20 September, 2018

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The Democratic Route To A Third Term

By Somapala Gunadheera –

Somapala Gunadheera

Somapala Gunadheera

TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election was a pleasant surprise to me. It was pleasant because it echoed my belief that with the expanding vistas and liberalism of our younger generation, a Northerner would become our Head of State by the middle of the century. But it is clearly evident that we have not attained that level of maturity as a Nation, so far.

If the TNA’s nominee is not acceptable, Sumanthiran wants to know the reason why. Evidently he is kite-flying on the communal response to the choice. But ethnicity is not relevant here. Not only the TNA, but also any other Party offering a politician in practice as the common candidate is bound to be disappointed. The reason is that any such candidate will naturally ignite rivalry, because of the potential in him to upstage himself and his Party in the process. The advantage gained by the selection would finally accrue to his side to the detriment of others.

There appears to be a confusion here between the terms ‘common candidate’, (CC) and ‘single issue candidate’ (SIC). A CC is selected to represent the interests of Parties with common interests and after election, he continues his assignment. On the other hand, a SIC is one who comes forward to pool the votes of all opposition Parties, irrespective of differences among themselves, for the sole purpose of defeating a seemingly invincible personality in power.

There is a definite end to the SIC’s assignment. He has to oust the strong man, prepare the stage for democratic rule and go home. Such a nominee has to be necessarily a-political and have no political ambitions of his own. No one in active politics can play that role, for obvious reasons. Thus searching for a SIC among politicians of any hue is an absurd venture. Harem Guard vacancies are reserved for eunuchs only.

Mahinda RThe indications are that reformists in search of a SIC have already chanced upon an effective challenger to MR. Hence the excitement in the government to advance elections and to fix the order in which they are held, not to mention SOS summons to Temple Trees and VIP visits to religious leaders and sanctuaries.

The signs are that the grip that MR had on his Ministers and MPs is getting lose. Some of them defy the Division Bell. Others hold separate May Day Rallies of their own. Vociferous supporters of yesterday are issuing open challenges to government policy. There are public statements made by Ministers denouncing cabinet decisions. Rats desert a sinking ship, however kind the Captain may have been to them. The ‘coming colour’ is definitely ‘no good’.

MR certainly has a huge fund of good will on his side, mainly due to his unique contribution to the defeat of the LTTE. His vote bank in the rural sector, built with populist tactics, is formidable. The escalating resentment to the regime is largely due to the gimmicks, lawlessness and extravagance of those near him and the corruption, waste and inefficiency of those trusted by him.

For himself, MR has managed to keep his head above water except by the self-seeking move to extend his term of office and to politicize the Independent Commissions, not to mention the impeachment of the CJ. The loss of faith caused by these misadventures has begun to rock the boat and eat into the stock of goodwill for the government. The ‘SIC Movement’ is the direct outcome of these indiscretions and the indications are that the turf is going to be murkier as time passes, making it impossible to defeat a well-organized united team. A case of, “Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself. And falls on th’ other”.

But MR still has a chance to turn the tables on his opponents. That is by listening to the advice of his Ministers from the left wing and jumping the gun over the Opposition’s move on promulgating a new Constitution, after the victory of the SIC. If he thinks that a third term is out of the question under the changing scenario, MR can convene a Constituent Assembly himself and promulgate a liberal Constitution under which he could contest in an environment devoid of the autocratic trappings of the 18th Amendment. His change of course and the seeming sacrifice of power is bound to generate a fund of sympathy among the masses, making them forgive his foray into Disneyland. With unpleasant past memories thus erased, MR will stand head and shoulders above anyone who would come forward to oppose him at the ensuing election.

Thus MR has two choices. One is to ignore the gathering storm and face the next Presidential Election for his third term, risking the challenge of the SIC. The other alternative is to turn over a new leaf by taking steps to replace the much maligned despotic Presidency  with a democratic Constitution and face a Parliamentary election, thereby cutting the ground under the SIC’s feet. Being a past master of political manoeuvre, MR has the acumen to decide on the next move on his own. This is a gamble, the failure of which could be the end of the road for a man who has enlivened the political arena for several decades. It goes without saying that it is always better to reign in Diyavannava than to mope at a tottering Queen’s House.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    4

    Somapala Gunadheera –

    Here is my take on this.

    1. “TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election was a pleasant surprise to me.”

    Sri Lank and the Para-Sinhala People are not yet ready for this. It is like trying to get a black man elected as president of USA in 1870, 5 years after the civil war. It did happen in 2008 with Obama.

    2. “If the TNA’s nominee is not acceptable, Sumanthiran wants to know the reason why.”

    Sumanthiran is stupid, an idiot and they could not handle the LTTE and VP, among the many Tamils.

