Open letter to the Elected Representatives of the UNP…

Association of Former UNP Parliamentarians | Published on October 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

Introduction

We all entered politics at various points of our lives not because we wanted to serve our kith and kin but the people. All of us have been elected at the levels which we chose as our strong domain, be it Parliament, Provincial Council, Municipality, Urban Council or Pradesheeya Sabha. Our areas of influence and work differed only in degree but our unwavering commitment has always been the same. Elections remain the common thread that runs through the fabric of representative politics. And it is in this domain that we have suffered mostly as a Party since 1994, after a seventeen year-long stay in power.

Let us examine the results of the three UNP strongholds: Mahanuwara, Nuwara Eliya and Colombo.

Mahanuwara

Mahanuwara

Year

UNP

PA/UPFA

 

Votes

%

No. Elected

Votes

%

No. Elected

2002

29241

69%

17

10324

24%

5

 

2011

20087

43%

10

23189

50%

13

plus(+)/minus(-)

minus(-) 6154

minus(-) 17%

minus(-) 7

plus(+) 12865

plus(+) 26%

plus(+) 8

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Year

UNP

PA/UPFA

Votes

%

No. Elected

Votes

%

No. Elected

2002

8506

66%

7

970

8%

1

2011

5781

42%

3

6275

46%

6

plus(+)/minus(-)

minus(-) 2726

minus(-) 24%

minus(-) 4

plus(+) 5305

plus(+) 38

plus(+) 5

Colombo.

Colombo

Year

UNP

 

 

PA/UPFA

 

 

 

Votes

%

No. elected

Votes

%

No. elected

2002

136845

58%

32

38002

16%

8

2011

101920

43%

24

77089

33%

16

plus(+)/minus(-)

minus(-)34925

minus(-)8%

minus(-)-8

plus(+) 39087

plus(+) 17

plus(+) 8

The number of UNP councilors came down from 32 to 24, and if you call this a victory, we dread to think what a defeat would look like! Statistics don’t lie and we have to face this bitter truth. The UNP vote bank has been progressively decreasing ever since 1994. And this is in our strongholds, not the hinterland of our country where the results are a total electoral massacre for the UNP.

Parliament

In Parliament we had 94 MPs in 1994, though only 43 at present. More than 60 UNP Parliamentarians have crossed over to the government Party. Our vote bank has shrunk from 3.4 million to 2.3 million while that of the PA/UPFA has shot up from 3.8 to 4.8 million. We came down from 44% to 29% while the UPFA went up from 49% to 60%. Of the present 60-member Cabinet of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Cabinet, 15 (25%) are UNPers who have crossed over after 1994.

 

No. of elected

No. Crossed from UNP to PA/UPFA UNP cross-over in Cabinet
 

UNP

PA/UPFA

 

 

1994

94

105

 

2011

43

144

60+

15 (25%)

 

No. of Votes

 

UNP

PA/UPFA

1994

3.5 million

3.9 million

 

2011

2.3 million (29%)

4.8 million (60%)

Reduction

1.2 million

 
Increase   1 milliom

Is this a situation we can be proud of? But if we keep silent, when the Day of Judgment arrives, we will have no place to run to. In the meantime, the so-called disciplinary action taken against two of our hardest-working party members, Buddhika Pathirana, Matara District MP and Shiral Lakthilaka, Western Provincial Councilor is both lamentable and laughable. It is laughable because at a time when the Party has to show unity, the present leadership has taken the most imprudent step of suspending its members. It is apparent that the Leadership has been intimidated by some vested interests. It is lamentable because when our commitment to fighting the draconian laws of the Rajapaksa regime has to be sharpened with each passing cherish day; our energies are sapped away in unnecessary battles in our own backyard against arbitrary actions of our leaders.

What happened to that great Party?

We are all wondering as to whatever happened to our great Party. The Party that brought Independence to our people, gave free education to our children, brought the Mahaweli waters to the village Kamathas and granted freehold land through Swarnabhumi program. The Party that offered shelter by way of a massive housing scheme, facilitated poverty alleviation through Janasawiya and educated our undergraduates through Mahapola scholarship program. We gave television to the country and freed the country of the archaic economic shackles so that everybody was given an equal opportunity to sustain himself and improve his livelihood. We opened the overseas job markets in the Middle-East and elsewhere. So what really led to the present decay? It is not only the leadership that is responsible for the decline of our Party. We all must take responsibility.

