(April 10, Sri Lanka's election is almost finished. Thanks to President Mahinda Rajapaksa's henchmen Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Susantha Punchinilame, the results of Kandy and Trincomalee districts and the final result too is delayed. Re-polling for some stations costs millions of rupees to public coffers. Who cares? No wonder the culprits are rewarded with handsome portfolios.
The ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) swept into the parliament with a close to two third majority. But, they will need to buy several opposition MPs to achieve two third that they vie for a change of constitution.
Who will cross over? Monaragala district United National Front (UNF) MP Ranjith Madduma Bandara can be expected to d so since the UNF leadership campaigned to defeat him since he was accused of deforming the UNF nomination list.
The government has promised to slash the cabinet to 35 or 40 heads and half of the Ministers that are re-elected will have to remain as MPs in such situation. Can the government offer portfolios to opposition MPs to buy them in this context. On the other hand, the United National Party (UNP) block in the parliament appears a battle hardened one on which Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe has full control. MPs with dissident history like Gampaha district ex-MP Edward Gunawrdhana have lost seats. Deputy Karu Jayasuriya was overtaken by Wijaya newspaper company's media idol Ruwan Wijewardhana and soap opera actress Upeksha Swarnamali of Paba fame that has less than three months political experience in Gampaha district preferential votes. UNP President Rukman Senanayaka was saved since he shifted himself to the national list.
UNP has again proved that nobody is indispensable for the party. The highly ambitious dissidents like Milinda Moragoda, Rohitha Bogollagama and Mano Wijerathna lost their seats and they now risk their political future, giving a good lesson to those who have betrayal sentiments while UNP has secured around 50 seats amidst most unfavorable political conditions.
After all, Sri lankan polity has granted all that was needed by the ruling regime. The opposition also is too tired of the present electoral system and the executive presidency and they will definitely support a move by the regime to change it if is not primarily aimed at consolidating power of Mahind Rajapaksa himself. Not only the opposition, the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party stalwarts like Maithripala Sirisena, Nimal Siripala de Silva, Dallus Alahapperuma and even President's own brother Basil Rajapaksa will not support it whole heartedly.
Government has also pledged to commit to the development, good governance, alleviation of corruption and poverty. It is not standing on a very comfortable floor. But the prospects are ample if the government can sustain peace and political stability while developing a clear cut economic policy.
The people were lethargic to vote as a whole. Tamils were exceptional and the turnout in Jaffna, the heart of Tamil culture and Sinhala subjugation of it, was just above 20%. Tamils responded poorly to the military backed powerful campaign of the ruling UPFA that is led there by politico paramilitary leader Douglas Devananda. They did not overwhelmingly vote either for the Tamil National Alliance (Illankai Thamil Arasu Kachchi) that set forth a manifesto seeking a solution for the Tamil problem based on federalist principles. Jaffna Tamils outrightly rejected the All Ceylon Tamil Congress that fielded three ex-MPs, Gajendrakumar Ponnambalam, Gajendran and Pathmini Sidamparanathn that were more nationalist and more pro-Liberation Tigers as well in the time they were in the helm in Tamil polity.
The fate was pathetic for the pro-government groups that contested seperately like EPDP led by Devananda that contested for Wanni district, the Tamil United Liberation Front led by Ananda Sangaree, Eastern Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan's Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Puligal (TMVP) that contested for Batticaloa district and other politico paramilitary groups like PLOTE and EPRLF.
In Southern Sri Lanka the movement of the downtrodden rural masses, People's Liberation Front (JVP) and its breakaway pro-government National Freedom Front (JNP) were defeated humiliatingly. 15 pro-government ex-JNP MPs lost seats. They include the ex-JVP presidential candidate and Minister Nandana Gunatilaka who had joined the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. JNP leader who campaigned individually with the support of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa achieved highest number of preferential votes from Colombo district while Weerakumara Disanayaka was elected from Anuradhapura district.
All the JVP MPs sans Vijitha Herath, Sunil Handunnetti and Ajith Kumara were defeated. Jailed presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka and former cricket captain Arjuna Ranathunga were also elected from the Democratic National Alliance that was led by the JVP. They will have one more national list slot and will have to rise from ashes.
Sinhala Buddhist extremist Jathik Hela Urumaya leaders Champika Ranawaka and Athuraliye Rathana Thero were also elected to the parliament from the ruling coalition.
Upcoountry Tamil Ceylon Workers' Congress (CWC) leader Arumugam Thondaman was elected from Nuwaraeliya district with his two other collegues that contested from the Upcountry Tamil heartland district.
Colombo Tamils secured representation from Colombo district with the election of Praba Ganeshan, the brother of Mano Ganeshan. Mano is yet to be elected or not from Kandy district.
Sri Lankan Muslims have a sizeable representation in this parliament.
Old left has also won three seats while veteran leftist Vasudewa Nanayakkara was elected from Rathnapura district.
Sri Lankan polity has elected two persons from jail to parliament. They are NDA's Sarath Fonseka and Mathugama UNP organizer Palitha Thewarapperuma.
Many more persons that should have been jailed if there was law in the country have also been elected to 'represent' people.