The Lankaweb Weekly Editorial



The Agenda Of A Succesful Future President Offset Against The Presidential Race.

The Forthcoming election for the next Executive President by late November 2005 appears to be enmeshed not only in circumspect speculation but also a degree of uncertainty as to who would emerge the ultimate victor.On paper at least and listening to the voices at street level it appears that it would be a cake walk for incumbent Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse. (with a little help from his friends. )

But then there is the anticipated skulduggery, subterfuge and intimidations in the form of election malpractices particularly in the North and East being planned in all probabilities by the LTTE / TNA alliance towards coercing through intimidation or any other means, their obviously favoured candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe.

It must be remembered that despite close scrutiny by Foreign Monitors the LTTE indulged in similar manner towards the eventualities which projected the TNA into Parliament previously which was none other than a farce!

Such a manifestation of irregularities would more than likely be with the covert approval of the leader of the opposition Ranil Wickremasinghe himself, in the event of indications of a resounding loss showing on the cards towards the end his campaign, a plan B according to some analysts as opposed to a straightforward normal democratic and fair electoral contestation.

Something which needs to be anticipated and remedial preventive action set in place if thus required so that the entire scenario of the Presidential election does not turn out to be another farce which would require setting in place stringent measures albeit of a mitigating nature which could turn out to be some Fait Acompli for the authorities given the volatile nature of any election related climate within Sri Lanka.

While Wickremasinghe has been blaring out hiis usual rhetoric on the campaign trail about the inefficiencies of the present Government and what he would do to compensate for them in the event of his return to power,(very familiar rhetoric which the more discerning and perhaps even the general voting public know to be as hollow as the long bamboos skirting the Kelani River given his track record!) his opposite number Rajapakse has been quietly building up his resources towards the ultimate victory in a somewhat slow but convincing manner where he now has the backing of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) with the blessings of the President, a vast proportion of the general voting public of mixed ethnicities, most importantly, the anti - LTTE Tamils and Muslims which he appears to have wooed succesfully and most prominently those of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)

A factor which might or might not be confirmed on Nomination Day and could also result in other entries into the contest which could further complicate the smooth running of the Presidential Election Process for the front runners as the issue would then be, how the votes would be split and in whose favour?

Despite much anticipation however about the third candidate retired Major-General Janaka Perara, who has been Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia and later transferred to Jakarta, there are breaking news reports that he is more than likely to opt out of the challenge to run for Presidency but time will tell.

Bearing in mind that Presidential elections have changed dramatically in Sri Lanka after the J.R.Jayawardena era where a new constitution was formatted through a two-thirds majority in the 1977 parliamentary elections and in 1978 the constitution ammended to accomodate a near dictatorial concept of the Presidency hitherto unknown in Sri Lankan politics, it has changed the political environment radically through the handing over of supreme powers to the Executive Presidency which makes it a high office which affords an unprecedented overall authority towards governing and administering Sri Lanka.

Something which the experts argue over and over about its meritworthiness which has perhaps embroiled the Nation in a cauldron of political energies detrimental toward smooth functioning as it involved too much unilateral decision making by an all powerful President veritably demonstrated in recent times and compounded by the inability of the Administration helmed by an Executive President to address key issues which have been sidelined in favour of obtuse priorities and the Nation exposed to the attrocities of a ruthless, deceitful and cunning enemy which have not been Presidential priorities in need of elimination. putting down in defeat or being wiped off the face of Sri Lanka completely where the most obvious conclusions perhaps were based on apprehensive reluctance in a need to please 'carrot dangling' others or the inability to do so based on the uncertainty of success or a combination of both !!

All in all, despite the hoopla and hype of the media circus leading towards the forthcoming election, whomsoever is elected into the prestigious chair needs to bear in mind that his task will be daunting, challenging and needs to be forthwith about his policies towards addressing the needs of the Nation once he claims the Presidency, one which has been left in somewhat of a disarray by his predecessor who seems to have fizzled out a damp squib after a brilliant beginning yet holding her own against some of her adversaries and critics in defiance and preservation of the dynasty she represent which by itself is admirable where only her sense of judgement seems to have let her down in some situations!

Sri Lanka desperately needs rebuilding in may forms and a lasting peace imperative. The Nation can no longer tolerate the dictates of any Executive President whose sole interest may be holding on to power without a real mandate nor authority to do so short of a military disctatorship!

The solutions of a Nation battered by insurgency, corruption and political uncertainty is not a Nation forging ahead towards a golden future which can only be realised if the needs and aspirations of all communities are addressed and by no means an easy accomplishment.

It entails turning around a flagging economy, ending the LTTE threat to the Nation permanently which continues to hamper its progress, jettisoning unwelcome mediators who have turned into infiltrators favourable to the oppressors of the nation, restoring a permanent peace for all communities and reconstructing the infrastructure of the Sri Lankan Nation based on focussing attentions towards strong values that can bring peace, dignity, self-respect to members of all communities in restoring a normal order of things which needs to be part of the main agenda of any succesful presidential candidate whose victory would then undoubtedly be assured!



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