UNP’s next victory, a foregone conclusion
The dramatic turnaround in the country's political landscape at the
last Presidential election had sent a clear signal to the world that Sri
Lankans are educated and could analyse assess and arrive at correct
political decisions based on the prevailing situations.
The United National Party (UNP) had governed the country for over 30
years since Independence under a number of its leaders during different
terms. Similarly, the SLFP led coalition governments also ruled this
country for over 30 years since independence under four of its party
leaders. The United National Party underwent a lean period during the
past two decades mainly due to the LTTE terrorism and partly due to its
internal conflicts after 2010.
However the most experienced and far-sighted Leader of the UNP, Ranil
Wickremesinghe weathered all political storms single handedly and bade
time quite patiently as he was certain of reviving the lost glory of the
party under his leadership in the near future.
The last term of Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, specially after winning
the war, the country was plunged into a state of anarchy owing to the
sheer arrogance of UPFA politicians, beginning with the lowest
Pradeshiya Sabha member right upto the President Mahinda Rajapaksa who
cared less for the democratic values but acted as tin pot dictators.
They were under a delusion that the people would be with them forever
under any circumstances as they defeated the long drawn LTTE terrorism.
UPFA political goons played havoc all over the country with the
blessings of area politicians.
Plundering public property, the poor man's taxed money for personal
glorification has become a lucrative practice for Heads of States in
developing countries some of them voted to power by democratic process
kick the ladder and enthroned themselves, Marcos, Suhartho and Hosni
Mubarak are only a few of them whose first ladies were virtual nymphs in
their husbands paradise. Retribution did them justice in banishing them
to die in exile.
As profounded in Buddhist Jathaka stories those who ransacked public
property will be born as goblins or poltergeists.
What went awry in Sri Lanka, the oldest democracy in the Asian
region? A political organisation with its tentacles spread far and wide,
the UPFA would have been still riding roughshod if not for the mass
squander of tax money for personal enrichment.
Sri Lankan voters most of whom inarticulate and unsophisticated
compared to his European or American counterpart is much more
The January 8 overnight silent revolution is clear testimony to their
insightfulness. January 8 opened the lid and we found out thousands of
worms coming out. Still, a large number of vehicles is missing from the
Presidential Secretariat. Defender jeeps, BMWs and Benz cars are found
either abandoned or hidden in garages.
Two super luxury self-contained buses were 'hurled down' on the
Foreign Affairs Ministry premises. Stolen elephants were found in top
UPFA kingpin's palaces including a Vihara whose incumbent's extolling
virtues of Anicca, Dukkha, Anathma has no salutary effect on his
In a few weeks perhaps, the people could see how these robbers would
be hauled before courts for ransacking Sanghika property. There are
allegations that certain Cabinet ministers had been openly engaged in
the liqour trade running a large number of arrack bars while others
indulged in heroin and the ethanol business.
These political wheeler dealers or fly by night operators had the
guts to sit with Maha Sangha dressed in spotless white at religious
ceremonies as paragons of virtue. Most SLFP PS chairmen were the worst
crooks some of whom are today behind bars charged with murder, rape,
robbery and embezzlement. Political patronage, politicisation of police
appointing politicians to superior courts making PSC and JSC subservient
to executive action led the country to this pathetic state.
In later years the Police Department became one of the worst
politicised organs. UPFA, goons were permitted to brazenly defy the law
of the land with impunity making the police mere helpless onlookers.
A certain Mayor armed with a revolver harassed a group of UNP
parliamentarians on their visit to the Hambantota harbour in the
presence of the police who looked askance. Athakota a notorious criminal
while being the PS chairman terrorised the Deraniyagala area while the
police remained tightlipped. He and his goons killed an estate
superintendent in broad daylight.
Provincial UPFA politicians acquired valuable State lands through
bogus deeds to build hotels. Even the Knuckles Range was not safe from
these vultures. Large extents of State lands in the coastal belt with
beautiful scenery including some islands were forcibly acquired by
certain UPFA politicians to put up chalets and motels.
As the saying goes ‘When Rome was burning Nero was fiddling his
lyre'. At a time when the poor were asked to tighten their belts the
country witnessed the spectacle of night car racing in Colombo and Kandy
squandering millions of rupees on sandbags, roadblocks and illuminating
the city to gratify the lust of a few princelings. Did any so-called
socialist in the CP or LSSP utter a word of protest?
This is the million-dollar question.
All vital sectors which affect the livelihood of the masses were
riddled with problems. Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, transport,
fisheries and even justice were in a total disarray making life more and
more difficult for people. Corruption, mismanagement, fraud,
misappropriation and embezzlement reigned supreme under the latter
period of the Rajapaksa regime. The cost of living soared to dizzy
heights making life more difficult for the common man.
In this devastated political backdrop, the UNP slowly, steadily and
concretely reorganised the party with the firm intention of forming a
UNP government in the near future. Ranil Wickremesinghe with his vast
knowledge in politics and mature leadership gave the assurance to his
subordinates that he would steer the party to victory soon and
reconsolidated all the dissenting factions and everybody was reunited
and worked as a single unit. With the positive results achieved at the
Uva PC elections, the UNP got a new lease of life and was confident of a
UNP victory soon.
Ranil Wickremesinghe knew that the last Presidential election was the
turning point in the country's political history and he opted to field a
candidate to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa with the clear understanding with
other partners. It is the general belief that the UNP Leadership was the
architect of the project of fielding Maithripala Sirisena as the common
candidate although some claim that they mooted the idea.
