23 June, 2024

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Will Karu Jayasuriya Be Suitable As An Interim President?

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

It is no longer a secret that a progressive section of the Buddhist clergy (Sangha) and Tamil parties (for example the Global Tamil Forum) have met in Europe and North America and worked out a “Road Map” to put an end to repetitive riots and pogroms that have despoiled this country since Independence. Leaders SWRD, JR, Ranil, Ranasinghe Premadasa and Mahinda, all of them, have racist blood on their hands. DS took away the citizenship of Upcountry Tamils but I don’t think he instigated race riots. Overall this is a sad commentary on our so-called national leaders.

The JVP never indulged in anti-Tamil pogroms but Wijeweera’s remarks about Up-country Tamil workers and the party’s stand on devolution and the 13th Amendment are nothing to be proud of. Furthermore liberal democracy, that is traditional bourgeoisie democracy (change of government by free, fair and regular elections), is an important commitment in this period of world and local history and the NPP’s unwillingness, to the best of  my knowledge, to make an unequivocal programmatic commitment on this count, is disappointing.   

At the same time Sivagnanam Sritharan has been elected as the new leader of the Ilankai Thamil Arasu Katchi (Federal Party). Sritharan was elected on a platform of old SJV-style Federalism. Hence, de facto in modern terms, it rejects the 13th Amendment and emasculates Provincial Councils. Federalism stands in contradiction to the afore mentioned Road Map which starts with the acceptance of a sovereign and undivided Sri Lanka and whose tasks, inter-alia, and in abridged form, include

* Forming national coordinating committees

* Establishing interfaith coalitions

* Meeting youth groups of opinion makers

* Securing multiparty political endorsement

* Interacting with State policy makers

* Engaging the support of Sarvodaya and National Peace Council

* Creating a Secretariat

The Sritharan/Federal Party expectations and this Road Map are as different as apples are from oranges. To put it blandly, as far as the Tamil side in the Buddhist-Tamil negotiations are concerned, this is a serious spoiler and obstructs this important Road Map. Furthermore, Federalist demands will elicit forceful reactions from Sinhala-Buddhist extremism which innately dislikes Tamils.

Economic forces pulling in many different directions pose another short-term obstacle. Ranil has thrown his weight in with the IMF. The IMF programme can be summarised as ‘short-term pain in the hope of long-term recovery’. Belt-tightening and high consumption tax are to be imposed on the people at large, in expectation of export led growth. Low direct tax will be offered to the manufacturing classes, currency controls will be relaxed, monetary policy will be oriented in conformity. It’s a well-known formula which worked in some places (South Korea and Singapore) but did not work out well in most of Central and South America, Africa and Pakistan.

Therefore economics is another dimension that cuts across the main theme of this essay and is actually a spoiler in promoting the road map of Buddhist-Tamil dialogue. Let us recall the principal contenders for the presidency and governmental power in presidential and parliamentary elections due within about twenty-four months. Anura Kumara, and the UNP most likely led by Ranil (with some sort of a role included for Sajith), are the front runners for the presidency, but opinion at this stage seems to be that neither will poll a clear 50% on the first count. Then the last lame-duck is eliminated and his/her votes redistributed, or some such procedure that has never happened before. The parliamentary situation is more straightforward and it seems extremely unlikely that either the NPP-JVP or the UNP Rail-Sajith combo will win a majority in parliament. The large contingents of MPs that will be elected to Tamil and Muslim area constituencies makes this even more likely.

I am not personally acquainted with Anura Kumara Dissanayake except the occasional wave of the hand. He seems to be a thoroughly decent chap worthy of the Presidency at some time but the electoral complications I have mentioned above stand in the way. What Lanka will encounter is a shilly-shally presidential vote and the almost certainty of a hung parliament.

These are all likely scenarios with certain orders of likelihood, not certainties, but optimisation theory dictates that at every stage we rank likelihoods and proceed to the next stage in decision making according to these results. This approach is called “dynamic-programming” and is commonly used in computational disciplines. To cut a long story short: Is the best way to cut across this haze of uncertainties to elect Karu Jayasuriya as President for one five-year term and give the country time to navigate these choppy waters; a kind of John the Baptist for Anura. This will give time to implement some portions of the Buddhist-Tamil Road Map and to make essential changes to the constitution such as abolishing the executive presidency. I don’t see any easy way of achieving this last matter except by deploying, in the interim, someone like Karu who will not be greedy to hang on in office for multiple terms.

