21 August, 2019

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Gota-Mahinda, Sajith-Ranil: Pups-And-Foxes

By Kumar David –

Prof. Kumar David

Gota has been anointed. At this time of writing it seems Sajith is putative crown-prince of the UNP. Gota is feted for what he has done and hated for what he has done. Sajith is applauded for his achievements on the second-eleven and scoffed for no achievement in high statecraft and diplomacy. Right now, in a month’s time, or on the day before the elections I will not risk betting one buck on either candidate unless it’s your litre of single malt against my 70cl of arrack. So, instead of playing the silly game of predicting the unpredictable so early in the first innings, I will muse about interesting connected issues.

Broadly speaking, who is likely to vote for or against whom? Some patterns are incontestable; Tamils and Muslims will avoid Gota like the plague and on the other side of the same coin hardcore racists and monks are pledged to back him to the hilt. What about the Sinhala masses? Gota’s districts are where the Sinhala-Buddhist petty-bourgeoise is domiciled in large numbers; Nugegoda to Horana, Kotte, Kottawa and along the coast all the way from Dehiwala to the South. Class wise it is the semi-educated Sinhala-Buddhist petty-bourgeoise typified by the hoi-polloi that flocked to Shangri La events, and of course military types, that constitute Gota’s true class and social base. 

If I were Gota mulling this scene, I would be concerned that the rural Sinhala mass, the old village voter who makes up the millions of the traditional SLFP, is not included. Yes, Feb 2018 proved they had drifted from SLFP to SLPP, but still it is Mahinda-Raja not Gota-Raja! Despite the fact that Gota’s star is rising in news-bites and in pellapali, Gota is dependent on Mahinda for the mass rural “blue” vote. This has an implication that I will touch on at the end.

Turning to Sajith we see an inverted parallel. If indeed Sajith is the candidate he will certainly draw many Tamil and Muslim votes – these two communities hate Gota. But there may be abstentions for good reasons that I cannot discuss here and that’s good for Gota. Though the UNP rural base will be happy to vote for Sajith there’s an inverted problem. In Colombo City, urban centres, the Catholic belt north of the city and the costal part of Gampaha and Puttlam Districts, Sajith is very dependent on Ranil, posh UNPers, Ravi and Catholic MPs to draw three-quarters of a million votes. (Didn’t Ranil poll about 400,000 in the Western Province in 2015?). Like Gota leans on Mahinda, so too will Sajith be dependent on Ranil and the UNP elitist big-guns if he is to stand a chance. His father’s Kesellwatta vote is a vanishing commodity. 

Mention of the father raises another heckle. The Premadasa-Ranjan killing machine of 1989-91 slaughtered about 60,000 young people, some JVP but most simply having the misfortune of being young and poor. To what extent will this inhibit JVP voters (recently about 6.5% of the total) from voting for Sajith? This could become a factor if neither Gota nor Sajith secure 50%+1 first-preference votes and second-preferences have to be factored in? It’s too early to know what the JVP will tell its people to do. You see there are too many uncertainties around to make any definitive predictions.

One last point. The two old foxes may have the whole thing sown up. Mahinda will be chagrined if Gota’s star rises too high and outshines him; its already happening among nationalist petty-bourgeois Sinhala-Buddhists. Ranil and Colombo 7 will be miserable to secede UNP leadership and all power to Keselwatte Peme-machang. Key presto there is a solution from a genie issued out of a cunning bottle of Lankan gal arraku. Will cunning RW and MR join selfish forces and push through the 20-th Amendment? Despite howls of protest from Gota’s and Sajith’s factions the old foxes may be able to muster 2/3 of parliament to their purpose. The next president will then be emasculated and the Prime Minister will reign supreme. My support for this is not for the sake of these two good-for-nothings, but because castration of the Executive Presidency has long been one of my demands. 

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    Navin Dissnayake is from up country., Daya gamage is from UVA -Badulla. Sarath Fonseka is also is willing. Wigneswaran from PRo-LTTE faction of Tamils, JVP is still secretive and Muslims says they also for the first time forward one candidate. so, what is happening to Sri lanka. Is politics a very lucrative employment. I heard, now they are discussing about what kind of Cars to import for the next parliament. But, Mangala may be saying, he is not giving his money for Japanese and European cars.

