I want my State, not Ranil’s ministerial positions – Wimal Weerawansa | Sunday Observer

I want my State, not Ranil’s ministerial positions – Wimal Weerawansa

30 July, 2022

In response to a then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s remark seven years ago in Parliament that Wimal Weerawansa was responsible for former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s defeat in the 2015 Presidential election, former minister Weerawansa responded then: ‘If that was the case Wickremesinghe should consider him as a friend’.

However, he had no intention of becoming a political friend of Wickremesinghe.

MP Weerawansa, the current National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and former Minister of Industries is a sensitive politician who emerges whenever there is a national emergency or a political crisis.

He has been saying that the people of this country gave former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa a two-thirds majority to save the country from an impending  economic crisis caused by previous governments borrowing massive external loans from other countries and external agencies for the past 30 years without considering their negative impacts, including having to pay the installments in confluence.

He claims that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was tasked with managing the country’s economy and mitigating its negative impact.


He openly chastised the former President for failing to manage the economy and contributing to massive lines of people across the country for gas and fuel as well as jeopardising the country’s food security.

Weerawansa slammed former Finance Minister and Sri Lanka Podu Peramuna (SLPP) national organiser Basil Rajapaksa on local television for his dual citizenship, alleged involvement in money laundering and leading the country into an economic quagmire.

Former President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has been a close friend of Weerawansa. He was instrumental in bringing Mahinda Rajapaksa to power.

He even went on to say that the Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya’s demand for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation as President was a crazy idea that would boost Basil Rajapaksa’s political power.

According to him, the SLPP’s 113-member Parliamentary majority must be destroyed to undermine Basil’s power.

Wimal Weerawansa, a former Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna politbureau member was influenced by socialism. He had a falling out with the JVP leadership and was suspended from the party in March 2008.


With dissident JVP members, Weerawansa founded the National Freedom Front (NFF) (Jathika Nidahas Peramuna).

He has been quite the political orator under the leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa assisting the latter in achieving political victories. Rajapaksa appointed him to Cabinet positions. He deserved them because of his political acumen.

He urged current President Ranil Wickremesinghe to forge a social contract to resolve the current economic crisis in a letter to him.

He had expressed concern that the country could become another Haiti.

He recently declared that the youth of the Aragalaya had reaped the result of their ignorance in deposing President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had refrained from using military force against them.


He explained that the MPs in Parliament voted for Wickremesinghe for presidency out of concern for their personal safety.

Weerawansa was vocal in Parliament at last week’s Emergency Regulation debate. He voted for Emergency Regulation besides the fact he had openly said to the people he and his ten-member group did not vote in favor of Wickremesinghe’s presidency in Parliament and they voted for Dullas Alahapperuma.

Regardless of how contentious it may appear, Weerawansa’s speech in Parliament on July 27 was not lacking in substance. In fact, it is certainly worth in light of the current political climate.

The following is his speech.

He said that the Emergency Regulation debate is held in Parliament at a time the country is at a decisive juncture and faces dark circumstances. Although the Opposition voted for Dullas Alahapperuma in the election held in Parliament to elect a President the vote was won by Ranil Wickremesinghe.

We thought that if Dullas Alahapperuma was elected, we would form an interim multi-party government. This was exactly what we proposed to the previous President on April 8 in writing as a solution against the current crisis.

He, however, did not pay sufficient attention to it.

Only an administration of high degree of legitimacy is capable of handling a situation like this. In my opinion, the current administration does not exhibit such legitimacy of popular acceptance.

Although it may or not have such acceptance, the current administration has a legal binding to govern.

It is in conformity with the Constitution. Whether one likes it or not, the present administration is the one that governs the country.

Hard pressed by the intensity of the current economic situation, pushed by helplessness it has rendered and because of the tragic situation in the country and due to its impulse, hundreds of thousands of people had arrived in Colombo and staged major demonstrations. Accordingly the President was compelled to tend his resignation peacefully.

Now this struggle started with slogans of ‘Gota Go Home’. It had its acceptance and approval of the masses because of the pressing situation with no answers in sight or forthcoming to redress. So the fight went on until Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigned.

We believed the ‘Gota-Go-Home’ fight was over.

But this is not true. Now, according to MP Sarath Fonseka people will storm the city again on the ninth next month to remove another President. He says that Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena will become the next president after Wickremesinghe’s removal.

There’s no doubt that this looks like a dance with the dead. Gota Go home first, then Ranil, Dinesh and whoever follows them. In order to prevent any further confusion, it would be easier if you could let us know whom do you intend to nominate as President.

What is this nonsense? Doesn’t this country need to catch its breath? Won’t you give this country a chance to recover from its economic crisis?

We have so much criticism against the present government. There are so many areas we disagree with the government. We will deal with them along the way.


