Ranil undercuts Sajith by appointing Ravi K as deputy
Posted on December 9th, 2018

H. L. D. Mahindapala

A recent photo published in a news paper of a UNP meeting showed Ranil Wickremesinghe presiding, flanked by Sajith Premadasa (on  his right)   and Ravi Karunanayake (on his left). Sajith, of course, had taken  his  rightful place as the  anointed deputy leader of the party. He has proved his loyalty to the Leader and the party by refusing to take over the premiership handed to him by President Maithripala Sirisena. He also fits into the Ranil’s promise of handing over  power to the young and new leadership rising  within the party. Above all, he has a clean record so far – a feature that stands out like Dudley Senanayake in the den of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s uncounted thieves!

If Sajith Premadasa is the anointed Deputy Leader of the UNP, guaranteed to succeed Ranil Wickremesinghe, what the hell was Ravi Karunanayake signalling (politically) by sitting on the left hand side at this Party meeting?  Was Ranil feeling that cold to be flanked by two deputy leaders on either side? Seating arrangements in any significant political  gathering goes by ranking. Only the No. 2 gets the adjacent seat next to Numero Uno. Like the way Ranil twisted the 19th Amendment to expand the Cabinet beyond the limit  of 30 is he planning  to expand the number of  his deputies to secure  his position in the  party? The two deputies sitting  on  either  side, with  Ranil  in the centre, made the UNP leadership look like a three-headed donkey”, in the famous words of Dr. Colvin R. de Silva. But Ranil’s devious plan seems to have a more  sinister motive: as usual he is planning  to have two number twos to vie  with each  other so  that he can remain as No:1  in the  middle. This indicates clearly that he has  not  given up his usual crafty game of pitting one  against the other. It is also possible that he deliberately planted Ravi K next to  him to send a message to President Sirisena saying that his successor is Ravi and not  Sajith. So is Ranil feeling threatened by Sajith, who is preferred not  only from the top (i.e., President Sirisena  inviting him to be  PM) but also from the rank and  file openly opting for Sajith?

Any political observer reading  the disaffected rumblings going on at the grassroots of the Party will know that Sajith, like his father, could easily win in an inner  party leadership contest. Whether  Ranil’s manipulations can tilt the vote to his favourite, which has noticeably been Ravi K going back  in time, is questionable. Ambitious Ravi K has been close  to Ranil with  the sole aim of stepping  into his  Leader’s shoes. He was making his presence felt physically at the last meeting to signal that he has the blessings of Ranil to be next in line to the UNP throne. It was a conjecture when I first saw the photo at first in the newspaper. But the news item in CEYLON TODAY  (7/12) has confirmed my worst fears.  It said:  United National Party and former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has in writing informed UNP MP Ravi Karunanayake that he will be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Party and the Minister of Finance in a future Government.”

Where does this leave Sajith  Premadasa? What guarantees are there, when push  comes to shove, that Ranil will back him  the way he has stood by Ranil so far? Ranil expects Sajith to stand by him the way he stood  by President Premadasa when Lalith-Gamini combo led a futile challenge to  impeach the President on ridiculous  charges, one of which being  insane. Up until now Sajith has  paid back his dues with  his loyalty to Ranil. He has done his  bit. But will Ranil reward him  with  his gratitude?

If the news item quoted above is correct then Sajith’s future of  becoming prime minister is as good as Ranil’s future of becoming president in the next election. What  is puzzling is the sudden necessity at this sensitive and critical stage for Ranil to send an official letter confirming the status of Ravi Karunanayake as Deputy Leader in a future government, in addition to being  and future Minister of Finance. The news item does not  say that the Leader has appointed Ravi as an additional deputy in the Party hierarchy. Nor does it say whether Ravi is equal to Sajith in rank, or higher  or lower to Sajith. It says categorically that Ravi K will be appointed as the Deputy Leader of the Party and the Minister of Finance in a future Government.” For all  intents and purposes,  it is a cryptic statement that degrades Sajith and elevates Ravi K. The signs are ominous. First, he  gets Ravi K to sit next to him. Second, he sends an official confirmation of his status in a future government. Combined together  doesn’t this mean that Ranil is preparing the ground to give the boot to Sajith when he has consolidated his  grip on power and party, if and when he wins the next election?

From time to time Ranil had dangled carrots to Sajith to keep  him  quiet. And Sajith seems to have enjoyed the carrots hoping  it will lead him eventually to the seat of leadership. But the latest  move  of Ranil should alert Sajith  to the hard reality facing  him: he cannot  rely on his Leader to honour his  words. He should know by now  that the carrots are dangled  by his Leader only to keep him  happy and make him drag the UNP cart without  upsetting his journey to achieve his personal goals at the expense of the gullible Sajiths who will be sacrificed when  the time  is  ripe.

