19 May, 2024

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Election Hustling In The South & Boycott Talk In The North

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

Which election is going to be first? Presidential or parliamentary? If it is going to be parliamentary, the President will have to dissolve parliament soon. Otherwise, the Presidential election will take place between September 18 and October 18, on a date determined by the Election Commission. Some of us speculated about the advantages (to Ranil Wickremesinghe) of having the parliamentary election first, based on news stories that a March parliamentary election was in the offing. Since then, the pendulum has swung towards a presidential election going first.

Two factors may seem to have dragged the pendulum to the other side. The MPs’ pension and the Rajapaksa implosion. First time MPs would apparently stand to lose their pension eligibility if parliament were to be dissolved before September. That would have aggravated many SLPP MPs without whose support the Wickremesinghe presidency would be in peril and his potential candidacy to be president could be a non-starter.

The Rajapaksa implosion is now almost complete, and in their desperation Rajapaksas are reportedly endorsing Dhammika Perera to be their presidential candidate. That would be quite a change for the SLPP – from an ex-army colonel to a corporate boardroom raider. Dhammika Perera is no Donald Trump, and Sri Lankans, like most South Asians and unlike Americans, are culturally weary of entrusting public offices to private money makers. All of this opens the presidential doors quite widely for Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Sunday Times (31 December) political commentary gives a detailed account of the jostling and hustling of presidential candidates in the south. The three serious candidates are Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The only other current parliamentarian with presidential ambition as well as credentials is Champika Ranawaka. But he has no following in spite of all his efforts to create one. He is now busy dissociating himself from claims that he belongs to this or that alliance. Perhaps, that way he can keep his ministerial options open regardless of who wins the presidency. In any event, Mr. Ranawaka will be a better cabinet resource to any president than the old and discredited GL Peiris who has tried everyone and is still craving to be in the next parliament.

Continuing Frustration

With over nine months to go, there will be plenty of ups and downs, and twists and turns, in the campaigns and fortunes of the three leading candidates. All of this is more in the south, while in the north there seems to be some debate about the mode of intervention for SL Tamils in this year’s presidential election. Two propositions are being bandied – boycott the election or field a common (Tamil) presidential candidate.

Both propositions might be intended to corner the TNA and expose it to criticism if the TNA were to choose to support one of the presidential candidates from the south, as it did in 2014/15 (Maithripala Sirisena, who won) and again in 2019 (Sajith Premadasa, who lost). At the same time, considering an alternative to supporting one of the main presidential candidates is indicative of the level of frustration in Tamil politics over the lack of any significant movement on the so called reconciliation front generally since the end of the war in 2009, more particularly during the five years of yahapalana government, and finally during the nearly two years of the interim Wickremesinghe presidency.

The frustration continues even as the presidential campaign is beginning to take off. TNA leaders who have worked closely with Ranil Wickremesinghe are now fed up with his constant scheming and use of the project of reconciliation like a chessboard bishop for political moves. But that is not stopping Mr. Wickremesinghe from using his office and status as interim president to make direct appeals to Tamil voters. He was in Jaffna the first week of January where met with professionals and religious leaders and as reported in the Daily Mirror “endorsed the 13th Amendment for a strong local economy, assuring non-interference,” and further assured that the development programme in the north “will be expedited to restore the income lost during the war in the North.” How many times have people heard Mr. Wickremesinghe make endorsements and assurances?  

There is also frustration in Tamil political circles over the lack of clarity and commitment on the part of the other two candidates, Sajith Premadasa and Anura Kumara Dissanayake, on specific issues concerning the minorities in general and the Sri Lankan Tamils in particular. Mr. Premadasa has hardly said anything on the matter to excite anyone among the minorities. Mr. Dissanayake, on the other hand, has been saying many things to many people but has not said anything that will make Tamils, Muslims and malayaha Tamils to sit up and take note. His interview with Meera Srinivasan of The Hindu was a colossally missed opportunity to clarify his, the JVP’s and the NPP’s positions on specific matters concerning the minorities instead of repeating generalities that everyone has been hearing for the last 75 years.

