Colombo, Elections, Politics and Governance

Outcome of presidential elections in Sri Lanka: Is there anything to analyse?

On the day after elections, I sat in the afternoon to write this amidst phone calls and text messages inquiring and informing about “strong” rumours on “result rigging” by the Rajapaksa regime. All rumours, spinning wildly in the world of the all knowing urban middle class, who had “access to inside information”, but knew nothing about of how an election is conducted and the results are released.

Their “inside” information, was not the information that was available in the districts outside Colombo, where President Rajapaksa was heavily voted for. In those districts, the Opposition political activists, the UNF, the JVP, the SLMC and the DPF counting agents in counting centres who sat through the night along with thousands of public servants who manually counted ballot papers and knew how the voting had been in their own areas, resigned to their abodes in accepting the declared results.

If there had been any manipulation(s) thereafter in Colombo, those who toiled in the districts and knew their district results, would have turned their district towns into wild and angry Teherans, even without the Colombo based UNF – JVP leaders. They would not have taken such altering of their victories lying down. There were no such uproar in those districts after election results were declared over the air waves, despite their leaders rejecting the results.

The issue is here in Colombo, where the stalwarts, the king makers, the political aspirants and financiers who wanted a stake in State power and hence a president in their bid to form a government, who felt dislocated from their keenly woven dream of sucking into power. Obviously, they were badly shaken and shocked. Obviously too, they needed some excuse to cover their almost “certain victory” that turned into a frightening defeat within just 24 hours.

That defeat of the Common Candidate, Gen (rtd) Sarath Fonseka, who could only poll 4.17 million and 40.15% votes as a Sinhala war hero, needs very little analysing. He could not muster even the total and the percentage vote that Ranil W (4.7 million and 48.4%) could muster in 2005 November. General (rtd) Fonseka had 1.4 million votes in excess (700,000 new votes plus the 700,000 Tamil votes that went under the LTTE boycott) to poll from, than when Ranil contested the 2005 presidential elections.

Added was the JVP / Mangala factor that opposed Ranil then, but aligned strongly with Gen (rtd) Fonseka this time. Instead of Ranil who was accused as anti – Sinhala for his slogan on power sharing in a united country, here was a Sinhala war hero, who could not poll as much as Ranil the liberal did.

Thus the final results of this 2010 presidential elections and its outcome can be summarised and listed as follows, without long analyses and autopsies.

  1. The UNF-JVP led alliance with SLMC, DPF and Mangala S in it and supported by a TNA faction and some CWC deserters, with all its political contradictions and the JVP calling its Common Candidate an A-political Candidate, was not seen and accepted as having a clear political identity and a political leadership.
  2. The Common Candidate’s image was consciously promoted and established as a strong and brave military leader to claim credit for the war victory and that created doubts about democratic promises by others on his campaign platform.
  3. There was no difference between Rajapaksa’s claim for Sinhala leadership and Gen (rtd) Fonseka’s claim for a Sinhala leadership and the rural people believed in the Sinhala “political” leadership they were familiar with?
  4. The claim that the JVP is a powerful campaigner and could influence the rural voter, was exploded as a myth with President Rajapaksa steam rolling the Common Candidate in all Sinhala rural areas. The JVP was proved an impotent Narodnik group that can only mobilise their cadres on agitational assignments and as having no cordial influence on and trust with, rural life.
  5. The advantage of having minority leaders in this ad hoc front was not used to its advantage, with JVP given unnecessary and undue importance. If the actual consensus reached with TNA’s Sampanthan was publicly campaigned for, that held plenty of democratic promises (disarming all para military groups, for instance) not only for the Tamil polity, but for the Sinhala and Muslim people as well, that could have been politically argued for and would have activated more Sinhala and Tamil votes. Keeping that consensus underground and denying such consensus, allowed the Rajapaksa campaign to project Gen (rtd) Fonseka as one whose cheating the Sinhala people.

All of them remind me of a very creative parable put to me by an elderly Tamil gentleman residing in Colombo, a week before the presidential poll. He asked me, if I was accused of a murder for passing that place and the judge sentenced me to death, whom would I throw my wrath on ? On the judge, or on the hangman, he asked. For the Tamil people, the wrath was on the judge, for the hangman had to do his job. But for the Sinhala people, they wanted the judge who had the power to decide on their fate.

What nevertheless is the end result ? Sri Lanka is left without a politically viable Opposition, to live with a refurbished regime that can now act as it wishes. The mandate the Rajapaksa regime received, using or rather abusing all the State power, now gives them a license to drive at full speed and go beyond where they stopped for the presidential election.

Thus all rhetoric about challenging the election results, instead of calling for stringent methods to curb any abuse of State media and State resources, are negative approaches to their own failure in projecting a political alternative to the Rajapaksa candidacy.

This very narrow approach by the main opposition in challenging this regained strength of the Rajapaksas, is once again shooting astray. It proves the inability of the main opposition to act politically in gearing for the future. It proves the opposition leadership can not assess and decide on its own politically and that it is depending on the JVP which has no influence even on the rural polity.

