SB – a ripple or a tsunami?
Dec 8, 2009
No politician in Sri Lanka epitomizes unlimited, unguarded ambition, even to the point of being vulgar, as does by S.B. Dissanayake. A power packed political dynamo S.B. Dissanayake makes politics as tangible and physical as it can be that it is deemed that the worst fate that could befall a politician is to end up as SB’s enemy. Chandrika Kumaratunga had her share and at the end of her tether put him behind bars and now it’s the turn of Ranil Wickremesinghe to face the flak.

The introduction of SB as a campaign speaker for Mahinda Rajapaksa ensures that notwithstanding the somewhat sober tone maintained by the two camps so far, the campaign vocabulary from this point onwards runs the risk of being reduced to gutter levels. As he displayed for the umpteenth time at yesterday’s press conference, restraint is the last element that one finds in SB’s political deportment.

The attitude of the government stalwarts towards this possible corrupting factor in the campaign is - ‘they played foul so let us play foul as well’. The President has all the reasons to think that the joint opposition tricked him by getting his CDS defect him six months into the war victory and contest polls as his rival. The opposition has managed to get the far right wing former Army Commander take a diametrically opposing stand on devolution in an attempt to make the President appear like an ultra nationalist. So it’s natural for the President to think ‘they got my man to challenge me so why not I use their man to checkmate Fonseka by attacking Ranil Wickremesinghe’.

The SB factor is sure to jolt the polity and provide much entertainment to uninformed masses. It has the potentiality to generate a few thousands of converts however not before making the suburban and urban middle class sick and tired of politics.

Within the UPFA the impact of his entry is two fold. The key speakers to be now can take a breather as SB is likely to shoulder much of their burden. In the SLFP of course the return of SB has created quite a buzz since a few potential prime ministerial candidates have already expressed qualms despite the weight that SB’s crossover has added to the President’s chances of winning the polls.

Had he played his cards well and given his commitment to work, organizing power and unbridled ambition S.B. Dissanayake would today have been in a much more influential politician than a mere loud long jumper. After all he along with Mangala Samaraweera formed the two principle disciples of Chandrika Kumaratunga and together became the key driving force of the SLFP during their hay day.

Circumstances emasculated both the disciples of Kumaratunga and deprived the country of an opportunity to get the best of these hardworking former strongmen of the SLFP. Today they remain the best symbols of vengeance and pent up anger.

While Mangala Samaraweera attempts to take his revenge on Rajapaksa’s by supporting Fonseka’s candidature, SB has pole vaulted to bulldoze Ranil Wickremesinghe and also to neutralize his former buddy Samaraweera.

The real victim of all these political maneuvering would be the Sri Lankan voter, whose hope for a decent political culture continues to remain an elusive dream.

Courtesy: Daily Mirror