14 December, 2019

Blog

Sajith -Our Last Best Hope 

By Sarath de Alwis –

Sarath de Alwis

Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa was addressing a massive rally in Polonnaruwa. Just as he commenced with the usual preliminaries, there occurred a diversion. 

Wasantha Senanayake the infantile trapeze artist thought it was the opportune time to appear from nowhere to stage his most contemporary somersault. The din he made was undoubtedly substantial. 

The candidate lost his cool. Visibly angered he turned to the organizers on stage. ‘Why did you make him walk in   when I am on my feet? 

The video clip of the trivial incident went viral in no time. 

Was it trivial?

 If it was Mahinda, he would have suppressed his annoyance to greet the surprise intruder with outstretched arms. He would have told the settlers of Polonnaruwa that even the comic entertainer and great grandson of the father of the nation who settled their ancestors in their homesteads was now on their side of the barricade. 

That is not Gota’s style. He has no control over his impulses. If elected he will have awesome power.  

If elected he will say that his triumph is proof that he was always right. He will insist that his predispositions, his instincts are always perfect.  

His overarching message is based on fear. He brooks no opposition. He allows no dissent. He simply cannot forgive a slight. He must retaliate even in language that is not quite civil. 

A female journalist once dared to question how he got the national airline to ferry a ‘puppy’ from Switzerland. He saw it as absolute insolence. He called her a ‘poo eating pig’ in more colorful, more explicit words.  

Polonnaruwa episode is not the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It is a ghastly reminder of the glacier that will start melting no sooner he becomes president. That terrible possibility propels these musings. 

Gotabaya has been running for the presidency for the last three years. It took him that long to present his older brother, the head of the family firm with a proposition he simply could not refuse.  He has a solid base. 

The oligarchs demand a leader who will offer stability and social order.  Tenderprenures who measure growth in terms of unaffordable constriction projects with little utility value, yearn  for the ‘man in a hurry’ to deliver , unafraid to issue instantaneous edicts. The bigots want a man who shares their idea of the enemy. 

A sizeable segment of the urban middleclass driving their limousines to work from suburban homes in Maharagama and Malabe and Moratuwa  expect free flowing traffic undisturbed by protesters hogging  streets. Then there are the hapless poor who want hospitals to function uninterrupted by lighting walkouts by the union of mercenary of doctors, whom we now know were hired for that exact purpose. 

The constituency of the strong man with a short fuse is substantial. We are now  at the brink, staring into the abyss. This is the week when we must decide to turn back from that precipitous slide.    

I was deeply skeptical about the candidacy of Sajith Premadasa. I have changed my mind. Over the last three weeks, he  has positively demonstrated the qualities of a solidly civic leader,  sensitive to the pulse of the people, demands of the age and the imperatives we can no longer ignore. 

Since declaring his candidacy, he has succeeded in inspiring a constituency that was in deep hibernation. How big that constituency is, we will know on election day.  

 He has built for himself a vast swathe of public opinion of his phenomenal capacity to become a reasonable and an empathetic leader who has mastery in the art of relationship building with the varied segments of a plural society. 

He is ready to shape public policy with an audacity unheard of in the hide bound UNP.  He has promised a new beginning. He has promised to dump dead weight and dead doctrine.  

His promise is precise. He will not make his presidency a gravy train. 

“No Minister will be able to appoint family members to important positions.”

No person facing allegations of corruption will be given Ministerial positions. Certain positions will be reserved for qualified professionals. “

This is not empty rhetoric.  Sajith has promised things he will do in the week after the presidential election.  That is what matters. A new beginning. A credible beginning . 

He will start off by providing an effective leadership to his rudderless party. He has demonstrated his integrity by accepting error. It requires courage. It requires humility to realize and concede one’s own frailties. 

In sharp contrast to Gotabaya’s reticence in taking part in public open discussion Sajith participated in two public parleys. He was asked complex questions which were at times perilous for an incumbent minister in a meandering administration.  

He performed with a calm self-assurance. His performance was light years away from the military machismo that his opponent excludes when cornered with an uncomfortable question as was the case in the only press conference he has participated into date.

Sajith can face an interlocutor with ease. He listens with a winning politeness. 

