Thurseday review by Upul Josepfernando
During J.R. Jayawardane’s reign, the lawyer who defended Sri Lankan hijacker Sepala Ekanayaka, who hijacked the Italian Alitalia plane, rose to prominence overnight. Nimal Siripala de Silva before that, was an assistant lawyer in Mrs Bandaranayake’s defense team when J.R Jayawardane appointed a prudential commission to strip Mrs. Bandaranayake of her civic rights. Nimal Siripala defended Sepala Ekanayaka because Ekanayaka was a star within the opposition circles at the time.
During that era many lawyers were more left aligned politically. Nimal Siripala too was in that camp. through the presidential commission he became closer to Mrs. Bandaranayake and entered to politics. Mrs. Bandaranayake made him the Colombo district Boralla electorate organiser.in 1989 general elections Nimal Sripala got elected as a Colombo district MP for SLFP.
In 1989 during the Premadasa regime he was a key speaker in in the parliament who voiced against terror and corruption. Mostly hisvoice raised his voice was raised against corruption. SLFP was divided during that era in to three fractions; one Mrs Bandaranayake, one Anura, and the other as chandrika fraction. Nimal was with Mrs Bandaranayake but had strong ties with Anura and Chandrika as well.His notable strength was that.
He is not a controversial character. During Premadasa’s government he became controversial when he raised the voice against the rotten rice packets distributed to the participants of ‘missing and displaced parents and children’s at the new town hall. other than that no one ever spoke high about him but it was well known who ever comes to power Mrs Bandaranayaka , Anura or chandrika he was tipped to get a ministerial position.
In 1994 wining the provincial council election Chandika became the chief Minister Nimal slowly scooted away from Mrs. Bandaranayake and joined Chandrika. She offered him a powerful ministry in the government. During 1994 – 2004 he served Chandria.
When Chandrika liberated Jaffna he travelled to Jaffna and address the massed about the development projects of Jaffna and had a narrow shave from suicide bomber attack.
He was a minister from 1994 to 2003 he lost a ministrial portfolio in 2002 when Ranil came to power that too for a short period of about two to three years. In 2004 he became a minister again. when SLFP and JVP coalition government reached the last stages Nimal saw Chandrika’s end as well. He tried his best to prevent an Presidential election in 2005 and retain Chandrika as the President to hold a ministerial position.
Chandrika believed him so much and once when vimukthi Kumarathunga oreganised press briefing about annimal cruelty she get vimukthi to be seated along with Nimal Siripala. Mangala was her close ally buy at this point she believed Nimal Siripala.
Reason for this he was not so pally with his contemporary Mahinda Rajapakse and in the 2004 coalition government Nimal was against JVP power within the government. But Nimal felt by 2004 Mahinda would become the Presidential candidate and he left Chandrika and got closer to Mahinda.
He was among other stalverts who was expecting to become the Prime minister in Mahinda’s government. Since Mithree , Mangalas did not became Prime Minister he too was happy with a ministerial position. But very soon when opposition raised with in the SLFP anainst Rajapakse power he was among that fraction.in early staged Rajapakses set Maithreepala and Nimal Siripala against each other but in Baratha Laksman murder he stood against Duminda Silva and joined Maithree. In this anti Rajapakse force first to deal with UNP to topple Rajapaksa government and negotiate with foreign embassies first was not Mithree it was Nimal Siripala.
Ranil knew this he wanted to become the President and make Nimal Siripala prime minister. Nimal loved this. But when he knew the presidential candidate is Maithree he changed immediately knowing he will not be the Prime Minister.
In 2015 just before the Presidential election he was instrumental to organise the meeting with Mahinda and Venerable Sobitha thero aiming to abolish the Presidency to become the prime minister under Mahinda government. .
After Mahinda was defeated in 2015, he led the effort to appoint Maithree as the SLFP leader, if only to gain the opposition leadership because he was unable to obtain a Ministerial position. Maithree and Ranil agreed to give him the leadership of the opposition. But instead of angering Mahinda, he used him to win the 2015 elections.
