15 December, 2017

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What Is Sajith?

By Rasika Jayakody

Rasika Jayakody

If Sajith Premadasa is to replace Ranil Wickremesinghe as the leader of the main opposition party of Sri Lanka, the ‘what’ of Sajith should constitute the leadership material for the United National Party. It is clear that Sajith relies heavily on the Premadasa factor embedded in his name as he is the only son of the late President Ranasinghe Ranasinghe, the man who successfully spearheaded one of the most important individual revolutions in Sri Lankan politics, rising to presidency from the lowest rung of the society as far as the hierarchy of castes is concerned.

As a result of the revolution he spearheaded, the Premadasa factor became something that could make a huge impact on the mindset of the grassroots level of the society which constitutes a sizable proportion of the vote-base of Sri Lanka. Some of the rural empowerment programmes carried out by him benefited the poorest sections of the society to a great extent and that – despite the state sponsored violence unleashed by him during the dark era of 1989 – elevates him in the history as a leader who had a genuine intention towards serving the poor.

It is important to realize that the Premadasa factor alone is not enough for Sajith to rise to the leadership of the party. Apart from what he inherited from his father, it is interesting to see what he has cultivated over the past 20 years in his own capacity as a politician who represented the opposition for the most part of his political career.

Apart from his lackluster performance as a Deputy Minister of the United National Front government from 2001-2004, Sajith has not held national level responsibilities of any government since 1994. National level responsibilities, one might argue, would not play a decisive role in determining one’s rise to the leadership of a political body as the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike and her daughter Chandrika Bandaranaike made inroads into power without holding any national level responsibility in any government.

The biggest obstacle to Sajith’s emergence as a national level leader is the parochialism he adopted as a politician, confining his activism mainly to the district he represented. He hardly raised his voice in an emphatic manner when it came to issues of national importance and maintained a stolid silence over the Tamil problem. Although he attempted to project himself as a ‘patriot’ vis-à-vis obtuse remarks by Ravi Karunanayake and Lakshman Kiriella over the achievements of the Army, Premadasa failed to impress the patriotic camp and his bona fides was always a question.

Sajith was lost in the differentiation between social welfare and national level politics. He was more focused on welfare work and donations at the ground level rather than strengthening the macro level operations of the party. A successful politician should always align his individual plan with the national plan of the political body he or she represents; but in Sajith’s case his individual plan always took precedence over the national plan of the party and that provided enough arms and ammunition to the party leadership who anyway had an axe to grind with him.

In 2011, Sajith and his allies propelled Karu Jayasuriya into the leadership election of the party and the latter failed to win the support of the Working Committee to get elected to the party leadership. After the election however, Jayasuriya was edged out of all the decision making bodies of the party and was made a mere back-bencher who had no say over party matters. Apart from occasional squeaks, it is questionable as to whether Premadasa launched a genuine struggle to reinstate Jayasuriya. One of the close allies of Sajith Premadasa told this writer on a personal note that Karu Jayasuriya, at that point, was the biggest obstacle standing in Premadasa’s way to the party leadership! What he indicated was that backing Jayasuriya’s candidacy at the leadership election was a tactical move to get rid of Jayasuriya. Although that remark represented his personal viewpoint, it spoke volumes of the line of thinking which existed among some of the Premadasa allies during the leadership election of the party.

Premadasa’s political career, over the past 20 years, has been marked with populism and marred with a sense of parochialism. He should come to terms with the fact that he is popular among the grassroots level supporters of the party not because he is distributing sewing machines or milk powder, but because he is the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa. If he is to make any progress as a national scale leader of the United National Party he should step out of the parochial dungeon and engage in politics in a serious manner, aligning his individual plan with the national plan of the party.

The What of Sajith is made of his individual aspirations. Therefore, it is clear that the ‘What’ of Sajith is not what the UNP needs at the helm, at this juncture. The ideal option for Sajith is to come out of his cocoon and grow under someone like Karu Jayasuriya who is a fatherly figure and a broad minded politician. What Sajith has to understand is that the ‘What’ should always prelude the ‘Who’.

