The rejection of Ranil’s rip-off reign
Posted on November 18th, 2019

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Ranil Wickremesinghe reached the peak of his power on January 8, 2015. 

Then he was neither the prime minister nor the president. But he  had the power to make things happen. It can be argued that he had the world at his feet because he represented the promising moral force of the day. With that power he held his future and the future of the nation in his hands. Led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha, the respected moral spearhead of the time, surrounded by NGOs and civil society, backed the West and India, boosted by the grass root forces disillusioned with the Rajapaksa regime, hailed by the minorities, welcomed by the business community, he had all the power he needed to make the difference” he promised, particularly with a newly elected President who was puttee in his palms. It was the greatest hour of his long career as the leader of the UNP.  Gifted with a pliable President who could be easily pressured to follow his instructions he had the power to achieve whatever he wanted

Perhaps, the only exceptions were Dudley Senanayake who swept the polls on the sympathy vote of his father’s death and J. R. Jayewardene in 1978 who sailed into power (5/6th majority in Parliament) on the crest of the anti-Sirima-Marxist wave. Ranil had equal, if not greater power, to revitalise the nation  and raise the political culture to higher levels. More than the political victory he had the goodwill of the all the well-meaning reformists who expected him to give leadership to a radical change in the corrupt political culture and fulfil his moral duty.

In politics the moral power is far superior to the power of guns. In fact, guns used to enforce moral power are superior to guns fired to suppress risen forces of morality. All great revolutions that  changed the course of history were moral forces that won against the mighty guns of corrupt and decadent states. History invariably validates guns used to protect and enforce political morality. Ayotollah Khomeni overthrew the powerful police state of Shah in Iran with tapes issued from his exile in Paris. When Mao said that power comes out of the barrel of a gun he failed to mention that his bullets were packed with the additional power of a superior moral force that was targeting the degenerate and  crumbling feudal forces of Chiang Kai-Shek. The guns of pro-West, corrupt and anti-national guns of Chiang Kai-Shek failed because Mao’s guns  were cleaned to target, with moral accuracy, the evil forces destined  to die sooner than later.  

Marxism was only a secondary ideology which was understood and used as a political tool to direct the operations at the ground level by the top echelons of the party. At another  level it was the intellectual weapon used to combat the ruling evils of the decadent state. Conquering  the mind was as important as conquering territory. Ideology was the trigger to fire the guns of morality. The vast masses who followed Mao were inspired and guided by the moral essence that percolated down to  them from theoretical Marxism.   Mao became the brightest  star of the East because he represented a new political morality.  His Long March was to  achieve moral goals and his soldiers worked with the toiling masses to ease their suffering. The Chinese masses bonded with the new work ethic of the soldiers more than with Mao’s abstract theories. In short, the power that packed the punch into his guns was the moral force contained in Marxism.

Morality comes in various guises. Marxist morality dominated the 20th century. Gandhism was another. Whatever the ideology it is moral content that  shines  through, like the Star of Bethlehem, to lead men. Gandhi is the better example because his fire power consisted purely of non-violent morality. The power of morality reached its full height in the person of Gandhi. All advances in history has been to reach the higher levels of morality.

On January 8, 2015 Ranil won because he was backed by the superior moral force led by Ven. Sobitha. Ranil acquired power by hanging on to the moral force represented by the Sangha. There was no one in the civil society, NGOs or in the political arena who could win the confidence of the people searching desperately for moral leadership other than Ven. Sobitha. Overnight the vilified Sangha became the saviours. Even the anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGOs were following the yellow robes. It was the moral force of the Sangha that legitimised the other Sinhala-Buddhist symbol of the time, Maithripala Sirisena. Ranil, who was not acceptable to the people, rode into power by hanging on to the Sinhala-Buddhist bandwagon. Clearly, Sinhala-Buddhism represents the power of a moral force that has revitalised and bonded the nation particularly in times of peril. The victory of Gota should be read as the triumph of the Sinhala-Buddhist ethic rising once again to rescue the nation from the perils and evils of alien forces.

