12 November, 2019

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Rajapaksa Authoritarianism & Premadasa Welfarism 

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

The presidential election campaign is getting into its final two-week home stretch. The two leading candidates have released their manifestos and finalized their broad alliances. Chandrika Kumaratunga has formalized the trifurcation of the SLFP by pledging her support to Sajith Premadasa. Regardless of whatever electoral effect she may or may not have, she has given the patented SLFP a fighting chance to survive as a political entity after the presidential election. Although presidential manifestos are not likely to excite any significant vote shifts, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s taxation proposals – to abolish the PAYEE system and to maintain Sri Lanka’s regressive taxation regime, should be marked as the final rupture of the Rajapaksa family with the progressive traditions of the SLFP. 

It was the first (SWRD) Bandaranaike government that introduced income tax to the island based on the proposals of Nicholas Kaldor, then a young (Hungarian) economist who would later become one of the most celebrated welfare economists in the world. PAYEE was NM’s invention. The system enabled an efficient and steady stream of revenue for the state. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has obviously swallowed the advice of vested interests in proposing to undermine that twin tradition, and reinforce the regressive taxation regime that unfairly puts the onus on the middle and lower classes to pay more for their consumption without distributing the burden of government more evenly.      

The second Rajapaksa presidential term (2010-2014) was remarkable for two negative achievements among several others. It achieved the lowest taxation revenue as a proportion of the GDP – 10.14% in 2014, and the made the largest number of Supreme Court appointments and the highest Chief-Justice turnover by any government in a single term. Candidate Rajapaksa has served notice that he is on course to breaking the first (taxation) record, and what is going to stop him bettering the second if he were to be elected president on November 16?       

In one reported measure, the campaign expenditure on print and electronic media, the two front runners are said to have spent a combined total of Rs 760 million. The combined total for the remaining 33 candidates is a paltry Rs 2 million. Mr. Rajapaksa is apparently outspending his main opponent by nearly twice as much. But neither money nor presidential manifestos can create genuine mass enthusiasm. The main effectiveness of the manifestos in this election could be in the enthusiasm they might generate in the respective candidates. In that sense, the Sajith Premadasa might be more enthused by his manifesto – Sajith’s Social Revolution, than Gotabaya Rajapaksa would likely be by his version – The Ten Principles of Inclusive Governance, projected as ‘Go for action – Vision Gotabaya Rajapaksa’. 

The difference

The difference in enthusiasm is palpable. It is not difficult to discern why. Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not displaying the authoritarian edge that his admirers thought would be his distinguishing mark in politics. At seventy and in his first ever political campaign, Mr. Rajapaksa looks mellowed and even tired. In public, he always appears under the watchful eye of his 73-year old brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The SLPP campaign except for its emphasis on national security is less about Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and more about the family and its spiritual leader for the country, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The former President is literally telling the country that the family has given Sri Lanka the best candidate it could have. What the former President is also saying is that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is only a family nominee, and that as President, his checks and balances will be more a family matter than a matter of constitutional correctness. 

On the other hand, Sajith Premadasa has been all energetic, and in two weeks of campaigning he was threatening to trivialize Sri Lanka’s long tradition of social welfarism by promising freebees from school lunches to  sanitary pads. With the release of his manifesto, he might be more disciplined against offering unlimited freebees. Although the details of the manifestos do not quite support them, in common perceptions Gotabaya Rajapaksa is associated with authoritarianism while Premadasa is associated with welfarism. It is these perceptions that may ultimately sway the voters than the details in the manifestos or the length of their alliance retinues.

If Mr. Rajapaksa seems somewhat hamstrung by family protocols in projecting his popular authoritarian image, Sajith Premadasa would appear to be putting his thrust on welfare promises while covering all the bases in the manifesto to satisfy his alliance partners. The Premadasa campaign seems to be on a different path from what a Wickremesinghe campaign would have been. Ranil Wickremesinghe was obviously banking on outflanking Gotabaya on a plurality vote, comprising a decent minority of the majority and an overwhelming majority of the minority. RW’s premise was that the UNP cannot win any other way and he is the only UNPer who could win that way. 

Sajith Premadasa, on the other hand, seems to be more daring in taking the battle direct to the Rajapaksa heartland without losing his minority insurance. It is a misnomer to call the south Rajapaksa heartland, because it was not such a heartland ten years ago. The UNP had owned it previously and until Chandrika Kumaratunga swept them out of the way. Of the two candidates, Premadasa seems freer and with less constraints. Premadasa has no powerful brothers to answer to and he has indicated he has options when it comes to choosing his Prime Minister if he were to be elected as President. 

