26 September, 2020

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Mahinda And Maithiri; Heading On A Collision Course

By Thambu Kanagasabai

Thambu Kanagasabai

Thambu Kanagasabai

The presidential elections scheduled on Jan 08, 2015 have pitted. 17 candidates but the real battle is between Mahinda and Maithiripala Srisena. Mahinda is seeking a third term while Maithiri a rebel from SLFP is challenging him.

Maithiri’s daring cross over and challenge sent shock waves to Mahinda and his family clan who took things for granted until Maithiri decided enough is enough and cleverly pulled out from Mahinda’s grip, thanks to the manipulation and manouvering of Chandrika, who has been spoiling for revenge against Mahinda who treated her shabbily and even expelled her from the party which her father SWRD founded in 1952.

Thanks to Mahinda and his brothers’ dictatorial and arrogant attitude towards the ministers, members of his party and even to those who dare to criticize or challenge them directly or indirectly. With 75% of economy and finance in the hands of Mahinda including the security forces, no doubt there were murmurings and feelings of dissent, anger and frustration among the ministers and members who were simply treated as non-entities and lame ducks in the cabinet and parliament.

Mahinda took the inevitable risky decision to hold the elections two years before due date noting the downward turn of his popularity and growing opposition from the Sinhalese voters who are struggling with high cost of living with rampant corruption, bribery, favouritism and nepotism ruling the day.

Maithripala MahindaAmassing of wealth through corruption and bribery by the Rajapaksa family is no more a secret. Mahinda won the second term elections on the waves of victory over LTTE, the euphoria of which has now dwindled and looks no more a catching slogan and a straw to hang on for victory by Mahinda. Considering the pulse of the people, he is raising the lame bogey of tigers or LTTE who according to him have been eliminated during the 2009 war. In addition, international conspiracy, plot by opposition to divide the country etc have been raised by Mahinda and company in desperation. It appears that Sinhalese voters are no more in a mood to believe these hollow stories. Like the rats who escape from a sinking ship, the exodus ministers, MP’S, regional party officials is continuing following the exit of Maithiri Srisena who sparked the light.

Besides, the exit of Jathika Hela Urumaya, Bodu Bala Sena, which were pampered by Gotabaya Rajapaksa has dealt a big blow to Mahinda’s hopes as past history shows the influence of monks who can make or unmake govts swaying the Sinhalese voters one way or another.

In the above volatile scenario now prevailing in Sri Lanka, the chances of Maithiri Srisena, said to be a good gentleman look brighter for victory spelling collapse for the empire of Rajapakse family.

Maithiri is gathering support like a storm from all sections, from parties whose sole common object is to remove the Rajapakse’s dictatorial family rule. Besides this purpose, the backers also aim at eliminating or removing the powers of the president’s post. Maithiri, a soft going humble person is the right choice to win the hearts and minds of voters though these qualities would not work when the question of running a Sri Lankan govt which is dictated and directed by various religious and or extremist groups. It is understood that Ranil would be the prime minister under a parliamentary system of govt with a ceremonial lame duck president. If this arrangement materializes, it would be a change for a democratic rule with independence of judiciary which Rajapakse has snuffed out for his favour. It also could score a success for Ranil, a never winning presidential candidate. Meanwhile this election is grinding towards a contest of tug-o-war and indications are Maithiri would win putting an end to the misrule of Rajapakses. However, the fact remains that Rajapaksa group won’t easily stomach a defeat lest the consequences he would face are unpredictable but possibly facing charges for war crimes and crimes against humanity, besides charges of corruption etc.

The dark corners lying to spoil the victory of Maithiri are Mahinda’s brothers who could conspire with the armed forces to keep Rajapakse as president with probabilities of plots to create riots employing hooligans and party supporters even communal riots. Sensing these probabilities, the opposition parties even Maithiri including JVP, JHU have given their warnings of encirclement of temple trees with thousands of demonstrators to force him vacate the residence in case he stays put. The situation as it is, looks volatile and unpredictable, though the silver line is that the visit of Pope Paul Francis on Jan 13th who has been given an undertaking of a peaceful situation in the country with the promise of Rajapaksa for a peaceful hand over of the presidency in case of defeat.

