16 July, 2024

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Challenges In The Forthcoming Presidential Elections

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Unless there is a major political predicament, the Presidential elections will be held between September and October 2024. That is for what all political parties and formations are now getting ready.

It was reported yesterday that Namal Rajapaksa is going around the country forming Dasa Maha Senawa (Great Ten Armies) among their political supporters like in the ancient days. During Dutu Gamunu’s time, he even selected Dasa Maha Yodayo (Great Ten Giants) to lead those armies. Namal’s selection also would be for leaders who would lead the presidential elections and then face the Parliamentary battle thereafter. It is becoming very very clear that the Sri Lanka Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP), has not changed an iota of their policies or politics based on family rule, traditional culture, archaic economics, and authoritarian politics.

Therefore, a major task at the presidential elections would be to defeat the SLPP candidate whoever he (not she) is. There is a possibility that the next SLPP candidate would be Chamal Rajapaksa who apparently has a better profile than the other Rajapaksa’s (i.e. Basil). However, he is under family rule and his orientation or policies are the same traditional, archaic, and authoritarian ones.

At the last presidential elections, Gotabaya Rajapaksa received over 6.9 million votes amounting to 52.25%.  His main challenger, Sajith Premadasa, from the UNP could obtain only 41.99% of the votes or 5.6 million. The gap is over 1.3 million, which might not be a difficult task to overcome at the next presidential elections considering the events and changes during the last five years. People who voted for Gotabaya mainly came from the hardcore Sinhala Buddhist communities who mainly considered the war victory as the key reason. That situation has now largely changed. Rajapaksa rule under Gotabaya was an utter failure. While he failed to manage the country’s external debt situation, his murky policies on the national income and tax system brought the country into a bankrupt position. Most disastrous or hilarious was his fertilizer policy that affected the farmers and the economy alike.

Rajapaksas are world famous for fraud and corruption although their hardcore supporters are not concerned about this situation. Perhaps this shows the degeneration of the political culture in the country in general not limited to only Rajapaksas. A couple of days back there was a YouTube discussion where a young professional accused Premadasas of squandering his and his father’s property. No political leader is free from abuse and corruption for the benefit of themselves, their families, friends, or supporters. Ranil Wickremasinghe is also accused of these tendencies although he might be the least involved person in corruption among the UNP/SLFP leaders.

Of course, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the JVP or the present National People’s Power are free from corruption and fraud although they must have done some irregularities for the benefit of the party or their cause. It is also clear that if their obvious candidate AKD becomes the President he would do his best to free Sri Lanka from corruption and fraud. However, can he win the elections? It is difficult to imagine. At the last Presidential elections AKD received only 418,553 votes or 3.16 percent of the total. The gap that he must fill is almost over 6 million votes.

Also, it is questionable what kind of economic policies that he or his party would pursue given the international economic conditions and the policies of the IMF, World Bank and major capitalist countries including India. Undoubtedly, the NPP played a major role in the Aragalaya (struggle) in ousting Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the presidency. However, there were other players as well. Most of them are young people who wanted to see an economically prosperous country without confining themselves to this or that ideology.

The best way to defeat Rajapaksas under these circumstances would be an alliance between Ranil Wickremasinghe (UNP) and Sajith Premadasa (SJB), perhaps Sajith as the presidential candidate and Ranil running for the prime ministerial position. The reason is that although Ranil is a better person in terms of economic vision and external relations, he is not a popular or acceptable character among the ordinary people or voters in the country.

It is this type of alliance that the Rajapaksas are now trying to avoid or sabotage. Mahindananda Aluthgamage recently announced that a majority of Pohottuwa members are ready to support Ranil for the Presidency for a further term. Even Mahinda Rajapaksa in his oblique rhetoric several times said that Pohottuwa might not put forward a candidate for the next Presidency indicating they would support Ranil. Now the ball is in Ranil’s court. He must decide whether he goes with Rajapaksas or fight to defeat them in a democratic fashion at the next presidential elections.

In Sri Lanka, there are no reliable opinion polls or surveys. While there are capable university academics to do so in the fields of Political Science, Economics and Sociology, funds or facilities are not available. Last year, there was a dubious institute conducting such polls. Surprisingly that was the ‘Institute for Health Policy (!).’ Since March 2023, they were conducting a monthly poll, and the October results predicted a possible win by AKD receiving 51% of votes! This can be an illusion for left-minded people. According to the same poll, what a Pohottuwa candidate could receive is only 6%. This could be a further illusion. Surprisingly the sample number, claiming it is island wide, was just 567! This cannot be considered a reliable sample.

There are no proper studies in Sri Lanka on how people vote. What factors that they take into consideration? In mature democracies, the party, election (economic) issues, and personalities are supposed to play a major role, assuming the voters are rational or largely rational. In Sri Lanka, it appears that the culture (ethnicity, religion, traditions) plays a major role. This is in addition to possible rational reasons.

