24 June, 2024

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Post-Election AKD Or No Election RW?

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

May Day rallies and massive turnouts for the ones organized by NPP seem to have created panic among older parties that are scrambling for winnable strategies through sustainable coalitions to prevent NPP from capturing power at the next election. In the middle of a raging controversy over whether to hold the General Election first or Presidential Election, the Election Commission has announced that in terms of the Presidential Election Act of 1981, the latter would be held between 17 September and 16 October 2024. The incumbent president is yet to announce his candidature, but quietly making strategic moves behind the scene to buy out his possible opponents while cultivating support from different ethnic factions and their minor political parties. His latest move in the strategy to win Muslim support is the allocation of funds to build the Ashraf Memorial Museum in Kalmunai. If everything goes according to his plan, RW could emerge as the common candidate representing all parties and factions to confront the rising nemesis, NPP. But is there another option for him to remain in power?

At the moment, the most popular chorus heard along the corridors of power, inside state agencies, relayed through the official media, and hummed by the leisure class is that RW is the man for the season. He has been the redeemer who took control of the Presidency that fell into disrepute, accepted the economic challenge to save the treasury from bankruptcy, which is now reported to be sitting with an estimated $5 billion, ended the endless consumer queues, brought down a spiraling inflation, and reversed the fate of the depreciating rupee against the mighty dollar. That chorus ends with a warning to the nation that the momentum of recovery should not be jeopardized by changing the status quo, which indirectly means a call to endorse RW as the President for another term at least. The CBSL Chief has also joined the chorus band. There are some foreign elements too including IMF that wish the same. The latest gimmick of an Economic Transformation Bill is meant to add one more credential to RW’s electability.

In this chorus however, the darker side of the so-called economic recovery and stability has been casually dismissed. Persisting economic and financial hardship of the ones who actually foot the bill for that recovery is conveniently forgotten. The fact that poverty rate increased during the recovery period and that there is still no sign of that rate falling has been ignored. What is more significant is the fact that many of those who sing the praise of RW are the ones who were originally responsible for causing the economic wreckage. They are currently being sheltered under his wings. To them therefore his defeat at the hands of NPP would spell disaster. Hence, the frantic attempts among party stalwarts to close ranks to rally behind the incumbent leader.

From the point of view of RW however, one advantage of holding the Presidential Poll in September would be to avoid presenting his third budget as Finance Minister and delay it until after his victory. Because, that budget, which is expected to follow the completion of negotiations over foreign debt restructuring, is bound to include some unsavoury elements especially in relation to repairing the fiscal imbalance and achieving external balance. The burden of servicing that debt even on concessional terms would add more pressure on the budget. As per IMF advice, further cuts in social spending and increase in taxes would be unavoidable. Like his previous two budgets this too would be failing to shift the burden of financing the recovery from the wretched majority to the opulent minority. Therefore, with PTA and Online Safety Bill at hand to take care of anti-government protests it would be tactically preferable to win the presidency first before introducing another painful budget. But the popularity of NPP amongst the wretched and the young seems to be unstoppable. If that calculus is right the only way to prevent NPP from capturing the presidency is to deprive its chances to test its strength at the ballot box. That means postponing the election to a later date in 2025. Is that possible or is it an unwarranted and wild speculation?

A period of little over three months until September is too long in politics. Therefore, the option of postponing the election as RW did earlier in the case of Local Councils should not be discounted. He did it then because of financial bankruptcy. But this time it may be for a different reason. Postponement could become a possibility if the country’s security situation or law and order deteriorates. Sri Lankans have not forgotten how Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother’s SLPP profited electorally from the Easter Sunday mayhem in 2019. Although the mastermind(s) behind that attack are still at large, there is strong suspicion that security officers were involved. What is there to prevent some sinister forces that want the ancient regime to continue from causing another bloody havoc and force declaration of emergency? There are enough anti-Tamil and anti-Muslim racist elements within the established political order, and organizations like Bodu Bala Sena are seething with anger over incarceration of BBS’ Secretary General, Gnanasara Thera. These elements could be called into service by unscrupulous political leaders whose prospects of coming to power are dimming by the day. Already there is opposition from a group of bhikkhus for RW’s appointment of a Muslim as Governor of North Western Province. A few weeks ago, a set of population statistics was released and it revealed that the national birth rate is falling while death rate increasing. One should not forget that not long ago and during pre-2020 election days similar demographic statistics were twisted to inject fear among the Sinhalese that Muslims were planning to take over this country by producing more children and that their medical doctors intentionally sterilizing Sinhala mothers. A few instances like this would be enough to lit fire to the racist cauldron and create mayhem. Won’t that provide legitimacy to declare emergency and postpone the election? Desperate times call for desperate acts.

