Saturday, October 29, 2011

So what is the inside story of the meeting at the UNP working Committee?

There were frantic behind the scenes discussion last week where government officials and mainly foreign office personnel were asked to find some official in the NZ government to send an invitation to the Sri Lankan President to meet with. How low can a President of a country stoop to? This was so that the US$100,000 box at the World Cup Rugby finals in New Zealand could house the first family of Sri Lanka. If an official invite was not forthcoming, it was not possible for the government to justify paying public money to a junket to watch the match as the opposition would jump at the chance to portray the President as a wastrel of the Exchequer.

The New Zealanders knowing that the tickets for the box was already purchased, and I don’t know who paid for it, decided to dig their heals and refused to grant an invitation. The Prime Minister said he would be damned if he had to meet this Jonny come lately even though his country buys so much of the surplus milk powder they produce. Thus thwarted the 100+ delegation of Sri Lankan hangers on even the People’s Bank chairman was one of them, because he could not answer pertinent questions about the PLC IPO in Sri Lanka, due to his playing in Perth.

Talking of Perth, we are the largest delegation of any nation. Even India decided it was a waste of time and only sent its Vice President. The PM cancelled with no excuses given!! David Cameron the British Prime Minister dropped in at the last minute. So what is all the need to show a crowd. I suspect it is the feeling of being isolated from the world at the top, and need for sycophants to boost an ego.

While all this was going on, at the same date of the opening of the CHOGM, The UNP had a working committee meeting, and one topic was how to deal with the suspension of two members for clearly breaking the rules of membership. The Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe (RW) was relishing this opportunity to stick it to them. He has lately shown a sudden gusto for facing any opposition with no fear.

Of course Sajith Premadasa, whose camp that got slighted with this was ready with a mountain of paperwork to defend the indefensible. I don’t know why he carries files when 4 sheets would do to make his case, but the size of the files gives him confidence that he can show the opposing camp that he has mountains of evidence to support his cause. All this clearly backfired as it was decided without a whimper, Sajith’s opposition anyway was a given, to forward this to a disciplinary committee headed by lawyer Tilak Marapane. It was another case of great planning on the Sajith, Karu camp coming to naught as they were clearly defenseless. The intervention of Kabir Hashim to the debate was a fence sitting job where he told the gathering that discipline must be maintained in the party if the party is to be respected, but that it was OK to let the two transgressors go. This is clearly a very nonsensical approach as he is nothing but a double/no dealer!
RW had clearly done his homework, realizing first that the full page ad in leading newspaper asking for a leadership change had not been authorized by the ex-MPs committee. He therefore straightway noted that and said he would reconstitute its leadership by calling all the members to meet and vote in a new committee as the old one had clearly overstepped the mark.

On the incident where the Unite Bhikshu Front had met at the Hotel Nippon and held a press conference asking for RW step down, he clearly told them that they must obtain the permission of the party to make a media statement and that he would provide all the media facilities to hold their meeting at the UNP headquarters and that it was wrong of them to do this without notification in a place that had no connections with the party. He therefore said that the Revd Meetiyagoda was incompetent to take charge of this and put another person who said could abide by the constitution. If they want to form their own front they are perfectly free to do so outside with no party affiliation and say or do anything they want.

RW reinforced the rules about making media statements and requested that permission be sought to make any official statement on behalf of the party. Sadly those aspirants for party leadership show they do not have the colors for leadership such as Dayasiri who put his foot in his mouth, suggesting the disciplinary action be taken against all those who belittle the party, without realizing his own supporters were those who belittled and disciplinary action would be taken against some of his closest supporters. Now that was a silly thing to say, as the WC will spend the next few weeks discussing what a fool he made of himself with these remarks, having a good laugh over the drinks!

It was a remarkable incident free WC meeting where the leader clearly was completely in charge. It is clear that while there are many issues including leadership, there is no point challenging the leader to step down when there are no others who come close to taking up the challenge. All the contenders are jokers in comparison. In fact contrary to what they say, the govt. would love to have anyone of the contenders as they have enough evidence, in speech and video to clean them out within days of appointment. Ironically it is RW they fear most. It is sadly due to many gaffes and a couple of wrong turns in the past with the public consumption of the govt. alcohol, that has made the electorate completely drunk that has given this govt. this air of invincibility. It is only a few more acts of bravado turned Mafioso by the govt., when the whole cookie will crumble before our eyes as the current system is just not sustainable in the long term. It is built on falsities and hot air, aided by a few people with personal agendas. Let us see what RW has in store!

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