If I take defeating Rajapaksas (family rule) as a major challenge at the next presidential elections, then there are advantages even if there is no alliance between Sajith and Ranil. One positive aspect of the present presidential electoral system is the preferential voting although most of the people are unaware of. Voters have three votes as 1, 2, 3. If there is an agreement between the SJB and the UNP to mark the second vote to each other, then there is a possibility of defeating a Rajapaksa candidate at the second round of the count. It is possible that no one would receive over 50% of the votes at the first count.

Even if there is no such agreement between Ranil and Sajith, an independent third party could advocate such a system of voting, in view of defeating Rajapaksas or their candidate. Such a third party should come from civil society or social activists. This can be extended even to the JVP/NPP or its candidate AKD. First vote to AKD and the second to Sajith. Even Sajith’s voters could vote second preference to AKD. There can be so many proxies at the forthcoming elections. At the last elections, there were 34 presidential candidates exposing the backward and ludicrous political culture in Sri Lanka. It might be the same this time. Therefore, the people should be educated and motivated to vote rationally as much as possible.                   

There can be ambiguity among minority parties and groups (Tamil and Muslim) on the forthcoming presidential elections. This was the case even in the past. Although there is no possibility of their candidates to win the elections, it would be good for them to put forward their own candidates to contest the presidential elections to express their policies and concerns not only to their communities but also to the general public and to major political parties. If they decide to cast their second vote to Sajith Premadasa, it would be incumbent for him to address their concerns (both political and economic) during his possible tenure. These are the main challenges that I can see in the forthcoming presidential elections.  

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Latest comments

  • 10
    4

    I don’t want to see the next GoSL to be headed by two people who will be fighting each other as suggested by the author—> Sajith as President and Ranil as PM. Also RW ‘s WISH/HOPE is to be
    a PRESIDENT who had been chosen by
    more than 50% of SL voters,
    But most people hope is AKD to get >50% votes and become President. The MINORITIES should vote him as First Choice

    • 5
      0

      The author discusses four possible candidates for the President out of which 3 are establishment candidates who will continue the corrupt political culture and associated practices. After all that Lankans have gone through and exposed by NPP, why is it not possible to frame this discussion in terms of other future possibilities? For example, can there be other credible candidates who will articulate a different mission away from the candidates representing the old, corrupt political culture and IMF dependence? If there are 3 corrupt establishment candidates vs Anura, how will it impact on his chances on winning compared to 2 candidates from the establishment i.e. Sajith vs a Pohottuwa candidate. even though it will be difficult to pass the threshold to win, the NPP stands a good chance. The ground situation has changed so is the thinking of the masses. The Olu Gedi Maruwa(change of heads) traditional politics may be anathema to average voter now.

        • 3
          10

          ‘However, I am not sure whether he can win. I may be wrong.’
          When one admits that he is not sure, there is no way he could go wrong!

          • 2
            9

            If you don’t understand, you seek clarification; Not publicise it!

          • 1
            7

            You seem to have company!

        • 2
          1

          I don’t think everything the crowd is displaying at the rally is telling whether the NPP is ahead or not because it has always been in their election rallies in the past.
          Additionally, social media and NPP campaigns are happening through fake FB accounts and this will be exposed more than ever in the coming days. I am not against freedom of speech, but spreading baseless news is destroying this nation day by day. Any uneducated person has the power to abuse the web space for their satirical news spread through their personal UTUBE channels which they deem necessary to be disciplined by the code of ethics or guidelines.
          :
          Sanath Nishantha’s funeral dispelled the suspicion that the conditioned mentality of the people had not changed an inch due to their support of Madhamulanaism for the brutal Sinhalese-Buddhism (which is not true Buddhism at all).

          Two years ago some physical properties of Mahendra Rajapaksa and their families were burnt but today they have again misled the stupid nation. This was most evident at the funeral meeting of SN. The people gathered there did not question the fact that public money allocated to ministers was wasted only on their transportation, especially in today’s situation where everything has gone up in the air. Why should taxpayers continue to bear MARA and other transport costs?

      • 0
        7

        What about the common Tamil candidate?
        Will not many enough Sinhalese vote for him/her simply to spite the choice they are left with?

        • 0
          0

          No one seems to have such bright ideas ??? . ITAK is unable to nominate it’s own office bearers, let alone, coming up with a common Tamil candidate. I have heard of SB voting for racists to spite Tamils, but SB voting for Tamil to spite the choice they are left with ???? Anyway retards voting not for agenda / policy, but to spite shows the degeneration of political culture in the country in general ( Democrazy ), not limited to only Rajapaksas.

          • 1
            3

            I think that you deserve a global award for a sense of humor.
            Am I being sarcastic?
            No, I will never dare.

