16 May, 2022


Vote For Grace And Humility

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

A few days from now the country will go to the polls to elect a president. The 8th day of January in the year 2015 will arrive after several weeks of intense political campaigning. Exciting though electioneering is, if one steps back from a place called ‘Preference’ and reviews the past few weeks, it would be hard to say that we, as a people, made of leaders and followers of course, deserve any back-patting.

There have been hard fought elections, where rivalry and power-thirst have been so intense that they have been marked by extreme violence. People were killed by the dozens. Voters were not only asked to boycott but the boycott-plan included threatening with death the first person to cast his/her vote at each and every polling station. There have been election days when hundreds were killed. This is not such an election and that’s something to celebrate.

There has been violence, though.   Not the JVP-UNP kind of 1988-89 and not the SLFP/PA kind of 1999, but nevertheless ugly and a blemish on the country as a whole. We have seen much name-calling and insult, mudslinging and vilification, and of course lies, damned lies and statistics.   Sad to say, this is ‘normal’. We are yet to have leaders who are enlightened about the responsibilities of leadership and the crucial role that humility has to play in these kinds of contests. Unfortunately humility is seen as a weakness or at least there’s fear that it will be read as such by the opposition.

The opposition, for its part, is not exactly a refuge for the ‘more enlightened’. Even a cursory glance would show that the champion of the opposition is surrounded by many decent individuals. They rub shoulders, however, with crooks, thugs, supporters of terrorism, liars, the uncouth and hate-filled, some political refugees in reduced circumstances and many licking their chops at what is perceived as an opportunity to sink hands into the Treasury (one way or another). The same could be said of the other camp. This perhaps is why we can’t call ourselves a happy people (politically speaking, that is). It is not a good headache to have.

Anyway, it will all be done a few days from now. A winner and a loser will emerge. There will be cheers, but let there be no jeers. There will be a triumph but let the triumphalism be tempered with humility. There will be re-assertion of promises made, but let there also be a sober assessment of the challenges ahead. A lot will be said in the name of the people but let what follows reflect those sentiments less in word than in action.

There will be disappointment, but just as victor should show humility in victory, may the defeated show grace. Let there be no finger-pointing. May the winner acknowledge that his team is not perfect. May he admit that there are decent people on the other side and that indeed he has indulged and accepted/enlisted the support of indecent and even despicable people. May he realize that he represents those who voted for him but more than this is the president to all, even those who opposed him.

On January 9, 2015, let Sri Lanka resolve to become a better nation and let everyone resolve to see error in self before indulging in the easier and in the final instance less-productive exercise of finger-pointing. Let us congratulate the victor but assure him that he was not given a blank-check. Let us also commiserate with the defeated and, in full recognition of our own flaws, acknowledge that whatever blemish that contributed to loss does not warrant insult or humiliation.

We are a nation that smiles through adversity. A resilient nation. Regardless of outcome preferences, let us smile. And let us remember that a සුභ අනාගතය (a happy future) and a මෛත්‍රී පාලනය (compassionate rule) are not contradictions but complement one another. Regardless of outcome preferences, let us resolve to smile. As we always have.

*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

  • 0

    Malinda Senevirathne;

    What do you say the following ?

    IS it out of desperation ?

    The ‘Loku Athula’ death (29 November 2014)

    ‘Loku Athula’ (Nimalasiri Jayasinghe) is a former deputy Minister in Rajapaksa’s government and the current SLFP organiser in a rural area (Gampaha). He was once the leader of the JVP insurrection in 1971, and then joined the SLFP to further his political career.

    After he had had revealed to his close party associates that he was going to support Sirisena , he was summoned to ‘Temple Trees’ (the residence of President Rajapaksa) on the night of 29 November 2014 to hold discussions with a view to influencing him to change his mind.

    In compliance with the request he visited the ‘Temple Trees’ at 7.30pm and had discussions with a high profile team comprising Mahinda Rajapaksa , Basil Rajapaksa, Dallas Alahaperuma, Susil Premajayantha and Anura Priyadharshana Yapa.

    This went on till about 9.00 p.m. At the end of the discussion, Mahinda Rajapaksa had called Loku Athula into a room to have ‘further discussions’. What happened thereafter is known only to the two of them. What is known is that screams were heard, the ‘resident’ ambulance at the Temple Trees was brought and Loku Athula was taken to hospital. When he arrived there he was dead.

    Evidence has leaked out that when Loku Athula was being taken into the ambulance he was dead. .

