25 September, 2020

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Unfettered Tamil Vote & Formidable UNF Government In August

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s lament is that the Tamil voter voted him out and dislodged his regime. Not wrong the nation affirms. With fetters in full and yet in part, this voter has helped seat and unseat governments. When bound hand and foot and delivered at the disposal of M.R. in 2005, victory was his. The slim 180,000 majority then, bespoke his lack of lustre in the Sinhala eye, though the Tamil vote was shut out.

The Tamil vote in January though partially unbound and yet not fully free, made for a 444,000 majority and spelt him disaster. It changed the ruling hand in January 2015. The Tamil vote together with the Muslim one cooked his goose is his contention. How to undo it may be his obsession. But can he? No it appears. Why?

Benefits from January

In January, the body blow to the incumbent President came from the nation’s polity. In the August encounter, the majority ethnic segment itself is poised to deliver a mortal blow. When all ethnicities act in tandem, the minority vote will become less important for victory, but of utmost significance for a two-thirds. Such a resounding victory is crucial for an unswerving effort at reform. The nation is yet waiting for the 19th Amendment in its pristine form after repealing the current one. The 20th too is similarly awaited. The voters’ resolve is for stable governance, not for seven months but for decades and more.

Ranil Ravi MaithriThe diligent have seen people’s gains in the last seven months. A fresh air of liberty now pervades the country. With an independent judiciary, tyrannical enforcement of tyrannical laws is consigned to the past. Separation of powers a bedrock of democracy had all but disappeared. The educated classes fought hard to get it back, not to loose with a few words from a UPFA pulpit. Recourse to justice not available earlier is now accessed and cherished. Freedom of thought, expression and assembly lost for long are regained. The media that fought bravely will continue to be in the forefront of the struggle. The white van spectre, arbitrary arrest, death at the rulers’ wish and disappearance at will are among the inglorious past. These features becoming permanent in the Rajapakse era stand demolished. Can anybody cite even three reasons for the previous order coming back?

Political Intelligence

Has not the Sri Lankan polity demonstrated its political intelligence time and again for sixty years? In 1956 a repulsive government, cut off from the people and their aspirations was sent packing with a clutch of only eight seats. When the popular government of 1960 failed to perform and lost its lustre, was it not replaced unceremoniously in 1965. Srimavo and the leaders of the glamourous Left were wiped out in the 1977 landslide. The reason was sheer unrealism in policy and ineptitude at delivery. Chandrika’s majority of 1.9 million in 1994 reflected the people’s anger repressed for 12 years. People’s repulsion growing from 2010 brought down Rajapaksa’s majority of 1.842 million to a defeat by 444,000 in 2015. A grand slide of 2.28 million came about in a mere five years. Why should the voter think of reversing the gear in seven months? It is in the nature of political dynamics for the trend to continue in volume and speed. With further acceleration on automatic gear, high speed and a widening gulf will be seen.

The bloodless revolution of January 2015 was a glorious one. It deflected the nation from getting enmeshed in a cruel dictatorship. What seemed sure fascism at dusk on 8th became a secure democracy at dawn on 9th. Blessed isle many may think. Malevolent destiny I would suggest. Everything comes easily to this land. Independence came all too easily. So was the striking change of 1956. Flow of aid was smooth and persistent. What is not hard won is neither appreciated nor safeguarded. Hence the ease with which the return of tyranny is talked about by some, though never can it happen.

Why never? Benign destiny may seem to turn malevolent when people talk with levity. But the particular balance of forces; ethnic and religious are clearly against Mahinda. Political convictions are well solidified against fascist rule. Battle lines drawn earlier are getting strongly demarcated.

The 100 Day Success

The 100 day programme displaying a record of achievement has made an impressive improvement to people’s lives. On the economic front changes are most marked. Enhanced prices for agricultural production benefits a wide agricultural community. Substantially reduced cost of imported food commodities, reduced cost of cooking gas, lower energy costs and affordable travel costs brought about by cheaper fuel, benefit the totality of the nation’s polity. They have made a qualitative change to their life’s experience in a truly material sense.

State employees are 1.2 million. Since January the magnitude of their income is greatly increased. Enhanced pensions and more spectacularly the removal of anomalies benefit over 300,000 retired officials. Many out of this segment of 1.5 million voters are of consequence to influence society. Many are wont to think that pipelines cut off from corrupt hands are now benefiting them. Added to all these is the youth segment which is most substantial in the demographic profile. It can be taken for granted that they were and are impatient with the Rajapakse regime. Even if they are not with the JVP, they are nowhere near UPFA or Mahinda.

