24 September, 2020

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The UNP Can Take A Page From Mahinda Chinthana

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

The Government, as usual, put its own spin on what happened in Hambantota when some UNP parliamentarians decided to check out the airport and harbor.  Mayor Eraj Fernando’s antics, however, were caught on camera.  There’s no erasing that kind of belligerence (that’s a mild word, by the way) regardless of one’s spin-doctoring skills.  Attempting to do so would invariably result in convincing the audience that its intelligence is being insulted.  The next option is damage control.  And the best damage-controller around is Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Last week, when he met with the editors of print and electronic media institutions, the President said ‘no one is above the law’.  He added that he was not talking about the Bodu Bala Sena only when he made that remark.  It applied to politicians as well, he said.  He gave a lesson in history by way of providing context.  He spoke of other politicians who have been attacked.  He spoke also of politicians who have gone berserk.  He named names.  He even fired a broadside at the media, pointing out that when crowds, egged on by politicians, attack members of the ruling party, the media calls it ‘reaction by angry citizens’ whereas when a group of people led by a member of the ruling party take on opposition politicians, it’s an ‘paalaka pakshaye mera kandaayamak’ (thugs of the ruling party).  Having provided context, he came up with the ‘no o’ne is above the law’ statement.

The point on history can be conceded. The President certainly can’t undo time.  He is, however, the leader of the UPFA and the fact that these people who are not above the law continue to thumb nose at the law and law enforcement authorities are not going down very well with the people.  They vote.  It ought to be a concern.

Complicity in such attacks aside, President Rajapaksa made a very pertinent point about politics in general.  He said, ‘game ayath ekka giyaa nam ohoma venne nehe’ (this would not have happened if [they] had gone with the locals). He observed that the visiting MPs had not invited UNP stalwarts of the area Sajith Premadasa and Dilip Wedarachchi to be part of the delegation.  We don’t know if they were deliberately sidelined, but we do know that there’s no love lost between Premadasa and this particular team.  There is an obvious reference to intra-party squabbles here.  The ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ page that’s relevant, however, is the one about ‘game aya’ (village-people or ‘local folk’).

If there’s one major difference between the UPFA (under Mahinda Rajapaksa) and the UNP (under Ranil Wickremesinghe), it’s this matter of being with or being above the ‘game aya’ , respectively.  That’s not ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ strictly speaking.  It’s basic politics or a fundamental tenet of pragmatic political practices that can yield benefits to practitioner.  It’s become part of ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ by default, i.e. simply because it’s something that the UNP doesn’t do or does poorly.

Sajith, when he’s not wrecking the party by berating the leadership in public (it’s hard to think of a time when an opposition figure of corresponding stature was this soft on the particular government), spends time with his voters, that much has to be conceded.   As a pretender to the UNP throne, he ought to be on the move, on the ground, covering all parts of the country, but surprisingly, the man has declared he will restrict activity to Hambantota.  The tragedy is that conceding limitations of that self-imposed restriction, Sajith is streets ahead of the rest of the UNP.

One thing is clear.  Voice-cut regime-critics won’t cut too much ice with the general public.  It is easy to organize a press conference.  It is easy to fire off a media release.  It is easy to make scathing attacks in parliament.  That’s essentially AC-politics, comfy-zone politics.  Enough to get enough votes to make it to Parliament but not enough to take the party out of the political quagmire it now resides in, forget dragging it up the mountain to the high seats of power.

To go with the game aya, one has to go to the game aya.  Rounding up a couple of dozen people from the electorate to make numbers at a demonstration in Colombo doesn’t add up to going to or being with the game aya.  There are a few UNPers who do that, but that’s the exception and not the rule.  You can’t fight a game manussaya (a local man) like Mahinda Rajapaksa that way.

Mahinda Rajaksa goes to the gama.  In many ways.  He makes unplanned stops.  He visits old friends. He pays respect to old timers whose youth was spent working for the party.  If in an earlier age, the king walked among subjects incognito to find out what’s what, Mahinda Rajapaksa does it up front.  He may be misled on policy matters by ‘experts’, but few would say that he doesn’t know what the ground situation is like.  That’s knowledge that counts when it comes to vote-getting.  Sure, it’s not about turning the country around, it’s just politics, but it is politics that work.

