The Two Powers: Sri Lanka’s 2019 Presidential Election

An extended Lord Of The Rings metaphor

Indi Samarajiva
Nov 8 · 6 min read

Sri Lanka’s election is… OMG next week. This is a video about the state of things, and obviously my opinion, which is probably right because I’m not a fascist.

Please forgive my abominable Photoshop, it looks much worse when not seen over my shoulder. You can watch the video above or read the script below.

It’s 2019 and the fellowship is broken. Sauron is rising again, and his brother has a van.

We trusted this guy with the ring of great power, and look what it did to him.

Luckily we have two hobbits fighting for democracy but unfortunately, they’re also fighting each other.

So what do we do?

Let me first give you a quick history, you can read more in the PSC report on the Easter Attacks.

Last October the SLPP corrupted Gollum, which wasn’t that hard, they just said he had nice hair and gave him a fish.

In October they staged a 52-day coup. Mahinda Rajapaksa illegally occupied the Prime Ministers office, and tried and failed to bribe MPs.

When he kept losing No Confidence votes, he got his goons to physically attack Parliament.

They lost in court and, like you or me, they should have gone to jail. Gollum should have been impeached but that didn’t happen, because Ranil was just happy to get his precious back. Then things got worse. Much worse.

During the coup, Gollum and Gota said that the director of the TID was trying to assasinate them. He wasn’t. He was investigating Terrorism, that’s what the TID does. Let that sink in. They arrested the cop that was chasing Zahran.

Gollum then buried or ate nearly 100 reports that a terrorist attack was imminent. And then the Easter Attacks happened.

After the Easter Attacks we needed to come together but no, the Rajapaksas wanted to come to power. They unleased a second wave of racist lies and violence against peaceful Muslim people.

Our Muslim family who had been warning about Zahran for years were attacked, killed, and humiliated. They still live in fear.

The Rajapaksa election campaign in a GIF

Let me be clear. The SLPP staged three attacks on Sri Lanka. First they attacked Parliament. Second they attacked national security. Third they attacked peaceful Muslim people. These are attacks on us all, and now they’re asking for our vote.

This is like someone breaking your window, stealing your dog and asking for protection money. Except this is our country.

This is fascism. Fascism means doing anything, especially lies and violence, for power. And fascism comes through the ballot box.

If you elect Gota, that is what you’re voting for. Here’s one example.

Under his brother’s regime, a group of rogue Navy men abducted children, collected ransom from their parents and then killed those young people anyways. I have children and this is hell. These children are dead and their parents are in hell.

Gota has said that he will free those suspects on his first day in office. What do you think will happen on the second day? And the third? Are your children safe? Do you care about the safety of other people’s children?

Remember, the SLPP thinks that you are racist and dumb. They think they can run an American citizen, and then protest against American funds to reduce traffic. They think that they can spread lies about Muslim doctors sterilizing people and still get Muslim votes. They think that they can be surrounded by the same corrupt people and call themselves technocrats. They think you are racist and dumb, so don’t be.

So obviously, Sauron bad, Saruman bad, orcs will eat your children.

Even in the face of Mordor, how on middle earth can you vote for the UNP? If we’re being honest, their campaign slogan would be:

“The UNP Sucks. Vote UNP!”

Ranil sucks. [Note: since I wrote this Sajith has announced that he will have a new, first time PM, which means no more Ranil. And poor DM Jayaratne has had his hopes dashed]

He has improved our democracy and he hasn’t murdered people, but we deserve more. It would be deeply satisfying to piss Ranil and the Rajapaksas off at the same time.

And we can.

Ranil hates Sajith. Ranil has been cock-blocking Sajith ever since Sajith hit puberty. Sajith actually had to start his campaign as a rebellion against Ranil, and he only got the official nomination at the very last minute.

Sajith is in many ways the change candidate here. He is young and he will change the UNP. He has good people around him and he listens. By good people I mean Harsha and Eran who are like elves I guess, and Mangala who can be a dwarf.

His speeches do sound like someone ate a thesaurus, but he is excellent at listening to people and talking one on one. Which is something Gota is completely incapable of doing without calling for his Ayya.

Sajith also has character. He chose a difficult electorate in Hambantota, and he turned down the PM’s post during the coup.

He follows the law, which means he comes with a return policy. We can vote him out in 5 years. With the Rajapaksas we may get a lifetime subscription, and they are reproducing. Congratulations.

Sajith’s manifesto talks about improving our democracy, and helping the poor, and something I care deeply about, which is leading the global fight against climate change.

As a Minister he really focused on one thing, building houses for the poor. People say that’s a giveaway, but good. It gives people a place to live and an economic asset. It’s much better to help the poor than to build airports in the jungle.

This is our hobbit. Well. Hobbitsess. We actually have two hobbits.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake is a good person with a lot of good ideas, and he will not be our next President.

Sadly, his door also leads to fascism. Yes you can do preferential voting, you can choose up to three candidates, using only numbers and not Xs. But what if people mess that up? Sometimes I spell my name wrong. This is very risky.

We need to pick one hobbit, and then put him on a giant Eagle of votes. A swan really.

In closing, I don’t care if you subscribe to this channel or like this video. I just want to sit in my house, have a democracy outside, and not worry that me or my neighbors are going to get killed, or that I can’t say something, or that corrupt people will be lying up a storm and stealing up a tsunami.

So please, don’t subscribe, just vote. Vote for the hobbit. The one with the swan.

If you must vote for the other hobbit, please carefully put the number 1 and then 2 for Sajith, and know that you will be keeping everyone up all night.

I know it’s a sequel and we’ll never get it perfect, but democracy and our climate is what we leave to our children. So let’s take care of them, and let’s take care of each other.

Vote wisely.

Indi Samarajiva

Written by

Colombo liberal. Writer, father. Founder of YAMU and Kottu.

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