The Sunday Leader

The UNP — An Uncle Nephew Story

By Ravi Perera

J.R. Jayewardene and Ranil Wickremesinghe

At the recently concluded presidential campaign the main slogan of the opposition was that we should vote for change, given the daily vicissitudes facing the common man in every sphere of his life, a most reasonable urging. The voter seemed to have listened. But the change they voted for was not the one anticipated by the opposition.

From the results at the presidential election it is clear that in the opinion of the people far more corrective medicine is needed by the opposition, and more particularly the United National Party (UNP), than the government in power. They voted against a political party which is not only hopelessly out of tune but also seemingly determined to remain so. If the UNP is serious about winning the confidence of the public, clearly the search light should turn inward and change must begin there.

The UNP is the oldest and until quite recently, the party with the largest vote base in the country. Generally known to uphold conservative values, its early leaders were acknowledged for their financial rectitude and uprightness. Men such as Dudley Senanayake, M.D. Banda, U.B.Wanninayake and Gamini Jayasuriya exemplified a philosophy of selfless public service, which drew to its fold people from all walks of life giving the UNP a huge base both in the cities as well as in the rural electorates.

The general election of 1977 brought out the best in the UNP. Taking on a heavy-handed government perceived as hopelessly inept at managing economic matters, it fought a country wide election battle, sometimes verging on the heroic. The overwhelming victory the UNP won in 1977 was a watershed event in our recent history.

In the delirium of that unprecedented victory, which seemed to have made all things possible for the victor, disquieting features in both the personalities of the victors as well as the potent undercurrents of that era were brushed aside. Although the UNP’s vaunted image was yet unsullied, by 1977 most of its traditional leadership had departed the public stage by then.

J.R. Jayewardene, its septuagenarian leader although from the same era, was of a different make up, characterwise as well as intellectually.  For sure, he was an astute politician with an agile mind and an obviously surer grasp of modern realities. Among the presidents we have had so far, JR was by far the most literate, a fact which perhaps is reflective of the culture of the electorate at large. But sadly, these impressive qualities came with a cynicism and a seemingly warped sense of the possibilities of power which ultimately cast a dark shadow over his otherwise commendable contribution to public life.

In politics, particularly in this country, success seems to depend on being at the right place at the right time.

Towards the end, the fumbling Sirima Bandaranaike government of 1970-77 was so unpopular that it was said that even a scare-crow challenging it would have won the peoples’ endorsement. In 1977, J.R. Jayewardene as the leader of the UNP was placed at the threshold of an historical opportunity. But JR thought he would be more acceptable if he promised a Shangri-la like society with religious undertones, called “Dharmishta”. The rejection by the voter of an unpopular government could now be interpreted as unreserved endorsement of himself and a state of affairs all contained within his considerable mind.

Even a heavenly society must have a constitution and better still if it was of a presidential nature. So jettisoning the parliamentary system through which he was elected, JR introduced a new constitution, an act with grave consequences for the country, which now two generations of Sri Lankans have carried. It seems that at the time he felt so powerful, even immortality was not an impossibility and the constitution appears to have been  tailor-made for such a state of affairs.

Although clothed with several commendable features, JR’s Constitution   concentrated power in the office of the president making it a dangerous tool in the hands of an unscrupulous person.   A good example of the harmful effect on even a perfectly normal constitutional exercise by a man of that nature is the manner in which an eminently democratic instrument like a referendum, brought into the constitution by JR, became a bad word when it was used by him to extend the life of parliament with a favourable majority. At that notorious referendum held in 1982, not satisfied with gerrymandering, every possible election malpractice was employed such as impersonation and strong arm tactics.

JR rightly realised that the required rate of economic growth cannot be reached with the burgeoning state sector favoured by his predecessor. The liberalisation of the economy resulted in a growth rate not experienced since independence. However  here again the successes of the initiative were tarnished by the knave’s cynicism. The not too subtle message from the top was, make your money in any which way but don’t ask questions.  So instead of a classic free enterprise system developing, we saw the rapid emergence of crony capitalism. The growth of prosperity among some politicians and  government officials overtook even that of the wheeler dealing businessmen.

Out of touch

The awestruck cabal and the blindly faithful fellow travelers  forming the admiring court of the all powerful President did not realise, his well known political cunning notwithstanding, how out of touch the old man was with the realities of a society deeply in crisis below its placid surface. The potentially disastrous issue of Tamil political demands, were dismissed arrogantly, eventually stoking it into a massive fire that almost engulfed the country. We feel the ill effects of it even now in the militarisation and the eventual fallout among the victors.
As if that was not enough, JR forced the vociferous but largely insignificant JVP underground, an act which again convulsed the country violently for nearly five years. The death and destruction that resulted from these events will form one of the saddest chapters of this country.

