Category Archives: Presidential elections

The Yahapalanaya Government in Strife: Philips, Hattotuwa and Chandraprema Analyse the Situation

I. Rajan Philips: “The government’s consummate crisis in the face of Mahinda’s unconsummatable win,” Sunday Island, 18 February 2018,

There is no pussyfooting around the political shellacking at last week’s polls, that the President’s and the Prime Minister’s teams got at the hands of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budding party of old bloomers. Not surprisingly, the shellacking has precipitated a consummate crisis in the so called national-unity government. While the results of the local government elections have created the current crisis in the national government, the same results cannot provide any mechanism or mandate for resolving that crisis. Nor can the impressively lopsided success at the local elections directly enable Mahinda Rajapaksa to replace the government at the national level. Put another way, SLPP cannot nationally consummate its aggregate win at the local elections. It can, however, create havoc for the unity government and it is doing so in spades. The government leaders, on the other hand, are scrambling with no one showing any capacity to take control of the situation and restore even a semblance of order. Continue reading

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Is Sri Lanka creating A Dungeon for Itself?

Kalinga Seneviratne 4 February 2018 with this title  “Sri Lanka Celebrating Independence In Chains Of Its Own Making” at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sri-lanka-celebrating-independence-chains-its-own-kalinga-seneviratne/

While Sri Lanka “celebrates” 70 years of independence from British colonial rule this month, its sovereignty is being threatened as never before since gaining independence in 1948 – tempting one to remark that Sri Lanka is celebrating ‘independence in chains’. The strategically placed Indian ocean island is an important lynchpin in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which western powers – especially the United States and Britain – are keen to sabotage as its success would end their hegemony in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.

 Sri Lanka troop transport catamaran in 2004-wikiemedia Commons

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The ISLAND Editor smacks Obama’s Bottom

Editorial in The ISLAND, 17  January 2017, entitled “Obama’s Swansong”… with highlighting bing the Editor Thuppahi’s work.

President Barack Obama has, towards the latter part of his second term, shown a tendency to get increasingly maudlin. Tears welled up in his eyes the other day while making his farewell speech. Last year, he refused to speak at his daughter Malia’s graduation lest he should get too emotional. In 2015, he was seen wiping away tears during a fascinating performance by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.

obama-22Pic from another tearful occasion Continue reading

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Constitutional Issues via Architectural Form: Sharp Interest from People, Somnolence from Politicoes

Sanjana Hattotuwa, courtesy of The Island, 3 December 2016, where the title is “Corridors of Power” … with highlighting emphasis inserted by Editor Thuppahi.

I do not recall the exact moment, but I do remember a time when I was so frustrated with the Rajapaksa regime’s blatant disregard for the constitution that I wondered how best I could communicate a critique of power to even those who would vote for, and loved him. This was after the 18th Amendment, late 2010. I was interested in a way to engage with what I hated to see come about, in full knowledge, at the time, that those opposed to what Mahinda Rajapaksa did were in a minority. I had one relatively successful previous attempt which suggested when instead of presenting a contrasting opinion, which can be variously, violently and immediately dismissed, a way to debate the substance of a contentious issue is created, a rather different timbre of engagement ensues.

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Reflections on Trump’s Victory: How Come and What Follows

S W R de A Samarasinghe,  of Tulane University, Washington DC, courtesy of The Island, 11 November 2016, with the title   What Trump’s victory means for US and rest of the world

US President-elect Donald Trump described his presidential campaign as a “Movement” and not the usual party fight between Republicans and Democrats. The poltical pundits did not take him seriously. He broke almost all the rules of the US campaign rulebook and won. Trump and Hillary Clinton each have polled about 59.5 million of the popular vote while Trump has won the 538 Electoral College vote 299.5 to 238.5. Trump’s “Movement” mainly consisted of white blue-collar middle class voters drawn from suburbs, and small towns and rural residents. In contrast Clinton’s support came mainly from a coalition that consisted of more educated and more prosperous white middle class suburbs, and racial minorities mostly from the big cities.

aa-trump-11

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What the US Results tell Us about Different Electoral Systems: Ladduwahetty

Neville Ladduwahetty, in The Island, 15  November 2016,  “Democracy: Direct vs Representative”

The outcome of the recently held Presidential Election in the US and the Referendum in UK demonstrate the gulf that exists between Direct Democracy that operates on the direct vote of the People, and Representative Democracy that operates on the vote of elected representatives. The outcomes in the US and UK were based on Direct Democracy because issues were determined directly by the People, even though in the case of the US Direct Democracy was expressed through the Electoral College.

In the US and UK the predictions of the pollsters, analysts and media were so completely off-base that the world was stunned by final outcomes. In the case of the US, the Republican Party was searching for alternative candidates because they were embarrassed by the positions taken and expressed by Donald Trump on several issues. Notwithstanding this divide, the fact the Trump was elected demonstrated the stark disconnect between Party hierarchy and the People who voted for him.

voting-slaa-voting

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What Trump may bring to the US Table on Sri Lanka in contrast with Clinton’s ”Humanitarian Imperialist Cloak”

Daya Gamage, courtesy of Asian Tribune, where the title reads “Trump – Tamil Diaspora Eelam Activists & Sri Lanka Trajectory”

When asked about the implications of the ongoing purge – immediately following the abortive military coup in Turkey – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump echoed: What right do we in the United States have to criticize the condition of human rights elsewhere? Here’s Trump: “I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.” donald-trump_3 hillary-11-business-indider

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