records and Scheming Eels and puppets bring in new era to this country – please do not try to push this country back into the era of war , terrorism, stagnation we experience for so many years

    • 6
      0

      I agree with you 110%. In politics there is no perfect person. I listened to a speech young RW gave to “Eksath Samawadee Shishya Sangamaya” (UNP youth front of the 70’s & 80’s) in good old Sirikotha in Colpetty, I was so confused as to what he said I asked Imtiyaz Bakeer Makar (Who had invited me to attend the meeting) what he said – Imtiyaz said you were listening to a master POLITICIAN at work & a future leader of UNP! I rest my case.

    • 4
      0

      Nicely written with full of facts. RW may not having the personally as demanded by Sri Lankan people, but he surely got the brains.

  • 44
    2

    Thank you MrRanaweerage
    A very beautiful piece of writing.
    Dreams come true.
    Finally there’s a common candidate for a common cause.
    Great work of the hour is to send MR and team home.

    • 2
      17

      There is noting beautiful in this article!! i can only see that all the opposition candidates are going to be in jail after 8th Jan. EVEN MY3 wins he will not going to help ordinary people. TAKE MY WORD.

  • 7
    2

    It should be said that the country with its Mahawansa Mind set is not ready for Ranil’s leadership.

    Ranil is a Pluralistic/Secular leader any other country including India would have cherished if he was an Indian Leader.

    Not in Srilanka the land of triple gem and blessed thrice.Only MR,GR,Gnasara’s and Champika’s are appreciated.

    • 2
      0

      Thank you!!!

  • 3
    11

    Ten thousand people will agree with you.But more than ten million do not agree with you.If I am the leader of UNP, I would run against this corrupted regime without support from any other party.UNP has the ability do it because UNP has enough voter base.Ranil is the SPINELESS MAN OF ALL TIME.CBK has not done anything for the country although she had lot of opportunities.We remember her regime with Sanath & Rathwaththe. Although present regime is corrupt I will support Mahinda
    Rajapaksa. Hoping mahinda learn a lesson. If Mervyn Silva,drug mafia and
    others stay with him people of the country another leadership will wipe out Rajapaksa Clan.

    • 3
      1

      why wait another 8 years in suffering until ” another clan wipes out Mahinda club” ? An opportunity is at hand..use it..

      Opportunities LOST seldom or never return…

      Yesterday is a stale check
      Tomorrow is a dud check..
      Today is CASH..use it…

      • 1
        0

        Awesome Comment. Made my day. Good one for my kids

        Yesterday is a stale check
        Tomorrow is a dud check..
        Today is CASH..use it…

  • 2
    6

    MS is just a flag in the wind!!!!
    Couple of weeks ago this is what he told

    http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/president-s-victory-done-deal-slfp-general-secretary

    RW is the man of the year!! He wants to be the executive Priminister within 100 days (The Post Excutive Prime Minister does not exist in the world Politics) if MS wins the election . In other words he wants to be the EPM by Constitution and not by votes.

    Where are we going? To which direction ? Are we going 40 years back to full fill the power greedy politicians wishes?
    Who tells under UNP the democracy was practised? Some governments even provided arms to LTTE!!!! Not so long ago somewhere in late eighties thousands of sinhalese youths were killed and Sri Lanka became a killing field.
    So lets not forget the past.

    • 1
      1

      SRI-LANKA is STILL a killing field, IF u know what I mean…(white vans, extra Judicial killings,BBS atrocities etc..) not just in the past at present and future too IF M.R. is SELECTED, not elected…. coz like G.W Bush who beat Al Gore via a decision by the Supreme court.. MR may come to power via the Supreme court dis-ably led by Mohan Peiris. Hence I say SELECTED and not ELECTED….

      comes to mind of two bumper stickers that I read in Washington D.C. while G.W Bush was in power…

      ” A village in Texas is missing an Idiot”

      For a Tree (USA) to grow you need to clear a BUSH….

      For democracy to come back to SL, we need to get rid of the demo-crazies…

  • 6
    1

    One of the best article I read recently. Genuine expression of ideas by a person victimised under UNP administration.

