16 October, 2019

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Is Mahinda Counting On Extremists To Help Him Win (Again)?

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

When I began this column, over seven months ago, I did not think that the threat to President Rajapaksa would come to fruition quite so quickly. Until the incidents at Aluthgama, I thought it unlikely that anyone would be able to defeat him in a Presidential election. After that I thought any reasonable candidate would probably win, if there was unity in the opposition, but it seemed unlikely that that would be achieved. And after Uva, when it seemed that the government was on a slippery slope, I assumed Mahinda Rajapaksa would have the sense to back down if he was unable to make the few simple reforms and tough decisions that would have restored his popularity.

But he failed to do so, perhaps because vast funds had been spent and there would be nothing left for the sort of propaganda blitz he was planning if the election had to be postponed till 2015. So it is likely that he will soon be history. Fortunately he has an opponent who will safeguard his position in history, and make sure that his victory against terrorism in 2009 will not be forgotten. He then has little to lose, if he is willing to accept defeat gracefully.

The same is not true however of those who have profited from his Presidency, and I suspect they will use every trick in the book to cling to power. But even they are running out of tricks, and by now they have begun to realize that the hammer and tongs approach they had decided on simply will not work. Thus, though Temple Trees is full of visitors who are sumptuously treated, everyone now knows who is paying for this, and many of the invitees, who would rather not waste their time on long journeys, are even less likely to vote for the President. Certainly, though they may be more sophisticated than most, and to generalize from them would be dangerous, colleagues at university have affirmed the need for change, and their disgust at being forced to have dinner at short notice with the President.

Gnanasara BBSBut in such a context I fear that the bright sparks who control the President may decide to go further afield, in their determination to win somehow. My suspicions about this were roused when, following the efforts of the President to claim that I had been supportive of the GTF, the GTF began to be critical of the UNP. This was done by the same Suren Surendiran whose claims about war crimes the President declared I had agreed with. That was complete nonsense, and either the President had been misinformed, or else he has decided that he does not need to distinguish between truth and falsehood in his determination to stick to his original plan for winning the election.

That, on the assumption that Ranil Wickremesinghe was going to be his opponent, was to present the latter as soft on the Tigers and affirm his own genius in defeating them, and claim that Ranil would help the Tigers to take judicial action against him if he lost. But while some of the more dogmatic amongst the Tigers might dream of this, even they realize that this is not likely to happen if Mr Sirisena wins.

And the more subtle amongst them know that their best bet for the future is another Rajapaksa Presidency, and the implosion of the state that will then take place after the report due in Geneva in March 2014. Not only will our sovereignty be at stake, but there will be pressure for economic and travel sanctions against us, and not all the huffing and puffing that Wimal Weerawansa will engage in will prevent a plethora of internal problems. In such a context, separatists will start stirring, and the sensible people in the TNA will be pushed aside, on the grounds that there is no hope of a negotiated solution. If the President Rajapaksa who had pledged such a soluation was not able to deliver when he had a massive majority in Parliament, he will certainly not move when he is further in the clutches of those who understand neither political principles nor international realities.

So I can understand why Suren Surendiran is now highlighting the racism of the UNP in the past. He uses what I have written and tweets that ‘Rajiva admits state violence was really begun by UNP’. This suggests he would quite like it if the people of the North thought twice about supporting the common opposition candidate.

I hope Surendiran will be more sensible, and realize that the diaspora must give up their dreams of Eelam and war crimes prosecutions, but rather work together with moderate Tamils and Sinhalese (like the Northern Chief Minister and the bulk of the SLFP as represented by Maithri, along with his coalition). That will help us reach a political solution that ensures National Security, and the primacy of National Policy, whilst allowing for decisions about development and social services to be taken by those affected by those decisions. But it is apparent that some of the more extreme elements in Tamil politics are anxious to stop Maithripala winning, so that their dreams of international intervention will be fulfilled. Media outlets which have not subscribed to the more moderate approach of the mainstream Tamil National Alliance are critical of the opposition alliance for a range of reasons, and I suspect they will push this line in the next few weeks.

All this fits in with the claim that in 2005 the Tigers ensured there was a boycott of the election so that Mahinda Rajapaksa would be elected. That strategy failed, because Mr Prabhakaran erred in being confident then of his military prowess, and thinking he could provoke the government into a war that he would be able to win. The war did happen, but when government was ready to respond, after the six months Sarath Fonseka asked for to prepare his forces, and we have to be thankful that Mahinda Rajapaksa took on the challenge then, that his Secretary of Defence and the commanders of the forces worked out an effective strategy, and that he was able to deploy excellent diplomats to hold international interference at bay.

