25 August, 2019

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Where Are We Going And What Are We Going To Do?

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Venerable members of the Sangha, Honourable Basil Rajapaksa, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Ministers, Honourable Deputy Minister, Members of Parliament, the Mayor, members of the business community and friends.

I think we politicians have got fixed by Parthipan. Generally, it’s 25 of us speaking and the rest of you listen. But this time you got to listen to 25 businessmen and just two politicians speaking. Is it that you want to make us feel what it is like when you sit at the functions and have to listen to all the long winded speeches that we make?Anyway, you have got your message across.  For some reason I found that that I  have been invited for the second time, which I’m generally not. But I must first say that Business Today  should be commended for this ceremony, to recognise and reward all those who have done well in the corporate sector; by something given by the private sector to the private sector. I saw you at work this time with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association. That was a job well done  especially the street party afterwards. Many of the delegates went back regretting that they couldn’t stay   longer but then the Treasury was thankful that they didn’t wait any longer because our deficits  would have gone much further.I have listened today to the reports and the performances of the companies. Hari Selvanathan did make a good point when he said why don’t you have something for the Government.   Sometime back it would have been very difficult. There wouldn’t have been 25 ministries. But now it’s a100, I think it’s worth giving it a try.For those who have performed, some of you have gone through difficult times; some have known what life was like before 1977 when we had to go into a market economy. Some of you have contributed to building it up.  As Pandithage said through the difficult years; and sometimes you had to close the door and do business from the side. And we had to go through this whole episode of renaming ‘Bombay Onions’ ‘Big Onions’. We have got over all that.While commending you all for all that you have done I have one or two issues that I would like to raise.  I was reading through Business Today and I have no problem with the criteria you have selected; but I looked at how that criteria has changed over the years; not only in Sri Lanka but also abroad, which is a reflection of how the global economy and the market economy has changed. Even capitalism has changed, as we all call the ‘Market Economy’. A few days back I was reading an article on what is called Modern Capitalism. It was very good; it dealt with American Capitalism. What it is today; it is unique. I don’t think it can be duplicated anywhere else in the world. How democratic socialism went out of vogue and what we have in the last ten years.   Firstly, socialism with Chinese characteristics.  This is the biggest form of capitalism you have today and is state capitalism. Then the Social market economy.  Where the financial markets dominates is called stock market capitalism. These seem to be the three. It dealt with how the countries in Asia, the smaller countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America developed; how modern capitalism came first through European money which brought in the plantation sector. Then the export sector, either with the local money or with foreign money. And now where do we go? We have gone to one extreme – fortunately we are not there and I hope we don’t get there – of the economies which rely on drug money, hot money and black money. Where are we? Well we have I feel excessive dependence on the financial market.   We read in the newspapers and the media a lot on the stock exchange and the public borrowings. Well, to me our stock exchange is very much a casino with a laundry attached. That’s where the black money from Malaysia and India is turned into white. And this year we’ve also added an altar because  twice a year we sacrificed the chairpersons there.

We have somethings which have been concerning me and I thought I should mention it to you all. It is something seen in  the other economies also in Sri Lanka.   Many of you did mention how much of credit is available for the Small and Medium Sector. But I find this development  in Sri Lanka like elsewhere, where the banks are with the big corporates and the capital requirement of the Small and Medium Sector has suffered. I’ve gone through many towns, many cities met with those who run the high street, they are the people who matter and they are complaining of their lack of access to capital. That’s something you have to recognise. Because in today’s society it’s the Small and Medium Enterprises that provide the jobs;  whether it be in manufacturing, whether it be tourism or in trade. They are the job creators and that goes from the United States to Japan to other parts of the world.   And that’s where we’re having a problem. Excuse me for saying so, because I believe that is where not enough money is going.  If all that money that was given out by the banks to margin trading  was instead given out to the Small and Medium economy all of us would be better off today. There’ll be more money in the pockets of the average persons in the country.

Second is look at the composition of government expenditure, which is alarming to me. In 1990 when we were running the economy; the biggest expenditure was the categories of what we call goods services transfers and subsidies. Second came interest payment and third came salaries. In the last two years it has changed. First is interest payments, second is salaries and third is the rest. And today you have come to a situation where goods services transfers and subsidies are just about half of interest payments. What does this mean?  It basically means two things. One is the social sector expenditure is going down; we have seen the crisis we’ve had of the university teachers, the Minister had to handle that. We have seen the problem of health expenditure;  this  composition of government expenditure is going to get worse. And we are a country that has depended on free education and free health.   Unless you change the composition of government expenditure  you spend more on these sectors it’s going to be downhill for the majority of the people. How do you change it? This itself is the problem, because you have this big public debt.

I was reading the Road Map on Public Debt Management and they are talking of reducing the deficit; the same thing the IMF says. You have to reduce it. You can’t cut the interest payments or debt servicing, you can’t cut the salaries bill, whether you think they are gainfully employed or not. Then the cuts come in the other sectors. That just is not going to work. They are saying cut the expenditure on the transfers to the corporations. But what are we doing? They are transferring that expenditure  on to the people, instead of trying to make those corporations efficient and see how it’s been made viable, the easiest way, the IMF way now is to transfer that and the price increases. These are two of the problems we are facing, which means: firstly, not enough credit to the small and medium entrepreneur and secondly, the additional expenses. Then how do we repay the debt?  That’s the big question.   Today our revenue and our debt service is virtually the same. Actually we are rolling over the public debt. We are borrowing to repay, which is what we did with the last sovereign debt in July; of the billion Dollars 500 million has gone to repay the 2007 loans. This is a serious situation which we are in. And unless we find a way of moving out then the burden is going to be more   on the people. We’ve seen what’s happened in Greece. We’ve seen what is happening in Spain, We’ve seen what’s happening in Portugal and many other countries.  This is the big question that all of us have to face. And I thought I should mention something which all of us overlook, because we are all short termists now looking at the performance of one year and not how do we go beyond that. We are told to be more competitive and to earn more exports. Where do you earn the exports? The world market is a billion people in the western world whose incomes are coming down. What do we sell? How do we sell it? We can’t sell very much more to Europe. We’ve lost the GSP Plus facility.  I got involved in trying to save it. Finally I fell foul both of the apparel sector and of G L Peiris. Nevertheless, there is very little that we can do there.

