Problem: a corrupt administration, an Executive Presidency that basically constitutes of a legal dictatorship, a Rajapakse dynasty with dominance over every major branch of government
Solution: Maithripala Sirisena?
Until a few days ago, my Facebook was filled with the usual pro-and-anti-feminist rants, pictures of far-off lands and the occasional raging Dota 2 player. Nobody gave a tinker’s damn about the upcoming election, because it was practically a given that Monseiur Rajapakse was going to win – again. Now that Maithripala Sirisena is contesting as the “Common Candidate”, everybody’s talking about Mai3 and how there’s hope for Sri Lankan democracy after all.
Who is Maithri?
Ask your mom. No, seriously. Moms know this shit. Unless they’re too uppercrust to remember anything outside of Coco Veranda’s menu, in which case you might as well Google it.
Will Mai3 win?
Unlikely. He may have been the President’s right hand man, but – in case the Photoshopped portraits of Mahinda on every street corner weren’t enough to drive this home – he’s not the guy whose face, name and ethos have been hammered into the public conciousness for years and years and years. He’s not a celebrity. He’s not the throne. He’s not the power behind the throne. For all his years in the Parliament, he’s might as well be a blank slate as far as we’re concerned.
Perhaps that’s his allure: being a blank slate. But remember, this is a man who’s been in mainstream politics since 1989 – SLFP politics, to be precise. He hasn’t been a passionate reformer, or a voice against corruption or all these things he now so publicly espouses – if he did, he’d be running the Opposition by now, or at least opposing the government. No, he’s been Mahinda’s staunch man through and through, and I doubt this dog can or will learn new tricks. Indeed, it seems the only reason he’s getting attention is because he’s NOT Mahinda or Ranil.
*note: I hear they like him in Anuradhapura. I’m not sure if they like him enough to convince the rest of the country.
Even if he does win, abolishing the Executive Presidency in a hundred days? Hah. And hah again. We fell for that trick once, good sir. Do go back to the drawing board and come up with a new one. As Indi pointed out in his blog post, he’s not going to throw himself out of a job. Who’s our Prime Minster? What is he doing? Why don’t we know his name without having to Google it? Do you really want the country in the hands of a man like that? And, when it comes right down to it, do you believe the Opposition, anyway?
Undoubtedly there’s a shitstorm heading straight or Mai3 – I’d be rather suprisied if there wasn’t. After all, Our Glorious Leader and his minions control the media, meaning they control public opinion, meaning they control the shee- I mean, the people of Sri Lanka. Except for Colombo, of course, with our educated irruminateru, but what’s Colombo in an election or in a matter of public opinion? A speck of dust with illusions of grandeur. The excreta, to be crude, is going to hit the fan and the pieces are going to be blown all over the country.
What if he’s a plant?
There’s always been the rumor that Ranil is kept in power at the whim of Mahinda, mostly in the name of maintaining a persistently shitty Opposition. Continue that vein of thought and you arrive at a logical conclusion: what if Maithri is just another plant, another actor in the play, a player bought and sold and sent to the pitch simply for the sake of having a game?
If he’s not, that’s interesting: whether he and his meaningless Horsemen of the Electioncalype win or not, it’s a legitimate sign that the iron fist of Rajapakse is rusting. Unless MR completely destroys Maithri, and his cheerleaders, and pulls of the political equivalent of anal rape with a white-hot poker, there might be hope for Sri Lanka after all – perhaps at the election after this one.