After the 16th of Nov. 2019, Presidential Elections; are we again going to have another six months of UNP miss-Government and total anarchy?
Posted on November 15th, 2019

Dr. Sudath Gunasekara Former Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayaka and Ex- President of the Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (1991-19194)

14. 11. 2019.

After the 16th of Nov. 2019, this has been an often displayed slogan I have seen in many a SLPP political parleys. But at all these meetings they only focused and talked on the need to vote their candidate on the 16th.  It indeed is the most critical issue and absolutely there is no argument about it. But I was deeply disturbed to note that no one paid any attention to the practical problems they would have to face under the provisions of the 19th Amendment after the President assumes Office in a situation where there is already a Government opposed to them in office. No one spoke a single word about the imminent problems of governance they will have to face and the solution they propose to overcome that political impasse after the election and how they expect to overcome this crisis. I hope and wish already they have a fool proof mechanism in store to overcome this danger. I do not know whether they keep their strategy a top secret.

However this in my opinion is very critical as reaping the harvest of the Presidential victory depends much on the political stability and compatibility of the next Government since the government is the real machinery through which we have to implement the Presidential manifesto for which the people have given the mandate. I wish the SLPP had a preplanned shortcut solution to overcome the 19th A restrictions so that straight away the new President could appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister in keeping with the burning aspirations of the masses. Such action will seal the preceding reign of anarchy and immediately bring victory for the people’s mandate. In the alternative they should have asked for a full mandate from the people to counter the 19th A restrictions imposed on the new President so that they could have appointed MR as the Prime Minister immediately after the President has sworn in. Such mandate will have the legality of a referendum would have enabled the new President to circumvent all the barriers in the 19th A without resorting to vote hunting in a hostile Parliament composed of an anti-Sinhala anti-national and anti-Buddhist UNP and its Tamil and Muslim allies and the JVP which is a real high risk gamble they failed in 2018. I really do not know as to why such precautions were not taken and why their legal luminaries didn’t advise to do so.

Therefore, although too late, I suggest the Gota’s Team draw its immediate attention to this extremely crucial issue lest it gets too late to get ready to face this very critical aspect of the post Presidential Election scenario.

 I also don’t understand as to why the Gota Team did not ask for a mandate from the country to abolish the Provincial Councils and the Rajiv/JR Accord of 29th July 1987, that Indian conspiracy that ruined the entire native political system and paved the way for division, destabilization and destruction of this country. Had they done that Gota’s could have got even a bigger majority.

 Gota’s Victory is a foregone conclusion and it is really the victory of the people and he will get elected with the highest majority ever for any President in this country while Premadasa will go down in history as the worst loser in the country’s political history.

Talking about the Election per-se, in my opinion it is definitely a forgone conclusion, as the Sun and Moon rise in the East, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s victory is a certainty. He will definitely get elected as the 7th President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the 16th of this month with the highest majority ever by any Presidential candidate in this country. Only some unforeseen catastrophe like a sudden subsidence of this Island in the Indian Ocean on the 16th can stop it. Not only Sajit Premadasa or the traitors like Mangala, Rajjita, Chandrika and Champika but also not even a God or a Brahma can stop his victory. Going by the general political tempest fast gathering momentum, in the villages, towns, market and work places that is getting polarized around the burning patriotic feelings of the Sinhala Buddhist masses for their motherland, the Sinhala nation and Samma Ssambuddha Sasana all over the country and even abroad, no one will be able to reverse that trend. As things stand Gota will get elected with the highest majority ever for any President in this country while Premadasa will go down in history as the worst loser in the country’s political history.

However the days that follow the Presidential elections are not going to be that rosy for two reasons. That is firstly, the restrictions imposed on the new President by the 19th Amendment and secondly, the peculiar anti-Sinhala and anti-Buddhist and hostile political composition of the present Parliament headed by Ranil Wickramasingha and thirdly, the absence of a working majority for the SLPP and its allies in Parliament.

The purpose of this brief note is to draw the immediate attention of the SLPP, UPFA, and SLFP hierarchy and their close advisers to some vital factors and a very critical situation that might bring about an extremely dangerous (possible) state of political confusion, uncertainty and instability in the post Presidential Election period in this country that might crop up. I am making these observations as a responsible citizen of this country for the benefit of those who are directly involved in this game to take adequate precautions to avert his political impasse. What is the guarantee that Ranil will not resort again to the same game of making Temple Trees the Head Quarter of another International conspiracy with the assistance of his Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the Diplomatic corps of the colonial West? The only consolation we have in this regard is that there is a different President now presiding over the State of Sri Lanka. I hope and wish that Ranil will understand that it is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a true Sinhala Buddhist leader and not Sirisena he has to deal with, before he again resorts to such deplorable and treacherous gimmicks.

Once the new President is elected the next step is to form the Government, the legal machinery that has to run the country. Going by the often quoted statements made on the election stages the new President will appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister who will then name the new Cabinet and form the new Government. This exactly is the fervent hope and the wish of the majority of patriotic people in this country. But just now there is a very big hitch to this dream for the SLPP and its allies, unless they have already made some concrete arrangements to get the minimum 113 votes required to show the majority in Parliament to form a Government. This is a Constitutional requirement which the Supreme Court has already upheld in 2018 on this matter. Going by the present constitution of the Parliament where the present Government headed by Ranil Wickramasinha still has a working majority with the UNP,TNA and even the JVP MPP as it had been functioning for the past miserable and anarchic 4 ½ years, the chances of getting a majority in Parliament for the Mahinda camp is very remote.  He has only 93 SLPP, SLFP and UPFA plus Rev Ratana and Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Even if we add the highly unpredictable Wasanta Senanayaka the total come to only 97 while the UNP has nearly 125. That is UNP 103.TNA 16 and JVP 6.

