Reformation of a Stronger UNP - Latest Updates

  • 27 Oct 2008 07:38:32 GMT

    Continues.......

    [S.B.Dissanayake is one of those who have been plugging the line that the government is responsible for the Janaka Perera assassination if not by commission then at least by omission in not providing security. SB has always been acutely aware of the need to be seen by the average UNPer as a person who takes on the government. In this sense he, even more than Sajith Premadasa, has fulfilled the fourth criteria for the appointment of a deputy leader. The very reason why the fourth criteria was formulated by Wickremesinghe was to keep the deputy leader busy attacking the government and not him. But this could backfire on Wickremesinghe, because this very act of taking on the government would enhance the image of the deputy leader in the eyes of the average UNPer and this may lead to the creating of a new power centre in the party as it did at the time of Gamini Atukorale.

    The Indian question

    Another matter discussed at the UNP Political Affairs Committee was the Indian question. Wickremesinghe informed the members of the PAC that he had made inquiries from the Indian authorities about the pressures being brought by India on the Sri Lankan government and he had been informed by the Indians that they had not brought any pressure to bear on the Sri Lankan government, but had emphasized two points - the need for a political solution and the need to provide relief to internally displaced persons. The point to note is that the Indians had not emphasized the need to stop the war in the north.

    This puts the lid on any hope that some quarters may have entertained of the Indians intervening to bail out the LTTE at the eleventh hour. Reason with regard to the Sri Lankan question seems to be re-asserting itself both in Tamil Nadu and in New Delhi. The arrest of V.Gopalswamy or Vaiko , the call by Rahul Gandhi to hang his father s assassins, the moderation of the stand taken by Chief Minister Karunanidhi, and the anti-LTTE stand taken by Jeyaram Jeyalalitha, the stands taken by respected newspapers like the Hindu and the Times of India, and the statements made by the Tamil Nadu Congress Party leader, are all pointers to the fact that there will be no 1987 style Indian intervention in Sri Lanka. ]

  • 27 Oct 2008 07:39:51 GMT

    [The Indian central government for its part seems to have realized that intervening in Sri Lanka to keep the rabble in Tamil Nadu happy will boomerang on the central government in a matter of months. The time that would elapse between intervention in Sri Lanka and the first appearance of negative effects in Tamil Nadu in terms of an inflammation of separatist hopes would be so short that the present government may have to deal with it without being able to leave it to its successor. The government in waiting, the BJP, is also not very vocal with regard to the Sri Lanka issue, obviously because they don t want to be left holding the Tamil separatist baby in Tamil Nadu.These factors seem to have restored sanity at the centre and given the government the political will to withstand the posturing in Tamil Nadu, even letting the Indian central government fall if the worst comes to the worst, rather than giving in and helping to create a monster.

    Sanity also seems to have reasserted itself within the Karunanidhi camp. The aging Karunanidhi will not be in politics for much longer, but he has a dynasty to bequeath power to. A master of realpolitik, Karunanidhi was a man who could change tack when he feels that the present policy is disadvantageous to him. In the early 1990s, after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, he was wiped out politically but he made a comeback and has been much less LTTE inclined since. Besides, he probably realizes that the rise of separatist sentiments in Tamil Nadu will be the end of his family s domination in Tamil Nadu politics and that his family too would go the way of Amrithalingam, Yogeswaran, Neelan Tiruchelvam and others of the established Tamil leadership in Sri Lanka. It may perhaps be safe to say that the government is more or less over the worst with regard to the Indian factor.

    Last week the JHU Sangha Sabhawa and the central committee met in joint session to discuss the pressures emanating from India. JHU media secretary Nishantha Warnasinghe said that an all party conference chaired by Mr Anandasangaree should have been called to counter Karunanidhi s all party conference. He also stated that anti-LTTE Tamil leaders like Douglas Devananda, Siddharthan, Karuna and Pillaiyan should be invited to join this all party conference and reply to Karunanidhi s APC. He further stated that the Indian Communist Party had joined Karunanidhi s APC and that local Marxists like D.E.W.Gunasekera, Tissa Vitarana, Vasudeva Nanayakkara should have made representations to the CPI in this regard. He lamented that nobody has taken the initiative to utilize the forces already present in the Rajapakse government to counter pressures from India. Ven Ellawela Medhananda instructed Minister Champika Ranawaka to talk to presidential advisor Basil Rajapakse about this]

  • 27 Oct 2008 07:40:20 GMT

    [In the coming months, it won t be so much the Indian issue that will present a headache to the government but the GSP+ issue. The duty free concession for garment imports from Sri Lanka granted by the EU in the wake of the tsunami had proved to be a boon for apparel exporters. While exports to the US held steady at around 1.5 -1.6 billion US Dollars over the past several years, the granting of the GSP+ concession saw the exports to the EU increasing sharply after 2006. Apparel exports to the EU was around US$ one billion before GSP+ was granted and by 2007, this had increased sharply to around $ 1.45 billion. So the inevitable withdrawal of GSP+ will create some problems for the country. UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake raised the GSP+ issue at the UNP parliamentary group meeting and said that the government was preparing to give the apparel factory owners a handout in the budget to compensate for the loss of the GSP+ facility and that this will only result in additional taxes being heaped upon the people.

