4 March, 2024

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Ranil’s Uncle’s Formula Won’t Save Him; LG Elections, A Referendum On Ranil-Rajapaksa Govt.

By Vishwamithra

“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” ~ E.M. Forster

Election fever has gripped Sri Lanka again. The year 2022 wrote a preamble of what could be expected in 2023. For the first time in the recent history of the country, just two and half years ago, the chief ruler had to run away, not only from his post, but also the land and the people who elected him. The people jammed the streets in Colombo and other big city centers. Aragalaya as a living organism came to life amongst the youth of the land. From the Cinnamon Gardens mansions to the Pettah slums and Galle city to the most rural village in Galenbindunuweva Township, people raised their hitherto unheard voices. Aragalaya came to be associated with a new political reality in the land.

Nevertheless, for some who identified themselves with the super-rich class, Aragalaya died a sudden death when petrol and diesel were available at the gas station pump. For them Aragalaya was just an ornament around their necks which yet remain un-burnt and well preserved complexion thanks to the latest version of Botox, a protein that relaxes muscle contractions injected under the skin to erase facial wrinkles. The styles and polishes of a decadent social segment may well have been exhibiting their dying lifestyles in the face of marauding sociopolitical forces! The context and preconditions were set in the preceding year. If and when an election of any kind, parliamentary, presidential or even local government, is held, the free will of the people comes to play the most decisive role it can in a functioning democracy. March 9, 2023 could very well be that decisive day. The collective voice of the people cannot be marginalized and thrown into the dustbin of social debris. 

Such a monumental occasion could not come at a more appropriate time. The Opposition, if they are clever and crafty enough, should convey their strategy, tactics and the fundamental message as a referendum on the incumbent powers, the President, the Cabinet of Ministers and Parliament.

When the voting public lines up at the polling booth, they must be allowed to choose between the incumbent and those who reject the incumbent. A binary choice, instead of voting for one party of one symbol and a candidate of another symbol, should not be even discussed at electioneering meetings. There should not be a third choice.

Placing of deposits ended at 12 noon Friday, January 20. Forty six (46) recognized political parties and one hundred and thirteen (113) independent groups have paid the deposits. One wonders as to how long a single ballot paper would look like. That is part of the informational and educational processes to be undertaken by each political party. However, Sri Lankan voter has never found it difficult to understand the complexities associated with the ballot papers and the number of rejected votes as a percentage of the total polled in each of the past elections attests to their capacity for comprehension. If the older generation does not understand the younger one always comes forward and explains the way in which one has to cast his or her ballot.

Complexity is not the way in which the ballot paper is designed or the methodology of casting preference of one over the other candidate or party. The complexity dwells in the party or which candidate to vote for. It becomes even easier if the voters are told whom to vote against. A referendum on those who represent the current government and Status Quo is the simplest and most efficient way to conduct this election campaign, specifically for the Opposition parties.

The Players on the Field

NPP

There are five major political entities that seek the vote from the citizenry this time. They are: 1. National Popular Power (NPP) or Jathika Jana Balawegaya which is an electoral coalition established in 2015 by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) and his Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). Well entrenched in and notorious for exhibitionist politics and campaigning, AKD and his gang still have not realized the danger in indulging in campaigns that falsely reflect powers and inner forces that they really do not possess. They cannot expect magical results. The downfall of the JVP in last few elections, in fact, since the days of Rohana Wijeweera, is owing to this dangerous trend to believe in powers that they don’t have. Holding massive public rallies with incredible self-discipline and order does to translate into votes unless they build more than a superficial base. The NPP’s base is still not large enough to be a winning party in an election in Sri Lanka. Although this writer has opined many a time as to the authenticity and sincerity of the JVP and its leadership, I dare say that once again, the NPP may not be declared the winner of the overall election. To be catapulted from a mere 3.7% as per Presidential election results in 2019 and 3.8% as per parliamentary election results in 2020 to 30% to 40% of the country’s vote is phenomenal. It may not be impossible but very unlikely. If the NPP does win more than 50% of the local authorities, it would be more than a miracle, yet miracles do happen as they did in the 1956 landslide victory for the SLFP led by SWRD Bandaranaike.

