UNP Revival

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Apr 6 2021
Editorial UNP Revival

Yesterday a daily newspaper quoting UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said, ‘A broad opposition alliance led by the UNP where everyone including Navin Dissanayake and others is the need of the hour.

…such an alliance is needed to gather necessary votes at the next national elections.

…Some SJB members are responsible for the fate which the UNP has suffered today, he also said…’

This same newspaper quoting Wijewardene’s first cousin, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, on its Saturday’s issue, to quote excerpts said, ‘… the party will give priority to women, businessmen and other professions as organisers.’

That article quoting Wickremesinghe was published under the heading, ‘UNP will appoint new organisers from May this year’ and was supported by two strap lines/blurbs, one of which read, ‘We will go for a reorganisation programme which is similar to one which was done prior to 1977.’ However, the contents of that news item didn’t support its strap line/blurb.

Nonetheless, the next national election due, as averred to by Wijewardene, under the normal scheme of things, is the scheduled Presidential Poll to be held in another three years time in 2024.

Wijewardene attacks the SJB and current Opposition Leader and former UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa for the current fate of the UNP.

 The UNP only won a record low solitary seat, a nominated list seat at the 5 August 2020 Parliamentary Poll. Meanwhile, though a record eight months have also passed since, the UNP is yet to decide who’s to fill that vacant, solitary Parliamentary seat reserved for the UNP in current Parliament.

How then can a party, even after the lapse of eight months is still pussyfooting to fill that solitary seat, ever think of winning a major poll?

 Further, when ‘Bloody Easter Sunday’ took place on 21 April 2019 killing more than 260 and injuring over 500, it wasn’t Premadasa who was the Deputy Defence Minister, but Wijewardene himself, while his first cousin Wickremesinghe was the Prime Minister.

While Premadasa who contested the 2019 Presidential Poll under the NDF ticket was also the UNP’s Deputy Leader at that time, the leader being Wickremesinghe, Premadasa, he after his defeat, at that election to incumbent President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, resigned as UNP Deputy Leader.

However, Wijewardene and Wickremesinghe, despite ‘Bloody Easter Sunday,’ are shamelessly still continuing in politics. 

Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe, responsible for the UNP’s ruination since he cemented his leadership position in the UNP after the UNP’s defeat at the 1994 November Presidential Poll, speaks of leading a UNP revival similar to that of 1977 when it won by a record five sixths majority at the 1977 Parliamentary Poll under J.R. Jayewardene. 

Wickremesinghe speaks of leading such a revival led by women, professionals and ‘business,’ but is ignorant of the fact that what led to the UNP’s landslide victory in 1977 were not professionals and ‘business,’ but the grassroots, including women, who were feeling the hardships caused to the ‘home economy’ due to the economic policies of 1970-1977.

The UNP has a Deputy Leader, Wijewardene, who doesn’t take the blame, and leader Wickremesinghe, who together with the then Defence Minister President Maithripala Sirisena, doesn’t either, for being responsible for ‘Bloody Easter Sunday’ which directly contributed to Premadasa’s and by extension to the UNP’s defeat at the November 2019 Presidential Poll, but instead heaps all the blame on Premadasa.

Wijewardene should take a cue from his uncle J.R. Jayewardene, who, in an interview with the BBC took the blame for the July 1983 riots.

Meanwhile the current UNP’s possessed with a leader, who, in his political naivety, despite being in politics at least since 1977, however feels that by excluding the grassroots the UNP can win an election.

For all intents and purposes Wijewardene and Wickremesinghe appear to be working towards the ultimate demise of the UNP, like what happened to the old left and not for the purpose of defeating the incumbent President and his Government at the next Parliamentary Poll, nor working towards a UNP revival.

CEYLON TODAY | Published: 2:00 AM Apr 6 2021

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