19 November, 2018

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Think Straight, Think It Through – It Ain’t Rocket Science

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

1. Can you think of two personalities more contrasting than former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and President Maithripala Sirisena? Few who are in favor of the former endorse the latter and few would see anything in common between them, especially today.

2. But critics of President Sirisena do not stop to ask themselves why as President, both personalities did the very same thing to the very same Prime Minister—in 2003/4 and 2018 respectively! Surely the question is why did this happen and the ancillary question is why does no one ask the question?

3. Logic teaches us that when two different factors behave in the same way towards the same single factor, then it shows you something about that single factor. To put it more formally, when there is a constant amidst two variables; when the same outcome occurs in two different contexts, then the focus has to be on the constant factor/s, not about the variables.

4. The main constant factor was Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister. The other constant was that both Presidents, CBK and MS, headed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. So the preliminary answer is a simple one. 15 years apart, the SLFP under two wildly contrasting leaders, reacted in exactly the same way, and it in the same way to the same personality, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe. The SLFP leader of the day, then (15 years ago) and now (15 years later) who happened to be the elected President, followed suit.

5. In policy terms Mr. Wickremesinghe behaved consistently and the SLFP too reacted consistently to the same stimuli. He behaved then, in 2001-2004, and now, in 2015-2018, in the same way. That way, Wickremesinghe’s Way so to speak, inevitably generated a backlash in the SLFP, especially at its base.

6. In 2001-2004, the SLFP and the JVP joined hands to campaign for the ouster of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the UNP government. President Kumaratunga and ex-Foreign Minister (he was briefly her International affairs advisor) went to Delhi and briefed the Indian Establishment about the CFA and how it jeopardized both Sri Lankan and Indian security. India had already replaced the dovish High Commissioner Gopalkrishna Gandhi with the pronouncedly anti-LTTE Nirupam Sen. The main campaigners domestically for the PM’s ouster were the moderate Anura Bandaranaike and Mangala Samaraweera and the radical nationalist Wimal Weerawansa.

7. The same thing happened this time around. Obviously the SLFP is allergic to either the UNP generically or the consistent policies and profile of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe in particular.

8. If Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe were electable as President, a coalition would not have been needed, but he proved repeatedly that he wasn’t. Thus the imperative arose of a common candidacy and a coalition with the SLFP or a faction of it. This in turn opened up the inevitability of an SLFP rebellion against him sooner or later.

9. This would have been avoidable if the UNP had replaced him with another, more centrist and organic leader. That would have given the party two options. Either a credible run at the Presidency in 2015 or a more consensual relationship with the SLFP had it entered a coalition government. The UNP chose to stay with its present leader notwithstanding the fact that it had been out of the slot of the country’s top leadership i.e. the executive presidency, since 1994.

10. The last chance to save the 2015 coalition was the no confidence motion. President Sirisena tried to continue the coalition with a new UNP leader or to defeat that leader in a parliamentary vote. The UNP chose to spurn that opening.

11. The neo-liberals and the liberals thought that the ‘unity’ coalition, the influence of the former President (CBK) and the 19th amendment was a firewall against the repetition of the 2003-4 outcome of ouster. They were wrong. These constituted a flimsy firewall against the sentiment at the base of the SLFP. That sentiment was aptly demonstrated by the success of the SLPP at the local government election.

12. It is nonsense to argue that the SLFP is incorrigibly racist. Why then did the SLFP rebel against the UNP Prime Minister of 2001-2004 when the party was under the liberal, if not neoliberal leadership of President Kumaratunga and why did she feel compelled to go along with it?

13. The fact is that the SLFP has been in office since 1994, that’s almost a quarter of a century. It goes with what works with the voters, in order to secure an electoral victory. It felt that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s policies then and now were deeply unpopular. In 2001-2004 that unpopularity redounded to the credit of the SLFP in Opposition. This time around it saw that it was being dragged down the unpopularity of his policies, because the SLFP was its coalition partner and in the meanwhile the breakaway SLPP was doing vastly better electorally.

14. If the UNP partner’s policies were working on the ground, at the grassroots, the more populist-nationalist SLPP would not have instantly outstripped the SLFP and the SLFP would not have rebelled because it would have felt it more pragmatically utilitarian to remain in office with the UNP. All that the current leadership finally did was the reflect and respond to this pressure of social and national outrage from below, just as President CBK did 15 years ago. A different UNP leader—more realistic, more flexible, more socially sensitive, more populist, more patriotic, less tarnished and tainted by the Bond scam — may have not caused such an erosion of its own electoral base and a worse one in the base of its SLFP partner and thus generated such a backlash from the SLFP. No one (possibly apart from his ex-Finance Minister, ex-Foreign Minister) has as big a target profile that he has. So instead of lamentation and hysteria, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, place the blame if one must, for his overthrow at the correct doorstep—his own and those who kept him in place and in play.

