Generating Sense Of The Presidential Elections

By Izeth Hussain -

Izeth Hussain

Izeth Hussain

Say not the struggle naught availeth – Arthur Hugh Clough

Practically nothing straight can ever be made out of the crooked timber of humanity – Immanuel Kant

Following the Presidential elections which are extensively regarded as obtaining been “stunning”, most Sri Lankans are now engaged in attempting to appraise their significance. We have to start by trying to establish why precisely Mahinda Rajapaksa lost. In my post “Following the elections”, published on January ten but sent to the Editor nicely just before the election outcomes were announced, I wrote, “If Maithripala Sirisena squeaks by way of, or wins with a substantial majority as I have been confidently expecting, the prospects will be much brighter for a restoration of a fully functioning democracy”. The underlying cause for my confident expectation was something that has been properly-known considering that people started living under the State, by which I mean amongst other items a centralized physique holding exclusive coercive energy. It has been established beyond dispute that energy tends to go to the head, an excess of power tends to go excessively to the head, from which follows folly and hubris, the pride that goes just before nemesis, the fall. It seemed to me that MR especially by his participation in the creation of an utterly egregious Muslim ethnic problem showed folly and hubris of an order that had to lead to his nemesis.

Rauff and Maithripala                                    That was the underlying cause for my confident expectation of his nemesis. The a lot more distinct causes had been as follows. Like virtually everyone else I anticipated a massive minorities vote against him. But given that the minorities are only 25% of the population their vote would have been far from sufficing to defeat MR. For that there had to be a substantial drop in the Sinhalese vote for him. I was confident about that drop primarily for two factors, the initial of which was that men and women – especially in the modern globe – want adjust since there is a prospect of alter for the greater or due to the fact a government has become stale by way of lengthy durance. MR had been in energy for ten years and the SLFP for twenty years, and it seemed affordable to count on that a significant proportion of the individuals would really feel that adequate is sufficient. The require for governmental alter needs analysis since it seems to involve a lot far more than the superficial attraction of novelty: the want for the new could spring from a deep human desire for self-renewal. My second purpose for expecting MR’s nemesis was that the modern day market place-oriented capitalist economy breeds inequality and hardship for a significant proportion of the individuals, and this seems to be true even when the economy is reasonably effectively-managed – as it apparently was under the final Government. To bolster my argument I cited books by Thomas Piketty and John Gray, and given that then I have come across Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality. I need to have not go into particulars about how financial inequality and hardship could influence on the voters.

By now there have been several professional analyses of the election results and the picture seems to be reasonably clear. 80% of the Tamils voted against MR, and an even larger percentage of the Muslims did so. MR got 55% of the Sinhalese votes, representing a clear Sinhalese majority, but that figure represents a large drop of 10% from the 65% that he scored in the previous election. These statistics can of course be interpreted in various methods. MR declared at a public meeting in his property electorate that he lost due to the fact the minorities in the North, East, and the Nuwara Eliya district voted against him. They can also be interpreted to mean that MR lost simply because the minorities voted against him massively and in addition he failed to get an sufficient proportion of the Sinhalese votes to compensate for that loss. Each interpretations could be valid but MR and other folks who have been pushing the racist neo-Fascist line would prefer the former interpretation. That would point to a sharpening of the ethnic polarization.

However, even though the ethnic polarization continues we need to now view it in the context of a new political configuration that has been taking shape in recent years, a improvement that I believe is of immense significance for Sri Lanka’s future. I refer to the convergence of our two main parties, the UNP and the SLFP. The cross-overs that have been taking location on both sides is certainly a deplorable phenomenon considering that they are motivated for the most part, though not necessarily often, by the drive for money and power. But there is a good aspect to the cross overs since they signify that the policies and practices of the two parties have turn into largely interchangeable, although there could be significant variations of emphasis. The market-oriented economy has come to remain for each parties, the welfare network has not been dismantled, and now that the Cold War is more than their foreign policies are much more or significantly less the very same.

