14 July, 2024

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A Typology Of Sri Lanka’s Presidential Candidates

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan

My new book, Electoral Politics in Sri Lanka: Presidential Elections, Manipulation, and Democracy, was published by Routledge (London) in July 2022. This book investigated the primary question, how do political actors manipulate elections? Sri Lanka served as the case study. Conclusions were drawn from independent analyses of all eight presidential elections conducted since 1982. Characteristically, the study led to a typology of electoral manipulation. The new typology included the following six elements: (1) constitutional tinkering, (2) field fixing, (3) time fixing, (4) vote suppression, (5) process manipulation, and (6) resource manipulation. Sri Lankan political actors use all of these manipulative strategies regularly.  

Constitutional tinkering involves amending the constitution to suit the needs of the ruling party presidential candidate. Field fixing means including and excluding opposition party candidates in the election through various moves to secure an added advantage for the manipulator. Time fixing means carefully choosing the election date to improve the candidate’s winning chances. This manipulative strategy is often used by the president in office. Vote suppression is a strategy manipulators use to prevent or discourage voters from hostile groups from voting. Process manipulation involves taking unfair advantage of the electoral process, including election laws, to win the election. Fielding proxy candidates is a standard manipulative strategy used in Sri Lanka. Resource manipulation denotes exploiting especially state resources to strengthen the ruling party candidate. 

Manipulative techniques create an uneven playing field and disadvantage, especially the opposition candidates. Therefore, electoral manipulation is unethical and unacceptable. They are incompatible with the ideals of democracy. 

Candidates Not Monolithic 

The objective of the book project was to generate a typology of electoral manipulation. Hence, the outcome was not surprising. However, an interesting aspect of the study was that it developed a typology of presidential candidates. A closer look at the actions and objectives of all presidential candidates in Sri Lanka demonstrated that they are not monolithic and are referred to as “candidates” regardless of the differences. There are five different types of presidential candidates in Sri Lanka. They are (1) contenders, (2) consolation seekers, (3) vote-breakers, (4) resource mobilizers, and (5) fame seekers. 

1. Contenders

Contenders are candidates who contest the election to win and believe that they can win. Generally, the two leading candidates in any presidential election could be called contenders. A statistical analysis of election results indicated that Sri Lankan presidential elections always remain a two-way race. The third leading candidate never crosses the five percent bar. This means only the first two candidates are in the race. Therefore, they are the contenders. For example, JR Jayewardene and Hector Kobbekaduwa in 1982 and Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa in 2019 were contenders. 

2. Consolation Seekers 

Consolation seekers know they cannot win the election but contest to achieve other political objectives. The best example of a consolation seeker was Kumar Ponnambalam, who contested the 1982 election. Given Sri Lanka’s electoral realities and tendencies, not only Ponnambalam but also everyone else in Sri Lanka knew that he could not win the presidency. That position has been reserved for Sinhala-Buddhist candidates. A Tamil certainly cannot win the presidency even today.

Nevertheless, Ponnambalam contested the election to “reenergize” the Tamil Eelam project. By 1982, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC) ceased to be the predominant Tamil party, and the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) took over the mantle. The TULF contested and won the 1977 general election on the slogan of a separate state for the Tamils. In 1982, Ponnambalam believed that the TULF had given up on the idea of Tamil Eelam and integrated into the Southern polity. He contested the election to renew the mandate for Tamil Eelam and prove that a separate state for the Tamils was feasible. Hence, he was a consolation seeker.  

Rohana Wijeweera in 1982 could also be called a consolation seeker. As a new political party, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) was not ready to contest the 1982 presidential election. It did not even have the political infrastructure to contest the election effectively, let alone win it. Nevertheless, Wijeweera contested the election because the JVP did not want to be “excluded” from a significant national event. 

3. Vote-Breakers 

Vote-breakers contest or are fielded by contenders to split the opposition votes. Generally, vote-breakers are fielded as proxy candidates. In 1988, Ranasinghe Premadasa and Sirimavo Bandaranaike were the leading candidates or contenders. Ossie (or Oswin) Abeyagoonasekera of the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya (SLMP) contested as the third-party candidate on behalf of the United Socialist Alliance (USA). Commentators believe that, in reality, Abeyagoonasekera was an ally of candidate Premadasa and contested to split Bandaranaike’s votes in this election. Many SLMP leaders had Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) roots or connections. A notable fact is that Ossie’s father, AWA Abeyagoonasekera, was a parliamentarian affiliated with the United National Party (UNP). Moreover, Abeyagoonasekera had no chance of winning the election. These factors contributed to the notion that Abeyagoonasekera was a Premadasa proxy, fielded to break Bandaranaike’s votes. 

Another good example of a vote breaker was AJ Ranasinghe, who was in the race in 1994. Ranasinghe was well known for his reverence of President Premadasa and served as a minister of state in the Premadasa administration. Once, Ranasinghe declared that he would be happy to be a “slave” of Premadasa. Ranasinghe was in the fray in 1994 to undermine UNP presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake, a political adversary of Premadasa. During the campaign, Ranasinghe was open about his support for Chandrika Kumaratunga and urged voters to endorse Kumaratunga.

A recent trend is to field proxy candidates with the opposition candidate’s last name. The idea is to confuse the voters. These same last-name proxies are also vote-breakers. For example, in 2015, two candidates were in the fray with the last names of two leading candidates. Namal Ajith “Rajapaksa” and Rathnayake Aarachchige “Sirisena” contested on behalf of Our National Front and Patriotic National Front, respectively. They confused the voters adequately to secure third and fourth places. Arachchige Sirisena came third with 18,174 votes, and Namal Rajapaksa secured fourth place with 15,726 votes. 

4. Resource Mobilizers 

Resource mobilizers are also proxy candidates, but the difference is that vote-breakers have a degree of public support that is expected to divide the opponent’s votes. Resource mobilizers do not have the capacity to split votes. Hence, they are in the race to provide resource advantages to one of the contenders. For example, they could use their “TV time” to campaign for their preferred (real) candidate. Another advantage is that the contenders could use resource mobilizers’ agents in counting booths to protect their interests. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thera of Jathika Sangwardana Peramuna, a staunch supporter of Mahinda Rajapaksa, withdrew his candidacy and endorsed Rajapaksa for president at the eleventh hour. The Thera was a resource mobilizer for Mahinda Rajapaksa.    

