19 September, 2020

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Mahinda-Gota Split: Where Stands The SLFP? Will There Be A CBK – Second Coming?

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

Real or faked, a MahindaGota split has political implications. A fake split could have unintended consequences, even precipitating a real split.  Whether fake or real, the sibling split is primarily over one issue and one issue only: the unlucky Thirteenth Amendment. But the split over 13A goes beyond the siblings and it is no fake but real within the UPFA governing alliance itself. What is not clear is – how is the SLFP split on this? Where does the SLFP stand over the split, real or fake, between the President and his Secretary brother? If SLFP parliamentarians are leaning one way or the other, are they doing it for real, or, are they faking allegiance, while waiting a different leader? Where is the SLFP in the real split over 13A in the UPFA?

If the Mahinda-Gota split is real, it would mean that the split is not only political but also personal. If, however, the split is a political fake, then there is no split at the personal level, and really no split at all. Even on 13A, while the younger Rajapaksa is implacably opposed to 13A, the older brother has never wholeheartedly supported it. The President doesn’t care if 13A is dumped, while the Secretary cannot sleep till it is dumped. A split, it might be, with the Defence Secretary wanting the amendment thrown out right away no matter what, and the President vacillating between diluting and repealing it while trying to ‘shape up’ the fallouts.

As we know, the President is on his favourite hobby horse again – the parliamentary select committee, this time to ‘impeach’, if I may say so, the Thirteenth Amendment.  So he has packed the committee with all the rabble rousers against 13A, whose political godfather is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. With brutal symbolism, the President has also excluded from the committee that dedicated constitutional beaver and supporter of devolution, Tissa Vitarana.

Disturbing and curious

Other than 13A, there is no other sign of disagreement between the brothers. In fact, there are no other governance issues for this government other than using 13A for its own survival. Manifestly and worryingly within the government, there is no discussion, difference, disagreement or debate over anything economic. The economy is not a governing concern for the brotherhood regime. It is all about bloated security and pseudo sovereignty, about debt creating white-elephant infrastructure, and about turning Colombo into a grand, one-way, casino circus – a cheap Las Vegas caricature for those down under. There is no split on all of this. And there is no opposition to question the brothers on any of this.

As pointed out by Kumar David several times in this weekly, the most disturbing aspect about Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s (GR’s) public condemnation of 13A is that it is against every known code of conduct for an unelected public official. Criticizing a constitution or advocating constitutional changes are matters for elected politicians and certainly for private citizens who are concerned about these matters. They are not matters for unelected public servants. Senior public servants are paid, in part, to keep their mouths shut on political matters. They must not articulate political positions publicly unless they are so directed by their ministers.

GR’s minister is his older brother and President, Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR). Naturally, the younger brother is in a special position of power and authority compared to any other civil servant now or at any time in Sri Lankan history. Nobody is denying or begrudging that. But that special relationship and position are also the reason why the younger Rajapaksa should observe maximum circumspection in his public utterances. There is no circumspection, only contravention in GR’s condemnation of 13A. The President goes ahead with the decision to hold elections for the Northern Provincial Council. GR continues regardless to campaign for not holding an election, for repealing 13A and abolishing the PC system altogether. Who is wagging whose dog here?

The second disturbing and curious aspect of GR’s forays into politics is that he has no base in the SLFP and uses political rabble rousers as his base and his platform. To the JHU, NFU and BBS, their political ‘cynosure’, as Kumar David has put it, is GR and not MR. Never mind MR is the popular president and GR is not cut out for the hurly-burly of electoral politics. The marriage between GR and the rabble rousers is not surprising. None of these organizations – JHU, NFU, BBS – have any hope in hell of winning anything in an election except as appendages of the SLFP banyan party. Yet, they want to strut their chauvinistic stilts  on the political stage even though their political base is next to nothing. And their only recourse to achieving status, feeling important, and throwing their weight around is to latch themselves on to someone like GR. GR needs them too, to project his own political status, power and ego over and beyond his position and endowments.  Where is the SLFP in all this?

SLFP’s blood transfusion

It is known that a good number of SLFP MPs including Ministers are opposed to diluting or repealing the Thirteenth Amendment. It was their opposition along with the handful Old Left MPs and minority Muslim and a few Tamil MPs that undermined President Rajapaksa’s cunningly cultivated two-thirds majority in parliament. The silent opposition stopped the President’s plan to dilute 13A through another constitutional amendment. The setback has incensed the GR/JHU/NFU/BSS axis. But how incensed should SLFPers be about the twists and turns that the UPFA alliance is being forced to take by a political mafia that the SLFP of SWRD Bandaranaike needs to have no truck with.

