29 July, 2021

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Why A Common Opposition Platform With Ranil’s UNP Is A Dumb Idea 

By Dayan Jayatilleka 

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

It was one of the most irrational, illogical ideas I had heard or read in quite a while. I refer to the suggestion that Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) the main Opposition party, the newest party in Sri Lankan politics, which is also the fastest-growing according to its election results, should unite for common cause on a common platform with the United National Party (UNP) while Ranil Wickremesinghe remains its leader.

My objection is not to the idea of getting the UNP on a common platform. That would be just fine provided that Ruwan Wijewardene has become the leader, but not a day before that. Even if Ruwan becomes the leader, the role of the UNP should be clearly as a junior partner, similar to the UK Liberals in relation to the two major British parties.

To suggest or agree to a common platform with the UNP even while Ranil Wickremesinghe is the leader, is to remove the pressure on him and the UNP to change its leader and appoint Ruwan the leader, which would enable the Opposition to bring the UNP on board without committing electoral hara-kiri. Indeed, the change of the UNP leadership should be a precondition for any discussion on a broad platform which includes the UNP.

The problem with entering any arrangement with the UNP while Ranil remains the leader is that he brings nothing to the table while taking away something from the table. Therefore, the move is not merely illogical it is counter-productive.

A leader whose party could not win a single seat in Parliament—a fate that befell only the LSSP and CPSL in 1977—brings nothing to the table. This is all the more so in the case of a leader who lost even in his hometown, Colombo.

Any number into zero is zero. That is what the SJB risks if it seeks to multiply itself by drawing in the UNP under Ranil’s leadership.

How then to draw in the residual UNP voters and middle rung activists? It is by reaching out to them at the grassroots level, acting as a magnet or vacuum cleaner, not by dialoguing with a thoroughly discredited leadership.       

As I said earlier, Ranil Wickremesinghe brings nothing to the table, he only takes something away from it. Or to put it differently, the only thing that Ranil, and the UNP still led by him, bring to the table is the huge liability that they represent electorally.

This is self-evident both from the statistics and the most recent experience. The UNP which was once the country’s largest single party, dropped to below 30% under Ranil’s leadership. It has been a long-term secular trend of shrinkage to the point that what was the UNP’s base-vote became its ceiling—and a ceiling it rarely could reach. The UNP either fielded Ranil as President and lost or fielded proxies and lost or ran into serious trouble afterwards even when it was part of a winning coalition.

Over fifteen years ago, closer twenty, the UNP appointed a one-man commission headed by NGP Panditharathne to inquire into why the party kept on losing elections. He travelled to the four corners of the island, met UNP-ers at all levels, and produced a report which concluded that the problem was the unelectability of the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe. Ranil buried the report. 

Fast forward to November 2019. Any chance that Sajith Premadasa could have done a Ranasinghe Premadasa 1988 was utterly wrecked by the facts that (a) he wasn’t given nomination in time while Gotabaya Rajapaksa had begun campaigning (b) he wasn’t given the party leadership and (c) Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared on stage. 

The question is this: how anyone can logically consider Ranil Wickremesinghe a member of a common platform for democracy against the regime, when he damaged democracy and helped the regime by giving Gotabaya Rajapaksa a handicap in the presidential race and holding back nomination for Sajith Premadasa?

So, the idea of bringing in the UNP headed by Ranil onto a common democratic platform to resist the regime as a partner of the SJB is like bringing Kryptonite into the room to help Superman. More voters will move away because of his presence rather than join or remain on board.

Even if every single UNP vote comes over to the SJB or if the SJB and UNP together can assemble every single UNP vote, that still amounts to the percentage that a quarter-century of Ranil reduced the UNP, which is very much less than the percentage needed to win the Presidential election or a Referendum on a new constitution. 

The SJB needs to breakthrough to the new voters, the swing voters and the SLPP voters, just as Ranasinghe Premadasa managed to breakthrough to his opponent’s social base. That requires repositioning the SJB, not re-aligning it with Ranil’s UNP or keeping it within the reduced, stagnant UNP vote-base.

