By Dr.Dayan Jayatilleka
The President’s gear-shift on 20A, which showed flexibility, followed by his shift-back to the original hawkish position and a posture of rigidity, made nonsense of some basic assumptions of the Opposition, and pointed to the imperative of correcting these dangerously flawed notions. What are the lessons of the recent dramatic turnaround?
It disproved the nonsensical assumption that the GR regime is a replay of the post-18th amendment MR regime and/or the post-1978 JR regime.
It was in the MR second term that he weathered a storm at the longest Cabinet meeting in post-independent Sri Lankan history, and pushed through the decision to hold elections to the Northern Provincial Council, while knowing the government would lose. Can anyone imagine GR doing that?
JR see-sawed from 1984 to 1987 on devolution because of crosscurrents in his Cabinet. Can anyone imagine GR doing likewise?
The GR regime is of a very different type. The Opposition must avoid the fatal error of those who regarded Germany in the 1930s as yet another rightwing, reactionary, conservative regime or the not-so-fatal error (unless you are a black youngster) of those who thought that Donald Trump’s administration was yet another Republican one, unaware that the far-Right or the Alt-Right is not just another conservative Right.