26 October, 2021

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The Sri Lankan Presidential Elections And The Tamils

By Brian Senewiratne 

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

I have recently had a spate of emails about this. I cannot see the problem.

The Sri Lankan Tamils have three options:

1. To vote for the ‘common opposition candidate’ Maithripala Sirisena

2. To vote for Rajapaksa

3. Not to vote at all

If they opt to vote for Rajapaksa, they are crazy. Every Tamil should know that if Rajapaksa is elected, that is the end of the Tamils. It almost is, already. No one in his right mind can fail to see this. So, option 2 is out.

Not to vote at all is to vote for Rajapaksa.

Does the Tamil vote matter? Yes it does. With a voter bank of more than 600,000, the Tamil vote can be the decider.

Mahinda and MaithriWhat about Sirisena? Well, we don’t know. When he blasted Rajapaksa and set out the wonderful things he was going to do if he is elected eg doing away with the Executive Presidency within 100 days, restoring the judiciary, ending corruption etc, there was not a word about what he would do about the Tamil people and the trauma they are going through. Not a word about the military occupation in the North and East where the Tamil civilians are being treated as the ‘spoils of war’. In fact I did not hear the word’ ’Tamil’ being mentioned.

His closeness to the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) is a worry. The JHU is a Sinhala-Buddhist extremist party which is virulently anti-minority, especially anti-Tamil. It is totally opposed to devolution of power of any sort to the Tamils. An alliance with such a party will create major problems for Sirisena, irrespective of whether he is any different from Rajapaksa where handling the national question is concerned.

Sirisena was part of the very same government that have done these terrible things which has resulted in international investigation. Sirisena has vehemently defended the Rajapaksa policies for several years. He now says that despite being critical of what Rajapaksa was doing, he was not in a position to express his views and was ‘frustrated’. If so, why then did he not resign?

What is foremost is that this election should be seen as an opportunity, perhaps the last opportunity for many years to come, to get rid of a dreadfully violent, corrupt, nepotistic government, one of the most dangerous that Sri Lankan has ever had. Rajapaksa and his junta have virtually dismantled democracy, installed a Totalitarian State under one family – a family Autocracy – destroyed the legal system, and drained the country financially, the money being shipped away abroad, the visible evidence of which can be seen in the USA and elsewhere.

Get it wrong, and the Tamils and all other ethnic groups and the entire country will pay a huge price for a very long time – perhaps forever, ending with a ‘Failed State’ no different from Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, probably worse.

There is simply no choice. It should be a one-horse race but with the violence that the Rajapaksas are capable of unleashing (which was clearly acknowledged by Sirisena) and the possibility that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will launch a military coup, or rig the ballot boxes to the extent that the election will be a farce, I would not be surprised if Rajapaksa wins the election.  In any case he has said that he will be the President on 9 January 2015 even of he loses the election since his term as President does not expire for another two years. If he wins, the two years remaining will be added to the six year term, and Sri Lanka will be cursed with this dreadful regime for another 8 years, probably for the foreseeable future. As for the Tamils, they will be gone –  genocide of the Tamils.

The Tamil vote for Sirisena, might, I stress the word ‘might’, prevent this disaster. Sirisena might also be a disaster for the Tamils but less of a disaster than Rajapaksa. Nothing can be worse than the Rajapaksa junta for Sri Lanka in general, the Tamils in particular.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    40

    This guy reminds of Mr. Burns the cartoon character in “the Simpsons”.

    Wasn’t this the fool who egged on LTTE to keep destroying Ceylon from somewhere in Australia?

    Rajapaske did not commit genocide. This is the fruits of your labour Mr Burns. You were the monkey with a sharp knife.

    Latent reactions of Tamil nazi like you will keep reverberating for some time to come.

    • 12
      24

      Mr Burns “That man who’s writing nonsense Smithers … who is he?”

      Smithers “B.S. Sir, one of the Eelamists from Cloud Cuckoo Land”

      • 10
        21

        He does not seem to want to take responsibility for destroying Tamils.

