Thursday, February 01, 2007
Karu Vateyta Horu
Gone are the days when the UNP was shouting slogans like ‘Awoth Karu, Payayi Hiru’,
Nowadays the party loyalists are shouting (or rather squeaking) along the lines of ‘Giyoth Karu, Penei Tharu’ while others, at least the sirikotha faction have settled for the slogan ‘Karu Vateyta Horu’. Sighting the alleged corruption charges found during a COPE investigation, against the likes of Milinda Moragoda and some say even Mr. Jayasuriya.
In the wake of the mass jumbo exodus, to what is essentially now, a UNP government headed by Mahinda Rajapakse many have speculated as to the fate of what remains of the Grand Old Party. The answer is – quite a lot.
As one Sunday newspaper claimed some time back, most people in Sri Lanka is inherently UNP. The party can command quite easily, at least 35-40% of the electorate regardless of whether there’s a split, or who’s in the Leadership.
Given this fact, Some say, that the crossovers are in fact a blessing in disguise for Wickramasinghe and the mainstream UNP. I’d beg to differ. Lets be honest, this is a HUGE set back for the UNP, one from which they will have a tough time getting over. Especially, in the reality of having your own parliamentarians against you and given also the possibility of yet more UNPers joining the government, to the point where the opposition leader post could be handed over to the JVP, things does indeed look bleak for the UNP. But even so, it would be premature to pass definite judgments.
The motives of the so called reformists (crossover faction) could be diverse; For some, it could be escaping corruption charges, the others it’s just a matter of sheer lust to become a Minister.
It’s not however, like Rajitha Senarathne proclaims an attempt to promote ‘good governance and peace’ if these were the motives, the act of joining the jumbo cabinet itself is the greatest deterrent for ‘good governance’ in the country.
In any case, there is now, a redrawing of political equations. The JVP after at years of avoiding the programme now participate in the ‘Jana Handa’ the programme hosted by TNL, both UNP and JVP participants were seen in close conference with each other trying to bully poor Tissa Vitharana representing the government. It is clear that the UNP will try to go into a common cooperation with the JVP, similar to that of the pre-2001 era.
Another element of the changed equation is the dissident SLFP members, led by Managala Samaraweera and the Bandaranaike’s. Whether these dissidents are as dissenting as the Morning leader would tell you, remain to be seen.