29 September, 2020

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How To Stop Rigging The Presidential Elections?

By Vishwamithra1984

“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The present government and its coalition partners are held in so much suspicion and contempt, the obvious question that is being asked by every reasonable man and woman today is: “even if we win, will they allow our candidate to be declared the winner?” It is a very reasonable question to ask and equally reasonable to prepare the voter, supporter and activist of the Opposition for the uphill task of upholding the law of the land to compel all officials, from the Election Department to the Police to be fair and balanced when dealing with the intricate process of balloting, counting and declaration of the winner- new President.

Sri_Lanka_Elections-2013When undertaking any task, big or small, being ready has no substitute. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is a very reasonable demand from any new recruit. When talking about elections, what appears most significant in the process is, other than campaigning itself, actual voting (balloting) and counting. And when people refer to their suspicions and doubts, they are in fact referring to polling and counting. Ever since Independence, almost all our elections, whether they were General, Presidential or By Elections, have been marred by rigging, some minor and others bordering on outright and unbelievably mass-scale frauds committed in broad daylight with regard to polling and by nightly maneuvers, especially initiated by the current regime.

In such a continuing and degenerating electioneering process, it is nothing but natural that the voters question its questionable legitimacy and validity. In such a context, what can the Opposition do? The passage of the Eighteenth Amendment has given the Executive almost unbridled powers to control the process. The Elections Commissioner is yet to prove that he has some backbone; being called a ‘General’ without the necessary stamina and guts to ensure the sure and safe execution of his duties is a shameful badge to ornament his civil uniform. A breakdown in the election process, unrestricted freedom allowed to the incumbent and harassing the opponents and violating their fundamental rights would eventually end up in a total breakdown of our society. Leaving the country to be run by one single family, its cohorts and henchmen and incompetent and spiritless bureaucrats would indeed be a national calamity. If the last five years are of any measure and if the way in which the incumbent has been conducting affairs of government is any yardstick, it is not so difficult to predict what would follow if the Rajapaksas are re-elected this time. The manner in which his henchmen have been shamelessly executing government decisions and the way in which the infamous Bodhu Bala Sena and its chief spokesperson’s shameless expression of ‘un-endorsing endorsement’ of the Rajapaksa candidacy being uttered leaves the reasonable voter bewildered and stunned.

Yet, all seem to agree that, on paper, this election is Maithripala’s to lose. But elections are not fought and lost or won on paper. The grueling campaigns that test the will and doggedness of the candidates, might eventually catch up with amateurs getting bogged down while taking the determined to the winning post. We are already into the second week of the campaign. While both candidates are whistling across the country’s electoral map, their respective support groups are equally busy crafting and releasing propaganda material. The voter is yet waiting; some with a hope that the time has come for a change while others have opted to remain hoodwinked by the Goebbels-like false propaganda of the Rajapaksas. On the social media front, the Rajapaksas are being clobbered, almost 90% to 10% in favor of Maithripala Sirisena. But Maithripala-supporters must realize that the domain of the computer is not restricted to Sri Lanka. In the global marketplace where those who have no vote in Sri Lanka too are participating in computer polls. Those results don’t mean a thing. No identifiable company or entity has released any local poll results. But I’m sure both parties would have done their own internal polling and the results used to refine and fine-tune their respective political strategies and tactics.

But the most pressing question that dominates, not only the Colombo-based conversation but also the day-to-day exchange of opinions and ideas in the rural hamlets in the country is whether the election would be rigged by the powers that be. No strategy, tactic or electioneering engineering could wipe out rigging one hundred percent. One must provide for a fairly small percentage of rigging, both at the polling stations and counting centers. But the people’s nagging question whether the declared result would differ from the actual vote is a very serious phenomenon and cannot be swept away as insignificant. Such a lingering thought that the Rajapaksas would remain in power despite a defeat at the elections should be quelled at its birth itself. Such negative thought processes must be countered only by assuring the voter that it wouldn’t be so.

