19 September, 2020

Blog

Mahinda’s Return As PM: Not Yet A Done Deal

By R. Hariharan

 Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

Unfazed by his surprise defeat in the last presidential polls, Sri Lanka’s Mahinda Rajapaksa appears to be back with a bang on the nation’s political centre stage with the United Peoples Freedom Alliance (UPFA) coalition nominating him to contest the August 17 parliamentary election. as a candidate. Six months ago, when Rajapaksa went into a sulk after his defeat, nobody would have imagined that he would bounce back so soon and so strongly with the support of UPFA.

His nomination ended weeks of suspense, as his bête noire President Maithripala Sirisena, chief of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), tried to persuade the party, the UPFA coalition and even Mahinda to prevent the latter’s comeback. But Rajapaksa seems to have made up his mind, well before political manoevures began, to contest the election with or without SLFP support as the anti-corruption bodies were making life miserable for him and his siblings. But no one, probably not even Mahinda, was certain of the UPFA nominating him.

Sirisena is reported to have confessed to his loyalists that he could not carry the UPFA coalition with him to prevent Rajapaksa’s nomination. Civil society leaders and political leaders who put their faith in him to clean up the administration and ensure Mahinda does not reincarnate called Maithripala’s decision a betrayal of the 8 January mandate.

Maithripala MahindaMeanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNP has announced the formation of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) to contest on the same plank of corruption free governance it had used successfully in the presidential election.. The UNFGG brings together disparate political parties and elements like the rightwing Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), which never saw eye to eye with the UNP all along, dissidents from the UPFA front, some important leaders and close confidants of Sirisena like Ranjitha Senaratne from the SLFP and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and his Democratic party and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are likely to extend support to the UNFGG even if they do not join it.

It is not going to be a cakewalk for Mahinda. Though the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine’s investigation of all mega projects finalized during the Rajapaksa regime has not found evidence to prosecute Rajapaksas, the allegations remain fresh in public memory. Ditto is the fate of allegations that Rajaaksa family had stashed their illegal wealth abroad in secret accounts.

President Rajapaksa ruthlessly used his executive powers to put down opposition from all quarters using political goons and even the military while rule of law remained only in statute books. Such callous exercise of power, more than anything else rallied the masses to vote against him in the presidential poll.

A massive turnout of minorities against Rajapaksa helped Sirisena gain the vital lead in January. Though Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine has not fully met with the long standing demands of the minorities, particularly Tamils, it had taken halting steps to improve the situation. A few thousand acres of land in the north occupied by the Army have been returned to the rightful owners. Colombo has removed minor pinpricks under which the TNA-led Northern Province government functioned. Even on the vexing issues of missing persons and war crimes there had been positive movements. The government had met Tamil Diaspora representatives including the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to muster their support for evolving a solution to the Tamil minority issue. So the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has little option but to support the UNP-led front.

The Muslim vote is likely to go more for UNFGG as memories of anti-Muslim campaign during Rajapaksa regime is fresh in their memory.

Of course, it is difficult to predict who will gain a majority in the parliament as the political line ups are not yet final. However, one thing is certain; Rajapaksa’s image as modern day Duttugemunu, the legendary Sinhala King who defeated the Tamil King Elara, for eliminating the Tamil Tigers may not be enough for a comeback. He will have to be seen as an inclusive and more democratic leader. And that may not be easy.

*Col R Hariharan, a retired Military Intelligence specialist on South Asia, served with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka as Head of Intelligence. He is associated with the Chennai Centre for China Studies and the South Asia Analysis Group. E-Mail: colhari@yahoo.com Blog: http://col.hariharan.info

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 19
    6

    To R. Hariharan M R appears to be back with a bang as on July 13. To hard boiled Sri Lankans he will disappear into the dustbin of history on August17, without so much as a whimper.

    • 6
      4

      R. Hariharan –

      RE: Mahinda’s Return As PM: Not Yet A Done Deal

      So, the Return of Mahinda Rajapaksa, MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa Amana maRa, not a done deal yet?

      Let’s hope that Sri Lanka has a bigger fraction of voters with Common sense and those who lack Mahinda’s Return As PM: Not Yet A Done Deal Common sense.