  • 7
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    While they are playing their power games, it is the Sri Lankan people who will suffer the consequences of their jostling, and conspiring, for the top place in the party. It time for Ranil, who failed and disappointed the people, to take his toys and go home, and give the mantle to someone who may do a better job, as for the Rajapaksa’s, they had their chance, they failed the people too, badly, and many died during their terror reign. They made their millions, but seem to want more.
    We have lousy choices.

    • 1
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      Chitra
      It’s time for patriot’s likes of you and the Professor to put your rhetoric and criticism a pause and put your name forward for leader ship. With all of you with high intellect and vast experience of running government administration plus unblemished pure character Sri Lank will be will be the envy of the world under a decade.
      If you not willing to commit all you will become just bunch blow-hard with too much idle time on your hands.
      Late Aussie Paul Hogan as you well know when ask by a reporter what his opinion about the critics. Critic is the people who do nothing and criticize the ones who do something. When they go home in the night if they have a family when ask what do you do today not much but I criticize.”
      Ring a bell.

  • 0
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    Cold war is going on between all groups. within Mahinda camp too there is a cold war. .. Mahanida wilfe will never and ever want Goata get the job.. same like that Ranil never and ever wants to give the job to Sajith.. now some are trying to catch fish in trouble waters. So, many foxes, some many goats, some many crooks, so many scapegoats, so many lions waiting to have a big share of feast, so many stomachs to feed within both parties.. one thing is clear .. None of these people care about the future of this nation.. but all are selfish.. Never dream to see Sri Lanka as Singapore: Let us hope a good leader come and punish all thieves.. .Start with Ranil with CB case. nationalise all his wealth to compensate a little bit for his fault in Central bank. Then go for all others..

  • 2
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    I wonder whether any of the well-organised parties will ever talk about how the preferential votes ought to be cast.
    .
    Hardly anybody has ever voted except for the candidates of the two major parties. In the past, the JVP candidates were the only third candidates to receive a reasonable number of votes – Rohana Wijeweera in 1982 and Nandana Gunathilake in 1999.
    .
    It would certainly lead to more intelligent voting if there were third candidates who would poll substantial votes, and perhaps that would happen if voters knew about the preferences. The first indication that someone was going to organise such education came only a day ago:
    .
    https://www.newsradio.lk/local/voters-urged-to-mark-2nd-3rd-preferences/
    .
    Would the Elections Commission itself be in a position to give more effective publicity to preferential voting being possible? This is what Rohana Hettiarachchi of PAFFREL has suggested above.

  • 2
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    pretty good analysis

  • 4
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    Sajith a part of CoupeLk continuation and a part of the move to protect the Rajapaksas from Criminal prosecution!? After all if the elections are thrown to Gota a sitting president can’t be prosecuted yes?

    Sajith and the Rajapaksas have some deal!?

    Sajith is an Indian proxy too?

    • 1
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      Will India prop up Sajith when it is Sajith’s pappa who made Indian soldiers eat humble pie!
      .
      Sajith’s anointment is not yet a done deal, – most probably will never be.
      .
      Does Sajith , after all those breakaway manoeuvres, have the mettle to really test the resolve of Ranil. Probably not. If he did, that would mark the end of his chances for ever. Not that he would get a better opportunity any time in the future.
      .
      There is only one horse as of now. I am awaiting the dark horse!

      • 2
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        Maharajahs Newsfirst is now attacking and slinging mud at Sarath Fonseka for exposing their continuation of backing the follow up to CoupeLk by supporting the Maharajah/ Indian puppet Sajith Premadasa who is being used to split the UNP to throw the elections to Gota Rajapaksa to protect him from criminal prosecution…

  • 7
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    Gota is relying on Buddhist Sinhalese votes. But Chandrika’s faction is against Gota. Moreover, the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge is also a headache for Gota. JVP is also on the Presidential race. Tamils & Muslims are against Gota as Gnanasara Thero is with Gota. Sajith is immatured and relies on astrological beliefs. He too have plundered and committed sins. Maithri is on troubled waters. Will Sarath Fonseka publicly support Gota? Good work by Ranil in allowing all these mad clowns to face the public. Eventually everything swindled by Rajapakse’s and stored in their Treasury will begin to dry. Karma.

