5 December, 2019

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Winning Elections In An Ethnically & Religiously Polarised Polity 

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

The election campaign of Sajith Premadasa received a boost with the endorsement he received from the Tamil National Alliance. There was a possibility of the TNA opting to remain publicly neutral and giving the Tamil people the advice that they could either vote for any candidate or abstain, as advocated by some Tamil politicians. There is anger within the Tamil community about the lack of progress in finding missing persons, returning civilian land and in moving towards a political solution to the ethnic conflict. There has also been anger within sections of the Tamil polity that the two main presidential candidates have not been willing to directly respond to the 13 point demand put forward by a collection of five Tamil political parties, including the TNA. But a look at their manifestos will reveal a response that has proved to be decisive.

The Illangai Thamil Arasu Katchi (ITAK), People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE), Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF), Tamil People’s Council (TPC) and Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO) signed a memorandum highlighting the key demands of the Tamil people. The memorandum contains 13 demands including a demand for a federal political solution and abolishing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), the acceptance of the political aspirations of the Tamil Nation, recognition of the merged Northern and Eastern Provinces as the historical habitat and the traditional homelands of the Tamil Nation, acknowledgement of the sovereignty of the Tamil Nation and realisation of the fact that the Tamil People under the provisions of International Law are entitled to the right of self-determination. Many of these are highly controversial demands especially in the context of a closely fought election in which the votes of the ethnic majority Sinhalese will be decisive.

In arriving at their decision regarding which candidate to support the TNA would have had two criteria to utilise. The first would be to assess the past actions of the candidates who are most likely to win the elections. The actions and thought frames of the past are likely to be determinative of what happens in the future. The second would be to look at the election campaigns of those leading candidates and their promises especially in what matters to inter-ethnic relations.

Past Performance

During the past five years, the government of which Sajith Premadasa has been a cabinet minister promised much in terms of national reconciliation, including a new constitution which would address the causes of the war and would resolve the ethnic conflict in a mutually acceptable manner. The government also promised an accounting for the past and compensation for the losses suffered by the victims. However, the government’s performance was less than hoped for with the result that the TNA, which had played a supportive role to the government, became less popular with the Tamil people. However, during the past five years, the level of fear of government diminished significantly among the Tamil people even as it did in the rest of the country.

By comparison, the government of which Gotabaya Rajapaksa was Secretary to the Ministry of Defence was compelled to wage a war that was fought primarily in the Tamil areas and caused much destruction there. At the end of the war, the government of that time took the position that economic development should be prioritized over political rights within an overarching framework of national security. As a result there was strong military involvement in governance and the fear and resentment that invariably accompanies it. The question for the TNA would be the extent to which this past would influence the future. The bridge between the past and future would be seen in the election campaigns of the two contenders and in particular in their manifestos, which ought to reflect their considered opinions and judgments about the past, present and future.

It is significant that the TNA’s endorsement of Sajith Premadasa’s candidacy came shortly after the release of his election manifesto which goes into considerable detail about what will be necessary to achieve harmonious relations in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. One of the phrases in the manifesto is that “Our constitution must reflect the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual and pluralistic nature of our country and must unite us not only in law, but also in our hearts.” The ruling party candidate pledged to bring in a new constitution which will build a strong nation, to create a democratic pluralistic society and to devolve maximum power to provinces within a united and indivisible country building on proposals made under Presidents Ranasinghe Premadasa, Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa. He also pledged to set up a second chamber of parliament to ensure power sharing at the centre, which will comprise of provincial council representatives.

Different Priorities 

In addition, the Sajith Premadasa manifesto pledged to strengthen institutional safeguards that could protect human rights and the rights of minorities, instead of making them subservient to the interests of the political majority. “A strong nation requires the judiciary to be independent of government. To ensure this, the new constitution will create an independent public prosecutor, appointed by the Constitutional Council. We will move the judicial interpretation of the constitution away from the Supreme Court to a new constitutional court which will also adjudicate disputes among different levels of government, among provinces and the central government, and among the provinces themselves,” it said while also promising a 25 per cent quota for women in provincial councils and parliament.

By way of contrast, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto states that “My main task would be to ensure that our motherland which is once again under threat from terrorist and extremist elements is safe and protected. National security is of paramount importance. We have to ensure that the peace that was won with much sacrifice is maintained. We must once again ensure that people of the Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, and other communities of this country are able to live together harmoniously, with honour and dignity in an undivided country, under one law. The principle that “no-one is above the law” will have to be implemented with rigour so that all citizens are treated as equals before the law. I have clearly understood that what you expect from me. Above everything else, is national security. Once we establish national security, achieving economic development will not be an insurmountable challenge. The other important task will be to create a progressive national economy and a pluralistic society.”

Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto differs from that of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s manifesto which is also a well written and conceptualized document but which gives its priority to national security. The latter manifesto is a difficult sell to ethnic and religious minorities as national security is seen as primarily directed at controlling them rather than empowering them. It also does not cater sufficiently to their need to be seen, and safeguarded, as constituent parts of the polity as ethnic and religious communities. The problem of appealing to the ethnic and religious minorities is heightened by the fact that during the ten years he was Defence Secretary, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had to deal with fighting a war, the final stages of the war and the immediate post-war context in which issues of human rights violations necessarily loomed large. Dissociating from the past while analyzing the present and making convincing promises for the future about what matters to each section of an ethnically and religiously polarized polity is the challenge.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    18

    Quite candidly the best solution to the “Tamil problem” is to turn a blind eye to their antics, let them continue to become more aggressive, almost to the point where the “theoreticians” among them, with support of lazy Scandinavians and others, start re-establishing the next “Eelam”. Meanwhile, in the ultimate stealth, the ones who lead the neo-separatists should be monitored using the best technology possible (DNA tracking, facial recognition technology, drones, web monitoring, etc.. )

    Then once a solid case has been built to justify a strike against them on national security grounds, the most lethal and annihilating force should be used against them. By this time there will be a strong terror network among the neo-separatists and armed clashes should be expected. There will be casualties and some collateral damage, but the annihilation of the last elements of LTTE terrorists should be something that would justify these actions.

    From this the winners are the Lankan people, both Tamil and Sinhalese. Also, by annihilating the separatist terrorists elements Lanka can take on the ISIS Jihadi Moslem apocalypse that is on the horizon, as Lanka enters the next decade when Moslems will numerically become one of the largest, most cohesive and anti-Kaffir groups in the world and by 2030 probably become over 40% of the population. To the Tamil and Sinhala Kaffirs that is the real danger that must be faced head on.

    • 6
      1

      Jehan Perera,

      The Title should be;

      Winning Elections in an Ethnically and Religiously Divided Society Comprising Low IQ,79, Low Common Sense and Brainwashed Populace, who believe the lies fed to them by the politicians, monks, Ulama and Priests , is an Art practiced by the politicians to win over the imbecile populace, for whom insanity and stupidity are virtues.

      The populace is so stupid that close to half of them are insulin sensitive and diabetic, the cause of many other diseases.

    • 1
      5

      The practical solution is to educate the +50% Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival) scatterred across the island that any ‘solution’ will entail relocation of all of them into an envisaged Homeland and most democratically give them a choice. MY ATTEMPT IS TO BRING UP THE RELOCATION ISSUE AS THE MAIN SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION IN OUR SOCIETY. ( On CT I derive great pleasure in observing the limitless hypocrisy of the Tamil racist donkeys whenever they attempt to counter me.) I keep telling them that you have the right to choose between a separate Homeland OR the right to live anywhere while begging them to choose the latter option.

      Soma
      (I am the only Sinhalese in this forum who supports SEPARATE Homeland for ALL Tamils)

    • 0
      6

      The practical solution is to educate the +50% Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival) scatterred across the island that any ‘solution’ will entail relocation of all of them into an envisaged Homeland and most democratically give them a choice. MY ATTEMPT IS TO BRING UP THE RELOCATION ISSUE AS THE MAIN SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION IN OUR SOCIETY. ( On CT I derive great pleasure in observing the limitless hypocrisy of the Tamil racist donkeys whenever they attempt to counter me.) I keep telling them that you have the right to choose between a separate Homeland OR the right to live anywhere while begging them to choose the latter option.
      -.
      Soma
      (I am the only Sinhalese in this forum who supports a SEPARATE Homeland for ALL Tamils)

  • 3
    2

    Dr. JP it is your USAID funders who are making every effort to divide strategecally located Sri Lanka’s diverse ethnic and religious communities in order to set up US military bases to fight their wars against China and Iran.
    So please get your narrative and plot line straight and then hold forth!

  • 4
    5

    I am bemused: the Tamil political parties have thrown their weight in behind the candidate for the party that unleashed 1983 on them. Have all their elders died? How is it possible to forget? Chandrika apologised for what the UNP did. The UNP has never once taken responsibility for what it did. And the Tamil political parties can support them? They would rather support the party that initiated the war than the party that concluded it? By itself, that is a most telling commentary on “justice” in this country.

