The Presidential election is not on good governance
Posted on December 9th, 2014

by Nalin de Silva  Courtesy Island

What are the deciding factors at the presidential elections that will be held within a month on the 8th of January 2015, the 47th anniversary of the death of Ven. Dambarawe Ratanasara Thera. It is certainly not the killing of the Thera while he was going on a demonstration against a bill on use of Tamil by the UNP government. Many people have forgotten the incident and it would not be an issue at the elections after nearly fifty years. January 8th happens to be the birthday of the late Mr. S W R D Bandaranaike but it is very unlikely that even Chandrika Kumaratunga remembers the day though she is fond of referring to so called Bandaranaike phobia of Mahinda Rajapaksa. If at all, it will be Mahinda Rajapaksa or his supporters who would mention the two anniversaries during the election campaign.

It is mainly the diehard UNPers, few academics and some so-called educated people who would pay lip service to democracy and good governance. It has to be said that they only pay lip service as they would not compare the SLFP led governments with the UNP governments of yesteryear on good governance and democracy. The UNP is not a paragon of virtue as far as good governance and democracy are concerned as Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhita Thera himself knows. There is no so-called good governance or democracy anywhere in the world and the UNP was not an exception. The seventeenth and eighteenth amendments are good for after dinner speeches as the common man is not bothered by any of these. The removal of Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake will not be an issue at all, as it was done legally even by the standards of so called democracy. It is good as a conversational topic for the so called educated people and if the former Chief Justice, I forget the serial number attached to her by the pundits who still believe that she is the CJ of the country, comes in support of the uncommon candidate Maithripala Sirisena, it will only devalue further her doubtful credentials.

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The common man whom I meet in three wheeled vehicles and among the traders along my road at Maharagama are not at all interested in democracy and good governance. However they know that there have been more elections under Mahinda Rajapakse though it may not be a yardstick of democracy as far as some “intellectuals” are concerned and they talk of the tarred/concrete roads, highways, their job opportunities, electricity and water supplies to their homes, and of course the freedom to travel to any part of the country without any fear. They know that their spouses and the children will return home from workplaces and schools as the case may be and that they do not have to guard the schools of their children on a rotational basis.

The average person may not have read the thirteenth amendment but he knows that Prabhakaran wanted a separate state and that he resorted to terrorism that was defeated by Mahinda Rajapaksa or in their language Mahinda Mahattaya or Janadhipathithuma. He also knows that the former Presidents including Chandrika Kumaratunga could not defeat Prabhakaran and terrorism. However, he knows that Ranil Wickremesinghe signed a pact with Prabhakaran which is called a ceasefire agreement and with that the latter got the upper hand. However, the average person does not know that according to the constitution only the President can declare war and peace as stipulated in Article 33 (e) and Chandrika Kumaratunga as the President could have annulled the ceasefire agreement if she wanted using her powers as the President. Thus, he is not aware that Ms. Kumaratunga was party to the ceasefire agreement, and Mr. Wickremesinghe had to carry the blame by himself. It is a case of blaming the father only while leaving out the mother for the birth of the ceasefire agreement.

The average person knows that the thirteenth amendment is on separatism though the pundits will claim that it is not so. The average person may not have heard of little now more later policy of Chelvnayakam but he knows by intuition that the “coming colour is no good” with respect to the thirteenth amendment. He is against the thirteenth amendment and would like to see it abolished and not the eighteenth amendment that has no relevance to his day to day life. The eighteenth amendment has relevance to the lives of even the pundits only in the abstract and its abolition is only a good conversational topic as has been mentioned earlier.

If an amendment to the constitution is going to have some impact on the Presidential Elections it is the thirteenth amendment that affects the lives of the people and not the eighteenth or the seventeenth amendments. The average person may know neither the intricacies of the thirteenth amendment nor that it was hatched by Indira Gandhi on the instructions of England and US but he knows that it was foul and that it undermined the sovereignty (freedom in his language) of the country. However, he also knows that the provincial councils based effectively on the thirteenth amendment (he is very unlikely to be aware of the provincial council act) cannot be abolished with so many Chief Ministers, Ministers and members, but would like to curtail some powers given by the thirteenth amendment, such as land powers and police powers. The average person unlike the “intellectuals” is not interested in abolishing or curtailing the powers of the executive presidency but would be happy to see that some powers of the provincial councils are curtailed. The average person knows that the LTTE could not have been defeated without an executive president who could stand up to pressure. He may not know exactly who applied pressure but he is aware of “parippu diplomacy” of the Gandhis and Solheim who considered Sri Lanka as his kitchen. Though he may not formulate in the same words he knows that executive presidency is only a necessary condition but not a sufficient condition to safeguard the sovereignty of the country. He knows that neither JR Jayewardene nor Chandrika Kumaratunga could stand up to pressure from various forces but Mahinda Mahattaya could do so. As far as Maithripala Sirisena is concerned the average person knows his record as the Minster of health who could not stand up to the pressure of the doctors. The average person, unless he is a diehard UNPer would not think of Maithripala Sirisena as a strong personality even in his dreams.

