Editorials

Sri Lanka: Father Cyril Gamini’s Rip Van Winkle Moment

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Editorial

The almighty and his holly son equally condemned the false prophets and teachers; no matter what they dressed. Liars are the bane of humanity and the doom of liars is spoken of in Revelation of Holly Bible. “As the messengers of God taught us, the liar will forever be separated from a loving and holy God. The liar will have all eternity to regret the deception they refused to renounce as they hear their lies echo in their memory.”

One liar who deceives himself as well as others suddenly came before the media and expressed his hypocritical hatred. What an ugly show. This is what we called; the Rip Van Winkle moment of any personality. He was fast asleep, and just before getting up he was sleepwalking; now he’s as awake as Rip Van Winkle. 

After a period of silence, Father Cyril Gamini, a media spokesman of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called a press conference in Colombo yesterday and once again expressed his views on the Easter terrorist attacks. On what authority Father Gamini can criticise the appointments of the senior officers climbed based on merits and seniority? Does he know that the basic legal ideology, the presumption of innocence, every person should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty due process of law?

Before and during the Galleface Aragalaya, many self-proclaimed civil society activists made a big fuss in the country about the Easter attack, but after the Aragalaya, their focus shifted. Consequently, many of them were pushed into a hideous silence. Simultaneously, the sources of income of those “revolutionaries” have also changed. According to reliable sources; some have received asylum in foreign countries and others have applied for it.

There were widespread allegations of a conspiracy behind the attack, but no one has any data to prove it is true. Their response is clear; I say because the other person said so.   However, one good thing is that those who blame the attack was the result of a political conspiracy formulated by former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa are now struggling to continue their blabbering to mislead society. With the rapid development of information technology, Goebbels’ theory that a lie becomes a truth just by telling it again and again has changed. But Father Cyril Gamini is reluctant to come out of the Goebbelsian cage.

Ensnared in such a confused social context, the new despicable attempt of the group of conspiracy theorists including Father Cyril Gamini is to attack the characters of the government officials they are targeting. At the press conference held yesterday, he proved his new vice. Father Gamini could be observed in the media yesterday to be so low as to express his views in a very obnoxious manner targeting government officials while the conspiracy theory he articulated and kept on repeating in last few years, unfortunately, has exhausted without substance.

A few days ago, in the official propaganda magazine released by Islamic State, a detailed narration of the 2019 Easter attack was published. The publication has vividly cleared in detail that there is no political conspiracy behind this attack, but a group of fanatics motivated by Islamic State ideology. This has dealt a serious blow to conspiracy theorists. In fact, Father Cyril Gamini should answer that, instead of proving his ugliness in front of society by personally attacking the officials who have proven with data that they fulfilled their responsibility to the best of their ability.

UK Backbenchers’ Political Survival through Sri Lanka

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Editorial

The UK House of Commons spent hours yesterday discussing the human rights and economic situation in Sri Lanka. Although they say they are talking about Sri Lanka, they seem to have taken it as an opportunity to express their “overwhelming love” for the Sri Lankan Tamil people living in the United Kingdom in order to preserve their political clout. It is quite ironic how a new generation born to a generation of ancestors who plundered countries including Sri Lanka psychologically, physically and in every other aspect for hundreds of years is not only bragging about human rights but also commanding other nations who are poor just because their wrongdoings how to protect human rights. We were watching carefully the fake performance that was carried out yesterday by that group of hypocrites calling it a debate but in the real sense, they have ridiculed the principles of humanity.  However, we should be glad to watch such entertaining plays of this nature especially in a socio and political context, where a man who has represented an ethnic group which was largely discriminated against by the common psyche of the United Kingdom was finally chosen as their new “Raj”. Their “overwhelming love” for the Tamil people to retain their political power is clearly visible through such dramas. We suggest that it should be capitalized very well by the Tamil community in the UK because, in another ten years or so, a person of Sri Lankan origin can open the path to rule the United Kingdom.

