Sri Lanka Brief
NewsLetter to President & Prime Minister Form Arjuna Ranatunga

Letter to President & Prime Minister Form Arjuna Ranatunga


This letter is a request from a citizen who believes in a political philosophy and a resulting culture, which disfavours party politics and upholds the progress of the country above all else.

My honest feeling is that the victory we achieved on January 8, under your leadership, is a remarkable collective political victory of all Sri Lankans. As a sportsman and a member of the Cricket World Cup winning team in 1996, I am proud to have become a stakeholder of that political victory as well.

I served as a frontline combatant against the authoritarian rule and family- based politics of the Rajapaksa’s, ignoring personal benefits and even ignoring the threats on my life; I put my country’s welfare before my own. The great joy and enthusiasm I experienced at the victory secured on January 8 is far more than what I experienced on the day Sri Lanka gained victory at the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

President and Prime Minister, the memories of the defeated regime are of resentment and of a apprehension.

One family, through their narcissistic and immoral rule, has enjoyed our national resources without limit or control.

Their will was to consume all the existing resources up to the limits of the sky, the earth and the ocean of the motherland. The will of the family suppressed the will of all Sri Lankans.

Pressure and frustration

The country was paralysed by many forms of fear and violence, even though the war on terror had ended. Personally, as a member of the parliament, I experienced tremendous amount of pressure and frustration during that time of political rule.

On reflecting on the situation of the general public during the period, it is evident that the stress and violence the past regime unleashed upon the general public was severe and consequently had reached a tipping point both for the oppressor and the oppressed by the time of the elections.

On December 1 at Viharamahadevi Park, we signed a collective agreement which pledged an end to this dark age, prompting a positive future not only for us but also for the generations to come with the support and participation of various political parties and civil society collectives, disregarding all internal contradictions.

Coincidentally, December 1 is my birthday. It was remarkable that I had the opportunity to lay the foundation for the Maithri era that gathered different political parties and movements on one platform for one cause and for one challenge on a day that is very close to my heart.

Honourable President and Prime Minister, on January 8 we established a milestone of a beginning of an ideal era in the history of Sri Lankan politics. There is yet on the one hand the great task of rebuilding the country, which has misdirected by family rule and family business. One the other hand, there is also the great challenge of the political parties and movements working together. We must also not forgot that there are political conspiracies and manoeuvres, as expected, to paralyse our march forward and to bring back ‘the family’ into the power.


The distress I have right now is that the partners and masterminds of that ongoing conspiracy are not outside but amongst us. The henchmen who became the back scratchers of the defeated regime, casino owners who looted and misused public money openly, heroine and ethanol dealers, black market dealers and deal makers are now changing their moves. Now disguised in new outfits, their attempt is to get close to you and to continue their same manipulative behaviour. I kindly as you not to be deceived by them. The real call of the hour is to view the situation with a discerning eye, leading us to make right choices.

In my view the upcoming election is critical in many ways. I believe more than all the other factors, the upcoming election is crucial for the future of our country. The entire future of the January 8 victory can be determined by the results of the upcoming election.

I kindly request you not to permit nominations for casino/betting centre owners, gambling agents, heroine-ethanol and black market dealers and other fraudulent persons for the upcoming election.

Furthermore, on the foundation of the same argument, I kindly request you not to grant nominations for opportunistic and corrupt persons who cross over from major parties when they are not able to secure nominations, in their own parties.

I honestly believe Mr President, that you as the Chairperson of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, and Mr Prime Minister, you as the leader of the United National Party, are capable of standing this request favourably.

Mr President and Mr Prime Minister, remarkably for the first time in Sri Lankan political history, today both of you are able to move all parties and people in the North and the South towards one destined objective. Even though both of you belong to two different political parties and ideologies, today you are able to make decisions collectively; important issues have been resolved as a result of this key alliance, understanding and leadership.


Accordingly, I kindly request you to make decisions and to take action on the matter I have emphasized.

For the betterment of the country, both of you have been given the honourable duty of restricting opportunists and corrupt individuals from entering into the country’s political sphere. I believe it is meaningful to introduce criteria and guidelines for the process of permitting nominations, which cover all political parties.

Today, we must not ask people to select “good” people as politicians, but provide the opportunity for people to select the “best” people from good candidates. That duty is mainly entrusted personally, to the good reasoning powers of the two of you and dependent upon the power vested in your supreme designations. I believe that in the upcoming parliamentary election this would be one of the best ways to defeat the opportunists and corrupt persons.

Finally, I kindly request you not to let the victory and opportunity we achieved on 8th January be diminished and wasted. I strongly believe that this step will sustain and add true meaning to the victory of the common people and pave way to a civilised constructive political culture that would ensure a great future to our motherland.

May the Triple Gem bless you!
Yours sincerely,
Arjuna Ranatunga.

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