  • 10
    0

    Good One. RW is politically matured than most of the people who criticize him. His approach to democratic changes in constitution was not given prominence by the media as they just want to follow the King to get some peanuts.

  • 17
    1

    Of course, Ranil deserves to be the man of the year and also I firmly believe he is likely to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace in the coming years. I was pledantly surprised with the manner he took on the LTTE. He could have easily unleashed carnage in the Vanni, as did Mahinda, to wipe out the LTTE. But Ranil was reluctant to pursue a full blown military solution simply because of the potential deaths of thousands of civilians in an all out military operation. He did not have the heart to kill thousands of fellow innocent Sri Lankans in the Vanni to get rid of these LTTE nutters.

    Also, I listened to one of his lectures during his US tour – I must say I was absolutely flabbergasted to learn his in depth knowledge and the facts he presented.

    Bertie, thanks for your timely article.

  • 10
    0

    Well said about Ranil. He is matured and very intelligent to realise the conspiracies. He may not be a big vote catcher but please remember he nearly won the 2005 presidential elections., if not for the
    Pirabakaran’s stunt of banning northern voters casting their votes which would have gone in Ranil’s favour and all what happened after 2005 would hve been avoided.
    He is certainly a good manager and if under the parliamentary system he is made PM for a full term he would show the country good governance, decency and prosperity all round.

  • 3
    7

    The human capacity to fool themselves is so great ! All I see in Ranil is a man who is not fit for leadership. But he has a strangelhold on the UNP working committee and a few English speaking guys, most of them writing to CT, who see him as some clever gentleman !Of course he wanted to be President not abolish it!But when he found he has no support from the voter he found Maithripala( more likely Chandrika found him) But what is so great about secret tactics ? Is this a game ? A game whereby a unpopular guy becomes the PM ?

  • 2
    9

    Calling the UNP CF leader “shrewd” ,must be the understatement of the year

    Don’t know about the Elite and the Aglicans, but even our Dalits who are street smart know why Ranil backed out the second time too.

    Even Vellalas who were forced by Ranil to get on stage with poor Fonny are having second thoughts about this CC picked by Ranil and the Cousin..

    Or has Ranil done a deal with Sambnadan to prevent the Sinhala Buddhists backing out?.

    But the Vellalas surely cant think that Sira seriously will become redundant himself after winning the prized title…

    And give Ranil the PM ship with Exec powers,just like that, when he couldn’t get it for 20 years with all the support of the Elite, Anglicans and the Western money and power.

    Ranil is in a Win , Win situatio regardless.

    And Sira will automatically become redundant according to Ranil’s own General Secretary…

    As long as there are dumb asses, Ranil will protect his Leader of the UNP Opposition title for ever..Or should I say for the duration of his natural life..

  • 8
    0

    Indeed, very well written. Interesting piece of untold story though not a secret many had not realised.Yes, Ranil not a fool as Mahinda thinks!

  • 7
    0

    you are correct mr.ranaweerage. i have reservations about ranil as a vote catching candidate.i mean popularity among rural sinhala buddhists. but he is a gentleman politician who won’t and who dont’ like to go to very low level to attract street voters. he is the only person who has a good grasp of the ehnic and economic problems facing the country. he is capable of establishing very good rapport with countries of importance
    and acceptable to all ethnic groups. those who criticize him will support him after he assumes power. his weakness is that he will ignore even people like me who understands him.he has lot of things to clean up. he has clean up education from political influence.this includes universities. important appointments are made on political patronage. some academics complain that some vice chancellors were students when they were functioning as senior academics in the universities. this applies to the present chairperson/ugc.
    -sundara

    • 1
      1

      “he is capable of establishing very good rapport with countries of importance and acceptable to all ethnic groups. ” OF course he is… HE is the ONLY SL leader to have been invited to the WHITE HOUSE until today… NOT Dudley, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaiake,J.R.Jayawardana, Premadasa, D.B. Wijetunga, Chandrika or even Mahinda

  • 6
    0

    In my opinion Ranil W. proclaiming that he is the common opposition candidate is a planed act. That put MR Regime at ease they were taking it easy, and they know it’s a cake walk for them. The public opinion was building and the masses are shifting towards another MR Term as for them MR is better than RW.

