The rejection of Ranil’s rip-off reign

November 18th, 2019

H. L. D. Mahindapala

Ranil Wickremesinghe reached the peak of his power on January 8, 2015. 

Then he was neither the prime minister nor the president. But he  had the power to make things happen. It can be argued that he had the world at his feet because he represented the promising moral force of the day. With that power he held his future and the future of the nation in his hands. Led by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha, the respected moral spearhead of the time, surrounded by NGOs and civil society, backed the West and India, boosted by the grass root forces disillusioned with the Rajapaksa regime, hailed by the minorities, welcomed by the business community, he had all the power he needed to make the difference” he promised, particularly with a newly elected President who was puttee in his palms. It was the greatest hour of his long career as the leader of the UNP.  Gifted with a pliable President who could be easily pressured to follow his instructions he had the power to achieve whatever he wanted

Perhaps, the only exceptions were Dudley Senanayake who swept the polls on the sympathy vote of his father’s death and J. R. Jayewardene in 1978 who sailed into power (5/6th majority in Parliament) on the crest of the anti-Sirima-Marxist wave. Ranil had equal, if not greater power, to revitalise the nation  and raise the political culture to higher levels. More than the political victory he had the goodwill of the all the well-meaning reformists who expected him to give leadership to a radical change in the corrupt political culture and fulfil his moral duty.

In politics the moral power is far superior to the power of guns. In fact, guns used to enforce moral power are superior to guns fired to suppress risen forces of morality. All great revolutions that  changed the course of history were moral forces that won against the mighty guns of corrupt and decadent states. History invariably validates guns used to protect and enforce political morality. Ayotollah Khomeni overthrew the powerful police state of Shah in Iran with tapes issued from his exile in Paris. When Mao said that power comes out of the barrel of a gun he failed to mention that his bullets were packed with the additional power of a superior moral force that was targeting the degenerate and  crumbling feudal forces of Chiang Kai-Shek. The guns of pro-West, corrupt and anti-national guns of Chiang Kai-Shek failed because Mao’s guns  were cleaned to target, with moral accuracy, the evil forces destined  to die sooner than later.  

Marxism was only a secondary ideology which was understood and used as a political tool to direct the operations at the ground level by the top echelons of the party. At another  level it was the intellectual weapon used to combat the ruling evils of the decadent state. Conquering  the mind was as important as conquering territory. Ideology was the trigger to fire the guns of morality. The vast masses who followed Mao were inspired and guided by the moral essence that percolated down to  them from theoretical Marxism.   Mao became the brightest  star of the East because he represented a new political morality.  His Long March was to  achieve moral goals and his soldiers worked with the toiling masses to ease their suffering. The Chinese masses bonded with the new work ethic of the soldiers more than with Mao’s abstract theories. In short, the power that packed the punch into his guns was the moral force contained in Marxism.

Morality comes in various guises. Marxist morality dominated the 20th century. Gandhism was another. Whatever the ideology it is moral content that  shines  through, like the Star of Bethlehem, to lead men. Gandhi is the better example because his fire power consisted purely of non-violent morality. The power of morality reached its full height in the person of Gandhi. All advances in history has been to reach the higher levels of morality.

On January 8, 2015 Ranil won because he was backed by the superior moral force led by Ven. Sobitha. Ranil acquired power by hanging on to the moral force represented by the Sangha. There was no one in the civil society, NGOs or in the political arena who could win the confidence of the people searching desperately for moral leadership other than Ven. Sobitha. Overnight the vilified Sangha became the saviours. Even the anti-Sinhala-Buddhist NGOs were following the yellow robes. It was the moral force of the Sangha that legitimised the other Sinhala-Buddhist symbol of the time, Maithripala Sirisena. Ranil, who was not acceptable to the people, rode into power by hanging on to the Sinhala-Buddhist bandwagon. Clearly, Sinhala-Buddhism represents the power of a moral force that has revitalised and bonded the nation particularly in times of peril. The victory of Gota should be read as the triumph of the Sinhala-Buddhist ethic rising once again to rescue the nation from the perils and evils of alien forces.

Cleansing the nation with the Sinhala-Buddhist principles has been a repetitive theme that runs, like clockwork, throughout its  history. It happened in 2015 too when Ranil came into power. Empowered by the Sinhala-Buddhist political ethics the people expected Ranil to be a moral leader who could create history by creating a new and clean political culture. His duty was to be a courageous  and reliable reformer without alienating the moral base of the nation. The people were willing to go along with him believing that he would perform his duties as Mr. Clean”. And he had the  power at the time to revive  the nation. His power was so great that he could even become Prime Minister without a majority in Parliament. He insisted in ousting the legitimate Prime Minister, Dimuthu Jayawardena, who was occupying the prime ministerial chair. Under Ranil’s  pressure the much beholden and obliging new President, Maithripala Sirisena, caved in.  Ranil could even force the hands of the President and import Arjuna Mahendra, a Singaporean con-man to head the Central Bank when there were more competent and experienced locals who could have served the nation with integrity, competency and dignity.

Ranil was at a point where he could verily say that he was the lord of what he surveyed even though he was neither the prime Minister nor the president.  He was then the uncrowned king of the new moral force that was expected to take the nation into higher levels of peace, prosperity and unity free from corruption. But he threw it away with ideological myopia, congenital inability to understand the fundamental forces that were throwing the nation unmanageably from one crisis to another and sheer cussedness with which he manipulated his henchman and victims to achieve his personal agenda, filled with greed to hang on to power  even if it means betraying  the nation. With his short-sighted self-deception, which assumed that he was the superior intellectual in a cesspool of ignorant mediocrities, he rode all the way cockily into his own nemesis. Ignorance to him was bliss. He dug his own grave. He  paved the path to November 16th and he has to lie in it now.

What he did during his tenure as leader to his own Party and the nation is unforgiveable. He grabbed all the power available and dragged both the Party and the nation into the lowest imaginable depths of corruption, destruction, and despair. He revelled in posing as the solution to the nation’s problems. Drunk with his self-righteous and self-defeating superiority complex, he refused to believe that he was the cause of the problems. He was, in fact, the bane of the nation. It has taken a thundering slap from the people for him to realise that he no longer has the credibility, even among his loyal supporters, to lead the Party. Having failed 30 times at the polls what can he offer the Party or the nation? At last the nation can get rid of him for good. The nation can now hopefully look forward to find its way to a new era without the  negative forces generated consistently by the most unwanted man in politics.

Ranil’s biggest failure is his intellectual and moral inability to grasp the dynamics of politics that rule the nation at grass root levels. He lives in an airy-fairy world of his own. Take, for instance, his recent role in the Party at its most critical time of selecting the presidential candidate.  He must have been aware that  he  has been categorised as the most rejected figure in politics.. He has been a stark contrast to Mahinda Rajapaksa who is still the most popular figure in contemporary politics. But he fancied that he could lead an election campaign to defeat Gota Rajapaksa, a war winning hero who was perceived as the best guarantor of security for the nation – a nation traumatised by the Easter Sunday bombers. Everyone except the blind followers of Ranil knew that pigs have a  better chance of flying to moon than Ranil winning the presidency. Elections  results have proved it. The UNP hierarchy who knew this fatal flaw had to fight tooth and nail to reject him as a born loser. Ranil’s insistence on grabbing the nomination as a presidential candidate was insane. It damaged the image of the party as a viable force to lead the nation.. Once again it is the personal ambition of Ranil that ruined the chances of even scoring some runs at the electoral crease. It sent the wrong message to the electorate. A divided party, fighting bitterly to slaughter each other, cannot expect the nation to believe that they are capable of providing security or leading the nation. In fact, Ranil killed Sajith before the nation savaged him on November 16. In the end Sajith had to pay for Rail’s sins. Sajith did his utmost  to whitewash Ranil’s sins with his rhetoric But no one  believed him. Even his appointment of Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka as his  Defence Minister was a flop. The people opted for Gota as the guarantor of their security.

In hindsight it is obvious that Ranil had divided the Party beyond repair. It was a divided Party that sat to launch Sajith’s manifesto in Kandy. Ranil, the leader, was not even given the opportunity to say one word on the manifesto. Instead the Mangala-Sajith combo, the new leadership, invited Victor Ivan, the JVP bomb-maker who began his career in journalism determined to destroy Sajith’s father, President Premadasa.

The signs of UNP’s decline  and impending fall was clear at the Kandy launch of Sajith’s manifesto. The UNP had fallen from the moral heights of Ven. Sobitha to a bomb-maker who produced weapons of mass destruction that killed hundreds of innocent civilians. Ranil was made to sit on a chair on the floor while Victor Ivan was invited to the stage to deliver the key-note speech. And what did Victor Ivan do? He refused to speak on the manifesto – the most important subject required to raise the image of the UNP in the eyes of the nation. Instead he rambled on, spinning yarns about the need for constitution-making which was the most sensitive issue that angered the nation. The rejection of this issue was confirmed on November 16th. Constitution-making was wrapped in the 13 demands put forward by the TNA to the  presidential candidates. Gota had wisely rejected it in toto. However, the hand-picked pundit of the UNP gets up on the party’s most  critical day and indirectly lauds the 13 demands  which were focused on constitution-making. Oddly enough, Ranil, the most committed proponent of constitution-making to appease the minorities, was demoted to a chair on the floor of the Kandy launch.  It was obvious that the UNP had gone to pieces. There was no pragmatic or viable centre to hold it together. A leaderless, pointless, worthless Party was heading blindly to November 16 – the day of reckoning. The in-fighting within the Party was worsened by the lack of an alterna      tive and credible leadership that could win the hearts and the minds of the critical voters who had waited patiently to get even with the Ranil-led regime.

The massive swing indicates clearly that the nation was biding its time to cut the neck of Ranil’s regime with the sharp edge of their lengthy ballot papers. And they did it in right royal style, peacefully and decisively, leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that they can’t fooled by bogus  theoreticians in the civil society, NGOs,  or even the vacillating and partisan Mahanayakes of Malwatte who had lost their moral compass. The people’s reply was loud and clear. And the besieged nation is settling down again hoping  that a change of regime is going to bring at least a clean administration. The new Sinhala-Buddhist ethic was defined by Gota when he took his oaths – not at the traditional Malwatte – but at Ruwanweli Seya in Anuradhapura. He went  back to his roots that ran all the way to the  epic period of history written by Dutugemunu. The symbolism and its meaning rang deep in the hearts of the threatened Sinhala-Buddhists.

The psephological numbers stunned the political pundits and the UNP leaders who believed that the majority could not win without the minority. Gota’s victory rewrote the political equation that was accepted as the truth written in stone. The anti-Sinhala-Buddhist intellectuals and academics must revisit their fake theories and reconsider their spurious assumptions of the  grass root forces that determines national politics. For instance, they must reconsider who won and  who lost. If they can drop their inane prejudices they will realise that it was not Sajith who was defeated. It was Ranil. Sajith was faced with an uphill task, battling to wipe out the evil memories of Ranil and present a new face to the public. But the public knew that Sajith was merely the mask hiding Ranil’s anti-national, anti-majority, pro-West, corrupt regime.  He made a desperate bid to distance himself from Ranil. But not all the gewgaws, lollipops and tampons of the world could save him from going down the toilet.  Predictably, in his desperate bid to win, Sajith too swallowed Ranil’s calculation that the minorities could save him.

The alliances made by Ranil with the minorities boomeranged on Sajith. The more Ranil got closer to the minorities the more it threatened the security of the majority.  The demonised majority reacted en masse to defend their cherished heritage and their way of life from the arrogant minorities who assumed that they could make the majority dance to their naga salam.  Ranil fell for that line and danced all the way to November 16 believing that the Northern drumbeat would do the trick for him. The people refused to trust the man  behind Sajith’s mask. With a silent stroke  of the pen the voters cut the neck of the selected protector of the nation, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka. There was no one to protect the protector when he  lost his Kelaniya seat. Chandrika Bandaranaiake who came flying in on a rescue mission could not win her seat to save Ranil. Even the Presidential candidate could not win his seat in Hambantota. To change the metaphor, this lot put all their eggs in the minority basket. And the majority rejected them.

Asath Sally boasted of the power of the 30 per cent minority that could teach a lesson to the majority. Make no mistake: It was the Sinhala forces threatened by the minorities in the North and the East that triumphed on November 16. It was a clear cut power struggle between the minority and the majority. This  election turned out to be the most defining event since  Nandikadal. Nandikadal was won with bullets. Novmber 16th was won with ballots. Both were led by Gota. The nationalist forces that swept Gotabaya into power is not confined to Sri Lanka. It is the force that is sweeping the globe. Though it is an odious comparison, it is the Sri Lankan version of Make America Great again”. Similar corresponding forces dominates global politics in the post-Cold War era. Easter Sunday highlighted the peril in which the nation is haunted by minorities resorting to violence. Running against the trend, Ranil ganged up with the minorities. This alliance with the minorities became his first and  last defence line. But it boomeranged. The Sinhala voters rallied as one united force to reject Ranil’s formula for peaceful co-existence. The Sinhala forces that saved the minorities from the fascist tyranny of the Tamil Pol Pot at Nandikadal define peacefully and democratically once again the  parameters within which the minorities can co-exist in a shared society with equal rights to all. The minorities ganged up to dictate politics to the majority. It was this threat to the majority that kept  the numbers ticking for Gota as results tumbled down on live  telecasts. Except  for  a brief moment or two, the consistent 50+vote never left Gota as the results captured the emerging  polling trend on the screen. There were no prizes for the runner-up. The winner took it all.

On the sideline, Victor Ivan, the new guru of the UNP, was theorising that Sajith has behind him the thousands of beneficiaries who  were recipients of his visionary father’s (1) poverty alleviation through  samurdhi, (2) house-building on a national scale (3) decentralising bureaucratic power and  taking it to the grassroots through gam-udawas, (4) creating  jobs by incentivising  businessmen to take garment factories to the villages , etc. President Premadasa also peoplised” the UNP by taking it away from Kurunduwatte to Kehelwatte. But Ranil reversed it. He took it to his new haven in Kollu”-pitiya, which is  next door to Kurunduwatte.

In his  delusional way Ranil also ran after Geoege Soros, the Hungarian billionaire, hoping he would  rush to save him with investments. He  joined the IDU – the exclusive club  of white, Christian, Western leaders – hoping  that the Western entrepreneurs would flock in their hundreds and thousands with investments to save him. In the end, the collective actions of his allies in the West and in the North helped him only to go gurgling down the drain. It must  be  conceded that Sajith in  his own flamboyant style tried to reclaim his father’s heritage. But there is more  to the shaping of historic events than a slick tongue, theatrics on the  stage and packing the Galle Face space with bussed Bandas bought with buth packets. The expected crowds predicted by Victor Ivan did not turn up at the polling  booths. As usual his cock-eyed theories went down his anatomical pipes like the beer he sips.

Gota’s second victory against the anti-national forces is as great as his first victory in defeating the invincible” Tamil Tiger terrorists. The battle lines were drawsn clearly between the nation and the anti-national forces. If Sajith won it would have taken the nation in the same direction as Ranil. Despite all his chest-beating bravado Sajith was  a mere ventriloquist for Ranil.

Gota was won this war because the Sinhala people rallied behind him to fight the battles against the anti-nationla forces. When his brother and mentor returns as Prime Minister they will collectively capture the ower that was denied in the 19th Amendment. Ranil has been hoisted by his own petard. He designed the 19th to strengthen  his prime minieterial hand because he feared that  he could never bythe president. The irony is that al Ranil’s labours have ended in consolidating  the power of the Rajapaksas. Jointly they both have another  chance to act unitedly to overcome all the obstacles placed in the 19th Amendment. The coming events will mock the constitutional-makers who were straining every muscle to curtail the powers  of the presidency by increasing the powers of the prime minister. But when the President’s brother is also  his mentor what obstacle can stand in his way to do override the 19th Amendment? Soon Gota will have all the powers except making man a woman, and vice versa. Together they will have unlimited power to achieve what they failed to fulfil in their first run.

Gota cannot do what Ranil do to the nation: betray the interests of the people with immoral politics and anti-national betrayals.

Gota owes everything to the Sinhala people. And the Sinhala-Buddhists, he must remember, never failed to protect the minorities and give them security and prosperity at all times, even when they were persecuted by their own leaders or  the foreigners. For instance, the Muslims will remember that when Sankili ethnically cleansed Jaffna, partly by throwing pig’s heads into  their wells, and when Prabhakaran persecuted and chased the Muslims out  of Jaffna within 24 hours it was the Sinhala south that gave refuge to them. He will also  remember the Sinhala people can protect the minorities as long as long as they live under the protective umbrella of the democratic, sovereign, undivided state and not if they fall under the separate rule of fascist Tamil or Sinhala Pol Pots.

There is no doubt that the two war-winning brothers will be back again after the next Parliamentary elections.

That, of course, will be another story for another  day.

ERASING THE EELAM VICTORY PT 1

November 18th, 2019

KAMALIKA PIERIS

The Eelam wars came to an end on May 2009 with a humiliating defeat for the LTTE and a triumphant win for the government. The entire world was amazed and surprised. None of the other countries had been able to end such a war, said observers.

Nalin de Silva observed that Eelam War IV was undoubtedly a great victory. The government of a small country had defeated a terrorist outfit supported and sponsored by the western powers. Col. C.R.Hariharan said LTTE has been outwitted, out-gunned and out-strategized by the Sri Lanka army. This must be accepted”, he said.,

 Dayan Jayatilleke said that by defeating the Tigers so completely and utterly, Sri Lanka and its armed forces made a contribution to regional and global security. ‘We have got precious little thanks for making the region a little safer’ he added. Gotabhaya Rajapakse said that other countries facing terrorism should follow Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka had shown that terrorism could be defeated. 

Analysts also noted that throughout the thirty years of war, the government unfailingly delivered all essential services to the LTTE controlled areas in north and east. The government paid salaries and pensions, ran the state schools, paid salaries of teachers and kept the state hospitals going. They did so through the Government Agents in the north, including GAs of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Sinharaja Tammita Delgoda says one of the most striking things about Eelam War IV was the chorus of derision and condemnation in which the operation was conducted. No other fighting force had faced this kind of ridicule during a campaign. Bogollagama noted that the war was fought in an unhelpful and hostile background.  The army was winning, but it was publicly ridiculed by a section of the political elite.

However, there was considerable gratitude among the  Sinhala public for this victory. Those who were affected by the LTTE attacks were especially grateful. When I was in Trincomalee some time ago, the owner of a tourist stall told me Madam, people who live in Colombo do not understand   how we suffered during LTTE rule. We slept in the jungle at night. When a husband or child went out during the day, we could not be sure that they would return. We are grateful to Mahinda Rajapaksa for ending the war.”

But after winning the war, Rajapaksa government failed to consolidate the win. Rajapaksa did not declare at any time that this was a secessionist war, which was legitimately won by the Sri Lanka army. The government stupidly took the position that the war was a “terrorist war”, not a secessionist war. Despite the fact that the said terrorists called themselves, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam”, indicating clearly that it was a separatist war.

Mahinda Rajapaksa stated repeatedly that this war was not against the Tamil people, it was against the terrorists. Critics did not agree with Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was not terrorism. It was   civil war, they said.Sri Lanka fought a just war by just means, they said.    

The Eelam Wars were outright civil wars.  They were secessionist wars, with the purpose of dividing the island and setting up a new littoral (coastal) sovereign state.  The land area of future state of Eelam started at Kalpitiya went northwards up to Jaffna, then down past Trincomalee, Batticaloa and ended at Ampara.  A ‘friendly country’ was ready and waiting in New York, to get the new state recognized at the UN.

Critics pointed out that Separatism is prohibited by law in Sri Lanka. The Sixth Amendment to Constitution of Sri Lanka, which is also Act no 6 of 1983,   said that it was the duty of the state to safeguard the territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. 

Article 157A of the Constitution said that no person shall, directly or indirectly, in or outside Sri Lanka, support, espouse, promote, finance, encourage or advocate the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka.  No political party or other association or organization shall have as one of its aims or objects the establishment of a separate State within the territory of Sri Lanka. Any political party supporting such an aim shall be proscribed and any MP unseated from Parliament and deprived of civic rights.

The first thing  Mahinda Rajapaksa did after winning the war, was to  let the UN in. the Eelam wars were outside the scope of the UN, They were an internal matter. But President Mahinda Rajapaksa permitted UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to visit as soon as Eelam War IV ended.

Moon arrived on 23.May 2009.  He visited the internally displaced persons (IDP) sites at Vavuniya and flew over the area near Mullaitivu, that was the scene of the conflict. He spoke with the President and senior officials. He also ‘consulted other relevant stakeholders, members of international humanitarian agencies and civil society”. 

Rajapaksa thereafter issued a joint statement with Moon. This statement   did not make any reference to the praiseworthy victory of the government of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka  did nto congratulate itself. Instead, the statement spoke of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. 

The statement said, inter alia, htat  the government would work towards a lasting political solution.  The aspirations and grievances of all communities would be addressed.  And a national solution acceptable to all sections of people will be evolved.   To do so, the government would begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties. It was a sort of pro-Eelam statement which implied that the government was in the wrong. The statement implied that the government was at fault for creating a situation where the Tamils had to take to arms. That Tamil Separatism was justified and should be   taken into consideration.

Thereafter, in May 2010 Rajapaksa appointed a Commission of Inquiry on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LRRC). The members of the LLRC were C. R. De Silva, PC (chairman)  Attorney General (2007–09), Solicitor General (1999–2007).  A. Rohan Perera, PC  former legal advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and  Chairman of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism and member of the International Law Commission.

Karunaratne Hangawatte, Professor of Criminal Justice at the Department of Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Las Vegas and former consultant to the United Nations[ Chandl Chanmugam, Secretary to the Treasury (1987–88).,Manohari Ramanathan ,former Deputy Legal Draftsman and former member of the Monetary Board of Sri Lanka Maxwell Paranagama, former High Court Judge M. T. M. Bafiq, Senior Attorney at law and member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka. and H. M. G. S. Palihakkara, former Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former Permanent Representative to the United Nations 2008-2009. Palihakkara had trained in international human rights and humanitarian law at the Raul Wallenberg Institute, Lund University, Sweden.

The committee was asked to study the circumstances that led to the failure of the Ceasefire Agreement and report on the lessons learnt from the war thatwouldprevent recurrence.  They were asked to recommend the best way to make restitution, and ways to promote national unity and reconciliation among all communities. The time period for the survey would be 21. February 2002 to 19 May 2009. The report was completed in November 2011, tabled in the Parliament and published in December 2011.

The LRRC report was a gift to the Tamil Separatist Movement. The conclusions of the LLRC report are now used exclusively by the Tamil Separatist Movement.

The LLRC accepted that the North and East had issues that required addressing and that reconciling was needed to heal wounded Sri Lanka. It advocated demilitarization, vacating of all private and public land occupied by the security forces, solving of land ownership disputes through special land commissions. It wanted the establishment of a politically independent civil administration. The long standing Tamil grievances needed to be provided with a political solution which included devolving power.

LLRC report also called for a comprehensive investigation into the crimes of the LTTE, hitherto not undertaken, also to look at the accountability of the UN and international organizations.  They should be subject to scrutiny. These two recommendations of the LLRC have been ignored by the government and the Tamil Separatist Movement.

Instead of following up on the victory and crushing the Tamil Separatist Movement, Rajapakse government took a defensive approach after the war ended.  This was an invitation to the  Tamil Separatist Movement to take steps to erase the Eelam victory. This series examines the attempts made by the Tamil separatist movement to do so. (continued)

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s decisive victory.

November 18th, 2019

By Bodhi Dhanapala, Quebec, Canada.

Jehan Perera, writing in the Island on 19th November says that the expectation was that neither of the two leading candidates, i.e., Gotabhaya and Sajith, would get a clear mandate, and hence a second preference re-count will be needed. Several urban political Pandits like Kumar David had suggested that while the first preference should be given to the JVP candidate, the second preference should be given to Sajith. This time the  JVP has not claimed that the election results are a mere computer Jilmart”.

Most of us do NOT get our nourishment, drinks and pocket money from the Colombo cocktail circuit and from foreign-funded  NGO accounts. We knew that the JVP candidate will loose even his deposit and that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will go over the 50% mark with ease.

Jehan Perera’s analysis, as usual, is based on the simplistic race-based projection of election outcomes, while holding in common with the Marxist writers that the Rajapaksas are synonymous with a brutal end to the war and fascist suppression of opposition. The Marxist political pundits are quite amnesic about the brutality of the end justifies even the bloodiest Bolshevik means” philosophy of their peers who have given the world a majority of Pol-Pot style dictators. Furthermore, these individuals have always been ready to write off the collaborationist pro-LTTE politics of the TNA, while pushing for  peace-talks” at any cost with terrorist Tigers and bashing the terrible Sinhala-Buddhists.

However, having been in power for nearly five years, all those who executed the regime change have none of their allegations proved in court. The JVP and Hela Urumaya” leaders were the most vociferous with their allegations against the Rajapaksas.  The Marxists pundits have found themselves in the same camp as the Western Capitalist powers and the strongly racist Tamil diaspora in their hatred of the Rajapaksas for different reasons. The West hated the Rajapaksas for not being subservient to them, while the Diaspora opposed them as they knew that as long as the Rajapaksas were in power, their plans for a separatist regime in the merged North-East will never come to fruition.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s electoral vote was no surprise to anyone who saw the Elpitiya vote. Take the Elpitiya percentages of votes going to the SLPP, UNP, and JVP, and add most of the North and East votes to the credit of the UNP after readjusting to a 100% total, and you get approximately what Gotabhaya has actually got.

So, how was this election result in a surprise to the political pundits?

Remember that these Pundits, the  Western Military strategists as well as the UNP leaders held that the war against Prabhakaran is unwinnable”, and that claims of victories in Alimankada (Elephant pass in the North) must be about some skirmishes in Paamankada (a Colombo suburb)?  After the war was over, the Center for Policy Alternatives,  as well as Yasmin Sooka’s outfit, claimed that the IDP camps were concentration camps and that the IDPs will never be resettled. The MacKenzie Institute, a Canadian Think Tank, was the first to reject these claims and being without substance.

Gotabhaya, during his tenure as the Defence secretary, proved, contrary to the claims of experts, that the war was winnable,. During his tenure as the head of the Urban Development Authority, he proved that an ugly and smelly city full of slums and undisciplined drivers could be tamed and made into the prettiest and cleanest city in South-East Asia. The Yahapalanaya” returned it back to its grim state. Now,  in securing his presidential bid, Gotabhaya has disproved the myth that no candidate can become president of Sri Lanka if the minorities are not with the candidate.

The whole point is, only a minority of the Tamil minority lives in the North and the East. A major part of the Tamil-speaking Sri Lankans lives among the Sinhalese. The old ethnic live-apart” political program launched by the Vellalar upper-crust Colombo-Tamil-Nationalist lawyers led by Chelvanayagam,  re-affirmed at Vaddukkoddai (aka Batakotte”), they fought for over thirty years, and resuscitated by the TNA, finds little resonance with the ordinary voter, be he Sinhalese or Tamil. They were appalled to see individuals like Mervyn de Silva, Sajin Vas Goonawardena and others, previously cast in black by the UNP itself, appearing on Sajith’s electoral platforms.  

The people wanted a good manager who will provide the stability, the administrative reconstruction, and facilities needed for the people to do what ordinary people do – the least of which is haggling over OruMitta” and Ekeeya constitutions”  for over 4 years while they do not even have their everyday material needs.

PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARY- P B JAYASUNDERA

November 18th, 2019

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

Dr P B Jayasundera brings three vital skills.  Financial management, Economic Policy implementation and Public Administration with extensive knowledge of Financial Regulations (FR).

In the past, he has successfully managed Spending against Budget.  But now as Presidential Secretary, he extends his arms right across.    He will not allow distributing, for example, SIL REDI during an election campaign even if the President wishes to do so. The President will have a Peace of Mind with PBJ in charge of the machine so that his attention could be diverted to drive his Policies.

In this role,  the person must be a Neutral Advisor, who cannot be bullied around. In this role, he or she must be a Protector of the Office of the Presidency.  In this role, he needs to ensure the Funds of the State are not released Light Heartedly.

Lankan parties discuss dissolution of parliament

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, November 18 (AIR): As Gotabaya Rajapaksa was sworn in as Sri Lankan President on Monday, discussions on dissolving Parliament and holding fresh elections have begun.

Lankan parties discuss dissolution of parliament

The Leader of the opposition and Gotabaya’s elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa has said that with Gotabaya’s victory in the Presidential election, it is best to hold a parliamentary election as soon as possible.

The former President said that work cannot commence as the President is from one party while the cabinet, including the Prime Minister, is from another.

He said that the mandate of the people should be respected.

Sources in the Gotabaya’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said they are having discussions with United National Party (UNP) to reach a consensus on dissolving the House.

As per the constitution, parliament cannot be dissolved till February next year unless the House passes a resolution to this effect with two-thirds majority.

Meanwhile, a meeting of UNP parliamentary group under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe failed to arrive at a decision on this issue in its meeting held today.

There were reports of heated exchanges between MPs loyal to him and to Sajith Premadasa, who lost the Presidential Election held on November 16.

Earlier, President Gotabaya Rajapakasa said that he will follow a neutral foreign policy and stay out of any conflict with world powers.

Gotabaya was sworn in as seventh President of Sri Lanka at a ceremony in Anuradhapura this morning. Speaking after the ceremony, the new President said he knew that the response to his request to the Tamil and Muslim community to join in his victory was less than expected.

However, as the new President, he had invited all to work together with him for the future prosperity of the country as true Sri Lankans. He also promised a technocratic and meritocratic system with no place for corruption.

(The featured image at the top shows Gotabaya Rajapaksa being sworn in in Anuradhapura)

Sri Lankan business community expects new President to deliver reform, attract investment

November 18th, 2019

By Shiran Illanperuma Xinhua Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

COLOMBO, Nov. 18 (Xinhua): Sri Lanka’s business community has expressed hope that the country’s new president would move forward with open market reforms, provide a conducive environment for local industries and attract foreign direct investments.

Sri Lanka’s Elections Chief Mahinda Deshapriya on Sunday afternoon confirmed that opposition candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the presidential election on Saturday.

Sri Lankan business community expects new President to deliver reform, attract investment

International Business Council President Kosala Wickramanayake told Xinhua on Monday that the business community hoped Rajapaksa would accelerate the development of infrastructure projects, attract more foreign direct investment and provide a stable policy environment.

The business community welcomes the change,” Wickramanayake said.

Meanwhile, Chairman and Managing Director of Imperial Teas Group and Chairman of Colombo Tea Traders Association Jayantha Karunaratne told Xinhua that exporters would be looking to the new leadership to lower operating costs, improve access to credit, remove unfair taxes and provide policy assistance to make local exports competitive in the international market.

The business community accepts the choice of the people and we are ready to work with the new leadership to develop the economy of the country,” Karunaratne said.

According to Siri Hettige, professor emeritus of Sociology at the University of Colombo, the new president will have to bridge the widening gap between communities and deliver economic reforms to industrialize the country.”

Rajapaksa gained over 6.9 million, or 52 percent of the votes, defeating his opponent Sajith Premadasa from the ruling party, who gained over 5.5 million, or 42 percent of the votes.

After the final election results were announced declaring him the winner, Rajapaksa vowed to represent all communities regardless of their race and religious identity.(The featured image at the top shows tea being packed in the Stassen factory. Photo: Tang Lu)

US pledges cooperation with Gotabaya for economic growth and ethnic reconciliation

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

US pledges cooperation with Gotabaya for economic growth and ethnic reconciliation

Colombo, November 18 (newsin.asia): The United States on Monday congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on their democratic presidential election and said that it looks forward to working with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

In a statement released by the US embassy here, Washington said: Sri Lanka has continued to show the strength and resilience of its republic with a free, fair, and transparent presidential election befitting Asia’s oldest democracy. We commend the Elections Commission, civil society and government authorities for promoting a peaceful election.”

We are ready to continue our work with the new President and with all the people of Sri Lanka in supporting the country’s sovereignty through heightened good governance, expanded economic growth, the advancement of human rights and reconciliation, and in fostering an Indo-Pacific region where all countries can prosper.”

රාජ්‍ය ආයතනවල ජනපතිගේ රුව වෙනුවට රාජ්‍ය ලාංඡනය ප්‍රදර්ශනය කිරීමට ජනපතිගෙන් උපදෙස්

November 18th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

රාජ්‍ය ආයතනවල ජනපතිගේ රුව ප්‍රදර්ශනය කරනවා වෙනුවට රාජ්‍ය ලාංඡනය ප්‍රදර්ශනය කරන ලෙස ජනාධිපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ උපදෙස් දීතිබෙනවා.

එහිදී ජනපතිවරයා වැඩිදුරටත් උපදෙස් දී ඇත්තේ මාර්ග නාමපුවරුවලින් ද දේශපාල​නඥයින්​ගේ රුව ඉවත්කිරීමට පියවර ගන්නා ලෙසයි.

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ විධායක ජනාධිපතිවරයා ලෙස දිවුරුම්දීමෙන් අනතුරුව දිවයින පුරා විවිධ සැමරුම්

November 18th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතා මෙරට 7 වන විධායක ජනාධිපතිවරයා ලෙස දිවුරුම්දීමෙන් අනතුරුව දිවයින පුරා විවිධ සැමරුම් පැවැත්වුණා.

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතා අනුරාධපුර ඓතිහාසික රුවන්වැලිසෑය ඉදිරිපිට ජනාධිපති ධූරයේ දිවුරුම් දීමත් සමගම රට පුරා ස්ථාන රැසක ගිනිකෙළි දල්වමින් ජනතාව සිය සතුට පළ කළා.

බස්නාහිර පළාතේ ස්ථාන රැසකම ජනතාව ප්‍රධාන මාර්ග අසලට පැමිණ කිරිබත් දන්සැල් පවත්වමින් සිය සතුට පලකළ ආකාරයයි මේ.

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතා ජනාධිපති ධූරයට පත්වීම සිහිවීම පිණිස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රාජ්‍ය ඉංජිනේරු සංස්ථා සේවකයින් මෙලෙස පැල සිටුවීමේ වැඩසටහනක් ක්‍රියාත්මක කළා.

මේ අතර දිවයිනේ අනෙකුත් පළාත්වල ජනතාවද විවිධාකාරයෙන් සිය සතුට සැමරුවා.

ජනපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂගේ නිල ධජය නිර්මාණය කරයි

November 18th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

පාරිශුද්ධත්වයේ සංකේතය වන සුදු නෙළුම් මල තේමාව කර ගනිමින් මෙරට 7 වන විධායක ජනපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ නිල ධජය නිර්මාණය කර තිබෙනවා.

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කොඩියේ ප්‍රධාන වර්ණය ලෙස යොදාගෙන ඇත්තේ කුරහන් ධාන්‍යයේ වර්ණය වන තද දුඹුරු පැහැයයි.

ජනාධිපති ධජයේ නෙළුම් මලෙන් පාලකයා සතු නිර්මලභාවයත්, පිවිතුරු පාලනයත් පිළිඹිබු කෙරෙනවා.

නෙළුමේ කලංකයේ සිට සිව් දිශාවන්ට විහිදෙන සුත්‍රිකා මගින් නිරූපණය වන්නේ කීර්තිය සැම අත පැතිරී යෑමයි.

ඒ වටා ඇති කහ පැහැති රවුමෙන් ප්‍රඥාව ද සුදු පැහැති රවුමෙන් සත්‍යවාදී බවද නිරූපණය කෙරෙනවා.

සිව් කොන පිහිටි බෝපත් හතරෙන් බුද්ධාගම සහ ඉන් ජාතියට ලැබුණු ආභාෂයත් උට්ඨාන සම්පදා, ආරක්ඛ සම්පදා, කල්‍යාණ මිත්තතා සහ සමජීවිතා යන ව්‍යග්ගපජ්ජ සූත්‍රයේ සඳහන් මෙලොව යහපතට හේතු වන කරුණු 4 නිරූපණය වනවා.

සිව්කොන පිහිටි නාමල් සතරෙන් ජාත්‍යන්තර සබදතා නිරූපණය වන අතර, එහි තැඹිලි පැහැයෙන් දෙමළ ජනතාව ද කොළ පැහැයෙන් මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව ද නිරූපිතයි.

එකිනෙකා අභිමුඛව පිහිටුවා ඇති වී කරල් සහ ඒ අතර ඇති කුරහන් මල් සහිත රාමුවෙන් නිරුපණය වන්නේ සශ්‍රිකත්වයයි.

කොඩියේ ප්‍රධෘන වර්ණය ලෙස කුරහන් ධාන්‍ය යේ වර්ණය වන තද දුඹුරු පැහැය යොදාගෙන ඇත්තේ ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතා පැවත එන කෘෂිකාර්මික පදනම මුල්කරගත් ජන මූල පාරම්පරික නායකත්වය සංකේතවත් කිරීමේ අරමුණින්.

එක සමාන පළලකින් යුත් සුදු පටිය මගින් සියලු අතින් සලසන ආරක්ෂාව නිරූපණය කෙරෙනවා.

ඊට පිටතින් ඇති කහ පටිය මගින් නිරූපණය කෙරෙන්නේ ජාතීන් අතර එකමුතුව, සාමය සහ අන්‍යෝන්‍ය අවබෝධයත් ඒ තුළ පවත්නා ජීව ගුණයයි.

නව ජනාධිපති ධජය නිර්මාණය කර තිබෙන්නේ ප්‍රවීන නිර්මාණකරුවෙක් වන ජගත් ජයසිංහ මහතායි

Chairman of HIRU TV, sends letters of demand to Mangala and two others for recent defamatory comments made against him and his family demanding 1 Billion rupees each.

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

Lawyers of Rayynor Silva, Chairman of HIRU TV, sends letters of demand to MP Mangala Samaraweera and two others for recent defamatory comments made against him and his family demanding 1 Billion rupees each.

China ready to work with Gota for ’high-quality’ cooperation

November 18th, 2019

Hindustan Times

China on Monday congratulated the newly-elected Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, saying Beijing is ready to work with the new leadership for high-quality” cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the ambitious intercontinental connectivity project launched by President Xi Jinping.

The Rajapaksa family, including the new president and his elder brother, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, are considered close to Beijing. It was under the elder Rajapaksa’s presidential reign between 2005 and 2015 that Beijing emerged as a key economic ally and major investor of the war-torn country.

Sri Lanka has successfully held the presidential election, which is a major agenda political agenda at home. We are pleased to see that and offer our sincere congratulations to Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his success,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, said on Monday.

China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners with sincere mutual assistance everlasting friendship,” he said.

We stand ready to on the basis of respect, equality and mutual benefit work with the new leadership and the government for high-quality BRI cooperation and greater progress in bilateral ties to bring more tangible benefits to two countries and their people,” Geng said at the regular ministry conference.

Rajapaksa was the defence secretary – during his elder brother’s presidency – at the end of the civil war with Tamil rebels.

China at the time was one of the main suppliers of arms and ammunition for the Sri Lankan army.

Since the end of the civil war in May 2009, Beijing has emerged as Colombo’s key investor in infrastructure across the country, a development New Delhi has monitored closely.

China has repeatedly denied that its massive loans to Colombo have pushed the country into a debt trap. Chinese officials have said Beijing, on the contrary, is helping Colombo out of that trap.

Quoting a report by the Lankan Central Bank, state news agency Xinhua reported last month that by the end of 2018 Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt volume was about $52 billion, $6 billion of which was from China, making up only 11.5% of the total debt. 

P.B. Jayasundera appointed as Presidential Secretary

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy Ceylon Today

P. B. Jayasundera has been appointed as the Presidential Secretary to the newly-elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

He served as an Economist, Economic Adviser and the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury from 2009 until 2015 during the tenure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Kamal Gunaratne appointed as Defence Secretary?

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy Ceylon Today

A news saying that Major General Kamal Gunaratne has been appointed as the Defence Sectary is circulating on social media.

However, when Ceylon Today Web contacted the media unit of the Defence Ministry, they denied and said they cannot confirm the news.

The Defence Ministry said that they weren’t notified about such a news.

UNP IS READYING TO HANDOVER THE GOVERNMENT

November 18th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

The UNP has decided to hand over the government to the new President.

The decision has been taken following a special meeting of UNP Parliamentarians chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe this afternoon

However, party presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa was conspicuously absent in this discussion.

In addition to the UNP ministers who resigned yesterday following the defeat of their candidate, Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka and Ashok Abeysinghe have also tendered their resignations today.

Meanwhile, Omalpe Sobhitha Thera reiterates that the Prime Minister should follow suit his Cabinet ministers and leave room to appoint a new Cabinet.

The Thera was addressing a media briefing held in Embilipitiya today.

Email sent to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on 14 11 2909

November 18th, 2019

Sudath Gunasekara Kandy

Your victory as well as that of the country is a foregone conclusion. I am repeating, you will be definitely starting with at least 65 lakhs the minimum that is what the SLPP UPF and SLFP got at the 2018 Local Government Elections as I see. Looking at the present trend no one should be surprised even if it exceeds 70 lahks.

(This is a copy of an email sent to Gothabhaya on 14.Oct 2019)

Extremely Important

Whoever opens this note please bring it to Mr. Gotabhays immediate attention.

Dear Mr President Elect; Gothabahaya Rajapaksa

Dr SudatH Gunasekara Former Permanent Secretary to Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranayaka the late Prime Minister  and President Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (1991-1994)

14.11.2019.

Dear Mr. President Elect.

With congratulations in advance and my heartfelt well wishes as I have already indicated in my previous mails to you, your victory as well as that of the country is a foregone conclusion. I am repeating, you will be definitely starting with at least 65 lakhs the minimum that is what the SLPP UPF and SLFP got at the 2018 Local Government Elections as I see. Looking at the present trend no one should be surprised even if it exceeds 70. Lahks.

This will get enhanced unexpectedly by gains from UNP. JVP and New votes and even with Tamil and Muslim votes we never got last time. I don’t think you should have any doubt about that.

 I am writing this note to you to make a suggestion to draw your immediate attention to work out the majority in Parliament with a target of at least 125 majority for you to enable to appoint MR as the PM immediately after you swear in as the President to complete this unprecedented mammoth victory in the political history of this country.

Already you have solid 93 +Wijedasa and Ratana Thera. That is 95 as I see from outside. Even Vasanta Senanayaka might vote with you. That makes it 96. But going by past experience he is very unpredictable. So the bear Minimum you need is only 18 more members.  You need to get this number from the disgusted UNP MPP as the TNA 16 will always stand with UNP and even the 6 JVP might go with the UNP as they have done in the past 5 years. But again as you can’t afford to take a risk we have to have a solid majority. So that even last minute crossings we still have 115. Whatever it is worth, I suggest you have a target of 125 in the House So that you will definitely have more than 115.

                Please remember how you collect another 15 Members is immaterial. Because the end justifies the means, as in this case you are doing it in the broader interest of the whole nation. The intention is absolutely good. It is bona fide. Therefore practicing a bit of Machiavellian tactics could be fully justified, although, I don’t agree with his concept of statecraft fully, as an Asian. I have no doubt that you must have already made some arrangement to entice them to join you to get the required majority.

                 What is more in this instance is by appointing MR as the PM you are ending a four and half years of absolute anarchy in this country and restoring political stability and also ending uncertainty in all fields. This will also enable you to have a people friendly new and trimmed Cabinet in place of the present set of thieves and tormentors. If we fail to do that, obviously, then we will have to tolerate Ranil and his pack of pole cats and  skunks and their ominous odor for another four months until we wipe out all these undesirables in one shot, in and island wide political landslide at the next General Electio. 

                With best wishes,

                 Yours,
Sudath Gunasekara

                 14 11, 2019. Hanthana Mahanuwara

Congratulations Mr President Gotabhaya!

November 18th, 2019

Sarath Bulathsinghala

Congratulations and well done. It is with enormous pride that we accept you as the 7th President of Sri Lanka. Your conducted an exemplary campaign which culminated in your getting elected as the President of our beleaguered Motherland, Sri Lanka.

I am sure your election will see the end of dirty politics as we know it today. Those who threw mud at you bit the dust the day before yesterday – on 16 Nov.  The unpatriotic UNP is well-nigh done and finished! The decisive loss Sajith Premadasa at the Presidential Election  shows the bankruptcy of his approach to alleviating poverty  and in general of the mudslinging, corrupt UNP politics in Sri Lanka. His personal loss at Hambantota magnifies his political incompetency manifolds!

A decisive chunk of the votes that Sajith Premadasa received were from Tamil Racists TNA and Muslim Extremists of all hues in the North and East. Their racist demands before the elections you rightly threw in the wastepaper basket and from the voting pattern it is clear that they are yet to learn how to coexist. Reconciliation is a two-way street and it is apparent from the voting pattern they know little of it!

These mono-ethnic concentrations in the North and East constitute a clear and present danger to the existence of Sri Lanka. If Tamils and Muslims can live, work and prosper in the Sinhala majority South, equally it must be true for the Sinhalese in the North and East. The ethnic imbalances must be corrected in a way that is good for all Sri Lankans. Continued development of the road and rail network, the airports and the Internet will put an end to this isolation and mono-ethnic sickness. We have to forge a unified nation based on mutual respect and not on ‘dog-eat-dog’ mentality. The wholesale buying and alienation of land for worthless Rupees and political patronage should be stopped to prevent mono-ethnic enclaves all over the Island. 

Now that you – nation’s beloved GOTA is in the driving seat the long 5 year political drought is over and all well-meaning Sri Lankans can ‘go to work’! The nation lost valuable 5 years of progress and in the process ended up poorer. The selfishness of Sirisena and his lackeys, the traitorous agenda of Ranil and his cohorts to make Sri Lanka a Failed State brought untold miseries to the average man and woman. Internationally the nation was compromised on many fronts – political, economic and security.  Investors left the island in droves for they did not have any confidence on a state that robs itself! The final nail in the coffin was the much tooted mostly one sided agreements to be inked with the USA. The long-awaited end of Jadapalanaya that came into being on that unfortunate date in Jan 2015 is now over and hopefully for good!

Let the Law and Due Process take place in handling corruption and frauds. All those who are responsible for the Bond Scams and other similar scams must be allowed to be brought in before the law and dues extracted of the stolen wealth. The nation waited with utmost patience for the last  5 years to see justice. Apparently, Sirisena locked the Presidential Inquiry report of the Bond Scam and other Presidential Commission reports well away from the reach of the Law. These reports made with people’s money must be available for public scrutiny.

Making Sri Lanka a failed state was Ranil’s main agenda given to him by his masters in the Christian West. The Central Bank Bond Scams, planned well ahead of the Jan 2015 Presidential Elections, the resulting high Bank Interest Rates, higher taxation, pauperizing of the farmers and other agricultural industries put paid to the economy that was running over 7% per annum and now brought down to 1.6% per annum. The food security was compromised by the numerous pressures brought in against the farmers. The export markets were destroyed by the dilution of Sri Lanka brand products with imported look alike trash.

All these and others were aimed at making Sri Lanka a failed state as well as a country highly vulnerable to foreign sanctions. No country in the world prospers by destroying the well-being of the indigenous farmer. Most developed countries protect their farmers with many subsidies, soft loans and outright protection when deemed necessary. In these countries, the farmers are usually rich! It was countries that were self-sufficient in their food supplies that made way of the industrialization of their economies. The Industrialization of Japan only took place after they became self-sufficient in their rice supplies in the 13% cultivable land in their possession. To this day the Japanese farmer is a highly protected entity! The extent of Ranil’s treachery know no bounds!

The responsibility of forging a new nation is on your shoulder. The patriotic business community, the farmers, the small-scale entrepreneur and the youth of our nation are on your side. It is up to you to harvest this potential for the good of the nation. You rightly promised to bring in just the right combination of economic factors including lowering of taxes and in some cases their outright elimination. The poverty alleviation measures and others measures you have brought in your manifesto will sensitize and spur the nation into production mode. Once the land is made secure and safe, investors will flow in to take advantage of what Sri Lanka can offer to the world. It is the tourist industry that can bring the quickest results to our failing economy for an excellent tourist infrastructure is already in place – waiting for the customers!

It is time for the SLFP and UNP to wither away. They are slowly but surely outliving their usefulness and use by date. The division of the majority Sinhalese between these two selfish and impotent political parties led to making racial and religious minorities the kingmakers of Sri Lanka. These Shylocks continue to ask for the proverbial ‘pound of flesh’ in return for their ‘favors’. Their tactics and antics bled the nation ever since the beginning of the 20th Century and then after Independence for the last 70 year and during the 30 year Tamil Racist Terrorist War. The role of the TNA as the main Opposition Party in the Parliament should be an eye-opener for what their intentions are.  The end results are Easter Sunday Bombings and the 13 demands from the TNA and the voting pattern we witnessed on 16 Nov.

It is with a sigh of relief that we notice that you were able to come to power without giving into the extremist demands be they racial or religious. The well thought out leaving of the extremist elements from your campaign team augurs well for the future of Sri Lanka. This is a good start and it is time to build on these strengths for there are many in the UNP and the SLFP who wish well for Mother Lanka and who are aware and understand the danger of balkanizing Sri Lanka. Balkanizing simply means unending war and enmity across a divided land across disputed borders and water rights. Closing ranks of the patriots is the only way ahead for Sri Lanka!  At the present moment a meeting of Sri Lanka lovers can now only happen under the Pohottuwa umbrella!

National Service for all youngsters. This is a measure that will allow building the character of our youth as well as their racial and religious integration. This is the foundation of patriotism and a strong and faithful military. Taking our immediate past history a strong military is a sin quoi non for Sri Lanka

It is extremely important how we handle India. They have justifiable security concerns regarding their Southern Flank. Only way Sri Lanka can meet their concerns and be interference free is to have a strong military and Intelligence services. Sri Lanka should be a major force for the protection of the Southern Sea Lanes as well of the South Indian Ocean. Hambantota Harbour lease with the Chinese must be re-negotiated if at all it is possible at this late hour. It was with the intention of making Sri Lanka a playground for competing powers that Ranil literally sold this valuable asset to the Chinese. One can easily see how the Indians and the US are maneuvering in Sri Lanka to get a piece of the action. Sri Lanka will have to be very smart if we are to remain a free and peaceful nation. This responsibility is now on your shoulder. We also must develop strong bonds with other Buddhist Nations in Asia – Myanmaar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Singapore – for we have much in common on all fronts including security and the well-being of our age old cultures.

Sri Lanka must be made governable. The traitorous lowering of the minimum voting percentage to 5% ( from 12.5%)  in order to curry favor with the Muslims by myopic Premadasa Sr has made the political institutions in Sri Lanka ungovernable. This must be corrected.  Rabble rousers who lost even their deposits including the JVP have no place in main stream politics. Perhaps they have a role in trade union activity but no other. The behavior of the JVP in main stream politics have not been of any benefit to the political process for their political representation is minimal and do not represent the needs of the nation by any stretch of imagination.

We do not live forever. Making way for succession is an important part of your work. It is of utmost importance that the future that you intend to build for our beloved Motherland is left in secure hands – most importantly and not necessarily in the hands of the Rajapakse nephews. They must come to prominence on their own steam and not on the shoulders of fathers and uncles!

Nepotism though not right is not necessarily wrong either. Otherwise we would not have you as our beloved President now. Sri Lanka needs leadership material and we are seriously short of good leaders. When found they must be cherished and not vilified. This is the reason tens of thousands still throng wherever the Rajapakses go. Ever since you started working as the Defence Secretary and was performing well, I knew you were Presidential material. I have been proven right today and I am happy for that! A lot depends on how you lead the nation in the coming months and years!

We are a grateful nation. By and large majority of us do not forget easily nor are ungrateful. Have no second thoughts – it is a grateful nation that is bringing another Rajapakse to power today!

We wish your presidency well. We wish you continued good health and long life. Have strong faith in the tenets of Buddhism and May you govern the nation with Dasa Raja Dharma!

May the Triple Gem Bless you and May All Gods guide and protect you in all your future endeavors. 

Sarath Bulathsinghala

18 Nov 2019

Trump pardons Army officers, restores Navy SEAL’s rank in war crimes cases

November 18th, 2019

Idrees Ali CourtesyReuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq, a move critics have said would undermine military justice and send a message that battlefield atrocities will be tolerated.

The White House said in a statement Trump granted full pardons to First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Major Mathew Golsteyn, and ordered that the rank Edward Gallagher held before he was convicted in a military trial this year be restored.

For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country. These actions are in keeping with this long history,” the statement said.

A Pentagon spokesperson said the Department of Defense has confidence in the military justice system.

The President is part of the military justice system as the Commander-in-Chief and has the authority to weigh in on matters of this nature,” the spokesperson said.

In recent weeks, Pentagon officials had spoken with Trump about the cases, provided facts and emphasized the due process built into the military justice system.

    In 2013, prosecutors accused Lorance of illegally ordering the fatal shootings of two men on motorcycles while on patrol in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province. He was found guilty of two counts of murder.

    Last year, Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret, was charged with murdering an Afghan man during a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.

    Gallagher, a decorated SEAL team platoon leader, was accused of committing various war crimes while deployed in Iraq in 2017.

In July, a military jury acquitted him of murdering a captured Islamic State fighter by stabbing the wounded prisoner in the neck, but it convicted him of illegally posing with the detainee’s corpse. That had led to his rank being reduced.

https://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20191116&t=2&i=1452855248&r=LYNXMPEFAE1VL&w=1880
https://s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20191116&t=2&i=1452855248&r=LYNXMPEFAE1VL&w=20

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Golsteyn received word of his pardon from Trump, who spoke with him by telephone for several minutes, Golsteyn’s attorney Phillip Stackhouse said in a statement.

Our family is profoundly grateful for the president’s action. We have lived in constant fear of this runaway prosecution,” Golsteyn was quoted saying in the statement.

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the president’s action.

With this utterly shameful use of presidential powers, Trump has sent a clear message of disrespect for law, morality, the military justice system, and those in the military who abide by the laws of war,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

    In May, Trump talked about how he was considering pardons for U.S. troops charged with war crimes, a move he acknowledged would be controversial but that he said was justified because they had been treated unfairly.”

    The overwhelming majority of pardons are granted to people who have already been convicted and served time for a federal offense.

    But presidents have occasionally granted pardons preemptively to individuals accused of or suspected of a crime.

    The most famous such case was the blanket pardon President Gerald Ford bestowed on his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after Nixon’s resignation during the Watergate scandal in 1974.

Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Sandra Maler and Daniel Wallis

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Presidential Election 2019

November 17th, 2019

MEDIA RELEASE Mahinda Rajapaksa Leader of the Opposition

The candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the Joint Opposition, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has won a decisive victory at this presidential election. I request all our party activists and supporters to celebrate this victory peacefully and without causing inconvenience to anyone. The people have voted decisively in our favour at this election because of disaffection with the conduct of this government over the past five years. Therefore it is our duty by the people of this country, to conduct ourselves in a manner that will not inconvenience anyone.

We will be initiating a programme of action to deliver justice to all those who have been subject to persecution and harassment by this government over the past five years. I salute the people of Sri Lanka for decisively defeating the 2015 style attempt made to once again purloin the mandate of the people through backroom deals with various chauvinistic ethnic and religious groupings organized around narrow political agendas. The time has now come to put an end to this dangerous game of promoting religious and ethnic chauvinism for political purposes.

This presidential election differs from all previous presidential elections, because of the complications in the system of governance brought about by the 19th Amendment. After the new President takes oaths, we will be studying the provisions of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and planning our immediate programme of action accordingly. We now have an opportunity to give a sense of direction to this country which has been drifting rudderless for five years. As stated in our candidate’s election manifesto, it will be necessary to rebuild the economy from the bottom upwards and to introduce constitutional and legal reforms to achieve this objective.

We will keep the people informed about further developments in this regard in the coming days. In the face of the unequivocal people’s mandate delivered at this election, we believe the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances.

Victory to the motherland and to the patriotic people of Sri Lanka!

Mahinda Rajapaksa

Leader of the Opposition

2019 ජනාධිපතිවරණය

November 17th, 2019

මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ විපක්‍ෂ නායක

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ, ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්‍ෂයේ සහ ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂයේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා මෙම ජනාධිපතිවරණය විශිෂ්ඨ ලෙස ජයගෙන ඇත. අවුරුදු පහක් මුළුල්ලේ අනේකවිධ දුෂ්කරතා විද ලබාගත් මේ ජයග්‍රහණය ඉතාමත්ම සාමකාමීව, අනුන්ට කිසිඳු කරදරයක් නොවන ආකාරයට භුක්ති විදින මෙන් මම අපගේ පාක්‍ෂිකයන්ගෙන් මෙන්ම සියලුම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවාසී ජනතාවගෙන්ද ඉල්ලා සිටිමි.

මහජනතාව මේ තීරණාත්මක ජයග්‍රහණය අප වෙත ලබාදී තිබෙන්නේ, පසුගිය අවුරුදු පහ පුරාවටම පැවති මේ ආණ්ඩුවේ ක්‍රියා පිළිවෙත එපා වී ඇති නිසාය. එම නිසා කිසිවෙකුටත් කරදරයක් නොවෙන ආකාරයට හැසිරීම අපි පොදු මහජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් ඉටු කළ යුතු යුතුකමකි. පසුගිය අවුරුදු පහ මුලුල්ලේ වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුවේ දඩයමට හා අසාධාරණකම් වලට ලක්වූවන්ට සාධාරණයක් ඉටු කිරීම පිණිස අපි විශේෂ වැඩපිළිවෙලක් යොදන බවට මේ අවස්ථාවේදී මම ප්‍රකාශ කර සිටිමි.

අපගේ ප්‍රතිවාදීන් 2015 දී කළ ආකාරයට නොයෙක් පටු දේශපාලන න්‍යාය පත්‍රයන් සහිත ජාතිවාදී, ආගම්වාදී බලවේග එකතුකරගෙන මෙවරත් ජනවරම කොල්ලකෑමට ගත් උත්සාහය ව්‍යර්ථ කිරීම ගැන මම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවාසී ජනතාවට මාගේ ප්‍රණාමය පුද කර සිටිමි. ජාතිවාදය වපුරවමින් කරන මේ භයානක දේශපාලන සූදුව අවසන් කිරීමට කාලය දැන් එළඹී තිබේ. මේ ජනාධිපතිවරණය මීට කළින් පැවති සියලුම ජනාධිපතිවරණ වලට වඩා බෙහෙවින්ම වෙනස් වන්නේ, 19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය විසින් ඇති කර තිබෙන ව්‍යාකූලතාවය නිසාය.

නව ජනාධිපතිවරයා දිවුරුම් දීමෙන් පසු, 19 වන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයෙන් ඇති කර තිබෙන අලුත් තත්වය ගැන සමාලෝචනයක් කර, පවතින නීතිමය රාමුව තුළ ඉදිරි කටයුතු කරගෙන යෑමට අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු. අවුරුදු පහක් මුලුල්ලේ අයාලේ ගිය රට යළිත් හරි මඟට ගැනීමට අපට දැන් අවස්ථාව උදාවී ඇත. අපගේ අපේක්‍ෂකයාගේ ජනාධිපතිවරණ ප්‍රතිපත්ති ප්‍රකාශනයේ සඳහන් පරිදි, මේ සඳහා රටේ ආර්ථිකය මුල සිට ගොඩනැගීමට මෙන්ම රටේ පාලන තන්ත්‍රය හා ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව පවා සම්පූර්ණ ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණයට ලක් කිරීමට සිදුවෙනු ඇත. මේ පිළිබඳව තව නොබෝ දිනකින් වැඩි විස්තර අපි ජනතාව වෙත ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු.

මේ මැතිවරණයේදී ප්‍රකාශ වී ඇති ජනවරම හමුවේ ආණ්ඩුව පාර්ලිමේන්තු සම්ප්‍රදායට ගරු කරමින් කටයුතු කරනු ඇතැයි අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමු. අපගේ මාතෘ භූමියටත්, සියලු දේශමාමක ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ජනතාවටත් ජයවේවා!

මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ

විපක්‍ෂ නායක  

බොඳවුණු ලිබරල් අපේක්‍ෂාව

November 17th, 2019

ආචාර්ය වරුණ චන්ද්‍රකීර්ති

2018 අවුරුද්දේ නොවැම්බර් මාසයේ 23 වැනි දා සිකුරාදා පූර්ව භාග 11:07 ට ගරු විජිත ‍හේරත් මන්ත්‍රීතුමා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ දී සභාව කල් තැබීමේ යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කළා. ඒ, ගරු කථානායකතුමාත් ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ ගරු මන්ත්‍රීතුමන්ලාත් සහභාගී වුනු සොඳුරු ජවනිකා ගණනාවක් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ රඟ දැක්වෙමින් තිබුණු දවස් කීපයක්. ගරු කථානායකතුමා පන්දුවක් දැම්මාම ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ ගරු මන්ත්‍රිතුමන්ලා (විශේෂයෙන් ම ගරු විජිත හේරත් මන්ත්‍රිතුමා සහ ගරු අනුර ක්‍රමාර දිසානායක මන්ත්‍රිතුමා) ඒකට ඉතාමත් චමත්කාර අන්දමින් පහර දෙනවා. ඒ වැඩේ අනිත් පැත්තටත් වෙනවා. හරි ම සොඳුරුයි.

ඉතින් එදා ඔය කියපු වෙලාවට ගරු විජිත හේරත් මන්ත්‍රිතුමා සභාව කල් තැබීමේ යෝජනාව ඉදිරිපත් කරලා විනාඩියක් ගත වෙන්න කලින් (හරියට ම කියනවා නම් පූර්ව භාග 11:08 ට) ගරු කථානායකතුමා “ගරු අනුර කුමාර දිසානායක මන්ත්‍රීතුමා” කියලා නම කතා කළා. ඒ වෙලාවේ නැගී සිටිය ගරු අනුර දිසානායක මන්ත්‍රීතුමා තමන්ගේ කතාව පවත්වන්න පටන් ගත්තා. ඒක පැයකටත් වඩා දීර්ඝ බොහොම සාරගර්භ දේශනයක්. මේ කතාව එදාට අදාළ හැන්සාඩ් වාර්තාවේ පිටු 12 ක් පුරා ම වාර්තා කෙරිලා තියෙනවා. ඉවත් කරපු කොටසුත් තිබුණා නම් වාර්තාව තවත් දිග වෙන්න තිබුණා.

මේ වගේ දිග කතා පවත්වන්න ගරු අනුර දිසානායක මන්ත්‍රීතුමා හරි ම රුසියා. මේවා කවුරුවත් අහනවා ද නැද්ද කියන එක එතුමා තකන්නේ නෑ. කවුරු ඇහුවාත් නැතත් කතා කරන එකයි වැදගත්!

‍මම මේ කියන්න හදන්නේ ඒ කතාව ඇතුළේ තියෙන ඉතාමත් සොඳුරු වචනයක් ගැන. ඒ තමයි “ශිෂ්ට” කියන වචනය. “ශිෂ්ට” කියන සොඳුරු වචනය කියද්දි “අශිෂ්ට” කියන නරක වචනයත් පාවිච්චි කරන්න වෙනවා.

“… මෙහි තිබෙන්නේ අශිෂ්ට දේශපාලනයක්. එදායින් පස්සේ අපේ රටේ අශිෂ්ට දේශපාලනයක් දියත් වන්න පටන් ගත්තා. අපි මේ රටේ පොදු ජනයාගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ මෙයයි. මෙවැනි අශිෂ්ටත්වයකට පත් වී තිබෙන දේශපාලනය ශිෂ්ටත්වය කරා ගෙන ඒමේ වගකීමක් අපට නැද්ද? … එම නිසා අපේ රටේ මේ අශිෂ්ටත්වයට පත් වී තිබෙන දේශපාලන ක්‍රමය වෙනස් කිරීම සඳහා දිගු අරගලයක් තිබෙනවා. …”

“… කුමන්ත්‍රණය අශිෂ්ට නම්, ඒකට එරෙහි සටනේ ශිෂ්ටත්වයේ සීමා මායිම් හොයන්න එපා කියලයි මම ජනාධිපතිවරයාට කියන්නේ. මේක අහගෙන ඉන්න ඕනෑ ජනාධිපතිවරයා. මේ කුමන්ත්‍රණය අශිෂ්ටයි. … ඒ නිසා ගරු කථානායකතුමනි, එවැනි කුමන්ත්‍රණයක් කරලා ජනාධිපතිවරයා ඊට පස්සේ කුමන්ත්‍රණය පරාජයට පත් කිරීමේ ශිෂ්ටත්වයේ හිල් හොයනවා. ජනාධිපතිවරයාට තවදුරටත් අයිතියක් නැහැ අපේ රටේ ශිෂ්ටත්වයේ හිල් හොයන්න. …”

“… අපි මේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ පවත්වා ගත යුතු අවම ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී, අවම ශිෂ්ටත්වයේ දේශපාලනයක් පවත්වා ගෙන යෑම සඳහා උත්සාහ කරපු දේශපාලන ව්‍යාපාරයක්.”

“… පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ දී මේ යෝජනාව සම්මත වුණා ද, නැද්ද කියලා වග විභාගයට ලක් කරමින් සිටිනවා; ශිෂ්ටත්වය පිළිබඳව ප්‍රශ්න කරනවා. ජනාධිපතිවරයාට ශිෂ්ටත්වය පිළිබඳව ප්‍රශ්න කරන්නවත් අද අයිතියක් නෑ. අශිෂ්ට ම දේශපාලනය, ව්‍යවස්ථාව උල්ලංඝනය කළ දේශපාලනය …”

“එම නිසා ලංකාවේ දේශපාලන ඉතිහාසයේ අද අශිෂ්ටත්වයේ ඔටුනු පළඳාගෙන ඉන්නේ. (මූලාසනයේ අණ පරිදි ඉවත් කරන ලදී) මෙවැනි අශිෂ්ට තැනකට අපේ රටේ දේශපාලනය ගමන් කර තිබෙනවා.”

ඉතින් මෙන්න මේ වගේ ගරු ගාම්භීර වචන සෑහෙන ප්‍රමාණයක් පාවිච්චි කරලා අශිෂ්ටත්වයට පහර දීපු එතුමා ඉතාමත් සුන්දර වචන සෑහෙන ප්‍රමාණයක් යොදාගෙන එතුමන්ලා කරන වැඩවල ශිෂ්ටත්වය වනලා තියෙනවා.

පෘතුගීසින් අපේ රටට ආවෙත් අපිව ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න කරන්න කියලා හිතාගෙන. එක අතකින් කඩුවක් ගත්තත් අනිත් අතින් බයිබලයක් ඇරගෙන ආවේ ඒ වැඩේ වෙනුවෙන් කියලයි කියන්නේ. මේ විදිහට අපි වගේ මිනිස්සුන්ව ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න කිරීමේ වගකීම බයිබලයෙන් ම ඒ අයට පවරපු දේවකාරියක්නේ.

මෑත කාලයේ දී අපිව ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න කිරීමේ වගකීම පවරාගෙන ඉන්නේ අපේ රටේ ඉන්න ලිබරල් භක්තිකයෝ. එතුමන්ලා හිතන විදිහට සිංහල බෞද්ධයෝ කියලා කියන්නේ මහ අශිෂ්ට ගති පැවතුම් තියෙන මනුස්ස කොට්ඨාශයක්. ඉතින් මේ අශිෂ්ටත්වයෙන් අපිව මුදවාගෙන ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න මහත්තුරු බවට පත්කිරීම වෙනුවෙන් එතුමන්ලා මහන්සි වෙනවා.

මේ රටේ සාධාරණ සමාජයක් හදන්නත් එතුමන්ලා මහන්සි වෙනවා. ඒක කරන්න නම් මිනිස්සුන්ගේ ඡන්දයෙන් පත්වෙන එවුන්ට තියෙන බලය ලිබරල් භක්තිකයන් ඉන්න සභාවලට පවරන්න ඕන. ඒ භක්තිකයෝ හොඳින් ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න වෙච්ච අය. 17 වැනි ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනයෙන් ඒ විදිහේ සභා හැදුවාත් 18 වැනි ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය ගෙනැල්ලා ආයෙත් අශිෂ්ටත්වය ඉස්මතු කළා. ඉතින් අන්තිමට 19 වැනි ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය ගෙනැල්ලා ආයෙත් ඒ ශිෂ්ටත්වයේ සභා හදලා ලිබරල් උත්තමයෝ සහ උත්තමාවියෝ ටිකකට ඒවා පවරන්න මේ අයට පුළුවන් වෙලා තියෙනවා.

ලිබරල් ශිෂ්ටත්වය උදා කරගන්න බැරි බයියන්ව පාලනය කරන්න බයියන්ගේ ම ඡන්දයෙන් පත්වෙන එවුන් සුදුසු නෑ. සර්වජන ඡන්ද බලය තියෙන මේ රටේ බයියෝ කවදාවත් තමන්ගේ නියෝජිතයන් විදිහට ලිබරල් භක්තිකයන්ව පත් කරගන්න එකකුත් නෑ. එහෙම නම් කරන්න ඕන මොකක්ද? බයියන්ගේ බලය මේච්චල් කරන්න පුළුවන් ක්‍රමයක් හදන එක විතරයි. නත්‍ථි මේ සරණං අඤ්ඤං!

බලාපොරොත්තු වෙච්ච විදිහට මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන ජනාධිපතිතුමා මේ වැඩේට නායකත්වය දුන්නේ නෑ. ඉතින් යහපාලන අපේක්‍ෂා බොඳවුනා. එහෙම වුනා කියලා වැඩේ අත අරින්න බෑ. එක්සත් ජාතික පක්‍ෂය හැමදාමත් ලිබලර් ග්‍රහණයේ තියා ගන්නත් බෑ. රනිල් මහත්තයා නැති වෙච්ච දවසක ඒකේ ඉන්න බයියොත් ඉස්සරහට එන්න පුළුවන්. ඒ වෙන කල් බලාගෙන හිටියොත් කපෝතියි!

මෙන්න මේ වෙලාවේ තමයි ලිබරල් අපේක්‍ෂාව ඉස්සරහට ආවේ. මේ රටේ ලිබරල් පක්‍ෂයක් අලුතින් හදන එක ප්‍රායෝගික වැඩක් නෙවෙයි. මහ ජවයක් තිබුණු දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂයක් ලිබරල් කරගන්න පුළුවන් නම් ඒක වඩා ලේසියි. අනුර මහත්තයා තමයි මේ වැඩේට සුදුසු ම පුද්ගලයා. එතුමා කියන්නේ හරියට ම මේ අශිෂ්ටත්වයේ අඳුර දුරු කරන්න පහළ වෙච්ච දිව්‍ය කුමාරයෙක් වගේ කෙනෙක්!

ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ සාමාජිකයෝ ඒකට විරුද්ධ වෙන එකකුත් නෑ. මාක්ස්වාදය ඇතුළෙත් යම් ප්‍රමාණයකට ලිබරල් අදහස් තියෙනවානේ. ඇත්තෙන් ම ආර්ථික සමානත්වය වගේ එකක් සුපිරි ම සුපිරි ලිබරල් සමාජයකවත් නෑ. ඉතින් ආර්ථික සමානත්වය වගේ සිහින දකින පිරිසක් ලිබරල් භක්තිකයන් පිරිසක් බවට පත් කරන එක අමාරු වැඩක් නෙවෙයි. මීට කලින් ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණු අත හැරලා ගිය අයත් නැවතිලා තියෙන්නේ මහා සුපිරි ලිබරල් භක්තිකයන් බවට පත්වෙලා. ඇත්තට ම ඒ අය තමයි අද අපිව ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න කරන සටනේ ඉස්සරහින් ම ඉන්නේ.

මෙන්න මෙහෙමයි මේ වතාවේ අපේක්‍ෂාවේ අරගලය දියත් වුනේ. ඒත් මේ රටේ බයියෝ හදන්න බෑ. පවට පින් දෙන්න බෑ! අඩු ගණනේ සියයට හතක් අටක්වත් ඡන්දේ දුන්නා නම් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ඇතුළේ කේවල් කරන බලයවත් අල්ලාගන්න තිබුණා. ඒත් තිබ්බ හතරවත් මේ යක්කු දුන්නේ නෑනේ.

ආචාර්ය වරුණ චන්ද්‍රකීර්ති

MUSLIMS OF SRI LANKA WISH THE NEW PRESIDENT OF SRI LANKA, EXCELLENCY, GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA THE VERY BEST AND PRAY GOD ALMIGHTY BLESS HIM IN ALL HIS ENDEAVOURS THROUGHOUT HIS TENURE IN OFFICE.

November 17th, 2019

By Noor Nizam – Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP/SLPP Stalwart and Convener – “The Muslim Voice” – 17th., November 2019.

The election of HE. Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the office of the 7th., President of Sri Lanka on the 16th., of November 2019 is a happy day for those Sri Lankans who love their “Maathruboomiya”, Mother Sri Lanka, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Malays or Burghers. 

The section of Muslims who voted HE. Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become the 7th., Executive President of Sri Lanka feel honoured to be partners in the victory of the majority community who have voted HE. Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make it happen, by the grace of God almighty.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka wish the new President of Sri Lanka, Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa the very best and pray God Almighty to bless him in all his endeavours throughout his tenure in office to achieve success and to serve the people of Sri Lanka as promised.

Those Muslims also wish to express our special and sincere thanks to HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa, Former President and Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the SLPP for his dedicated support and guidance extended to Excellency Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the campaign trail which has enabled the final results Sri Lankans who love their “Maathruboomiya” had waited for to happen and will begin to enjoy the results from today.

Those Muslims also wish to express our sincere thanks to Mr Basil Rajapaksa, Former Hon Minister and the National Organizer of the SLPP  and the architect of the new party that made all this happen politically. Our thanks also go to all members of the Campaign Team, Viyathmaga Team and Eliya Team and all the supporters and politicians who worked tirelessly since HE. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was officially named as the presidential candidate of the SLPP by HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa. “The Muslim Voice” is proud to have been a member of that group.

IN THE CLUTCHES OF DEPRESSION-AFGHANISTAN

November 17th, 2019

ALI SUKHANVER

 Night raids and aerial strikes have led to mounting civilian casualties in Afghanistan,” says a detailed report recently issued by the Human Rights Watch. The report reveals that CIA-backed Afghan strike forces have once again made the lives of innocent Afghan citizens a hell. Night-time raids into homes in remote villages, forced disappearances, attacks on healthcare facilities and summary executions are the tools being used against the local people. In civilized societies such cruelties are termed as ‘atrocities’ and ‘war crimes’. The report has referred to at least 14 such cases across nine provinces over the last 2 years. Analysts are of the opinion that the basic reason behind this brutal behaviour of the Afghan troops is that most of them got their professional training from the officers of the US Army and of the US intelligence agencies. The training masters have taught them to show little concern for the local civilians’ life. That is why this training has made them callous and merciless to their own people. They don’t hesitate in shooting them direct in their heads when they are in their custody during the night raids.

is the title of an article written by Mohammed Harun Arsalai and Mohsin Khan Momand jointly penned down an article with the title ‘Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Keep Climbing.’ The article was published in the Nation USA last August, 2019. The article narrated the murder story of Syed Wali who ran one of the only two shops in Sarkot village of Eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province. Wali sold sugar, soap, and cigarettes to everyone in town, including the region’s local Taliban members. A shopkeeper nowhere could stop anyone from doing purchases from his shop particularly when there are no other shops in the area. The article says that ‘The US-built’ National Directorate of Security (NDS) one night raided the Sarkot village and stormed the shopkeeper’s house. The officers in the raiding party blamed Syed Wali of doing business transactions with Taliban and before he could give them any answer, he was shot in head. And this way the story of Syed Wali’s life reached a pathetic ending.

Another incident of the same type was recently narrated by the Guardian also. The paper said, On 11 August this year, troops from one of the CIA-backed units accompanied by at least one US soldier and a translator – served as judge, jury and executioner for 11 men in Kulgago, a village in the south of Paktia province. Four were executed in the family compound of Dr. Ulfatullah, a pharmacist who lost two sons and two cousins.” According to media reports the young men in Kulgago were targeted as insurgents but the facts are otherwise. Shafiullah and Hayatullah were the government employees and they were working as teachers in the Education Ministry of Afghanistan. A witness said talking to the media-men, The Afghan soldiers who swept through Kulgago village one late August night shot three of Dr. Ulfatullah’s relatives carefully, a single bullet through their left eye, faces otherwise untouched as blood pooled below their bodies on the floor of the family home. However the last killing was less precise, and left the face of university student Ansarullah badly disfigured and deformed.”

Reports say that most of the time, the victims of the Afghan soldiers belong to the Pashtun tribes as most of the Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen. The foreign invaders know it very well that the Pashtuns would always remain a threat to their hegemonic designs as they are the hardest ones to be defeated. So the Afghan soldiers are being ‘misused’ in the process of making the Pashtuns weaker. The recent episode of harassing the Pakistani diplomats in Kabul is also a part of the same ‘Kill Pashtun Movement’ as the Trainers have convinced the Afghan authorities that Pakistan and Taliban are the two sides of the same coin. It means wherever the freedom fighters are fighting against the foreign occupation, they would be linked with Pakistan; be it the Indian Held Kashmir, the Khalistan, the Nagaland and even Assam. This blame game is not fair; most of the time the freedom movements are indigenous.

