15 August, 2020

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The Dayasiri Detonation

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

While I wish that Dayasiri Jayasekara had broken away from the UNP to form a new party rather than join the government, he has, I must admit, made a smart move, as has his new leader Mahinda Rajapaksa. The smart move was not to cross the floor and accept a cabinet portfolio but to move out to the provincial level. If Dayasiri is half the success that Gamini Jayawickrema Perera was as Chief Minister of the North Western Province (‘Wayamba’), the sky is the limit as far national political possibilities go, because he is young enough to outlast the shelf life of the ruling elite.

It is also a cannily played hand on the part of President Rajapaksa, who is more than aware of twin dangers within his coalition—from those who resent the glass ceiling imposed by family rule and are speculating about a comeback by their deposed queen, and the racist hardliners who are dismayed by the entirely pragmatic Presidential decision to proceed with the Northern Provincial election. Mahinda Rajapaksa seems to be inducting and building up a core of SLFP ‘young Turks’, some of whom are ex-UNPers.

By sandwiching the Northern election between two others, and by making it an interesting race with Dayasiri’s induction, the President has just diverted attention from the Northern controversy and more crucially, given the provincial council system a renewed local legitimacy.

Dayasiri Jayasekara was the canary in the mine-shaft. Let alone winning back the patriotic provincial and peasant voters, if the UNP cannot retain media-friendly, educated, urbanised, bilingual young professionals like Dayasiri, Shiral Laktilleke and Maithri Gooneratne, that party may become irrelevant and face electoral extinction.

Of the many factors that made Dayasiri make his move, two seem to stand out. Firstly, a loss of hope within a loss of hope: both in the UNP’s prospects and in his prospects within the UNP. Secondly, the fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s personal ‘pull factor’ not only vastly exceeds that of his rival’s but that it is exponentially enhanced by the latter’s ‘push factor’.

The photographs of Mahinda and Dayasiri at Temple Trees tell a story. Barack Obama said that Trayvon Martin “could have been me, 35 years ago”. When Mahinda Rajapaksa sees young populist politicians like Dayasiri Jayasekara he probably sees himself 25 years ago and when Dayasiri Jayasekara looks at Mahinda Rajapaksa, he probably sees himself 25 years hence. One can intuit the vibes. One can only speculate what Ranil Wickremesinghe sees when he sees Dayasiri Jayasekara and what Dayasiri sees when he sees Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Dayasiri Jayasekara’s valedictory address to Parliament showed us the truth that lies behind the walls of Sirikotha. The question must surely arise in the minds of the voters: if this is how the UNP leader treats his own party men, including its best vote getters, its human assets, how will he treat the country and its common citizens?

Sri Lankan politics displays the following deadlock: on the one hand, the citizenry (i.e. the electorate) at large is unwilling to vote for the UNP so long as it ignores the repeated electoral signals that an unpatriotic leader who was on the wrong side of a historic war is utterly unacceptable, while on the other, the UNP’s movers and shakers are unwilling to dump that leader overboard for the increasingly heavy deadweight he so manifestly is.

The question then remains as to why the UNP is not changing its leader and who or what factors and elements are propping him up. Ranil Wickremesinghe is supported by a dwindling, sticky amalgam of several social factors and elements: (a) the cringing conformist conservatism of some UNPers who regard him as a ‘toff’,  ‘the guv’nor’, referring to him ludicrously as The Leader (Der Fuhrer); (b) a ‘peace NGO’-Colombo cosmopolitan civil society-Tamil Eelamist Diaspora element which commends him for the appeasement of the Tigers and sees the only electable alternatives within the party (Karu and Sajith) as ‘Sinhala chauvinists’; (c) the segment of the mass media that is owned by his extended family.

Their strategic idea seems to be that the Rajapaksa administration will be blown away by the two Big Es– the economy and the external—and that Ranil Wickremesinghe is not merely a recognised wizard at economic management, he is, as importantly or more so, the Fortunate Son (as John Fogerty and CCR sang) favoured by The Foreigners by whose hands we shall be delivered from the rule of the Rajapaksas.

Now that rule may turn or be increasingly wretched, and for sure the ship of state will hit the iceberg of economic crisis and external pressure. That is neither going to close the electoral gap nor make the UNP leader acceptable to the military (which is an indispensable factor in any transition). External impact does cause shifts but not as drastic as to override the factor of nationalist sentiment which may be heightened by such impact (hence the nomination and victory of Premadasa in ’88). In a Third World society, economic crisis hardly causes a swing to a pro-Fat Cat leader prone to radical privatisation.

