27 June, 2019

Blog

Has Rajapaksa Taken A Tumble?

By Kumar David –

Prof. Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) won both the Western Provincial Council (WPC) and the Southern Provincial Council (SPC) by what would normally seem comfortable margins, securing 53% and 58%, respectively, of the popular vote. At first glance it may look alright, but it’s the trend not the final numbers that matter. In 2009 these numbers were 65% and 68%.

A 10% slippage in the South, the President’s heartland, was unexpected. More serious is that for international (UNHRC) and local (economy and corruption like India) reasons the government is entering a period of difficulty. The UPFA’s share of the vote in Colombo District fell below half (45%), though still larger than any other single party, and it lost all but one of the individual electorates within the City. If there is one more setback of this magnitude within the next 12 to 24 months President and UPFA will have to pack their bags. Colombo does have a special role as a place from which trends and ideas spread to other urban areas. It is not illegitimate to ask if the writing is on the wall for the Rajapakse Regime, but it is premature to assert that the answer is known with certainty since trends can reverse.

This piece is not for researchers who themselves plan to go to the raw data or for those who want a broad-brush political assessment and not lots of numbers. It is for Indian analysts, who can benefit from processed data, aggregating major trends, and which makes its political assumptions transparent. These are separable; it is possible to make different political assumptions but still use the data.

There are three crucial criteria; (a) how much did the UPFA vote slip, (b) what was the trade off between the United National Party (UNP), traditional liberal-capitalist party, and the Democratic Party (DP), party of the ‘war-hero’ General Sarath Fonseka and, (c) how did the left-wing People’s Liberation Front (JVP) fare?

The government hoped to whip up post-Geneva xenophobic frenzy and win the PC elections by a landslide in preparation for later Presidential and Parliamentary polls. Did it succeed? No; it failed to mobilise its base which remained apathetic to Rajapakse’s fortunes. The regime’s support base seems to have had misgivings about whether the defeat was caused by “evil imperialists” or by government bungling. The opposition has been tirelessly campaigning that Lanka lost the vote for the latter reason.

The percentage of votes obtained by parties that obtained at least one provincial council seat in 2014/2009 is as follows. SLMC is the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress; Mano Ganesan is a popular Colombo based politician of Upcountry Tamil origin, his electoral alliance is called the Democratic Peoples Front (DPF). The symbol # means the party did not exist in 2009.

Western Province:

UPFA: Vote 53%/65% – Seats 56/68

UNP: Vote 26%/30% – Seats 28/30

DP (Sarath Fonseka): Vote 9%/# – Seats 9/0

JVP:  Vote 6%/2.4% – Seats 6/3

SLMC: Vote 1.9%/2.1% – Seats 2/2

Mano Ganesan: Vote 2%/0.5% – Seats 2/1

All Ceylon Makkal Congress: Votes 0.6%/# – Seats 1/0

The Southern Province results are more remarkable because of the unexpected 10% decline in government support in its strongest province. This is more significant than the 12% decline in the WPC.

UPFA: Vote 58%/68% – Seats 33/38

UNP: Vote 26%/25% – Seats 14/14

JVP: Vote 9.1%/6% – Seats 5/1

DP (Sarath Fonseka): Vote 6.3%/# – Seats 3/0

We have to take careful note of the big winners, draw conclusions and consider what trends seem likely. General Fonseka’s DP came out of nowhere and polled 204,000 votes (9%) in the WPC; it did less well in the South, 76,000 votes (6.3%). The JVP polled as many votes in total as the DP; rising from 56,000 (2.4%) in 2009 to 156,000 (6%) in 2014 in the WPC and in the South rising from 72,000 votes (6%) to 109,000 (9.1%) this time. Fonseka’s party’s combined vote in the two provinces was 280, 000 and the JVP’s a comparable 265,000. These are startling if you consider this covers only two of the country’s nine provinces. The total number of valid all-island votes in the 2010 parliamentary elections was 80 lakhs and it would be significant if these two parties between them poll 15 lakhs next time.

In summary the important features are: (a) the UPFA vote in the WP declined by 12% and, remarkably by 10% in the SP; (b) the UNP, the historical party of liberal-capitalism has been able to hold off a challenge from the personally dicey and allegedly chauvinist Sarath Fonseka, and (c) the JVP vote share rose substantially. This last trend is crucial because it could demoralise the UPFA, energise the JVP, and knock common sense into Fonseka’s DP. An allied significant question is where did Sarath Fonseka’s 6 to 8% vote come from? Obviously, half came from the UPFA and the other half from the UNP.