The self created insurrections gave JR the excuse to revert to heavy handed action against all opposition. Vijaya Kumaratunga, a popular opposition politician was incarcerated on very flimsy grounds. This set the tone for the subsequent years when thousands of mainly young persons followed the matinee idol to custody for offences of a political nature, with only a few ever returning to their homes. One of the boasts of the makers of the new constitution was that Fundamental Rights were now justiciable.  Just a few months before the black July of 1983, incensed over a judgment in favour of an opposition figure a mob demonstrated in front of the residences of the judges in a naked effort to intimidate the judiciary. Not a single miscreant was arrested.

But the momentum gained in 1977 was so strong and the public performance of the Boss and his chief lieutenants so convincing that the UNP was virtually unbeatable for nearly two decades. Of Patrician appearance, habitually dressed in an immaculate white national costume, seemingly pious to a fault, full of wisecracks and good humour, for a while it was hard to believe that our collective genius could throw up a better Head of State than JR. In the giddy atmosphere surrounding a leader who seemed unassailable, the sins and injustices so visible were easily ignored. As long as he was in a position to reward his followers and woo others by throwing benefits at them, there was no real aversion to the new style of government JR had brought in.

The corrupt were immensely benefitted and those not so inclined were gradually compromised by various devises. Inevitably, JR himself got carried away by the surrounding adulation and began to connect his elected presidency with a continuation of a monarchic tradition. But history brooks no jokes. The agony of 1983 doomed his presidency to the wrong side of history. In his last years of power the country was a like an army camp under siege.

No direct heir

In a society given to dynastic inclinations JR had no direct political heir. The closest relative JR could groom was Ranil, a young lawyer with political ambitions. It is a common occurrence here for young men from relatively advantageous backgrounds to take to public life even before they learn a profession. Politics has obviously become a career more than a calling. There are enough people on the other side of the street convinced that their destiny is to accept periodic hand-outs from these smiling benefactors.

Over the heads of several more senior members Ranil was brought into JR’s cabinet. Predictably, there was no one to challenge the leader. But  in the then UNP there were much larger personalities like Premadasa, Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake who all had huge ambitions and easily overshadowed the young man. Compared to them, Ranil the MP was somewhat a pale shadow and as a minister even less significant. Only their violent deaths subsequently at the hands of the LTTE opened the door for Ranil to the leadership of the UNP.

Since Ranil’s ascendency, the UNP’s fortunes have been in steady decline save the short lived reversal of fortunes in 2001/04, which was perhaps more due to President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s incompetence than an endorsement of Ranil. The reasons for the UNP’s present woes are many but a considerable and perhaps near fatal responsibility surely lies on the shoulders of its hapless leader.

If anything stands out in his inning as the captain, it is his completely inaccurate reading of the pitch. A leader cannot wish away the realities around him. The UNP has paid a bitter price for Ranil’s   consistent inability to comprehend the mood of the country as well as anticipate the evolving events that confront him.

Cardinal issue

The cardinal constitutional issue facing this country is the appropriateness of the presidential system. Most concerned observers believe that it is unsuitable to our clime and temper and is in fact harmful in many ways. But as long as Ranil entertained some hope of achieving that office his attitude towards the issue was ambivalent.  When the then President Chandrika Kumaratunga called for his cooperation to abolish the office of the president, Ranil used stalling tactics, finally withdrawing his support for petty reasons.

For three decades the LTTE posed a central challenge to the existence of Sri Lanka as a viable country. Ranil’s attitude, interpreted most generously, was to wear down the implacable enemy degree by degree, using the long winded stratagem of gradual appeasement, with apparently neutral foreign countries providing a “safety net”. It was assumed that the LTTE would be out-witted and the foreign powers would present no bill for their efforts, nor interfere in the evolution of that strategy. The closest historical parallel to the voters’ reaction to this laborious approach was the derisive laughter that followed Neville Chamberlain to his retirement.

At a more mundane level, Ranil’s painfully complicated strategy at the last Colombo Municipal elections which finally resulted in our largest city having an obscure three-wheel driver as its mayor may qualify for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for absolute ignorance of men and matters. But learning no lesson there, he then backed a gung-ho soldier for the highest office in the land with scant regard for the consequences that may follow from such an election. The voters who had better sense prevented a potentially catastrophic turn in our fragile democracy. But despite providing the ambitious General with his largest vote base Sarath Fonseka has decided to go with the JVP rather than the UNP at the coming parliamentary elections. This is the kind of effect Ranil has even on those his party has bestowed such favours.

The United National Party is a national institution. It is not the property of one person or even one category of people. The SLFP has done very well after moving out of the Bandaranaike orbit, as did the UNP when JR replaced the traditional Senanayake hegemony. However Ranil’s long stranglehold on it subsequently, has pushed the UNP into a death struggle with no hope of recovery. His hold on the party machinery is not that of a popular leader but the result of a party constitution which makes its leader well nigh a sole proprietor.

