Ranil’s The Best Bet

Three No Trumps

As the Presidential Election is approaching our doorstep, Gota is doing all the right things.

His reconfirmation of the candidacy for the Sri Lanka’s Presidency with Al Jazeera is well timed.

Gota knows that the Easter Sunday bombings have given his candidacy a huge boost.

Gota is a happy man. He will capitalise from the bombings. He has the money, energy and the organisation to kick start the Presidential campaign well. It will be a Presidential election campaign like no other. We will get to see a truly US style Presidential campaign by Gota.

Gota’s currentanxiety is whether or not the US would reject his application to revoke the US citizenship. In this regard, Gota of course is obviously nervous. Thus, he issues statements non-stop. Everything depends on how the US will treat his application.

Gota who is good at strategy, is doing all the right things at the moment. Maintaining a strict silence during the recent bombing incident was the right thing to do by him. He knows well that he will capitalise from the bombings during the Presidential election campaign.

Sirisena well and truly knows that his period will come to an end in 6 months’ time and he is looking for a dignified exit.

In this environment, it is high time that the UNP start indicating the public that Ranil will be the UNP led coalition’s Presidential Candidate.

The more it allows the public to ponder and guess, it will be strengthening of the enemy.

True, Ranil may not be perfect, but he is the best and safest hands for the country at the moment. He is the one who can lead us to the next decade, of the 21st century.

The UNP should unashamedly accept this and promote Ranil 100%. It has failed to promote Ranil unreservedly before. They should not do the same mistake this time.

While having such a fine Presidential material within themselves, why should they shop around elsewhere for 2nd or 3rd grade material?

If Ranil came as the Common Candidate in 2015 (he was prevented by the foolish leaders of the 2015 rainbow colition), he would have had a more resounding victory than Sirisena. Even in 2005, Ranil lost to Mahinda Rajapakse by mere 1% (Ranil secured 49% as opposed to Mahinda’s 50%.) During that election Mahinda bribed Prabhakaran and stopped Tamils from polling at the election. But for that fact, Ranil lost.

It is unfortunate that criticism of Ranil comes within the UNP as well.By doing this, the UNP is digging its own grave. As indicated before, some UNP stalwarts want someone else to run for the Presidency (even someone outside of the UNP) except Ranil. The jealousy and resentment towards Ranil from some quarters of the UNP is very strong.

It is basically a fierce infighting.

But, Ranil will withstand. There is no one else in the UNP that can even come closer to him. Even Ranil knows this.

Unfortunately,it is some junior UNP MPs (those who have spent less than 5 years in the parliament) who fiercely criticise Ranil. Obviously these inexperienced, impatient young MPs do this believing thatthrough a change of leadership, they would receive cabinet portfolios.

If the UNP MPs have concerns about Ranil, they should discuss them within the party room, not in the open, definitely not with the media.

The UNP radicals should realise and acknowledge that it is due to Ranil’s excellent leadership that the party survived and flourished during the party’s most difficult and turbulent period (since President Premadasa demise). The last 30 years was the most difficult period for the party as UPLF governments were held by very strong personalities like Chandrika Kumaranathunga and Mahinda Rajapakse who resorted to everything possible to cling to power. Almost the entire leadership of the party was annihilated by the LTTE. Not only that Ranil managed to steer the ‘UNP ship’in heavy, turbulent watersto safety, he handled the ship with utmost care, it always remained intact. Of course, there were people inside the ship, who tried to damage/sabotage it.

The UNP should be strict on the mavericks. They should be told that nominations would be denied to them when and where that comes to happen. That is the best way to teach them a lesson,

During the 1977 election JR Jayawardane had a superb team with senior UNP leaders ably and unconditionally supporting him. No one undercut him or tried to belittle him. Small scale minnows were dead scared of their senior leaders then. That is one reason why the UNP had such a massive win in 1977 (as there was no internal revolt).

Again, clearly there must be more discipline in the party. And the party must announce Ranil’s candidacy sooner than later.

Put simply, there is no better person than Ranil to contest the 2020 Presidential election.

