Can North Rule Sri Lanka? – Possible.
Posted on August 27th, 2014

By  Gomin Dayasri

 Election procedure is flexed in such a manner the day is not too far away, when the Northern Province determines the declaration of the next President of Sri Lanka. Token assistance will be required from the Eastern Province to make it definitive and that will be forthcoming.

 This would have been conclusively established in 2005 if Prabhakaran did not prevent the people of the north from exercising their franchise. That was the election that Mahinda Rajapakse won by a whisker. He obtained a mere of 0.2% above the required 50% of the valid vote. At that election Mahinda Rajapakse obtained 4,887,152 votes (50.2%); Ranil Wickremasinghe polled 4,706,366 votes (48.4%). Mahinda Rajapakse became President on receiving 28,632 votes more to vault over the mandatory 50% barrier [Difference between 50.2% and 50%]. Otherwise it would have required a second count to determine the second preference.

 At that election in Jaffna District only 1.2% of the registered voters cast their vote of which 70% were in favor of Ranil Wickremasinghe while in Wanni District 34.3% of the voters cast their ballots of which 77% of the vote went in favor of Wickremasinghe. If the franchise were exercised freely in the North, Ranil Wickremasinghe would have been the President. The prohibition sealed a flow of votes to Wickremasinghe and made him the loser which otherwise would have established him the sure winner at a close election. History may not have been altered for the better.

 That was an election Prabhakaran could have fabricated to select a President of his choice. Indeed he did so impliedly: by not allowing the northerners to exercise their franchise, knowing well the trend in the North was for Wickremasinghe, which he aborted and did select the ultimate winner. Believe it or not, Prabhakaran unintentionally maneuvered the northern vote to stay with the southern vote and made the choice of the south to prevail without permitting the north to express their free will. He felt Ranil Wickremasinghe with his international connections would pose a greater threat to him. It was one of the many colossal mistakes that he made that led to his downfall and spiked history.

Northern Province enjoys a unique position – it’s a virtual single party province (except for the presence of Douglas Devananda and the EPDP faintly around the islands) consisting predominantly of one ethnic group with no other formidable northern political parties/independent groups to rival TNA. At the last provincial council elections on a poll of 353595 votes TNA received 78.4% of the vote. TNA is capable of diverting the major portion of total vote of the north (of the 719,477 registered voters at the Provincial Council elections in 2013, 450,574 voted for several political parties – 67.5% voted) to a candidate of their choice in a close election, which makes the southern beneficiary the winner with the flow of a bulk vote unseen in other districts where elections are more competitive. At a heavier poll in the North, TNA’s exclusive vote bank could reach around 375000 to 400000 votes. In addition, at the provincial council election of the eastern province TNA collected 193827 votes. Therefore the TNA has a vote bank around 575000 to 600000 votes to offer to the south. This is tough to set off against the southern majorities unless there is a high swing towards a candidate.

 TNA has another option to present a candidate of their own to collect the maximum vote and tilt the preferential vote to the favored candidate of their choice in the south. This is unlikely as it is cumbersome and could carry a hiccup.

 In a nutshell the south can elect a candidate of their own choice without compromising the north only if at the presidential election of 2014/15 (a) the polling is heavy in the south (b) winner carries the south comprehensively (except for a few urban electorates) and (c) with large majorities in friendly electorates: to offset the bulk vote of around 57500 to 600000 from the north aided by the East where Tamils vote uniformly. In short, it has to be a repetition of a slightly less rigid replay of a 2010 presidential election situation. South is capable of angrily reacting to northern manipulations and grounding it by a preemptive voting display.

 Alarm bells would ring less louder if the preferred candidate of the Northern vote is elected as the President: if it were at a hotly contested close election in the south as was in 2005. In such a case either candidate could win or nearly win the election in the south but with the help of the north/east the winner is nudged ahead, yet holds substantial support in the south to be acceptable especially in the Sinhala Buddhist electorates.

 However if at a presidential election the south votes comprehensively in favor of one candidate but yet the majorities are not fat enough to overtake the bulk one -way street vote from the north aided by the East, it could lead to a perilous situation. The ugly head of ethnicity would raise its head to make governance after an alleged contrived election wary with a possible backlash. Such a government has a short life expectancy and a resulting election could be fought on a strict ethnic dimension that is unhealthy for the reconciliation exercise. More so if such projections are featured it could lead to tactical voting patterns emerging in the north and south with conflicting results emerging on either side of the aisle at an election.

 Tamils of the North/East has the right to vote according to their preference, which is their scared democratic right; who ever they vote for is their right in exercising the franchise according to their choice. TNA as the prime political party of the North has the right to give them leadership and issue directions unlike in LTTE times where they were under command.

 Instead, the blame should be laid at the feet of Prabhakaran for denying the people of the north their right to exercise the franchise. However that blame need be shared with the TNA: for they meekly followed the dictates of the LTTE and acted as their visible agent. Suspicion is aroused in the minds of the south that the TNA while now enjoying the fruits of democracy and holding office that was denied to them by Prabhakaran; is trying to reach the goals that Prabhakaran had set through a democratic process which would result in a more divided Sri Lanka worked on a ethnic framework.

 It augurs ill as a sense of mutual suspicion savors between the two major communities. There was great hope placed with the coming of Wigneswaran into politics that a difference was in the making. He has proved to be a dismal failure-possibly pleasing none but him. He has not shown character or wisdom in working towards a meaningful reconciliation process where northern nationalism” with its distinct culture and ethos – that is far removed from terrorism – and is the aspiration of Tamil supremacy- has a pride of place in the Sri Lankan society.

 National political parties should come to the forefront, over shadowing the ethnic political parties and are capable of winning seats in every district, as did the UNP and the LSSP of the old. D.S. Senanayake as a UNP Prime Minister held a very representative cabinet of all ethnicities representing every region. Reconciliation process has achieved its goal, the day the UPFA or UNP, can win a few seats in every district including the north where a northern Tamil from the UPFA or UNP sits as a cabinet minister. Probably a Tamil Prime Minister is a distinct possibility in the future with Lakshman Kadirgamar having nearly made it.

