Tamil Diplomat

Political and money power influenced the election’s outcome

By Dulakshi Mohotti

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair. / Hover through the fog and filthy air” (Shakespeare, 1.1.12-13).

In a small country like Sri Lanka where human resources are more promptly available to build a corruption-free country from all, but it’s depressing to tell that the country day by day deteriorating because of money material dominated in the country. This rotten political gambling had gulped the poor souls to their traps like prey, and it’s pitiful to witness such chaotic incidents. The craving for power and money bamboozle to have bribery, corruptions and crimes more.

Political and Money Power at play

The deception of using women in the political game to gain votes and driven out without giving the right position is so ungracious. The recent election in Sri Lanka although had a nonviolent and fair one, but in Jaffna showcased the turmoil of the intra-party conflict and left a black mark to the entire election. There had been a great controversy of claiming foul-play over the preferential vote count.

Late assassinated TNA MP Raviraj’s daughter Praviinaa Raviraj had alleged to TNA M.A.Sumanthiran for rigging the preferential votes in the recount. She has raised her voice for her mother Sasikala Raviraj, who was TNA candidate for Jaffna and Kilinochchi District had lost her seat.

Sasikala is a widowed-mother and a school teacher who was loved and respected by the Tamil people. Praviinaa expressed her distressed feelings through her social media stating that Sumanthiran, who was also a candidate, had entered the final election counting booth when candidates are not permitted to enter.

Quoting from her social media account, she made these severe allegations to Sumanthiran.

“So I want to “thank” Sumanthiran and his STF for attacking, wounding not just friends and family but also supporters of other competitive parties.

I want to “thank” TNA for letting a snake grow in their own garden.

I want to “thank” Sayanthan (Right band to Sumanthiran also some position holder in Chava) for plotting and perfectly executing a strategy to overthrow my mother after using her for the votes.”

She was continuously saying that her mother was overthrown out strategically after using to gain votes. Soon after her allegations, her social media account has been deactivated.  This confirms that the power of money comes as a prime source to tackle and rotten the entire system.

The recent incident in Jaffna where the recount was taking place, other political party members who are to be observers, journalists gathered outside the Jaffna Central College. Sumanthiran called them as “mobs”, but they were not mobs. He used a very discourteous word for the respected dignitaries—however, the crowd shouting to him as a “cheater” and “traitor”.

In a recent interview with Tamil National Alliance (TNA) General Secretary M.K Sivajilingam stated that “Sumanthiran is a traitor to the Tamil people. Sumanthiran was one of the people who helped the Sinhala Buddhists to subjugate the Tamil people. Now look, there were 6 people in STF. The STF has now increased the force to 16. Five motorbikes are provided. Why? He was the former parliament, and I was the former parliament. I have no security. But if security is given, only seven or eight are given”.

A complaint against 16 STF troops who were on security duty for Sumanthiran has been lodged in the Jaffna Human Rights Commission by the Tamil state party members. They were appointed as the polling agents to observe the vote counts in the polling stations. However, his security attacked them.

On the other hand, DBS Jeyaraj who is Sumanthiran’s close relative used his personal blog to highlight Sumanthiran’s generosity. Jeyaraj emphasises that Sumanthiran did not do any deceitful act in the election. Jeyaraj’s propaganda on Sumanthiran misleads the country. A recent article of DBS about Sumanthiran finely veiled and concocted leaving no traces to speak against him, which certainly accentuates that Jeyaraj creating propaganda to cover Sumanthiran’s hideous acts. Quoting from Jeyaraj’s article, he says;

“The ridiculous charge of a vote-stealing conspiracy has been levelled.”

“The 2020 Parliamentary poll in the Jaffna electoral district comprising the Kilinochchi and Jaffna administrative districts was marred by untoward incidents based upon unfounded allegations that Sumanthiran had “transferred” the preference votes of Sashikala in his favour and won the election. The Jaffna poll incidents are still being distortedly falsified, maliciously misrepresented and disproportionately blown up by vested interests in a propaganda blitz to vilify and undermine the wrongly accused Sumanthiran”. 

DBS Jeyaraj atrociously defended Sumanthiran. Not only that his majority of written articles did not express the truth. Quoting from Muttukrishna Sarvananthan’s web article, he states;

“David Jeyaraj, in contravention of ethics and principles of journalism, hides his lies by writing almost entirely in his personal blog www.dbsjeyaraj.com which he solely moderates and thereby prevents corrections, alternative viewpoints, and adverse comments on or criticism of his writings becoming public. The Daily Mirror also connives with DBS in hiding his untruths by not publishing critical comments about his articles by its readers including this author”.

It is no further relation required to establish their family relationship powerful enough to turn upside down the complete scenario. The family powerhouse does all the blunders and poor Tamil civilians victimised because of their brutal corruption.

