29 September, 2020

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Open Letter To The Uva Voter; Uva Elections To Prove If ‘UNP’ Brand Is Damaged Beyond Repairs Or Not

By Vishwamithra1984 –

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T. S. Eliot

In a column, dated July 26, 2011, published in a worldwide website this writer wrote thus:

“A people battered for more than a quarter century by unspeakable sufferings, left in the lurch by their own Colombo elites and derided by the Southern brethren of Mahawansa mindset, held fast; this time they decided to be the deceivers and dealt the King and the Prince a devastating blow. The sale that the Rajapaksas tried to consummate did not materialize, not because of buyer’s remorse, but because the buyer in fact turned out to be the seller, a seller of a different kind of merchandise to the international community.

They showed the value of the age old cliché-“buyer beware”, and the Northern voter was different. The feelings and utter scorn pent up for three decades were given vent to and out of 23 local bodies 20 in the North turned towards the leading Tamil party as their overwhelming choice. Only 3 were secured by the UPFA, ironically all three local bodies are not part of mainland Jaffna-islands of Kaytes, Delft and Velanai (in Kaytes)- adding fuel to the rumor that the votes were manipulated while in transit via helicopters. So much for free and fair elections!

In Vavuniya UPFA lost 35% -55%, in Mannar 39% – 59%, in Kilinochchi where Prince Namal was resident for weeks, UPFA lost 30% – 68% while in Jaffna the government lost 26% – 71% and in Mulativu they were clobbered 17% – 82% (statistics taken from Ada Derana).

The great “humanitarian operation with zero civilian casualties” myth broke asunder. This is the theatre where the Channel 4 drama was enacted during the last stages of the war. Amidst many hardships, harassments, murder and unspeakably vicious government propaganda, the Northern voter stood fast, unafraid and unbowed. The carrot would have been too tempting if it was offered in the South. With power well entrenched in the center, in the hands of the King and his royal family, with no hope or clear vision in the horizon they defied all odds.

A betting man would have placed his life’s earnings at least on a close fight. From agricultural equipment to tractors to free rides to fun fair activities to international playgrounds including the kitchen sinks were rejected on a wholesale basis. They extracted their Shakespearian revenge from the King and his family. The return by the King might be too gruesome to witness. They might come in the form of white vans, dogs’ heads, sudden disappearances, or plain murder, for they are obsessed with their own self-righteousness. The defeat of the LTTE gave them that sense of self-righteousness. That went into their blood and marrow. Every high-handed act was justified in the name of that self-righteousness, reminding one of the repugnant demeanor of Goebbels, Sukarno, Suharto, Marcos, Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

The Tamil population of the North might suffer the repercussions of their conscience in the short-term. But such a daring and clear display of courage (or stupidity as one pundit has already said) might reap benefits in a mid to long-term fight. As with Shylock in the Merchant of Venice, Tamils too have been more sinned against than having sinned themselves.”

Now it’s up to the Uva province voter. Does he possess the same amount of courage, poise and the enduring mentality to hit back at those who have sinned against him? On Saturday September 20th, the voters in the Badulla and Moneragala districts will go to the polls, not to change regime nor would their vote matter in anything significant in the House of Parliament. Yet if the tables could be turned- although it is highly unlikely that both these districts would turn ‘Green’ in a matter of few months- because everything that could go right for the United National Party (UNP) seems to be going right and everything that could go wrong for the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) and its candidates, have taken a dramatic turn towards potential disaster. Why are the UPFA candidates resorting to naked thuggery and destroying opponents’ party offices and meetings? The sheer panic that the Government was gripped in was amply demonstrated when it had to go before the Supreme Court to override the decision of the Elections Commissioner that drought-relief offered by the Government in the Moneragala district was ultra vires the election laws. However, as one would expect, the Supreme Court prevailed. The ruling cabal and its henchmen have realized that the worm is beginning to turn and it’s not a good sign for them at all.