What are we going to do in the US market. I can’t see how we can enter that.   India;  the private sector has to decide whether they want to enter the Indian market or not. One half says very loudly no CEPA; we don’t want it. We don’t want the Indians coming in. The other half says silently no, we want CEPA. And everyone wants to see how we can make quick money out of the Indian black money that is being laundered here.  We’ve got to decide  because these are the markets that are available for us.

Just look at Myanmar, 2015, after the elections they will get concessional aid may be as much as US$ 10 billion. Once the elections are held fairly and squarely they can take the GSP+ facility, they get something in the US market and they will get into the Indian market. That’s what we are going to see from 2016 onwards. As some of the Europeans point out its useless getting into Mianmar now because they are not ready. They haven’t got the basics. They require two, three years. Then what are we going to do? Where are we going?  That’s what we have to think. I for one am very skeptical about the IMF. As I said last year Bretton Woods institutions without Bretton Woods is of no use. What are they saying throughout the world? Cut your expenditure. Now we have come to the bone. As politicians can we cut into the bone? We can’t.

What can we get from the IMF? They can’t sort themselves out as to where the voting power should be. It’s dominated by the European voting power and is at the moment dependent on Asian money. That’s what we are.   I would forget about them. I don’t think they can give any solutions. Unfortunately, we have the habit where everything said by an IMF representative here or by some IMF guy who comes here is highlighted in the media in the same manner in which Moses and the ten commandments were treated at that time. That’s unfortunately been a habit. I don’t think they know where they are going. And certainly they can’t tell us where we are going.  We have to now innovate we’ve got to think out of the box. All countries are thinking out of the box. You’ll be surprised at the reports that are coming out of England. The Vickers Banking Report wanted ring-fencing  of the banks. Then Paul Volcker the Former Chairman of the Reserve Bank of the USA said that’s not enough, you’ve got to separate them. Go back into an earlier system they had of separating investment banking and retail banking.  You’ve got the Key commission report which says there shouldn’t be quarterly reporting on the stock market. You focus too much on the short term profits and you forget about the medium and the long term.  That’s one country that is trying to work its way out. America is working its way out in a different manner, including fixing all the British banks whenever they can;  they still keep the monopoly in banking.  We’ve all got to think out of the box. Where are we going?  How are we going to get there? Because I still feel that we have the capacity to innovate.   We have innovators and we have entrepreneurs both here in this room and outside there; maybe in Nugegoda, maybe in Nittambuwa, maybe in Beliatta – I don’t know where the Minister belongs to whether in Nittambuwa or Beliatta or both – down in Madawachchiya which has been long quoted now in the parliamentary debates, who can make it.   We’ve got to think what we are going to do. So I’m sorry that I had to sound the discord note here amongst all those who thought it  will be better.  But I was one of those who had faith in the market economy when many others didn’t. When we went through those dark years; we paid a price to get the market economy back.   I want the market economy to benefit everyone. You can’t have two classes of people either here or in England or in America.  that’s the big debate.   We must have the market economy to benefit all. We cannot have people thinking our children can’t be educated here. We cannot have people come to the view that there are no health services here. We talk of shortage of labour. Then why on earth are people paying three or four hundred thousand rupees to go abroad? There is something wrong; either there is no job satisfaction. If all the Sri Lankans are back here we still have unemployment.  Those are great skills that have to be brought back but can we pay the price?  Do we go to a higher level of economic activity?

This is why I raised the questions.   I don’t want to keep you all much longer. But just to  thank you again for having invited me; and there’ll be many who will go along saying “what nonsense is this man is talking” but I hope there’ll be at least one who would think of what I said; because like Harry I believe we can make it. I may differ on how we make it, but we can make it if we can think straight.

Thank you.
*Speech by Ranil Wickremesinghe, Leader of the Opposition at the Business Today TOP TWENTY FIVE awards ceremony
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Latest comments

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    Yes indeed Ranil, I believe in you, we all believe in you, you have the vision, will and innovation to rescue this country from this hellish situation created by Rajapakshas and the racist Sinhala Buddhists. Please come and save us! But I know that if the majority stupids who have the voting power do not cast their vote for Ranil and UNP we will never come out of this precipice.

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      The problem with the Sri Lankan Polity is that many who bash Ranil Wickremasinghe, majority do so without knowing Ranil’s potential, capability, honnesty, commitment and the Discipline he maintains even during adversity. He is not just a LEADER but a man with a Vision for this country for everyone of whatever ethnicity of whatever Religious denomination. He is not there to rob this Nation to uplift his family or having anyone of his own to crown after him. He will and can deliver this Nation to the satisfaction of the majority, except those who are waiting to climb the social ladder through short cuts to the top using rhetoric to cheat the masses. See his composure after all the insults and accusations heaped on him where he shines like a candle in total darkness. A Sage was rarely discovered in his own land.

      I only hope this speach of his will be published in the media in all languages for the Public to get a proper assesment. That is if the powers allow it to be published.

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        Majority of the folks are not able to understand the substance. Only those who could see it in depth only can the substance. Reason is the langauge the majority today understand is indecent sort of one. Thanks go to buggers that rule the country today.

        I find it very thoughtful and great speech. Unfortunately, the folks would get it is the problem.