  • 4
    9

    “Perhaps this shows the degeneration of the political culture in the country in general not limited to only Rajapaksas.”
    .
    It is not a degeneration of the political culture but the sheer absence of a political culture of intergrity, fair play and good governance. A nation with a corrupt culture by default. Nothing there in the first place to degenerate.
    .
    “Last year, there was a dubious institute conducting such polls. Surprisingly that was the ‘Institute for Health Policy (!).’”
    .
    I wonder what makes the Institute of Health Policy (IHP) a dubious one? Is it because it is headed by a Harvard educated academic as opposed to opportunistic local ones that lacks integrity or most of the time even competence?
    .
    During the course of the recent pandemic if there were a few sane and rational voices addressing the response to it in Sri Lanka, Dr. Ravi Rannan-Eliya, the Executive Director of IHP was one of them, especially when the local academics, the likes of Professor Channa Jayasumana of Rajarata University was busy promoting supertition over science.

    • 3
      10

      Continued from above…
      .
      As for the sample size of the poll, it looks like the author isn’t fully informed.
      .
      As reported by economy next: “The October 2023 MRP estimates are based on 567 interviews conducted in October 2023, and 13,935 interviews conducted overall from 1 October 2021–12 November 2023,…”
      .
      https://www.google.com/amp/s/economynext.com/sri-lankas-akd-crosses-50-percent-in-voting-intent-poll-but-remains-unpopular-141693/
      .
      May be the author is just unhappy about the poll results?

      • 1
        9

        Continued….
        .
        Author also states: “In Sri Lanka, there are no reliable opinion polls or surveys. While there are capable university academics to do so in the fields of Political Science, Economics and Sociology, funds or facilities are not available.”
        .
        Funds and facilities don’t fall from the sky. One must have the initiative to go seek them if one is interested in pursuing a certain initiative that require funding. Having fancy credentials is not enough.
        .
        Initiative alone also would not guarantee funds unless there’s credibility – both in the person and the initiative for which funds are sought for.
        .
        Both in my view are lacking among local academics. Otherwise what has prevented them from seeking funds and establishing facilities to conduct surveys in Sri Lanka that has socio-political and economic relevance? Aren’t these the type of things day should be doing?

        • 0
          9

          Continued further on the poll sample, the author states: “Surprisingly the sample number, claiming it is island wide, was just 567! This cannot be considered a reliable sample.”
          .
          If you read the rconomy next report I have shared above 567 is not the number of respondents but the number of interviews, that too as I have highlighted above isn’t the total number of interviews on which the poll results are based on.
          .
          In addition the economy next news report briefly mentions the statistical method employed to generate poll results from the interviews.
          .
          MRP or Multiple Regression and Post Stratification which appears to be a statistical method used to generate representative results when what you have access to is a small data set, that is commonly used in polls/surveys as it is inconvenient and costly to conduct surveys on large representative samples.
          .
          A fact that the author either is unaware of or ignores in his rush to condemn both the poll and the pollster, the IHP.

          • 1
            9

            Finally when the author states that “there are capable university academics to do” opinion polls, I wonder if he refers to himself or any other identified personnel he has in mind.
            .
            Nevertheless if there are such people, I think it should have been their job to criticise the short comings of the opinion polls conducted in a more academic and a constructive manner, technically showing why the methods and sample used makes the results unreliable.
            .
            Has anyone done that? I doubt it. Is that also because our academics lack funds and facilities – I’d like to ask Dr. Laksiri Fernando?
            .
            It is such healthy debates, discussions and exchange of ideas, that may be informal at the onset, that eventually leads to greater initiatives and outcomes – in this case more valid and accurate opinion polls in the future done using better samples by better institutes and funds and facilities to do the same.
            .
            Unfortunately local academics aren’t interested in such endeavors. They wait for the funds to fall from the sky to their laps to do any work.

            • 1
              9

              Additionally why such exchange of ideas are not taking place? Because our academics are good at another thing – stealing other people’s (including at times their juniors’) ideas and work as if they are their own, particularly to seek funds.
              An environment within which no progress is possible. A climate of distrust and undue competition in which there’s zero intergrity.
              .
              If anyone interested I can provide names of individuals who does it, that I have run into during few brief encounters with some of our academics.
              .
              Hope everyone’s enjoying the weekend!

              • 1
                9

                This takes us back to the very first comment I started off here, saying that it is not that our political culture has degenerated, but infact a sign of absence of a political culture that has any integrity.
                .
                So to wrap this up it is nothing limited to the political culture but a culture that is widely prevalent even among the academics and other professionals.
                .
                That’s why politicians could get away with it. There’s no one with integrity that could hold them accountable. Everyone is equally corrupt.