One need to understand that if the JVP has any political clout, it should have definitely totalled much more than the 243,342 votes it polled from all the PC elections. One need to accept that the JVP could not impact on the rural vote, even at this presidential election and thus has to be left alone to fend for itself.

The main opposition UNP and the other minority parties and their leaders need to understand that what went wrong was their politics in choosing and rallying round a wrong candidate and dropping important issues like the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and reforms in education, health and transport in a market economy. All that have to be put to right well in advance of the parliamentary elections before April this year. That is, if the opposition UNF wants to be a strong parliamentary opposition and also for the people to be democratically safe.

If the main opposition fails in this responsibility, it would fail the people in Sri Lanka, who by their own choice mandated a family regime to live with a far more autocratic and dangerous rule, hereafter. That in the presence of racist politics and in the absence of alternate democratic politics.

  • longus

    I think SF,being a presidemtial candidate should at least have the knowledge of the writer of this article before opening his mouth and making a fool of himself.It’s an utter shame to hear his ‘below the kindergarten’ level allegations,and it shows his IQ level as well!

  • Lankashantha

    Results of this election is not acceptable. This is another fraud by the regime. Election is a Saddam Hussain type election. The outside world should look into opposition’s allegations and Election Commisioner’s commets about fraud.

  • Observer

    Finally a fair analysis. Thanks for providing a reality check for those that scream the election was rigged. UNP needs to revamp their ranks and rethink it’s strategy & their approach to practically EVERYTHING. They lost a lot of love by dissing the army when choppers were frantically air lifting critically injured soldiers at the height of the war. Of course the hurt of those callous comments were not felt by the Colombo middle class as they didn’t have many sons & daughters in the line of fire, it was deeply felt by the rural masses who did. UNP tried to gain that love again by having the insulted as their leader. How stupid do they think the people are?

    We need a strong opposition, but not the current UNP in its form or god forbid the likes of JVP, JHU & TNAs for that matter. They’re worse than having no opposition. Long as the power hungry out of touch current ranks populate the UNP, they have no hope! The only thing they can count on is the blind allegiance they get from generational UNP voters. The starting point would be getting rid of Ranil first. That will significantly increase the UNP’s appeal just for starters. UNP operates too “Westernally” to fit into a South Asian country. Simplest example is how UNP consults Western political strategists while SLFP consults closer to home Indian/South Asian strategists in their campaigns. Right there shows their mentality… Oh well.

  • KF

    Very clearly. IMHO, it is high time that Ranil leaves.

  • Pon

    Rural voters are not interested in corruption or violence. They are not keen about media freedom. It is the money they get in the black from MR supporters that counts. In addition it has become a Tamil Singhala issue and when TNA supports SF obviously the singhala masses will tend to support MR. It is known fact that the government abused government resources. Who can question them?. For the next or 8 years Sri Lanka will suffer. Let voters suffer and they will not learn a lesson.

  • Very well written Kusal. Now that’s real inside information.

  • K.A.B

    Outcome of presidential elections in Sri Lanka: Is there anything to analyse?
    SF showed very poor ;
    1.Persoanlity-accepted ignorant of economy and political mission. Contradicted several times with his own saying. e.g. Sunday leader issue.
    2.Reliability-underhand arms dealings-misuse of power in the army.
    3.Leadership qualities-threatening his opponents, lose tongue second only to GBK.
    4.Maturity in politics-got involved and dependant heavily on fractions like JVP ,Mano , Mangala and CBK whom people do not like.
    5.Commonsense-having too many army deserters for his safety and unrealistic promises.e.g.Rs.10,000 salary increase.
    Even after the election he lost the best opportunity in healing process and be acclimatised with the mainstream politics-After the results anyone would thank the voters .He could concede the loss, wish well the winner and go as a happy man. After all his over all performance was so poor and he should be humble enough to admit it.
    But he is not self-incorrigible. Because he is more with the JVP than with the UNP.JVP is always an agitating- negative party with thin public base.

  • Sudath Poranappo

    You talking about Ranil taking more votes 47% to SF’s 40%. What you failed to mention is that president achieved theses results in 2010 are after crushing the LTTE. If Ranil contested this time he would’ve got only around 5% of the total vote simply because his past actions proved that he was a traitor. Obviously people believed SF was good general and had a love for the country, but majority of the people thought the President was the commander, chief and main architect of the war. What you also forget to mention is the fact the SF was holding hands with a convicted traitor. Because of that the general may have lost his credibility among people.
    In the other hand if the general decided to hung out with the president he would’ve groomed SF to be the next president and he would’ve walked in to the presidency without fight. Simply foolish SF has taken the bait from UNP and lost status and credibility.

  • The best soldiers are the best morons (they kill plunder and burn just because someone told them to (yes generals are the best of the best)), and I saw, so far the best soldier in SF.
    Good thing for Mahinda other than winning the election is that he knows there is a 40% of the country, who are good soldier material.
    Oh, I did not vote either.