Furthermore, Jeyaraj’s propaganda of inventing stories from time to time caused absolute havoc in the country. He speaks about the reincarnation of LTTE that he attempts to foretell that it will be and makes Sri Lankans be live in fear again. Quoting from Sarvananthan;

“Jeyaraj has have been oscillating as advocates of both the devils in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict and civil war (the State and the Tigers) from time to time. During most part of his career as a journalist, DBS has been concocting stories on behest of both the devils in Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict from over ten thousand kilometres away.”

DBS does not live in Sri Lanka, he claims that LTTE will rise again. He fabricated the stories, and all of his tales are superstitious belief based.

His latest article on the purported reincarnation of the LTTE in Sri Lanka makes me seriously suspect that DBS’s recent visit to Sri Lanka after a lapse of almost twenty-five years was state-sponsored, state-orchestrated and military-escorted. If not, how come he was taken by the Sri Lanka Navy to view the Ramar Palam (Ramar Bridge) at the Indo-Lanka maritime border in northwestern Sri Lanka off the Mannar Island? Is he such a VIP? Moreover, I seriously suspect that DBS’s visit to Sri Lanka and his spectacular revelation about the purported reincarnation of the LTTE (just two days after the UNHRC resolution was passed) was State—orchestrated to counter the resolution against the Sri Lankan State in the annual sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and reinvent the bogey of the Tigers.”

Further reveals Sarvananthan;

“Although I do not know any information about GOPI and his accomplices, I deeply suspect the claim made by DBS that they were plotting a high-profile assassination in Colombo or the suburbs “utilising the element of surprise”. Although I do not have any first-hand information as DBS claims to have, circumstantial evidence does not indicate any truth in such a spectacular claim. I know for sure that a small section of the Tamil Diaspora wants to take revenge on the Rajapaksas in particular and the Sri Lankan State in general for the defeat of the LTTE. However, their targeting of the Rajapaksas and the Sri Lankan State is through the United Nations in particular and the international community in general; in which they seem to have been successful after almost five years since the demise of the Tigers. Under this positive outcome, a fringe of the Tamil Diaspora would not indulge in or instigate violence in Sri Lanka and sully their “victory”.

The reinvention of the bogey of the Tigers in the name of Gopi and his accomplices (including Jeyakumari et al.) appears to be a counter-offensive and part of a master plan by the Sri Lankan State against the UNHRC resolution passed on 27 March 2014. By reviving the fear psychosis among the northern population, the state is attempting to intimidate the potential eyewitnesses to

the impending international inquiry into the violations of the international laws of armed conflict. For example, recently few hundreds of youths were asked to assemble in a playground in Vattukottai in the Jaffna peninsula for an inquiry by the military.” 

Women Representation lacks in Sri Lankan Parliament.

The core issue is women representation in Sri Lanka less in numbers. Not even 50 per cent of women elected to the parliament. The reasons are plenty but to name a few worth it. Women do not receive decent media campaign promotions, less support from the party members or the party, the intra-conflicts in the party, no money power etc.

Quoting from the report ‘the struggle for equal political representation of women in Sri Lanka’ written by Chulani Kodikara in 2009 highlights, “Women in Sri Lanka may also be affected by a violent political culture sometimes characterised by thuggery and voter intimidation as well as assaults against candidates and supporters”. 

Her report further unravels that women candidates were given lack of support and male-dominated networks which exist from the national to local levels are the significant barriers. Also, quoting from Kodikara’s study, she revealed,

“Political thuggery in mainstream political processes has vote-rigging, and voter intimidation, threats of violence and actual violence against opponents, threats, intimidation and assault of polling agents aimed at preventing them from being present in polling booths, snatching of polling cards, as well as capturing of booths by armed party workers, for the purpose of ballot stuffing, etc.”. 

This clearly proves that what Mrs Sasikala’s accusation to Sumanthiran for vote-rigging and the possibility of happening exists.

Power of Media and Women Activists Blindfolded

It clearly explicates that typical Sri Lankan Media has been silent and blind about the Sasikala’s controversy. The popular media channels like television and print media never spoke a word about Mrs Raviraj’s plight. Once again, this proves the negligence of the media in Sri Lanka where truth did not expose. It is disheartening to see that Colombo media which is the most prominent networks hub around the city, did not criticise about the ongoing issue of Sasikala Raviraj. Unfolding the truth is the media’s ultimate responsibility, but it is such a shame that popular media channels never interviewed Mrs Raviraj.

Whereas Jaffna media is censored and they afraid to express their views on Sasikala Raviraj’s predicament. Colombo media is self-centred and hold more power which can be used to investigate the issue.

According to the new Humanitarian web article on For Sri Lanka’s activists, a ‘state of fear’ resurfaces, it claims; “Many local journalists say they are self-censoring as threatening phone calls and other pressures escalate”. Journalists being silent about the controversy is a state of fear or money power deluded and infected the system.

The civil society or the women’s rights campaigners or activist like Saila Ithayaraj or Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) have been quiet of raising the voice for Shashikala Raviraj’s matter. They have been soundless when such kind of issue arose, but they will elevate their voice if something happened to any other people. Women expect to be respected and given equal rights. This compels to think that no equality is given to women. Those who are in power will succeed, and those who do not have merely people’s faith will lose.