Colombo Telegraph

New Year 2015: A Principled Pre-Election Compromise

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Ok it’s 1 January 2015 and the last week before the election. After so much water has flowed under the bridge – I have contributed much water in more ways than one – it is time to draw up our paper, and for better for worse, take a final position. Easiest is to share with interested readers an understanding that I reached with two large e-mail circulation groups. The two extracts reproduced here pretty much sum up what I believe is a realistic but principled compromise. I believe that this position is very close to some of the points that Anura Kumara and the JVP are making.

First correspondence

“IS COMRADE DAVID HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS?”

Reply:

“Better call it ‘adjusting the sights dynamically’ rather than “second thoughts”.  Conditions change and we have to be strategically flexible. Would Napoleon have won so many wars if he did not move and swerve when battle conditions changed?

My modified bottom line now is:

  1. OK let’s support this MS bloke and ensure he wins because getting rid of the Pakses is Priority No. 2.
  2. But don’t lose sight of Priority No. 1 (abolish EP) which is what counts in the long run.
  3. And don’t trust the blighter; within two weeks he lied to us. So build a strong, independent, democratic people’s movement which will not stand for any s**t. In the long run it is the people, not rotten politicians who are the guardians of democracy.
  4. The two stage theory – do Priority No.2 now, and let us think about Priority No.1 later WILL NOT WORK if point 3 above is not consolidated. (Greedy politicians do not abdicate power voluntarily once they taste it; the people have to force it)”.

Second correspondence

“3.  YOUR COLLEAGUES MAY BE CORRECT.  KUMAR, “DON’T ROCK THE BOAT”.  AS THEY SAY, “THROW THE BUMS OUT NOW”, TIME FOR A NEW SET OF BUMS.  OR IS IT A CASE OF “THE KNOWN DEVIL IS BETTER THAN THE UNKNOWN”.  THE MUGABE-SYNDROME WILL HAVE NO SOLUTION”.

Reply:

“OK, I have bowed to intense pressure. But the critical matter is not to foster illusions about any of these fellows even if we have no option but to vote for them. So I now say “Vote for the @#*$ (unprintable) but beware he has already lied to us and is a toy in the hands of the JHU”.

After the election, if the he wins, we will have our work cut out for us. Victory will not be the end but the beginning of another struggle against Mugabe Mark-2. So now my stand is “OK vote for him but build a strong, independent people’s movement which will not stand for any s**t”. This is more positively oriented (for Lanka) than the ‘Shhh-buggers’ who will have no credibility when things begin to go wrong within weeks”.

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