The eighth Presidential election in Sri Lanka is scheduled to be held on 16th November 2019, for which 42 candidates made cash deposits, but only 35 came forward officially at nominations. However, Parliamentarians, Chamal Rajapaksa and Kumara Welgama, who made the cash deposits pulled out of the fray at the last minute. Lawyer Nagananda, who was looking forward to bring about a complete change was deprived of the opportunity due to a technical hitch, according to him.
The 2019 Presidential election will certainly go into the annals of Sri Lankan political history because this is the first time so many candidates are contesting as opposed to previous Presidential elections. The normal procedure has been for the incumbent President to contest for a second term, with a maximum of two or three opponents. This election, therefore, becomes somewhat unique because the candidates include the son of a former President R. Premadasa,( Sajith Premadasa), Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a brother of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and Dr Ajantha Wijesinghe Perera, a female who has come forward after 20 years since Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and including four Muslim and two Tamil candidates.
The incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena’s term of office will end on 9th January 2020. However, his decision not to contest for a second term, but his ‘interest to dabble in politics in the future’ is puzzling and mysterious! Could it be that he wants to achieve what he could not accomplish during his tenure for the 5 years, as President of this country?
Apart from that he, being the President of the SLFP, seems to vacillate (up to the time of compiling this column) in making up his mind to extend the SLFP support to either the PPP or any other party in the forthcoming Presidential election. Does it not speak for itself about his shillyshally character as President of the country for the past 5 years? On the 9th of September at 10 am, at a press conference the SLFP announced their decision to support Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become the next President on the 16thpolls, after signing an agreement but not to join with the PPP.
The Commissioner of Elections estimates the cost of the forthcoming election to be approximately Rs.6,000 million because of the increase in the number of candidates to 35. The ballot paper is going to be at least 2 feet in length and special ballot boxes have to manufacture at an extra cost. The Commissioner emphasised how the Commission has been able to use about 40 small halls in the past, but the number of polling agents this time would have to be doubled to provide adequate space for approximately 170 officers on election duty. This also apparently causes another problem of having to bring all election centres to one area to count the votes, which can take up to three days!
The Presidential election this time will be disciplined to the letter by prohibiting all advertising leaflets, flags, posters and or picture cutouts from the display (religious environments included). Equally, the responsibility befalls on media heads, media institutions, the television/radio, print and the social media alike, with the warning from the Commissioner of Elections restricting any form of political interference from 7th September until 18th November 2019. In the event of any violation of the above-mentioned criteria, anyone is free to report individually by telephoning: 011 286-8216, 011 286 -8210 and 011 286 – 8217 or by sending a facsimile to 011-286-8526 or 8526.
Soothsayers play a prominent role in Sri Lankan politics. Although the majority of the populace in this country is Buddhists yet 99% seek protection and assistance from gods and goddesses in other realms when they are faced with desolations in life. Equally, some of the mature politicians have also been prey to such external forces, especially during elections. The former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa is a living example who lost his position as President, two years before it was due, having listened to some fake astrologers!
Once again, the ugly head of a few ‘fake’ astrologers has become active on YouTube by being partisan and slinging mud at each other, as if they are the authority on decisions of the voter. Astrology is a science that embraces a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events of personality in the human world if it is studied effectively. This becomes more relevant as many Christians believe the star of Bethlehem, mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew where “wise men from the East” were inspired to travel to Jerusalem during the birth of Jesus.
Vishwakarma channel on YouTube is full of individuals who are dabbling with the ‘ Universal Forum,’ which is quite interesting to follow. Each adherent’s forecast tends to project dangerous prophesies to be expected in the future where the whole world will be affected by various natural disasters as a direct consequence of the damage done by man to nature and continues unabatedly. particularly in connection with our Sri Lankan environment.
One such devotee states that many Sri Lankan leaders go to Indian Kovils to get themselves blessed and protected, but simultaneously without their knowledge, they bring back all the dark forces to Sri Lanka that have affected adversely the Sri Lankan people. It is a curse she claims for politicians to visit Indian powerful Kovils for their benefit and to bring doom to the helpless and the poor Sri Lankan folk. She professes that the ‘Universal Forum’ has already taken drastic and remedial action to put an end to such manoeuvres in the near future, and ‘the universe’ is preparing already to get rid of the debauched politicians and to change the minds of Sri Lankans to appoint a dedicated leader who is unselfish by nature and who feels the pulse of the people be able to protect the environment while rescuing this blessed island .
On 16 November 2019, 15.6 million people will be writing the future of this land by appointing the most suitable candidate as the President of this nation out of the 35 candidates to liberate this nation from complete ruination. If one were to go by the ‘Universal Forum’s predictions, then, of course, nature will itself take care of this sacred land like before it was rescued by the ‘Universal Power’ in every instance where evil forces attempted to overrule and conquer. No wonder Sri Lanka has been named as ‘ Dharma Deepa (Blessed Island) from time immemorial. Only our forefathers are a witness to such observances of law reacting to natural phenomena.
pic credit: Ceylon Today Newspaper and google pics