The SLFP is not a party of strong institutional tradition, whether in regard to its internal organization, or in regard to governing the country. However, it has consistently proved itself to be capable of spearheading successful electoral coalitions and seeing their governments break up before their terms are up. This has been the story of the victories and governments of 1956, 1960 and 1970. The SLFP was in the wilderness for a long seventeen years of UNP rule between 1977 and 1994, and the drought was ended when Chandrika Kumaratunga assembled the People’s Alliance and got rid of the UNP. It is the UNP that has since been suffering a prolonged drought. The SLFP governing coalition itself went through a political blood transfusion in 2005, when Mahinda Rajapaksa succeeded Chandrika Kumaratunga as party leader and the country’s president. Why the blood transfusion?

SWRD Bandaranaike founded the SLFP to realize his ultimate political ambition by providing a democratic alternative to the UNP. But it has never been able to do this on its own and has always relied on coalescing with the Left parties to serve its foundational purpose. Mahinda Rajapaksa has either abandoned the old ways or turned them upside down. He is the greatest beneficiary of the UNP’s 1978 constitution. And he has found a mechanism of political poaching to rob the UNP of its MPs by offering ministerial, or part-ministerial, and other inducements. The UNP new arrivals invariably compete with and displace the SLFP old timers in parliamentary matters. The SLFPers are also swarmed by the JHU/NFU/BBS storm troopers on the political street. If Mahinda Rajapaksa is crowding out the old SLFPers with his new UNPers, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is threatening them with his storm troopers.

The Rajapaksa government is still a powerful government, but it is not an SLFP government from the old block. Worse, the traditional SLFPers have no place to go.  Are they being punished on suspicion that they are still Bandaranaike loyalists and Chandrika faithfuls? Their resistance to the regime’s moves to dilute or repeal 13A will only confirm this suspicion, for President Kumaratunga’s lasting legacy is her sincere commitment to finding a political solution based on power sharing within an indissoluble Lankan union. And the suspicion will turn into aggravation for the Rajapaksas by the continuing speculation of a second political coming by Chandrika Kumaratunga.

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    Some people are dying to get attention, so they write about fictional scenarios in order to get readership. There is NO SPLIT, just imagining

    • 1
      0

      Here we go with the ‘POTTER GEWAL HORA’ famed Leela again.
      This Leela fellow gets hurt in no time for anything against the DESPOT Paskas. A split is too good the Hinganapaksas. Karma will take its turn pretty soon. Wait until then.

    • 0
      0

      DAVID AND GEORGE !!!!!!!!!!

      Maybe former kings Reincarnation in Sri Lanka?????.

      MARE MARU ANEy????.

      SOME people Beg And Eat, But Pretend to be not like Begging and eating.

      • 1
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        Ow aney and Leela should be awarded the best beggar award for the year. begging kiyala mehemath Begging. Leela is an Uraa. Will eat shit happily from his Maha Uraas.

  • 1
    0

    Afterall Gotha is only a Scretary to a Ministry. He is not an MP, not a leader of a political party. So why should the President or any other person for that matter worry about Gotha. Does any one think that Gotha can trigger a military coup? Even if he tries it does any one think that India will allow it to last? Its time for Gotha to realize where he stands and bow out.

  • 1
    0

    Gotha is only a Secretary, a civil servant and not an elected MP. HOw can he say he cannot meet a parliamentary delegation after agreeing to meet them? Whom does he think he is? The President as the Head of the State and as the Minister of Defence under whom Gotha works should have ordered Gotha to attend the meeting which was setup some time ago. The major blame for this action of Gotha should go to the President who has failed in his duty as the President of the country and as the Minister of Defence. Is the Pesident so weak that he cannot control the action of his own secretary of defence. If Gotha is a honorable person he should have resigned his position but not hide from meeting the Parliamentary delegation of UK. This shows he cannot face them. Shame on you “Got-a-Baya”.

  • 1
    0

    Gota has nothing to do with SLFP or UNP.

    If Gota wants to scrap 13 amendment, most SLs are with him.

    But the split is more interesting.

    It will be like Pirapaharan-Karuna Amman split. Those were the days!

  • 1
    0

    I don’t think MR & Gota will split or fight over 13A. They are just playing the good guy and bad guy roles to fool the people, India and west. MR is an old fox. He will never sacrifice the power just over a stupid 13A.

    We are here to live under the autocratic rule of MR till he retires. He will find all means defections, gov. media, thuggary, gilmart to win all the elections.

    The split may only come when Namal ready to take over presidentship.

    • 1
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      This is my thinking too. A split in the Dynasty will happen after
      some time and until then they will hay while the sum shines. Gota-MR
      drama is only for a local vote-catching exercise prior to events.

  • 1
    0

    I didn’t know that CT will publish fictions. whats next? short stories ?

  • 1
    0

    I think Lasantha said it

    “In the wake of my death I know you will make all the usual sanctimonious noises and call upon the police to hold a swift and thorough inquiry. But like all the inquiries you have ordered in the past, nothing will come of this one, too. For truth be told, we both know who will be behind my death, but dare not call his name. Not just my life, but yours too, depends on it.”

