29 February, 2024


Present Three Common Candidates To Defeat Mahinda

By P.Bertie Ranaweerage

Bertie Ranaweerage

Bertie Ranaweerage

The incumbent President is so much determined to be the winner at the next election that he has embarked on a serious pre-election campaign even though the Presidential Election has not officially been announced. Thousands of government employees and party supporters are being fed  with food and propaganda at Temple Trees  almost daily and this will definitely  be continued until every government employee is fed with foods  drinks, souvenirs and propaganda materials. Temple Trees will spend lavishly on other influential sections such as lawyers, artists, journalists, NGOs, religious groups, leading members of the political parties of the UPFA etc  too until the election day as it did during the last Presidential election period. Around one hundred thousand motor bicycles were given to government employees either for one fourth of the value of each  bike or completely free of charge. I hear the government has informed the  police officers at supervisory level that each of them will be given a  car for  a sum of Rs. five hundred thousand (Rs. 500000.00). Having received instructions from the Basils’ Ministry of Economic Development, Sanasa Development Bank has launched a new scheme to give loans up to Rs. one million at a very low interest rate to retired government employees who expect to engage in self employments. Mahinda’s budget promised concessions, reliefs ,salary hikes  etc to many  sections though some economists say there is no money to keep the budget promises. Every day we can see full page advertisements in the news papers that commends Mahinda’s governance.

Ranil ChandrikaThat is what we ordinary folks see and hear as outsiders but much more must be going on behind the scene to prop up Mahinda and to obstruct and disrupt the campaign of the Opposition.

It is clear that the President, his family, his friends and his cabal are hell bent in achieving the victory at the forthcoming Presidential election as they cannot think of a life without power, privileges and the perks. Hence, his family, Ministers , Members of Provincial Councils , MCs ,UCs, Pradesheeya Sabhas new businessmen, contractors and others who have fattened  their bank accounts thanks to the present regime will use all the government and non-governmental resources to defeat the common candidate.

A vicious vituperative campaign against the Opposition common candidate has already been launched  by racist Wimal Weerawansa and others of his ilk. The BBS and its siblings will join forces with Weerwansa and Company before long.

The first victory has been achieved by the anti-Mahinda forces as the Movement for a Just Society led by Venarable Sobhitha Thera has been able to arrive at an  agreement with the UNP and a wide section of the society to field a common candidate. Its campaign for a just society has probably forced the JHU to demand immediate constitutional amendments in order to dilute the powers of the executive presidency. As the President is  not ready to give in to the demands of the JHU it is likely that it will campaign against Mahinda at the next Presidential Election.

This campaign against the Executive Presidential system should have been spearheaded by the left forces in this country not by the Temple. Due to the opportunistic policies of the LSSP , the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, the Temple has taken the fight into its hand. (It is heartening to see that the honest members of the central committees of  both the political parties  have decided to support the common candidate) . Opportunistic and wavering stances of the Old  Left including  politically stranded Vasudewa the battle for a just society is led by the Temple against Temple Tree.

Yet the public is still unaware who the common candidate  is going to be as the Opposition , civil organizations and trade unions have not  seemingly been able to arrive at an agreement on who should be the common candidate. Nevertheless  it seems either Chandrika  or Ranil or Karu or Venerable Sobhitha Thera or some other prominent personality will be their choice. In case  they field either Sunetra Bandaranaike or MaithreeWicramasinghe as the common candidate as per the news story published in the Colombo Telegraph it will be a mere cakewalk for Mahinda back to the throne as neither of them are appealing to the voters. When the Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake was killed in an LTTE suicide attack in 1994 during the Presidential election campaign,the UNP fielded his wife  Shrima Dissanayake only to end up with a 36% of votes while Chandrika received a recorded  63%. Her performance was so poor because she was an unknown woman to the majority of voters. Sunetra and Maithree are not much different from Shrima.