  • Dhiraj

    SF’s defeat along side the TNA, SLMC and JVP is in Sri Lanka’s interests.

  • Bender

    A lot of people think this election was rigged. I think they were all born after 1983.

    When we had our first ever presidental election, the main oppossition candidate against JR was Mr Hector Kobbakaduwa. When he went to cast his vote, some one else has already casted vote for him. But the then election commissioner did not give him special permission to cast his vote. In fact, no body even knew who was the election commissioner. Election connissioner had no power at all. Also some one casted the vote for Mr Upali Wijewardhana, who dissapeared after a plane crash several months before.
    These are only two well known examples. I personnaly know that the Monk of our local buddhist temple actually led distribution of voting cards to loyal UNPers.
    Unlike this time The USA or the EU did not make any comment about it. Also Mr Kobbakaduawa did not make any fuss that he lost the election. Because probably he knew that he would have lost it even without vote rigging.

    The point I wanted to make is that Mr Ranil Wickramasinghe, who was a cabinet minister of JR government at the time of the first presidental elections, now accusing MR of vote rigging.

  • prba

    Dear Kusal,
    I have been reading your articles all the time but almost all the time without agreeing. For once I will fully agree with you. One more point If opposition really wants to find out what happens they should try to identify what happened at mahiyangana.
    Which has always voted with UNP in the good and the bad times.
    It will give all the answers for this heavy defeat.

  • KB

    After reading this article, I felt the author completely missed the point. Accuracy of the final result is not only depend on the incidents occurred during 7.00 a.m to 4 p.m of the lection day, but it also depends on the whole election process from collecting ballet boxes, to counting and issuing results to the public. During the Election Day and until the final results were officially announced by the election commissioner, there were serious misconducts taken place according to election observers, number of media organizations and opposition leaders. In this comments, I summarized the facts that lead me to suspects the final results of the election.

    1) Ground reality.
    Does anybody on earth ever thought in their slightest imagination that a one candidate would get close to 60% votes? What was your honest prediction about election results before it was released? Almost everybody believed there would be 50 -50 chance for both the candidates. Entering of Fonseka to the presidency race electrified the political arena which otherwise could have been a walk through for the incumbent president. Independent media both local and international predicts that the either one wins, it would be after a close combat.

    2) Past exeperience
    Results of this election is almost equal to 1994 presidential election results where former president Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunga won the election for the first term. Unlike Mahinda Rajapakse She was having a huge popularity as a fresh candidate at that time and was able to create a massive tide of voters for the party, Peoples Alliance (PA).JVP candidate resigned in support of her and every common man had no doubt that she would won the election by good 55% to 60% margin and unlike 2010 results nobody was surprised by the results.
    Did anyone notice such popularity for Mahinda this time? It was made clear by many independent analyses that this election going to be a close fight between 2 major rivals.

    3) Drama on Election Day
    What exactly happen on Election Day is not fully revealed yet. But there are so many incidents that are already revealed that leads to extreme suspicious.
    For the first time in history results were sent to media house via emails. Tradition was to send results with commissioner’s approval. If anyone can recall the past elections, media personal were waiting at the elections commission to grab the results as soon as possible and ran to their respective mobile media units or communicate the results to main control center. Noting of such nature happened this time. All communication with the elections commissions’ office were disabled and the premise had been made a high security soon.

    4) Statement made by the commissoner of elctions
    Some of the issues raised by him were as follows.
    “Under the empowerment of the Elections Commissioner as indicated in the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, I issued specific guidelines to the state media that were duly ignored. I then installed a Competent Authority for the state media who was completely disregarded. I then met the heads of state media but to no avail. I realized that this was a hopeless cause and so I had the Competent Authority removed”
    “Some blamed me saying that my task was to ensure that the ballot boxes were safe and to ensure that the counting was done right. But under the circumstances I faced today, I could not even ensure the safety of even one ballot box. I did my duties during this time under great duress and mental agony.”
    “ I hereby state that the situation has reached a dangerous level that is beyond me. I am also advanced in years and have served in this capacity for eight long years so I only ask that I be released from this thankless duty.”
    “It is impossible for me to work in peace under the circumstances – I am constantly under stress and find that I may fall sick and have to face consequences of such an illness.”
    “ Regional leaders harassed my team and I in several areas such as Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Matala Districts , they even bothered the counting centres. This is not a good trend. In fact, it reached an uncontrollable level of verbal abuse directed at Presiding Officers and Asst Elections Commissioners. “
    “ I have been accused of favouring one party in the process of carrying out my duties. I regret that it is no longer possible for me to suffer such indignity and insult – I am not able to do so physically or psychologically.”

    Observers were of the view that the points highlighted by the Elections Commissioner clearly indicated that he has had to announce an election result not in keeping with his conscience, under duress. I strongly believe that the truth is not revealed yet. People who are falsify data in the way they like to see are actually deceiving themselves. Nothing of such kind will last long……….