        • 8
          21

          Mr Burns: “Eelamist eh? Does he entertain eels at the zoo?”

          Smithers: “No Sir, he rides a giant tiger naked”

      • 13
        6

        Two Sinhalese who represent the lowest common denominator of Sinhalese Buddhist culture are complementing each other ;-(

    • 20
      11

      Vibushana:

      “Wasn’t this the fool who egged on LTTE to keep destroying Ceylon from somewhere in Australia?”

      With the Sinhalese going for each others throats, it is blissful euphoria that the final curtain to all this melodrama of the “motherland” being pocketed into bits and pieces has started. This classic back-stabbing is a lesson learnt from Karuna and now that his own secretary general had shown the two fingers to Mahinda, isn’t it a relish worth celebrating. The Tamils can watch from the sidelines the fun and dangle the carrot and stick, at least even momentarily, to the desperados.

      “Rajapaske did not commit genocide. This is the fruits of your labour Mr Burns. You were the monkey with a sharp knife.”

      I may have heard wrongly but did the UNHRC mention the word genocide? It is about alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Why are you so frustrated Vibushana? MR had already declared that he is ready to sit on the electric chair, and you should focus your attention in persuading him to carry on with the act to prove his endless love for the nation.

      The day the cartoon comic came to life when Sarath Fonseka was unceremoniously carried and dragged away, just like how Hitler had got rid of his enemies seems to have eluded you that your empty drumbeats are a sore piece of jealously frustrated rhetoric. The BBS, nurtured by GR, is the Nazi of South Asia. Now the feathers have flocked together. Any doubts that they have Nazism written over all their faces.

      • 5
        9

        This seems very much like the ‘pot calling the kettle black’

    • 11
      6

      This brainless Vibhushana must be a jobless vagabond holding the keyboard and waiting to post the first comment.

    • 8
      6

      Vibhushana you seem to know all about genocide of Tamils.The whole world knows that Rajapakse and his clan are the culprits.Ceylon is destroyed,There no way ceylon will recover from this crazy and mad rule.

    • 13
      5

      Hi Vibushana you are the blind fool to have believed the story related by all most all the Sinhala politicians since 1940’s. They all Fabricated lies and spun them out to out-bid each other to gain power to govern. The lies based on the mythical chronicle called Mahavamsa. Also telling that Tamils were favoured by British to abolish the English and install Sinhala only.
      What Brain have been saying from his teenage, was that Tamil areas were not developed like the south, education alone was their asset but not a Single Sinhala politician wanted to hear these truth. All of them only believed that the Island belongs to Sinhala Buddhist only, using this the two parties UNP &SLFP did the out bidding to smash the Tamils to gain their power from the Sinhala vote bank. There was no nation building but went on with the dismantling of the nation that was built by the British colonial rulers. The Three kingdoms were united for their administrative ease. We would have been much better than Singapore today. When British handed over the rule we were the richest country in the South east Asia. See for yourself what has happened to the Island? Do you still want the country to be sold to Chinese? While Rajapaske family swindle the country’s coffers? Srilankan Guardian carried a news item o say that Basil Rajapaske has 5 large houses in California USA equalent to millions of US$, similarly Gota has houses, from where did they get this kind of money?. Narmal sold the sacks of Gold give by Sarath Fonseka to Mahinda at end of war in2009 to an Iranian Business man to bought a holiday resort in Kenya. More details will emerge If Mahinda loses this election. He need not go to ICC he and his family could be tried in Srilanka if Judiciary is allowed to function independently. The underworld thugs don’t like him to lose, are you one of them. Brain is an intellect don’t try to rubbish him if you do then you are an imbecile.

    • 3
      5

      Vibu

      Memory loss is one of common symptoms of dimentia. The self-claimed Bandaranayake is a typical example of that.

  • 34
    6

    Well said Brian! I am sure your article will open the eyes of some extremist Tamil diaspora members who insist that both Mahinda and Sirisena are the same!

    This article should be recommended reading matter for all Tamils and especially those in diaspora who are living in the clouds!