    Besdies this will give a3rd term to Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    Anura Kumara Dissanayaka of JVP , CBK, Ven., Sobitha Thero, Sarath Fonseka and Even Ranil W are better candidates.

    • 2
      5

      amASSiri the altar boy, wait till you get your treatment next year….till then keep on posting rubbish and you are great at it

      • 4
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        Balu Kela Kolla, your species is not allowed to comment on CT. Get lost before you are caught and taken to the dog pound.

      • 2
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        ela kolla, aka moda kolla and avatars,

        Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Looks like you were able to take Bus 134. Ask Jim Softy “Thatha” and Lorenzo “Bappa” to give you candies, and “Mung Kavum’

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

        • 0
          1

          amASSiri the altar boy, wait till you get your treatment next year….till then keep on posting rubbish and you are great at it

      • 2
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        ela kolla and avatars,

        Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Did you take Bus 134? What did “THattha” Jim Softy Say? “Bappa” Lorenzao Say? What did your “Nandas’ say? What did your “Aaachi” say? Your grandmother is not happy with Monk Mahagama Hemasiri.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

  • 5
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    .
    As many Sinhalese say if TNA is continuing LTTE’s agenda, then MaRa will be their choice to be the President.
    :-)

  • 7
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    TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election was a pleasant surprise to me.

    Can you actually show me where this was said?

  • 3
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    Ape the whiteman with whiskey but not democracy? Is that so?

    The guy who win Sri Lanka must heed majority aspirations. That is probably why Ranil or Vingeswaran will never win.

    Where is the reality check?

  • 3
    1

    Thanks Mr. Somapala. I like your point saying their couldn’t be politically skilled person without political ambitions, very true.
    However, I don’t think, for MR, there is risk of losing next election. Mainly because Gotabhaya can’t afford to loose, if MR loose, Gota can’t live in SL, he can’t go back to US, there would be threats to his life, wealth of whole extended family accumulated is at great risk. MR could survive.
    Gota must have all planned by now to fool the fools.
    #) at least a month before calling election, there will two huge bomb explosions in BBS and Rawaya offices. Couple of hardcore monks would die, couple of LTTE prisnors would be tied to bombs to prove the obvious. Or perhaps some Muslims terrorist links would be planted too.
    #) third bomb, much smaller one, will be exploded in the visinity of MoD or presidents house. No harm to humans.
    MR will win the election comfortably…
    If it still looks like loosing the election, Gota will take the control by military coup, to safegurd the country from LTTE terrorists (?) and western powers, #$#&#… Majority SL fools will believe anything..

    • 2
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      stupid AVB, looks like you are giving a good competition to amASSiri the altar boy when it comes to posting rubbish…

      • 2
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        kolla, ela kolla, aka moda kolla and avatars,

        Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Looks like you were able to take Bus 134. Ask Jim Softy “Thatha” and Lorenzo “Bappa” to give you candies, and “Mung Kavum’

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

      • 2
        0

        kolla, ela kolla, aka moda kolla and avatars,

        Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Looks like you were able to take Bus 134. Ask Jim Softy “Thatha” and Lorenzo “Bappa” to give you candies, and “Mung Kavum’

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

      • 2
        0

        kolla, ela kolla, aka moda kolla and avatars,

        Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Looks like you were able to take Bus 134. Ask Jim Softy “Thatha” and Lorenzo “Bappa” to give you candies, and “Mung Kavum’

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

        • 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/

          • 1
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            kolla, ela kolla, aka moda kolla and avatars,

            Did you return to Habaraduwa? A Monk in Habaraduwa gives proper education. Looks like you were able to take Bus 134. Ask Jim Softy “Thatha” and Lorenzo “Bappa” to give you candies, and “Mung Kavum’

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNSC93mPs4I

  • 1
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    Good balanced piece. The TNA is only floating a kite to get some other points across; no harm. Sobitha and Chandrika are realistic winners and the best options – but can we trust Chandrika? Maybe she can be so tightly bound down by support structures that she has no chance to play truant this time. I don’t know; time will work everything out.

    SG’s reference to the President’s “Ministers from the left wing” is at best facetious, and at worst a remark from the planet Mars. These guys (Vasu, DEW and Tissa) are out-and-out opportunists, only interested in perks and sinecures. Please Mr Gunahadeera you are a good man; please wake up, you are living in the past when the leaders of the Old Left were men and women of higher quality than these rats.

  • 3
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    A horse would be an ideal common candidate. If it can be a Senator in Rome why can’t it be a President in SL?

    • 2
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      Leon,

      “A horse would be an ideal common candidate. If it can be a Senator in Rome why can’t it be a President in SL? “

      If the horse wins, how should we address the horse formally.