As the provincial council election will be the latest to show, the Sri Lankan voter—especially post-war– will continue to punish the UNP as long as it fails to respect its collective wish for an Opposition leader who is patriotic and constitutes a patriotic alternative to the present incumbent. In short, the citizen wants to be doubly insured with a patriotic President and patriotic alternative/successor who is different and better in other (socioeconomic) respects. As long as the UNP’s socio-electorally toxic leader remains unchanged, he will doom the UNP to a slow death by a combination of suffocation of talent, haemorrhage of representatives and activists and chronic electoral shrinkage.

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    Dayasiri was purchased only due Mahinda being unpopular in Wayamba and he wont be able to change that come voting day.

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    Of the many factors that made Dayasiri make his move, two seem to stand out. Firstly, a loss of hope within a loss of hope: both in the UNP’s prospects and in his prospects within the UNP. Secondly, the fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa’s personal ‘pull factor’ not only vastly exceeds that of his rival’s but that it is exponentially enhanced by the latter’s ‘push factor’.

    Well said Dr.DJ…this is where the UNP is heading today with Ranil at the helm! If he has atleast a spine he would have left by now for all the people’s curses including those frm UPFA supporters as well..Loser!

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      Dayasiri was MR’s agent since long. As usual MR bought him closer to the elections as he had done this cheap tactic in the past. MR is an empty vessel but shown as otherwise to the foolish SillyLankans. Its good for the UNP that Dayasiri knows to many as GL’s kolla, has crossed over. He is not talented at all apart from some singing skills. UNP must get rid of all these hippocrates as fast as possible. RW must now allow young talented guys like Ruwan, Akila, Harin to play a major role. RW must change a lot and attack the regime on daily basis. Fairness or Justice or democratic values are useless and hopeless with this lunatic rogue family and its allies such as JHU/SLMC/Thonda/WW/Dinesh etc.
      Dayasiri’s long jump wont effect the UNP vote base at all, although UPFA would try to generate some publicity. Its time for Saith also to jump if he wishes.

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    He has not made any impact as UNP did not loose a seat
    DJs assessment of the situation is irrational

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    If Ranil was not at the helm by now there would be no UNP see what has happened to the SLFP?A few things that have happened with Ranil being leader,those who were not loyal UNP members have moved out,an extremely important factor-though many will not accept the fact- The CFA was the start to the end of the war.The implementation was faulty but the people had a taste of peace.Then the present regime carried it fast forward since they had the resources and the present Opposition leader did not oppose anything, unlike the earlier opposition which blocked the all party conference which caused the war to go on.
    If we want an politician,who does not wear a mask(that is why people don’t accept him)unlike most of the other politicians, and someone who has been part of the group who spear headed the open Economy-are they not those who who are benefitting hundredfold now who opposed it then?Well if we have about 50 politicians in Sri Lanka(unfortunately we don’t)like Ranil(you can’t have HIS idea’s)we will be fairly well placed.So please copy some of his characteristics!

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    First of all we all know that this rift between Ranil and Dayasiri has been going on for a long time and Dayasiri complained many times to media on this for some time. Looks like he was mentally tortured by Ranil.

    Many times Dayasiri mentioned that he is been subjected to UNP Disciplene committee. It is not only him but many others that Ranil brought in front of UNP disciplene committes and many were chased away from UNP.

    The latest was 15 UNP PC members that were kicked out by Ranil. Also Still there are two lawsuits pending in Courts against unlawful dismissals.

    Meanwhile Ranil planned his London vacation tour but was cancelled at last moment after mass media exposed it.

    http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-38438-news-detail-ranil-cancels-london-tour.html

    Very soon there will be lawsuits against Ranil on Sexual Harasment charges. Dayasiri will expose them to public.

    http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/sexual-harassment-forced-crossover

    Also Ranil has to answer for over how and why 65 MP’s that left UNP and Joined Rajapakses and another untold number of PC’s who either left or were kicked out from UNP after Ranil got the leadership.

    http://www.ceylontoday.lk/16-38502-news-detail-65-unp-mps-now-with-the-govt.html

    Also Ranil has to answer as to how he still cling onto UNP leadership position after loosing 12 consecutive elections, and why go to Araliya Gaha Medura to drink Black Coffee with Rajapakses.