It is unlikely that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was giving a tip to the UNP about how to do politics.  He was probably playing on intra-party rivalry.  Still, he let slip something.  It’s a catch the UNP can take with both hands.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 8
    2

    This idiot not only publishes propaganda for the Maharajapakse murderous regime in a local newspaper, now he is using CT to propagate his malicious propaganda.

    • 2
      0

      Pure platitudes and unimaginative CRAP. This guy should be put to sleep. Spare us your tripe MS!

      • 1
        0

        Dear CT Editors: Please spare your readers this sort of rubbish.

        There is absolutely NO ANALYSIS OR SUBSTANCE in this article by MS, merely opinion which is so obviously tainted and supportive of a murderous regime.

        CT editors you must have some screening and quality control on what you publish on your website, surely?!

    • 3
      0

      Thiru,

      For once I have no choice, but completely agree with you.

      Cheers!

      PS: It is very difficult to bear, when talented & educated people such as Malinda sell their dignity so cheap.

      To high-tech political thieves who systematically destroy our country.

    • 0
      0

      .
      Is Malinda saying, MaRa is not a good leader, but a good vote getter?

      :-)

    • 0
      1

      Hey people… what kind of mahinda Chinthana where no HR are safeguarded.

      Journalist, Suranga Senanayake and JVP MP clearly pointed out how the gov has to react so that IC could feel that MR regime is well concerned of srilanken citizen and human rights of them.

      Guys please keep you informed by watching following videos.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzUbeFIV43E

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu-A_SGGhIA

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EG_e0kkX0nk

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3nkmaXOSXc

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chvnKRs-vbo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhA7W-9N4GY

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxxLW0MmwUA

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUqnIe2PE40

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z0O-cvZ5Wo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqB4dV0Vw4U

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1fJHs1ajX0

      • 0
        0

        Sama

        Thanks for the links. Spread the word. MaRa need to go.

        Amarasiri.

        • 0
          0

          Did you also notice that any question as to why the current regime fails so far reestablish the law and order is as usual prevaricated by them ( telling that UNP and JVPers killed more in their terms) – not focusing as to why the people elected UPFA ? This has been their response – as has always been. How many more days, the idiots could go on this way is the question. I love the way Suranga Senanayake questions – he is the most talented – european grade fearless journalist. I would even go for collections for their efforts. I will really do.
          But I believe, people will grasp this very soon, if not it will be too late.
          Even today, the megalomaniac is reported to have taken part in an ordination ceremony of 75 Buddhist monks- to keep the very same people in fooling mode further, as if he has nothing better to do so as the president of the country.

    • 1
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      Malinda’s salary is paid by MaRa to wash his dirty linens.
      Malinda is doing it in grand style.

      He is doing his job.

  • 8
    3

    As usual Malinda Senevi rotten is sucking up to Mahinda.

  • 5
    1

    Of course malinda, Mahinda is good at playing Game aya game. The reason is our game aya and nagare aya both are idiots. Being a newspaper editor who can write very well in both English and sinhala you dont do your responsibility as an editor, but rather become a tool.

    the reason mahinda plays that game is our ppl are idiots and not because he plays it well. Mahinda is very bad at PR. The real story. His bad PR is enough for stupid gullibal Lankans including you. That is why he lost in a propaganda war with LTTE.

    Had you become a honest critique of this gover and make it go in the correct path as gover supporting journos, mahinda and we as a country would not have fallen to this level.

    The real story is attack against UNP Mps there is not an attack against UNP. It is an attack against the country, its people, and anyone having a regard for justice would get angry with that drama.
    The inability to understand this from your side is unfortunate for the country as well.

    • 3
      0

      Sach,

      “The real story is attack against UNP Mps there is not an attack against UNP. It is an attack against the country, its people, and anyone having a regard for justice would get angry with that drama. The inability to understand this from your side is unfortunate for the country as well.”

      Well and succinctly summarized.

      Besides Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cronies are using Ctossbones to maintain their hegemony.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbones_(comics)

      Crossbones (Brock Rumlow) is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics universe. He was created by writer Mark Gruenwald and artist Kieron Dwyer in Captain America #359–360 (1989). Crossbones usually appears as a henchman of the Red Skull. He carried out the assassination of Captain America, although Sharon Carter, who was under hypnosis at the time, is believed to have fired the fatal shots.

