Colombo Telegraph

The Hierarchy Curse

By Somapala Gunadheera –

Somapala Gunadheera

The UNP has shown its colours at the Uva Provincial Council election after a long time but it appears to have fallen into turmoil even before the cheering died down. The General Secretary has resigned and a tussle has started over the second post in the hierarchy. The Party faces the threat of falling back to square one unless the row is settled with no loss of time.

The native saying goes, “Don’t tighten your loin cloth with the sea seven ‘govvas’ away”. It means that one should act only when action is due and should not waste energy in anticipation. The UNP appears to be the only Party obsessed with prematurely naming the successor to its current leader. No one knows who would succeed the present leader of the SLFP. JVP’s new leader was known only after his predecessor resigned. Mavai Senathiraja became leader of the TULF not by virtue of a post he held but by being appointed by his Party after Sampanthan stood down. Posts in all other Parties are routine appointments and they are never touted as qualifications for promotion.

Why then should the UNP haggle on its Number 2 post and bring the house down when No.1 is set to be in the saddle for quite some time. The chances are that by the time Ranil makes up his mind to quit, the other colleagues of his generation might not be in the scene. It is only at that stage that leaders of the second generation can come to the limelight. At that time, the country will choose among them not on the strength of the position they held in the Party but on their personal credentials and contributions. In that light, the UNP’s infighting for posts would appear to be an exercise in futility. The wrangle has already sapped the energy of the Party and been responsible for its past setbacks. The best way to resolve this problem appears to be to appoint all aspirants to power as Deputy Leaders, leaving them to achieve their ambitions on their own merits, when the proper time comes.

Personally, I have no political interest in the UNP or in any other Party. As a matter of fact. However, as a citizen, I am only interested in good governance. There cannot be good governance in a country where the Opposition is in tatters.

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