Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For someone so superstitious – it seems it has worked so far!

If one studies the recent history in Sri Lanka where Mahinda Rajapakse won a Presidential Election in 2005 after promising to pay Rs1B to Prabarkaran; it has all been his way up to now, the first half of 2012. In the end he managed to get away with only paying Rs800M and the balance was not paid. KP repaid this bribe and then some to save his life and live in the secret lap of luxury using the LTTE money!! How fortunate can you get?

The Tamil people could have been instructed to vote for Ranil Wickremasinghe, but were instead asked not to go to the polls. It was also a calculated move by Prabarkaran, as if they had in fact voted, the number of people in the area would have come to light, as being considerably less than the previous census, upon which the LTTE were basing their population strengths, which the current ongoing census will prove is a fraction of the earlier estimate.

Call this luck or superstition, but it has worked so far. How long will his good time last? Is it about to come to an end? I am not a person who believes in superstition and horoscopes, so I cannot even fathom out this logic. It maybe because I purely dwell on reason, and then believe only in justice in the end for one’s actions, in this life or the next, that I live my daily life, not fearing anyone or trying to con anyone.

The chance given to him in Marvil Aru where the LTTE prevented farmers from irrigating their lands, ended in Nandikanal with the elimination of the LTTE, something he was certain he could achieve with the forces given the proper resources of men and equipment. That belief in battle supremacy in winning, is one I commend him for, in the light of many who doubted this could not be done. I for one only believed it could be done with enormous sacrifice in terms of lives, but in fact when the final casualties of our soldiers are considered it was much less than I feared. I also believe that in the last year of the war, at least 30,000 LTTE and civilians were killed, but as it was difficult to distinguish between civilian and LTTE, it is regrettable but inevitable that these casualties are counted as one.

I also believed that it was foolish to maintain zero civilian casualties right through these 3 years despite all the evidence to the contrary, but even that seemed to have worked in his favor, as he actually has an electorate who believe in that statement intrinsically. As a result  he has used all the international condemnation, all the UN panel and other reports to benefit his cause, and this has proven right, when one looks at the results of all the elections since the end of the hostilities.

As far as it relates to General Sarath Fonseka, it appears in hindsight, that the General made a huge number of mistakes, which he continues to make, and Mahinda took advantage of this to cleverly show the General as a revengeful megalomaniac who would have lined up Mahinda and all his cohorts and had them shot, or personally have shot them. The fear of a bombastic Fonseka ready to wield dictatorial powers as was cleverly shown, was enough to send a shiver down even many UNPers who did not vote in the last Presidential Election, handing an easy victory to Mahinda Rajapakse.

The continuing winning streak in the Provincial Council Elections, and then all the Pradeshiya Sabha ones, showed how clever he has been in using the media to his advantage. He has not shown any fear of breaking all the rules of election laws in achieving his ends, and also turning into illegal tactics to achieve his goal, as the theme was victory at any cost.

He was lucky again that we were able to keep the Rupee strong despite the high inflation, due to the remittances and so was able to win during a period of growth and lowish inflation. He was able to defer till later all the home truths of having to pay for all his works and also for keeping the exchange rate artificially high all this time, in order to win the elections with a huge plebiscite.

He now has calculated that everything has got to return to the zero sum game, and so the subsidies have to be cut, and the cost of living will rise in 2012, when he will gradually be able to clear the decks with unpopular measures, and by mid or end 2013, things would return to a semblance of normality and good times so that he can go on his winning streak at that time in the Provincial, and then Local Government Elections before the General and next Presidential election.

This tactic may actually payoff, if he can call the people’s bluff. It is incumbent upon a strong opposition to show the people that this is all smoke and mirrors and the truth has been that the country has mortgaged itself to fund the lavish lifestyles of the ruling elite, and that only a fraction of the funds has actually gone for development. If that is obvious to the people then they have a future.

I am however not convinced they can carry on this charade for much longer, as all the action stemming from the LLRC report has been one of denial, defense and then attack the opposition, which in a short time the truth will be laid bare. 

Has the luck run out? Has reality set in? or as that famous saying ends, you cannot fool all of the people all of the time!!!

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