    He is the Least qualified Leader as a Politician to Lead a party in the country.His body language, charisma, confidence, talk, speech, attraction, duration of speech, points etc,etc, everything is Negative attention, no appeal and boring as a Party leader.

    Watch and learn from President Obama, David Cameron, M.Thatcher, Putin, Kim Jon Ill etc. and learn from them.

    Ranil is the most boring speaker I have ever seen in the UNP’s history. Also he seldom meet people, general public, villagers to check their well being and help them fight in their economic difficulties.

    Also Ranil never helped CJ Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake and Gen.Sarath Fonseka when they were in trouble and in need of help. He was cruising in Spain at those times.

    We want to see Ranil Talking to the press and to clarify these issues and to answer Dayasiri’s charges. Also everything happend to the party.

    Sri Lanka will be a much better place without this Pin Padi, do nothing, ever loosing white elephant Parliamentarians.

    I think time has come for Ranil to say goodbye to Politics and to decide if he like to leaves the party now respectably, or will be kicked out by the public with rotten eggs and rotten Tomaoe treat. This will surely happen if he did not step down.

    His political label has expired long ago and during his last visit to Balapitiya said it all.

    Finally either CT or Dr.Dayan Jayatillake or main stream media should interview Ranil on all these issues and should bring them to public view.

    I feel sorry for Dayasiri for leaving one dictator to join the other Dictator cum Fox. He should have joined Gen. Sarath Fonseka, but in his view of serving the public, this might be the best option available.

    Remember each candidate who contest for PC election has to pocket out minimum 50 Million rupees, and Rajapakses has more than enough commission and black money to support their candidates where other parties find difficult to raise this amount.

    Ranil ruined UNP which had the best opportunity to win all the elections due to present day people’s difficulties who are annoyed, desperate and frustrated with Rajapakse dictatorial Regime.

    Keep writing valuable articles Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka. Thank you CT.

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      There are no true Leaders, in UNP, that should be elected to Lead Sri Lanka.

      It is Gays, catholics, christians, buttheads and most are as usual for wealth and power.

      That does not mean Mahinda Rajapakse is the best.

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        I am a buddhist but when looking at the manner things go forward, I think all these so called buddhists create all kind of problems in the country. See, Rajapkashes behave as if they are good buddhists, do they dare to care on people. Where is the law and order of the country gone ? If they the leadership, have that much of concerns towards the citizentry, they should do more to protect innocent people not being killed or murdered. What happened to Deraniyagala a couple of days ago ?

        3decades ago, we had good leaders inthecountry. In both main political parties, there were good and able leaders. Today, may be because of the long driven war – it seems none of the leaders seem to be not able leaders.

        To you Jim: There are gay political leaders in Europe, they do their job to the maximum. U cant discriminate any leaders for them being gay or non-buddhists. See what the buddhists do in SL today.. They are not buddhist, but the name of buddhism, they try to destroy everything.
        Even ones are engaged with all kind of fraud greet anyone leave them ” Budusarnai” .. but their tasks are FAR from buddhist teachings.

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        What is wrong with gays leading a party or a country? Which century are you living in?

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    jayasekara may be good but it is naive to think the he will have any impact in ncp. are we to think that johnston will just leave the way open what with his son contesting.then what about the other slfpers who have been with the party for so long do they not want a place.with all the infighting we have seen during the previous elections it would be real fun to latch on to the whisper campaign that will be carried out.it would be really juicey

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      How one would distinguish Jayasekara and Mervin Silva today is the question instantly came to my mind yestreday .. How Jayasekara would get on with them ? If he is not reborn to the country ?

      I think the failure lies not on RW, but these politicians. They just jump from A to B to get their personal gains.

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    Whatever the UNP was and is, whatever Ranil may be, it appears the time is running out for this government and the people will run them out. They disgust with the present government is quite palpable today. They feel betrayed. It is love that is beginning to become hate. Obvious beneficiaries may be the UNP and Ranil, whether both deserve it or not.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Well said sir! For all his faults Ranil is the only one who seems, emphasis on seems, capable on of leading a multi ethnic and diverse society. He has shed the open racism of JR and Gamini types. I still think that the 2001 to 2004/5 period where he had power was the only time SL felt like the old times.

