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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2397

Wanted : A new, efficient, capable, hard-working president..

[b]Wanted : A new, efficient, capable, hard-working president for Sri Lanka [/b]

November will be the month of political carnivals in Sri Lanka where people in the South will be very busy participating in the entertainments offered by their political heroes, while in the North, as usual, the Tamil Tigers would come up with some sort of explanation to order the Tamils to boycott the presidential election.

Like it or not election to the next Executive President will most likely to be held in Sri Lanka by this November 2005. Already there are two candidates in the field – Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party, who is also the leader of the Party and Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the nominee of the Peoples’ Alliance. Come nomination day, we may have many other names joining the race.

The most popular name that is likely to come up as the third candidate is the battle-hardened retired Major-General Janaka Perara, who has been Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Australia and later transferred to Jakarta.

Behind the scenes are many entertaining players including those in the prison cells as well as so-called patients in the hospital beds.

Presidential elections have changed electoral politics ever since it was introduced by President J. R. Jayewardene. He established the new constitution after wining a two-thirds majority in the 1977 parliamentary elections. The 1978 constitution change the political landscape by handing over supreme powers to the President. The father of constitution, Jayewardene said that the only thing he can’t change is a man into a woman. He imposed almost an authoritiarian rule. He even released Gonawila Sunil, a rapist within six months of serving his term in prison and when asked why it was done, the President replied: “Because I have the power to do so!” Gonawila Sunil was a thug from Ranil Wickremesinghe’s electorate who virtually ran the Ministry of Education when Wickremesinghe was the minister. Eventually Sunil became an embarrassment to Wickremesinghe and he died under mysterious circumstances.

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