Colombo, Politics and Governance, Post-War

Interview with Ravi Karunanayake

Ravi Karunanayake is a well known figure in politics, and in 1994 was the youngest member to be appointed from the National List to Parliament. Among other offices, he is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee for the United National Party (UNP).

In this interview, Ravi Karunanayake looks at the future of the UNP and answers questions over its leadership, dwindling vote base and inability to win elections. He also answers more general questions over Sri Lanka’s economy and foreign policy.

  • This guy has no value at all to people or to the country. 365 days a year doing cheap poitics and showing no respect neither to the people or to the country! He falls into Ranil Wicramasighe type category. Recall his infamous statement “Alimankada-Pamankada”during peak hours of war against terrorists in Sri Lanka. Is this the way a legislator should encourage morality of our soldiers who defend our nation?

    You still believe CFA 2002 was in the right direction. Wrong. You and UNP sold Sri Lanka to Norway and LTTE. You let Sri Lanka to surrender to LTTE terrorists and foriegners. In that context Mahinda Rajapakse is worth to consider as the King of Sri Lanka.

    Ravi may be an intelligent guy but he surley has cheap qualities if not zero-valued politics in Sri Lanka!

    Ravi, change dude. Show us maturity in you. Be serious about what you talk. Take our people more serious. Think of long term instead short term. Stop your funny raudy smile. Show us a leadership suitable to a nation. You still have time to change, learning is life long. Because I consider you are intelleigent and better Ranil.

  • Do Sri Lankans have peace that comes from an overflow of life; which brings tranquility, rest and calmness? Do they face the truth head on, and take responsibility for their bad attitude and actions?

    If the answer to any of the two questions is negative, Sri Lankans have a problem to live successfully with peace.

    Peace is not the absence of war or getting away from problems or troubles.

    Peace is not even dependent on the resources – manpower or military – one has, and the outer circumstances.

    Politicos wrongly portray to the masses that peace exists when they have something “under control”. When did the politicos ever have anything under control? Never. having something “under control” is an illusion.

    Peace has to do with peoples’ mind-set.

    Often, a person’s inner conflict translates into an outlet for an outer conflict; causing corporate anger, hatred, bitterness, violence, bloodshed and breakdown of peace.

    This is where most of the Sinhalese are spiritually dwelling; probably because of their caste system and unrighteous practices.

    Peace is derived from a strong determination, in the mind of an individual to have the right attitude. To others, he extends his love and care; peace with justice; and humble remorsefulness.

    A peace maker is not upset and angry regardless of the adverse situation. He respects the dignity and self-respect of others.

    Peace needs to be activated in SL. The inner spirit of the people has to be corporately put right, to bring the right attitude towards the fellow Sinhalese of “low caste” and the Tamils.

    The present general election could be the best time for that to happen.

  • I mean no disrespect, but this man is astoundingly stupid and ignorant. He doesn’t even seem to completely understand Sanjana’s questions. Does he really think that he is Lalith Athulathmudali’s political successor? He’s a successful profiteerer, a hardworking party grunt, a thug to be feared and an accountant who knows his numbers , but not a visionary statesman by any stretch of the imagination.

  • TMama

    To me the most pursuasive friend of the UNP group seemed like one who had his shout in the barrel in the privatisations and sell offs CWE/ Sri Lankan Airways, sub prime land deals that were the whole mark – like Russian oligarchs who made hay in the 90swith the fall of Stalinism.

    Despite cliaming a monopoly of ‘Ability’ he did not come clean on the disasters of the time. Nor did he explain the major debacles of his party, that led to the murders of MoD intelligence opreatives, Abrew, Mithaliph Meedin etc in cold blood.

    Many who moved out of UNP say they were disgusted by the the authoritative style adopted by the UNP top brass, lack of accountability of the funds their sources,and the total lack of definition for the future other than following the direction set buy EU and UK. Unfortunately the questioning seemed lacklustre.

    Would the UNP style serve Sri Lanka better in the coming century – or even in the coming five years. As a young leader of the largest Opposition party has he made an analysis odf Sri Lanka’s history from imperial days to form a vision that will fit the coming century.

    I, for one felt his vision is short termist, and the analysis and foresight is lacking.

    I suggest that he does his homework, learn from the forefathers of UNP. I recall both JR jayawardene and Esmond Wickramasinghe served an apprenticeship under LSSP at least pretending to be staunch anti imperialists .

    These young pretenders come with zero in their upbringing other than a claimed kinship to a slain hero Athulathmudali. Perhaps Lalith may have achieved greatness, but what we saw was that he was undone by the Indians – Dixit and the Gandhi family bu un dervaluing their strength.

  • Jay

    This fellow is a shrewed businessman who amassed enormous wealth during the UNP regime of 17 years.This is like he is preaching :veddah’s sermon ,preaching one and practising another.!