Can Gota and Mahinda do the impossible, again?
Posted on November 20th, 2019

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana Courtesy The Island

November 20, 2019, 7:07 pm

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Towering majestically over the fertile green plains of Anuradhapura, dotted with the traditional symbols of our heritage: lakes and Dagobas, Ruwanveliseya rises to the heavens of a azure blue sky adorned with gently floating feathery silken clouds, reminding us of a glorious past, which we should be able to recreate, if only we had the will and determination. I am sure many would fail to realise that Ruwanweliseya, built in 140 BCE by King Dutugemunu after reunification of Sri Lanka, though surpassed in height by Jetawanaramaya built four centuries later by King Mahasena becoming the third tallest structure in the world, was among the 10 tallest man-made structures in the ancient world. That was no mean feat considering Sri Lanka, from a global perspective, is only a tiny pearl in the Indian Ocean. Perhaps, Ruwanweliseya is even more important to Buddhists than the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, as it is recorded that two quarts or one Drona of the Gauthama Buddha’s relics are enshrined in the stupa, which is the largest single collection of Buddha’s relics anywhere in the world.

Ruwanweliseya, which has witnessed silently many an event, be good or bad, of our Island Nation’s history over the past 21 centuries, witnessed an unique event in the morning of November 18th; the swearing-in of the first elected President who is not a career politician, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, seventh elected President of Sri Lanka, being a decorated army officer and a public servant who proved himself. Though coming from a political family of the deep South, he never opted to politics, instead of moving to the USA on completion of his tenure in the Sri Lanka Army. His elder brother Mahinda, who became the President at a time the country was ravaged by the evil of Tiger terrorism, summoned the help of ‘malli’ to eradicate terrorism, which many an expert opined was a task impossible. Gota became the Defence Secretary and was able to do the impossible by annihilating the terrorists in May 2009, with the political support of ‘ayya’ and the efficient execution of his plans by the three services and the police led by their respective chiefs. This was to the utmost relief of all Sri Lankans but to the annoyance of the doomsters and liberalists who covertly support terrorists. Gota then took the task of Urban Development, the beautified City of Colombo and many others standing to his testimony.

Unfortunately, the drunkenness of power permeated his ‘ayya’s’ administration too and the Sri Lankan voter decided, quite rightly, to kick-off that regime in 2015. However, the Yahapalanaya, that replaced with promises of a golden era, turned out to be nothing but a mirage, with politicians vying with each other for the robbery of public property and some of them subjugating the honour and the pride of the country too. An idiotic politician, in the garb of the foreign Minister, had the audacity to co-sponsor a resolution against his own country, an act of treachery hitherto unknown, to curry favour with Uncle Sam. Others, who claim to be patriotic now, acquiesced by their silence. Hounding Gota became their pastime!

Gota, being a forward-thinking strategist, stared planning a mission with the help of intellectuals and professionals by setting up forums like ‘Viyath Maga’. Meanwhile his malli, Basil built from scratch, a new political force, realising the inevitable destruction of both major political parties, the UNP and the SLFP, by the unwholly alliance of Yahapalanaya, which was a marriage of convenience – a ploy to keep some power-hungry politicians in command. The nomination of Gota from the SLPP was inevitable, whilst the UNP was fighting a destructive internal battle. Sajith won that battle but lost the war: Pohottuwa, the bud bloomed!

Irrespective of what his minions did, Gota stuck to his promise of a decent campaign, not criticising his opponents but stating his policy in a presidential manner whereas Sajith’s campaign was typified by his never-ending declarations of his own greatness. What Sajith was silent about the voters understood. the TNA-led group placed 13 demands, which was rejected outright by Gota, and extended support to Sajith resulting in an unprecedented Tamil vote to Sajith. Sajith accommodated Muslim politicians, tainted with accusations of supporting terrorism even, to be rewarded with a massive endorsement from that community too. Further, there was an organised campaign to promote fake news against Gota. Though I was not surprised by the attempts of the likes of Rajitha, who had egg-on-face after his exploits with white-van criminals, I was shocked how a junior colleague of mine was dissipating fake-news with glee! Fortunately, our villagers displayed greater awareness and common-sense, voting in droves for Gota to ensure a victory that saved the integrity of our country. Had Sajith being elected, what he would have had to do to please the minorities who supported him in droves, is best left to the imagination.

What is the significance of this Gotabaya victory?

First, it moves power away from the two main parties: the UNP and the SLFP, which is no bad thing. In fact, it may lead to a fourth force to oppose the SLPP, as shown by the promptness with which Sajith stepped-down from his position in the UNP. I do hope, even if he plans to set up a new party, Sajith would shun away from the likes of Mangala, who has introduced a new concept to Buddhism: Desarana, dropping the Sangha from the Triple Gem, may be after listening to the discourses of some Buddhist monks, at UNP meetings, who advised getting supporters of Gota drunk with Arrack to prevent them voting!

Even more significant is the lesson taught to the leaders of minority parties, who are exploiting their electorate for personal gain, that the era of ‘Tail waging the Dog’ is over. Gota, in a calm, measured, truly presidential address to the nation, after the swearing-in ceremony in front of Ruwanweliseya, stated this very elegantly. He said “Although I was convinced that I could win this election with the vote of the majority Sinhalese, I extended an invitation to the minorities to join in my victory which, unfortunately, fell below my expectations.” However, he assured fair treatment to all and it is time for the leaders of minorities to change their attitude, one of cooperation than confrontation, for the betterment of their electorate. It was interesting that the first Tamil politician to congratulate the new president was former CM Vigneswaran, well known for his venom spewing at the Sinhalese. Perhaps, he is trying to wrestle power from TNA and these are the snakes Gota should avoid like the plague!

It also signals shift of power from Colombo to the South which a Southerner like me should say: “High time”. For far too long, South was the most neglected, not the North contrary to popular belief. I should not miss the rare opportunity of my claim to fame: Gota was born in Palatuwa, the village next to mine! President Sirisena promised a shift to Polonnaruwa but soon got lost in the glamour of Colombo, finally opting for a magnificent residence in Colombo than in Polonnaruwa, in retirement or not, as he even does not know what he will do next!

Another important consideration is the security situation, not the long term but the immediate. I may be accused of harbouring a delusion, but am concerned because we have still not identified the masterminds behind the Easter Sunday attack, all the investigations carried out by Yahapalanaya being nothing but white-washes. The best way to challenge Gota is by unleashing terror, immediately, and I would not be surprised if the masterminds are already at work. I am sure Gota is well aware of this and already at the task of revamping our intelligence and security services, allowed to rot by Yahapalanaya to appease their foreign masters. Apparently, the words of wisdom painted on a three-wheeler in Kandy was:

Russia palanaya Putin Ape palanaya pitin

Do hope that dark era is behind us!

After strengthening the security situation, which is nothing new to him, Gota and Mahinda are faced with the uphill task of salvaging the economy, whilst attempting to keep to the election pledges. A minor miracle is needed for this but the two brothers did exactly that 10 years ago. For the sake of my beloved Motherland and the millions of expectant citizens, I do hope Gota and Mahinda would be able to do the impossible, again!

They are our only hope, between prosperity and a revolution!

2 Responses to “Can Gota and Mahinda do the impossible, again?”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yes, they CAN and they WILL do the “Impossible” AGAIN for they now have the wholehearted support of the Sinhala people behind them!

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Or will the betray the nation yet again ?

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