At any given time there are only a few hundred supporters behind him. They are neither the best nor the most acceptable persons around, but follow Ranil doggedly because they have gambled too heavily on him to go back now. Almost all of his camp followers are wheeler dealers, stock market manipulators or opportunists who see governmental power as a mere opportunity to make more money. Given the low quality of this avaricious, purblind following it would not have been too difficult for Ranil to convince them that he is a deep thinker, being criticized only because he poses a portent threat to the other side!

But the fact remains that not only they and their leader are hopelessly out of touch with reality but seemingly with every passing day are moving further away from even sanity. So removed from the  real world are they  that  the drubbing Sarath Fonseka received at the presidential election is rejected as a sleight of hand  by a  government with powers of black magic although the results  only confirmed the general support levels as shown  at the provincial council elections held a few months prior.

Because of the utter failure of its leader, the once proud United National Party has been reduced to a side show offering only  token opposition during elections. The price paid for one man’s selfish stance, is not only deeply damaging to the party but also the country at large. Under a more acceptable leader the UNP may have, if not gained power, at least played a more effective role as the opposition. By his failure to bring in the liberal democratic essence as well as the business friendly economic policies of the UNP to the corridors of power, Ranil may have damaged the nation’s political evolution in more ways than meets the eye.

64 Comments for “The UNP — An Uncle Nephew Story”

  1. Simple Sydney

    A thoughtful well written analysis of recent politcal history.. But then the writer does not even attempt to offer a solution. Are we at the brink of an abyss or are we already there.

  2. piffpaff

    The country will be ever greatful to them for their treachery and political intrigue. Nice uncle, nice nephew. JAADIYAT MOODI

  3. Kingkong

    My congratulations to you Ravi Perera on your marvelous work. This article is absolutely impartial and full of truth. While reading I really doubted sometime that I am reading Sunday Leader. Kudos to Leader for coming out with such openness. If such policy was adopted earlier sometime you would have succeeded in resurrecting UNP before going down to this level. It is still not too late to do something to revive it. Thank you for presenting to the readrs such an excellent article.

  4. Guru Satyadasa

    Whatever said, the Nation has failed to appreciate the deep sense of statesmanship which Ranil brings to the table. I see Ranil as the last livng patriot. Unfortunately the social and political fabrics in Sri Lanka have deteriorated to such an extent in the past tw decades that what is needed is a national moral reawakening. Only Ranil could provide leadership required.

    • hora alwis

      I think you are being too verbose here and distributing garlands as if you got them free from a Vel festival cart. What about Batalanda?

      • dipsomaniax

        belive An inquiry by CBKs government failed to implicate ranil. As for blaming the failure of chandrikas attempt at abolishing the presidential sysytem on Ranil is Ridiculous It failed because of chandrikas Sly attempt to ensure her second term which was slipped in at the last moment.

      • Humbug

        Batalanada is all fabricated and everyone knows that Ranil was not involved. Unlike most of the current politicians, one of the cleanest politicians today is Ranil and the whole country knows about it. It is due to the dirty and vociferous mouths of some govt politicians that Ranil is being branded. The truth will prevail and the good will emerge victorious one day.

        • DJ

          Truth will prevail why has he lost almost 14 elections
          as for his honesty that is a bis question.

        • Sarath Malliyawadu

          You seems to be another idiot like Ranil. Ranil is a born foolish man.

        • You scratch my back, I scratch your back is
          still prevailing thats how Ranil escaped Battalanda,

          Even with Mahinda he had secret agreement
          recently to sideline Fonseka.
          These old politicians hate newcommers.

      • Supun S.

        and… the whole lot of unholy transactions in the name of privatization during his short tenure (2000-2002) in office.

  5. Chandra

    Reading this article I recall how Bush was congratulated by defeated candidate Al Gore when he was elected to his first term by a narrow margin of votes in one state despite getting overall majority America wise to Al Gore. The same situation persisted when Mahinda Rajapakse won not in term of votes that was convincing but in term of abuse of power. Such abuse of power was perpetrated both by JVP and UNP in the past and present.

    Instead of taking such abuse to courts, both these parties under the faltering leadership of General Sarath Fonseka took to streets in a Bangladeshi style.
    Much publicized Computer Fraud was not even taken to courts!

    Both parties campaigned on a platform of negativism rather than campaigning on positive vision.

    As usual, after having betrayed his boss Defence secretary, his Commander of the Armed Forces who gave him four extensions from retirement and the Army which valiantly fought the most dangerous hardcore terrorists in the world, Sarath Fonseka has now betrayed UNP which gave him the largest vote base for his presidential votes.

    Ranil Wickramasinghe scored 4,706,366 votes against 4,887,152 votes scored by Mahinda Rajapakse in 2005 Presidential election.

