The Sunday Leader

Game Set For MR To Bat On RW’s Pitch

  • Gota proposed Leader of new political party, Basil to become national organizer of new party?
  • CBK holds urgent discussion with Maithri about SLFP
  • MR’s Libyan money to be exposed soon
  • Objections against SF’s move to enter parliament
The current political scenario in the country, albeit being chaotic to say the least, is in fact a well laid pitch for the UNP led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to score a victory at the next election.

What with former President, UPFA MP Mahinda Rajapaksa continuing to obstruct President Maithripala’s attempts to consolidate himself with the SLFP, it is the UNP that is now gathering momentum. The golden opportunity at hand has not gone unnoticed by Wickremesinghe, who is now engaged in formulating strategies to strengthen his party – the UNP.

Maithripala Sirisena

Wickremesinghe’s decision to strengthen the UNP’s position in the government and among the country’s voting population was taken when Sirisena last year stated at a public gathering that he would support the party led by him, the SLFP during election time.

Sirisena’s move to gain legitimacy as the leader of the SLFP by uttering such words after pledging to be an apolitical state head, disturbed many UNP supporters. However, Wickremesinghe remained calm at the time and refrained from making any comment about the President’s words.

The Prime Minister decided to follow the principle of ‘slow and steady wins the race’ and it seems the winning time is now nearing with the forthcoming local government elections being the first event of Wickremesinghe’s strategies being put to the test.

Sirisena meanwhile is yet to find the proper method of balancing the SLFP on the one hand and Rajapaksa and his loyalists on the other. Several measures adopted by Sirisena so far have been criticized by SLFPers as well as the civil society forces that supported his candidature at the last Presidential election.

One method adopted by Sirisena that gathered much fire by the SLFPers was his decision to get several individuals who were loyal to the Rajapaksas during the period of the previous regime closer to him by appointing them to positions in his personal staff.

It is evident that Sirisena aimed to break away at least part of Rajapaksa’s support base by resorting to such actions.

Be that as it may, Sirisena despite being a veteran politician showed his failure in political acumen by underestimating the head and lackeys of the former dictatorial regime.

While Sirisena is trying hard to unite all factions of the SLFP, Rajapaksa continues to engage in his guerilla warfare he unleashed against Sirisena since January 8, 2015.

Rajapaksa, while speaking of being a thoroughbred SLFPer, is continuing to support the move by a group of his loyalists to set up the new political party – Sri Lanka Freedom Front – under the lotus bud symbol.

Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa


New leader

Although there was a dispute last week on deciding the leader of the new political party, The Sunday Leader learns that the organizers of the new party have reached a consensus on two key posts of the party. A majority of the pro-Rajapaksa loyalists supporting the formation of the new party have agreed to the proposal of appointing former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Front.

Despite claims by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa of retiring from active politics after the last Presidential election, Basil’s name has been proposed to the post of national organizer of the new party.

Several political parties that were formerly allies of the UPFA have already discussed about joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Front under Gotabhaya.

However, a group of SLFP members who are currently occupying seats in parliament have pledged their support to the new party, but have decided not openly join it since they could then face disciplinary action initiated by the SLFP and eventually lose their parliamentary seats.



It is learnt that several SLFP ministers in the government loyal to President Sirisena have on several occasions tried to initiate a dialogue between the President and the former President to unite all factions of the SLFP.

However, Rajapaksa it is learnt had informed one such emissary that he did not have any faith in Sirisena.

Nevertheless, various members representing Sirisena and Rajapaksa are continuing to hold discussions at unofficial levels to look at resolving the differences between Sirisena and Rajapaksa. The pro-Rajapaksa faction, it is learnt, had held several internal discussions and agreed on presenting Sirisena with several initial conditions as a confidence building measure between the two groups.

The latest reports is that the pro-Rajapaksa group has agreed to three possible conditions to be given to Sirisena – the allocation of the post of opposition leadership to the joint opposition, appoint Dullas Alahapperuma as the general secretary of the SLFP and the re-appointment of over 20 SLFP members who were removed from the party’s central committee following the last Presidential election.

The conditions discussed by the pro-Rajapaksa nevertheless will not be accepted by the Sirisena faction.

The current crisis within the SLFP will result in the party losing its ground at the next local government election, which would also set the trend for the party’s future performance at the next decisive election.

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has also expressed her displeasure at the current goings-on in the political scene.

She was even heard stating in public that it is up to the chairman of the SLFP to ensure that the party remains united and not split.

Kumaratunga has also expressed her displeasure at the current situation with several SLFP ministers.

