2 December, 2020

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Finale Sri Lankan Presidential Elections: Slogans, Projections And Predictions

By C P Thiagarajah

Dr C P Thiagarajah

Dr C P Thiagarajah

Dr. Siri Gamage, University of New England, Australia in his election projection from past elections in 2005 and 2010 and recent local polls in Badulla district concludes that the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena will be able to garner a 5-10% increase in the vote percentages in a majority of districts. That will deliver a victory for him and his coalition in the 2015 Presidential election.

Dr Jude Fernando, political analyst states “Even if the election fails to be free and fair, the good news is that, in recent times we have evidence from many parts of the world (e.g. Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Belarus, Egypt) where popular uprisings against election fraud led to the demise of authoritarian rulers or denied authoritarian rulers the democratic legitimacy that they seek. Sri Lanka, given it’s historical resilient as a nation against autocratic rule, certainly could not be an exception here”. Dr Fernando is very far away from reality. The Sri-Lankan electorate had short memories and never punished its political miss-adventurers, bribe takers or revenge takers. See what happened to Sarath Fonseka. Once he was a hero and a Major and now he is an ordinary man, without his army monetary dues and pensions holding the saree tails of Chandrika.

Daya Gamage writing in Asian Tribune (paper allegedly funded by Rajapakse regime) is strictly opposed to the recognition of The Tamil Homeland of North and East; the right of Self-determination for the Tamil People as the Sri-Lankan statute book under the 13 Amendment advised. He says Maitri will facilitate that if elected in the election even though the latter denies this and showed that he is as good a Sinhala Buddhist extremist as Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) in his manifesto.

On 4 January Ceylon Today took part disguise in a political rally held in support of Maithripala Sirisena at Mawathagama to feel the pulse of the people towards presidential candidate. Anuradha Samuel of Ceylon Today had a first-hand experience. She reported that most of those who attended were young Sinhalese and they all wanted a change of dynasty rule of MR. Mr Sirisena was stressing on a main point only after he began his speech amidst a thunderous applause.

“We will definitely send Mahinda Rajapaksa home.” His other policies in his manifesto are the same as that of MR

Samith Madhuranga of Ceylon Today embarked on a participatory evaluation of another political rally of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in disguise; to sniff the mood of the people towards President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The rally was held in Minuwangoda. He said “ In fact, I had noticed that the majority of the entire crowd was women. It was evident that the President was more popular among women. A young man who appeared to be a Sinhala Buddhist, appeared to say that ‘President Mahinda Rajapaksa needed to be re-elected to safeguard the rights of the Sinhalese’. The President’s speech was sentimental. People listened to him silently”.

MR’s slogan was not to give anything to the minorities even though he undertook to implement the 13 Amendment to the constitution to the UN and India. He moaned “Hakeem asked for a separate Muslim district in the Eastern Province. I said no. I can’t grant federal powers to the North. The TNA tries to chase me out as they cannot get federal powers from me. They work for the needs of foreign countries. They have all joined to sack me. They want to take me to the war crimes tribunal and punish me. I trust that the people of this country will not allow them to take me and the war heroes to the war crimes tribunal.”

This type of pretence appeal to the uneducated rural masses like opium to an addict. The villagers are nose led by this cacophony into a state of Sinhala heroism. They do not realise the truth in this present day that Sri-Lanka cannot live in isolation anymore and that Sri-Lankan have to abide by world order. Transgress these laws and you end up in isolation HR inquiry and economic embargo etc.

As an experienced politician MR has learnt his communal lessons from his predecessors like JR, Premadasa, SWRD Bandaranaike and Chandrika. Chandrika is now against MR because he has turned an iconoclast who wanted to over shadow or obliterate Bandaranaike from the political scene and replace the SLFP with the Rajapakse dynasty. Politicians have their own axes to grind and not the overall welfare of the country and its citizens of all hues. MR wants to be recorded in Mahawamsa, the Sinhala historical chronicle as Dutu Gemunu the II. The rural masses seems to like this ploy.

What these short-sighted politicians want is a Sinhala island for Sinhala people only contrary to present day reality. In this process they are prepared to sanction anything. Now the incumbent is seriously bent on passing the mile post on the counting day on January 9 by whatever means at his disposal. Any politician will resort to even Devil’s scriptures to achieve it. Once they reach the mile post then they can do horse trading and deals and encourage cross overs illegal arrest and do what not.