All hope that this will not be another undertaking of Rajapaksa meant to be broken later. It is the hope of Sri Lankan’s that sanity will prevail over political thuggery for the democratic existence of Sri Lanka.

As for the Tamils, Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinism will continue to rule the Roost.

*Thambu Kanagasabai LL.M (London) – Former Lecturer in Law,University Of Colombo

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 4
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    I agree with this writer. I think that Maithri will win 60% and yet. Goata may his military to steal the victory of Maithri.Then blood baths, abduction and killing will continue

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      That is plan B,

      Who wants to give up power? Let many fools die?

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      This is never going to happen. The Rajapasksas have ordered Air Charters India’s 2 Private Jets to be arrived on 9th and they cannot use the military coup in event if they lose the election. They have the choice to leave the country by carry his entire family on 2 private jets.

      Yes my bet at least Maithripala will win by 55% minimum. So this is very hard for MR to rig the votes and he can only rig the vote around 12,000. This is not enough for MR to ensure his victory as this challenge is unexpected for MR, At the first before calling the election he thought the victory will be easy, But when the main opposition called for new candidate it became too harder for MR to play cards against the opposition because he had no idea what else to do.

      In event if Ranil had played in candidate field, MR would easily defeat Ranil by playing the LTTE card on the Opposition. Now the challenges for MR is completely different so using LTTE card will not work this time and i’m absolutely sure of it.

      As a citizen of Sri Lanka we have to put our support on the common candidate and support their decision to change the presidential system and introduce the Good Governance. God will help for the Victory of true means of Democracy and true national leader.

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        GOOD GOVERNANCE – you must be insane to expect good governance from a weak personality like MS and the motley gang of corrupted politicos behind him – I saw recently on a daily paper – when MS is elected he will be appointing Ranil as PM and CBK as Minister of Finance and SF as Ministry of Defence – I can predict two things – under CBK country’s treasury will be empty in few years and for sure SF will take over power through a coupe – and the voters now dreaming democracy and good governance will see the country being run by a ruthless army dictator – we may see a Polpot regime in our country – the priority of the voters of this country should be to keep the MR in power as Executive President and elect a strong opposition with fresh young blood to the parliament

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    The crux of the author’s presentation is revealed in his last sentence:

    “As for the Tamils, Sinhalese Buddhist chauvinism will continue to rule the Roost.”

    My problem is then why bother to thank others for causing the downfall of Mahinda.

    The society in Sri Lanka is unable to tolerate dissent, unable to tolerate a minority point of view, minority culture, minority ethnicity etc. So the social issues raised will remain unsolved.

  • 1
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    Mr Kangasabai is worried about our Armed Forces,,

    In fact our Armed Forces are the only protection, the great majority have to o prevent dismemberment of their country and carve it in to form Bantustans by the Opportunistic Politicians who have been bankrupt for a long time.,

    It is going to be trouble for sure, after CC Sira promised SLMC Hakeem a separate Homeland for Muslims in the East.

    And it is going to be between Mr Kanagasabe’s people and Mr Hakeem, Bathudeen and Militant Sally’s people..

    Wonder why the JVP is getting its knickers in a knot…

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    Anything is possible under the circumstances. The outcome is very unpredictable.

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    There may be temporary chaos and the Goat may even try some stunts but the bottom line is a military coup will never succeed in this country. There is a certain fickleness and backstabbing trait in the majority of Sri Lankans which will preclude such an eventuality. Thank God for that.

  • 0
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    Will the porridge of the common candidate cure all ills of mother lanka? Only the time will tell.

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    I would take offence with the last statement ofbthis article as the writer seem to end with ” sting in the tail”whole idea of good governance is to foster good relations within ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, at the same time minorities need to respect the feelings of the predominant ethnic group, then only we can expect to foster mutual respect and good relationships.I am sure Maithree will be a strong leader and will show his leadership attributes as the first citizen. We all look forward to this change.

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