21 July, 2024

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President Anura Kumara Dissanayake

By S. I. Keethaponcalan

Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan

According to the Constitution, the presidential election should be held in September/October 2024. Some people believed, and some still believe the election will not take place. The skepticism is not without reason because President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party, the United National Party, has a history of finding excuses for not conducting polls. President Jayewardene’s 1982 referendum canceled the parliamentary election. The present government of Wickremesinghe indefinitely deferred the local authority elections scheduled for 2023.

When the government declared that the state coffer has no funds for local government elections, the pro-democracy civil society had no answers. The postponement of the local government elections also exposed the aragalaya. Proponents of the 2022 aragalaya argue that it was a democracy movement. If that was the case, aragalaya should have resurfaced when the local elections were postponed. In reality, the aragalaya was an economic movement that wanted a steady supply of essential commodities.

Presidential Election 2024

In February 2024, President Wickremesinghe announced that the presidential election would be conducted within the “mandated period.” Media reports also suggested that he had instructed the cabinet and his party members to prepare for the presidential election. Therefore, at this point in time, we have to assume that the country will go for the presidential election at the end of this year.

It is against this backdrop that many think Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the National People’s Power (NPP) will win the election. This implies that Dissanayake will be Sri Lanka’s next president. The NPP is defined as a new political alliance headed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). It could also be called a front of the JVP, which is known for using front organizations depending on the realities and needs. The Deshapremi Janatha Vyaparaya is a good example. Therefore, the tags NPP and JVP can be interchangeably used.

The notion that Dissanayake will win the upcoming presidential election stems from three factors. One, some of the opinion polls conducted in Sri Lanka predict a Dissanayake victory. Two, The JVP/NPP meetings draw large crowds. Three, foreign ambassadors in Sri Lanka are flocking to meet Dissanayake at the party headquarters.

Dissanayake’s recent high-profile meetings included conversations with European Union Ambassador Carmen Moreno, First Secretary of the Cuban Embassy Maribel Gonzales, Canadian High Commissioner Eric Walsh, and Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki. Ambassadors of several third-world countries also met Dissanayake recently at the JVP headquarters. These meetings and the enthusiasm shown suggest that international actors believe Dissanayake could win. These meetings and the notion that Dissanayake will win the election may be feeding into each other.

Dissanayake in New Delhi

India has also demonstrated enthusiasm for accommodating Dissanayake. The JVP/NPP leader visited India in February 2024 on an invitation from India. It was suggested that Indian authorities invited and extended a cordial reception to Dissanayake because they believed in the opinion polls. That is entirely possible.

However, there are also alternative explanations. For example, India has been slowly but steadily building its stronghold in Sri Lanka, especially since the 2022 economic crisis. In other words, India is currently giving China a run for its money. The Narendra Modi government has shown a keen interest in building a land bridge to Sri Lanka. During his recent visit to New Delhi, Wickremesinghe signed several agreements with the Indian government to propel “connectivity” between the two countries. One of the agreements was about building a land bridge (or a tunnel). The parties agreed to immediately undertake the feasibility study for such a land bridge project.

A land bridge between India and Sri Lanka would firmly and permanently bring Sri Lanka under India’s influence. Therefore, one could expect severe opposition to such a project from the South. One of the main sources of opposition could be the JVP. India would not have forgotten the JVP’s staunch anti-India position during the late 1980s. The JVP’s second insurgency was built on an anti-India position. Therefore, the current accommodation of Dissanayake could be a preemptive move to soften the JVP. The Indian gesture worked as on his return, Dissanayake declared that India is important. The point here is that the enthusiasm shown by foreign ambassadors to meet Dissanayake could be deceptive and misleading.                 

Challenges

Having said that, I believe that it is too early to predict a Dissanayake presidency, and the task will not be easy for him. He has three specific challenges.

One, the current opinion polls could be unreliable. They use small samples that do not represent the national structures. I also believe that these polls are conducted mainly among Sinhala people. For many Southern institutions, minorities are invisible. Some of them unconsciously act as if minorities do not exist. But in the real election, minorities vote. Given the recent political history, many people may be hesitant to admit that they will vote for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) or even Wickremesinghe. If fielded, the SLPP candidate could garner more votes than numbers suggested by the opinion polls. Hidden nationalists are difficult to survey. Moreover, in some cases, looking at the numbers alone is inadequate. One needs to look at the sentiments and loyalties of those conducting the interviews.

Two, Dissanayake has an economic policy problem. The JVP was founded on Marxist and socialist ideals. However, it seems the party is transforming. We don’t hear the traditional virulent anti-capitalist rhetoric anymore. In India, he looked more capitalist than the right-wing industrialists. Officially, the JVP is still a socialist political entity. Unless the Sri Lankan political culture has turned upside down with the aragalaya, a socialist party cannot win the presidency. Sri Lanka has had a bitter experience with socialist experiments. The Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s socialist policies brought the country to its knees. Even Gotabaya Rajapaksa was slowly moving the country towards a centralized and state-controlled economic system. He banned the importation of various goods and ordered farmers to use certain types of fertilizers. His policies culminated in a catastrophe.

Therefore, it is difficult to believe that most Sri Lankans would vote for a socialist government. Some minority groups, for example, the Muslim community, which benefited immensely from Jayewardene’s open market policies, would not vote for socialist candidates. Dissanayake could learn a lesson or two from President Kumaratunga. Kumaratunga won parliamentary and presidential elections in 1994 only after officially renouncing socialism. She adopted what she called “capitalism with a human face.” Therefore, Dissanayake would have a chance of winning the presidential election if he found an excuse to abandon his party’s socialist policies.    

Three, Dissanayake has a minority problem. Although founded on Marxist principles, for the most part, the JVP operated as a Sinhala ethno-nationalist party. Most Tamils would not hesitate to call it an inavatha katchi (racist party). The JVP’s anti-Tamil politics were notable. That is why Bruce Matthews, in an essay titled “Sinhala Cultural and Buddhist Patriotic Organizations in Contemporary Sri Lanka,” described JVP as “anarchic, nihilistic, and anti-Tamil.”

The party branded the Tamils as collaborators of Indian expansionism in Sri Lanka in the late 1980s. The JVP’s Memorandum of Understanding with the ruling People’s Alliance, signed in September 2001, included a cause against devolution of power to the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Clause 2 of the MoU stipulated that the government should not introduce any proposal for devolution of power within one year. The JVP opposed the peace negotiations, the Ceasefire Agreement signed in February 2002, and the merger of Northern and Eastern Provinces. The JVP spearheaded the demerger movement and eventually succeeded as the Sri Lankan courts ruled that the decision to merge the provinces was illegal. The Tamils have not forgotten the JVP’s recent anti-Tamil politics. Therefore, I presume that most Tamil would not vote for a JVP candidate in the presidential election.

Now, the question is, can Dissanayake win the presidential election without minority and anti-socialist votes?

*Dr. S. I. Keethaponcalan is a Professor of Conflict Resolution at Salisbury University, Maryland. Formerly, he was a Professor of Political Science at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.   

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Latest comments

  • 8
    1

    IT IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY FOR NONE OF THE CANDIDATES GET MORE THAN 50%VOTES.ITS LOOKS LIKE THERE MAY BE A FOUR CORNER CONTEST AND THE MAIN CANDIDATES WILL BE RANIL-SAJITH-AND ANURAKUMARA.IN ADDITION THEIR MAY BE SOME B-TEAM CANDIDATES.TAMIL AND MUSLIM PARTIES ARE ON THE FENCE RIGHT NOW.I DO NOT KNOW HOW THE 2ND PREFERENCE VOTES ARE COUNTED.ALL WILL DEPEND ON SECOND ROUND COUNT.

    • 2
      3

      Dear Paragon,
      .
      I gave this question a lot of thought in 2019
      , and I sought advice from a guy who would have known. I’m still thinking; let me tell you what I think.
      .
      After seeing your comment I googled for information on the number of Registered Voters, and got this:
      .
      https://www.electionguide.org/countries/id/201/
      .
      Relying entirely on that, the highest number of voters has been 16,263,885, but the highest number of votes cast has been 13,387,951 nine months previously. All that the future holds is conjecture; I’m a registered voter, but I may be dead when we have the next elections. If I’m alive, I can mark one Preference, or two, or three. I always mark three, most voters mark only one.
      .
      For convenience, let’s take the number of votes cast at the next elections to be 13,387,951. To win on first count, a candidate would have to get a minimum of 6,693,976 votes. If nobody gets that?
      .
      We will not go to polling booths two or three weeks later. We will have voted only once, but the “Preferences” will be counted. Whose Preferences?
      .
      To be continued.

      • 2
        2

        Continuing:
        .
        Suppose that
        like last time there are 35 candidates, it will be the Preferences of those who voted for candidates who were placed 3rd to 35th. They will start counting with the votes polled for the 35th candidate.
        .
        There will be only two counts, not three. Why? Suppose I have given my vote to the guy who came 35th. They will give my vote to the guy whom I had designated as my SECOND choice. They will not bother with who my number THREE was.
        .
        When will they stop counting? Theoretically when one candidate gets 6,693,976 votes. However, just to make sure that there will be no mistakes, they may next count the Preferences of the guy who came 34th, and so forth, until all Preferences have been counted.
        .
        It is possible that after all that counting of valid votes, nobody has reached 6,693,976. Then who wins? The candidate who is ahead, even if his tally is only about 40% of valid votes. And if the first two have got exactly the same number? In that even, perhaps a coin will be tossed!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

        • 3
          2

          Panini,
          That being the case, it may be worthwhile for the Election Commission to get Rs 5000 denomination, SOVEREIGN GOLD COIN minted in readiness for such an event!! Isn’t it indeed a “Wholesome Worthwhile, Sovereign Cause”!!!??? Meaning, electing a ‘Sovereign Leader’ of a ‘Sovereign Country’!?

    • 4
      1

      paragon

      i also think no candiddate will get more than 50%.In the second round if all the other candidates get together under sajith and gang up against AKD then he could become the president.A lot will depend in the next 6 months on the economy.