I know, I know, some readers will protest that instead of solving a problem I am just kicking the can down the road for five more years. Nevertheless this may be an option worth thinking about. I envisage Karu as a winning candidate for one term sponsored by the NPP to overcome the difficulties discussed in this short essay.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    Is KD dreaming? KJ is not in the political scene at this present time. Sajith Premadasa in my eyes is not suitable to be a President especially when he gets an ex Army to join his SJB. Sarath Fonseka is RIGHT to object this action by Sajith Premadasa.
    A wise potential Presidential candidate will go along with the regional power[India] to safeguard the Isle from any others[ China or USA]. I am of the opinion AKD will do the RIGHT things as THE next President.
    All I want to see is JUSTICE to be served to all by untainted Supreme/ Appeal court judges. We are all suffering because of Sarath N Silva’s wrong judgement!

    • 13
      2

      Naman

      Sajith is mummy’s boy.

      Sarath Fonseka is another alleged war criminal, fact check his involvement in involuntary disappearance of innocent people between 1987 and 1991 and 26 years of war. He on the eve of 2010 presidential election declared he would drag the clan all the way to Galle Face Green. Why?

      AKD is yet to clean up his party otherwise remaining natural born Stalinists of the JVP would purge the commonsense leaders. By the way AKD and the party are silent on many important national questions.

      Ranil is keen on saving a***s of war criminals, Crooks, murderers, ………

      My3 is no different to Ranil.

      Aragalaya hasn’t any new leaders.

      Lets await for another 76 years.

      If the country is not being governed properly we can always give it back to UK, or to Hindia, or as SJ desires to China.

  • 8
    2

    “DS took away the citizenship of Upcountry Tamils but I don’t think he instigated race riots”.
    Kumar David, I can’t believe that you, of all people, said this.
    Racism sprouted from that act. How do you forgive DS of his horrendous act.
    .
    Again,
    “Federalism stands in contradiction to the aforementioned Road Map which starts with the acceptance of a sovereign and undivided Sri Lanka”.
    Kumar David, I am in disbelief that you see Federalism not in consonance with an undivided country.
    .
    (I don’t want to read further.)

    • 2
      2

      “I don’t want to read further.”
      Nathan,
      Personal advice between you and me, please don’t read the rest of it. Egoistic bluffs.
      “ I know, I know, some readers will protest that instead of solving a problem” It appears that he has come back this time without any real points but only with vengeance, because almost all readers had beaten back him last time.

      The guy mistakenly suggested CC for the 2015 election and many forces came together to dethrone Old Rowdy and did it. If you have a hard time believing it, go back to CT for 2015 election time. We opposed this CC and kept advising TNA to get out of it and advised JVP to quit the election completely and prepare for the next election by preparing the masses. The only explanation Prof. Kumar had at that time said, “Evil or White flag murderers are not ok, but democracy could be re-established only if UNP evils come to power”. How could a socialist advise for a chance to the Devilish UNP, unless he is a somersault communist? That was the only reason Sinhala Buddhists goofed so badly in the 2019 election and brought Hitler to power. It was the Yahapalanaya rascal that made the batter ferment properly for the Old Rowdies to come with such a strong hand.

      • 2
        1

        Appreciate the sentiments, Mallaiyuran .

    • 2
      2

      Prof. Kumar is such a person who is too smart at memorizing electrical grids but his ability to foresee things in the natural world is below negative. I really regret why they get into politics, use their big man certificates to convince the Modaya crowds and enslave the masses to tyrants, term after term. Probably because he is an atheist, he doesn’t believe in sin, unlike some of us tied ourselves from doing things like that. The known causes are only to earn a name. What TNA and JVP were doing after the 2015 parliamentary election was sitting on opposition benches and supporting Yahapalanaya’s devilish action. Now JVP has split from the Devilish UNP. Tamils fired Sumanthiran, who washed Ranil for 5 years without doing anything else. So, the TNA is gone fully (it is no longer there) unless Sritharan wants to bring it back. The last days for Sampanthar Aiyya, for being so badly cheated in the hands of Evil, are going to be hell. HRW, from 2017, issued many statements that Evil’s UNP was playing too many tricks to abolish TNA and asked UNHRC and West to save TNA. But the West was only sitting and praying to the Evil to help them to get rid of China from the Indian Ocean. But Evil didn’t treat the West any better than he treated Sampanthar Aiyya.

    • 2
      1

      You know the media is creating a new story that it was the Evil recommended India to meet JVP. I am going to die by my chest bursting with laughter. It seems the SJB did it. You get the point, because most of the SJByers think that if SJB associates itself with Evil, they will have no chance, only Hitler will be coming back. Now they see the NPP as their true opponents. So, they are playing this political trick to devastate NPP by saying they are very cozy with UNP Evils. Still there is no clear explanation why Prof. Kumar has suddenly turned against the NPP. It looks like Anura recently seems to have neglected him, though they put him as nationalist candidate in the last election. Prof. Kumar, like all other communists, is now forgetting his “Chenchoru Kadan” and campaigning against Anura. But all those who supported the Protest 2022 have an obligation to support NPP, until the NPP bring under the law those who demolished the Protest 2022, with tyranny!

