How Basil joined with UNP in 1982

Hector Kobbekaduwa, the candidate of the left-wing parties led by the SLFP in the 1982 presidential election, didn’t give a damn about the D. M. Rajapakse family. The reason was that D.M. Rajapakse family members Mahinda, Basil, and the crowd were opposed to Kobbekaduwa running for president. At the time, these two were the best disciples of Anura, the crown prince of the Bandaranaikes, who had defected from the SLFP and returned to the SLFP with pleading words, “Mother, forgive me.”

When Anura broke the SLFP with Maitri, Basil went with him. When Anura returned to the SLFP, Basil followed suit. When they arrived, Vijaya-Chandrika was still in charge of the SLFP. Mrs. Bandaranaike was with Vijaya and Chandrika when Maithri-Anura broke the party. Mrs. Bandaranayake was protected by Vijaya and Chandrika when Maithri-Anura attempted to depose her.

 However, after a while, Vijaya and Chandrika were working with the communist party, which was Mrs. Bandaranayake’s arch enemy. Anura was brought back into the party to break Vijaya and Chandrika’s power. Anura arrived with Basil. Mrs. B. opposed making Kobbekaduwa the presidential candidate for the presidential election because Anura, Mahinda, and Basil were frightened her that if Kobbekaduwa won, she would lose the SLFP leadership.

Mahinda Rajapaksa worked day and night to prevent Kobbekaduwa from becoming the candidate. When nominations were called for the 1982 presidential election, there was a court case against the SLFP symbol and party headquarters. The Maithri-Anura gang had filed the case demanding the party symbol and headquarters.

If the symbol was denied as a fall back option Vijaya and Chandrika  were holding talks with, Dinesh Gunawardena’s People’s United Front to get the wheel symbol. Late at night, Mahinda took a message from Mrs.B to Dinesh asking not to give the wheel sign to Kobbekaduwa. Somehow the SLFP got the hand sign and the party headquarters. Vijaya and Chandrika managed to make Kobbekaduwa the candidate along with Ilangaratne, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake and Kularatne who were senior leaders of the party.

After Kobbekaduwa became the candidate, Anura, Mahinda and Basill worked round the clock to defeat Kobbekaduwa. The Mrs B also gave them encouragement. Kobbekaduwa was defeated. After the defeat, Basil Rajapaksa formed a party called Ruhunu Peramuna and joined the U.N.P. He joined the U.N.P saying that there is no need of a general election. After winning the presidential election, JR’s government labelled Vijaya-Chandrika and Kobbekaduwa as Naxalites and said to prevent the Naxalites from coming to the Parliament, let’s hold a referendum without a general election.

 Although they lost the presidential election, because Vijaya and Chandrika were holding power, of Anura, Mahinda, Basill, feared if an election is held Vijaya – Chandrika  would get 60 -70 seats  hence supported JR’s referendum saying that the Naxalite story of JR were true. The following is how ‘Dawasa’ newspaper reported the press conference held by Basil joining the U.N.P.

‘No other government has done as much service to the Southern Province as the current government of the United National Party. People have trusted this government due to proper leadership and working on a series of policies that work for the country. It is confirmed by the results of the presidential election. Since there is no real leadership and set of policies in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party today, people are starting to distance themselves from the party day by day. I decided to commit myself to the United National Party for the future good prospects of the people who are with us in Tissamaharama district.

Mr. Basil Rajapaksa said this at a press conference held yesterday morning at No. 28 Rosmid Place. Mr. Rajapaksa also said.

Some former ministers of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party put rice sticks, chili sticks etc. during the previous government in such a way that the people were suffering. No steps have been taken yet to correct the mistakes made by them and move the party forward. The United National Party takes care not to cause any harm to the people in doing such a thing and conducts activities in such a way that they feel the need for such a thing.

Under such circumstances, even the disagreements within the Bandaranaike family have hindered the party’s progress. During the selection of the candidate for the presidential election, there were various kinds of conflicts.


The name of Mr. Anura Bandaranaike was presented as the presidential election candidate of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party because he understood and approved the rightness of the free trade economic policy currently implemented by the current government. No matter how much personal relationship rivalry there is, this is not a personal decision taken by me, but a political decision taken for the safety of the rural people who have placed their hopes on us without allowing the poor people to suffer due to the unfortunate and chaotic situation in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party today. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa also mentioned that the Prime Minister and the MPs of Tissamaharama district have also accepted his decision.


Although he had to distance himself politically, who maintained a very close relationship with Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, he has personally informed Mr. Anura Bandaranaike of this decision.

Mr. Rajapaksa, who answered a question from the news writers said, he has no intention of re-joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party even if from Mr. Anura Bandaranayake  takes the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and reorganizes the party. According to the current situation, he said that he doubts whether Mr. Anura Bandaranaike will be allowed to take the leadership of the party in the future.

In 1952, the late Mr. Bandaranaike joined his father and formed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party with the support of the Pancha Maha Balawega. Due to the crisis situation in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party today and the lack of a single policy, the five major forces that supported the party then have almost completely distanced themselves from the party.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party strongly criticized the current government’s free economic policy in the last presidential election. But they did not put before the people the policies they hope to implement instead.