In principle, on paper, yes we have reached an agreement — that it is done but it is not final until the president of the United States also agrees to it,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, the American special envoy to Afghanistan talking to the Afghan channel ToloNews, just two months back. He further revealed that the United States would pull 5,400 troops from Afghanistan within 135 days of signing an agreement with the Taliban and this pulling out  would be the start of the expected gradual withdrawal of all 14,000 United States troops that could end America’s longest running war. Khalilzad had been leading nearly a year of talks with the Taliban. People were expecting something marvelous coming out of these talks but still the political scenario in Afghanistan is not very hopeful and encouraging; it is rather frightening and depressing.

Malik Samarawickrama resigns from active politics

November 17th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama announced that he would retire from active politics at the end of the Parliamentary term.

Addressing a letter to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe today (17) expressed his gratitude for giving him the opportunity to serve the country as a Cabinet Minister and informed of his resignation from the ministerial post.

The People of our country have elected Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the Executive President of Sri Lanka and I wish to respect that mandate,” Samarawickrama said.

Referring to his tenure of office, Samarawickrama stated Sri Lanka’s exports of goods and services have increased by over 50% and that the country has received FDIs totalling to USD 5.6 billion which amounts to 31% of the FDIs received during the past 40 years.

Furthermore, the value of projects approved by the BOI during this period amounts to UDS 36.4 billion and the envisaged employment is 94,000,” Samarawickrama added.

මුදල් ඇමති මංගල ත්‍රිවිධ රත්නයට අපහාස කළ බවට පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිල්ලක්

November 17th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

මුදල් අමාත්‍ය මංගල සමරවීර මහතා සිය ට්විටර් ගිණුමේ පණිවුඩයක් සටහන් කරමින් ත්‍රිවිධ රත්නයට අවමන් කර ඇති බවට බෞද්ධ තොරතුරු කේන්ද්‍රයේ විධායක අධ්‍යක්ෂ පූජ්‍ය අඟුළුගල්ලේ සිරි ජිනානන්ද හිමියන් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට අද පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කළා.

ජනාධිපතිවරණ ප්‍රතිඵල නිකුත් වෙමින් තිබූ අතරතුර අද දහවල් අමාත්‍ය මංගල සමරවීර මහතා ට්විටර් ගිණුමේ මෙලෙස සටහනක් තබා තිබුණා.

එහිිමම මාගේ රට වෙනුවෙන් දුක්වෙනවාග බුද්ධ සහ ධම්ම රත්නයේ සරණ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවත් සමඟ පවතීවා ර්‍ණ ලෙස අමාත්‍යවරයා සඳහන් කර තිබුණා.

කෙසේ වෙතත් අදාළ පණිවුඩයේ “ඩබල් ජෙම්” ලෙස සදහන් කරමින් අමාත්‍යවරයා උතුම් වූ බුද්ධ සහ ධම්ම රත්නය පමණක් භාවිත කරමින් ත්‍රිවිධ රත්නයට ඇතුළත් සංඝ යන වචනය සිය ට්විටර් පණිවුඩයේ සටහන් කර නොතිබීම විශේෂත්වයක්.

අදාළ ට්විටර් පණිවුඩය මගින් මංගල සමරවීර අමාත්‍යවරයා තුණුරුවනට අවමන් කර ඇති බව සඳහන් කරමින් බෞද්ධ තොරතුරු කේන්ද්‍රයේ විධායක අධ්‍යක්ෂ පූජ්‍ය අඟුළුගල්ලේ සිරි ජිනානන්ද හිමියන් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට අද පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කළා.

Kabir Hashim resigns from all portfolios following election defeat

November 17th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

UNP Parliamentarian Kabir Hashim has announced his decision to step down as the chairman of the party and his ministerial portfolio.

MP Hashim has been in office as the Minister of Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development.

Former wartime Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected as the President of Sri Lanka in the 7th Presidential Election that took place yesterday (16).

Following his massive victory, several parliamentarians of the UNP stepped down from their positions in the party, including the NDF presidential frontrunner Sajith Premadasa, who had been serving as the deputy leader of the UNP.

In the meantime, Parliamentarians Mangala Samaraweera and Harin Fernando also informed that they would be resigning as Minister of Finance and Minister of Telecommunication, Foreign Employment and Sports.

Mahinda Rajapaksa expects Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to resign

November 17th, 2019

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, November 17 (AIR): Following the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa iof the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in the November 16 Presidential election, party chief Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the incumbent Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP) must step down.

Gotabaya had defeated the UNP candidate Sajith Premadasa convincingly. Gotabaya is to be sworn in as new President on Monday.

His brother, party chief and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa hinted at a change of government in the wake of the result. In a message, the former President said that in view of the unequivocal people’s mandate, the SLPP believes that the government will abide by parliamentary traditions as appropriate in such circumstances.”

Gotabaya’s party had made it clear before the elections that they would expect the incumbent government under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe to step down in event of an SLPP victory.

The former President also said that the Presidential election will be seen as referendum ahead of the Parliamentary election due next year.

Meanwhile, at least four ministers, including Finance Minister Mangala Samarweera, have resigned after the defeat of Sajith Premadasa.

Prime Minister Wickremsinghe said in a message that a decision on the next general election will be taken after discussions with the parliament Speaker, party leaders and government MPs.

Gotabaya received around 6.9 million votes against his main rival Sajith Premadasa who got around 5.56 million votes in the final vote count announced by country’s Elections Commission this afternoon. Gotabaya received 52.25 percent of total valid votes.

He is the younger brother of former President Mahinda Rajapksa and served as Defense Secretary in the final stages of the war against the LTTE.

In a message, Gotabaya called for a new journey” for Sri Lanka adding that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey. He said he is the President of not only those who voted for him but for all Sri Lankans and that is the greatest honor in his life.

He got overwhelming support in the majority Sinhalese-dominated areas of the country. But Premadasa received wide support from minority Tamil and Muslim areas in the North and East.

Mangala resigns as Sri Lanka’s Minister of Finance

November 17th, 2019

Courtesy Lanka Business Online

Nov 17, 2019 (LBO) – Mangala Samaraweera has resigned as Minister of Finance with immediate effect following the Presidential Election.

Earlier in the day, Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Ajith P Perera and Harin Fernando resigned from their ministerial portfolios.

Resignation letter addressed to President Maithripala Sirisena:

10 Facts About Sri Lanka’s New President You Perhaps Didn’t Know

November 17th, 2019
Gotabaya Rajapaksa secured over 52 per cent of votes cast in Sri Lanka’s presidential election.
NEW DELHI: As Gotabaya Rajapaksa prepares to take over as Sri Lanka’s seventh Executive President on Monday, SNI Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale, who has known and interacted with the President-elect while reporting on Eelam War IV (2006-2009) and in subsequent years, brings out some fascinating and little known facts about the man who will lead the island nation for the next five years:
  1. Gotabaya joined the Sri Lankan Army in April 1971 as a cadet officer.
  2. He was commissioned in the Signals Regiment and sent for the Young Officers’ course to Rawalpindi in Pakistan.
  3. On his return, his first posting in the SL Army was Palaly in northern Sri Lanka.
  4. In October 1974, Gotabaya opted to move to the infantry, joining the Sinha Regiment. Later, he was tasked with raising the Gajaba Regiment and commanded the 1st Gajaba Battalion.
  5. In 1983, he completed the Staff Officers Course at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, near Ooty, in India.
  6. Then Lt Col (now Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka), commanding the 1st Sinha Battalion and Gotabaya, as Commanding Officer of the 1st Gajaba Battalion, launched a combined operation to rescue Sri Lankan Army soldiers from the besieged Jaffna Fort, surrounded by the LTTE.
  7. The current Commander of the Sri Lankan Army, Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, has served under Gotabaya in the 1st Gajaba Battalion as a young officer.
  8. Gotabaya quit the Army in November 1991 and migrated to the United States.
  9. He returned to Sri Lanka to help his elder brother Mahinda’s election campaign in 2005 and stayed on to become Defence Secretary and play a pivotal role in Eelam War IV to end the Tamil insurgency in Sri Lanka.
  10. Gotabaya is a devout Buddhist and a vegetarian.

Sri Lankan ministers begin to resign after Sajith’s defeat-Rajapaksa is expected to form a caretaker government.

November 17th, 2019

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

November 17 (newsin.asia) – Ministers from Sri Lanka’s ruling United National Front (UNF) government began resigning from their portfolios on Sunday after the ruling presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa lost the presidential elections.

Minister of Sports, Telecommunications and Foreign Employment, Harin Fernando, was one of the first Ministers to hand in his resignation saying he had decided to step down respecting the people’s mandate. Fernando said he was also resigning from his positions in the United National Party (UNP) which is the largest party in the UNF alliance.

Minister of Digital Infrastructure and Information Technology, Ajith Perera in a statement said he too had handed in his resignation respecting the mandate of the Sri Lanka people.

Several more Ministers are rumored to have sent in their resignation letters after Sajith’s defeat and it is likely that Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe will also hand in his resignation letter later today.

President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa will take his oath as the new president of Sri Lanka on Monday morning in Anuradhapura, his party the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said in a statement.

Thereafter Rajapaksa is expected to form a caretaker government.

Letter sent to SBS TV

November 17th, 2019

SPUR   (Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka Inc)
Reg:  A 003 0777 M
PO Box 4066, Mulgrave, VIC 3170, Australia
Tele/Fax: (03) 97957143  
Email:   [email protected] 
Website: www.spur.asn.au

Attn NEWS EDITOR-SBS

.Dear Editor, Your following  news item re above -link is given- is completely baseless and overturns the code of conduct by fabrication and allowing only one side to voice as its opinion

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-sri-lankan-election-is-creating-fear-among-australia-s-tamil-communityI
I must state the FACTS first.

1 Except for Tamil Tiger terrorists and their fellow travelers and some NGO spokesmen who are following closely the terrorist’s dictates no accepted source have directed any charges or proved any charge against Mr. Gotabaya R about the violation of HR or recommitting of war crimes.

2 What the biased sources have stated,  HAVE NOT BEING PROVED BY ANYONE.

3 It was under Gotabaya’s as the Defence Secretary that he liberated about 20 million Sri Lankans from the yoke of the  Tamil Tigers who were waging war with the SL Govt, killing unarmed civilians, exploding bombs in the city centers., freeing the child soldiers who were kept by force by the Tamil Tigers.

4 If you happen to go through your library you will find/see that the SL Govt forces under the directive of Gotabaya R  freed 280,000 unarmed civilians from the Tamil Tigers who kept them by force and they were protected and looked after by the defense forces under Goatabya.

5 The defense forces further rehabilitated over 50,000 Tamil fighters and ushered speedy economic development program in the Tamil majority areas,

5 Therefore, the belief that Goatbaya R, if elected will act nullifying the freedom, etc IS WRONG AND IT IS INCORRECT and your sources point of views represents the general tendency of Asylum seekers who will always direct complaints about their country of origin as they want to continue living in Australia as economic refugees.

We request you to RECTIFY THE ABSURD SITUATION CREATED by the news story and to consult and give publicity views of all sections of Sri Lankans when airing controversial topics as it is the more ethical and logical way.

Ps. I send herewith the details of Sri Lankan origin Population figures in Australia as you should take this into account when discussing Sri Lanka and we are willing to help you if you need contacts

Thanks

RANJITH SOYSA-SPOKESPERSON-SPUR-PH 97957143/03

Letter to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa

November 17th, 2019

James Lasantha Jayalath Melbourne, Australia

Dear Mr. Gotabaya,

Hope you are well. I am not sure whether you have time to read my message, but I hope you read it one day.

I am one of the silent majority who wish and pray that you win with a majority tomorrow. I left my motherland when I was 23 years old, but I still love the country I was born 60 years ago.

I never had the opportunity to vote in my motherland, but I always wish to see that my country will prosper and the innocent people will have an opportunity to live peacefully no matter what their background or race.

I know that you have a clear vision to lead this country for the next 5 years. Hope and wish that you will have good health to lead this country for the next generation. I know that you have an agenda to help the youth especially kids who cannot continue their education after year 12 exams, and unable to enter University. The country can prosper with a good leader, and I truly believe that you have a dream for this beautiful nation, and people around you will support you wholeheartedly for your vision.

Please promote tourism like Vietnam where we visited villagers on a group tour and we saw how they promote local creations and allow people with talents to perform for tourists to make some money. Our motherland is rich with natural resources, and poor people should get some opportunity (creating local jobs) to earn a living not big corporations.

My last wish is to build up the economy you need strong characters with qualification and knowledge and not people who shout and embarrassed you. You ran an excellent campaign and will reap the rewards tomorrow.

May God protect and bless you.

Regards,

James Lasantha Jayalath

(Melbourne, Australia)

Sajith steps down as UNP’s deputy leader, conveys wishes to Gotabaya

November 17th, 2019

Ada Derana

Minister Sajith Premadasa, who contested at the forefront in the Presidential Election 2019 from New Democratic Front (NDF), has announced his decision to step down as Deputy Leader of the United National Party (UNP) with immediate effect.

Minister Harin Fernando, taking to his official Facebook account today (17), published a special statement from Minister Premadasa.

Accordingly, DNF contender has conveyed his wishes to the seventh President of Sri Lanka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who contested in the Presidential race and currently leading the election results.

It is my privilege to honour the decision of the people and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka,” Premadasa said in his special statement.

Premadasa says the country has witnessed the most peaceful Presidential Election in the history of its independent republic. This was a result of the democratic gains and institutional reforms that have taken place over the last five years that empowered an independent elections commission and restored the rule of law, Premadasa said further.

He appealed to the incoming President is that he would take this process forward and strengthen and protect the democratic institutions and values.

Premadasa expressed his gratitude for those who assisted him in his presidential bid and the people who stood by him through his political journey.

The complete statement of Minister Sajith Premadasa is as follows:

At the conclusion of a hard-fought and spirited election campaign, it is my privilege to honour the decision of the people and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election as the seventh President of Sri Lanka.

I express my heartfelt gratitude to all of our citizens who voted for me, in all corners of the island. I am humbled that you placed your faith in me. Your support has been a fountain of strength throughout my twenty-six-year-long political career. I also wish to place on record my gratitude to all those who worked tirelessly on my campaign. My family and I will never forget your sacrifice and dedication.

We have just witnessed the most peaceful presidential election in the history of our independent republic. This was a result of the democratic gains and institutional reforms that have taken place over the last five years that empowered an independent election commission and restored the rule of law. My appeal to the incoming President is that he take this process forward and strengthen and protect the democratic institutions and values that enabled his peaceful election as the 7th President of Sri Lanka. I also urge Mr. Rajapaksa to ensure that the post-election environment is peaceful and that no citizen or NDF party supporter is persecuted or harmed for their role in supporting my candidacy.

For 26 years, I have been an active politician in this country. During that time, I have made every effort to serve the people, in my home district of Hambantota and wherever and whenever they needed my assistance. It has been my privilege to serve as Housing Minister in this Government for five years, prioritizing the creation of a home-owning society by 2025. I hope the people understand that these were sincere, heartfelt efforts to uplift the lives of my fellow citizens.

In light of today’s decision by the electorate, I have decided to step down as Deputy Leader of the United National Party with immediate effect.

In the coming weeks, in consultation with all those who supported my presidential bid, the people who have stood by me through my political journey and my loved ones, I will reflect on the future of my political career and where my life will take me hereafter. Bound to the people of Sri Lanka, I remain their faithful servant, today and always.

Hopefully, the last presidential election

November 16th, 2019

By C.A.Chandraprema Courtesy The Island

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We are now awaiting the results of what will hopefully be Sri Lanka’s last presidential election. There are 35 candidates contesting this presidential election with a ballot paper over two feet long for a position that has no power at all. Today, Sri Lanka’s supposedly executive presidency has less power than the nominal President in India. In India as in Sri Lanka it is the President who has the power to summon, prorogue or dissolve parliament. The Indian president is constitutionally required to act in accordance with the advice of the Cabinet. However no court of law can inquire into whether he was in fact acting in accordance with the advice given to him by the Cabinet.

After the 19th Amendment in Sri Lanka, the President is barred from dissolving Parliament at his discretion before the lapse of four and a half years. Prior to the 19th Amendment, a great part of the President’s power lay in the fact that his actions could not be challenged in courts. However the 19th Amendment has made it possible to challenge actions taken by the President by way of a fundamental rights application. In October last year, the President dissolved Parliament and the governing party went to courts and got the dissolution annulled. With the restriction on the dissolution of Parliament, one of the key powers that made the President the main repository of political power in the country has been done away with.

According to Article 43 of the Constitution as amended by the 19th Amendment, it is the President who will determine the number of ministries and the subjects and institutions that are to be assigned to those ministries. He may, only if he deems it necessary, consult the Prime Minister in doing so. However, when appointing individual MPs to hold these ministries, the President is mandatorily required to consult the Prime Minister. After the Cabinet is formed in this manner, the President may at any time change the assignment of subjects and functions and the composition of the Cabinet. Article 43 is silent on the question whether the President is required to consult the PM when he changes the assignment of subjects and functions and the composition of a Cabinet that has already been formed.

Presidential powers removed

However, the wording of Article 43(2) seems to suggest that in appointing MPs to be Ministers, the President cannot avoid consulting the Prime Minister whether it be before the Cabinet is appointed or afterwards. Certainly when it comes to removing ministers who have been appointed, Article 46(3) which was introduced by the 19th Amendment states that they can be removed by the President, only on the advice of the Prime Minister. Logically you can’t replace a minister without removing the incumbent. Hence Articles 43(2) and 46(3) taken together means that the President can neither appoint nor remove a Minister without the Prime Minister’s approval.

Before the 19th Amendment repealed and replaced Chapter VIII of the Constitution, under the old Article 47, the President could sack the Prime Minister at any time he wished.  When the PM ceases to hold office, the Cabinet also stands dissolved. However after the 19th Amendment, under the new Article 46(2), the Prime Minister ceases to hold office only if he (a) resigns his office by a writing under his hand addressed to the President; or (b) ceases to be a Member of Parliament. There is now no provision for the President to be able to sack the Prime Minister. The only way that a prime minister can be removed upon a new President taking office is to prove that the PM does not have a majority in Parliament.

Before the 19th Amendment, it is the President who made all the important appointments such as Supreme Court and Appeal Court judges, the Attorney General, the IGP, The Elections Commissioner and The Inspector General of Police. Today, the President cannot make any important state appointment except in mandatory consultation with the ten-member Constitutional Council. With regard to certain positions like the IGP and AG, and judges of the higher judiciary, the President has to make the recommendation and get it approved by the Constitutional Council. When it comes to making appointments to the independent commissions such as the Elections Commission and the Public Services Commission, the Constitutional Council that makes the recommendation for the approval and appointment by the President. Either way, it’s the Constitutional Council and not the President who plays the pivotal role in making these appointments.

Before the 19th Amendment, all Presidents held various portfolios under the old Article 44(2) which stated that the President may assign to himself any subject or function and will remain in charge of any subject or function not assigned to a Minister. However this provision no longer exists in the Constitution. Though there is this theory that the President may be able to retain the defence portfolio citing Article 4(b) which states that the President exercises the executive power of the people including defence, the fact is that up to the 19th Amendment the president’s power to assign to himself any portfolio he wishes was derived not from Article 4(b) but from the old Article 44(2) which has now been repealed.

After the 19th Amendment, the President still remains the head the Cabinet, yet he is barred from holding any portfolios and functions more like the Chairman of the Cabinet. President Sirisena holds the Defence, Mahaweli and Environment portfolios only by virtue the transitional provision in Section 51 of the 19th Amendment which enables him to hold those three specified portfolios. This transitional provision ceases to operate with his retirement. When Sirisena bows out, those three portfolios will have to be given to ministers recommended by the Prime Minister. After the 19th Amendment, the President has no power worth talking about. He cannot wield any real power and do anything in his own right. The real power lies with the Cabinet of which the president is also a member.

The President has powers over the appointment of the commanders of the armed forces, ambassadors, provincial governors and ministry secretaries. Though some think that the President will be able to run the country through the ministry secretaries bypassing the Ministers, the way President R. Premadasa is supposed to have done during his ‘one man show’, this will not be possible because Article 52(2) of the Constitution states very clearly that the secretary to a ministry shall exercise supervision over the departments and other institutions in charge of the Minister subject to the direction and control of his Minister.

 If President R.Premadasa was able to run a one man show by controlling all the ministries through the ministry secretary, that was only because the President could at that time sack both the minister and his secretary at any time. So at that time the minister dared not protest even if the President was dealing directly with his secretary behind his back. Today however, the President cannot sack a minister unless it is on the recommendations of the Prime Minister. What we have under the 19th is not really a President but a quarter of a President. Even the Prime Minister is a quarter of a Prime Minister because the only claim to power that he has is being the effective appointing authority of ministers. Thus with a quarter of a President and quarter of a Prime Minister, we have half an executive with the other half lost in a constitutional limbo.

 We all have to hope that the voting public would have voted in their numbers for Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at this election because it is only he together with his brother as Prime Minister and the synergies they have with the rest of the political grouping they represent that will be able to restore a semblance of a proper government to this country. The dyarchy created by the 19th Amendment is tailor made to foster confusion and conflict between the President and the Parliamentary government – each elected separately by the people and each having a claim to be exercising the people’s sovereignty.

 Any attempt to remedy this by amending the Constitution to recreate a J. R. Jayewardene style Executive President will encounter such resistance that it will politically destroy the person or political party that attempts any such thing. Such an attempt will be counterproductive and will not be worth the effort. The only feasible option will be the abolition of the executive presidency and the creation of a parliamentary form of government which we hope will take place before 2025 so that this becomes the last presidential election we have. Because the present proportional representation system has produced a clear majority in Parliament for the party that wins a general election only on two occasions in 1989 and 2010, reform of the electoral system has been seen as a necessary precursor to the abolition of the executive presidency.

Working majority in Parliament

As far as electoral reform goes, the most feasible system was recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee headed by Dinesh Gunawardene over a decade ago. However, the implementation of this system will require a fresh delimitation of constituencies and Dr. Sudantha Liyanage, who designed the system adopted by the Dinesh Gunawardene PSC envisages a deadlock at the delimitation stage because many existing electorates will have to be merged to reduce the present 160 electorates to 140. What this means is that we are saddled with the district based proportional representation system for the foreseeable future and adjustments will have to made within the existing framework. The three main requirements are firstly, to ensure that the winning party gets a working majority in parliament, secondly to do away with the preference vote system and thirdly, to have an MP to represent each constituency.

The question now is to achieve those objectives within the existing district based proportional representation system. One quick fix solution proposed to the problem of ensuring a working majority for the party that wins parliamentary elections, is to take about 12 seats out of the national list and to give them to the winning party as bonus seats. The system proposed by the Dinesh Gunawardene Committee also had five bonus seats from the national list allocated to the winning party. At the parliamentary elections of 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2015 the winning parties got 105, 107, 109, 105 and 106 seats respectively inclusive of the national list seats.

So it was a case of being short of anything between four to eight seats to have the 113 seats that will provide a working majority. At the elections mentioned above, the number of national list seats that the winning party was entitled to was 14, 13, 13, 13, and 13 respectively. Hence even if 12 seats are taken out of the national list and given to the winning party as bonus seats, that number would include about six to seven seats that the winning party was entitled to anyway, and the number of seats the winning party finally gets as actual bonus seats, could be as low as five or six.

This could lead to a situation where even after getting the 12 bonus seats, the winning party may still not get a working majority of 113 seats. In this context, there is perhaps a solution which this writer would like to suggest. The national list was only an afterthought which came with the Fourteenth Amendment. In JRJ’s original 1978 Constitution, there were supposed to be only 196 MPs in Parliament, and no national list. My suggestion is that the national list be abolished altogether leaving only 12 bonus seats for the winning party after the fashion of the 1948 Constitution, which had provision for the appointment of six MPs by the party that forms a government after an election. That would reduce the number of MPs in Parliament from the present 225 to 208 (196 elected MPs + 12 appointed MPs).

It is important to specify that the 12 bonus seats will be given to the party that wins the most number of seats at the parliamentary election, and not to the party that manages through various horse deals to cobble together a government after an election. The 1948 Constitution, with only 101 MPs in Parliament, gave the party that forms a government six bonus seats. So to have 12 bonus seats in a Parliament of 208, is not excessive. If the number of MPs is reduced to 208, the number of MPs necessary to form a stable government will be 105. An examination of the election results of the past 30 years will show that after 196 MPs are elected from the districts, an additional 12 bonus seats would enable the winning party to have a working majority.

It is, of course, impossible to totally eliminate the possibility of the winning party falling just short of a working majority. The idea would be to ensure that hung Parliaments are the exception rather than the norm. As things stand today, winning parties without a working majority is the norm. The national list has earned a bad name and abolishing it will be welcomed by the public and even by elected MPs. One difficulty in abolishing it is that over the years, every political party has got accustomed to nominating a few critically important people to Parliament through the national list. The winning party will have the 12 bonus seats to which such persons can be appointed. However, in the absence of a national list, the parties in the opposition will have no way of appointing MPs to Parliament.

Shifting responsibility to political parties

Perhaps, the way to deal with this may be to draw inspiration from the original 1978 Constitution and give the political parties unfettered authority to appoint whoever they like to one or two seats won by that party in each province. Under the present electoral system, each province is allocated four seats in Parliament. When these seats are apportioned to the various electoral districts in the province, they become the district bonus seats that everyone is familiar with. Even though the popular belief is that each district has only one bonus seat, some districts have two bonus seats.

To illustrate this by way of an example, the Colombo district is entitled to17 seats going by the number of registered voters in the district. With the bonus seat, the Colombo district should have 18 seats. But it actually has 19 seats because it has got two bonus seats. The four seats allocated to the Western Province are distributed as one bonus seat each for the Gampaha and Kalutara districts and two for the Colombo district. In the Central Province, after Matale and Kandy have been allocated one bonus seat each, the Nuwara Eliya district has got two bonus seats. Likewise, the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa electoral districts in the North Central Province have two bonus seats each because the NCP has only two electoral districts.

If each electoral district was to have only one bonus seat, there would be only 22 bonus seats for the 22 electoral districts in the country. But in reality there are 36 bonus seats which works out to 14 extra seats. If the political parties are allowed to fill one or two seats they win in each province as the party deems fit, that may meet the need of political parties to accommodate politically important individuals in Parliament. Of course such dignitaries may have to make themselves useful in the election campaign in the relevant province and especially in the district concerned so as to justify their appointment to Parliament.

If J.R.Jayewardene’s original plan was to give the political party complete authority over appointing MPs to Parliament after an election, surely there is nothing wrong in allowing political parties to appoint just one MP at their discretion and that too only in the districts that have this extra seat over and above one bonus seat per district?

One way to solve the issue of having constituency based representation and achieving the objective of eliminating the preference vote system, could be to adopt a modified version of the system originally envisaged by JRJ by giving the political parties the power to nominate candidates to Parliament. All political parties still appoint their electoral organizers on the basis of the existing 160 electorates or polling divisions as they are now known. The appointment of an electoral organizer by a political party could become a more formal affair where the letter appointing a person as an electoral organizer is accorded some legal validity while political parties retain the entitlement to change their organizers at any time as they deem fit.

These electoral organizers become candidates at parliamentary elections with their names appearing on the party nominations list. Candidates can be nominated to Parliament by their party on the basis of the percentage of votes that each electoral organizer/candidate obtains within his constituency to bolster the overall performance of his party in that district. This will eliminate the need for the preference voting system and the need for candidates to canvas for votes throughout an entire district. Since the number of MPs that a political party will get in a district will be decided on the basis of the proportion of votes it polls, and not on the number of constituencies it wins, every electoral organizer will have to be given constituencies of a uniform size with a specified minimum number of registered votes so as to give him a fair chance of obtaining the proportion of votes that would get him a seat in Parliament.

Dividing or combining the existing electorates to make up constituencies for their organizers will be the responsibility of each political party. Under such a system, it could well be that a candidate who has won the constituency allocated to him by his party may not be elected an MP if his party’s allocation of seats according to the proportion of votes won in the district runs out before it comes to his turn. He would then be the next on the list to be appointed to Parliament on the death or resignation or expulsion of an MP elected on his list. If one gives it careful thought, there is in fact a way in which J.R.Jayewardene’s original parliamentary electoral system could be adapted to meet present day requirements.

The “Complex Web of Deceit & Deception” Spun By Yahapalana To Deceive Sri Lankans From Their Inception, Right Up To Their Dying Moments

November 15th, 2019

Dr.Chula Rajapakse MNZM Wellington New Zealand 

Even as the Yahapalan government goes through their last gasps, it merits reflecting on the complex web of deceit and deception that they spun on Sri Lankans to grab power and stay in power, in a hope to prevent Sri Lanka’s history being so slurred, ever again.

In January 2015, unseating a regime that had ended a thirty year old terrorist war dubbed an unwinnable war”, and maintaining the peace for five years thereafter  without even the slightest whiff of terror , while at the same time ushering in  unprecedented development, would to say the least be a daunting challenge.

This development  had seen Colombo seeing a visionary transformation from a city wanting even in garbage disposal to one so beautiful that enabled Sri Lanka to be named the year’s top tourist destination  twice by Lonely planet and once by CNN, that had seen a pot hole driven road network to being transformed to one good as any, any  where in the world , &  had seen after decades of vacillation opening of equally world class motor ways, & had seen the  building up of ports and airports that within a few years is seeing the most powerful nations competing with each other to gain influence over, & had seen the building of a port city in Colombo to be an international financial centre equal to Singapore  & had seen the building of a new eastern terminal in the Colombo harbour  equipped to service  modern mega ships that dock and tranship most goods to the eastern coast of  India thanks to the shallow palk strait, & had seen the compete electrification of the entire country an achievement not even remotely achieved by their mighty South Asian neighbours, & had seen growth rates of over 7% on the trot for several years second only to China, & that had seen the per capita of it’s citizens income double ad even treble to the extent that it was elevated from a Low Income Nation” to a Middle Income Nation” .

To meet this daunting challenge , it would appear that the budding Yahapalanites” had taken  a leaf from the Tiger book of web of deceit and deception” that enabled them for decades, to garner western support for their terrorist war claiming it to be a freedom struggle.

The strategy  for the Jan. 2015 election, therefore  was to neutralize the war  achievements  through claiming that these  were achieved through  violation of human rights  and the development was achieved through  bribery and corruption in the form of unacceptably high commissions for politicians in power. Though these  allegation had virtually no evidence in support, following the doctrine of Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, that any lie would eventually be believed if repeated frequently enough, they kept bombarding these unmitigated lies to the electorate through media, especially social media, that eventually saw them achieve their election victory in 2015.

They are repeating the ploy in Nov 2019, but the electorate and their opposition are probably wiser now

In 2015 ,they also cleverly exploited the presence of many members of the Rajapaksha family in positions of power, presenting it as family rule ”  cleverly ignoring that all of these Rajapakshas   were in these positions because they were mandated by the people with huge majorities .       

Once in power Yahapalanites continued their denigration of the war victory culminating in arguably the most treasonous and despicable act in Sri Lanka’s proud history of over 2500 years. This they did when they joined the US in sponsoring a resolution at the UNHCR accepting that the allegations of human rights violations during the war victory   were credible” , and asking for an investigation into these allegations , to be conducted with the participation of foreign judges. Such offering of the Ranaviru for slaughter for the crime of rescuing their nation from terror,  mprobably has no equal in the entire history of the human race. This is in stark contrast to UK Premier Theresa May defiantly announcing that she would never subject her soldiers for any kind of inquiry into their actions in Iraq and a similar pronouncement by the US  President.  

This sin of the Yahapalana has been compounded  for the past five years through by passing many opportunities to extricate it self from this crime for eg by , tabling  the Paranagama commission report that clearly established that there were no war crimes committed by the security forces, or by tabling the more recent revelations of Lord Naseby in the British House of Lords through the information he gathered including communications from the  British High Commission in Colombo that revealed the civilian casualty rate was of the order of  five thousand  & not the forty thousand quoted in the UNHCR resolution, or by simply withdrawing it’s sponsorship of this resolution , which would then lapse as the other sponsor, the  US,  is no longer a member of the UNHCR , which they left two years ago denigrating it as a cesspit of political intrigue”, a reality that had struck home to many like me well before it did to the US President.

One would fervently hope that the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksha would correct these wrongs at the earliest opportunity.

The harassing and imprisonment of Ranaviru on flimsy grounds, dismantling the intelligence and internal security apparatus that the Mahinda Rajapaksha administration was not merely an act of omission. This was also an act of commission as Yahapalana sees this as a threat to their agenda which was destabilisation of internal security that would pave the way for US boots to hit ground in Sri Lanka as provided for in the ACSA agreement. The Easter Bombings were equally both  a result of omission as well as commission, as it was being engineered by some in Yahapalana to create a Sinhalese backlash that would have provided the conditions for actioning the ACSA as above. The PM’s first call after the explosions that, there were international forces involved and we may need foreign assistance to cope” also lends support this belief. Thankfully, the prompt and mindful response of the clergy of all denominations enabled this part of the web of deception to be foiled. Equally, the agitation there from has at least seen the deferring of the other two agreements with the US, the SOFA and MCC, being deferred at least till after the election. It  has seen the failure of the strategy of  sign before election and debate after election” , stratergy. However, even to attempt so is a contemptuous insult to the intelligence of the Sri Lankan people .

On another aspect, the PM has also attempted to absolve himself of responsibility for the easter bombing because he was not an invitee to the national security meetings. This happened since the SLFP pulled out of the Yahapalana in October 2018 and the spat between himself and the President. If he the PM was responsible, he would have at least raised this in cabinet or parliament or if he had any shame would have resigned his post and gone for a general election as the President and opposition wanted,  when it became clear that his minority government was compromising it’s responsibility to the country. That he had no shame, was evident to any  body who saw him being mercilessly admonished by the President in full view of the nation on TV, at their first meeting after his reappointment .

Having come on a  holier than thou -Yahapalana”, canard , the deception by violating the constitution started from the their very first act after installing the Yahapalana President .  This was when   a new Prime Minister was appointed, while the previous prime minister with Parliamentary Majority was still in office . However , this was just a taste of much worse to follow which happened in February and March in the form of the two Bond Scams”. Perhaps, the crowning ignominity   of the Yahapalana actions in this saga was the attempt on the part of it’s Prime Minister to shamelessly attempt to reinstall the disgraced governor of the central bank to the same post once again , stopped only by the firmness of the President. Even to this day he continues to abscond, though clearly a close associate of the PM.   How much more Ayahapalana” one can be, or deceitful one can be,  is beyond any ones imaginations.

Having won the 2015 election  on the strength of allegations of  a fortune of 18 billion dollars  being embezzled by the former President and his family and of their ownership  Lamborghini cars and helicopters , Yahapalana has failed to establish a penny of this  despite the use of all of the state resources for four and a half years. Despite the establishment a FCID to effect a highly politicised investigation against the Rajapaksha family, as confirmed by several of their senior legal and administrative employees, not one case has even gone to court.

Having condemned the Colombo port city project and stalled its construction for two years they are now back building on the same model at an enhanced cost and two years behind schedule . Having condemned the Hambantota harbour the first act of  Yahapalana  in January 2015 was to stop the first revenue earning activity of the harbour, the bunkering(refuelling of ships) activity that started in June 2014 .The implication is that ships who form Europe would carry enough fuel to go to Singapore, could carry considerably less fuel and more cargo, win , win for both SL and Ships with Singapore being the looser. One would be excused for wondering whether this may be the reason for the bunkering still not being restarted and whether the secrecy behind  the clause in the  trade deal with Singapore is related.  

In January 2015 there were three daily flights to  Mattala. The first action of  Yahapalana was to stop all flights, store paddy in the hangers despite damaging the sophisticated equipment and denigrating  it to be a loss making airport. With such management ,what else could one expect. With the longest runway in SL Mattala is the only airport capable of landing  A 380 double decker planes , in South Asia. With at least four of them  flying over Mattala every night on their way from Australia and NZ to the Middle East, and vice versa,  and paying $2000 per trip , for emergency landing rights, Mattala is earning  it’s keep by simply being there . With visionary and energetic leadership the potential for securing a passenger drop off  from at least one of those flights exists. This could be a boon to get the airport cracking , and for increasing  tourism targeting south SL from down under, a difficult place to get to SL from. It would also be a boon to returning home Sri Lankans.

Instead of developing these new constructions  to make them more revenue earning, Yahapalana once again deployed their strategy deceit claiming a debt trap” to discredit their predecessors for political gain. Had the previous regime been in place, in the same capable and visionary hands these constructions  would by now be paying for themselves. We never heard the terms debt traps” during the previous regime. Debt Trap” , a US  coined term is music to US ears giving a handle to displace China from SL to serve US interest and another handle for Yahapalana to deceive SL.  

Even in their dying moments the deceit in relation to Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksha’s eligibility to contest is truly mindboggling and shameful. First the claim was he will not be able to renounce his citizenship as there are legal case in US, then it was that it would be months before he is cleared even if application for renunciation is submitted. Even when the certificate of loss of US citizenship was displayed on TV, the same claim  continues to be made even till the very end . They appear to have gone to the extent of even attempting to confuse the voter by fielding another candidate Namal Rajapakse whose name would be next to Gotabaya Rajapakse .

Despicable complex web of deceit and deception” was a description used on LTTE misinformation campaign of ten to twenty years ago, which I followed on international media for years and countered regularly. I thought it would be an act never to be beaten From what I have seen in the last five years from Yahapalana, it would appear to me now that , I was wrong then.

Dr.Chula Rajapakse MNZM
Wellington New Zealand 

15.11.19

After the 16th of Nov. 2019, Presidential Elections; are we again going to have another six months of UNP miss-Government and total anarchy?

November 15th, 2019

Dr. Sudath Gunasekara Former Permanent Secretary to Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayaka and Ex- President of the Sri Lanka Administrative Services Association (1991-19194)

14. 11. 2019.

After the 16th of Nov. 2019, this has been an often displayed slogan I have seen in many a SLPP political parleys. But at all these meetings they only focused and talked on the need to vote their candidate on the 16th.  It indeed is the most critical issue and absolutely there is no argument about it. But I was deeply disturbed to note that no one paid any attention to the practical problems they would have to face under the provisions of the 19th Amendment after the President assumes Office in a situation where there is already a Government opposed to them in office. No one spoke a single word about the imminent problems of governance they will have to face and the solution they propose to overcome that political impasse after the election and how they expect to overcome this crisis. I hope and wish already they have a fool proof mechanism in store to overcome this danger. I do not know whether they keep their strategy a top secret.

However this in my opinion is very critical as reaping the harvest of the Presidential victory depends much on the political stability and compatibility of the next Government since the government is the real machinery through which we have to implement the Presidential manifesto for which the people have given the mandate. I wish the SLPP had a preplanned shortcut solution to overcome the 19th A restrictions so that straight away the new President could appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister in keeping with the burning aspirations of the masses. Such action will seal the preceding reign of anarchy and immediately bring victory for the people’s mandate. In the alternative they should have asked for a full mandate from the people to counter the 19th A restrictions imposed on the new President so that they could have appointed MR as the Prime Minister immediately after the President has sworn in. Such mandate will have the legality of a referendum would have enabled the new President to circumvent all the barriers in the 19th A without resorting to vote hunting in a hostile Parliament composed of an anti-Sinhala anti-national and anti-Buddhist UNP and its Tamil and Muslim allies and the JVP which is a real high risk gamble they failed in 2018. I really do not know as to why such precautions were not taken and why their legal luminaries didn’t advise to do so.

Therefore, although too late, I suggest the Gota’s Team draw its immediate attention to this extremely crucial issue lest it gets too late to get ready to face this very critical aspect of the post Presidential Election scenario.

 I also don’t understand as to why the Gota Team did not ask for a mandate from the country to abolish the Provincial Councils and the Rajiv/JR Accord of 29th July 1987, that Indian conspiracy that ruined the entire native political system and paved the way for division, destabilization and destruction of this country. Had they done that Gota’s could have got even a bigger majority.

 Gota’s Victory is a foregone conclusion and it is really the victory of the people and he will get elected with the highest majority ever for any President in this country while Premadasa will go down in history as the worst loser in the country’s political history.

Talking about the Election per-se, in my opinion it is definitely a forgone conclusion, as the Sun and Moon rise in the East, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s victory is a certainty. He will definitely get elected as the 7th President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on the 16th of this month with the highest majority ever by any Presidential candidate in this country. Only some unforeseen catastrophe like a sudden subsidence of this Island in the Indian Ocean on the 16th can stop it. Not only Sajit Premadasa or the traitors like Mangala, Rajjita, Chandrika and Champika but also not even a God or a Brahma can stop his victory. Going by the general political tempest fast gathering momentum, in the villages, towns, market and work places that is getting polarized around the burning patriotic feelings of the Sinhala Buddhist masses for their motherland, the Sinhala nation and Samma Ssambuddha Sasana all over the country and even abroad, no one will be able to reverse that trend. As things stand Gota will get elected with the highest majority ever for any President in this country while Premadasa will go down in history as the worst loser in the country’s political history.

However the days that follow the Presidential elections are not going to be that rosy for two reasons. That is firstly, the restrictions imposed on the new President by the 19th Amendment and secondly, the peculiar anti-Sinhala and anti-Buddhist and hostile political composition of the present Parliament headed by Ranil Wickramasingha and thirdly, the absence of a working majority for the SLPP and its allies in Parliament.

The purpose of this brief note is to draw the immediate attention of the SLPP, UPFA, and SLFP hierarchy and their close advisers to some vital factors and a very critical situation that might bring about an extremely dangerous (possible) state of political confusion, uncertainty and instability in the post Presidential Election period in this country that might crop up. I am making these observations as a responsible citizen of this country for the benefit of those who are directly involved in this game to take adequate precautions to avert his political impasse. What is the guarantee that Ranil will not resort again to the same game of making Temple Trees the Head Quarter of another International conspiracy with the assistance of his Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and the Diplomatic corps of the colonial West? The only consolation we have in this regard is that there is a different President now presiding over the State of Sri Lanka. I hope and wish that Ranil will understand that it is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, a true Sinhala Buddhist leader and not Sirisena he has to deal with, before he again resorts to such deplorable and treacherous gimmicks.

Once the new President is elected the next step is to form the Government, the legal machinery that has to run the country. Going by the often quoted statements made on the election stages the new President will appoint Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister who will then name the new Cabinet and form the new Government. This exactly is the fervent hope and the wish of the majority of patriotic people in this country. But just now there is a very big hitch to this dream for the SLPP and its allies, unless they have already made some concrete arrangements to get the minimum 113 votes required to show the majority in Parliament to form a Government. This is a Constitutional requirement which the Supreme Court has already upheld in 2018 on this matter. Going by the present constitution of the Parliament where the present Government headed by Ranil Wickramasinha still has a working majority with the UNP,TNA and even the JVP MPP as it had been functioning for the past miserable and anarchic 4 ½ years, the chances of getting a majority in Parliament for the Mahinda camp is very remote.  He has only 93 SLPP, SLFP and UPFA plus Rev Ratana and Wijedasa Rajapaksa. Even if we add the highly unpredictable Wasanta Senanayaka the total come to only 97 while the UNP has nearly 125. That is UNP 103.TNA 16 and JVP 6.

Therefore, unless the President’s Camp is already armed with a working majority  in Parliament most probably the new President will be compelled to carry on with Ranil’s Government composed of the same pack of rogues like Mangala. Rajita, Ravi. Hakeem, Badurdeen, Daya Gamage, Kiriella, Sajit, Fonseka, Samarawickrama and Madduma Bandara until March 2 nd under the prevailing situation after which of cause the President can dissolve the Parliament. Even after dissolution again he will have to work with the same Cabinet headed by Ranil until the results of the General election are declared. This is going to be another period of terrific political conflicts and frustrations that will destroy the hopes and aspirations of the people who have elected the new President. This means the same chaotic and anarchic situation that was there for the past 4 ½ years will persist. This time the conflict could be even worse in view of the restrictions imposed on the powers of the President by the infamous 19th Amendment, the brain child of RW, the master mind of the CB scam.

Of cause as some of the pro Rajapaksa legal circles have already opined the President Gotabhaya may be able to carry on without much ado as the Head of the State, the Head of the Cabinet and the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces unlike submissive Sirirsena. Nevertheless such speculations want be that realistic as there is going to be much legal conflicts as to the interpretations of the provisions of the 19th Amendment. As such it will be another six months of utter confusion, chaos and political instability which the country cannot simply afford to have at a time like this after a long period of confusion and absolute anarchy.

The only way out to avoid this catastrophe is to find some patriotic cross overs from the UNP to support MR until the General elections are held. How you do that is immaterial so long as you have a people friendly programme at work, as the end justifies the means.  This in my opinion is the best arrangement one has to think of in the broader interest of the country and the people. But going by past experience and knowing the narrow political psyche of our self-centered power hungry politicians, especially those of the UNP; again I have my great doubts whether they would comply with that type of patriotic thinking. A short cut to win them would be to offer them SLPP nomination at the next election by making them to understand that here is no future for UNP any more either under Ranil or Sajit. I also would like to propose that the new President appoint a leaner cabinet of say about 15 for the interim period. That will make his even more popular as that had been a major clamor by most right thinking people of this country

When we think of the conflict between Rannil and Sajjit camps the situation could be even worse even if if Sajit wins. But this situation can be easily ruled out as Sajit will never win this election. The most likely slot for Sajit in the next Parliament is the Leader of the Opposition as Ranil will be voted out as Leader of the UNP. What exactly will happen after Sajit fail to win; only God can predict. Whatever it is, definitely there will be a major split in the UNP ending up with Ranil losing the leadership and Sajit getting elected as the Leader of a disintegrating Party and that will make him the Leader of the opposition and he too will go in to political oblivion after losing the next General election.

Post-Presidential election period might also give rise to two situations within the UNP. That is first, there could be a temporary reconciliation between Sajith and Ranil Camps and second, those who don’t like  that situation crossing over to the opposition. Whatever the changes within the UNP are going to take place in the post Presidential election and whatever restrictions are supposed to have been imposed on the President by the 19th A no one can underestimate the authority of the President as he is elected by the people for a six year period by a thumping majority under the provisions of the Constitution. Therefore the UNP will have no alternative other than to cooperate with the President of the people to run the country smoothly until the next General Election. Their failure to do so will only make them more unpopular and reduce their vote base at the forthcoming General election. This is where all politicians, legal luminaries and patriotic citizens have to focus their attentions in the broader interests of the country  and the people as we are not left with any more room to fall down any further thanks to the four and half years of Yahapalanaya of Sirisena-Ranil combination.

 The struggle for political power throughout human history all over the world is full of conspiracies, intrigues and even murder driven by personal ambition and endless vanity and craving for power. This story is vividly recorded in classical treaties on statecraft like Kautilya’s Arthasatra, Machiavelli’s’The Princ’ and even in our Mahavamsam and many other historical documents of the world nations. The stories of Queen Leelawathi where the wife killed the husbands, Dhatusena and Sitawka Rajasinha where the sons killed the Fathers in our own ancient history and the famous murder of Julius Cesar by Brutus in Roman history recall too well known such events. As such I do not consider these events in contemporary Sri Lankan politics as something extraordinary either.

 I will end this note with a reminder and an appeal to the Mahasangha of this country. Rev Sirs it was you who advised and directed the Kings and Queens of this Island Nation throughout history ever since the advent of Buddhism to this country in 307 BC, whenever there was a major crisis in the affairs of the state. That is why you have been quite aptly decorated as the Jatiye Muradevatavun vahanse” of this country. Therefore I appeal to your good selves to prevail over these, power hungry and self-seeking unpatriotic rustic politicians, give them wisdom, if you can, and advise them on the correct path they should take, to protect our mother land the Sasana and work for the good of the people and their wellbeing as the ancient Kings did, following the path laid down by the Lord.

ගෝඨා අති චිශිෂ්ට ජය දොරටුවක් අභියසද? “මහින්ද සුළඟ” 2/3 හබායමින්, 1956 විප්ලවය යලිත් කරලියට

November 15th, 2019

ඇම්. ඩී. පී. දිසානායක විසිනි

2019 ජනාධිපති මැතිවරනයේදී 82% සාමාන් වලංගු ඡන්ද ලැබීමට බොහෝ අවකාශ තිබේමෙම ‍‍ර්වණතාවය වවුනියාව, රත්නපුර, කුරුණෑගල, කිළිනොච්චි, කෑගල්ල, කලුතර, යාපනය, ගම්පහ, ගාල්ල, මාතර, අනුරාධපුරය. පොලොන්නරුව, මොනරාගල, මාතර දිස්තිරික්ක තුලින් පේනේසමහරවිට මෙම රැල්ල 85-90% දක්වා යෑමට ඉඩකඩ තිබේ.

අනුර කුමරුට 4.2% ක්දසජිත්ට 31.3% ක්ද ලැබිය හැකි වේයයි , ජයගන්නා ගෝඨා 2/3 ඉලක්කයක් පිටුපස එහෙත් 64.5% ක් ලබා ගතහැකි වේයයි පෙනේ. ඔහු ලක් 20 වඩා වැඩි ඡන්ද ලැබිමට පුලුවනි. දෝෂයේ ආන්තිකය 3% +/-.

පසුගිය දෙසතිය තුළදීමහින්ද සුළඟබලවේගය ගෝඨාගේ සටනට එකතුකිරීමෙන් ඔහු වහාම අගමැති වීමේ පසුතලය දියත් කිරීමෙන්, ගෝඨා ගේ ඡන්ද පදනම තවත් බලවත් විය හැකිය.

සංඛ්යාලේඛන මධ්යන්    ඉහළ පරාසයේ  සම්මත අපගමනය කරා යොමුවිය හැකිය.

LANDSLIDE VICTORY FORECAST FOR GOTABAYA – “MAHINDA SULANGA” SWING FOR 2/3rd MAJORITY ISLANDWIDE, A REPLICA OF 1956 REVOLUTION?

November 15th, 2019

Don Dissanayake

The 2019 Presidential Election is expected to generate 82% of valid  votes as an average. This trend is likely to eventuate in Vavuniya, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Kilinochchi, Kegalle, Kalutara,Jaffna, Gampaha, Galle, Matara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Monaragala, and Matara.  In some districts in the above list  valid votes in the band of 85-90% could not be ruled out.

The JVP is expected to achieve 4.2% of valid votes. Sajith Premadasa is likely to achieve 31.3%.

The Winner Gotabaya Rajapakse is likely to achieve a record 64.5%, marginally short of a 2/3rd  majority.  The collection and survey was concluded 3  days ago,  positive movements may even  produce 2/3rd majority for Mr Gotabaya Rajapakse.  He is also expected to achieve the highest majority  in the history well in excess of 2 million votes.  The margin of error  is 3%+/-.

Survey shows the Gota campaign was further accelerated during last 2 weeks with the strategic introduction of Mahinda Sulanga”, aimed at forming a Government with Mahinda Rajapakse as PM.

The average (mean) is showing favourable trends towards a High Standard Deviation.

Relocate the Nation’s Capital to ‘Gokanna,’ (Trincomalee) An Open Letter to Our Next President Gotabhaya Rajapakse and next Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

November 15th, 2019

Geethanjana Kudaligamage

Rajapakses, Geopolitics, ‘Eurocentric Developmentalism,’ and the western hegemony 

(Part 20-A)

From time to time throughout history, if foreign powers recurrently have been hellbent on grabbing what is legitimately yours, at times by force and conspiracy, what options would you have in order to resolve that problem? If their land grab is targeting the most valuable property you have due to its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, and if this land is historically and ancestrally belonging to you, and if this conspiracy is being launched with the active help of some of your own family members plotting against you within, what is the simple solution you have in your disposal to resolve such dilemma? The full occupation of the said property is the only solution, isn’t it? Your significant presence in this property would be the only answer, correct? As long as you keep this property open without having your physical presence there, (not just partial presence, but a significant presence) that reason along encourages others to grab it. Because you haven’t shown that you value and beholden to this diamond in the rough, because you are so stupid, a congenital idiot not to know that it is a rare diamond hiding the future of your success. The land grab becomes easier when the true owner of this property doesn’t show interest in it. The same stupidity brought disaster to our nation earlier in our history and now it happens again. It is a time tested, historically proven truth about the relationship between man and the land, man and his geography. Outsiders will come in and fill the vacuum and settle there when you are not there.

‘Gokanna’ is the ancient name of Trincomalee, an ancient port city located on the east coast of Sri Lanka overlooking an insulated deepwater natural harbor. This is the only location in Sri Lanka where we have beautiful precipitous hills in the oceanfront letting an observer see several miles into the ocean. This is also a well-known habitat of wild elephants with a specific talent. It is a common spectacle to see them frequently swimming in the ocean, swimming between forests in the mainland and the hilly islands situated in the ocean.

Apart from the natural beauty, this has been the battleground for many battles in the ancient and modern history of Sri Lanka. Since the Portuguese era, this location has been one of the main interests of competition among world maritime powers to have it in their possession. Based on the evidence, we know our location in the Indian Ocean, especially Trinco harbor is one of the main reasons why most of the western countries and India supported separatism and terrorism in Sri Lanka. They might have strategized to weaken the nation trough division of its territory by pitting different races up against each other.

Trincomalee’s name has been written in modern world history due to a couple of reasons. One such reason was the greatest naval battles that took place in its vicinity, between largest maritime powers at that time, France and England off the coast of Trincomalee.

https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Trincomalee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Trincomalee

And also Trincomalee was well known for its being the commanding post of Lord Mountbatten (British), Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command, during the second world war.

The onslaught of western maritime powers who desired to possess this strategic island and the Trinco harbor has been intensified in recent history after China became an economic powerhouse in Asia., The western interest of having a foothold in Sri Lanka has never died for the last 500 years. If we do not put utmost importance to undertaking this dilemma and divert all our physical and intellectual resources/wealth prioritizing to resolve it to bring a lasting solution for this problem, our future in the Indian Ocean will be no different from that of the Chegosians in Diego Garcia islands. 

If we go back to the beginning of the modern history of the island nation, Sri Lanka’s first western encounter was the Portuguese. They ruled the coastal belt of the island from 1505-1658. Then the Dutches ruled almost the same areas approximately for another 150 years and finally, Britain managed to rule the entire island nation from 1815-1948. The western powers partially or fully possessed the island for 443 years, during this time they controlled our ports and maritime capabilities and even our access to the ocean most of the time. And the western rule tells another aspect of the culture and their political affiliations of the people of Sri Lanka. Although the people in coastal belt experienced and lived through western culture for the entire colonial period of Sri Lanka for 443 years, the people of the hinterland and deep countryside experienced it only from 1818-1948, just for 130 years. Isn’t that an important reason to understand why Colombian thinking is completely different from that of the village people in Sri Lanka? Colombian is the trusted foster child of western colonialism. 

The British were the only colonial power that could claim to have their full authority in Trincomalee. Until then it was under the jurisdiction of Sinhala kingdom. (By the way, Wikipedia carries an article with falls history about Trincomalee glorifying it as a region entirely remained under the rule of Tamil kingdom for two millennia. Someone may have to correct this false narrative of history in Wikipedia.)

Then we were granted independence in 1948, eventually, we could establish a fully independent ‘state’ of Sri Lanka in 1972. We have been independent only for 70 years. However, within 25 years after the independence, some of the western countries and India rattled and ruined our so-called ‘Independence.’ They covertly and overtly backed separatism and terrorist movements in the island, who challenged the legitimate ‘statehood’ and its territorial authority. These terrorist organizations also desired to possess this land. Even in this conflict, Trincomalee was the target of many who had stakes in the national issue of Sri Lanka. On the other hand, we were told that our independence was won by Colombians without shedding a single drop of blood. How come? No one seems to question this false official narrative of our history.

‘In-dependent’ Sri Lanka was kept in-check all the way through

Sri Lanka was never given a chance to rest during her entire history. However, the desire of the west to get a foothold in Sri Lanka was not new. It never changed even after ending western colonialism. During the Portuguese era, the Portuguese had envisioned to create a second Portugal in Sri Lanka. That was the dream of Admiral Afonso de Albuquerque. (The notorious conqueror Afonso de Albuquerque who raided, captured, and conquered many coastal cities in Asia for the Portuguese Empire-Wikipedia).The reason and justification for his decision were related to our strategic location.

By 1590 the Portuguese were dreaming to colonize the entire island. So they planned to conquer Kandy. Just before the Portuguese invasion of Kandy, with the intention of enthroning Dona Katharina in Kandyan court to create a protectorate under Portuguese supervision, convincing the Viceroy and his war council about the prospects of conquering and colonizing the entire Island was presented explicitly by their war strategists as follows…

It is a desirable possession for any nation. It was, moreover the natural center of the rich traffic with the southern seas; and so long as the Portuguese were supreme at sea, its insular position would render its defense against all possible enemies no difficult matter. Could it be that Ceylon destined to be the scene of the fulfillment of AlBOQUERQUE’S dream that Ceylon would be established a second Portuguese nation which should hold sway over the whole of India?”  (P.E. Pieris)  

This insular position it mentions is nothing but the Trincomalee harbor I think. And also this statement reveals another timeless truth behind western desire to possess it. It is to hold sway over the whole of India. Controlling India would be an easy task for any power if it possesses Trincomalee harbor. This reveals that the short-sighted foolish Indians have dug their own grave by creating the separatist monster in Sri Lanka eventually to bite them.

However, the Indian thinking seems to be quite different. They seem to dig deep and entrench in the island when this endgame of dividing Sri Lanka happens. As the sole regional power, India might be envisioning to annex North-East Sri Lanka if everything goes in favor of separatism. When I say this, I am pretty sure that the Colombians will chuckle and even will post a comment refuting this hypothesis as complete bunkum. (It is clear that few commenters in LankaWeb are paid bots by external espionage agencies.) The reason for this reaction is simply because Colombians don’t get it. They do not get it because they are brain dead or their brains are full of sawdust. They live in an alternative reality. While living in such a bubble of a fairy tale type of false reality, they still possess the authority for giving interpretations and explanations, especially in our foreign policy matters. This needs to be ended. Yes fully ended.   

Why do we persistently having the same problem for the last 500 years even after the Portuguese, Dutch and British occupation is ended? And even 70 years after the western occupation was ended? The reason is that we haven’t been able to get hold of the main location of western interest in our land fully into our hands. Until the Sri Lankan state fully occupies the entire eastern flank of the country, and until we move into Trincomalee and having our significant presence there, the separatism will stay, terrorism will stay, and the western and Indian interference into our internal politics will stay. Because the lifeline of all those disorders originates from a single epicenter, that is nonother than the desire of outsiders to have Trincomalee in their possession.  

For many, our location is the curse for our country, like hydrocarbon deposits for middle eastern countries and minerals for the African countries. But how if we think positively about it? Can we turn this curse into a blessing? But we know that the uncreative foolish Colombians cannot turn this curse into a blessing because they already have turned this curse into their personal blessing through NGOs turning our bleeding wounds into their source of income. If there is any hope, we can hope only that Rajapaksas would have the courage to change this situation. Mahinda and Gotabhaya are the only duos who can do it. That is the reason why I decided to write this article after almost ten years of silence.

Historical periods of a nation associated with the capital of that period of history. On every occasion, for legitimate reasons, far-sighted rulers have established their capitals in different locations in Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, Kotte, Seethawaka, Kandy are some examples. Always there was the name of a king also associated with the establishment of these capitals.

But Colombo was established by Portuguese for colonial reasons. Getting out of this fake city is an overdue task if we truly need to be independent. If we analyze the reasons for relocating our capital in this period of political turmoil, the most qualified location will be Trincomalee. If Gotabhaya and Mahinda Rajapaksa managed to initiate this relocation, Tamils will be happy (not the separatists), Muslims will be happy; however, the less happy community will be Sinhalese. The reason is that a good part of the Sinhalese community is being hoodwinked by the Colombians through their power of interpretation and explanation of the history of our country. This monopoly of the Colombians for explanations and interpretations is another area that needs a radical change. 

The map below shows that the perfect location for establishing our post-independence capital is Trincomalee, not Colombo.

Spice route of Indian ocean in 16th century (See the significance of Sri Lanka within the route)

First and foremostly Trincomalee is located in the east, the emerging future of the world. Secondly, if Sri Lanka to be a proud nation with her own capital representing her history and culture and its visual traditions, then she needs to build her capital with her cultural metaphor imprinted and engraved in it. Colombo is not that capital. It harbors all the ailments of colonial historical injustices. It is an alien place to the native. Ask this question within the first few weeks of their arrival from university students who are coming from villages to Colombo University. They will tell how alien it is to them. Or they might sing the song of Weraliyadda as the answer to that question.

මල් වියනින් බැඳී මහ බැද්දේ උන්

අකුරු කොරාන්නට නුවරට ගියෙ මම්

නුවර පිරිලා එරමිනි කටු වැල් (unfamiliar and unfavorable  colonial weeds and thorny obstacles)

ආයෙත් බැද්දට එනවා මම්

මහතූන් වෙනවට වැඩිය හොඳායි මට (becoming a gentleman through colonial education) 

බැද්දෙ බතාක් කර හිටියානම්                                                             

Let us build our postcolonial capital of the new nation of Sri Lanka in Gokanna /Trincomalee

Moving the nation’s capital is not a new thing in our history. We have moved our capital so many times for the same reason of external invasions and interference. Then in independent Sri Lanka, Colombo, the bastion of colonial power, segregation and apartheid, became our capital. We have moved the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa, then to Yapahuwa, Dambadeniya, Kotte, Seethawaka and to Kandy. But we got stuck in Colombo. Why? There is no reason for us to be in Colombo

When we go into history, different historical periods are referred by the name of the capital of the said period; such as Anuradhapura period, Polonnaruwa period. The modern history of Sri Lanka referred to as the Colombo period. That is why we have poets of Kotte period and Colombo period. But the question is, does our capital Colombo truly represent the soul of the nation? I have a pretty bold answer. NO! Guarded by parapet wall culture, this is the symbol of Apartheid, segregation and even compartmentalization of our society. The demolition (symbolically not literally) of this city and its colonial ruins are overdue folks.  

Based on this background, I would like to suggest our next president Gotasbhaya Rajapaksa and next prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to relocate our capital in Trincomalee. Why? Because of a myriad of reasons. This relocation would be the remedy for most of our vulnerabilities currently we are grappling with. For instance, when the central government of Sri Lankan state is located there in Trincomalee, the intensity and velocity of western and Indian interference will be faded away since we legitimately occupying their object of interest. And also it removes the kernel of separatism because a separate state cannot survive without Trincomalee. Since the state of Sri Lanka is firmly situated there, the adversaries who want to fork their fingers into our affairs to divide us will be discouraged. Without Trinco, the value of the Tamil cause will be decreased in western foreign offices. Fake crocodile tears of Human Rights organizations and NGOs will be dried off without profits. The funding sources for NGOs will be ceased. One single stroke of statesmanship will resolve a myriad of problems for Sri Lanka. It will be a Putin-ist masterstroke by Gotabhaya and Mahinda. If they can do this, Gotabhaya and Mahinda’s names will be written in golden letters in the history of Sri Lanka. Because it will open a new chapter in our history called the ‘Trincomalee period.’ Just like every other period was referred with the name of a king associated with the respective period, Gokann or Trincomalee period of our history will be referred to Rajapaksas.

Gotabhaya already has mentioned about the development of Colombo into a futuristic city. That is a good thing. He should do it. However, our future will be tainted in Colombo and the futuristic city that he envisions to build in Colombo will be built on the smelling rotten ruins of colonialism, its tradition of apartheid and segregation. The entire Colombo is full of rotten colonial ruins contaminating the air in Colombo mixed with the odor of colonial leftovers. Sorry for the foul language, but it is the truth. This is the allegorical Trumpian ‘shithole’ by its very meaning of the word, (This is the new word that US presidents added into the vocabulary of political science in American English, so I consider it is not a bad word anymore) This is the place where our colonized brown sahibs thinking that they can become more civilized merely by associating with bathroom tissues, Sunday English newspapers while constantly uttering empty English phrases.

It is the place where all these champions and the admirers of our ‘charitable’ free ‘independence’ from Britain live in. Colombians brag that they won independence from Britain for us in Sri Lanka. But they never tell us that they never fought or contested anything to win. They never fought for our independence per se, but instead, received it through kissing rear ends of colonial masters, and begged for it. Compare the Indians’ independence struggle with our independence struggle; the Indians have fought tooth and nail to gain their independence. However, in the case of Sri Lanka, independence was not at all a glorious achievement to be proud of, it only confirms our conformity to Britain. The Colombians assured to Britain not to change anything fundamentally and assured to maintain the status quo in post-independent Sri Lanka was one main reason why Britishers granted in-dependence to Colombians.

Colombians can write volumes about how to win any independence without shedding a single drop of blood, without firing a single shot, just by using a mere tongue. Mahathma Gandhi used his tongue for orations of his ‘Ahimsa’ strategy of nonviolence. In other words, Gandhi made Britishers be tired of beating the shit out of Indians. because there were too many Indians. India lost its freedom through the insurmountable violence of Britain and won it back by getting even more beating. Colonized Borgoisies in India were very happy with the outcome. But nobody questions why Indians had to get beaten once again to reclaim their lost freedom. By comparing the cost of Indian independence through nonviolence, Indians could have won their freedom through an armed struggle with the same human cost? The Jallianwala Bagh massacre and the killing spree due to partitioning India are some of the monumental examples. If the Indians are proud of the human cost of their independence through bloodied nonviolence, why shouldn’t I? Although this cost of nonviolence is significantly greater, alas…still, the Indians are happy and they say they are proud of it.

But again, Indian official historians never question the reason why the British authority never adhered to even greater violence for the suppression of Indian independence when they really neede their colonies to rebuild England in the post-war era. What was the guaranty for the safety net of Gandhian moment come from? First and foremost, the historical moment was in favor of Gandhi. Otherwise, he also might have been ended like Patrice Lumumba. We might have found him hanging in a tea plantation or in a similar location. Churchill was a well-known megalomaniac criminal doubly insane than Prabhakaran, capable of using extream violence, but couldn’t push his already violent suppression into the extream in India. Why? Why even the leaders after Churchill could not use full force to suppress Indian independence?

The reason was that Churchills’ hands were tied by US president Roosevelt; Roosevelt envisioned that the post-war world was favorable to USA inasmuch colonial empires are dismantled and Europe is completely decimated.  He was envisioning a new American century. He truly wanted Europe to be destroyed, or in Clintonian political vocabulary, obliterated. That was the exact reason why he delayed sending American troops to Europe when the battle was very thick. Not only that, Rosevelt depleted Churchills’ treasury. Took all the gold for the payments for the equipment he sent. He demanded the end of the Imperial preference scheme in trade and wanted Churchill to dismantle the colonial empire. So wittingly or unwittingly Roosevelt’s position strengthened Gandhi and created the safety-net in favor of Indian independence.

India’s meek acceptance of independence and the admiration of their very oppressors by leaders like Naru would be the reason for the Colombians to adhere to the liberation philosophy of the tongue. Here I am not referring to patois of Colombians, or their talents in liberatory orations or sermons. But a completely different way of their use of tongue that nature had never envisioned. Alas…if there was a single Colombian in Mout Vernon Virginia with General Geoge Washington during American independence, General Washington could have averted the wasteful bloodshed and unnecessary human cost of American independence. The same goes for Haitian leader Toussaint Louverture, Simón Bolívar, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Lenin, and other revolutionary leaders. 

However, Britain granted independence to Colombians, not because of Britain’s merciful benevolence. Or, it was not because they awesomely satisfied the butt liking style of the Colombian tongue. Actually, it was completely a remote reason, that was the US policy led by Roosevelt. As I said earlier, Britain granted independence to all its colonies because US president Roosevelt demanded Britain and Frace to do it if they wanted the USA to involve in the second world war. Roosevelt’s arm twisting strategy made British PM Churchill to grant independence to all British colonies. Roosevelt’s position about America’s involvement in the war was clear. Roosevelt stubbornly demanded that if the USA to get into the war to save Britten and Europe from Germany, England and France must agree to dismantle their colonial empires and imperial preference scheme that choked all other economies including the USA’s. Dig deep into the history folks, you will find not only this reality but also that Churchill had hated Roosevelt more than he hated Hitler.

Our independence was just an offshoot, a side effect of this larger world event. We never fought for it. Oh no! I am sorry, in fairness to our ‘Nidahase Piyas in Colombo,’ I must say… yes, indeed, Colombians fought a fierce battle for our independence with cutleries and wine glasses in dinner and cocktail parties with Brits.

As a result of the aftermath of the second world war, Colombians slavishly received our independence as a merciful charity from Britain on terms and conditions of the Brits. In India, British conditions brought disaster. The partition of India was one such condition that Britain created. Colombians never questions the reasons as to how and why Britain granted our independence without a fight when they actually vanquished us after beating the shit out of us in Wellassa in 1818 and in Matale in 1848. Dear folks, can you be proud of such independence when it is granted without a fight, at least through a war of words? No, no, no! February 4th should be a day of mourning, not celebration. Because Colombians received independence after they destroyed the real fighter, Anagarika Dharmapala, who fought for respectable independence. Now Colombians can ask why we should have an unnecessary fight for our independence when Britain was ready to grant it free. Then the question arises as to why then Britain didn’t want to grant the same independence free to Anagarika Dharmapala? Isn’t that fishy? 

Well, it won’t go both ways; either you have to live in shame rest of your life or you have to win your freedom in the same manner you lost it. At least stop this bragging about it. It is sickening for those who know history. Bragging about winning our independence this manner is similar to that of bragging about winning a cricket match (our colonial master’s game) due to bad weather. Since the Colombians received our independence as a charity (Pinata) from Britain, we must call the receivers ‘Nidahase Pin-Piyas,’ rather than ‘Nidahaser Piyas.

Please let us stop this bogus history lesson about the independence of Sri Lanka. Let us face the bitter reality. We never being independent folks. That is the truth. Just see how the Colombians behave even today. Aren’t they behave like foreign agents? Are they behaving independently? Or behaving in-dependence?

By the way, although it is going out of our subject matter too far, we must thank our first prime minister of independent Sri Lanka D. S Senanayake for his dedication to the resettlement program in Galloya project. He also built splendid Senanayake Samudraya without borrowing a single cent from external lenders. We must bow our heads for it, not because he never borrowed funds, but for not breaking the central bank when it was having full of cash.

The reason why D.S did not need to borrow money for the construction of Senanayake Samudra was that the British colonial administration had had a wonderful fiscal policy throughout the colonial time to leave the treasury full of cash when we were granted independence. And for the foolishness of the Brits, they didn’t know how to break a central bank. Alas…poor Brits foolishly left the central Bank of then Ceylon full of cash. For the bad luck of the British colonial leaders, Ranil was also too young, therefore, he could not teach them how to break a bank; not just a regular bank, but a central bank. That is the only talent he had learned in Royal Collage and had mastered in politics. We also must thank D.S for not breaking the central bank when it was full of cash.

But however, we also must grudgingly thank Senanayakes for their immense contribution to making us an independent nation of insurmountable alcoholism (pardon me, because I love alcohol). According to Kumari Jayawardene’s brilliantly written historical account of the rise of our colonial bourgeoisie, ‘Nobodies to Somebodies,’ Senanayake family was one of the leading families in Sri Lanka with a humble beginning, who became wealthier through Arrack licensing in colonial Ceylon. Also, do not forget to compare that information with the British prisoner Robert Knox’s account about Sinhalese in the 19th century Ceylon. Knox said that Ceylonese of the time never consumed alcohol at all. Robert Knox was a prisoner in the Kandyan kingdom at the end of Duch occupation and beginning of British influence.

Great job by our Colombians who became somebodies by spreading alcoholism among locals. It is remarkable to see what they have done to a non-alcoholic nation, turning them into the number one alcoholic consuming nation in the world within a short period of time during the colonial era. No wonder why people called Senanayake’s ancestral house The Manor of the Bottle.” (බෝතලේ වලව්ව)  

Colombo is a city of slavish mental slaves

Colombo is a city without morals. It is the epicenter of all ill wills of our country. Colombians are the shameless callous bunch of baboons walking in the breeze of Gallface green with open butts. Think about the current politics of UNP, NGOs and so-called civil society. All these parasites are originated in Colombo working hard to enslave our nation.

First of all, Colombo was created as a colonial city by the Portuguese. If we were truly gained independence in 1948, we must have built our own capital elsewhere at that time. But we couldn’t do it then, because the postcolonial Colombians who gained political power after independence didn’t want to do it. Now with all the internal and external political reasons, it is time for Gotabhaya and Mahinda to do it. At the same time, I would like to add specifics to it by suggesting to relocate our capital to Trinco once again so Gota and Mahinda can begin their true futuristic city from ground zero there.

Since Gotabhaya has envisioned other development plans, our entire resources cannot be diverted into building cities alone. But his first task must be developing the Gokanna/Trinco harbor into a modern harbor. Then we must have an international airport in the suburbs. Let us create an administrative district in it where we can have beautiful boulevards especially for all government ministries and departments. We also can have an embassy-row in a newly created beautiful boulevard. All government ministries can be next to the embassy row. The parliament can be in the center of the administrative district. The city center can have a gigantic monument, it could be our own ‘Arc de Triomphe.’ That could be a part of the monument for our independence. We also can have all cultural centers art galleries, sports grounds…what not? The streets also can be super-wide allowing for future expansions.

Gotabhaya and Mahinda are the futuristic leaders who are capable of taking on this kind of history-making task.

Gotabhaya is not a typical politician that calculates every move through the prism of selfish political gains and party politics. His not being another politician is the exact reason why people trust him and hoping that he will bring peace and prosperity, and resolve many of our postcolonial political, economic and social ailments.

The main reason for people to invest a lot of expectations on Gotabhaya is that they think he has the courage to do the unthinkable; unthinkable for many other politicians. When many other politicians repeated the same mantra of the invincibility of the LTTE, he managed to convince his brother, then president Mahinda Rajapaksa to think otherwise. With his brother Gotabhaya’s military conviction, Pres. Rajapaksa professed to Erik Solheim, that he will defeat Prabhakaran. And he did it within two and a half years of a time frame. No one in the world could believe it. The entire western world who covertly and overtly supported terrorism in Sri Lanka took by surprise. In an article I published in 2010 on LankaWeb, I said…

In politics, the creative spirit demands tremendous courage to take risks; all remarkable politicians in world history were as audacious as they were fearless risk-takers. Sometimes, of course, creative destruction helps to build new foundations. In fact, colonial Sri Lanka has been built on a fake structure that has been reached to its limits. In order to go into the future, SL ought to demolish not only this fictitious structure itself but also its ruins. Indeed, as political history revels, there is nothing right or wrong as such in political actions but only justified measures, justified to the given circumstance and their contexts. If anyone can suggest an alternative strategy to disprove the actions of Rajapakse within the current Sri Lankan political context, then this writer invites them to come forward and submit their views to Lanka Web to enlighten the readers.”

I think Gotabhaya and Mahinda have this creative spirit and the courage to apply creative destruction to establish our nation anew.

The other reason for people to trust Gotabhaya is Gotabhaya never aspired to be the president of Sri Lanka, but people are the ones who wanted him to be the president.  Although it looks so trivial, it is a very important reason. This is the exact reason why he had the courage to trash the 13 conditions of the Tamil parties without even reading them. That tells that he is not in a position to do anything and everything to grab power like his opponent. 

People want Gotabhaya to bring lasting solutions to our national issue. We know that although we won the war in Nanthikadal, we haven’t been able to defeated the ideology of terrorism and separatism.

Gotabhaya era must be an epochal period of change. The history is yearning for a new beginning with a new chapter of our history. The ‘Colombo period’ of our history, the history of the swamp of two river watersheds of river Keleni and Kalu, must be ended. Sri Lanka demands a Gotabhaya version of draining the swamp in Sri Lanka. Colombian ideology must be destroyed into smithereens. The new historical period that begins with Gotabhaya will represent a different Lanka. That new historical period will be called the ‘Gokanna Period’ or the Thrikunamalaya period. Gotabhaya and Mahinda will be the pioneering establishers of this new historical period of Sri Lanka. Is Sri Lanka ready to accept the sea change that is awaiting in the horizon?  

දෑ දම් රක්නෝ

November 15th, 2019

දයා විජේසිංහ  ගරු ප්‍රධාන ලේකම්

අප දෑ දම් රක්නෝ සංවිධානය විසින් ප්‍රකාශයට පත්කරනු ලබන දැක්ම සඟරා‌වේ 11වන කලාප‌යේ පල වූ ලිපි පහත දැක්වේ. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa favourite in Sri Lanka Presidential race

November 15th, 2019

International Editor Courtesy Channel 4 News

In Sri Lanka, voters will elect a new President this weekend and they look likely to bring back a familiar face. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the defence secretary who oversaw the end of a decades-long civil war.

The UN says at least 40,000 Tamil civilians died during the war’s final months and Mr Rajapaksa stands accused of ordering war crimes. But after the easter bombings by Islamist terrorists, his strongman persona and family name has made him favourite to win power.

This is the last chance to save the country – Mahinda Rajapaksa

November 15th, 2019

Courtesy Ceylon Today

In this last moment to save the country, the responsibility of all people who love the country is to ensure Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory by voting for the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) on 16 November, former President and current Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said.

The only way that the country and the people can be saved from harmful domestic and foreign forces, like the country was saved from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) terrorism is by electing Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the President, he added.