    • 6
      0

      Nathan

      “(I don’t want to read further.)”

      Do you see any Stalinist tendency in Kumar David’s writing?

  • 1
    2

    Dear Kumar,
    .
    You wrote many articles
    before the 16th November 2019 Presidential Elections emphasising the importance of casting the Second and Third Preferences. In the event Gota won with relative ease.
    .
    Now that you see a greater possibility of a close election, you say, “Then the last lame-duck is eliminated and his/her votes redistributed, or some such procedure that has never happened before.” That is what we were hoping would happen in 2019, and I thought that we are agreed that this is still the worst case scenario. It may be that the leader will get elected President with only – let’s say – 40% of the vote, because there is no provision for a second round of voting. All of us who have bothered to study the system know that to be the case. Now it’s up to us to educate the electorate.
    .
    I know that you can’t be suggesting that we shelve the October 2024 Election. That would reduce everything to farce.
    .
    I think that AKD will get close to 50%; he’s very popular. We live in Lanka are better judges than the Diaspora to which you also now unfortunately belong.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe

    • 5
      1

      Dear SM,
      .
      I would like to read more about Maldives and its curent rift with India. You may be more aware of it than others. You said, you spent many years in that small country. All that the Indians did with them was a counterattack, so the newly elected president forced the recall of 80 Indian soldiers to India by mid-March. However, it is believed that Muizi is not popular in the current parliament in Maldives.
      I think the NPP’s invitation to India is closely related to the ongoing problems with Indians in the Maldives. These are just assumptions. But as a Maldives expert you may know a lot.

  • 3
    0

    The author sports the initials AKD and so does the leader of the JVP/NPP combine. The author wants to bring in the former speaker KJ into the scene as what? Another “Executive President”? Sri Lanka’s “Executive President” is indeed an “Executioneering President” riding on the borders of kleptocracy. The worst is the domino-decision making mentality where others in the “team” must be silent when the “leader” (OHO! “Nayakathuma”, “Thalaiver” or “Fuhrer” all are the same) talks and decides. Sri Lankans cannot forget the infamous decision making of this kind “Organic at Once”. Those who know are aware that a similar scenario exists in neighboring India when it comes to political leadership domination, particularly during the times Shri Jawaharlal Nehru but no major blunders to plunge a nation into abyss. But what was the safety valve? The “non-political” “Rashthrapathiji”. Leaders like Rajendra Prasad who was the President had the grit and the guts to stand up to the all-powerful Nehru to say, “I am a lawyer, and I am not bound act on your advice” and referred certain matters to the Supreme Court of India. So, if KJ becomes a Singapore style President, I am for it.

  • 4
    9

    “Leaders SWRD, JR, Ranil, Ranasinghe Premadasa and Mahinda, all of them, have racist blood on their hands. DS took away the citizenship of Upcountry Tamils ….”
    .
    👏👏👏
    .
    Do not worry Prof KD, AKD will win comfortably.
    .
    We don’t need another Kihili Karu, for the inner-ring to prevail in the interim, if you know what I mean!
    .
    And for haevens sake there’s something called retirement, haven’t Sri Lankan politicians heard of it? That’s what you should be advocating for folks like Ranil and Karu.
    .
    We have wasted 75 years and have no more time to waste.
    .
    We want justice and we want it now!

  • 4
    0

    Kumar David
    Nice thoughts. You have gone to La La land.

  • 15
    0

    Pardon my ignorance. Will Karu (like Pissu Sira ) be suitable as , an interim “good for nothing ” President.???

    • 13
      0

      chiv

      “Pardon my ignorance. Will Karu (like Pissu Sira ) be suitable as , an interim “good for nothing ” President.???”

      Karu has a tendency of jumping ships when the going get tough along with his son in law.

  • 8
    0

    Will Karu Jayasuriya Be Suitable As An Interim President

    Is that a naive attempt by Prof. Kumar to create a distraction?

    Couldn’t find something better?

    Come on!

  • 9
    0

    “Will Karu Jayasuriya Be Suitable As An Interim President?”

    In heaven or hell?


    Didn’t know he was still alive!

    Why the half-dead Karu? ……. What example has he set?

    If you need someone, AKD can be as bad as any predecessor without a contest: he’s spoilt for choice – for prior illustrious examples!

    Good, well that’s an entirely different kettle of fish ……. the poor guy has no predecessors to emulate ……. perhaps, he’ll blaze his own unique trail …….

    • 4
      0

      nimal fernando

      Why are you scared of contesting the Presidential Election?
      I will be right behind you so will many in this forum.

      • 4
        0

        I won’t even get my own vote!

        • 1
          0

          nimal fernando

          “I won’t even get my own vote!”

          Not when you speak truth or discuss sensible politics however like Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna you should express your sentiment about VP in public, never know you might end up as the president of Sri Lanka.
          Ranil will envy you.

