A role for Sajith and UNP ginger group
Posted on August 27th, 2019

BY ROHANA R. WASALA Courtesy The Island

The artificially sensationalized controversy within the UNP ranks about the authenticity of the party deputy leader Sajith Premadasa’s educational qualifications, in the twilight of its barely legitimate rule, is a strangely anticlimactic, but justly retributive, reversal of its unbroken mudslinging campaign against the Rajapaksas, whose democratic return to power they have been determined to forestall by hook or by crook.

The controversial 19th Amendment was primarily intended to keep them out of power for the foreseeable future. The calling into question of Premadasa’s academic attainments is actually much ado about nothing, provoked by the heated leadership tussle between two camps, within the party, the reactionary jaded old guard clinging to its hereditary ‘ownership’ of the party, and a relatively younger ginger group within its ranks; clamouring for a change of party leadership trying to make it less inimical to the rising nationalist spirit of the electorate. But it promoted pro-Premadasa propaganda as a negative marketing strategy by giving a little boost to his presidential nomination bid. Sajith is embattled on two fronts: He is embarked on a struggle for rising to party leadership, and he has started, at least at the individual level, his presidential campaign. While the second (which is actually premature because it is still uncertain whether the UNP will agree to his candidacy) is already a lost cause, in view of the dismal performance of the Yahapalana regime of which he has been a senior member; his success in the first is of vital importance for himself and for his party. But Premadasa, or his potential replacement who will come to lead the faction that is now loyal to him within the UNP, will have a historic role to play in the evolution of a stable two-party system of parliamentary democracy that will be safe from the undue minoritarian influence that is at present ruining the country. What is the thinking behind this man in the street opinion of mine?

There is a popular diversionary tactic used these days by the 2015 change makers and their propagandists, against those who are set to rescue the nation state from further destabilization and destruction. It is being adopted by the JVP and a handful of recent upstarts, like lawyer Nagananda, for their own purposes. This is to attribute the country’s current politically and economically ruinous situation, as well as its strategically exaggerated developmental backwardness over the past 70 years of independence, to a single alleged cause: what they identify as the ingrained corruption, lawlessness and general depravity of all the politicians who have been ruling, generally, as members of the two main political parties, the UNP and the SLFP taking turns. Significantly, these advocates of radical change avoid talking about the much more important causes of Sri Lanka’s worsening fate, such as the 30-year civil war and its poisonous aftermath, brazen foreign interference in its internal affairs that exploits it, and the related, recently introduced, Wahabist terrorism, to name just a few of those vital factors they overlook.

This indiscriminate attack on all past politicians, and all the current 225 MPs, plus the President, may look like gospel truth for the least informed few of the normally well informed millennial generation (18 – 40 year olds). It is a fallacious argument thought up and regularly peddled by the JVP for over 50 years now. The same specious reasoning has been picked up by a few others, equally innocent of a general knowledge about how parliamentary democracy has malfunctioned; particularly after the 1956 watershed, more due to other potent factors including the communalism of some minority politicians than to corruption, which itself remains rampant, at least partly, as a result of minority politicians having the upper hand in parliament due to the fact that MPs belonging to the two main national parties are divided on party lines.(However, Lalkantha, JVP’s politburo member and well known trade union leader, publicly admitted the hollowness of the aforementioned fossilized line of thought recently; he also advocated a halt to Mahinda bashing. Whether his opinion is shared by the rest of the JVP hierarchy is yet to be seen.)

All genuine attempts, made by consecutive governments for the restoration of full national independence in terms of governance, economic development, cultural resurgence, education through the medium of native languages, and so on, with a view to creating a truly egalitarian society where all communities are treated without discrimination of any form, have always met with limited success due to the few powerful communalists among minority politicians, failing to cooperate with the non-communalist majority politicians; often they have exploited the competition between the two main national parties, the UNP and the SLFP, to dictate policies in the parochial communalistic, rather than, the national interest. The virulence of minoritarianism in parliament is such that, assisted by other factors, it has indirectly reduced the SLFP to a mere wraithlike rump already, and it is leading the UNP (the current governing party) around by the nose. This reflects the parlous state of parliamentary democracy in Sri Lanka today, which has left the vast non-communalist minded ordinary citizens that form at least 95% of the population, virtually silenced and leaderless. The few communalists there are ruling the roost.