    • 2
      0

      Sandra, your bemusement is understandable. However, the stance taken by the Tamils and their leaders relate not to the past but to the present. The Tamils refer to Sajith as lesser of the two evils. They are virtually terrified at the prospect of a Gota Presidency backed by the likes of Gnanasara, Weerwansa, Gamanpila, et al. Had Gota disassociated himself from the comments made by these racist pigs, he may have have received some support from the north and seen as doer.

    • 0
      0

      Sandra F
      Leave alone Tamils and their political parties.
      What Tamils are bemused is your blind belief about their support to the party that caused the war.
      If you were so dumb to have the capacity to not know the significance of what the author has said about the two main criteria that the TNA based it’s decision, then that is your problem.
      The Tamils know what they are about.

  • 7
    11

    “There has also been anger within sections of the Tamil polity that the two main presidential candidates have not been willing to directly respond to the 13 point demand put forward by a collection of five Tamil political parties, including the TNA.”

    Gotbhaya Rajapakse rejected those racist demands but Ranil went to Vavunia and told, according to Rajitha who gave a press briefing that they will continue to fulfill the promises they made in 2015. After that those racists expressed their willingness to support Sajith. Unpatriotic National Party guys do not have the spine to reject those racist and separatist demands of the descendants of Wellala Malabar laborers brought to this country by colonial parasites illegally.

    Gotabhya clearly says he will safeguard an ‘Ekeeya Rajayaya’ (Unitary State) whereas Sajith is trying to fool Native Sinhalayo by using the term ‘Ekeeyathwa Deshayak’ (United Country). Sajith’s manifesto is using some fancy words to explain his policy in which all the elements of a Federal System are hidden. Native Sinhalayo should reject Sajith who is proposing to create nine (or eight) mini Kingdoms. Native Sinhalayo did not shed their blood and sacrificed their lives to save this country to be broken into pieces and hand over to ‘Para’ people.

  • 14
    4

    Gota is the first and foremost terrorist in Sri Lankan history?
    how many people have been killed by him?
    how many journalists have been killed ?
    how many civil servants have been punisheed?
    how police officers have been told off?
    How many army officers have been humiliated by him?

    • 7
      4

      Lankan,
      * True!
      * 2000 plus, mostly innocent Tamils for being liberal minded.
      * 44 ! Several more got kidnapped & beaten up! Fedrica Janz was verbally abused!
      * Only one tied to a tree!
      * About three hundred all of who were suspected of being loyal to Gen SF!
      * Gern SF and those who refused lie on behalf GoRa’s false chargers against Gen SF!

      • 2
        1

        Lankan, D.P, you do not know your history.

  • 4
    5

    With the UNP split in the Middle, Dr Ranil is campaigning in the North and the East, giving guarantees that the TNA will get their Homelands with his new Constitution which is awaiting the 2/3 in Kotte and Dr Ranil promised to passit soon after 17th..

    With it, Dr Ranil assures them that he will fullfil all the other demands in the TNA’s new 13D. as well.

    Dr Ranil has already signed off on the deal to give 12.000 Sq Kilometers of our Land to the American Millennium Corporation to be controlled like a Colony overriding our Lankan Law and Order there..

    These are the crucial National Issues which determines whether Srilanka will be a United Multi cultural Multi Ethic Country whihc it has been for the last 2500 years .
    Or whether it will be three Homelands one each for , Vellala Tamils, , Wahabi Muslims and Colombo Elite and Anglicans and one for the rest in separate pieces of course..

    UNP Official Candidate Keselwatta Kid in contrast is roaming the South throwing Freebees left ,right and center. which are absolutely Bullshit Stuff, like our Western mates would say..

    And our Dalits who have no idea of Dr Ranil and his Cohorts have done and are doing, go behind Keselwatta Kid shouting “Sujiya Ennawa”, ” Jayaweva”

    What a sad situation when the country in in dire straits after the greatest Bond Robbery, 2.8 % Economy, over 10% unemployment , and worst of all, the Wahabi Suicide Attacks on the Catholic Church which killed over 300 innocent hgoers and maimed another 500.

  • 5
    0

    A very good analysis to understand on how some politicians trying to maximize their vote base by polarizing the Sri Lanka’s social fabric more and more on ethnic lines.

