Lanka bristles with expectations of change -Can Ranil surf the post-Uva tide?
Posted on October 5th, 2014

by Kumar David Courtesy Island

Uva declared that the tide had turned, but the flood gates have not ruptured; it may be imminent or months away. The point is not 20% decline in UPFA vote from 2009 PC or 14% drop from 2010 general elections; rather it is the dynamics. The political stage is changed acutely; the Rajapaksa game has reached terminal decline. Lanka’s egregious misery cannot last, it has to snap. The worm, the pliant citizen, has turned, but when will chrysalis turn angry wasp?

A related concern is the crown prince in waiting. Does Ranil’s scalp fit the soon to be vacated executive crown? What about the Single Issue Common Candidate (SI-CC) suggestion that I have pushed so hard for years? I will not attempt to answer all questions today; that must emerge from a broader discourse. Discussion is already passionately joined, if not in the print and electronic media, at least in small rooms and seminars. My purpose here is to fertilise this debate in three steps. Must Lanka jettison the Rajapaksa regime? What about Ranil and the SI-CC? What afterwards?

Throw out the Rajapaksas pronto!

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The Mahinda-Gota-Basil outfit, its henchmen, hangers-on and familial bloodsuckers must be driven out pronto, that is as soon as constitutionally feasible. Consider people of Lanka, this litany of execrable wrongs that blight our nation under cover of Rajapaksa darkness!

* Indignities, abuses and humiliations inflicted by henchmen.

* Political hooliganism terrorising workplaces and police forces.

* Drug peddling in city neighbourhoods with politically guaranteed impunity.

* A kept and traduced superior judiciary; the elevation of sycophants.

* Minorities in thrall to a military jackboot, or to thuggish state-sponsored monks.

* Robbers appointed as Corporate Chairmen and Board Members.

* Ignorant nincompoops as Ambassadors to here and there

* Forget not the rapists who run provincial and local councils.

I have friends loyal to the Rajapaksa outfit, pro-government folks of many social classes and a bunch of lower and upper echelons in the Dead Left. Not one, no not one single person disputes this list of iniquities. The argument of non-leftists is: “He (they) won the war, so they should be in power – but of course they can do better”. Dead Leftists cower in shame and change the subject. Even in pro government circles I now perceive a shift. The Mahinda worshipping middle-class now intones: “Oh they did a good thing; we are grateful; but now it is time for them to go”. There was an unexpected response from pro-government campaigners in Uva to my remark that it was the economy that had turned away voters. No, they said, people are fed up with the whole rotten thing. (“Naa sahodaraya, me jarava sampoornenma epaavela”). RIP Rajapakse, the masses have spoken in Badulla and Moneragala. Case closed!

Ranil as Sir Galahad

The theory is that Ranil is a born loser and can never match Mahinda as a vote getter. I have reservations; it’s not so simple. If there is a shift and people imagine power is in the balance, kissing babies’ bottoms and Mahinda Mama charm as a man of the people will not count. And if there the shift is profound, it means disgust with the government on a bigger canvas has crystallised. Then, superficial popularity breeds contempt and kissing babies’ bottoms is ridiculed. If there is an anti-regime swing, the siblings too will no longer be strengths but encumbrances. One will be projected as a cryptic tyrant the other a venal trickster.

I have repeated “if there is a swing”, that is to say if crucial objective circumstances have matured at their own pace. My antennae say conditions have matured, but we need more evidence than just one Uva. President Rajapaksa faces an acute dilemma; can he risk Presidential polls now, or should he put it off for a year or more? An election now may mean defeat; but waiting will allow anger to ferment and blend with international regime-change strategies. Delay provides time to plot extra-parliamentary options – post-election violence in Badulla signals what’s to come. Faced with electoral defeat and legal action for crimes in office, rulers are tempted to incite unrest as a prelude to emergency rule and palace coups. Trapped in a heads I’m ruined, tails I’m damned, Catch-22?