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        Yes. MR’s ship is already wrecked and verge of sinking with NPC election. He wants to salvage the ship from sinking and Dayasiri was purchased on a rescuing mission but ship will go down with NPC polls if held.

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    Anglican Elite,Sinhala Catholic Bourgeoisie,Vellalas from Wellawatta lead by Sambandan and his TNA are the current crop of protectors, mentors and minders of Mr Wickremasinghe.

    How did Dayan manage to miss them?.

    Did Dayan have to wait until the British Journo and Lankaphile, Cathy Noble starts dissing the UNP leader?.

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      ‘Sinhala Catholic bourgeoisie’? I thought the Cardinal was a friend of the President…and I was rather impressed by the pix of MR with the Tamil Catholics , including the clergy, of Mannar.

      I think my published writings ‘dissing’ the UNP leader go back to the late 1990s…:))

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        oh DJ forget this loony K A Sumanasekera,he is a paid stooge who writes what his handlers say just like you ask your dog to fetch ball in the park!

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    Three wheeler parties are a Good business venture in Sri Lankan politics.

    their objective is to fatten themselves at the expense of the public.

    Dayan Jayathilake writes crap.

    It looks he wants to join too.

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      ah so when someone does not write to agree with you then its crap huh nice logic jim nutty!

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    Populist has begun to mean no ethics, no standards or loyalty, no depth of character or perception, totally self centered and above all no intellect at all !

    Who wants populist ? We prefer right thinking, well grounded individuals with ethics, morals and standards.

    You are right neither Mahinda will or Dayasiri ever have the latter characteristics.

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    The way ranil treats his own party men, as if they are there only to serve him , tells us that he should never be the leader of our country. He is a cold calculating man who has never done a kind deed for any body. When he was PM ( thankfully only for about 3 years) there was unbelivable corruption among unp ministers.When people complained Ranils answer was sorry I have only a one vote majority, if a discipline my ministers they will cross over and my great government will fall !What would MR the master politician done in his situation ? I am sure half the PA would have joined him !
    Ranil is so unelectable that he cannot even win an electorate anywhere. He will for ever be a list MP.With his cold unsympathetic alien personality he is only fit for a undemocratic organization like the UNP.He runs it like a private property with his colombo based elite group who are all in the so called working committee.As far as we see they only work for ranil wickramasinghe !They must realize that this man’s time is past. This is like continuing with Sir John Kotalawelas leadership in the 21 century.In 2010 he didnt even contest the presidency but sacrificed the egoistic sarth fonseka. If sarth got elected that would have been a unbelivable catestrophy.
    Surely UNP cannot be the only organization in the world where there is a leader who is indispensable. When Ranil leaves for a few years there will be confusion in the UNP but eventually a leader will emerge.That is the law of nature.May be the new leader wil be a total new comer to politics. That will be really good for sri lanka which is so tired of the sickening political culture. For any revival in the art and culture of politcs this big johnna must leave politics and maybe even the country

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    Attacking MR’S Government & then crossing over to him is not a wise thing to do. Daya could have easily formed a party of his own & could have proved his victory in an election.

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    DJ,

    Do you have no shame? No moral fiber? How do you think a politician will maintain credibility if he lets go today of all that he held dear yesterday? How do people know that if they vote for him, he won’t switch again when the political winds change?

    What prevents the so-called UNP dissidents from forming their own party, say the New United national Party ( NUNP), and proving the support they have, if their problem is only with Ranil W.?
    NUNP as an offshoot of the UNP will be a good choice (like NSSP/LSSP).
    People will know their policies are the same as the UNP’s, and it was only a personality clash; at a future time, when Ranil W has left the scene, they could form an alliance or re-merge.

    Such an option would be principled and moral. But lacking any moral fiber, these greedy politicians choose to cross over, and you continue on as cheerleader. How pathetic!