Cleansing the nation with the Sinhala-Buddhist principles has been a repetitive theme that runs, like clockwork, throughout its  history. It happened in 2015 too when Ranil came into power. Empowered by the Sinhala-Buddhist political ethics the people expected Ranil to be a moral leader who could create history by creating a new and clean political culture. His duty was to be a courageous  and reliable reformer without alienating the moral base of the nation. The people were willing to go along with him believing that he would perform his duties as Mr. Clean”. And he had the  power at the time to revive  the nation. His power was so great that he could even become Prime Minister without a majority in Parliament. He insisted in ousting the legitimate Prime Minister, Dimuthu Jayawardena, who was occupying the prime ministerial chair. Under Ranil’s  pressure the much beholden and obliging new President, Maithripala Sirisena, caved in.  Ranil could even force the hands of the President and import Arjuna Mahendra, a Singaporean con-man to head the Central Bank when there were more competent and experienced locals who could have served the nation with integrity, competency and dignity.

Ranil was at a point where he could verily say that he was the lord of what he surveyed even though he was neither the prime Minister nor the president.  He was then the uncrowned king of the new moral force that was expected to take the nation into higher levels of peace, prosperity and unity free from corruption. But he threw it away with ideological myopia, congenital inability to understand the fundamental forces that were throwing the nation unmanageably from one crisis to another and sheer cussedness with which he manipulated his henchman and victims to achieve his personal agenda, filled with greed to hang on to power  even if it means betraying  the nation. With his short-sighted self-deception, which assumed that he was the superior intellectual in a cesspool of ignorant mediocrities, he rode all the way cockily into his own nemesis. Ignorance to him was bliss. He dug his own grave. He  paved the path to November 16th and he has to lie in it now.

What he did during his tenure as leader to his own Party and the nation is unforgiveable. He grabbed all the power available and dragged both the Party and the nation into the lowest imaginable depths of corruption, destruction, and despair. He revelled in posing as the solution to the nation’s problems. Drunk with his self-righteous and self-defeating superiority complex, he refused to believe that he was the cause of the problems. He was, in fact, the bane of the nation. It has taken a thundering slap from the people for him to realise that he no longer has the credibility, even among his loyal supporters, to lead the Party. Having failed 30 times at the polls what can he offer the Party or the nation? At last the nation can get rid of him for good. The nation can now hopefully look forward to find its way to a new era without the  negative forces generated consistently by the most unwanted man in politics.

Ranil’s biggest failure is his intellectual and moral inability to grasp the dynamics of politics that rule the nation at grass root levels. He lives in an airy-fairy world of his own. Take, for instance, his recent role in the Party at its most critical time of selecting the presidential candidate.  He must have been aware that  he  has been categorised as the most rejected figure in politics.. He has been a stark contrast to Mahinda Rajapaksa who is still the most popular figure in contemporary politics. But he fancied that he could lead an election campaign to defeat Gota Rajapaksa, a war winning hero who was perceived as the best guarantor of security for the nation – a nation traumatised by the Easter Sunday bombers. Everyone except the blind followers of Ranil knew that pigs have a  better chance of flying to moon than Ranil winning the presidency. Elections  results have proved it. The UNP hierarchy who knew this fatal flaw had to fight tooth and nail to reject him as a born loser. Ranil’s insistence on grabbing the nomination as a presidential candidate was insane. It damaged the image of the party as a viable force to lead the nation.. Once again it is the personal ambition of Ranil that ruined the chances of even scoring some runs at the electoral crease. It sent the wrong message to the electorate. A divided party, fighting bitterly to slaughter each other, cannot expect the nation to believe that they are capable of providing security or leading the nation. In fact, Ranil killed Sajith before the nation savaged him on November 16. In the end Sajith had to pay for Rail’s sins. Sajith did his utmost  to whitewash Ranil’s sins with his rhetoric But no one  believed him. Even his appointment of Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as his  Defence Minister was a flop. The people opted for Gota as the guarantor of their security.

