What makes it different?
Posted on September 12th, 2019

S. AKURUGODA

As reported in the media, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe is to hold crucial talks with his deputy Sajith  Premadasa amid a deepening crisis over their party’s presidential candidacy.

Although there were disputes among the hierarchy of the UNP back in 1988 on similar matters the issues were not taken out onto the streets like today. Whatever the outcome of the meeting, the obvious question is what makes it different to the country whether the presidential candidate is Ranil or Sajith. The easiest way to get some idea is to compare the ruling periods of Ranil’s uncle J.R.Jayawardane (JR J) and Ranil with those of Sajith’s father R.Premadasa.  

Ranil’s political ideologies are heavily in line with the west similar to JRJ. On the other hand, Sajith is promising to follow his father’s footsteps if elected president.

 UNP, under JRJ, which came to power promising a Dharmista Samajayak” cultivated a ‘bicycle chain’ culture to beat opponents, mass rigging of elections, thuggery, an underworld, etc. and was said to have practiced same with the full patronage of its highest level.  We remember how civil rights of the late Prime Minister and the leader of the SLFP Mrs. Bandaranaike were expunged using the mammoth parliamentary powers and how she was kept out of the main political stream throughout the UNP regime led by JRJ as President and R.Premadasa as PM).

One could ask the question, remembering how personalities like Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra were beaten up when participating in a protest rally, whether anyone had the freedom to protest when the ‘bicycle chain’ culture was at its peak. One could also ask how the Supreme Court judges were humiliated for exercising their judicial freedom by delivering a right judgment in favour of Mrs. Vivienne Goonawardane and the reaction of the JRJ regime at that time. The repercussions of the ‘kalu juliya’ were quite evident and continued for several decades.

Due to the short-sighted policies of the UNP led by JRJ and then followed by R. Premadasa, thousands of lives of Sinhala youths, who were forced to take-up arms against suppression (among many other things), were lost during the infamous ‘bheesana samaya’.  People of this country remembered atrocities committed under ‘bheesana samaya’ and since then the  UNP (once considered as a ‘one party’ political giant) was rejected several times by the people of this until 2015, except its narrow win in 2002 with the support of LTTE and other parties formed on racial groupings.

 During the short period in power, 2002-2005, Ranil signed an unconstitutional and hence illegal agreement with a murderer, Prabhakaran, who was wanted by the Interpol and was sentenced to 200 years imprisonment by the high court of the country. An enormous support was given to the terrorist outfit during his tenure of office under this treacherous agreement. Fortunately, the people of this country was clever enough to sense the danger posted on the national security and the sovereignty of the country and to defeat the UNP and its short-sighted leader twice, once in 1994 and then in 2005.

The entire country is now aware of what the UNP regime (which came to power in 2015 promising a Yahapalanayak” ) has done, commencing from its notorious Bond Scam, hunting political opponents, selling national assets,  disrespecting rights of the people by not holding elections,  completely disregarding country’s national security and the economy.  

Both the presidential aspirants of the UNP, Ranil and Sajith, who are confused and apparently depressed due to their own failures, could not yet feel the heartbeat of the people and the dangers facing the country today. Instead they are still singing the old songs of maximum devolution” to please the extremist racial elements aiming their votes to stay in power.

S. AKURUGODA

12 Responses to “What makes it different?”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    RANIL MUST GRACEFULLY RETIRE, AND LET YOUNG BLOOD TAKE OVER.

  2. Mario Perera Says:

    Susantha,

    How can a man who is up to his neck in the bond scam retire ‘gracefully’? He must be ‘forced’ out of office. Heisnot even fit to continue living in decent society.

    But who or what can exercise this force? Not his fellow politicians. They all wallow in the same quagmire hand in hand.

    Can the law do it? The law is in the hands of this scum.

    Can the religious bodies do this? How can they? They impart their blessing to this scum.

    Can the people eject them? How can they? they keep on electing them to carry on regardless.

    So what? Sadly NOTHING.

    We go back to what W.S.Senior wrote of Mother Lanka: My cities are laid in ruins, their courts through the jungle spread. My scepter is long departed, and the SCUM is lord instead.

    The country is DOOMED. It is clothed in the mortuary cloth of GLOOM.

