Sarath Ranawaka, Kalutara district UNP leader no more

Ajith 5

It is with great sorrow that I report the demise of Mr. Sarath Ranawaka, MP and the UNP leader for the Kalutara district. He passed away at the age of 63 at a private hospital in Colombo, after a brief illness.

MP Ranawaka has entered active politics in 1977 by representing the Lanka Samasamaja Party. He joined the main opposition United National Party in 1984.

The late MP has represented the Sri Lankan parliament for the last twenty years after he was elected in 1989 for the first time.

Mr. Sarath Ranawaka has been a guide to me teaching my first steps in politics. I always remember that with respect.

Ajith 11

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මිරිදිය ඉස්සෙක්ද, පොකිරිස්සෙක්ද මේ?

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මේ හඳුනානොගත් අපූරු අමුත්තා මගේ කැමරාවට හසු වන්නේ මොරගල තානායමට යාබද ස්වාභාවික දිය තටාකයට නුදුරින් ගලායන තවමත් මිනිස් අපද්‍රව්‍ය වලින් ඉඳුල් නොවී ඇතැයි සිතිය හැකි කුඩා දිය පහරකදීය. බනිස් කැබලි කෑමට පොරකන කුඩා දියමසුන් අතරින් ඔහු මතුවන්නේය. එහත් ඔහුගේ ඉලක්කය බනිස් කැබලි නොව මසුන් විය හැකිය.

පහත ඇත්තේ විකිපීඩියාව මිරිදිය පොකිරිස්සන් ගැන කියන දේය. ඉංගිරිසියෙන් මිරිදිය පොකිරිස්සන් හඳුන්වන්නේ Crayfish ලෙසිනි. එහෙත් අපේ අමුත්තා එහි පැණෙන සියළු ඡායාරූපයන්ට වඩා වෙනස් වෙයි. මේ සත්‍ය වශයෙන්ම පොකිරිස්සෙක්ද යන සංශය තවමත් මසිත ඇත්තේ එනිසාය. දිවි විදු තතුදත්තෝ වැරදිනම් නිවැරදි කරත්වා!

Crayfish, crawfish, or crawdads — members of the superfamilies Astacoidea and Parastacoidea — are freshwater crustaceans resembling small lobsters, to which they are related. They breathe through feather-like gills and are found in bodies of water that do not freeze to the bottom; they are also mostly found in brooks and streams where there is fresh water running, and which have shelter against predators. Most crayfish cannot tolerate polluted water, although some species such as the invasive Procambarus clarkii are more hardy. Crayfish feed on living and dead animals and plants.

In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, the term crayfish or cray generally refers to a saltwater spiny lobster, of the type Jasus that is indigenous to much of southern Oceania, while the freshwater species are usually considered a yabby, or a koura, from the Indigenous Australian, and Māori, names for the animal respectively.

වැඩි විස්තර සඳහා බලන්න: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crayfish

Ajith P. Perera is back: Thank you all who made the FIRST BLOGGER POLITICIAN top in Kalutara District

Ajith PV

I make this blog post after a long interval. I guess my readers understand why. An election campaign is no joke. It absorbs all the time and effort one can afford. For a first timer it is even more arduous. For two months, the number of hours I slept dropped to four.

It was fun though. Especially when you top the district in preferential votes. It was a true victory for a first timer. Enough had been said already, so I need not repeat. I just express my profound thanks to everyone who helped me in achieving that. That includes the hate bloggers, for reason they better understand, created false accusations thinking that would stop me. Jealousy knows no bounds – so I am not surprised.

Yes, UNP did not win any three of the districts. Again I do not intend elaborating. Adequate to say that a political party is a group. When you are a mere cog in a machine little you can do to change a system. I hope now the people of Kalutara district have decided that I should no more be a mere cog. That is why they gave me this power. No predictions now, but I can assure you I am not going to sit there and wait. CHANGE is what you believe in and CHANGE is what you get. In UNP and in country. Trust me.

I have also proved that I blog not for votes, but to voice my opinion. I have always been against the war, against the corruption and the tyranny of the present government. It is not because I am a UNPer, it was because what Kurakkan does is against any civilized norms. I am happy to see the outcome. The voice we made forced Kurakkan uncle avoiding genocide. If not for that and the right international intervention, at least 100,000 innocent Tamil civilians would have been six feet under the ground by now. In a way, we did a favour for Kurakkan uncle. In not, by now his name would have gone to the annals of history along with Pol Pot. I am determined to continue that debate.

I also thank all my well wishers, most of them I know only through online. I am sorry if I missed responding to individual e-mails.

A long journey has just begun. I invite you to join that difficult journey.

Change UNP; Change the Nation

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This is not the type of the post I thought I would make. Politicians don’t SWOT analysis their parties on the net. Barack Obama discusses everything under the sun, but not the Democratic Party issues.

Ajith P. Perera too is very much a part of United National Party. So everyone expects Ajith P. Perera to debug the system before opening his mind in public.

On the other hand, what the heck? This is the age of openness. UNP itself stands on the very pillars of democracy and pluralism. It encourages, not suppresses dissent views. Thus I guess a dosage of straight talk does no harm. Not even at a point Ajith P. Perera is standing for public office. (I am waiting for my number to make the big announcement!)

Added to that some readers, most long term supporters of UNP, have raised genuine concerns about the future of UNP. I have an obligation to answer them.

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Is there anything wrong with UNP?

UNP has not shown a creditable performance in a series of recent elections. This will positively change in the forthcoming Western Provincial Council elections, but I will come to that later. For the moment let us only focus on past performance.

