UNP “thinker” is the best joker in town
Posted on April 5th, 2010

H. L. D. Mahindapala

If you are keen on having a few good laughs today listen to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s TV (Young Asia TV) interview with Sanjana Hattotuwa, the man who sings for his supper at the Centre for Policy Alternative. Hattotuwa bowled full tosses for Wickremesinghe to bat on the pitch of his INTERVIEW programme. And Wickremesinghe, as usual, thattufied, and let the ball dribble without scoring runs. All in all, last night’s show was hilarious

 Joke 1: Talking about the leadership crisis in the UNP Wickremesinghe says: “I’m better at getting people together than anyone else…..I am about the best who can bring them (parties) together.”

 I hope you have not fallen off the chair laughing your sides out. If he is so clever in bringing people together why has he lost nearly 30-odd UNP MPs to Mahinda Rajapakse? Why are they running away from him? Why are even the people in the villages and towns running away from him at each election if he is the best man to bring people together under his umbrella? Why did Prabhakaran whom he thought could be tethered to him with international guarantees abandon him? How can he bring people together when he can’t even smile with members of his own party? This is not what I say. This is what the UNPers and any knowledgeable journalist would say. Unlike Mahinda Rajapakse who can put his arm around anyone and hug him and invite him for a meal Wickremesinghe is aloof and looks through you, even when you meet him face to face. How can such a frozen ice man exude warmth to win the hearts and minds of people?

 Joke 2: Talking about the GSP+ he said: “I warned them, even in May last year, I told the President when I rang him when I heard that the Army had captured Mullativu: Look don’t fight them. Sort it out. If they can’t sort it out what can I do? “¦.” Imagine telling the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces not to fight when his troops are on the verge of ending the war? Isn’t this like advising Churchill to stop the war when the Allied troops were marching into Berlin in the last days of World War II? Inany case, what could President Rajapakse achieve by stopping the war on Wickremesinghe’s advice? Wasn’t this a move by Wickremesinghe even at the last minute to stop the war to give breathing space to Prabhakaran to recoup and rise again to hit back? Wasn’t Wickremesinghe trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory? What would Prabhakaran do if he was given another chance, on Wickremesinghe’s advice, to carry on with his Tiger forces intact? Wouldn’t he have done the same thing he did to Wickremesinghe’s CFA? So let us all thank the people of Sri Lanka that they picked the right man to lead the forces at the right time and not a prize idiot like Wickremesinghe, who would have dragged the nation into another thirty three years of Vadukoddai violence.

 Joke 3: Talking of reconciliation he asks:: “What is national reconciliation? We must admit that we all made mistakes”¦. They killed Sub-Inspector Bastianpillai and Dorairaja (meaning Alfred Duraiappah. As usual, he can’t even get the simple basics right!). However, according to his formula, reconciliation can be achieved by “identifying and forgiving” the mistakes. He thinks that by going through motions of the S. African experiment he can achieve reconciliation. But the S. Africa experiment will not apply to Sri Lanka because the two nations have gone through two different types of organized violence arising from two different political cultures. In S. Africa reconciliation was possible because the legitimate and indigenous majority was given total territory and power, without any exclusive enclaves, by an illegal minority usurping power. In Sri Lanka a minority is demanding separate nationhood from a majority which has opened space for all to share the land equally among all communities, without apartheid or oppression. .

 In any case, these are cosmetic exercises. Reconciliation does not mean saying mea culpa publicly. Ultimate reconciliation will be when the Jaffna Tamils agree to co-exists peacefully with all other communities abandoning the Vadukoddai violence, fictions of “nationhood”, the so-called “Thimpu principles” and going beyond 13th Amendment, etc. .If the Tamils can forgive and forget as in the S. African model it will be ideal. But they are bent on getting an exclusive enclave on the lines of Bantustan. Under these conditions Wickremesinghe is sadly mistaken if he thinks that he can eat kotta kelangu with the Jaffna Tamils after saying sorry.

 The Tamil diaspora, for instance, is not going to come to the party simply because Wickremesinghe says sorry. Their political behaviour clearly demonstrates  that they will not give up on their fictions of “discrimination”, exaggerated notions of victimology, “1983”, “genocide”, “concentration camps”, etc., etc. Though Wickremesinghe prattles about reconciliation he doesn’t have the foggiest idea of how to bring about communal harmony. His idea of reconciliation is to give asymmetrical power and territory to one community at the expense of the other communities. That cock won’t fight, Mr. Wickremesinghe. Other communities too have aspirations and cultures to protect. Why should the rights and aspirations of others be sacrificed to appease only one community?

 And this is the man that Hattotuwa projected as a “thinker, a man of concepts and ideas”

Joke 4: On the peace process that ended in the CFA he said: “I would have liked it to have gone faster but the LTTE wanted time”¦” So he gave in each time they wanted time “¦ for what? Didn’t he know that it was to regroup, recoup and hit him? But he is always in a state of denial which is tantamount to telling bland lies. Remember what he told Alex Perry of the TIME magazine (April 12, 2002)? He said that the war cannot be won. Here’s the quote: “”¦As far back as 1986, I was saying the war could not be won. If you study the history of Sri Lanka, only on one occasion has an army traveled through the jungles of Wanni [Tamil Tiger territory], and that was 500 years ago”¦.” Now the joker is singing a different song. Now he claims that the war was won because his efforts. Besides, if he was saying that the war cannot be won as far back as 1986 why was he sitting in the Security Council meetings presided by lame duck D. B. Wijetunge? I can’t remember him saying that even during President Premadasa’s time. He was going along merrily with the Forces waging war.

And this is the man that Hattotuwa projected as a “thinker, a man of concepts and ideas”

Joke 5: Wickremesinghe said: “UNP is interested in winning elections. I won’t be in the party and allowed to lead the party if I can’t win elections.” So if he is a man of word why is he leading the party? How many more defeats must he face before quitting the party? The UNP, for sure, is doomed as long as he is going to be the head of the party. And that is the best thing that can happen to the nation. As they say, every party has its quota of jokers but the UNPers must admit that their leader beats them all.

And this is the man that Hattotuwa projected as a “thinker, a man of concepts and ideas”

2 Responses to “UNP “thinker” is the best joker in town”

  1. PRIYAN WIJEYERATNE Says:

    We must barter Ranil for Sarath and put Ranil in jail for treason and crime against humanity. Let Sarth go free on conditions including no more active politics and affiliations. Sucker Sarath, may go overseas and work for IC and LTTE. Get Ranil in for 25 years. End of story.

  2. gunarat Says:

    As a former colleague of Mr. Mahindapala at Lake House, I recognize his extraordinary talents as a journalist and I continue to read his political essays in the Lankaweb.

    However, I think that Mr. Mahindapala would be a far more effective political journalist if he were to adopt much more restrained language to focus on the argument rather than on vilifying the opponent.

    In this article, as in many others, he calls Mr. Wickremasinghe an “idiot,” “liar,” “joker,” and an “ice-faced man.” The use of such epithets clearly violates the Buddhist principle of Right Speech and defies the law of defamation.

    I substantially agree with the thrust of Mr. Mahindapala’s case against Mr. Wickremasinghe. I have no sympathy with the UNP leader’s inability to feel the pulse of the nation. But let us criticize his actions rationally, not vilify him emotionally.

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