      • 0
        9

        Dear Dr. Fernando,
        .
        Even you in your own essay highlight the lack of funds and facilities to conduct political opinion polls in the country.
        .
        In such a context it is understandable that an organisation that already has the necessary knowledge and resources including human resources in place carry them out filling a void.
        .
        Research methodologies employed being common across the board in my view is the reason and justification to do so. Particularly in the absence of entities specialized in political opinion polls.
        .
        It’s called repurposing. Even drugs are repurposed because of the same reason. That is the cost involved in producing new drugs.
        .
        Even in the past we have had market research companies carry out political opinion polls.

        • 0
          11

          Politics of a country is linked to its health if you want a broader justification. They both deals with the society and the research involves social research. Healh, specially public health is a social science subject to some extent. Epidemiology deals with people and populations.
          .
          That said why then there are no separate institutes that carry out political opinion polls in the country?
          .
          I am sure you could see the absurdity of establishing a separate institute just to carry out a couple of political opinion polls. When you could easily adapt you existing resources to do the same. Ever heard of the concept called marginal cost?

      • 0
        9

        Dr. Fernando – you also claim: “…you denigrate and politicize the purpose of health policy and research.”
        .
        How so?
        .
        Doing research involves being impartial. Health research is one area ethics are taken seriously and investigators take concepts like euipoise seriously. Another concept for you to ponder over.
        .
        I doubt conducting a political opinion poll woukd jeopardise their integrity. To the contrary they may be better positioned to do so than various other individuals that are affiliated with various politicians, political parties and views that may introduce bias to their work.

          • 0
            9

            Dr. Fernando,
            .
            Firstly my justification had nothing to do with lack of funds or personnel. It was you who said that there are no funds and facilities to conduct opinion polls on voting intent. If at all my argument was the opposite and was more about methodology being common across the board and marginal costs.
            .
            Secondly I have no affiliation with Institute of Health Policy.
            .
            Thirdly now you accuse of misuse of donor funds without any evidence or not even knowing who the donors are!
            .
            The fact that you have seen misuse of donor funds is not evidence of IHP misusing donor funds. You are making serious accusations with no evidence to back.
            .
            I am not sure what the relevance of corrupt politicians mis-using public funds have here as IHP is not a public institute run by politicians.
            .

          • 0
            8

            Dr. Fernando,
            .
            Further to my previous comment and specifically in relation to funding, the voting intent opinion poll of IHP appears to be part of a larger ongoing survey that measures Consumer Confidence in the country termed SLOTS (Sri Lanka Opinion Tracker Survey).
            .
            The below news report dated 13th December 2023 on economy next gives details of how this work is funded. Here’s an excerpt for your attention:
            .
            “The survey has previously been funded by the Neelan Tiruchelvam Trust, the UK National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR), the Asia Foundation in Sri Lanka, and others. Current fieldwork is financed by the IHP Public Interest Research Fund and others, the IHP said. (Colombo/Dec13/2023)”
            .
            You can read the full news report here: https://www.google.com/amp/s/economynext.com/sri-lanka-consumer-confidence-continues-to-decline-in-november-survey-143722/
            .
            What other accusations do you have?

            • 0
              6

              Dr. Fernando,
              .
              You also state above: “…your justification of an ‘Institute for Health Policy’ conducting ‘Voting Opinion Polls’…”
              .
              You seem to think that the name of the institute defines it’s purpose and the scope of its work, which I believe is errorneous. They in my view are laid down in the Articles of Association of the organisation at the time of incorporation. Unless the organisation violates them you may not be able to find fault with what it does.
              .
              Similarly how the funds are utilized is laid down in the agreements between the institute and the donors.
              .
              I am certain that you aren’t aware of either of these. Therefore if anything is dubious it’s your baseless accusations.

                • 1
                  8

                  Dear Dr. Fernando,
                  .
                  Thank you for the comment.
                  .
                  Critical comments are always valuable and any such criticisms on part of the methodology including that of the sampling in my opinion are valid.
                  .
                  But your original essay didn’t offer such nuanced criticisms nor any reason to call the organisation dubious.
                  .
                  Even as of now in your comments you have not addressed limitations of the methods and sampling critically except for generally declaring the sample inadequate.
                  .
                  As the way I understand, the use of MRP is the way the research has tried to overcome the limitation of the sample size. An aspect you haven’t offerred any criticisms on.
                  .
                  Yes I didn’t see any grounds at all to call the entire organisation dubious. I am sure there were constraints on sampling.
                  .
                  I do agree broad generalised discrimination based on origin of one’s credentials are ill advised. But Dr. Rannan Eliya’s criticisms of the Covid response was comparatively exceptional and wasn’t paralled by any other locally. Most of them including the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) offered only lukewarm opinions. Hence my respect for him. Other than that I don’t know him in any personal capacity either.
                  .
                  Hope you have a good week ahead and look forward to reading your future articles.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dear Dr. Fernando,
                  .
                  At first I didn’t want to make a lengthy comment as you have clearly expressed your intetion to close this dialogue, but I think it must be pointed out that the two references I made to economynext are for two different news items, though you have said I am referring to the same source for the second time.
                  .
                  One item is about the political opinion poll and the other is about the SLOT survey of which the former is part of. The latter was shared particularly because it gives the information as to who the donors are, which I thought was of relevance since you accused of misusing donor funds – something that you too shouldn’t have done without any evidence.
                  .
                  It looks like you didn’t pay enough attention, neither to, the survey, the poll, the sampling, the methods, the organisation, the donors, nor to the comments made in relation.
                  .
                  Cheers!

