23 February, 2024


The Inflation Of Sajith Premadasa

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Dayan Jayatilleka in an article titled ‘The Uva effect and the Presidency’ argues against the UNP fielding Ranil Wickremesinghe as its presidential candidate in a repeat of the 2005 face-off with Mahinda Rajapaksa.  He has, with the use of a few important statistics, shot down the notion of a UNP resurgence that some commentators have seen in the Uva result. While offering that the UNP does not have anyone who could best Rajapaksa, Dayan offers that it is possible score moral-points even in a defeat if the gap is narrowed. In short, Dayan argues that Ranil will not deliver even this consolation prize.

No one needs to break a sweat to show that Ranil wouldn’t have much of a chance against Mahinda, but it’s a point that has to be made and Dayan makes it. He then proceeds to the more important question: ‘If not Ranil, then who?’  He proposes two names, Sajith Premadasa and Karu Jayasuriya, but subtly drops the latter in a concluding question regarding the second preferential vote (which would come into the equation should the winner fail to secure 50% + 1 votes).  He asks, ‘for example, who can secure the second preference vote of those who will vote for Anura Kumara – Mahinda, Ranil or Sajith?’

The arguments offered to support a Sajith Premadasa candidacy are rather spurious.  ‘Youth!’ is one.  The gains made by the JVP after the ‘young’ Anura Kumara became party leader and the impetus that Harin Fernando gave the UNP in Uva are cited as evidence.  Those arrows are easy to draw but outcomes emerge from the operation of multiple factors not just age of particular individuals.  What works for the JVP does not necessarily work for the UNP.  Harin is young, but more importantly he showed courage, a sense of sacrifice for the larger good of the party, innovation and spirit, none of which are the preserve of the young.

SajithIt is, as Dayan says, about the man. To an extent. He employs the classic mislead – ‘what if?’: what if Maithripala Senanayake or Vijaya Kumaratunga had taken on J.R. Jayewardene in 1982 instead of Hector Kobbekaduwa?  Well, Senanayake was 66 at the time (Ranil is 65) and Vijaya, although just 37, had lost Katana in the UNP landslide of 1977.  In 1983 he was roughed up in Mahara and lost the by-election.  This record doesn’t give reasons to get excited by the what-if proposition.

Dayan makes much of a single observation made by a reporter in Uva – ‘The crowd went wild when “Punchi Premadasa” arrived’.  Well, tagging the young man’s dad might be construed as evidence of the writer’s outcome preferences, but even if that weren’t so, it is well known that Sajith moves with a cheering squad.  It is also well known that it is two media houses (one radio/tv and the other newspapers) and not the rank and file of the UNP that has been inflating Sajith’s image.  They have attacked Ranil Wickremesinghe mercilessly and shown absolute disregard of all ethics in attacking Karu Jayasuriya.   Is the UNP so poor that it has to pick a man this beholden to people with absolutely no scruples when it comes to media machinations?

Sajith is not a party unifier.  His methods are divisive.  He has demonstrated this many times.  He fought hard to oust Ranil with Dayasiri Jayasekera, but at the end of the day ensured that Dayasiri was humiliated without himself being harmed one bit.  When he showed up in Passara without having lifted one finger to help Harin or the party, he snubbed Karu Jayasuriya, a man whom he, Sajith, once said should replace Ranil.  He did this even after Karu, who has every reason to be peeved at Sajith’s underhand moves (with his media pals), showed much grace in his response to Sajith’s ‘return’.

If it is just about unity, then Karu Jayasuriya is the man.  He is as much or more a nationalist than Sajith.  He has national stature. He can, for many reasons, attract support from a wider political spectrum.  He has a better chance of getting the second preference vote of those who pick Anura Kumara (let’s not forget that Sajith’s father presided over the decimation of the JVP in the late eighties).

Dayan is right when he says that Ranil has a lot of baggage.  A Mahinda-Ranil face-off will beg for a ‘Hero vs Traitor’ poster (and we can trust such a line to be picked in the down-n-dirty of our political culture) in the way it was not possible in 2010.  Neither Sajith nor Karu can be targeted in that manner, Dayan is right. But would Dayan say that Sajith has no skeletons in his cupboard?  Would he say that Karu has secrets that might embarrass him?