 For the process to fast track a few parliamentarians of the TNA or SLMC from the North and East should join either the UPFA or UNP with the hope of being elevated as Cabinet members.

22 Responses to “Can North Rule Sri Lanka? – Possible.”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Malsha Kumaratunga – daughter of Jeevan has faced the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE for animal welfare. What a damn stupid thing to do when there is a DROUGHT.

    STOP this madness. Instead do the RICE BUCKET CHALLENGE by donating a bucket of rice to drought affected people.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:


  3. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:





  4. Lorenzo Says:

    AGREE with GD. A very good analysis. HARDCORE MR bootylickers will NOT read this. They think the north, south, east and west will vote for MR for bringing peace, development, reconciliation, etc. Fools. The north is DAMN against MR for these very same reasons!

    At the next presidential election the LEAD UNP will gain over MR or BR will be:

    Jaffna and Vanni – 300,000 votes lead.
    Batticaloa and Trincomalee – 150,000 votes lead
    Amparei – 50,000 votes lead
    Nuwara Eliya – 100,000 votes lead
    Colombo city – 100,000 votes lead

    So MR or BR will have to bridge 700,000 votes lead from other areas. An IMPOSSIBLE TASK IF MR continues to APPEASE Tamils and Muslims. ONLY Sinhala voters can give MR or BR the required lead. IF MR wants to WIN the next presidential election, CUT money to north and CHENNEL them to SINHALA areas.

    Sinhalese must demand MR SCRAP 13 amendment NOW. This is the time to do it. MR will have to give ANYTHING to Sinhalese now or else LOSE the election.

    There is another way for MR. Bring back the “LTTE”. Threaten Tamil voters in the north and the east AGAINST voting. A claymore explosion a day before the election kills 20+ voters and NO ONE in the north will vote. Then the army quickly moves and kills “LTTE” terrorists who happened to be clandestine TNA operatives.

    Either of these methods must be used for MR to win the election. Otherwise MR will be history. I want MR to WIN the next election by appeasing Sinhalese.

  5. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Do people call Kandy, Nuwaraeliya or Milagiriya Sinhala Towns?
    Why this ethnically designated towns only in the North?
    Who ‘colonized’ Wellawatte and Milagiriya?
    Given that millions of Tamils are living in the South and South is too cramped with people so we must say it is okay to allow new settlements (no matter what race are they) in the North and East.While population of the rest of the country increased rapidly, with some once small towns like Galle and Matara becoming mega cities with population bursting at the seams, the population in the North has dropped by more than half.
    Tamils know that Sinhalese are great neighbours and even better than Arabs, Canadian, German, French, Italian, Indian or British. Tamils are living in harmony with Sinhalese in the South.
    Now that the Tamils are relocating to Canada, UK, Australia etc etc Sinhalese should relocate to the vacant areas left by the Tamils.
    In Singapore EIP – Ethnic Integration Policy – is enforced to balance ethnic composition.
    Any Sri lankan should be able to live where ever they want, as long as the law of the country is respected and follwed.
    When racists use “Tamil Areas” it implies that there are some areas exclusive for Tamils.
    This “Tamil Exclusiveness” concept is one of the root causes for ethnic tension in our motherland. Mono ethnic enclaves should not be encouraged. That’s the reason to non-tolerance of other cultures. Everyone should have a common Sri Lankan identity. Sri lanka is for every son and daughter of the soil, whether speaking in English, Tamil or Sinhala. Equality,liberty and freedom to exercise one’s religion, language and culture is all that matters.
    Time has come to stop all this nonsense of being Tamil and Sinhalese. We are all Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka belongs to all its children. Every Sri Lankan citizen has to be treated equally, should be allowed to move around freely without any restrictions and when they do so they should be encouraged to procure these assets at market prices. If the Tamils can live other parts of Sri Lanka, then why Sinhalese don’t have the same right. Please do not create mono ethnic enclaves. There are no ethnic homelands in Sri Lanka. Only Sri Lankans and Sri Lanka.
    Sri Lanka is a free country; Anybody from Dondra Point should be able to live in Point Pedro and vice versa as well. Co-inhabitant is the best solution to national integrity and makes different ethnic groups to understand each other.
    Look at our history!

    Hindi is the official language of the Indian Union (although it also recognizes 15 or 16 other regional languages as official). Still, it is the native language of only about a third of all Indians. Those who don’t grow up speaking Hindi must learn it at school. Very little Hindi is spoken in the south of India, where the dominant languages are completely unrelated to those of the north.

    Urdu is the official language of Pakistan. It is also the official language of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and one of the two official languages of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

    Like Hindi, Urdu is not the native language of most Pakistanis. For only about 10% of Pakistanis, primarily those living in Karachi and other cities of the Sindh province, speak it as their mother tongue. The remaining Pakistanis grow up speaking Punjabi, Sindhi, Baluchi, Pashtu, Kashmiri or other languages and must learn Urdu at school. In fact, India has about ten times the number of native speakers of Urdu as Pakistan.

    But this situation is changing because the Pakistani state has so thoroughly suffused the country with Urdu. Many of today’s young Pakistanis for whose parents Urdu is not the mother tongue, have grown up speaking Urdu as though it was.

    Similarly a majority of Sri Lankan kids with Tamil speaking parents are now living in traditionally Sinhala speaking areas and growing up speaking Sinhala as well. Language will not become a subject of racist division in few years if all the Sri Lankan children in the North & East learn Sinhala and Tamil.

    It has been the proud privilege of the Sri Lankans to live in harmony with one another. That has been the basis of Sri Lanka’s culture from the days of Asoka, 2300 years ago. This has been repeatedly declared and practiced. Let us endeavour to rebuild the brotherhood that once existed between the Sinhala and Tamil speaking Sri Lankans. It is the only way forward to usher in peace and prosperity once more to this beautiful country of ours that has been torn apart by war and strife.

