2 March, 2024

Blog

Elections Season & JVP/SJB Options 

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

There have been three different elections in as many countries over the last two weeks:  Karnataka State Assembly elections in India, presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, and parliamentary elections in Thailand. In Karnataka, the nationally triumphant BJP suffered a significant state defeat, and the nationally struggling Congress Party registered an outright state victory. Expectations were frustrated in Turkey, but were spectacularly exceeded in Thailand. In Turkey, there were predictions that Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican Peoples Party (CHP founded by Kemal Ataturk), who became the unifying opposition candidate, would win the presidential race in the first round and end the two decade long authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But the results were a virtual tie, forcing a runoff election between the two men. In the parliamentary elections, Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has won a comfortable majority, which will ensure the AKP’s continuing presence in the echelons of power even if Erdogan were to lose the runoff election on May 28. 

The parliamentary election results in Thailand are a stunning boost for democratic parties in Asian countries fighting authoritarian rulers, and for energized Young Turks seeking to get rid of the old political turkeys. Exceeding all expectations, the young and upstart Move Forward Party (MFP) has won 151 of the 500 lower house seats, pushing the well established Pheu Thai Party (PTP) of the exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra into second place with 141 seats. In the biggest surprise, described by many as “a political earthquake,” the incumbent military-backed government of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was utterly defeated and relegated to 36 seats. However, under Thailand’s bizarre rule for electing a Prime Minister after a general election that Chan-ocha put in place after capturing power in the 2014 military coup, he could again become Prime Minister. 

The bizarre rule is based on Thailand’s bicameral system comprising a lower house of 500 elected members (representing the people) and an upper house of 250 appointed members (mainly representing the army, the monarchy and related vested interests). After an election, the Prime Minister is elected from among candidates nominated by political parties by a joint session of all 750 members the two houses. A party could even nominate a total outsider to be elected as Prime Minister if she/he could cobble together 376 votes from the two houses. 

To pre-empt the Prayuth Chan-ocha from canvassing to be PM again, the two leading parties from the polls (MFP and PTP) have formed an alliance of six parties commanding 309 members to nominate MFP leader Pita Limjaroenrat as their candidate for Prime Minister. Their total is short of the 376 tally required for majority. However, many members of the upper house have indicated that they will not thwart the will of the people and elect a different nominee as Prime Minister. Nothing is going to be finalized until the Election Commission finalizes the official results within two months, and the two houses are convened for their joint session likely in July.   

Demonstration Effects

Turkey is a member of NATO and is an aspirant to join the European Union. Who gets to be its next president will have broader implications for the Middle East, EU and the ongoing standoff between the West and Russia including the war over Ukraine. The Thai elections have no comparable geopolitical implications, but can have what political scientists call the ‘demonstration effect’ in Asian countries where elections are being delayed, denied, or otherwise manipulated. Sri Lanka and Pakistan are two (South) Asian countries where unelected governments are shy of calling elections. In Pakistan, the government went a step further and tried to imprison its principal opponent, Imran Khan. The move, as I wrote last week, backfired spectacularly. 

In Sri Lanka, President Wickremesinghe has delayed local government elections by withholding funds in spite of a Supreme Court directive to make funds available. He has been floating balloons of national reconciliation, inspiring rumours about staggered provincial elections, and firing and hiring provincial governors at presidential pleasure. Even the usually pliant Tamil political have gotten sick of his games and have given their twin ultimatums: Either a new constitution Or new elections. The first will go nowhere, and the second will add to the common chorus. The President has two other election cards to play, not to advance democracy or people’s participation but to cement his power pedestal that he has had delivered to him quite fortuitously, but under dire and trying circumstances for the country. 

The President is not interested in calling a parliamentary election even though he is empowered to do it anytime now, but he wants an early presidential election which he is not permitted to do as an unelected interim president. Hence, the impetus for yet another self-serving constitutional amendment to enable himself to call an early presidential election at the time of his convenient choosing, and fulfill at long last his lifelong ambition to become an elected president. And this from a man who for a whole decade has been promising the abolishment of the executive presidency. Even the national emergency of an economic bankruptcy is not enough to make a Sri Lankan politician do something other than going back on his word.  

The two main opposition parties, the SJB and the NEP (JVP), are either stuck like rabbits caught in the headlights of the presidential limousine, or are playing catchup after the President’s every dodgy move. Neither Party can take the fight to the President the way Imran Khan is doing it to his government in Pakistan. The Sri Lankan President is shrewd enough not to give the opposition any opening. Unlike in Pakistan or Thailand, the Sri Lankan government is not a military-backed government. Rather, Sri Lanka has a military that is backed by the government. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tried to make the government an employment exchange for the army providing all manner of work to the soldiers – from street beautification after the war to healthcare monitoring after the pandemic. President Wickremesinghe is putting the army in its place – not to clean streets, but to protect him from protesters.

