Reply to Ilika Karunaratne’s article headlined “Rebels without a Cause”

23 September 2019 12:17 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Ranasinghe Premadasa held a series of  meetings under the banner“Citizen’s Front”, and criticized  the leadership of the UNP
  • Ranil never spoke against the rampant corruption in the previous government

 

Ilika Karunaratne  in her article  in the Daily Mirror under  the caption “Rebels without a  Cause” begins  her article with the facile sentence “They know very well  the procedure that is  followed and  should have bode their time, without making a public show  of their objectives  and bringing the party into disrepute  thus playing into the hands of the opposition”. Where is this procedure laid  down? Do  the  provisions  of  the Constitution of the UNP forbid any person in the party making a public show of his objectives? In fact, the public show in the form of rallies  has reinvigorated  the grass root  support of the UNP. The lacklustre performance of Ranil Wickremesinghe in rallies held  by the party has dulled the enthusiasm of  the rank and file of the party. Ms. Karunaratne has quoted the  following lines  from Julius Caesar. They believe in the words of Brutus in Julius Caesar “There is a tide in the affairs of men”.

 

Taken at the flood turns to fortune omitted. 
All voyages of  their life are bound turn to shallows and miseries
On such a full sea  are we now afloat

 

It is for this very reason, the great leaders of the world bide their time.
Further, the action taken by the Secretary of the Party to suspend two parliamentarians  reveal  malice and ill will the Wickremesinghe camp show towards their  fellow parliamentarians. When Wijedasa Rajapakshe and Ven. Rathana Thera crossed over to the opposition no action was taken to expel them from the party. Such action is expressly provided for in the  Constitution of this Country.  
Even though we are a  Republic, we still follow the Westminster model. If Churchill, then a backbencher in the Conservative Party, without waging a relentless attack on Neville Chamberlain and his policy of appeasement, which ultimately  brought  the  fall of Chamberlain, waited passively and bode his time, he would never have become Prime Minister of England. Going further back, Disraeli’s great series of anti-Peel philippics gave him the fame, which ultimately enabled him to climb to the top of the greasy pole. Some of Disraeli’s words  achieved instant immortality  “The right Honourable Gentleman caught the Whigs bathing and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in full enjoyment of their liberal position and he  is himself a strict conservative of their garments”


In  another instance, where Peel advised him  to take the advice of a candid friend, Disraeli replied “Give me the avowed the  erect manly foe, bold I can meet, and perhaps turn the blow, but save, save me from my candid friend “
Had these great Prime Ministers bode their time, they would never have even been considered for any ministerial office. On the other hand, R.A.Butler bode his time, and never became Prime Minister of England.
Ms. Karunarane refers to a statement  that the UNP is a disciplined party. In 1952, the Trine Newspaper published “The Premier  Stakes “ where Sir John Kotelewela says the intrigues and conspiracies hatched by the UNP Parliamentarians deprived him  of the Premiership. At a meeting held in the Prime Minister’s office on September10, 1952, he falsely denied that he was the author of  “Premier Stakes“ and avoided expulsion from the cabinet . In 1972, JR Jayewardena  published an article in the national newspapers  stating that the UNP has no future and he proposes  that the UNP join the government. If his proposal is rejected, he will, with those who will come with him, join the Government. 


The UNP working committee unanimously decided to expel him from the party, which resolution was to  be ratified at the Annual Convention. JR had got false entrance tickets printed at Sirisoma Ranasinghe’s Swastika Press, and his goons were to enter the Convention and disrupt the meeting. It was this man who became the President of both the UNP and the Country. Ranasinghe Premadasa held a series of  meetings under the banner“Citizen’s Front”, and criticized  the leadership of the UNP.
Ms. Karunaratne says  “,……..suffers from an inferiority and, cannot cope with his role. In fact, it is Ranil who cannot cope with his role. He was perhaps the worst leader of the opposition. He never uttered one word either within or without Parliament regarding the corruption in the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government. He never uttered a word with regard to the outright sale of prime property in Fort belonging to the Army to Shangri-la Hotel. He maintained a deafening silence when Mattala Airport was built, in violation of the feasibility report submitted to the Ranil Wickremesinghe Government. His acts of commission and omission as Leader of the Opposition are countless. He had the support of the MR Government. Most of his foreign trips were funded by the previous Government.

 

  • He never opposed when Army land was sold to Shangri-la or when building the  Mattala Airport
  • Ranil has now formed a pact with Gota. The latter to be the President and himself to be the Leader of the Opposition


As Prime Minister, he protected the corrupt in the party, The Minister, who in his evidences before the Bond Commission said  “He does not know how his wife’ had Rs.150 million to purchase an apartment from Arjun Aloysius became his closest ally in the party. Recently, in his evidence before the Commission, revealed that as Prime Minister he had the knowledge, if not a party to take on a monthly lease of Rs. 21million for a building, which has still not been used by the Agricultural Ministry. He, as Prime Minister, did nothing to stop the lease being executed. He failed to assert himself when he was not invited to the security council meetings  It is a common belief that  as Prime Minister he protected the Rajapaksas. A world renowned newspaper said that the American Embassy had given Ranil the necessary documents some time ago regarding the money laundering by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. 
Those documents, it was reported, are now gathering dust at Temple Trees. Recently Gotabhaya, at the instigation of Ranil, with the connivance of the interior Minister Vajira Abeywardena obtained a passport bypassing all procedure. He did not personally attend the Immigration Office to hand over his application. The application was handed over after the cut off point. 
The new passport makes no reference to his dual citizenship nor to the original identity card. On the strength of this  passport, Gota is claiming that he had ceased to be a dual citizenship holder. It is clear that Gota has no intention of renouncing his dual citizenship, In fact, his wife has still not made an application to renounce her 
dual citizenship.


Unfortunately, it is Ranil who is lacking in loyalty and gratitude to his fellow parliamentarians. He is now playing the role of a traitor. It is due to the lack of loyalty towards the die-hard supporters that vast numbers of Parliamentarians crossed over to the Rajapaksa camp. It is  the common belief  that he has now formed a pact with Gotabhaya. He, to be the President and Ranil to be the leader of the opposition. The Government has already ordered a bullet proof  car for the Leader of the Opposition - An 
unprecedented move. 


Even at the height of the 30-year war no such car was ordered for the leader of the opposition. He presumably wishes to be the leader of the opposition, after the General Elections. Ranil, will need a bullet proof car to protect himself not from the terrorists but from the loyal supporters of the UNP for the perfidy he has committed on the party and his supporters. No doubt, he is following the principles enunciated by his uncle who expressed publicly his desire to join the government of Ms. Bandaranaike. Perhaps, Ranil prefers a Govigama President from SLPP rather than a non-Govigama President from the UNP.  
To re-echo the words of Oliver Cromwell uttered to the long Parliament, which  applies  with all its vigour to Ranil Wickremesinghe, “You  have stayed here too long, go. Go, I say in the name of God, go.”

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