Therefore, unless the President’s Camp is already armed with a working majority  in Parliament most probably the new President will be compelled to carry on with Ranil’s Government composed of the same pack of rogues like Mangala. Rajita, Ravi. Hakeem, Badurdeen, Daya Gamage, Kiriella, Sajit, Fonseka, Samarawickrama and Madduma Bandara until March 2 nd under the prevailing situation after which of cause the President can dissolve the Parliament. Even after dissolution again he will have to work with the same Cabinet headed by Ranil until the results of the General election are declared. This is going to be another period of terrific political conflicts and frustrations that will destroy the hopes and aspirations of the people who have elected the new President. This means the same chaotic and anarchic situation that was there for the past 4 ½ years will persist. This time the conflict could be even worse in view of the restrictions imposed on the powers of the President by the infamous 19th Amendment, the brain child of RW, the master mind of the CB scam.

Of cause as some of the pro Rajapaksa legal circles have already opined the President Gotabhaya may be able to carry on without much ado as the Head of the State, the Head of the Cabinet and the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces unlike submissive Sirirsena. Nevertheless such speculations want be that realistic as there is going to be much legal conflicts as to the interpretations of the provisions of the 19th Amendment. As such it will be another six months of utter confusion, chaos and political instability which the country cannot simply afford to have at a time like this after a long period of confusion and absolute anarchy.

The only way out to avoid this catastrophe is to find some patriotic cross overs from the UNP to support MR until the General elections are held. How you do that is immaterial so long as you have a people friendly programme at work, as the end justifies the means.  This in my opinion is the best arrangement one has to think of in the broader interest of the country and the people. But going by past experience and knowing the narrow political psyche of our self-centered power hungry politicians, especially those of the UNP; again I have my great doubts whether they would comply with that type of patriotic thinking. A short cut to win them would be to offer them SLPP nomination at the next election by making them to understand that here is no future for UNP any more either under Ranil or Sajit. I also would like to propose that the new President appoint a leaner cabinet of say about 15 for the interim period. That will make his even more popular as that had been a major clamor by most right thinking people of this country

When we think of the conflict between Rannil and Sajjit camps the situation could be even worse even if if Sajit wins. But this situation can be easily ruled out as Sajit will never win this election. The most likely slot for Sajit in the next Parliament is the Leader of the Opposition as Ranil will be voted out as Leader of the UNP. What exactly will happen after Sajit fail to win; only God can predict. Whatever it is, definitely there will be a major split in the UNP ending up with Ranil losing the leadership and Sajit getting elected as the Leader of a disintegrating Party and that will make him the Leader of the opposition and he too will go in to political oblivion after losing the next General election.

Post-Presidential election period might also give rise to two situations within the UNP. That is first, there could be a temporary reconciliation between Sajith and Ranil Camps and second, those who don’t like  that situation crossing over to the opposition. Whatever the changes within the UNP are going to take place in the post Presidential election and whatever restrictions are supposed to have been imposed on the President by the 19th A no one can underestimate the authority of the President as he is elected by the people for a six year period by a thumping majority under the provisions of the Constitution. Therefore the UNP will have no alternative other than to cooperate with the President of the people to run the country smoothly until the next General Election. Their failure to do so will only make them more unpopular and reduce their vote base at the forthcoming General election. This is where all politicians, legal luminaries and patriotic citizens have to focus their attentions in the broader interests of the country  and the people as we are not left with any more room to fall down any further thanks to the four and half years of Yahapalanaya of Sirisena-Ranil combination.

 The struggle for political power throughout human history all over the world is full of conspiracies, intrigues and even murder driven by personal ambition and endless vanity and craving for power. This story is vividly recorded in classical treaties on statecraft like Kautilya’s Arthasatra, Machiavelli’s’The Princ’ and even in our Mahavamsam and many other historical documents of the world nations. The stories of Queen Leelawathi where the wife killed the husbands, Dhatusena and Sitawka Rajasinha where the sons killed the Fathers in our own ancient history and the famous murder of Julius Cesar by Brutus in Roman history recall too well known such events. As such I do not consider these events in contemporary Sri Lankan politics as something extraordinary either.

 I will end this note with a reminder and an appeal to the Mahasangha of this country. Rev Sirs it was you who advised and directed the Kings and Queens of this Island Nation throughout history ever since the advent of Buddhism to this country in 307 BC, whenever there was a major crisis in the affairs of the state. That is why you have been quite aptly decorated as the Jatiye Muradevatavun vahanse” of this country. Therefore I appeal to your good selves to prevail over these, power hungry and self-seeking unpatriotic rustic politicians, give them wisdom, if you can, and advise them on the correct path they should take, to protect our mother land the Sasana and work for the good of the people and their wellbeing as the ancient Kings did, following the path laid down by the Lord.

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