15. What happened was inevitable and predictable. Firstly it had happened before, in 2001-2004, especially 2003/4. Secondly, this time around, there was also a visible global phenomenon of the sharp swing against neoliberal globalization and towards patriotism, nationalism and populism of one or another sort (Right, Left or Center). And yet, the UNP (with a single prominent youthful exception who was lustily cheered at its recent demonstration) and Colombo’s civil society including academia and professionals, did not figure it out. How could they be quite so obtuse?

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Latest comments

  • 19
    3

    Dayan, are you writing this in personal capacity or as an adviser to the gamarala/ Mahinda? Piss off ! Gemunu

    • 9
      2

      Dayan,
      You are a terrorist. You always go with political coups. You were a minister under a terrorist organisation which came with illegal election under Indian army and a terror group EPRLF (Varathar group). It is not a secret Mahinda killed large number of journalists and human rights actvists. You are now with another political coup which undermine people. Lie or Lie is a fundamental charcteristics of you. I understood long time back when former Golaya of Mahinda gave you an ambassdor post to you to Russia. Better you stay in Russia for your life. You don’t belong to land which is a land of Buddhist Civilisation.

    • 7
      0

      To this day, president Sirisena ‘s credibility is fallen to ZERO.

      Not a single man stood by him in 6.2 mio voters would even look at the bugger today.

      The greatest betrayal is though supported by so called self proclaimed POLITICAL ANALYST such as DAYAN BALLIGE PUTHA JAYATIHLAKA.

      If he would have been in CLOMBO today, no doubt, the bugger would be attacked by a strone rain. Not a single man would have the least respect to Dayan Jayathilaka

      This man should be a RARE KIND OF GENE MUTATION born to decent parents but to have been sold out by highly indecent personaliteis of Rajaapakshe nature.

      Dayan Lived in Europe so long to experience what the real democracy means. If that came from UNEDUCATED GAMARALA we can just forgive him, going by his education and background. Gamarala is not suitable to appoint as a village headman in today’s context.
      He has not the least knowledge on any kind of CONSTITUTONs: Just like a parrat he could hold a speech covering all the past, but nothing he means in his speeches are found in his practical life.

      He cut his neck by his own.

      In few days ahead of US the bugger will have to face the IMPEACHMENT… now it is becoming even clearer.

  • 15
    3

    Whatever is going to happen..
    We need to get rid of people like Dayan who change side and speak for his personal interest ..
    He beg M&s to get this job and next we will write in support of any one who come PM to get another tenure in his job…
    What a joker are you Dr Dayan…
    You colour change as and when government changes ..except you do not like Ranil.

    • 3
      3

      Dr.DJ,
      ” It is nonsense to argue that the SLFP is incorrigibly racist. Why then did the SLFP rebel against the UNP Prime Minister of 2001-2004 when the party was under the liberal, if not neoliberal leadership of President Kumaratunga and why did she feel compelled to go along with it?
      13. The fact is that the SLFP has been in office since 1994, that’s almost a quarter of a century. It goes with what works with the voters,”
      Chandrika the liberal hijacked the SLFP. There is no question that the mass of SLFP voters are racist and blinkered, based as its policies are on appeasing the feudal Sangha and rural voters.
      If the SLFP was not racist, why are the minority parties staying away even when offered bribes?

      • 7
        2

        Of course, SLFP originator and all its followers for the last 60 odd years were Incorrigibly RACIST. Sinhala-Buddhist Racists, they are fully biased towards Sinhala and Buddhism.

        • 0
          0

          Funny… a native Tamil takes time to bother with issues concerning the Sinhalese island. By the way, how are things in Tamilnadu?

    • 2
      0

      Now where is Sajin Vass and Sarath Weerasekera? These are the two people within the SLFP who knows Dayan very well. These are two very important political advisers that Mahinda should always rely on. Both MS Gamarala and DJ de Silva are two very unreliable, untrustworthy, and backstabbing betrayers whom Mahinda and the SLFP should always be careful with. They both are extremely self-centered and will flip sides at any time.