The so-called debate held by British politicians yesterday was a pathetic attempt to offer a legal framework for the alleged genocide in Sri Lanka that should be carefully looked at. No Genocide, but yes, there were some violations from both sides that should be investigated and prosecuted domestically. The real genocide was committed by the British colonialists. They have not yet paid compensation for that. At least they should return stolen valuables. Who can say that it is wrong to vanquish a brutal dictator and his gang who were oppressing unarmed civilians, expelling fellow folks of ethnicities who lived harmoniously within 24 hours and forcing their children into child soldiers? Do you know that we have experienced this heinous reality in our real life, Right Honourable Members? Tell us, will you allow someone to grab your kids and install them on war fronts? Tamil people contributed the most to this humanitarian operation because it was right. That is the truth. That is why these ladies and gentlemen who shed crocodile tears about human rights should stop betraying the noble principles of these subjects for their political survival. They talked about Sri Lanka at length based on secondary information and rhetoric. Anyone who has a simple understanding of the situation in the country will understand that these backbench MPs are continuously trying to fabricate blatant lies for their political survival.

The basic idea presented by a young politician was that since Sri Lanka is a member country of the Commonwealth of Nations, strict measures should be taken against Sri Lanka. We have no idea what the common in wealth of those members of the so-called “commonwealth” is, but we see the wretched inequality between us and them. They robbed us to enrich themselves. Then they tell us, you are a part of “the commonwealth”.  Truth is there is nothing in common, but we are a substantive part of their wealth.  Not only Sri Lanka but many other nations were deceived by the nominal commonwealth until the power of the degenerate colonial master faded in recent times. The inconsistency here is that this whole event is labelled a “debate”. From school we are taught that debate is about at least one side opposing the other side’s point of view and letting the public/jury decide who does better. The irony is that the British taught us the culture of debate in the formal education system implemented during the period when they administered Sri Lanka as a subordinate state. But in this so-called debate, nothing was said that contradicted any point that one was trying to establish for his or her political existence. No opportunity for other side of the story. Is it fair in democracy? What is important is accurate data, not rhetoric based on assumptions. So do we need commentary to understand this usual fake play?  Do they really worship the principles of democracy or the legacy of Joseph Goebbels? Over to you, Right Honourable Members?

Sri Lanka: Oh boy, Who Really Tyrant Is?

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Editorial

A self-claimed political analyst had written a hollow rant on the Aljazeera website describing President Ranil Wickremesinghe as a tyrant. This is not just about enjoying the privilege of “freedom of expression”. Eventually, the channel will not care to publish the other side of this bleak blabbering though most of the journalists working for Al Jazeera based in Qatar is an exceptional group of journalists who have a quantitative understanding of the real tyrants and their behaviours. But this person of Sri Lankan origin has tried to mislead the target audience by distorting the ground reality in Sri Lanka in a repulsive manner to appease his narrow political desires.

The Sri Lankan people are struggling to recover from the hell they fell into. Ranil Wickremesinghe was the only one who accepted the unprecedented challenge faced by the country and the people despite the callousness of serious political opponents. We have politicians who talked and walked but hardly find anyone who will take the national responsibility on their shoulders. But Wickremesinghe proved the opposite. His intervention averted the worst social consequences we were about to face. The situation has been significantly managed by him. But within a few days, the severe penalty he had to pay was the loss of his house, which was razed to the ground by a mob. Many rhetoricians, including this so-called political analyst, do not say a word against the murderous behaviour of those violent groups.

There is a reason for that. This person, among others, has made great efforts to stand out as an active person in the political gang called “Aragalaya” against the state, which was launched by some organized group a few months ago.  We don’t care how successful it is because it is his personal ambition. But what matters to us is the gambling that such crooks are doing with the national interests of the country and the sentiments of ordinary folks. Such immature minds have no choice but to present dreadful narrow political views to ensure their existence in the face of intense competition in a decaying western market.  This is nothing but a malicious attempt to harass the Sri Lankan leadership at the international level by hijacking public sentiments.

Go on boy! Not only you but also many other opportunists should hammer this nation even harder. It was what we called “seizing the opportunity” in the midst of a national calamity. Ideological charlatanism of reckless immature “political analysts” is not a new experience but common behaviour in politics and elsewhere. Hyperbolism is their impetus. When we encounter such rotten minds, our humble suggestion is loud and clear. My boy; instead of barking up the wrong tree, try to learn something substantive and original. Don’t you think this is a good time to try to define the real tyrant and their putrid behaviour? You heard us, right?

