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Ranil Wickramasinghe should adopt a new plan of action that would take the people by surprise.

Charles Perera

Mr.Ranil Wickramasinghe, seems to be a lonely man. He is watching the horizon watching for some events, that he can seize to make a statement to down grade and criticize the UPFA government. There not being many such opportunities he is holding on to tsunami aftermath and reconstruction work as a subject of discord. And lately, he seized the occasion to blame the Prime Minister going to Indonesia, when the President was away from the Island.

Unless he finds something really important to put before the people , his suitability for the countries highest position will soon be put to question. He depends on his election to the post, on his ability to place before the country, a good number of errors committed by the present Government and the Head of State. He seems to be a very inward looking person unable to exteriorize whatever of his intellectual capacities. He should really take a holiday alone and contemplate on the present situation and to see what it is that should be exploited to assure his place on the seat that is going to be vacant in 2006.

He hasn’t got much time as, at least one name has already been proposed, that of the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. It is a good choice . The Prime Minister is a likeable person , quiet but resourceful. He seems to have lot of confidence in himself, quite intelligent and distinguished. There may be others, Mr. Anura Bandaranaike perhaps. But he is too much in politics. He is ideal for bringing different factions together to make a viable force. Mr. Kadirgamar , the Foreign Minister would be an ideal choice. He is a rare son of Sri Lanka. There aren’t many people like him. There may be others, and it is best that Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe wakes up.

Perhaps he should think of different tactics, a political strategy that will put him on the road to the role he is dreaming to play. He should be more courageous to do some thing different from what he had been trying to do. He has to show the people that he is the best choice they have for the countries highest post. This he can do by taking a positive role in the countries political situation, leaving behind the negative role he has been playing so far. Instead of being against the UPFA, he can be less critical of it. And take a more comprehensive attitude. And try to be friendly with the President, try to win over her confidence. As he knows Prabhakaran, with whom he entered in to an agreement while he was the Prime Minister, he may speak to him and ask him see reason, and allow the Government to do its business. Instead of asking for a joint mechanism.

His greatest mistake was to have refused the invitation by the President to discuss the JM. It puts him in a bad light, sort of a spineless man, good only when things have gone wrong, to raise his head above water to say" there you are I knew it will not work." That is not how a leader should act. What is the use of making your proposals after the JM is signed ? If you have an opinion it should be expressed before the "damage" is done. This refusal to "discuss" puts Ranil in the position of a person who cares less for the country and more for himself !

His tolerance of the present Government, and even adopting an attitude of patronizing if not a harmonious friendly approach with the JVP and getting involved more directly with apparent constructive criticism of the activities of the Government ,will pay dividends to him in the long run. People will then begin to see him differently as a progressive man and a suitable candidate for the Presidential election. A President should be acceptable to all parties and therefore, Ranil should begin to dress up for the role if he is to have a modicum of a hope.

He has also selected a pathetically unsuitable set of people to do propaganda work for him. He should stop G.L Pieries from defending persons of doubtful honesty, and be quiet for some time. Change the people who are now in helm of things in the UNP. People like Rajita Senaratne, Jayalath Jayawardhana, Tissa Attanayake, will only make him an unpopular Presidential candidate. Each time one of them speaks Ranil looses a few of his would be voters. Better have them substituted by others more intelligent and diplomatic. If that happens it is likely that there may be some SLFP parliamentarians and even one or two Deputy Ministers of SLFP, joining him. There are some SLFPers in the UPFA who have more affinity with UNP to the extent, that one begins to think they are in the wrong camp.

Mr. Wickramasinghe, should not be an adversary but a sort of a fellow traveler with other political parties. Try to feel the people, not just those of the UNP, but the whole population. He has become very unpopular since he signed the MoU behind the back of every one , including the Parliament. S.B.Dissanayake, did not behave like a respectable politician and he got what he deserves. Better leave people such as him where they are. Try to include young politicians in his inner circle, and let them speak with new ideas and with new hope. It is better that Ranil Wickramasinghe thinks out a new political strategy, that will take the people by surprise.



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