Election heat and ‘yahapalana’ antics
Posted on July 27th, 2015

By Dharman Wickremaratne

Maithripala succeeded as SLFP President after Mahinda Rajapaksa.  The position was either given to Maithripala or it was taken.   People raised their voices in support of Mahinda. The issue of nominations came up but that obstacle too was overcome. Although NGOs protested and the President made a special statement after nominations were given it did not change the direction in which the political winds were blowing.

This time there were no cutouts of Mahinda anywhere in the country. There were no processions and posters.   Intellectuals and academics, who remained silent up to now, are being drawn towards the Mahinda campaign.

Mahinda Rajapaksa

What the incident proves is the shortcomings in the security given to the former President.  Since Mahinda ended a 30-year armed conflict by totally defeating the Tiger terrorists he faces a far greater threat to his life than other previous Presidents.  When former National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali – one of the three most powerful cabinet ministers in the J.R. Jayewardene Government – signed the Impeachment Motion President Premadasa reduced the minister’s special security.  Thereafter he had only normal security.

The LTTE took advantage of it and assassinated him on April 23, 1993 at 8.10 p.m.  The body of Ragunathan, the assassin who fired six shots into Athulathmudali was later found at Mugalan Road. But the people did not accept the story. Australia’s Frontline magazine in its June 1993 issue reported that Ragunathan’s body was displayed to divert attention from the real assassin.  Athulathmudali was killed when he was campaigning as Western Province Chief Ministerial Candidate during that year’s Provincial Council Election.

UNP’s Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake was assassinated during a party propaganda meeting at Grandpass on October 24, 1994.  Altogether 61 persons, including Dissanayake, Ministers M.G. Premachandra and Weerasinghe Mallimarachchi, Ossie Abeygunasekera and Dr. Gamini Wijesekera were killed by the LTTE suicide bomber. Chandrika Kumatunga lost an eye in another Tiger bomb blast at Colombo Town Hall grounds on December 18, 1999 during the final propaganda rally held in connection with that month’s Presidential Election. A total of 16 persons died in that explosion.

Eight years earlier, on May 21, 1991a Sri Lankan Tamil female terrorist blew herself up killing Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and many others in Tamil Nadu.

More and more voters are expressing support for the UPFA which includes the SLFP. Cracks have appeared in the vote base that pushed the present government to power under the Swan symbol.   No one will be able to avoid dealing with a parliamentary majority under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership.

The UNP throughout its history was never inclined towards nationalism. Similarly when Chandrika Kumaratunga became the SLFP leader those who helped her to come to power were the pro-separatist Sinhala faction. Under her regime NGOs like Sudu Nelum and Thawalama backed by Government funds tried to brainwash Sinhala people towards supporting separatism. It is this group which is now trying to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa hook or by crook. Although some of them pretend to be nationalists their roots are in the UNP. It is not surprising they are trying to serve their dubious agenda under the cover of Yahapalanaya (Good Governance).

Mahinda Rajapaksa has come forward to safeguard the country which has been liberated from separatist terrorism and to revive the battered nation. Hence he is caught between Tamil separatists and Islamic extremists.   After the military victory it was the Northern and Eastern Provinces which saw the highest level of development.  During the last Presidential Election the people of North and East helped Maitripala Sirisena – who had TNA and SLMC support – to win by a majority of 654,961 votes. Accordingly, he received on a district basis 179,300 votes from Jaffna, 107,040 votes from the Wanni, 167,791 from Batticaloa, 112,333 from Digamadulla and 88,227 from Trincomalee. The total number of majority votes by which Maitripala Sirisena defeated Mahinda Rajapaksa was 449,072.

The so-called Yahapalana Government is asking what the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government did during the past nine years. The fact is the first four years – from 2005 to May 2009 – were spent on ending the 30-year brutal terrorism which claimed 60,000 lives.  The balance five years were spent on restoring normalcy in the North where people suffered immensely during two decades.

Massive development projects were undertaken to rehabilitate thousands of families displaced by the war. Admittedly there were some shortcomings in this work.  But on the whole it was many steps ahead of what happened during the 17-year UNP rule (1977-1994).

Groups, parties and individuals supportive of Tamil separatism and the ‘Yahapalana’ regime are arguing that politicians who grew up in the old political environment should now retire from politics.  They have forgotten that J.R. Jayawardene who became a Colombo Municipal Councilor at the age of 34 became Executive President only at the age of 72.  When he retired from politics in 1989 he was 83. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who became Prime Minister for the third time, under the PA Government, remained so until she passed away at the age of 84.  She was in a wheel chair during her last days.

