Showing posts with label presidential. Show all posts
Showing posts with label presidential. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The result of the presidential of Sri Lanka needs to be rejected


(January 26, Colombo - Lanka Polity) It is a dire need to reject the result of the 2010 presidential of Sri Lanka irrespective of whomever the winner. 
Polls rigging and violence can be less in Sinhala dominated areas. The ruling party lacked support for polls rigging at the grassroots level. There were people to vote to Rajapaksa but few were ready to engage in violence before a probable loss.  
However, the government which was launching a racist campaign for the President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the final week was unashamed to block transport to the Northern Province internally displaced persons to travel to their villages to cast their vote. There was a rumor earlier that most of the buses permitted to ply on the newly opened A-9 highway either belonged to a senior government official with political patronage or paying ransom to him. Anyhow, the buses pledged for the IDPs to travel to Jaffna have been mysteriously disappeared, says opposition member of parliament Vijitha Herath. The MP was even detained by police for few hours as he attempted to address the voter grievances and solve the transport issue. Many more frauds of this sort can be expected to be reported in the coming hours. 
However, real rigging took place prior to the election. The President and his campaigners were daring to break all election regulations and to manipulate almost all the public property for Mahinda Rajapaksa's campaign. This went on to the extent that the Election Commissioner also had to annul the mandate of the competent authority he appointed to monitor state media. Ministry secretaries and other department heads disregarded more than 100 circulars issued by the election Commissioner. The poor public official eventually lamented about the situation and said he would resign following the presidential poll. 
Amidst this situation too, the election is so tense that opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka has a chance to win. Although, Mahinda Rajapaksa wins the election, he needs to achieve at least 60% of votes to proclaim it a real victory since he manipulated all state his powers to block the opposition.
This election is not a fair one in any sense. We, as democratic citizens of this country need to reject its result irrespective of whatever the result. We need to fight for free and fair elections. Elections of this sort must be rejected. The perpetrators of the malpractices must be brought to books and their civil rights should be suspended.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sri Lanka presidential election enters a phase of violence

(January 13, Colombo - Lanka Polity) The campaign for Sri Lanka's presidential that is scheduled to be held on January 26 entered into a phase of violence as terrorists suspected to be sponsored by the government opened fire on a bus carrying supporters of the opposition killing an elderly woman and injuring two others.

The incident took place close to the village of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a van and a motorcycle blocked the way for the bus before opening fire. The terrorists fled following gunning down 60 year old Somawathi Kuruppuarachchi on the spot. The vehicles used in the terror attack were later recovered by Hungama police as they were abandoned. However no arrests had been made so far despite the government stated "The Government of Sri Lanka is appalled at this tragedy, vehemently condemns it, and will not tolerate any such acts of violence in the midst of this democratic electoral process. All steps are being taken to bring those responsible to justice. Instructions have been given to the authorities to bolster security at political events up to and on polling day to ensure that all Sri Lankans can participate safely in the electoral process."

Expressing concern over the incident the US called for a peaceful election in Sri Lanka.

The area has a history of political violence and the group of victims was travelling to attend a propaganda meeting held with the auspices of United National Party Deputy Chairman Sajith Premadasa, the son of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa who was killed by a suicide bomber on May 01, 1993.

Since there is a pitch battle for the presidency more incidents can be expected in the coming couple of weeks ahead of the election.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Interesting excerpts from Sri Lanka's opposition Presidential candidates interview


(December 05, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Here are some interesting excerpts from the interview given by Sri Lanka's opposition presidential candidate ex-Army chief Sarath Fonseka to India's Outook.com.

I’ve realised that this executive presidency was doing a lot of damage to the country, a lot of damage to the principles of democracy. It’s good to have a powerful head (of state) provided he doesn’t abuse the powers. But this particular executive presidency leaves enough room for any president to abuse power. Besides, I haven’t seen any infrastructure development in this country in the last few years. Some of the roads and bridges that were built had been planned by the previous government. The war can’t have been a reason for stopping development.

We didn’t spend more than four per cent of the GDP.

The policy of being non-aligned will continue. In the last year or so, our relations with western nations have been strained. They have spoken about allegations of war crimes. We have to ensure that all doubts are cleared. We must clear our name...how to do it is a matter for us to discuss with them. We have to do the right thing.

I wonder if someone was drunk that night (October 15), telephoning all over the world about this. If I’m the head of state, I can’t be worrying all the time about how I can keep my army (in check)...if the state can’t trust its own army, then it will not be able to do its job.

I wonder if someone was drunk that night (October 15), telephoning all over the world about this. If I’m the head of state, I can’t be worrying all the time about how I can keep my army (in check)...if the state can’t trust its own army, then it will not be able to do its job.

