Yet another chapter of the opposition’s role is coming to a close with the betrayal of the Galle Face struggle. For the opposition, its period of boom is now ending to be taken over by a period of dip.
By now, all the waves are over. Neither the SJB, NPP nor any other common force has surfaced as a stable opposition. The wave seems to have swept everything away.
The first victim of the tragedy is the SJB. The NPP is due to follow suit. The SJB will flop before the NPP does.
Firstly, let’s see where the fault of the SJB’s flop lies.
Everybody knows that Ranil and Sajith fought over the UNP’s leadership. That fight weakened the UNP to a considerable extent. When Sajith became the UNP’s presidential candidate, the UNP did not have a defeatist mentality. Both Sajith and the UNP were having an optimistic attitude.
Sajith’s having become the candidate pushed the UNP towards that mentality. That was because Sajith’s low opinion of Ranil had leaked down to the grassroots of the UNP.
Sajith said Ranil can never gain power. Ranil is without a backbone. He is staying as leader by force. UNP has no future with Ranil. Ranil’s leadership is weak etc. Therefore, the UNP saw in Sajith a perfect man, a man of unmatched wisdom.
But, with the election race in its midway, most in the UNP came to understand what was wrong with Sajith, whereas the SLPP didn’t see about Gotabaya. UNP supporters saw the true self of Sajith only after he lost the election and went into wilderness. That completely nullified his personality. However, he came out of wilderness while unleashing an attack on Ranil.
He blamed the loss squarely on Ranil without any shame. He planted that opinion in the minds of the party supporters. That led to the UNP breaking into two factions – Ranil’s and Sajith’s. The end result was the division of the UNP.
Karu made a futile attempt to prevent that from happening. A divided UNP went to the general election with Sajith as the SJB and Ranil as the UNP. Sajith’s main campaign target was Ranil.
Sajith brought Ranil’s weaknesses out to the public platform. There were endless criticisms. Sajith led his men to attack Ranil without even considering that he was his ex-leader.
Hirunika was one victim of that. Ratey Raala always felt sorry for her. With this onslaught by Sajith, the UNP broke into three factions. A majority stood with Sajith as against Ranil. A considerable number of others gave up both. They did not go to vote. A minority remained with Ranil.
Sajith won 54 seats to become the opposition leader. The UNP failed to win a single seat. The sole national list position went to Ranil. He is the president today. He has done what Sajith could not even think about doing with his 54 MPs. Here, Sajith is without an excuse, because the opportunity first went to him, but he buried himself in fear.
Ranil accepted it, tamed the Rajapaksas and brought calm to the country. Ranil is incomparable with Sajith’s 54 MPs.
Now, Sajith cannot hide what he did. All his allegations against Ranil have become null and void. That Ranil can never gain power. Ranil is without a backbone. Ranil’s leadership is weak. All allegations have boomeranged on him now.
All the accusations against Ranil are now leveled at Sajith. The UNP forces that rallied round the SJB sees Ranil like as an omnipotent. Ratey Raala said even previously that Sajith is left with three options.
He should either go back to hibernate in wilderness for the second time, give into Ranil or else, carry on and commit political suicide.
Now both SJB and the UNP want to unite. Only a handful of minority with Sajith are opposed to it. Sajith is losing whatever he is having by the second.
A party should have a political strategy in its formation. Sajith broke away from the UNP not because there was any issue with the UNP’s strategy. That was because there was no room for his false intention to become the UNP leader.
The UNP’s political ideology has always been liberalism. Both Ranil and Sajith accept liberalism. But, there is a big difference between the two. Ranil is a true liberal who can stand alongside J.R., Lalith, Gamini, Chandrika, Karu and Mangala. But, Sajith cannot be included in that lot. He can be with Ranasinghe Premadasa, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa, who all appear liberal but act feudal.
Ranil implements liberalism with a liberal mind. Sajith is a fully feudal character. At this rate, the SJB supporters cannot do without Ranil, but cannot remain with Sajith either. That is why they want to join Ranil together with Sajith.
Soon, Sajith will have to go to Ranil, on his knees. Sajith lost an opportunity to do that with dignity by not supporting the all-party government mechanism proposed by Ranil. Sajith’s immature early childhood politics might have caused him to take these immature political decisions. Ratey Raala sees yet another opportunity opening up for him.
The Sinhala-Tamil New Year is dawning soon. It is time to forget old enmities and start anew. Sources say Ranil will spend his New Year vacation in Nuwara Eliya.
Is it a bad idea for the opposition leader to pay a visit there himself?