    Then when it was in the peak moment, (I would say that was the optimum moment) when all hope is lost a BOMB is dropped ! That created massive ripples, Ma Ra got wild and he was caught completely off guard, Regime just did not know what to do or what to say. They were in chaotic state for a while.
    (Matara Sunil added spice to that)

    More importantly it has given a shining light to masses there is a viable alternative. This is a master stroke by all players.

    Now lets vote for MY3 leaving aside all differences. Lets build a better country. I am in the opinion the coalition is not perfect but they have the desire and the tools to bring in better governance.

  • 0
    6

    Just a minute Mr Bertie the work is not all done.

    I am now very suspecious of this Maithripala fellow. Why is he turning his back on his kingmakers, Ranil and Chandrika, and dancing the jig with the JHU. Of course the JHU cannot even scratch Mahinda’s bedrock S-B vote especially on a abolish-presidency stand. But do you know what it can do? It can drive all the minorities (25-30%) away from the common candidate. That is ensure the CC’s own self-defeat!

    So is this Maithre a Trojan Horse sent by the Rajapakse clique to arrange that he (THE COMMON CANDIDATE!!!)gets himself defeated? Why is Maithree dancing to everyword of a JHU puppet-accordian? Suicide!

    Ranil and CBK must reassert control over this pantaloon and prove that the strategy you describe in your analysis is actually executed. Till then I will refrain from joining you in congratulating Ranil.

  • 8
    0

    We highly appreciate your article. Specially, in a situation where you lost your job you have taken the position that RW is the man of the year.

  • 6
    0

    What comes across in Mr. Ranaweerage’s piece is something sorely lacking in a lot of the junk parading as erudition over the names of PhD’s whose names I hardly need mention. That “something” is sincerity, a principled approach to issues and common sense without any of it being directed towards making Brownie Points with some “important” person or self-appointed intellectual.
    Thank you, sir. We need (many) more voices like yours.

    • 0
      1

      Emil van der Poorten

      “That “something” is sincerity, a principled approach to issues and common sense “

      Yes.

      Is the Common Sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2014 Ready> Find a printer and get it distributed.

      People with comm,on sense are waiting….

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

  • 2
    0

    Good article. Thanks. Sincerely hope people in Sri Lanka will look beyond defeating terrorism on January 8th. We salute MR for defeating terrorism but that doesn’t mean we gave him & his cronies a blank cheque to loot the country’s coffers and screw the future of the younger generation (mean the ones not related to MR clan).

  • 2
    0

    Yes…Definitely …many will agree with you.
    Everyone has both good and bad – positive and negative. Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe is not a saint BUT he is a gentleman, not like Mahinda Rajapaksa. He has not given any opportunity for his brothers or family members to steal wealth or money from tax payers and foreign loans when he was a Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
    He has not disreputably and hatefully criticised any opponent like Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    Look…how he mentioned about Tissa Attanayka’s departure. Great man. Great gentle man. He is well versed and well read. His academic and intellectual capacity is very high …not like Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    Compare to Mahinda Rajapaksa knowledge and presentaion in global stage or internationl stage Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe is EXCELLENT and COMMENDABLE.

    Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe does not pursue wealth , money , privileges or power like Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    But….Unfortunately many srilankan people can not understand that truth.
    Mr. Ranil Wickramasingha’s leadership is the best specially for western and european countries….specially those who admire and respect policy based politics..

    Mahinda rajapaksa suits for third world countries like Srilanka, Banladesh, Pakistan and african countries.

    Observe all companions who have assembled together with Mahinda Rajapaksa…..such as Wimal Weerawansa, Nimal Siripala De Silva, S.B. Dissanayaka,Rohitha Abeygunawardana, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Mervyn Silva….despicable language they always utter or speak, the noise they constantly badly make to entertain uneducated people of this country.

    I always respect and salute Mr. Ranil Wickramasingha.

  • 1
    1

    If RW was asute as it seems or being told or made out to be, he could have lifted the morale of the die hard UNP’ers who have been in the doldrums by submitting his nomination papers as the third candidate at the PE.
    Thus leaving MR & Sira to fight it out for the SLFP votes while UNP securing the standard block vote and straight to the Presidential seat.

