16 November, 2018

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Will Sajith’s Move To Colombo Trigger New Conflict In UNP?

By Amrit Muttukumaru

Amrit Muttukumaru

There is speculation that Sajith Premadasa, UNP Deputy Leader will move to Colombo District from Hambantota District for the next General Election. If this is the case, there is reason to believe this is a wise move from his personal political perspective if he is to assert himself within the murky machinations within the UNP. To place matters in perspective, he has proved he is no pushover in some areas of Hambantota District considered a Rajapaksa bastion. Why then is there speculation he will move over to Colombo District?

The answer to this question possibly hinges on his prospects for leadership position in the UNP hierarchy, in particular to checkmate the moves of longtime UNP leader and present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to prolong his leadership role by promoting malleable favourites with little all island electoral clout. Some of them are already placed in influential positions within the party hierarchy.

It is widely perceived that PM Wickremesinghe (RW) does not have much electoral appeal particularly in Sinhala Buddhist majority areas which effectively places him at a disadvantage. The 2005 presidential election which he narrowly lost mainly due to Tamils in the North and East largely not voting is an aberration. Even at this election by and large he lost in the Sinhala Buddhist heartland, hence the need for minority votes. Another aberration is where RW can effortlessly reap a rich harvest of votes in the Colombo District mainly due to the demographics of the area under the Colombo municipality which has traditionally been a UNP bastion. Even when the UNP Municipal nomination list was rejected in 2006, a Three Wheeler driver backed by the UNP was elected Mayor of Colombo defeating then ruling party list led by Vasudeva Nanayakkara. At the 2015 August General Election, RW amassed a whopping 500,566 preferential votes while the next highest was a relatively low 117,049 obtained by Sujeewa Senasinghe, State Minister for International Trade. This does not translate to RWhaving huge popularity in this area. It is reasonable to assume that the majority of the 500,566 preferential votes obtained by RW was not due to his popularity but was due more to the fact that the UNP voter allocates a preference vote to the party leader as a matter of duty.

Hence it is not difficult to conclude that RW would have effortlessly harvested preference votes from UNP electors who voted for their respective candidates who were UNP organizers for different areas in the Colombo District merely by virtue of being the UNP leader. Any other UNP leader would have also obtained this. This is over and above the block UNP vote he would have received from the area in Colombo in which he was an organizer. This would have also accrued to any other UNP member who was an organizer.

On the other hand if Premadasawere to relocate to the Colombo District in general and Colombo Central as UNP organizer in particular, RW in all likelihood will not get anywhere close to the500,566 preferential votes he got at the 2015 August General Election. If this were to happen it will not only embarrass RW but more importantly it will make his UNP leadership UNTENABLE. Colombo Central was a stronghold of Sajith’s late father former President, Ranasinghe Premadasa whose memory is widely thought to be still revered by many not only in Colombo Central but in many rural areas of the country as well.

One can safely bet one’s bottom dollar that RW will fight tooth and nail to prevent Premadasacoming to Colombo. It is not unlikely that RW may even throw in a candidate with a reasonable electoral appeal in the Colombo Municipal area such as Ravi Karunanayake to queer the pitch for him. (no pun intended)

RW has the wherewithal to electorally marginalize anyone who could pose a potential threat to his UNP leadership. Hence keeping Premadasaout of Colombo would not be very difficult for him. The UNP Constitution places the decision making Working Committee under the influence of the party leader by virtue of having the majority of members as his nominees. An excellent recent example is how he prevailed in getting his nominee, Education Minister, Akila Viraj Kariyawasam appointed to the key position of UNP General Secretary. This is as farcical as the ‘independent directors’ in quoted public companies being the nominees of the major shareholder.

Fallout

The fallout of this will be many and will further destabilize the UNP. There is a school of thought that RW really does not care so long as he has all the trappings of opposition leader with which he has been comfortable for most of the time after he became UNP leader in 1994. If he was serious about the fortunes of the UNP (i) would he have not nurtured a credible second tier of leadership in the UNP now that he is on the eve of reaching his silver jubilee as UNP leader? (ii) would he have tolerated rampant corruption in the UNP which includes the egregious bond scam and absence of accountability? (iii) would he not have taken credible measures to make those concerned truly accountable for the egregious bond scam?

UNP Reforms

The UNP led by RW without REAL reforms to re-capture its once formidable vote base will not have a snowball’s chance in hell to succeed in an electoral contest with a former President Mahinda Rajapaksa led political formation if as is increasingly likely it is business as usual in the UNP.

In another act of apparent DECEIT RW has engineered another committee – a ‘Politburo’ more commonly found in communist partiesto bring about reforms. For any ‘reforms’ to be successful it is CRUCIAL to inter alia give its grassroots members a REAL SAY in decision making on key issues concerning the party. This does not appear to be even on the radar! A template with suitable modifications could be based on the UK Conservative Party. By the looks of it the ‘Politburo’ is another farce with no legal underpinning in the context of a ‘Working Committee’ largely under RW’s influence.

It appears that the main purpose of the ‘Politburo’ is to consolidate RW’s position which include setting up a mega conflict between Sajith Premadasa and Navin Dissanayake. To this list other names  with leadership potential such as possibly Harin Fernando and Buddhika Pathirana could  be added. Such internecine conflicts will further debilitate the UNP.

