Upul Joseph Fernando
Recently Mahinda Rajapaksa had called an astrologer to Abhayaramaya Temple and inquired about the horoscope of Maithripala Sirisena. Mahinda is of the view that a bright time would dawn on him by April 2016 to form a government.
He has related his future dream to all his friends and members in the joint Opposition. So, all of them are eagerly waiting till Mahinda forms a government in April. Maithri had got wind of Mahinda’s dream about the future. In response Maithri told in public that Mahinda’s camp was planning to form governments by reading his horoscope to be sure about his death.
The UNP which was defeated in 1994 waited for ten years dreaming of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s death to form a government. Then it waited for another ten years awaiting the death of Mahinda. The UNP which was thrown into the Opposition in 1994 never planned strategies to recapture power. Suffering defeat after defeat at elections, the UNP was hell-bent on perusing the horoscope of Chandrika. ‘Chandrika is going to face bad times but her horoscope does not indicate that period’, were the bogus astrological predictions given by astrologers to the United National Party (UNP).
The UNP continued to place trust on predictions made on Chandrika’s horoscope by astrologers. However, Chandrika ruled for 11 years. Despite Chandrika ending her period of rule, the UNP could not grab power as it placed trust on astrology, ignoring the organizational strategies to rally the people around the party.
A strongman of a Non-Governmental Organization one day told UNP strongman Gamini Athukorale a fine story. He said: “One day I went with Vijaya Kumaratunga to get Chandrika’s horoscope read. We went to see a reputed Buddhist monk. The monk did not know that it was Chandrika’s horoscope. The monk said the woman who owns the horoscope had a character like a bottle of soda, which, when opened rises and evaporates in no time and noted that nothing could be read in the horoscope after that period”.
The NGO strongman had even conveyed this story to many UNP stalwarts. Those stalwarts who were guided by that story kept on placing hopes on Chandrika’s horoscope to get oxygen to achieve a UNP victory. Chandrika escaped death in a bomb explosion in 1999 and her rule ended only after 11 years. It was then the UNP opened its eyes. After Mahinda became President, the UNP ran after Mahinda’s horoscope. “Mahinda has gone to Thirupathi Temple for pooja because he faces a bad period”, UNPers said whenever Mahinda went there.
In 2009 well known astrologer Chandrasiri Bandara was invited for a workshop organized by UNP MPs. Bandara was very popular among UNP Parliamentarians. He told the workshop that Mahinda would face a danger. A Mahinda spy in the UNP conveyed the prediction to Mahinda. On learning about this prediction, Mahinda lost his cool and arrested Chandrasiri Bandara. Bandara made that prediction after Mahinda won the war in 2009. The UNP was at crossroads after Mahinda won the war. They thought for themselves that they would never ever come to power.
Hence, Bandara’s prediction of a danger period to Mahinda came as a solace to the UNPers. However, Bandara fell in deep trouble by making that prediction. It was the first time that an astrologer was arrested in political history based on a prediction unfavourable to the ruler. Earlier, Vijaya was labelled a Naxalite in 1982 and arrested while many others were arrested in the past for conspiring against governments.
The police asked Chandrasiri Bandara as to whether he made such a prediction based on a political conspiracy. Bandara claimed that he made it based on astrology. Mahinda confidant Mervyn Silva took Bandara to Mahinda and got Bandara to make predictions favourable to Mahinda. On that condition, Bandara was released.
However, his prediction turnedout to be false.Mahinda never faced any danger or a tragic incident. If Mahinda did not call an early presidential election, he would have been the President even today. However, Mahinda ruled the country for nearly a decade.
Though the UNP waited for 11 years to see Chandrika evaporating from the political scene, finally it was Chandrika who helped the UNP to form a government in 2015.