From Kandy to Colombo and then to Galle
Posted on December 19th, 2014

By Charles.S.Perera

Fast trains, highways, tall buildings clean cities are no more unrealized dreams  to the people of  Sri Lanka.   The inter city train takes you from  Kandy to Colombo in a matter of three hours.  Kandy is just beginning its beautification program while Colombo is already into it.

There is in the mean time a wide disparity in the thinking of the people in Kandy and those in Colombo, so much so  when it comes to elections, which is uppermost in the minds of the people today.  The Presidential elections not being too far away, one has to be cautious in bringing  people into a conversation on politics.

In Kandy there are those who speak of corruption and thinking of voting differently this time though they had voted twice to the President Mahinda Rajapakse. But  when they are asked  whether they could really expect a change from the opposition, they admit they do not believe that neither Chandrika nor Ranil Wickramasinghe could bring  any change  but  they think Maithripala  may be able to.  But on second thought they think perhaps  they should give the President Mahinda Rajapakse a third chance. So said a man seated next to me when he  was getting up to get down from the bus.

Some of the women  voters said they would  definitely  not vote for  Maithripala Sirisena who for them is a traitor who cannot be trusted.. A fishmonger taking fish on his bicycle while selling fish said he would not waste his vote on any one as he is certain if there is any one who could  make changes it is the President  Rajapakse as he  has already the experience of  making changes.

A young Muslim boy when he was asked who he thinks would be elected, he said though he does not know much about politics he thought it would be the President Mahinda Rajapakse as he is already well known. When he was asked what the Muslims think about him, he said according to his parents President Rajapakse  is accessible to all without distinction of  race and religion.

Another man in a bus  wondered what had happened to all the gold that had been taken by the Armed Forces. When he was told that the government is of course answerable  and that the gold would be handed over to owners. He said that if that were to happen the President will definitely  clear the doubts the  people have about the  corruption of the government.

In fact it was reported recently that at a function held at the Temple Trees,  some of the gold  seized from the terrorists were handed over to the respective families.  It was said that further investigations are being carried out to search for the owners of the gold still remaining with the government..

The Colombians are another kettle of fish. There are some who are very critical of the President Mahinda Rajapakse yet remain doubtful of  the  alternative candidate presented by the opposition.   The several MoUs that the Common Candidate of the opposition was made to sign with UNP, JHU, TNA, Chandrika and Sarath Fonseka  are not to the liking of some of the Colombians. Nevertheless, they seem to agree that handing over the executive powers to a Prime Minister would be a good beginning even though the time frame of 100 days for the purpose has been  rather exaggerated to please the crowd.  But as time goes it appears that there is a change of hearts even amoung the Colombians.

Srirsena the common candidate makes far too many contradiction changing what he had said a while ago to some thing entirely different from what he says later.  The TV channels are profiting from it to portray Sirisena as an unreliable political element.

Tissa Attanayaka`s cross over to the government side followed by Gamanpila of JHU leaving the party is a great deception for those who were critical of the President ,  now they are beginning  to have second thoughts.  One complained that the government of the President is turning out to be oligarchic, but nevertheless he said  he sees no alternative but to vote  Mahinda Rajapakse.

Lot of attention is being paid  to talk shows and debates in theTelevision, but the representatives of the opposition supporting the Common candidate are unable to come out with new facts to challenge those representing the President Mahinda Rajapakse. These debates have turned out to be boring and a waste of time ending in unpleasant worthless arguments reduced to personal attacks on those representing the government.

A young man in a restaurant inside the Arcade in Galle Fort said that lot of persons he has come in contact with will surely vote for the President. The Common Candidate he said has not proved to be a challenge to the President  both by his personality and by his inability to explain what new changes he proposes if he would come to hold the reins of the Government.

He says that many of the Europeans who frequent the Restaurant  express their admiration to the President who has made remarkable changes  in a very short time. They some times act to show  how they traveled in vehicles  on  the broken potholed roads  that existed then , and said how comfortable   it is to travel now on  carpeted highways.

A three wheeler  taking us from Maharagama to Ratmalana showed the pavement around Bellanvila  and said that  he never expected such development. It is thanks to the President’s brother  that they see beauty and cleanliness in towns now and said there is no question that the people should change this President to another for some more time.

He scolded  UNP and Chandrika Kumaratunga saying that they had  failed to give some thing similar to what the President Mahinda Rajapakse has given to Sri Lanka, and said that their attempt to  replace the  President  will never materialize.

From what one can perceive and hear  from random discussions of ordinary people are that the President Mahinda Rajapakse has not lost his popularity amoung the people  despite all the talk of corruption, and the executive power he derives from his position.   The chances are that the President Mahinda Rajapakse may win the presidential elections with a greater percentage of votes.

19 Responses to “From Kandy to Colombo and then to Galle”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    IT WILL BE A DAMP SQUIB FOR SIRISENA RUNIL AND CHANDRIKA, AND OFCOURSE SAMPANDUNG AND ANURA KUMAR.

    LEGALLY, PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSE CAN GO ON FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS TILL NOVEMBER 2016, AS CONFIRMED BY THE JUDICIARY.

    TWEEDLY, TWEEDLY, TWEEDLY, DUM.

  2. Marco Says:

    SW you state

    “LEGALLY, PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSE CAN GO ON FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS TILL NOVEMBER 2016, AS CONFIRMED BY THE JUDICIARY.”

