The UNP under Ranil, as of 2011. Haven’t had the heart to update the decline.
The UNP is rapidly turning into a failed state with severe brain drain. Ranil, the leader-for-life, is threatened by anyone with any political talent or following so he sidelines or disciplines them within the party. Ranil also insists on running the party though he can’t win elections (not even running in the last Presidential) so you’re left with a party in permanent opposition. There are just enough perks to keep the few people on the working committee loyal (I’m sure Mahinda ensures enough largesse for this) but no hope of ever being in the actual government and having power. It’s a sad state or perhaps even end for Sri Lanka’s first proper political party.
I say end cause at some point everyone will leave besides Ranil and the working committee and it’ll be some rump minority party. I mean, the SLFP originally split from the UNP yonks ago, that could happen.
The problem is that other UNP leaders never got together and left en masse. If they did you’d have a party with the likes of G.L. Peiris, Milinda Moragoda, Keheliya Rambukwella, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, S.B. Dissanayake, etc. Douchebags aplenty but still vote getters. You could have had a splinter group that became the opposition, leaving Ranil clutching a green elephant.
But, of course, Ranil revels in the infighting and setting people working against each other that make coordinated reason impossible. The result is that the UNP slowly bleeds to death.
Today the only opposition is actually within the SLFP, old-school SLFPers like Maithripala Sirisena (a guess) who are not Rajapaksa loyalists per se. Mahinda actually surrounds himself with more former UNPers than anything else and the normal party hierarchy has been disrupted.
In this context I don’t blame Dayasiri for crossing over, but it is a shame that talented politicians have been fleeing the UNP in droves and have to flee. The levers of democracy are broken, both in terms of opposition pressure changing policy and oppositions eventually forming governments. The dictator who’s broken this democracy isn’t Mahinda, it’s actually Ranil.