But those few who still dream of a separate state no longer rely on armed force. Rather they know the battleground has shifted to the international arena, and they will concentrate on weakening the state. To such a strategy Mahinda Rajapaksa has no answer – given that, as his virtual Chief of Staff, Sajin Vas Gunawardena put it, he has no strategy at all, and changes his approach at random. Certainly with his frontline now being manned by Kshenuka Seneviratne and Sajin and GL, we can anticipate only disaster after disaster.

The few extremist Tamils, in the diaspora and here, will not mind that their goal will involve much suffering in the short term for the Sri Lankan people, both Sinhala and Tamil – and the Muslims and Christians too, given that the Bodu Bala Sena will be at the heart of decision making if Mahinda Rajapaksa wins through an emasculated Sri Lanka Freedom Party and without many votes from minorities. Given their claim that the JHU has not done enough for Buddhism, there is no doubt that the BBS will demand their pound of flesh. Promoting that was I suspect the strategy of those who have done so much to alienate the minorities, culminating in Sajin Vass Gunewardena’s gratuitous attack on Catholicism in beating up Chris Nonis, and the insults to Joseph Vaz in the pronouncements of the favourite columnists, at least until recently, of the Ministry of Defence.

If then the Tamils in the North fall for the wiles of the more extreme elements in the GTF and their own media, we will have a very polarized situation after the election. That will be perfect for mischief makers, but it will be disastrous for the country. Sadly, given the desperate need to cling to power of those in charge of the President’s re-election bid, they will not mind that so long as they can continue in their merry way.

So we might see a repeat of the strategies that led to so much support for Ananthi Sasitharan in the Provincial Council election, whereas the Tamil people generally supported moderates such as the Chief Minister and Mr Sidharthan of PLOTE. Typically, Ananthi has claimed that ‘people in the North do not have any hopes in both presidential candidates’, which is simply not true. Those I met in my recent visit there had great hopes in Maithri, even without any commitments, for many of them were fundamentally anxious for democracy and change. They, like us, believe that once we have got rid of authoritarianism, there will be no barriers to discussions based on sympathetic understanding of problems on all sides.

That is what the extremists in both the North and the South wish to prevent. The moderates who are the vast majority in this country must work together to overcome that destructive strategy.

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Latest comments

  • 14
    1

    As it is, all democratic forces have joined Maithree and strengthened his campaign and bring victory. On the hand MR has been losing the different groups even with all his persuasion on a daily basis.
    This is his own creation of calling for the elections two years ahead may be on the advise of astrologers and not having taken action atleast two years before to bring relief to the people and not addressing the issues of the minorities. It is no point in shedding crockedile tears now.
    Further, use of BBS, Wimal W etc for carrying out dirty jobs of slinging mud at the opposition is working against them and during the past few days these are getting accelerated. Just going on repeating of a non existent sabotage by the western nations, diaspora, terror activities is falling on many deaf ears now. The campaign by Maithree sems to be progressing well and likely to hit the winning post.

    • 8
      0

      dcn:-
      ‘Further, use of BBS, Wimal W etc for carrying out dirty jobs of slinging mud at the opposition is working against them and during the past few days these are getting accelerated’

      “Like a Spider caught in its own Web, Is a Person driven by His own Fierce Cravings” (Verse 347 The Buddha’s Dhammapada).

    • 9
      0

      Rajiva Wijesinha –

      RE: Is Mahinda Counting On Extremists To Help Him Win (Again)?

      “But he failed to do so, perhaps because vast funds had been spent and there would be nothing left for the sort of propaganda blitz he was planning if the election had to be postponed till 2015. So it is likely that he will soon be history. Fortunately he has an opponent who will safeguard his position in history, and make sure that his victory against terrorism in 2009 will not be forgotten. He then has little to lose, if he is willing to accept defeat gracefully.”

      Medamulana MaRa will not accept defeat gracefully. He will see nightmares of being hanged in the Hague. His Astrologers will be in great trouble.

      His Cronies and goons will try to do all they can , by hook or crook, to get him to win. So, they fool the Bollywood stats and try to win. The cows are already out of the MaRa barn.

      Good bye Medamulana Mahnda Rajapaka (MaRa)

      • 2
        0

        Dec 23 2014

        Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha talks about his decision to join with Maithripala Sirisena, his views about teh Sri Lankan foreign policy and his knowledge about the …

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kW4n4RlBcw

      • 4
        0

        Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

        The Picture of BBS and their Goons.

        Whose Goons?

        Who Sponsored BBS?

        Norway and USA… You say at 14 Minutes..video below . a well known “secret” admitted by BBS..

        Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha talks about his decision to join with Maithripala Sirisena, his views about teh Sri Lankan foreign policy and his knowledge about the …

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kW4n4RlBcw

    • 2
      12

      Professor (or whatever) Wijesinha,

      You say ” I assumed Mahinda Rajapaksa would have the sense to back down if he was unable to make the few simple reforms and tough decisions that would have restored his popularity.”

      As ar as we can see, you seem to be unable to practice what you keep preaching to MR. Why don’t you think along similar lines to recruit some members for your financially rich so-called Liberal Party? Challenge yourself to increase membership to 50 in 2015!

      professor (or whatever), you represent foreign social and political values and you will never be accepted by the Sri Lankan society, just like they never accepted the legitimacy of the Anglican Church in Sri Lanka. The problem with Anglicans like Ranil and you is that you can’t think beyod 19th century England.

      Stop feeling sorry about MR, he is in no dager of loosing.

      You will have egg (and worse) on your face on 9 Jan.

  • 7
    11

    Mahinda Jaya weva!

  • 22
    1

    Why would MR get “any help from extremists” when his brutal regime itself a regime of terror that deserves to be deemed as “TERRORSISTS”?

    • 0
      1

      Dear Walagembi Raja (AKa Halagemba in a well)

      You are badly mistaken Gembo!!!!!!!!!!!

      Vanni Gamaya My3 has last night been fully given all Terra suppotrt by the LTTE proxy of TNA (Toilet Nadu Army). Now gamaya got all exteremists including, Wishky Chandrika, Chumpaka’s Halal Urumaya, Muslim Mullas and LTTE Pusaris.

      I am wondering how many days the Gamaya and Ranil Nicakmasinghe will administrate this country with these “Canda Haliya Alliance” if he gets elected. I am sure there are plenty of signs indicating tail does not know what head is doing.

  • 7
    2

    Professor R,

    I completely agree with your assertion about Suren Surendren. He has no sense timing and relevance! He needs to vacate his position for an able individual with shrewdness and class! I would not mind if GTF is disbanded all together as TNA is very capable of handling the Tamil affaires.

    However, On the point about forgetting the war crimes is not at all acceptable. How can you tell the people who still mourn about forgetting! The crimes committed must be exposed and culprits should be punished; this is imperative not just to bring about justice to those who perished but also to prevent future such events. The UN have set in motion of the investigations; they will not relent come what may.

  • 14
    3

    Only RACISTS will vote for MR now.

    Paavam!

    What a disaster.

    From HERO to ZERO in 5 years!

    The best part of MR DEFEAT is the entire corrupt and violent regime including Namal, Gota, Basil, etc. are going home.

    They have booked flights out of SL already.

  • 13
    14

    What happened to Balachandran must happen to Namal.

    No excuses.

    • 0
      1

      I will vote for a change on January 8th.

      If you wish such an ill fate upon someone, you are as bad as the people you are looking to defeat.

  • 7
    2

    Rajiva,

    What a criminal abettor are you to ask Tamils to leave war crime punishment? So you want more and more such things to happen not just in Srilanka but many other parts of the globe?

  • 6
    0

    Not only MR regime is using extremist groups within the country but also going to create extremist groups in the 10 western countries by selectively giving dual citizenship after approval by a committee under GR.

    How can this regime claim they are patriots and blaming western conspiracy to bring down MR regime. Also this dual citizenship eligibilty applies only to the P R of these countries.

    Eligibility is one thing but selective approval by GR s committee is another thing.

    The regime has planned to create divisions among the Diaspora so that they can continue to stay in power with military dominance.

  • 6
    1

    The ballot boxes are already stuffed with ‘created’ MR votes. MR will win again by hook or by crook, this bloody thief is not going to give up.

    • 0
      0

      MR is definitely winning the PE – very clearly as per results disclosed by computers of the State!! A webnews reveals some Indian cyber experts are being employed in this activity:-

      “They are involved in it with a front that they are upgrading Sri Lanka Telecom’s Peo TV. But, Peo TV technicians say the Indian team has nothing to do with any upgrading work. At Head End, what they actually do is relaying computer data to other locations. This place is strategically located to change computer data. Also, the entire election result communication process is coordinated by SLT, which gives dedicated lines and virtual pin numbers to the election secretariat and other institutions. The district returning officers are sending the results by fax to the elections commissioner. The Indian IT experts are looking into whether they can change the results while being on transit to the elections commissioner.”

      Will the University Teachers Association face the valgar regime, as
      claimed here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwFRgMySYBs or mere
      noise as in the past?