5. Fame Seekers

I defined candidates who do not fall under the above-discussed categories as fame seekers. They are in the contest to make a name for themselves. I categorized Harischandra Wijetunga of the Sinhalaye Mahasammatha Bhoomiputhra Pakshaya as a fame seeker. This is an overlapping category. Some of the fame seekers could be consolation seekers or vote-breakers. 

Conclusion

Vote-breakers and resource mobilizers are part of electoral manipulation. They help rig the election for the contenders. Too many people contesting presidential elections for different reasons leads to a large number of presidential candidates in Sri Lanka. 1982 and 88 elections included only six and three candidates, respectively. There were 19 candidates in 2015, and in 2019 the number jumped to 35. Too many candidates also indicate that Sri Lanka’s presidential elections are highly manipulated. In 2019, the Election Commissioner pointed out that too many candidates with too little chance of making an impact, let alone winning the election, is a problem. They waste state resources and confuse the voters. It is time to think about limiting the number of candidates contesting Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, especially vote-breakers, resource mobilizers, and fame seekers should be discouraged.  

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is a Professor of Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University, Maryland. Formerly, he was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.   

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Latest comments

  • 14
    4

    Sinhala_Man,

    Look at the photo in the main page AKD patting Sajith. ……. Little things give people away.

    Can you trust a man wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt to be a genuine Lankan Socialist? …….. That’s a vain man paying $150 more just for a tiny logo! :)) ……. Lankan “Socialists” come in many colors ……. except in genuine Socialism – if there is such a thing.

    No wonder, Native Vedda is a raving cynic.


    BTW ……. ol’ Ralph said he doesn’t design clothes for Blacks/Coloureds ……… get the word out to AKD pronto …… before he ends up with egg on his face …….

    What is the price of eggs in Bandarawela ……… at 2.34am?

    • 17
      16

      Sinhala-Man: You have some contact with AKD, I believe. If you do could you please ask AKD ( and perhaps all others in NPP) to wear an “AMUDE” so that people could easily identify him and his colleagues as “Genuine Sri Lankan Socialists”

      I am still thinking about what must be the dress for all “Females” in NPP that must invariably match with “AMUDE”.

      Will come up with a suggestion later.

      • 12
        3

        Simon,

        Ouch! uh?

        Ralph Lauren log is created to generate utmost exclusivity ……… even among the most affluent Capitalists! :))

        Hope you can comprehend the subtleties of the human mind.

        Sorry to have dented your hero’s armour. …….. No one has to wear Amudes ……. that’s a very poor defence for having being caught out. :))

        It’s better to hope for a fortunate accident/coincidence …….. than to wait for a particular – especially Lankan – personality. :))

        • 13
          1

          nm: Thanks. I addressed S-M with your question: “Can you trust a man wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt to be a genuine Lankan Socialist?

          Just think of your question once again. Not only you, but many more have also recently questioned and keep questioning the clothes and shoes worn by the “Lankan Socialist”. These “Lankan Socialists” have been subjected to questioning on TV talk shows. Once I remember, a “Journalist” pointed at the shoes worn by AKD and asked the same question you raised. He (AKD) mentioned the name of the person who made those shoes and his factory in Kirillawala in the Gampaha District.

          I am thankful for raising that question. Also, please note I have no “HEROES” in the “Political Field”.

      • 4
        14

        S
        It may interst you to know that W Dahanayake (before he was Dr WD) went to Parliament in an amude more than sixty years ago.
        *
        Are you not being tivial?
        How many people can you see on the street in an amude these days?

        • 1
          7

          Are you not being trivial?

        • 9
          0

          SJ: That question was indeed an “Elitist” attitude of measuring who a “Socialist” must be. In their opinion, those “Brand Name” clothes are not for “Socialists” and if “Socialists” wear those, they cannot be identified as “Socialists”. That “Elitists” want the “Socialists” to be always in “Span Clothes” like “Amude”.

          It was to those “Elitists” that I directed the “Sarcasm”.

          • 3
            0

            S
            Thank you.

          • 6
            0

            elite —> a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society. (Oxford D)


            Simon,


            Whether anyone likes it or not AKD is an elite ……. to rise to the top …… even of a “Socialist” outfit.

            Society is rife with elitism in many forms: we can’t help it! :))


            I don’t fight it with false pretences: just about enough grown up to accept/see it …….. for what it is. :))

            It’s a free world …….. if anyone wants to fool themselves ……. be AKD’s guest. :)))

            • 2
              0

              nf: Thanks. Whatever the “Dictionary” says, in today’s context, the “ELITE” class is the most “RESPONSIBLE” and “ACCOUNTABLE” for the “MISARY” that the people of this country are SUFFERING as of today. Their “Ideology” is: “We enjoy every aspect (Food, Clothing & Shelter, etc) of life, but that is not for the “Ordinary”. That was the thinking centered on your “Question” to “S_M”.

              I think “Native Vedda” would give a better “Meaning” to the “Elite” than the “Oxford Dictionary”.

        • 8
          4

          SJ,
          Sure signs of Progress notwithstanding STARVATION!!!???

      • 5
        5

        What’s wrong with a fake socialist wearing a fake Ralph Lauren shirt? Maybe he wants everyone to wear Ralph Lauren shirts…..and gold bangles….. and to chew gum.

        • 8
          4

          MATCHES PERFECTLY – WEARER TO THE WORN!!!
          WHAT ELSE IS ASPIRED?????

    • 10
      3

      Dear nimal fernando,
      .
      You sure have sharp eyes. I’d have thought that to have been a pen in his pocket, but I agree that the shirt appears to have no pocket.
      .
      https://www.ralphlauren.com/men-clothing-button-down-shirts/r/white
      .
      So conscientious am I that I have turned on an old Windows 7 HP (used) computer which is attached to a 24″ monitor instead of the 18″ of my regular (bought new) Dell 7080 computer.
      .
      I agree that the logo looks suspiciously like a polo player. And certainly, AKD is usually smartly dressed, and I have noticed quite an array of shirts.
      .
      But you say that “ol’ Ralph” doesn’t design clothes for coloured guys, but many of his models are coloured. And now you’ll be asking me how come I have four computers.
      .
      I don’t know AKD well enough to ask him cheeky questions. Perhaps I should hand the problem over to Vijitha. But I may also report you to CT for asking irrelevant questions.
      .
      Prices of eggs? – it’s too early still, and I’m not waiting until 2.34 am.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

    • 10
      2

      Nimal,
      Please do go on. Ask why someone would want to use four computers at 2.34 am in Bandarawela……

      • 10
        8

        OC
        Haven’t you heard of the term “NAYA PENNANAWA”
        I think, I need not say anything further.
        Inside every JVPer there is a downtrodden bastard yearning to jump out.