    In contrast, Sarath Fonseka scored 4,173,185 votes against 6,015,934 votes scored by Mahinda Rajapakse in the 2010 Presidential election.

    UNP was bankrupt of leadership when it turned to Sarath Fonseka for leadership who was never been a UNPer.

    Though Ranil is a “Clean Gentleman” he lacks dynamism and vision. UNP has to look for leadership elsewhere, if it is to regain its lost glory!

  6. rOHANA

    Who is this Ravi Perera ? This shows that Sunday leader is under MR. I dont kow why he talks about JR’s relationship to Ranil. What about Namal,Gota Basil, Chamal ,shasindra and all MR’ rlatives. They all came to politics because of the Rajapaksa family.
    For us Ranil is the best UNP leader we ever had and he is the only genuine and capable politician in the country.
    Ravi you crticise ranil for baking SF and why dont you give him the credit for not contesting wirh SF and JVP for General election.
    After the presidential election whether it is fair or not UNP did not think of going to street protests and beleved in legal action. This is all because of UNPunder Ranil’ leadership. When Chandrika took over 3 minstries from his government He did
    not bring a impeachment mption against CBK.
    Because he is a statsman.
    Give the due credit to him dont blame him for not wiining election. Do not forget that He would have been the president of this country if LTTE did not force tamils not to vote. It is very sad that only vote casted in kilinochchi was for Ranil.
    We need ranil whether he wins or not.

    • Humbug

      Well said. Ranil will emerge victorious one day soon.

    • Supun S.

      yes… if RW got the power in 2005, we still have to live with bombs of ltte. bdw, good move by RW when he decides to deviate from dangerous SF at the general election.

      • Sarath M

        No.. If RW got the power in 2005, he would be a member of LTTE parliament of tamil Ealam.

      • Rohana

        DId you forget that MR continue the same ceasefire agreement with LTTE and went to geneva for talks with Lthem.
        WAr was started by LTTE and They learn the lesson and same thing would have happen even ranil were the PM.
        if you read probakaran’s speech he blame ranil and praised MR. Proba had the brain to understand what ranil was upto. Most of sinhal idiots will not understand tha ofcourse gov is using that for their benifit. I still remember airforce bombed a LTTE weopn ship during ceasefire.

        • Sri Lankan

          you seem to forget the fact that Sri Lanka was under the threats of Pro LTTE European countries and we had to show we were trying to come to a political solution even through the truth is LTTE was never for anything else except ELAAM and is the most sadistic terrorist organization in the known history. As for the air force bombing the LTTE Ship it was done against the wishes of Ranil (then prime minister) and Marapane (defence Minister) on the direct order of Chandrika (Then President and the commander of the ambed forced and supreme authority of all military matters at the time) Ranil wanted LTTE to get the arms get the planes get everything and then give the ELAAM as per the wishes of his european buddies. any one who lived in SL knows that Ranil is the biggest traitor of the history of this country with supporters like Ravindran K(Ravi K) Mano G and all the other pro LTTE gang

      • Sarath Jay

        You are missing the point in this article Supun. I am a sinahalese Buddhist and will make this point. Have we reached out to tamil people after finishing the war ? MR is doing the same mistake JRJ did after July riots.

        I do agree with Ravi Perera on one point. He is surronded by people who have no access to grass root level people and drink at “Capri”. You could not blame him for that, he grew up with this guys abd trust them

        His problem is that he lacks the poliyical tactfulness and to honest to do politics in Sri Lanka.

        Ravi Perera need 25 pages to write about Sri Lanka Family Party formely called “Freedom”.

        I hope Ravi Perea writes about Rajapaksas too.
        Long live democracy in Sri Lanka

    • CHRIS

      Can you even just think This ava-Rohana is living in this planet?? no knowledge and sence at all and just like Ranil now??

      • Rohana

        if you think I dont have any knoeledge I am sure you must be a idiot who wach rupavhini and itn.

  7. rogerF

    Sagala Ratnayake and Ranil will make a great team of political leaders for Sri Lanka. We can be an enlightened community where everyone will be treated the same despite their orientation.

  8. Ranjith Subasinghe

    This is a well written article but with fabrications. In fact without JRs regime only Bandaranayaka family could study aboard. You would not have had access to better education have this kind of news papers to write this column.

    There are lot I can write. Thanks to JR we have TV and that inform the public well about what is happening around the world. The tourist industry is another one. Actually it is the biggest revolution that Sri Lanka ever had. Otherwise very few Sri Lanka would have visited Colombo. So do not criticise JR. Most probably you got your abilities because of his open policies. Otherwise the opportunities would have been only available for the elite class.

    Bandaranayaka family actually fool people and arouse the racism to win the power. But none of his family member were able to speak and write proper Sinhalese. Anura, Chandrika were sent to England for studies but poor people did not have facilities to go to a school and learn English.