    Sengodan. M

    • 11
      3

      Sengodan. M

      This article should be recommended reading matter for all Tamils and especially those in diaspora who are living in the clouds!”

      Yes. They are Called Muttals or Madus, Modayas or Fools.

      Still many Tamil Muttals left..

      • 1
        8

        The man is ‘ga-ga’ now, well into dementia used to be a ‘paper tiger.’

  • 8
    8

    Voting Fraud is going to be repeated by Mahinda Rajapakse once again. When Sarath Fonseka contested the Presidential Elections previously, the news was that Sarath Fonseka was leading, and suddenly they said Mahinda Rajapakse won. The uncounted votes in bundles were found even after the election was over. How come this? The reps. who came from abroad to supervise the elections, did not comment any thing about the elections. Again the same kind of SAARC reps are coming to supervise the elections. It has come to the knowledge of people that the FRAUD machines have been brought from Welisara to China Bay for printing fraud ballot paper.
    I don’t think Dr. Brian Seneviratne’s No.3, Not to vote at all will show any signs of any opposition to any candidates or dissatisfaction with the election, as any of these two Main Rivals have not shown any signs or interest to solve the “Tamil Problems”. As Tamils have the right to vote, I believe, they should use the ballot paper to send a sign to the International Community by their “own imagination” (NOT to VOTE FOR ANY OF THESE TWO). By this action, the IC should realize that the Tamils have shown their rejection to these TWO main candidates.

  • 6
    28

    Did the (ex) LTTE activists in Australia write this for Dr Senaviratna….

  • 13
    1

    “In any case he has said that he will be the President on 9 January 2015 even of he loses the election since his term as President does not expire for another two years”

    This statement is true if he wins. But if he loses he has to go immediately .

  • 2
    9

    The Tamils can still send their message of dissatisfaction to the main Candidates mahinda Rajapakse and Maithripala Sirirsena by voting Sundaram Mahendran, one of the Nineteen candidates from the Nava Sama Samaja Party. In the previous elections, the Sinhala Candidates begged the Tamils for their votes promissing that they will solve the problems of the Tamils. In this Election, neither of them has asked for the Tamil votes and their “supporters have told that their candidate will be able to win without the Tamil Votes. Maithripala Sirisena had told that he will not do anything new from what Mahinda Rajapakse had done. Even though Mahinda Sirisena has a very good image from his political past, the votes getting “screwed” will have a negative effect on his expected end results.

  • 24
    3

    While agreeing with Brian’s argument, Let me add the following:

    As I’ve predicted several times before, The God-Father of the Mafia-regime will openly violate election-laws to provoke democratic-forces in the country into street battles with state-forces, while he happily touts a bogus-victory on 09 January. He’ll use state-media to tell the people of Sri Lanka that imperialists are trying to destabilise the country. He will impose curfew as a stepping-stone for a naked dictatorship. I always thought a military-rule would be the logical conclusion of Sinhala-racism which relentlessly got worse since Independence. I can see that happening before of my eyes today….The most powerful defence Sri Lankan masses will have in this inevitable confrontation is the power of the working class to bring the entire country to a standstill – on a much bigger scale than the 1953 ‘Harthal’ (general strike). Keeping this highly probable scenario in mind, all left-parties, including the JVP, along with Tamil and Muslim leaders and trade unionists, should unambiguously appeal to Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim masses to rally-round the ‘Common Candidate’ at this unique juncture.

    • 6
      1

      Fully concur for the common opposition to have not only a plan B but C, D and E as well. The more definitive, clear-cut and decisive on the first round the lesser the bloodletting during and in the days that follow as even if there are foreign observer they would not be able to do anything significant amongst the desperados even as the Election Commissioner last time was oppressed and had to consult the incumbent before the release of the results last time as reported by some media.

