Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:46:38 PM


By Samantha - Tue May 03, 6:10 am

The May Day performance of the government’s two main parties, the UNP in Colombo and the SLFP in Galle, will be reassuring to the leaders of the government. The large turnouts at their respective May Day rallies will give them the confidence that the mobilization capacity of their local level organizers is strong to meet the demands of electoral politics. Although the dissident faction of the SLFP led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa also posted an impressive turnout it could not match those of the government parties. The impression they attempted to create that despite being outside of the government they could mobilize people on the same scale if not better was shown to be unrealistic. President Maithripala Sirisena who, as leader of the SLFP, had warned the dissidents of strict action against those who held a rival May Day rally is now likely to feel confident enough to take the action against them that he has threatened.

But it is not only on the dissident faction that the President needs to focus. He also needs to take action along with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe against those within the new government who deviate from the norms of good governance they have been promising. On the morning of May 1, one of the red clad members of the JVP who was supervising the arrangements for its May Day rally in Colombo recognized me and wished to speak. He said that the corrupt and inequitable system of government and economy needed to be changed. He did not see much of a difference between the present and previous governments, though he acknowledged that political activists like him felt safer these days to express their views….

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