Tuesday, September 27, 2005

q & a with ranil

attended a forum featuring ranil wickremasinghe yesterday.

he came across as open, articulate, intelligent and knowledgeable (in some depth too). i was duly impressed. fellow seems to have dropped his weird mannerisms too.

q & a ranged widely from cfa to industry policy, to law and order, to short term help to farmers, to housing needs, to civil liberties, to somawansa's recent comments about the army, to effective pr for unp. i am not going to recount any of that here. better get yourself invited to one of those forums. consider it as a job interview. they are certainly better than one sided boring speeches and even more boring manifestos.

unp manifesto will be out today. will write a more detailed policy comparison when all manifestos are out.

besides the situation is still fluid. it seems some surprises may be in store for us. ranging from unexpected third party candidates to a general election.

but as things stand now i will probably end up voting for the unp even though their policies are far from being libertarian.

my reasons are,

  • in broad economic policy at least unp is following libertarian reforms. (less regulations, more privatization, less tax, less interference all around.)
  • unp has the best shot at peace.
  • about civil liberties i am not so sure but what other alternative are there? anyway yesterday ranil answered a question about this (which btw partially concerned drinking alcohol on poya days :-) ). he gave a rather positive (for libertarians) reply in that he asked the people who want more such rights to be more assertive.
  • unp politicians in general are more competent.
  • and finally because ranil is the only viable option. or are we to vote for an ignorant thief to replace a ignorant drunk?

any way there is enough time to decide.


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Jack Point said...

I attended a Q&A last week, and I agree with your comments.

One the peace and macro-economic front I give him full marks.

I am hoping that if the they come into power they will tackle the rampant corruption and at least attempt to grapple with the some of the other issues that are undermining society.

The other side will probably only succeed in dragging us deeper into the morass, we don't even know what to believe now; they keep saying different things to different people on different days.

Lalin Dias said...


I was at yesterday’s Q&A. In fact, I was the one that asked the civil liberties question. I have been feeling quite self conscious ever since as I feared that my civil liberties issues didn’t seem to be on anyone else’s radar. Most of the people at the forum were worried about war, poverty, education, etc. and I there I was asking about civil liberties. Its good to see that at least one other person saw value in the question.

As for Ranil’s performance, I was very impressed. He seems to have the mind, maturity, experience and sophistication to run the country. I also like his medium and long term focus.

ashanthi said...

Hey - I want to know the real goss - what were his weird mannerisms and how did you notice he's dropped them????

And - of course - was it a press conference where you can't ask the tough questions???

Drinking on Poya Day - what's wrong with saying no to booze one day a week??? Ah well - fine...if you think you are going to win that one - good luck you'll really be giving the monks some ammunition now...

sittingnut said...

jack point:
i agree with you. as for corruption, ranil said that the present setup won't convict anybody (he is right there) and he is looking at a complete overhaul. i am less confident about him and the unp in this regard.

lalin dias:
thanks for the question. a lot of other people appreciated it as well.
this sort of question will come to the forefront of the political debate in the future especially if the war and the economic situation stabilizes a little (of which i am very confident being a optimist).

btw jack point and lalin dias, i think you two if interested may like to contribute constructively to the bloggers peace plan started at the instigation of ashanthi. it is still open.

weird mannerisms - well he doesn't have them anymore so there is no point.
tough questions??? - well what would you consider though questions? please give a example or better still post a list here or on your blog.
you'll really be giving the monks some ammunition now - what the point in peace or riches if one is not allowed to live the way one wants. so we have to be open about what we think and do and try hard to get what we want instead of thinking too much about what some intolerant monks or others want. politicians will listen to those who make the biggest fuss. (in fact that's sort of what ranil meant).

btw great going at nitewa almost singlehandedly :-)

i am not deleting anything here even when its spam (though i might change my mind if they are long) on principle and will not turn on the verification system too, since it bothers some ppl.

AR said...

"He seems to have the mind, maturity, experience and sophistication to run the country. I also like his medium and long term focus."

Lalin - Pretty much hitting the nail on the head there. Hope 51% of the voters are convinced of this by the 17th.

Lalin Dias said...

Holly Cow! Even the CEO of the company I work for has heard about my civil liberties question. I walked into his office and he said “Hey chaps are asking me why I sent a chap to ask Ranil a frivolous question about sex and alcohol”. God knows how it got back to him. All I gave was my name. How on earth people figured out who I was and where I work is a mystery to me. Colombo is much smaller than I thought.

I am so self conscious now. I am looking for a rock to crawl under. Thankfully the CEO is a sensible chap who probably won’t hold it against me …. well not too much. He must think I am a right royal joker.

Did people really see it as a question about sex and alcohol? Civil liberties … it was about civil liberties. Perhaps I should not have used such extreme examples. I must find a rock to crawl under.

sittingnut said...

don't be embarrassed. people really don't care all that much about other people unless there is a direct impact on them, they just pretend to. as for your ceo he should be glad he has a employee who has the guts stand up and ask a question(whatever the subject) from future president(probably) of the country and if he is sensible and successful he probably does already.

yes colombo is pretty small. but that colombo is also very tolerant. really.

besides you should do what you want, not what others think you should. that is the only acceptable way to live. period.

Did people really see it as a question about sex and alcohol? not really. ok maybe some people can't really get beyond their limited experience of life and understanding but those losers don't matter. after all ranil understood it in the correct way.

so instead of crawling under rocks you should stand on one, because you are taller than others. :-)

btw i think sirasa is probably telecasting that q&a today(thursday) at 2215hrs. not 100% sure. you should tape it or something as a proud memorable moment in your life.

sittingnut said...

deleting policy cont.: i will delete any comment at the request of commenter if they can't delete is themselves.

ashanthi said...

Oh Lalin please - there was nothing extreme in the least about your question...

well done - you are a legend. young people need to lead the way to make our politicians accountable...

ashanthi said...

thanks sittingnut - not sure where my cavalry was but i saw it through ;- )

Lalin Dias said...

The thing was on TV? Holly cow! So be it. Thanks to your encouragement I seem to have found my spine again. Ashanthi is right. The younger generation needs to be far more assertive. We need to push our agenda.

ashanthi said...

Rest assured - we damn well will!!!!

sittingnut said...

it was on tv but your question was cut. but ranil's answer to your q was not.
they must have worried about 'alcohol on poya' part of the q as ashanthi commented above.