Perhaps I should not be too harsh on Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The late TULF leader M. Sivasithamparam expressed similar frustration in 1994 over Chandrika Kumaratunga’s reluctance to show commitment on specific matters that the TULF was expecting from her. This was before the 1994 parliamentary election, which Ms. Kumaratunga went on to win spectacularly and later the presidential election, but failed equally spectacularly to convert her resounding 1994 victories to meaningful and durable changes. There are lessons for Mr. Dissanayake to learn, but blaming everyone before him is not the best way to learn from history.    

Boycott Culture and Fifty-Fifty Betrayal

In this background, it should not be surprising if even the TNA were to jump on the boycott bandwagon. They are not likely to warm up to the idea of a common Tamil presidential candidate, simply because there will never be an agreement between the TNA and others as to who should be the common candidate – a TNA or non-TNA member?

The bigger question is what will boycotting entail and what will it produce? The fact of the matter is that the weapon of boycotting in the current circumstances is not a weapon of strength or purpose, but a response of desperation and abdication. The suggestion of a common Tamil presidential candidate is even more ridiculous, and arguably a betrayal of the once celebrated Fifty-Fifty Ponnambalam cry among the Tamils.    

The suggestion that a boycott will not be workable because there is no LTTE to enforce it is a clear indication of how Johnny-come-latelies have become the main voices in Tamil politics. There was no LTTE when Jaffna successfully boycotted the country’s first ever election under universal franchise, the State Council election in 1931. And no LTTE or guns were required when Tamil parliamentarians kept themselves out of cabinets. To be sure, GG Ponnambalam was opposed to both boycotts, and it can be argued with the benefit of history and hindsight that the unintentional outcomes of these well intended boycotts have been thoroughly counterproductive. The imposed boycott of the 2005 presidential election was not well intended and its ultimate outcome was disastrous.

Now that I have mentioned Ponnambalam, the eldest, let me turn to the fifty-fifty constitutional formula that Ponnambalam eloquently but unsuccessfully advocated in the late 1940s. There was nothing wrong with the proposition as a constitutional formula, what was wrong was that Ponnambalam was not as sincere in his conviction as he was eloquent in his advocacy. More importantly, he did not have with him the clear support of other minority groups in the country, even though the formula was pitched on behalf of all of them.

My point now is that the fifty-fifty formula was inclusive of all minorities, and GG Ponnambalam was projecting himself as a common representative of all minorities. The current suggestion to field a common Tamil presidential candidate is quite different as it excludes all the other minorities. Hence the betrayal. If fielding a common Tamil candidate is the mode of intervention for the Tamils, does it mean the Muslims and the malayaha Tamils will have their own separate candidates? Will there be two Tamil candidates, one for the North and one for the East, until the twain shall merge? And a third one for the Colombo Tamils. If and when diaspora Sri Lankans get to vote, there could be candidates from the diaspora. Poor Gotabaya, he jumped the gun too soon for his own good.

Joking apart there could be some merit in every minority group fielding a candidate just to drive home the point about the absurd depths to which the presidential system has collapsed. When JR Jayewardene introduced the presidential system in 1977/78, his supporters among Tamil notables touted it as a special boon for the minorities because no candidate can win without minority votes, and therefore every presidential winner will have to make promises to minorities and deliver on them for re-election. That theory had many holes from the start and they have gotten bigger with every election. And now the system needs an exclusive candidate from each group, primarily to get airtime for venting group grievances. I am not making this up; national TV exposure has been suggested as a weighty reason for fielding a common Tamil candidate.

What are the options other than boycotting and looking for a common candidate? One option could be for a majority of Tamil political organizations to come together in alliance with like minded Muslim and malayaha Tamil political organizations and identify a set of priority issues that are common to all groups, as well as those specific to each group. Formulate a short list of questions on the identified issues and invite the presidential candidates to express their positions and specifically their plans of action on every one of the issues.

The ideal forum for this could be provided by organizing a televised debate among the main presidential candidates and focused exclusively on the issues and concerns of all minorities. The candidates will have the opportunity to make their case directly to Tamil, Muslim and malayaha Tamil voters, and the voters can in turn decide whether to spoil their vote in protest, or to vote for the candidate who comes closest to satisfactorily answering their questions. And political organizations can decide to publicly support a candidate or not to support anyone, based on the answers given by the candidates.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Good ol’ Mother Lanka ……. is past redemption ……. past rescue …….. I seen only the precipice from here ……… I give up …….. I’ve joined the party party party circuit …….

