Premadasa suppressed the JVP, so there was no opposition to saying ‘hum’. Everyone was terrified and stunned. Following Premadasa’s impeachment, the opposition was afraid to protest and take to the streets. Mahinda Rajapaksa, then an opposition member, began walking from the south to Colombo to dispel opposition fears and get people out on the streets. Everyone expected Premadasa to either ban or beat ‘Pada Yatra’. Despite chanting slogans against Premadasa, he did not harm ‘Padayathara’.
After that, Chandrika organized a foot procession to the Gallumuvadora Bandaranaike statue starting opposite the Bandaranaike Samadhi Horogolla.
Premadasa didn’t touch the procession.
‘Procession of wrath go against me…’
That’s how he hit the opposition procession. Although the opposition protested against the Premadasa government by holding human chains and protesting by blowing horns, Premadasa did not attack them.
Premadasa was killed and Wijetunga became president and Chandrika went to dig the mass graves of Suriyakanda. But Wijetunga did not go to suppress them.
Chandrika came to power in 1994 and did not let the U.N.P. even raise a flag. Chased and attacked them. In 1999, when the UNP organized a Satyagraha in Colombo against the North West Provincial Council election rigging, Chandrika did not attack them. In 2000, the UNP mobilized the people and started a mass mobilization operation in Maradana. After that, a march started from Kandy to Colombo. Chandrika did not attack them. But in 2001, when Chandrika adjourned the Parliament and went to hold a referendum, when the UNP conducted a manpower operation around Colombo, Chandrika fired tear gas at then-opposition leader Ranil. U.N.P. protest was dispersed away. There were two murders. Sujeewa got shot.
In 2001, when Ranil became the Prime Minister, a demonstration came to Colombo from JVP south against Ranil’s ceasefire agreement. A demonstration was held around Colombo saying that the opposition parties led by the SLFP had tolerated enough.
Ranil did not attack it.
A march came from the Haguranketha to Colombo to free S.B. who was imprisoned after Chandrika took over the government again in 2004 by UNP. A manpower operation was launched from the south to Colombo to hold the 2005 presidential election.
Chandrika did not hit.
Mahinda became president and thugs attacked the car procession organized by the opposition to free Fonseka, who was jailed in 2010. Ranil’s demonstration in Maradana in Colombo 2013 was not attacked.
In 2015, Maithrie as President and Ranil as Prime Minister did not attack Mahinda’s joint opposition-led demonstration that walked to Colombo. But neither Maithrie nor Ranil attacked them.
In 2019, Samagi Jana Balawegaya organized the first protest march against President Gotabha. The first time, a large number of people gathered within arm’s reach of the President’s office, and the second time, they went to the President’s Secretariat and marched around the President’s office and protested. The foundation of the struggle was laid with that protest. Later they marched from Kandy to Colombo and staged a massive protest. But Gotabhaya did not throw a single stone to attack them.
Ranil became the President in July 2022. Ranil was allowed to rule freely for more than a year, and Samagi Jana Balawegaya held their first protest against Ranil in Colombo. Ranil’s government targeted the opposition leader Sajith in the first protest rally of Samagi Jana Balavegaya against Ranil. It is like in 2001 when Chandrika targeted Ranil.
Ranil is known in Sri Lanka and the world as a liberal democrat. He is the South Asia Head of the League of Democrats.
‘Why did Ranil beat the U.N.P. people who campaigned, protested, put up posters, lost their houses, lost their jobs, to make him president and prime minister and now have joined the Samagi Jana Balawegaya?’
Maithripala, who was the president in 2015, when the Mahindas gathered Sri Lanka Freedom party members to Colombo against him, did not even raise a hand when they demonstrated in the Galle Face, knowing that they were innocent Sri Lanka Freedom party members who were with him.
‘Why didn’t Ranil feel like that…?’
It is a tragedy that Ranil, who became the Prime Minister in 2001 did not touch the Sri Lanka Freedom Party members who came to Colombo calling Ranil a traitor but attacked his party men who campaigned to bring him to power in 2015- 2019.
When Chandrika’s government tear-gassed Ranil, these innocent UNP men came back to Colombo without fear.
In 2004, when Chandrika acquired ministries of Ranil’s government, these innocent UNP people came running when Ranil asked them to come to Colombo to save Ranil’s prime ministership, at that time, if Ranil had asked to raid Chandrika’s house, they come ready for that too.
In 2018, when Maithripala removed Ranil from the prime ministership, it was these innocent U.N.P people who came running to Colombo for Ranil..
Even when Ranil lost one election after another, they did not abandon Ranil. They dropped Ranil after realizing that Ranil had a deal with Mahinda during Sajith’s presidential election. Ranil appointed Lohan Ratwatte a state ministry just before firing tear gas to Samagi Jan Balawegaya. Lohan is accused of murdering 10 people in Udathalawinna Kandy who sacrificed their lives to make Ranil the Prime Minister in 2001.
He gave Shashindra Rajapaksa another state ministership by firing tear gas at the Samagi Jana Balavega protest.
‘UPN will not vote for me again. To win the presidential election, must please the pohottuwa people if I am to win …
Ranil may be thinking in this manner!.