30 September, 2020

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Uva – Beginning Of The Collapse Of The Rajapaksa Myth?

By Vishwamithra1984 –

“The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” ~Sun Tzu

What materialized at the elections held on Saturday, September 20 was the possibility number 3 as reasoned out in my last week’s column: “the Government-backed UPFA would form a Provincial Administration, having gained a very marginal victory at the elections.” The United National Party (UNP) came quite close to grabbing the Badulla district but fell short by a mere three percentage (3%) points behind the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). However, the combined opposition scored a slender victory in the district by gaining just above 50% of the total valid poll. It is a remarkable performance aided and abetted by many factors amongst which the most prominent being the birth of a potential political superstar- Harin Fernando, who undoubtedly would be an object of envy and a target of vitriol, from both inside and outside the UNP. Harin Fernando needs to cope with that kind of internal back-stabbing, petty jealousies and regional mud-slinging. But he must also remember that he should make all efforts not to allow what happened to Dayasiri Jayasekera who was considered in terms of national leadership tiers but now has been relegated to a Province and is fading away from ‘national’ significance, to happen to him.

MahindaThe only way in which Harin Fernando could sustain the image that he gained in the Uva PC elections is by either getting himself injected into the Leadership Council of the UNP or getting some other high level post in the party that would afford him a role of national dimensions. His youth is to his advantage and the charismatic demeanor he displayed right throughout the Uva campaign reminds one of only two leaders in the UNP- Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake. No person in the present UNP leadership tiers has shown such promise and in his case, it was more than promise but the results that he produced at the end of the day. They say, “Victory has many fathers but defeat is always an orphan”. Harin might be well advised to draw inspiration from such idioms, if not to advance his personal cause, at least to stay above water.

But let us not paralyze ourselves by analyzing the results to an absurd degree. Such deep analysis would only cause many more unanswerable questions to spring up rather than real and practical solutions. In a very broad sense, the vote in the Uva Province showed more of disillusion with the Government, the UPFA candidates and the general direction the country is sliding with the steering being actually handled by the Government and its henchmen. In addition, the President’s so-called invincibility and unquestioned appeal is certainly diminishing. He is no more considered a sure bet, at least by the Badulla voters. For instance, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Welimada alone had no less than eight (8) pocket meetings, which are usually attended and addressed by the local candidates. And the UPFA lost the Welimada seat. In the Badulla district, the combined Opposition obtained more than 50.65% as against 44.63% (UPFA+NFF) and when the 4.73% that went to others is allotted, the anti-government vote becomes 55.38% which is quite sizeable. At the last Presidential Elections, Mahinda received 53.23% as against the combined opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka who got only 44.55%. Almost an exact reversal has happened. Badulla district has more than 30% of minority votes of whom Estate Tamils are the great majority. In addition, the Muslim minority vote too is close to 5% and it is quite obvious that wherever the minorities play a role, Mahinda Rajapaksa is bound to lose ground.

In the Moneragala district where Sinhalese Buddhists account for more than 90% of voters, the UPFA just managed only 58%. If that is the average percentage of voters from that segment, Sinhalese Buddhists, that the UPFA could muster, then they are in deep trouble, which of course depends on the acceptability of Presidential candidate from the Opposition.

The following table of statistics gives a fair picture of what happened in Uva:

Stat 1But what is most salient in the whole exercise of the Uva PC election is that the UNP by itself has obtained slightly more than General Sarath Fonseka did as a Common Candidate of the combined forces of the then Opposition at the 2010 Presidential Elections. The dent that has been caused in the UPFA armor is mainly one of negative nature. People voted ‘against’ the governing coalition rather than ‘for’ the UNP or opposition. The UNP and other opposition parties must realize that and if they want to be successful in ousting the present incumbent, they need a common front. Presidential Elections are a totally different story altogether. Personalities do matter and unlike in parliamentary elections in which people cast their votes for a particular political party, at Presidential Elections, people weigh their choices on the personality, likes and dislikes, trustworthiness, personal courage and bravery, political acumen and astuteness of the candidate and his or her past history and all these considerations come into play. In such a complex scenario, the UNP and the rest of the Opposition have to find a common platform in the first place and then select the best candidate who could deliver the platform to electoral victory.

The Sri Lankan electorate is increasingly polarized and as a result, it is most prudent to see how the majority Sinhalese Buddhists on the one hand and the Tamil/Muslim minorities on the other would cast their votes in the coming Presidential Elections.

Please peruse the following Table of statistics:

Stat 2I have taken these districts which are predominantly Sinhalese-Buddhist in ethnic composition terms. How did Mahinda fare in these elections? The average vote for Mahinda has dropped by a whopping 10%. If that is a trend instead an outlaying statistic, then the incumbent is in real danger of losing.