    Let the poor starve …… suffer ……. it’s their lot to starve, suffer ……….. what do I care?

    If I’m the one starving …….. Don’t cry for me Argentina …….. Lanka.

    The reality is so stark: no one sees it …….. make-believe has become the reality.

  • 9
    0

    boycotting is stupidity.Thats how mahinda won when prabharan forced the tamils to boycott.

    • 11
      3

      Boycotting and common minority candidate are stupidities and place the minorities in wilderness after the election. It is better for the minorities to vote for the winner and be part of the ruling and be in the main stream.How to choose is a skill

      • 3
        0

        Have you decided who is going to win? I would like to know your skill. Can you please tell who will win?

    • 3
      2

      Glad that somebody remember…

    • 4
      1

      Is voting any wiser?

    • 5
      2

      shankar,
      You may think stupidity but in reality it is not a bad decision when you look at the outcome in the long run. I don’t know the real intention of LTTE but If Rajapaksa was not chosen who is the other candidate who won? Ranil Wickremasingha. Don’t forget Ranil was the man behind buying or dividing Karuna to the government side and weakening the LTTE. Because of Rajapaksa, the country now realised that they are the real enemies of the country who not only robbed but also brought bankruptcy.
      Ranil came to power with the support of TNA. Did he implement the 13th amendment in full? No. So, the participation elections or supporting one or other Candidate by Tamils in a presidential election is not going to work . Unless all major Tamil political parties accept put a common candidate with the common list of Tamils they need and asking voters to ignore the preference vote.

      • 3
        0

        “in the long run”?
        John Maynard Keynes aptly said: ‘The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead.

    • 0
      0

      “Thats how mahinda won when prabharan forced the tamils to boycott.”

      Then he got money, no. …… The only man in history to sell himself for 30 pieces of silver!

      • 1
        0

        A few bucks more.
        Call it inflation.

  • 5
    1

    Shankar,
    .
    These are political games from the past.
    It will not be easy for anyone outside the country to understand them. so how can western world realize or get close to it. Those western invasions and the like fairytales are their tricks. However Wimal weerwanse who mouth peace was scapegoated for that matter is now silent.
    .
    Outsiders do not have a big picture of Sri Lankan politics. Greece s situation was somewhat easier to EU leaders to help out, but srilanken issues are far complex.
    The outcome of the next election will fall far short of analysts’ expectations. AKD is trying to grab “floating voters” and ” tamil politicians” but their efforts not even close to those of SJB leaders and breakaway SLPP men. So the current PICTURE remains blured to the neutral viewers and should change in the months to come.

    • 1
      0

      Shankar, Must vote out robbers and murderers to free the country and jail them, way done to Jerome

      • 2
        0

        dtg
        Then we risk running out of candidates.

    • 4
      1

      Dear LM: In one place you say, it is far more complex to understand S/L issues from outside. But you have seen that “….those of SJB leaders and breakaway SLPP men” are ahead of NPP. Please note when I speak of NPP, I do not wish to refer to AKD as its sole, “Soul” of NPP.

      Have you considered who these SJBs and breakaway SLPPs are? To me, ALL of them are utter “FAILURES” in Governance and Administrative functions. All those in SJB were involved in the “Yahapalanaya”. That SLPP “Breakaways” are “MARA GOONS” who brought “GOTA” as the “Avathar”- The “DIYASENA”. These are “Monkeys” on our shoulders. They are the “Blood Suckers” of the Nation. All of them must be got rid of.

      We will see how NPP’s efforts are far superior to that of SJB and SLPP in, (I use the word) “Convincing”( instead of your “Trying to grab”) the “floating voters” and “Tamil politicians” once an election is held. The SJB/SLPP (breakaways) will try to “GRAB” (possibly with DEALS) but NPP is making every effort to “CONVINCE”, but NO “Deals”. NPP will have a DEAL with the PEOPLE and that “Deal” will be announced publicly at an election time.

      • 4
        0

        Good intentions are not enough ……. but it’s a start. …….. Where is the knowhow/skill/talent?