Conclusion 

Under no circumstances should it be construed that this writer is rooting for Sajith Premadasa or any other for UNP leadership. All he is endeavoring to do in good faith is demonstrate how the UNP’s once FORMIDABLE vote base has been seriously UNDERMINED after RW became party leader in 1994. The only reason how RW has managed to be Prime Minister for this long since 2015 (by his track record!) is due to one of the most undemocratic features put into the 19thAmendment – parliament cannot be dissolved for 4 ½ years unless at least 2/3 of ALL members demand it. This has put paid to the MYTH of his purported democratic credentials.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has over the years RENEGED with impunity on many promises for the democratic governance of the United National Party. It will be detrimental for the governance of the country if there is a repetition. A strong, principled and accountable UNP and SLFP/SLPP are CRUCIAL for the democratic governance of this beleaguered country.

The so-called Yahapalana government has only itself to blame for keeping the door wide open to give the Rajapaksas another shot at leading this country prior to any CREDIBLE investigation with due process of allegations of egregious corruption, violence and abuse of power stridently hurled by frontline UNPers in the run-up to the January and August 2015 Presidential and General Elections. This includes now key Ministers CLOSE TO RW – Dr Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickramaratne who made DAMNING allegations against the Rajapaksa Presidency with a slew of FILES in tow at a press conference.

Here is the link to the 17 December 2014 press conference (watch from 10:41 onwards)

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Latest comments

  • 9
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    Will Sajith’s Move To Colombo Trigger New Conflict In UNP?
    Rather than speculate, it will be best to ask the ‘great king’s organization, and get it out of the horse’s mouth.

    • 16
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      Part 1 of 6
      .

      The dilemma for citizens is how to get power back to the electorate as a whole?
      .
      Many of us voted for that in 2015, and just managed to vote out a megalomaniac, but find that Sirisena (who was serious enough) has proved too weak, and become part of the system.
      .
      Ranil
      has always been a manipulator. He may not have realised just how far the Bond Scam may go, but he clearly hasn’t taken action against his pal. He’s too old and we can expect nothing better from him in the future; getting him out is the second most important issue for us.
      .
      Mahinda Rajapaksa had good fortune on his side most of his life, and became a tyrant. His popularity among the Sinhalese is real, because he managed to win the War. As things are he will win; stopping him (or one of his clan) from winning should be top priority if we want to live our lives out, in Sri Lanka, as normal human beings.
      .
      Sirisena not an option; I will tell you why, later.
      .
      Isn’t it time we all stopped worrying about ethnicity, religion, and the possibility of lives after death? The truth surely is that all those are unknown factors. All three major contenders are too old, and must soon die. I’m also in the same age bracket. We’ve got to find younger people. Most people probably agree with all that.
      .
      Yes, most people; unfortunately, the vast majority, feel that only vaguely, will never acquire enough knowledge of how the system works. What are the choices before us, unless are going to get used to serve the interests of one of the three named above, or by a proxy of one of them?

      • 4
        2

        Forget another Term for Sirisena. People have had enough of him. You keep repeating that he is weak; not exactly. He is deceptive.
        Every politician is a manipulator. Ranil is not the only one!
        Electing Mahinda Rajapaksa is the worst mistake Sri Lanka ever made. It was not he who defeated LTTE. LTTE got defeated during his time; He didn’t finish the war. India did. India will not hesitate to start it again, if Sri Lanka does not behave!
        .
        Sirisena won is only a half-truth; Mahinda Rajapaksa got defeated is the real truth.
        .
        Sajith is no Premadasa; not even close. He has no chance in hell of winning nationally.

      • 7
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        Dear Thappu
        .

        A Clearer Explanation

        Some people have told me, orally, that while this “Three Preferences Aspect” of voting is important, I haven’t explained it clearly enough. So let me explain how it’ll be from the counting point of view, using hypothetical, but realistic statistics for the 2020 Elections.
        .
        When first counting, only the First Preference is counted. Most voters would have only that one preference. Let’s hope that by educating the public, we persuade 10% to cast Second and Third Preferences as well, and that we have ended up with five significant candidates.
        .
        Mahinda Rajapaksa gets 42% of First Preferences; Mangala Samaraweera of the UNP gets 35% of them, and “Others” get 23%. Now it is going to be between those two. Their “First Preference” ballot papers will be put aside, but preserved carefully. In a perfectly educated electorate “Others” would probably be many more, since every one is fed up with politicians!
        .
        Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP has got 10%, the leading Tamil candidate has got 6%, the Muslim candidate has got 4.5%.
        All the other “joke” candidates – idealists who are trying to highlight certain causes like “the Environment”, “Freedom of Thought”, “The Glorious Thoughts of Marx, Engels and Trotsky” etc. have got 2.5%. All their Second Preferences will be counted and tallied to those of MR and Mangala S. They now get up to 46% and 48% respectively, because most JVP and Minority voters don’t want Rajapaksa.
        .
        The Second Preferences that have been tallied to MR and MS will also now be put aside carefully. The balance 2.5% will now be counted. MR will get up to 46.2%, but Mangala gets up to 51.1. Oh dear my Arithmetic!

        • 4
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          Distrust of my own Arithmetic is what ought to call a self-fulfilling awareness of incompetence.
          .
          What was in my head was 50.1 for Mangala.

          .
          But then, that was all hypothetical. Mangala Samaraweera has first to be a candidate. I’m increasingly impressed by his ability to make sensible decisions which may not be immediately palatable to the public.
          .
          We must start compiling a list of possible leaders, yet unnamed on this page – even though we haven’t met any of them. , Gayantha Karunatilleka is another. They are both active enough, but a few years more, and it’ll be time to send them packing.
          .
          I’m much older, but I recognise the need to have leaders who at their prime. When did we become such a gerontocracy? When JR attained his life-long ambition -at what age was that? Food for thought.