The UNP had fully reconsolidated and revitalised the party mechanism
during the past two years with its aggressive re-organisational
activities and assuring the grass-roots level membership of a definite
victory at any future election.
The 2015 Presidential election campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa will go
down in the annals of Sri Lanka's election history as the most corrupt
which blatantly sullied all accepted and sacred principles of democracy.
It is learnt that a staggering Rs. 250 billion had been spent on the
polls campaign. UPFA provincial politicians grossly violated all
election laws during the run-up to the election campaign. The United
National Party with the able support rendered by the JHU, DNF and
prominent members who broke away from the UPFA andthe indirect support
of JVP comprehensively defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa at the 2015 election.
True to the 100-day program of the Maithri-Ranil pact, the UNP led
government was formed immediately and Ranil Wickremesinghe was appointed
Disgruntled UPFA elements say that Maithripala Sirisena won the
election with the minority votes.
The UPFA politicians constant reference to 'Tamil votes' is not in
the best interests of the country. True to their understanding of
political realities, the Tamils voted for a Presidential candidate of
their choice who they hoped would bring succour to them.
It was a pure democratic exercise with no force from any quarter.
This kind of communal tones is where the SLFP and even the LSSP and CP
blundered. Are not the Tamils full fledged citizens of the country? It
is natural that they are proud of their race history, language and
The reference to Tamil votes belies UPFA's political skulduggery.
This has created a sense of estrangement in the Tamil community. It
should be stopped forthwith. If this were to continue it will logically
lead the UPFA politicians to call Dhoby votes, Kara votes, Padu votes
and Rodiya votes in future and create not only disharmony communally but
UPFA politicians have already forgotten their recent past and are
making a big hue and cry over the Wattala incident and calling for a no
faith motion against Minister John Amarathunga to tarnish the
After the 100-day program the government is scheduled to be dissolved
and a fresh election will be held by early June for which the United
National Party is fully prepared with a winning mindset.
They have streamlined the party mechanism having appointed electoral
organisers for all electorates in all districts.
Party stalwarts who were dormant during the past few years due to
various reasons have now rallied round the leader and extending their
fullest effort for party's victory.
Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed some of his able lieutenants as
district leaders and delegated powers to them to steer the party to
victory at the next election.
Electoral organisers are fully active along with their respective
district leaders who in turn directly c-ordinate with the grass-roots
level membership through their local organisations.
The Colombo district is led by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake
backed by Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksha, Minister Rosy Senanayake,
Deputy Ministers Sujeewa Senasinghe, Eran Wickramaratne, Dr. Harsha de
Silva and a group of young and energetic Provincial Councillors who will
deliver the goods for the party at the next general election.
The Gampaha district is led by Minister Karu Jayasuriya and Minister
Ruwan Wijewardene along with Ministers Joseph Michael Perera, John
Amaratunge and Ajith Mannapperuma, who have increased their votebases
considerably during the past few years.
The Kalutara District will be led by Deputy Minister Ajith P. Perera
who has proved his mettle during the past few years.
The Hambantota district is led by deputy leader of the party Minister
Sajith Premadasa whose contribution to the party is unparalleled.
Hambantota district is the Rajapaksa bastion in which Sajith
Premadasa boldly conducted the election confronting innumerable
challenges and made a mark in increasing the UNP votebase.
The Galle district is led by dynamic Minister Gayantha Karunathilake
who won the Galle electorate for the party at the last Presidential
The Matara district will be led by another astute politician,
Minister Mangala Samaraweera whose political strategies are above
In the Uva Province, the Badulla district will be led by the young
charismatic politician Chief Minister Harin Fernando who proved his
political acumen at the last PC elections followed by the Presidential
election in 2015. He has the support of a large number of PC members.
The Ampara district leader will be Eastern Provincial Councillor and
the National Organiser of the UNP Daya Gamage who has already
consolidated the party position in the district and renders an
invaluable service to the party as the National Organiser.
The Kegalle district leader is Investment Promotion and Highways
Minister and the General Secretary of the party the dynamic Kabir Hashim
who has proved his worth by winning his electorate at the 2015
presidential election by over 6,000 votes.
He is ably supported by SPC Opposition Leader Dr. Thusitha Wijemanne
who is consolidating party grass roots level membership in the Kegalle
Similarly UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed vibrant
district leaders for all districts in the country and they are actively
involved in organisational activities in their districts.
In addition to the district leaders, Ranil Wickremesinghe has reposed
confidence in stalwarts such as Imthiaz Bakeer Markar who worked as
ambassadors in establishing national harmony in the country besides
supporting the United National Party.
There are a large number of civil societies, pressure groups and
voluntary organisations who support the United National Party as they
are quite impressed with the new political culture introduced by Ranil
Wickremesinghe. In this scenario the UNP's victory at the next
parliamentary election is a forgone conclusion.
Having sensed this situation, disgruntled UPFA constituent partners
such as Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardene, Tissa Vitharane, Dew
Gunasekera, Vasudeva Nanayakkara and Udaya Gammanpila, the unfortunate
prisoners of their own faith are quite certain that they will meet their
political Waterloo if they are forced to contest under their respective
parties which has no votebase in the country.
Therefore, they are trying fanatically to bring in Mahinda Rajapaksa
as the Prime Ministerial candidate under a new front to be formed soon.
It is yet to decide whether Mahinda Rajapaksa would be inveigled into
this political trap and further ruin his political retirement.
Whatever the magnitude of the victory, the UNP would achieve at the
next parliamentary polls, it will certainly accommodate other parties in
its Cabinet and introduce a new political culture for the greater good
of the nation.