      1. His/Her Excellency, Mr./Madame President?

      2. His/Her Excellency, Mr./Madame Horse?

      3. Mr./Madame President?

  • 2
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    MR can get back to the democratic process but what will he do about all the baggage and dirty linen accumulated from the last 5 – 10 years? Who is going to answer for all those undemocratic acts ? It is therefore unlikely that MR can let go of the current system and allow democracy, freedom of expression, independent judiciary and accountability.

  • 3
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    TNA has never put forward Wigneswaran as a Presidential candidate.
    Is the author seeking to ensure that the Sinhala masses continue to support the President by ensuring their hatred against the TNA?

    ”It seems that somebody has organized an essay writing competition on the topic of ‘common candidate’. Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has proposed Mr. Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the leader of the JVP as the best common candidate while Mr. Kusal Perera , a journalist, proposed Mr. Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council” –
    17 May 2014, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/on-common-candidate-competition/

    • 0
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      What? Somapala in knots?

    • 2
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      Davidson Panabokke

      Looks like a bait o the Stupid TNA by MR so that he will get reelected.

      Are there more more Tamil Modays than Sinhala Modayas?

      DeJa Vu Have seen it Before…in the Land of the Native Veddah..the actuvities of the Paras…

  • 0
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    Mr Gunadheera, please note:
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/more-about-wiggie-as-national-common-candidate/
    More About Wiggie As “National” Common Candidate, Kusal Perera, 10 May 2014:

    “There is a proposal from certain sections in society to nominate Northern Province Chief Minister Wigneswaran as the Common Presidential Candidate at the next presidential polls. We would like to know what the UNP, JVP and DP think about this proposal.” – M.A. Sumanthiran, TNA National List MP

    “I believe the opposition parties would not reject this proposal because Wigneswaran is a Tamil.” – Mano Ganeshan, DPF Councillor, WPC

    These remarks made at a media briefing held in Colombo on Wednesday 07th May, was in response to my Sinhala article that appeared in the “Ravaya” newspaper of 04th May and posted in CT Sinhala site, titled, “Wignes as Common Candidate – Challenge To The Opposition”.

    • 0
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      Somapala ?????????

  • 1
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    It has happened before(a person from the minority community becoming the Prime Minister of India) but it happened again in the presence SL President Rajapakse. Modi a Gujarati, not from the majority Hindi speaking North, took oaths as the all powerful Prime Minister of India before the Bengali President of India, Pranab Mukerji. In SL even Kadirgamar could not become a powerless Prime Minister.That is a lesson we have to learn from India. Any talented and honest person should be able to become the President or PM of Sri Lanka.In spite of scams and corruption India to a very great extent is a living democracy. Whenever necessary its Judges do the necessary course correction. Its Election Commission is great. When Seshan was the Election Commission even if a single government vehicle or helicopter was used for election work by a Minister they had to pay for it. I don’t know why the former G.A. of Trincomalee was surprised, pleasantly or otherwise when CVW a former S.C.Judge with a clean record was even mentioned as a Presidential candidate?

    • 1
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      I agree with everything you’ve written except for the last sentence. We were all hopeful that he could bring harmony when he was elected, BUT he went up North and opened his mouth, and then we discovered who he really was.

      • 0
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        My point is why not a Tamil or a Muslim or a Burgher, (e.g.one like Peter.K,or a Bala Tampoe or Shanmugathasan or an Abdul Majeed -former M.P. from Muthur) not necessarily C.V.W. A suitable candidate should not be shunned just because he is not a Sinhalese.In fact no one has the right to do it.

        • 1
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          radish.S

          “not necessarily C.V.W. A suitable candidate should not be shunned just because he is not a Sinhalese.In fact no one has the right to do it. “

          Any qualified and competent Para should be OK. The need should not be based on being Para-Sinhala, Para-Tamil, Para-Muslim, Para-Portuguese or Parangi, Para-Dutch, Para-English or, Para-Malay or any other in the Land of Native Veddah.

          Who says it has to be a Para-Sinhala like we have had so far and we presently have.

          Need to keep reminding the Para-Sinhala, that they are Paras, just like the Para-Tamils…. The Proof is in their bodies,. in the DNA, DeoxyRibo Nuclieic Acid.

        • 1
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          My point is that one cannot become the President of Sri Lanka without mass appeal, and that Wigneswaran who had some support among the Sinhala lost it all when he opened his mouth. The names you’ve mentioned would stand NO chance of being elected, NOT because they are Muslim, Tamil or Burgher, BUT because their politics would be unattractive to the people. Karthirgamar on the other hand would have been an excellent choice for any party, because he had proved himself to be above ethnic politics. Yet he was murdered, and NOT by the Sinhala, Muslim or Burgher. We have to await such a man/woman.

  • 2
    0

    This is not the Somapala I knew a few decades ago.

    TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate ?

    Mahinda Rajapakse has succeeded in using you as his proxy ??