Ranil is genuinely Presidential material. The manner he handled the 26 October 2018 coup (51 day coup) and the Easter Sunday 2019 bombings is superb. No one can criticise him about the handlings. Despite no assistance coming from the President, Ranil enforced curfews and curbed a 1983 style riot happening in 2019. On once occasion, he had to attend the Defence Ministry for a meeting as the Service Chiefs would not accept his invitation to meet with him in the Temple Trees.

Through these incidents Ranil has clearly stamped his remarkable andoutstanding leadership qualities and has demonstrated that he is a person who can be entrusted with power and authority. Ranil is today a world-renowned political figure. And, he is the only one we have.

The Pohottuwa and SLFP now know it is futile attacking Ranil for Batalanda murders. That Presidential Commission fully exonerated him. They are now attacking him wholesomely for the Central Bank ‘bond scam’. No one has been able to show, including the Presidential Commission itself, that Ranil personally profited from the bond scam. Unlike the leaders of the former regime who received commissions and kickbacks from almost every public expenditure scheme where such proceeds went straight into their fat overseas bank accounts, Ranil has never engaged in such massive scale corruption. Ranil has established the name ‘Mr Clean’ and despite the Bond Scam, people still call him by that name. Ranil is still regarded as a person who can be trusted. After uninterrupted 42 years in the Sri Lankan parliament, Ranil is the most senior and respected politician we have in this country. He has survived assassination attempts. Ranil is theonly ‘cleanperson’ left in Sri Lankan politics.A bastion of Westminster Politics, the country must protect and look after him like the‘two eyes’of a human.

There was massive scale corruption during the former regime including the Hedging Fund fraud where the country’s loss was 7 times more than the bond scam. The previous regime is accused of making billions from various fraudulent schemes such as MIG deal, Avant Guard, Sale of Army Headquarters (Galle face) to China and UDA frauds etc. In contrast, Ranil is accused of leasing out Hambanthota Port to the Chines, what he actually did was to save this port from being transferred to the Chinese on a freehold basis. At that time there was no other alternative available as paying off the Chinese loans had become a herculean task. The corruption by the previous regime is unprecedented but the UNP failed to capitalizeon this. Ranil was weak in this, but everyone knows that President Sirisena did not allow Ranil to operate freely and openly.

It is Ranil who appointed Dilrukshi Wickramasinghe as the Bribery Commissioner; it is President Sirisena who sacked her as she wasdigging into past dirt/frauds.

Ranil is well liked and respected internationally. The US, European Union, India, Japan like to do business with him. These leaders telephone Ranil, the Prime Minister directly, bypassing the President, Sirisena. Example, Trump’s recent telephone call to Ranil (not Sirisena). These countries give us generous aid and money donations because they like Ranil as a person. Foreign diplomats maintain a good and cordial relationship with Ranil.

Ranil is not a person who abuse people in utmost filth and assault people. He is a well mannered, highly disciplined man.

Recently US donated $400 million, IMF gave a$1.4 billion soft loan because the trust and confidence they have for Ranil. India donated money for ‘Suva Sariya’ Ambulance Program based upon a request made by Ranil.

Ranil has promised that tourism will be back to some form of improvement by August/September 2019. There are signs that Ranil’s prediction will be correct, and Ranil is already working hard towards achieving that goal. This shows Ranil is a visionary, and that he loves Sri Lanka. He pays top priority to improve the country’s economy, which was left in shambles by the previous administration.

Unlike other Sri Lankan politicians, Ranil is not an ‘actor’. He could have worn the national costume and go worshiping Buddhist temples regularly and carry/kiss small children after obtaining release of them from their parents. He does not operate that way. Ranil is a private person. Unlike pseudopoliticians, Ranil does not go on worshipingBuddhist temples, Christian churches and Hindu kovilsfor the sole purpose of receiving fame and glory through TV news. Ranil married an educated Sinhala Buddhist woman and the couple lead a genuine Sinhala Buddhist way of life. Ranil lives in his old ancestral home; he did not spend public funds to renovate it. The couple spend their leisure time reading good, intellectual books.Raniland Maithri live moderate lives like average middle class Sri Lankans. They are not corrupt. They live with minimum security and even during the recent turbulent times the street where they live (5th Lane) was not closed to the public. During the same time,part of the Wijerama Road that Mahinda Rajapakse lives was closed for public traffic.

Views expressed in this article are the author’s own


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