The common candidacy comes apart at the seams
Posted on December 8th, 2014

Dr.Kamal Wickremesinghe

The first week of the opposition’s campaign against the national government of President Rajapaksa has showed that the campaign as well as the ‘alliance of convenience’ behind it is a shambles. There simply is no other description that fits the pathetic state of the hateful campaign initiated by disparate group of desperate individuals hiding behind a so-called common candidate -The so-called New Democratic Front is simply an alliance of rent-seekers without a real or reasonable rationale to base a campaign against a nation recovering admirably from the ravages of 30 years of war.

The opposition decision to attempt a common candidate”, yet again, against President Rajapaksa reflects the instructions of the US and UK neocon forces to Chandrika Bandaranaike and Ranil Wickremesinghe, their choice to prop up a puppet government. They have clearly worked with Kumaratunga in London over the last several years and the conspiracy appears to be the only ‘learning’ Ranil Wickremesinghe received during two stints of three week ‘residencies’ at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), first in 2006 in the immediate aftermath of his loss to President Rajapaksa, and then in April 2014 while he continued to be in political wilderness.

Fingerprints of the UK-US cabal are visible all over the design and the execution of the faltering campaign of Maithripala Sirisena. All the steps in the doomed campaign have come directly from the CIA How to Beat an Incumbent” playbook strategy of 3Ds” (define the opponent, draw a contrast and define the agenda), written for neocon agents in developing countries.

At the broadest level, the strategy behind the conspiracy to seduce a candidate with a rural, Sinhala Buddhist background – despite the person’s obvious inability to match President Rajapaksa’s ‘little toe’ on management skills and charisma – was clearly an attempt to deploy the age-old ploy of ‘divide and rule’ the British are adept at.

Harping on about family rule, corruption and too much executive power in the hands of the president is an attempt to define” President Rajapaksa as a corrupt dictator – the usual CIA lie against all strong, independent-minded, nationalistic leaders around the world; then they try to draw” Sirisena as a squeaky clean, principled operator in this mythical jungle of corruption; next they define the agenda” by promising a turnaround and a utopia in 100 days.

Despite the intervention of MI6 and CIA planners, the incoherent situation was unavoidable: the terminal weakness of the opposition campaign lies in the lack of real substance underneath the slogans of family rule, corruption and executive presidency that are essentially contrived; adding to the problems of a campaign strategy based on mere innuendos of corruption and abuse of power are the credibility issues relating to those levelling the charges.

Obviously, the CIA planners have not thought hard enough about the sophisticated voters’ questions on Chandrika’s and Ranil’s own genesis in politics, purely through family connections, and their un-kept promises to abolish the executive presidency. They certainly have not been overly smart in recruiting the only past Sri Lankan president branded by the Supreme Court of the country as corrupt” to do their bidding through a trumped-up anti-corruption campaign.

Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe

As to Sirisena’s own allegations about rampant corruption and intolerable family rule, he is yet to answer question as to why he kept quiet for so long about alleged corruption and how he thinks the re-entry of Chandrika, of all people, would resolve any issues of family rule. The questions give the lie to Sirisena’s claims of being altruistically motivated, and expose his grudge against not being appointed prime minister as the real reason for his defection.

The country knows that Chandrika Kumaratunga is saddled with a record that is simply irreconcilable with her British-inspired role to lead a campaign against alleged family rule and alleged corruption. Her legendarily chaotic approach to the mundane task of time management and her incompetence in dealing with existential threats to national security – in the form of the LTTE and ‘the vile’ Eric Solheim – has shown that she did not have even the minimum level skills in managing her own personal affairs, let alone sound judgment to steer the country at troubled times.

Kumaratunga has demonstrated through (lack of) performance in the job that her elevation would not have occurred if not for family circumstances. Her record on corruptly handing over state land to cronies makes her promises to free the country of corruption a bad joke!

Protests about ‘family rule’ by a collective of individuals made up of Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa, Mangala Samaraweera, Navin Dissanayake and others – a group of desperados who rely on their own political ‘inheritance’ as the crutch for political survival is an attempted insult on the intelligence of the Sri Lankan people.

The transparent attempt to dishonestly preserve their own ‘birth-right’ to rule the country as a campaign to ‘free’ the country of family rule will not survive public scrutiny. Nor has Navin Dissanayake improved his credentials on truthfulness by refusing to take allegations of offers of a bribe – an excessive one by any measure of his political worth to any campaign – to the police.

