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The nation falls apart

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by Uditha Devapriya

Sri Lanka is fast running out of a future. Last Saturday, authorities announced delays in end of term examinations due to paper shortages. This is the latest shortage to hit the economy. Starting with gas, Sri Lankans have been experiencing queues for the most basic products and commodities. Supermarkets continue to stock up on luxuries, though even these will take a hit from newly enforced import restrictions. Rhetoric over local production aside, it’s clear those who should be planning aren’t planning enough, or planning at all. The result has been a massive loss of face, for a government that promised untold prosperity.

The President has more or less acquiesced to going to the IMF. Though he wasn’t clear in his speech, this is what his government will eventually do. The signs are already there. The regime has instituted far-reaching changes, including not just the floating of the rupee, but the hiking of prices, including public utility tariffs. In the face of a massive economic crunch, the Sudanese government mandated 433% hikes for electricity prices last year. Going by a proposal submitted by the CEB to the Sri Lankan government, this may transpire here too. It will affect the poor more, since the objective of these reforms is to remove subsidies, paving the way for an IMF bailout. Simply put, we are inflicting austerity on ourselves.

In light of these developments, we are overseeing a massive shift in perceptions. While earlier people talked about emotive issues like race and religion, or the use of elephants in peraheras, today those conversations have turned to more serious topics. For the first time in a long time, people are talking about dollar shortages and deconstructing the situation in Lebanon. They are debating policies, not prices. When a ship docks at the harbour to unload fuel, they estimate how long it will be before stocks run out again.

News outfits and media agencies are also shifting. While before they engaged in political gossip or COVID-19 statistics, now they are debating policy. Even TV stations identified with the government are starting to dissent. Whenever a ship gets stuck at the harbour, due to the government’s inability to source dollars, journalists estimate demurrage costs and break down the price we have to pay for delaying payments. Their tone has become more sober and more reflective: whereas at the height of the pandemic they struck an optimistic note, today they are less cheery, jubilant, and exultant. Like the people on the ground, they have become cynical, their favourite question being, when will all this end?

Social media is hardly a gauge of mass public opinion. Yet once full of self-indulgent banter, Twitter and Facebook are now rife with serious discussion. What Razeen Sally once called Colombo’s chattering classes are debating economic issues, issues that affected ordinary people even before this government came to power. When power-cuts invaded rural and suburban homes but not Colombo, angry citizens took to social media to raise awareness. Perhaps in response to the anger and the fury, the government began enforcing cuts in the heart of Colombo. While this is hardly indicative of a radicalised middle-class, it shows how a once highly indulged social group is clamouring for equity.

Addressing the fuel crisis, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa blamed people for holding on to a wrong “political consciousness.” But this shift in political consciousness has been due a long time. Every cloud has a silver lining, and with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic crisis, that silver lining has been a shift in political perceptions. Simply put, people are no longer dwelling on divisive issues. They are dwelling on issues which have divided the country and brought everyone together. They are incensed with anger at the present set-up, and have united themselves against lawmakers and officials.

To be sure, there are disagreements between parties. The Samagi Jana Balavegaya talks about economic blueprints and going to the IMF. The JVP-NPP criticises the IMF option and neoliberal economic paradigms, though one of its MPs pontificates on the independence of rating agencies. The Socialist Youth Union, which organised a protest at the Presidential Secretariat days after a similar protest held by the SJB, talks about justice and victory for the working class, catch-phrases the likes of Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Sunil Handunetti are frequently deploying against the regime. Dissanayake tweets against the regime selling national assets, a stance which has attracted the censure of advocates of privatisation, but which carries considerable weight among the suffering many.

Through all this, one crucial problem remains. Although people are coming together, united by anger and misery, no political group has yet taken advantage of their anger to rally them against the powers that be. Certain individuals are calling for a new politics in Sri Lanka, free of parties. But this conception of a post-political revolt seems unlikely, especially given that after a lull in debate, people are discussing policy and comparing parties with each other on the basis of relative merits. Meanwhile, political parties remain unclear about their positions and policies, even as critics of the government urge them to come out with them: to give one example, the JVP is now repeatedly being requested to clarify its stances, on issues like university ragging, the ethnic question, and the economy.