An apology to Our Readers

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Regarding Bangladesh and its current government, it has been confirmed that there were many flaws in the two reports, first India’s Top Spy Agency Forms New Brigade to Protect Sheikh Hasina and second Bangladesh: True Architects of Brigade75, published by Sri Lanka Guardian a few days ago. Accordingly, as a media organization that respects people’s right to information and truth-based journalism, we have decided to remove them. We express our deep regret if any party has to face any inconvenience due to the contents of those two reports. Responsibility is not our choice but habit.

– Editorial Team

Sri Lanka: Resolution Passes; So What?

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Editorial

The swank wedgy in Geneva on Sri Lanka is over for the time being. More to come. As many as 829 million people worldwide go to bed hungry each night while a bunch of groups titled themselves “human rights defenders” are lavishly enjoying time in the most expensive city in the world at public expense. Let’s go and see the bottom of this decaying flutter.

Not long ago, the dignity and reputation of the UN Human Rights Council evaporated. The global recognition it had gradually eroded over the years. The result was that it became an objectification institution to satisfy the malodorous desires of various regimes, regrettably. Countries that preach to the world about human rights forcibly abducted innocent people after naming them as prime suspects of terrorism, tortured and destroyed their lives in hideous torture chambers in places such as Guantanamo Bay and other classified black sites. They are still teaching us human rights. The torturers who urinate on the Holy Quran and force Muslims to eat pork are trying to teach the world about religious freedom.

The countries which spread their hegemony throughout the Middle East and destroy those countries in order to exploit their resources, pass resolutions against poor countries like Sri Lanka while talking about protecting human rights. Can anyone with a conscience agree to this dishonourable behaviour? Don’t you smell the stench in their words? Do you not see the blood of innocent people in their footsteps? Did you not see how they systematically destroyed many countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc.? Don’t you hear the voices of the Palestinians who breathe only at the thought of death, deprived of all basic rights? According to their track records, do you think that all this is done because of their overwhelming love for poor countries like Sri Lanka? In fact, such resolutions should be initiated by them – on them – for them as they have no moral right to speak about human rights in other countries. If you remember the series of human carnage they intentionally committed throughout history from Chile and Argentina to Cambodia and Vietnam, you cannot support them with a single word. They systematically destroyed Asia, Latin America, and Africa and did not hesitate to physically if not politically kill all the leaders who emerged from the voice of the voiceless and the power of the powerless. So tell us, against whom should such resolutions be passed?

It is said that this time they have included in their so-called resolution about the economic crimes that allegedly happened in Sri Lanka. Laughably, some self-proclaimed civil society activists have bragged about it in various ways. From the beginning, who gives visas to criminals and gives them sanctuary in their countries without forensic analysis of their wealth? Who gives permission to white-collar economic killers to maintain bank accounts in foreign currencies of their countries? Who gives shelter to crooks living in certain countries by denying visas to innocent people who have earned wages in a transparent and accountable manner? So, shouldn’t global organizations that tell fairy tales about equality, such as the United Nations, change? Isn’t it sad that such noble global forums are becoming a Hydepark-like place where any ugliness can be dramatized, falling prey to those who pursue their narrow political ambitions?

We see all the incidents related to this so-called resolution as a farce by a group of scoundrels who are abusing the highest virtues of human civilization by doing any abominable act for the sake of their supremacy. There is also a group of people standing around their peripheries, dancing to their tunes and licking some of the muskets they throw. They introduce themselves as “civil society activists”. But none of these activities will help the poor people living on the land.