How can the Opposition do this? As at now, when one looks into the constituent Opposition political parties that are engaged in the campaign, the efforts of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) stand out, eclipsing even those of the United National Party (UNP). The general lethargy and complacency that had had a killing effect on its advance during the last twenty years seems to be still continuing. However, thanks mainly to the appointment of Kabir Hashim as the new General Secretary of the UNP, the dilemma that most UNP MPs and organizers suffered during the last two decades should gradually evaporate. Both the UNP and JHU, unlike the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), are open political parties. People can join and leave these parties at will and strict codes of discipline which were the usual character of left-leaning political parties, especially of the JVP are absent. The UNP and the JHU can very well afford to discuss their policies and to some extent, even their execution strategies with their membership and support groups openly. Yet what is required in order to counter the fear that the people express as regards the honesty of the electioneering process from polling to counting and declaration of the results are the measures adopted to counterbalance the anticipated rigging and forgeries. All measures must be in place to get the voter to the polling booth.

If that happens and in the event the counting process could be assessed and monitored fairly scrupulously, the only hitch would be the actual declaration of the ultimate result. This is where, I hasten to remind the reader of the post-election episodes in the Philippines. The elections in the Philippines were held on February 7, 1986.The official election canvasser, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), declared Marcos the winner. The final tally of the COMELEC had Marcos winning with 10,807,197 votes against Aquino’s 9,291,761 votes. On the other hand, the final tally of the National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL), an accredited poll watcher, had Aquino winning with 7,835,070 votes against Marcos’ 7,053,068 points. Cheating was reported on both sides. This electoral exercise was marred by widespread reports of violence and tampering of election results.

The failed election process gave a decisive boost to the “People Power movement.” At the height of the revolution, Juan Ponce Enrile revealed that a purported and well-publicized ambush attempt against him years earlier was in fact faked, in order for Marcos to have a pretext for imposing martial law. However, Marcos never ceased to maintain that he was the duly elected and proclaimed president of the Philippines for a fourth term, but unfairly and illegally deprived of his right to serve it. On February 25, 1986, rival presidential inaugurations were held. The rest, as they say, is history.

Only the people can prevent any type of large-scale rigging.

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Latest comments

  • 2
    30

    Sirisena has been a member of SLFP since 1968. Needless to say then Sirisena was a long standing member of SLFP by 1994. But he was only offered only a deputy ministers post by Chandrika in 1994 whereas a newer member Mangala was offered a cabinet portfolio. Thereafter, SB who joined SLFP much later than Sirisena was offered the secretary generals post over the long standing Sirisena by Chandrika in 1997. Why? Because Chandrika knew Sirisena was a limited man with only O’level qualified ex-gramasevaka.

    Indeed, Chandrika was proved right later on: By his own admission, Sirisena has failed to get two simple jobs done as a cabinet minister. 1) He failed to get regulations through of an act already passed. He couldn’t get the cartoon he wanted in the back of the cigarette packets. 2) He failed to retain a copy of an all important bill in his hard disk. And not just that, he openly complained that the bill is being stolen by a woman named Theresa.

    Imagine where this country would lead if such an incapable man is elected as the President of Sri Lanka. I think the entire country will be a mes and grind to a halt from the day one.

    • 2
      3

      If he can fits until 2014 November then he will fit for his job , most ot the country runs by the President advisors only in Sri Lanka run by the family

    • 16
      1

      an O/L qualified Grama Sevaka is a million times honorable job than a synthetic Law College exam obtained through cheating and the Principle of the institute was asked to write the exam like the son did and the dad was to ask his pal – Jeyaraj Fernandopulle to write the exam on behalf of him.

      Even the dad had only O/L qualifications as did his siblings too?
      What education qualifications does ChaRa/GoRa/BaRa have in them?

      • 3
        9

        We know that believing in gossip is a sheer bliss for fools like you. Fortunately, vast majority of villages in Sri Lanka are no fools. They’re much more intelligent than you lot.

        • 3
          3

          mechanic

          “We know that believing in gossip is a sheer bliss for fools like you.”

          How about believing in Banda, OTC, etc generated/recycled gossips about GG Ponna’s racism in 1940s which you wrote and confirmed that it was published in 1929 in Ancient Jaffna?

          You got to be tough on yourself before challenging others. Difficult but doable.

          I forgive you for your recycled gossips. By the way it doesn’t mean you can continue fib to get more thumps sup in this forum.