How will NPP react to such an eventuality is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question. The age of mass protest is not over, but was temporarily disrupted by the Corona virus in 2020. They have resumed in several parts of the world, the latest being New Caledonia. In Sri Lanka, 2022 aragalaya was not a mass protest but it was from its miasma that a Prime Minister and a President lost their positions in quick succession, and RW was elevated to his current position. In a sense, NPP is also the product of that aragalaya. The demand for system change is now the call from a new generation of voters inspired by that revolt. That new generation could become the vanguard of mass resistance were the election to be postponed. Therefore, such an eventuality should not be discounted. When peaceful changes are made impossible violent changes become inevitable, and when unarmed civilians come out in protest in their thousands military weapons fall silent. For the moment, the choice between a post-election AKD and no election RW is hanging in the balance. History is full of surprises.

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Ameer Ali suggests through this essay that the Presidential Election is between the NPP Vs.the REST headed by RW.
    So, it would be a case of Ranil for all seasons and not just the man for the season.
    RWs move to establish the Ashraf Memorial Museum is to round up the SLMC eh?
    Strange, the SJB has been completely ignored in this essay. Has RW struck a deal with sections of the SJB? If and when he wins them over he will formally announce his Presidential bid? All great plans of Men and Mice………………………………………………………………

    • 4
      0

      Plato and Dr Ali,
      No matter what anyone says or does, at this crucial moment when almost anything and everything is in place to reboot the economy for a better future, we must give up our political agendas. It is sure to be another destruction of the precursor nature. First things first come.

      We are fed up of infantile- SJB leader and dreamer- AKD as of now. They are both like babies quarelling for toys. They are not serious enough about serious issues. would they ever be realizing the danger before us ?
      .
      Today, Everyone is paying a heavy price with their lives and many will forget where we were by July 2022. We must not be misled by jokers again. Youth leave the country with the thoughts that the country would turn out ot be better oneday.

      We should continue with the IMF recommendations for at least another 3-4 years so that we can consider NPPs and their rule for the future.
      Debt restructuring, sale of an unviable entity to private owners and all must be done during that time. Politicians should stop their politics in view of this extremely critical situation of the Sri Lankan economy. This is the only chance before us.
      .

  • 5
    7

    Dr A A , looks like you are laying a path[way] for RW to continue as President beyond his period.
    Sacrificing one’s OWN people, in order to prolong or to get the GRIP on power is possible–(Netanyahu oct 7 2023); GR 21/4/2019. We could ONLY hope for an event free, peaceful Presidential Election on OR around 15-10-2024 resulting in AKD as the winner.

  • 7
    8

    It is salient to note,
    There are some foreign elements too including IMF that wish the same.
    Yes. IMF is just the tool. We need only the F; Not the M (meddling).
    .
    The backers of Ranil do so to save their skin, not him or the country.
    .
    … When peaceful changes are made impossible violent changes become inevitable.
    None other than Prabhakaran stands testimony to this maxim.

    • 10
      8

      “The backers of Ranil do so to save their skin, not him or the country.”

      The truth …….. couldn’t have put any better.


      “When peaceful changes are made impossible violent changes become inevitable.
      None other than Prabhakaran stands testimony to this maxim.”

      Prabakaran was a Tamil ….. his violence is not acceptable to the Sinhalese: Sinhalese accept Sinhalese violence only. Sinhalese have killed/abused more Sinhalese than Prabakaran could ever dream of, and sadism thrown in to boot.

      The JVP past violence in always under the microscope ……… what is never talked about is, more JVP (or people suspected of being JVP) were killed – most times sadistically – by the Sinhalese. But that never gets discussed/examined/exposed in any discussions/examinations of violence by various groups.

      People are suckers for a strange form of masochism: the atrocities/sadism perpetrated by their own kind. ……. Sinhalese just love the sadism/atrocities of their own Sinhalese rulers ……… but of the British, Dutch, Portuguese, Tamils, Indians, …… is a big no no.

      Native loves the sadism of Ranil’s ……… but the sadism of Mahinda, Gota, Sirima, AKD, Mao, Pol Pot, …….. is a big no no.

      It’s just a simple matter of who’s to bless and who’s to blame ……. my man or your man. …….. It’s just a matter of my man is better than your man: sadism itself is not an issue.

