22 September, 2017

The Green Walkers & The SLFP’s Fate

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

The Government is trying to dodge an election of any sort, like a tethered man trying to dodge a bullet. The JO-SLPP bloc may say to the Government what IRA’s said to Maggie Thatcher after the Brighton bomb blast: “you have to be lucky every time, but we have to get lucky only once.” The Government can dodge elections only so long. It can run but it can’t hide. Sooner rather than later, an election will catch up with it. The UNP will lose, probably badly, but it will survive. There is less at stake. The ‘official’ SLFP however will risk all. If it is beaten into third place as is likely, what will it do? Stay with the government and go into extinction at the national elections of 2019-2020, hoping to resurrect itself after?

If Chandrika and her serfs hope that the JO-SLPP will be decapitated by legal action, they have failed to calculate the effect of UNP-driven punitive action on the SLFP vote-base, which will react against the SLFP collaborators with fury. The Government has also failed to understand that even if Mahinda is out of the way, there is Gota, and if Gota is out of the way, there is Chamal, and if Chamal is out of the way, there is Dinesh, and if Dinesh is out of the way there is Dullas.

Who does the UNP have to run for President in 2019 when the dynamic will be one of “throwing the rascals out”? Ranil, Fonny, or Champika? Who stands uncompromised and nationally popular?

What the Chandrika faction fails to understand is that just as the UNP ran on DS Senanayaka’s achievement of obtaining Independence (hence the “Father of the Nation”), Mahinda Rajapaksa is the biggest brand name that the SLFP has available to display—the man who swiftly won Asia’s longest war beating a dreadful, historically emotive enemy, reunified the state, resurrected the economy and transformed the face of the country.

Insofar as the 2009 victory was a Second Independence, MR is the equivalent of DS Senanayaka. Unlike DS he is also alive and active, and is the most loved pubic personality in the country. In the SLFP canon he is second only to SWRD Bandaranaike, the founding father– and for the current generations of voters perhaps a more significant figure because they never knew SWRD. 2009 was the second 1956.

Running on the SLFP ticket without and against Mahinda Rajapaksa and hoping to retain the loyalty of SLFP voters would be as outrageously silly as Liu Shao Chi or Deng Hsiao Ping trying to wrest the Communist Party away from a live Mao Ze Dong and hoping to retain the loyalty of the party’s peasant base!

The SLFP faction in Government has few choices. The LSSP exited the UF coalition in 1975 and even that proved too late—it was wiped out in 1977. Ditto the CPSL which quit in 1976. If the SLFP leaves the Yahapalana coalition after an electoral defeat at the upcoming Local Government or Provincial council elections, why should or would the JO accept it except as the tuft of a tail? And why should the UNP retain its services?

The only momentum to catch is the anti-UNP pendulum swing. The only wave to surf is the anti-government wave. The SLFP has to pivot right now, get on the exit ramp and head for the exits. It has sins to wash off, credibility to restore, and catching up to do as an anti-UNP party.

The SLFP deserves a rousing cheer for its stand on Constitutional change: no abolition of the executive Presidency, no transfer of the Governor’s powers to the Chief Minister, no amalgamation of provinces, and no abolition of the Concurrent list.

The Yahapalana government assures us that the project of Constitutional change, a project that in any self–respecting country is the most sovereign of processes, is motivated and driven by purely national considerations and compulsions. This claim is made nonsense of by the official testimony of US Assistant Secretary of State, Alice Wells, who identified the wellsprings of the reform agenda and confirmed that our Constitutional reform process, among other things, will be under the “oversight” of the UN.

‘ “These resolutions committed the Sri Lankan government to transitional justice and prevention of the recurrence of the violenceSpecific steps include constitutional reform devolving more administrative power from the central government to Sri Lanka’s regionsand a credible mechanism to investigate and prosecute alleged war crimes. The United Nations will continue its oversight of the implementation of these steps through March 2019,” Ms. Wells said.’ (http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SL-should-take-concrete-steps-towards-reform-objectives-US-136247.html)

How did we wind up a UN protectorate as it were, having won Asia’s longest war? And what on earth is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) doing in a government that has made these commitments, despite the opposition or dissent signaled by President Sirisena (if we are to believe his speech on the party’s 66th anniversary— which I do). What is to become, electorally, of the SLFP, or that section of the SLFP which remains in the Government which is proceeding along the rails prescribed by the US and is driven by the “Ruthless Rootless” UNP?

The SLFP was conceived of and born as a moderate alternative to and a democratic substitute for, the rightwing, pro-Western, comprador capitalist UNP. It is built for that purpose. That is its raison d’etre. According to the New Testament, Jesus poses the existential questions: “What use is salt if it loses its savor? What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” The essential principle involved in these questions is true in any and every realm of endeavor including the political. What befalls a political party if it loses its role and function and its way? What does it profit a politician if he gains all his Cabinet perks but loses his vote base?

The very image of the respectable, affable, hardworking Lalith Weeratunga in handcuffs would have sent psychological shockwaves through the state system and polarized society. It triggered the realization in me that there are two types of players in this town: those who had better book their one-way tickets to the US or UK just before the national elections of 2019/2020 and those who need not do so.

In Game of Thrones, the game has changed radically, as we all know. With the White Walker zombies at the gates, the only dividing line that counts, as Jon Snow says, is between the living and the dead; those who are breathing and those who are not. With the Western White Walkers’ spear-carriers, the Green Walkers, on a state-liquidating rampage, the only dividing line that counts in Sri Lankan politics today is between those who have a politico-electoral future beyond 2020 and those who don’t.

