19 April, 2021


What If Maithri Called The UNP’s Bluff?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

The United National Party (UNP) wants Parliament dissolved. This is not new. Party stalwarts Lakshman Kiriella and Kabir Hashim even bragged that they would dissolve parliament if the 19th Amendment was not passed. That’s the UNP-friendly version of the 19th, folks, a text which would have replaced the all-powerful executive presidency with an all-powerful executive prime ministership. What’s funny is that dissolution is not the UNP’s prerogative. Kiriella, Hashim and others might not have known this or else they thought that Maithripala Sirisena would do the UNP’s bidding.

The 19th was passed in the end. It was not the helping-UNP version which was essentially a shortsighted document crafted in anticipation of a quick parliamentary election. More time passed. The 20th Amendment was taken up. Today the Kiriellas and Hashims don’t say ‘we will dissolve parliament’. Today they know they can’t and know that the President is no fool. So they are virtually begging him to dissolve.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ajith P Perera has said that a written request to this effect would be sent to the President ‘in accordance with the resolution passed by the UNP’s Working Committee,’ the resolution of course being a call for dissolution.

MaithripalaHe adds that the UNP would remind the President that he would have to honor the pledge made during the Presidential Election to dissolve Parliament after hundred days.

All this is understandable. The UNP has every right to believe that it can improve its numbers in Parliament if an election is held right now considering the crisis in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The UNP, especially after the President showed signs of taking firmer control of the SLFP, must know that the party stands to lose much of the ground gained courtesy of the January 8 result if the President wrests total control of his party.

The UNP knows, also, that the hope bubble has deflated. Economic relief proved to be a gimmick. The brag about clean-up has fallen flat due to the antics of the Minister of Finance and the Bond Fiasco. The Foreign Minister arrogating upon himself the powers of the Defence Minister and his lame explanation of ‘bringing Eric Solheim into the Sri Lankan equation’ shows that the UNP just hasn’t learned anything from 2001-2004 disaster. Things are not rosy and it is the UNP and not President Sirisena who is likely to be blamed.

The letter to the President, the reference to election pledges notwithstanding, is therefore weak; it is not a polite letter of demand but is essentially a desperate plea. With respect to the pledges, the President can easily say ‘I gave the UNP a free hand,’ which would be the truth. He can add ‘the UNP did not deliver’. He could add more: ‘if it is about pledges then the righteous thing to do would be to resign.’

Indeed. Now that the UNP is ready to issue an ultimatum to the President, what would the UNP do if the President calls its bluff? What if the President says ‘Well, you were late on the 19th, you are very late on the Right to Information Act and the Code of Conduct for MPs is not even talked of; so if it is about non-delivery and if ‘charity should begin at home’ is something you’ve heard of, shouldn’t you do the right thing, shouldn’t you resign?’

Ajith Perera is correct. This Government got a mandate to rule the country 100 days and not 200. The Parliament can remain for another 10 months. This Government, can resign or be sacked. A different Government can be put in place immediately afterwards, a cabinet appointed that has the support of the majority of MPs.

The UNP moved. It made a risky move. President Sirisena can call the UNP’s bluff. Or say all this and add ‘get the 20th Amendment done’ and the UNP might find that it doesn’t have many options!

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Latest comments

  • 17

    Oh Malinda Seneviratne , Mahinda Rajapaksa Shill and White-washer,

    RE: What If Maithri Called The UNP’s Bluff?

    What IF Mahinda Rajkapaksas Labu balls fall to the ground?

    • 9

      what talks about this man – when profs behave today as if they are not second to toy pistol mayarol candidates of Rajapakshe regime ?

      Funny this bugger Malinda is a graduate from Haward ?????: His is not at all exemplary

      • 11

        Parliament To Be Dissolved ‘Sooner Than Expected’: President on 17.06.2015

        Who calls whom a bluff ?

    • 4

      Malinda should wash himself not once several dozens of times to become a clean person. How can a man who ever put the feet on the Harward premises act this way is the question that my 15 year old school going nephew raised me after reading MS `s articles.
      These kind of men are so smeared as nothing would help them any further.
      Now we feel Kelaniya Mervin has turned his spirit to better than these buggers actually. Snail walks of MS et al can take longer than we think.

  • 12


    I think you are still holding the free laptop and other materials you received from Mahinda.

  • 2

    This guy [Edited out]

  • 15

    Malinda please do not false hopes of President Maitree letting down the UNP and guys like you can promote MR who is doing his politics in the Temples around the country with a band of catchers to shout slogans in his favour.
    Maitree and Ranil have good understanding and they would resolve all issues by themselves.

  • 2

    What IF Mahinda Rajkapaksas Labu balls fall to the ground? No it should be the other way clinging on to it.

  • 9

    UNP will sweep the polls Malinda. There is no denying it. A few shrill thousands is NOT the vast silent majority. Gampaha will be led by CBK and Arjuna to stymie MR’s ambitions. Why is MR so greedy for power? Even if held later, UNP will get at least 120 seats and win a big majority. End of Malinda-Dayan-Mahindapala era.

    • 5

      Roger Francis

      Agree UNP can sweep the polls and that us why some guys in the UPFA pulling all sides to delay polls and sabotage the inevitable win by UNP. These sabotaging efforts are greatly orchestrated by JHU behind the scene. JHU does not have any big vote base now and they are to manipulate the President for them to hide behind SLFP.
      These efforts are being supported by Mslinda’s, DJ De Silva,M…pala etc as they need MR back in the saddle probably for free give aways and other job offers which they will not get from the present regime.

    • 4

      Of course they will sweep the polls. At the slightest doubt of victory they wills stuff the ballot boxes. All Sri lankan parties in power have done it.

  • 6

    We know who this writer supports. Yet another MR blind worshipper. Sorry Malinda, the UNP will sweep the polls and you can go cry like all the other MR bayyos! :P

  • 4

    UNP supporters? Why are they unable to string two words together properly? May be a sign of their brain-washed status !!! UNP from JRJ, RP to RW have caused immense damage to SL. Those who blame MR for every evil are blinded by all fabricated propaganda from UNP/JVP(=LTTE branch) against him despite the man standing up to the western forces and rescuing the country from the blood bath it was.

    • 0

      18th amendment.

  • 0


    In the past when MR government was in power, you were fully supportive of MR government.

    After his defeat on January 8, you hesistated for a while. Then you started writing in praise of President Sirisena and now in your latest piece you are advising him to call UNP’s bluff.

    I am not holding a brief here for UNP or its leader Ranil and in fact I do want to see this unelected minority UNP government kicked out of office. I do not think that President Sirisena will go against Ranil and give way to an SLFP led government that would rule until April 2016. The problem with him is that he owes his office mainly to UNP and its leader Ranil. He would not want to be seen as an ungrateful person. As I mentioned in one of my earlier comments re Sirisena, the Tamil saying “Nakundar Na Illanthar” (meaning that those who eat out of the hands of another would be tongue tied to criticize that person). President Sirisena is now tongue tied. That is the predicament of the person who you are now trying to goad to go against Ranil and UNP in your over enthusiasm to be seen as a pro Sirisena journalist.

  • 0

    MR’s and his supporters bluff about 5.8 million votes will definitely be called.

  • 0

    You can keep the laptop

  • 0

    The honeymoon period for the President is over and he is in deep trouble by holding up the General election due to trying to unite
    two factions in his own party, who defy his orders. He is also
    losing the support of the minority parties, whose electoral reform
    he refuses to discuss. The President little realises that he is
    losing his popularity, day by day by delaying the election and he
    should wake up to this reality before it is too late.

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