A MoU between political non-entities

There are significant, un-answered questions relating to the political constituencies of the signatories to the MoU, including those who ‘partly’ signed, those supporting the movement without signing it and others in-between. A cursory look at the group shows that they are a disparate collective united only by political envy and jealousy of the popularity being enjoyed by President Rajapaksa and his development program.

An obvious question on the lips of the confused public is as to whom Chandrika Kumaratunga really represents these days, other than the British colonial interests in Sri Lanka; If Ranil Wickremesinghe is claiming to represent the UNP, why could not he, or did not he, put forward his own candidacy to contest President Rajapaksa?

The first failure of Chandrika to deliver” on her promise to ensure the cross-over of 60 members of the UPFA with Sirisena surfaced immediate following the euphoria that accompanied the coup” of Sirisena’s defection. The failure deflated Chandrika’s grandiose hopes of defeating the 2015 budget – her primary aim in re-entering” politics – that pruned her retirement privileges. Clearly her influence on the SLFP is overrated, and she hardly has any credibility or support among the ordinary people of Sri Lanka.

Obvious cracks within the UNP support” for the Sirisena candidacy began to show up in less than 48 hours after the signing of the MoU, with the Party’s general secretary Tissa Attanayake, Daya Gamage, Mangala Samaraweera and Sajith Premadasa starting to pull in different directions. Sirisena was accompanied on important campaign events only by Karu Jayasuriya, a man without a recognisable profile in the country.

Other signatories who aspire to be political operators, like the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera and Athuraliye Rathana Thera are clearly attempting to punch above their weight in political terms, for there is no support in terms of the membership numbers of their respective fancy-named groupings that could justify the noises they are making about the running of the country. Besides, they seem to have forgotten that politics is a laymen’s’ worldly affair and the monk’s role should be limited to offer advice to rulers, in the time honoured traditions of Sri Lanka.

The intentions behind that political force of one, Sarath Fonseka, signing the MoU after much dilly-dallying are clear: he signed after obtaining promises to restore his lost ‘rights’ including a ‘promotion’ to field marshal rank, and the post of defence minister. Fonseka’s behaviour is rent seeking at its worst, but he is certainly no stranger to entertaining wildly unrealistic dreams of grandeur! Other political loose-canons among the signatories, like Rajitha Senaratne and Arjuna Ranatunga, are not worth spending any time on.

The TNA, true to their cunning ways, are delaying the formal arrangement with the alliance, clearly on tactical grounds. The latest is that they will only announce their position in the third week of December, clearly intending to drown the announcement in the festive cheer. It is no secret that they are revelling at the promised dilution of presidential powers, for that would remove the single most powerful obstacle to them gaining a separate state; they are in no hurry to play their cards for the fear of a Sinhala backlash against Sirisena.

The common candidate promises to be everything to every person

The list of promises announced with the signing of the MoU has proven to be a moving feast. It started as a promise to abolish the executive presidency within 100 days, after forming an all-party government for a period of two years. The MoU also promised the ‘wholesome’ agenda of putting an immediate end” to (the largely imagined) large-scale fraud, bribery, corruption and waste of public funds and to restore” the rule of law, democracy, safeguarding the fundamental rights, media freedom – all within the first 100 days. Promise was also made to promise anything not promised in the original MoU, during the campaign. A case of formulating objectives and policies on the move!

The apparent lack of any legal forethought to Sirisena’s election promises make a mockery of their platitude to restore the rule of law, for a legal basis to deliver the promises – on transferring power to the prime minister, choosing Ranil as prime minister, and to abolish executive presidency – simply does not exist in the constitution; no one within the collective seems to have noted that the president has no power to abolish the executive presidency, with only the parliament with a two-third majority, and a majority in a referendum, would be in a position to abolish the executive presidency.

Unable to answer the emerging questions about the detail of the promises, Sirisena was pathetically attempting to recast them: in response to questions about the worrisome implications of any dilution of presidential powers on the provincial councils, Sirisena was reduced to ‘amend’ the promise to retaining certain duties and functions” vested to the President. He desperately attempted to defer the inevitable by referring to a government of National Unity for two years, to serve as a cure all”.

Sirisena’s promises on the economy were no better. They were full of waffly platitudes such as, The economic policy when we form a government will be an open economy” and We can give more benefits from development to the public”. Other promises such as the promise to eliminating corruption in 100 days are so inane as not to deserve serious comment.