The average person by this time has lost his faith in the Parliament. The crossovers are not going to help him to have any confidence in the Parliament, and if those who spend money over the crossovers think that they could manipulate the destiny of the country with their wealth and funding then they are mistaken. The crossovers only undermine the authority of the Parliament if it had any, and would increase the confidence in a strong executive president. Those who encourage crossovers only help Mahinda Rajapaksa unknowingly or knowingly. The individuals associated with crossovers may think that they have a mass base that depends on their “personality” but they will learn their lessons after the presidential elections. It applies across the board from Maithripala Sirisena to Hirunika Premachandra through Tissa Attanayake. Most of the crossovers are not based on any policy but on personal reasons. The average person by now has realised that the crossovers only undermine his vote at the elections and he would like to see that his vote has a value over the entire period of any Parliament. With respect to a strong President he knows that his choice would not be bought by any agency and by selecting a weak defector as the so called common candidate of not one common opposition but of different oppositions with different policies the oppositions have failed.

The average person would not think of good governance or democracy when he votes but of the “nidahasa” of the country and of a person who would defend the “nidahasa” against all the powers. In short the presidential elections are only another step in the struggle against vijathika balawega (non national powers) and not on defending some abstract concepts imposed on us by the very same non national powers.

 

14 Responses to “The Presidential election is not on good governance”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “In short the presidential elections are only another step in the struggle against vijathika balawega (non national powers) and not on defending some abstract concepts imposed on us by the very same non national powers.”

    Presidential ELECTIONS itself is a concept imposed on us by non national powers!!

    SL never had these elections in the glorious past.

    Good governance = DASARAJADHARMA = MAITHRIPALANAYA as far as the common man understands. SL needs it.

    After EXACTLY 800 years later we have the national ruler from RAJARATA. Lets restart from where that kallathoni KALINGAM MAGHA (1215) ended the GLORIOUS Rajarata rule. De ja wu!

  2. Vimutti Says:

    Maithripala cannot point to ONE significant achievement that has helped the Sri Lanka people in his decades in government. His only attempted achievement – health warnings on cigarette packages – was poorly conceived and completely misplaced, as most Sri Lankans cannot afford a package of cigarettes and therefore buy single cigarettes. If Maithripala spent more time going to the corner grocery stores where most cigarettes are bought as singles rather than whizzing around to upscale parties in BMW limousines, he would have known that package warnings would not work in Sri Lanka.

    This highlights the disconnect between Maithripala rhetoric and his actions and capacity. For example, he famously told hospital staff attending to a man who was brutally assaulted by his son that “I am not like other ministers who would abuse power to intervene with the police to help out my son” and then moments later in a flurry of phone calls to the justice minister and police brass he gets his son released and the charges dropped. And this is the man who SAYS he is going to rein in corruption in Sri Lanka. Yeah, right.

    Perhaps more disturbing, Maithripala says he is going to immediately appoint Ranil Wickramasinghe as his Prime Minister if he is elected as a condition of Ranil making him the opposition candidate with UNP party support. But the last time Ranil was Prime Minister in Sri Lanka, he was a favorite lapdog of the American right wing Neocons, and made Sri Lanka airports available to assist with the US CIA rendition and torture of US terror suspects. Ranil also pushed the divisive 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution favored by the Tamil Tiger terrorists, that would essentially setup an autonomous Tamil controlled territory in the North and East on the small island of Sri Lanka, which could then be used as a stepping stone for a separate Tamil country in the future. We need only look at the Pakistan-Kashmir situation in India to know that this sort of separatism leads to decades of conflict down the road, and keeps Sri Lanka divided when the focus should be on unifying the country.

    And, finally, Maithripala and his opposition coalition partners at their MOU signing party claim they are concerned with “China expansionism”, when China is the ONLY country in the world that is putting up the multi-BILLION dollar investments in Sri Lanka to develop the country. These large scale investments come with “no internal meddling” strings attached, unlike you typically find with US or EU development dollars, and dwarf by a wide margin (perhaps 100-1) the entire sum of US-EU development dollars allocated to Sri Lanka since independence in 1947. The US China Containment Policy is a FAILED policy, in that China just surpassed the United States last week as the largest economy in the world. To think that Maithripala is more interested in supporting such a failed policy of the United States rather than have Sri Lanka rise WITH China as a key partner is beyond ignorance and simply betrays the welfare of the people of Sri Lanka.

    In short, Maithripala is the dream candidate of neo-colonists who want to employ the same divide-and-conquer tactic that was so successful during the days when Sri Lanka was a British colony. He doesn’t have clue on how to further develop the Sri Lanka economy, lift people out of poverty, or manage the delicate international relationships for the long-term benefit of ONE Sri Lanka.

