25 September, 2020

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The Three Musketeers: Debutante Celebrations Galore Champika, Sajith And Anura Kumara

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

There have been three grand coming-out events in the last 12 months. To be a more precise two debut-balls and in the case of Sajith a still ongoing feud whether to anoint him Deputy Leader or let him languish outside Uva for a little longer. The guy is hogging headlines and some, more outside than within the UNP, are excited by a youthful pretender. For the record, all three bambinos are under 50, their birth years: Champika 1965, Sajith 1967 and Anura Kumara 1968. Obama was just 44 when first elected but belongs to a different rank. Nevertheless, the fate of these three will give telescopic insight of things to come and the political playing field in the next decade. Ranil, Rajapakse, Dead Left and Sambanthan are jointly and severally well past their useful shelf-life. Indeed the conjoint age of DEW, Tissa, Vasu, Ranil, Mahinda and Sampanthan exceeds four and a half centuries, reaching deep back into the mid-Portuguese period in the history of this country!

In Alexander Dumas’ novel, D’Artagnan is not one of the three; an outsider, a country bumpkin who travelled to Paris to join the high stakes game with Athos, Porthos and Aramis: “All for One! One for All!” So that myth holds too! The fourth of this generational cluster, the Tamil Prabaharan, was an outsider to this same Sinhala nationalist battle cry that binds Champika, Sajith and Anura Kumara.

AKD

We are on the brink of a profound generational shift in political leadership, most obviously on the left. Dead Left leaders hanging on with a tenacity that perks, privileges and portfolios alone can explain have obstructed a next-generation which may challenge them, albeit at the gates of the morgue. Secondly, leadership in the small-left is barren, a desert as dry as the Kalahari. There are a dozen minuscule entities with ‘Socialist’ or ‘Revolutionary’ or an equivalent on their name boards, but no leader of national stature and none likely to gain that stature. Speaking candidly, and with no bias one way or the other, it is a walkover for the JVP on the left; a takeover of the whole left space just for the asking. Will it still manage to screw up the opportunity anyway? I am not sure, but it seems so far so good with Anura Kumara. (This should not be read as uncritical endorsement, which is a separate matter from objective evaluation of prospects). Does anyone see a credible alternative challenger to share mass left-space with the JVP?

PCR

When Rajapakse goes, sooner the better you may say but that’s a separate topic, who will occupy the vacated Sinhala-Buddhist space? Oh yes for brief period a squatter like Nimal Siripala, a sibling or a clown may crouch on the throne, but only as a deaf-and-dumb filler like the previous DB. The SLFP next generation is rotten; incompetent garbage, drug dealers, abusers of power; not one who with a leadership image. In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king and I see only one person who is fostering an image and can emerge as a challenger opposite the UNP and Anura Kumara. I have written about this perception of mine a few times recently but not had anyone write in and express agreement. I am of the view that Patali Champika Ranawaka (PCR) is preparing to mount a presidential challenge at an opportune moment and it will be strong and credible.

I have the strongest possible difference with PCR on the Tamil question and his refusal to recognise the rights of the Tamil people. He is opposed to the devolution of power and I reject that. I needed to say this because some readers and commentators are dense, unable to see that when I say PCR is mounting a serious challenge it is an objective assessment of ground realities and has nothing to do with my likes and dislikes. Having made that clear, let me repeat, in time his will be a robust challenge as he is streets ahead of Rajapakse and his menagerie in education and intelligence. Another distinction is that, so far as I know, he is not corrupt and the support base he is nursing is a cut above the lumpen ragtag of drug dealers, robbers and political thugs who constitute the regime’s entourage.

PCR is finding resonance in a certain section of the Sinhala intelligentsia. Young professionals, middle management and educated middle classes, typically in the 30s to the 50s are interested. It is a politically significant mobilisation of putative Young Turks. I have also detected an interest among senior engineers, corporate chairmen, board members and technology leaders from state enterprises and the private sector. With the Rajapakses and the UPFA in abject moral decline, the UNP in disarray and the Dead Left in the morgue, there is space for an ideologically rata-jathika-abymane believing, Sinhala professional, educated, middle-class movement. A movement of this nature, if it gels, is different from the JVP which has a more plebeian class base and is committed to a left-oriented ideology. We are seeing here the birth of something new. By counter-posing to the leftist JVP, the possible rise of a rightwing movement of this nature, I am not implying that it will necessarily assume neo-fascist contours, though it may. Nationalism can be wedded to “socialism” in many ways. The new-right in France, Denmark and Austria manifests a different storyline from the narrative of pre-war fascism.