The most worrying aspect of the glaring dishonesty of the common candidate campaign, and its piercing incompetency is having to contemplate the likely implications on the country of the unlikely prospect of such a group of individuals succeeding at the elections; the Sri Lankan voters however, have demonstrated that they know a fraud when they see one!

Michelle Sison hoisted with her own petard

There is dangerous, topical irony in the revelations. Just hours before her departure from our shores – prompted by revelations of the USAID Twitter campaign to ignite Aluthgama riots – that the US Ambassador Michelle Sison attempted to bribe Resettlement Minister Guneratne Weerakoon. This, at the same time they have been orchestrating an anti-government campaign based on charges of bribery and corruption in Sri Lanka.

Sison’s response to the allegations, backed up by voice recordings and the presence of the Secretary to the Ministry, was that the charges are ‘baseless’ and that they reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of US engagement” with senior government officials.

At least Sison did not lie in relation to misunderstandings” about their methods: People from civilised cultures have trouble understanding such ignoble behaviour which is par for the course for American agents operating from their fortresses referred to as embassies.

Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremasinghe have a lot to answer for.


2 Responses to “The common candidacy comes apart at the seams”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Briefly, I gather from the Letter of Resignation of Tissa Attanayake from the UNP, that he resigned because:

    1. The Malik-Ravi-Mangala group gutted his position, and his ability to function, as UNP General Secretary,

    2. The Common Candidate is not a UNP Party leader committed to UNP’s political agenda and acceptable to rank-and-file party members,

    3. The 3 Conditions in the Agreement to back Maithripala Sirisena as the Common Candidate negotiated by the Malik-Ravi-Mangala group, to wit

    3.1 Upon Maithripala Sirisena being elected as Executive President, he would within 24 hours appoint Ranil Wickramasinghe as the Prime Minister and transfer the Executive Powers of the Presidency to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of Ministers.

    3.2 Maithripala Sirisena would be accepted and named as the Common Candidate upon bringing with him 20-25 UPFA members, defecting the Common Opposition.

    3.3 Maithripala Sirisena would revise the Constitution completely, and abolish the Executve Presidency within 100 days.

    have already been violated in that Maithripala Sirisena did not bring 20-25 defectors, and, therefore, should not have been named the Common Candidate.

    4. After winning the Executive Presidency, Maitripala Sirisena and the JHU ship-jumpers INTEND to create a new political party of THEIR OWN, outside the UNP, viloating UNP expectations and creating another split within the Common Opposition, and not giving the UNP the benefit of the defectors from the SLFP!


    1. The EXTENT of the MONUMENTAL TREACHERY committed by the Maithripala Sirisena in agreeing in SECRET to GUT the Constitution of the Nation and hand over the nation to its AVOWED enemies that he had fought against as an SLFP party member for 47-years!

    Does this STUPID Common Candidate DESERVE our TRUST?

    2. The EXTENT of the INTERNECINE FACTIONAL INFIGHTING, CORROSIVE ROT & DECAY within the UNP itself. This does not begin to touch the issue of MINORITY INTERESTS with the UNP that TIME & AGAIN PREVENTS the UNP from adequately PROTECTING & DEFENDING the Nation.

    Does this FRACTURED United National Party DESERVE our TRUST?

    3. The Common Opposition is “Common” in name only, its FRACTURING into MORE opposing camps within itself, is ALREADY UNDERWAY!

    What an UNHOLY Alliance and Three-Ring-Circus of Untrustworthy Bunglers!

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    “Just hours before her departure from our shores – prompted by revelations of the USAID Twitter campaign to ignite Aluthgama riots – that the US Ambassador Michelle Sison attempted to bribe Resettlement Minister Guneratne Weerakoon.”

    I thought it was the BBS that ignited the Aluthgama riots?

    I don’t think BBS will be happy to give away credit for igniting the Aluthgama, Grandpass, Maligawatte, etc. riots to USAID.

    Our Daily News has become like Dear Leader Kim Jong Un’s “People’s Daily”. My hats off to KJU’s resistence against the imperialist, colonial, unscrupulous, meddling, hypocratic, despicable, other funny words, etc. west while playing basketball and rugby. North Koreans believe they have the HIGHEST GDP growth, LOWEST hunger, best government, least corrupt officials in the world. They pity the poor south Koreans who have to make Samsungs to earn their food. Ignorance is bliss.

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