        Talking and doing ……. words and actions …….. are two entirely different thangs! …… From what I’ve observed the problems of the country are insurmountable.

        I believe JVP will at least do the doable simple things ……… getting rid of the perks of the freeloading ex-presidents and their spouses ……. getting rid of the perks of pols will be an additional bonus. For the first time in my life I’ll vote in a Lankan election. Hope my vote is better than Sinhala_Man’s!


        Talking and doing ……. words and actions ——> Sinhala_Man is a quintessential Lankan classic example ….. he has spent all his life learning all the words of the English language ……… what has he done with it …….. other than insulting deceased husbands ……. and starting a years long running battle with some poor guy in Germany?

        JVP/NPP are Lankans …… they can talk as well or better than SM. …….. Will they do any better than SM?

        Moderate hope …… expectations …….. Lanka/Lankans are set in their ways ……… very hard to change.

        Miracle?

        • 3
          2

          Nimal,
          Did you see that video of the NPP’s “economist” Sunil Handunnetti describing ISBs as “International Swearing Bonds”?
          https://x.com/zeith8411/status/1742853224141570426?t=peLzYvINWzob5TFM5DR4ew&s=09

          • 1
            1

            Dear oc,
            .
            Here’s a comment
            from me which you can use to well and truly roast me.
            .
            I don’t know much Economics; I regard it as a subject where you can say almost anything, and you are neither right nor are you wrong! So, anything goes.!!
            .
            But, of course, it is important that we get economic affairs right. I’m listening to this:
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJOrqSQgR3U&t=61s
            .
            Warning! This is 167 minutes in Sinhala (or so I believe it will be. I’ve listened to only the first 15 minutes of this, at 00:22 (that’s right, midnight twenty-two).
            .
            I’ve never met or even spoken to Chathuranga Abeysinghe. However, I’m waiting for a WhatsApp call from him. This is what he’s told me yesterday (Tuesday), @ 11.54 am:
            .
            Hi! let me call you back today. Having a bit of a tight schedule today“.
            .
            I’ve told him @ 11:57 pm:
            .
            I’ll be up all night. It’s been raining steadily here, with a window from 10.30 am until about 5.00 pm.”
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

            • 0
              1

              Well, I haven’t heard from Chathuranga yet at 03:20 am. Not too worried about it.
              .
              However, please see a discussion on the twitter that old codger has given us.
              .
              There is a reference to it in the YouTube that I’ve already linked you to. Although I had given you the length of the YouTube in minutes, for ease of comprehension, it was in fact in hours, minutes and seconds. So it was 2:47:10. Please what is said about the Handunnetti statement as distorted by Harsha de Silva, starting at 1:36:39, listen for one minute.
              .
              Note that all I’m asking of listeners (who understand even basic Sinhalese) is to listen for one minute.
              .
              The video again:
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJOrqSQgR3U&t=61s

              • 1
                0

                Dear Readers,
                – the question was based on “Nimal,
                Did you see the video of NPP’s “economist” Sunil Handunnetty describing ISBs as “international swearing bonds”?

                Totally irrelevant answers from our so called school teacher as usual; even if he is held Satyaguru to some in this forum. Why can’t it be properly studied and focused on one response?????????? A new year, why cant he change his nature possitively ? This does not need to have studied ECONOMICs.

                Sunil H. -Would he ever like to repeat his physical and mental deformities like this? Many politicians if they are normal, they would not.
                .
                If he is normal person, he would not. That’s what I feel.

                I think some people’s deformities be them mental weaknesses as well as physical weaknesses should not be openly discussed as SOME do in this forum.

                If the person met does it, it’s his OR her own business, but others shouldn’t.
                It is up to them to disclose publicly or not. I heard that Sunil H once exposed them openly in a TV interview, however Sri Lankan people at large attacked him with malice and hatreds being based on that, beyond all ethics and morals. That’s the Sri Lankan culture, the man with the huge hernia hanging around, being branded as a “labba”, those with crooked legs being branded as “loaf”.
                tbd

                • 1
                  0

                  cont.
                  It continues even today, with Pirit chanting that is the biggest difference. Hypocrites dominated eroded society is clear to everyone with some sanity.