  • 2
    0

    Malinda Seneviratna [Edited out]

  • 2
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    “It’s a catch the UNP can take with both hands”.
    Malinda,
    Is This catch so big to take with BOTH HANDs???????????.

    OH, you have got more experiences holding the catch???/,
    don’t you?.

  • 2
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    Don’t praise MR when we have such a good leader in Ranil Wickramasinghe. He will loose for the 10th time too. But who cares? He is still a good old Royalist with backing from Colombo people.

    If you support the country support Ranil till 2020.

  • 3
    0

    A page from Mahinda Chintanaya? Which page you bloody idiot? You say in your last para that MR though without giving the tip he let slip something out and you are asking UNP to take in both hands!You need not ask UNP to do what you are already engaged in doing! Lick , lick you shameless imbecile that ever appeared in the field of Journalism in Sri Lanka!

    • 0
      0

      “A page from Mahinda Chintanaya? Which page you bloody idiot? “

      Not the cover, but anything after. After all, the best use of those pages (or sheets) are to wipe the bottom.

      • 0
        0

        You people can insult MR and UPFA all you want. But the reality is that MR will convincingly win again next year. Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers have done so much for people live away from Colombo and also for Colombians. That’s a fact. Few frustrated people commenting on websites will not many any change.

  • 1
    0

    Malinda,

    The vitriol and hate you invite so willingly with any of your contributions is becoming hard to fathom. Either your past is so checkered or you have serious credibility issues on the one hand or you just attract the worst in people on the other!

    Yes, MR is a capable politician. No one can take that away from him. He is also backed by a team of relatives whose lives are very dependent on his survival. The Rajapakses are not in survival mode though. They think they have obligated and compromised enough people, that they will the willing and grudging support to get away with anything. That is good politics. It is NOT good governance or leadership. Both subjects: All of the Rajapakses are totally clueless about because it delivers no tangible advantage or benefits to THEM.

    • 1
      0

      UPUL:
      You are completely right!
      CT should not publish this boot-licker, not as web censorship but because what he has to say, except as propaganda for the Rajapassas, is completely irrelevant.

    • 0
      0

      President Mahinda is not a Politician but a Political Crook.
      He came to power through Fraudulent means, by bribing LTTE VP.
      He is not serving people, but his family, friends and party goons.
      Ninety persent (90%) of country’s Finances, economy, trade, projects and contracts are under four Rajapakse brothers.
      All judiciary, police, media, election commission, bribery commission etc, are under one ruling dictator.

      Therefore you cannot compare a Gentleman Ranil to a notorious dumb crook.

      Hope Malinda will understand now.

  • 0
    0

    Well said Malinda that is the fact Ranil and his stooges like Ravi are good for the Colombo people. Without mixing with the grass root u cannot win elections. I am not saying that Sajith is the best person But Ranil must go and them someone will be there to take his place No One I Indispensable.

  • 0
    0

    Rubbish!

    UNP has its own way of doing things. No need to copy the useless Mahintha Chinthanaya.

    One Mahintha is enough. We don’t want Hon Runnil to be another one.

    How about Vigneswaran Chinthanaya?

  • 0
    0

    UNP and Game Aya are like Oil and Water now more so than ever before.

    Keselwatta Kid is trying hard to bribe the rural poor hoping to win support. Even that is wrecked by the Christian Faction.,

    Their Hambantota tour is a case in point ,

    The Christian ‘Faction’s unwavering support to the Western agenda to give TNA what the LTTE couldn’t get has made the UNP totally alienated from the great majority of the population , who now live peacefully earning a quid to feed their kids.

    The inhabitants in the rural sector are aware that the West and Ms Pillai are not interested in their welfare or their wellbeing….

    The unravelling plot by Nediyawen and Fr Emmanuel to resurrect the LTTE is a serious reminder that the country needs more security to preserve and propel forward the current peaceful environment and the development which in place.

    What does the current Leader of the Opposition do in this critical hour of need?..

    He is in the US. learning how to give our inhabitants good governance,

    Obviously 20 years as the Opposition Leader hasn’t taught him much..

