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Friday 10 January 2014

Wanted a Presidential candidate

Very soon the so called common opposition (podu vipakshaya) will have to display paid advertisements in the media calling application for a “common candidate” for the post of President of the Socialist Democratic Republic of Sri Lanka. True to the international character of the "common opposition” the advertisement could appear in the “international media” as well. There are so many “international politicians” who would lose their jobs in the year 2014, and assuming that the Sri Lankan Presidential elections would be held late this year or early next year some of them could apply. The applications would probably have to be directed to the leadership council (nayakathva mandalaya) of the common opposition, which could be expected to be formed in due course well in time to entertain applications. (Sometimes I wonder whether Ravana also had a leadership council of ten people as he is often referred to as Dasis- ten heads). Of course the question would arise as to whether foreigners who are not citizens of Sri Lanka could apply for the job. However, the government, I am sure would corporate with the opposition to bring in legislation to help those jobless politicians from abroad. In any event some of the leaders of the oppositions parties are not different from foreigners as they do not seem to understand the psyche of the common man especially of the Sinhala hoi polloi, and the President Rajapakse might first respond by saying no new legislation is necessary as already there are foreigners contesting at various elections in Sri Lanka.

It is not only the “common opposition” that would be interested in the advertisement. The “intellectuals’, NGO personalities, the various high commissions and embassies in Sri Lanka representing other countries would also be interested for various reasons. Unlike USA, Sri Lanka respects the officials in the embassies and high commissions of other countries in Sri Lanka the Sri Lankan Police or any other authority would not question these officials after removing their clothes. Incidentally no human rights organization or women organization in Sri Lanka appears to have protested against the mishandling of the naked body of the Indian female diplomat by male officials in uniform in USA. It may be that there is no Darusman Report, which these organizations could base their protests on, nor Videos that have been released to the media by Chanel 4, but only some photographs purported to be released to the “international” by a non Indian. In the absence of such reliable reports and video footage, and of course foreign exchange, it is understandable that the champions of human rights in Sri Lanka are silent on this issue.

Karu Jayasuriya, the great companion of Sajith Premadasa goes to the extent of explaining to the media that the “common candidate” of the “common opposition” could be from the UNP with precise logic and thinking. He should be thanked for this explanation as many people would have begun to think that the “common opposition” does not constitute the UNP as most of the UNP MPs are now in the UPFA, and many others are thinking of supporting Mahinda Chinthana.  On the other hand Kary Jayasuriya may be thinking of nominating Sajith Premadasa as the candidate of the “common opposition” and helping the latter to lose the election thus saving Ranil Wickremesinghe to fight another day.  However, Ranil would have become an octogenarian on that day but he could take solace from the fact that his uncle J R Jayawardane was not the youngest to become the President of the country.

In any event Karu Jayasuriya should explain as to why the UNP could not go it alone. Even if a common candidate could be found ultimately there would be many outside the “common opposition” , and nobody would be able to prevent at least a few of them running for Presidency thus splitting the anti Rajapakse regime votes in the words of Ranil Wickremesinghe. The UNP may be the United National Party but not a nationalistic party. In the absence of an SLFP, D S Senanayake could be projected as a nationalistic leader, and to a certain extent Dudley Senanayake as well, especially against the left parties that dreamt of the international “proletariat revolution”. The left parties were able to attract the Jathika Balavegaya during the colonial period as they appeared to fight for independence, but after the formation of the SLFP, and especially after the SLFP adopted Sinhala only policy the support by these forces to the left parties began to lean away, making the left parties left out for all purposes.

The SLFP has nationalistic credentials and under the leadership of President Rajapakse, it has turned out to be the party that respects the Sinhala opinion following the examples set by the Bandaranaikes.  S W R D Bandaranaike could be called a man who bowed down to public opinion as a democrat, and not somebody who attempted to push his policies through the throats of the people. The present President of the country is only following the Bandaranaikes as could be seen from his actions. As we have said very often, Sinhala nationalism is bottom up and the leaders of the SLFP know how to maintain the party as the party of Sinhala nationalism.

There are many names that have been mentioned as the “common candidate” for the forthcoming Presidential elections. These are only day dreams of “intellectuals” who have no understanding of the Sinhala people. Ven. Maduluwae Sobhitha Thero appeared to be a popular candidate among the NGO and other “intellectuals” but the Sinhala Buddhists have never had a Bhikku as the king of the country. There have been few instances where ex Bhikkus had become kings, and if the Ven. Thero was interested in becoming the Presidential candidate he would have had to become a lay person according to Sinhala Buddhist tradition. The “intellectuals” having had no knowledge of the Sinhala Buddhist traditions would have wanted to clung to the “sivuru pota” to defeat Mahinda Rajapakse. Sarath Fonseka cannot be used again as the Presidential candidate as he failed last time by millions of vote. With the white flag (sudu kodi) story is bound to come up if he becomes the Presidential candidate, and he will have to explain how he had been freed from alleged war crimes. He was the commander of the Army during the last two weeks of the humanitarian operations whether he was in the country or not and why the west is interested only in the scalps of Rajapakses is a question that has to be answered by him.

Chandrika Kumaratunga was imported by some people with vested interests to contest J R Jayawardane and to establish a federal state forgetting that Sinhala nationalism is bottom up and not top down. Chandrika Kumaratunga did not know the Bandaranaike policies and her concept of democracy was pushing down her policies through the throats of the policies. The “intellectuals” and the other NGO pundits also thought that a federal state could be established through the wife of the leader of the Mahajana Party. However, to the dismay of these “intellectuals” and the pundits the Sinhala nationalist movement (Jathika Vyaparaya) was able to defeat all their plans and Chandrika Kumaratunga was driven into political wilderness. Mangala Samaraweera who has no future in politics except in the leadership council of the UNP that itself is being driven into same wilderness as Chandrika Kumaratunga, could continue to throw parties at his Gorakana residence reciting “Raja ho ma ho ganga ho” by the Bolgoda lake (Panadura ganga).

What the opposition common or uncommon does not understand is that single issues such as abolishing the presidency are not going to win the Sinhala masses which is the main balawegaya (force) in the country that opposes colonialism. There was a time when the intellectuals and the pundits tried to force their view that without the Tamil vote no party can come into power. However these views have been changed by the Sinhala Jathika Vyaparaya and no non nationalistic party can come into power after the defeat of the LTTE.

Nalin De Silva