Colombo, Elections, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War

TIGER IN LION’S CLOTHING!

The moment the TNA announced its support for the opposition presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, the ruling party and the forces that back President Mahinda Rajapakse have begun to smell an international conspiracy with the help of the LTTE to destabilize and divide Sri Lanka.  According to them the very man who was mainly responsible for eliminating the Tigers has today turned out to be a Tiger supporter! The ‘Ali-kotti’ agreement of 2005 has today turned out to be a secret ‘Fonseka-kotti’ agreement.  Do these forces –‘the remnants from the Dark Ages as far as the national question is concerned, as (Prof. .Kumar David calls them,) consider the voters of this country to be so dumb as to believe this canard?

A daily newspaper of 8th January has as its main headline- ‘General Fonseka’s agreement renews threat’.  The President himself is reported to have said that the country is once again facing a threat as General Fonseka in an agreement signed on 6th Wednesday has pledged to offer self rule to the North and to merge the North-East to make a single unit of power which was what the LTTE  fought for unsuccessfully, for 30 years.  Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has charged that the Tamil National Alliance was engaged with the international community to undermine the efforts taken by the government to eradicate terrorism.  According to Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, “the TNA members were angry with Mahinda Rajapakse for defeating their hopes of a separate homeland.”  The JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) minister Champika Ranawaka laments that the war victory the country had gained by defeating the LTTE may all be in vain if General Fonseka goes ahead with his policies that compromise national interests.  In his view General Fonseka seems to undermine his own victory with the help of a ‘number of snakes’. These snakes seem to refer to Western diplomats.

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The President of the National Patriotic movement, Gunadasa Amarasekera has alleged that General Fonseka has been put forward by foreign forces to carry out a contract that includes releasing all the LTTE suspects.  Such is the power of the American dollar the NPM concludes.  “The LTTE supporters are jubilant at Fonseka’s entry” says Maithripala Sirisena.  It is obvious that in the perception of all these forces there is no difference between the LTTE  that used terrorism and the elected members of the Tamil people who have not killed a single human being, unlike Karuna and Pillayan whom the present regime has embraced.  In addition to all these supporters of the President, there are also Mervyn Silva and Wimal Weerawansa, the two Dutugemunus of today’s Sri Lanka.

These then are the dark forces that make Prof. Kumar David, Rajan Philip, Devenesan Nesiah, Dr. Visvalingam and may other Tamils feel uncomfortable. Voting for President Rajapakse would also mean voting for these dark forces, because the two cannot be separated.

President Rajapakse in his long political career has never shown any interest in politically solving the ethnic problem.  To him it was only a terrorist problem and now that the terrorists have been killed he doesn’t seem to see the great need for a political solution. It is his indifference regarding Tamil issues and grievances that made senior Tamil politicians like Sampanthan and Yogarajan turn to General Fonseka at the last moment.  Sampanthan says they had many discussions with the President, but were most disappointed with the manner in which he dealt with the issues.  They have both called the APRC a farce presented to the international community, so that the war could be continued without any hindrance.  (It also provided permanent jobs, with all the perks to Left politicians like Tissa Vitharana.)  Yogarajan speaking of the APRC has said, “I was part of this Committee and we met 128 times and came up with a document.  This document has been shelved.  The government and its allies have no intention of giving

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the Tamil people a political solution.”  This is why minority political leaders like Rauf Hakeem, Mano Ganesan, Sellasamy, even human rights activist like Nimalka Fernando, liberal political leaders like Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mangala Samaraweera are supportive of General Fonseka.  Are all these people conspiring to destabilize and divide Sri Lanka?  Very unlikely.  Therefore, in order to defeat the extremist nationalist forces and the regime controlled by them, many Tamils and Muslims might vote for General Fonseka. They realize that as long as the executive president is backed by the extremist elements in the South, he will never even consider the grievances of the minorities.

  • niranjan

    Interesting article. However, I wonder whether the Tamil, Muslim vote will be enough to see a change of regime. Not all Tamils and Muslims support Fonseka.
    The rural Sinhala vote is vital for a Fonseka win. At the moment the majority of the rural Sinhala vote is with Mahinda Rajapakse.

  • sumane

    “This is why minority political leaders like Rauf Hakeem, Mano Ganesan, Sellasamy, even human rights activist like Nimalka Fernando, liberal political leaders like Ranil Wickramasinghe and Mangala Samaraweera are supportive of General Fonseka.” Except Mangala Samaraweera, all were against when a solution was presented in 2000 in a form of constitutional draft. What happened to liberalism, and human right activism at that time.

  • warun

    Motives

    Ranil – to gain power, if Fonseka wins UNP will surely win the general election, they could even impeach the president Fonseka if need be.

    Ganeshan – probably the most genuine out of all, honestly sees and says the opportunity to advance the tamil cause for more autonomy under a UNP lead government.

    Magnala – Purely out of hatred for MR. He also had very strong ties with the LTTE through businessman Tiran Alles. His purpose is purely revenge and a place for himself in power.

    Hakeem -as part of the UNP alliance he is in a strong position to deliver for the muslims.

