CBK:Stragic Moves?

CBK:Stragic Moves?

Maithripala Sirisena and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) are now in talking terms who were bitter rivals a few months ago, appeared together at a ceremony commemorating the 125th birth anniversary of the SLFP founder and former Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, held on January 8th at Galle Face Green in Colombo.

This unexpected alliance is raising questions about its motivations and potential implications for the upcoming elections.

A History of Rivalry

Sirisena and CBK have a long and tumultuous history, marked by periods of cooperation and bitter rivalry. CBK played a key role in Sirisena’s rise to power in 2015, backing him as a candidate against the then-incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, their relationship soured soon after, with Sirisena accusing CBK of trying to manipulate him and exert control over the SLFP.

Possible Motivations:

There are several possible explanations for Sirisena and CBK’s sudden rapprochement. One theory is that both leaders are facing political challenges and see an alliance as a way to shore up their support. The SLFP, once Sri Lanka’s dominant political party, has been in decline in recent years, and both Sirisena and CBK are seen as potential saviours.

It is no secret that both are aware that the SLFP has a vote base that is sufficient to make an impact on the current political situation where alliances will be playing an important role. It is rumoured that Sirisena has ambitions of contesting the next presidential elections and CNK has ambitions of allying with Sajith Premadasa.

Another possibility is that the two leaders have genuinely reconciled their differences and believe that they can work together for the good of the country. CBK, in particular, is known for her pragmatism and willingness to compromise.

Implications for the Future

The implications of Sirisena and CBK’s alliance are still unclear. It is possible that they could unite the SLFP and revive the party’s fortunes. However, it is also possible that their alliance could further fracture the party, as some members may be opposed to the reconciliation.

The upcoming elections in Sri Lanka are likely to be closely contested, and the outcome will hinge in part on the performance of the SLFP. If Sirisena and CBK can successfully unite the party, they could pose a serious challenge to the incumbent government.

Rajapaksa Factor:

It is also worth noting that the Rajapaksas, a powerful political dynasty in Sri Lanka, are still a major force in the country’s politics. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president and brother of current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, remains a popular figure among many Sri Lankans.

The Rajapaksas’ response to Sirisena and CBK’s alliance will be interesting to watch. They may try to exploit any divisions within the SLFP or work to undermine the alliance altogether.


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