      • 9
        6

        I’ve always believed all our problems are at subterranean strata ……… how our individual/collective subconscious mind/minds work. Without a serious examination/study to expose and make people aware …… all else is just an exercise in futility; going from pillar to post.

        That’s why I don’t take tomes written at superficial strata seriously. …….. There are other better ways to waste time.

        subconscious mind —-> “the part of your mind that notices and remembers information when you are not actively trying to do so, and influences your behavior even though you do not realize it.”

        What subconsciously compels/urges Old Codger to seduce other people’s wives?

        The bad example set by God. ………… The question DTG, in all his verbosity, always dodge. Whose child/son was Jesus: Joseph’s or God’s? …….. After all Mary was Joseph’s wife.

        What urges Old Codger to seduce Ramona ……… after all, in his mind, Ramona is my wife? :)))))

        People’s minds …… are a funny thang ……..

        • 5
          0

          “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
          ― C.G. Jung

      • 9
        11

        “Sinhalese have killed/abused more Sinhalese than Prabakaran could ever dream of…”

        A Ranil supporter will never understand caste.

        “The bodies of women, which Indian societies consider the storehouse of their bloodline’s honor, don’t belong to them as much as they do to their families. But for Dalit women, their bodies are also where the upper-caste societies deliver abuse and caste violence.

        When upper-caste men need to remind a Dalit family of their place, they attack and abuse Dalit women.”

        252 castes in Toilet Nadu, doesn’t take a genius to figure out the abuse these women are undergoing. Meanwhile, some bugger runs away on a boat to Canada and lies about “genocide” in Sri Lanka to get asylum.

        • 6
          2

          Dear Rational Thinkers,
          Two years ago, even the street dwellers and beggars of Tamil Nadu, India did some collection to give FALLING srilankens a life (albeit, racists filled srilanka) because by July 2022 Rajapaksa rascals had robbed our last cent.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kjj7UO_iKcQ

          Even if the Chinese showed their backwardness, indians did not forget us.
          So We should be grateful to india forever. Meaning not that we should bend down to them for any thing and everything.
          .
          In order to boom tourism in srilanka Indian FM made a plea asking their indian touirsts to visit beautifiul island srlanka. Tourist arrivals in srilanka improved not for nothing but thanks to RANIL and his small cabinet. People are ungrateful though. If not for TOURIST arrival, today the average man in our island would not enjoy “petrol and cooking gas”: nor medicine, because the country is branded as a bankrupted nation.

          Tbc

          • 6
            2

            cont.
            .
            . How ungrateful we should be, if we just forget the situation 2 years ago, Sri Lanka could have turned into Somalia but INDIA support saved our souls. That alone is enough to thank them and move us forward as a small non-aligned nation for our own good.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkBgBeB15Y0
            .
            It cannot be said in words. Grateful bastards that genetics can’t explain. Lester please tell us your roots. We pointed out that you must be more of a bastard to share it with the Rajapaksas than anyone else.
            .
            This country is full of beasts disguised as humans. Unless a social revolution soon takes these people out of our sight, we are miles away from any hope of a better future.
            .
            But real bastards like Lester used their foul mouth to call it “Toiletnadu” in public. Low-life Lester is said to live in the UK or Canada, but his behavior is so primitive

            Eagleeye – no more
            Mahindapala HLD – no more
            Natha Dewiya aka NDS the king of sinhala racist – no more
            .
            Next LESTER the joker ? I hope DTG ‘s good will look into this soon.

          • 1
            1

            “petrol and cooking gas” – AT WHAT ORICE?

            How much do you pay in Germany for one liter?

            • 2
              1

              Douglas,
              “How much do you pay in Germany for one liter?”
              For your information, here are the petrol prices in Europe. On average, 500 LKR /litre.
              Even in India, petrol is more expensive than here (110 INR).
              https://www.cargopedia.net/europe-fuel-prices
              You may not believe it, but we have some of the lowest fuel prices. Electricity prices are higher than in India, but lower than Europe or Australia.

              • 1
                1

                Douglas Appu,

                This varies almost every minute… This reminded me of Late Minister Mangala Samaraweera. However, BPs did not take his proposals about FORMULA not serious…. that is STUPID srilanka filled with culprits
                .
                1.881 | 2.049 | 2.555 USD / Liter. Super E10.
                1.826 | 1.987 | 2.544 USD / Liter. Diesel.
                1.641 | 1.822 | 2.316 USD / Liter. Der höchste Durchschnittspreis wurde heute mit 1,887 € (Super), 1,832 € (SuperE10) und 1,675 € (Diesel) um 01:00 Uhr erreicht.