The convergence signified by the cross overs became spectacular when the SLFP stalwart Maithripala Sirisena crossed over to become the widespread Opposition candidate of a coalition in which the main element was the UNP. He contested the elections although retaining his position in the SLFP, and he won the Sinhalese votes mostly in the regions traditionally dominated by the UNP. Soon after his victory he has been established as SLFP leader, but he heads a Cabinet that consists largely of UNP members. The Island of January 21, in but one more of its perceptive editorials, has noted a glaring anomaly. MS will have to select the SLFP’s Prime Ministerial candidate for the Basic Elections scheduled for April. “He will be faced with the unenviable process of major the UPFA’s election campaign from the front and convincing the public that his personal party’s prime ministerial candidate is much better than the Prime Minister he has just appointed – Ranil Wickremasinghe.” Other anomalies have been aired in letters to the Editor. The explanation for them is the convergence to which I am pointing.

The convergence obviously calls for in-depth analysis which I can’t undertake here. Fundamentally it has to be along the following lines. The transformation effected in 1956 had a truly revolutionary character. It represented the upsurge of the lower middle class and the underprivileged castes led by the 3 low-nation castes against the hitherto dominant Westernized bourgeoisie of the Western littoral. For the most portion they lacked higher education, expert qualifications, and they lacked the capital and expertise to thrive in company, which meant that they could make their upward ascent only via a large state sector. That was the basis for the “socialism” that prevailed in numerous Afro-Asian nations. Since the ‘seventies the market economy has prevailed over the state-centric a single, there has been phenomenal economic growth, and the erstwhile lean cats of the SLFP have grow to be fat cats not significantly different from the UNP fat cats. That seems to be the most important purpose for the convergence.

I will now situate our ethnic problems in relation to the new political configuration that is taking shape due to the fact of the element of convergence. The election benefits certainly signified an exhilarating victory for democracy against dictatorship. They ought to also be noticed as an exhilarating victory for democracy against the racist neo-Fascism for which MR became notorious right after 2009, which was ideal noticed in the humiliations heaped on the Tamils in the North and the blatant backing for the anti-Muslim campaign. The victory became achievable not only because of the votes of the minorities. Even more crucial was the truth that a large segment of the Sinhalese individuals joined them.

I see a new political configuration taking spot with our two main parties converging and becoming more democratic and less racist than in the past, with the enormous gain that our politics will turn into less conflictual and more consensual, conducing to some sense of national unity in this badly divided nation. But the issue will stay of hard-core racists who are present in each key parties and have been specifically virulent in the SLFP. They should be extruded from each key parties to kind a neo-Fascist Party. The international climate for such a party is quite favorable. Practically each Western country these days has neo-Fascist parties, and huge financial and other backing would be assured from Islamophobes in Norway and other Western nations. The prospect for neo-Fascism in Sri Lanka is fairly vibrant. Nonetheless, I think that the prospect for democracy is even brighter.

Siamese Twins: India And Sri Lanka

By Priyakala Manoharan -

Priyakala Manoharan

Priyakala Manoharan

The existing diplomatic moves of the new regime of Sri Lanka, after deposing Mahinda Rajapaksha from his decade-extended throne, imply that Sri Lanka has after once more adopted India as its prime foreign policy ally. Even the Indian media is quite good about this unprecedented democratic upsurge. Does this climate augur good yields for India? This is as well early to infer but a lot more about this sooner or later.

Following the groundbreaking victory of Excellency President Maithripala Sirisena who defeated the invincible personality of his predecessor, Indian Prime Minister Narendrn Modi, was the first one to extend his wishes to the President and promptly invited him to pay a go to to India. In return, the new President stated that his initial foreign visit next month would be to India and his foreign policy would give India a prominent place.

In one more event that affirms India’s continuous solidarity, India’s envoy in Colombo Y.K. Sinha in particular person showered his effectively-wishes on the President. In contrast, Wu Jianghao, China’s ambassador could meet the president rather very late right after his victory.

The initial foreign go to of Mangala Samaraweera to India, following assuming as the External Affairs Minister marks the age-old rich significance and cooperation reserved in the agenda of Sri Lanka. What the new government’s approach towards India showcases is the resurrection of the standard bond shared in between them and the withdrawal from the policies of former President Mahinda Rajapaksha whose reign maintained strained ties with India owing to its continuous show of pro-China tilt.

