Yesterday were the presidential elections. The government elections – prime minister and all other cabinet ministers, etc. – are held separately. This election was for just the president, the top position in this country.
Thirteen men were running, but only two had a chance of getting elected – Ranil and Mahinda. Ranil was the prime minister until the last governmental elections a year and a half ago, and then Mahinda was elected. Mahinda is the same party as the current president, crazy woman Bandaranaike.
Bandaranaike is psychotic, I swear – her father was in politics, as was her mother, and her husband ran for office but was assassinated, and then she was elected. She alternates who she accuses of killing her husband depending on who she hates at the moment, and evidence has no part in it.
Anyway, despite Bandaranaike and Mahinda belonging to the same party, Bandaranaike has been mudslinging against Mahinda. I don’t know why, but it has become very obvious that she doesn’t want him being the next president.
Moving on. So. Ranil is the popular vote and pretty much everyone thinks he’ll win the election. He’s also for peace, which is, usually, considered a good thing. Mahinda is all over the place – allying himself with this group and that, despite conflicts between his allies. Some of the groups he’s allied himself with want to close the economy – be self-sufficient or something and not allow so many imports. Don’t know what they think about exports. If this group succeeds, it’s likely that the Sri Lankan economy will die, and fast. Inflation will go through the roof even worse than it has been in the two and a half years since I arrived.
Mahinda is not so much for peace. Well, stands to reason – Bandaranaike wasn’t, either.
So yesterday, voting happens. We see this morning on the news that one district had only 900 out of a possible 55,000 voters showed up to vote. What? That’s outrageously low.
It wasn’t until later that we got the full story. That all, or perhaps only most, of the districts in the north and the east – the LTTE, or Tamil Tiger areas – were like that.
Originally, the Tamil Tigers were saying yes, vote, everyone is free to vote. But polls were indicating that Ranil would get majority votes in the north and the east.
In those areas, people who want to vote have to leave the Tamil Tiger controlled areas and go to government controlled areas to vote.
Today, the LTTE (allegedly, but it’s so consistent with their practices) tossed grenades at people who attempted to cross into government controlled land to vote. Then no one would cross over. Hence the whole 900 of 55,000 voters showing up.
Why? Because they didn’t want Ranil winning the election. They didn’t want the peace process to move forward.
The Tamil Tigers, we hear, want to say "Oh, but look, we tried peace. It didn’t work. Now that the peace process is stalled, we’ll take war."
And because of that, Mahinda, who was popular in other areas, won the election. Mahinda, who doesn’t care about peace or the economy.
And so this country will, it would seem, plummet into economic chaos and war. And I’m here to witness it.