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Poll-dancing with stars and planets

world Updated: Jan 27, 2010 00:26 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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By Wednesday afternoon, the forecasts of astrologers on Tuesday’s Presidential poll would be under postmortem. But till the last weekend, astrologers had a field day juggling stars and planets to find the denouement of the close fight between President Mahinda Rajapaksa and retired army chief, Sarath Fonseka.

For some astrologers like Chadrasiri Bandara, it was a chance to learn from their mistakes. Bandara was arrested by the police last June after predicting that Rajapaksa was hurtling towards a bleak political future.

Police wanted to know his information source; they, rather rationally, did not believe Bandara got them from planetary positions.

Fortunately, Bandara soon decided to take destiny in his own not-so-celestial hands. Coming out of jail, he again looked at the stars, found that they had realigned and were actually smiling at Rajapaksa. On Sunday, he told news agency AFP that Sri Lanka could see unrest and political and economic turmoil until August 2012. Though in June he had said Rajapaksa would lose presidency, Bandara’s new prediction was the stars were now in favour of Rajapaksa.

“I clearly see a period of turmoil (for Sri Lanka). During this time President Rajapakse will be the head of state,’’ he said.

The auspiciousness of the moment is important to Sri Lankan politicians much like their counterparts in India. When to start a campaign, when to file nomination papers, where to end the campaign etc are usually done on the studied response of astrologers.

I don’t know whether it could give a boost to New Delhi’s diplomatic relation with Colombo but Rajapaksa is known to consult an Indian astrologer.

Even popular newspapers interviewed astrologers to predict the winner. The Sunday Lankadeepa, had two astrologers conveniently predicting wins for both Rajapaksa and Fonseka. What has tickled astrologers more is the fact Rajapaksa and Fonseka are both born on the 18th though in different months and years. When a winner emerges on Wednesday, the loser should sit back and analyse rather then rant at the blinking stars.