19 October, 2019

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Sajit Premadasa Has An Unfinished Job To Finish 

By Vishwamithra

“Finish the work, otherwise an unfinished work will finish you.” ~ Amit Kalantri (Indian author)

Standing before the entire country and be counted is not a task for an ordinary man; making undeliverable pledges and making every serious attempt to deliver on them is no ordinary mission and wiping away tears from a million pairs of eyes of ordinary men and women is not destined for an ordinary man or woman. Nor is carrying those ordinary men and women on one’s shoulders when the weary and tired refuse to walk any longer is not meant for ordinary shoulders; the might of determination, ambition and drive can achieve many an extraordinary goal yet such ambition, drive and determination do not dwell within an ordinary soul. And Sajit Premadasa is no ordinary man. And the challenge is present and enormous.

Sajith Premadasa has to realize, if he were to win the Presidential Elections, that he has just finished one short journey but the long and challenging trek could be daunting and extremely tiring. Does he have the stamina left in him after a grueling campaign to embark on another journey of state-craft and good governance? This is the question people ask and it is the question Sajith alone can answer. Meandering along with no clue whatsoever, an unflattering trait the current holder of Presidential office is known for, is not an option. 

Sri Lanka has to decide as one nation, Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim and Burger, Buddhist, Christian, Islamist and Hindu altogether, whether to go forward or turn back on the fundamental human rights and democratic principles that were fought for and ensured for some time. Nothing that is given on a platter would last. Gifts and donations are of mere temporary value. Their shelf life is utterly momentary and their fleeting quality does not attract the curious buyer. Those who are fondly remembered by the masses did not arrive at their respective citadels by accident; such accidental arrivals, as is being aptly demonstrated by the current President, cannot sustain the glory and discredit, if any, for a time of any worth.

Masses pay pooja to their leaders not because they love them unconditionally but because they expect to get their return on investment by way of time, money and sweat. There is no, as the saying goes, free lunch. The cost of the lunch has to be borne by someone, known or unknown, and its cost does not disappear just because the ultimate consumer does not pay it. We have become an entitlement-driven, entitlement-greedy and entitlement-oriented nation. Our leaders of yesteryear have chosen to play politics like a game of casino, heads I win tails you lose.

Real transformation of a national character is not consummated in mere five years. Nor is it achieved in two terms in political office. Structures and processes that produce such transformation need to be installed and erected; their installation could be impeded at each of the steps that lead to it; yet the effort and determination to obtain the desired result cannot afford to be sacrificed at the altar of expediency and convenience. The masses would not show the same degree of patience and apathy when it comes to deliverance of pledges so made on political platforms. 

Despite being thrown out at successive elections, our political leaders have gleefully accepted the irrational norms of current political tapestry that has been woven by a proportional representation system that continues to return to parliament some dreadful characters whose qualifications are extremely questionable on the one hand and woefully inadequate on the other. 

Possession of incalculable wealth and assets amounting to closeness to other political bigwigs, these charlatans have been entrenched in our society for a number of decades and their influence on their sponsored-politicos has assured them that they could have a free-show each evening with wine, women and song, making Kahlil Gibran turn in his grave. Sajith Premadasa has to appeal to those who have opted to defy such decadence and anachronisms. His father had only a handful of friends amongst the elite; English-speaking, Colombo-educated puka sahibs. Their character is one made of straw and paper which dissolve in the face of tiniest of tempests. In order to break the stranglehold of this useless but self-flattering garbage of humanity that reside in the glee and glamour of political favoritism, Sajith needs to arm himself with enormous self-confidence and willingness to run the extra yard.  His father chose to challenge this brutal social parasite but was successful only to a very miniscule degree. Instead of challenging and outsmarting the Colombo-elite, he chose to fight his own friends within his own Party and ultimately paid the supreme price for being too ambitious too soon.        

Sajith, on the contrary, has the value of hindsight; his education at the London School of Economics, his fluency in English and his formal education at Royal College, Colombo has given him license to mingle freely with the Colombo-elite yet being aloof of these dreadful social-cockroaches. To quote Kahlil Gibran in another context: Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars’. Sajith has to stand aloof almost in a ‘Jayewardenesque’ fashion yet relate to the masses in a very real and tangible mode that couldn’t be construed as mere public relations.

