Chandrika sidelined after Jaffna blunder
Posted on January 3rd, 2015

University of Politics

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has been asked to keep away from the New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena’s campaign after her controversial statement, pampering the late LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, severely affected the joint Opposition’s campaign.

Chandrika called the megalomaniac Tiger leader as Mr. Prabhakaran and apoligised to the Tamils in the North for what had happed during her tenure. While calling Prabhakaran a gentleman, Chandrika promised to withdraw more than 50 percent of the Security Forces now in the peninsula if they elect Maithripala as the President.

She also promised to “restore the land of Tamils,” with the hope of winning the Tamil vote in the North and the East. Perhaps, she would have been successful in that to a greater extent, going by the huge applause and cheering she got from the LTTE sympathisers at the venue, but at a price!

While tempting the 700,000 odd voters in the North and the East, Chandrika’s costly speech has made Maithripala lose more than double that amount of votes from other parts of the country.

Greatly perturbed by Chandrika’s costly move, Maithripala and some of the leaders in the so-called common Opposition have politely told Chandrika to keep away from the campaign speakers’ list. Without hurting his mentor, Maithripala has pleaded Chandrika to advise him on strategic matters than taking the trouble to address his political rallies.

Maithri warns his inner circle

Maithripala and his inner circle men had a closed door meeting last week to evaluate their progress. An unhappy Maithripala has reprimanded most of them, saying that they should not live under a delusion by thinking only of the Colombo vote. He had pointed out that he could eventually turn out to be another Sarath Fonseka by January 9 if they live in a political fantasy without campaigning.

The Opposition alliance was greatly perturbed by Chandrika’s controversial speech in Jaffna, pampering the late LTTE leader Prabhakaran. Most senior leaders in the Opposition pointed out that it would be far better if they keep Chandrika out of Maithripala’s campaign rallies.

When the idea was politely conveyed to Chandrika while appreciating her contribution to unite the Opposition under one banner, the former President lost her cool. She threatened to quit the alliance, exposing all their secret pacts.

Knowing that Chandrika could sell make a U turn and destroy the unity of the Opposition, its senior leaders decided to lie low while strategically keeping Chandrika away from their last few major campaign rallies.

“Good that it happened at last stages. If she had started addressing Maithri’s campaign rallies from start, she would have done a greater damage,” a former UPFA stalwart who had now crossed over to the Opposition said.

Many complemented him for the bold statement, saying that he knows her the most, having closely worked with Chandrika when she was in the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party.

Sasutharan, Sivaji used for damage control

In order to make some damage control after Chandrika’s blunder in Jaffna, the confidants of Maithripala made a desperate attempt to show the people in South that the TNA is not with Maithripala. Hence, they used TNA’s Northern Provincial Council (NPC) members Ananthi Sasitharan and M.K.Sivajilingam to make contrasting views.

Sasitharan said she would not support either of the two main candidates in a desperate bid to mislead the Sinhalese voters in South. The former LTTE political wing leader Ellilan’s widow had made public statement in this regard.

Meanwhile, Sivajilingam taking a different stance from that of the party said that he would ask people to vote for a candidate of their choice at the forthcoming presidential election. Sivajilingam said the TNA should not have openly backed any particular candidate.

“There are several other NPC members who are not ready to accept the TNA stance to support a particular candidate. Actually, we should not have announced anything of that sort. People should be left to make their decision,” he was quoted as saying.

In another surprise move, TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said he instructed his deputy Mavai Senathirajah to take action against the two members who have criticised the decision in public. “I asked Senathirajah to take appropriate action. He is in Jaffna. I think he has already spoken to Sasitharan and Sivajilingam on this matter. We have 30 members and only two or three have taken such a position. We should not allow that to happen,” he said.

Political observers said the TNA leadership could be aware of Maithripala camp’s deal with Sivajilingam and Sasitharan to mislead the Sinhalese voters outside the Northern peninsula.

Polls chief warns of phone campaigns

Elections Commissioner Mahinda Deshapriya requested all the candidates contesting the January 8 Presidential election to refrain from campaigning through telephone networks without the consent of the subscribers.

He said such propaganda activities during the 48 hour period before the polls would be treated as contravention of election laws.

Deshapriya said complaints had been received about organized activities of sending short messages to telephone subscribers for promoting political parties and candidates.

Nandi’s son remains with President

Central Provincial Council member Chinthana Ekanayake, son of former Deputy Minister Nandimithra Ekanayake who crossed over the Opposition to support Maithripala, gave a firm assurance that he would reject his father’s action and would continue to support President Rajapaksa.