PCR’s challenge proceeds from intelligently chosen premises linking techno-economic anxieties to political abuse and Sinhala-Buddhism. It taps into roots of social concern as against the UPFA’s and UNP’s fish-market sloganeering. Both old and new left will not be able to match this challenge as they do not have the techno-economic intellectual resources to counter it. I have been sounding the alarm among left “intellectuals” but to no avail.

Poor Sajith

Poor Sajith is the odd man out among the three, the dog without a kennel and also not very bright. He is not a patch on his old man; R Premadasa was sharp and able and a dogged worker who did much to rebuild the UNP alongside JR. It is known that Sajith is a good grassroots organiser who achieved much on a small scale in Hambantota during the March SP-PC elections and there are those who say that bringing him on board now will be decisive in swinging Uva votes. The strategy of the anti-Sajith section seems to be to keep him out of the Deputy Leadership till after Uva because if the UNP does well without him it will cut him down to size. The decision may be known by the time readers see this piece in print.

Sajith Premadasa is fundamentally the least important of the three bexause he does not slot into any organically necessary political or ideological locale. The JVP and Anura Kumara bring up the political and ideological left; they fill a natural and necessary slot. The Sinhala-Buddhist space is a crucial political location; some would say it is the hegemonic ideology in Lanka. Champika Ranawaka is making play for a key role here, and given that genuine Sinhala-Buddhists are fed up of the putrefaction of this regime he is likely to be a figure in this big game.

Poor Sajith in contrast can find no essential location anywhere. From the point of view of class, education, international connections and personal mores he is not a natural leader of the UNP, the GOP of the Lankan bourgeoisie. His old man too was similarly challenged but he did have the advantage of great ability. Sajith may be a good organiser but remains untested on the national scale. Keeping away from Uva till the Deputy Leadership issue is settled is wilful and petty. Anyway, let us see how it all unfolds over the years. My guess is that the other two Musketeers will pull much farther ahead on their respective roads while poor Sajith languishes in a blind alley in the UNP.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    0

    Things do not always move in a manner that we desire. Sajith has been elected deputy leader of UNP. So will this change the balance of forces among the three musketeers?

    Sengodan. M

  • 5
    0

    Sajith may have been able to organise Hambantota in the past. He is now a dead load even there.He is supposed to a LSE grad, but never utters a word when matters economics come up in the parliament. The basic function of the parliament is economics.Colombo Central voted with Premadasa through out. In fact his Presidency was with the Colombo Central.They supplied the muscle when required. When they were thrown out of their places of living, when their sources of income were destroyed, the Great Sajith was silent. When people are displaced, it was the JVP that came to their defence.

    The best Sajith can do is to get into a cocoon and sleep.Incidentally, sajith has no known income how does he exist and donate money to the corrupt monks?

  • 0
    9

    Professori, First, “When Rajapakse goes….” I know you wish it happen the sooner the better. But you guys (NGOs, evangelists, Western Embassies etc) are in no-way in control of MR’s staying power. Whether you guys like it or not, MR will be the President of Sri Lanka for at least another six years.

    We all know that you tried your very best to unseat MR with your man, Ven. Sobitha. Sinhala Buddhists knew, he is your puppet. Your aim has been to destabilize Sri Lanka and make us like those ‘Arab spring’ countries that are in misery right now. So you can have your peelam. We Sri Lankans are fortunate that MR has brought about the necessary political stability to propel the country forward economically. I have foreseen this situation, and that’s why I’ve said time and again that your Sobitha project is a non starter. With all your punditry, you lost your game. Hence, accept the defeat, now.

    I agree that SLFP has no next generation leadership material among its young Turks right now. Then again, SLFP need not look for a leader at least for a another term. Gota or Basil is there to contest for one more term after that. If father and son (Bush) is good for the US citizens to elect as their president why Rajapakse brothers bad for Sri Lanka?

    Now about AKD. He is no better bet than Ven. Sobitha for extreme left in general and JVP record in particular is an anathema for Sinhala Buddhists particularly the new chattering bourgeoisie who are on the rise. I agree that they may prefer high caliber PCR, but the fact that his party, the Hela Urumaya is self destructed or made redundant to be a minor party has placed PCR a minor as well. With all your allegations against Sajith, he is now the deputy leader hence I see, he is the best bet in the contest for the man with a future among your ‘three musketeers’.

