Speaking at the HE FORUM held on January 17 at Hotel Hilton, also attended by president Sirisena, Dr. Jayatilake stressed the need for a policy change for the country.
However, that has become not possible due to the forces with which the president has allied with, he said.
“We faced the worst challenge in the contemporary history. Personalities like Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sarath Fonska, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena overcame that challenge. But, when there is an alliance with two personalities that had failed in that challenge, the journey that happens is the one Gorbachev had gone, not the journey of Deng Xiaoping, the one that should have been.”
Dr. Jayatileke noted that when Gorbachev came to power, society felt a need for a change, but rightist forces prevented that from happening and in the end, a massive collapse occurred.
In China, Xiaoping did the required modernizing and reforms while safeguarding the strengths and achievements of Mao Zedong, he said.
He went onto say that he had no faith in the programme of this alliance of two failed personalities, and added that that was why he had campaigned on behalf of Mahinda Rajapaksa.
A certain family cronyism was build around Mahinda Rajapaksa, and in a peaceful society, a super high, guarded political structure prevailed, and that needed to be changed, but not at the presidential election.
He said what he saw in the past two years was that the country was taking one step forward while taking two steps backward, and what has taken place during that period confirmed what he was saying.
He said the modesty shown by the president in taking part in the discussion was a step forward for the government.
Other panelists at the HE FORUM, held to mark the second anniversary of the bimonthly political magazine HE, were Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva and Dr. Suren Raghavan.