        • 7
          5

          Dear HT,
          .
          The comments have just come on, and I’m stunned at what you’ve said, after knowing me so well.
          .
          The oldest computer in the house is an HP Pentium 4 that is technically working, if I turn it on, but it has only 2GB RAM and one can’t now find DDR 2 RAM pieces any more.
          .
          There also is a 10 inch Notebook: Acer Aspire 1825 PT that my computer guy in Padukka (that’s Western Province) thought we should both have one of when he found them in a place selling used computers about eight years ago. It’s still working, but finding batteries had proved a problem. I sometimes tell more, but never mind.
          .
          Almost none here have Apple computers. Only my newest computer, that now runs Windows 11 is up-to-date. The others have pirated Operating Systems, a deplorable practice, but not pirated MS Office. I sent you that soft copy of the Palihakkara Buddhism book; you should have noticed the .odt extension indicating the free but legal “Open Office”, and now “LibreOffice”. These are ways in which we can save the money which our country no longer has.
          .
          I’m earnest in almost all I say; perhaps turned a bit nasty towards LM, but your comment is the limit! Do you have no conscience?
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe of Bandaarawela

        • 5
          3

          HT,
          Absolutely.

          • 5
            1

            OC and HT,
            .
            Our homeland is stil filled withl grass eaters. Many dont know what they are talking about.

            Like it or not, that is the truth of our society. Why on earth do some people not see that the CT commenters are not interested in the color of the “commenter’s panties-underpants”?
            Our hellish kind of cognitive impairment is increasing more than anywhere else, isn’t it?

            Please listen to the psychiatric doctor and what he has to say about it by clicking the link below.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_7RSYUB_K0
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG49NOQCLyQ&t=125s

      • 7
        4

        Dear oc,
        .
        I was wanting to continue with the banter by asking why you want to manipulate others into asking, but I’m getting sick of the downright nastiness that I’m beginning to see.
        .
        I’ve explained the four computers already. Only one is in regular use, but I did actually turn that older computer on, since I don’t think that I’d be able to find a magnifying glass in the chaos in this house.

        • 4
          1

          SM,
          “but I’m getting sick of the downright nastiness “
          Did someone say : “There are none so blind as those who will not look in the mirror”? Or was it a song?

    • 11
      3

      Nimal,

      AKD’s $69 on-sale shirt idea is to show that reasonable capitalism will be allowed under the JVP, and quite different from Ranil’s $2000 Louis Vuitton shoes.

      • 6
        2

        Ramona,

        I’ve always believed …….. no one fools us: we fool ourselves. :))

        Look how you found an excuse to defend AKD you like …….. and to attack Ranil you don’t like! :)) ……. They don’t even know this argument is going on …… while we are busy fooling ourselves!! :))


        Gals do it all the time: fool themselves …… while they have the perfect man OC at home ……. they go chasing a perfect stranger Sinhala_Man!

        “When you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger
        And your perfect lover just looks like a perfect fool
        So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger” – Fountain of Sorrow :)))

        • 4
          3

          Nihal……speak for yourself.

        • 2
          2

          Nimal,
          “while they have the perfect man OC at home …….”
          To whom it may concern, even my car is a recycled Lamborghini….

      • 5
        1

        “…quite different…”
        The main difference being that one comes in singles and is worn on the trunk while the other comes in pairs and worn on the feet?
        How many of us here buy shirts costing more than $10 and shoes costing more than $20 a pair?

        • 3
          1

          SJ….they not not going to completely cut off from the global market. No,….no fake humility by the JVP. (Each of Ranil’s shoes are $1,000. That’s a 69:1000 or 1 : 14.5 ratio. That’s 14.5 more people having a meal….or 1,550,000 people with a full belly…..but since both shoes cost $2,000, so that over 3,100,000 people who will have a meal for the cost of Ranil’s shoes).

          • 2
            2

            Ramona, Ramona,
            Your arithmetic is lousy , to say the least. You can’t feed 3 million people with $2000, unless you are that guy who could walk on water…

            • 4
              1

              Old Codger,
              _
              No, I meant that 3,100,000 more people will eat more with AKD’s financial plan than with Ranil’s one (whatever the price of a rice and curry packet is).

              • 3
                1

                Ramona,
                If it isn’t your arithmetic, then it’s your syntax that’s lousy.

                • 4
                  1

                  Old Codger,

                  You need to develop the cognition to read between the lines. Can’t spoon feed you every time.

          • 3
            0

            rtf
            How many meals can $69 buy?
            Where I live, 100 from a wayside vendor.
            It is a matter of attitude.
            Ranil does not care for the poor and has money to throw.
            A combination of simplicity and elegance is a desirable feature for a socialist.

            • 2
              0

              SJ,

              Ah, he would have bought a rejected Ralph Lauren at Odel’s for $5.

              • 5
                0

                “he would have bought a rejected Ralph Lauren at Odel’s for $5.”

                Gezze Ramona! You just don’t get it: do you? …….. Good, OC’s patience is unbounded!! :)))

                It doesn’t matter at what price one buys a Ralph Lauren (or any other exclusive brand) ……… people who wear them want to project a certain message/signal to society. That’s what he is doing here: nothing else. At least for a fleeting second can we be honest here?

                It’s like the ultra exclusive country-club you and OC has joined in Pitts. What you can do at the country-club can be done much cheaper and better outside. But your goal is not that: you want to project a certain aura to society and to the rest of the poor Lankans who haven’t a snowball’s chance of joining.

                • 3
                  0

                  continued

                  All you JVP/NPP propaganda-brigade is going about it in the wrong way ……… by manufacturing Trump-sque bull as you go along …….. learn to do a better job ….. AKD should be saying he will create a vibrant garment manufacturing base that will later gradually morph into other more sophisticated manufacturing. I know Ralph Lauren garments are manufactured in SL …….. I haven’t seen them anywhere but came across them in a department store in Seville, Spain. That’s the only place I’ve seen them.