It is up to the two main parties to put an end to this anomaly immediately and to reverse the catastrophic course that Sri Lanka is being forced to take. Of these the almost dead SLFP (hence described as ‘wraithlike’ above) seems to have no future unless integrated with the newly formed SLPP; which now represents the ‘left of centre’ alternative to the ‘rightist’ UNP in the roughly two-party system that has evolved since independence. The fact that there are no significant differences between their respective political ideologies, except for the UNP’s westward leaning neoliberal economic policies and the SLFP’s (or its reincarnation the SLPP’s) relatively independent, urban rural balanced, development oriented, economic structure and its nationalist stance in domestic politics and diplomatic relations with other countries, is a factor that is conducive for democracy. At this critical hour, considering the ground realities, the SLPP, but not the UNP, is most likely to produce the national leader that the country needs.

Sri Lankans are not so mad as to want to undergo the Yahapalana experience a second time. The election bid of every possible UNP candidate will be inevitably undermined by the stigma of their association with the destructive Yahapalanaya. Premadasa, or any other UNP candidate, will not be a formidable challenge to the SLPP nominee. Pre-2015 Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa was officially announced as the SLPP’s presidential candidate at its first national convention held at the Sugathadasa indoor stadium in Colombo on August 11, 2019. The announcement was enthusiastically celebrated across the country, setting off crackers.

Meanwhile, it is a fact that the UNP sorely needs at least a leader, like the late Premadasa, for its survival, but Sajith is not capable of filling that vacancy; primarily because he lacks even the leadership qualities that his father possessed. I say this because, instead of trying to appeal to the people as a capable leader of the same mould as his father, he tries to impress them, mistaking them for a captive electorate mesmerised by the personal charisma that he imagines he has, by his haughtiness of manner, lack of empathy with others, and his apparent superiority complex. Sajith’s public persona, since the death of his father, has betrayed these personality deficits. Such a person is not fit to lead a political party, much less the country. Four and a half years of Yahapalanaya must have knocked some sense into the heads of the people who voted it into power in 2015.

However, I for one, think that Sajith P need not depend on his father’s name or fame alone to play the role that he is destined to play, as it were, but he’d better not dream of becoming president overnight. There is something more important for him to do before that as suggested at the beginning. It is up to him to correctly assess his importance or rather his current unimportance actually, to begin with; then, he needs to understand what that role is, and play it to the best of his ability, for his own good, and his party’s, and most importantly, for the good of the country in the long run. The historic role that I am suggesting for Sajith is to do with the preservation of the UNP as one of the two main parties in a successful two-party system (the other being the newly formed SLPP in place of the virtually obsolete SLFP), where bipartisan compromise, necessitated by national interest, obviates too much government dependence on communalist minority parties for the purpose of forming a stable government (The ground reality is that these communalist parties do not represent the vast majority of the ordinary members of the Tamil and Muslim minority communities, who are now with the Sinhalese majority). He must bide his time until he is able to claw his way up to the top of the party, and mark time until the SLPP restores the country to normality over the next few years. All peaceful patriotic Sri Lankans are patiently waiting for a democratic reversal of the catastrophic results of the foreign engineered regime change conspiracy of 2015. As for the SLPP, it should not take at face value any of the former Yahapalana worthies or their allies who now want to make common cause with them.

12 Responses to “A role for Sajith and UNP ginger group”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    “The ground reality is that these communalist parties do not represent the vast majority of the ordinary members of the Tamil and Muslim minority communities, who are now with the Sinhalese majority.”

    This is an important assessment by the writer.

    It is the almost wholesale support of the Sinhala, Buddhist and Christian, community for the SLPP, and the new mindset of the Tamil and Muslim communities referred to above, that will deliver a LANDSLIDE VICTORY to the SLPP-led opposition in the coming elections.

    <b.Ordinary Sri Lankans want their NATION to be PRESERVED WHOLE, their LIVES to be PROTECTED, their RIGHTS as citizens to be GUARANTEED by trustworthy leaders, and a STABLE GOVERNMENT that can DELIVER ECONOMIC PROSPERITY!

    They NOW KNOW they can ALL OF THIS and MORE with a Pohotttuwa-led Nationalist Government! They TRUST NO ONE ELSE!

  2. Dilrook Says:

    Politicians come and go but Sri Lanka is doomed. No one from the main political camps has the courage to purge felons. They need them. Rule of law is a definite casualty no matter who wins between SLPP and UNP.

    Very soon Sri Lanka will become ungovernable. Killing civilians is not the solution when that happens. It only invites R2P.

    Having a US citizen as president or first lady will give USA a powerful tool to manipulate Sri Lanka. The same tool will be used by the LTTE, ISIS, NGOs and others to get things done via USA. If Sinhala civilians are killed by the regime for whatever reason, Sinhalese must also use the same tool via USA to put pressure on the regime.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    US citizen as President? Where did you get that from? Have you not heard that Gota has RENOUNCED US citizenship, or have you been visiting another world lately?

    Don’t make clearly false statements, Dilrook!

  4. Dilrook Says:

    @Ananda

    Hopefully not. But having a US citizen first lady is the same.

