14 April, 2024

Blog

Electing A President: Three Against One In The US & Three Against Three In Sri Lanka

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

On Thursday, in New York, President Joe Biden and his two Democratic predecessors, Barrack Obama and Bill Clinton, appeared together in a fund raising event to launch Biden’s reelection campaign against Donald Trump, their common foe and America’s ugly manifestation. The fundraiser reportedly netted in over $25 million boosting Biden’s impressive war chest which is said to be more than $150 million. Trump is handicapped with less than a third of that to spend on elections in addition to his personal financial challenges of having to cough up over half a billion dollars in penalties and damages in civil fraud and personal libel cases. The three amigos and the lone fraudster and felon represent the best and worst of America.

That Trump still has more than a fighting chance of winning in November also speaks to the turmoiled state of American society and politics in spite of its economic strength and superpower resources. He is currently facing 88 criminal charges in two federal and two state level trials. Yet he is the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party, the Party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Trump has misappropriated the grand old party and weaponized it to serve his own ends, which primarily are to get elected as president again and pardon himself from the indictments he is facing.

At the same, if he were elected as president for a new term, there will not only be presidential chaos in America and confusion abroad, but also the rolling back, for another four years, of two centuries of incremental advances in American norms and values and processes on everything from – law and order and role of government, minority rights and racial inclusion voting rights and election acceptance, women’s rights and sexual diversity, the environment and natural resources, to education, health and housing.

The effects of Trump’s judicial appointments to the Supreme Courts and lower federal courts during his first term have wreaked havoc on the judicial landscape that had been taking shape for over half a century on affirmative action, voting rights, environmental and resource protection, sexual diversity and women’s rights. The high or low point of judicial backtracking came in June 2022 with the overturning of the 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that affirmed women’s constitutionally protected right to have an abortion.

A majority of the American people and a greater majority of women are opposed to the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the six conservative majority (five of them Catholics) justices of the current Court. And it is hurting the Republicans politically, but the six justices appointed by Republican Presidents (Trump, Bush Jr, and Bush Sr) are pursuing their ideological convictions in other areas. Perhaps to the embarrassment of conservative Supreme Court Justices and national Republican leaders, Republican state legislators and lower courts with Trump appointed judges have started taking the overturning of Roe v. Wade to its ridiculous extensions.

In February this year, the Alabama Supreme Court quite bizarrely ruled that embryos created through in vitro fertilization (IVF) should be considered children. Earlier in Texas, a Trump appointed conservative federal judge, Mattehew Kacsmaryk, had ordered the removal of mifepristone, a common abortion-inducing drug, from the market in a case filed by anti-abortion activists and doctors. The drug has been in use for decades after approval by the US U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an agency whose decisions are taken as guiding standards throughout the world. The mifepristone case reached the Supreme Court after appeal by the Federal government, and during oral arguments last week a majority of the Justices including conservatives clearly indicated that they are not in favour of upholding the Texas ban of the pill. The Supreme Court ruling that will come in June is expected to overturn the Texas ban by a seven-two majority.   

American Anomalies

Trump is certainly keeping the Supreme Court busy, for on April 22 the Court will hear arguments to determine if a former President could be tried for alleged acts of crime during his time as President. The case is all about Trump and his exertions to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election by inciting an insurrection on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, when the US Congress was convening to ratify the election of Joe Biden as President. That he is a candidate in the very next election in 2024 is a uniquely American anomaly.

The anomaly is falsely premised on democracy – to let the people decide if Trump could be elected as president in spite of all that is known about him. He should have been barred from contesting and even incarcerated for violating the constitution and his oath of office to uphold it. Scores of ordinary citizens who participated in the insurrection at the urging of Trump have been and are being tried and punished including with jail terms. Lawyers who unethically worked on his brief are being professionally held accountable and are having their licenses revoked.

But Trump is a candidate, perhaps the only person to be a candidate for a third time after Franklin Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. Roosevelt, the war time president, won all three elections and died in office during his third term. His three wins led to the 22nd Amendment in 1951 that brought in the two-term limit for presidential office. Nixon lost the first election to Kennedy, won the next two. He resigned in disgrace before his second term was over, but in abidance with the Constitution. Trump knows no shame and he is flouting the Constitution with impunity, hoping for permanent immunity by winning the election in November.