Both Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe have asserted that they would be Prime Ministers if their respective candidates were to win the election. Sajith Premadasa has politely contradicted Mr. Wickremesinghe and he has opened the door for more changes in the UNP and the government if he were to win the presidency. That in itself should excite UNPers and stir them to vote as they haven’t done in a long time. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has no such option. The family has turned him into s sheep in wolf’s clothing.    

The Rajapaksa Family

In an interesting essay, that appeared in The Island on Monday, October 28, its author, DCP Amarasekere, chastises the “droning among Liberals about the ‘return of the Rajapaksa family’ (as) rather stale”, because Sri Lanka is “a country with a heavy feudalistic hangover … (and) a history of ‘family cartels’ capturing the power of the state.” The dictionary meanings of ‘cartel’ are quite innocuous, but it is a tainted word after its long association with the drug cartels of Central America. Even Pieter Keuneman, who apparently started calling the UNP, the Uncle Nephew Party, would not have called the Senanayakes a political cartel. And the Senanayakes were gone by the time Bandaranaike family bandyism, and the Sri Lanka Family Party, became the political football in 1977. The Bandaranaike family is now gone as well, and it was never a cartel either. 

What makes the Rajapaksa family a special target for concern and criticism (and this is not peculiar to some species called Liberals), and even qualify it for the cartel label, is its convergence with the executive presidential system and its brazenly dogged determination to take over that system. Not once, not twice, and not only thrice but potentially over interminable terms. The country seemed set up for a 99-year lease to the Rajapaksa family until Maithripala Sirisena momentously broke ranks, after literally breaking hoppers, with Mahinda Rajapaksa on an auspiciously ordinary November night in 2014. No other Sri Lankan political family has become so intertwined with the executive presidency. No other political family has ever campaigned as a family unit to win a national election. And no other Sri Lankan (executive) President, since 1978, has come anywhere near what the Rajapaksa family would appear to be bent on accomplishing. 

It is rather facile, if not farfetched, to suggest that the Rajapaksa family is satisfying a new or growing demand for authoritarianism in Sri Lanka. If at all, they are ‘supplying’ a hotchpotch brand of authoritarianism without any tender, per usual, and even without transparently credible prequalification in the current election.  To their credit, they have been making a remarkably good job of marketing authoritarianism, and might even close the deal far better than Ranil Wickremesinghe has been able to close any of his many free trade deals. But, if you don’t like authoritarianism, blame marketing, and don’t blame the masses for any newfound fancy for authoritarianism. 

Felix Dias was not echoing mass sentiment when he mused about a “little bit of totalitarianism” in the 1960s. While the epigone (Felix) could not do anything about power on his own, the master (JR Jayewardene) delivered authoritarianism in full and with all the constitutional trappings. Even so, Mr. Jayewardene’s executive-presidential accomplishment was in every way idiosyncratic and accidental, and in no way organic and evolutionary. Anyone familiar with President Jayewardene’s life and politics will admit that the presidential system he created was not a response to any mass desire. It was anything but, because JRJ despised mass politics to the marrow of his bone. 

Not accidentally, therefore, the opposition to the executive presidential system was born even as Prime Minister Jayewardene transubstantiated himself to become President Jayewardene through a constitutional amendment. It was the OLD LEFT, and not any Liberal, who fired the first warning shots against the executive presidential system. Abolishing it became an axiomatic promise for every presidential candidate in every presidential election after 1994. Twenty years later Sobitha Thero bought on to the idea of abolishment as a single election issue and turned into a national campaign. 

Quite coincidentally, then, the campaign against the presidency in 2014/15 turned into a campaign against the Rajapaksa family because Mahinda Rajapaksa was the incumbent president, and there was no separation (of powers) between the presidency and the family. This was not without some irony, if not hypocrisy, because Mahinda Rajapaksa was himself promising to abolish the presidency while seeking a third term, and after breaking the same promise in his first two terms. 

As well, the January 2015 presidential election became a referendum of sorts – not just on some abstract opposition to the system of executive presidency, but on the concrete experience of corruption and abuse of presidential power. The election was also remarkable because for the first time an incumbent president was defeated. And thanks to the joint failures of Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Rajapaksa family would now seem to be well on the path of return.   

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has gladly picked up for the family, in 2019, from where Mahinda Rajapaksa left in 2019, all the while blaming the 19th Amendment for disabling the former President from running again. But the former President doesn’t have to run to be president again, he only needs to get his brother to win the election and he (MR) would be the newly powered Prime Minister under the same 19th Amendment. 