It is amusing that the UNP lost, but is elated and rides victory marches; the UPFA won and is despondent. The former enjoys pleasant reveries, the latter fears kismet. There are two amusing supplementary hypotheses in circulation as well. One says: The UNP achieved nothing of significance in the last four years but performed well; the simpleton explanation is: Harin the wonder boy, he transformed all! Without depreciating Harin – he seems to be a fine young man – this overlooks the obvious. Yes the UNP has done nothing smart, but the government simply despoiled itself. The other hilarious hypothesis is that the revival of the UNP in Uva is thanks to Sajith. The Ranil-Sajith patch-up worked wonders; Eureka the UNP sprang to life! This is false; dullard Sajith contributed nothing in Uva. He is best left to croon pop lyrics and play his organ on stage.

Where does Uva leave my SI-CC strategy? Will a reenergised UNP deem that Ranil can go it alone on a full EP bid? Or is SI-CC now stronger? Will Ranil demand the Common Candidacy as his rightful due? I have reflected and concluded that the first option, the UNP going entirely alone, will end in defeat. We of SI-CC persuasion then need to think over the second and third questions in case the UNP demands one of its people is anointed Common Candidate in recognition of its enhanced new muscle. In the Sunday Island of 13 July I reflected on what the options would be if the UNP polled 40+% in Uva though this seemed unlikely to me at the time. I continue to stand by it.

“Ranil and the UNP should take note of five points. (a) Mahinda Rajapaksa can be defeated because he will be hard pressed to secure 60+% of the Sinhala-Buddhist vote, that is 40+% of the national vote. But he can be defeated only if the main opposition parties and groups field a joint candidate. (b) The way to get a joint candidate is to focus solely on the abolition of the executive presidency and exclude all diverging social and economic policies, including the UNP’s. (c) The road map must be unambiguously endorsement by all to give the public iron-clad confidence in the procedure. (d) If Ranil wishes to be prime minister in the future parliamentary system, there is no point in craving for a six-month temporary presidency. (e) If the UNP wishes to propose a name from its ranks for this “short-term job” it had better do it now”.

The UNP including Ranil surely understands (a); Mangala has said so explicitly. It follows that (b) and (c) are imperative. We can leave aside (d) and (e) for the UNP to decide for itself; but (d) is so obvious, it is stupid to ignore it. If Ranil seeks broad endorsement as Common Candidate, then (b) and (c) must be answered. Will he state loud, clear, repeatedly and unambiguously: “I pledge to abolish the executive presidency within six months”? If yes the UNP can endorse Sobitha’s Road Map or propose one of its own.

The UNP needs allies and Sarath Foneska is at the end of his go-it-alone tether; they need each other and Fonseka may bring a scale-tipping 5% vote. Another critical concern is security. The military has been blatantly politicised by this regime, hence a new government must bear threats to constitution and democracy in mind. Fonseka if given a key defence appointment can blunt this threat. Furthermore, if Ranil and UNP pledge to abolish EP expeditiously, it would bring in substantial pro-Sobitha votes. However Ranil lusts for EP; so I have no clue what the eventual decision will be.

After Rajapaksa

First make the pleasant assumption that we will be rid of EP and have in its place a UNP-led or a SLFP-led parliamentary government. The second lamentable case is if Ranil is elected executive president. The third calamitous option is what to do if Rajapaksa secures a third executive presidential term. I will reserve this for a later piece for reasons of space and as it now seems the least likely.

In the first case, whichever the parliamentary government and which the opposition, it is best to keep both at arms length like putrefying fish. Democracy and the public interest will be served by a strong, even if minority, radical left opposition in parliament. It is not possible to wind back the clock but there was a time in our history when irrespective of which big party was in office it was the people’s tribunes of the left who guarded public interests and democratic freedoms. Uva has shown that a third force, the JVP in this case, will be squeezed when the contest between the big players becomes acute. However in a parliamentary option there will be constituencies to mimic Yatiyantota, Akuressa, Colombo Central or Panadura of yore. A phalanx of bold opposition members in a future parliament is where we should place our trust.

If the UNP refuses to pledge abolition of the EP and Ranil seeks glory, which rascal wins makes little difference; repulsive EP will go on. Does it matter whether it is Rajapaksa-3 or Ranil-1? Our task remains unchanged; to pull down EP which is the root of our autocratic evils.