In a straight election contest, Trump has no chance of winning against anyone. He came up short, in fact very short, in the popular vote count both against Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. He eked out a victory against Hillary Clinton thanks to the evanescent mechanism of the Electoral College. Four years later Joe Biden turned the tables on Trump. After four more years, America is literally back to square one for electing a new president – but from the same two candidates as last time. Biden is almost certain to win again the popular vote, but the question is whether he can hold on to the handful of swing states that tilt the balance in Electoral College tally. It is also the concern for Democrats and everyone else who do not want to see another Trump presidency. It is that concern that brought the two former presidents, Clinton and Obama, to join President Biden in Thursday’s gala fundraising event in New York.

Biden, older than his two predecessors, can still pack a good punch in his speech as he showed in his annual State of the Union address to the Congress in January. But he could very much use the two former presidents to enthuse and energize the base to turn out to vote. Clinton and Obama are supremely, but differently, gifted campaigners. While Obama takes flight with his soaring eloquence, Clinton can charm and bring an audience to its feet by offering the folksiest of explanations to the most complex of issues. Obama is expected to be fully engaged in the campaign targeting young audiences, while joining Clinton and drawing on their popularity among the two communities, to canvas the African American and Latin American vote,.

Biden’s four year record as president is not at all a bad record to run on by American standards. It is indeed a good record in the circumstances. In fact, in domestic policy and social welfare programs Biden is easily the most consequential president after Lyndon Johnson, who was so himself after Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal regime of policies. American foreign policy has never been non-controversial even in the best of times. But purely from a domestic election standpoint, Biden should  be able to weather out the American political effects of the war in Ukraine and the devastation of Gaza. From any standpoint, the alternative to Biden would be dreadful. For the pruriently curious, there is also this year a Kennedy gadfly in the American ointment. That is better left for the social media.

Three against Three

Sri Lanka has a presidential system that has lasted 46 years despite all the efforts to ditch it lock, stock and barrel. Thankfully, Sri Lanka is spared of the Trumpian shenanigans of presidential politics. Perhaps the customary inertias of traditional societies provide a deterrent to upstart upheavals like Trumpism that is tantalizing the forever immigrant society of America. That does not stop quite a few Sri Lankans and others from being fascinated by and even supporting Trump. Hitler too had his admirers beyond what was then wholly non-immigrant Germany, and was recommended as a presidential role model just five years ago in Sri Lanka. That was for Gotabaya Rajapaksa who too, as he once claimed, had made a study of Trump as a non-career politician. Some study, some politician! All that saga is now reduced to a weird book by a ghost writer blaming others of conspiracies.

It would be wrong to say that the presidential system alone produced a Trump in America and a Gotabaya in Sri Lanka. But it would be mostly correct to say that they would have been vetted out in a parliamentary system. Historically, America stumbled on the presidential system because the only model that was available at the time of the American revolution was the British political system, which then was mostly monarchical and only nascently parliamentary. The presidential system was a negation of the monarchy that the Americans had liberated themselves from. The model was invariably adapted and replicated in the neighbouring new countries to the south.

One hundred and fifty years later, a much more evolved parliamentary system with only a long distance monarchical link arrived in Sri Lanka and big neighbour India. It continued evolving under local conditions and enabled Sri Lanka to sever the monarchy and beome a republic. The imposition of the presidential system came shortly after. The question of abolishing it is still an active question and its latest manifestation is in election sequencing. Advancing the parliamentary election is seen as a precursor to abolishing the presidency. At the same time, the long-titled Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms, the loquacious Wijeyedasa Rajapakshe, is musing about constitutional changes including the establishment of a Senate and electoral reforms. He has not mentioned abolition. We have been down this road before, and nothing may come out of it as usual.

As for certainty, it seems almost certain that the presidential election will be held sometime between mid-September and mid-October. What is not clear is if there will be a parliamentary election before that. The SLPP parliamentarians seem agitated to pass a resolution in parliament asking the President to dissolve parliament and have a general election before the presidential election. That is their best route for re-election and hence their anxiety.

But no one knows what the President will do. The joke on the street is that even the President is not sure what he might do. And conveniently so. Seriously, however, it is a Sri Lankan anomaly that the timing of a parliamentary election is entirely the business of the executive even if it is after two and half years of the last election.

The Election Commission, twice bitten by the Executive over local government elections, seems not at all shy about being prepared to conduct both the parliamentary and presidential elections within the current year. The EC Chairman R.M.A.L. Ratnayake is on record as having said as much. Unless a parliamentary election is held first, it now seems likely that there would be three presidential candidates – Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Sajith Premadasa, and Ranil Wickremesinghe. Three against Three.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake is the only openly committed candidate so far. Sajith Premadasa, although the presumptive candidate of the SJB, often sends mixed signals saying that he/they are ready for either election. Ranil Wickremesinghe might be feigning a Nasser-like reluctance and hoping to be sponsored by a grand alliance, but the real pressure on him will come from the SLPP and the Rajapaksas.