    • 8
      1

      However hard, good, bad or ugly the choice may be with the lesser of the two evils I do fully concur with Vasantha Raja and others of a similar vein for the common opposition to have not only a plan B but C, D and E as well in all the related areas. The more definitive, clear-cut and decisive on the first round the lesser the bloodletting during and in the days that follow as even if there are foreign observer they would not be able to do anything significant amongst the desperados even as the Election Commissioner last time was oppressed and had to consult the incumbent dove-tail to the wishes, hopes and fears of the incumbent before the release of the results last time as then reported by the media.

  • 9
    5

    The opposition must request for a stronger force of international monitors, if they want a fair election.

    The scoundrels in power will want to cling to that power come hell or high water. They will try every trick in their filthy book, to win this election, including violence.

    All fair minded Sri Lankans, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, or Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Christian, must unite, put their pettiness aside, and vote in large numbers, to get rid of this vermin.

    Or else we we will continue to be cursed with this corrupt family.

    • 7
      5

      I agree with Shiro. If the different communities vote enmasse, it will show the government their electoral strength and can look forward to demands being met or at least being treated with respect. I am disappointed in the writer’s inference that there’s no difference between Maithripala and the Rajapaksa junta. Gotabaya with his total endorsement of the BBS and its Cardboard Sandow Gandasara Thera, single handedly destroyed the harmony that existed between the communities and with it the support of the moderates in our country that will hopefully rid us of the terrible siblings wrecking this blessed land.

      • 9
        3

        @Sylvia Haik, not only international election monitors should be everywhere, they should tie up that hoodlum brother Basil Jarapakse to a tree and not let that bugger go anywhere. If you let this bugger loose, then he will intimidate the elections commissioner like last time and steal the elections again.

        They should just simply remove his skirt and roll into a rope like thing and tie the bugger tight to a tree.

        • 3
          0

          If Vermin crosses over he will do it.

      • 4
        2

        Are you talking about the’harmony’ that existed during the LTTE period? Yes, That harmony was indeed destroyed by this regime.

    • 13
      1

      Shiro,

      I hope you were as loud and clear when other critical issues in Sri Lanka would have deserved international intervention for independent, credible verification.

      If you didn’t, then you are facing that all too famous and oft repeated “When they come for you…” wisdom from Martin Niemöller.

      That would be sad! Right?!!

  • 6
    15

    This is just another predictable piece from our good friend, the celebrated Dr BS. I don’t think it will make one iota of difference who contests the Presidential Elections; as far as Dr BS is concerned, none of them will adequately safeguard the so called ‘rightful rights of the Tamils’.

    Sadly, with his previous – and all too frequent – statements , Dr BS has become nothing more than a painful distraction with neither logic nor objectivity marking what he has to say. I am sure the Tamils will make up their minds unconcerned about Dr BS’s views.

  • 7
    24

    These LTTE monkeys and their hangers on seem really hell bent on torpedoing any chance the opposition has and keeping the Rajapakses in power :D

    • 14
      3

      Only you have to laugh at your own ‘joke’, mate.

    • 2
      16

      Yes, those monkeys want peace to fail and conflict to resume – while they educate their children in Eton.

  • 3
    3

    Brian Senewiratne has missed out one more option which is to allow the Tamils to vote according to their consciousness and also he recommends
    ‘not to vote at all’ which is very undemocratic. TNA is a democratic party and not expected to take a similar decision taken by Prabhaharan
    in an earlier EP election. From Sir Pon Ramanathan down to SJV.Chelva
    and to Sampanthan, Tamils always followed democratic principles except for a period Ltte ,took command by force.It is surprising that TNA with legal brains in the party has not done their math yet to find out which side is leading and support the leading side and a wrong decision
    will back fire at them, so if they are still not sure as to who the winning side is, they should advise the Tamil voters,the pros and cons of the candidates based on their manifestos and allow the voters to vote as per their wish and TNA to remain neutral and this is the best option for TNA.
    The people should take note that Mr. Srisena has not spoken one ward about the Tamil issue and what he proposes to settle the issues,while
    the ruling party is engaged with India on settling Tamil issues through
    the 13A.and there is a ghost of a chance that Mr. Modi, a man of action
    may settle the existing problems through discussions with SL Govt,which
    has not taken place yet and both parties agreed to meet on this issue

    • 3
      7

      ‘Not voting at all’ is NOT an option available to Australians in their own elections. It is a punishable offence. Did Prabhakaran follow Brian Senewiratne’s advice in 2005 ?