      • 2
        1

        Matilda Ellepola

        Maithri challenges Mahinda for public debate: Will the Medamulana MaRa Accept?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xsFxG6UvU6o

        http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8011:maithri-challenges-mahinda-for-public-debate&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

        The common candidate Maithripala Sirisena challenges Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa for a debate on democracy and good governance. He made this challenge at a propaganda rally held at Divulapitiya today (17th).

        Mr. Sirisena suggested 1st January for the debate and said all TV channels should be invited and the debate should be held in front of an independent panel of judges. He also said security should be provided for all who would participate. He said he would argue with Mr. Rajapaksa without having any paper to support him.

      • 2
        1

        Mr. Maitipala Sirisena

        Presidential candidate beaks into Govt. Press
        WEDNESDAY, 17 DECEMBER 2014 21:31

        Wimal Geeganage, known as one of the ‘Rajapaksa dummy candidates’, breaking into the Government at night is a mystery and according to information NEM-IHR has asked the Commissioner of Elections to hold an impartial inquiry regarding the move.

        http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8009:presidential-candidate-beaks-into-govt-press&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

        Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) has reported that Wimal Geeganage, candidate for the presidential election 2015 from Sri Lanka National Front broke into the Government Press a short while ago. The candidate has been chased out by employees say sources in Government Press. The ballot papers of the presidential election are being printed in a special section of the Government Press and it has been declared a high security area.

        Employees in the institution have informed regarding this intrusion to election monitors and the Network for Election Monitoring of the Intellectuals for Human Rights (NEM-IHR) has taken measures to inform the Commissioner of Elections regarding this.

        Wimal Geeganage, known as one of the ‘Rajapaksa dummy candidates’, breaking into the Government at night is a mystery and according to information NEM-IHR has asked the Commissioner of Elections to hold an impartial inquiry regarding the move.

      • 2
        0

        To add to that,Mara is a school drop out.He was chased away from Nalanda and later has been to Thurstan.How many school drop outs do we have in this country.One of them is our beloved president.Forget about higher education.

    • 10
      1

      You damn fool harping on Sirisena’s qualifications is supposed to justify the current gang continuing to pillage this country for eight more years? Where will that take us.

    • 5
      2

      ModaMic says “man with only O’level qualified ex-gramasevaka”.
      Do you know why your King was’t able to get back to Nalanda College (after his O’level) and had to admit to Thurstan college? Do you know that none of the princes you worship has graduated year 12..
      Son of a farmer in Polonnaruwa passing O’levels in 1960s and becoming a Gramasevake is much more admirable than the politician’s son, your present Moda king, becoming just an Assistant Librarian after his education in Colombo…

      • 2
        2

        Pitty you do not know that Mahinda left Nalanda at the primary school.

      • 4
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        AVB
        My elders tell me that the position of “Asst Librarian” is a major elevation in role from what was his true position, which was “Library assistant” at Vidyodaya.

        Just a clarification, nothing wrong in holding either position, for there’s dignity in labour, when executed honourably and in striving for job and career enhancement through diligence, hard work and honesty.

        Unfortunately, some take the so-called lesser roles as “failures”, envy those who do better and strive for “success” by mostly foul means and here you have a classic example of one such guy who knows “the price of everything but the value of nothing.”

    • 2
      1

      Please check the following link…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26k_NO70ufk

      Lanken leadership is almost comparable to Pusswadila
      and the secretary of Pre is akin to Nitharamasuffering

    • 0
      2

      There is no doubt that there are legitimate reasons for unseating MR, but the shrill voices demanding the elimination of the executive presidency have some entirely different reasons up their sleeve. They want a weak unstable government at the centre run by a spineless individual, and are determined to get it by pulling the wool over the eyes of the voters.

  • 21
    1

    No matter what is his qualifications. The matter is that the nation should get rid of the most corrupted regime where their interest is to keep the power and criminals and opportunistics to use all benefits while people are kept in the dark. Most of the criminals are now ruling the nations. Karuna is one of the worst LTTE leader who massacred thousands of innocent Sinhalese. KP is the most corrupted LTTE leader who collected billions of money and bought arms to kill innocent Sinhalese. They have good relationship with Mahinda and now they are used by Mahinda to kill all democratic Sinhala leaders who Mahinda think that they are enemies. The Nation is rulesd by most corrupted men of Tamils and Sinhalese. This is the fact. Both Sinhalese and Tamils are now slaves of these criminals.