                • 4
                  1

                  I do agree broad generalised discrimination based on origin of one’s credentials are ill advised. But Dr. Rannan Eliya’s criticisms of the Covid response was comparatively exceptional and wasn’t paralled by any other locally. Most of them including the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) offered only lukewarm opinions. Hence my respect for him. Other than that I don’t know him in any personal capacity either.
                  .
                  Hope you have a good week ahead and look forward to reading your future articles.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dr. Fernando,
                  .
                  You may not respond but might still read the comments.
                  .
                  So here’s an excerpt from the very Daily FT report on the subject under discussion here, you have referred to in your last comment, that shows MRP is a widely used method in opinion polls even internationally:
                  .
                  “MRP is a method that is increasingly used by polling firms in other countries to leverage small samples, most notably by YouGov which used it to forecast results of the UK Brexit referendum and recent UK general elections.”
                  .

  • 7
    1

    In 2015, most sensible SL citizens hoped that there would be a change for good once MS+RW were elected to rule SL. It turned out to be a continued battle between the two.
    We don’t want a similar DRAMA created after the 2024 Elections

  • 21
    2

    “Rajapaksas are world famous for fraud and corruption, although their hardcore SB supporters are NOT concerned about this situation. Perhaps this shows the degeneration of political culture in general not limited to only Rajapaksas”. No kidding hence Stupid Lankans after trying MR, GR, BR may now consider Chamal or Namal , who apparently has a better profile than other Rajapaksas. Now you’re talking.

    • 17
      2

      Often we hear the excuse from retards ” we were left with no choices, hence we elected X, Y , Z ” . It’s Lankans who did not want any choices. Since In – dependence they elected Senanayakas, Bandas, Uncle/ nephew, Premas and Rajapaksas. Still not happy with 75 years of family kleptocracy , elected President and PM from the same family., who inturn appointed hundreds of their family members and relatives. What more , still considering leftovers with different profile ????

      • 2
        14

        You will soon hear the same from the country which may choose between two criminals, for they were left with no choice for decades now.
        Ones with claims to super-intelligence can knowingly make bigger blunders than an imbecile.

        • 15
          2

          Looks like I pricked a raw nerve incapable of having a discussion, without mentioning USA. You talk about 2 criminals when surrounded by house full of criminals. At least they have a judiciary, which ordered Trump to pay 80 million in penalty. ( today’s news). You’re left with no choices other than keep parroting.

          • 4
            14

            Why are you hopping mad about a simple observation?
            One does not need an Ayotollah’s permission to comment on the USA.
            So calm down. It should soothe bruised nerves.
            *
            Don’t you think that the people of the US need much sympathy for their lack of choice which is media packaged as a ‘ democratic choice’, while facing a fate of being ruled by criminals in succession

            • 12
              2

              “One does not need an Ayotollah’s permission to comment on the USA.”
              Please it is not Ayoothollahs; want me to deduct from payment to Deva and Company’s drugs bills you export to me and send you one dictionary?

              Yet how many do you hope the USA arrests and sends to Langkang on your “Internet Unsafety” so you can celebrate your unending entertainment days!
              Did you read down below somebody wrote Sinhala Proverb: උගුරට හොරා ඛෙහෙත් ගන්න බෑ Don’t hope to swallow pills hiding to your throat. Everybody knows your heart and mind. Chev very correctly exposed who you are. Your irrelevant comment “Ayatollahs” is your usual bluffing, unrelated to his comment but only diverting the debate to a lousy subject. You are so blind you failed to read his comment on the USA’s legal system. He explained your nature, but you desperately failed to clear you out of his eloquent comment. You are dying hard to blemish every US politician only to save your ultimate criminals on this earth. Read all over in the international media and magazines. All of them describe the Lankan politicians as well-known criminals. No point in you breaking your neck to criminalize USA politicians to save Langkang’s ultimate criminals. Did you read in Tamil the Panchatantra story of mother frog blew her body to imitate a wild buffalo and her body blasted and died?

              • 3
                8

                Why have you not exploded yet?

        • 0
          0

          SJ – “…the country which may choose between two criminals, for they were left with no choice for decades now.”
          .
          It’s no surprise. It’s more of a criminal establishment than a country.

