Kumar David’s Gota-phobia
Posted on July 12th, 2018

N.A.de S. Amaratunga

Kumar David (KD) in a virulent mood says Gotabaya Rajapakse must be defeated, has to be defeated and can be defeated (Sunday Island, 10.06.2018).  Title of his article is Stop Gotabaya-Rex” which is perhaps to suggest that Gotabaya Rajapakse in his activities resemble the dinosaur named Tyrannosaurus-Rex” or T-Rex for short who is a predatory flesh eating killer! The word Rex in T-Rex means king for the latter was a king among dinosaurs. However KD who wants to defeat Gota may not have meant to be complementary and he must have meant that Gota would not hesitate to use violence to achieve his end. By the way recent research shows that most of the dinosaurs were vegetarian and T-Rex was an exception rather than the rule. Dinosaurs had very small brains and were eliminated by a comet impacting on earth. Gota is a very intelligent person and a strong personality more like an elephant than a dinosaur.

KD must have contracted  Gota-phobia from the LTTE who attempted to kill Gota during the height of the war. All LTTE sympathizers have a fear of Gota and also an equally strong animosity. Now they want to defeat him as they cannot kill him. KD does not say in clear terms why he has to be defeated at a future presidential election. Instead he gives a plan how to defeat Gota. Well may be he needs a comet to kill this dinosaur but what he has seems to fall far too short.

His plan is simple. Twenty three percent of votes would come from the minorities and 25% from the UNP vote base in the Sinhala Buddhist majority. The balance 2.1% needed to make the required 50+%  might come from the JVP votes which do not belong in the aforementioned groups. Well that’s fine and  now he looks for a candidate which he says is crucial for his plan.  And he has two options, Ranil Wickramasinghe and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. His choice shows how empty his basket is. Ranil Wickramasinghe backed out twice from the contest and got others to fight his battle. Let us leave that aside. RW had an excellent opportunity to prove his capabilities, when he was the prime minister, once in 2002 and then in 2015. He not only squandered both opportunities but brought the country to near ruination. Today the economy, in its negative aspect, is similar to that in 2002 and is sliding down fast. KD must be frantically desperate to defeat Gota. Why else must he clutch at straws. His other prospective candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake is no presidential material and may not be acceptable to the people even if he is to the UNP.  Sajith Premadasa has indicated that if RW is not contesting he could step in. Sajith would certainly be a better candidate than either RW or AKD. UNP may not agree to put forward an outsider for the presidential election. The party suffered twice due to such blunders. Though their candidate won in 2015 they are in utter despondency now not knowing what to do with what they created. Would they take that risk again and ask their supporters to vote for AKD? Most unlikely. It is most likely that the UNP would nominate RW which is KD’s choice as well, for the UNP is as bereft as Kumar David.

Kumar David says Gota is a doer though he may not approve of the methods adopted by the latter which perhaps is why he has given Gota a dinosaur’s name. Why? Did Gota commit atrocities or war crimes in winning the war against the world’s most brutal terrorist organization? There is no evidence to support such a determination. On the contrary there is overwhelming evidence to prove that the army took maximum precautions to minimize civilian deaths and did its utmost to rescue civilians from the clutches of the LTTE who were using them as human shields. The Paranagama report, Sir Desmond de Silva’s report and Lord Naseby’s findings provide enough and more evidence  to prove that war crime allegations against the armed forces are baseless.

Further did Gota behave like a dinosaur in developing the city of Colombo to be named the number one developing city in the whole world? Are there in Colombo people who have been evicted from their properties without adequate compensation? Land acquisition is required for the greater good such as building of highways etc and is provided in the laws of the country. There is nothing illegal as long as adequate compensation is paid. Unauthorized constructions and squatters cannot be allowed at the expense of the citizens and have to be evicted for beautification of the city. If there are people unfairly treated in this connection by now they would have come forward and created a din as there is no Gota in power to make them disappear and the UNP and the JVP would have paraded them in their campaigns.

Did Gota cause any inconvenience or harass anybody in garbage disposal when he made Colombo spic and span? Do we hear anybody complaining? This government could not even prevent the accumulation of garbage leave alone maintaining what was achieved by Gota in the city of Colombo. If winning the war and making Colombo number one city in the world are the achievements that make Gota a doer in the eyes of KD isn’t that proof of the pudding. Neither in the war nor in the Colombo city has Gota behaved like a T-Rex. He did everything in a quiet, intelligent and efficient manner with least damage.

KD has rubbished the economic programme presented by Gotabaya Rajapakse at the anniversary celebrations of the Viyathmaga”. He says it is full of platitudes and banalities. If the present government had been successful in carrying out the policies described in those platitudes and banalities the country would not be in the present economic crisis. This is exactly what Gota said when it was pointed out to him that his programme was not different from that of the government. It is a question of implementation which the present government cannot do due to its internal strife and contradictions.

Popularity of the government in general and RW in particular, due to all misdeeds worst of which was the Bond scam, is on the decline and cannot be expected to recover by 2019. The younger generation who was promised a  million jobs has not got any. The youth according to KD himself have no party affiliations and would use their brains to decide whom to vote. Will they vote for RW?  KD’s arithmetic may not hold at the next presidential election in 2019. MR lost the 2015 election not due to the efforts of people like Kumar David but due to the fact that his development efforts had not accrued the people then and the cost of living was very high. Due to these reasons MR’s party suffered an electoral setback at the PC election in the Monaragala district which is 95% Sinhala Buddhist. That result should have been a forewarning to MR and he should not have gone for a presidential election at that time. But by now things have turned around as was seen at the recent LG polls.

But more importantly KD has not explained why Gota has to be treated like a dinosaur. He has not said specifically why, a doer in his own words, has to be defeated and not allowed to use his talents and take this country out of the abysmal situation it is in courtesy RW and his team. RW is full of warts KD says, yet he prefers RW to Gota. Reason for this preference is not explained in his letter. Let KD tell us why he prefers MR to Gota.

N.A.de S. Amaratunga

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