In hindsight it is obvious that Ranil had divided the Party beyond repair. It was a divided Party that sat to launch Sajith’s manifesto in Kandy. Ranil, the leader, was not even given the opportunity to say one word on the manifesto. Instead the Mangala-Sajith combo, the new leadership, invited Victor Ivan, the JVP bomb-maker who began his career in journalism determined to destroy Sajith’s father, President Premadasa.

The signs of UNP’s decline  and impending fall was clear at the Kandy launch of Sajith’s manifesto. The UNP had fallen from the moral heights of Ven. Sobitha to a bomb-maker who produced weapons of mass destruction that killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Ranil was made to sit on a chair on the floor while Victor Ivan was invited to the stage to deliver the key-note speech. And what did Victor Ivan do? He refused to speak on the manifesto – the most important subject required to raise the image of the UNP in the eyes of the nation. Instead he rambled on, spinning yarns about the need for constitution-making which was the most sensitive issue that angered the nation. The rejection of this issue was confirmed on November 16th. Constitution-making was wrapped in the 13 demands put forward by the TNA to the  presidential candidates. Gota had wisely rejected it in toto. However, the hand-picked pundit of the UNP gets up on the party’s most  critical day and indirectly lauds the 13 demands  which were focused on constitution-making. Oddly enough, Ranil, the most committed proponent of constitution-making to appease the minorities, was demoted to a chair on the floor of the Kandy launch.  It was obvious that the UNP had gone to pieces. There was no pragmatic or viable centre to hold it together. A leaderless, pointless, worthless Party was heading blindly to November 16 – the day of reckoning. The in-fighting within the Party was worsened by the lack of an alterna      tive and credible leadership that could win the hearts and the minds of the critical voters who had waited patiently to get even with the Ranil-led regime.

The massive swing indicates clearly that the nation was biding its time to cut the neck of Ranil’s regime with the sharp edge of their lengthy ballot papers. And they did it in right royal style, peacefully and decisively, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that they can’t fooled by bogus  theoreticians in the civil society, NGOs,  or even the vacillating and partisan Mahanayakes of Malwatte who had lost their moral compass. The people’s reply was loud and clear. And the besieged nation is settling down again hoping  that a change of regime is going to bring at least a clean administration. The new Sinhala-Buddhist ethic was defined by Gota when he took his oaths – not at the traditional Malwatte – but at Ruwanweli Seya in Anuradhapura. He went  back to his roots that ran all the way to the  epic period of history written by Dutugemunu. The symbolism and its meaning rang deep in the hearts of the threatened Sinhala-Buddhists.

The psephological numbers stunned the political pundits and the UNP leaders who believed that the majority could not win without the minority. Gota’s victory rewrote the political equation that was accepted as the truth written in stone. The anti-Sinhala-Buddhist intellectuals and academics must revisit their fake theories and reconsider their spurious assumptions of the  grass root forces that determines national politics. For instance, they must reconsider who won and  who lost. If they can drop their inane prejudices they will realise that it was not Sajith who was defeated. It was Ranil. Sajith was faced with an uphill task, battling to wipe out the evil memories of Ranil and present a new face to the public. But the public knew that Sajith was merely the mask hiding Ranil’s anti-national, anti-majority, pro-West, corrupt regime.  He made a desperate bid to distance himself from Ranil. But not all the gewgaws, lollipops and tampons of the world could save him from going down the toilet.  Predictably, in his desperate bid to win, Sajith too swallowed Ranil’s calculation that the minorities could save him.

The alliances made by Ranil with the minorities boomeranged on Sajith. The more Ranil got closer to the minorities the more it threatened the security of the majority.  The demonised majority reacted en masse to defend their cherished heritage and their way of life from the arrogant minorities who assumed that they could make the majority dance to their naga salam.  Ranil fell for that line and danced all the way to November 16 believing that the Northern drumbeat would do the trick for him. The people refused to trust the man  behind Sajith’s mask. With a silent stroke  of the pen the voters cut the neck of the selected protector of the nation, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. There was no one to protect the protector when he  lost his Kelaniya seat. Chandrika Bandaranaiake who came flying in on a rescue mission could not win her seat to save Ranil. Even the Presidential candidate could not win his seat in Hambantota. To change the metaphor, this lot put all their eggs in the minority basket. And the majority rejected them.

