21 September, 2020

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The Real Game Will Start After The Elections: Wigneswaran’s Pentathlon

By Kumar David

Prof Kumar David

The pentathlon consists of five tasks and though the challenges facing the prospective TNA Administration and Chief Minister (CM) designate C. V. Wigneswaran (CV) resemble a decathlon, I will limit this study to the first five in priority.

(a)    Shielding the NP Administration from wilful and/or contingent obstruction by the Centre, the Governor, and a military which has been aggressively interfering in civilian life.

(b)   Demilitarising the North, ensuring safety and security on the streets, especially for Tamil women; ending the de facto status of these areas as if occupied by an alien force.

(c)    Ensuring that swathes of land seized by the military are returned and resettlement is smooth; dealing with the tragedy of war widows and orphans.

(d)   Building an energetic, able and efficient administration for economic activities and day to day management. Recruiting talented people for this endeavour.

(e)    Working within the discipline of a party – notwithstanding the TNA is an alliance. CV has no experience of party dynamics and discipline; he needs to learn fast.

English educated Tamils are euphoric about the TNA’s choice of candidate. They are enamoured of CV’s credentials in respect of (d); that is if he is allowed to get on with the job. This is a big IF and I will return to it, but he is a cut above the pygmies strutting as Chief Ministers in other provinces. He is decent, intelligent, educated and capable of running a showpiece administration in contrast to the pigsties that pass for provincial administrations elsewhere. But my concern, my IF caveat, remains.

Will the NP-PC elections be held? It was an international dagger at his jugular, not wisdom nor statesmanship that forced Rajapakse’s hand. Will he manufacture a pretext, perhaps engineer a vicarious legal challenge that an obedient court will uphold, to call off elections? The threat, though never absent, is receding as Indian and international opprobrium will be unbearable. On the other hand, if Sinhala extremism challenges Rajapakse on the streets, does he have the balls to resist? That too I doubt, so the matter is not closed, but I will resist temptation to digress from the pentathlon.

The great challenge

I am not hallucinating; any seasoned observer should see the big obstacles Wigneswaran will encounter in President, Governor and occupying military establishment. It is not just that none of them want the Northern Administration to succeed where all else is disaster. (How many UPFA local and provincial politicos are, allegedly, murderers, rapists and drug lords?) No, ill-will is the lesser reason for the state to spoke the NPC wheel; the greater reason is preserving the balance of political power. You think me paranoid; I hope you’re right, but dictators cannot permit a single challenge, or countenance one free and independent voice. One lose brick in the wall brings down the edifice. The Rajapakse state will contrive to bring the NP-PC to heel, even using fiscal deprivation, for otherwise it risks erosion of its authoritarian project. In the unlikely event the UPFA loses the Central Province PC elections as well, the bell will start to toll the death knell of autocracy for sure. That however is just me, running ahead of time.

There is nothing the NP-PC can achieve if its actions are curbed and it has to kowtow to the Rajapakse state. This is why I place this at the head of my task list; item (a) is the sine qua non, sans which, the PC is as good as dead. Euphoric ladies and aging English speaking Tamil gentlemen, please gird up your loins for glorious battles ahead! The deadlock between elected council and Rajapakse appointed Governor in the Eastern Province is a timely reminder. Forget about achieving anything on (d) till the ramparts have been secured and obstacle (a) overcome.

But the middle classes are only a side-show; the battalions that matter are the political street fighters. CV is not politically battle hardened; the tussle to protect the autonomy of the provincial administration will devolve on the people whenever there is infringement by the central state. If the public thinks it can sub-contract the job to a CM and his crew and go back to sleep, it will lose everything. How youth measures the actions of a new administration against its own expectations will be crucial to the enthusiasm with which young people come forward. The TNA is judged to be short on testosterone since it has done zero grass roots mobilisation; now it has a chance to make amends. The quality (integrity and fighting spirit) of the others candidates on the TNA list is crucial. The energy of leaders with grassroots support (Premachandran, Senathirajah) is crucial in the initial years.  The TNA has to identify the NP-PC exercise as its own commitment, not just a Wigneswaran project.

