CAN MAHINDA MAKE IT FROM AN OUTSIDE LANE?
Posted on April 23rd, 2015

By GOMIN DAYASRI

Didn’t waste time of Mahinda Rajapakse [MR] by seeking appointments when he was the President! But when he lost, sought a meeting and was promptly told to come early next morning to a Colombo address. Probably he carried no diary being without an official Secretary.

We sat in a private room sandwiched between cardboard boxes crammed with used goods awaiting transfer to Tangalle.  Talked of current events: to him time was not an issue. He laughingly complained Colombo people are scared to meet him after he tried to reach on the phone a voice that said was out on his morning tramp. MR tried vainly to persuade him to come in his shorts without success.

That was not long ago. No longer is MR short of visitors. Fifty-Six parliamentarians motored southwards to offer New Year greetings. They believe he is on a come back trail. If he doesn’t how many of them will be there?

If so, MR is back in the picture and that picture will become brighter on May Day as more will pluck courage to mount his platform in a ‘do or die’ effort to fall into good grace: knowing others have displayed fidelity in an early bird operation. My concern for MR:  being bracketed with such names  – will it make young impressionable voters think twice before casting a vote in his favor? Some names associated are closer to pulp in daily parlance.

Over 65 years club of UPFA MPs’ should not be unleashed to catch the votes of teenagers and young ones inclusive of the under 40 twittering society. MR is a old boy but stands out having won the war and ushered peace – war made him: peace undid him.

Administration of 2010 ran berserk, relying on gratitude for winning the war and that remains an unbounded obligation; it was not a grant of an open license to run amok? MR suffered the consequences of those wild bouts; but on his successors’ performance has rebounded it in favor but yet may find it hard to make a return if he walks in the wrong park. Now is the turn of his Merrie Men and Maids Marians to walk the plank with elections around. Presenting the wild bunch publicly as candidates can drive voters up the devil’s staircase – a gamble that is too risky: voters treat MPs’ differently and MR deferentially. Don’t put to test another 5 years of continuing nonsense of the many sitting parliamentarians at public expense?

MR holds a trump. Ridicule is hurled at the antics of the new rulers. Much was expected of them – more is wanted. They picked his unjust men for cabinet appointments to enter a ridiculous realm. To thrive on their weaknesses, MR need usher a new era – for which fresh young faces are wanted. Old timers for all times should be dumped as waste faraway from the national list. Few of them are hoping to relaunch as recycled rubbish. After a period of long silence they are becoming a bunch of cuddly bears to MR again.  He may fondle them but will the voters take kindly to it? Last time, fondling toddlers at meetings did not yield votes.

Repetition of the same list of candidates gives a more deranged appearance and is likely to pick a lesser vote? When a new image is needed why carry old clothes for a wash to the same dhobi! Try a laundry.  MR should be looking at unrelated youth of the true blue party stock from the provinces to create an ascending generation of which he becomes the great old grandfather; his image still is more recognized than a party icon. This party has too many family shrubs in its undergrowth. It needs a weedicide to kill it. Spray it before the jungle tide takes over.

In the South, MR is billed, as the heavyweight that won the war; pitted against is a government that has done little to exhibit the promised ideals in its first hundred days – has failed to retain the support it received from the floating vote that previously overwhelmingly went to MR.

No UNP voters, with their party candidates on offer, will care to vote for a discredited politician from the UPFA. Sirisena picked the vote on the urgings of the forces to oust MR as a compulsive alternate; same forces will now target the UPFA MPs more ferociously. A ride to Parliament for the present UPFA MPs can be rough on any list, unless they hitch a ride on MR’s bandwagon hoping people will vote for them to enable MR to be restored. Don’t take it for granted: voters may not be agreeable.

Reading the online edition of Daily Mirror in a far away land, the names of some of the travelled parliamentarians to his southern home, made me tap this piece on a pocket laptop. Recalled most of them had travelled a shorter distance previously to greet Sirisena on becoming President to laud it as a historical triumph. Amusing to see that jesters yodel before any chief for their measly broth.  Some of those names sure scare me too. Last election showed voters are a discerning bunch not to be treated lightly but handled intelligently.

This is not an election of one man again another, which MR last lost by trading on his name. Candidates representing MR, in districts, where the floating vote floated away, (especially in urban constituencies) need special attention, to draw that vote.  Marking of a cross though not mandatory, before a name of an unwanted candidate is indeed repelling. Instead voting for the Party is an answer; but it is likely a disreputable candidate will make it on votes polled for a party or buy seats allegedly sold at the counting tables by corrupt officials. Those who made most money can return on the money made to make still more money. That is not music in the ear of the voters called to mark another ballot paper in the same year zero.