With past lessons on my mind I would like to present a new proposal with regard to the common candidate. There is no need to beat about the bush. I ask the Opposition, Venarable Sobhitha Thera, Civil organizations and trade unions which have come to a single platform in order to defeat Mahinda, to present three candidates as common candidates to the voters instead of one without any delay. The sooner the better.

You may wonder why I am making such an unprecedented  strange proposal. It may look like a crazy proposal  to many if I do not elaborate  on it. Some may sling mud at me saying that I am an agent of Mahinda. Please wait until I say what I want to as I too want to defeat Mahinda not because he is a bad man as a human being  but because he is a bad ruler, perhaps the worst Executive President so far we have had.

My proposal is to present Chandrika as common candidate Number One, Ranil/Karu as Number Two common candidate and Venerable Sobhitha Thera as Number Three common candidate. The Opposition should give equal publicity to all the three candidates from day one as it s a part of the strategy I propose.

While the best candidate is fielded as the common candidate of the Opposition the other two candidates wait in the wings in case an unexpected thing happens to the common candidate dampening the hopes of overthrowing the incumbent rule.

I believe that Chandrika is the best candidate who can defeat Mahinda and that is why I gave number 1 slot to Chandrika. The Opposition should field her as the common candidate as she can win some of the SLFP heavy weights over to her side ensuring many SLFP votes to her. But once she tendered her nomination papers to the Election Commissioner some  henchmen  of Mahinda may go to the Supreme Court to get her disqualified and as CJ and other justices have been appointed by the incumbent. In  case she is disqualified on some pretext then voters will not be worried about the verdict of the court as they are already aware that  Number Two is there to grab the baton and run the race. Even if some unexpected thing happens to the second candidate voters will not be discouraged as there is another  good horse ready to run.

If the Opposition succeeds in  informing the public why they present two extra candidates while fielding one candidate as the common candidate for the fight, the government and Mahinda will not be able to sow discord against the common candidate among the voters. Besides, Mahinda will have to face not one opponent but three,which will probably be too much for him and his propaganda organ.

There will be another advantage for the Opposition camp if it follows this novel strategy. All the three common candidates , their organizations and supporters will campaign as one, to defeat Mahinda which will result in a powerful political campaign against the ruling candidate. They will work in unison provided all the three candidates are given publicity on an equal footing by the Opposition camp. Everybody loves publicity.

If the Opposition follows the usual unsuccessful strategy again at the forthcoming  crucial  election too we will see the  repetition of the  fate of Shrima Dissanayake who was suddenly pushed to the political platform after the sudden demise of her husband. Even with the sympathy votes she got only 36% because she was a complete stranger to the voters until the day of the election.

I repeat .The winning strategy is to present three candidates to the country and nominate the best as the Presidential candidate of the Opposition, civil organizations and trade unions led by the Movement for a Just Society. That is only one part of the winning strategy. Good governance is a good slogan but that alone cannot garner 50% and 1 vote to defeat the incumbent. The common candidates of the Opposition must tell the people how they will make a difference in their lives from day one the Opposition occupies Temple Trees.

*P.Bertie Ranaweerage – Former president of Ceylon Teachers’ Union

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Latest comments

  • 7

    The best and most potential canddiate to my eye is CBK. She is the only person who cant stand against the rascals. Jvp WILL join go against if she would become the common candidate.

    CBK SLFP fraction + UNP+ JVP+ DF SF+ AND ALMOST everyone will vote against Meeharaka Rajapakshe. People are now fed up highly corrupted adminsitraton of Rajapakshes.

    • 0

      P.Bertie Ranaweerage –

      “This campaign against the Executive Presidential system should have been spearheaded by the left forces in this country not by the Temple. Due to the opportunistic policies of the LSSP , the Communist Party of Sri Lanka, the Temple has taken the fight into its hand. (It is heartening to see that the honest members of the central committees of both the political parties have decided to support the common candidate) . Opportunistic and wavering stances of the Old Left including politically stranded Vasudewa the battle for a just society is led by the Temple against Temple Tree”

      If the common candidate is successful in defeating the Rajapaksa Dynasty, all the citizens should thank Ven. Sobitha Thero and His Great Teacher, The Enlightened Buddha for rescuing the country from Mara and the MaRa Dynasty.

