25 September, 2020

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Ranil’s Woes Are Not Over, They’re Just Beginning

By Vishwamithra

“See for the highest, aim at the highest and you shall reach the highest.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

The no-confidence motion is now a thing in the past. Everyone, especially Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the United National Party, would like to think so. However, in the wake of its defeat on April 4, a very significant development took place in the United National Party (UNP). Election of a so-called ‘Politburo’ cannot be regarded as an inconsequential development. Politburo is a term usually associated with Communist Parties. Yet after the collapse of Red Power in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Politburo term has been in use even in democratic political parties, meaning the highest decision-making body in the Party in question. In such a context of an evolving political vernacular, the Politburo of the UNP could be construed as the new decision making body at the highest level. However, unlike in the Communist parties of yesteryear, the Leader of such democratic parties usually is not invested with unlimited powers to hire and fire or send his adversaries to the Gulag. The modern-day UNP and its Leader would well be advised, especially after a steady decline of the Party’s voter-bank over the last two and half decades under the present leadership, to share that power with this new Politburo to which a most deserving and qualified group of politicians, and elected parliamentarians as against those who come from the ‘National List’, were elected.

I implore you to have a glance at the new Politburo. It is as astonishing about who is in it as who is not in it. There’s no Gamini Jayawickrama Perera or John Amaratunga, the two most senior parliamentarians as Ranil Wickremesinghe; no Thalatha Athukorale (no women at all, no good) or outgoing Chairman and Secretary General, Malik Samarawickrama and Kabir Hashim (both are a timely rejection); there’s no Sujeewa Senasinghe, the most vociferous UNPer in the last two years, nor is Harsha de Silva. Neither Vajira Abeywardena nor the other ‘Kayiwarukaraya’, Daya Gamage was elected. The voters in the Working Committee have rejected the ‘pavement style’ cheap cantankerous politics. The new Politburo consists of members representing almost all prominent caste and geographical-derivatives in Sri Lanka. There is a mixture of Upcountry and Low-country men (no women), of all social denominations. Except Ranjit Madduma Bandara and Mangala Samaraweera, all others came to Parliament in or after year 2000- a direct contrast to the Rajapaksa-led Joint Opposition (JO) or Maithripala Sirisena-led Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). It is indeed a collection of ‘young guns’, so to speak.   

From amongst the field of Mangala Samaraweera, Ranjit Madduma Bandara, Eran Wickremaratne, Harin Fernando, Nalin Bandara, Navin Dissanayake, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, J.C. Alawatuluwala, Ruwan Wijewardene and Ajith Perera, the recently elected Politburo members, only two, Eran Wickremaratne and Ruwan Wijewardene represent Colombo albeit the main criticism hurled at the UNP that it is primarily a Colombo-based political party. Whereas the current Ranil-led UNP is exclusively based in Colombo; whereas his chief adviser is Malik Samarawickrama whose political exposé and grassroots level experience is next to nothing, the new politburo is a fresh wind swirling around the political circles of today. This is a mirror image of the ten (10) who were elected to assist J R Jayewardene in 1976.   

This unconventional process of electing a successor was introduced into the United National Party by J R Jayewardene in 1976. Its legitimacy, validity and the elementary character of being ‘democratic and fair’ has held true to this day. No other political party in Sri Lanka has adopted this method as they are too deeply immersed in their own familial and prejudice-based anachronisms. The present leadership crisis in the UNP and its original causes, its substantive evolution and its final resolution could all be revealed if an unmitigated effort is made by those who were elected to the politburo to introduce some meaningful changes to the Party structure and possibly a ‘winner-candidate’ in the forthcoming Presidential Elections.

That notion of a ‘winner-candidate’ was truly, fairly and solidly established. The election of Navin Dissanayake, Gamini Dissanayake’s son and Minister of Plantation Industries and Member of Parliament from Nuwara Eliya district to number one position is remarkable. Navin performed as well as his father did in 1994, or even better. Gamini had to face this situation twice in his remarkable political life. When in 1976 J R Jayewardene asked all electorate organizers to elect a team to be in charge of the election set for 1977, he trailed behind R Premadasa only by 6 votes- Premadasa received 118 and Gamini 112, an awesome performance for a newcomer in 1970. Then in 1994, after election-loss on the election of Leader of the Opposition, Gamini beat Ranil Wickremesinghe who was the outgoing Prime Minister by 2 votes (44 to 42).

