RUN MAHINDA RUN
Posted on March 3rd, 2015
By GOMIN DAYASRI
Crowd at Nugegoda is a mini take of 58 lakhs of votes Mahinda Rajapakse obtained. Frailty and fragility in Sirisena’s armory stand exposed. SLFP singularly cannot hold a mammoth public meeting though President Sirisena heads the party and holds presidential power. Significantly the selected district for the meeting perennially favored the UNP – location beckons a crowd?
Forfeiting party leadership and surrendering to Sirisena was a blessing in disguise for Rajapakse to rid rubbish and transfer trash to Sirisena. Nevertheless is weighted with an over burdened dustbin at home carried through a regime where janitorial facilities were sparse.
Without Mahinda Rajapakse’s blessings UPFA vote cannot be marshaled into a one ballot box. Moppets seated on the platform at Nugegoda needed a pump from Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) to become electable? Came by way of a message – to show where his loyalties were. Those at the meeting will become his legitimate heirs – dream fulfilled for the negligible?
Ask the throng at Nugegoda whether they jeered at corruption and poor governance? Will feint ignorance. Culprits of the past don’t care a hoot for misdemeanor, instead called for a bumper hamper before Christmas. Realists of the present want hard rock evidence, not loose allegations thrown in the air. Silly sleuths acted stupid under the Immigration Ordinance chasing Weerawansa’s wife instead of searching for the known under the Bribery & Corruption Act; made them look small. Material emerging is too late, too slow, too little, and is far too weak. Substantial evidence, should reach masses that voted for MR, if a change of heart and mind is sought at general elections. Otherwise roll out a colored carpet for Rajapakse to tread: decorated as a national war hero – failed on governance and damned on corruption. Whither evidence? Are they looking or were they cooking?
Sound waves from Nugegoda set a tremor that shook SLFP headquarters: a stampede may result if members take flight in fright. They are running hither and thither, for sure. Nugegoda bruised Chandrika Kumaranatunga if she were to stake a claim for the SLFP (could she choreograph such attendance at Attanagala?) and makes President Sirisena’s future dependent on the UNP while a desperate SLFP officialdom presents a case for a national government to justify survival. True to blue Sirisena, wore a green shirt and won; SLFP dressed him in blue pants. Is he in disguise as a double in trouble trying to woo all those color blind?
Platform performers at the Nugegoda meeting, look ominously split on paper, displayed cordiality for public consumption presently and contradicted each other in public outpourings previously: not a concern, all are small- time captains minus men and machines.
The lineup holds elements pro- or anti- 13th amendment, elements that love or hate Sinhala Buddhists, elements loyal from RAW to BBS (excluding ISIS), elements that are Marxist bent and greedy for the Yankee dollar. Except for a few, most keep true to their views notwithstanding disharmony amongst the participants.
Who crossed and re-crossed within hours? Was it a mistake or on principle or a selfish objective? Are we in wander-land! What is the future for Sinhala Buddhists?
UPFA voters know of one SLFP of one Mahinda Rajapakse: broken into two; team that emerges in front is the fraction that carries a name that evokes pride to the faithful. Worse, official SLFP is the ‘B’ team of the government – could soon become a decrepit name- board with an abandoned post box. UNP does not want its list for parliament fouled with SLFP garbage.
UPFA MPs – lonely and unheeded, buried in newspapers for want of company and like vultures try to pick the most attractive option; intake is dependent on the choice of a one-man panel where preference is for sycophants and relatives.
Left alone MR may chose to remain an elder statesman than run for a lesser title in a contracting SLFP, locked in a box of queer assortment – desirous to end his days’ as the leader of the opposition? The Run Mahinda Run call is making him don his running shoes to cover a distance at a painful pace! Marathon Man prefers the event postponed as his challengers are falling by the wayside.
Ranil Wickremasinghe knows the UNP better than the UNP knows of itself, having long overstayed – corruption creeps early and popularity dips rapidly in a miscellaneous government. Allegations are made up front while no action is taken. Go it swiftly and alone to gain a working majority is Ranil’s doctrine; neutered by the partners-in-disguise, Sirisena’s team whose desire is to hang long in parliament, enjoying privileges, return being doubtful – they want all three in a tub. Rather place them on a common platform and watch the Famous Three gnarl to provide wholesome entertainment.
