19 October, 2019

Blog

It’s Possible Gota Will Cut And Run

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

The presidential election drama gets Curiouser and curiouser: It’s possible Gota will cut and run

There is so much confusion and so many false leads that nobody knows what will happen next. Last week’s newspaper columns and editorials were about the dire state of the UNP and predicted a cake walk for Gota. Now the applecart has, or seems to have tumbled the other way. Files pertaining to Gota’s nationality have disappeared from the Immigration Department and Defence Ministry and this could impact voting and post-nomination battles. Chandragupta Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda (T&V) have moved court that dual nationality was never properly conferred on Gota in 2005 and that the process was soaked in hanky-panky, and they imply that the reasons the files went missing was to cover up improprieties. The CID has told the Colombo Chief Magistrate that it cannot locate the files in the government departments where they should be.

A Certificate of Dual Nationality has been produced by Gota’s lawyers but what if the Department of Immigration cannot find any trace of the processing. What are the courts likely to say? If the certificate is good, the courts are not going to take away a person’s nationality because of a cock-up (perennial) in a government office. For example, if the Registrar General loses records pertaining to your marriage it does not mean you have been living in sin and breeding bastards all these years. So long as there’s an authentic marriage certificates you are in the clear. Unless it is shown that the grant of dual nationality to Gota was improper he is in the clear and can proceed with his presidential bid.  

What is the gist of T&V’s case? It’s simple, though reams of newsprint have been expended by an army of columnists. The point is: If Gota was not a dual citizen at the time he renounced US citizenship he does not revert to Sri Lankan nationality; he becomes stateless. T&V have moved court that Gota’s dual citizenship award in 2005 was either improper or fraudulent since the documentation is “lost” and/or because his brother Mahinda had no legal right to issue such a certificate at that time (late November 2005). The court may hold that Mahinda was exercising permissible executive power in conferring dual citizenship on his brother. I cannot hold this copy back till the court makes up its mind but you may know the answer by the time you read this. 

Why does Gota want to hightail it to Singapore? The timing (9-13 October), two days after nomination is odd. One possibility is that Mahinda and the SLPP high command panicked as they feared something fishy posing a challenge to Gota’s nomination could surface, if not now at some point in the future. In that case Gota’s will have to be substituted, tomorrow, by someone else and the poor sod needs to get out of the Island rather than face the embarrassment. The problem with this theory is that Ranil and Sira have been bending over to cover every kink in every Paksa backside; they will again find ways to massage courts and commissions to let Gota and Mahinda get away with all and any misconduct.

Compounding this is another mystery; the Rajapaksa Museum case in which Gota is alleged to have misappropriated Rs 33 million. The case has dragged on and on; an unending stream of appeals, objections and petitions are filed by the defendant and the courts allow one extension upon another in what has become a prolonged cat and mouse game. Gota is reluctant to appear in court; his lawyers presumably are attempting to drag things out beyond election date hoping he will win and secure immunity. They are aided by “the law’s delays and insolence of office”.

Sajith, fortuitously is beneficiary of both Gota’s discomfiture and the timing of trends in the UNP. The sun is shining on him but it’s unwise to be sure that a snapshot at this moment will stay true till 16 November. Right now, one hears the UNP preening itself, saying with a little distortion:

“Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this son of Prem

And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried” 

At this time of writing the advantage seems to have passed from Gota to Sajith. My UNP friends are all cock-a-hoop while Gota backers in my circle have gone quiet. Cautious sod that I am, I still think it wiser to stick to my line “Too early to tell: 40-45% to each on first preferences; the final outcome will depend on totting up second preferences”. I am calling for first preference to Anura Kumara and campaigning, for the purpose of keeping out Gota the potential militarist and authoritarian, for a second preference vote for Sajith. If Gota is debarred by the courts or not nominated by his party this latter option becomes irrelevant though an anti-Rajapaksa stand is still worth mulling over. I will return to this theme at the right time. 

The muddle about Sajith is: (a) Is he willing to declare NOW in no uncertain terms that he will go all out to abolish the Executive Presidency? (b) Will he enact the fullest devolution of power (excluding the right to self-determination)? The answer to both questions is NO! He craves for a “scientific survey” about EP before he knows his own mind which currently must be pretty empty since EP has been a hot topic for decades. Science my foot; he wants to retain EP and keep executive powers. Seems no different from Sirisena except that he is making it clear up-front. 