I will not be able to speak of a solution right away. There will be consultations among the political parties in the opposition fold. I’m for 13-plus because we need to move beyond the Indo-Lanka accord (1987)...the best solution would be the one which is acceptable to all communities.

Read the full interview

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sri Lanka needs democratic ruler; neither ‘General’ nor ‘King’

(By Ajith Perakum Jayasinghe, November 24, Colombo - Lanka Polity

It is now confirmed that Sri Lanka's former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka will contest the Presidential anticipated to be held in January. He has got the obstacles cleared to be the opposition common candidate as the major opposition United National Party (UNP) as well as the Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) have agreed on conditions to prop up him. Fonseka has agreed to abolish the executive presidency within an undisclosed time frame and JVP has also consented to Ranil Wickramasinghe to be the Premier of the caretaker government that will hold power during the transition. Fonseka has further consented to appoint two MPs each from JVP and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

Reportedly, President Mahinda Rajapakse was told by his intelligence sources and the political informants in the UNP hierarchy that Wickramasinghe would contest in the Presidential since JVP would not consent Fonseka agreeing to appoint Wickramasinghe as the Prime Minister of the caretaker government. Without knowledge of the latest developments that came through discussions in chambers that were shut for Rajapskse’s informants like UNP National Organizer S.B. Disanayaka, the President signed the gazette to call for the Presidential that he was delaying for several weeks.

Rajapakse might lose two years from his mandate if he loses the Presidential. However, he is a born fighter and has already commenced his campaign with vigor and shrewdness. As the supporters of Fonseka are highlighting him as an uncorrupt soldier who devoted himself for 40 years unblemished service in Army, the President hired some prominent Tamil writers to unveil some crucial facts related to Fonseka. The first cannon was fired by Canada-based political analyst D.B.S. Jeyaraj and the pro-government Asian Tribune editor K.T. Rajasingham took a gung ho turn hitting harder to Fonseka to lure Rajapakse. Pro-war Asian Tribune headlined its story as Every bullet fired at innocent Tamil civilians fetched kickbacks to Gen Fonseka family in which the kickbacks said earned by Fonseka’s son-in-law or the Fonseka family as they articulate, through military supplies are outlined.


Both Rajapakse and Fonseka can claim equally for the defeat of the Tamil Tigers. The leadership of these two personalities combined with the Defense Secretary, President’s brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse was crucial for the conquest of the Tamil Tigers that actually reined the northern and eastern parts of the island for nearly three decades. Now it is history and the country needs restoration of democracy and good governance so that the country achievs rapid growth to solve the people’s problems.

Rajapakse is surrounded by a bunch of shrewdest political opportunists whom he himself does not trust at least to support him in a Presidential held after the general election. Now, he has given them the bait either to support him in the Presidential or to perish. His extended family and friends that hail from the village gentry that had less opportunity in the past among the political and economic elite is extremely ambitious to manipulate his prowess to achieve their targets. One of his economic managers is a crook who was punished by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court and the economists have failed to put the country into a track that the war achievements will result in growth that trickles down to poor masses that are still burdened with massive taxes brought in the war time. However, Mahinda Rajapakse is still popular among people mainly due to his outgoing characteristics irrespective of all the nonsense his associates commit.

The main doubt the opponents of Rajapakse have regarding the retired General Fonseka is his military characteristics. They suspect the bird of freedom and democracy they are trying to portray in Fonseka will ultimately backfire as a military dictator. Still he is General for Sri Lankan media despite he is changing into national suit he is not familiar with although he is very handsome and matured looking in it.

The Tamil writers like D.B.S. Jeyaraj and are so eager to expose the egoistic traits of Fonseka’s character to point out that he is unfit for the post of Presidency, an argument nowhere ever proved since almost all the state heads in Sri Lanka as well as in the world have shown this attribute in various levels.

What the progressive polity needs from a future President of Sri Lanka is neither the ‘General’ quality nor the ‘King’ quality demonstrated by Fonseka and Rajapakse, but a principled democratic ruler that can restore ruined rule of law, democracy and good governance. Sri Lankan voters will decide in January whose head is fit for the cap.    



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sri Lanka President to hold general election prior to presidential


(November 17, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse who earlier wanted an early presidential to extend his term for eight more years manipulating the popularity he earned via the victory over the Tamils' violent struggle for homeland is now changing his mind, sources say.

The President is likely to postpone the presidential and the parliamentary elections are to come soon as the term ends in April next year.

