29 June, 2022


Will The Real Sirisena Stand Up Please?

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Nalaka Gunawardena, social media guru, recently tweeted about a monumental gaffe by ‘The Hindu’ which carried a picture of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa in the company of fellow presidential candidate Arachchige Rathnayake Sirisena.

The picture had been used to decorate a story titled ‘President Sirisena’s position on Rajapaksa’s nomination remains unclear’. It is well-known that A.R. Sirisena contested or was persuaded to contest (for whatever consideration) to confuse would be voters for the eventual winner, Maithripala Sirisena. The Sirisena camp for its part ‘fielded’ a Namal Rajapaksa probably for the same reason (for whatever consideration).

‘The Hindu’ ought to have known better, but we all err, so this slip is understandable. The image was subsequently removed from the story.

What’s interesting about this mix-up is Nalaka’s comments. The wording tells a story but misses a bigger story.

Here’s one comment: ‘Having mixed up @MaithripalaS with a cheap imitation @TheHindu quietly removes image frm story’. Some of the retweets, shares and comments have used the word ‘fake’ instead of ‘cheap’. The use of the word ‘imitation’ is legitimate obviously but that’s where the it stops. Nalaka implies that Maithripala Sirisena is somehow of greater worth than A.R. Sirisena. If ARS is ‘cheap’, then MS is ‘valuable’, constitutes value for money or ‘rich,’ Nalaka would have us believe. It’s all relative of course. MS is no doubt more important and powerful than ARS, but is he of greater worth simply on account of power and position or rather position of power?

HinduIf it was all about rhetoric and promises, if it was about winning and losing, if it was about the reasons for contesting, then of course it can be argued that MS stands a few inches taller than ARS. On the other hand, has MS covered himself in glory in the first six months of his presidency? There’s nothing to brag about, really.

Winning itself can be called an achievement considering how powerful his key opponent was and if one subscribed to the view that Mahinda Rajapaksa had become intolerably arrogance and surrounded himself with so many unsavory characters that his savory-claims had to be taken with a cartload of salt.

Yes, the 19th Amendment was passed. But then again, the 20th was scuttled. The Right to Information Act was dumped. There was talk of a Code of Conduct for MPs. Just talk. Then came the bond scam. MS’s ‘running-mate’ Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed friends to ‘investigate’ his friend, the Governor of the Central Bank. Apparently things were so rotten that even these friends couldn’t say ‘all’s well’. They recommended further investigations. Nothing happened. Then came the COPE investigation. Coincidentally, just before the relevant report came out, MS dissolved parliament. That’s almost like orchestrating a jail break. Nalaka has tweeted about this too: “Meet #lka’s new Own-Goal team: @RW_UNP @RaviOneNation & Arjuna Mahendran @officialunp will lose lots of votes defending @CBSL scam #GenEleSL”.

Over and above that is his identity crisis; even as he is the Leader of the SLFP, he lets that party’s arch rival, the UNP to use his image to go with the color green and the elephant symbol in the middle of elections! That’s ‘rich’, sure. Cheap too, ironically!

If this is what MS could do or ‘oversee being done’ in just six months, one trembles at what kind of monster he could turn into if he were to rule for 9 years! ARS, perhaps thanks to being ‘untried’, does seem benign. ‘Cheap’ cannot be IRS’s preserve. Neither is MS untainted by ‘cheapness’.

The real-fake dichotomy is also interesting. We know who IRS is. Do we know who MS is? MS is now blue, not green, now the Leader of the SLFP and now (as pointed above) pin-up boy of the UNP. One day he talks of මෛත්‍රිය (maithree or compassion) the next he is all වෛරය (vairaya or hatred). One day it’s about clean-up the next it’s about cover-up. If all this doesn’t describe ‘fake,’ what does? IRS, in comparison, looks quite the real deal.

All things considered Nalaka, in hi ’cheap’ shot, undresses himself in ways that gives ‘The Hindu,’ MS and the MS-is-the-real-thing bandwagon a good run for their money. Nalaka doesn’t exactly redeem himself in a subsequent tweet: ‘WHAT IF…real @MaithripaaS & dummy Sirisena have been switched? Might explain bizarre recent actions. Suba & Yasa?’

