If presidential hopeful Sajith Premadasa approaches the Christians during the canvasing for votes they would certainly ask for a safer atmosphere to pray in
Just when UNP lawmaker Sajith Premadasa was seeing the road ending before him due to internal politics within the Green Party he got an opportunity to rise like a butterfly after a period of playing the role of caterpillar.
There are many stories associated with his nomination as the UNP elections candidate. There is a version that the UNP Leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe put many conditions on his candidature, but Sajith squashes this version of the story with disdain. He has said that he would not consider being ‘king’ in this country if he has to agree to conditions.
Some of the conditions put down for Sajith, according to most leading weekend newspapers, are to abolish the executive presidency within six months after Sajith wins the presidential elections, appointing Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister, promote federalism, retain Wickremesinghe as the leader of both the UNP and the alliance which the Green Party will form to contest the upcoming elections. But there is a version which says that Wickremesinghe had told ministers and media personnel at a recent meeting at Temple Trees that he had not put conditions upon Sajith and what the latter is doing by squashing these speculative stories is the right think to do to strengthen the UNP.
- These are days where Buddhist monks are on fire
- Sajith has been silent on the Mulaitivu issue
- This is the time for the voter to put down conditions to both Sajith and Gotabaya
This scenario opens the doors now for analysts and critics to read the minds of Sajith and Wickremesinghe and comment, because the truth in the present political set up is akin to a single plant growing in a field comprising weeds.
Knowing Wickremesinghe, and his shrewd thinking, its hard to believe he didn’t put conditions on Sajith before the latter was named as the elections candidate. It is reported that during the UNP working committee meeting held recently at Sirikotha, Wickremesinghe had come under fire from Imithiaz Bakeer Markar. The former minister of media and housing had come hard on Wickremesinghe for going into details about devolution of power, forming a new constitution and appointing a new president under the supervision of the prime minister. Bakeer Markar had said that there was no need for Wickremesinghe to go into such details and suggested that it would suffice to say that party members should look to the future while keeping in mind the policies of the UNP.
In case Gotabaya is disqualified from contesting due to his issue pertaining to dual citizenship, we might see Sajith behaving like a single parent in a family who doesn’t necessarily have to be nice to others
Sajith, like in the past, had been slow in the draw, but had shown signs of having acquired some new found confidence when he rose and told those who had spoken before him that his policy was to devolve power to the maxim within a unitary state. That had put an end to the debate on how the UNP should move forward.
But the debate on how the country should move forward is continuing in social media forums. These are days where Buddhist monks are on fire. The monks wearing saffron robes are greatly worried and annoyed about the recent incident regarding the funeral of a Buddhist monk, in Mulaitivu. It was reported that the Buddhist clergy disregarded a court order banning the proceeding of a funeral procession passing a certain Hindu kovil (Place of worship). Even in the past there have been instances where members of other religions have opposed Buddhist processions and activities taking place close to other places of worship in Sri Lanka. Sajith has been silent on the Mulaitivu issue. Buddhists complain that the status given to Buddhism in the Constitution has been undermined.
This is an era where politicians are having a close rapport with the temples. If one observes closely, the Buddhist clergy’s support to a candidate is vital at the upcoming elections. It seems like politicians have had to agree to conditions during the past 71 years to obtain the support of the public and of other lawmakers. As much as Wickremesinghe is said to have put forward conditions to Sajith, the clergy and the minority parties would have already jotted down a list of terms and conditions if they are to offer support to the lawmaker from Hambantota. No elections candidate can win without their support.
Lawmakers are used to people seeking favours or putting across demands to them. The firebrand monk Ven Gnanasara Thera recently said on television that given the present scenario of Buddhists being undermined there seems that this country is running without a leader or head of state. This is the response a lawmaker like Wickremesinghe will get if he doesn’t entertain conditions forwarded by the clergy. Wickremesinghe also doesn’t have healthy relationship with Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith following the series of bomb blasts.
If Sajith approaches the Christians during the canvasing for votes they would certainly ask for a better atmosphere to pray in; where security is tight and lives are protected from terrorist activities. Right now Rishad Bathiudeen being in the Sajith camp is troubling the minds of Christians. This is largely because allegations were made that the minister had links with the late terror leader Zaharan; who was one of the masterminds behind the Easter Sunday bombings carried out at several churches. Sajith will have many questions to answer when he steps into the temples to seek the blessings of clergy for the elections. The manner in which Wickremesinghe has been silent over Buddhist issues in the country will have an impact on Sajith’s campaign. UNP’s presidential hopeful will also have to sweat for votes that can be generated from the north. This is because the Tamil politicians are dejected with the Sinhalese lawmakers who are accused of not making a genuine effort to solve the ‘national question’.
If Sajith approaches the Christians during the canvasing for votes they would certainly ask for a better atmosphere to pray in; where security is tight
The upcoming presidential election is sure to make presidential hopefuls come down on their knees when going to the voter. The members of the minority communities are sure have bargaining power. This can be seen from the friendly manner in which presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa is canvassing for votes. This is the time for the voter to put down conditions to both Sajith and Gotabaya, to rebuild the country and pull it out of the debt trap it is scared in. Political analysts say the contest would be close; both having a 50:50 chance of winning. The closer the contest it would make both candidates showcase a caring and friendly attitude towards the public. This is why Gotabaya, despite all the odds against him, must contest the presidential elections. In case Gotabaya is disqualified from contesting due to his issue pertaining to dual citizenship, we might see Sajith behaving like a single parent in a family who doesn’t necessarily have to be nice to others. From a voters perspective, Gota is needed to bring out the best in Sajith.