By Malinda Seneviratne –
People have short memories, some politicians like to think. But politicians themselves are people and the claim is eminently applicable to that category as well. Forgive-forget after all is par for the course in a profession about which it is said that there are no permanent enemies or friends. Indeed, politicians can remember-forget anything and everything, including ‘truths’ ferociously defended and enemies fought with no quarter given or asked for. And this, ladies and gentlemen, is which coalition politics is fascinating, unpredictable and chaotic.
Last week there was a gathering of key political figures all clamoring for the abolition of the Executive Presidency. There was a former president who enjoyed two full terms of constitutionally conferred dictatorial powers raising her hand to scrap that office. Lost in all the camaraderie was the fact that the lady came to power promising to abolish the Executive Presidency. No one seems to have remembered, also, that the JVP (well represented at the meeting) went around defending their support of her candidacy claiming ‘we knew she would not do it and thought this was a good way to prove she is a liar!’
Moreover, she found common ground with a man who called her Chaura Regina (Thieving Queen). There was the LTTE’s ‘democratic’ mouthpiece chit-chatting with a man who claims he and he alone was responsible for the defeat of the LTTE. In the audience there were also allies of the Government who have dismissed most of the above-mentioned entities as ‘traitors’.
It has come to a point where the term ‘strange bedfellows’ sounds odd since bedding with strangers has become the norm, both in the ruling coalition and in the various tie-ups that the opposition dreams up from time to time.
Over the past several decades ‘Abolish the Executive Presidency’ has been a regular theme in opposition rhetoric. Indeed one has come to expect as inevitable for that flag to be waved come election time, especially considering the opposition (courtesy the JRJ Constitution) tends to be fragmented and weak. In general again the people seem reluctant to be passionate about the issue either way. If coalition glue is what it is considered to be by the opposition it’s good enough of course.
One thing that needs to be understood here is that big names usually come with big egos; the prominent believe they are not only the most qualified but have the best chance. They won’t support a ‘common candidate’ if they felt that they could pull it off. If they feel that the election cannot be won then it is logical for them to back a loser for the simple reason that they won’t have to be the fall guy. Someone else’s political career will be over; that’s consolation enough in reduced circumstances, obviously. That’s a convenient galavijjava which both the UNP and JVP made use of in 2010.
In this context a presidential election could be interesting if one of two people emerge as ‘common candidate’, Karu Jayasuriya or Ranil Wickremesinghe. If either of them contests it would indicate some degree of confidence. If not, it would be another Sarath Fonseka fiasco. Entertaining it may be, but in the final instance made for a foregone conclusion.
It would be even more interesting if the key players in the Opposition focus on a ‘common program’ and tell the Goverment, ‘call the match and I will name the captain’. As things stand it’s ‘We are in the process of picking the captain’ without a match on the cards. That’s sad.
Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha probably got it right when he said that this was a campaign that even President Rajapaksa can join. Now that’s being politically astute.
*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com
ajith / July 27, 2014
Mahinda is very upset. Mahinda knows everyone including his foreign settled brothers is going to leave him alone to face the reality. Malinda thinks he has to use this opportunity to maximize his profits using Mahinda as much as possible before he leaves him.
JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA / July 29, 2014
We have to ask only One question from Malinda.
Are you feeding your Family by doing a Shill job for MARA, And The Jarapassa clan.
What a Shame for so called journalist????????.
Amarasiri / July 27, 2014
Malinda Seneviratne –
“Last week there was a gathering of key political figures all clamoring for the abolition of the Executive Presidency. There was a former president who enjoyed two full terms of constitutionally conferred dictatorial powers raising her hand to scrap that office. Lost in all the camaraderie was the fact that the lady came to power promising to abolish the Executive Presidency. No one seems to have remembered, also, that the JVP (well represented at the meeting) went around defending their support of her candidacy claiming ‘we knew she would not do it and thought this was a good way to prove she is a liar!’”
Isn’t is better to elect a new president than the current one, who is corrupt, lies, along with his monsters and monks, even if the new President does not change the Executive Presidency after being elected.
That way the people can put an end to the family hegemony of the brothers and sons.
Why are you whitewashing. Because that is your assigned Shill job?
Samuel Jayamanne / July 27, 2014
Malinda is where he is asked to his job by Rajapakshe family.