                  So, that’s the signal he should be sending when caught out with the usual human traits. :)) If Ranil can bull, so can anyone else.

                  Whatever happens, we’ll be sell sufficient in bull ……… and perhaps there’ll be enough left for export.

                  That’s the only sure thang in Lankan politics! :))

                  • 1
                    0

                    Animal,

                    If he bought that reject from Odel’s at $5, 99% of the worker-class will be able to afford that one also.
                    But i will go by my original rational: that AKD wants to project the image that his economic plan will not cut us out of the ordinary-level global market ( Ranil’s plan being x28 of this).

                    Btw, my husband is not an old colonial like old codger.

                    • 2
                      0

                      Animal? Oh gosh….so sorry. My phone did it. Nimal, I mean .

              • 2
                1

                Ramona,
                “he would have bought a rejected Ralph Lauren at Odel’s for $5.”
                No, I checked. They are genuine Rolph Lawrence branded.

                • 0
                  0

                  Old Codger,
                  Hence the on-sale $69….28x less than the Ranil shoes. See the rest of my rational above.

                • 0
                  3

                  Dear oc,
                  .
                  This comment of yours is central to the issue which has dominated discussion since nimal fernando spoke of “Ralph Lauren” in the very first comment.
                  .
                  It’s important to note that those two words/names are nowhere to be seen. He spoke of a “logo”. Call it emblem, insignia, trade mark, or whatever. It was tiny, as he said, but of immense significance. I resorted to the use of a larger computer monitor, bemoaned my not having a magnifying glass, etc.
                  .
                  Thanks for having checked what’s available at Odel. “Rolph Lawrence” is clearly an attempt to deceive the careless. The question now is, “does their “logo” look anything like the polo player?”
                  .
                  https://blog.logomyway.com/ralph-lauren-logo/
                  .
                  I personally feel that there has been a blunder by AKD in this. Of what magnitude is difficult to tell.
                  .
                  I have so far been unsuccessful in my attempts to warn.
                  .
                  Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

                  • 3
                    0

                    SM,
                    “Thanks for having checked what’s available at Odel. “Rolph Lawrence” is clearly an attempt to deceive the careless.”
                    You know I am never as serious as you are. That was a joke aimed at Ramona. Loosen up , man! The world is a fun place, even with Ranil in it.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Thanks, ‘old codger’ response below.
                      .
                      A different subject. A report that is three days old. From the UK:
                      .
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m7_s7J4OPw&t=24s
                      .
                      13 minutes in English. Readers who want to know the latest have to do their own searching.
                      .
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9Wt6YvLOQI
                      .
                      The lesson for us is that regular elections may not be comfortable for some, but are very necessary for the health of society.
                      .
                      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

                    • 2
                      0

                      OC,
                      .
                      Please tell him it clearly. Instead of loosen up, he would otherwise let his pants down. That is how he takes things not thinking twice. He get misled on and on.

                      I am going to have a dinner with some of SM-like men and women during my upcoming visit to my motherland. Main dish will be ” thanakola”.

                      Needless to say, he would always touch things from the other end. That is connected with his upbringing.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG49NOQCLyQ

                      Good enough for him to hunt me and the like innocent srilankens, just because we publicly stand against 89-murderers that killed my sandkasten buddies. At the begining SM was nice, but with his bad company with JVPrs, made him a devil before me. poor guy, what to do ?

                  • 0
                    0

                    I’m getting ready for the Aragalaya. I’ve hunted in Bndarawela and got myself a red T-shirt with a Logo having not one, but Two Polo Players. It is logical therefore to suppose this T-shirt to have been more expensive. It wasn’t!
                    .
                    https://1000logos.net/u-s-polo-assn-logo/
                    .
                    This is an even older brand than what nimal fernando has been talking about. And it wasn’t so expensive! Rs 2,995/= but I was given a 40% discount, after I told them that it was for the Aragalaya. So, 1797/=. Quite a lot of money for a VisharmikaGambadaIngirisiIskoleMahaththaya.
                    .
                    I had earlier spoken to Vijitha Herath for just 8 minutes on WhatsApp. He is now the important guy since these three MPs whom we have must do all that they can to rid us of the criminal, Ranil. He told me that AKD spends very little on clothes. Now you are welcome to say even nastier things about these people.

              • 2
                0

                ramona ,

                Recently one shop at Narahenpita or Nugegoda was fined for
                selling a fake brand . There are even fake Rolex in the market.
                Look closely Lal’s wrist ! Man sent his son overseas for higher
                education .

                • 1
                  1

                  Dear whywhy,
                  .
                  In this context, it is not clear to me who “Lal” is. Who sent his son overseas for higher education?
                  .
                  Since you talk sense almost always, let me assume that you really meant to say that AKD’s wrist has a Rolex watch and that he sent his son (singular is correct) abroad for higher studies.
                  .
                  All sorts of stories abound. I’ve checked and found that AKD has just one child (a son named Kasun). He was not sent abroad for higher studies, but he now works for Air Lanka, having started with MihinAir. And I have seen some photographs of this son’s wedding (for what earthly purpose did I even look in FaceBook pages?) outside Holy Emmanuel Anglican Church, Moratuwa, and that the bride’s name was Liza Mendis.
                  .
                  To me it suggested that AKD is capable of ignoring caste and religious differences. Perhaps you, too, are only worried knowing that more serious issues ought to concern us.

                  • 4
                    0

                    Dear S M ,

                    Let me be brief . Lal means Lal Kantha . Whatever I say
                    about JVP leaders and front liners is never meant to
                    belittle them because I do have a great respect for them .
                    But whenever and wherever I am not in agreement with
                    them , I do disagree with them . Of course we have more
                    serious issues and occasionally we are being drawn into
                    some minor and even funny- looking issues like this and
                    it sometimes makes sense to take part with a positive note .
                    There are more hidden meanings in my comment . .

                    • 1
                      0

                      WW,
                      .
                      there are some senior citizens, in significant masses, that would do anything if they like someone.
                      How naive they are, would become to them shortly before they are kicking the bucket. Then it is too late. That is the general psyche of this nation.
                      Is not that the biggest problem of our nation ?No matter what education they have obtained, they behave like beasts. Now there is a wave about AKD, perhaps, his true nature is something else. How come a man, who has not proved to be a powerful politician by action, be a leader of this nation which has now been stuggling to see a real change ?