  • 2
    1

    Jehan,
    When it comes to politics, past matters b’cos the majority of voters in countries like SL vote on their past experience, not on theory; perception is the reality for them. That is why Sajith has been able compete head to head against GoRa even in the south despite so much negatives thrown at UNP by the media.

    I’m beginning to observe one progressive development since 2015 election: The number of voters who are testing the direction of wind is growing very fast. This trend has to be expected for two reason: 1. The power of the information age; and, 2. Growth middle class who can afford to make educated decision without having to depend on political favors (mobility from group 3 to 2 in my model of voting pattern).

    Group 1 is the rich/powerful including business community & top bureaucrats who can adapt to any winner; and who don’t care about character as long as they get their wishes. For example Dammika perera, Dilth Jayaweera don’t care about the criminal background; rather they would prefer a tough guy to protect their interest. G 2 is composed mainly of intelligentsia & the middle class; G 3 is the majority group; it contain mostly poor some of who are hard-core party loyalists & highly vulnerable to racism. They are also highly dependent on politicians. G 4 is mostly minorities.

    Most undecided votes seem to be levitating towards Sajith. The reason is his character & the social background which is very attractive to all except to G 1. This will be the deciding factor in the final week heading to the election. If GoRa believes that such a trend exists, he will try to play the race card even harder. Now that TNA has made their decision, there are no much options left for GoRa.

  • 3
    0

    Election promises are ‘written in the wind’.
    TNA know this.
    All they want is ‘democratic governance’ in every sense of the word.

  • 9
    2

    TNA’s decision to support Sajith Premadasa is a welcome decision, particularly to the democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, independence of justice and peace. If TNA decided to abstain from voting on neutral grounds there is a possibly of fraud in voting in favour of those who are prepared to ignore the rule of law as in the past. Sinhala masses or any other community cannot easily forget the 2009-2015 period. SLPP is a fundamentalist organisation rather than a political party. Their motive is very clear. Getting power to Rajapakse family, enjoy the benefits of freedom of corrupting the nations, create violence against minorities and keep the country away from international community and hand over the land and resources to China and Mahinda Family. They were waiting for this to happen to bombard with lies among Sinhala Masses to say Sajith has already signed an agreement with TNA to create “Eelam”. They will say the Sinhala voters Are you going to give “Eelam on 27th of November to Pirabhahran” or our hero Gota who killed Pirabharan” on 17th May 2009. Already GL Peries, Weerawansa, BBS Ganarasa Thero, Rathnathero, Gammanpila are doing this to cheat poor Sinhala masses.
    Sinhala people should not gorget that Premadasa is the only UNP leader who gave arms to LTTE to fight Indian army tactfully and once Indian army. Otherwise Indian army still in Srilanka to protect Varatharajajah perumal’s Eelam”

  • 4
    2

    With so many candidates in the fray in 2019, the candidate who is able to muster the support of the minorities (e.g. Tamils, Muslims, Christians) should win, taking historical statistics into consideration. Had Tamils of the North being allowed to vote in 2015 (It’s reported, MR bribed VP to block them from voting – that act in itself is sedition and I cannot fathom why he was not indicted) RW would have won that election. It appears SP will win convincingly this time around.

    • 3
      12

      If minorities en bloc are supporting one party the Sinhala Buddhists should support the other party.

      Soma

      • 4
        2

        Minorities are not supporting one party. Minorities do not want one party and one family coming to power to destroy the nation and the people. You should know very well that Muslim Congress was supporting Mahinda during 2005 election. It is the Muslim Congress that gave support to Mahinda to change the 18th amendment to the constitution. Not only Muslims, the whole world gave support to Mahinda to defeat LTTE. But Mahinda and Gota did was to create violence against minorities and those Sinhalese who are politically against to him. It is Gotabaya told minorities that he does not need the support of minorities. It is Gota who murdered Lasantha who was his best friend of Mahinda during his UN campaign against Srilanka and its Military in 1989/90.

      • 4
        0

        Unless the majority accepts that the minorities have the same rights as Sri Lankan citizens this will be true.

        Untill we hang on to this Majority / Minority mentality Sri lanka will be in the same shit hole.

        • 1
          0

          Well said WK. I hope SOMArama picks this point.

      • 4
        0

        somass

        “If minorities en bloc are supporting one party the Sinhala Buddhists should support the other party.”

        Does it matter if one or the other wins?
        If one party wins you would go on rampage making profit from misery. If the other wins the armed forces will be sent out to make you racists happy and still they will help you make loads of money.