Complicating matters further, splits have emerged within political parties as well. The 43 Senankaya, led by Champika Ranawaka, is a case in point. Originally slotted in as the SJB’s Candidate No. 1 in the Colombo District, Ranawaka has distanced himself from that party since, insinuating against the direction its leader, Sajith Premadasa, is headed in. While he did take part in last week’s protest in front of the Presidential Secretariat with Premadasa, this has not killed off rumours about his presidential aspirations. Meanwhile, the ultimate anti-Rajapaksist veteran of the Civil War, Sarath Fonseka, has publicly come out against the SJB’s leader as well, ostensibly for overusing his father’s name.

None of this bodes well for the Opposition. On the one hand, people are rallying behind everyone against those at the top; on the other, no formation has proved itself capable of bringing these people and their anger together. While unification along party and factional lines does seem possible, continued bickering has delayed such a prospect, making it easier for the government to claim that there is no Opposition in the country.

Long considered Asia’s oldest democracy, Sri Lanka is perhaps among the most polarised democracies in this part of the world. Split heavily along factional lines, the Opposition finds itself crippled in the face of the biggest crisis we have seen since 1948. Which party, which politician, will do what’s needed to mobilise the anger against those holding power? This is a question in need of an answer, a question that is yet to be answered.

The writer can be reached at udakdev1@gmail.com



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Politics

Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes Prime Minister

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by Uditha Devapriya

“Churchill had only four members backing him in 1939. How did he become Prime Minister? Because of the crisis. I have done the same.”

— Ranil Wickremesinghe to a British journalist, after his appointment

The Constitution of Sri Lanka empowers the President to appoint as Prime Minister any MP who he feels musters the confidence of the parliament. Thus Maithripala Sirisena, instead of retaining an MP from the UPFA or SLFP, chose Ranil Wickremesinghe as his Prime Minister in 2015, even though the UNP had less than 90 seats in the House. When the UNP won a majority in the general elections that year, the confidence Wickremesinghe mustered in the country’s legislature was as symbolic as it was tangible.

The 19th Amendment did away with much of the President’s powers. This included the power to appoint the Prime Minister. Thus, when Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinghe and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa in October 2018, he had very little to back him up. He did the inevitable, which was to delay a vote in parliament. Eventually, when mounting pressures made him realise that such tactics would go nowhere, he appointed Wickremesinghe again, the third time in four years. In other words, his fortunes hinged on whether the Constitution permitted him to appoint a Prime Minister of his preference.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s choice of Prime Minister was obvious from the word go: his brother was always going to be his choice. Meanwhile, the 20th Amendment flattened the 19th Amendment, though without reviving the 18th. This brought all independent commissions under his purview, giving him sweeping powers of appointment and dismissal, including of the Prime Minister.

That is why it didn’t matter that Ranil Wickremesinghe was the sole MP of a party that had clinched barely 250,000 votes from the entire country. The power of the 20th Amendment was such that an unpopular President could appoint a sole sitting MP as Prime Minister, while securing the support and approval of the ruling party.

Appointed Prime Minister five times since 1993, Ranil Wickremesinghe now serves in that capacity for the sixth time under Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The irony there is almost delectable. The same man who the Rajapaksa camp derided as a traitor hostile to the national interest, in 2019, has been made the deputy in that camp.

Not too long ago he courted the love and admiration of Colombo’s upper middle-class liberals. He has since lost the respect he used to get from this class, but his base remains. In any case, in the minds of his detractors, even inside the nationalist camp, he has now turned into Sri Lanka’s last great hope.

The SJB MPs criticising Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s latest appointment have forgotten that they were once part of Wickremesinghe’s coterie, and that they entered politics through him and with his blessings. They were also, not too long ago, his biggest cheerleaders. While many of them supported Sajith Premadasa’s shot at the leadership of the UNP as far back as 2013, not all of them came out to oppose the real leader.

All this changed in 2019, when, after the November elections, the anti-Ranil faction summoned enough courage to inform him that they wanted the party to move in a new direction. Wickremesinghe, naturally, did not agree with their proposal. That is how the SJB came to be.

The SJB has always had a complex relationship with Wickremesinghe. When, after months of speculation, he decided to fill in the one slot the party won at the 2020 general election, an SJB MP tweeted rather positively, wishing him the best and hoping he would work for the country. Then another MP shot back, charging that the man was concerned only with his welfare and not the country’s.