      • 3
        2

        Dear paragon, and shankar,
        .
        In my two comments made yesterday, the 22nd, I have got my main point across . I noticed my slips fast enough, but I waited for other comments.
        .
        The main point:
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
        .
        We will visit our polling centres only once for the Presidential Elections. No getting together by other candidates after we cast our votes. There will be a SECOND COUNT of votes that we have cast. In a close poll, the PREFERENCES will matter. The process will be swift; the system is fair. Think clearly, NOW.
        .
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        The crucial consideration: After nobody gets 50% in the FIRST round of COUNTING, there is no need for the winner to obtain 50% of the Valid votes cast. It depends on who is leading after the SECOND COUNT.
        .
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        I want AKD to win, and I want Ranil to lose. No equivocation with my FIRST choice. It will go to Anura, because if he falls to 3rd, it’s curtains for me. He can be 2nd and still overtake whoever came first. You have to place AKD ahead of Ranil in the Preferences, even if Tamils want to vote for two Tamil candidates.

        • 4
          7

          Dear Panini – Need not worry. I am certain that AKD will win in the first round itself.

        • 2
          1

          This is something I do when I have too much time at hand.
          So, dear Sinhala_Man, Enjoy the fun.
          It looks like that you have more time than I do.
          From where would Tamils find two Tamil candidates … ?

        • 2
          0

          Dear All,
          .
          The mistake that I made yesterday was that I had visited a site that gave the total number of votes cast. That included spoilt votes.
          .
          What is important is the total number of Valid Votes. For the Presidential it was 13,252,499, so Gota needed a minimum of 6,626, 250 to win on the first round.
          .
          What we just don’t know is how many people cast PREFERENTIAL VOTES. No candidate publishes that. They all pretend that they can win outright. That includes the NPP! I keep telling them, but they don’t advocate it, thinking that it will show a lack of commitment.
          .
          Could Tamil readers please suggest which Tamil or Muslim candidate for me to give a Second Preference to? I may still give Sajith a THIRD Preference just to keep Ranil out. If the unthinkable happens and AKD falls to THIRD place, then that THIRD Preference will be counted instead of the SECOND. I agree that a Tamil-speaking candidate cannot come even second. I wish it were not so!
          .
          So, once more, in a close vote, my ballot will be looked at TWICE, not THRICE.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

          • 2
            1

            One more mistake by me:
            .
            I have written this above: “No candidate publishes that”.
            .
            Please read instead, “No candidate publicises that” – i.e. in the run up to the elections.
            .
            Nobody can publish figures since no count of Preferences has ever been made!
            .
            I wrote to some whom everyone would consider to be authorities. One has replied thus:
            .
            “I can say with CERTAINTY none of the commentators has a clear idea of how second and lower preference votes will be counted and distributed if no one obtains 50% on the first count.” Those capital letters are his. I’m not adding any emphasis to his words.
            .
            It doesn’t stop there; he has suggested that me (good heavens!) or one of the others, whom he has named, should “send a clear and authoritative statement of how it will be done.”
            .
            There is a very real need for us to discuss this!
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

        • 5
          0

          dear sinhala _man

          i did not know that it can be decided by preferences.I thought tey have to another election with only the 2 candidtaetes who won the highest amount competing.

          food for thought indeed and maybe i have to revise my prediction on outcome of the second round.However i feel that in the preferences my earlier feeling that all candidates will gang up on anura and give their preferences to sajit still stands.

          • 3
            1

            Dear shankar,
            .
            Thanks for being so candid!

            .
            Yes, that system of having a run-off between the first two about two weeks later is more common – and expensive!
            .
            We’re used to seeing the system in many other countries – in France, and even as close to us as the Maldives. Many then assume, as you have, that ours is the same.
            .
            But they have no “Preferences”.
            .
            Even in saying what you have, don’t blame the candidates for the mess. It is individual voters who decide to listen to the eliminated candidates (and even the two who remain in the fray). The voters are to blame!
            .
            There can be cheating in the counting of votes, but that is something that I’m not bothering about.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe

          • 2
            2

            Dear shankar,
            .
            You probably realise by now
            you and I are being very serious in what we’re saying. Many comments try to be clever and entertaining.
            .
            In 2019, Kumar David wrote many articles on the subject, and I made many comments, in most of which I said that the only other place where this system is used is in the Election of the Mayor of London. Do you know how to search the archives in Colombo Telegraph?
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_mayoral_elections
            .
            This is still useful, but note that changes have now taken place.
            .
            There nobody had ever got to more than 50%  for the period when they had this system,  and now they seem to have changed it for the election to be held on  2 May 2024. 
            You will see that the second round never changed the order as it emerged in the FIRST COUNT, but that when they give the percentage for the final result it always comes to 100% because all the other guys are ignored.  So again,  it needn’t be more than 50% of total valid votes cast on Election Day.  They have much lower voter turnouts than we do.
            .
            Will continue

          • 2
            2

            Continuing:
            .
            Our, Sri Lankan, system gets mentioned here:
            .
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contingent_vote
            .
            I know that Wikipedia is not the final word on every subject, but it isn’t meant to harbour jokes. As I’ve told you, I’ve written to two absolute authorities, asking them to comment on al this. Let’s hope many others also take this seriously. I don’t personally know the author of this article, but let me hope that he, too, decides to intervene in this discussion.
            .
            In 2019, I read up about other systems that tried to be even more fair. In our case, the First Choice, and the next Preferences get equal weight. Those blogs are still there. But what they advocate becomes even more difficult to work with.
            .
            I’m not an authority on this, and I hope that others will make observations.
            .
            Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of 51B, Golf Links Road, Bandarawela

            • 4
              1

              Dear Panini –
              .
              Great effort by you to create awareness about the election system as many people are not much informed about the process, the intricacies, the details.
              .
              I am sure you are aware and may have been even written about how this system could be used to cast what is called a protest vote!
              .
              A feature in my opinion that could be used by Tamil people if they intend to. Especially if they want to field a candidate of their own for the Presidential Election.
              .
              They could ask their voters to vote first for that Tamil candidate and the subsequent preferences to other national candidates in order of their preference.
              .
              This way they could express their choices in a more nuanced way without jeopardising the national candidates or the national political discourse.
              .
              I hope it’s clear to you – what I am saying. Given your interest on the topic why don’t you pen a good piece about this system to CT since you are already an author here?
              .
              It will benefit a lot of people that may not fully aware of the process. How to use it to best express their political views at the elections.
              .
              Golf Links Road, Bandarawela must pretty plush neighbourhood… noh…? 😏

              • 3
                2

                Edits:
                .
                *I am sure you are aware and may have even written about ….
                .
                **that may not be fully aware of the process
                .
                PS: Pardon me for murdering the language you love and teach. I thought I’d make a special mention about it given the attention it has recently received by one or two individuals… here… for reasons that are clearer to me than to some others. I know you emphasize a lot on such linguistic matters. Being a Thomian you are expected to! 😀 Look forward to having some views exchanged on such matters perhaps away from this space but not immediately. Perhaps after AKD becomes the President! ;-) Till then all fingers crossed. In the meantime keep the faith, the health and the good work you do going. You have a long more way to.

                • 1
                  1

                  Dear Ruchira,
                  .
                  My interest in Literature, and even (now that we have the Internet) in Western Classical Music is a personal thing which means something to me. I think that they improve me.
                  .
                  Education is a serious business. I’m grateful to S. Thomas for what it gave me. Mt Lavinia still has some good things going, but NOT the increasingly vulgar ostentation of the Royal-Thomian. The Bandarawela school in particular is NOW to blame for lots of cheating and the propagation of false values.
                  .
                  There are many other subjects on which it would be a pleasure to exchange views – like culture in general. But that can’t really be dealt with on CT. I try sometimes, but then those are often the things that get moderated out.
                  .
                  Contacting me is simple; even a post card would get to me, since all details that I give are genuine.

              • 4
                4

                ruchira

                “They could ask their voters to vote first for that Tamil candidate and the subsequent preferences to other national candidates in order of their preference.”

                i am having doubts about a tamil candidate as i am sure the idiot will know he will never be the president and just become a spoiler only.However the preferences will be crucial.The tamils may vote for ranil and give their preferences to anura.I am wondering whther the muslim tamil minority votes of 25% in the country can decide this election,especially due to pref votes.

                Another factor is the young peoples votes,much of it might go to anura.

                • 1
                  6

                  shankar – Re. A Tamil Candidate you have said: “…as i am sure the idiot will know he will never be the president and just become a spoiler only.”
                  .
                  If you use the preferential voting system you could send a message to the govt and other people without really becoming a spoiler.
                  .
                  The vote for Ranil and preference to Anura might end up Anura winning.
                  .
                  If your objective is to defeat Anura voting SJB might be better.
                  .
                  Muslims seem to be comfortable with the NPP/AKD for some reason, atleast comparatively.

                  • 1
                    2

                    Dear Ruchira,
                    .
                    What have you said here
                    ? My mouse actually hovered over the Red Thumb, but I realised in time that this represents only woolly thinking.
                    .
                    Minorities in the North and East are more likely to look favourably on the JVP in 2024, than ever before. The JVP, whilst not being dominated by Sinhala Nationalism in the past used to appeal to to Sinhalese sentiments. This is no longer so.
                    .
                    The NPP has been trying hard to first understand the problems faced by the Tamil people with a view to improving their lives. What they have ruled out is “horse deals” with unprincipled Tamil politicians. They have made it clear that there are some excellent Tamil politicians in ITAK – young Shannikyan, and even old, old Sumanthiran.
                    .
                    You have quite simply not understood how the Preference system can be used constructively. I know you to be a decent man; I shall return here tomorrow to see if you have got wiser! Sorry to be so blunt!

            • 1
              2

              Dear Ruchira,
              .
              I think that all decent people want a fair election, and for that to happen as many voters as possible must know what the system of voting is.
              .
              Yes, I’ve worked hard at explaining it. Please let me know if you think my explanations (and those of Mahinda Deshapriya) are valid. I must admit that I’m disappointed that the political parties (including the NPP) have not tried to explain it. In a sense all that need be done is to translate Mahinda Deshapriya’s explanation into English and Tamil. I don’t know how many citizens are going to take me seriously, true though it is that I have written a few articles.
              .
              The two people whom I have sent all this to are people who have written much more than I have. I’m hoping that they will take the task seriously, and their reputations will persuade people to take their views seriously. One is a non-Sinhala-speakng Tamil in Jaffna!
              .
              You’re quite right about how creatively the system can be used. But tell me this; have I described its workings clearly?