Demilitarisation

Personal safety and the chance to live in freedom from fear is not a function that belongs to the duty list of a provincial council; if military or police run amok in another part of the country the matter hardly falls within the purview of the PC. But due to long years of repression an arms length approach is not realistic in Tamil areas. When things happen people will come to CM and PC, at long last a CM and PC of their own. These worthies cannot tell them to go away and make a police entry. Tamils have been denied their administration by all governments of the Sinhala state for so long that expectation runs high. If CM and the PC have not the gumption to take on the personal security, alias demilitarisation challenge they might as well fold up.

From its inception, the NP-PC will be a living arena in which 13A will be tested beyond its limits and towards 13A+.India and the international community are vital in protecting the PC and extending its powers towards real devolution, not the make-believe faked by UPFA slave-councils. When repression is highlighted, internationally, by elected representatives of a people it has more impact than individual or political exposure. When regimes coerce minorities they only undermine their own sovereignty and invite intervention. Repression by Rajapakse’s forces will be a flash point once the NP-PC starts work, and hopefully, proves a worthy exemplar for the East.

The land grab

State land grabs for various and nefarious purposes – military expansion, state sponsored demographic reengineering – have been documented in and outside parliament. It is not possible to touch on it even in summary – the material is too voluminous. The NP-PC and the CM will have to tackle the land issue; without sorting this out neither development nor resettlement can make headway. We come up against the same obstacle again, even before a new Administration can start work. It has to get into a position where it can work, before it can work; the IF problem in another form.

The work of the NP-PC will make clear that land powers, much more than devolved under 13A, must be transferred to provincial authorities in the North and East where deep land problems have surfaced from the war. Another complication is land grabbed from the Muslims in the ethnic cleansing of 1991. The issue must be addressed boldly; the Devanesan Commission has proposed reasonable solutions. It is tricky, but only a Council elected by the Tamil and Muslim people has moral standing to negotiate the ethnic rapids of Muslim lands sized by the LTTE and distributed to Tamils. Muslims who desire to return to the Northern Province must be accommodated.

Good governance

This is Wigneswaran’s trump card, here he will be playing from his strongest suit; he must brook no crooks and aim credibly high. There are many able-bodied and moderately able-minded Tamils who will throw themselves forward so selecting a dedicated but realistic minded team should be the easy part. But experience, especially experience of how things were done long ago, is not enough. Young people in touch with ground realities are important; the best may still be the most able and altruistic-for-the-community former LTTE cadres, if they will set aside the past and dedicate themselves to a new venture.

I intend to say no more about governance; there will be reams of superfluous advice from every newspaper pore and website in the next month. But oh, that reminds me, beware of opportunists and place-seekers; they are crawling all over UPFA government Ministries like cockroaches.

Will the diaspora invest? Of course it will, and education will be the magnet. But let’s not count chickens before they have hatched; nurturing the Administration’s credibility comes first, cheque books come out next. Don’t expect a return of the sea turtles. (Hai gui, ‘returning across the seas’, sounds like sea turtle in Putonghua and denotes the educated elite who returned to China carrying coveted expertise).

Joining the political process

The captain has to be a member of the team. Presumably CV is a card carrying member of the ITAK, but only in a formal sense with little experience of the cut and thrust of day to day politics or interaction with cadres and colleagues. I am not in the business of giving unsolicited advice to parties I am not a member of; the job of this column is to consider options and weigh outcomes. So I am reminded of Peter May, a fine batsman but aloof captain, whose dressing room at Lords was as big as the space set aside for the rest of the team. He retired in his prime to join his upper-class family stock brokering business. His long-term impact on English cricket has been minimal, unlike Hutton or Botham, who were in the thick of it with the boys.

In politics as in cricket, the dynamic both on and off the field counts. The conference hall, the committee room, the rough and tumble of political debate, and political involvement with the rank and file, that’s what will furnish the verve to make a man out of a mere judge; metaphorically, a switch from the plumage of traditional Hindu sartorial elegance to brisk modernity.