Does this country need to remain a source of news for international news channels as Libya. Is giving this country an image of some African country the aim of the Aragalaya protesters?

Is it to this Aragalaya that you seek legitimacy? I will never belittle the innocent pulse of thousands of people, the unsuspecting and honest youth.

Please understand that what is here is bringing the state down. We cannot allow that to happen. Whether I am in the government, in the opposition, or elsewhere, I will not support such an agenda.

I do not want Ranil’s ministerial positions, but I do want my state. I need my state by the time I suffer and emerge from the current crisis.

They took over the President’s residence, Temple Trees and the Presidential Secretariat. Is seizing State property a peaceful activity? They came to storm the Parliament as well. The security forces acted rationally and used appropriate force to bring the situation under control.

They attacked a security personnel with a steel bar, blood dripped from his head. Yet the military did not shoot.

They displayed patience.  Such was the discipline of our security forces. They are not to be underestimated. We have one of the best security forces. One can ask the officials of the United Nations Peace Keeping forces about it.  That improved patience is not cowardice.


They set fire to the homes of 73 MPs to intimidate them and erected mental barricades. They instilled uncertainty and fear in the clergy and erected mental barriers. They erect mental barriers for artists and police officers alike.

When Police arrested someone and took him to courts to be charged with a legal offence, about 200 lawyers came to represent him. The magistrates would release them on bail, assuming that if they did not, their homes would be set on fire.

Would there be a state today if they invaded Parliament by erecting mental barriers in their path? They would then have occupied the Supreme Courts, the Independent Television Network and the Rupavahini and declared that they had taken over the country and that we do as per their demands.

We invited a certain Russian state-owned petroleum company Chairman and a CEO to Sri Lanka to discuss oil operations with Minister Kanchana Ratwatte and the Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. They left the country on July 9. Having seen the video footage of protesters romping in the swimming pool, they phoned and told us that we have learned the attitude of your people. I had no answer to give.

This is the international image we have created. However, the Chairman of this company has conveyed a Memorandum of Understanding. If you like it, please let them know. They will then send us an operation agreement as well as a guarantee.

We will receive a monthly loan of Rs. 300 million; if we take this loan now, it must be paid back in January of the following year, and so on. We can get oil from this company for 15% to 35% less than the market price.

However, a female legal officer at Ceylon Petroleum Corporation issued a letter stating that it was risky to enter into such an agreement without first verifying the company’s legality.

They have agreed to lend us money. Is it necessary for us to learn about the legal status of that company? They are lending us money.

Is it necessary for us to investigate the legality of that company given the circumstances? We could have started operations at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery if we had signed this agreement.

They make this loan for two years and extend it if the operation is successful.We do not think that if we give this to the government, it will become stable and it would put us at disadvantage that we will not be able to do something for our benefit.

We don’t do that because the frustration of people in fuel lines is being used to paralyse the state.

We will not let the state fall apart.

To prevent this, we must send people in queues home. So let us get started.

I have also informed the current President of this, but it appears that it may be delayed or halted by the so-called fuel mafia.

Others are using our economic crisis to break up the state.

The natural impulses of people are being manipulated for this purpose.

The existence of a national state has had an impact on us positively and negatively. The national government has provided us with free health care and education. It need to have some negative consequences at times.

But, for better or worse, this national state must prevail.

Allowing the state to disintegrate is the most heinous sin. That has already happened in Sierra Leone and Haiti.

I’ve seen that a group calling itself Aragalaya protesters had gone to the UN office, requesting international intervention. In addition, Tamil National Alliance MP Sri Dharan travelled abroad and requested a foreign army for the Northern and Eastern provinces.


If we allow this to continue, the security forces in the North will be asked by them any time soon to leave. They will then storm the places of religious significance such as the Kuragala Temple demanding that they be vacated.

They attacked MP Kumara Welgama killed an MP of Polonnaruwa. They had done no wrong. We understand the pressures the public is faced with. 

We tolerated them. But we cannot allow the state to break up.

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA-affiliated organisation founded in 1983 has provided 1,72, 670 US dollars to the Law and Peace Foundation in 2020. In 2020, it had donated 2,85, 000 USD to the Centre for Policy Alternatives. There are also US Aid, CSI, and ROL projects.

There is video footage of a young boy yelling at a soldier. He says to him that you all had committed war crimes. How can this happen to the Sri Lankan security forces, who are always present in times of crisis to assist people?

MP Sarath Fonseka had asked the security forces to refrain from attacking Aragalaya people. I’m curious if he meant to do nothing if they invaded Parliament.

This is leading to anarchy in this country. This situation must be confronted head on. However, the Emergency Regulations that would be enacted for that purpose should not infringe on civil society’s rights. If that is the case, we cannot agree on Emergency regulations.