Reading between the results the Sri Lankan way

A vote for the blue betel leaf has since undergone a colour variation: blight seems to affect a part of the leaf, at least.

After 20 years of rule and misrule of one alliance there is still no comfortable majority for another to form a government. Who is to be blamed –people or politicians?

Results made them members of the  Opposition but they took oaths, as holders of a ministerial rank in a national government ushering the policies of the UNP. The rump that remains with Rajapaksa will form the Opposition carrying liabilities subject to the ongoing investigations.

Does it mean that some of those with tarnished images may be automatically cleansed if they join the national government? It is more a presidential problem, as he may take the rap for introducing without a proper screening of possible culprits. A litmus test is to arrive at the number of known offenders holding office in any ministerial capacity who may be investigated and prosecuted?  ‘Join the government or face the music’ theme would worsen the inflow.  The importance is to rid the germs and not allow ugly blots to survive.

Rajapaksa cannot complain long for the response is in the nature of a tit for tat. These were many unorthodox devices engineered by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government to weaken the opposition sometimes with the help of the judiciary. On the flip side it could be said the flexibility of the judiciary helped to make the country stable notwithstanding the ill fame acquired by it. It helped to gain a 2/3rd majority to defeat terrorism and now a stable government is in place.
Otherwise we may have to live for four- and- half years without a working majority due to the 19th Amendment.

The Constitution was strictly adhered to when Gamini Dissanayake and Dr Neville Fernando were sacked by the UNP on disciplinary grounds when they opposed the government on principle.That was a different Supreme Court where the law reigned supreme before the Constitution took a flexi-turn inaugurating the age of maneuverability leading to the 19th Amendment that enables the Cabinet to be stretched to establish a national government. Don’t complain, constitutions reflect the will of the people, supposedly.

The probationary government of January that was given a casual status by the voters in August, was made permanent by the switchbacks made by the elected representatives.  Historically switchbacks were among the robust and a reliable element in government. Their elasticity made them manoeuverable to cartwheel to any uncomfortable corner and hibernate through any sordid summer or wet winter for 54 months.

Look at it: on the right sit 106 UNP members while on the left 93 UPFA members occupy places as the Constitution ruled, the voters desired and the results confirmed. They will not be permanent fixtures – through the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. Politicians will fix it for their convenience with the helping hand from the courts They do walk hand in hand as the long arm of the law does not handcuff such ‘political offenders’. Would Yahapalanaya  of today become the successor to the Dharmista (rightful ) regime of yesteryear? Sri Lankans have learned to live with such diversions irrespective of the government in office. A tolerant society has permitted many irregularities to take place without a murmur. A pragmatic society accepts it except for a few squealers. Such is the land we live in.

The equation has changed with the formation of a national government. Otherwise will there ever be a stable government with a majority to legislate? The absence of a strong central government in office could give rise to terrorism. Nevertheless there is a catch that needs a cure. Why leave the constitution in a perilous situation by permitting breaches to remain uncured making the nation look stupid? Don’t be shy to amend it again to rectify the many existing defects.

The JVP is in trouble again as the result is disastrous since it was declared in the best of it’s times.The 4 seats acquired at the count means it cannot enlarge.

The JVP desire to sail with the UNP in January had its fall in August 2015 as their, “would-have-been” flow of voters indulged in an exercise of strategic voting to oust the Rajapaksa regime by overstaying with the UNP.  It did not learn their lesson during the UPFA times when a larger party gobbling it up. Their vote is not static and cannot be cached at the party office even among its faithfuls. Their ability to attract the floating voter is minimal because the floating voter floats away from the JVP on the eve of elections to cuddle with the winner or loser and to make their vote more meaningful. There is never a joyous tomorrow with the JVP being permanently in a token opposition. Being a protest party its shrieks can be heard but it still shrinks at an election while following the path of the traditional Left, of being left behind.

The vote that floated made the difference –those voters voted not on party lines but on the requirement of the times answering to the calls of a pro or anti Rajapaksa administration. Voting patterns in the electorates/districts displayed a movement between January and August 2015. Few of the votesers drifted to Rajapaksa; the pull was stronger in the opposite direction.Aggregated -Rajapaksa did worse in August than January-his misdeeds overtook the virtues – with the blast on the investigations.We are a nation that thinks twice before entering the polling booth and act silly on leaving it. For a fleeting moment there is hope – the voting moment- that brings a better government which with time often becomes worse.

The SLFP should have been at hell’s gate but is looking well thanks to the UNP. It holds the highest executive office with its powers not diluted exclusively for its last pretender Another part of it is holding high office in the national government free of prosecutions and also holds the prime positions in the opposition. They seem to have the best of both worlds except the few of the elderly sent home to swing in rocking chairs.

My sympathies are with Rosy Senanayake ousted by the enlightened Colombo District. Women hardly vote for their own sex since they are plain jealous of another moving to the top and rather see a man advance. Women in need, need to  attend to their needs first. Otherwise where are the UNP women?

Mahinda Rajapaksa showed he is still a force to be reckoned with. He remains popular in many zones of Sri Lanka where there is a Sinhala Buddhist majority. The question he needs to ask is why those thumping majorities turned leaner and meaner? At the general election in despair after seeing the names of his list of candidates, many declined to vote or spoilt their votes.The impact of his administration on the people economically and socially spoke for its defeat. Also the Central Bank/Treasury of Rajapaksa’s time were UNP’s best friends. Those who voted against him in January did not want to see him return and some who did vote in January, stayed at home in August, as they learnt more of him. Many of the intellectuals who spoke on his behalf showed the bareness in his cupboard that scared the thinking voter.

Rajapaksa’s voice as an objective statesman will be stronger than as of a [political] president in the future. Belatedly, time had come for him to bow out gracefully to become an elder statesman-he would be happier and wiser man relaxing in Medamuala if not for his family that undid him most. He will always be remembered as the man who wiped out terrorism: later in the North too, as they benefited more from him.

DM-9(17)The vote obtained in the North and East by the two national parties, UNP and UPFA augurs well for the ultimate elimination of ethnic parties. This is a base on which the UNP should build what the UPFA failed to do. Spport from the North can become a perfect pitch for a long innings especially during a lean spell.
The frightening revelation is that 25496 (7.8%) votes were spoilt in the North, a new phenomenon unseen in previous rounds of voting, as pointed out by able columnist J.B.S.Jeyaraj. The Muslim community should wake up to show its politics are principled as much as their faith and does not swing from side to side to further their personal gains displayed by the fickle SLMC. Muslim politicians in the past played a lead role as party elders of the UNP and SLFP. Not any more.

Any government can thrive for a while with exposures on the misdeeds of the previous one. Many more cupboards can be opened and many more skeletons found. That is a temporary arrangement. Forget festivity, forget pleasures, forget foreign travel –instead get down to work furiously fast and show results.
Otherwise as the results reveal this government is destined to be a one-term one of the UNP/SLFP. Who will emerge afresh? Only time will tell. But it sure is a new combined force wiping away many of the old faces.   – See more at:

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