          • 0
            0

            “Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna you should express your sentiment about VP in public”

            Native,

            What did he say about VP in public?

            I haven’t seen him a lot on YouTube ……. but the few times I’ve seen him, he speaks differently to most pols.

            • 2
              1

              nimal fernando

              Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna is a good person very sharp, …. however he supported Eelam, and believed through VP’s war (of madness) the entire weakened island could be restructured. He went to UK in (2009 or 2010) to participate in LTTE’s heroes day (actually it is VP’s a week long birthday celebration).

              I used to meet his supporters and they too believed LTTE was capable of liberating all people of Sri Lanka from state’s oppression, …. Naturally I disagreed. If LTTE was capable of liberating the people it should have not only allowed its people the freedom of movement and free speech but also stop killing innocent Tamil and Sinhala speaking civilians.

              Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna is a good man.
              Isn’t it why he was unable to politically achieve anything in the past.
              Look at the state of his comrade Vasudeva Nanayakkara whom my Elders have had high regards. Not anymore.

            • 2
              1

              Nimal Fernando

              Here is a link to Dr. Wickramabahu Karunaratna’s speech on LTTE’s Heroes day 13 Years ago:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spBXxT5dVf0

              • 2
                0

                Thanks Native, very interesting ……. from the few clips I’ve seen of him earlier, I thought – agree with him or not – he is one of the very few genuine Lankan Leftists/Commies still remaining.

                I have to talk with you about some of the things you have elaborated above ……. shall write when I have some free time.

  • 3
    0

    The answer is a resounding, NO!

    • 3
      2

      I agree with you, Captain Morgan, and so does almost everybody else of the 17 whose responses are visible to me now, at 4:40 pm.
      .
      So, we’re agreed on that.
      .
      And yet, every time that I make a comment, and it gets noticed by some readers (CT has nothing to do with this), I get a RED THUMB.
      .
      But also, the comment I made a few hours ago, has had two responses, one giving a link to a Sinhala Video. Every time that I link readers to material in Sinhala, I apologise because many readers here are Tamil speakers who do not understand Sinhala.
      .
      I have not been to the Maldives for 29 plus years, having left in December 1994, but I do know some things that happen there. See this:

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maldivian-parliamentary-elections-2019-where-a-happy-result-can-be-predicted/

      .
      The commenter saying things from Europe is often the only commenter in the Sinhala section. Commenting there is great, but……………….?

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/lionel-bopage-8-february-2024/
      .
      Just what is going on? Think well before responding!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V)

      • 1
        0

        ” But also, the comment I made a few hours ago, has had two responses, one giving a link to a Sinhala Video. Every time that I link readers to material in Sinhala, I apologise because many readers here are Tamil speakers who do not understand Sinhala”.
        .
        Just for this I gave u a ” green thumb” , and u are not a racist 🙏

  • 5
    1

    This Kalu Jack is just for a thought but flow of the Sinha-lee still the same

  • 2
    1

    When the popularity of AKD shows an exponential rise Prof. KD seems to be in a panic.
    So much so he finds Karu Jayasuriya, of all people ,to be a suitable President.!
    Prof; David has changed the overhead power lines from 11KV/12KV WITH SMALL CURRENT.
    This is strange. Hope the good ol Prof:is in good health……….

  • 2
    0

    I’d say KJ is very well suited for the job – after all he’s on the wrong side of eighty. Disappointed that a progressive thinker like Kumar David is losing the plot.

  • 3
    0

    Why do some people want more of the failed politicians???? Crazy!

    • 2
      0

      Tony

      “Why do some people want more of the failed politicians???”

      Why do the people vote for the same old corrupt, crooks, murderers, war criminals, drug dealers, most stupidest, bigots, …… ?

      Why did the people elect Gota (in the first place) Mahinda, My3, …… ?

  • 1
    1

    Dear Kumar,
    .
    Many of us love you;
    it is sad for me to see you writing the sort of thing that you have written here.
    .
    You have said, ” Anura Kumara Dissanayake … seems to be a thoroughly decent chap worthy of the Presidency.”
    .
    For about 36 hours there were a number of the regular commenters coming here to express incredulity that you could written such nonsense. Now they have all gone silent.
    .
    I hope that we have more articles from you, but please make them different from this disaster! A good deal of news from the old alma mater, but you don’t want to know any of that, do you?
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444)

  • 2
    0

    Prof. David,

    Dunno about your Commie-ness ……… but the color of the yellow top you’re wearing is in vogue with the most upper crust hoity-toity-ies!

    I got one …… the exact same color …… but scared out of my wits to wear. ……. Come out looking so phony …….. like Ranil in a silk housecoat/kimono …….

  • 0
    0

    Kumar
    Couldn’t you think of something more interesting to be controversial?

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