It would fundamentally be mendicant pressure from Basil and Mahinda to Ranil – to save their bacon, one last time, in spite of, or because of, all the previous transactions between them. Ranil’s calculation will be about the vote catchment that the Rajapaksas can muster. In any event, they would bring him more votes than he or the current UNP could ever garner. The question is if that would be enough in a three way contest to go over the 50% mark in the first count. The question applies to all three candidates, and deadlock is a possibility.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    10

    This is the best piece of Rajan Philips I have read. So flowing and so fluent.
    Ranil cannot win the election by himself. He will need the backing of Mahinda.
    Mahinda has just one unfulfilled ambition. To see that Namal gets his turn someday.
    Sajith would want to see that Ranil loses, if he himself cannot win.
    All points to Anura having the best chance any outsider has ever had!

    • 7
      0

      I agree, dear Nathan,
      .
      I have no clear idea who you are, although I have some notions. I have been so unreasonable as to give myself a “racist-sounding” handle. You are almost definitely an intelligent, decent, “Ceylon” Tamil.
      .
      I’m doing all that I can to help Anura, but I know it isn’t much. However, you can do a lot. Each of us can do our bit, by contributing a vote each to him. Equal contributions in that respect!
      .
      The second thing that I suggest, you will not do. AKD needs some credible Tamil-speakers to bring in Minority Votes. He’s got only Saroja Paulraj for that.
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTM8fxL2bLo&t=325s
      .
      I can’t understand a word of that; tell me, is she really fluent in Tamil? I can tell you that her Sinhala is better than mine! In many senses, she’s more valuable than Dr Harini Amarasuriya.
      .
      But there’s something that you, and others of your ilk, can do. Privately ask minority friends to either vote AKD (greatly preferred), or if they are determined to cast a more parochial vote, to give Anura a Preference.
      .
      tbc

      • 10
        10

        Dear Sinhala_Man,
        I listened intensely to Saroja Paulraj.
        She was focused on equality for women more than canvassing for NPP.
        She conveyed her message adequately well.
        .
        Your name commands sincerity. Have no regrets.

        • 3
          2

          Dear Nathan,
          .
          You have said, “She was focused on equality for women more than canvassing for NPP.”
          .
          And you say that she conveyed the message well.
          .
          Isn’t this the whole point? We need our governments to focus on issues, not to indulge in canvassing for political parties. I may not have understood anything of what Saroja said, but your assessment seems to be that she focussed well on her subject.
          .
          Just before making this comment, I had picked up the courage to respond to “leelagemalli” below, where he has given us this link:
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=817VF9ipvfs
          .
          without any comment whatever.
          .
          I hope that there is an objective response from him. He often launches on ad hominem attacks without really giving us an opinion.
          .
          We’re all necessarily different from one another, but I find that your comments actually illuminate the truth.
          .
          Therefore, many thanks to you.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

          • 0
            1

            Sinhala_Man,
            Lest there be any misunderstanding, –
            My response was on her delivery per se; Not the text.
            There are areas where the delivery was found wanting.
            That’s what prompted me to include the adjective, adequately. For whatever reason, you have chosen to pay no heed to.

            • 0
              1

              Correction: Adverb (not, adjective).

            • 0
              1

              Dear Nathan,
              .
              I noticed adequately, and actually wondered why you added “well” to you assessment. Had you been one of my pupils I may have pulled you up!
              .
              The fewer words you use, the better. For example, saying “very unique” is to weaken the adjective. Similarly, the guys who “agree 200%”. It is important to display discipline in thinking.
              .
              Please follow my precepts, not my practice! Comments by SJ and you are more effective. nimal fernando? I won’t try to match him for wit!
              .
              I’m wondering how you will be able suggest improvements to Saroja. I’m sure that overall you approve of her, and consider her sincere.
              .
              Panini

              • 1
                1

                Dear Sinhala_Man,
                I employ logic in my presentation.
                You question the purpose of ‘well’.
                Adequately well, for me, conveys, with limitations.
                Adequately, for me, conveys, sufficiently.
                .
                ( She is not young enough to be coached. Habits die hard.)