      • 6
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        Newer Observations – Part Two

        That still leaves 0.2% – who have voted for “yet others”; the Socialist Equality Party of Wije Dias, for instance. They do not approve of our system of government at all. Anybody who doubts the existence of parties like the SEP, should google those names – they are real.
        .
        Anyway, given that scenario, Mangala is elected. Unfair? I don’t think so. All voters are equal citizens of Sri Lanka, and in the hypothetical sketch I’ve given above, all votes have counted equally – except for that of the learned Wije Dias. He is a retired Senior Lecturer, his late wife, a Professor, equally committed to the victory of the proletariat. One can’t help admiring them. They have contributed nothing to all the conflicts that we’ve had.
        .
        The Rajapaksas will start screaming that the President-elect has had the support of only about 25% of First Preference Sinhalese, while Gnanasara will say that only about 22% of Buddhists voted for Mangala as per the first count. So what? Are we going to be one nation, or many? I wonder what Gautama would have said?

    • 9
      1

      Part 2 of 6
      .
      So that after a clean run from 2020 to 2025, we actually have a 2025 election in which the country can vote with knowledge of what we are doing? Rationally, and not misled by emotions and expectations aroused by crooks?
      .
      The question is how do we get that done? In a real sense, power right now is with 225 crooks in Parliament. Sirisena is the 226th member of the system. I’m not saying that all politicians are crooks; most are. Even the honest ones are trapped in the system. Your views? Give after part 6, please. These guys spell disaster for us. But they are the only ones known to the country and will try to ensure that nobody else will even get started on a realistic campaign.
      .
      Sirisena has nobody to offer. Mahinda Rajapaksa will either contest himself, or have one of his family contest. So, that rules out (for 2020) what is known to all as the SLFP. We have either to have a totally new face, or we have make sure that the UNP fields somebody outside their established ranks. The election has got to be first won; it was done in January 2015. It can be done again.
      .
      We have to start by being honest ourselves. We have to declare where we stand. Most regular readers know my name; have seen my photograph – not because I’m either great or famous, but because, after writing persuasively, I’ve given links to all that, regularly. It would become a joke – like Jim Softy is a joke, even if we sometimes accidentally see something sensible that he has said. I’m sure nobody reads all his comments.
      .
      I voted Yahapalanaya so enthusiastically, in 2015.

    • 6
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      Part 3 of 6
      .
      About two months ago, one of the key people from Sirisena’s Office asked if I could come over – for the first time. In the event, I had a longish session with three key people in Sirisena’s office. Not those from his family; those who sincerely feel that they are doing the right thing. I asked for nothing; I was promised nothing. I was told that Sirisena will not contest in 2020. They all know that he has no voter support. However, one thing surprised all four of us – when I told them something that I have known for a long time. They did not.
      .
      At Presidential elections you can vote for three different people. Up to now, this has not proved important. But it is. Will the Election Commission do this much? Go flat out to educate the public on this? No funds? Be innovative. Start a Special Fund asking for Public Donations to teach individual voters how to use their vote, so that it’ll really count. This is how:
      .
      First Preference: for a person whom you have special affection for. It could be because you know him/her (after this, I will write only the masculine pronoun – this form sounds legalistic and confusing, but please remember I have no gender bias); know him to be honest and sincere; or it could be owing to race, caste, religion, or geographical proximity. Even with no chance of winning. I usually vote like this. At every election this vote of mine has been counted.
      .
      Second Preference: for a similar person, but with at least an outside chance of winning – in your view. Hitherto this second vote has never been counted. But . . .

    • 5
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      Part 4 of 6
      .
      But if the election is close, and nobody has got 50% on the first count, Second Preference will be counted. Even if the first-round count had been very close in 2015, this wouldn’t have made any difference, unless you were one of thousands of Rajapaksa supporters who voted for other “favourite candidates”. I had, for the first time, I think, cast only one preference: for Sirisena.
      .
      Third Preference: By the time you cast your vote, (on election day – or, for some, at postal voting) you will know which two candidates are really, objectively, heading for victory. In 2020 it is going to be for a Sinhalese who is also a Buddhist – either man or woman. If you think otherwise, you are living in cloud-cuckoo land. I’m hoping that things will change fast enough for that not to be a foregone conclusion in 2025. Vote for the better of them. Your vote will be counted if nobody has reached 50%, even after the Second Round of counting; unless, of course your choice for First or Second was actually for one of your personal favourites.
      .
      This is the way every knowledgeable and intelligent person should vote, but don’t expect more than 10% of the electorate to vote thus, even if the Elections Commission conducts an effective and energetic campaign. Voting this way is in the interest of the average citizen; not in the interest of the large parties. With the JVP probably running a serious campaign in 2020, nobody getting 50% on the first round is a distinct possibility. Let me also hope that the Tamil and Muslim communities have at least one good candidate each. Vote for that person. The only danger . . .

      • 1
        0

        This observation of mine is incorrect:
        .
        ‘ unless you were one of thousands of Rajapaksa supporters who voted for other “favourite candidates”. ‘
        .
        Since Maithripala Sirisena had already received over 50% of First Round ballots, no number of Second Preferences for Mahinda Rajapaksa could have made any difference to the result. What would have happened in the unlikely event of somebody voting for Sirisena as First Preference, and Rajapaksa as Second? There’s no injustice. His First Preference has prevailed over his Second. In all elections so far, voting in this way was quite safe.
        .
        However, this is a possibility in 2020. Lots of us wanted to give Ranil Wickremasinghe a scare, so we listed Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the JVP as First Preference. Mahinda R. led the first count with 40%; AKD second with 30%, but most of those had Ranil as Second Preference, Ranil third with 29%. No, the Second Preferences of the AKD votes won’t be counted. The Second Preferences of Ranil will be counted, as will those of the “Other ” candidates. Those UNP die-hards may not have cast a Second Preference. MR gets to 42%; AKD gets to 33%.
        .
        Now what happens? A run-off between MR and AKD? Which MR wins easily, because even those who voted AKD get reminded during the run-off of what happened from 1988 to 2000. I acknowledge that this is an unconvincing analysis. Could Mahinda Deshapriy or Jeevan Hoole please educate us?