Victor Ivan has provided an interesting anecdote (Daily FT, Friday, November 1) about an interview with Gotabaya Rajapaksa shortly after the January 2015 presidential election. When Mr. Ivan asked him (GR) if the “rampant corruption of his brother and his rule (that) had caused the people to reject his rule,” Mr. Rajapaksa “did not try to deny the corruptness of his brother’s regime”. On the contrary, he agreed that it was so and that “the mistake would have gone too far”, and “the situation would have got worse,” if the people had not rejected Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

That was in the sober aftermath of a defeat. The narratives are different in the throes of an election. As I noted at the outset, the authoritarian edge has gone, or has been put out away until November 16. At the same time, as I have also been repeatedly saying, there has never been any regret or remorse from anyone in the Rajapaksa family for anything that they did as a government and for which the people defeated them in 2015. True, you can pull fibre from a stone before getting Ranil Wickremesinghe to apologise for the bond scam or anything else, but the UNP has seen to it that RW is not on the UNP presidential ticket. Not so with the Rajapaksas. They are the SLPP ticket. 

But the ticket is not without its problems. Candidate Rajapaksa is not out of the legal woods yet, although his intrepid lawyers are managing to keep him out of serious trouble. The notion of public interest has been judicially turned on its head. Somehow it is not in the public interest to question the legal credentials of a presidential candidate, to presume that a political party would make sure that its candidate is in conformance with the laws of the country, or to inconveniently summon a presidential candidate to an inquiry as grave as the habeas corpus. The political corollary of it, as claimed in Trump’s America and Duterte’s Philippines, is that a presidential candidate who wins an election should automatically be absolved of any and all pre-existing legal jeopardies. In Trump’s constitutional understanding, he can even pardon himself for anything. Is that going to be the future standard for Sri Lanka? 

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Latest comments

  • 21
    3

    An abbreviated list re G O T A the next President -elect, lest the SB voters forget or
    have completely forgotten already?
    1. Starting the white van abduction culture and kidnapping.
    2. Directing a SL airline to Switzerland to bring a puppy dog to his wife
    3. Killing the two chopper pilots who brought the gold captured by Sarath Fonseka
    of LTTE through a helicopter crash
    4. Killing of parliament MP Sripathi Suryarachchi through a fatal accident as evidence proved
    that Rajapaksa gave extortion to LTTE
    5. Raising sharks at home and feeding them with white van victims as disposal of bodies.
    6. Killing the mother elephant and illegally possessing the two baby elephants.
    7. Killing the beggars by hitting their heads with stones and decorating the towns.
    8. Dumping the Colombo garbage to Meethotamulla area destructing lives & properties.
    9. Removing poor households from Colombo using the army & kidnapping the protestors.
    10. Bombing Sirasa, Siyatha and Udayan media institutions.
    11. Setting fire to Lanka e News office and its library
    12. Setting fire to Colombo Kachcheri to destroy land documents of properties in Colombo
    who are in overseas.
    13. Spending 90miliion public money to renovate his parent’s grave. In Courts now.
    14. Selling the army headquarters land located now as Hotel Shangrila for a 40 million Com.
    15. Taking Rs. 550 million bribe from Tata company of India
    16. Misusing the “Api wenuwen api” war heroes fund
    17. Leaving to US during the intense war with LTTE claiming false psychiatric disorder
    18. Taking the American citizenship claiming as a Sri Lankan patriotic!
    19. Making arbitrary agreement with the US government without informing the SL parliament
    20. Threatening to bomb Buddhist monasteries when the Mahanayakas came out to protest the imprisonment of General Fonseka.
    21. Acquisition and misusing of valuable lands belong to the urban development ministry.
    Cont`d
    (Await part 2 and 3) (Courtsey: public website)

    • 3
      3

      This lady here explains the stark choice the voters have between the two candidates! ………. She is not afraid of the Rajapakses and their white-vans.


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

      I thought no one could upstage Native for cuss words …….. but this lady does it in style! :))

      • 5
        2

        Alone using the term “lady” for such women who knows nothing but to vote is not decent.
        I think political literacy of lanken average are far below than that of Ethiopians
        .
        None ofthese people are clear the gravity of a danger before us.
        :
        To me, the day, Rajapakshes are hung by their balls to the manner slaughtered animals in a butchery, nothing will change to the benefit of the masses in this country.
        I am against torture but I hate RAJAAKSHE politics that mislead and suck the blood of the poor by feeding them with untruths for their political survival.

      • 0
        0

        Hello Nimal,
        Thank you very much providing the link.
        The commentary made by this lady reflects the appalling level of political maturity of some Sri Lankans. We are well behind Western democracies and political leaders will fool them until the digital generation takes over, which is long overdue.

