15 November, 2018

Blog

Landslide Does Not Mean Endorsement Of MR

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

That the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) swept the local councils polls on February 10th should not come as surprise to anyone who closely watched the political developments in the country after the demise of the Rajapaksa regime in 2015. The yahapalanaya regime of MS-RW was given the mandate by the people to, clean up corruption, speed up the process of reconciliation with the minorities, control the escalating cost of living, reduce national debt, restore rule of law, and bring before justice the corruptors in the former regime.  None of these was accomplished but instead the situation worsened, and hence, the peoples’ disgust with the rulers. They demonstrated their anger peacefully at the polls by voting massively against the so-called yahapalanaya facade. Therefore, the landslide victory of SLPP was more a vote against the MS-RW mismarriage rather than an endorsement of MR led opposition.

During the election campaign, the Joint Opposition’s focus was to keep the voters concentrate entirely on the pitfalls of the government without having the need to tell the voters how the alternative government will tackle the economic and ethnic issues facing the country. Curiously, even the intelligentia was silent on this matter.  The only redeeming feature about the results is that it is not the national polls but local.

There is no point now for the MS and RW factions to confess to the public that they have mismanaged the mandate given to them and will mend their ways during the little time left for them to rule.  There is too much to clean up and needs nothing short of a wholesale dismissal of the entire team. This is certainly not going to happen, and with some window dressing, the mess will continue until a polling day announced in terms of the constitution. Politics is a strange game and all sorts of alignments and coalitions are possible. One can imagine that some parliamentarians now sitting with the government, and having noticed the wind’s direction, will be contemplating on their next move to jump ship.

Whichever the party that comes to power at the next general elections it will be difficult to find speedy solutions to the nation’s economic malaise within the existing neoliberal paradigm. The country’s debt to foreigners and the IMF’s conditionality would limit the space for any government to shift its economic priorities. This is the legacy of JR’s open economic policy. The civil war aggravated the economic difficulties. The previous MR regime had no choice but to borrow to finance a war, which it inherited. It relied heavily on the Indian and Chinese governments for funds and weapons, which they were willing to lend but with their own ulterior motive of using Sri Lanka as a pawn in the Indian Ocean geostrategic game. The current MS regime made little change in the strategy but made it worse by going to the IMF and surrendering to its conditionality to borrow even more.  Will a new MR regime change this direction? Has the SLPP any blueprint for its solution to the economic issues? Without convincing answers to these questions changing regimes will only mean changing pillows to cure headache. It will not work.

The landslide to the SLPP is therefore not an endorsement of its economic policies but a wholesale rejection of the current coalition.     

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    8

    No it is an endorsement of you hair splitting theories!

  • 7
    5

    Land slide means the disenchantment of the people against the rulers.
    Then what must the governing people do? CONTINUE to govern… Over to you Ameer Ali

    Every big guns in the Parliament has lost their electorates. What does it say Mr. Ameer Ali ??

    There was no mis-match as AA has stated but those who made false promises and came to power were in a haste to earn money. Unbelieveably Mr. Clean became so dirty and uncouth his image as a does all these years seems a terrible bluff that dupes the masses.
    He is now seen as as a nicom-poop.

    I don’t know why……………

    • 3
      2

      Thondamany

      “Land slide means the disenchantment of the people against the rulers.”

      If 44.63% of people are disenchanted how do you account for those 55.37% who didn’t or refuse to vote for the crooks and clan? Were the voters wise enough to know if Dr Mahinda was still member of SLFP who supported and campaigned for his kid brother’s party SLPP?.

  • 1
    4

    This is wishful thinking. MR won. Clearly, as in the past, the electorate alternates between two set of crooks. The JVP was an alternative but was not chosen because of the fear of what it did in the past. The JVP must try to wash itself clean of its past in order to be a meaningful alternative.
    The rhetoric of Sinhala chauvinism is alive and well. It is what counted at the end as well as the fact that RW and his cronies were rogues who put MR and his clique to shame. My3 is a lame duck. He thought he was bigger. He was just shunted aside. The UNP has to ditch RW and crowd and become a genuine national party that could appeal to all people. It should shun crony ism and provide an economic policy that avoids neoliberalism. It should ensure that there is inward looking development that does not depend on China. There would be disaster if the Chinese creep in. The Indians also should be kept at bay. The country has enough to feed its people. Tax the fellows who have got rich through illicit means and ensure that the gap between the poor and the rich is reduced. Get the wealth of the people spirited away by RW, Aloysius and Mahendran and Gothabaya and MR back into the country and the rogues put in prison. If pickpockets are punished why not these rogues?
    Within a reasonable time, a new election must be held so that the popular vote for the policies of different groupings could be tested out. It is significant that the North and the East had voted differently. The people of these provinces must be given a meaningful devolution which they ask for so that they could run their affairs.

