Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections: Thoughts for the Floating Voters/New Voters on the Common Candidate
Posted on December 22nd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The floating voters and the new voters are 2 important segments in the arithmatic that would decide who would emerge as President in January 2015. The floating voters are people who may have at one time voted for different parties and now disgusted with voting and contemplating whether to vote or not. The new voters obviously excited about exercising their first time voting right may also be puzzled to determine who to vote for – the incumbent President or a contender in an alliance that will be President for 100 days and thereafter hand power over to another. The floating voter and new voters are important because they can realistically view the campaign slogans from a point of view that would question which candidate is most suited to lead the nation and provide peace and stability to Sri Lanka both at local and international level, which is what all voters need to think about before they place their vote.

What is important about the challenge to the incumbent in the form of a new alliance is that it is promising CHANGE – but this change being promised is by a same set of politicians who have been in politics, enjoyed perks and privileges of office, crossed over several times and have had to tag on to larger political parties for survival at different periods under different leaders. On the face of it there is no CHANGE as the people coming forward with the change mantra are the same politicians wanting to hold on to power under a new set of rules and conditions.

You want change – But what is the Change you are getting?

  • The same people are appearing with a different theme
  • The same people are singing a different song
  • The same people are promising a difference – but their terms in office was nothing the country could be proud of
  • Can the same people be trusted when they had broken our trust some more than once?
  • Do you trust Chandrika? Do you trust Ranil? Do you trust Mangala? Do you trust Wickramabahu? Do you trust Sambanthan? Do you trust Champaka R? Do you trust Rajitha? Can you trust Maithri? – Can they be trusted to entrust the country with 20m people to safeguard?
  • If the same faces that held power and wish to continue power are lining up to promise change, do you seriously think they can bring about change. More importantly is the change they are promising, the change that YOU want to see?
  • Is the risk worth taking in wanting to vote for CHANGE but knowingly voting for people who have been proven failures in office?
  • More importantly these failures are currently taking a back-office role because they cannot come out before the people to contest on their own however, floating voters and new voters need to realize that a future Maithri Government will place all of them in Ministerial roles and these are the very people who were failures in office.

The ambiguity – Maithripalanayak for 100 days and what thereafter?

  • The 1st important thing that floating voters/new voters must note is that the Opposition lobby was one created not amongst them or by them but by another secret group because the main Opposition party’s Leader the present Opposition Leader cannot win elections. He will neither step down as Leader of the Party nor change the party’s Constitution though he wishes to change the country’s Constitution for which he went to get trained in the US.
  • The 2nd important point is that no person or party or parties can form an alliance and contest without drawing the UNP given its traditional vote base.
  • The 3rd important point is the assurance that in exchange for the UNP votes contributing alongside the votes of others forming the new alliance, the deal is for the UNP leader to be handed power thus the 100 day story. Why is it then that the election manifesto, campaign slogan all speak of a ‘Maithri’ – Compassionate ‘palanayak’ only under Maithri …. Shouldn’t  the campaign be a joint Maithri-Ranil palanayake? Is it not for this reason together with certain slip ups by non-UNP supporters in the Maithri wing tilted more towards CBK that they are beginning to wonder whether Ranil or the UNP will have a future or role if Maithri were to emerge President and Maithri would prefer tutelage under CBK instead.
  • If Maithripala Sirisena cannot win without the UNP votes, why should the UNP voters vote a non-UNP when they easily have people to prop up as a contestant instead of Ranil. If everyone was surprised at the meek-looking former General Secretary of the SLFP emerging as a Presidential Candidate what is the harm in fielding a UNP candidate as there are enough of charismatic and strong personalities within the party to select from? Why have none of the other UNP leaders being considered to be groomed as Presidential candidate? Is it because Ranil would lose his place in the Party as a result so he prefers hiring an outsider?

Do you trust the Opposition Camp?

  • Can you entrust the country’s stability to the same faces that have been proven failures in leadership roles?
  • Can we be assured that the peace and stability that currently prevails will continue under their leadership?
  • Can we envisage decision making when all of them can’t agree on anything except wanting to somehow come into power.
    What will bickering amongst these element result in when it comes to crucial international matters where forthright, stern and nation-centric decisions require to be taken?
  • When some in the camp are for division of the country, some want devolution, some want separatism, some want foreign powers to control the country, some will siphon of everything for profit and some are willing to go along with anything because all they want to do is enjoy perks and privileges – what is this scenario likely to lead to for the country?