Anura and Harini

The JVP/NPP put all its eggs in the local elections basket, and they are left to freeze after the President took them out of the incubator and put them in cold storage. Now the JVP/NPP is waiting for the president to drop the election shoe, not knowing which shoe will come down first – provincial, parliamentary or presidential. Even so, the JVP and its NEP alliance could draw inspiration from the Thai election results and prepare themselves in the specific circumstances in Sri Lanka to face whichever election that may come first. 

In Thailand, the leader of the Move Forward Party, Pita Limjaroenrat, is a 42 year old technocrat and businessman with significant business and political family connections. Paetongtarn Shinawatra who leads the Pheu Thai Party is the 36 year daughter and niece of two former Prime Ministers – Thaksin Shinawatra (now in exile) and his brother Yingluck Shinawatra. Marching separately and now striking together, they have galvanised a nation to call out and send home a military government and are promising to implement significant institutional reforms that will not spare even the sacred cow of the monarchy.   

Political pedigrees are not always necessary and, more often than not, may not be helpful and can even be a political millstone. Just look at Sajith Premadasa and the Rajapaksa boys. For that matter at Rahul Gandhi in India. The JVP’s pedigree that still puts off many people, and one that its media detractors will never stop dragging to the front, is totally political and not at all biological. While Anura Kumara Dissanayake has proved himself to be a worthy leader of the organization and is today the only frontline leader for the progressive forces, he does not seem to have been able to fully exorcise the violent legacies of 1971 and 1988. And even though the JVP/NPP has expanded its social base to include urban middle classes, it is still found to be wanting in its economic capabilities despite its well-rehearsed forays into business forums. 

It is not that the UNP or the SLFP, never mind the SLPP, had sound economic platforms when they were launched as political parties, but they had buy-in from representative sections of the business classes. Conversely and equally, Sri Lanka’s business classes showed their economic ignorance when they flocked behind Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their business saviour. It would be impossible for a Left political party to win the fulsome support of the business community now or ever. However, from the standpoint of political electability the JVP cannot afford to scare away voters by appearing to be dogmatically stubborn. And from a popularity standpoint, the delaying of the local elections may have contributed to a plateauing of the people’s support for JVP/NPP and their platforms. Put another way, Anura Kumara Dissanayake himself may have peaked to his full potential even before any election has been called. That is coincidental benefit for Ranil Wickremesinghe.

So, here is my wild card prospecting. What if the JVP/NPP, instead of waiting for President Wickremesinghe to drop his preferred election shoe, or writ, take its own initiative and campaign vigorously and continuously for any and all elections? In addition, why cannot the JVP/NPP boldly present new political leadership faces to a country that has been tired sick of seeing the same Ranil-Rajapaksa faces for over 25 years? It can present its leaders for provincial councils from among young professionals and dedicated activists who live in the provinces and are not party hacks in Colombo. Anura Kumara Dissanayake has proven himself to be an accomplished parliamentarian, not to the same lofty heights as NM Perera, but very high indeed by today’s parliamentary standards. He is the obvious choice and should be the JVP/NPP’s candidate for Prime Minister in a parliamentary election.

As for the presidential candidate to square off against Ranil Wickremesinghe, who seems to be all convinced in his own calculations that he can finally pull off victory in a presidential election, why not shock him by presenting Harini Amarasuriya as the JVP/NPP presidential candidate? One would hope that she would be agreeable to undertaking the challenge. There can be no doubt whatsoever that her candidacy will pleasantly surprise the country and that it will be well received. 

Dr. Amarasuriya is obviously more qualified than most of her predecessors, and most of all she would bring to the job what none of her predecessors would or could have brought: honesty, sincerity, commitment and trustworthiness. Given the JVP/NPP’s commitment to abolish the elected executive presidency, Dr. Amarasuriya would be the most disinterested and electable candidate who could be trusted to deliver on the promise of abolishment. That would set up an illuminating contrast to the opaque untrustworthiness of Ranil Wickremesinghe. It will be an electoral battle worth having. The country deserves it and needs it. And there is inspiration from Thailand to make it happen.     

Sajith and Rahul

If the JVP/NPP could look to the Young Turks in Thailand for electoral inspiration, Sajith Premadasa could turn to Rahul Gandhi to build hopes about political revival. Rahul Gandhi had failed to make a mark as a rising Congress leader even before Narendra Modi became India’s Prime Minister. After becoming Prime Minister, Modi set about erasing Rahul Gandhi as a political marker of any kind. He even got his attack dogs to use the devise the defamation to get the courts to find Rahul Gandhi liable for a stupid joke at the Modi name and then used the legal verdict to remove Mr. Gandhi from parliament. 