“I won’t leave the SLFP. I love my father but I don’t approve of his decision to support the Oppositon,” he said.

Minister Ekanayake quit the Government last week and pledged his support to Maithripala. But Nandimithra’s son was brought to the President at a campaign rally in Kandy by his uncle – Chief Minister of Central Province Sarath Ekanayake.

“Although his father had left us, his son would remain with us and continue to support you sir,” the Chief Minister told the President introducing his nephew.

‘NDF candidate cannot mislead public’

The opportunistic campaign of the joint Opposition and the New Democratic Front candidate Sirisena cannot mislead the knowledgeable people of this country. President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed these views when he addressed an election propaganda meeting in Angunakolapelessa.

The President said the proposals forwarded by the common candidate are unworkable. As such the people will not be misled. He said the UPFA will provide a prosperous era for the nation.

The President added that the ‘change’ propagated by certain people is counterproductive and destructive in a country where peace and harmony prevails. He said the youth generation is the tower of strength in a nation and they should not be misled.

“Unruly elements are trying to mislead the youth generation and create chaos in the country,” he said. The President said: “We now live in a country where peace and harmony exists sans fear psychosis. The entire nation including the youth generation are safe. LTTE terrorism paralyzed the progress and the development process of the country to a great extent.”

“Myself together with the Defence Ministry, the Police and the Armed Forces, and other State sectors brought LTTE terrorism to an end. Today the Sinhalese, Muslim, Burgher and Tamil communities live in peace and harmony. That was the expectation of the people and I am glad today that I fulfilled that expectation and aspiration of the people,” the President added.

The President further said there is no possibility for the common candidate to abolish the executive Presidency within 100 days. “This cannot even be imagined. The UNP commuter coach driven by Ranil Wickremesinghe is on its way to the end. Therefore, who will board that commuter coach on its way to destruction?” President Rajapaksa queried.

Gunaratnam vows to remain in politics

Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) politburo member Kumar Gunaratnam has vowed to continue in local politics and said replacing President Rajapaksa and his UPFA Government with Maithripala Sirisena regime would only provide temporary relief to the burning issues in this country.

“It will be like an interval in hell. People are fed up with one rule and are so eager for a change. The so called change would not provide lasting solutions to the plight of the people. It would only provide temporary relief,” he told a news conference in Colombo last week. Gunaratnam, who was deported from Sri Lanka in 2012, returned to the country last week. He said there was a political force which delayed his return.

BBS accuse TNA of separatist agenda

The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation charged that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) was supporting the common opposition because they want to accomplish their aim of spreading Tamil extremism again in the country.

They said that Western Embassies had made some promises to the TNA and with that help the TNA could help spread Tamil extremism again under the common candidate’s government.

The General Secretary of the BBS, Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera said that by influencing Sri Lanka these foreign countries are trying to obliterate India like Libya and Syria since India was now considered a world super-power. He said that these western nations would try to use this election to attack India and added that Sri Lanka was their chance to experiment in order to test their conspiracies.

He added that the TNA and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) had surely signed agreements with the common candidate and now Sirisena should reveal what was in those agreements to the public.

“Now they are on the same side and they would accomplish their aims somehow “he said.

Tissa replies to letter of demand

Health Minister Tissa Attanayake in his response to the letter of demand sent by NDF candidate Maitripala Sirisena, rejected the allegation that the alleged agreement between Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sirisena had been fabricated.

The response sent through his lawyer Chandrakumara De Silva to Sirisena’s lawyer Sandun S. K. Gamage said: “Few days prior to December 22, 2014, my client received a document which he found to be the agreement signed between your client and Wickremesinghe dated November 1, 2014.

On a reading of the said document my client realized that his fears as regards concessions jeopardising the national security and the unitary state had been included in the said agreement so as to appease those who are espousing federalism and/or separatism.

My client was also surprised that this document has not been revealed to the public. He as a patriotic politician and as an ordinary citizen of the country was convinced that it was his duty to reveal the contents of the said document to the public, as it was a matter of national security and threat to a Unitary State.

“As a former General Secretary of the United National Party for eight years and a Member of Parliament since 1989 my client is familiar with the signatures of Mr. Wickremesinghe as well as of your client in as much as your client was the former General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and a former Cabinet Minister.

‘Opposition plans to scrap free education’

Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana claimed that the proposed policies of the Common Opposition Candidate were a step towards the end of the free education system in the country.

He said that Sirisena’s manifesto has proposed a soft bank loan scheme for A/L qualified students who fail university entrance by a whisker.