Our respect goes to the real nations that have a backbone against the so-called resolution that was allegedly passed against Sri Lanka and to the nations that refused to go against their conscience and abstained from voting. Only these countries can carry out positivity for human civilization. These countries including Sri Lanka must break this multi-faceted dictatorial unipolar hegemony in order to build a real world where basic rights are respected equally. Although it is a very serious and complicated mission, it should be done immediately. Similarly, the power of true weapons of mass destruction such as the US dollar, which is being used as a quiet blade for genocide, must be neutralized. Then you will find the beauty of true humanity and harmony. Until then, it is inevitable that not only Sri Lanka but many small countries will become victims of these monopolistic hypocrites. Exploiting the prevailing excruciated economic crisis, these manipulators shall kill Sri Lanka softly. Consequently, the ordinary citizens struggling for daily wages will suffer at the end of this great game. When ordinary folks suffered more, they called it “justice”.

Sri Lanka: Mudalige’s Affair

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Editorial

Mr Wasantha Mudalige, who is said to be the convener of a certain student union, is currently in custody and national and international parties are giving priority to distorting the truth and propagating different opinions. According to a UN official, Mudalige is not only a student activist but a human rights defender too. Bravo. But no one talks about the damage caused to the state by these people who boast of fair justice. Is the UN official indirectly saying that these so-called human rights defenders should be given the freedom to rally the people against the state and damage state property?

We ask you to leave your prejudgments and think rationally before expressing your views on such vital incidents of national interest and matters of nationhood. Case in point, there is one foreign lady who came to Sri Lanka on a medical visa. She accepted before the law that she has violated the visa conditions. But, mocking the laws and judiciary she went underground. Laughably, those who are standing with her now say that she is a human rights defender and trying to bring “system change” in Sri Lanka. Do we have to buy these opinions and let this country go to misery with these “opinion makers”? Where are the UN representatives or the diplomatic corps crying out for justice?

Let us now focus on Mr Mudalige’s case briefly. First of all, it is important to find out whether the student union of which Mr Mudalige is the convener is a legally abided organization. As far as we know, this is an organization with an extreme political agenda that was set up to unnecessarily interfere in the internal affairs of universities that do not belong to any legal framework. On the other hand, the studentship of Mr Wasantha Mudalige has been cancelled according to the by-laws governing state universities. The maximum time given to a student to complete his first degree if it is a special degree is seven years, but Mr Mudalige is completing his ninth year as a so-called university student. A person whose studentship has been legally rescinded cannot even enter a university without authorized permission. So should we talk about the legality of this kind of personality leading a student organization without any legal recognition? Should such people be allowed to destroy the country’s public university system in the name of protecting human rights? Should the responsible institutions of the international community continue to play hide-and-seek without prioritizing the truth?

Sri Lanka Guardian: It’s Our 15th Anniversary

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Editorial

Today we are celebrating fifteen years of establishing the Sri Lanka Guardian. We believe it is imperative to make a very brief note about our journey over the past fifteen years overcoming many challenges. When the Sri Lanka Guardian was launched in August 2007, online journalism was a new experience for Sri Lanka. In an environment where the primary focus was on print and electronic media, the key challenge faced by this new media was to ensure credibility. Rhetoric and imaginary-based abstracts cannot win the reader’s trust. It depends on the authenticity of the content we publish. In professional journalism, truth is a process that involves cautious homework and the ability to preserve integrity. When we look back at the path we have walked for fifteen years with millions of readers, we have had to face many decisive events both locally and abroad. The last fifteen years have turned human civilization upside down. The world order has changed irrevocably.

The Sri Lanka Guardian, as a result of distinguished volunteerism among journalists, academics, social activists, and retired civil servants, was founded at a time when Sri Lanka was embroiled in a serious civil war. Our journalism initiative, which started on a small scale, managed to attract many local and foreign readers in a very short period of time. The Sri Lanka Guardian had exclusive opportunities to report the actual details of the brutal conflict. We always make sure to report based on the truth. Subsequently the war, a national program was implemented for rehabilitation and development. However, the political authority in power at the time decided to censor us in Sri Lanka. Consequently, we had to face many unprecedented impenetrabilities. We believe that the ban was an arbitrary decision without any valid reason. The loss suffered by us newspaper was very serious. It was not easy to bear the mental pressure that we had to face, especially because of the absurd accusations made by various parties with vested interests. However, considering the difficulties faced by independent media organizations throughout history, we are only a small part of it. Truth is a right, but in journalism, it is a very expensive process.