    According to the Tamil Dictionary published by University of Madras, Elam is a Pali word – not a Dravidian word. Elam has the same meaning as Hela and Sinhala

    Pali is at once flowing and sonorous: it is a characteristic of Pali that nearly every word ends in a vowel, and that all harsh conjunctions are softened down by assimilation, elision, or crasis, while on the other hand Pali lend itself easily to the expression of sublime and vigorous thought.

  6. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    courtesy of Reuters

    “The news about the killing of Prabhakaran sparked mass celebrations around the country, and people poured into the streets of Colombo, dancing and singing. Looking back at the war General Fonseka made two insightful observations that must surely resonate in the minds of military strategists dealing with terrorism and insurgency in other parts of the world. The first is on the commitment of the political leadership to eliminate terror. Eelam IV war began as a poll-promise. President Mahinda Rajapaksa rode to power four years ago vowing to annihilate the LTTE. In the early hours of Tuesday the fight for Eelam, a separate homeland for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, begun in 1983 ended in a lagoon, the Nanthi Kadal. Velupillai Prabhakaran’s dead body, eyes wide open, top portion of the head blown off, the thick bushy moustache in place, was found in the lagoon by the Sri Lankan forces looking for remnant LTTE stragglers.
    In the President’s Office in Colombo officials talk about the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ (of fighting terror). “Broadly, win back the LTTE held areas, eliminate the top LTTE leadership and give the Tamils a political solution.” Sunimal Fernando, one of Rajapaksa’s advisors, says that the President demonstrated a basic resolve: “given the political will, the military can crush terrorism.” This is not as simple as it sounds. Like most poll promises he did not have plans to fulfill his promise to militarily defeat the LTTE. Eelam I to III were miserable failures. So the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ evolved, it was not pre-planned.

    The first fundamental of this approach was unwavering political will. Rajapaksa clearly conveyed to General Sarath Fonseka: “eliminate the LTTE.” To the outside world he conveyed the same message differently: “either the LTTE surrenders or face, their end.” Rajapaksa instructed the Sri Lankan Army that their job was to fight and win the war. At whatever cost, however bloody it might be. He would take care of political pressures, domestic and international.
    General Fonseka commented: “It is the political leadership with the commitment of the military that led the battle to success. We have the best political leadership to destroy terrorism in this country. It was never there before to this extent. The military achieved these war victories after President Mahinda Rajapaksa came into power. He, who believed that terrorism should and could be eliminated, gave priority do go ahead with our military strategies. And no Defence Secretary was there like the present Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had the same commitment and knowledge on how to crush the LTTE. Finally, they gave me the chance of going ahead with the military plan.”

    Following from the first, the second principle of Rajapaksa’s ‘how to fight a war and win it’ is telling the international community to “go to hell.” As the British and French foreign ministers, David Miliband and Bernard Kouchner, found out during their visit. They were cold shouldered for suggesting that Sri Lanka should halt the war and negotiate with the LTTE. As Rajapaksa said during the post-interview chatter “we will finish off the LTTE, we will finish terrorism and not allow it to regroup in this country ever; every ceasefire has been used by the LTTE to consolidate, regroup and re-launch attacks, so no negotiations.” Eliminate and Annihilate – two key operational words that went with the “go to hell” principle of the ‘Rajapaksa Model’. After Colombo declared victory the Sri Lankan Army Commander Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka used words used by Rajapaksa. That the SLA will not allow the LTTE to “regroup”.

    Naturally, the third fundamental was no negotiations with the LTTE. “The firm decision of the political hierarchy not to go for talks with the LTTE terrorists until they lay down arms had contributed significantly to all these war victories,” affirms Fonseka. But this meant withstanding international pressure to halt the war, the humanitarian crisis spawned by the war and the rising civilian casualties. Rajapaksa did all of this by simply ensuring ‘silence’ and information blackout under which the war was conducted. Rajapaksa’s biggest gamble was to give the military a free hand, shut the world out of the war zone.
    When the United Nations, US and European countries raised concerns of high civilian casualties, Rajapaksa, said that the international community was “getting in the way” of Sri Lanka’s victory against terrorism. “We knew that the moment the military is close to operational successes, there will be loud screams for the resumption of the political process of peace negotiations. But there will be no negotiations.” That was the rock solid stand taken and communicated by Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to all visiting dignitaries and diplomats.

    With just one version of the war available for the media to report, the Sri Lankan government ensured an unidirectional flow of conflict information. The information put out by the LTTE’s official website, TamilNet, could not be independently verified on the ground because access to the war zone was regulated and controlled. This was a vital fourth principle in the strategic matrix of the Rajapaksa model.
    “Presidents Premadasa and Chandrika Bandaranaike gave orders to the military to take on the LTTE. But when success was near, they reversed the orders and instructed the military to pull back, to withdraw from operations because of international concerns about the humanitarian crisis and civilian casualties. So we had to ensure that we regulated the media. We didn’t want the international community to force peace negotiations on us,” says a senior official in the President’s office who wishes to remain anonymous.

    Rajapaksa’s brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who consistently maintained that military operations would continue unhindered. “There will be no ceasefire,” was Gotabaya uncompromising message. The clear, unambiguous stand enabled other prominent personalities in the Rajapaksa cabinet to speak in a uniform voice. “Human rights violations during war operations and the humanitarian crisis that engulfs civilians caught in the cross fire have always been the trigger points to order a military pull-back,” asserted Mahinda Samarasinghe, Minister for Human Rights and Disaster Management. “The LTTE would always play this card in the past. They would use the ceasefire to regroup and resume the war.”
    President Rajapaksa was clear that he did not want to go down that route. That was the traditional way of fighting the LTTE – two steps forward, four steps back. The Rajapaksa brothers’ commitment to a military solution was cast in stone. And it was anchored in a deft political arrangement. But first it is important to reveal the idea behind the political arrangement. “It was to ensure that there would be no political intervention to pull away the military from its task of comprehensively and completely eliminating the LTTE,” says a senior official in the President’s Office. “Prabhakaran was aware of the political contradictions in Sri Lanka and so was confident that the SLA will not indulge in an adventurous, all guns blazing, a full onslaught against the LTTE.”