        • 0
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          Sunil Abeyratne,

          “this lady reflects the appalling level of political maturity of some Sri Lankans. We are well behind Western democracies”

          Are you very sure? Look at what is happening in the USA with Donald Trump ……. is Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders et al any better? We automatically assume that “Western” is better ……… that’s why my eternal argument ……. that at the core all humans are the same ……. we have to dwell deeper into the human-condition ………… a la Nietzsche et al …….

          We easily fall into the trap of accepting the “conventional wisdom” out there without much thought/examination/reflection …..

          Read what Steve Levitt has written on “conventional wisdom” …… that the reasons may be completely different to what we all commonly assume …….. for example …… the reasons for reduction in crimes in some US cities was not due to better mayors/governors or better policing …….. but the time coinciding with 18 – 20 years after ……… of legalized abortions ………. a reduction in the unwanted births/babies that would have ended up in lives of crime ……..

          • 2
            0

            nimal fernando,
            * I don’t think that you are refuting that democracy flourishes in the West.
            * Your frustration is at the Trump administration.
            * Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Sanders, and the rest are not politicians. They are leeches.
            * Trump is catering to the supremacist notions of vast number of Americans.
            * Sinhalese have no such pretensions. However, our politicians control their minds.
            * As a result the average Sinhalese believes that Tamils and Muslims are their enemies.
            * Trump will depart soon. America will correct itself. Would Sinhalese?

            • 0
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              Hello Thappu,
              Your last comment “Trump will depart soon. America will correct itself. Would Sinhalese?” in combination with the comment “As a result the average Sinhalese believes that Tamils and Muslims are their enemies” has the implication that average Sinhalese view Tamils and Muslims as their enemies.

              Do you seriously think that average Sinhalese view Tamils and Muslims as their enemies?

              What evidence can you provide to support such a view? True, there have been communal riots (both against the Tamils and once against Muslims). All communities have lived in Colombo notwithstanding the ugly incidents.
              Defeating LTTE is not racism just like defeating JVP.
              The persistent campaign by the diaspora will only build distrust between communities. I have been at the receiving end when a French national bluntly told me that ‘you Sinhalese kill Tamils’. It was an uphill task for me to explain that such an assertion was not true. This incident is clear evidence of the success of the Diaspora campaign. Sadly, such a campaign to frustrate Sri Lanka by manipulating international agencies will, over time, lead Sinhalese to respond as well.

              ‘Would Sinhalese correct?’ (themselves) is a rhetorical question. The question one should ask is ‘Is it reasonable to expect Sinhalese to engage in a dialogue with Tamils in the context of a relentless international campaign to isolate Sri Lanka?’
              Thappu, I realise that I raised explosive stuff – but thinking and discussing are the only path to understand the drivers of communal tensions.

              • 0
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                Sunil, I agree that thinking and discussing are the path to understand the drivers of communal tensions. A desire to discuss is welcome, but, thinking has to come from you as well.
                .
                You ask, ‘do you seriously think that average Sinhalese view Tamils and Muslims as their enemies’. My position was, “Sinhalese have no such pretensions, however, our politicians control their minds. As a result, the average Sinhalese believes that Tamils and Muslims are their enemies”. You overlooked the ‘as a result’ part.
                .
                I have rebuttals to your other accusations as well. Let me see if you would benefit.

              • 0
                0

                Thappu and Sunil,

                It’s unfortunate that I don’t have a lot of time to reply to you …… because the questions you both have asked need a little more time to construct a proper reply ….. can’t be flippant about it …… I will reply when I have a little more free time.

                Sunil …… here I can see that you have fallen into a trap that we all fall into ……. you are thinking like a Sinhalese ……… would you have written the same if you were a Tamil?

                If we are to arrive at any meaningful conclusions ……. we all have to tranced our race …… and peer into the general human-condition ……. The moment we start thinking as Sinhalese/Tamils we have shot ourselves in the foot ……. even before we start the journey.

                That’s why some “thinkers” ideas/thoughts have withstood the test of time ……. they were capable of thinking past the narrow human constraints/handicaps ………..

                • 0
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                  Hello Thappu and Nimal,

                  Thank you for making an effort to respond to my comments.

                  Nimal,
                  You asked me if I would write what I had written if I was a Tamil.
                  I sincerely think I would, although I am disappointed that my views conveyed partiality. There is nothing untrue in what I have written, as such I believe it is objective and dispassionate.
                  Thappu,
                  Yes agree, your sentence has a totally different meaning when ‘as a result’ is added. My apologies for not being careful in comprehending what you intended to convey.

                  • 0
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                    Sunil, You stand tall, now. Thanks.