      • 3
        3

        Whether he followed someone’s advice or not, Prabakaran definitely made a mistake in 2005 and thousands of Tamils have paid with their lives for that mistake. Tamils shall never again repeat that mistake!

        Sengodan. M

  • 4
    16

    he did not care for the Tamil Youth & children getting destroyed.
    Everytime he need some $$$ he comes up with some rhetoric.

    bad enough TNT were discovered in Gurunagar a couple of days ago.
    hello brian………….. just leave us alone.

  • 0
    3

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  • 1
    7

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  • 4
    9

    Dr. Senewiratne

    Supreme clarity from a brain excellently primed still. Yet one comment from me.

    Failure to mention the Tamil issue has certainly caused some or a lot of ire among most Tamils.

    Tamils place massive faith in the printed word and on signed documents. European leaders thought in 1919 that the Treaty of Versailles and Germany’s reparations will stay like Sri Pada. Hitler called it a scrap of paper, tore it and trampled it under foot.

    As a student of 17, I read all 198 pages of GG Ponnambalam’s Fifty/Fifty speech quite diligently, for the English of it and to grasp the arguments behind balanced representation – 50% for the majority and 50% for all six minority entities. I thought rejection of DS’s compromise offer was a slip.

    My view vaporised in two months when I read an emotion-less, unsentimental critique of Handy Perinpanayagam. He argued, what becomes of an Agreement entered into under duress of fortuitous circumstances. He cited Hitler and the Treaty.

    For pragmatism, Lenin. For him his New Economic Policy -NEP- was mandatory to save the revolution. It was a compromise made by communism with capitalism to save itself ie the former from the latter.Lenin called it one step backward for two steps forward. Dogmatic communists wouldn’t assimilate it. Lenin with his flexibility won.

    We are in a similar predicament. TNA is absolutely with the Tamil cause. They will disclose their stance only next week they say now. We know the reason why.

    For the self same reasons of caution and circumspection Maithripala makes no mention as of now. As an able helmsman, he has the twin ballasts of Chandrika and Ranil on either side. Not a single vote can be lost when overthrowing the incumbent is primary.

    All negotiations are best made subsequent to victory and after 100 days from Jan 8. A spectacular Tamil voter turnout at 80% and voting en bloc for MS will be music to the new regime. The ball is in the Tamil court.

  • 15
    3

    Thank you, Brian.

  • 5
    14

    This traitorous nutcase brian senewiratne – he’s on Col. Telegraph? Shame on CT.

  • 0
    2

    There is two articles published with very detail about Presidential Elections And The Tamils. unfortunately it is in Tamil
    [Edited out]

  • 6
    1

    Dr Brian hit the nail on the head. If I were a Tamil I would not like to hear my choices but under the circumstances this is it. At least think to what is happening to Vigneswaran the northern CM. Does not his job become a bit more meaningful with MR gone? Or does the TNA still follow Praba’s principle of all or nothing? In that case disappearance into the ether is all you can expect.

  • 2
    0

    According to the author, Tamils who vote for Rajapaksa are ‘crazy’: “If they opt to vote for Rajapaksa, they are crazy. Every Tamil should know that if Rajapaksa is elected, that is the end of the Tamils. It almost is, already. No one in his right mind can fail to see this.”

    What does Brian Senewiratne think should be done to people he deems to be crazy? (I have some idea) Does he apply the same diagnostic criteria to diagnose himself as well? In this 2006 interview he explains that the LTTE will never be defeated and that Prabakaran has “taken the Tamils further than any other leader in the past 2000 years”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrzLF3Z-SQs

    • 0
      1

      Romesh

      Please forgive this Brian Senewiratna as he is still your father. [Edited out]

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