Presidential hopefuls Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa are carrying out successful campaigns, but there is much more the duo have to learn about serving a nation that comprises a multicultural and multireligious society.
A group of well-educated youth from the Muslim community is backing Gotabaya, but the seasoned Muslim lawmakers like Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Bathiudeen are throwing their weight behind Sajith. Even the TNA ‘vote’ is in the balance and if there is some chance of getting the northern and eastern Tamils to vote for Sajith, Premier Wickremesinghe will play a crucial role in it.
A point for concern is that both Sajith and Gota have not offered anything constructive to solve the ‘national question’; which involved the minority Tamils. Sinhala hardliners making posts in social media are talking rubbish by claiming that Gotabaya should win without depending on the Muslim and Tamil votes.
The post, which is in Sinhala, when translated into English, reads, “Sri Lanka is an amazing nation where it’s ok for your camp to steal from the nation, but it becomes a crime when the opposite camp does it”
Those days of Sinhala hardliners forming the majority are gone. This fact is confirmed by a voter analysis and by the speeches or comments made by Bodu Bala sena Secretary Ven.Gnanasara Thera and other saffron robed monks. Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna founder Basil Rajapaksa was quoted in a leading Sinhala weekend newspaper saying that from the candidates who are contesting the majority is against them. This is food for thought. As many as 35 candidates saw deposits being made in their names at the Elections Commission.
What’s intriguing is that Gotabaya is calm and quiet and focused despite attempts being made by his detractors to unnerve him by using the law. Just the other day a writ application filed against him challenging his citizenship status was dismissed. Gota is showing signs of political maturity. We see that he has shed the tough guy image. Getting angry seems to be a thing of the past. This new image that Gota portrays is too good to be true! But who says that a tough man can’t showcase his soft side within? There are those who opine that sickness has a way of making a man a more down to earth person.
We could be right or absolutely wrong about this change with regard to Gota. There are those who suspect that Gota is wearing a mask. Their suspicions can be justified given the number of court cases against him. Many feel that the former Defence Secretary would return to his former ways if he assumes power after the November 16 elections. This is because a good number of them backing Gotabaya believe that this country should be governed by a dictator, not a democrat.
There won’t be issues regarding security if this man wins; given the military background he posses. Gota’s opponent Sajith, despite all the years in politics, is struggling to get his speech right. The “Green Man’ is not saying anything new. Probably he is following Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speeches and is being influenced by them unawares. Mahinda is playing a huge role in his brother’s election campaign, but his critics notice him making repetition a habit. His speeches contain nothing new.
Getting angry seems to be a thing of the past. This new image that Gota portrays is too good to be true! But who says that a tough man can’t showcase his soft side within? There are those who opine that sickness has a way of making a man a more down to earth person
The average voter hates both politics and lawmakers. There was a lively post by one of them on Facebook. The post, which is in Sinhala, when translated into English, reads, “Sri Lanka is an amazing nation where it’s ok for your camp to steal from the nation, but it becomes a crime when the opposite camp does it”. The right thinking citizens of the country are struggling to change the entire political landscape of the country. But the majority wants to retain the executive presidency and remain as slaves to the old hands in politics; who are known for corruption rather than any other worthwhile achievement. The old brigade in politics, who change their stance and parties often, have the effect of a cancer on the society. In this context it’s apt to state an achievement by Uvindu Wijeweera, the son of the late Rohana Wijeweera. Uvindu is currently studying in Russia. Recently he had come under the spotlight by making a presentation in the lines of curbing the AIDS virus. Uvindu had focused on the fact that AIDS must be curbed by stopping it from spreading. His presentation was better received by the authorities compared to the ones presented by others where the focus was on the medication for AIDS patients. Uvindu had highlighted the fact that the spread of AIDS in Sri Lanka was dropping because the close-knit family culture in the island and the practise of Buddhism. We can take a cue from Uvindu when it comes to politics. We must get together and promote honesty as a trait rather than campaign to take corrupt lawmakers to book.
Coming back to politics here in the island and the elections we see Gota as a disciplinarian who would step into the shoes of a dictator. To start with, Gota’s supporters want to sue those who have slung mud at the former military man. His rival Sajith is a probable option for those who wish to bat for freedom and democracy. The big question asked now is whether we want a dictator or democrat?