The contender Mr Maitripala Sirisena is a son of the soil. A colonist farmer’s son having eleven brothers. Ordinary villagers will like to see one of their kind enter the President’s house and give hope to the rural masses that one day a commoner can become president of Sri-Lanka like the African-American Obama ascended the American Presidency through sheer eloquence and capability/efficiency without any riches like most previous president had.

Democracy is at work in Sri-Lanka at least for the Sinhalese. Let us hope it works well so that one day the Sinhalese will wake up to the eternal truth that compassion is what is needed for man to live amicably. This is the essence of all religion and this is what Gautama Buddha gleamed out of his father’s religion Hinduism. Probably Tamils will get their rights one day through this awakening.

Democracy is a form of government that could regulate public affairs better than any other system government so far practiced anywhere in the world. In a democracy a constitution guarantees basic personal and political rights, fair and free elections, and independent courts of law .Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people, by the people, for the people. There was separation of powers between the institutions of the state:

Government [Executive Power],
Parliament [Legislative Power] and
Courts of Law [Judicative Power]

Thus under this system of government there was freedom of opinion, speech, press and mass media; religious liberty; general and equal right to vote (one person, one vote) and Good Governance (focus on public interest and absence of corruption). All citizens of Sri-Lanka enjoyed this Westminster system and had apparent peace during the latter part of British colonial rule

No sooner the British left Sri-Lanka for the last time in 1948 after granting independence to Ceylon their colony of nearly 150 years, the largest minority, the Tamils, lost their democratic rights. Since then, Tamils have been struggling to gain back their democratic rights from their new colonialist the Sinhalese the majority race; nearly half a century and a decade. The British left behind all essential framework, establishment and the staff necessary to carry out democratic rule. Their legacy was a written down constitution by the last governor general Lord Soulbury. He specifically included a section 29 to protect the minorities to prevent exploitation of the constitution by the majority race. The constitution guaranteed basic Human Rights to every individual person vis-à-vis the state and its authorities as well as vis-à-vis any social groups (especially religious institutions) and vis-à-vis other persons. All these had been compromised by the majority community for reasons that are not logical. Let us hope that the Sinhalese will be awakened and enlightened by this election.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    9

    Peelamist Thiagarajah

    No peelum for you in Sri Lanka whoever wins the elections.

    Please remember both are Sinhalese and coming from sinalese hardline background. Keep dreaming about your La-La land of Peelum til you kissed dust in this life.

  • 5
    5

    Dr. Thiagarajah,

    It would have been more appropriate if you had instead of ending your article with the sentence “Let us hope that the Sinhalese will be awakened and enlightened by this election”,ended with “Let us hope that the TAMILS will be awakened and enlightened by this election”.

    When will your ilk begin to look inwards instead of always pointing your soiled fingers outwards?

    • 0
      0

      what you say is blasphemy…lankan tamils are perfect…and blameless.

    • 0
      0

      Dr C P Thiagarajah

      RE: Finale Sri Lankan Presidential Elections: Slogans, Projections And Predictions

      “This type of pretence appeal to the uneducated rural masses like opium to an addict. The villagers are nose led by this cacophony into a state of Sinhala heroism. They do not realise the truth in this present day that Sri-Lanka cannot live in isolation anymore and that Sri-Lankan have to abide by world order. Transgress these laws and you end up in isolation HR inquiry and economic embargo etc.”

      This is precisely where the Sri Lankan Writers have failed to Communicate to the masses. see what The american Writer Thomas Paine did for the Americans and the Americana revolution. The task of the common Opposition and Common candidate became harder, even though they succeeded. Had three been a good Common sense Phamplet , the common (Sense) Candidate would have woin with 60%, with 81.5% turnout.

      The Sri Lankan Writers failed. The Masses do not have Facebook, Twitter, E-mail or do not have access or do not have time for that. They needed a printed Common sense pamphlet, neutral but factual.

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

  • 2
    0

    Thank you for reminding all of us our history. This is not sinhala or tamil speaking issue . Or British rulership left the Land.
    It is the principle we as a nation built our values into the people of the nation.What principles that are behind the Srilankan constitution ?
    Take the nations who has developed and ruling other nations in the world .
    What is those nations constitution based on ( principals).Moral built in the human core !!!!!

