15 November, 2019

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Maithri’s Days Are Numbered

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

President Maithripala Sirisena’s days are numbered. That’s by his own admission, publicly announced in the speech he made immediately after being sworn in as the country’s president. He announced that he will not be sworn in a second time. As such he numbered his own days, one can argue. Given that he campaigned for a limitation of the very same powers he would acquire if elected, he essentially argued for a ‘numbering’ as well as a diminishing.

In a post-election context where he did not have a party Maithripala Sirisena was forced to revert to a 2001 situation with Ranil Wickremesinghe as a calling-all-shots executive (all but in name). A few days later, Sirisena became leader of the party that has the most seats in Parliament. Ironically, while retaining all the powers enjoyed by his predecessor, the President has not only transferred the un-transferable (at least if one subscribes to basic democratic tenets such a representation) but has by choice turned himself into a mere figurehead.

This may be the historical role that the President has always wanted to play. It could be read as statesman-like and magnanimous, but it would also amount to cheating 6.2 million voters. However, if Sirisena wants to remain relevant even in a presidency that is ‘checked and balanced’, his current wallflower state of being has to be reviewed and altered.

As things stand, the United National Party (UNP) in word (Ranil’s assertions) and act (Ravi Karunanayake’s election-oriented interim budget) is clearly gearing for a General Election sometime in May. The UNP will take on an SLFP without a leader (given Sirisena’s wallflower preferences) and saddled with a long charge sheet for the previous regime’s crimes of omission and commission. That Sirisena is the leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the fact that the SLFP has pledged support to the new Government will not absolve the party and more importantly will not taint the UNP.

Of course the UNP has its own skeletons, but a weak SLFP will not be able to drag them out. Moreover as the visible architects of positive changes after the election those other negatives of the past will be relatively easy to deal with.

MaithriPresdient Sirisena, therefore, is looking at an election result that leaves him with a smaller Presidency and given a strange self-effacing fascination a voice that would be even quieter than that of Chandrika Kumaratunga during the Wickremesinghe premiership of 2001-2004. It would be a Presidency besieged by a UNP that might well have a Parliamentary majority. This would be the likely outcome of an election held under the current system or one held subsequent to electoral reforms pledged by President Sirisena in his manifesto.

If Sirisena wants to play wimp, that’s his business. It would be the wickedest slap the voters have ever received since Independence and would turn the entire idea of representative democracy into a monumental joke. Again that’s his choice.

However, if President Sirisena wants to remain relevant and is the democrat he claimed to be or at least is in the eyes of those who voted for him, there are certain things he has to consider. First of all he has to acknowledge that political marriages are tenuous and those between the two major parties are even more fragile. A parting of ways is scripted into agreements in invisible ink and all signatories are aware of this fact, Maithripala Sirisena included unless he’s gathered nothing during his quarter century in Parliament. Accordingly, planning for the inevitable rupture is a non-negotiable for all leaders.

If a rudder-less SLFP will further diminish a dwarf-by-choice President, senior SLFPs must know that the future looks bleak. They have to move for party reform. If the President wants to be more than say a William Gopallawa and doesn’t want to contest as the person who harmed the SLFP most, he must take charge immediately.

He has to understand that it is not in the UNP’s interest to clean up the SLFP. Politically, what serves the UNP best at this point is to let the bad eggs remain in the SLFP. It makes for good slogans in an election, obviously. It would be politically inadvisable to initiate prosecution at this point. This is exactly why the SLFP has to do its own clean-up. There’s enough material against a number of MPs to warrant withdrawal of party membership. In their place, the SLFP has to appoint people with impeccable records, preferably professionals of good reputation.

A month is more than enough time to take to task the thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed. It should have been done a long time ago and not doing it cost Mahinda Rajapaksa. It should be done whether or not an election is to be held. It will not be enough but it is necessary. The SLFP has to have a campaign strategy. It has to have a team to lead the campaign. It has to have a manifesto that is stamped with a recognizable party identity. As things stand, the SLFP is floundering and the UNP’s long-standing handicap of being out of touch with the electorate might not mitigate this fact, especially if Sirisena insists on keeping his distance in the hope that the UNP will make good on the promise of forming a national government for the next two years. The Cabinet Spokesman, let us not forget, has already gone on record to say that what is said during campaigns is largely irrelevant.

