3 March, 2024


Sajith’s Intimidation At Badulla

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“The poorer our people are kept, the more opportunities for politicians while the more religious the poor people become in order to bear their growing deprivation”


What happened on Wills Road in Badulla yesterday (12/8/19) was, if anything, plain attempted intimidation of  the United National Party leadership by a prominent member of the party leadership itself-its Deputy Leader, Sajith Premadasa; its Minister Harin Fernando and some others of lesser consequence like Lakshman Seneviratne. The latter had been the famous ‘Seeni Amathi,’ or Minister in charge of sugar of the notorious Mahinda Rajapaksa government. Lakshman is a characteristic political adventurer who has been changing sides as we do change pillows while sleeping.  Sugar or coffee or baby diapers-he doesn’t mind.

I am told that minister Eran Wickremaratne had been there. Eran had complained recently about the lack of democracy in the Grand Old Party. I hope he had read my presentation which argued that political parties cannot, by nature, have open democratic processes. If Eran had, in fact, been at Badulla, it maybe that he wanted to enjoy a breath of democracy!

What democracy was that? The idea that a presidential hopeful in a party must brow- beat his  way to force the hand of the party caucus to nominate him? This, while the party leader has stated already that the nomination issue will be decided after broader consultation. Does Sajith not want the leader to do that without deliberation? Does he have a ‘divine right,’ to be nominated sans democratic processes? 


One thing Harin Fernando can do is organise crowds for meetings. As minister he has been a failure. He has not been able to rescue our cricket reputation; he simply accepted the ‘comfies,’ handed over to him by the rich Cricket Board. He settled for perks and kept quiet. Our cricket has, thanks to Harin, sunk into depths it had never been before it acquired ICC status. Our boys were disqualified and had to pack up and return home. Harin also became  a laughing stock during the Easter massacre of innocents when he said his Papa had warned him in advance that something nasty is going to happen on that day and advised  not to attend church.It was on everybody’s lips as to why he did not convey that warning to the police and to his leader, the Prime Minister. Papa’s boy looked after himself and forgot his responsibilities to the community. Harin now appears as Sajith, the party messiah’s, key backer. Is a Prime Minster role on the way for him-given Premadasa reaching his ambition?

Sri Lankan politicians are getting funnier and funnier by the day and they collectively constitute a vast and tragic comedy, sucking the blood of poor people. The poorer our people are kept, the more opportunities for politicians, while the more religious the poor people become in order to bear their growing deprivation. 

Economic Policy

This brings us to the point that our government’s top priority should be to eliminate poverty as our once lowly neighbours, Singapore and Malayasia, have done. In prosperous Western countries, which our politicians deride, it is not easy for politicians to deceive. The average voter here is self-confident and the education they have received make them prone to critical thinking. The very same is the difference between the media in the Western World and the media in poor lands like Sri Lanka. Our printed and and TV media are shit. Fortunately, the social media is growing and growing. With more iPads given to students free and more freely available Wifi, the situation is going to improve even better.  On the other hand, we have President Sirisena who has banned Lanka E news.

Old -Style Politics

Our hopeful Sajith seems more concerned with old style give- aways like free rice and Samurdies. He is now planning to build 1135 chaityas and has told some gullible Sanga members  that he cannot wait until these Chaityas are completed. With whose money? Not his. Not Harin’s. Not Lakshman’s. Not Eran’s. Not Kili Maharajahs.

Our Deputy Leader seems absolutely low in economics. The latter is reported to have taken shelter in the London School of Economics. Mind you, where Harold Laski reigned and our own Dr NM Perera got his double -doctor degrees. The Lanka E news joke is that our man only took shelter as during a temporary downpoor of rain (“Wessata goda una.”). If Sajith knew more economic  policy he would not try to solve the housing problem via government grants.  He will not make a dent on our housing problem this way.