Meanwhile, Harin Fernando’s exit from the SJB came in the wake of speculation that he would return to the UNP, after he made a stirring of statements critical of Premadasa. Exasperated by Premadasa’s dithering over the premiership (“asayi-bayayi”), Fernando struck at the 11th hour, leaving the party.

It’s hard to ascribe all these developments to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s machinations. But it is true that he has acquired a reputation for brokering the most impossible deals. In 2000 no one imagined that he would become Prime Minister a year later. Three years later, the then President had sacked him, setting off a cycle of appointment, dismissal, resignation, and re-appointment that continues to this date.

Wickremesinghe has a knack for the most unlikely comebacks. And this may be his greatest comeback: becoming Prime Minister, not under a UNP or SLFP president, but under a Rajapaksa, and Gotabaya at that.

Not a few people consider Wickremesinghe’s appointment a betrayal of the Galle Face mandate. They are not entirely wrong. The underlying message of the Gotagogama protests was, and will be, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s departure from the presidency. Wickremesinghe’s appointment does not help achieve this target, even if Rajapaksa did, in his address to the nation on Wednesday night, promise a rollback of the Executive Presidency through the re-introduction of the 19th Amendment.

Nevertheless, Wickremesinghe now serves as Prime Minister of an interim government tasked with the revival of the economy. The perception that he can achieve this is what has emboldened not a few protesters to praise the decision, and to admit that Rajapaksa’s choice is the only man to do it.

In other words, opinion over Ranil Wickremesinghe remains as heavily divided as ever. On the one hand, Wickremesinghe leads a bandwagon of supporters no less servile than the most stubborn and unyielding Rajapaksa loyalist. On the other hand, over the years, he has cultivated an image of himself as a doer and a thinker.

Not a few of his pronouncements during the last two years have come true. This, coupled with the SJB’s indecisiveness over the premiership, has made many anti-Rajapaksa activists endorse the decision, even if they think that Gotabaya should still go. For them, Wickremesinghe becoming Prime Minister is a small victory to be celebrated, though not at the cost of the wider objective.

In that sense, the protesters’ relationship with Wickremesinghe is as complex as the SJB’s relationship with the man. The Galle Face Green protests are as leaderless and rudderless as urban protests go. Though SJB MPs and UNP activists now accuse them of being led, if not manipulated, by the JVP-NPP and FSP, they represent different shades of political opinion and different political formations, from the UNP to the JVP.

Brought together by a common slogan – #GotaGoHome – the protesters are only beginning to wake up to the realities of party politics and ideological differences. Thus, in the same breath with which they could hail the protests as progressive, UNP and SJB allied supporters are now turning against the demonstrations, claiming that they are tilted heavily to the New Left.

Does this mean that Wickremesinghe’s appointment will split the movement? Perhaps. Not a few UNP and SJB activists believe that the protesters favour the JVP-NPP and FSP. When Sajith Premadasa tried to enter Gotagogama last Monday after pro-Rajapaksa goons began vandalising the site, he was physically rebuffed by the protesters.

This sparked off a series of tweets by an SJB MP who complained that while Anura Kumara Dissanayake could enter the ground without any problem, the SJB, despite being the main opposition, was not given the same courtesy or extended the same invitation. While many of these tweets, which even UNP activists make and share, border on conspiracy theories – inter alia, about the New Left destabilising the country – Wickremesinghe’s appointment, and Premadasa’s aspirations to the premiership, have distanced the SJB and UNP from the protests.

All this makes one wonder whether Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a pincer move with Ranil Wickremesinghe. Wickremesinghe enjoys a reputation that SJB MPs do not, even if that reputation is hardly of the kind a politician would want. He is associated with enough and more intrigues and deal-brokering: an asset to any President down on his luck. As deeply unpopular as he is, besides, Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not devoid of options; in refusing Sajith Premadasa’s offer, he has signalled his readiness to work with a man his supporters would never, in their wildest dreams, have associated with him. This shows how desperate he is, but it also shows how hopeful he is about his latest arrangement.

