Prof. Rajiva urges President Sirisena to sack Ranil immediately


Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to immediately remove Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister and replace him with someone acceptable to the Joint Opposition (JO).

Folowing is the text of a statement titled "A Way Forward" issued by Prof. Wijesinha:

The election results are a stunning repudiation by the people of both branches of the current government. They also reveal a dislike, except in a few urban areas, of adherence to economic policies ostensibly derived from the West but accompanied by massive corruption and a neglect of social justice that the West, except perhaps for Donald Trump, would find abhorrent.

Obviously, we need change, but everyone has to accept that the President has 20 months more to go and even his worst enemies would not want him to go now because he might be replaced by the worst possible choice this country has faced. But, the President must realise that, if only to justify his election on principles of good governance, he must immediately get rid of the Prime Minister and replace him with someone acceptable to the Joint Opposition. I hope those elements in the UNP that are still honest will immediately bring to his notice the fact that they have no confidence in Mr Wickremesinghe, and urge a change.

As regards his own party, the President must accept that the destruction of the SLFP led UPFA began with his betrayal of the party in 2015, when he failed to work for a victory that would in fact have established his own supremacy on SLFP social principles accompanied by a commitment to wider consultation and democratic norms. His sabotaging that effort is what led to him being trapped in the current unholy alliance on adverse terms.

But, in the confused state he was in then, his fears were understandable if not justifiable, and he may yet make amends. He should stop seeking advice from those whose main motivation is a thirst for revenge, and instead work with those who are keen to take the party forward with due recognition of the popularity of the former President. At the same time Mahinda Rajapaksa should be generous in victory, and facilitate an interim government which carries out SLFP oriented policies, on the understanding that selection of the party’s candidate for the next Presidential election will be in the hands of a committee in which he plays the lead role.

And both together must ensure that Foreign Policy is immediately handed over to those who are proud of the way in which we defeated terrorism, not the current bunch of craven apologists for amoral Western political agendas.

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