                  That is the nature of srialnka as we know it.
                  In civilized cultures, they often don’t talk about mental or physical disabilities because people consider it a birth or accidental failure and is caught by public discrimination ordinances. In fact, I have never heard people talk openly about post-war distortions in Germany. Nor are they openly discussed in Croatia and Serbia or in Russia. Whole lot of deformities after Tschernobyl and Indian Bobal disasters are not clearly open to many. Nothing is heard about them in Japan after supergau disaster in recent times.

                  Considering the knowledge of Economics, Dr. Harsha de Silva, Hon’ble MP Iran Wickramaratne and Economics Guru Ronnie de Mel and several others , Mr. Sunil Handunetti has very little experience apart from Sri Lanka Jayawardene Pura degree qualifications.
                  And he is not the only COPE president who mastered it to some level. So was done by Dew Gunasekara and several other long before Sunil H did it.

                  THESE ARE THE FACTs. WE ARE ALL NOT PINGONAS not to realize it. That’s what I read about him.

            • 2
              0

              SM
              It isn’t you that I want to roast, but politicians who don’t know what they’re talking about, but mislead others into thinking they have a magic lamp.

          • 2
            2

            old codger,
            .
            Dost thou stoop so low?

            .
            I have listened a good deal to Sunil Handunnetti, and I met him once about ten years ago in the Colombo District Office of the JVP, which is situated only about 150 yards from my place in Maharagama. That was before I became the full-blown supporter of the JVP/NPP that I now am. I couldn’t help my eyes wandering towards his left hand, and wondering if the deformity was the result of an accident that had come about owing to bomb making. No. He was born with that deformity.
            .
            He’s from somewhere near Morawaka; his father was a collector (and probably a grower also) of vegetables, which he used to market in Matara. His mother was a tea plucker, and continued to be that even after he became an MP. He’s a simple man, but one of the older-fashioned JVPers. Very proud of the fact that he did his B.Com in the English Medium. However, as is natural with persons who have learnt English with difficulty, his pronunciation is far from perfect. He would know what a Sovereign Bond is – better than me!
            .
            And, anonymous coward that you are, with good English acquired in childhood, you mock him.
            .
            Shame on you!

            .
            You have the fault in common with the author of this:
            .
            https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/is-true-system-change-in-sri-lanka-only-a-fantasy/

            • 2
              1

              SM
              I am not mocking his English. I am pointing out that he doesn’t know what ISB stands for, and he claims that ISB holders have “recovered their costs” and will therefore forgive their debts. Is this the economics of the JVP?
              You may be forgiven because you don’t know economics, but SH is the JVP’S shadow Finance minister.

              • 1
                0

                OC,
                .
                What do u make of that “Bodhisattva 🤔 ” just arrived from Egypt.
                .
                I see oue SM may be genetically related to him.
                .🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

        • 1
          0

          NF@
          .
          I am SPEECHLESS.
          “”And start a years-long battle with a poor man in Germany?””
          Btw, How dare you call me a poor man?
          Is it again a joke of your nature ?
          His issues with me or others (Old Codger, Manel, Human Touch, Hancho Pancha and JIT) are more or less is fully connected with his inability to deal with anti-JVP thoughts. There is a significant portion of population that would disagree with JVP-murderous thoughts.
          .-
          I am afraid, I can’t help him there. And we were never friends, although we exchanged our views through personal e-mails for several times, a huge portion of other emails was BCCed to me and Manel again and again.
          .
          Why on earth are you trying to involve me in his crisis like this? What is behind this ?

          Why does he treat you differently than me and others who hide behind anonymous identifiers? hOW would you clarify this to all other annonymous commenters ?

          Looking back, Sinhala man misused our email to spread criticism against the church.

          • 4
            1

            LM,
            “Btw, How dare you call me a poor man?”
            Calm down LM, Nimal isn’t calling you poor. There is another meaning to the word. SM is bullying you.

            • 1
              0

              Ofcourse we call it ” arme Kerl”, thanks, I noticed it after I sent it off, 😄 sorry for the inconvenience, we are down by freezing temperatures in EUROPE 🇪🇺 for the time being.

