By Malinda Seneviratne –
Has anyone seen Sarath Fonseka?
This Uva election has been dubbed as a testing of the waters for bigger elections, such as the Presidential. This is why the ruling party and the main opposition party, the UNP,were so very vocal…or ‘louder than usual’. The JVP also made , but they’ve not been loud-mouthed or uncouth. Disciplined. But what happened to the Democratic Party and Sarath Fonseka? Were they campaigning quietly or lost in the thick of things?
Politics is a hirikitha business
Vishvanatha Kulathunga, a UNP candidate and a party organizer, has resigned from his post. He says that it is not possible to do politics with Harin Fernando. Harin, he claims, is only concerned about the number of preferential votes he will get. Well, the truth is that if Harin hadn’t resigned his parliamentary seat and decided to contest the UNP would not have had a campaign in Uva, considering the fact that the party high-ups are mostly concerned about bickering and trading insults. But even if Harin was the devil himself, that can’t be reason enough for this move for politics is a devil’s own game. You are not going to be rubbing shoulders with saints. If you didn’t know that, Vishvanatha, then you should not have entered the fray in the first place!
The Elections Commissioner says that there’s always been abuse of state resources. Ok, that’s not news. But what is he really saying here? He’s saying, “stop whining, it’s part of the story”. He’s saying “there’s not much I can do about it.” He’s also saying “go ahead, do whatever you want!” The same could be said about the violation of election laws and election violence. Nice!
Robbing the slogans
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced that electricity tariffs will be reduced. Fuel prices will also come down. Now it is not that Sri Lanka experienced phenomenal growth in the economy, or that we, as a nation, suddenly entered the top bracket in terms of GDP. But we know is that there’s an election. And that there might be bigger elections to come. These subsidies will hurt the Treasury. What that does to overall development in the long run, we don’t need to spell out. King Politics rules. That’s all we need to know. In other words ‘badu mila pahatha damau’ (reduce prices) is a slogan that has now lost currency.
Wimal’s new name
He calls himself the ‘Goriyakaravana Raala’ or the Official Rabble-Rouser of the government. He raises hell, in other words. Riles people up. Makes people sit up, take notice. He claims he gets the powers that be to listen and accept his proposals. Perhaps this Government needs such a person. But that’s, traditionally, the role of the Opposition. Is Wimal the ‘true’ opposition, then?
*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com