As said before, the JVP vote in absolute numbers rose; conversely the UPFA vote declined in absolute numbers from 1.5 million (2009) to 1.4 million (2014) in the WPC and from 804,000 (2009) to a remarkably low 699, 000 (2014) in the SPC. The UNP vote, in absolute numbers, remained roughly unchanged in the WPC and rose by a small amount in the SPC. The benefit of a decline in UPFA vote went to several parties including the first time DP.

Now I am going to venture a few predictions. Fonseka’s space for gaining many more votes is restricted; he does not have an all island base like the UPFA, UNP and JVP. Secondly his luck was to pull support, in about equal measure, from the UPFA and UNP; this he achieved in the ultra-Sinhalese petty bourgeois electorates surrounding Colombo (Kaduwela, Maharagama, Kesbewa, Homagama, Mortuwa, Kolonnawa and Kotte) but it will be difficult to repeat on a large scale in other provinces (Central, North Central, North Western and Uva; and out of the question in the North and East). Sabaragamuwa Province may be the sole exception where Fonseka makes an impact. Hence I reckon the DP will not secure much more than half-a-million votes, all-island, if it goes it alone, in the next parliamentary elections.

From the spring in the step of its cadres and the bright responses I see all around, the JVP, unless it does something silly in the coming months, can set its sights on polling a million votes and securing 20 seats in the next parliament. It should aim high, there will be public response. There is time enough for a public discussion of strategies and programmes; I hope the JVP develops its next programme through a process of public consultation and discussion. The Single-Issue Presidential challenge will have to be meshed into strategy as an indispensable first step to abolish the Executive Presidency at the outset.

Mano Ganesan has shown remarkable advance from 12,000 in 2009 to 51,000 this time in the WPC and should aim at holding his gains. The SLMC vote declined from 6500 in 2009 to 1400 in 2014 in the SPC (serves the crooked opportunists right for such shameless betrayals the Muslim people). Its vote remained unchanged in the Western Province.

The writing on the wall seems clear; is this is the first crack in the dam? The Rajapakse goose may be cooked and the opposition has hopes of expediting its departure.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    1

    Wishful thinking !

    • 1
      2

      You can say that again.

      This [Edited out] keeps writing rubbish about how the government is going to end with his half-brained plans and anakyses.

      Please save us CT.

  • 4
    0

    Dr. David,
    Great respect to you, a great analysis. This will make them further clear, that they cant interpret the way they feel it.

    • 3
      0

      They within the party mumble about the tumbles

      Today, MSirisena louds that he is coming from a strong UNP family.

  • 0
    0

    Dr. David@,

    I made following correctiions: DP is active since last May or so.

    Western Province:
    —————–
    UPFA: Vote 53%/65% – Seats 56/68

    UNP: Vote 26%/30% – Seats 28/30

    DP (Sarath Fonseka): Vote #/9% – Seats #/9 <<—-DP is the youngestP

    JVP: Vote 6%/2.4% – Seats 6/3

    SLMC: Vote 1.9%/2.1% – Seats 2/2

    Mano Ganesan: Vote 2%/0.5% – Seats 2/1

    All Ceylon Makkal Congress: Votes 0.6%/# – Seats 1/0

    —————-
    The Southern Province results are more remarkable because of the unexpected 10% decline in government support in its strongest province. This is more significant than the 12% decline in the WPC.

    UPFA: Vote 58%/68% – Seats 33/38

    UNP: Vote 26%/25% – Seats 14/14

    JVP: Vote 9.1%/6% – Seats 5/1

    DP (Sarath Fonseka): Vote #/6.3% – Seats #/3 <<—-DP is the youngestP

    • 0
      0

      Appologies for this I got it fully wrong. Dr. David´s setting were right.

      OR CT@, please remove my last comments with corrections.

  • 4
    0

    I found the article written by Bastians is also a great analysis.

    Link is added below
    http://www.ft.lk/2014/04/03/a-chink-in-the-armour/

    I wonder govt´s media spoksmann minister denied saying that one should not compare it with previous election (2009)- latter is similar to what highly educated but turn caricature of MR regime -GLP ´s calculations about UNHRC voting, as preaching that ” we actually won the game in favour of the nation”. ha h ah a… also putting together the abstentions (12) and ” no vote” countries (12) = 24… Niyama fantastic former law professor´s new theories, we should be proud of this kind of country men.. ha ha.. what a world?

    • 1
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      I see hat ‘links’ are allowed at times, but not at others.

      • 2
        0

        Links are always allowed if it is included with YOUR OWN comments. Simply pasting a link with nothing else is not allowed.

  • 1
    0

    Democracy in Sri Lanka is well and kicking…..It gives hope to everyone (UNP, JVP, DP, DPF, Kumar David, Thisaranee G, etc etc).