Bilateral talks between India and Sri Lanka

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister has in an interview to NDTV mentioned “The strategy of the former president Rajapaksa to play India against China and vice versa came a cropper”, and the new government would overview the feasibility of all heavy investment-laden foreign contracts, particularly the Colombo Port City project exactly where land for this mega project will be reclaimed from the sea. This mega project is anticipated to be a milestone in China’s conceived Maritime Silk Road.

Like India, China will be closely seeking at the unfolding events owing to its deep-rooted interest in the geopolitical location of the Island in the Indian Ocean which is what requires no alter no matter what ever miracles take location. Indian policy makers will make a blunder if they think that a change of regime, which nevertheless leaves ripples of shockwaves in the nation, tends to make both Sri Lanka and India freer since new improvement eclipses the exposure of China in the Sri Lankan soil and leaves a greater say to India.

What culminated the voters’ power is not necessarily marked by their resentment over China rather their lengthy-whispered allegations of nepotism, opacity and corruption the earlier government wallowed in. China’s role in terms of infrastructure development and investments is engraved by means of out Sri Lanka. Its funds and muscle power and lust for power in the Indian Ocean by way of its String of Pearls Strategy keeps its motive revived in the Island and entices the higher-rise ambitions of the Sri Lankan economy. India alone can not compete with China as she herself receives monetary positive aspects from China.

Searching at the footprints of China, its leverage would only fatten in the Island. Thereby, India, keeping the newly developed harbinger in its thoughts, must efficiently deal with the Island to regain its alienated status without having to place its domestic politics in jeopardy.

The post-Rajapaksa Bravery

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

The post-Rajapaksa bravery of some political commentators and my personal encounter

I recently had, from an old pal in Australia, an e-mail suggesting that I could commence writing fairly freely to the media once more since I had been tempting fate even though the Rajapaksas were ruling the roost by writing critically of their government and that this threat was now behind us. The suggestion was that, eventually, I had succumbed to stress from my buddies and household and gone silent and I should now take up cudgels again.

I identified this fairly intriguing, not to say bemusing, in the context of what has actually been the case for Sri Lankans with journalistic pretensions both before and following the removal (nonetheless temporary) of the Rajapaksa monstrosity from the body politic.

Many of these seemingly exhorting me to “again” begin writing to the mainline English language press, seemed totally unaware that newspapers in that category &#8211 with the exception of the Sunday Island, headed up by a single of the handful of principled journalists in the country &#8211 had “shunned” me for the longest time for coming across as “anti-Rajapaksa” and, for that purpose, probably to be a stain on their “national loyalty” escutcheon. Their need to demonstrate all round fealty to our Ultimate Leader whilst pretending at ethical objectivity in journalism was the name of the game. Lengthy prior to I began a four-year association with the Sunday Leader, right after the death of Lasantha Wickrematunge, and until Frederica Jansz was driven into exile, I had contributed columns on a normal basis to several English language newspapers. In fact, the first of these was Lakbimanews, then edited by the indescribable (far more suitable terms come to thoughts, but…) Rajpal Abeynayake. That association ended when he insisted on sending me a cheque produced out to the pseudonym that I employed for those columns which bore no resemblance to that carried by anybody in Sri Lanka, leave alone the initial and last names to which I answered! Offered the established character of Mr. Abeynayake, I consider I want hardly suggest the motivation for this irrational behavior.

I employed to create, at their invitation, a column with a rural slant to a component of the Sunday Occasions beneath the pseudonym “Haris Tumpane.” Nonetheless, that contribution was “tapered off” and disappeared due to the fact I was told that marketing revenues were paramount and rural political commentary had to make way for it when circumstances so dictated. My take on this was somewhat diverse and borne out by the response I got when, following what I believed was a lengthy sufficient time, I produced inquiries about the column getting reinstated. The answer was that I “couldn’t be touched with a barge pole!” To me this constituted proof, however again, if proof be needed, of the Wijeya Newspapers self-censorship which I have constantly identified more reprehensible than the pandering that naturally pro-government newspapers are guilty of. Why? Since jackals in sheep’s clothing are much more destructive than the undisguised range! Not far removed from all of this was the fact that, when I inquired about a fairly-innocuous Letter to the Editor from me not being published in the Everyday Mirror, I was told that I had to be out of my mind to believe that a paper in that group would publish Anything critical of what the late S.L.Gunasekera had written in their pages! The purpose? The late Mr. G was the newspaper’s lawyer! Journalistic ethics and independence, any individual?