    Would you be able to provide the source of the above please

  3. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Well written article. it makes clear that President Rajapakse and what made him so popular is reinforced by the lack of any candidate with an equal or greater charisma.

  4. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    MY3 is a political self-serving opportunist. He’s involved for his own benefit. He’s a stooge. Compared to MY3 Mahinda almost looks saintly. Peace, stability, and government of, by and for everyone equitably and just matter most.

  5. Independent Says:

    “The Colombians are another kettle of fish. There are some who are very critical of the President Mahinda Rajapakse yet remain doubtful ……time goes it appears that there is a change of hearts even among the Colombians.”

    The way I understand form this article is the President will win with 90% majority, assuming some Colombian will vote for My3. But Charles has not given any figure.

  6. Marco Says:

    All Sri Lankan politicians are self-serving opportunist. There is no doubt about that.
    The cross-overs from either side clearly demonstrates it.

    At Election time there is a secret market being created for trades in a commodity called “politicians”.

    I did however smile when you said “Mahinda almost looks saintly”

  7. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    MARCO !! YES I CAN. Go to ASIAN TRIBUNE. THERE IS ONE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT IT.

  8. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    Charles, there are many in Honorable MR’s election campaign, who wants to discredit him by using unwanted threats to protesters. Anuruddha Thero living in a Tamil only area, Kevilliyamaduwa where he rehabilitated Sinhala families. Two days ago Honorable MR went there for a political meeting. Rehabilitated Sinhala took posters and protested; that they have not received ballot papers. Long before MR came Police Chief (I am Sure a Tamil) did a baton charge and 4 Poor villages had to be hospitalized. What is the election commissioner doing about this? Did any one inform MR about this incident? U-Tube has the photographic evidence. If any one wants to contact Anuruddha Thero, Kevilliyamaduwa, Mangalaramaya, Madakalapuwa. Sri Lanka. Any help to Anuruddha Thero is appreciated.

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    LEGALLY, PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSE CAN GO ON FOR ANOTHER TWO YEARS TILL NOVEMBER 2016, AS CONFIRMED BY THE JUDICIARY.”

    SW/Marco – if MR lost election on 09 Jan not even 2 days he can not stay in his office .
    MR won’t wait for SF come to his packing .

  10. Christie Says:

    We are back to 1951 when SWRD did the same and India managed to destroy the Sinhalese. If Sirisena wins it will be another Indian win.

  11. Marco Says:

    Susantha
    Thank you for your reference to the article written by KTR in the Asian Tribune.

    Phew! I thought for one moment you were referring to a creditable writer or source.
    Thanks all the same

  12. helaya Says:

    Charles,
    I hope you are correct. I keep my fingers crossed.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    SW,

    Wrong.

    Election commissioner made it clear that if MR loses, he has to go immediately.

    It is up to the WINNER to decide WHEN to take oath and the loser goes home at that point.

    My3 will take oaths on the 11th (auspicious day) in Rajarata reversing a 800 year drift away from Rajarata in 1215. Historic!

  14. Independent Says:

    Gold were distributed to Tamils.
    How about Gold taken from Sinhalese and Muslims ?
    Were they so poor they did not have any ?

  15. aloy Says:

    Charles,
    “The inter city train takes you from Kandy to Colombo in a matter of three hours.”
    Wonderful. I thought we are living in a world of bullet trains. Even a bullock cart would go faster than that.

    Thanks Charles for this thought provoking article.

  16. Lorenzo Says:

    Independent,

    The gold distributed to Tamils were ROBBED by the LTTE from Sinhalese and Muslims.

    LTTE did steal gold from Tamils but MOST of their robberies are from poor Sinhalese and Muslims. Muslims used to own ALL gold stores in Jaffna sometime back. They had to LEAVE all that and go.

    Did you see Tamil people getting an envelop containing gold at the Kilinochchi rally?

    What do Sinhala people get when they go for rallies? Nothing.

    “Udurata ran
    Dakunata ulang”

    But as always Tamil people will TAKE the gold but not VOTE. Aren’t they clever! Sinhala people donate their gold and vote too!!

  17. Independent Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Ratana Thero interview telecasted world wide. Almost all, saying they call from the Middle East tried to intimidate him. He kept very cool.
    He says they will make an attempt to be friends with Tamil people by getting them to be involved in development process. He says currently they are getting development as donations without their participation but unemployment is high. He thinks they should be approached in a friendly way and educated. He says your friend DD is treated as a terrorist there and will be a barrier between the two races. This means although JHU pushed resident to finish the war , also had a “carrot after war” plan. I am sure you are against it.

    He said the President just before 2005 presidential elections bribed LTTE not to vote for Runil and he has all details, how money was delivered and challenged if wrong go to courts. He agrees it produced good results , so, not a wrong thing.

  18. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Is it true that Rathana Thera is getting funds from Dalai Lama to chase Chines out from Sri Lanka?

    The police has received information that a son of a main candidate of the presidential election has been involved in a huge foreign exchange racket.A large number of swiss franks and US dollar notes had been found in the house of the finance’ of the son of this main candidate and in this connection the bride to be girl’s mother has been taken in by the police for questioning.Very soon it is contemplated to take the son of this candidate also into custody.

  19. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    MARCO !! It is not the writer or the source, it is the legality reflected over the issue, that matters. Lets be patient.

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