US Ambassador Julie Chung congratulated Ranil Wickremesinghe immediately after his appointment, stating point-blank that his premiership is one of the first steps to restoring stability to the country. I know several protesters – of course barring the sort who admire Wickremesinghe – who’d beg to differ.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that Sri Lanka’s latest Prime Minister enjoys the confidence of the President, even if he doesn’t enjoy the confidence of the House. What deals Wickremesinghe can negotiate in the next few days will determine the country’s course over the next few months. Lenin once said that there are decades where nothing happens, and days where decades pass. We are living through those days. One can only wish everyone the best as we pass through them.

The writer can be reached at udakdev1@gmail.com

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GOTA RE-SETS; THE ARAGALAYA MUST RE-SET & RE-LOAD

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Dr. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

‘Revolutionary Realpolitik’ is the title of the final chapter of the iconic philosopher and culture critic Georg Lukacs’ slim volume ‘Lenin: A Study on the Unity of His Thought’, first published in 1924 when Lukacs was 35, and reissued by Verso in its radical thinkers series in 2009. Revolutionary Realpolitik, that fusion of revolution and Realpolitik, which made Lenin a great revolutionary because he was a great Realist, has been the perennial absence in the Ceylonese/Sri Lankan Left, and remains dangerously so in Aragalaya Left or pro-Aragalaya Left.

‘The concrete analysis of the concrete situation’ is the heart of politics according to Lenin. There is a new situation or in Marxist terminology a new conjuncture. Any party or formation which thinks strategically must grasp that fact and adapt to it in order to transform it.

The Gotabaya presidency has pressed the re-set button. The Aragalaya must do so too, or else it will be fighting with the old tactics against a target that has reconfigured.

The Aragalaya made a big mistake. It had won a major strategic battle by mid-day on May 9 when it beat back the Mahinda mob and prevailed politically with the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa. History may record that this was the highest point of the Aragalaya as it had evolved from the Mirihana uprising of March 31.

The strategic blunder began after that victory of mid-day May 9. That was the lethal character of the mob violence that caused nine fatalities and injured Kumara Welgama, who was also the first anti-Gotabaya politician. It is not that the Aragalaya perpetrated that violence but it did not condemn it though there was real time social media and mass media coverage available to it. At the time of writing (May 12) condemnation is yet to be heard.

The strategic blunder was consummated on the night of May 9 into the early morning of May 10 with the mob violence outside Temple Trees, the successful attempt to break through the gates and enter the premises. Fires were also started by the attackers. The attack started after dusk and went on till pre-dawn the next day. There was plenty of coverage on TV news and social media. Given the bloodthirsty rage of the crowd there was no doubt that the former President and Prime Minister would have been lynched, together with his family. The Aragalaya leaders and the political party leaders associated with the Aragalaya failed to call for restraint. They have still not condemned the incident.

The result of the attempted lynching of Mahinda Rajapaksa was that it gave the military the chance to intervene and a legitimate reason to do so. The Anti-Hijacking and Hostage Rescue Unit of the Commando regiment effectively held the line and performed the rescue. By the morning of May 10, 2022, we were in a different territory. The military had been infused into the situation and the Army Commander’s remarks were determined yet serious. The military was in the game and the power-equation.

This also stiffened the back of the Gotabaya presidency, but it did so without causing either him or the military to sound like there had been a shift to military rule, because that is not what has happened. Addressing the nation, he didn’t sound more autocratic than before nor did he come across as quite as insensitively autocratic as he used to be. The Aragalaya had clearly shaken him but not enough to leave; only enough to make him more flexible when earlier he was totally inflexible.

What has happened is that Gotabaya now has both a stick and a carrot. The stick is the military and the Police backstopped by the military. The real center of gravity for the moment is the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The carrot is a recomposed Government and a set of reforms which include a partial presidential retreat. Gota has promised the repeal of 20A and the return of 19A, also indicating that the door and the road were open for the abolition of the executive presidency.

At the time of dispatching this article, I do not know who the PM will be, but whoever it is, the administration will get some traction, the people will cut it some slight slack, and the Aragalaya will find that it does not enjoy the same near-universality of support it did. Quite a few sympathizers of the Aragalaya may move to the neutral or let’s wait and see column. The reason is that the target profile of the enemy has changed: it’s no longer Gota plus Mahinda. It is no longer an overt Rajapaksa family regime. It is no longer top-heavy with Rajapaksas.