    • 7
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      Part 5 of 6

      The only danger, is that the person whom you fancy as your realistic hope gets beaten in to third place on the first round. Very unlikely. Study past election figures.
      .
      What other choices could the main parties offer us?
      .
      Whom do we have? Kumar Sangakkara, certainly can still win, provided he gets the support of persons like Grusha Andrews, who wrote this in Sinhala and English. Let it now be translated in to Tamil.:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/grusha-andrews31-july-2018/
      .
      Only 5 responses top that, clearly demonstrating that Colombo Telegraph is not the way to get through to the electorate as a whole. To the Intelligentsia, may be. So, here’s the English:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/carcinogenic-kumar-thanks-but-no-thanks/
      .
      But that article only exposes that such a choice would be disastrous. Yes, because of his unethical advertising. There’s no doubt that he has the charisma, the education, and the intelligence. But is he the cold, calculating, and selfish person that the article all but proved? Perhaps. But it may also be that his intelligence may save us. It helped him become one of the most famous players in the cricket-following public. That is the whole of Sri Lanka, but not even of a fraction of the public in English-speaking countries. It may just be that he settles for being President for five years, and then retires for yet another career (as family man, perhaps).
      .
      Nagananda Kodituwakku. Yes, all that we know testifies to him being a one-track “Law, Order Fighter of Corruption”. He could be the one guy we present to fight the SLFP candidate. He may be happy to hand back power, and retire from politics after five years.
      A man of experience who can be trusted. Lacks charisma – perhaps.

    • 6
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      Part 6 of 6
      .
      Yes, the 2020 winner actually quitting politics after 5 years after ruling justly is non-negotiable. If Sirisena and his family want an honoured place in our history he must now firmly announce quitting in 2020. As for the SLFP, if they come back in 2025 after all investigation in to corruption has been completed, fine. Majority Sinhalese support for reform is indispensable if we are to have a non-racist country by 2025. Well, we can firmly and indestructibly set the foundations by then.
      .
      Failing all that this, there is the possibility of somebody from the UNP being made the candidate to defeat the Rajapaksas. Buddhika Pathirana is not only too young, he too is still given to gimmicks: blessing the pens to be used by those Grade Five Scholarship Exam is one. English Readers of this may have other ways of educating their children, but these Exams are very important issues for the majority of Sri Lankans. Pathirana knows that it is a gimmick. Until he achieves the stature to stop using gimmicks (which are, unfortunately, the only way, probably, to get influence in today’s Sri Lanka), he is too immature. Let him wait – he’s young enough.
      .
      Sajith Premadasa is definitely the other hope. Will he give up in 2025? No, he’s too young and a professional politician. Will he ensure a Presidential Election with a level playing field in 2025, even if he’s candidate? He may sincerely promise it today, but change his mind by 2025: human nature! However, the patience and the long-term strategy that he has employed hitherto augur well.
      .
      So what we should be doing is to elect somebody who will ensure a clean and fair election in 2025. Else we are doomed.

      • 2
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        There are a few typos here that may lead to wrong interpretation of certain possiblities that I have spoken of. Also, there are other possible candidates from the “Yahaplanaya” side. The government has performed badly, but that doesn’t mean that the idealism of 2015 was a mistake. I’m just acknowledging some slips, but views have, on the whole come through well, and the correct bits have got stressed. Thanks, CT.
        .
        I’m not any sort of authority, nor do I know many of the leading politicians except from what I gather from the media. I’d be grateful if readers could correct anything that I appear to have got wrong. I hope that I have thrown up some new ideas; we learn through discussion.

        • 1
          0

          I think I have just overread your part 1-6.

          Could you kindly add what kind of knowledge you have obtained on lanken politics ?

          I feel Premadasa is no means qualified enough to be the candidate for 2020. Just study his public stateements being added by him each every day on his housing projects. He criticises himself about his caibnet. I think Premadasa is no means trained to be a team worker.
          We then students suffered that much under his father ‘s brutal rule in late 80ties, would never forget the way his father ruled country. Even if Rajapkshe s marched even beyond Premadasa s abusive politics, in today s context, Rajaakshes are seen as untouchable .. their family politics has cunninly brainwashed the masses in the this country. Now with their TV sender came into being by black money -Derana has become the populist sender in the country CAN help them fooling the nation even more in the days to come. Their family politcs made this country a fool’s land during the years they handled it. Just pick the war victory against LTTERs.. how they painted the picture wihtin the nation was as if their magical powers eleminated terror. But we perfectly know – had Late Mr Kadir been unable to get LTTERS banned on the rich soils, nothing could have been acheived by anyone in terms of getting marginalized them. That was the key factor in defeating the LTTERs within the coutnry. Today, diasphoara men are still active in Europe and other countries. But we as good human beings should forget the great sacrifices made by Mr Kadirgarmar.