  • 3
    0

    Mad ass …not worth vasting time by commenting..

  • 3
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    Mr Gunadheeera,
    “TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election was a pleasant surprise to me.”

    Could you please let us know some evidence for your claim – TNA’s proposal.

    Thanks

  • 1
    2

    SIC or CC has Buckley’s.

    Just imagine either of these carrying Sambandan on one shoulder and Ms Pillai on the other going out to our rural areas asking them for their vote.

    Why do you think Ranil is still hiding?.

    Latest goss is Keselwatta Kid is going to have peace talks with Ranil and persuade him to be “the candidate”.”.

    But Keselwatta Kid’s one time God Father , Mr Jayasuriya has put the spanner in the works saying this is a major ploy by the Kid to get Ranil to lose yet again and finish him off for good so that he can contest the one after.

    And that is not a bad move even in the eyes of the inhabitant majority,

    After all Keselwatta Kid is one of them and wouldn’t do anything to do serious harm to their current progress and peaceful living as the goons like Tissa, Ravi, Mangala Kiriella and that dopey kid who thinks he is an economic vizard won’t be around.

    This is only hypothetical mind you.

  • 0
    0

    The idea of Wigneswaran being a common candidate is a non issue. Little realising that he can be seen through, Mr Gunadheera is using this as a façade to cunningly promote Rajapaksa and his low tactics and to arouse the chauvinist feelings amongst the Sinhala polity in support of Rajapaksa. Seeing through this, Davidson Panabokke in evincing his culture and upbringing has in his comment put it very aptly. Bensen

  • 1
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    Colombo Telegraph, why are likes/dislikes being modified.?

  • 1
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    Mr.Gunadheera:

    TNA’s proposal to make Wigneswaran the common candidate at the next Presidential Election was a pleasant surprise to me:

    It may have come to you as a surprise but it has come to me as shock. Whoever thought of this must have a sinister motive and that can only be to finish him off. Just imagine the CM campaigning in the South. My friend he will be lynched by the Sinhalese mobs.

  • 2
    1

    Why Vigneswaran is not suitable ? No need to go into details , one single factor makes him disqualify to be the common cadidate. He glorified and made Prabakaran a hero, most ruthless and barbaric terrorist world has seen. Just like majority Sinhalese rejected JVP terrorist Rohana Wijeweera I will never vote for someone who had glorified a terrorist.
    Being said that I am not a racist, I love my motherland and its people dearly, my dream is to live to see one day majority Sinhalese able to vote a non Sinhalese to lead them without any suspicion or fear in their hearts and minds.

    • 1
      1

      Palitha

      “He glorified and made Prabakaran a hero, most ruthless and barbaric terrorist world has seen.”

      How exactly did he glorify?

      “Just like majority Sinhalese rejected JVP terrorist Rohana Wijeweera I will never vote for someone who had glorified a terrorist.”

      Here is the JVP website where you will see history of JVP’s partnership with all mainstream parties.

      http://www.jvpsrilanka.com/en/index.php?
      option=com_content&view=article&id=119&Itemid=27

      People didn’t completely reject JVP. The other mainstream parties never had any qualm with JVP either.

      Are you writing your own history just like Off the Cuff?

  • 0
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    Until the opposition has selected a good common candidate , Rajapakse regime is going to rule ( eat ) the country.

  • 0
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    Wigneswaran as a common opposition candidate against Mahinda Rajapaksa???? Ha! Ha! Ha!–That Wigneswaren who does not have the political acumen and political will even to run a little Provincial Council? …. And one expects the vast majority of Sinhalese people at the current climate to vote for Wigneswaren instead of Mahinda Rajapakse? What a preposterous imagination!!!-

    Those who are proposing it or welcoming it are really working for Mahinda Rajapakse–be it Sumanthiran, or Mano Ganehan or for that matter anyone-including the writer of this article, who says he is “pleasantly surprised” . There is no other certain way of ensuring Mahinda Rajapakse’s victory than to propose Wigneswaren or even for a Tamil put himself forward as one of the opposition candidates, like what Sivagilingam stupidly did at the last Presidential elections. Before that Pirabaharan ensured the election of Mahinda Rajapakse by a narrow margin through an enforced boycott by the Tamils- Such a great and visionary leader (!!!!) was he to some that he ensured the election of a person who would eventually take his life and act as a demolition man!!! — Tamils are proving to be the real ‘modayas’with no salvation at sight!

  • 0
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    The fact that they have appointed Major General Prasad Samarasunghe through sheer manipulation over other seniors as the Chief of Staff of SL Army shows that corrupt Rajapaksa regime is going to hold Presidential elections soon. They will, make the most trusted but brainless Prasad Samarasinghe the Commander of the SL Army within 6 months! That is their plan. He will save the Rajapakse clan by hook or by crook.

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