by D.B.S. Jeyaraj
The presidential election campaigns of both Mahida Rajapakse and Sarath Fonseka seem to have got off the ground with customary procedures.
Mahinda Rajapakse began his with a visit to Anuradhapura on Undu wap daypoya day and was seen hugging the Sri Maha Bodhi tree with devotional fervour.
Sarath Fonseka paid courtesy calls on the Mahanayake Theros of the Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters and obtained their blessings.
While the Rajapakse campaign is yet to slip into top gear the motley crew supporting Sarath Fonseka is rather active.
The General’s campaign has begun causing interest but there is a lot of confusion visible.
The top guns seem to be contradicting each other.
In a sense it is pathetic to see the General and his army engaged in puerile attempts to take the people for a ride.
Similiar contradictions have been visible in the case of the Rajapaksa regime for quite some time now.
But the new kid on the block has taken such moral high ground that these “gaps” between professed stances are very amusing.
From the 13th Amendment to the provisional government concept these contradictions in the pronouncements emanating from the General’s cantonment are glaringly obvious.
Writer, journalist and activist Kusal Perera has spotted quite a few of these contradictions and pinpointed them in a short piece.
Here then is Kusal’s piece on some political pronouncements coming out of the “General” (s) campaign.
Contradictions and conflicts, a “general” trend in General’s politics
By Kusal Perera
We are now being made more confused each day with contradictory and conflicting “solutions” thrown at us each day from key players on General Fonseka’s platform, including General Fonseka himself.
Not that there are no contradictions and conflicts on the “Mahinda Chinthanaya” version of presidential campaigning. But that is some thing the people are familiar with, seems to have got tired of and therefore shows a need for change.
So the next choice has to be one better than President Rajapaksa, not on contradictions and conflicts, but on sound and honest politics.
But then, just think of these contradictions and conflicting views ?
“My personal view is the majority should provide protection to the minorities. Their political aspirations shall be fulfilled.”
“I am not a PhD in History. The 13th amendment which should provide the answer ought to be amended according to the current times. By discussion with all a solution should be sought.”
The JVP does not accept any further tampering with the 13th Amendment to “fulfil the aspirations” of the minority communities. They have gone public saying they are against the full implementation of the 13 Amendment which includes police powers and lands.
Their 04 points put forward to General SF do not include anything about Tamil people or on reconciliation after the war. Only that IDPs have to be resettled, but how and on what conditions are never spelled out.
All JVP leaders speaking at the Hyde Park public rally on 30th Monday (one day after General SF spoke about the 13 Amendment) avoided mentioning anything on the 13th Amendment.
Seems very comfortable with anything as long as they could get into a government as the ruling entity.
Says thus in his maiden media brief. “….Somewhere around end of 2007, after about 02 years I commanded the army, I gave a promise, I will not hand over this war to the next Army Commander. To my successor. I gave this promise at a media gathering…I kept to that promise….If I didn’t complete the war,…..I would have been the Army Commander still….Most probably”
What he hides from saying is, HIS RETIREMENT DATE was December 17, 2005, BUT was on a “political” appointment with extensions given by President Rajapaksa for 04 years, never ever given to any Army Commander ever before, depriving at least one other (if not two) from being promoted as Army Commander.
In reality, he should have been watching “war” news from home, as a retired Army Officer.
UNP sources made public statements saying they agreed to the proposal of a “Provisional Government” (PG) appointed by General Fonseka, immediately after presidential elections, if he wins and also that Ranil W. has agreed to head that PG as its PM.
This is what Gen. SF said at the media brief. “…..The executive presidency has to be abolished….to ensure one man can not ruin the country….any more….My victory will follow…immediately follow with general elections….in which we would try to get a two thirds majority….” There was no talk of a PG or of any one heading any government as PM.
The JVP at the very outset indicated they are not ready for a PG with Ranil W. as its PM.
JVP parliamentary leader Anura Kumara Dissanayaka (AKD) had told BBC “Sandeshaya” on 02 December, that a plan of action to abolish the executive presidency has been worked out with General Sarath Fonseka. “He will abolish the executive presidency with the approval of the parliament within six months of being elected” according to Dissanayaka.
What it therefore means is, there will be no PG as the UNP says and Ranil W has no chance of being the PM, unless the JVP agrees in the new parliament.
The JVP also says (referring to AKD) that General Fonseka has agreed to remain as non executive president and carry out duties assigned by a new government that is formed after the next general election. (BBC Sandeshaya)
Gen SF would thus be a nominal head of State. Non executive president. One like Gopallawa was, after the 1972 Republican Constitution.
This is the mother of all statements. Why (the hell) should Gen SF go through all these hazards, mud bathing and a possible threat to life as some say, to bring in a government he has no control of and one that would tell him what to do, if they want to ?
He is yet to say what his role would be, after calling for immediate general elections and IF, as he says, the parliament gets a 2/3 majority to abolish the Executive Presidency, or what would be the fall back option, if the parliament does not get the required 2/3 majority required for a constitutional change.
Many big holes for any big Lion to crawl through and lazily yawn, after a hefty meal that some other creatures hunted on!