The President anticipated a one horse race with the shattered opposition until the former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka who was a kingpin of the government's war victory came into the scene as a possible common opposition candidate in an upcoming presidential.

Fonseka retired from the post of Chief of Defense Forces on November 16. He said to media that he would expose his plans for future within a couple of days.

Major opposition United National Party (UNP) and Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) have pledged conditional support to Fonseka and both parties have sought the abolition of the executive presidency. However informal sources say that Fonseka has asked for a period of two years to go before the abolition of the executive presidency.

However, with the possibility of holding a general election before the presidential, Fonseka, the UNP and the JVP will have to rethink their strategies. At the moment, Sarath Fonseka appears more popular than the President, according to an online survey conducted by our sister Sinhala website www.w3lanka.com.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ground clearing for Sri Lanka's former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to vie for the Presidency


(November 11, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Sri Lanka's former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka that spearheaded the total annihilation of the Tamil liberation struggle of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) now looks comfortably securing the candidacy for the upcoming Presidential of Sri Lanka.


General Fonseka, a US Green Card holder, returned to Sri Lanka earlier this month rejecting the attempt of the US Home Security Department to interview him over allegations on war crimes in the last phase of the war. Ever since, the ground can be seen clearing for him to tender himself as a candidate for the all powerful executive Presidency of the South Asian nation.


Both major opposition rightist United National Party (UNP) as well as leftist People's Liberation Front (JVP), the king maker in recent times, have pledged support to his candidacy setting forth conditions basically to abolish the dictatorial executive Presidency and to empower the legislature.


General Fonseka has neither commented nor denied the news. He is still the Chief of Defense Staff, a newly created post that some critics say, aimed at sidelining him after the defeat of the rebels. Armed forces members cannot contest for the Presidential under Sri Lanka's law and many associates have reportedly advised the President not to accept resignation of the Chief of Defense Staff to avoid his candidacy.


However, the President himself cleared the doubts stating to a group of Ministers that he would accept the resignation of the Chief of Defense Staff if he wants to run for the Presidential election. However, he has reportedly assigned arch Sinhala nationalist Wimal Weerawansa, the leader of the National Freedom Front to mobilize a Buddhist force to prevent Fonseka coming to the contest.


Fonseka is a Sinhala hardliner who said to Canada's National Post in September 2008 quite openly that Sri Lanka belongs to the majority Sinhala community. (I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people...We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country...We are also a strong nation ... They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue thing.)


There are doubts if the 25% minority whom he wants "under the pretext of being a minority, not demand undue thing" will support him despite they have clear reasons to vote Rajapakse out since he suppressed their struggle for rights without granting them any. However, Colombo based Tamil politician Mano Ganeshan of the Democratic People's Front has already pledged support to Fonseka depicting the frustration and the need of the Tamil community to get rid of Rajapakses by hook or by crook. 


Opposition leader Ranil Wikramasinghe has announced that he will set forth additional condition of granting a cabinet portfolio for the major Tamil constituency of the northern and eastern Tamils, Tamil National Alliance, under Sarath Fonseka's Presidency. 




Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sri Lanka's minority representatives disgruntled with the move to propose former Army Commander as opposition common candidate


(October 21, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Minority political parties and activists appear dejected with the rumor that former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka will contest the future Presidential election as a common candidate of the joint opposition. Fonseka is famous as an outspoken Sinhala nationalist despite holding a top position in the multi ethnic island nation.

Democratic Peoples Front, a  Colombo based Tamil Party, said in a statement issued by its leader leader Mano Ganesan that he has told UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe that his party will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate in the event of a presidential elections. "Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate," says the media statement issued from the office of Ganesan says The statement further says that, "The name of General Sarath Fonseka is being considered by Marxist nationalist People's Liberation Front (JVP) as a common candidate for the presidential elections. Sarath Manemendra of Nava Sihala Urumaya too has invited Gen Sarath Fonseka to contest the presidential elections. He has spoken this from the office of Sri Lanka Freedom Party - People's Wing) (SLFP-M) leader Mangala Samaraweera. Therefore this has given all reasonable signals to the nation that the proposed alliance between UNP, SLFP(M), SLMC and DPF wants General Sarath Fonseka to contest the presidential elections as the common opposition candidate.

"This position is not shared by Democratic Peoples Front (DPF). DPF will not be a party to the proposed United National Alliance if General Sarath Fonseka is considered and proposed as the common candidate at the presidential elections. Tamil speaking people of this country do not have anything in common with General Fonseka for him to be our common candidate," says Ganeshan. 

Meanwhile, the major Tamil constituent Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has also expressed its dissatisfaction with the move to propose the former Army Commander that crushed the Tamil rebellion for self-determination as the opposition common candidate for the Presidential.