It is easy to provide excuses. SLFP shamelessly abuse public resources in its election campaigns; state media offers virtually no space for opposition while private media is threatened to follow suit; some self-concerned UNPers have already crossed the floor to badmouth their former colleagues. The list is endless.

In spite of all that, we cannot solely blame external factors for our poor performance. The genuine UNP supporters like to see the dawn of another JRJ or Premadasa era. When they see we don’t deliver, they feel annoyed. I do not blame them. We are not perfect. We need to find what’s wrong and address.

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Where we have gone wrong?

The opinions vary.

A large section seems to think that UNP should blindly support Kurakkan uncle’s war agenda to earn its popularity. I vehemently disagree.

Firstly, why UNP, the only political party with a clear stance on the ethnic issue follow others’ formulae? UNP fervently opposes terrorism of any kind, but simultaneously believes the long term solution to ethnic issue can only be political. ‘Military solution’ is an oxymoron. War victories by the current regime will only be meaningful if supplemented with corrective measures to age old Tamil grievances. Otherwise, terrorism will soon raise its ugly head behind another acronym. Elimination of JVP in 1971 in a genocidal manner did not prevent Sinhala youth taking arms two decades later. Why should that change for Tamil youth? As long as breeding grounds exist, procreate the mosquitoes.

Secondly, the extended intentions of war agenda are dangerous and damaging to the nation in the long run. The war is not just to eliminate LTTE (if so, UNP finds no problem backing it) but also a long list that includes human rights of the Tamils in North and East; Tamil political parties first and the entire opposition later; any dissent voices including those of journalists and eventually the very foundation of democracy. All what Kurakkan uncle wants it to create Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe type dictatorship and continue the legacy of feudal rulers.

Sorry, No. Whatever the name, UNP has no intention of blindly supporting such a feudal dictatorship. We stand for democracy and not feudalism.

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The policies of United National Party are crystal clear. They remain largely unchanged from the D. S. Senanayake days and will not change in the foreseeable future. Let me repeat in a nutshell and as I understand.

1. Unity and Equality: United National Party, as its name rightly suggests, is the party of united nationalistic political forces. UNP believes in equality. We do not think one’s ethnicity, race, gender, religion or any other attribute should stand in the way him/her enjoying citizens’ rights and privileges. We believe the country belongs to all Sri Lankans, and not to one ethnic or religious group.

2. Devolution of Power: UNP believes in an undivided (Eksath) Lanka; but not necessarily a system that concentrates power in Colombo. We have seen the flaws of such Colombo-centric governance and introduced Provincial Councils as a solution, which SLFP and JVP initially rejected, but now faithfully follow. We believe in devolving power, not only to Tamils in North but to Sinhalese in Hambanthota as well, instead of accumulating it in the hands of dictators. We believe empowering people not only at regional level but every stratum.

3. Economy: We believe in free markets; liberalization and globalization. We do not espouse unrealistic socialist dreams. We trust the private sector for its abilities. We do not equate suppressing the private sector to nation building. Economy has always thrived under previous UNP governments and there is no doubt it will continue to do so under a future UNP government.

4. Poverty Alleviation: Nobody understands the necessity of poverty alleviation than the UNP. We do not think poverty can be eliminated by redistributing public wealth. UNP had once spearheaded the most effective poverty alleviation program in Sri Lanka, under President Premadasa. What we look for is that. Beat poverty by creating more and more employment opportunities. Let poor stand on their own feet.

5. Employment Generation: UNP strongly believes more and more employment opportunities are the only way towards prosperity. It plans to achieve full employment by developing the private sector and not fattening the already overloaded government structure. To stimulate private sector growth UNP will also give utmost importance to infrastructure building. These may not be the highest priorities in populist agendas but we think in long term and not just the next six years.

I guess all UNP lovers should be proud that in spite of the immense pressure that we still stick to our original principles. We have no intention of changing these policies to enter the populist game.

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If not policies, what can be the problem?

As I understand UNP faces serious organizational issues. That happens not just in political parties, but they are more vulnerable. SLFP underwent a similar period when in opposition. It won only 8 seats in 1977 election under the leadership of Sirima Bandaranaike. It could not come out of that misery for 17 long years. However, under the new popular leadership of Chandrika Bandaranaike, it did not take long for SLFP to regain the lost steam.

The poor performance at the recent Provincial Council elections was nothing but a symptom of poor organization. While working in the Eastern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces I have witnessed this firsthand. I visited many areas untouched till then. Given time limitations, even I could not visit so many areas. We surely need more man power. Strong and committed organisaers at ground level was the need of the hour of UNP at the Provincial Council elections. We could have obviously done much better with a stronger organization.

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So, what is the solution?

Fortunately we see the remedial measures are already on the way and an improvement of the situation. Western Provincial Council will be the Waterloo for SLFP. UNP is geared to easily win all three districts. We have a solid unbeatable organization in most areas. The challenge is only to repeat that victory at the next Provincial council elections, to be followed by the General Election.

What UNP seriously need are true leaders who can make that victory happen. Fortunately we see many dynamic leaders emerging from the Western Province. This phenomenon needs to be replicated in the other parts of the country. That needs Change; stating from the Change in the way we act.

Barack Obama could make that Change within a period of one year. What made the ‘One woman race’ to end with a first American-African in White House was his sheer determination and organization. I see the same happening in the UNP now.

We are ready to Change the nation. Before that we need to Change UNP.

Let us start with the Western Province.