As for the finish of the road with the Sunday Leader, that is a different story. Whilst I had my variations with Frederica Jansz and a few phone donnybrooks to go with them, I also found her to be completely truthful. When Asanga Seneviratne’s participation in the Sunday Leader was imminent, I had a raised-voices discussion with Frederica on the subject. Suffice it to say that subsequent events proved her to have been trusting to the point of gross naivety and yours actually correct in his assessment of who and what Asanga Seneviratne was and what he represented. The really week that Mr. S took over, my column was dropped with Mr. S responding to a query from, I believe, Colombo Telegraph, that it “wasn’t up to standard” or some thing to that effect, this coming from a man whose claim to fame in journalism (and literacy) was being the rugby coach of the Heir to the Throne! This was followed by a cockamamie story to Colombo Telegraph, about there being some sort of “mix up” that had resulted in my column becoming “missed.”

In any occasion, in spite of the sweetest of conversations with Frederica’s successor, I was “jacked around” and eventually, with the Sunday Leader still owing me payment for numerous columns, I threw my hand in.

A footnote here would not be out of location. The grapevine had it that Tisaranee Gunasekara and I were going to be kept on for about six months following Frederica was turfed to develop the illusion that the Sunday Leader was politically independent. Tisaranee wrote just one particular column prior to the definitely unethical behavior of Frederica Jansz’s successor compelled her to cease writing for the Sunday Leader. What followed beggars description and would very best be spoken to by TG. However, suffice it to say that it indicated how low the Sunday Leader and these now at its helm could stoop.

Let me make now make a couple of observations that need to be only also clear to any individual reading Colombo Telegraph.

The 1st is that simply removing the Rajapaksa Dictatorship from the equation will not restore media freedom as lengthy as the likes of Wijeya Newspapers is permitted to play its sly and unprincipled games. The matter of media freedom and, by means of it, freedom of info for an complete nation needs to be examined far more closely and, if necessary, a technique, nonetheless complicated, be place in place to ensure that this cornerstone of democracy is restored and maintained. Simply letting men and women write is hardly adequate when, for the most unprincipled of factors, what they have to say is dictated by the whims of those who consistently steer clear of what they perceive as “inconvenient truths.” I was fortunate in that I have by no means been a professional journalist dependent on my personal computer keyboard to feed my loved ones. Professional journalists do not appreciate this luxury and therefore can be pressured by “the media reality” to bend to the will of those who sign their spend cheques. Talking about “media freedom” in such a context is basically empty rhetoric till such time as law and regulations are place in spot to make sure that freedom.

The subsequent matter I’d like to address before closing is that of the blocking of web sites by Web Service Providers such as Sri Lanka Telecom and Dialog. Just put, there needs to be swift punitive action taken against those individuals who carried out the patently illegal orders of the Rajapaksa Regime. It ought to be straightforward sufficient to discover out who signed the memos which resulted in a blackout of dissenting voices, following which, they ought to be prosecuted and punished as the law provides, for this contravention of the fundamental democratic rights of every single Sri Lankan to info. Practically nothing much less will suffice and this wants to be carried out with no delay.

From a predicament where it was a declining quantity of the “old faithful” (inclusive of the Sycophants Brigade of Dayan Jayatilleka, Malinda Seneviratne, H.L.D. Mahindapala and Rajiva Wijesinha) that chose to create to Colombo Telegraph, its columns have all of a sudden blossomed in a veritable Sri Lankan spring of writers critical of the Rajapaksa Regime! 1 doesn’t have to be a Sri Lankan Sherlock Holmes to ascertain why there has been this sea change. It is now protected, or seemingly so, to write critically of the MaRa bunch and its monumental criminalities! All fine and good except that these men and women who have abruptly grown backbones are fairly capable of obtaining that essential portion of their anatomies achieve a jelly-like consistency after once again if faced with anything resembling threat and repression. Oh properly, a single must be thankful for tiny mercies, even though it is definitely crucial to bookmark events of this nature for future reference!