    Our country would have much better if UNP continued without this SLFP. Without this SLFP, NM and the communist party would have come to the power in 50s and the country would have been achieved what China is today.

    But this bloody Bandaranayake together with Rajapakshas stopped that opportunity and ruined the country. I am sure Bandaranayake was an introduction of CIA to prevent the leftist to grab the power in 50,s. So I think 1956 was the worst year for Sri Lanka. Now so called socialism does not have any chance as that era is gone and even if JVP comes to power there is no chance to develop as the world in now so much depend on developed countries even for a panadol.

    Therefore, only way to develop the country is through the capitalism. This way everybody will have equal opportunities like what westerners enjoy in their countries. Of course every system has its own problem. But the present day problem facing Sri Lankan are unique and should not be there. No chance for even to write and talk against the Government and even the police officers who remove mud posters are facing punishment. Therefore Ranil is the alternative and thousand time better than the present foolish leaders who only address the gallery and try to collect illegal money as much as possible. So people like you will realise this after another 20 years and by the time Sri Lanka will be another state of India..

    • Robert

      I could not understand your logic. You are blaming SLFP for joining the band wagon of socialists to emphasis a government controlled economy. Then what did the present UNP under Ranil was trying to with JVP in supporting Sarath Fonseka in the presidential elections.
      Yes, there were liberalized goods in the market, but only the available for the people with wealth. During the present government there are more children who have gone abroad to study. I have once seen the agony of a father who could not even get closer to an electric train set displayed at Cargils for 3,000 rupees. Yes, there were goods available at a price.
      The undemocratic move to bring a motion in the house to over ride a supreme court decision to deprive opposition leaders right to contest elections were legendary. Obtaining undated letters from the members of the legislature was actually a dictatorial act. Ridiculing the judiciary and degrading the parliamentary democratic system itself is a sin JRJ and his cahoots never can be pardoned.

    • Supun S.

      aise ranjith, your comment shows your poorness about politics, history, general knowledge etc., in big time. take out your bloody politically painted glasses and see things as they are. i recommend you to have a thorough reading!

  9. Sen

    Whoever whatever says, Ranil has all qualities which President JR had except the personality., Ranil is a truely democratic & honest politician we have now. Everybody blamed him for meeting MR to talk about SF but that is the way should be in a democratic state. Nobody could point finger for him for any corruption , He never touched a single cent of public money compareing MR.
    He will get the results for his true honesty one day, unfortunately Srl Lankans wont see his value, If Ranil was born in a developed country he would be a great world leader according to his knoledge & quality..
    I wish him good luck !!!! ..

    • Ponna Seka

      Yes, Ranil thanked the President for saving him from the self made disaster. SF while gaining the UNP voter base was planning to rule the country with Army Deserters and JVP. If SF had won Ranil would have been in the trenches, or perhaps not with the living ones, so is the President and His Family. Didn’t you see the fire in SF eyes during the election campaign? How many people would have politically victimized by the un-general if he got a chance???? Only attraction you have may be related to Ranils leaning to people with same sex!!!!!

    • Sarath

      Ha..Ha..Ha. Sen Where did you live so far. Haven’t you been in SL last 20 years. Ranil is a born foolish. JR was the worst ever leader so far SL have in its history. SL is still suffering badly because of bloody idiot JR’s political “ripeness”. Sen seems to bae another Colombian who wants to lick westerner’s unwashed ass whole that Ranil is already doing.

  10. Charles

    The article has not mentioned the most serious act of treachery carried out by Ranil and the UNP, the signing of the Cease Fire Agreement with LTTE without formal consultation of the Cabinet, Parliament, or the Executive President.

    If and when a new leader gets appointed, the UNP will do well by apologising for what they did.

    I agree that the UNP is a National Institution. Cannot an FR case be filed by a citizen against the undemocratic hold that Ranil has over the party?

  11. Ponna Seka

    Who ever produced this article have to be commended for its sheer brilliance. A paper who pledged to support Sarath Fonseka to write this way is unbelievable. Whatever direction this paper took earlier to be corrected more to keep with the truth should be well received by the people.
    Ranil by leading an undemocratic party where he has become the leader for life has to end if it were to prosper. As said in the article, the Jayawardan’s have to leave the stage giving power to a Somapala to lead the party. It should allow the shear powers of democracy to take its course.
    Also well articulated in this passage is not slinging mud at the present government. The idea that the opposition should help the government in power to do the right thing is more important. All the mudslinging Mangala Samaraweera brought against the government should stop. The baseless allegations against the government really did damage the reputation of the opposition.
    The big money found in Fonseka Vaults has to be more explained by the UNP. They should not take the responsibility to cough for the sins of the stupid general. SF who was against Janaka Perera portraying Military Uniform in his bid to contest North-Central province, did not think twice when he entered the fray to contest the president in the military uniform. This man who spoke with such a lot of praise to the President and the Defence Secretary suddenly making a about turn and speaking completely opposite was not well received by the public either.
    UNP should not get involved with petty politics of defending SF any more. Let the Military Court and other judicial enteritis do their job. They may keep an eye on fair play and due process is applied. It is not fair for the large number of military officers incarcerated by Fonseka on similar allegations to be let out scot free. Fonsekas dual face should be exposed so he cannot hurt the people of Sri Lanka any more.