He doesn’t get defensive. He takes time before responding. He gains valuable time to offer a thoughtful response. Unlike Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sajith Premadasa can remain calm in the face of questions. 

A good leader understands his critics.

 A good leader must have the capacity to be a detached observer of a situation and arrive at a solution that is best, effective and satisfactory to all parties. A good leader should be capable of identifying and understanding of the interests of his critics and opponents.

 A president of the republic should not dream of performing as a gladiator in the arena.  

Unlike Gotabaya, Sajith can ‘quiet the self.” Making the ‘self-quiet’ is a term coined by New York Times columnist David Brooks. 

Brooks offers good advice to would be presidents. When criticized or insulted don’t get inside the game. Step outside. Discover yourself. “Pride is painful. The person who can quiet the self can see the world clearly, can learn the subject and master the situation.”

Now you will understand why wise and old Mr.Sampanthan has decided to support the candidacy of Sajith Premadasa. 

They want a Sinhala leader who will step outside and see their problem as an observer. They don’t want a gladiator who will conflate the problem. Sajith Premadasa is our last best hope.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 8
    2

    Paul kgami President of rwanda said, when his soilders wanted to show him genocides happening to his people, and their bodies. After some time he said he does not wish to see them for the moment, because he might get angry and start a revenge. He built rwanda from a scratch after the genocides, and rwanda can be called the singapore of africa.

  • 3
    12

    This is news about no news.
    I watched the whole thing how Sennanayaka grand son gave Nandasena not one, but two bare hugs to the thundering ovation of that sea of inhabitants.-

    I was flabbergasted but also pleased to see the UNP still has good People who love their Motherland.
    And do not collect Santhosams to become rich, while selling the nation to Foreigners.

    I don’t know about any last chance, all I now is the UNP Candidate Preme Jr has big problems getting even the TNA vote as a whole.

    Suresh Premachndran says they are not happy about Preme Jr ‘s announcement at the last minute that he will have a brand new PM on the 17th.
    Looks like that has put the spanner in the works.

    Dr Ranil was seen apparently very stoic ..

    The way Dr Ranil spoke in Manipai, I thought , it was all over Red Rover..not only for Nandasena.
    Butt also for the fight of the Century of the whole great majority of the inhabitants to safe guard their land from foreign ownership and separation in to Tamil and Muslim Homelands.

    Do the great majority still has that last chance on the 16th?..

  • 4
    6

    None of these Presidential canditates what ever shape or form can do anything as their hands are tied with the 19th Amendment passed by Ranil and the JVP cohorts.
    Once elected they will have even less clout than the current President Sirisena.
    Only way they can rectify this is to introduce the Peoples Constitution proposed by Nagananda.. Are they so ignorant of the law not to comprehend this?
    It is unlikely the 225+1 set of “thieves” will accept the Peoples Constitution as the very introduction will be the end of their existence. So them passing it in parliament is completely out of the question.
    So perhaps Sajith has a way out by proposing this to chase Ranil out immediately after the 17th if he wins and the people accept the new constitution. As the Peoples Constitution is for the people by the people voted by the people and for the first time in Sri Lanka people will get their rightful place to be above the politicians.
    If Sajith has an iota of wisdom then this is his only way out to chase the corrupt politicians surrounding him and also chase Ranil from the political landscape for ever.
    This Peoples Constitution is an iron grid no future politician can break again which ever government comes to power. They can only improve on it further but the peoples rights are ENSHRINED in it for ever.
    Also for the first time in Sri Lanka accountability will be restored. No more interfering of the judiciary by any politician.
    It is a shame that this Peoples Constitution proposed by Nagananda is not understood by some ignorant people as this is the only answer and solution to Sri Lanka if it ever wants to be a developed country with One law, One nation and One Country concept.

    • 3
      0

      Justice

      Exactly. The golden age post independence of this country was 1948-1955. After that we have had mindless morons who ruined this country, cemented in 1987 and afterwards by Indian bootlickers.

      Only a total abolishment of this Indian imposed and influenced constitution and corrupt backward KAKISTOCRACY which protects the criminal and corrupt can save Sri Lanka. Sad thing is with a lean system and the rule of law, Ceylon/Sri Lanka can become a Singapore within around 5-10 years tops. But if we continue like we are now, we won’t make that even in 10 million years.