  • DOn

    Hello PON,

    You are probably insane to rural voters got money from MR.Also you have mentioned that the voters should suffer for the next 8 years because they gave MR presidency.I can remember when MR won in 2005 my disgruntled CEO said the rural voters should suffer and suffer they did.MR rid the country from terrorism and made them suffer.And in your case also he will develop the country and made them suffer.

    Do you really want to know why they are not interested in corruption or media freedom.That is because MR fulfilled their most basic need of ridding the country from terror.How many boys from the middle class did die because of the war, very less.Majority of war heros were from the Kurunegala district, not from colombo.How many people travelling in pvt cars die because of bombs in colombo probably negligible compared to the number of people taking public transport.

    If Ranil won in 2005 by now we would have media freedom and there would not be corruption or war.Want to know what would have happenned Praba would be the president of our neighbouring country because Ranil would have given half of the country to Praba and Norway.

    But in this instance if SF won there would be media freedom but there would not be many left to do journalism.He is such a low act and he confirmed it during and after the election.

    ALSO THE WORLD NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT SL JOURNALISTS ARE NOT LIKE IN UK OR USA.THE SIMPLE REASON BEING THEY TELL LIES TO GET MONEY FROM SOMEONE.THEY SAID MAHINDA TRAVELLED TO DELLI AFTER THE ELECTION ETC.THE SO CALLED SL JOURNALISTS ARE NOT IMPARTIAL AND HENCE THEY CAN NOT BE CALLED JOURNALISTS.

    LASANTHA WICKRAMATHUNGE WAS ONE OF THEM. [Edited out]

  • Observer

    KB,

    1) Ground reality.
    Does anybody on earth ever thought in their slightest imagination that a one candidate would get close to 60% votes? What was your honest prediction about election results before it was released? Almost everybody believed there would be 50 -50 chance for both the candidates.

    Ahem, a lot of people predicted MR would win, some even ballsy enough to say with a landslide victory. Lol didn’t Heshan even congratulate himself and some others here on those correct predictions? So no, most people did not think it was a coin tosses chance.

    Entering of Fonseka to the presidency race electrified the political arena which otherwise could have been a walk through for the incumbent president.

    Still high on those fumes aren’t ya? Strictly in Colombo only! There was an artificial media hype bubble created by UNPers to the extent that even they got gobbled up in the propaganda they were generating. You truly have to realise the flawed thinking with some of these guys who resorted to Facebook, SMS, email and other modern media to deliver some literally crazy material. All of those light speed electronic communications went to the edge of Colombo and then straight to overseas – not to the voting rural. What a joke. If only majority of the population had twitter accounts and FB pages…

    Independent media both local and international predicts that the either one wins, it would be after a close combat.

    They also once said the war could not be finished and do you still wanna take what international media say as gospel?

    It’s over, your energy would be better utilised humbly accepting reality and pondering where the opposition went wrong so badly! At least redeem some dignity at the next election that way. No matter how much you criticise MR administration you have to give them one thing. They are light years ahead in political savvyness & they learn from their mistakes!

  • darsh

    UNF only pole 40% of votes
    Brake down This
    1)JVP+SLMC+Mangala 10% of UNF votes
    This laves 30%
    2) TNA +CWC +Gansh 5% of UNF Votes
    This leves 25%
    3) Sarath +selfish power hungry 10% of UNF Votes
    Now 15%
    UNP votes are 15%

  • NONONOFORTHESE RESULTS

    this article was written assuming that the results are genuine. So it has been dependent on the results that EC announced under intimidations of all sort.

    All other details one can read in the comments of KB.

    I also feel very strongly that the truth is not revealed yet.
    According to these comments, I am glad, there are still a larger fraction of people even if none of them have protested against the results, who have not accepted the results.

  • While rubbing our victory in their crestfallen faces, we should also understand that Fonseka supporters who’ve just been unceremoniously booted out from the presidential dreamland are now in a state of denial as a coping mechanism. Their feeble minds cannot understand how the overwhelming majority of the people in this country have rejected their candidate without the slightest hesitation.

    It’s impossible for widespread fraud to have taken place. The electoral mechanisms have been designed to prevent this. As Kusal and many others have said, anyone with a rudimentary level of understanding of how things work should know this. Seeing the shocked general stammer and stutter in front of the press made me think of a weak wounded dog. I’m not sure whether to sympathise or to call the CMC.

    They will come up with stories to “prove” (the same way they proved the Aston Martin and the 50000 million mansion) that the election was rigged. The fact that the leader of the opposition accepted the result, the elections commissioner stood by it, and that the independent monitors (who all ideologically oppose Mahinda) approved of it, is of no consequence to our cocooned Colombo lot. The only credible point is the abuse of state media and resources, but this is a given in Sri Lankan politics.

    The most pathetic thing is that the opposition (JVP’s call no doubt) have backflipped and now belatedly claim that the election was indeed rigged. The rumour mongers are busy spreading those outrageous lies (the latest one is that the commissioner was abducted by a bunch of aliens in white spacecraft and replaced by a humanoid robot who can’t look up). The strategy seems to be to use this as momentum to push themselves through the general election. This is destined for failure. There would be nothing fresh about the opposition’s offering, and while a lot of UNP MPs will get re-elected, the desperate JVP would resort to the most degenerate tactics to avoid certain disaster at the polls. There is a clear danger of the JVP being used by foreign elements to create the sort of unrest seen in Iran after their elections, and the government must be extremely vigilant. The JVP has nothing to lose and there are no sewers they will not crawl through. A party that cannot accept the people’s verdict should not be in the democratic system.