              • 1
                2

                Dear Panini,
                .
                A few things to note:
                .
                You have said in one occasion “… if no one obtains 50% on the first count.” and in another occassion more than 50% is required to win – to be more precise the requirement for winning is (50% +1 vote)
                .
                Then you have said there are three preferences but some seem to think the first one is ‘The Vote’ and second and thirds are preferences. Something to do with terminology but may benefit by clarifying by an authority to ensure effective and consistent communication.
                .
                Finally in the event that there’s no clear winner after the first round of counting, counting the 2nd or 3rd preferences of the candidates other than the two that topped the first count will start from the third one onwards untill all the preferences of all the rest of the candidates are taken into account.
                .
                Your explanation given gives the impression that you start counting from the person ranked last backwards.

                • 1
                  1

                  Continued from above…
                  .
                  Not that it matters as long as the 2nd or the 3rd preferences of all the rest are counted at the end but as per Deshapriya’s explanation you have shared, it seems like the actual counting happens the other way round.

                  So yeah I guess you have explained it correctly, more or less.
                  .
                  Yes. It’s something useful if someone can explain it in all three languages. People seem a little unaware of how it could be used – especially to cast a protest vote without really spoiling a meaningful final outcome. Something I suggested during the last election to the disappointment of some.

                  • 2
                    2

                    Dear Ruchira,
                    .
                    From what I see here, it is I who have caused confusion. I’ve just made rather a harsh comment on what you had said in a comment above this.
                    .
                    I take all that back! I shall try to explain more clearly. It may be only tomorrow.
                    .
                    Sorry!
                    .
                    Panini Edirisinhe

                    • 0
                      5

                      Dear Panini –
                      .
                      No offence taken. We all make mistakes and it’s all part of interacting especially on an online forum that has its own constrains and limitations. I think it was you who pointed this out at the very begining of my presence here.
                      .
                      I know you to be a decent man too. Probably the most or even the only decent person on this forum.
                      .
                      No need to apologise. I may not have communicated what I wanted to communicate properly to shankar hence perhaps the confusion.
                      .
                      I honestly don’t know how the actual average person (Tamil) in the north and east feels about the NPP. But judging by the articles that appear here on CT and comments made under them, I felt that they prefer Ranil to prevail. Infact your friend Jaffna Man seems to think so too.
                      .
                      Hence my suggestion for a common Tamil candidate, which they too considered at one point, and to use the preference system to show their displeasure to other main candidates but not spoiling the final outcome – the most desirable (least undesirable) one of the main candidates to the Tamil community winning.
                      .
                      Not sure if I further confused you but I am looking at the concept of casting a protest vote using the preferences given to vote at the elections.

          • 3
            0

            Dear shankar,
            .
            I have located Mahinda Deshapriya’s effective 4 minute explanation of the system:
            .
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrz6RpzDaa4
            .
            I have made this comment a few minutes ago:
            .
            “I saw this explanation early enough for me to insert a link to it in a comment made on October 17, 2019. I thought that it was sound then, and I think that it is sound now that I say this on 25th March 2024. What I now notice is that before my comment has gone in, there are three hundred and two comments.
            “Most are quite old comments, which have praised this explanation. Those have ceased “3 years ago”. During the past two months, six comments have come in. All six have lambasted the comment.
            .
            Omitting some words.
            .
            “I do not particularly like Mahinda Deshapriya or his politics, but this explanation is sound, provided the listener understands Sinhala.”
            .
            By default, YouTube arranges comments as “Top comments” first. But you can re-arrange as “Newest first”. Do that. After a few days, it may be that others will add comments.
            .
            Panini_Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

            • 0
              2

              shankar,
              .
              I hope that readers will try to understand Mahinda Deshapriya’s explanation because it is the truth.
              .
              I have written this, in my comment above:
              .
              All six have lambasted the comment.”
              .
              Read this instead:
              .
              All six have lambasted the explanation in the video, and Deshapriya himself.”
              .
              In my YouTube comment”, I have edited “comment” to “video.”
              .
              My comment was too long long, so I omitted
              some words, I have said, “Omitting some words”.
              .
              I’m submitting this “correction” to show how easily alterations can be made!
              .
              What it means is that little is sacrosanct!
              .
              Now start working out the conundrums!
              .
              Panini

    • 7
      0

      The discussion on the presidential elections are based on assumptions that it should happen before Ocotober 2024. But the two tradional major political parties who dominated almost all the elections that happened in this island are keeping silence about their candidate/s or what is their strategy. Still we are not sure whether the Presidential elections happen or not but they have the power to make any changes or amendments to the constitution or creating an enviorment that is necessary to delay the elections for any length using the two third majority or military power. They are also in a position or capable of doing this with the alliance of super powers. Even If we assume that the Anurakumara gets the power, it is impossible for him to continue for long without dancing to their music.

    • 5
      1

      paragon ,

      In a nutshell , Sri Lanka can not afford to Sleep with the West
      and Wake up with Anura !

      • 6
        0

        why why
        no problem.She is used to sleeping with anybody as long as she gets $$$$$$$

      • 7
        0

        WW,
        Thank you. Many will not see it. why ? The perception of men has made them like toads in wells. Just look at Muizzi, the new president who was elected with anti-Indian slogans and fell on his knees in front of the Indians yesterday. can you imagine ? The same is the case with our BP who thought that China would take their side after coming back to power, but China did not treat Gotabha as special….

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DID8lY7Gm_k&list=TLPQMjMwMzIwMjSfgWmkrZYIBQ&index=6

  • 4
    15

    No, Gotabaya’s fertilizer policy and banning of certain imports were not socialist. They were severely capitalistic, and were undertaken to save country- money to build up the offshore monetary base of the Lankan US$$-billonaire class. That was the Rajapaksarian Vistas of Prosperity : To roll country money on the world markets and control the trickle back to See Lanka! They were to build up via them and only them; it was their last ditch effort. All was lost however. Country resides in bankruptcy.

    Tamil Masses would prefer to align themselves with the South. Only reason that they wanted out was the successive governments’ capitalistic drives. Take the Jayawardena capitalistic drive for example : The very drive that caused 30-year war to erupt. There was more fraternity with south during the Sirimavo era, which given another 10 years to develop, would have produced country wonders.

    So, we can safely say that the Masses know it is high time a government of greater socialism of modernity is installed. Anura Kumara Dissanayake win the elections.

    • 6
      1

      “There WAS MORE FRATERNITY WITH SOUTH during the Sirimavo era, which given another 10 years to develop, would have produced country wonders”
      My take, Sirimavo was more Matriarchal Invention of Conformity, for everything existential Life, most Importantly, “Standardisation and District Quota System (S+DQS) of University, Higher Education Entry, classifying Northern Province, some parts of East as Equivalent Higher Education Standard and Equally Facilitated to Colombo and it’s Precincts in Western Province!!!?? More equitable process would be to Upgrade facilities in Southern Sinhala areas, than deprive some because, they chose for Private educational institutions funded by Missionaries – American Mission, Catholic Church – than Pirivena education LACKING probably GOOD Teachers – due lack of Funding – and access to grounding to enjoy modern educational methods and systems as obtained in foreign funded Private schools!!??
      If that was due to Patriotism, there should have been evidence on the part of Government and that body, governing – Sinhalese majority governance – to correct such anomalies within short time period, we had 70+ years since Independence and 50+ years since, Malaise was identified!!!??? They had no cause or call to develop educational facilities in Sinhala dominated areas!! Nationalistic!
      Of course, Educational Development, of any kind, DOESN’T ENHANCE One’s “Hip-Pocket”, IMPORTANTLY!!??

    • 6
      10

      AKD will* win the elections.

      • 5
        12

        I agree with ramona. AKD will win the elections. It will be a resounding victory.

      • 7
        0

        ramona ,

        What makes you think majority of Siri Lankans will so quickly
        get Enlightened by the Public Awareness Speeches of the N P P
        Experts whose only strength is the Weaknesses of the Rogue
        and corrupt Rulers ? Don’t you ever believe the Rogues were the
        Products of this same Majority Citizens ? Suddenly They Will
        have A Holy Bath and Betray Their Beloved Masters to Become
        Angels Of The Paradise ?

        • 2
          5

          Why why,

          Why, I mean we ALL were for Rajapaksas at one time. We thought they had novel set of plans. We thought they were Socialist in nature. But when their novel plans did not come to fruition, we thought that they would consolidate all that was left and socialize for the sake of the people. Even if Gotabaya wanted to, all those power-hungry ambassadors enticed hm to go the other way, and continue on with things like Channel Island accounts and see how much of the money of the hardworking-suffering-SL_workers’ money they could invest in the global arena. Fell flat on its face, didn’t it! Polity is very aware of the stupidity of the Rajapaksa actions and the policies they are STILL implementing. Basil came back to Motherland with huge bucks gotten from undisclosed lenders of which the workers of the country will have to pay back in a worser way as soon as the elections are over.

          Now with the NPP, one can be sure that they will truly socialize all of the ill-begotten wealth and begin and build our Motherland from scratch. That done, linking up to the global prosperity should take about 6 years.

          • 7
            0

            Ramona,
            “Why, I mean we ALL were for Rajapaksas at one time.”
            I know you were for the Rajapaksas, but not me. How do you know you’re not making the same mistake again? As WhyWhy says, the voters were responsible for the situation.

            • 1
              7

              OC,

              Lankan masses were never given a chance to go the Socialist way due to the torture and death camps of the autocratic capitalistic rulers. They and their children have suffered for consecutive generations as a result. Finally, they have a chance to choose what they truly want as country bankruptcy has filled them with great fear and dismay.

              • 3
                0

                Ramona
                They chose bankruptcy themselves.

                • 1
                  3

                  OC,…like I said, they never had a choice till now.

                  • 4
                    0

                    A K D was a 2019 Presidential candidate . You never had a
                    choice till now ? My couple of questions were drawn from
                    past experiences about the voting habits of our voters and
                    your calculation in my view is , a youtube baby ramona .
                    Did you hear , as Festive Season is round the corner , the
                    clothing store NO LIMIT caught fire and all further news
                    suddenly vanished ? My calculations about a possible
                    unexpected election result is done in a different way and
                    for that we have to wait . What if an election is not held
                    at all ?