The people of this country did not elect a wall ornament. President Sirisena has to understand this. They elected a man they believed would lead them. ‘LEAD’: that’s the key word. President Sirisena can lead, he’s proven that. He has to continue to lead. He cannot be wallflower and leader at the same time. Right now he has two options: lead or acquire the tag ‘political charlatan’. His days are not numbered, strictly speaking, but his days as a national leader certainly are.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 3
    3

    Another…..suggestio falsi…..to boost up the prowess of the UNP!

    • 7
      1

      to me as one who looks at it being out of the country- I see sky earth difference between MR and MS. Alone My3 #S charm behaviours the way sofar handling the current office attracts and outreaches the masses. No pompous ceremonies that people of the country can t afford. In that way he has saved that much of funds for the benefits of his nation. That alone passes the message the his person is really timeworthy personality not forgetting his political matuarity to have been able to keep all under the umbrella of his leadership. Sure, the gradcoalitions cant work in developing counries thought Germany#s has been doing well with that. Our people should be fed with clean information so that nation could have a power to think it beyond. That can then lead us to success.

    • 1
      1

      Malinda@,

      quoting from yours above:

      “First of all he has to acknowledge that political marriages are tenuous and those between the two major parties are even more fragile. A parting of ways is scripted into agreements in invisible ink and all signatories are aware of this fact, Maithripala Sirisena included unless he’s gathered nothing during his quarter century in Parliament. Accordingly, planning for the inevitable rupture is a non-negotiable for all leaders.”

      This kind of marriages are not new to them. But this time it looks totally different to than previous times, JVP s representatives make it very clear that they though critically look at the way abusers being not caught sofar, but govt has to do it by being exemplary not harming good goverance culture. Latter is very right while Udaya Gammanpila and Weerawansa party have been making every effort to twist the situation and make it seen negative to the nation – calling it YAMA PALANAYA.

  • 7
    1

    Malinda Seneviratne -aka Mahinda Rajapaksa Shill and Whitewasher

    RE:Maithri’s Days Are Numbered

    Yes, Numbered 4,383 days, 12 years, No Third Term and No family Dynasty.

    Conspiracy investigations are suspicious – Anura

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X0Q43_NrNoE

    Published on Feb 6, 2015
    Conspiracy investigations are suspicious – Anura

    • 4
      1

      Malinda Seneviratne -aka Mahinda Rajapaksa Shill and Whitewasher

      RE:Maithri’s Days Are Numbered

      Massive crowd at Tangalle for ‘power transition … in the Rajapaksa, aka Jara-paksa backyard.

      SUNDAY, 08 FEBRUARY 2015 15:0

      A massive crowd participated at a public rally organized by the JVP under the theme ‘Power transition & People’s Challenges’ held at Tangalle chaired by the JVP Leader Anura Dissanayaka yesterday (7th).

      After former President Mahinda Rajapaksa came to power opposition parties were never allowed to engage in politics in Tangalle town and yesterday’s massive rally was the first held by the JVP in several years.

      The leaders of the JVP in Hambantota District were present.

      [Edited out]

  • 22
    1

    Malinda is a master twister of words. I also note that he boldly writes against an incumbent President knowing very well that true democracy exists in the country and he is safe to do so. In other words (and not Malinda’s words) a white van wont be waiting for him.

    With the past regime it only took a laptop for Malinda to favour MR. He also knew he would have been hanging from a lamp post if he did otherwise. So Malinda, I don’t appreciate your boldness to write against MS because you nothing more than a chicken!!

  • 17
    3

    Who is this punk, still shopping for the defunct regime?

    • 0
      0

      bo

      Pre-paid Shilling and White-washing contract with Free Laptop.

  • 20
    1

    Malinda malli while his days are numberd your days are over.
    Pity they wasted a lap top on you.

  • 4
    12

    The great majority of the inhabitant population didn’t tick Sira.

    Because they knew he was the puppet put in to con the great majority, to help the UNP to come to power and give the LTTE proxy TNA self rule for the North.

    That is the bottom line.

    The non Elected PM has already sacked the Governor of the North.

    And went even further to give the East to the SLMC as a thank you to Hakeem, Asaath and Bathudeen..

    If Milinda’s prediction materializes, it will be ISGA not only in the North but the East as well.

