‘Why is Lankadeepa, Daily Mirror Newspaper Company so afraid of mini elections…?’
The other day, a newspaper vendor selling newspapers on a newspaper stand in Colombo asked a sales representative of another newspaper.
‘Why do you ask that…?’
asked, the sales representative with a smile on his face.
“No, Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror gave the news that there is a division of the Election Commission, Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror also reporting that the President will not give money for the election. Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror also posting news that Mrs. Charles has left. Lankadeepa, Daily Mirror also reports that Mrs. Charles has sent her resignation letter to the President. Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror are also reporting that the President has not decided whether to accept the letter or not. In the end, all those are ‘Tom Pacha…’
The newsagent continued.
‘The editors of Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror are afraid that Ruwan Wijewardene, who owns the newspaper company, and Ruwan’s brother-in-law Ranil’s, politics will end if the UNP totally get eliminated with the elections…’
The salesman said with a smile. The biggest news published by Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror newspapers to show that the election will not be held is the resignation of Election Commission member Mrs. Charles. When the journalists asked the Election Commission if Mrs. Charles had resigned, they said that she had not yet sent her resignation letter.
Then where is Mrs. Charles…?’
When asked by the journalists, the Election Commission said that she could not be reached on the phone. Time passed. News was published that the Government Information Department says that the Election Commission has not published the gazette announcing the polling date yet. The next day the gazette was released. It was also published in the Lankadeepa newspaper that Mrs. Charles had signed the gazette, and that Mrs. Charles had not left the commission.
‘Then what happened to the letter of resignation that Mrs. Charles sent to the President…?’
‘Mrs. Charles, where has she been all this time with her phone off…?’
Looking at these questions, people remember a forgotten name. That’s Francisco. Francisco is an elected member of the Southern Provincial Council in the 1993 Provincial Council election. He was elected from Hambantota. He contested for the Provincial Council from Podu Peramuna. He was a disciple of the then opposition MP Mahinda Rajapaksa. The president at that time was D.B. Wijetunga. The Prime Minister was Ranil Wickramasinghe.
When President Ranasinghe Premadasa was assassinated on May 1, 1993, Wijetunga assumed the presidency. Ranil was the Prime Minister. The 1993 provincial council elections were held under the leadership of both of them. The UNP lost all the three Provincial Councils, Western, North Western and Southern. The North West and South Provincial Councils, the opposition, the SLFP-led Podu Peramuna won narrowly.
The UNP won 26 seats in the Southern Provincial Council. The Podu Peramuna got 27 seats. In those 27, Lalit – Gamini’s Democratic United National Front had three seats. Wijetunga and Ranil were of the firm opinion that they would not allow the Podu Peramuna to establish the provincial council in the south. They went to court. The court said that there is no obstacle for the Podu Peramuna to establish the Provincial Council. The real story surfaced with that.
Wijetunga and Ranil, who were defeated by the court decision, played a strange game to prevent the swearing-in of Podu Peramuna Chief Minister Amarasiri Dodamgoda. The game is the disappearance of Governor Bakir Marker so that Chief Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda cannot take oath. This is the story that Amarasiri Dodangoda told about it sometime later.
After the judgment was given, it was astonishing the governor of Southern Province was missing. Now we don’t have a governor to take oath. We don’t have a governor to take oath even after we won the election and the court verdict. Later, when we searched everywhere, we got news that the governor is hiding in his estate in Matale. I went to his Matale Estate with a few others and met the Governor. He was also surprised. We found him. We told the governor to administer oaths there. But he said that ‘today is a holiday so he can’t administer oath here…’
These are words of Dodangoda. Later, the Wijetunga-Ranil government banned Dodangoda from entering the governor’s official residence so that he could not take the oath. Breaking the police barrier, Amarasiri Dodangoda, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Dallas Alahapperumala broke into the governor’s house and forcibly took oath from the governor.
‘Mrs. Charles too has been missing for the past few weeks, just like the governor of the South who was missing in 1994. ? ‘
Exactly right. The Wijetunga-Ranil game fell apart to Mahinda’s game. After that, what Wijetunga and Ranil did was to make him missing. Democratic United National Front MP Franciscu, was supporting the Chief Minister of the Southern Provincial council. Amarasiri Dodangoda, lost the majority of seats. Chief Minister Amarasiri Dodangoda looked for Franciscu to show the majority but could not find him. Wijetunga dissolved the Southern Provincial Council. Wijetunga went to the polls with the battle on the rocks. It was Ranil who did the election campaign in the South. After 77 years, UNP suffered a crushing defeat.
Governor Bakir Marker and Francisco disappeared then, like Mrs. Charles disappeared today. When Francisco disappeared, the popular topic in politics was to Franciscanize democracy to eliminate the majority.
The disappearance of Mrs.Charles from the Election Commission and the loss of the majority of the Commission is Charlesization of democracy. At the time of Franciscanization, there was a president who was an interim President who was to serve the term of an assassinated president who was elected by popular mandate. Even today there is an interim president who is serving the remainder of term of an elected president by popular mandate because he had to go home. He is none other than the Prime Minister of President Wijetunga. Wijetunga Franciscanized, democracy to win the 1994 presidential election. The only difference was that he needed votes to become president again by popular mandate. Ranil wants to remain without election. He is Charlesizing to keep away the election.
‘Ranil will go to a snap presidential election and win…’ This is a story told by the Secretary General of UNP to have a little bit of fun. In the 2020 general election, U.N.P. and Ranil got as many as 20,000 votes from Colombo, the U.N. P stronghold. Those votes were not even counted. Mano Ganesan got 62,091 votes while Ranil got 20,000.
‘How can Ranil, who polled 20,000 votes in 2020, make 20,000, 69 lakhs to win the 2024 presidential election…?’
That is the laughing matter. 17 years since Wijetunga-Ranil Franciscanization in 1994 U.N.P government crumbled. The government collapsed and the Podujana Peramuna came to power. It is not clear what Ranil is trying to achieve with Charlesization is it to break the 30-year-long Podu peramuna- Eksath Janatha nidahas Sandanaya – alliance government?