By Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
The discussion to work together with the Mahinda group started within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) led by the President because of the desperation of Sirisena to make the SLFP significant for the coming elections. The President wants to go out of politics with the honour of recreating the SLFP as a Party of the common man.
This is an illusion, connected, probably, to an insufficient understanding of the degeneration of the SLFP, during the last few decades. They want to close their eyes to the blatant fascistic decadence in the Party and wanted unity of all factions of the SLFP, to make it a strong election machine. Hence, some of the SLFP Ministers were, recently, seen making desperate attempts to get a conciliatory word from the former President or anyone of his close subordinates. Minister Susil Premajayantha, who never really broke from the fascistic politics and has always been with Mahinda Rajapaksa even after he joined the Yahapalanaya Government, had recently gone to meet his former boss with reported blessings of President Maithripala Sirisena, while the Parliamentary group of the Joint Opposition was in session.
It is nice to hear that his frantic efforts had gone down the drain. There were reports, several weeks ago, that Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya who is a close ally of President Sirisena had unsuccessfully approached leader of the Joint Opposition and the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) Dinesh Gunawardena with a suggestion to contest the local polls jointly in their area, in the Colombo District, apparently without much success. On the other hand, Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Soysa has jubilantly declared that the SLFP would face the elections with Mahinda Rajapaksa and his gang. His statement of course was ridiculed as it was Wijayamuni who once soon after Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated at the Presidential election said that ‘his father is now dead hence he will pay respect but leave to do politics with living relations’. Now he also had tried his hand in reconciliation with the same “deceased father”. The allegation that the SLFP led by President Sirisena attempts to delay the Local Government elections announced by the Election Commission to be held in January came because of hurried attempt to cook up a joint election front with the enemy who was accused of sinister political activities.However, the Mahinda faction has developed their style of fascistic politics with racist pundits and bigoted intellectuals and organized sections in many cities in the South.
During the last few months they experimented with creating racist and anti-Yahapalana violence. They are probably satisfied and that has made them to make up their minds to go solo at the forthcoming elections. They appear to be firm in their demand that the SLFP group in the Government should sever links with the United National Party, if the two factions were to, jointly, face the polls. This is typical for a fascistic political leadership. This is a demand that will make the Maithri faction surrender completely.
Many analysts say that it is impossible for the Maithri faction to meet this demand, as they know that it would be suicidal for them, especially for the President, not only politically but also literally.
The President would be forced to grant some drastic concessions if this coalition with the Mahinda faction is to take place. The withdrawing of major legal actions taken against the leaders of the Joint Opposition, especially those against the members of the Rajapaksa family, in particular cases against Gotabaya are on line. Such an event will be a blow to those reformists left and minority national organizations that still want go along with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party in the coming elections. Also it will break the pledges given by yahapalanaya to the minority nationalities, particularly to the Tamil national leaders.