  12. Sarath

    thank u sunday leader for publishing this article,go ranil go poda ranil poda pandi you ate our party,

  13. Chandrika Kumarathunge

    Raigamaya and Gampolaya

  14. [...] (SL) February 28th, 2010 | Category: History, Political [...]

  15. jaya


  16. Patrick Paraman

    Political greediness,Family badysem (so called nepotism) is not new to Srilanka, so long the “Modoyos” (fools) cast their votes in any Sri lankan elections. Also this will grow until these (so called Brewers-supporters) “Modoyos” really dont understand whats exactly worth in their Votes.

    Comment from Switzerland

  17. Wicremasinghe

    Lankawe Modoyo Wedi..ekai

  18. Rajapakse

    This is good for our campaign…”Newa Gilunoth Bang Choon”. Thats our policy

  19. jayalal

    UNP (Unge Neyanta Pamanai) salakanne

  20. The verbal truth was MR got only 38% of the votes, but SF got 59%, and everybody knows where BR was on the 26th Jan. 2010 night, with EC and directing him how to release the results. Do not think all are Modays, but many Officials are worried about their families will be targetted. MR was leading at his Hambanthota electrate was only by 7 votes, then how he got more votes in time. If you people whom are writing most of the Srilanka’s election must have a common sence. Only fools and Modayas are supporting the present regime. There will be a day that everything will come out swoon after this election. Ranil had done the right thing in contestin in the symbol Elephant and letting SF to go on Cup then only most iof the SLFP votes will be split. The UNP vote base will get more than 100 seats this time. Modaya

    • Sri Lankan

      Are you living in the land of the fools. Even SFs own petition done by both JVP and UNP has no mention of all the ribald and astonishing things you are saying are you paid by Hora Mangala a monthly allowance to believe such fairy tales

  21. Lankikaya

    We cannot understand why our learned people cannot understand where is wrong?We cannot keep the blame and say “Sinhalaya Modaya” ‘ Ellankanna suraya”.That is not “Votters” fault.It is the fault of educated people in this country. It is educated citizen`s duty to find out where it is wrong and correct the mistakes and make the correct system to the next generation with out going and following the wrong system as fools. What happen in Srilanka is as Srilanka simpley going on old Traditional Election System, some of the cunning politicians whose main living style is politics use the system to take the chance to win in politics not with the” ballot”, but with foolish “voting system”.Who is Commissioner of Election, he may be a simply Srilankan graduate completed C.A.S.”.HAS HE GOT ANY MODDERN COMPUTER KNOWLEDGE”, to understand what computer systems can do.If he has no any knowledge of Hi Tech why he gave his concent to tackle the election results through the computer systems, then what happen is the crooks like “Guys” lived in U.S.A. for a couple of years in the underworld living with poor standed with dirty underworld computer criminals used computerised GasStations to steal Creditcard Pin numbers to withdrew money from the banks and the other Hi-Tech crimes and the knowledge they absorbed with computers, use to play games with poor Srilankan” votes” and magnify the 2000 votes to 2000000 votes.It is like normal American Game Boys Electronic Games.So Ranil Wickramasinha, Sarath Fonseka , or any other persons, who trust the Votters like gentlemen , but they get “Zero” only the “Crooks”gets his just 2000 votes 2000000.I am hundredpercent sure this General Election is also a good “Computer Game” to “Crooks”.This is not poor Srilanka Votters fault or their foolishness.Votters are innocent, but as the votters have no help, they kept silence helplessely.Answe to this is a new” Political Party” which is armed with all moddern internationaly, and nationally educated well experienced, far thinking professionals, who want to develop this country for the next generation but not for their “Family Development”, then this is the answer for this.Our paty is mainly based on “Srilankan Citizen`s Ballot” and correct the old “Foolish Unsuitable Political System” used in this country blindly for decades and decades making few “Cunning politicians richer and richer” and dragging the country to the “Debts” and keeping the country burning with the flames of “EthenicTroubles”, earning as much as they can consider the “EthenicWar” as a “GoldMine” to reah their cunning “Quick Rich” targets. This newparty is a ‘Philasophy”.If you want to go to the “Progress” come to us, but if you do not, it is left to you.

