18 September, 2020

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Who Is Destroying The SLFP?

By Gamini Jayaweera

Gamini Jayaweera

Gamini Jayaweera

In recent political meetings, press conferences, and several articles published in newspapers a number of SLFP seniors and the Chief Minister of Western Province have accused that the former President Madame Chandrika Kumaratunga was responsible for attempting to destroy the SLFP from the srilankan political map because her decision not to support the UPFA candidates, especially Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his close supporters. Some senior members of the SLFP publically asked the Central Committee of the SLFP to ban former President Mrs. Kumaratunga’s membership of the party. These allegations and threats to expel Mrs. Kumaratunga, one of the Patrons in the SLFP is a serious issue for the traditional members of the SLFP who are looking for unbiased answers to the problem. Hope this brief analysis of the situation will help the real SLFP supporters to make up their minds to cast their votes wisely in the forthcoming general election.

Traditional SLFP Supporters

In 1951, my late father was working with late Mr. Duncan De Alwis at the Ministry of Local Government where Mr. SWRD Bandaranaike was the minister responsible for Health and Local Government. According to my late father’s account on the night (close to mid-night) of 16 July 1951, after signing the letter of resignation Mr. SWRD Bandaranaike thanked the handful of individuals including Mr. Duncan De Alwis and my father who were present at the time and told them that he would never forget the way in which they had shown their unconditional support for him. Since July 1951 until his death in April 1982 at the age of 65, my father was a strong supporter of the SLFP and spent his own money on party activities at district level to promote the activities of the party but never asked for any favours from the leaders of the SLFP at any time. His philosophy was SWRD’s bloodless revolution in 1956 had given the opportunities to the ordinary people of rural areas to enjoy better living conditions by way of easy access for progression to senior positions in government employment which was denied to them in the past due to lack of English education and therefore we should always support the SLFP. Our families and friends were traditional core SLFP supporters until 2011 and their loyalty was slowly disappeared when the party was gradually embarking on a completely different direction against the principle objectives of the “old” SLFP.

Mahinda-and-Chandrika

Discipline of the Party

The main problem of the party surfaced when former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was encouraging opposition MPs to join the SLFP and in return offering ministerial posts to those MPs who crossed over from other parties, ignoring their motives to join the SLFP. Some of these MPs’ aims were to earn as much as they could engaging in illegal activities for which the former President Mr. Rajapaksa turned a blind eye. Others wanted to enjoy the power and all sorts of other “benefits” including assurance given by the party leadership that they would contest the elections (Provincial Council, and Parliamentary) from SLFP replacing the traditional SLFP supporters who worked hard for the party during difficult times. It appears that all these unethical activities were carried out by the leadership in order to remain in power for a considerable time, supressing the opportunities open to other senior members in the party. This is one of the major factors which resulted in breaking up the SLFP.

The party’s discipline was in disarray. No actions were taken against MPs who were violating the law of the land because they were MR supporters. In recent past when the Central Committee of SLFP issued an order for party members not to participate in “Make Mahinda Prime Minister” campaign organised by coalition partners of the SLFP, the Chief Minister of Western Province and some other MPs attended the rally violating the decision approved and issued by the Central Committee of the party. There was no action taken against these members for their inappropriate behaviour and blatant disrespect for the decision taken by the party’s central committee. If members of any organisation commercial or otherwise, act against the rules and regulations of that organisation ignoring decisions taken by the top management, it is obvious that those members will be either suspended or sacked for the sake of safeguarding the interests of that organisation. Otherwise the organisation will breakup and ultimately go out of business. This is exactly what is happening in the SLFP. It is easy for the Chief Minister of Western province and other senior members of the SLFP to blame former President Mrs. Kumaratunga for the current status of the SLFP for cheap political gains.