                    • 1
                      1

                      Dear whywhy,
                      .
                      Although AKD was a candidate in 2019, he had no chance after the Easter bombs.
                      .
                      I, nevertheless wanted to boost the NPP tally as much as possible, so (AKD = 1) on my ballot paper.
                      .
                      There may still have been a slim chance of Sajith Premadasa overhauling Gota. Therefore, (Sajith P= 3) on my ballot. Why not (SP=2)? In effect it didn’t matter because ballots get counted only TWICE – work it out! Readers who can’t, don’t dabble with PREFERENCES. My giving Sajith a vote – One or Two was a calculated act. It could have made a difference in a close contest. There was no way that I would have given Gota any Preference.
                      .
                      I gave my SECOND to Nagananda Kodituwakku’s nominee – Dr Ajantha Perera. I still have her contact details! I did contact her, and she was disappointed that I had NOT given (Ajantha=1). I said no way that would have been done!
                      .
                      Subsequent developments have shown me to have been right.
                      .
                      Panini

                  • 2
                    3

                    OC,

                    And NPP was never a choice till now. People were still living in fright of what the wannabe Capitalist governments did to the people’s Buddhistic socialist leanings. You either got paid to shut-up, or you were tortured and killed in death camps. The thought of socialism (in a country as poor and dysfunctional as ours) was almost erased from their minds.

                    Social media and international inquiries into what has happened in our country during times of capitalist accumulation, together with the shock of bankruptcy after all the long years of hard work by the masses, have made them know that a government of intellegent Socialism is the only way to go.

          • 2
            0

            ‘Now with the NPP, one can be sure that they will truly socialize all of the ill-begotten wealth and begin and build our Motherland from scratch. That done, linking up to the global prosperity should take about 6 years.” High expectations indeed. Didn’t we have high expectations with MR & then GR making SL the ‘wonder of Asia’ & a ‘country like no other?’. Dream on, Ramona.
            Seems the NPP are not so sure of your vision because they are not disclosing their strategy, maybe, because they don’t want others to copy

      • 11
        0

        Dear Readers,
        .
        Ramona can be a good fortune teller. A country where over 69 lakh voters elected a former petrol shed assistant as president. What cant go wrong in our WONDER LAND ?

        By May 2009, when Sri Lankan civilians and others were being killed, the streets were filled with people eating milk rice. Remember ? The country is filled with more venomous reptile-like human beasts.. that is the reality.

        This is also the country where the real killers of the East Sunday bomb disaster were held as real heroes. Mahendra Rajapaksa should be hanged for all this mess…

        This is also a country where innocient Dr Safi and his family were attacked in public….

        That artist – MADHUMADHAWA is still entertaining his MADHU SAMAYA… even if he was one of the KEY men that publicly hurt the muslims-srilankens.
        .
        and the very same RAJAAKSHES are still miles away from being arrested…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b6l_fCavwc&t=20s

      • 4
        2

        Ramona,
        .
        Didn’t you predict that MaRa et al would win the 2015 PE? You were a staunch supporter of the MEDAMULANA rascals of that time.

        But the result was that all Sri Lankans stood up against Mara and others. I have no doubt that the people of our lost island – the one-time murderer-rebels – will not be respected as our ruling nation. However we saw, on the other hand, I wish the NPP had dominated that coalition. The NPP has little power in JVP dominated NPP. If anyone has a gripe, please come up with constructive feedback so we can modify our ideas. We are not affiliated to any party, but we support real change.
        .
        Btw, I believe there are not even a million of Sri Lankans living in developed countries. So AKD ‘s targeting them and overestimating JVP-NPP victory is ridiculous.

        The same idiotic assumption was made about Premadasa’s son in 2019.

        • 1
          3

          “leelagemalli”,

          If you support real change, declare you identity, live in Lanka, and vote at elections.
          .
          When AKD visited your European city, you did not attend his meeting there, to seek clarification OR suggest improvements.
          .
          You’re just a nuisance who venerates whites and hates all living coloured people. Ranil W. you seem to consider an honorary White.
          .
          AND you are given to using obscene language, plus exhibiting you knowledge of German words. Note that I don’t do that.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

    • 17
      3

      ramona therese fernando

      “Take the Jayawardena capitalistic drive for example : The very drive that caused 30-year war to erupt. “

      The 30 year war did not start with JR’s capitalistic drive, however its seeds were planted, watered, groomed, natured, ……. and, … by the very first post independence government, serious damages were made by the socialist government of Bandaranayakes, …… and subsequent racist policies, and by the racist state building policies of functionaries.

      Any chance Lester is your sibling?
      He does think and type like you.

      • 3
        14

        Tamil Masses, always a peaceful crowd, were quite happy to tend to their flocks and fields, fish on their seas, and indulge their intellect in the mathematics and sciences. Only their 1%, i.e. the Colombo Tamils, in linkage with an Elite Jaffna monetary system with ancient antediluvian Eelam as the excuse, had the problem with Sinhalese owning the South. Most of such greed and delusion got stomped out by SWRD Bandaranayake’s time. Sirimavo’s time, and the Tamils Masses were very happy to link hands with the Sinhalese and go about their peaceful pursuits and rise in a gradual and systematic way towards some Western integration after colonization.

  • 9
    8

    Vote is the only weapon we have; And, our weapon is totally blunted.
    We voted for a Sarath Fonseka, – No better than a JVPer.
    We voted for a Sirisena, – No better than a Rajapaksa.
    We have voted for a Ranil, – always to be let down.
    Then the conundrum is whom to vote … ?
    Tamils should vote strategicall so that no Sinhala has a clear win!

  • 13
    3

    “If that was the case, aragalaya should have resurfaced when the local elections were postponed.”
    As any protests in SL will be violently suppressed by the State, no one has dared to express their objections by demonstrations. “Aragalaya” was not solely concerned with economics but also for breaking the corrupt practices of the rulers. These people are hoping the NPP will bring in the System Change that the country needs after the peaceful election in September/October 2024.

    • 2
      5

      Yes, Neo-Aragalaya didn’t/doesn’t have a chance with Ranil’s despotic water cannons, poison gas, police truncheons, jail, torture, and death.

    • 7
      1

      Naman ,

      After ‘Ara – Gala ‘ , who threw more ‘ Gals ‘ ? The corrupt proved
      the Game was not Over yet ! Do you Honestly Believe Siri Lanka
      is Crying For A System Change ? What is being chased after is ,
      ” what we do not have , nobody else should have ! ” Is this System
      Change ?

  • 18
    2

    It is too early to say AKD will win. The Sinhala right is regrouping. Ranil is being portrayed as the saviour who eliminated the shortages and improved the economy, with the rupee getting stronger ( not due to R’s efficiency but the voters do not know about that). We see Gotabhaya being received by the Mahanayakes. At the appropriate time, the yettlow brigade will come out. There will be more “archaeological” sites found in the NorthEast. Rajapakses will fight to conserve their ill-gotten wealth and the chances of Namal open by spending at least half their loot so that the other half may remain safe. There are still many imponderables and they are not connected with the minorities. The main question is whether the Sinhalayas will get misled once more and will not be able to crawl out of their Mahavamsa mud-hole.

    • 7
      2

      I agree, dear Cicero,
      .
      Anura could still lose, and to whom? To Ranil!
      .
      Bookmark this article and this comment. I predict that in August (just about a month before polling) Ranil will proclaim that his economic policies have succeeded. Therefore, he will say, salary and pension increases can be granted.
      .
      He will announce that bread, sugar, flour and imported milk powder will be cheaper, without telling us that soon after the elections they will be increased even more.
      .
      Ranil just wants to be elected President; what happens after that will not bother him. He still won’t want to deal with a huge number of NPP supporters, who he knows will just not cross over to support him. But what of that? Support for the NPP will collapse if they don’t do well at the next election that is held. If they fare moderately well at the Parliamentary Elections, they could still win the Presidential.
      .
      The Rajapaksas know that they can whip up communalism, and win a few Parliamentary seats. That is why they want those elections held first. They will definitely fare badly at Presidential Elections.
      .
      What were we saying before the 2019 results?
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/presidential-election-the-truth-about-the-ulfs-stand/

    • 8
      4

      Cicero,
      .
      As a physics graduate (who has never worked as a graduate in his entire life) I thought that AKD would not have any kind of easy arithmatic problems.
      To my surprise, as the “self-proclaimed future president” AKD says, wealthy Sri Lankans living outside our country (4 million ?????) are financially supporting their future government.
      These are no different to his fairy tales about how investors will build this country after AKD wins the next election.

      Please see the approximate number of Sri Lankans living outside the country below.
      Not even 80,000 in Germany
      United Kingdom – 100 000
      Australia – 150 000
      Switzerland – 40 000
      Canada – 100 – 200 K
      Scandinavian countries – 200
      North America – 200 K

      Isn’t the unconfirmed number highly questionable about anything coming from JVP-NPP? They are just liars and jokers.
      .
      They believe only JVP-NPP the clean and capable men and women, that even Eran and Harsha are not clean people for them. Harsha has predicted it from the begining on… he is one of the good economists that we have in the country today. Sunil H is a joker compared to the capacities of Harsha and Eran.

  • 12
    0

    hate is never a political solution

    • 11
      0

      J
      But it fetches votes.

    • 10
      1

      whose hate ?

      JVP ?

      SLPP?

      All others ?

      Last time it was national safety.. BUt it ended up elected leader had to seek for his own safety.

      This time AKDISM ?

  • 9
    0

    Political leopard do change their spots. Hope he does it for the good of the country. He should speak either Tamil or English for communicate with non-Sinhala masses. Any president of the country should speak both Sinhala and Tamil. Fairly elementary. Incidentally, NPP leader is to visit Canada soon.

    • 4
      1

      Dear Fairmindedone,
      .
      I agree that it would have been nice had AKD been able to use English, but he doesn’t, and I think that it is too late for him to start learning now. Unfortunate!
      .
      I have met him, and talked in Sinhala. Were he to talk English in the hearing of any Sri Lankan (even a Tamil) he’s likely to make the sort of mistake that “kaputu kaak kaak, Basil Rajapaksa” once made.
      .
      We have never heard him speak English is correct, but he probably does with non-Sri Lankans. When I see him listening to English, and then responding in Sinhala, it is clear to me that he understands English well.
      .
      Please report to us if you have heard that he has taken any unacceptable stand – going on the translations that you hear of!
      .
      Sinhala is my mother tongue and I can speak it well, but can’t write it. No Tamil at all! Honesty is better than humbug!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela

  • 8
    0

    Political leopard do change their spots. Hope he does it for the good of the country. He should speak either Tamil or English for communicate with non-Sinhala masses.