SJB

Samagi Jana Balavegaya, on the other hand, has a solid base in that it is made up of the original UNP base which counts to almost 25% of the total vote base in the country. Yet as per AKD’s interpretation that the UNP and SJB belong together in the Status Quo could be very ominous for Sajith Premadasa and his SJB if AKD succeeds in branding the UNP and SJB together and argue that offer a clear choice before the people as a referendum on the entire non-NPP parties grouped together and the NPP as the other choice. In such a referendum election, given the circumstances created during the Aragalaya period, it will not be wise to cast one’s bets against a total sweeping victory for the NPP-led candidates. It will be, as I mentioned earlier, a miracle, but in the context of the unprecedented crisis the country is facing today, it is not all that dreamy to expect such a miraculous episode.

One should not forget how and why JR Jayewardene introduced the Proportional Representation (PR) System. It was to make sure that the UNP would last forever in power. But at that time there were R Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake and Lalith Athulathmudali in the UNP-fold. Ranil Wickremesinghe as the UNP leader, since the demise of Gamini Dissanayake, has seen the UNP to its present ruinous state.

What could Sajith and his cohorts in the SJB do to avert such a humiliating circumstance as the second Ranil? By not offering the SJB as a party and himself as an alternative as a believable ‘Change’, Sajith will suffer immensely if the voters reject them at the local government level. To be grouped and branded as part of the Status Quo is unquestionably a political minus in the current conditions. The progressive and enlightened steps and the forward-looking trend that was set in during the Aragalaya period cannot be disregarded as insignificant. Nor could any political party that seeks votes in any election since then be indifferent to the new thinking that manifested itself, especially amongst the youth. Against a backdrop of a demand for a ‘System Change’, the only way and manner in which a political party seeking the support of the masses could be successful is by breaking away from the traditional and anachronistic politics. Sajith and the SJB seem to be unwilling for that kind of radical change.      

Furthermore, where would the breakaway voters from the current UNP and the Pohottuwa go? A significant part of the breakaway voting bloc from the UNP might decide to hang on to the SJB but more than 80% of votes that would break away from the Pohottuwa would decide to vote with the NPP.     

Sajith and the SJB cannot just be weighed down by history’s fairytales. The recent history of the UNP is malignant to the current flow of events. How far has the SJB been successful in attracting today’s youth into its party? Elections are not happening in a vacuum. The surrounding circumstances and the crucial context within which elections are held are even more important than the rallies, pocket meetings and candidates. The macro-picture is critical and its relevance cannot be ignored. 

Contrastingly, one should not get bogged down in the micro-picture of electioneering such as where to hold a mass rally and what should be included in the manifesto so on and so forth. That is why the concept of a referendum is valid and more than legitimate in the planning, strategizing and executing of a grand election campaign. Listening to AKD on their initiating of the campaign in Anuradhapura, one would have come to an irresistible conclusion that he or she was hearing what they wanted to hear. Always drawing the eyes and ears to the symbol of the party, Compass (Maalimawa), AKD was not only strategic in his approach, his empathetic appeal to the average voter is unmatched by Sajith and his cohorts. 

Who will win the overall victory, whether the SJB or the NPP will depend largely on many factors amongst which the following would be crucial and decisive: 

1. Who will make this election a referendum between the Status Quo and the ‘New’? 

2. Which party has a more vibrant grassroots-level organization? 

3. Is the country emotionally and intellectually ready for a ‘System Change’? 

4. Which party would be able to muster the cash/money power to organize a national-level campaign? 

5. Who is more credible in the eyes of the people, Sajith or AKD?

Whoever or whichever comes first to the voter would be the winner. Both the traditional UNP led by Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Pohottuwa candidates led by the Rajapaksas will be swept away and a new sociopolitical reality would emerge whose countenance and process will be judged very harshly at each step they take by a questioning voter after the victory.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com           

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    Ranil-Rajapaksa Govt
    Both this politician have pointed out each other fraud now they covering each other. Never chase a lie it come back with defeated.new sociopolitical reality is wanted.
    This Politicians are the same, they promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers.