                    • 1
                      0

                      Now that you have come clean on one, let me see how you fare with the rest.
                      * Notwithstanding the ugly incidents of communal riots all have been living together in Colombo.
                      – How removed from communal riots are Tamils in Colombo. Their stay there is out of economic necessity.
                      * Defeating LTTE is not racism, just like defeating JVP.
                      – Sinhalese rural folks were not killed when defeating JVP. Could you say the same about what happened when LTTE was defeated?
                      * Tamil diaspora campaigns against Sinhalese.
                      – This a blanket accusation of all Tamils refugees. What caused their exodus?
                      * You lament of an uphill task explaining to a French national that Sinhalese do not kill Tamils.
                      – Wasn’t that a half-truth? LTTE was born out of institutionalised oppression of Tamils.

              • 0
                0

                When French National blunt on you about Tamil, you could have blunt on French National millions times asking “why you kill Palestinian? Why you kill and rape millions across the globe for Israel.
                I am sorry We cannot disconnect Israel from this subject as long as Western countries are involved with Tamil.

                Hypocrites in the Western countries are full time supporters of Israel and Israels’ wars. These are facts. And they know well that Sinhalese Buddhists do not have one single news paper , a tv or lawyer to confront them.

          • 0
            0

            Thanks Nimal for responding to my comments!

            I agree with you that many politicians in the West are not honourable!
            Kellyanne Conway is a spin doctor (advisor – campaign manager) who supported Trump with gross distortion of facts. Sarah Sanders lied as White House Press Secretary. They all knew what they stood for, possibly mentored by Stephen Bannon. As such, they all skillfully manipulated facts to suit Trump’s agenda.

            My comments are around ‘political maturity’ of voters. Politically mature voters support candidates whose policies are aligned to their thinking. Such alignment can be tax cuts, promotion of white supremacy etc.

            That lady in question was agitated and her judgement was based on the dress code and the provision of sanitary pads. I leave you to form an opinion on her political maturity when exercising her vote.
            Brexit response in the UK is a classic example (my English colleagues think it is a comedy) where political maturity is on full display. British public was lied to by Brexiters and the Britons are now questioning their Referendum outcome, notwithstanding Prime Minister’s aggressive efforts to get it through the Commons.
            JR’s success in extending the life of a parliament with five sixth majority using the results of a simple majority in a referendum is a perfect example of the absence of political maturity in Sri Lankan voters. Regardless of one’s allegiance, voters should have rejected it.
            My apologies for the delayed response(I am in a different time zone)

    • 5
      10

      Punchinileme, thanks for the good work. All that was trumped by Bondscam Ranil and Penthouse Ravi.

    • 4
      2

      That is one ugly record. Anyone responsible for all these terrible crimes, should be behind bars serving a life sentence, but not the Rajapaksa’s, they are above all Sri Lankan laws. It looks like the majority want more of the same.

    • 0
      2

      After eliminating Malabar Demala terrorists, Gotabhaya Rajapakse directed intelligence officers to track down LTTE cadres hiding in safe havens with new identities. They are recorded as missing persons in Sri Lanka. With the change in Government such activities were abandoned.
      With the possibility of Gotabhaya Rajapakse becoming the President, these LTTE cadres are shitting bricks.

    • 0
      0

      Punchnilame

      These charges are null & void now because present regime grabbed power in 2015 to prosecute corrupt politicians & they failed or saved them for money or allegations were baseless.

      If interested have a professional approach to politics.

      Keep your part 2 & 3 for yourself please as there’s nobody wise to accept them.

  • 17
    3

    PR vs GR. which one is better for the country? people think about it. It is not family what is important but the country. All must vote for a good one.
    Corruption free one.
    people friendly one
    Gota will lose his battle as his history tells us, he is not a politician

  • 24
    3

    It is all an act. Gota knows everyone is aware of his ugly record as a thug and that he is behind many murders, kidnapping, and citizens missing, so he pretends to be a harmless old man, who would not harm a fly. Don’t get fooled.

  • 16
    2

    As far as Gota is concerned the rot began during Mahinda;s regime. Even after the defeat of the LTTE, people will never forget the Grease giant scare which is likely to spread even in the South. As far as Sajith is concerned, he too is no better. One should not forget Ranil and Chandrika are in a last ditch to restore their foothold and so is with Mahinda. The root cause is the illegal accumulation of wealth which had become shadow devil chasing every one of them. Now Maithri is like dancing like a pendulum. At the same time all these people have passed their 70s except Sajith. Let us see how God has his own calculation. No one is interested in the future of Sri Lanka. This is the first time that military officials are interested in politics – may be to conceal their sins. Will people forget all the murders, rapes, plundering of wealth, kidnappings & abductions, tortures, revenge, etc.