In other words, Sajith’s appeal to the majority of our people must be founded and buttressed on a promise to freeing the ‘small man’ (podi minisa) from the shackles of bondage and dependence. When the Rajapaksas play the patriotism card, Sajith must play the same card with double the fury and fire. The phony patriotism of the Rajapaksas can be exposed but it must be done at a consistent and continuous basis. The unsavory yet a much-demanded job of elimination of financial corruption and misdeeds by the Rajapaksa-politicos and their henchmen is still on top of the priorities-list, though may not be amongst the UNP politicians, but they certainly occupy a prime place among the masses. That s one unfinished job Sajith has to finish.

Any delay would be read by the ‘small man’ as appeasement or as honeymooning with the enemy. Such inglorious badges should not be worn by the candidate of the ‘small man’. The stigma attached to the current UNP Administration is this very tardy approach to the resolution of issues associated with corrupt practices introduced by the previous Rajapaksa-regime and the masses have a right and thirst to know what precisely is happening with regard to the numerous allegations and charges so pinned to these corrupt politicians and their henchmen.

Under no circumstances a ruling cabal should be replaced by another cabal that is perceived as more corrupt and insensitive. On the other hand, it might be extremely difficult to follow the exemplary work-ethic set out by Sajith’s father. R Premadasa may have had many weaknesses but unwillingness to work hard and absence of a great sense of empathy for the ‘small man’ are not among them. R Premadasa worked for the ‘small man’ but he couldn’t finish his job. On the other hand, it is not a job that can be finished but suspension of such work cannot be conceded on any account. Simplicity embraced by Premadasa Senior cannot be replicated but all attempts at being simple is no hard task for any politician. 

However, duplicity, if veiled by a hazy and phony simplicity, is not tolerable and I’m sure Premadasa Junior is quite sensitive to such socio-political demands of the twenty first century. Yet, before even thinking of what he might do after winning the elections, he must first win the elections. An unadulterated message of empathy, a degree of decorum and a true commitment to real transformation of our society with fundamental focus on the ‘small man’ could very well carry him to victory. The journey has begun and many a step has already been taken; an expectant mass of ‘small men’ are eagerly looking forward to what might cascade from the lips of Premadasa Junior. Please don’t let them down.

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

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Latest comments

  • 14
    11

    May God forgive us from voting for Goata and MR family.
    It would be a disaster in waiting .
    They tasted defeat and wins so they know what is it look like to win or defeat .
    They can not tolerate losing .
    So ; they do or die in this election.
    So go for Sajith if you love democracy and freedom ..
    If you want to give this nation into the hand of dictators they vote for Goata..
    Power is dangerous when it goes into hand of some dictators ..

    • 10
      0

      As much as Ranil stays away from Sajith’s campaigns, it is better for UNP. Also, UNP has to stop rubbish talks like RW will be the prime minister if Sajith wins like Ajith Perera said the other day. Even a baby can understand how unpopular RW is, and don’t know why UNP guys can’t understand that

    • 0
      0

      NO. Go fr the third option: Mahesh Senanayakem a disciplined officer.

      • 1
        1

        kumaran

        “NO. Go fr the third option: Mahesh Senanayakem a disciplined officer.”

        Are you saying though he was actively killing innocent people during war he was not caught? What does he know about war crimes, people who surrendered to the security forces who were made to disappear, sexual abuse of the male and female detainees, why the army is still holding many without being charged or freed?
        What is he doing about it?
        Why is he maintaining a measured silence on saffron clad thugs activities? Couldn’t you find a disciplined saffron clad thug who could teach the people discipline? Instead why a uniformed commander of war criminals?

  • 5
    3

    What anybody has to do isn’t unfinished job.

    The have to start & finish an untouched job.

  • 10
    4

    There is no doubt that Sajith has got a good support among people in villages. 70% of people will vote for him while Gota will have 30% in villages and yet, in town Gota will have 70% but Sajith will have 30% .. However, Colombo & Kandy have been UNP base ( people in Colombo & Kandy have been supporting UNP for its open economy policies and business friendly policies. Will they do that this time too.

    • 2
      2

      lankan

      Amateurish,

      Have you ever been to a village in Sri Lanka?

      Let me give my figures

      41% for Gota, 32% for Sajith & 27% for AKD.

      It’s an outdated view that city & country people behave differently.

      • 2
        1

        RR you are right. There isn’t a village family that hasn’t lost a son or brother or father in the war. They will remember who ended it.