    Any president of the country should speak both Sinhala and Tamil. Fairly elementary. Incidentally, NPP leader is to visit Canada soon.

    • 3
      1

      Dear Fairmindedone,
      .
      AKD has been live in Toronto a few hours ago. I haven’t heard it yet:
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTLyivkduzg
      .
      Two hundred minutes of it. Please give us your views on the meeting.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe in Bandarawela

  • 2
    2

    Gender Equality…

    What does this mean? Does it mean we are equal in every way? Does it mean access to wealth irrespective of Merritt but only based on their Gender? ….

    Empowerment Of Women…

    Does it mean women have no power? Does it mean they are not in powerful positions? Should men hand over power just based on Gender without assessment? Does women have to earn their place through hard work and dedication or it’s not relevant? …

    JVP Capitalism…

    Is it the general idea where you make a system and give access to capital and higher rewards when starting business? Is the government going interfere and reduce the free market trends?
    Is it going to be 50 percent communism and 50 percent capitalism? ….

    Other than the above questions we need to know where their morals based on? …

    Is it going to be above religion and culture?…

    Is there restrictions to free speech when you challenge the government?…

    Will they restrict the free internet Media and social Media platforms?…

    Will they change the education based on their agenda?…

    Definitely change is required but not radically… Like India and Indonesia, we need to plan for 20 years at least and change the course gradually….

  • 2
    3

    Definitely change is required but not radically… Like India and Indonesia, we need to plan for 20 years at least and change the course gradually….

    In this current trend in the world you have to trust our business community and build hope in our society without harming the social equity…

    More social equity will give less burden to the financial system…
    We have an edge compared to many countries in the world to be resilient through increasing our social equity…

    I believe this election will be planned in such a way to make Sachith Premadasa the president of Sri Lanka and the Prime minister to be Ranil Wickramasinghe….

    This plan will benefit India…
    China Camp Rajapaksa will loose…
    No chance Anura will win the election without the backing of India…

    • 4
      1

      Oh, Dear!
      Sura, From which planet you landed in Sri Lanka. For you to even think of ‘Sachith Premadasa the president of Sri Lanka and the Prime minister to be Ranil Wickramasinghe….’.
      Ranil might want to sue you for insulting him!

  • 11
    2

    “President Anura Kumara Dissanayake”

    Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

    • 11
      2

      Dear Rational Thinkers,
      .
      Not a single party will get 30% result. People are indifferent. They don’t care about elections anymore.
      . Most people don’t want to vote. I think AKD already named Lacherlich as “future president”: the same was the case with Gotabha, who was finally “thrown away” by the people. I think every party should be clear. Who will they form an alliance with? Instability will deepen the . crisis situation. Developed countries can afford it, but Sri Lanka, a country robbed of everything by the Rajapaksas, has no choice but to beg again.

  • 9
    2

    I do not support this PERSONALITY-based politics. This idealism of “Persons” is the biggest problem that led to the ill-fated situation of S/L. A “President”; a “PM”; or a “Minister” develops ideas of his/her own and comes up with proposals that are imposed upon the followers and slaves who say “YES” without batting an eyelid. For the last seven decades, we have suffered from this type of “Idealism” of a “Person”. This does not infer that we should not have a “Leader” but contrarily, a leader must be a member of a “Collective” who will have the know-how and the capacity to practice what has been decided collectively in a “Team” spirited manner. Didn’t we see this at the last “No-Confidence” motion against the Minister of Health? Fortunately, the Law Enforcement was “Forced” to accept the truth.

    This Personality based politics must stop. Who is AKD? We don’t want AKD’s ideas. Those can be placed before a team and let that decision of the collective be the policy to be implemented through the careful watch and guidance of a leader. That is the role of AKD if and when NPP comes to power. If in the event AKD is not adhering to such collective policy directives, the “AKD” must be removed and given that responsibilty to any other who could implement the policies.

    • 6
      0

      Hello Douglas,
      Appreciated your post here – Food for thought, in deed. Evidently, personality politics has been terrible for this country but the citizenry seems to have obliged thus far.

      I can imagine the approach you have proposed being practical for NPP because as far as I can see only NPP avails such a wide spanning collective (but perhaps not as widely representative as it could be).

      Seems what you have proposed isn’t practical under the existing framework. Further legislation would be needed.

      For the NPP collective to (1) keep a leash on the whole elected NPP set and (2) dismiss anyone, particularly the president, in case of deviation from the party policy or the consensus of the collective, has NPP laid out plans to that effect? Will the candidates pledge to resign from their seats should they fall short?

      My understanding is that the current legislations permit MPs to get ejected from their party but not their seat in the parliament. Nothing on ejecting the executive prez from the party because it wouldn’t make difference…?

      • 3
        0

        Sungdh: Thanks for your input. Yes. It is a proposal by the NPP. Of course, Legislation will have to be introduced, and to do most of what NPP proposes, it has to gain a 2/3rd majority. A President could be impeached, if he/she does not adhere to policy statements. Even the NPP proposes to add the “Manifesto” to the Constitution, as a subject, and make it possible for any citizen to seek redress at the SC. Further NPP has pledged to change the “Political Culture”, in that, if any of its members violates the code of ethics that would be established, that member, including an MP would be removed. JVP has done this, in the case of one of its MPs e.g. MP – Polgampola.

        I support these changes, which are “MUSTS” to regain our country.

  • 17
    3

    Anura Kumara Dissanayake is now in Canada.

    So far Dissanayake has only promised that his party will provide 3 meals a day to all without distinction. They will treat everyone alike. Tamils will not buy these promises. The Tamils are less worried about the economy, they are more worried about equal rights and equal opportunity.

    Dissanayaka must come clean with the issue of sharing power at the level of provincial councils. In the past, the JVP has vehemently opposed any move to even decentralise state power.

    Historical temples belonging to Hindu Tamils are under siege by militant Sinhala – Buddhists aided and abetted by the Army, Police, Archeological Department, Mahaweli Development Board, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Department etc.

    On 08 March 2024 when Hindu Tamils gathered at the historical temple Vedukkunari Athi Lingeswarar temple at Nedunkerny, the Police and the Army prevented them their religious rites, trampled the idols with their boots and arrested 8 persons, including the high priest. They even prevented drinking water being taken atop the hill.

    Will Dissanayaka guarantee freedom of association and freedom of worship for Hindu Tamils?

    As enumerated by the author of the article the JVP has a track record of being anti-Tamil while pretending to embrace socialism. The JVP has vehemently opposed 13A, the merger of Northeast and power-sharing between the centre and provinces.

  • 17
    2

    When you look at Sri Lankans and specially its leaders do you think they are the stuff that can build a First Wold County ?

    Ranil is a jonah who brought his UNP down to no seats in parliament from one time two thirds.

    Sajith is an empty vessel.

    Anura is absorbed in 19th and early 20th Century ideas motivated by social resentments.

    The people are not so capable and inclined towards living on aid and sympathy.

    Ultimately the people get what they deserve

    • 7
      0

      Deepthi, on the whole, seems we aren’t just financially bankrupt but bankrupt of values essential for enduring success.

  • 2
    2

    President Anura Kumara Dissanayake is a frightening thought for only some Sinhalese.
    President Anura Kumara Dissanayake is a frightening thought for most Tamils.

    • 3
      0

      “President Anura Kumara Dissanayake is a frightening thought for many Tamils”


      Burning of the country is not only a slow economy but also long-term ethnic problems that have killed the people of this country. People hired by Rajapaksa self-indulgence may mislead the CT readers again, however the people will hear the truth. It is up to the public to decide, even if they do not have the least knowledge to think about it.

      Why does not AKD and his wonder making lamp take it seriously?
      Why don’t the northern leaders ask AKD about this on and on?

      RAJAPKASHES are not only racists, they were reinforced by AKD led groups over the years. JVPrs are in politics for the last 52 years. Not only other leaders, but JVP leaders should be complicit to lanken destruction.

      That is the known fact. Perhaps that is why many northern Sri Lankans fear the dawn of an AKD government.

      We have southern extremists and nothern extremists. there we dont need to argue anymore. They are facts. If extremists would govern this country we become all extremists to the world. Then we will be seen as ” second NORTH KOREA” in asia.

      I see a REAL VENESULIAN GOVT out of srilanka is in making. I really dont what others feel…. Aiyoooooo.

  • 8
    1

    CT must open a Bucket Shop page and an Astrological Page.
    There are plenty of players for the former and experts for the latter.

  • 7
    0

    I am not sure how many will throw in their hat for the Presidential election but if I remember correctly, there was a ridiculous number of candidates last time round & I am not sure how many were strategic vote breakers or simply jokers. Currently, I believe the main contenders are RW, Premadasa jnr. & AKD. RW was a lost cause but to be fair by him, he has brought some stability after a catastrophe & if anybody else could have done a better job is arguable, therefore, deserve some thought, provided he can come up with a realistic strategy related to current problems, particularly, the revival of the economy. He was taken for a ride by a bogus VW investment but it also show the gullibility & incompetence of our Ministry of Trade & the BOI. There have been innovators producing diesel from waste polythene to elect. supercar able to challenge Tesla & the likes, so, it’s time we are realistic about these fabulous inventions & not get carried away as a technical hub with cutting edge technology. We need foreign direct investment for technology transfer & RW, maybe, acceptable to investors more than the others.
    Cont.

    • 6
      0

      Raj,
      “but it also show the gullibility & incompetence of our Ministry of Trade & the BOI”
      Remember the “inventor ” who got state support for his purported water-powered car?
      And the whiz-kid who got a million bucks from Sirisena for inventing a “rocket”?

      • 4
        0

        OC

        I am not aware of the inventions you have mentioned because I am not well informed or uptodate with the happenings in SL but I have heard that an investigation into Ravana’s flying machine was in the cards, maybe to prove the engineering prowess of our ancestors (unfortunately those genes seem to have got lost in time) & when we have even Ministers endorsing a concoction for COVID passed on by a divine entity to a carpenter in his dreams, what can we expect from the govt. & the gullible masses?
        We are country where politicians will sell their own mother for a quick buck, so let any politician with integrity, prove his or her capability first.