  • 13
    3

    Dayan Jayatilleka,

    Don’t analyse too much…when it comes to the doings of dirty shits like you and your paymasters, it’s pointless..don’t insult our intelligence.. we abhor your type…

  • 11
    1

    “Think Straight, Think It Through” – But somehow think my way! :))

    “It Ain’t Rocket Science” for us ……… but everything for you is! …….. If not why write all this unadulterated bull crap?

    Didn’t CBK say ………. that the greatest regret in her life was sacking Ranil?

    If I have to choose one politician out of all the humbugs that have lined up against Ranil ……….. I’ll choose Ranil any day! ……… Ranil is no saint ………. but he is certainly far better than all the cunning crooks arrayed against him

    For example ……He is a million times better than Dayan ………. who with his record ……….. is in no position to pass ethical/moral judgement on anyone ……… Pray tell me what right has he? …… and that Ain’t Rocket Science!

    Yes, ……… Ranil is no saint ………. but he has some good qualities ……….. since2015 there was no state sanctioned violence against the citizenry ……… and the elections were the cleanest in living memory.

    Truth needs to be said at least by a few for the sake of the nation ………… there is an abundance of blatant liars ……….. that has put us in this path for 70 years

    All this unmitigated crap is thrown at Ranil ………. because he has no charisma and mightily unlikable ……….. and the biggest monumentally corrupt crook to appear on the Lankan political landscape has bucket loads of “Lankan charisma!”

    And Ranil’s transgressions are miniscule in comparison to most other Lankan pols ……… certainly much less than all the crooks that have illegally grabbed power now

    Bar a few rare exceptions ……..if the columnist here are anything to go by ………. I am not holding my breath for many “educated” sons of Lanka ……… to ever realise that the greater evil is the Rajapakses and not Ranil

    “Yours is the quintessential/typical Lankan mind-set governed by preconceived prejudice incapable of independent thought ……… the English language skills hint at some education ……… but essentially camouflage a primitive prehistoric mind!

    I hope I have made it clear that you and other Lankans of your ilk comprehend”

    • 8
      1

      continued

      And I say it with all the arrogance that every cell in my body can muster ………… because it’s the damn bloody truth ……. and I have the ability to see it and not many others!

      Taraki …………. what say you buddy? …………. Is the arrogance warranted ……… uncalled for, uh? :))

      • 3
        0

        Oh it’s warranted all right! :)

      • 4
        1

        Nimal,
        A bit more arrogance would do fine.
        This guy Dayan’s opportunistic flexibility would put any self-respecting snake to shame. What a record — Eelam revolutionary cabinet minister to Premadasa stooge to Sinhala Buddhist champion, all within one lifetime!

  • 8
    2

    Dayan,

    Your pathetic Character assassination of RW will not absolve you from your egregious disposition not even one bit! You are a man who is capable of demeaning behaviour centred on narcissism and self-serving!

  • 7
    2

    Dear Author,
    Are you comparing personalities as the top Executive at different times in relation to the Country’s development because you are worried the contribution of one is below your expected level of development? or Are you comparing one Leader or the other did not do enough to ruin the Country better than the other?

  • 9
    2

    last time you lost your job by forgetting you were an ambassador and not a private citizen
    like ranil you are now doing the same thing
    you cannot live without local publicity russia is too far away
    if you want to keep your job without antagonising the foreign minister keep your mouth shut
    ranil did not oppose tour appointment because he was a friend of your father and helped him when he was in bad times sodont bite the hand that fed him
    you might suffer the same fate if you forget the fact that you are now an ambassador and not a private citizen so behave like one without embarrasing the foreign minister

  • 6
    2

    Dayan writing crap again.
    “… In policy terms Mr. Wickremesinghe behaved consistently…..He behaved then, in 2001-2004, and now, in 2015-2018, in the same way. That way, Wickremesinghe’s Way so to speak, “

    can you elaborate “..this way that way which way should Wickremesinghe behave?”…

    we know Dayans’ way ….sit on the fence and jump either way and get a ambassador post ..

  • 7
    1

    Dr.DJ has indeed has thought through and thought straight. Chandrika sacked Ranil and aligned with the JVP. Sirisena dumped Ranil and joined Mahinda. There in lies another tale.

    His thesis gains further credence and tenacity by the startling absence of even a passing reference to Mahinda. It is a perspective I missed. Thank you.

    • 3
      0

      sarath de alwis

      As I understand, the Hindians did not want pro West Ranil who sought International Safetynet against LTTE under the prevailing circumstances. Mahinda encouraged and supported the split within JVP as he promised to the Hindians that he would deal with them in his own way.

  • 4
    8

    Simple logic. Thank you Dayan.