Let’s take this opportunity to thank all our writers and readers who have taken us to new heights and trusted our publication. We do not hesitate to extend our utmost gratitude to everyone who has been with us in every difficult situation. We walked through the dark tunnel expecting the light at the end. Miraculously, once again, our newspaper had the opportunity to reach the readers in Sri Lanka. By then we had expanded our newspaper focusing not only on Sri Lanka but also on the other countries in the Asian continent and beyond. Many writers living in Africa and Latin America chose Sri Lanka Guardian as one of the platforms to express their views. Accordingly, the number of writers who voluntarily joined us increased significantly. As the editorial team, we primarily prioritized giving writers the opportunity to express themselves without any censorship. We are bound to fulfil this duty in the future as we have done in the last fifteen years.

Sri Lanka is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history. We believe that there are many responsibilities assigned to media organizations at this crucial moment. More important than mere reporting what is happening in society is taking every possible step to fulfil the duties consigned to uplift a fallen nation. On the other hand, the post-Covid pandemic has affected the entire world and threats to global security are becoming more complex than ever. Due to the power struggle between each other for hegemony, appropriate collective action against the burning issues such as the food crisis and the adverse effects of climate change has been undermined. All social and political trends reiterate that human civilization is facing unprecedented challenges. The present is confused and hopes and dreams for the future are fading. Prevailing crises cannot be solved individually or divided into groups, except through solutions based on collective action at this moment of need. It should be the duty of all of us at this moment to put aside hypocritical political conspiracies to satisfy political desires and work honestly to protect the rights of every man and woman. Only then will we be able to preserve this world for generations to come. We are passing the most critical moment that will determine our existence.

Sri Lanka: Yuan Wang 5 – Dossier of Immaturity and Unprofessionalism

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Tere was a project that was first awarded through tender procedures to a Chinese company and then scrapped without any prior notice and agreed to do with an Indian company. The renewable project was to implement on three islands in the North, which angered India. India had informed the government by quoting their “intelligence inputs” that China was conspiring to spy on South India in the name of this project. Bowing to India’s concerns, the government kicked out the Chinese company. In cancelling the project, the answerable authorities behaved in a most disgraceful manner. This is the shameful reality of the rooted immaturity and unprofessionalism of the state machinery and political leadership of this country.  

What happened to the importation of petroleum? China supplied oil at the lowest prices and the room for fraud was limited. But, the former minister and the team in charge of the relevant subject, the scheme of supplying petroleum was manipulated to prioritize the Indian companies and stooges of local politicians. Consequently, the country suffered the worst fuel crisis in its history. It is a man-made crisis. Eventually, the Indian market amplified and the supply of petroleum became a highly profitable business for third parties. Amidst the crisis, Indian fishermen are destroying the northern sea, intimidating the local fishermen in those areas and looting its harvest. On the other hand, India has captured the country’s domestic market like never before. This is the harsh reality of humanitarian aid. This is just an example of deep-rooted fraud and corruption in public institutions. Whose desires demarcate our true borders?  

It is in this context, we believe, that we should scrutinize the case of the Chinese research vessel Yuan Wang 5, which was scheduled for a port call in Sri Lanka for replenishment. Many Chinese research vessels have called Sri Lankan ports and availed their services on many occasions. But concerning this ship, India used national security as a tool. Unofficial sources say that India is paying substantial sums of money to media organizations and so-called social media influencers in Sri Lanka to publish anything against China.  Isn’t the behaviour of the local media unusual in this event? However, there is no point in blaming India. The crisis is domestic; external manipulators are just seizing opportunities. India puts its national interests first under any circumstances, but in Sri Lanka chooses personal desires over national interests. Not only the bureaucracy in India but all the media organizations throughout the country consider China as the absolute enemy. 

