23 September, 2018

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Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Man

By Godwin Constantine –

Dr. Godwin Constantine

The recently concluded local government election has created much controversy, expectations and assumptions regrading the present government. Most of the parties that are opposed to the Unity Government have regarded this election as a referendum of sorts and said that the results of this election reflected the lack of acceptance of this government by the masses. Hence there was a call for the government to stepdown.

The president who tolerated the high-handed work of the Prime Minister used this opportunity to look for a replacement. He has been looking for a suitable candidate for the Prime Minister’s post within UNP and SLFP. He is now experiencing the consequence of introducing the 19th amendment without much consideration during honeymooning with the Unity Government.

On the other side Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has completely disregarded his humiliating defeat and attributes the defeat to fertilizer crisis, Meetotumulla tragedy and the likes. However, the bond scam, failure to persecute the culprits of the previous regime, increasing cost of living and economic setbacks had been the main reasons for this major debacle of the ruling coalition.

This election results have undoubtedly established the popularity of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa yet again. However, the percentage of votes polled by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) still remains less the 50% of total polled votes. There is nothing much to celebrate since the percentage of votes obtained by the SLPP is slightly less than that obtained at the last Presidential election by Mahinda Rajapaksa. The most important change that has taken place with this election is the emergence of SLPP as a major contender, with the blessings of the former President.  The SLPP has shifted the SLFP’s voter base in its favor at the grass root level.

There are only two main personalities in the SLPP at present. They are the chairman of the SLPP Prof GL Peiris and Basil Rajapaksa. The real winner of this election is Basil Rajapaksa. This victory of SLPP is going to affect Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) more than any other party in the future elections.  Today the jubilation of the joint opposition is due to the victory achieved by the SLPP. One cannot expect the SLPP which has secured a historic victory to windup and become part of SLFP for the next election. The future of the SLFP will depend on whether the SLPP will be willing to function under SLFP in future elections.

Since the time Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the Presidential election he and his group had been testing his popularity from time to time by organizing various meetings. These meetings showed that  Mahinda Rajapaksa remained popular amongst the masse and possibly become more popular as a result of growing discontent of the masses with the present government.  Though he was very popular it was of no consequence as he was not the leader of the SLFP. Hence there was a suggestion to form a new party under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership, since the time he lost the Presidential election. However Mahinda Rajapaksa remained non-committal to the idea of forming a new party, probably fearing the worst case scenario of being marginalized from the history of SLFP.

After long period of speculation and expectation the news about the formation of SLPP emerged. Though it was expected that Mahinda Rajapaksa will be the leader of the new party Prof G L was appointed as the chairman of the new party (This strategy would have been adopted since it is easy to wash hands off the new party if it proves to be a failure.) Basil Rajapaksa became an active member since he had nothing to lose even if the new party is a failure. For Basil who could not secure an important position in the central committee of the SLFP this was a good opportunity to advance his career prospects in politics.

Since the SLPP has clearly dissociated it’s self from SLFP to contest the local government elections it is unlikely that the SLPP will join with the SLFP or work under SLFP in the forthcoming provincial elections. In a recent interview when Basil Rajapaksa was asked about the future plans of the SLPP he said “next we will have to face the Provincial Councils elections. Afterwards, we will have the Presidential or General election. We will face them according to a systematic plan”.

At present according to the 19th amendment Mahinda Rajapaksa will not be able to contest for Presidency at the next Presidential election. Though there was hope at the beginning of the Unity government of the possibility of abolishing executive Presidency, and Mahinda Rajapaksa becoming Prime Minister in a future government, this is becoming very unlikely with the unfolding political events in the country. The most important question at this juncture would be who the Presidential candidate of the SLPP for the next Presidential election will be. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has already declared his interest to contest for Presidency in 2020. Mahinda Rajapaksa remains silent and non-committal in this issue. Basil Rajapaksa so far has not commented on this issue. It is worth noting that Gotabaya did not figure prominently during the SLPP local government election campaign. 

It is unlikely that SLPP will join hands with SLFP after this landslide victory. If the members of the Joint opposition is to make amends and work with the SLFP they will invariably have to accept the leadership of President MS. This will result in Joint opposition members endorsing the candidacy of President Mithripala Sirisena at the next Presidential election. As Mahinda Rajapaksa has already committed to support SLPP, he will remain with SLPP unless if he is offered the chairmanship of SLFP which is very unlikely.  The SLFP is known as Bandaranaike’s party. If SLPP maintains this momentum and become a major party in the next couple of elections, Mahinda Rajapaksa would do well if he sticks to SLPP which is  Rajapaksa’s party.

In a recent interview Basil was asked whether SLPP will join hands with SLFP in future Basil said “We have asked the government to stop all forms of treacherous activities. We have power at the local authorities but that alone isn’t sufficient to stop such actions. There is public enthusiasm. This is the time to urge the government to cast away its traitorous agenda. We will support a government that does not have any form of UNP representation” which did not answer the question.