          • 1
            0

            Hello OC and Raj-UK,
            I had some serious discussions with my Sri Lankan Friends and Relatives regarding Juju (sorry Ayurvedic) medicine. I maintained that without Double-blind Clinical trials and peer review of the Data/Evidence you cannot give these products a licence for Human use. I pointed out the obvious failures of the snake-oil Covid 19 remedies. As I found out during my many visits to Cancer Ward 48, many people were desperate to find some magic bullet that would cure their loved ones. Most that I talked to had tried the Ayurvedic treatments ( I was always respectful of their beliefs and hopes). The Charlatans that peddle these products should be jailed for fraud .
            Best regards

            • 6
              0

              LS,
              The sad thing is there are in fact benefits from traditional Ayurveda, like in the setting of broken bones. There are effective cures for diabetes, using various leaves/ legumes, but dosage is hit-and-miss, because the practitioners don’t share the knowledge.. There is, for example, a famous practitioner running a hospital in Anuradhapura, who claims to cure heart problems (for a fee of course), but nobody else knows how he does it.
              Another problem comes from the fake “Doctors” ( Juju artists) who use the brand to sell snake oil, like the crop of “covid cures”.
              Ayurveda is a sacred cow, and rules applied to Western medicine don’t apply. Double-blind tests? Are you joking?

              • 0
                1

                Dear old codger,
                .
                You do have a point here. I saw this comment, and gave it a “like” after submitting my Volkswagen response to Raj-UK.
                .
                Panini Edirisinhe

            • 1
              0

              Dear LS and other rational thinkers.
              .
              Thanks for your comment. It is not easy to conduct double-blind clinical trials for alternative medicines in clinical research. We for us tried to include Sri Lanka in some projects in vascular medicine, which was not easy with Sri Lanka’s national laws. Then we gave up the project participation from srilanka. We instead got in ttouch with Singapore and Malaysia last year. Every clinical trial must comply with various international, national, regional and other laws of ETHICS.

          • 4
            0

            OC
            Thanks for the link.
            Capitalising on illness where desperate patients will ‘beg borrow or steal’ to fund treatment is despicable. ‘Endorsements’ by State Universities which bring credibility to these ‘innovations’ should be investigated & those involved should be tried in a court of law for fraud. The divine COVID concoction was a fraud, plain & simple, & those responsible for the promotion, including, the Dept. Ayurveda & the stupid Ministers, for misleading the gullible masses should have been held accountable. We need educated & intelligent people in the govt., not illiterate jokers who can be conned easily.
            Working in the Motor Industry, I was amused to hear about the VW plant in SL because it did not make sense as there is a massive VW plant in China serving the region & for the biggest manufacturer in the world (VW as a group), the domestic SL market would be insignificant for such an investment, financially & strategically
            Cont

            • 3
              0

              Cont
              Then there was a supercar claimed to have been designed & built in SL. It is a remarkable achievement but nothing is heard about it now.

              A motor sports enthusiast in Croatia who had been preparing performance cars, started a similar concept around 2017 called Rimac & Porsche immediately bought a stake in the company as the development costs are beyond a small company. After the first car was developed, VW Group, which owns Porsche, went in to collaboration with Remak & the result is Bugatti-Remac, benefitting from the expertise of Bugatti (also owned by VW) in manufacturing & marketing the product. However, this is a custom built low volume vehicle & though profitable for the owners, does not make Croatia a global manufacturer of motor vehicles but it certainly puts Croatia in the map with the potential for others to invest with the ‘transfer of technology’. Had SL’s own supercar been a viable project, it would have been snapped up long ago, even by an unheard Chinese investor. I hope future govts. will not be taken for a ride & crackdown on con artists, & even professionals who prostitute their integrity on such ‘sensational’ inventions.

            • 0
              1

              Dear Raj-UK,
              .
              You have said this above:
              .
              it did not make sense as there is a massive VW plant in China serving the region & for the biggest manufacturer in the world (VW as a group), the domestic SL market would be insignificant for such an investment, financially & strategically“.
              .
              Now that is sound reasoning. You were able to say it without hammering your head against a wall until a headache was caused, because you you knew the industry well. It was a valuable insight.
              .
              However, most of the time, when you very seriously say things from the UK without knowing the ground situation, then you are likely to say something that is not really valid. Often the same thing for me; I’m so different from my neighbouring villagers that I can’t really see things from their point of view.
              .
              Tie that up with my never treating you as a mischief maker. Contrastingly, I admire old codger’s wit, but I’m wary of accepting his arguments.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe

    • 5
      2

      Dear Raj-UK,
      .
      Please try to be objective
      where-ever possible.
      .
      On the 16th of November 2019, Thirty-five persons contested the Presidential Elections. Results were released the following day.
      .
      I’m not providing you with a link to prove that.
      .
      Thereafter, how you categorise these candidates is going to be subjective. Most would agree that 34 were men, and one was a woman.
      .
      All 35 homo-sapiens (includes Gota, who may not have been a citizen) started off with theoretically equal chances, so it is the voters who are to blame for us ending up with with a mess.
      .
      What you say about the current main contenders seems acceptable, and Wikipedia has already opened a page for our next election.
      .
      But who knows what will happen in the future? There can be accidents, assassinations, etc.
      .
      I have expectations! Yes, lots of candidates; a few whom you have referred to probably take themselves quite seriously. None more than Nagananda Kodituwakku who was not even allowed to run in 2019.
      .
      If I vote, it’ll be for the NPP candidate, who will almost definitely be AKD.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 4
        0

        SM
        I am trying to be objective. I don’t know about your assumptions but for me, 30 or more candidates is a joke & the only reason I think of is its strategic value, breaking the votes of one or more candidate among a wide vote base. Anyway, I am not a political strategist, so I don’t know much about ‘strategic voting’. In UK also, there is the ‘Monster Raving Looney Party’, which has been providing candidates for many years for whatever reason, often losing the deposit.

        Unless a candidate or a party comes up with realistic policies & strategy in the form of a political manifesto, I will consider as a joke, not to be taken seriously. As for Naganada, he may not have an affiliated party but he has record of standing up to Parliamentary perks & privileges, therefore, has my respect.

        • 0
          1

          Dear Raj,
          .
          I have met Nagananda, and I consider him to be honest.
          .
          But what an ego! He has by now become a joke to me.
          .
          I know that there are lots of voters at any election in England. So why bother with them here.
          .
          However, many minor candidates in the UK espouse valid interests – like the Greens. what is appalling is the situation America, where little coverage is given to any except the candidates of the two major parties – and their candidates now tend to be so old.
          .
          You’re a decent enough guy, but you ask too many questions, without bothering to to do much reading or listening.
          .
          But don’t go away; it’s nice to have you around!

    • 3
      0

      “I am not sure how many were strategic vote breakers or simply jokers.”
      No strategic vote breaker has made a impression in Sri Lankan presidential elections so far.
      But forced boycott (2005 by LTTE) and physical prevention (1989 by JVP in some provinces of the south) have made a significant difference.

      • 2
        0

        SJ

        You know best.

        The JVP used intimidation to prevent voters from voting in 1987 but the LTTE influence on voters has a conspiracy element, which Tiran Alles has publicly stated but no action taken, considering the fact, it is an indirect accusation of treason, therefore, needing attention. If GR came forward to save the nation from muslim terrorism, wonder if something similar will be on the cards this time round as food for thought to voters who are in a dilemma deciding on which candidate.

  • 10
    0

    Cont.
Premadasa jnr, despite his LSE education & ‘sophistication’, has not made any significant contribution to call his own in all his years in politics & still riding on his old man’s wave. He carries baggage & I have heard allegations of his family’s involvement in a property scandal, which questions his incorrupt credentials. Perhaps, the SJB would be better off with a more credible leader. This leaves out only AKD, the former underdog, as the leading contender.
    AKD is a skilled orator, not a gutter mouth as others & appears to be humble & sincere. He has exposed corruption but he & his party have been helpless in bringing in any reforms, which, many expect from him once he comes to power. However, walking the talk is not easy, particularly, for a lone crusader but if he can abolish the not-fit-for-purpose Presidency, scrap all privileges of politicians, particularly, the perks of past Presidents, which are a burden to the average citizen, reform law & order & bring all culprits, from master minds to the minnows who raped the country, to justice, AKD has my vote. As for the NPP governing the country, I have my doubts. Despite the hype, there seems to be no clear strategy for current problems & supporters of NPP are making excuses & assumptions.

    • 3
      1

      Dear Raj-UK,
      .
      Have you heard this yet?

      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9Lu36rnYNo

      This was an intelligent, civilised and frank 100 minute discussion in fluent English that appeared four nights ago. Views from Eran Wickremaratne, Harshana Nanayakkara, Shanikyan Rasamainikkam, and Janaka Ratnayake. I learnt a great deal from it.
      .
      There are worthwhile people other than AKD; some of them even in other parties.
      .
      Politics is tough, but all those talking there had something worthwhile to say, and seemed sincere – even Janaka Ratnayake.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 4831114V) of Bandarawela

      • 2
        3

        Dear Sinhala_Man, I am uncomfortably surprised!
        Have you heard this yet?
        ??
        I haven’t seen you making such a blunder!

        • 2
          1

          Dear Nathan,
          .
          What is the blunder? I’m pretty sure that this must be connected with my saying that I’ve been a Teacher of English. Must be to do with the meaning of a word.
          .
          Since it was a video, I guess that I ought to have said, “viewed” this.
          .
          Well, so far, technology has succeeded only in getting us to exercise two of our five senses – sight and sound.
          .
          Why not start working at ways in which we, on the other side of the world, can know the smells, tastes, and tactile sensations generated at the source. Patent the technology, and you will get rich beyond all imagination.
          .
          I hope that I have got the five senses right. That’s how we receive all knowledge, (including what is spiritual?)
          .
          Warning! It sounds as though you are dealing with trivialities.
          .
          Panini

          • 2
            6

            Dear, Dear!
            Did I stop on your toe!
            (I used the word, ‘uncomfortably’.)
            Dear Sinhala_Man,
            I am surprised again!
            Your sentence: Have you heard this yet?
            My view: Haven’t you heard this yet?