When the country has accepted that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is only a citizen of Sri Lanka, all insults against him amount to mere lamentations of regressive forces that have gone berserk in the face of defeat, he opined.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne who hurls insults using liars and men with fake beards would even attempt to level baseless allegations against Gotabaya Rajapaksa in these last few days by bringing Zahran’s wife in or bringing Zahran back from the grave, Opposition Leader Rajapaksa said, adding that Rajith Senaratne is such a person in nature.

He added, “They ruled the country for five years and could have gone to the Court against all the accusations they are levelling, the Opposition Leader claimed, adding that these sudden insults confirm their inability to accept the fact that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is on his way to a grand victory.”

He went on to say that after coming to power, Gotabaya Rajapaksa will launch a systematic investigation into the Easter Sunday attacks and take legal action against and penalise persons engaged in the attack regardless of their status.

He added that a large number of Sri Lankan expatriates who love the country and have seen the services done by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his Government are returning to the country these days to use their votes to ensure Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory.

During my visit to the North, it was confirmed, through the responses of the people that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is becoming an invalid coin among the people of the North, the Opposition Leader Rajapaksa further said.

He went on to say that the way the people of the North detest the present Government and its leaders has become evident through the opposition expressed by them regarding the decision taken by the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to back Sajith Premadasa.

Sinhalese can be defeated only by voting for Sajith – Sumanthiran

November 15th, 2019

Courtesy Ceylon Today

Tamil people must act in collaboration against the expectations of the Southern Sinhala people regarding Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory and prevent Sinhala leaders from emerging victorious, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesman and MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said.

At the upcoming Presidential Election, all the Tamil people must unite to stifle the ‘Gotabaya menace,’ he stressed.

He made these statements at a public rally held in Mankulam, Mullaitivu to express support for New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa.

The Tamil people must act to stop another Rajapaksa family-administration, including Gotabaya Rajapaksa without giving them any opportunity to resurface, he emphasised, adding that the Tamil people in the North and the East must unite to vote for Sajith Premadasa at the Presidential Election.

The Tamil people who ended the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration should now take action to drive out Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In 2005, the Rajapaksa family came into power because the Tamil people didn’t vote, he added.

He added, “One Presidential candidate in his election manifesto, has stated that he will devolve power in a unitary and an undivided country. Although one candidate had the strength to make such a statement, no such statement can be found in Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto. They don’t have the strength to at least present a solution to the national issue or to make a statement in that connection. Therefore, we request the Tamil people to vote for NDF Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa.”

‘Extracts from ‘Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America’

November 15th, 2019

By Dr Tilak S. Fernando Courtesy Ceylon Today

Daya Gamage worked at the American Embassy in Colombo, as the Sole Foreign Service National and a Political Specialist. He retired in 1994 and has been living in Las Vegas since retirement. After two years of concentration, he has been able to share his knowledge, understanding and his intimate professional association with the US Department of State in the form of a book – ‘Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America’. Being aware of how America’s foreign policy worked- sometimes in a strange manner, he has come out with an unbiased text full of data in his book nowhere else is contained. Daya Gamage has authorised the writer to ‘ to quote anything from his book’ so that the readers will get a clear picture of  America’s Foreign Policy,  Sri Lanka’s National Issues and the LTTE struggle in depth.Gamage handles the United States Bureau of the Online daily newspaper Asian Tribune constantly making the readers knowledgeable of the manner in which U.S. foreign policy towards Third World nations works. His book is available at Amazon.


The LTTE has been on the US terrorist list since 1997. One of the most brutal, lethal, terrorist organisations in the world ( http://uspolicy.be/headline/campbell- conversations). As the Sri Lankan Army was pushing north into predominantly Tamil areas that were controlled by the LTTE for more than two decades, the Army displaced a large number of  Tamil civilians and they began to move away from conflict areas. However, the LTTE systematically refused such efforts to allow those internally displaced persons to move away from these areas to the south where they could have been given food and shelter. So, the LTTE basically and systematically refused all efforts and thus violated international law by not allowing freedom of movement to those civilians. Had the LTTE allowed the Tamils to move towards the south, none of this would have happened in the first place. It is important to make that point, which often gets lost in the debate on this.


Secondly, the LTTE often deliberately placed its heavy artillery amid civilian encampments, precisely to draw fire so that civilians would get killed in the hope to create international outrage and cause the Sri Lanka government to stop fighting and to agree to some sort of a negotiated settlement.

LTTE TACTICS

The Sri Lankan Government, not without reason, argued that the LTTE was never interested in a peace formula and always used cease-fires as a way to re-group and re-arm themselves essentially refusing any of the peace process attempts.


Robert O Blake categorically stated, ” so we faced this very difficult situation. On the one hand, we wanted to see the defeat of a terrible terrorist organisation that had been responsible for hundreds, if not thousands of civil casualties. On the other hand, we wanted to ensure that there were not going to be civilian casualties as a result.”


Daya Gamage was confident that throughout its (un)official role in the Sri Lanka conflict, the United States manoeuvered to secure a ‘defeat and not a total annihilation’ of the LTTE. The US policy throughout was guided by the view that the LTTE was an invincible force and it was an integral part of the Sri Lankan solution as there were a very clear resemblance of its political agenda ( except independent Tamil State) to that of other democratic Tamil political movements.

Political  solution

Thirty months before the January 2011 in a radio interview to the University of Madras in Chennai in 2008, Robert O Blake said, “one of the reasons for the lack of recent progress on a consensus APRC document, is that some in Sri Lanka believe that the government should defeat the LTTE and then proceed with a political  solution. The US view is that the government should further isolate and weaken the LTTE if it articulates now its vision for a political solution”. The APRC ( All-Party Representative Committee) was in progress to identify national issues represented by elected members of the Sri Lankan Parliament.


Daya Gamage states that it should be borne that the US Government in November  2007 froze the United States held assets of the Tamil  Rehabilitation Organisation, which was a ‘ charitable’ organisation associated with the LTTE. In February 2009, the US froze the assets of the Maryland-based Tamil Foundation, on suspicion that they were funneling money to the LTTE.

Regular campaign

The LTTE campaigned regularly to be taken off the US State Department’s terrorist list. However, in August  2006, Federal Authorities arrested and charged eight suspects in New York while attempting to bribe the US officials to remove the LTTE from the terrorist list. The suspects, who were supposed to have had close ties with LTTE leader Prabhakaran, were charged with trying to purchase surface-to-air missile launchers, AK-47, and other weapons for the LTTE.


The Federal authorities took strict measures to prevent Sri Lanka’s LTTE from getting material support, while the US Supreme Court gave a  landmark judgment on 21 June 2010  declaring that  “even providing opinion in a designated foreign terrorist organisation amounts to providing material support”.


Notwithstanding the United States’ officials step and measure to make it difficult for the LTTE to collect funds on US soil and prevent  the transfer of funds overseas to proscribed organisations that the US Treasury Department discovered, after lengthy  investigations of the Tamil Tigers giving material support, which is prohibited under federal  laws and the US authorities working with Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen Sri Lanka’s  financial system’s ability to cut off terror financial system’s ability to cut off terrorist financing flows .


US State Department officials and Foreign Service Officers have been advocating a negotiated settlement with the LTTE. On no occasion have they made remarks or taken an official position advocating the complete annihilation of the movement. Instead, they urged the LTTE to surrender their weapons and come to a negotiated settlement relating to the Tamil issue. The United States took this position with the full knowledge that the LTTE was bent on terrorism and nihilism since its inception in the late 1970s. However, in private ( intimately known to Daya Gamage) US considered LTTE as an agitation movement that epitomised the ‘Tamil national struggle’, and as a useful instrument to exert pressure on the Government of Sri Lanka and its allied ‘ Sinhala Nationalists’ to be more flexible towards ‘Tamil demands’. The FSOs were careful not to give the impression that the United States considered the LTTE as a liberation organisation.


When the Democratic Party Congressman and leading member  of the  sub-committee on South Asia in the House Foreign Relations Committee, at a hearing on Sri Lanka, asked the principal deputy assistant secretary of the State Department Donald Camp, who was the earlier  Labour and Political Officer in the Diplomatic Mission in Colombo whether  the Tamil Tigers could be described as a liberation movement, Donald Camp’s response was that no movement bent on terrorism should be considered a liberation  movement ( http://www.island.lk/2008/02/11/features1.html).

Reality

Nevertheless, the State Department and the FSOs who served in the Colombo diplomatic mission unofficially believed that the LTTE as an organisation that stood for long-denied Tamil rights. The US further believed that the terrorist manoeuvres and tactics were used to bring some sense to the Sri Lankan authorities. In the opinion of the Americans, Sri Lanka was too stubborn to accept the reality that there was substance to what the Tamil representatives’ organisations emphasised on Tamil rights and their place in Sri Lankan society.


As much as the  US attributed the emergence of the Tamil Tiger movement to the grievances of the minority Tamil population in Sri Lanka, this fact was openly confirmed by a State Department official two weeks before the total defeat of the movement.


On 6 May, 2009, Media briefing at the State Department in Washington, Mike Owens, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central  Asian Affairs, was very clear when he said that ‘ legitimate Tamil grievances, in fact, gave  birth to the  Tamil Tiger,’ a thinking the FSOs at the American embassy in Colombo in the 1980s and 1990s held. And thereafter used as a guiding light to push Sri Lanka, at times through India for a negotiated settlement.


 Mike Owens had earlier served in Colombo American embassy’s political section, and before his position as the deputy assistant secretary, he was the director of the State Department’s Office for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Bhutan. At this State Department media briefing, Mike Owens further said the following:


“We, of course, have designated the LTTE as a terrorist organisation, and we certainly have no sympathy for some of the things they have carried out, but I think you do have to ask a very legitimate question:  Why did they have a following in the beginning?  And I think it is because some in the Tamil Community do have legitimate grievances, and we need to find”.
“I think it is imperative for Sri Lankans to find a way to give everyone in the community, all Sri Lankans,  a legitimate voice in their government. And so, we want to support the Government of Sri Lanka as they move forward to do exactly that.”

[email protected]

Extracts from Tamil Tigers’ Debt to America

To be continued

මාධ්‍යයට එරෙහි ඇමති හකීම්ගේ තර්ජන ගැන පොලිසියට අදත් පැමිණිලි

November 15th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

මාධ්‍යයට එරෙහිව අමාත්‍ය රවුෆ් හකීම් මහතා සිදුකළ තර්ජනය කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අදත් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිලි ගොනු කෙරුණා.

බෞද්ධ තොරතුරු කේන්ද්‍රයේ විධායක අධ්‍යක්ෂ අඟුල්ගල්ලේ සිරි ජිනානන්ද හිමියන් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට අද පෙරවරුවේ මෙලෙස පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට පැමිණියේ අමාත්‍ය රවුෆ් හකීම් මහතා මාධ්‍යයට එරෙහිව සිදු කළ තර්ජනය කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන්.

මේ අතර ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණ ද අද කැඳවා තිබූ ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවේදී ද මාධ්‍යට එරෙහිව සිදු කෙරෙන විවිධ තර්ජන ලබලපෑම් සම්බන්ධයෙන් අදහස් පළවුණා.

මේ අතර පිවිතුරු හෙළ උරුමය පක්ෂයයේ නියෝජිතයින් අද පස්වරුවේ පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිල්ලක් සිදු කළේ තමන් මෙතෙක් ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇති පැමිණිලි සම්බන්ධයෙන් කිසිදු අවධානයක් සිදු කර නොමැති බවට චෝදනා කරමින්.

සත්‍ය ගවේෂකයෝ සංවිධානයෙන් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට පෙත්සමක්

November 15th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

දෙමළ ජාතික සංධානය සහ ඊට සහය පළ කරන දේශපාලන පක්ෂ රට දෙකඩ කිරීමට උත්සාහ දරන්නේ යැයි සඳහන් කරමින් ඔවුන් තහනම් සංවිධාන ලෙස ප්‍රකාශ කරන්නැයි සත්‍ය ගවේෂකයෝ සංවිධානය අද ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයට පෙත්සමක් ගොනු කළා.

ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදී තම සහය ලබාදීම සඳහා දෙමළ ජාතික සංවිධානය පසුගියදා කරුණු 13කින් යුත් යෝජනාවලියක් ඉදිරිපත් කරනු ලැබුවා.

එහි නිජබිම් සංකල්පයල ස්වයං නිර්ණය අයිතිය ලබා දීම ඇතුළු කරුණු කිහිපයක් ඇතුළත් කර තිබුණා.

මෙවැනි යෝජනා මගින් රට දෙකඩවීමේ අවදානමක් පවතින බවට චෝදනා කරමින් ආණ්ඩු ක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා ප්‍රතිපාදන යටතේ එවැනි යෝජනා ඉදිරිපත් කරන පක්ෂ තහනම් කරන්නැයි ඉල්ලා සත්‍ය ගවේෂකයෝ සංවිධානය අද මෙම පෙත්සම ගොනු කළා.

Fake news warriors’ bid to scuttle Gotabaya’s electoral prospects boomerangs

November 15th, 2019

Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Colombo, November 15 (Ada Derana): The Embassy of the United States in Colombo says the widely circulated dubbed video statement of the US State Department’s spokeswoman regarding the citizenship of SLPP’s presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa is fake.

The spokeswoman of the US Embassy, Nancy VanHorn told Ada Derana that this video, which is currently being circulated in social media, is manipulated and distorted.

A dubbed video which allegedly contains a statement from the spokesperson of the US State Department was released to the social media today (15). VanHorn said the original statement was issued by the US State Department’s spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus on the 9th of July during a media briefing. This statement was fraudulently dubbed and released to social media platforms.

Drastic differences between the colours of the original video and the fake could be noticed.

In the meantime, Ada Derana contacted the US Department of Justice regarding an alleged press release on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s citizenship, it was revealed that this statement is also manipulated.

This release is claimed to be issued by the US Department of Justice on the 11th of November. However, the Department pointed out that November 11th is a public holiday in the United States, hence the reason as to why such a letter could not have been issued by them.

Sign on Desperation

The fake video and press release were part of a last ditch effort of the Sajith Premadasa camp to put seeds of doubt about the eligibility of his rival Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the Presidential election which is to be held on Sunday November 16.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwela, said that the last ditch fake new barrage is due to desperation based on ground level indications that the Gotabaya has greater support.

He reiterated that the fact that SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had renounced his US citizenship was accepted by the Elections Commissioner. Even those civil society activists who challenged his eligibility to contest in the Court of Appeal had raised only the issue of the manner in which he secured Sri Lankan citizenship. The court had quashed that case.

The expectation in the SLPP camp is that Gotabaya will score high among the Sinhala majority which accounts for more than 70% of the population. Through this, he is expected to make up for lack of support among the minority Tamils and Muslims. However, a section of the minorities could support Gotabaya as his economic agenda and economic focus have acquired some traction in recent years.

ඇමරිකානු පුරවැසිභාවය ගැන අන්තර්ජාලයේ සැරිසරන වීඩියෝ පටය ව්‍යාජ එකක් – ඇමරිකානු තානාපති කාර්යාලය

November 15th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

පුරවැසිභාවය පිළිබඳව ඇමරිකානු රාජ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ ප්‍රකාශිකාවකගේ යැයි පවසමින් අන්තර්ජාලයේ සැරිසරන වීඩියෝව ව්‍යාජ වීඩියෝවක් බව කොළඹ ඇමරිකානු තානාපති කාර්යාලය පවසනවා.

එහි මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශිකා නැන්සි වෑන්හෝන් මහත්මිය පැවසුවේ එය තම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට අදාළ නොවන හඬ කැවූ ව්‍යාජ වීඩියෝවක් බවට තහවුරු කළ හැකි බවයි.

ඇමරිකානු රාජ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ ප්‍රකාශිකාවකගේ යැයි පවසමින් ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ඇමරිකානු පුරවැසිභාවය පිළිබඳ සඳහන් වීඩියෝවක් මේ වන විට අන්තර්ජාලයේ හුවමාරුවනවා.

අප මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් කොළඹ ඇමරිකානු තානාපති කාර්යාලයෙන් විමසීමක් කළා.

කොළඹ ඇමරිකානු තානාපති කාර්යාලයේ මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශිකා නැන්සි වෑන්හෝන් ප්‍රකාශ කළේ එය ව්‍යාජ ලෙස හඬ කැවූ වීඩියෝවක් බවයි.

කෙසේ වෙතත් මෙම ව්‍යාජ ලෙස සැකසූ වීඩියෝවේ සත්‍ය වීඩියෝව ඇමරිකානු රාජ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව විසින් මෙම වසරේ ජූලි මස 19 වැනිදා අන්තර්ජාලය වෙත මුදාහැර තිබුණා.

විනාඩි 27යි තත්ත්පර 18කින් යුක්ත මෙම වීඩියෝවේ කිසිදු ස්ථානයක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ නමහෝ සඳහන් වන්නේ නැහැ.

මේවන විට සමාජ මාධ්‍ය තුළ සැරිසරන වීඩියෝව ජූලි මස 19 වැනිදා මුදාහැරි වීඩියෝවෙන් ව්‍යාජ ලෙස සැකසූවක් බව පෙනී යනවා.

එහි වර්ණ පවා වෙනස්කර ඇති අතර ප්‍රකාශිකාවගේ ඇඳුමේ වර්ණය වෙනස් කරනවිට ඒ අසළ ඇති ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදයේ කොඩියේද වර්ණය වෙනස්වී තිබෙනවා.

මේ අතර ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ පුරවැසිභාවය සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඇමරිකානු නීති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව නිකුත් කළ බවට පැවසෙන ලිපියක්ද මේවන විට සමාජ මාධ්‍යයේ සංසරණය වන අතර එයද ව්‍යාජ ලෙස සැකසූවක් බව ඇමරිකානු නීති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සඳහන් කරනවා.

Video circulating on social media regarding US Citizenship is a fake video – US embassy

November 15th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

The US embassy in Colombo has announced that the video clip on the internet claiming to be a US State Department spokesperson detailing US Citizenship is a fake video.

Media spokeswoman Nancy Van Vonhorn said that it can be verified as a fake video that has been dubbed which is not linked to her department.

A video is being circulated on the internet claiming to be a US State Department spokeswoman detailing on American citizenship.

The US embassy in Colombo today announced that the video is a fake video and it has been fabricated.

MCC Compact should conform to the Constitution

November 15th, 2019

By Neville Ladduwahetty Courtesy The Island

November 14, 2019, 12:00 pm

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The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact is temporarily down but is not out. Despite this set-back, it is bound to resurface after the Presidential Election when it would be submitted to Parliament as required by the provisions of the Compact. However, a fact that needs to be acknowledged is that if not for the concerted public pressure that included Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera to launch a protest fast, the Compact would have been signed by now.

The issue is not whether the MCC Compact was beneficial to Sri Lanka as claimed by some or inimical to Sri Lanka’s national interest as claimed by others, it is the secrecy with which the Government set about handling issues relating to this Compact that caused the public to be wary of the true motives behind the smoke screen of addressing poverty with a grant of $480 million. These doubts had justification because until recently, there was a threat that the Cabinet was keen on signing the Compact without submitting it to Parliament, thus repeating the practice the Government adopted when they co-sponsored UNHRC Resolution 30/1.

Strange as it may seem, it has now come to light that the MCC Compact still requires it to be submitted to and enacted by Parliament for Entry into Force. Had this been known from the beginning, most of the concerns would have been assuaged, as it has been a lack of transparency by the Government throughout that has dented U.S.-Sri Lanka relations.

PROVISIONS in the MCC COMPACT

The need to have Parliamentary approval is not prompted by constitutional necessity or for reasons of good governance as some advocate, but instead by a requirement of the Compact itself as stated in Article 7 “ENTRY INTO FORCE”. Section 7.1 titled “Domestic Proceedings”. Section 7.1 which states:

“The Government shall proceed in a timely manner to complete all of the domestic requirements for this Compact and PIA to enter into force. The parties understand that, consistent with Sri Lankan Law, prior to the Government sending letters described in Section 7.3, this Compact is to be SUBMITTED TO AND ENACTED BY THE PARLIAMENT OF SRI LANKA”.

“Submitted to and Enacted by Parliament” means that the MCC Compact would (invariably) be debated in Parliament after which it (should) be transformed into a Legislative Statute before Entry into Force. It is during these debates that Parliament would have the opportunity to raise issues that are of a controversial nature such as the following:

Section 3.6 “Procurement and Grants. The Government shall ensure that the procurement of all goods, works and services by the government or Provider to implement the Program shall be in accordance with MCC’s Program Procurement Guidelines… Accordingly, neither the Government Procurement Guidelines (2006), nor any other laws or Regulations of Sri Lanka regarding procurement shall apply…”

Section 6.4 “Governing Law. This Compact is an international agreement shall be governed by international law”. Since Sri Lanka operates on a dualist legal system the only international laws that would be applicable to Sri Lanka would be those that have been incorporated into domestic law.

Section 6.8 “MCC Status. MCC is a United States government corporation acting on behalf of the United States Government in the due implementation of the Compact. MCC and the United States Government assume no liability for any claims or loss arising out of activities or omissions under this Compact…The Government agrees that MCC and the United States Government or any current or former officer or employee of the MCC or the United States government shall be immune from jurisdiction of all courts and tribunals of Sri Lanka for any claim or loss arising out of activities or omissions under the Compact”.

These and other contentious issues, the most significant being issues relating to the two main objectives of the Compact, namely, the Transport Project and the Land Project, are likely to be raised when the MCC Compact is submitted to Parliament. However, the Compact itself needs to be presented in a form that it would have the status of a Legislative Statute following which it needs to incorporate any amendments prior to approval by Parliament.

The all-important question that needs to be resolved is whether it would be approved by a simple majority, a two-third majority of Parliament or by a two-third majority of Parliament and a referendum.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The two Project Objectives are the TRANSPORT PROJECT and the LAND PROJECT. Of the two, it would be the Land Project that would determine which majority in Parliament would make the MCC Compact a Legislative Statute.

LAND PROJECT

(a) Summary of Project and Activities

“The Project Objective of the Land Project is to increase the availability of information on private land and under-utilized State Land in order to increase land market activity. The land Project would increase tenure security and tradability of land for smallholders, women and firms through policy and legal reforms….”.

(b) Parcel Fabric Map and State Land Inventory Activity

“The aim of the Parcel Fabric map and State Land Inventory Activity is the creation of a parcel fabric map that covers up to 28 percent of the land area of Sri Lanka, focused on seven districts…The parcel fabric map is intended to become the base map for the completion of an inventory of State lands in the same districts, which is intended to help the Government determine which state lands are underutilized and available for investment and which lands are in active use….”.

(c) Registration of Absolute Land Grants Sub-Activity

“MCC Funding shall support Government efforts to convert permits and grants in State Lands “absolute land grants” that are expected to be registered as freehold rights in land. The sub-activity would support conversion of State Land to the private domain creating a marketable and bankable title to this land holder…”

IMPACT of GRANTING ABSOLUTE TITLE

As admitted in the MCC Compact document the intention of the Land Project is to convert State Lands that are currently held by members of the public on the basis of permits and grants into Private land in order to make them marketable and bankable. Since ALL STATE LAND IS VESTED IN THE REPUBLIC it belongs to all the People of Sri Lanka. It therefore follows that any Legislation that enables permit and grant holders the right to absolute title amounts to a privilege that is denied to others. This violates the Fundamental Rights of those who do NOT hold permits and grants to State Land as provided in Article 12 (1) of the Constitution. Furthermore, since Fundamental Rights are part of the Sovereignty of the people as per Article 3 of the Constitution that state “Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and franchise”, any impact of Article 3 requires a 2/3 approval of Parliament and a referendum. Therefore, if the objectives relating to the Land Project in the MCC Compact are to be fulfilled, a special majority applicable to entrenched Articles is an absolute necessity. If such a majority is not possible, the Land Project component of the MCC Compact cannot be implemented.

The intention of the State Land (Special Provisions) Bill was to be an “AN ACT TO GRANT ABSOLUTE TITLE TO STATE LAND HELD BY CITIZENS WHO ARE HOLDERS OF GRANTS OR INSTRUMENTS OF DISPOSITION; AND TO PROVIDE FOR MATTERS CONNECTED THEREWITH OR INCIDENTAL THERETO”. Since this Bill was withdrawn no law currently exists to grant absolute title to State Land. Under these circumstances what is the future of the MCC Compact?

CONCLUSION

The MCC Compact has run into a storm of protests from the public. The main reason is speculation arising through the lack of frank information regarding the scope and nature of the project. The fact is that whatever information that was available was what the public could gather in dribs and drabs released by the Government and their spokespersons. For this the government has to take full responsibility.

For instance, these spokespersons keep insisting that there is no mention of a transport link connecting the Ports of Colombo and Trincomalee in the MCC Compact. This is correct. What they do not mention is that the seven targeted districts judiciously selected link the two Ports. Furthermore, growth in these seven districts is not possible without Transport Networks. It is through such networks that the transport link between the two Ports would be established. The credibility deficit in the minds of the public is natural in that if the stated goal of the MCC Compact is to address poverty, why were these particular districts selected considering that the majority are well above the national poverty index?

More importantly, it is the Land Project that is bound to encounter the most resistance. Historically, past attempts to make State Land available to the public have met with considerable resistance, primarily because State Land belongs to the Republic and consequently belongs to ALL the People as part of their sovereignty; a fact stated in Supreme Court judgments. Consequently, granting absolute title to current permit and grant holders would be discriminatory by the rest. Therefore, the only manner by which State Land could be made available with Absolute Title to the public is by securing a 2/3 approval of Parliament and approval by the People at a referendum. This is too high a mountain to climb.

Those associated with the development of the MCC Compact in Sri Lanka should have appraised the U.S. Authorities that the Constitutional impediments associated with the Land Project make it a near insurmountable undertaking. It is inevitable that the ensuing disappointment for this lapse could have an impact on U.S.-Sri Lanka relations.

Presidential candidates and the ailing agriculture sector

November 15th, 2019

By Dr.  C. S. Weeraratna
([email protected]) Former Professor at Ruhuna and Rajarata universities Courtesy The Island

November 14, 2019, 6:35 pm

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Agricultural sector is the cornerstone in the economic and social development of the country and hence, a number of presidential candidates in their manifestoes highlighted the need to improve this sector.. Around 1.6 million ha of the country is cultivated with annual and perennial crops and around 25 percent of Sri Lankans are employed in the agricultural sector.

Domestic Food Sector

Around 860,000 ha in Sri Lanka are under food crops such as cereals, legumes, oil crops, vegetables etc. The total production of most crops, except rice and maize, cultivated in Sri Lanka during the last decade does not show any upward trend. Due to shortage of food availability, a colossal sum of money is spent annually to import food as indicated in the table given below. . In 2018 around Rs 320 billion worth of food including milk food has been imported. Most of these can be locally produced. With about 2.5 million hectares of hitherto uncultivated/partly cultivated land, importing Rs. 320 billion worth of food annually is an anomalous situation.

See Table 1.

Table 1. Value of food imports (Rs. millions)

Numerous food production programmes such as “AMA’, ” Waga Sangramaya” and “Govi Sevana ” were implemented during the last decade but these have not made any significant impact on the agricultural sector of the country, indicated by increase expenditure on importing food. Those responsible need to look into the various issues that limit food production in the country and take appropriate action. It will contribute in a more meaningful way towards the socio-economic development of the country by increasing food security, reducing the annual trade deficit which stands at around US$ 10 billion and also increasing employment opportunities.

Many factors influence level of crop production and an important factor among these is water which tends to be a limiting factor. In spite of the country receiving around 100 billion cubic meters of water annually, inhabitants of many parts of the country do not get a regular supply of water for their farming and domestic activities. . It is estimated that around 60% out of the 100 billion cubic meters of rain water received annually escape to the sea.

An integrated plan needs to be implemented in collaboration with the relevant ministries to improve water supply. One of the main reasons for water shortage in many parts of the country is high surface run-off. Rainwater that falls on to the ground infiltrates and the balance runs-off. Most of the soils, especially those in the high rainfall areas are eroded and cannot retain much water thus favouring run-off. Silt and clay carried by run-off water get into tanks, reducing its capacity to hold water. It is because of this that most tanks spill after a few rains and dry up after a few weeks/months of dry weather. The amount of water available for irrigation, domestic use etc. can be increased considerably by implementing appropriate soil conservation measures which will reduce run-off and promote infiltration. Most farmers have to face droughts which seriously affect crop production although there are around 12,000 tanks in the dry zone which collect rainwater to be used for crop and animal production and various domestic activities. Water shortage which the farmers in the dry zone face can be partly attributed to the inability of the governments from 1977 to rehabilitate most of these tanks.

In addition to cultivating food crops a large number of crops which would yield to agro – industries can be cultivated in the hitherto uncultivated/partly cultivated lands, Among these are cassava, horticultural and floricultural crops, , cane, bamboo, sunflower, castor , ayurvedic herbs, etc. which have a considerable industrial potential. Development of industries based on these crops will also increase export income and will have a tremendous impact on the economy of the country and also provide employment opportunities among rural people. Private sector can be involved in such projects for which appropriate technical assistance need to be given by the relevant public organizations.

Plantation Sector

The plantation sector which includes tea, rubber, coconut, cashew, sugarcane and minor exports crops such as cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa ,plays a very important role in the economy of the country. Since the implementation of the Land Reform Law in 1972, the large estates of tea, rubber and coconut were nationalized and their management was given over to the State Plantations Corporation (SPC) and the Janatha Estates Development Board (JEDB). In the year 1992, a large number of these estates, nearly 300, were given on lease to Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs).

The extents under plantation crops is around 870 ,000 ha. Nearly 30% of the labour force is involved in this sector, which earns about 20% of export earnings. . According to Central Bank reports, as shown in Table 2 , the production of these crops does not show any significant increase during the present decade.

See Table 2.

A number of issues can be attributed to this unsatisfactory state in the plantation sector. Among these are (a) Increasing cost of production ( b) Old machinery (c) Land degradation (d) Old age of crops (e) Low value addition (f) Inadequate diversification and intercropping and (g) Insufficient marketing strategies

Land Degradation: One of the important contributory factors for the decline in the productivity of the plantation sector is Land Degradation. Soil erosion, soil compaction, and nutrition depletion, cause productivity of land to decline, making crop production less profitable. In view of the importance of land degradation, the Ministry of Environment, in 2005, established an expert committee on Land Degradation and mitigating the effects of drought in SL. This committee comprised a number of experts in the field of land management and the main role of the committee was to advice the Ministry of Environment, on issues related to controlling land degradation. This committee has not met since Feb. 2013.

At the first national symposium on Land Degradation held in 2010 , organized by the Ministry of Environment and the expert committee on Land Degradation, the participants, who were representing many land-related institutions in the country, revealed that a substantial amount of soil/ha/year is lost due to soil erosion. They were of the view that urgent action such as implementation of proper land use planning and the soil conservation and environment act etc. need to be taken by the relevant organizations to control land degradation.

There are many ministries, departments and other institutions which are expected to take appropriate control measures. During the last few decades a large number of seminars, workshop s have been held on this topic. In spite of all these, land degradation continues to take place evident by the common occurrence of landslides, depleted top soil, siltation of tanks and reservoirs, decline in crop yields, eutrophication etc. The Ministry of Environment (ME) needs to activate the already established Committee on Land Degradation which would make appropriate recommendations to reduce land degradation to be implemented by ME.

Diversification: Productivity of many estates under planation crops is at a low level. Diversification of such unproductive lands is essential . A survey need to be done to identify these unproductive lands which need to be diversified. Such lands may be put under pasture and have cattle which will reduce our expenditure on milk imports, it will also reduce degradation of the lands resulting in less silting of the reservoirs. There are many other crops such as spice crops, horticultural crops etc. which could be cultivated in the unproductive lands. These crops would give better returns to the cultivators. An in-depth study needs to be carried out as early as possible to determine appropriate land use in the unproductive holdings/estates giving due consideration to factors such as climate, topography, availability of labour etc. Those lands which are not going to be diversified need to be managed better. In this regard, infilling, cultivation of better clones and their effective management including better fertilizer and pest management practices, , increased rate of replanting, reducing soil degradation and conservation practices are essential.

Deterioration of the plantation sector will exacerbate the financial and social problems we are facing.. The annual trade deficit which stands at around Rs. 1800 billion and unemployment among the rural plantation community will get worse. In view of these critical issues faced by the Plantation Sector it is necessary that the relevant authorities develop an integrated plan to increase the productivity of the plantation sector.

Lack of an integrated plan is a factor responsible for the low productivity in the agricultural sector. For example a land use policy has been formulated but is not effectively implemented to reduce land degradation which has serious repercussions on the productivity. The Land use policy need to be implemented as an integrated programme in which many ministries have to be involved.

GOTABAYA, MAHINDA AND BASIL RAJAPAKSA KINDLY LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF A CONCERNED MUSLIM.

November 14th, 2019

By Noor Nizam – Convener The Muslim Voice” –  November 14th., 2019.

The present presidential elections should have the freethinking participation of all Sri Lankans, by the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others The Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya Rajapaksa (the SLPP Presidential candidate) and Basil Rajapaksa have stated that they want the minority votes added to the majority votes when winning this presidency.

Every community has its strengths and weakness. Every community has members who support the various political ideologies. They also support different political parties. For what do they do all these? To get the legitimate share of their RIGHTS and to contribute the best towards their motherland with civic contentiousness.

Sri Lanka is a Nation of mostly peasants, farmers, workers, teachers and small-time traders. Some communities, due to the British divide and rule, political governance and administration from 1812 to 1956, have benefited educationally and career-wise. Since 1956, the majority of Sinhalese have seen tremendous changes in their political and socio-economic development, with much progress in education and professionalism. They are 72% of the population, but penalized by the British and foreign colonization had led them to their plight. The Muslims who comprise 8% of the population have been a sidelined community in the political annals of Sri Lanka, until 1981 and then in 1986 when the SLMC entered the national political arena of Sri Lanka. Since 1946, the elite of the community benefited the best until a change happened in the early 1960 tees with the late Hon. Badiuddin Mahmud becoming the Minister of Education, under the late Hon. Sirimavo R.D.Bandaranaike as the PM.

History has been repeated since then, where the elite, especially those in Colombo, has benefited the best in all avenues of political influence and sharing the spoils of the elections. The worst affected being the Muslims, especially those of the North and Eastern provinces and the denial of the Muslim Factor.

In the political drama of the Presidential Elections of January 2019 which is happening, again it was the elite (both politically and financially) that have the lobbying power to have their shots. Those governing/controlling the minority parties have shown their colors either to HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa/Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (SLPP) or NDF candidate Sajith Premadasa, like the peacock” spreading the feathers to gain the benefits of mating. But it is the VOTES” of the members of the communities that they will be trading for future benefits for themselves. This is a special phenomenon in the Muslim Community in the political playing field of Sri Lanka and especially these days.

The Rajapaksa brothers should not be carried away by these sweet talk” of some of the Muslim leaders gathered around them at this hour. The Muslims really want to support HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa and  VOTE for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but the SLPP campaign team lead by Basil Rajapaksa has done a wonderful job to break the unseen fence around them in this campaign and reach out to the 300,000 Muslim voters in the North and East that could support them, directly. You have taken a firm stand on this. It is a few hours left now and you will see the benefits of it on the 17th.,/18th., of November 2019.

The ordinary Muslim voters, are waiting to assure you that they want to vote for you. According to an analysis The Muslim Voice” has done, evidence can be arrived at that at least 38% of the Muslim Vote bank, including the new vote additions in the Muslim community, who voted against Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 will vote Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the November 16th., 2019 Presidential Elections, Insha Allah. They will do this because – the Muslim Vote Bank has decided to act on their own and not be misled by “OPINION CREATORS”. They will vote Gotabaya/SLPP/Pottuwa as retaliation towards the Muslim politicians, Political Parties and civil society organizations who have hoodwinked the Muslim Vote Bank for their personal gains throughout and especially since January 8th., 2015. They also hope to vote by “NECESSITY” to please the majority community that they also are partners of the victory of the majority and the Maha Sanga or as an investment for their safety because of fear, and this is a REALITY” not a weakness, a move towards reconciliation.

Call out or reach out to the Muslim VOTERS and talk to them directly Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa after your VICTORY” Insha Allah. They have built a new TRUST” in you, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa. They need assurances from you, not through deceptive, hoodwinking opportunistic Muslim politicians, brokers or agents on the resolution to the Muslim Factor, Land issues in the East, Socio-Economic and Social development matters, Employment, Education, Religious security, Madrasa education, MMDA and the general Security of the Nation as an UNDIVIDED COUNTRY, our MAATHROBOOMIYA which we all Sri Lanka love and have a duty to protect.  

YOU HAVE A VERY GOOD AND DEDICATED TEAM COMPRISING UNDERSTANDING MUSLIM PERSONALITIES LIKE ATTORNEY-AT-LAW ALI SABY – PC WORKING WITH VIYATHMAGA AND ELIYA” ORGANIZATIONS WHO HAVE PROVEN THEIR DEBUT IN THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. YOU ALSO HAVE A SET OF YOUNG MUSLIM LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLITICIANS IN BERUWELA, ALUTHGAMA AND KALUTARA WHO HAVE STOOD FIRM WITH THE SLPP. IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO ENGAGE THEM IN YOUR REACH-OUT TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN THE NEXT CAMPAIGN FOR THE GENERAL ELECTIONS IN 2020. THE SUGGESTION OF SETTING-UP THE MUSLIM ADMINISTRATION COUNCIL” WIL BE A BIG RELIEF TO THE MUSLIMS IF YOU WILL REALLY SET IT UP. DO NOT TRUST THE DECEPTIVE AND HOODWINKING” ONE OR TWO MINISTERS AND GOVERNOR WHO HAVE JOINED YOU NOW FOR THEY WILL BE WITH YOU FOR THEIR POLITICAL SAFETY AND PERSONAL POLITICAL GAINS, NOT FOR THE INTEREST OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AT LARGE.

If you do not do this, it may cost the SLPP or its alliance 300,000 to 350,000 Muslim votes, at the next general elections in 2020 and your Muslim agents or brokers will not be the losers. It will be the Muslim Community at large and you, as there are chances that the Muslim Vote Bank is drifting away from the SLMC, ACMC, NATIONAL CONGRESS and the NATIONAL FRONT FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE towards the JVP or newly formed Muslim Parties. You will have won the Presidential election, but without the block vote of a major minority community – the Muslim of Sri Lanka, you may lose forming a majority member government in 2020.

The Muslim Voice” has been at the forefront from around February 2015 lobbying for the Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mahinda Pela”, The Joint Opposition” and the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna since its formation of the SLPP in November 2016 till to date. The focus was on the Tamil speaking Muslim Vote Bank. The mode of lobbying and campaigning was the use of the print, internet, and social media avenues. The Muslim Voice” has published nearly 1500 rebuttals” and comments” to support the SLPP and your presidential campaign. Though The Muslim Voice” was slammed by the anti-Mahinda”, anti-Mahinda pela”, the joint opposition”, anti-SLPP and the Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidential election campaign by the deceptive and hoodwinking Muslim leaders, even with threats of legal action, reporting to the law-enforcing authorities and intimidations, The Muslim Voice” which has a large following, did not deter in its sincere campaign to support the Mahinda/Basil and Gotabaya political camp.

IT IS WITH THIS LEGITIMATE RIGHT THAT THE MUSLIM VOICE” IS MAKING THIS KIND REQUEST TO YOU TO CALL OUT OR REACH OUT TO THE MUSLIMS VOTERS AND TALK TO THEM DIRECTLY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA. AFTER YOU’RE VICTORY” on November 14th., 2019, Insha Allah.                                          

About the writer.

The writer is a longstanding political and Peace activist who has been a Senior Party supporter since 1969 and district Organizer of the SLFP, Trincomalee District for many years. He was a very close confidant of the late Hon. Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike and later HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa. In the 2010 Presidential election campaign, the writer co-headed the Muslim Propaganda Unit under Hon. Basil Rajapaksa at Temple Trees which campaigned to harness the Muslim votes. At that elections 20% of the Muslim Vote Bank voted Mahinda Rajapaksa, to become the President even when the SLMC and some Muslim groups worked for Sarath Fonseka. The agenda for Peace in Sri Lanka, the concerns of the Muslim Factor and defending the sovereignty and integrity of Sri Lanka against all anti-Sri Lanka fronts abroad have been his primary engagements. Being a Tamil speaking minority Muslim, he is also very much concerned about the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. He vehemently supports the candidature of HE. Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential elections. Member, Viyathmaga, Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP/SLPP Stalwart and former District Organizer, SLFP, Trincomalee District & Former Press and Media Officer to HE Mahinda Rajapaksa – Presidential Secretariat 2011 – 2015.

රාජිත කැම්පේන් එක කෑවා.. දැන් සක්කරයටවත් දිනවන්න බෑ..- බීමත් ලොක්කියක් රජිතට කුණු බැණුම් බනී…

November 14th, 2019

 lanka C news

ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතාගේ ප්‍රචාරක ව්‍යාපෘතිය ඇමති රාජිත සේනාරත්න විසින් අවසාන මොහොතේ මුළුමනින්ම කඩාකප්පල් කළේ යැයි ඒ පාර්ශවයේම බලවත් තැනැත්තියක විසින් දැඩි විවේචනය කර ඇති බව වාර්තා වෙයි.

ජනාධිපතිවරණ ප‍්‍රචාරක කටයුතු අවසානයේ මෙම තැනැත්තිය අධික ලෙස බීමතින් මෙසේ විවේචනය කර ඇත.

හරක් වැඩ සිදු කළ මෝඩ ඇමතිවරයා නිසා තම පරාශ්වය අන්ත පරාජයක් ලබන බවද දැන් පරාජය කිසිවෙකුට වැලැක්විය නොහැකි බවත් ඇය සඳහන් කර ඇතැයිද සදහන්ය.

Liars and Lies damned lies (Okama Boru)

November 14th, 2019

by A. Patabendige Courtesy The Island

This is the season for lying. With a few days left for the Presidential election panic and distortion, lies and damned lies have overtaken supporters of one side as they fight tooth and nail to survive an impending change of leadership. One minister on TV (11 Nov 19) produces a snarky looking man with a palpably false beard who says he transported 7000 tons of gold after the war from Jaffna. He named the person who allegedly gave the order, a rival candidate.

Not to be out done another minister on the same day lamented that Army HQ was moved out of the location it had been for ‘150 years’. The 10 acres of land was sold for US $ 125m to Shangri-La Hotels, Hong Kong. This Minister accuses the same rival (named) of having got US $ 5 million (about 5%) for his labours.

It was Benjamin Disraeli who said ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’’. Liars can be of many types. The most common are pathological and compulsive liars. Pathological lairs have high levels of self assurance and are verbally dramatic. The compulsive liar can be habitual or narcissist. They are also called ‘pseudo logic fantastica’. They lie for self preservation or to practice deception.

Liars are wholly indifferent in the choice of truth and falsehood. Pathological liars are “aloof, self centered, with little concern for others. They have a chronic tendency to lie driven by an innate personality disorder. They are cold and calculating. They lie for self preservation having mastered the art of deception. They start with an element of the truth and end with lies. They avoid eye contact and fix their gaze on you. The Compulsive liar is one by habit. He breaks out in a sweat, also avoids eye contact and blinks while rambling and tripping over words. Readers can take their pick in identifying members of this obnoxious tribe.

The gold ‘robbery’ canard was immediately squashed by a veteran wrecker. Goebbels had been out done. The Reserve Bank of India has only 60 tonnes .The value of just 7000 tonnes of gold would be worth nearly $ 30,000 billion.

The minister who sorrowed over Army HQ selling its land needs to know that Army HQ was not situated there for ‘150’ years however suddenly he is attached to that memory. The Ceylon Defence Force was established in 1910. Presumably some type of a HQ even if it was not an Army HQ may have been built around that time- about 109 not ‘150’ years ago. Army HQ raised in 1949 moved to its last location about 30 years ago.

The new Defence HQ will certainly not be the colossal waste of money spent on Diyawanna which may have cost about 10 times its actual value according to the first Vice Chancellor of the Minister’s Katubedde University. He should also have known, though he failed to state it, that the Army land was sold for 3 times its market value according to former deputy Minister Yapa.

The land called Echelon Square where the WTC, Bank of Ceylon HQ and Kingsbury hotels are, also belonged to the Army from 1900 to the late 1970s. They were sold by the UNP. The Sinha Regiment finally and the SL Artillery before, were stationed there. The land on which Taj Samudra stands was similarly sold by the same government. It was also in Army hands until the late 1970s.

There were 2 suicide attacks on Army HQ during his time killing a total of over 25 people. Another attack killed the SL Navy Commander Admiral Clancy Fernando in front of the Taj Samudra hotel, 500 m west of AHQ. Moving Army, SL Navy and SL Air Force HQs and the Defence Ministry to Akurugoda is a well planned move for many reasons including security. Even SF would scarce forbear to cheer ante bellum. After all he wanted a 400,000 army after the war ended. Developing remorse 5 years later for 100 years of half Colonial history is not a convincing performance.

The Minister produced a pamphlet ‘Charge of the Lion Brigade’ immediately after the SL conflict that spanned nearly 30 years. It was not a very wise title to begin with even if the other side called themselves ‘Tigers’. It was actually a silly attempt to use the title of a heroic if not also shambolic ‘Charge’ of the Light Brigade that was over in 30 minutes in the Crimean war over 170 years ago. It was over in 30 minutes. Has it anything in common with SL Army’s victory or history?

The Minister with disdain for intellectual honesty states Prussian Major General Carl Philipp Gottlieb Von Clausewitz (1780- 1831) the author of the best known book on war Vom Kriege (On War) as a ‘military ‘philosopher. He quotes that “war is an extension (continuation) of politics”. This is an over simplified statement that has been misused often. Was it used to show how important politicians like him were in war?

Von Clausewitz fought as an officer in the Russian army at Jena (1806) and was at Waterloo on the staff of Marshal von Blucher. The Minister may have misinterpreted Clausewitz’s philosophy of war that still influences strategy, for this reason.

Some excerpts from the pamphlet make very revealing reading:

“I find it difficult to forgive both the JVP and Premadasa for what they did…”’My wrath towards Premadasa knew no bounds when he gave a new breath to the LTTE’ (page 12) “… we formed a citizen’s front to fight against Premadasa’s gross violations of human rights ….. I saw over 147 dead bodies in the Mahabodhi premises (1989) – (page 10). “…. although we knew that Chandrika Kumaratunga was an anti nationalist and staunch supporter of federalism”…(page 14) “Ranil Wickramasinghe showed his inherent hatred towards the Sinhalese and especially Sinhalese Buddhists”(page 16”).The JVP “committed the most traitorous act when it left .. and worked against Mahinda Rajapakse”. The SL Muslim Congress is the only fundamentalist Muslim party to be funded by Western Embassies. . (pg 77). “…. with Western backing, their stooge -the SLMC – crossed over to the Opposition” (pg 78).The LTTE was provided with … fighter aircraft…” (pg 72). He justifies the killing of VP’s family (page 68). He was then a Minister in MR‘s government. Will his next pamphlet be called ‘Elephant Walk’? Will he add ‘Easter Sunday carnage’?

පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ අවසන් ජන රැළිය…

November 14th, 2019

Ada Derana

Biggest challenge facing the intelligent voter

November 14th, 2019

Janaka Perera

More than any other past Presidential Election the one that is to be held tomorrow (November 16) poses the most difficult challenge to intelligent voters. Considering over two decades of unwelcome experiences and a continuing corrupt system will it be a Hobson’s choice for them? 

Will they have to vote for the best of the bad lot?

This is also a presidential election no former president or prime minister is contesting. 

I do not wish to blame all ordinary citizens (except dyed- in-the wool UNP supporters) who voted for the so-called ‘yahapalanaya’ in 2015 because many of them expected a genuine change since the Rajapaksa regime failed to meet obligations expected of it after the war victory of 2009.  Instead they sat on their laurels.  This undoubtedly led to much disillusionment.

There’s no point in trying to find silly excuses saying a Western-Indian conspiracy was the sole cause of the previous government’s downfall.  It is like the simplistic argument of some communists that a CIA conspiracy was behind the downfall of the Soviet Bloc. Foreign conspirators and their local agents no doubt were involved in varying degrees but no external force can succeed unless there are internal contradictions or internal crisis that can be exploited to its advantage.  This is what happened to both the Soviet and the Rajapaksa governments. This is the hard fact we need to recognize.

It is obvious that no other candidate but only Gotabhaya Rajapaksa or Sajith Premadasa will win. They may not be bad as individuals but the real question is about many of those around them.  We find that in both camps the old faces – the same dubious characters, who have faced all kinds of allegations (which have never been probed and action taken) actively campaigning for the two candidates.

The crooks and thugs on both sides appear to think they will suffer little or no punishment whoever wins.  In addition we see on both sides politicos who have jumped from party platform to another over the past two decades.  How much influence will they wield if either candidate wins?  Either way, we as ordinary citizens can expect no fundamental change in this corrupt system no matter who wins.  The main reason is balanced and objective thinking is alien to the majority of our voters irrespective of their political views.  They can never understand the complexities of a situation and suffer from selective amnesia. They look at issues through tinted glasses, depending on their political preferences. Many of them are blind loyalists of leaders and/or parties. They cannot bear to see or hear any criticism of their idols. They are like the three proverbial monkeys.

It is the utter disillusionment with the past performance of the two main parties / alliances that an unprecedented number of independent presidential candidates are contesting this time.   The blind worshipers of the three main candidates however seem to think that all such candidates are trying to undermine the support for this or that main candidate

What should the intelligent voter do?  Should his/her vote go for the candidate in whom he/she has full confidence?  Can anyone have such faith in a candidate until we see his performance?  Hence regardless whom we elect we are compelled to take a risk.

We must also make note that the 19th Amendment has limited presidential powers.

Although many of the independent candidates have excellent proposals unfortunately they cannot draw the attention of the majority, the since the latter always go on the beaten track. We cannot envisage a third group / alliance coming to power in Sri Lanka unlike in Pakistan in the foreseeable future. 

The only option for most people then is to vote for person – out of the two main candidates – whose campaign raised less doubts regardless of whether he gets the first or second preference.

Voters need answers at least  to the following.

The Podu Jana Peramuna and the JVP both appointed their candidates without much delay whereas until the last minute the UNP-led New Democratic Front could not decide on a candidate. Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was dilly dallying. Conflict of opinion within the party on who should become the candidate came out into the open. Some seemed almost confident that Sajith would not be selected. But since their hopes were dashed they are now compelled to back him. Will this friction surface again? Will Ranil allow him to do as he wants?

Since Sajith Premadasa is a Cabinet Minister of the present Government how many of the promises he is now making has he been able to fulfill during the past four years? If it is very little, why was it so? Was he obstructed at every turn?

Then there’s the hullabaloo over Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s alleged U.S. citizenship. Sajith supporters have already lost a court case on this issue.  The American Embassy in Colombo has stated that it will take several months for the Federal Government to release the lists of all those who have renounced U.S. citizenship.  Therefore it would not be possible for the embassy to provide answers right now to whether this or that individual is no longer a U.S. citizen.

If the New Democratic Front says it cannot accept lawyer Ali Sabry’s denial that Gotabhaya is a U.S. citizen then the NDF should provide irrefutable proof in a court of law that the documents Ali Sabry showed to the media are forgeries. Merely speculating and raising suspicions are an exercise in futility since these have no bearings on the Elections Commission.

If the NDF is very sure that Gotabhaya is still a U.S. citizen they have time to find proof even after the election.  If such proof is found and assuming that Gotabhaya has won his victory can still be declared null and void.  When Rajapaksa supporter Geetha Kumarasinghe announced that she had renounced her Swiss citizenship no one questioned her claim.   

Then why was this hurry to prove that Gotabhaya is still a U.S. citizen and get him out of the way?

These are points to ponder.

 Anyway, whoever wins the election we need a strong independent (not guided by party loyalties) opposition – watch dog to keep the government on its toes. 

This is long overdue.

Please give me another chance” – Royal Park murder convict

November 14th, 2019

FB

Royal Park murder convict Jude Shramantha Jayamaha has appealed for a second chance saying he never intended to harm anyone and that he was ashamed for what has happened. Jayamaha was serving life in prison over the 2005 murder of Swedish national Yvonne Johnson at the Royal Park condominium. President Maithripala Sirisena last week granted a Presidential pardon to the convict, a move which drew outrage among the public, some politicians and others. In an open letter issued today, 34-year-old Jude Shramantha Jayamaha said that nothing can replace Yvonne but he will keep on trying to make amends with her family. The full letter:
An Open Letter to Sri Lanka from Jude Shramantha Jayamaha


I write this letter to every family and individual who is affected by the recent news of my release from prison and consider it unfair. This is my story. I am the product of a broken home as my parents are divorced. I grew up lonely, hurting, insecure and never understood what it’s like to belong to a close knit family. By the time I was 16, I had grown into a disgruntled youth with little control over how I behaved in society.

Today, I stand as a 34 yr old, who has spent the best years of my youth in prison, enclosed in a 6 x 8 ft room with access to only 30 mins of sunlight everyday. 

It was the darkest period of my life, locked up for over 12 hours of each day, with a bucket as a latrine, which also served as my chair.  I slept on the floor and the pillow I lay my head on was also my desk.  If there was a hell on earth; I experienced it in the last 14+ years.  I’m out now, but in a world that I hardly know or recognize.  And all I see is your anger and hate directed at me – not that I don’t deserve it, but please understand that I am not the same 19 year old who was imprisoned

TO THE JOHNSON FAMILY :  I don’t have adequate words to express my grief towards what has come upon the Johnson family. I want you to know that I never intended to harm anyone. I don’t have the words to take away the pain. This is what has played on my mind; every day for the last 14 years. Sadly, I know that nothing I can ever say or do; will make this go away and make things right for you, although I so wish I could.  You knew me as a child,  I have been in and out of your house and you have always been so gracious and kind to me. I’m so ashamed for what has happened. This has caused immeasurable pain to all of you and everyone in my family. There has only been sadness, loss and grief throughout this 15 years for everyone. I have tried many times to contact you and express my heart; but I was never successful. I can’t replace Yvonne, and even if you don’t believe me now, I will keep on trying to make amends.

TO SOCIETY : I understand the anger you feel. But please judge me for what I am today and what I am attempting to do with my life. I ask for your forgiveness, as I am a changed man – I have had days and years to do nothing but look at myself and think of everything I could have done different. I met Ven. RathanaThero for the first time, when I was at a particularly low point in my life – around 5 years ago.  He was meeting prisoners to give us meditation advice, and in a very long time, someone looked at me with kindness.  It was he who gave me the desire to believe in life again and even motivated me to pick up my studies again.  I did a distance education BSC Economics degree from the University of London/London School of Economics against innumerable odds. Please understand I had no access to a computer, online research, desk, table, or even a chair or lighting. I sat on my toilet bucket and used my pillow as a desk. Every tutorial or assignment was hand written and posted – I did this to prove to myself and everyone else that I was a changed man. I kept at it and even went on to do a Masters of Business from the Open University; a first for any prisoner in Sri Lanka.  I promise you that I did not receive special privileges while doing any of this.  But doing it all despite the odds helped me and gave some direction to the mess I had made in my life.  For me it was a turning point, and now plan to complete my Phd on Development Economics, so that one day, I can give back by working for the development of my country; that is if I am given the opportunity. As for my release from prison, I must place on record that it was not an arbitrary decision by the President as currently being portrayed. It was a process that began 3 years ago, with continual sequences of reviews and approvals.

Following is a brief outline of the process:

2005 – I entered prison

2013-   The Prison Review board comprising of retired judges, police, prison commissioner, phycologist, criminologist, AGs dept and Justice ministry started reviewing all Prisoners on Death Row, myself included!

2016 – After detailed interviews; 250 Prisoners out of 600, were commuted to life imprisonment with reports specifying that we are fit to be reintroduced to society.

2016 onwards – A range of civil society members, Buddhist monks, other religious clergy and professionals started a movement to release young rehabilitated and educated prisoners.

2018 to 2019 – The judges report, Prisons Department report, Attorney General’s review report and Justice Ministry recommendation, amongst other documents, citing a fair release for me were reviewed by the Presidents legal review board.

2019 – Based on the recommendations above, constitutional procedures and the opinion of the Legal Review Board –  my release was approved. In closing, I would like to say that despite all the procedure, my release on the 9th of November 2019, still came as a surprise to me as it would have been to you all.  Yes, I was hopeful but as a prisoner for 14 plus years, I did not know what to expect or imagine what it would be like if the prison gate opened for me. There are some who still think I should be inside prison and I can’t change that. But if you don’t believe anything else, at least believe that the pardon that was given to me, was not a result of any coercion or influence, but purely through process and as I pointed out earlier. I am one of several hundreds of people who are fortunate enough to be afforded a second chance at life through the merit based pardoning system. I ask for your understanding, because that is the kind of country we live in – where there is hope for even the worst criminal and mercy and forgiveness is a way of life. 

Please give me another chance.

Yvonne Jonjssonrescent

November 14th, 2019

Asoka Weerasinghe. Kings Grove Crescent . Ottawa. Ontario  . K1J 6G1 . Canada

14 November 2019

Rt. Hon. Maithripala Sirisena
President of Sri Lanka
President’s Secretariat
Galle Face
Colombo 1
Sri Lanka.

Mr. President:

Re: Granting Presidential pardon to 34-year-old Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha who was serving a life sentence for murdering 19-year old Yvonne Johnsson at Rajagiriya’s Royal Park Towers.

My reaction under my breath was, You silly fool, why the heck did you do that for!  Was it money,  or was that you wanted to be elevated to the status of a Tin-God before you left your Presidential Office!”  My annoyance was visceral,  and my eyes were red cartwheeling with anger spitting dragon breath at you.

But I held back writing to you spilling my bile, until I read the news item Galle Bishop denies ever requesting President to pardon Jayamaha.”

Oops! President, what was that all about.  Were you hiding behind the men of cloth, some saffron robed, and others in white, black and crimson robes with their white collars starched towards Heaven.  An easy way out for a ‘loving’ father of a daughter who made an idiot of himself.  Would you have let a young punk touch your daughter to hurt her.  I don’t think so.  Would I?  No bloody way.  Oh No, I won’t let him go!

 The murder took place due to an argument over a love affair between a youth and the young girl, seems to be the excuse given to you by Ven Athraliye Rathana Thero as the reason for that brutal killing. Damn it!  What an excuse to take away a young life.., Mr. President.  this Punk had no right to take young  Yvonne’s right-to-her life.  It was not a simple tiff like –

‘Arapung Lucia dhora, Malu Kade Jora Mumma; Suruttu paththu karaganda matta, Lucia arpungko dhora.’   I don’t think Jora would have strangled Lucia to death and beat the shit out of her to have her skull fractured into 64 pieces. That was brutal, that was sick, that was demonic, and was no excuse to pardon such a killer, such a brutal murderer. That is the bottom line, Mr. President.

You had very little compassion for Yvonne’s  Mum Chamalika, Dad Roger and sister Carolyn, whose hearts have been bleeding ever since that brutal death, grieving for their daughter, grieving for the sister.

You couldn’t have cared two Yahapalanayo-farts for that grieving family.  Give me a break President Sirisena, give a break Rathana Thero.  As a dad of a daughter and a brother of five sisters, my heart is bleeding for Mum and Dad Johnssons and sister Carolyn.

The reason for my anger was simple.  For the past seven-years I have been wearing a  round  lapel button on my winter coat which says take action on violence against women”.  And for the past 11-years I, as the Coordinator of the Outreach Programs at  the Theravadha Buddhist temple, Hilda Jayewardenaramaya in Ottawa have collected warm clothes, mitts , scarves, toques etc.,  displayed on the temple’s Buddhist Mitten Tree to be donated on the Poya day each  December to the Interval House that looks after abused women and children.  That is my Mission, that is our Mission.  And that  is why I cannot condone your stupidity, Mr. President

You tell me Mr. President, will your Minister of Tourism John Amaratunga go around the world and tell the 19-year old women who would have loved to visit our resplendent island,  Sri Lanka, and  now scared that they might return home in a plywood box having been killed by a 19-year old Sinhalese punk.  Is he going to assure them by saying:

We promise you that there won’t be 19-year old Sinhalese punks lurking behind walls, behind pillars, behind bushes, behind doors at night clubs,  to get at you, to rape you and murder you  We will assure you for your safety.’

Can Minister Amaratunga assure them that he wouldn’t tolerate, a punk telling a buddy  who would want to gang rape a  pretty foreign 19-year old, saying: Don’t worry Machan, my family is rich, they will get us off this soup.  The top Yahapalanayo guys love the smell of thousand rupee notes.  Did you enjoy her,  Was she good?”  John Amaratunga has his job cut out to convince the 19-year old foreign women, begging them to visit our resplendent  Sri Lanka.

So  Mr. President, did you really wanted to be elevated to the position of a Tin-God before you left your Presidential office, and leave behind  an indelible mark of ‘compassion’ by pardening Jude.   Roger, Chamalika and Carolyn really didn’t matter to you did they? Who are you now Mr. President Maithripala Sirisena?  Are you now been christened as God My3 Sirisen by all those who came to you, as mentioned in your Press Release, requesting you to pardon Jude, the heinous killer of young Yvonne denying her, her right-to-her-life, the worst human rights violation in humanity.

I am still angry.  My anger is visceral, and my eyes are red cartwheeling spitting dragon breath at Tin-God My3 Sirisen.

Please take good care of your daughter.  Don’t let a single punk harm her.  Don’t you abdicate that ultimate responsibility for your daughter, as her ‘loving’ Dad.  You certainly did not show that you cared for the pain  of the Johnsson family.  To hell with your ego wanting to be the Tin- God My3 Sirisen, Who the hell cares.  Certainly not me.

And I say POX to everyone who came to you to convince you to pardon Jude Jayamaha. And I am angry.

President, permit me to take a small space in my letter to you to say a few words to the Johnsson’s  to compensate for the lack of compassion you showed them in comparison to what you afforded Jude, who murdered their Yvonne.  And that hurts.  And you are damn well guilty of it in my eyes.

Roger, Chamalika and Carolyn, believe me when I tell you that my heart has been bleeding for you.  Permit me to join hands with you in prayer for Yvonne’s soul.

 And through this letter to President Sirisena, permit me to extend my condolence to you –

May stars carry your sadness away,
May flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And above all, may silence make you strong.” 
and take good care of yourselves,  all three of you.
Shanthi…shanthi…shanthi!

Sincerely

Asoka Weerasinghe.

Ottawa, Canada

Advantage Gotabaya as Lanka votes tomorrow?

November 14th, 2019

The writer has reported from Sri Lanka as a foreign correspondent and is the author of After the Fall: Sri Lanka in Victory and War

A surfeit of candidates may be seen as an indication of greater public enthusiasm for participation in the democratic process.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

 Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

As Sri Lankans prepare to elect their next President on Saturday (November 16), they seem to be spoilt for choice. This time over, there are an unprecedented 35 candidates in the fray for the post of President. The highest number of candidates in a presidential election so far was in 2010, when 22 candidates had joined the race — which itself was a record at the time.  This time, the number is up by more than half. A surfeit of candidates may be seen as an indication of greater public enthusiasm for participation in the democratic process. On the other hand, it may as well be reflective of an underlying cynicism. A vague feeling that the people are not getting the leadership choices they would perhaps prefer to have. In this situation, the latter seems to be the case.

Traditionally, elections in Sri Lanka have mainly been a two-horse race between the right-of-centre United National Party (UNP) and the left-of-centre Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), with a select few smaller parties — such as the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the JVP — representing regional or sectional interests and occupying the margins. An odd Independent was often seen as an aberration, intended to make a point rather than to make an impact on the outcome. This time four Muslims, two Tamils and two Buddhist monks are among the several others who have jointed the race.

Most of the Independents may not make much difference to the final outcome, but groups representing the regional or sectional interests are bound to cut into the votes of the two main contenders — former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and sitting minister Sajith Premadasa.

Even as Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s presidential aspirations had been in public knowledge for some time, it was only in April this year that he was able to renounce his American citizenship to qualify for the contest. He had since entered the field as the candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), a party earlier launched by his elder brother and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The ruling coalition led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe was taking even longer in naming their candidate. Their dilemmas were manifold.

For one, President Sirisena continued to weigh his options about setting himself up as a candidate. But once Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced his entry into the fray, President Sirisena ruled himself out of the race. As for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, he had been harbouring presidential ambitions for even longer. But in the current situation, he did not enjoy the party’s unanimous support. It took the party some time to persuade him to step aside in order to make way for a candidate who could command better support within the party than he could muster. It was thus that the ruling coalition was finally able to zero in on Sajith Premadasa, a sitting minister and the son of former President Ranasinghe Premadasa, as its choice.

Perhaps, aware of the fact that given his wartime record as defence secretary he may not be able to cut much ice with Tamil voters, Mr Rajapaksa has since been focusing on consolidating the Sinhalese votebank. Since last month, he has made several speeches indicating his future priorities as President. In one case, for example, he promised to release the soldiers who were in jail on charges of excesses committed against many innocent civilians (mostly Tamil) during the operations. That was supposed to help him consolidate his support base among the majority Sinhalese — many of whom see the war against the LTTE as a patriotic duty. And so, they believe any excesses committed during the operations deserved to be applauded rather than punished.

Many Muslim voters, who had backed the senior Rajapaksa earlier, have since moved away in view of the stringent Sinhala rhetoric of the present campaign. But the Rajapaksa camp is not worried. They are banking on the fact that any loss of minority votes would be more than made up by the majority Sinhalese.

Thus, on balance, Gotabaya Rajapaksa does seem to be enjoying some edge over his main rival. But even so, there still are a whole lot of allegations pertaining to the human rights record of the period when he was in office that remained to be dealt with. These include cases involving the murder of journalists and killing of unarmed Tamil civilians — including some in custody — pending against Mr Gotabaya in the courts in Sri Lanka and in the United States.

Apart from the high-profile case of the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasanatha Wickeramatunga, which attracted international attention, there are others such as the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekanaligoda and attacks on journalists Upali Temnakoon and Keith Noyahr.  These pertain to the period when defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was acting as the principal hatchet man of the regime while President Mahinda Rajapaksa was waging an all-out war against the Tamil Tigers. It was no surprise, therefore, that a section of the Sri Lankan elite recently started the Stop Gota Movement” as a counter to the winning streak in the Rajapaksa camp. But movements such as these often make an intellectual point, but rarely make an impact on the wider constituency. More so in a society that has been no stranger to polarisation on ethnic lines.

In the event of Gotabaya Rajapaksa winning, he has given enough indications about who the new Prime Minister is going to be — none else but his senior sibling and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is going to be a strong government, as the former defence secretary has promised during the campaign. And as earlier, two other Rajapaksa siblings are due to play an important role in the government.  As President, Mahinda Rajapaksa had earlier quite adeptly used the threat of a tilt” towards China to influence Indian positions. How that plays out in the future one can only wait and see!

China-Friendly Strongmen Eye Return to Power in Sri Lanka Vote

November 14th, 2019

Ruth Pollard and Anusha OndaatjieBloomberg News

HOMAGAMA, SRI LANKA - NOVEMBER

HOMAGAMA, SRI LANKA – NOVEMBER , Getty Images

(Bloomberg) — A family of strongmen are eyeing a return to power in Sri Lanka’s presidential election on Saturday, an outcome that could also shift the island nation back toward China.

The Rajapaksas, once a powerful force in the island nation’s politics who lost the presidency in 2015, are staging a comeback. This time Gotabaya Rajapaksa, 70, is running for the top job, backed by family members including his brother Mahinda, who enjoyed warm ties with Beijing during his 10-year rule.

His main opponent is Sajith Premadasa, 52, a member of the ruling alliance that took power four years ago vowing to push for greater democracy, more transparent finances and an independent foreign policy that improved ties with India and the U.S. He also hails from a prominent political dynasty: His father served as president for four years until he was killed by a suicide bomber in 1993.

While there are no reliable polls on who will come out on top, the two men represent a stark choice for voters. A Rajapaksa victory could mean a throwback to the old authoritarian ways where opposing the government could have dangerous consequences. Premadasa focuses on national reconciliation in a country still recovering from a prolonged civil war and also promises greater market-based economic reforms.

At stake is the stability of a nation that has increasing strategic importance due in part to its proximity to some of the world’s most important sea lines. The winner will inherit an economy where growth has slowed to a more than five-year low of 1.6% in the quarter ended June, a debt level hovering at 83% of gross domestic product and minority communities still reeling from the aftermath of deadly Easter bombings on churches and hotels.

There are fears that a Rajapaksa win will return Sri Lanka to an era of impunity for human rights abuses and corruption,” said Paul Staniland, assistant professor of political science at the University of Chicago who specializes in researching political violence and international security in South Asia. At a broad level, Sri Lanka would likely tilt back toward China,” he added, even though Rajapaksa hasn’t fully embraced Beijing on the campaign trail.

Family First

Two recent events are looming over the election. One is a constitutional crisis last year when the current president sought to install Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister instead of Ranil Wickremesinghe, a bid that ultimately failed when the Supreme Court shot it down. The other is the April bombings that killed some 250 people.

If the constitutional coup brought it right back to why we care about governance, the Easter attack brought it right back to why we care about security,” Nishan De Mel, the executive director of the Colombo-based risk analysis group Verite Research, said in an interview. The coup lost points for the Rajapaksas, he said: It reminded everybody why they voted them out.”

The campaign of Rajapaksa, fronting the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna — a Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party — may hinge on whether voters are ready to re-embrace the man who was defense secretary in 2009 when the military crushed a three-decade long Tamil insurgency. Gotabaya’s role during the end of the civil war drew allegations of widespread human rights abuses.

If Gotabaya wins, he’ll bring his family with him. Mahinda, who was briefly appointed prime minister last year during a constitutional crisis, is looking to get that job back. Another brother, Basil Rajapaksa, is serving as Gotabaya’s campaign manager. Mahinda’s son is also now a member of parliament.

During his decade in power, Mahinda borrowed heavily from Beijing to fund infrastructure projects after the war ended. One of them, a port in southern Hambantota, lost money and was eventually sold to a state-owned Chinese firm by the current government in a much-criticized debt-to-equity swap on a 99-year lease.

Gotabaya may withdraw from or renegotiate international commitments that don’t serve the country’s interests, including those with China, according to Nivard Cabraal, a former central bank governor who’s tipped to be finance minister under a Rajapaksa government.

We will renegotiate the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement,” he said. We have to have a discussion and see if we can come up with something that is workable for both countries.”

Cabraal also flagged that a Rajapaksa government would renegotiate the terms of the country’s IMF program and the port deal with China. We don’t want to have ownership of our strategic assets being with any country, not China, not the U.S., not anyone.”

‘Good v Evil’

Premadasa’s team sees the election as a turning point for Sri Lanka’s future, although they have some work to do to convince the general public.

The fact that he’s the candidate, and not Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, shows just how little faith citizens have in the current administration. Whatever advances the government made on political reforms during their four-year rule have been overshadowed by their inability to tackle corruption and the significant security failures that led to the Easter bombings.

Whether we win or lose, this is about right versus wrong, about good versus evil,” said Harsha de Silva, Minister for Economic Reforms in the current government. This is about exclusion versus inclusion. It’s about whether this country will be sustained or not.”

De Silva acknowledged voters were angry with the government over corruption despite moves to make peace within communities fractured by war and ensuring land was returned to Tamil minorities. Premadasa plans to focus on reducing import duties, reforming taxes and state-owned enterprises, and opening up the economy for foreign investment.

We have to be like Singapore, we have to be like Dubai,” De Silva said in an interview in his office in Colombo.

Minority Vote

To win, Premadasa will need the support of the minority Tamil and Muslim populations that together form about 25% of the country’s population. For the country’s Tamil minority at least, a lot rides on Premadasa’s success.

Rajavarothiam Sampanthan, who leads the Tamil National Alliance, has been critical of the government, particularly the security failures around the Easter attacks. But it’s the return of a Rajapaksa-led administration that worries him most.

They have been dictatorial, they have not respected other government institutions like the legislature and the judiciary,” Sampanthan said from his modest bungalow in the north eastern town of Trincomalee. It is a one-man show, and a one-family show.”

The new government must work on a durable political solution to give Tamil people adequate powers in the areas they have historically lived, he said, adding: They need a sense of belonging to this country.”

And the 86-year-old doesn’t think that’s possible under a Rajapaksa government.

This country has no future unless this problem is resolved,” he said. Nobody will want to invest in this country. We are deep in debt with no way out — we need a new vision.”

–With assistance from Asantha Sirimanne.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ruth Pollard in Colombo at [email protected];Anusha Ondaatjie in Colombo at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at [email protected], Muneeza Naqvi

‘Please give me another chance’ – Shramantha

November 14th, 2019

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

In an open letter, Shramantha Jude Jayamaha, who was convicted over the Royal Park murder and released on a presidential pardon recently, requested society to give him another chance.

I ask for your understanding, because that is the kind of country we live in – where there is hope for even the worst criminal and mercy and forgiveness is a way of life. Please give me another chance,” he said.

In a lengthy letter, Mr. Jayamaha elaborated on his story, his family background, the murder, conviction, prison life and the pardon.

He said he has no adequate words to express his grief towards what has come upon the Johnson family and said he was so ashamed for what has happened.

The letter

  Comments – 23

පෞද්ගලික නාලිකා දෙකකට තර්ජනය කළ ඇමති හකීම්ට එරෙහිව පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිලි 2ක්

November 14th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

පෞද්ගලික නාලිකා දෙකකට තර්ජනය කරමින් අදහස් දැක්වූ අමාත්‍ය රවුෆ් හකීම් මහතාට එරෙහිව සංවිධාන දෙකක් අද පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිලි ගොනු කළා.

ඊට අමතරව කබීර් හෂීම් සහ රාජිත සේනාරත්න යන අමාත්‍යවරුන්ට එරෙහිවද පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට සහ අධිකරණයට පැමිණිලි දෙකක් ගොනු කෙරුණා.

පෞද්ගලික නාලිකා දෙකකට හොඳ පාඩමක් උගන්වන බව පවසමින් අමාත්‍ය රවුෆ් හකීම් මහතා ඊයේ සිදු කළ අනතුරු ඇඟවීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් සත්‍ය ගවේශකයෝ සංවිධානය සහ සිංහලේ අපි සංවිධානය අද පොලිස් මූලස්ථානය වෙත පැමිණිලි දෙකක් සිදු කළා.

මේ අතර සතිඅග ජාතික පුවත්පතක ජෝතිශ්‍ය අතිරේකයක් සඳහා එක් අපේක්ෂකයකුට අවාසිවන අයුරින්ල තම ලිපියක් යොදාගැනීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අමාත්‍ය කබීර් හෂීම් මහතාට විරුද්ධව ජ්‍යෝතීර්වේදී හේමසිරි විජේසිංහ මහතා විසින් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයට පැමිණිල්ලක් ගොනු කළා.

මේ අතර අමාත්‍ය රාජිත සේනාරත්න මහතාගේ මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාවට සහභාගී වූ සුදු වෑන් රථයක් පැදවූ බව කියන රියදුරා සම්බන්ධ තොරතුරු අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට ලබා දීම පැහැර හැරීමට එරෙහිව නීතිඥයින් පිරිසක් අද කොටුව මහේස්ත්‍රාත්වරයා ඉදිරියේ පැමිණිල්ලක් ගොනු කළා.

360 with Gotabhaya Rajapaksha ( 11 – 11 – 2019 )

November 14th, 2019

අදහස් ටික ගානට ගලපලා කතා කරනවා … සාම්ප්‍රදායික දේශපාලයෙකුට වඩා කතාව වෙනස්…..ආසයි අහන් ඉන්න

Character assassination of me will continue over the next two days: Don’t be deceived by it-Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa

November 13th, 2019

By Buddhika Samaraweera Courtesy Ceylon Today


Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (13) said his vision is to give priority to national security. 

“We had a good security plan. But, this Cabinet of Ministers didn’t bother about national security and made plans to send war heroes to international Courts.

He was speaking at the final SLPP public rally held in Homagama.
Rajapaksa added, “Those who worked to eradicate drugs and the underworld were arrested. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) provided a great service. But this Government misused them for politics. 

That is why the Government did not listen to them. We will ensure national security. I will ensure your and your children’s safety.”


“We faced a lot of troubles during the past four years. This government did everything possible to block my candidacy. The United National Party (UNP) will sling mud at me during the next two days, too. The UNP will try to deceive you. Don’t believe them. Our victory is definite. Don’t harm anyone.


I will establish a clean, good governance. We have a good vision to develop the economy. This Government did not develop any local industry. All these industries have collapsed. This Government started the re-export process, and that caused a huge damage. We should protect these industries. We got the best price for Ceylon tea. Now we don’t receive that income.


Local businessmen and industries have collapsed. We will protect them. The taxes are too much and the people can’t pay them. We will make a simple tax system. We will increase investments and develop the country. Tourism industry has also collapsed. As a Government, we should intervene and the facilities should be increased. Our aim is to attract seven million tourists and earn USD 10 billion; we will make it happen.”


The SLPP Presidential candidate further said that since Asian countries widely use technology, it is a good opportunity for Sri Lanka. “We will develop the IT industry, and train the youth and make job opportunities,” he added.


Rajapaksa went on to say, “An effective education system is necessary. Today’s education system is exam-centric. It should be student-centric. We will develop universities, and create new programmes. We should establish more technical colleges. All those who pass the Advanced Level exam will be able to enter a university. We need a workforce of 300,000. 

