Your timely editorial on Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (RW) GTV interview recently as correctly pointed out is bound to have devastating impact on Sarath Fonseka’s (SF) election campaign in the South while it meant to placate the Tamil voters, particularly in the North in his favour. Being well versed in this kind of double talk of the UNP leadership at different times, in different places calculated to win votes some how does convey to the average person an impression of untrustworthiness of the spokesman. When RW said at this interview that SF as the Army Chief had to carry out the orders of President Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) government within the time frame set and crushed the LTTE, SF was doing his job for the government, nothing more and nothing less. There is no love lost for the Tamils on the part of SF as army commander. Beautiful isn’t it! Further giving such comments in English makes it more beautiful when the target audience is English speaking Tamils and RW’s foreign masters. But when RW speaks to Sinhala audience in Sri Lanka, he makes no bones about SF’s heroic vote in crushing the LTTE in North and he alone was responsible for the final victory never mind others, including MR who made the political decision, and supported the war effort against the LTTE surmounting formidable challenges both at home and abroad.
Your editorial covertly cited the various instances where RW had ridiculed the army at war often in a tone of disgust if not feeling of utter jealousy of government victory.
After nominating SF as the UNP nominee for the presidential election RW began to praise to high heavens SF before the Sinhala voters as the national hero who won the war and secured peace. Sri Lankans are not gullible any more, today in this information age they read and analyse news and various stories flowing before they make up their minds.
However, it is a relevant to point out how the Tamil community itself would take up such glibe talk of the UNP and its leadership. They are well aware how the late Anton Balasingham saw RW as a cunning fox in political affairs. Prabhakaran himself did not trust him either and that is probably why he ordered a general boycott of the presidential election in 2005 November, denying the Tamil votes to RW.
Further Prabha did not have any faith in CFA he signed with RW, used the CFA period to strengthen his fighting by smuggling arm shipments now and then.
He probably knew the fate the Tamil community would face with UNF Government with their slavish link with a handful of western leaders, who are all out to interfere with internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
Prabha’s decision to give up peace talks with Rajapaksa government in 2006 and opting to go all out to war, was indeed a grave mistake on his part. Had Prabha continued with peace talks, the outcome might have been quite different because MR is different kind of leader and probably would have had different vision in these matters. The way MR had handled the humanitarian operation is good enough proof of the inherent humane side of the leadership. It is mainly the Tamil community in the North that will benefit directly from the massive development programme that MR government has drawn up for the next decade and the Tamil community must come forward to support the honest efforts of MR Government for speedy recovery and development. MR approach to the Tamil community is direct and never connive with foreign powers to solve domestic problems.
Instead he builds teams among local stake-holders to address issues and find solutions.
This is the main difference between MR and RW in political leadership.