There are two problems with those who propose an alliance or partnership with Ranil’s UNP. Firstly they have been under Ranil’s stagnant, unsuccessful leadership for a quarter-century and cannot rid themselves of his mentality, political line and even his ghost. They remain ideologically, strategically and psychologically captive. This may be understandable in the case of an iconic leader, but Ranil? Secondly, they have never experienced having been members of a party that led the country. By contrast, the JO, later the SLPP broke away from a party that had led the country under successive leaders for a quarter-century and had done so because it had changed its leaders several times to suit the social dynamics. 

Neither the UNP nor the SJB (with the exception of those who served under President Premadasa) know what it is to win; what it takes to win; what it means and it takes to be a winning party.

The elements who propose a partnership with Ranil’s UNP to resist the regime are blind to the fact that Ranil’s UNP/the UNP’s Ranil is a burden to be liberated from; a ghost to be exorcised. It is a deadweight around the neck of the opposition, a burden that should not be dragged around. It is part of the problem and therefore by definition, cannot be part of the solution. 

Does this mean the SJB should go it alone? Not necessarily, even though the strongest Opposition Sri Lanka has ever seen, the UNP in 1973-1977 under the leadership of JR Jayewardene with R. Premadasa as Deputy, reformed, rectified, renovated and revolutionized itself as a party and did not form any alliance until almost the eve of the 1977 election and that too with the CWC of Mr. Thondaman.

If any members of the SJB want to form a common platform and fight the regime, they shouldn’t look to the moribund UNP. Logically, they should instead look to those, not in government but in the oppositional space, who have just recently proved themselves to be ready, willing and able to resist the regime. I refer to the Left, namely the JVP and the FLSP. 

For the SJB to occupy the progressive center, it must look left, whether in partnership with those two parties or by itself.

Any logically-thinking SJB member should figure that having failed to lead the country for 25 years, the party should look back to that time when it last led the country. That was the Premadasa presidency. Before President Premadasa, the UNP policies had caused the country to be come “a torch burning at both ends” and the party could not even hold a funeral let alone an election campaign. Premadasa saved the party, democracy and the country. After Premadasa, the party never led the country. 

To any rational mind, the picture is clear. When you’ve taken a wrong path for 25 years you have to retrace your steps to the last place and time you were successful and then move forward. When at an earlier time in history, your party had taken a path which led the country to two civil wars and foreign intervention, and then miraculously it was saved and actually won the country’s leadership, you have to go back to the policies of the leader who performed that miracle.

The UNP initially thrived on the memory of the Father of Independence and the ‘father of free rice’ (“Bath Dun Piya”), DS Senanayake. The SLFP followed Bandaranaike Policies and later Mahinda Chinthana. The SJB has to base itself on the Premadasa Paradigm of growth with equity and patriotism with pluralism. Anyone who wastes time talking about Ranil Wickremesinghe and the UNP rather than rediscovering the formula of the last success party had —the Premadasa presidency—and moving forward from there, on that axis, using that roadmap, and updating that model, isn’t doing the regime any harm. 

The regime did everything possible to retain Ranil as leader and still tries to rehabilitate him politically saying he would be the best Opposition Leader, because it remembers that the “heroic Mother of the Nation’ (“Jathiye Veera Maathawa”) the formidable Sirimavo Bandaranaike, was beaten by Ranasinghe Premadasa. The regime knows that only a Premadasa-ist developmentalist populist program can beat an ultranationalist ruling party. And who better than Ranasinghe Premadasa’s only son, to do so? 

The SJB’s strongest point is Sajith Premadasa’s leadership. He has made many presentations, on public platforms during his two election campaigns (2019-2020) and more recently, to the Buddhi Mandapaya and on a Sirasa interview, that spell out a new vision, modern, progressive and social democratic. When personalities of his party mention Ranil Wickremesinghe in interviews, more times than they speak of Sajith Premadasa’s appealing new vision and project, I wonder whether they have forgotten the Presidential election of 2024. 