Whether the voter is a farmer in the arid zones in the NCP or a tea plucker in the hill country, or an ordinary laborer from Colombo or a junior executive in Kurunegala, or even a Board Member of a lucrative business or an ordinary housewife, they all want and demand a winner and a ‘young gun’. Navin Dissanayake fitted into that description like a well-fitting glove into a workman’s hand. ‘Winner’ is an infectious dynamic. In the recently held local government elections, when the whole country was lost to the UNP, specifically the Sinhalese-Buddhist hinterland was swept by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), Navin managed to win both Nuwara Eliya Municipal Council as well as Nuwara Eliya Pradesheeya Saba. In addition, he won the Ambagamuwa Pradesheeya Saba, Norwood Pradesheeya Saba and Hatton-Dickoya Urban Council. In Kotmale and Agrapatana Pradesheeya Saba elections, he was second to Ceylon Workers’ Congress, and the SLPP was a negligible distant third in them. In the context of a distressing island-wide debacle for the UNP, those victories are quite extraordinary and deserve instant acknowledgement. Navin being elected as the leader among the next-to-the leader tier in the Party structure is an unequivocal acknowledgement of that performance. Period. Navin, the ‘Young Gun’ is being launched, not by some conspiratorial gossiping in the Colombo social circles, not by some anachronistic elite group of the Party, Navin was elected as number one in a group within a group by the Working Committee of the United National Party. However, one cannot ignore the other UNPer, Sajith Premadasa who was placed ex-officio in the Politburo by virtue of his office as a Deputy Leader, In fact Sajith must be extremely happy that he did not have to be ‘elected’ when the election of the Politburo was called. The clamor of the UNP backbenchers asking for Navin Dissanayake to take over the post of Secretary General of the UNP buttresses his position as a commanding personality in the Party.

Where Navin goes from here on is entirely up to him. He must decide whether he should take this opportunity to the next level or remain placid and allow the rot to continue. Whatever he decides, he must acknowledge one unmistakable truth and reality. The United National Party as it is today, led by the present leader is going only in one way- towards self-destruction if radical changes are not implemented.

When in 1976 J R introduced his second (2nd) tier in the Party, his own position as Leader was never disputed. He was the King of the Party. A towering personality, astute leadership, a strong sense of history and an uncanny sense of political acumen were some of his traits. On the contrary, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the current leader of the Party, with all his experience and devotion to the principles and policies of the UNP and with his so-called knowledge of the economy of the country, is being discussed in utter negative terms, not only in Colombo-based social clubs but almost in every street corner in the country. A drastic decline in the voter base is not a good index for a performing-leader.

Can the ‘pendulum’ swing the UNP-way? That is the sixty four million-question today. J R in the mid-seventies not only knew that the pendulum could swing his way, he made it so by the action he launched with the unwavering backing of his Party. The results were unprecedented; a sweeping five-sixth victory in 1977 General Elections. Ranil Wickremasinghe’s position is much more delicate and brittle. Ever since the 2009 Presidential Elections, when the UNP could not find its own candidate for Presidential Elections, his suitability as a viable candidate has been questioned.

In such a depressing context, Ranil at least this time in the 2020-Presidntial Elections has to find a ‘winning’ candidate whose base, source and beginning is in the United National Party. Who is considered by his own Party and then by the general voting population. Both Navin Dissanayake and Sajith Premadasa belong in that category of the few. Their fathers laid their lives on the road while campaigning for the Party. Both entered Parliament after their fathers’ demise on their own strengths. When one studies the composition of the new Politburo of the Party, it is not so big a challenge to see who is ahead and who is behind. Ranil’s woes are not over, they are just beginning.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    Country’s woos are not over, they are just the beginning.
    So Ravi K and Wijedasa R will be back in the cabinet?
    NCM proved that not only Ranil , the whole pack is corrupt.
    Above all it showed in no uncertain terms that Sirisena is a dirty crook.
    Soma

  • 8
    1

    Better to make navin dissanayake the leader of the party.Sooner the better because elections are round the corner and the rajapakshe juggernaut is powering forward.