If Gotabaya’s re-set project fails, it doesn’t mean the Aragalaya succeeds. The next move may be an outright military junta with or without Gota, and as several public opinion polls show, though few support military rule, most are pro-military. Outright military rule is not the only option. There could be a civilian-military rule with the military chairing the political negotiations which Gota is now chairing. The behaviour of the political parties maybe quite different then, and in any case as in the Pakistan of old, the military may regulate and restructure the political-governmental space. I doubt that the Aragalaya leaders are aware that things are not black-and white and there are varieties of “intermediate regimes” (Michael Kalecki).

Antonio Gramsci, the founder of a Marxist political science and one of the greatest political scientists ever, rejected Trotsky’s approach (unfairly says Perry Anderson) as “the theorist of frontal assault at a time the balance of forces is such that it could only lead to failure”. Whether or not it was accurate about Trotsky (unlike in Lenin’s case sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t, as far as I can tell), Gramsci’s point is valid. When I hear a prominent Aragalaya youth leader talk about “street fighting” I recall Gramsci’s stricture. If students are shot by the Army it won’t mean the outbreak of the Revolution when it is a recomposed Government in office—and in any case the Army knows that riot-guns with birdshot have non-lethal results.

The slogan Gota Go Home remains valid but it cannot be fought for by the old methods of frontal assault. Gota will not go home and he cannot be sent home right now–not with the military backing him and a new PM bringing some degree of legitimacy and hope. Gota Go Home must be re-calibrated, not as an event but as a process of transition. As Gramsci famously said, it must not be a strategy of frontal assault but a war of position, of attrition.

Personally, I advocated that the SJB take the space available and use the 19th amendment to shift the balance of power. As Nicos Poulantzas, the most famous Marxist political scientist since Antonio Gramsci pointed out, the state apparatuses are not a monolith; they are cross-cut with contradictions, are porous and permeable. Democrats fighting against dictatorships should aim at working those contradictions and shifting the lines of force within the state. This is the strategy that was successfully adopted by the Spanish Communists led by Santiago Carrillo.

That is why I urged that the SJB to operate as a pincer with the Aragalaya and penetrate the system, get its hands on the levers of power.

Poulantzas apart, that would also have been the Middle Path and Golden Mean leading to a renovated center, with the support of the SLFP and the 11 parties.

What then is the path to victory for the Aragalaya and the Opposition? Lenin provides an answer in Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. The masses must learn by their very own experience, of the correctness of the vanguard party’s slogans, which must be calibrated according to each stage of the mass consciousness. Therefore, the Aragalaya and opposition strategy has to be two-fold:

Firstly, though the Aragalaya may be difficult to broaden and may lose some of its breadth, it can be deepened, by resisting unfair economic hardships caused by creditor-and-IMF driven cutbacks and launching new waves of struggle.

Secondly, change the main slogan of the Aragalaya to that which was raised by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa on March 15 during the first demonstration at the Presidential Secretariat, and recently renewed in modified form by the smartest strategic mind of the pro-Aragalaya Left today, KD Lal Kantha of the JVP: demand EARLY ELECTIONS. Of course, with Gota still around, with or without the 20th Amendment, that has to include Presidential elections too.

In 1988-89, with two civil wars raging and foreign troops on our soil, we had several rounds of Provincial Council elections followed by Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Both Presidential and Parliamentary elections can and must be held within this year.

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Politics

PRO-GOTA FAKE OPPOSITION, ANTI-GOTA REAL OPPOSITION

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Dr. DAYAN JAYATILLEKA

Clearly the old ruling coalition, the SLPP and SLFP, has a majority in Parliament. That is similar to a man who has a huge mountain of money in his house, but all the money belongs to a category devalued by the Central Bank. The majority that the SLPP-SLFP mustered in parliament stands clearly devalued in the eyes of the citizenry and by them.

The 148 votes should give the President and the Rajapaksa clan little cause for comfort. That is because there is a huge gap between the bubble that is parliament and the sociopolitical reality outside it. The Parliament is marooned in the ocean of the people.

The IUSF-led demonstrations on the approach to Parliament provided the best direct response to the 148-65 vote on the issue of the Deputy Speaker.

The so-called Independent Group of 40 held a media briefing after the vote shrieking about betrayal by the Leader of the Opposition and his mother.