          • 0
            0

            SJ – harbours all the criminals, their sons and daughters, uncles and friends, partners in crime. Give them greed cards and what nots to appease.

      • 11
        0

        chiv, “left with no choice” This is not true. Need to get rid of robbers of national wealth so that all citizens get a fair share of of what belongs to them too

      • 11
        1

        “Perhaps this shows the degeneration of political culture in general not limited to only Rajapaksas.”
        “left with no choice”
        Chev, let me just remind on who Laksiri Fernando was. He wrote a book to defeat the new constitution writing initiative for the Yahapalanaya’s Secret Solution dupe, mistakenly thinking that Evil was going to solve Tamils problem with a federal government structure. He crowned Old Rowdy King and Hitler King as the Jayewardenepura University PhDs- (Drs). Later he started to show a few iotas of change, only after he left SEC. Though there are always suspicions on the iotas that faced changes in him, his comment on Rowdy Royals’ change is a true feeling from his old mistake of crowning them with PhD.

    • 11
      1

      “Perhaps this shows the degeneration of political culture in general not limited to only Rajapaksas.”
      “left with no choice”
      Chev, let me just remind on who Laksiri Fernando was. He wrote a book to defeat the new constitution writing initiative for the Yahapalanaya’s Secret Solution dupe, mistakenly thinking that Evil was going to solve Tamils problem with a federal government structure. He crowned Old Rowdy King and Hitler King as the Jayewardenepura University PhDs- (Drs). Later he started to show a few iotas of change, only after he left SEC. Though there are always suspicions on the iotas that faced changes in him, his comment on Rowdy Royals’ change is a true feeling from his old mistake of crowning them with PhD.

      • 10
        1

        ” Chev, let me just remind”
        Sorry, That was “Chiv”.

        While Sadampi and Evil are waiting for the day the USAID president Samantha Powers and IMF MD Kristiana Georgiava extradite me under Internet Unsafety Act to Ceylon so they can put inside for life time, I am having too many problems with my computer, Firefox, internet connection, text and word editors…… All the Toms, Dicks and Harries are working on it while I am working on, publishing my comments even the ones I could not finish editing and bringing them to CT. Central Bank Leelavinothan Nandalala is happy about the situation because while I am lacking behind & losing, he is very effectively taking off double wickets on each occasion.

        • 2
          11

          “extradite me under Internet Unsafety Act to Ceylon”
          Extradite you under any law?
          I do not think that laws are there to extradite a drug uses, yet.

          • 8
            1

            ” I do not think that laws are there to extradite a drug uses, yet “

            Now I understand why your partners selected Oman and Dubai as their domiciles. Smart!

            • 3
              8

              I was only trying to calm you down, because I thought that you were not a dealer.
              The way you get agitated makes me far that you may have dangerous links.
              *
              Never mind, they are so incompetent that they will not catch up with you.
              Relax, and puff out of a hash joint

    • 6
      2

      There is one more strange phenomenon there. Until Evil started to handle M.A. Sumanthiran PC, TNA and its forebears FP were examples for Western democracies to follow.
      If the NPP has any success in educating the masses of what they care about the country and how to vote, then we should be able to see some true changes in this election. What NPP must push forth is, unlike SJB, who is talking about Old Rowdies foreign deposits, making the masses to vote based on every failure and crime the UNP-SLFP union allured the country into.

  • 5
    1

    “At the last Presidential elections AKD received only 418,553 votes or 3.16 percent of the total. The gap that he must fill is almost over 6 million votes.”

    You’re looking at it from only one angle

    If Ranil/UNP can go from Prime minister/ruling-party to 0 ……. other way is also possible ………. it swings both ways ……….

    • 3
      2

      Evil still have hope that he can win the election on his own or with other partners. He wants to stand for election without, gaining one member in the last election. If that is correct, then, at least in Evil’s opinion, NPP can sweep a windfall in this election.

  • 4
    2

    Laksiri Fernando is predictable, – he is inconsistent!
    He is doing his best to undo Rajapaksas, who are notoriously predictable!!
    In saying, ‘has not changed an iota of their policies or politics based on family rule’, he affirms it!!!
    .
    On Gotabaya, let me tell you what Laksiri had overlooked, – the pardoning of Duminda.
    In every sense it was the worst act of any President, not the rest.
    .
    And now, to reality.
    ‘However, can he (AKD) win the elections? It is difficult to imagine’.
    Not so difficult. He cannot and will not.
    Let me show you cause. The Electorate is die-hard S-I-N-H-A-L-E-S-E!
    .
    Finally, to confirm that what Laksiri Fernando writes is bunkum, Ranil will NEVER agree to be subordinate to Sajith. Want to bet Laksiri!