  • ura

    thanks for the very good analysis.
    it is evident that, SF and gang, who cannot withstand the defeat will do what ever they can to misguide general public. If, one can infer election results by looking at the size of the crowd, why would we need elections? These are just lame excuses.
    JVP+UNP will definitely start on a strong “rumors” campaign, just like the way they did it during pre election time period. As responsible citizens it is our duty to analyze what they say in detail before spreading them.

  • ura

    Dear KB,

    i would like to comment about some of your comments:
    point 1) can you please explain what made you think that both parties will get 50-50? Isn’t it just based on the hype of both parties? Did you analyze it actually? Truth is, no one had analyzed it in detail and no one had a slightest understanding of what each party will get apart from the things that were told by both parties.

    point 3) So your point is that, these results were changed when they were sent to the media? It is very stupid if you really thinks it in that way. Election process in SL is a well matured process and when those processes were set up, most of such holes in the process are removed. So doing such a thing would be almost impossible without LOTS of people getting to know about that! The best way to corrupt an election is to use the 7-4 time period and put as many votes as you can, because there will not be any official records after it is done.

    point 4) these things definitely might have affected adversely on SF, but will not be powerful enough to cover 1.8Million votes. think wisely!

  • [Edited out]. how can he say that this election was free and fair and all those who voted for the [edited out] was because people wanted an experienced political leader?

    people wanted a genuine change and there was no doubt about it. knowing the tide had changed against the rogue regime they made plans to counter sf winning in a despicable manner. they put into action many proceedures that was never heard of even when the country was facing the ltte threat. this was not the first presidential election to be held in teh country but the first presidential election to be held under a peaceful condition in the entire country.

    but what did the regime do in their power hunger? there are so many unprecedented things that was done and they are so many, sometimes it is a waste of time to point them out. the blind will not see even if these corruptions and illegalities were carried out right in front of their eyes. however, the biggest fraud of completely manipulating the election results occurred after the end of the voting.

    the truth someday will bounce back. by then it will be too late because the damage done will be irrepairable.

  • jigga

    One thing I find encouraging is the fact that the writer gets the point that not many so called analysts have a clue about the rural political psyche… but then again this guy can only do an analysis (rather a postmortem), I presume he didn’t have much of a clue how the result would have turned out!
    In our country for the better of for the worse, we have two segments that either vote for blue or for green (I feel that’s about 30% either way, greens a bit more than the blues). so it’s the remaining 40% or so that we can actually try to move over by reasoning in an election. Did that lot have a serious alternative to MR? I think not… the retired general loved by all sinhalese (and possibly muslims), put to the front once again by the ultra right, left (don’t like to call it the left, but that’s a different subject which I wouldn’t wanna touch here) and some of the LTTE backers, an alliance that was never gonna appeal to anyone (definitely not to my 40% above). Let’s say they all had some good brains and were able to come up with a common agenda and a useful manifesto. Would they have still troubles MR, I say No!
    Even this portion of electorate that floats makes alegiances that take some shaking to break up (It’s got something to do with unknown god and the known devil I guess). This bunch haven’t started to resent the government (like it was back in 94), so they needed a trustworthy alternative, even to think about moving, which was nowhere to be found. Even if the opposition could find the ideal candidate, it wouldn’t have made much of a difference to the end result (MR would have been left the president, only the margin would have been smaller). So what could the opposition have done? If they were thinking about the good of the country, instead of mud slinging they should have put forward an agenda that was for the greater good, that would have forced the MR regime also come close with some forward thinking proposals of their own towards good governance. IMHO that’s the best any one would have been able to do at this juncture. MR has some of the best political brains in the country behind him, and they seem to be working with statistics and probability far better than our opposition, who are riding mostly on luck!
    Let’s hope for a constructive campaign for the parliament at least… let’s see the opposition at least asking for the parliament power (not give excessive power to MR), but make it ‘appear’ honest! I don’t see this happening, unless the opposition somehow come to agreement regarding the much needed change in constitution towards, changing the electoral process (if government plays the wrong card there, make sure they pay for it, don’t ask for whole pound of flesh)… Last bit was fantasy more than anything 🙂
    so it’s more of ‘damage control’ we can do in the next election as well.

