Monday, December 19, 2011

The UNP Battle Royal for the High Stakes. The Winner takes it all and the loser fades into oblivion. The dramatic last minute horse trading for positions

I erred on the premise that the leadership would be decided at yesterday’s Working Committee meeting. It was procedural to officially constitute the full quorum and for all the contesting parties to officially announce candidacy, and to agree on the procedures for a the secret ballots for the positions being contested.

The election is at noon today, the remaining parliamentary party members who are not in the WC will also be summoned as their vote counts equally with WC. The battle for votes, actually only one side is fighting! Where all the KJ camp supporters and KJ himself are working the phones, going to meet and making promises that they are not able to keep, to get the votes of those they consider wavering. The intense pressure is being applied as I write. The WC members have never felt so important as the KJ camp is convincing each that they are confident of winning and that if they can also be sure of the vote there will be an important position given to him or her within the party.

I don’t know if the RW camp is so confident that they are not even making an effort to verify that their supporters will in fact turn up and vote! However there does not seem to be any undue excitement that the media is pouncing on for want of something more interesting to cover. I have covered this event in the past few blog postings as it is an important event in the history of the country, which will only be apparent many years from now when history is written and speculation on who and what was done by whom to make what difference to the result.

It is beyond comprehension how the RW camp belittled the headline news in the press yesterday of the letter sent from the Principal Buddhist priests in the country as one that was coaxed out of them by influential people backing KJ, especially as it was delivered stealthily by two unknown priests, who rather sheepishly appeared to be following orders and handed it at the office of the Leader to be given.

My advice to both is ‘Please make a statement prior to the election, that whoever wins, the other will fully support him. The fact that party unity is paramount and dissent from now on, snuffed out! must be clear, with consequences for those who break this order’. The statement must be joint, clear, crisp, leaving NO room for speculation of what it means. The next important event after the election is for the winner to make a carefully prepared statement of UNITY and inclusion of all those who took sides, back into the party fold to work together against one enemy, the State, and all the numerous state actions that can fill a daily press conference. 

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