  • 0
    0

    Even though we are not well aware, Sajith Pemadasa and Rajapakses seem to be from different camps tey make alliences for the winning of winning. I think, if it happens, Sajith Pemadasa moves to colombo not because of any other reason but Namal Rajapakse and Sajoth do not like have copmpetition for votes (voters will compare adjacent leaders). with respect to economy and corruption, Maithripala sirisena is a new comer. He is now aware about what is happening eithe rin his back yard or even in the world. But, both Rajapakses and Ranil are Right wing liberal politicians and they believe in selling all the public assets (JVP says eve Mahinda Rajapske wqs selling every thing govt) and devloping tghe economy. Western analysts, I read saying it is like parents selling the house become debvbt free and ask children to pay the rent. Western analysts call it disaster Capitalism or Capitalist predation. for example, in some capitalist countries, the lands and businesses are owned by foreign countries. when non-aligned people get those assets, they may get political troubles and their assets are probhited through economic sancgions. In our case, I suspect Rajapakses may have to face economic sanctions for what they invested in the west. In order to overcome that, they become good poodles. Ranil is a RIGHT WING ULTRA LIBERAL PM who believes in selling all the assets and signing Free Trade agreements which give access to the foreign buyer to every thing through the lowest cost. So, people get lower salaries (the ressult of extensive politicization is the higher salaries and poor economic policies). Don’t trust in UNP reforms.I think they may say we fight the election as a SABHAGA RAJAYA or they continue the yahapalalana polcies to the election beczause UNP really needs help and Ranil say Parliament is the only place he knows any thing.

    • 4
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      JD,
      .
      You start off with a good point, about Sajith- Namal collusion. Nobody almost, can be trusted.
      .
      For two hours I’ve been working at a long response to Amrit’s article. It has to be broken in to six parts. I hope that I’ll be forgiven if I try to place it all as a reply to SJ (a.k.a the brilliant Engineer, ex-Professor Sangarasekeram of Peradeniya). I’ve worked hard at it!
      .
      Elections are decided by voters who are incompetent. How to win their votes, while remain honest, is the huge challenge. We must start by being genuinely humble, and acknowledging that for all our intellectual pride, it is the unregarded manual worker who keeps the country going.

  • 17
    5

    Esmond wickramasinghe , former LSSP was a’adventurer in UNP politics. He was not popular ,between business interests and affairs with Hippie women on Mt Lavinia beach he became a kind of power behind the power due to JR’ insecurities and manipulative nature( Like Malik and Mahendran phennomenon)

    JR used Esmonds low cunning to plot and plan. The 1964 Parliamentary defeat of Mrs Bandarnayake, when Esmond arranged bribes for some of her MPs in one example of the way he operated.He should be in jail for giving bribes to MPs!

    Ranil also followed same example. he has no appeal, no real vision but likes to operate with a small group of old royalists.Why ? the old royalists are jokers who have no life without Ranil. So it is a survival issue for them to have ranil there. Meanwhile we also have jokers like Premadasa junior who also claims to be an old royalist and a man with a vision. UNP gets votes in Colombo because of the minorities who vote without thinking of the man but just looking at a list

    In this field of monkeys RW looks an old and failed monkey but has a longer tail. That is the current UNP thinking ! They think as Ranil goes abroad a lot he must be getting good ideas from foreign leaders and following short courses in foreign universities !That is how these jokers reason !

    • 4
      4

      Kolla
      You got that one right mate .

  • 13
    4

    if sajith is not the unp nominee for president the unp is doomed. ranil can never get the rural vote though both can get the minority vote but even colonbian
    middle class is tired of ranil as a nato and want a new face
    sajith should have moved to col central long ago instead of hanging about the rajapaksa stronghold
    he cannot wait till 2025 as arajapaksa victory will take them forward till 2030or even forever

  • 2
    3

    I like d the Dr Harsh and Dr Harin show..
    Not that I watched it , But I like the Banner behind.
    Wonder what happened to that pure bred UNP Colt from Colombo, who scored the highest next to Dr Ranil?
    Is 34 Mil plus 3 Mil LKR enough for an Allocated Pension in Colombo where Sangria costs 1000 Bux. a Pop?.
    Is it Uncle Karu who is trying to bring Keselwatta Kid back to his Home Turf?.
    The Kid is doing a fab job hoodwinking the naive poor in Hambantota..
    After all that family donations and hard work, Will the Kid hand his New Tterritory to that Bus Conductor turned Politicians who is sucking Dr Ranil big time.
    Is Dr Ranil’s plan to finish off the Kid, who is the only UNP dude who can muster some Sinhala Buddhist Votes from that Naive Poor Community.
    I like Amrit’s colorful phrases like queer and rooting to nail Dr Ranil..
    Is Amrit a Maha Raja Supporter?..

  • 2
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    This not a problem of Ranil wickramadinghe in 1980s unp,and slfp vote base are quite equal for example both are depends on floating voters and minority party votes.if Muslim congress was not not support premadsa in 1988 election he may be a loser to sirimavo. After 1994 the system totally changed.there were closer to 2 million new votes which were casted to slfp with a entry of chandrika .this 2 million votes were added to the tradional block vote of slfp and this 2 million votes also became hard block votes of slfp. This made slfp block vote percentage in to 42% and reduced the unp block vote in to 26%. Chandrika won all her election because of this 42% of slfp block votes even she failed to get the floating voters she can got this balance 10% from her alliance parties. For an example when she made the srilankan economy in to minus check in 2001 election as well she got closer to 39% vote this is the strength of slfp block votes. After 2005 the situation is totally changed Mahinda took the slfp with that 42% block vote while unp only have 26%. After 2005 the first time Mahinda is making this srilankan economy in to 80 billion USD business economy in just 10 years which he got only 20 billion USD in 2005.before 2005 the rule of Jr ,premadasa or chandrika, the economy was less than only 20 billion. USD that means the poorest country ,no proper middle class, no proper life style for people and mixed janasaviya economic system etc.this poor economy was transfered in to 80 billion usd modern business economy by the modern slfp of Mahinda with in 10 years. Result of this e onomy the middle class and upper middle class has expanded.the huge top level business community was formed. There were rich life style for middle and upper middle class.