The Impact of the Coalition Partners

Most of the senior members and other members of the SLFP have become “second class” members of their own party because of the prominence given to the coalition partners by the former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa. It appears that most of the decisions in this election campaign have been taken by the “Gang of Four” (Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena, Mr. Wimal Weerawansa, Mr. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and Mr. Udaya Gummanpila) with the full blessings of the former President Mr. Rajapaksa. Most of the traditional SLFP members are irritated about the activities of the “Gang of Four” but unable to do anything because the SLFP campaign is headed by the former President Mr. Rajapaksa and supported by some senior figures in the party who have their feet in both camps of the SLFP. It is a fact that the leaders of the “Gang of Four” do not have a popular vote base in the country. They know that if they are not part of the UPFA they will not get in to the parliament. Please refer to one of my previous articles published in the Colombo Telegraph titled “Who Is Controlling The SLFP – Maithree, Mahinda, or The Gang of Four” dated 31 May 2005.

Traditional members of the SLFP are completely disillusioned with the party and will decide to cast their votes in this election against the members of the UPFA. It is surprising that the Chief Minister of the Western province and the other senior members of the SLFP who are accusing Madame Kumaranatunge for destroying SLFP, cannot understand the reality of the situation. We would like to remind these supporters of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa that “SLFP is NOT Mahinda”. No member is bigger than the Party. The Leaders come and go but the party remains in the hands of the membership. If you treat your traditional membership as “second class” members in their own party, naturally the party will end up with disloyal corrupt members who will change their colours as soon as the opportunity arises.

Conclusion

It is evident that SLFP is losing its popular support not because of the former President Madame Kumaratunga is addressing Civil Society meetings in this election, requesting people to vote for politicians with honesty, integrity and intelligence but for the abandonment of traditional supporters and core principles of the SLFP by the UPFA campaign team lead by Mr. Rajapaksa with the “Gang of Four” supported by some spineless senior members of the SLFP.

It is true to say that hundreds of thousands of traditional SLFP families like ours have voted against the “Rajapaksa Regime” in the last presidential election to restore the democracy in the country. They are fed up with the “high handed” approach exercised by the “Gang of Four” in the internal affairs of the SLFP. The traditional supporters are disappointed and disgusted for not exercising Central Committee’s authority to discipline the Chief Ministers and the MPs who violated the decisions taken by the Central Committee. During this election traditional SLFP supporters are turning their backs on the party because nominations have been given to drug dealers, murderers, ethanol dealers, and dishonest members who have tarnished their political image in the last Parliament.

It is unfair and unreasonable for the Western Province Chief Minister and a few other senior figures in the party to accuse that the former President Madame Chandrika Kumaratunga is responsible for splitting the SLFP in this election. I hope that this article will clear the air and vast majority of traditional SLFP supporters will believe that the behaviours of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, “Gang of Four” and the spineless senior figures in the party are responsible for destroying the SLFP in this election. It is crystal clear that Madame Kumaratunga is following the advice given by late Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”, and hoping to restore the party’s former glory after the general election.

*The writer is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and is a holder of Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Henley Management College, Oxford.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    4

    Thanks for standing up for her(CBK), Gamini. The photograph clearly explains the cunningness (Dvesha) of the Hora and the disagreement, surprise (vichikichcha) of CBK through her facial expression, no matter what the Hora was trying to converse.
    P.S.
    Hope U R well. I am trying to get hold of Ramya our over 50’s cricket pal. Wonder where he is, is he still here or back in Sri Lanka?.

    • 6
      3

      Dear Friend (?),

      Thank you very much for your comments.

      I haven’t seen Ramya since we have played together for Issipathana in the FOC.
      Sorry, I do not know where he is.
      Probably he may have gone back to Sri Lanka.

      Kind Regards
      Gamini

      • 5
        0

        After the elections it will be time to clean out the rotten political parties which are the root cause for the rotten political culture in Sri Lanka today, where racism and corruption have reigned with impunity.

        Political parties need GOOD GOVERNANCE and there needs to be a Chapter on Political Parities in the Constitution – as in several other countries, so that political parties and culture may be reformed.

