Sunday, April 29, 2012

An interesting leader – who is nearing a record as a Leader of the Opposition!

Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe who was a Minister and Prime Minister in Sri Lanka, from 1977 to 1994 and a short stint as a Prime Minister in 2001, has now spent more time in Opposition, as leader than in Government. In a Government of fools, felons and figments he receives brickbats for his immense patience in staying in his position despite all the allegations he faces from within the party and from the Government. To the latter it is more a case of a den of thieves not liking one who has no mud sticking to him, other than not stepping down from his position.

One therefore has nothing to fear from the Government. With regards to the Premadasa camp, and the attacks it is just a matter of time when that issue becomes a non-issue. So that can be overcome too. Then how about the other point about his non-electability in the country!, as the Media has completely shed a very unfavorable image, which he has to overcome, and many feel it is far too ingrained in the people to change.

The remarkable ability of the man to remain so cool under this pressure is a testament not to his uncaring nature, but to his faith in his belief that at some point the wrongs in this country must be righted, and until he is able to handover his position to someone, who is not corrupt, is the rationale for his holding onto power. The Columbians needless to say have got angry with him. Many were his friends and close advisers, who once leaving his fold have become his worst critics. He accepts their nature as people cut from a different cloth, who cannot stand by with patience and are impatient for change.

This is not the place to illustrate other characteristics which include his voracious appetite as a student of international history and of the Buddhist Civilization in particular. His knowledge of the origins of Buddhism at every step of its development far surpasses that of most of the Buddhist Clergy. It is a little known fact which he does not wish to show off, but which amuses him no end when the Hela Urumaya doctrine of religious bigotry, bears no resemblance to true Buddhism according to the teachings, is used to justify Sri Lanka's questionable heritage on some aspects of the rights the Religion has on the Country and vice versa.

As one who is respected internationally as a statesman more than the current President, he is still held in esteem even in China, which the current President appears to have a monopoly over. One must remember technically the corrupt are banished or executed in China. So the strength if his character is better appreciated by them, and the current leadership would be locked up in China for the transgressions, which the Chinese have a full accounting of, as they are party to the corruption! An irony not lost on RW.

What of the future of Sri Lanka? How can this country change for the better? Those in dreamland believe things are in fact better. They are those who do not realize it is because we have a huge remittance equivalent to the overseas investments of Kuwait who send money FREE back to the motherland. That keeps this country ticking, whilst the ruling politicians are engaged in daylight robbery.

If I were to identify the biggest weakness of RW, it is his complete dismissive nature of the importance of media. I believe that media plays a pivotal role in the way people think. The President has been singularly successful in being able to manipulate this medium to his maximum advantage, using the state apparatus as his person fiefdom. Those whose loyalty he has sought, purchased or otherwise contrived to solicit to his advantage have served him well, and to that extent I commend him for that following he has looked after, in his service. I therefore believe that RW needs to learn from this to reinvent his image.

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