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s appointment to the post of Defence Secretary was made precisely to break this political logjam. Gotabaya had a military past. He had taken voluntary retirement from the SLA. He had retained his long standing friendship with Lt General Sarath Fonseka. Gotabaya met Fonseka and asked him, “can you go for a win”? The battle-hardened veteran said “yes, but you will have to permit me to pick my own team.” Gotabaya and Mahinda agreed. “We will let the military do its job, while we hold the fort, politically,” they told Fonseka. This deft political arrangement worked because both, Gotabaya and Fonseka, were recruited and commissioned into the army at the same time.
    This is the team Fonseka handpicked by August 2006 – Major General Jagath Dias, commander of the 57 Division, Brigadier Shavendra Silva, commander of Task force One also the 58 Division (the SLA formation that has recorded the maximum victories against the LTTE), Major General Nandana Udawatta, commander of the 59 Division and Major General Kamal Gunarathne and Brigadier Prasanna Silva, commanders of the 53 and 55 Divisions respectively. Their task was to recapture 15,000 square kilometers of area controlled by the LTTE. The defection of LTTE’s Eastern chief, Karuna, helped the Army take over Batticaloa, Tamil Tigers’ eastern stronghold on July 11, 2007.
    By the time of LTTE’s defeat in the East, the 57 Division under the command of Major General Jagath Dias started military operations north of Vavuniya. Eighteen months later, in January 2009, the 57 Division marched into Kilinochchi, the head quarters of the Tamil Tigers. Parallel to this the Task Force One (58 Division) under Brigadier Shavendra Silva achieved stunning success moving from Silavathura area in Mannar in the west coast, capturing Pooneryn and Paranthan. These troops then swiftly recaptured Elephant Pass, linked up with the 57 Division and further moved to Sundarapuram, Pudukudiyiruppu and finally the eastern coast of the country. Meanwhile, the 59th division of the Army, commanded by Major General Nandana Udawatta opened a new front in Welioya area in January 2008 and within a year marched into the LTTE’s administrative hub, Mullaitivu. Finally, troops from 53rd, 55th, 58th and 59th bottled up the LTTE in along a small patch of eastern coastal land in Mullaitivu and killed the top leadership, including Prabhakaran.
    The decision to bring Fonseka out of retirement paid off because he was a hardcore advocate of military operations to crush the LTTE. With rock solid political backing Fonseka was able to motivate his troops and officers to go all out without fearing any adverse consequences. It’s not surprising why Eelam IV turned out to be a bloody and a brutal war. “That there will be civilian casualties was a given and Rajapaksa was ready to take the blame. This gave the Army tremendous confidence. It was the best morale booster the forces could have got,” says a Sri Lankan minister who wishes to let this quote remain unattributed.
    Is it any surprise, therefore, that LTTE wanted to assassinate Gotabaya in 2006? Prabhakaran knew that if he could assassinate Gotabaya then the carefully constructed political-military architecture pushing the war operations forward would have been gravely undermined. Gotabaya escaped the assassination bid and the rest as the cliché goes, is history.

    So even though Gotabaya came into the
    political set up virtually out of nowhere, he quickly became the bridge-head
    between President Rajapaksa’s government and the military. The Rajapaksa
    brothers fused political commitment to a pre-set military goal. “He (Gotabaya)
    was embraced and accepted by the military and his was a legitimate voice in the
    Army,” said a senior official in the President Office. Gotabaya communicated
    the military requirements to the government – men, material and weapons.

    His brother and head of the government, President Rajapaksa, ensured the military got what it wanted. He in turn instructed Gotabaya to tell the Army to go all out and get on with the task. The sixth fundamental of the Rajapaksa Model also had a clause – Basil, the youngest of the Rajapaksa brothers. “Neither Mahinda nor Basil saw their brother Gotabaya as a political threat to their political aspirations. So they gave him a free hand.” More importantly, Basil was used by President Rajapaksa for political liaison, especially with India.

    The other critical element was empowering young officers as GOCs to lead the battle. “I did not select these officers because they are young. But they were appointed as I thought they were the best to command the battle. I went to the lines and picked up the capable people. I had to drop those who had less capacity to lead the battle. Some of them are good for other work like administration activities. Therefore, the good commanders were chosen to command this battle.

    I thought seniority was immaterial if they could not command the soldiers properly. I restructured the Army and changed almost all the aspects of the organization. I made the Sri Lanka Army a more professional Army. Everybody had to work with a sense of professionalism.”

    Eighth Fundamental: Keep Your Neighbors in Loop
    The seventh fundamental was India and an unsigned strategic partnership agreed by New Delhi and Colombo. India played a crucial part in the Sri Lanka military operations by providing intelligence and other kinds of tactical support. “The moral support, whatever support India gave us, is what they should have given to us. It is their duty to help us in this stage,” is President Rajapaksa’s rather candid admission of the Indian involvement. “I can’t demand, I shouldn’t demand anything from a neighboring country. I request.” The first significant request from Colombo was naval intelligence and intelligence on the movement of LTTE owned merchant navy vessels.
    The 15,000 sq km area controlled by the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka known as Vanni was cut off from all land access. The A9 Colombo-Jaffna road ran through it. But in the Southern end was the Vavuniya frontline at Omanthai and in the North beyond the Elephant Pass was the northern frontline. The only way for the LTTE to get its supplies, weapons and other essentials was through the sea route. It had eight ‘warehouse’ ships, vessels that transported “artillery, mortar shells, artillery shells, torpedoes, aircraft, missiles, underwater vehicles, diving equipment, radar, electro-optical devices and night vision equipment.” These ships would travel close to the Sri Lankan coast but beyond the reach of Sri Lanka’s coastal Navy. War material from these ‘warehouse’ ships would be transported into smaller boats protected by Sea Tiger units, which would then make its way to the Sea Tiger bases. This is how the LTTE sustained itself for decades and continually upgraded its conventional military capability through funding provided by the Tamil Diaspora.
    India played a crucial role in choking this well established supply line of the LTTE. This enabled the Sri Lankan armed forces on the ground to make rapid advances. The Sri Lankan Navy led by Vice Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, executed a maritime strategy based on intelligence on LTTE ship movements provided by India. In 2006 the SL Navy had tremendous success when, based on Indian intelligence, it launched operations to destroy six LTTE warehouse vessels. Subsequently, by 2007, two more were destroyed, which completely disrupted the LTTE’s supply line. Some LTTE warehouse ships were located at about 1700 nautical miles, south east of Sri Lanka close to Australia’s exclusive economic zone. SL Navy clearly does not have this capability and this shows how deep and extensive intelligence sharing between India and Colombo have been ever since 2006.
    In a recent interview to the Jane’s Defence Weekly, Admiral Karannagoda said, “It was one of the major turning points in the last 30 years of the conflict. That was the main reason why the LTTE are losing the battle, we did not allow a single supply of replenishment ship to come into (Sri Lankan) waters over the last two and a half years since 2006.”