I also wonder why they are trying to politically rehabilitate Ranil Wickremesinghe and throw him a lifeline. 

And those aren’t the only things I wonder about.      

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Latest comments

  • 14
    21

    Ranil is a dump idea

    • 13
      13

      Fully agree. Not with Ranil as the leader.
      *
      SJB should get rid of Tissa Attanayake, too.
      *
      Ranil was the Rajapakse “mole” within the UNP. Tissa is the same, within the SJB.

      • 6
        5

        Mr. Rajash, SarathP, Buddhist1, cugan, Raj-UK, Lasantha Pethiyagoda and all the others.
        .
        Read the article and all comments from top to bottom.
        .
        The general consensus is that “Yahapalana” setup including SP and his current cronies are a utter failure.
        .
        You own the problem. We gave you the solution.
        .
        Thank you all.

        • 7
          2

          SCP – Ranil is a dump idea
          Rajapakses are suicidal idea

          there are no Sinhala politicians to take the country forward.

          • 0
            4

            Mr. Rajash,
            .
            Yes. Of course.
            .
            “”Rajapakses are suicidal idea”” – for you…..
            That is why we elected him.

          • 1
            1

            Rajash,
            .
            Unfortunately ground reality.
            .
            There are whole lot of SCPs in our country yet today no matter even if their lovely ones would have been raped and murdered on broad daylight the kind of slaves would not see it… they would stay guzzling that ” KALI AMMA CONTROLLED” paniya in order to be part of Rajakshes. I really dont know how our nation can ever be liberated from Rajapakshe rascals.
            :
            Condom supporter- Wimal Buruwasne is becoming their target today after having abused him for their power gains. See, Wimal Buruwonse shouldwould now be clear that he would be an used condom to Rajapakshes in the days to come. I think…. the kind of politics was introduced by mlechcha Mainda Rajakshe.

      • 4
        1

        ” SJB should get rid of Tissa Attanayake, too. Ranil was the Rajapakse “mole” within the UNP. Tissa is the same, within the SJB. “
        So what is Thero doing in SJB? Whole; whose mole is Thero? defunct KGB? or Mokhsa gone Castro? Thero is acolytes and an adorer of NFF, Lemon Puff. Lemon Puff said Old King must be fired and King must be made as the Charmian of their Front. Why didn’t Thero write two articles, 1). why it is a good idea to fire Old King and and 2). why it is good to make King as the Chairman.

  • 23
    9

    Ranil is a “spent force” he has no voter base and he is just hugging on to the leadership of UNP. If he is honest he will call for a secret voting to find out if he should be in UNP or not. People have kicked him out and have elected Sajith Premadasa. If there is to be a common front it should have an independent leader such as former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and definitely not Ranil.

    • 1
      1

      Mahinda is spent force
      :
      So as Ranil is spent force
      .
      Only CBK is the leader who never tried to return to politics. Like former US presidents, CBK is behaving well after her tenure is over. ::: we perfectly know that MR or the like PATTA PAL hora /high criminals would not do anyhting without being in politics when looking at the numerous records of high crimes he himself has committed sofar.. Political impunity is the only way out to the kind of criminals to stay away being jailed.

  • 10
    2

    That traitor clue less GS from kurunagala mess the things up promised us 100 days programs then said abolishing the exe power of prz and gives ultimate power to parliament we all United regardless as Sri Lankans for s good cause by Ven Sobitha Thero.
    What a big mess still a year passed now still repatriation going on while bringing the tourists through the back doors,while other countries are shutting down the borders,once in Interpol rader now residing in Temple tree and free man,