*Rasika Jayakody is a Sri Lankan journalist who may be contacted at rasikajayakody2@gmail.com 

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Latest comments

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    What is sajith you ask?
    A liar and cheat I am afraid – unfit to lead the UNP never mind be President of even a Banana Republic!
    Sajtih Premadasa lied about a degree from the London School of Economics has been exposed must be stripped of ALL party positions.
    Sajith Premadasa like Mervin Silva and Mahinda Rajapassa lies about his degrees and academic achievements! Mangala the Hairdresser has none!
    Birds of a feather, flock together..
    Mahinda Rajapassa who pretends to be a lawyer like Sajith attended law school for a year on special dispensation… Sajith is a moron in addition to being a Sinhala Bhddinst fundamentalist – so the mystery is WHY HAS SAJITH NOT JOINED THE UPFA?
    Sajith certainly does not belong in the UNP with its liberal pluralist traditions, but this does not get Ranil the DICTATOR off the hook for the disaster that the party is today!
    Karu and Madam Rosy Senanayake, both of whom are clean and intelligent must save the UNP from Sajtih and Ranil!

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      Be careful Lula. Karu is waiting for a chance to jump again to the other side soon. He is only waiting for the right opportunity to grab Rosy by the hips and land her in MRs lap. Sure, sure. Both are clean. Absolutely clean.

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      Quite right! There is nothing to choose between Ranil and Sajith!
      Sri Lanka’s POLITICAL CULTURE is CORRUPT and rotten to the core and badly in need of cleaning up. Political culture has been rotted by the so-called leaders of the 2 main parties and their cronies – Ranil and Mahinda Rajapakse who are dictators and morally and intellectually corrupt and have NORMALIZED AND NATURALIZED corruption in the country. They set a BAD EXAMPLE for the entire POLITICAL CLASS that is corrupt and needs to be gotten rid of. Sajith thinks that lying about his degree is NORMAL. Ranil and MR by their LIES and corruption set the example for the rest of the corrupt politicians at the parliament of corrupt clowns and in the provinces and the rot has been trickling down from the top.
      Until the majority sinhala community wakes up and realize that their great NATIONAL system is rotten to the core nothing will change. Of course, civil society could start by demanding a –
      1) Right to Information Bill and exposing corrupt politicians and cronies
      2) Bill to Prevent Incitement of Religious and racial hatred and Hat speech.
      and they need to get

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      Premadasa’s political career, over the past 20 years, has been marked with populism and marred with a sense of parochialism.
      Quite Right Rasika! – but he does not have the mental capacity to think to move beyond his parochialism and hence lies about his qualifications and is unfit to lead even a party committee..

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      Lula ,

      “Karu and Madam Rosy Senanayake, both of whom are clean and intelligent must save the UNP from Sajtih and Ranil!”

      definitely none of them fall in to the clean category , but Karu can be forgiven his past misdeeds over his other good qualities , as for Rosy she should be in MR’s cabinet holding women affairs ministry or some thing similar(you know what i mean , right ?), as far as RW is concern he should be given the portfolio of opposition affairs minister and Ravi K should be given consumer affairs ministry !

      PS :all of the other RW’s old guards can be appointed as senior ministers or Presidential advisors to clean up the right royal mess in UNP .

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    Sajith is one of the biggest opportunists among the politicians in Sri Lanka His sole dream is to be the President. Nothing else.He has no vision.He has never made any statement on major issues just because he has no solutions for them.

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      Are you all discussing about the prized IDIOT in Sri Lankan politics? Has sajith got any opinion on any subject.

  • 0
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    What is Sajith? Well, Sajith is a rare species of Octopus which lives above water in the Hambantota coastal land. It has strong tentacles spread far and wide undulating in strong waves, always on the lookout for free government loot which it thinks is its rightful heritage.

  • 0
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    Did Sajith steel from temples???

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      Do not Talk nosense.
      It is said, that;
      He was looking and supervising, when his father’s goons [S T F goons, I suppose] digging the old temples premises and abandoned tank bunds for hidden treasures.
      and collected those valued artefacts and valuables,
      soled those at Sotheby and other auction houses.

      Did he and his father inherited any valuable properties from their grand fathers to spend lavishly.

      same like Jarapassa And Clan.

      public’s money Looting Families.