We will do it. That’s what a government should do. All sectors will be developed under a clear programme. All those plans are practical. I promise to do everything mentioned in my manifesto during my term in office. I did everything as promised.”


“I ended the war. I developed Colombo and other cities. I will fulfil my responsibilities. Trust me; do your job, I will do mine,” he emphasised.

සජිත්ගේ මැතිවරණ ව්‍යාපාරය සුණු විසුනු කරමින් ඉරාජ්ගේ ‘පුතානෝ’ නිකුත් වේ.. යූටියුබය උඩු යටිකුරු කරමින් ජනතා ප‍්‍රතිචාර.. [Video]

November 13th, 2019

සංගීතය ශිල්පී ඉරාජ් වීරරත්න

සංගීතය ශිල්පී ඉරාජ් වීරරත්න විසින් සිය නවතම නිර්මාණය වන ‘පුතානෝ’ නම් වීඩියෝව මේ වන විට අන්තර්ජාලයට මුදාහැර තිබේ.

එක්සත් ජාතික පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතා දැඩිව විවේචනය කරමින් මෙම වීඩියෝ නිර්මාණය කර ඇත.

ගීතය ප‍්‍රසිද්ධ කර සුළු වේලාවක් ඇතුලත ලක්‍ෂ ගණනක පිරිසක් එය නරඹා ඇත.

RISING TRENDS IN SRI LANKA STOCK MARKET

November 13th, 2019

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

Sri Lanka Stock Market reached rock bottom in this year on 6 May, recording an All Share Index at 5198 with an unfavourable outlook. However, dismissing all forecasts, the Index improved to 5995 on 11 July.

The luck was short-lived.  Since 30 July, it ran into downward territory reaching 5672 on 3 October. Then it rose to 6027 on 1 November.

Then again it dropped to 5934 on 7 November. Now as of today 13 November, it rose to 5992.

The Easter attack had a negative impact resulting these fluctuations.  During this short-lived recovery period, though there were trends of negative impacts, over all, the market is showing a positive trend, except for minor fluctuations due to time-adjustments and market corrections.

Sri Lanka External Debt in 2015 stood around USD 47,000 million, which had now increased to USD 55,000 million in July 2019.  There were no new Mega Projects undertaken during this period to enhance the internally generated funds to  provide employment, education, health and service the debt.  It is questionable as to what happened to the funds generated from the sale of Mattala Airport etc.  Sri Lanka has lost its  major revenue project, but the funds generated had possibly been directed for Consumption than Investment and repayment of debt. 

The signs of improving trends in the local Share Index is a welcoming relief, if maintained by increase utilisation of idle plant and machinery, human resources, which will improve productivity and reduce unit costs.  

Sri Lanka need to look beyond the disgusting everyday non-existing Ethnic Issues.  Political stability was lacking in Sri Lanka since 2015.  This is a great opportunity to direct all resources to achieve economic and social independence.

GOTA PHOBIA – Part IX D (Massive victory predicted for Gota)

November 13th, 2019

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA.

In the inevitable humiliating the mud-masters of the Sajith camp would definitely resort to any form of election rigging this time.  The shameless American puppets Mangala, Rajitha et al are reported to have planned several misleading campaigns in the last two days and on the election deploying Nadesan’s MTV network which include NewsFirst, Sirasa and Shakthi TV channels and som other TV channels under heavy payment to telecast news flash called ‘breaking news’ , ‘just received news’ and ‘exclusive news’ etc in TB channels and their respective Radio broadcast even on the election day regardless  of violating election laws.

An attempt made by them to pay a huge amount to a popular astrologer and get a prediction published by him predicting the victory of Sajith has backfired as the particular astrologer has refused to oblige them saying that he cannot barter his professional ethics for monetary inducements.  As such there could be a prediction published from an artificial astrologer. 

People should be very cautious about fake news that would be published by the Websites, particularly by websites operating from overseas. The pro-UNP Lanka E Mews is such a nasty website that has proved that it produces fake news and distorts news which is unimaginable.  Despite Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and his learned lawyers producing all relevant documents relating to his relinquishment of his U.S.citizenship and the Election Commission accepting the documents produced by them, this abhorrent website has posted a news item requesting the people not to waste their ballot by voting for Gotabhaya.  Within the next two days and even on the election day extremely vicious fake news items can be posted by this site as it is not possible to take legal action against the.  Similarly, some other websites sustained by the American puppet quisling Mangala Samaraweera would also follow suit.  It is reported that a large team of technicians and media personnel, under the guidance of Mangala and some other UNP stalwarts, including document fake expert Tissa Attanayake are working round the clock in producing fake news and distorting news to be published within the next two days.  

Despite all their vain efforts, the latest predictions indicate that Gota will get 7.4 million votes against Sajith Premadasa’s maximum votes of 4.8million. It will be a huge Tsunami in Sri Lanka’s election results. And the balance between the two will be 2,7 million votes. The political analysts who made this prediction after a thorough investigation on all aspects of the election state that there are 16 million registered voters in this election and there is the possibility of higher polling amounting to about 82 %.  The analysts have given breakdowns region-wise, party-wise as well as the trend found in the 1.1 first time voters.

The Intelligence Service units of the United States, Russia, China, and India have concluded that the winner in the election will be Gotabhaya and Sajith Premadasa cannot even obtain 40%.of the votes. The Colombo based Ambassadors/High Commissioners of these countries have phoned Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Leader of the SLPP,  and have congratulated him over this victory.

Meanwhile, Foreign media reports state the following:

Times  of India

Definitely Mr. Gotabhaya Rahapaksa will become Sri Lanka’s President. Sajith Premadasa is limping far behind.

The Times of India report states that due to the slackness in the security situation Sri Lanka and due to the April bomb blasts at several churches and luxury hotels Sri Lankans have placed a very hope on Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. It says that his opponent Sajith Premadasais trailing very far behind Mr. Gotabhaya.

The text of the Reuter report:

After hiatus, Rajapaksa brothers set to dominate Sri Lanka again

Sanjeev Miglani, Shihar Aneez

COLOMBO (Reuters) – One brother is considered a shoo-in for the job of Sri Lanka’s president in elections this weekend and another is eyeing the prime minister’s post when that election becomes due early next year.

Two other brothers are political strategists for their Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party and one of them is considering a shot at becoming the speaker in parliament. Three men of the family’s next generation are also in politics.

The Rajapaksas, best known for the brutal defeat of separatist Tamil rebels and then drawing Sri Lanka into China’s orbit when the West and India shunned the Indian Ocean island, are back at the center of the nation’s deeply divisive politics and it is stoking fear.

While there are no formal opinion polls, former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the hot favorite to win the presidential election this Saturday. His chief opponent Sajith Premadasa, a government minister, is seen to be trailing.

Gotabaya led the operations against the Tamil Tigers when his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was president. Gotabaya has faced lawsuits in Sri Lanka and in the United States over allegations of staged killings of Tamil separatists, critics, and journalists during the war.

Both brothers deny the allegations as part of a Western conspiracy to interfere in the island nation of 22 million that sits astride vital shipping lanes and has long been a tinder-box of tensions between the dominant Sinhalese Buddhists and minority ethnic Tamils. In recent months, Sinhalese hardliners have also targeted the tiny Muslim community.  

 Mahinda lost the 2015 presidential election to a cabinet colleague who turned against him – Maithripala Sirisena. After his ouster, the family’s fortunes fell into decline.

But Easter Sunday bombings on hotels and churches, in which more than 250 people were killed, derailed Sirisena’s presidency, and he has announced he will not contest this year. The attacks, claimed by Islamic State, have rekindled support for the Rajapaksas and their brand of Sinhalese nationalism.

Mahinda is barred from running for president again, and is on the stump for Gotabaya, bringing an affable touch to the campaign against the rather gruff manner of his brother, more known for his military machismo.

Another brother, Basil, handles the party finances and striking deals with rival groups while a fourth brother and former speaker, Chamal, campaigns in the family borough in the south of the island.

The Hindu Report

Sri Lanka elections: In the south, hopes on Gotabaya run high

Meera Srinivasan

Updated: November 12, 2019

People here see in him a strong leader, who ended the war, built infrastructure.

I brought my child along just so he can see our leader, even if from a distance,” said Sepalika Harshani, 29, carrying her toddler under an umbrella.

She was among thousands who flocked to Wellawaya town in Sri Lanka’s southern Monaragala district on Saturday afternoon, braving the rain. They had come for the rally of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a candidate from their favorite political clan, in the final lap of the November 16 presidential poll campaign.

I would be very happy if someone like him becomes President of this country. He got us freedom,” Ms. Harshani said, referring to the war’s end in 2009 under the Rajapaksa administration. Mr. Gotabaya, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defense secretary, directing the military that defeated the rebel Tigers.

Nineteen-year-old A.P.D. Seuvandi, too, was there to catch a glimpse of the leader she has decided to vote for next weekend. They saved the country,” the first-time voter said. She was barely nine when the war ended but has grown up listening to a popular story of its end; one quite different from what Tamils of the north and east would tell. He will make the country safe again, develop it and improve education standards for us.” For many Sri Lankans, safety has become a major concern after the Easter Sunday terror attacks in April.

In the island’s southern hinterland, almost every local, including those supporting Mr. Gotabaya’s main opponent Sajith Premadasa, asserts that a majority here will vote for Gotabaya”. Past election results are proof enough for that sentiment. Even in 2015, an election that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost, most of the southern districts gave him over 60% of the vote share. Historically a stronghold of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s former Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the southern belt seems to have readily embraced his newly-formed Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP or People’s Party).

Diverse reasons

The reasons pulling voters towards Mr. Gotabaya this time go beyond war victory”. Some of them are looking for a respite from the everyday economic strain they associate with the incumbent government or are utterly disenchanted with it, like daily-wage laborer D.M. Jayaratne. This government came to power saying they would catch corrupt thieves. Nothing happened in the last five years. Instead, they robbed the Central Bank,” he said, referring to the bond scam”, in which a former head of the apex bank was accused of manipulating bond auctions in 2015, causing a loss of millions. The scandal was a major blow to the government that rose to power months earlier, that too on the promise of good governance”.

Further, Mr. Jayaratne sees Mr. Gotabaya as a strong leader who will not give into Tamil demands” for war-time accountability and self-rule.

Election vs real issues

Many voters, across Monaragala [Uva Province] and the neighboring Hambantota [Southern Province] district, began their poll analysis with a reading of the two main candidates — and less often of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s contestant Anura Kumara Dissanayake. But invariably, they spoke about pressing local concerns.

They pointed to land hunger, in the wake of mega development projects in Hambantota – a Chinese-built port and an adjoining industrial zone proposed over 15,000 acres. They worried about the loss of livelihoods and falling incomes. There are no jobs here,” was a common refrain.

The irony was glaring. While billions of rupees have been channeled into the Rajapaksa-era development projects over the last decade, locals repeatedly speak of prevalent poverty. To the outside world, Hambantota is a high-profile emerging district, and a site of a regional geopolitical tussle: with a Chinese-built port and the loss-making Mattala airport nearby, that India is interested in developing. But to many who live there, the development projects are at best distant and at worst, a threat.

Sri Lankans employed in foreign countries continue to arrive expecting to vote for Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in the election on Nonember16th.  Several Buddhist monks to have arrived at this crowd.  These Buddhist Monks held a media conference today with prominent local prelates and said that that this could be the last chance to save the country and they do not want to miss that chance and regret later.

In addition to this, given below are some sentiments expressed by Sri Lankans resident abroad about who should be made Sri Lanka’s next President:

 Prof. Yasantha Karubnaratne (U.S.A)

A computer and information technology Engineer – He says the country nerfs a long term for developing the country. These plans could be implemented if corruption could be shunned by governments that existed in Sri Lanka did not have a vision.  Therefore a President dedicated to a long term plan could save this country.

Dr. Sisira Vithanatchi – Germany.

He said that the next President of Sri Lanka should be a person who ensures democracy properly, who can work with all communities, all religions, who can ensure sustainable peace in the country, and an intelligent person with a proper understanding on environmental management.

Shanika Somathileke (New Zealand)

She says that the next President of Sri Lanka should be:

A truthful leader to his policy statement;

A person who listens to people’s opinion;

Who do not permit racial, religious, caste and sexual discriminations;

Should have good ethics and characteristics;

And should be able to provide instant and lasting solutions for the problems facing the country

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Frontrunner in Sri Lanka’s Presidential Elections

November 13th, 2019

Courtesy ANI/BusinessWire India

Sri Lanka’s executive presidency is the most lucrative in the constitutional context in the island nation simply because of its formulation, a fact that is widely attributed to its creator, the late JR Jayawardene.

The country so far has experienced the dynamics of six executive presidents and the seventh will emerge after the elections on November 16th this year.

The country is abuzz with election campaigning activities, and the potential candidates take up considerable airtime on the TV and radio bulletins. Despite the anticipation to witness the longest ballet paper, given the length of the list of candidates, a few are bound to stand ahead in the race and prominent among them according to media polls is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Leadership theories dictate that circumstances build leaders as opposed to individuals being born leaders. This befits Rajapaksa’s announcement of presidential candidacy and the prevalent circumstances of Sri Lanka be they economic, socio-political or even environmental. Sri Lankan citizens, predominantly the youth are cynical about leaving the mandate of rule in the hands of the current regime and demand change and have found a breath of fresh air in the announcement of Rajapaksa’s candidacy.

As opposed to typical election propaganda doled out by other candidates and parties, Rajapaksa does not feel the need to put his face on every billboard of a construction or renovation site. Nor does he have to boast of his achievements for the country.

From playing the most vital administrative role as Defence Secretary during the country’s most trying times which resulted in the end of three-decade-old war against terrorism to bringing in orderliness and discipline in the beautification of Colombo, his record speaks for itself.

Rajapaksa has proven beyond doubt that one does not need to be a parliamentarian or a minister to deliver results. By remaining in an administrative role, he continued to set an example that through a clear-cut vision and by utilizing the available resources, one could deliver results. This characteristic of his instilled in people a certain sense of confidence and reliance so much so that, even the followers of the political opponents of the Rajapaksas’ respected him despite their party ideologies.

The current situation in Sri Lanka is grave and has been further aggravated in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday tragedy. Bad enough the government did not have a spokesperson to appear in front of the public and assure people the safety of their lives; the deeper cracks that it left behind, instilled in people a plausible fear of the re-emergence of the separatist agendas.

The reason why it is not only the Sinhala majority, but also the minority communities rallying around Rajapaksa, is that he has proven himself enough to shed away separatist agendas and bring together all communities. A feat he first achieved in 2009.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s vision of holistic development does not boast impossibilities such as artificial intelligence. What he advocates is a multi-pillar mechanism for development on the base of strong, clear-cut achievable targets. This strategic approach only credits his leadership and lack of ambiguity and makes it more believable.

This story is provided by BusinessWire India. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article.

R. Premadasa’s son will get lowest percentage ever by any candidate at second place: Basil

November 13th, 2019

Sheain Fernandopulle Courtesy Daily Mirror

While saying that SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa would win the election by a majority more than 10 per cent, SLPP National Organizer Basil Rajapaksa said the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa would garner the lowest percentage of votes obtained by any second candidate in the presidential election history. 

Addressing a news briefing today, he said their vote base had been increased by two or three times than the presidential election in 2015.

We are very much confident that the next Poya Day would dawn under a government of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. We are also confident that our presidential candidate would deliver the best with his capacity to drive the county to the correct direction,”

We will win seven provinces out of nine and more than 120 electorates,” he added.     

He said people were anticipating a change as they were fed up with the consecutive failures of the incumbent government.

We will make the change that people want,” he added.   

Speaking of their election campaign, Mr Rajapaksa said they had conducted 37 national rallies and their presidential candidate had covered all the 160 electorates while 1710 of pocket meetings had also been conducted.      

We have always maintained a peaceful atmosphere when our election rallies were carried out. We gave much prominence to utilizing paper, polythene as minimum as we could,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said it would be a better move if the Election Commission would make sure that reasonable cost is maintained by every media institution when the advertisements of presidential candidates are accepted to be published in their respective media platforms.     

Citizenship cancelled once renunciation certificate is issued – US Embassy

November 13th, 2019

Courtesy Ada Derana

The Embassy of the United States in Colombo said an individual is no longer considered a citizen of the US once he receives the certificate affirming the renunciation the citizenship while adding the such individual’s name to the federal list is a separate process.

The media spokesperson of the US Embassy Nancy VanHorn stated this during an exclusive interview with Indeewari Amuwatte from Ada Derana.

When asked about the prevailing concerns as to why former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s name has not appeared on the federal list of the US citizens who have decided to renounce their citizenship, she said, under the US privacy laws, she is not allowed to comment on the cases pertaining to the cases pertaining to an individual’s citizenship or visa.

However, she stated that all the information about the specific steps taken to renounce one’s citizenship can be found at travel.state.gov.

Responding to Amuwatte’s question on the time period that is taken for an individual’s name to appear on the federal list once the citizenship is renounced, VanHorn said the renunciation process of one’s citizenship is handled by the Embassy of the US.

Including the name of such individual in the federal list is a separate process, she added.

The paperwork regarding renouncing the citizenship is prepared and submitted at the embassy and these documents are sent back to the US Department of State in Washington DC for final processing, she said. Subsequently, the relevant individual receives the renunciation certificate, VanHorn continued.

Once this paperwork on citizenship renunciation is finalized, the names of these individuals are sent to the US Internal Revenue Service, which is a tax agency that operates as an entirely separate bureaucracy, VanHorn said further.

Future SLPP govt. will not have issues between Executive & Legislature – Mahinda

November 13th, 2019

Courtesy Ada Derana

Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa says the incumbent government failed to resolve its internal issues owing to the lack of understanding between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

The Opposition Leader had an audience with the members of the SLPP’s London branch at his official residence in the Wijerama Mawatha today.

Issuing a media release on the meeting, the former President said the future SLPP government will not suffer the ills of the current government due to the sibling bond shared with SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

He further gave assurance that there will not be any issues between the Executive and the Legislature of the future government that they intend to establish under the presidency of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Either Chandrika is crazy or we are – Mahinda

November 13th, 2019

Courtesy adaderana

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga may be attempting to grant what Velupillai Prabhakaran asked for through Sajith Premadasa, according to Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Leader of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) expressed these views addressing a public meeting held in Minuwangoda.

Rajapaksa said that a Tamil newspaper had reported that Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga had addressed the deceased LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran as ‘Prabhakaran sir’.

Stating that she used this form of addressing 3 times during her speech, Mahinda Rajapaksa said, Either Chandrika is crazy or we are crazy.”

He further said that they suspect that Kumaratunga may be attempting to give what Prabhakaran wanted through New Democratic Front (NDF) Presidential Candidate Sajith Premadasa.

Further speaking, Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he would provide free grants to the Colombo National Hospital for couples who cannot afford In vitro fertilization (IVF).

Only local products will be used for State constructions – Gotabaya

November 13th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

Presidential hopeful of SLPP Gotabaya Rajapaksa says, under his administration, only local products will be used for the construction activities of the State.

Even during the former administration under Mahinda Rajapaksa also made use of local bricks and tiles for the constructions carried out by the government, the former Defence Secretary said addressing a rally at Dankotuwa yesterday (12).

Gotabaya said his government will expand this system and take measures to supply clay, the major raw material used to produce bricks and tiles, for the manufacturers.

While addressing a rally held at Minuwangoda yesterday (12), the presidential hopeful stated that he would provide the opportunity for every student in this country to pursue university education in order to make Sri Lanka a centre of intelligence.

He further pointed out that Gampaha district must also be made a centre of intellectuals.

There are a very little number of students entering local universities and this situation is not good,” Gotabaya stressed.

Pledging changes to this situation, Gotabaya said he would make a huge investment for the education sector so that every student can gain access to university education.

මන්ත්‍රී එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් කළ බලපෑමක් ගැන විශ්‍රාමික කපිතාන්වරයෙකුගෙන් හෙළිදරව්වක්

November 13th, 2019

Hiru News

ඇවන්ගාඩ් ආයතනය හරහා විදේශීය ත්‍රස්ත සංවිධානවලට ආයුධ ලබාදුන් බවට ප්‍රකාශ කර ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට විරුද්ධව ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කොමිසම වෙත පැමිණිලි කරන ලෙස දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා ඇතුළු පිරිසක් තමන්ට බලපෑම් සිදුකළ බව විශ්‍රාමික කපිතාන් උදය දිසානායක මහතා පවසනවා.

ඔහු මේ පිළිබද අද අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට ගොස් පැමිණිල්ලක් ද සිදුකළා.

මේ අතර, දෙමළ ඩයස්පෝරාවේ පිරිස් මෙරටට පැමිණ සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතාට සහය ලබාගැනීමට උතුරේ ජනතාවට මුදල් ලබාදෙන බව පවසමින් සිංහලේ අපි ජාතික සංවිධානයේ පූජ්‍ය ජඹුරේවෙල චන්ද්‍රරතන හිමියන් පොලිස් මූලස්ථානය වෙත අද පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කළා.

නිහඬතාව බිඳිමින් මැතිවරණයට දින දෙකක් තිබියදී පූජ්‍ය එල්ලාවල මේධානන්ද හිමියන්ගෙන් විශේෂ ප්‍රකාශයක්

November 13th, 2019

Hiru News

වත්මන් අර්බුධයෙන් රට ගොඩගතහැකි එකම නායකයා ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ බව හිටපු පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී පුරාවිද්‍යා චක්‍රවර්තී පූජ්‍ය එල්ලාවල මේධානන්ද හිමියන් පවසනවා.

උන්වහන්සේ මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ මාධ්‍ය වෙත විශේෂ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කරමින්.

වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුව බලයට පත්වූ දා සිටම පූජ්‍ය පක්ෂයට අපහාස කළා – පූජ්‍ය ඇල්ලේ ගුණවංශ හිමියන්

November 13th, 2019

Hiru News

වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුව බලයට පත්වූ දින සිට භික්ෂූන් වහන්සේට මෙන්ම අන්‍යාගමික පූජකවරුන්ටද නින්දා අපහාස සිදුකළ බව පූජ්‍ය ඇල්ලේ ගුණවංශ හිමියන් පවසනවා.

යුතුකම සංවාද කවය විසින් කොළඹ අද කැඳවා තිබූ මාධ්‍ය හමුවක් කැඳවා තිබූ අතර, ඊට එක්වෙමිනුයි උන්වහන්සේ මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ.

එම මාධ්‍ය හමුවට එහි නියෝජිතයෙකු වන ගෙවිඳු කුමාරතුංග සහ ප්‍රවීන සංගීතවේදී ජගත් වික්‍රමසිංහද එක්ව සිටියා.

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස කුමක් පැවසුවත් අගමැති ධුරය රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහටයි

November 13th, 2019

Hiru News

ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණයෙන් අනතුරුව ජනාධිපති ධූර අපේක්ෂක සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතා කුමක් පැවසුවද අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය ධූරය හිමවන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ බහුතරයක් ලබාගත හැකි රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාට බව අමාත්‍ය දයා ගමගේ මහතා පවසනවා.

කොළඹදී මාධ්‍ය වෙත අදහස් දක්වමින් ඔහු මෙම අදහස් පලකළා.

Gota’s Citizenship: a political red herring?

November 13th, 2019

RUWAN RAJAPAKSE Malabe.Courtesy The Island

There are problems we must overcome if we are to accelerate Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic progress. As such, my well-intentioned provocations in the media have been about fundamental issues, such as intolerance, vengeance, and superstition.

But I feel compelled to step out of this neutral frame of mind, to counter some of the asinine thought processes surrounding Gota’s citizenship, in which the underlying concern can be traced back to racist or sectarian intuitions. I think a good many decent, ordinary folk whom I know and love subscribe to this “worry” about Gota, simply because they haven’t meditated on this matter deeply enough. Perhaps I might be able to open their eyes to this brazen political red herring.

Gota is a natural born citizen of Sri Lanka, deeply imbued with a Sri Lankan outlook, more than many of us and certainly far more than someone like myself. He is attuned to Sri Lanka’s culture, politics and development needs. His love for Sri Lanka was amply demonstrated, not by his having come back to help his brother after a stint in the USA, but by the output of his efforts after he came back.

His fearless strategic contribution to winning the war against terrorism, the transformation of Colombo under his supervision into a garden city, the innovative way in which he facilitated the reduction of Global Sea Piracy, and his commitment to the eradication of organized crime are some excellent reasons for believing in Gota’s sincerity of political purpose. I don’t wish to discuss other candidates here, but I have to say that I don’t see a “pro-Sri Lankan” track record of such magnitude in any one of the other candidates vying for presidency.

I say this while acknowledging that the present government and their constituent members have indeed done useful things, contrary to popular opinion, such as passing the Right to Information Act. But as a civil servant, Gota’s record is truly exceptional for recent times.

Some interested parties who didn’t like Gota’s candidature challenged the validity of his Sri Lankan citizenship last month. The case was dismissed by the Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka. The Elections Commission of Sri Lanka endorsed his candidature shortly thereafter. So, as far as the law of the land is concerned, Gota is entitled to contest for the presidency, and take office if he wins. Period.

Perhaps out of sheer desperation on seeing the tide move against them, we now have an 11th hour attempt at discrediting Gota, by political forces on the opposing side of the campaign. The gist of their argument is that “Gota still retains US citizenship”. The “basis” for this latest conflagration is that A) His name has not appeared on an annual register of persons who relinquished their US citizenship, prepared by the US Government, and B) The fact that his legal team and his nephew shared a visual of his passport, stamped with the grammatically incorrect pronouncement “Cancel” (instead of “Cancelled”).

There could easily be an innocent explanation for both of the above frivolous concerns. I’ll let Gota and his political opponents thrash this point out, if they feel it’s worthwhile doing so. I don’t.

Why are we worried at all about Gota’s passport? As I said before, he is a native born Sri Lankan, who decided as an adult to live in the USA, in all likelihood for sound personal reasons. He lived out his experiment and returned to Lanka after some years, and performed exceptionally for his country as a civil servant, and more recently as a political leader. If there is some pending paperwork regarding relinquishing US citizenship, which is taking time – and mind I don’t say so –, then by all means let him sort it out quietly! He is a human being who merits our patience, on account of the services he has rendered to our country.

As far as any impropriety is concerned, the impartial judgments of the Elections Commission and the Court of Appeal, which concluded that he is a Sri Lankan and can contest for the presidency, is good enough to bury this concern and move on. No one, other than Gota himself, was hurt by this unsubstantiated bureaucratic concern. This is not a White Van; and whilst White Vans too were unsubstantiated concerns, at least they involved someone being hurt, in principle. So this concern is a category error, in a scientific sense.

The motivation underpinning this 11th hour “passport conspiracy” theory runs deep. In a country with many burning issues, which possibly requires a sturdy, proven candidate like Gota, we must ponder why some of us eagerly latch on to such a bureaucratic technicality to try and disable his political movement, instead of allowing a fair contest.

I suspect that at least part of the reason for this rather uncharacteristic love of bureaucratic details takes us on a journey away from reason, and into the realm of our tribal past, to instincts evolved on the African plains. “Gota might be one of them, not one of us”, and worse, “HE’S LYING!” It is these two voices in our heads, and the anachronistic instincts behind them, that also make us racists, and propels us towards vindictiveness and punitive justice. It is these instincts that stifle progress, through the shallow, inflexible social posture that they help create.

As former US president Barack Obama once said, “This idea of purity and [that] you’re never compromised and you’re always politically ‘woke’ and all that stuff. You should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids.”

What are we afraid of, ultimately, if Gota is indeed half-American (which I think he isn’t)? Are we afraid that Gota dreams of relaxing in the Rockies smoking cigars and listening to hillbilly music? Is that what we fear?

Why, ladies and gents, we had such a president before. Good old Mr. Yankee Dickie, who loved Buffalo Bill and smoked Hawaiian Cigars. Incidentally, unlike his able nephew, he was not such a bad performer, he liberalized our economy, raised our GDP, and took us away from abject poverty and Gantara Sarongs.

Sure, there was social upheaval during his administration, which led to violence. Some of this upheaval might have been influenced by poor decisions of his, like the lapse of policing on 25th July 1983. That’s why we say that no one is perfect, and certainly no politician is. Similar lapses occurred in April this year, under his nephew. We should look upon politics and politicians with a touch of pragmatism.

As a voter, I personally will ignore both Gota’s passport and Sajith’s cement bags, and not yield into my primitive, vindictive instincts. These types of concerns get amplified unnecessarily because of the competitive nature of the election process, and are difficult to judge at a distance. So instead, I’m going take a good, hard look at each candidate’s intentions and past contributions, and vote for the relatively better one.

RUWAN RAJAPAKSE
Malabe.

Stop USA – The Treacherous MCC Plot Unfolds

November 12th, 2019

By Gandara John

Steve Dobrilovic, the unwitting MCC whistleblower, must be out on a limb; in September 2018, he wrecked American plans of capturing Sri Lanka by surprise.

Consequently, Dobrilovic’s actions have endangered the American Master Plan of militarily leapfrogging into the Indian Ocean, in line with their ‘Pivot-to-Asia’ geopolitical doctrine, heralded in 2012.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rmhfN6_NaTnz9IriymMxQrlpy6fL7rlV/view?usp=sharing

If not for Dobrilovic, Sri Lanka would have imagined that the MCC grant was an innocuous gift by the Americans, as would be perceived by Teplitz’s and Edelman’s oft-stated lie, Sri Lanka does not have to pay back a Cent”

When Dobrilovic made a synopsis of the MCC work-plan as a  power-point presentation to a group of professionals and subsequently  e-mailed the powerpoint presentation to them (       ) (please left double-click open and see the P/Point presentation for yourself), the  disaster in signing the MCC  Agreement was startling; the map of Sri Lanka in 2050, the exclusive US ownership of a Corridor from Trincomalee to Colombo, the electrified Railway line, the automatic division of the island to a North and a South, the preconditions of passing some land Acts, setting up a land policy body which subordinates the Government of Sri Lanka to the MCC, issuing of land grants etc, they are all there in this Powerpoint presentation. Sri Lanka is the US Military hub in the Bay of Bengal

Dobrilovic had made a huge mistake; he had exposed the diabolic plans of the US.

The MCC Country Director Jenner Edelman admitted, Steve has shown the wrong map.”

If Dobrilovic had not made that mistake, the Government of  Wickramasinghe- Premadasa would have signed the MCC Compact; a divine power had saved Sri Lanka once again.

But Sri Lanka is not yet out of the woods. The MCC Compact must never be signed. It is unconstitutional in more ways than one. Sri Lankans must use their votes wisely.

GOTA PHOBIA – Part – IX C (Sumanthiran calls Tamils to unite and defeat the Sinhalese)

November 12th, 2019

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA.

It is the wish of the majority of Sri Lankans that we should live as a people of one nation and make the maximum contribution possible to develop this nation as a multi-faceted development hub in Asia.  However this objective has some impediments not from all the Tamils but from a section of the racist Tamils agitating that they should be given a separate State for their self rule, a demand which started with the Malaysian born S.J.V. Chelvanayagam demanding in the then State Council saying that North and East of Sri Lanka is the ‘Homeland’ of Tamils and if the British government contemplates granting independence to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) the Tamils should be granted the right to self-rule in their ‘homeland. 

This demand was wholeheartedly endorsed by the Vellela Tamils (a group of Tamil Nadu Indians brought to Sri Lanka by the Dutch for tobacco cultivation and settled in the North and later elevated educationally through the American missionary schools during the British colonial period. 

Having failed to achieve their vicious demand through British colonialists these Vellala Tamils started various forms agitations mainly to provoke the Sinhala Buddhists whom they said were inferior to rule the Tamils and these agitations created an era of communal clashes in the country resulting in several hundred deaths on both sides. 

Recently these Tamil racists have found a docile and submissive political group in the UNP and since 1976 they are attempting to achieve a homeland of theirs through political means under stern opposition from the rest of the country which resulted in a bloody ethnic war that lasted for 30 years until it was totally clamped down by Mahinda/Gota Rajapaksa duo.

These racists played a major role in ousting the government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa together with CIA/M 16/RAW/Tamil Diaspora and the locally-based foreign sustained NGOs.  Since then (2015) they became the real rulers of this country functioning as the main opposition party with their leader appointed as the Opposition Leader with only16 seats whereas the joint opposition under Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa having 54 seats, and the acolytes of these racists the pseudo-Marxists, the Janatha Vimukthi (Vikurthi) Peramuna leader with only 6 seats in the parliament functioning as the Chief Opposition Whip.  But these 2 groups did not perform any functions related to the Opposit5ion and functioned as the henchmen of the government. 

These racist Tamils were only concerned about replacing the existing Constitution with a federal and secular Constitution and MP M.a.sumanthiran acted as an absolute dictator and completely disregarded the objections raised by Mahanayake Theros and other religious dignitaries and he even publicly dictated terms to senior UNP leaders.  Koti-Seeya Sambandan who played a major role in fund collection for the terrorists in Canada and some other European countries also joined Sumanthiran and carried out an extensive campaign to solicit support from the western embassies and the Indian High Commission and visiting UN and foreign dignitaries to Compel the government to adopt the proposed federal and secular constitution,  for which the government had a fear of Buddhist uprising in the country.  A draft constitution has already been made and the Prime Minister tabled this draft in the Parliament on 8th January this year (2019).

Now the country is in a presidential election drive and the TNA and some other fringe Tamil parties, totally 5 parties have submitted 13 demands to be fulfilled by the winning candidate.  Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa aa well as the former President Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksaand all political party leaders in the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party have rejected these demands and it is believed that Sajith Premadasa and the UNP leader Ranil Wickremasinghe have entered into secret pacts with TNA pledging to implement these demands if they come to power .

The treacherous TNA which has no other objective than getting a separate self-ruling entity which was the miserably failed illusory dream of megalomaniac  Prabhakaran is reported to be leaving no stone unturned to defeat Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.  The terrorist diaspora proxy Sumandaran, speaking at a meeting held in Manthivu, Mullativ has said that the Tamils should unite to defeat the Sinhalese,  He has said that the Sinhalese are united to make Gotabhaya victorious and to counter this move the Tamils should unite and ensure the victory of Sajith Premadasa.  He has said that the Rajapaksa government since 2005 had not done anything beneficial to the Tamils and hence they should be punished by making Sajith Premadasa victorious.  

In an interview with the English daily, ‘Daily Mirror’ Sumanthiran has said that all the political parties affiliated to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) representing the Tamil community especially in the North and East, have pledged their full support to Sajith Premadasa. Explaining the reasons for this envisaged support, he has said the Tamil community would resist the return of Rajapaksas. 

Sajith has agreed for the same constitutional process that has now reached the draft stage. One cannot conclude without knowing the manifesto and the journey of its process. So in that process, there are two interim reports and this is how the words have been used. In Sinhala, the word ‘Ekeeya’ is being used. In Tamil and English, the equivalent words for unitary are not used. So ‘Ekeeya’ is used in the sense where it is one country

Many countries in the world don’t describe these terms. We in Sri Lanka did not describe it until 1972. Soulbury Constitution never mentioned about unitary neither did it say federal. So you can have your own terms. The word Ekeeya denotes one, and just in case it is misunderstood as unitary that has been defined in the draft. What we wanted to do was to resolve the issue rather than hanging on with empty labels. If you were to have some consensus, we had to annul that label. But we agreed to use the word ‘Ekeeya’ in Sinhala as the literary meaning of that word only means one, nothing else.

If Gotabaya wins, our worry is that the process might not only be stopped but the land that have been released might be taken again

There are no divisions in the Tamil political circuit. The TNA represents the Tamil people and nobody else does. We have 16 MPs out of 18 Tamil members representing the North and East. Even the other two; namely Douglas Devananda and Vijayakala Maheswaran were not elected for one seat. They came in through the highest number of floating votes. Therefore no one can say that there is disunity and there are others outside. We represent the Tamil people and there are others who were not elected. You won’t see this kind of unity in any other community in the country. So we have been given the mandate by the Tamil people, not anybody else. 

We must first settle the issues and do the Constitutional reforms. And if that is done then, we will certainly invite the diaspora to come and invest.

Since 2015, under this government, we have not seen a heavy military presence. They are in the barracks. They hardly come out. That is in Jaffna. But in Vanni and a few other places, there was a more prominent military presence. However, over a period of time, it has been downsized.

We used to have flights from Palai to India up to the early 1980s. They were stopped because of the hostilities. Now that the way is over the flights should have started a long time ago. In fact, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time when the Indian consulate in Jaffna was opened Minster S. M. Krishna came and at the opening ceremony he mentioned that we must start the flights again. So it is high time that we started it. 


The disappearance issue is one that has been dragged on most without any result. But the Office of Missing Person was established, amounts of money were allocated and work has started but the progress has been very very slow leading the relatives being disillusioned. But the disappearance issue itself is a difficult issue and ten years on when there are no signs of anybody, how does one resolve it. Of course, there should be investigation in each case. The relatives must know what happened to that person so that this office is supposed to do. They still don’t seem to have got their act together for various reasons. 

People are still very apprehensive that the political situation here has not been estabilised. So if there is a political solution, a new constitution something like that, then I think that it will give them adequate confidence to come back and invest. 

In another interview with the Indian journalist Meera Sr4inivasan of the Indian daily ‘The Hindu’ Sumanthiran has said that Sri Lankan Tamils are disappointed as the government gave hope and then failed to deliver.

Given below are some excerpts from what Sumanthiran said to Meera:

At a certain point during the constitutional process, the coalition government wasn’t as strongly knitted together as it was in the beginning. Fissures started emerging and deepened with time, particularly ahead of the local government elections [in February 2018]. The two parties began seeing each other as rivals again. They were more keen to get an electoral advantage over each other than to collaborate and settle this long-standing issue. As a result, they were not willing to own even those matters that had been agreed upon after discussion. They started backing out. That happened primarily with the President’s party [Sri Lanka Freedom Party]. Subsequently, when it became clear to the others that they were not going to sail with the consensus of everyone, nobody seemed to want to carry the can by themselves. They also began to back out.

I can say that at a certain point when they realized that their coalition partner was not going to share the responsibility of taking this through, they themselves started backing out. Of course, neither party said it in as many words. They resorted to blaming each other for the protraction of the constitutional reform process.

To start with, we backed a candidate in 2015 based on certain promises. Apart from the promise to solve the Tamil national issue, the primary promise given was that the executive presidency would be abolished. We sincerely believed that with the two main parties coming together, coupled with the fact that since 1994 the people of this country have clearly given a verdict to abolish the executive presidency, it would be done this time. But that hasn’t happened, and we are in a situation where we have to support one candidate or another for the post of the executive presidency that they promised to abolish.

The 13th Amendment is a watershed: it was the first time that the governance structure was radically altered by the creation of provincial councils which had a measure of legislative power and some executive power through the governor.

When the 13th Amendment was enacted, the Tamil side substantially rejected it saying it was not a meaningful devolution. There are good reasons for that. So, the promise by the southern leadership has been that not only would the 13th Amendment be implemented, but that they would go beyond that and make devolution meaningful. But there was no attempt to implement the 13th Amendment in full, even after the war ended.

It was in that context that the 2015 change came, and a promise given to us that leaving aside the 13th Amendment, there would be a solution found to the Tamil national question based on previous negotiations which, at times, crossed over to a federal arrangement as well. Now, to say that we will consider implementing the 13th Amendment is to go back on all those promises.

But, as I said, this keeps happening all the time. After telling their southern constituencies election after election that devolution will lead to a division of the country, these leaders find it impossible to commit to anything more. While they want to keep the chunk of the majority vote for themselves, in a two-party system like in Sri Lanka, it also becomes necessary to get a substantial minority vote. So, they resort to this ‘full implementation of the 13th Amendment’ rhetoric — that way the southern constituency doesn’t feel insecure, and they are still promising the Tamil voter something.

The only time we had a different approach was in 1994 when President Chandrika Kumaratunga contested. She turned the whole narrative around, promised a federal arrangement and got some 60% of the vote. In 2005, Ranil Wickremesinghe too made a similar pledge, though not as vociferously as President Chandrika. But the LTTE refused to accept that both times. A separate sovereign state was firmly embedded in their ideology that drove their political struggle. Although they engaged in discussions, peace talks and negotiations, when it seemed like a federal arrangement was possible, they broke it, probably fearing that delivery on that promise will forever extinguish their dream of a separate state.

Now in the absence of the war and war-weariness, no leader is willing to go that far. They think the Tamil votes can be obtained by seeming to be the lesser of the two evils, rather than being the party that actually delivers on the promise.

During the first five years after 2009, the Rajapaksa regime treated the war victory as a license to totally subjugate the Tamil people on the basis that you went to war, you lost, and the winner takes it all. It paid lip service to a political settlement. It implemented big infrastructure projects. But in the absence of any attempt to alleviate the sufferings of the people, to improve their livelihoods, and address their immediate concerns, the mega projects were totally alien to the war-affected community.

Now, in the last five years, it is far more complex. The government began addressing people’s long-pending concerns. Military-held lands were returned substantially, if not fully. On accountability, there were measures such as the setting up of the Office on Missing Persons — it was an important one even though the progress on investigations is far from satisfactory. Some political prisoners were released.

On reviving the economy of the Tamil people, nothing has really materialized. Unemployment is increasing. This government gave a reason for hope and then failed to deliver. Our people are bitterly disappointed.

The President’s trajectory is very different from what it was when he was elected in 2015. It was he who led the way by example towards reconciliation in a very constructive way — by not celebrating the [war] victory day, by having the national anthem sung in Tamil on National Day, boldly by making a case for ethnic reconciliation, a new Constitution, etc. Now, regrettably, he has gone back on all of that. We are very disappointed because we know that the President is not given to racism; his actual views are very liberal towards power-sharing. But now he is behaving out of character, compelled perhaps by electoral and other political reasons.

The international community and their moves in the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) have been significant for us. The good thing about the UN resolutions is that although they are non-binding, they have a very persuasive effect. A lot of the changes on the ground here I think are due to the resolutions that were passed in the HRC, including ones co-sponsored by Sri Lanka after regime change. One can’t directly attribute each change to a particular act, but the fact that there is an oversight has made a difference.

When I say the international community, I have been referring to the countries apart from India until now, because India did not get involved in the UNHRC resolutions. It was neutral most of the time. But India has a special interest in the political resolution of this long-term issue. And that comes from India’s own bilateral treaty with Sri Lanka, the Indo-Lanka Accord. India has an interest in seeing that implemented in full and in leaders going beyond that to achieve meaningful devolution.

So, when we talk about the international community’s pressure, it is India and the others. While other countries es back us significantly on human rights and democracy, it is only India that has a direct link to the contents of the political solution, as it was only India that was able to change the governance structure in 1987 with the 13th Amendment.

Our engagement with India has continued through Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s terms and after the change in government in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has visited Sri Lanka more than once. He has even gone to Jaffna — he was the first Prime Minister of India to ever visit Jaffna — and has assured us that India’s policy towards Sri Lanka and the Tamil issue in Sri Lanka remains the same.   he TNA is scheduled to meet Mr. Modi in Delhi soon.

After April 21, initially, there seemed to be a widening of the gap between Tamils and Muslims, which you might see even now on the surface. But I think deep down both communities are more conscious now than before that we need to stay together.

Collaborating with the Centre has also affected us, although we did that because there was a real opportunity to resolve the long-standing issue when the two main parties got together. Now that has failed, and the coalition has broken down and we are seeing various ill effects of that breakdown, the TNA which propped up and even now props up the government is seen as having backed the wrong horse and not achieving anything for its people.

With the defeat of the LTTE, the call for a separate state is over. When that project is over, our approach also should change. There is no substitute for engagement, because what is the alternative? You are not going to take up arms and fight for a separate state, that is not your objective anymore. It is a solution in one country. If it is a solution within one country, engagement is the only way forward.

Unfortunately, I think TNA’s approach to this hasn’t changed sufficiently. We are still hanging on to the old habit of confrontational politics. We can be confrontational, but a greater degree of engagement, a greater degree of appreciation that we are living in one country, and that this is our country, must be there. That is a shift that must necessarily take place and I think our constituency is ready for that shift.

During the last five years, though the government didn’t deliver on promises, it may have contributed to a realisation that we must be engaged much more.

The next phase will have to see a significant shift in how we engage with the forces in the south.

 We have had discussions with the JVP and post-October 26, the 52 day-saga, many told us that the JVP and the TNA were the two parties that held the political side together and that JVP and TNA coming together even on a political project would be a welcome change. I can’t say readily at this presidential election whether we will see a coming together of such forces, but in the long-term definitely that is the way to go. There may be the two main parties with whom we will anyway have to engage with and collaborate – because one or the other will be in the office, but for real change, I think we will have to work very closely with the JVP and other progressive, alternative forces in the south.

Forging Hidden Politics in SriLanka

November 12th, 2019

Kanthar Balanathan, Australia

Sri Lankans are aware that late president Ranasinghe Premadasa (RP) and 17 others were assassinated by LTTE on May 1, Saturday, 1993. It was not clear whether LTE was responsible for the murder or they were used as a tool for the murder. It was crystal clear that JVP joined hands with LTTE as a dormant group to supply information and movements of politicians who were targeted. JVP also carried out assassinations and the LTTE flag was hoisted for the murders. During Premadasa’s period the Black Cats” were used to assassinate significant number of JVP cadre in the South. RP was determined to clean JVP to none in the cadre. Has JVP forgotten these murders? Why do they bond with the West/UNP and pose a threat to democracy by contesting the presidential election? This has been the practice in SL dividing the votes to achieve their objectives. This is dirty politics.

For example, MK Sivajilingham (MKS) is contesting the presidential election. Anyone in the world knows that MKS cannot win the election and become the president by getting the two million Tamil votes. So, how have they thought and what does the TNA doing? TNA campaign is utter foolishness. If the two million Tamils cast their votes to MKS only then, maybe they can show their solidarity to the world that they are together. If they do not cast their votes to MKS then again it will be an utter failure. How do they propose to project their solidarity?

Eelam is out of the question. Missing persons are out of the question. Who was at fault? Who are the missing persons? If the youngsters joined the LTTE cadre, their parents should have protested to their children, which they did not do. Everyone knows that Tamil boys, even in Ukraine, have changed their names and no one can track them. Ethnic cleansing? Did the military fight the public? NO! The SriLankan military, with honour, fought the LTTE terrorist group to protect the nation. In the muddle, if civilians were present, the military cannot target people or differentiate between the LTTE and civilians. Tamils should realize this slipup. Going on with Ethnic cleansing” is driving the world to presume that Tamils are a kind of psychiatric/insane people. Why does TNA always support the UNP? Because ethnically they have closely the same DNA. People in the South also have the same DNA. Most Tamils may not understand what DNA means. DNA, which means deoxyribonucleic acid, is the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms. Quote: Every cell in a multicellular organism possesses the full set of DNAs required for that organism.

Most Tamils seem to live in the Jungle with a mindset of Eelam and Hinduism. They should have an open mind. They cannot expect MA Sumanthiran to bring their missing children back into SL. It is their children who have to come out from hiding.

TNA should revive their policy and have an open mind/thought and ask their people to vote for the right candidate who will develop the North and provide congruence so that the Tamils can live protected and synchronised. This can be achieved only if Gotabaya is elected.

What is the guarantee that the UNP will not avenge the murder of Ranasinghe Premadasa (RP)? Already there may be plans to avenge the murder of RP.

Tamils are aware that Mahinda Rajapaksa joined hands with GR made people live in coherence and today Jaffna is a rich district with people having three scooters/motorbikes in every house.

VOTERS, LET US THINK AND USE OUR BRAIN & NOT DRIFTED BY THE TNA AND TAMIL DIASPORA

SRI LANKA MUSLIMS SHOULD VOTE GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA AS THE PRESIDENT ON 16th., NOVEMBER, 2019.

November 12th, 2019

By Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP Stalwart and Convener – The Muslim Voice, 

What WE AS SRI LANKA MUSLIMS HAS FORGOTTEN is about the aspirations and inspirations of the Sri Lanka Muslims and Muslim Vote bank. We/our votes are sold to either the UNP or SLFP (UNF/DNF or UPFA) for the benefit of the deceptive MUNAAFIKK” Muslim political leaders/party leaders. The Muslim Voice” believes that the country’s thinking that a CHANGE” in the Prime Minister post is correct. It has been proved beyond doubt that the present PM Ranil Wickremasinghe is really involved in the Bond Scam. Moreover, he has also betrayed the Muslims since he came to power because of the EN-BLOCK” Muslim votes/vote bank. Since 2014,”The Muslim Voice” spoke in favour of the Sri Lanka Muslims supporting the MAHINDA PELA” or now JO which has reborn as a political party – the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (POTTUWA). Why The Muslim Voice” advocated this view was because, the Sri Lanka Muslims would have worked out to win the confidence of the Mahinda Pela and its Sinhala Buddhist Nationalistic supporters/voters.

Today the Muslims, trusting the UNP and flocking en-block and have traded nearly 800,000 Muslim votes to the UNP/Yahapalana (Hansaya) government of Mathripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremasinghe, has betrayed and dumped the Sri Lankan Muslims in the political dustbin, beaten and penalized as a result of the conspiracies of the UNP/BBS/Rajitha Seneratne, Champika Ranawaka and the so-called Civil Society groups like the Puravasibalaya which is supported by our own Muslim Civil Society groups such as the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (an ad-hock group gathered without a constitution and by-laws), the National Shoora Council and ACJU. The political principle/ideology that The Muslim Voice” advocated and is advocating it even now is because it is based on the political vision shown to us by the late Dr. T.B.Jaya, viz-a-viz – NOT TO PUT ALL OUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET WHEN IT COMES TO POLITICS”. It is Time up that the Sri Lanka Muslims should rethink their stand to gain advantages for the future by supporting/negotiating with the SLPP or the Mahinda Pela. THEREFORE IT IS BETTER FOR THE SRI LANKA MUSLIMS TO SUPPORT GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA AS THE WINNING PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE FOR 2019, NOVEMBER 16th., PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS , Insha Allah.

The Muslim Voice” is followed by many thousands of well-wishers supporters who have appreciated our NOBEL” cause in the struggle to get rid of the Sri Lanka Muslim Community of MUNAAFIKK” Muslim politicians, Civil Society groups and the deceptive ULEMA, the ACJU, Alhamdulillah. We will therefore continue our Nobel mission till we achieve the end political goal of creating a NEW POLITICAL FORCE that will be honest and sincere to stand up and defend the Muslim Community politically and otherwise, especially from among the YOUTH, which will have to emerge from within the Sri Lanka Muslim Community to face any new election in the coming future.

IF WE DO NOT ACCEPT TO SUPPORT GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA AS A COMMUNITY NOW, AT THIS CRUCIAL MOMENT, OUR MUNAAFIKK” AND DECEPTIVE HOODWINKING Muslim politicians, Civil Society groups and the deceptive ULEMA, the ACJU will gather around Gotabaya, Mahinda and Basil in the aftermath of the presidential elections claiming that they are needed to form a “New Government” in parliament and will work towards their selfish and personal benefits to gain personal favours for themselves, their friends and kith and kin, leaving the Sri Lankan Muslim vote bank in the lurch. If we stand together and vote Gotabaya Rajapaksa to victory on November 16th., 2019, the Muslim vote bank will be happy that we were part of Gotabaya’s victory as partners with the majority Sinhalese people and those that love our “MAATHRUBOOMIYA” Mother Sri Lanka.

Mud-slinging is a sign of desperation

November 12th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala Courtesy The Island

Today Sri Lanka is facing, arguably its worst survival crisis since independence, following the two armed JVP insurrections (1971 and 1986-90) and the long drawn out armed LTTE separatism (1976-2009), both terrorist movements. A considerable number of good but ill-informed or misinformed young Sri Lankans believe that the past seven decades of independence have seen nothing but a steady degradation of the country as a nation (in terms of governance, economy, and social standards, etc.) due to something intrinsically wrong with the established (political) system and the alleged depravity of all the politicians of the country having been given to corruption and abuse of power without any exception. But the truth is that there were and there still are good honest politicians, though they have traditionally been surrounded by a host of very bad ones. See how the worst characters who were close to former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and abused his inborn kindness and rather naive trust in them as a cover for their dishonest practices have now decamped to the government side, and how some of them are making fake videos to sling mud at him and his brother Gotabhaya.

A series of mudslinging videos due to be launched in the social media on the 14th and 15th against Gotabhaya, as some Joint Opposition MPs have already forewarned, is an indication of the utter despair and frustration of his opponent’s camp. Such tactics are bound to earn the disapproval of the politically literate Sri Lankan electorate, and will ultimately turn out to be counterproductive for the perpetrators. Already, a few of the bigwigs of the government have been caught red-handed and exposed through the media. Large sums money from local or foreign sources (more likely from the latter) are suspected to have been spent on this. One can reasonably wonder what they have done other than Rajapaksa bashing for the past five years. The speakers on government campaign platforms sound as if they are the Opposition and try to absolve themselves of all wrongdoing, meanwhile transferring all blame to MR. In other countries, m ud-slinging is usually indulged in by opposition elements against their opponents in the government, but with the Yahapalanaya it is different.

The speeches that the UNP presidential candidate makes and the obviously impractical election promises he dangles before audiences suggest that he has strategically forgotten that he is a powerful minister of the government with the ability to have demonstrated his credibility (if he has any and if he wants to) by actually doing something about at least some of the problems that he pledges himself to solving (like looking into what is happening at Muhudu Maha Viharaya and Kuragala, or by doing something constructive about it or by ensuring that the impoverished workers on the Upcountry tea estates get the Rs 1000 daily payment they have been demanding for so long ).   

Belittling of the country’s past achievements by his secret promoters is another mean tactic.  Sri Lanka has succeeded in introducing a number of positive changes through parliamentary democracy under both the original UNP- and SLFP-led governments, the most conspicuous of these being those made in 1956, 1970, 1978, 1994 and 2009. (The regime change engineered with foreign involvement in 2015 that replaced the best performing post-independence government Sri Lanka had had until then cannot be included in this list.) The negative assessment that Sri Lanka made no progress because of the depravity of politicians, therefore, is not totally valid, though superficially it may appeal to the young sections of the electorate who tend to generalize on the basis of what they have been experiencing in the name of ‘good governance’ during the past four and a half years. That is, this most pessimistic verdict on post-independence politics up until now is largely a reaction to the Yahapalanaya, which may be described as an absolute kakistocracy (rule by the worst people) unmatched by any government that ruled before. Paradoxically, the indiscriminate judgement might make the democratic dislodgement of the most undemocratic and corrupt administration ever in post-independence Sri Lanka more difficult than it should be in the prevailing circumstances and it is being slyly promoted by the Yahapalanaya’s erstwhile supporters who are hellbent on preventing the patriotic forces now poised to replace it from doing so. 

Patriotic forces have a clear vision for the country and a definite plan of action, especially appealing to the tech-savvy young generation. Their concern is with the survival of the Sri Lankan state as a vibrant single entity. Their opponents are only worried about their own survival in politics. Now that the voters are wise to their pretensions, their desperation can be easily understood.

ගමනක අවසානය-නාගානන්දගේ අනාගතය

November 12th, 2019

චන්ද්‍රසිරි විජයවික්‍රම, LL.B., Ph.D.

නාගානන්ද, සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස සමඟ ගිවිසුමක් අත්සන් කරන්නට යනවා යන කතාව සත්‍ය බව දැන් අනාවරණය වී ඇත. අවසාන මොහොතේවත් ඔහු මේ දේශපාලන සියදිවි නසාගැනීම නොකරාවියයි මා සිතන්නේ, එන පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණයේදී ඔහුට බලවේගයක් වශයෙන් ඊට ඇතුළුවීමට ඇති ඉඩකඩ නිසාත්, ඒ මඟින් ඉදිරියේදී ඔහුට කල හැකි සේවයත් නිසාය.

නාගානන්ද හා පල්ලෙවත්ත අතරින් නාගානන්ද වඩා සුදුසුවුවත් ඒ දෙන්නා එකතුව ක්‍රියාකරතැයි මම සිතුවෙමි. ඒ වෙනුවට දැන් සිදුවී ඇති අච්චාරුව හෙවත් වඳුරන්ට දැලිපිහිදීම හෙවත් චන්දබලය නිසා ඉදිරිපත්‌ව සිටිනා 33 කගේ පමණ ඇප රාජසන්තක වන බව නිසැකය. නාගානන්දට විරුද්ද්ධ කුමණ්ත්‍රනය එක අතකින් වෙස්‌වලාගත් භාග්‍යයක් වන්නේ ඒ මඟින් ඔහුට ඔහුගේ දේශපාලන ගමන ශක්තිමත් කරගත හැකිවන නිසාය. පක්‍ෂයක් වශයෙන් ඉදිරිපත්‌ව රටේ ආසන දෙක තුනක්වත් දිනාගන්නට ඔහුට ඉඩ තිබේ. පකිස්ථානයේ ශාරුක්ඛාන් අවුරුදු 30 ක් දේශපාලනය කලේය, බණ්ඩාරනායකටත්, ජෙොර් ටත් එසේ කල්ගත විය. ඇන්. ඇම්. පෙරේරා 1935 සිට 1964 දක්‌වාම බංගවේවා කිය කියා සිටියේය.

එතරම් කාලයක් නාගානන්ද සිටිය යුතුයයි මින් අදහස් නොකෙරේ. නමුත් ඔහු විසින් ඔහුගේ පොතට දැඩිලෙස ඇලී නොසිට ඉන් යම් අදහස් පමණක්වත් ක්‍රියාවට නැඟිය හැකිදැයි නොසැළකීම ඔහු කල වරදකි. මෙහිදී ඔහුට තිබූ වරණය ගෝඨාභයගේ වියත් මඟ, එළිය හරහාය. ඒ වෙනුවට දැන් අන්තිම මොහොතේ මේ ගැන ඥානය පහලවී, ඒ සඳහා සජිත්ට හේත්තුවීමට සිතීම ඔහු රටේ සමාජ-දේශපාලන ඉතිහාසය නොදන්නා බව එලිකරයි.

රනිල් ප්‍රධාන යහපාලන මරාලයේම කොටසක් වන සජිත් රටේ ජනාධිපති කමට නුසුදුස්සෙකු වන්නේ රොබට් බ්ලේක්ලා සරත් ෆොන්සේකාවත්, මිෂෙල් සෙසන් මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමියන්වත ගොනාට ඇන්ඳුවාසේමය. බටහිර ඊළම් හිතවාදී බලවේග ලංකාවේ ථේරවාද බෞද්ද්ධ සමාජය විනාශ කිරීමේ අධිෂ්ඨානයට ඉත්තන් රවටා ගැනීම පුදුමයක් නොවේ. 2014 දී සිරිසේනව රවටා ගත්තේද ඔහුට රාජපක්‍ෂලා දුන් මානසිකවදය ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගෙනය. ඒ සමඟම ජේවීපීකාරයින්ද බා ගන්නට ඇමෙරිකාව ප්‍රධාන පිරිසට හැකිවිය. දැන් නාගානන්ද හිතන්නේ කතානායකට උපදෙස්දීමට ඇමෙරිකාවෙන් පඩිගන්නා අයෙක් සිටිනා කට්ටියකට මුක්කු ගැහීමද? නාගානන්දගේ බෙල්ල මිලේනියම් හොරු නොකපාවිද? මේ ගැන සජිත් වචනයක්වත් කියනවාද? මාදුළුවාවේ හිමියන් කරණ වරද ගැන උන්වහන්සේට ලියා දැන්‌වූවත් ඉන් පලක් නොවීය. සෝම හාමදුරුවන් සිතා සිටියා මෙන් උන්වහන්සේ වෙනම චන්දය ඉල්ලුවා නම් රටේ ඉරණම වෙනස්වීමට ඉඩ තිබුණේය. දැන් උඩුවේ ධම්මාලෝක හිමියන් කියන්නේ මාදුළුවාවේ හිමියන්ව අපවත්කලා යන කතාවකි.

මෑතදී කරලියට ආ උගත්, විද්‌වත්, වෘත්තික යන එකි නොකී පිරිස් ජේවීපිිෙක හා මහේස් සේනානායකට ආ වඩතත්, ඔවුනුත්, නාගානන්ද හා පල්ලෙවත්තත් වටහා නොගත් කරුණක් නම් මේ රටේ පන්සල අමතක කර, රට අවුරුදු 2000 කට වඩා කාලයක් රැකගත් හාමුදුරුවරු අමතක කර, ශ්‍රී සද්ද්ධර්‍මය ගැන පමණක් කතාකිරීම දේශපාලන අතරමංවීමක් පමණක් වන බවය. ලංකාවේ බුද්ද්ධාගම විනාශ කිරීමට ක්‍රියාකරණ ඊළම් නඩ, ශාරියා කඩ, ක්‍රිස්තියානි මූලධර්‍මවාදීන් ගැන මොවුන් කියන්නේ මෛත්‍රීභාවනාව, නවගුණවැල ගණින්නට කියාද? එය මානව අයිතිවාසිකම් සළුවද? බොහෝ සිල්වත් හා සිල්වත් භික්‍ෂූන් අතර අසිල්වත් හා බොහෝ අසිල්වත් හා හික්‍ෂූන් සිටින්නේ සුද්දගෙ නීතිය යටතේ ඇතිකල ක්‍රමයක් විසින් එයට අවකාශ ලබාදුන් නිසාය.

මේ උගුලෙන් ගොඩaේමට පැවිදි-ගිහි දෙපක්‍ෂයම අසමත්වී ඇත. නමුත් අසිල්වත් භික්‍ෂූන්ගේ හිස්‌වලට උඩින් ගොස් අතීත හා වර්‌තමාන ලංකාව දෙස බලනවිට දක්නට ලැබෙන එකම අඛන්ඩ, ස්ථාවර භූමිකාව වන්නේ හගට පොත්තමෙන් බැඳුනු බෞද්ද්ධ සාසනයය. අනුර කුමාරගෙන් චන්දය දිණූවිට ඉස්‌ඉස්සෙල්ලාම දළදා මාළිගාවට යනවාදැයි ඇසූවිට ඔහු නිහඬව සිටියේ, විමල් වීරවංශට හා සෝමවංශ අමරසිංහට පෙණුන දේ ඔහුට නොපෙනෙන නිසාය. මෙය සියුම් ජන විඥානය ආශ්‍රිත මානසික සංසිද්ද්ධියකි. මාක්වාදියා කෙසේවෙතත් සිංහල බෞද්ද්ධයා උගතෙක්, විද්‌වතෙක් වෙන්නේ මානව අයිතිවාසිකම්, ඉන්ටර්ෆේත් බොරුව බදාගෙන පන්සල දෙස අවඥාවෙන් බැලීමෙන් නොවේ.

ගෝඨාභය රජයක් යටතේ ඔහු කතාකරණ යම් වැදගත් දේ ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට හොඳටම ඉඩකඩ ඇත. නමුත් ඔහු විසින් වඩුවා දකින ඇනය මෙන් හැම දෙනාටම මිටියෙන් ගස ගසා යෑම නොකළ යුතුය. නුසුදුස්සන් අතරෙන් අඩුම නුසුදුස්සා සොයා ගැනීමට නාගානන්දට හැකිවිය යුතුය. මේ නිසා සජිත්ට රැවටුණොත් නාගානන්දට ලන්ඩන් බලා ආපසු යෑමට සිදුවනු නිසැකය. ඔහු අවංකව අවුරුදු දහයකටත් වැඩිකාලයක් යුක්තිය හා සාධාරණත්‌වය වෙනුවෙන් තනිවම කල අනගිමත් ව්‍යායාමය, ගඟට කැපූ ඉණිමෙන් වන්නේය. ඔහු ඔහුට උපදෙස් (දිරව්වලණු?) දෙන අයගෙන් ප්‍රවේශම් විය යුතුය.

FOR THE POSITION OF THE PRESIDENT THERE ARE 35 CANDIDATES! ACCORDING TO MY OPINION THERE ARE ONLY TWO WHO ARE ELIGIBLE!

November 12th, 2019

By Dr.Sripali Vaiamon

WELL, OPINION DIFFERS!

I am a Sinhalese who loves my country very much, but at present, I am a citizen in CANADA. In Canada President is appointed by the Governor-General. Their Constitution is different. But I like their SOCIALISM POLICY. It was introduced by the former Prime Minister. Present Prime Minister’s father, Pierre Trudeau, on the 8th of Oct.1971.Incidentally, he visited Sri Lanka on the 6th of Dec.in the same year. His ISSUE which was presented to the House and approved. His Socialism Issue was to address every citizen in Canada as CANADIAN, irrespective of their ethnicities. I proposed in two of my articles contributed to LANKA WEB last month, after the Election of New President to address every citizen in the country as SRILANKAN besides their ethnic terms.

 SAJITH

Late Ranasinghe Premadasa was known all over the country. He was the President of Sri Lanka from January 1989 to the 1st of May 1993. He was quite known to me. He had only one son. He is Sajith Premadasa. I have met him once only.  One day I met him at the Airline bus in Germany. When I was leaving Sri Lanka to participate in a seminar in Stuttgart as the President of the Srilanka Carl Duisberg Association. I was able to talk to Sajith only for a few minutes. But still, I know a lot about him. He is a very honest and clever gentleman. The able politician is as good as his father. However, I wish to quote his father with a curtsey of Wikipedia. He was a very national conscious honest politician had in our country. Perhaps most of the people of the country, who live in remote areas such as North and East may not know much about him. Hence I will quote which will be extremely useful to his honest son Sajith. Sajith is his only son. Ranasinghe Premadasa was the 3rd President of Sri Lanka from 2nd January 1989 to 1st May 1993. Before that, he served as the Prime Minister in the Govt. Headed by J.R.Jayawardana from 6th February 1978 to 1st January 1989. He was awarded Sri Lanka’s highest award to a civilian Sri Lankaabhimanya in 1986 by the President Junius Richard Jayawardana. The First to receives in Sri Lankan history. He was assassinated in Colombo in a suicide bombing by the LTTE.

He was born on 23rd June 1924 at Dias Place, Colombo 11, to the family of Richard Ranasinghe of Kosgoda and Jayasinghe Arachchige Encina Hamine of Batuwita. However, Ranasinghe Premadasa was the eldest of 5 children. Three sisters and one brother. While attending the school he attached to the Hewawitharana Dhaham Pasela. He completed his school education at St.Joseph College. He satisfied all the requirements for registering at the University of London for higher studies. However, he gave up his opportunity to engage in higher studies AND Chose the path of social service for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden.

Allying with late A.E.Gunasinghe Founder of the Ceylon Labour movement he commenced his political life. He had several ups and downs in that era. He had been the Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council while functioning as a member of the St Sebastian ward joining hand with Dudley Senanayake. He joined the UNP and contested Dr.N.M.Perera unsuccessfully in the Ruanwella Constituency. Well If I go to write about Mr.Premadasa I may not touch much about Sajith. Sajith is a very honest person that I must stress.

Now let us go to the other candidate a little bit.

GOTA

In my book of Social science which I published in 2012 as  Pre-historic Lanka to end of terrorism, Published by the TRAFFORD PUBLISHING in America. Copies may have received by perhaps SARASAVI Book shop in Sri Lanka..iT WAS DEDICATED TO hIS EXCELLENCY Mahinda Rajapaksa.

page.15-Most of the country people are not aware that the Defense Secretary,(Gotabhaya Rajapaksa )who is a tower of strength to the president , was appointed to the post not merely because he is President’s brother but he is a highly qualified and have a long experience on the functions of defense strategy.

He was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Sri Lanka army. He joined the Army in 1971. He has served in the SinhaRegiment, Rajarata Rifles, Gajaba Regiment, and Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment. He served in the battlefront of Vadamarachchi in 1987. He had military training in Rawalpindi and Quetta in Pakistan, Jungle warfare in Assam in India.

Followed a Command and Staff Course at Defence Service Staff College in Wellington.

Advanced Infantry Officer’s Course in Fort Bennington, USA. He has received Awards m/s J.R.Jayawardana, Ranasinha Premadasa and D.B.Wijetunga.

Such a person was never appointed to the Defence Secretary earlier. The abominable war is now over so he has been added with another massive task ‘ The Urban Development.

Now it is the duty of our citizens in Sri Lanka to Elect a quite suitable person as the PRESIDENT

Think about and cast your vote!

[email protected]

Rijksmuseum laments Dutch failure to return stolen colonial art

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy: The Guardian (UK)

One of the Netherlands’ most venerated institutions, the Rijksmuseum, has described the country’s failure to return artefacts stolen from former colonies as a disgrace” as it opened talks with Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

The museum in Amsterdam is discussing the return of around 10 objects to their place of origin but there are thought to be about 1,000 stolen pieces in its collection.

The pioneering move comes amid a debate in museums and galleries across Europe about the provenance of its exhibits.

The Dutch National Museum of World Cultures (NMWC) published guidelines last month for countries who wish to make a claim on stolen art or an artefact of significant cultural significance.

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It’s a disgrace that the Netherlands is only now turning its attention to the return of the colonial heritage,” Taco Dibbets, the Rijksmuseum’s director, told the Dutch newspaper De Trouw. We should have done it earlier and there is no excuse.”

The objects likely to be returned to Indonesia and Sri Lanka include a Banjarmasin diamond thought to have been the property of Sultan Panembahan Adam of Banjarmasin, now South Borneo, colonised by the Dutch in 1856, and a ruby-encrusted cannon taken following a military campaign in 1765.

Dibbets said he was starting by sending his head of history, Martine Gosselink, to Sri Lanka to discuss the provenance of some of the 4,000 colonial objects exhibited at the Rijksmuseum.

He said: It is not possible to arrange matters from the Netherlands. You have to sit down with the people there, see it on a case-by-case basis. Gosselink is also going to Indonesia later this spring. Different factors play a role in every country, with each country is different.

The NMWC guidelines have been criticised for failing to force museums into take preparatory steps ahead of the issuing of claims by former colonial countries.

Jos van Beurden, a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said: The NMWC uses a typical Dutch approach. Even before negotiations have started, conditions are already on the table.”

In France, Belgium, Germany and the UK, the debate over colonial artefacts has raged in recent months with varying levels of engagement by implicated museums.

A 108-page report published last November by the French academics Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr on the restitution of African cultural heritage prompted the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to commit to their return.

The Africa museum in Brussels, a former colonial institution, is in talks with the Congolese government about returning objects to be put on display in a new institution being built with funding from the South Korean government.

In Berlin and London, the debate is seemingly less advanced but Monika Grütters, Germany’s minister of state for culture, signalled a shift in policy this January.

Just waiting passively for someone to want something back is not the way to reconcile our colonial past,” she said. We should actively approach the descendants ourselves.”

Last October, the British Museum in London launched an initiative intended to tackle the perception that its collections derive solely from looted treasures.

The monthly Collected Histories talks offered information on how artefacts entered the collection. The museum has been criticised for refusing to return a range of looted treasures, including the Parthenon MarblesRosetta Stone, and the Gweagal shield.

• This article was amended on 15 March 2019 because an earlier version said the Banjarmasin diamond might be returned to Sri Lanka. Indonesia would be its destination.

MCC grant: a ploy for compacting national sovereignty

November 12th, 2019

By Dr Kamal Wickremasinghe Courtesy The Island

The yahapalana government’s failed attempt to hurriedly sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact surely injected some life in to an otherwise lackadaisical presidential election contest, at least from the points of view of the UNP’s old guard, and the increasingly cynical voting public; the government’s attempt to sneakily sign the compact in the middle of a bleak-looking election campaign was so daring that cynics might suggest that it was probably the last nail on the coffin of the presidential hopes of the candidate the UNP reluctantly nominated.

The government’s deferral of the signing of the compact until after the election—due to pressure from the public and the outgoing president––has made the NGOs, including some apparently purpose-built for ‘advocating’ the harmlessness of the compact and the urgent need to sign, have grown more raucous. Notably, the NGOs leading the charge include those who have obtained lucrative, multi-million dollar contracts from the initial developmental process. Despite such urging from vested interests and American sycophants, opponents of the compact have correctly pointed to the danger of assessing the compact in isolation, and the need for consideration of what it involves in combination with the provisions of SOFA and ACSA agreements the government has already signed with the US government.

The purpose of this despatch is to provide some contextual information relating to the genesis of the MCC fraud and the locus it occupies within the web of broader American defence and foreign policy infrastructure. Such an examination would be vital for the assessment of the impact of the compact on Sri Lanka’s future sovereignty, not to mention its economic well-being.

MCC, a cog in the neocon ideology
concocted for the new millennium

The best précis of the MCC is that it was an integral part of the neoconservative ideology that was concocted to provide primary justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It was an integral cog in the haughty ‘millennium’ ideology developed through the 1990s by a neocon cabal, primarily for the purpose of engineering regime change in Iraq.

The neocon ideology was underpinned by haughty, self-congratulatory references to the state of the world at the dawn of the 21st century, with a disintegrated Soviet Union and Central and Eastern repossessed by the West. Neocons grabbed the opportunity to portray the situation as a decisive victory of free market capitalism over socialism and ‘liberty’ over totalitarianism. Renaming the 21st century ‘new American century’, they pushed for a new US national security strategy designed to reshape the legal, institutional, infrastructural and financial contexts of poorer countries to better suit US economic interests. They predicted that the world would welcome American military dominance as a force for stability and evoked ‘bandwagoning’ logic as per Thucydides’ famous dictum that ‘the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must’. This policy was later adopted by the foreign policy neophyte George Bush Jr. upon his controversial ‘victory’ in 2000, to be later named the ‘Bush Doctrine’. The comical Bush ‘strategery’ was taking place in full swing.

President Bush first announced the creation of a Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), framed as ‘a new compact for global development’, at the Inter-American Development Bank on March 14, 2002. Since the very first announcement, great efforts were made by US propaganda to present MCA as an ‘independent’ US foreign assistance agency that heralded a revolutionary change in carrying foreign aid in that it would be based in the Executive Branch, administered by a new government corporation supervised by a Board Chaired by the Secretary of State and a CEO. The MCC was established as a US government corporation in January 2004 by the Millennium Challenge Act of 2003.

A brief look at the 16 indicators used to identify eligibility of countries pointed to the MCC being a funding mechanism for countries wishing to become vassals of the neocon empire; The form of the MCA represents a brazen articulation of US imperialism that underlie the neocon open market agenda, namely, that the path to increased growth and prosperity lies in countries’ willingness and ability to adopt policies that promote economic freedom and the rule of law – bywords for freedom for America to operate.

National Security Strategy of
September 2002

The true nature of the MCA fraud was revealed in its placement within President Bush’s annual National Security Strategy (NSS) to Congress document, released on 20 September 2002. Overall, the NSS 2002 abandoned previous concepts of deterrence in favour of strategies that primarily targeted Iraq, such as pre-emptive attacks to destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction before they reached the US. Importantly, the NSS elevated the MCA’s goal of ‘reducing poverty through growth’ as the third pillar in America’s security portfolio, adding to defence and diplomacy. The NSS also placed the MCA Steering Committee under the direction of the National Security Council. In short, the NSS and the MCA collectively misrepresented Iraq invasion plans by crudely and dogmatically aligning neoliberal economic policies and America’s national security, reformulating the previously veiled relationship between foreign aid and global hegemonic ambitions of the US.

There is an interesting aside that demonstrates media freedom that existed in the west in 2002, and a remarkable display of fortitude by an Australian journalist currently unthinkable in corporate media in any western country. On 22 September 2002, The Sydney Morning Herald launched a scathing editorial attack on America’s NSS as a ‘Manifesto for world dictatorship’. The editorial opened with the words: ‘Now we know. The Americans have spelt it out in black and white. There will be a world government, but not one even pretending to be comprised of representatives of its nation states through the United Nations. The United States will rule, and not according to painstakingly developed international law and norms, but by what is in its interests.’ The editorial ended with the memorable words: “Australia’s choice is to become a non-enfranchised satellite state of the United States – and thus responsible for its aggression and a legitimate target for those fighting to win back countries the Americans take by force, or to fight like hell to save the United Nation’s dream of world government by negotiation.”

For his troubles however, by April 2003, a shake-up of senior management at John Fairfax Holdings saw Robert Whitehead (SMH editor, (2000-2005), moved to a new commercial and editorial division described as ‘powerful’. Showing even more spine Robert Whitehead appeared to cast off the copybook ‘kick upstairs’ and resigned his position less than 18 months later; He is currently on the Board of McPherson Media Group, and is the author of a recent International News Media Association (INMA) report on its new Digital Platform Initiative.

Proof is in the eating

The above contextual evidence shows that the Millennium Account was nothing but another fraudulent exercise undertaken in pursuit of global hegemony by the American empire through the penetration of neoliberal capitalism to prepare the world for the entry of its military forces and the mighty arsenal of WMDs without hindrance.

The real proof of the objectives of the MCC fraud, however, only comes across through the record of its operation in poor countries over the last two decades. Since 2004, 36 countries have signed MCC compacts and 29 countries entered in to threshold agreements, with some countries signing second compacts and threshold agreements.

Analysis of events in countries subjected to MCC compacts suggests that MCC grants dehumanise and disempower citizens in countries concerned by imposing Faustian deals on puppet governments. Significantly, MCC dealings with independent-minded leaders in countries such as Senegal, Malawi and Tanzania show that their defiance of MCC orders has led to swift cancellation of grants, and worse still, later imposing such deals through political opponents of forthright leaders who seem to be miraculously ascending to power.

