06 April 2014

GL's Formula and other tidbits

GL's Formula

Prof G.L. Peiris knows enough to know the old story about lies, damned lies and statistics.  He turned the Geneva 'loss' into a victory. A moral victory only of course, but any victory is better than the defeat that was recorded.  A feel good interpretation it was. Simply, the abstentions were counted as 'nays'.  In an open vote, his assertion does have some validity, especially since countries like India, in their comments, rubbished the US Resolution enough for anyone to conclude that they rejected it.  Still, a vote is a vote.  What's counted are the ayes and nays.  Sri Lanka lost, (un)fair and not-so-square.  GL could have called a spade a spade. He didn't. 

Kabir's elaboration

Actually it was Lakshman Kiriella who started it.  He said that if GL's Formula is valid, then it can be argued that the UPFA lost the last general election. It's a simple matter of counting un-cast votes as votes against the Government.  Except of course that such elections are not about choosing a position (as in a Resolution).  But Kabir Hasheem, latched on to the GL Formula after the UNP came second best in yet another election.  He said that if you counted in those who didn't vote, it can be concluded that the majority of the voters are against the regime.  Neat.  Too neat.  The same principle can be used on the UNP (and, for that matter, the DF and JVP too!).  If the UPFA was 'rejected', what could be said of the UNP, DF and JVP? They were routed (if those who didn't vote can be considered as being against these parties since they didn't come out and mark a cross against the elephant, torch or bell). 


A British Sri Lankan who allegedly knocked down a man on the Puttalam-Kurunegala road on Saturday is reported to have died after suffered a cardiac arrest on seeing the victim.  We can't tell for sure what brought on the heart attack, but if it was the sight to the victim, as reported, then we can call it a remorse-attack.  We don't want to wish death on anyone, but if wrong-doing brought on that kind of discomfort we would probably have a sick parliament, a sick cabinet, a sick opposition and most of all a sick and dying corporate sector!

The get-a-face method

The UPFA has a face.  Mahinda Rajapaksa's.  The Democratic Party also has a recognizable and in some ways respected face. That of Sarath Fonseka.  The JVP didn't have a decent face for decades.  Anura Kumara Dissanayake is not exactly a Rohana Wijeweera and that can be both good and bad, but Anura is a fresh face.  If freshness of face matters, then the UNP was handicapped vis-a-vis these other parties.  Ranil has a face, but it's a bad-news-face.  The problem, however, is that the UNP doesn't have an alternative face.  Sajith?  Hmmm....probably not as bad as Ranil's, but he's no longer fresh either. He has a spoiler-face.  The UNP then is a party that's in search of a face. 

Awaiting an All-India protest against the Indian abstention

India's Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan have are both “agonised and shocked” by India's abstention at the UNHRC vote on Sri Lanka. They should be joined by all other ministers, 'union' and otherwise, and indeed by every person elected to office, whatever the office.  In fact all Indians should be shocked out of their skin by India's abstention.  After all, India made a solid argument against the resolution.  It was so well argued that the only thing to be shocked about is the abstention. The force of the argument was such that India should have voted against the resolution.  It was almost like saying 'Hey! I think your resolution is the stupidest thing to have been tabled at the UNHRC, but I will remain wishy-washy about it'.