Hence there is no reason why the leader who came into politics at the age of 24 should retire from politics at the age of 69.   The country needs a real leader for a few more years to defend the nation.  After D.S. Senanayake it is only Mahinda Rajapaksa who has had a vision for Sri Lanka.  A UPFA victory at the next General Election means not only defeating a rival political party or alliance but also a defeat of anti-national forces.  Separatist ideas still remain as sparks which can at any moment burst into flames.

According to CAFÉ (Campaign for Free & Fair Election) there have been 372 complaints of violations of election laws up to July 21. The number of complaints on misuse of public property and public sector employees, appointments and transfers is 181. The National Election Monitoring Centre has received 218 complaints.

UNP Ratnapura District Candidate Sarachchandra Ramanayake has been released on Rs. 500,000 personal bail by Ratnapura Additional Magistrate following a charge of forcibly releasing a suspect who was the custody of the Kalawana Police on the night of July 14.  On the night of July 20 the Avissawella police took into custody four persons along with their van when they were violating election laws by screening a propaganda video in support of Colombo District UNP Candidate Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa in Avissawella Town.  On July 21 a UNP supporter was produced before the Thambuttegama Magistrate for assaulting a grade 7 student of a school in Rajangana accusing him of drawing moustache on Minister Harrison’s photo on an election poster. There have been many such complaints from all over the country

The People’s choice will remain a secret until August 17. Until then we’ll be seeing these nonsensical and comical incidents. Instead of placing before the people party manifestoes and policies what these parties are doing is to attack and insult their rivals. The seven month-performance of the ‘Yahapalana’ Government proves the country needs Mahinda Rajapaksa’s contribution now more than at any time in the past.(The writer is a senior journalist who could be reached at ejournalists@gmail.com)

3 Responses to “Election heat and ‘yahapalana’ antics”

  1. ranjit Says:

    Defeating Anti national forces is a must.Foreign and local traitors to the Motherland is preparing all out war to oust Mahinda Rajapksa who heroically put an end to the dirtiest and bloodiest war we had in our history. LTTE cowards and murderers who was Financed and backed by Indian Parasites were beaten for no return by him and his war heroes in 2009 but due to unbelievable change happened on Jan 8th we see Prabakaran and his Ghosts are coming one by one out of their graves to haunt us again. Ranil the crook who once signed a treaty with the killer Prabakaran is inviting his Ghosts to come back promising them their dream land from where he stopped in 2004. Sinhala people should not believe this dirty Anti Sinhala Buddhist guy for a single moment. He has blood in his hands and is responsible for many young deaths in the past. Do not forget Batalanda. All the judges gave the verdict as GUILTY but still this Tie Coat westernized sucker is roaming free without any punishment. He should be brought to justice like any other ordinary criminal for his crimes against humanity.

    To bring all these UNP crooks to books people should do is to vote for S.L.F.P and to Mahinda. I hope Mahinda will clean the whole political institution and live up to the standard we were all hoping to have in the future. Sinhala Buddhists do not believe the foreign funded UNP traitors and lose your freedom and your country of birth. If you vote for them say”Good Bye” to North and East because already Ranil the crook has signed deals with these two ungrateful parties Tamils and Muslims. Mahinda means one country,one flag,one law. Ranil means three enclaves,three flags and three laws and there won’t be a paradise island to call home for the Sinhalese. Be awake dear Sinhalese.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Bravo! Jayawewa, President Mahinda Rajapaksa!

    “Rajapaksa said the TNA had already claimed self rule in the Northern Province, but a future UPFA government would not allow it.”

    MR: No factions in SLFP, UNP will be defeated

    By Dasun Edirisinghe

    July 26, 2015

    Former President and UPFA Prime Ministerial Candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday that there were no factions in the SLFP and the party would go ahead as one entity to defeat the common enemy, the UNP.

    Addressing the UPFA Matale District rally at the Naula Public Grounds, he said: “Now, we are working as one group to defeat the UNP at the August 17 general election.”

    He said that the SLFP-led UPFA would not form a national government after securing 117 seats in Parliament On August 17.

    Rajapaksa said that after obtaining 117 seats, the UPFA would form a strong government on its own.

    “The UNP has already admitted its defeat; it says it will form a government with the support of the Tamil National Alliance and the JVP after the general election,” the former President said.