A classic example is the case of Malawi: In 2012, Malawi’s MCC compact was suspended citing ‘rapidly deteriorating human rights environment’. In March 2012, following the ganging up of western donors against him, President Bingu wa Mutharika accused them of plotting to bring down his government and told them to ‘go to hell.’ Mutharika died of cardiac arrest just two weeks later. Following a constitutional and legal battle, and military intervention, the Columbia educated feminist activist Joyce Banda was sworn in as President of Malawi. The western corporate media led called it a triumph for democracy. Within the first week of her presidency, Banda spoke to Hillary Clinton and other western governments and the $350 million compact grant was reinstituted almost immediately. On the advice of the IMF, Banda devalued the Malawian currency by 33 per cent against the US dollar, overturning Mutharika’s refusal. On the political and social front, Banda refused in June 2012 to host the African Union summit on the grounds that the AU had insisted on assurances that Malawi would not allow the International Criminal Court arrest Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. Banda announced her intention to overturn Malawi’s ban on homosexuality. Later, however, Banda was involved in a corruption scandal of $300m, and was heavily defeated in the presidential election of May 2014, to the late president’s brother, current President Peter Mutharika. She failed in an attempt to nullify the election, and left the country to be placed a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Centre International Centre for Scholars.

Similarly, in Senegal, the former president of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade’s refusal to allow the French-Canadian consortium that held a 34 per cent stake in Senegal’s monopoly electricity supplier—as per the requirements of a $540 million MCC grant entered in to in 2004—to increase prices of electricity led to the freezing of funds. President Macky Sall, who was prime minister under President Wade, and was sacked by him in 2008, was elected president in April 2012 and 2019 is having a compliant relationship with the MCC, signing a new $550 million Senegal Power compact in December 2018.

More recently, in March 2016, the MCC suspended its grant of $472 million intended to help Tanzania bolster its power sector, following Tanzanian government rejection of MCC demands for assurances that the Cybercrimes Act—which prohibits Tanzanians from transmitting unsolicited messages containing false information ‘would not be used to restrict freedom of expression’. More importantly, the suspension related to Tanzania’s parliament passing legislation severely restricting the actions and movement of foreign diplomats and international workers to meet with local government authorities and party members without permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Another bone of contention was the Election Commission annulling elections for president of Zanzibar due to alleged irregularities. Tanzania president John Magufuli called the suspension of the MCC compact an opportunity for Tanzania to get serious about reducing its dependence on foreign assistance.

Similarly, in Ghana, in October 2019, MCC responded by cancelling the US$190 million grant in response to Ghanaian government’s termination of a 20-year contract transfer of operations of the state-run Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to an international consortium (PDS), citing dissatisfaction with payment guarantees. The MCC agreed in 2014 to provide Ghana with US$498 million for the power sector subject

Can foreign grants save Sri Lanka?

In addition to the concerns arising from the above information, fundamental questions need to be asked about the current government’s philosophy that Sri Lanka’s economic salvation lies in engagement with foreign markets, export of raw materials and the so-called foreign aid. The failure of Sri Lanka over the last century or so to become an economic El Dorado following this approach should help open the eyes of those who are unable to think independently.

The failure of trillions of dollars that have been transferred to developing countries over the last half the century, branded foreign aid, to lift the vast majority of people in these countries from abject poverty clearly suggests that it will not help buy more development. Despite such clear evidence, the current political leadership seem s hell-bent on keeping up ‘stoking the fire’ by supplying raw materials to world markets at grossly uneven terms of trade.

The proposed MCC pact appears even worse than other forms of so-called aid in that it has been designed for failure: Any economic plan—developed by the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University or anyone else—trying to reduce Sri Lanka’s development problems to issues relating to access to land and weakness in transport is simply baloney.

Our problems are rooted in incompetence, and lack of interest, of political leadership and the MCC pact should be thrown in the bin, preferably with some of that leadership.

What diehard UNPers’ say!

November 12th, 2019

By Dr. UPUL WIJAYAWARDHANA Courtesy The Island

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It looks as if the last lap of the Presidential election campaign were turning out to be a mud-slinging match. Sorry, I should correct myself to say, a mud-slinging campaign; as one side seems to be doing it predominantly, perhaps, in a planned systematic manner, may be out of desperation; whereas the other side seems to be trading the usual political insults, which we are so accustomed to during election times. State Minister Harsha de Silva is in hot water for a mud-slinging campaign, which he says started from his office without his knowledge and tweeted that he would not have approved had he known. Many give similar excuses when caught!

Further, it is turning out to be a political comedy of the highest absurdity. Two jokers who were responsible, in great measure, for the downfall of the Rajapaksa’s, are dancing merrily on the Sajith stage! UNPers who castigated them, not so long ago, are enthralled by their words of wisdom and the antics of the comedy duo, Mervyn Silva and Sajin Vaas, confirms that there is always a place for political rejects, however abhorrent they are, in this land like no other!

Having a discussion, often turning to a heated argument in true Sri Lanka fashion, with diehard supporters of the UNP, I have been enlightened greatly about political logic, but must confess, I am guilty of wasting my time because they will never change their choice at the ballot box, come hell or high water: they do not care even if the country is divided surreptitiously or Americans occupy Sri Lanka through A to Z agreements. I have not put the latter to the test with them but, going by the thinking I perceive, can safely guess what they would say: “So what, it is better than being under the Chinese!” Most patriotic citizens, though, are greatly concerned because Sajith, the miracle man, who loudly shouts in the first person about everything, is almost silent on the 13 demands of the Tamil parties that support him, and the MCC, which his sponsor-at-large, Mangala tried to push through the back door!

Talking about MCC, one said “Why are you worried, when Kumar Sangakkara is the president?” I had the onerous task of educating my vociferous nephew of this cricket loving nation, the vast difference between the benevolent Marylebone Cricket Club and the malevolent Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact! He may have learned some facts from me but doubt he changed his views, as even ‘Hela Urumaya’ champions like Ranawaka are there to expound the virtues of the MCC! They used to say ‘Love is blind’ but I am beginning to wonder whether it is politics that is blinding!

Awestruck with the chest-thumping oratory of Sajith, my friends and relations were ready to point out how bad Gota is: “He can hardly talk, he reads out from cards. Therefore, how can we expect him to deliver?” Being so used to loving those who ‘plant sweet potatoes with words’, ‘katin batala hitawanno’, true, Gota is no match to Sajith. Had the presidential election been an oratorical contest, it would have been only Mahinda, perhaps, who could have defeated Sajith; but this is about policies, not decided on the trot, and the ability to deliver. On performance, Sajith is no match to Gota, any with sense would accept, except the diehards. Leaving aside Sajith’s claims of re-dawning of a Premadasa era, which had lethal consequences to many, his only achievement as a minister, is the continuation of his father’s ‘Gam Udawa’ and, of course, keeping silent about the misdeeds of the UNP over Yahapalana era, vainly criticising them now as if he is an opposition candidate! My diehards had a perfectly logical explanation; had he done so, Sajith would not have got the UNP nomination! And to save the country from the evil clutches of Yahapalanaya, I should have added!!

I took pains to explain that Gota is a doer, not a talker. As correctly stated in his acceptance speech, when he was nominated the SLPP candidate, Gota has performed, over and above expectations, whatever task he was assigned to. He is not a career politician and, if he receives a public mandate in a few days’ time, would be the first ‘non-politician’ leader of the country. He retired from the army as a lieutenant colonel and received awards for gallantry from Presidents Jayewardene, Premadasa and Wijetunga. Mahinda appointed him the Defence Secretary with the brief, which was deemed impossible by experts, of eradicating the LTTE. He oversaw achieving this impossible with meticulous planning and coordination, of course, with political support from his big brother, as well as the support of commanders of all the three forces. As the Secretary of Urban Development, he was instrumental in many urban improvement projects, the most important being the beautification of the City of Colombo; one of the reasons for the tourist boom that occurred, after eradicating terrorism.

When I questioned my diehards whether they wanted a talker or a doer, as expected, their response was to direct attention to all the allegations against Gota. I had to point out that all these are allegations and Yahapalanaya, in spite of all its’ efforts, has not been able to prove a single. Much is made of Lasantha Wickramatunga murder, but they conveniently forget that the UNP repeatedly blamed FM Fonseka and he had never said that he did it on the orders of Gota. They cannot deny it, as it is on record, in the Hansard. As much as there are allegations of corruption by Gota, no less a person than FM Fonseka himself alleged that Sajith misused Cultural Trust funds!

Sajith’s policy pronouncements were highly criticised by FM Fonseka who, during Derana 360 programme on 2nd September, gave a detailed analysis of why they were unworkable. Since then Sajith has added a multitude of promises, some decided on the spur of the moment like giving ‘pilgrimage warrants’ to all senior citizens, at the request of one who attended his election rally! One firm policy decision is the appointment of one cabinet minister, the lure of which has induced amnesia in FM Fonseka, to be one of his greatest supporters. They cited this as living proof of how effective Sajith could be! Even the Almighty would have found it impossible to counter this logic: so, I had to give up, rather realised the futility of wasting my breath!

I was one, once, but do hope these diehard UNPers are a fast disappearing minority!

GR campaign raises bond scams, Geneva betrayal and Easter carnage

November 12th, 2019

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

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Top spokesman for Gotabaya Rajapaksa Campaign Charitha Herath yesterday said that the ruling UNP couldn’t cover up the Treasury bond scams, the betrayal of the armed forces in Geneva and negligence resulting in the Easter Sunday carnage, by questioning the credibility of SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Former Media Secretary Dr. Herath said the desperate attempts to depict Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a threat to national security on the basis of false claim that he was still a US citizen should be examined against the backdrop of the UNP hastily and secretively seeking to ink agreement with the US on Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant amounting to USD 480mn.

Dr. Herath said so addressing the media at the Pearl Grand Hotel, Bambalapitiya.

Have you ever heard of a government accused of robbing its own Central Bank being investigated by a Presidential Commission other than the infamous Sri Lankan example? he asked.

The national economy suffered debilitating setback due to treasury bond scams involving the disgraced primary dealer, Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), Herath said. The pohottuwa campaign official alleged that the UNP ‘raided’ the Central Bank twice-on Feb 27, 2015 during their much touted 100-day programme and again on March 29, 2016 in the wake of last parliamentary polls.

In between the two treasury bonds scams, the yahapalana government co-sponsored a controversial resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Oct 01, 2015 in Geneva inimical to Sri Lanka’s interests, Herath said. The government endorsed the agreement in spite of the then Permanent Representative in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha objecting to it, Herath pointed out.

Herath emphasized that Sajith Premdasa being a member of the cabinet as well as the Deputy Leader of the UNP couldn’t absolve himself of the responsibility for Geneva betrayal.

Those who questioned Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s role during the war conveniently forgot the abortive bid made by the LTTE to assassinate war veteran at the onset of the eelam war IV, Herath said, pointing out that the outcome of the conflict could have been quite different if the LTTE had succeeded.

An LTTE suicide cadre targeted him at the Piththala junction on the morning of Dec 01, 2006.

The LTTE made an attempt on then Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka’s life on the afternoon of April 25, 2006 inside the army headquarters.

Herath alleged that the government betrayed the armed forces again by declining to use evidence provided by House of Lords member Naseby in Sri Lanka’s defence in Geneva. He alleged that the government disregarded Lord Naseby’s Oct 2017 disclosure in the House of Lords based on wartime dispatches from the British High Commission in Colombo for obvious reasons.

British dispatches contradicted the much touted March 2011 UN claim that the 40,000 civilians perished on the Vanni east front.

Herath said that the UNP owed explanations as regards the treasury bond scams, particularly against the backdrop of its failure to secure the custody of Arjuna Mahendran, reverse the Geneva trap as well as its failure to thwart the Easter Sunday suicide attacks.

Herath pointed out that near simultaneous Easter Sunday carnage took place after the UPFA quit the government in late Oct 2018.

He also alleged that the UNP reached consensus with the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) led four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) for their benefit though that outfit still pursued the separatist agenda.

Herath said that the ITAK never gave up its 13-point demand, including abolition of the executive presidency, re-merger of the Eastern Province with the North and exclusive foreign investigations into alleged war crimes.

The GR Campaign official said that the UNP led New Democratic Front (NDF) had no qualms in receiving the TNA support though that outfit justified the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) massacre of the innocents. A section of the print media reported what Jaffna District TNA MP and party spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran, PC, spoke in support to the terror attacks at the BMICH on April 29, 2019.

If Gotabaya Rajapaksa functioned as the Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Easter attacks could have been thwarted, Herath said. The former Media Secretary recalled as to how the navy seized an LTTE owned ship ‘Princess Cristina’ in a foreign harbour and also the extradition of Kumaran Pathmanathan from Malaysia after the war to prove the strength of the then security apparatus.

The public realized the need for enhanced security in the wake of Easter Sunday attacks, Herath said querying whether the TNA knew that at least 70 Tamil civilians perished in the multiple attacks and about 100 other Tamils were wounded.

The GR Campaign official said that the public couldn’t be deceived by propaganda as the vast majority remembered the treacherous Norway arranged Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) signed in Feb 2002. The UNP recognized the then temporarily-merged Northern and Eastern Province as a unit under the LTTE, Herath said. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga now with the UNP had no option at that time to take over three ministries, including defence to prevent the disintegration of the country.

Herath said that those propagating lies about ‘white van’ abductions couldn’t stomach Sri Lanka’s triumph over terrorism. He also pointed out how the government did away with annual victory day parade soon after robbing the Central Bank.

After hiatus, Rajapaksa brothers set to dominate Sri Lanka again

November 12th, 2019

Sanjeev MiglaniShihar Aneez  Courtesy Reuters 

COLOMBO (Reuters) – One brother is considered a shoo-in for the job of Sri Lanka’s president in elections this weekend and another is eyeing the prime minister’s post when that election becomes due early next year. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka People’s Front party presidential election candidate and former wartime defence chief, with his brothers, Mahinda Rajapaksa, former president and opposition leader and Chamal Rajapaksa (R) are seen as they leave after handing over nomination papers at the election commission ahead of Sri Lanka’s presidential election, scheduled for November 16

Two other brothers are political strategists for their Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party and one of them is considering a shot at becoming the speaker in parliament. Three men of the family’s next generation are also in politics.

The Rajapaksas, best known for the brutal defeat of separatist Tamil rebels and then drawing Sri Lanka into China’s orbit when the West and India shunned the Indian Ocean island, are back at the centre of the nation’s deeply divisive politics and it is stoking fear.

While there are no formal opinion polls, former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the hot favourite to win the presidential election this Saturday. His chief opponent Sajith Premadasa, a government minister, is seen to be trailing.

Gotabaya led the operations against the Tamil Tigers when his elder brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was president. Gotabaya has faced lawsuits in Sri Lanka and in the United States over allegations of staged killings of Tamil separatists, critics and journalists during the war.

Both brothers deny the allegations as part of a Western conspiracy to interfere in the island nation of 22 million that sits astride vital shipping lanes and has long been a tinder-box of tensions between the dominant Sinhalese Buddhists and minority ethnic Tamils. In recent months, Sinhalese hardliners have also targeted the tiny Muslim community.  

Mahinda lost the 2015 presidential election to a cabinet colleague who turned against him – Maithripala Sirisena. After his ouster, the family’s fortunes fell into decline.

But Easter Sunday bombings on hotels and churches, in which more than 250 people were killed, derailed Sirisena’s presidency, and he has announced he will not contest this year. The attacks, claimed by Islamic State, have rekindled support for the Rajapaksas and their brand of Sinhalese nationalism.

Mahinda is barred from running for president again, and is on the stump for Gotabaya, bringing an affable touch to the campaign against the rather gruff manner of his brother, more known for his military machismo.

Another brother, Basil, handles the party finances and striking deals with rival groups while a fourth brother and former speaker, Chamal, campaigns in the family borough in the south of the island.

FAMILY PROSPECTS

Mahinda, who is currently leader of the opposition in parliament, is the obvious choice for prime minister when parliamentary elections are held early next year, said Keheliya Rambukwella, spokesman for the Gotabaya campaign.

Chamal Rajapaksa would be the choice for parliament speaker, a position he has previously held, political experts say. In all, seven members of the family are involved in politics, and some of the others could also end up in parliament.

We are going to see family rule again, and all the excesses that came up with it the last time,” said Health Minister Rajitha Senarathne, who is opposed to the Rajapaksas. They will suppress all dissent.”

In a front-page editorial, the state-run Sunday Observer said it was afraid” of a Gotabaya presidency and appealed to voters to make the right choice.”

A wrong choice will send the country hurtling towards authoritarianism and iron-fisted rule,” it said.

Gotabaya’s spokesman dismissed warnings of family rule, saying the candidate was quite clear merit will be the only considered for top political jobs. Slideshow (4 Images)

When Gotabaya comes to power he will appoint people with qualification to the positions, irrespective of their ties to him,” Rambukwella said.

On the campaign, Gotabaya has been uncompromising about the need to strengthen security, repeatedly raising the circumstances that led to the Easter Sunday attacks.

At a campaign rally in Wellawaye in central Sri Lanka Gotabaya said during his time as defence secretary, he had raised special military and intelligence units to tackle extremism, drug trafficking networks and the underworld. These cells had since been weakened, he said.

There can be no higher priority than national security,” he said.

Sinhalese can be defeated: Only by voting for Sajith – Sumanthiran

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Ceylon Today

Tamil people must act in collaboration against the expectations of the Southern Sinhala people, regarding Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory and prevent Sinhala leaders from emerging victorious, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Spokesman and MP, M.A. Sumanthiran said.


At the upcoming Presidential Election, all the Tamil people must unite to stifle the ‘Gotabaya menace,’ he stressed.


He made these statements at a public rally held in Maankulam, Mullaitivu, to express support for NDF Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa.

The Tamil people must act to stop another Rajapaksa family-administration, including Gotabaya Rajapaksa, without giving them any opportunity to resurface, he emphasised, adding that the Tamil people in the North and East must unite to vote for Sajith Premadasa at the Presidential election.


The Tamil people, who ended the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, should now take action to drive out Gotabaya Rajapaksa. In 2005, the Rajapaksa family came into power because the Tamil people didn’t vote, he added.


He added, “One Presidential candidate, in his election manifesto, has stated that he will devolve power in a unitary and an undivided country. Although one candidate had the strength to make such a statement, no such statement can be found in Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election manifesto. 

They don’t have the strength to at least present a solution to the national issue or to make a statement in that connection. Therefore, we request the Tamil people to vote for New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa.”

Several months for names to appear in Federal Register after renunciation: US Embassy

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

The renunciation of US citizenship by an individual might take several months to be published in the Federal Register, a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Colombo said.

However, she noted that the embassy cannot comment on individual visa or citizenship issues according to US privacy laws.

Responding to questions raised by Ada Derana with regard to SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa renouncing his citizenship, US Embassy Spokesman Nancy VanHorn said:

Due to US privacy laws, I cannot comment on an individual case involving visas or citizenship.” 

It’s also important to note that several months may pass between when an individual renounces his or her citizenship and when that person’s name appears in the federal register.”

Political opponents, certain media reports and social media posts have claimed that Rajapaksa has not successfully renounced his US citizenship yet as his name has not appeared in the Federal Register.

However, the former Defence Secretary and his camp have vehemently rejected this allegation while maintaining that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is no longer a US citizen after successfully renouncing it.

Sri Lanka’s laws do not allow dual citizens or non-citizens to contest national elections.

Gotabaya promises Rs 1,000 daily wage for estate workers

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa says that he will increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs 1,000 and also they will establish a state university for the students in the estate areas of the Central Province.

Addressing an election rally held in Kotagala area in Hatton, Rajapaksa said that he spoke to the youth and that they informed him that students selected to university have to travel all the way to areas such as Jaffna and this leads to economic problems.

He said that they had asked for a university to be established in this region and that he promised them to build a new university in the province. 

Speaking in Tamil then, Rajapaksa then went on to say that he will give the estate workers the daily wage of Rs 1,000 which they have been calling for. 

He also said that new home will be built and provided to the estate workers and that he will make sure to complete it within his five-year term as president.

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, had visited Sri Lanka

November 12th, 2019

By P.K.Balachandran/Daily Express Courtesy NewsIn.Asia

Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, had visited Sri Lanka

Colombo, November 10: The 550 th. anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, a 16 th.Century Indian saint who founded Sikhism, was celebrated all over the world on November 9. Today, Sikhism is the fifth largest organized religion with 30 million followers across the globe.

The anniversary was marked by the historic opening of a corridor across the India-Pakistan border to link a famous Sikh shrine in Kartarpur in Pakistan with another in Dera Baba Nanak in India.

The opening ceremonies, which were held in India and Pakistan separately, were presided over by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and his Pakistan counterpart, Imran Khan.

Heaping fulsome praise on Imran Khan, Modi said: I thank Pakistan Prime Minister Sriman Imran Khan Niazi. He understood India’s feelings on the Kartarpur corridor issue, gave respect and, keeping in view those feelings, worked accordingly.”

Guru Nanak was a poet, a religious teacher, and a social reformer who preached that God is one, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, and beyond all form and name. His thought that ‘All men are equal’ led to a social doctrine which was against discrimination based on caste, religion, race, color or financial status.

Stayed In Lanka For More Than Two Years

Guru Nanak spread his faith through incessant travels. He was not stationary, expecting devotees to come to him. He reached out to the common man in their fields and humble abodes, eschewing existing places of worship.

Apart from traversing the length and breadth of North India, the Guru, who hailed from the present-day State of Punjab, had visited South India and then crossed over to Sri Lanka also.

It is believed that he stayed in the island of Singhla Deep” for almost two and half years as a guest of the Kotte King Dharma Parakramabhu IX and his co-regent Vijayabahu VII whose given or original name, according to Sikh chronicles, was Shivnabh or Shivnabin.

According to the renowned South Indian historian, Dr.V.Raghavan, there was at least one epigraphic evidence to show that Guru Nanak had visited Sri Lanka in the fifteenth year of the reign of Parakramabahu IX. The saint’s name is given as Jnanakacharya”, which could well be Nanakacharya”.

Writing in 1969, Dr.Raghavan said that although most of the names mentioned in the Sikh accounts did not find a place in actual historical records, the possibility of Guru Nanak having come to Sri Lanka could not be ruled out. Religious leaders and traders from various parts of India, including the Punjab, were visiting South India and Sri Lanka regularly at the time. And Sinhalese kings were in close touch with India, following many Indian customs and practices, and being open to Indian influences in various spheres.

The epigraphic evidence Dr.Raghavan was alluding to, was given in 1969 by Dr. Saddamangala Karunaratna, an Assistant Commissioner of Archeology in Sri Lanka. In his paper, Guru Nanak and Ceylon” presented at the International Seminar on the Life and Teachings of Guru Nanak at the Punjabi University, Patiala held in September 1969, Dr. Karunaratna referred of an original writing on a slab numbered M-111” which was kept in the Archeological Museum at Anuradhapura. The writing mentions Nanakacharya’s visit to Sri Lanka.

Quoting from Dr.Karunaratna’s paper in his article in sikhnet.com, Dr. Dalvinder Singh Grewal, says that the writing contains a passage in Sanskrit which is said to have been written on the orders of the Jayavardana Kotte King Dharama Prakrambahu IX. In the fifteenth year of the reign of Dharama Parkarambahu IX, Jnanakacharya, a divine person from abroad, had visited Jayavardhana Kotte.

The saint was propagating a new faith. He met the ruler and explained to him the tenets of his faith. The king is said to have promised to embrace the new faith, provided he defeated his Sangharaja, Dharamakriti-sthavira in a debate on a religious doctrine.

A public meeting was arranged in front of the palace, where a debate on Ishvara and the Soul was held between Jnankacharya and Dharamakriti-sthavira. Guru Nanak defeated the Sangharaja. After the defeat of Dharamakriti-sthavira, Jnanankacharya asked the King to keep his promise to accept the new faith. But the king said that he would be able to give a reply only after confirming the result of the debate.

Guru Nanak’s travels in Sri Lanka circa 1520s

Meanwhile, the powerful Brahmins in the royal court found out that the faith of Jnanakacharya emphasized monotheism and rejected idol-worship and the caste-system. The Brahmins, whose religion was wedded to the caste hierarchy, did not relish the idea of their King embracing Jnanakacharya’s new faith. They approached Dharamadhvaja-Pandita, a scholar of Sanskrit, Pali, Hinduism and Buddhism, and got him to challenge Jnanakacarya for a debate.

A public debate was again arranged. The subject was idol worship. At the end of the debate the customary voting took place. But the result was manipulated to make Dharamadhvaja-Pandita the winner. Jnanakacarya had no option to leave left Jayavardhanpura. According to Dr Karunaratna Jnanakcarya was none other than Nanakacharya or Guru Nanak.

The story about how Guru Nanak decided to come to Sri Lanka is quite interesting. Mansukh, a trader from Lahore in Punjab, who was a follower of Guru Nanak, had visited Sri Lanka earlier on trading missions. King Shivnabh was very impressed by the trader’s devotion to the Guru and was eager to pay his obeisance to the Guru himself. It was at the request of this trader, that Guru Nanak visited Sri Lanka, Dr.Grewal writes.

According to another legend, King Shivnabh used to observe fast onIkadashi(first of each lunar month) and forced his citizens to follow the practice. Those who did not were punished. Trader Mansukh did not fast. Instead he used to sing Nanak’s hymns and distributedPrasad. The king arrested him and asked him to explain his conduct.

In his defense, the Punjabi trader said that his Guru had taught him those who ate less and worshipped God, observedlkadashievery day. Intrigued, wanted to know who the Guru was. The trader said he was Nanak from Kartarpur. The king then said, I wish to see Guru Nanak. How can I see him?” The trader said, You pray to the Lord, construct a place for the Guru to stay and serve visiting saints. Guru Nanak will be seen by you.” The king made a place for the Guru in a dried up garden and started serving visiting saints.

Back in Punjab, Mansukh narrated King Shivnabh’s eagerness to meet Guru Nanak. Listen to this”, Guru Nanak told his companion Mardana: It is important that we go there.” Mardana agreed.

According to Janamsakhi Parampraedited by Dr Kirpal Singh mention of Guru Nanak to Sri Lanka (Sangladeep) is there in all the compiled Janamsakhis.

Dr Surinder Singh Kohli, in his Travels of Guru Nanak” (Sikh Book Club 1969)]mentions Nagapatnam (India), Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Dibar, Kurukalmadam, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Adam’s Peak, Pussalawa (Pushalpur), Ramboda, Badulla, Kotte (Colombo), Anuradhapura, Jaffapatnam, Nainativu island and Mannar as places visited by the Guru in Sri Lanka.

InJeevan Charit Guru Nanak DevDr Trilochan Singh (Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Board 1972) mentions Guru Nanak’s boarding a ship from Rameshwaram for Jappapatnam (Jaffna) and visiting Seetwaka, Kurukalamadam, Nainativu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kurukalmadam, Kalmunai, Tirukoil, Pottuvil, Panama, Katargama ( Kartik Swami temple), Manik Ganga, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura, Mannar and Rameshwaram (India).

Kurukkal Madam (Abode of a Guru) in Batticaloa district in Eastern Sri Lanka is named after Guru Nanak it is believed. Writing in sikhnet.com, Dr.Grewal says that Guru Nanak along with Bhai Mardana and other Sikhs visited and stayed at this place for over three months. The people of the village told Dr. Kipral Singh of Punjabi University, Patiala, who had visited the place in September 1968, that about 450 years ago a Siddha Baba from Northern India, had visited this place. The village of Kurukkalmadam was established in memory of the Siddha Baba. He was, in all likelihood, Guru Nanak.

හිටපු ජනාධිපති රණසිංහ ප්‍රේමදාස මහතා එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානයට ආයුධ හා මුදල් ලබා දුන්නා – වරධරාජා

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

හිටපු ජනාධිපති රණසිංහ ප්‍රේමදාස මහතා එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සංවිධානයට ආයුධ හා මුදල් ලබා දුන් බව උතුරු නැගෙනහිර හිටපු ප්‍රධාන අමාත්‍ය වරධරාජා පෙරුමාල් මහතා පවසනවා.

ඔහු මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ කොළඹදී අද පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකට එක්වෙමින්.

සජිත්ගේ මැතිවරණ ව්‍යාපාරයේ ඉදිරි පැය 48 වෙන්වන්නේ ගෝඨාභයට මඩ ගැසීමටයි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතාගේ මැතිවරණ ව්‍යාපාරයේ ඉදිරි පැය 48ක කාලය වෙන්ව ඇත්තේ ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට මඩ ප්‍රචාර එල්ල කිරීමට පමණක් බවට ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ චෝදනා කරනවා.

අද පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදී පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී ඩලස් අලහප්පෙරුම මහතා මේ බව සඳහන් කළා.

රටේ භූමිය බෙදීමට ඉදිරිපත් වන සියළු බලවේග පරාජය කිරීමට එක්විය යුතු බව මහා සංඝරත්නය කියයි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

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ඉදිරියේදී පැවැත්වෙන ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදි රටේ භූමිය බෙදීමට හෝ ජාතික සමගිය විනාශ කිරීමට ඉදිරිපත්වන සියලු බලවේග පරාජය කිරීමට ජනතාව එකමුතු විය යුතු බව මහා සංඝරත්නය පවසනවා.

නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කරමින් උන්වහන්සේ ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ රටේ ඒකීය භාවය ආරක්ෂා කරගනිමින් වැටී ඇති ආර්ථිකය ගොඩගැනීමට හැකියාවක් ඇති පුද්ගලයාට ඡන්දය භාවිත කරන ලෙසයි.

පූජ්‍ය ඉත්තෑපානේ ධම්මාලංකාර මහ නාහිමියන්, මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය කොටපිටියේ අනුනාහිමියන්, මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය කහපොල සුගතරතන අනුනාහිමියන්, ආචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය වල්පොල විමලඥාණ අනුනාහිමියන්, ඊට අදාළ නිවේදනය සඳහා අත්සන් තබා තිබෙනවා.

එමෙන්ම මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය මැදගම නන්දවාස හිමියන්, මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය පල්ලෙකන්දේ රතනසාර අනුනාහිමියන්, මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය කිවුලේගෙදර නාරද හිමියන්, පූජ්‍ය ගංතුනේ අස්සජි හිමියන්, පූජ්‍ය වස්කඩුවේ මහින්දවංශ හිමියන්, පූජ්‍ය අඹේවෙල පඤ්ඤාසාර හිමියන්, පූජ්‍ය  ඕමාරේ කස්සප අනුනාහිමියන් සහ මහාචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය අගලකඩ සිරිසුමන යන හිමිවරුන්ද ඊට අත්සන් තබා තිබුණා.

එමඟින් වැඩිදුරටත් පෙන්වා දෙන්නේ පසුගිය කාල පරිච්ඡේදයේ මෙරට පත්වූ අවාසනාවන්ත තත්ත්වය නිසා රටේ ස්වෛරී භාවය, භෞමික අඛන්ඩතාව හා ස්වාධීනත්වය මෙන්ම ජාතික ආරක්ෂාව අතිශයින් පිරිහී ඇති බවයි.

මිලියන ගණන් වංචා සිදුවූ මහ බැංකු කොල්ලයට මෙතෙක් කිසිදු වගකිව යුත්තෙක් නොමැති අතර, මිනිස් ජීවිත සිය ගණනක් විනාශ කළ බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරයට දායකවූවන් තවමත් නිදැල්ලේ පසුවන බවද එමඟින් සඳහන් කර තිබෙනවා.

එබැවින් ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදි රටේ ඒකීය භාවය රැකදීමටත්, ජාතික ආරක්ෂාව තහවුරු කිරීමටත්, වැටී ඇති ආර්ථික අගාධයෙන් රට ගොඩනැගීමටත් හැකියාවක් ඇති වඩාත් සුදුසුම නායකයා තෝරාගැනීමට තම වටිනා ඡන්දය භාවිත කරන ලෙසයි මහා සංඝ රත්නය සමස්ත ජනතාවගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ.

මේ අතර අවස්ථාවාදී දේශපාලනඥයින්ගේ අදුරදර්ශී ක්‍රියා හේතුවෙන් මේ වනවිට දිවයිනේ සැම ක්‍ෂේත්‍රයකම ව්‍යාකූල තත්ත්වයක් හටගෙන ඇති බව මාළිගාකන්දේ විද්‍යෝදය මහ පිරිවෙණ සහ පෑලියගොඩ විද්‍යාලංකාර මහ පිරිවෙණ ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කරමින් පවසනවා.

එම පිරිවෙන්වල පරිවේණාධිපතිවරුන් වන ආචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය බලංගොඩ සෝභිත නාහිමියන් සහ ආචාර්ය පූජ්‍ය වැලමිටියාවේ කුසලධම්ම නාහිමිවරුන්ගේ අත්සනින් යුත් එම ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනය මගින් පෙන්වා දෙන්නේ අවස්ථාවාදි පාලකයන්ගේ අමනෝඥ ක්‍රියාවන් හේතුවෙන් පාස්කු ඉරිදා බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරය එල්ලවූ බවයි.

සතුරු කුමන්ත්‍රණවලින් අප මාතෘ භූමිය බේරාගැනීමට නම් එළඹෙන 16 වනදා පැවැත්වීමට නියමිත ජනාධීපතිවරණයේදි දේශයට, ජාතියට සහ ශාසනයට ආරාධනය කරන ශක්තිමත් නායකයෙකු පත් කරගත යුතු බව මෙම නිවේදනයේ දක්වා තිබෙනවා

නිදහස් පාක්ෂිකයින් රැක ගැනීමට කැප වී සිටින බව විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද කියයි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂිකයින් රැකගැනීමට සහ ආරක්ෂා කිරීමට ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ කැපවී සිටින බව විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ පවසනවා.

ඔහු මේ බව කියා සිටියේ අද ශ්‍රීි‍්‍ර දළදා සමිඳුන් වැඳපුදා ගැනීමෙන් අනතුරුව මාධ්‍ය වෙත අදහස් දක්වමින්.

ගෝඨාභයට එරෙහිව සැකසූ තවත් අසත්‍ය තොරතුරු ඇතුළත් අත්පත්‍රිකා තොගයක් පානදුරේදී සොයා ගනී

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ ප්‍රමුඛ ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට එරෙහිව සකස් කළ අසත්‍ය තොරතුරු ඇතුළත් තවත් අත්පත්‍රිකා තොගයක් පානදුර නගරයේ පිහිටි නව ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදි පෙරමුණේ මැතිවරණ කාර්යාලයක තිබී පොලීසිය සොයාගෙන තිබෙනවා.

ඒ, එම පත්‍රිකා බෙදාහරිමින් සිටින බවට ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ නියෝජනය කරන හිටපු මන්ත්‍රීවරුන් පිරිසක් පොලීසියට කළ පැමිණිල්ලකට අනුවයි.

මේ අතර සූරියවැව ප්‍රදේශයේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකට එක්වෙමින් ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ නියෝජනය කරන, සූරියවැව ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා මන්ත්‍රී චතූ සේනාධීර කියා සිටියේ තමන්ට, අමාත්‍ය සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට සහය පළ කරමින් රැළියකට එක්වන ලෙස ඉල්ලීමක් ලැබුණු බවයි.

එම මාධ්‍ය හමුවට එක්ව සිටි පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී ඩී.වී. චානක එම ඉල්ලීම ඇතුළත් හඬ පටයද මාධ්‍ය වෙත ඉදිරිපත් කළා.

මේ අතර පසුගියදා රාජිත සේනාරත්න අමාත්‍යවරයා සමඟ මාධ්‍ය හමුවකට එක්වූ පුද්ගලයෙකු සිදුකළ ප්‍රකාශයකට අදාළ ස්ථානය මීට පෙර මොණරාගල දිස්ත්‍රික් ලේකම් කාර්යාලයට අයත් නිල නිවාසයක් ලෙස භාවිත කළ බවට අනාවරණ වී තිබෙනවා.

එම ස්ථානය මොණරාගල ඩිපෝවට යන මාර්ගයේ පිහිටි නිල නිවාසයක් වන අතර, පසුව එය ජාතික ශිෂ්‍ය භට බලකාය භාවිත කළ බවට වාර්තා වනවා.

මේ අතර අමාත්‍ය රාජිත සේනාරත්නට එරෙහිව එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂ කඹුරුපිටිය හිටපු සම සංවිධායක උදය දිසානායක අද අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට පැමිණිල්ලක් ඉදිරිපත් කළා

වතු කම්කරු වැටුප රුපියල් දහසක් කරන බව ජනපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය කියයි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

වතු කම්කරුවන්ගේ වැටුප රුපියල් දහස දක්වා ඉහළ නංවන බව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ පවසනවා.

කොටගල ප්‍රදේශයේ අද පැවති ජන හමුවකට එක්වෙමින් ඔහු මෙම අදහස් කළා.

මෙම ජන හමුවට විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ, ලංකා කම්කරු කොංග්‍රසයේ නායක පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී ආරුමුගම් තොණ්ඩමන්, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී මහින්දානන්ද අලුත්ගමගේ ඇතුළු දේශපාලනඥයින් රැසක් එක්ව සිටියා.

ජනාධිපතිවරණය ජයගන්නේ ගෝඨාභයයි – විදෙස් මාධ්‍ය කියයි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණය සම්බන්ධයෙන් විදෙස් මාධ්‍යවල අවධානයක් යොමු වී තිබෙනවා.

රොයිටර් පුවත් සේවය සහ ‘ද හින්දු’ වෙබ් අඩවි වාර්තාවල දැක්වුණේ ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණයෙන් ජය ගැනීමට ඉඩ ඇති වඩාත් ජනප්‍රිය අපේක්ෂකයා බවට ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ පත්ව සිටින බවයි.

රොයිටර් පුවත් සේවයේ අදාළ වාර්තාව මගින් පෙන්වා දෙන්නේ ඉදිරි ජනාධිපතිවරණය පිළිබඳ නිල මත විමසුමක් පවත්වා නොමැති වූවද, හිටපු ආරක්ෂක ලේකම් ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ ජනාධිපතිවරණයෙන් ජයගත හැකි වඩා ජනප්‍රිය අපේක්ෂකයා බවයි.

ඔහුගේ ප්‍රතිවාදී අපේක්ෂකයා වන අමාත්‍ය සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මන්දගාමී ගමනක නිරත බවද එහි දක්වා තිබෙනවා.

ඉන්දීය ‘ද හින්දු’ වෙබ් අඩවිය වෙනුවෙන්ද මෙරට ජනාධිපතිවරණය පිළිබඳව වාර්තාවක් සම්පාදනය වී තිබුණා.

ශක්තිමත් නායකයෙකු, යුද්ධය නිමා කිරීම සඳහා කළ මෙහෙය මෙන්ම යටිතල පහසුකම් සංවර්ධනය කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ජනතාව ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ කෙරෙහි බලාපොරොත්තු තබා සිටින බව එම වාර්තාවේ සඳහන්.

දකුණු පළාතේ පිටිසරබද ප්‍රදේශ නියෝජනය කරන සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට සහය දක්වන ඇතැම් පිරිස් පවා ප්‍රකාශ කරන්නේ එම ප්‍රදේශවල බහුතර ජනතාවක් ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට සහය දක්වනු ඇති බව යැයිද ‘ද හින්දු’ වාර්තාවේ දැක්වෙනවා.

සජිත් පොළොන්නරුවට ආ හෙළිකොප්ටර් යානය ගොඩබැස්වීමේදී ගොඩනැගිලි කිහිපයකට හානි

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක අමාත්‍ය සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස පැමිණි හෙළිකොප්ටර් යානය කදුරුවෙල සීවලී ආදර්ශ ප්‍රාථමික විද්‍යාලයේ ක්‍රීඩාංගණයට ගොඩබැස්වීමේදී ඒ ආසන්නයේ තිබූ වෙළඳසැල් කිහිපයකට අලාභහානි සිදුව තිබෙනවා.

අද පස්වරු 3 ට පමණ හෙළිකොප්ටර් යානයකින් අමාත්‍යවරයා එහි පැමිණියේ කදුරුවෙල පැවති ජන හමුවට සහභාගී වීම සඳහායි.

මේ අතර එම ස්ථානයේ සිටි දෙදරු මවක් තුවාල ලබා ඇති බවයි වැඩිදුර තොරතුරු වාර්තා වන්නේ.

මේ අතර පසුගිය 7 වනදා ද දෙනියාය මොරවක ජන රැළියට සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස පැමිණි හෙළිකොප්ටර් යානය ගොඩබැස්වීමේදීද කොටපොළ ජාතික පාසල් ක්‍රීඩාංගණය ආසන්නයේ තිබූ ගොඩනැගිලි කිහිපයකට හානි සිදුවූණා.

අද පස්වරුවේ කදුරුවෙල සීවලී විද්‍යාලයේ ක්‍රීඩාංගණය ආසන්නයේ පැවති ගොඩනැගිලි කිහිපයකට හානි සිදුවූ අයුරු පහතින්.

දෙමළ සන්ධානයේ, නැදුන්කර්නි සභාපතිගේ සහය ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

>යාපනය – නැදුන්කර්නි ප්‍රාදේශිය සභාවේ සභාපති පී. රොෂාන් අද ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති ධුර අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට සහය පළ කරන බව ප්‍රකාශ කළා.

ඒ, යාපනයේදී මාධ්‍ය හමුවක් කැඳවමින්.

තමන්, පසුගිය පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයේදී දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයෙන් නැදුන්කර්නි ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවට තේරී පත්වුවද ප්‍රදේශයේ සංවර්ධනය වෙනුවෙන් කිසිදු ආධාරයක් හෝ සහයෝගයක් ලබාදීමට දෙමළ සන්ධානයට නොහැකිවූ බවටයි ඔහු එහිදි චෝදනා කළේ.

‘අපි ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවේ පාලනයට ඇවිල්ලා අවුරුදු 2 ක් වෙනවා. කිසිදු සංවර්ධන කටයුත්තක් සිද්ධවෙලා නැහැ. මම මේ සභාවට තේරී පත් වුණේ දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයෙන්. හැබැයි අවුරුදු දෙකක් ගිහිල්ලත් ඒකේ කිිසිදු මන්ත්‍රීවරයෙක් මොනවද වෙන්න  ඕන කියලා මේ දක්වා විමසීමක්වත් කරලා නැහැ. ගම්පෙරළිය වැඩසටහන හරහා පමණක් මිලියන 65 ක මුදලක් අපට ලැබුණා. ඒ හැර මේ රජය හෝ දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය කිසිදු ආධාරයක් අපිට කරලා නැහැ. ඒ නිසා අපි ප්‍රදේශයේ ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් ඔවුන්ගේ ඉල්ලීම් වෙනුවෙන් මෙම තීරණයට ආවා. ඒ නිසා අපි එළඹෙන මැතිවරණයේදී පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට සහයෝගය ලබාදෙන්න තීරණය කළා. මම අවුරුදු තුනක් පුනරුත්ථාපන කඳවුරේ හිිටියා. වර්තමාන විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ ඇවිත් මම ඇතුලූ 800 දෙනෙකු එකවර පුනරුත්ථාපන කඳවුරෙන් නිදහස් කළා. ඒකෙන්ම ඔහුගේ විශ්වසනීයත්වය තහවුරු වෙනවා. ඒ නිසා ඔහු පිළිබඳව විශ්වාසය තියලා තමයි අපි මේ වගේ තීරණයකට එළඹුනේ.

කතාකරුවන් නොව වැඩකරුවන් දැන් රටට අවශ්‍ය -ජනප්‍රිය නිලි සංජිවනි වීරසිංහ

November 12th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

කලාකරුවන් ලෙස රට වෙනුවෙන් අත දීම සිදු කළ යුතු මොහොතකට මේ වන විට රට පැමිණ ඇති බව ජනප්‍රිය නිලි සංජිවනි වීරසිංහ පවසනවා.

ඇය මේ සම්බන්ධව අදහස් දැක්වුයේ මාතර අද (12) පැවැති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකට එක්වෙමින්.

එහිදී වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දැක්වමින් ඇය කියා සිටියේ කතාකරුවන් නොව වැඩකරුවන් මේ වන විට රටට අවශ්‍ය බවයි

Police seek legal advice regarding mudslinging leaflets found from UNP MP Jayampathi’s Office

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

The Ruwanwella Police has sought legal advice from the Police Legal Division over steps to be taken against mudslinging leaflets against Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Presidential Candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa found from the Magammana area in Ruwanwella.

Police said that the leaflets were found after information was received that they were being distributed in the Magammana area.

During further investigations more leaflets were found from an office of UNP Parliamentarian Jayampathi Wickramarathna in Ruwanwella.

GOTABHYA IN THE LEAD; SAYS FOREIGN MEDIA

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

Attention has been drawn to the upcoming presidential election in Sri Lanka, by several foreign media.

According to articles published on both Reuters and the Hindu, former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the hot favorite to win the presidential election this Saturday.

The article published on Reuters stated that even though there are no formal opinion polls, former defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the hot favorite to win the presidential election this Saturday while his chief opponent Sajith Premadasa, is seen to be trailing.

Meanwhile, in an article published in The Hindu, the people are hopeful of Gotabhaya Rajapakse being their future leader. 

The article asserts that the reasons pulling voters towards Gotabaya Rajapakse this time go beyond war victory”. Some of them are looking for a respite from the everyday economic strain they associate with the incumbent government.

The article, further states in most parts of the Southern Province, almost every local, including those supporting Gotabaya Rajapakshe’s main opponent Sajith Premadasa, asserts that a majority will vote for Gotabaya Rajapakshe.

INDIAN TRIBUNAL CONFIRMS BAN ON LTTE

November 12th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

The five-year ban imposed by the Indian government on the Liberation LTTE has been confirmed by a tribunal set up to examine whether the prohibitions on the terror organization should continue.

According to sources in the Delhi High Court, the tribunal headed by Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal confirmed the ban on the LTTE on November 7th and the confirmation order has been sent to the government, in a sealed cover, for notification.

India had banned the LTTE after the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. Since then, the ban imposed on the group has been extended after every five years.

MCC, ACSA, SOFA with US incompatible with international law

November 11th, 2019

by  Tamara Kunanayakam, Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva

[T]here is no friendship when nations are not equal,when one has to obey another and when one only dominates another.” Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India Closing Speech at the Asian-African Conference, Bandung, 1955

Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA), the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) are agreements integral to US national security and self-defense strategies, whose goal is American Self-Preservation,” an ideology incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

MCC, crude and dogmatic alignment with US National Security Strategy

A clarification of MCC’s role in America’s national security and ‘self-defense’ strategies is required. The alignment is crude and dogmatic, designed to advance US influence globally and secure allies and partners by imposing upon developing countries, mostly those branded failed states,” fundamental political, legal and economic reform of the state apparatus and a ‘rule of law’ that benefits US interests in the long-term.

MCC’s central role was ‘codified’ in the 2002 National Security Strategy of US President George W. Bush, which for the first time contained the controversial doctrine of ‘pre-emptive’ war. It elevated development aid to the level of defense and diplomacy as one of the three pillars of the global War on Terror.” The current President’s 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) links US military strategies to the imperative of political and economic reform, claiming consolidation of its military victories” were made possible only bypolitical and economic triumphs built on market economies and fair trade, democratic principles, and shared security partnerships”.

One of the most novel and coercive features of MCC is the ‘pre-emptive’ method used to administer aid – it will reward countries that have demonstrated real policy change and challenge those that have not to implement reform.” Before receiving aid, the country must successfully pass 16 eligibility criteria devised by the Bush Administration ranging from civil liberties to ‘days to start a business.’ In a March 2018 speech on US-Africa relations, the then US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, described the coercive essence of MCC that goes far above and beyond the particular project targeted. Referring to a $524 million compact signed with Cote d’Ivoire to improve its education and transportation sectors, Tillerson declared, This was only possible after the country had implemented policies to strengthen economic freedom, democratic principles, human rights, and to fight corruption. Spurring reforms before a dollar of U.S. taxpayer money is even spent is the MCC’s model.”

The 2017 National Security Strategy reaffirms MCC as a coercive tool to bring fragile” and developing countries under America’s influence to counter Russia and China, by achieving radical transformation of the recipient State, based on free-market principles, privatization, and good governance: “We already do this through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which selects countries that are committed to reform and then monitors and evaluates their projects.” MCC is “a model to achieve greater connectivity” in the so-called Indo-Pacific. 

It is notable that unlike the MCC of the Bush era, the Trump Administration will no longer provide MCC assistance” in the form of “grants,” but “loans.”  

American self-preservation and the right of self-defense

The US-Sri Lanka ‘defense’ agreements, which logically flow from the infamous US-led Human Rights Council resolution 30/1, are explicit recognition by the Ranil Wickramasinghe regime of America’s global leadership and its hegemonic status, which commit the country to a global unilateral system for America’s ‘self defense’.

The US view of ‘self-defense’ is rooted in ‘self-preservation’ and not on some reciprocal relationship between equal subjects of international law, but on combatting a threat to its own interests. It is based on the ideology of ‘American Exceptionalism’ that arrogates to itself exclusive prerogatives and special responsibilities for global governance, which continue to guide US national security and defense strategies. The US President’s 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS) and the 2019 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report (IPSR),bothaffirm US global leadership is grounded in the realization that American principles are a lasting force for good in the world.”

The notion of American Exceptionalism was best expressed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, “If we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.” In May 2015, the then US Secretary of State, John Kerry, claimed America’s leadership of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ because we have a strong economy and an ability to be able to project”. It is the worldview of a global hegemon that sees itself destined by divine providence for full-spectrum domination – air, maritime, land, outer space, and cyberspace, and full-spectrum force (2017 NSS).

Historically, self-preservation” and self-defense” was used by Nazi Germany to occupy neutral Belgium, neutral Norway, neutral Netherlands, neutral Denmark, neutral Luxembourg, and Poland.

Doctrine of pre-emptive, preventive wars

The 2002 US National Security Strategy (NSS) under President Bush introduced the controversial doctrine of pre-emptive and preventive war, using the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a pretext, which provided the new enemy in the form of terrorism. The existence of terrorists, described as the unknown unknown,” by the then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, served to justify a unilateral right to pre-emptive and preventive use of force in ‘self-defense’ against states even before an armed attack” occur. The US argument was an act of violence by the terrorists amounted to an armed attack.”

In Afghanistan, for 18 years, the US continues to claim self-defense, extending the right to preventing the return to power of the Taliban. Such unilateral intervention is expressly forbiddenby the UN Charter and unequivocally rejected by both the International Court of Justice and the Security Council.

The US justifies the illegal act by an abusive interpretation of the right of self-defense” in Art. 51 of the UN Charter, the only exception in the Charter to the use of unilateral force. Contrary to US claims, however, self-defense under the Art. 51 is permitted only under narrowly defined conditions: (a) it is an armed attack”; (b) the armed attack actually occurs,” and is not just an imminent or potential threat”; (c) the state using force was the object of an attack on its own territory, not elsewhere, as a sine qua non; (d) it is a temporary right until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”; (e) it is proportional; (f) it does not affect the authority and primary responsibility of the Security Council; (g) it must be at the request of the victim; (h) the victim must request assistance from the state claiming to act in collective self-defense.

Committing Sri Lanka to the logic of war, not the logic of peace

The 2018 US National Defense Strategy that translates into military terms the strategic objectives outlined in the US President’s 2017 National Security Strategy is based on the indefensible illogical logic that the surest way to prevent war is to be prepared to win one,” which is antipodal to the logic that drives the UN collective security system – that war must be prevented at all costs to achieve international peace and security. The documents are replete with bellicosity – enhancing  joint lethality,” credible combat-forward posture,” forward force manoeuvre,” forward deployment”… It is a clarion call to war, but not to any kind of war. It will be a more lethal war – more deadliness, more carnage and more destruction, to be fought together with a robust constellation of allies and partners.

It must be recalled that ACSA, SOFA, and MCC are part and parcel of the US concept of a Free and Open Indo Pacific” (FOIP), a sinister security system whose objective is to impose on countries of two distinct regions and Oceans, a single US-led geographic and geopolitical order founded on rules determined by Washington. The concept not only excludes China from the region as a hostile existential threat to US interests, but is aimed at putting in place a networked security architecture” under US leadership to fight and win” a war against China. China as principal adversary is named in the 2017 National Security Strategy, the Pentagon’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, and 2019 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report.

By entering into such US ‘self-defense’ agreements in the context of big power rivalry and the threat of war, the Ranil Wickramasinghe regime is committing Sri Lanka to the logic of war, not the logic of peace, a partner in crime that poses a grave threat to regional and international peace and security and drags Sri Lanka into a war not of its own making.

This warmongering vision of the ‘global’ order is shared by the ruling UNF Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa as reflected in his 2 October exchange with foreign diplomats at which he outlined his foreign policy objectives not in terms of Sri Lanka’s national interests, but in terms of Washington’s FOIP strategy: open trade,” freedom of navigation,” air and maritime connectivity,” rules-based world order,” and violent extremism”.

However, it was unequivocally rejected by Sri Lanka’s opposition party leaders, by letter of 9 August 2019 addressed to the Secretary General of Indian Ocean Rim Association, demanding that the UN Charter-based rule of law be restored in the Indian Ocean by, inter alia, implementing the UN Declaration of the Indian Ocean as Zone of Peace, which designates the Indian Ocean, for all time, as a zone of Peace, together with the airspace above and the ocean floor subjacent thereto.

The Declaration, it must be recalled, was adopted at the initiative of Sri Lanka, joined by Tanzania, backed by the Non-Aligned Movement. While preserving free and unimpeded use of the zone by the vessels, whether military or not, for all nations in accordance with international law, it called on the “great powers” to eliminate from the Indian Ocean “all bases, military installations and logistical supply facilities, the disposition of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and any manifestation of great power military presence… conceived in the context of great power rivalry,” and halt “further escalation and expansion of their military presence in the Indian Ocean.” The Declaration also calls on littoral and hinterland States, the Permanent Members of the Security Council and other major maritime users of the Indian Ocean to enter into consultations to ensure that, inter alia, warships and military aircraft would not use the Indian Ocean for any threat or use of force against any littoral or hinterland State.” 

Threat to peace and security

Sri Lanka is committing itself not to defending its own national interests, its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, but to combatting threats to US prosperity and security,” which are named in NSS and NDS as the revisionist powers” China and Russia, the rogue regimes” North Korea and Iran, and ‘transnational terrorism.’ None of the countries mentioned pose a threat to Sri Lanka’s national interests. On the contrary, Sri Lanka has excellent relations with all four countries within the framework of the United Nations and close bilateral ties with China, Russia and Iran. 

However, the ‘defense’ agreements involve the use of Sri Lanka’s territory, airports, harbours, defense installations, and infrastructure, for transport of military equipment, training and joint operations with Sri Lankan forces, and other activities, known and unknown, to enhance joint lethality” in preparation for an act of aggression against one or more friendly states in the ‘Indo-Pacific’. In doing so, Sri Lanka will find itself a partner in crime and potential target of reprisal or retaliation, posing a grave threat to Sri Lanka’s security.

It was not so long ago that British occupied Ceylon was targeted by Japanese bombs, during World War II, characterized by the independence movement as an imperialist war, which resulted in the panicked fleeing of civilian population to India by boat. The Japanese military raids also took place on an Easter Sunday, in 1942.

The threat to Sri Lanka’s security will not only come from outside. When US forces are permitted to freely roam the land, in their vehicles, without permission, armed, in uniform and with impunity, Easter Sunday type carnage or protests against US occupation could result in Sri Lanka itself becoming America’s military target in the name of self-defense”.

Bilateral agreements, inherently unequal

The so-called partnership” entered into with Washington is not between equals.

Bilateral agreements between a global hegemonic power and a small developing country heavily indebted to international capital markets dominated by the power and highly dependent on its market for exports, are inherently unequal.

Since the Bush Administration’s ‘War on Terror,’ which coincided with emerging powers challenging US hegemony, it has increasingly resorted to preventive and pre-emptive unilateral interventions imposing decisions on weaker states or to bilateralism with significantly weaker states to establish US-led collective defense systems (or collective self-defense” systems), which allow Washington to modify international norms and rules or impose decisions not in accordance with international law, thus, retaining its hegemonic status.

ACSA, SOFA and MCC are pre-existing institutional arrangements that are an integral part of the US national security and national defense strategies designed for ‘American Self-Preservation’ to achieve strategic US goals and objectives grounded in the realization that American principles are a lasting force for good in the world” (US National Security Strategy, 2017). ‘American Self-Preservation’ is rooted not on reciprocal relationships between equal subjects of international law, but on combatting a threat to its own interests. Its sheer hegemonic power makes the principle of reciprocity impracticable in bilateral negotiations with weaker states such as ours, and it is illusory to believe that ACSA, SOFA and MCC can be “re-negotiated” or “amended” for “mutual benefit.”

Historically, bilateralism is associated with the commercial policies of Hitler’s Germany; it is inherently discriminatory in contrast to the system of collective security based on the UN Charter. The US shift to bilateralism is also reflected in its free trade and economic agreements as an important tool to coerce or reward potential allies and partners to support its geopolitical agenda.  

International collective security v. US-led collective ‘self-defense’

Washington’s unilateral vision of a US-led global order for ‘American Self-Preservation,’ justified by a divine mission, is diametrically opposed to the universally recognised international order under the UN Charter, based on sovereign equality and international cooperation, respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states.

Contrary to the US-led collective system for America’s self-defense, the universally recognised collective security system under the UN Charter seeks to prevent war – not make war – to achieve permanent universal peace based on equal rights and justice for all, in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

The UN collective security system is a system without military alliances. It is based on multilateralism, the duty to cooperate, and respect for the principle of sovereign equality of States. It expressly prohibits war, as it does the use of force or the threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state and all forms of foreign interference and intervention in its internal affairs, including by the United Nations. The Charter expressly prohibits any unilateral or preventive action outside of the UN framework.

The primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security lies with the Security Council, with member States agreeing that it acts on their behalf in carrying out its duties. Despite being at the highest level of the international legal hierarchy, the Security Council is required to act in accordance with the Charter, and not violate fundamental norms of international law, customary international law, and treaties, in the accordance with the UN Charter.

The generally binding international law obliges states to resolve any dispute that may endanger international peace and security through peaceful means, firstly by parties seeking a solution through negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice”. Any member State or non-member may bring such a dispute to the attention of the Security Council or the General Assembly. Legal matters should be brought before the International Court of Justice of which all UN members are ipso facto parties.

The role of regional arrangements is strictly limited to efforts toward pacific settlement of local disputes before referring them to the Security Council. Regional arrangements are forbidden from taking enforcement measures unless authorised by the Security Council.

The use of armed force in the case of collective action is only permitted under the authority and supervision of UN Security Council, and only once it has determined the existence of  threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, and acts of aggression” and that other measures would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate to “maintain or restore international peace and security“.

Non-Aligned Movement and Friendly Relations

The Non-Aligned Movement, of which Sri Lanka is a founder member, has contributed in no small measure to developing the universally recognised principles on which friendly relations and cooperation among states must be based, including the landmark UN Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, which is viewed as an authentic interpretation of the Charter. 

The Movement recognised that State sovereignty, sovereign equality and international cooperation are fundamental features of an international order that would permit weaker states to exercise greater leverage over their former colonial masters, and, toward this end, focused every effort to enhancing the role of multilateralism, promoting a new international economic order based on justice and equality, and strengthening the collective security system based on the UN Charter.

The identity of the Non Aligned Movement is not determined by the existence of Great Power rivalry. It reflects the aspirations of newly independent states for an independent stand, based on a shared history and a positive perception of their own identity and views. It is essentially an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist alliance to defend their collective interests, protect their freedom and dignity, prevent the restoration of Western domination, support the struggles of peoples still under foreign domination and occupation, promote the right to development, and advance universal peace.

Their experience had shown that wars and alien domination result only in exploitation, oppression, death and destruction, not peace nor development nor social progress. At all cost, a return to Western domination, recolonisation, and war had to be prevented, and the ambitions of the most influential founders of the Movement was to unite the newly independent states to bring their collective weight to bear on the side of international peace, against war. The Movement opposed military alliances and collective ‘defense’ pacts with Great Powers, especially in the context of rivalry between them, since they would be designed to serve Great Powers interests and allow them to intervene in their internal affairs. Such pacts would only bring them closer to war and destruction, and strengthen the forces of war, not peace.

India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, speaking at the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung, energetically opposed US-led collective defence pacts in Asia and the Middle East, including the short-lived anti-Communist Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), primarily aimed against China. He argued membership in such pacts would only result in demeaning oneself to a role of camp-follower of others” and hangers on,” and lead to the loss of freedom and individuality”: It is most degrading and humiliating to any self-respecting people or nation. It is an intolerable thought to me that the great countries of Asia and Africa should come out of bondage into freedom only to degrade themselves or humiliate themselves in this way.”

The Non-Aligned Movement and the principles on which it is based remain valid in a world that continues to be dominated by wars of aggression, foreign occupation and domination, unilateralism, coercion, intervention and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states, and in which the victims are from the global south and the perpetrators, the US and its Western allies.

Sri Lanka’s decision to go to war if necessary for the preservation of America against an emerging power identified with the developing world, and the threat this poses to the interests of friendly nations and to the multilateral collective security system that the Movement is committed to strengthening, will result in the loss of Sri Lanka’s credibility and its increasing isolation from the majority in the United Nations.  

An isolated country is more vulnerable and easy prey to a global hegemon.

International agreements incompatible with UN Charter are null and void

International agreements that are incompatible with the international obligations of the State under the Charter of the United Nations and impede the fulfilment of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, in accordance with the Charter, are null and void under international law. Besides, secret treaties are incompatible with the UN Charter and unenforceable.

ACSA, SOFA, and MCC violate Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and undermine its ability to fulfil its international obligation to protect its population and ensure respect for a broad range of their individual and collective rights: the right to determine the system best suited for their needs and aspirations; the right to exercise permanent sovereignty over their wealth and resources, including maritime resources; their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights; the right to development; the right to a clean and safe environment; and, the fundamental right to peace and to be free from war.

Sovereignty and its international corollary, sovereign equality of states, are non-derogable peremptory norms of general international law that form the basis of the United Nations Charter, which is akin to a world Constitution. An international treaty that violates sovereignty is null and void and, hence, non-negotiable. 

In the event of conflict between a State’s obligations under the Charter, which it is duty bound to fulfil in good faith,” and its obligations under any other international agreement, Article 103 of the Charter, the supremacy clause, stipulates that it is their obligations under the present Charter that prevail. Subsequent treaties must conform to the Charter and are invalid if they impede the achievement of its purposes and principles, including its provisions concerning international peace and security, friendly relations among states, international cooperation, promotion of human rights and development. 

Under Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, A treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law.” The Vienna Convention is a restatement of pre-existing law that the International Court of Justice applies as generally applicable international law having reached the level of customary international law.

Toward a new era of peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka and internationally

MCC, ACSA, and SOFA are incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as developed in the landmark UN Friendly Relations Declaration and in other international instruments, in accordance with the Charter. If Sri Lanka is to pursue an independent foreign policy that is in conformity with its international obligations, it cannot ignore those principles.  

There can be no benefit to Sri Lanka from a bogus “partnership” that involves surrender of territory, institutions, infrastructure and resources to a foreign power to perpetrate acts of aggression against third states, thus also becoming a partner in crime and a potential target for reprisals. There can be no benefit to Sri Lanka from its armed forces’ involvement in hostile acts against friendly nations for ‘American Preservation’ There can be no benefit to Sri Lanka from fanning existing bilateral hostilities that may lead to regional conflagration and pose a threat to international peace and security. There can be no benefit to Sri Lanka if another terrorist attack in Sri Lanka with alleged international links turns the US forces against our own people.

If there is to be change rather than continuity, every effort must be made to restore Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and promote peace, development, and social justice, unequivocally rejecting externally imposed agendas to transform Sri Lanka into a permanent aircraft carrier for Washington’s hegemonic wars in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Western dominance must not be allowed to re-enter through the back door, taking the country and the region into war, not peace, and into full spectrum domination”.

The UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, in his full report based on six years of work on the mandate, underlined the importance of international efforts to peace: In a context of increasing confrontation and competition among world powers, we must re-centre peace as a unifying multilateral objective, and we must ensure that propaganda for war and sabre-rattling are banned.

The Divisional Development Councils Programme(DDCP): Lessons on the eve of the 2019 Presidential Election of Sri Lanka

November 11th, 2019

Garvin Karunaratne, PhD Michigan State University*

The DDCP was the major development programme undertaken by the Government of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake during her 1970-1977 rule.

This was also the first major islandwide development programme ever to be implemented in Sri Lanka. Earlier there was the Rural Development Programme and the Small Industries Development Programme which were smaller programmes aimed at rejuvenating the rural areas with small industries and Powerlooms. However, the DDCP was far major in scope and the Government had high hopes of great success. The Government head hunted the most eminent economist on the island, Professor HAdeS Gunasekera the professor of Economics at the University of Peradeniya. A new Ministry of Plan Implementation was formed under the Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake and Profesor Gunasekera was appointed as the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry. The importance given to the programme was such that helicopter travel was authorized for him.

The main aim of this DDCP was to bring about employment for the youth. The aims, in the words of the Budget Speech of Dr N.M.Perera, the Minister of Finance;

The main objective of this programme is to create employment opportunities in the rural areas and through small scale projects  in agriculture, industry and the provision of infrastructural facilities, making use of the resources available locally; increase national production and involve the people in national development work.”

The method was to enlist the support of all officials and elected personnel in every Division.  In detail,” An entirely new structure for planning is being established (within which) each local authority will be the focus for development planning and plan implementation. Popular participation will be secured through the Divisional Development Council in which the elected organs of the village, the cooperative society, the cultivation committee, the village council will have a planning and coordinating role in the overall development of their area.”.

The DDCP was a crash programme to create employment for the youth. The target was to create 100,000 jobs in the first year.

The Government enlisted the services of the Government Agents to implement this programme. Even before the Ministry of Plan Implementation recruited graduates as Development Assistants and   Planning Officers the Government Agents selected the best officers who were working in the District and the programme was immediately commenced. I was serving as the Government Agent of the Matara District.

There was a major set back because of the Janata Vimukti Peramuna(JVP) Uprising on April 5th 1971. This took on the form of an attack on all Police Stations and army units. It was an attempt to capture power in a single day like what Fidel Castro did in Cuba. The JVP controlled the hinterland- the rural areas and had their kangaroo courts etc. and it took a few months for total order to be restored. The JVP had been instrumental in working for the SLFP – for Mrs Bandaranayake at the 1970 election and the DDCP was a programme that was specially meant to provide employment to the youth.  No reasons were given for the sudden uprising but it was found that the North Korean Embassy had spent a massive sum of money at this time and there was some evidence of some connection with the Uprising.  The Government closed down the North Korean Embassy.  This was an unfortunate episode that delayed the implementation of the DDCP for months. Since that day officials travelled the least possible and further all investors- estate owners, rice millers etc.who had made rural areas their homes left for security reasons to the cities.

The development councils were formed in every division. The Councils comprised all officials and elected officials of cooperatives, cultivation committees and local government institutions. The Head of the Council was the Divisional Revenue Officer(DRO) of the area. He was given a new designation of Assistant Government Agent. Meetings were held and the Councils identified small scale industries and agricultural projects- farms which were funded and commenced all over the island.

In Matara District, in addition to a number of agricultural farms and small craft type of industries, the Councils suggested many industries and feasibility reports were prepared and approval sought.  It was generally difficult to get approvals a few small industries were approved and the Ministry made an allocation of funds to buy the machinery, put up structures and also funds to pay a stipend to the youths till the projects were established and incomes generated.

I suggested that a Mechanized Boatyard should be approved to be constructed at Matara on land bordering the Nilwala River. A Feasibility Report was drafted and submitted. The Ministry called me for a meeting where the Director of the Fisheries Department was also present. The Ministry officials were not interested and there were objections by the Director of Fisheries. The meeting was ultimately put off for another discussion on another day.  This was the first cooperative industry to make seaworthy 30 foot long boats and perhaps the Ministry was worried that it could be a failure and be a blot on the Ministry. Anyhow after a major battle, we obtained approval and the boatyard was established. It was a great success.

The Councils were agitating for more industrial units and we suggested that at Deniyaya we could establish a Water Colour Industry making watercolour paint boxes. This was import substitution in action because at that time Sri Lanka imported the bulk of our watercolour requirements. The Ministry submitted our Feasibility Report to the Industrial Development Board(IDB)  and a meeting was held at the Ministry.  The Ministry agreed with the IDB recommendation that this should not be approved because the Deniyaya area did not have any of the ingredients that went into making watercolours. I argued that if Japan could buy cotton from as far as Egypt, take it all the way to Japan, make textiles and market the sales back in countries as far as Egypt, we too could do it. We were at an advantage because our country itself needed the watercolour paint boxes. I  lost the battle. The Ministry was amply satisfied with the small craft type of projects and the farms that we had got working.

However, we wanted to do better. I suggested a Dairy Project in the Deniyaya- Mawarala area where we will get Estate owners to plant grass on all their unused land. We could get private farmers too to have more cows. The only proviso I insisted was that we should have a Creamery to make butter and cheese. because it was impossible to sell more milk.  My feasibility report created problems.  It was argued that small creameries were not commercially viable and the Ministry said that we did not have grasslands to feed the cattle. It ended up with heated arguments at the Ministry. I did not know then that Switzerland doted on small creameries.

 It was quite evident that the Ministry was not going to approve any new industry for our District. The only sophisticated industry ever done in the rest of the island was a Paper Making Industry at Kotmale.  The Ministry told me to get going making bricks and tiles if I was interested. I pointed out that in tiles and bricks the private sector had already established factories in the District and it would not be prudent to try to create a problem of oversupply.  The Ministry and I clashed not once but many a time. It happened because once I had served as a Deputy Director of Small Industry and I knew more about industries than anyone in the Ministry.  The Ministry never appreciated my ideas. Theirs was always on the beaten track.

The officers at the Katchcheri were very innovative and we had many meetings. Finally, I summoned my Planning Officer Vetus Fernando, a chemistry graduate of the University of Colombo, just out of the University who did not have a day’s experience in chemistry after graduating. I fed him all I knew about making watercolours. Once as Deputy Director of Industries, I had approved an allocation of dyes to a watercolour industrialist and I had seen him making watercolours. I knew the ingredients but not the proportions and details of mixing it- temperatures etc. Vetus and I decided to try to find the art of making crayons. The science teachers at the school also helped us.  We commenced work at the Residency in the evenings and came to a point where we needed science equipment and it was suggested that we should use the equipment at a school lab. I approached Mr Ariyawamsa the Principal of Rahula College Matara and he readily agreed for us to use the science lab after hours.  The Science lab at Rahula was our domain from around six in the evening till midnight every working day. The workers were the science teachers and Vetus, the only scientists and we, myself, and a few staff officers were all cheerleaders.  The Cheer Leaders had to keep the momentum going when every night we tried different methods and we failed every day for close upon two months. Then Vetus got a brain wave. The crayons we made were never of good texture and he said that  I should approve his going to Colombo to his university dons in chemistry and he was certain they will help. I readily agreed and authorized him travelling and subsistence payment. I was happy that he had thought of this method and I dreamt of success. Vetus turned up on the fourth day and narrated in disgust that none of the professionals at the University of Colombo was interested in helping him. He had begged of them but was told to get lost.  My staff officers and I were not going to take things lying down to submission. We started experiments in earnest – from six till midnight sipping black coffee with a sing-song once in a way to keep the momentum going. In a month of experiments, we came across the method to make crayons. Then I supervised fine-tuning the art again and again till we got to be near the Crayola grade- then it was Reeves.  We won the day.

Next came- how to establish a small scale factory. I could not get approval from the Ministry.  I was certain that they will turn it down. I could have summoned Harischandra or an industrialist and I knew many personally and could have told them to put up a factory, but then it won’t be us. Finally, I decided that it should be cooperative.  The Cooperative Unions had funds but not the authority to establish an industry.  Then I thought of Sumanapala Dahanayake, the Member of Parliament for Deniyaya, who was the President of the Morawak Korale Coop Union because he was a maverick, a daredevil type if that was required. He was in charge of the funds at the Coop Union. When I broached the subject to Sumanapala he readily agreed to establish a Crayon factory. However, he had no authority to use cooperative funds for that purpose. The Government Agent too had no authority to direct cooperatives. However for purposes of coordination in the case of the agricultural development programme, the G.A.had been gazetted a Deputy Director of Cooperative Development. I usurped powers that I did not really have based on this gazette notice and authorized Sumanapala to spend cooperative funds and establish the Crayon Factory.

Sumanapala needed only a nod. He got cracking with purchasing the equipment and gas burners, recruiting youths. This was done in two days. A few rooms at the Cooperative Union at Morawaka were cleared and the Katchcheri staff too moved in to commence making crayons. It was a 24-hour operation, with youths working in shifts, working under the watchful eyes of Vetus Fernando the Planning Officer. There were Chandra Silva the DLO, Weimalaratne the AGA, Daya Paliakkara a Development Assistant. They were all involved in the experiments at Rahula College and were at hand went Vetus took a few hours rest. The youths had to get trained to do every single crayon to perfection- a difficult task. It was a hand made crayon-like most industries in China today. I broke rest on two days till everything got off the ground. We sipped black coffee and sweetmeats brought by Gunam Tambipillai, an estate owner who was very supportive of all our efforts at development. Sumanapala was in his elements and in around two weeks,  Coop Crayon packets were printed and crayon packets made to fill two large rooms.

Then I took off with Sumanapala to meet the Minister of Industries, TB Sunbasinhe who was surprised to see the quality of the crayons. He readily agreed to come for the opening ceremony when we would commence sales.  That was a grand occasion.  With that aura of authoritative approval, I felt safe for all I had done without any Ministry approval.

Coop Crayon was fully functional. The Youths managed it well. However, one major hitch was the purchase of dyes that had to be purchased in the open market at high prices. I approached the Ministry of Industries, the people that gave permits of foreign exchange to industrialists- the place where I had worked two years earlier. They said that their foreign exchange was only for the private sector industrialists and not for cooperatives. The mandarins were not going to bend rules. We were lost.

In a few days, a brain wave struck us and we went to meet the Controller of Imports, Harry Guneratne, Harry was authorizing imports and confided that he was approving foreign exchange to import crayons. We argued that if he only gave us an allocation of a twentieth of what he would approve for the import of crayons to import dyes, he could cancel all imports and save the rest of the allotted foreign exchange. This had never been done earlier but Harry was an immediate convert. However, he said that this was the first time that such an allocation was made and wanted us to approach his Minister and get his approval.  Minister Illangaratne not only approved it but also insisted that we should open a crayon factory at Kolonnawa his electorate. This detail has been included to show how we can save foreign exchange through establishing import substitution type of industries.

Coop Crayon was developed fast by Sumanapala and he stepped it up to have island-wide sales.  All the units I had established in industries and agricultural farms were active and in good health.  Coop Crayon and the Matara Boatyard were at the top performers in entire Sri Lanka.

In another year in April 1973, I left the Administrative Service to proceed to the UK for further studies. Sumanapala handled the Coop Crayon well. The other industries and employment ventures were well looked after by Vetus and the Katchcheri staff.

Then in 1977 came the General Election where the Government of Sirimavo Bandaranayake lost and the United National Party under JR Jayawardena won.

 Before long President Jayawardena caved into the IMF which insisted that if he needed Financial Aid, he had to invariably follow the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme. (SAP) The main condition was that the Government could not handle any commercial undertakings. Everything that the earlier Governments had done in the name of commercial undertakings, to create employment etc had to be totally abolished. The DDCP industries and farms were totally abolished and hundreds of youths were inevitably consigned to the scrap heap of unemployment and poverty.

The political rivalry became the order o the day. My Headquarters Assistant GA Ranjith Wimalaratne, a kingpin in industries and who handled the Powerlooms with great efficiency was a persona non grata and was hunted down. To save his life he had to forego everything and run away to Canada.

A few years later, I met AT Ariyaratne, a senior member of the Administrative Service and when I told him that I had last served as the GA at Matara he spoke of a special assignment he got in 1978 when he worked as a Deputy Commissioner of Cooperative Development. He had been assigned to proceed to Morawaka to inspect Coop Crayon and somehow find fault with Sumanapala Dahanayake the Member of Parliament who in his capacity as the President of the Morawaka Coop union handled Coop Crayon.  Coop Crayon was at that time in full swing with islandwide sales and was easily the flagship industry of the DDCP. The Government wanted Coop Crayon discredited and to also find fault with Sumanapala for him to get punished. Ariyaratne told me that he had spent days inspecting and auditing and could only report that Coop Crayon was a very successful cooperative industry, with all books kept in perfect order. Sumanapala was saved from a sojourn in the gallows. Ariyaratne was not an officer who would stoop to create evidence to put a person into trouble at the bidding of someone in authority.

In order to get foreign loans, the UNP caved in and destroyed all that we had created to bring about youth employment. The Matara Boatyard where youths built seaworthy inboard motorboats- some 40 every year and earned good incomes was scrapped and the valuable machinery was neglected, sold and also left in the scrap heap. Coop Crayon was stopped. All other industries and agricultural farms were stopped and a few hundred youths lost their jobs. Getting loans was the priority, and the UNP Government did not care whether youths who earned a living were destined to the realm of poverty. The aim was to satisfy the IMF. The IMF barked orders to be carried out.