  • 10
    2

    The reason for the Sirisena-Ranil’s combine’s investigation for not finding any evidence of wrong doings with regard to the mega projects finalised during Rajapakse’s was not without fault or corruption of any sort, but it was due to the lack of seriousness and incompetence on the part of the said combine’s determination which was responsible for not finding the necessary evidence.That apart , even when such evidence was found there was no attempt to act on the findings as in the case of the Weliamuna report on the SL Airlines issue.
    Of course it is difficult to predict who will gain the majority in parliament at this stage,but that does not mean the Sinhalese voter in the South is going to be impressed with the hackneyed slogan about Rajapakse’ avatar as a modern day Dutugemunu to defeat Prabakaran who was really not fighting for the Tamils but on behalf the Sinhase like Marapakse’ and his criminal gang.

  • 10
    3

    Fairly accurate opinion considering the daily changing circumstances.
    Ranil will be the PM of the UNPGG GOSL after the August 17 th elections.

    NP-UNFGG will barely survive as the Tamil parties between TNA and TPA alliance will
    bring in at least 35 seats from all 9 provinces due to the reduced animosity, PR system which will bring additional seats in the 7 provinces, and National/Bonus seats.

    The UNP and the GG allies has to only win 70-75 seats including the predicted 10-12 National seats. This number is the Non Minority seats. Even the JVP and DP will extend their support to the UNFGG after the elections to prevent the Rajapakses from grabbing the power.

    The biggest factor would be the fear of the Rajapakses coming to power with a vengeance that will motivate the voters to come out and vote..

    The author has already pointed out that the Muslim votes will go Anti Rajapakse and so will Tamil votes in the elections and the MP’s in Parliament.

    It is essential that Ranil and the UNP fulfill the promises made to the Tamils last year and this elections beyond a Sinhala Buddhist manifesto appeal.

    The international community is carefully watching the precariously developing situation.

    Knowing very well that the Rajapakses are in a desperate mode and mood. It is feast or famine for them.

    Donald Gnanakone.
    Tamils For Justice.

  • 5
    2

    Why MS did this is not such a mystery. MR HAS A FILE.

  • 6
    6

    As an Indian intelligence officer what is your interest in Sri Lankan politics??

    Are you using our replies in your work??

  • 6
    4

    As an Indian intelligence officer what is your interest in Sri Lankan politics?? Are you using our replies in your work.
    participant of Tamil genocide. and Hospital Massacre

  • 8
    18

    I hope and pray MR become the president for the 3rd term.

    • 13
      3

      Pacs

      “I hope and pray MR become the president for the 3rd term”

      You must be off your head to make this suggestion ! Your name sounds like Vasu!

  • 2
    5

    This bloke is a retired Indian “Intel ” person who got it all wrong when they armed, trained, financed terrorism in SL. then they had an excuse to violate our sovereignty with the air drop of Masala vadai parippu. Then when Hindu Gandhi hegemony was being lost in the thick shrub jungles of mullaitivu and the open Palmyra turf of yaalpanam, they invaded.
    .

    RW will SWEEP the polls with MR not even getting 3 million votes. Go back to spicy cardamon tea with rum Colonel. Indian interference is unwelcome. Indian illegals (over 25,000) are not welcome. Indian drug smugglers are not WELCOME . UNP WILL SWEEP.

  • 5
    2

    Srilanka is corrupted to core, anyone who comments or writes about Srilankan politics is merely a loon.

  • 2
    0

    Hari
    Did you recommend the Jaffna Hospital Massacre basedon your Intelligence findings. Your face appeared there.

  • 0
    0

    Why does all Tamil parties love Ranil and the UNP? If you have any love for this country to remain united there is only man you can depend on. That certainly is not Ranil Wickramasinghe.

  • 0
    0

    Hariharan bahi, weren’t you responsible for the Jaffna massacre? Quote below . How many Tamil virgins did your HINDU AND SIKH armies rape, records indicate more than the SL army right ?

     Operation Pawan

    The Jaffna hospital, also known as the Jaffna teaching hospital and Jaffna general hospital, is the premier healthcare providing institution within the densely populated Jaffna peninsulasituated in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It had functioned throughout the period of civil war as a sanctuary that was out of bounds for combatants. After the deterioration of the relationship between the rebel LTTE and the IPKF, an attempt by the IPKF to capture Jaffna town was expected. Because of fears of a military operation by the Indian Army, some staff of the hospital had kept away from duty. But others had reported to work assuming that the Indian Army would be considerate because of assurances provided by the Indian Embassy in Colomboto a group of prominent Jaffna citizens that a major military action was not imminent. By October 21, 1987 which was Diwali, a highHindu holiday, over 70 dead bodies had accumulated in the mortuary as a result of shelling and other military activities.[

  • 3
    0

    Col. (retd) R.Hariharan

    Mahinda’s Return As PM: Not Yet A Done Deal.

