Uva results and lessons for politicos of all hues Both the government and opposition have cause to celebrate the Uva election.  The government won, albeit barely. The opposition sprung many surprises. The nation is still a two- party democracy with the JVP being the “significant other”. The government won the council but has been put [...]

The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka



Uva results and lessons for politicos of all hues

Both the government and opposition have cause to celebrate the Uva election.  The government won, albeit barely. The opposition sprung many surprises. The nation is still a two- party democracy with the JVP being the “significant other”.

The government won the council but has been put on the notice list for future elections.

The most amazing result was the massive number of preferential votes won by Harin Fernando, a dynamic tri-lingual leader who did the honourable thing by resigning his seat to contest.  This should put Sajith Premadasa on notice because he makes a lot of noise but so far has failed to make any impact on the electoral outcome in his own neighbourhood.

People are getting tired of the government using the “we won the war” rhetoric simply because without General Fonseka at the helm the war would have continued for a longer time. Kudos to the President and his brother for selecting General Fonseka, standing up to international forces and also giving all the resources to win the war.

However, people in the poorer lesser developed regions are beginning to wonder if all the mega development projects are leading to corruption and increasingly overt arrogant family bandyism. This was a vote against family bandyism.  Young Harin beat the chosen one of the Rajapaksa family. It happened because of complacency despite the regime putting all its resources to play and intimidating the opposition.

General Fonseka should realise that while he was the best Army commander Sri Lanka has had, he is not a politician. He engages in too much “sour grapes” talk.  If he really wants to defeat the family regime, he needs to back off and support one solitary candidate from the largest opposition party at Presidential elections.

When there is a Lamborghini, racing car, Louis Vuitton economy for the elite and the ruling family and starvation and drought for the masses, no matter how loud one cries “We are patriotic we are the ones who ended the war” people tire of it.

Rugby, night races, designer shoes, clubs and partying will not fool the people struggling to make ends meet and suffering from droughts.
Yet, the government won and that probably says a lot about the personal popularity of the President, the most charismatic leader in Sri Lanka since CBK. He has not lost touch with his “kurakkan and medamulane” past but it seems the anointed ones of the family have failed to learn their lessons from him.

The government can be defeated in fair and free elections without military interference. However, it will not be easy. There has to be a single united opposition candidate and it cannot be from the JVP. The JVP will only play spoiler in a Presidential election.  The government will not be able to win too many votes from the minorities in the North and East and in Colombo. A Presidential election is held nationally and mathematically it is quite probable that a dynamic man or woman with no chequered past and with a vision and a track record for being honest can win.  Mega projects mean mega commissions.

The UNP needs an effective national campaign similar to the very powerful cartoon book they distributed in 1977 about the Bandaranaike family bandyism.  In fact that news book was full of factual falsehoods but it struck a chord.  As an electrical worker from Badulla whose wife is a nurse, and a close friend of mine said a campaign should list and bare all the appointees in all sorts of important positions from national airlines, to embassies to cabinet positions.

In his words “Rajapaksalaata Lamborghini, mahajanthaawata badagini”. He said he voted for the UNP for the first time in his adult life. So did his wife who came from three generations of SLFPers.

R.F. Gunasekera


Anagarika should get due honour from old school

Anagarika Dharmapala brought honour and greatness as a student to his alma mater St. Benedict’s College, Kotahena. While we have just completed celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of the great national and Buddhist leader, late Anagarika Dharmapala, it is fitting to recall that he was enrolled as a student of St. Benedict’s College.

Like the Christian Blessed Joseph Vas who gifted Sinhala Christianity and the Tamil Christian culture to the North, the Anagarika realised the importance of having a Tamil Buddhist Renaissance in the North. He channelled his energies into the revival of World Buddhism and native languages.

It is time that this revered old boy receives due honour in his old school. What the world needs is his message of religious reconciliation and not sectarian divisions of humanity by religious fundamentalism.

Bandula Nonis
Via email


F&G depositors seek justice, not empty words

I am compelled to write this letter to draw the attention of the Central Bank Governor, the Chief Justice and other high-ups to the pathetic plight of the depositors of the Finance and Guarantee Company.

I am 73 years old and my wife is 66. I am a government pensioner, living on my paltry pension of Rs. 22,000 a month. This is the plight of most depositors who are senior citizens. We deposited Rs. 1 million, our only savings in this company to supplement our income. Since December 2008, not a cent has been paid as interest – you can visualise our difficulties.

My wife and I have medical ailments. Since 2009 my wife and I have been attending many meetings convened by officials of the Finance and Guarantee Depositors’ Association. After submitting our medical reports, Rs. 100,000 was approved in 2012 but this has not been paid to us to date. I request the Governor and Chief Justice to please inquire into this.

We have paid so many visits to the F&G offices over the past three years. The staff pacifies us and sends us away. They speak of an action plan where 45 per cent of the deposits are to be paid over years and the balance on a monthly basis. I do not think I will last so long but who cares. They, the perpetrators, are free to enjoy their leisure.

My recommendation is to put those who defrauded us back in jail. Sell all their assets and pay the creditors and depositors taking into account their ages, the amount due etc.

Repayment plans, finding investors as suggested in the past are all bunkum and playing for time. This will only leave room for the negotiators to make more money. Over to you, Governor of the Central Bank and the Chief Justice.

Senior citizen and depositor

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