In order to come to that conclusion, I have used the following projections:

Stat 3Allow me to explain: Total number of votes is assumed as 100 and the ratio between the majority Sinhalese Buddhists and non-Sinhalese Buddhists is assumed as 65:35. Of the 35 Minority votes, with more weightage than realistic, given to Mahinda Rajapaksa and then on a basis of 30% for Mahinda and 70% against Mahinda, he will have 11 votes of the total 100. He needs another 39 votes from the 65 representing the majority vote. What percentage is that? The answer is 60%. That is a very formidable task bordering on impossible. Because in the event the minority block falls into a 20:80 slot, Mahinda would get only 7 votes making him need 43 of the balance 65 votes. This makes it 66% which is even more difficult.

Now you’ll see how the battle-lines are drawn. The once-undefeatable Mahinda Rajapaksa has become almost vulnerable given the mood of the country as shown in the Uva PC elections. The UNP is really in the driving seat. What made the electorate change like this?

Among main reasons are:

  • Ranil Wickremesinghe has done what he should have done three years ago: Make Sajith Premadasa the Deputy Leader of the party and secure his 100% participation at elections. The Party today looks more united than at any other time since Ranil took over.
  • Harin Fernando’s magnetic personality (young blood)
  • Increasing economic hardships
  • Shedding of the fear psychosis

Now the corporate world will think twice before refusing financial aid to the UNP. Senior Ministers who are rotting away in government benches might rethink their or their offsprings’ political future. But the UNP and its leadership cannot afford a win’s rest. They must unleash their forces through the length and breadth of the country. Take a lesson from the Master, J R Jayewardene. At last there seems to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The Rajapaksa myth is brittle and beginning to crack.

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    By Vishwamithra1984 –

    “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.” ~Sun Tzu

    RE: Uva – Beginning Of The Collapse Of The Rajapaksa Myth?

    “Now the corporate world will think twice before refusing financial aid to the UNP. Senior Ministers who are rotting away in government benches might rethink their or their offsprings’ political future. But the UNP and its leadership cannot afford a win’s rest. They must unleash their forces through the length and breadth of the country. Take a lesson from the Master, J R Jayewardene. At last there seems to be light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The Rajapaksa myth is brittle and beginning to crack.”

    Thanks for a very good analysis.

    Rajapaksa had the opportunity. The power corrupted them. The People are sick of them. They even used Buddhism towards their ends. Even Sinhala Buddhists are Fed up them, and they are showing their true colors.

    An Anonymous Author like Thomas Paine is needed with a Common Sense Pamphlet to expose the King, the Rajapaksa Clan.

    Read, the Common Sense Pamphlet , by Thomas Paine, that inspired the American Revolution along with the other events. Common Sense (pamphlet)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

    5. Produce a Commons sense Phampley for Sri Lanka and say why it is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka to remove the King, aka Rajapaksa Dynasty from power and let the Republic be a republic and Not a dynasty.

    This Pamphlet, in Sinhala, Tamil and English, need to be sent to each and every Sri Lankan Citizen, just like Thomas Paine Common sense pamphlet.

    Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

    Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

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    Vishwamitra’s stats are very convincing.

    Looke like Christian Faction Leader will be eating Kiribath and Kawum with the Vella TNA in the President’s House to celebrate the coming Sinhala and Tamil New year.

    All the Vellalas already on board , and the Badulla Dalits in the bag if we are to believe Vishva 1984, it will be a cake walk for Ranil.

    Will this mean the old SGA is going to be dusted and presented to the LTTE proxy Sambandan before he gets too old to hold the Premiership?.

    Would Sambanadan , give Mrs Sherekhi Tamil Selvam , the widow of the real political Leader of the LTTE at, least a ministerial position?..

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    At presidential election slmc and thonda will support unp.

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    Sumane,

    You really stink, don’t you. Take your face out from the back of MARA, time is up for you and your clan.

    One thing I would like to say is Sambandan and the gang mentioned by you are a far better option than KP and the gang protected and nurtured by your MARA for his survival and also for the booty which came along with him, not to mention the clandestine nexus he has with all discreet and illicit trades. MARA and GORA were having a field day with all those ill gotten wealth, bribing every one to achieve their goals, including a British MP and the Common Wealth Secy General Sharma and also PR Companies in the Big Apple.

    Sadly for you and MARA & Co nothing worked and the people have come to know the real you and have started shunning you & MARA lock,stock and barrel.

    Unbelievable,believe it…..You cannot fool all the people all the time.

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    Take Modi and the BJP. Just three months into government they lost three bye elections – seats they had won in the supposed (31% of the votes) landslide. UNP must get to work immediately or their fortunes can be reversed like the BJP’s was.

    The build up must start now if the opposition parties are to peak come presidential elections.

    Aman

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    The UNP must focus only in one direction – a Joint opposition to wipe out
    the Dynasty Rule for ever. Every Opposition political leader must be
    promised a Ministerial Post for the Joint Opposition to do away with EP.
    The cross-over politicians must be given an amnesty, the dead-line of which
    must be the date the next elections are announced.