      MR is also planning a disolution of Parliament should he loose, before
      MS swears-in which CJ can delay???? and leave Sri Lanka seeking asylum

  • 8
    0

    Professor Rajiva:

    Those who have doubts, just like you, on which way the Tamils will go have to understand the Sarath Fonseka factor during the last presidential election in 2010. Here was a guy whom the Tamils had hated the most, who even threatened that the Tamils should not open their mouths but yet received the Tamils chunk of votes because of the TNA’s “advice”. What baffles me is that you seem to go the extra mile to impress people with your various analysis but somehow failed your grade in the instant analysis. Basil was shamed and thrown into a well for his belief that he understood the Tamils better.

    The issues that have topped the manifesto of the opposition are important and necessary, particularly matters like good governance and handling corruption, the curtailing of family control and monopoly, etc and that the TNA’s take on this is reflected on the same page is worthy and reflective of the general sentiments of the Tamils. The Tamils will go to the voting booth on the 8th armed with their votes to kick MR out.

    However, there cannot and should not be any compromise on the UNHRC investigation on the possible commision of war crimes and even genocide. These are things the Tamils cannot wish away. It may be your count that Sirisena’s election may halt such an exercise but you are yet to see the resolve of the Tamils that it is not just Sirisena but anyone who will be able to stop the Tamils from getting justice for the alleged dastardly crimes. The UNHRC is conducting an independent investigation and both the warring parties have been alleged to have committed war crimes. If it is indeed proven that thousands were murdered by the regime then god has mercy on the Rajapakses and their pawns.

    Perhaps, there was a time when all this may have been avoided and there was an earnest plea to move on forward but the regime treated the Tamils with contempt and disgraced them in every way it can. What it failed to realise and understand is the the resolve of the Tamils. There are many patriots like Wimal Weerawansa and Dayan to sacrifice their heads for the Rajapakses, so let us see how faithful they prove to be.

    • 0
      0

      Rajeev with is windbag English says “The few extremist Tamils, in the diaspora and here, will not mind that their goal will involve much suffering in the short term for the Sri Lankan people”. Yes most of the Tamils are not extremists, but they supported Prabhakaran and even Wigneswaran declared that he is a Hero.

      What are you kidding about?

      Now, when jansee talk the “resolve” of the tamils to get justice, are they going to put Sampanthan in Jail for collaborating with the crimes of the LTTE when the TNA became their spokesman and even failed to condemn the killings of Tamil MPS, teachers, Kururals and civic leaders.

      The war crimes applies to BOTH the LTTE and the government. As the proxy of the LTTE, all the TNA members of the period 2001-2009 should be arrested and tried

      My people were driven out of Jaffna, and many were murdered in Kuttuntudi and else where. And yet the shameless Muslim leaders join up with the TNA and even the JVP.

  • 6
    0

    “work together with moderate Tamils and Sinhalese (like the Northern Chief Minister and the bulk of the SLFP as represented by Maithri, along with his coalition). That will help us reach a political solution that ensures National Security, and the primacy of National Policy, whilst allowing for decisions about development and social services to be taken by those affected by those decisions.”

    If the National policy is Majoritarian Hegemony, Cultural and Structural Genocide of Minorities disguised as National Security then there would be no room negotiation.

    Open, honest, sincere efforts to arrive at a solution with dignity and honor for all sides, accepting and preserving Cultural and Religious heritages all communities,will bring assurance of national security and lasting peace.

    This what was lacking all along since 1948.

    I hope some common sense will prevail even after colossal loss lives and livelihood from all communities.

    Having read Rajiva and Dayan’s columns I am not very optimistic.

    Would prefer some form of International Guarantee as an Insurance policy for any accord.

  • 7
    0

    Ofc MR is already using extremists and UPFA goons to wrestle back votes through fear, intimidation and violence. If he and they are so sure of his popularity and the win is a cake walk, as they predict, then why would they need to resort to violence, thuggery and intimidation. The fact of the matter is he/they know they are no longer popular, that the electorate has got wiser and no longer believe in his false promises. Yes is political strategy helped to liberate Sri Lanka from terrorist scum, but all the peace dividends so far has been retained by one family as if the country belonged to them. We have plunged from the rule of one villain into the rule of another villain. MR and his troupe of conjurers and cheats have lost their credibility. I just hope and pray that we would return to proper democracy and these feudal rule would be swept out into the sea by public opinion.

  • 7
    0

    On the 9th Morning ,there will be a MaRa regime Marathon, Gandasara will nick the Gold medal ,he will run so fast his feet will be slapping his ass cheeks. Fun to watch better than the Lamborghini race.

    • 0
      0

      Really!!!!!!!!!!! How sure you are my griend?????

      You do not know SL politic very well man. How long have you been away from this country?

