New Govt Wants to Retain Its Sinhala Constituency by Continuing With Hardline Majoritarian Stance.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Regime Unlikely to Reach Out To Tamils and Muslims Before Parliamentary Elections as New Govt Wants to Retain Its Sinhala Constituency by Continuing With Hardline Majoritarian Stance.

By P.K.Balachandran

The ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), whose Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the November 16 election without the support of the minority Tamils and Muslims, and is still to reach out to them in any overt way, is likely to build bridges with them after the April 2020 parliamentary elections, sources close to the SLPP leadership said.

According to them, the party and the Gotabaya regime will have to hold on to their hardline Sinhala majoritarian stance to keep the Sinhala constituency with them in the run up to the parliamentary elections.

The SLPP fears that any move to dilute the stand by talking about “reconciliation” with the Tamils or making promises to devolve power to the Tamil-speaking Northern and Eastern Provinces or rubbing shoulders with or making deals with Muslim politicians at this juncture, will only invite the displeasure of the majority Sinhala community. Their alienation could seriously affect the SLPP’s prospects in the parliamentary elections.

The parliamentary elections are a different kettle of fish. Issues that dominated the Presidential election may not be the predominant issues in the parliamentary elections. In the latter, local issues and the standing of the candidates would assume importance. Then there is the burden of incumbency which the SLPP will be saddled with although it would have been in power for only four months by then.

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