The dynamic between Sajith Premadasa and Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) are not at all comparable to the antagonism between Modhi and Gandhi. The Ranil-Sajith tussle has always been an internal party matter, with each side trying to score same-side goals, until Sajith broke loose and set up the SJB. The young Premadasa’s failure to establish himself as the undisputed leader of the UNP formation is more due to his own limitations than can be attributed to RW’s machinations. Not that the latter has not been up to them in more ways than one, but an abler politician than Sajith Premadasa would have turned the tables on Ranil Wickremesinghe a long time ago. It is the same sense of limitations that one has about Rahul Gandhi in India. 

In the Sri Lankan context, it is objectively possible to see a path forward and to power for the JVP/NPP. Whether they will actually achieve something worthwhile is a different question. My point is that, at least for this writer, it is not possible to see a path forward for Sajith Premadasa. That does not mean there is no path for him or that he will never find one. My charitable suggestion is that Mr. Premadasa could build up hopes for his future in Sri Lanka from the Karnataka state elections and the outright victory for the Congress which has also been a great moral booster for Rahul Gandhi. A final word on the Karnataka results – the BJP’s significant defeat and the Congress’s even more significant victory.         

The Congress won 135 of the 224 Assembly seats, a gain of 55 seats from the 80 seats it won in 2018. The BJP was hoping to be the first incumbent government in Karnataka to win reelection, but ended with 66 seats, losing 38 seats from the 104 it won last time. The size of the loss looms larger because of the size of the effort that the BJP expended in this election – fully utilizing its double-engine (central and state) government resources, exploiting Hindutva sentiments and inter-caste competitiveness, and steamrolling the State with the well-oiled Modi campaign juggernaut. The setback in Karnataka reinforces the BJP’s failure to establish a political stronghold in the southern states. West Bengal in the east has been equally unwelcome to the BJP as the south. 

The Congress’s impressive show, within five months of winning the State election in Himachal Pradesh, is not only a great booster for the Congress in the electoral battles ahead, but also a warning to the BJP of its increasing vulnerabilities in even the northern and western states of India. While the Lok Sabha elections are due in 2024, there will be more state elections this year in three other states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The Congress won in all three of them in 2018, and will be looking for repeats this year. The Karnataka success will feed into whatever optimism there is for the fortunes of the Congress Party and the political future of Rahul Gandhi. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    I feel that Harini Amarasuriya would be acceptable to even the Tamils. Tamil political parties finally get a chance to support a Sinhalese candidate with their heart.

    • 3
      1

      Yes ! Harini is the best choice!

      Other professionals in NPP, their credibility is doubtful, they could turn out to be another Viyathmaga!

      • 2
        0

        “Other professionals in NPP, their credibility is doubtful”
        So you know the lot I guess!

      • 5
        0

        Dear logical thinkers,

        I would like to raise the question, how can we rely on the JVP-led NPP to do wonders, assuming the people will elect them next?
        Known fact is that they have not been ruling party, nor have they been powerful cabinet ministers in this country.

        Dr. Harsha de Silva, Eran Wickramaratne, Sarath Fonseka and a few good and uncorrupted candidates in the SJB team are more than qualified to handle much of what is crucial to keeping one’s head above water in today’s context.
        In current context, srilankens should not get misled by anyone, just because JVPrs would be harsher with law and order AND their murderous/killing tactics going back to 89-92 insurgency period where they killed my brothers and fed their bones and flesh to the victimized parents (remember ?).
        .
        This does not mean necessarily, I support lanken politicians, however, the utopian composition for the future would be a fusion of all party thinking rather than supporting the intolerant JVP led NPP.
        Multi-party representing the Sri Lankan voter base would not be winnable, if the JVPrs would not start tolerating the heterogenous thought beaerers.
        This means not that they should support the corrupted candidates. However, JVPrs’ repeated SETBACKs over the 40 years of their active politics, is because they dont care about the PULSE feelings of the very people in this country.

        tbc

        • 4
          0

          cont.
          .
          People are too corrupted and toally unedcuated, even if rascals call them ” our people are intelligent”: Media fraudsters never took it serious so far.
          Indeed, if we compare a group of Gota (though assumed him to be apolitical, but the dog was POHOTTUWA supporter) and his “viyathmaga” , what is the special attribute of NPP interllectuals ???????
          I know only Dr Harini A and some of her backing colleagues in London but most of them have no hands-on experience in srilanken active politics. Would active politics be the same as with VIYATHMAGA of donkey GOTA ?

          Besides, as a true begging nation, can we at all, afford to stay testing further, knowing that our people’s starving realities are becoming contrast by hour ???????-

          Before you let opportunists of any kind mislead you once again, sensitive reader, let s discuss all these open points in this valuable forum. Your thoughts are golden right at this critical phase of lanken politics. My thoughts are to build a common opposition comprised of all good politicians. No matter how you name it. however, it should not be led by one-sideed JVP criminals.

