The date was 27th January 6.00 pm, the venue was Torrington Square (Independence Square). After a brisk walk for about one hour I started to relax with my usual friends at our meeting place. As I sat one lady said "It’s a real disaster" .I asked why. She said the results have been all manipulated by using computers. I asked by whom? Promptly came the reply; ‘by Basil’. I laughed and told her that it cannot be as there were counting agents appointed by all parties at every Counting Centre and also there were International Observers as well as local Observers; and counting is done in their presence and they are fully briefed on the votes received by each candidate. In addition, even at polling booths there were polling agents and also the Observers. They were allowed to accompany the ballot boxes to the Counting Centres so that there cannot be switching of ballot boxes. She wouldn’t accept. I then asked her as to who told her about it. "That’s what they say" was her prompt reply. I just laughed.
Then another one said that Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake had been held as a hostage till 5.30 pm. I asked for what purpose; "Well, to manipulate the results’ One said he was locked up at the Election Commissioner’s office. Another said No, No, It was at Waters Edge. Another said No, No it was at the Election Commissioner’s office. I told them that "You yourselves are contradicting each other, so how can any one believe these rumours"; they just laughed at me. I also told them that when Dayananda announced the results he was quite critical of state media and that he could have easily mentioned about this alleged abduction. They promptly said, ‘They would have shot him then and there’. I told them that I hope the Government should very soon ban the evil SMS system.
There was W.R.H, Perera, former Conservator of Forests and later Chairman of Timber Corporation, who was also an Advisor to various UN Organizations even long after retirement. He was one of the most respected public officers at that time. He was 200% honest and straight. He stood up to even his own Ministers when it came to injustice and wrong. To him, forest was his life and limb. He was seated next to me. Then he came out with an interesting story. In 1952, after election duty at Buttala electorate, he was resting at Moneragala Rest House with his wife. One candidate who contested was Mr. (later Sir) Leo Fernando from Panadura. Some of his friends and relations, of course the elite group, were at the next table discussing the elections. Perera had invited them to tea as he knew some of them. They joined him and his wife. One of these so called gentlemen told him "You know, they (Opposite side) have bribed the Presiding Officer with Rs. 10,000/- and the Assistant Presiding Officer with 5,000/-, Perera asked them who had told them this story. The answer was "Well they say". Perera had said, ‘Well I was the Presiding Officer and my wife was the Assistant Presiding Officer’. They had no place to hide their faces.
After this story, my friends seated around did not open their mouths. Well, these are the evils of rumours and lies. One can understand Somawansa and the JVP spreading all these as it is consistent with their policy. In addition, they are experts on slinging Mud. This time they resorted to the low level of calling people ‘pigs with excreta and pigs eating excreta’. Of course, having lost badly they may be now giving effect to it in style. Somawansa et al are responsible for the killing of 60,000 Sinhala youth in 1988/89. They destroyed public property worth billions. Murder, destruction and treachery is the order of the day for them. Apart from these JVPers, the strange thing is that the ‘Colombians’ are resorting to this type of rumours and lies without using their brains, if they have any. I cannot but agree with Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera when he said, at S.L. Gunasekera’s book launch that "It is the Sinhala vote that matters and not that of the English-speaking pariah who is fondly awaiting Sarath Fonseka to bring back the good old days."
The so-called joint Opposition and their common candidate will never recover from the shock. It’s the post election trauma that drives them to tell fairytale stories.
Sometimes life is dull without these jokers.Douglas Premaratne