The great myth of the ‘Tamil vote’ in 2005 presidential election
Posted on January 21st, 2010

Ajit Randeniya

There are many characteristics about the public persona of Ranil Wickremesinghe even his political enemies would be likely to find disturbing; he comes across as a man immersed in a great sea of self-pity, some one who weeps into the pillow every night due to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”permanent background miseryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Judging by RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s never-ending references to the 2005 presidential election, it appears that most of his worries originate from the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”traumaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of the loss at that election. More specifically, he seems to have internalised the belief that Prabhakaran ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”did itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, by disallowing the Tamils to vote.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The internalisation of this particular belief appears to have adversely affected Ranil WickremesingheƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mental state. Press photographs of him sharing political stage with Pawnseka show a dejected, disinterested man following a routine imposed upon him by circumstances, and desperately trying to motivate himself by clinging on to the belief that hopefully, it will help longer term survival in politics.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s belief that he could have won the 2005 election ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”if not for PrabhakanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is akin to the classic symptoms of a mental condition referred to in clinical psychology as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”external attributionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢; in plain English, blaming others for oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s own problems.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ In RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s case, he has been attributing his hopeless political situation and other problems to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”situational factorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of PrabakaranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ungrateful actƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of disallowing the Tamils to vote in 2005. Significantly, the Pawnseka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”campaignƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ put together by Ranil and Mangala Samaraweera under the supervision of the US and Norwegian embassies has been based on the same belief, and wooing the ‘Tamils’ including the separatist elements.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ He has come out again, this time to Europe-based LTTE television channel GTV. He says in the TV presentation that the LTTE in 2005 had told the Tamils not to vote for him, costing him the presidency. He goes on: “In 2005, there was a mistake [by the LTTE] and now we have to get together and resolve this issue. In 2005, you missed the opportunity”.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Like all beliefs underlying obsessive mental disorders, this is nonsense. While he may curse Prabhakran to the rest of his days, the missing Tamil vote has not been as crucial to his loss as he seems to believe. One only needs to look at the district level analysis of the 2005 presidential election results to see as to how ridiculous this myth Ranil seems to have internalised through repetition and wallowing.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Here are some relevant statistics relating to the 2005 presidential election: there have been 13 327 160 registered voters of whom 9 717 039 have cast valid votes; around 4 890 000 to President Rajapakse and 4 700 000 to Wickremesinghe. The analysis of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”TamilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ districts of Batticaloa, Vanni, Trincomalee and Jaffna tells a story quite different to the one that seems to have made Ranil a sick man.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ With less than 1% of the registered votes cast, Jaffna seems to have been the district where the LTTE decree that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamils should not go out on the dayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ seems to have worked most effectively. One can only speculate about the likely result there, had normal voter turn out taken place. However, there is symbolism, at least to those familiar with the geographical distribution of the dreaded ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”castsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in Jaffna, that President Rajapakse outpolled Ranil in Kayts, and only Kayts, by 139 votes to 98. The oppressed have instincts!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Batticaloa, shows a voter turn out of over 50%, with Ranil winning around 121 000 votes to around just 30 000 of President Rajapakse; in the Vanni, with around 40% voter turn out (strangely), Ranil has won 56 000 votes, to just 11 000 of Rajapakse. In Trincomalee, again with around 60% voted, Ranil has polled 92 000 to RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s 53 000.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ What these figures demonstrate is that RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s belief that his loss was caused by the non-materialisation of the Tamil vote is not supported by facts or statistics; notwithstanding the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bastardy (as far as Ranil is concerned) he won in Tamil areas in 2005.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The Pawnseka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”campaignƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ strategy of wooing the separatist Tamil political players (not necessarily the Tamil general public), has been built upon this myth and the western corporate media who are behind these no-hopers has been trying to fool the world too. The TNA, as pathetically displayed during the provincial elections, will not be able to increase voter turn out significantly in Tamil areas. Even if they did, the Tamil factor is not going to change the result of this election.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The village idiots led by Mangala Samaraweera who are advising Pawnseka have not been able to figure out that close to 90% of the population of Sri Lanka who are non-Tamil are the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”majorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, and the reality is that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”theyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ are going to decide as to who will win this election. The majority of Sri Lankans, Tamils included, will show on 26 January that they are overwhelmingly behind President Rajapakse.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ There is also an interesting sideline to RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s TV presentation to European Tamils. He says that it was the Mavil Aru incident which prompted ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to order the then Army Commander Pawnseka to launch an all out war on the LTTE, and Pawnseka simply followed the orders!

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ This apparent attempt at the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Nuremberg DefenceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ before the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”courtƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of LTTE diaspora in Europe, like most campaign tactics devised by these incompetent thieves, has unwittingly exposed the truth: Pawnseka was only the Indian and President Rajapakse was the Chief. That is where credit should go, and remain.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”IndianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ will probably end up in Pakistan on 27 January.

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Down with Pawnseka!

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