Ranja, Wad of Bubble Gum Spit Away by Leadership? Or a ‘Cow Boy’ who Herded Cattle?

20 January 2020 12:29 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Ranjan has exposed wrongdoers risking his own interests with alleged phone recordings
  • Leaked recordings have become a political blessing for some politicians who launched an attack on 19A



Is Ranjan Ramanayake, a wad of bubble/chewing gum spit away by the leadership or an actor in a Hollywood‘Cow boy’ film of 1940s-50s, playing the role of a cattle herder on horseback on ranches in Texas and North America, who also performed a number of other tasks? Whatever he may be, Ranjan has exposed wrongdoers risking his own interests with alleged phone recordings one after another passed onto social media and with mainstream media copying and publishing stirring up major controversy. It has distracted the people from what really went wrong in the country. The government supporters blissfully attacking the actors of previous regime causing another severe embarrassment to the former ruling party’s already tattered image. Answering an interviewer, the former Deputy Minister said,  “It will reveal to the people what is really going on in society these days – political or otherwise; all those who are condemning me are the thieves who are guilty.”

Collecting Cow Boy Pictures 

 The 1950s was a good time to be an actor with endurance riding skills. The Colombo cinema was chockablock with Westerns; being too small to patronize them, we have been hunting for the ‘Comics’ [illustrated cartoon pictures of the film in printed form] costing -/25 Cents, to fill the vacuum. There were dozens of veteran cowboy actors, who were our celluloid heroes and whose pictures the Bubble-gum marketers abused. Like the Texan cowboys who lace-up, strap and dress in a unique style, Ranjan, the Rodeo Cowboy was blessed with little acquired ‘riding’ skills. Ranjan was ready for action in our symbolic political subculture, at the command of his director/leader, though his party now seems to have distanced itself from his erotic lifestyle and controversial erratic future.  Ranjan the Rodeo Cowboy.   

Rodeo tricks include calf-roping, [the Cowboy on horseback chases after a calf, nooses it, and ties it up. Bull riding [the Cowboy attempts to cling on to a jumping/kicking bull] are Adrenalin-pumping fun for the audience, co-incidentally, Ranjan was ‘hired’ by interested parties to play such roles in his ‘ill-starred’ political career too. 

Leaked Recording in Ukraine: PM in Hot Waters  

Leaked tapes are causing havoc not only in Sri Lanka. As Daily Mirror reported on Friday, PM Honcharuk has said the recording had been doctored and were made up of different fragments of what had been said at government meetings. Ukraine’s Prime Minister, unlike our politicians has submitted his resignation after an audio recording suggested he had criticised the President. A recording of a man discussing President Zelenskiy’s purported lack of knowledge of economics was circulated on messaging channels, alleged to be made at a meeting with the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in last December.   

Like the great ‘cow boys’ in John Wayne, who was born Marion Robert Morrison; Legendary actor GlennFord, born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton; our Ranjan Ramanayake, born Sadda Vidda Rajapakse Palanga Leo Sylvester Alponso, the actor, director, singer and a script writer changed his name before entering the silver screen. Ranjan was apprehended, according to authorities, and produced before a Magistrate on January 4, because he had not obtained a valid licence for the pistol given to him as a parliamentarian—a trivial matter that only needed a payment of a penalty. But in the process of his arrest, police recovered a hoard of digital compact discs (CDs) with recordings of telephone conversations, [what they really targeted, the pistol was only an accident] he had with various people. He was bailed out on that occasion, but with tapes revealing several controversial conversations that he was allegedly have engaged with members of judiciary, where he pleads for stringent verdicts on supporters of former ruling party, a fresh warrant was issued for his arrest and he was subsequently remanded for two weeks on 15th instant. 


Bubble Gum Culture of 1950s and Media Bubble of 2010

Bubble gum was the earliest form of Chewing gum that we spent 10 cents out of our pocket money on as 10-12 year old school kids in mid-50s, crazily not for its strawberry flavoured gum, but for the picture of our favourite Hollywood cowboy actors, that we eccentrically collected as a hobby. It was the original chewing gum, designed to be inflated out of the mouth as a bubble. A bubble is an extremely thin film enclosing air that forms a hollow sphere. 

Bubbles usually burst, either on their own or on contact with another object. The  media bubble is a hypothesis based on a speculative boom and bust phenomenon in the field of media in the 2010s.

“Westerns” in good old days was a genre of fiction based on settings in the latter part of the 19th century in the America’s old west. The scripts centred on the life of a wandering cowboy who rides a horse and is armed with a revolver. The Cowboys wore Stetson hats, cowboy boots, neckerchief bandannas, and vests. The characters revolved around Native Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards, bandits, outlaws, gamblers, and buffalo soldiers. The ambience is usually sprinkled with a Western country music score, including Spanish/Mexican folk, and Native American music. [theme of Dollar series]  

 The characters in cowboy films were considered bad guys of the 18th and 19th century; they were bandits who mercilessly waylaid farmers. The cowboy figure, in the course of time, was puffed up and became a figure of the American courage.

Ranjan Tops Gampaha

Ranjan though not a great actor, has made a mark as a popular film idol among a large section. which helped him top the list at 2015 General elections in the Gampaha district. Good acting they say is when you never realize they’re acting. If you ‘forget’ you’re watching something false or fake. A good actor’s timing and delivery must be absolutely flawless. It does not need laughed-out-loud inspiration. Making risky choices—like baring everything in a nude scene—doesn’t always associate with a good performance, but that kind of devotion and commitment can certainly catch greatness. Kate Winslett, the Academy Award winner, for instance, was renowned, for her comfort with nude scenes. Performing on camera requires quite an amount of expressive power. Unfortunately Ranjan lacked above qualities as a film actor or even a political actor for that matter. Has he been badly let down by the producers, scriptwriters and his director, or was it the other way round?   

The leaked recordings have become a political blessing for some politicians who launched an attack on 19A and the ‘independent’ commissions; the child born to it proving that half-baked constitutional amendments are a menace. These telephone conversations made under command but immorally and unlawfully recorded and stored by an unintelligent politician, a silly communicator have shattered the reputation of judiciary. It is obvious that these conversations only exposed the viciousness of something that had been prevalent over the decades, a fact that runs back to Felix Dias, Dudley Senanayake eras in 1960s when AGs, and Judges were influenced by the so-called ‘gentlemen’ politicians for verdicts against their political opponents. [a reality which we have enlightened the readers with details in these columns in the past].  Ranjan tapes are scandalous no doubt but are not unanticipated.   

Bad Boys for Life is a 2020 American-Mexican action comedy movie themed “Ride together, Die together”, currentlyrunning in town differs from our political bad boys theme of “Ride together and Die Alone.” We wish Ranjan, lessons learnt, would come out of Prisons a wiser man, opt out of politics and play the “good guy” in movies shot under local culture than the “baddy or villain in his bosses’ Western comic based stories.”  

Writer can be contacted at kksperera1@gmail.com

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