          Sri Lankans wearing even higher academic titles have proven to be utter idiots. The best examples are provided by GLP and several other advanced graduates. That means, just because they hold academic titles, they don’t necessarily work on their wisdom. Perhaps their stupidity can be read in their genetics.

    • 5
      0

      Nathan
      I am a Sinhala Buddhist and I can appreciate the fact that others have a willingness to come together with us in hope for a better future. Harini maybe a good choice.
      But I am skeptical about the rest of the NPP/JVP members to be very honest.
      Harini is poles apart from in her thinking and refinement to the average JVP or NPP member.
      So I will not vote for her under the JVP ticket, sorry to say.
      If she were in a more liberal party where the members have a similar mindset to her’s, I would not think twice in voting her.

      • 4
        1

        I have faith in the leadership of the NPP. I detect no competition to be the top person among them. I’m quite happy with AKD as leader.
        .
        Why not let them sort it out. I’m a supporter – the grassroots guy has not yet collected my NPP membership application, which I have completed.
        .
        What I want now are Local Government Elections.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYUllV6XgJQ&lc=UgzW3q79rkdn33c_6Et4AaABAg
        .
        I won’t contest those who say that there could have been a more impressive lot. These are all my people!

  • 6
    1

    Sajith Premadasa has just one major card, – son of his President father. Every other card is so minor I’d safely bet that he can only dream of the Presidency. Namal, despite being a dud has better shine!

  • 7
    1

    Educated and well meaning Sri Lankan’s hallucinate in their dreams of how to make Sri Lanka just society. Rajan Phillips has written hallucinations he had for last few nights in this article. He comes with this brilliant idea of Harini which is equal to Ranil placing MS and Fonseka as presidential candidate as he knew he could not get people vote.
    Problem with SJB is even though they have some progressive people at least 30% of their hierarchy has involved in previous corrupt practice. Once they form a government these element with gradually corrupt other 60% including Sajith. It is going to be a failure.
    Only party with some credibility is JVP led NPP. Anura Kumara has hundred times more leadership qualities than Harini Point blank. Weather they win or loose NPP should contest as solo party and people like Rajan Phillips should have openly name them as credible party and support them in their writing. Remember you are election a party or president only for five years and people should not make same mistake they made previously by electing incapable Gota from Rajapakse family.

  • 6
    2

    A good many people in this country are looking forward to change the Ranil-Rajapakse curse that has engulfed this country these past 25 years .

    The Aragalaya like the Move Forward Party in Thailand was the inspiration for a Systemic change; But alas that too has gone silent.

    ………Even the National Emergency of an Economic bankruptcy is not enough to make a Srilanka politician do something other than going back on his word…………..
    laments Rajan Philips.
    I share this lament with him.

  • 4
    2

    It is sad that none of the Sinhalese or Tamil or Muslim Political leaders are not prepared to challenge Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. Even the leftist Politicians who claimed that the religion is a venom surrendered to the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. All the political parties and their leaders go to Mahanayakes to get the blessing even before making billions as bribes or torturing ans massacring innocents.

    • 4
      1

      Buddhist fundamentalism is a deep rooted disease, that was reinvigorated by the Rajapaksa bastards who have weaponized the religion to their advantage.
      It is a very strong political tool but it is killing or destroying true Buddhism. Which in turn is killing the moral fabric of the country.
      The only way to tackle Sinhala Buddhist Fundamentalism is through proper education of Buddhist monks.
      Buddhist fundamentalism and proper Buddhism are opposed to eachother therefore the more educated monks we have the less fundamentalist monks there will be.

  • 4
    2

    SJB led by Sajith is NO WINNER for the country and the people. His “Team” of expertise (Harsha, Eran) although “Look” credible, in “Performance” have proved in the past (while in Yahapalanaya) failures. It is a “Fact” and “Truth” that, any expert cannot and will not perform under a “Leader” (in terminology only) like Sajith. Sajith and his SJB (team) will be on the other side of the same coin as the “Ranil/Rajapakse” clan.

    The only OPTION would be “JVP/NPP”. Many would argue, that NPP has no “Credible” expertise shown in the matter of “Governing”. Yet, a short period of 14 months with Chandrika in 1994 (JVP) showed some work experience in the matter of “Governing” with “Four” ministries in their hands. They did appreciably well given the short period of stay with Chandrika. A Government by “JVP/NPP”, I expect to perform, above average given their “Commitments” and especially far, far away from corruption and mismanagement.

    Harini would be a GOOD CHOICE for the Presidency. Yet, with the “Commitment” of JVP/NPP to “ABOLISH” this position in their Government, it would be a loss of talent to be representative in the Legislature. Leaving aside that “Loss”, it would be an “Example” and an “Achievement” to be elected by popular vote a person like Harini in comparison to “ALL” others we had and have, since the creation of this position (President) in Sri Lanka. I hope “JVP/NPP” would make a good choice.

