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Sri Lanka: Ranil for Presidency in 2020

Sueing Gota is nothing but a game of deception by the interested parties to put a man who is allegedly committed crimes, behind the bars.


Editorial

Interesting political drama is in place in Sri Lanka, yet again. True, Sri Lanka is never a dull country when it comes to political vulgarism. Everything in this island nation is nothing but politics. Recent Modus Operandi by one of the top legal firms in the world based in the USA, headed by one in top hundred jurists, is expanding the ventilation of this drama to take place on the larger stage.

The USA’s top legal firm is trying to hunt a man who was accused of several crimes during the war against terrorism. The irony is the authority in the same country, denied access to Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, for investigating the alleged war crimes by US military.

Alas; Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was sued!

Most of the media in the country gave prominent coverage and journalists and other interested parties were sneaking the cyberspace to get some kind of information to substantiate the story. But we believe this is nothing but a game of deception by the interested parties to put a man who is allegedly committed crimes, behind the bars.

All but one fundamental ethic have been ignored in most of the media reports as usual. Article 11 of the Universal Human Rights Declaration reads. “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defense." Isn’t Gotabhaya included?

Certainly, Gotabhaya will have and he should have all rights to be enjoyed as he is still an innocent but a suspect. We don’t think this will be curtailing him from contesting in the election. And the political authority in Sri Lanka, we believe, will stand for Gotabhaya to ensure his candidacy in the forthcoming Presidential Election which is due at the beginning of next year.

Who will be the man who is going to have the last laugh if Gotabhaya contests the presidential poll? We believe, it would be none other than, the incumbent Prime Minister, the friend of the Western Elites and neo-liberal market, and the man who might have already calculated the political scenario 15 years ago - his last bid for the Presidency.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe contested the Presidential elections last time was in 2005, against Mahinda Rajapaksa. Narrow victory Rajapaksa secured was the result of a scheme between him and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, where he has allegedly bribed the LTTE to influence the Tamils in North and East to boycott the election.

Ranil was narrowly defeated in 2005 and he never contested the election but used “Common Candidate” as his servitor. He finally won the battle in 2015, but in a few years, in 2018, the Coalition marriage disintegrated. The country plunged into an exceptional bloodless political turmoil that lasted more than 50 days. Now, the country is governing by the wounded coalition and all eyes are on next Presidential elections.

At least four main groups shall be identified within so-called Sinhalese dominated politics. One, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and his coalition; Second, President Maithripala Sirisena and his SLFP; third Mahinda Rajapaksa, Basil Rajapaksa and his SLPP; Forth Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, and his team.

15 years later, the situation is emerging in favour of Wickremesinghe better than ever. Eventually, he will support Gotabhaya to clear the path for contesting the election. Consequently, he will have a better chance to win over. Gotabhaya will not able to march to greater victory as his political power is constrained in many ways.

This may be the real political reason why Prime Minister Wickremesinghe kept two of the most popular enemies in the country on his side. On the one hand, he helped Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to rise to the Cabinet Minister. On the other hand, he received Gotabhaya from the kitchen door and kept him in a secret room of “eternal friendship”. Your enemy’s enemy is your friend.

If this drama plays without any changes, divided politics in Sinhalese dominated South; and united politics in North and East will give us the next taste of the country’s politics. Then there is nothing to be surprised about if Wickremasinghe catches the fish in the sludge in 2020.

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