    Col

    Mahinthas RISE & FALL is due to one thing and one thing only and that was to conquer the Tamil Land. Prabakaran in his moment of Madness ordered the killing of Rajiv but IPKF dug his Grave.
    Then came the Italian Witch to take revenge for the killing of her Nearest and Dearest and we paid the Price.

    But MR got too big for his Boots and finally Modi put the Boots in.

    As for the done deal it was struck in the early hours of the Morning After. But the baby was conceived the night before.
    MS is a prisoner and he betaryed the Tamils.

    1)Six months ago, when Rajapaksa went into a sulk after his defeat, nobody would have imagined that he would bounce back so soon and so strongly with the support of UPFA.

    *** How do you come up with the above theory when 5.8 million the Majority of the Majority voted for the THUG.

    2) His nomination ended weeks of suspense, as his bête noire President Maithripala Sirisena, chief of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), tried to persuade the party, the UPFA coalition and even Mahinda to prevent the latter’s comeback.

    *** This was a well rehearsed Drama played with pomp and ceremony and I was not surprised. .

    3) But no one, probably not even Mahinda, was certain of the UPFA nominating him.

    *** It may have come as a surprise to you but not to me.

    4) Maithripala Mahinda Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe-led UNP has announced the formation of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) to contest on the same plank of corruption free governance it had used successfully in the presidential election.. The UNFGG brings together disparate political parties and elements like the rightwing Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), which never saw eye to eye with the UNP all along, dissidents from the UPFA front, some important leaders and close confidants of Sirisena like Ranjitha Senaratne from the SLFP and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC). Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and his Democratic party and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) are likely to extend support to the UNFGG even if they do not join it.

    *** The above is a weak link with no backbone.

    5) It is not going to be a cakewalk for Mahinda. Though the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine’s investigation of all mega projects finalized during the Rajapaksa regime has not found evidence to prosecute Rajapaksas, the allegations remain fresh in public memory. Ditto is the fate of allegations that Rajaaksa family had stashed their illegal wealth abroad in secret accounts.

    *** You are wrong my friend evidence is there but there is no apetite to bring the culprits to book simply because they are War Winning CRIMINALS.

    6) President Rajapaksa ruthlessly used his executive powers to put down opposition from all quarters using political goons and even the military while rule of law remained only in statute books. Such callous exercise of power, more than anything else rallied the masses to vote against him in the presidential poll.

    *** Which planet are you on. The Majority voted for the THUG. It was the Tamil vote which dethroned the King.

    7)Though Sirisena-Wickremesinghe combine has not fully met with the long standing demands of the minorities, particularly Tamils, it had taken halting steps to improve the situation. A few thousand acres of land in the north occupied by the Army have been returned to the rightful owners.

    *** It is a small gesture. The army are still roaming the Streets with Sinhala Police using Tamil Proxies to terrorise peole like what happened to ” Vithya”. Would you be happy if Tamilnadu was policed by Pakistanis.

    8) Even on the vexing issues of missing persons and war crimes there had been positive movements. The government had met Tamil Diaspora representatives including the Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to muster their support for evolving a solution to the Tamil minority issue. So the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has little option but to support the UNP-led front.

    *** Can you give some proof.

    9) Of course, it is difficult to predict who will gain a majority in the parliament as the political line ups are not yet final. However, one thing is certain; Rajapaksa’s image as modern day Duttugemunu, the legendary Sinhala King who defeated the Tamil King Elara, for eliminating the Tamil Tigers may not be enough for a comeback.