 

11 Responses to “Lanka bristles with expectations of change -Can Ranil surf the post-Uva tide?”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    I know you Kumar David from your early days at the Engineering Faculty of our alma mater, the University of Peradeniya.

    Since then, I have become increasingly disappointed and disenchanted with your elitist divisive politics which seems to geared to undermining our Motherland at every turn.

    Although you seem to be praying for the return of another weak unpatriotic government, under the likes of that arch-traitor Ranil, similar to those that had presided over 30 years of torture while Sri Lanka burned and treacherous NGOs brought the country to its knees, I think you have miscalculated badly now, for the common people of Sri Lanka are not with you.

    The ordinary people of Sri Lanka know who defeated and eradicated terrorism in their Motherland, and freed them to return home from work in one piece, and restored their pride in their native country.

    They know who is developing the nation at breakneck speed, bringing economic progress to the country, and to their own lives, and gives them a realistic hope for a brighter future in the next decade. As ordinary people go about living their lives, they see, feel, enjoy, and are living the benefits brought about by the Rajapaksa government that many successive previous governments, with all the false smarter-than-thou wisdom that you display now, failed to achieve on their behalf.

    Therefore, I say that however much mud you cast at this government, and prognosticate its imminent defeat, that is merely an anti-national hope on your part.

    The people of Sri Lanka will neither listen to you, nor agree with you, because they know who is throwing that mud, and on whose side you have always been, and you are even now. Your false fortunetelling will be amply exposed in the upcoming Presidential elections.

    My advice to you is to crawl into the nearest deep dark hole, and plug it permanently shut behind you!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Observe which parties are joining hands with the UNP and the traitors of the TNA to bring down the Rajapaksa Govt.

    ……………………
    Ten opposition parties in Sri Lanka to meet next week to discuss the Presidential election

    Oct 04, Colombo: Ten opposition parties in Sri Lanka plan to meet next week in Colombo to discuss about the upcoming Presidential election.

    The opposition parties are expected to identify the common grounds regarding the Presidential election at this meeting.

    The discussion will be held under the patronage of the Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremasinghe after his return from London.

    Main opposition United National Party (UNP) sources say the emphasis is on the issues such as corruption, nepotism, rising cost of living and most importantly, the deteriorating law and order situation in the country, rather than on a candidate.

    The leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, Democratic People’s Front, Nawa Sama Samaja Party, United Socialist Party, Nawa Sihala Urumaya, Ruhunu People’s Party, National Unity Front, United People’s Front and Mawbima Janatha Party are expected to participate in the discussion.

    Some major opposition parties including the Marxist party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Democratic Party (DP) do not plan to participate in this discussion.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Let the JVP bug out, and liquidate itself in the process. Together with the LSSP, they oppose the Executive Presidency anyway!

    Sri Lanka needs the strong Executive Presidency to defend the nation against the multi-various anti-national forces arrayed against it and orchestrated by foreign paymasters.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa MUST REMAIN PRESIDENT for AT LEAST the NEXT DECADE if Sri Lanka is to attain the NATIONAL VISION of becoming the New Wonder of Asia, without losing momentum half-way.

    Let us not change horses in mid-stream, and swap a proven patriotic leader for a proven traitor of “Pamankada not Alimankada” fame. Reject totally all prognostications by NGO lackeys buying REGIME CHANGE for their FOREIGN PAYMASTERS.

    PATRIOTS of Lanka …. Rally around the UPFA/SLFP/MR in your own self-interest to defend the nation now!

    ……………..
    Sri Lanka Marxist party to boycott Presidential election if President contests

    Oct 04, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) announced that the party would neither contest nor support a common candidate at a future Presidential election if incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa contested it.

    JVP argued that the President cannot contest for a third election since the constitutional amendment in regard of this has not been made effective for the past and the President Rajapaksa’s disqualification to contest for a third term is not removed.

    JVP further stated that the Presidential election would be illegal if the Election Commissioner accepted President Rajapaksa’s nomination.

    In such context, the JVP would boycott the Presidential election and enlighten the public about the illegality of the election, JVP announced.