Hitherto, with the exception of a few males such as Kumar David, the ranks of the brave in Sri Lankan English-language journalism have been populated exclusively by those of the feminine gender. I would suggest that, if the Sirisena government ends up in opposition, there could effectively be a return to that status quo and Colombo Telegraph must prepare for that eventuality returning to haunt us once once again since our “saviours” will, as soon as once again, disappear into the woodwork from which they emerged only when President Sirisena was elected!

Crime Probe: Let’s Commence From 1994

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Of all that is pernicious in all resolutions tabled in the UNHRC against Sri Lanka the most scandalous and disgusting possibly is limiting investigations calls for to the final few months of the war. We are talking about a conflict that dragged for practically three decades. We are speaking about a couple of hundred thousand killed. One particular life can not be significantly less worthwhile than an additional. A single murder can not be much more despicable than one more. The grief of a single mother can not be significantly less than that of one more mother. The very same goes for fathers, young children, lovers and buddies who grieve.

We are reminded of this monstrous ‘logic’ nowadays when there’s a call for the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and wrongdoers therein getting held responsible for wrongdoing a call for a complete investigation on many allegations. Now, ss a person stated ‘compassion’ (maithree) is all good but this does not mean that wrongdoing and wrongdoers need to go uninvestigated and unpunished respectively. Strangely, although, Champika Ranawaka of the Jathika Hela Urumaya who spearheaded Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign and was clearly the most articulate critique of the regime on all counts like corruption has picked a period, 2004-2014. This is arbitrary and worse it smacks of witch-hunting.

Chandrika and LasanthaAccurate, it is the regime that was defeated that is under scrutiny. Correct, investigation of corruption charges was a key theme of the Sirisena campaign and it can be concluded that people did vote for such an inquiry. Corruption and wrongdoing on the other hand could not have begun in November 2004. We are right after all talking about a constitution and institutional arrangement that made for abuse and pilfering in a big scale as nicely as a culture of impunity that was effectively and actually made use of by numerous who wielded energy for decades but especially given that 1977. Bheeshanaya (terror) and dhooshanaya (corruption) let us not neglect have been charges leveled by those in the opposition at least since the 1988 Presidential Election.   They had currency.

Some may claim that the bheeshana-dhooshana levels of the past ten years had been unprecedented, but they would be those who have brief memories thinking about what occurred in 1988-89 and towards the tail end of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s initial term (just before her wings have been clipped by the Parivasa arrangement with the JVP, the 17th Amendment and the short UNP Government of 2001-2004).

We can’t go to Year Dot. This is clear. Nonetheless, considering that those who have been charged (but not investigated) are nonetheless about and given that this Government has come to clean up, so to speak, we ought to commence at least from 1994 which is when coalitions led by the SLFP initial came to energy. Most importantly it includes the period 2001-2004 when the UNP held sway. If there’s going to be adjust, it have to be underlined by wholesomeness, not revenge-intent.

These days we have a President who is also the Chairman of the principal celebration of the coalition led by the opponent he defeated. All those who supported ‘the corrupt regime’ have now pledged allegiance to President Maithripala Sirisena. He has as his essential coalition partner, the United National Party, which as well is not specifically a party of saints. A single of his important backers was ex President Chandrika Kumaratunge, a particular person described as Chaura Regina (The Thieving Queen).

It is good to clean up. It is necessary to investigate. It is non-negotiable that the constitution and institutional arrangement be reformed so that corruption can be stumped. Mark it with ‘vengeance’ and we can shed all illusions about this regime getting ‘better’ (neglect ‘compassionate’).  Bring to book the crooks of the earlier regime by all implies, but let other crooks go free and you would be performing a wonderful disservice to those who voted for ‘change’.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com 

Rapp Stepping Down: US Accused Of Not Giving Sri Lanka’s “White Flag Killings” Info

The US government has been accused of not providing access to data that is essential to investigate the &#8216white flag case&#8217.

