The Raja Political Academy has been in existence for the last 100 years. It has produced 3 generations of politicians from the time the first generation “Grandfather” decided to wash the mud off his back, as he was a farmer/landowner and entered Sri Lankan politics. What is so special about this Academy is that it follows the educational method of learning by doing. The members of the Faculty Board have been there, done it, employed conventional and unconventional methods to succeed. In the process several records have been established and their methods of political strategy are the most successful in the world. In fact families from several countries have expressed their interest in learning how to stay in power and have the engagement of a maximum number of family members in the most powerful positions at the same time. The record of the Raja family:
* 6 members form 2 generations in the same government. Siblings hold the most important posts of President and Prime Minister
* In a former government one brother was Speaker, while the other was President. The same government appointed one brother as Secretary Defence and another as the Head of the Northern Province Development Task Force.
* In the government of 2005 to 2015 over 300 family members and friends were appointed to high posts in the government, semi government and other Authorities. Companies owned by sons and nephews were awarded state enterprise contracts to the tune of millions and billions
Based on the family’s intensive and extensive experience in successful politicking several training Faculties have been set up in the Academy.
1. Public Relations Faculty: The aim of this Faculty is how to build relations with the public. One of the essential training modules is;
Touchy and Feely
* Targeting a larger number of babies, especially those who seem the friendliest, carry them, cuddle them and kiss them. If there is a hint of a child crying in your arms return to parent immediately
* Zoom in on all the Grandmothers and hug them. Ask how they are.
* If there are young and beautiful girls in the communities you are canvassing, invite them home and the rest is another story
* Always wear your traditional suit with a distinctly coloured shawl, but if one family member refuses and is in Western clothes that is fine to build relations with the West.
* Always entertain the public who come to visit you or Missions from overseas with traditional Sri Lankan food and drink, does not matter who bears the cost. The first question should be how are you today and have you eaten?
* If possible grow a moustache and have a macho image. This works well with the women folk especially from the Village. They need the image of violence and strong arm. The more thuggish your image, the more votes you will get.
2. The Welfare and Populist Measures Faculty:
Rice and Bottle Elite Module
The main points of learning by doing are
* Organize Welfare Measures to get your votes. The underpinning principle is “ No matter what, especially the Sinhalese are dependant, servile, greedy, parasytic and disloyal. They do not care about the country in the long term” It is better to keep them in this mode for the survival of the Raja firm. Learn how these qualities vary between different regions, however the difference is not much.
* Throughout your preceding term of office if there is one, use public resources to distribute handouts wherever the family goes. Make a huge song and dance when handing over these items. If possible put in a greeting card to the family saying ” vote for us in the next election.” This should be practiced all the time, not only close to elections but well before. This should be done especially at times of disaster or emergencies when people are desperate.
* Close to the run up to elections have Open day where voters have free meals 24/7 and alcohol. Make sure this is done systematically by having a “family card” system. These cards should make them eligible for buffet style meals and ration packs which will be delivered to their doorstep.
* Material assistance – Other items that appeal to women especially should also be distributed. Items such as sil redi, blenders, ovens, kettles, school bags, are very popular among 52% of the population.
3. The Religiocultural Idealogue Faculty
Whip up nationalism Module
This is the most important module as it can whip up a frenzy of false loyalty towards race, religion and country even among the most lazy and laidback person. This strategy has to be practiced for a minimum of 5 years. At strategic moments one must show that the country is in danger, the Sinhala race might become extinct and that the religion is under severe threat. The best defender of the race and religion should be a macho priest and a saffron robed army from the majority religion under attack and the scape goat offender would be a Muslim(s). If no Muslim is available to be shown up as the offender then select a Christian or a Hindu. While a drama is being created about the “threat” to the Sinhala Buddhist, engage with the scapegoat’s high priest such as the Arch Bishop or the chief Moulavi, so that an impression of making peace can be given to the masses. With this make sure nationalist frenzy is created to the maximum. Then appear as the savior to the Sinhala Buddhist masses and say that one wants to come forward to save the race and the religion. The country is not so important in reality.
This false ideology can be perpetrated if you have a fundamentalist senior group of professionals with misplaced loyalty to you and false loyalty to the country. This is the Senior Citizens Guidance League and the diaspora. They must be provided with a training on how to promote your family members to win elections. The most important part of this training is to portray the incoming regime in this case the Raja family as being akin to Royalty.
4. The Faculty of raising Finances
This will enable continuity in politics for the next 5o years. Without funds all is lost. This is the most important Faculty as if raising funds goes well, buying over people and resources is made easy.
The selling of National Assets and Money Laundering Module
* Awarding contracts based on build, operate and trade (BOT) to foreign governments and their contractors is the most lucrative method of earning huge commissions, adequate to run unlimited numbers of election campaigns and to assure a comfortable life for many generations
* Signing agreements with local contractors for infrastructure development without following required processes and procedures also for large commissions.
* Selling national assets and making large profit margins also as commissions
Therefore in conclusion the intensive and successful political engagement of over two decades of one family based on the 4 strategies/faculties mentioned above should be the recipe followed for populist politics by any political party that wants success. Keeping the masses less analytical and discerning through an antiquated education system will be another method to be explained in the future.