Wednesday, December 31, 2014

TNA & SLMC supporting Gen. Fonseka in 2010 Vs TNA & SLMC supporting Mythripala Sirisena in 2015: a case of Sinhalese Buddhists’ vulnerability

With both Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) pledging their support to Common Opposition candidate Mythripala Sirisena the battle lines are clearly drawn between the two parties leaving no room for ambiguities. These clearly defined political paths taken by each party should be analysed in the context of inherent fears entertained by Sinhalese Buddhists when it comes to the divisive politics played by chauvinist minority parties: in this case mainly TNA and SLAMC.  

Sinhalese Buddhists gave a resounding mandate to President Mahinda Rajapaksha in 2010 largely as a token of gratitude for drawing a successful end to the ruthless terrorism in 2009. Gen. Sarath Fonseka was the other main contender who challenged President Rajapaksha at the election. As is going to happen in this time too TNA and SLMC backed the opposition at the last president election too and the Democratic Party virtually swept the North and Eastern (NE) area for Gen. Fonseka. President Rajapaksha received significantly less number of votes from Tamils and Muslims in NE in particular and in the rest of the country in general. Sinhalese Buddhists must have certainly been influenced by the fear they felt due to the allegiance of chauvinist TNA and SLMC with Gen. Fonseka when deciding to vote for President Rajapaksha in 2010. So this time too the voter base is clearly divided between the candidate who entertains Tamil and Muslim chauvinists and the candidate who represents Sinhalese Buddhists interests.

There is, however, clearly a significant degree of danger to the interests of Sinhalese Buddhists in particular and the country in general when the two chauvinist parties extend their support in this time around to Mythripala Sirisena than their support to Gen. Fonseka in the last time. Both the parties are hell bent for carving out separate Tamil and Muslim administrations in the areas in which each community is in majority.  As declared a few days back by UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premjayantha the SLMC had quit the ruling coalition because President Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down its demand to carve out a separate Muslim administrative unit in the Digamadulla electoral district.

Under Gen. Fonseka's administration meeting those demands by these two parties would have certainly been hard. Gen. Fonseka is first and foremost a military officer who was much feared by the rank and file of SL army for his toughness. On top of all, his tough attitudes played a significant role in defeating the ruthless terrorism. Above all he was considered as a Sinhala hardliner.  

In contrast Mythripala Sirisena's soft attitudes are well known when he was the Minister of Health. He was virtually prisoner in his ministry having bowed down to the tough and non-flexible stands taken by the health sector staff particularly by the doctors who ruled the roost.  On the other hand there had virtually been no achievement worthy of mention to his credit except the unsuccessful attempt he took to put anti-smoking advertisement on the cover of cigarettes packs. (His defection to the opposition was purely on personal reason for not being appointed as the PM under Rajapaksha administration). So Mithripala Sirisena, if elected, is certainly going to be virtually a prisoner as the president of the new government who would be taken for a good bloody ride by TNA and SLMC. On top of all he is, in hundred days, going to abolish the executive presidency which gives a very strong shield to the unjust demands by chauvinist minority parties.

So the country would have been relatively safe even if Gen. Fonseka was elected as the president in 2010 as he would have certainly resisted separatist moves by TNA and SLMC. However, this time around the country is certainly going to plunge itself into an abyss again with separatism raising its ugly head in the event of Mythripala being elected as the president. Apart from that the biggest danger would be separatism haunting Sri Lanka in two fronts, not in one front as we faced earlier!        

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mu anduwata kade yana huttek.