    • 8
      1

      Anyone still remember the Rajapakses?

      I’m gobsmacked ……. how quickly Ranil has become the magnet for all derision and hate: deservedly though ………that’s his special talent. ……. It seems he enjoys it: that’s what floats his boat. …… Is Lanka a nation of sadomasochists from the president down? …….. Why the hell would a country do this to itself?


      Native, did you find blindfolds, rope, leather straps, bondage tape, ties, handcuffs, spreader bars, ball gags, ……. in Ranil’s library?

      ……… might as well know how to do it cause that’s what “Sinhala Buddhism” has finally got us into without our knowledge or being aware of the various techniques …… https://www.masterclass.com/articles/s-and-m-guide

      IMF can’t help us ……. all the experts who can help us are in there ……

      • 7
        1

        nimal fernando

        “… did you find blindfolds, rope, leather straps, bondage tape, ties, handcuffs, spreader bars, ball gags, ……. in Ranil’s library?….

        Ranil’s library was burnt down like Jaffna Public library.

        “Is Lanka a nation of sadomasochists from the president down? “

        Isn’t it why people have been voting and supporting for the most vile men and women since 1948? Isn’t why people (both Tamil as well as Sinhala speaking) celebrating psychopaths being their respective heroes?

        I am not sure about SJ.
        He celebrates Mao and SiriMao.

      • 5
        3

        Nimal,
        “I’m gobsmacked ……. how quickly Ranil has become the magnet for all derision and hate”
        Didn’t the great VP once say that the Sinhalese can’t remember anything beyond six weeks?

        • 10
          10

          Ranil’s library in another one of those myths of this Jayawardena/Wijewardena/Wickramasinghe con game.

          Any one can buy books and pretend to be an intellectual. Is Ranil an intellectual ?

          Do you know how much he knows about something and how well he understands the subject ? Ranil has not written anything on any subject so we cannot really know his intellectual capacity.

          I know he has written a book on Buddhism ( for political reasons ) If he knows Buddhism he will not act the way he does. All full of ego, hatred and greed.

          Does he understand economics, does he know how to develop this country, does he understand Central Banks and sovereign bonds ? Does he know what democracy is or what is conservative philosophy ?

          How do you assess him ?

          • 6
            7

            Hairy Deepthi
            “does he understand Central Banks and sovereign bonds ?”
            Do you?

            • 9
              7

              Oh no bald old man I do not understand Central Banks and Bonds ! I don’t think even Nanadalal Weerasinghe understands them. There are so many unknowable’s here not every trader in Bonds makes money. It is a difficult field.

              However ,there a few who understand them in this little country. Former Lake House boss Esmund understood Bonds particularly the art of bonding with females. Mahendran former boss of BOI and his son in law understood Bonds and bonding with a bent man call RW.
              Ranil W of course understand Bonds very well, that is why he nominated Mahendran for reappointment as Governor Central Bank a second time.
              Most of all ,this fool called Codger who likes to write in archaic English( which the true Englishmen spurn) to show how learned he is ! English equals Intelligence ! The poor Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Germans, French, Indians are second to this Old codger with a smattering of a foreign language living in tiny Sri Lanka ! !

  • 13
    5

    Ranil is a total looser, he completely lost to Sajith, his diplomacy is zero, he went to Japan and the Uk , gave prominemt photoshoot through his official phtographers but lost UNHCR vote which was a worse performance compared to previous years. He brought in nothing, the country has mounted debt more that during previous presidents. He became president by fluke, and not by any diplomatic move. He is affaid of an election, trying all tricks to postpone elections, the last is by forming the CC. He should be thrown into the dustbin of history, he country is running thanks to the foreign remmitance and tourists who to gether bring in about 500 to 600 million USD per month, ranil only knows to spend to protect his presidency got by fluke

    • 3
      4

      “he completely lost to Sajith”
      Are you sure?