            • 1
              1

              How dare you to compare it with that of Germany ?

              RW did not come to make wonders but to give you some sort of relief not allowing this country to becoming another SOUTH SUDAN.

              In Germany we call it ” Denkfehler” OUr average dont care little about the seriousness of issues, if all get line up to DRINK ” Dhammika paniya ” even Bandarawell Pundit, Unwatuna Pundit and the others with academic titles do so.

              That is what Prof. Kovoor made it clear after his thorough socio analysis made some 50 years ago about our PINGONA dominated community. GLP; Nathadewyia and all have already supported it exceedingly.

              https://www.onmanorama.com/lifestyle/keralaspora/2020/07/05/sri-lanka-rationalism-malayali-prof-abraham-kovoor.html

              • 0
                2

                LM: “How dare you to compare it with that of Germany”?

                You pay Rs. 500.00 and we pay Rs. 440.00 per liter. This indicates we are nearing your income levels.

                Haven’t we fast-tracked and reached “2048” in 2024? Our time machine is much faster than your Germany.

                “Api Thamai Hondatama Keruwe”.

                • 1
                  0

                  Douglas,
                  My vehicles are driven by petrol
                  I pay like 555 -570 rps/ 1 L petrol. This varies slightly from minute to minute.
                  But minimum salary is greater than 1000 Euro/month (higher graduates earn upto 8000-9000 Euro/month) (subject to deduction because 40-50% taxing)
                  If you have lunch – it cost you 20-30 EUros/meal
                  House rent – 500- 600 Euro/ month
                  Even a cup tea – 3 Eur0

                  • 1
                    0

                    Douglas Appu (appu is a past honorific term), I don’t think your thinking is very similar to Mr. Bandarawela’s….because I have read some good ideas provided by you in the past. Now blindfolded, walking around like a blind person…. that is something else… If you live in hell, it is a tendency due to certain reasons. Our people repeat their failures to “disasters”.

                    Sri Lankans were completely robbed by the Belialate rascals by end of 2014.
                    Like it or not, that is the truth. We know how BP’s henchmen went around the world with planeloads at our expense….. You (your people) were as blind as LAB MICE back then… Then the PACHAWAHINIs (Derana, Sirasa, Hiru and Swarnawahini) interpreted it as if the country was bringing carrots from BP. Just imagine that dog, Dilith Jayaweera became untouchably rich ?….. how ? black money of Medamulana dogs were invested by him basically for grounding his DERANA TV. This is a fact..

                    .This happened with the knowledge of our sleepy people like you and your kadamanidya. They interpreted it as southern patriotism.
                    .
                    However, it didn’t happen overnight (15 x long years). If we punish Rajapaksa with a dozen stones, we should punish the stupid voters by pelting people with hundreds of stones. They should be punished again and again.. Now it is being done. Today I have no sympathy for them.

                    tbc

                    • 2
                      0

                      cont.
                      Douglas,

                      It is not fair to blame Ranil for all the messes deliberately made by people and rascals. Looking back at last years, he did lot more than that of Greece leaders, and the counterpart in Lebanon and Pakistan.

                      He always predicted how we would end up if RAJAPKASHE politics would continue… ….. go back to the recent history and read about him.
                      .
                      The setting the aim at 2048 is for long-term achievements. It is common to Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and many other similar countries. The difference is that people in aforementioned countries dont mix it up truths and untruths this way. ::::: we spit on facing up….. … we never learn to differentiate good from the bad… that is the nation of our average thinking….

                      Whatever Ranil said to encourage the nation, it was ridiculed out by Pro-Rajapakshe pachawahinis.#
                      There is no punishment for him, but surely for people
                      …. People including you are not ashamed…. I dont need to talk about Bandarawella, man. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. His knowledge is clearly far from the Kadamandiya people.
                      .
                      People, scumbags (with and wihtout SANGA costume), media whores, professionals (such as Nathadevia, Dayan Jayathilaka, Wimal Buruwansa…) came together and supported RAJAPAKSHE and their goons.
                      The RAJAPAKSE-Rascalry that made all this was made as the religion of the southern region. Many of sinhalayas are real racists.

