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Should the party stalwarts forgive Ranil for denying competent leader?

By Vishvamithra

(February 17, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) People of this island nation know as to why Ranil Wickramasinghe refused to field himself for the just concluded Presidential election and agreed to support General Sarath Fonseka instead. It is very sad but a fact that Ranil is a fatal failure as a leader, and because of this man, the UNP, a formidable political party in this country for so many decades, has lost so many party loyalists, some of ardent supporters of the party for many decades. Simply, this man has become a political joker and the people have repeatedly endorsed that they are not willing to forgive this man for his unacceptable behavior; despicable conduct, unpatriotic attitude and above all his close association with the criminal elements that was established in the report published by the Batalanda Commission. Ranil has proved to the people that he is not someone with a vision or direction but simply a politically bankrupt figure, rejected by the people for more than 16 occasions. He knows that he has completely lost his credibility and that people of this country have no trust in him anymore. That is why he fielded a scapegoat - Sarath Fonseka - for the just concluded Presidential election, with a hope to enter the governance through back door.

All requests directed at this man by many people to step down and to call for a leadership contest has been fell on deaf ears. It seems that Ranil Wickramasinghe thinks that the United National Party is a private property inherited from his family. This stubborn individual so drunk for power continue to entice the people with distressing deception and continue to refuse to call for democratic leadership contest, giving the party members a candid opportunity to elect a fit and proper person, possibly a young dynamic leader with a proven character, to the party leadership.

It is very sad that due to irrational decisions taken by this individual, the United National Party, a formidable political party since independence, lost an opportunity to field a potential candidate from the UNP to compete against Rajapakse at the Presidential election held last month, a thing that never experienced by the United National Party before.

The UNP possesses relatively young and dynamic people, with proven character - not the so-called old rejected lot - some of who have already reached the pinnacle of their respective of field of discipline. For instance people like Wijedasa Rajapakse, a learned professional and a dynamic leader is just one such person with a proven track record and who clearly deserve to be the leader of the UNP. Surely there may be many more such potential people with proven integrity and commitment to stand for leadership contest in the event any such contest is called for and invited to stand for leadership contest.

Unfortunately, Ranil’s irresponsible and selfish attitude has denied the UNP and the Nation to have the best out of these talented people. His autocratic stand has completely shut the door for them, who have all attributes to inspire the party men, and they have been forced to remain silence by this political joker who retains absolute power centered in him under the undemocratic party constitution. It is clearly detrimental not only to the progression of the UNP but also for the installing of democracy proper in this small island nation, compelling other political parties, including SLFP and JVP to follow.

In the best interest of the party this is the right time for the general membership in the party and other potential leaders to break rank and file and to launch a rebellion against this autocrat - if they have any sense of urgency to give back to the old party of its lost prestige. Probably, this may be the last opportunity for them to dump this utterly incompetent and uninspiring joker, who should be held responsible for ruining the party. The party stalwarts should break the silence, form a formidable front and demand this impotent man to step down straightway and then to rewrite the party constitution in the first place, that should pave way for a democratic and transparent leadership selection process, giving all potential candidates in the party an equal opportunity to contest the party leadership selection process.

As I rightly predicted, the General Fonseka who played into hands of deceptive elements headed by Ranil and contested at the Presidential election was clearly embarrassed and ended up in utter disgrace. [For my predictions please refer to an external link]

Should the party stalwarts continue to forgive Ranil for denying a decent candidate at the Presidential election? Should they continue to do the same at the forthcoming Parliamentary election and let the supporters of the party left high and dry? Probably they may forgive Ranil for ruining for his own political career. Yet, the rebellion within the party suggests that they would not spare him for the crime he committed by denying the people, with a formidable candidate to challenge Rajapakse at the just concluded Presidential election and it is very unlikely that the party stalwarts would let this man to dictate terms on them any more ruining any possible chance the party would have to challenge twofaced the Rajapakse regime, that preach one thing to the people whilst practicing the completely opposite.

There are so many vulnerable areas in the Rajapakse regime that a competent leadership could exploit at the forthcoming parliamentary election - such as abuse of state media, abuse of state resources, lack of transparency administration, embezzlement of public funds by Rajapakse cronies, lawlessness in the government revenue agencies that forced to accommodate anti-social actions and defrauding of government revenue by criminal gangs, condoning of the criminals such as Mervin Silva and awarding them with nominations to contest the forthcoming election, the jumbo Rajapakse Cabinet that Rajapakse preaches to bring down to fifteen or so but would never happen as he has so many mouths to be fed - unfortunately the Ranil, the dictator, who is truly a blessing in disguise for Rajapakse regime, has blocked the party of any realistic opportunity of challenging the Rajapakse regime by a new competent leader with proven honesty and integrity who would not hesitate to bring sweeping changes to the party structure, discipline and the motto.

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