The UNP is not exactly enjoying a pre-victory party right now.  It is struggling to remain politically coherent.  The last thing it needs is to be sidetracked by a political red herring.   It is easy to pick one particular factor that makes one particular candidate look good and say ‘He’s the most handsome guy around,’ but that’s cheap politicking. Sajith has the age-edge but little else.  Karu has other advantages, but perhaps he has different negatives.  Selectivity doesn’t help.  If that’s the name of the game, then a cogent argument can be made for Ranil too.

The UNP needs to be sober.  The party as a whole has to be wary of the praise and blame dished out by backers of this or that person.  That’s if it doesn’t want the next presidential election to be yet another cakewalk for Mahinda Rajapaksa.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 6

    It is not a good time to be Dayan J right now.

    Checked your horoscope lately?

  • 3

    Malinda Seneviratne –

    RE:The Inflation Of Sajith Premadasa,,

    Malinda Seneviratne , can we talk about the inflation og the MaRa shills like Vass, and the deflation of MaRa shills like Dr. Noonis.

    Looks like there is bit of demand from the various shills pof different grades who “serve” MaRa.

    People and the Shills like to know…..

  • 6

    It is not the Pundits like Dayan or Malinda who elect the President of the country. These Pundits think that people will listen to them and not elect any one other than Mahinda.

    First of all these Pundits write in English and those who read these articles are anti Mahinda Rajapakse as they are educated and are frustrated with what has happened to the country under Mahinda Rajapakse. The Judiciary is not independent anymore, the police has been politicized, the MPs in the Mahinda Rajapakse regime are drug dealers, rapists, murderers and violators of election laws, Monitoring Minister attacks the High Commissioner etc.

    These Pundits may be able to influence the non-English speaking masses, but that too is changing as we saw in the UVA results.

    The days of these Pundits are numbered. These Pundits are not patriots, they are either singing for a new lap top or have already got a lap top free.

  • 5

    Dayan Jayatilleka and Malinda are vying each other to slay Ranil. They both attack Ranil but Ranil is clever and shrewd to recognize frauds. According to Sonali when Sajin Vaas had tried to creep into the UNP Ranil plainly told hem off requesting him first to clear his name. That is what gentlemen do. Ranil also had snubbed similar attempts by Dayan. Since then Dayan writes against Ranil but Ranil just ignores this fellow as not being worthy of any comment at all.Like a fly on an elephant.
    Ranil Wickremasinghe is the best choice for Sri Lanka today. Nobody else can give the vision and understanding to lead this country out of the Rajapakse mess. Harin will be the next UNP leader, when his time comes.

  • 3

    Malinda Is doing for what he got.

  • 2

    Keselwatta Kid looks cool in the Bush with his Sunnys and the Four Wheels.

    Would that be the same in our new Harbour City and the Leafy Suburb where, to be “cool” is the norm and pockets are full of the Elite, Vellalas and the Anglicans.

    When Rajapaksa came to power even my pretend Elite mates were a bit embarassed to be represented by a Sarong Johnny, to quote their own phrases.

    And Rajapaksas have been in politics from their grand fathers time and have served the country well.

    Now those mates are bit quiet for the jobs they have and the dosh they make in our booming Economy.

    Will they vote for a another Sarong Johnny’s son ,who has yet to prove that he is foreman material?.

    Seen the sorry saga of the Senior at the hands of the Elite and the Aglicans, , can the Kid expect any different treatment?.

    Specially if he does the impossible and not bend over to the British and the Yanks to give Vellalas what they demand, and not allow their Elite and the Rich
    Stooges to kick the Chinese out and sell the Infrastructure and Govt Institutions to Private Funds.

    My elders tell me that the CWE and the CTB were sold off or broken up although Mr Ranil’s watch lasted only a couple of years.

