“The Birth and the Demise of the UNP (Un-patriotic non-National Party)
Posted on December 7th, 2019

(Addenda to the article on the above subject posted on December 6th, 2019 Lankaweb)

Dr Sudath Gunasekara 7.12. 2019

Further to my previous essay on the above subject published on 6th Dec, I would like to add few more comments on the UNP that would be interesting to my readers.  JR had carefully selected two young brilliant politicians Gamini Disanayaka and Lalith Atulathmudali as potential future leaders to fill the vacuum of the party after him. In fact JR was grooming Gamini as his successor Gamini to be the next President. But Premadasa, (Just like what Sajit did in 2019 against Ranil) deployed an Island wide campaign against JR against his move to nominate Gamini and he wanted the nominations for the Presidency. I remember the words JR MARAMU appeared overnight on the roads and instances where even school children wrote these words on their slates were reported.  Finally JR gave in and Premadasa (Father of Sajit) who took over the leadership by force and intimidation from JR towards the end of 1988  became the President on 2nd Jan in 1989. From the day he became President he did not like Gamini and Lalith as he considered them to be a potential threat to him. So he sidelined them and demoted in their Ministerial positions. Gamini decided to leave politics under Premadasa and left the country to Cambridge for studies. Lalith remained behind as destiny wanted him to and he was finally assassinated on April 23, 1993 at an election meeting at Kirulapana by Premadasa’s goons.  Premadasa himself was assassinated by the LTTE on 1 May 1993, perhaps in retribution for what he had done. He was succeeded by D.B. Wijetunga and got down Gamini to lead the Party. He was also assassinated the LTTE at an election meeting in Totalanga. while he was addressing Presidential meeting to Chandrikas luck.

The following two mews items that appeared in media narrate the conspiracy behind Lalith”s political assassination.

Athulathmudali was assassinated when he was shot by a gunman on 23 April 1993 after an election rally at Kirulapana. Initially, the government blamed the LTTE and produced the body of a Tamil youth named Ragunathan which was found near the scene of the shooting the following day. He had apparently died from taking a cyanide capsule. However, these claims were later proved to be false.

A Presidential Commission carried out by the Sri Lankan Government concluded that Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa was directly responsible for the assassination. It also concluded that the Tamil youth Ragunathan, was murdered by the same people who killed Athulathmudali, by forcibly administering him with cyanide.”

Does this not  speaks volumes of Ranasinha Premadasa’s vicious  plans to remove the most brilliant political leader JR had picked up to take the UNP forward and the irreparable damage he had done to the UNP in particular and the country at large

 In this back drop what credentials Sajih can claim to lead the UNP at a crucial time of the Party like the present when it had fallen to the lowest level in its history with both in its anti-Sinhala Anti-Buddhist policies and the quality politicians it has brought to Parliament where there isn’t a single promising Potential leader of quality statesmanship.

I consider the assassination of Lalith in 1993 and the death of Gamini in 1994 as the beginning of the journey of UNP to its demise for which R Premadasa was solely accountable. He was directly responsible for Lalith’s murder, as it was later reported in the press, and of cause for Gamini’s, leaving the Party. These two young shining stars of the UNP would have definitely lifted the UNP to unbelievable levels had they lived. Of the two, having worked with him for one year and known very closely Lalith would have made this country a miracle in Asia if lived to lead the UNP. As a person who has worked closely with both, I can tell you with authority the story of UNP as a political party would have been completely different today if they lived to date.

Gamini being senior to Lalith in politics and more charismatic was certainly a popular politician who could attract crowds with his pleasant personality. But Lalith was a world class leader with his academic credentials from Oxford and Harvard with no peer either here or even in India. I worked with him very closely for one year under the Ministry of Agriculture and I rate him as the best politician and statesman I have ever met. I have devoted one chapter for him in my book ‘Deyata Ahimivana Ran Akara” a critique of public Administration of our time. Both of them revolted against Premadasa for which they had to pay dearly. Premadasa did not like both of them and finally got them removed from the party. That was the biggest damage Premadasa did to the UNP and the treachery to the country.  In this backdrop those crazy young UNP MPP who expect Ranasinha Premadasa’s son (who does not inherit an iota of R Premadasa’s talents) to lift up the UNP that has already been dumped in to the dustbin of history by Ranil, in my opinion is only day dreaming on their part.

If the political forces those who are dying for the UNP, wants to rekindle it again I think there is only one way to do it. That is to drop this illegitimate name UNP, baptized by the colonial British to ruin this country and the Sinhala Nation, as I have discussed in detail in my previous article, and start with a new name that can first attract and mobilize the Sinhala Buddhists populous and whole Sinhala nation including the s/Catholics and S/Christians, od cause better than the Pohottuwa. Otherwise, mark it, you people have no political future in this country.

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