Sirisena has no options – won, thanks primarily to UNP and minority votes- wedged behind UNP and Rajapake on a popularity index, seeks an unavailed space and resides in no man’s land. In the south the contest is between Wickremasinghe’s UNP and a side in the making registered as Team Rajapakse.
Mahinda Rajapakse was ahead of President Sirisena at the count in the south at the presidential election; votes in the north/east are not aggregated at a general election to impact the final result. Will lead to re-thinking since the presidential system carries value to the minorities, as they are the uncrowned winner at the last election. Those paltry votes in the north can disarray the heavy voting pattern in the south. Those who want to demolish the presidential system may now pull back: those who did not want it dismantled might insist upon it. Both are on reverse gear after analyzing results at the presidential election. Watch out! Politics is on a roller coaster.
South enjoys a democratic multi party system while north is comfortable with an authoritative structure and retains a mono party framework, ethnic in character. They learnt it from the LTTE than from the TULF. A vote in the north is worth more at a presidential election, since the winning candidate has to reach the 50% mark where every vote counts for the final tally wherever resident. Winner at the 2015 election was not the choice of the South but the near unanimous selection of the North. It makes a decisive difference – by which the North can hold the southern leadership captive. It’s happening before our eyes. UNP should not fall prey – otherwise await another long spell in the opposition.
North overwhelmingly votes in one way for one party or one candidate. Where the contest is close in the south or marginally tilted in favor of a candidate in the south (as at the 2015 elections)- vote in the north becomes pivotal to reverse the result of the south and determine the winner at a presidential election. Candidate with northern support is at an advantage at a close presidential election in a divided south. Difference is pronounced because it is a battle between multi-parties vs. a single party.
100-day government may seek an extension of time to implement its objectives. Ranil Wickremasinghe understands the matrix that any loss of popularity on the 50th day can grow six fold after 300 days. Constitutional changes need 2/3 majorities, which require the support of a substantial number of UPFA MPs’. An exercise where Sirisena’s guidance will be handy and agreeable MPs’ slotted to the UNP’s parliamentary list for the support rendered. SLFP MPs will weigh options.
UPFA’s policy seeking the yellow peril without realizing that as an economic hit man ‘china-man is always a china-man’ – making a fast buck by picking any pocket. Instead we have fallen in to a side pocket of an exploiting India, which treats USA as its favorite Uncle Sam. We will be more exploited without letting the two Asian powers to tango.
Foreign policy determines the lifetime of a government while the Foreign Ministry is a focal point that can make or mar a government. Look at the team that called the shots in the last government at the Foreign Ministry- don’t only blame the travel weary Minister fortunate to be resting at home instead being airborne since grounded. Think more of the man carrying a license to trash ambassadors and remain unharmed.
Ranil Wickremasinghe is captive to please northern voters and TNA politicians for the favor done. Security concerns were overlooked with land released from the High Security Zone; pliable civil governor is in an office in the clouds; security forces have been reduced to the minimum; portfolio was offered to the TNA in the cabinet and the navy is being questioned on disappearances. It’s the season to placate the Tamil diaspora and woo international community as a new foreign policy unfolds.
Is there any reciprocity by the TNA for the friendly hand offered by the government? An Oliver Twist mentality in asking for more and more while TNA makes allegations of genocide seeking international disapproval for a nation rid of terrorism. Northern behavior can contribute to the downfall of UNP. Last time it was the CFA and Norway: this time it may be TNA and India? A hostile North can unwittingly unite the south against the UNP.
Economy, Security and Welfare peak the needs of a Sri Lankan family. Rajapakse government climaxed with the defeat of terrorism in 2009 and guaranteed personal security. Present government peaked with a mini budget that enhanced the personal economy of the individual but now working in the reverse. From that zenith it has been one long slide down the mast slide. More at the receiving end: than at the accusing end. No result to show on the day fifty? Be fair give time to buy time.