  • jayathilaka

    COMMIISIONER OF ELECTION PROVIDES THE BEST EVIDENCE THAT THE ELECTION HELD WAS NOT FREE AND FAIR. HE MAKE A CONFESIN ATHE FINAL SUMMING UP SPEECH THAT HE WAS OBSTRUCTED TO DO HIS DUTY BY THE GOVERNMENT.THE OPPOSITION SAYS THAT THE ENTHUSIASM IS NOT SHOWN INT EFINAL RESULTS.THEREFORE THEA ALLEGATIONS ABOUT THE FORGED ELECTION RESULT CAN NOT BE REJECTED

  • Kusal Perera

    Hello All,
    First documented and certified results originate at the Counting Centres, where the Asst Returning Officer (ARO) manually fills up a sheet in 06 copies and it is these sheets that are known as “Carbonised Copies” All candidates who come 1st, 2nd and 3rd in a Counting Centre gets a copy each through his/her Counting Agent and the results in the district thus become public info, even before the Chief Returning Officer sends it to Colombo Election Secretariat.

    This is reason why I said those in the districts were aware of the results and did not find them as altered when aired over air waves.

    I have forwarded a scanned copy of a true result sheet that was handed over to a Counting Agent of a leading Candidate, to the Moderator of this GV Forum to be published in GV.

    Kusal Perera

    This detail below is from CaFFE spokesman——-

    If any one wants to know what is the “Carbonized Copy of the Election Result” and how it looks like this is a copy used in this election.

    6 copies of this will be produced and 1st ONE goes to the counting agent of the winning candidate in this case MR. The 2nd ONE goes to the 1st runners up’s counting agent. You can see that broth of the agents have signed in this sheet. In this sheet NO. 22, came in the 3rd place, and his agent was not there in the counting center. (Indicated in NOT PRESENT)

    The Forth copy was pasted on the wall of the counting center, one goes to the File and the other goes to Returning Officer or the GA.

    This is not a computer sheet, you see, and the Final Talley, is or the final results comes out as 3-5 such sheets.

    Computers are only used as the adding machines, to calculate the Grand Total, Total, Number of Valid Votes ect, but nothing else.

    But beyond this point the case is not so clear. CaFFE is working on it !

    Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon
    Director/CaFFE
    Campaign For Free and Fair Elections
    100/19 A, Welikadawatta Road,
    Rajagiriya,
    Sri Lanka.

  • Sam Costa

    Peter and KB I appreciate your comments and I am sure, there are a larger fraction of the population that bear our view.

    All those who still feel that these PRESIDENTIAL RESULTS ON THE 27th of January 2010 are genuine:

    Please read the statement made by EC on the 27th.

    “Under the empowerment of the Elections Commissioner as indicated in the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, I issued specific guidelines to the state media that were duly ignored. I then installed a Competent Authority for the state media who was completely disregarded. I then met the heads of state media but to no avail. I realized that this was a hopeless cause and so I had the Competent Authority removed.”

    “ I was able to note that during the election, many state institutions operated in a manner not befitting state organisations.”

    “Some blamed me saying that my task was to ensure that the ballot boxes were safe and to ensure that the counting was done right. But under the circumstances I faced today, I could not even ensure the safety of even one ballot box. I did my duties during this time under great duress and mental agony.”

    I hereby state that the situation has reached a dangerous level that is beyond me. I am also advanced in years and have served in this capacity for eight long years so I only ask that I be released from this thankless duty.”

    “It is impossible for me to work in peace under the circumstances – I am constantly under stress and find that I may fall sick and have to face consequences of such an illness.”

    “ Regional leaders harassed my team and I in several areas such as Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Matala Districts , they even bothered the counting centres. This is not a good trend. In fact, it reached an uncontrollable level of verbal abuse directed at Presiding Officers and Asst Elections Commissioners. “

    “ I have been accused of favouring one party in the process of carrying out my duties. I regret that it is no longer possible for me to suffer such indignity and insult – I am not able to do so physically or psychologically.”

    Observers were of the view that the points highlighted by the Elections Commissioner clearly indicated that he has had to announce an election result not in keeping with his conscience, under duress. All we can say is that truth is like a rubber ball in water – it emerges every time you try to suppress it.

    Leaving aside the other extremely serious allegations, which are emerging, this statement by the Elections Commissioner alone would have been enough to declare the election null and void in any other country which is truly a practicing democracy.

  • Sony

    Ura

    It is not true that “no one had a slightest understanding of what each party will get…” Three scientific polls accurately predicted the outcome of the election. The opposition and their supporters (including Colombians) who were living in their own bubble did not see them or did not pay attention to them.

    http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2010/1/52333_space.html

  • Observer

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/01/31/govt-has-successfully-concluded-world%E2%80%99s-first-hi-tech-election-rigging-operation-%E2%80%94-mangala/
    This is some essential reading, purely for the comedic value. Here’s a sneak peak (spoiler alert!)

    “Govt. Has Successfully Concluded World’s First Hi-Tech Election Rigging Operation — Mangala”

    “what I would term the world’s first hi-tech election rigging programme.”

    “more shocking than the notorious election held in November 1933 under Adolf Hitler in Germany, which is seen by many historians as one of the most scandalous elections ever.”

    “We don’t have proof at the moment.”

    “The international election observers who were here have apparently issued a report claiming the polling day was violence-free and extremely peaceful, and concluded that the election was free and fair. ”

    “The election day was relatively free of violence”

    “I’m not sure that official complaints were made.”