    • 5
      1

      Banda:

      In Sri Lanka, if any VVIP – kid can not pass the GC ordinary LEVEL or the equivalent, he is the most qualified for governing the country.

  • 5
    0

    Professor;
    AKD vs CPR.

    AKD has the makings of a very good leader but he is weighed down by party baggage from the past; both dead and living. No doubt, for now, he will rejuvenate the fortunes of these would be kings.

    CPR may become the darling of the educated Sinhalese but he is bad news for the country. The Tamils and Muslims might as well not exist. For all his education, he has a scheming mind and he is the sort of person, if you shake his hand count your fingers afterwards. SWRD was a wolf in sheep’s clothing; CPR at least has signalled his evil intentions for some time now.

    Poor Sajith, he is the musketeer left with kalu dodol on his face. He cannot betray his father’s party but our permanent leader of the opposition has no immediate plans to let anyone get close to taking over the mantle. What to do?

    The Rajapakse Regime has NOT gone through all the trials of the past few years just to give up at the sign of a few bucks turning up on the horizon. Mahinda’s siblings and young Namal have still to show their ambitions which remain stifled as long as the King struts about.

    One final thing: we are still shackled by our tribal traditions and the young turks will have to grow a little older before it is their turn to inherit this thrice-blessed Camelot.

  • 0
    3

    Does the recent change of guard of the TNA leadership which was hand picked by late Mr Prabakaran, address the possibility any one of these popping up after the current Presidents next term?.

    Is the new leader got the goods ,( credentials) to work with CPR or ARD for the betterment of the Srilankan inhabitant population?.

    Did Dr Kumar offer this valuable work to Sambnadan and Abraham during their modelling for TNA after next Presdential Election?.

    Or are they still hoping that Mr Hussaain and Mr Modi will deliver them 13 A with Police and Land Rights to the North?.

    Keselwatta Kid can never become the leader of the UNP as it is and Dr Kumar is right on the money there.

    Anura Kumara will find it hard to convince our inhabitants to live as Cubans under Castro.

    Srilankan will be a USD 100 Billion Economy after the current President’s next term..

    Wit the growth coming mainly from Tourism our lower middle class will be a lot bigger than the poor.

    Growing middle class and the large lower middle class will be demanding more Economic policies with real projects to lift the living standards rather than silly slogans which are the JVP’s forte.

    CPR on the other hand has proved himself in running things efficiently and is an above board. operator who is tech savvy as well.

    Sinhala Buddhists credentials are impeccable,and hard to find fault with, when he only says there shouldn’t be ethnic enclaves in a small country like ours.

    Besides,the Middle Classes and the Lower Middle classes will be demanding that they want Politicians who look at the freedom , prosperity, security of the inhabitant population as a whole and ability to live in any part of the land without any stigmas like Tamil Province, Sinhala Province or Muslim Province.

  • 3
    0

    KD,

    If you intend to invoke disaster for SL instead of peace and prosperity your choice is correct in CPR. This CPR is a racial, tribal bugger with a scheming but perverted and stupid mind. Just because the bugger wrote a book on power and power, dressed in white and attracted a few astray professionals looking for some ideology to cling on to it does not impart him the qualities of a national leader. In fact it is a waste of our valuable time on these riffs raffs. Like the Sirasa’s Killy Maharaja, Tiran Allas, the Rajapakshas CPR and Sajith would definitely destroy this country given an opportunity. As for AKD his problem lies in the political ideology and the hate the West and the Capitalism coupled with the scheming mindedness he and his party carry on their shoulders to gain political mileage.

  • 4
    0

    Thanks for that cogent summary, Kumar, even though it paints a pretty dismal picture of Sri Lanka’s immediate political future!
    Is the “Common Candidate” project of which you were seen as the lead hand, dead? Is Sobitha stale news and, if so, is there a successor on the immediate horizon?

  • 4
    0

    Why are you professor talking about PCR , a racist and I dont think he will stand a chance even to become an MP after the next General election . Whatif you write about Dr Anshumala Shirani Bandaranayake or Dr Harsha De Silva . Why? do you think they will not stand a chance ?