    In any event, even with the withdrawal of the GSP+ facility, exports to the EU cannot go below the one billion US$ mark that was achieved before GSP+ was granted. The whole purpose in granting concessions like this to enable a country to penetrate a market and once they have come in and established themselves, the hope is that they will be able to stick on even after the special concessions are withdrawn. Sri Lanka had been in the EU market long before GSP+ was granted and if after it is withdrawn, exports go crashing down even below the US$ one billion level that was achieved without it, then this so called tsunami aid has been in fact a poisoned chalice as far as the industry is concerned. Some reduction in the exports to the US and the EU has to be expected because of the economic conditions in the world today, but at least a part of the gain since 2006 has to remain with Sri Lanka. ]

  • 27 Oct 2008 08:02:53 GMT

    Ramz,

    Ruckman is the man. He has less baggage and a respected ancestry. recently he has made some comments about the LTTE that the UNP leaders was reluctant to come up with so far. Sajith is haunted by his father`s image as a ruthless killer of innocent Sinhala youth indiscriminately.

    Premadasa met with less success in dealing with Sri Lanka`s civil war. When he assumed office, he faced a rebellion in the south from the hardline Sinhala-nationalist, Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. The security forces brutally put down the revolt and killed many of its leaders. In the north, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were facing off against the Indian Peace-Keeping Force. The Indian presence on the island was unpopular, and Premadasa requested India to leave. Inorder to force IPKF to leave the island, he authorized a clandestine operation to supply arms to LTTE according to the report published by the Srilankan Presidential commission to inquire into the 1992 assassination of one of the senior most officers in the Sri Lankan army, Lt Gen Denzil Kobbekaduwa. After they did in 1990, the government`s war with the LTTE resumed, and resulted in stalemate.

    During his presidency, he also expelled from the UNP his two formidable Govigama caste rivals Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake, who then joined to form the Democratic United National Liberation Front (DUNLF).

  • 27 Oct 2008 08:21:11 GMT

    [During his presidency, he also expelled from the UNP his two formidable Govigama caste rivals Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake, who then joined to form the Democratic United National Liberation Front (DUNLF).]

    That was RP`s biggest mistake ever he made as a politician,,, and that was the beggining of the end of THE STRONG UNP.....

    Lalith Ayya,,,,

    as a resident of Kegalle District (in fact Dedigama seat where Rukman started over his political life),, I won`t support appointing Rukman.... I don`t beleive even that he will be able to lead the Manapa votes within the UNP list in Kegalle district...

    Sajith would be a better option,, within last 10 yrz he has silently built up his political background,,,,,,

    sometimes, I think that it is better also to keep Sajith sidelined for another 5-10yrz,,,,, ,by that time, he will be the defenete guy to lead the party, as well as the country......

  • 27 Oct 2008 08:30:40 GMT

    Sajith is the perfect guy. He can give good back up to Ranil and the UNP. Ranil must keep him under his wings and pass on the Mantle to him after his time is up. Ranila dn Sajith must be well protected and should not appear together. LTTE tends to destroy intelligent leaders! That too mainly from the UNP!

    There wont be a difference between the Rajapakse Junta and UNP rule if S B Disanayke comes to the front. I just dont know why the UNPers are highlighting him so much! He is another thug!

  • 27 Oct 2008 08:39:34 GMT

    Rapa

    yes,,, Sajith is the perfect guy to do the job,,,, but I still sometimes beleive (with having the same though in mind) that at least he has to spend more time in silence (until end of LTTE or/and end of Rajapass Junta),,, Rajapassa junta will not be hesitate to kill him and put the blame on LTTE......

    so, better to wait and lead the country later on

    [sometimes, I think that it is better also to keep Sajith sidelined for another 5-10yrz,,,,, ,by that time, he will be the defenete guy to lead the party, as well as the country......]

  • 27 Oct 2008 09:54:52 GMT

    Ramz

    He needs to come as a deputy to bring UNP to power. This will keep him hidden and he`ll do the job. If he doesnt put his foot for Tample Tree`s race now, it might be too late. SB should just be kicked out!

  • 27 Oct 2008 11:04:48 GMT

    Yes Rapa,,,, making him the deputy is a good idea....... anyway,,, his security has to be very tightened...

  • 27 Oct 2008 12:43:01 GMT

    Ramz

    Security??? LOL! remember the legend Janaka who had already done so much for the nation!