In an interview with the Foreign Policy magazine, Steven Ratner &#8211 a professor of law at the University of Michigan adn ex-member of a UN Panel that examined the commission of mass atrocities that occurred in the final phase of the Sri Lankan war, created this remark as he commented on the concern of Stephen J Rapp -the US Ambassador at big for war crimes, stepping down right after five and a half years of service.

Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp

Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp

“Rapp had tiny achievement forcing American intelligence agencies to share details they’ve collected about human rights abuses abroad,&#8221 Ratner mentioned as he recalled a visit to Rapp&#8217s workplace during the time Ratner was investigating war crimes in Sri Lanka on behalf of the U.N. panel set up by the U.N. Secretary-Basic Ban Ki-moon.

He had been looking for details concerning allegations that have been becoming levelled against the Sri Lankan officials about summarily executing senior rebel commanders soon after the United Nations brokered their surrender.

Ratner had heard a rumor that the U.S. Embassy had picked up some intercepts with data related to the case.

“They made it clear to us there have been pretty powerful constraints on what they were going to be capable to share with us. . . In the finish, they didn’t give us anything,&#8221 he mentioned.

There are several accusations against the US government like pressing the case for accountability for crimes selectively and passionately and advertising the international prosecution of political rivals.

“In Sri Lanka, Rapp has conceded that it is unrealistic to count on that Colombo will assent to conduct investigations into mass war crimes by government forces in the course of the bloody final months of the country’s civil war. But he has urged the government to at least exhume the bodies of victims in order to give their families some sense of closure,” the Foreign Policy magazine stated.

Ambassador Stephen J. Rapp visited Sri Lanka from January six-11 final year to meet with government and political leaders, civil society, and to tour former conflict zones.

Issuing a statement on his visit, the US Embassy Colombo last year mentioned: &#8220He heard about the progress created because the conflict, but also the Sri Lankan people’s continuing desire for reconciliation, justice and accountability.

“During Ambassador Rapp’s discussions, he listened to eyewitness accounts about critical human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, which includes these that occurred at the end of the war. In that context the government of the United States encourages the government of Sri Lanka to seek the truth by means of independent and credible investigations, and where relevant, have prosecutions.

“The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Sri Lanka to promote higher peace and prosperity for all of the individuals of Sri Lanka. It is important that all sides come to an agreement on events, have suitable redress, and move forward as a unified nation that upholds the rule of law and respects the principles of democratic governance.”

Nidahase Inna – Umariya & Devashree

Nidahase Inna Artists – Umariya Sinhawansha & Devashree Lyrics – Manuranga Wijesekara Music – Lahiru Perera & Viresh Cooray.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

DAYASIRI JAYASEKARA at ''SATANA''' POLITICAL PROGRAMME 26/09/2013 [www.youtube.com/DAYASIR]

http://www.youtube.com/DAYASIR Hon DAYASIRI JAYASEKARA (UPFA) at ”SATANA” POLITICAL PROGRAMME 26/09/2013 SRILANKA Dayasiri Jayasekara (UPFA) CHIEF MINISTER…

Taking Stock: Presidential Election 2015

By Lionel Bopage -

Dr Lionel Bopage

Dr Lionel Bopage

By far the most crucial problem for the constituents of Sri Lanka at the final week’s presidential election was about opening a pathway for the formation of excellent governance. Even so, just electing a new president does not develop good governance. A president and his/her government should enable, nurture and strengthen excellent governance by steadily institutionalizing political processes and advertising universal values that are intrinsic to very good governance. The new President, Maithripala Sirisena, and his revamped government have embarked on a journey with the proclaimed aim of establishing excellent governance, though some measures taken so far appear counter-productive and certain pronouncements appear rather utopian.

Nonetheless, I believe, we could contribute ingeniously to moving towards good governance – by engaging constructively, patiently and vigilantly – maintaining the momentum of all diverse forces that brought this unprecedented positive outcome for the individuals of Sri Lanka alive. What follows is a brief evaluation to see exactly where we are now ahead of we appear at the path ahead for reaching our aims.