    • 4
      4

      shankar

      “Better to make navin dissanayake the leader of the party.”

      Why?
      Do you think he has enough wealth inherited from his father Dutta Gamani’s ill gotten wealth therefore he will stay clean?
      Will he raise his stake by becoming the leading racist in the country as did his father?
      Will he apologize to the people for his dad’s role in burning down the Jaffna Library and return the books and ola manuscripts looted from the library?

      Is he ready to finish off minorities if Hindia ever decides to invade this island? His dad warned the Tamils.

      Is he ready to repay all what his father paid himself from Mahawali project?

      Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Ambedkar …. who were educated in UK came back and taught the Brits home grown lessons. Like them will he teach the imperialists a lesson they will never forget. He recently started writing stupid letter to UK MPs.

      He has the education, family history, ….the wealth to take on the imperialist. Good luck to him.

      By the way out of 225 MPs there are 13 Nayakas in the Parliament. One way or another the Nayaka dynasty continues.

      Will you tell him to return the books and wealth before positioning himself for the top job?
      Does it matter whether racist hora A or racist hora B rules this island/

      • 6
        1

        native

        A son cannot be held responsible for the father’s actions.A nephew cannot be held responsible for his uncle’s actions.Both Navin,ranil and sajith can only be held for their own actions.

        What is your solution to the problem of the rajapakshe juggernaut?

        You only know to whinge,but no solutions to the problems.I have yet to see a comment from you with solutions to the problems that the country faces,only you keep highlighting the problems.

        Tell us how you propose to reduce the SLPP from 45% of the vote to 35%.IF so the UNP should get 40% and the SLFP 15%.

        • 1
          0

          shankar

          “A son cannot be held responsible for the father’s actions.”

          Since the stupid Lankies believe in and respect dynasties Navin should find his dad’s looted wealth and return it to the state. I am sure he would have inherited a lot from his dad’s will. If the son is entitled to dad’s assets he is also responsible for his dad’s liabilities. Morally he is also responsible for looted books/ola from Jaffna library. Surely he must have some contacts with his father’s thugs who helped him set fire to the library and loot old books/ola.

          “What is your solution to the problem of the rajapakshe juggernaut?”

          Does it matter whether racist hora A rules this island or racist hora B rules?

          “I have yet to see a comment from you with solutions to the problems that the country faces,only you keep highlighting the problems.”

          The panacea:
          Liberate Buddhism from Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhalese from Sinhala/Buddhists.
          It took Sinhala/Buddhists to destroy Buddhism, Sinhalese and the country 100 years and it will take another 200 years to liberate them from Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhists.

          Therefore finding the panacea or the antidote for Sinhala/Buddhist parochial, racist, fascistic political force is not easy.
          When needed cover, the politicians and most Sinhala/Buddhists hide behind patriotic slogans, Sinhala/Buddhism, Sinhala/Buddhists, Sinha Le, ….. unitary state, Chapter II of the constitution, ………… Hence the need to pull the crooks out of their traditional hiding place, Sinhala/Buddhism ………….. and strip them of their cover, expose them as to who they are.

          Therefore it is imperative to keep hammering what is wrong with the country and who is responsible for the current state of mess.

          Continued:

          • 0
            0

            native

            “If the son is entitled to dad’s assets he is also responsible for his dad’s liabilities. “

            Of course he will be.If the father had taken a mortgage on his house and the son does not pay it back,will the bank not take it over?
            I reiterate that navin and gamini are two seperate individuals that god has created.Each is responsible for their own actions and not for each others.If i go and assault someone i would love it if the police go and arrest my son with whom anyway iam not on good terms.In fact i will go and visit him in jail and laugh and laugh into his face.

            “Does it matter whether racist hora A rules this island or racist hora B rules?”

            so you don’t seem to be bothred about the white vans of the rajapakshe era and the journalists getting murdered one by one and no free press or speech.Remember your copious comments could be read only by those outside srilanka at that time while today your eve more copious comments can be read by biso menike and simon singo in a remote village and they say ‘aney ara veddha hondata deneva munge badata,pukke indala ho gala yanda'(this veddha is giving them tight right on the stomach for them to go to the bathroom)

            “Therefore finding the panacea or the antidote for Sinhala/Buddhist parochial, racist, fascistic political force is not easy.”