What is equally intriguing is why Ranil has moved so  hastily, at this early stage, to confirm Ravi K as his successor when there are other young and capable candidates in  the Party? There are young aspirants with unimpeachable integrity and promise like Ruwan Wijewardene, or Navin Dissanayake who is as suave as his  genial father, Gamini Dissanayake. But he skips these leaders of the future and picks the most crooked and corrupted perverter of justice to be his deputy. It is incredible that of all the UNPers Ranil should elevate an immoral and incorrigible liar to be the second-in-command of  the Party, dismissing all norms of Westminster traditions, let alone the basic morality accepted by our Punchi Singhos. What does this appointment say about Ranil’s ability to give moral leadership to  the nation? Isn’t the need of the  hour to find a leader who can  give unsullied moral  leadership? Can  this nation ever accept Ravi K as its leader? Has Ranil lost his marbles? His long  career in political  is nearing  its end with him dragging the nation to the lowest depths of degradation. Isn’t it his duty now  to lift the nation – if he can – to higher  levels of moral probity than handing over leadership to another inveterate crook who will have no compunction in plundering  the nation of even what  is left after the Bond scam”?

With what moral authority can Ranil appoint such a disreputable crook to the seat that was occupied by the Senanayakes, Bandaranaike and Jayewardene? Is the UNP up for sale for  the biggest wheeler-dealers of the  nation? Why is Ranil obsessed  with selling the assets of the nation to its enemies, robbers and crooks? Why select Ravi K of all members  in the UNP? Their past relationship tells the story behind Ranil’s choice. Ravi K has been Ranil’s closest partner in the International Democratic Union (IDU). Both are two halves of the same rotten, Right-wing, Christian, IDU apple. Ravi  K was Ranil’s constant companion in his journeys to the IDU. Both are linked closely to the Western camp. They are also linked to the Tamil lobbies, both in the Tamil diaspora and Sri Lanka. Ravi  K acts as Ranil’s front man  in  all the underhand dealings, particularly with the Tamil diaspora. They are ideological  twins. Ravi K received millions  from the Tamil diaspora. He was accused of money laundering and he got  off in the trial on a procedural technicality and not on the facts of the case. The story behind the court that dismissed his case too is intriguing and needs to be investigated.

Both  are pious humbugs who are skilled in the art of penetrating Buddhist temples and buying their blessings with political donations to either  hire or  silence the monks. Both  have close  links with the  Western embassies. If the West has to choose between Ravi  K and Sajith they would have no  hesitation  in  the picking their most  favoured man from  the IDU – a clone of Ranil — who could be manipulated easily. It is easy to manipulate corrupt people than the honest ones. Ideologically Ranil is after a successor  who would perpetuate his  pro-West, pro-separatist/federalist, pro-Tamil diaspora with an anti-national agenda. There is no one better suited in the Party than Ravi K. The political conduct of Sajith is not linked to this agenda so far. Sajith, rightly or wrongly, is seen as the anti-thesis of Ranil. He  is respected as a leader with  his feet planted firmly on Sri Lankan  soil. Like his father he  is regarded as the only UNPer who can bring the party back to its roots. He is trusted as a more credible Sinhala-Buddhists than Ranil and his running mate, Ravi K, covered in miles of pirith nools.

Ranil and Ravi K are two birds of a feather who have flocked together to dismantle the nation. Ranil’s goal  is to pass the baton to Ravi K. Though the trend in  the  party favours Sajith he cannot  expect Ranil to hand it over to him. The signs are clear: Sajith will have to be on guard and fight  all the way to the winning  post, if he can. Ranil will, of course, throw some crumb Sajith’s way to keep  him quiet. So will Sajith be Ranil’s lap dog and lie low, pleased with pats on his  head for being a good boy to  his master?

3 Responses to “Ranil undercuts Sajith by appointing Ravi K as deputy”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Who care if they want to fight among themselves but we want politicians to run our country for the benefit of the people but not for the benefit of the crooks in the parliament. Take the system that is practised in UK which is one of the best. I doubt our crooked system will ever allow that to happen.

  2. Christie Says:

    India and Indian Parasites decide who the leaders are.

  3. Nihal Perera Says:

    Ranil is a cancer in the UNP. As long as he is the leader, this party is going nowhere.

    Sooner they get rid of him, better for the party, and more importantly for the country.

    This colonial ass-kissing traitor/loser has done enough damage to the country. Time for him to disappear for good..!

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