  • 0
    0

    Rajan P has taken over a red herring released a little earlier by Kumar David — both these are Marxists who have for many decades made the wrong prognosis, and yet continue with their misleading political reading of how the tea-leaves will fall.
    Prior to the war, they predicted the invincibility of the LTTE; after the war, sure victory of Fonseka; then they predicted that the country will find it hard to carry out post-war reconstruction or even rehabilitate the IDPS even in decades, given the world economic crisis. Then they predicted that the JVP will strike ahead with new forces from the North.
    All these predictions have failed. They also predicted “Arab spring-like upheavals when FUTa too kt to he streets. Unfortunately, the Island newspapers, trying to cater to the Colombo “internationalists” have to rely on these types of writers who have mislead the left-leaning public of the country.

    Can we name one political prognosis by Rajan P or Kumar David that proved to be even marginally valid?

    Whether you like it or not, the Rajapaksa clansmen are politically far more clever and cunning that the sterile Leftist “golden brains” that have ended up with near-zero support in the country, or in the trade unions. The weakness in the current administration is NOT a question of political cohesiveness. Its weakness is in the corrupt, inefficient public service and administrative system inherited from the CBK era, and they have done nothing to rectify it – in fact they have compounded it with their own Mihin air and other rackets.

  • 0
    1

    This topic is completely hypothetical. I also believe that Gota will be a good president to Sri Lankan than Mahinda.

  • 0
    0

    Is Rajan faking an orgasm to avoid the depression resulting from the young turk, and a good people friendly one for that matter putting the boot into the UNP leader who is supposed to make real. the dreams of the Diaspora IC and their local agents the TNA.

    You may try hard but the SLFPers are not darf.

    Shouldn’t you guys be putting your ernergy and resources to build up the UNP as a proper alternative Govt

    Even then it will be a Herculean task to convince the great majority of the inhabitant population, that the UNP is fairdinkum.

  • 1
    0

    This Offense Secretary’s level of impunity has been displayed in ample measure for the public. Once in a Court house from the dock, he openly displayed his cellular in a threatening manner to the Plaintiff’s Lawyers, that everyone knows his number and could have given a call. The Judge in a humble manner watched all this nonsense and had it been another citizen would not have hesitated to lock him up for that act alone. Then this same Offense Secretary when questioned by a Foreign Correspondent about Lasantha Wickrematunge’s murder, had the audacity to ask who is Lasantha Wickrematunge? Then at another TV interview he vehemently opposed and said that there will not be any type of Inquiry on the War and no one had the right to ask, not even the UN. From where does this Offense Secretary draw courage to act as a buffoon if not for the hidden protection of the Americans to defy the whole world? Bigger Dictators have been tamed by Americans when it suits them, but in the case of Rajapaksas they are yet the brief carriers for the US doing their bidding. So he is exempt for the time being. Otherwise who is the fool to openly display impunity to the world fora as this ignorant Offense Secretary? Not only the Rajapaksas are protected by the Americans but many other Military personnel who took part in the massacre of unarmed Tamils numbering over forty thousand in May 2009. They can be LTTE but they were unarmed at the time they were rounded up and massacred. Why can not all those who value Human Rights the World over, including Louise Arbour, Gorden Weisse, Navi Pillai and crowd give leadership to pressure the UN to take matters up. Why are they made silent by the very body UN who is supposed to protect Human Rights? See the manner how the Americans are treating for their involvement in espionage the world over, revealed by Bradley Manning, Juliyan Assange and Edward Snowdon being persecuted while the rest of the world keeps silent without protest? Is it not because for the stooge govts in all these countries set up with American support they are unable to voice themselves, lest the whole scandal blow up?

    The Rajapaksas including this Offense Secretary displays such impunity also due to the secret support extended to them by the Americans at the moment. The latest is to safeguard the Rajapaksas, they will be allowed to delete the 13th Amendment as obviously the KP crowd are advised to go without devolution but that they could enjoy everything without having it on paper. Towards this end India too seem not to mind, but their immediate problem is the up coming elections. So MR will be allowed to postpone the NCP elections using this servile sycophant of a CJ to deliver a verdict to prevent holding the election just before the date after all the preparation jsut to give MR credence that he was genuine in his desire. Thereafter India too will take cover behind the Court Order until the CHOGM and the Indian elections are over to allow MR to drop the 13th and then hold the NCP election.

    This SOB Offense Secretary’s arrogance could be seen how he berates a Police DIG like a pickpocket who went to maintain Law and Order at the UN Office when Wimal Booruwansa staged a protest at the UN head office in Colombo. THis could be viewed at

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC5EOEs6b6A.

    How rewarding for Public servants could be seen, when the DIG is almost in tears in the video. CT should advertise this video as a News item so that the Public could understand these megalomaniacs.

    • 0
      1

      Hay gamili, Don’t day dream, go to the nearest pub and have a shot or two and recompose yourself. To say it all in few words, the unity of Rajapakse brothers is the strength of the modern Sri Lanka. Got ot.

  • 1
    0

    Newtons third law

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