            I did not ask you for any antidote for this.I merely asked you how to bring down the current SLPP 45% vote bank to 35% and to bring up the UNP 32.5% vote bank to 40% and SLFP 13.5% vote bank to 15%.These are the practical problems we face not the theoretical sinhala bhuddhist stuff that you are trying to distract us with.For example now you are hungry let us say.You turn to your missus mrs.native veddha and ask her whther food is ready.She replies that still she has not started to cook.You get up in a rage with your amudi nearly falling off and shout at her why and she says she is too worried to cook.Why you ask her and she says that the country has become too sinhala bhuddhist conscious and you and i have to find a solution before we eat.

            • 0
              0

              shankar

              “I reiterate that navin and gamini are two seperate individuals that god has created.”

              When Dutta Gamani died how was his ill gotten Mahaweli assets (owed to the nation) divided. Are you saying Navin Nayake was not one of the beneficiary of his dad’s ill gotten wealth? Any honorable person would have returned that part of his inheritance initially derived from Mahaweli and interest. Then he is entitled to due respect and chance to contest any damn office. Surely he would have known, heard about and dealt with the thugs who destroyed Jaffna library and looted invaluable books and old ola manuscripts or due to moral compunction he would have looked for them.

              I am not sure made this idiot to wrote to British foreign secretary in support of the other idiot smart ass Patriot Brigadier Priyankara. Mind you Navin Nayake is not the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.

              Since you have mentioned food I might as well start cooking before my partner comes home from her weekly “Ladies Club” meeting where she is part of the team which organises “events for protesting, collaborating and celebrating the sisterhood” else she would kill me.
              I will deal with rest of your typing later.

        • 0
          0

          shanker
          continued:

          The Sinhala/Buddhists successfully mislead the Sinhalese and Buddhists accusing others being responsible for all the ills of the country, from colonialists, Indian workers, Muslim traders, Ponna, Chelva, Amir, LTTE, VP, Sambandan, Muslim leaders, …………. never for once they looked at themselves and accepted where the fault lines lies which continues to cause disasters after disasters.

          Let those who are responsible for causing disasters blame the victims. A tradition you also should continue and hope all problems will vanish into thin air.

  • 1
    0

    The teams in the finals are led by MR and MS/RW. There is a hostile bid to take over the MS team.
    The only game tactic left is to go after the corrupt including those in his team.

  • 5
    0

    Not Ranil’s “WOES” that matter to the country; but he is a CURSE to the country. Why he is a “CURSE”? The perception , he and his “Elite” cohorts have created to say he is “Mr. Clean” is deceptive and misleading. From the time he became a politician, a Minister, Leader of the Opposition and PM twice, proved that he is a “Deceptive” in all the political positions that he held and holding as at present. I would request you to listen to a TV discussion titled where an ex Minister of Petroleum, Mr. Chandima Weerakkody revealed as regards the proposals (to rehabilitate the Oil Tanks in Tricomalee ; modernize Refinery activities at Sapugaskanda; Efficient Delivery channels of crude from the Port etc.) that were laid and approved by the Cabinet were “Derailed” by the PM, by submitting a subsequent “Cabinet Paper” cancelling the earlier approvals. He (ex Minister named) also described how even Budgetary Provisions made to train and prepare the school leavers to various jobs in the market were “Diverted” elsewhere and the whole programmes were made to collapse. Just imagine how he “Doled Out” peoples money(Big FAT cheques) recently to “Buddhist Clergy” before the Local Govt. elections. Now everyone knows all the in and outs of the “Bond Scam” initiated by this PM, although, again his “Elite” cohorts attempt to clear him of his responsibility and accountability. Added to that, is it necessary to further say all about “Gonawala Sunil” who virtually ran the Ministry of Education, when it was under this PM; “Batalanda” episode; “Re-Constitution” of the UNP virtually him becoming the “Life Long Leader”; that famous “CFA” agreement with LTTE supremo. With all these and many more to say, I boldly say HE is a CURSE to this country and any Government. We have to make an END with him.