    The Regime will put off Elections for ever with an “arranged” coup and
    continue to rule as I/C threat via UN activity is effecting the sovereignty
    & security of the Island!! India will OK it on principle!!! To hell with
    C/W values.

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    UNP lost. UNP had a MP contest against a small provincial political politician and still lost.

    Just imagine the UPFA win had a UPFA MP contested!

    Even with a parliamentarian, this is the most UNP could do. Unfortunate.

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    These are faulty analyses. There was no anti-government wave in Uva.
    1. Muslims wanted to teach a lesson to Hakeem and Bathiyutheen. (They will not learn- that is another issue, not related to this). So they voted to UNP and UNP only. UPFA lost by allowing no Muslims to contest on its name, in favor of Hakeem-Bathiyutheen clan. If a Muslims have contested on UPFA, a 5000 votes might have gone there too, just like the stray voters who voted to Hakeem and Bathiyutheen.
    2. The accident staged by UPFA on CWC parade worked for CWC. But that too forced UPFA to lose.
    3. JVP and specially DP did very poorly in UVA. But without any anti-government wave, they did much better in SPC. If we look at the past Indian Lok Shaba election, the smaller parties, ADMK in Tamil Nadu, TC in West Bengal and other opposition did better than BJP and unlike CWC in Uva, all Congress allies and past allies like DMK lost very badly. That is how the anti-incumbent wave works. Here DP and JVP lost. At the same time, government supporter CWC won. So, here there is no anti-government wave in Uva.
    4. After Harin, Major vote pickers are UPFA
    5. It is not sure how much the Sinhala mass have attachment on Son Prince. But he supported Harin, in oppose to Sahesndra. It is still not clear yet if Harin’s head is in the Royal government’s hand or he is a free man. Further, Dayasiri, effectively an UNPer, got as much as Harin’s victory in NWP, but no other UNPers came close to him on that election and nor any PC elections followed it gave any turn around to UNP after that either.
    So, there is no anti-government wave in Uva(irrelevant of the magnitude). This single horse, Harin will not be able to pull the cart on the presidential election. There are very narrow minded, single issue, Common candidate proposals are there. Proposers of that are decedents of Colvin-r de-Silva and N.M.Perera, who without any political foresightedness, worked for Sirimavo to rewrite the Constitution and bit the bullet when Sirima fired her gun at them. So the single issue common candidate and their constitutional change is nothing more than the Sirima, Colvin and Perera drama enactment. Sinhalese are not going to analyze it the way pundits propose and vote for it. But, they may vote for SI CC, provided they get some emotional attraction there. It is only stupid to the thoughtful people to failing of envisaging this as the drama’s ultimate end. But, our purpose of looking in to it is not to come to that conclusion. The truth is, when SI CC goes for dry constitutional change, King will have more options to add and go, including, constitutional change, EP elimination, plus a sack of free rice from moon. That is where Sirima’s drama gets enacted more powerfully, rather than the Sirima-Colvin-Perera version.

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    Dear Ta…..Modaya. your name should be T.A.Modaya
    great analytical thinking by you? Refusing to face reality! You are like a live crab in a pot ready to be curried! It is useful for the UPFA to be like a crab without a shell! Great going!
    I hope the UNP Modaya s don’t think like the same in their euphoric attitude!

    Think of the spoilt votes and those who did not vote! The UNP must capitalise on this swing vote who are unhappy with everyone! Don’t think that people like Sarath Fonseka are spent forces? There are people who did not vote since they are unhappy with both factions. Do not leave anybody out in the joint opposition!
    Even Chandrika used people like Victor Ivan, Vasantha Kumar, and others who had their own agendas but spat them out like chewed betel leaves later on?? This is the ABC rule. Join forces with your friends and foe to defeat the common enemy! When the common enemy is down, think of killing the foe!!! Americans used the Talibans to defeat the Northern Alliance and Russians. When the Russian s were down they used the Northern Alliance to down the Talibans! They used Saddam to attack Iran and then Sadam attacked Kuwait! And the enemies turned….
    I am not saying that the foe should be destroyed after being used……..? But?..
    what about KP? Or Karuna or even Sambandan Will they shift loyalties?
    didn’t the revered Pirupaharan sell the vote to Mahinda through Tiran/Basil? Tiran twists and twirls faster than a bambara (top), Tyrants will come and go…. They will always be there to make sure of their future? Dammika P, Dilith J, Nimal P, Ajith D etc are wheeler dealers who run governments and vise versa? The UNP had them and will (must) have them possibly in the future to hide their black money! Probably the same gang may hand a parcel under the table to the UNP for elections and join the victory parade! Unless the RRRR have truly blackmailed them!!!
    A dirty game!! But it cannot get dirtier than the RRRR!

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