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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Why S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike is turning in his grave

[b]Why S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike is turning in his grave[/b]

By H. L. D. Mahindapala

[b] Part II[/b]

Every election begins by reviewing the past and redefining the future. This presidential election will be fought mainly on a review of the entire gamut of post-independent political experiences. If “1956” was a review of the colonial past, “2005” will be a review of the political maneuvers of the Tamil separatists who along with their agents in the West emerged from the periphery in 1949 to dominate the centre stage.

It began with S. J. V. Chelvanayakam lunging to grab a disproportionate share of power in a disproportionate share of territory with varying southern responses to appease the insatiable political appetites of the northern Tamils. The numerous appeasements have gone through many combinations and permutations with no permanent end in sight. Can this election provide the decisive solution?

This election is about producing a leader who can provide a durable solution that addresses the aspirations of all communities and not just one armed group. It is the winner of this election, whoever he may be, that will determine the future of the nation. Even a cursory glance will reveal that all the multifarious post-independent crises have at last converged simultaneously at the most critical cross-roads in this election. Which road the nation will take depends on the choice of the leaders in 2005. Both contenders claim that they have the answers. Ranil Wickremesinghe claims that he has the answer which, of course, cannot be anything different from his earlier recipe: appease until there is nothing left in his power to appease. He will certainly not call it appeasing. He will call it “confidence-building”.

He will also bring back his old gang of cronies dumping all those who have helped him. He will be surrounded by Batman Weerakoon, Malik Samarawickrema, Charitha Ratwatte and above all Paskaralingam, the LTTE mole in Premadasa’s regime. Charitha Ratwatte and R. Paskaralingam, the keepers of the Treasury, will see to it that the security forces will not have the military hardware to meet any challenges from the LTTE.


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