Due to the unprofessional and immature nature of the structure of the Sri Lankan state, any external force can use this country immorally to expand its power. It is there that not only India but any other party can play the game of this island nation as per their wish. How the Sri Lankan authorities handled the Yuan Wang 5 research ship reflects the collapse of the state structure. No prior research has been conducted regarding the granting of diplomatic clearances for the ship. At least they could have gone online and looked up the ship in question and if there were any problems they could have been resolved. After that, the necessary permission should be given. But, truth is that there is no coordination between responsible institutions for such exploration. No one knows who to coordinate with whom, therefore everyone plays the individual games at the cost of national interests. The lack of national coordination among the officers working in these institutions left an indelible scar and disgrace on the entire country. This is the weak and immature nature of our diplomacy. This is the obliteration that has to be faced because the responsible institutions, including the Foreign Service, are filled with political appointments and filled with various relatives and friends. There is no action plan to remove these stem worms and clean these institutions. So if this is the ground reality, is it possible to even dream that a miracle will happen other than the destruction of Sri Lanka as a nation? 

Sri Lanka: Inflammatory Attacks on Intel Agencies, What Gives?

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Instead of using the available intelligence and data-based analysis to inform decision-making at the moment of need, should the intelligence agencies of the country be held accountable for failing miserably having relied on hearsay by elements with vested interests? When coming to power, after promising to change the system of the country, if a leader vehemently disregards the mandate given by the people by putting aside important decisions and giving priority to personal interests are the intelligence agencies responsible for the consequences?

Intelligence agencies have accurately identified internal and external threats and conveyed assessments and intelligence analyses to the country’s leadership throughout the country’s history, but they have been repeatedly faulted and rejected. Who then should be tasked with this critical role at a time when the leader fails to heed any warnings?

Subsequently, the terrorist attacks carried out by fanatic extremists and certain parties have created a facade that the intelligence agencies had conspired the attacks to bring President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to power. Same segments of the society are now stating that the intelligence agencies are responsible for ousting President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Such inflammatory and damnable attacks on intelligence agencies must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Intelligence agencies should not be held accountable when politicians are rejected by people because of their dishonest and unethical practices. The truth is being suppressed by individuals and groups who do not hesitate to betray anything to further their narrow political ambitions and then blame the intelligence agencies to cover up their failures. This is a dangerous trend.

The nature of the mass media machinery in this country is to share a lie and compel people to accept them, is like a stench wafting from a garbage dump. Instead of working together to overcome the collective challenges, many politicians and the vicious cycle, depend on having no other strategy than to deceive the public and sidestep responsibilities to preserve their power. Unfortunately, that is where fake news about intelligence agencies is a catalyst. We have become a nation that believes manufactured lies instead of evidence-based analysis and it is used generously by individuals to manipulate the lives of its citizenry.

How many more years will it take for a country like Sri Lanka to stand up united as a nation and not fall prey to agendas? Due to the misuse of government institutions for political gains, the government institutions are not only becoming increasingly rotten and politicized but the basic rights of the people are also affected. Therefore, when talking about the intelligence agencies and other state-owned institutions, it is better to speak responsibly, isn’t it?

Sri Lanka: An impeachment against Ranil?

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe is amplifying his political power unprecedentedly. He is a lucky man in an unfortunate state. Simultaneously, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the political party that gained power in the shortest period in the history of Sri Lanka, and which supported him in bringing him to power, is gradually depleting. But it continues to hold the centre of the constitutional power. According to some unofficial sources, many senior members of the party are worried and angry because the President’s team has sidelined the SLPP and trashed many of their demands.

As a political party, the SLPP is going through its most critical moment of political survival. The fact is that this party, which did politics on the ground until it won the elections, has deliberately ignored politics after gaining power and took decisions prioritizing overestimation and an ego-centric mindset. They underestimated the people’s revolt.

But when many “politicians” do not do politics, on the contrary, Ranil Wickremesinghe did politics. He reaped its harvest handsomely. At present, he is gradually succeeding in his power expansion but there are two main challenges. The first is to fulfil the demands of the SLPP, which provided conditional support for him to come to power. The second is to turn the United National Party (UNP) into a strong political movement again. Revivification of the UNP is possible but not an easy task.

