For many, myself included, it is difficult to imagine the Rajapaksas relinquishing office on the 9th of January consequent to a defeat at the polls. Therefore the genuine concern and speculation as to what could happen. I expect the use of the military to ensure a low turn -out in areas where there is a concentration of Tamil, Muslim and non- Sinhala Buddhist votes, especially in the North and East. We know what was done in the 2013 Northern Provincial Council election and in previous national elections. In particular, 2005.
The fissure in the ruling coalition which was evident in parliament during the ‘casino vote’ is a significant new development which must surely be capitalised upon. Despite the personal canvassing by the leadership, over 50-60 coalition members abstained. Sadly it appears as though this dissent is to be squandered by erroneous political assessment and tactics.