      This election has now become a Hobson’s Choice. The only thing that was worth voting for was Nagananda’s “System Change” with a constitution that gave us a government of the people, by the people and for the people again. Very much similar to the Soulsbury Constitution.

      People should realise that this gives us:
      1. One law, one nation, one people
      2. Abolition of the Indian 13th amendment and Indo Lanka Accord (restoring sanity and sovereignty to the country)
      3. Creates the conditions for economic upliftment by scrapping all waste and bureaucracy which is unnecessary
      4. Creates climate for investment
      5. Ensure a meritocracy, THE RULE OF LAW and a lean mean and green Ceylon/Sri Lanka
      6. BANS all ethnic parties, the corrupt from contesting elections
      7. Creates zero tolerance for corruption and independent courts and public institutions devoid of political sycophants

      Any true patriot would hold a National Referendum and offer the people a choice between the complete mess we have now (with 225+1) or the new People’s Constitution. Only insane people would vote to preserve our current pathetic situation. Sad thing is the political class blocked it from happening. But the people should strive to bring it about again.

  • 7
    17

    Last hope to destroy the country with Sajith, Ranil and Mangala. Have a good look at last five years.

    • 4
      1

      charles – “Have a good look at last five years”. Dummy, you would have become king if the queen had abdicated her throne! Keep dreaming, A.H.

    • 0
      1

      ..and an equally good look at the 5 years prior.

  • 16
    2

    If this murderer who robbed money from poor Sri Lankans is not defeated, Rajapassa clan will have the field for themselves for a very long time to come.In that period we will loose the democratic rights we have now to be replace with no questions to be asked tyranny. It is Gotaism. He knows what is good for all of us for all the time.

    Or we might have a different admin system.It will be their way and the assumption is that Rajapassa clan knows it better . May be the Chinese way. Please save me and my family from this monsters .Vote Sajith. Please.Please.

  • 19
    2

    Mr. Alwis
    Like you, I too was not particularly fond of Sajith. However having listened to what Sajith has to offer, I decided to change my mind.
    At this stage, I would expect anyone with even a little love for our country and having half a brain to support Sajith and make him win.
    When you consider the other option we have, Gota, who is a complete nut bag. He is also a coward, a thief, a liar, a racist, a butcher, a sadist, a murderer, a psychopath path and a heartless beast who is a potential dictator.
    We have to save our country from the clutches of Gota and his cronies.
    To be honest, I am not really afraid of Gota and his men who are running around him licking ass. I am afraid of the powers that maybe behind Gota pushing him to take charge so they can get the best of Sri Lanka.
    If he manages to win even he will not be able to refuse their demands.

  • 4
    2

    Dear Sarath,
    .
    Although
    you had referred to the video of the infantile clown, Wasantha Senanayake, arriving at the Gota Meeting, you haven’t attached it. I found three, as I think, and some had edited out Gota’s fatal annoyance, but this one had it clearly enough, when I saw it . I don’t waste time on FB so I didn’t see what many may have.
    .
    https://www.newsfirst.lk/2019/11/08/wasantha-senanayake-pledges-support-to-gotabaya-rajapaksa/
    .
    Yes, this shows it, and I agree with the account that you have given of it. What a clown this Wasantha has now turned out to be, but I had long ago decided that AKD is the best of the candidates, and I’m sticking with it since, in the case of my vote, Sajith loses nothing. He gets my THIRD Preference. Of course, my talking about it may confuse some other guys and lead to spoilt votes.
    .
    What future can one expect for a country where so many keep saying that people not yet in their dotage should not perform experiments which are not a-la-Wasantha? Far too many are just refusing to vote strategically. This refusal of even the green party to educate the public demonstrates the lack of respect with which they treat the public.

  • 15
    1

    Agreed with most of the sentiments expressed by the writer of this article.

    NGR had absolutely no (zilch) credentials or attributes, in whatever way one looks at it, to lead our beloved Nation. A discerning, perceptive and astute person will come to this conclusion without any hesitation. On the other hand, SP has displayed remarkable temperament and attributes to provide us a hint, if given the opportunity, he is capable of rising to the occasion. I tend to agree with the writer, that at the present time, he is our best hope for a brighter and prosperous Sri Lanka.

