18 April, 2021

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The Deciding Vote – Does It Hold Water?

By Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

With the nominations filed by 19 Presidential candidates and President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Common Opposition candidate Mr Maithripala Sirisena, the two main contenders, vying for the various segments of block votes, the religious, civil and political leadership of minority communities is under pressure to guide their communities. This unfortunately has become the trend amongst minority voters since the introduction of the constitutional reforms by the late Junius Richard Jayewardene in 1978, which is now claimed as the cause for all things evil.  J R Jayewardene’s notorious referendum in 1982 to retain his 2/3rd majority would probably be repeated should there be a Rajapaksa victory. This would be the carrot held-out at the minority representatives, most of whom have lost the confidence of their constituencies.

Amidst contrary claims, the minority vote is bound to make the difference in the up-coming presidential elections. The plantation vote king, Arumugam Thondaman has pledged to continue his lot’s support to the president. Will this drive away his hold on the plantation voters to the new and more dynamic entrants to plantation politics with United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Nuwara Eliya District parliamentarian Perumal Rajathurai joining the United National Party (UNP).  There are also formidable challenges posed to Arumugam Thondaman by Digamabaram and Sri Ranga who could hijack the hold the CWC has on the plantation voters.

MaithriThe continued emphasis on the war victory by the Rajapaksa campaign is expected to drive away even the few northern Tamil votes that could have been harvested by the government with the priority development activities undertaken after the war victory. On the other hand, this is probably the trump card that the incumbent has to display to gain the Buddhist votes, so it is going to be the Hobson’s choice.

With the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) pledging to continue its support to His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, the majority of the Muslims probably have decided how they would vote in this election, irrespective of any decision by their political leadership. Maithripala Sirisena played his cards very well by refusing even to meet with the Bodu Bala Sena. Any engagement by Maithripala Sirisena would have driven away any support that he would have received from the Muslims. The government’s engagement with the BBS is probably the worst blunder that the current administration has made in the recent past. Could this be because they have decided that the minority votes are a lost option for the incumbent and that BBS could bring in the hardline Buddhist votes? If the attendance at the recent BBS meeting in Hyde Park is any indication, it is doubtful that they could bring the votes in the expected numbers. It is also alleged that the CEO of the Bodu Bala Sena is part of the key strategy team of the president at Basil Rajapaksa’s Gregory’s road office, which has upset even those Muslims who are close to the current administration. If proven correct, this would be an additional blow to the president.

Can the Muslim political leadership change this by waving their magic wand and convince their community to have a change heart by revealing the list of demands presented to the president and the number of it accepted that would please the community. Will the extremists Buddhist parties accept any concessions offered to minority communities at this stage? It would be a formidable challenge for the incumbent to steer through this complicated negotiations.

The progress made in multiple areas of development by the current administration is unprecedented, despite the charges of corruption and nepotism. The biggest fear is that all these would come to a standstill if the incumbent were not reelected. It is often claimed that the beautification of Colombo and Gampaha, the mega projects of the port city development and the number of highway projects initiated would be shelved, should there be an opposition victory. Will this hold water? As  Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera claims,  “they have plundered enough and that if re-elected, they do not need more”. Does this mean that if the opposition were elected, they would go through the whole process of kickbacks again for the same projects that has taken off? Will the contractors have the resources to pay kickbacks twice and still deliver an acceptable output?

Today’s meeting of Maithripala Sirisena and the common opposition is anticipated to set the tone of their campaign. Will they be able to spring some surprises by getting some more crossovers from the government? Social media is carrying numbers of voters that have shifted from the government with the crossovers. The number of voters who voted for Sarath Fonseka is the only number to the credit of the current administration. Could this number be counted as the votes for Sarath Fonseka and or Jayantha Ketagoda.  Tissa Attanayake, who could not even retain his Kundasale seat, will not be able to bring in substantial votes. So, the president needs to ensure that he could catch some big fish that translates in to votes. On the other hand, if there is some high profile cross overs from the government, that wave would demoralize a large section of the die hard supporters of the president.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    stupid muslim votes are not a factor….[Edited out]

    • 7
      2

      Nishantha, your attempt was useless as soon as you preceded your comment with the word ‘stupid’. Now try again without being stupid yourself.

      • 0
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        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/

      • 2
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        Muslims are not stupid, on the contrary Sinhalese politicians are crafty.

        Does it matter to Tamils or Muslims to vote for one majoritarian or the other? A known devil may be better than the new one!

