9 August, 2020

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Harimisms: (Mis)Reading Election Results

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

It is not hard to understand dismay at defeat.  It is also natural for the defeated to blame everyone else but themselves.  And so, when Harin Fernando, UNP MP, takes pot shots at the voters of the Wayamba and Central Provinces, eyebrows don’t get raised.  It is after all the utterings of a political neophyte which could result in the party faring even worse in these provinces next time around.  No harm to Harin, for he will contest from Badulla.

It is also understandable when vicarious satisfaction is sought, in this instance by cheering the TNA’s victory in the Northern Province.  ‘Someone taught the Government a lesson!’ is easy to say and if that’s all the consolation the UNP can get and if that is consolation enough so be it.

It is not just the Harins of the UNP that are trying to tag themselves to the TNA in order to drag themselves out of political despondency.  Just the other day, someone posted an interesting comment on Facebook:

‘My respect for the Jaffna Tamils has increased since reading the memoirs of various Missionary Wives of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The Jaffna people had to put up with the people who wrote this stuff. It is so dead boring, filled with ruminations of the goodness of god and the wonders of the universe.’  This drew the following comment: My respect for the Jaffna Tamils increased after the PC elections’.

The commentator did not elaborate on the respect-reasons, but it is not hard to figure out.

The post-election ‘analysis’ from the anti-Government lobby is full of ‘Harimisms’.  There was the usual tossing around of ‘military shadows’ in the North with random incidents gathered and called ‘tips of icebergs’ and other such exaggerations that’s par for the course for these politically and ideologically displaced commentators.

The North, we are told, voted for ‘freedom’, for an un-clutching of totalitarianism, whereas in the other two provinces, if the voter is past being swayed by post-2009 terrorism-defeat-euphoria he/she is still prone to preying with goodies, cellphones, sarees and whatnot.  Well, if voting for a terrorist mouthpiece that is still to get the tiger out of its collective gut amounts to a vote for freedom, then the people of the North have pretty short memories.  What is more likely is that the TNA offered (for purely communal reasons) a better comfort-sense than the UPFA, which too fielded Tamils by the way.  Communalist and chauvinistic rhetoric does draw hurrahs but not from the majority.  The more ‘familiar’ in the North (for whatever reason) is the TNA, not the UPFA.  There was ‘rejection’ of course or at least a statement that development though necessary and appreciated is just not enough.  If there was ‘un-clutching of totalitarianism’, then the glorifier of totalitarianism, C.V. Wigneswaran wouldn’t have ended up securing the highest number of preferential votes.

It’s about painting one’s political agenda (and resultant) dismay on a result and not reading the result for what it could be (and it could be many things, of course).  The Wayamba and Central Province voters are painted as a bunch of morons who didn’t know what’s good for them.   In Wayamba, at least, the candidate with the goodies got 200,000 less than the man who used the party network and who did the hard basics of going out to solicit votes.  That must say something.  More importantly, if un-shackling of any kind is desired, the question must be asked, ‘what were the options for these voters?’   Were these pundits wishing that they voted for some other party?  If so, which one?

If the Northern voter is respected with no mention of voters in the other two provinces, it implies a respect for the latter set.  What could these voters have done to earn the respects of these ladies and gentlemen?  The UNP?  The DNA? The JVP?  It boils down to political preferences then and immediately all the stories about democracy, unclutching of this and that becomes hogwash.   More seriously, it is patently arrogant to imply that those who helped produced an outcome not to one’s liking at stupid.  It is like saying ‘I know what’s best for you!’

People’s choices come out of a consideration of multiple factors.  We can talk about the political implications of outcomes, but if an election result is a punching bag to vent frustration on that’s not political commentary.  One might as well say ‘Damn! Damn! Damn!’

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

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    Damn! Damn! Damn! Mr.SeneviRotten. No one is mis-reading the election results. The RajaPassas’ and their bought and paid for sycophants like you can only fool a majority of the Sinhala south. The Tamils in the North and a minority of Sinhalese from the south including the international community, the UNHRC and the world at large no longer buy your lies, damned lies and zero casualties. MRs speech at the UN to an empty house and his silly incoherent interview with Al Jazeera was portrayed in local media as a victory for the country and the great statesmanship of that tsunami aid crook. But only the locals were fooled. The Tamil people showed the south how it was possible to resist all the dirty tricks employed by the RajaPassas’ and defeat them. One day after a couple of more Weliweriya style incidents in the south, the majority too will learn from the North and stop selling their souls and aah souls for a biriyani, arrack, housing materials and other handouts.
    In your case it was a laptop and other perks noh? Well enjoy it while it lasts, because nothing is permanent. Damn! Damn! Damn! :-D

    • 0
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      right.
      It is clear win for UPFA no doubt.
      MR goes and buy UNP politicians to UPFA whenever a election happens.
      All UPFA front running politicians are UNP cross over to UPFA.

