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BJP victory Govt elated, UNP draws inspiration

21 May 2014 09:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United National Party (UNP) Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe received a call on his mobile when he was addressing his party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday morning. He walked out of the meeting room in the parliamentary complex   to answer the call. By the time, his MPs started murmuring jovially to each other, that it would have been a call from India’s Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi.

They had reason to make such a guess, at least for jovial purposes. Mr. Modi’s Barathiya Janatha Party (BJP) swept India’s poll securing the simple majority required to run the central government of India which is considered the world’s largest democracy. BJP returned to office after a lapse of ten years in the opposition. This victory appeared to be something inspirational for the UNP too which has remained in the opposition since 1994 barring the two year period between 2002 and 2004.

Addressing the group meeting, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the BJP’s landslide victory was the result of a well concerted   campaign against corruption and the family rule in Indian politics, and therefore, a sustained campaign based on similar lines   could unseat the present regime. He said the BJP’s victory was not solely due to personal efforts of Mr. Modi.

In its endeavour    to mobilize people against the government, the UNP leader asked its MPs to organize public demonstrations and protest rallies more and more after the next three months, with the aim of exerting pressure on the ruling party to declare a presidential election.


Addressing the group meeting, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the BJP’s  landslide victory was the result of a well concerted   campaign against  corruption and the family rule in Indian politics, and therefore, a  sustained campaign based on similar lines   could unseat the present  regime. He said the BJP’s victory was not solely due to personal efforts  of Mr. Modi.


At the meeting, party’s Ratnapura district MP Thalatha Atukorale, quoting the party’s Bhikkhu Wing called the National Bhikkhu Front headed by Ven. Girambe Ananda Thera, asked whether Ven. Maduluwave Sobitha Thera would be fielded as the common candidate with the backing of the UNP.

Mr. Wickremesinghe replied that the party’s candidate for any major election would be decided upon only after it was declared, and that it would be advisable not to make public announcements on the matter at this moment.

Also, the UNP leader mentioned that he gained a lot of experience during his one month stay in the United States, and promised to brief the MPs in detail later in this regard.

It is a busy parliamentary week for the UNP. First, they had to move a No Confidence motion against the government on Tuesday.  The  group meeting devoted much time to discuss issues to be raised during the two day debate on the motion  .


  •  Govt and UNP   hold different views on BJP victory

As the UNP draws inspirations from the BJP victory, the government analysts believe this political victory in India will be detrimental to Sri Lanka’s interests in the international arena in a positive way. Since the BJP led by Mr. Modi has enough numbers in Lok Sabha to call the shots in the central administration, it can take decisions independent of the parties with political clout at regional levels.  True, BJP is not held hostage to the smaller parties when taking decisions given its majority. Maybe, the government believes that India’s central government has no reason to depend now on Tamil Nadu when taking decisions on Sri Lanka, particularly with regard to   the national question.  Tamil Nadu, under its chief minister Jayalalithaa Jeyaram, did prevail upon New Delhi to vote against Sri Lanka twice at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The foreseen ability of  BJP  to function independent of such regional parties, can be seen as a sigh of relief for Sri Lanka in that context.


It has become the third largest party in India. Therefore, it has an impact on Sri Lanka. We think Mr. Modi has a better political rapport with Ms. Jayalalithaa. Therefore, he may be listening to her when deciding on Sri Lanka’s case. The government cannot be complacent about BJP victory in that context


Most government ministers made positive remarks about this victory, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa even telephoned Mr. Modi upon his election to office.
However, the UNP sees it otherwise. UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella said that though BJP was the single largest party, Jayalalithaa’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam emerged as a force to reckon with.

“It has become the third largest party in India. Therefore, it has an impact on Sri Lanka. We think Mr. Modi has a better political rapport with Ms. Jayalalithaa. Therefore, he may be listening to her when deciding on Sri Lanka’s case. The government cannot be complacent about BJP victory in that context,” he told Daily Mirror.

