Mrs Bandaranaike took defeat badly. She promptly changed tack within the party, and began the movement leftward that finally gave control of the party over to Chandrika. Sunethra encouraged her in this, for she told Chanaka, on the morning after the election, that the only hope now was to bring Chandrika back. Chanaka vehemently contested this suggestion, and thought that Anura’s position should be strengthened. Later he felt that this position contributed to the decision by Mrs Bandaranaike not to put him in Parliament on the National List as had been promised.
Anura too contributed himself to his final sidelining, in part because of his lack of energy, but also through his innate softness. When the opportunity came for him to be General Secretary of the SLFP, his mother left the meeting in high dudgeon, and he promptly got upset and agreed to a compromise. Dharmasiri Senanayake however, who was appointed, was a solid supporter of traditional SLFP socialism, and he lent himself to the maneuvers which led to a renewal of the alliance with the old left, and the return of Chandrika in triumph.
Chanaka however found himself courted by Premadasa who I believe appreciated the contribution he made to the All Party Conference that had been called. In time too Premadasa showed himself much more competent as well as more inclusive than we had previously thought. Though 1989 was an awful year, in which, after an attempt at a Ceasefire, he moved to crushing the JVP insurrection he had inherited, subsequently he showed himself able to compromise.