    Hopefully those 5.6 Million inhabitants understand that when they are asked to cast their votes again.

    Weerawansa, Gammanpila .and other good people should take the lead to keep the great majority of the Sinhala inhabitant population up to speed as to what the future hold for them in their little Island.

    SLFP is too busy picking safe Turfs for the Elite kids of the current leadership team.

    Cleaning the stables will never happen .

    My Elders tell me that Sira has the file on Dr Mervyn after the former investigated the Dr for breaking party rules and bringing disrepute to the image of the Parliament and the SLFP in particular.

    Wonder whether Wkileaks would have a copy in their archives?..

    • 4
      2

      he he he you think you can rule North and East Tamils under army control,intimidation and thuggery forever?

      1956,1957.1970,1983 and in-between many more butchering of Tamils in the south by your grandfather and father changed the Tamils mentality .

      You and your so called rulers couldn’t touch them for 30 years at last with the help of 36 countries managed to defeat and celebrated a borrowed victory without shame.

      Sinhala mentality is same not an ounce of change after 30 years hammering she they raise their hand you bow when they are down you hit? This will not happen again .

      Soon kids who are growing in North and East will ask…what happened to my father? what happened to my sister? what happened to my brother? SL military massacre will be related to them with rape stories then ???

      Banda,Dudly,JR,Premadasa,Rabid MR all have missed golden opportunities world is watching your politicians.

  • 3
    11

    Mr Sirisena was never a person with presidential qualities, listening to his speeches he makes contradiction, trying hard to be a president that he never had or will have the quality needed. He identifies himself as a man from rural village, he should call himself ‘Simple Simon’. He never has taken responsibility for his decisions, finds excuses by the bag full. He is a puppet placed by CBK and RW to regain political ascendancy. He was placed for others political advantage, quicker he realises the better, if he has the desire to be a leader, of a political organisation or the country. He has given them up on a plate to CBK and Ranil.W

    • 16
      2

      We the majority are happy with the Simple Simon with seelachara qualities !

      The earlier one was a thug and a rogue. Corrupt to the core, womaniser, drunkard and most of all an uneducated, uncivilised and uncultured SOB who disgraced the country in the world community !!!

  • 7
    1

    You wrote:

    “A month is more than enough time to take to task the thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed. It should have been done a long time ago and not doing it cost Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

    Had the cleaned up happened as you suggested, how many parliamentarians would have left in the SLFP you think, Sir?. Unless you have some weird definitions for thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed, the scope goes up to the top?. If the top had been implicated, can the clean up be possibly done?. Do you want to provide some immunity for those dual citizen patriots or getting % is exempted from being categorized as thieves. This guy was the national organizer of the SLFP, and when pendulum swung, he flee to the adopted country, leaving his next kith and kin high and dry. Why should he left the country?. If you take a hard look at the voting pattern, the majority of the SLFP voters were in fool paradise, and were so in this election, it was UNP votes combined with a fraction of common sensed SLFP and JHU & JVP and the minorities votes went to MS and turned out to be turning point in this country. If this discourse didn’t happen, you a subject cannot write about a king, get it?.

  • 10
    2

    Malinda types:

    “President Sirisena can lead, he’s proven that.”

    Is Sirisena planning to distribute any freebie? For example laptop?

    Any chance editorship of Daily News is shortly becoming vacant?

    Any vacancies in foreign missions?

    • 4
      1

      Malinda Seneviratne -aka Mahinda Rajapaksa Shill and Whitewasher

      Any Land Deals in Colombo?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ds7uYfEmFGU

    • 2
      1

      His lap top is put to good use. Counting the days. Keep on counting Malinda, at least you can learn that.

  • 8
    1

    MsLinda:
    Why don’t you just shut-the-f-up?
    I know your conscience seems to dictate that you keep earning the money the Jarapassas pay you for being head poobah of a paper that no one reads, but is that any excuse to inflict your banalities on readers of this paper? Why don’t you simply exchange articles with that other shameless racist sycophant who hears the same last name and served a different generation of racists? That way you can enjoy yourselves and save us your rubbish!

  • 13
    1

    Malinda you say, “A month is more than enough time to take to task the thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed. It should have been done a long time ago and not doing it cost Mahinda Rajapaksa. It should be done whether or not an election is to be held. “

    How come it took you so long to indicate this in your columns and/or editorials? A case of myopia or fear of retribution in those scary days of media curtailment? Or maybe your job was on the line??