    *** Again you are wrong. The RACE card is a Potent Weapon in Sinhala Lanka and no one plays it better than the THUG.
    But the Checkmates will be UN and your own Country with Modi in Charge.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Duttugemenu (161-137 BCE)is not a Sinhala king. There were no Sinhalese at that time. Ilankai at that time was peopled by Nagas, Thamils, Rakshas, Veddhas and Yakkas. Duttugemenu is a Naga king both from his paternal and maternal lineage. His father Kavan Tissa (Crow colour, 209-164 B.C)  is the son of Gotabhaya. Gotabhaya is the son of Yatthalaya Tissa. Yattthalaya Tissa is the son of Mahanaga. And Mahanaga is the sun of Muthusivan and brother of Devanampiya Tissa who ruled from Anuradhapura. In other words Duttugemenu is the great great grandson of Muttusivan who is a Hindu. It is his son Devanampiya Tissa who got converted to Buddhism for the first time. His mother Viharamadevi is the daughter of Naga king Kelani Tissa who ruled from Kalyani (Kelani). The suffix Tissa or Theesan denotes they are of Naga lineage kings.

  • 0
    0

    It was a Diwali day – 21 October 1987. In the history of Tamils it will come to be regarded as a “dark day”. Due to the military offensive started by the IPKF on the 10th day of October 87, many hospitals were not functioning, and there were no transport facilities. There was a tense situation prevailing as many innocent civilians had been either killed or wounded. Jaffna General Hospital was still functioning in midst of hardships.
    But the barbaric acts carried out by the IPKF inside the Jaffna Hospital on that day killed many. The dead included those at work – in the X ray building, doctors in the resting room, in doctors’ offices, in guest houses of the doctors, and also all those injured civilians who had been brought there from all over the peninsula.
    Dr.C.K.Ganesaratnam who finished his medical studies at the Jaffna University and working as a Surgeon at Jaffna General hospital, Dr. Parimezhakar, head nurse Mrs. P.Vadivelu, nurse Mrs.Mangaitkarasi, the superviors at Leelavati Private Nursing Home- Mr.Selvaraja, S.Seevaratnam, Ambulance Driver V.Shanmugalingam, and active workers at the Jaffna General Hospital Mr.Peter, Mr.M.Thurairasa were among those killed on the spot by the IPKF.
    An infant and few other children also became the victims of the IPKF when they made noise, watching these horrors. Struck by a heart attack an aged civlian died died singing the “sivapuraaNam” Barrels and barrels of bullets were spent on innocent patients who tried to seek help. They did the same to the children and the aged who asked for water.
    On the next morning, 22 October 1987, Dr.Sivapathasuntharam, who had unknowingly came into hospital premises attempted to save his injured coworkers, was killed by the army personnel who were on guard. The next day the IPKF collected all the dead bodies and burnt all the bodies at the back of the mortuary.
    A total of 68 innocent Tamils were killed during this particular barbaric offensive of the IPKF. This number included three Doctors, three nurses, seventeen coworkers at the Jaffna hospital and others were the patients admitted to the hospital.
    The killings of Dr.Sivapathasuntharam and other doctors who continued to serve the Tamil community unlike the other doctors who fled to alien lands after 1983 riots has become a dark spot in the history of Tamil people. “
    ________________________________________

    • 0
      0

      So the Indians just walked in and started shooting eh?

  • 0
    0

    Just a note to tell you that as usual you are COMLETELY off track.
    “President Rajapaksa ruthlessly used his executive powers to put down opposition from all quarters using political goons and even the military while rule of law remained only in statute books. Such callous exercise of power, more than anything else rallied the masses to vote against him in the presidential poll.”

    Only some Indians were rallied by this “callous exercise of power” to twist the arms of the Tamils into voting for Maithri which they would otherwise never have done.

    It was only after putting Maithri in place that India realized that Maithri was a Chinese mole. India did of course know that Ranil is an American. Faced with a Chinese Mole and an American India is forced to hang on to the dumb racist crook and those in cahoots with him. Even China has dropped him and so India is as usual left with Sh— on her face.
    I sad to say that India has asked for it and got what she deserved – Mahinda and Modi who are one and the same. Now you will see how Sri Lanka forges ahead and becomes something more of a power house than Singapore is and Hong Kong ever was. Every cent that comes into India will come in through the Colombo Stock Exchange and any mlve to pressure Sri Lanka will find the Chinese breathing down her boarders.

    You see Hari me boy..Kautilya never had any friends. This was often thought to be due to his differently abledness but as far as I am concerned it was the direct outcome of his perception of the world. And as long as India follows ol Kauti…she will have no friends either.

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.