  • 5

    Dayan is supporting Sajith to pay his gratitude to his,Sajith’s father late President Premadsa for helping him to save a lengthy prison sentence for trying to establish a seperate Tamil Government in North with Perumal. Another reason he support Sajith is because they are having a family connection as well as Sajith is a member of the MORMAN Church and his wife is from the same Christian sector Dayan is.
    What ever Dayan says Sajin is VERY immature to be a leader as he behave like a child. Only small kids leave the playground for small differences. I don’t like Ranil, but Ranil or Karu or GSF may be the only people who can take Sri Lanka from the present danger spot the IC is trying to push Sri Lanka. Malinda is quite correct in his write up but still he think his BOSS Mahinda Rajapaksa is a hero for him, but people in SL are aware that MAHINDA is not eligible to contest the Third Term as he held the 2010 Presidential election under 1987 Constitution and the 18th Amendment failed or people who worded the Amendment purposely failed to include the removal of 32(1) completely.

    Sajith is a dead horse who is not a Leader or a. Gentleman but a small kid who needs to learn about Leadership qualities and how to be a Leader if he need to beat Mahinda, though he is not a LEADER.

  • 2

    Malinda leaves out the tiny detail that he was a member of an ultra-nationalist Sinhala Buddhist outfit which bitterly opposed President Ranasinghe Premadasa during the latter’s tenure.

    I am hardly surprised therefore that he overlooks the fact that Sajith faced the Rajapaksa machine in its ‘kingdom’ the deep south for 14 years, and kept the UNP flag flying. There is no other Opposition personality who has faced Mahinda Rajapaksa electorally. The last time Sajith actually managed to enhance the UNP vote by 10 percent.

    Logic tells me that if he can hold the line for the UNP in the heart of the Rajapaksa Raj, he can do much better in the other parts of the island, if and when he leads the UNP.

    • 1

      So you reckon Keselwatta Kid can pull it off…

      May be you got a point.

      Chandrika meets up with cousin Ranil in London and tell him to piss off, and leave the Cc position open.

      Sirisena sends a letter to the Boss , warning that that things are all not hunky dory in the SLFP, specially in the Senior ranks.

      Kiriella says 20 of them promised to join ASA the date is announced.

      Now Mervyn is in the open declaring that there is no point him hanging around with Security entourage and official Mercs, if he can’t help the Dalits or the Elite.

      But the problem is can the Kid get the nomination from the Elite , the Anglicans and the Velllaas who run the UNP.at present….

      Or, can the Kid do it alone with DNP and JVP?

      Will Sobitha endorse him and tie a Pirith Nule to bring him good luck and protection from the evil .

    • 1

      What about all the alleged forged money his sister is said to have and MR saved them to use Sajith as a mole for him inside UNP. In effect Sajith is a puppet of Mahinda

  • 1

    Malinda, Why is Dayan pushing for Sajith the son of the Butcher of Moneragala?

  • 0

    Make Sajith PM candidate-Harin
    SUNDAY, 05 OCTOBER 2014 14:07 E-mail Print
    UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe should name party’s Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa as the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate without delay at the forthcoming Presidential election, former MP and Opposition leader of the Uva Provincial Council Harin Fernando said on Saturday.

    Speaking at a party meeting in Kollonawa, Mr. Fernando said Mr. Wickremesinghe should name Mr. Premadasa as party’s Prime Ministerial candidate at the beginning of the Presidential Election campaign.

    “We are ready to dedicate ourselves to the party if Mr. Wickremesinghe did his bit and name Mr. Premadasa as the Prime Ministerial candidate,” Mr. Fernando said.

    Mr. Fernando said Mr. Wickremesinghe should hand over the responsibility of campaign for the Presidential Election to others in the party including Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa, himself and others as they could ensure success in the election.(Yohan Perera, DAILY MIRROR)

    • 3

      Ebola da Silva

      “Why is Dayan pushing for Sajith the son of the Butcher of Moneragala?”

      Good question. You should ask Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide for a non answer. Probably he has’t got an answer.

      Once Sajith (boy) suggested to his fellow key members of the party that this country should be governed according to Bhumiputra system of government. Perhaps Dr Jekyll and Mr Hide now believes Sajith (boy) could deliver it.

      • 0

        Dr. Jekyll is hallozinated these days – whether or not to get posted to London. This man has no shame at all. If he had any – that we will see soon.

    • 0

      why not you try to become next NONIS to the UK and leave us the CT readership ?

  • 0

    People will realize who Harin Fernando is sooner than later. Tiran Alles knows the art of buying people for money.
    All of a sudden Jalani has made friends with Harin. Money and sex can do wonders.

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