Another feather in UPFA’s cap
The United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA),
led by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, scored yet another convincing
election victory, at the Local Government polls on Thursday.
From the time President Rajapaksa took office on November 18, 2005,
he has demonstrated his faith in democracy in no uncertain terms by
conducting elections prior to the scheduled dates or even earlier.
He even called for a Presidential election two years prior to the due
date, thereby foregoing a part of his first six-year term in office.
During the past couple of years, the Government has proved its faith in
democracy by holding Local Government, Provincial Council, General
Elections and Presidential Elections.
At all those elections, the masses continued to repose their faith in
President Rajapaksa and the Government as the UPFA had landslide
victories in rapid succession.
Never in Sri Lanka’s history did the country hold such a large number
of elections within such a short period. President Rajapaksa’s sole wish
was to give the masses as many opportunities as possible to exercise
their democratic right.
Hailing from the remote Hambantota District, the President cherishes
democracy and the people’s power. This is the chief reason as to why the
President conducts elections on a regular basis - to understand the
pulse of the people better. The elections bear mute testimony that the
masses strongly support his dynamic leadership.
Even countries which pontificate to us on five-star democracy have
not held as many elections as Sri Lanka. People still recall the time
when former President J.R. Jayewardene folded the electoral map and
extended the term of Parliament in the guise of a referendum in 1983.
The fact that the Rajapaksa administration holds elections even
before due dates seems to have given a headache to the Opposition. This
is purely because the main Opposition - the United National Party (UNP)
had lost over 25 elections consecutively. This has led to an internal
power struggle in the UNP with its leaders trying to apportion blame on
Now that the UNP has been routed again, this time, at Local
Government bodies, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sajith Premadasa would
invariably put the blame on each other and wash their hands off the
At the outset of the UNP’s LG polls campaign, Premadasa openly
declared that he was spearheading the Greens’ campaign as Wickremesinghe
had fled the country, handing him the responsibility of leading the
The UNP is back on square one and it is by no means fair for
Premadasa to trot out lame excuses. He must take an equal share of the
blame along with other party seniors. Could a political Lilliputian such
as Premadasa do any better if a veteran and two-time former Prime
Minister Wickremesinghe failed to deliver the goods? Premadasa should
not take cover and blame Wickremesinghe for the fiasco.
All UNP seniors should be held responsible collectively for the
ignominious defeats at successive elections. Instead of looking for
shortcuts to capture power by undemocratic means, the UNP stalwarts must
collectively draw up a strategy to win future elections.
The UNP seniors should even at this late stage give up their
internecine warfare for party leadership and try to resurrect the
moribund party for the next general election or presidential election in
five to six years from now.
Premadasa and his ‘reformists’ in the UNP must take due cognizance of
this bitter fact. The UNP had lost successive elections not solely
because of its weak leadership but rather due to the immense popularity
of the President and the unprecedented support of the masses to the
truly people’s President.
President Rajapaksa’s illustrious political leadership to eradicate
the LTTE and unite the country has been the hallmark of his success at
Simultaneously, the right economic policies of the Government and
widespread development projects implemented throughout the country have
won the people’s hearts. The development drive with a truly Sri Lankan
identity, blended with our foreign policy, has won unprecedented public
Hence, the Opposition caught with its pants down has no option,
whatsoever, but to tarnish the image of the Government and its popular
leader. They care two hoots and even sully the image of the motherland
at international fora.
Regrettably, several Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) who depend
heavily on foreign funding, have jumped the bandwagon and continue to
project a gloomy picture about Sri Lanka before the International
The question to be posed before the International Community, INGOs
and those countries and organisations which are hell-bent on framing war
crimes charges against Sri Lanka is whether the reason for doing so is
because terrorism was eradicated.
When the so-called big countries are still grappling in their attempt
to destroy the so-called international terrorism, Sri Lanka’s valiant
Security Forces had vanquished the world’s most ruthless terror outfit
in an exemplary manner.
Perhaps these so-called bigwigs must be feeling bashful of this
bitter fact, especially since Sri Lanka’s Security Forces had achieved a
resounding victory which is only a distant dream for even the world’s
most sophisticated armies.
Had the Sri Lankan Government or its Security Forces committed any
wrong-doing or been involved in inhuman acts during the battle against
terror, they would have never attracted such overwhelming support from
People in the North and the East would never have voted for the
Government or its allies if any of the so-called war crimes had been
committed. This stands testimony to the Government’s genuineness.
President Rajapaksa has categorically said time and again that he is
only answerable to the people of Sri Lanka and to those who elected him
as the Head of State.
If the majority of the people in Sri Lanka have reposed their faith
and support in President Rajapaksa and his government at successive
elections, should one worry about extraneous elements which attempt to
discredit Sri Lanka?
As long as the President and the Government continue to enjoy the
majority support of the masses at successive elections, the INGOs and a
few countries which attempt to discredit Sri Lanka could do precious
little with their malicious campaigns.
Even at this late stage, the INGO mafia should abandon its sinister
campaigns and allow Sri Lanka to handle its internal affairs.
Thursday’s election victory amply demonstrates the abiding public
support President Rajapaksa and his Government enjoys. This is the
majority wish in a democratic set-up. The people’s power reigns supreme.