    Besides, your darling MR was in up to his eyeballs with those “thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouths” – so give us a break, ok?

  • 2
    2

    Nirmal Siripala simply fell into the PM position because he was the next in line in terms of seniority. Although he has a corruption case pending against him. He will be tainted from the problem that resulted in UPFA losing at the elections.

    In the scheme of things, it would be hard to find a clean SLFP personality. Dullas Appuhamy seems to be the exception however. He is senior, have credentials as an honest politician and also have demonstrable portfolio of work against him. He also has the charisma to be a leader of the party.

    Ideally before the GE the SLFP leaderhip should change to Dullas. If not SLFP will be relegated to the opposition for decades.

    • 2
      2

      Dulles…
      No.no..no he is too short. no one whith his height has ever been president in SL.

  • 12
    2

    Malinda

    Au contraire, the people simply voted to emasculate Ali Baba and the forty-plus thieves. Thereafter to prosecute them, dump them in jail and throw away the keys.

    The people are not particularly interested in who runs government as long as they deliver the goods – without robbery, corruption and nepotism. If the new government fails the people will not hesitate to despatch them at the next elections too.

    You are suggesting that MR was defeated only owing to his corrupt cohorts. Are you then implying that MR was clean? What a joker you are!

    MR simply followed the age-old historical theory: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    With regard to all the other BS you write, the fact is that there is hardly any ideological difference in the policies of either the UNP or SLFP.

    What the people really need are educated and honest leaders who can inspire the nation to leave behind the sordid past, and to charter a new journey bereft of all that was dastardly in the MR regime.

    By the way Malinda, be prepared to return that ill-gotten laptop you received from MR!

  • 9
    1

    Malinda it is time for you to take a long rest.

    You guys and most editors believed that Rajapakses will be there for ever and we’re blind folded. Never understood reality.

    Rajapakses are gone forever hopefully and we as a nation can rise up in time to come.

    We were taken to the cleaners and hopefully we could still resurrect the damage done.

  • 6
    1

    Malinda, you must be kidding. Just a couple of weeks ago, in a an article titled Ranil’s moment of truth, you wrote that, “What are his [Ranil’s] options? On the one hand he has to think of his party. A general election in a post-reform situation will favor the SLFP.” You also wrote that in order to consolidate the gains from the Presidential Election, Ranil must push for “zealous pursuit of wrongdoers, many of whom are of course SLFPers who have pledged support to the President.” Further you wrote that “things are not looking good for Ranil and the UNP”

    Now you’ve done a 180 on it all? What happened?

  • 6
    2

    My God – Is this really the standard of the editors of our Sri Lankan newspapers? Mr. Senevirtratne please refrain from taking my words personally (as for some funny reasons our immature educated elite tend to do so). I am just arguing on the basis of your argument.

    Firstly sir, do you realize that the President was appropriated by the UNP, JVP, JHU and other parties to “destroy” the very fabric of the previous government. They adopted a person who they believed would not betray them (even if he betrayed his corrupt masters prior) and as you have said “would play the role of a statesman rather than politician”.

    Honourable RW is a politician who split the LTTE. Of course he is well experienced in these matters.

    Do you realize that the country voted for change? That 6.2 million votes was 80% the traditional opposition vote plus maybe 20% SLFP vote loyal to MS. Since the margin for the win was half a million votes or less this was a close election. The people who voted for MR are the ones who are hardcore SLFP believers, not the ones who voted for MS. The people who voted for MS wanted a change, not just from MR but from the UPFA/SLFP regime itself.

    I don’t think the President wants to be relevant. The Presidency must become irrelevant for a more balance of power.

    All in all your argument seems to state that the President will become a figurehead and his party’s position will be reduced.

    My God – I thought that was RW’s strategy right from the start.

    I hope you don’t think you are enlightening us.

    • 5
      1

      We’ll said buddy, not sure where we this types of editors were all these 9 years. Their fellow editors chased away for writing the truth from the country, even weaker the sex, while these types of guys were getting freebees from kings. The king wanted absolute loyalty and this type bend down on knees to an extent they could be able to lick his toes, they couldn’t beyond him. Not MR alone, but all these guys portray the status quo in way that made the public elated and blind to what was actually happening have to be held responsible. A meditation hide out for RS 10M while an average Banda /Muttu/ Razak struggling to get a loaf of bread to table is hard to comprehend. Didn’t he read MS manifesto to read what they put out about the fate of executive Presidency? What he was bsitting beyond believe. Rally, give a break, disgusting.