    • 3
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      This upper middle class ,midlle class and this huge business community became die heart supporters of Mahinda. That is why Mahinda winning the electorate like kaduwela ,kesbawakesbawa,Homagama,Maharagama,jaela ,gamapaha and mahara by 50000 minority votes.after 2005 mahibdas slfp block vote became 47% and unp votes became 23%. Now unp is just only a small anti Mahinda party like JVP in srilanka. The party like unp or JVP are poor ,no business community, no media nothing. The party like JVP or unp can not compete with largest single party in srilankan history and the only business party ever formed in srilanka the slfp if Mahinda. It is very hard to compete with slfp of Mahinda for the small parties like JVP or unp because the slfp of Mahinda owns 47% block votes and super power and super business power. Only way to compete with slfp of Mahinda is all other anti Mahinda parties like unp,JVP ,slmc,TNA all have to come under common alliance and at least want to get a support of 1 million floating voters. Other than Ranil is not a problem with a 23% votes a poor party like unp cannot do any thing with a huge business party like slfp if Mahinda.

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        Colombo municipal council where the most poor people and labour community mostly mostly minority community are living this people any how love unp . among the 23% of vote base of unp 90% are poor people in villages there are minorities and who love unp in towns. Now the problem the sinhala Buddhist rich people who are living in place like kaduwela and sinhala christian rich people who are living in place like ja ela are die heart supportes of slfp of Mahinda and their business capital economic policy which was architected by slfp since 2005 . the 80% of people from middle and upper middle class the die heart supporters of slfp of Mahinda has the common problem the party like unp or people like premadsa or Jr or gamini or lalith who does not have an ability even to uplift the srilankan economy at least up to 15 billion usd during their period of rule and habited of doing mixed janasaviya economic system ,how they are going to handle a huge business economy of 80 billion usd economy which was archited by the top level capitalist business party slfp of Mahinda. Now under this government unp is proofing that they do not know what is this business economy of slfp of mahibda means.The poor people 90% of unp vote base is not know this problem. But middle and upper middle class obviously it is a problem that is why 80% of them are die heart supporters of slfp of Mahinda.not like poor people who are voting for no reason the rich people who addicted for slfp of Mahinda never leve Mahinda because of this economic policy of Mahinda.the vital thing is this middle class rich vote base of slfp is very huge than the poor people vote base of unp.

  • 6
    8

    For the love of me, I can never understand this fetish of some for Sajith P. He has never shown any semblance of quality leadership to head a Party like the UNP. We have not heard him address any discriminating Colombo audience in any subject – English or Sinhala. With a dad given into a chequered history and a mother who was disliked in much of society, his claim for UNP leadership is non-existent. And there was the sister who should have been jailed for a long period having being caught red-handed trying to bank fake currency notes. She escaped thanks to our bizarre Police and legal system that has a different rule for the well connected and another for the ordinary folk.

    In fairness to him, Sajith has not been involved in controversies nor does he shoot his mouth. But despite his many faults Ranil W is miles ahead of Sajith as far as
    quality and class is concerned for UNP leadership. The most the inarticulate and inadequately educated Sajith deserves is a place in a Cabinet in one of the less important Ministries. I have nothing personal against the man. But I believe as a citizen I have a right to express my opinion in the choice of who should be our political leaders.

    ADJP

    • 6
      3

      A D J Perera

      Yes, Sajith must sharpen his competitive edge.

      But RW too far, far far below him in national context but still ok for Colombo.

    • 7
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      Dear A.D.J. Perera,
      .
      I know that it’s a bit difficult to assess the quality of education that anybody has received, especially if it has been abroad. Think of Chandrika (CBK). We must always judge them by how they interact in discussion – or how they write. The problem with writing is that it can be ghosted.
      .
      There is some truth in what you say: “We have not heard him address any discriminating Colombo audience in any subject”. We usually hear him screaming in Sinhala at villagers in Hambantota. However, I’m a bit disturbed by the way you say it – are you being snobbish? Why did you specify only two languages, leaving out Tamil?
      .
      How sophisticated do you find his thinking?
      How good do you find his English? Different from his father’s, certainly.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMmIiGB8crs
      .
      There’s half an hour of him. Please sample five minutes and please let me know. I have not preconceived your response. His English is fluent, may be too British.
      .
      I think that there are many other snippets, I’ve just picked one at random. Well, here’s another.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL54xYRazcE
      .
      I wouldn’t under-rate him on education. I think Ranil W. is over-rated. I’d like your views on this – genuinely!

      • 7
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        I am not Perera. But I believe, Sajith needs much more time to learn lot more.

        All of sudden he holds his public speeches thinking that he is not of the current govt.

        This RW or any other senior men would never do.

        I like the way he holds his sinhala speeches to those village people. However, his is not that far from his fathers.

        I simply say, i dont hvae the least respect to his father whose direct mediation took the lives of some 50 k in late 80ties. I left Hilda Obeysekara hall leaving my all belongings there at the time, we then students were asked to leave the premises. Our was only escape keeping in mind, we ran away. I later left the country for Europe and proceeded my studies here.