  • 11
    1

    That “Uncle” is gone. No doubt, Ranil W – the nephew was brought into politics, not on the “Nephew’s capabilities” but solely on “Family Ties” – to fall in line with the “Tradition” of the “Elite Family” ruling class. Of course, “Ranil W -the Nephew” fitted very well to continue that “Elite Class” rule. The people took decades to identify the “Reality” of that “Family Rule” until 2020 to “Kick” him out of politics along with his “Uncle Nephew Party”. Yet, the people completely lost sight of the “Hidden” connections and agenda of “Rajapakse & Family” with this “Ranil W” – the “Elite” class that fitted very well to continue the “Familial Rule”. That is a brief account of this “Rajapakse & Ranil W” – “Conglomerate”.

    No doubt, “Rajapakse Clan” has failed. But would they “Give Up”? No. They (Rajapakses) in time of need, “Introduced” the next best and “Trustworthy” to live with and continue the “Tradition” and saw to that “Basil R” be the “Commander-in-Chief”.

    Yet, this time it is not that easy a task to continue. The “Downfall” could come at any time even though a valiant effort is put on to “Hang On”. It is a matter of time.

  • 8
    2

    Evil has proposed to implement 13A without Land and Police. He wants to cancel the provincial police commission and establish a national commission. He said to change the 13A on this with a private resolution. His contention on this is no North East Tamils’ consent is needed. He has his own land policies. there will be no land right to the North East to have their own land policies. Until the Rapist Army and PTA are over the Tamils’ heads, any right Tamils will be overridden, overnight by Colombo. Basically, all land policies, whether National or Provincial, will be administered with the consent of the Rapist Army, from which to seek security Tamils are looking for a new National Solution for themselves. Evil technique here is consolidating Rapist Army victory over the 13A. He openly declared his final solution is only unitary government and all others are dividing the country. Indian Demelo Pariah might have agreed on this with Evil on this it seems. Only way Tamils are proving in international court is how the Sinhala Intellectual brains worked days for the past 75 years to make Tamils their slaves and steal their sovereignty. Tamils never consented to change Soulbury Constitution; they only consented to install it and implement it.

    Thanks for the Tamil Parties who refused to attend the so called “Piece Negotiation.”

    • 4
      0

      If that is the case, what’s new to implement, except, the HoS and HoG and the coterie of Ministers of all different Hew and shade, along with the unimaginable load of officials, were inept, unable to have the process started to implement the constitutional provisions that already existed!!!
      Were these imbeciles, milking the Mee Harakas of Medamulana Walauwe!!?? Let alone previous periods and attempts by many!!!??
      Wouldn’t everyone of this country agree that these imbeciles are not worth the “Sarong and tunic or Shirt, trouser and Tie”, they wear to show off as the prime operators of governing this country!!
      THEY HAVE PROVED BEYOND DOUBT, THEY HAVE FAILED AND UTTERLY TOO, TO FULFILL THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL OATH!!??
      These uncouth CHARLOTANS, SHOULD BE KICKED OUT FORTHWITH – AS THEY ARE A WASTE OF TIME, EFFORT AND RESOURCES OF SL, and TO ENSURE LUXURY AND COMFORT FOR THEMSELVES!!??
      This scum bag is an exact replica – Fast forwarded from 1987, of his uncle JRJ, 35 years ago!!!
      He has no right to claim as anyone standing for democracy – Get set, ready to go! Pack bags!?
      OTHERWISE IMPEACH HIM FOR DERELICTION OF DUTY AND ‘NOT UPHOLDING CONSTITUTION!?????
      He was dancing around to delay his departure!!!

    • 3
      1

      This shows how this scumbag who claims to be the greatest democrat in SL, how he disrespects, not only the 1st and 2nd Republican Constitution, enshrined, after POLITICAL DEMAGOGY OF THE 21ST CENTURY, MUCH WORSE THAN THE 20TH CENTURY, PLAY OF HIS INFAMOUS UNCLE, JRJ, who in 1948 was capable of preaching, GAUTAMA THE BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, to back up his arguments in favour of Japan, BUT FAILING TO REALISE THE SAME IS APPLICABLE IN THE CASE OF MINORITY RIGHTS IN SL!!?
      BOTH ARE GREAT CON-ARTIST AND NOTHING MORE