                • 0
                  0

                  No problem, Nathan!
                  .
                  You’re right most of the time.
                  .
                  I’d have said, “adequately, but with some limitations.”
                  .
                  But I don’t want you to be my clone!

    • 7
      1

      Continuing
      .

      Congratulations on getting you comment in whilst I was getting one ready. Not this, but one beginning, “Dear Rajan Philips, No deadlock”. Now that is likely to be much lower than this, at the end of five days.
      .
      To contribute, one has to forget one’s own ego, or what there is in it for oneself.
      .
      I think I said nonsense of this sort in my University final exam:
      .
      “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
      .
      You will find it here:
      .

      http://karenspoetryspot.blogspot.com/2007/08/choruses-from-rock-by-t-s-eliot.html
      .
      Now later publications have shown that the poor man was trying to overcome his cuckolding by Bertrand Russel.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe, 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

    • 4
      9

      That leads to the leading question of the day. Will AKD win?
      That pops up the follow-up question. Who will lose?
      I’ll answer the 2nd question, when one of you answer the 1st.

      • 10
        13

        Nathan

        “Will AKD win?”

        The question should be even if he wins whether his party conservatives (old guards) allow him to run the party the way he wants to?

        Without a democratic purge of the party it will remain an undemocratic centralising, …. party first, ……. governance include shortage, rationing, corruption, .. black market, …. looking for scapegoats, ……

        • 1
          10

          vedda,
          venit vidit victa!
          U have answered my 2nd Q perfectly well!!

          • 2
            1

            Dear Nathan,
            .
            May I know what this means?
            .
            I googled quite a bit, but got nowhere.

            • 0
              2

              victa (Latin); defeated (English).
              You may choose, conquered, instead.
              Came, Saw, Defeated.

              • 2
                1

                Nathan,
                I assume you are an alumnus of one of those much-derided “missionary schools”?
                But I am amazed that SM didn’t know its meaning.
                You gain one star.
                SM loses one

                • 0
                  1

                  Thank you, old codger.
                  I am. And, I am honoured.

                • 0
                  0

                  Hello OC,
                  You should have told them it was Julius Caeser with reference to his 55 BC visit to England. It should have been Veni, Vidi, Discessi cito. (I came, I saw, I left quickly). The Romans didn’t come back till Claudius in 43 AD.
                  Best regards

                  • 1
                    0

                    LS,
                    The motto of Royal College, technically a government school, is ” Disce aut Discede,”
                    It is too rude to be translated to Sinhala.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Dear LankaScot,
                    .
                    I myself submitted a longish comment incorporating this link:
                    .
                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veni,_vidi,_vici
                    .
                    Nathan has given a somewhat different wording. But note that I respect Nathan!

          • 2
            4

            Dear “leelagemalli”,
            .
            I have viewed the YouTube video that you have linked us to without any explanation.
            .
            I’ve been warning about fake videos, etc. I can find nothing suspicious in this, but what does it convey to me?
            .
            Something similar to what has been said about giving away government-owned property for short term benefits. None of us knows all the details.
            .
            This is the Ministry of Lands:
            .
            https://www.landmin.gov.lk/
            .
            Harin Fernando makes reference to the “Land Commissioner-General”. It is true that all government land is controlled by the Lands Commission.
            .
            https://landcom.gov.lk/joomla/index.php/en/about-us1/history
            .
            See what is said about the “up-grading” of the Department on 15.09.2014, in the last paragraph there.
            .
            I have not only been to those offices, but even met the Commissioner-General, who, about six months ago was Mr K.D. Bandula Jayasinghe.
            .
            All that makes sense; but isn’t all this talk from Harin Fernando far too political? I will next have something to say to Nathan!
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe

            • 4
              8

              Thank u it was to Native vedda.
              .
              Cheers!

              • 3
                1

                Dear Nathan,
                .
                I usually address my comments to “rational readers”, “intelligent readers” or “logical readers” as some of our commenters seem to know nothing else, but that is enough to attack anyone who critically questions how the AKD-led govt would make wonders. We the unbiased commenters should have the freedom of expression so as JVP-NPP followers have theirs.
                .
                AKD-Supporters in general leave no room for dissenters and that means they will return to their barbaric past like the brutal era of 89-92. This is becoming a threat to lanken hitherto-democracy. We no means respect NORTH-KOREAN style politics. Never. !