                      To me, Lal Kanta, Nalin Hevage, or others are like people who spend their time sitting on the culverts of the village. These people are very good at hate speech. They have the skills to do that, just like the people of the Western Province were overthrown by the verbal contempt of Wimal Buruwanze in public.
                      :

    • 8
      0

      nimal fernando

      “Can you trust a man wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt to be a genuine Lankan Socialist?”

      Didn’t you know we have/had caviar eating communist leaders, Champagne Socialists, Cigar chomping ……… ?

      • 3
        0

        Native Vedda,

        Ah, that’s just the look Che Guevara/Fidel Castro look. Cigars, champagne, and caviar were mass produced in Cuba at the time, and so even the Communists were eating them…..actually, caviar was relatively cheap in Sri Lanka (i.e. before they started selling it to Scandinavia and Japan and then it then became a delicacy with a huge price tab in the natural motherland). Ralph Lauren btw, is produced cheaply in Sri Lanka, and the rejects with one small stitch missing is sold cheaply at Odel’s.

        • 0
          0

          “caviar was relatively cheap in Sri Lanka (i.e. before they started selling it to Scandinavia and Japan and then it then became a delicacy with a huge price tab in the natural motherland).”

          Ramona,

          With what fish roe …….. was Lankan caviar made?

          “Caviar (also known as caviare; from Russian: Икра, originally from Persian: خاویار, romanized: khâvyâr, lit. ’egg-bearing’) is a food consisting of salt-cured roe of the family Acipenseridae. Caviar is considered a delicacy and is eaten as a garnish or spread.[1] Traditionally, the term caviar refers only to roe from wild sturgeon in the Caspian Sea and Black Sea[2] (Beluga, Ossetra and Sevruga caviars). The term caviar can also describe the roe of other species of sturgeon or other fish such as paddlefish, salmon, steelhead, trout, lumpfish, whitefish,[3] or carp.[4]
          The roe can be “fresh” (non-pasteurized) or pasteurized, with pasteurization reducing its culinary and economic value.[5] ” —- Wiki

          • 3
            0

            Just like his mentor feeding the masses …………. instead of caviar, Ranil’s greatest disciple OC, has been feeding you bull !

            You ought to be more careful/selective ……. with your men!!! :)))

            • 1
              0

              Our Lankan waters produce much tastier roe. But our Lankan fellows went on first class air Ceylon and felt very posh eating European caviar. Indeed, our fish roe is now mixed with European caviar to enhance the flavor. Big thing for Europeans who didn’t have the profusion of foods like ours to eat. But some Russian communists humbly brought down their specialities for our communists to eat, and you immediately jump on them for acting like Lankan first class passengers on Air Ceylon.

          • 1
            0

            Nimal,
            I do hope that you are wearing a crash helmet while banging against this particular brick wall.
            You may expect a stout affirmation that
            1)Sri Lankan caviar was produced by its hard-working masses from proletarian salaya eggs.
            2) The country club in Pittsburgh serves Sri Lankan caviar to its exploited clients.

        • 0
          0

          rtf: “CAVIAR” was served to “First Class” passengers on AIR LANKA flights during its early days.

  • 16
    0

    Dr.Keethaponcalan: In your next “Research Book” please make a note to include the “7th” element under the heading “Manipulation and Democracy”, the following:

    “Refusal to release funds needed for elections by the Executive”.

    Thank you.

  • 15
    0

    None of the strategies mentioned by the author will be common practice anymore, if a genuine set of people who sincerely want their country to be a livable place for the future generations take over the reins of government. The problem is that the largely emotional, often bigoted and fervently nationalistic hordes which decide on the outcome of elections still do not know what is good for them and will fall for promises of personal favours or dreams of vanquishing non-existent enemies lurking in any given minority group, whereas their tormentors and oppressors are always looked up to. The stupid fools will never learn. So be it then.

    • 21
      1

      Absolute eye opener. I may not know the specificities like Keetha, but I knew what Lankans had until now is DEMOCRAZY / Pseudo Democracy. 1) Constant tinkering leading , Constitution to Constipation. 2) Field fixing with conniving opposition. 3) Time fixing , exactly how Gotha and Mahinda got back to power using their own Covid restrictions. 3) Vote Suppression , remember crook Ali Sabry’s veil threats and intimidation to his own community , Mahinda giving money for Tamils, not to vote 4) Process manipulation with conniving parties including EC ( in my personal opinion, previous EC Chairman MD, is not a saint as he would like to present) , Gotha and many others citizenship issues. 5) Resource manipulation, no one knows better than Rajapaksa family.

  • 3
    6

    No., it’s a JVP-SJB alliance…..exactly what Sri Lanka needs now!

    • 3
      3

      r t f: Do you think that Water and Oil could be mixed? I invite you to experiment with it and see the results.

      • 7
        0

        Simon,….water and oil don’t have brains.

      • 3
        3

        Simon,
        .
        I’ve always felt that the NPP is right not to ally with the SJB, whilst recognising that the latter party has good individuals.
        .
        Compromises of a certain sort are necessary, but not the abandonment of all principles. At this stage the NPP and the SJB ought to jointly agitate for elections – and they are doing that now. But the NPP now allows individuals in, not a recognised party as large as the SJB and having a quite different ideology.
        .
        After elections, given the numbers, I guess they could work together for some time. I’m sure that Ramona’s suggestion is well meant, but it just won’t work. It’ll promote further cynicism.

        • 4
          1

          Dear RATIONAL thinkers,
          .
          Sri Lanka is a country full of different thinkers when it comes to politics.

          Like it or not, this is the truth about our people. We cannot compare it with other people.
          Any party that dreams of such a country but does not willingly join hands with any other party will not help them an inch to advance. This is the reason why JVPs dropped from 35 to 5 and then from 5 to 3.
          So they should rethink their decisions, not respect the thoughts of educated fools. I think the NPP, if they intend to be rulers, should join hands with anyone less corrupt and abusive. If there is nothing, their dreams will never come true.

