It is rather amusing to see Sajith Premadasa speaking to a group of schoolchildren in Jaffna and promising them the full enactment of the 13th Amendment.

What’s more entertaining is seeing him giving that promise in Sinhala language… That’s a classic example of the problem. We can clearly understand from his childish behaviour in addressing this highly sensitive issue that he has no deeper grasp of the conflict.

There is also a video of him questioning a group of Tamils about a cricket ground. It has become the laughing stock on social media these days. It’s ironic he mispronounces the word floodlights as “flood-lits” not just once but twice, because Sajith is known for correcting other people’s pronunciation. Sajith’s father was mocked by the likes of J. R. Jayawardene for lacking English language proficiency. That same insecurity seems to be running through Sajith’s veins as he overly tries to impress people with his silly accent and long meandering sentences filled with unnecessary adjectives and adverbs to desperately show that he knows them. Such a kid.

But what I really like about Sajith’s behaviour in Jaffna is his megalomaniacal ego being on full display and the confused subservience of the northern Tamils in front of him. Northern Tamils inherently carry extreme pride. They are full of themselves, which in fact, is the fundamental human reason for the start of the conflict. And to see them wriggle in front of Sajith’s air of pompousness was highly entertaining. Tamils don’t like to acknowledge their faults or shortcomings. That’s why they reply with the name of some school cricket ground. Only someone who has worked with the Tamils with empathy will know these cultural nuances. But the way Sajith lifts his chin and squeezes his eyes while condescendingly questioning the Tamils is telling much.


And the fact that Sajith Premadasa tells the Tamils that he, himself and he alone will implement the 13th Amendment and give full police powers and land powers to them demonstrates how he perceives the power construct between the Sinhala and Tamil people. It’s like Mr Big Shot Premadasa giving a roadside beggar some money. Sajith sees the Tamils as holding their arms in despair begging for the 13th Amendment. It belittles the whole issue.


But I think Tamils will certainly have a better chance of gaining police powers if Sajith Premadasa is elected president. What the Tamils need is not just an ignorant joker but also an arrogant joker to become the president. So despite Sajith’s eccentric behaviour, the proud Tamils should tolerate his idiosyncrasies for the time being. Even better, the Tamils should rub his ego as much as possible.

The only thing that is more stupid is arrogant stupid. All this time the elected presidents have been too smart for the Tamils. Sajith is their golden boy. Unlike Ranil Wickremesinghe who will promise but will retract once in power, Sajith Premadasa is very likely to fulfil his promise simply out of sheer arrogance. He will not consider the implications of it. And that is highly beneficial to us because it strengthens our political camp’s ideology. This is politics.

Eranda Ginige







*The writer is a social entrepreneur and former presidential advisor. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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