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Latest comments

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    India instruct srilanka must follow or Tamils will be protected by Indian Tamil defence forces. Ltte had a choice they missed it, hope Sinhala Buddhist respect India’s humble request…..Tamils will be protected by Indian Tamil defence forces….to be warned…

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      j.muthu

      “Tamils will be protected by Indian Tamil defence forces”

      You mean allied forces of Karu, Jay, Seeman, Vaiko, Nedumaran, Sarath Kumar, Vijay, ………………….and other artists.

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        Native Vedda:

        Even though you are Tamil too, you must understand that some tamils would never understand the reality.

        Africans are also, even though they look like, are very heterogenous in every way – genetically, and in other ways too. Tamils are related to them.

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      Muttu,
      India did send a force in 1987 to protect the Tamils and what happened is history. Don’t hallucinate. Tamils are protected now by the Sri Lankan forces and they are safer than under the LTTE. No forced recruitment, no lamp post acrobatics, no burning tyre garlands around necks. Food, water, electricity on tap – life’s good.

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    A very incisive and mature political analysis of the current political situation in the North from this septuagenarian. This article gives lot of food for political thought to the TNA politicians and others.

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      Only if the TNA is able to digest what KD had dished out,will it understand the IF caveat he is talking about.
      The English educated euphoric Tamils particularly in the diaspora who have a major influence on the TNA do not understand that ‘IF’ because it is something remote and alien to them in the context of the five tasks he has set out.

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       KD always predicts what he wants to see happening …. Could that be described as incisive and mature analysis?
      Many of his big ideas  (Arabian spring, regime change, federalism, choosing opposition presidential candidate, promoting Sri Lanka bashing in world forums like UNHRC, putting wedges between Sri Lanka and India, promoting eellam dreams of Tamil diospora…) are incisive or mature analysis only for the LTTE rump … For people of SL, those ideas are cheap shots to put the country into chaos and fire sothat they could achieve their dreams (federalism, eellam ) …

      Identifying five tasks of pentathlon, KD wants to push Wigneswaran to start the game after election … Most important is being the shielding NP from the centre … Federalism or  EELLLAM is the idea of this task of pentathlon …
      Before KD put Wigneswaran to the pentathlon, people of the country who want genuine reconciliation want Wigneswaran to answer some basic questions …

      One Appuhamy asks how others SANITIZE WIGNESWARAN THE POLITICIAN in grand style even though Wigneswaran has not even answered basic questions …

      “We have among ourselves many political commentators who once upon a time advocated appeasement of Pirapakaran via his ISGA and PTOMS proposals. Some of those characters have surfaced again in the media full of paeans of praise for former Justice Wigneswaran now in new avatar as TNA politician. As such he is now in the public domain, and therefore is open to scrutiny by the public, no matter his impeccable pedigree as proclaimed by his devoted admirers. Being allergic to and suspicious of all politicians, I have a couple of questions for politician Wigneswaran.

      One of the great lies propagated abroad by the TNA is that Tamils in Sri Lanka are discriminated against and treated as second class citizen. Mr. Wigneswaran now has the duty to put a stop to this Goebellesian lie. He is the living example of a First Class Sri Lankan Citizen notwithstanding the fact that he is a born Tamil in a supposedly virulent and discriminating Sinhala society! He is not the only one. There are in fact many Tamils like him who have ascended the pinnacle of our society in numerous professions. Good luck to them all and I wish them all future prosperity too in their lives. How can this be possible if Tamils have been subject to discrimination, oppression and suppression? Therefore I call upon Mr. Wigneswaran, the-supposed-to-be-honest-politician to tell the world how he became a First Class Citizen in the discriminating Sinhala society. Will he respond? Is it not the fact that our society, with all its faults, does provide the opportunity for anyone to climb the social ladder if he has the talent, drive and the earnestness to get to the top of the ladder in whatever profession of his choice?