  • 14
    1

    Dear Modaya Mechanic.
    why you blame MS and NOT MR.
    do not you know that MPs do not have power in MT government: It is Goata, Basil, Namel and co do all works: All MPS have to bow down to MR family and Where do you live? are you another agent of this nasty MR family who looted a half of Lankann wealth: shame on you to support this robbers and I assume that you have benefited from MR family
    Listen to some of speeches of JVP leader to know the truth
    I know well that 65% people will vote MR
    look how it will happen
    as I have spoken to some Tamil community leaders 90% of Tamil if they vote they will vote MS;
    This time you could say 75% Muslim votes will go to MS
    Upcountry Tamil will vote 50% to both
    Sinhalese: Colombo, Kandy and other town areas Sinhalese (60%) will vote for MS.
    Rajarata people mostly will vote for MS more than 70%.#
    Moreover, only village people will vote for MR and yet, poverty is deciding factor in any election IN SRILANKA
    While MR and co enjoy luxury life 70% people in villages are suffering from poverty
    in short MR will get 40% and MS will 60 % vote
    that is for sure and yet, Does MR has mindset to concede the defeat
    He will do all sort of killing and murder to clinch into power
    HE will use his special forces unite to do all dirty works, steal ballot boxes
    HE will Tamil paramilitary groups of Karuna< Plliyan and so on to do the jobs in that ares.
    HE will use some other thugs in all other Sinhalese area to steal votes
    Evidence Do you need it
    so far 90% of election related violence are done by MR group
    if you have consciences in your heart you will never and ever support this robbers of public money.

    • 3
      0

      You are dead right. Just school leaver LOW LIFE Sajin Vaas and Duminda Silva are praised by President these days. How can a president sit together with a man who has records on his abuses/murderous acts. At the time, as President was well aware, Duminda pretended to have lost his all memories through the brutal accident. Medical world should be a wonder if the same person to behave as he is today, if all his medical source data were compliant with what state medical professionals displayed on lanken TV screens. Surprisingly, ascending from the court hearing – today he speaks about his dearest President whose true colours are being revealed. He has become FT philanthrophist due to the FEARs ( if anybody knows that he is pretending all the time) – this is the reason he seems to do lot more to paint a different picture about him and the regime. All these are cleverly being studied by general public these days. There is no doubt that incumbent will loose his grounds on 9th Jan.

    • 2
      5

      Today, JHU is truly a divided party. It no longer represent the followers of Ven Soma. Hence it has become an anathema for Sinhala Buddhists. Indeed it is BBS that influence by far the vast majority (70%) of 70% Sinhala Buddhists. They do vote Mahinda Rajapakse. Now that is 49% of all voters. Next, going by the recent election results, at least 25% of minorities who admire current peace and the on going development (25% – Tamils and Muslims) would vote for Rajapakse, also 50% of 5% Sinhala Christians. Hence, Rajapakse will end up getting at least 57% of the popular vote. That means, Mahinda Rajapakse will win with a majority of 2,000,000 votes. Any bets?

  • 2
    2

    My3 s social media champaign apears to be pathetic.MR has a better fanclub.

  • 0
    0

    Both major presidential candidates are experience in rigging now you don’t need police to guard both will do counter attack not get rigging by other side

  • 1
    0

    Good analysis by Visvamithra. It is a pity that in Srilanka voting by eligible voter is compulsory.

    People in general and opposition volunteers must make as many voters as possible to vote.
    If possible the election monitors should record the ballot paper booklets and the serial numbers.
    Also the election officers at the polling booths and election monitors should initial at the front or back of the ballot papers.

    After the counting and declaration of the winner the ballot boxes must be sealed by election officers and monitors and kept in safe custody for at least 6 to 12 months. Then there is high chance if there was rigging and those who were involved may volunteer to reveal the truth through guilt in the best interest of the country’s futre. Pivithuru heta must be made to happen.

  • 4
    0

    Mechanic:
    What educational qualifications did D.S., Sirima and Premadasa have. Even Mahinda did not have proper G.C.E. O/L qualifications to enter Law College. Thanks to Felix who ordered as M/Justice to taking in young politicians even without basic qualifications.
    What does it matter of degrees even doctorates. We know how successful N.M. wawith a double doctorates. What we need is pragmatic leaders, not book worms.
    -Juticia

    • 0
      1

      I am not talking just lack of qualifications but My3’s incapacity to do a job of work. Those people D.S., Sirima and Premadasa Mahinda etc you have mentioned were do-ers. My3 is a replica of his puppeteer late arriving and recalcitrant Chandrika. Do you get the point.