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    My reading on the Dayasiri saga ,

    There is no any doubt that Dayasiri is yet another opportunist as any other politician in SL ,he masterminded the whole circus for his own benefit , in the end a win-win situation for all the parties (( a) for Dayasiri: is a huge financial windfall and a sweet revenge & ultimate humiliation for the Ra Daniel Dawal Migel RW (b)for the kurunegala voting public : As he did not cross the floor, he did not betray their trust (c) for MR : what better way to distract the gullible SL populace with his endless MR magic .)
    Dyasiri and like minded few other fellow UNPers tried their best within the UNP but no avail ,RW is a very powerful person with MR ‘s backing , it is an uphill battle for any one to challenge the present UNP dictator , hence in the end Dyasiri bit the dust and called it quit, he knows the voting pattern of SL public , Dyasiri is a charismatic , people friendly down to earth young politician and confident that wayamba people will easily select him as the chief minister of NW. if any one has any doubts of his victory , just analyze Johnston Fernando’s stunning victory in the last general election. Johnston was a UNP heavyweight for many years and used to be a staunch critic of MR until late 2009 , when UNP decided to put forward General SF as the common candidate Johnston and other few broke ranks with UNP and joined MR , there was hardly few months gap between the general election and presidential election , yet Johnston managed to come top of the list beating every single candidate in kurunegala district , how did he manage to do ? MR’s backing was there for him all the way ( Johnston is one of MR’s confidents i.e Wimal,Rajitha ,Sajin et al ). now compare the similarities of the two scenarios !!!!!!
    MR is desperate to hide the in avertable, impending, humiliating defeat of northern province and unpopularity of UPFA provincial members among voters in Wayamba , he will do utmost to back Dayasiri’s victory , Dayasiri on the hand knows the psychic of the majority of SL people , simply open a 24×7 dansala, musical shows, endless campaigns along with eternal promises will do the trick for him
    Yet again Aluvihare factor seems to be on the cards for the central province, another MR magic.

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    Ranil wrote a Book on Buddhism and promised to build the biggest Buddha monument.and offered a SGA to Prabakaran.according to a 2005 issue of the Tamilnet.

    With all these young guns deserting him, Mangala S seems to be the only Buddhist left in his inner circle.

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      and are you a good Buddhist Leela? please answer that question

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    DJ i can still remember what extend you support me to destroy UNP during my regime.Stiil same repucussion effects

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    What does “patriotism” mean? Dayan does not define the term, but what we can infer is that MR is patriotic and Ranil is not. It is true that MR played a role in defeating the LTTE. But for that to become “patriotism” he should have acted like a statesman at the end of the war, which he could have easily done, and laid the foundation for a happy and prosperous nation, ensuring in golden letters his own place in history. Instead, he took the defeat of the LTTE as a license to concentrate more and more power in his hands, and treat the country as his feudal domain. He turned professionals into vassals and citizens to subjects. He has dismantled all our hallowed democratic institutions. He has constructed monstrous structures that are of no use to the nation, placing massive debts on the nation. He and his siblings and his offspring control much of the economy, and all major state enterprises are running at a loss, due to corruption and inefficiency caused by cronyistic appointments to run these enterprises. Is this patriotism?

    Dayan’s article sounds nothing more than the familiar “Ranil bashing”. All Ranil bashers talk about Ranil not resigning as the head of the UNP while loosing whatever the number of elections he did. He certainly should have, according to principles of modern democratic governance. But where in the world is such a culture of governance found in this “miracle of Asia”? The country was indeed moving towards such civilzed and rational governance when “patriotism” as manifested in 1956 derailed the whole thing and gradually dragged the nation into the pits in which it finds itself now. What we are seeing today, with the rise of extremist groups like the BBS, is the flowering of this “patriotism”. Ranil’s holding on to the leadership of the UNP despite successive defeats is perfectly in keeping with the JATIKA CINTANAYA of politics. In that sense of being true to national culture, Ranil is being quite “patriotic”. One can only hope that Ranil’s patriotism stops there, and does not extend to corruption, cronyism, blatant lying, stifling of dissent, abduction, murder and other manifestations of Sinhala Buddhist national culture.

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    The use of the term ‘patriotic’ for the President in your article needs some definition. Is it the same as Sinhala chauvinism?

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    What ever said and don,Dayasiri left UNP as real democrat and as genius of politician, who given back his, parliament seat to UNP leadership.
    He seek new mandate from people of area which he belongs.
    He trust people more than his adumbrate believes.What I admire is never try to bluff people of our nation,as young politician. All political parties has to learn lessons from Dayasiri’s his action of politics an ,unmistakable example.

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    Im sorry professor, but let me give you this quote ” It takes years to build up a reputation and seconds to destroy it” You yourself have done it and so has dayasiri. I doubt he’ll win any votes having broken the trust of those who voted for him as well as the UNP. On the positives, the UNP is being cleansed from the rot that is leaving the party.

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