    • 4
      1

      Going by how JVPers behave in universities as in how they rag and molest other students tells me that they still have a very long way to go.

      • 3
        0

        Huaman Touch,
        .
        Not many people dare to talk about the annual campus bullies and the horrors behind their murderous and destructive acts. What an apathetic nation ? if they cant settle that ISSUE at Unis , let alone how can they change entire society ?

        The front line bastards and Janata Vimukthi Peramuna are one entity. Wimal Weerawansa and AKD are not different from each other when it comes to political births. So how can we trust these people? Childish idiots will entertain their rally crowd, but anyone with any sense?
        .
        . The barbaric acts done to the freshers in the universities are just the acts of these evil people. I ask why our people are silent about these issues?
        Even today, JVP member Nalin Hevage and his public speeches bring me back to the barbaric era of 89-92 when hundreds of my brothers were killed by 50,000 or more people. I am dumb. .. I really am.

    • 4
      0

      Dear Simon,
      You seem to have the dream making JVPrs the next rulers.

      So we want you the kind of ilk to enlighten us with the constructive answers to the following questions.
      .
      At least today, you should be able to answer our repeated questions. You live in srilanka and you both have lot more contacts with them than those who just amuse the crowds of NPP rallies.
      These questions were raised on this forum several times before. But SM and SIMON never answered them as it should. We dont consider SM as an intelligent senior man, but simon, you could provide us with some good answers. It is all about improvement of the awareness of the readers:
      .
      1) How would NPP led JVP or JVP led NPP bring dollars to the sinking economy holding srilanka once they become the rulers ? In a country where the majority struggle for their 3 suppers, how can we talk about holding elections ? What is the purpose of going for elections, not having rebuilt the VERY same stupid voters ?
      .
      2) How would NPP led JVP or JVP led NPP would stand against mlechcha cultural forces (the biggest obstacle in this country for real changes) in this country once they become the leaders ? What do these combinations have got to make wonders ? ?????

      • 4
        0

        cont.
        .
        3) Sorysena was a stupid leader, but one truth of him was ” our cultural forces are multiple times stronger than the facts beased in formation in this country”: Your Kadamandiya people are stronger in that area than any educated ones there.
        .
        4) Needless to SAY, both PARLIAMENTARIANS (most of them) and the ones who voted for them are overly corrupted and abusive minded. So how can you guys pay a blind eye to that ?

        • 5
          1

          Dear LM: Your questions at 2,3 & 4 are all connected with “Cultural” as well as “Social” problems this country is faced with today. The answer is: First the “Political Culture” (corruption, deal-making, nepotism, politicization of State entities) must be changed. Towards, this it is a must that all elected MPs must be first subjected to a code of conduct, and an “Ethics Committee” will be established to discipline them. No MP will be paid any salary or pension and their services will be made a “Voluntary/Social” and all perks that are presently awarded to them would be withdrawn. No “Ex-President” or any of their “Spouses” will be maintained by the State. The entire “Law Enforcement” including Justices, AG, Police will be released from any type of “Political Interference”

          • 6
            1

            II: The Auditor General and Inland Revenue will be established devoid of political interference.

            This “Dictatorial” position of President will be abolished and a new Constitution will be presented to the People for approval.

            The question at “1” is pure economics. There are no “Miracles” to solve this problem overnight. Short, medium, and long-term action plans would be made ready based on “Small/Medium Manufacturing/Business Initiatives” to add to GDP but establish a strong “Export Oriented” base. Among other initiatives would be Tourism; Foreign Remittances and most importantly creating an environment of “TRUST” and “HONOR” to attract Investors.

            To do all the above briefly explained “Work Plan”, we need a “STABLE GOVERNMENT” that has a “MANDATE” of the People. That needs an “ELECTION” at whatever the cost it would be. Please note: Rajapakses and Cohorts will be punished, no matter what.

            • 2
              0

              Simon
              “Short, medium, and long-term action plans would be made ready based on “Small/Medium Manufacturing/Business Initiatives” to add to GDP but establish a strong “Export Oriented” base.”
              Yes, but you also want a JVP government? In the real world, a leftist government will bring only trouble from the very people who buy our exports, ie Europe and the US.
              To whom can we export if they remove our quotas?
              Forget it.

          • 1
            0

            Simon, Are you dreaming. Who is going to enact this type of change to bring in a new constitution. Who will have authority to make this draft.

            • 4
              0

              davidthegood: Yes. It is still a dream. But, someone or a team out there has to DO IT (to draft) Haven’t Constitutions come out like that? I request you be a little more positive in doing something rather than be without it.

