25 November 2014

The Jathika Hela Urumaya decides

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) made a decision.  The party decided that those who hold various positions in the government will resign forthwith.  The party further decided that it will remain in Parliament as part of the ruling UPFA coalition. The party reserved the right to decide on a course of action in the event a presidential election is called, whether in such circumstances it would field its own candidate or support a ‘common opposition candidate’. 

The JHU made this move without a presidential election being called.  It did so before the Opposition came up with a ‘common candidate’.  As such it is a preemptive move as much as it is anything else.  How did they arrive at this juncture?  Well, IN A PARALLEL UNIVERSE they would divulge stuff.  Here’s what a pre-announcement conversation might have been like.

‘We cannot support Mahinda this time,’ Ven Athureliye Rathana thundered. 

‘Yes, you’ve said that many times, ape haamuduruwane,’ Udaya Gammanpila observed.  He added, ‘In fact you have with your caustic statements which have not been sanctioned by the party, trapped us into a process we can’t turn back from!’

‘You tell me, Udaya, on what grounds we can support a Government and a President that has failed to deliver on promises made on two occasions.  This time also they have promised.  We would look fools if we believed them.  So even if I was silent this is what we would have to do,’  Ven Rathana Thero defended himself.

‘What’s happened has happened.  We have to look ahead,’ Ven Omalpe Sobitha Thero wanted to infuse some sobriety to proceedings. 

‘Ok.  Let’s recap.  There is talk of a presidential election but it has not been announced.  The Opposition seems confused and unable to come up with a name that is acceptable to all stakeholders.  There’s no guarantee that the candidate they pick would be someone we can support.  If it is Ranil, then we can either boycott or field our own candidate.  If it is Karu, we could consider supporting him.  If it is…’ Champika Ranawaka wasn’t allowed to finish the sentence.

‘There’s no one else worth considering,’  Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe said. 
‘Correct,’ Champika continued.  ‘There are too many factors that are out of our control in this equation, I feel.’

‘Exactly!  That’s why we should not bother about those other factors,’  Ven Rathana Thero showed agitation and excitement quite at odds with the content of his bana deshana

‘That’s easy to say. We have to think about our political future,’  Udaya said.

‘Your political future?’  Nishantha asked with a sly grin. 

‘No, no, no.  The party’s political future.  The future of the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist movement.  Our ideology, out party constitution,’  Udaya quickly pressed his ‘political correctness’ button. 

‘The truth is we have no choice now.  True, we really didn’t expect the SLFP to jump up in joy about our proposals.  We know Basil, Dullas and others well enough to know what they want and how they calculate.  It was a proposal they just could not accept at this point.  The truth is we didn’t have a choice when we submitted the proposals either and that’s not because Rathana Haamuduruwo’s Pivithuru Hetak operations.  Anyway, now we have to make something out of this,’  Champika said.

And so they went into a long huddle.  And decided to call a press conference to announce the decision of the party. 

Late that night, ‘the team’ met up again at the Sadaham Sevana to assess the outcome.

Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. 

‘We ended up positioning ourselves ahead of the Opposition,’ Champika observed. 

‘Early days, though,’  as always Ven Omalpe Sobitha Thero’s was the voice of reason and calmness. 

‘I think Mahinda must be pleased,’  Udaya was going with “may all beings be happy,” one would think.   “After all, by taking a stand we are showing up the Opposition.  Their indecision and confusion seems even bigger now.  Therefore the gap between Mahinda and Whoever has expanded.’

‘But that makes us and our decision non-factors if there’s a presidential election, right?’  Nishantha was curious. 

‘Well, we don’t really hate Mahinda, do we?  We just don’t like him.  As long as the JHU acquires new value that can translate into a better performance in a General Election, why should we worry about Mahinda being re-elected?’  Udaya argued.

‘Hmmm….’ said Champika Ranawaka softly. 

‘We have only started!’  Ven Rathana was not ready to do a sit-back-watch. 

‘We started a long time ago and we have quite a long way to go,’  Ven Omalpe Sobitha Thero said quietly. 

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