An important factor for floating voters/new voters to take note of – no Conspiracy theories

  • The Presidential Election is about voting for a leader that can bring stability and peace to Sri Lanka and handle the international lobby against the country. The crucial point is that the nations that are punishing Sri Lanka for ending the war using their influence in the UN/UNHRC are the very nations that are behind the Common Candidate.
  • What is the likely danger if such people are ready to give everything and anything on the deal that they would be kept in power – these are no laughing or exaggerated scenarios for the very nations backing the common candidate have been successful at dividing Yugoslavia to pieces, creating an independent Kosovo and then leaving the people in chaos, arming insurgents in nations that they want stakes in so that the people are kept embroiled in eternal conflict while they escape with the loot (Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and now Libya prime examples) These are certainly no conspiracy stories. These nations have been destroyed by the very nations that are today responsible for selecting a candidate calculating the arithmatic on how votes are likely to sway on paper unless people are informed enough to realize the dangers.
  • Much as most voters may hate informing themselves of what is happening around the world and to countries around the world in particular smaller developing nations that are strategically placed beneficial for global geopolitics, it is time they should especially the Colombo and other urban voters. It is the realization of the gameplans and plots taking place around the world at a political level that a country needs a strong leader and a strong government minus small parties with small vote bases but with the ability to hold a coalition to ransome by their demands.

 Is the country safe in the hands of people who have lead the country before and failed?

If we have not forgotten we need to now recall that

  • More than half of total soldiers deaths occurred during the reign of Mrs. Chandrika Kumaratunga, most battle failures took place under her reign.
  • She was together with Ranil Wickremasinghe ever ready to sign the PTOMs and ISGA whereby legalizing eelam in all but name allowing LTTE to negotiate directly with foreign nations, trade directly with foreign nations, transfer funds directly etc.
  • Ranil Wickremasinghe the supposed visionary of the UNP signed a ceasefire agreement with the LTTE without even showing the UNP leadership the contents of that agreement – only later the country came to know that the agreement legally allocated sovereign territory as LTTE areas and the Colombo backers of the CFA were not bothered about what allocation of territory to the LTTE would mean to the country because they were over the moon that the military checkpoints had been removed which was more of a hassle for them. We cannot afford to function with such short-sightedness for the damage is irreversible.

Do you believe the slogan ‘we will end corruption’?

Please remember that the people now claiming to have come together to end corruption have themselves proven records of mass scale corruption during their tenure in power even those that have crossed over. They too have families – siblings and children very much waiting in the fray to take over. The CHANGE will only be changing the Cover of Corruption only. We must all be realistic to the fact that corruption is embedded in today’s society – even ‘donations’ for school admissions are corruption, even giving Rs.100 to the office peon to place one’s file above the rest is an act of corruption, even bribing the policemen for traffic violations is corruption. Both giver and taker are thus guilty.

The golden rule on integrity

Anyone claiming to be virtuous and uncorrupt can do so ONLY IF they go against coruption when it is taking place and come out against it by claiming to want to have no part in it. No one can claim to be uncorrupt if they have been enjoying privileges themselves and then having been selected as Opposition Candidate point fingers forgetting that four fingers point back at them in return. Let us all note that all those now pointing fingers were very much part of the corruption that they are accusing of – if they themselves were people of integrity they should have come out before elections were announced and before they had been selected to be fielded to form the Opposition.

If we know that

  • Corruption wont end
  • We don’t know who the actual leader is – Maithripala is coming as the Presidential Candidate of the New Democratic Front, he next says he’s going to abolish the Presidency (totally ignoring that he has no mandate to do so), he says he’s going to appoint Ranil (unclear how that can happen too), then CBK who is politically now a nobody is assured of a role, the other supporters have all ruined the ministeries that they had been holding whatever party they had been in – is this a rosy picture post-2015 for the people? There are more questions than answers!
  • How can CHANGE happen with the same people in a new camp especially when they have a history of crossing back and forth for OPPORTUNITISM and nothing else. Should we not ask whether this is also not an OPPORTUNISTIC decision and thus the camp have no common agenda to serve the people except serve themselves

These are just a handful of questions for the Floating Voters and New Voters to think about before they cast their vote. It is also good for them to do a good background check on all those in the Common Alliance and they question how far they can be trusted to lead a nation and ensure Sri Lanka remains peaceful and stable as it has been since 2009 devoid the threat of terrorism and separatism. Two factors that Sri Lanka does not want is Terrorism or Separatism/Division under any name.

Shenali D Waduge

18 Responses to “Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections: Thoughts for the Floating Voters/New Voters on the Common Candidate”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    “ensure Sri Lanka remains peaceful and stable as it has been since 2009 devoid the threat of terrorism and separatism.”

    PARTLY NOT TRUE.