Asath Sally boasted of the power of the 30 per cent minority that could teach a lesson to the majority. Make no mistake: It was the Sinhala forces threatened by the minorities in the North and the East that triumphed on November 16. It was a clear cut power struggle between the minority and the majority. This  election turned out to be the most defining event since  Nandikadal. Nandikadal was won with bullets. Novmber 16th was won with ballots. Both were led by Gota. The nationalist forces that swept Gotabaya into power is not confined to Sri Lanka. It is the force that is sweeping the globe. Though it is an odious comparison, it is the Sri Lankan version of Make America Great again”. Similar corresponding forces dominates global politics in the post-Cold War era. Easter Sunday highlighted the peril in which the nation is haunted by minorities resorting to violence. Running against the trend, Ranil ganged up with the minorities. This alliance with the minorities became his first and  last defence line. But it boomeranged. The Sinhala voters rallied as one united force to reject Ranil’s formula for peaceful co-existence. The Sinhala forces that saved the minorities from the fascist tyranny of the Tamil Pol Pot at Nandikadal define peacefully and democratically once again the  parameters within which the minorities can co-exist in a shared society with equal rights to all. The minorities ganged up to dictate politics to the majority. It was this threat to the majority that kept  the numbers ticking for Gota as results tumbled down on live  telecasts. Except  for  a brief moment or two, the consistent 50+vote never left Gota as the results captured the emerging  polling trend on the screen. There were no prizes for the runner-up. The winner took it all.

On the sideline, Victor Ivan, the new guru of the UNP, was theorising that Sajith has behind him the thousands of beneficiaries who  were recipients of his visionary father’s (1) poverty alleviation through  samurdhi, (2) house-building on a national scale (3) decentralising bureaucratic power and  taking it to the grassroots through gam-udawas, (4) creating  jobs by incentivising  businessmen to take garment factories to the villages , etc. President Premadasa also peoplised” the UNP by taking it away from Kurunduwatte to Kehelwatte. But Ranil reversed it. He took it to his new haven in Kollu”-pitiya, which is  next door to Kurunduwatte.

In his  delusional way Ranil also ran after Geoege Soros, the Hungarian billionaire, hoping he would  rush to save him with investments. He  joined the IDU – the exclusive club  of white, Christian, Western leaders – hoping  that the Western entrepreneurs would flock in their hundreds and thousands with investments to save him. In the end, the collective actions of his allies in the West and in the North helped him only to go gurgling down the drain. It must  be  conceded that Sajith in  his own flamboyant style tried to reclaim his father’s heritage. But there is more  to the shaping of historic events than a slick tongue, theatrics on the  stage and packing the Galle Face space with bussed Bandas bought with buth packets. The expected crowds predicted by Victor Ivan did not turn up at the polling  booths. As usual his cock-eyed theories went down his anatomical pipes like the beer he sips.

Gota’s second victory against the anti-national forces is as great as his first victory in defeating the invincible” Tamil Tiger terrorists. The battle lines were drawsn clearly between the nation and the anti-national forces. If Sajith won it would have taken the nation in the same direction as Ranil. Despite all his chest-beating bravado Sajith was  a mere ventriloquist for Ranil.

Gota was won this war because the Sinhala people rallied behind him to fight the battles against the anti-nationla forces. When his brother and mentor returns as Prime Minister they will collectively capture the ower that was denied in the 19th Amendment. Ranil has been hoisted by his own petard. He designed the 19th to strengthen  his prime minieterial hand because he feared that  he could never bythe president. The irony is that al Ranil’s labours have ended in consolidating  the power of the Rajapaksas. Jointly they both have another  chance to act unitedly to overcome all the obstacles placed in the 19th Amendment. The coming events will mock the constitutional-makers who were straining every muscle to curtail the powers  of the presidency by increasing the powers of the prime minister. But when the President’s brother is also  his mentor what obstacle can stand in his way to do override the 19th Amendment? Soon Gota will have all the powers except making man a woman, and vice versa. Together they will have unlimited power to achieve what they failed to fulfil in their first run.

