Behind Closed Doors
Grabbing the wrong hand, Blue blues and, battle for K'gala
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's claim that the party supporter
who grabbed his hand in last week's tussle with him at an UPFA election
rally in Akuressa was "a little drunk" prompted wags to comment that at
least some of those attending rallies of the UPFA must be out of their
Former Deputy Speaker Chandima Weerakkody, a candidate for the Galle
district, too underwent a similar experience when he addressed an
election meeting in Ambalangoda. Commenting on the 'ills' of Yahapalaya,
he claimed that several stalwarts of the UPFA had been arrested on false
"Even the Chairman of the Ambalangda Pradeshiya Sabha has been
arrested by Police on cooked up charges!" Weerakkody declared
demonstrating his anger over the conduct of the yahapalana government.
At this point, the crowd started cheering madly saying, Jayaweva,
Jayaweva! leaving the former Deputy Speaker nonplussed.
Ali petaw tikakda, koheda? (Must be some baby elephants) an annoyed
Weerakkody said before continuing with his speech. Weerakkody may have
remembered Rajapaksa's remark when his leader underwent that experience
with the crowd at the Akuressa rally.
Blue bouncer's blues
Ex-Minister Mervyn Silva, once the all-powerful Public Affairs
Minister of the Rajapaksa administration, is now in a destitute state of
some sort. He was not given nomination to contest the election on the
UPFA ticket and he has now pledged support to the Good Governance Front.
However, the Good Governance Front too is a little cautious about
getting Silva's support at the election as he is a 'difficult customer'
in every sense of the word.
Recently, a journalist, who had close links to Silva, gave him a
telephone call. During the conversation, he asked a question that
annoyed Silva to the hilt. "Mr. Minister, don't you think you have been
left alone?" (Emathithumaa, obathuma thani vela kiyala hithennne nedda)
the journalist asked.
Ithing umba warenko mage thani rakinna, (Then you should come to
relieve my loneliness) the irked minister replied angrily and hung up
Green banker minus the greenbacks
A UNP Colombo District candidate, a banker by profession, has
launched an unusual election campaign, deviating from the usual practice
of his Parliamentary colleagues.
He has strictly refused campaign funding from businessmen who face
allegations over their association with the Rajapaksa regime.
Although some of these businessmen have offered him some good deals,
he has turned them down citing 'his political principles' and 'moral
reasons'. Sources told the Sunday Observer that the politician, who
maintained a clean track record as an MP over the past five years, had
obtained an overdraft from a bank to finance his election campaign.
Although he may not be in a position to compete with his colleagues
who spend money lavishly on propaganda campaigns, his supporters hope
that by living up to his principles the rising politician will win
success in the highly competitive Colombo district contest.
Battle for Kurunegala
An intense political tug-of-war has erupted between 'Siri' of
Kurunegala and the former big boss who has joined the electoral fray in
the same district.
It all began when the former boss obtained an intelligence report
from his allies about the prospects for preferential votes in the
district. The report indicated that 'Siri' would pose a serious threat
to the former bigwig's campaign.
'Siri' crossed over to the blue camp from the elephant party just
before the last Provincial Council election and obtained the highest
number of preferential votes and became the Chief Minister with a
landslide victory. "If Siri comes close to the former big boss's number,
it will reflect badly on his entire campaign," a source from the blue
camp said. Knowing the Parliamentary election is a tough race for him,
the ex-Prez is attempting to save face by obtaining the highest number
of preferential votes.
Meanwhile, the former big boss is also ruffled over rumours that 'Siri'
has a close under-the-radar relationship with the President and party
leader. It does not augur well for the boss's campaign in the district.
President Sirisena has triggered a fresh crisis in the pro-Rajapaksa
camp by appointing Chandana Katriarachchi as the SLFP organizer of the
Kesbewa electorate. Katriarachchi is known as a CBK loyalist and as a
result, he is not in the good books of the Rajapaksas.
At the same time, he is the main political rival of Gamini Lokuge, a
lieutenant of the pro-Rajapaksa camp. The battle between Lokuge and
Katriarachchi spans over two decades. Katriarachchi, a former Deputy
Minister, received his letter of appointment from President Sirisena on
Thursday, at the Presidential Secretariat. The news of his appointment
was a major disappointment to Gamini Lokuge, who worked hard to ensure
nomination for Rajapaksa from the UPFA.
The move indicates that the President is strengthening his camp in
the UPFA in a bid to form a national government after the election,
completely demolishing the Prime Ministerial hopes of former President