28 September, 2021

Blog

It’s The Opposition’s Election To Lose

By Vishwamithra1984 –

“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” ~Harriet Tubman

Maithripala Sirisena’s landmark crossover to the Opposition just weeks before the nomination day of the Presidential Elections captured the imagination of the country. However, Maithri’s crossover does not stand alone in the realm of political crossovers in the last fifty years. But it clearly signifies a real problem Mahinda Rajapaksa has. That is, those who fall out with the President are not in just ‘also-ran’ category or second-tier or third-tier personalities.

Anura Kumara JVPIn the 2010 Presidential Elections it was his Army Commander who had earlier delivered the country from the throes of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam. This time it’s his own party’s (Sri Lanka Freedom Party) General Secretary. What is this aversion that the President shows to his de facto second-in-command? On the military front, General Sarath Fonseka was his second-in-command and on the political front it was Maithripala Sirisena who was his second-in-command. The only answer, whichever way one looks, is that President cannot but look to his immediate family and nowhere else. The typical mentality of those who are intoxicated with power and driven by its irrational parodies seems to have seized the psyche of the Rajapaksas. In the nineteen hundred and sixties and seventies, this syndrome of family rule was dominant, especially among those countries that were freed after colonial rule. Power was transferred from one family member to another. Whether it was a dictatorship-run administration or one elected by the people, this Familiocracy overruled all other considerations. The Third World remained at the bottom of socio-economic development order not only because all doors and windows were closed to professionals and other qualified experts who did not belong to the ruling families, it did so because the people who either elected these leaders or were suppressed with all military means were made robotic serfs by the whims and fancies of the ruling clans.

Not a scenario conducive to nation-building!

The current status of the Ministry of External Affairs and their diplomat postings are laughable. An ex-University Vice Chancellor cum Law Professor has been turned into a peon boy while a helicopter-owning MP, allegedly close to the throne, is marauding the corridors of the Ministry with impunity and arrogance. The infamous flare-up between this MP and the eminent doctor/Sri Lankan High Commissioner in the United Kingdom added more spice to this bad-tasting soup which is mistakenly called the Ministry of External Affairs. However much high and mighty you may be in your profession and past accomplishments, but still if you are not related by blood to the court, you stand no chance at getting anywhere close to the inner circles of unlimited power, money and pleasure.

These enchanted circles of pleasure are exclusively reserved for the family and there is no bargaining left to be done by those who pretend to be the ‘family’. Both General Sarath Fonseka and Maithripala Sirisena suffered the humiliation of being kept out of that circle, although they were in effect second only to the President at the time in their respective positions. Avarice knows no boundary with these rulers; it has engulfed this victim-family with a sense of invincibility; the immediate family members simply cannot visualize their lives outside of the security and comfort of the cocoon of power. Intoxicated to the brim with the narcotic of power, these merchants of corruption and nepotism have simply refused to acknowledge the obvious. The unbridled and unfettered manner in which they have been brandishing executive powers so vested in the Executive Presidency, the family decreed unto itself and the country that the family and family alone could reap the benefits of all lucrative jobs, massive contracts, alluring furloughs and bullet-proof security.

They were so enmeshed in this comfort zone that hardly did they realize that there is another side to the coin. No person claiming closeness to the family dared open their mouth about the unfolding disenchantment with the corrupt practices of the family. Having control over 60% of the nation’s coffers, they, instead of charting a reasonable and modest course of politicization of the affairs of the country, they went berserk like drunken sailors who have reached a paradise island. Otherwise, who is the idiot who brags about his pair of shoes and says it is worth one hundred and fifty thousand rupees? Who is the imbecile who indulges in high-fi car races in front of the Temple of the Tooth relic in Maha Nuwara? That insensitivity ultimately caught up with them when Maithripala Sirisena, the Minister of Health and General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) decided that enough was enough.

With another member of the family sitting at the helm of the Defense Establishment and the Police department with all its intelligence services and National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), they did not see the coming disaster. That speaks volumes for not only their insensitivity to what they consider ‘mundane and ordinary’, it also talks about a gross lack of competence. Unlimited access to unlimited resources has not delivered the goods for the Rajapaksas. These grave aspects of insensitivity and incompetence are further compounded by the fact that the Rajapaksas have underestimated their influence and weight that the Bandaranaikes bear on the SLFP. After all, the SLFP is not the Rajapaksa Party; it was, has been and still is the political power of the Bandaranaikes. The country at large may have rejected the Chandrika Bandaranaike years from 1994 – 2005 regime as one of the most lackluster eras in the country’s history, but for the diehard SLFP supporter, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party is the common man’s party. It should not be made into a crony-capitalist party which the Rajapaksas have most successfully accomplished.

It is rather premature to write the obituary of the projected ‘Rajapaksa Dynasty’. Whether Maithripala Sirisena and the ‘Common Opposition’ could employ a reasonably competent election campaign is yet to be seen. But the pent up anger and emotional disillusionment of the people are obvious. However, some utterances of both the JVP and JHU leaders are not so complementary. The writer in the past has written very kindly, especially about, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, although I would be uttering a falsehood to say the same about Champika Ranawaka. Yet it is beyond dispute that both Anura K and Champika R are extremely clever political operatives. But they seem to be missing the bus here. Allow me to bring in a Cricket simile. Anura Kumara and Champika are like captains of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Cricket teams. As cricket teams, both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would be soundly defeated each time they play against the modern cricketing giants such as Australia, England, India and Sri Lanka. But both these teams have some brilliant players in the caliber of Anura K and Champika R. But they alone can’t win a match. And to defeat the Rajapaksa eleven, they need to join something like a ‘World Eleven’ or the ‘Rest’ team, which is today’s Common Opposition. When playing for that World eleven or the ‘Rest’, they must learn to play as a team. Cricket is a team-game and with abundant talent available in the Common Opposition, they can not only give a very good game, it would be their match to lose. Don’t spoil the chances of a recovery for the country. What is at stake is much more than Premiership for Ranil Wickremesinghe and another job for someone else.

