9 August, 2022


Candidates And Programmes

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Bigwigs one would have expected to be staunchly pro-Ranil (Mangala, Malik, Kabir Hashim, Champika, Navin, Eran and Harsha) have deserted what they perceive to be a sinking-ship. Talk in three-wheelers and tea boutiques is that poker-faced Ranil is unpopular. To outsiders like me, it seems Karu too has missed the boat. Sajith these bigwigs think is popular and will poll well. I think it’s not quite like that. Brawling for the same vote-bank as Gota, Sajith may end up choked and in so doing sacrifice middle-class, minority, elitist and the ‘traditionalists’ in the UNP’s nationwide repository. Why should Sinhala nationalists and hard-core chauvinists prefer Sajith to Gota? What’s the difference? Isn’t Sajith said to be dumb and Gota smart?  Isn’t he too dumb to be president? These factors will weigh against him.

It is possible that with a popular PP candidate, some UNPers and middle-of-the-road folks may find Sajith unattractive and opt for PP as a protest against the failures of yahapalana. As for the minorities (both Tamils and Muslims) I am on firm ground in asserting and that both Gota and Sajith are in the bottom drawer. Indeed, PP will come first among minorities in a contest against Gota and Sajith if it handles its campaign correctly; that remains to be seen (sigh!). Will the TNA see the light or will it find it impossible to break the chains that bind it to the liberal bourgeoisie? If it stays manacled will the Tamil people tell it to go to hell? Too early to tell.  

What if it’s Ranil versus Gota? Ranil will not be competing for the identical chauvinist votes, so the effect is difficult to forecast. But I think PP will poll better if the UNP puts up Sajith instead of Ranil as the latter will split minority and moderate Sinhala votes. But whether it’s Ranil or Sajith is not my concern, it’s what effect it may have on the PP campaign. The difference is that PP will have to tailor its campaign with more emphasis on economic content if the candidate is Ranil; Sajith in this respect is blotto. The 2015-2019 road, though it made gains on democracy was barren on economic achievement. 

Economics means such issues as the directive role of the State; accommodation of capitalist and finance capitalist sectors; fiscal-deficit, debt, current-account, investment. Informal sector, service sector and IT, agriculture, industry, fisheries, plantations. Export-orientation vs inward-looking. Employment, female foreign employment. Environment and Energy. Regulatory failure: Bungling telecoms, electricity and hundreds more inept regulators. There’s enough to do for a month before this section is ready.

A civil society alliance (NMSJ, Purawesi Balavegaya and Vame Kendraya) adopted a programme at a BMICH convention on 23 August. It is good intentioned and begins with a commendable demand for the complete abolition of the Executive Presidency, but replete with errors, contradictions and gaffes. The section on ‘The Economy’ (Section 10) is wishy-washy and best ignored. Section 2 on National Security is downright reactionary. The draft ignores the national question and says nothing about devolution. Overall, like a curate’s egg, good in parts. Regarding all-pervasive corruption where action not talk is needed, it is weak. Nonetheless I am grateful to this alliance for doing some ground work. The People’s Power movement can use this draft as reading material to develop its own programme. There is a world of work to do to make ready, in the long-term, for an alternative government and state. It is serious-minded approaches to these issues that can mark off the PP-Alternative from the degenerate established parties. This is the way things are moving all over the world; long established structures are crumbling and making way for emerging entities. 

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Latest comments

  • 1

    The Sri Lankan burghers did not just adopt their ancestor’s attire along with their religion , they fortnunately also adopted English as their mother tongue and they did it right from tye begining not half way through , infact even the attire they adopted right from the begining , when the were cladded in western attire the others were still dressed in eachones Sri lankan tradtional attires
    The Sri Lankan moors can not afford to loose their identity.
    That alone is their proof of birth
    right as a indigeneous people of this land abd do not need any paper proof of their ancestors , sa

  • 1

    It is time for the Entire Muslim leaders among Religous, political ,legal & professional to consider having at least once a month if not possible in all mosques at least as much as possible Jummahs that will have sermons to address the grievences of all muslims followed with a box for feedback by providing printed formats and while respecting everyone’s right, freedom & desire to dress as they believe is approppriate , its important ti see if a monthly or every 3 or 6 months or annually events could be held to remember our past culture and invite people from other faiths , with Clergy,politicians , diplomats & Media .
    I hope a serious consideration will be given to the above suggestion.
    It is extremely importarnt to keep our native muslim culture alive along with our personal freedom.
    our Local past culture and tradtions are our national identity and an endoresement for the protection of our birth right.

    The Malays have wisely understood this and no matter how everyone among them have chosen to dress , some with beards and some clean shaven , they do keep their identity alive by a special events , I think if am not mistaken its known as pasmalar , in Singapore its an event where Malays and all others come together to sell eachones authantic food.

  • 2

    There is an extreme difference between Sajith and his father’s vision on economics , Late Premadasa’s view was practical and dynamic.
    His vision was based on using the locally available resources to solve the small man .
    His strong stance was always protect The big business ( ofcause legal and ethical ones) by bringing the rich and the poor together , using financial resources of biig business to develop the small and medium businessman.
    Sajith may have forgotten it , however its not tolate to consider it and The late Premadasa while giving utmost importance for Bhuddism , caring for the Sinhala majority he made sure the other faiths abd races are not denied their rights.

  • 1

    At an event held by Ministry of primary Industries , The PM mentioned the different type of attires the youth preffer to dress , some are partly covered and some are fully covered.

    While top High end design companies are making lot of profit selling to a market (Muslims) of 1.7 billion , we have missed this opportunity .

    when it comes to trading that benefits the country all customers must be targeted or we will be left behind.

    Thailand is the best inspiration , they have been fighting a separaetist war with a faction of Thai Muslims yet they have not let it interfere in beniffitting from the 1.7 billion customers

  • 0

    Thought of sharing this with the readeracwith the kind permission of The Editor of CT.
    Last year 2018 , The Muslim.Attire/Fashion demand was valued at $240 billion( USD)
    I can not understand why we shouod not consider bringing our garmemt workers working overseas and use their skills and knowledge to co- partner them with large garment industries and tap this market of $240 billion(USD)????

  • 1

    Why Sri Lanka garment industry must tap the 1.7 billion global muslim consumer.
    It not about selling Halal certified
    pls read on.

    Forbes report ..


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