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      What a bunch of crap! The speech has no structure and rambles on without an argument! Ranil W is good for the waste paper basket!
      Also, why does the thief Basil Rajapakse who has crafted a Divineguam bill to steal from the poor and build up his empire deserve a special saluation?!
      Ranil is a horrible two faced liar and dictator who is collaborating with the Rajapakse dictatorship in order to save his skin and ruin the the UNP where he is deeply unpopular having lost so many elections..
      What a circus clown bereft of honesty and integrity – this so called leader of the opposition of a Banana Republic is!

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        This is just because people inclu you are now familiar with filthy langauage rather than any respectful and dignfied nature. Read it again and compare – he has been decent enough to show the folks also thanking several dozens of time. Now our people are almost made uncivilised as no any remedies can help them. Thanks go to MR and thug machineries that have influeced the poor folks ( that are easily manipulativ and naive)since 2005.

        If any ones sees RW as a liar, the very same would not find no words to describe MR and thugs. That is it. Good luck to our Mawbima.

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          it should be anyone would not find words in their vocaularites to describe etc..

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        Only a Dead as a Dodo, who will not see anything constructive in this speach of RW. This breed can never see reason or be educated. They are the half baked real JVP who believe they know everything as Wimal Aweerawansa. Empty Vessals. This breed only knows to resort to rhetoric and vulgarism insulting all and sundry. Other than being vociferous critics they have nothing significant or constructive to offer.

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      Good speech, by a man who continues to a great deal of damage by not recognising that it’s time for him to quit politics. Let me explain how I came across this article.

      I was musing upon the fact that it is still considered treason to talk about either “Bombay Onions” or “Mumbai Onions”. I had already found out how the largest city in India got a name change:

      I don’t know why http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/07/mumbai_what_about_bombay.html

      Ranil. of course, has ready access to a Professor of English (Maithri), and so would have hit on that quite clever and justified criticism of “Ranasinghe Premadasa Patriotism”. However, if I were to refer to “Bombay Onions” in either English or Sinhalese, I’m going to be in trouble. Which brings me to why Ranil is in trouble in this country. He says somewhere in this speech that “the people who matter” are the the traders in the “High Streets” (as opposed to the big businessmen). Shouldn’t it be the farmer who matters? Oh, I know that we must see comments in context and all that, but for me it seems a Freudian slip.

      Two more points:

      Farmers do matter, but so do we poor teachers!

      And I hear it said (in my village) that Ranil W. is fit to lead this country because his English is good. I grant I’ve never heard Maithri speak, but I rather doubt it being better than the “Son of Premadasa”. Yes, Sajith does come through pretty well when speaking English, owing to – was it Mill House Public School? Never mind where, he will make a better leader!

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    Although many of us think Ranil is the cause of the downfall and the current state of the UNP, reading this brief speech one sees the difference between an educated, experienced, world-view politician who understands the complexities of finance and governance and an entire Govt, including a Cabinet of nearly 100, who are not. That is, in short, the fate of this once lovely and united country. Let us remember Tourism, Garment exports, Gal Oya/Mahaweli schemes, that added millions of acres to agricultural production, foreign-employment and the free market are all the brain-child of UNP Govts. And our “98% literate people” rejected them in 1965, 1970 and many times in recent years. And now wwe try to emulate Malaysia and Singapore.

    All what we have succeeded in is voting a set of plunderers and semi-literates who will do us in during the unlimited time our Buddhist Sinhala patriots have empowered them with. Fortunately, for the Tamil people of the NEP they will soon escape this hopeless fate and build their own future – escaping the venal leadership and unmitigated corruption that characterises every act of this crooked regime.

    Well done, Ranil. Before you try to build the country please unite and try to build the GOP. You have also much work to do in regaining the confidence of the Sinhala people you are neither anti-Buddhist, pro-Christian, pro-LTTE/Tamil and anti-poor/labour. These are certainly false charges but the JVP and Sinhala supremacists have succeeded in poisoning the mind of the Sinhala voters – nearly 75% of the voters. That has been the UNPs draw-back. Bring back the Panditharatne Report from the places where you are hiding them. Sri Lanka still has a chance to regain its due place in the family of nations.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan,
      Also, he is not corrupt.That is the most important attribute for any politician.
      If we only had really free and fair elections,since independence,UNP would not have fared badly. But this will not happen as long as the 17th amendment remains in limbo,due to the 18th,along with the executive presidency.

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        Yes, indeed, he is not corrupt. But unfortunately he has never demonstrated his ability to prevent corruption among his cabinet colleagues.
        Remember the infamous COPE report concerning the period of his administration.

        But I agree he talk sense. Hope he will walk the talk.

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    Wisdom I know is social. She seeks her fellows. But Beauty is jealous, and illy bears the presence of a rival- J.T.

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    Clearly Ranil is the only option for Sri Lanka. All this nationalistic chest thumping has got us nowhere. Ranil got a bad rep for the CFA unfairly. The CFA was the start of the decline of the stripped felines. Yet the low information electorate does not see this.

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    Who is he,what is he doing?
    He is scratching his arse. Panuwanta beheth naa. Itching is unbearable.

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      the return of a vulgar version of Richard De Zoysa? If you look under Mahinda’s sarong, you will find ‘shanker’.

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      Shankar, it appears that you have immense revulsion towards RW. Can you kindly state what this great injustice caused by RW to you or the country? No matter how much RW is accused or blamed falsely, he never retorts. Even in this speach he winds up that many will blame him for speaking the truth. To quote him,’ I don’t want to keep you all much longer. But just to thank you again for having invited me; and there’ll be many who will go along saying “what nonsense is this man is talking” but I hope there’ll be at least one who would think of what I said; because like Harry I believe we can make it. I may differ on how we make it, but we can make it if we can think straight’. Remember Shankar we can do it only if we can think ‘straight’ and not ‘crooked’. Shankar give the Devil his due and let us all save this country for all of us. RW has nothing to gain personally, but we have everything to lose.