Those supremely loyal to MR will do as told and vote; but that number has to expand beyond the 56% polled last time. MR needs to personally touch base with those that voted against the dirty dozens that made his administration foul.

He does hold a vantage, as votes in the North and East cannot be aggregated with the UNP, as it did for Sirisena at the presidential election, as the count is based district wise. Northern voters that tilted the last election, stand alone with the TNA, with whom an alliance is unlikely in the making with the UNP. Yet the votes of the SLMC or CWC will not fall into the pocket of MR on the basis of the last result; with it goes Batticola and Nuwara Eliya districts to the UNP. The last hurrah is for MR: this time he is not defending a government but attacking it: at which point he peaks. But are the sleuths closing on his skeletons. Their onward march stops at the Attorney General department –the pit of no return due to excessive weak knees, whoever is in power.

MR has hardly a choice without sufficient time or political party or an organization to run a campaign yet he has more of peoples support than any other in the opposition. He has to fall back on the old faithful of the party; notoriously unfaithful if greater attractions are on offer. Sadly, there is nothing to lure them elsewhere. Ranil Wickremasinghe [RW] is unlikely to allow them to surface in his lists knowing the liability of using deadwood. RW desires UPFA to break into not two but three to isolate MR. He is the winner if a split is penetrative. Sirisena has no options: for survival has to dovetail the UNP.

MR will find this an election different to 2010 and 2015, as he is not in the control tower. Unless he appears to show sure signs of winning the election, the media -both state and private – will carry a campaign of vilification of his family on allegations of plundering that is hurtful. If he does not possess able campaign managers with political savvy he will look lame. If he entrusts the campaign to the family, as he did last time, he will come a cropper, as they too will be targeted. More so, UNP probably are armed with the ammunition so the responses will have to be direct. The looming issue is: without a Party is MR ready for action? His priority should be to pick-dedicated professionals for specialized work during the campaign. Remember he is hitting seventy and not at his best.

This is an election that will reveal the winner early in the campaign as the front – runner can indulge in a sprint as he can hold on to the lead. Therefore whoever wins will require a flying start-its expensive. This where USA and India enters the race.

Prime Minister sullied his image than enhanced it, after the Central Bank issue but by tactically compelling MR to carry dead weight at an early election gives less time to MR to revamp and revise his list. MR unless geared early may lose the options available. Does he have a team of playmakers able to deliver or is he on his own with his family as when he lost? That will decide the issue.

A general election is different to a presidential election. It is the southern vote the parties of the south need search – where MR comes out strongly, provided his team is properly selected. Presidential Election is an all island fixture where MR needed the northern votes that he discounted last time and lost the election. That vote will never flow to him on winning the war. J.R.Jayewardane knew its matrix well: he held a Presidential election and won but dared not to hold a general election instead opted for a referendum. He knew the South is sensitive as Hector Kobbekaduwa carried the North.

MR has a nationalistic card to play provided he does not grope. He possesses the pedigree for it after taming the tigers. MR needs nationalists who are attractive and realistic to tap the correct issues as it the surest way to regain the vote that drifted away in the south He has a candidate with credentials in his brother Gothabaya, a doer with a performance, attractive to the newly emerging youth. Of course the Famous Four of UPFA Colombo will resist the entry since he will eat into their traditional vote. On paper, MR has no stronger candidate in his line up than his brother to slot for the populace district of Kurunagala.

A strong bid is made on an outside track by recent 13th Amendment ‘converts’ with former pro Indian connections, to wear the mask of nationalists to reap accolades that should accrue to such like Gunadasa Amarasekera and late S.L.Gunasekera, true warriors without seasons against the Thirteenth.

In politics phonies succeed. Any ‘imposter’ fresh, is better for MR than the old and known – renowned for their ineffectiveness.  Prefer imposters changing jerseys at different times who stand for the country intelligently than liberal time-servers that search for benefits and are in and out of the government and opposition. Such are acceptable in the queer world of MR – a collector of junk.

MR is bound to end with a rag tag army but at least can he muster a few intelligent mature honest people to give a lead to attract voters and send the old brigade to pasture? He is opposition’s strongest contender running on an outside lane. Boy, it is not going to be easy with the IOU’S he owes.

25 Responses to “CAN MAHINDA MAKE IT FROM AN OUTSIDE LANE?”

  1. Independent Says:

    1. Get rid of the uniform and ask others to do so. Wear short sleeve shirt and sarong (or pants)

    2. Talk truth. Say loudly Rajiv/Indira created LTTE (to be diplomatic to Modi) and promise Sinhala Buddhists that whole constitution will be changed to a new one or getting rid of 13A.