        I was told my paernts, that Premadasa s son was accomadated in a pvt house owned to Hettigoda then. I wonder why Junior P failed to achieve his academic goals though he was provided with presidential facilities to that time.
        His sounds becoming better, but he is not yet good enough to lead this nation.

      • 5
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        Dear Sinhala_Man

        Thank you for the trouble taken in sending me 2 video clips in support of Sajith P. The 1st one was an Al-Jazeera piece in ageing.
        Sajith comes out well in the 2nd one in which he addresses the Architects Association. I must say in you has a good friend.

        As I said earlier, I have nothing personal against the man. I maintain, however, he has a long way to go before being considered for UNP leadership. Ranil has many years of advantage over him –
        all round although he had made serious blunders in leadership.
        Tolerating a rogue like Ravi K is just one.

        As to Tamil proficiency. This will be unfair by Sajith. I don’t expect him to make a speech in Tamil in a stage. If he does happen to speak reasonable Tamil, I will give him credit. By the way, I have met him by invitation in my official capacity. I carry good impressions.

        ADJP

        • 1
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          Thanks, Mr Perera.
          .
          I’ve never met Sajith Premadasa, nor his father, whom I didn’t particularly fancy. In fact, I left the country for the Maldives when he was in power. It was just impossible to work here. He wanted everybody to be a lackey who would crawl to him. Didn’t he actually have a throne made for himself?
          .
          I returned as soon as CBK won the parliamentary elections. No, come to think of it, I gave notice in the Maldives as soon as I got the news. I’m now getting a bit fuzzy about the chronology of events.
          .
          By the way, spare a thought for the Maldives, and for their rightful leader, “Anni”. I met Mohamed “Anni” Nasheed in 1994, when he was (even at that time) officially a prisoner. He’s in Sri Lanka, somewhere. I’ve sent him some messages, via his website, ‘cos I think I may be able to help him in some tangible ways. But I know the risks for him are great. Elections there on the 23rd of September.
          .
          My late mother was in Sydney for many years, and had known Sajith’s mother-in-law; used to talk about “Crystella” a lot.
          .
          As for me, most hold that I’m a village yokel, and are not surprised that I’ve never been out of Asia. Actually, many hold that I cannot possibly know English because I’ve been teaching mainly in Maha Vidyalayas. May be. How can I judge myself. It may be something like that, that operates in Sajith’s case, too. No, not with you. I sense greater sophistication in you.
          .
          And I don’t know any Tamil at all, but it is a desideratum for anybody who would lead us out of this mire.

        • 1
          1

          I find that there are YouTubes of Imran Khan as well:
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UAqOQf8n6c
          .
          A few more as well.
          .
          And, of course, the next election that we will have to focus on is in the Maldives:
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3BGdWi7h5A
          .
          That man ought to be the President there once more, but not this year, probably.

      • 2
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        Sinhala Man

        My info is Sajith went to a nondescript educational institution in London. There are tons of such in London. But he is reasonably
        proficient in English. He is much better versed than most donkeys in our Parliament – with due respect to the noble donkeys. Ranil, the English-educated lawyer, has the advantage of coming from an elitist family of which many of whom are highly learned and from the best schools in Ceylon and England. Ranil today has the advantage of his time. If you recall, he was a virtual nobody in JRJ’s Cabinet – full of able, learned politicians. Today with fellows like Kudu Dimu worming their way into high positions, Ranil has little competition. Yet, he still remains somewhat swollen-headed and moves with only a chosen few. That is his undoing.

        I am glad to hear you were a Maha Vidyalaya teacher. I have great respect for these schools, who have produced thousands of brilliant students – in English as well.

        As to our country, my friend, we are in the doldrums. When I heard that “nationalist” Venezuelan President was forced to devalue their currency in that once rich oil producer by 95% last week my heart sank. I am afraid we are in no less a shape.

        I also happen to know Amrit. He comes from one of Sri Lanka’s richest and much respected Tamil Catholic/Christian families. But he has a tendency to get into unnecessary squabbles.

        I am impressed by your sophisticated musical inclinations. I like
        Chopin, Liszt and Brahms as well. I love the great tenors. I like Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi music as well + Country Music.

        ADJP

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          When I wrote Ranil was English-educated I did not mean educated in Britain. I meant the language. I am aware he went to Royal and then to Law College, Colombo. Ranil’s schooling did not leave any
          doubts as Premadasa Snr’s.

          ADJP

          • 1
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            Dear Mr A.D.J. Perera,
            .
            Ranil was a year senior to my younger sister in the Law Faculty; one way or another I know quite a bit about his family, too.
            .
            As for Royal College, I was trained as a teacher of English when very young, and I had to do my teaching practice at Royal College. Yes, it was a good school then, and I think it still is a very special State School – quite different from most Maha Vidyalayas.

            Anyway, back then, I had to observe some of their senior teachers. Old E.F.C. Pereira (hell, I’m now much older I now am than he was then!) was brilliant, but not in any flamboyant way. I could tell you why I say so, but that would be a bit off topic, wouldn’t it?
            .
            We are talking about how we’ve got to elect as the next President of the country, a man who will unite all the disparate elements in it. I had high hopes for Maithri; he speaks beautifully in Sinhalese, and he’s clearly well read. The fact that such reading was mostly in Sinhala, possibly in English and Russian matters not a jot to me – although it possibly does in some circles. That may have led to his undoing. Too late, he’s compromised too much.
            .
            I’m afraid that I, too, may share with Amrit a proclivity for getting in to squabbles. See this:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/bbc-bars-azzam-ameen-from-media-conferences-and-political-interviews/comment-page-1/#comment-2206232
            .
            and this:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/return-of-exiles-to-the-president-prime-minister-cleaning-up-is-not-quarrelsomeness/
            .
            Late. Shall fall asleep to Brahms. Symph No. 4 – Berlin Philharmoniker, cond. Karajan. Got a cassette of it. More surprisingly, perhaps, I still own two players!

