An Open Letter to Ranil Wickremesinghe
My dear Ranil,
I hope this letter finds you well.
I was thrilled to watch your interview on DW News.
I have long been a fan of Mr Bean, so I was automatically thrilled to see you lashing out at the interviewer. Anyway, who wouldn’t be thrilled to see an angry Mr Bean on TV?
I bet your polling rates how now gone up in the Sinhala South. I can imagine Sinhala Buddhist extremists cheering at you as you walk through the streets of Medamulana, or Buddhist monks bowing to you as you enter Kelaniya Vihara.
Obviously, your buddy Percival Mahendra Rajapaksa must be getting worried. It’s an open secret that you are lashing out at Western media and talking tough so you can win the presidential election next year. But the million dollar question is why do you even need to worry about winning the presidential elections when you became the president without even winning the parliamentary elections?
I mean you never won a single presidential election. You lost to Chandrika twice; and then to your buddy Mahendra once. You then decided to at least become the prime minister by nominating Fonseka, then Sirisena. Even Sajith was an impediment to your ambition of becoming the president of Sri Lanka.
Then came the general election of 2020. You couldn’t even win in your constituency. But ‘HEY PRESTO’ and flash forward to 2022, you had become the president of Sri Lanka!
So, why don’t you sit back and relax whilst another Tom, Dick or Harry becomes the next president? I mean, Sri Lanka’s economic troubles are far from over and the next president is obviously not going to uplift the country from poverty. If you sit tight, fingers crossed, there might even be another Aragalaya. And then ‘HEY PRESTO’ you could become president again.
Anyway, I admired your courage in asking the interviewer whether he considered Sri Lankans to belong to the second class. It was very exciting to see you wiping your fingers on your trousers. Perhaps you could have carried a handkerchief. This way, you could have wiped the sweat dripping from your fingers on the handkerchief, rather than on your trousers. But then, it would have been difficult to point your finger at the interview so it does make sense that you weren’t carrying one.
After watching your interview I wondered whether you had been reading books about the Tamil struggle. The Aragalaya protesters burned down all your precious books so I assumed you must have been buying some books on Amazon and some of those about the Tamil struggle must have accidentally ended up on your book shelves. Otherwise, how could have known about the term ‘second class’?
For seventy-five years, your party — and all Sinhala Buddhist parties that came to power — have treated the Tamils as second class citizens; or even worse, not as citizens at all! Did the UNP consider the Upcountry Tamils as the citizens of Ceylon when it de-citizenised and disenfranchised them? Or did the UNP even treat the Tamils as human beings when it massacred thousands of Tamils? It was your party that planned and executed the Black July Holocaust. If it wasn’t for your support, would your buddy Mahendra have been able to win the war? Of course not. So, the blood of nearly one hundred and fifty thousand Tamils who were massacred in Mullivaikal remains on your hands.
So, it came as a shock to me when I saw you uttering the words ‘second class’.
Anyway, how are you planning on dealing with the accusations made by Channel Four? It’s clear from your interview that you have no intention of agreeing to an international inquiry. When have you ever agreed to holding an international inquiry, anyway?
If you even send the CID to Nandasena or Percival’s home, your government would be toppled in that instant. So, the only choice left for you is to do a bit of dancing around your commissions and parliamentary committees until everyone slowly begins to forget about the Easter bombings.
The world may even forget about Channel Four’s revelations if you manage to confine the Rajapaksas to Medamulana. But can you do that and remain in power?
That’s going to be your dilemma.
You know very well that you can’t have the cake and eat it.
But who knows, you are Machiavelli when it comes to politics! I am sure you will find a way to stay in power until the next presidential election, and then renew your presidency for another five years.
Leaving politics aside, how is Maithree — I mean your wife? We hear that she has been complaining that you have not been devoting your time for the family. I hear that she is not happy that you have a bed in your office in the Sri Lankan parliament. Your blood must be boiling that Hirunika has made these revelations.
I know you must be very busy juggling with hundreds of tasks. I can’t stop laughing every time I imagine Mr Bean being busy.
Don’t forget to write back to me.