Malinda Seneviratne spoils an otherwise worthwhile article by repeating the falsehood that "D. S. Senanayake stood on the path that led from a village of Padu people with a club over his shoulder defending democracy." This is a canard invented by the LSSP leaders of that time and, by constant repetition, it has gained credence among many.
Not long ago, a similar story was related by a senior journalist about Dudley Senanayake. In this version, Dudley entered politics by using UNP thugs to prevent the Padu supporters of Edmund Samarakkody from voting. This person was silenced when it was pointed out that Dudley entered politics in 1936 eleven years before the UNP was formed, and that Dudley never contested Edmond Samarakkody in any election.
Our people must not be misled into believing that fraudulent elections have been our lot since independence. Our elections were among the cleanest in the world with top class elections commissioners of the like of V. L. Wirasinha and Felix Dias-Abeysinghe.
The election held under Mrs. Bs regime in 1977 which brought JR into power was
the last clean election we would have for a long long time. The egregious JR was the
founding father of fraudulent elections, first with the 1981 DDC elections in Jaffna (with
officially appointed presiding officers sacked and members of the JSS taking their places)
and next the 1982 referendum when, even in the heart of Colombo guns were used inside
polling stations to intimidate the voters and the polling staff.
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