        Who knows what is in store for the Tamils and Muslims.

        As far as the Tamils are concerned every election from 1948 onwards has progressively removed their historic rights secured by their ancestors.

        May be its Muslims’ turn to face the music. I am pessimistic that the Mahavamsa mind set of majority leaders will allow them to treat Tamils or Muslims as equal citizens. Nor will the racist Mahanayakes and the bhikkus.

        Whether Rama or rules or Ravana rules or the monkey associated with them rules, what does it matter to us?

    • 7
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      Hilmy, Responsible civil society leaders in the Muslim community, like yourself, need to take a clear stand and lead the Muslim community to vote for Maitri Sirisena.

      Please take a clear stand Hilmy and write a pamphlet advising the Muslim community to vote for the joint opposition regardless of what the corrupt political leaders like Rauf Hakim do.

      A new Muslim leadership that is PRINCIPLED is necessary. and Muslim CIVIL SOCIETY needs to wake up and lead the community!

      • 6
        1

        Muslims do not need a “principled” Muslim leadership. There isn’t any. We do not need any so called “Muslim” party either for guidance. We know we have to chase out the Marahoras from Hambantota.

        We will vote for Maithri literally and figuratively, thank you very much.

        • 2
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          Totally agree.

          Rauf Hakeem is only worried about his file. Who the heck is this Mohamed Muzammil – provincial councillor ? Rishard Bathudeen, Azwer – all these fellows are irrelevant to the Muslims.

          Muslims will vote for UNP/Common Candidate.

        • 2
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          Exactly. A very good response Reza. Stupid BBS (Bebadu Gnanasara) chap now talks crap in public wooing Muslims to vote for MR. He needs to learn a thing or two about the Muslim resolve, never to degrade their religion in exchange for political advantages.

          In my opinion the right thing that Rauf Hakeem should do is to xall all the Muslims, to vote in accordance with with their conscioun. As a leader of the Muslim political party – SLMC, presently aligned to UPFA and MR, and after considering all what Muslims living in SL have been thru and have had to put up with, and further considering benefits and privileges that Muslims have gained by this government, it is best left for them to decide on their choice on the most suitable candidate for Presidency. This will ease the pressure for him to take the decisive step, and also safeguard his call in support on the future leader of the country. All Muslims know which way to vote and will make it resolute and will certainly be unanimous.

    • 5
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      Thank you Nishantha. You stupid stooge, lickspittle of Mara, with your brian dead comment, you have made up our minds as Muslims, to spit on Mara’s face and vote for Maithripala.

      Thanks again. Don’t hold your breath to receive buriyani parcels from us for the New Year.

    • 5
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      Nishantha De Silva

      “stupid muslim votes are not a factor…”

      I assume you mean Ignorant = stupid. However, there is a difference.

      The IQ of Sri Lankans is 79, and there is plenty to pick, and you are a part of that.

      Interesting. The issue is All the Ignorant Votes for MaRa will be more than the non-Ignorant votes?

      10% Ignorant Muslims will Vote for MaRa as opposed to more than 50% last time.

      33% Ignorant Sinhala Buddhists will Vote for MaRa as opposed to more than 60% last time.

      The Math will show that MaRa will lose by about 70/30 to Mr. Matriplala Sirisena.

      Do not go by the cutouts. Throw balloons filled with Black and Red paint at the cutouta.

    • 1
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      Hilmy Ahamed –

      Every vote counts, and get the people to vote as if their lives dependent on defeating Mara.

      Write the Common Sense Pamphlet for the People, like Thomas Paine..

      Mahinda seeks help from Indian gods but the Gods are NOT with MaRa, aka Mara.

      http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7960:mahinda-seeks-help-from-indian-gods-&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

      Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa after handing over nomination papers has left to Thirupaty Hindu Temple in India in a special ‘SriLanakan’ aircraft.

      Indian media reports strict security arrangements have been made for Mr. Rajapaksa’s visit. He and his entourage will go by road from Renigunta airport to Tirumala hills where the temple is. After offering prayers late in the evening and again participating in the pre-dawn ritual on Wednesday, he will motor down the hills by 8.15 am, reach airport by 9.30 am and fly back to Colombo reports Indian Media.

      Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa called for the presidential election, the extra special gazette for the announcement of the election was signed and handing over of the nomination paper was done on instructions from astrologer Sumanadasa Gunawardena. The visit to the Thirupaty Hindu Temple is to get blessings of gods say sources.