            • 2
              2

              STEP; not STOP.

            • 0
              0

              Dear Sinhala_Man,
              Is, ‘Have you heard this yet?’, acceptable?
              Shouldn’t it be, ‘Haven’t you heard this yet?’.
              .
              I am only trying to correct myself.

          • 0
            2

            Triviality is relative.

  • 6
    0

    Raj-UK: Some of the things that you want AKD are not his promises, but all those are in the “Ajenda” and “Policy” framework of the NPP.

    This NPP is now a broad-based social organization that determines what policies and agendas to put into action are decided upon on a collective basis. Therefore, as I have commented above, this “AKD” factor is to head a “TEAM” and be “Responsible” and “Accountable” to a broad-based collective outfit. Please study the organizational structure of NPP.

    Please note there are no “I” and “ME”. It is only, “YOU” and “TEAM”. I know AKD has acknowledged and accepted that ideology. I trust, AKD to LEAD and do all that you said (and many more) in the last part of your comment.

    • 5
      2

      SM, Douglas

      OK, so lets hear the collective policies & agendas of the ‘broad-based social organisation’you call the NPP. So far, I have heard ’empowerment of women’ by the leader of the NPP women’s front, which is nothing but politicising a non existent gender issue. I would have had respect for these female members of NPP if they addressed the root causes, poverty & lack of opportunity on a broader scale, instead of ‘liberating’ women of SL. In fact, I wont be surprised if the Bhikku front would also demand ’empowerment’.
      As I have always said, lets have all the objectives & policies as an election manifesto.
      Talks & discussions are usually personal opinions, not binding commitments, unless officially endorsed. We need this information to make an educated decision.

      • 0
        2

        Dear Raj-UK,
        .
        Despite all the electronic media that humans have developed, we still have problems – because we are humans whose lives are short if you consider the amount of knowledge now on offer, and take account of the pace at which we can absorb it. Contradictions galore! A good reader can probably absorb faster than he can listen.
        .
        If you’re still hankering for a written manifesto, it possibly means that you haven’t heard what Harshana Nanayakkara said from 17 minutes 38 seconds (i.e. 17:38) to 18:04 in this video which I’ve already suggested for you – but I’m not blamingyou!
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9Lu36rnYNo
        .
        Note that I have requested you to listen to less than half a minute. Fortunately, Harshana talks fast. Raj, we’ve been exchanging comments for a few years now. I fear that you cherish desires to perfectly understand the situation here, whilst now having a “Brit’s view” of this country. I hope that you won’t think that I’m ridiculing you. You are sensitive. I’m very aware of my own limitations in understanding others.
        .
        Let me hope that you ponder on that – without getting mad!
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

      • 2
        1

        Raj-UK: Please read through the UP-DATED “Rapid Response” – the Policy Framework, now available in NPP.lk.

        That Manifesto that you are waiting for would be drafted in keeping with that Policy Framework. As I said earlier, sorry to say, you are not updating on the political situation in this country, but keep harping on what is pre-conceived.

        • 1
          0

          SM, Douglas

          Any serious political party has it’s own political manifesto which is a commitment to achieving the objectives outlined. What SM is implying is that SL is not advanced as UK, therefore, a comprehensive manifesto is not necessary. If that is the case, I am sure the intellectual membership of the NPP is capable of taking politics in SL to the next level by emulating UK (or any developed country) by producing a clear strategy of their main objectives, how it is to be achieved, the time frame & the funding required. Interviews & discussions are not always a reflection of party policy but the political manifesto is. I don’t have the time nor the interest in hearing politicians, unless, it is a live debate with opposition members & the audience being able to question the participants. The US Presidential debate is an example. Maybe, you can suggest that to NPP hierarchy.
          Cont.

          • 1
            0

            Cont.
            The current Rapid Response of NPP is mostly about past failures & the current hardships, which we are all aware. Certainly, some objectives outlined are credible but vague in others. So far, I have heard the women’s front agenda &, in my opinion, a load of bull. If this is the hype to be expected from other groups in the party, the NPP is a pickle of all sorts, just another aimless party vying for power.

            Furthermore, do you accept this Google description? ” The National People’s Power is ideologically leftist and working-class centered. The NPP is led by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna. The predominant goal of the NPP is the nationalisation of Sri Lanka’s resources”
            I support Labour in UK but ‘socialism’ in SL reminds me of Mrs B ‘austerity’ regime, so do the NPP policies differ from Mrs B’s failed practises? I have raised this issue many times but we are going in circles. The more I hear about the NPP (so far), the less convinced I am as NPP being a credible alternative.

            • 0
              0

              Raj-UK: Sorry to say, you continue to be a Fake Sleeper. You know what I mean. It is no insult, but a fake sleeper cannot easily be awakened.

              In “Rapid Response to Overcome Current Challenges”, you have read from pages 2 to 6 which outline the current problems.

              Did you read from pages 7 to 23? The page 7 starts with the heading “Our Approach”. Please read from there onwards. Thanks.

              • 1
                0

                SM, Douglas

                I am not in the voting list in SL, therefore, have no vote although I have dual citizenship. However, I am concerned about friends & relatives in SL who are having a hard time & having experienced ‘ausarity’ under Mrs B as a child, I don’t want to see another such period again. My conclusions so far of the NPP indicate such a regime & the outcome worse than the present situation.
                You maybe awake but actually sleepwalking. I don’t waste time anymore arguing over our different thinking.

                • 2
                  0

                  Raj,
                  .
                  “My conclusions so far of the NPP indicate such a regime & the outcome worse than the present situation.”
                  .
                  I fully agree 👍

          • 5
            0

            Raj,
            “don’t have the time nor the interest in hearing politicians, “
            You didn’t waste any time, but I did, and didn’t get anything more than wooly statements from Harshana, and a claim that , since the NPP is “different “, he can’t make statements without party approval. Didn’t he get approval before attending the interview?

          • 0
            1

            Raj,
            .
            I have asked you to listen to just half a minute from a YouTube video. Haven’t you done that yet?

            • 2
              1

              Dear Sinhala_Man,
              You are confusing me.
              Look at:
              Haven’t you done that yet?
              Have you heard this yet?
              Which of these two is correct?

              • 2
                0

                Dear Nathan,
                .
                As we all know SM is not an Englishman but a Sinhala_man. So why don’t you pass the question to SCOT?
                :
                Besides, there are enough advanced videos on YOUTUBE if you really want to learn it.
                .
                E.g
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEfc2Rv8_m0

              • 1
                1

                Nathan,
                .
                Thou seemst to be aware that we were made to exasperate each other.
                .
                Both forms are right.

                • 1
                  1

                  Confusing, alright!
                  I thought that the presence of the word ‘yet’ would make a difference.

        • 4
          0

          Douglas,
          This “Fast Response ” seems full of promises not much different from what other parties put out in the past.
          But., to be fair, the NPP seems to be the only party that has published any sort of policy framework.

          • 1
            1

            Et tu, oc!
            .
            The second sentence, above, is praise indeed, from a most unexpected ally.
            .
            I’m most impressed by your honesty, dear old codger!
            .
            In return, let me grant that your first sentence is also justified. It all amounts only to words, words, words
            .
            http://truecomplaintshakespearelaw.blogspot.com/2012/07/words-words-words.html
            .
            And there are hundreds more quotes, I find, all related to the Prince of Denmark.
            .
            Panini

            • 0
              0

              SM,
              I always try to see both sides. I spent some time looking for current policy statements and found none except the NPP.
              I don’t think the UNP policies are anything to inquire about. We already know. The Pohottuwa has to stay in tune. The SJB is already promising the sun and the moon free of charge, which is par for the course for them.
              I keep asking about the NPP because it claims to be different.

        • 0
          1

          Thanks, Douglas,
          .
          I’ve done what you asked, and read all 26 pages of it, in good English. Quite recent, I hadn’t seen it before.
          .
          And in Sinhala, and Tamil as well, athough I can’t read that.
          .
          https://www.npp.lk/en/policies/booklet
          .
          Let me hope that others also will go there. It’s not a long read.
          .
          Panini Edirisinhe

          • 0
            0

            Sinhala_Man,
            I glanced thru NPP Policies.
            On pg 22, under Sri Lankan Nation, I saw the following:
            A commission with powers to prevent
            discrimination against any individual or social group
            based on nationality, religion, caste, language,
            gender, or sexuality.
            .
            How come there is a ‘nationality’ sub-group? Would we all be Sri Lankans??
            .
            My Birth Certificate ought to say that I am a Sri Lankan, NOT a Sinhalese or A Tamil. Our Flag need not have discriminatory Shades.
            I could go on … .

      • 1
        0

        I was confused to hear AKD addressing the audience in Canada, however miraculously it was under the title “Tensions of Minorities in Sri Lanka”. If not the JVP-PERATUGAMI leading groups, who created the stress in the peoples of this country? People wake up from your long slumber and stand up against falsehood! Thank you.

        Who does he think our people are?

        Are they perpetual punnaku drinkers ?

        AKD led groups show tail waging reactions to that audience. Some questions raised in English by Sri Lankans were treated with incoherent answers.
        .
        As usual AKD’s explanations of the numbers living outside the country are false and off the facts.
        There are not even a million Sri Lankans living as migrants in rich countries.
        :
        He stressed that we should work to reduce the mental stress of people. They completely forgot how that AKD and his supporters did it in 89-92. How is it possible? Also, during the 2019 election, the Janatha Vimukti Peramuna was more or less promoting the murderous Rajapaksa who stole people’s for about 15 years with the backing of AKD led groups.
        AKD still uses to refer to MEDAMULANA rogue as “Mahinda Mahaththaya” while he does not use any kind of respect to “Ranil”. However, sane people would see the difference, please think about it.

  • 6
    1

    Of the current political leaders, the ONLY person the voting public can put their TRUST is AKD. The REST are the CAUSE of the economic downturn. Gota R is still trying to whip up racial hatred by publishing a book on Conspiracy to EVICT him.He could or some one else could write a book on the conspiracy on how he was elected President while being citizen of the USA!