After building 1000 temples will he scientifically survey the Buddhist clergy about keeping EP for life, about devolution and about the troublesome Tamils and Muslims? Nevertheless, give him the second preference since potential dictator Gotabahaya must be kept out by something less-worse. We have experience of these trade-offs when we had no choice but to elect an Angoda-case to keep out a previous dictator. And if Gota does win it is not be the UNP and Sajith’s hangers-on but leftists, radicals and civil-society who will mobilise to fight his militarist-fascistic proclivities.  

It will be a tough campaign to get Anura Kumara above 10%, but it needs to be done if Sri Lanka is to keep faith in the future. I am talking about creating a credible third force, a progressive-left-democratic alternative that can make a sizable impact in the coming years. The JVP is and is likely to remain the core of the alliance. Relationships inside the People’s Power (PP) movement – the current name of the alliance – are important and must be handled carefully. So far everybody has behaved with sensitivity and intelligence. There are two important aspects to the movement, the manifesto or program, and election campaigning. Since there are 29 organisations in PP the campaign logistics are going to be complicated and will need to evolve on the ground and in practice. Drafting a common programme that everyone can accept will also be a challenge and calls for a spirit of compromise. It will need to address constitutional, economic, nationality, law & order, social welfare, health, education and women’s issues among others. This initial programme will be the starting draft for the long-term progressive development that I envisage. Let’s see how it goes.

Although the monsoon is drifting away the deluge continues. It seems that by the time the window closes tomorrow about 20 candidates, I think all males, would have handed in nomination papers. Only three are significant – the two main contenders and Anura Kumara. None of the others except Nagananda Kodituwakku, army ex-chief Mahesh Senanayake and perhaps Rohan Palewatta will poll 5000+ votes and most not even cross the 1000 mark. This is pathetic. What sustained impact can or will they have? Will any of them even manage to creep into the next parliament except on a UNP, SLPP/SLFP or PP/JVP ticket? It is unfortunate that candidates don’t plan a few steps ahead. 

I went to a good school and was taught not to make rude remarks or refer to jokers as jokers so I will restrain my tongue and only politely say that I cannot fathom what pluperfect mental aberration drove the NPP (founded by Sobitha thero) to nominate a military type for the presidency! I understand Mahesh Senanayake was a good commander during the Easter carnage but that does not make a head of state anymore than a single sparrow makes a summer. Gota is vying for power, Fonseka salivates in the wings and the unwelcome new army boss Silva is offering, unsolicited by his civilian superiors, to break strikes. The involvement of the brass in politics is already excessive. 

To my knowledge four to six thimble size left sects (one can’t call them parties) are planning to put up candidates. Why on earth they want to make a generous contribution to Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s bankrupt coffers I don’t know. When I was canvassing hard for left unity in the last few years some sect leaders emitted encouraging burps with the side comment “Good, good, very good but not quite yet”. Perhaps they too first want a ‘scientific survey’ of the benefits of unity.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Professor Kumar
    ” (a) Is he willing to declare NOW in no uncertain terms that he will go all out to abolish the Executive Presidency? (b) Will he enact the fullest devolution of power (excluding the right to self-determination)?”
    You have given the answer.
    ” The answer to both questions is NO! “
    That is obvious Prof. . The real question is
     (a) Is the UNP as a party willing to declare NOW on the campaign flatform in no uncertain terms that they will go all out to abolish the Executive Presidency? (b) Will the UNP enact the fullest devolution of power (excluding the right to self-determination)?
    (I am assuming that you are not going to tell me or fool the readers that the Parliament cannot do it without the consent of the President)
    What I observe is UNP is attempting a subtle mass deception by keeping a low profile on your questions.
    The most interesting question is will the civies and NGOs will be as voiciferous as in 2015 on abolishion?

    Soma

  • 1
    2

    This article has come out about 2.00 a.m. on the 6th morning, but the contents indicate that it had been written before the verdict of the Appeal Court, was announced on Friday, the 4th, evening -around 7.00 p.m.
    .
    It all feels a bit unreal. I guess we’d better wait for noon on Monday the 7th when all the nominations are known.
    .
    The Preferential vote, if it comes to that: I fear that its working will be known to few. People now know it’s there but don’t understand that casting FIRST Preference for the front runners will negate its effectiveness.
    .
    I agree that right now only three major candidates are in evidence, but the figures for the past seven elections indicate that no Presidential Candidate ever got fewer than a thousand votes. All the figures are here, if you click on links within this URL:
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Presidential_elections_in_Sri_Lanka
    .
    This is the first time that voters seem to know of the existence of Preference Votes (this is a generalisation, but has truth in it). Knowing about Preferences will definitely influence some voters to cast FIRST ballots for minor candidates.
    .