    “The traditional, crude forms of rigging never took place where armed hooligans show up in booths and stuff boxes. ”

    “I will say with responsibility and gravity that this was one of the most sophisticated poll-rigging programmes carried out anywhere in the world.”

    “My life is in grave danger”

    Lol is this guys sanity intact anymore? This is just embarrassing!

  • Kusal Perera

    As promised by me earlier, click here to see a true result sheet that was handed over to a Counting Agent of a leading Candidate.

    Click here for my full comment earlier on this thread.

  • sisila

    Can you compare the result sheet handed over to candidate and one published in TV. Then we can see what did took place. How can you assume thing just accepting What Mangala say’s all the time. We know what he said and how he produce tapes to get more vote right through out his political life.
    So My point is take few samples and show the world who’s has actually won the election.

    As One comment point out correctly only 1% of colombo people join forces in Sri Lanka and most of them event out for studies and our rural people only sacrifice there soul’s for this war.

    I would like to give another point for these scenario…

    The ecoomy of colombo will be moved to Hambantota reason being Port, ( Pls read the Jhon F Kerry report USA Sentor’s Why USA loosing grounds in SLK) Airport,Confrerence Hall,Int’l Cricket ground (one of 2011world cup match will be played) Film Industry ( Like Hollywood) to name the few.. and this will next hub in SLK this is not B’coz MR is from Hambantota… This should have happend in 1960’s but then Govt never wanted move out of Colombo.

    Therefore most of them need all the develpoment to be stop and re group the same in Colombo again and keep them happy.

    Who contibute more to GDP? Colombo? No now its being shift to rural area’s 65% of So its time to move out of Colombo

  • Sony

    I agree with sisila. The land in Colombo is overpriced. It will not be in another 6 years. Colombo will be another town of Sri Lanka just like Mee Gamuwa, Halawatha or Mada Kalapuwa.

  • Shamed Lankan

    Sri Lankans deserve the government they get. Hey, you chaps voted for a ruthless dictator who tramples on personal freedom any chance he can. If you don’t agree with him or dare to question his policies, he will come after you and your family. That’s some democracy you guys have. Enjoy!

  • @Shamed Lankan

    The problem is, we (by we, I mean 6 million Sri Lankans including the overwhelming majority of Sinhala-Buddhists) do agree with him, and we think his policies are working, and we like the results. Why would we want to question him?

    The people don’t see the rationale for giving up everything Mahinda had accomplished merely for the “freedom” to disagree with him. This is what you and your kind have failed to understand. Ordinary Sri Lankans want a better life, a better economy, better infrastructure, better schools, more wealth and equity, and a strong, confident, independent regime. They won’t forgo all these for the sake of the right to disagree. What is there for us to disagree with?

  • Niel Marshal

    Analysis from Kusal and comments followed by that are interesting and eye opening and thought of joining the dialogue.
    In the Kusal’s one, I found that it is a kind of hailing the 2010 Presidential election result at the front and failing at the end and also Underline political message is not given a proper place.

    Vote rigging allegations are common and no surprise at this time too.
    Assuming southern votes are rigged and the rest North, East, Colombo and upcountry are not rigged; SF’s victory in those areas indicates those burning issues are remained unsolved yet and need to be addressed immediately.

    Also, No wonder a man in power managed to secure nearly 58% of the vote, but With a very short political history SF secured 41% of the vote and North, East, Colombo and upcountry with apparent UNP’s and JVP’s half hearted support. Also Southern Ruling class did not want to have an emerging strong 3rd alternative at this point, they were aware of the danger very well if Ranil was fielded. I believe that is why they wanted a white swan, a symbol all could agree other than an elepahnt while saving Colombo 7 born, The friend of Rich, Ranil for the next election.

    JVP has comparatively cleaner image than other politicians in the business and now have assumed the duty of Thondamans’ that is, as King makers and breakers forgetting their primary duty to stand up independantly for people.

    Weather we like or not next 7 years belongs to MR and his policies and his trusted team, as people who love and want to see our country progress must be impartial, vigilant and unearth corruption and mismanagement and let President know and keep a record of it what you have put forward, let the democratic organisations world over know whats happening in Sri Lanka, come up with data, GDP and performance indicators, police corruption figures, crimes, what is government doing or not doing for upliftment of minorities etc
    What ever it is MR has proved that he can establish a stable political atmosphere and is a seasoned statesman who has earned respect from at least friendly nations including most important neighbouring big brother and China.
    After all he has at least destroyed the belief that “We Can not do it” against Obama’s we can do it.
    But at The Who’s cost???

  • Ajit Alles

    It seems to me, looking at this as a non-resident Sri Lankan, that General Fonseka was hung out to dry by the UNP, possibly with Ranil Wickremesinghe’s future ambitions in mind. Of course the General didn’t help himself with his foolish comments that seemed purely revengeful; his ego overwhelmed his brain. Nevertheless, the whole Sarath Fonseka fiasco seems like a Ranil Wickremesinghe operation.