                Unfortunately, this is the nature of some stupid commenters on CT who fail to check before commenting against others due to some pathological reasons.
                :
                In fact, I was on my way to an airport this monring while watching the video of Harin Fernando (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=817VF9ipvfs) who tells the truth about his personal efforts based on credible achievements in the past 18 months in improving tourism to the GOTA-HIT nation.
                That prevented me from adding anything to aforementioned video, and I now apologize if anyone was misled. However, unlike most CT reviewers I am not yet retired so, I am short of time whenever i add my thoughts to CT.

    • 7
      0

      Yes, so well written by Ranjan Philips!

      • 1
        11

        Who is Ranjan, ramona?

        • 3
          0

          Sorry, I mean Rajan.

    • 7
      10

      Nathan,
      .
      People’s worries are growing exponentially day by day. Media fraudsters make their living instead. Had the media been public friendly, things would have been better long ago to create a better environment politically, socially and otherwise.

      Even reliable and educated journalists are not doing their duty. As usual, speculative thoughts are floating in the air. Anecdotal news becomes breaking news. AKD-led teams seem to relish those opportunities. Dr. Harini Amarasuriya’s credibility is eroding as her interpretations of AKD’s recent delegation to India are looking very silly. Although she has proven to be a good senior lecturer, Sri Lankan politics is still new to her.
      .
      Some YouTubers clearly state that just because cyber forces prove that AKD is winning, it does not reflect the final result of the election.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ncwVOs2s1c

      It is absolutely correct to the POV of the experts. Even 40% of Lankan population have not accessed the internet yet. Local TV channels do not reflect the same opinion even though more and more JVP-NPPs are invited to the discussions by those TV and Radio channels almost every day. Ex-COPE committee chairman Handunetti, who was chosen by the RW as the leader then, has hitherto failed to give a lively response to the serious questions thrown at him on how his government can do wonders with an economic leap.

  • 2
    5

    Dear Rajan Philips,
    .
    No deadlock,
    and you will know that!
    .
    I fear that Ranil is going to abuse these Presidential Powers to the maximum extent possible, keep the country guessing, and then try to storm his way into re-election. There is little finality about anything that is written today.
    .
    Ranil wants only to be re-elected. In the final ten days of the campaign, he will use the little money that the IMF has allowed him, and go for victory. He will claim the economy is sound, grant reckless income increases to the poor, lower living costs by subsidising, etc.
    .
    If elected, he would care little how the country will fare.
    .
    If nobody gets 50% in the first count, then we will have a counting of Preferences. But there will be almost NO Preferences to count. Why? Because no Candidate, major or minor, will publicly advocate the use of Preferences.
    .
    All this talk of 50% is of valid votes. After the SECOND count, if only 40% have validly voted for the leader, he gets elected. Our system doesn’t hold out the possibility of us all returning to polling booths a few days later.

  • 10
    2

    Joe Biden’s age is showing up everywhere and he should have given candidacy of the his party to younger candidate. he can win because people does not like trump which is an anomaly.
    In Sri lanka people has already rejected Ranil and Rajapakses so only contest is between Anura and Sajith.
    SJB ( Sajith) has some elements who have some partiality to Rajapakses whereas NPP (Anura) is relatively clean and least corrupted. So choice is clear.
    People accuse NPP for lack of experience in economic management. They have shown that that they are open to market economy without corruption. It is different to what we had under UNP and SLFP rules in the past. So choice is clear again.
    People can decide both wisely and unwisely.

    • 6
      2

      Thanks, Jack.
      .
      As you will see, I have analysed this somewhat differently; however, we emphatically agree on one thing: we want the NPP to take over.
      .
      Anura is a wonderful guy, but it must not be him, personally that we should be concerned about. It’s the programme of the NPP.
      .
      We could be in for a deadly game of Russian roulette. Let’s hope that there is no violence; and let us hope that there is no attempt on Anura’s life. We owe the transformation f the NPP to him; but this is a stage when we have to consider the programme ushered in to be more important than any single leader.
      .
      I don’t think that we should under-estimate Ranil’s capacity for deceit. Sajith will prove a weak leader – perhaps not as bad as Gota! And he may prove less ruthless because he could still have another go it NPP fails after coming in. So he will think.
      .
      Ranil, on the other hand will have no scruples whatever.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

    • 9
      11

      Jack, let s be honest to us. Why on earth did ANURA and SAJITH have no guts to take over at the time, srilanka was hung on the last straw ?

      To the knoweldge of many in this country, “his father style public speeches” which contain nothing but irrelevant rubbish. This is another developing nations whose majority suffer from lots of shortcomings in health, education, transport, economy and more other areas.

