1/22/2010

The phase of extreme violence begun in presidential campaign of Sri Lanka



(January 22, Colombo - Lanka Polity) The much anticipated most violent phase of Sri Lanka's Presidential began this morning with the spread of the news of bombing the house of opposition activist Tiran Alles situated in close proximity to the Colombo city limits. Alles was unhurt although his house and the vehicle were badly damaged.

Alles is a wealthy businessman and an activist of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (People's Wing) led by break away ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera. He is the son of the respected founder principal of D.S. Senanayaka College. He contributed the presidential campaign of Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005 before he lost favor and subjectd to repression. He was kept in custody under terrorism charges. Mawbima, a popular Sinhala newspaper run by him was forced to close by Rajapaksa.

Couple of days ago, government campaigner Vimal Weerawansa spoke of an opposition ploy to get themselves bombed to win the sympathy votes. With this statement, many anticipated the begining of the extremely violent phase of the presidential in which President Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing the risk of losing to his ex-Army chief Sarath Fonseka.

The battle is so severe that the government is using almost all public property in addition to violence to prevent the defeat. In the past week, the government ordered the public schools to hold parents' meetings and the people's representatives of the ruling coalition adressed the parents and asked to vote to President Mahinda Rajapaksa blatantly violating the election regulations.

The government is shamelessly manipulating public media and other assets in support of one candidate and the breaking of law is fathomless as the President's brother Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and Navy junior officer President's son Yoshitha Rajapaksa who are public servants that have no rights for politics are also adressing propoganda meetings of Rajapaksa.

Most of the actions of the government  display the fear of losing. An opinion poll conducted by pro-government lecturer of Mass Communication in Kelaniya University Dr. Rohana Lakshman Piyadasa pointed to the loss of popularity of President Mahinda Rajapaksa by 13% within two weeks. In the first opinion poll publicised by state media on January 08, Rajapaksa was likely to win the presidential with 73% of votes. The result of the latest poll was that only 60% said that the next President should be Mahinda Rajapaksa for the well being of the country.

Our observation is that Rajapaksa still has a chance to win but not with such unbelievable majority. But he should have obtained at least 60% of the votes to proclaim victory in a presidential that is most corrupt in the history due to the illegal and unethical state support to one candidate.

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