A man who could not contain his own deputy on two occasions is certainly vulnerable. And it shows in every corner of the Island. It’s time both Anura Kumara and Champika understood this truth.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 3
    2

    Maybe Mithripala should consider contesting as the other UPFA candidate with the JHU backing.

    It will be a nice even 1/3 vote base, where the higher than over 1/3 wins. If Mithripala would be a spoiler for the UNP, then he would also be a spoiler for Rajapakse. So, he’d be right in the middle and take most of the votes from the other two and could possibly secure a very good victory. And Rajapakse won’t go down with too much ignominy either- we wouldn’t want it, after having done so much for the country sans the unstop-ability of his relentlessness to do too much at great cost(in fact he can be included in the new cabinet with powers curtailed towards democracy).

  • 2
    1

    Vish,

    Both persons you mentioned have chosen to support the Opposition candidate because their own survival is at stake. They cannot run a Presidential campaign and make even a marginal impact. Moreover, it is a waste of money.

    It is the JVP’s and JHU’s General Election campaign that is unfolding in front of our eyes. They will use the CC’s campaign to get exposure to their message and I think that is okay as long as it is in sync with the overall campaign themes. For now, it seems to be the case. Naturally, those running the CC’s communications MUST make sure there are no ‘foot in the mouth’ moments. At least not too many.

    Eventually the Rajapakse’s will show up for what they truly are. A group of village bumpkins who ended up getting the chance oflooting the country. They now think we owe them! It is our fault also, and hopefully we can all have our moments of regret before we vote on Jan 8th.

    Force must be met with even more force…in the context of local level politics. If not, the average voter will skip voting and you can rest assured his/her ballot will be cast without any hesitation before the boxes reach the Katcheris!

  • 2
    1

    Vishwamithra1984

    “In the 2010 Presidential Elections it was his Army Commander who had earlier delivered the country from the throes of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam.”

    At what human costs?

    It was the Hindians who persuaded Chandrika, planned, trained,… financed, the war. Hindians also provided intelligence and diplomatic cover to protect MR and the war criminals. They still do.

    Therefore please stop kidding yourself.

    The army commander was just obeying Hindian orders.

    Here is what this racist told Stewart Bell of National Post, Canada:

    “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people,” he says.

    “We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country.

    “We are also a strong nation … They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”

    Inside Sri Lanka: A life given over to war

    http://www.nationalpost.com/

    Sept. 23, 2008

    A racist would not hesitate to kill, In Fonseka’s case he had the tools and IC guaranteed impunity.

    Just before 2010 presidential elections the racist general indicated that he would not hesitate to take the clan to Galle Face. What did he mean?

    • 0
      1

      Just a little problem with our war hero commander.

      His remaining two members, one in parliament and another in wester PC have just joined the Rajapakae forces (UPFP).

      Why can’t our people fight united?

      Native Vedda, when is the “Common Cents pamphlet” coming? We need it sooner rather than later.

    • 0
      1

      This Vaddha speaks like a true LTTEr :)

      still ashamed to come out ne

  • 2
    0

    I believe the campaign by the opposition will be significantly higher after the nomination date. Both Anura, Champion would join the campaign trail apart from their ownpocket the meeting. This would gather further momentum when other seniors also join the opposition nearer the elections. All in all the whole campaign would succeed. One important point is all UNPers must speak in one voice so that the voters are not misled. Victory assured.

  • 0
    0

    It is only now that we can see the result of Ranil Wickramasinghe’s refusal to vacate the leadership of the UNP when defeated several times. With the support of a self serving working committee in a
    political party which has no internal democracy he has been able to consolidate his hold.

    But his stubborn policies have led to UNP losing mass support and credibility in the country.If RW really cared for the UNP and more than that the concept of democracy he would have left long ago. Instead he keeps manipulating the system,hoping that one day by some trick he can gain power.

    It is obvious that the UNP has about 30-35 percent of the national vote. This is not because of Ranil but has been built up from the time of DS Senanayake. In fact under Ranil the average vote base of the UNP has gone down badly.

    So the result is that the Opposition leader cannot even contest the President! He has to bring a third party like Sarath Fonseka or Maithripala Sirisena to do that! Maithripala came from the government!
    Even in this hour of elections common front parties like JHU and JVP do not want Ranil. Even naming Ranil as his Prime Minister has become a liability for candidate Maithripala.

    Under Ranil the UNP has become a party of family inheritance. A empty vessel like Sajith Premadasa looks good only because Ranil did not democratize the party and allow others to come up.His answer to Sajith Premadasa was Ruwan Wijewardena! More family nonsense.The country is sick of this family inheritance of politics.The same sickness has overtaken MR who otherwise was popular.

    Even Mahinda Rajapakse looks good because Ranil pussyfooted with the LTTE. MR took them on in a all out battle.He didnot compromise with terrorists. Ranil tried to trick hem. All his failures have
    only gone to make others look good. So again because Ranil cannot take on MR the whole country will suffer. The opposition looks so confused.

    • 3
      0

      Manjula F

      Ranil is decent and he did not try dirty tricks in elections and consequently lost. These elections were not conducted with accepted rules. Lots money and benefits would have passed thru in the destabilising of the UNP which Ranil cannot control
      He is one of the most experienced politicians in Asia and he is well accepted in the foreign countries. His strategical thinking cannot be matched but it has to be a fair playing ground.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.