Harin UNPIn such a potentially exciting scenario, can one expect the Rajapaksas to learn a lesson or two? Will the Sinhalese majority learn a lesson? The Uva voter must be seeing it for themselves how a Provincial administration that was in deep sleep for over five years has suddenly woken up and started implementing an infrastructure project here and another irrigation project there. This sudden love for the Uva voter who has been condemned to the vagaries of the elements for such a long time and the alacrity with which the Government is hurrying to distribute the goodies among voters though being a blatant violation of Election Laws, is laughable but such transparently corrupt practices seem to have reached its end. The people at large are no more afraid to talk against the Government. The media attention paid to the disillusionment with the powers that be is being broadcast over and over again. If the tide has changed, then we would know, or would we? Going by the violence unleashed against anti-Government forces at present would indicate that these gory incidents would continue up to the day of the polling and even on the day of polling. If that happens, are the UNP, JVP and DP ready to take necessary action? Will the voter in Uva defy all odds the same way in which the Jaffna voter rejected this Government?

The long awaited political marriage between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa is said to be a done deal. When deals, negotiations, barters, pacts and agreements between politicians and their parties and supporters are consummated, aspirations are bound to rise, especially among supporters, sometimes beyond realistic probabilities and other times they go even beyond the borders of fantasy. One telling example is the status of the United National Party (UNP) in 1970. After governing the country from 1965 to 1970, the UNP suffered a humiliating defeat at the ’70 General Elections. J R Jayewardene, the UNP’s de facto Deputy Leader was clamoring for party reforms, among others. He even went to the extent of calling the Working Committee an anachronism. But the UNP being what it is, managed to patch up all the differences and Dudley/JR combination once again became a reality. But if not for the fact that Dudley did not live beyond the New Year’s Day in 1973, the UNP may never have come to power- even if it did, it was highly unlikely that it could have scored such a massive victory as it did in 1977.

The Uva PC elections are held once again amidst such an uncertain political environment. On the one hand is Harin Fernando, who has done a creditable sacrifice, resigning his seat in Parliament and contesting a Provincial Council election. Only one of three scenarios is possible. The UNP would be soundly defeated once again. The UNP might get a slender majority in both districts and form a UNP-led Provincial Administration and the option number 3 is the Government-backed UPFA would form a Provincial Administration, having gained a very marginal victory at the elections. For the Government to be satisfied, only the first of these three alternatives should materialize. And if that happens, the UNP brand is damaged beyond repair. The other alternatives are a defeat for the governing coalition. But there is another possibility, a fourth one: The Government will realize that they are so unpopular and a victory for them is not within the realm of possibility, in which case there will be a tremendous assault on the rights of the people- secret ballot. So much of violence and intimidation would be unleashed; the polling booths would end up having been deserted by the Opposition polling agents and the Commissioner of Elections would declare the election ‘null and void’. That is a very grim possibility. Let’s hope it won’t come to that.

This appeal is to the Uva voter. A lot rides on you this Saturday, September 20, 2014. Vote without prejudice, without reservations and without fear. Show the rulers that you too have dreams and aspirations and above all else, rights and a will and backbone to exercise those rights.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    0

    Unfortunately for you, me and the rest of Sri Lanka, few Uva voters will read this thread, let alone think deeply before they vote with their stomach and petrol tanks!!!

    The UNP will do well not because they deserve to as a party, but because they have a headliner people are wanting to trust – Harin. You cannot find a single upload about their recent convention or the speeches made in this campaign except the odd one. This shows how incompetent and clueless the party structure is. Mind you, a youtube upload is FREE!! And, if it good, many will forward it along.

    The UNP is not ready for any elections bar the talking. They are hoping the people will be that frustrated that they will vote for anyone except the UFPA. That is not a winning strategy let alone a strategy. The Colombo based panadang-karayas are all waiting in the wings to change colors if the tide turns. Until then, they will back up the crooks in power!

    Screw the village voter!

    • 1
      0

      Vishwamithra1984 –

      The medium of Communication in Uva is Sinhala.

      So, everything has to be translated to Sinhala.

      Where is RW, the Spoiler?

      Gal Lena Bindala, Breaking the Cave Door

      Boru Pacha Gahala..Spreading lies,

      Raja-Paka O’ Raja-Paka By he Raja-Pakas

    • 4
      0

      We dont need to talk about UNPers in the previous govts, but today, many of the young ones that represent the party are a light and greater hope for the many. Comparatively, UNP, JVP and DP have uncorrupted candidates than overflown corrupted bunch of ruling coalition.