  • 4
    0

    Interesting how the author of this article wrote the most subjective book in defense of Rajapakse and the credible allegations of war crimes leveled against him just a couple of years ago.

  • 1
    0

    This fellow is a hypocrite.
    He wants to forget war crimes.
    In essence this is the same as excusing MaRa of all the crimes he did and reelect him. How immoral you are

  • 1
    0

    Who and where are the Moderates of the Majority community?

  • 0
    0

    WILL MR DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT BEFORE HE HANDS OVER EP – WHAT ARE THE
    POSSIBILITIES?

    Heres what a webnews has should MR loose-
    “The president also hoping that a dissolved parliament will prevent Maithripala Sirisena and Chandrika Kumaratunga from gaining control of the SLFP. He is to take this decision by disregarding the pension entitlement of MPs in the present parliament, who are eligible to draw a pension only if their term extends up to end-April 2015. He also wants to build a strong opposition and fight back.”

  • 0
    0

    The TNA has spoken and spoken clearly. I don’t think Surendran can in anyway reverse it. That’s all.

    Sengodan. M

  • 0
    0

    Hi Rajiv,
    Read your article with interest,but at the end of the day the average Sinhala,Buddist majority in the village they do not know about GTF,UNHCR,International Community and they do not want to know because they are struggling for their bread and butter.
    But dear Mahinda is giving them Samurdhi.I have not seen anybody from My3 campaign in 30 villages around here.
    If he wants to win he must get down to the village level,may be its too late now!!!

  • 0
    0

    There is no point blowing hot and blowing cold. What has to happen will happen. If MARA wins that is the end of SIRA and if SIRA wins that is the end of MARA.

  • 0
    1

    Sambandan & his TNA want 13 A plus all Titles to the Govt Land in the North and a Vellala Police Force to protect them.

    Plus they want all the Army out of the North.

    Diaspora mates, Cameron , Harper and Obama have been bashing the Govt for full 5 years because the Rajapaksa wouldn’t agree to it.

    What is this Professor on about having discussions with the TNA ?.

    Are his mates Sira and Ranil going to offer even more than what the Vellalas have already demanded?.

    Our inhabitants know jolly well, Suren Surendra’s GTF and UNP London are all in one.

    This is an A grade Opportunistic Politician, who is trying to hoodwink the poor innocent inhabitants to destroy the country so that the serial losers can start collecting commission cheques..

    And push the Country in to the same shit hole again like what the inhabitants encountered for three decades before Nanthikadal.

  • 1
    1

    sinhalese buddhists should rally and defeat the terrorism of minorities

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

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  • 1
    0

    So the cat is out of the bag.Clearly people like Rajiva, my3 and JHU want Tamils to stop mourning their dead and forget about war crimes.So this is the type of alliance you want the Tamils to vote?
    What do you want the Tamils to forget next? Their right to self determination?

    If my3 wants to bring a tribunal against Mahinda for corruption why not let UN bring a tribunal against Mahinda for war crimes? And if found guilty why not send him to Hague? Why do you want to protect a mass murderer?Why the selective justice?And how is seeking justice to the murder of your loved ones “extremism”? My3 voters please answer.

  • 0
    0

    MR and Maithripala are two sides of the same coin. Both were hand-in-glove, screwing WE the people over the last five years. Now MS has seen his chance, and with the support of the puppet masters (CBK and RW) is looking to lift the main prize. Maithripala may not be what we need, but he is the best we have, under the circumstances, and if the minority voters come out in force, and if allowed to vote, they may well be the deciding factor.

    Gota on the other hand may see a foreign conspiracy behind current events, and will have no compunction in declaring an emergency. Deshapriya will ‘postpone’ the election, the CJ will annul the election. and MR will carry on to screw us just a little bit more, and harder, and live to fight another day.

    You cannot make these things up.

  • 0
    0

    While Emphasizing the fact that we really need measures to safeguard democratic principles, Professor, You will realize how misguided you are on the Sinhalese vote, It is not racism that will give another chance to MR, It is the fact that people have not forgotten how it was during the war and people are still grateful to MR for achieving non achievable it makes people angry that few in the opposition trying to undermine this!

    Likes of Chandrika, Hirunika, is a disgrace to the nation and thanks to her MS will lose quite a lot of votes, One day you are adapted daughter, the other day backstabbing betrayer! Do you think SL will achieve prosperity with this opportunistic bunch. At least right or wrong he gives a strong leadership to the country,

    If you have any self respect, You would resign from the MP post given to you by UPFA. You have no right to get a public salary! At the same time valuing liberal principals (Not your of course), I must say you are a hypocrite.

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