    (I worked 10 yes both among tea estate tamil speakers and North east tamil speakers sinhala speaking farmers. My mother tounge is sinhala.)

  • 3
    0

    British left in 1948, leaving behind a million coolies brought in from
    largely squalid India.Left they did and Good Riddance! East and North are not demarcated for Tamils only. It is idiotic to demand areas for Tamil only habitation and deny an area(be it the entire island) for Sinhalese only. The reality now is that the latter is more likely to eventuate than the former. The outcome of the election will not change the course Sri Lanka has chosen since 1948.

    • 0
      0

      How did the Sinhalese come to Sri Lanka.
      Perhaps it rained they dropped from the sky.
      Now the rain has stopped so they should go back to where they come from. No point in blaming the Britsh or the Tamils.

  • 0
    1

    Dear Dr C P Thiagarajah,

    You wrote

    “All these had been compromised by the majority community for reasons that are not logical.”

    “Daya Gamage writing in Asian Tribune (paper allegedly funded by Rajapakse regime) is strictly opposed to the recognition of The Tamil Homeland of North and East; the right of Self-determination for the Tamil People as the Sri-Lankan statute book under the 13 Amendment advised.”

    I am a Sinhalese and support the principle embedded in the 13A (there are areas in the 13A that are conflicting and they have to be amended).

    It appears to me that though you blame the Sinhalese for lack of logic, it is you and the Tamils like you who believe in exclusive Homelands, in this multicultural. multi religious country, that lacks logic.

    Please remember that Jaffna Tamils wanted to build a Tamil speaking Kingdom encompassing Tamil speaking areas of India and parts of Sri Lanka, even decades before Independence in 1948.

    Can you please explain the logic behind your Homeland claim?

    Please give special attention to the Land Area claimed, the population of that Land area and a comparison and justification of the disparate per capita Land areas in your purported Homeland and the rest of the country.

    If there is to be a Tamil speaking homeland then it follows that there should be a Sinhalese speaking homeland. Now please explain whose homeland the Million+ Indian Origin Tamils occupy in the Hill country the historical Kandyan Sinhala Heartland. Also please let us know how many Tamils and Tamil Speakers occupy that Sinhala Speaking Homeland.

    When you say Tamils, does that include the Indian Origin Tamils?
    If so what is the percentage of Indian Origin Tamils to Lanka Tamils?
    Tamil Speakers are not all ethnic Tamils.

    I also note that you have included the Muslims in your homeland claim. Do you have a mandate for doing that from the Muslims or are you playing a numbers game like your divisive politicians?

    Please also explain why you support the 13A.

    As for me, I believe that the whole of Lanka is the collective homeland of all her citizens.

    I hope that those who dream of a Tamil Speaking Homeland and advocate such divisive claims, become enlightened Citizens of Sri Lanka and learn to share her resources justly and equitably with all the other citizens.

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

  • 1
    0

    These tamils who advise sinhalese on self governance and democracy bla bla, could not get out of the hold of a megalomaniac for 30 years. It took a sinhalese to free them so that tamil kids can go to a school instead of holding a gun and giving protection to thalaivar…

    And these tamils were no where to be seen with their lessons on democracy and minority rights when they prosecuted and did ethnic cleansing of muslim minority living among them…And guess what the returning muslims are treated badly and tamils dont like them…

    SO much for human rights!

  • 0
    0

    hey Lal, people like you are the main reason we don’t be part of this country called Srilanka, You are ignorant to core, you and your compatriots have no brain cells to understand pathetic state of your country or its people.

  • 1
    0

    Tamils do not demand, nor need, special privileges.
    They merely want equality as citizens, in every sense of the word.
    They request that what is allowed to happen, in all other provincial councils, be allowed to happen in the NPC and, EPC too.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Fellow Srilankan Bro/Sis,
    No point of arguing now. There is another figure has been in the place.
    Make sure that current leadership do the at least 56% what he agreed to the people of Srilanka.

    After all every where human beings , all of us are human beings , cannot expect 100% !!!

    Cheers to all !!!

  • 0
    0

    Dr.C.P.T
    It is best if you dont write that is the democratic view.

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