It is alleged that the President is strategically putting off fulfilling the demands of the SLPP as he is very good at buying time to avoid difficulties. To justify it in front of society, he brings to his office the small groups of mainly UNP loyalists who joined the struggle against the Rajapaksas by giving a prominent media campaign. Some opportunists involved in those protests have been given several positions. But in a few days, a strong opinion will be created in the political camps against President Wickremesinghe pointing out that this struggle is part of his great game. It is difficult to imagine that a politician like Basil Rajapaksa, who is the real owner of SLPP, has not realized this. Basil’s encounter with Wickremesinghe in politics is an event that should be read carefully. Their artificial co-existence with each other will not last long.

However, Mr Wickramasinghe is strengthening the financial power needed to revive the UNP by using his old team. His old folks who were vehemently rejected by people are resurfacing under the guise of strengthening the party. Without any proper authority, they are directly interfering in the governance but, they lack a strategic plan to come out of the dire crisis the party is facing. This behaviour is unlikely to bode well for the UNP. Because President Wickremesinghe’s politics still depends on the SLPP. Also, in case of any crisis of survival, the first choice of the minor parties that broke away from the alliance led by the SLFP is the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, not Ranil’s camp. This is likely to be the reality for at least the next six months until the President has the constitutional power to dissolve Parliament.

It is important to recall two events in the political history of this country to understand what may happen in the future under such a situation. The first event was Mr Dudley Senanayake defeating Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who was the Prime Minister before forming his seven-party coalition. Mrs Bandaranaike was an internationally recognized successful political figure at that time who promulgated many national initiatives. In 1964, Sirimavo abolished the independent Ceylon Civil Service and replaced it with the Ceylon Administrative Service. In February 1964, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited Sri Lanka then Ceylon which inevitably boosted the Sino-Lanka relationship. She, later, hosted Presidents Tito of Yugoslavia and President Nasser of Egypt in March 1964, but continued domestic unrest forced her to suspend parliamentary sessions until July. In the interim, she entered into a coalition which increased her majority by three seats. In October 1964, Bandaranaike attended and co-sponsored the Non-Aligned Conference in Cairo. In December 1964, she lost a vote of no confidence and dissolved Parliament. Dudley Senanayake came to power after the election. The seven-party coalition (hath hawula) that consolidated his power ruled the country for the next five years. However, the Coalition of Seven gradually dissolved, giving Mrs Bandaranaike a golden opportunity to regain power. Rest is the history.

The second incident is the failed impeachment against President Ranasinghe Premadasa staged by Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Disanayaka in September 1991. The impeachment against the President came shortly after the brutal suppression of the JVP rebellion against the government. On the other hand, the Indian peacekeeping forces were withdrawn from the country and the LTTE was pushing for a political solution. But the power of the president gradually weakened. Consequently, Premadasa had lost the support of his senior members, but the current President Wickremesinghe, who was then a known MP, supported him. Thus, impeachment did not succeed. Premadasa tried to seize the opportunity to accumulate more power to ensure his authority. Subsequently, the internal rebellion against Premadasa was suppressed but he was unable to extinguish the turmoil. It further isolated him.

What can happen if President Wickremesinghe continues to undermine the aspirations of the SLPP? Unlike Premadasa, he has no parliamentary power. He eats from someone else’s plate. The rightful owner can seize it at any time. Consequently, there is a possibility of a repeat of Prime Minister Bandaranaike’s 1964 scenario or President Premadasa’s 1991 scenario. This is the tricky and complicated nature of politics. It’s all about power, all other crises are secondary.

Until President Wickremesinghe, who was a charming fortune, is constitutionally empowered to dissolve the current government, his survival depends on the SLPP. So the next six months are crucial. The political reality to be faced during this period is significant. If he continues to emasculate the power of the SLPP, it wouldn’t take long for it to grow into a rebellion against him. Therefore, it is important to recognize the subtle dissimilarity between political conspiracies and political strategies to prioritise the strategies over conspiracies. Time will tell whether Mr Wickremesinghe and his inner circle will be able to deal with such a situation. If the ship has to sail on seas owned by others, it must sail in such a way as not to harm the owner’s laws and interests. Without understanding that reality, if one gives priority to his will, the damage that can occur can be very serious. Consequently, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will have room to become the President of choice and a new Prime Minister will take over at the discretion of the SLPP. Food for thought, Mr President!