    3. Thieves /Jokers like Mervyn and Kuddos like Duminda and DM will not be allowed to come near him.

    4. Promise no political violence.

    5. Accept and expose the mistakes he has done and pay back.

  2. Sarath W Says:

    Yes, this is going to be a tough campaign if Mahinda decides to contest it as India and the US embassies will through everything they can to protect Ranil. Mahinda should invite professionals and the youth to join him to protect the country from the evil forces led by Ranil and the Tamil diaspora.

  3. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Indian imperialists have brainwashed us enough and to divide us. Our motto should be we the non Indians and they the oppressor Indians. Jai Hind

  4. Dilrook Says:

    An excellent analysis of the political situation. Allow me to elaborate on some which Gomin touches lightly. While appreciative of Dayan Jayatilake’s appearence at Mahinda rallies, his strong 13A connection is a vote loser. Gomin’s analysis of ethnicity and voting is spot on. Ethnicity is the most important determinant of voting in Sri Lanka.

    UNP, India, USA and NGOs will very strongly campaign against Mahinda with the full resource power of their embassies, state resources, money power of businessmen and NGOs. It will be an uphill task for Mahinda which he will fail, in my opinion. However, all of them can be beaten with one masterstroke, and one alone, if Mahinda is willing to use it.

    For Mahinda to come via the fast lane to top, he needs highly attractive selling material for nationalists, the old faithful, the grateful people and floating voters. Abrogation of 13A is that trump. Unless Mahinda promises to abrogate 13A, he stands no chance at the election to come close to his ambitions. If Mahinda thinks winning back the confidence of the Indian establishment, he is mistaken, again.

    I agree with fielding Gotabhaya in Kurunegala and leaving Colombo to Weerawansa, Dinesh, Bandula and Gammanpila ably supported by Gotabhaya’s cameo appearence in their campaign. Namal, Chamal, Amaraweera can contest in Hambantota and Mahinda must contest in Gampaha District. Leaving Basil out is the best option. Mahinda can muster support from all 16 Sinhala majority districts.

    I repeat, unless Mahinda promises to abrogate 13A, he stands no chance at the election to come close to his ambitions.

  5. LANKAPUTHRA Says:

    I have one question to Gomin, which he will never answer. Why I do not know. With the same election commissioner and the same department? If he answers RANIL WILL KILL HIM. RANIL OPENLY SAID THIS TO HIS FRIENDS. No it is the people who should block the entrance to RANIL’S HOUSE. Then arrest him. HA! WILL OBAMA Will allow this? OBAMA lost EGPT. Thailand, India and this week Pakistan. HE has only Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. 200 hundred Canadian Tamils are on ships to attack Sri Lanka if the above happens. Dilrook you are in a dream world go back to sleep. Christi Masthe Gumats. (Gumasta in Sinhala means that Christi is not Shi…) Your Indian theory is 10 years old. Death to Jai Hind. Sarath W. No MR cannot do it the way you describe. RANI cannot be removed he said HE IS THE EMPOROR.

  6. Independent Says:

    Who is going to stop Yarl Devi votes ?

  7. Christie Says:

    Namaste: Thanks LANKAPUTHRA. It is only the Indians who called the land of Sinhalese Lanka or variations of it depending on the language spoken in the Indian Subcontinent. All others from Middle East to Europe, England and in the East to China called Selan, Cealio, Seylan, Xylon, Celyon to list a few which meant the land of the Sinhalese. It is Indian Imperialists who brought back name Lanka as part of their non violent oppression. India comes from Land of Hindus. Jai Hind

  8. stanley perera Says:

    MR had 10 year to abolish 13A. He pledged to abolish Executive Presidency. Ten years was not long enough. He wanted another term. MR became a dictator and forgot the people who put him into power. The first term he he said to call him Mahinda aiya. Second term nobody could get anywhere near him. Not even the cabinet ministers. This man MR is now singing the same slogan he rang the first term. I have no faith in this man MR. I always respect GR for his contribution to the nation including the cleaning up of Colombo and engaging the forced in the development projects. I call him Lee Kwan Lee of Sri Lanka. I have no bloody time for BR. Gampaha constituency hates his guts. Bring GR into power and not MR through the back door.

  9. Independent Says:

    Stanley,
    My thinking is very much the same.

    But I have to add that the song is much more beautiful now, because now he says he was perfect and his only fault was not punishing the others ( Cabinet ?).
    Why I shun him before election is because he appeared to have completely lost Hiri and Ottappa (ලැජ්ජා- බය in Sinhala).
    Very much the same now. Zero improvement.
    Gota is different in this sense but I am not capable of measuring him at the moment, so don’t like to comment.

