The First 30 days of Yahapalanaya (Good Governance)
Posted on February 9th, 2015

Janaki Chandraratna, Perth Western Australia

My recent visit to Sri Lanka on 13 January 2015, 5 days after the Presidential election, has left me appalled to the core. It was the annihilation of the vanquished that left me flabbergasted.  I had to pinch myself to ensure I am in the right country as the post election conduct of the victors were certainly not that of a nation that boasts of over 2500 years of civility based on compassionate Buddhist principles.

The disparaging of the defeated pursued throughout the election campaign continued with much vigor, after the elections. Many unsubstantiated claims and counter claims were made by senior Ministers to shock the nation. Some of the claims that grabbed headlines in the first week after the election included the discovery of fake ballot papers; Rajapaksas leaving the country to a Island in Seychelles acquired by Rajapaksas from ill gotten money; Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Defense Secretary, had used an Air Force Plane to flee to Maldives as he was denied entry to Singapore. On investigation it was evident that there were no fake ballot papers and Rajapaksas except Basil were safe and well with their relatives in Sri Lanka.  I understand that Mr. Basil Rajapaksa had returned to his host country, America. The particular comment on Seychelles was categorically denied by an angry Seychelles Finance Minister who considered it as an attack on the integrity of his country.

The print media was later ablaze with a claim by the new Foreign Minister of an attempted coup by the defeated President at Temple Trees in the wee hours of 9 February 2015. This claim supposedly is under investigation although all present denied the allegation. The coup claim, I understand was splashed across the world news media.  Another shocking allegation was a bank account with billions of Govt. money was found deposited to the credit of Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Defense Secretary.  On investigation it was evident that the account was set up in the name of the Ministry of Defense after a due process of Cabinet approval in order to expedite the payments for Army Head quarters construction! There were many more unsubstantiated claims, which were later commented on some commentators as a well designed despicable ‘Witch Hunt’ to defame and destroy the vanquished from future elections. To me, the new Government activities at the time were more like that of vultures descending on and tormenting a half dead prey.

Then there was the surreptitious appointment of the Prime Minister and the takeover of the Cabinet by a minority party, the UNP. Ranil defended his appointment as it was mentioned in Mr. Sirisena’s Manifesto.  The questions regarding the legality of replacing the constitution with a manifesto are yet to be answered. The take over of the Cabinet was akin to a Tsunami where not only the Cabinet Ministers but also the Secretaries and Department Heads were replaced with loyal supporters without any regard to Mr. Sirisena’s manifesto Yahapalana promises where Govt. appointments were to be made on seniority and merit. Nepotism, a charge against the previous regime, was also seen to be alive and well with Mr. Sirisena appointing his brother to the Dept. of Telecommunications.  What were of most concern were the intimidation, harassment and dismissal of the Chief Justice with least regard to the constitutional provisions and procedures. The re-instatement of an impeached former Chief Justice for a period of one day, and the subsequent appointment of the new chief justice without the due constitutional process caused great deal of anxiety and distrust with the new Government, which appeared to have deceived the people with promises of ‘Yahapalanaya’. The attack on the judiciary, according to Ranil, was to appease Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL). This explanation, raised the question as to who was in control of the country? Was it the BASL, Trade Unions and West sponsored American NGOs. The interference in the judiciary generated a fear psychosis within the country, in particular, with the journalists. The eerie silence of western media and the so-called international community including UNHRC clearly demonstrated their successful involvement in the regime change in Sri Lanka.  The dictatorial activities undertaken in the last 30 days by the new government are too numerous to be elaborated in this short article. In short the government has left the electorate high and dry without any apparent recourse to justice with its ultra despotic activities, under the guise of Yahapalanaya.

The interim budget was also another burden to the electorate. Although it provided much needed relief to the community with price reductions and increased salaries its sustainability beyond 100 days is a question for most economists. One off taxes to fund the salary increases indeed is not a great long-term solution for the country. The funding of the budget was expected to be from the savings of the alleged extravagancies and misappropriations of the previous government.  So far the government does not appear to have had a windfall from these sources and has sought the assistance of the World Bank and India to trace the treasures hidden overseas by the previous regime. In desperation the Govt., has inflicted an unprecedented humiliation on the Ex-President by organizing a search of his premises for stolen goods under a search warrant! This despicable action, which had never taken place in Sri Lankan history, has not provided any joy to an anxious Govt.

Rule of law, relief to battlers, good governance, deliverance of the Government from alleged corruption and containment/ditching of Presidential powers, electoral reforms are desired and valued by most if not by all Sri Lankans. Many people claim to have voted for a regime change for these reasons. In practice however the first 30 days of Yahapalanaya do not appear to have delivered on any of these expectations. So far the Government has engaged in grabbing headlines for unsubstantiated here say and innuendos and is tinkering at the edges with the security of the nation in alliance with India and the West. The electorate waits in hope that the manifesto promises would be honored within the next 70 days of the 100-day parliament.

11 Responses to “The First 30 days of Yahapalanaya (Good Governance)”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Janaki

    Sirisena is a liar, he has been deceiving people of the country in every word he utters.

    He is not only a bloody liar, he is such a coward now he allows Indian trawlers into SL waters.

    He is selling his motherland to be in the power. What a leadership we have inherited?

    No wonder Chandrika claims ownership of Sirisena.