    Sampathan – has never retracted their original stance of a seperate state. His supporters clearly see an opportunity to advance their cause through a Ranil UNP government, even if Fonseka will oppose these measures Ranil will favour autonomy. just the instability and division caused in the south is a victory for the separatist Tamil forces at the present time.

    Fonseka – the man is purely an ego maniach and a power hungry person. There are two avenues he could lead, if Ranil entertains him for a while he will go willingly when the time comes. If UNP tries to strip too much power off him, like MR stripped CDS powers off him, Fonseka will revolt and take revenge, a path to a military control. this is also exiting for the LTTE supporters overseas.

    MR – the political reforms he will take after re election will loose him a lot of political leadership support in the south. if that happens he will not be re elected in 2011, confirming his power for the next 6 years MR can move towards difficult political reforms and long term economic policies.

  • Dhiraj

    The SLMC and the TNA are as racial and ethnocentric as the JHU.

  • The Ten Point manifesto of Sarath Fonseka is quite clear. The ‘revised’ Mahinda Chinthanaya of MR has the same as what he promised four years ago,and did NOT implement.
    The choice for the voters is clear

  • jayathilaka

    let see how many tasks have of Mahinda Chintana been fulfiled before voting for a new manifesto

    1.mathata thita – no
    2.api wawamu rata hadamu – No
    3.tarunayint hetak -no

  • samuelj

    Dear Leela,
    thanks for your article. Yes the TNA group supporting SF is portrayes as a betrayal. But in actual sence Sangaree and Douglas too have very similar political views except for their intolerance to the LTTE in the past.
    However Tamils and Muslims should stop voting en-block to one candidate as done in the past. It is high time each voter decides for him/her self rather than allowing ethnic-based parties deciding on whom one should vote for.
    The call is still tough for me. It is between an known devil and an unknown angel; as was the case in 2005.

  • Groundtruth

    You don’t have to look overseaas for dangerous snakes. One of the most poisonous among all land snakes in the world is the indigenous pit viper. And there are many of them at large!

  • A concerned Sri Lankan

    IT IS CLEAR AS DAY LIGHT MR IS NOT INTERESTED IN DEVELOPNG THE COUNTRY OR SETTLING THE ETHNIC PROBLEM. MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE ONLY WANTS TO MAKE MONEY FOR HIMSELF AND HIS RELATIVES. IF MR IS HONEST HE HAD ANOTHER TWO YEARS TO WORK FOR THE COUNTRY. MR COULD HAVE FIRST RESTORED EQUALITY AMONG ALL CITIZENS,SETTLED THE IDPS DECENTLY AND RESTORED THE RULE OF LAW AFTER FINISHING THE WAR AND THEN DEVELOPED THE COUNTRY USING THE TWO YEARS HE HAD WITH HIS DISPOSAL. INSTEAD ALL HE WANTED WAS TO ENSURE THAT HE IS WELL ENTRENCHED IN POWER AND THEN DO AS HE WANT.MR NEVER EXPECTED ANYONE TO GIVE HIM A CHALLANGE.
    IT IS A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT MR AND FAMILY HAS BOUGHT PROPERTIES EVEN IN USA. GOTABAYA HAS ENETERED HIS SON TO DO AERONAUTICS AT THE NASA PAYING HUGE SUMS HE HAS EARNED THROUGH COMMISSIONS AND MONEY COLLARED THROUGH PK. RAJAPAKSES ARE REALLY HAVING A BALL.
    AFTER FAILING TO PIN GENERAL FONSEKA ON CORRUPTION CHARGES RAJAPAKSE IS NOW TRYING TO FAN COMMUNAL VIOLENCE AMONGST THE SINHALA PEOPLE TO GRAB VOTES. THEN HE SENDS HIS WIFE TO JAFFNA TO GET SYMPATHY VOTERS FROM THE TAMILS.
    EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THAT RAJAPAKSE WILL NEVER DEVELOP THE COUNTRY EVEN WITH THE AID GIVEN BY FOREIGN COUNTRIES BECAUSE OF CORRUPTION. HE IS ONLY LAYING FOUNDATION STONES AND NO WORK IS COMPLETED. EVEN THE WORK WORK COMPLETE ARE NOT UNPTO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS. CULVERTS AND BRIDGES ARE JUST CRUMBLING KILLING INNOCENT ROAD USERS. VERY SOON ALL GARMENT FACTORIES WILL HAVE TO BE CLOSED DUE TO WITHDRAWAL OF THE GSP PLUS FACILITIES BY THE EU. AND WITH STRAINED RELATIONS WITH THE WESTERN COUNTRIES SRI LANKA WILL BE STARVED OF AID. THIS WILL RESULT OF COUNTRY WIDE STARVATION AND STAGNATION. I ONLY HOPE ALL SENSIBLE CITIZENS WILL REALIZE THESE DANGERS AND VOTE GENERAL SARATH FONSEKA TO POWER ON THE 26TH JANUARY,2010.

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    The best way to DEFEAT any Presidential is for the TNA and other like-minded Tamils to FULLY SUPPORT that candidate be it even MR.