Following the 2015 general elections, he joined the UNP-SLFP government in order to obtain a ministerial position. He worked closely with Ranil, not Maithre, in that government. That is, to safeguard his Ministerial position and to function freely in it.
He publicly chastised Ranil and instigated Maithree against Ranil because Mahinda desired it. He understood that if he was to win the next elections and enter parliament, the man of the hour was Mahinda. In the 2019 constitutional coup, he left Ranil and was appointed Minister by Mahinda.
After the coup failed, he attempted to retain his Ministerial position, but with the 2019 elections approaching, he had no choice but to join forces with Mahinda.
He was given a powerful ministry following the 2019 presidential election. He left Mahinda and went to Gota. Following the collapse of the economy, Gota’s all-party government conference was instrumental in bringing Ranil to participate . Ranil stated this openly at the conference.
With the collapse of the economy, the SLFP decided to leave ministerial portfolios, and he reluctantly agreed to this party decision, knowing full well that if he left the SLFP and joined the SLPP, Rajapakse would ignore him and offer him a minor ministry.
He demanded a Ministry from Rajapakse’s to control the SLFP, and when Mahind left as Prime Minister, he expected to succeed him. He didn’t like Dilan or anyone else from the SLFP getting that position. The Rajapakse family did not consent to anyone other than Rajapakse becoming Prime Minister of the SLFP or SLPP.
Expectations of Rajapakse and NImal were met as a result of a plot devised by Nimal and Rajapakses. Nimal was overburdened with the task of controlling SLFP during this appointment. If Rajapakse’s political career comes to an end, he intends to make Ranil Prime Minister and become Prime Minister.
Nimal Siripala will have served as a Member of Parliament for 30 years by 2024. It is currently 28. He was not a minister during these 28 years from 2002 to 2004 and for a few months in 2015. As the opposition leader, he had ministerial access for a few months.
If Modi captured Sri Lanka tomorrow, Nimal would be a Minister. Sajith, the opposition leader, put an end to his Minister mania. That was the first time he revealed Nimal Siripala’s corrupt transaction. At a critical juncture when Sri Lanka required assistance, Japan’s friend Nimal Solicited bribes.
This charge was levelled by Japan itself. Sajith, the opposition leader, exposed Nimal’s damage. Ranil would never expose Nimal in this manner if he were the opposition leader. That’s because Nimal has had shady dealings with Ranil since 1994, when he was with Chandrika, Mahinda, Mithree, and Gota.
This is why, since 1994, the UNP has attacked many people but never Nimal Siripala. Nimal, on the other hand, never brawled with the UNP to cover his tracks. When Mahinda announced his resignation as Prime Minister, he openly stated that opposition leader Sajith should be the next Prime Minister.
That is to be a minister in Sajith’s cabinet. But after learning that Rajapakse does not want Sajith to become Prime Minister, he backed Ranil.
Nimal’s first corruption charge would not have been this because, thanks to Ranil, he has remained a pure politician for the past 28 years.
Sajith revealed that there are no political deals within SJB and exposed NImal.
He will have to leave politics as a person who has done significant harm to the country.
Nimal Siripala is a good lesson for politicians who do not give opportunities to young people
and regard politics as their own property, aspiring to Ministerial positions.
Ranil had shady dealings with during Candrika, Mahinda, Mithree, and Gota period with Nimal.
This is why, since 1994, the UNP has attacked many people but never Nimal Siripala.
Nimal, on the other hand, never brawled with the UNP to cover his tracks.
When Mahinda announced his resignation as Prime Minister, Nimal openly stated that
opposition leader Sajith should be the next Prime Minister. That is to be a minister in Sajith’s cabinet.
But after learning that Rajapakse does not want Sajith to become Prime Minister, he backed
Upul Joseph Fernando!