  • 1
    2

    Sovereignty is primary. If country is not there, less to talk about others. Opposite hidden agenda is too well known.

  • 3
    0

    United Nation’s Human Rights observers should be allowed
    to monitor the Elections.
    A scheme should be inaugerated to reward whistle blowers
    to assist them.

    • 1
      2

      B.G.de Silva

      “A scheme should be inaugerated to reward whistle blowers to assist them.”

      Does it mean bribing the voters to snitch on MR?

      As a democratic duty why can’t do it for free?

  • 3
    1

    Mechanic, you will be proved right in a few weeks time. The hatred of MR is so great that posters imagine absolutely anyone else would be better.

    They are right but knowing the fractious nature of Sri Lankan politics, My3, BKC and Ranil will be arguing and stabbing each other in the back from the start.

    In the Republic of Amnesia the time will come when people recall the ‘good old days of MR’ totally forgetting his crimes.

    • 0
      0

      Thank You Paul

  • 4
    0

    Correct me if I am wrong.

    I read in an article earlier, that MY3 has a degree in the Agricultural field

    I am sure that should be correct,going by his behaviour and cultured look compared to the Murderous and Venomous looks of MARA. I must confess that,these looks were brought upon by MARA himself after he tarnished his character by indulging in vengeance and murder, especially since of late.

    Just compare his looks before and now, looks so deadly now. They say, the face is a reflection of your inner soul. The inner soul of MARA is so corrupt and deadly nowadays.

  • 2
    4

    If Sira wins, South has to to say goodbye to the North..And TNA Police will be manning the Omanthai security post.

    It is not a matter of rigging the Election.

    It is in fact finding ways to keep the country together and allow all inhabitants, irrespective of their class , caste and religion to live, work and play in any part of the Island , without getting permission from Political Leaders of different Ethnic groups.

    How low can they go to just grab power and collect the commissions…

  • 2
    2

    If Sira wins, South has to to say goodbye to the North..And TNA Police will be manning the Omanthai security post.

    It is not a matter of rigging the Election.

    It is in fact finding ways to keep the country together and allow all inhabitants, irrespective of their class , caste and religion to live, work and play in any part of the Island , without getting permission from Political Leaders of different Ethnic groups.

    How low can they go to just grab power and pocket the commissions…

  • 0
    1

    We need World accredited opinion polls on voting time checking with voters as they exit. to be in place. The Venerable Monk should be in the polling Booths. People without NIC or passport but temporary Identities should be monitored closely. The opposition should agree with the Elections Commissioner so that maximum computerized data of electoral list and photographs are available. The by the opposition should be backed by arrangements to come to the aid of these agent in trouble. Mobile civilians on mo bikes should be put in place.

    It is necessary to do our best to prevent Vote rigging.

  • 1
    1

    Dr. Ruvan Wickramasinghe brings a new light to this rigging issue from a different angle: [click below.]

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/barking-up-the-jilmart-tree/

    Also, I think, Visvamithra underestimates the unique nature of this election in comparison to previous one. The Mafia-family is very concious of the legal dangers it would have to face without political power. Quite apart from losing their sources of immense wealth, some of them will have to rot in jail too. And, the Mafia-Regime is not going to let that happen.

  • 0
    0

    The EC should ensure that Cyber Personnel recruited by the MoD should NOT be engaged in
    the computer room of the EC. The promotion of Belliatta Amaradasa as the Deputy EC over
    and above the current holder done after the PE was announced should be challenged in
    Courts – he hails from Hambantota? It is possible that the EC will go on sick-leave
    by 8-1-15 and duties may be handled by this Amaradasa?

    Maithiris Rep. in all polling booths should have secretively printed stickers 1 cm x 1cm
    so that they can place them on the Ballot papers issued at the time of Voting. These
    prints should vary in colour and design district-wise. Sample used should be deposited
    with the EC Rep. on the day of voting only.

    Digital security cameras should be mounted at all Booths and its recordings available
    for legal inquiries.

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