    In the final analysis the Rajapaksa model is based on a military precept and not a political one. Terrorism has to be wiped out militarily and cannot be tackled politically. That’s the basic premise of the Rajapaksa Model.

  7. Nalliah Thayabharan Says:

    Having crushed the LTTE’s multi-pronged offensive launched in early August 2006, President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared that he would have the best officers to lead the war against terror. In the wake of the armed forces beating back LTTE offensives in the Trincomalee and Northern theatres, addressing an SLFP convention at the BMICH in the first week of September 2006, he declared that the cast, creed, and race of an officer would be immaterial, as long as they did their duty.

    In an obvious reference to SLAF chief Air Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke, the President revealed that some people had objected to Goonetilleke’s appointment as he studied at a particular college. They also pointed out that the officer’s father had been critical of the war effort and was not a Buddhist. The President said: “I consulted Gotabhaya regarding the appointment and he said that particular officer was the best choice and should be given the opportunity to command the service.”

    Announcing the liberation of Sampur following a week-long battle at the SLFP convention, the President also referred to the appointment of Maj. Gen. Sarath Fonseka as the Commander of the Army, as he was about to retire (Mahinda says only the best will head the forces––The Island Sept 8, 2006). He told the media at Temple Trees in the run-up to the last presidential poll in Jan, 2010, that Fonseka’s appointment, too, had been made on the recommendation of his brother, Gotabhaya, who was present at the meeting. During the almost three year long offensive there couldn’t have been at least one occasion where President Rajapaksa taking a decision regarding security matter without Gotabhaya being consulted. In fact, there has been absolutely no change in the situation even after the conclusion of the conflict.

    Gotabhaya’s response to Opp. strategy
    As troops gradually made headway in the eastern theatre of operations, an influential section within the ruling coalition and the Opposition launched a destabilisation campaign. They triggered chaos inside the ruling coalition causing uncertainty. The political crisis threatened the on-going military action on the eastern front. Defence Secretary Rajapaksa was quick to realise the danger of political turmoil, as he felt the enemy could take advantage of the situation. The Opposition resented the Defence Secretary’s bold statements as regards the political crisis. They accused him of interfering in political issues. But, the Defence Secretary always voiced his opinion much to the consternation of some politicians.

    In a brief interview with The Island published on Feb 25, 2007, an irate Defence Secretary lashed out at those undermining the war effort by propagating lies.

    The Opposition alleged that government forces were moving into LTTE-held areas in the Eastern Province, while the LTTE was given the opportunity to run the Northern Province. The Opposition claimed that the SLA wasn’t confronting the LTTE, hence allowing large enemy forces to withdraw to the Vanni through the jungles north of Weli Oya. The propaganda operation succeeded to a large extent, with some even within the establishment suspecting significant battlefield victories achieved by the SLA on the Eastern Front. The Opposition sought to discredit the military in a bid to undermine President Rajapaksa and Gotabhaya.

    In a front-page story captioned ‘Gotabhaya vows not to be distracted by political chaos with strap line Fresh offensive gets underway’, The Island quoted Rajapaksa as having said: “Absolute rubbish. See what is happening on the ground, not only in the East, but the North as well. We are working to a plan and won’t be distracted by unfair criticism.” The Defence Secretary was responding to Opposition allegations that the SLA was moving into the Eastern Province, while the LTTE took over the Northern Province.

    The Defence Secretary said that whatever the Opposition said, the LTTE was on the run. He pointed out the absurdity in Opposition claims in the wake of the LTTE abandoning their important bases in the Eastern Province, leaving behind artillery pieces, mortars and explosives-laden boats. Rajapaksa stressed that squabbling, petty politics and insignificant disputes shouldn’t be allowed to impede the war effort.

    In spite of losing some territory, the LTTE still felt that President Rajapaksa couldn’t sustain a major military campaign in the Eastern Province. The TNA believed in the LTTE’s wherewithal to thwart the UPFA’s military as well as political strategies, and the UNP, too, believed that the UPFA would fail on the war front, hence they attacked President Rajapaksa on a broad front. The Colombo based diplomatic community and the NGO circuit, too, believed that the government couldn’t sustain the offensive much longer as a massive LTTE onslaught was imminent. Even the destruction of the LTTE’s floating warehouses on the high seas didn’t influence their thinking. They believed Sri Lanka’s streak of luck would be short-lived.

