Among failures, here are my comments on the following:
Nevertheless, Ranil Wickremesinghe is not the sole cause for the defeat of Sajith Premadasa. Some (not all) of other salient failures are listed below:
(1) Distressing lack of organization (there was hardly any Sinhalese-Buddhist-electorate or district, except perhaps Nuwara Eliya district, had running Party machinery for a successful election campaign) – Agree
(2) UNP losing its brand with the majority of Sinhalese Buddhists.
I don’t agree. Ranil is more broad-minded and progressive than politicians, except perhaps Mangala Samaraweera. He is not like Mahinda or Gota who speaks about Buddhists and Non-Buddhists. His approach is secular.
(2) Nationalism being still an ingrained part of our voter-psyche, the UNP is far too divorced from the average voter-likes and dislikes.
I don’t agree. By nationalism, if it is meant Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinism then Ranil is indeed guilty for not speaking like Mahinda/Gota who speak in terms of majority Sinhalese Buddhists Vs Tamil Hindus.
(3) Not delivering on the pursuit of alleged corruption thereby justifying the opponents’ claims of purity. MihI agree. But the Raja[aksas are more corrupt than Ranil. The latter turned a blind eye to corruption but he himself is not corrupt like Rajapaksa duo.
Bond-scam disgrace –
Yes I agree, but there was worse corruption in running Mihin Lanka. This public enterprise has never recorded an annual profit since its inception in 2007 and the accumulated loss as at 31 March 2016 was Rs. 17.27 billion as stated in a statement. It was managed by a close relative of Mahinda Rajapaksa. It ceased operation on 29 October 2016. This was a bigger scam than the Treasury Bond fraud.
(4) Sajith Premadasa being surrounded by a set of western-clad politicians (Mangala Samaraweera and Malik Samarawickrama)
Sajith Premadasa was greedy. Before winning the election he was bragging that he will appoint only for a first time Prime Minister! He was gullible enough to believe the beneficiaries of his housing projects will vote for him. After all the houses were built out of government money not out of his own pocket. One of the damaging statement he made was to say that he will contest the presidential elections whether the party gives him nomination or not. He slighted Ranil by the leader of the party by not giving him a chance to address the meeting where the party released its manifesto. That showed Sajith’s class and breeding. His behaviour was that of someone who has already won the election on his own right. An aspiring party leader should have humility and allow their followers to be in the limelight.
(5)Although Sajith made a valiant effort to ‘relate’ to the average voter, the average voter apparently did not ‘relate’ to him Over-dependence on the part of Sajith on his 150 mass meetings instead of exercising a close watch on the decentralized campaign in the districts and electorates (had the attendance at mass rallies were a reliable indication, Sarath Fonseka would have won the 2009 Election)
I agree. He unnecessarily dragged his father’s name who is despised by a section of the government.
Ranil is prone to indecisiveness. Discipline in the party deteriorated beyond redemption. He never learnt any lessons from the past that led to him being dubbed as a serial loser. Not bold to take difficult decisions. Always vacillating like in the Bill that introduced a new system to elect members to Local Authorities. That was an unmitigated disaster. Ranil was also instrumental in doubling the number of elected members to LAA8708 from 4327 burdening an already depleted Treasury.
In Western countries leader of the Party that loses the election gracefully resigns his post and a new leader is elected by party members/delegates. This is not the case in Ceylon, one reason there is a dearth of educated, talented and able members in the party.