When I was asked to contribute a regular column to this new website, my first inclination was to refuse, given that I have much else to do. But I was spurred to return to more active political writing by a spate of comments by a gentleman called Rohan Perera, who spends much of his time abusing me on my Facebook page. He does this whenever I mention Ranil Wickremesinghe, and tries to create a myth of my being implacably opposed to Ranil and to old Royalists. He seems to exist solely for this purpose, and his Facebook symbol of a used car suggests that he is very much a salesman for Ranil.
Ranil has long surrounded himself with groupies, most of them of limited intelligence though a few are extremely shrewd. He also has a tendency to use these groupies to attack people since he is constitutionally unable to do so direct himself. The present President has a splendid story of how, way back in the eighties, when he was down South, campaigning in the bye-election which saw Mahinda Rajapaksa narrowly defeated, he was attacked by a bunch of UNP thugs and only narrowly escaped. He noted that, just before the thugs descended, Ranil Wickremesinghe had accosted him to ask what he was about. There were no threats, but he had no doubt that the thugs then arrived at Ranil’s behest.
I have no doubt then that Rohan Perera was charged last year with defending his hero against criticisms I made, and he has manfully stuck by his brief. The other person who also befriended me on Facebook for a similar purpose dropped off after the 2015 General Election, in which the UNP emerged as the largest party. His allegiance was even more obvious, for I was told that on his Facebook his proudest boast was that his sister was married to the son of Charitha Ratwatte. I cannot check this myself since I have forgotten his name, but it was something like Hewarajagamage.
I will use Rohan Perera’s effusions in the next few weeks to discuss some real issues that face this country, and how Ranil and his cohorts dodge issues. But to begin with I will simply look at the manner in which young Rohan dealt with my Facebook posting of Dayan Jayatilleka’s article about the appointment of Indrajith Coomaraswamy as Governor of the Central Bank. He had two comments, as follows
Rohan Perera we dont hear usual Ranil’s Royal crony rants here. Why his appointment came as a result of sacking a Ranil’s nominee based on pure political hearsay.
Rohan Perera the satisfaction of dealing a blow in Ranil ignores the fact that he was an old Royalist coming from the same social class
Such schoolboy obsessions are of a piece with Ranil’s approach to life, but what is interesting is that young Rohan declares – in the only piece of personal information on his Facebook – that the Royal College he went to was in Anchal. He seems to have graduated from there in 1991, but what he has done since then, except for acting as one of Ranil’s Rotweilers, remains a secret to his 104 Facebook friends.