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        Gamini,I have no personal animosity towards Ranil whom I consider a gentleman,a rare commodity indeed in Srilankan politics.My grouse with him is that he stubbornly clings onto the leadership,even after defeat after defeat at the elections. Hasn’t this bugger got any self respect.He should step aside without ruining the UNP because the Rajapakshe’s are having a free joy ride due to him.

        Another grouse I have with him is he never talks about abolishing this monster presidency and also about implementing the 17th amendment for constitutional councils for transparency and accountability.This shows that he wants the presidency so that he can have all the powers if he wins(which he can’t anyway and will not let anyone else also to do the job)and also does not want the constitutional councils so that he can also abuse power.

        I like Ranil as a human being but I also love my country much more.I want a capable strong opposition leader to emerge so that the Rajapakshe’s will be given a good run for their money.

        Competition breeds efficiency and efficiency breeds productivity and progress.At the moment the rajapakshe’s need not be efficient because the opposition is in complete disarray.

        Ranil must do his job or buggeroff.This applies to any person in any job,but is more critical for jobs such as his where a country depends on him.Nothing personal in all this,when it comes to results we have to keep our emotions in check and demand results.

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          Shankar, you say you have no animosity towards RW. Your grouse is that he clings on to the UNP leadership having lost a number of Elections held by both CBK and MR which are not much different where the playing fields have been heavily tilted and also they have resorted to every trick in the book including intimidating the the Election Commissionner. With this back ground believe me, let alone RW no one would have won. Ofcourse they can not cheat forever and ever without the support of their cadre, because at some point in time they fall out and will withdraw the support. Now see the CJ, although she was a MR sycophant now MR is unable to execute his will over the Judiciary. Therefore take my word, Divi Naguma or Divi Nasuma MR will have an uphill task at the next Presidential Election. From now till then his popularity will plumet. Therefore it is nothing but fair to give the last chance to RW for him to salvage this country. If not believe me not only the Tamil Boat people, many Sinhalese would leave the shores of this country for good.

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          Gamini,your point about the cheating at elections is well taken,but remember this has been happening at every election since independence whether it is UNP or SLFP in power.The incumbents always use state resources to the maximum and resort to thuggery and violence to intimidate voters and now the Rajapakshe’s as you rightly pointed out took it to new levels by even imprisoning the elections commissioner in the presidential compound.Fat prabha also dug his own grave by denying Ranil his rightful victory.So Gamini,this stuff is only going to continue and get worse and worse unless there is a permanent solution.We started on a permanent solution with the 17th amendment which would include also transparency and proper controls for elections,but the politicians including Ranil and the UNP are reluctant to implement this because they feel it is inimical to their interests if they change from the opposition to the government one day.Also they should vigorously campaign for the abolishment of the presidency,because so much power concentrated in the hands of a single person results in him or her being able to do practically anything to stop losing an election.Just imagine if a guy like Premadasa was not killed would he have ever allowed chandrika,mahinda to become president.

          You say that from now on MR’s popularity will plummet and he will lose the next election.What if he does not?What if he rigs it?What if his popularity does not plummet to an extent where he can manage to scrape through even without rigging.Then another 6 years of the Rajapakshes. Waiting for leadership to fall onto your lap by default due to the incumbent making mistakes has been the opposition strategy always since independence and it worked for some time with the SLFP aand UNP taking turns at every elections to form the government.Then the tide began to turn against that strategy with the new constitution drawn up by JRJ and UNP was able to go on for 17 years.Now the SLFP has even surpassed that with 17 years and still going strong.So this is a stupid strategy now because it is very difficult to dislodge an incumbent and JRJ’s constitution is backfiring on the UNP itself after that old shit has died.

          So now the opposition leader has to be a very proactive instead of reactive like Ranil.He has to take the fight to the Rajapakshe’s. Your contention that ranil should be given another chance at the next presidential election,should not be decided now itself.He should step aside,let someone else take over, give that person his full support without sabotaging him,and if the new leader fails to take the UNP to new heights,Ranil can put up his hand again for the leadership.The most important thing is to do these kind of changes without any infighting and focus on the Rajapakshe’s only.The UNP must realise who is their leader is not as important as who gets to form the government.If the UNP cannot run their own party how can they run the country?

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          Shankar, you say that the UNP should select a pro active leader to topple MR. Could you kindly name one individual who could do so and also will not be another MR once he is elected, who has family interest at heart. That is to groom some one of his to take over. As for RW if he succeeds next time as President with the powers vested at the moment with the 18th amendment, you can be assured he will not use the powers for bettering himself or to install his progeny because he has none. He will use all the powers to develop the country.

          Further you say that if this new Leader for the UNP fails in securing power at the next Election, RW can put his hand up and seek Leadership again. Why not otherwise, allow RW to fight his last battle and then for whomever to take over there after.

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          Gamini,when I said that at the next election if the new leader does not take the UNP to new heights,I meant any election,Local,provincial,general,presidential.You may have misconstrued it as presidential only,which is some time away,but we can see the new leaders performance at the other elections that come earlier.Remember Chandrika also got a foothold into power after she became western provincial council chief minister and then on she was able to build on that and become the president.So these other elections are also important and the UNP should not just focus on the presidential election only.They must lay the foundation to win the presidential election by winning the other elections and showing their performance in running those governments whether they are local,provincial or district level.That is why change of leadership is now needed to experiment and see how things are going and Ranil too can come back if things are not going as planned.he does have leadership qualities but he should not think that the leadership is his without any competition,because competition is what makes people efficient.At the moment he is just sitting on his bum and waiting for Mahinda to make some colossal mistakes and for the job to just fall into his lap.The wily Mahinda with more than 40 years of political experience is not going to make colossal mistakes though as any human being he will make some.Hence what i said that the UNP needs a proactive leader who will work his arse off unlike running just sitting on his bum.As for who that person can be you can scroll down and see my reply to Osmond wherein I have recommended a leadership team of 4 to counter the leadership team of the 4 Rajapakshe brothers.A fifth one who also has leadership qualities,namely Arjuna Ranatunge should also be taken into the team.You need a chap like Karu to see that the other 4 don’t tread on each others toes and create friction,he is there until the best one out of the other 4 is selected by the people.You can’t give the people a leader that you want,you have to give them someone whom they want.