    What they didn’t realise was that the SLA was preparing to open a new front west of Vavuniya even before the successful conclusion of its campaign in the Eastern Province. The Army chief, Lt. Gen. Fonseka strongly felt the need to sustain maximum possible pressure on the LTTE in both provinces. Forces had faith in the Sinha Regiment veteran and his capacity to prosecute a ground offensive under extremely difficult conditions. Veteran of many a battle, Lt. Gen. Fonseka pushed for a all-out war on many fronts in the Northern theatre. Nothing would have contributed to that strategy more than opening a new front, thereby compelling the LTTE to commit some of its best units to confront the SLA. Fighting the LTTE on multiple fronts wouldn’t have been realistic unless the government increased the SLA’s strength. The President authorised the increase in the SLA’s strength so that the army would have the much needed flexibility. By March 2007, the SLA was ready to launch the newly raised 57 Division with the intention of liberating Kilinochchi. Before discussing progress on the Vanni front, it would be important to examine the political challenges faced by President Rajapaksa.

    The entire war effort could have collapsed if the President didn’t overcome political obstacles in his path. The President to a large extent depended on his brothers, Gotabhaya and Basil, to ensure political stability, prompting the Opposition to call the ruling coalition ‘sahodara samagama’ (a company comprising brothers).

    Challenge within the SLFP
    Having won the Nov. 17, 2005 presidential election by a margin of about 200,000 votes thanks to the LTTE-TNA combination depriving the main Opposition candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe of the Tamil vote, the LTTE resumed major attacks in the first week of Dec. 2005. In January 2006, the LTTE destroyed an Israeli built Shaldag class Fast Attack Craft (FAC) off Trincomalee and in April, May and Dec targeted, Lt. Gen. Fonseka, ‘Pearl Cruiser’ carrying 700 officers and men and Gotabhaya, respectively.

    Had the LTTE succeeded in executing any one of them, Sri Lanka’s war on terror could have suffered irrevocable damage. The LTTE launched eelam war IV in the first week of Aug 2006 but quickly lost the initiative. By early Feb. 2007, the military campaign in the Eastern Province reached a decisive stage, with the SLA readying to open a new front in the Vanni theatre.

    The Defence Secretary in late Jan. 2007 indicated the government’s intention to continue with the offensive. Having visited newly liberated Vakarai, one of the strongest LTTE bases in the Eastern Province, the Defence Secretary said that the on-going successful military operations would influence further military action. The LTTE was in disarray and couldn’t carry out a phased withdrawal. They fled, leaving a vast quantity of equipment, including two 152 mm artillery pieces, one 120 mm mortar, two 12,7 mm anti-aircraft guns (Forces’ success in the East to influence further military action––The Island Jan 25, 2007).

    An influential section within the SLFP initiated its destabilisation bid. The then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who had played a pivotal role in helping Prime Minister Rajapaksa to secure the PA presidential election candidature, opposed the President’s political and military strategies. Samaraweera challenged Rajapaksa much to the chagrin of the Rajapaksas. After consulting those close to him, the President, in early Feb. 2007, warned the rebellious members to fall in line or face the consequences. The President felt that failure to act swiftly and decisively could cause a political turmoil. Basil, too, accepted the urgent need to arrest the situation, while Gotabhaya asserted that the delay to ensure political stability could be an impediment to the on-going military campaign. Some government members, including several vociferous supporters of the Rajapaksas remained silent as they felt the battle for supremacy in the SLFP could go either way. No one wanted to take chances. The rebellion was gathering momentum. Then on Feb 8, 2007, the President gave an dire warning to the ginger group. Addressing a group of newly appointed electoral organisers at Temple Trees, he emphasised that he wouldn’t allow any group within the SLFP to challenge his authority. He warned that he wouldn’t succumb to pressure and added that those disgruntled elements could leave the party. The warning was given in the wake of Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Anura Bandaranaike and Sripathy Sooriyaarachchi skipping an Emergency vote in Parliament. The bone of contention was the President accommodating a group of UNP MPs among the government ranks to strengthen his position in Parliament, due to the JVP spurning his invitation to join the government. Basil played a pivotal role in enticing Opposition members to join government ranks.

    At the behest of the SLFP leadership, Ven. Vatinapaha Somananda thera, on behalf of the All Island Clergy Association urged the President to take punitive action against those who skipped the Emergency vote. The stage of was set for a critical phase of an operation targeting dissidents.

    Dissidents sacked
    While beleaguered UNP leader Wickremesinghe was fighting to reassert his authority in the wake of a powerful section of the UNP parliamentary group throwing its weight behind President Rajapaksa along with the SLMC as well as the CWC, which contested the parliamentary poll (April 2004) on the UNP ticket, the President stripped Samaraweera and Bandaranaike of their ministerial portfolios. The President bluntly told the SLFPdissidents to continue their campaign sans ministerial portfolios. A visibly upset Anura Bandaranaike called for CBK’s support to go on the offensive. He called CBK to join a media briefing in Colombo aimed at targeting the Rajapaksa brothers, in spite of him being warned not to cause further problems. The President sent a message to Bandaranaike through business tycoon Harry Jayawardena, a mutual friend, not to side with Samaraweera. Bandaranaike was warned to keep his distance from Samaraweera. CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman quickly realised that the dissidents’ move could end up in a catastrophe. Thondaman rushed to President Rajapaksa to reaffirm his support. Having sacked those who challenged his authority, a confident Rajapaksa on Feb 11, 2007 left for the Maldives on a three-day state visit. The President invited three UNP defectors, Milinda Moragoda, Prof. G.L. Peiris and Rohitha Bogollagama to join his delegation for talks with Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The decision to go ahead with an overseas visit highlighted his confidence in Gotabhaya and Basil (Anura wants Chandrika to battle Rajapaksa brothers; SLFP seeks more UNP crossovers and MR confident dissidents helpless, leaves for Male––The Island Feb 11, 2007)

