Thursday, July 03, 2008

Ranil Wickremesinghe: The man we love to hate

Ranil Wickremesinghe, leader of the opposition occupies a curious position in the political arena. He is regularly blamed by the Government for all manner of ills, from the Ceasefire Agreement to the possible loss of GSP+ concessions from the EU. He is criticised by the government and its supporters for his background, for having a squeaky voice, for wearing a suit even for being effeminate. He is painted as a traitor bent on discrediting the country at the very least and possibly even plotting its very destruction.

All this leaves Mr Wickremesighe quite unmoved. He rarely responds to any particular charge and never seem perturbed, let alone worried by what is said about him. In Sri Lanka this seems to be taken as a sign of guilt - most supporters of the government seem to agree with all of this something the local blogosphere bears testimony to.

His party and his supporters on the other hand are left wringing their hands in despair. He does not seem capable of mounting any challenge to the government. The few rallies and protests organised have not really taken off - that despite the mounting problems of the government. Even if he can't organise public protest he could release press statements that can highlight the many flaws in the Governments policies but presumably feeling that anything he says will be used against him he remains silent. He can't even hold his party together with parts of it now supporting the government and what is left of it in danger of splitting apart.

He is almost like the Batman villain, the Joker; who is characterised as the villain we love to hate; something that conceals his importance to the regime in power.

The ruling coalition would would be in deep difficulties if not for the help of Ranil Wickremesinghe. The perennial leader of the opposition is the best thing that any government in power could hope for.

The UNP is a large party, some would say the largest party in the country. In the hands of a Mangala Samaraweera, a Chandrika Bandaranaike, an S B Dissanyake even perhaps Sajith Premadasa or Karu Jayasuriya it would be a formidable political machine instead of being divided, disinterested and ineffective.

None of this is to detract from Mr Wickremesinghe's qualities as a potential Head of State; he would I believe be quite effective in that role; it is the party politics and the pulse of the common man that he fails to grasp.

The Government should be offering poojas to him, in secret every night, even as they pillory him by day.


TheWhacksteR said...

Jack thats a very interesting post. I think Ranil's lost his mettle a bit over the time period after his loss in the presidential elections too. guess he's become a bit complacent. the old biy needs to pull his socks up and start acting tough. tht is, if he does hjave any good fight lleft. personally i dont think Mangala or CBK or their like should ever come into leadership of the opposition. that would end up in double ruin!

Sajith Premadasa strikes me as a promising prospect though...what do you think.

Jack Point said...

Sajith P might be a good man but he lacks experience in government. He is playing a quiet hand and may come up over another ten years or so.

Mangala, is villain all right but he is smart. MR owes much of his victory to Mangy's strategy I think.

Agni said...

RW is person who does things. He is unfortunately incapable of lying, and when he tries to, he comes across as a jackass. He is a no-nonsense person who has not learnt (unfortunately) art of self promotion and emotion. Eg: if he knew you and I,and if he came specifically to meet you, he would only perhaps glance at me and nod and walk away and not ask BS questions etc.

Be that as it may, if only he was the president and not MR.

Mahinda Chinthaka said...

Ranil...the dumb ass who lead UNP to melt among huge crowd of supporters... he intentionality shrink the faith of people toward UNP... began to do controversial stuff... join with people involve in conspiracy like Dr jayalath... and Mangala(huge contractor who undertake strategic drawback plan for UNP from PA, they are already success) ranil as a leader... here is a funny example, sagala fail from last parliamentary election, immediately ranil try to appoint him as deputy secretary(his homo gang member) of the party while young Buddika score 65000 votes under pressure... no encouragement for him... sucks isn't it... zero leader like qualities yet hugely controversial... anybody who has minimum of brain in the party should banish this looser (because he is responsible for the divide inside the party... he loose more than 15 times...if he has real leader type qualities he would have setback and given the opportunity and let somebody who is more charismatic ...who has more historical authority who can gain trust again among the people take over control in the party...there is another reason... there are some jackals like Ravi, Rangebandara, Vajira, who has on their own dreams inside party responsible for messing up the party... be realistic... let the change agent to be arise... a person who is immunize to Mahinda.. who went to mahinda's seat(face enormous terror from mihin bros) and won...and gain trust among their people... in central colombo even a coconut husk would win from UNP... no need for be a ranil,ravi,thissa, vajira already lost... finally i should say politician should be transparent... should be faithful to the voter... and most importantly he should have the instinct and sense to make the correct decision on behalf of his people and whole country minimize damage and longterm property happiness... good living.. to his country and citizens.