”What a fool I am. I should have known that Milinda’s biggest argument to attract votes is that ready access to Gotabaya guarantees him a much better chance than any other candidate to develop Colombo. To what kind of a city however I do not know! ”
Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
Milinda Moragoda’s on-going mayoral campaign is no doubt intriguing to the middle class nutty about new media technology.
However I am doubtful as to what percentage of voters fall under this category. He has websites, Facebook accounts, Youtube videos and tweets galore while his rank and file uses the more simplistic means of loud crackers, cutouts and ugly posters.
The latter display – all garbage and noise – may garner more votes for Milinda than his pretext to kultur. He says in his policy document: “I am confident that working together, we can improve the lives of our citizens. Colombo is a microcosm of the nation, with a rich and diverse population mix. I intend to work closely with all sectors of society and to have an inclusive approach to policy-making and implementation.”
My mind restlessly dragged me to the days of Asiatic society when Wansa Saba and Wariga Saba were so important that royal leaders had to go along with such autonomies. Then, people’s power was supreme and women dominated decision-making.
Is Milinda going to bring in all the ward councils, youth committees, trade councils and women councils into the authoritative process of decision making? I could not believe my eyes. But the next paragraph brought me back to the real world of Milinda. “With the elimination of the terror threat, the government commenced work on developing Colombo and the surrounding areas.
You have seen the walls coming down and the dredging commenced.
These momentous improvements require coordination of multiple government agencies and initiatives and the mobilization of resources from all levels of government and the corporate sector as well as from international sources. Having the trust of key decision makers, I will work cooperatively with government agencies and higher levels of government, in particular those under the Ministry of Defence, to solve your problems and develop Colombo to its full potential.”
What a fool I am. I should have known that Milinda’s biggest argument to attract votes is that ready access to Gotabaya guarantees him a much better chance than any other candidate to develop Colombo. To what kind of a city however I do not know!
One writer says: “It is quite openly acknowledged by those handling the media relations for the Milinda Moragoda campaign that it’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa who runs Colombo. Not the Colombo Municipal Council. Not the Mayor. The Secretary of Defence, post-war, has branched out into urban renewal, and with the unlimited resources of the Ministry of Defence, is going about revamping the city and its environs as he sees fit.
There is no public access to his plans. No one really knows how much money is involved, to whom tenders are awarded, or on what grounds.
We are told that there is a plan, and to trust its implementation to the hands of the man who won the war. So if Milinda wins, true municipality will cease to exist. The nominal autonomy given to the Colombo people will be overthrown. If Milinda Moragoda wins these elections, it’s Gotabaya who will run the city. It is Gotabaya’s plans, vision and terror apparatus that will define the city of Colombo. We cannot allow that to happen. But the UNP and Muzammil cannot challenge this or defeat it.
The only way out is to empower the social democratic movement of the latter.