Meanwhile, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) believes that the BJP’s victory will not change India’s overall approach to Sri Lanka.
“India’s policy on Sri Lanka is decided by Indian bureaucracy. Therefore,   the party in power has nothing much to do. Therefore, we do not see much of a difference,” JVP General Secretary Tilvin Silva said


  •  MEP looks to Indian election model

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Desapriya called for a meeting with political party representatives in his office on Tuesday to discuss multiple issues confronting a free and fair election process. The discussion centred mostly on the revision of the voters’ register.

The political parties, present, put forward various suggestions to ensure fairness and transparency in an election process.  Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP), among others, asked Mr. Desapriya to install CCTV cameras at polling stations, as done in India. Also, it renewed its call for the introduction of electronic voting machines.

MEP Vice Chairman Somaweera Chandrasiri and its General Secretary Karunatilake Dissanayake attended this meeting, and they asked for the enactment of regulations to ensure equal media campaigning rights for all candidates in the fray. They said moneyed candidates had the edge over others today under the present system, and it should be changed   forthwith for a level playing field in campaigning for votes.


  •   Three key elections in 30 months

Mr. Desapriya said that three main elections were scheduled to be conducted within the next 30 months, and therefore   the revision of this voters’ registry   would be of vital importance.


  •  JVP leader off to London

In his effort to strengthen the party’s overseas’ branch, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake will take wings to Dubai and England today. He is due to meet the party representatives based in these countries and brief the new political strategies. Before that, JVP MP Vijitha Herath was in Australia for two weeks and tried to revamp the party branch there.

The party’s Australia branch suffered a severe setback after the defection of its politburo member Kumar Gunaratnam along with a team.  Mr. Gunaratnam is domiciled in Australia, and therefore, most party activists sided with him in that country. However, the JVP has now managed to regain what it lost in Australia. Mr. Herath’s visit is seen as a success in that context.







True, BJP is not held hostage to the smaller parties when taking decisions given its majority. Maybe, the government believes that India’s central government has no reason to depend now on Tamil Nadu when taking decisions on Sri Lanka



Locally, the JVP leadership held talks with Ven. Maduluwave Sobhitha Thera last Sunday regarding the next presidential election, and the matters of immediate political concern.  Now, the party is slated to initiate a dialogue with a wider cross section of society to discuss present social, political and economic issues confronting the nation.


  •  MR holds talks with Chinese leaders  

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is currently in China, and this is his seventh visit to China after ascendency to presidency in 2005 including two state visits. He is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jingping today in Shanghai. President Rajapaksa left for China on Monday night to attend the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia or CICA.

China and Sri Lanka elevated their diplomatic relationships     to the Strategic Co-operation Partnership recently.  The two sides are having negotiations currently to sign a Free Trade Agreement.


  • Sajith offers to Check Porondam compatibility for Dilum and Paba  

In the parliamentary lobby, UNP MP Sajith Premadasa noticed Government MPs Upkesha Swarnamali and Dilum Amunugama.
Smilingly, Mr. Premadasa   remarked, “You two make a perfect couple,” Mr. Amunugama responded with wit, and said, “Aiya, don’t make such remarks even for a joke. We are just friends. We were having a chat on current politics. That is all.” But, the UNP MP persisted with his joke, and asked the two members to send him their copies of horoscopes to check   their compatibility for marriage.

“I can check your horoscope compatibility to arrange the marriage,”

Then, Mr. Amunugama, the nephew of Senior Minister Sarath Amunugama, said, “You seem to be doing  astrology as a part time job.”
Mr. Premadasa replied, “Yes, I am. I should do something when I retire from politics one day. Astrology seems to be a better option.”


  •  PM hurt over allegations  

Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne looked saddened about the implication of his name in drug trafficking. In the UNP sponsored No Confidence, there was reference to the letter issued by a co-ordinating secretary of the PM   seeking clearance of a container, later found to contain heroin.  

When he came out of his office in the parliamentary complex on Tuesday; Government MP for the Polonnaruwa district Roshan Ranasinghe knelt down and worshipped the PM as a mark of respect. There was another MP at the moment.  A conversation built with the PM at the moment. A distressed PM noted, “I am being accused by those of plundering    public wealth.”

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