  • 1
    1

    The country is expecting the year 2024 to be an ELECTIONS YEAR. But I wish it be a YEAR in which a BRAND new Constitution is passed by REFERENDUM . The new Constitution should incorporate many things people’s struggle is desiring—>
    Liberty to every one
    Equality Honesty Meritocracy
    Humanity
    Supremacy of the Judiciary over the Parliament
    Democracy and NOT Majoriitarism
    Rights of minorities not trampled
    Please have election for President or for the Parliament AFTER a new constitution. Hoping for a year there is no bloodshed or throttling of the innocents in the country.

  • 4
    1

    Laksiri Fernadoo seems he want somehow Ranil to win.
    Because it looks stupid of himself by saying that he want Ranil and Sajith to make alliance and win
    What is obvious is he does not want NPP to win
    He persistently belittles Achievements of NPP .
    I will let you read few in his own words,
    “Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the JVP or the present National People’s Power are free from corruption and fraud although they must have done some irregularities for the benefit of the party or their cause. “

    “At the last Presidential elections AKD received only 418,553 votes or 3.16 percent of the total. The gap that he must fill is almost over 6 million votes.”

    “Also, it is questionable what kind of economic policies that he or his party would pursue given the international economic conditions and the policies of the IMF”

    There is a famous Sri lankan quote showa his intention

    Ugurata hora beheth ganna bae (උගුරට හොරා ඛෙහෙත් ගන්න බෑ)

    • 2
      8

      J
      You would have heard the lines below from Through the Looking Glass?
      Tweedledum and Tweedledee
      Agreed to have a battle;
      For Tweedledum said Tweedledee
      Had spoiled his nice new rattle.
      Just then flew down a monstrous crow,
      As black as a tar-barrel;
      Which frightened both the heroes so,
      They quite forgot their quarrel.
      The attempts to unite our Tweedledum and Tweedledee is because their backers are worried about a third party snatching victory from either.
      But I doubt if the fears are well founded.

      • 1
        6

        Politics and poetry now do not go together well I fear.
        Things certainly were different in the days of Lewis Carrol and Jonathan Swift.

  • 10
    1

    Those who know Laksiri’s history can understand his motive. He wants to see Ranil to win if not Ranil & Sajith to win. He doesn’t want to see AKD comes into power. Laksiri talks about Rajapakshas’ frauds but he purposely conceals Ranil’s robberies the latest Sugar scam. Sagala and Vajira are doing all the transactions like Malik and Ravi did bond scam together with Arjuna. Laksiri, I feel sorry about you. You will be surprised to see the election results in 2024 where AKD will have a resounding victory. Then, Laksiri will start writing all good about AKD. He is a man of that nature.

    • 2
      8

      S
      You are not the best bookie I fear for the ballot chase

      • 1
        7

        S
        Prehaps you have a few followers that will take tips from you.

  • 1
    14

    Ranil for the economy and Rajapakse for national security. This is the best situation for the country at the moment. Someone like JR with economic vision would be ideal, but that candidate is not there. Premadasa was thoroughly useless, he gave weapons to terrorists. I doubt the “son” can be much better. All other candidates are Marxists and lack higher education. At least Ranil has the benefit of political experience. If Chamal runs, as Laksiri predicts, he can win on a platform of Ranil as PM with some economic vision that can attract foreign investment. Unfortunately, I still don’t think Ranil can win an election outright.

    • 8
      1

      “Rajapakse for national security”
      Then why did he run off to Trincomalee in 2022?

      • 1
        9

        “Then why did he run off to Trincomalee in 2022?”

        Are you disappointed he didn’t give a “Tiananmen Square” type response to the Aragalaya? That would defeat the purpose; win a civil war and then turn on your own people. Gota played his cards right, although one wonders what cards were left to play. There is also some question of dynasty. Namal or Chamal will definitely run for President in the future.

        • 10
          0

          Lester

          “Are you disappointed he didn’t give a “Tiananmen Square” type response to the Aragalaya? “

          Do you think this country hasn’t experience bloodshed, war, war crimes, …… let us start counting from 1915, 1958, ………………… 2009, 2013, ……… 2019.

          “Gota played his cards right”

          People think the actions of Aragalaya was right and they are of the opinion why they should not elect a dumb ass for the highest office of the land.

          “Namal or Chamal will definitely run for President in the future.”

          Chamal was born on 30 October 1942 (age 81 years).
          Let Namal Baby run for it. The problem is his Child Minder Prof Pieris is no longer with the clan. ….. Just because he is another Rajapaksa it does not mean people are going to crown him.

          Doesn’t this island produce good, honest, hard working, learned, …….. human beings anymore?

          • 0
            7

            Vedda,

            I wonder if you can see the hypocrisy.