    • 4
      0

      Mama Sinhalam
      Your suggestions make eminent sense and for that very reason will not be supported by people of a country to whom corruption and theft from the national treasury has become completely acceptable. If you offer them, even figuratively, a place at the trough they might elect some individuals who are not total and absolute bandits.

      • 0
        0

        Emile
        People like you disgraced by your unashamed support of Yahapalana who are PROVEN rogues would undoubtedly haven been smacking your lips in anticipation of the crumbs that would fall from their table.
        Corruption has been institutionalised by YAHAPALANAYAS.
        They conspired to oust the previous regime with false allegations of corruption. Three years on and nothing proved. Yahalapana has only one agenda ROB ROB ROB from the Central Bank downwards. The conspiracy to bring in a foreigner, place a well known rogue like Ravi
        K in charge of the nations finances and the rest is not difficult to imagine. People like you who applaud them don’t have an iota of self respect.Find a big stone to hid3 under and snivel.

  • 5
    4

    Ali, don’t attempt to camoflouage the voice of mass.

  • 0
    0

    “Civil War aggravated the economic difficulties” yes you are right. But Tamil problem could have been solved without the war, if not for the ego of successive Governments. If that was done Srilanka would have been like CANADA. No discrimination, No language problem no crying over the past.

  • 0
    4

    Aiyo Sarath, first Aiyo Sirisena and now where is Ameer Ali the Shia down under with his comments?

    so here is a comment from a friend in Kalutara District. Hope Ravi and RW acolytes read this column. ARROGANCE is something seen in RW’s inner circles a lot.


    I was talking to a mason from ratmalana today. Asked him why some UNP voters who voted in 2015 general elections , did not go to vote this time around , based on his watta people.He surprised me by mentioning Ravi K s name , saying that people are fuck mad with him for the pompous way he took everybody for fools , in his cover up story regarding the apartment rent he got from alosious. my mason and his family watches TV in the watta they live in and knew all about bond scam !. I think if he just admitted and said Sorry they may have had more sympathy !!.

    After all sri lankans know the rajapakses are rogues but pretty cool with it.

  • 2
    2

    Landslide victory at an election, by a party, is not an endorsement? thats a first ive heard! hahaha

  • 0
    0

    FRCS cabal=Former Royal College Students Cabal. ARROGANCE ARROGANCE ARROGANCE

    Why did a close relative of Ranil’s become High Commissioner to Britain? What are her qualifications? Political science degree? Why has she not protested banned Eelam Tamil terrorists waving a banned flag? We shouted when MR appointed his cousin the light fingered man to USA and his ethically challenged nephew to Russia and Ukraine, why can’t we talk about this lady? Elite Colombo 7 English speaking Walawwey haamu. Yahapaalanaya ammagey redda.

  • 5
    0

    I would tend to agree with the reasoning of Dr.Ameer Ali.
    This is basically a vote of disappointment with the the Performance of the Yahapalanaya Govt: This vote does not mean that the voters want MaRa to return and do the things that he did when he was in Power.
    The voters in this country are not that dumb!

    • 0
      1

      Plato –
      Most will become dumb and dumber given a parcel of buriyani and arrack to gulp it down!

    • 0
      1

      “Voters in this country are not that dumb.”
      That’s the dumbest statement I heard since Feb 10th.
      Ninety percent of Sri Lankan voters are not only dumb, are also of beggar mentality. I don’t blame them for that, of course. This sorry state of the Sri Lankan mindset is the result of 70 years of the so-called independence and self-rule of the country. All what people want from the government are hand-outs. They don’t care if the politicos steal, or good/bad governance, or matters like constitution change. The reason they are angry with the present government is because of the high price of rice, coconut, not getting the “pohora sahanaadaara” or school uniforms for children, sishya aadaara or samurdhi payments. It’s always aadaara! aadaara!! aadaara!!! If we don’t get aadaara, we’ll chase you away! That’s what elections are for.