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          Gamini,another chap with potential is Ruwan Wijewardena,who got the highest number of preference votes from the Gampaha district in the 2010 general elections.He is only 37 years old but is good to attract the people of that age group who must be now sick of seeing the old guys always getting the positions. After all you need youth votes also.Can you put up a 70 year old and ask a 20 year old to vote for him.He wouldn’t even go to vote.

          So creating a leadership consisting of Karu,ranil,Sajith,Fonseka,Arjuna ranatunge,Ruwan wijewardena and set them loose on allocated areas to them to show what they can do with karu overseeing them.For example Ranil can be allocated economic affairs and told to mark basil,while Fonseka can be allocated Defence and urban development and told to mark his one time friend and now foe gota.Karu,Sajith and Arjuna can mark Mahinda and his hefty portfolios,karu will also have to mark and play the role of Chamal who is the one who smooths out the problems between the brothers and commands their respect as the eldest and wisest.Ruwan should be marking the younger rajapakshes such a namal,and Chamal’s son who is the chief minister of the central province and has future potential.This is just like in Rugby where you have your team players marking and trying to bring down the opposing teams key players.

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      shankar, first of all ask the couple who dumped you onto this world why they gave you a name which is used by some decent people around! Had they registered you under “brat, maggot, pinworm, hookworm or tapeworm etc.” it would have been more fitting! As someone has already witnessed, you have been seen to emerge from under the sarong of MARA when he raised his sarong to urinate against a bush like a dog! We know you are used to use your filthy tongue to wipe the worms and muck from the asshole of MARA! And there is no point in talking politics with [Edited out] like you!

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        Ha,ha osmond,we can see that you are a Ranil arselicker from your reply.It baffles me when I see people become so pro SLFP or pro UNP in Srilanka.At one time they would burn each other’s houses after an election,childish stuff.Just treat all politicians as the same without making them into demigods and licking their arse including the worms like you.Ask them to produce results or ask them to go whether they are UNP or SLFP or your own backside party.They have not fallen from above but sprung up from within us so don’t worship them and the country will be better off for it.

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          shankar, you political asylum seeker,

          “..They have not fallen from above but sprung up from within us so don’t worship them and the country will be better off for it..”

          So you claim you to be Ranil’s father or at least you have produced him in some way or other! You stupid brat, how dare you write such nonsense thinking readers are donkeys like you? Ranil does not have to “spring” out of fools like you! He has a rich educational, family, political and moral background and backing not like you fugitive loiterers! Leadership of a country is not a retail business like most of you assume which is why history has proved again and again that leaders of “your making and choice” have lamentably failed to deliver the goods! Think about your leaders like SWRDB, Sirima, Chandrika, Mahinda! Like you desperately cry have they “produced the results”? Put into your rusted and ceased brain “my leaders” like DS, JR, Ranil and even that buggar Premadasa although I personally dislike him because he is responsible for the disintegration of UNP! When I recommend Ranil it is not simply a mere isolated entity with seasoned, experienced, renowned political maturity but it reflects our rich political culture of UNP! It is an uncontested fact that even the SLFP buggars say that it is the UNP governments that have rescued and developed the country! If you do not know or incapable of ascertaining it for yourself ask any SLFPer with conscience! Mine is not arselicking business of ranil’s but standing by our leader. He is the elected, majority liked and uncontested leader of UNP. As unwavering and duty-bound members of UNP it is our responsibility to stand by our leader in times of defeat and victory alike! We don’t abandon him like you political whores do! You are dangling your peanuts and tossing up the arse and running all over the place looking for leaders for UNP but can you tell us whether you have found out your leader of choice and who it is? Can you make a vis-à-vis comparison and assessment listing out against the two all the aspects, merits and demerits that must be considered to be the leader of this country? Your immature childish attitudes and attempts are like those of the monkeys who hold round-table discussions on top of tress about building houses while it is still raining but no sooner the rain stops they just disappear into every part of the jungle forgetting everything they we planning! You better go to a jungle in Rajarata and be a leader there for the monkeys but not here among us!

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          “shankar, you political asylum seeker,”

          My dear friend osman the ranil arselicker,I entered the western world from the front door not the backdoor. They wanted me for my qualifications and experience.

          “So you claim you to be Ranil’s father or at least you have produced him in some way or other!”

          Read it again and see whether I said ranil was sprung from us or from within us.Start going for some English classes you stupid political arse licker.

          “He has a rich educational, family, political and moral background and backing not like you fugitive loiterers!”

          Ranil has I believe has a University degree and law degree.When I was in Srilanka I completed the Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants and the Chartered Institute Of Marketing,both UK qualifications,but we could do it from Srilanka. After entering the western world I did a university degree and also completed their premier professional accounting qualification.

          However I don’t consider these paper qualifications only as education.Education consists of knowledge+wisdom+culture.Therefore consider myself as only partly educated because I still need more knowledge,I need to get more wisdom,and I can hardly be considered a cultured person,as you would have discerned from my writings. So there is a big mountain to climb,and climb I will little by little till I die.BTW Ranil and I did go to the same school and once I got a letter to vote for him because of that.

