With the Ranil vs Sajith debate dragging on we are now moving to a battle on symbols. Ranil is not ready to give the elephant symbol to the new Sajith-led alliance. So we are moving to the heart of the matter. Sajith has picked on the heart symbol, and the polls commission has also agreed to it.
We will be fast moving to the politics of the heart, or “hadavath deshapalanaya”. The elephant symbol of green politics moved out of the battle ground some decades ago, although the UNP kept the largely unused symbol. From the campaign of Gen. Sarath Fonseka as presidential candidate in 2009, the elephant was kept in the UNP Zoo, and not brought out for big campaigning. The jumbo’s last show was in the local government polls in 2018, where it was a real ‘ali parajaya’ or massive defeat.
With Ranil embracing the elephant in the final phase of his politics, and Sajith missing the heartbeat of the elephant in his recent presidential defeat campaign, the country is now moving to a new political trend where the heart will face the lotus flower – the hadavatha – nelum mala satana.
Let’s not bother just now about the colour of the Sajith Premadasa heart -which is said to be yellow. Writing on Valentine’s Day one wonders whether Sajith has a romantic inclination to the heart symbol, what is the cause of his love for the heart, when the jumbo is trapped in the Ranil political desert?
How much of this political heart is involved with the Gam Udawa of Village Awakening scheme that came down from his father, Ranasinghe Premadasa? Does this heart have any soft beat for the forest land and trees destroyed to build small houses with tiny gardens for people, who could be given two or three storeyed housing complexes, better for the country and environment?
Has the Sajith heart has any beat for the more than 600 policemen killed by the LTTE, after they surrendered following his father’s orders?
What Sajith is showing today is his support for a Heart of Silence. He has a sickening silence on key issues of politics and governance, such as the MCC Agreement with the US. He now calls for tearing up the MCC, but never criticised it when in the Sirisena/Ranil Cabinet that approved it. That is the heart of political silence.
Does Sajith know that the battle he faces with the lotus bud today is largely because of how the Yahapalana government largely abandoned the promises given to the people on catching and punishing the corrupt of the previous Rajapaksa Regime? Does he not know that such heartless politics and governance, takes the people’s hearts away from such political crooks?
We hear much being said about the poor record of the new Rajapaksa Regime of the Gota/Mahinda/Basil Clan. But what can a Heart Waving Sajith actually offer the people to overcome this vast revival of Rajapaksa politics of profit, payback and family power?
If Sajith’s heart is supportive of democracy, what does his heartbeat tell him about the attacks on freedom of the media and journalists that came from the power of his father? He may have been small then, but he must know by now how journalist Richard de Zoysa was killed under his father’s rule. Does his heart have any good beats on protecting the Freedom of the Press, certainly better than his father, in a much wider world of social media too?
Sajith Premadasa has made a big show of his support for religion, especially the Buddhist structure in Sri Lanka. He has certainly spent much on support for the Temple and the Sangha, but is that the actual stuff of democracy, or one of religious alignment? Is the yellow colour of his political heart the beat of the yellow robe, and would his political leadership have more of the heartbeat of the people and not of the yellow robe?
We are fast moving to the heartbeat of a general election. The hearts of millions will have diverse beats as the campaigns move on, with a huge call for a two-thirds majority by the lotus bud players and similar voices against it. What can Sajith and his political heart symbol bring to the people largely different to the Rajapaksa call? How can he as a leading member of the Yahapalana regime, explain to the people as to how so many allegedly corrupt politicians can now play lead roles in Pohottuva governance? If the Yahapalana Team was such a failure in fighting crooks and corruption, how can he really feel the heartbeat of the people, to be the Prime Minister of a rival President?
Or, is this all the heartbeat of crooked politics this country has seen at large through 72 years of independence? Is Sajith Premadasa taking us all to another phase of dirty and crooked politics and governance, which has nothing to do with the heartbeat of expectation of the people?
It is time for the people to learn that politics of the Elephant has little difference with that of a promised Heart. The alignments are all of crooked hearts, with the beat and rhythm of the corrupt. Hope does spring eternal in the human heart, with little or no hope in the political heart!