  • 6
    2

    “Maithri’s Days Are Numbered”
    Wow! This twister Malinda beats even the most vicious of twisters rolling across the plains of North America from time to time. He certainly still has his agenda intact and will continue rolling through the political conscience of the common Somapalas of SillyLanka, regardless.

  • 4
    1

    Maaaaaalindaaaaaaaa!.

    “A month is more than enough time to take to task the thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed. It should have been done a long time ago”.
    Aney Yako:

    These Thugs, Politico Rapists, politico Abductors, politico thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed Bastared like Jarawangsas are bred by Your Patron , Boss Mahendran Percyvel Dhjajara Jarapassa and his clan.
    then why you not call your boss and tell him to stop all those Politico Rapists, politico Abductors, politico thugs, drug-dealers, thieves and loud-mouthed Bastared like Jarawangsas.
    Still Licking the hind quarters of Jarapassa and clan??????????.

    • 5
      1

      This Malinga bugger needs treatment at the Jarapassa Meditation Center built for Rs 1000 million. He should be treated with the electric vibrator fitted with ebony dick head fitted there.

      • 0
        1

        And boy! Wont he enjoy it?

  • 5
    1

    This article appears to have no objective other than to implicitly vilify what has been a rather successful strategy by the PM. The deterioration of the presidency as a means of creating more accountability and a less concentrated central authority was the very objective of those that were victorious in the recent election, including MS so I’m not sure if this article is a criticism of those very liberal objectives or an attack on the president himself? The article postulates that MR is weak but weakening positions of power is his very objective so it seems nonsensical. If the objective of the article is to criticise the idea of a less authoritarian president, it should be more clear in that regard rather than reintroducing the dynamics of party politics as a cover for that objective. All in all, it seems like a silly article.

  • 2
    1

    Malinda,

    You are overworked. After singing so much for Mara, you deserve a break. You must spend some time in that recently discovered Medidation Center, on which Mara spent a thousand million rupees.

    For great relaxation you must use the electric vibrator at the Meditation Center fitted with self lubricating ebony rectal head.

  • 2
    2

    It easy, but very wrong to accuse MR for keeping all the muck around him.
    Going back to 2008, the JVP almost dismantled the gevernment and the war effort.
    Mahinda had to depend on anyone who was willing to be on his side simply because, this today’s Jahapalana pack of wolves were almost tasting MRs blood.
    They not only not supported the war effort but reduculed it and threw every thing they could get their hands on to scuttle it.
    After the war he should have got rid of all the undersirebles but then he will be lablled as a man of ‘condome’ policy, use and throw,on top of the wovlves would have taken all the throw aways in to their pack to hit back at MR.

  • 6
    1

    You may be right- the people did not vote MS in to be a ‘wall ornament’. But do you realise that you could not write this type of article criticising the previous incumbent? You would not have dared. That, in itself, is an achievement ‘by the people, for the people’!

  • 1
    1

    Maithri campaigned for abolishing the Ex. Presidency. So he promised to be a figurehead President and transfer power to parliament. Citizens voted for him and his manifesto. So what is this editor talking about a wallflower!

    Within a month can a court case be finalised in SL more so with good govervance etc. This guy is talking through his hat. If he does not have good points, he should not waste our time!

  • 0
    1

    Welcome back Malinda!

    You can write whatever you want about OUR president, without fear of persecution or white van.

  • 0
    0

    a warm welcome to our clownish journo Malinda who is free to write without any harrasment due to the true democracy situation now

  • 0
    0

    Malinda,

    Basically your fallen hero MARA was a rogue, retrograde, and had no idea what democracy is.

    My3 so far has not shown any of these symptoms.

    It is time that you stepped outside the ‘Laptop Journalism’ mentality. Have some self respect.

  • 0
    0

    Malinda,

    We understand Aiyoo Sirisens has to depart from his present position.
    Before that he hopefully does a clean up act of the categories in one of which you belong below.

    [Edited out]

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