  • 1
    7

    “The Ship of China – Srilanka Friendship will sail along the magnificent Silk Route of the 21st Century, defying any gale force winds and rough seas to achieve prosperity and peace for the future generations of both Nations”—.President Xi Jing in Colombo

    These buffoons in green shirts are not even qualified to be deck hands and cooks after the insults they heaped on the Chinese people and their magnificent and generous contributions to the inhabitant population in the form of Western standard roads , Power Stations , Maritime Harbour and Airports…specially in the last 5 years since Nanthikadal.

    Where is wonder boy Harsha and his two bosses ?..

    Wonder whether Mattala and Madampura will still be Museums or Disneylands for the Colombo Elite after the next Prez elections?…

    • 5
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      Seriously, how many Chinese friends do you have at the moment?

  • 2
    0

    Vishwa,

    “The Government will realize that they are so unpopular and a victory for them is not within the realm of possibility, in which case there will be a tremendous assault on the rights of the people- secret ballot. So much of violence and intimidation would be unleashed; the polling booths would end up having been deserted by the Opposition polling agents and the Commissioner of Elections would declare the election ‘null and void’.”

    You spoke of many possibilities including sustained violence leading the Elections Commissioner to proclaim the elections ‘Null and Void’.
    Yes this is one real possiblity.

    There is another possibility you missed, somethink already done before in Sri Lanka to a lessor extent compared to Marcos and Hosni Mubarak. The switching of ballot boxes. This is easily done and with all the power Mahinda has in his hands it will be a ‘sulu weda’ for him and his cronies. The police and the judiciary are in his pocket and all the ‘kudu mudalali’s’ ready to do his bidding.

    You also completely ignored the JVP. Firebrand AKD has been one hell of a brave young man who has been scathing on government mismanagement and excesses where Ranil barely squeaks up.

  • 1
    0

    In terms of ideology both parties have the same right wing approach ( UNP and UPFA)
    Privatization and leasing out land to the local and foreign investors whose only objective is to make profit and not to develop the area.
    Both get close to the voter and promise son and the moon when the elections are round the corner. Both have and will not address the issues of the masses of these 2 districts who are mainly farmers and daily wage laborers. these downtrodden people of the 2 districts depend highly on rain fed agriculture and due to that only one season they can engage in agriculture. State intervention in developing agriculture was ignored by both instead land was leased to multinationals to grow bananas and the agriculture workers were further marginalized. these variety of bananas meant for the export market consume lot of water and this water is tapped from the menik river which is the only source of water which serves the basic needs of the people in the rural villages. At this election the masses should vote a party that understands their plight and not get fooled by false promises.

  • 3
    0

    This time round, Uva citizens are going to react against their insulted dignity.

  • 0
    0

    The grand old party was given its slow death under Ranil, a man not suitable for leadership in a country like SL. If he bowed out gracefully when defeated by Chandrika the UNP could have evolved. But by selfishly hanging on he has ruined its reputation and chances at elections. Most of the former UNP strong guys deserted the party rejecting the brahmin style of Ranil.Now it is run by a few boys from colombo schools and old walauwas. Most of them are boy men.Then there are corrupt businessmen supporting it hoping for the glory days like the 1970s.Then we have kultur guys like eraj and harsha thinking they are at the debating society at royal college. For them little learning has become a show off item. Dreams dreams….

  • 3
    0

    fOR ME being out of the country, this young politician is a great example.
    I really love the way he raise the issues.

    Regardless of the party, I do so. I dont belong to any kind of lanken party politics, but right at the moment, I like UNP, JVP and DP. If CBK fraction of UPFA would back them, defeating musalaya – will be definite. That is not that difficult.

  • 0
    0

    http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/news/sri-lanka-president-reduces-fuel-and-electricity-prices/464572289

    Fuel and electricity prices have been reduced on the eve of the UVA election.
    The government is really worried that UPFA may not obtain a majority.
    If the UVA voter casts his vote really according to his conscience, disregarding illegal inducements, this may happen.
    This would be good for the future as the government will not take the poor voters for granted and may be more circumspect in the mode of governance.

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