      • 1
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        This third rate racist ruler goes to our gods to seek divine support while his opponent goes to the temple of the tooth to start his campaign. This time, the supreme Shrimann Narayan/Maha Vishnu will answer the prayers of the majority of Sri Lankans even though this mass murderer is kneeling down and crying for mercy this morning. The country will see the divine intervention of God Shrimann Narayan/Maha Vishnu on the 9th of January when this greedy dictator is thrown out with his entire clan. I ask the people of Sri Lanka to surround the mattala airport to ensure that he doesnt take off with his lot and loot on the 9th. They have to be brought before the courts of law and provide justice to the people that has been denied during his 10 year rule. I call upon all Sri Lankans to be non violent and the gods will do what is the need of the nour

    • 6
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      Nishantha De Silva

      We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

      – Benjamin Franklin

      You must be working very hard to remain one and elect another.

      • 0
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        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/

        • 2
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          Nishantha De Silva

          Thanks for your comment at 12:18 pm December 10, 2014

          Since you have eloquently argued your case we now agree with you that you are an irredeemable stupid, ignorant moron.

    • 1
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      MaRa Buster Mairi attracts Massive Crowsa.

      Throw Paint filled balloons at MaRa Cut outs..ans liberate country from Mara dictatorship.

      http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7958:massive-crowd-in-kandy-to-welcome-maithri&catid=36:top-stories&Itemid=124

      Massive crowd in Kandy to welcome Maithri
      TUESDAY, 09 DECEMBER 2014 17:52 0 COMMENTS E-MAIL| PRINT |PDF
      The first propaganda rally of the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena after handing over nominations is being held opposite Kandy Market at present.

      A massive crowd has come to welcome the common candidate. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena engaged in religious ceremonies at the Temple of the Tooth before he attended the rally. He also visited Mahanayaka of Malwatte Chapter Venerable Thibbotuwawe Siddhartha Thero to receive his blessings.

    • 2
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      Nishantha, when ever you type two words, your sucking up to the racist mahinda gets exposed. You better freeze your fingers so that the little that this maraya raja paka….a would get in votes is not destroyed.

      People who are stupid as you are the ones who have destroyed the country. The majority of the Buddhists have no hatred for other communities the way you do. You belong to this bunch of racist dictators and you will perish with them on the 8th of January

    • 2
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      This time the Muslims are NOT going to listen to their political leaders. The Muslim congress decision is not required. Even if Hakeem or Badurdeen or Azwer or Mohamed Muzammil or anybody tell them to vote for Rajapakshe, they will ONLY vote for Maithripala. By creating the BBS, the Rajapakshes have made a very big blunder. They will never get any Muslim votes.

    • 1
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      Nishantha De Silva aka Elakolla,

      Without Muslim votes your loving MaRa is going to lose this time. Let him worship at all the Hindu Temples in India, it is useless. Let us see how God work this time.

  • 6
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    Dear Nishantha
    Muslims and Tamils are not stupid and neither are the Sinhalese. The minority and the majority Sinhala people have already decided whom they should elect for the good of the country and its majority citizens. Some leaders/politicians of not only the Muslim or Tamil communities but even the Sinhala community have sold their souls for money.
    The People have had enough and will vote wisely.

    • 3
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      Humbug Ho

      “Muslims and Tamils are not stupid and neither are the Sinhalese.”

      I beg to disagree. All of them are born stupid.

  • 6
    0

    A fair share may be more than 70 percent of the mimorities tamils & muslims would likely to go in favour MS which would be a substantial junk for his victory. Thonda may show he has big vote bank but his people are now smarter and decide by themselves.

  • 7
    0

    The cross-over of Tissa is not going to be a vote-puller, but its a
    game of one-upmanship. Money (Chinese funded) could be used to buy
    anything, as this man has been PURCHASED. He did not want to miss the
    chance, and he knows his Ministership will not last. He proves himself
    as a useless man

    If I was a political strategist what I would do for the present, as
    Nominations are over, make a unique placard disclosing Mahinda Assets
    although fake, with a foot note: Estimated figures as no declartion form was officially submitted. This will go a long way to teach the
    SB voter especially, when placed at all Rallies in all parts of sri
    Lanka. It will be up to Mahinda to deny it, agree with it or submit a
    correct one – if he dares to!

    Over to Mangala and Mithiri.

    • 3
      0

      The Placard – Fantastic Idea!

