Kirulapone Aftermath – Part 2
Posted on May 6th, 2016

Kirulapone proved beyond a doubt the staying power of Mahinda Rajapaksa as a central figure in Sri Lankan politics, and the ideological appeal and rapidly growing popularity of the Joint Opposition movement.

A quick recap

The Joint Opposition formed as a political grouping in Sri Lanka shortly after the fraud that happened after the General Election of August 2015.

The UPFA secured just 10 seats fewer than the UNP against odds which were severely stacked against them. The unelected UNP regime of January to August 2015 engaged in financial frauds and massive police-based intimidation, a political witch-hunt based on invented crimes and fabricated cases of corruption, and media suppression. The UPFA had to contend with a bigger problem too: treachery from within. The SLFP’s nominal head, the newly elected president Pambaya, engaged in all kinds of manipulations which were broadcast over and over by the media.

Pambaya made speeches against Mahinda Rajapaksa’s candidacy for the general election, wrote letters falsely accusing him of being a racist, criminal, crook, thief, and corrupt, and brazenly vowed to disregard the will of the people and block him from becoming prime minister even if the UPFA won the election. Pambaya also proceeded to sack the entire party leadership and unilaterally appoint new secretaries and party functionaries who were more loyal to him, though he did not have the power or the mandate to do this.

Thus, the SLFP/UPFA MPs who were elected were chosen on an anti-UNP, anti-Pambaya, anti-National government, pro-Mahinda platform. But after the election, instead of forming a strong opposition, a huge number of the elected SLFP MPs jumped ship and joined the new National Government” (which was in fact a coalition government) in exchange for Minister positions and various other perks and allowances, as well as to avoid any investigations or charges of corruption.

All those MPs who did not join were faced with interrogations or jail time for themselves and even their wives and children. The SLFP/UPFA voters were not happy with this turn of events. They were used to their MPs crossing over in the past, and perhaps in an earlier time there would be no consequences for the likes of Dayasiri ear biter” Jayasekara’s betrayal of his mandate.

Principled politicians

But in the current political environment, when the people specifically voted for MPs on the pro-Mahinda platform and studiously rejected those who had even briefly cooperated with the 100 day” unelected regime, the MPs who have ignored their mandate and crossed over are in for major trouble.

Sensing this principled position amongst the populace, the most principled politicians such as Dinesh, Bandula, Udaya and Wimal took a chance and formed a new political movement, calling themselves the Joint Opposition. In the Joint Opposition, unlike in the UPFA, they are all equal stakeholders, and not just a small constituent member.

Prior to the May Day rallies, the Pambaya decided to fire off a few warning shots. He indicated he would remove Mahinda’s security if the latter took part in the JointOp rally, he imprisoned Mahinda’s Navy Officer second son, and like before the general election, 2 days before the May Day, he sacked Geetha and another MP from their party organizer positions.

The Pambaya’s actions clearly show desperation. He has been trying since January 2015 to take control of the party. Remember, back in 2004, Mahinda was a little known fisheries minister. Over the years, Rajapaksa developed a devoted following of MPs and party workers. Pambaya’s thought process, no doubt reinforced by the mad ravings and affirmations of bandit Queen CBK, is that the only reason these people followed Mahinda was because he had power. Surely now that it is Pambaya in power, and it is Pambaya who can give out posts and perks, the party would shift to him and abandon Rajapaksa.

Perhaps August 2015 was too early for people to switch, but Pambaya must be thinking that by now, almost in August 2016, the party should come to him. That hasn’t happened. Pambaya has failed because there is more to politics than power, and also because Pambaya is a thoroughly unlikeable character.

End of the old politics

Those citizens who stand for true democracy and true sovereignty – as embodied by Nugegoda Man in 2015 and Kirulapone Man in 2016 – want to vote for a party that represents patriotism and national development. The servile UNP can never fulfil this political need, and their newest appendage the SLFP under CBK and Pambaya, is increasingly irrelevant. Those who voted for the SLFP/UPFA and those who work for the party currently, i.e. those who attend the May Day rallies, can see with their own eyes that their beloved party, which was formed from the patriotic portion of the old UNP by SWRD Bandaranayake decades ago, is slowly being re-merged with the UNP.

This leaves the patriotic forces without a party. Into this vacuum steps the Joint Opposition. As the throngs of people at Kirulapone amply showed, this new force is made up of principled politicians and is supported by a new demographic, never before seen in Sri Lanka. The new grouping of Sri Lankans doesn’t bother about party color or obtaining hand-outs from MPs. They have good jobs, they strive for a better future, are intelligent, and are well read (Smart Patriots,” shall we say), and will follow and vote for people like them: principled politicians who take the hard path, facing the Stasi-like FCID and jail in the name of the people and the patriotic mission, even though they could easily switch allegiance and get themselves an easy life of luxury under the Pambaya.

The Pambaya is thus presiding over the destruction of the SLFP. The party that was once a noble pro-people bulwark against the excesses of a UNP beholden to foreign interests, is now rotting away, having been infected by the gangrenous political bodies it is forced to support: rejected candidates like Vijith Soysa and long irrelevant seniors like Susil, Nimal Siripala, Yapa, and CBK.

A new future

The Pambaya’s acts of vengeance against the party grassroots, not least of which the suspension of the provincial councils, has led to an exodus of party workers into the ranks of the Joint Opposition. As the SLFP party machinery dismantles, the support structures crumble away and the party has begun to collapse. What could be more emblematic of this than the fact that out of desperation, the Pambaya recently appointed former UNP president JR Jaywaradena’s grandson as a SLFP party organizer?

The SLFP, like the UNP and JVP, are from a different era, a time long gone. Sri Lanka’s politics is entering a period of readjustment, which frankly is long overdue. Pambaya has achieved something never thought possible in Sri Lanka. His selfish, jealousy based actions have led to the awakening of a new non-partisan voter fed up with politics as usual.

In an amazing symbiosis, it is these new citizens who have brought about the formation of the Joint Opposition, and simultaneously the Joint Opposition has provided a voice and hope for the new citizens, and in a virtuous cycle, the new citizens are now propelling the Joint Opposition to the pinnacle of power. This heralds the beginning of a modern political system which stands in stark contrast to the tribalist green vs blue” primitiveness that we have been faced with since Independence.

So, while the UNP won the January battle through various lies about Lamborghinis, horses and helicopters, and the August battle through making a mockery of the democratic process, they have only entrenched themselves in the old politics.

Ranil and his Pambaya won the battles of the past, but their tyrannical, anti-democratic, and anti-national regime has created a new political paradigm, and they have set themselves up for a tremendous and humiliating defeat in the war for the future.

2 Responses to “Kirulapone Aftermath – Part 2”

  1. Sarath W Says:

    He should be called “The Desha Drohi Indian Pambaya”.

  2. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    The sentence I love is “SLFP, UNP JVP (not worth mentioning) are from a different era, a time long gone. SL politics are entering a period of readjustment.” One must understand that Election Commissioner and CBK are the most dangerous and how to confront them will be an uphill task.

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