  • 6
    0

    How can you trust these people? The Rajapaksa’s have a history of lying, stealing, cheating, and shown they can use ex army personnel to kidnap, threaten, and yes, KILL. No one is held accountable, and they have gone their merry way.
    Something is not quite right here, and it would be very foolish for people to ignore the warning signs. Once bitten twice shy?

    • 1
      5

      Mr. Menik
      “Rajapaksa’s have a history of lying, stealing, cheating, and shown they can use ex army personnel to kidnap, threaten, and yes, KILL. No one is held accountable, and they have gone their merry way.”
      Rajapaksas also have a history of completely eliminating 30 years of terror and developing infrastructure thereby laying arteries of development.
      Along with the majority of the majority I am also going to vote for Gotabhaya.
      Cheers.

      Soma

    • 0
      1

      Rajapaksas have a history of lyin. Eanil, Ravi Karunanayake, Mangala S, Rajitrha S and others have a history of always telling the truth and nothing but the truth. Sampanthan aways told the truth and said what Prabhakaran wanted to tell thosse days, and today what he says is a diluted version of the same story. Meanwhile, this prof is a man who spent his whole life demanding that ther workers take the law into their hands, kill the owners of businesses and estates, and take them over to create a dictatorship – the END justifies the means.
      But now he says “I am calling for first preference to Anura Kumara and campaigning, for the purpose of keeping out Gota the potential militarist and authoritarian,..”
      This Porf supported the arch Militarist Sarath Fonseka!

      Menik maust beMmanic to not to understand that ALL polticians, and even this professor are all liars. They should all be lined up against the wall and a fireing squad should …..come and lock them up for life in a high walled prison.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Edward J,
        .
        Ravi Karunanayake telling the truth. Really?
        .
        Mangala S. does get us to face up to uncomfortable facts. I wouldn’t accept lots of the other things you say either.

    • 0
      0

      But he did lie to harm Sri lanka comparing to RW who already put Sinhalese Buddhist in death row by signing agreement with UN, arresting Sri lanka soldiers, selling sri lanka harbours on the request of American based spies who are looking for reason to invade and changing sri lanka constitution to allow foreign spies to undermine Sinhalese Buddhists

  • 2
    0

    Kumar David says: “I am talking about creating a credible third force, a progressive-left-democratic alternative that can make a sizable impact in the coming years.”
    Has the JVP really transformed itself into “credible” progressive-left-democratic force?
    *
    To my knowledge four to six thimble size left sects (one can’t call them parties) are planning to put up candidates…When I was canvassing hard for left unity in the last few years some sect leaders emitted encouraging burps with the side comment “Good, good, very good but not quite yet”. Perhaps they too first want a ‘scientific survey’ of the benefits of unity.
    KD should first try to persuade the JVP to abandon its chauvinism before persuading others to follow him.
    May I know what the “thimble size left sects” that line up behind the JVP have in them for the people to place their trust in them some day to combat fascism? A thimble of credibility?
    *
    “I went to a good school and was taught not to make rude remarks…”
    Good if he was taught, but did he learn?

    • 0
      1

      No he didn’t learn anything from the good school, any more than the Bond Scam people did.
      Kumar D learnt to say Bhangawewa while sipping scotch with his equally upper-class Trostkyaites who love to talk of revolution, write about the structure of capitalism, and the need to break an omelet (i.e., break the law) if you are to achieve the proletarian dictatorship. Their bosses (NM, Philip, Colvin, Keunamen) destroyed the Velona Textile factory and other local industries from taking root, , and they were rightly viewed to be the Zharans and Wijeweeras (.e., terrorists) of that era by the then rules like DSSenanayake who also went to a good school, worked amicably with Muslim leaders like TB Jayah, tamed racists like Ponnambalam, and did a few things like building up irrigation systems etc., that hep us to feed the people today.

  • 0
    0

    Prof Kumar David does not know that Basil R at the February 2018 Local Government Elections floated SLPP with the mission statement that “Reconciliation will lead to Separation” and implying the “War must go on”. Basil R succeeded. MR took over SLPP and rest is history.
    Gotabaya R is the SLPP candidate.
    Prof Kumar David, now reborn Carlo-Kumar David, wants a third force etc. etc., reminding the SLPP bigots, albeit subconsciously, that “Bodu Bala Sena” consists of Angels.

  • 0
    0

    Anything is possible you dum ass is it probable ?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.