    • 3
      7

      The Old Colombo 7 UNP ends with Ranil and the New poor man’s UNP begins with Sajith. The Cheese/butter eating American Gota has to face the pol Rotti eating Sajith. The only difference is, Gota managed to win the war all by himself by staying in his air conditioned office.

  • 12
    2

    Sajith, Anura, & Gota. the entire world knows ANURA is the best among all of these three. Yet, people will vote for Sajth and Gota, Why because people are fools

    • 4
      2

      yes Anura is the best choice but unfortunately the system will not help him to win

    • 5
      3

      As far as the Tamils are concerned, Anura is no better than the other parties. He is opposed to provincial councils, Dislocated North and East, against the 13th amendment, etc.
      Surrenders to the hamuduruwas, reluctant to condemn their illegal activities including the burning Of Cancerous bodies in Hindu temples.
      No definite suggestion to solve Tamil problems. He seems to be playing a game. As Sinhalese, they may vote for Anura rather than to the others.

  • 1
    0

    Now that SLFP is also supporting Gota, Sajith must be careful not to alienate voters by careless statements. Is he shooting from the hip?

  • 6
    3

    The voters mainly have two choices.
    If you someone wants to live with freebies then vote for Sajith. You can not develop a country with giveaways.
    If someone wants to have to a discipline in this country then vote for GOTA. You develop a country which has corruption and no discipline.

    Do you need a Fool or Hard man as president.

    • 5
      5

      charles

      “If someone wants to have to a discipline in this country then vote for GOTA.”

      Can you explain what do you consider being discipline and who wrote the code of conduct you talk about? Please let us have the definition and sub rules about discipline.

      We were told LTTE was a disciplined organisation, we know how the organisation behaved. The discipline LTTE imposed on its cardres and people were not generally understood or followed by the people prior to the advent of LTTE however the discipline you found among LTTE cadres was just “obeying orders”, nothing else.

      Therefore it would be the former national hangman, whose cronies and b***s carriers who would define whatever discipline maybe as they go along. We had seen a lot of what happened under Gota’s watch.

      Are you willing to buy Taj Mahal if Gota offers to sell it to you?

    • 2
      1

      Charles, exactly. Gota is the only candidate who can bring discipline and order. Look at what Rajapakse’s achieved through building roadways, that can be done in other areas as well. AKD is a Marxist, he will bring chaos worse than the LTTE. Sajith is took weak to oppose Ranil, what does that show? It shows Sajith has no resolve to fight corruption, he will just collect his perks and live for another day. Even if Gota is corrupt, at least he has the brains to develop the country. Development first, then democracy, this is the Asian model.

      • 1
        0

        Lester, your statement:-
        “Even if Gota is corrupt, at least he has the brains to Develop the country.”

        It Depends on what you mean by ‘Development’!
        Development does not mean Buildings and More Buildings on Reclaimed Land!
        It does not mean Employing People to Clean Up after Others have Messed up the Countryside!
        Development means raising the Living Standards of All the People, not just the Few Who live in Colombo!
        Development means providing a Good Standard of Education to All Citizens!
        Gota is only trying to make Sri Lanka into another Trump’s USA; All Eyewash!

  • 6
    0

    LSE and Royal College are not sufficient credentials if SJ has not acquired insight and maturity. As we well know Royal College has in recent times gifted the nation a leadership that the school would prefer to disown. A pledge to build 1,000 temples is a criminal waste of public funds and hardly the path to rebuilding a moribund economy and healing and reconciling ethnic differences. How could Sajith not realise that this extravagant religious spree would widen the rift that is plaguing any sort of development? This is insensitivity at its worst.

  • 4
    0

    Why did he keep his grand ideas to himself for 4.5 years. What a difference it would have made for the country if only he was genorus enough to share them.
    .
    Sajith Premadasa is a demogogue true to dictionary definition. He talks as if he is the government and the treasury is his pocket.
    .
    Vishvamitra, what is the UNP party position with regard to abolishion of EP?

    Soma

  • 3
    1

    Native Vedda

    If live in SL , you will understand what I mean by discipline . We do not follow any rules at all over there. You name it we break it. People need to follow rules. A good example is Singapore. Singapore had tough leader- Li Kuan Lee. He made people to follow rules. That was the first thing he did. Look at the Singpore now.
    You have mentioned negatives of GOTA only . What do you think about Sajith.

