Gambling for a Common Candidate as Sri Lankan President and Global Leader

Common Candidate as Sri Lankan President

The Common Candidate Search Group all agree for the need for a Common Candidate but for months on now they are in a twist who to choose. As for the voters of Sri Lanka, what is important when casting their vote is to realize how far they want change, what that change is likely to result for the country and whether any reversal of the gains are likely to result in bringing about that change. It becomes all the more important that our choice of leader for Sri Lanka needs to be looked more upon the ability to protect Sri Lanka from the global sharks than simply wearing the crown of President of Sri Lanka. The contenders all of whom had held leadership roles in the past it is good to look back and take cognisance of how far they have actually protected and guarded the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. If they have not they do not deserve any place in re-contesting to repeat their felonies.

Candidate 1: Ranil Wickremasinghe

Gambling with the prospects of

  • Winning UNP votes (significant number though let’s not forget that there are some UNP voters who put their brains before their hearts and place the interest of the country first. They have done so in the past and they are likely to be the key decider for this election)
  • Winning Muslim votes (significant number of commercially inclined Muslims who believe that only the UNP is capable of drawing Western investments. Lets not forget that a large number of rural Muslims did not vote for the UNP or the Muslim Congress at the last election)
  • Winning Tamil votes (the Northern and Southern votes assured as has always happened)
  • Winning the Christian/Catholic votes (these votes are now split in half and there are again large numbers of people who put brains before heart and vote and generally large numbers of urban voters end up not going to vote too)
  • Not wanting to win the Buddhist vote (this has been a known fact. UNP have never cared to change the status quo and instead preferred to woo the non-majority voters only – a mathematical hara kiri)
  • Will people remember or care to remember
    • The betrayal of the nation and the soldiers as well as over 60 intelligence officers in agreeing to sign an agreement not shared with even his key Ministers? (Cease Fire Agreement of 2002)
    • The appeasement and subservience towards Western domination likely to leave Sri Lanka as a servant state with a puppet leader and bring down the country and reverse all that we have gained post-conflict?
    • The ability to actually lead the nation when needs of the majority populace are purposely ignored in UNP policies is a key obstacle
    • What has Ranil done for Sri Lanka in 40 years of politics – Is 30 election losses an achievement!

Candidate 2: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

Gambling with the prospects of

  • Winning support of the current Ministers in the UPFA as a support base and cross over
  • Winning support of the majority Buddhist bloc aligned to organizations now calling for the abolition of the Presidency – aim to divide the Buddhist vote
  • Winning support of the UNP vote base as common candidate
  • Winning support of the Muslim vote base as common candidate relying on Muslim Congress support
  • Winning support of the Tamil vote base as common candidate assured of TNA support
  • Winning support of the Christian/Catholic vote base as common candidate
  • Winning the JVP insignificant vote base through friend Mangala
  • Will people remember or care to remember
    • The beeshana period under both her terms
    • Now promises end to corruption – Lest we forget – The ‘chowra rajina’ Bandit Queen allegations and Water’s Edge verdict
    • Now promises Rights for Women – women supporters of the UNP stripped naked and forced to march along the street under her rule
    • Didn’t she pledge to remove the Executive President in six months in 1994 and stayed on for 2 terms!
    • She did promise Prabakaran to allow him to rule the Northern Province for 10 years without elections!
    • We are now told she has bowed out of the Common Candidate race – there’s also the possibility to change one’s mind too!

The web comments are quite interesting and reveal the views of people for other prospective Common Candidates

Anura Kumara Dissanayake – able to drag Sri Lanka into stoneage. Lets also remember that all the people they killed were Sinhala Buddhists and not a single LTTE terrorist!

Sarath Fonseka – Revenge mantra will lead to doom but people like to hear some ‘kalawedda’ stories!

Sajith Premadasa – All Talk No Action

Sobitha thero – Referred to as Mr. by some and that says it all! The thero promises he will hold forte for 6 months if elected and then abolish the Executive Presidency …. Similar story was told by that trishaw driver to Sirisena Cooray at the Municipality Elections but refused to step down thereafter!

Karu – A Journalist claimed he was bribed Rs.50,000 per month for publicity! Not a good start for a Common Candidate

Arjuna – Leading Sri Lanka and representing Sri Lanka on world political stage is no game of cricket!

The common candidate confusion cannot erase and in fact has raised people’s doubts of how the country can be led when the parties vying to select a common candidate have yet to select one and they have been on the job for quite some time now. Just imagine how decisions may be taken after their Common Candidate gets elected and the disagreements likely to arise given the ideological and other political agendas each of the common candidate group are all aligned to. How many promises and pledges must be taking place for the support of each group, what are their demands to canvass their people for votes, will the common candidate President be able to give in to all these demands and will he/she actually honor these demands or will all this end up in further chaos for the nation – these are factors that Sri Lanka’s voters be they Sinhalese, Tamil Muslim, Burgher, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian/Catholic, Islam or atheists and agnostics will need to think about BEFORE they cast their vote!

While the common candidate group are busy selecting a candidate it is good for voters to think about their selection too and most of all imagine what Sri Lanka is likely to be like if their choice of common candidate wins and he/she can’t or won’t honor the promises made to appear as common candidate.

It is also a good time for the general public too to realize that each of us individually have a greater role to play and are ourselves accountable by our actions for taking the country forward or backwards – the blame cannot always be placed on the doorstep of the politicians.

“A Leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and has shown the way’.

“Aspirants for that role are those who don’t know the way, have gone the wrong way and can’t show the way”.


– by Shenali D Waduge