In fact, Kumaratunga even held an urgent discussion with Sirisena last week at the latter’s residence in Colombo. Kumaratunga had on Thursday held a serious discussion with the President about the current developments and the future of the SLFP.

However, complete details of the discussion were not known at the time this newspaper went in to print.


Springing to action

On the other hand, Sirisena, it is learnt, has decided it is time to spring into action.

During an informal discussion with a group of UNP ministers after the weekly Cabinet meeting, the President has emphasized the need for all members of the government to work together.

The President has indicated that it is now time to take action against the wrongdoers of the former regime without showing any further mercy. Sirisena has further noted that no one should be spared if found guilty.

Former President Rajapaksa has been using the support enjoyed by him with the Chinese government during his tenure as President as a trump card against the current government whenever he feels the long arm of the law was closing in on him or his family members.

Interestingly, the Chinese have now had a change of heart after the government led by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe expressed their willingness to re-negotiate the controversial Colombo Port City Project.

Be that as it may, the investigating authorities, it is learnt, have managed to find all details of Rajapaksas’ monies that were invested in Libya.

Hence the Rajapaksas it seems are also losing their luck and whatever blanks faced by the investigating authorities, they are being supported by the former Rajapaksa aide, Sajin Vass Gunawardena. While the government is engaged in a long road of building image and strength of the nation, an action that has gathered much criticism is the move by the United National Front on Good Governance to appoint former Army Commander, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to fill the vacancy in parliament created by the demise of Minister M. K. A. D. S. Gunawardena recently.

Fonseka who contested at the last general election was defeated and has since been looking at an opportunity to enter parliament. The sudden demise of Gunawardena has now provided this opportunity to Fonseka.

Since Fonseka contested under his Democratic Party at the last general election, the Field Marshal has even decided to join the UNP to ensure that he is assigned the vacant national list slot of the UNP.

As a precursor to Fonseka’s move, his private secretary Captain Senaka Haripriya de Silva, who is also the leader of Our National Front, last week joined the UNP.

By Friday (29), de Silva informed several media outlets that Fonseka is to be appointed to parliament on the 9th of February and that he will be sworn in by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya.

Not stopping at that, it has also been reported that Fonseka will be then appointed minister of an important portfolio. It is learnt that Fonseka’s request has been for either the defence or law and order portfolio.

However, the move to appoint Fonseka to parliament and eventually a minister has gathered much fire from within the UNP, who claim that there are members of the party who are more deserving of the national list slot than an individual who is under much scrutiny by the international community.


8 Comments for “Game Set For MR To Bat On RW’s Pitch”

  1. kumaran

    FONSEKA is the man. For Law and Order. Just do it.

  2. ranjit demel

    in the near future the sinhale buddhists would be the majority without any rights and probably eat grass.sinhale buddhists thank the corrupted politicians ,sinhale political parties and hope next birth would be in a developed Christian Country.

  3. kudson

    nothing like appointing somebody being investigated for war crimes into parliment

  4. It will be an ideal decision: If Hon.Sarath Fonseka is appointed as either the Secretary Defense or minister Law & order,we can expect a clean and sterling performance in such fields as no one bill be able to influence him in matters where corruption and indiscipline is involved.Apart from that, it had been the practice that the post of Defense Secretary had been held by Senior officers of the Military in the history.

  5. Psycho

    Let these criminals form a new party, it’s good for the country.

    • chandra

      Let us be frank,the entire Sinhalese Buddhist in this country,the majority of which
      at least 40% of Sinhalese Buddhist are absolutely dumb,no question,IQ
      far below average,no point hiding,the higher IQ Sinhala Buddhist knows all this
      but nothing they can do because of the Rajapakse rule for more than 10 years
      even last election they almost had 35% of the votes with around 4.5 million
      votes from the dumb Sinhalese Buddhist,this previous MR group exposed
      this dumb Sinhalese Buddhist group,all because,they cannot fathom the corrupt
      from the clean,this is absolutely true
      the dumb Sinhalese group is considered lowest in comparison even to the
      Sudanese,and other poor African races,it is a shame for our Sinhalese to go down in histry all because of the dirty Rajapakse regime.
      let the people open their their eyes,it is an absolute truth

  6. Lalih

    I suggest the name is Looters Party

  7. Karthigesu Nirmalan-Nathan.

    The capacity to undermine the present adminstration by the Meganomaniac and his family of Rajapakshas should never be under-estimated. The country will irreversibly sink into the black hole without any hope of being resurected. Get the whole cowns in remand and do a thorough investigation and let the full brunt of the Law take it’s cause.

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