This episode was the closest that the UNP leader got, to be removed from office.
Unlike before in many of his leadership struggles, the challenge was from inside the party and he had the UNP working committee or the party stalwarts coming to his rescue, because of a lack of a credible alternative. No doubt this is the first time Prime Minister Wickremesinghe faced the real threat of being removed and being pushed aside. So hopefully for the sake of the people this is a wake up call for him and his friends holding positions in the current government.
But do his friends really care about his welfare?
The Prime Minister’s problems are largely two fold and it is nothing new to the Prime Minister. It is history repeating itself with the same players in the saddle doing the same thing. The two big problems the Prime Minister has always been plagued with are ; one: he just not know how to relate and connect with the masses, as a result he ends up making statements that are totally out of sync with the people and offers solutions that the public don’t want or appreciates.
Second and the biggest issue he is confronted when he is in power, is his friends. Starting with Malik Samarawickrama, Charith Ratwatte, SriLankan Airlines Chairman, Thilak Marapana , R Swaminathan so on. These people instead of making the Prime Minister look good, they only help him to isolate himself further and further from the public.
All the appointments done by Party Chairman Samarawickrama and the team to various institutions have backfired on the Prime Minister. Chairman Samarawickrama and his friends can survive only because of their friendship to the Prime Minister, therefore it is in their interest to protect the Prime Minister. Samarawickrama will be the first to be shown the door if their is a change in the leadership in the UNP.
At this moment of time he can do a world of good to the Prime Minister by stepping aside and there by giving the freedom to the Prime Minister to work with elected politicians who have a real interest for the welfare of the people of our country. If Samarawickrama can spend some time surfing the WWW he would know how popular he is and what impact that is having on the Prime Minister’s popularity and his political future.
As a one time popular scrum half of Royal College Colombo 7 Mr Samarawickrama should look to the game of rugger for some advice and do what is good for the country as against his desire to hangin as a Minister and party Chairman at any cost pushing the Prime Minister to political oblivion. That would be a real tragedy for Srilanka. For the sake of the Prime Minister he should take a back seat for the Prime Minister and UNP to recover. The UNP needs a breath of fresh air to breathe again.
- A UNP Stalwart