The Sunday Leader

Written In The Stars?

By Raisa Wickrematunge

Many predicted a ‘bad time’ for Mahinda Rajapaksa

Everything is written in the stars here. From weddings to births, even laying the foundations of a new house, astrology often plays a big part in the life of an average Sri Lankan. Astrologers can be enormously important in mapping out people’s lives, and so their opinion is afforded much respect.

So it’s no surprise that the public turned to star-gazers to predict who would prevail in this presidential election. And opinion was diverse. There were many who said Rajapaksa would prevail, but there were also those who said General Fonseka was the one blessed by the deities.

K.A.U Sarathchandra is of the latter camp. The Sunday Lankadeepa quoted the astrologer saying, “The current planetary position is similar to what we saw in 1994 when there was a change of government.” He is not the lone voice in the wilderness either. Others have come forward claiming that fortune favoured Fonseka. It transpired, however, that Sarathchandra and co. were in the wrong. The incumbent President prevailed with 57% of the vote.

This is strange, to say the least, in a country which takes astrology so seriously — they even arrested an astrologer who predicted bad times ahead for the President. Chandrasiri Bandara, an astrologer who freelances for the Irudina, was taken into custody in June, after he said that the country was coming in for turmoil under Rajapaksa’s watch. When asked why he thought these astrologers got it so wrong, Bandara said that there were “external elements” to consider, elements which couldn’t be predicted by planetary positions.

Though millions swear by astrology, it appears to be imprecise. How else to explain the fact that, through reading the same stars, the same planets, different astrologers came to different conclusions? How could some people have got it so wrong? And shouldn’t this be a concern when thousands of Sri Lankans swear by these same astrologers?

Strangely, much of the public are not disillusioned by the erratic predictions of the country’s soothsayers.

Koshali Perera, a housewife, said she had never heard of any predictions that Fonseka would win. However even the news that several soothsayers had gone on record predicting a Fonseka victory didn’t faze her. “The recent solar eclipse was a bad sign.

The election was held 18 days after that, despite this fact. But the President’s horoscope according to his birth date meant it was a good time for him, and so his victory was expected. However the eclipse means that the future will be bad for him,” Perera said.
Perera is clearly an ardent follower of astrologer’s opinions and said her faith in their predictions was not at all dimmed.

Dilini, who works at a marketing firm, said, “You can’t use astrology for a situation like this, when you have a leader like this who has rigged the election. If the elections were fair, Fonseka would have won. The astrologers can’t predict this sort of interference.”

Jamila, a sociology student, concurred, “People are saying Fonseka actually did win, but rigging took place. That’s why some people said Fonseka and the others said Rajapaksa would win.”

So even though the stars weren’t perfectly aligned for some of Lanka’s astrologers, it seems the people haven’t lost their faith. In this country of eternal optimists, that’s hardly a surprise.

4 Comments for “Written In The Stars?”

  1. Ach

    Problem is not with astrology ,problem is with astrologers who manipulate astrology to make their respective bosses happy…

  2. Real science is Astrophysics.Astrology is the science of idiots.

  3. Vaniasingham

    I cannot understand how idiotic the way some people think. There is no science in Astrology. It has invented some tricksters who say what any one can say about anybody. I wonder how one will suggest Obama will win, as he has not proper birth certificate??
    The people who speak about rigged election; I do not know what they have as common sense. Unlike previous election, the commissioner stated how he took precautions to divulge the actual count at each counting station before the figures are transmitted to the central station. Out of every one the person with the lowest IQ, Mr. Mangala Samaraweera is trying to educate Sri Lanka public on computers. There would have been computer experts on both sides to maintain the integrity of the system during the electoral process.
    We remember one time when Al Gore lost to Bush how he was holding the electorate in suspense for a few days. It was not him but his advisors who did not allow accepting defeat. But SF‘s case it is other way about. Ranil has accepted the defeat and planning for the next election, when SF is harping about his loss which is attributed to his own stupid behaviour.
    The deities are so afraid of human intervention that they hide when polls are rigged???

  4. heh! Then what on the prediction of the other astrologers who preicted MR’s victory. Cannot recall there were even in recent histroy who became buggers by claiming predictions in some previous elections too? Do not use astrology in prostitute. This is another way to convince people that MR did not win. This is good for hair-knoted chinese.

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