      Crook politicians took poor people to a tide for their selfish gains, but ended up throwing the country s tiny economy to an edge of precipice. It did not occur through an overnight, but with the direct and conscious backing of the majority of the people (69 00000 of voters). That is nearly 60% out of those who used their votes in the election. It is a best exmple to say ” false popularity is real opium”.

      on the other hand, Not a single pragamitc approach about how we would be able to come out of the pit we are fallen in, people of varied nature are perplexed today. Even easy targets and floating voters confuse this time than any previous times in the past. Misleads by politicial crooks are becoming clear to them today. but ridiculous turth is our people repeat their mistakes.

  • 15
    7

    “The question applies to all three candidates, and deadlock is a possibility.”
    .
    Not when there’s a second round of counting.
    .
    Trump isn’t using the grand old party, grand old party is using Trump albeit reluctantly.
    .
    Clinton, Obama and Biden are not the best that America has, they like Trump are the preferred choice of the Democratic establishment.
    .
    Leadership crisis is what you see… perhaps arisen out of an ideological crisis that is inherent in the American way…
    .
    The US like I’ve said a few times before missed a golden opportunity when it decided Sanders wasn’t good enough for them…
    .
    When you prioritize hubris over humility, you end up with clowns like Trump.
    .
    But being the land of the Disneys they don’t seem to mind clowns. In fact they seem to love and embrace them… especially the pricks that could unleash rhetorical verbal attacks on opponents. Hence their choice – Twump
    .
    I also doubt if the US presidential system is an attempt to negate the British monarchy. It looks more like an attempt to imitate it in some ways… but that’s just a point of view

  • 11
    11

    Was a comparison between the US and Sri Lanka intended? The parallels are few. Apart from the Presidential system, there is little by way of comparison. The Presidents in Sri Lanka are more akin to Trump. They have exploited race and religion to get power. Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism is close to Trump’s slogan of making American great again. He is now selling bibles appealing to Christianity. In SL, such appeals succeed more easily because the Sinhalese have been socialised into believing that they alone are the race entitled to rule the island. Besides, there is the yellow brigade that will ensure that their privileges are not affected. There is also endemic corruption. The corrupt leaders will not let go of power as their loot will be affected. Whether AKD can break this mould is left to be seen. That it needs to be broken is clear.

    • 5
      11

      Cicero,
      I agree with you that you cannot compare the American and Sri Lankan elections. Our focus should be only with Sri Lankan election.We expect at least some changes from the people of this country, particularly from the Sinhala community because they are the ones who decides the future of their children and grand children. They are the ones who really affected by the corruption by their choice in the past, they are the ones who lost lives because of their owns choices. So far, they did not have alternative choices other than A & B. This time their is another choice created because both A & B made the country into bankruptcy because of A and B. A and B still do not want to change they system that failed for 75 years. I don’t know whether the people have changed their attitude towards A & B and their failed tactics or policies over the decades, now there is a chance for them to make some changes in the system and political culture. This is the only country in this region that was not in peace contnuously and shed human blood in the soil frequently through riots and wars because of the power greedy politicians and their policies. The country has lost its idependence completely now and dependent on regional and international powers for survival.

      • 3
        10

        Ajith, I agree. The third choice is the only way now. Hope the country will choose wisely though we are asked to choose a course that remains largely undisclosed. At least, the people who offer the choice are not corrupt and have substance though not experience. It is worth a try.

        • 1
          1

          Dear Cicero,
          .
          What do you mean by “third choice”?
          .
          I can’t work it out, although I’ve perused what appears above you comment.
          .
          However, I think that you’re now willing to “try out” the NPP. What is important is that they get as many FIRST Preferences as possible. That is better qualitatively. Some of us will vote have to get Anura into at least second place in the first round of counting in a race where nobody gets to 50%.
          .
          I hope that you’ve understood what I’ve said about the counting to realise that the order of the Lower Preferences doesn’t matter.