                  • 2
                    0

                    OC, LM, Douglas, there is no point in comparing petrol prices in different countries without including average incomes.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Paul,
                      thanks but
                      I’m not the one who started this. Our NPP promoter from South Sri Lanka also known as Douglas wanted to do this.
                      So I asked him how dare he compare it to Germany.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Btw, at the time, Rajpakshes skinned that Dr Safi… where were JVPrs ?
                      .
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-theTSFH7hg

          • 1
            0

            Leela,

            ” Meaning not that we should bend down to them for any thing and everything.”

            Now, you want to bend to Indians? FYI: They will empty your pockets before you reach the 45 degree angle.

            A foreign woman cannot travel alone in India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70BrQaJZLRk&pp=ygUUS29yZWFuIGdpcmwgaW4gSW5kaWE%3D

            In S. Korea and Japan, they ban Indians from entering nightclubs and restaurants because of their uncivilized behavior.

            Indians are running call-center scams (search on Youtube) all over the world. In the UK, many Indian doctors have been investigated for abusing female patients. These are doctors (higher-caste) so imagine the low-caste ones. I posted the video here of Indians taking food from the food banks in Canada and bragging on social media.

            India is a strange place. Their culture is very different from the Sri Lankan one, which is a good thing. If you are so interested in bending, either get married or join a gym. GL.

        • 3
          2

          Lester

          “When upper-caste men need to remind a Dalit family of their place, they attack and abuse Dalit women.”

          Here in Sri Lanka generally women are being raped, if necessary killed them, in some cases packed in suitcases, dumbed, knowing police can be persuaded to drop charges, …. while the armed forces are being granted permanent impunity for sexual crimes, …. Let us go back to 1971 Premawathie Manamperi, the beauty queen case.

  • 3
    0

    DTG ‘ God will help us I guess.

  • 4
    1

    Since the Independence Day 76 years ago, majoritarianism has prevailed in SL. By targeting the minorities, the Singhalese have made Mother Lanka to carry a begging bowl around the world. If the British had left two federal states in a UNITED Ceylon, We would have been a developed country years ago.
    I agree with Nimal Fernando’s views about the Singhalese. Both JVP & LTTE were suppressed as both USA & India did not like them to succeed.

  • 4
    0

    “Postponement could become a possibility if the country’s security situation or law and order deteriorates. What is there to prevent some sinister forces that want the ancient regime to continue from causing another bloody havoc and force a declaration of emergency?”
    ~~
    I fear for Anura Dissanayake’s personal safety. Should anything untoward happen to him that would almost certainly create a state of utter chaos leading to a breakdown in law and order. Just the right kind of situation that can be exploited by sinister forces to postpone the Presidential Election. Please tell me my fear is misplaced.

    • 1
      0

      KP, Anura Dissanayake’s safety is something that hasn’t been mentioned before, yet it is very relevant. Why is he recruiting ex-military people for a special faction within the NPP? Is he afraid for his life or is he tempting the military with power? The military and the monks should be banned from all political activity. AKD seems to be going the same way as the other politicians. The NPP already have a Bhikkhu faction.
      .
      I hope there is no violence. I once had great hopes for RW but now I have no hope for anyone.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Ameer,
    .
    I typed out a comment here in response to what nimal Fernando had said. I don’t seem to have submitted it.
    .
    It is 19:42; still without power. In what condition is the fridge? No idea.
    .
    “Human Touch”, who is an electrical engineer, advices me when I was buying. The technology is classified as “Direct Cool”. Google for information on it. Manufactured in Sri Lanka by Damro.
    .
    Our 18 minute chat in morning was very constructive. I think I’d better stop. Tired. My eyes don’t focus properly.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

  • 0
    0

    Dear Dr Ameer Ali,
    .
    PART ONE

    .
    I rather fear that I’m getting into a state of “Perpetual Exhaustion”. It was good that we had that WhatsApp video-chat from with you on Saturday, 18/05/2024 for 16 minutes, starting 8.02 am, Lankan Time. You saw for yourself that I’d had a hair cut and dye about a week ago, and you acknowledged that since you have not much hair now, you shave your head! I give all these details in repeated desperate attempts to convince other readers that what we are, say, and do, are absolutely genuine.
    .
    That call with you was interrupted by the 18-minute WhatsApp chat with Chathuranga Abeysinghe that I have already told you about. During that audio chat I asked Chathuranga whether AKD dyes his hair and beard, and then asked the same about Tilvin Silva who is considerably older. Chaturanga said that he didn’t know.
    .
    Then followed the 27 hour power outage for half the houses on our hill, including mine. Yesterday I managed to obtain some electricity from a neighbour to run my fridge, and then power returned to my house about 11.30.

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