        Politicians crossing the floor for cabinet posts and perks must end. Today political parties have become virtual dictatorship ruled by geriatrics who will not had over to the next generation. Look at shameless Vasudeva Nanayakkara and dead leftists. So too Sambanthan in TNA and Rajapaksa has turned the SLFP into a one family party of corrupt thugs and cronies. Ranil is virtual dictator of UNP.

        There needs to be Chapter on GOOD GOVERNANCE in political parties including one third representation for women. Leadership change after 2 election defeats, and handing over and grooming younger generation of party leadership etc.

    • 5
      5

      Gamini Jayaweera

      RE:Who Is Destroying The SLFP?

      “It is evident that SLFP is losing its popular support not because of the former President Madame Kumaratunga is addressing Civil Society meetings in this election, requesting people to vote for politicians with honesty, integrity and intelligence but for the abandonment of traditional supporters and core principles of the SLFP by the UPFA campaign team lead by Mr. Rajapaksa with the “Gang of Four” supported by some spineless senior members of the SLFP.”

      Thanks for the write up.

      Mahinda Rajapaksa, The Former Defeated President Mahinda Rajapaksa,

      MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa
      MaRa MaRa Amana MaRa
      MaRa MaRa HoRa MaRa
      MaRa MaRa Dhushana MaRa

      MaRa MaRa Now Rejects Astrologers!
      Does MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Reject the Earth going around the Sun?

      Vote for any animal but not betel leaf: CBK
      2015-08-13 10:20:54

      http://www.dailymirror.lk/83353/animal-but-not-betel-leaf-cbk

      Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike said the people could vote for any animal and not for the betel leaf symbol or the hand symbol at the forthcoming general elections if they wanted to save the country from corrupt individuals.

      Addressing several public meetings in Embilipitiya and the Eheliyagoda towns the former President said the UNP, the Hela Urumaya, a faction of the SLFP and the Leftist parties had joined hands on January 8 to bring about a change and to form a national government.

      The JVP was not directly involved in the campaign but it supported.

      “Again the main constituent parties of the national government are contesting the general elections to take forward the policy of national government.
      “Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s Democratic Party is contesting the election in the hope of winning as a separate group. However, he will support the national government that would be formed after the election.

      “The corrupt rule should be wiped out and a new system of government without political differences should be formed. It is the duty of the people to support forces that have undertaken to move forward that object.

      “On the other hand, my party has fallen prey to robbers. The situation is beyond the control of President Maithripala Sirisena, even though he is the Chairman.
      “The corrupt individuals cannot be expected to lead the country along the right path. The Citizen’s Force is not affiliated to any political party. A vote for the UNP is not a vote for a political party but for a movement that could build the country. Now democracy in the country has been restored and we can chase away the corrupt representatives,” she said. (Ajithlal Shantha Udaya)

  • 4
    3

    The SLFP never functioned as an organised unit. It existed on the on ‘charisma’ of either SWRD, SRIMAVO, CHANDRIKA or MR. who became popular under different circumstances. All of them used the party according to their whims and fancies. Day by day the party was degenerating and was only able to be get Govt. power with the help of minor parties, mainly the old-left. MR made use of the loose outfit of the party for his and his family’s benefit in the worst manner ever. If the MR led group gains the majority to form the Govt. it will be UPFA Govt. and not of an SLFP. Thus SLFP will be further weakened. If the UPFA does not win then the SLFP will be no more.

  • 0
    0

    Donkey tolk is her bad behaviour it is normal…People not care any more. If she contest for the president election she will obtain only 5000 Vots. [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    “Who Is Destroying The SLFP?”

    I would like to add another question and give the answer too. who is destroying the country?
    The answer is both UNP and SLFP.

  • 0
    0

    Both parties have thugs and horas. But the UNP will win in a landslide tomorrow Aug 17th. UNP 125 UNPF 48 JVP 23 TNA 22 SF 3 OTHERS 4 TOTAL 225

    This is a landslide of epic proportions that will hit the corrupt degenerate thieves. but what next? Batalanda again?

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