    • 0
      1

      Hela

      “Democracy in Sri Lanka is well and kicking…..It gives hope to everyone (UNP, JVP, DP, DPF, Kumar David, Thisaranee G, etc etc).”

      Clan is doing well in this sham democracy while people are being kicked around left, right and centre.

      • 0
        2

        Cheer up NV,

        According to the opposition and the analysts contributing to CT, the clan is about to be toppled democratically by the people.

        • 3
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          Hela

          “Cheer up NV

          Will be cheerful only when both Sinhala and Tamil descendants of Kallathonies have left my island.

          “the clan is about to be toppled democratically by the people.”

          As long as people remain stupid, and they are indeed very stupid, clan has nothing to worry.

          People in this island tend to vote for the most corrupt,most brutal, most undemocratic, most xenophobic, ………. candidates or the party.

          Clan has greater chance of winning the elections if they continue to bash minorities. “Ban Halal and meat” electioneering may work, and can be a big vote winner.

          Of course you would vote for the clan and celebrate their victory with Mutton Biryani followed by a large portion of Watalappan.

      • 1
        2

        wedda my stupid clown friend you have no idea how fortunate our country is . Count your blessings . the grass is not greener in toilet nadu . I was in Texas near the Mexican Border waiting for the Shuttle bus at the Air port to get to the Hotel . I met this American woman who had flown in from Chennai where She and her husband owned a business . When I said I was from Sri Lanka she went into raptures . Of How clean the country was and how she loved to go there . and You know what I was proud to be from where I was . and I was with one of my Staff and engineer who was from Chennai .

        Just across the border in Rio Bravo Mexico you could see how the country was devastated by the Durg trade . and you know what regardless of all that our HR protectors tell us you know that there is very little but a bullet in the head from the STF for a drug dealer in Sri Lanka .

        American European style nonsense does not work in our part of the world . and we are all the better for it .

        David has lost his marbles a long time ago . so His analysis counts for nothing . Soon we will too but until then .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

        • 2
          1

          “When I said I was from Sri Lanka she went into raptures”

          If I were she, would have run away – right at the moment, being one of the strong apologists of MR regime – almost everyone would have sought distance. This will be even more clearer in the days to come. YOU WILL ALL SEE IT.

        • 2
          1

          This man is adding usual BS.

          “American European style nonsense does not work in our part of the world . and we are all the better for it”

          Are Spore and Malaysia not clean.. dont they have good mechnism to rule the nation with a law in action ?

          Stinking… whatever you sprout :(

          Are we crazy to compare it with those of born drug dealing nations such as Mexico, Colombia and the neighbouring states ?????

        • 2
          1

          I first travelled to S pore in late 80ties. There, I was surprised to see, how beautiful the country is. What I like much was function of law and order as given on the books. It was because of the rigarous laws in action. So are Germans and other Europeans too. If our people to see progress, we need a great leader who owns the qualities that of a Mahathir.. or the like. Not one who let his sons and far relatives to abuse the state´s treatury. For me, MR has zero qualities of a leader. Those good leaders that sacrificed for their developments have always been exemplary because they had learnt the basics in their childhoods on – respecting the human values first and then selfish agendas.

          • 1
            5

            Idiotic Jay .

            I have lived in Singapore for 8 years . it is not the Utopian heaven you think it is . Nor is Malaysia . They are very authoritarian countries who dont give a &*** abouT HR etc .

            • 2
              0

              I did NOT mean anything else than the function of law and order of a country. Never had I thought them to be utopic. What is clearly lacking in our place is – rule of law and order equal to all and sundry. If Malaysia or spore govts´ men took part a huge drug deal of srilanken kind, do you think Malaysian/sporean authorities would pay blind eye the way your darling MR did ? Today, MR himself promotes drug trafficking abusing his excutive powers.
              Is is nice to hear that school going boys today are used to spread drugs in the country ?
              Today, I read somewhere President personally praises students that became island wide best at their Olevels – in the same time, he deliberately pave all ways some school going children to get addicted to drugs.
              If his administration grab the war victory that the brave forces of the country earned hard, why the very same so called intelligent brains lag in settling the drug spread int he country today ?

            • 3
              0

              Funny – funny.
              you call Singapore and Malaysia authoritarian

              but srilanka of Raja oligarchs as a demo crazy ?

              MR as a leader of your favourite choice ?

