By W. Vishnu Gupta –
The exemplary conduct and the effective actions taken after the Islamist Terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka has reinforced the chances of Maithrpala Sirisena winning the Presidency in 2020. What a cruel twist of fate; Gota and other wannabe President may have not expected to be in the current predicament in their not so illustrious political careers.
According to Duminda Disanayake, MP Maithripala Sirisena will be the next SLFP candidate in the 2020 Presidential Election. “In terms of the existing law in our country, neither former President Mahinda Rajapaksa nor former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who holds dual citizenship are eligible to contest the forthcoming Presidential elections, said Anuradhapura District Parliamentarian Duminda Dissanayake. “However, the SLFP candidate to contest the elections is present President Maithripala Sirisena, emphasized Dissanayake. He said so addressing the media at his Anuradhapura party office.” – Daily news 12th April 2019.
It is affirmative, according to the SLFP that Maithripala will be the preferred candidate in a “Three cornered” campaign that both oligarchies lead by UNP and SLPP leadership hate to think of. It is a foregone conclusion that none of the oligarchies will receive 51 percent or 50 percent plus one vote of the total voters in Sri Lanka to win the Presidential election. It is great for a nation plagued by corruption and poverty to know that rule of oligarchies that lasted since 1953 is finally coming to an end. The people may not realize that they were under two oligarchies for nearly 66 years and they were duped by a group of hedonists known for crime, negligence of national security and embezzlement.
It appears that SLFP sans Chandrika under Maithri’s leadership has already started to break away from the grips of oligarchies in 2020. The first move was made in October 2018. Though this strategic move was derailed at the Supreme Court, Sri Lankans must cherish this particular historic event that challenged the legitimacy and process of electing MPs, Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and the Speaker. Subsequent, scathing criticism of PM at the swearing-in ceremony was not a trivial laughing matter. It was opened to be seen by the entire world. Maithree made the first move in October 2018 to shun aside one of the oligarchy leaders unceremoniously. Most likely he knew the other oligarchy leader too is not trustworthy and neither MR nor RW could muster a clear majority in the parliament.
Judging by present political landscape of the country, it is highly doubtful that SLPP or UNP will be able to win the next Presidential election without the support of SLFP. Therefore the leader of the SLFP is in the most admirable position of “The Kingmaker”.
Eventually the people will be tired of dirty political games played and misery imposed by the oligarchies sheltered under the banners of UNP and SLPP. Internal struggles to assume the leadership of Oligarchies are so visible to the electorate. SLPP membership is in disarray by one group is promoting the Rajapaksa clan members including Shiranthi while the others vehemently oppose any Rajapaksa other than constitutionally ineligible Mahinda. UNP membership is also waging a similar internal campaign to promote Karu, Ravi, Sajith and an outsider Champika. Reminiscence of what took place between the trio (Premadasa, Lalith and Gamini). George Santayana, writer and philosopher, once said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. The only leading political party that does not fight or struggle to choose another leader to be the next president is SLFP. The present leader of SLFP has achieved few major accomplishments since October 2018 to show the voters while others are scheming to name their nominees with credibility. Chief among them are:
- Exemplary manner praised by many world leaders and highly effective strategy shown by the president soon after the Islamic Terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.
“ President Sirisena’s swift action to control Islamist terrorism is quite successful and within the last 12 days the Security Forces managed to arrest over 100 terror suspects, including some potential suicide-bombers and confiscated large stocks of weapons and explosives in addition to publicity material of IS terrorists cells. Congratulatory messages for the success of the operations and offer of help to assist the long term strategies of totally eliminating Islamist terrorism from Sri Lanka came from many affluent countries in the West as well as from the Asian giants, including India and China.” DAILY NEWS OF 3RD May 2019
- Making Buddha’s sacred doctrine “Thripitakeya” to be a constituent of national heritage.
- National campaign (war) against dangerous DRUG LORDS and cocaine culture.
- Exposure of corruption and embezzlement of national wealth by oligarchies
- Uncompromising publicly announced stance on war crime charges leveled against the members of armed forces at the UNHRC.