Background of the election

The folks have taken component in the election campaign overwhelmingly and enthusiastically, though it was not totally totally free and fair, nor peaceful or democratic. Participation in the election was quite higher at 81.five percent. There was a substantial turn out by voters in the north. In spite of the partisan interpretation of final results by numerous groups with particular interests, this election can be deemed as the very first election since the 1990s exactly where a candidate was elected by the participation of the diverse spectrum of communities belonging to Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. The problems connected to ethnic or religious troubles, which had been dominating the elections since the 1950s, did not play a major part in this election.

Unfortunately, the election occurred in an environment in which multifarious hurdles have been laid against the campaign of the widespread opposition candidate. The Rajapaksa campaign was heavily racialist and abundantly financed. Almost all state resources which includes human, material, economic and media were utilised against the opposition campaign. One particular of the significant concerns impacting all other vexed troubles in Sri Lanka – the national question – was not discussed at all.

The opposition’s election campaign, which highlighted the incumbent’s authoritarianism, corruption, fraud, waste, household nepotism and politicisation and militarisation of civil administration seems to have been effective in urban regions, but not as efficient in the rural locations, especially down south. The election campaign of the UNP has been more organised, coordinated, and properly-oiled and more grass-roots based. The assistance the frequent opposition candidate received from Tamils and Muslims improved, due to the authoritarian and mono-cultural method adopted by the Rajapaksa regime to stay in energy.

Election outcome

This election outcome has been and will be analysed in a lot of diverse methods according to the planet outlook of the analyst (which includes myself), and whose interests and privileges that analyst is trying to safeguard. Currently many interested parties like pro-Rajapaksas and nationalists with some from the Sri Lankan left groups have tried to interpret the election outcome by means of identity politics. While the ethnic breakdown of the electoral outcome may be not-so-important, it should not be below-emphasised. The abolition of executive presidency and appointment of independent commissions are being offered priority at this presidential election. There were a lot of other concerns highlighted throughout the election campaign such as good governance, rule of law and democratic practices, fight against corruption, cost of living, employment opportunities, and far better access to healthcare and education etc. Those on the left also raised the problem of the need to address the national question, but it did not acquire a lot traction.

In spite of the assistance of the Tamil National Alliance in the North and East and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in the East and elsewhere, attributing the total election outcome just to ethnic or religious identity is an oversimplification. Although the overwhelming votes cast by the Tamils and Muslims of the North and East may have tipped the balance in favour of Maithripala Sirisena, the argument that the election outcome is in support of separatism or devolution of energy is misplaced, for the statistical breakdown of the election final results shows that 84% of the votes cast for Maithripala Sirisena came from the rest of the nation.

The Rajapaksa regime and its torch-bearers carried out a massive all island Tv and radio campaign primarily based on mono-cultural nationalistic and racialist propaganda. This could have influenced much more racialist thinking Sinhalese to vote for Rajapaksa, whilst much more Tamils would have been influenced to vote for the common opposition candidate. We are also conscious that some separatist groups and specific radical groups advocated boycotting the election. That was also an exercise of their bourgeois democratic proper. By carrying out so they efficiently forfeited their own democratic proper. They may possibly claim that they have collectively convinced about 20 % of the voters to stay away from voting, although this is disproved by the fact that this time there had been more men and women prepared to cast their vote in favour of one of the two key candidates.

I think the Tamil neighborhood wants to be applauded and welcomed for their participation in the election, in spite of the fierce propaganda of the pro-Rajapaksa elements of the preceding regime, and the constrictions placed on the opposition’s agenda of obtaining to keep the national safety status quo, and the unitary nature, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation. My conclusion is that given that the 1940s, this is the first election in the history of Sri Lanka, where ethnicity and religion did not play a major role in influencing the outcome of the election.