He blamed the media, the Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA), the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) and other students, parents and the public for not raising the alarm. The minister told a news briefing that free education would come to an end by creating a soft bank loan scheme for students to pursue education at private institutions. He criticized the proposal to integrate Private Schools in the free education system.

“This is the end of free education which existed for nearly eight decades in Sri Lanka. The future of the 4.5 million student population, 170,000 teachers and nearly 10,000 public schools is at risk. But sadly no one raises a whimper about this catastrophe and I do not understand why even the media is silence on this. I hope the media will educate the public on this dangerous move before January 8,” the minister said.

The minister said the proposal was a part of the new education programme of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran in line with Eelam ideology which envisages to put an end to the national school system and not to teach the mother tongue but all other languages from grade one onwards. He said they also want a separate unit for education exclusively in the North including universities not responsible to the central government.

EC burns finger

At a time Sri Lanka has an exemplary record of free and fair elections during the past decade under President Rajapaksa, the European Union last week made an unwarranted move by attempting to pontificate Sri Lanka on the conduct of the forthcoming Presidential election.

The Government expressed its displeasure over the statement made by the EU Heads of Mission in Colombo on how the presidential election should be held.

In a statement, the External Affairs Ministry said that domestic elections were not for foreign government representatives to be prescriptive about, that too, a few days ahead of the polls.

“It is therefore surprising that the EU Heads of Mission in Colombo should have resorted to a press statement on an issue of a strictly domestic nature. Such an initiative could bring into question the bona-fides and objectivity of their intervention,” it said.

The ministry said the Elections Commissioner, who is an independent authority, has been mandated by the statutory powers vested in him, with the task of conducting free and fair elections.

“Sri Lanka has a vibrant tradition of democratic practice since 1931 and has been conducting elections at regular intervals, in a peaceful and orderly manner, while the electorate has continued to cast their vote freely, in large numbers,” it said.

Salman Khan to visit Sri Lanka again

The recent visit of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan was used by the Opposition to mislead the public that he had come to Sri Lanka to boost President Rajapaksa’s election campaign.

Salman had actually come to Sri Lanka on a joint charity project with his ‘Being Human’ foundation and the Tharunyata Hetak movement headed by parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa.

The photographs of Namal and the President meeting did their rounds in social media, distorting the facts.

But prior to his departure, Salman made it clear that he had come for a joint charity. On his return ro India, he has said that he expects to visit Sri Lanka again. In his twitter, he said, “…during d READY schedule in srilanka v hddn an eye camp there. …While shooting KICK jacqueline told me if v do another eye camp in srilankai should visit her restaurant also….v did a camp this week and i kept my promise and went to Jacqueline’s restaurant.” “…its worth a visit .i’m surely going back for more,” he tweeted.

The Bollywood superstar’s public endorsement of President Rjapaksa during his visit to Sri Lanka infuriated opposition parties in Sri Lanka as well as Tamil Nadu.

Vatican finalises Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka

The Vatican on Friday said it was finalizing details for a trip mid-month by Pope Francis to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

A media briefing next week will set out more information about the apostolic trip by the pope to Sri Lanka from January 12 to 15 and then the Philippines from January 15 to 19.

Visiting these Asian nations signals a new interest and attention by the Church towards a “predominant portion of today’s and tomorrow’s humanity, both from a demographic point of view,” and because of its incredible diversity, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi was quoted as saying by Vatican Radio.

3 Responses to “Chandrika sidelined after Jaffna blunder”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Bandit Queen CBK runs true to form as the SORRIEST POLITICAL LEADER Sri Lanka has produced!

    She FAILED to SUCCESSFULLY CONFRONT the LTTE with the WILL & DETERMINATION REQUIRED TO WI(N, and now Comounds that FAILURE with promises to UNDERMINE the Security of our MOTHERLAND to attract MOORE TAMIL VOTES!

    What a TRULY DESPICABLE and TREACHEROUS woman she is!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    To the ALWAYS FAITHFUL Patriots,

    A Heartfelt Tribute in Gratitude!

    Semper Fidelis, Patriots of Lanka

    By Ananda-USA

    Our Motherland, resplendent Sri Lanka,
    Hallowed be thy name!
    Thy children flock today to vote,
    To preserve thy immortal flame!

    The Lion Flag flutters proudly aloft,
    To remind us this freedom’s day!
    Our duty to keep thee, safe and strong,
    As our forefathers did yesterday!

    A Mahinda Rajapaksa by deed and word,
    Strode forth boldly to eternal fame!
    To lead his people to a safer world,
    When all others retreated in shame!

  3. Nimal Says:

    If this is true, truly disgusting. They will say anything to get in to power.

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