          I don’t have Ranil’s family background as you rightly pointed out because my ancestors were not arse lickers of the colonial powers and did not become aristocrats.The genes have rubbed off on me because I refuse to arse lick anyone unlike people like you who have inherited those genes.

          As for not having political background like Ranil,thank god for that.As for you,you can continue to lick their backsides or background whichever you prefer to do.

          You call me a fugitive loiterer.For your information investors have given 400 million dollars for this fugitive loiterer to look after for them.Just after the war ended I sent investors to Srilanka because I always think of it,though my feet are here my heart is there.They were unnerved by the fact that colombo was full of machine gun toting soldiers though the war was supposed to be over and refused to invest.Even now they are not ,because of the lack of accountability and transparency and taking over of private assets etc. A government doing whatever they like,can come at a price because who will put their money in a place like that and risk it being appropriated one day.

          “Think about your leaders like SWRDB, Sirima, Chandrika, Mahinda! Like you desperately cry have they “produced the results”? Put into your rusted and ceased brain “my leaders” like DS, JR, Ranil and even that buggar Premadasa although I personally dislike him because he is responsible for the disintegration of UNP!”

          Wherein have I supported the SLFP leaders you mention. SWRD was a weasel,Sirima was a numbskull,Chandrika hardly did anything worthwile,and mahinda is a thug from the southern jungle,but we needed Tarzan to deal with the fat thug from the northern jungle.Mahinda is doing something for the country ,but fails to see the big picture.He reminds me a lot of Premedasa.

          As for your leaders I don’t know much about DS who fell off his horse trying to ape the british,but probably he may have been a good leader if he had not died after just 2 or 3 years in the job.Difficult to judge him because of his short tenure at the helm.His son dudley whom you fail to mention,was one of my favourites,a more decent man you will never get,JRJ was a megalomaniac arsehole,Premedasa was gutter politician,but a workaholic and dynamic character,who has no lateral vision.he would go through a street in a car and see both sides,but unlike from a helicopter he cannot see the whole town and how everything is connected. Mahinda also is something like him,must be coming from the same stock of genes from the deep south.

          Your contention that Premedasa was responsible for the disintegration of the UNP is all wrong.The disunity and disintegration was caused by Athulathmadali,and Gamini Dissanayake not waiting patiently in the wings to have their turn.

          As for Ranil he is a second string leader who would never have got the job if Premedasa,lalith,gamini,Ranjan wijeratne had not got killed.The UNP’s entire crop of leadership was wiped out and now it is lie a headless chook.

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          Sorry,R.A.L Osman,had an urgent meeting with Mr.B.O.Gooneratne and P.U.M Perera. Now coming back to your question

          “You are dangling your peanuts and tossing up the arse and running all over the place looking for leaders for UNP but can you tell us whether you have found out your leader of choice and who it is? Can you make a vis-à-vis comparison and assessment listing out against the two all the aspects, merits and demerits that must be considered to be the leader of this country?”

          How can leadership emerge you fool,when you keep on having the same leader after every election defeat including the recent provincial councils ones.This is like trying to keep Sanath Jayasuriya still as the opening batsman and asking do you have anyone else in mind to open the batting.How the hell can you know unless you get rid of him and give some others to bat and see who is the best.Thankfully they did that and we have found some guys who have talent.Talent in the UNP cannot be unearthed unless to try them out.Give a chance to Karu to take over,get him to invite Fonseka into the UNP,see that karu’s main job is to keep Ranil,Sajith and Fonseka on a leash without attacking each other and precipitating collapse like what happened when Lalith and Gamini and Premedasa went at each other.Get all four to have same policy objectives such as repealing the presidency and 18th amendment,implementing the 17th amendment etc without each running in different directions,ask all 4 to work unitedly together like the 4 Rajapakshe brothers whose greatest strength is that brotherhood,they will never attack each other.Since you don’t have leaders because they were all killed you have to form a collective leadership where 4 or 5 people together can form leadership to take on the formidable Rajapakshe brothers. At the moment you are incomplete disarray and people will wonder if you don’t have the maturity to run your own party how can you run the country.

          Put the leadership issues aside because they are not as important as winning government is it?Do you want to go on being in the opposition having the same leader or do you want to form a government one day with a collective type of leadership and a stop gap leader who will not let other potential aspirants to start to fight wait their turn to take over patiently.

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    In USA, Canada, Europe, and many western and eastern countries have free education up to high school level. Also almost all these countries have free health care also. What the difference between them and us are, while they have a clear vision, transparency in governance and use of high caliber knowledge and vision for decision making, innovation and administration, we use political oriented decisions to satisfy and fulfill political egos and not for the sake of the country. More over the politicians should think that we are competing with the rest of the world where the world is a one huge market place and to compete we need a high caliber professionals. Once Myanmar opens up it’s markets, it’s another 50 odd million peoples economy that will compete for both investment and export markets in the world market place. Similarly Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya,North Korea and Cuba would follow suit.To answer Where are we going…. and what are we going to do…. then will be too late.

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    Since 2005 November, we have been led up the garden path by a family of crooks. The way things stand, Ranil will be the greatest president that never ruled Sri Lanka, while Sri Lanka will meander along as a can’t be developed country until one fine day in the future when the majority finally realises their folly and kicks this crooked family out of power.

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    The problem with Ranil is not a lack of intelligence. The problem with Ranil is that he SHARES a philosophy with Mahinda Rajapaksa. These are essentially two peas in a pod and that is the real reason for his inability to challenge the present regime. The tell-tale signs are the prominent back-room UNPers whose begging bowls are constantly replenished by Mahinda Rajapaksa for services rendered! Check around, dear readers, and you will find ample evidence of this once you get past the self-righteous rhetoric. If one were to analyse the change of allegiance of corporations such as Maharajas and many prominent individual businessmen, this will be only too evident.