      “Footnote:
      Above are estimated figures as no official declaration provided by Mara as mandated by law”

      Maithri – get on with it! Don’t waste time.

      • 1
        0

        Throw Paint Filled Ballons at the maRa Cut outs

        http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7959:cut-out-duty-for-army-&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

        Cut-out duty for Army

        With the beginning of the presidential election Army soldiers in Colombo have been deployed to protect cut-outs of the presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa say report

        They have been instructed to arrange their patrols to cover where Mr. Rajapaksa’s cutouts have been put up. They have also been ordered to take to camps all cut-outs that have been defaced, damaged, disfigured or broken down before early morning.

        A private company has been assigned to replace the cut-outs removed by Army personnel say reports.

    • 1
      0

      The Tissa guy is yesterday’s garbage. Forget him. One has to question whether Mara has even gone insane, to publicly welcome this piece of stinking sheet. He is a liability plus plus!!!

      The more important news I am awaiting is when is the swollen headed “future king” of Sri Lanka Sajith Premadasa going to cross over to Mara Camp. That will be the day all Sri Lankans will light fire crackers to celebrate the end of this hallucinating imposter / spoil sport / modaya / and what have you. HA Ha Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 3
      0

      punchinilame

      “Nominations are over, make a unique placard disclosing Mahinda Assets although fake, with a foot note: Estimated figures as no declartion form was officially submitted. “

      Excellent.

      MaRa will have to deny by disclosing.

      Put Jayalalitha as well on the poster.

      Add as a chapter to the Common sense Phamplet…

      PS. Fill Balloons with black and Re paint and throw tat the MaRa cutouts.

  • 2
    0

    Wonder when the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress will make its decision known. If Rauf Hakeem doesn’t go with the Maithri wave he will come a cropper. He must remember the successful hartal the Muslims conducted to protest the Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala state engineered riots. Let him also remember the tears he shed when he visited the ‘war torn’ areas.

    I remember distinctly the president’s words to describe the hartal. ‘Such a big hartal for such a small riot?’ Three dead and more injured. Dozens f shops and homes destroyed with the help in the presense and with the support of government forces.

    Anyway, how big should the riot be for the president to sit up and take notice?

    Aman

  • 1
    0

    H Ahamed

    Aru Thonda is NOT The Plantation Vote King. He is not a Lion, but that successive Heads of Government have acted Sheep. In whatever alliance he contests, he shamefacedly transits to the side that wins. Such unprincipled behaviour of Sinhala leaders repetitively has emboldened this ordinary mortal. At all times Sinhala leaders assessed his elephantiasis leg wrong. He cannot so much as lift it.

    If this time the Common Candidate, puts him in his place, eradication of bribe receiving and corrupt actions will begin first in the plantation area. He is sure to lose his status as a head of a formation, but will hover around the successful Maithripala with future fortunes in mind even if it be 2021.

    Let that man not congratulate himself every time that an Indian Tamil Lion fools the Sri Lankan sheep.

  • 1
    0

    If Rauff Hakeem does not go with MARA, the Kumari Coorays file will come up, The video of his jiggle joggle with Kumari Coorays is with MARA. He can do nothing for Muslims.

    • 0
      0

      He can do nothing with the Kumari file after he has filed the nominations. All Hakeem needs to do is, declare that he is threatening and blackmailing him over the Kumari case. In any case, Kumari set herself on fire, and there is evidence. Man has the right to sleep with any women or fall in love as long as it is not commercial sex. Kumari probably liked what he did and wanted him permanently, but he had a family of his own to take care, so he could share only one part of his body with Kumari

    • 0
      0

      He never did anything for the Muslims ! He is a total disgrace.

      I don’t think the opposition should take him either. May be they would have already rejected him and he plans to support the government.

      What a loser !

  • 0
    0

    The rural muslims must be educated on whom to vote,otherwise they can easily fall for the following bait
    TRIP to Mecca ,motor cycles , laptops houses etc etc,when the likes of Tissa Attanayakas are falling for the lucre would not the poor and discriminated muslims fall for these.
    Sirisena and his campaign team must try hard and convince the muslim population and get their votes.
    Majority Sri lankans want a change, SO Sirisena Ranil Sarath Fonseka Chandrika will have to try hard ,BUT the team is not pushy enough,they think they can win hands down,that is their shortcoming,Mahinda is more vigorous and determined.THAT MAKES THE BIG DIFFERENCE.

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