      Buddan Saranan Gachchami – Best Buddhism Song By Mohideen Beg Master


  • 1

    It is not very clear what this strategy is. It looks that the author proposes to campaign for three and submit nominations for one. Would be objections for Ms CB will come only after nominations are submitted. Therefore, the argument of campaigning for three and nominating one is a futile effort under such circumstances since no more nominations are possible. On the other hand, if author proposes to submit nominations for all three candidates and all three survives up to election date, whom to vote? It would just divide the votes of the opposition. Besides this, campaigning for three candidates in equal intensity is a daunting task. That will create confusion among the voters and the purpose is defeated.
    Need of the hour is not to focus on the candidate but on a common agenda. The agenda must be simple and easily understood by a voters of all intellectual levels irrespective of differences. Candidate is best to be some one popular for some other thing such as a sportsman, an actor, an academic, a reputed professional or a singer. Because such people are loved by the voters across all political, religious, racial or any other divides. In addition they are trusted by the general public than any politician to fulfill the. For me only Mr Arjuna Ranatunga or Ms Shirani Bandaranayake are the suitable persons among the name floated.
    In the absence of any positives to campaign on in the fields of economy, rule of law, development, social security, education, health and governance etc, UPFA is compelled to engage in a massive counter propaganda campaign against the opposition candidate. Therefore, opposition camp must be prepared for the bitter campaign by the incumbent using all the public resources. Mr AR and Ms SB would starve incumbent of material for such adverse propaganda compared to any of the political stalwarts in the list, since they are of high level of integrity and they don’t have any previous public dealings warrant criticism.

    • 0

      Ajantha ,

      why don’t you read the article again and see what it says , obviously author suggests 3 candidates to submit their nominations separately to face any eventuality ,if number one gets disqualified (that is a certain) then number two kicks in and so forth , what is wrong in that novel method ?
      going with Arjuna is a joke , though Arjuna seems to be clean nowadays , one needs to look at his previous track record , whole Rantunga family is full of crooks , it had started from his late father and its in their blood !
      Ex CJ is not a clean character either , she is partly responsible for the 18A and many more things and she is certainly not ready for this dog fight ,in fact she is not suitable for Srilankan politics at all , remember how she fought back her unlawful dismissal ?

  • 1

    Quote ” The best and most potential canddiate to my eye is CBK. She is the only person who cant stand against the rascals”
    SUN ….. What is it? She can or cant??

    My opinion she CANT.(this was not a typo but you were spot on) We saw her with her cahoots Baddegana Sanjeewa & co., who also managed the Justice Department for this Sarath Silva.

    Present Three Common Candidates To Defeat Mahinda are YET DREAMING.

  • 1

    The last time Temple Trees was filled with these naive fools, who were fed and feted in a huge hall, and the loudspeakers were booming with loud, angry, brainwashing speeches. Let us not forget how they banned party colors and decorations belonging to the opposition, all over the country, and had their goons go in their government vehicles and tear down posters. It was all a one sided election, to enable these crooks to win.

  • 2

    The Best option is not to field any serious contestant against MR but to make sure that MR obtains no more than 35%-40% of the votes casted, thus making him an illegitimate president (even if he win in the second round where people can refuse to take part in the ballet).

    A dummy candidate, possibly a mentally restarted person should be fielded for people to cast their protest votes.

    This would make MR’s party members relieved from the pressures excreted on them by MR family and the cronies enabling the SLFP to regroup with opposition forces, isolate and defeat MR clan in a subsequent parliamentary election

    • 1

      @Jinadasa Waduge

      How about fielding either Paba, Anarkali or Geeta K.??