    • 2
      2

      charles

      Singapore was built on integrity of the politicians, professionals, state functionaries, hard work, equality of opportunity, secularism, recognition of languages, … not on parochial language nationalism, state recognised perverted religion, nepotism, impunity, …………………….. Discipline can only be learnt from disiplined honest people not from crooks, war criminals, ……………………… fascists.

      • 1
        0

        Singapore was built by making all public education English-mandatory. That’s it. There is no integrity, one family has been in charge of politics most of the time since independence. There is open discrimination against Malays, Indians, and mainland Chinese people. Had Sri Lanka been a mono ethnic state, it would be right up there with Singapore. Prior to 1972, Sri Lanka was ahead of China in development.

        • 1
          1

          Lester

          The Sri Lankan model of nation building was, is and will be the best of best in this world hence UN should make it mandatory for all countries to follow the path of this island.

          Isn’t what you are saying in essence.

          The way things are here the island soon will become one people, one religion, one language, one leader, …… Fascist state of Sinhala/Buddhists.

          • 0
            1

            Singapore was created after race riots between the Malays and Chinese. Go and learn some history.

            • 1
              0

              Lester

              Don’t be stupid.
              It was Lee Kwan who proposed a federal set up in 1961 and joined the Malaysian federation in 1963. Singapore was expelled in 1965 by Malasia from the federation for racist reasons.

              The race riots in Malaysia took place in May 1969.

              Race riots had nothing to do with Singapore leaving the Federation.
              I suggest you confine yourself (writing fake history) to Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    “Those dreadful Social Cockroaches”…
    “.Premadasa Jr is a graduate of the London School of Economics.. Went to England after graduating from the Royal College in Colombo Speaks fluent English and can mingle with those Colombo Elite without any sweat…”

    Don’t know whether to laugh or cry …

    UNP Presidential Candidate is riding the biggest Wave which has never been seen in any previous Election ,
    This is despite the Colombo Elite , Anglican and the Vellala Faction of Dr Ranil’s UNP shackling Premadasas Jr at both ankles . And pulling every which way to stop him.

    Junior fought the Lot almost single handed except a little help from Mom.
    Junior created this Wave solely on the back of the Dalit Vote of the UNP in the South.

    Junior of course had to make big ass promises to get this support .
    Promises like these have never been seen or heard in the past by any Political Party even in the Left starting from the Old Royal Communists to Village Socialists who occupied the whole spectrum of Left Parities since our so called Indipendence.

    These Promises , range from Jobs for All, Free Housing, and even Creating Federal States without upsetting the Buddhists and the Monks , And the List goes on and on.
    And even Job offers in writing sent to Youth in the South by the UNP Heavy Weight tParty Organisers there..

    Despite the Junior achieving all that and creating the current Green Wave, this writer is trying to put the Spanner in the Works by creating doubt and suspicion about the capability of the London School of Economics graduate’.

    I know Dr Ranil and Akila Viraj didn’t attend the Nomination Acceptance Party because there was no room according to Viraj himself.

    That is the indication that the Junior had already created this Wave in the UNP Executive Committee .

  • 1
    0

    I didn’t like the way Sajith Premadasa bulldozed his way to secure the nomination to contest the presidential elections. He was defiant to the point of ridicule. He displayed no stomach for party discipline. In this respect, he should emulate Speaker Karu Jayasuriya who said he will contest only if the party says. No such humility on the part Sajeeth. He was greedy and claiming the Premadasas never lost the elections. As a Cabinet Minister, he knows only to build houses. He is a stranger to foreign affairs, finance, education etc.

    I also blame Ranil Wickremesinghe for dragging his feet over the nomination. Even his handpicked stalwarts revolted against him. He should have summoned the working committee and resolved the issue one way or other. His credentials as a democrat took a sound beating.

  • 2
    0

    Native Vedda
    I agree with what you mentioned. But You still have not said anything about Sajith. We already know lot about his father. There is a saying ” Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice.” Same time we have to choose from what we have got.

    • 2
      1

      charles

      ” Same time we have to choose from what we have got.”

      All what we are left with is basket of rotten perishing items. Then of course we can chose not to vote the rotten, ….

      We should go to polling station get our ballot paper and spoil it.
      This is to show we are not satisfied with any of the candidate.

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