            “The allegations of gross human rights violations against Shavendra Silva, documented by the United Nations and other organizations, are serious and credible. His designation underscores the importance we place on human rights in Sri Lanka and globally, our concern over impunity for human rights violations and abuses, as well as our support for promoting accountability for those who engage in such acts. We urge the Sri Lankan government to promote human rights, hold accountable individuals responsible for war crimes and human rights violations, advance security sector reform, and uphold its other commitments to pursue justice and reconciliation.” – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

            “We’re not talking about hours this evening, or days this week. We’re talking about months to defeat Hamas in detail,” “That’s the requirement. That’s the necessary requirement to keep the Israelis, and frankly as we’ve seen Americans, safe, also. – Mike Pompeo

            “What’s in America’s best interest? Is it to sit and wait for Abu Mazen [Abbas], a known terrorist who’s killed lots and lots of people, including Americans … to draw a line on a map? That’s what the state department would do,” – Mike Pompeo

            • 4
              0

              Lester

              “I wonder if you can see the hypocrisy.”

              Where do I start?

              Two wrongs don’t make it right.
              Who is ruling this island, who elects them in whose name?
              Is it Mike Pompeo?

              The point being Sri Lanka has committed war crimes since 1971.
              It had neglected its responsibility to protect innocent people.

              Well how do we hammer this message into your head?
              How do we stop you from sitting on your brain?

              • 0
                4

                Vedda,

                You haven’t defined “war crime.” Once you have defined war crime (existence), then we can talk about uniqueness. The problem for you is that Mike Pompeo’s country is the largest donor to the UN, so it is impossible to talk about “war crimes” in an unbiased context.

        • 5
          1

          I do not really care what happens to any politician. I leave it to the devotees.
          I was only wondering how a man who flees home in the face of trouble be the one for national security.
          I am not into speculation on matters of family politics.

          • 1
            3

            Aragalaya and national security are mutually exclusive. Armed and unarmed protest require entirely different approaches.

  • 6
    1

    This writer being an “Educated” man from Australia has failed to GRASP the ground REALITIES of politics in Sri Lanka. Apart from that his “SLAVISH” mentality of affiliations to Ranil W has further blinded him to do an analytical assessment of the political environment and the ground realities in Sri Lanka. So comparatively, the present-day voters are far, far above these “Pandits” who talk such nonsense.

    So far all the Surveys done by Independent Research Institutions have a forecasted “51%” success for the NPP. But this man, from Australia, doesn’t want to “Examine” that prospect at all. Instead he “Proposes” an “Alliance” of Ranil/Sajith to win the election. He fails to “Understand” how unpopular both Rani/Sajith is with only “6% and “27%” popularity ratings respectively.

    Dr, (?) Laksiri, please pay a visit to Sri Lanka and try to learn, understand, and grasp the GROUND REALITIES before embarking on these “Childish” writeups.

    • 4
      6

      ““Educated” man from Australia”
      He is educated. He is from Australia.
      But the education was mainly local.

      • 0
        4

        “Laksiri studied in Sri Lanka (BA Economics), Canada (MA Political Science) and Australia (PhD Human Rights) and migrated to Australia in 1991.”
        .
        From: https://wus.org.uk/author/laksiri-fernando/

        • 1
          6

          “migrated to Australia in 1991”
          Yes.
          He returned to Sri Lanka as professor, Political Science and Public Policy, University of Colombo (1997-2010) where he served as Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies.
          Most of his years of education (perhaps 16 years) was in Sri Lanka, even counting the MA & PhD (which is more research than education).
          *
          Many Sinhalese scholars fled the country after the second JVP insurrection. Several returned after securing citizenship or resident status abroad, to have a foot here and a foot there.

          • 1
            7

            SJ – “counting the MA & PhD (which is more research than education).”
            .
            Doesn’t sound like he has a whole lot of research experience imv.
            .
            May be it was desk research predominantly and/or qualitative type work!?
            .
            Arguments he comes up with I thought were of very poor quality for someone who had been the Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Colombo University. Even non specialist like could see through his lack of expertise as evident by the lack of depth or breadth in his comments and arguments.

            • 1
              4

              Mine was a light comment on a statement whose wording suggested that he was Australia educated.
              Why do you expect a professor or a PhD to be honest ad rational?
              I doubt if schools and universities really educate anyone. They provide a learning atmosphere.
              Education is a social process in which what is learned outside the walls of a classroom more than inside serve to mould one’s personality.

              • 0
                4

                “Why do you expect a professor or a PhD to be honest ad rational?”
                .
                I guess it’s me being a fool again.
                .
                I had long given up expecting any honesty and integrity, especially Sri Lankans.
                .
                But one would expect a display of expertise on matters another has chosen to comment and criticise that wasn’t forthcoming.
                .
                That was the disappointing part.

      • 0
        0

        SJ,
        I wonder if Douglas is aware of putting “education” in quotes…..

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