Respect people’s mandate
Political parties and others
have expressed divergent views on the election results of the Western
and Southern Provincial Councils. Opposition political parties
propounded various theories to overcome their humiliating defeats.
But it is indisputable that the ruling UPFA polled over one million
votes more than the main Opposition - the UNP. The UPFA secured 58.06
percent of the total votes polled in the Southern Province whereas its
closest rival, the UNP received only 25.77 percent. In the Western
Province, the UPFA received 53.35 percent of the total votes polled
while the UNP received a mere 26.59 percent. The UPFA secured
comfortable majorities in 51 of the 57 electorates in the Western and
Southern Provinces. The UNP won only six polling divisions in the two
The political parties which failed to win the elections gave ‘expert
comments’ to cover their successive defeats. Nevertheless, the polls’
outcome speaks volumes of the UPFA’s landslide victory at the March 29
Provincial Council elections.
The election result which inflicted the 29th successive election
defeat on the UNP under Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tottering leadership,
demonstrated implicit faith that the masses continue to repose in
President Mahinda Rajapaksa, under whose leadership the UPFA won each
and every election since November, 2005.
With the UPFA recording another magnificent victory at the 2014
Western and Southern Provincial Council elections, the masses have given
another overwhelming mandate to the Government’s people-friendly
policies under the Mahinda Chintana.
On the other hand, the UPFA's thumping election victory sends a clear
signal to the insidious elements who are trying to harm the country. The
people have endorsed the steps taken by the Government to develop the
country and protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Moreover, the election result clearly shows that no force on earth
can defeat the country’s national interests as the patriotic people
would never permit the sinister Western forces to rob Sri Lanka of its
hard-earned peace. The masses continue to rally round the President as
the Government has always given top priority to fulfilling the people’s
needs and aspirations.
More importantly, the election victory had been secured in a free and
fair manner. It is indelibly etched in people’s memories how the UNP
struggled to win elections midway in its 17-year rule from 1977. The
then J.R. Jayewardene regime not only rigged the elections on a massive
scale but also cancelled the 1983 general election through a
In contrast, President Rajapaksa has amply demonstrated his abiding
faith in democracy and the people’s power by holding elections
regularly, even ahead of their due dates.
The Treasurer of the SLFP - the main constituent party of the UPFA,
Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dullas Alahapperuma
highlighted that the UPFA had polled 525,000 more votes than the
combined opposition. It is not correct to compare the number of votes
secured by the UPFA in the 2014 election result with that of 2009, which
was held shortly after the defeat of the LTTE terrorism. Instead, the
Opposition parties must compare the total number of votes they had
obtained at the 2014 elections with that of the UPFA.
If one were to compare the elections held under the present
government and the UNP regime, it is abundantly clear that there is a
significant decline in post election violence under the incumbent
government. After President Rajapaksa first took office in November
2005, all elections were held in a peaceful environment.
The so-called election analysts in the Opposition had failed to
realise that the 2010 general election vote base of the UPFA remains
intact. The UNP vote base had further eroded at the Western and Southern
Provincial Council elections. Yet, the UNP comes out with various
theories to cover up its ignominious defeat and retain its Opposition
The stunning UPFA election victory has sent a clear signal to
disgruntled local and international elements, which are day-dreaming of
a regime change through undemocratic means. The overwhelming mandate
from the masses at the Southern and Western Provincial Council elections
will undoubtedly encourage the Government to continue with its current
policies on national security, sovereignty and development.
Though the JVP and the Democratic Party boast of an improvement, they
are nowhere near the UPFA’s commanding vote base. However, in the
Southern Province, the two parties had jointly received more than half
of the total number of total votes polled by the UNP. This trend was
witnessed in the Western Province too with the JVP and the DP jointly
polling more than half of the votes which the UNP had received.
Despite all the theories propounded by the JVP and the Democratic
Party to console themselves, the stark fact is that the two parties now
pose a grave threat to the UNP. As there is hardly any chance of a
coalition among these parties due to serious differences of opinion and
policies, no Opposition party could pose any challenge to the UPFA.
Even if all the Opposition parties were to come under one banner, the
UPFA could still face the challenge as the masses continue to rally
round the leader who had ushered in peace for one and all. People in
far-flung areas had shown even more interest in supporting the UPFA.
For example, the UPFA won all three districts in the Southern
Province - Galle, Matara and Hambantota, by obtaining over 57 percent of
the votes. The UPFA recorded the highest number of votes in the Deniyaya
electorate by obtaining 65.97 percent of the votes cast. In the Galle
district, the UPFA obtained 57.58 percent of the votes and 13 seats,
while the UNP received only 26.34 percent of votes and six seats.
Sajith Premadasa's solo performance with the UNP reformist group,
rejecting the support of his party's leadership council, had evidently
not made any impact whatsoever. The UNP secured only 26.34 percent of
the votes polled to secure four seats whereas the UPFA gained 57.42
percent of votes to win eight seats. Although the UNP won the majority
in the Galle electorate by a mere 737 votes, Sajith's leadership and the
presence of UNP reformists failed to win even a single electorate in the
Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Sarath Fonseka should not be carried
away over the few seats the JVP and the Democratic Party had won in the
two Provincial Councils. Their representatives failed to make any impact
as the ruling UPFA commands an absolute majority in the two provinces.
In the event Anura Kumara and Fonseka overestimate themselves and
consider themselves victors, the JVP and DP would lose their voters in
next to no time.
Now that the elections have come and gone, and there won’t be any
elections till 2016, the elected representatives must make a concerted
effort to serve the people and develop their areas further. They should
sink petty political differences and work for the betterment of the
people who elected them.
The Opposition should desist from trying to gain petty political
mileage on international affairs and support the Government against the
sinister forces which are attempting to meddle in Sri Lanka's internal
By reposing implicit faith in the President and the Government, the
masses have approved the nation’s right foreign policy. Hence, the
Opposition must extend its support to the President and show Sri Lanka’s
strength and unity against the unethical conduct of the UNHRC chief Navi
Pillay and the few Western countries which passed a Resolution against
All patriotic and peace-loving politicians, irrespective of their
party must throw their weight to beat the UNHRC’s moves to meddle in the
internal affairs of a sovereign nation. They should always put the
country before self.
The Opposition, after analysing the Provincial Council elections
result, should perceive the people’s aspirations. They should not go
against the masses and play into the hands of sinister Western forces.
Be it the UNP, JVP, TNA or the DP, all of them should respect the
people's mandate. If they go against the people's wishes and support the
conspiracies hatched in the West in collusion with the LTTE rump, the
masses would teach them a bitter lesson at future elections.