      • 2
        0

        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

        For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 3
    0

    I wonder if the SL TV media is mature enough to hold a live impartial debate where each Presidential candidate is subjected to answer crucial questions on the economy & other pressing subjects with each candidate given equal time to respond. The candidates will have the opportunity to outline their key policies & how they intend to implement them. Thereafter, apart from the general questions,, the audience can also ask questions which should be submitted in writing before the end of the debate & could be randomly selected but the candidates should not be given prior information about the questions. Responses irrelevant to the subject or long winded replies should be cut short with the presenter / anchorman (or woman) in control all the time. I am sure many may have seen such debates broadcasted in the US & UK. Hopefully the audience & the public in general will then be enlightened to make an educated decision then.

  • 3
    3

    The replay of the Mahinda-Prabaharan drama is in motion. Mahinda bribed Prabaharan through Tiran Alles to stop the Tamils from voting. Now “Tamil Traitor” Wigneswaran and Kumar Ponnambalam are doing the dirty job of Tiran Alles to stop Tamils from voting against Ranil in the Presidential Election and against SLPP in the Parliamentary Election. These two traitors do this because they are supporters and double agents of the Ranil/Mahinda gang. Its time Tamils in the North and East open their eyes and kick Wigneswaran and Kumar Ponnambalam out of the Parliament.

  • 0
    1

    Dear Rajan Philips,
    .
    Many are the comments that have gone in here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-common-presidential-candidate-from-a-fractured-tamil-identity/
    .
    Your article is potentially more important, but most commenters must be fagged out of their efforts there. You have referred to this interview:
    .
    https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-needs-a-national-liberation-movement-not-mere-regime-change-anura-kumara-dissanayake/article67622399.ece
    .
    What form does it take? I just can’t afford $38 to subscribe. Does AKD at last speak in English? I support him to the hilt, but his monolingualism has been one of the main charges of people like the author of this:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/is-true-system-change-in-sri-lanka-only-a-fantasy/
    .
    level against him. Not so obvious in that article, but if you see the first comment there, you will find me referring to an email from him. These honest and “decent” right-wing extremists are a huge problem for all Lankans.
    .
    You have mooted a TV debate. In which language? I know that that is a problem that can be overcome.
    .
    Another article that deserves attention is that by your “guru”:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/gathering-storms-cloud-on-the-horizon-military-political-strategic-economic-uncertainties-abound/
    .
    I’ll say something tomorrow.

    • 1
      0

      SM, let what you say tomorrow be the reality we face.. If mulana is not taken to courts and then jailed and the robbed money recovered back to the state, there is no future SL as robbing with excessive greed will continue. Even hell will lack space to keep the robbed money of SL.

  • 2
    4

    Tamil problem is getting ridiculous by the day.
    /
    Who are malaya Tamils? Maybe you mean tea plantation Tamils. 90% of Muslims in Sri Lanka are Marakkala Tamils. Tobacco plantation slave descents in Jaffna are Tamils as well (previously known as Malabaris).
    /
    Boycott elections, boycott politics, boycott Sri Lanka, returne to Tamils’ only homeland Tamil Nadu and vote in Tamil Nadu and Indian elections. Remember, only Tamil Nadu has the solutions for Tsmil problems.
    /
    For 75 years ruling Christian politicians have made a hell for Sinhala Buddhists.
    /
    Once minorities stop crazy demands, Sinhla Buddhists will reinstate their historical Sinhala Buddhist nation and find solutions for corruption, housing crisis, health care crisis, mass transportation, agriculture, environmental issues, ECONOMY, job creation, crime, alcoholism, out dated government institutions and industries, destruction of Buddhist heritage, infrastructure, foreign relations, etc etc, etc.

  • 4
    0

    Like most in the island, the Tamils in the North are disgusted with their slimy politicians. It is not for them to decide on a boycott even if they possibly can agree on one. Neither Sajith nor Anura have stated a policy on the ethnic issue. Anura does not have a comprehensive economy policy but one good thing is that he does not run with a tray of flowers to the MahaNayakkas as the other fellows do. At least, that will be a meaningful change that ensures a move towards secularism and equality that socialism that Anura espouses demands. Despite the lack of administrative experience, Anura must be given a go as he will bring new perspectives. It is better to try them, than have the same policies that have failed under the same old politicians.

