Before 2005, the UNP was close to the Republican Party of America in Sri Lankan politics. The SLFP was close to the Democratic Party of America. During the 1988 presidential election, Lalith Athulathmudali, the Minister of National Security of JR’s government at that time, said that like President Reagan of the Republican Party of America, who was president for two terms and his vice president Bush became president in the next term. In Sri Lanka J.R who was president for two terms, his Prime Minister Premadasa, will be president for the next term. Premadasa became President just as Bush became president.
In the 1992 American presidential election, Democratic candidate Bill Clinton became the president after 12 years. SLFP was happy; they said that the SLFP in Sri Lanka will come to power after 17 years just like the Democratic Party of America came to power after 12 years. As said, the SLFP came to power in 1994.
Chandrika, who became president in 1994, maintained close relations with America. Hillary Clinton, the wife of American President Bill Clinton, came to Sri Lanka almost as soon as she became president. At this time, the U.N.P., which was in the opposition, was waiting for the Republican Party of America to come to power. When Bush became president in 2000, the U.N.P. leader Ranil was happy. After Reagan’s time, a Sri Lankan leader met the American president at the White House during Bush’s time.
Ranil went to the White House and met Bush. In the 2008 American presidential election, Ranil Wickremesinghe of U.N.P. and Mahinda Rajapaksa, the new leader of Sri Lanka Freedom Party, wanted the Republican Party to win for the first time. Mahinda wanted the Republican Party to win because the Tamil Diaspora supported Obama. Mahinda thought that in order to win the war, the Republican Party should win because their anti-terror ideology suits him.
But Obama won. Mahinda somehow won the war with the help of India and silenced Obama’s government. But after the military victory, Obama’s government presented human rights charges against Mahinda’s government. Mahinda’s government sought the support of the senators of the Republican Party of the United States to escape these accusations and get the support of the United States. In 2009, a group of US senators submitted a report to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and said that Sri Lanka is strategically important to the US and that the US should help Sri Lanka without allowing it to fall under the grip of China.
Ranil, who was the leader of the opposition at that time, did not like this report. But Ranil, who has been appointed to the office of President today, is strongly confident that the Republican Party will win the American House Representative elections, according to presidential office sources. For Ranil, it has been difficult to win Biden’s government. Ranil’s strategy was to pressure Biden’s government to help Ranil’s government through the Republican senators if they win the House representative election.
But Ranil’s hope has been shattered due to the fact that Biden won the Senate and the Republican Party did not get a big victory in the House representative election. Presidential office sources say before the election, Ranil was developing relations with the Republican Party and was closely monitored the election results. Winning Biden through Samantha Power was Ranil’s earlier strategy. It failed. This time his strategy was to wait until the Republican Party wins the House Representative election. As that too has failed, he may start looking for other alternatives.
By Upul Joseph Fernando