  • 21
    1

    OK, RW failed miserably, partly let down by his cronies like Ravi K & Malik S. & partly by Sirisena, who refused to cooperate but at the end of the day, RW has to take responsibility for his failure, & now, he is well past his shelf life. As for Premadasa Snr., he had no long term vision & out of his depth in the international arena, the close runner up to Sirisena & MR, not taking to account DB Wije., who was good for nothing but, at least, less corrupt, & CBK, much hyped but contributed nothing. Had JR appointed Gamini or Lalith as his successor, instead of Premamdasa, SL would have taken a different course & maybe in a better position today with sustainable economic progression, despite the fact that corruption in SL is the norm. Premadasa jnr., with all his international credentials, so far has nothing to show in his years in politics but has been riding on his old man’s wave. Now, as leader, lets see how he differentiates his party from the rest. I am unaware of the party’s manifesto, therefore, yet to be convinced, especially, if he can’t lead his party without a coalition at this early stage.

  • 20
    5

    I guess Ranil`s leadership is being preserved by the RAJAPAKSES, knowing Ranil`s
    ways and how they can maintain a soft democratic opposition for namesake.

    A HONEST leader is all that is required – repeat, HONESTY all around.

  • 21
    14

    Ranil worked against the UNP consistently while he undermined it when he callously and secretly supported the Rajapakse project to enable a Pohottuwa win…Sajith was stupid to play second fiddle for so long while his downfall was plotted by this rascal. To bring back Ranil without helping him to his grave, is not just suicidal but a grand betrayal of loyal supporters who are perpetually hoodwinked by this geriatric megalomaniac who cannot even lay a woman, let alone convince the people or lead them in any way….

    • 10
      3

      LP

      That is very harsh?? on a man who served us for all these decades through miserable war??

  • 0
    4

    (1) Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) Political Alliance – SLMC, JHU, TPA(DPF/NUW/UPF) was formed with the approval from the working committee of the UNP got 54 seats & the opposition (Assuming UNP committee approval required to form your SJB “alliance” because Hon SP was on “loan”(UNP Sajith wing) to SJB alliance for the “required” leadership??)

    (2) Hon RW remained the UNP leader (RW wine of the UNP)and they contested separately.

    (3) Now you are responding to some quarters wish for Hon RW wing of the UNP into your SJB alliance making it the 55 seat strong opposition and for the “future planning” with the following concern

    (3.1)Objecting to Hon RW remaining as the leader UNP proper?

    (3.2) even with the change of leadership acceptable to SJB how to avoid electoral Hara-kiri?

    (4) UNP should be clearly as a junior partner, similar to the UK Liberals in relation to the two major British parties- Please note Liberals do not contest elections hoping for a hung parliament however much is the reality currently.

    So what you saying is you want to loose Hon RW out of politics before his voter base become useful to SJB?? even if they do so as such they will remain a Junior Partner.

    • 0
      4

      reality currently.
      So what you saying is you want to loose Hon RW out of politics before his voter base become useful to SJB?? even if they do so as such they will remain a Junior Partner.

      I see where you going with this however you will only end up just as the Liberal Party of the UK (interns of middle ground politics) but not where you want to be??..centre left?

      You have correctly quoted how Late Hon Premadasa was useful to the rightwing UNP by capturing the working mans vote now you want the rightwing/middle class vote to SJB minus the Hon RW you feel is a burden to your future.

      Now this is still an “alliance” but when would you be just a one party please?? any mile stones?? there is a great vacuum in the North specially for a strong national party (without any unfortunate histories) and think JVP make a good candidate right now as a National Party?

      How would you persuade them to join you?? we need to reduce the number of parties contested in the last elections…40-50 hearties?? a typical banana republic.

      • 0
        3

        Therefore is it not appropriate by this simple logic of our history..all parties loose ghetto identities and join the main National parties and shape the country ? poole their brains to contribute to Nation building positively and professionally??

        Therefore we have elected few to run the country and the rest to do the work to implement the policies and work to it so we reap the results of a democracy??

        All I see is we do not have a credible opposition to keep the check and balance on the GOSL…this means no capability in the opposition to do so? does not say much about the elected nor about the people who elected them??