          • 0
            0

            (Part I)
            Simon,
            “The entire “Law Enforcement” including Justices, AG, and Police WILL BE RELEASED from any type of “Political Interference”
            Laudable, but I’m sceptical of outcomes by enabling those institutions and employed thereof being, ‘RELEASED’ from any type of “Political Interference’!!!???
            My view, It cannot be solved, “RELEASING” as if they are being released from ‘BONDAGE’!! Like SLAVERY of 19th and early 20th century!!! Although similarities exist, UTTER BAD HABITS NEEDS Radical Paradigm changes – changes needed – Culture Change is inevitably required!?
            IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY AFTER 2 LONG DECADES 2004 to 2023 OF CORRUPTION, DECEPTION, BRIBERY (RISE IN CAREER IS BRIBERY) AND NEPOTISM!!!
            They must be sent thru’ culture change and wherever necessary completely new faces replacing the people who have been adopted to do the dirty deals!!!!??
            AG and the Justices must be independent with no sign of interference by the EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATURE
            THE POLICE, CUSTOMS AND IMMIGRATION TOO MUST BE SIMILARLY BE W/O INTERFERENCE!!!
            Anyone interferes then those interfering must be
            A. 1st given MARCHING ORDERS FROM SUBSTANTIVE POSITIONS (If MP, then from PARLIAMENT) and
            B. 2nd step would be OPEN TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION SPEARTELY OR EVEN COLLATERALLY WITH INVOLVED OFFICIALS – specifically charged
            (TBC)

          • 0
            0

            (Part II)
            with “DETERING PUBLIC SERVANTS FROM DISCHARGING/PERFORMING THEIR DUTIES!!!??
            If proven and found guilty by court, mandatory 7 years (Min) and extendable to 20 years CUSTODIAL/PRISONS (HL) sentence at discretion of the Justice and seriousness of his actions!!!??
            An MP interferes, then he would lose his seat in Parliament (because of Custodial Sentence) and the Law (constitution) so amended if necessary!! Conviction by Primary court shall become enforceable immediately irrespective of any appeals and determination thereof, allowing the possibility to REGAIN his Parliamentary seat reverses the original primary court decision, definitely NOT on the accused filing a petition of Appeal in a higher court!!!??
            That loop hole or Manipulation by ‘so called EMPEES’ (MP) must be ‘PLUGGED’ in respect of his Parliamentary Seat as MP and also lose his Privileges, at time of conviction forthwith!!
            Amendment to constitution that in such instances the Speaker cannot overrule and admit him to Parliament proceedings due the guilty verdict of the court and cannot permit such MP to access Parliament cannot regain seat once convicted, unless/until higher court reverses conclusively!
            No more murderers sitting in August Assembly, because of Appeal filed by accused and PENDING!
            SKULDUGGERY AT ITS BEST IN PARLIAMENT!!!??

            • 2
              0

              Mahila: “Release from Political Interference” doesn’t mean “Releasing from being “Responsible” and “Accountable”. Every “Public Servant” (including the Politician) must be made “Responsible” and “Accountable”.

              Just last week, an “Ex-Minister” was “Discharged” from a case filed against him by the Courts. The reason: ” A Technical Error” made by the Prosecution. What was that “Technical Error”? The required (by law) number of signatures was not found in the plaint. What must be done to such “Authoritative” Public Servants? Shouldn’t there be a “System” to deal with such “Irresponsibilities”? Shouldn’t the Minister & his Ministry take charge of such situations?

  • 5
    0

    The kind of people we need in Sri Lanka politics are rational thinkers, intellects, technocrats, honest and selfless champions, humanitarians, professionals or experts in diverse fields, people with progressive ideas, etc.

    • 4
      0

      Dear Human Touch,
      .
      Some of your comments are excellent, but some provide clear evidence that only those who have been living here almost continuously, know (I was outside for seven full years, 1987 to 1994 – I know that’s more than 7 years, my arithmetic is passable – in the Maldives and Oman) but my permanent residence has been Bandarawela.
      .
      Wasn’t it about mid-2021 that you were with your family in Digana (near Kandy, some readers may be hazy) when you had managed to find my mobile number and rang me because you liked one aspect of most of my comments – I’m never racist? You made quite definite plans to travel up to Bandarawela to meet me, but something intervened, may have been that Covid got bad again, but we’ve never met. You began commenting on CT at my suggestion, and I’m glad about it.
      .
      I’ve digressed somewhat from Rajan Philip’s article, but I will get back to Elections, and the NPP. Rajan, haven’t you slipped up just a bit in calling the Party that contests the NEP?
      .
      It’s many hours since I promised Simon more response to him!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

