SLFP ON BRINK OF DESTRUCTION; CAN IT BE SAVED?
Posted on December 30th, 2015
SLFP is on a path of self-destruction ably assisted unwittingly by its hierarchy. Those at the helm are the ones who are taking the party to oblivion notwithstanding holding the prime positions of Presidency and partner of a National Government and holds peak positions in the Cabinet. A tragi-comedy is unfolding?
Alas, they all survive under the shade tree of the UNP irrespective of the distance artificially woven. That is the flaw in the fragility. SLFP is no more deeply rooted to nationalism or wedded to homemade socialism instead is crafted to suit the practical needs of its ruling junta. Policies and Principles run akin to the needs of its leadership’s desire to thrive for a while. Give its stout voters – once constituted vocal majority – the right to vote at a general election to see the result? They do not vote for a party leader who fails to criticize his loved opponent.
Both shades of the fractured SLFP – supportive and un-supportive of the government – are destructive of the party that ruled the longest in our political history by yielding a place to outsiders with insiders demoted to the rear. It happened from the time of the Chandrika Kumaranatunga’s administration, kept growing due to its leadership’s contemptuous inferiority complex against its own party peoples’ ability and highly over rating the purchase able opponents. Leaders carried a complex; followers lived on their means. Leadership found it more secure of those coming from outside the party arena for they lacked backers in the party to offer a challenge. Naturally, opposition to the leadership grew from within.
To rewind Mahinda Rajapaksa after his presidential defeat needed a group of MPs’ from outside the SLFP to give its own parliamentarians a wake up call since degraded as feeble from infancy in the party. It is impossible to give life to a body in a mortuary. Such is the tired SLFP lineup.
Constituent groups of the UPFA may soon form a party to challenge the SLFP/UNP – only for the party stalwarts to join an emerging party to hold office in secondary roles. They need a place to survive but their presence can take the gloss off the new party if too many join dressed in freshly colored new party shirts.
That suits the promoters’ as the SLFP will take two steps backwards if supporters join in hordes. Vainly they still strive to keep the Rajapaksa mascot alive for their survival. Unlike the founding fathers of the SLFP and after Sirima Bandaranaike’s SLFP leadership stint, those following undermined the party from within to present it as a shaky skeleton in 2016. They were comfortable in the company of the ideologically different and found such suitable dinner companions to talk shop. Voters did not fall in line with the leaders. Problem is more acute today.
After two successive defeats to resurrect Mahinda Rajapksa in his deep seventies at the next election time is not feasible with a youthful voting population. He swallowed the rope once and lost feebly and is too savvy to do it again. His performance as a Member of Parliament for Kurunagala is lackluster. He makes it so as a versatile actor. Fresh and recognized youthful names in fields outside politics will be attractive to the electorate, if a new party is formed, fatigued by the present politicians in their reverting roles.
No longer is SLFP a Top Dog though holding prime positions but a docile and servile Lame Dog of its prime opponent. Just a year back it was ungraciously lording over the UNP but when President Sirisena took over the party he made it look more like the UNP “B” team due to his personal obligations. That would not please SLFPs’ proud voters. They will drift but not to the spent JVP a weak silhouette of the UNP. They are bound to teach a lesson to the blue shirts in the green corner.Those guys are smarter. They will undermine the UNP from beneath after the third year in office [19th amendment deems four years and six months as compulsory parliamentary lifetime] to try curry favour of their defected voters. UNP will lament too late.
Results will be seen at the next general elections; the beginning of the debacle. UNP stands to gain, as SLFP will split into several different shades of blue. Ranil Wickremesinghe is craftily setting the stage to emerge for another season. Economically he might commit suicide before the general elections especially if he tries to loosen the unitary structure to please the anti national forces within and outside our shores. That will be issue No 2 after the economy/cost of living index.
Next general elections may provide an opening for the emergence of a replacement to a wounded SLFP. Both the two old parties are gasping but surviving in 2016 in the absence of a new political party in the horizon. Time is right to conceive so as to replace Sirisena’s SLFP. Wily Sirisena might not follow the path of Dahanayake to sunset, instead might team up with the UNP, of value to him, as he could carry a small parcel of the SLFP voters with him especially from his home districts.
SLFP was a family party of the Badaranaikes and Rajapaksas and the families provided the pride and shame of the party at time variances. Family Trees held repercussions for the SLFP for it did not care to build a leadership outside their progeny in a party where the paterfamilias materfamilias are still held in awe by the followers.
Next generation brought its downfall since they did not live up to the aspirations of the forefathers that rendered a service to the nation. Pups never reached the point of adoration their elders matched. They were too alienated from the ordinarily and sensible men that make opinions. Their young life style shows it and are ruled out of being beloved at any time, except by the rewarded hurrah boys. They will fade gently as did Anura Bandaranaike from politics. Historically he deserved a better place for his superb oratory in parliament. Only time he labored hard was to write his speech – a man of great talent – of talent wasted.
To fall into the charmed circle of the inner sanctuary of the ruling regime was not a call for any independent or intellectual man or woman with an iota of self-respect. Mahinda Rajapaksa would rethink his positions if he was advised sincerely but his paid secretaries preferred to sound sweet to keep him in a happier frame. They led to his downfall. Upstarts joined in plenty and now make news for reasons foul. They did well personally but gave the SLFP a bad name that is difficult to outgrow. Last known genuine intellectual of the SLFP was Lakshman Kadirgamar who spent his last days in the party regretfully. Others were toadies or minions.
SLFP bought talent from the other parties – the exception was Ms. Sirima Bandaranaike who felled the LSSP and built her team from within the SLFP. Those who joined the SLFP as politicians or administrators are bleached intellectuals that became front men fast or feeble court criers of a corrupt regime and few became tutors of the progeny to hold a position in the inner sanctum but never taught the rights and wrongs of good governance as they did not dare to fall from the lofted perch. Such men were not corrupt but the fallen have no pedestal to crow from again. Administrators obligingly fell in line with the leadership’s failings and being insecure, closed doors for any new entrants, thinking new talent, might jeopardize their place of luxury in the sun. So it was always the same names that took flight on the domestic airline in jumbo size entourages to visit foreign dignitaries. Those few are responsible for disappearance of the SLFP and the defeat of the Rajapaksa regime, as they wanted it all for their favored circle of toad suckers and them. May their last days be of fond memories of the glory times they enjoyed as they helped to destroy a great party? The big story is can the SLFP survive while being slaughtered by its varied leaderships? Would any have thought so a year back?
President Sirisena will offer the last rites to the SLFP as he stands courteously to the UNP for making him President. His home is equidistant to the SLFP and UNP. He took over the SLFP; it will never be the same again.Who will give it the last whiff of oxygen, as the party men move hither and thither in a search to survive? Is Sirisena’s place in SLFP’s coffee table book-hero or villain? Time will tell.
– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/101107/slfp-on-brink-of-destruction-can-it-be-saved#sthash.5oYW2WYk.hR7jNEWd.dpuf