What is the way out for president Maithreepala from this political quagmire?
Srilankan politics has always been strange, unpredictable and hilarious to onlookers who have no vested interests in the process. Though it should not be the case most of the citizens act as if they have no interest in the proceedings but treat it like a soap opera that can be watched on TV in the evenings discuss mostly for academic interest and of course the amusement and fun the actors provide.
I remember a TV journalist from ITN who was in Thalai Mannar to report on war once told me that state televisions will lose most of their viewers to private channels once the war is over because most viewers watch state tvs because they have better access to war fighting in North and East and hence the coverage carries more footage on the action. Now this daily dose of action has been replaced lock stock and barrel by the political discussions and press interviews by politicians. If Srilanka has a proper rating system for tv programs like Nielson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nielsen_ratings , which I doubt very much, I think the programmes with highest rating would be press interviews by politicians. We should not be surprised if , like teledramas ,if channels sponsor press interviews after even paying fringe politicians and air those programs at regular prime time, time slots.
Back to the title, what would be the outcome of a pradeshiya saba election of a usual PS in a majority Sinhala area if, yes a big IF, elections are held now without any major changes to the ongoing political divide?
My guesstimate would be as follows
So as per my estimate having elections at this point of time is definitive hara-kiri for SLFP MS faction. Coming third and in some cases fourth, depending on the ethnic composition of that particular electorate , will completely erode the faith and trust on the presidency and also shake the foundation of the party presidency to the extend, that he will not be able to hang onto it even with the leverage of presidential power.
On the other hand he cannot avoid holding elections for ever, because it will be damaging not only from the view of voter here but that of the international community as well. So this is a dilemma. He has two horns to select , as of a bull, on either of which he might be impaled, having the elections or postponing it.
But I feel he has a way out from this, because of the loath that is growing among the citizens who are fed up of cronyism, corruption thuggery and mafia style politics of local politicians for many decades. People associate that stigma with all local politicians of all hues except probably JVPers.
The citizenry suspect , justifiably of course, that most of the seasoned local politicians from both major parties cannot be trusted to run the affairs of local councils.
If president Sirisena can mobilize a group of people who have never involved in politics but professionals with some standing among the socities they live, and present a common plan of work, with a time frame, that will show the electorate that they are different to local politicians who ruled hitherto and has a viable and decent agenda that will uplift the standards while providing a professional and clean administration to the citizens , he can get the SLFP to win or at least contest with equal footing with UNP in PS elections.
The programme of work should include garbage disposal, recreational activities , participation of citizens in deciding concrete road construction and other projects etc to make the running of the PS a complete transparent one.