Ranil concedes defeat on April 8
Posted on February 28th, 2010

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Even before the nominations closed on Friday for the next parliamentary elections to be held on April 8, 2009 Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Leader of the United National Front, has admitted that he cannot win. His aim, as declared by him, is not to win the election but to prevent the ruling UPFA from getting a two thirds majority. This may even be a Freudian slip but it reflects realistically the current political situation of the opposition which is in total disarray.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Till the last minute he was hoping to keep the make-shift coalition with the JVP and Sarath Fonseka going under his leadership and the elephant symbol. He even offered Fonseka the deputy leadership. But Mrs. Fonseka came back with the news that Fonseka will stick with the JVP. This makes the path of the coming election quite clear: the joint opposition which failed to beat President Mahinda Rajapakse with all their forces put together cannot win the parliamentary elections when it is fragmented like a broken pappadam.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In short, this means that this election is not about who is going to win ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” that is a foregone conclusion — but it is about the size of the majority. Mahinda Rajapakse will have two chances to win this two thirds majority. His presidency will last nearly for another seven years and within that period there will be another parliamentary election (in addition to the one held on April 8) which can be won if President Rajapakse plays the right cards. In the meantime, he certainly needs the two thirds to introduce the necessary changes to address the systemic failures, including the transfer of total power now vested in the presidency to parliament.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Above all, he needs a stable parliament to implement his mandate to deliver his promises of (a) containing corruption, (b) minimizing the jumbo cabinet, (c) pushing through legislation for any changes to the constitution, (d) adjusting the 13th amendment to fulfill the aspirations of all communities — not just of one community and (e) generally enforcing civic discipline to make peace more meaningful to all communities. He has already delivered his promise on the war. The next step is equally critical. And the responsibility lies entirely on his shoulders because he will be the indispensable man for almost the next decade.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ All this means that Wickremesinghe will be marginalized and he will continue to live up to his reputation of being a born loser. Last year he conceded that he canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t win the presidential election and got his surrogate Fonseka to contest. Both lost. Wickremesinghe would have lost in any case even if Fonseka won because the latter was not going to dance to his tune. Fonseka was more attuned to the drum beat of the JVP. Ideologically, Fonseka is more in line with the JVPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s anti-Vadukoddai Resolution strategy though he duped the TNA into believing that he was willing to go beyond the 13th Amendment. FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s refusal to go along with Wickremesinghe in the parliamentary elections is further proof that he is with the JVP than with Wickremesinghe.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This hidden agenda of Fonseka exposes the TNA who backed him. As usual, the asinine Tamil leadership, which like Wickremesinghe could never read the trend of the times, fell for FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fake promises and ended up getting nothing in return. It is incredible that the TNA which rode to parliament on the back Velupillai Prabhakaran should also try to ride on the back of Fonseka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…” the antithesis of all the political objectives of Prabhakaran. It proves that the Tamil leadership is willing to polish and lick anybodyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s boots as long as they can get into parliament. Tamil politics could not sink any lower than this.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ They betrayed their people by falling at the feet of Prabhakaran. And after Nandikadal they betrayed the Tamils by backing the man whom they accused of killing the Tamils. This reminds me of the story written by J. L. Fernando, the political correspondent of the Daily News, that G. G. Ponnambalam worshipped D. S. Senanayake when he was offered a portfolio in the first post-independence Cabinet. The Federal Party went to town hammering this story to beat Ponnambalam in their election campaigns. S. J. V. Chelvanayakam also branded Ponnambalam as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a thiefƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚(p.72) ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-implacable foe and an opportunistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.(p.46) (A J. Wilson, S. J. V. Chelvanayakam and the Crisis of Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism, a Political Biography , Lake House).

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ As for Wickremesinghe, one can always depend on him to make the wrong move at the wrong time unerringly. He went for Fonseka trusting him to be his ticket to become the prime minister. But Fonseka had plotted with the JVP to make Sarath Silva his prime minister. So the defeat of Fonseka was a victory for Wickremesinghe, though it was a pyrrhic one.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Of course, both were trying to outsmart each other. Wickremesinghe was playing his own games to undercut Fonseka.