          • 0
            0

            This sentence has ended up getting quite mixed up:
            .
            Some of us will vote have to get Anura into at least second place in the first round of counting in a race where nobody gets to 50%.
            .
            It should have read like this:
            .
            “Some of us will have to vote so as to get Anura into at least second place in the first round of counting in a race where nobody gets to 50%.”
            .
            I hope that it was understood correctly.
            .
            I’m sorry about these slips. They result from being over careful! I write something, and then edit it – ending up with a sentence which I will never utter like that.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe

  • 6
    12

    If Ranil the manb. who really concerned and love of the country betterment for the future,he has a chance, before these two elections go ahead with referendum to abolish the “mad executive”;ask the people first most probably people won’t be for that mad crazy seat..
    .
    Gives that people power to parliament,all of the politicians loves that hot seat ,Gota written a book to super 69!;explained how he was mislead ,
    .
    AKD nay be the last choice,but for minorities concerned it doesn’t matter they all same ghost.
    .
    Jai wewa protect the Sinhala Buddha and sasana

  • 9
    11

    If there was a fair and free Presidential election, the “Good Citizens” of SL will/Should elect Anura Kumara Dissanayake as the next SL President.
    I have not much faith in set up of people who are going to CONDUCT this election. ie Election commission & State Security apparatus. Last occasion EC failed to prevent the American contesting in the Presidential election. No one is talking about this conspiracy that was facilitated by RW getting an overnight SL passport for GR!

    • 0
      1

      Dear Naman,
      .
      If you actually make AKD your FIRST choice, I think that you have done enough. And if you realise that somebody is considering giving a 1st choice to the realistic candidate we want to win, I think that you must think carefully whether that voter is capable of handling Preferences. As a Sinhalese, I think it sensible to respect the right of a minority person to cast a Protest Vote.
      .
      I’ve studied systems of voting so much that I realise that tackling the “State Apparatus” is best left to professional politicians. If we canvass for votes, that will be a bonus.
      .
      “Politicians” need not be a dirty word, you know.

  • 8
    11

    Most of us believe like kugan2, that the SL is never going to be a peaceful law abiding country. But as long us we live we need to HOPE that day will come for corrupt free REGIME will come to power so that the people living in or out of SL can REJOICE. Hopefully on the 1st of November 2024, we all can celebrate DEEPAVALI ,
    the day evils were defeated. Can someone name the EVILS in SL???
    OR is it too too many to enumerate!

  • 9
    10

    Sorry to spoil the party …….. don’t open the champagne yet …… are you sure Ranil is going to hold elections? ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMUY_DvYX10

  • 7
    1

    The reason for this situation in Sri Lanka is “egollan okkoma horu malli, okkkoma yaluwo malli”!

    • 0
      2

      Yes, I think that it would be sensible for the NPP to recognise that even among the Sinhalese there are decent people who may not want to support leftists.
      .
      If I can think of names, I think that Eran Wickremaratne and Harsha de Silva are actually good people. And I wouldn’t be too harsh on G.L. Peiris.
      .
      Even the Pohottuwa may have a guy who is basically a good person – but I doubt it.
      .
      And CBK is still a good egg.
      .
      Ranil is a villain, even if he hasn’t personally stolen much.
      .
      As for the minorities, how can one find more decent people than Shanikkyan, Suren Ragavan, and this man: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imthiaz_Bakeer_Markar
      .
      Of course the last is old, but I wouldn’t mind that. All three guys speak Sinhala – now that is not at all important.
      .
      We must understand that we just don’t know who among the monolingual Tamil speakers is good.

      • 0
        6

        Dear Panini,
        .
        You have said: “….I think that Eran Wickremaratne and Harsha de Silva are actually good people.”
        .
        I pity you…!
        .
        Neither of them are good people like you!
        .
        Harsha is a fake…!
        .
        Eran is just another pr!ck…
        .
        Take good care.
        .
        Ruchira

        • 0
          5

          Panini – Furthermore as far as eggs are concerned… CBK is the most rotten. Vimukthi her son is just another jerk! Sorry to burst some people’s bubbles but Mangala Samaraweera probably is the biggest fake in Sri Lankan politics.
          .
          TC
          .
          R

        • 4
          0

          If Eran and Harsha are not smart and unique politicians, who does Ruchira Baba think is smart among NPP activists?

          We serious readers of CT would like to know them soon. Or are the new lot in making by genetically modified by Monsanto or what?
          .
          Please answer without dodging as usual… Thanks.

          I would love to read more of the same kind of brilliant economists on the NPP. I still only respect Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, lately, but she too was naïve on some issues today (bad association must have manipulated her pure soul). She was a senior lecturer in sociology but not in Economics.