  • 1
    0

    Re. my comment: Sorry I could not name that TV Programme. That is “PATHIKADA” aired on April 17th and now available on YTUBE.

  • 0
    0

    Apparently, Premier Ranil W. is not viewed as a Presidential Winner in 2020.
    Navin Dissanayake is touted in this essay as that winnable Candidate! This is based on his performance in the Nuwareliya Local Government elections!
    Vishwamithra has a weak brief.
    Would the Minorities vote for him?
    At a Presidential election the Minority vote is crucial. The Nuwareliya performance is certainly not the yardstick to measure a Winner at a National level!

    • 1
      0

      Plato

      Navin Nayake is another closet racist.
      Hang on until leadership contest and real elections heat up you will see which path he takes. If his letter to UK MPs is anything to go by you will hear more racist comments coming out of his eight holes.

  • 0
    0

    VISHVAMITHRA: NAvin Dissnayake inherited a Apple Orchard from his father. I heard Charitha Rathwaththa was the Supirintendent of the ORchard. He di dnot know how to manage it, Finanally he had to sell it as agricultrual lands. He di dnot earn much because agricultural lands is not like residential or comemrcial real estate properties. Then as the Plantation minister $ 60,000 or $ 60 million, he tried to keep it for himself. Maithripala Sirisena had to involve in order to ask him to say GIVE IT TO THE TREASURY and YOU CAN NOT KEEP IT. I heard, now he is looking for real Estate Properties in Canada. Even prospective president – father, if his son is not intelligent or not educated leave him/her in the PArliament so they would become one day a president. Maithripala Srisiena is also thinking the same.

  • 0
    0

    IF some one gets private employment, he/she would be considered experienced after one year or four years in sri lanka. Sri lankan parliament has politiciasn even after 40 years who says SOmething wrong happened. IT looks the mistake they did was very well planned even then it was caught. Do you Say, Ravi Karunayake is worth to be the minister for Tourism or civil aviation. there are corrupt journalists who promtoe them because their govt says so and it is not their country of birth.

  • 0
    0

    There was a RAW agent called Maninder, A Hindu, and his wify thing Fareeda. He wanted federal solution To Tamils and a multi-everything Sri lanka. they were pushing for Ranil and they sabotaged Mahinda Rajapakse, I heard.

  • 0
    0

    I agree with Shankar, Navin cannot be held responsible for his fathers misdeeds, in the current context, he is the best candidate to pose a serious threat to MR and Co

    Recently I watched a TV program in which you can clearly see his credentials, clear in his thoughts, authoritative, and has the energy to deliver the goods. If he is able to beat Ranil in his own game to become the candidate of the party, that means the battle is half won.

    Let’s hope saner council will prevail and the will move forward

    • 1
      0

      Concerned citizen

      “I agree with Shankar, Navin cannot be held responsible for his fathers misdeeds, in the current context, he is the best candidate to pose a serious threat to MR and Co”

      If he is the best candidate he should return his share of inheritance from his dad’s looted wealth. He also should make an effort to look for the books and ola looted from the library.

      This man Navin thought just because he was educated in the UK (financed by Maha…. ) he had the right qualification to challenge the Brits for the wrong reason. Did he ever study in the UK? His letters to the foreign minister and MPs do not convince that he did.
      Read his nonse:

      UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group For Tamils Responds To Navin Dissanayake’s ‘Belligerence’
      FEBRUARY 10, 2018
      COLOMBO TELEGRAPH
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/

      Like his father he is playing the race card. If we don’t stop him now he is going to grow into another home made, foreign educated, stupid bigoted racist may be a fully fledged fascists.

  • 0
    0

    Navin is a good choice. But not now. The next term MR or any Rajapaksa should come to politics and clean the mess Yahapalas created. Navin should get the UNP leadership and clean UNP from Eelamists like Mangala. We can groom Navin as a leader. That is all

    • 1
      0

      sach

      “Navin is a good choice”

      Is it because he inherit many trait and wealth from his dad, including Mahaweli wealth, Jaffna Library Books and ola manuscript, ………………….. racism, bigotry, ……….. caste consciousness, …… foreign Royal Gene………….. ?

      First of all get him to apologise for what his dad did with impunity and repay what his dad swindled from the state with interest, …………………….

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