The peoples’ protest at Galle Face Green, in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city has gone beyond 60 days and there appears to be little appetite by its organisers to call it a day. There is also – very surprisingly, little or no move by the strongman President – a former military man – to evict the protestors. Indeed the new – month-old – Prime Minister now serving his sixth term in office is on record stating that the protestors can carry on. If it is frustrating then hundreds of protestors must be made up of Charles Atlas material replete with backbones of steel. In wind and rain and in scorching tropical heat, they have erected tents of all sorts and have endured to keep the flag of protestors flying high.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe it appears should not have taken up the gauntlet after all. Wickremesinghe has proven over the years that he performs best when he is the Boss. Proof abounds: his control over the United National Party since 1994 is legendary and he was able to do that because he was answerable only to himself.
His political track record is replete with his inability to assert himself when he is a minority participant. Although he had a very slim parliamentary majority it was President Kumaratunga who called the shots and before too long under her watch, Wickremesinghe was treated in a manner that was ignominious at best. Needless to say, that unlikely political alliance was short-lived.