    • 0
      0

      I know well Sinhalese bribery Modayas’ history. What will happen after they die, foreign countries will come out “good amount of bribe” to build conference halls under their names and promote their names and families.
      What ever India’s political attitude toward Sri lanka is different issue, but I have to admire Indian patriotism.

  • 1
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 8
    1

    SLFP cannot be trifurcated. Chandrika owns it thru inheritance. For all others it is a rainy day shelter!

  • 12
    0

    Thanks for a great piece Rajan!
    I sincerely hope some people (arguably a very small number, if at all) will understand the comments made in the last paragraph. It is JR who elevated all Presidents above the law, constitutionally. Trump is simply delusional! The less said about Duterte, the murderer, the better it is.
    Only a person with a good understanding of Sri Lankan politics (sadly, such people constitute the minority) realises that both political parties simply protect each other. All Rajapaksha era corruption went unpunished. Should Rajapakshas return to power, all corruption of Ranil Sirisena era (Yahapalanya, my left ball!) will be forgotten. This includes the bond scam.
    Many of us remember how JR sought to preserve the five sixth majority by a simple referendum and the idiots voted for it. Such voting provides the basis for not expecting anything from this election. Sri Lanka’s cause is lost – forever.
    Perhaps, ‘Every nation gets the government it deserves’ is very true.

  • 4
    9

    If CT readers are all the electorate Gotabhaya wouldn’t get even 2%. How sad.

    Soma

    • 6
      2

      soman

      Did you hear your fellow racist the saffron clad thug Gnanasara threatening the Tamils and Muslims with ethnic cleansing if they did not vote for Gota?

    • 3
      1

      Soma,
      If all the Sinhalese are fools, Gota will get 98% votes. A true Buddhist Sinhala will never vote to Mahinda Family considering the facts that they cheat Sinhalese and Buddhism, they murdered Sinhalese civilisation, culture and they betrayed the land by selling most of Srilanka economy and land to China. Now Gota signed an agreement with USA to give rest of Srilanka. Why Gota’s family still holds US citizenship?

      • 0
        1

        Ajith

        You haven’t developed the art of telling lies.

        “Why Gota’s family still hold US citizenship?”

        People don’t know & they’re not interested in their personal matters.

        A great number of people will vote for Gota to be 1st or the 2nd in the election or they’ll vote for AKD to become 1st or 2nd.

        Poor Sajith’s climbed down to 3rd now. He’s lagging far behind now.

        However there’s a way to derive happiness.

        If you don’t want/hate Gota tell UNPers to cast for AKD to make Gota a loser.
        even the 2nd choice for AKD will give you happiness.

  • 7
    1

    It is not the authoritarianism that is the problem with the Rajapksas…….they can be as authoritative as they want to ; the biggest feudal cartel ever to twist arms a bit…….It’s the Trump-style American capitalism that they are trying to install on our fragile Island – one that is pertinent for only America, and not Sri Lanka. And they’d do it by selling us off to either China, America, or Saudi Arabia, or all of the three. Once trapped with that excess and extraneous money which will require high percentage interest repayments, distribution of it as investment for the needy masses will be an impossibility. Yes, there will be tall glittering skyscrapers around, but the already struggling Masses will have to pay dearly to revel in seeing their sight.

    • 3
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      Having said that, Rajapaksas are still better than the Ranil-Sajith India-Merge ….Capitalism on Indian terms.

  • 3
    13

    Recently two guys who became the target for severe criticism when they were with Rajapakse regime for corruption, drug business and harassing media have joined Sajith’s campaign. One is from Kelaniya area and the other is from Ambalangoda area. I can remember how Civil Society guys and NGOs attacked them when they were with Rajapakse. There were lot of comments in this forum exposing their corrupt activities. But after these two joined Sajith’s camp I do not hear any criticism from Civil Society guys or NGOs. Sajith has not rejected them. I see one person in stage with Sajith.

    • 8
      1

      Eagle Eyoo,

      “corruption, drug business and harassing media have joined Sajith’s campaign”

      It looks like those who want to change join Sajith side, and those who want to continue to be corrupt hang on to Gota. Take Hisbulla for example.