  5. Vaisrawana Says:

    Dilrook, “Hopefully not.” What are you saying? You expect Gota not to have given up his US citizenship? or you want to go on making what Ananda-USA calls “clearly false statements”? If Gota says he has renounced his US citizenship, that is it. He doesn’t indulge in frivolous talk. No further questioning about it is necessary. He has established his trustworthiness with the people.

    I am reluctant to believe that you are incurably prejudiced against Gota, who, to me, is the most upright Sri Lankan politician that ever appeared on the political stage during my 50 years of reasonably critical political awareness. His wife Ayoma too is an honourable woman who is worthy of her highly cultured husband. All her family including her parents are American citizens. Although she stands by her husband in whatever he does, and occasionally gets involved in patriotic projects that he initiates, she is not a politician. Most probably, she is has dual citizenship (i.e., both American and Sri Lankan).

    Don’t you think that the majority of Sri Lankans stay calm, hopeful and patient in the face of Yahapalana depredations mainly because Gota has appeared on the scene with a strong promise of restoring national security and economic recovery, which have totally disappeared under Yahapalanaya? Who else is there to offer such hope to the Sri Lankan people at this moment?

  6. Dilrook Says:

    @Vaisrawana

    I meant hopefully a US citizen will not become president, prime minister or even a MP. Giving up US, etc. citizenship is a must for self and spouse.

    If Gota and Ayoma give up their US citizenship, I would very much love and support Gota to rule Sri Lanka. An excellent outcome for Sri Lanka.

    Basil and his wife must also give up US citizenship as Basil is the leader of the SLPP – a Sri Lankan political party. Similarly Irish and British citizens and their spouses must not determine anything related to Sri Lanka. Nagananda’s wife cannot remain a British citizen if Nagananda is going to rule Sri Lanka.

    Surely Sri Lanka cannot end up like Ghandhi’s India or Bhutto’s Pakistan. These countries were manipulated through the spouses of their leaders who happened to be foreign citizens. They absolutely ruined these neighbouring countries and where are those parties now?

  7. Randeniyage Says:

    A simple question to blind faiths.

    Why can’t he show the proof ? All citizens have a right to see it. All citizens have a right not to believe words. If he cannot show the proof it is considered as a HUGE LIE. Lying is simple and a way of life for ALL big shots.

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    Randeniyage,

    You ask “Why can’t he show the proof ?”

    I’ll tell you why. there is NO NEED to do so yet, until the Presidential Candidate Nominations are submitted to the Elections Commissioner and then ONLY to the relevant authorities.

    Given the PhotoShop enthusiasts who have already produced ONE FAKE propaganda document on this, it is TOO DANGEROUS to do so and make it easy for the ENEMY to exploit it!

    Gota has AMPLE EXPERIENCE of FAKE DOCUMENT and FAKE VIDEO Productions during the war, and in its “war Crimes” aftermath. He is NOT GOING TO MAKE IT EASY for the CREEPY CRAWLERS to buckle this election!

    We PATRIOTS BELIEVE Gota when he says he has RENOUNCED US citizenship and will produce proof to the relevant authorities when the need arises! God KNOWS we have TRUSTED HIM with our COLLECTIVE LIVES in the PAST and TRUSTING HIM on this is EASY! Besides, neither the Rajapaksa family, nor the Pohottuwa Party is going to select him as their Presidential Candidate without verifying this in detail! There is NO NEED to satisfy his enemies!

  9. Randeniyage Says:

    @Ananda
    OK. I hope you are correct but not sure whether you accepted the fact that people need to know it.
    About photo shop, we all know who did it recently.
    I believe you have seen the following

    “https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/exclusive-diliths-fake-certificate-scheme-backfires-stock-market-takes-a-hit/”

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Randeniyage,

    People KNOW it, they have HEARD HIM say it. That should be SUFFICIENT for now.

    Every Doubting Thomas in the country need not be provided proof PERSONALLY even if it is practically possible to do that. Let us not impose impossible unnecessary requirements on our leaders that not even the so-called “developed” countries apply.

    Some people will NEVER accept it, but that is OK since there are also those who still believe that US astronauts NEVER LANDED on the moon, but at some desolate place in Arizona! Should we try to convince those nay sayers too?

  11. Randeniyage Says:

    @Ananda
    What !
    1. Have one law for all (no Thesawalamei, no Sharia, no Kandyan, no Mukkuvar laws).
    2. Remove the provincial council system.

    these are easily achievable requirements ! One has to be greedy and indifferent to the country if these promises cannot be made! Even the NGOs are making this promise !

  12. Randeniyage Says:

    @ Ananda

    please watch this if you haven’t done already.

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y72Y5-36sKc”

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