          • 1
            3

            So now, “leelagemalli” wishes to see the NPP succeed! There are fewer comments from him now, and they are rather brief.
            .
            It’s likely that he’s now holidaying in Unawatuna, and commenting from a mobile phone; perhaps he’s visited Simon’s kadamandiya. But to locate Simon he has to know Simon’s real name.
            .
            SJ has said that nobody wears an amude now. Is there anybody named Simon in Lanka today? Even about 2,000 years ago, Jesus changed the name of his disciple from Simon to Peter.
            .
            But there is a guy called Simon in this 1963 film, which was deliberately made in black and white to emphasise the gloom being portrayed:
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G3B6bjwBfk
            .
            Colour had been available even then, and was used for this 1990 film:
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjApB6IiQKE
            .
            They were based on the terrifying 1955 book of the same name by William Golding, which I taught in the Maldives in 1987. What a book to teach O. Level girls!
            .
            But Golding was a schoolmaster who had been forced to teach this 1857 book to kids:
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coral_Island
            .
            I managed to read it all, it wasn’t easy! Not because of linguistic difficulty, but because this was all so goody-goody. Golding realised that little boys were not such innocents, and thus his NobelPrize winning dystopian novel.</b

      • 2
        2

        Simon ,
        “Do you think that Water and Oil could be mixed?”
        You aren’t a great fan of mayonnaise, obviously.

        • 3
          1

          OC,
          .
          I myself cant be without that whenever I get back home from my long business trips, I am used to eat “potato chips” with ” myonnaise”…… I dont love burgers, but I do like POMMES.
          .
          In a country almost 99% sinhala buddhist are engrained to see that ” mother milk” is made out o f ” mother’s blood”. They dont respect anyone saying the truth about it. Ours are a society misled from the beginning on.

          And the sinhala version is ” le kiri karala powapu mawa”: Nobody dares to correct this.
          Human biologists see it correctly, it is not the mother that produces it, but the body’s glands and hormones. However, there are whole lot of untruths that jointly support and perceptualize in srilankan society. People never question as to why as is the case in european cultures.

        • 3
          4

          OC
          … or Brylcream

          • 3
            2

            SJ, LM,
            There are so many urban myths that people swear by.
            BTW, the JVP didn’t find it difficult to hang out with Chandrika or Ranil. So why not Sajith?

          • 0
            3

            SJ,
            .
            Spelling! Brylcreem.

            .
            The web has dozens of ads. Why did I choose this? I knew about Compton, but this has Keith Miller as well.
            .
            https://oztypewriter.blogspot.com/2015/08/dashing-brylcreemed-heroes-of-our-youth.html
            .
            But starts with a type-writer. My younger sister, bought me a typewriter in 1985, for me to to do my University Dissertation (on Sean O’Casey). The typewriter was something like this:
            .
            https://3docean.net/item/silver-reed-typewriter/18393700
            .
            But cream-coloured.
            .
            When I first went to Oman in 1988 I imagined thaat it was fullof all the gadgetry one could imagine. May have been. But I was chucked into villages where there was no electricity. So for my second stint I took the typewriter there, but sold it to somebody when leaving the country. Now will I need it again, if we regress any more?
            .
            I’m beginning to realise that we must combine sensible observations here with a little bit of nonsense to keep up the entertainment. Had the typewriter been here I would have mentioned it in addition to the four computers – and what would Human Touch have said?

    • 4
      1

      RTF,
      first things first Ramona, may I ask you to first try to understand the mind set of JVPrs.
      .
      JVPrs would not be compatible with anyone in the country but they try to touch the sky.
      Nor would they try to build consensus either. Might be possible, they would import allies from outside world.

      Please listen to the video below. I do believe you can still undertsand GOOD SINHALA viedos.

      • 3
        1

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_7RSYUB_K0

        I hope this video help all of us.

        • 4
          2

          You are far removed from your country-people, aren’t you Leelagemalli.

          • 4
            1

            Ramona
            “You are far removed from your country-people,”
            8,062 km Distance from Colombo to Hamburg
            14,350 km Distance from Colombo to Pittsburgh
            A pot-and-kettle case?

            • 2
              1

              Old Codger,

              You know I mean it in an empathetic and understanding of the country masses way……but you have to quip in, in typical fashion with the idea that the Natives are stupid. So lame.

              • 2
                0

                RTF,
                .
                I am well updated Ramona, but you, from what you add, we can very well read your mind.
                You probably have no idea what you are talking about. That is the reason why some of us raise the question of whether you are related by blood to the old man who claims to be of being GURUTHUMA. I usually return my motherland at least once a year and why am I not updated about my homeland? In those days covid hit it hard, there too, we travelled to the country and the money launderers of GOTABAYA took suck dollars like no one else did.

                • 3
                  1

                  Leelagemalli,

                  Visiting or living in the Motherland means nothing. Too many are stuck in their own fancy social groups, and just cannot comprehend the sufferings of our worker class. Yes, it’s a long drawn chronic issue with our Lankans.

              • 0
                0

                Ramona,
                “You know I mean it in an empathetic and understanding of the country masses way……”
                Just helping to put your foot back in your shoe……..😁

                • 1
                  1

                  Old Codger,
                  As expected…..The usual typical lame retort.

            • 2
              0

              OC,
              .
              RTF would not think twice before going to add something. I really dont know why ?

              Hope that listened to pieces of advice of the doctor, link was provided above.

  • 5
    0

    Good to have a statistical analysis to create big bucket and some of the exmples and explanations based on general perception about the situation than really reflect and proof the fact form seeveral hard examples. For example reason for Rohana Wijeweera (RW) participation in an election so that the JVP did not want to be “excluded” from a significant national event is what we perceive as thruth. However, is this is the actual motive from RW is still a question.

    Also, people already knew and talk about in thier own colloquial language. What we actually need is an analysis on frutile attempts of election mulpractices and what are those factors actually work against the rule breakers. So that, we can implement a process or a system that can discourage any future candidate to go in that path.

  • 2
    1

    Is there a case for a two stage election to choose the first two candidates requiring them to get at least over forty percent of the votes and a final election between them after eliminating the rest of the field. I believe this was done in the Turkish elections. This way the electorate will choose between just two persons. In any case. the preference now is to do away with the presidential system making otiose the discussion in the article. So why bother?

    • 6
      9

      The sysrem here is very sensible.
      The voter marks his/her preferences.
      If none secures 50% of the votes, the second preferences (and then the third) of all but the two leading candidates are counted.
      What is wrong with it?
      It also avoids electoral manipulation in the final vote.