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      Touche!!!

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        Ditto Bedrock Barney, Beyond surprised –

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    So that means what “Beyond surprised” trying to say is that now we have a economic system MR has introduced which could be called as “Kappan economy” i.s Bribery economy or economy through Bribery…..Economic philosophies similar to Science constantly change and this could be a new Sri Lankan invention.

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    Yes! Indeed! Ranil is a visionary and a technocrat. But what about leadership qualities?
    Where Mahinda outflanks Ranil effortlessly.

    What is needed is visionary leadership.

    The ceasefire agreement was the result of strategic thinking and was a brilliant move which started the downfall of LTTE.

    But his technocratic approach in economics even though correct and a long term vision backfired due to his inability in taking the people with him in the short run and in defeat he failed miserably.

    He should have kept the party and the people with him whether in victory or defeat.

    History will judge him as the best President Sri Lanka did not have and Mahinda as the worst President Sri Lanka had!

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    What use of knowledge and eloquence which does not benefit the people or country. What is lacking is the skill to listen to what others have to say and compromise to obtain consensus. UNP is stuck in the time warp which is Ranil.

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    There is something fundamentally wrong with the Sinhalese Buddhist people of this country and someone must undertake a research involving genetic scientists, historians, anthropologists, DNA specialist etc. to find out why majority of these people are prone to ignorance, vanity, corruption, barbarism, conceit and violence etc. They embrace rogues as benefactors, devils and angels, liars as fidelities, wolves in camouflage as the sheep so to speak!

    There was a famine, starving and beggars’ era under Bandaranayake, Sirima, UPFA concoct, Chandrika yet they gleefully elected MARA! There was an era of harbingers of development, education, prosperity, hopes and prospects under DS Senanayake, JR Jayawardena and Ranil but they embraced the shawl! There was famine, malnutrition, poverty, degradation, fear and despair under SLFP and JR gave them accelerated Mahaveli Programme, Liberal Economy, development, jobs, education and hope etc. but they elected a tsunami looter! There was negative economy, degeneration, regression, hopelessness under Chandrika but they still opted to continue the tradition of descend under a sensational Chinthanaya! Ranil asked just give me two years until I prepare the ground and paper works, just hold on a little bit until I create the necessary job opportunities in the private sector but you would not listen and you sent his government home just in 3 years! Under this UPFA, SLFP concoct how many years have you waited now and just tell me a single piece of development or good thing that you have achieved during this whole time. You all along with your families and children are at this moment alive and not dead because of JR Jayawardena’s liberal economy, you all sit on the revolving chair, in front of the PC and with the internet cable plugged in and then writing utter falsehoods, rubbish and defamation using wholesale the products of the UNP governments! The very words you use to smear and belittle Ranil you acquired thanks to the open economy introduced by JR Jayawardena and enhanced by Ranil! Go and check your birth certificates to ascertain whether under the columns indicating maternal and paternal data there is information relating to some domestic or wild animal!

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      We have inferiorty complexes and/ or village “yakko” mentality.

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        In USA the slavery was abolished in 1960’s and within four decades they appointed a Black president. Also an outsider could become a citizen within a couple of years. Can one imagine any minority race or religion other than a “Sinhala Buddhist” to be President in Sri Lanka. Even for some children born in Sri Lanka in plantation sector Indian origin parents have not given citizenship. I think the “Sinhala buddhist” and not “Japanese buddhist” mentality hindered not only progress of the economy of the country but instigated communal disharmony and suppressed the willing people who wished to rise and progress in their lives and as a result the best left the country serving well in foreign lands.We truly have a genetic problem with lacking to rise ourselves and dragging down those who are willing to rise and progress.

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          Kapila, slavery was abolished in the USA (via the 13th Amendment) in 1865, not 1960. It was a lot more than 40 years before a “black” president was elected.

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          Romesh what matters is not the period of time but the possibility of any being recognised as a citizen to become the head of State, unlike ours.

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          You mean segregation in 1960?

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          Sorry, yes segregation in 1960.

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    Sri Krishna – the difference between Ranil and MR is no different to that between Dudley and Mrs B in 1970. Dudley explained to the people 2 measures of free rice (“from the Moon”) is economically possible. He was depending on the country’s finances, statistics and honesty. Mrs B chose to cheat and win. By 1972 made it a law one could not cook rice in his/her own home two days a week. That was the level of starvation she imposed on the people. Do the Sinhala people know or remember this mass crime?

    The difference between Ranil and MR is the latter can smile sheepishly, lie and cheat to come to power. Ranil is arrogant, aloof and does not move easily with people – but he does not cheat or lie wholesale.
    As to ability, here’s Ranil speaking impromptu to a large group of businessmen and investors. He took on the entire OPA before the General Elections 2006 (?) and held court convincingly. Can you get this English-educated Lawyer MR to even make a 2 minute speech to a group of 10 people. That, my friend, is the difference beteween an able leader (with many faults in this case) of whom one can be proud and a fumbling impostor.

    Senguttuvan

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      Senguttuvan, you are absolutely right. I find Ranil to be far more mature and far seeing than JRJ, in two different scenarios.