              So no wonder they (23) voted against :(

              • 0
                2

                no its not funny at all . you are just plain ignornat

                • 3
                  0

                  Ignorants= those who would not raise the issues as they are, instead being fallen on silent modes. I dont belong to that category. For me, MR and the clans should be kept in prisons for the high crimes that they have commited sofar. They deserve them if not today tomorrow.
                  Alone the facts that paying blind eye against drug mafioses – is one of several reasons me to feel so. That man “LANZA” is one of the highly active drug business man. President has close ties with him.

                  So where are we living today ? If you dont have the facts, get them by contacting the parties, but please as one said to have love towards home country/nation, it is not fair to support these men in power.

                  Putting aside, alleged war crimes, alone considering drug dealing issues, we can go against MR and thugs. That will help us the dissdent to catch him.

                  I am not a supporter to party politics played in the country. I have not had the chance used to my vote any time in the past. But Opposition´s demand to protest against the MR regime.. I hail a lot.

        • 3
          0

          Abhaya

          Read the excerpts below and send it to your American lady friend. Let us know what she has to say about increasing level of violence against women and rapes in this country.

          Probably she was not aware of cultural attributes of men. If known she would have been indifferent to a Sri Lankan man.

          “A woman raped at a hotel in Sri Lanka has spoken for the first time of the attack in which she was badly beaten and her British boyfriend was killed.

          Victoria Tkacheva, 24, a Russian languages graduate, fears that the men responsible for her rape and the murder of Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker from Rochdale, will not be brought to justice.

          One of the eight suspects who were arrested but later released is a local politician whose family have close ties to the Sri Lankan president.”

          http://www.dailymirror.lk
          SUNDAY, 21 APRIL 2013

          “A young Australian woman is believed to have been raped during a trip to a coastal town in southern Sri Lanka.”

          http://news.ninemsn.com.au
          January 28, 2014

          German woman, abducted from night club, abused
          FRIDAY, 28 MARCH 2014

          http://www.dailymirror.lk/

          A land like no other: 5 rapes a day, but does anyone care

          http://www.sundaytimes.lk/
          February 03, 2013

          “In 2007, it was discovered and reported that girls as young as 13 were having sex with U.N. peacekeepers for as little as $1 in Haiti,” noted Ezili Dantò, president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN), in a letter to the international body. “Moreover, Sri Lankan soldiers were accused of systematically raping Haitian women and girls, some as young as 7 years old.”

          Thursday, 08 September 2011 12:49
          UN Troops Accused of Sex Crimes Worldwide
          http://www.thenewamerican.com/

          New Laws May Fail to Protect Children in Sri Lanka

          According to figures tabled in parliament, the Sri Lankan police recorded 1,759 reported cases of child rape, including incest, in 2012, up from 1,463 in 2011.

          http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/10/

          Hope you wouldn’t want to compete with other countries where rape crimes are higher than what it is in this island.

          • 3
            0

            No point of making clear to him (Abhaya) about these things.
            Even if he would have been raped/abducted/go missing during his next visit to the country. This man Abhaya would never utter a single word against MR regime. So does DJ. So knowing this, why to speak to the wall ?

          • 0
            0

            wow wee wedda you found a few indivigual cases . Do you know what the rape and murder rate of many big citys in the US . even you a wedda would not walk there after dark , do you know what the rape and murder rates of the countries these toursits came from . if so publish them vs Sri Lankas rates . I am sure you will be surprised .

            • 2
              0

              Is it right at all to compare ours with that of the US ?

              We d better do so it with like minded nations ? Like Malaysia for example. We have to wait to compare that with those of colombians or Mexicans.

              You are blind and deaf when it goes with MR ´s broad day activities. Now even open drug deals no matter school children are being caught by drug mafia they have to live up their abusive styles.

  • 1
    1

    Yes indeed. Time will not heal but make the situation worse because the Rajapaksas refuse to Learn from their mistakes and further they are too unwieldy and far too dishonest. Bensen

    • 3
      1

      how can anyone explain why the people nevertheless voted UPFA last time ?

      Who would agree with a GOV that abused all 90% of loans taken from Chinese/other foreign banks for the name-development projects (only 10% proved to have spent for all giant projects)

      Proof materials were displayed by opposition candidates adequately so that the public could let everything go through their heads before using their golden voting. But to have ignore all these

      a) People should be deaf/dumb/sick

      b) Giving them one more chance

      • 2
        0

        Dan Senvirante

        “only 10% proved to have spent for all giant projects”

        Could you let us have the proof.