      • 6
        2

        Did you ever lie in the cradle the Sinhala Government builds and rocks at babysitting nurseries, something called math class for Bathiudeen candidates (, not for students.) If you were in one of them, then you may understand that a candidate who can win 75% of the final election against the final opponent can be eliminated with only 25% of the first-round votes with first round candidates. What were the subjects you managed to teach in the Vasanthinikethan, Jaffna? Why are you coming to ridicule others’ comments but making you a comedian with your absolutely ridiculous talks?

        Current system works well in countries like Sri Lanka, who are racially divided. For example, Muslims vote first preference to Muslim, but sharply split in the second, third between UNP-SLFP…. This is one of the reasons that Sinhalese can use any trick, but they cannot get rid of their UNP-SLFP candidates. At this time, candidates must accept the system and they have to have them reincarnated as crooks or lose the deposit. They have no own baton to pick and stand in front of the relay, because they must follow the baton passing system of the UNP SLFP built. This is a cocoon woven by the caterpillar, without any escape for it.

        • 2
          4

          yaaaaawn

          • 4
            2

            “yaaaaawn Karma following, it seems. It is the one you did to the UOJ students, probably!

            Wake up! Math class is over. Stretch yourself well. It is that time, again. Your topic going on the black board, now.Yes. Marxism has started. Get a new bag of buddu from Deva. Lets celebrate.

            • 0
              4

              You woke me.
              Now back to sleeeeeee…..yaaaaawn!

              • 4
                0

                It is not me; it is the usual coconut fiber the boys and girls put in your nose.
                Not yawn, say assummmmmm and go to sleep.

      • 6
        1

        This can be fixed if the election allows only one vote and before the voting, the Muslim candidates are forced to assign his/her choice of candidate who could be standing in the final. If in the list of Muslim candidates both the final opponents appear, then he can tell after the election whom he wants to support. This is how Sinhala voters can decide if their candidate has sought favors from Muslim candidates, who are open & major factors in election manipulation in Langkang. In that way, Muslims vote for Muslim candidates without knowing in which government he/she would seek minister position or and what their policy can be curbed. So, by declaring who they will assign as their proxy in the government, Muslim voters too will have a burden to follow a policy for the betterment of the country. What if one candidate gets 100% when all his second preferences are counted? That means, second preference is only a second preference; it never can advance as the first preference. So, if one wants to have all those jugglers eliminated and elections become genuine, there is one method, that candidates with political party must follow the primary. Independence must go through serious vetting; thus, they cannot just stand in national elections just to ridicule their enemies.

      • 5
        2

        Further, the author is known for his bogus, bombastic, flamboyant, pompous logic. He was shining a lot recently while he was with Tamil Win Interviewer Tamilarasu. Tamilarasu put his regurgitation into the mouth of the interviewee and make guests swallow all without dropping and pat on guest’s back to make sure this time it is fully digested. This is called “Encounter with Truth.” After being certified by Tamilarasu, the author flirts around with a lot of accreditations. This time it has been “Long time no see ” in CT. He is just bluffing about a lot of things, but in Langkang only three things work in almost all elections. 1). Spewing sheer racial hatred-ness against Tamils. This is the only one that has been practiced all along from 1947, without interruption. 2). Biriyani and Arrack for the moon rice seekers. This became dominant after the Rapist Army snatched thalikodies worth $19B and deposited them in Peacock Palace’s “Sand Pool”. The third one losing prowess after EU like democratic countries started to insist on election monitoring. That is election violence, ballot box stuffing, vote box stealing, preventing subjective voters voting (like Muslim women stopped getting out of home) ……. MMDA was given by Don Stephen to Muslim politicians only to defeat Lord Donomore’s Universal Franchise.

      • 3
        1

        Dear SJ,
        .
        I agree that the “Preferential System” is theoretically very sensible, and before the 2019 Presidential Election Prof Kumar David tried to educate people on how it works. He wrote many articles, usually simplifying (but not distorting) his appeal to voters to cast two Preferences. He recommended the first for AKD and the next for Sajith. However, this was not accepted even by the NPP! There were numerous articles, and many comments (plenty from me). This may not be the best link for me to provide:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-mahesh-senanayake-candidacy/comment-page-1/#comments
        .
        Many of us were serious, but the average voter in any country is not going to be like us who write intelligently enough. Reading comments from that period by various person is interesting because we see that many are consistent in that they were saying. Under our current system there were to be only two counts, as you have stated. The winner could be someone who, even after two counts, has got far less than 50% of the total poll.
        .
        You will know all this; I’m trying to draw the attention of other readers to the complexity of the task. Very few are even aware that Preferences are available, almost none cast them, and NEVER since introduction have they been counted.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

        • 3
          3

          “The winner could be someone who, even after two counts, has got far less than 50% of the total poll.”
          A very unlikely event. Even then, it will be pretty close to 50% unless we have three or more absolutely incompatible ideologies each with strong, stubborn support bases.
          The way the system is, it will invariably narrow the choice to two in the vote, and very rarely three
          If we are very fussy, we could perhaps amend the constitution to allow a special vote if nobody secures 50% after two iterations.

          • 2
            1

            “unless we have three or more absolutely incompatible ideologies each with strong, stubborn support bases.

            So a new profession? Instead of cleaning CT, now washing, polishing and portraying the lusciousness of Siri Mao’s JR’s, NM’s, Evil’s, Royals’ political ideologies? Congratulations!. Mother of all convoluters!

            Still Deva’s salesman job is more lighter than these heavy lifting with your dope. Have any guess of what you are blabbering in your desperate effort of proving that you are a master in math, instead of Marxism?

            • 0
              2

              YawwwwwwwN!

