An inspiring bunch. Photo by Yamuni
I met Karu Jayasuriya once. I was standing next to him at the musty UNP office as they ‘launched’ their website. However, the UNP is so fucking stupid that they didn’t have Internet connection ready. They were trying to launch the website without Internet. Somebody called me with this problem in the morning and I didn’t even believe them, I tried to go back to sleep. In the end I loaded the site on Firefox at home and brought my laptop. Karu asked me ‘what button to push’ to launch the site and I told him to click the Firefox window, which was minimized. That was too hard so I just moved the mouse over the taskbar icon, put his finger on the clicker and told him to ‘push’. And that was the launch. It was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done, and the UNP is probably the dumbest organization I’ve ever worked with. And I say this with the sincerest affection for what the UNP can be.
Today was the first time I saw any UNP posters since the election, really. And what did I see? Literally, the UNP has got Karu Jayasuriya to cross-over, returning the party to… exactly where it was. Which was in the wilderness. Not even Square 1, like, Square -5. Congratufuckinglations. There’s people dying in the north and hungry all over. We’re sending government lackeys to Paris to inspect Mihin’s new planes. Where were the posters for that?
Indeed, all the ‘lights’ of the UNP have crossed over. Milinda Moragoda, GL Peiris, etc. The last time I heard Moragoda in the news he was telling Parliament that there was no good Chinese food in Colombo. On the same day over 300,000 displaced people in the Wanni still didn’t have access to aid. Which is to say, when the country needed them most, these men failed. Doing the right thing was too hard, and they didn’t have the courage. If I saw them in public I’d throw my shoes.
But I understand. If I saw Ranil I’d throw my socks. When I worked for the UNP it was retarded. All real power was concentrated with Ranil’s old boys, none of whom were especially good at what they do. It was not in any sense a meritocracy, and functionally it was sheer mediocrity. There was no message discipline, there was no delegation of authority to a management class, and the machine simple didn’t win the election. And it can’t. So Ranil has to go. He’s choking the next generation of the UNP.
The only problem is that Karu Jayasuriya is, if possible, even less charismatic than Ranil and much more stupid. And less new. Seriously, it has to be the UNP, but I don’t think the party can reform itself for the next election and I think Mahinda will win again. And the country will continue this path of killing and revenge deeper into suffering, and further from the Buddhist values of non-violence and peace. Even as we have less food to eat with our bloody hands.
But we still have to begin reforming the UNP, to prepare the infrastructure for the inevitable change that will come. And for that the status quo isn’t enough. Ranil has to go, and Karu isn’t change enough. Leader One! Premadasa Two! Rambo 14!