        Basically a squabble amongst the politicians and wannabes who are not in power now having squandered the last elected position that was given with a stupid Constitutional assembly??

        • 3
          0

          Dear Dayan

          I agree with most of the rational you have made as to why SJB will make a futuristic leader for UNP. However I do not agree with the Hon RW being run down for that…this is even more critical you win his voter base to Hon SP based on respect & understanding for a formidable future where that be endorsed by Hon RW.

          I would spend more time setting the vision admission statement of the SJB as a “party” not a congregation/alliance of various factions for survival….one has to even agree what you are doing is salvation of a concept after this has been hit by the TNA ever since 1977.

          • 1
            1

            Please ensure also that SLPP/SLFP/JVP and the North and East Ghetto parties such TNA & Muslim Parties voters will one day looked up to your party as an alternative in a democracy not confined to our own failed visions and missions. Yes it will help to merge UNP as one entity first will go a long way for this journey. This also applies to all other Ghetto parties who have mushroomed at the expense of TNA’s historical political blunders too.

            Please party internal working/memberships/leaders and candidates selection process/manifesto making are all explained with attraction for the youth participation….cool concept need to be presented to them…with their active participation in volunteer/environmental work/participation.

            I like all you said about Hon Premadasa Junior too regards to the down to earth feel with the people. His Father was a great orator as I got to hear him pay tribute to my Father at my home so eloquently…still rings in my ears. You need Hon RW to mentorship in many areas too.

  • 18
    1

    When I read the ‘Title’ of the article in the front page, I confidently anticipated that the article must be from Dayan Jayatilleka. When I opened to read it, I found it true. No surprise!

  • 11
    12

    Ranil is a spineless leader who has failed this country on all fronts, has been a dog in the manger refusing to give over the reigns in a timely manner to others, and seems to be kissing up to the Rajapaksa’s. It was because of Ranil’s incompetence, and indifference, that we ended up with this crooked, racist lot. If Ranil had done his job properly this country would be in a better situation. No one with intelligence should form any alliance with Ranil, he will fail them, and disappoint the country once again.

    Time for Ranil to be put out to pasture, to graze, and retire from the political scene.
    We need younger, honest, competent leaders, whose last name is not Rajapaksa.

  • 16
    2

    No purpose in talking about Ranil W. All political parties (other than SLPP) should join up to chase out the Rajapakses and their stooges.

  • 12
    2

    It is necessary to invite all the forces opposed to militarisation, the push towards dictatorship or anti minority to join a broad alliance against the peril. Only a pluperfect idiot, pursuing narrow sectarian games, or worse, hoping to undermine an alliance will say “don’t allow this person or that person to join an opposition front”. Such persons do exist. It’s “dumb to allow Ranil to join” in the tune of those who underhand are actually playing Gotha’s game. Wonder what Sajith thinks of this mentality?

    Ranil, the TNA, the JVP, the Maoists, Civil Society, Liberals any jack-in-the-box, and anyone who is prepared to fight Gotha’s dictatorial schemes must be accommodated in a fighting front.

    • 1
      5

      Be careful what you wish please..we may end up having more parties than voters available is a very real scenario in Sri Lanka? however the SLPP voter base may remain the same.

    • 1
      2

      KD,

      The danger of getting anyone and everyone is there will be spies and subversive elements too in the grand opposition alliance. They do more bad than good.

      If it is against anti-minority moves, why should anyone from the majority join it?

      LTTE may boycott the 2024 presidential election too!!

    • 6
      0

      e
      You are right to say “It is necessary to invite all the forces opposed to militarisation”.
      *
      But should not one be polite in one’s reference to people and parties if the intention is to unite forces for a cause?