    • 2
      0

      I am against the way Shirani Bandaranayake was ousted, but sheiks a bad egg. Her husband had the nerve to take up a position he was not suitable for ,knowing her position will be compromised . He even ran the place according to some peoples’ whims and fancies, so that would leave Harsha . Way above Sajith. Apples will not fall far from the tree . We know what the father was

  • 1
    0

    Sunil Mohan,

    I totally agree with you. KD is trying to sculpture a Spiderman out of dog shit. Conflict, dishonesty, infidelity, opportunism, racism and power greed are inerasably default in Champikaya’s DNA. The fool usurped power and position selling Buddhism. He bartered that famous stupid monk Soma. The bugger is trying to fight ‘Power marphia through a book rag on the marphia! What an easy and cozy revolution aimed at ascending up power ladder! Instead why doesn’t the bugger complain to the COPE, Bribery Commission and the police or file a personal lawsuit naming the corrupt? Why doesn’t he question it in the parliament? Does he not know that the playing and fighting field for an MP is the parliament and not the book publishers? It can be allowed and understood it he does it simultaneously in the parliament and the press but what is this joke? Will his publishing a book and the media show hype reduce the rampant power marphia corruption in the country? Will it reduce power cost or change government policies? Any bastard akin to PCR shrouded in racism, hegemony, national pride and divisive sentiments is totally, utterly and completely unsuitable to stride in national politics. The country has witnessed the disaster brought in by the SWRDB moron through nationalistic mindset. PCR is no more different that Banda or the tiger leader only difference being he has been taught by the professors of the country and the people out of public funds about electricity and acquired some degree of posh, polish and outward look. By the way the bugger once went to meditate shaving his head and did a huge media circus much like the one he did with the recent book-on-nothing! He does this kind of jugglery from time to time to ascend up the stupid mental real-estate ladder of the barren Sri Lankan people and their frog-in-the-well mindset. Of course KD has correctly gauged and assessed much of the implications in the status quo. But the lift and the naïve national leader status he is trying to attribute to this PCR sod is totally unrealistic and misplaced. Of course KD will be correct in his misinformed heroism attribution if SL wants to go to war with its own minorities, India and the HR upholding countries in the world as a hegemonic and oppressive psychic country with eyes on nuclear arsenal building-there PCR is an ideal candidate if he continues with his no-rogue certificate. You know people market themselves in neo ways nowadays and it is called guerrilla marketing. The mooted PCR is no rogue concept has to be understood in the context of the cat who observed sill on poya day. That worthless package in their party, Raa Gommanpila ate dankuda of the poor and did politics-he begged hundred bucks from the poor and amassed a huge amount of money on the pretense of ‘green politics’! And after an eon after a TV debater questioned in public on the corruption he produced or rather announced the Final Accounts of the mischief to the last rupee! Also they come up with ‘no polythene’ nonsense when an election campaign draws near! Such are their marketing gimmicks aimed at deceiving the perpetually deplorable minds of the general public of this country. Of course as KD said it is no wonder if they choose PCR as their next apple cart upsetter after the Rajapakshas have finished their plunder-the-country role in their political desert! KD says no one has yet commented on his discovery on PCR. Of course it is quite expected and natural because PCR is nobody in their gauges! The sod does not kick their dicks and so they are dead yet! But if you engage in enough cunnilingus surely they will come to life and contract the PCR’s political syphilis on to the top of Gembanpila gonorrhea! And we have not yet recovered from Rajapka Acquired Kill The Neighbour Syndrome!

  • 2
    0

    Prof David, your analysis is good.I disagree with you on two points.Why did Ranil bring in Sajith? Is the UNP loosing Uva to the JVP or the Govt.This seems to be tactic to place the blame on Sajith.The ovation Sajith got was from his imported catchers.The Government may have helped Sajith to import the supporters.

    Champika may be inteligent but with his socalled tribal politics, he will lead us down the path to ruin.

    I appreciate your comment on the dilapitated “bajaj”with wobling three wheels.They cannot eat the cake and keep it. They will go off the political spectrum soon.

    Anura Kumar is good, but need few years before he enjoys majority political power.He has to clarify how they will operate.Their policy paper should be made public.

    What is most important is that country should unveil a middle of the road, educated political leader with a political party to head this country in tandem with the JVP.

    It is high time that the doddling UNP and the SLFP goes into retirement.Both are equally bad. They have jointly ruined this country.

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