  • 3

    This election must be won by MR – the hidden demand of CHINA!! They are prepared to meet all costs – just imagine how the goons celebrating
    all through the campaign period and these goons will increase 500% as
    the days draw near. Finances are no bar. MR has to be in Power to over-
    throw UN and I/C revelations in the next couple of years – he will do
    the utmost to show a “democratic” win. Remember Mugabe got 99%!! The
    Forces will be used to restrain Voters going to the Booth, in given
    spots and enable rigging.

    The Chinese Cyber-specialist are in town. The EC Computer room will
    come under Gota supervision (on guise of security) – you know the rest.

    Whatever the SB Voter can do this one time is vote against MR is such
    large numbers in all Districts overthrowing the “rigging” numbers.
    Someone can work out the mathematics and loggistics to this end.

  • 2

    I’m a common man, whom you can find in a 138 normal bus,not an intellectual but an extreme representative of the Mass, no way obliged to CBK or alliance. Try to understand this from a common man pont of view, not from the colombo living intellectual point of view.Try to understand, the politics is all about the Laymen and I here present the common man’s view of the potential candidates.

    Ranil, He is worthless and he doesn’t know how to manage the party nor how to talk in public

    Who is Karu, A man crossed over to the government very first time and started the negative spiral and the only MAN to blame for the the fate our country goes, laymen view Horu

    Sobitha Thero, He is a good man but for laymen, he is another clergy and will be compared with JHU, BBS…etc and on minorities side, hmmm you cannot think of a support especially from Muslims and Christians

    CBK, Former president, women love her, minorities love her, has the political backgroud, profile, moreover, SLFPers will like her based on the former relationship with her parents or interactions they had while she was in the office..etc, the only candidate who can with the support of SLFP partiers as well as Opposition party and can defeat MR. Note my words, none others are not suitable and the efforts will be wasted, may be it’ll be the only channce to defeat MR.

    There are two things

    1. Relevei the poison from the dying man

    2. Feed milk to his thrstiness

    People mix up both and comment CBK did not do anything, may or may not be true, but to face a MR like opponent the profile is with CBK only.

    Better startegy will be all the opposition join hands and propose CBK as the common candidate while having Ranil as backup, compared to others in the list Ranil is far better. Rather scolds me like I get funds from CBK, try to understand the eternal truth.

  • 2

    An interesting view considering the tricks the ruling crooks will try from many sides.

    Anyone has a projection on how the ‘manapey’ vote will figure if no one gets to 50% plus 1? Has that vote ever been tabulated from an academic standpoint?

  • 1

    Just deviating slightly from the view expressed by the author, I would like to suggest the following.
    Let Sobitha Thero be the common candidate, but have an agreement to have all the leaders of the individual parties come in as a committee to proceed with the rest of the actions in the first 6 months. Then the Thero could be the fascilitator but the individual parties can have their say, which is beneficial for the people at large and not to one family or group. By adopting this in principle, the factional in-fighting within different parties can be minimised to secure a block vote.

    Of course, the crucial factor is the need to do good to the country and not to individual families.

    There are are precedents to this. Just look at Burma or Myammmar. They have a committee comprising of Army officers who run the show.

  • 0

    The mood of the people is to end MR family rule which keeps increasing by the day. The article makes useful suggestions for the opposition to consider if it is serious of taking forward the mood of the people. As MR and family is capable to resorting to ‘any manipulation’ to stick on to power, the opposition too should have alternatives. The opposition should present to the people ‘a group of possible common candidates’viz: CBK, Ranil, Sobitha Thero, Karu J and Arjuna R. The campaign should ‘issue based’ rather than on the individuals. In the course of the campaign it will be possible to assess which one from the group will be suitable. This should be decided by a ‘monitoring group’ consisting of civil society and religious leaders. If the nomination of the ‘first-named’ candidate is likely to be or if challenged another in the group should step in. Thus it will be possible to send MR and family home.

    • 0

      I will add Shirani Bandaranayake to the list of the group of possible candidates

  • 1

    This guy who promotes Chandrika is Crazy.

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