    Voters, please use your franchise wisely, judiciously, aptly and appropriately. Please defeat racism, extremism and authoritarianism in all its forms! Please vote for this young and energetic candidate whose hands are clean, in whom we can have some trust and hope!.

    Writer, the circulation and audience of CT are limited to a minority of certain class of people. Please consider translating this to Sinhala and having it published so the SB’s in villages and rural areas are reached. That is the background of the majority of the voting public and thus reaching them with this message in Sinhala is critical, crucial and vital. Good luck!

  • 9
    2

    “Sajith our last best hope”

    Sri Lanka country with long history tradition and culture will be no more with out Sajith. In that case all Sri Lankan’s must do their utmost not only to elect Sajith the Savior and hope he will be immortal if not their will be no hope for Sri Lanka.

    I for one love to read these highfalutin expert intellectual opinions so to remind me and prove that Taleb’s Intellectual Yet Idiots are real.

  • 2
    14

    This salesman and his sales pitch cannot even sell a good newer car…..forget about second hand cars. Trying desperately to inflate a political midget……………….He did a better job in selling yahapalanaya in 2015.

    • 2
      0

      Helass

      “This salesman and his sales pitch cannot even sell a good newer car…..forget about second hand cars.”

      The buyer would not what he is missing.
      The buyer also knows how the country was morally and financially bankrupt by the old car salesman’s clan between 2005 and 2015.

      By any chance you are bidding for White Van Franchise?

  • 12
    0

    Well said. Only Sajith can possibly win the north, the south, the east, the west and the centre. Gotabaya can possibly win only the south. We need a leader who can unite the island nation, not one who exploite the fractures to stay in power. No more divisive racists. No more Rajafucksas.

    • 4
      0

      Thinker – “No more Rajafuckses.” That means GOTLER the dual-citizen will take the first flight to the U.S. and get back to pumping gas. Aliya Sabri can accompany him.

    • 1
      0

      Thinker
      Did you think very long and deep before you come up with “No more Raja###ksa’s” ?
      In my opinion not much thinking involved its more to do with your upbringing and how you communicate daily at home and your struggle to control your own emotions and thought’s.
      Disagree be angry be frustrated nothing wrong but try to be articulate forcefully write or voice your opinions think before you Spit the words out because it say more about you than what you trying to articulate.

  • 5
    1

    “No Minister will be able to appoint family members to important positions.”“No person facing allegations of corruption will be given Ministerial positions. Certain positions will be reserved for qualified professionals. “ This is not empty rhetoric. Sajith has promised things he will do in the week after the presidential election. That is what matters. A new beginning. A credible beginning .

    I would not count on that this time. 4 years to go. New King started all the games only after two years.

    “Over the last three weeks, he has positively demonstrated the qualities of a solidly civic leader, sensitive to the pulse of the people, demands of the age and the imperatives we can no longer ignore.
    Since declaring his candidacy, he has succeeded in inspiring a constituency that was in deep hibernation. How big that constituency is, we will know on election day.
    He has built for himself a vast swathe of public opinion of his phenomenal capacity to become a reasonable and an empathetic leader who has mastery in the art of relationship building with the varied segments of a plural society.
    He is ready to shape public policy with an audacity unheard of in the hide bound UNP.
    Yes, these are new things observed on Vaalaiththodam Jr.

    Old King said that Vaalaiththodam Jr is going to divide the country by giving Federal Constitution to TNA’s demand. Younger Brother Prince warned to talk only what mass would like to hear. Old Royals still not settled on the path to go.

  • 1
    7

    keep dreaming

    • 1
      0

      ..that is always the way big things start.

  • 10
    1

    Sri Lankan voters reject the known devil, and take a chance with the lesser of two evils.
    We do not want to go backwards.

  • 10
    1

    Sarath,
    I’ve been trying to get across this same message of GoRa’s very serious anger management problem for a long time now. The issue is not a mere political innuendo; it is a serious issue that can have profound repercussions not just on the careers of people who will have to work with him, but also on critical policy matters to be discussed as well; for GoRa’s anger will make everything go only on his way. As I have been trying to explain, the most likely reason for this uncontrollable anger the mental condition known as “bipolar syndrome”. Bipolar syndrome is not uncommon but in SL it goes largely undiagnosed under the misconception of part of natural behavior.

