By Dhammika Herath –
It has become traditional and customary to examine post election winners and losers in the contemporary political landscape. More importantly, election post-mortems have become a kind of tradition of political pundits where they express their intellectual superiority and elegance. All sides try to make sense of people’s motives while trying to portray a picture of victory even if they are at the losing end. This might be an attempt at soothing the ego in order to prevent depression, a kind of psychological defence or a morale boosting exercise for the devote followers who are trying to come to terms with the loss and the grief. That’s the sport of politics and we are witnessing yet another end of a battle, with all sides sustaining considerable injuries. Some have emerged victorious while others grieve. Here a simpleton trying to make sense of the results of the just concluded Uva elections.
Here is the order of the day as I see it –
People’s Liberation Front came first easily; they were outnumbered in terms of resources, manpower and was at the receiving end of the brutal violence where their political offices were burned to the ground, candidates as well as activists were beaten and shot at, all the while police and law enforcement watched the match and umpire was hitherto in another realm.They have always performed poorly at Uva, which is traditionally not one of their strongholds due to the large number of Tamils and rural uneducated poor who neither had the capacity nor could identify with JVP ideology. However this time around, there is a significant change in the tide possibly due to charismatic leaders and their steadfastness against the mighty Rajapakse election machine which was brutal and well oiled with all the government resources, judiciary and law enforcement at their disposal. Hats off to JVP for their commendable performances.
United National Party has managed to stop to the rot at last, but not quite. UNP was the anathema of PA prior to 1994 and this was there stronghold province since independence. For the UNP this is reversal of their fortunes and the new faces batted well. They were, however, well resourced and PA did not mind UNP making some grounds rather than JVP as UNPers can be easily bought if needed than JVPers. However, young faces of the UNP were able to stop the rut and breath fresh hopes into the party followers attracting new supporters. They still have a lot of hard work if they want to achieve former glory days. Now the UNP can breath a sigh of relief. Job well done – however, the battle is not yet over.
Peoples Alliance. With so much resources at its disposal including the President himself canvassing for his nephew, and enormous amount of money, and bribes being offered to public including the last ditch in reducing utility prices, PA was not able to muster much success. However, they still managed to come out as the majority and will form another provincial government, continuing to plunder people of Uva. The showings clearly indicate that the road ahead for the regime is rocky. We can expect massive violence in upcoming elections as government is now forced to go for the presidential elections. They cannot wait for another two years, that will be disastrous. The government’s idea of going to presidential elections with massive majority has become just a dream. Although the PA is down, it certainly is not out.
Democratic party alias Sarath Fonseka
Honestly, there is no democratic party without Sarath Fonseka. Therefore, it would be safe to assume that he is the DP. It was hoped that he would do better after that great showing at South and Western provincial council elections. That seems to be a distant dream now as this seems to be the end of the road for the DP/ Sarath Fonseka alone. Again, he is at political cross roads and his political future appears pretty bleak. In view of his rather pitiful showing, he will be moving towards political oblivion. He does not have great organisational structure of JVP nor resources of UNP or PA and it highlights his vulnerability if he decides to continue in this manner.
People of Uva
Lost and failed again miserably in their judgement, lack of courage and insight. The results showed yet again their lack of capacity to think laterally, overcome fears of change and social ideaology. They have failed to wake up from deep political bondage and mental slavery. They were hypnotised by the gifts, food, alcohol and deceived by the empty promises yet again. The people of Uva have failed to collectively think for change in political landscape and instead went along with political hegemony and bowed down to political nepotism. They continue to show the transgenerational grief and learned helplessness since the defeat of their forefathers two centuries ago. They were not ready for change, and are in no mood to alter the status quo of the Sri Lankans at least not in the Uva political landscape. However, just a glimmer of hope remains, as they showed that rule of Rajapakse nepotism can be ended and that its very much feasible against all odds.