    Following the ruling party’s decline in the number of voters for the party at last month’s Uva Provincial Election, it is anticipated that the President will run for a third term before his popularity wanes further. JVP says it will start a series of seminars from October 15 from Kandy against the Presidential election. The party will hold the second seminar in Colombo on October 17.

  4. Marco Says:

    Ananda USA
    I note with disappointment that you feel any criticism (mud) justified or unjustified of the current governance of MR GOSL is ANTI- NATIONAL. You appear to have fallen into the “clasp” too.
    Reading through your comment you appear to be attacking/critic of the messenger and not the message.
    I do not necessarily agree with KD analysis in its entirety.
    I certainly don’t believe Ranil will ever win. Neither do i want MR to win with a large majority, purely on the basis that there should be appropriate checks and balances to govern in a credible manner.
    Hence I would agree with KD final sentence

    Pull down Executive Presidency which is the root of our autocratic evils.

    Oh!- I forgot, Didn’t MR promise that on two separate elections?

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    Marco,

    Go do some research on the anti-national positions Kumar David has taken over the years, and tell me again what you conclude.

    Kumar David ignores all accomplishments of the present govt and waxes enthusiastic about many other failed governments and failed leftist movements.

    The UPFA Govt functions in an environment filled with enemies trying to restore the anarchy of the last 30 years. It is far from perfect, but it is a heck of lot better than all alternatives. I’ll take the PROVEN PATRIOTS of this Govt any day over the PROVEN TRAITORS clamoring for power.

    Yes, I am shooting this messenger of gloom and doom, for the messenger and the message is full of bias and prejudice.

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Well said Ananda on Kumar David (a peaceful Tamil Elam supporter).

    “The leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, Democratic People’s Front, Nawa Sama Samaja Party, United Socialist Party, Nawa Sihala Urumaya, Ruhunu People’s Party, National Unity Front, United People’s Front and Mawbima Janatha Party are expected to participate in the discussion.”

    MINUTE VOTE BASES!

    Except TNA, others cannot get even 0.5% of the vote. A group of clowns.

    JVP not contesting the presidential election will make people FORGET there is a JVP. A bad decision.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    “Throw out the Rajapaksas pronto!”

    This is a HATEFUL thinking.

    There is NO need to throw out people ELECTED by the people. MR has his problems but GR is a great leader. GR should not be thrown out because one doesn’t agree with MR.

    And the reasons given for “throwing out” even MR is NOT valid. There are REAL reasons for defeating MR. These are NOT them.

  8. aloy Says:

    The one who is able to garner Tamil, Muslim and the catholic vote without alienating the Sinhalas will win the next presidential election. It cannot be Ranil or Sajith; majority of people in SL knows how much inferiority complex Sajith’s father suffered and more over he has no brains to rule SL. I think there are others in that party who can do it and also clean its anti national outlook.

  9. MuhammadFS Says:

    Wishful thinking Aloy.

    Tamils are highly exclusive today. Their demands are complex and merging the north and east and awarding it to a Tamil majority party is their biggest demand. Muslims are vehemently against this demand. Muslims prefer the East to remain under Muslim leadership as it has a Muslim majority. This is one big power Mahinda has. Muslims fear if he loses, East will once again fall into the hands of Tamils. We all remember how bad things were for Muslims during that time. Friday Jumma prayers were disrupted by Tamils. Mosques were attacked. New mosques were not approved.

    So Tamil and Muslim demands are contradictory where it matters.

    Singhalese have also become increasingly ethnic conscious in the past few years. Unifying them all in one platform is impossible. Even if temporary unification is possible, it will be easily broken down by TNA, SLMC and BBS.

    Singhala votes are sufficient to win an election in Srilanka. Tamils and Muslims automatically join in when they see which party has more Singhala votes. This has been the trend always.

    Most Muslims prefer Premadasa. A Ranil-Sajith coalition is best for the UNP to win minority votes. UNP cannot take minority votes for granted anymore.

  10. Nanda Says:

    “New mosques were not approved. ”
    That is a good thing for Sri Lanka. We must support a Tamil dominate east then.why do you need more and more mosques ?