    I strongly believe that the media as well as the analysts made a huge mistake by not paying any attention to this serious character flaw of GoRa. I tried to raise the issue but failed.

  • 0
    6

    If you so much worry about gota winning only one option you all have, ask sajith to leave from the contest and support jvp anura kumara. Their will be huge blow from all three sinhala muslim and tamil community and anura kumara will win easily, it is the only option you have if you want to defeat. If gota not demecoratic that doesn’t mean sajith is best, he is sooo illeterate guy even without ordinary level. Dont be selfish, dont try to cheat people. Sarala sinhalen nangi pennala akka denda epaaa.

  • 13
    2

    Unfortunately Sinhalese can not understand the real character of Gotabaya.
    He is a murderer…thief…and uneducated man.

    One of the yellow clothed man said he is a Hitler.

    Be aware of this man..
    Do not elect him as a head of state.
    Whole country is in HELL

    • 1
      0

      Very well said.

  • 12
    0

    Having watched and listened to the two main contenders, Sajith wins in terms of calm and dignified responses, thoughtful and qualified answers as well as the all-important public display of colourful rhetoric. Gota on the other hand repeats that he had done what he was assigned, and will do so again, but is not convincing to the experienced and sophisticated observer. However, on Saturday, most voters will not be sophisticated or experienced in scientific analysis of personalities.

    • 1
      0

      You are 100% correct but majority in the south cannot think rationally and logically like you. I don’t know weather they are educated.

  • 7
    0

    I have just heard that the idiot Sirisena has pardoned the murderer Jude Jayamaha. He beat a 19 year old Swede Yvonne Jonsson to death in 2005. Now which Presidential candidate has the courage to say that he will reverse this decision?

  • 1
    6

    Reading this article, one is struck by how much it is informed by extreme bias against and fear of the SLPP candidate, which also informs his naively rosy view of his UNP rival. Judging by the election promises in their manifestos and stage utterances, both the principal candidates have already displayed their corrupt political nature in offering almost endless stream of bribes to win votes at the public expense, often in competition with each other. This, combined with the demonstrable hypocrisy of both candidates, makes it incumbent upon intelligent, discerning and principled men and women to vote for a different sort of candidate (speaking for myself, excluding the JVP!), even at the risk of being damned to a special place in hell (as the writer of this article would say)! If you keep on voting for established political parties to have a lesser demon prevent whom you might think to be the Devil Incarnate himself from being elected, then this country will be forever stuck in the same political quagmire with no hope of any significant change at any time in the future.

  • 3
    0

    what are his plans for siripakaya if he wins
    will the madman who pardoned a murderer be given a governorship?

    • 2
      0

      The killer’s family is wealthy and influential. How much does it cost to pardon a murderer? Does he take credit cards? Sira making his last few millions while he still can. Masvelenda Thatha.

  • 1
    0

    (I am posting this comment again [with a correction added] because I am not sure whether I posted it properly earlier.)

    Reading this article, one is struck by how much it is informed by the writer’s extreme bias against and fear of the SLPP candidate, which also informs his naively rosy view of the UNP rival. Judging by the election promises in their manifestos, both the principal candidates have already displayed their corrupt political nature in offering almost endless stream of bribes to win votes at the public expense, often in competition with each other. This, combined with the demonstrable hypocrisy of both candidates, makes it incumbent upon intelligent, discerning and prinicipled men and women to vote for a different sort of candidate (speaking for myself, excluding the JVP!), even at the risk of being damned to a special place in hell (as the writer said in an earlier article)! If you keep on voting for established political parties to have a lesser demon prevent whom you think to be the Devil Incarnate himself from being elected, then this country will be forever stuck in the same political quagmire with no hope of any significant change at any time in the future.

  • 5
    1

    Observing both election campaigns closely it reveals that we are at a anxiously decisive crossroad, the highway of tyranny and the road of hope crossing each. I hope our countrymen would decide wisely. What we have seen in the past and our hopes for the future makes us to believe that Mr.Sajith Premadasa will restore this nation back to sanity. Or will it be a choice between the devil and deep blue sea?