      TNA and its allies often demand that our security forces should face accountability and justice for many civilian deaths. The decimation of thousands of children recruited by force by the LTTE to fight in the front-line had been buried in the TNA dust-bin. We need accountability in this case too, not only from the LTTE but also from all those who acted as accessories and collaborators with this pogrom of the innocents. TNA has yet to wash its Khands clean of this heinous crime. Will politician Wigneswaran, a former Justice of the Supreme Court, do justice by those innocents now dead and forgotten? Mind you we cannot forget the thousands of Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese slaughtered by LTTE at various times using the most diabolical means of suicide bombs. Will justice be done to them all by the former Justice Wigneswaran, now turned politician?

      While still a Judge of the Supreme Court he had allegedly expressed opinions to the effect that the “majority of those in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were always Tamil Speaking until independence” (The Island Ist Apr.2001). The use of the word “always” in the above sentence is an attempt to justify the Homeland theory. The Tamils did not exist “always” in the north and the east nor were the people existing there speak Tamil “always”. His opinion is contradicted by a Tamil Professor of History—Karthigesu Indrapala—in his essay on Early Tamil Settlements in Ceylon, in the Royal Asiatic Society Journal, 1970. While leaving him to sort out his defective historical knowledge, I am, of course, concerned that Mr. Wigneswaran seems to be nurturing the ambition, like many of his TNA colleagues, to found Eelam via the Northern Provincial Council. Will he deny this? Will he tell his Tamil voters that he too will take them on the disastrous road to Eelam like Pirapakaran and ruin their lives and that of their descendants once again? Will he make his Eelam ambition public before his obligatory pilgrimage to pay obeisance to, and obtain instructions from the Brahamins in Delhi and Chennai? The Sri Lankans have a right to know his political objectives before they cast their votes for him. He is cooing like a dove now, will he become a growling Tiger looking for the jugular of the unitary Sri Lanka after he attains power? I remain deeply suspicious of this man, though he was an exemplary judge of our Supreme Court. We Sri Lankans are in for very hard times once again because the mindset of the Tamil politicians has not changed from separatist Eelam.”

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        Wambotta:
        I knew that there was a reason for the sanity that prevailed on CT but couldn’t put a finger on it. Now I know what it is: your unlamented absence from its pages!
        Hey! Isn’t there a cave that used to house you until you came out in your loin cloth, carrying a knotty club? And isn’t it time you retreated to that hole before someone lays a real beating on you for simply being stupid?

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        Bruno Umbato, You raised up Karthigesu Indrapala, and then dropped him, like a red herring. What exactly did Indrapala say?

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    This is good advice but a little like putting the cart before the horse.
    First,a majority of tamil voters should simply be able to vote, without hindrence, and vote for the TNA.
    I think that the army in mufti will esentially run the election,and that the elections commissioner will pretend not to know.
    All state resources will be used by UPFA and there is noone to complain to,about election violations.
    There will be intimidation in many forms by the army & EPDP goons.
    Will transport of voters be sabotaged?
    Will TNA polling & counting agents be allowed to function without hindrence?
    Will polling cards & identity cards be made available in time,and will there be snatching of polling cards & IDs?

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    Euphoric ladies and aging English speaking Tamil gentlemen, please gird up your loins for glorious battles ahead!

    Don’t want vernacular Tamils to ‘gird up their loins’ for the battle eh? Might as well form a council of Lords, appoint yourself and invite the Queen to lean you into this battle. I would love to see Rajapaske cut you down to size befitting a coconut Sahib.

    Correct me if I am wrong. Fishing industry is perhaps the biggest or the second biggest employer in Jaffna. The threat posed to fisherman by poachers remain one the biggest issues facing people there. I struggled to find even a token mention here in the entire article.

    Santa Claus here like other absentee landlords in TNA seems seriously out of touch with the reality of Jaffna. If the NP has anything to do with this guy it will just waste time for 6 years.