        • 3
          0

          This JVP pc candidates made very clear in a TV debate. That held last month on weekly basis.
          They had compared the sums as given in respective COPE reports with the amount spent for
          a)Katunayake higway
          b)Southern highway
          c)Mattal Airport
          d)Colombo theatre

          less than 225billions have been spent for a+b+c+d
          That they calculated as just 10% of the total sum of the loans
          They also argued all road constructions completed sofar cant be 200 billions. So collossal sums have gone to waters – were their arguments. They also had all paper documents in their hands. None of the ruling party men were able to respond to that. They just let that forget as the incumbent president always does.
          This the JVPers had raised in the parliaments. As usual nothing sofar is made clear. JVPers also argue as to why today tenders are not called for any kind of developements. That was also paid with blind eye. This is the ground reality of SRILANKA under the rule of MR

          • 2
            0

            who knows may be they invested the rest in their own companies while not even thinking about the dire need of price reductions, let alone for daily essentials such as milk power, rice, flour, bread and the like.

          • 1
            0

            Dan Seneviratne

            Thanks I will have to check the figures.

            • 2
              0

              @Nativ V
              Please do so. Right respecting folks will support you further. I have the proofs on figures in Sinhala langauge.
              I believe even if opposition raise these and other issues, within today´s context, without possibility of recourse to legal action- they have been taken away from people´s attention. If one would challenge them hard, it ll be easy opposition to topple the govt. They have countless cases where the corruption levels have gone overflown as no times in the past.

    • 0
      1

      Bensen:-
      The problem is that the Rajapakses do not see any ‘MISTAKES’ in their actions!

      • 1
        1

        Show me a politician who sees their mistakes and Ill show you a lawyer who is honest .

        • 3
          1

          Dr. Angela Merkel – many believe her seeing her own mistakes. That was the reason her to have reelected for the 3rd term too. Unemployment levels have been reduced to significant levels during her past two terms. Believe or not, it is the only grand nation in Europe still maintain to be a social state. Unlike in the UK, patients would not go dying being lagged on waiting lists. Each and everyone living germany is entitled to be a member of health insurance, gives them a greater security. Amies wonder services offered by public services in Germany since only the rich can afford better health service in the states.

      • 0
        1

        Well, In fact they should not see any mistakes that thy make.
        Let them think that way. ‘OSTRICHES BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND’.

        Let them continue their actions. So next time the 10 & 12 margin would double.

        Gonraja got those 53% & 58% percent after spending millions of public funds, misusing both media 24/7, breaking all election morals and ethics. K David should have add it.

        The writing is on the wall, no doubt.
        In the next few months the ugly Rajapaksas will deteriorate further.

  • 1
    1

    All the commentators dabbling in numbers and percentages forget the fact that all Rajapakse elections were a one horse race galloping after binding the legs of the opponents. From 2005 Presidential elections where Tamil votes were stopped courtesy Prabhakaran and the rest by demolishing the independence of the key Institutions like the Elections Commission , the Police and the Parliament itself. who cannot purportedly say they won the elections and the people are with them. What happened to MR at 2010 Presidential elections soon after winning the war? At the last resort can anyone say that he has the legitimacy to govern?

    • 3
      1

      Authoritarian rulers win repeatedly their elections – we are all aware of the facts and figures coming from Zimbabwe.

      • 2
        0

        This is very true.

        There was no election commission appointed to function even if EC raised the issues even his predecessor.

        What was seen was President himself went on opening laboratories to some hand picked schools but spoke political agenda and the Geneva fiasco. I only know Presidents (Chancellors, heads of states) in general are busy with other issues. Only ministers of education and other ministries go on opening those labs, schools or grounds.
        But things to run totally different schedule in this country- under the steps of MR is I find very unique – and wasting unncessary funds for president´s travels/transport in general.

        Opposition party candidates were not give equal rights for their campaigns. SF´s party men were cornered. They were even assualted. Nevertheless people to vote for his men – is the greatest victory.

        • 1
          0

          Jay Fernando

          Abhaya and other like minded Sinhala/Buddhists have a problem. They do not know when, where, how, and what to compete with.

          Those stupid people want to compare every aspect of national failures with other countries.

          Their excuse is that other countries are far worse perpetrators/offenders than ours, as if we are competing with rest of the world in war crimes, other crimes including murder, rape, child abuse,Bikku molesting children, thieving, corruption, violence, …………..

          Abhaya wants this country to be the second worse. He is also trying very hard to move this country to the top.

          • 1
            0

            Anyone lived and living on the west would agree with me

            all what you mention as “ther crimes including murder, rape, child abuse,Bikku molesting children, thieving, corruption, violence, ………….. ” are promoted by today´s govt than standing against.

            This is the reason why I feel – rule of law and order should be brought back to the country by amending the constitution accordingly.

            I wonder why Abhaya and ilk would continue supporting highly abusive govt .. I cant realize why.

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