TNA MP N. Sri Kantha in Parliament yesterday criticized the SLFP (M) Convener Mangala Samaraweera stating that he was trying to drag military officers into politics.Speaking during the debate on the Supplementary Estimate of the Defence Ministry in the House yesterday the TNA MP said Samaraweera was trying to draw a connection between the military and politics.

Fonseka said to Canada's National Post on September 23, 2008, "I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people...We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country...We are also a strong nation ... They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue thing."

Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic nation with 24% Tamil speaking community including Muslims.


 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sri Lanka President facing a 'general' problem



(October 18, Colombo - Lanka Polity) Former Sri Lanka Army Commander and present Chief of Defense Staff General Sarath Fonseka has hit the headlines due to the rumors regarding he becoming a contender for the country's all powerful executive presidency at the upcoming presidential poll. 
The President Mahinda Rajapakse is considering an early presidential poll after the completion of four years in his first tenure with a hope of adding eight more years for his career in a bid to make his hay during the sunny weather of post-war Sri Lanka. The President who expected an easy victory seems bemused with the rumors regarding his foremost general becoming his rival at the Presidential. The prominent state-owned Sinhala language newspapers ran the same story on Saturday and Sunday that said the stories about a conflict between the government and the former Army Commander were false. However, all the state media reports that declined the conflict lacked one basic proof, i.e. a statement from the relevant commander.
Fonseka who is an arch Sinhala nationalist was against the 2002 ceasefire agreement and led the Army to totally annihilate the Tamil rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) that fought for three decades for the right of self-determination of Ealam Tamils. The Army eliminated the entire leadership of the LTTE in the battlefield and some media reported that the troops gunned down LTTE political leaders B. Nadesan and S.Puleethevan that came with white flags to surrender to Army.
Fonseka made many controversial statements to media as he was holding the post of the Army Commander of the multi-ethnic nation. He said to Canadian National Post on September 23, 2008, “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people...We being the majority of the country, 75%, we will never give in and we have the right to protect this country...We are also a strong nation ... They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue thing.”
Sri Lanka has around 25% Tamil speaking population that is comprised of Tamils and Muslims and the Tamils have fought for almost a century for powers of ruling the Tamil dominated areas. The Sinhala majority that holds the state powers does not like to give in due to fear of losing their status as a lonely community of just below 200,000 that speak a language called Sinhala. Although they won the war against Tamils, they have so far failed to achieve peace with the minority communities. A power sharing mechanism that is vehemently opposed by minority communities is a pre-requisite for a sustainable peace.
General Sarath Fonseka was made to retire before schedule and he was appointed as the Chief of Defense Staff, a position under the control of Defense Secretary, a post held by the President’s brother Gotabhaya Rajapakse. He was later appointed as the secretary of the Ministry of Sports and Recreation. The general has neither assumed nor declined the post so far even after a week for the appointment.
Some media reports pointed out that the appointment was aimed at demeaning the former Army Commander and his role in the war against LTTE. Media reports that say the state media has been directed by authorities not to give publicity to the former Army Commander can be observed correct since he was seen in state media very rarely now. Government’s media machine gives less priority to the news related to armed forces now.
By weekend police Criminal Investigation Department interrogated the editor of Sinhala tabloid ‘Lanka’ about a lead story it ran this week about the conflict between the former army Commander and the government. Marist nationalist People’s Liberation Front (JVP) that owns the newspaper is promoting General Fonseka’s candidacy for the next Presidential. Reports indicate that a wide section of the major opposition United National Party (UNP) is also supporting the move.
However, the man in the limelight has still made no comment regarding these rumors.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sri Lanka opposition tries to field an intractable candidate for the upcoming Presidential to challenge the powerful President


(July 14, 2009) Sri Lanka's opposition political parties are reportedly trying to field an intractable candidate for the upcoming Presidential to challenge the powerful President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Rajapakse is marketing his role as the overall commander of the three armed forces in the war to maintain his power and many political strategists opine that only a person who acted a superior role in war can challenge his candidacy for the Presidency.

It is reported that there is an attempt to bring a figure that acted a major role in war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) as the common candidate of the opposition in the next Presidential.
A leftist party that acted the role of king maker in the past elections has initiated this move, sources say. Although this party has no strong vote base day, it is very well organized and clever in political campaigns. Some say they can teach the Sri Lankans that the crow is white if they want to do so.
The major opposition is also backing this move, reliable sources say.

Informed sources say that the President has stated that he will hold the Presidential election before the general election and apparently it will be scheduled by the end of this year or the beginning of the next year.

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