From pillar to post
My dear Dayasiri,
I had to write to you this week when I heard the news that you had been sacked as secretary of the Blue party by Aiyo Sirisena. It takes a lot to dislodge a vote of no confidence against a minister and the controversial Channel 4 documentary from the headlines but you managed to do that, Dayasiri!
When you spoke to the media about what happened to you, what we saw was a sense of surprise, disbelief and shock. You said you treated Aiyo Sirisena like a father. Do fathers slit the throats of their sons, you asked. You had met him the same evening and he said nothing to you, you recalled.
Pardon me, Dayasiri, I am surprised that, as a seasoned politician, you are surprised at all. Aiyo Sirisena served as the Blue party’s longest serving secretary, was Mahinda maama’s ‘yes man’ for many years, said nothing while having a meal of hoppers with him – and then stabbed him in the back.
The day that he crossed over, Aiyo Sirisena was asked about becoming the so-called ‘common candidate’ against Mahinda maama. He laughed it off as nonsense. Later, on the same day, he crossed over. During that campaign he made us believe that Mahinda maama wanted him ‘six feet under’!
In the general election that followed, Aiyo Sirisena addressed the nation and told us that even if the alliance led by the Blue party won the election, he would never appoint Mahinda maama as his Prime Minister. Yet, just over three years later that is exactly what he did, sacking Uncle Ranil suddenly.
It was with the votes of Uncle Ranil’s Green party that Aiyo Sirisena became the big boss. Uncle Ranil criss-crossed the country urging people to vote for this mediocre son of the soil. All that meant nothing to Aiyo Sirisena. So, I am surprised that you are surprised about what happened to you.
Aiyo Sirisena judges others by his standards. As secretary of the Blue party, he betrayed his boss. So, when you spoke out on Blue party issues recently, he may have felt you were trying to betray him. Do you remember the pithy Sinhala saying which means ‘if you lie with dogs, you wake up with fleas’!
I do understand your frustration. There you were all these months, struggling to keep the Blue party active in the opposition when some of you like sleepy old Nimal and Mahinda Amarey shamelessly joined Uncle Ranil’s government defying a party decision not to accept any Cabinet positions.
Yet, here you are today, sacked from the party and the post of secretary while those who defied the party, sleepy Nimal, Amarey and others are welcomed back with open arms. So, you are right to feel angry and let down. However, my question to you; is the Blue party worth fighting for that much?
Indeed, the Blue party is still the party which has ruled paradise for the longest time. It did produce the world’s first lady Prime Minister. It had some glorious days. Still, all that is only history now, just like our 2500-year heritage we talk about every day. Aiyo Sirisena has ruined the party already.
Surely, Dayasiri, you don’t need to be a seasoned politician to know what Aiyo Sirisena wants now. That is a path to retirement where he won’t have to face millions of rupees in fines, criminal charges for negligence and even time in jail because of his incompetence during the Easter attacks.
In Paradise, where the wheels of justice turn in different ways for those in power and those in the opposition, the best way to ensure that is to join whoever Aiyo Sirisena thinks will form the next government. So, he is betting on Uncle Ranil doing that and putting all his eggs in that basket.
Dayasiri, don’t be surprised if, at the next election, Uncle Ranil, Mahinda maama and Aiyo Sirisena are on the same stage asking us to vote for the same candidate. Stranger things have happened in Paradise. Our gullible voters have accepted them readily. That is why we are in this mess today.
It is also not as if changing parties is something new to you. You started your political career with the Blues which was under Satellite, then joined the Greens under Uncle Ranil and entered Parliament, later crossed-over to serve under Mahinda maama only to return to the opposition camp at this time.
In that sense, the trajectory of your political career is remarkably similar to that of your first political ‘guru’, GL, who has done pretty much the same thing. He is not the greatest role model, so what I would advise you to do now Dayasiri, is to think about your own future, not that of the Blue party!
PS: You have said that you will not leave the Blue party. There was a time when you were in young Sajith’s camp and challenged uncle Ranil’s team. You lost to the other Daya then. Sajith does really need someone like you now. And, if you do join him, you will be following GL again!