  • 1
    1

    Everything changes

    Nobody can expect Colombo’s lower strata to be in favor of premadasas for ever.

    Late president sent his son to Hambanthota to defuse Rajapakse popularity there & it’s an utter failure.
    Sajith has to make an effort to regain the ground.

    As far as Rosy is there, RW is safe.

  • 3
    0

    Amrit Muttukumaru
    History is full of instances where ‘Leaders’ are often toppled not from outside but from inside. Remember the famous “Et Tu Brutus”? This is common in Religious cults as well.

    Political leaders often surround themselves with close relatives they trust. Examples: Nehru, Karunanithy, Jayalalitha.Trump is another. We have our very own in MR.

    The outer circle of the ‘Leaders’ are the hunting ground of carpetbaggers. Some of them may even gang up and even bring down a government if the reward is market rate. Example the NCM.
    .
    The comments here on RW encompass quite a spectrum.
    Amrit points out ~ “……The only reason how RW has managed to be Prime Minister for this long since 2015 (by his track record!) is due to one of the most undemocratic features put into the 19thAmendment – parliament cannot be dissolved for 4 ½ years unless at least 2/3 of ALL members demand it. This has put paid to the MYTH of his purported democratic credentials………”.
    The last sentence is somewhat unkind. Did MR use the carpetbaggers to change the Constitution? For what? Hint: A donkey knows.
    RW can be removed with an NCM. Debate on this will not leave us any wiser.
    By the way the amendment was approved by the parliament.
    .
    We agree with you Amrit that democracy is no longer the one you knew. This is the trend everywhere.

  • 3
    0

    “Will Sajith’s Move To Colombo Trigger New Conflict In UNP?”
    It should not.
    If it does, it shows the parlous state of our ‘democracy’.

    • 1
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      K.Pillai, Your, ‘our ‘democracy’’, tells me that you believe that we have Democracy in Sri Lanka.
      How sound is your belief?

  • 1
    0

    It still seems as to why the JVP are not getting their acts together. Certainly the can make a change if they join a party but as a single force they are not capable of.

  • 1
    1

    Without mincing words, RW is a disgrace to the UNP in particular and the nation in general. He is greedy for position that he does not deserve. He is the main culprit in the CB bond issue and a failure in many issues. He policies have brought the nation and its people down to its knees. In one sentence…………………………………………………………………….
    “RW MUST GO AND MUST GO FOREVER OUT OF POLITICS AND OUT OF THE HUMAN SIGHT”

    • 1
      1

      Yasin,
      .
      I like people like you who speak unambiguously. Even better, you speak true.

      Thanks.

      • 3
        1

        Sinhala Man,

        I too like people like you who write valuable comments to this forum. I really like your comments. Whenever I visit to SL, I would like to meet you and have a cup of tea with you.

        Greetings from Germany for today

        • 1
          1

          Dear Bunjappu,
          .
          So flattered am I that I shall give you my e-mail address:
          .
          paniniedirisinhe@gmail.com
          .
          Germany! I’ve never been there, but all my life (no, from age 15 upwards), I’ve been listening to their music. Beethoven has been a particular inspiration. How I wish the “Ode to Joy” that is the finale of the Ninth Symphony could be the Anthem of the whole world, not just that of the European Union. As a school boy I used to know all the words of it in an English translation. Can recall quite a bit of it even now!
          .
          But my special affection is for poor Schubert; so neglected during his life. Dead at 32, and so many say that the 51 year old Sajith is not mature enough. I just don’t get it.
          .
          Listen:
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O52r9_bXWBw
          .
          Warning: almost as long as Beethoven’s 9th. I’ve downloaded it all on to a pen drive, which you can stick in to the USB port of a LED display TV. If the TV is large enough, what an experience!
          .
          Can’t we civilise our Members of Parliament by forcing them to listen to this? They pay themselves so much (of our money) that there should be a law making it possible for us to get this done!
          .
          I look forward to hearing from you – but the communication will be kept private.

  • 2
    0

    RW should be replaced purely for one reason, and one reason alone; that is plotting the bond scam and getting caught, for me this is real stupidity more than anything, every government and politician were robbing the country throughout and the biggest being MR and his clans, but they never got caught. Where as RW is a dump stupid to allow for such a crime to be committed with a coalition government where everything will come out in the open sooner or later. If RW as the leader of the party doesn’t have the least common sense realize this and put the image of the party at risk, he is not even qualified to be a peon leave alone being a party leader, period.

    • 0
      1

      But tell us – who would be the most suitable candidate among the few we have in UNP ?

      If your choice is SP – he is no means matured enough

      If your choice is Nawin D – he is even worst than SP

      If you choice is to anyone else – tell us who is that candidate ?

      KARU Jayasooriya would not agree with – since he is too old now.
      He is hte best apart from RW, but he would not agree

      • 2
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        bambara

        let the rank and file of the UNP decide that.They should know more about the UNP than anyone else.All card carrying members should be told to name the candidate of their choice.It is not a vote.There are no candidates here and the person who is first is not automatically made the leader,but at least we have an idea of what the grassroots of the UNP think,which is pure democracy at its best.

        My gut feeling is sajith will come first and maybe navin second and ranil third.

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