This time the people used their vote to continue the development work implemented by the current government.

Due to the Prime Minister’s Udagam concept, progress can be seen in every village today. The government has started schemes all over the country which will benefit everyone. These have been approved by the people…’

Dawasa (13.11.1982)

I remembered this old story because it was told by an old SL freedom partier.

The Rajapaksa family always think that if they don’t have it, no one else should have it. In 1982, when the Sri Lankan freedom Party lost power, they leaned on to the U.N.P. This time, when the government lost its power due to the struggle, the U.N.P. leader was made the Prime Minister and made the President….’

This is his story. The story is 100% correct.

After the May 2022 struggle, Prime Minister Mahinda and Finance Minister Basil were asked to leave the cabinet. At that time, negotiations were launched with the opposition, including Dallas from the Podujana Peramuna or Sajith from the Samagi Jana Balawega, to make the Prime Minister independent from the Podujana Peramuna. Sajith’s position was that Gota should listen to the voice of the struggle and leave, after which all parties should unite and form an interim government. The opinion of the independent group of Podujana Peramuna including Dallas was that Gota should take over the post of Prime Minister and form the interim government.

This group discussed this with Gotabhaya. Basil Rajapaksa from Podujana Peramuna participated in those discussions. He said that no one other than Mahinda Rajapaksa should be nominated for the post of Prime Minister from Podujana Peramuna. There, the Rajapaksa family including Mahinda, Basil, Namal came to the same decision. That means not to give the post of Prime Minister to Sajith under any circumstances. Gotat bowed to the family’s decision and stopped the talks to make Dallas or Sajith the prime minister and made Ranil the prime minister not to save the country but to implement the Rajapakse family’s theory that if the Rajapakse family is not there, no one is there. Ranil became the president according to that theory. If a president was elected by all-party consensus at that time, there would be no need to suppress the struggle.

The struggle has to be silenced by accepting that president. The vanguard party said that they agree with an all-party president. The JVP publicly said that it proposed to appoint the Speaker as the President. It was Basil who danced the devil’s dance saying that the President should not be elected from the Podujana Peramuna. At one point, Gotabaya, who had fled the country, said to accept the Speaker’s statements as his official statements, so that Ranil would not be appointed as the Acting President.

Because Ranil was already issuing statements on behalf of Gota. At that time, the Rajapaksa family, including Basil, Mahinda and Namal, were of the strong opinion that Ranil should be made acting president. Basil worked round the clock to get 134 votes for Ranil in the presidential election. When Basil said that he should not bring the 22nd amendment, Ranil challenged Basil to find 75 votes if possible.

‘That means Basil asked for a good meal and ate it, didn’t he…?’

Now the bud is dry. The Pohottu party members of the village are helpless.

‘Why did people gather around the pot…?’

Pohottuwa is not a party gathered by people who fell from the sky, but people gathered around Mahinda out of anger because Maithri joined U.N.P. became the president later leader of SLFP, made Ranil prime minister from SLFP votes. These are natives of SLFP voters or anti U.N.P voters. They had a political philosophy. They do not want to sell public institutions.

They had reluctance to go to IMF, reluctance to do business with Western countries, including America, reluctance to share power and Nationalists by birth. These people gathered around Pohottuwa because Pohottuwa said that Ranil going to make a new constitution and form a federal government.

Pohottuwa said that Ranil would lift the ban on LTTE and diaspora ban and strengthen the LTTE. Because pohottuwa said that Ranil sold oil tankers and profit-making companies, because Pohottuwa said that Ranil would betray the country to America by signing the Millennium Agreement. Because pohottuwa said Ranil is an IMF puppet. Also, Pohottuwa said that Ranil robbed the central bank and stole the country’s money. Pohottuwa said that Ranil paved the way for the Easter bomb by nurturing Muslim extremism. Pohottuwa said that Ranil is protecting Muslim doctors who perform sterile surgeries to reduce the Sinhalese population. It is because of that people gathered around Pothuttu and voted for Pothuttu.

‘After saying that, now that when you say Ranil is good, will the people of Pohottuva also say that Ranil is great…?’

The answer given by then Pohottuwa port minister Rohitha Abeygunawardena when he was asked if the opposition would make Ranil the prime minister in 2021.

‘We’re not that crazy…’

Add another piece to this should read ‘if not crazy it is great’

The boat has been built for Ranil to become prime minister and president by breaking the pettles of pohottuwa by Basil. If it was allowed when Gota want to make Sajith the Prime Minister, the bud would have come out today and attacked Sajith and the government. The reason is that if Sajith becomes the Prime Minister, the opposition is Pohottuwa. So today Basil or Namal is the leader of the opposition. But now Pohottuwa can’t even praise Ranil or criticize him.

‘Didn’t even one of Basil’s seven brains see this…?’

Everyone thought B.R. (Basil Rajapakse) would be like JR.

At the end, BR could not even get a minister ship in the party without Ranil’s QR code.

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