      • 0
        1

        Dear SJ & all other commenters

        I share the following program by Richard Wolff

        Global Capitalism: US Capitalism’s Decline and Desperate Efforts to Save It [January 2021]
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EC1KMfUECw

        I think Dayan should “consider the entirety of this program” for the shaping of SJB…as it will resonate with the alliance and will attract a very futuristic voter base who are very progressive too. It will also pay tribute to Late Hon Premadasa too. In addition it will attract the Sri Lankans from all walks of life too and away from the sectarian politics to unit for a common cause too.

        Please listen to the full content that touch base with history through to Trump and Bidden. An amazing clarity away from the politics of it all.

        This will also help us evolve to have different politics away from the Rott.

        Checkout the number of parties that contested in our last elections.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Sri_Lankan_parliamentary_election

    • 4
      4

      Yes.
      Of course prof.
      .
      SP must form a broad alliance with UNP as Ranil Wickremesinghe it’s co-leader.
      And appoint Duminda Nagamuwa of FSP as it’s deputy leader.
      .
      AKD is a very good choice for treasurer.
      .

      • 4
        1

        Ms SCP,
        .
        with all respect to your serivices (oldest***)…. please why not you continue enlighten us today with COVID updates ? Speechless ? What happened to your MINISTER of Health aka bed pan style mouth holder/muttihamy ? Is there any ministers even in far poor states, comparable to the performances of Muttihamy ? She cant count 1 -10 but to be the health minister ? Why cant Dhammika paniya maker become minister of health in your govt ?
        :
        What happened to your magical leader/ Nandasena not being able to make any good decision for the benefit of the masses. There are animals in amazona, that can well be compared to the reactions of your Nandasena (sloths). This we predicted, and consequences were long known after inappropriate men became leaders. They could be good at Ukraine-Sex-industry but to be the leaders ?
        :
        Last night I heard JVPrs re-questioning about NANDASENA s abilities. The capabilites are not its all cracked up to be. His was compared to a මහ දැවැන්ත ගහක් නොවෙයි.. තුත්තිරි ගහක් කියල.. Even poloonaruwe man not ended up being that deep right ? Anyways, get well soon .You the kind of low lives created today s situation… your conditioned mindset would help MEDAMULANA affairs only.

        • 4
          4

          Mr. eLM (eternal Loose Motion),
          .
          1. If you wants to check Covid updates refer to informative websites such as https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Those are getting updated regularly. Don’t bother me about things like that. Try to use internet for informative purpose. Not only for porn.
          .
          2. Our Minister of Health, Pavithra Wanniarachchi is an attorney of law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. She is from a well respected family in rural Palmadulla. In her school days she was the Head Prefect, Leader of the Debating Team, President of the Buddhist Association, Member of the Western Band and The Captain of the 1st Volleyball Team of Anula Vidyalaya. So…… Stop lying about prominent figures.
          .
          3. What GR does in his presidency is not your concern. We don’t care what you think of him. It doesn’t concern us whether you are satisfied of him or not.
          .
          4. Of course “”තුත්තිරි ගහක්”” like AKD of JVP (Who couldn’t get 4% of votes in general election after forming a broadest possible alliance) is full of jealous. What else he can do except talking.

          • 2
            1

            Ms SCP@
            1. You dont need to add the links we are the ones to provide WORLDOMETER with facts for their regular entries. My previous comment was meant ironically since you tried to fool the CT readers – transporting MEDAMULAN mlechcha tactics… finally self-proclaiming so called fabricated info about local numbers. As of today, Nandasena incl. their henchmen are pants down .. before the very blind nation.

            2. wow, I thought hers cant be better than that of Dhammika Bandara (though fake name, set by Rajapkashes for the drama) , because the manner she gave a nod after guzzling “paniya” on that day. Remember ? Misleading by public performance is a high criminal act in Europe. Unfortunately, Rajaapkshes made you guys eternally slaves.
            .
            A respected family ? If the respect would be measured using MEDAMULANA scale, you are surely right. What can we expect from you the kind of slaves ? Today s medicine cant help you for sure. Perhaps Kaliamma DB or Eliantha White…. please go to them ASAP.
            :
            Lawyers in general would not behave the way APAWITHRA is upto…
            … her loyality to Rajaakshes costed the innocient people their innocient lives. If Medamulana Rascals did their job properly by closing BIA bit earlier, to the manner Taiwanese did it. … people in our god punished island would have saved their lovely ones.