          • 0
            0

            Yes, dear SJ, very unlikely for many interesting reasons.
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Presidential_elections_in_Sri_Lanka
            .
            Eight times we have polled; and each time the winner has managed to get over 50% on the first round of counting. Therefore we have no records of how many cast Preferential Votes. Even I have no clear memory of what I did each time, but I always knew that it was possible to cast Preferences, and that it was sensible to do so.
            .
            I went into this in some detail before the 2019 Election. Kumar David was writing articles, and I was trying to fine tune because we had three Preferences. In practice, there would never be anything more than two counts; you may have worked that out already. There’s only one other election in the world where this transfer of votes takes place, and that is for the London mayor:
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_mayoral_elections
            .
            The very first under the current system, in the year 2000 was the most interesting, and I don’t think that the winner got 50% of the votes cast. It’s probably not worth making the calculations, but one thing stands out; the guy who got the most first preferences always emerged the winner..
            .
            Rather, lets think of some of the other “considerations”

          • 0
            0

            1. Our participation in elections is very high.
            .
            2. Many keep saying that they don’t want elections, and that they will not vote, but most do vote – carelessly, as the herd does.
            .
            3. The spoiling of votes was advocated by many, notably by Sepal Amerasinghe, the YouTuber who was locked up quite recently.
            .
            4. The Preference system is unknown to many, and that ignorance doesn’t look like changing because it suits the major parties to keep it that way. As Dr Keethaponcalan says the minor candidates are not much concerned – and don’t get their word across to many.
            .
            5. That the Preferences don’t matter is unfortunate, because if they did, even if it is the same people who emerge as winners will behave better. The reasons are clear in my head, but rather difficult to formulate! In 2019, the people who just didn’t want the Preference system to get known were the supporters of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
            .
            6. Formulating a fair system is an extremely complex subject, and this is why the efforts of loners like Nagananda Kodituwakku, however honest and noble, are unrealistic. Somewhere on CT, Raj-UK granted that electability is vital, but then said it would still be best to vote for a sure loser just because he’s noble!

    • 5
      0

      @Cicero – 2 stage election also increase election spending in millions to double if your suggestions to go ahead. Also Turkish system also not warrent that. All what it says is Presidential candidate needs to get a clear 51% or more mandate to be the president. However this has not happen at the first place as such the authorities called for a second election between the two as in thier constitution.

      What we really need an amendment in our consitution is if at all sitting president vacate the post before the stipulated period for any reason the second most preferrence vote candidate to be the president (if the person wish to) and so on. If not public reelction required. This will avoid scenarios like RW be the president who at first place not even elected by the people as an MP. Pathetic loophole in the system.

      • 4
        0

        That’s a good suggestion Dayan, that the guy with the second greatest Preferences should be the Acting President, perhaps for a stipulated length of time – let’s say a year. Had that happened last year, then Sajith Premadasa would now be the Acting President, overseeing a fresh Presidential Election in a week or two. When there is to be an election, it should not be held at a time when it favours the fortunes of one given candidate.
        .
        The voters have time to think the situation out. It is true that some voters – in any country – will never do any thinking. Can’t be helped. The way you suggest, as expanded by me, it will not be possible to rouse sudden hysteria, in this country over race, religion, rising prices, etc.
        .
        The money spent on a properly planned election is usually worth it, but may not be obvious to all. Think of the number of people around us who say that we don’t want an election, and we can’t afford it. All those are registered voters, and some go round saying it. We all know that there are various ways in which the big and wealthy parties organise impersonations.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

      • 3
        0

        Ramona,
        .
        If you look at how I received nimal’s complaint, right at the top of the page, when the photograph containing the Ralph Lauren logo, was much larger than now because it was the “Top Story”.
        .
        I emailed the other JVP M.P., Vijitha Herath, (known to me from his childhood) immediately this story appeared four days ago, on Thursday. I took it seriously. Ramona has made many brave attempts to explain it away. However, even if he got it cheap at Odel, he ought to have the logo removed.
        .
        It is fortunate that this was observed by nimal fernando, and not by somebody really nasty who would mount some YouTube video, or start using WhatsApp or Facebook, or whatever to discredit the entire NPP. Apart from e-mailing, I have tried WhatApp in various ways to draw Vijitha’s attention to the email. Let me give below the text of a YouTube message that I made. You won’t be able to find it easily, but I can, because YouTube makes my comment the “Top Comment” when I’m logged in to YouTube.
        .
        After writing the above almost an hour ago, I’ve just rung Vijitha Herath, who may not be in Lanka. The phone rang at 11.45 am. He had been on WhatsApp at 11.30 am. today, but it doesn’t look as though he has yet read my messages sent last night. Those ticks haven’t changed from Grey to Blue. I know that some people disable that feature, but on his WhatsApp 22 March 2023 have so changed.

      • 3
        1

        I have now addressed this message to Mr Anura Kunara Dissanayake:
        .
        It’s here, and is one of 26 messages at 12.57 pm on 12/06/2023
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFZdKXDCMSE&t=136s
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe
        18 hours ago (edited)
        .
        I’m in Bandarawela. AKD, I met you at Kanmark Hotel, Bandarawela on the 21st of February 2023.

        We’ve got to look sharp. It was sensible to not have the entire leadership at the Elections Office in Rajagiriya, three days ago, on Thursday, the 8th of June. I feel that you would have realised that Ranil is capable of doing just about anything. For instance, locking everybody up saying that you have infringed one his laws. The guy has to act the role of an Interim President. A sort of Constitutional President. Vijitha Herath was not here. I’ve sent him a message to be conveyed to you, AKD. Please see it.

    • 4
      2

      Hakeem will pray daily 10 times, if the Turkey election system comes to Lanka. But watch out Saudi Prince too may come in, if the turkey election comes here. It means Evil Emperor will have to go on the Don Stephen path, as he is repeating that as his ultimate wish.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Simon, nimal, and Ramona,
        .
        I’ve just had an 8 minute chat with Vijitha Herath; he rang me back.
        .
        I didn’t want to take up too much of his time; his time (and the role he has to play) are more important than mine. I had only two things to tell him about – one going back to his childhood as a Grade 6 & 7 student. That has nothing to do with this issue. The other was about AKD’s clothes.
        .
        The details, I told him are in a longish WhatApp message, but more effectively in an email. It’s becoming clear that WhatsApp is the way most communicate now.
        .
        Vijitha said that AKD spends nothing on clothes, but that he has received gifts. I told him about tell-tale logos, and that he’d better have them removed. He understood.
        .
        How much of “the “explanation” you want to accept, I don’t know. He was cordial and friendly.
        .
        Thanks for putting the ball in my court. Now it is in Vijitha’s..
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

        • 1
          0

          Dear old codger,
          .
          I’ve seen your good-humoured message above.
          .
          I hope that the three people whom I have addressed above will see and appreciate your ability to regard life with equanimity.
          .
          Panini

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