The SAMAGI BALAWEGAYA or FORCE for UNITY led a protest on a very worthy cause on August 14, at the Fort Railway station. Going by those who have fallen ill with anti Ranil phobia, it seemed to have been a little underwhelming. A foreign news agency in its report on the protest said “among one thousand People…demonstrated”. Another report on a hardly pro-government website but certainly anti NSSP, said: “…According to eyewitness accounts, the Opposition rally managed to garner a crowd of between 800 and 1000 protesters.” With such misinformation those who are committed to defend the regime could easily conclude that the rally billed ‘Enough is Enough’, did not appear to have gathered enough people.
So, the Forces for Unity couldn’t get anywhere close to the lowest five digit figure! According to their estimate the JVP or the FSP supported by the university students and workers would have mobilised a far higher number. But these phobia men are unable to understand why the organisers of the protest did not or could not secure their participation as shareholders of this rally.
Forces for Unity have come together as a mass movement based on ten point programme which includes implementation of LLRC recommendation. Even a child in politics knows that the JVP and the FSP do not agree with this proposal. They are still opposed to the 13th Amendment; leave alone going beyond that. In the light of that political reality it would seem that only political idiots could conclude that the JVP (and even the FSP) did not join the August 14 protest for some subjective reason. One such person has concluded that the JVP and the FSP did not participate because they could not bring themselves to be seen as participants under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe.
I do not agree with the politics of the JVP or their breakaways, but it is silly to think that these organisations make political alliances based on subjective reasons. Good or bad, they have consistently done things for political reasons. JVP once shot me in the belly and was hunting to kill me. Then we campaigned together for Nandana in the presidential elections. We do not have any personnel disputes or agreements; we never had. I am sure they treat Ranil or any other UNP leader in the same vein.
Once Lal Kantha said that he would like to speak to Ranil because the latter is knowledgeable and always prepared to answer question; a proper gentlemanly bourgeoisie. On the other hand, on that day Sajith and Karu were there in a big way. Sajith made a thundering speech while emphasising the necessity to win the forthcoming PC elections.
He appealed passionately to the masses for an electron defeat of the degenerate government. Karu was busy in the streets to my surprise and he led the petition project. Not only the complete array of UNP leaders, but also all oppositional leaders were present. As announced in the media TNA leader Sumanthiran, DPF leader Mano, NHU leader Manamendra, UPF leader Sirimasiri, Mawbima leader Hema and others were there actively participating.
"Once Lal Kantha said that he would like to speak to Ranil because the latter is knowledgeable and always prepared to answer questions; a proper gentlemanly bourgeoisie."
In my speech I referred to the brutal attack on Muslim mosque and I got a huge response from Muslims who were there in large numbers.
Today, if the Force for Unity which includes the UNP as the major partner cannot mobilise more than a few thousand – if that—for a demonstration on a highly emotive issue on the UNP’s home turf, Colombo then the reason cannot be Ranil. With all these leaders getting together to mobilize masses, we could get less than ten thousand.
"The entire country is subjugated by this fascist styled repression in one way or another. Against such a background, the opposition protest that rallied several thousands of people on August 14 was a great enough achievement, in all practical realities"
If that is so, then blame should come on all including Sajith. Am I mistaken? Is the argument that Sajith and Karu deliberately worked against mobilising people? Such an accusation will be very unkind to say the least.
The reality is that August 14 was a great success against a government that uses fascist type methods to suppress people. On one hand, The Sinhala masses are duped in to believing in Sinhala Buddhist dominance, and continued suppression of minorities. On the other hand, all minority communities are terrorised using para military gangs and underworld thugs.
The entire country is subjugated by this fascist styled repression in one way or another. Against such a background, the opposition protest that rallied several thousands of people on August 14 was a great enough achievement, in all practical realities.