Editorial

4th November 2001

INDEX | FRONT PAGE | EDITORIAL | NEWS/COMMENT | EDITORIAL/OPINION | PLUS | BUSINESS | SPORTS | MIRROR MAGAZINE | TV TIMES | HOME | ARCHIVES | TEAM | SEARCH | DOWNLOAD GZIP
The Sunday Times on the Web
INDEX

FRONT PAGE

EDITORIAL

NEWS/COMMENT

EDITORIAL/OPINION

PLUS

BUSINESS

SPORTS

MIRROR MAGAZINE

TV TIMES


HOME

ARCHIVES

TEAM

SEARCH

DOWNLOAD GZIP


No. 8, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. 
P.O. Box: 1136, Colombo.
Editor - steditor@wijeya.lk , News - stnews@wijeya.lk
Features - stfeat@wijeya.lk , Business - btimes@wijeya.lk
Subs - suntimes@wijeya.lk , Funday Times - funtimes@wijeya.lk
EDITORIAL OFFICE
Tel: 326247, 328889, 433272-3.   Fax: 423922, 423258
ADVERTISING OFFICE
Advertising - advt@wijeya.lk , Fax:  423921
CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT
No. 10, Hunupitiya Cross Road, Colombo 2. 
Tel: 435454, 448322, 074 714252.   Fax: 459725

Polls ignited

The Beddagana Sanjeeva killing and the arrest of Reggie Ranatunga, the PA strongman and ex-Minister from Gampaha indicate that the poll is going the way that's most dreaded. The war of words is now turning into a war of arms. Police has reported round 500 cases of election violence, almost a month to go till polling day December 5th.

That seems to be just the tip of the iceberg as far as the bloodletting to come is concerned. The LTTE is said to be unloading equipment and arms on the beaches of the North and East, preparing for a major assault while the country is distracted by elections.

It could be argued by the sceptic that all this is not peculiar to Sri Lanka, which is a country almost inured to violence. But, if elections which are now becoming annual events almost, trigger off a bout of violence each time it's an ill portend for a society that already seems ungovernable anyway.

The Sanjeeva killing and the Ranatunga arrest are all a bad omen, but by the time this election is done with, there could be occurrences that would further tarnish people's faith in democracy, rule of law and the sanctity of adult franchise.

These already seem utopian ideals anyway for a society that is used to guns and bombs more than ballots, but the problem is that there is no defence mechanism whatsoever against each repeat bout of election related mayhem.

Suicide bombings that take place almost in the peripheries of society are in the meanwhile indication of the fact that the LTTE, too, is campaigning in these polls. Whose side they are on has been an issue at the last elections, but what's certain is that they are not on the side of the Sri Lankan nation. 

The LTTE has repeatedly shown that organizationally, it is averse to the feeling of being left out. Yes, the LTTE is campaigning, virulently, to secede from the Sri Lankan state.

But, yes also, the LTTE seems almost pathologically against the idea of being marginalised from the affairs of the Sri Lankan state. The perverse could theorize that this is the surest sign that the LTTE is, after all, part and parcel of the Sri Lankan polity.

But, the truth seems to bear out that the LTTE has anything but the Sri Lankan polity on its mind when it wreaks havoc during election time or otherwise.

But, the LTTE's foray into the political whirl, whenever there is a poll is a pointer to the supreme folly that seems to consume mainstream Sri Lankan politics. This is the inability of the major players to grasp the fact that the enemy is the ultimate winner in the internecine battles that are fought for political supremacy at the centre. 

These internecine battles so far were of a constitutional character though the term is used rather sheepishly, considering the kind of political skullduggery practiced within those so-called constitutional parameters. Now the battle is getting almost truer to form.

The mainstream political players seem also to be convinced about some invincibility despite the repeated assaults on the state by the LTTE. It's like the cat that had the nine lives. 

But, it's this sense of misplaced resilience that seems to cap the core characteristic of the Sri Lankan politician which is his ignorance of the real dangers that surround him. The leadership can commit hara-kiri for all it wants; but it is sad that the nation has to be dragged kicking and screaming as well.


The Political Column
Return to Editorial/Opinion Contents
Editorial Archives

INDEX | FRONT PAGE | EDITORIAL | NEWS/COMMENT | EDITORIAL/OPINION | PLUS | BUSINESS | SPORTS | MIRROR MAGAZINE | TV TIMES | HOME | ARCHIVES | TEAM | SEARCH | DOWNLOAD GZIP


 
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to
The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.