  • 5
    11

    I have a suggestion. UNP should try hard , just not get rid of RW but push him to join Rajapaksas.because who ever with RW ,will loose..

  • 11
    18

    I have heard many things said about Esmon Wickramasinghe, Ranil’s father. That he was a close adviser to JR, very cunning, bribed MPS in 1964 to topple the then Mrs Bandaranayke government, enjoyed the good things in life, had a Western veneer( this was surface only, deep down was a cunning villager), loved to travel overseas, went after foreign women etc. Never heard that Esmon was principled, had a philosophy or that he was a gentleman.

    His brother apparently was a Bishop in the Catholic Church.

    Such people see a country full of weak and foolish people who they can bribe, mislead and impress, they make full use of the weak nature of the people.

    Because a man like Ranil appeared in public, the LTTE had three decades of power, the country became weak , the UNP became corrupt and alien.

    Even utter mediocrities like the Rajapakse family look good only because opposite them was a rascal like Ranil.

    Only achievement of Ranil is to grip the UNP in his poof hands to death. The UNP is so lacking in character they have bent in front of him for his dirty pleasure

    After the complete and utter rout of the UNP in August 2020 Ranil said he was giving up leadership and hand over leadership to his cousin Ruwan ( another disaster waiting to happen )

    Whenever Ranil appears in public, he should be booed and abused

  • 3
    7

    Given the need of the hour to stand united and build consensus against Prez Gota’s fascist dictatorship, the question whether RW led UNP will be a liability to taken on as a partner is important. The opposition can’t afford to lose voter support when we desperately need to grow it.
    +
    Dayan Jayatilekka seems to make a compelling case it would be a liability.
    +
    Even if DJ’s call is far off track, would the support lost as a result of excluding RW led UNP be significant given UNP’s demise in the last election? Isn’t it a matter of SJB winning over the residual UNP voter base? UNP diehards aren’t going to throw their support behind SLPP but likely join hands with SJB at least for the need of the hour.
    +
    Apart from the need of the hour, positive change in the long run is entirely dependent on almost a complete transformation of our political culture and landscape. How far into the future would that transformation materialize?

  • 17
    2

    “….SJB…..the newest party in Sri Lankan politics, which is also the fastest-growing according to its election results” .!!!!! Since when SJB has been growing ???

    SJB is a flash in the pan. Sure, UNP would have traversed a different trajectory had it not for RW. But to say Ranil destroyed UNP is an assertion of vested interests. The Yahapalana government was backstabbed by MY3 24/7. But the real knockout was landed by the ambitious restless brainless bunch: Harin, Hirunika, Ajith & Sujeeva -(note people did not vote for any of this 4). They roped Sajith in. With that coup, the 2nd tier leadership of UNP was in total disarray. They had to quickly choose a side which they thought is better supported – all the time believing things will not end up in a total split. On the day of the election, the voter base was in total confusion. Half stayed home. Half voted SJB. SLPP got the 2/3 and, now are changing the rules book. The country is looking down a very deep precipice. Why distorted intellects like DJ see what happed in that election as a win for SJB and cannot see the treachery that My3& the gang of 4 committed…and the repercussions that it has begun to spawn?

  • 2
    4

    How can men who have proved themselves to be utter and absolute failures still wish to continue as leaders? It just shows how vain human nature can be. Polonnaruwa Donkey was also like that as he wanted to contest for a second term as president – the mind boggles at the thought! I think both RW and MS should be put in a small dinghy and set adrift in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (away from the sea routes) with a very limited supply of food and water.

