While having a chat with Mangala at the Radical Centre, supporting Ranil had become a topic. Mangala saw Ranil as the next leader. I vehemently opposed it as being ridiculous.
I reminded him how he used to say that “Ranil can’t”. There ended our conversation. At that time, I had the firm conviction that I would not help Ranil even by word. That was because Ranil had destroyed his party, vote base and was relegated to an appointed member of parliament. I saw Ranil as an abject failure.
Then came the winners who sent the country into bankruptcy. People on whose shoulders they had ridden to power rose up against them. Gotabaya was thrown aside. All of a sudden that loner Ranil surfaced. Ranil became the focus of everything. That was like in a Hollywood film.
He became the prime minister. And, went onto be the president. The opposition took to the streets in protest. The SLPP that had always been attacking Ranil found him to be its savior. At a time when the country had no alternative, Ranil became the only alternative. That was a historic moment.
As a loner without a party and people’s backing, he accepted the challenge to change the country. That was a lone struggle. In the midst of people who ruined the country, in the midst of politicians elected by them, in the midst of bootlickers, Ranil entered the game as one without a public mandate at least.
In the meantime, the majority were waging ridiculous battles to catch the thieves, elect unpolluted rulers, bring governance from parliament to the streets and change the constitution. People queued up for petrol, gas while having to do without electricity.
A 74-year-old man had never been an inspiration for me. That singlehanded game is the very best. Ranil transformed an accidental leftover of the constitution into something obligatory.
It is enough for a mental downcast to take a look at Ranil for inspiration…to make maximum use of available opportunities under the circumstances, to work together even with thieves to achieve the objective, to ignore insults and humiliations, to overlook cardboard heroes, to carry on even when one’s home is set on fire, amidst all the uncertainties and anarchy.
With 74 years behind him to work towards his dream despite defeats and being treated as an outcast. That is what I see in Ranil. He is a riotous old man, who shows his middle-finger to the hopeless conceits driven by their youth.
I wish him a life free of suffering and good health until he realizes his dream.
Happy birthday rebellious old man!
(Political & social analyst)
Director - facultyofsex