By S. Sivathasan –
Modi – Maithripala Phenomena
In transiting from chosen candidates to the threshold of victory, both Modi and Maithripala have had a comparable journey though with some difference. In the second lap of Congress rule, lack of movement was disconcerting to the polity. Corruption interweaving itself into the fabric of life made the Congress still more repulsive. When many a nation was growing in strength, both economic and military, India was seen to lose her dynamism. In the comity of nations she had become lusterless. Even as India was lusting for redemption, Modi appeared as a man of destiny with a vision for new vistas. Both man and mission had instant resonance with the mood of the nation. The take-off was vertical.
In 2005 in Sri Lanka the birth of the regime itself was in a shroud of illegitimacy. Parentage was suspected to be dubious. Subsequent intelligence flow dispelled doubts and confirmed suspicions. The regime lived up to its evil nature in finishing off a parent in 2009. It was done with severe loss of life to the community that spawned him. The best of both communities, Sinhalese and Tamil joined hands in 2010, in a bid at ouster. Yet again, the odious with means most foul put paid to it for overstaying the welcome.
Maithripala Sirisena a senior Minister in the ruling regime has now made bold to break ranks and to join the opposition in challenging the incumbent President. For doing so he had the strongest encouragement from a former Head of State and another former Head of Government. There are several leaders besides to act in unison. His mission is to change the nation’s history. But it is not for him to have Modi’s privilege of a smooth flight after a quick take-off. He has the sturdy task of navigating in murky waters.
For this brave journey as an able helmsman, he has political stalwarts of many hues in trusted support. More crucially they are all wizened by age and experience. Added to that is peoples’ support from all ethnicities with vast sections of the majority community and minority communities showing a rare unity. All religionists and varied political entities too are acting in concert, moving together and spreading across North, South, East, West and Centre. Herein lies the prospect of a resounding victory for the common Presidential candidate, Maithripala Sirisena. Surveys show his victory as foreseen by 75% of the respondents, if not more.
Wave and Storm
In India the fact of ordered governance is seen in the manner elections are conducted by an independent Elections Commission, insulated from governmental influence. Narendra Modi the opposition candidate was therefore enabled to plan out his electioneering campaign quite freely. The Party announced his candidature in September 2013 and he made visible progress from then on.
This writer in his article of December 8, 2013 and another one dated December 14, 2013, both in Colombo Telegraph, referred to Modi Wave and Modi Storm. The transition was so swift. Writer’s perceptions were in November 2013, six months ahead of elections.
In Sri Lanka, orderliness does not prevail. An election is called a snap one for no valid reason. A date is fixed to spring a surprise on the opponent and to place him at a disadvantage. From announcement to election was a brief six weeks. All this mischief is called by an Analyst “Vibrant Democracy”.
Only as lately as December 13, 2014 this writer highlighted the current and future situations in Colombo Telegraph thus: “Tremors are already felt and a political Tsunami in the offing is perceived”. The shift of Indian Tamil MPs and PC members is a part of it. SLMC moving en masse with 8 MPs, 13 PC members and 163 members of Local Authorities, is another major shift changing the balance against the regime. They have pledged support to Maithripala. It was further observed “What is now a subterranean surge will soon be a visible upsurge”.
When the TNA and the SLMC together with the masses move, the tremors will be huge. It is known that the Sinhalese masses too are moving en bloc towards the common candidate. This is the storm to be seen and felt from now to the first week of January 2015. The landfall is destined for the 8th. What is described above is neither hype nor hubris. May be a bit hyperbolical for sake of emphasis.
It is the general perception that as the gap widens in popular support between the common candidate Maithripala and the incumbent President Mahinda, ideas of sinister design will face paralysis. It is all better for the death of familial rule and the survival of democracy.