  • 10
    2

    Once in power the SJB will be no different to the Rajapakses. This is what the majority have to ask themselves. Do they want a Sinhala-Buddhist military run country like Burma or do they want a Westernised prosperous liberal democracy? If the former support the SJB/SLPP/JVP, if the latter support the UNP.
    .
    Somebody said that Ranil was the best leader that Sri Lanka never had. Although he has lost multiple elections he has never really held complete power. He has been PM under CBK and the idiot Sirisena, and both times he was undermined. It may well be that the UNP needs a new leader. Ruwan is his cousin! Is that the way to go?
    .
    The UNP should not join with any other party because all of them are SB military type parties that thrive on racism and division. The UNP alone will make the nation a successful liberal democracy. JR had his opportunity to do this but he wasted it.

    • 1
      9

      The UNP’s biggest mistake ever was to help the TNA to politically kill Hon MR….allow TNA to sit as an opposition with no National Policies and to covert the parliamentary post war time to entertain a stupid Constitutional Assembly and in the process delivered nothing to the Nation…except played into the geo political hands.

      • 1
        0

        R-
        Do you say that ‘Hon MR’ was killed by the TNA?
        Do you also mean that the UNP was only an accomplice?
        Happily for you, the murder attempt had been blotched by the UNP.
        *
        It will be good to think before you waffle.

        • 0
          0

          SJ

          Agree does not read well..indeed a waffle.

  • 2
    1

    See what the party presented for future dumb idea having 30 years from the experience party leader work today or do something today that your future self will thank you

  • 4
    1

    Ranil and Sirisena never had the guts to take actions against the previous Rulers when they took over the power in 2015.Both made their Money and made sure that they will not be prosecuted when SLPP came to power.
    I have no confidence in either Ranil (&his nephew) or Sajith P. We should ask the public to select the next effective citizen to lead SL. I would propose Kumar Sangakkara to be the one.

  • 1
    1

    The business world has an “A” grade theory in practice which is Not to take
    a man with no reasonable amount of resource as a partner . Ranil will not
    ever be a business partner and instead a business killer . When some
    Attorneys attract no clients in courts , they choose politics as their client
    which has become a Fashioned curse to the country ! No argument that
    knowledge of law is immensely helpful to engage in politics but not without
    the love for one’s fellow beings . Ranil is an arrogant man and he has
    displayed it enough times . His best of lessons is from Sirisena ! People must
    forgive and forget him . He knows law but not to use it to win !

  • 4
    7

    Ranil has been a serial loser as told by the Late S L Gunesekera which was proved beyond doubt during the last general election. People totally rejected Ranil and his crooks wholesale and the damage is beyond repairs. Now Ranil and his cronies hatched a crooked plane to ride on other political party’s back to explore any chance to cover their historical defeat. They are shamelessly making valiant effort to trap Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) to ruin them. Rainil Wickremesinghe is shameless and spineless politician how on earth he could face SJB’s leader Sajith Premadasa after back strapping and undercutting for so long. No political party would even consider this proposition as it is a suicidal mission.

    • 4
      1

      PK
      In case we forget, RW won twice (on 2002 & 2015) when circumstances were right.
      He was handed the reins of a totally discredited party whose 17-year misrule destroyed its credibility.
      You may remember that he was denied victory by a narrow margin in 2005, thanks to a big bribe to the LTTE.
      *
      Can you name a UNP strategist who could have performed better under the given circumstances?
      I am no fan of RW and have much to criticize about him– but not not winning unwinnable elections.

      • 0
        0

        You are correct but Ranil was given country’s power on a platter to rule effectively in 2015. Unfortunately he could not control his party men and the allies and they went on a rampage by abusing power and making statements to media that were detrimental to the government. In the light of the present political landscape of Sri Lanka his leadership was ineffective.

  • 4
    2

    Ranil Wickremesinghe is listed out amongst others in the Presidential Committee headed by that mad-hatter Upali Abeyratne for punishment, apparently due to his lapses in the April 21st bombings.

    The present leader of the opposition Sajith Premadasa is not listed out! Strange!

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