SLFP Ended With SWRD | Daily News

SLFP Ended With SWRD

If ever a political party lost its spirit after the death of its leader it was the Sri Lanka Freedom Party as no one remaining in the party thereafter could match the intellect, charisma and stature of its founder S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who strode the political arena like a colossus since the State Council days having been the Minister of Local Government and the Minister of Health and Local Government in the United National Party (UNP) Government up to his crossing over in 1951 to form his own party being disillusioned with the conduct of the leadership of the party he so loved as not to accept the Premiership served to him on a platter at the famous Yamuna Conference of 1947 when at the General Election the UNP could garner only 42 seats the Lanka Sama Samaja Party 10, All Ceylon Tamil Congress 7, Ceylon Workers Congress 6, Communist Party of Ceylon 3, some other parties lesser numbers and Independents 21, 48 seats being needed for the majority out of the total of 95 and the seven All Ceylon Tamil Congress members providing it.

Bandaranaike studied philosophy, politics, and economics at Christ Church College, Oxford University, was called to the bar at the Inner Temple was simple in his habits having a milk bed-tea in the morning after a piece of papaw and chocolate, breakfast of milk-rice, hoppers with lunumiris, string hoppers with pol sambol and kiri hodi and such like at about 10.00 a.m. thereafter eating from a tray of fruits kept on his work table until he had dinner with his wife and children as a model pater familias, being almost an ascetic like his Indian counterparts past and present, Sri Jawaharlal Nehru being known to have taken only a cup of food essence.

All sensible politicians are moderate in food and sartorial habits and sans bacchanalian propensities. Philosopher Thorstein Veblen’s ‘The Theory of the Leisure Class’ is a must read for all of us.

It is not by any means intended to belittle the political character of those of the UNP who followed him as his shadow such as D. A. Rajapaksa Lion of Ruhuna D. M. Rajapaksa’s younger brother; Senators Thomas Amarasuriya, A. P. Jayasuriya and others by saying so; far from it, the intention being to give SWRD his due because most of those who claim to follow him being members or officials of the party he founded cannot even hold a candle to him, it is ventured to say, it being a happy augury for the country that President Ranil Wickremesinghe is in power and also Dinesh Gunawardena the son of his worthy comrade-in-arms Philip Gunawardena who in 1959 took the name of his coalition Mahajana Eksath Peramuna in place of Viplavakari Lanka Sama Samaja Party, is the Prime Minister today assisting President Ranil Wickremesinghe, showing that the country is in safe hands because of the fact that: “The Buddha, it is said, foresaw that … in this Island … His religion would flourish … in the future. He therefore requested Indra, the king of gods … Indra deputed Uppalavanna (Varuna) for this task …,” as Prof. Senarath Paranavitana says in University of Ceylon ‘A Concise History of Ceylon’.

The fact that there are parties other than the official Sri Lanka Freedom Party claiming to follow the policies of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike the newest being the Nava Lanka Freedom Party which should really have been named Nava Sri Lanka Freedom Pakshaya just as the Lanka Sama Samaja Pakshaya was named Nava Lanka Sama Samaja Pakshaya in 1950 when Philip Gunawardena formed the Viplavakari Lanka Sama Samaja Party, shows that those of the official Sri Lanka Freedom Party do not have the people’s welfare in mind, other than Nimal Siripala de Silva, Susil Premajayantha, Mahinda Amaraweera and Shantha Bandara, they like Philip Gunawardena joining Dudley Senanayake in the National Government in 1965 and performing a great service as the Minister of Industries and Fisheries, are assisting President Ranil Wickremesinghe in tiding over the unprecedented crisis caused by haphazard handling of the economy, even Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara having joined the Government and more expected to do so, in their numbers, in the near future.

Socialism is part and parcel of Bandaranaike Policies and some of the main socialist measures Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike took were the nationalization of the harbour and omnibus transport, and the introduction of the Paddy Lands Act, also commencing diplomatic relations with socialist countries his wife Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike and daughter President Chandrika Bandaranaike continuing his socialist programme, the latter even giving a human face to the capitalistic open economy, so that there is no need for anyone else to have humane capitalism.

Philip Gunawardena had nothing to do with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party after he left it owing to the anti-socialist conspiracy and more such as Leader of the House ex-Ceylon Civil Service Mathematics graduate C.P. de Silva; former Communist from Matara, Mahanama Samaraweera; Unicorn of Ruhuna Charles Edirisuriya Member of Parliament for Tissamaharama and others joined Dudley Senanayake crossing over in 1964 and joined the 1965 Government with J. R. Jayewardene as the Minister of State.

This is not to say that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party did not have great men in its ranks; there was Dr. Somasara Dassanayake with Special Degrees in Pali and Modern History, LLB and a Doctorate in Buddhism as its General Secretary and National List Member of Parliament in the late 1980s. He taught History of Western Political Theory, Modern Indian History and Modern European History as a Senior Lecturer at the Vidyodaya University of Ceylon, the present Sri Jayewardenepura University also always emphasizing to students that S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike uplifted the common man while present day so-called SLFP leaders have forgotten him whereas two minutes of silence must be observed transferring merit to him. Dr. Dassanayake passed away as Bhikkhu Sumedha.

Epilogue: Better-half’s demand of throwing into the jungle the replica of last king’s golden throne on which worse-half sat with service chiefs standing behind, being disobeyed the ill-effects causing his death as confided to a supplement advertising canvasser refusing to remove picture in June 2001 lady ordering “Chula remove it” the editor having to do so.

Last lottery draw on public stage before Minister resigned in 1988 was at Gampola Bus Stand, he calling announcer, whispering something, he blaring over public address system not to buy scratching lottery tickets as a man coming marketing finishes the money returns home with empty bag, first one million winner of draw behind closed doors telling reporter he will share money with friends!.



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