  • 11
    1

    Dayan Jayatilleka Is positioning himself as a Sajith Premadasa supporter with the hopes that he can manipulate him into destroying the UNP, and weaken them enough to give the Rajapaksas an advantage in the long run… he tried to get Maithripala Sirisena to appoint Sajith as Prime Minister during the October CoupeLk to split the UNP and it failed! Sajith was smart enough to escape his trap then, will he fall for it post presidential elections though?
    He wants to engineer a fight and create a Sajith Ranil split so that the Rajapaksas can win the general elections… No love for Sajith at all Dayan Jayatilleka is up to his politrixs as usual…

    • 0
      8

      Does Dayan has to do it?.I mean break up the UNP?..

      i thought Keselwatta Kid will be forced to challenge Dr Ranil whether the Kid wins or loses.
      Because the Kid said he won’t work with any body who has been accused as corrupt .
      And there are 3 Commission Reports, two of which are in the Presidential League to support Keselwatta Kid.

      But one small hitch though,
      I heard on that hiru BALAYA program that there is an allegation against the all clean Keselwatta Kid that he made LKR 200 Million disappear from the Books on his Ministerial Watch..

      Can’t wait to see the level of Booing at the next Big Election aftert the 16th …

      • 3
        0

        KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

        “Does Dayan has to do it?.I mean break up the UNP?..”

        You seem to assume the public racist war mongering Dayan is someone who is the equivalent of Chanakya or Machiavelli and well versed in the art of ancient diplomacy. Do you believe he is aware of four upayas (approaches) which Chanakya presented as sama (conciliation), dana (gifts), behda (rupture), danda (force or punishment) or Sun Tzu’s best strategy to “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”, the best practitioner is Ranil.

  • 4
    8

    Sajith says he will not accept any agreement that could compromise sovereignty of the country. The betel wine says he raised his hand at the cabinet meeting that approved MCC agreement.

    Sajith keeps on giving promises at election rallies but never talk about critical issues such as ACSA, SOFA and MCC agreements or the demands of Wellala Demala politicians

    Wigie said they have to check the Sinhala, Demala and English versions of Sajith’s policy statement to make sure that he is not telling different things in different languages. Udaya Gammanpila says in the Sinhala version he has mentioned ‘Ekeeya Rajyaya’ but no mention of that in the English version. If true, is he trying to fool Sinhalayo. He has been talking about ‘Maximum Devolution of Power’ but never says what he means by that.

  • 13
    0

    NGR candidacy is just a facade to re-establish the MR centrist family rule. In the process, they would not care if the Constitution is violated and / or other rules and regulations are broken (that is seen in some of their recent pronouncements). It will be a case of ‘by hook or by crook’. For them the ends will justify the means. We had a glimpse of this approach in the 52 day fiasco (even though MR was defeated on the floor of the House he refused to step down and resign until he was forced to do so).

    Voters please be warned of the impending dangers of a NGR Presidency. Please use your franchise wisely!

  • 0
    0

    Where was light that was shown to us the light end of the tunnel Promised by Authoritarianism after the war Time confined into blind caves or extended or holes in tunnel or a train coming

  • 1
    3

    Will Keselwatta Kid challenge Dr Ranil after the 17th?.
    Whether Keslwatta Kid wins or loses?
    Just wondering…

    Keselwatta Kid said there won’t be any crooks , or corrupted or any one who is accused of corruption in his Cabinet.
    That is if Keselwatta manages to score on the 16th.

    Dr Ranil said he will be the PM on the 17th.
    That will be the case whether Keselwatta Kid wins or loses.

    Interesting isn’t it ?. This is where my confusion kicks in.

    Suppose if Keselwatta Kid loses , Dr Ranil the PM still will have the same Cabinet of Gallen Ravi, Mallika, Kiriella, Sujeeva, Arjuna, Bathudeen , Hakeem , Haleem and Kabir Hasheem.

    All these are mentioned in one or all of the COPE , Bond Scam . and the latest PCC , the Presidential Commission into Corruption Reports in the Yahapalana 4 years.

    Can Keselwatta Kid takes his old place around the Cabinet Table with this Lot on the 18th ?..

    • 4
      1

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “Will Keselwatta Kid challenge Dr Ranil after the 17th?.”

      Whats wrong with that?

      Challenging the incumbent leaders is part of democratic tradition, and a necessary one. You may not see this practice in your Sinhala/Buddhist world of fascism.

      • 2
        0

        I agree with NV
        competition and challenge
        is a key ingredient for democracy and a free market economy to succeed.
        Status quo will not help the Country.