No leader in recent history other than Maithree has been so explicit on policies related to the above subjects and taken concrete actions to ensure survival of our future generations and hence the nation. Neither UNP nor SLPP has any policy matters or similar major accomplishments to counter the above noticeable achievements of President Maithripala. It is alleged that Oligarchy leaders or their membership have taken counterproductive measures or some have uttered derogatory words damaging image of the nation. No one should be surprised because some are alleged to be the beneficiaries of illicit drug trades and embezzlement of national wealth. The opposition to Maithree has begun to roam the countryside with customary promises to the voters; Mega manufacturing facilities without real FDI, one million jobs to unemployed, rosy future for the young, protection for ethnic minorities. Another bunch of henchmen of oligarchy leaders are predicting “doom and gloom” scenarios including fragmentation of the nation without their leaders at the helm of the government. The list of promises goes on…None of them are unfamiliar to the electorate. Our present oligarchy leaders remind us the story of “Emperor’s Clothes”. The time has come for the voters to scream like children at these proposed candidates (presumed emperors of UNP and SLPP) that they are not wearing any clothes.
Cart Before the Horse
It appears that enthusiastic members representing the united opposition in the parliament has made a biggest unforgivable blunder in their political careers by promoting one of the Rajapaksa brothers; Gotabaya to be the next Presidential candidate. Unfortunately, some Buddhist monks also joined the bandwagon to support his candidacy. Most likely these promoters were blinded or intoxicated by the thought or the notion of getting back their lost perks and privileges; cushy life filled with wealth and license to rob the treasury. They have failed to realize Gota and Basil are mysterious individuals and it will take many years to uncover the truths about their alleged nefarious activities. This time SLPP and its supporters in the United Opposition seem to have put the “Cart Before the Horse.” As reported this week “A civil lawsuit has been unsealed by a US federal judge on Monday against former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa seeking damages for his alleged involvement in the killing of Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported on 15th April 2019”.This story was confirmed again by “New York Times” of 19th April 2019.There may be more skeletons to come out of the closets and challenge the credibility of Gota. Even the events after Easter Sunday Islamic Terrorist attacks did not favor Gota. In a panic state, Gota announced that he wants to be the next President; it was ill-timed and country was not in a mood to listen to his ranting about his personal ambitions. Besides, very effective swift actions of the President and the successes made by the Police and Armed Forces took the wind out of Gota’s sails. The ultimate beneficiary of this premature political move happens to be the Maithripala Sirisena.
Though there is a leader by name in the group, the UNP led government is a rudderless ship today. It is afraid to face the electorate and appears to be scheming always to retain power by compromising the nation’s interests with that of chauvinistic political agendas including that of Tamil Diaspora. In the meantime, the SLFP has played their cards well since divorcing Ranil and his unsavory coterie of advisors. The UNP is docile and inept due to lack of a good leader and its popularity will shrink further from more internecine strife. There are more warring factions in the UNP/UNF lead by Ranil than in the other oligarchy lead by Rajapaksas. Ranil’s position became further weakened national tragedy of Easter Sunday. It was not expected from Islamist voters of the country, it is not a secret that majority of the Islamists always supported Ranil and Islamic politicians represent part and parcel of the present minority government. Some are alleged to have nurtured the Islamist terrorists and IS members. Consequences of Islamist Terrorist Attack on Easter Sunday on Christian Churches and killing over 200 innocent Christian worshippers has left an indelible black stain on UNF government. It delivered the final blow to the dream of electing any UNPer as the President in 2020. Because the UNP lost their traditional Christian voter block due to the mayhem, destruction, death and agony caused by a group of Islamist terrorists on Easter Sunday.
2020 to Baffle Political Pundits
Two natural signs of impending demise of any oligarchy driven political system are
a) No clear successor in the organization
b) Internal strife is fierce
Unmistakably, both signs are clearly evident in the UNP/UNF and SLPP and therefore people must be expecting the end of Sri Lankan oligarchies’ grip on nation’s government very soon. Oligarchies as usual pursued their own personal agendas and they were totally immersed in their hedonistic life styles. Since May 2009 until Easter Sunday of 2019 that was their story and they seem to have paid no attention to the intelligence services. The UNP leadership accused of inflicting utmost damage to the Sri Lankan intelligence services and thereby creating an environment for the Islamic and similar terrorist gangs to operate within the country with impunity. Worst of all, some UNF members are alleged to have nurtured unsavory Islamic religious entities in the country.
Given the above political landscape filled with controversies, incompetency security lapses and uncertainties, the SLFP should be able to win the Presidential election without making any compromising deals with Mahinda, Ranil or any Chauvinist minor party leader. Yet, the UNF (UNP) or SLPP will make every move to form an alliance with SLFP offering Maithri the Presidency on a silver platter to protect their vested interests. Nevertheless, with or without any political alliance most likely the voters will favor SLFP. The political pundits should not be surprised to accept the “KINGMAKER” with no permanent ties to any oligarchy becoming the “KING” again in 2020.