For instance, when Wickremesinghe went to campaign for Fonseka in Jaffna he revealed his hidden thoughts which were not picked up by the local media. He said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The opposition intends to use Sarath Fonseka only as a tool (my emphasis) to eliminate Mahinda Rajapakse from the presidential post; people should not be afraid of him because he was an army commander,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Ranil Wicremasinghe, (sic) the leader of the opposition said Saturday night in Jaffna at a press meet held in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”YaaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢lpaadiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ guest house, sources in Jaffna said. (TamilNet, Sunday, 13 December 2009, 08:18 GMT]). Of course, he was trying to allay the fears of the Jaffna Tamils who had faced the brunt of the Vadukoddai War. But once again the phrasing indicates more than a slip of the tongue. It indicates the hidden agenda stuck in his brain which was to make Fonseka his tool while FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s agenda was to use Wickremesinghe as his tool. So both were trying to undercut each other and both got undercut by the people.

This demonstrates WickremesingheƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s folly and his desperate politics. He is his worst enemy. Not only does he excel in making the wrong move at the wrong time he is also adept in saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Take, for instance, the example of how Mahinda Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe used the Tamil language to deliver messages to the Tamils. Rajapakse made history when he became the first delegate of any country to dignify the Tamil language by addressing the UN in Tamil. There were several Tamil leaders, from G. G. Ponnambalam to Lakshman Kadirgamar who addressed the UN. But it was Rajapakse who raised, for the first time, the voice of Tamils at the UN. Whatever spin the critics may give to his bold act, it was a genuine attempt to affirm the dignity of Tamils as respected citizens of Sri Lanka. It was a symbolic gesture, no doubt, but that symbolism in the current context has a deep meaning to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural harmony. It means that the Tamils are an integral and respected part of the nation. It means that they belong to this nation

