The Presidential Elections held on 8th January 2015 was a key political crossroad in the recent history of Sri Lanka. With the ascent of Maithripala Sirisena to the Presidency, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. Many members of the losing party could hardly believe their eyes at the result. Now, seven months after that even, the General Election is upon us.
If by some miracle before the election…
- Mahinda Rajapaksa publically states that he would act within the Maitripala Presidency in the same manner as he did during Chandrika’s reign, or, if he publically states that he would act the same way D.M. Jayaratne acted during his tenure as president, then it would be opportune for you to vote for the UPFA.
- If Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledges the leadership of Maithripala Sirisena, steps down and hands over the leadership of the UNP to the president, then, it would be opportune for you to vote for the UNP.
- If the JVP publically states that it will not sit with the opposition and decide to join a national government, then, it would be opportune for you to vote for the JVP.
- If none of the above seem likely, then, preserve your valuable vote by not using it. Do not go to the polling booth. Or else, spoil go there and spoil it.
However, none of these have happened.
The first thing that should be clear is that the country’s need is not of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s “Aluth Ratak” nor Mahinda Rajapaksa’s “Anaagathayata Sahathikaya” nor Anura Kumara Dissanayake’s “Hardhasakshiye Sammuthiya” but rather, Maithripala Sirisena’s “A compassionate maithri governance – a stable country”.
One the one hand, Ranil Wickremesinghe made it eminently clear on the 7th of last month that he was not interested in building “A compassionate maithri governance – a stable country”. In short, he is not at all interested in making Maithripala Sirisena his leader. All that the UNP wants to do is to make use of him to further their own ends. Their primary goal is to sell Maithripala Siresena in order to win the elections. They wish to then completely ignore and marginalize him and work as they wish to. Therefore, one of the paramount desires of the undecided voter should be to prevent Ranil Wickremesinghe from becoming the prime minister.
On the other hand, who would have thought that the defeated ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa would be contesting the general elections so soon? That is not something that could have occurred in the normal course of events. However, it happened. So, can we hope that he will now deign to work in the shadow of Maithripala Sirisena as his chief disciple? That is farfetched to say the least.
Therefore, there is a justifiable fear in the minds of the undecided voter with respect to Mahinda Rajapaksa being elected prime minister as well.
Surveys have shown that as things stand no one will get the 113 votes for a simple majority but that the UPFA will come out ahead.
Then, what would happen is the establishment of a national government with the UPFA and the UNP. Its’ prime minister would be a senior of the UPFA other than Mahinda Rajapaksa. Whoever that individual is, he would be capable of being Maithripala’s right-hand-man over the next five years in the push for “A compassionate maithri governance – a stable country”. The next leader of the UNP would get a good start by acting as his left hand man.
Fortunately for us, Maithripala has shown us that he cannot be pushed around and has now single handedly taken on the task of governing the country. As part of his advocacy efforts with Mahinda Rajapaksa in the lead up to the elections, he sent a strong letter firmly stating that even if the UPFA obtains 113 seats he should not take the premiership.
Therefore, we should put our trust in Maithripala Sirisena and fearlessly vote for the Alliance.
If we are in some doubt about this, then we should assist Maithripala Sirisena by either refrain from voting or by spoiling our vote.