    • 3
      1

      RW is forgetting that he is trying to commit this misdemeanour on the solemn day, 75years ago, Minorities, agreed with the Singhalese to live side by side, as a nation with brotherly outlook – brethren – on the understanding of the Ceylon Independance act of 1948, enshrining the Bicameral Parliament and Section 29 C as a safeguard against any incursion on their cultural rights!!?? 75 years has not taught anything better and situation is much worse!!!?? Tend to agree with others, which i have desisted to do so up to now, as of not made of any leadership Material!! BS all the way of an intelligent but demented mind and body!!?? Leave the debate of his soul for some other and for a later judgement on that issue
      GOOD LUCK RW ALL THE WAY TO THE ENVISIONED VISTAS OF PROSPERITY AND SPLEDOUR!!??
      May god almighty and the triple gem bless you for all time!!!
      Theruwan Saranai!!!??

  • 14
    3

    Ranil is the biggest scum bag in SL politics.

    We should celibrate 75 yeras since indipendence by getting rid of this disgrace.

    • 5
      5

      Sargent Nallathambi

      “We should celibrate 75 yeras since indipendence by getting rid of this disgrace.”

      So you have a better alternative?
      Sorry old codger, nimal fernando, …. are not contesting.
      Nor am I.

  • 6
    0

    The voters have never been winners. They have always been fooled by the system that is rigged up just before elections, to tempt the fools to vote for them. That is by offering personal benefits. The idiots who voted so far, have time and time again fallen for the gimmicks of the parasitic vermin that pass for “honorable” members of parliament or other representative bodies. On the contrary, these local councils or provincial councils apart from parliament itself, are packed to the rafters by self-serving, callous, uncaring monsters that “do” politics as a business, to make tons of money with no education, no training, no competencies or aptitudes, other than an ability to wag their foul tongues and emit sewer like garbage for public consumption. The people must rise as one, against this system and completely overhaul the system in whatever way possible, at the earliest opportunity.

  • 4
    1

    RW is forgetting that he is trying to commit this misdemeanour on the solemn day, 75years ago, Minorities, agreed with the Singhalese to live side by side, as a nation with brotherly outlook – brethren – on the understanding of the Ceylon Independance act of 1948, enshrining the Bicameral Parliament and Section 29 C as a safeguard against any incursion on their cultural rights!!?? 75 years has not taught anything better and situation is much worse!!!?? Tend to agree with others, which i have desisted to do so up to now, as of not made of any leadership Material!! BS all the way of an intelligent but demented mind and body!!?? Leave the debate of his soul for some other and for a later judgement on that issue
    GOOD LUCK RW ALL THE WAY TO THE ENVISIONED VISTAS OF PROSPERITY AND SPLEDOUR!!??
    May god almighty and the triple gem bless you for all time!!!
    Theruwan Saranai!!!??

  • 12
    9

    To make some quick money I want to place a bet with OC ( an old black man who is very proud of his old English) .
    If Biden or some First world leader dies, and it means a trip to a big country this unelected, universally hated President Ranil and his shrewd wife will fly for the funeral .

    What is the bet !

    • 7
      10

      deepthi DESPERATE silva

      “his shrewd wife “

      Like Ranil’s uncle the Yankee Dick?
      We know she is Ranil’s wife alright but by any standard SHREWD??????

      By this rate you might end up claiming old codger is being the president of this island. You ought to be worried.

      nimal fernando might vehemently object to that.

      Have a good day.

      • 9
        10

        Native,
        Perhaps Hairy Deepthi is confusing “shrewd” with “screwed” . Or she thinks Shiranthi W is Ranil’s wife…..
        Would you be willing to contribute to her further education, for which I am starting a fund?

        • 10
          12

          Really shrewd people don’t advertise the fact. When ranil is out of power she plays the sympathy card, sick, travels by bus, high intellectual -but when Ranil in power she likes to attend the queens funeral knowing very well this country never wanted him to be their President or even speak on their behalf !
          Now this intellectual has no opinion on democracy, jailing of Wasantha, not holding elections, mahendrn racket, husbands dallying with handsome young men-all forgiven as long as she gets to travel to the Queens funeral !