    In such circumstances, a post-mortem should be conducted compulsorily to ascertain the cause of the death, and an open magisterial verdict delivered after the inquest. Yet , this procedure had not been followed. What is worse, all moves are being made to suppress this incident which has serious evidence of homicide committed within ‘Temple Trees’.

    How did Athula who was hale and hearty suddenly die? Was he murdered ? Did he die due to a fatal fall when he was being assaulted by somebody? What were the screams all about? Why was a post-mortem and inquest not done? These are questions that the last person to see Loku Athula alive, President Rajapaksa, will have to answer.

    • 5

      Sri Lankans have a low IQ when compared to people from other countries:

      This may be the reason why the majority gets fooled by the politicians.

    • 0

      Oh Jim Softy, how sad for our beloved country. This is what Saddam Hussein did during his heydays. Any Minister who opposed him was taken out and shot.

  • 0

    Let us resolve to smile – Malinda.

    [Edited out]

  • 3

    Malinda Seneviratne

    RE: Vote For Grace And Humility

    1. “A few days from now the country will go to the polls to elect a president. The 8th day of January in the year 2015 will arrive after several weeks of intense political campaigning”

    Yes, Intense and Fraudulent political scamming by Mahinda Rajapaksa using state resources to his advantage and using public servants to his advantage under duress.

    2. “On January 9, 2015, let Sri Lanka resolve to become a better nation and let everyone resolve to see error in self before indulging in the easier and in the final instance less-productive exercise of finger-pointing.”

    Two things will happen.

    a) If there is a fair election Mr. Mairipaka Sirisena Common (Sense) Candidate will win. There will be peace and tranquility for some time, until the Shills, cronies, goons, thieves, and criminals of Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Family are rounded up an given appropriate punishment as prescribe by Law.


    b) Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa and his Shills, Cronies, thugs and criminals will commit fraud and will “WIN” the election, and declare themselves Victors.

    The the Sri lankan Spring will start and there will be bloodshed. The Targets will be Medamulana Mara, His shills, his cronies and theMmaRa extended family of cronies.

    It looks like it is in the best interest of Medamulala MaRa and his cronies to have fair election, and let the people decide.

    But will they?

  • 2

    This is a nation where Human Rights, Rule of Law and the Right to Life are NOT entrenched in the constitution.

    Adversity is reserved for minorities.
    The resilience is for law enforcement agencies who progress/recover from one episode of human rights violation, to another.
    The shooters of 27 Welikade prisoners have not yet been identified, by a high powered “commission” – did the prisoners shoot each other dead – in spite of a few being handcuffed?

    • 0


      “This is a nation where Human Rights, Rule of Law and the Right to Life are NOT entrenched in the constitution.”

      This is because of Sinhala Buddhism, <Monk Mahanamna version, of Sinhala and Buddhism imported (para) from India..

      It is different from Buddhas's Buddhism

      It is called Maraism, followed by Medamulana MaRa et al.

  • 2

    Poor JOURNALIST Malinda… He has conceded the defeat of his MASTER. Also, it is clear that Kurakkan Samagama doesn’t have a seat for Malinda in their planes to Maldives in five days. Let’s change the music :) then!!!

  • 0

    We haven’t had any Suicide Bombs, Assassinations , Racial Riots, or any other nasty political or social misdeeds since Nanthikadal.

    A few baddies from the UPFA did bad things, But they are no where in the same league as what we witnessed pre Nathikadal

    A few major achievements in the Social front was the Elimination of the Mafia who were responsible for many dastardly deeds like killing even High Court Judges in the open ,

    Even the recalcitrant Ministers and Provincial politicians have now been put in cages .

    Several attempts to ignite Religious riots between Buddhists and Catholics and Racial riots between Muslims and Sinhalese have been nipped in the bud.
    Based on that. a win for the incumbent will at least wont be worse than the above score card.

    What will be the alternative?.

    Can JHU and TNA reconcile their diametrically opposite agendas and keep the 2500 year old unitary Srialnka in one piece?

    Can CC Sira control a parliament which hasn’t got any MPs whom he can call his own party members?.

    Can the JHU which has only a Monk and a Layman as their MPs, control the traditional Opposition with 40 MPs and their backers in the US, UK, Canadian and EU Consulates in Colombo?.

    Can Champaka and Ven Rathna prevent Commission Cheques going to long starving UNP, and CBK financiers and supporters?.

    Will CBK sell Kotte land again to mates at LKR 200 a perch?.

    Can JHU stop Ranil giving dual passports LTTE supporters?.

    Will the Pillai Investigation take our brave Commanders to face European Judges?.