    This election enthusiasm on Lankaweb is the ‘dance maccabre’ on the stage of doom to the music of gloom. The pithy Sinhala saying is: neva gilunath ban choon’

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

  3. aloy Says:

    As perhaps promised on the early hours of 9th Jan. 2015, stage is set to hand over power to MR & Co. RW is sure to be the leader of opposition and one phone call to MR will solve all his problems, while the minorities will call the shots until the heir apparent gets his chance. The RW and Sajith talks are theatrics to divert attention.

    This will be the destiny of Sinhalas unless of course the man on the seat makes a ‘smart move’: either get a complete outsider to be the next prez through his party or hand over to the military.

  4. aloy Says:

    As seen in the recent days this country is ungovernable. Any new comer will need the maximum support of the forces.

    We often say our country was only second to Japan economically at the beginning. By that we are indirectly saying how good were the Brits in managing the affairs of the country using slave labour imported from India and making use of our resources ( and using the minorities to govern).

    Time and again our leaders have proved how foolish they are. When leaders like LKY and Mahathir Mohamad were looking outwards to see how they can integrate their economies with the rest of the world one of our leaders made poya and pre-poya holidays thereby shutting down the country to outside world for four working days of the month and that was during the time of peace. If he could handle economy well at that crucial period the troubles in the North and East would not have happened.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dear Aloy,

    You said “We often say our country was only second to Japan economically at the beginning. By that we are indirectly saying how good were the Brits in managing the affairs of the country……”

    Your take on this is QUITE WRONG, and I, for one, DON’T SAY AT ALL what you attributed to us above!

    The ORDINARY citizens of Sri Lanka are FAR BETTER OFF than the ORDINARY citizens of Sri Lanka were during the British Raj!

    The “ECONOMY” that you identify in your statement was that of the British Colonials, not of the economy in which most people of Sri Lanka participated and lived in during those times!

    If MOST of the people of a country are suppressed and unable to fulfill their needs, uneducated, without healthcare, good employment,or a stable income, living from hand to mouth, owning and contributing only a SMALL FRACTION to the VALUE of the national economy, then that econmy is NOT REPRESENTATIVE of them.

    Then, if the health of the “economy” is assessed only on the basis of the lifestyle of the governing colonial ELITE and the EXPORTS INCOME they produce through slave labor on land they forcibly confiscated from the native owners, IT IS VERY EASY to show a HEALTHY ECONOMY ON PAPER based on the balance of that export trade. But, that “ECONOMY” is not that of the country as a whole, but only of the GOVERNING COLONIAL ELITE OCCUPYING THE COUNTRY by force of arms!

    Today, VAST STRIDES have been made to benefit the COMMON PEOPLE of the country, who for the better or worse determine their own fate democratically. They participate in contributing to the ECONOMY far more than in those “good ole Colonial days” of the British Raj!

    Any AVERAGE citizen of Sri Lanka today is LEAPS and BOUNDS better off than the AVERAGE Sri Lankan citizen of 1948.

    So, we should not praise the “economy” of Sri Lanka during the British Raj which was NOT REPRESENTATIVE of the Nation of the poverty stricken people of that day, and then complain about the economy of the Nation today in which the people enjoy a far better quality of life and participate more fully in creating that economy!

    In other words, the ECONOMIC HEALTH of a country should always be assessed and rated in relation to the QUALITY OF LIFE of the people of a country and through PARAMETERS REPRESENTATIVE of the people as a whole.

  6. aloy Says:

    I think everybody writing on this forum are entitled to have their own opinion and I try to express it without any bias.

    I was only comparing what we have had at independence with outside world; not the level of education etc, with those countries. Yes, when we look around we see a lot of flashy cars and some expressways on which those vehicles that can be driven fast. But that is largely by exporting our women to ME for slave labour. Our industrialists and business people invest their profits overseas or put that in offshore banks. The World Bank, ADB and even China have no problem in giving loans to us as these people are the collateral for such loans. And what they do with those loans is mind boggling. It has come to a point that the loan givers have begun to withdraw halfway of some projects as the politicos are asking for hefty bribes.

    Not only that our politicos try to give a cushy life to the dependence of those British slaves at the expense of Sinhala slaves that we export now. MR, Basil, Namal et al. even did it unashamedly by hoisting the Indian flag at our independence day in Nuwara Eliya few years ago for thir votes. I have seen it on TV. These people except the likes of CWW Kannangara and SWRD had no policy towards the development of SL. That is the reason for very low percentage from national GDP for education. Do not think the Brits gave Mahaweli loans for the love of our country. That was given to JR for giving citizenship to millions of their slaves at the expense of the Sinhala land owners. And Mrs. even lost her civic rights for trying to send them off; that was the real reason.
    These are the reasons why we have not been able to reap the full potential of our people.

