Saturday, July 16, 2011

The impending Northern Polls and the Government's commitment to get the result they want

The North as well as many Local Councils in the South go to the Polls on Saturday July 23rd. The Govt. is pulling out all the stops, spending limitless amounts of money, taking all their big whigs up there, and advertising their "Nagenahira Navodaya and Uthuru Vasanthaya" in every conceivable newspaper in all languages to speak to the voter that it is them they need to vote if they want development.

On top of that the TNA is being intimidated, and prevented from carrying out normal election activities by the heavy presence of the Security Forces there, as well as the EPDP being given the use of the whole of the Govt. machinery and at their disposal completely flagrantly abusing all the election rules, using the services of the state on their behalf. I hope and pray this does not result in election violence nearer to Polling day, and need I say that despite the rules about no election activity for the 48 hours prior to the opening of the polling stations, they would indeed ensure that they will have sole ability to break their own regulations and keep their cutouts and use their machinery to bribe the voters right up to the last minute. Once the polls close they will ensure that the count is rigged and the results are particularly favorable to them.

The Northern voter is not as easily bought over by the bullshit of this ploy, so it will be easy to see how successful this will be, as the TNA are just hoping they would use sense to give them the vote despite the heavy Government coercion.

I am no fan of the TNA and do not feel they represent the rights of the people of the North, neither do I feel the government does. The tragedy of this is due to the interference of the government in preventing other political parties to operate to build a power base, we are left with the two worst alternatives to fight it out for a lesser of two evils.

What conclusion would you come to that despite the full force of the state the TNA is able to put up a good showing. Then it means that they now represent the interests of the North and we may have to listen to their grievances whether we like it or not and make a suitable accommodation to take into account what the elected representatives say. If there is a wipe out for the EPDP, then we will hear the much touted all canard, that the people have spoken and endorsed all the policies of the Government. If you ask anyone in the North what the government policies to the North are, other than the subjugation of the peoples they will not be able to come up with any better reason.

The claimed legitimacy will thus become the clarion call in international fora to strike down all the international pressure that is being exerted, and the government will also get the rest of the local power base to back this up and there will be no other way to question their legitimacy. This is a very frightening thought. This will allow the imposition on already traumatized people, another set of rules and guidelines, some alien to them. How would I feel if I was them? mad as hell! In order to prevent me from taking up arms they have made sure the security situation will never get out of hand.

We are setting them up for another mission against the country and authority, which we can ill afford. The current opposition should have campaigned hard for legitimacy and as a counterweight tot he Govt. but for many reasons they were unable to organize the campaign they needed to make a difference to the result. What with the potential for rigging, the UNP did not want to spend money they do not have, just to get all the hard work changed by blatantly engaging in forbidden election practices.

If the TNA gets legitimacy with a mandate, they will then use it to the fullest in ways that we will not be able accept, due to their demands being unreasonable and we will be back to square one waiting for the resumption of further Eelam Wars. The fault rests with the Government which does not understand the true dynamic. they think they do, however once the truth of what has happened comes out the legitimacy of the state will be called into question, especially in International Fora, giving the Eelam Rump amongst the Tamil Diaspora, a further fillip. We don't want that.  The govt. seems to relish that so they can reach to the gallery back home, playing into the fears to the Sinhala natural lack of trust and insecurity relating to the Tamils being given some legitimate rights.

The answer to all this is very simple. The elections should be held in the first week of January 2012, and there should be complete freedom to conduct election activities and all interested parties should be made welcome. It is only then that all the political parties can galvanize their supporters from all over the country and try to win the hearts of the Northerners and come out with a rainbow coalition of parties and elected representatives, that, whilst none have a complete majority, nevertheless, is reflective of the complexities of Northern Politics.

On the assumption that these are not rigged, we will then get a better opinion on identifying the issues and steps taken to tackle the issues one at at time in a methodical manner. We will have support from the international fora for this and if funds are required, donors are more willing to make contributions knowing that the system has changed for he better.

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