The immediate future

The President and the new Cabinet has assumed duties. Some secretaries have been appointed. The 100 day reforms plan has been launched. The greatest tips I could give to this new interim government, is that it should choose the ten most important issues pertinent to each and every department and Ministry, create appropriate policy calculi to address these problems and implement them. This will significantly help in creating the confidence of folks in the new President and the government. President, Ministers and Ministries need to have to take choices in consultation with every other in a participative manner. Deferment of considerable troubles or vacillation on decisive troubles could grow to be deadly for the future.

This is important because the Rajapaksas and Weerawansas will not stand idle. They have begun to spread the lie that they lost because of the voters in the north and east and the plantations. They are silent on the reality that they got portion of their votes because they had been able to use state sources to bribe, intimidate, frighten, and cajole some by raising the spectre of LTTE and separatism in the national psyche of the Sinhala Buddhist majority.

The Rajapaksa plot to keep in power utilizing the military and emergency laws was thwarted, thanks to the integrity of Elections Commissioner, Inspector General of Police and the Army Commander – to all of whom we are grateful. This anti-democratic behaviour demands to be provided ample exposure amongst the people and the suspects need to be charged according to the law. Some of the suspects in this regard have gone overseas, almost certainly with the tacit expertise of some bureaucrats, who have been directly helping them previously. Some of the prominent youth organisations who have been closely operating with Rajapaksas and at times with Nil Balakaya (Blue Corps) have been trying at all costs to paint a democratic picture of the Rajapaksa’s reign. When required in future, they will no doubt try to support resurrect the remnants of the Rajapaksa regime dressed up in democratic garments.

There have been a lot of criminal allegations against the Rajapaksa regime like the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, disappearance of Frontline Socialist Party activists Lalith and Kuhan, assassination of Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, the massacre of 17 help workers of Action Contre la Faim, the massacre of five higher college students in Trinco, and assassination of arrested criminal suspects mostly in Colombo. There are allegations to the effect that unarmed and peaceful civilians have been killed during strikes, peaceful protests and for the duration of the civil war. The Rajapaksa regime openly, unhesitatingly and flagrantly violated the election laws by employing violence, intimidation and bribery. Such criminal activities and offences require to be effectively and independently investigated and the perpetrators need to be brought to justice.

Conclusion

The new regime is taking its 1st baby actions in opening up a more democratic space for civil society to operate. Nevertheless, in the implementation of its one hundred day program just before going for the subsequent Common Elections, the new regime is getting forced to rely on at least some of the existing politicians, bureaucrats and systems of the previous autocratic regime. Obviously, this situation is not in favour of the anticipated journey towards establishing excellent governance and rule of law. The new President and the regime want to remain vigilant in this regard. Vacillation and marching time will be deadly and tantamount to committing suicide.

The non-violent regime change was mostly a outcome of the social discontent of the suffering masses of the nation like workers and peasants. The non-Sinhala communities have expressed their wish for democratic reform and a way forward to negotiate and resolve problems certain to their communities. If the hopes and expectations of these masses are not fulfilled, then the predicament will be conducive for emerging struggles. The initial step in the right direction will be for the new regime to take bold measures with the consent of the people to appropriately address such concerns in the extended term interest of the individuals and the nation.

In the meantime, the remnants of the former Rajapaksa regime will attempt their very best to resurrect the bogey of racialism and nationalism by resorting to the lowest levels of deception. This tendency and the autocratic and repressive nature of the Rajapaksa regime compelled numerous folks, groups and organisations to come forward and assistance the typical opposition candidate for overturning the autocratic executive presidential technique.

This unprecedented dynamic collective that was not involved in partisan politics, opened the doors for this change of direction. We need to have to maintain this momentum for modify alive, by means of sustaining the peoples’ desire for modify, so that any hesitation or vacillation on the part of the new regime can be prevented. Then the new regime will have no alternative but to implement what they have pledged during the election campaign. Regardless of the possibility of deferments and vacillations of the new regime, this social collective need to be much more organised, energetic and vigilant so as to maintain up its momentum for adjust lively.

Thisara Perera post match – Jan 28th

Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera chats to CATV following taking a two- win in the KFC T20 International Series.

Sayam Kirilli http://srilankanewmusic.magnify.net Like Our Fb Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sri-Lanka-Memos-and-Music/638239462887974.
Video Rating: five / five