        Why rock the boat?
        Did you know Namal Baby was eating temple rice in Nainative while sitting on the floor crossed leg?

      • 5
        0

        Soma:-
        It is People like you, Who are creating Ethnic and Religious Disharmony in Sri Lanka!
        People like you Emigrate to other Countries and try to create this Disharmony in those Countries too!
        Sinhala/Buddhism is not the Dhamma that the Buddha Taught! It is a Ruse to bring more Sinhalese People to Temples!

        • 5
          0

          Hamlet

          “Sinhala/Buddhism is not the Dhamma that the Buddha Taught! It is a Ruse to bring more Sinhalese People to Temples!”

          It was the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala who first use or concocted “Sinhala/Buddhist” to give a section of the people a new identity in order to separate the OTHERS from the Bhumiputras.

          Sinhala/Buddhism has nothing to do with inviting more clients to visit temples. Being an admirer of Aryan Hitler and Japanese militarism the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala felt the need to reclassify and rebrand the people of this island.

        • 1
          3

          Hamlet
          Are you new to Colombo Telegraph? I am fed up of hearing Tamil vote, Muslim vote, Tamil vote, Muslim vote, Tamil vote ….
          I am totally against my Tamil and Muslim brothers and sisters being treated like cattle this way. Let them take part in national elections as respectable individuals. En bloc voting is antithesis of Democracy.
          .
          This is what I wrote on a previous occasion:
          “UNP totally depends on ‘en bloc’ minority voting. Hence disharmony among ethnic and religious groups is a fundamental necessity for their electoral success. Propaganda to brain wash the minorities to the effect that the other is your enemy is their main modus operandi.

          En bloc voting based on ethnicity and religion is NO democracy. Minority leaders should understand that it is the minorities who benefit most from democracy. Fundamentally, en bloc voting is subjugation of free thinking and self respect of the individual.”

          Soma

          • 2
            0

            soman

            “I am totally against my Tamil and Muslim brothers and sisters being treated like cattle this way.”

            We are totally against majority of majority is being treated like sheeps. The Sinhala/Buddhist fascist in you expect and campaign for the majority of the majority to vote for the wolf in Gota.

            Your fellow public racist Dayan believes presidential elections won with the backing of minority can not be considered as real victory and the victory should be declared void.

            Seriously you have been realising your true potential, from being a stupid Sinhala/Buddhist to a moron to a Sinhala/Buddhist fascists to a sadistic nutter. I regret to see you destroying yourself along with this island.

  • 3
    2

    So much have been spoken,by so many on so many occasions about so many problems faced by the Tamil speaking people for the past so many years (70 years) but so little has been done to remedy it. Not that remedies could not be found but the Sinhala political parties did not want implement any agreement reached between the Tamils and Sinhalese Banda/Chelva pact, Dudly/ Chelva pact, Chandrika/ Praba pact,Ranil/Praba pact, ISGA etc etc Non of these pacts spoke of division of the country but how best the country could be united on equal terms, but not on 50/50 basis Nevertheless all pacts were unilaterally abrogated by the Sinhala Governments arrogantly.Even the so called international agreement between India/Srilanka was/is being violated with impunity and India doesn’t want to protest for political reasons/fear of China.
    Similarly it will be ridiculous for Tamils to trust any political parties or leaders except may be Srithunga. But poor Srithunga is not taken seriously by Sinhalese and therefore no purpose will be served for the Tamils by supporting him. Under these circumstances it will be meaningless for the Tamil parties to support any Sinhala parties. Let the Tamils decide for themselves on a candidate if they so wish to, according to their likes and dislikes, thus preventing a Tamil party committing further sins like the TNA. TNA (SUM/SUM has decided long before the manifestos that they would support Sajith for their personal benefits.
    Do not forget the fact the fact that LTTE was not created by the Tamils but by the Sinhalese.Another creation may not be impossible with the passage of time. Change is the only permanent thing in life.
    (Matram Ontrey Marathathu)

    • 1
      3

      K.Anaga,
      “Do not forget the fact the fact that LTTE was not created by the Tamils but by the Sinhalese.”

      LTTE was created by Hindians to destabilize Sri Lanka. They trained LTTE cadres and provided financial support. When LTTE was going out of their control, Hindians wanted to eliminate LTTE.

      • 2
        0

        Yes, Indians were able to ‘manure the soil’for LTTE which was already wet with Tamil blood from 1958,1961,1971,1983. They did not harvest anything but destroyed the growth due to fear of China and the West?.