Let us see what economist luminary Professor Jeffery Sachs had to say of the entry of the IMF and the World Bank to Africa:

The IMF and the World Bank virtually ran the economies of the debt-ridden continent recommending regimes of budgetary belt-tightening known technically as the Structural Adjustment Programme. These Programs had little scientific merit and produced even fewer results. By the start of the twenty-first century, Africa was poorer than in the late 1960s when the IMF and the World Bank had first arrived on the scene., with the disease, population growth and environmental degradation spiralling out of control. IMF led austerity led to riots, coups and the collapse of public services( From The End of Poverty)

As much as Africa became poorer with the advent of the IMF, from 1978, Sri Lanka too faced destitution.  The UNP Government of President Jayawardena played poodle to the IMF and did everything that the IMF wanted it to do. As far as the DDCP was concerned all industries and agricultural farms were abandoned and the thousands of youths involved were destined to unemployment and poverty. Imagine what the youths who were making crayons felt in Morawaka, what the youths fromMorawaka who were selling crayons at both Alimankada and Pamankada felt and the youths that were making boats felt at the Matara Boatyard felt when they were ordered to close down and get lost.

A Presidential Elections is in the hustings in a few days in Sri Lanka and it is necessary to bring about employment for the youth and prosperity for the people. The DDCP was once the flagship that Dr NM Perera and PrimeMinister Sirimavo doted on to bring us prosperity. The United National Party of President Jayawardena sacrificed that at the behest of the IMF.

It is time that we rethink our strategies at development once again from scratch.

It is hoped that the combination of leaders former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya and former Premier Mahinda can effectively strategize a programme to end poverty and unemployment in Sri Lanka. I am certain that they will be successful.

I hope to see a development programme that is better than the DDCP in the new future and the only path to this development lies through a victory for Gotabhaya as President. There is no other option.

It was not long ago that they showed us their full colours by defeating the LTTE that attacked us all over our country for thirty long years.

That is the only hope for our Motherland.

These words come to you from a Sri Lankan  administrator who once in 1982 and 1983 was working as the Commonwealth FundAdvisoir to the Ministry of Labour and Manpower in Bangladesh, who was able to obtain approval to establish a Youth Self Employment Programme, and within two years did create the Programme and trained Bangladeshi staff to continue it- a programme that has guided millions into self employment, which is today the premier employment creation programme that has withstood the sands of time.

*Garvin Karunaratne, PhD Michigan State University

Author of How the IMF Sabotaged Third World Development (Kindle/odages:2017)

How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka and Alternative Programmes of Success(Kindle/Godages:2006) 

Professor George Axinn of Michigan State University hails this book: It is hoped that this timely book will enable international organizations to arrest the trend of failures. …  I am delighted and proud  to have been one of his teachers at Michigan State University.”

11/11/2019

Choosing your candidate

November 11th, 2019

Viraj Kithsiri

I would like to place a few pertinent questions to my fellow countrymen with regard to voting at the forthcoming presidential election.

How gullible should be us in our knowledge not to suspect the ulterior motives of America in granting the valuable US $ 480 million for our well being? Their untiring efforts to force this on us can be taken as a reflection of true altruism. However, compare this with their just recent decision to pull out the US troops from the Syrian Turkish border without batting an eyelid exposing millions of refugees to the firing of their enemies. Just to safeguard their interests, death and destruction of millions look a small matter to them.

It was due to the countrywide strong protests to the MCC agreement and the brave fast unto death by the Most Venerable Ududumbara Kassapa Thero that saved us from inking this agreement.

The whole country breathed a sigh of relief when the government postponed the signing until after the election with the fervent hope it will be gone by then.

However it will be no surprise no sooner if this government returns to power with the election of  Sajith Premadasa, the said agreement will be signed with aplomb. With opposition to this pact mounting what chaos the country is likely to face then?

The TNA has come on board to support Sajith Premadasa after forwarding a list of thirteen demands earlier but no word on how many were agreed upon by both parties. These demands go even beyond what the LTTE  were clamouring for at the height of the war.

Are we ready to divide our country just to support the candidate of our party?

Then what about seeing those who are alleged to have aided and abetted the murderers at the Easter Sunday attacks celebrating the victory along with Sajith Premadasa, if he wins?

The UNP admits it could not do what it wanted to do to develop the country because the President and the Prime Minister did not see eye to eye.

Then won’t it be a much worst-case scenario if Sajith returns to power with Ranil as the PM?

The rift seems to be widening day by day now with Ranil’s side confirming him as the PM over and over and Sajith’s camp distancing further and further away from him. Are we ready to witness further endless disasters with a win to the UNP? Can you remember countless meetings they had to have just to nominate Sajith Premadasa as the candidate?

Even if Ranil is replaced who are the potential candidates to fill that role in Sajith Premadasa’s favourite group? Mangala, Kiriella, Karunanayake and Champika are the frontline candidates and I do not think any one of them will bring much enthusiasm to the public at large.

However, the most I fear is this. The UNP is banking on forming a phobia on Gotabaya Rajapaksha showing he has the potential to rule the country in a military-style.

But none asks the question of the person on whom Sajith Premadasa has already placed the post of Defence Minister, Sarath Fonseka!

Don’t you shiver to feel how he would run the defence when he has the power at his fingertips?

Now itself Sarath Fonseka is going from stage to stage claiming the MR clan should be hung in four corners at Medamudalana!

Will a peace-loving subject be at ease with such a vindictive person at such a powerful position? We will have daily nightmares probably. Who is more likely to bring white vans in we can guess.

The worst is to come. Mr Fonseka already has had confrontations even with his deputy at his Wild Life Ministry.

Are we naïve to ponder if things do not go according to his wishes even a government overthrow with his military might at hand?

The phobia should not be on Gotabaya but genuinely on Sarath Fonseka, my dear countrymen!

AN OPEN LETTER TO RIZVI MOULAVI (MUFTI) AND THE ACJU. DO NOT LOBBY VOTES FOR SAJITH ON 15th., NOVEMBER FRIDAY SERMON.

November 11th, 2019

By Noor Nizam. Convener – “The Muslim Voice” – November 11th., 2019.

The Muslim Voice” vehemently hopes and prays that the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and it’s members will STRICTLY” follow point 07” of the guidelines stipulated statement issued please, Insha Allah, which they have published – http://www.ft.lk/…/ACJU-issues-guidance-with…/56-688638. Rizvi Mufti and the ACJU should be “neutral” at the elections.

In the last Presidential elections and general elections, though similar indications were made, The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama violated all election norms and preached from the MIMBAR” in all mosques to vote against the SLFP, Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA aggressively on the last Friday (Jumma prayers) before the polling day. 

2019 Presidentail elections day is 16th., November which is  a Saturday and 15th., November is a FRIDAY. Muslims all over Sri Lanka will be attending their Friday (Jumma) prayers on that day. Rizvi Mufti (Moulavi) and the All Ceylon Jamiyatul Ulama – ACJU comprising nearly 3500 moulavis/KATEEBS around Sri Lanka should make it a point that they will “NOT” use the “pulpit” (mimbar) of the mosques on Friday the 15th., 2019 to seek/lobby for votes in support of Sijith Premadasa or his symbol the “hansaya” or against Gotabaya Rajapaksa or the Pottuwa/SLPP. The Muslims should be allowed to vote according to their conscience without any pressure or false promises from any quaters, Insha Allah.

Let the people, especially the Muslim Vote bank who love our MAATHROOBUMIYA” patiently wait and see what The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama and their Moulavis” do on November 15th., Friday Jumma prayers, Insha Allah. If they attempt to break the Elections Law, the Election Commision or the police should be immediately informed, Insha Allah.

IT WILL BE GOOD FOR THE ALL CEYLON JAMIYYATHUL ULEMA AND THEIR MOULAVIS (not all Moulavis) NOT TO ACT DECEPTIVELY ON FRIDAY THE 15th., NOVEMBER 2019, Insha Allah.

GOTA PHOBIA – Part IXB (Shun mud-slinging and face a clean election)

November 11th, 2019

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA.

 We are in the last week of a very crucial and important presidential election campaign after the 1988 presidential election in which the results were manipulated and distorted by the JVP hooligans to carry out a contract from R.Pewmadasa to prevent village voters in the Sinhala areas from casting their ballots and assistance provided by disgraceful Chandrika by fielding a candidate against her own mother from her outrageous party the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya.

As anticipated by many the treacherous reactionary foreign and terrorist servile gang, the anti-Sri Lankan groups including the NGO vultures sustained by the so-called self-proclaimed international community and the terrorist diaspora convinced of their defeat in the election have launched their mud-slinging and smear campaign to mislead and misguide the voters. 

A new trend hitherto unseen in the Sri Lanka is the arrival of many foreign residents Sri Lankans both male and female in Australia, U.A.E and other Middle East countries, Italy and several European countries to vote in the election and airline sources indicate that there are heavy bookings for seats in the incoming flights to Sri Lanka until 15th November.  These flood-gates were opened yesterday and many passengers who arrived yesterday have told the media that they were amazed to see developments taking place in the countries they reside utilising the modern technology such  as Nano-technology, aeronautics, robot-technology, digital technology, etc., and they are quite convinced that Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, being an experienced person in modern and digital technology is the only person capable of developing Sri Lanka within a short period and accord Sri Lanka its due place in the fast-emerging Asian economy male passenger . A female passenger said that she is very keen to vote in this election got Gota since she wants to have an undivided nation in which she will not need to visit her home in Vavuniya on a pre-arranged or border point visa.  

Today (11th Nov, ) also a large crowd arrived and many of them expressed their utter dismay over the stalemate suffered by Sri Lanka during the last 4 ½ years due to abandoning of all ongoing development work and concentrating only on punishing the leaders and bureaucrats of the previous government who rendered a dedicated service to make this country a Wonder Nation of Asia. 

Given below are experts from an interview given by the former Governor of the Central Bank Mr Ajith Nivad Cabral who was responsible for many development activities during the Mahinda Rajapaksa era.

We were prepared for the challenge of taking the economy forward. We didn’t come during early 2006 and say we must find what to do. We were ready with the plans and focused areas we were going to work on and started on each of those areas together. Sometimes we cannot wade through one to the other but have to do several things together. That was our key thrust. Then we started on the development, dealing with the war and that helped us to give confidence to the rest of the country and stakeholders and there were results.

Each year there was an incremental way in which it was going forward and it gave more confidence to the people. 

What happened was at the beginning of 2018 the rupee was at 150 and then just a year later it was 183. If the rupee could have depreciated in one year we thought why can’t the opposite happen? Why are we thinking that we cannot do it? I was sure that with the right conditions put in place, we need is to have confidence restored back into the economy. Once that happens and investments come back and other macro-fundamentals start moving in the right direction. 

We were in touch with all important industrialists and many of them told us that they have been taxed unfairly and which included the banking sector, hotels, small and medium enterprise sector, professionals and various traders. Hoteliers had a very good reason to be agitated because they have been made to pay any taxes. I believed that we need to rationalise all these quickly and suggested to cut taxes at least by 20%. Some of the obnoxious taxes such as those on apartment sales and remittances need to be scrapped because they are inhibiting growth.

Tourism is a sector that we wanted to support, as it will touch people and filter down fast. I was convinced that it is much better to forego some taxes and ensure that the people have jobs and their energy to do additional activities and that’s the philosophy that will drive the economic policy in future.  If they are energized they will take Sri Lanka to a five million tourism product. Even a three-wheel taxi driver will have more hires. 


When I left Central Bank, the portfolio of the Employers Provident Fund (EPF) had had an unrealised gain of Rs. 20 billion. That wouldn’t have been the case had there been pumping and dumping. The Greek bond case was a situation where it was challenged in the Supreme Court by Sujeewa Senasinghe, who wrote a book on the alleged Bond Scam. Details of the case are on the website of the Supreme Court. They specifically say ‘considering the totality of the circumstances, it is neither possible nor desirable to hold that the members of the monetary board in taking a decision to invest in Greek bonds have acted arbitrarily, unreasonably and in a fraudulent manner. In view of the conclusion reached, the Court is not inclined to express any opinion on the objections raised’. 

Hedging is not fraudulent activity. It is an activity that people use in order to deal with some risk. It’s like insurance and was proposed by the Central Bank. But something went wrong with that as a result of certain factors. But no one alleged. That was not done by the Central Bank, but by the Petroleum Corporation. It was only an idea that was generated by the Central Bank’s economic research team. It was never alleged that there was anything fraudulent in that. There was a loss that occurred, but that was certainly less than what this Government paid as compensation for the Port City stoppage of work as well as the cancellation of the SriLankan Airbus. Coming back to the Greek bonds, although they say that there was a loss of USD 6.6 million what they said is that during the particular year, the Central Bank made its highest ever profit which was USD 430 million against a USD 50 million profit made last year and a USD 100 million the previous year. You can see that despite taking this loss into consideration, the Central Bank made its highest ever profit and it was a landmark year; although this loss was suffered. 

The bond scam was twofold; it happened in February 2015 and again in March 2016.
The main way in which this bond scam took place was that the system of issuing bonds didn’t allow any bonds to be issued in a fraudulent manner.

I’m not afraid and I don’t think anyone in Central Bank is afraid to face any inquiry. We know that it wasn’t possible to initiate any bond scam with that system in place. But on February 27, 2015, that system was changed arbitrarily on the insistence of PM Ranil Wickremesinghe. They changed the system which allowed this kind of thing to take place. If the system wasn’t changed, even Mahendran couldn’t have done that. Now we need to get to the bottom of that. During the past five years, there has been one cover-up after another. I’m writing a book on the cover-ups because people should know the extent of them. Those people have to account for their actions and the loss that we have suffered, not only the direct loss we suffered on the day of the scam. 

There were losses that were suffered for thirty years as a result of what is being issued at higher rates of interests. Because of bad publicity, the confidence in the economy was lost and interest rates have still not come down. The Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate (AWPLR) was only 6.2% at the time I left the Central Bank. Today it is nearly 12%. This means that every single person who is paying interest has to account for an additional 6% premium that has been added to all transactions. The Commission that was appointed didn’t do its job properly. 

As regard his sister having being employed on Perpetual Board he said that his sister was there for one year. She hadn’t attended a single meeting and she had never had any dealings with Perpetual Treasuries. People pretend as if they don’t know this. Even the Commission didn’t write about any involvement regarding her during that period. During the time I was Governor, Perpetual Treasuries had bid for about Rs. 2.7 billion worth of bonds at the auctions. They had only received Rs. 26 million. Billions bid but Rs. 26 million received. That was all they had got which was at normal rates. That was what all others had got. It was only after he left that the entire incident had taken place. My sister and he had never run away.

There is one area which may need a little clarification. Those days the prices you would have paid for telecom would have been much cheaper. Of course, the service is terrible. 

That is what we need to accept as the difference. When you have a private entity they will charge the right price or a higher price to make a profit and ensure that the customer gets a proper deal. Take the Petroleum Corporation – tomorrow the CPC can increase the price and make a profit because it’s a monopoly. If it is handed over to the private sector, the first thing they would do is to bring in a price that would make money. But what does it do to the customer? Are we prepared to do that? If yes, that’s perfectly fine. At the time that the oil price went to USD 145 per barrel, we still gave petrol at a much lower rate. 


That loss was accepted by the Government. The Government subsidised that. During that period of time, although it was a tough call, the Government took a political as well as economic decision that we want to ensure that the country’s economic activities don’t get stalled by this high price that it had to pay. So we took an economic and a political call and that was a deliberate action by the Government. 


It had nothing to do with the efficiency of the Petroleum Corporation. Even if the CPC becomes inefficient the bulk of its expenditure is not on salaries or any other factor, but on the fuel price. 


If the fuel price is high the price will have to be high. Here what has happened is that there are certain times you have to offer support to the consumers in order to bring that economic activity up to a certain level of robustness. 

At the same time, we need to ensure that these are companies which are not in any way a burden on the government taxpayer as well as the people of the country. So it’s a balance. Economics is always about a balance. Sometimes the most optimum solution is not found in that particular organization alone. It can be found elsewhere. 


SriLankan Airlines is going to be restructured, but we should view tourism as a product. Who would support tourism during a downturn? We mustn’t get completely carried away by this privatisation thought and think that everything would be perfect with privatisation. Right now we are at USD 4000 per capita income and our economy isn’t robust enough to charge interests of that nature. Sometimes we need to hold the hand of certain state institutions to ensure that those also grow. I think we must do what is right for the country at the stage that it is in. Don’t embrace certain theories and principles, merely because they have been applied in other countries. So let’s give it some time and I would support the companies to make them better-managed companies. 

We need to ensure that people have things they want at the right time. If we were to bring in so many other oil companies to Sri Lanka I don’t think we would be doing justice to consumers. We may only have a steep increase in the pricing alone. There’s a lot more focus on electricity as well, but what has happened? During the past five years, not a single unit has been added to the National Grid. So how do we tackle that? The Government is contemplating adding 500 MW of emergency power. The worse thing that you can do is have emergency power. The answer to that is not that you do a tender for emergency power, but have a long term power generation plan. This way you would ensure that each year there would be new amounts of units added to the national grid. Then we would be in a position to have better pricing and better relief to the consumers. In 2014 the electricity prices actually reduced after the 300 MW Norochcholai Power plant was commissioned. That was a promise that was given in the manifesto of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and it was followed because we were in a position to do that.

Last year the Central Bank report showed that due to the depreciation of the currency, Sri Lanka’s debt burden grows by Rs. 1063 billion. The Colombo-Katunayake expressway cost us only Rs. 37 billion. We could have done about 35 such expressways through the amount the rupee depreciation added on to our debt. That is the critical part of public sector management. All debts put together of SriLankan Airlines etc., won’t come anywhere close to it. So we need to manage our economy properly. If we don’t manage it we get into serious trouble. So we need to get our interest rates, rupee and the SOEs right.  Why we are here in this situation, where people are wondering whether we could survive is because we have actually got into trouble in the mega areas of our economic management. We have done badly in terms of interest rates, rupee, fiscal deficit and foreign direct investments coming in and those need to be fixed very quickly. 

Referring to SLPP, Mr Cabral said that it is a young party and it has been in existence only for about three years and there’s a lot more time for leadership changes. If you take the SLFP, it had the leadership of S.W.R.D Bandaranaike and then from him to Sirimavo and Chandrika, but then it changed. If you take the UNP from D.S Senanayake it went to Dudley Senanayake and then it changed. So there were times where you would have seen certain initial stages of the Party being dominated by a certain group or a certain family. But over a period of time as other leaders emerged and they come forward there will be changes taking place. He said that he is confident that even here there would be a certain transition and people accept the undisputed leadership of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and there has been a consensus that the person who should contest the Presidency is Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 

Speaking in a ‘ViyathMaga’ seminar Mr Cabral accused the government of blindly taking foreign loans for day to day consumption purposes and explained at the time of handing over of the Rajapaksa government the parity rate for the U.S.$ was Rs. 131 and it has reached nearly Rs, 200 due to bad fiscal management of this government. 

Mr Cabral said that in the year 2018 the amount paid by the government as loan interest amounted to Rs.850 billion and Rs. 400 billion has been paid as additional loan interests.  He said that for the construction of the Colombo-Kayunayake Expressway the Rajapaksa government spent only Rs. 37 billion and compared to that from additional loan interest paid by this government in 2018 alone 11 Expressways could have been built.

Meanwhile, Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa addressing a meeting held at Colombo Exhibition Centre on 39th September said that Sri Lanka has become the country with the lowest economic development in Asia. He said that as per the latest report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Sri Lanka’s economic development rate has collapsed to 3e.6%, to lower than Afghanistan which has a rate of 2.7%.

Speaking further Mr Rajapaksa emphasized that we should safeguard our sovereignty and since we are a small country we should not get involved in the power struggles of big nations. He reminded that we had been a countr5y not aligned to any power bloc and strictly following a Non-Aligned foreign policy and this non-aligned policy is getting severely weakened due to our unnecessary involvement with certain countries.

Speaking about the economy, he said that they have a clear economic policy and a programme to revive the collapsed economy. He said that this economic programme has been formulated in a form of uplifting the downtrodden masses.

Mr Gotabhaya explained that Sri Lanka is situated in the centre of the fast economic development region of Asia and we should take the maximum benefit from this propitious situation. He said that we lost 30 years because of the heinous terrorism. We should not miss the opportunity of this auspicious market opportunity.  

Unfortunately during the last 4 ½ years, the present government did not have a concrete plan to overcome from the economic downfall. 

The biggest challenge this country had been facing was the terrorist aggression and we eliminated it in 2 ½ years and ensured the safety and security in the country. We were also successful in making the country attractive to foreign investors and generate employment for the people of this country.

Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa made the above comments delivering the keynote address at the special session of the Lanka Samasamaja Party.

He said that Lanka Samasamaja Party is a party that has rendered a tremendous service to this country and at the same time it has introduced a plethora of political giants such as Dr N.M.Perera, Dr Colvin R. de Silva, Robert Gunawardeme, Mrs, Vivienne Gunawardene, Bernard Soysa etc.

If there is no stability and security in a country it will not be possible for the people to live harmoniously in that country.  We ended terrorism that scorched the country for almost thirty years.  13,000 hard-core terrorists surrendered to the army and we rehabilitated and socialized them.  There were only 277 more terrorists to be rehabilitated.  Those who were rehabilitated and socialized never returned to terrorism.  We provided them employment and we even allowed them to join the army or other security forces.  Unfortunately, this government did not provide them with any employment.

90% of the lands that were under the LTTE and the security forces were returned to their original owners.   The owners of lands were also allowed to engage in the cultivation of their around the Palaly High-Security Zone.  We were planning to establish a new city in that area in consultation with Mr Douglas Devananda and settle more people there.  But we couldn’t accomplish it as the government changed.

Also, all the programmes we implemented were brought forward after ending the war. However, programmes related to those activities were not carried forward by this government. The Southern Expressway was not completed by this government.

This century in future will be called as a knowledge-based century. We should bein readiness for this situation. We have prepared a short term and long term plans to face these situations.  There is a possibility of providing opportunities based on technology for those who have given up education abruptly, who have ailed advanced level education and become stranded, unemployed graduates. If 500,000students sit for the Advanced Level examination only 200,000 passes the examination. Out of them only 35,000 gains entry to Universities.  Others get stranded. All the students should be provided with the opportunity for higher education.  We are planning to invest a huge amount for this purpose. 

It is not essential to become graduates in the computer sector.  There is a possibility to engage our youth in the computer sector. We must secure these employment opportunities.  A short term programme to train these youth for computer-based economically profitable employments. We have plans formulated for this. 

During President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s time, we showed that we can do things. Then er worked as a team. We did not blame Ministers or officials, It was because that politicians and officials worked together we achieved results.  We should activate and vitalize the public service. We should have a vision and leadership to identify the talents and utilize such people.

We did not bring foreigners to finish the war to develop our infrastructure.  It was our talented personnel who finished the war.  It was our talented people who beautified our cities and towns. Having plans are not sufficient.  We should have the capability to implement the plans, 

Please provide your assistance to take this country forward towards prosperity.

Speaking at a meeting of the upcountry youth forum held at Waters Edge in Battaramulla, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa said his economic plans were people-centric and aimed at uplifting everyone’s living standards.

He said that as a whole, his economic and development plans are not limited to one region but people-centric. Any development plan should be inclusive to increase the income of all citizens instead of making a selected group of people rich. Although the per capita income is high in the country, some people still live below the poverty line. There is no point if our development projects don’t benefit all citizens and if one faction is always poor. There should be a system to uplift the livelihood of people who are below the poverty line,” he said.

On a different note, he said the estate sector was the highest foreign exchange earner of the country and that it was time for export diversification.

He said that it e said that HmmmmmmmmmmmHHhh is unfair if we stick only to tea when speaking of the estate sector. The livelihood of the people in the region should be uplifted. The youth have to tap the tourism sector in order to do this. The children in the region should be given equal educational opportunities.

The Blossoming Of A Greater Eurasian Partnership-The RCEP train left the station, and India, behind

November 11th, 2019

By Pepe Escobar Courtesy Asia Times

The biggest story at ASEAN was the convergence of moves toward Asia integration, leaving Delhi out for now

November 08, 2019 “Information Clearing House” -A pan-Asia high-speed train has left the station – and India – behind. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which would have been the largest free trade deal in the world, was not signed in Bangkok. It will probably be signed next year in Vietnam, assuming New Delhi goes beyond what ASEAN, with diplomatic finesse barely concealing frustration, described as outstanding issues, which remain unresolved.”

The partnership uniting 16 nations – the ASEAN 10 plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and, in theory, India – would have congregated 3.56 billion people and 29% of world trade.

Predictably, it was billed as the big story among the slew of high-profile meetings linked to the 35th ASEAN summit in Thailand, as RCEP de facto further integrates Asian economies with China just as the Trump administration is engaged in a full spectrum battle against everything from the Belt and Road Initiative to Made in China 2025.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng was blunt: It’s the 15 nations that have decided to move forward first.” And he added there won’t be any problem for the 15 nations to sign RCEP next year,” when Vietnam takes over as the chair of ASEAN.

It’s not hard to figure out where the problem” lies.

Mahathir ‘disappointed’

Diplomats confirmed that New Delhi came up with a string of last-minute demands in Thailand, forcing many to work deep into the night with no success. Thailand’s Commerce Minister, Jurin Laksanawisit, tried to put on a brave face: The negotiation last night was conclusive.”

It was not. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad – whose facial expression in the family photo was priceless, as he shook hands with Aung San Suu Kyi on his left and nobody on his right – had already given away the game. We’re very disappointed,” he said, adding: One country is making demands we cannot accept.”

ASEAN, that elaborate monument to punctilious protocol and face-saving, insists the few outstanding issues will be resolved by February 2020,” with the text of all 20 RCEP chapters complete pending the resolution of one” member.

RCEP dwells across a large territory, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property and dispute resolution. The Indian problem” is extremely complex. India in fact already has a free trade agreement with ASEAN.

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CEP, in practice, would extend this agreement to the other big boys, including China, Japan and South Korea.

New Delhi insists it is defending farmers, dairy owners, the services industry, sectors of the automobile industry – especially hybrid and electric cars, and very popular three-wheelers – and mostly small businesses all across the nation, which would be devastated by an augmented tsunami of Chinese merchandise.

Agriculture, textile, steel and mining interests in India are totally against RCEP.

Yet New Delhi never mentions quality Japanese or South Korean products. It’s all about China. New Delhi argues that signing what is widely interpreted as a free trade agreement with China would explode its already significant US$57 billion a year trade deficit.

The barely disguised secret is that India’s economy, as the historical record shows, is inherently protectionist. There’s no way a possible removal of agricultural tariffs protecting farmers would not provoke a social cataclysm.

Modi, who is not exactly a bold statesman with a global vision, is between a heavy rock and a very hard place. President Xi Jinping offered him a 100-year plan” for China-India partnership at their last informal, bilateral summit.

India is a fellow BRICS member, it’s part of the Russia-India-China troika that is actually at the center of BRICS and is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Geopolitically as well as geoeconomically, it hardly makes sense for India to be out of RCEP – which means excluded from East Asia and Southeast Asia integration. The only feasible solution might be an elaborate bilateral India-China deal within RCEP.

Questions remain whether both players would be able to work that out before the Vietnam summit in 2020.

Putting it all together

India was only part of the story of the summit fest in Thailand. At the important East Asia Summit, everyone was actively discussing multiple paths towards multilateralism.

The Trump administration is touting what it calls the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy – which is yet another de facto China containment strategy, congregating the US, India, Japan and Australia. Indo-Pacific is very much on Modi’s mind. The problem is Indo-Pacific,” as the US conceives of it, and RCEP are incompatible.

ASEAN, instead, came up with its own strategy: ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) – which incorporates all the usual transparency, good governance, sustainable development and rules-based tenets plus details on connectivity and maritime disputes.

All the ASEAN 10 are behind AOIP, which is, in fact, an original Indonesian idea. It’s fascinating to know that Bangkok and Jakarta worked together behind closed doors for no fewer than 18 months to reach a full consensus among the ASEAN 10.

The biggest story in Thailand was, in fact, the convergence of myriad moves towards Asia integration. Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang was lavishly praising the prospects of integrating Belt and Road with something called the Master Plan of ASEAN Activity, which is the connectivity part of AOIP.

South Korea’s Moon Jae-in jumped in extolling the merits of his Southern Policy, which is essentially northeast-southeast Asia integration. And don’t forget Russia.

At the ASEAN business and investment summit, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev put it all together; the blossoming of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, uniting the Eurasia Economic Union, ASEAN and Shanghai Cooperation Organization, not to mention, in his words, other possible structures,” which is code for Belt and Road.

Belt and Road is powerfully advancing its links to RCEP, Eurasia Economic Union and even South America’s Mercosur – when Brazil finally kicks Jair Bolsonaro out of power.

Medvedev noted that this merging of interests was unanimously supported at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi in 2016. Vietnam and Singapore have already clinched free trade deals with Eurasia Economic Union, and Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia are on their way.

Medvedev also noted that a trade and economic cooperation deal between China and Eurasia Economic Union was signed in late October. Next is India, and a preferential trade agreement between the union and Iran has also been signed.

In Thailand, the Chinese delegation did not directly address the United States’ Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy. But Medvedev did, forcefully: We are in favor of maintaining the effective system of state-to-state relations which was formed on the basis of ASEAN and has shown a good track record over the years.

In this regard, we believe the US initiative is a serious challenge for ASEAN countries, since it can weaken the association’s position and strip it of its status as a key player in addressing regional security problems.”

Summits come and go. But what just happened in Thailand will remain as another graphic illustration of myriad, concerted moves leading towards progressive, irreversible Asia – and Eurasia – integration. It’s up to Modi to decide when and if to hop on the train.

Pepe Escobar is correspondent-at-large at Asia Times. His latest book is 2030. Follow him on Facebook.

This article was originally published by “Asia Times

A mockery of justice – the latest

November 11th, 2019

Janaka Perera

We again had the misfortune witnessed a mockery of justice when President Maithripala Sirisena pardoned Jude Samantha Jayamaha sentenced to death for the brutal murder of Swedish teenager Yvonne Johnson at the Royal Park luxury apartment complex in Colombo in July 2005.

Needless to say, this pardoning has sparked outrage among all law-abiding citizens. They would have not objected if the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.  But to allow Jayamaha to walk out of prison is intolerable, to say the least.  Is this a twisted view of human rights? Or is it because the convict is from a high-profile wealthy family?

This is the latest in four such unjustifiable Presidential pardons within a period of four decades.

During the murder trial, the court was told that the skull of the victim – who was strangled to death – was fractured into 64 pieces. Jayamaha should have been kept in prison at least till he reached old age if not a life term.

It was President Jayawardene who set a dangerous precedent by releasing convicted rapist and underworld thug Gonawala Sunil. He was even made a JP. 

Thereafter President Premadasa pardoned Manohari Daniels jailed for killing dozens of civilians by exploding a car bomb in 1987. 

In July 2009 Mary Juliet Monica Fernando sentenced to death (later commuted to life imprisonment) in 2005 for a double murder, walked away to freedom after being pardoned by President Mahinda Rajapaksa on International Women’s Day!

Juliet Fernando was the wife of former SLFP Minister Milroy Fernando.

Why this selective ‘compassion’?

Are not there other heartless murderers like Jude Samantha still in the death row?

The only convicts who may deserve pardon are those who have killed in self-defense or under sudden provocation in justifiable circumstances or caused death unintentionally (including negligence). These usually fall into the legal category of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Pardoning any convict or not should be decided not by a President but by a review board, depending on the nature of each case.  It should be a legal process.

We hope the next President will give serious thought to this.  If not criminals who deserve no leniency will walk away scot-free.

Must work together with the thought “All are Sri Lankans”

November 11th, 2019

Press Release Issued by Maha Sanga

An independent team of Maha Sanga release special statements to the media says that ‘‘All religious leaders including Buddhist clergy to date have worked and contributed enormously to protect our motherland, nation, religion and culture. Similarly, all ethnic groups diligently and cordially have done their part. All communities and followers of all religious faiths in the future too must work together with the thought “All are Sri Lankans”.’’  ‘‘We appeal to you, including the Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders, to come together to defeat all forces that are attempting to divide this land or destroy the national unity’’ the statement adds.

Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara, Mahanayake Thero, Ven. Ganthure Assagee Thero, Ven. Waskaduwe Mahindawansa Thero, Ven. Ambewela Paggasara Thero, Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Thero, Ven. Prof Kollupitiye Sangarakkitha Thero, Ven Kotapola Amarakiththi Theto, Ven. Prof Madagama Nandawasa Thero, Ven Dr. Walpola Wimalagana AnunayakeThero, Ven Prof. Pallekande Rathnasara Thero, Ven Mederipiteye Tapassi Thero, Ven. Prof. Kiwlegedara Narada Thero, Ven. Prof. Kahapola Sugatharathana Thero, Ven. Homagama Dammananda Thero, Ven. Omare Kassapa Anunayake Thero, Ven. Prof. Magammana Paghghannda Thero, Ven. Prof. Madagampitiye WijithaDamma Thero, Ven. Kumbuke Chandaloka Thero, Ven Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana Thero, Ven Prof Iththademaliye Indasara there has sign the statement.

full statement below,

A kind intimation to all Sri Lankans

Sri Lanka is a unique country. Our country’s physical assets such as the strategic location, climate, geography, environment, and water, coupled with our esteemed culture, the national heritage enriched with our archeological endowments elevate our country’s standing among the countries in the world to high levels.

The unfortunate environment that developed during the recent past and the devastating events that have taken place have made the Buddhist clergy and other religious dignitaries sorrowful. Further, degradation and erosion of territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence, and ability to withstand foreign intervention, exacerbated by the breakdown of national security have been the cause for profound sadness and despair. It is so unfortunate that this uncertain climate and environment still prevails.

No one has been found guilty or accountable on the Central Bank bond scam where enormous amounts of money have been siphoned off. Those who killed hundreds of people by suicide bombings freely mingle in society. Furthermore, selling, leasing and disposing of portions of our country to foreign interests continue unabated, posing a huge threat to our independence. In the forthcoming Presidential election, some candidates willing to implement proposals of certain politicians that would ultimately lead to the division of our country and a federal structure, are in the fray. As it is our prime and noble intention to ensure that all communities and followers of all religious faiths live harmoniously and in peace, respecting the main cultural ethos and Buddhism, we would call upon all candidates to openly declare and promise that they would protect the unitary status of our country, oppose federalism, and ensure national security. Those who would not so declare should be firmly rejected.

All religious leaders including Buddhist clergy to date have worked and contributed enormously to protect our motherland, nation, religion and culture. Similarly, all ethnic groups diligently and cordially have done their part. All communities and followers of all religious faiths in the future too, must work together with the thought “All are Sri Lankans”. Therefore, we appeal to you, including the Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders, to come together to defeat all forces that are attempting to divide this land or destroy the national unity.

We are kindly appealing to all, to cast your valuable vote at the forthcoming Presidential election, to the most capable leader who will protect and preserve the unitary status of our country; ensure national security; enhance and promote local produce and production; pull the country out of the economic mess we are in; strictly enforce law and order; and restore civility by eliminating prevailing lawlessness. We further appeal to all the Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders to provide leadership to apprise the public of the need to elect our future president to ensure our country’s peace and prosperity.

May the noble Triple Gem bless you all

THE RECENT AWARD “PRIDE OF ASIA” TO SRI LANKAN SPEAKER KARU JAYASURIYA HAS NO VALUE. IT IS MEANT TO HOODWINK GENERAL PUBLIC,

November 11th, 2019

Heenmulla Aluthgama

THE RECENT AWARD PRIDE OF ASIA” TO SRI LANKAN SPEAKER KARU JAYASURIYA HAS NO VALUE. IT IS MEANT TO HOODWINK GENERAL PUBLIC,

SURELY THE AWARD HAS BEEN CONFERRED TO HIM WITHOUT FULLY CHECKING CHECKING HIS WORKS. I MEAN, WITHOUT CHECKING HOW USEFUL HIS WORKS TO SRI LANKANS”.

I DO NOT THINK THAT Abdul Kalam Institute of Technological Sciences (AKITS).” HAD SPENT ANY TIME TO CHECK HIS WORKS.

AS YOU ARE AWARE SPEAKER KARU JAYASURIYA IS A MEMBER OF CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL. THIS COUNCIL IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF KEY FIGURES IN PUBLIC SERVICES ( FOR EXAMPLE IGP)

I KINDLY REQUEST ABDUL KALAM INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGICAL SCIENCES

(AKITS) MEMBERS WHO HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN RECOMMENDING THIS AWARD TO SPEAKER KARU JAYASURIYA THE FOLLOWING.

WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN APPOINTED BY INSTITUTIONS (INCLUDING CONSTITUTIONAL COUNCIL) WHERE SPEAKER IS A MEMBER, TO PUBLIC SERVICES OFFICES.

FOR EXAMPLE FORMER IGP PUJITHA JAYASUNDARA IS ALREADY IN REMAND CUSTODY.

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE VERY EXTENSIVE CHECKS TO FIND OUT SOME MATERIALS.

JUST CHECK THE PHONES OF SRI LANKA HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL MEMBERS AND SRI LANKA POLICE COMMISSION MEMBERS.

YOU WILL FIND PHONE NUMBERS OF ALL THE CRIMINAL POLICE OFFICERS AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS (MOST OF THEM ARE BEHIND ORGANISED CRIMINAL

GANGS) IN THE ABOVE MENTION PHONES OF MEMBERS OF KEY PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS.

SRI LANKA HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL MEMBERS AND SRI LANKA POLICE COMMISSION MEMBERS  RECEIVE INSTRUCTIONS FROM CRIMINAL POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS REGARDING THE HANDLING OF THE COMPLAINTS LODGED AT THESE COMMISSION AGAINST THESE CRIMINAL POLICE OFFICERS AND INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS.

I DO NOT THINK I HAVE TO MENTION ANY OTHER PLACES TO CHECK. OTHERS ARE NO EXCEPTION.

SADLY, NOT ONLY SPEAKER KARU JAYASURIYA BUT ALSO PM RANIL WICKRAMASINGHA AND OPPOSITION LEADERS MAHINDA RAJAPAKSHA ARE ALSO MEMBERS OF ABOVE MENTIONS INSTITUTIONS, YOU MIGHT THIS BEYOND YOUR SCOPE. I JUST MENTION THIS TO INDICATE HOW CORRUPT SRI LANKANS KEY FIGURES ARE. ALL OF THEM EXPLOITS INSTITUTIONS LIKE AKITS TO HAVE SOME WHITEWASH. ( OR BRAINWASH THE GENERAL PUBLIC)

MCC Agreements

November 11th, 2019

Janaki Chandraratna

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact Program is back on the news again. This time the government is keen to sign the agreements before the Presidential elections without going through the parliamentary process. There are protests from many quarters. The President, Opposition Leader, the Maha Sangha, the Cardinal, Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) etc. had requested the government to delay the sign up, at least until the parliamentarians are made aware of the contents of the agreement. The lack of information has led to many interpretations and innuendos, highlighting the adverse impact of the agreement on the sovereignty of the country and its future generations.

Needless to say the map of Sri Lanka with a development corridor extending from Colombo to Trincomalee, quite likely to give shivers to patriotic lovers of the country. Many have asserted that the MCC projects signify a division of Sri Lanka into North and South with a buffer zone for an American military sector. The only winners are seen to be the TNA who are hell bent on securing a separate state exclusively for Tamils in the north (sans Sinhala settlements) as well as have the luxury of settling in any other part of the Island. If this is the underpinning scenario of the MCC concept then it is natural for Sri Lankans to question this arrangement, as the rest of the population (72%), may have to be settled in the South, which is more or less the same size in extent as the North. This is one of the fears currently circulating among the southern communities, in the absence of MCC program information.

In the midst of this confusion, the American Embassy has extended a so called, a hand of comfort, confirming the procedure of signing first and discussions later as compliant with MCC projects.  MCC procedure is said to be

“Consistent with the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s worldwide policy in all partner countries, once the grant assistance agreement is signed, the Government of Sri Lanka will send it to parliament for approval.  Inasmuch, Parliament will have ample opportunity to review the grant assistance agreement.  

…This grant assistance agreement will directly benefit over 11 million Sri Lankans and meaningfully stimulate economic growth. …Parliamentary review and approval are required by MCC to ensure the grant assistance agreement has the support of the government and the people.” (The Island 2 Nov. 2019). 

It is my view that the above procedure is fraught with several concerns, such as what would happen if the parliament disagrees with the proposals? In such a scenario can the agreement be cancelled and voided?

It appears the review period is limited to develop implementation plans. Here again what is the situation if there is a disagreement on the concept itself? Are we required to pay back the ‘gift’ of US$480 million in case of such a disagreement?

Also what research had been undertaken to claim that over 11 million people would directly benefit from these projects? Who would be these beneficiaries as nearly 21 million people live in this little island?

The MCC and the American Embassy need to explain the above scenarios as well as any other questions Sri Lankans may have so that the parliament and people can take informed decisions. What is in peril here is the sovereignty of our land, which, is home to 21 million people. Although the American Embassy has informed that the highlights of the MCC projects had been disseminated to interested parties, the Sri Lankan interest would be to review the full agreements, in particular the land project. The land project goal is said to be to develop a land bank to provide information on private lands and government lands, to increase land market activity. This would mean increased land sales for large-scale economic activity, possibly to multinationals.

Changes to legislation have already been undertaken to repeal Part 4-6 of the Land reform Act No 1 of 1972 to remove foreign ownership limit of 50 acres. The difficulties of managing a internationally governed contract based on international law were highlighted by Sri Lankan experts like Dr. Kohona, the former UN Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka and former Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs at a discussion at BMICH on 9 August 2019. (Pathfinder Foundation discussion, on Separating the Baby from the Bathwater: Evaluating the Millennium Challenge Corporation-Sri Lanka Compact”). 

These uncertainties have created more queries than solutions. Thus far the govt. has not taken any steps to resolve these queries, at least to the parliament let alone to the public. To say the least it is unethical to sign an agreement with so much of discordance.

It should be noted that Sri Lankans could be different to other MCC partners, who were mainly African countries. Sri Lankans are astute enough to understand that there is nothing called a free lunch’. The USD$480 million grant is not a free gift. It is a payment for MCC projects and it is important that these projects are acceptable to Sri Lankan people and not only to a Cabinet of Ministers, who is currently struggling to manage the current economy. A grant at this stage can be a windfall to patch up the economy until the next parliamentary election, which a few months away. There is also an election for the President within a few days. It is important the new President is given a chance to review the contracts in detail before a commitment is made. I am confident the Embassy would understand the current Sri Lankan situation and take appropriate action in the interest of both our countries.

Janaki Chandraratna

Gotabaya’s lawyers produce documents proving his renunciation of US citizenship

November 11th, 2019

by Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte Courtesy The Island

November 10, 2019, 9:01 pm

article_image

President’s Counsel Ali Sabri showing the documents proving that SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had given up his US citizenship.Pic by Thushara Atapattu

A panel of senior lawyers led by President’s Counsel Ali Sabri yesterday produced documents pertaining to SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s renunciation of his US citizenship.

Addressing the media at Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo, they produced the original documents provided to Rajapaksa by the US State Department to the effect that he is no longer an American citizen.

Zabri said that the issue had been politicised by a group political opponents of Rajapaksa to mislead the public in view of their impending defeat at the Nov 16 presidential election. The matter had been challenged before the Court of Appeal with the same purpose but the court had thrown out the petition. “If they had any further doubt they could have gone to the Supreme Court. They knew the truth that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had renounced his US citizenship properly. So, they did not go to the Supreme Court and waited till now to mislead the people. There is a monk staging a protest at the Independence Square demanding to know the truth. He could have gone before his leaders Ranil Wickremesinghe or Sajith Premadasa who has very cordial links with the US Embassy and get the matter verified without wasting the time of others.”

Sabri said that when Rajapaksa renounced his US citizenship the State Department had canceled the latter’s travel documents. He presented them to the media.

Kushan de Alwis, PC, said that he had personally checked all documents pertaining to the issue and Rajapaksa had no barrier to get elected and be sworn in as the next President of the country.

Mayura Gunawansa, PC, Razik Zarook, PC, and an attorney-at-law practising in the US Prof. Gamini Gunawardena also informed the media that Rajapaksa had renounced his US citizenship.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa: bringing smiles back to Sri Lanka

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy ANI/BusinessWire India

Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR is a former Sri Lankan army officer and a politician
Lieutenant Colonel Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR is a former Sri Lankan army officer and a politician

Sri Lanka was once known as the land of smiles

Admittedly, over the last four years, one does not encounter many people smiling on the streets of this lush green island.

It seems that there is a good chance that following the November 16 election, smiles may be back.

That’s what Gotabaya Rajapaksa, alias GR, a strong yet sensitive and ‘green’ leader aspires to. And he looks most likely to achieve it. He is the brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa who lost the 2015 election after having served two terms as President.

A constitutional amendment introduced by the Government precludes anybody from serving more than two terms – hence, Mahinda could not run again.

Gotabaya, his younger brother, is not a novice in politics. He became renowned for ending the war against terrorism as a Defense secretary. He also held a portfolio of public works and much of the country’s modern infrastructure (as well as several landmark buildings) carry GR’s signature.

All this is signified by a carbon-neutral campaign’ which has set new standards in environmentally responsible political contests. Run by his brother, Basil Rajapaksa, and supported by a group of young technocrats, GR not only has reduced the use of paper to the absolute minimum but has calculated the overall carbon footprint of his campaign.

Having also calculated the carbon equivalent, his supporters have embarked on a concerted tree-planting frenzy in order to offset any strain put on the environment by the campaign.

Admirable indeed! The environment is undoubtedly one of Sri Lanka’s great assets. By increasing public awareness on the need to preserve it, GR is signifying that his plan for economic development goes hand-in-hand with his vision of a clean Sri Lanka, world-renowned for its organic farming.GR’s vision about equal opportunities and equality before the law is summed up by his quote.

“When I talk about prosperity I think of the whole country. Nobody shall be left behind. Those who stand to gain more from the development of Sri Lanka are those who today are the most deprived.

“GR’s economic policies laid down in an 85- page manifesto, aim ‘to guarantee a better life for each and everyone’.His manifesto includes an extensive chapter on education as GR places particular emphasis on the skills of the young.

His vision is to pave the ground for an internationally competitive Sri Lanka. And for ‘every new generation to live better than the previous generation’.This content is provided by BusinessWire India.

ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/BusinessWire India)

Rajapakse factor in Sri Lanka presidential polls

November 11th, 2019

Shubha Singh, Indo-Asian News Service  Courtesy Gulf Today

The Sri Lankan presidential election is turning into a battle between two politically influential families; the Rajapakse and the Premadasa families. Gotabaya Rajapakse, a former defence secretary is the younger brother of former president Mahinda Rajapakse, while Sajith Premadasa, Housing Minister, is the son of former president Ranasinghe Premadasa who was assassinated by the LTTE in 1993.

Other prominent candidates for the November 16 presidential elections are Anura Kumara Dissanayake of the Janatha Vimukthi Peranuma (JVP) and former army commander Gen Mahesh Senanayake, who are expected to cut into the support base of Premadasa and Rajapakse respectively.

Mahinda Rajapakse is the former president during whose tenure the three decades long civil war came to an end with the defeat of the Tamil separatist group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. But his ten-year long tenure as President ended in a surprising defeat in the 2015 presidential election, when he was ousted by a former colleague Maithripala Sirisena who formed a coalition with Ranil Wickremesinghe and his United National Party to win the presidential election.

Gotabaya is seen as the front-runner for the election; his campaign got an early start while Sajith Premadasa entered the fray much later as he had to force the acceptance of his candidature within the UNP’s old guard. But Sajith Premadasa’s chances got a significant boost after the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) indicated its support to him. The younger Premadasa is banking on the support that his father had among the people. Ranasinghe Premadasa is remembered in Sri Lanka as a grassroots leader who did not belong to Colombo’s ruling elite; he had a strong pro-poor outlook and had initiated several welfare schemes.

During the 2015 elections the UNP had the full backing of the TNA, but the Tamil Alliance has since been disappointed with the government’s failure to implement pre-poll assurances. The Tamil community has voiced their discontent at the incumbent government, but would be unwilling to vote for Gotabaya Rajapakse. Premadasa is seen as the better option. Both the main candidates have been wooing the majority Sinhala vote. The other significant minority, the Muslims are still shaky after the bombings on Easter Sunday in Colombo and the resulting polarization that had led to communal violence. The Tamils and Muslims are not as united as they were in 2015, and voting may get fragmented, with many people disinterested in casting their votes.

Mahinda and Gotabaya, as defence secretary were credited with the victory over Tamil Tigers, but they also faced charges of human rights violations and killings of civilians and surrendering LTTE cadres during the last stages of the civil war. Isolated from Western countries over the human rights charges, the Rajapakse government turned to China, borrowing huge sums of money to build infrastructure, but eventually ending in a debt trap.

In the post-conflict political scene, the Rajapakse family increased their dominance as various members were appointed as heads of several important institutions. The Rajapakse dominance alienated many Sri Lankans, including several in his own party. The Tamils and other minority groups felt marginalised in the atmosphere of Sinhala chauvinism in the post-war period and the absence of any efforts towards national reconciliation.

Five years later, the mood has changed after the bombings in Colombo on Easter Sunday when 250 persons were killed in the terrorist attacks. There is a desire to elect a strong leader to deal with the challenges facing the country. Confidence in the present government was shaken after it became evident that the Sirisena government had ignored repeated intelligence warnings from India regarding possible terrorist attacks.

The Sirisena-Wickremesinge combine had promised good governance, accountability and national reconciliation in 2015 but its poor performance, inefficiency and corruption together with the infighting between the two groups lost it much of its support. The rivalry reached its lowest point last year when President Sirisena dismissed Wickremesinge as Prime Minister and offered the position to Mahinda Rajapakse. Sri Lanka was plunged in a constitutional crisis as

Wickremesinge refused to leave office and Rajapakse was unable to cobble a majority in the Legislature. The crisis was resolved after the Supreme Court held Rajapakse’s appointment as illegal.

Though Mahinda Rajapakse is not an electoral candidate, he remains the guiding force of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna’s (SLPP) campaign. A recent constitutional amendment enhanced the powers of the Prime Minister for running the government and set a two-term limit for the President’s position. Barred from contesting for a third term, Mahinda Rajapakse is widely believed to be aiming for the Prime Minister’s post after the National Assembly elections due to

be held next year. This may hurt the chances of a Rajapakse comeback to the presidential palace by reviving the memories of the Rajapakse dominance.

Sri Lanka elections: In the south, hopes on Gotabaya run high

November 11th, 2019

Meera Srinivasan Courtesy The Hindu

Supporters of Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a rally in Neluwa village in Galle.

Supporters of Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a rally in Neluwa village in Galle.   | Photo Credit: APMORE-INSri Lanka Presidential Elections

People here see in him a strong leader, who ended war, built infrastructure.

I brought my child along just so he can see our leader, even if from a distance,” said Sepalika Harshani, 29, carrying her toddler under an umbrella.

She was among thousands who flocked to Wellawaya town in Sri Lanka’s southern Monaragala district on Saturday afternoon, braving the rain. They had come for the rally of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, candidate from their favourite political clan, in the final lap of the November 16 presidential poll campaign.

I would be very happy if someone like him becomes President of this country. He got us freedom,” Ms. Harshani said, referring to the war’s end in 2009 under the Rajapaksa administration. Mr. Gotabaya, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was defence secretary, directing the military that defeated the rebel Tigers.

Nineteen-year-old A.P.D. Seuvandi, too, was there to catch a glimpse of the leader she has decided to vote for next weekend. They saved the country,” the first-time voter said. She was barely nine when the war ended but has grown up listening to a popular story of its end; one quite different from what Tamils of the north and east would tell. He will make the country safe again, develop it and improve education standards for us.” For many Sri Lankans, safety has become a major concern after the Easter Sunday terror attacks in April.

In the island’s southern hinterland, almost every local, including those supporting Mr. Gotabaya’s main opponent Sajith Premadasa, assert that a majority here will vote for Gotabaya”. Past election results are proof enough for that sentiment. Even in 2015, an election that former President Mahinda Rajapaksa lost, most of the southern districts gave him over 60% of the vote share. Historically a stronghold of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s former Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the southern belt seems to have readily embraced his newly-formed the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP or People’s Party).

Diverse reasons

The reasons pulling voters towards Mr. Gotabaya this time go beyond war victory”. Some of them are looking for respite from the everyday economic strain they associate with the incumbent government, or are utterly disenchanted with it, like daily-waged labourer D.M. Jayaratne. This government came to power saying they would catch corrupt thieves. Nothing happened in the last five years. Instead, they robbed the Central Bank,” he said, referring to the bond scam”, in which a former head of the apex bank was accused of manipulating bond auctions in 2015, causing a loss of millions. The scandal was a major blow to the government that rose to power months earlier, that too on the promise of good governance”.

Further, Mr. Jayaratne sees Mr. Gotabaya as a strong leader who will not give into Tamil demands” for war-time accountability and self-rule.

Election vs real issues

Many voters, across Monaragala [Uva Province] and the neighbouring Hambantota [Southern Province] district, began their poll analysis with a reading of the two main candidates — and less often of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s contestant Anura Kumara Dissanayake. But invariably, they spoke about pressing local concerns.

They pointed to land hunger, in the wake of mega development projects in Hambantota – a Chinese-built port and an adjoining industrial zone proposed over 15,000 acres. They worried about loss of livelihoods and falling incomes. There are no jobs here,” was a common refrain.

The irony was glaring. While billions of rupees have been channelled into the Rajapaksa-era development projects over the last decade, locals repeatedly speak of prevalent poverty. To the outside world, Hambantota is a high-profile emerging district, and a site of a regional geo-political tussle: with a Chinese-built port and the loss-making Mattala airport nearby, that India is interested in developing. But to many who live there, the development projects are at best distant and at worst, a threat.

Hoping for change

Both, the Rajapaksas and Mr. Premadasa are closely associated with the southern districts — either by familial links, or their parliamentary seats.

The constant fear of further marginalisation is making some voters consider a shift towards Mr. Premadasa. While it may not dull the Rajapaksa sheen yet, it points to Mr. Premadasa’s growing base, especially in the rural areas.

For K. L. Pradeepa Priyadarshini, Mr. Premadasa’s candidacy brings back the hope she felt during his father Ranasinghe Premadasa’s rule in the early 1990s. Hearing about his poverty alleviation programmes on radio, I felt here is a national leader who has finally spoken about our need for food and water,” said the Hambantota-based farmer.

When you sit in air-conditioned rooms, you can’t feel the heat and dust that people like us feel every day.” To her, Mr. Premadasa appears different, with a largely unblemished political record and fair success as Housing Minister.

Not who, but what

Supporters of Mr. Gotabaya are nostalgic about the past. Mahinda Rajapaksa ended the war, built roads and expanded rural electricity. But those drawn to Mr. Premadasa are looking at what he might do in future.

Some voters are tired of thinking about who to vote for. They’d rather think about what to vote for.

A group of women farmers in Monaragala district are basing their decision on candidates’ manifestos. We are looking at what they have said about women, farmers, national unity, rural debt, especially microfinance-induced debt, and education policy,” said S.A. Shanthi. They also challenged the idea of national security” that has become a chief election issue, in the wake of the Easter bombings. To ensure national security, “we don’t need a strong leader. we just need sound policies.”

Whose security are they talking about?” asked P.G. Podinona. Seeing the number of security guards around some candidates, it’s obvious who feels most insecure in this country. Whereas some of us don’t even have a dog to guard us.”

Control election related propaganda during ‘cooling period’

November 11th, 2019

Darshana Sanjeewa Balasuriya Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The People’s Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL) has requested Facebook to control campaigning on its platform during the ‘cooling period’ where political propaganda for the forthcoming presidential election will cease.

Accordingly, propaganda activities for the presidential election will cease on the midnight of November 13. This includes display of posters, banners, meetings, postal and distribution of leaflets, visits and social media campaigns or anything that may influence voters. The cooling period is for the general public to make their independent decisions without being influenced by any propaganda activity.

In a letter to the administrator of Facebook, PAFFREL Executive Director Rohana Hettiarachchi said it had no control over Facebook-related campaigning which was against election laws.

Due to the nature of social media, we are in a dilemma on how the implementation and enforcement of law and order on Facebook will take ground, especially during the cooling period,” he said in the letter.

Mr. Hettiarachchi said they strongly believed the Facebook administration would pay immediate attention and take necessary action in this regard.

PAFFREL has deployed a special technical team to coordinate with Facebook in order to control and mitigate propaganda activities on the public domain,” he said. 

Cast your vote to one who preserves unitary status: Prelates

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Issuing a statement yesterday, an independent group of eminent Buddhist monks requested people to cast their vote at the forthcoming presidential election to the most capable leader who would protect and preserve the unitary status of the country, ensure national security, enhance and promote local produce and production, pull the country out of the economic mess, strictly enforce law and order and restore civility by eliminating prevailing lawlessness.

We further appeal to Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders to provide leadership to apprise the public of the need to elect our future President to ensure our country’s peace and prosperity,” they said.

The statement had been signed by Ven. Ittapane Dhammalankara, Mahanayake Thera, Ven. Ganthure Assagee Thera, Ven. Waskaduwe Mahindawansa Thera, Ven. Ambewela Paggasara Thera, Ven. Prof. Kotapitiye Rahula Thera, Ven. Prof Kollupitiye Sangarakkitha Thera, Ven Kotapola Amarakiththi Theta, Ven. Prof. Madagama Nandawasa Thera, Ven. Dr. Walpola Wimalagana AnunayakeThera, Ven. Prof. Pallekande Rathnasara Thera, Ven. Mederipiteye Tapassi Thera, Ven. Prof. Kiwlegedara Narada Thera, Ven. Prof. Kahapola Sugatharathana Thera, Ven. Homagama Dammananda Thera, Ven. Omare Kassapa Anunayake Thera, Ven. Prof. Magammana Paghghannda Thera, Ven. Prof. Madagampitiye Wijitha Dhamma Thera, Ven. Kumbuke Chandaloka Thera, Ven. Prof. Agalakada Sirisumana Thera and Ven. Prof. Iththademaliye Indasara Thera.

The statement says, Sri Lanka is a unique country. Our country’s physical assets such as strategic location, climate, geography, environment and water coupled with our esteemed culture, the national heritage enriched with our archaeological endowments elevate our country’s standing among the countries in the world to high levels.

The unfortunate environments that developed during the recent past and devastating events that have taken place have made the Buddhist clergy and other religious dignitaries sorrowful. Further, degradation and erosion of territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and ability to withstand foreign intervention, exacerbated by the breakdown of national security have been the cause for profound sadness and despair. It is so unfortunate that this uncertain climate and environment still prevails.

No one has been found guilty or accountable on the Central Bank bond scam where enormous amounts of money have been siphoned off. Those who killed hundreds of people by suicide bombings freely mingle in society. Furthermore, selling, leasing and disposing of portions of our country to foreign interests continue unabated, posing a huge threat to our independence. Some candidates in the presidential election fray are willing to implement proposals of certain politicians that would ultimately lead to the division of our country and a federal structure. As it is our prime and noble intention to ensure all communities and followers of all religious faiths live harmoniously and in peace, respecting the main cultural ethos and Buddhism, we would call upon all candidates to openly declare and promise they would protect the unitary status of our country, oppose federalism and ensure national security. Those who would not so declare should be firmly rejected.

All religious leaders including Buddhist clergy to date have worked and contributed enormously to protect our motherland, religion and culture. Similarly, all ethnic groups diligently and cordially have done their part. All communities and followers of all religious faiths in the future too must work together with the thought “All are Sri Lankans.” Therefore, we appeal to you, including the Buddhist clergy and other religious leaders, to come together to defeat all forces that are attempting to divide this land or destroy national unity.”

Sri Lankan President’s Media Division issues clarification on presidential pardon for Royal Park murder convict

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

Granting of the presidential pardon to the Royal Park murder convict was carried out on the recommendations of a special committee of officials, civil organizations, and several distinguished members of the society stated President’s Media Division.

Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha, who was sentenced to death over the Royal Park murder case in 2005, was released on presidential Pardon, on Saturday (November 09).

Issuing a statement, today (11), President’s Media Division said that President Maithripala Sirisena received written requests and recommendations from religious leaders, former Supreme Court judges, lawyers, civil society activists, youth organizations and many other parties for a presidential pardon considering the positive aspects of Shramantha Jayamaha.

The statement stated that MP Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero took initiative and played an important role in gaining the presidential pardon for the convicted youth.

Along with Rathana Thero, Ven. Baddegama Samitha Thero, Ven. Keradewala Punnaratana Thero, Ven. Balangoda Buddhagosha Thero and Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Galle Rev. Raymond Wickremasinghe had made requests for a Presidential Pardon.

Additionally, former Supreme Court Justice Rohini Marasinghe and Attorneys-at-Law Mahesh Madawala, Nalini Manatunga, Nilruk Ilakathrige, Kumudu Nanayakkara had also made recommendations and requests to the President on the matter.

Civil organizations such as the Wijayananda Social Services Development Foundation of Weliwatta Wijayananda Temple, Galle and the Nawa Jeewana Amadyapa Handa of Roomassala, Unawatuna had made requests to the President.

Further, The President also considered the recommendations and suggestions made by a special committee comprising high ranking officials from the Ministry of Justice on Shramantha Jayamaha.

In view of all these, the President granted Presidential Pardon to Shramantha Jayamaha considering the reports made by the Department of Prisons and recommendations other relevant government agencies regarding the conduct of the convict, read the statement.

The complete statement issued by Presidents Media Division:

Many religious leaders, former Supreme Court Judges, lawyers, civil society leaders and youth leaders have made representations to President Maithripala Sirisena, recommending granting a sympathetic consideration to the appeal for granting Presidential pardon to 34-year old Don Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, who is serving a life imprisonment on the murder taken place at Royal Park, Rajagiriya.

Ven Athraliye Rathana Thero, Member of Parliament, played a key role and coordinated in obtaining Presidential pardon for this youth and he has brought the parents and close relations of the youth to meet the President and give a lengthy explanation of the background.

Ven Rathana Thero also made a written appeal to the President explaining that the murder took place due to an argument over a love affair between the youth and the young girl and Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha, while serving his sentence in prison with good behavior and conduct and undertook studies to successfully complete his external degree and now working for his PhD and he is an intelligent young man with a pleasant personality. He appealed to consider above and release him on a Presidential pardon.

Ven Rathana Thero also appealed to the President to consider this in accordance with the Buddhist teachings of compassion.

Ven Baddegama Samitha Thero too urged the President to pardon this youth as an intelligent person he would be a good citizen in the future and it would be highly appreciated.

Ven Dr. Keradewala Punnarathana Nayake Thero, Dwitheeya Adhikarana Sangha Nayake of Southern Sri Lanka, also stated that the President Should sympathetically consider granting pardon to this youth he has not indulged in any illegal acts apart from the crime he was found guilty. Ven Balangoda Buddhagosha Thero also stressed the importance of granting Presidential pardon to this youth.

When this crime took place Shramantha Anthony Jude Jayamaha was a 19 year old youth and considering that it was reported that the crime was committed due to instantaneous and uncontrolled anger and not a pre-planned murder and considering his good conduct during the last 15 years of prison life and he has completed higher studies and studying for Ph.D. and he is an intelligent and experienced person who has been rehabilitated and he has not been found guilty of any wrongdoings during the imprisoned period, and considering that he has an ability to serve the country as a good citizen and in other countries too such amnesty is given to prisoners, the President has decided to pardon Shramantha Jude Anthony Jayamaha.

President’s Media Division”

What else to do if not release falsely accused war heroes? – Gotabaya

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa those who do not believe that he had revoked his citizenship of the United States can take it to the courts.

Joining the Derana 360° political program, the former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he is no longer a citizen of the US as of April 17th.

Stating that the US citizenship is a personal matter of his, Rajapaksa said that he followed through the procedures set by the US government to renounce citizenship and was issued with the certificate ‘Oath/Affirmation of Renunciation of Nationality of United States’ which states that he is not considered a US citizen from 17th of April 2019.

Clarifying why his name was not included in the Federal Lists of individuals who had denounced their citizenship, Rajapaksa said that it is not something relevant to him as it sometimes takes one year or more time for a person’s name to appear on the list despite having denounced citizenship.

Presenting his US passport, he stated that it has been invalidated by the US government by punching two holes in the passport and stated that anyone who still has a dispute with this can go to courts on the matter.

Responding to a query on his silence towards challenges posed by Sajith Premadasa for a debate, Rajapaksa said that his responsibilities lie with the people. By engaging with opponents personally will only result in mudslinging and nothing else, he added.

He pointed out that he has not commented or even mentioned the name of his opposing candidates during his campaign.

Speaking on implementing national policies, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said while believing that there should be a national policy for every aspect of the country, it is also the responsibility of all governments to carry good policies forward.

He says while some policies, such as a national policy on education, can be carried out by all governments; there are some policies that might not be implemented under governments with different priorities.

Commenting on how to engage professionals in the government, Rajapaksa said that the roles of a politician and a professional are different.

Politician creates policies. These have to be implemented by officials. At this point, we need efficient officials who can work. Utilizing the proper persons to carry out the policies should be a skill of the government.

By this, I do not mean everyone should have a Ph.D. or a Masters. They should be able to achieve goals and show results. Knowledge alone is useless. The government should set goals for such professionals. We should give a chance to persons who are result-oriented.”

The presidential hopeful also commented on the topic of national security.

He says that during their regime, they had a good understanding of what national security is and why national security must be prioritized.

Following the war, we studied the situation and trained officers further on terrorism. We even sent them for US training. We appointed a separate specialized unit for this.”

However, the current government lost focus on national security once they came into power, according to Rajapaksa.

Then, working against terrorism or underworld became a crime. Officials who worked against terrorism, underworld, and drugs were interrogated and punished.”

Rajapaksa says that he believes that the mentality of the country is the most important.

When I first became defense Secretary everyone told me that this couldn’t be ended through a military solution. But we understood that this can be done and the mentality should be shaped for it. And we did it. But this current government completely broke down this mentality.”

Gotabaya Rajapaksa said: I know how the Commanders of the tri-forces, especially Army Commanders, committed to defeating terrorism. I have always mentioned this.  But these same Commanders now go and say that we did wrong.

They even tried to imprison the Navy Commander under false accusations.

The IGP himself said that the law was being bent. Two higher-ups at the Attorney General’s office said that all these were done on political needs. Then the FCID chief said that these were done by pressurizing him. Is this the rule of law?

Can political leaders choose whom to file court cases against? Is this how the law should be implemented? Is this the justice of law? What else should we do if not release war heroes who have been falsely accused in this manner?”

If possible, Rajitha will bring Zahran back from dead – Mahinda

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

Some United National Party (UNP) MPs are creating mudslinging propaganda in the face of defeat, according to Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa.

He expressed these views to the media following a religious event held in Anuradhapura.

As opponents have nothing left to say, they will get liars to say many things, Rajapaksa points out.

Stating that they might bring even Zahran’s wife to make statements, Mahinda Rajapaksa said that if possible, Rajitha [Senaratne] might bring Zahran himself back from the dead.

Such offenses may result in 5 years’ worth of jail time, he added.

The Opposition Leader says that presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa will win the Presidential election by 54 percent and that this has instilled fear among the opponents.

ගෝඨාභයගේ පුරවැසිභාවය පිළිබඳව ගැටළුවක් නෑ, උපවාසය වහාම නතරකරන්න – සෙයිජින් නිකායේ මහනායක හිමි

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ඇමරිකානු පුරවැසිභාවය ඉවත්කර ගැනීම සනාථ කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලමින් පූජ්‍ය ඉඟුරුවත්තේ සුමංගල හිමියන් කොළඹ නිදහස් චතුරස්‍රයේ උපවාසයක නිරත වන්නේ මුදලට යටවී බවට උන්වහන්සේගේ විහාරයේ දායකයන් පවසනවා.

මේ අතර සුමංගල හිමියන්ගේ නිකායේ මහ නා හිමියන් අද එම ස්ථානයට වැඩම කර සුමංගල හිමියන්ගේ ක්‍රියාව දැඩිලෙස විවේචනයට ලක්කළා.

ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ඇමරිකානු පුරවැසිභාවය ඉවත්කරගත් බවට වන ලියවිලි ඔහුගේ නීතිඥයින් විසින් මාධ්‍ය හමුවේ ප්‍රසිද්ධ කර තිබෙන පසුබිමක එම ලියවිලි ඉදිරිපත් කරන්නැයි ඉල්ලමින් පූජ්‍ය ඉඟුරුවත්තේ සුමංගල හිමියන් අද දෙවන දිනටත් උපවාසයේ නිරත වුණා.

අද පස්වරුවේ එම ස්ථානයට පැමිණි සෙයිජින් නිකායේ මහනායක පූජ්‍ය ඉගුරුවත්තේ පියනන්ද හිමියන් ඇතුළු භික්ෂූන්වහන්සේ පිරිසක් මෙම උපවාසය අවසන් කරන්නැයි ඉල්ලා සිටියා.

කෙසේ වෙතත් පූජ්‍ය ඉඟුරුවත්තේ සුමංගල හිමියන්ගේ ක්‍රියාකලාපයට විරෝධය පලකරමින් උන්වහන්සේ විහාරාධිපතීත්වය දරණ වැලිවේරිය – මණ්ඩාවල – ශ්‍රී නන්දාරාම පිරිවෙන් විහාරස්ථානයේ දායක සභාව සහ ප්‍රදේශවාසීන් එක්ව අද සාමකාමී විරෝධතාවයක නිරත වුණා.

විමල්ගෙන් තවත් හෙළිදරව්වක්

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ජනාධිපති ධුර අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ජයග්‍රහණය දරා ගත නොහැකි සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස මහතාගේ පාර්ශ්වය ඉදිරියේදී පෞද්ගලික මාධ්‍ය ආයතනයකට ප්‍රහාරයක් එල්ල කොට එහි වගකීම තමන් පිට පැවරීමේ උත්සාහයක නිරත වන බවට තොරතුරු අනාවරණ වී ඇතැයි පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා පවසනවා.

අද පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදී ඔහු මේ බව සඳහන් කළ අතර ඊට ඩලස් අලහප්පෙරුම මහතාද එක්වුණා.

මේ අතර මහනුවර පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදී පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී කෙහෙළිය රඹුක්වැල්ල මහතාද මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් අදහස් පළ කළා.

විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා ජනතාවගැන විශ්වාසයෙන්

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට එරෙහිව ඉදිරි කාලය තුල ප්‍රතිවාදින් කුමන අසත්‍ය චෝදනා එල්ල කලද ජනතාව බුද්ධිමත්ව තීරණ ගනුඇතැයි තමන් විශ්වාස කරන බව විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා පවසනවා.

අනුරාධපුරයේ පැවති ආගමික වැඩසටහන් කිහිපයකින් අනතුරුව මාධ්‍යයට අදහස් දක්වමින් විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා මේ බව සදහන් කළා.

විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා ප්‍රථමයෙන් අටමස්ථානාධිපති අචාර්ය පුජ්‍ය පල්ලේගම සිරිනිවාස නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශිර්වාද ලබාගත්තා.

විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා ජය ශ්‍රී මහා බෝධීන් වහන්සේ වැඳ පුදාගෙන ආශිර්වාද ලබාගත්තේ ඉන් අනතුරුවයි.

රුවන්වැලි මහා සෑ විහාරාධිපති පුජ්‍ය පල්ලේගම හේමරතන නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශීර්වාද ලබාගත් රාජපක්ෂ මහතා රුවන්වැලි සෑරදුන් වැඳ ආගමික වතාවත් වල නිරතවුණා.

අනතුරුව මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා මිරිසවැටි විහාරාධිකාරී පූජ්‍ය ඊතල වැටුණුවැවේ ඥාණතිලක නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තා.

පසුව ශ්‍රී සාරානන්ද මහා පිරිවෙන වෙත පැමිණි විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා ශාස්ත්‍රපති විශ්‍රාමික පිරිවෙන් පරිවෙනාධිපති පූජ්‍ය අටබාගේ විමලඤාණ නාහිමියන් හා පාලන පිරිවෙනාධිපති පූජ්‍ය උඩගම්පල ඤාණාලෝක නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක අගමික වතාවත්වල නිරතවුණා.

මෙහිදී විපක්ෂ නායකවරයාහට ජය පිරිත් සජ්ජායනා කර ආශිර්වාද සිදුකරන ලැබුවා.

ඉන් අනතුරුව ශ්‍රී සම්බුද්ධ ජයන්ති විහාරය වෙත පැමිණි විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා විහාරාධිපති පූජ්‍ය නුගේතැන්නේ ශ්‍රී පඤ්ඤානන්ද නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තා.

Five-judge bench to consider petitions against MCC deal

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

The Supreme Court has appointed a five-judge bench to consider the fundamental rights petitions filed seeking for an injunction order against the signing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement with the United States.

The five-judge bench appointed by the Chief Justice is to be chaired by the Supreme Court Judge Buwaneka Aluvihare.

Accordingly, the judge-bench is comprised of Supreme Court Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, L. T B. Dehideniya, Murdu Fernando, S. Thurairajah, and Gamini Amarasekera.

The petitions are to be considered on the 13th of November.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), Attorney-at-Law Dharshana Weeraduwa and Ven. Anguruwelle Jinananda Thero had filed fundamental rights petitions against the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement with the US.

The Attorney General, President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana, and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera have been named the respondents of the petitions.

The petitioners claim that the MCC agreement, which is to be signed without the consent of the parliament and the public, could seriously harm the national security and sovereignty of the country.

Therefore, the petitioners have requested the Supreme Court to issue a ruling that the government’s decision to enter into this agreement violates the Constitution and to issue an interim injunction preventing the signing of the agreement.

MCC ගිවිසුමට එරෙහි පෙත්සම් සලකා බැලීමට පංච පුද්ගල විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලක්

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

එම්.සී.සී. හෙවත් මිලේනියම් චැලෙන්ජ් කෝපරේෂන් ගිවිසුමට අත්සන් තැබීම වළක්වන නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලා ගොනුකර තිබූ පෙත්සම් සලකා බැලීමට අගවිනිසුරුවරයා පංච පුද්ගල විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලක් නම් කර තිබෙනවා.

අදාළ පෙත්සම් ලබන 13 වැනිදා සලකා බැලීමට නියමිතයි.

එම්.සී.සී. හෙවත් මිලේනියම් චැලෙන්ජ් කෝපරේෂන් ගිවිසුම සඳහා රජය අත්සන් තැබීම වළක්වන නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලා පාර්ශ්ව 3 ක් පෙත්සම් ගොනු කර තිබුණා.

ඒ, රජයේ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරීන්ගේ සංගමය, නීතීඥ දර්ශන වේරදූවගේ සහ පූජ්‍ය අඟුලුගල්ලේ සිරි ජිනානන්ද හිමියන් විසින්.

පෙත්සම්කරුවන් අගවිනිසුරුවරයාගෙන් ඉල්ලා තිබුණේ එම පෙත්සම් පූර්ණ විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලක් ඉදිරියේ විභාග කරන ලෙසයි.

ඒ අනුව අගවිනිසුරුවරයා විසින් නම් කරනු ලැබූ පංච පුද්ගල විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලේ සභාපතිත්වයට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ විනිසුරු බුවනෙක අලුවිහාරේ මහතා නම් කර තිබෙනවා.

විනිසුරු මඩුල්ලේ සෙසු සාමාජිකයින් වන්නේ එල්.ටී.බී. දෙහිදෙනිය, මුර්දු ප්‍රනාන්දු, එස්. තුරෙයිරාජා සහ ගාමිණි අමරසේකර යන ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ විනිසුරුවරුන්.

පෙත්සමේ වගඋත්තරකරුවන් ලෙස නම් කර ඇත්තේ නීතිපතිවරයා, ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන, අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ, විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍ය තිලක් මාරපන, මුදල් අමාත්‍ය මංගල සමරවීර යන මහත්වරුන් ඇතුළු පිරිසක්.

පෙත්සම්කරුවන් සිය පෙත්සම මගින් පෙන්වා දී තිබුණේ එම්.සී.සී. ගිවිසුම යටතේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය අමෙරිකානු රජය සමඟ හමුදාවන් ස්ථානගත කිරීමේ ගිවිසුමකට, අත්පත් කරගැනීම සහ අන්තර් සේවා සැපයීමේ ගිවිසුමකට සහ සහශ්‍ර අභියෝග සංස්ථා සංයුක්ත ගිවිසුම යන ගිවිසුම් කිහිපයකට එළැඹීමට අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩලය අනුමැතිය ලබාදුන් බවට ඉකුත් 30 වැනිදා පළ වූ මාධ්‍ය වාර්තා මගින් දැනගත් බවයි.

පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ සහ මහජනතාවගේ කිසිදු අනුමැතියකින් තොරව අත්සන් කිරිමට නියමිත මෙම ගිවිසුම තුළින් රටේ ජාතික ආරක්ෂාවට සහ ස්වෛරීභාවයට බරපතළ අගතියක් සිදුවිය හැකි බවත් එමගින් ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව උල්ලංඝනයවන බවත් පෙත්සම්කරුවන් සිය පෙත්සම් මගින් පෙන්වා දී තිබෙනවා.