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Latest comments

  • 8
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    Old Codger

    Do you see anything new in this typing of the public racist, war monger, hypocrite, …… ?
    This is the man who wanted to stop elections for Northern Provincial Council in 2013 and wanted “unelected nobodies” to run the Council.

    • 6
      3

      Not to stop there Native Vedda, he advised the then corrupt MR King to keep the murderers Karuna and Douglas Devananda in the government to check on Tamils. He predicted the results of the last two elections and did not learn he is way out of people’s choices. His only motive is to bring back the day time robbers and killers of the last government so that what is left in the country can be siphoned to Dubai and Saychelles and while doing so he could be appointed as a diplomat to spread more lies by twisting genocide into rescuing maimed and killed civilians.

  • 7
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    “How did we wind up a UN protectorate as it were, having won Asia’s longest war? “
    The short answer is you did not win the war-China won it for you at the cost of your so called ‘Sovereignty” and therein lies the answer to your question.

  • 1
    2

    During the 2015 election husting MR suggested “Known devil is better than an unknown devil”. Unfortunately we are in the same square now – the only difference is the absence of whitevans.
    People may opt for the devil which does not use the whitevans. This is our bane but Dayan sees a chance of living it up in Paris-Geneva.

  • 1
    5

    K.Pillai, mate, all these people keep on talking about white vans..so who were white vanned or disappeared in a white van? Will you give me a list of 10 people who disappeared in or into white vans?

  • 3
    2

    This article is worth reading and whether you like or not one has to accept the fact that government is scared to hold election and so far failed in all aspects
    Please note I also wish to know name of 10 abducted by white vans and it is pure exaggeration

  • 2
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    “In the SLFP canon he (Mahinda) is second only to SWRD Bandaranaike……….. 2009 was the second 1956.” (Dayan)
    “2009 was the second 1956”.True , Not for any sublime reason, but for showcasing savage tribalism/barbarism accompanied by anti-Tamil pogroms.
    IN COLOMBO – On June 5, 1956, SWRD introduced the “Sinhala Only” Act and unleashed his hoodlums to beat up the Tamil leaders performing peaceful Satyagraha protest on Galle Face. The Oxonian “invertebrate” (Dr.Colvin’s epithet, on another occasion) mockingly greeted the wounded FP-MP Amirthalingam who entered the House with a head-bandage, “Here comes the man with wounds of war”. SWRD’s cohorts – the looters and arsonists had a field day in Colombo.
    IN GAL OYA- From June 11 to 16, 1956 Sinhala hoodlums, including Gal Oya Development Board employees, commandeered government vehicles, dynamite and weapons and massacred over 150 Tamils. True to their traits, the Sinhala Police allowed time to the mob to finish their business. Eventually, the Frankenstein monster eminently finished off its creator, SWRD.
    IN 2009 thru’ POST-2009: Mahinda, Gota and their legion slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians, did a Biafra and starved them, denied them access to medicare, targeted hospitals and “No Fire Zones” for extermination of Tamils, confined the multitude of surrendees in concentration camps under regimented conditions and subjected them to torture, sexual violence, abduction, disappearance , extra-judicial killings and what not. The lascivious military hounds in uniform, raped and ravished our helpless womenfolk and earned kudos as ‘war heroes”. ( It is another sordid saga that the hungry Sri Lankan “war-heroes”did not spare even the destitute female children in Haiti. Maybe, that’s why Rohitha Bogallagama acclaimed them as “the most disciplined army in the whole world”. Malarkey!)

  • 1
    1

    To all those chest thumping bloggers,

    Please simply request your masters to hold the due local elections now. You can prove Dayan wrong then……………….

    I am sure you will not do it. Because you all are shit scared of the expression of peoples’ will. In that sense MR is way better than you lot and your masters.

  • 4
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    Dayan,

    “How did we wind up a UN protectorate as it were, having won Asia’s longest war?”

    It was because of you!

    In 2013, you called for the setting up of an Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in the island.

    You cannot remember?

    • 2
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      Keynes! – “You cannot remember?” You forgot that our smart ass patriot and war monger has amnesia!

  • 2
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    Meryvn’gey putha. DREAM ON dude. UNP will clearly win a vast majority of the local polls. It is because SLFP is split and MR and Sira are at loggerheads. Kudu Duminda in love with Sabitha Akka is useless mutt with low IQ. No one respects him. At least his Father commanded a lot of respect and love. Kudu Duminda is the source of ruin for Sirisena loyalists.

    SLFP will come a distant second and Sirisengey SLFP will be dead last.

    Facts and Data

  • 1
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    DJ……..did you leave something out?

    ‘The very image of the respectable, affable, hardworking Lalith Weeratunga…..’????

    You do know the man……and if anyone knew right from wrong, he did. With his undoubtedly impeccable qualifications, and outstanding qualities, he would have been best placed to stand firm, stand tall, and tell the Great Liberator NO! But in that defining moment his backbone failed him and he made a choice, to take a chance that the Great Liberator will come back and all will be well. Larger than life-size cardboard cut-outs will flourish again.

    For once, we have the right result. Sad but still the right one. And, lest people think that LW was an exception, we all know that he is only the tip of a rotten pyramid of civil servants who are anything but civil.

  • 0
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    Oh Dayan… I know you miss Geneva so much. But it looks like you won’t get another chance to bulshit the UN.. like you did when passing a resolution commending SL for war victory. Actually the UN is coming after SL because they knew they got bulshit by you in 2010…. And making things correct now…. throwing the war criminals into gallows.

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