  • 4
    0

    The minorities should support AKD’S candidature for the Post of Presidency AND all join their party in the parliamentary elections. It is TIME for Tamil Parliamentary joyful stints at the expense of Tamils sufferings–loss of lands; loss of livelihoods; suppression by the defence forces and AGGRESSIVE Buddhist Clergies.

  • 1
    1

    Hustling or husting?
    Hustling means to push roughly or jostle
    Husting is a meeting where candidates address potential voters.
    *
    On second thought, there is not much difference.

  • 0
    1

    “The imposed boycott of the 2005 presidential election was not well intended and its ultimate outcome was disastrous. “
    Is that Kaniyan (Horoscope Reader) Rajan’s point that while he repeatedly advised Leader Pirapaharan in 2005that if Rowdy Old King wins LTTE will lose? Or if this person is insisting that Don Stephen’s victory was prosperous to Tamils; Solomon West Ridgeway Dias’ victory was prosperous to Tamils; Siri Ma O’s victory was prosperous to Tamils; Junius Richard’s victory was prosperous to Tamils; Valaiththodam Sr.’s victory was prosperous to Tamils; Kumar Ponnambalam’s murderer, CBK’s time was prosperous to Tamils. But only Old Rowdy’s time was disastrous to Tamils? What bogus claim this communist is making? Could I see any point on this subject that Kaniyan Rajan wrote in 2005? If this Communist propagandist has honestly advised in 2005 the Tamils not to boycott against Evil, because his dearly, adorable mother Sirimavo and CBK sponsored candidate would lose the election, then where is that message is appearing? What dishonest twisters are these communist propagandists! It is nowhere established by any poll or statistic that the Sinhalese who elected CBK to make peace with Tamils defeated Evil only because of the fear that he may make peace with Tamils?

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    They talk about LTTE taking money from Rowdy Old King. But did these guys ever advise LTTE that if they take money from Valaiththodam, India may come and invade LTTE’s Tamil Eelam? But exactly that is what Sonia did when she saw the government had won the Kudumpimalai (The name says it is a mountain that looks like our comrade Appuhami’s Kondai) with the help of Western and 32 nations. The true status of that time was, the Anti-American Sinhala Community defeated Evil only because of fearing that he would take the country back on Junius Richard or Valaiththodam’s path. Now the Langkang fighting in the Red Sea the Hauthi rebels are going to confirm to them they were correct in defeating Evil in 2005. As a favor for comrade Ranjan, after the election, I will find a suitable essay and remind him why I predicted Evil would lose in the coming election: “Fighting the Houthi rebels in Red Sea!” The action of Junious taking the country to India’s feet was the reason Sinhala Buddhists hated Evil taking it to America’s feat. Towards the end of the war, Old Rowdy King used this feeling of Sinhala Buddhists well and received excellent support from the Sinhala community to surrender the country to China’s feet.

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    After Evil led five years Yahapalanaya government, he was wiped out of politics until he was brought back again by Rowdy Royals. At the end of the Yahapalanaya, Evil joined their Old Rowdies and launched the Easter Sunday Jihadi suicides. Evil practically devised a method to defeat him. Hitler came to power. Protestors chased him away. They made Evil come back. May I ask the author a question? Where was these protesters in 2005 to chase away Old Rowdy from his seat and appoint the Evil on the seat as Author seems to wishing now? No opportunistic writer likes to elaborate on this event. Why?

    We have written in CV’s essay, about Boycott Vs Common Candidature:
    1). CV’s saying of using the Sinhala TVs time to propaganda will not work unless Tamils candidates are going to be brave to attack the Sinhala Buddhists’ stand on the Sinhala Buddhist Only SinhaLE Sanctuary and make them take a move out of that destructive pit. In this essay nothing better said then what I said though the point was retook for talk.