  • 2
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    Tamil are already showing already boredom of “We don’t care whether Ram is ruling or Ravana is ruling. This is a blessing to Old Brother Prince, who mainly depends on Sinhala Buddhists’ vote. No UNP candidates have capacity to fuse or melt this doldrums. Ranil said in budget that he will build 1,000 Buddhist temples in North. Challenging that, Vaalaiththodam Jr is saying he will build 5,000. TNA was sticking to CBK because of JR and Vaalaiththodam Sr, rather than something to do with Ranil. One reason Ranil burned CBK’s constitution because TNA favored CBK. Once Sumanthiran came into the picture, he improved that relation and made it TNA as Ranil’s friend. So we don’t have much appetite to guaranteeing Tamils’ votes to Vaalaiththodam Jr, unless there is an effort from “UNP as whole” makes some changes in strategy. But that is not the case with Muslims. Hakeem said he would like to negotiate with Old Brother Prince. But Muslims, voting for Muslim parties is one thing and they vote for national parties is another thing. So Muslims don’t listen to Muslim leaders on “How to vote for National Parties”. So even if Hakeem makes a deal with Old Brother Prince and asks Muslims to vote for him, they will not be obliged to that word. On the other hand making deal with minorities is risky business for National parties- though they bogusly call them as “National Parties” (They fondle majority exclusively). This is why CBK and Ranil refused to make any deal with TNA in 2015 and TNA faced 100% defeat in its Secret Solution, in the last 5 years. So if Old Brother Prince makes any deal with Hakeem and publicly announce it, it would be detrimental to Old Brother Prince. So, any route one can take, the analysis is telling Muslims and Old Brother Prince in this election going to be water and oil -they cannot mix.

  • 0
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    The complex situation to explain, but true is, if you are standing in Vaalaiththodam Jr’s side you would feel Brother Prince is likely to win and if you stand at Old Brother Prince side, you may feel Vaalaiththodam will be winning. This is why Tamils and Muslims fearing that Old Brother Prince may win. But one should remember Old Brother Prince is not Old King; so the unknown devil element has very strong present within non-Sinhala Buddhists about him than Vaalaiththodam. As Prof. Kumar said they both needs their leaders support. But there is high probability the both leaders may pull the carpet underneath their candidates’ feet. Media is reporting Old Brother Prince is still not confirmed and Vaalaiththodam is still not selected. If Old Brother Prince slips on citizenship issue, Ranil will show courage to pull off Vaalaiththodam Jr too.

  • 0
    1

    As we have already commented couple of times, the most difficult problem to solve is Old King’s Opposition Leadership. He is another party candidate, while constitution is explicitly preventing him doing it, yet he is coming through SLFP to sit in the Opposition Leader’s chair. This is one of the funniest thing ever happened in a democratic form of government. While this man doing this game, JR fired Amirthalingam by his NCM on Opposition Leader.

    I think Old Brother Prince is still in SLFP and not a member of Slap Party. Even if it is the other way, at this point, before SLFP fire any other party hoppers, firing only Old Brother Prince will be awkward. So if he wins the election, SLFP will come under his control, by legal assignment. If New King has had not fired the party hoppers from SLFP until February 2020, it will be Old Brother Prince’s option to do it, provided that they all survived any possible legal challenges. In that case Old Brother Prince declaring election would be very important for Old King.

    Otherwise he will be on the mercy of Old Brother Prince to enter into Parliament. In other words, if he escaped from New King, he will fall into the hands of Old brother Prince to show mercy to come and go to Parliament. At that time, Ranil and Old Brother Prince only can dissolve the parliament. During that difficult time he will have to be very respectful to Old Brother Prince. He cannot use 19A much to boss over Old Brother Prince.

  • 5
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    If Sanity wants to be the UNP candidate it has to.be with the blessings of Ranil. To do so, he must prove he is not representing Maharajas and keep them far away from his group. Will he be able to do so? He seems to.be in.their clutches. If not he must gracefully move away from.This election and wait for his turn next time. This will give him.more recognition and trust by most of the UnPers. He should wholeheartedly endorse the next most potential candidate from.the bUMP, Karu Jayasuriya & work towards his victory.

  • 5
    0

    Kumar,
    I think it is too early to talk about voting patterns. We still don’t know what Kumara Welgama would do. If the war heroism is the crucial factor, Gen SF backed Sajith will have more credentials over GoRa who holds a horrible criminal record and who ran away from the war to become a US citizen. One thing is certain: Unlike in previous elections where voters had the mind made up long ahead of the election, the number of undecided voters is very high this time. The factor is GoRa’s criminal record.