  7. Dilrook Says:

    SL under Brits and present state is a wrong comparison. Obviously subjects of a foreign occupying force cannot be better off than a free nation.

    The correct comparison should be between other countries, then and now. It is the relative development that matters.

    1. Until early 1970s the Sri Lanka Rupee was more valuable than the Indian rupee. Things have gone bad since.

    2. In 1948 we had a net foreign asset position of about $150 million. This has gone negative since 1970s and worsened since 2011. In other words, the real wealth of the nation is reducing particularly after 2011 with foreign loans increasing massively and forex reserves grow far too slowly. This is a very worrying matters.

    In other words, since 2011 SL is seriously going backwards in national wealth.

    Both these cannot be manipulated by politicians. GDP is a made-up-figure by political appointees. It means nothing in SL. In my view, the correct GDP should be 20% less than the stated figure since 2011.

  8. Mario Perera Says:

    The bottom line of the issue is:

    What is the SOUL that animates Sri Lanka?

    The answer is: MASSIVE UNPAYABLE LOANS

    Who in the country derives most from these massive unpayable loans? The ruling class. These loans are linked to massive commissions and other paybacks.

    Are these loans put to proper use? Just think of Hambantota: its airport…its port. Think also of Helping Hambantota funds. Where did these funds go? Into the then rulers pocket. The very Chief Justice who exonerated him confessed that his judgment was wilfully wrong.

    What is end result of these massive unpayable loans? The SALE (some openly called 99 year leases) of the country’s lands.

    Also look at the way the country’s monetary system is manipulated by the rulers. Think of the Bond Scams and the many similar scams. Who benefits? The rulers.

    Indeed weeping heart-broken Lanka can cry out: My scepter is long departed: the local SCUM is Lord instead.

    Mari Perera, Kadawata

  9. Randeniyage Says:

    I can only compare near future government ( as Dilrook predicted) to ousted boss of Maldives. If not this time , people will definitely wake up in 2025. In that way we are behind Maldives by a decade.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    If petroleum prices rise due to war in Saudi Arabia, etc. SL will be in deeper crisis. The government will be forced to hike prices but election will postpone it. The oncoming government will be unpopular before the parliamentary election. People don’t buy the logic of war in Saudi. They think the new president can do anything!

    If oil prices rise, the most logical thing for this regime is to keep local prices steady. Let the new president raise prices. He has to as foreign reserves cannot sustain high fuel prices for long. The sooner political clans realise SL is ungovernable, the better.

  11. Randeniyage Says:

    They think the new president can do anything!

    Ha Ha Ha ! Of course the President can do anything. There was a president

    1. Who can release 75% of land back to Tamils and ZERO back to Sinhalese
    2. Who can keep the same petrol price when market dropped by 20-30%
    3. Who can give a new council to North removing military rule
    4. Who can say I give more than what Tamils ask for ( 13+)
    5. Who can have ministers who tie people to trees
    6. Who can appoint a man who conspired to kill him as a minister and be best buddy
    7. Who can release drug Indian traffickers on death row and keep Lankan ones in death row.
    8. Who never travel on land ( as proudly say it openly after defeat)
    9. Who can buy over an airline which refused a seat
    10. Who can clear Vilpattu reserve land and give it for Jassim City
    11. Who can give land to Hizbullah to create a Shariya university (even when the opposition come to power)
    12. Who can go upper body naked to worship Thirupathy and call himself Buddhist

    But we still like him, people still love him. No problem. We still claim he save Sinhalese.
    If he comes back , no problem he can increase petrol prices.

  12. Mario Perera Says:

    ”The sooner political clans realise SL is ungovernable, the better.”

    They definitely know it. But without shit holes in what can pigs wallow?

    ”They (the people) think the new president can do anything!”

    Such are frogs in the well who see only the colourful paintings that the flying pigs paint on the patch of cloud visible to the frogs through the well opening.

    Gloom and doom. Doom and gloom.

    Yes: liya ganilla, mewa ranga dena baila. .

    The flying pigs had set torch to mother Lanka. Now they are playing their ‘mandolin’ and THEY the people are dancing to that music totally unaware that the lighting on the stage is from the flames of burning mother Lanka.

    Mario Perera, Kadawata

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