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    Kumar David is talking like an idiot on hypothetical grounds. He considers many variables as constant.

    Just live another fifty years and see how every thing unfolds.

    • 0
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      Why wait for fifty years,who knows at the rate things are unfolding now constants can become variables within the next five months and the pentathlons become a simple hundred meter track event.

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      Jim Nutty
      No, you are an idiot.

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      @Softy, you are right. Lot of nonsense from this so called Tamil pundit and leftist. He has no clue of the Tamil diaspora except for a few English educated relatives who can’t even speak Tamil.
      I won’t comment [Edited out]

      Obviously he is now a big supporter of Mr. CW who has saved the likes of Mavai and other politicians who have made so much of sacrifices for the Tamil cause. Like CW this KD has no connection with the Tamils except the communist. LOL. Thank god, CW does not take him seriously despite him now retired in Colombo from Hong Kong…

      The least he writes nonsense the better. Only CT publishes his opinion. LMAO.

      As for NPC, it will not function any better than the CMC or JMC. UDA and the military will call the shots and so will the Sinhala Police, and NPC will have no funds to function or administrate.

      Good Luck and Best Wishes to the TNA and all their candidates who will be elected and the new politician like CW.

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        Now Donkey J Gnanakone likes Jim Nutty

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          @ Bell. You are an Ass like ………… mind your hole and what you write describes what comes out.

          If KD wishes to respond, he can…. We have to wait?
          We don’t need your Sh……………t,.

          So please shu……… the ……….ck. up.

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    Who will be Victorious At Northern Province the Election of 21
    September 2013 Created — 1 October 1833
    Provincial council 14 November 1987
    Capital Jaffna—argest City —- Vavuniya
    Districts –List[hide] Jaffna– Kilinochchi– Mannar–Mullaitivu–Vavuniya
    The up coming election which is going to be held in Northern
    Provincethe on 21 September 2013. Who is the next winng party in
    Northern Province. popular according to the solar fire
    williaks system. on that day the sun
    rises at about 6.00 clock a.m. an depending on that with an experiments
    the political Party.who comes from Northern Province
    political party. ascendent is Aries. Planetary Positions at
    Sun:06 22′ in Libra-Moon:13° 36′ in Virgo-Saturn:07 36 in Libra
    Mercury:29° 18′ in LibraVenus:15° 34 in Scorpio-Pluto:23° 22′ in Libra
    Nomination and first election campaign date also effect to the win of the each Northern Province
    Mars:15° 23 in LeoJupiter:11° 18 in Libra
    Neptune:22° 13′ in Sagittarius
    ascendent. The election date United People’s Freedom Alliance –TNA party
    and United National party.TNA partyPower.Planet aquries . The luckey number 08
    at their Aries assessments and
    Sun more power full. The election day according to the elevation of
    Latitude and Magnitude sign the well get more vote and be ask the
    next Northern Province the Election of TNA party
    in Northern Province elected Sure.TNA party will wine
    — –2013 –. sure and definity (WORLD,s NO.1
    ASTROLOGER ——-. K. SUNIL OPTHELLE–SRI LANKA
    (K. Sunil Opathella—Master of Astrology)

  • 0
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    I liked Kumar David’d article. His conclusions were based on the behaviour of the government in the recent past. I agree with his implied view that the government will attempt to sabotage the working of the NPC through the Governor and other state agencies. NPC Members will need to be patient and skillful in dealing with the government. One thing they need to do is establish strong relationships with other PCs and the line Ministers at the Centre. They must also speak to the Sinhala South and reveal who they are.

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    NPC is to serve the Tamil people in the North.
    The NPC needs to coordinate with the Tamils and Muslims in the EP PC.

    There is no need to work with the other PC as of now or be subservient to the line ministers. Since Mr. W can speak Sinhalese and has family members in the cabinet he is already talking to the cabinet members as “family”.
    lol. They will convey sentiments to the Rajapakses very quickly.

