This has since been taken down. For a while there was a disembodied hand dangling
The President is daily giving buffets to 3,000 monks/cops/faculty at a time. Various government agencies (English and IT for example) are running ads praising him. The Road Development Authority is pasting posters for him and various government officers are posting pictures of him outside (including the OIC/Police Chief in Kohuwela, I think). And that’s just the stuff I know about. There is a grey area between Presidential duties and a campaign, but Mahinda is way in the red, or blue as it were. He’s spending taxpayer money on his election campaign, and I don’t want him to.
Waste is an election issue, but few people object to a free lunch for themselves. In that way and other Mahinda is making contact and encouraging votes from various demographics. Also in terms of pure presence, he has co-opted government advertising for his own image building for years. At some point, however, an independent elections commission should step in and say enough. He has said to take the hoardings and billboards down but that is not, er, enough.
The Sri Lankan incumbent has guns, money, police, state media, jobs, food and more on his side. There should be some reasonable limits. India has a reportedly independent elections commission which I think demands and audits receipts for campaign expenses. Some go to the party, some legitimately to the state. As Sri Lanka rebuilds its civil service after the war, the elections commission would be a good place to start.