Last week, Mahinda Rajapaksa told a story that made everyone think.
‘I can’t be in the lead all the time. A new person should be brought to the leadership…’
This is the story that Mahinda told. Mahinda is now 77 years old. Although Mahinda became the unofficial leader of the SLFP after the 2005 presidential election, he officially became the SLFP leader in 2006. He was the leader of the SLFP from then until 2015, and in 2015 he handed over the SLFP leadership to Maithrie. In 2019, he was the leader of Podujana Peramuna, the new party founded by Basil. In 2006, Mahinda assumed the leadership of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, bidding farewell to Chandrika, who played the main role in Sri Lankan politics from 1994 to 2006. But Chandrika did not leave politics. She tried to be the party leader in 2006 but failed.
After leaving the party leadership, she went to London for a while and came back to Sri Lanka and started the behind-the-scenes game against Mahinda. She brought Maithripala to defeat Mahinda in 2015. Maithripala became the President, but Maithripala became the leader of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party. After the 2019 presidential election, when Maithripala was just a member of parliament, Chandrika tried to take over the SLFP leadership from him. Even today, she has not given up the fight to claim the SLFP leadership. She is 78 years old.
Maithripala held powerful ministerial positions in governments since 1994 and became the president in 2015 and became the leader of the SLFP. His is 72 years old. He is issuing statements that he will contest the 2020 general election after retiring from the presidency and become the member of parliament for Polonnaruwa.
Ranil Wickramasinghe became the U.N.P. leader in 1994. From 1994 to 2005, he was the lead figure oppose Chandrika. From 2005 to 2019, he was the main character against Mahinda. In the 2020 general election, the people rejected him and his party, made him to lose his MP and to go home. But with the help of Mahinda, he came to parliament from the party’s national list and became prime minister and president.
By the time of the 2019 presidential election, all these political figures were disliked by the people. The 2019 presidential election was a vote that brought three new leaders to the fore. They are Gotabhaya, Sajith and Anura Kumara. Anura became the leader of JVP in 2014. He and Sajith have not served as Prime Ministers or Presidents of the country. Gotabaya was not even a Member of Parliament at that time. In that way, these three were three new leaders of a new generation.
But Mahinda and Ranil did not allow them. Although Mahinda was told to give the leadership of Podujana Peramuna to Gotabha, Mahinda did not give up the leadership. After the 2020 general election, Ranil was told to retire from politics and hand over the party to Sajith, but Ranil did not abandon it. Mahinda and Ranil came together and planned to clip the wings of Gotabhaya and Sajith. It was Mahinda who forced Ranil to come to Parliament. Ranil came to the Parliament and in his first speech attacked Shavendra Silva, the ‘Agasav’ army commander of Gota. Even now he is the enemy of Mahinda and Rajapakse family.
The plan of Mahinda and his family was to clip Gota’s wings and seize the power of the government. Ranil wanted to become the opposition leader with the support of Mahinda and his family. But Gota’s failure messed everything up. Mahinda and his family were afraid that Gota would make Sajit the prime minister. Mahinda resigned from the post of Prime Minister after making a promise to Ranil to make him Prime Minister. After that, Gota’s politics ended. No matter how much oxygen Ranil tried to pump to revive his character after becoming president, he could not create public opinion. Knowing that the Rajapaksa family was destroyed by Gota’s destruction, Basil is to abolish the executive presidential system and play games to revive the Rajapaksa and Ranil’s politics. Ranil, who wanted to call an emergency presidential election, is now playing games to hold a referendum to abolish the executive presidential system. Maithripalath is trying to protect his politics by siding with Ranil. Chandrika also wants to hang in this corner.
Mahinda, Ranil, Basil, Maithripala, Chandrika are all afraid of the 2024 presidential election because the 2024 presidential election will wipe them all out of politics.
Sajith from Samagi Jana Balavega and Anura from National Jana Balavega have announced that they will run for the 2024 presidential election. Millionaire businessman Dhammika Perera has declared that if he can get 50%, he will run for the presidential election. Sajith Premadasa was 56 years old when he went to the 2024 presidential election. Anura Kumara Dissanayake is 55 years old. Dhammika Perera is 56 years old. There are three candidates of this new generation. All these three were born in 1967. By the time of the 2024 presidential election, Mahinda will be 78 years old. Ranil is 75 years old. Maitri is 73 years old. Chandrika is 79 years old.
Sajith is not a person who has swallowed the golden milk of politics from the elite class. His father was a leader who challenged the elite politics of this country, considering it as an elite political genetic heritage. Anura Kumara graduated from a university in Sri Lanka and came from a normal family who majored in politics. Dhammika Perera graduated from Moratuwa University and started from a small place to build a business empire.
Now there were Mahinda, Ranill and Maitri. From 1977 to 2024 is 47 years. They have played this political game enough. The game played bankrupted the country. Because of this, the 70-year-olds should end their old politics and hand over the country’s politics to a new leadership. The best opportunity for that is the 2024 presidential election.