Given the present situation it is unlikely that SLPP will join hands with SLFP to contest future elections. The next election (Provincial Councils election) will be the testing ground for SLPP’s future course. If SLPP contests separately at the Provincial Councils election and wins SLPP will be in a commanding position to dictate terms about the Presidential candidate for 2020. The SLPP will be positioned well to do so as the parliamentary election will be after Presidential election where the aspiring parliamentary election candidates will invariable have to fall in line with the SLPP agenda to secure their candidacy. 

Though Mahinda Rajapaksa’s group is jubilant over the Local Government election victory the group failed to get absolute majority in the last 3 elections. With UNP being implicated in a major bond scam was at their lowest ebb of popularity at the last election. The UNP and the present government are likely to improve their performance and rectify some of their shortcomings by the next election. This might slightly improve their popularity. Hence the candidate who is to contest with the support of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s group will depend on minority vote to win the 2020 presidential election.

If Mahinda Rajapaksa’s group is to be victorious at the next Presidential election they will have to nominate a candidate who will be able to attract minority votes. Obviously, Gotabaya Rajapaksa will not be a suitable candidate in this regard. On the contrary Basil Rajapaksa may have a better chance of wining minority votes. Basil had been in the forefront of the development work in the north and east and he has been very diplomatic in dealing with minority issue. In the last election the TNA lost some of its voter base to the SLPP, when commenting on that Mahinda said that “Eelam has shrunken” whereas Basil said “TNA voter base has also dwindled”.   

Judging from the recent turn of events it is likely that the SLPP will become a major independent contender at the next Presidential election. Who will be its Presidential candidate of SLPP will remain a secret. Professor GL Peiris was asked in an interview “Who would you be grooming to run for Presidency at the next election?”, he said “That will be decided at the right time, what we are doing now is organizing the party, formulating its policies, communicating with the people and creating public opinion. That is the need of the hour, the grassroots level organization. President Maithripala Sirisena’s candidature was announced only two months before the election – cometh the hour, cometh the man”.

*Dr. Godwin Constantine – Senior lecturer in Medicine, University of Colombo and Cardiologist

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Latest comments

  • 1
    4

    In the last election the TNA lost some of its voter base to the SLPP, when commenting on that Mahinda said that “Eelam has shrunken” whereas Basil said “TNA voter base has also dwindled”.

    Ampara rowdies’ “wonder Beheth” is a better talk than this educated “story spreading.”

    They say in Tamil the donkey is doing the dog’s job. GMOA is replacing the Sabarimalaiyaan’s Malaiyalees in horoscope reading for Old King?

    Sir please leave the Lankawe Politics with the 8th graders. You are not qualified for that.

    • 3
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      Every time I read a analysis by a Lankan intellectual my heart misses a beat……

      What’s up Doc?

  • 7
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    “On the other side Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has completely disregarded his humiliating defeat “

    Dr. you cannot be serious.
    UNP = 32.61%
    SLFP + UPFA = 13.38%
    JVP = 6.26%

    LOL

    • 9
      1

      There’s somebody above us; Nobody talks about the good things that the present Govt did
      .GSP+, Disbanding Fish exports, Rs10,000 pay hike, trebling Samurdhi grant, Mahapola scholarship increase, decreasing Petrol, Diesel and Gas and establishing democracy.
      Medicine prices have gone down by about 50%, I use to buy Ventolin inhaler for 620 whereas its only 320today. I had to put two stents and Dr Constantine saved my life and had to pay around Rs700,000 at Asiri Surgical and what will be the cost today?
      Yes, there were few hiccups like the bond scandal but the loss ascertained by the Commission was only 10 Billion whereas in the previous regime it was 4000 billion.We will not curse them but the GOD’ curseth will be upon them.

  • 1
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    The present system of a President being the head of state will be changed before the next elections.

  • 1
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    the man has already come
    he is none other than basil rajapaksa
    he is the master political srategist of slpp second to none
    chamal rajapaksa will be their presidential candidate and basil will organise his victory
    mahinda and gota are only symbols but they cannot organise elections
    premadasa needed sirisena cooray to strategise his victory though the jvp helped neither basil nor gota will give up their american citizenship
    they will have more power as secretaries than as minsters as they did under mahinda

    since ranil and sira are at logger heads neither have chance unless basil can be neutralised and this is not likely to happen under the present judicial system

  • 2
    1

    doctor
    dont you think you should write about matters of the heart rather than the head
    we have read enough about the causes of the defeat and the way ahead
    leave it to guys like dayan to reach the wrong conclusions from available facts

  • 3
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    I doubt the votes SLPP got was from supporters alone, but from those hating the yahapalanaya style of governance. There seem to be a competition between SLFP and UNP to rob as much as possible before a breakdown. This kind robbery will continue if another cleaner party is not elected by the voters. Both PM and President and their cronies have robbed large amounts already and preparing ways to rob further leading towards chaos. Electing of SLPP – our duds may do that too even lay naked in the cemetery.

  • 1
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    You have a point Doc.

  • 1
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    All need some lessons on Sri Lankan constitution once again..from political leaders to public..
    What a pathetic Sri Lanka is it ?.