Note, once again, the derogatory term tagged on ARS, ‘dummy’. Speaking of dummies, though, hasn’t MS operated as though he’s a dummy and much more for Ranil, the UNP, the LTTE rump and lots of other entities besides? We’ve covered a lot of that already.

We don’t know what Nalaka thinks was/is ‘bizarre’. The re-embrace of Mahinda, perhaps? Yes, that is bizarre except that Nalaka knows about the permanency or otherwise of political friends and enemies. Perhaps he’s thinking of MS’s identity crisis and how UNP candidates are using the leader of the ‘enemy-party’ to prop their respective campaigns. We don’t know. What we do now is that had ARS and MS exchanged places, things could not get worse.

So there are many Sirisenas. There’s MS and there’s ARS. And there are the many versions of Maithripala Sirisena. Now that is bizarre. So bizarre that the question we have posed cannot really be answered. Too many ‘reals’ and too many ‘fakes’ around. Some even contain both fake and real. So bizarre that one cannot blame ‘The Hindu’. Really.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    Malinda Seneviratne Mahonda Rajapaksa Shill and white washer

    RE: Will The Real Sirisena Stand Up Please?

    “So there are many Sirisenas. There’s MS and there’s ARS. And there are the many versions of Maithripala Sirisena. Now that is bizarre. So bizarre that the question we have posed cannot really be answered. Too many ‘reals’ and too many ‘fakes’ around. Some even contain both fake and real. So bizarre that one cannot blame ‘The Hindu’. Really.”

    Even the Real One seems to be a fake being a traitor to 6,200,000 voters.

    Looks like the Real Srisena is a Spineless wimp , liar, coward and traitor.

    • 1

      This buggers make it worst for any good graduates produced by his alma mater
      Harward. I thought the bugger would stay silent let alone today. ON the picture – the fake My3 may have brains than Malinda S. cHEE.. shame on you man. At least today, you failed to get it.. how many more months would you take ?

  • 7

    The “real Sirisena” can’t stand up just now, unless his shattered spine is repaired by some miracle.

  • 4

    There is no real Srisena, what is real is Malinda.

    If HE says everything is out of his control, why is he be the president of the party, for the party’s unity…..who is going to buy this, the gullible?.

    Will voters believe the politicians anymore, they talk about good governance, corruption, national unity, you name it, but when an election comes it’s all about winning, they hug even the devil and forget about every thing about the past and they hold hands. But those who supported are still like mongoose and snake. In this context, what is real?.

  • 2

    Malinda received a laptop from Mahinda. We have to remember that
    he will be a traitor if he writes against MR.

  • 2

    Will the journalist who is biased towards MR please first stand-up?

    Malinda, has the right to support any politician he wants to in his individual capacity, but as a journalist if he uses his profession to influence people how he wants us them to think then he has no morality to function as a journalist. Its universal knowledge that MR and his family have swindled this country but Malinda continues to only see the speck in others eyes but not plank in his or MR’s eyes.

  • 0

    Two things.

    Nalaka has used the word “Cheap ” correctly. To use that word in this context, MS does not have to be valuable unless he used “cheaper” by comparing. That guy came or brought for a cheap purpose.

    I also felt a betrayal, but 6.2 million voted MS at a completely different election to elect an Executive President. It was not to elect a government, though he formed a National Government giving priority to the party that was instrumental in bringing him to power. Now in this case, it is a parliamentary election. Big faction of SLFP demand the inclusion of Mahinda Rajapakse saying that they want him in the election to win. As the party leader, shouldn’t he listen? should he deprive the possible win as the majority in the party say?

    He will still be the executive President and if he decides to form a National Government again, MR will still be just an MP, if get elected.

    I also would like to put forward something to ponder.I wondered why MY was coming to get nothing after being the President for 10 years.

    As I understand the 19th amendment,it only bars a president elected twice by peoples vote, to be ELECTED again from peoples vote again. HOW ABOUT BEING NOMINATED as allowed by constitution.

    • 0

      The MPs if UPFA wins can select MR as PM
      Then in case the President dies, the PM will be nominated as President

      As the Current President said PM and Prsident the gap is one bullet.

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