SLPP MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara says their next leader will be announced after oil anointing takes place for the Sinhala-Tamil New Year. Mahinda is the leader for the time being. He is not a fellow who gives up positions even in the face of death.
Sagara Kariyawasam says Mahinda is SLPP’s senior leader and Basil is the leader who gives leadership to the country. Again, they have started boasting about Basil.
The first question here is if Mahinda is the senior leader, why he cannot lead the country. Sagara’s answer is that since Mahinda cannot contest for presidency again, someone who can do so should give the leadership.
That is nonsense. Mahinda is too old and is incapable now. They are not saying that.
Therefore, we have to answer the SLPP’s boastings.
True, Mahinda is not well now. But, he is not confined. If needed, Mahinda can be the leader while someone else runs the show. That is what they want it to be. But, in actual fact, anyone understands the intention is to cut his powers. That is because when he is the leader, he gives most opportunities to Namal. That may be due to fatherly love.
But, Basil seems to expect something more than brotherliness. He too, is an ordinary person. In recent days, Namal came out and started showing off. He got good media coverage too. In the SLPP platform, he was called as their future leader, future president. That did well for Namal.
Truthfully, what Basil should do is promote Namal a bit more, not pat his own back while running things behind-the-scene, not disrupt Namal’s journey by claiming him to be the one who gives leadership to the country. I feel like throwing up when I hear such talk about Basil who sent the country into bankruptcy.
One group in the SLPP says Namal is not mature enough to be their leader. Then, you should understand who the mature one is.
Mahinda is too old. Namal is immature. Then, who is at an age good enough and mature enough. It should be Basil. Basil may have understood a threat of collapse of previous agreements in the Rajapaksa family with Namal’s introduction. The agreements were Gotabaya after Mahinda, Basil after Gotabaya and Namal after Basil.
That was the agreement by all.
But, at every available opportunity, Mahinda and Shiranthi tried to push Namal ahead of Basil. It is a good thing that this is happening not during old time kingdoms. Had that been so, what would have happened to Mahinda? It would have been like Vijayaba Kollaya.
The death knell for all agreements of the Rajapaksa family sounded with the Galle Face struggle. The peaceful transfer of power within the family collapsed entirely. There was no power left to be transferred. The Rajapaksa fortress collapsed in the face of people’s power. After losing power, Rajapaksas gave the fortress to the care of
Ranil before fleeing.
That was for safekeeping during difficult times, and to get it back later. That choice was advantageous to both. Rajapaksas fled to safety. Ranil got hold of something he did not even dream of.
Rajapaksas empowered Ranil while keeping the remote control of 134 MPs in their hands. Those days, Mahinda said Ranil chose a good path. Pavitra said whoever the president is, he should do Mahinda’s bidding. Those who are in the political gallery like Sanath Nishantha said they elected a president who should do things the way they want.
What Basil did every time Ranil met the SLPP MPs was to create trouble by asking for ministerial positions and other privileges.
Ranil was patient and did not give in to the SLPP. Gradually, he gained power and implemented his own plan. That is towards his target of presidency in 2024.
But, to realize that, Ranil should first revive the economy, restore the country. That was his promise before becoming the president.
While Ranil worked towards that, Rajapaksas as usual sang their Bailas. As soon as the IMF loan was secured, Basil’s list of ministers was back at Ranil’s table. Whenever Ranil gained something for the country, Rajapaksas came forward to take credit.
So far, there have been two groups that do not support Ranil. One is the opposition. The other is the Rajapaksas. The opposition clashed with Ranil for power. Rajapaksas hid behind Ranil and laid traps against him.
Ranil has been mostly able to defeat the opposition attempts. The SJB is almost divided. The JVP has serious infighting of opinion. The other opposition groups are scattered everywhere. The IUSF and trade unions cannot raise their heads again.
The attempt to attack Ranil from the outside has been a failure. Next, he will have to face the attack that comes within.
What actually is this attack? That is clear from what the Basil loyalists say. It is clear Ranil is preparing for a presidential election. Most likely, it will be in the first quarter of 2024. He has to be prepared for it from now on.
There is talk about a presidential election. Even the opposition is involved. Common candidates are everywhere.
But, the SLPP intentionally tries to ignore that talk. It says it is useless to talk about a presidential election that is nowhere near.
Basil is on purpose ignoring Ranil’s candidacy to prevent him from becoming the stable candidate of the government.
The message is clear - SLPP is prepared even to attack Ranil and rise up if an opportunity arises. That means, Ranil now sees the enemy within. That enemy is none other than Basil.
Even some SLPPers say their presidential candidate is Ranil. Kanchana, Bandula, Dilum say so publicly. There is another group who appears for Ranil on the sly.
What the Rajapaksas try to do is to unite its lot by claiming to field a candidate of the SLPP. But, the symbol that was Mahinda cannot be used any further. Had that been so, the SLPP would have been at an advantage. Now, the fight is on between Ranil and Basil. Let’s wait and see who will fall down.