  • 1
    0

    Sri Lanka Homeland claimers that handful of Tamil political classes are behind to that surrender that ours national sovereignty and vast land millions of acres to USA imperialist by unconditionally. While so-called that “Left-Wing of LSSP’s” are taken an initiate by support that UNP regime in power…2015 Jan 8th .
    We are still far lagging behind democratic revolution after 71 years in an island nation by USA and Western interference.
    For that jointly support to UNP by Tamil separatist political classes and political parties of TNA, LTTE, Tamil Diaspora and’ left -wing’ so-called ‘socialist of LSSP’s ‘in our soil .
    An eventually that UNP has new set of policies of MCC which that proposed projects is by New form division of Island which demarcated on by Ethnic basis divided and division of that North and South island for million of aces of Lands
    by selling to USA for few millions US= $$$$ Dollars.?
    The writer is who is having so-called that LEFT -WING with Mask of politics an advocated by ex-LSSP’s politician do not understand which that is what kind Development…….Democracy an Islander Republic required by people of Sri lankan ?
    It is package of proposed by of MCC that NEW form Colonialism to an undermined Independence that gives us the surrender that OURS SOVEREIGNTY RIGHT and LANDS to USA domination to our Lands of Lanka.
    The proposed MCC has an occupy of our Land and ground which has reveal their “left-wing” Tamil homeland mentality precisely that their are Principle Enemy of the People and its Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
    That is why we an opposed UNP Presidential candidature of that Sajith+ Ranil
    backpack politics of ludicrous of fundamental NORMS of democracy that ours Republic 2015 Jan 8th. Nevertheless to say UNP that Presidential candidature is puppet of USA !@ by US—dollars version of paper currency of US —-$$$?

  • 0
    2

    What is the status of the EP abolishion project?

    Soma

  • 4
    0

    If Mr G Rajapaksa is a man with a vision as he claimes to be
    he should take up the invitation for a debate with young Sajith P
    and demonstrate his commitment to his vision.

    • 4
      0

      Colombo Man,
      .
      he has not the least knowledge about what is being written on his chits, so how can he have a vision.
      He is just an another man fits more to be jailed as many other high criminals spending their day in a prison cell today.
      But for some reasons, lack of law and order in this rotten hell – he is given the chance to become the PE nominee.
      I wonder why people (powerful men and women) in the country allow the authorities to mislead them.
      Now with no clear renuncification notification about Gota s american citizenship but to allow the bugger to hold that set of speeches as the candidate is a joke I see.
      Besides, he is said to have no properly issued ID card for vote for himself in the upcoming ELECTION.
      And there are also issues, that sound to be prima facie evidence him to own no ID card nor passport by the time he was appointed as the secretary of defence in 2005.
      And even the one showed to Election COmmissioner is allgedly to have been issued by illegal means. No supportive documents are found to trace the accuracy of the docs was what I read in Sunday times.
      All in all, the kind of totally doubtful person to allow lead the nation is a joke right.
      This country has no LAW AND ORDER at all.
      Who governs this nation today ? we should be very ashamed to be srilankens BASTA

  • 0
    3

    Sajith is giving so many free goodies. But, he doe snot talk why Millinnium challenge corporation is very keen to build roads in Sri lanka and to give $ 480 million loan to Sri lanka and to signing the agreement is the crucial.

  • 0
    1

    The crucial issue is who is going to say NO to Sri lanka becoming a military and Trade hub for the MCC – The church, CIA and American Rich businessmen.

  • 1
    0

    Socialism has always existed everywhere. But people often pretend nations are capitalistic but its a lie. Look at the USA for example. For centuries it utilized the total slavery of black americans, latinos and native americans. For centuries forced to work for free. That ended up being a form of socialism for the white ruling classes who accumulated generations of wealth and land that way. And today the same people are decrying socialism, only because other races now benefit from it.
    In india the higher caste invaders who setup the caste system, have benefitted from centuries of oppressing the real Indians who are relegated to dalit and low caste status. And when dalits get some help from governments today, the higher castes complain they are getting ‘freebies’ and ‘socialism’ when they themselves benefitted from it for so long. Its hypocrisy but humans are good at it.
    In Sri Lanka within both sinhalese and tamil communities you will find that the higher castes have all the wealth accumulated via caste apartheid. Wealthy upper caste sri lankans who have many generations of wealth from the caste system, are the ones complaining when poorer lower castes get free education in schools. These upper caste hypocrites are able to send their children to the very best schools in the island but dont like to see the lower castes get free education, even if it is in a substandard school. I have also noticed a trend among wealthy upper caste sinhalese who hate it when sinhala military men try to get into politics. A little digging reveals these soldiers are lower caste sinhalese. The higher caste sinhalese only want them to do the dirty work on the battlefield and not try to climb up the ladder. The LTTE was also practicising this kind of caste racism while preteding they didnt.

  • 0
    1

    Rajan Philips: Is Gotler “Authoritarian”?
    Take away his ‘Mafia Godfather’ bodyguards and hatchet persons and he is a lamb.

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