      As long as president is in power with all his powers to buy, threaten any opposition politicians to UPFA, UPFA will win.

      There is nothing to split the hair and argue about the election results.
      May be Milinda is trying to make an interesting news out of the UPFA win.-:)

    • 0
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      Very well said, Percy, thank you.

    • 0
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      Empty Brain,

      Empty words,

      Empty Speeches,

      Empty Deeds,

      Empty promises,

      Empty Achievements,

      Empty seats?

      ATLAST EMPTY UN ASSEMBLY?

      AND THEY SAY, M R returns from UN with very successful results after giving a fantastic lecture to Colonial Masters [Empty seats], and
      IT IS a BIG BLOW TO UN????????.

      They Say, but who is listening .
      only Rajapassa clan like nation’s M S,Melbourne’s B G,
      Daily noise’s R A, Rupawahini’s H S.

      WH

  • 0
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    Even after 48 years of “independence”,we are unable to hold a totally FREE and FAIR election.
    This has made ALL sri lankans DESPONDENT about the future of this socialist democratic republic.
    The voters’ opinion was subverted by bribery and false promises in the Wyamba and central Provice.
    Northern voters voted for freedom from suppression and oppression,and to govern themselves through their own elected representatives.
    War Widows voted en masse to the woman candidate who saw her husband loaded into a bus by the army along with hundreds of other surrendees,only to ‘disappear’ without trace.

    Wyamba and Central Province voters are NOT morons.They know that whoever wins,their lot will remain the same.They voted for those who offered better bribes and/or promises of a more glorious future under the present regime.
    They will learn the reality soon.
    It is reported that public servants who retired with commuted pensions have not been paid the commuted pensions since 2010 – there is no money.
    More taxes are proposed to make up for the wastage and corruption.

  • 0
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    Tamils are cursed.

    Tamils lost the election outside the north.

    The more racist the north becomes, the more racist the rest of the country will be.

    SL is like a prawn, Looks like it. Excreta is accumulated in a prawn’s head! Jaffna is the excreta filled prawn’s head.

  • 0
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    What is more likely is that the TNA offered (for purely communal reasons) a better comfort-sense than the UPFA, which too fielded Tamils by the way. Communalist and chauvinistic rhetoric does draw hurrahs but not from the majority.

    Well, I think is the louvre of the Messiah isnt it really? The second coming of the Messiah with a mission to take the “oppresed” to a pomised land.

    What’s written in stone now and must be delivered. The Messiah will become a false Prophet like the first coming if not delivery. Failure to do so will bring forth a more Radical Messiah spelling doom once more.

    Whats in store for the new Tamil Messiah given the predicament ? I suspect he will soon begin to loiter around Foreign Embassies in Colombo. When cars pull out of the drive way he will run behind barking “Sinhalese are raping us” so I need a promised land. This will go on and on until 6 years is up wasting yet more time.

    • 0
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      If the 250,000 Chingalam army has been raping Tamil women so much, by now there should be more half bred Tamils than pure bred Tamils.

      May be it is true.

      Haiti women look like Tamil women.

    • 0
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      ha! ha!.

      Vibhushana, so what types of result from NP election you expect to prove your theory on prophesy, messiah is not true?

      massive votes for Douglas ? -:)
      Listen to KP’s advice and vote for UPFA? -:)

      • 0
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        Hey there Sumith,

        What would be your preference given previous experince with Tamil Nazis?

  • 0
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    Its funny you should mentioned this.

    Our Supreme Court Judge Winges ran to Canadian Embassy a couple of weeks ago screaming a Sinhala soldier had raped a Tamil woman. Although the woman next day made a statement to the police she was raped by a former collegue in the LTTE.

    You’d think this so called “upright and principled” SCJ should know basics – i.e. innocent before proven guilty isnt it really?

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