  • 1
    0

    Dear Sarath: You said: “I have changed my mind”. There was a “CRY” for a “CHANGE” to “CHANGE” what was going wrong for the last seven decades in Governance of the country, culminating in an “OUT CRY”: “All 225 Legislators must be sent home”. What happened and what journalists like you “DID” to that “Public Cry”? Aren’t you “GUILTY” of “SABOTAGING” that “Public Demand” by introducing the “SLOGAN” – “Winnable” and “Unwinnable”. This “GERM”, “Unwinnable” spread like a “Cancer” into the whole campaign for a “Change” and some of the “SPIN DOCTORS” like Mahesh Senanayake, Pallewatte , “Media” and “Journalists” amputated every limb that was trying to survive Now this “TEAM” of “Spin Doctors” , including you, are on a “Mission” to “Choose the “BEST” out of the “WORST”, knowingly that there CANNOT BE a “Best” in a “Worst”.

  • 5
    5

    This sad article, reeking with loathing, fear and self-delusion is the best proof I have that the Gotaby juggernaut is inexorably rolling, destroying all the enemies of Lanka.

    The writer is a sad wreck, clinging at straws, trying to find redeeming merits about an obvious low IQ retard, who cannot run a retail shop, let alone a country. Its indeed sad to see desperation drive men into such levels of depravity.

    I cannot wait to see Lanka take off like the Phoenix rising from ashes to assert its place under the Sun with the brave and selfless stewardship of Gotaby.

    May the force be with him and may we live to see Gotaby crush the enemies of the poor Kaffirs of Lanka – the fanatical, Jihadis who carried out the ISIS attack on Easter Sunday and who are plotting to convert Lanka into a hellhole Islamic Republic.

    • 0
      1

      Jay Chambers (if that’s really your name}:
      One of the most unfortunate things about CT is that it does not have a policy that prevents the ranting of murderous, raving lunatics like you.
      I suppose that’s the price one pays for media freedom, which, make no mistake, will not exist if Mr. JC and his buddies come to power.

  • 1
    3

    Rajitha’s muddy campaign illustrates how desperate Sajith’s camp has become. After seeing their hopes evaporating in front of their eyes, they are now stooping to the lowest level possible (not possible for decent folks of course).

  • 1
    0

    Last five years was ruled by the president who was in the other party supporting them but only now the UNP owned is contesting

  • 0
    0

    Ah, if only Colombo Telegraph were all the electorate. I keep counting thumbs up and thumbs down and indications are that Gota won’t get even 2%.
    Why worry Mr Sarath Alwis?

  • 0
    2

    How did Gota have to become a candidate for President. It was because RW changed the law so that MR could not contrest. Gota is a team man. SP does everything alone without sleep. MR ewill guide Gota. He has the experiance. SP is supsect under pressure. As the presidents son SP says that he will work like his father. SP is making promises. We cannot excuse deceit.

    • 2
      1

      Ranil

      Thanks to MR and his experience, he promised “13+”, “India is my brother!” and Indian trains. He emulated India, a nation without toilets and ruined the war victory by wasting time. We are already 30-50 years behind places like Singapore which emulated the Ceylon of 1948-55 and have overtaken us.

      We have to catch that up in 10 years. But having idiots like Wickremsinghe, Mahinda, Sillysena and other such Indian bootlickers, we will never develop even in 10 MILLION YEARS.

      Gota is no better than Sajith. Neither have offered any CONCRETE policies to save this nation. All of these stupid candidates, except perhaps Pallawatta, want to keep the Indian 13th amendment, mono ethnic North and corrupt “jobs for the boys” system.

      Only a total system change and removal of this corrupt form of government, abolition of Indian imposed nonsensical things and rejection of the traitorous Indo Lanka Accord (which ALL LEADERS since 1987 have agreed to) will restore this country to potential greatness. Otherwise we will be an Indian hellhole for at least another 5 years.

      People should THINK about their country, not saving stupid politicians from “parties”.

  • 0
    0

    Mr Poorten
    You Don’t seem to know ABC of media. In order to be ‘unbiased’ you have to accommodate 5% of opposing opinion and 2% of ‘rantings of murderous, raving lunatics.’

    Soma

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.