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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2347

Champika R's ‘Chargesheets’ Ranil W

By A Patabendige

Champika Ranawaka while serving as a minister in Mahinda Rajapakse’s government had in lightning haste published a 78 page ‘book’ after the terrorist conflict ended in 2009.

It had about 25 pages of pictures. It includes Ranawaka’s scurrilous statements about his opinion as to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe’s attitudes to Sinhala Buddhists. Ranil has not challenged it. Judging by their new friendship for each other it appears not to have even provoked Ranil W.

The question that must then be asked is why so? Is it acceptable in ‘Yahalpana’ which promised so much on race and religion for its PM to be so labeled? Or is this a shared fear of the developing danger?

The ‘book’, more like a pamphlet, was unambiguously titled the ‘Charge of the Lion Brigade’ .It appeared to reduce the 30 year conflict to defeat terrorism that left about 100,000 dead into a communal struggle. When the call of almost all the people after the conflict ended was for true not imaginary peace, (aka CFA) and reconciliation, out comes Ranawaka deliriously beating communal drums. It gave a racial tinge if not a twist to the ‘Tiger’ tail to describe the defeat of the LTTE by Ranawaka’s ‘Lions’. Ranawaka will have readers believe that his JHU minions with their mouths did as much as the battling battalions to achieve that victory.

The peace that was won in 2009 appears now to have been converted to daily street battles in Colombo. Police firing tear gas, baton charging youth, using water canon with tremendous enthusiasm and monumental traffic chaos appear to be the order of every working day.

Ranawaka despite being a minister in the ‘unity’, ‘rainbow’ Yahapalana’ government appears to have a fear and distrust of those not belonging to his race and religion. He has without provocation or adducing proof unequivocally recklessly stated as follows on page 16 of his “Charge”: “Ranil Wickremasinghe having come to power (PM in 2001) showed his inherent hatred towards the Sinhalese and especially the Sinhalese Buddhists”. That’s a blinder coming from a high profile Minister of the ‘Y’ government in 2015. What condition, hold or alliance allows Ranawaka to survive if the hate is inherent?

Enjoying the benefits of liberation that the Forces won for SL in 2009, Ranawaka stepped mightily on the communal gas pedal (pg 22). He says Ranil Wickremasinghe ‘had been emotionally black mailed and intimidated by the elite and eminent persons close to them’. He does not elaborate. No names of ‘elites’ are given while the search is still on for the ‘eminent persons’. He has also listed several SL Presidents no less who he thinks were as seriously affected as Ranil. Very significantly he has excluded Mahinda Rajapakse from his wanted poster! That was in 2009. Has he too joined the ‘elites’ now, what with his Megopolis drones and chants?

Having changed horses to cross the Diyawanna, has Ranawaka screwed up on Ranil? Implausibly Ranil appears not to bother. Is he swimming in Ranawaka’s wake?

These observations didn’t stop public exhibitions of continuous mutual back slapping. The minister in shining ‘pure’ white accompanied PM Ranil W (undisguised) to a Sinhala Buddhist temple in Colombo on Vesak day 2017. What price unity, sincerity, integrity, hypocrisy and Yahapalana?

Interestingly PM Ranil met with Myanmar’s Mrs. Aung San Soo Kyi at the China Belt and Road summit in May 2017. Did he meet her because she was at one time an International Community and BBC pin up for the former Imperialists in Asia? Did he get BBC and BBS mixed up after chilling out with Ranawaka? Had he overlooked that the lady is responsible for the brutal treatment including massacres of her country’s Rohingiyas? What was the message especially for SL’s and other countries’ Muslims? Had it any morality or moral courage? Was this for political expediency?

Why does Ranil befriend and reward Ranawaka despite the latter’s comments in his book? The latter’s colours are tattered and torn by his communal trouble makers in both the JHU and the BBS. Is Ranil waiting for them to be bloodied or blooded? Like in 1983 or was it in 1989?

By some coincidence the rabble rousing possibly genocidal monk Ashi Wirathu from Myanmar was in SL in 2014. According to an ex JHU top gun Gammanpillai (now in the JO), Ranawaka skipped an important JHU event to meet up with Wirathu who is shunned by the Myanmar clergy for his ferocious attacks on the same Rohingayas (Muslims) that the pretty Suu Kyi does not condemn.

Is there anyone in SL, far less a Prime Minister, who will tolerate such personal allegations as those made by Ranawaka and in print? Can anyone other than Ranawaka make such allegations, not apologise and yet become and continue to be a ministerial favourite too? This is something pathetic, strange and bewildering Is something being hidden from the people? Can such accommodation continue? What course of action will Ranil take now?

Note:

Ranawaka’s charging ‘Lion Brigade’ also grandiosely dropped among other famous names sprinkled all over his pamphlet that of Prussian General Clausewitz, author of the classic ‘On War’. Ranawaka however imagines Clausewitz was a German philosopher He quotes that ‘war is an extension of politics’. What was the purpose? Was it to give a boost to his political credentials? If so was it also an attempt to neutralize any General or lesser officer who may have stood in his political way?

Clausewitz actually joined the Prussian army as a Corporal and fought on the side of the Prussians and the Russians against Napoleon. He was later at the final battle of Waterloo under Prussian General Blucher. Has Ranawaka blundered and crashed, like the Light brigade, but into Wickramasinghe? Ranawaka did not know Clausewitz at all but he must know Wickramasinghe. Will he get an ‘extension’ to mess about with ‘Yahapalana some more or will he change horses again?

Ranawaka had at the end of the book labouriously paraphrased Tennyson’s immortal poem on that fatal and shambolic charge of the Imperial British Light Brigade in the open plains of Crimea. It ended in the decimation of the Light Brigade. It took all of 20 minutes. It was called ‘magnificent’ and ‘not war’ but also ‘madness’ by French General Pierre Bosquet who witnessed it. Of the 700 who charged on horseback only 195 returned. What it had to do with the final battles of the Eelam war in the tropical Mullativu jungles is not comprehensible. To include a patriotic poem about British imperial adventures about 160 years ago in a description of a 30 year terrorist conflict in a former colony shows how much more confusion there is in Ranawaka’s mind than in Raglan commanding the Light Division. It must also hurt Ranawaka’s nationalist credentials. It is also ridiculous and silly.

Could the author be suffering from xenophobia? The Heavy Brigade that followed was victorious- like our forces, unlike the ‘Light Brigade’ that Ranawaka the Sinhala Buddhist chose to eulogize?

Gotabaya Rajapakse was the chief guest at the launch of the madly ‘Charging’ book. Today having become a favored minister and also being a protector if not manipulator and dispatcher of the BBS, Ranawaka is one of the most spiteful critics of the Rajapakses. Even as the world changes Ranawaka has not. He still drives recklessly on the fast lane hoping to overtake everyone and every fate. All but Ranil it would appear, know.

- Asian Tribune -

Champika R's ‘Chargesheets’ Ranil W
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