At Badulla, Sajith said he would reduce taxes for the middle class. He doesn’t seem to realize that the resultant shortfall  will have to be met somehow. We don’t get money from the skies. Do we? His promise to develop  Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) lacks details. That has always been the professed goal of successive governments including the current one’s. Sajith should tell us more of his new found wisdom here. In fact, the Prime Minister’s imaginative “Private Enterprise Sri Lanka,” program is a bold attempt to help create SME’s

Sajith also resonates with the old and derelict socialist lefties when he suggests class war, referring as he does to “Mahamandire innawun” (those comfortably living in palatial buildings). That socialism is dead and its left-over espousers like DEW Gunasekera and Vasudeva are sipping the pleasures of the cocktail circuits  of the beorgousie parties lie the UPFA-now converted to Pohottuwa. These gentlemen and their forbears misled whole generations with their class war. The JVP has taken that philosophy over to its shelter.

Conflict with UNP Economic Thinking

In line with the old-style socialism that Sajith espouses as remedies, he has openly asserted that he disagrees with the  market  economics of supply and demand and liberal economics. This is starnge for the 21st century. How could any economy run sans supply and demand?

The question I have is: will Sajith as new leader metamorphise the UNP into an SLFP-especially now that the latter is all but dying and surviving on chemotherapy.

This is a serious issue for the Grand Old party in its decision about nomination. The UNP must keep its core philosophy with it. We have observed how the revolution of economic liberalisation done under JR has boosted our economy.


With regard to Badulla, however, I believe that the UNP has an immediate concern about party discipline in it hands. If events like Badulla are permitted or ignored that would be opening the door to a total dismemberment of that political party which has been the bulwark of Sri Lankan stability until now.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Free wifi
    Gyms to workout
    Gold chains
    Bank robbery

  • 3

    When I read your pompous pontifications, I wonder if you are talking about Australian politics. What makes you so entitled to talk about a foreign land?

  • 3

    A brilliant and fearless essay

    • 2

      A great essay by a person with a sound knowledge and broad wisdom.But the foolish narrow minded people in our country can’t understand these type of essays.Keep it up!Good Luck sir!

  • 0

    When I started reading Shyamon’s article, it struck to my mind he was to touch on the ‘Easter Sunday attack’ incident where Harin’s casual talk was idiotically connected and his other attempts to pontificate RW are evident of how insane he is to the reality. Even a hardcore UNPer will not support RW unless and otherwise he had been an old buddy from Royal and all Sri Lankans know too well that qualification which cost the country in an unimaginable way.
    SP had been obedient to his leader and patient even other party members on several occasions encouraged to take preemptive initiative to capture the party leadership. Now the time is right to strike hard for which he had been waiting for too long. Shyamon has childishly and sheepishly chosen to undermine SP by attacking all others who supported him at Badulla meeting which shows the level of politics we have in Sri Lanka where promising bracelets, Tabs and Gyms are considered better than the housings to the impecunious people.

  • 2

    The history repeats. This was what the old man did to the UNP to contest the Presidential elections in 1980s. He destroyed the grand old party. Ranil is a spineless leader. He should have sacked this man Sajith when he stoned the Sirikotha and the elder aryawa and the sister distributed meals. Instead Ranil promoted this uneducated man as the Deputy Leader/ Now he must face the tune. He does not want to be a powerless President. There is a bigger plan May be his Supporter Ajith Perera want to be the PM. God help Sri Lanka.

  • 0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 2

    “The question I have is: will Sajith as new leader metamorphose the UNP into an SLFP-especially now that the latter is all but dying and surviving on chemotherapy.”
    Shyamon is dead right here. Sajith will ruin the UNP with his SLFP style politics-taking from the rich and giving to the poor; building chaityas and all that bullshit

  • 2

    Ranil is the best for our country

  • 2

    . . . . very sad that Harin’s papa did not warn him that something bad and sad is going to happen in Badulla and that he should stay away. Harin’s pappa, where are you when we need you?

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