    1. The threat of separatism INCREASED after 2009.

    e.g. TNA went back to its original separatist agenda
    e.g. SEPARATISTS WON the NPC with over 80% of the vote!
    e.g. Military has been THINNED OUT in Jaffna district as never before

    2. Terrorism tried to raise its head.

    e.g. Tamil terrorists had a gun fight with the police in 2014 in Kilinochchi. One terrorist was killed (one policeman also died). Another was sent to Boossa.

    e.g. Islamic terrorism went crazy and killed few people in Beruwala (after the war ended). Other incidents also reported where at least 4 people died since 2009.

  2. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    December 21st, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Lorenzo,

    I think it is time to ask the obvious: DID THE MAITHRIPALA CAMP PROMISE YOU A GREEN CARD?

    Seriously, your half-baked, half-truth comments seem to come from a place of desperation and craving for the perceived benefit you will receive if you spread this crap on behalf of Maithripala.

    No reasonable person would believe that terrorism INCREASED since 2009, even you! So what’s the deal, Lorenzo – green card and a house? Scholarships in the US? Come clean with us, and we won’t out you.

  3. Ratanapala Says:

    Lorenzo you are out of sync. Please get the big picture which Shenali is taking so much pain to drive into dud heads. Otherwise the readership will have to categorise you as the hidden mole at Lankaweb forum.

  4. Vijendra Says:

    It is understandable that Lorenzo has been frustrated with MR’s camp. Lot of us are, as things have been unbearable as corruption and family influence has been growing and is apparently being misused by some members of the family. This certainly is very difficult to bear. However, what is surprising is that a well informed person of good knowledge of SL like Lorenzo, who kept us all well informed through his feedback, is joining hands with the traitors like Ranil and Chandrika. Though it is his democratic right, it is sad and difficult to believe for sure.

    I personally wonder what will happen if this hodgepodge of a loosely formed coalition of parties win? Who will be the real leader and what will happen to the country? I myself do not like MR as I used to any more, mainly because he did not take the traitors to task, and did not abolish the 13a, the cancer of the SL political system, which I still think is a must to depoliticize and revitalize the country while breaking away from the unwanted and unwelcome Indian interference in our internal affairs. Having said that, at least we know MR, but as it stands, the opposition could be much worse as there are lot more unknowns and potential dangers to SL.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    Vijendra,

    If you carefully read what I have been writing, CORRUPTION is something I didn’t care.

    I don’t think MR’s government is more corrupt than My3’s government or the other way round.

    I left out corruption always.

    It is other things that trouble me most.

    My3 will be the president, NOT CBK or RW. My3 is a top patriot.

  6. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    December 21st, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    You missed Vijendra’s question entirely – he asked “who will be the REAL leader…?”

    Maithripala has no voting base of his own, no money, and no ability, knowledge or background that would suggest that he can run the country. This means SOMEONE ELSE will be running Sri Lanka if he is elected president. No one believes Maithripala when he say he is going to make his brother – Dudley CASINO KING Sirisena – the defense secretary. What is Dudley going to do, turn our troops into gamblers, drunks, drug addicts, and solicitors of prostitutes like Dudley’s customers in his gambling houses?

    This Maithripala really is a JOKE!

  7. Vimutti Says:

    UNP’s own internal polling shows MR winning by 58% to 40% for Maithripala. This poll was conducted by an outside polling group and the results posted here: http://lankacnews.com/sinhala/news/126340/

  8. Vimutti Says:

    UNP’s own internal polling shows MR winning by 58% to 40% for Maithripala. This poll was conducted by an outside polling group and the results posted here: “http://lankacnews.com/sinhala/news/126340/”

  9. ranjit Says:

    Lorenzo did you saw in TV Maitri’s YAHAPALANAYA in Pollonnaruwa? They were bunch of Mafia group having all businesses under them. His partner Rajitha was a crook.Fish Folks hate him and they were demanding the President to get rid of him for a ling time. They both left the Govt for personal reasons not because they love the country or the people. The coup was planned by that Choura Rajina the Bandit Queen. They will get the answer on January 9th by the peace loving people of SRI LANKA. I will congratulate you on 9th don’t worry just only 16 days to go. Lorenzo you are a good man but now you are blind and do not know very well about these traitors.

    They will run like rats on 9th. If this Govt is not good lets use our vote and send them home but not tell lies about the Govt.They have done much work than any other Govt in our history.Nobody can deny that. Winning the war was enough for us. Look at the difference we have in the country because of Peace. Are you blind not to see my dear friend. Corruption was always there in Sri Lankan politics.Do you think Ranil and Chandrika time there was NO CORRUPTION? O,K, lets give this guy for the third time and see whether he will clean up the country as promised if not we will change thru our vote next time.There’s no one in the country to compete with MR.He is the man real hero to save our country from these evil traitors like Mangala,Ranil,Sirisena,Chandrika lot.