    • 2
      0

      Part TWO
      .
      You are a good electrical engineer
      and I asked you what new-fangled refrigerators are since what I had in this house was a 6 cubic foot Sisil which though working well was probably consuming more electricity than the brand new (foreign-made) fridge that my impulsive and generous, but bossy younger sister (born 1950) had suddenly turned up with in my Maharagama home where we already had a huge (about 400 litres) fridge handed over to us when my younger daughter and family went off to Malaysia.
      .
      Always preferring local-made things I had been to the local showroom of Damro where discounts were offered if bought on credit cards in those months. You had bought the inverter-type Damro, but you advised the Direct-cool to me, after I sent a comparison of this sort:
      .
      https://greatliving.in/refrigerator/difference-between-direct-cool-and-frost-free/
      .
      This 2023 blog is one I’ve just located and put on to help other readers. What I sent you, I also sent Professor Kumar David (although he’s a much older man, I’m sure that you know his immense reputation as an “electricity scientist” – those learned papers carry a somewhat different version of his name (with initials).

    • 2
      0

      Part THREE
      .
      Kumar’s recommendation of the inverter type
      came a day after I bought a 240 litre Direct Cool Two Door. I told him; he hadn’t even heard of this Direct Cool (great men are honest!). He asked me to report back after using it for six months. That I did. Very satisfactory; defrosting a bit of a bother, but made easier by a button in the lower compartment. The light there remains on if the door is open, but the motor stops, to come on when the defrosting is done. Water collected in tray has to be emptied. The button comes back to position. All this may be a bot difficult to comprehend from my narration. Learn by doing!
      .
      Getting back to electricity bills; the meter reader came today. I’ve been billed 3897.44 for 75 units this month (it appears to be 35 days since he last came) and together with last month it’s 7411,71 rupees. How to pay – this is serious for me!
      .
      And then the Internet: about two years ago I asked Telecom to give us a tower on our hill – children were climbing trees with their smartphones.

    • 1
      0

      Part FOUR
      .
      There is a huge building here
      which serves even the Monaragala District; I met the Big Boss there. He said that he couldn’t spend on a tower for just one request and asked me to turn my fifty-five year old copper landline number to fibre optic. Expensive, but good signal. Smallest package about 2.6K rupees for 40 GB day-time, and 60GB night. Little is downloaded except updates for my new computer. So I listen to video symphonies – one of the few joys left in life!
      .
      Anyway, I was faced with a Rs 5254.79 bill for two months, and I got a landline call asking me to pay, or else! So on Tuesday. 16th, I went along to the office, tried to meet the most senior people to tell them that although the fibre optic charges have remained static, how could I pay with everything else increasing? I finally handed over a Five-thousand note to a lady, who said it really had to go to the counter, but she would send it. The receipt came back, I pocketed it and found the Big Boss in his office. We had a polite conversation, he perused bill and receipt.

    • 2
      0

      PART FIVE
      .
      I requested Big Boss that their Head Office be told that citizens are at their wits’ end to manage personal finances.
      .
      I went out had a cup of tea, and looked ruefully at my receipt. Rs 4,000/= only paid at 4.33.37 PM. The Telecom Office would have closed at 5.00 pm, but I managed to go through the rear entrance, past the Big Boss to the lady I had given the 5K note. Upshot – she remembered, was concerned, and went to the counter to return with a receipt for another thousand issued at 5.18.03 PM. I did not tell the Big Boss.
      .
      So, you see, this dishonest selfishness and lawlessness are spreading. Given what’s happening in Parliament on Ranil’s instruction, this is only going to get worse.
      .
      People who are abroad, how can I keep going like this on my 37K pension for 29 years of government service? We definitely are heading for trouble; I want system change, but not bloody revolution. Let the Local Government Elections be held!

  • 4
    1

    Dear LM: I have given a very brief note of what NPP stands for. Please note, it is in no way meant to attract you or any other towards NPP. It is purely “Food for Thinking”. In other words, it is: “Leave it” or “Take It”.

    One other policy, I missed was the “Recall” of the MPs, who fail to abide by the “Code of Conduct” as determined by the “Ethic Commissioner”.

    I am for it, as NPP stands above the rest of the political parties we have had ample opportunities to asses their performances. I am for a CHANGE.

    • 5
      0

      Thanks, Simon,
      .
      Part One of Two Parts
      .
      Please read this carefully:
      .
      https://amp.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/may/23/we-give-our-blood-so-they-live-comfortably-sri-lankas-tea-pickers-say-they-go-hungry-and-live-in-squalor
      .
      When I got up this morning having had only one conventional meal yesterday, I found this link in an email on the computer which had been left running (it’s an excellent and quite new one running no pirated software) throughout the night, sent to me by the very sincere lady, born in London to a white mother during the second World War. The mother still lives alone in London aged 104.

      .
      The widowed daughter, now stone deaf, has never told me her exact age, but she’s approaching 80, and life is difficult for her as well. She’s a citizen of Lanka only and takes the correct side on all social issues.
      .
      Life is also difficult for my wife and extremely accomplished and foolishly religious daughter down in Maharagama. There’s no point explaining why we aren’t under one roof – the guys you have addressed just don’t care to know.
      .
      Life is difficult for all of us, but we are old, and acknowledge that we were not so neglected once upon a time. There were times of happiness in our lives.