    JVP’s response to Rajapaksas move
    Much to the surprise of Bandaranaike, Samaraweera and Sooriyaarachchi, those who had been in touch with them and pledged their support for the attack on the Rajapaksas remained mum. The President’s decision to strip dissidents of ministerial portfolios wrong-footed them all. The JVP on Feb 11, 2007 issued a statement criticising the President’s move against Samaraweera and Sooriyaarachchi. The JVP politburo didn’t refer to Bandarnaike. The JVP alleged that the President was targeting some of those who had supported his presidential bid, while embracing those undermined him. The SLFP leadership asked the JVP to mind its own business. Among those who publicly supported the Rajapaksas move against rebels within days after them being stripped of portfolios were ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Pavitra Wanniarachchi, Dilan Perera, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Sarath Amunugama and Jagath Pushpakumara (JVP sheds tears for Mangala and Sripathy, silent on Anura with strap line Mind your own business-SLFP––The Island Feb 12, 2007)

    Although the JVP strongly backed Prime Minister Rajapaksa’s presidential election campaign in Nov 2005, the President couldn’t have forgotten how the JVP almost succeeded in blocking him from being appointed the Prime Minister immediately after the April 2, 2004 parliamentary polls. The JVP pushed for the appointment of Lakshman Kadirgamar as the Prime Minister of the UPFA government. The JVP proposed that if Kadirgamar wasn’t acceptable because of his ethnicity either Anura Bandaranaike or Maithripala Sirisena should be the next Prime Minister. The JVP went to the extent of making it a condition for its continued support. Due to its unexpected success in securing 39 seats, the JVP was in a position to exert pressure on the SLFP leadership. The JVP did everything possible to undermine Rajapaksa, particularly during Opposition protests against the UNP signing the Ceasefire agreement with the LTTE, in Feb 2002. The JVP always considered Rajapaksa a serious threat to their future political plans. Having undermined Rajapaksa for years, the JVP had no option but to support his presidential bid in Nov 2005, but refused to support him in parliament, thereby created uncertainty. Realising the danger, the President quickly reached an agreement with the UNP as early as Feb 2006. A section of the UNP considered the president’s move as an admission of weakness. Within weeks after signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena and UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema, the UNP boasted that the UNP would form a government in April 2006. The President responded by enticing a section of the UNP parliamentary group to join him.

  8. Dilrook Says:

    I agree with the comments that this is the right time to demand the repeal of 13A.

    Stakes are very high for the ruling clan. For no fault of the rulers, the Opposition, NGOs, the West, India and Tamil groups are determined to haul them at the Hague. And they will succeed at this rate of political decay.

    There is a delicate issue for nationalists: the country or the ruling clan (who won the war and the nation). “Don’t rock the boat” is the cry of some who are more loyal to the ruling clan than the nation. Patriots must rock the boat heading to a stormy and crucial election. The demand to repeal 13A must reach crescendo right in time for the Presidential Election.
    Its always Tamil/Muslim grievances/aspirations only. At no time were Sinhala grievances and aspirations entertained by the government after 2009. Coming Presidential Election is the perfect opportunity to demand in no uncertain terms Sinhala aspirations.

    Abolishing executive presidency was never a serious demand of the people. It carries no weight today. However, abolishing executive presidency and going back to first-past-the-post election system is highly beneficial. Continuation with the PR system without an executive president is disastrous.

    Although Ranil is considered a loser by many, he will be a strong contender at the next poll with over 90% minority votes in his kitty. It is absurdly futile to waste time, money and effort in winning minority votes by UPFA. Time is too short for that. Trying to win minority votes unsuccessfully will actually dissuade the majority. UPFA’s winning formula is to appeal to the majority and follow a strong Sinhala-centric approach. Reconciliation is long dead as Tamils and Muslims have increasingly become racist in their political choices since 2010. The name of the game is ethno centric politics. UNP has done well to thrive in it. UPFA must make its choice soon.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Islamic terrorists have warned to bomb world’s largest Buddhist temple. There is a possibility ISIS + SLMC + SL JIHAD can attack SL places too.

    “There is a wider probability that the Islamic fundamentalist terrorism could attack Borobudur Temple in Indonesia, as how they attacked Bamiyan Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. We highly appreciate that the Indonesian authorities have taken prompt measures to tightened security in and around Borobudur temple. The BBS believe that the activities of the ISIS is not limited to middle east. Therefore, the relevant authorities should take immediate steps to tighten security in major Buddhist religious places here in Sri Lanka and in India as well.”

    – BBS

  10. douglas Says:

    These past few days, immediately after the “News” in SLBC, I hear our President’s speech titled under “Sathye Handa” and he says: “All the Governments promised to end the LTTE terrorists, but they could not do it. I did it. All the Governments promised to build roads and high ways, but they could not do it. I did it. All the Governments promised electricity to household, but they achieved only 45%. I did it and now 97% are enjoying electricity to household. All the Governments promised well equipped schools and they did not do it. I have planed and building 1000 well equipped schools now. So other political parties have no “Election Promises or an Agenda to give you.”

    So what do you all think? Are the people making a hue and cry over 13 or 13 plus? Are they worried over Islamic Fundamentalism and the impending dangers associated with it? Do they cry over Cost of Living and over heated economy? Are they worried and talk about the large scale corruption in the public sector? Are they worried over the drug menace that had invaded the country with the high ranking politicians patronage? Are they worried over the Justice System meted out to them? Are they worried over the spread of various deceases due to the large scale use of chemical fertilizers? Are they worried over the “Largest Cabinet” in the world and the expenses that go to maintain it? Are they worried over the appointment of incompetent, unqualified “kith and kin” to high ranking positions in Government Institutions that eat up billions of tax payers money? Do they talk about the “mess” created at every school and public examinations conducted for the children? Are they worried over the wide spread of crimes and horrendous crimes committed by the Politicians? Are they worried over “night races”? Are they worried over sons of politicians running riots and even jumping into girls schools to promote sports? Do they talk of secretive activities of the NGOs and their connection to foreign outfits including some of the missions in the country? Do they know what 18th Amendment is? or as a matter of fact what the 13th and 13 Plus? Do they know and discuss why and how one MP goes to USA and sign agreements with PR companies giving private addresses and draining out millions of dollars of the country’s foreign earnings? Do the parents speak and discuss how even children enter the university through political patronage? Do they know to what extent they and their generations to come are in debt to repay the foreign loans?

