- Any politician would agree that it’s easy to do politics when the country is divided
- If both Gota and Sajith are out of the race, Ranil might see his chances of running for presidency being strengthened
- His only major flaw would be not thinking about the future generations
- At one time there was much to talk about the close friendship between Ranil and Mahinda
The chaotic political environment in the country is just what some lawmakers want. The Mahinda Rajapaksa group reached its peak in politics during 2005-2015, a turbulent time in the island. The war was finished off during one half of this period and its detractors were silenced in the second half of this period. Hence the Mahinda group would love the strikes carried out by government institutions and the Government Medical Officers’ Union (GMOA) these days.
Just the other day there was tension in the north, in Mulaitivu, where a court order issued to restrict the funeral arrangements of a Buddhist monk. Not only Mahinda, some of the Tamil politicians who operate from airconditioned offices in Colombo wish to see ethnic and religious tension growing in the north. Any politician would agree that it’s easy to do politics when the country is divided.
The majority Sinhalese blame Ranil Wickremesinghe for siding with the minorities. They also blame the lawmakers of this country who oppose the Buddhists’ way of thinking. This thinking at times gives scant respect to the law. Ranil has won the respect of the northerners. People in the north are of the opinion that Ranil understands the problems of the northern people. This was confirmed by TNA Leader R.Sampanthan when he met Sinhala politicians at his residence in Colombo, recently. But he was also quick to point out that Sajith lacked a little understanding about the issues concerning the Tamils in the country.
"Maybe Ranil reads the situation better than anyone because the pressure doesn’t kill him; mainly because he is not or never has been the favourite to win a presidential election barring the elections in 2005"
Many blame Ranil for his decision making and being noncommittal during crunch situations. Ranil’s mind works like a politician’s and not like a voter’s. The Greens are screaming and demanding that Sajith be given nomination for the upcoming presidential elections. They see that Sajith is the best bet to beat Gotabaya at the presidential elections. But if one reads Ranil’s mind wishful thinking can be observed. He sees that Gotabaya can be disqualified from contesting at the time of the elections if the American authorities don’t confirm the renouncing of his USA citizenship. He would also do everything to block Sajith’s candidacy; there is credible news circulating in the party that a good number of members in the UNP oppose Sajith. If both Gota and Sajith are out of the race, Ranil might see his chances of running for presidency being strengthened. One factor standing in favour of Ranil is that he isn’t a racist and has cultivated a healthy relationship with the minorities.
Sri Lankans often choose to oppose the work of politicians. They haven’t made an effort to get into the shoes of lawmakers. Politicians like Wickremesinghe know the art of playing the balancing game. Ranil is obsessed with his future alright, but he thinks first and foremost like a shrewd politician. His only major flaw would be not thinking about the future generations and the children yet to be born to this country.
Last week we read enough about the drama which went on about plans to abolish the Executive Presidency. The architect of this move was the premier, it is alleged. But these efforts failed because the majority aired their views that such a move was unacceptable given that the conducting of the presidential elections was already announced.
A lawmaker like Ranil is a political animal. But he is also a solid source for a case study of how the mind of a wise politician works when everything around starts collapsing. You can do this better studying Ranil if he is compared with Mahinda. The better you become as a politician the more you lose your human touch. Politicians today are akin to going to the supermarket, filling their shopping carts and making payments through gift vouchers. Gone are the days when rich people entered politics and busted their hard earned monies on making the lives of voters better. You can either earn the green notes once entering politics or a social capital. Praise serves as the air that Ranil breathes and the food that nourishes his soul.
At one time there was much to talk about the close friendship between Ranil and Mahinda. There was once an episode where Mahinda thwarted a rally that would have rattled the UNP. Mahinda did so by giving an order to reconstruct a road in Kotte area on which anti-Ranil protesters were expected to travel on. The road construction saved Ranil that day. Politicians like Ranil know that people with different political opinions love to form groups and fight each other, but hate to sit back and understand that the ‘masters’ they are fighting for are quite happy scratching each others backs; despite being in opposite camps.
President Sirisena comes with full of surprises, but this time around the master plan to abolish the Executive Presidency came not from Sirisena, but from Ranil. May be Sirisena sees himself in a ‘political machine’ where it is too complicated inside to put a spanner in the wheel. Maybe Ranil reads the situation better than anyone because the pressure doesn’t kill him; mainly because he is not or never has been the favourite to win a presidential election barring the elections in 2005.
With uncertainty associated with Gota’s and Sajith’s chances, Ranil just may be the dark horse with an outside change to be elected as the first citizen of the country. This is quite possible in a country where large numbers who don’t like him, see their ability to take decisions being clouded by hero-worshiping, astrology, witchcraft and the preference to lean on a religious verdict and not the country’s law when struggling to find a solution to a vital social issue.