    Soma

    • 2
      2

      somass

      Have you started receiving your regular supply of crumbs?

      Mahinda is looking for new b***s carriers.

  • 10
    2

    Dayan
    You say: “Logic teaches us that when two different factors behave in the same way towards the same single factor, then it shows you something about that single factor.”
    .
    Your case is the reverse: the same single factor is behaving in the same groupie, hanger-on manner towards different – some of them are even diametrically opposed – factors such as Vikalpa Kandayama, EPRLF, SLMP, Premadasa, Mahinda, Gotabhaya, and Maithri. Then what does it show about you?

    • 5
      2

      “Think Straight, Think It Through – It Ain’t Rocket Science”

      Pseudo political scientist does not think straight.

      Pseudo political scientist does not think it through.

  • 5
    2

    It’s quite a tragedy for a journalist to have lost credibility. Your obvious bias makes your articles worthless . Perhaps you can switch gears and write movie or product reviews instead.

  • 2
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 2
    2

    Dear Dr. One day the truth will be come. You and MR, MS will be regret the decision. You as ambassador do your job properly with out finger point any one. Hope we will have good governance to tackle everything. As you are a intellectual do your job. One day you all will definitely regret. history is repeating. Even CBK also regretted on the acts she done during 2001 to 2003. Definitely you, MR and MS will regret.

  • 2
    2

    When will they ever learn, where has all the logic gone? RW has lost more elections than any other leader in SL, been sacked as no other PM has, and yet the UNP keeps him as their leader. Where is the logic? As usual several commentators have attacked the messenger rather than considering the logic of his argument. We probably deserve leaders like RW.

  • 8
    2

    It must be obvious to anyone who can read English that this man writes for his own selfish reasons. He does not even care about the most red-blooded Sinhala Bhuddists, let alone Tamils or Muslims. He cares only about himself, and writes these pieces so that he retains some ‘relevance’, and thus might get some plum position like the one he has got now. So no point offering rebuttal to his arguments.

    What is NOT obvious to me is why CT provides him such prominence, thus helping him along in his career. May be CT hopes his articles will generate more traffic to their page. So, every time I see an article from this individual, I avoid coming to CT for 10 days thereafter. I am not going to help the career advancement of this self serving chameleon thank you very much. I have more respect for any bigoted, single minded stinking racist from Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims who actually cares for his own race at least.

    May be CT will not publish my comment. Oh well, you got my message anyway.

  • 4
    2

    Dayan,

    The SLFP right from its beginning (created by the ‘Sinhala Only’ SWRD Bandaranayake) was a Pro-Sinhala, Anti-Tamil Racist political party where a very few power hungry Tamils and Muslims were taken in to show it is a National party. Nothing has changed, right from the beginning till now, SLFP is an Anti-minority, Sinhala biased Racist party and the dirtiest Racist leader of all was none other than Mahinda. The most number of Tamils and Muslims suffered only during the period when Mahinda was the President and it is not going to change in the future. This is the reason why the minorities will never vote for Mahinda and the SLFP. On the other hand, Ranil and the UNP is NEVER Anti-minority and never been Racists.

    • 3
      1

      ‘ On the other hand, Ranil and the UNP is NEVER Anti-minority and never been Racists’.

      Did you know that the ‘Sinhala Only’ policy of SWRD was also the policy of the UNP at the time? It was so popular that the UNP adopted it as well.

    • 0
      2

      James Antony,
      “The most number of Tamils and Muslims suffered only during the period when Mahinda was the President and it is not going to change in the future.”
      You got it wrong. Most number of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalayo suffered during the period when Demala terrorists under the leadership of Malapaharan butchered innocent civilians for nearly three decades. President Rajapakse ended that suffering by eliminating Demala terrorism.

  • 1
    2

    well said ,Diplo-mut

  • 0
    0

    An impartial observer will but observe that RW is weathering the coup virtually single handed.
    Do you agree Dayan? “Think Straight, Think It Through” Dayan.

    .
    “It Ain’t Rocket Science” but for Dayan it might be!

  • 0
    0

    Dr DJ you are speaking Dr Wannihami’s language, scientific logic. Now, please don’t slide off the track and start talking about your lovely Aunties, let us keep to the subject at hand. Our comrade Vasu has a great ministry, do help him will you, he has a tendency to use foul language when stressed out.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan is hundred percent right here…as usual the Ranil lollas here won’t accept

  • 1
    0

    Try pissing straight, you drunk moron, before thinking straight you are not capable of neither, It aint rocket science

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