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Unprecedented victory

As expected the Government romped home at the Western Provincial election virtually steam rolling over the opposition in a poll which is largely seen as a referendum on the President’s leadership in the current military success.

That a UPFA victory at the yesterday’s Provincial Election was a mere formality was plain to even a political novice. What was not anticipated however was the scale of the victory achieved by the Government.

We say this because it is the general contention that the Western Province would not be swayed by the ongoing military successes being a Province where the urban voter is concentrated not to mention the country’s economic hub necessarily throwing up different demographies compared to other provinces.

The UNP too campaigned on the basis that the urban voter hard pressed by his economic woes would have little interest in the victorious end to the three decades old war or the unfolding human drama involving the civilians.

But the near 70% victory achieved by the UPFA has shown that the people as a whole have rallied behind the Government to consolidate it’s military victories which is going to have an impact on the Western Province as well.

In short what was witnessed on Saturday was a spontaneous response by the voters of the Western Province to follow in the pattern of all other Provinces that hitherto went to the polls. What was seen at the WP was the collective chorus of the people applauding the victories of the armed forces and President’s Mahinda Rajapaksa’s unwavering commitment to smash the LTTE that brought so much misery to the country.

From the results of the poll it is clear that the response was an overwhelming one. It was as if this was the only way the people could celebrate the military victory. The election was used as an out let by the people to expresses this spontaneous joy. There was no politics involved as voters cast their ballot across party lines. This was seen by the stunning majorities achieved by the Government.

It is difficult to imagine how the UNP is going to recover from this debacle. It is plain to all that the tide of popularity has entrenched itself with the President with no signs of it diminishing.

That the electorate has given a ringing endorsement to the Government’s military campaign is also a indication that no other factor can come into the equation, at least at this juncture.

The UNP it must be said badly miscalculated the mood of the voter in the Western Province in believing that the military victories would have little impact on this segment of the voter population. Feeble attempts to reverse the tide by acknowledging the victories of the forces by party stalwarts on TV talk shows were but too little too late.

They (the voters) had firmly reposed their trust in the President’s ability to eliminate the LTTE. As earlier mentioned in these columns it is the Western province particularly the Colombo city which had borne the brunt of LTTE attacks such as suicide strikes and bus bombings.

Now with the near annihilation of the outfit the people in the Western Province would be able to heave a huge sigh of relief. They could now go about their business freely and without fear. The entrepreneurial sections too would see good prospects for business. This too no doubt cumulatively had a bearing on yesterday’s results.

The steady erosion of the votes in the UNP bastions was a clear indication of such a trend.

Where would the grand old party go from here? The simmering discontent with the party leadership is bound to re-surface with the number of serial defeats certain to extend with the up coming elections in the Southern and Uva Provinces.

It is difficult to imagine the party reversing the current trend in the foreseeable future with the voters firmly behind the Government.

By this endorsement the people of the Western Province had also given the thumbs up to the President’s stand of standing up to foreign pressure to go for a ceasefire. They would no doubt have weighed this against the record of the Opposition Leader.

More or less this was a confidence vote on President Rajapaksa’s unwavering leadership that saw the elimination of what was once the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world.

The people of the Western Province bore up with all the inconveniences of road closures and body checks having faith in his leadership to rid the country of the one problem that was setting it back from the road to progress and prosperity.

As the results showed the victory was unprecedented. Never in the post independent history has such enormous majorities being recorded by a single party in an election. It shows that the voters have set their minds beyond their mundane problems and local issues and cast their ballot on behalf of the nation.

It is hoped the newly elected Provincial Councillors of the Western Province would take cognisance of this and do their utmost for the welfare of the WP voters who gave them such a bonanza on behalf of the President.

Towards a national land policy

Popular actor turned politician Land and Land Development Minister Jeewan Kumaranatunga in an interview with the Daily News expressed his views on the current political situation and the measures taken by his Ministry to settle the land problems of the people.

Full Story

Help Sri Lanka rebuild

Sri Lankan Americans appeal to US Secretary of State

A group of Sri Lankan Americans have written to US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton replying to some of her comments regarding the current situation in Sri Lanka. We reproduce below without comment the contents of the letter sent by them

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Dien Bien Phu and the end of LTTE

Sri Lanka’s newspaper ‘war’ correspondents and a few retired military souls reporting on the 30 year counter terrorist conflict were wont to induce a veneer of military sophistication to their ‘front line’ news as well as their egos by comparisons with famous battles not simply in any war but in World Wars. So Somme, Stalingrad, Gallipolli, Dunkirk, Berlin, Dresden, Hiroshima were visited with great vigour if not desperation.

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Corporate monopoly of science

Anyone growing GM crops has to buy seeds from the company every year, which is a problem for all farmers, but especially for those in the Third World; as Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser’s epic battle with Monsanto so clearly brings home to us.

Full Story

 

 

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