By Waruna Rambukewella –
What a coalition of a mess..! I thought to myself when seeing on a State-run television channel a campaign advertisement that showed a kenda heliya indirectly depicting the National Democratic Front or the political platform of the common candidate Maithripala.
To my mind the arguments that are being raised in this TV trailer are correct. The coalition of Maithripala is a kenda heliya, and of course a baby of none or too many fathers. A quick analysis would make it easier to understand.
Look at Maithripala himself. He still represents the interest of the old SLFP camp who has lost its past glory at the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his kith and kin. On the other hand Chandrika is playing her own game of revenge according to the Rajapaksa camp but nevertheless she has become the engine behind the Maithri campaign specifically conducting corridor diplomacy for defections from the ruling party.
As usual UNP is with its own market economic and capitalism policies which are usually being opposed by both JVP and JHU. But both latters are strong stakeholders of the coalition. Though JVP has not officially become a party to the group it indirectly support it by requesting the voters not to vote for Rajapaksa.
Think of TNA and other Muslim forces being in the same camp of JHU. Unthinkable isn’t it? Hakeem has to take a stand soon otherwise he will be an non-valid coin soon within his own community.
The leading fire-brand Jathika Hela Urumaya has a totally different approach to the others, mainly with regard to the Tamil and minority issues. But the most important bond here is between the JVP and UNP which has reached on an unsung understanding.
But the question of the hour is the reasons behind the building up of this non-traditional coalition of rival political forces. It is not rocket science. There exists a common enemy that emerges as the biggest threat to the nation of Sri Lanka after independence.
In order to deliberate, fight and engage in any form of democratic discourse there are two major requirements. One if the very existence of the country and the second is the presence of a healthy democracy. It is extremely ironic that the very same person who rescued the country from the clutches of ruthless terrorism is engaging in destroying both these cardinal factors.
Thus, the political forces who foresaw this menace dropped their respective political agendas and brought into a common immediate cause of restoring democracy within 100 days in a country which would not further be auctioned to China or any other interested party.
Hence, emerged Maithripala over-shadowing conventional and outdated political figures and also entirely confusing the ruling party family-bound stalwarts.
In fact, it is highly interesting to see how these non-compatible forces came under a common umbrella mainly for a single cause of sustaining democracy. This would be a new political era for the country where a multi-party regime will be taking over the task of restoring democracy. This 100-day task and beyond would certainly be rich with words like good governance, transparency, anti-corruption, access to information, media freedom so on and so forth. But the real challenge is converting these words into tasks which not only Maithri but the entire coalition partners of this Kenda Heliya would be facing with soon as their victory is imminent as of now. Nevertheless, Kenda or Porridge is the nutritious meal that we start the day as Sri Lankans. Thus, we are expecting a healthy begging from January 9 for the entire nation.