Time for Action

So it’s time that we took remedial action and it should be done now- not next year, not next month, not next week but now and today.  All the unwise acts of the present leadership point only in one direction: We need a change. Whether that change is in the leadership or elsewhere has to be decided later but change we must. We have only two options: a) accept the status quo and keep rotting away in the murky waters of opposition politics or b) make a change and be ready and equipped to undertake the daunting task of countering the oppression of the current regime and contribute to the formation of a UNP government. And we will do it in all earnestness and commitment. Let us do it not only as individuals but also as a collective body so that we can walk the streets with our heads held high as UNPers.

Our Appeal

Therefore, we appeal to you, in the name of our forefathers who sacrificed their blood, sweat, tears and labor, to wake up from this benumbing slumber and demand from the Party hierarchy a change- a change that we all can believe in.

In the next few days, a party stalwart well-known to you from your own area will contact you and brief you as to what is exactly required from you. We trust that you will open your eyes and respond positively.

Time to act is now, not next year, not next month or next week; not even tomorrow, it’s now, today. Take action now and then only you will have carved out your own future and proven your worth. Generations to come will cherish your action.

Association of Former UNP Parliamentarians

 

 



3 Comments to “Open letter to the Elected Representatives of the UNP…”

  • As someone who was closely and publicly associated with a great UNP President — Ranasinghe Premadasa– and risked his life for that association; also as someone who took a public stand in the mass media against the UNP candidate at three Presidential elections (’99, 2005, 2010) at which the UNP lost; and finally as a trained and credentialed political scientist, I wish to make the following observation:

    The Sri Lankan political system is a PRESIDENTIAL system, which means that whatever be the econmic situation, it finally comes down to a choice that the voter has to make, NOT between two PARTIES but between two PERSONS/PERSONALITIES. As long as the UNP retains its present leadership (and especially as long as Sri Lanka is under visible pressure from a Tiger flag waving Diaspora plus its Western backers), it is doomed to defeat– it is foreordained to be defeated- after which it proceeds to lose at the parliamentary and provincial levels. Since the party activists and voters instinctively know this, the campaign itself is always lacklustre, to begin with.

    The only logical conclusion is that the replacement of the present leader is the pre-condition, the pre-requisite, for any nationwide recovery of the moderate democratic mainstream opposition. It is not a SUFFICIENT condition but a NECESSARY one.

    One must have the clarity and courage to state this. Unfortunately, the valuable statement by the former UNP legislators fails in this respect. How can a party which cannot get rid of an ineffectual leader, hope to overcome far bigger obstacles and transform Sri Lanka, defending it from external challenges? The citizens will ask themselves that question.

    Of the available choices, Karu, Sajith or Rukman could do much better. If it is not done soon, the UNP won’t have to the time to rebuild, and the country’s economic marketplace will never have healthy competition. If, as a result, the oppositional impulses and the urges for change take the path of anarchy as in the late 1980s, it will only serve to entrench the incumbent regime, as the turmoil of the late ’80s only served to provide an environment for the retention of the UNP!

  • Main reason for the downfall of the UNP is the greed of some of the UNP politicians who could be purchased with the dirty money the rulers possess. These good for nothing fellows got elected with the unp votes and betrayed the trust of the poor voters. Other thing is the indicipline of the remaining idiots who are still in the party [some not all] who are carrying out contracts to ruin this party.Intelligent voters are disgusted with their shenanigans. People who cross over to the govt. for perks are mainly responsible for this situation. They have no love for the party or the voters who put them there. Don’t forget. All this is temporary. Wheel keeps turning. Let them see what’s going around the world.

  • Very good move. Let publish this statistics in so called national news papers in Sri Lanka as paid advertisements.

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Letter

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Open letter to the Elected Representatives of the UNP…

Introduction We all entered politics at various points of our lives not because we wanted to serve our kith and kin but the people. All of ...