ඒ අනුව එම ගිවිසුම්වලට අත්සන් තැබීම වැළැක්වීමේ අතුරු නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කරන ලෙස පෙත්සම්කරුවන් ඉල්ලා තිබුණා.

ලබන 13 වැනිදා මෙම පෙත්සම් සලකා බැලීමට නියමිතයි.

මේ අතර එම්.සී.සී. ගිවිසුම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අදත් විවිධ ස්ථානවලදී අදහස් පළ වුණා.

සියළු ජාතීන්ට සාමකාමී රටක් නිර්මාණය කරන බව ජනපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය කියයි

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

සියළු ජාතීන්ට සාමකාමීව ජීවත් විය හැකි රටක් නිර්මාණය කිරීමට කැප වන බව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ පවසනවා. පුත්තලම ප්‍රදේශයේ අද පැවති ජන හමුවකට එක්වෙමින් ඔහු මේ බව කියා සිටියා.

මේ අතර, විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ අද අනුරාධපුරයේ ආගමික වැඩසටහන් කිහිපයකට සහභාගි වුණා. විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා පළමුවෙන් අටමස්ථානාධිපති පූජ්‍ය පල්ලේගම සිරිනිවාස නාහිමියන් බැහැදැකීමෙන් පසු ජයශ්‍රීමහාබෝධීන් වහන්සේ වැද පුදාගෙන ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තා.

ඉන් අනතුරුවයි ඔහු රුවන්වැලි මහසෑ විහාරාධිපති පූජ්‍ය පල්ලේගම හේමරතන නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත්තේ.

අනතුරුව මිරිසවැටි විහාරාධිකාරී පූජ්‍ය ඊතලවැටුණුවැවේ ඥානතිලක නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආශිර්වාද ලබා ගත් විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා ශ්‍රී සාරානන්ද මහා පිරිවෙන වෙත පැමිණ ශාස්ත්‍රපති පූජ්‍ය අටබාගේ විමලඥාන නාහිමියන් සහ පාලන පරිවේණාධිපති පූජ්‍ය උඩගම්පළ ඥානාලෝක නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක ආගමික වතාවත්වල නිරත වුණා.

එහිදී මහාසංඝ රත්නය විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂට ආශිර්වාද කරමින් සෙත් පිරිත් සජ්ඣායනා කළා. ඉන් අනතුරුව ශ්‍රී සම්බුද්ධ ජයන්ති විහාරය වෙත පැමිණි විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ එහි විහාරාධිපති පූජ්‍ය නුගේතැන්නේ ශ්‍රී පඤ්ඤානන්ද නාහිමියන් බැහැදැක කෙටි පිළිසඳරක නිරත වුණා

Police draws attention on Rajitha’s white van media briefing

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

The Sinhale Organization filed a complaint with the CID demanding an investigation on the media briefing organized by Minister Rajitha Senarathna yesterday and to arrest the minister and the other speakers.

In addition, the organization filed another complaint seeking an investigation over the mudslinging distribution by a secretary of non-cabinet minister Harsha de Silva in Mirihana yesterday.

Meanwhile, police media spokesman, SP Ruwan Gunesekera said that an investigation has been initiated on the matter.

රාජිතගේ සුදු වෑන් මාධ්‍ය හමුව ගැන, පොලීසියේ අවදානය

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

අමාත්‍ය රාජිත සේනාරත්න විසින් ඊයේ කැදවා තිබූ මාධ්‍ය හමුව සම්බන්ධයෙන් පරීක්ෂණයක් සිදුකර අමාත්‍යවරයා සහ ඊට සහභාගි වූ පුද්ගලයින් අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්නා ලෙස ඉල්ලමින් සිංහලේ සංවිධානය අද අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව වෙත පැමිණිල්ලක් ගොනු කළා.

එමෙන්ම, කැබිනට් නොවන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වාගේ ලේකම්වරයෙකු විසින් ඊයේ මිරිහාන ප්‍රදේශයේ බෙදා හරිමින් සිටි මඩ පත්‍රිකා සම්බන්ධයෙන් ද විමර්ශනයක් සිදුකරන ලෙසට ද එම සංවිධානය පැමිණිලි කර තිබෙනවා.

ඉන් අනතුරුව මාධ්‍ය වෙත අදහස් දැක්වූ සිංහලේ සංවිධානයේ මහලේකම් පූජ්‍ය මැඩිල්ලේ පඤ්ඤාලෝක හිමියන් සදහන් කළේ අපරාධයකට සම්බන්ධ පුද්ගලයින් පිළිබදව තොරතුරු පැවතියත් ඒ පිළිබදව දැනුම් නොදීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අමාත්‍ය රාජිත සේනාරත්න අත්අඩංගුවට ගත යුතු බවයි.

එමෙන්ම සුදු වෑන් රථයේ රියදුරු යැයි සැලකෙන පුද්ගලයා සහ අනෙක් පුද්ගලයා ද අපරාධයකට සම්බන්ධ බැවින් ඔවුන් ද අත්අඩංගුවට ගත යුතු බවයි උන්වහන්සේ සදහන් කළේ.

මේ අතර, පොලිස් මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශක, ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ පොලිස් අධිකාරී රුවන් ගුණසේකර පොලිස් මූලස්ථානයේ අද පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුවකට එක්වෙමින් සඳහන් කළේ ඊයේ පැවති මාධ්‍ය හමුව පිළිබදව අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව විසින් විමර්ශනයක් ආරම්භ කර ඇති බවයි.

Another set of mudslinging posters against Gotabaya discovered from Ruwanwalla. The Secretary of Harsha and his accomplice remanded

November 11th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

Another stock of mudslinging leaflets against SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa were discovered from Magammana in Ruwanwella today.

Police have initiated an investigation after seizing the leaflets.

At the same time, the two suspects including a secretary of non-cabinet minister Harsha de Silva have been further remanded until November 14

They were arrested while distributing mudslinging leaflets against SLPP candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday

The two persons who were arrested while distributing mud-leaflets against Presidential Candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna have been remanded until 14 of this month.

This was subsequent to the suspects being produced before the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court today.

These two individuals were taken into custody, in Mirihana yesterday and one of them is a Secretary of Non-Cabinet Minister Harsha De Silva.

ගෝඨාභයට එරෙහි තවත් මඩ පත්‍රිකා තොගයක්, රුවන්වැල්ලෙන් සොයා ගැනේ- හර්ෂගේ ලේකම් ඇතුළු දෙදෙනා රිමාන්ඩ්

November 11th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට එරෙහිව මුද්‍රණය කළ තවත් මඩ පත්‍රිකා තොගයක් අද රුවන්වැල්ල – මාගම්මන ප්‍රදේශයෙන් සොයාගෙන තිබෙනවා.

පොලීසිය සඳහන් කළේ මෙම මඩ පත්‍රිකා තොගය මාගම්මන ප්‍රදේශයේ බෙදා හරින බවටලද තොරතුරකට අනුව ඒවා සොයා ගත් බවයි. දැනට ඒවා පොලිස් භාරයට ගෙන විමර්ශනයක් ද ආරම්භ කර තිබෙනවා.

එමෙන්ම, ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂට එරෙහිව මිරිහාන ප්‍රදේශයේ මඩ පත්‍රිකා බෙදා හරිමින් සිටියදී අත්අඩංගුවට ගත් කැබිනට් නොවන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වාගේ ලේකම්වරයා ඇතුළු දෙදෙනා මේ මස 14 වනදා දක්වා රක්ෂිත බන්ධනාගාර ගත කර තිබෙනවා.

ඒ, සැකකරුවන් අද නුගේගොඩ මහේස්ත්‍රාත් අධිකරණයට ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුවයි.

මෙලෙස රක්ෂිත බන්ධනාගාර ගත වූයේ මිරිහාන – ඇලෝතියාව පාර ප්‍රදේශයේ පදිංචි සිරිල් ප්‍රනාන්දු නැමැති 60 හැවිරිදි පුද්ගලයෙකු සහ නුගේගොඩ – දුම්රියපොළ පාර ප්‍රදේශයේ පදිංචි ජයන්ත හේමසිරි නැමැත්තෙක්.

Selling the Motherland

November 10th, 2019

By Garvin Karunaratne

Selling the Motherland crept into our leaders only after the General Election of 1977.  In my working life from 1955 to 1973 in Sri Lanka 

 I have kept close association with ,many of our leaders- Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, , Ministers P.C.Imbulana, Vimala Kannangara,  Dr N.M. Perera, P.G.B Kalugalle,  T.B. Subasinghe, NH Karunaratne , Dr Colvin R de Silva. I am certain that none of them had the idea of  Selling the Motherland even in their remotest dreams It is sad to note that the deeds of the leaders of the United National Party from 1977 onwards have proved beyond all doubt   that they all belong to the group that would Sell the Motherland.  In 1978, President Jayawardena caved  in to the IMF which insisted that if he needed Financial Aid, he had to invariably follow the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme. (SAP) The main condition was  that the Government could not handle any commercial undertaking. Everything that the earlier Governments had done in the name of commercial undertakings, to create employment and bring about development had to be totally abolished.  The industries and farms established under the Divisional Development Councils Programme (DDCP) 1970-1977)were totally abolished and the youths-   32,000 were inevitably consigned to the scrap heap of unemployment and poverty.   . In detail, . The Boatyard at Matara where youths built 30 ft long inboard motor boats- some 40 every year and earned good incomes was scrapped and the valuable machinery was neglected, sold and also left in a scrap heap. Coop Crayon, established by me and Member of Parliament Sumanapala Dahanayake,  which had islandwide sales  was stopped. All other industries and agricultural farms were stopped and a few hundred youths lost their jobs. This is what happened in the Matara District  In an earlier paper of mine in Lanka Web:(Sri Lanka: Development  and Pitfalls:Agricultural marketing) (

www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/11/05/SriLankadevelopment-pitfall

)  I have detailed what happened when  the Paddy Purchasing Scheme, Rice Milling, The Vegetable & Fruit Marketing Scheme, The Cannery  and the Fair Price Shops of the Marketing Department were also axed by the UNP government of President Jayawardena. Easily tens of thousands of farmers were destined to get lower incomes as the Marketing Department Scheme of purchasing vegetables and paddy was scrapped overnight.  It is important to note that by following the advice of the IMF  to liberalize spending foreign exchange  and agreeing to meet the shortfall with loans the Government was creating a situation where Sri lanka will be building up a colossal foreign debt- which is today around $ 56 to $ 60 billion. Before 1977 Sri Lanka had  liitle or no foreign debt.  Today the Presidential Election  of 16/11 is to be held in a few days and the stalvarts of the UNP have declared that if victorious at the presidential election they will ink the Millennium Challenge Corporation(MCC )Compact agreement.  The MCC Project brings in a  grant of $ 480 million to attend to some minor transport fixtures– busstands, zebra crossings, traffic lights,  advanced trafic management systems”.  and also there is a Land Component to address “the lack of access to State lands and private lands for investment Purposes”. The cat is out of the bag when the document states: Lack of access to State lands  and private Lands for investment purposes is a significant deterrent to both foreign and  domestic investment” The idea is to create a dynamic market for land.”. It is said to involve  28% of the land mass of our island. The idea is to “convert permits and grants  in State lands  to absolute land grants”.  It would be of interest to note that the UNP of today is going against the development infrastructure of peasant colonization that was laid down by no less a person than Prime Minister DS Senanayake. I quote from one of my earlier writings:(Betraying our Visionary Leader DS Senanayake-(LankaWeb:16/07/2019) The vast colonization schemes of the Dry Zone, the peasantry, in thousands  that enjoyed the land,  earning bountiful crops were all due to the great achievement of our Leader, DS Senanayake, all achieved during his days as the Minister for Agriculture and Lands. It was his dream to uplift the life of the rural masses and for that purpose  he initiated a policy of granting land to the landless poor, making them partners in production and national development. His avowed aim was not only to see that they are free from hunger and starvation but to see that they are established on land and  become self reliant and selfdependent” (Hansard: 26/2/1932:State Council of Ceylon)His plan was not the haphazard alienation of Crown land.  He went to the extent of appointing a Select Committee of the State Council, to make any recommendations which they consider expedient and practical  for the establishment of a Scheme whereby land may be settled  on villagers and small holders and Crown land alienation or leased to villagers or small holders can be prevented  from passing into the hands of persons  other than villagers or small holders”(Hansard: 14/03/1933:Land Development Ordinance).  A Committee was duly appointed . The Committee had sittings for two years  and made submissions to the Council which were accepted. Referring to the Land Development Ordinance provisions  he said that  in this Ordinance we have made provision for  the protection of holdings  that is we have considered it necessary.. that when   land is alienated to a class of people to see that the land is possessed and it is very necessary that  protection should be continued for all time. It was necessary to see  that not only in the first instance  the person who got  the land  belonged to the class  to which we want the lands to go , but that the successors too belonged to that class. We felt that if we gave out right transfers  it will not be possible to protect such lands.”(Hansard: 14/3/1933” State Council of Ceylon)He said that it was necessary to avoid what happened when freehold land was given out under British rule:”But what happened to the jungle land up country  under the British Government  with its unfortunate laws and practices. Today  owing to the freehold given by the Government … all that land has  passed out of the possession of the people of this country.”(Statement in the State Council of Ceylon:(19/10/1933: Hansard)Today we are seeing in progress the death knell of the colonization schemes and the bold peasantry that was built up by our leader DS Senanayake.Reading through the MCCCompact agreement I find the present document states in no uncertain terms that the intention is to create a dynamic market for land” by converting permits and grants in State lands to absolute land grants.”. This aim of the MCC Compact is totally opposed to Prime Minister DS Senanayake’s intention of creating a bold peasantry.It is clearly evident that the intention is to create  a situation where State lands will be saleable to multinationals. This will create poverty as the peasantry will spend what they get out of the sale and will eventually get into the homeless and poverty fold. It is a well known practice in developed countries for multinationals to retain firms that pressurize people to sell their land. It is also important to note that our founding father DS Senanayake was also the person who created the Department for Development of Agricultural Marketing with its Guaranteed Price for Paddy, its Rice Mills, its Vegetable & Fruit Marketing Scheme and Cannery which enabled the march of farmers to productivity and out of poverty. This agricultural marketing infrastructure was totally abolished by President JR Jayawardena. The CWE was also established by Prime Minister DS Senanayake. Thus it is found that President JR Jayawardena as well as the present leaders including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe  are not concerned with helping the people of Sri lanka. Their aim to to follow what the IMF and other foreign powers like the USA, in its MCCCompact tells them to do. They do not care about the poverty that will be created by the implementation of the MCCCompact provisions.   The aims of the MCCCompact is totally impractical . It talks of fixing a few zebra crossings, making a few changes to transport networks and projects that it will benefit 7million people and similarly it projects that the land Project will benefit as much as  5 million people. Having played a major role in the development field in Sri Lanka for 18 years as a senior administrator and having served as an International Consultant in Bangladesh and the Bahamas for four years and having bagged the Ph.D. in Ag Econ and Non Formal Education from Michigan State University, my knowledge and expertise tells me that the MCCCompact project will if implemented create an insignificant progress to public transport  while definitely consigning  millions of prosperous peasants on colonization schemes and state land  projects to become landless, destitute  and to utter poverty. The MCCCompact Agreement currently in circulation, perhaps the version submitted for signature now,  does not refer to the 200 mile corridor from Colombo to Trincomalee, with an electric train, to be installed under the Transport Section and an electrified fence dividing the North and South of Sri lanka that was submitted, drawn on a map of Sri Lanka to bank managers and the Bar Chief URL de Silva at a meeting at Temple Trees on 25/11/2018 by MCC Team Leader  Steve Dobrilovic , referred to in Sarojini Dutt’s article in the Lanka Web of 6/11/2019.(Sri Lanka Cabinet Surrenders the country to the Americans).  It is sad that our present UNP leaders are  selling the Motherland to foreigners. They do not care for the welfare of our people.The damage that the rule of President jayawardena  did to Sri lanka is irrepairable. Sri Lanka has lost its development inrastructure that enabled the people and the country to march from colonial rule to prosperity. It was with this development infrastructure that we became self sufficient in paddy, the staple crop under the reign of Premier Dudley Senanayake.The present leaders have forsaken the great achievements of leaders like DS Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake. I have happened to work closely with Premier Dudley when I was Additional GA at Kegalla in 1978 and 1979 and can vouch for the sincerity of purpose he had in alleviating poverty which he did achieve. I am sad that the present leaders of the UNP are moving in the opposite direction to sacrifice the peasantry and the people of Sri lanka. I am certain   that the combination of leaders- former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya and former Premier Mahinda  can effectively strategize a programme to end poverty and unemployment in Sri lanka. The experience that all other presidential aspirants hold  is  insignificant and not of the caliber of achieving development.  The voters have a clear choice before them- whether our Motherland  is for sale to foreigners. Leaders Gotabhaya and Mahinda with their achievement of freeing the country once from the LTTE terrorism that ruled us for three decades tells me that they will be the only hope for our Motherland.These words come to you from a Sri Lankan  administrator who once in 1982 and 1983 was working as the Commonwealth Fund Advisoir to the Ministrry of Labour and Manpower in Bangladesh, when I was able  to obtain approval to establish a Youth Self Employment Programme, a task that the ILO had miserably failed in the earlier three years and who within two years did create the Programme and trained Bangadeshi staff to continue it- a programme that has guided  two million youths upto 2011 into self employment, an achievement beyond par in the annals of development history. This is today the premier employment creation programme the world has known that has withstood the sands of time. 

Garvin Karunaratne, Ph D. Michigan State UniversityAuthor of:How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka and Alternative Programmes of Success(Godages) 2006)How the IMF Sabotaged Third World Development (Kindle/Godages:2017)09/11/2019

Empowerment or Entrapment? The Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact and the Message of the Fasting Monk

November 10th, 2019

By Rohana R. Wasala 

The Ministry of Finance published an announcement on the treasury.gov.lk website on November 1, 2019 to the effect that the ‘MCC agreement drafted with the consent of AG will be presented in parliament’. The self-explanatory first paragraph mentions what the Millennium Challenge Corporation means and what projects it is going to execute in Sri Lanka:

‘The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a bilateral United States Foreign Aid Agency established by the United States Congress in 2004, applying a new philosophy towards foreign aid. It provides time limited grants and assistance to developing countries that meet rigorous standard (sic) for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. On the request of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), the MCC undertook a constraints to economic growth analysis” in year 2016. MCC and the GOSL subsequently decided to focus on the land and transport sectors, which were identified as binding constraints to growth. The constraints analysis concluded that traffic congestion in the Colombo Metropolitan Region, poor transport connectivity between Provinces, and weakness in land administration constrain economic growth. Accordingly, the MCC agreed to grant USD 480 million for financing the above projects.’

The short middle paragraphs explain that the final discussions were conducted in October 2018 between the MCC and some Cabinet-approved government officials from the relevant ministries, the legal aspect of the whole process being okayed by the Attorney General. The final paragraph runs: 

‘The Compact Agreement and the Program Implementation Agreement will be submitted to and enacted by Parliament of Sri Lanka once it is signed and before its entry into force and will be published in the Government Gazette before submitted to Parliament’.

This gives us the impression that discussion in Parliament will just be a formality and that the MPs and the general public are going to be presented with a fait accompli with no chance to refuse it if not acceptable. There is a strong element of unexplained hurry, secrecy, and surprise (for no date is given in this announcement for presenting the draft agreement in parliament). It is extremely intriguing why an international agreement with such grave implications as we now know for Sri Lanka’s future should be rushed by the worst and the most corrupt government Sri Lanka has ever had since independence, struggling in its deathbed for its last gasp.  

The contents of the 84 page draft agreement released on the same day (November 1, 2019) by the Ministry of Finance under the title:  ‘Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka acting through the Ministry of Finance’ imply elements of an entrapment rather than features of a plan for empowerment which is its ostensible purpose and promise. For example, terms stipulated relating to Termination, Suspension, or Expiration as spelt out in Articles 5, 6 and 7/pp. 10-14 are highly unfavourable to Sri Lanka. One is left with the impression that America’s interests have received more attention from the architects of the ‘aid’ project than those of its unequal partner that supposedly needs help.

Sri Lankans have been undergoing untold suffering over the past seventy years in their legitimate struggle to stand on their own feet as an independent nation after the ravages of four and a half centuries of Western colonial domination. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the whole post-independence period has been totally wasted because of the relaxed but still strong stranglehold of colonialism, now metamorphosed as neoliberal globalization. We have made some significant  headway in terms of national independence, education, economic development, and other parameters of nation building, but it falls far short of what might have been actually achieved but for such perennial issues as racist minority politics and the lingering colonial impact on governance. From 1948 to date, undue external influence has persisted over key aspects of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and national identity including governance, economy, inter-communal unity, national security, international relations, and the country’s image abroad.This unwelcome foreign sway over local affairs has been in the form of sometimes unsolicited intervention in these matters, which today has further degenerated into brazen interference. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact is the latest and the worst instance of this neocolonial aggression from the point of view of well informed patriotic citizens including Buddhist monks and the clergy of other religions, who would never politicize vital national issues. The proposed ‘Compact’ between the mighty USA and the tiny Sri Lanka, which came within hours of being signed into law in secrecy has just been pipped at the post by a sudden surge of public awareness of and just opposition to the treacherous scheme.

Sri Lanka’s geopolitical importance for the two global superpowers America and China, and for the dominant  regional power India, has always meant trouble for the Sri Lankan people. The faintly resurrected Tamil separatist problem and the emergent threat to the traditionally existing religious harmony posed by the recent advent of a large number of small foreign funded Christian and Muslim extremist groups (outside the pale of mainstream Christian and Muslim communities) are probably being exploited by the powers that be to  destabilize the country in pursuit of their strategic geopolitical ends in the region.  

The success achieved in political, economic, and national security terms by the previous government in the years 2005 – 2014 was apparently not to the liking of Sri Lanka’s American ‘well-wishers’. The achievements of those years demonstrated that Sri Lankans, when united, can independently exploit the country’s rich natural and human resources without having to enslave themselves once again to other nations, whose ancestors plundered their country before. But foreign intervention put paid to that short spell of fast post-war recovery. Consequent to five years of Yahapalanaya, Sri Lanka’s survival as a sovereign nation is hanging in the balance.This is most unfortunate. The external forces and their local lackeys that reversed the gains of 2009 are behind the MCC, pursuing the same agenda, with even more determination. Worrisome foreign involvement in its affairs is the biggest problem that the country is facing at the moment. However, encouragingly enough, the clear frontrunner in the presidential race has already repeatedly assured the people that, if elected, he will never compromise national security or surrender the country’s independence to any other country however powerful it may be.  

Ven. Ududumbara Kashyapa Thera, an educated young monk staged a  fast-unto-death against the signing of the MCC agreement in a hurried hush-hush illegitimate manner with only two weeks to go before the presidential election. Ven. Kashyapa is the Chief Incumbent of the Vipassana Meditation Centre, Colombo. He is not an aged Mahanayake Thera, but among ordinary Buddhists, he is venerated as a virtuous monk; he is not a politician or a supporter of any presidential candidate. He was only trying to apply pressure on the powers that be stop the great harm that he believed was about to befall the Country, the Nation, that is, all Sri Lankans, and the nonviolent, non-sectarian, inclusive and generously accommodating traditional Buddhist cultural foundation, which is the lynchpin of the peaceful coexistence of diverse communities and religions in the beautiful Island of Sri Lanka. 

Both the principal presidential contenders sent messengers to him each assuring him that the matter would be resolved in a manner not detrimental to the country after the election is over, and appealed to him to give up the fast. But he refused to do so, repeating his original demand that either the president or the prime minister give him a written pledge that the MCC Agreement would not be pushed through and made irrevocable before November 16, the day of the presidential election. The monk gave up his fast on the prime minister meeting this demand. In his letter, prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe assured the monk that the MCC compact will not be signed before the presidential election, and that the matter will be pursued only after consulting all stakeholders and after parliamentary discussion of the draft bill. Ven. Kashyapa ended the fast because, he said, he achieved his purpose (i.e. preventing the compact from being rushed through before November 16). But he expressed scepticism of the pm’s words: ‘I don’t believe any of this’, and he warned that if any program is attempted that is harmful to the nation, the monks will come forward against it in a larger and more organized scale.

 Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera scoffed at the fasting Ven. Kashyapa, in a Twitter post, calling him a stooge of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who ate Lemon Puff  (biscuits) in secret during his fast. The monk commented that he did not care for people who responded to his hunger-strike in perverted ways. However, the finance ministry sent the monk a copy of the MCC document after he had ended the fast. The monk said that pages 12 to 14 had been deleted (the same mentioned above in this article containing controversial clauses – rrw), but he said  he had already studied the MCC Compact draft in full before he sat down for the fast. Ven. Kashyapa describes the MCC agreement as a tragedy, but a tragedy that it is avoidable. To keep these menacing meddling powers the Sinhalese Buddhist majority and the minorities living with them in peace and equality must unite in brotherhood, the monk admonishes. 

The clearest, the most prompt, and the most credible response to the monk’s fasting came from the leading candidate Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. During a massive rally at Harispattuwa near Kandy on November 5, the day the monk started his fast-unto-death, having got news about the fasting monk, GR assured that he will not allow any agreement with a foreign country that was inimical to Sri Lanka. This was before he sent the fasting monk a letter begging him to end the fast. In the letter, he promised that all agreements entered into by the current government after the declaration of the presidential election will be reviewed subject to the demands of national security, sovereignty, independence, and the broad national interest. 

 Ven. Kashyapa points out that it has become clearly evident over the past years, particularly in the past five years, that Buddhism that empowers the people morally and intellectually is being obstructed in various ways. The land in the designated economic corridor is going to be sold, in his opinion, at the ridiculously low price of 180 rupees per perch. Sri Lankans need not succumb to the enslaving schemes of foreign powers. The country has the necessary natural resources and quality human resources.  The outspoken monk finally said he performed his historical obligation of helping the country out in adversity through his moral power as a Buddhist monk, and that his work ended there for the moment; he will offer the same assistance in the future if need be. 

The cabinet of ministers approved the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact, but it may be assumed that not even the MPs had seen the original draft, and if they had, they might not have been shown the authentic version in Sinhala or Tamil. It looks like that not all of them know enough English to understand the document in terms of its real implications for the Nation. This sort of thing should not be allowed to happen to the most peaceful, nonviolent, kindhearted ordinary people of Sri Lanka, cultured and humanized under the influence of the compassionate teachings of the Buddha. It is the responsibility of the civilized world to look into why there is so much public opposition across the country, irrespective of distinctions of ethnicity, religion, language, etc., among the communities, to this so-called Compact that was said to be on the verge of being signed without the knowledge and approval of the Sovereign People of Sri Lanka.

GOTA PHOBIA – Part IX A (Fake News Propaganda against GOTA intensified)

November 10th, 2019

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

We now enter the last week of the election in which frauds, intimidation and other malpractices reign supreme.  Before proceeding to comment about the current situation I think it is pertinent to remind the voters how Maithripala Sirisena, finding that United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has all the chances to win the August 17th 2015 General Election acted indecently and made a harsh and unpardonable statement that even if the UPFA wins the election he will not appoint Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Minister of the country. This made a large percentage of voters to refrain voting and despite that that the UNP,  Sirisena’s favourite was able to get only 11 seats more than the UNP and what Sirisena did next was appoint a number of unsuccessful UPFA candidates as MPs through the national list and facilitate the reactionary UNP to form a government in coalition with some Sirisena loyalist UPFA MPs.

This was said to warn the voters that various mud-slinging activities have been starting and distribution of pamphlets through electronic and print media, through d numerous pro-UNP  websites, social media, paid advertisements in electronic and print media, through distribution of pamphlets and spread of rumours  to mislead the voters against Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa despite intelligence reports predicting a tremendous victory for Mr Gotabhaya. 

The Lanka E-News, which is a pro-UNP website operated from London and access   to which is barred from Sri Lanka due to a personal dispute with Sirisena and the Lanka News Web sites are alle3gted to be financed and operated by quisling Mangala Samaraweera has started publishing a smear campaign directly targeting Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa connecting him with various allegations.

As in what was done in the campaign period for the 2015elections, CIA/, 16/ RAW  agents are reported to be operating through their embassies and their friendly embassies and various UN Agencies and their sole objective is to prevent a Gota victory since they will not be able to manipulate things and affairs in this country under a Gota regime.  Already there were reports that some RAW Agents were in attendance at Gota’s meetings and recording his speeches.

 The treacherous made a big fuss today saying that Mr Gotabhayq Rajapaksa is still a U.S.citizen and hence Sri Lankans should not vote for him.  They give wide publicity to this concocted rumour and even made a hitherto unknown Buddhist priest start a fast against Mr Gotabha.

Following this several legal-luminaries lead by Mr Ali Sabri PC held a media conference and displayed the following documents to counter the UNP’s malicious rumour:

  • Copy of application of Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa requesting for relinquishing his U.S. citizenship;
  • Copy of acknowledgement from the U.S.Embassy on the receipt of Gota’s application;
  • Copy of certificate issued the U.S.State Department on the cancellation of the citizenship;
  • Photocopy of Gota’s U.S.Passport stamped with the CANCELLED£ seal.

In addition to this, these legal-luminaries pointed that in the case filed against Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by the NGO activists Dr Chandragupta Thenuwara and Gamini Uyangoda there was no argument about Mr Gotabhaya relinquishing his U.S.Citizenship and their argument was that the Sri Lankan citizenship that had been granted to him has been done in an irregular manner. 

The political chameleon and the alleged PRRAA  contract killer for Rs. 50,000 per head of a Southern JVPer Dentist Rajitha Senaratne realising that his political misdeeds will be over with the imminent victory of Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has started operating a fake info squad to bring to the fore some paid fellows as informants and narrate various funny stories accusing Gota’s involvement in those activities. Pa.Cha.Ranawaka is also reported to be organising such a squad to make use of the experiences he gained in Ampara and Digana. 

Gotabhaya becomes the No.1 richest man in the world by stealing 7 million kilos of Gold that belonged to Tigers.  This is the biggest lie uttered by Rajitha.

Two men who accompanied Rajitha for a media conference in Colombo said that Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. When he was the Defence Secretary in the North stole a huge amount of gold from there.  One man said that there was a dispute with him on sharing the values of this gold. Rajitha interfering at this moment that about 7000 tons of gold belonging to Prabhakaran had been stolen.  7,000 tons has a huge value.

He said that at present the market value of gold kilo is about Rs. 8 million.

Accordingly 1 kilo of gold value os = Rs. 8 million.

Y7,000 tons = 7.000,000 kilos.

The total value = Rs. 56,000,000,000,000

The value in U.S.DOLLARS  311,111,111,111 (Billion 311)

The bluff master Rajitha said that this amount even exceeds the value of the wealth of the world’s three richest persons.

If what this bluff-master Rajitha (who once said that saw with his own eyes Namal carrying on his shoulders the 18.5 Billion U.S.Dollars alleged to have been stolen by Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa to a Bank in Dubai, Addressing weekly media conferences this bluff master claimed that Mahinda will be arrested for this crime) 250 investments equivalent 1.4 billion $ investment of Hambantota harbour could have been made.

In 2012 the population in the North was one million.  Hence it could have been possible for Prabhakaran to distribute even 7 kilos of gold to each person.

It is the United States that has the highest gold reserve in the world and it amounts to 8000 tons.  Germany is in second place with  3,300 tons.  Hence this alleged stolen quantity amounts to second place in the world.

Meanwhile, the real identity of the man who came with Rajitha claiming that he was the white van driver has been discovered.  This man told at Rajitha’s media conference that he served as a white van driver of Mr Rajapaksa and was involved in abductions.  He has attended the said media conference with a false beard and wearing spectacles. It has been found that this person has been working as a driver in the Ministry of Home Affairs for several years. His real name is also not Fernando as he mentioned at the media conference. He has spent the previous night at the house of a Secretary of Rahitha and joined Rajitha to attend the media conference on the following day. 

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT HOW SL WILL LOSE ITS LAND

November 10th, 2019

Sri Lanka

Watch this & pleases share widely -Our Land must remain Our Land

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FMChjWPrWea9nUlZgxhk2v7VCEtgbMtk/view?fbclid=IwAR12IOIkiKzw6Q6HCehk7JtxNtAk7PetqF79K1WSDR3blbyzWAxUoJStwQE

U.S. military presence and popular resistance in Sri Lanka

November 10th, 2019
United States Arleigh Burke-class destroyers docked in Sri Lanka. Included in the task-force were the USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and the USS Kidd (DDG 100). (October 28-31, 2017) [Credit: Sri Lanka News / Ada Derana
via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVVKAKSz1rU]

The Indian Ocean is one of the most contested regions in the world today. China, the United States, India, and also Japan, Saudi Arabia and other rich and powerful states are struggling for influence over Sri Lanka, located in the geographical heart of the Indian Ocean. Sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are considered to be the busiest in the world with more than 80% of global seaborne oil trade estimated to be passing through them. 

Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka and the joint
UK/U.S. Diego Garcia Naval and Military Base

Sri Lanka is a participant in the Maritime Belt and Silk Road Initiative, China’s extensive network of ports and maritime facilities connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In a controversial move in January 2017, the Sri Lankan government granted China a 99-year lease of Hambantota Port in exchange for U.S. $1.1 billion in debt relief. China is also developing other projects in Sri Lanka, such as, the U.S. $1.4 billion ‘Port City’ in Colombo, on land reclaimed from the Indian Ocean. 

To curtail Chinese expansion across Asia, the U.S. is turning strategically located Sri Lanka into a ‘Military Logistics Hub’, and the center of its ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region Policy.’ Moreover, the U.S.-Japan-Australia-India alliance is seeking to involve Sri Lanka in taking on the Chinese challenge.

Control of Sri Lanka has become more urgent for the U.S. since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in February 2019 that U.S. occupation of the Indian Ocean Chagos islands is illegal, and that the islands be handed back to Mauritius ‘as rapidly as possible.’ The Diego Garcia military base was established there after Britain—which ‘owns’ Chagos—forcibly removed its inhabitants between 1968 and 1973. Diego Garcia is one of America’s ‘most important and secretive’ military bases, and has been central to launching invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan and flying missions across Asia, including over the South China Sea. If the islands go back to Mauritius, and the Chagossians who sued for their right to return are allowed back, the U.S. will require an alternative base. This could be Sri Lanka.

Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) patrolling the Indian Ocean
[Credit: Sri Lanka News / Ada Derana
via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVVKAKSz1rU]

In January 2015, a U.S.-backed Sri Lankan government replaced the former Mahinda Rajapaksa government, who had defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the separatist conflict. Soon thereafter, the new government and the U.S. co-sponsored a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution in Geneva. Calling for accountability for alleged war crimes and missing persons in the final stages of the war against the LTTE, the UNHRC resolution pressured the Sri Lankan government to make significant changes, including the dismissal and imprisonment of its intelligence officers and army personnel. These measures weakened Sri Lankan intelligence and security, paving the way for the Easter Sunday carnage by Islamic terrorists

The same Easter attacks are now being used to justify acceleration of U.S. intervention in Sri Lanka, which had already been increasing over the last few years. However, the three main bilateral agreements the U.S. has deployed to assert its political, economic and military control over Sri Lanka—the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, the Acquisition and Cross Services Agreement (ACSA) and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)—are facing massive local opposition.

Carrier Strike Group / USS Nimitz Strike Group
[Credit: Sri Lanka News / Ada Derana
via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVVKAKSz1rU]

The Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact

The MCC, a United States foreign aid agency established by the U.S. Congress, is pressuring to sign a ‘Compact’ with Sri Lanka to facilitate private sector investment and economic growth. Based on a ‘constraints analysis’ completed by the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the Compact identifies three binding constraints to growth in Sri Lanka: policy uncertainty; poor transportation and logistics and inadequate access to land, especially the difficulty of the private sector in accessing state land for commercial purposes.” 

The MCC Compact would undertake transportation and land management in return for a grant of U.S. $480 million to Sri Lanka. The Transport Project will include advanced traffic management, bus transportation modernization and a central ring road network connecting the Central, Sabaragamuwa and the Eastern Provinces to the Western Provinces. The Land Project would include a state land inventory, deeds registration improvement, land valuation improvement, land grants registration and deed conversion and land policy and legal governance. 

Two new laws, the State Land Bank Bill and a Land (Special Provisions) Bill, are to be enacted in conjunction with the MCC Compact. The proposed Land Bank would bring all publicly owned land under a single entity, making it available to private investors, including foreign parties. The proposed Land (Special Provisions) Bill would grant absolute title to state lands held by citizens holding land grants, with validity for seven years. Proponents claim that the distribution of one million deeds granting outright ownership is a poverty-alleviation measure. However, critics—such as the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR)—see a set up for a massive land grab, displacement and pauperization: 

… large multinational companies have made small time farmers bankrupt and are buying off their agricultural land. …By giving desperate people an asset that they can sell, the government has ensured that these lands will be sold off.”

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry is attempting to hand over the task of drawing land survey maps, and creating a streamlined database of 3.6 million parcels of state owned land, to a U.S.-based geological information system and mapping firm, Trimble Inc., in a fifteen year contract. Survey Department trade unions have gone on strike opposing this move, which the local surveyors see as a threat to their employment and national security, and also a wasteful expenditure. 

Sri Lankan resistance to MCC

Neither the MCC Compact, nor the new Sri Lanka Physical Plan (2018-2050) associated with the Compact have yet to be made public. The State Land (Special Provisions) Bill, due to its alleged connection to the Compact, has also not been submitted to Cabinet for approval. This lack of transparency has raised grave concerns and fears among the Sri Lankan public and the diaspora regarding U.S. control of vital resources, land and transportation and its ‘impact on the local economy, the environment, and social and cultural norms’. 

This lack of transparency has raised grave concerns and fears among the Sri Lankan public and the diaspora regarding U.S. control of vital resources, land and transportation and its ‘impact on the local economy, the environment, and social and cultural norms’.”

A projected Physical Spatial Structure Map for 2050 and details leaked to the public have raised alarm that the ‘economic corridor ’proposed by the Compact and the Trincomalee-Colombo highway could ‘splinter Sri Lanka into two separate entities under the control of the United States resulting in the loss of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka

This leaked map represents a plan to divide Sri Lanka in two, providing for resource exploitation and a massive land grab.
[Credit: http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/02/26/rise-up-sri-lanka-rise-up-destroy-the-enemy-as-it-pivots-to-lanka-to-build-an-electrified-eelam-border-wall-and-make-the-island-its-military-hub-in-the-indo-pacific-part-1/]

The U.S.-backed Sri Lankan Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly signed the MCC Compact, but President Maithripala Sirisena has refused to do so. The U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka, Alaina Teplitz, has written to the president urging him to sign. The U.S. seems to be in a hurry to seal the deal before a new government that is less-friendly towards the U.S. might come into office by 2020. 

Meanwhile, local activist groups, such as the National Joint Committee and Sri Lanka diaspora activist groups, and the Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights for Sri Lanka (SPUR) are demanding that the government immediately reveal the contents of the agreement without any redactions to the general public”. They are encouraged by the July 2019 decision of the Sri Lankan Supreme Court that the State Lands (Special Provisions) Bill be referred to provincial councils. As the coalition of expatriate groups ‘Sri Lankans in USA / Amerikawe Api’, put it: 

We welcome the Supreme Court decision, as it will put a hold on the land project of the Millennium contract.…The American public is not even aware of how our [U.S.] Government is using our tax dollars to benefit large corporations under the guise of foreign aid to developing countries. We would like to see the entire compact terminated …. We are calling for full transparency and debate, both in Sri Lanka and here in the U.S., about the impact of MCC as well as SOFA and ACSA.” [Emphasis added]

Aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68)
[Credit: US Navy]

The Acquisition and Cross Services Agreement (ACSA) 

The previous Sri Lankan government signed an ACSA with the United States, without parliamentary approval, during its armed conflict with the LTTE. The U.S. Defense Department and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Defense entered into another ACSA on August 4, 2017. While the 2007 ACSA was valid only for seven years, the new agreement is open-ended. While the 2007 ACSA permitted U.S. military vessels to enter Sri Lanka ports on a ‘one-off’ basis, the 2017 ACSA appears to be open-ended. Whereas the 2007 ACSA was only eight pages, the 2017 ACSA is said to be 83 pages long with over 50 annexures listing U.S. commands and military establishments allowed to use Sri Lanka’s airports and sea ports. 

Whereas the 2007 ACSA was only eight pages, the 2017 ACSA is said to be 83 pages long with over 50 annexures listing U.S. commands and military establishments allowed to use Sri Lanka’s airports and sea ports.”

Sailors man the rails of Whidbey Island-class dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47) as the ship departs Colombo, Sri Lanka during a deployment of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). (December 26, 2018) [Credit: U.S. Navy]

The 2017 Agreement is designed to facilitate reciprocal logistic support between the U.S. and Sri Lanka for use during combined exercises, training, deployments, port calls, operations, or other co-operative efforts, or for unforeseen circumstances or exigencies in which one of the parties may have a need for Logistic Support, Supplies and Services.”It is reported to allow every single security or military apparatus in the United States access to Sri Lanka”, making Sri Lanka the main supply hub for U.S. armed forces in the Indo-Pacific region.” Analysts argue that, if fully implemented it will effectively undermine the Chinese share of geopolitical control in Sri Lanka, by way of [U.S.] military presence in the country”. 

The Cabinet hastily approved ACSA 2017 without careful examination or discussion, under pressure from U.S.-backed Sri Lankan officials. It was approved without thorough study by armed forces commanders and officials, who have expressed serious reservations over some of its provisions. ACSA was also not presented to the Sri Lankan Parliament. President Sirisena’s Cabinet memorandum of June 30, 2017 in Sinhala had only a brief nine pages, and no annexures. Having signed it, President Sirisena is now opposed to ACSA—in addition to his opposition to SOFA and the MCC Compact—and claims that he did not know the difference between the 2017 and 2007 agreements when he signed it. 

The signing of ACSA 2017 was shrouded in secrecy, without media coverage or publicity, reportedly as directed by Atul Keshap, U.S. Ambassador in Sri Lanka at the time. It has not been made public, despite requests for transparency by opposition political parties, the President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), amongst others. The Joint Opposition in Parliament, the JVP (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna) and Yuthukama civil society organization strongly protested against the signing of…ACSA.” 

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) 

The third currently contested agreement, SOFA, was originally signed by the Sri Lankan and U.S. governments in 1995, to facilitate training of Sri Lankan security forces by U.S. officials. The United States has requested a new SOFA, expanding the original with an annexure, Annex B. Unlike the already signed ACSA, the newSOFA will not be limited to purchases of goods and services, but will include rules governing U.S. military personnel in Sri Lanka. 

The Sunday Times published the draft SOFA on June 30, 2019, revealing that it would provide full diplomatic immunity, not only to any member of U.S. armed forces, but also to its contractors and employees, operating in Sri Lanka. SOFA, as drafted, would allow U.S. army personnel the right to:

  • Be in any part of Sri Lanka, without restriction;
  • Carry arms in uniform;
  • Only need U.S. identification to enter and leave Sri Lanka; i.e. do not need passports or visas;
  • Exemption from Sri Lankan law, and not liable for criminal offenses in the country;
  • Exemption from all taxes; and 
  • Exemption from customs checking at ports of entry and exit to the island. 

SOFA also decrees that the U.S. Department of Defense may not be subject to any local taxes for any material, supplies, equipment and services (including construction) they contract in Sri Lanka. They would also be allowed to operate their own telecommunication systems in Sri Lanka, without cost to the U.S. Government.

The Draft SOFA, sent by the U.S. Embassy on August 28, 2018 to the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry, stated that the acceptance of the draft ”shall constitute an agreement between the two Governments, which shall enter into force on the date of Ministry’s reply.” This meant that the agreement is effective as soon as the Sri Lanka’s Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says ‘yes’. 

This leaves no room for SOFA to be discussed by Sri Lanka’s defense officials or debated in the parliament. Currently, the agreement is temporarily stayed (i.e. postponed) by the Sri Lankan President. With ACSA already signed and SOFA pending, U.S. security companies, notably Sallyport Global, are already advertising to recruit U.S. citizens with active TOP secret clearance” to work for U.S. defense operations in Sri Lanka. 

Rising opposition

Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform protesting the bombing of churches and hotels that killed more than 250 people. (April 21, 2019)
[Credit: https://monlar.lk/estersundayattactedstatment.html]

There is increasing outrage over, and opposition to, the blatant violation of Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty that SOFA, ACSA and the MCC Compact represent. It comes from all strata and sectors of Sri Lankan society; for example, the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chamber of Commerce, and the President of the BASL, have all warned of the dangers SOFA poses to national interests. The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party and the newly formed STOP USA Campaign are organizing media briefings and mass rallies calling for transparency and accountability in making international agreements.

…the Chief of Defense Staff, the Chamber of Commerce, and the President of the BASL, have all warned of the dangers SOFA poses to national interests.”

In response to the rising opposition, the U.S. has attempted to ‘rebrand’ SOFA as a Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Engaged in a social media campaign to protect the Agreements, U.S. Ambassador Teplitz has stated that the U.S. has no intention to build a military base or establish a permanent military presence in Sri Lanka.” However, as Sri Lankan President’s Counsel M.M. Zuhair warns: With SOFA in hand, the Americans do not require a military ‘base’ in Sri Lanka…, because the whole island will be a U.S.-controlled super-state operating above the Sri Lankan laws and state…

The Way Forward 

While the U.S. expects future Sri Lankan governments to respect international obligations taken on by the current U.S.-backed government, the very legitimacy of the MCC Compact, ACSA and SOFA is widely questioned. As eminent analyst Neville Ladduwahetty argues: the Supreme Court must rule on procedures to be followed when agreeing to bilateral treaties determining if the procedures adopted are consistent or not with the hard core principles of the Constitution”, regardless of the contents, or with whom the agreements are made. Laduwahetty also strongly believes that all agreements must have the consent of parliament:

…any agreement/treaty signed in the name of the People by the executive, i.e. the President or the Cabinet, without the consent of Parliament amounts to a violation of the sovereignty of the people. …such agreements/treaties have no legitimacy vis-a-vis international law as determined by the Vienna Convention on Law of Treaties of 1969 ……”

Non-aligned Movement Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka (August, 1976)
[Credit: http://lankapura.com/2008/08/sri-lanka-non-alignment-movement-summit-1976/]

…there are calls to reassert the policy of non-alignment that the small nation of Sri Lanka championed during the Cold War.”

Notwithstanding the violation of people’s rights and illegitimacy of the proposed amendments, Sri Lankans recognize the importance of maintaining good relations with the USA, China, India and other countries. However, they do not wish to sacrifice sovereignty, democracy and the rule of law in doing so. In light of the dangers, there are calls to reassert the policy of non-alignment that the small nation of Sri Lanka championed during the Cold War. The National Joint Committee expresses this call in a letter it has written to the Sri Lankan Prime Minister regarding the MCC Compact: 

[We are] committed to protect and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of our nation. We believe that Sri Lanka should follow a foreign policy of nonalignment. Due to the fact that Sri Lanka is strategically located in the Indian Ocean the country needs to remain nonaligned and refrain from getting involved in the geopolitical confrontation that is developing between America and China, through agreements that would enable these countries to gain a foothold in Sri Lanka.”

External aggression—and internal resistance to that aggression—are embedded in Sri Lanka’s historical trajectory. Transcending party politics and ethnoreligious ‘divide and conquer’ policies promoted by external interests, Sri Lankans have to come together at this critical juncture to protect our precious, beautiful island home. 


[Asoka Bandarage was educated at the University of Sri Lanka, Bryn Mawr College and at Yale University where she received a Ph.D. in Sociology. Ms. Bandarage has served on the faculties of Brandeis University, Georgetown University and Mount Holyoke College. Dr. Bandarage is the author of the books, Colonialism in Sri Lanka, Women, Population and Global Crisis, The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka, Sustainability and Well-Being: The Middle Path to Environment, Society and the Economy and numerous other publications. Asoka has given hundreds of presentations, including keynote lectures at South Asian Studies Conferences. She has also given numerous media interviews on CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, NPR and Bloomberg News. In addition to her columns in the Huffington Post, Asoka serves on the boards of a number of publications and organizations including Critical Asian Studies and Interfaith Moral Action on Climate. See her website for more information.]

ජනතාවගෙන් වසන් කළ ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම

November 10th, 2019

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

              නගර සහ ග්‍රාම නිර්මාණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව නමින් 1946 වසරේ පනතකින් අනුමත වූ ආයතනයක කාර්ය භාරය වූයේ ලංකාවේ නගර සහ දියුණු වන ගම් සඳහා සැලසුම් සකස් කිරීමයි. මෙම පනත වසර 2000 දී සංශෝධනය වී යටකී ආයතනය ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම් දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව වශයෙන් පුළුල්  වුණි. ඉන්පසු ඔවුන් ගේ කාර්ය භාරය අනුව රටටම අවශ්‍ය භෞතික සැලැස්ම ගැන තීරණ ගැනීමට බලය ලබා ගෙන ඇතිබව පැහැදිලි වෙයි.. එහි ප්‍රතිඵලයක් ලෙස 2007 දී එළි දැක්වූ ජාතික භෞතික සැලැස්ම දක්වන්නට පිළිවන. මේ සැලැසුමට සංකල්පීය අර්ථ සපයන්නේ 2002 නිකුත් කළ රීගේනින් ශ්‍රී ලංකා ලියවිල්ලයි. මේ ලියවිල්ල මගින් බලාපොරොත්තු වූයේ රටේ භෞතික යටිතල පහසුකම් දියුණු කරලීමට විදෙස් ආධාර ලබා ගැනීමයි.මෙම සැලසුම් සකස් කරන කල්හි.ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය ආයතන වල වැඩ කරන විද්වතුන් මෙන්ම විදෙස් විද්වතුන්ද දායකත්වය සපයා තිබෙන ආකාරය දැක්වීමට හැකිය. ඕස්ට්‍රේලියානු ජාතික ඩේල් සැම්සන් ක්‍රෙග් ගිල්බට් සහ සෑම් කැලගන් වැනි නගර නිර්මාණ ශිල්පීන් මේ වාර්තාව සෑදීමට දායකත්වය දී තිබේ. මෙම සැලසුම වර්ෂ 2030 දක්වා වලංගු බව එම ලියවිල්ලේ සඳහන්ය..මේ සැලසුම් මගින් අධි නගර නැත්නම් ‍‍මෙගා පොලීස් පහක් යෝජනා කරල තිබුණි. බස්නාහිර නැගෙනහිර දකුණ යාපනය සහ ත්‍රිමලය වශයෙන් එහි දක්වා ඇත. මේ අධිනගර සම්බන්ධ කරන අධිවේගී මාර්ග ජාලයක් සහ දියුණු දුම්රිය මාර්ග පද්ධතියක් යෝජනා කර තිබුණි.සැබවින්ම වේගයෙන් දියුණු වන තාක්ෂණික සංවර්ධන ක්‍රියාදාමයට අනුව නම් මේ සැලසුම තාර්කික වෙයි.ආයෝජන කලාප තුළින් රක්ෂා සැපයීම ද ඉලක්ක කර තිබුණ බැවින් ආර්ථික දියුණුව සෘජුවම ඉලක්ක කර තිබුණි. එහෙත් ලංකාව වැනි ඉතිහාසයක් තිබෙන රටක සාම්ප්‍රදායික සංවර්ධනයේ විකාශනය හෝ සොබා දහමේ හැසිරීම මේ සැලසුමේ සාකච්ඡාවට බඳුන් වී නැත.අපේ රටේ තීබූ වැව් 30000 ගැන සාකච්ඡා වී නැති බව පැහැදිලිය. ඒ වෙනුවට වැව් ජල උල්පත් වනාන්තර කපාගෙන හදන අධිනගර දියුණු කරන හැටි දක්වා ඇත. ඉංග්‍රීසීන් ලංකාවට පැමිණ මුඩු බිම් පනත් දෙකකින් මෙරට ජනතාව සහ විහාර සතු ඉඩම් අත්පත් කරගෙන වැව් කපා වනාන්තර පෙරලා මහ විනාශකාරී සංවර්ධනයක් ගෙනගිය ආකාරය  ඉතිහාසය තුළ ලියැවී තිබේ..මේඑහි දෙවන පියවරයි.

       මෙම සැලසුමට දායකත්වය සැපයූ විද්වතුන් මේ රටේ ගොවිබිම් සහ හදබිම් ගැන තේරුමක් ඇති උදවිය නොවන බව නම් පැහැදිලිය.මොරටුව විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය නියෝජනය කරන නගර නිර්මාණ ශිල්පියෙක් සහ ඉංජිනේරු වරයෙකු වන ජගත් මුනසිංහ මහතා වර්තමාන භෞතික සැලසුම් දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ අධ්‍යක්ෂ ජනරාල් වශයෙන් පත්ව සිටී.ඔහු මූලික කරගත් මේ කණ්ඩායම
2007 සැලැස්ම පාදක කොට 2017 දී නව සැලැස්මක් එළි දැක්වීමට ක්‍රියා කෙට ඇත..එහිදී අධිනගර පහ නවය බවට පත් වී තිබේ.එසේම මේ නගර යා කරන ආර්ථික කොරිඩෝ හතරක් නිර්මාණය කරන්න යෝජනා කර ඇත. උතුර නැගෙනහිර( ඔලුවිල් )බස්නාහිර නැගෙනහිර සහ දකුණ වශයෙන් එය දක්ව තිබේ. මේ සැලසුම 2017 දී සාදා ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම් සභාවට ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතුව තිබුණු නමුත් එය සිදු නොවුණු බව පැහැදිලිය.මේ සභාවේ මූලාසනය හොබවනුයේ ජනාධිපතිරයාය.. ඒ වගේම තාක්ෂණික අගැයීම් කමිටුවට දමා අනුමත කරගැනීමටත් තිබුණි. මහජනයා ගේ අදහස් ගැනීමටත් නියමිතව තිබුණි.එහෙත් මේ කිසිවක් නොකර රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ නායකත්වයෙන් තිබෙන ආර්ථික සාභාවට දමා මේ ලියවිලිල් අනුමත කොට තිබේ..  ඒ අවස්ථාවේදී මිලේනියම් චැලේන්ජ් කෝපරේෂන් කියන ආයතනය මැදිහත් වී මේ සැලසුම තමන්ගේ අභිප්‍රායයන් සාධනයට යොදා ගත් බව පැහැදිලි වෙයි. ඇමරිකාවේ ආර්ථික හා දේශපාලනික උපාය මාර්ග ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන මේ M C C ආයතනය අරලිය ගහ මන්දිරයේ ස්ථාපිත වී රනිල් අගමැති හරහා ඔවුන් ගේ උපාය මාර්ග ඉලක්ක සපුරමින් සිටි කාලවකවානුවක මේ රටේ ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම ඉදිරිපත්කිරීමත් එය ආර්ථික සභාවෙන් අනුමත කිරීමත් හොඳින් සමපාත වන ආකාරය දැක්විය හැකිය.මේ නිසා ඇමරිකන් උගුලකට රට අසු කිරීමට මේ සැලසුම යොදා ගත් ආකාරය දක්වන්නටත් පිළිවන.ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම් සභාවට ඉදිරිපත් කොට මෙම සැලසුම් අනුමත කරලීමට උත්සාහ ගත්තේ නම් ජනාධිපතිවරයා මැදිහත්ව මේ යෝජනාවන් අත්හිටවන බව තේරුම් ගෙන මෙම බලධාරීන් කොටි මං මගින් නීත්‍යානුකූලභාවය ලබා ගත් බව ස්ථීරය.

      ..මේ භෞතික සැලසුම් යෝජනාව තුළීන් ලංකාවේ භූමියට දේශපාලනයට මැදිහත් වෙන්න පිළිවන් කම තිබෙන බැවින්  එය ගිවිසුමකින් තහවුරු කර ගැනීමට ඇමරිකාවට වුවමනා වී තිබේ.ඒ නිසාවෙන්  වත්මන් ඇමරිකන් තානාපතිනිය ලංකාවට පැමිණීම සිදු වී ඇත.ඇය ලංකාවේ දේශපාලනයට සෘජුව මැදිහත් වෙමින් ඇමරිකානු රාජ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තු ඉලක්ක වෙත පිය මනින බව අප තේරුම් ගත යුතුයි. මෙම භෞතික සැලසුම මගේ ඇසට ගැටුණේ 2018 වසරේ මුල් භාගයේ දී 2007 නිකුත් වූ භෞතික සැලැස්මේ පිටපතක් සොයා ගැනීමට කළ උත්සාහයෙනි. ඒ අනුව වත්මන් සැලසුම මා අතට පත් වුණි. දුටු පමණින්ම වත්මන් සැලසුමේ දැක්වෙන  අයෝග්‍ය බව නිසා ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම් දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ අධ්‍යක්ෂ ජනරාල් ජගත් මුණසිංහ මහතා හමු වී සාකච්ඡා කළ අතර. මෙයට මගේ අදහස් ද එකතු කළ හැකි ආකාරය දැන්වූ බවද කිව යුතුයි.නමුත් පොරොන්දු වුණ පරිදි එම අවස්ථාව මට ලැබුණේ නැත.  අද වන විට චම්පික ඇමතිවරයා මේ සැලැස්ම වෙනුවෙන් සහ ගිවිසුම වෙනුවෙන් සෘජුව පෙනී සිටී. ඒ ඔහු මෑතකදී ඇමරිකාවෙ ගොස් ඩිප්ලෝමාවක් හදාරා පැමිණි නිසාදැයි මම නොදනිමි. එහෙත් 2018ඔක්තෝබර් ආණ්ඩු පෙරළියත් සමග අරලියගහ මන්දිරයත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාත් සුරකින්නට ඔහු දුන් දායකත්වය ඇමරිකාවට ගැති එකක් බව පැහැදිලියි.කෙසේ වෙතත් 2007 සැලැසුම මෙන්ම 2017 සැලැස්මත් මේ රටේ පරිසරයට මෙන්ම සාම්ප්‍රදායික සංවර්ධන ප්‍ර වේශයට ගැලපෙන්නේ නැති බව මෙහිදී කිව යුතුයි.

          භෞතික සංවර්ධනය අප ළඟා කරගත යුත්තේ සමස්ත සංවර්ධන සැලැස්මකට අනුකූලවයි.එසේම  අපගේ ඉතිහාසය විසින් අපට ලබා දෙන සංවර්ධන ප්‍ර වේශයන් සමගද සමපාත විය යුතුයි.ලංකාවේ මධ්‍යම කඳුකරය මේ රටේ හදවත බව බොහෝ දෙනෙකු අවබෝධ කර ගෙන නැත.සියළු ප්‍රධාන ගංගා ආරම්භ වන්නේ මධ්‍යම කදුකරයේ දිය උලපත් අශ්‍රයෙනි.එහෙයින් සමස්ත සංවර්ධනයෙදී මූලිකවම මේ රටේ ජල මූලාශ්‍ර ආරක්ෂා කර ගැනීමට ප්‍රමුඛ තැනක් දිය යුතුය.මධ්‍යම කඳුකරයේ දියඋල්පත අශ්‍රයෙන් දිය නහර පණ ගැන්වී පොළව අභ්‍යන්තරයේ ගලා බසිමින් රජරට නිම්න භූමි වලදී මතු වන ආකාරයද අපට නිරීක්ෂණය කළ හැකියි. මේවා එක් පැත්තකින් සිසිල් දිය උල්පත් වශයෙන් ද අනෙක් පැත්තෙන් උණු දිය උල්පත් වශයෙන් ද දක්නට තිබේ.මේ උල්පත් ඇතැම් විට අපගේ ඇසට නොපෙනෙන ආකාරයෙන් මතු වී කුඩා වැව් පෝෂණය කරන බවද දැක ගත හැකිය. රජරට පවතින වැව් 30000 ක තරමේ සම්පත් ප්‍රභවයක් මේ ආසියාකරයේ තවත් දක්නට නැතිය. එම නිසා පැරණි රජ වරු කුඩා වැව් පණ ගන්වමින් වාරි පද්ධති නිර්මාණය කළහ. මේ වාරි පද්ධති සඳහා අතිරේක ජලය නිදහස් කරලීමට මහා වැව්ද මහා වැව් වලට ජලය ගෙන යෑම පිණිස යෝධ ඇළවල්ද නිර්මාණය කළහ.මහවැලි ගග ප්‍රධාන කොට ගත් ජල මූලාශ්‍ර වලින් හරවා ගත් ජලය උතුරේ ඉරණමඩු වැව දක්වාද ගෙන ගිය ආකාරය අතීත අත්දැකීම් වලින් පසක් වෙන බව කිව යුතුය.එසේම උතුරේ යාපන අර්ධ ද්වීපය සහ මන්නාරම් කලාපයේ ජලය ළඟා වීමත් ශුෂ්ක දේශගුණයත් නිසා යෝධ වැව පණ ගන්වමින් කළ වාරි විශ්මය අදටත් එසේමය.මේ තත්ත්වය මත ශක්තිමත් වූ රජරට ශිෂ්ඨාචාරය නිසා මාන්තොට  වරාය මහා වරායක්ව වැජඹුණි.. රට තුළ නිපදවන සියලු දේ මෙන්ම රටට ගෙනෙන බොහෝ දේ මෙම තැනින් හුවමාරු වූයේ මෙහි තිබූ ශක්තිමත් ආර්ථික ජාලය  පිටිවල් කර ගෙනය.ඇතැම් වේලාවට මේ තොටමුණු වලින් ගොඩ බහින විදේශිකයන් ගම්වැදී රට වැසියන්ට කරදර පමූණවන කල්හි. ඔවුන් අල්ලා රටින් පිට කළ යුතු බවට ආඥාවල්ද පෙර සෙල් ලිපි වල ලියැවී තිබුණී.

            මේ ආකාරයට මේ රටේ සංවර්ධන ක්‍රියාදාමය සහ ස්වයංපෝෂිත ආර්ථිකය පීළීබඳ යම් චිත්‍රයක් සකස් කරගත හැකිය. යටත් විජිත සමයෙන් පසු මේ ආහාර සුරක්ෂිතතාවය විනාශ කරමින් වැවිලි ආර්ථිකයත් කාර්මික  ව්‍යාපෘතිත් ආරම්භ කරලීමෙන් රටේ පරිසර පද්ධතිය උඩු යටිකුරු විය.ඇතැම් වාරි කර්මාන්ත දෙබෑ කරමින් මහා මාර්ග ඉදි වීමත් ශාසනික දේපළ විනාශ කරමින් එම බෙදීම තවත් දියුණු වීමත් නිසා මේ රටේ සංවර්ධන ක්‍රියාදාමයේ විදේශ බලපෑම ක්‍රමයෙන් තීව්‍ර විය. 1977 න් පසුව ඇති වූ විවෘත ආර්ථිකයත් ඉන්පසු වෙලෙඳ පළ ආර්ථිකයට සමාපාත වන ලෙසින් විදෙස් ආධාර මත සංවර්ධන ව්‍යාපෘති ආරම්භ කරලීමත් නිසා අද වන විට මහත් අර්බුදයක් පැණ නැගී ඇති බව පෙන්වා දිය යුතුය. ජාතික භෞතික සැලසුම මගින් මග පෙන්වන්නේ මේ විනාශකාරී සංවර්ධන ප්‍ර වේශයන් තවත් ඉදිරියට ගෙන යෑමට දිරි යුතු බවයි.


      එලෙස ඉදිරියට ගෙන යෑමට බල කරන විනාශකාරී ක්‍රියාදාමය මේ රටේ  උගත් බුද්ධිමතුන් තුළින් එල්ල වීම බරපල ප්‍රශ්ණයකි. කන්නන්ගර නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය මගින් පෝෂණය ලබා රට වෙනුවෙන් සේවය කරනු වෙනුවට විදෙස් හාම්පුතුන් වෙනුවෙන් සේවය කරන්නන් අද බිහිව තිබේ. චම්පික රණවක මහතා ද එවැන්නෙකි.ඔහුගේ මූලිකත්වයෙන් සාදන ලද 2017 ජාතික භෞතික සැලැස්ම මගින් අපට ඉඟි කරන්නේ මේ රටේ විද්වතුන් ගේ විදෙස් ගැතියාවයි.මේ රටේ පරිසරයට අතීත සම්ප්‍රදායට පටහැනි සංවර්ධන සැලසුම් මගින් විශාල ගැටළුවක් රටේ ඇති කරන්නට ඔහු කටයුතු කරමින් සිටින ආකාරයයි.එම නිසා ඉදිරි දශකය මේ විනාශකාරී භෞතික සංවර්ධනයෙන් වියුක්ත කර ගැනීම අත්‍යවශ්‍ය වී තිබේ. එය මාස කීපයකින් කළ හැකි දෙයක් නොවේ. ඒ සඳහා බරපතල සංවාදයක් විද්වතුන් අතර ඇති විය යුතුය.ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සිතියම තුළ තිබෙන පරිසර සම්පත් ජල සම්පත් වන සම්පත් පසුබිම හරිත වර්ණයෙන් දිස් වීමට ඉඩ හැර මං මාවත් ගොඩනැගිලි කර්මාන්ත ඇති කරන්නේ කෙසේ දැයි සාකච්ඡා කල යුතුය.එවිට විදෙස් මුදල් වලින් තොරව රට සංවර්ධනය කරලීමට මගක් පාදා ගැනීමට හැකියාව ලැබෙනු නිසැකය.

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

මාව අරලියගහ මැදුරට ගෙන්නලා බලපෑම් කළේ – Talk With Chatura -Interview given by Suhada Gamalath, Retd. Solicitor General

November 10th, 2019

Talk with Chatura

A person who was distributing mudslinging posters against Gotabaya arrested in Mirihana

November 10th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

A person who was distributing mudslinging posters against SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapakse in Mirhana was arrested.

SLPP members charge that this suspect is a representative of non cabinet Minister Harsha De Silva.

A tense situation occurred at the time of the arrest

Sri Lanka Cabinet planning to Surrender the Country to the Americans through the MCC SOFA and ACSA Compact

November 10th, 2019

Mahinda Gunasekera

Thanks to the report published in the Lankaweb on November 6, 2019, by the Indian investigative journalist Sarojini Dutt, we are now able to see the foolish and dangerous steps taken by the present government to sacrifice our independence and sovereignty to the USA for a mere handful of dollars  ($480 million) promised as a grant, which too would go directly to US contractors engaged to carry out the work involving land surveys and converting the land grants given to landless farmers into freely marketable units to be registered in a digitized land bank system. This no doubt would make the land holders in the not too distant future, rootless and landless, selling off their land that provided them their livelihoods to the highest bidders including foreigners as provided in the new State Land Bank Act and the Land (Special Provisions) Act replacing the LRC Act which guaranteed them tenure over their lands.

Her expose’ reveals some of the hidden areas in the Millenium Challenge Corporation’s Compact under negotiation which was inadvertently distributed to invited participants by the MCC team leader Steve Dobrilovic during a briefing to senior legal officers of Sri Lankan banks and the then President of the Bar Association in September 2018. The documents released included a map of Sri Lanka as envisaged in the year 2050 following implementation of the Compact which the present Cabinet of Minister approved for acceptance and nominated the Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera to sign it on behalf of the country while the people were focusing their attention on the Presidential Election scheduled to be held on November 16, 2019.  The map in question also showed a 200 mile corridor between Colombo and Trincomalee to be awarded to the US authorities coming under US jurisdiction where an electric rail track was to be built effectively dividing Sri Lanka into a southern and northern region. These negotiations took place in absolute secrecy between representatives of the government and the MCC team from the USA housed within the Temple Trees complex used by the Prime Minister.  Due to the lack of openness and secrecy involved, the concerned citizens were jolted into shock and dismay, leading to the Most Venerable Ududumbara Kasyapa Thero to undertake a fast unto death at the Independence Hall demanding that the President, Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition commit themselves in writing not to proceed with the signing of the Compact Agreement prior to same being discussed in Parliament and a decision taken in a democratic manner. With opposition mounting and the fast of the monk going into the second day, the key officials of the government provided the written assurance enabling the venerable monk to call off his fast.

The USA which operated a major military base in the island of Diego Garcia from which they carried out hostilities in the Middle East, Afghanistan, etc.  obtaining a 50 year lease of the territory from the UK which expired in 2016, having tricked and cheated the indigenous Chagossian people of a place to live by instilling fear in them about a life threatening disease that would strike them if they continued to remain, and thereby expelling them from Diego Garcia and moving them away to live in Mauritius. The Chagossians have since appealed to the UK Supreme Court and the UNGA which have ruled in their favour which will allow them to get back to their island homeland soon with Britain being compelled to hand back the island to Mauritius in whom sovereignty rests.  No wonder the USA is eyeing Sri Lanka as a logistics hub and potential military base to replace Diego Garcia for which they were willing to make a grant of $480 million to the political party whom they helped to install in the year 2015. Please click on the LINK below to access the article:
http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/11/06/sri-lanka-cabinet-surrenders-the-country-to-the-americans/


It is unimaginable that the politicians elected for just a five year term had the audacity to secretly negotiate the break up of our sovereign country for a bundle of $480 million, overturning our Non-Alligned policy, and tie up our country with the military industrial complex of the USA which has evolved a policy of continuous war necessary to profit from the sale of weapons and war material and impose their will on other nations.  Having co-sponsored a resolution at the UNHRC along with the USA, UK and other western powers to put on trial our heroic security forces personnel that sacrificed their life and limb to regain the country after three decades of  Tamil Tiger terrorism, it was still not expected of them to drive their dagger into the heart of this country ending the independence, freedom and sovereign status enjoyed by the people from time immemorial over many millennia.

Mahinda Gunasekera

ගෝඨාභයට එරෙහිව මඩ පෝස්ටර් බෙදූ, අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වාගේ ලේකම්වරයෙකු ඇතුළු දෙදෙනෙකු අත්අඩංගුවට

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති ධුර අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට අපහාස වන අයුරින් සැකසූ අත්පත්‍රිකාවක් ‍බෙදාහරිමින් සිටි පුද්ගලයින් දෙදෙනෙකු එම අත්පත්‍රිකා සමග මිරිහාන ප්‍රදේශයේදී අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන තිබෙනවා.

එම ප්‍රදේශය නියෝජනය කරන ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ප්‍රාදේශීය දේශපාලනඥයින් චෝදනා කළේ අදාළ  සැකකරු එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ කැබිනට් නොවන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා මහතාගේ ආධාරකරුවෙකු බවයි.

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති ධුර අපෙක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට අපහාස වන අයුරින් සැකසූ අත්පත්‍රිකාවක් අද පෙරවරුවේ විජේරාම කලා ප්‍රදේශය සහ මිරිහාන ප්‍රදේශය ආශ්‍රිතව බෙදාහැර තිබුණා.

කෙසේ වෙතත් එම ප්‍ර දේශයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ප්‍රාදේශීය දේශපාලනඥයින් කරන ලද සෝදිසියකදී අදාළ අත්පත්‍රිකා බෙදමින් සිටි පුද්ගලයා මිරිහාන ප්‍ර දේශයේදී සොයා ගැනීමත් සමග ඇතිවුණේ මෙවන් තත්ත්වයක්.

එහිදී එම ස්ථානයට පැමිණි එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ කැබිනට් නොවන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා මහතාගේ ලේකම්වරයෙකු එම අත්පත්‍රිකා මුද්‍රණය කරන ලද්දේ ඔහුගේ අනුදැනුම මත බව පිළිගත්තා.

පසුව මිරිහාන පොලිස් නිලධාරීන් එම ස්ථානයට පැමිණ අදාළ අත් පත්‍රිකා බෙදමින් සිටි පුද්ගලයා සහ අදාළ ලේකම්වරයා මිරිහාන පොලිසිය වෙත රැගෙන ගියා.

මෙම සිදුවීම පිළිබඳ සොයා බැලීමට කැබිනට් නොවන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා මහතාද මිරිහාන පොලිසිය වෙත පැමිණ තිබුණා.

කෙසේ වෙතත් මිරිහාන පොලිස් නිලධාරීන් විමර්ශන කටයුතු කඩිනම් නොකරන බවට ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ප්‍රාදේශීය නියෝජිතයින් පැවසීමත් සමග නොසන්සුන්කාරී තත්ත්වයක් හටගත්තා.

>මේ සම්බන්ධයේන අමාත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා මහතා ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවක් කැඳවමින් අදහස් පළ කලා.

කෙසේ වෙතත් මේ පිළිබඳ ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගෙන් අප කළ විමසීමකදී ඔහු සදහන් කළේ කිසිවෙකු මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඔහු සමග සාකච්ඡා නොකළ බවත් එය සම්පුර්ණ අසත්‍යයක් බවත්ය.

DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT HOW SL WILL LOSE ITS LAND

November 10th, 2019

Shenali

Watch this and wake up to how our land will be grabbed ….MCCSL is going to take our land and our sovereigntyLet's all raise our voice against this …This clip is in both Sinhala and English and Tamil version will be uploaded shortly.

Posted by Shenali Waduge on Sunnudagur, 10. nóvember 2019

KARTARPUR-A LOVE JUNCTION

November 10th, 2019

ALI SUKHANVER

Looking back to the history, during the 1947 partition of India, the region where the holy Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Baba Guru Nanak situated was divided between India and Pakistan. The Radcliffe Line awarded the Shakargarh tehsil on the right bank of the Ravi River, including Kartarpur, to Pakistan, and the Gurdaspur tehsil on the left bank of Ravi to India. For many years after partition, Indian Sikhs had been using a bridge on the Ravi River to reach Kartarpur. This bridge was eventually destroyed in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 and this destruction added a lot to the troubles of the religious devotees desirous of going to Kartarpur. Now opening of the Kartarpur Corridor has made things very simple and convenient for them. It is no doubt an achievement of Pakistan that the Sikh community all over the world is expressing its joy and jubilance, thrill and excitement over getting an easy access to the shrine of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib near Narowal, in Punjab, Pakistan. Before opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, the Sikh pilgrims had to cover a long distance to reach this shrine but now this distance has been reduced to just 4.7 Kilometers. Though apparently the Indian authorities are expressing their happiness on opening of this corridor but inwardly they are not comfortable with it. They think that this is not a corridor linking the two shrines but a corridor providing Pakistan an access to the hearts of the Indian Sikh Community.

The inauguration ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor was attended by thousands of people from Pakistan and India including Bollywood actor Sunny Deol, Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Indian Punjab’s Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, cricketer Navjot Sidhu and so many others. During the sacred ceremony, Mr. Amarinder Singh the Chief Minister of the Indian Punjab would certainly be thinking of his recent interview with India Today in which he has said that he feels Pakistan has a hidden agenda behind the opening of the Kartarpur corridor. He alleged that the Pakistan Army and the ISI are behind the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. He said, I look at it in two ways -As a Sikh, I am happy it happened, this will be like a pilgrimage back to history for me. But at the same time I feel like opening of this corridor is an ISI operation. I say this because the day that Imran Khan was sworn in as Pakistan PM, Navjot Singh Sidhu was invited to grace the occasion where General Bajwa told him that ‘you will be happy to know that we are opening the corridor’.

Be it the freedom movement in Jammu and Kashmir or in Nagaland, Assam, Tripura or the Khalistan movement and above all the Kartarpur Corridor Project, the Indian agencies and the politicians always try their best to frame the ISI in all such movements. Surprisingly, the ISI always seems haunting the nerves of Indian rulers, politicians, and even of the nerves of the Indian intelligence agencies. Dragging the ISI into the internal matters of India and blaming it for all that goes wrong in India is not a new tradition. Certainly this tradition will be followed now after the prejudiced and partially narrow-minded decision of the Indian Supreme Court on Babri Mosque. A very harsh reaction from the Indian Muslims is expected at some later stage as the Muslims there are in a state of fear and horror at present. The statement of Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen very clearly reflects the hidden anger and anxiety of the Indian Muslims over the decision. He said talking to media, If the Babri Masjid wasn’t demolished that day, what would the judgment have been today?  There has been discrimination against Muslims and no one can deny it. We are fighting for our legal rights.” In short, sooner or later, the Muslims would certainly protest over this injustice but unfortunately the Modi sarkar, instead of pacifying the Muslims, would start blaming the ISI for all their protest.

This blame-story is not a new one; from the Mumbai Blasts to the Pulwama Attacks, the same story has been repeated so many times. Now, Pakistan’s efforts for materializing the Kartarpur Corridor have become a very strong proof of the fact that Pakistan is a peace loving country; it gives very much importance to the basic rights of the minorities and it can play a very vital role in bringing the regional hostile communities and nations closer. This exemplary role of Pakistan had already won a lot of appreciation with reference to its peace-efforts in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka too. Some mouth-pieces of the Modi sarkar are trying to convince the world that Pakistan’s eagerness to open the Kartarpur Corridor is in fact a tactic of instigating the Sikh community against the government of India. They say that through this corridor Pakistan would try to bring the Khalistan leaders in close contact and this contact shall lead to the achievement of Khalistan, an independent land for the Sikh community. Let us wait and see what happens next.

සත් කරුණකින් ගොනු කළ ජාතියේ ආරක්ෂාවේ පොරොන්දුව ගෝඨාභයට..