  • 4
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    House Building: Someone said here that the politicians mislead the voters to think that any benefits that come their way are coming from the private boodale of the politicians and compared them to ATM machines doling out your own money and charging a fee (a heavy fee in the form of commissions) for the service.
    .

    Sajith talks as if he is doling out his own money (at least partly) for the houses he gives to the people. I don’t like his talk and I like less the houses he is giving. If we were to do things right, then there would be no need for his benevolence. People would get decent incomes and build houses the way they want at a fraction of what they cost now.

  • 5
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    Professor David has made a brave fist of the forthcoming hustings. The sad reality is that none of the prospective challengers give us any hope. These are the same tired people, devious, scheming and unlikely to do anything that will upset our well rotting political apple cart. The only certainty is that whoever wins, who ever takes the reins, they will not (willingly) stop the rampant nationalist scoundrels of the BBS, Ravaya, Sinhale, et al. Injustices of the past will remain buried, law and order will be selective, and justice on the most serious of cases will be hit or miss. Our ranaviru’s will remain a protected species. The threat of protecting our land from evil foreign enemies will often be invoked. The smart will keep their heads down and make what money they can. Lions ruled by goats. So, all in all, time passes but nothing will change in sunny, happy, Sri Lanka.

    • 0
      0

      Yes, dear Spring Koha,
      .
      But the problem is that these “prospective challengers” are not themselves tired; we are sick and tired of them. Perhaps that should be put even more strongly. And the guy who wins will show himself to be rejuvenated.
      .
      However, do remember that they will not be the only candidates. There will be others and, theoretically, at least, they start with equal chances. It is upto us to cast preferences for two of them, before settling for one of the two miseries nominated by the UNP and the Rajapaksas.
      .
      Denial of 50% on the first count, and the counting of preferences, may at least force the country as a whole to acquire the knowledge of the system to enable more intelligent voting by the less thoughtful and literate, at least in 2024. Did J.R. Jayawardena foist on us a system that he felt would not be understood by anybody?
      .
      This election is not a done thing yet. Let us wait to see the full field, although we are realistic enough to know that the guys now in the limelight will be hard to eclipse.

  • 0
    0

    The entry of Gota/Mahinda into the Executive-President/PM elections may appear explosive but is no more than a typical Mahinda Chinthanaya. The sleepwalking voters are inundated with Gota/Mahinda in the media with their good-deeds. Hostile reminders contribute to publicity.
    Bankrupt journalists, commenters and political commentators smell prospects.
    .
    In this article Prof Kumar David portrays Gota/Mahinda as sweet/innocent/angelic puppies. The ‘others’ are cunning foxes or grandmother wolf who eats school children.
    PS: The thick Trotfucius is confused.

  • 0
    0

    This writer,s assumption regarding Ravi , Ranil and Catholic votes are completely wrong. Every body knew about corruption charges , bond case etc againt Ranil and Ravi. Catholics also knew only man who has chance to win from UNP is Sajith. So they would vote even Ranil and Ravi going against Sajith. Ravi has no place to go because of corruption charges. He tried to join Mahinda, but Mahinda did not give his decesion yet because of Ravi,s bad track record. If Mahinda accept Ravi, it will be a bad name for Mahinda and his party.

  • 0
    0

    Don’t get me wrong, I am not insulting Prof. Kum. The picture of analysis and its presentation must necessarily be like that of intelligent guess works done in a horse racing event. The sum and substance of all this is self interest and based on that a guess work on possible outcomes where that can be visualized. But what has happened to mother Lanka as a result of this self interest? The economy dwindling. Even the richest are concerned about the fall of the rupee in value although it seemed not to affect them in the past. So many instances the country “going to the dogs” can be highlighted. The real issue is can the resolution of all these issues be safely entrusted to OUR TRUSTEES, namely the chaps who ride in power through our vote? If the answer is a one big NO, what else can be done? Can intelligent people like Prof. Kum offer an answer?

  • 0
    0

    the best thing is to abolish the presidency and have the PC elections before the end of the year.

  • 0
    0

    Gota will be disqualified from contesting the Presidential election. MaRa and several other SLFP members will be disqualified to sit in Parliament by virtue of their membership of the SLPP.
    Chances are that another entity from within the country could take over the reigns, with the fallout of the aforesaid unexpected turn of events or is it a blunder? Or are my thoughts running riot?

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