    • 3
      0

      Dear Simon,
      Example is better than precept.

      All these slogans are very common, what has it brought so far?Pirith chanting and Sinhala Buddhist sermons are more common in Sri Lanka than in other countries, but why on earth we experience the opposite ?
      Psychology of the average should change drastically. How can it work? Rebuilding society through workshops should be the first step.
      Only then can their brain cells be awakened and voter mindset changed.
      .
      I appreciate your answers though, even though you deliberately skipped the first one. I believe you really dream of change. However, are there many of them in society?
      This is very important to everyone, very unfortunately, not everyone else in CT cares about it. why ? Is this all superficial on this very important matter?
      .
      Experts say payments and allowances to MPs and political pensioners are a relatively small part of all government spending. So, although these are good measures, it does not affect much for a real change in the affairs of Sri Lanka.
      .
      tbc

      • 3
        0

        cont.
        .
        So tell us, if the “NPP intellectuals” are faced with the same issue again, how will the issue be handled? What does NPP bring uniquely compared to “totally backfired Viatmaga”?

        Social influences within lanken society are more powerful andthe cancer to our course. I support any new force that crushes all this, ready to enforce strict law and order for all.

        The issue of a member of parliament being caught by customs yesterday for allegedly carrying illegal stock of gold is just one more piece of news for the people.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ga77cy_Eew

        Because these are not new things for this nation, no matter what anyone thinks in a developed country, there is no implementation for the people of Sri Lanka. Even today, law and order should be fully implemented.

        Strict laws are not yet enforced in our country. If it is found in Malaysia and Singapore, there is no further exemption. The MP should be kept in custody until the case is heard. However, why is it not the case in SL ?
        .
        Dr. Harini Amarasooriya and other NPP politicians are not mature in Sri Lanka or developing world politics, how can we trust them?

  • 6
    0

    Dear LM: Your main worry is a question of “TRUST”. I picked it from your statement: “How can we trust”. Yes. Trust is very “Subjective”. At the same time, it is very much dependent upon one’s own “Experiences” and “Understandings”. I have gone through this quite for some time beginning with SWRD to Ranil W of today. All of them have failed me and I see no reason to trust any of them more to turn around things for the better. Enough is Enough.

    So beginning to build a NEW UNDERSTANDING for a “CHANGE” – not with those who have failed me. Please note this is my PERSONAL opinion and do not wish others to agree. My only WISH is “Let every tree bear FLOWERS”.

  • 6
    0

    Dear LM: I have not skipped, (though you say it is “Deliberate”) the answer to your question “1”. My answer is in “11”. Please read it again. You will appreciate it is no easy task to state in a comment form, but a “Skeleton” of an answer was given. We need a “Home Grown” economy and a “Plan” to develop the country based on and utilize the local “In-Puts” including “Human Resources”. In that context, I find NPP has a workable plan that suits the country. What others have proposed is not much attractive, although those speak of “High Tech Terminology” of “Digitalization” etc in a country that has not yet provided simple communication facilities. You know what those available in your country and in a simple “Pocket Size” telephone.

    Have a Nice Day, my friend!

    • 2
      0

      Simon,
      “although those speak of “High Tech Terminology” of “Digitalization” etc in a country that has not yet provided simple communication facilities.”
      What are you talking about? The fact is that there are more phones than people in the country, and connectivity is the only thing which is cheaper today in real terms than in 1948.

      • 1
        0

        OC: Please try to understand what is meant by “Communication Facilities”. The “Phones” that you talk about is only a “Tool”.

    • 3
      1

      PART TWO
      .
      Simon, I’m back ten minutes before midnight.
      Just look at this, and understand that the figures given there are for 2022. Now, in 2023, it’s much worse. True there are no queues, but that’s because nobody has MONEY.
      .
      https://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/SL-among-15-most-miserable-countries/108-259857
      .
      Life is difficult on our hill, but I know that on the Tea Estates life is much worse. Some improvement compared with when I began teaching in 1968, in Sinhala schools. What is said here is largely true. Little details like the leeches make me shudder.
      .
      However, there are the hollow words of this fortunate man:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeevan_Thondaman
      .
      Yesterday, the 24th, he voted to throw Janaka Ratnayake out as Chairman of the Public Utilities Independent Commission. If comments are still open, I will submit links to bits of the proceedings in Parliament, and something on Janaka and something that happened more than ten years ago.
      .
      This will not start to improve until some elections are held, but I acknowledge that the lot of the Estate Tamils will not automatically improve even with foreseeable changes.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela, Badulla District, Uva Province of Sri Lanka.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.