  11. Ananda-USA Says:

    Let me direct a few questions to the critics of the GOSL led by MR, vociferously criticizing and slinging volumes of mud at the present government of Sri Lanka.

    In which period of Sri Lanka, have we had a corruption-free government that was not criticized by its political opponents? When?

    In which part of the world are governments completely free-of corruption? UK, US, Norway and India perhaps? Don’t make me laugh, for I can quote Chapter and Verse to the contrary. Watergate in the US, and Tamilgate in Norway comes to mind.

    In world history, were there any governments that were not accused of corruption, and worse, by the opposition?

    Abraham Lincoln’s US Govt during the US Civil War that restored the integrity of the nation and freed the slaves was viewed as a tyrannical govt in its day by many and Lincoln demonized as the devil incarnate, Churchill’s UK Govt during World War II that saved Britain from the Nazis, but was kicked out in a landslide immediately afterwards, Theodore Roosevelt’s US Govt that freed the US economy from monopoly control was demonized by business as a dictatorship and accused of violating the Constitution, Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu now sits in prison for enriching herself in office while the Gandhi’s were accused of nepotism and extra-official governance by Sonia Gandhi, the Senayake-Kothalawala UNP govts that ushered independence to Sri Lanka was ousted disastrously by the SLFP championing the common man’s aspirations, Barack Obama’s present US government that extended healthcare to all Americans is accused of bungling US foreign policy, and presiding over corruption in the Internal Revenue Service. Need I go on to list more …?

    Which of these governments has not been demonized and roundly accused of corruption and assorted crimes by the political opposition? The answer is clear: NONE!

    The difference that exists between those instances in world history and the current situation in Sri Lanka, is that there are powerful foreign forces today funding and orchestrating the destabilization of popularly elected governments in various parts of the world, INCLUDING SRI LANKA, who hire full time propagandists to achieve their ends, using the internet, the world wide web, and smartphone based social media tools widely available today.

    We saw these strategies at work in the Arab Spring revolutions, in Sudan, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, that working through presumably “concerned internet democrats” undermined and displaced established governments, pitted various segments peoples in those countries against each other, created social chaos where there was none, and are now WAILING WORLDWIDE like innocent bystanders about the anarchy they themselves seeded and planted in those nations turning them into conflict-ridden anarchies.

    Today, millions of their citizens have died as a result, and have been reduced to poverty, homelessness and refugee status. Not too long ago, before the MR’s UPFA govt took matters in hand, Sri Lanka was in the SAME SOUP, with complete lawlessness, bombs going off killing people at will, and foreign governments and NGOs demonizing the GOSL and advocating the disintegration of our Motherland into communal fiefdoms. We have to understand, that TOLERANCE of these self-serving voices advocating “human rights” and “democracy” for terrorists and anti-national forces, was primarily responsible for our failure to solve the problems of Sri Lanka. Divesting ourselves of that slavish brainwashed mindset was central to our deliverance from the grip of anarchy. Never again should we as a people fall into that trap.

    The same process that created that chaos is now being attempted to undermine Sri Lanka, with political activists in the pay of foreign paymasters frequenting the social media in the guise of “genuine citizens” voicing “genuine complaints” against the Govt of Sri Lanka.

    In the recent past, major newspapers, NGOs and individuals have been bought like cattle and paraded about voicing a litany of complaints, and creating conflict where there were none before. New organizations, NGOs and brand new commenters are springing magically, and after establishing their “bona fides” as “true patriots” for a few months, get to work assiduously to deliver on their anti-national assignments with their paymasters.

    As the Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka grow closer, expect these anti-national voices carefully voicing their disagreements now, to become QUITE FRANTIC in delivering shotgun blasts against the MR-led GOSL.

    I strongly urge those who visit LankaWeb, and read the posts and the comments that appear here, to be aware that a phalanx of political agents in the pay of foreign paymasters, local politicians in Sri Lanka, and members of the Eelamist Tamil Diaspora, are now at work attempting to capture the debate at LankaWeb, overwhelming the established posture of LankaWeb as a patriotic website committed to fostering Sri Lanka’s independence, sovereignty, and its rapid development to become the New Wonder of Asia in the near future.

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