Traditionally,UNP does not possess lasting power in governing and it is historically proved. Juggling with democracy J.R. Jayewardene proved the exception when he disenfranchised his prime rival Sirima Bandaranaike from contesting at elections. Then extended the term of a Parliament where he held a 5/6th majority for another six years without holding elections. Those parliamentarians were given an automatic 12- year term without facing an election. Now President Sirisena resurrects defeated candidates and promotes them to Cabinet through the national list. The Supreme Court looks on.
Private and Public sector offered abject loyalty to the Jayewardene government. Only the judiciary had the spunk to stand up to the administration with a courageous Chief Justice in Neville Samarakone. Gathered around him rooted to the ground firmly were a few independent justices. That was not so long ago when the court was a place of pride.
Things are different now but it brings no pride. Captains of business, prime vehicle to keep a UNP led government alive, prefer to keep a distance away from the Prime Minister’s outfits though it possesses good minds in Charitha Ratwatte and R.Paskaralingam; out of touch with the public mood. Private sector yearns for the pampering received from a chummier administration - contactable at a price on a call to a kinsman in the Family. More coins jingle in the pockets of public servants– but those selfish weathervanes of the nation- keep their options always open in a prevailing air of uncertainty.To whom can a government turn for comfort?
Last government earned goodwill from the reservoir of support received on gratitude from the patriotic forces on eliminating terrorism –herculean task performed to perfection. Mistakenly stretched it too far, for too long. Yet it still stands firm in times of hardship on seen names named for handling devolution and war crimes.
" UNP beheaded its finest foot soldiers before they could guide them on the proper path–children of good governance – that brought them to power at no cost"
Appointing Lal Wijenaike, Manouri Muttetuwegama or Pakiyasothy Saravanamuttu to head outfits or positions of power in war associated causes or devolution exercises causes the dormant patriotic forces to take hostile positions.As members of a committee their contribution would be invaluable but given a more exalted position makes it obvious the direction the government desire to drive. Purposeful since this government won on the votes from the peninsula. To tap the unpredictable vote in the north is to lose more in the southern belt: turbo jetted by price escalations that extends to Point Pedro.
UNP is painfully committing suicide. If Rajapaksa appointed S.L. Gunasekera or Gomin Dayasri to head the LLRC or a committee on the APC the direction would have been foreknown and a report would be held in suspect. But in a committee they serve a purpose as did eminent Nirmala Chandrahasan an academic of great repute with known views. Instead Rajapaksa choose moderate men like C.R. De Silva or M.D.D. Pieris to head the LLRC or the committee to advise the APC to offend less.
"Last government earned goodwill from the reservoir of support received on gratitude from the patriotic forces on eliminating terrorism"
UNP beheaded its finest foot soldiers before they could guide them on the proper path–children of good governance – that brought them to power at no cost. Arjuna Mahendran did as much damage to the UNP as did previously the wagging tongue of man that confused Pamankada to Alimankade.- lesson in classical black humor. UNP little realises the wisdom in President Sirisena who keeps his ear to the ground. President Premadasa’s effectiveness was measured by the slick implementation of his vision by his efficient secretary Wijedasa. Sadly President Rajapaksa’s Man-Friday Lalith Weerakone was laid back, much was noted diligently in note pads but remained undone as he was supposedly everywhere but was truly nowhere.The lacuna of a purposeful secretary caused Mahindra Rajapaksa to fall back on his effective brother Basil and led to charges of a incorporated family.
Handling the economy was the mainstay of the UNP. Hardships are heaped brashly: makes it difficult to find hardcore supporters except of a few beneficiaries supportive of the UNP for their artful gain. Yet it could be strategic –making life sweeter as the elections draw closer.Who knows it might turn into a magical formula? But will the world economy permit such especially with UK economy in the doldrums after the results of the referendum. Strain on the share market is manageable but not on the economy with the garment trade soon in peril. Sales outposts are closing rapidly in Europe.
In 1955 Labour and Conservatives together picked 97% of the voted polled but at the last election it was reduced to 66% and at the recent referendum the voters in Britain opted overwhelmingly to quit the European Union against the advice of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition sailing together on a common platform. In Scotland they voted convincingly to remain in the EU. Two communities; two nations? Caused by excessive devolution.Take it to mind. Political parties are losing its predominance and its leaders still more.
"Where have all the young boys and young girls gone? Gone to vote. Hold on: not so fast - they need to wait"
UNP during the last 25 years has enjoyed power partially for 3 years when Ranil Wickremesinghe played second fiddle as the Prime Minister during a time President Kumaranatunga presided over the Cabinet and held powerful the portfolios of Defense Media and Interior Ministries. That too along with dodgy SLFP stalwarts like S.B. Dissanayake, Mahinda Wijesekera, G.L. Pieris and Bandula Gunawardane holding key portfolios in the UNF government after 13 UPFA MPS crossed the aisle to join the UNP. Most went back to their ancestral home after Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed presidency, as it was more a domestic tiff with President Kumaranatunga that made them leave the UPFA government.Known opportunists crossed and re-crossed.
UPFA’s Chandrika Kumaranatunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa have enjoyed a two term of Presidency each (1994 to 2015) and presently President Sirisena presides over the SLFP andcome elections some may defect to Mahinda Rajapaksa depending on their electability.More worrying after 25 years of UPFA presidency, UNP has no confidence to present its prime candidate to contest the presidential candidate and need search for dejected stalwarts of its rival to contest on its behalf.
Back in power Prime Minister Wickremasinghe looks vulnerable in office. In an ailing UNP, Wickremesinghe acts silly to show he is the boss of his party by pumping for Arjuna Mahendran a lost cause as did Mahinda Rajapaksa when he propelled a Minister alleged to have manhandled his ambassador to the Court of St James.Public bided its time; showed their displeasure at the general election and the defended ex-Minister has now much to say of the Rajapaksa clan but may soon be comfortable in that camp. Mahinda Rajapaksa may know his politics but not his politicians.
"The problem lies not with Ranil; but to those whom he has assigned authority"
What ails the UNP? Why can’t the UNP strengthen itself after an election result that brings them to office?The problem lies not with Ranil; but to those whom he has assigned authority. They live in a world far away from the voting public and those small minds think they know best and sell their weird formulas to Ranil Wickremesinghe to regret later. Wickremasinghe lives in a cuckolded fold and needs to be saved from his political friends before his political enemies.
Is the answer to bring Mahinda Rajapaksa’s clan back to office? Voters don’t think far with a choice limited. The same aged parliamentarians will rule the roost wearing blue shirts brought out from the closet and the green shirts sent for its traditional wash. Recurrence is so frequent in the wardrobe, it is no longer an embarrassment but just an effort to grin and bear.Its worthwhile.
Where have all the young boys and young girls gone? Gone to vote. Hold on: not so fast - they need to wait. For four years and months six - because the Supreme Court forgot it affected the franchise in considering the 19th Amendment. In the meantime we travel down the pallam.