    Most important thing is the legally approved funds from the Parliament to the NPC and not alms from the FM, President and his siblings.,

    NPC should find ways and means of increasing revenue by taxing exports and services….Tourist, transport etc. and even issue Visas or Permits like what the MOD issued years after the war, ha ha ha,…

  • 0
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    Let the elections be held.
    It will be decided along Caste lines this time………..

    A grave mistake by TNA. Vigneshwaran should have contested WP on the TNA ticket and not the NP.
    Vigs will be like a fish out of water in the NP.

    Gnanakoon had already pronounced the Vigneshwaran victory & appointment.
    THERE IS MANY A SLIP BETWEEN THE CUP AND THE LIP, DONALD.

  • 0
    0

    Who Will Wine –TNA Great WINE

    Who will be Victorious At Northern Province the Election of 21
    September 2013 Created — 1 October 1833
    Provincial council 14 November 1987
    Capital Jaffna—argest City —- Vavuniya
    Districts –List[hide] Jaffna– Kilinochchi– Mannar–Mullaitivu–Vavuniya
    The up coming election which is going to be held in Northern
    Provincethe on 21 September 2013. Who is the next winng party in
    Northern Province. popular according to the solar fire
    williaks system. on that day the sun
    rises at about 6.00 clock a.m. an depending on that with an experiments
    the political Party.who comes from Northern Province
    political party. ascendent is Aries. Planetary Positions at
    Sun:06 22′ in Libra-Moon:13° 36′ in Virgo-Saturn:07 36 in Libra
    Mercury:29° 18′ in LibraVenus:15° 34 in Scorpio-Pluto:23° 22′ in Libra
    Nomination and first election campaign date also effect to the win of the each Northern Province
    Mars:15° 23 in LeoJupiter:11° 18 in Libra
    Neptune:22° 13′ in Sagittarius
    ascendent. The election date United People’s Freedom Alliance –TNA party
    and United National party.TNA partyPower.Planet aquries . The luckey number 08
    at their Aries assessments and
    Sun more power full. The election day according to the elevation of
    Latitude and Magnitude sign the well get more vote and be ask the
    next Northern Province the Election of TNA party
    in Northern Province elected Sure.TNA party will wine
    – –2013 –. sure and definity (WORLD,s NO.1
    ASTROLOGER ——-. K. SUNIL OPTHELLE–SRI LANKA
    (K. Sunil Opathella—Master of Astrology)

  • 0
    0

    Who will be Victorious At Northern Province the Election of 21
    September 2013 Created — 1 October 1833
    Provincial council 14 November 1987
    Capital Jaffna—argest City —- Vavuniya
    Districts –List[hide] Jaffna– Kilinochchi– Mannar–Mullaitivu–Vavuniya
    The up coming election which is going to be held in Northern
    Provincethe on 21 September 2013. Who is the next winng party in
    Northern Province. popular according to the solar fire
    williaks system. on that day the sun
    rises at about 6.00 clock a.m. an depending on that with an experiments
    the political Party.who comes from Northern Province
    political party. ascendent is Aries. Planetary Positions at
    Sun:06 22′ in Libra-Moon:13° 36′ in Virgo-Saturn:07 36 in Libra
    Mercury:29° 18′ in LibraVenus:15° 34 in Scorpio-Pluto:23° 22′ in Libra
    Nomination and first election campaign date also effect to the win of the each Northern Province
    Mars:15° 23 in LeoJupiter:11° 18 in Libra
    Neptune:22° 13′ in Sagittarius
    ascendent. The election date United People’s Freedom Alliance –TNA party
    and United National party.TNA partyPower.Planet aquries . The luckey number 08
    at their Aries assessments and
    Sun more power full. The election day according to the elevation of
    Latitude and Magnitude sign the well get more vote and be ask the
    next Northern Province the Election of TNA party
    in Northern Province elected Sure.TNA party will wine
    – –2013 –. sure and definity (WORLD,s NO.1
    ASTROLOGER ——-. K. SUNIL OPTHELLE–SRI LANKA
    (K. Sunil Opathella—Master of Astrology)

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