    Rajapaksa said the TNA had already claimed self rule in the Northern Province, but a future UPFA government would not allow it.

    He said the youth who had not lived under a UNP government especially during the 1987–90 period, now had realised what it was like during the past six months or so.

    Rajapaksa said that JVP, too, worked together with the UNP today as rightly mentioned by its former leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, forgetting the mass killings of JVP members under the then UNP government.

    The former President said that the next UPFA government would restart the Moragahakanda irrigation project which had been suspended by the present government.

    Rajapaksa said though the UNP criticised his government for obtaining loans the Wickremesinghe administration had drawn more loans during the past six months.

    “We will provide drinking water to all households as well as electricity,” Rajapaksa said, adding that they would continue the fertilizer subsidy and introduce a Rs. 500,000 loan for self-employed at a low interest.

    “We will increase Mahapola upto Rs. 6,000 after August 17. More than 1.5 million people who lost their employment due to stoppage of development projects would be re-instated and all those projects restarted forthwith.

    Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Former Minister Wimal Weerawansa and Matale District SLFP leader Janaka Bandara Tennakoon, former minister Rohana Dissanayake, former deputy minister Laxman Wasantha Perera and several UPFA candidates also spoke at the rally.

    Former Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake, who resigned from the Rajapaksa government and joined President Maithripala Sirisena was also on stage with former President Rajapaksa. He, too, addressed the rally.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Somarama “Sirisena’s efforts to tarnish the image of Rajapaksa and his cohorts through multiple criminal and corruption charges cut no ice. “

    Indeed, the VAST MAJORITY of Sri Lankan voters have now seen through this MACHIAVELLIAN BACKSTABBER and SERIAL LIAR for what he TRULY is: A revengeful man greedy for fame and fortune who has become a puppet of Foreign Powers and that he willing to strike deals with separatist ENEMIES of Sri Lanka just to HANG ONTO TO POWER!

    Somarama Sirisena delivered Mother Lanka bound hand and foot to its enemies on January 8, 2015,
    just as Pilimatalauwa delivered Mother Lanka bound hand and foot to the British Colonialists in March, 1815! SHAME!

    The name of Palwatte Gamaralage Maithripala Yapa Sirisena has earned INFAMY as a TRAITOR in Sri Lanka’s Hallowed History glittering with the names of its MULTITUDE of HEROIC Patriots, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gothabaya Rajapaksa foremost among them!

    Second Battle to Decide Rajapaksa’s Fate

    July 27 (NIE) The Sri Lankan parliamentary elections slated for August 17 are essentially about one issue: whether former President Mahinda Rajapaksa should or should not be at the helm of the island nation’s affairs.

    Contrary to expectations, his defeat in the January 8 presidential polls did not settle the matter. Winner Maithripala Sirisena had failed to take over Rajapaksa’s formidable outfits, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United Peoples’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA), which had a majority in the 225-member parliament. Sirisena used his prerogative to put his electoral ally, the United National Party (UNP), in power.

    But a lack of a parliamentary majority stymied the government’s efforts to carry out the sweeping constitutional changes Sirisena had promised. Critical money bills were not presented in parliament for fear of defeat. Sirisena tried to buy over SLFP/UPFA MPs by offering them ministerial berths, but few fell for the bait as the majority were confident of winning the parliamentary elections under Rajapaksa, who, in their estimation, had a clear edge over Sirisena among rural Sinhalese Buddhists who comprise 70 per cent of the population. Sirisena’s efforts to tarnish the image of Rajapaksa and his cohorts through multiple criminal and corruption charges cut no ice. In desperation, Sirisena cast his lot with the UNP and its alliance, the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), which had successfully propped him up in the presidential election.

    The UNFGG is gung-ho about its prospects as it believes that Rajapaksa’s base and morale have been further eroded due to the 7,000 complaints and cases registered against him and his cohorts. And being out of power, the state machinery, which he brazenly misused earlier, is no longer available to him. Further, he has made no efforts to win back the minority Tamils, Muslims and Catholics whose en masse support for Sirisena had tilted the balance in the January 8 poll. Rajapaksa’s dalliance with China continues to irk regional power India and the US-led West, which could impose economic sanctions over the war crimes issue through the UN. On top of it all, a recent survey by the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) found that 58 per cent of Lankans were satisfied with the Sirisena regime. However, Rajapaksa hopes that quarrels over plums of office among the UNFGG MPs will enable him to use his skills in horse-trading and capture power eventually.

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