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    2). We had clearly explained CV’s offense of “a boycott will not be workable because there is no LTTE to enforce” is not conveying any point because the election is only under the Tamils boycotted constitutions of 1972 & 1978. Boycotting by a Tamil leadership who is recognized by the international community is only a message to the world community that the Tamils have not yet been facilitated by the international community to ignore the fact that the Tamils fundamental rights were taken away after the 1972-1978 constitution. This has nothing to do with who the Sinhala Buddhist candidate has prospects to win or if that will be disrupted or tilted by boycotting Tamils the Sinhala Buddhist’s election, which is held only for the political prospects of Sinhala Buddhist. Because Tamils voting or using a disruptive method of placing a common candidate will not affect them and by the same token that outcome will affect Tamils too. This author has a mind block that placing a distributive candidate of tanking away all the Tamil votes from their favorite only has the same effect as boycotting the election. Either way the Sinhala Buddhist candidate waiting to steal the Tamils’ votes is going to be deprived of Tamils votes.

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    The Communist propagandists who are making secret calculations in their heart of who should win, and they are consulting Tamils accordingly to boycott, or support will not be taken seriously by Tamils.
    3). Further, there, we wrote clearly that in the coming election, Tamils reaction will clearly indicate to Western Democracies & India of the Tamils stand (i.e. that they are not ready to be continued enslaved by UNP-SLFP gangs) irrelevant of whether the Tamils place a common candidate or boycott the election, this is the message the Missing Persons Relatives continuously propagating. They want their justice. They want their sovereignty restored. Western Democracy and India cannot hide behind a rotten person called Suren Surendran and ignore that message. They must come out honestly and establish that they are truly for democracy and people’s rights. No fake political camping and loaning from the IMF to make a well-known Evil stay in power while tipping Evil to tighten the people’s belt and have their loan recovered and remit back.

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    If they give loans to protect Evil’s position by pleasing the Sinhala Buddhist Majority, the IMF has to bear the loan cost, not the uninvolved and non-benefiting people like Tamils & other minorities to tighten their belts, for the political leadership to invest the loans back on Western Stock Markets. For 75 years the elections in Langkang have repeatedly indicated that the Tamils are separate from Sinhala Buddhists. If the IC fuses forcefully the communities who could not tolerate each other, but only for IC’s incidental benefits, then that poisonous fusion will spread out and foul the democracy in their lands too.

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    Part 1
    I enjoyed every bit of the author’s sarcastic humor and good writing. Though the Indian media was very keen to project that President Sharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore has an Indian Origin, the Singapore media was quick to debunk that claim and Wikipedia records that his father Prof K. Shanmugaratnam was of Ceylonese Tamil Hindu descent. What a contrast to find that a good amount Chinese origin Singaporean majority voted him to be the President (other two candidates being Chinese origin) with resounding majority and our Tamil brethren debating on options? If you think out of the box, neither Ranil’s appeasing speech nor confrontational statements of some others are going to help an unhappy group of Sri Lankans, labelled as minorities. They must truly feel that they are not discriminated and call themselves Sri Lankans with pride. Broadly we can learn lessons from Singapore in managing the amity of its people. Deeds not words carry a long way. Although the subject matter relates elections that are round the corner, since it has an inbuilt ethnic connotation resulting in need to work out for the amity of Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and religions.

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    Part 2
    The prognosis of any election that the author highlights is that the trustees to govern are a set of exploiters of the country and its people. Before elections, the contenders come after us for votes and after the elections we must go behind them for our needs. We have no recourse for the villainy of the elected other than waiting for the elections. One can say didn’t we perform an “Aragalaya” to change a government? Such protests cost the country dearly and hurt the economy although it is the inalienable right of people’s expression. Constitutionally, people in Sri Lanka are sovereign. However, the will of the people is expressed in a referendum and the current constitution permits only the President to call for a referendum. Why not extend that to Parliament and the people? People, through a referendum, should be able to recall any of the elected or appointed trustees exercising the people’s sovereignty. Further they should approve any constitutional change, national policy on any matter, and pass laws. The “Executive Presidency” should be converted into ceremonial and custodial, directly elected by the people on a non-political party basis and become the second key in decision-making.

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    Part 3
    Although it is natural to consider the current scenario for evaluation of possible and probable outcomes, it is only a formula to remain within the political quagmire. We should press for reforms in the political system of government and governance and the reforms suggested in part 2 are of a retired public servant whom I have known for some time. Just a cry for “system change” bears no fruit and we must agree on a proposal that will cover all the pressing problems empowering the people themselves to take steps legally as a supplement to the representative democracy. The fear of recall by the electors alone is a deterrent for political plunder of the people.

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