  • 5
    0

    Part I – Why no elections?
    Everyone knows the devasting effect the local government elections held in 2018, giving credible results indicating the rise of the SLPP, resulting the SLFP deciding to tie up with its own breakaway group in subsequent elections. The government of the day knew that its decline would be known if the elections were held, and it was delayed as much as it could. This time, it is completely blocked with no money excuse, thereby smoke-screening the financiers from reality. I do can understand Ranil’s attitude and the credit does go to him in administering some economic remedies to get the patient “Sri Lanka” just out of the ICU but warded in the hospital. His stand is clear. As long as he is the President there should be no obstructions to his agenda and an electoral result that another party is the rising power will diminish his capacity to deal with International Financial Barons, utterly private or multi-lateral. Elections! First contest with me for Presidency. If I win, you fellows shut up and follow my agenda. If I lose you run the country to be chased out after public outcry because of shortages like before.

  • 4
    0

    Part II – The JVP and NPP
    I am cautious in assuming that NPP and JVP is one and the same. NPP is new party hatched by the input of some lesser-known parties with the JVP. As long as they are in the opposition, there is unity. But say, once in power, they should learn to manage their disagreements for stability. Today, coalitions are more stable because the parties about to fight have dirty linen in their cupboards. A case study could be the breaking of the United Front coalition in 1975. One of the areas of disagreements can be between a principled stand and managing a situation under desperation due International Pressure. Even under the 5/6th majority of the JR Government, two MPs were sacked for not voting for the 13th amendment (One is the present speaker). Due to the ever increase in their flock. many foreign ambassadors do visit them but in JVP headquarters and apparently the NPP has none. It is understood that some very old time JVPers are unhappy with the preponderance of NPPers and in their thoughts these are fellows who are not well indoctrinated with the 5 classes.

    • 3
      3

      Dear Good Sense,
      .
      It is true that there is a degree of independence within the NPP.
      .
      However, even after winning there won’t be thee ugly splits. They all agree on the fundamentals.
      .
      Even “the old timers” are sincere, and wise enough to know that their day is past. Like me!

      • 3
        0

        I wish you are correct in this respect. If they win and subsequently there are splits, the first party to lose is the country.

  • 3
    0

    Part III – The visit to India and other international relations
    As revealed by the big-wigs of JVP-NPP, they received an invitation to visit China in December 2023, which they honored. While about to visit China they received the Invitation to visit India, implying that there was a clash in timing. Therefore, they honored the Indian invitation in February. Most analysts view the visit to India in isolation and assume that India has given them top-notch recognition. As also revealed by the aforesaid big-wigs the thrust of the discussion with Jayshankar and Doval was the attitude of the JVP towards Indian security and that is consistent with the conjecture that the visit to China in December indicates getting too close with China and possibly jeopardizing Indian interests if JVP were to come to power. Foreign Governments know who the current lot in Sri Lanka is, they are the various faces of the same cube. The JVP-NPP is different, but the issue of the International Community is how different. For one thing they are sure that a traditional invitation for a dinner in a 5-star hotel to discuss matters can be turned down. So, a visit to the lion’s den.

  • 3
    0

    Part IV – The anti-Indian attitude
    India is a country of 1.4 billion people. The entire set of people do not decide how to deal with other countries, but a core group of officials cum advisors decide on the foreign policy, including how to deal with Sri Lanka, from time to time. The Indian attitude towards Sri Lanka has had its ups and downs. Whatever be the past actions of India and thereby the reaction of any group in Sri Lanka towards it is immaterial as those engaged in politics know that there are no permanent friends or foes. The salient pronouncement of the JVP-NPP bigwigs after the visit to Bharath is “Sri Lanka is a small country and is not a competitor in the geo-political race” thus giving an indication that Sri Lanka under the JVP cannot and will not cross the path of India. The opposition to the bridge or the tunnel connecting the two countries did come from His Eminence the Cardinal questioning the wisdom of the President. HE said in Sinhala that this will add more problems apart from existing ones. The present day JVP/NPP has not made a statement, explicit or implicit of this kind.

  • 4
    0

    Part V – The challenges
    I do agree with the author that surveys have their own problems complicated by the surveyors as well. Had the local government elections were held then there is some indication of the political swing. International Monetary big wigs don’t go by surveys and Ranil is taking advantage of that, may be for the implementation of his recovery plan. Many voices of the JVP/NPP have clearly mentioned that the economy would not be controlled but “centrally planned” as in most countries. Yes! The countries monitor the state of the economy and fix national/provincial/city goals. But they are reputed not to be intrusive, but the economic activity is well regulated, particularly implementing quality standards, anti-competitive and anti-corrupt practices. Alas! They have not made themselves clear. The activities of the JVP having an impact on ethnic considerations cited by the author is before the creation of the NPP. It would be good education for us if the author elaborates on his statement of recent anti-Tamil politics. Unless a “Thalaiver” so orders most of the minority votes would be grabbed by Ranil. Unlike the author, I have not hastened to call AKD as President Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

  • 0
    1

    Dear All,
    .
    After four days of confusing ourselves about how the winner of our Presidential Election scheduled for later this year (2024) will be decided, may I suggest today, at 22:51 Lankan Time on Tuesday, the 26th, with 119 comments visible below this article, that we stick strictly to common sense.
    .
    Since 1982, eight Presidential Elections have been held. Agreed, I hope? (I ask that because some insist on listing 2022, which we must steer clear of not because I dislike Ranil W., but because it will further confuse us).
    .
    Every time, after valid ballot papers cast throughout Sri Lanka had been counted, one person got more than 50% as first choice votes and was declared the winner. We don’t know what will happen this year, but many feel that three to four quite strong candidates could mean that it will be different.
    .
    If, then, nobody has got 50%+1, what happens?
    .
    Please let’s try to be objective and use only unambiguous words.
    .
    In answering the questions that have so far arisen, I will ignore what happens if more CT updates appear.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

    • 0
      1

      PART TWO
      .
      There will literally be some hushed silence, mostly of disbelief, when it is said that there is no clear winner. After that, let’s hope that there is agreement to have a good sleep.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      Now a different set of considerations take over. Let us hope that the top three (or four, or five) candidates have not got identical totals. Theoretically possible, but each leading candidate having got millions of votes, that is so unlikely that I will ignore the possibility.
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      Only the top two will remain in the contest, the others are eliminated. We will never know if the third fellow had got such a huge number of second and third Preferences (I hesitated here: Votes and Preferences have the same meaning in this context, distinct from the pieces of paper that are called “ballots”.). Those ballots now remain dormant, with only their total numbers remaining of interest.
      .
      Now will commence the SECOND COUNT, when every ballot paper of the eliminated candidates will be physically inspected. We will never know if the third fellow got so many Preferences that he could have won. He’s been eliminated. The process has to stop somewhere!
      .
      tbc

    • 0
      1

      PART THREE
      .
      Continuing:

      .
      Those ballots of the eliminated candidates where only one vote has been indicated will not be of any further interest. Similarly, those ballots where the Preferential Votes are for already eliminated candidates. Of no further interest (but won’t be destroyed immediately).
      .
      If one of the Preferences are for an uneliminated guy (let’s call them A & B, as Deshapriya does), then that ballot is credited to that candidate as a full vote. It doesn’t matter if it was the SECOND Preference or the THIRD.
      .
      And if the ballot has the names of both B and A? Then his SECOND Preference will prevail over his THIRD. This is why only TWO counts, and the leader to be declared the winner, even if it is later calculated to be fewer than 50%.
      .
      Once more if there are equal numbers? Even that is given consideration in the legislation that introduced the system; I have seen it, and I can hunt for it again. But the foregoing is what we must digest before we start asking more questions.
      .
      tbc

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      PART FOUR
      .
      Why are no political parties publicising details of the system? Eureka!
      .
      This is going to confuse the average voter. It could lead to lots of inadvertently spoilt votes. We have just proved it. Many of us have got confused, and even I’ve had to backtrack by changing the words used. And without giving ourselves airs, I think that we know ourselves to be more literate than average.
      .
      The two most accepted ways of indicating just one interest is marking either an X (Sinhalese, “kathire”) or tick.
      .
      In marking three (or two) Preferences, only this will be accepted: 1, 2, 3 (or 1,2)
      .
      Stick to common sense in marking the actual ballot, even if we argue further for fun! Any Romans around?
      .
      I have counted votes. If in doubt, we show it to the “boss” of the Counting Centre, and it is unlikely to go further.
      .
      The most obvious hazard for the voter: marking a X or a tick, followed by 2 & 3 – spoilt vote! Using the system, but stopping with 1 and 2 – quite valid, but isn’t there a possibility of somebody adding a 3?
      .
      tbc

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      PART FIVE
      .
      We think that we use Arabic numerals, but I have worked in Arabic-using Oman:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Arabic_mathematical_notation
      .
      They have the same system, but the shapes are very different. old codger will confirm that we were allowed to persist in our way, even in Saudi Arabia. Before voting, we have to know not only what is officially prescribed, but also know the background of the Election Staff.

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      PART SIX
      .
      It is not only for the reason already given (spoiling votes safely in the bag) that political parties may refuse to publicise instructions on how to cast Preferences. Let’s get real; abandon the A, B, C terminology hitherto used.
      .
      Serious use of the Preferential System will be justified in only two situations. Firstly, the voter (although intelligent) is uncertain what the outcome would be. That is why, in 2019, I gave my THIRD Preference to Sajith – to keep Gota out.
      .
      Or we may vote for somebody in whose cause we sincerely believe. We know he will lose; give him our FIRST Preference. In the UK, let’s say the Green Party. In Lanka, a man whom we well know to be worthy of a genuine boost. [If merely a nut case friend, take no risks! Don’t vote for him, but tell him that you did. Happens a lot!]
      .
      Applying it seriously to minority groups: they know that their grievances are ignored, in spite of getting MPs into Parliament. But the Presidency? First Preference for their community as a protest; a lower Preference for the best realistic candidate. Individuals must work it out.

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    ” Srilankans can take to the streets if presidential poll delayed – PAFFREL . “
    Rokana Hettiarahchi is reported to have said . One reason I keep casting
    my doubts about AKD having any possibility of standing at an election
    let alone winning . This country and its rulers after Dudley are quite
    adapted to seeing and chasing after blood for POWER and we steadily hear
    from every NPP platform that Power transition won’t be a Smooth One .
    Anybody who takes NPP Serious , has to take this statement serious as well .

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