    During the General Elections we must use our vote wisely by electing good decent educated young politicians without electing drug lords or corrupt,bad guys. We the people can change anything.Our people must not give their valuable vote for money and Booze but use the vote for true democracy and decent people.

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    We-Tamils always We-Tamils you all sinhala peoples know what is open agenda since Eelara time to VP and for another 2,500 years in Monther (i)Lanka(I).

    NB
    Lorenzo -green card and a house? Scholarships in the US?
    Ithu unnakku thevaya (do you need this?)
    Can you believe our Sinhala bros IQ , they did not work out you already have one of western foreign PR?

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    ranjit
    we must use our vote wisely by electing good decent educated young politicians
    My personal opinion MR deserve 3rd team in office but We-Tamils (you know who is our Lorenzo )can not supported him because he killed our Thesiya Thallavar.

  12. Vimutti Says:

    Lorenzo Says:
    December 22nd, 2014 at 3:03 am

    You just aren’t getting this – this is the same stupid MINORITY-RULE nonsense from colonial times, in which the minorities unite around a Sinhalese-Buddhist puppet and try to divide the Buddhist vote so the minorities can run Sri Lanka.

    You see what happened to the British, and you see what happened to the UNP when they tried this nonsense over and over and over again with Ranil. Holding out a fresh face with the same plan will not allow you to get the minority-rule you seek. If Muslims and Tamils can unite around Maithripala, then Buddhists will unite around the President and this is a done deal (game over, as you say).

  13. Marco Says:

    There is just over 1 million new voters under the age of 25 years who would have a significant effect on these elections.
    President Rajapakse Campaign office have recognised this (thanks to Namal Rajapakse) and created twitter accounts to capture these votes.
    I can name all of them, 20 twitter accounts were created on the 7th of Dec to engage with these voters.
    It remains to be seen if with the current student unrest and educational issues if the new votes can be captured by President Rajapakse.

  14. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Since Rajithas name has come up in this column, can someone tell me whether he is a Dentist, or Dental Mechanic ? Because, I saw on TV, Dallas Alahapperuma revealing that Rajitha will remove the Teeth Of President Mahinda Rajapakse, one by one.

    I want to make sure that President goes to a highly qualified Dental Surgeon, and not to a Quack.

    If Rajitha said this in an aggressive tone, like JVP Anura, saying that he will be dragging President out of Temple Trees like an ANIMAL, then I have to Forewarn Rajitha to be in a safe place on the 8th January 2015, because I have a feeling that his teeth will be extracted by a Plier. Period.

  15. ranjit Says:

    Susantha we heard the same dirty slogans in 2010 also Fonseka was telling that he will send MR to Bogambara prison and to be ready.This is not new. These dirty low grade politicians always use these type of language to tarnish their opponents. On 9th Rajitha the fish monger has to go on fishing with his fish rod. Aiyo Sirisena will jump in to the paddy field. Ranil the gay boy will go for a vacation in the west with his darlings. Chandrika the bandit Queen will go to her home country England where her Tamil relatives were staying. Anura Dissanayaka will go around singing Baila as usual. Fonseka I hope he will retire as he do not have anymore supporters to support his political agenda. Arjuna better give cricket lessons to youngsters rather than go behind loser’s.The rest is useless as they do not have any vote base in Sri Lankan politics like Wijebahu etc.

    On 9th be ready to celebrate the victory of the President without any doubt. In the General elections we must use our vote to oust all drug lords,corrupt guys, dirty murderers and rapists and bring good decent educated young hard working persons to represent us the people of Sri Lanka.

  16. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    On the 9th January 2015, all these buggers can run, but cannot hide.:<> George Bush.

  17. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Sorry! Quote:- Can run, but cannot hide..Unquote; George Buysh.

  18. Daya Says:

    Shenali, if you are indeed advising “new voters” don’t you think that you should be telling them how the three preferences can be used at Presidential Elections in such a way that it has the long term effect of encouraging the honest candidates who do not necessarily say what is going to be immediately pleasing to the public?

    I mean that they could cast FIRST and SECOND preferences for the honest guys who are saying things out of conviction and consequently are not really credible candidates. The two major candidates don’t seem to want the voters to know that they can write 1, 2, and 3 against three names, instead of the X that is placed against a candidate’s name on posters and handbills.

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