    • Lankikaya

      We are a group of experienced,educated,professionals.We are planing to introduce a brand new Political Party .We have no connection with any existing parties in Srilanka.Our main aim is to devote our knowledge to develop this country, that is why we do not take any salaries or pension.We get only allowances for the service as Politicians .If you are looking for Politics as a monthly paid job ,please do not apply.
      (1)Completely different constitution(2)no more salaries or pension for politicians(3)(Politics becom Social Service(4)Entire West minister system Parliament with,Liberty and Freedom for all.(5)Any Srilankan nationals can become a member but need proof of either higher education,or Professional experience.(6) no felony or crimes ,good moral character(7)not a Clergy of any religion(Very Important).(8) No cross overs .(9)We introduce Capital Punishment .(10) We introduce Electronic Bio Metric System for the first time to Srilankan Voters to stop Vote Rigging .

      This is the answer to the Srilankan situation today

  22. Asoka

    It is a bit rich for The Sunday Leader to say that Ranil as captain did not read the pitch etc.

    The English media press in Sri Lanka, which has the ability to sway the electorate in major population centres (Western Province, Kandy, Galle and Jaffna), were far too vocal on peripheral issues such as ‘civil society’, and one sided ‘human rights’ concerns, at a time when the nation was engaged in a do or die battle against a ruthless enemy.

    Ranil’s appeasement and accommodation strategies towards LTTE were a direct result of the electoral influence of our English media press in UNP strongholds, in addition to UNP’s long held ‘western’ values and its ‘unsigned’ western alliance.

    It was an indictable offence of the western powers that their monitoring mission was so pathetic in its performance allowing LTTE to arm itself to become more powerful than the Sri Lankan army itself. On top of that, the ceasefire period had the effect of demoralising the SL Army whilst LTTE was given a morale boost.

    The English media press did not see the possibility that even a ‘obscure three-wheel driver’ could turn around the fortunes of the nation in that perilous situation, if acted with some conviction and determination.

    So, the Rajapaksas and their team of ‘three-wheel drivers’ were elected into the vacuum in 2005, and the rest is history.

    Ranil was caught in a dilemma, the making of which was very much the work of our English media press and the UNP’s historical faith in ‘western’ values. It is not too late for Ranil and the UNP to read the pitch, as you say, but the Sunday Leader and the Daily Mirror can be of some help.

    Please write a banner in very large letters, “Patriotism and Loyalty to ones Country Comes First” and hang it in your offices (press and UNP included). By the way, this is the most prominent ‘western’ value displayed by media in countries that fought two world wars as allies (US, UK, Canada, France and Australia) and now together fighting other wars.

    One thing that the electorate would welcome from Ranil is an unequivocal statement that “UNP denounces western nations’ call for war crimes investigations against the Sri Lankan Army, as a breathtaking hypocrisy on their part”. Here again, the Sunday Leader can help by exposing some glaring hypocrisies.

  23. Tony R

    Good Article! But the main question is who can befit to the role of the leader of the party. Karu |Jayasuriya, who left the party after its preesidential defeat? Rukman who was in and out several times for personal reasons? Or the young, up and coming ones who have never hold even a ministerial post so far? The only way is all UNPers should get together unconditionally and strengthen Ranil’s hand so we can wrestle the country out of the crutcheeers of this EVIL regime. Once that is done we can focus on building up a second line leadership. Eventhough Ranil does not do it, the time will automatically pave way form it. Nevertheless as long as |UNP and Ranil stays in the opposition, the country does not have a Bright Future!!!

    • Lankikaya

      I like to reply to your question. Keep in your mind my friend “Rome Was Not Built In a Day” . Do you know most of the world leaders who made this world either to a good or bad did not started as an”Apprentice Politician”. Take an example, GeorgeWashinton,Thomas Jeffeson who were the foundation fathers of mostly 100 years old storng constitution of “America” were carpenters and farmers. Mahathma Gandhi from “India” was a gasstation manager once when he was in U.S.A.. Honarable, D.S. Senanayaka was not even studied up to Cambridge Senior/orLocal senior. Winsent Churchil “U.K.” who commanded the” Alley Group “against” Hitler” and defeated him was a reckless soldier, President” Trueman” (U.S.A.)who finished the 2nd world war was a “Farm Boy”. How those people made the world changed? Did they go and hold the hands of bunch of bankcrupt politicians. Completely No, It was “Patriotism” “Ditermination” Experienced” “Good Decipline” WellOrganized,”Forward Thinking “No Corruption” “No Family Building”" Placing Correct man for the Correct Place and Job” Listen to Fresh Young Ideas” “Taking hands with developed democtric countries” and Finnally our main idea is to legalize “Parliment is not a place for uneducated Boys and Girls and bunch of thugs with monthely salery and pension”but It is a place for “God Fathers and Mother Theresas”

  24. Ruma Lameer

    A very well written article shedding light on the political situation that eventually led to the present dilemma we are facing today. Will the politicians learn from their mistakes?