  • 2
    2

    Amir ali, what are trying to convey to us, CT reader?
    You guys are trying your best to twist the results of the LG polls that went against your day dreams; you make seemingly ‘right’ but completely wrong, illogical and irrelevant assumptions. What a pathetic and despicalble attempt!
    Let me give you an example with a true story! When JR was in power, there was a university economics professor (with no PhD), a die-hard UNPer. Under JR, the rupee lost its value drastically; his logic to the uneducated poor in Sri Lanka was that a rupee still comprised of 100 cents! He even asked people to count if they were not sure! Most gullible UNPers believed him!
    You remind me of that idiotic prof who was finally kicked out of the university.
    Please go back to Youtube and read the slogan of the Pohottuwe; it is still in big letters on back bround in many rallies attended by Mahinda Rajapaksa; it said clearly: “Let us rebuild the country like before”!
    What does it mean: we had a clean capital; roads, airports, harbors, schools, labs, bridges and many infrastructure facilities were being built; people had money in their pockets; per Capita went up. the Rupee against the Greenback was stable. Country’s creditworthiness was impressive! This doesn’t mean everything was hunky dory under the Rajapaksas, but everything was being managed comparatively better than under the Yahapalanaya. That too after a devastating 26 year war against terrorism supported by the West! Take a comparative look at MR’s work! Please do not try to highlight only the negatives! People in Sri Lanka are not like you people who are just armchair muckrakers! They are more intelligent and hard working people who want results (not just lengthy speeches)!
    That’s why people voted the Pohottuwa to power!

  • 0
    0

    Why not face upto the fact that it is a vote against Ranil. Why run away from that fact which stares us right in the face? Ranil, for whatever reason, became as much a kelptomaniac and shielded the rogues who did the job. The people acted in disgust but why chose the other rogue, MR. The only rational explanation is to attribute the victory of MR to Sinhal-Buddhist chauvinism which is back in vogue again. One can see the picture of MR being more doleful than any at the funeral of the late prelate. Such a supreme play actor who deceives people. Why is he not sorry for all the people he had killed to keep him in power? It is a shame that the people look to him as the alternative. It is wrong to look upon this simply as a protest vote. It is a way for Ali and his ilk to console themselves. MR is waiting. His brothers and his progeny are waiting in glee to have another round of plunder now that Ranil and his cronies have finished.

  • 1
    1

    Not an endorsement? You think SL masses are that clever to send warning signals to Yahapalanaya to put them in track?

    I think it is just the nature of Sri Lankans who easily forget the past. They forgot MR’s time, and now only remember the corruption , inaction and non-development in this government. Those few who still remember are the reason why there is a hairline drop in MR’s popularity between 2015 and 2018.

    After all, one goes for replacement with a better one.

  • 1
    0

    “The landslide to the SLPP is therefore not an endorsement of its economic policies but a wholesale rejection of the current coalition.”

    If that was just the reason, why SLPP, whose leader and the gang were already rejected? Why not JVP or any other to pass the message that even JVP is better than you? Why were SLPP rallies fully crowded compared to others? Or, is that because MR has done a few remarkable things as well to the nation?

    This is all due to SL people’s very tiny area of memory that has been overwritten with MS/RW’s inaction, corruption, non-developments and MS’s finger pointing game at final stage wiping out every wrong thing happened in MR’s rule.

  • 1
    2

    What’s Dr. Ameer Ali been smoking, should be some strong and bad stuff.

  • 0
    1

    Analysis of the votes on a parliamentary electoral basis will translate as a victory on a scale comparable with that of the UNP in 1977 and far better than that of the SLFP-LSSP-CP alliance in 1970.
    *
    It is an effective overturn of the victory of the Presidential & Parliamentary Elections of 2015. The reversal is more convincing than the verdicts of 2015.
    One may dislike to learn it; but one has to accept reality if one seeks to to overcome it.
    *
    Those who voted for the official SLFP/UPFA are less likely to side with the UNP than with the SLPP if there is a general election soon.
    *
    Let us have no illusions about any party or grand alliance in solving any problem.
    Gone are the days my friend Ameer Ali.

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.