November 10th, 2019

[අමාදම් ගඟුල] විය යුතු දේ සිදු වෙමින් පවතී!

[1] ඓතිහාසික වශයෙන් තහවුරු වී ඇති මේ රට සිංහලයාගේ එකම මාතෘ භූමිය බැවින් සිංහලයාටද අන්‍ය ජාතීන් සමග එකමුතුව වෙන් නොවී වාසය කිරිමට කටයුතු කල මැනව.

[2] එසේම මේ සිංහල රටේ ජාතියක් හෝ ආගමක් හෝ දේශපාලන මතවාදයක් හෝ භූමිය හෝ මුල් කොට ගෙන කිසිදු ආකාරයක ත්‍රස්තවාදී තත්වයක් ඇතිවිමට ඉඩ නොතබනු මැනව.

[3] අපගේ මාතෘ භූමියට එරෙහිව ජාතිවාදය තුල හෝ ආගම්වාදය තුල හෝ කුමන්ත්‍රණකාරිව යෙදී සිටි හෝ සිටින කිසිදු දේශපාලකයෙකු සමග සම්බන්ධ නොවනු මැනව.

[4] සිංහලයාගේ පාරම්පරික උරුමය වන ඓතිහාසික පුරා විද්‍යාත්මක බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන ආරක්ෂා කිරිමට කටයුතු කල මැනව.

[5] අපගේ මාතෘභූමියේ ආරක්ෂාවත් භෞමික අඛණ්ඩතාවයත් රකිමින් කිසිදු අයුරකින් මාතෘ භූමිය ජාත්‍යන්තර කුමන්ත්‍රණ කරුවන්ට පාවාදීමට හෝ විකිනීමට හෝ ඉඩ නොතැබුව මැනව.

[6] පෙර සිංහල රජදරුවන් සේ සිංහලයාගේ ආත්ම ගෞරවයත් ආර්ථික සමෘද්ධියේ සුරක්ෂිතභාවයත් බුද්ධ ශාසනයේ ආරක්ෂාවත් ස්ථාපිත කල මැනව.

[7] මේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාව තුල කවර වූ හෝ ජාතිවාදී, ආගම්වාදී, අන්තවාදී මත දරන්නන්ගේ බලපෑම් මත නීතිය අවභාවිතයේ යොදවමින් සිංහල බෞද්ධයා පෙලීමට කිසිසේත් ඉඩ නොතැබුව මැනව.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1754525711351386

Why Senaka Weeraratna should get due recognition for the DRS

November 10th, 2019

Rohan Abeygunawardena Nugegoda Courtesy: Sunday Times (November 10, 2019) 

Senaka Weeraratna the Sri Lankan Lawyer who came out with the suggestion to introduce a Decision Review System (DRS) to minimise umpiring errors in the middle, as far back as 1997, has been fighting for due recognition for his contribution to the game, for over 20 years. However, in spite of many requests and appeals made by him to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and the International Cricket Conference (ICC), he has not been successful in receiving the kind of acknowledgment that Duckworth and Lewis got for their contribution towards deciding the result on rain-affected Limited-Over games.

According to a recent news item, he has appealed to one of the greatest cricketers produced in this part of the world, Kumar Sangakkara, to help him on this matter. I am sure Kumar, being a 100% Sri Lankan, who knows the benefits that would accrue to his country, would do everything possible as the President of MCC, to help recognise this claim by Senaka.

Senaka has also made representations to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has directed the Secretary of the Ministry of Sports (MoS), to take appropriate action, to get recognition for his work.

Cricket is the most popular sport in Sri Lanka. This is the only sport in which Sri Lanka became World champs twice- Winning ODI World Cup in 1996 and T20 World Cup in 2014. The only other sport Sri Lanka produced a world champion is in Billiards, when M.J.M. Lafir became World Champion in December 1973, at World Amateur Billiards Championship held in Mumbai.

In 1982, Sri Lanka was admitted to full membership of the ICC and awarded Test status, thanks to the efforts of then President of the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka (BCCSL), late Gamini Dissanayake. His efforts and how he set about achieving this task was vividly explained in an article written by Sunil Thenabadu, published in the Sunday Times of October 21, 2018.

The inaugural Test was played at the Colombo Oval in February 1982, against England, which Sri Lanka lost by 8 wickets. Sri Lanka toured Pakistan in March 1982 and played 3 Test matches, of which Pakistan won 2 and 1 was drawn. Again in October 1985, Sri Lanka toured Pakistan, with the same results. In the absence of neutral umpiring and/or Senaka’s DRS, there had been quite a few bad decisions by Pakistan umpires that went against Sri Lanka.

Pakistan’s 1st tour of Sri Lanka, after the latter attained Test Status, was in February 1986. This tour was nearly disrupted due to bad umpiring by the Sri Lankan umpires. Imran Khan wrote in his book All Round View” about this tour. He said, The result was an ugly series, where the main bone of contention was the quality of the umpiring.”

Interviewed by Sidharth Monga, Imran said, We all agreed that there was no point in continuing the tour. We drafted a statement to this effect, but General Zia [President of Pakistan] called me up and told me to persuade the boys to complete the tour.’’

At the time of this tour, the late Gamini Dissanayake was the President and the late P.I. Peiris (Cambridge Blue in cricket) was the Vice President of the BCCSL.  When the captain and the players were agitating for a cancellation of the tour, the Pakistan manager contacted the officials of their Cricket Board. A senior official was sent to discuss with the Sri Lankan officials to pullout the Pakistan team from the tour, of course, diplomatically.

The Pakistani official, initially, discussed the matter with P.I. Peiris, and thereafter with the President. Nearly 3 hours of discussion did not provide a favourable result. Gamini Dissanayake then called President J.R. Jayewardene (JRJ) and briefed him on the situation and JRJ, himself a lover of cricket, invited them to his Ward Place residence.

JRJ listened to both parties. And then quietly walked to the phone and dialed. When someone answered he said, Your Excellency, these 22 fools in flannels, are trying to disrupt the good relations between our countries. Therefore, I am ordering the Pakistan team to stay and get on with the game.”

JRJ spoke for few more minutes and laughed. Then he turned to the Pakistan Official and said Your President wishes to speak with you”.

He went over to the phone and only said Yes your excellency, Yes,….yes”, then came back and informed President JRJ that they will continue with the tour.

This is a typical example of how bad decisions by the person of authority, who is responsible for presiding over the game, from a neutral point of view, and making on-the-fly decisions that enforce the rules of the sport, including sportsmanship decisions such as ejection, make mistakes or biased decisions, leading to unpleasant situations among the players and sport lovers.

There is very little room now for such bad decisions, thanks to Senaka Weeraratna’s brilliant idea of the players and field umpires appealing to the 3rd umpire when in doubt. As Sri Lankans, we should be proud of his contribution to Cricket, which is like a second religion to a majority of Sri Lankans. Besides, even in other sports, this concept is now practised. For example, in Rugby, which is a very fast body contact game, where the chances of wrong decisions by the on field referee is extremely high, this concept is being practised since 2001. They call it Television Match Official (TMO). Many decisions were changed by the TMO at the Rugby world cup this year and, as a result, the best teams came to the semis and finals, without creating any doubt in the minds of the loyal supporters, spectators and those millions of Rugby fans watching on TV.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has failed so far to make representation to the ICC and obtain recognition for Senaka’s concept, in spite of many appeals made by him. May I therefore, suggest that the SLC and the MoS Secretary work hand in hand with Kumar Sangakkara and help obtain the due recognition for Senaka. This is an honour for Sri Lanka and will be a feather in SLC’s cap!

Rohan Abeygunawardena 

Nugegoda

GOTA PHOBIA – Part VIII E (Will Sajith surrender to authorities over his frauds?)

November 10th, 2019

By ; A.A.M.NIZAM- MATARA

The veteran journalist H.L.D.Mahindapala, who was the Chief Editor of ‘Observer’ and now resides in Australia has said that watching the video of the launch of the UNP manifesto, one of the factors that surprised him most was the performance of Sajith Premadasa. He says that he had never seen him so stiff in delivering his public speeches and he was speaking more like a ventriloquist (a comedian) than as a fired-up, rabble-rousing politician gesticulating frenetically, or beating his chest on public stages. He stood there at the launch as stiff as a statue made of clay and only his tongue was moving to make noises.

Mahindapala says that somebody must have told him that to look presidential he must not throw his hands around and blast his opponents at the top of his voice. So he was as solemn and stiff as he could be, cutting a very poor image of a want-to-be president. The image he projected was that of defrocked priest delivering a Sunday sermon from his pulpit which is about to come apart.

 However, it must be conceded that the flow of his verbal gymnastic was flawless. But it was all puffery. It was all sound and no substance. Sajith is a man in a hurry to make an impression. He is trying to cover his immaturity and inexperience with sounds of empty phrases. But all his rhetoric so far comes down to offering freebies, ranging from gewgaws, lollipops and tampons. His offering of tampons to villagers is the equivalent of Ranil offering computers to farmers in previous election campaigns. I was wondering whether Sajith got this idea of distributing free sanitary pads from Prince Charles who once wrote endearingly to his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, saying that his ambition in life was to be her tampon!

All his sound and fury can be reduced to one simple argument: he is going to be the new broom that will sweep all evils away in one swipe and bathe Sri Lanka in milk and honey. There is nothing new in this. He is repeating what Ranil and Sirisena promised in 2015

Mahindapala asks did he lift a finger, or raise a whisper to stop the daylight robbery of his leader, Ranil?0r when Ravi Karunayake found guilty by the courts, was reappointed as a Cabinet minister, sitting next to him? Or when his leader failed to honour his promise of bringing back from Singapore the crook who steered the robbery on the floor of the Central Bank? Etc? Etc? If he did nothing then how can we trust him to do something now?

Premadasa is telecasting a TV ad in which he says that upon his election as President, he would appoint a new Prime Minister and a Cabinet of Ministers and repeats his ear claim that he will not appoint anyone with allegations of corruption, bribery, wasting public funds, and allegations of malpractices.  Under this utopian dream will he guarantee the following to fulfil this promise in order to clean the political frauds in the UNP and its allied partners?

Will Sajith Premadasa, first of all, surrender to the authorities for the lapses on his part which include :

  • Distribution and driven by himself of several luxury buses each valued @ Rs. 45 Million to several schools; Can the public know who was/were the donor of these buses and for what reason these donations have been and what the donor will get in return.
  • Allegedly keeping over 1,000 persons on his Ministry payroll without any employment;
  • Spending huge sums on advertisements to chicken pen houses projects at the times of foundation laying and at the times of opening;
  • Distribution of building materials and 15 bags of cement to each from the Hambantota district;
  • Distribution of money to incumbent priests of some temples as political bribes etc.
  • Misuse of funds belonging to the Central Cultural for his personal image building;

Ranil Wickremasinghe (Alleged architect of TreasuryBonnd Scam and commission agent for the sale of state properties and making the country liable to pay damages to China for suspending Port City, Lotus Tower and some other projects) )

Ravi Karunanayake (Alleged beneficiary of a residential flat and commission agent for power purchases)

Mangala Samaraweera (alleged money launderer for Tamil diaspora and commission agent for large scale government projects and for promoting MCC and other American projects)

Pa.Cha.Ranawaka (accused in a court verdict on malpractices in a coal tender award etc, and for promoting MCC and other American projects)

Malik Samarawickrema (alleged involvement in a railway coach project and promoter of the Singapore FT etc)

Lakshman Kiriella (alleged recipient of commissions from Kandy expressway project and misusing his Ministry funds to make monthly payments to over 75 persons)

Kabir Hashim (allegedly making the country liable to pay millions of Dollars as a breach of agreement in respect of aircraft orders)

Sarath Fonseka (self-confession relating to the receipt of several million rupees from Arjun Aloysius.  Another 118 persons including government MPs have received several hundred million rupees from Arjun Aloysius

P.Harrison (causing several Million Rs. Loss to Mattala airport by using it for storing paddy)

Rajitha Senaratne(alleged import of sub-standard drugs and malpractices related to Neville Fernando Hospital and becoming a shipowner during the last government.  A complaint in this connection with documentary evidence was made to Bribery Commission by the Matara district MP Niroshan Premaratne but no action was taken))

Sujeewa Senasinghe (an alleged receipt of Millions from Arjun Aloysius for writing a book to clear him from Treasury Bond Scam allegations )

John Ameratunga (demolition of a walking track built at a cost of Rs. Several million to facilitate one of his friends to take lorries to his property )

Mano Ganneshan (allegations related to multiple frauds and malpractices)

RaufHakeem (allegations related to multiple frauds and malpractices including 200 million US$ believed to have received for the toilet )

Rishad Bathiudeen (allegations related to multiple frauds and malpractices including drug peddling through Sathosa imports and frauds related to re-exports)

Harin Fernando (Allegations related to WI-FI project and Google Baloon mishap)

Arjuna Ranatunga (Allegations related to nepotism and frauds in the railways)

Palani Digambaram (an alleged receipt of funds from India in the name of various projects)

Ajith P.Perera(Acting as a footnote man of Arjun Aloysium}

Harsha de Silva (Acting as a footnote man of Arjun Aloysius)

The Galle district MP Wijepala Hettiarachchi has sent letters to his supporters in Akmeemana saying they will be given Rs. 50,000 each Gamperaliya housing loans when they come to attend the UNP Balamandala meeting.

The inter-party conflict in the UNP is reported to have increased with each group attempting to form themselves as the dominant group and to become future stakeholders.  SeveralUNP Ministers have been heckled by their own party supporters in their own areas. The latest was heckling received Minister Daya Perera at a UNP meeting in Ampara. 

Many Sri Lankans resident in overseas countries is coming back to vote for their favourite candidate Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.  The flood gates were opened today with groups arriving from Australia, England, UAE, Kuwait,  They told media that this is the last chance they can offer to save the country. They said that over 2million Sri Lankans resident will be arriving to vote for Gota and the will come until 15th night.

Meanwhile, Ministry sources indicate that several Ministers were clearing their desks at their Ministries.  They say Rajitha has taken away some files and Pa.Cha.Ranawaka has set fire to some files 

The indecent and inhuman Sarath Fonseka reputed as Kalawedda (wild cat) extremely disappointed by the Ill-prospects of Sajith has once again started his wild talks.  A few days ago he said that all Rajapaksas will be hanged at Medamulana.  He has now said that Gotabhaya will become a worm in his rebirth and when it happens that worm will be killed by striking with a mammoty. 

MCC not beneficial to SL: Wijeyadasa

November 10th, 2019

Ajith Siriwardana Courtesy The Daily Mirror

MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe yesterday claimed that Sri Lanka would not benefit from the Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) pact and that not even a cent would be received by the Treasury.

He told a news conference that the US$480 million would be received by the particular US company which would undertake the project in Sri Lanka and according to the MCC pact, the Treasury will not receive a cent.

The MP said neither the Auditor General nor the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) would be able to mediate in any of the transactions involving the MCC funds.

He said the government had agreed to sign three agreements with the US namely SOFA, ACSA and MCC and the government had given priority to the MCC agreement which sets the background to the other two agreements.

The MP said the government had passed several laws and acts in preparation to the signing of MCC such as amending the Foreign Exchange Bill, privatising the clearing department of the Central Bank, the Land Bank Act and the Counter-Terrorism Bill. (Ajith Siriwardana)

Law under Millennium “Grant”

November 10th, 2019

BY GAMINI SENEVIRATNE Courtesy The Island

The Island editorial today (7th November, 2019) points out that “there should be sufficient time for independent legal experts and other knowledgeable persons to go through such agreements with a fine tooth comb and challenge them in court if necessary.”

What is being touted here is a serial violation of that fundamental premise – violations that are to be, by the said agreement, immune to any and all forms of challenge under our laws.

 Set out below for the information of the public (including such Members of this Parliament as are, at the least, literate) are a sample of the provisions therein. Am constrained to note also that the foreign lawyers picked by the true beneficiary of this project, the Millennium Challenge Corporation headed as of now by, yes, Mike Pompeo, to secure ’good governance’ laboured for three years in the all-encompassing security of ‘Temple Trees’ to draft this document away from prying eyes. The care taken to exclude any and all Sri Lankans knowledgeable in the law was way above the Security Clearance required of Presidential Advisers in the ‘White House’.

 Land laws prepared under the instructions of the MCC ignores Article 76 (1) of our Constitution: “Parliament shall not abdicate or in any manner alienate its legislative power and shall not set up any authority with any legislative power”.  

         They say all laws are referred to AG under Article 77 and 82 —As your editorial points out (and this agreement specifies) AG would have no power to look into the legality of laws. 

 Article 78– effectively the public have no power: “Every Bill shall be published in the Gazette at least seven days before it is placed on the Order Paper of Parliament”. Yup, seven days is all the time allowed for the public and the judiciary to intervene.

      In any case, Article 80[3] ensures that the Judiciary has no power where “a Bill becomes law upon the certificate of the President or the Speaker, as the case may be being endorsed thereon, no court or tribunal shall inquire into, pronounce upon or in any manner call in question, the validity of such Act on any ground whatsoever”.    Well!

It would be necessary for the new administration to dismantle some other initiatives of USAID and related agencies.

They include “Bim Saviya” and an “Electronic Hub for a National Land Titling program” in Sri Lanka.

 As so happens, I was Commissioner of Title Settlement some 30 years ago, and can certify that this Yankee go at our country would be far worse in its operation than even the Brits’ instruments of theft – the Waste Lands Ordinance and the Crown Lands Ordinance.

Lanka president pardons killer who smashed Swedish teen’s skull into 64 pieces

November 10th, 2019

Courtesy The Hindistan Times

Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty granted by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lanka’s president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said Sunday, in a move that sparked national outrage.

Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty granted by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena, who is stepping down after Saturday’s presidential election at which he is not a candidate, announced last month he was considering a request to grant Jayamaha a pardon.

Victim Yvonne Jonsson, who was holidaying in Sri Lanka, was beaten to death at a high-rise apartment in Colombo in 2005 after she and Jayamaha had an argument.

The court had been told her skull was fractured into 64 pieces.

Jayamaha was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison. He appealed to a higher court, which rejected his plea and instead sentenced him to death, which was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Jonsson’s sister Caroline wrote in a Facebook post about her concerns over Jayamaha’s pardon before the amnesty announcement.

He showed and continues to show absolutely no remorse for what he has done,” she wrote.

We’ve worked hard to rebuild our lives and here we are, going into 15 years, still fighting for justice. Unfortunately, we now have to prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome, the pardon of my sister’s murderer.”

Many Sri Lankans took to social media to condemn Sirisena.

Monstrous act by a failed president,” said a Twitter user identified as Thass.

This news makes me sick,” added Shamila Cooray.

Others speculated Sirisena may have pardoned Jayamaha to test the water ahead of possibly pardoning another high-profile death-row inmate whose family owns radio and television stations that support him.

Sirisena failed to secure support from his own party to contest the November 16 election and must leave soon after results are declared, a day or two after the polls.

Outrage as Sri Lanka president Sirisena pardons killer of Swedish teen

November 10th, 2019

Courtesy Straitstimes

COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president has pardoned a death-row prisoner who murdered a Swedish teenager just a week before he leaves office, officials said on Sunday (Nov 10), in a move that sparked national outrage.

Convicted killer Jude Jayamaha, from a wealthy, high-profile family, walked out of Welikada prison last Saturday following the highly unusual amnesty granted by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Sirisena, who is stepping down after this Saturday’s presidential election at which he is not a candidate, announced last month he was considering a request to grant Jayamaha a pardon.

Victim Yvonne Jonsson, who was holidaying in Sri Lanka, was beaten to death at a high-rise apartment in Colombo in 2005 after she and Jayamaha had an argument.

The court had been told her skull was fractured into 64 pieces.

Jayamaha was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison. He appealed to a higher court, which rejected his plea and instead sentenced him to death, which was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Jonsson’s sister Caroline wrote in a Facebook post about her concerns over Jayamaha’s pardon before the amnesty announcement.

“He showed and continues to show absolutely no remorse for what he has done,” she wrote.

“We’ve worked hard to rebuild our lives and here we are, going into 15 years, still fighting for justice. Unfortunately, we now have to prepare ourselves for the worst possible outcome, the pardon of my sister’s murderer.”Related Story

Sri Lanka Parliament blames President Sirisena for Easter attack lapses

Many Sri Lankans took to social media to condemn Sirisena.

“Monstrous act by a failed president,” said a Twitter user identified as Thass.

“This news makes me sick,” added Shamila Cooray.

Others speculated Sirisena may have pardoned Jayamaha to test the water ahead of possibly pardoning another high-profile death-row inmate whose family owns radio and television stations that support him.

Sirisena failed to secure support from his own party to contest the Nov 16 election and must leave soon after results are declared, a day or two after the polls.

‘This is an utter disgrace’: Outcry after Sri Lankan president pardons death row killer who brutally murdered Swedish teen girl

November 10th, 2019

Courtesy RT

In his final week in office, Sri Lanka’s outgoing president has pardoned a death row killer who murdered a Swedish teenager in 2005. The girl’s skull was smashed into 64 pieces during the horrific attack.

Yvonne Jonsson, who had dual Sri Lankan and Swedish nationality, was killed in the stairwell of the Colombo apartment building her family was living in at the time. The attack had come after an argument between the teenager and killer Jude Jayamaha, then aged 19, who reportedly hails from an influential family. 

Jayamaha was initially sentenced to 12 years, but his appeal ended in him being sentenced to death. Confirming the decision to pardon and release him, President Maithripala Sirisena said Jayamaha was imprisoned over an incident of impatience” and had served his term with good behavior.

President Sirisena in his final week in the office has granted a Presidential Pardon to Shramantha Jayamaha imprisoned for murdering a 19 year old girl at Royal Park apartment in 2005. The court imposed the death sentence on Shramantha in 2012.

View image on Twitter

In a Facebook post, Jonsson’s sister wrote in detail about her family’s heartbreak over news of the killer’s pardon and release, rejecting any claims the murder was an accident or minor incident. Instead she insisted Jayamaha had planned the attack, waiting outside the apartment for his victim and chasing her down in the brutal assault. 

Caroline Jonsson-Bradley also said the attacker had taken pains to try to destroy evidence of his involvement and evade justice, and the family will never overcome the pain and distress” he caused by murdering Yvonne. 

He showed and continues to show absolutely no remorse for what he has done,” she wrote. To say my sister’s brutal killing has turned our world upside down is an understatement.”

Sri Lankans commenting online shared their disgust over news of the release, sending fresh condolences to the bereaved family and calling the president an idiot” for the senseless and meaningless” pardon. 

Shafa Rameez@ShafaRameezReplying to @ShafaRameez

According to Sirisena, Shermantha Jude Jayamaha went to prison at age 19 over an incident of impatience”. AN INCIDENCE OF IMPATIENCE? HE MURDERED A WOMAN. Guess who else was 19?? YVONNE JONSSON. #JusticeForYvonne207:22 AM – Nov 10, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Shafa Rameez’s other Tweets

Shamila Cooray@cooray_shamilaReplying to @AzzamAmeen

🤢
🤮

This news makes me sick. 26:28 PM – Nov 9, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Shamila Cooray’s other Tweets

Where is the justice for the victim?” one asked. Shame on you President Sirisena.”

This is an utter disgrace,” another wrote.ALSO ON RT.COM‘Election gimmicks’: Head of Sri Lanka church blasts ‘selfish’ govt over Easter bombings probe

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

Needed a lion to lead the pride

November 10th, 2019

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

Lo! The main contenders with gusto swing into full stride

With today begins the election week. Unless another Zaharan-style attack befalls us between now and the 16 November, our entire focus would be dominated on the upcoming Presidential Election.

 The key question we as a nation would be trying to solve this week is who would be the correct leader for our country for the next five years. Though over 30 nominates have come forward, only two can be considered as serious contenders: Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa.


Interestingly, the rebellious voter who does not want to support either one of these two main candidates are gravitating more towards General Mahesh Senanayake than Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The JVP politburo had better make note of this phenomenon. 

Voter would rather waste his vote on a candidate who neither has a chance at winning the election, nor a presence in Parliament than one who had been a member of the Parliament since 2004 and has apolitical presence in Parliament. The reason being is that apart from the die-hard JVP block vote, both the rebellious and the floating voter has identified Dissanayake as an UNP stooge.


This voter is clearly rejecting both the main candidates – despite one of them will become the President of our country and the other will have a political representation in the Parliament to weigh policies adopted against his policies. 

Considering this election is also a mandate for the incumbent Government to continue its tenure for the next five years, the rebellious voter is one who is clearly disenchanted by the Yahapalana Government. The fact that he does not want to consider Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the other winning possibility, indicates that he also has issues with the previous administration, which is the Rajapaksa Administration.


Therefore, it is safe to deduce that those who are gravitating towards General Senanayake are those who voted for Yahapalana Government and got their fingers burnt.

 Almost from the beginning of the Yahapalana Government, it has been exposed that most of the issues they levelled against the Rajapaksa Administration had been fabricated for political gain. Still, the rebellious voter would rather take his chances again on yet another unknown candidate as he did in 2015 than someone who has been exonerated from allegations.


The floating voter is the other factor that can tilt the balance between the two main candidates. There is actually very little difference between the rebellious and the floating voter. Both are too lazy to do their homework. 

They would rather latch on to real or imagined misdeeds of all political entities and yap about it, than make an informed decision to use their vote effectively. Within an imperfect system, they are expecting all politicians to be just like Julius Caesars’ wife.


Vaddukkoddai Resolution


However, this Presidential Election is significant perhaps more than any other in the past because the sovereignty of the nation is backed right up against the wall. From one end, the economy is fast crumbling.

 From the other end, we are facing a rise in both Tamil and Islamist extremism. TNA attempts to push their Vaddukkoddai Resolution, albeit with different names must be carefully observed for it is far more subtle than the rise of Islamist extremism for which to date a reason does not exist.


Both candidates had pledged to prioritise national security. However, two extreme elements have voiced support to the two candidates. Hizbullah had pledged his support to Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) and had even called upon his voters to cast their second preference to GR. Premadasa has been promised the support of TNA. The two candidates’ reaction could not have been more different.


GR did not waste any time to disown Hizbullah. He categorically stated that extremists would not be entertained in his camp, even if it cost him the election. Undeterred, Hizbullah like a prospective suitor keeps expressing his support, but to no effect.


The TNA made a huge drama for weeks to show that they had not yet decided on the candidate to support. Perhaps TNA was the only ones fooled by the drama. The Yahapalana Government could not have come to power in 2015 without TNA’s support.

 Throughout these five years, the Yahapalana Government and the TNA had only pretended to be in the opposite side of the fence, when in reality both had been partners for all practical purposes. In fact, the Yahapalana Government could not have made it this far either had it not been for TNA’s support.


Having promised their constituents to win Eelam through the pen, the TNA cannot afford to part ways from the UNP. Therefore, their support to the Yahapalana candidate is a given.

 The show was only for the benefit of those who can still be hoodwinked into thinking that the TNA and the UNP are two separate entities. Yet, once again by extending their support for the incumbent Government to continue along its current path, TNA exposed themselves as being in cahoots with the UNP than not.


TNA’s 13 demands


Just over a week before the much delayed Yahapalana candidate’s manifesto was released, the TNA released 13 demands. These 13 demands are actually a rewording of the 1976 Vaddukkoddai Resolution that calls upon the rejection of the unitary status of the country and introduce a federal system. Furthermore, it is being demanded that Tamils must be recognised as a nation with a distinct sovereignty. Therefore, Tamils must be recognised as a nation with the right to self determination.


It was TNA’s stipulation that their support is only to the candidate who accepts their demands. Gotabaya Rajapaksa outrightly rejected all 13 demands, without even indicating a space to negotiate any of these demands.


Premadasa’s camp on the other hand remained very silent. They appeared to be having trouble with their own manifesto for they could not even release it before the postal vote began. Therefore, those who cast a postal vote on the first and second days did so without knowing the Yahapalana plan for the next five years of our country. It was speculated that the delay must be to plagiarise content from the Pohottuwa manifesto, for in the campaign Premadasa has become noted for copying speech notes from GR.


However, when finally Premadasa’s manifesto was released it was obvious that his manifesto is a rewording of the draft Constitution that was presented earlier this year by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe.

 As political analyst C.A. Chandraprema had noted, not even Maithripala Sirisena toed the TNA line as blatantly as Premadasa has done. He had resorted to the same manipulation of words to create confusion over the unitary status as the draft Constitution did. Though Premadasa referred to an “ekeeyarajya” when he presented his manifesto to the Prelates, his manifesto does not make any reference to a Unitary State.


In his manifesto he has explicitly outlined a second tier where the Provincial Councils will have control over policies passed in Parliament. In effect, the supremacy of the Parliament would no longer count, instead would be subjugated to the will of the Provincial Councils. Furthermore, it will be Constitutional Court and not Supreme Court that will hold constitutional jurisdiction to resolve any dispute between Parliament and Provincial Council.


If, Premadasa’s manifesto is implemented, then we would end up with a very weak central government. 

How such a Government could handle foreign Agreements such as the MCC or even the foreign Trade Agreements such as the one signed with Singapore becomes a matter of great concern. The fact that the MCC was almost signed when everyone’s attention was on election signifies that Premadasa does not share the same concerns that the GR camp does. Hence, he does not believe that the MCC needs a revisit and a renegotiation that GR had pledged to do.


The main question in GR’s manifesto is whether he can achieve all he plans within five years. The fact that he comes with a plan and a capable team, with achievements such as winning a war that dragged on for 30 years in just under three years and revolutionising the urban landscape gives hope that he can achieve all he has set to do. Premadasa’s achievements despite being a Member of Parliament for 20 years cannot hold a candle to GR’s list.


There are undesirables in both candidates’ camps. They will need to be managed firmly. As the idiom goes, a pack of dogs led by a lion will behave like lions, but a pride of lions led by a dog will cower like dogs. At the end of the day, what matters is leadership. 

Our job as the voter is to decide which of the two candidates – Gotabaya Rajapaksa or Sajith Premadasa – would be the lion to lead the country forward.
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Unitary, United Deadlock

November 10th, 2019

By Sugeeswara Senadhira Courtesy Ceylon Today

The Presidential election campaign that was focused on promises on subsidies, salary hikes, free fertiliser, cost of living and similar issues during the last four weeks has suddenly deviated this week to the issue of the proposed system of Government. 

The current focus is whether Sri Lanka would continue as Unitary State or a new Constitution would be adopted to change it to a Federal Government without using the term ‘federal’.


This issue re-surfaced last week when the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) extended its support to New Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Sajith Premadasa. Although the TNA did not stress on the 13-point demands of Tamil university students, the party expressed satisfaction over the promises given by Premadasa in his manifesto.


Candidate Sajith Premadasa’s election manifesto clarifies the need for constitutional reforms: “Our Constitution must reflect the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual and pluralistic nature of our country and must unite us not only in law, but also in our hearts.” (Page 14).


On the system of Government, it says, “Maximum devolution of power within an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka will be implemented.” (Page 18).  


English version of manifesto


Although, the English version of the manifesto did not have the word ‘unitary’, the Sinhala manifesto states that Sri Lanka will continue to be a Ekeeya Rajyak (Unitary State).


The difference between a Unitary and a Federal Government is that a Unitary Government puts its power in one Central Government while in a federal system the governing power is divided into federal and local governing bodies that connect to the National Government.


In a Unitary State, the Central Government commonly delegates authority to sub-national units and channels policy decisions down to them for implementation. The majority of Nation States are unitary systems. 

They vary greatly. In India, the federal seat or the Central Government has decentralised powers to State Governments. Federalism is an institutional mechanism to accommodate two sets of polities, i.e., first is the centre or national level and second is at the provincial or regional level. Both the sets of polities are autonomous in its own sphere.

 Certain subjects, which are the concern of a nation as a whole, for example, defence or currency, are the responsibility of the Union or Central Government.

 On the other hand, regional or local matters are the responsibility of the regional or State Government. In case of a conflict between the Centre and the State on any issue, the judiciary has the powers to resolve the disputes.


In the United States, too, all States have Unitary Governments with Bicameral Legislatures (except Nebraska, which has a Unicameral Legislature). Ultimately, all Local Governments in a Unitary State are subject to a central authority.


Great Britain, for example, decentralises power in practice though not in constitutional principle. Others grant varying degrees of autonomy to subnational units. In France, the classic example of a centralised administrative system, some members of Local Government are appointed by the Central Government, whereas others are elected.


TNA to support Premadasa


Immediately after the release of the election manifesto by Premadasa and the decision by TNA to support Premadasa, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused Premadasa, of deliberately misleading the people. In a statement, the Opposition Leader said that the chapter of the UNP’s manifesto dealing with constitutional reforms will replace Sri Lanka’s ‘Unitary State’ and will lead to the nation becoming “a loose federation of virtually independent provincial units”.


He further asserts that the UNP is deliberately misleading the Sinhala majority by avoiding the English phrase ‘Unitary State’, as he maintains that this has “specific constitutional connotations”. 

Instead, the Sinhala edition uses the phrase Ekeeya Rajya roughly meaning “undivided and indivisible”. In Tamil, the phrase orumiththanadu is used. Rajapaksa claims that the deliberate avoidance of the term ‘Unitary State’ will mean that in Sinhala the label of a Unitary State will remain whereas in Tamil and English this would no longer be the case.


This deliberate avoidance of the term ‘Unitary State’, he asserts, is also shown by the use of the phrase mawbime ekeeyathwaya which means “the unity of the Motherland” but has no constitutional value.


Rajapaksa maintains that the UNP’s proposal contains provisions to expand the powers and functions of the Provincial Councils, to set up a Second Chamber in Parliament made up of Provincial Council representatives in order to curb the powers of Parliament, to allow the provincial units to raise funds independently, to place District and Divisional Secretaries under the Provincial Councils and to create a Constitutional Court which will adjudicate in disputes between the Centre and the provincial units.


Premadasa’s manifesto states, “We will protect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of our Motherland. We will bring Government decision-making closer to the people.

 Maximum devolution of power within an undivided and indivisible Sri Lanka will be implemented. Devolution of power will be meaningful, efficient and waste will be reduced. Devolution of power will ensure that we create true unity among all Sri Lankans”.


However, Premadasa pointedly said at campaign speeches that he was for ‘maximum devolution within a Unitary State’ to resolve the ethnic issue. He said he felt that the current decision-making structure in the country is ‘ad-hoc, disjointed and personality driven’ that has led to the ‘system favouring one segment’ of society over others. 

He reiterated this at an interactive forum on news media held at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Colombo. He said he supports “maximum devolution within a unitary country, which was our policy stance in the 2015 manifesto.But to do so we need to eradicate racism from our society, fight discrimination and prejudice.”


This clearly shows there is an ambiguity in Premadasa’s policy on constitutional reforms. This, the SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa is likely to use to sway the floating vote.


With five days to go for Presidential Polls, one can be certain that the vast majority of the people, perhaps over 80%, have already decided to whom they vote. While the first two candidates would split 80% of this among themselves, the other 33 candidates are likely to get less than a million votes collectively.


In these circumstances, the floating votes are crucial for one of the first two – Sajith Premadasa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa – to edge out the other at the finish tape. Hence, the attempts to woo voters will continue until 16 November, although official campaigning will have to end at midnight
13 November.

Thirteen – the decisive factor?

November 10th, 2019

By Rohana Aryaratna Courtesy Ceylon Today

Why is number 13 considered unlucky?

Some believe number 13 is unlucky and it could bring bad luck. Some people avoid inviting 13 guests for a dinner or a party or any other gathering, as 13 is often associated with the term ‘unlucky.’

Many buildings don’t have a 13th floor, and people do not intend getting married or purchasing a new house on the 13th day of the month.

Most of us believe 13 to be unlucky, due to the reference to the Last Supper that Jesus Christ had with his disciples. There were 13 disciples and one of them – Judas Iscariot – betrayed Jesus to the Romans. Judas was the 13th to sit at the table.

Number 13 is also considered as a karmic number by the Hindus, as they believe 13 has great power, and is linked to upheaval. They believe if this power is used for selfish purposes, it will bring destruction and calamity.

There are several instances where number 13 has brought bad luck and failures, and those incidents have helped to strengthen the bad luck theory.

Now, we Sri Lankans too are confronted with this dreaded number in the form of 13 demands forwarded by six Tamil political parties.

With the approaching Presidential Election, the 13 demands by the Tamil parties seem to have created a sense of uncertainty and confusion among the main contenders, as well as the voters. Especially, the Sinhala-Buddhist and Christian voters, the majority in the Island, seem to be very much concerned about the reactions and responses these contenders will be giving to these 13 demands.

Their apprehension is due to the fact that these demands are linked with the suffering they had to endure for 30 long years, the horrors of death lurking behind them, and the fear of the loss of the motherland, because of the dreaded war perpetrated by the LTTE. 

It must be mentioned that Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Opposition Leader and mentor of one of the main contenders, has completely rejected the 13 demands.

Why are these 13 demands so important? Who is really interested in granting these demands and why? In other words, who is counting on the Tamil vote, to gain victory, and why?

Answers to all these questions seem to be connected with the various opinion polls that, it is said, have predicted a massive victory for the contender whose party has already fully rejected the dreaded 13.

Why is the so-called young and active contender silent about his response? Why is he letting his backers hint about getting the support of the Tamil voters? His backers too have showed their apprehension of the 13 demands in a vicarious manner.

The Tamil votes are vitally important for him, as he seems to be uncertain about getting the Sinhala-Buddhist and Christian votes, which represents the majority in the Island.

As the belief emphasises, the number 13 is synonymous with bad luck, hence these 13 demands too will bring destruction, mayhem and failure, if they are accepted for selfish purposes.

The separatist Eelamist project seems to be back on track with these 13 demands. With these 13 demands, they intend achieving the Eelam which Prabhakaran failed to achieve by waging a cruel war for 30-long years, and the destruction of thousands of valuable human lives and property.

In the name of so-called ‘reconciliation’ or, shall we say with the selfish intention of winning the Presidential Election, if someone accepts the tragic 13 demands, he or she will be branded as another Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Mother Lanka.

In other words, if the 13 are accepted and approved, it will bring back the upheavals and destruction that enveloped the pearl of the Indian Ocean for 30 years.

පවතින වැරදි දේශපාලන සංස්කෘතිය වෙනස් කරන බව ගෝඨාභය කියයි

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

තමා පැමිණියේ පවතින වැරදි දේශපාලන සංස්කෘතිය වෙනස් කිරීමට බව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ ප්‍රකාශ කළා.

ඒ, කලාවැව ප්‍රදේශයේ අද පැවති ජන හමුවකට එක්වෙමින්.

මෙරට පැවති යුදමය වාතාවරණය සහ පාස්කු ප්‍රහාරය ජනතාවට අමතකයි – පූජ්‍ය කිරිබත්ගොඩ ඥානානන්ද හිමියන්

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

තිස් වසරක් පුරා මෙරට පැවති යුදමය වාතාවරණය සහ පාස්කු ඉරිදා එල්ලවූ ත්‍රස්ත ප්‍රහාරය පිළිබඳව අද වනවිට ජනතාවට අමතක වී ඇති බව පූජ්‍ය කිරිබත්ගොඩ ඥානානන්ද හිමියන් පවසනවා.

උන්වහන්සේ මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ කඩුවෙල අද පැවති උත්වයකට එක්වෙමින්

පූජ්‍ය කිරිබත්ගොඩ ඥානානන්ද හිමියන් විසින් රචිත මහාවංශයේ තුන්වන කොටසග්‍රන්ථය එළිදැක්වීමේ උත්සවය අද පැවැත්වුණේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති ධුර අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන්.

දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ අවශ්‍යතාවය ගැන මහින්ද හෙළිකරයි

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂ ආණ්ඩුව රැක ගැනීමට කටයුතු කිරීම හැර උතුරේ ජීවත් වන ජනතාවගේ ගැටලු විසඳීමට කිසිදා උනන්දු නොවූ බව විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා පවසනවා.

අද පෙරවරුවේ මුලිතිව් නගරයේ පැවති ජන හමුවක් අමතමින් විපක්ෂ නායකවරයා මේ බව සදහන් කළා.

ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ ජනාධිපති ධුර අපේක්ෂක ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ජය තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා සංවිධාන කළ ජන හමුවක් අද පෙරවරුවේ මුලිතව් නගරයේදී විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන් පැවැත්වුණා.

14 සහ 15 යන දෙදින සිදුවන දෙයක් ගැන විමල්ගෙන් හෙළිදරව්වක්

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

වයිබර් සහ වට්ස්ඇප් සමාජ මාධ්‍ය ඔස්සේ 14 සහ 15 යන දෙදින විපක්ෂයේ ජනපති අපේක්ෂකයාට එරෙහිව මඩ ප්‍රචාර ගෙන යෑම සඳහා ආණ්ඩුව විශාල මුදලක් යොදවා ඇති බව  පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා චෝදනා කරනවා.

කොළඹ අද පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදී ඔහු පැවසුවේ ආණ්ඩුව ගෙන යන මඩ ප්‍රචාර සම්බන්ධව  තමන් කළ හෙළිදරව් මේ වනවිට කරලියට පැමිණෙමින් තිබෙන බවයි.

ඒ අනුව රාජිත සේනාරත්න අමාත්‍යවරයා පැහැර ගැනීම් සිදුකළ බව කියන සුදුවෑන් රථ රියදුරෙක් සහ පැහැර ගැනීමට ලක්වූ බව කියන පුද්ගලයෙකු  සමග අද කොළඹදී ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවක්  පැවැත්වූවා.

ඊට සහභාගී වූ පුද්ගලයන් දෙදෙනා ඝන රැවුලකින් මුහුණේ ස්වරූපය වෙනස් කර පැමිණ සිටි බව දක්නට ලැබුණා.

මේ අතර, විමල් වීරවංශ මන්ත්‍රිවරයා අද මොරටුව ප්‍රදේශයේ පැවැති රැස්වීමකදී මේ සම්බන්ධව මෙලෙස අදහස් පළ කළා.

අද පැවති ප්‍රවෘත්ති සාකච්ඡාවකදී විමල් වීරවංශ මන්ත්‍රිවරයා ආණ්ඩුව විසින් ඉදිරි දින කිහිපය තුළ ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට එරෙහිව සැලසුම් කර ඇති මඩ ප්‍රචාර සම්බන්ධව මෙවැනි අනාවරණයක් සිදුකළා.

රට, ජාතිය ගැන සිතා ඡන්දය භාවිතා කරන්න – පූජ්‍ය ඇල්ලේ ගුණවංශ

November 10th, 2019

උපුටා ගැන්ම හිරු නිව්ස්

මෙවර ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදී රට, ජාතිය ගැන සිතා ඡන්දය භාවිත කළ යුතු බව පූජ්‍ය ඇල්ලේ ගුණවංශ හිමියන් පවසනවා. <

උන්වහන්සේ මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ කළුතර ප්‍රදේශයේ පැවති යුතුකම සංවිධානයේ සම්මන්ත්‍රණයකට එක්වෙමින්.

President’s Counsel Ali Sabri says that the Election Commission has already accepted all documents which renounce Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s American Citizenship

November 10th, 2019

Courtesy Hiru News

His Lawyer, President’s Counsel Ali Sabri said that the Presidential Candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has renounced his American Citizenship legally and that reports being published further that he is yet an American Citizen are totally untrue.

He said at a special media briefing held in Colombo today that with the participation of a council of lawyers representing Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that all documents in connection with his client renouncing his American Citizenship have already been handed over to the Election Commission.

He said further at the media briefing that all documents have been accepted by the Election Commission.

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට චන්දය දෙන්න එපා. ඔබ 2015 දී කල වැරැද්ද නැවතත් කරන්න එපා.

November 9th, 2019

චාර්ලස් පෙරේරා විසින්

අම්මේ තාත්තේ පුතේ දුවේ  තව සතියක් වැනි  කෙටි කාලයකින් ඔබට අපේ අභිමානවත් මාතෘ භුමියේ, අපේ සම්මා සම්බුදු පියාණන්ගේ  සිරිපතුල් ස්පර්ශයෙන්  පුණ්‍ය භූමියක් වූ  ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අපේ අපේ අම්මාගේ අනාගත පැවැත්ම පිලිබඳ තීරණය ගැනීමට  සිදුවෙනවා, මෙවර ඔබ හොඳ සිහි බුද්ධියෙන්  කටයුතු නොකර ඔබේ  වටිනා චන්දය  ඔබේ අතට ලැබෙන චන්ද්‍ර පත්‍රිකාවේ ගොටාභය  රාජපක්ස මැතිතුමාගේ  චන්ද ලකුන වන පොහොට්ටුවට  ඉදිරියෙන් කතිරය නොගැහුවොත් අපේ ආදර මව් බිමේ අපේ මුතුන් මිත්තන්ගේ,  අපේ ජීවිතයට පනපෙව් මේ පින්වත් භුමියේ අයිතිය අපේ අතින් ගිලිහී විනාශ වීමට  ඉඩ තිබේ.

එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය අවුරුදු  හතරක් තිස්සේ අපේ රට සම්පුර්ණයෙන් විනාෂකරලා 2015 ජනවාරි මාසයේ තිබුන ලංකාව කාලා ඇටසැකිල්ලක් බවට පත්කරපු මුන්ට අනේ දෙය්යනේ ඔබේ චන්දය දීල මුන්ට රටේ ඉතිරිවෙලා තියන ඇටස්කිල්ලත් පොඩිපට්ටම් කරන්න ඉඩදෙන්න එපා.

පව්කාර එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය  හා උන්ගේ අනුගාමිකයින්දේශපාලනයෙන් සම්පුරණයෙන් අතුගාදමන්න ඔබ පෙළගැසිය යුතු දවස  එළඹ තිබේ.  මුන් දේශපාලකයෝ නොවේ රටේ ලේ උරා ගෙන බොන්ට ඉපදී සිටින  යක්කු,   රාක්ස්ශයෝ, දෙය්යනේ මුන්ට එක චන්දයක්වත් දෙන්න එපා. සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට   වඩා අති මහත්,  දුරදශී අත්දැකීම් බහුල  ජීවිතය උරගාබලා තියෙන, ජීවිතය පරදුවට තබා සතුරු ත්‍රස්තවාදී සේනාවන්ට මුහුණට මුහුණ දී සටන් කරලා රට සතුරන්ගෙන් බේරාගෙන ජනතාවට සාමය හා ආරක්ෂාව ලබා දී,  රට හදලා , වැඩකරලා හැකියාවන් පෙන්නාදුන්, නැණවත් , බුද්ධිමත්,  මහත්මාගුනයෙන් යුත් මුදු අනතිමානී බෝසත් චරිතයක් ඇති ගොටාභය රාජපක්ස මහත්මයාට ඔබේ චන්දය දෙන්න. අපේ රටේ අනාගත පැවැත්ම රට ගලවාගන්න පුළුවන් හැකියාව ඇත්තේ ඔහු අතේය.  ඔහුට මිස චෙන කිසිවෙකුට රටගොඩගන්න නොපුළුවන.

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස දිනුවොත් ඔහු ඔය ගිරියපුම්බාගෙන කෑ ගහ ගහා දෙන පොරොන්දු එකක්වත්  ඔහුගේ තනි තීරණයෙන් දෙන්න,  එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ මහා පුටුව අත්පත් කරගෙන් සිටින රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ  ඉඩ නොදෙන්නේය.  රනිල් ව්ක්‍රමසිංහ ඉතා දක්ෂ කපටි කයිරාටික ප්‍රයෝගකාරී අබෞද්ධ සංකර පුද්ගලයෙක්. සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට ඔහුගෙන් ගැලවීමක් නැ.  රනිල් වික්රමසිංහ ඔහු අවට සිටින සියලුම දෙනා රවට්ටාගෙන ඔහුගේ දෑත් ශක්තිමත් කරගෙන සිටින්නේ.  

රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට  අපි නොදන්නා හේතුවක් නිසා  ඇමේරිකාව සතුටු කරන්නයි ඕනෑ. ඒ සඳහා ඔහු මංගල සමරවීරත්  සම්බන්දන්ධ කරගන සිටී.  රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට ඕනෑ  ලංකාවට ෆෙඩරල් ක්‍රමයක් සඳහා ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් ලියා එය සම්මතකරගන්න.  මොනයම් බලවත් හේතුවක් නිසා ඇමෙරිකාවට  අන්ධ භක්තියකින් වැඩකරන රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ  ඇමෙරිකාව සමග මිල්ලෙනියම් MCCC ගිවිසුම  අත්සන් කර ඇමෙරිකාවේ හිත දිනාගෙන ඩොලර්  මිලියන 480ත්  ලබාගැනීමයි ඔහුට උවමනා. ලංකාවට මොන හෙනගේඩියක් වැදුනත්, මොනවිනාශයක් උනත් ඔහුටවත් ඔහුගේ සගයාවන මංගල සමරවීරටත්  ඒ ගැන  කම්පාවීමක්  නොමැත.

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස දැන් කතාකරන්නේ පිස්සෙක් වගේ. ඔහු ඔහුගේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති  ප්‍රකාශය ඉදිරිපත්කර තිබුනත් හැමදාම වගේ රැස්වීම්වලට පැමිණ රැස්වී සිටින ජනතාව දැකලා ප්‍රතිපත්ති ප්‍රකාශනයේ නැති  අලුත් අලුත් පොරුන්දු දෙයි.  දැන් ඔහු වැව් උදාවක් ආරම්භ කරන්න පොරොන්දුවෙනවා.

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස , සරත් ෆොන්සේකා ඔහුට විරුද්ධව කරගෙන ගිය ප්‍රකාශයන්ගෙන් බේරෙන්න ගොල්ෆේස්  පිට්ටනියේදී  ජනරැලියේ මිනිස්සු දැකලා තීරණයක් අරන්  සරත් ෆොන්සේකා ඔහුගේ ආරක්ෂක ඇමති කරනවා කියල ජනතාව ඉදිරියේ ප්‍රකාශ කලා, ඒ සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස ගේ  පිස්සු ක්‍රියාවක්. සරත් ෆොන්සේකා  කොහොමටවත් එවැනි ඇමතිකමකට සුදුසු නැ. ඔහුගේ කතාපිලිවෙල  කට ප්‍රවෙසම්කර නොගෙන නොසෑහෙන නොකිවිය යුතු  වචන ප්‍රකාශ කරන  පිස්සු මිනිහෙක්. සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස කරන ලොකුම වැරැද්ද ඔහු ඉදිර්පිට සරත් ෆොන්සේකා ඔහුගේ කටහැකර කතා නතරන නොකරන එක,

දවසක් සරත් ෆොන්සේකා විශාල ජනරැලියකදී සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස  ඉදිරියේ  ඔහුගේ වනචර කටින් කියනවා රාජ්‍ය ආයතනවල සිටින නිලධාරී  හාල්පාලුවෝ අන්ගුත්තරයෝ  කුම්භාණ්ඩයෝ  එළවලා දන්නා ඕනේ කියල, තවත්  දුරට ඔහු කියනවා ඔහු බලයට අපුවාම එක රාජපක්ෂකයෙක් ජනේලෙක එල්ලුනාවගේ අනිත් රාජපක්සලා හතරදෙනාම අනිත් ජනෙල් වල  එල්ලලා දානවා කියල,  තවදුරටත් ඔහු කියනවා ගොටාභය හෙට මැරුනොත් පනුවෙක්වෙලා ඉපදෙයි එතකොට ලේසියි උදැල්ලක් අරන් කෙළින්ට පුළුවන් එකපාරට දෙකට කැඩීලායන්න.  මේවගේ කතාද ආරක්ෂක ඇමැතිකමට නම්කර ඇති කෙනෙක් කිව යුත්තේ ?

මේ ප්‍රකාශයන්  කලේ  සජිත් ඉදිරිපිටදී  සජිත් මහත්මයෙක්නම් ඒගැන ෆොන්සේකාට තරවටුකරලා ඒ වචනවලට සමාව ගන්න තිබුනා, ඒ නොකළේ  ඔහුට සරත් ෆොන්සේකා පාලනය කරන්න බැරි නිසා  නැත්නම් සරත් ෆොසේකාට තියෙන බය නිසා විය හැකියි. මේ ගැන කිසිවෙක්  මොනම ප්‍රකාශයක් නොකර තිබීම කනගාටු දායකයි,

මෙවැනි වැරදි මිනිහෙක් වැරදි තැනට පත්කිරීම සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස  ජනාධිපති කමට කෙසේවෙතත් කාර්යාලයක  ලොකුලියනමහත්තෙයකුගේ තනතුරකටවත්   සුදුසු නැති පුද්ගලයෙක් හැටියටයි පෙනෙන්නේ. වැරදිලාවත් සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස ජනාධිපතිවුනොත් මොනවා නොකරයි ද ?

සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස දක්ෂ ක්‍රියාශීලී බවක් පෙන්වනවා ඒ තරුනමදයක ස්වභාවයක්. ඔහු තමාව

පුම්බාගන්නවා.  එක ඥාණවන්ත පුද්ගලයෙකුගේ ලක්ෂණයක් නොවේ. ඔහු තුල නිහතමානි ගතිගුණයක් දකින්න නැ . මිනිස්සු රවට්ටන්ට බොරුවට කෑගහලා අතිශයෝක්තියෙන් තමා කරන දේ කීම තමාම වර්නනා කිරීමේ  අශෝභන ක්‍රියාවක්. එයින් දකින්නේ අහන අය රැවැට්ටීමට බොරු පොරුන්දු කියන වග. . ඉතා අලංකාරික කිසිම  හරයක් හෝ දර්ශනයක්ක නැති කතා කියන්නේ . සජිත් ගැඹුරු දර්ශනයක් නොමැති අහිංසක මිනිස්සු රවටනවා මිසක්අවංක දුරදර්ශී වැඩපිලිවේලක් ඔහුට නැ . ඔහු හිස් දේශපාලකයෙක් රනිල්ට ඉහලින් කවදාවත් නොයන ආත්ම විශ්වාශයක් නැති චරිතයක්.

එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය  ධනවාදය මුල්කරගත් ආණ්ඩු ක්‍රමයක්. එකයි ඒ පක්ෂයේ අනන්‍යතාවය  ඒක වෙනස්කරන්න සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට ඇත්තටම අවශ්‍ය උනත්  ඒක කරන්න එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ ජේස්ටයින් ඔහුට ඉඩ දෙන්නේ නැ.  සජිත්ට එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය හැර  වෙන විකල්පයක් නැ. සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසයි එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයයි  දෙකක් නොවේ එකක්, ඒ හින්ද සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස  කදාවත් එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ ජෙෂ්ටයින්ට පිටුපාන්නේ නැ. 

එහෙම වෙන්නේ නැ කියල සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසගේ පොරොන්දු වලට  රැවටිලා සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට චන්දය දීලා  ඔහු ජනාධිපති උනාට පස්සේ  සජිත්  දුන් පොරොන්දු  නොදී එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය,   පක්ෂ සභාපති රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහගේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති ගෙනගියොත්  මහජනතාවට තවත් අවුරුදු පහක් යනකම් දුක් කම්කටොලු විඳීනවාහැර  කරන්න වෙන දෙයක් නැ. රට තවතවත් අගාදියටම වැටී නැත්තටම නැතිවෙ, ශ්‍රී ලංකා අනන්‍යතාවය  නැතිවේ,  ශ්‍රී ලංකාව ඇමෙරිකාවේ  කොලොනියක් වීමට  ඉඩ තියෙනවා. ඒ නිසා සජිත් ගේ පොරොන්දුවලට නොරැවටී ඔහුට දෙන චන්දය අණිවාර්යයෙන්ම එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයට හා වක්‍රව රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට දෙන  චන්දයක් වන බැවින්,  නොවෙම්බර 16වන දා ඔබේ චන්දය සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාසට දෙන්න එපා.

මේ සජිත් ප්‍රේමදාස නොකියන මේ විනාශයෙන් රට ගලවාගෙන ආරක්ෂාව ඇති සෞභාග්‍යමත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවක් නැවත බිහිකරවන්න ඔබේ වටින චන්දය නොවෙම්බර 16වනදා ගොටාභය රාජපක්ස මහතාගේ චන්ද ලකුණ පොහොට්ටුව ඉදිරියේ කතිරය ගසා ඔහු අපේ ජනාධිපති කර ගනිමූ.

එදා 2005 අපේ රට ත්‍රස්ත වාදීන්ගේ ප්‍රවාහයන්ට මුහුණ දෙමින් කර කියාගන්න දෙයක් නැතුව සිටිද්දී අපේ වාසනාවට මහින්ද  රාජපක්ස මැතිතුමා ජනාධිපති විය. එදා මහින්ද රාජපක්ස මැතිතුමා ජනාධිපත් වරයා නොවුයේනම් තාමත් අපේ දරුවන් ත්‍රස්තවාදයට බිලි වෙමින් සිටින්නට ඉඩ  තිබුණි. අදත් අපි  රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහගේ හා එක්සත් ජාතිජ පක්ෂ ආණ්ඩුවකින්  අපේ රටට කර ඇති විනාශය නිසා  අපේරට අද මුහුණ දී සිටින්නේ  2005 ටත් වඩා  භයානක ඉතා මත්  ඛෙදජනක අවස්ථාවකය. එබැවින් එදා මෙන් මෙදා අපි මෙරට බේරාගැනීමට කල යුත්තේ ගොටාභය රාජපක්ස මැති තුමා ජනාධිපතිවරයා කරගැනීමයි. 

අද අපට තියන එකම විසිදුම ගෝටාභය  රාජපක්ස මැතිතුමා අපේ ජනාධිපති කර ගැනීමයි………..

ජනාපති ධුරයට තෝරාපත් කරගත යුතු එකම තැනැත්තා ගොටාභය රාජපක්ස මැතිතුමායි. ඔහු තමාපුම්බවාගන්න කතාකරන්නේ නැ. ඔහුට ඒක කරන්න අවශ්‍ය තාවයක් නැ, අවුරුදු විස්සක් තම ජීවිතය පරදුවට තබා  මරණයේ මුහුණ  දැක දැක ත්‍රස්තවාදීන් ට මුහුණට මුහුණ දී  වදමාරච්චි ප්‍රහාරය ආදී සටන් වලදී  ත්‍රස්තවාදීන් ට විරුද්ධව සටන් කර යුද සටනේ සටන් කීර්ති ලබාගත් වීරෝධාර නායකයෙක්.  ඔහු ජීවිතය නොතකා සටන් කලේ මේ රට වෙනුවෙන් ඔබ අපි හා අපේ දරුවන් සඳහා රටක් ත්‍රස්තවාදයට බිලිවෙන්න ඉඩනොදී  අපිවෙනුවෙන් අපට නිදහසේ හුස්මගන්න පුළුවන් වාතාරණයක් ලබා දුන් නායකයෙක්.  ගොටාභය මැතිතුමා  සජිත් වගේ තමාගැනම කතාකරන්නේ නැ, ඒ ඒක කීමට අවශය නැතියි  හිතන නිහතමානී පුද්ගලයෙක් නිසා, ඒකයි නායකයෙකු ගේ ලක්ෂණය.  

තවත් සමහරු අහන ප්‍රශ්නය  ගොටාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහත්මය යුද මානසිකත්වයෙන් යුතු පුද්ගලයෙක් නිසා දේශපාලනයට ඔහු කෙසේ  සුදෙස්සෙක්විය හැකිද ?  යුද්ධය කරන මිනිස්සු වෙනම මිනිස්සු වර්ගයක්ද ? ඔවුනුත් අපිවගේම මිනිස්සු ඒ අයත් කරන්නේ රස්සාවක්.  ඒ රස්සාව කරන මිනිස්සුත් අනිත් මිනිස්සු වගේ  එක රක අදහස්,  හැගීම් , දර්ශන, වෙනවෙන චරිත ලක්ෂණ තියෙන  සාමාන්‍ය මිනිස්සුමයි. ත්‍රස්තවාදයට විරද්ධව වැඩකරනකොටයි, නගර සන්වර්ධනකරනකොටයි,  ඔහුගේ වරදක් නොදුටු අය ඇයි දැන් ජනාධිපතී අපේක්ෂකයෙක් උනාම වෙනත් අදහස්  ඇතිකරගන්නේ ?

ඔහු අවුරුදු විස්සක් යුදපිටියේ සිට,  අවුරුදු දහයක්  ඇමෙරිකාවේ නීතිවිද්‍යාලයක පරිපාලන සේවයේ සිට ලංකාවට පැමිණ ආරක්ෂක ලෙකම් වශයෙන් තවත් අවුරුදු  දහයක්  සේවය කර විවිධ ශේස්ත්රයන් පිළිබඳව දැනුම් සම්හාරයකින් යුතු  දේශපාලන නායකයන්  සිටි  හොඳ බෞද්ධ පවුලක  ඉපිද හොඳ අධ්‍යාපනයක් ලබා හොඳ බුද්ධිමත්  පුද්ගලයන්ගෙ ආශ්‍රයෙන් දේශපාලනය පිලිබඳ  වාද විවාදවිලින්  දාර්ශනික  දැනුමෙන් හෙබි පුද්ගලයෙක්. ඒ  නිසා ඔහු තුල දේශපාලකයකුගේ  හිස් වචනවලින් මිනිසුන් තුල සිහිනමවන, මිනිසුන්ගේ හිත ගන්න කතා ගොතන, හුඟක් ඝෝෂා නගන හිස් භාජනයක්  වැනි  කෙනක් නොවේ.  රුසියාවේ ජනාධිපති පුටින් මෙන් ගොටාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතාටද සාර්ථක ජනාධිපතිවරයෙකු වියහැකියි.

අද රටට අවශ්‍ය නායකයා ගොටාභය රාජපක්ස. ඔහු ට හොඳ දැක්මක් තියෙනවා .ප්‍රශ්නයක් මනුස්‍යත්වයෙන් , ප්‍රායෝගිව හා දර්ශනාත්මක විහුවයකින් බැලීමේ හැකියාවක් තියෙනවා.එතුමා මෙවර අපේ ජනාධිපති නොකලොත් ඒ අපේ හා රටේ අභාග්‍යයක්. ඒ නිසා.

මේ කියවන ඔබේ චන්දය මෙතුමාට දීම සඳහා  නොවේම්බර 16 වනදා පොහොට්ටුව ඉදිරියෙ කතිරය ගහන්න. එය ඔබේ දරුවන් හා ඔබේ  රටවෙනුවෙන් ඔබ කල යුතු ඔබේ යුතුකමයි.

Politicising and Immoral Devious Double-dealing Citizens and Voters by the Politicians in SriLanka

November 9th, 2019

Kanthar Balanathan, Australia

SriLanka and India had several elections since granting independence by the British. Some Indians feel that they would have been better if the country was still under the British. This is because of the bribery, corruption nepotism practiced by the governments and the Ministers. Recently You all would have read about Chidambaram’s fraud of accumulation of foreign assets which has been hushed up (maybe) by the government(s). The story widens to SriLanka not only in foreign assets abut government attempting to bribe their members of Parliament to pass bills, with no debates. Car imports for MPs, by the UNP government, is a typical example. What the UNP government does not understand or not is that the government is elected to serve the people on a broad spectrum on various programs. The UNP government at various stages failed to stabilize the country on economy, technology, Agrarian services, etc.

One fine view; the Tamils, have failed to realize is that the UNP was the cause for instigating racial riots and confrontation since independence from 4/2/1948. From the time SL got independence, the UNP was responsible for disfranchising the one million estate workers (Tamils). Since then every time there had been a racial riot/confrontation with murders, Tamils shall dig deep as to how, why and who instigated the racial violence. The writer is aware that in the early days, the Kelaniya electorate had a tyrant politician who contested, which is none other than JR Jayawardene. The electorate had a significant number of Tamil settlers in that area. JRJ was racially intimidating the Tamils that if he does not win the Tamils are responsible for the defeat and that the Tamils will receive a punishment. This is racial intimidation by the UNP of the Tamils. However, Tamil politicians seem to support only the UNP all along. Do the Tamil voters know this prodigy and the cunningness of the Tamil politicians?

Recently Sambanthar and MA Sumanthiran were thrown with Shoes in Jaffna. It’s a shame for the TNA. The writer believes that TNA was established by the LTTE under V. Prabakaran’s direction.

TNA can also be read as Terrorists’ National Alliance” because the members in it are from terrorist organizations. Right from the inception of Independence, the Federal Party which is now within TNA has been cheating the Tamils of Federalism, Tamil Eelam, Missing persons, etc. God knows what they will tell the Tamils now. It is an act to keep their political seats by cheating the Tamil voters. The political culture of Indian Tamils will confirm the culture of the upcountry estate worker Tamils. The estate Tamils shall dig deep and understand who is best for the country and the damages UNP did to their people all along. How can there be a big wider economical gap between the workers and politicians like Thondaman etc?

Recently UNP candidate promised a salary of Rs 1,500 to the estate workers. Did he get up from sleep? Where was he all these years? On a different planet? He could not bring up a proposal for an increase of Rs 50, however, he is promising Rs. 1,500 if he is elected. Isn’t this a cultural cheating of the UNP? UNP was prepared to import cars for its MPs at different costs of several million.

Sambanthar is an old fool should retire and get his pension. Mavai Senathirajah has been cheating the people since 1972 and was able to keep his position to date. He managed to bring his son into village/town politics/Pradeshiya Saba. On the whole, TNA should be stripped and the Jaffna University Students should get up from sleep and come into politics.

Millennium Challenge Corporation-USA attempting to divide SriLanka into three pieces

It is known that the MCC has still not been signed by the President, hence cannot be implemented. However, the people in SL should study the map that runs a corridor from the East to the West dividing the country into three pieces, which will have USA law in the middle corridor. How does this affect the sovereignty of SL? No country can have a foreign law within their own state. How will this impact on the movement of the people from the South to the North? Strategically, does this promote Tamil Eelam republic to be established in the North on a horizon of 5/10/30 years? If UNP wins this election people can be sure that SL will become a slave country with the creation of a new state called Tamil Eelam in the short term.

Voters of SriLanka should study the above photos where SPUR Australia plays an active role in the campaign for a patriotic National United SriLanka. The youngsters in the picture are none other than TAMILS in SriLanka. This campaign is supporting Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) to keep the country united, free from evil crawling into the country in the name of MCC or any other Bullshit, to divide and establish another issue of Tamil Eelam.

AS the writer addressed several times, it is only Gotabaya Rajapaksa who can keep the country united free from evil crawling into the country. GR capability and competence in strategic planning and tactical moves, and his previous credential as a Defence Secretary, we can study the volume of work GR implemented and contributed to SL.

The credit also goes to Mahinda Rajapaksa who has a non-partisan belief in politics and social who brought the country to the level of uniting and today Tamil youngsters are on the road campaigning for GR.

People in SL: Please get up from sleep and get rid of the UNP who has been a slave to the West since 1948. Vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa for a United SriLanka and save SriLanka.

Important

Counterfeit votes and vote rigging are a threat to Democracy and sovereignty of a country.

GOTA PHOBIA – Part VIII D (Pad-man’s manifesto is a carbon copy of the proposed Federal Constitution)

November 9th, 2019

By: A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

The former President and the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa finding the danger being posed by the manifesto of the pad-man Sajith Premadasa and his total captivity to the terrorist TNA’s plan to make this country a federal and secular state has issued the following message both in Sinhala and English.

The chapter on constitutional reforms proposed in the manifesto of the UNP presidential candidate contains provisions to replace the unitary state with a formulation that describes Sri Lanka as an ‘undivided and indivisible’ state. This is accompanied by the pledge that governmental power will be devolved to the provinces to the ‘maximum extent possible’.

Identical provisions can be seen in the draft constitution tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister in January this year.

The UNP manifesto also contains provisions to expand the powers and functions of the provincial councils, to set up a second chamber in Parliament made up of provincial council representatives in order to curb the powers of Parliament, to allow the provincial units to raise funds independently, to place district and divisional secretaries under the provincial councils and to create a Constitutional Court which will adjudicate in disputes between the center and the provincial units. Like the draft constitution, the UNP presidential election manifesto also aims to turn Sri Lanka into a loose federation of virtually independent provincial units.

The draft constitution sought to describe Sri Lanka as an ‘ekeeya rajya’ in Sinhala and as

an  ‘orumiththa nadu’ in Tamil while carefully refraining from using the English phrase ‘unitary state’ which has specific constitutional connotations. Thus the label of a unitary state would have remained in Sinhala while in Tamil and English Sri Lanka would no longer be recognized as a unitary state. A similar deviousness is to be seen in the UNP presidential election manifesto. Though great care has been taken to avoid using phrases like ekeeya rajaya or unitary state, it has a reference in Sinhala to ‘maubime ekeeyathwaya’ which translates into English as ‘the unity of the motherland’.

The phrase ‘maubime ekeeyathwaya’ has no constitutional value but it can be used to misleadingly suggest to Sinhala readers that the manifesto seeks to uphold the unitary state.

Former Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran has rejected such devious and dishonest attempts to play around with words to convey different meanings to different persons. Significantly, the UNP manifesto has refused to use even the Sinhala phrase ‘ekeeya rajya’ that had been conceded earlier in the PM’s draft constitution to assuage Sinhala sentiments. There is a clearly apparent hardening of the federalist position in the UNP manifesto.

A federal arrangement will never work in this country because the majority of ethnic Tamils live outside the northern and eastern provinces and the vast majority of the Muslims live outside the east. Any attempt to impose a federal system on a country with such a demographic pattern will be fraught with serious consequences. Even the British colonial rulers never sought to dismantle the unitary state. The Donoughmore and Soulbury Commissions expressly rejected federalism. 

The UNP manifesto with its toxic constitutional provisions was presented with much fanfare to the Venerable Mahanayake and Anunayake Theras in order to deceive both the Maha Sangha and the general public. This is the first time that a mainline political party has included in an election manifesto provisions to dismantle the unitary state and to create a federal state in its place. Therefore this is a matter that needs to be taken very seriously.

Regardless of the contents of the manifesto that has already been released, I earnestly request the Venerable Mahanayake Theras of the Three Nikayas to obtain from the UNP candidate, a written pledge to uphold the unitary state, to oppose federalism and to oppose all the proposals contained in the draft constitution tabled in Parliament by the Prime Minister earlier this year. 

With that now let us now come to some other dangerous pledges or lapses in this Pad-man’s manifesto a major portion of which has been understandably written by the terrorist proxy Sumanthirsan.  Before proceeding we would like to pose the question as to what has happened to the lawyers in the UNP for them to become so captive to Sumanthiran? 

Addressing a media conference held at the Pivithuru Hema Urumaya party office , Attorney at Law Mr. Udaya Gammanpila MP said that the pseudo-Buddhist and Qasi-Sinhalese Pa.Cha.Ramawaka has made a big bang saying that there is no mention of giving prime place to Buddhism in Mr. Gotabhaya’s manifesto.  Although this myopic sycophant could not notice it due to his personal enmity perhaps, it is clearly mentioned in two places such as on page 9 relating to the new constitution and on page 71 relating to the religion.  Mr.Gammanpila has said that he is giving these details as he was involved in drafting chapters related to the constitution and the religion.

Mr. Gammanpila in return has challenged Pa.Cha.Ranawaka to show him where in Sajith’s manifesto it is mentioned about affording priority to Buddhism? He said that as per information he has received that Pa.Cha.Ranawaka has also got involved in formulating Sajith’s manifesto and hence he asked to show wherein it is mentioned about giving prominence to Buddhism?

Speaking further, MP Gammanpila said regardless of what is said in Mr. Gotabhaya’s it is vital to mention about it in Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto because it was the so-called yamapalana government in which Sajith Premadasa was a powerful Minister and the Deputy leader of the treacherous UNP that presented a constitution in the Parliament to deny prominent place to Buddhism and it was Sumanthiran a co-author of Sajith’s manifesto who spoke in the parliament on numerous occasions the need to make this country a secular state.

Mr. Gammanpila pointed out that not only over 70% of Buddhists in this country but Cardinal Dr. Malcolm Ranjith and other religious leaders have opined that prominent place should be given to Buddhism in this country.  Therefore, he said that they consider the lack of mentioning it as a serious lacuna in Sajith’s manifesto.

MP Gammanpila further stated that the ekeeya raajya mentioned in the Sinhala version of the manifesto was not available in the English version and it is mentioned only with the word ‘unity’.  For a full explanation of the difference between ‘ekeeya raajya’ and ‘unity please refer to Mr. Mahinda Rajaka’s statement given at the beginning of this article.

Further explaining the deficiencies and beguiling in the constitution, Mr. Gammanpila said that on page 16 of the constitution, it is mentioned under Power to the people – We would safeguard the unity of our motherland, territorial integrity, the sovereignty, and political independence.  He said that the Sinhala presentation in this portion is erroneous, and it implies that no one with adequate knowledge of the Sinhala language has not been present when writing at least this segment.

As English is their mother tongue of these reactionaries it has been presented in English appropriately.

And which reads as will protect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and political Independence of our motherland.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa commenting on the statement issued by the terrorist TNA on their support to Sajith Premadasa has said that TNA chose the side that can fulfill their separatist demands. Speaking in a rally at Ratnapura, Mr. Rajapaksa said he has held neither parliamentary membership nor a ministerial position, but fulfilled the responsibility put on his shoulders. Referring to Sajith Premadasa’s campaign promises, Mr. Rajapaksa said, it is unbelievably ridiculous to make such promises when he failed to fulfill them while holding a powerful ministerial post in the government.

As per the latest intelligence unit reports it is predicted that out of the 22 districts, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will be the winner in 16 districts and his opponent Mr. Sajith Premadasa will become successful in only 6 districts.  This information has been disclosed by MP Kanchana Wijesekera, Matara district MP in a Twitter message today. (8th November). 

People of Polonnaruwa accorded a rousing welcome to Deputy Minister Mr. Wasantha Senanayake when he attended a Gota Rally that was being held at Polonnaruwa tody.  Eye witness accounts said that Mr. Senanayake, the grandson of Sri Lanka’s first Prime Minister and founder of the UNP Mr. D.S.Senanayake joined the rally with a large number of UNPers who accompanied him to the rally.  In a message issued to media, prior to proceeding to Polonnaruwa, Mr. Samamayake has said that he will have no politics with UNP even if Sajith Premadasa wins and that is a desert mirage. 

He has said that he could not further tolerate the hostility shown to him by the UNP,and he has no intention of continuing politics with the UNP and its existing members. He has disclosed that several powerful UNPers including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Deputy Leader Sajith Premadasa have telephoned me requesting not to quit the party and Minister Ravi Karunanayake and several others came to his residence to urge him not to leave the party.   

Besides, Mr. Senanayake has shown video footage of MPs Rishard Badurdeen, Rauf Hakeem and M. A. Sumanthiran who came to his residence to persuade him to remain with UNP.  These MPs who represented as party leaders urged him to remain in the UNP, and work with them as usual, he said.

  
He has said although he left the party, he would not quit from active politics and he doesn’t think that the UNP’s leadership would change in the next 10 to 15 years and go back to the principles of his great grandfather late Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake.

Is Sajith the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa? Part II

November 8th, 2019

H. L. D. Mahindapala

In watching the video of the launch of the UNP manifesto, one of the factors that surprised me most was the performance of Sajith Premadasa. I had never seen him so stiff in delivering his public speeches. He was speaking more as a ventriloquist than as a fired-up, rabble-rousing politician gesticulating frenetically, or beating his chest on public stages. He stood there at the launch as stiff as a statue made of clay. Only his tongue was moving to make noises.

Somebody must have told him that to look presidential he must not throw his hands around and blast his opponents at the top of his voice. So he was as solemn and stiff as he could be, cutting a very poor image of a want-to-be president. The image he projected was that of defrocked priest delivering a Sunday sermon from his pulpit which is about to come apart. On the public stage he comes across like a street-corner evangelist, (inspired by the born-again cult of Rosy Senanayake, a family friend), who promises to bring paradise down to the  earth before  the  day’s sun goes down.

However, it must be conceded that the flow of his verbal gymnastic was flawless. But it was all puffery. It was all sound and no substance. Sajith is a man in a hurry to make an impression. He is trying to cover his immaturity and inexperience with sounds of empty phrases. He is certainly better than Ranil in performing on the stage. He has also energised the crest-fallen UNPers to be more active. But all his rhetoric so far comes down to offering freebies, ranging from gewgaws, lollipops and tampons. His offering of tampons to villagers is the equivalent of Ranil offering computers to farmers in previous election campaigns. I was wondering whether Sajith got this idea of distributing free sanitary pads from Prince Charles who once wrote endearingly to his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, saying that his ambition in life was to be her tampon!

All his sound and fury can be reduced to one simple argument: he is going to be the new broom that will sweep all evils away in one swipe and bathe Sri Lanka in milk and honey. There is nothing new in this. He is repeating what Ranil and Sirisena promised in 2015 – a vena-suck (difference). And he was an integral part of the Yahapalanaya (good governance) which promised the difference. But what did he do when he was a vena-sucker? Did he lift afinger, or raise a whisper to stop the daylight robbery of his leader, Ranil?0r when Ravi Karunayake found guilty by the courts, was reappointed as a Cabinet minister, sitting next to him? Or when his leader failed  to honour  his  promise of bringing  back from Singapore the crook who steered the robbery on the floor of the Central Bank? Etc? Etc? If he did nothing then how can we trust him to do something now?

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