By nightfall it became obvious that the Aragalaya, which is by no means supportive of the Leader of the Opposition, was of the view that the re-combination of the SLPP and the SLFP-led 11-party combine, was the real treachery.

Let’s unpack the issue. When it came down to the wire, there were two candidates: Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Imtiaz Bakeer Markar. It is self-evident that Imtiaz is the superior choice, in every respect: intellect, integrity, decency. He would have been a symbol of the values of the Aragalaya, of a new patriotism, of unity in diversity.

The Group of 40 refused to vote for him and voted for Siyambalapitiya instead. This was not only the inferior choice but also symbolized continuity in a national atmosphere of dramatic change.

It symbolized two types of continuity.

Firstly, continuity between the old and the new: a cartoon brilliantly showed the old, pre-Aragalaya Deputy Speaker and the new, GotaGoGama period Deputy Speaker. Who just happened to be the same guy? That showed the unresponsiveness of the parliamentary majority to the realities on the ground, and their uncaring about the optics.

Secondly, continuity indeed convergence between the ruling SLPP and the supposedly independent SLFP-led Group of 40 which had been until quite recently an ally of the SLPP.

It is almost beyond belief that the SLFP-led G 40 should be unashamed to have accepted the support of the SLPP and voted together with it, thereby giving the general public the impression of renewed alliance or congruence. If it thought that turning its guns on the SJB and its leader would persuade anyone of its own correctness, it should have had a rethink by nightfall.

If the SLFP-led Group of 40 had its feet on the ground, it would have known and should know that its main task is to demarcate itself from the regime; not put forward a candidate who served that regime and to be seen to vote together with the ruling Pohottuwa in support of that candidate.

The priority of the so-called Independent Opposition Group should have been to prove its independence, and prove it vis-à-vis the regime; not to prove its dependence on the regime’s votes, which is what it did.

The cat has jumped out of the bag. The Independent Group clearly revealed that it has much more of a problem with Sajith Premadasa than it does with Gotabaya Rajapaksa. By contrast, the Aragalaya is very clear as to who the real enemy and the main enemy at this stage of a long struggle, is: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Clearly the main objective of the Aragalaya is the removal of the autocratic ruler: Gota Go Home!

To the extent that this is manifestly NOT the stated goal of the so-called independent group of 40; so long as it has suggested various slogans and solutions to the problem OTHER THAN the one that 90%-96% of the public perceive as the main problem; to the extent that the Independent Group is far from independent of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, it can be said to be a fake Opposition.

It was hilarious too see the Independent Group of 40, which is not just a very belated addition to the Opposition benches, but also one which pivoted back to President GR and sat with him and Basil Rajapaksa in a political discussion, hurling accusations at the Leader of the Opposition who had the guts to run against Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the height of the latter’s popularity in November 2019 while the Independent Group was canvassing votes for Gotabaya who had already defended a monk who asked him to be a Hitler.

The independent Group of 40 never opposed Dilum Amunugama, when several months ago, he urged Gotabaya to be a Hitler—a statement that may explain what happened in Rambukkana.

Hilarious too is the fact that the garrulous members of the group of 40, which by far the smaller group in the opposition at the moment, attack the SJB, which is the larger formation of the Opposition.

The touchstone of whether or not any party or formation is an authentic Opposition, is whether or not it stands foursquare for what the people of this country and more concretely The Aragalaya is calling for: GOTA GO HOME!

Going by that touchstone, the authentic Opposition in the country consists of the following streams:

1. The Aragalaya (the non-party autonomous space)

2. The Left: the JVP, FSP, IUSF.

3. The Hartal vanguard: the Trade Union Coordinating Committee, Peasants’ Unions and civic organizations.

4. The SJB, the SJB alliance, JVP, TNA, SLMC, CWC.

Right now, in Parliament, the authentic Opposition are those who voted for Imtiaz Bakeer Markar; not those who still refuse to say—let alone shout out aloud—Gota Go Home!

The fake Oppositionists who wish Gotabaya to remain in office as well as those refuse to take the stand ‘Gota Go Home!’ will, I can safely predict, be wiped out together with the Rajapaksas and all but a few of the SLPP, at any upcoming election, just as the LSSP and CPSL were in 1977 and the UNP was in 2020.

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