To the politically conscious voting majority, the benefits derive from the new governance capability of Maithripala, Ranil and the UNF. To at least a fifth of those who did not vote at the last election, the successes are motivation enough to vote and that too for the governing side. It may be noted that turnout in 2015 at 81.52% was highest in 5 Presidential elections. Reading that stiff competition motivates higher turnout, 80% is reachable in 2015 parliamentary compared to 76% in 1994 to 2004. With very many permutations, seat numbers may be reckoned. Jaffna district at 66% had the lowest turnout among 22 electoral districts. Fetters all round with military Governor presiding over irregularities explain this performance. Enhanced turnout will change the configuration in the North. Likewise changes are foreseeable countrywide for a multitude of reasons with local variations.

Bloodless Revolution of 1688

We first learnt of the bloodless and glorious revolution of 1688 in England. It brought in the Bill of Rights which established the primacy of Parliament over the monarch. After the Bill, the latter had a ceremonial position while Parliament was vested with much power. It is good to know of the antecedents for the king to be relegated as a constitutional monarch.

It was preceded by the English Civil War (1642 -1651) and the bloody execution of King Charles I in 1649. Charles I treated Parliament as trifle and such conduct brought him in collision with Parliament. Little difference with MR’s cavalier treatment of Sri Lanka’s Parliament. People’s resentment brought Oliver Cromwell into the scene. He took the military into Parliament, arrested the king and with due process tried him for high treason as “tyrant, traitor, murderer and public enemy”. A good 200,000 had perished in the civil war.

Though a span of some 360 years lie between happenings in England and Sri Lanka, parallels are drawable. In January, the President on the verge of becoming a monarch was deposed by the ballot. The powers of his office were whittled down by the Nineteenth Amendment. Executive Presidency will stand fully abolished after the Twentieth Amendment. A veritable 1688, making the office of President ceremonial is in the offing. When a neat sequence of events is arranged for Parliament and people to come into their own, who will want it derailed?

Two – Thirds

The people in the mass are moving fast. The iceberg has begun to surface and the contours become more visible. As of now one prospect grows clearer. It is not for victory that the Tamil vote is crucial. It is vitally needed for a two thirds when the major cross over occurs.

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Latest comments

  • 28
    11

    Is this what is called singing for one’s supper?

    • 19
      3

      It’s been the closely guarded secret of the Slippery Slitherer!

    • 4
      20

      Robert.R
      No, this called you are a nut case and and an idiot!

      • 10
        4

        The hood is the hood because there are only hoodlums
        in the hood the poison in the well.

    • 5
      13

      RR

      Is this what is called comment of an imbecile?

      • 8
        0

        Humbug stop singing hosanna.

  • 4
    3

    The Thamil people in the North and East who voted en masse to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa will vote with both hands to the TNA to prevent his re-entry to the parliament. The Thamil people suffered immensely during his 9 year autocratic rule. They were humiliated, starved, tortured, and robbed of their dignity. Unlike in the south Rajapaksa used 18 army divisions (16 n the north and 2 in the south) to suffocate and trample the people. One cannot even hold a sports meet, a social gathering in one’s home without army’s permission and its presence. The military governor in the North lorded over the people like during the colonial rule. Though he was a public servant drawing his salary from the Treasury, he brazenly involved in active politics to the extent of picking candidates to run for the SLFP/UPFA. The armed Thamil groups were given a free reign to attack the media, rob government property, kidnap business people and instil fear into the minds of the citizens. It is only after the change of regime, the Thamil people are breathing somewhat freely. The army no more enjoy police powers which were used liberally to intimidate and harass people. So there is no going back to pre January 8 silent revolution. but it is up to the people in the south to vote for good governance or pave the way for the re-entry of family dictatorship.

    • 7
      3

      Self-deception at it’s very best.

      The person who brought you such misery was a very sane but brutal Prabhakaran, and that too over a longer period than mentioned. The Sri Lankan government meanwhile provided free health, schools and food while the terrorist spent all the money stolen from banks, provided by the adoring imbeciles here and abroad on weapons and luxury for himself (and family). The spineless leaders of previous governments had allowed the terrorists to run riot till MR with his legions wiped out the scourge from our midst. Whatever his limitations and shortcomings, the freedom that we enjoy today is thanks to him and his brave legions.

  • 1
    0

    Thank you. But that part about the Bill of Rights (UK) bears some correction. The date is December 16, 1689.