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        Today^s UNP is a in a mess to everyone^s eye but not to the ilk of Gamini^s sort- if party is not able to sort out their very basic problems, there will be no future for island nation under the governance of megalomaniac rulers. In a democracy not only rulers but also the opposition should be strong enough to go against the rulers^tactics. By listening to y day^s ONLINE TV news, I asked myself why the UNP top leadership at all issues the inconsistent radical statements on matters related to abolition of EP while being in a state not being able to debate adequately at the time they the rulers got the 18th AMD passed in the parliament.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncqFyVuXSwc

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          Leela’s double, You must be praying and hoping that the UNP, just because a few disgruntled are barking that the UNP will collapse or they will not be able to come to power. Who are these Jokers whom the MTV owned by Maharajahs are doing overtime to project as the rightful heirs of the UNP. Buggers like Rnga Bandara who was caught beating his wife. There is another bugger Dunesh Gankanda another wife beater. All these non pods will be rid in time from the UNP. There will be discipline before RW takes over. It is for this reason that NLF Umma also joined the UNP. If one sees the new UNP consisting of educated decent qualified who have joined is something that some of the riff raff in the UNP cannot stomach, including Maharajahs & Co. who have always had hidden agendas of favours sought in return, which RW was not ready to oblige. So Maharajahs can air 24 hrs anti RW falsehoods, giving publicity to buggers who are trying to ruin the UNP alleging of RW doing so. We will see the outcome in time.

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      Senguttuvan, absolutely correct! Thank you for the nice and accurate explanation.

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    “Venerable members of the Sangha…”

    As long as these stupid yellow-robed hooligans have any say over public policy, Sri Lanka will not advance one inch. In this regard, Sri Lanka stands to learn a lot from the West. Under the Greeks, science flourished. Under the Catholic Church, however, scientific progress was held back at least 400 years. The wars of the Reformation split Europe.Persection – both of the Protestant and Catholic variety – did not end there. You had certain religious groups fleeing persecution and the burning of various individuals for practicing “witchcraft.” Not to mention, women did not fare well under the Church. It took Europe a very long time to become secular, to the extent that it is today. Sri Lanka, of course, is 2500 years old, but its “modern” history is following a similar trend of clergy-inspired divisiveness. From Dharmapala to the assassination of SWRD, to the present-day racist politics of Hela Urumaya, we see that this unwieldy band of cutthroats that call themselves the “Sangha” is ever ready to strike.

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    Senguttuvan,

    I disagree Senguttuvan,

    My preference is also Ranil since the need of the hour is a technocrat to lead Sri Lanka.

    But we must look at things in the correct perspective,
    Let us not carried away by emotion

    We must be able to analyze different leadership styles and weaknesses of our preferred leaders.

    Do you know the difference between a leader and a Manager?

    Yes Ranil is a good manager par excellence. But when it comes to leadership, Mahinda is far ahead.

    Mahinda has Charisma. Charisma is a necessary condition for a leader, but not sufficient.

    Charisma works in the short run especially in elections. But in the long run charisma is useless.

    The War victory over LTTE and patriotism overshadow everything else.

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    Ranil is the only leader left I will admit. I used to be a big critic of him but I realize that he is capable of doing something. Rhetoric will not get us anywhere and it’s sad that all private and govt media attack him on a daily basis and have forced people to believe he is incapable.

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    “..And we had to go through this whole episode of renaming ‘Bombay Onions’ ‘Big Onions’. We have got over all that…”

    Yes indeed! Just see the creativity of Ranil when expressing the fundamental economic changes UNP brought into this country! And alas!!! Just also see how this Rajapaksha menace is renaming Big Onions Bombay Onions!!!!!!!

    These two simple sentences alone are enough to explain the caliber and great heritage of both the man and his party!!!!

    Please drag by the ears and throw away the dirt like Shiral, Maithree, Karu, Rosy, Dayasiri, Sajith, Thalatha, Range, Abeysinghe etc. etc. and any future buffaloes who desecrate our noble party!!!

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      Silva you are absolutely right. The inability to defeat MR or the UFPA govt. has been not because of RW, but the individuals whom you have mentioned having agendas of their own. It is not a secret that half the corrupt in the UNP has already joined MR. The remaining few believe that if they can hoist Sajith they can have their own way once he is elected which they can not do so with RW at the helm because he will want to uphold Discipline and Honesty in the UNP and a Future Govt. If the people are looking for a change it should be not to foster the present practises of Corruption and waste, but to have Good Governance. As I said earlier the fault is not RW, but those in the UNP who are pulling his leg. Even if the UNP loses the next Election, these serpents in the UNP should be got rid off.

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    Sri Krishna – Tku for disagreeing with me. Though I am no fan of Ranil I am loud, with the material around in Parliament and politics, he is a colossus and has little compare. He must get out of his mental condition that all good things come only from Royalists and that everyone else is hoipolloi. He must take an example from my teacher and his Uncle the divine Rev. Lakshman Wickramasinghe – with whose death in 1983/84 died a large part of this country’s high standards.
    The angelic good Bishop moved easily with ordinary people and said he was equal to the most humble villager in Kurunegala.

    One hopes we shall not lament what the Americans did re. Adlai Stevenson “he was the best President that never was”

    Senguttuvan

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    Gamini (Nov 01 – 1.54 pm) You are not entirely wrong about Maharajah’s. But one cannot blame them altogether. They are not the first business group in the world who want returns on their investments. Nothing wrong here so long as the interest of the Nation is not compromised. Ranil is at fault here as a poor manager of men. He could’nt manage the super-ambitious Ravi K and the scheming chameleon Milinda M. The only man who is absolutely faithful to Rani is Long John A, who resisted many moves to jump even at the promise of senior positions at the other side where the grass is blue. I am sorry
    for my friend – the quiet and gentle John.

    Senguttuvan

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    Read the Sinhala translation in Samabima
    http://www.samabima.com/?p=2835

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    Ranil,

    We have great faith in you sir concerning our economy. But we are not yet convinced you and your team winning elections. You have to address this problem of winning at least at the next elections. Pull-up your socks sir, the country desperately needs your services.

    Tissa.
    Wattala.

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      Best thing Mr. Ranil if you have contacts with USA Democratic Party office, They have a whole heap of latest election winning strategy ideas and material that they implemented to win this presidential election. This is a science and if you master it you could definitely win. Just apply only 10% of it. Best of luck.

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