The young generation should stop promoting them as prabhus or radalas. Prabhus must have dignity, respect, honour, and the sense of shame on the forefront of their personality. Ranil clan has none.
by Helasingha Bandara
The manoeuvrings of the president of Sri Lanka who came to power abusing a constantly hackneyed and worthless paper called the constitution have made the election commission postpone the local government elections. I view this postponement as a grand opportunity for the NPP to regroup and battle it out better prepared or as at least an opportunity to turn the presumed disadvantage into an advantage. Ranil’s ascendancy to the throne is unconstitutional and unethical. When the Pohottuwa and the UNP fought the general election, they promised people different policies. Ranil was defeated. People celebrated the defeat of Ranil’s campaign and consequently his policies could not be implemented. Suddenly he becomes the president and starts implementing his policies that were rejected by people en masse. Perhaps some legitimacy could have been attached to his appointment, at least if he declared that he left the UNP and joined the PJP to be nominated for the presidency. The opposition missed this point, that they should have argued that he had not been elected by people, but he could join PJP and be elected to be the president by their vote. Ranil could have been trapped in his own trap.
|Election Commission in Sri Lanka [Photo: Sri Lanka Guardian]|
Regroup with higher sophistication, better technology, and much vigour.
Until the ‘Aragalaya’ opened the eyes of everyone to see that the country is ready for a significant political change, even NPP had not believed that they could lead this change of power with just three members in the parliament. Since then, until now, they, encouraged by the new belief have worked hard to turn the tide to their side. The results are visible everywhere in the country. The undemocratic actions of the government in fear and agitation of a possible victory of NPP is proved by the hideous manoeuvrings aimed at a postponement or a cancellation of local government elections. While it is imperative to win the demand for holding elections, NPP cannot undervalue the opportunity offered them by the grace of God.
Election speeches should not be restricted to the well-known speakers. People have seen them and heard them time and again. There is a plethora of educated, experienced and skilled speakers in their ranks to go on stage and speak, reserving the veterans behind the scenes to appear at peak times. Speeches must refrain from traditional attacks on opponents and show a sophisticated trend of oration that should show points of facts, make counter arguments, and raise hopes for a disciplined rule and a bright future.
The use of modern technology in the election rallies would be a much more effective weapon than a speaker screaming from the back of his throat with damaged vocal cords. If NPP can focus an old picture onto a screen on stage with severed heads that were placed on the culverts of the University of Peradeniya, it would be much more effective than someone telling the people that Premadasa murdered sixty thousand youth who were not necessarily JVP supporters but political opponents of the then ruling UNP and dragged this country backword by at least twenty years. Photos, video clips and other visual or auditory aids can be used to remind people what others have said and done in the past.
NPP must use its supporters to work individually more vigorously. Train them to go from house to house highlighting that this is the last chance for people to make the system change that people were clamouring for throughout the aragalaya. They must target still loyal traditional voters who have been constantly deceived by both the UNP and the SLFP and their splinter parties.
Now, time is on their side to prepare better counter arguments backed by some proof. For example, when interviewed, a toothless man said “JVP has no Jathyantharaya”. He meant to say that NPP does not have internationally recognised people in its ranks. In fact, the man has no understanding of what is meant by the term international. He just repeated something he had heard from another uneducated person. This is where the raising of awareness takes centre stage.
What is international support? Most people think that international collaboration can be drawn by people who wear suits and speak some English. For example, Ranil and Sajith. NPP should dispel that myth and make people understand that NPP is not a one-man party but a consortium of people and in that they have numerous people who can speak better English than what Ranil speaks.
None of the Sri Lanka’s current politicians have international recognition. To achieve international recognition, they should have raised the living standards of people and the reputation of the country. On the contrary SL politicians have sent what was once a relatively prosperous country of Asia to the bottom of the world ranking of every possible index and impoverished its people beyond recognition with the sole hope of getting their votes by offering metaphorical two measures of rice. Only to a beggar two measures of rice is a lottery drawn.
In the United Kingdom for example, all British citizens are proud of their individual and collective status on the world stage and no politician would imagine bringing that status down even by a shred. With their knowledge of what the current SL politicians have done to their own country and people, if a British politician privately meets one SL politician, he will get a fat spit on the face let alone international recognition.
NPP can turn the appearance of Hirunika the loose cannon on stage who screamed that Anura cannot resist but wants to shoot them down when he sees people and wants to burn them when he sees buses, to their advantage. Newly baptised Damitha who said she wanted to help the son of a man who crushed the JVP in the 1980s. She forgot that she was inadvertently highlighting a mass murderer whose son is promising buses in place of his father’s promise of a coconut not half a coconut. Instead of delivering coconuts, Premadasa delivered bullets indiscriminately.
Buddadasa Vithanachchi explained that none of the modern rulers descend from real prabhus except Sirimavo Ratwatte. They were wannabe prabhus. It is true that those families earned wealth by obeying Western rulers. In other words, by betraying locals and licking the foreigners’ boots. Ranil is the epitome of cunning, deceit, shamelessness, and lowliness that their ancestors possessed. The young generation should stop promoting them as prabhus or radalas. Prabhus must have dignity, respect, honour, and the sense of shame on the forefront of their personality. Ranil clan has none.
Helasingha Bandara is a regular contributor for Sri Lanka Guardian