    So in the absence of a cry for any of the sorts above; our President thought it fit to tell the country that the rest of the Political Parties have nothing to offer, because he has done everything that the people wanted. and there is no challenge to him. I too agree with him, because the people who decide who should be the President has got what they asked for and they are sure to vote him to power once again. All others who do not like it that way can do the calculations and dabble in statistics for the rest of their life time. Good luck for them.

  11. Marco Says:

    I agree with all what you say above but missing one pertinent question.
    It’s not really the question what other political parties or leaders can offer but what choice have we got.
    The opposition parties have not been strong enough and have been sleep walking the past 5 years without taking the the Govt to task on every issue you mentioned above and far more.
    I believe MR will definitely come back for his 3rd term not because of his popularity or what he has done to the country (infrastructure) but due to not having an electable alternative. However, he would lose his 2/3rd majority which is a good thing in having a quasi “checks and balances”.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    So even the FEDERAL LTTE (F*LTTE) members believe MR will win!

    A good sign. Lets see what happens in UVA. NFF is contesting alone. NO election was so KEENLY CONTESTED after 2009 than this election. What matters is the PERCENTAGE DROP of UPFA votes from the last election. That will give MR a tingling sensation in his whatever.

  13. Nanda Says:

    ““All the Governments promised to end the LTTE terrorists, but they could not do it. I did it. ”
    -Yes. But we lived in fear of 1 minority then and now we live in fear ofall minorities.

    “All the Governments promised to build roads and high ways, but they could not do it. I did it.”
    -Yes. But it is even more struggle to go to work now in cities, people have nothing to eat in drought areas to even to walk to a coconut packed bus.

    “All the Governments promised electricity to household, but they achieved only 45%. I did it and now 97% are enjoying electricity to household.”
    – Electricity is there but prices 2nd Largent in the world and we cannot on the lights.

    ” All the Governments promised well equipped schools and they did not do it. I have planed and building 1000 well equipped schools now. ”

    Schools are ruled by powerful and not so powerful politikkos and my child has not future. No scholarships send him to the good schools, only the rich can afford.

    True, I don’t care about 13A and you going to Hague, but I am worse off while I see clearly the new super rich like you enjoy your government. I am going to vote to Ranil mahattaya.

  14. Nanda Says:

    “What matters is the PERCENTAGE DROP of UPFA votes from the last election. ”

    My prediction is 15% drop.

  15. aloy Says:

    What Marco says is the absolute truth. What is the alternative?. Rui-nil or his second in command to be ?. MR has cleverly put them also in the correct places and voters think there is no other way.

  16. douglas Says:

    Marco: Thank you. If I highlighted my statement in last paragraph”……the rest of the Political Parties have nothing to offer …….. and there is no challenge to him”; perhaps you would have understood what I meant. You are more than correct in saying “what and where is the alternative”. Our main Opposition Political Party is nothing but a “JUNK YARD” and it is so embarrassing no one can find even a wasted spare part to be re-used. There is a “ray of hope” perhaps in the distant future in the JVP under the present leadership and yet not in the lime light. So in overall assessment, as at present, I totally agree with your “No Option” predicament. The known devil is better than the unknown. That is what a large “majority” of our voters are “exquisitely” expressing.

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Don’t trust anti-SL federalists.

    What these people want is for Sinhalese to believe MR will automatically win and go to a slumber. At the same time they will work TIRELESSLY to get enough votes for RUN-NIL or whoever the UNCOMMON CANDIDATE is. When the sleepers wake up, the rabbit has beaten the hare with X-MAS presents for MINORATIES! Nothing for the majority.

    Lets see what anti-SL Federalists say about MR’s winning chances CLOSER to the election date. They will do a U-TURN.

    LTTE groups like CMEV, CPA, etc. follow the SAME APPROACH. They start crediting MR. Then they slowly tweek it to show MR’s lead is narrowing. Their final “ANAL-YSIS” or “OPINION POLL” will say Run-nil beating MR!

    This trick is as old as their oldest profession.

  18. Lorenzo Says:


    “True, I don’t care about 13A”

    But all the problems you said come BECAUSE of 13!!

    13 created SO MANY politicians and they ALL want to send their kids, their secretaries’ kids, their posterboys’ kids, their thugs’ kids to GOOD schools. MPs send their kids to INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS. So no competition from them.

    Schools went to shitt AFTER 13 amendment.

    So the ROOT CAUSE is 13 amendment.
    Did you hear about DRUG DEALERS inside politicians’ sarongs before 13 amendment? NO!
    Did you hear about BROTHEL OPERATORS becoming COUNCILLORS before 13 amendment? NO!
    Did you hear about MPs/councillors killing each other before 13 amendment? NO!
    Did you hear about Tamil CMs, Muslim CMs before 13 amendment? NO!
    Did you hear about presidential advisors and MPs having a STREET FIGHT before 13 amendment? NO!
    Did you hear about WAR CRIMES RESOLUTIONS against SL from elected bodies before 13 amendment? NO!

    13 amendment is the ROOT CAUSE of MOST problems. SCRAP IT.

    Even if 13 amendment is SCRAPPED, there is NO challenger to MR. So why not SCRAP it!

  19. Lorenzo Says:

    MR is somewhat like SIRIMA in 1970s. When people were STARVING (except in Jaffna and Vanni where people were happy and richer), Sirima’s advisors told her everyone is HAPPY.

    Then at the election SLFP got WIPED OUT.

    The SAME THING will happen to MR. Mark my word!

    Only MR can defeat MR. And he is doing it!

  20. Nanda Says:

    Strnagely you did not read properly. I was playing the role of the voter not myself. 13A is my no.1 enemy but voters don’t care.

  21. Nanda Says:

    You think I would call RUiNil , “Mahattaya ” ?. It is an insult to LTTE’s Mahattaya.

  22. Lorenzo Says:

    North SL ruling south SL is like MAD KIM’s North Korea ruling South Korea!


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