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Now consider how Wickremesinghe used the Tamil language for his political purposes. His first Tamil words to convince the Tamils of Vanni that he too can do better than what Rajapakse did at the UN were to say: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Po da Mahinda Rajapakse! Po da Basil Rajapakse! Po da Gotabaya Rajapakse!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ Resorting to this kind of cheap vulgarities has not helped him to enhance his image or win votes. As for his other gaffe in Kandy, UNP insiders say that some kattadiya (voodoo man)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  had whispered in his ear to publicly curse President Rajapakse seven times to swing the votes. So he cursed President Rajapakse seven times at the big rally in Kandy where the red flags of the JVP outnumbered the green flags.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The curse boomeranged on him. Now he has confirmed that he has no chance of beating his opponent, Mahinda Rajapakse. So he has fallen back on his only available option of preventing Rajapakse from winning a two-thirds majority. He also knows that Rajapakse is capable of sweeping the polls once again and winning a total that would at least come near the requisite two-thirds. So he is trying to do a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JRƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by getting affidavits from the candidates swearing that they would not abandon him and cross over to strengthen the hands of Mahinda Rajapakse in case he fails to get two thirds. He might as well try to hold water in a sieve. Whichever way you look at him the fate of Wickremesinghe is sealed.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ve said this before and I am saying it again: Wickremesinghe has been and continues to be a curse to the nation. He is the leader of all the anti-national forces struggling to put the clock back. He neither has a solution nor will he allow others to work out a solution. When Chandrika Kumaratunga produced a formula with the advice and consent of Neelan Tiruchelvam he and his UNP MPs burnt the draft in parliament. And then he went on to produce his own formula in the form of the ill-fated Ceasefire Agreement which he signed, it is said, with the pen gifted by Prabhakaran and delivered to him by Erik Solheim, the Norwegian messenger boy who brought the CFA post-haste from Vanni to Cambridge Place. He signed that without informing the President, parliament, his own party or the people. This is the traitor who now talks of transparency, accountability, democracy and rule of law.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ After so many failures the least he could do is to mend his ways. He will not do that either. So he lurches from disaster to disaster making a vain bid to convince the people that the answer to their problem is to chew gum and to put farmers in jeans carrying laptops. His idiocy knows no limits.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  He is kind of leader who imports advertising gurus from UK when the best advertising professional is in his own Working Committee: Irvin Weerackody, head of Phoenix Advertising linked to Ogilvy.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ When I was last in Sri Lanka, somewhere in June 2009, some leading UNPers were seriously discussing whether Wickremesinghe should not be impeached by the party on charges of sheer lunacy. For instance, one day he ridicules the Army and its Commander, Sarath Fonseka, and the next day he puts him up on his platform as the saviour of the nation! IsnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t he stark raving mad? The collated list cited was serious and long enough to lock him up for good in Angoda.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ His obsequious obsession to lick the boots of his Western masters (he is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-yes-sir-no-sir- three-bags-full-sir-memberƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ of the IDU, a club of right-wing Western leaders like Bush and John Howard of Australia) and his anti-national agenda has alienated himself and his party from mainstream politics. The fundamental question that the UNPers have to answer is: why havenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t all his defeats opened his eyes? Are the UNPers some kind of political masochists enjoying the beatings they get from the public each time they go to the polls? While President Mahinda Rajapakse is on top of the world, crowned with his victories, Wickremesinghe also feels that he is on top of the world by sitting at the bottom of the pile, hanging on to his defeats!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Wickremesinghe has also shown an extraordinary magnetic power of dragging all those who join him into the bottom of his pit.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  For proof just look at the list of no-hopers who are holding his soththi hand ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ like Mangala Samaraweera, Rauf Hakeem, Mano Ganesan. Like Wickremesinghe they tied themselves to the shoe laces of Fonseka and now they are leaderless. Even Fonseka is without a leader. He was brilliant when he was marching in step with the Rajapakse leadership. After his alliance with Wickremesinghe he finds that he has lost all the laces of his boots. What is worse, he does not know in which direction to march now.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Take also the case of Mangala Samaraweera. He stands out as the nearest thing to a queer, closet cucumber. He has nothing to offer the people except some hot air. Mangala, the tailor from Matara specializing in designing underwear for boys and men, has announced that he has now on his list of candidates three women out of seven. That, indeed, is a change for a tailor who doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t design dresses for women! However, the people are supposed to applaud him for discovering the existence of a new gender. Wow!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The latest victims of Wickremesinghe are the JVPers. They were rubbing shoulders with the UNPers on FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s platform as if they are a new breed of revolutionary Maoists hanging on to Margaret ThatcherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s skirts. But once FonsekaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s platform collapsed, exposing the JVPers as a bunch of Soma-hansas with no water to swim in, they have pulled their knives out to stab the UNPers in the back.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Amidst all this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ha-ho in MahoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (as they say in the vernacular) Mahinda Rajapakse is sitting pretty knowing that the way is clear for him. He has nothing to worry except the size of his majority.

He is confident because ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The ForceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ (the power anointed in the liturgy of Star Wars) is with him.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  And ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The ForceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ comes from the Sinhala electorates. He has tapped into the root and branch of this formidable Force and he canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t lose as long as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The ForceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ is with him.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ However, after April 8 he also has work to do and miles to go before he can rest.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Miles to go before he can sleep!

One Response to “Ranil concedes defeat on April 8”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    That is a brilliant analysis of the woes of the traitors of Sri Lanka. This motley crew has no chance of a snow ball in hell to upset the President in the up-coming Parliamentary Elections.

    Under these circumstances the President’s person and life must be safeguarded at all costs. All what his enemies internationally and in Sri Lanka require is one sharpshooter and a single bullet or a well placed bomb or a suicide bomber. All the victories so far and what really needs to be done immediately and during his presidency will go up in smoke if the unthinkable were to happen. President’s distractors and his enemies are in a very angry mood to get rid of him because of their hopelessness in the current political situation in and the mess they have created for themselves.

    It is up to his brother Gotabhaya and his intelligence team to see that the life of the President is not jeopardized in any way. The Secretary of Defense has done a brilliant job so far and he has much to do for the betterment, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

    The people of Sri Lanka has given the green-light to end corruption, unwarranted nepotism and wastage. We hope the President and his brothers will live up their words and make their mark in the star studded history of Mother Lanka.

    May the Triple Gems Bless the President and his team!

    Ratanapala

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