Alliances in the offing

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My dear Sajith,

I am writing to you as you prepare for a year in which an election which can make you or break you will be held. The reason I am writing to you now is because we hear that you are planning to form an alliance with Dullas, GL and their crowd who call themselves the ‘Nidahasa’ or ‘Freedom’ group.

We know that elections are all about forming alliances when they are the best option and breaking away from alliances when you have to. Looking back, the decision you took to break away from the Green Party three years ago and form the ‘Telephone’ party was correct, as the results later showed.

When you broke away from the Grand Old Party, you took a majority of its members with you, except a few who remained loyal to Uncle Ranil. That was because he never wanted to relinquish his job as party chief. In hindsight, had you not formed the new party, most of you won’t be in Parliament now.

Uncle Ranil will probably never forgive you for breaking up his beloved Green party, but that was a bold move. That is why even those who were not from your party such as Champika and Welgama, not to mention those with their own parties, such as Rauf, Rishad and Mano also contested with you.

This time around though, Sajith, I am not so sure about your decision to team up with the ‘Nidahasa’ chaps. I say so because, in contrast to when you broke away from the Green party, you are trying to join forces with people who are not like-minded, in terms of their politics, policies and principles.

Consider, for instance, GL. He was first with Satellite, then joined Uncle Ranil for peace talks with the Tigers, reverted to Mahinda maama for the war and was then with Gota maama. He wants to join you now only because he proposed Dullas to run against Uncle Ranil and was booted out of Cabinet.

GL wants a link between your party and the ‘Nidahasa’ chaps but is that just because he wants to be PM or Foreign Minister? You have impressed us with your English, so you will know Shakespeare’s thoughts about those with a ‘lean and hungry look’: they “think too much: such men are dangerous”.

Then you have Dullas. You did a deal with him once, withdrawing from the race when Parliament elected the big boss. We hear he too wants the ‘No 2’ slot in any partnership. Well, try offering that to him and I can assure you the Field Marshall will respond with some Billingsgate and quit your party!

Then there is also Nalaka and Charitha, both with their own economic theories. Charitha is asking why there should be a separate party if you are planning to follow the same economic policy as Uncle Ranil? Take both of them in and trust me, Dr Harsha won’t be the happiest chap in your camp.

Channa from Rajarata is also knocking on your door. Despite being a Professor in Medicine, he made the outrageous claim about that Dr Shafi sterilising Sinhalese women. Medical experts in the relevant discipline said it was not physically possible to do so but this chap stuck to his story.

Since then, after enduring a lot of hatred and ridicule, the accused doctor was exonerated of all those charges, but  Channa’s initial claims went a long way to fan the flames of communalism against the Muslim community and helped Gota maama win an election. The Professor hasn’t apologised either.

Do you want to join hands with these racist types, Sajith? Won’t that give a message to voters that you endorse their views? Then, they will believe that there is little difference between you and the ‘Pohottuwa’ chaps. What will the parties representing other communities who are now with you, say?

You must also think of your backbenchers. If you include well-known people from the ‘Nidahasa’ camp on your list, surely some of your own will not get enough preferences and will miss out. Remember how Welgama displaced Ajith and Fowzie displaced Hirunika? Neither are with you now!

Don’t forget that Uncle Ranil is watching your every move and waiting to pounce on anyone who is unhappy in your camp. The ‘parachuting’ of popular ‘Nidahasa’  fellows and the uncertainty it creates to those already on your side will be just the opening he needs to poach them away from you.

Those from the ‘Nidahasa’ party were all part of the ‘Pohottuwa’  and said ‘Rajapaksa saranan gachchami’ for many years. That brand is now irreparably damaged. Do you seriously think you can win more votes with them? Or, will you end up losing more votes? Think about this, will you, Sajith?

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha

PS:  Remember your infamous remark about “Usa nam security, miti nam kamkaru” (a job in security if you are tall, labouring work if you are short)? So, if Dullas joins you, you will be ‘security’ and he will be ‘kamkaru’ but beware, if GL joins, he will be ‘security’ and you will be ‘kamkaru’!



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