Gota cannot do what Ranil do to the nation: betray the interests of the people with immoral politics and anti-national betrayals.

Gota owes everything to the Sinhala people. And the Sinhala-Buddhists, he must remember, never failed to protect the minorities and give them security and prosperity at all times, even when they were persecuted by their own leaders or  the foreigners. For instance, the Muslims will remember that when Sankili ethnically cleansed Jaffna, partly by throwing pig’s heads into  their wells, and when Prabhakaran persecuted and chased the Muslims out  of Jaffna within 24 hours it was the Sinhala south that gave refuge to them. He will also  remember the Sinhala people can protect the minorities as long as long as they live under the protective umbrella of the democratic, sovereign, undivided state and not if they fall under the separate rule of fascist Tamil or Sinhala Pol Pots.

There is no doubt that the two war-winning brothers will be back again after the next Parliamentary elections.

That, of course, will be another story for another  day.

5 Responses to “The rejection of Ranil’s rip-off reign”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Mr. Mahindapala, You have brilliantly summed up the what happened on Nov 16. Thank you.

  2. Sirih Says:

    Love your quote “Nandikadal. Nandikadal was won with bullets. Novmber 16th was won with ballots. Both were led by Gota. The nationalist forces that swept Gotabaya into power is not confined to Sri Lanka” and very true.
    I worked with GR and know his thinking and also person who understand the structural issues that came from 3 colonial powers and legacy they left behind to control the nation with brown anti Sri Lankan forces that is based in colombo. We need to reverse all those anti SL laws that are still in the books and also create true peoples power that will cater for all communities. Fundamental issue with minorities is that they do not assimilate with countries majority or countries wealth and still take orders from foreign masters that create divisions in SL.
    I have seen another brits group that are agitating with foreign funding , possibly from UK foreign office..

    These are the notorious colonial agitators for hire that create problems for SL.

    GR will fix lots of our structural issues since he is not a pollie.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    BRILLIANT essay, Mahindapala, simply BRILLIANT!

    Many INCONTROVERTIBLE TRUTHS are embedded in this essay. Among them are:

    1. “The victory of Gota should be read as the triumph of the Sinhala-Buddhist ethic rising once again to rescue the nation from the perils and evils of alien forces.”

    2. “the Sinhala-Buddhists, …… never failed to protect the minorities and give them security and prosperity at all times, even when they were persecuted by their own leaders or the foreigners.”

    This truth was recently recognized by the Christian Sinhala leaders in the wake of the Easter bombings! It motivated them to reintegrate their flock with the Sinhala Buddhists, their traditional kin! We the Sinhala Buddhists proclaim …. WELCOME HOME dear brothers and sisters!

    3. “This election turned out to be the most defining event since Nandikadal. Nandikadal was won with bullets. November 16th was won with ballots. Both were led by Gota” and at stake was the survival of our beloved Motherland!

    4. INDEED, “When his (Gota’s) brother and mentor returns as Prime Minister they will collectively capture the power that was denied in the 19th Amendment. Ranil has been hoisted by his own petard. He designed the 19th to strengthen his prime minieterial hand because he feared that he could never bythe president. The irony is that al Ranil’s labours have ended in consolidating the power of the Rajapaksas” … a TRUE ATHEY PATTU DYNAMITE STICK for the Ranil Baba the Machiavelli pof the UNP!

    But, the Patriots MUST ANTICIPATE a future, when two patriotic brothers UNITED in Common Purpose will not be present to defend and protect our Motherland. They must REPEAL the 19th Amendment, RESTORE a POWERFUL EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY with power s that EXCEED the Powers of the Original Executive Presidency under the 1978 Constitution! Indeed, the Executive Prime Ministership should be ELIMINATED as REDUNDANT and UNNECESSARY, and a continuing THREAT to the Nation’s Integrity and Economic Progress!