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        correction;

        sold those at Sotheby and other auction houses.

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    Why are we discussion the possibilities of a non event? Sajith does not have the base nor the acumen to aspire for leadership.

    He thinks being RP’s son entitles him to the position. It is time we knocked him off his perch and ignore him. All he can muster is a bunch of hooligans who can cause a commotion in a street corner. Notice the demonstrations were not in his electorate or in Colombo. Why? Because, he cannot find the fools who will indulge him.

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    I fully endorse Rasika Jayakody’s sentiments about that pseudo-graduate Sajith Premadasa, now masquerading as the only UNP “People’s Man” and who is harbouring Presidential pretensions!

    Sajith he is nowhere close to MR who is the consummate PR specialist (whatever his other basic faults are).

    Sajith may have cultivated the village temples and a few rural folk, but he has no popular national appeal. Besides populist rhetoric Sajith is obviously no intellect, his attempted faux academic forays notwithstanding.

    In the national context Ranil is a political failure, but head-to-head is a far more intelligent and intellectual personality as compared to Sajith who with his practical inexperience is really a cartoon who is at best good amusement value in the current political backdrop.

    Since all the major senior players in the UNP appear to have drawbacks, perhaps the Grand Old Party should think outside the box and prepare a short-term strategy to bring into leadership-focus their honest bright stars and not the sycophants and close relatives who are Ranil’s lackeys entertaining their very own agendas.

    In this context persons like Eran and Harsha come to the fore who are definitely more suitable individuals to take on senior leadership roles.

    Another option is to give that stupid man-in-a-hurry Sajith the leadership of the UNP with the proviso that he quit the leadership if he ever loses an election.

    That’s a sure way to silence this idiot once and for all!

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    “President Ranasinghe Premadasa, the man who successfully spearheaded one of the most important individual revolutions in Sri Lankan politics” ???? What is this? As the UNP Candidate in Ruwanwella-Yatihyantota he was so insignificant he lost his deposit in the 1960s. He rode in the wave singularly created
    by the old fox JRJ in 1977. In the Dudley-JR split he took the side of
    Dudley. JRJ did not object when some UNP mudalalis persuaded JRJ to allow him to come into the UNP. Very little room for revolution there. It was the crafty Underworld Godfather Maru Sira who helped him to become President by surreptitious deals with Wijeweera’s JVP – where Somawansa Amarasinghe played a role.

    F.N. Stein

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    The Writer notes Sajith “maintained stolid silence over the Tamil problem” There is no such thing as a Tamil problem. It is the national
    crisis misquoted by novice writers. Sajith had very little to speak
    in sympathy with the Tamil people who remember all too well the benefits the Premadasa family gained from burning down much of Tamil-owned property in the Pettah and elsewhere in 7/83. Most of these are now in the hands of friends and associates of the Premadasas.

    Kettikaran

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    Sajith might do better if he changes his hair style and wears a moustache and a goatee.

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      What! Change his hairstyle and wear a moustache and a goatee? No; Ranil wont allow him.

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    Sajith, that LSE goon? May god save my country.
    Hid dad was a nut, killer and who paid LSE fee?

  • 0
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    “When Adam delved and Eve Span, Who was the GENTLEMAN”????????Answer me all these so called Educated Guys in this forum, if we go to see all these little things every individual has some weakness…AND UNP will have no one to take over as Leader, and THIS idiotic Ranil will be forever in that Kotte Garawatena Walauwa , and in a few years time there will not be any UNP to talk about…and only him. My opinion Sajith Premadasa will be the best bet, you give him the Leadership today and tomorrow this 20% vote bas will automatically rise to 30%. This happened in UK, David Cameron ( Present UK PM) had only few years as an MP and after losing 3 or 4 Elections Conservatives won just one year after David C took over…..

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    Bull suit….. What Tamil problem???? All Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims r having issues …- and under every government ….. That’s the uneven distribution of wealth, which is part And parcel of any society.. Are you sun eating Sajith to be pro LTTE just like ‘Ravi Pamankada ????’ Mate don’t forget Tamil LTTE killed Sajith’s father. Is this the journalism in Sri Lanka means ??????

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