    Ranil with his luke warm, lethargic and unconcerned attitude have let down the die hard UNP’ers once again.
    Not only has he let down the UNP’ers but also relegated the UNP’ers to be baggage boys to Sira & CBK.

    Common Candidate will pay dearly for this Ranil’s attitude.
    If this whole exercise was to unseat MR, the unity & understanding in the Opposition failed as they have lost sight of the common goal.

    Today, the UNP’ers are relegated to erect stage, decorate streets with buntings for Sira & CBK caravan, distributing leaflets foe the CC & pasting posters. IS THIS GOW THE GRAND OLD PARTY PARTICIPAGE IN AN IMPORTANT ELECTION? RANIL HAS NO REGARD OR CONSIDERATION FOR THE LOYAL SUPPORTERS OF THE UNP.
    Bertie ranaweerage can be one of them.

  • 3
    0

    I respect Ranil not because of anything else – he is very respectable and gentleman like. Even if he would have been attacked by HAmbantotal rascal langauge – kunuharupa, he would just pay a smile. The most world recognized personality – he does not need to convince anyone about his ablities but MR must – that is the reason why the bugger allowed many advert companies to display his ugly pictures almost even jungles to show his idiocy.
    The country is made up of a majority poor people – they cant know and no time to check the facts and figures of numbers produced by statisticians about the alarming levels of corruption of current day lanka. SO they believe all what they get to see is the reality. But how many more days people would see it like that ?

    • 0
      0

      Seelawathi,

      anybody who respect dignity of life would also find RW is more human. That is it. Let s wish the current situation woudl be no longer there from 8th of January.

  • 1
    0

    A man victimized by politics stand tall. Well done Bertie.

    Ranil was twice deprived of the presidency of SL. Both times by the fascist LTTE.
    First, by trying to assassinate CBK and Second, by enforcing a boycott agreed upon by the winner.

    On the greater scheme of things, Did anyone pay the fascists to murder Kadirgamar ? Just asking.

  • 0
    0

    P.Bertie Ranaweerage says:

    “I was sacked by the UNP government whose Minister of Education was Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, for giving leadership to the teacher trainees in Teacher Training colleges in the general strike in 1980. For over three years I had to undergo a plenty of hardships. Some fifty strikers committed suicide . I have never voted for the UNP and never will.”

    From day 1 I read this BR I vehemently criticized him for his willful, malicious and flawed vilification of RW. Today he has revealed and proved beyond a shadow of doubt that I was correct in my criticism and that his criticism of RW stemmed not from any sound reasoning but from his own self-centered personal experience and suffering. That he lost his job doing a strike is a matter that has to be discussed separately with involved facts and circumstances.

    As for the following extracts by him it is the case of in hindsight everybody is wise. It is this statesmanship of RW which made me support him throughout. And he is not just the “man of the year” but the “man of three decades” in the political history of this country.

    “I also took part in that noble endeavour by numerous ways including writing to Colombo Telegraph from time to time. In fact I tried to promote the former President CBK as she was for national reconciliation through power sharing.”

    “But a voice in me said that it could be a ploy of Ranil to strengthen his party and rally his members around him .”

    “Now we know that Ranil had not been serious in contesting the election though he publicly said that he would. It proves beyond any doubt how politically matured he is and was. He knew better than us that he would not be able to defeat Mahinda. In 2010 too he allowed the General to contest as his chances were very very slim against Mahinda after the war victory. When we look back we can see that Ranil was able to strengthen the UNP to a certain extent after he expressed his intention to contest the Presidential election.”

    “Now let us turn to Ranil. As he was a shrewd person he did not fall into the trap set by the conspirators.”

    “Finally he has not only defeated all the conspiracies to oust him from his leadership by some UNP leaders such as Sajith and Tissa Attanayake but also attempts of Mahinda to remain in power for another eight years.”

    “Now millions of people are eagerly waiting for the dawn of new era after January 8 next year.”

    “Therefore I do not hesitate to name Mr. Ranil Wicremesinghe as the Man of the Year. I believe tens of thousands of Sri Lankans would agree with me.”

  • 0
    0

    Yes, he does have a nice face. Now he needs to go further and become beatified – Ranil needs to move over and hand things to Champika (where’s Gammanpila btw?).

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