Awards and rewards he gets could be fine, but the man at all has his own voice – unbiased thoughts as Thisaranee G or any of the few fearless journalists today.. is a more than questionable.
Renuka De Mel / July 27, 2014
As usual the author of the article Malinda, who is the editor? of the Nation news paper, is doing all what is possible to discredit anything and every thing that harm his master Mahinda. He is sure there is a fraction of his co-activists gang JHU as a part of the drama he speak for.
In this article, Malinda fail to address the need of pooling citizens toward abolish the Executive Presidency or vice versa. Even the effort of Ven Maduluwawe Sobitha thero is being taken for ride by Malinda in this article by putting him to as a drama maker.
In this article Malinda is painting the effort to abolish Executive Presidency as a game for removing Mahinada instead removing Executive presidency and bringing the President who is also accountable and subject to common justice.
This article as usual expresses mere irritation of Malinda and nothing of intellectual in this. He is far from addressing a better governing system whether executive presidency or alternative, instead he is thinking of Bush Doctrine (be with us or with the enemy)and lining to say be with Mahinda or get lost.
Indra / July 27, 2014
We citizens can always expect The Laptop to do the talking. That is why dictators spend millions for citizens account to buy journalists.
Malinda had to be cruel and spoil that moment of hope for the country. Curse him.
Nimal / July 27, 2014
compare this with Chandraprema in The Island today. their minds seem to be controlled from the same centre, no?
Daya / July 27, 2014
Malinda [Edited out].He will do anything to get the next bone to lick,thrown out by MARA the village headman.
Saman / July 27, 2014
Malinda trying to lick leftover bones before they are been trashed.
Why don’t Malinda write on more interesting and current issues that are palgued in Sri Lanka today.
How about the following article which say MR spending over 100 million US Dollars on foreing lobbying firms, after having hired three more international investigators to report on war crimes.
How about opening up a Bank of Ceylon branch in Seyshells where only 90,000 people live and most of them are making under 5 US dollars a day.
Who is vacationing in Sey shells for Mihin Air to fly there.
How about disappearing of Cocain after they are been decteted by the customs.
How about the seven Jaffna journalists who were travelling to Colombo getting caught with Ganja in their van, caught at Military/ Police check point.
Malinda has to select between Politics, Laptops, car permits, corruptions and rescuing our country from thugs when he write his articles.
Kiri Yakka / July 28, 2014
I am waiting for you to flip. I know you would be the first, when you realize the winds of change have got to a suitable point where it is safe for you to Jump – in the name of the Nation of course.
K.A Sumanasekera / July 28, 2014
Ex Gen Fonseka didn’t look happy at all in that Rainbow Photo. Did he !!!!
He was on a roll at the last Common Candidate show, until the then Rainbow Leader Ranil persuaded Sambandan to stand next to the ex Gen on the same platform.
The rest is history.
In contrast Ranil seems happy as Larry.
It can’t be the presence of the cousin next to him.
Could it be that he suddenly got a flash of what his nomination would be this time and how that nominee will get done like a dog’s breakfast at the hands of the great leader of Sinhala Buddhist South.
Native Vedda / July 28, 2014
“Ex Gen Fonseka didn’t look happy at all in that Rainbow Photo. Did he !!!!”
War criminals don’t have happy life. Even their close families and friends don’t like them.
Since you are a supporter of the clan your family particularly your partner (if you have one) may not be happy. Find out from her/him/it and let us know.
Am I a happy man? Ask this question in front of your mirror three times a day before meals.
Horikadey / July 28, 2014
Malinda S makes his comments to keep his job and to please his employers in this so-called analysis, who are, in turn, controlled by the regime.
He might not be he most suitable, rational or ideal candidate with the required minimum educational qualifications to lead the country. He is given into a degree of ego, unpredictability and majoritarianism that is close to lunacy. But the man of the moment to permanently rid the country of the Rajapakse madness within the candidates discussed here is Sarath Fonseka. He has no clue about how the economy should be set right, how national unity can be achieved, how to deal with India with the necessary finesse and diplomacy. But he will get rid of the Rajapakses and their hench-aiyas speedily, brutally – possessing the venom that is natural to him. He may, in the process, divide the politicised army and set it on fire.
That seems to be OK with most of the people now. It is Buono Sera time for the Rajapakse Family.