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    repeat, unless Mahinda promises to abrogate 13A, he stands no chance – Agreed

    in our Mother Lanka history all repeat I do not know this our Lord Bhudda said life circle .
    SWRD came back to power because Shinhala only ACT now history repeat 2016 MR come back to power because 13A abrogate(promise to abrogate same day of election result out)

    We Lanka political leader do not need any magic ideas( Economic policy etc…) to win votes .
    For Sinhala leader – just promise if you came to power you do not give any power Tamils.
    For Tamil leader – Just say You will get TE (Naalai pirrakkum TE) Tomorrow.

    Thamil sakkiliyar & Sinhala modayas never learn any thing !!!!

    Vanakkam & Ayubowan !!!

  11. Dr.K Says:

    MR did his best in his 10 years period. Firstly he finished the terror war then he had to involved with post-war operations like resettling affected people in north, rehabilitate wounded soldiers, normalize existing soldiers and bring them back to the human society from war mentality. While he was doing all these he also launched a master plan to develop the country as such that he almost completed its first step, the development of roads to expedite transport across the country.

    The mistakes he did was that he protected thieves knowingly and not only that he also believed everybody who smiled at him without any suspicions. In his 40 years politics he has not learned the most important lesson – Who Sri Lankans are?

    At the last Presidential Election in 2015 his election propaganda was utter ridiculous – It was 3rd class propaganda. Flood of posters, insults to opposition candidate in verbal and by actions like showing a puppet etc.

    He has a high quality personality and never ending respect from the public for relieving them from the terror war. He can use those qualities this time too.

  12. SA Kumar Says:

    Dr.K
    MR did his best in his 10 years period.-Agreed We lost minority votes because he did not give any political settlement (BS – 13 Plus)
    for example If He would have said give me 10 more years (once confident no more war) I will fully implement 13A to NEP people .

    Mother lanka do not need no more sandiyas after war !!!

    MR is kaputh now !!! only place he can go now Kathirkamam to meet Velu !!!

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    I’m with you Stanley.

    MR will NEVER EVER scrap 13 amendment. I will cut part of my little finger if he does.

    But we need MR to bring GR to the front. MR is a stepping stone to bring GR.

    Wimal exposed the LTTE plan to kill MR and GR. Released terrorists are getting ready to kill them. That makes MR and GR better than all else.

  14. NAK Says:

    Dr.K. Exactly. the other thing that everybody conveniently forget is that he was made a prisoner by the west which in turn made him a prisoner of those around him. They abused it to the hilt.

    Despite what others say, the need of the hour is Mahinda to chase away this pack of wolves that is tearing in to the flesh of mother Lanka and that is much much more important than the 13A.

    13A should be dragged on until the Indians themselves get fed up of it and say enough.

  15. NAK Says:

    As things are at present,The Chinese or the Russians will not protect us in the UN security council and the west will demand their pound of flesh despite MY3 and RW bending backwards to please them or we will have to face UN sanctions.
    With the MR’s policy in keeping closer to China and refuse to give in to the west would have only caused US sanctions which India,China and Russia do not pay any heed to.
    What most people don’t seem to realise is that it will be a hard choice between Eelam,UN sanctions or US sanctions.
    Our Obvious choice must be US sanctions as it is the least hurtful and most importantly any US sanctions will be illegal.

  16. SA Kumar Says:

    13A should be dragged on until the Indians themselves get fed up of it and say enough.- Like it,I real want to know who said Sinhalaya moday kavina ……

    ape hiya ape enna va !!!
    it is too boring We need MR soon to see fair work …. what happen to our MIG.. hope not sold to old iron shop .

  17. Sooriarachi Says:

    I agree MR needs to do something very much different to the promises of MY3/UNP/TNA leaders, so that the difference could be easily seen by the voters. In that respect, it could be to declare that 13A will not be implemented and the preferred unit to decentralise power would be the District rather than Provincial level. Also, I too believe MR needs to field more younger generation candidates, who are genuinely patriotic and honest.
    Other option would be MR not to contest but keep the SLFP united under the current leadership and ensure they take over power. Thereafter MR could make his move and find a way to get into the Government and gradually take over the leadership as My3 is useless and incompetent and is no match to Ranil, when it comes to pushing through one’s agenda.

  18. SA Kumar Says:

    Did Wigneswaran Break Protocol Writing to Modi To Free Convicts?
    This test !
    next time when SL MiG5 in the sky of NEP (TE) Our CM (PM) will call Modi !!!

    how is it?

