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Sajith’s ‘Bugle Call’ signals a return to quarters

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  • Rejects’ Expose their Nudity!
  • Two Ailing Giants at 67 and 73 Plan Celebrations   

Respecting people’s sovereignty under a ‘five star’ democracy, SLFP and  UNP appointed nine candidates rejected by the voter [who lost the trust of the people] as national list MPs to ‘represent the people’ [which people?].  JVP appointed two such rejects though;  Handunetti, justifies his inclusion by performing credibly at COPE. The UNP appointee could muster a mere 5000 votes in Colombo District. The 14th Amendment introducing the National list concept was presented by R Premadasa, PM and debated on May 4, 1988, should be scrapped and the number of MPs reduced to 196. Richard Pathirana, the former minister arguing at the debate against 14A warned, “The concept would allow rejected men to enter Parliament, abusing powers given to the Party Secretary harming the sovereignty of the people”Hansard: 1988-5-4 . Vehemently opposed though by the then leader Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the idea was cheerfully accepted by the present leader of SLFP, who brought in through the backdoor half a dozen of rejects—and he is now paying for his misdeed, while SLPP has opened a garbage dump at Nelum Mawatha to accommodate the dirt. 

Parliament bombed

Assailant, a JVP activist, hurled two hand grenades into the committee room of Parliament where the government group was at a meeting on August 18, 1987. The grenades bounced off the table where JR and Premadasa were sitting, and exploded, one near the wall and other under where Lalith Athulathmudali and District Minister  Abeywickrama were seated. Ajith Kumara vanished immediately after the incident and evaded arrest till April 1988: he was  indicted on conspiracy to commit the murder of President, Lalith Athulathmudali etc., Colombo High Court acquitted Kumara due to lack of evidence. He became a politburo member of the JVP, and proceeded to Pradeshiya Sabha and was nominated as Chief Ministerial candidate of the JVP for the Sabaragamuva Provincial Council in 1999. The so-called democrats would do anything to deceive people in order to stay in power.

September, the Month of ‘Reading Democracy’? 

September, the month of writers and readers, where creativity flourishes  in minds, also unique to Sri Lanka as the month of Political innovations with the two major democratic Parties being born seven decades ago on September 2 and 9. “World day of Democracy” falls on Sept. 15. Unlike the creative literates whose minds are conflict free, the two political entities have been somewhat inundated with internal conflicts at frequent intervals. This year the two giants are planning to celebrate their Anniversaries on the 3rd and 9th in the midst of unprecedented internal factional turmoil.  The International literacy day, September 8 is sandwiched between the two dates; will they take the shine off it demoralizing the book enthusiasts? SLFP will commemorate the 67th anniversary on September 3 under its leader President Maithripala Sirisena who was born in September 67 years ago. The founder SWRD was assassinated in September 1959. The UNP is supposed to follow with their 73rd anniversary also in September.Sri Lanka Freedom Party having been founded in 1951 on a socialist economic programme and is usually allied with nationalist Sinhala/Buddhist  groups has been hijacked by SLPP. 

“Confusing the masses with the mobs” 

A former ‘The Hindu’ correspondent and political analyst who worked in Colombo with whom I share historical facts that interest both of us. He recently, WhatsApp Messenger a pen portrait of SWRD Bandaranaike appeared in the Times of India, during run up to 1956 Parliamentary elections. I quote, “He must learn two things—not to confuse the masses with the mob, and not mesmerize by the belief that words in themselves denote action.”
Filling the Galle Face [in recent past by Pohottuwa,UNP and JVP], is no longer a measure of a party’s strength but a matter of hiring hundreds of buses and a providing a free meal; for the Central and N/Central’s remote villager, it’s a bonanza; a free family excursion to ‘Ho gana pokuna’ but, where does the funding come from? Pohottuwa and UNP obviously are in possession of healthy bank balances here and abroad, accumulated through corrupt deals and Bank Robberies respectively; but for the JVP? [it is doubtful Ibrahim would fund them any longer after Easter attacks].