          • 2
            0

            cont.
            .
            Professor K.D. I respect him if he is still in NPP. I also respect Dr. Lionel Bopage who is not JVP today.
            .
            Honorable Eran and Harsha have no corruption charges. They are well-regarded among many learned circles.
            .
            Their arguments are no different from mine. They argued that if not the IMF there would be a cliff…. By July 2022 it was true. What else do we need to judge them?
            . I respect both of them on day one. Some JVPs and NPPs may have more allegations against their performance. Lalkanta, for example, is a statue dating back to the barbarian period of 89-92.
            .
            1990- Suvasarya project I know how Harsha worked tirelessly to implement that project which became the last lifeline of the innocent people of the country at the time COVID hit the nation.
            I am proud of such politicians. I have no party to support but I respect any politician for their true nature regardless of their party.

      • 0
        5

        Dear Panini –
        .
        There had been good people in Sri Lankan politics like C.P. de Silva also known as Minneriya Deviyo.
        .
        But they were unfortunately born into the wrong caste.
        .
        https://www.sundaytimes.lk/101024/Plus/plus_25.html
        .
        Hope you are in good health.
        .
        R

        • 0
          5

          Pls pay particular attention to:
          .
          ““….the reason why Mrs. Bandaranaike became the world’s first woman Prime Minister was because the rightful leadership of the SLFP which at the time should have been given to C.P. De Silva, was denied to him, simply because he was from the Salagama caste.” In fact, the political history of our country would have been different if CP became the Prime Minister in a SLFP government on one of two occasions – after the death of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike or if he accepted the offer of Dudley Senanayake.”
          .
          There’s more to the conspiracy that kept C.P. De Silva away from the prestigious premiership of this island nation, but unfortunately I can’t trace the relevant news reports now. How the UNP to which he eventually crossed over too hoodwinked him.
          .
          Ruchira

      • 0
        5

        Dear Panini,
        .
        You’ve also said: “Ranil is a villain, even if he hasn’t personally stolen much”
        .
        He may have not stolen much himslef, but here’s a character certification of one of his best buddies, a companion of the journey, a partner in crime, a comrade in arms, not just from the grand old party, the unp, but also from his alma mater…
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/lies-lies-and-more-lies-i-remember-the-day-my-father-punched-you-mr-ravi-k/
        .
        TC.
        .
        R

        • 0
          5

          Panini – the UNP is a party full of white collar criminals. Same goes to its break away faction SJB. Only hope this country have right now comes in the form of AKD and NPP. We are at a historical junction of the politics of the country. It’s a moment of truth. A now or never moment of the history of country’s existence.
          .
          R

  • 2
    1

    Dear Ruchira,
    .
    Many thanks for all your observations, including where we disagree!
    .
    We have made so many references above, and posted so many links, that it becomes humanly impossible to track where we’re heading. Is it we who are being disingenuous!
    .
    Yesterday, I posted this link, deliberately not revealing all that I had in mind:
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IL1-RW6h7d4
    .
    tbc

    • 1
      1

      Continuing:
      .
      It is a 14 minute video where we seem to hear AKD finally making the apology that so many have been demanding of him. I had placed it below this other article, also dealing with essentially these elections that are obsessing us all:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/politics-behind-economic-recovery/
      .
      I asked myself, “Who would point out that AKD is not in London right now, and more importantly, that this is a much younger version of Anura?” The video had been “premiered 30 Mar 2024”. However, you have also been clearly told the interview itself had taken place ten years ago:

      .
      If you scroll down the YouTube comments, you will see that in most of the (Sinhala) comments that this has not been understood. Even when we do our utmost to be clear and unambiguous, we get misunderstood.

      .
      It is therefore necessary for us to pause and reflect on all that has been said, especially where we appear to contradict each other,
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 1
        2

        Dear Panini- Thank you for the responses you have made.
        .
        Yes I had a quick look at the video you have shared and noted the fact that it was an interview given some ten years back but newly posted to YouTube. Yes I agree unless one is very careful one could succumb to misinterpretations of what is being said or the context within which something is being said.
        .
        But I doubt genuine mistakes or even ignorance could be attributed to disingenuity. One become disingenuous when one deliberately withhold information that one knows and try to mislead others.
        .
        You may disagree with some of the accusations I make against some people, mainly politicians. But I have plenty of reasons to take the positions I take and make the accusations I make.
        .
        Time will certainly reveal who most people are, especiallly if a new political power like AKD/NPP comer to power. Hence my full support for them. You will I can guarantee be in for a big surprise when the true nature of some people are finally exposed.
        .
        TBC
        .

        • 2
          2

          Continued…
          .
          Panini- I do agree with your following statement with no reservations whatsoever:
          .
          “It is therefore necessary for us to pause and reflect on all that has been said, especially where we appear to contradict each other”
          .
          Hope you will have a pleasant week ahead.
          .

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