  25. Ranjith Subasinghe

    It is better to read and listen to Supun S. He is the only one can read and write about the politics. I think he has won a nobel prize for that. Cheers

  26. Orpheus Perera

    JR killed all the Industries. It is strange that Sri Lanka is still better off than Philippines who implemented the “Rag Trade” merely to employ people in the short term. The workers are still very poor unless they have someone in the Middle East and now the west can hold the country in ransom.
    JR was so powerful he said “I can do anything except changing man to a woman and a woman to a man(he better left it to doctors). But he was able to make a man out of a dog and dog out of a man. He was the first President in Sri Lanka to have a one party election (dictators do this) called “referendum”.
    He took away the civic rights of Mrs. B who did her best(though not very successfully” to make Sri Lanka self sufficient. JR destroyed the families of hundreds of thousands of government workers who asked for a Rs. 10 pay rise. During his time for the first time in my life I met beggars speaking in good English (in dirty clothes) begging for money to by a loaf of bread. I heard the story from one of these beggars. When Premadasa became the president, he did reinstated them (those who were still alive) with back pay. But it was too late for most of their children who could not go beyond primary school.
    JR ignored the terrorist when they started to attack with home made bombs and allow it to grow to a formidable force only MR could handle. When Ranil was planning to bring down Chandrika’s government selfishly, at a time country was at war I wrote to him told him to not to do so because an election could cost lot of money and sake of the country to negotiate with Chandrika to form a temporary national government not because I was a supporter of Chndrika, but because I WAS a supporter of UNP. But Ranil wanted power. During his period Sri Lnak was filled with drug addicts(some were children under 18). I have reasons to believe most of drug dealers were his supporters. It was like the West that spread opium to put the Chinese nation to sleep.
    I hope people will give MR at least six years as the prime minister once he complete the six years as the “Powerful” President. After his retirement HR should be a consultant to next generations of politicians.The power should be with the people. MR is the only man with a vision. I can see MR as more humane and more democraticat the same time braver than any other previous presidents.

  27. sr

    I want to make this comment about JR. Before he was elected as president one day I was at the Savoy cinema to watch a movie and I saw JR driving his Upali Mazda to drop his wife off for the movie. Please note there was no driver and it was just the plain vanilla Upali Mazda made in Sri Lanka. Once he became president of course he had that official Mercedes-Benz that I believe is not even used by the Chancellor of Germany ( may be I am wrong in that ). Anyway, once he was president he bought himself a Jaguar at the expense of the state because he loved them and he bought other cars too that he fancied. That was JR.

    Another side of JR is during the 1983 riots everyone knows he publicly blamed it on the Tamils and said they asked for it. I had a relative staying at one of his brothers house and JR used to call him for advice on the aftermath. One day the call was about disposing the bunt out cars on the road and the advice was to dump them in the sea.

    He appointed Rakthika as chairman of Air Lanka because he was a pilot and above all a friend of his son Ravi (?). When LKY appointed a charman for SIA he chose Mr. Pilai who was their treasury secretary ( something similar) for his business acumen. You know what happened to AL & SIA

    Now you judge JR.

  28. Lankikaya

    But J.R. did not appoint School drop outs and street women as Chairmen and Chair persons, and he did not deposit funds entering to the country to his brothers personal accounts , and he did not appoint his brother( PC): H.W.J. as Secretary to the Defence. Once he without knowing appointed Darmapala as the Defence Secretary and with in very short time JR found Darmapala`s unsuitability to the position and changed his position immediately.Am I correct?

    • sr

      Lankikaya sir, he may have done all that. Air Lanka was a our pride and AI did well. Rakthika screwed it up. JR did not fire him. Unlike MR family JR family did not have to amass wealth, they already had it. I am not apologizing for MR family here. For his stature JR was expected to deliver much more than just stripping the civil rights of Mrs. SB. That was very mean spirited and not statesmanlike for a person of his caliber. By the way I am someone who likes Ranil.

  29. your uncel make 4 pupil’s 1, R. premadasa. 2 , Gamini disanayaka, 3, Lalith atthulathmudali, 4, Ranil wickramasingha, 1,2,3, die but one left he is crack case, who is he? He is last man.( Rukman Senanayaka, uncel was expel then Rukma is lucky)

  30. mihindu

    A simple solution.Make Sajith Premadasa the next leader of the opposition and groom him -Rani can be party leader.Remember Dudley giving way for JRJ in 1970.

  31. Rajinda Silva

    The bane of the referendum was the deformation of the representative basis of the Parliament, which was upheld arbitrarily, from being implemented by a General Election, which is a violation of Fundamental Democratic Rights of the people, by JR’s Government. I don’t remember if this was challenged by the Opposition in Courts. Dr. Colvin R De Silva filed legal action. Fine Article.

  32. Possibly, but to see a child’s entire future so desperately wasted is incredibly sad.

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