 

  • Senanayakes and Bandaranaikes served reasonably well during the first few years after independence
  • Rajapaksas will take SLFP for a solid ride motivated by the fact that even one or 200,000 votes
  • Ven. Sobitha’s idea was to contest on a ‘single issue’ – “Scrap Executive Presidency” an effort that ended in disaster

 

Popularity vs Capacity/Capability 

Wijeya Kumaratunga, the gentleman politician with his immense popularity was elected the most popular film star in 12 consecutive years, while his co-stars were selected as the Best Actor. Sanath Goonatillake faced the same embarrassment until Tissa Abeysekara sensed his latent talents and invited him to play Aravinda’s  role in Viragaya. They say ‘X’ is in demand; people clamour for him, he may win, but can he deliver? Gampaha, the most literate polling district in Sri Lanka, in 2010, elected a young Tele-drama actress who apprehensively appeared on political stage alongside her mentor, Karu Jayasuriya, and stumbled and faltered, “I don’t know much…, it is Karu Sir who requested me to contest…, he will guide me.” However, preference votes were counted, amazingly the damsel sparkled as number two in the winning list pushing ‘Karu Sir’ to third place. On the opposing faction, ‘Dr’ Mervin Silva, who worshipped ‘Basil Sir’ in public immediately after nominations, was returned third in the SLFP’s winners list of 12. Gampaha, the most literate District [ctsy. Dept. Census & Statistics] results speak abundantly on our leaders who nominate such ‘….’ and the stupid elector’s mindset!
‘Miris-kudu’ and ‘Butter-knife’ gang members, and ‘stars’ Ranjan, Geetha, they all were returned well ahead of others professionals in their respective districts: ‘people’s sovereignty’?

SLPP-SLFP Alliance ?

Rajapaksas will take SLFP for a solid ride motivated by the fact that even one or 200,000 votes, yet remains within SLFP grassroots which is vital in a neck-to-neck race in the Prez Stables. After the draw of last drop of blood, in a likely victory for them, they will condemn and discard the horse with broken legs to die a natural death or even ‘put down’ or euthanized, like in  the case of a champion race horse, because it is very old or sick or because there is no one to take care of it. The UNP ventured under their pioneers, Senanayakes and Bandaranaikes in serving the nation reasonably well during the first few years after independence, before the major split that created the SLFP. There onwards, each ruled, rather ruined  the country taking turns from 1952  up to 2014, at which point a new strategy was introduced backed by the Civil activists, NGOs for a combined effort. It was experimented for the first time with the blessings of Ven. Sobitha Thera, whose idea was to contest on a ‘single issue’ – “Scrap Executive Presidency” an effort that ended in disaster.

 

"SWRD was assassinated in September 1959. The UNP is supposed to follow with their 73rd anniversary also in September. SLFP was founded in 1951 on a socialist economic programme and is usually allied with nationalist Sinhala/Buddhist  groups has been hijacked by SLPP"


Ranil the master strategist is making a late move like the expert angler; he allowed space and time for the vociferous rebels to have a ‘picnic’ for three weeks before he ventured into a couple of restraining acts. Firstly he got the General Secretary to call for an explanation from each of the selected pair that walked the extra mile in defending the daylight robbers of CB at his own insistence two years ago, and by appointing his secretary to head a commission to inquire into a missing Rs 1.2 billion from Central Cultural Fund that functions under Deputy leader and the self appointed Executive President nominee, subduing and taming the high-spirited house builder.  
In 1950, DS Senanayake was able to shrewdly exploit the weak points of political forces against him to convert his government into a quite steady entity from its fragile alliance two years before. The strong Marxist-based  main opposition was divided on ideological disagreements and personal differences. Bandaranaike quit the UNP, crossed the floor with a few faithfuls creating a major rift in the government and used his SMS’ strong base in launching his new party the SLFP on September 2, 1951, just a day before President Maithripala Sirisena was born.
What is imperative today is not who contests and who wins, but how the two heads; the Executive President and Prime Minister are going to share the powers and responsibilities under a half-baked 19A?

Writer can be contacted at - kksperera1@gmail.com

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