  3. SA Kumar Says:

    kallathoni KALINGAM MAGHA (1215) ended the GLORIOUS Rajarata rule. !!!
    end of the day prodecter of Mother (i)Lanka(i) is We-Tamils like We kicked out IPKF .

    Anpudan..
    Hela Damilaya ( Eelath Thamilan).

  4. Vimutti Says:

    I think a simplified campaign slogan should be:

    MR – ONE SRI LANKA

    MS – DIVIDED SRI LANKA

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    “In short, Maithripala is the dream candidate of neo-colonists who want to employ the same divide-and-conquer tactic that was so successful during the days when Sri Lanka was a British colony. He doesn’t have clue on how to further develop the Sri Lanka economy, lift people out of poverty, or manage the delicate international relationships for the long-term benefit of ONE Sri Lanka.”

    Well said, Vimutti! ABSOLUTELY!

  6. Wickrama Says:

    Lorenzo,

    A better and more realistic equation.

    MAITHREEPALANAYA = MAITHREEPALA + NAYA (SERPENT) !!!

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    My3 is far more DISTANT to COLONIALISTS and NEOCOLONIALISTS than the other options.

    Is it My3 who is the current head of the colonial commonwealth?

    I don’t think so. He should NOT have accepted this post. His advisors misled him.

  8. Vimutti Says:

    Another Red Herring, Lorenzo!

    Being head of Commonwealth these days is about uniting with FORMER British colonies to make sure colonialism doesn’t take root again. Nearly all of these countries had a similar experience to Sri Lanka with the British divide-and-rule tactic, and therefore the challenge of uniting locals AGAINST the colonists is what all of these countries have in common.

    Sri Lanka is in a great position to lead these other countries by example, and not falling for the divisive tricks of the neocolonists who secretly smile every time there are ethnic and religious skirmishes in their former colonies, as this is what gave them power over us for such a long time.

    ONE SRI LANKA (MR) is the neocolinists’ worst nightmare, and DIVIDED SRI LANKA (MS) is their dream.

  9. Independent Says:

    රට පුරා සවි කළ නීති විරෝධී බැනර හා පෝස්ටර ඉවත් කිරීමට දිවයින පුරා පොලිස් මට්ටමින් කම්කරුවන් 2010 දෙනකු බඳවා ගන්නා බව පොලිස් මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශක ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ පොලිස් අධිකාරී අජිත් රෝහණ මහතා කියයි.
    මූලස්ථාන පොලිසියකට පස් දෙනකු ද, නාගරික පොලිසියකට සිව් දෙනකු ද, උප පොලිසියකට තිදෙනකු ද, ගම්බද කුඩා පොලිසියකට දෙදෙනකු ද ලබා දෙනු ඇත.

    To remove illegal banners and posters all over the country, an army of 2010 labours have been employed. – Police

    What a waste of wealth of the country ! Do these people love the country ?

  10. Independent Says:

    “Sri Lanka has changed its attitude towards Indian fishermen straying into its territorial waters, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Tuesday.
    The minister said the Indian government had appealed at the highest levels in Sri Lanka to commute the death sentences of five Indian fishermen who had been sentenced to death. ”

    Another tow months time, she will say Sri Lanka has changed the attitude towards Tamils after Modi has handled it at the highest level. This is definitely coming unless people of Sri Lanka act decisively at the elections.

  11. Vimutti Says:

    Another Red Herring!

    The fisherman issue has been resolved, as TN has agreed to place GPS monitoring devices on all Indian fishing boats and notify them when they get close to straying into Sri Lanka waters.

  12. Ananda-USA Says:

    Vimutti said,

    “Another Red Herring, Lorenzo!”

    Indeed, ANOTHER RED HERRING by the Master fisherman!

    “Sri Lanka is in a great position to lead these other countries by example, and not falling for the divisive tricks of the neocolonists who secretly smile every time there are ethnic and religious skirmishes in their former colonies, as this is what gave them power over us for such a long time.”

    INDEED, it gives Sri Lanka ANOTHER FORUM to develop alliances to FEND OFF the Western agenda against SRi Lanka. Well said … AGAIN … Vimutti!

  13. Independent Says:

    Yes. Let us accept what masters says !

    These poor Indian fishermen babies who use illegal methods for fishing were not aware of the fact that they are in Sri Lanka waters.
    All lies by SL government !
    They have plenty of fish in Indian waters !

    Whom are we fooling ?

    Same thing with innocent Indian Fishermen who have been accused and falsely convicted of serious drug trafficking by corrupt , racist , murderous Sri Lankan government !

    Friends. Please wake up from induced coma. You yourselves are betraying our Naval brothers and sisters now !
    Please ask yourself , these service men who provide surveillance for us will be severely betrayed , discouraged, demoralized to the maximum.

    Well done! ANOTHER RED HERRING by the Master fisherman!
    Sri Lanka has swallowed his bate !

  14. Independent Says:

    Dear Sri Lankan Fish,

    Please watch out for more juicy baits coming from master Fisherman.

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