          • 4
            1

            Prof. Deepthi Silva,
            .
            May I ask you if you ever had a ” Gewindu Kumarathunga” or someone like him in your close association ?

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_1831zGXuI

            I am very lucky, I have not met anyone as such…. EAGLE eye could have the evil genetics as Gewindu Kumarathunga…… however Eagle eye might now be playing with earth worms…. hatreds would not bring anything to anyone…. if people would realize that….. this world would have been a real paraside to all..
            :
            In my student dormitory, going back to my past, I had the opportunity to share many things with different nationalities (Africans, Russians, North Americans, South Americans, Inuits, Icelanders, Scandinavians and various Western Europeans, Eastern Europeans). It has been experienced. , although we are born in different cultures and religions, we are all HUMAN beings. To be honest, I have met better people in Europe than in my homeland. Some of them are like my blood relatives. The way some colleagues collected to offer those tsunami victims proved to me how much they supported me.

        • 4
          5

          old codger

          “Would you be willing to contribute to her further education, for which I am starting a fund?”

          Please let me have the Bank account details.

          • 6
            5

            You are starting a fund to help another person ! Very unlike your kind to spend money like this !

            By the way native , since you are such a subordinate character to the more dominating and crass OC I rather cross swords with the boss than the servant. So I will not honour you with comments.

            Dont you type develop old age problems reading the Telegraph 24/7 !

            • 0
              1

              Hairy Deepthi,
              “to the more dominating and crass OC”
              Ah, so you like being dominated?

        • 2
          2

          OC,

          yes, Prof. Deepthi Silva does not know what he is talking about…… might by winter coldness have made him insane these days.
          .
          Btw, what happened to my chaser Sinhala Man ?
          .
          Hope not poor man is fallen with his health problems. No matter he was chasing me like a hyna did it to a deer calve, I pray for his health.

          • 4
            2

            LM,
            Prof. Deepthi is a woman, though she has a moustache.

  • 2
    1

    The party that can show that they can bring the offshore USD 53-billion back to Sri Lanka will be the winning one.
–
Hardworking-Suffering-Lankan-Masses will get a reprieve forever, from the harsh tax burdens terribly placed on their shoulders, and their children’s shoulders.
–
This will of course involves prosecution at the highest levels, of the corrupt government who used the money they, their parents, and their grandparents suffered to earn – THEIR money placed on international wranglings for ultimate power for the rulers.
–
IMF and other world bodies would prefer to work with a clean slate and clean democratic government (otherwise they would get into trouble with country uprisings). But as cleaning up seems an impossibility with places like Sri Lanka, they will agree to go with the next step of harsh taxation together with the country secession+ India merge (Can you imagine the shame and suffering of our people).
–
So, the best thing do as a Nation is to prosecute to the fullest extent, the Ranil-Rajapaksa group of companies (in league with companies such as Adani). It has to be quick; it has to be merciless.
–
We call on the NPP w/o SJB to do the needful for the honor of the Motherland.

    • 5
      0

      We call on the NPP w/o SJB to do the needful for the honor of the Motherland. Masses of both Sri Lanka and India will be relieved, gratified, and eternally grateful. IMF and other global entities will then be able to begin their New World Order with a clean conscience, sigh of relief, and the knowledge they will get a bigger bang for their buck,

    • 1
      0

      Corrections: The party that can show they* can bring the offshore USD 53-billion back to Sri Lanka will be the winning one.

      This will of course involve* prosecution at the highest levels of the corrupt government, who used the money that the people, their parents and grandparents suffered to earn.*

  • 3
    2

    The NPP will gain 35%-38% of the votes followed by the SJB. The people of Sri Lanka should give the NPP an opportunity as the 2 main parties in power are filled with crooks and parasites whom should be eradicated and I have faith only in the NPP.
    The biggest obstacle for the NPP is the so called English speaking Elite in Colombo but the result will send a shiver on to their bootlicking spines. RW, MR,GR,BR,NR, RK, RS, NS, etc, start preparing for your exile.

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