1. Can you think of two personalities more contrasting than Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Maithripala Sirisena?
2. But as President, they both did the same thing to the same Prime Minister—in 2003/4 and 2018!
3. Basic logic teaches us that when two different factors behave in the same way towards the same single factor, then it shows you something about the constant factor/s, not about the variables.
4. The main constant factor was Ranil. The other constant was that both CBK and MS headed the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.
5. So the answer is simple: 15 years apart, the SLFP under two wildly contrasting leaders, reacted in exactly the same way to the same personality, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, and the SLFP leader of the day, who happened to be the elected President, followed suit.
6. In policy terms Ranil behaved then in 2001-2004 and now 2015-2018 in the same way; a way that inevitably generated a backlash in the SLFP, especially its base.
7. And if Ranil were electable as President a coalition would not have been needed, but he proved repeatedly that he wasn’t. Thus the imperative of a common candidacy and a coalition with the SLFP or a faction of it.
8. A different UNP leader—more realistic, more flexible, more populist, more patriotic– may have not generated such a backlash from the SLFP. So place your blame for his overthrow at the correct doorstep—his own!
9. What happened was inevitable and predictable: it had happened before!
10. How could you guys and girls be so stupid not to figure it out?