  • Shamed Lankan

    @ Bardo Flanks:
    As my comment said, if you are happy with having a ruthless dictator as your leader, then that’s something you have to live with. You clearly are quite happy goose-stepping along with anything and everything Mahinda Rajapakse does.
    By the way, I am sure everyone who voted Hitler into power also felt this way: “(We) do agree with him, and we think his policies are working, and we like the results. Why would we want to question him?”

  • Shamed Lankan

    @ Bardo Flanks:
    Do you seriously want to live in a nation where you never question your leader and if you do, the government can come after you? Or are you one of those people who simply believes everything your leader tells you simply because you support him? You got to love your naivete.

  • Sam Costa

    perhaps this could be useful to many who still cant feel against the el results had been manipulated.

    An Open letter to the Election Commissioner of Sri Lanka
    Thursday, February 4, 2010
    – A Gobitharan (London)

    Dear Mr Dissanayake

    (February 05, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Recent events following the Presidential election have put you on the negative limelight, due to your confusing and contradicting comments made head down without looking at the audience.

    Lots of accusations are leveled against you. Some have been denied. The manner in which you are responding to the issues surrounding the conduct and the outcome of the election is further confusing the citizens like me. I plead with you to look at the face of the world at large and tell the truth to the following serious questions.

    Question 1: According the ‘The Times’ report filed by Jeremy Page ‘The President’s brother and adviser, went to see the Independent Elections Commissioner just before the latter announced the final results. The ministers denied that Basil Rajapaksa was meeting the commissioner, and said that he was asleep at the time, but Ms Wenger said that she saw him leave the Commissioner’s office immediately after the press conference’.

    My simple question to you is: Did Basil Rajapakse meet you just before the election results were announced? If so, what was discussed or ordered by him?

    Question 2: Sri Lanka Guardian in its exclusive news reported that you and your wife were held in captivity in the Presidents official residence Temple Trees and intimidated to obtain your consent to announce the government favoured comments on the outcome of the election and also to get your resignation announcement withdrawn.

    In the public interest and to earn the public confidence, would you kindly confirm by looking at the audience straight on their face without fear or subdued voice, whether this story is true or false.

    Question 3: The Lankanewsweb in its latest news headlined ‘A group of Army personnel had imprisoned Election Commissioner’s wife and daughter at Water’s Edge on the election day’.

    Once again in the public interest, will you be able to confirm this story is true or false.

    I understand that you are not permitted to travel overseas until the General Election is over. If this is not true, will you be able to travel to the UK or any other healthy democratic country and make a public statement on the issues surrounding the election. I am prepared to fund your first class flight ticket for your visit, as I consider your public statement in a respectable place without any fear of recrimination will be very useful for Sri Lanka’s future.

    Finally, with the very serious accusations levelled against you on the conduct of the Presidential election, how do you expect the citizens of Sri Lanka to consider you are independent to conduct the forthcoming General Election? Will you make a public statement to confirm what action you will be taking to overcome the difficulties you have encountered during the Presidential election to ensure the difficulties are not repeated with your backing?

  • kichchi

    Elections results do show that anti-Tamil feeling is very high in Sri Lanka very much more than anti-corruption, anti-high cost of living and so on.

    MR won the election in 2005 and 2010 due to the anti-Tamil feelings of the Sinhalese. These die-hard Sinhalese are hell bent on seeing that the Tamils do not have any rights in this country.

    SF’s support diminished from the moment the TNA endorsed him. Had the TNA endorsed MR, MR would have lost for the same reason.

    So, MR should actually thank the TNA for supporting SF and pave the way for his (SF) defeat. It is an indirect support given by TNA to MR. In 2005 too, LTTE gave an indirect support by boycotting the election.

    IF the TNA had called for a boycott of the election, or supported a third candidate like Dr Wickramabahu or Srithunga Jayasuriya who supported the policy of self-determinaion of the Tamils, then SF would have won or would not have lost with such a big margin.

    Former President J.R.Jayawardene once said that “If I starved the Tamils, the Sinhalese will give full support to me. The more I starve them, the greater the support”. JR was correct. That is the mind-set of the Sinhala majority. That was the trend in ALL the elections since 1956.
    Had SF stood with his earlier stand that he country belongs only to the Sinhalese but as good Buddhists we will accommodate the minorities IF they do not make undue demands, he might have won the Election.

    This election too proved it as correct.

  • Observer

    Deja Vu anyone?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8506491.stm

    What is striking in both cases is that, while they agree the election was peaceful they contend that the counting was fraudulent.

    “We will appeal in the courts not against the quality of the election, which was evaluated by the international observers, but against the quality of counting the ballots,” said Andriy Shkil.

    “Believe me, public opinion [in Ukraine] and European opinion will coincide with ours when we prove this in the courts.”

    Sore losers need to take it with dignity!

    What I found even more interesting in both these situations is the tug-a-war between the East and the West. Both nations have polarised communities that one side pull for the Western influence while the other side takes refuge in the slowly but surely unifying East. Hmmmm…