| by Upul Joseph Fernando

( November 12, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Two years ago everyone who visited Temple Trees or the President's House and came out used to say, 'Mahinda is confident' and was focusing on the immediate challenges before him. However, within the past years those who go there to meet Mahinda say, 'Mahinda is confused'.

Mahinda who thought that Ranil would contest him at a future Presidential Election, started a campaign against Ranil, labelling the latter as a 'Tiger' though such an election is yet to be announced. Then Mahinda gave up that campaign. Last week it was heard that Mahinda had congratulated Karu Jayasuriya as the Common Opposition Candidate. However, Karu had said there was no such decision taken. Now, it is learnt that the government is exploring ways to counter if Chandrika becomes the common candidate. Rumours of the return of Mangala Samaraweera to the government also spread in a confused manner. That was an indication it was difficult to capture Opposition MPs to the government though the latter boasted much in that direction.

Earlier, Mahinda proudly claimed that 'elephants' were knocking on his door and he was keeping the door closed with much difficulty. Now it seems that the government is lamenting unable to capture even a single Opposition MP before the final vote is taken on the budget. It was clear the government machinery had broken down after the recent Uva provincial polls results were declared. That was why it distributed relief items to the voters during that polls campaign because it had no political or propaganda programme to win over the voters.

Government strong two years ago

The Mahinda Government was a strong one two years ago in the South Asian region. Today it has fallen to lower depths not because of the Opposition. The Opposition was only sleeping. Mahinda's Government fell into the present precipice because of the United States plan to corner it through the UNHRC game plan. When several countries together with America brought war crimes charges through the UNHRC, many pundits described it as a blessing to Mahinda's Government. They though Mahinda could sell war crimes charges within the country to win over the voters. Indian foreign experts argued that such measures by the UNHRC would only push Sri Lanka more towards China.

The first war crimes charges were brought against Sri Lanka by the UNHRC in 2012. Again those surfaced in 2013. It was repeated in 2014. The government had no time to plan out political strategies to strengthen it. Since the Opposition was sleeping, the government had no time to think about the internal political enemies who would surface. The government spent most of the time to battle international enemies and conspiracies that emerged as a result of the UNHRC war crimes move. The government conducted polls to Provincial Councils on an ad hoc basis, to teach lessons to America and other Western countries. The government got confused by making the UNHRC its only enemy. In the bid to counter the UNHRC enemy, the government forgot the internal enemies in the country.

The government which is unable to correctly find out as to who would be the Opposition candidate, has now confronted the newly appointed UNHRC Commissioner Zeid Hussein. The government now levels the same charges on Zeid which it levelled on his predecessor. The government claims, that Zeid does not cooperate with it on the investigations initiated by it, and was trying to scuttle it. It is going to face a Presidential Election at the time the UNHRC is strangling its neck.

Though the pundits may say that the US-sponsored UNHRC net laid to trap the government was useless, it is now visible that the government is trapped in that net and is struggling extricate itself. A disaster may not occur today or tomorrow but, its' not at a distant far.