    5. INDEED. “There is no doubt that the two war-winning brothers will be back again after the next Parliamentary elections” but it may be much sooner than we expect. There are at least 3 scenarios:

    a. Ranil may continue to stand and fight for another 3 months in a vain attempt to deliver on the promises he made to his foreign paymasters on deals such as the MCC and the ECTA, and the Nation will languish longer in the doldrums.

    b. Ranil may decide to cut bait and run with his Cabinet, leaving Gota to appoint ALL members of the Cabinet excepting the PM, and appeal to the Supreme Court for a decision on whether he as a NEW PRESIDENT with a NEW MANDATE from the VOTERS has the right to appoint a NEW PM.

    c. Ranil may decide to engineer a 2/3 majority vote, of course with the help of a willing opposition, to dissolve the Parliament, and go for an early General Election! This is the MOST DECENT THING TO DO, but I don’t think he will take this route because there is NO ADVANTAGE in it for him or the UNP, except in public perception for not being a National Roadblock to the very end!

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    With the Machiavellian Chief Thief Ranil Ali Baba Wikunanasinghe eading it, NOTHING the UNP says is definite!

    Let us wait and see what emerges from the MUCK!


    Ruling party parliamentarians agree to dissolve Sri Lanka parliament
    Mon, Nov 18, 2019, 09:30 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 18, Colombo: The ruling United National Party (UNP)’s parliamentary group at its meeting today with the party leader, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, has agreed on a proposal to dissolve Parliament, party sources said.

    Following the victory of the opposition candidate, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the 2019 presidential elections, all members of parliament of Sri Lanka’s ruling party met with its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe this afternoon at the parliamentary complex to decide on the next step for the government.

    Speaking to the media after the meeting, Minister Vajira Abeywardena said the party will respect the people’s mandate.

    “We, as a party, respect the opinion of the people. Respecting the people’s mandate, according to the 19th Amendment, the government should extend its fullest cooperation to convene Parliament and hold a parliamentary election immediately. The people will have the opportunity to elect a parliament by respecting the people’s mandate.”

    Speaking to media State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said during today’s discussion, the Prime Minister has said that a decision will be reached after discussions with the Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa and the President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. “We would like to go to for a general election,” he added.

    According to the Constitution, Sri Lanka’s parliament can be dissolved after four and half years of its five-year term, which will end on August 2020. Accordingly parliament can be dissolved in February 2020. However, to dissolve before that a two-third majority of parliament is needed.

    According to the Constitution, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe can stay in his position until the term of the Parliament ends, regardless of the election of a new president.

  5. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Sajith P(rabakaran) and his GooandPee aka UNPatriotic_rats, do the decent thing and get lost for good. Your anti
    Sinhalese, anti Buddhist, anti Sri Lanka, minority worshiping, Mother Lanka dismembering traitor thieves this is the
    end of you.

    The whole of drealam and Nuwaraeliya voted for the traitors to get drealam and the mussisthan. Traitor alugosuwa
    (to Sinhalese Buddhists only) thambi mudiyanselage jr@ gave citizenship to 650,000+ estate tamils who were
    prepared to go tn under patriotic Sirima-Shasthri Pact. Today, they must be numbering millions. You GooandPee
    traitor low lives go to hell at least now. You’ve done irreparable damage to the Sinhalese race, Sri Lanka and
    Buddhism. No patriotic Sinhalese going to vote for you any more. This is the end of these traiotrs! Never ever.
    Do the decent thing and go to hell traitor kalakannis!

    Two of the traitor alugosuwas (to Sinhalese Buddhists only) thambi mudiyanselage jr@ and lk porisada R@ are
    dead now. Those two and traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist bay gal karaya mega thief mega thakkadiya
    Batalande wa(n)dakaya Pol Pot r@ni_leech wickrama Sinhala killer is responsible for all the ills Sri Lanka,
    Buddhism and the Sinhalese race facing today. Hang the mass murderer to teach a lesson to future traitors and
    put all yama paalana traitors behind bars for the destruction the low lives carried out since 2015! Remember,
    these traitors even put MR’s son behind bars after framing bogus crimes. These are serphents. Don’t let them
    back into the society, imprison them for life.

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