From the Green Corner

28th November 1999

The PA: going mad with conspiracy theory etc.

Front Page
Plus| Business| Sports|
Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine
The Sunday Times on the Web
My good friend, Paakshikaya, writ- ing to The Sunday Times last week has let the cat out of the bag. He makes several startling pronouncements that have me worried - the editor might fire me and hire him to write my column too!

To start with he responds to my criticism of the defection of Sarath Amunugama and Co. with surprising candour- and proves my point. As a 'true blue' SLFPer, says Paakshikaya, he is totally opposed to these sudden crossovers for the sake of political opportunism at the expense of the country.

Well said, my friend, it is heartening to know that these derelicts who were expelled from the UNP are not welcome in the SLFP and that there are persons with a backbone who will stand up and call the crossover a case of political back-stabbing- which is what it is! Then, Paakshikaya readily concedes what the UNP has been saying all along - that the PA has not lived upto expectations. You know it, Paakshikaya, I know it and the people of this country know it but still your presidential candidate is able to say with a straight face at campaign rallies: "api thamunnanselata deepu porondu okkoma wage itukarala ivarai!".(We have fulfilled all our promises). Honestly, Paakshikaya, we know Vijaya Kumaratunga won the best actor's award a couple of times but his good wife too deserves the best actress's award for this performance, day in and day out at every campaign rally!

Of course, I cannot however agree with everything that Paakshikaya says.

Paakshikaya denies there is a plan to rig the election but I must stand by my allegation. It is a fact my friend, that the PA - or at least the SLFP - is determined to fight this election from the border of legitimacy. And that dividing line will be crossed on December 21. Let me explain, for the benefit of our readers.

Consider the tactics you are now employing: You sent a clear signal to the UNP and other parties at Eppawela where two people died as a result of the bomb attack. Then you smashed the office of Ravi Karunanayake who crossed over to the UNP, a day before Nomination Day when security must have been very tight considering this office was located a stone's throw away (literally!) from the Elections Secretariat. Now your candidate is laying the ground rules for the contest: she has herself appointed the elections commissioner and now your new found media pundits say private television networks cannot be used by presidential candidates.

Tell me, my friend, where does one playing team get the chance to choose the umpire? We have nothing personal against the 'new' or Acting Elections Commissioner but isn't it a fact that had your candidate allowed the natural course of events, Commissioner Dayananda Dissan-ayake would have returned to work and then fixed a date for the poll which would have fallen outside the astrologically favourable time period for your candidate? I don't go into detail because the subject matter is now before courts. 

Then, you have now suddenly decided that private TV stations should not interview presidential candidates and that it is against the law. Where was this law, my dear friend, when Chandrika Kumaratunga appeared on Janahanda for two hours in 1994 and captured the hearts and minds of everyone and went on to win a 62 per cent mandate? Has she violated that law and if so, shall we then declare her election null and void? Or is it that when Opposition Leader Ranil Wickr-emesinghe appeared on Janahanda last week, his popularity soared because people found that this man too has some charisma about him and that he did not make glib promises but spoke honestly about what he could do and what he cannot do?

Then, when the expelled UNPers appeared on Rathu Ira TV programme, they made absolute fools of themselves and won the UNP many votes. In fact, I heard a veteran SLFPer comment after that show, "this is a UNP conspiracy!" And finally, when your uncouth 'state minister for Buddha Saasana', displayed his idiocy on another talk show, you felt enough was enough for you knew that if this trend continued, you will surely lose the election by a bigger margin!

And so it came to be that you discovered this provision in the law to curb broadcasts by private TV stations. But pray tell me, what of the state TV? 

Do they limit their coverage of your candidate? Of course not for there she is smiling and waving to people, broadcast after broadcast, portrayed as the darling of the masses - no laws shall apply to her for she is then shown in her capacity as head of state, says the newly enlightened Dr. Amunugama. 

Well I daresay then that the law is an ass - like the person interpreting it! Of course, that is not the only occasion that this former censor has recently displayed not only his total lack of political acumen but also his ignorance of common courtesy- he recently said that Ranil Wickremesinghe was doomed because of a coterie of "thuppahi" Royalists around him. I am no Royalist myself but I do respect that great institution of learning. All I would ask him is to repeat that same remark to his cabinet colleagues C. V. Gooneratne and Mangala Samaraweera and I daresay that Dr. Amunugama will not only be minister without portfolio but a minister without something else too! Now you have developed your latest conspiracy theory - that Mr. Wickremesinghe is conspiring with the LTTE and sections of the Army to hand over the North and East to the Tigers for two years!

And we have the state-run 'Daily News' giving us the 'details' of this grand design on Thursday - with pictures and all - where 'Premadasa Udugama' is mentioned as a co-conspirator. Now, that gentleman, if my old memory serves me well, was a leading educationist and a true blue SLFPer! Surely Paakshikaya, can you not tell those who concoct stories on your behalf that they must do it properly or else, the whole act comes apart!

So, Paakshikaya, is this a level playing field? Is the free and fair election that you talk of? Paakshikaya takes solace in an opinion poll published in this newspaper where the government is reportedly ahead of the UNP. But take a second look at the questions asked in that poll. They all relate to corruption, the war, the economy and such matters but there was no question as to who they would vote for in a presidential poll. And, if that question was asked I can assure you they would have preferred the honest and straightforward no-nonsense Ranil Wick-reme-singhe who delivers what he promises to the smiling, charming, charismatic Chan-drika Kumaratunga who promises everything but does nothing. That is the verdict of the silent majority my friend - though they may not answer your opinion polls! Let's face it, those in your camp who have their ear to the ground know that there is a definite and perceptible swing in the electorate towards Mr. Wickre-mesinghe. That is why you are behaving in this desperate manner with conspiracy theories, banning of broadcasts and smashing up meetings and party offices. I wouldn't say anymore except to sum up the mood in the PA camp now with that famous saying: "Those whom the Gods wish to destroy, they first make them mad!"

Index Page
Front Page
Sports Plus
Mirrror Magazine

Inside the glass house

Editorial/ Opinion Contents


Front Page| News/Comment| Editorial/Opinion| Plus| Business| Sports| Sports Plus| Mirror Magazine

Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to 

The Sunday Times or to Information Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.

Presented on the World Wide Web by Infomation Laboratories (Pvt.) Ltd.
Hosted By LAcNet