    May be that is why he declined to be the Presidential candidate last time.

    And has declared that he won’t be even next time..

  • 1
    0

    I do not think, Malinda , in this piece, shows appreciation for Kings, cheating.

    “Mayor Eraj Fernando’s antics, however, were caught on camera. There’s no erasing that kind of belligerence (that’s a mild word, by the way) regardless of one’s spin-doctoring skills. Attempting to do so would invariably result in convincing the audience that its intelligence is being insulted. The next option is damage control. And the best damage-controller around is Mahinda Rajapaksa.” Here he is in the clear opinion that Eraj was saved with unethical, un-appreciable spins techniques.

    “Complicity in such attacks aside, President Rajapaksa made a very pertinent point about politics in general.” He not just not denying the complicit, he is willing to remind the readers, there was an element of complicit existed. Probably, by complicit, he might be meaning that Eraj had told he was on the request of Namal.

    President earlier said that the UNP team did not take police protection. Now he is associating it with the split in the UNP. That is, in other word , driving the arrow into the burned wound of UNP. So he said “‘game ayath ekka giyaa nam ohoma venne nehe’ ” which is in a different meaning. It is not a political lesson. Its purpose is insulting UNP. It is who, Malinda diverted it into a political lesson.

    In anyway this not just Malinda’s words. “It is easy to organize a press conference. It is easy to fire off a media release. It is easy to make scathing attacks in parliament. That’s essentially AC-politics, comfy-zone politics.” This is what all the UNP critics are saying, these days. Then there is no harm done, if its not bringing any new benefits, by repeating same sentences many others have already said.

    As a writer, though heavily bent on GOSL side, he sometime criticise GOSL too. We have seen of his this behavior earlier too. I think I understand his path on this.

  • 1
    0

    http://www.ft.lk/2014/05/09/govt-has-not-fulfilled-mahinda-chinthana-promises-weerawansa/

    Minister Weerawansa says that Secretary to the Ministry of Finance has hijacked Sri Lanka’s economy and turned the UPFA’s ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ to the UNP’s ‘Regaining Sri Lanka’ manifesto. Malinda says that the UNP can take a page from from ‘Mahinda Chinthana’. Who is spinning whom?

  • 1
    0

    “The UNP Can Take A Page From Mahinda Chinthana” – Mantis Tinkeratna

    Mantis,

    It’s possible you could meticulously pluck-off the ‘airmiles off the Mahinda Thunderballs.

  • 1
    0

    Why don’t your Game Maha Eka for ever go and stay with game aya eating helapa and Kurakkan Roti. It is ideal and best for him.

    He could also can find a Job as Abiththaya in one of those Game temples.

    This is only what he knows best. But the people are smart today. That’s why he got Parippu at his own home town Hambanthota during the last PC elections loosing 12 Parliament seats.

    Who are his economic advisers, market development consultants, market forecasters, security advisers, foreign missions and diplomats, local department heads etc,etc.

    The Game Maha Eka’s economic forecasters are the Astrologers. Economic advisers are casino king pin James Packer, kudu Duminda and Kelani Mervin. Contract master is his own Brother Mr.10% and security adviser is the ever famous Mr.Pig eating shit and Foreign Ministry in charge is the Flying fish Educated Idiot GLP.

    Yes keep duping and screwing the 90% uneducated Villege Muts to stay in power. Mr.Show off master blaster now even cannot visit England without getting a warm welcome Tomato treat and endless protests.

    Let Game Maha eka Keep taking Sunday Sil, Monday Kill and Blame the Suddha for all the damage done to poor villege voters.

    This Bull shit absolutely crap article is another “Wandi Battaya’s” praising Game Maha eka.

    Keep chewing bones until nothing left in the Central Bank.

    Jayawewa Sili Sili Siri Lanka. Modayata Gama and Divi Nesuma.

  • 2
    0

    Malinda,
    You are like the Bard in Asterix and Obelix.. You need to be tethered down to a tree stump when thr party is on. In fact, this is what would probably happen to you soon! You sell your soul for a price too cheap… Even Jackson Anthony sold it for a much highher price!
    Lo!

  • 0
    0

    malinda the most cursed writer on CT..his suboorinates at his newspsper must be faring better

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