    Will Sira send the two brothers to the Diaspora?.

    Will the in laws of Sira’s son declare how they bought USD Million dollar property in Cinnamon Gardens and still had 150 Million in Swiss Francs in a gunny bag ?.

    Will TNA withdraw 13 A ?.

    The great majority have a lot of thinking to do as there are only three more sleeps before they decide whether the devil they know is better?….

  • 0

    It is very clear that Malinda’s tone has changed by reading his last 3~4 articles.. Cunning foxes like Malinda are “Street Smart”… This change of Malinda type people is a good sign of definite change that is going to happen.. I can imagine how much Malinda’s writing would change in another couple of months..

  • 1

    What a load of utter crap. Please CT, spare us from this guy’s rubbish.

    Sri Lanka is on the verge of an entrenched dictatorship. Should we fail to oust the corrupt family clan on 8th of January.

    Shaken by the unexpectedly potent Common Candidacy, King Kong is visibly nervous. He has resorted to all sorts of desperate, 3rd class tactics. Including attempts at igniting racist fires on the Island.

    All election laws are being blatantly violated. Sri Lanka is being tested to the limit. Sri Lankan Spring is lurking just below the surface.

    In the middle of all this misery Malinda wants everyone to smile. Absolutely idiotic. Totally detached from gravity of the situation we find ourselves in right now.


    PS: Malinda should consider taking a ride to planet Mars on “Ukkung” Rajapassa’s rocket. They could fly a kite together upon landing on Mars.

  • 0

    LOL, you have already accepted the defeat mate. Its a disgrace to beg for magnanimity after having been so arrogant whilst in the shadow of the dictatorial master.
    Where did you keep this humility plea up to now? Especially it was your master that has been the ‘victor’ in the last two elections.

    “triumphalism be tempered with humility”…
    Really?? You can still not hide, can you? The word that you were actually looking for was t(a)mper.

    Ranting a side, good luck to you. You seem to be in the right path to switch sides soon. You are only (shamelessly) making the preparations now. You’ll survive. Don’t worry.

  • 0

    [Edited out] who has been an active promoter and beneficiary of the most criminal government that Sri Lanka has ever had is preparing his mentors and himself for a soft landing after they get their backsides kicked on the the 8th.
    Instead, they should be taught a lesson that they will NEVER forget.

  • 0

    Malinda – Have to agree with you (for a change!).

    Let’s just hope (against hope?) that the mindless violence unleashed recently against the CC at his meetings over the past couple of days will cease. We are all aware of who is instigating this, so when you say that “Unfortunately humility is seen as a weakness or at least there’s fear that it will be read as such by the opposition”, it seems that you haven’t yet twigged that “humility” is beyond the grasp of the regime and the opposition understands this more than most.

  • 1

    Malinda – I forgot to add this in my previous comment.

    When you ask voters to “vote for grace and humility” sounds like you are endorsing the CC, as we all know how much “grace” and “humility” is possessed by the incumbent!

    Way to go!

  • 2

    Yes there would be a massive voting with a majority for a CHANGE. Believe we can look forward to good governance, peace and prosperity to all.

  • 0

    People are going to vote for good governance, corruption free society, peace and prosperity to all and (not for a few ). It want be for the liking of Malinda and he has to change his thinking atleast from now onwards.

  • 1

    I’m so curious to know what Mahinda’s Kade boy will write after the 9th of Jan. You may have to find some other job as your Raja will not be there to pay your dues. May be your bro could find some NGO for you to work for.

  • 3

    Let us hope for a මෛත්‍රී පාලනය (Maithree/compassionate rule). We can’t expect miracles from Sirisena but at least we can hope for:

    An End to inhuman treatment of minorities (Anti-minority)

    End of treating the country as if it is a Rajapakse kingdom

    End of violence and abuse of power

    End of nepotism, One-family rule

    Restoration of democracy and ethnic harmony

    Maintain law and order

    Allow media freedom

    End corruption and waste

    Reduction in cost of living

    Kick out the thugs from politics

    Kick out the Ex-LTTE leaders (Karuna, KP)

    Get the Police and security forces to carry out their duties impartially

    This you your last chance for a positive change, for good governance. If you miss this, the country will be under the dictator family (Rajapakshes) for another 24 years.

  • 2

    Mr. Malinda SeneviRotten,
    On January 9th 2015 after MR and his family and cronies have fled the country, whose apples will you polish? Will you use your free laptop to polish MY3s apples or will you book a flight to the country your lord and master is going into exile to?

  • 0

    How the worm turns! There is one word for you – despicable.

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