      • 0
        0

        EE
        The LTTE was created by people like you. Have you forgotten who gave them loads of arms and and ammunition and financial support to fight the Hindians.

  • 0
    4

    In the most democratic west, minorities and immigrants are not promoted. But, they promote a different policy in Sri Lanka.

  • 5
    0

    “Ethnically & Religiously Polarised Polity “
    Dr. Jehan, if you sugar coat and thinks this is polarization, then I beg to differ. Wha has been unleashed on our ethnic minorities is not polarization but ethnic cleansing. A few terror monks in the Buddhist clergy who claim they’re “SUPERIOR” and demand that they be treated as the foremost race are the ones behind this extremisim and driving their political master to acheiev their aim of terror. I ma sure Jehan that you are not a Sinhala coward to state what I say here. Are you just another who is going for the ride because you are helpless and only an observer to the mayhem?

  • 3
    0

    The ethno religious identity is stronger than the national identity especially in 3rd world countries.
    unless this mindset is changed we will have to remain as 3rd class 3rd world people.

  • 1
    5

    “within a united and indivisible country”. The catch phrase. This is the wording Sumanthiran and TNA prefer. Because it can be twisted in any way to define a state structure. Unitary state is anathema to TNA. Same old game that was enacted in Singapore which is known as “Singapore Principles” agreed between TNA and yahapalanistas prior to previous election but never disclosed to general population especially the Southerners.They could not implement it in full due to resistance within and outside parliament. Expect the resistance to remain in the foreseeable future. On a parallel subject it is encouraging to see the kind of resistance to US designs through MCC, SOFA & ACSA which Mangala, Ranil & co are desperately pushing to finalise before presidential elections. Have they got wind of what is going to happen on the 16th?

  • 1
    2

    TNA was able to muster a bloc vote of huge proportion in 2015. That bloc vote turned Sirisena’s deficit in rest of the country to an overall positive of 200k. It is very unlikely to be the case this time around due to declining popularity of ITAK politics in the North and emergence of a Tamil candidate where Tamils could register a protest vote. The way Mangala and Ranil are rushing to sign MCC agreement indicates that they have got intelligence feedback that the situation is dicey.

    • 3
      0

      Hela

      What rubbish are you talking about. Talk sense man . We know who you will vote for.
      GOTHA, GOTHA ,GOTHA , GOTHA, GOTHA, GOTHA , GOTHA and so on

    • 0
      0

      Hela
      On one point my opinion is the same as yours. Tamil people will not blindly follow any advise/instruction from TNA like before. The main reason is that there is a general belief that TNA gives priority to TNA’s well being than Tamil people’s wellbeing.
      People following the presidential election will accept that it’s a two horse race. Both these candidates are Sinhala Budhist and have the same Sinhala Budhist supremacy mentality.
      So Tamils can’t expect much from both of them. Mr Premadasa has given some promises for better treatment of Tamils. But from past experience Tamils will take these promises with a pinch of salt.
      Even with these misgivings large number of Tamils may still vote for Mr Premadasa because of the push factor. In a nutshell Mr Rajapakse is viewed as a ruthless person. He didn’t make any effort to change that impression. Mr Premadasa who is perceived as the less harmful person will benefit from that. This would have happened even without TNA’s advise. TNA’s rush to publicly announce their support to Mr Premadasa is to earn browny points from UNP.
      The Tamil candidate’s actions are inexplicable. People are unable to figure out the reasons for his entering the presidential race. Obviously voting for him is pointless in this two horse race. I believe that he won’t get many votes from Tamils.

  • 3
    0

    Jehan

    In arriving at their decision regarding which candidate to support the TNA would have had two criteria to utilise. The first would be to assess the past actions of the candidates who are most likely to win the elections. The actions and thought frames of the past are likely to be determinative of what happens in the future. The second would be to look at the election campaigns of those leading candidates and their promises especially in what matters to inter-ethnic relations.

    *** The promises by both Candidates are hollow. One is ” Wont ” deliver ( Gotha ) and the other one is ” cant” deliver ( Sajith ) . I looked to Sajith as a beacon of hope but after he uttered the word I will protect the War Criminal with my life I have come to the conclusion that he is alsi playing to the Gallery. I have said many things which have all turned out to be true and I say the following based on my extrasensory perception that the 13 demands put forward by TNA and based on the promise given by Modi which has been kept secret. Modi can over a phone call make Sri Laka to comply as in the case of forcing Sri Lanka to hold Provincil elections and appointing a Consul General. For me
    India is the Key

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