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Wednesday 24 September 2014

The west wins at UVA but Mahinda wins the provincial council

All the political parties that contested at the Uva Provincial Council Elections have claimed that they won the elections. This includes Sarath Fonseka and his party who think that some forty thousand votes that they should have received have been cast to some other political party or parties due to some “gilmaat”.  Fonseka may be a good soldier but unfortunately he is not even a bad politician. He simply does not understand politics. It is good for him as well as the country that his party is dissolved as any dream of them becoming the so called third force has vanished to thin air following the election debacle at Uva. However, that does not mean that the JVP has become the third force once again or that they have got the remote control. The JVP at a Presidential Election would poll around 3% of the valid vote and that would reveal the strength of the party. The fact of the matter is that there are no third forces in the country and parties other than the SLFP and the UNP in that order have been reduced to also ran positions. This applies to TNA and Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) as well that would cease to exist without the support of the western countries through the dispersed Tamils in the west.

The UVA elections have been won by the western forces, though with minor hiccups here and there, due to default. It is not a victory that was achieved after  a struggle but a victory that was handed over by the SLFP in a platter. It is not a victory for the UNP as they could not even win the Badulla District with  a strong candidate such as Harin Fernando and the entire UNP working for him. It was the climax as far as the UNP is concerned and now they are on the downhill path. Young Hiran Fernando has no future in the UNP in spite of his “manapes” and he had been the much talked about “Billy boy”.   The results  should not have come as a surprise in a country where even so called leading Bhikkus talk in terms of good governance, as if the latter is the Biblical truth. The good governance is a western concept that cannot be applied in Sri Lanka, and these Bhikkus who do not know how to adopt “Dasa Raja Dharma” in the present context could only shout slogans on so called good governance. Good governance could work for Scotland, Gordon Brown the labour leader in Scotland, who is actually led by the English and others, but not for Uva. However, in the absence of Dasa Raja Dharma the humble folk in Uva were bewildered and they had to select between the SLFP and the UNP.

The JHU did not contest the Uva Provincial council elections knowing probably what the outcome would have been. On the other hand the JNP of Wimal Weerawansa contested alone in Badulla demonstrating the support they have in the district. The fact that their candidate won in Moneragala does mean only that the voters prefer the former as an individual and not as a member of the JNP. Had the JNP contested alone in Moneragala as well the JNP would not have won a single place in the Uva Provincial Council. It is clear that the politicized Nationalistic Movement (Jathika Vyaparaya) is in the decline. The Jathika Vyaparaya is presently represented by the SLFP alone and not by MEP, JHU or JNP but how long can the SLFP survive without a truly nationalistic policy.

It is true that it was the SLFP as a political party under the political leadership of the President and the strategical leadership of the Defense Secretary that won the “warfare” against the most ruthless terrorist group in the world supported by the western countries, Jayalalitha and the Gandhi family and the Indian Congress. The SLFP unlike the UNP, the agent of the western forces has a policy independent of the west as far as the Tamil terrorism is concerned. With respect to Tamil racism as well though its policy is not as clear cut as in the case of terrorism, it has a healthy policy irrespective of what the pundits associated with the JHU and JNP have to say. None of these pundits advocated that the 13th amendment should be thrown away soon after the Nandikadal Victory, though now they claim that the government should have done so then. I know personally from the APRC days the President was not for the implementation of the 13th amendment in toto and that he was against giving police and land powers to the Provincial Councils unlike ministers such as Nimal Siripala de Silva. In fact it was after a meeting with the President, the members of the APRC signed a statement to the effect that the relevant clauses of the thirteenth amendment would be implemented for the consumption of India.  

It so happens that as far as the nationalistic policies are concerned the difference between the SLFP and the UNP at present is mainly due to Mahinda Rajapakse. If not for the President there is hardly any difference at present between the SLFP and the UNP as far as the nationalistic policies are concerned. However, it has to be mentioned that unlike the UNP, the SLFP is prepared to listen to the Jathika Vyaparaya. The nationalist movement is responsible for the present  state of affairs as the Vyaparaya as a whole has failed to evolve nationalistic policies as far as economy, politics and politics are concerned. When people are asked to select between the SLFP and the UNP they have the task of selecting Mahinda Rajapakse or David Cameron so to speak of. Most of the people may not know who Cameron is but it is a question of selecting either the intuitive nationalism of Mahinda Rajapakse or western policies on development.       

The provincial Council elections were a victory for the President as the people had selected him over the western policies. However, at the same time the western policies have come a long way after 2009 Nandikadal Victory in economics and culture though in international politics Mahinda Rajapakse has clearly established his position as a respected statesman. The next presidential election, in spite of Sarath Silva’s arguments would be won by Mahinda Rajapakse and until 2020 the UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe would not be able to do well at Presidential elections. Ranil by then would be old and the country would be thinking in terms of the next generation.

The people in Uva Provincial Council limits have given a verdict against the non nationalistic ministers such as Nimal Sirpala de Silva and Dilan Perera who lost their Badulla and Halliela electorates respectively. At the same time they have shown the door to Tissa Attanayake who is not another R Premadasa in the UNP to become its leader having come from the non English speaking elite. Attanayake lost his “village” electorate Viyaluva, and soon after the elections to the Provincial council tendered his resignation from the post of General Secretary of the UNP. The UNP is doomed to be the party of the western biased English speaking elite and it is the absence of a truly nationalistic policy in economics culture and politics as far as the SLFP is concerned that would keep the UNP as a force in Sri Lankan politics.

It is the SLFP that has to learn a lesson from the elections. The party has no future apart from the nationalistic policies and it is time the party goes through the report of the Buddha Sasana Commission to find out where they stand after nearly sixty years. The future of the country belongs not to the UNP, the agent of the west and the English speaking elite of the country but to the SLFP, and not even to the JHU or the JNP. However, the SLFP has to go to its roots if the party wants to be the future of the country. 

Nalin De Silva