  • 0
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    What is the message in this rambling monologue? I would not trust my heart here, recalling the earlier hammering he did on SAITM students to cause failure, without even exposing the twin medical course with Russian uni that was being organized with SLMC and a wide circle of medical money mafia trying to regroup legally approved SAITM. Providential justice showered on Prof Colvin SLMC President stopped it. Earlier Karl Marx had erased uni. from his utopia. Even earlier President simply scratched off names personally disliked. Integrity and honesty in Medical Council now infiltrated by terrorists in GMOA would be a better topic for author than politics. Insane hope to send local SAITM to Russia is “money madness”

  • 1
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    Nowadays in politics we talk about individuals only and forget about party. SLPP is a new political party. The chair person of this party is Professor GL Peries who had ministerial posts in both UNP & SLFP, highly qualified person. No one talks about Professor GL Peries who is the original leader and member of this party but we talk about only a family for President, Prime Minister, Opposition leader, a family of half of them are foreign nationals, a former President who lost his Presidency and lost the parliament elections for particularly corruption, misuse of power, bribe, who murdered journalists, political opponents, children, human rights activists, illegal arms dealings, destruction of law & order & justice. Are we not ashamed to be called that we are a civilisation over 2500 years? Why cannot we give some credit to GL Peries who is a talented, no corruption and who had more ministerial experience to become as President or Prime Minister? Do we want only corrupt people to rule our nation? Why can’t it to be Gl Peries or Dr. Dayan Jeyatilake or Prof. Vitharane?

    • 0
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      Ajith, These 3 will propose theories but don’t expect action at ground level in the voting public. More murder investigations will follow. Look at educated GMOA asking to erase SAITM Institute. But students were UGC approved long before any closure and will continue to remain valid legally as a group, until the govt. legally transfers them into KDU. Look at those who joined job agents for “commis” to SLMC to approve course to send to Russia using SAITM. Power hungry act insane and money hungry don’t die if drowned in that ocean. Depravity of “gods”

  • 0
    0

    “Cometh The Hour”
    ‘The Hour’ will come whether we like it or not. But we must not forget what happened during the past few hours.
    Over the last week or so CT had three articles on the 2012 Welikada Prison massacre. No politician will dare raise this as an issue. This is worse than the issue. Do we tolerate this?
    “Cometh The Man”
    A lot is talked about the recent LG elections. Local issues must dominate LG elections – part of good democracy. But SLPP brought in a national issue namely “If the minorities are allowed a say in their destiny, separation will be inevitable”.
    SLPP used the language/religion-divide’ cloak very very successfully.
    ‘The Hour’ and ‘The Man’? Unable to find the words!

  • 0
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    The good Dr. should stick to medicine which I presume he knows a thing or two about. Politics he doesn’t seem to have a clue.

  • 0
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    Politicians too obey law, cometh the hour. But the uni doctor missed “cometh men” Under his very nose GMOA is establishing a private med. school with NF/CEO/Agents. Karl Marx scrapped Nizhny Russia from SLMC but now the GMOA has crept into posts which register degrees. Now the illegal TWIN MEDICAL COURSE being set up in the SLMC gives rewards to the helpers and the GMOA are partners with SAITM owner. GMOA has to destroy old SAITM and some helpless students forced to go to Russia. When they return, ERPM failure rate of 85% will shut them out of SL but the corrupt greedy would have extracted the money of current students who were denied their MBBS as well as trying to prevent some KDU entry in order to have some students for them for Russia. Embassies must help deceived. For Dr. Padeniya’s contempt of court case this week SAITM has to be nonexistent for his release. Hence this urgent cry to destroy SAITM. unlike the way NCMC went. The GMOA private med.school has office in Registrar SLMC with MBBS Con betrayer.

  • 0
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    After 70 years of Independence was completed 4t of February 2018. While that next people verdicts came into lime-light on 11 February 2018 different outcome of election result .It was hopefully a historic change.
    1 It shows 72 years Old UNP gain 32.61% become second…. to SLPP-by MR leadership.

    2 And of that Moribund SLFP gain 13.34% which leadership of founder father SWRD and his success of mother of CBK of SRB was key campaign leader….election. Task of SLFP came to end.

    3 By that election campaign and that operational leadership organized by CBK and current President MS was behind by state power. .Absolutely it was humiliated defeated to SLFP after 69 years old party that in local council Elections which is third in line one that before JVP Terror-outfit… anti-establishment politics .

    4 MR led SLPP has mass backing and majority people are behind ‘Pottuta’ symbol .Total support of counting voters SLPP come to First that closed 50% of total voters by support Independent group of Local council result.
    What is that people expectation and reflection of that result . SLPP is youngest political party gain landslide victory ?
    Young, Middle and Old ages groups won confidences of represtattives of new emerging democratic and social forces in Sri lanka led SLPP of by MR alliance of political parties.

    Majority citizens are believed their have been betray by UNP and SLFP alliance since 2015 January 8th! People looking for New Era of Democracy, where there is upheld sovereignty the country of unity and unitary charter of state base on principles of Democracy norms.
    In my view path no other than sustsnsbility development and Democracy of Capitalism that stage of revolution we are involved.

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