  19. Kumari Says:

    Lot of times I don’t understand why we demand so much from MR, when in fact he has given more than any other leader had. Finishing the war (stopping the blood shed of all communities), Uniting the island (for all communities), holding elections in all the provinces, bringing so much economic development (to all the communities) and the list is endless.

    The current regime fooled the people, after 100 days no corruption charges against MR (before elections they had so much proof), they are acting like Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, RW pick-pocketed the premiership, CBK and Rajitha are convicted thieves, Ravi has a FE case, the list can go on and on. Now none of the important decisions are made by us, but by foreigners. Under MS, very soon our soldiers will have to fight not only the LTTE, but Al-Quida and ISIS.

    Still, we want MR to be Lilly white. Vote for a man/woman with a back bone, who could save the country. If all the Pandith’s have somebody, let him come to the open. We need him/her now. It’s time we woke up from the slumber.

  20. Kumari Says:

    I do not agree that Mahinda lost, it was a coup that defeated him (MS never won). The countries that got together against MR has much experience toppling governments (see what they did in Iraq, Libya and what they are now doing to Syria). They have no morals, willing to go down to any level. Most of the South East Asian people (including Modi) do not understand what a vicious clan they are dealing with.

    MR wasn’t given a chance. I am very pleased that 5.8M people stood by him. I am sure that number must be significantly high now that the people have realised that they’ve been taken for a ride. It was actually a defeat to the MS, RW, CBK coalition. With all the Dollars floating around, Internet technology working for them, so many TV and radio channels working for them, plus the elections commissioner himself working for them (average voter percentage in the country is app 70% of population, whilst in the North it is 91%), TNA’s announcement that it would support MS came a day after the postal vote was closed. With all these underhand tactics MS got only 51.28%. Can you call it a win?

    MS robbed the electorate with promises to eradicate corruption, what do you call the CB fiasco? As MS seems to be following foreign advice and not in a position to think what is good for the country, all I can think is he is allowing the country to be plundered and make is lawless paving the way for foreign intervention.

  21. Fran Diaz Says:

    I agree with Kumari.

    However, I must add that the majority of People in Lanka do not strategise well for the Safety & Security of the Country
    and the People. This could be a negative symptom from Colonisation. MR said on ‘retiring’ from politics that he is ‘handing over the country to the People”. We the People have to put together a good strategy in place so that the Country and the People are Secure and Safe, Peaceful and Progressive.

    To this end, I am agreeing that, as Mr Anandasangaree (TULF) and some others writers to L’web suggested, we the People should put forward a Bill of Rights as in S.Africa. Let us not wait for the Failed Trio to do this – it won’t happen through them.
    In return, Tamil Leaders should :
    – Revoke the Vaddukoddai Resolution
    – Revoke Separatism, no more Eelam calls
    – Phase out and remove the Tamil language as a National/Official language to stop illegal migrants
    – Phase out and deport all illegal migrants, especially from Tamil Nadu

  22. Fran Diaz Says:

    In addition,

    – The Elections Dept should not allow so many political parties that allow further divisions in the country through ethnicity and religion. Only political parties projecting National Interests ought to be allowed. Also the number of political parties ought to be limited to, say, 20 only. Those not winning a certain number of votes at a General election ought to be automatically removed.

    – I am also suggesting that the Dept of Census & Stats should take a proper count of the Tamil folk in the South, and East too as there are Tamil Muslims too. I have found only ESTIMATES of such numbers (2011). The estimates say that 12.4% of the South are Tamils. Also that 33% of Colombo are Tamils. These are ESTIMATES done in 2011. Correct me if I am wrong in this.

  23. Independent Says:

    “Wimal exposed the LTTE plan to kill MR and GR. Released terrorists are getting ready to kill them. That makes MR and GR better than all else. (Otherwise Tigers will kill Maru Sira, Run-nil, Bandit, etc.)”

    – Hidden in this statement, LTTE thinking can be found. As the same commentator recommended many times, think about just the opposite which will be the LTTE desire.

    However, thinking positively as always, public opinion must be built to convince MR to change is old songs to a more Nationalistic Song including removal of 13A. People MUST TELL THE TRUTH they don’t like the old song. By publishing “he will win” will surely make him loose

  24. Independent Says:

    Where is our brother Susantha Wijesinghe ? Please make some comment.

  25. Fran Diaz Says:

    A friend tells me that I have left out requesting that :

    – Tamil leaders remove the Thessawalami Law in Lanka

    – Muslims not apply Sharia Law in Lanka

    in return for Bill of Rights for all in Lanka.

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