    The King was a lot more than ceremonial even after that, although his powers were curtailed. He continued to have a lot of power. The Bill only provided some rights and gave parliament supremacy over laws — it provided for regular meetings of parliament and some personal rights like habeas corpus, jury trial, etc., and curtailed the royal power to impose unusual punishments and hefty fines. The kind continued to be the supreme authority even when Queen Anne in 1707 refused assent to the Scottish Militia Bill passed by parliament and Queen Victoria blocked Peel from becoming her Prime Minister and had her favorite, Lord Melbourne made PM.

  • 4
    6

    Robert.R is singing for one’s supper.

    [Edited out]

  • 3
    11

    Sinhalese will not vote for racism or segregation within a unitary Sri Lanka. They will vote for the UNP and MR and UPFA will not even get 3 million Sinhala votes. Sinhalese will not vote in wildebeest herd unlike Tamil and Muslim voters but will send a message that racist MR regime is finished. You tamils and Muslims will yet vote like donkies only for racist parties.

    Yet, communalist, highly racist,segregationist, CASTEIST, Tamils will vote for their racist Tamil ssupremacist TNA, ITAK parties.

    Muslims will BLINDLY apishly monkey Tamil racism and tamil supremacist segregationists and vote for SLMC.

    And all you racist sinhala haters will still abuse sinhalese ad nauseum with diatribes in these columns.

    Izeth Hussein is right sometimes. What you minorities are refusing to do is simply even acknowledge that sinhala( buddhists and christians)people ARE the majority.

    Your people accept any and all shit elsewhere like in Norway, France, Germany and accepting white man and are willing to be lower class citizens because you’re better off financially. But you refuse to accept demographic REALITIES inside Sri Lanka. The racist shame is with TNA, ITAK, Gajan, Hakeem etc

  • 3
    12

    Dalits are to be congregated into 2500 Cluster Villages to do assembly work for the Koreans, Chinese and Jaepanese.

    Colombo Elite and the Anglicans will be working in A/C Offices doing IT jobs, Bookkeeping and as Call Centre Chicks.

    Vellalas will be running their ISGA a.k.a, NP Government from Coombo 7.

    And the Muslims will part own the Eastern Provincial Government.

    These are the corner stones of Batalanada Rani’s Yalanaya.which eventually will cull Sinhala Buddhists from all high positions, including the Armed Forces as they have already done with the Central Bank and even the Police force.

    And some of our famous Sanga in Colombo who are supposed to be the guardians of the great inhabitant majority, are happy chanting Blessings and tying Pitith Nula on Batalanada Ranil’s forearm to make him stronger.

    Even before Ranil the PM has become legit. ex Terrorists and their Supporters are boasting about how they have become the King makers on the back of Prabakaran.

    Wonder what makes these famous Monks UNP supporters?.

    Is it the Chicken Buriyani made with loving care for Alms in expensive Post Codes?.

    Or is it the lovely Poodle Club Ladies who offer these Alms and observe Sil?.

    Our poor dalits can’t even say God please help us, because Colombo Monks don’t want our inhabitants to believe in God..

  • 3
    0

    Thanga – This time around not only with both hands but they will have to use both feet to prevent.
    Tassimo – Temporary satisfaction guaranteed.

  • 0
    1

    If Ranil Wickramsinghe gets the govt, It will Be worse than the Mahinda Rajapakse govt.

    Sri Lankan Journalists are those who bend for the Free Lap TOp and they don’t look for the truth or they don’t publish the truth.

  • 1
    1

    at this time of remembering the 83 Black July: how fast the Tamils in Sri Lanka has forgotten the massacres UNPgovernments did! What a shame today for them to pray for a UNP government. You will learn it the hard way!

    • 0
      0

      Passion has always ruled the world not logic.
      Idiots ponder about others graves.

  • 1
    0

    Sue -Black Jul 83 pogrom happened when an Oxford educated maniac named
    JR was at the helm of affairs of the country as President and he was fiddling with his violin for 48 hours when the country was on fire and human blood pouring down the streets of Colombo and else where and he woke up only when India reminded him and by then the damage was done. The on and off attacks on the Tamils since 1956 came to an end with the emergence of Ltte,for better or the worst, and the Tamils living in Colombo and other cities sighed.
    Sue,it is not that the Tamils are praying for a UNP victory but they are praying for the better of the two devils to run the govt.as Tamils had enough and that is enough.
    Your saying “you will learn it in the hard way’ could mean you yearn
    for the repeat of the 1983 mayhem. The Tamils will never forget those
    horrors and burning of the world renowned Jaffna library for ever and that is why the diaspora,who lost their families and their properties,
    are so active to get the perpetrators pay for the sins, though they could forget the past and lead a secure life with added perks, abroad.
    Hope you understand the Tamils stand.

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