    Indian trawlers back in SL waters ( The Daily mirror)

    More Indian trawlers have been allegedly fishing near the northern coastline of Sri Lanka over the past two weeks, Jaffna-based fisher leaders say, the Hindu newspaper reported.

    The fishermen from both sides got into a tussle at sea recently, after the nets of those from the northern region of the island nation were damaged. “There was a major problem in Vadamarachchi a couple of days ago when our nets had been damaged by the Indian trawlers,” said Josephpillai Sinthathurai, a fisherman based in Madagal in northern Jaffna.

    “Earlier, the Sri Lankan Navy took action promptly, but now they seem reluctant to arrest Indian fishermen who are poaching,” he said. When contacted, Navy spokesperson Kosala Warnakulasooriya said: “We received no such complaint from the fishermen.”

    In the past few days, northern fishermen suffered damages ranging from Sri Lankan rupees 75,000 to 1 lakh, Mr. Sinthathurai said. “Most of us have already borrowed heavily to make ends meet. With the unceasing problem of Indian trawlers poaching in our waters, our livelihoods have been badly hit,” he said.

    The fisherfolk are helpless as the Navy is silent, says Nataraja Rathnaraja, a fisher cooperative leader in Mayilitythurai in the Jaffna peninsula.

    Fishermen attributed the Navy’s “inaction” to the high-level bilateral visits coming up in the two countries. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is scheduled to visit India from February 15 to 17, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Sri Lanka in mid-March.

    The Sri Lankan side is also working on releasing the 87 Indian trawlers in its custody. The trawlers are expected to be released in the coming week, ahead of the President’s visit.Officials in decision-making circles in Colombo told The Hindu, on condition of anonymity, that they would be lenient on Indian fishermen found poaching, considering the upcoming high-level visits aimed at improving relations between India and Sri Lanka.

    No official complaint about Indian trawlers fishing in Sri Lankan waters has so far been made to the Indian High Commission in Colombo.

    “It is total destruction. The last few weeks have been a disaster for our fishermen,” said K. Rajachandran, secretary, Jaffna District Fisheries Federation.

    “Unlike before, Indian trawlers now come and fish in our waters without any issue. Our fishermen are dejected,” he said.

    While Indo-Lanka relations are rapidly improving with high level state visits, the Palk Bay fishing conflict is taking a nasty turn, according to Jaffna-based researcher Ahilan Kadirgamar. “The optimism that came with the change of Government here and now better relations between the two countries can only be sustained among the fishing communities if talks towards a solution are announced soon,” he said.

    The Palk Bay conflict has proved a major strain on Indo-Lanka relations over the last few years. Nearly 700 Indian fishermen were arrested in 2014 on charges of poaching.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    NMY !!!

    INDIA HAS PUT A FEAR CLOSE ON SRI LANKA. Everybody is scared to do their job. Navy turns a blind. That is very dangerous. Cant blame them. They have to put Food on the table for their families. So what is Sampandung doing ? What is Sumithitran doing ? What is the Bearded Supreme Court Judge doing ? Tamil Fishermen have to pay a price for the lapses of the TNA. The Jaffna “”Little Indian Embassy ” should be closed down. That is an information relay point to India. INDIA IS TAKING SRI LANKAN FISHERMEN TO A BREAKING POINT.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dear LankaWeb readers,

    I have translated from Sinhala into English President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rebuttal of the FALSE allegations leveled against him by various officials of the new GOSL.

    This letter, which strictly confines itself to FACTS ONLY, CLEARLY SHOWS the DEVIOUS & UGLY nature of the PAID MUD SLINGERS who are trying to tarnish the image of this DECENT, HONORABLE and COURAGEOUS man that we Sri Lankans were fortunate enough to have as our President for 10 years, during one of the most difficult, yet victorious and productive times in the history of our Motherland!

    Jayawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa Janadhipathithumani ! </b
    Obathumata Thunuruwan Saranai !
    Hatarawaran Devi Pihitai !

    NB:
    1 kotiya = 10 million
    Please feel free to bring any necessary corrections to my attention. Thanks!

    ……………….
    Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Carlton, Tangalle

    Phone: 047 2240344
    Fax: 047 2241113
    Web: www dot MahindaRajapaksa dot lk
    E-Mail: MahindaRajapaksaPresident AT gmail dot com

    ————————————————————————————————
    February 09, 2015

    PRESS RELEASE

    Members of the current government are continuing to make faslse and misleading allegations regarding me.
    I believe it is necessary to respond to these charges to prevent the public from being misled.

    In a recent Rupavahini program, it was reported that a sum of Rs. 100 bilion allocated for 2015 to the Presidential Secretariat by my government was reduced by the new government to Rs 27.2 billion, and that the balance was released to provide assistance to the public. I would like to categorically state that at no time did I allocate a sum of Rs. 100 billion to the Presidential Secretariat. The full funds allocated to the Presidential Secretariat for 2015 was Rs. 95.9 biliion. There were 25 government departments, including the National Salaries Commission and National Maritime Committee, operating under the direction of the Presidential Secretariat. The expenses of the previous Presidents and their families also fall under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat. The Executive and Administrative departments of the Presidential Secretariat provided all the services, and the most of the funds, necessary to maintain these departments. Therefore, all of the funds allocated to the Presidential Secretariat do not go towards mainitaining itself.

    The total funds budgeted for maintaining the President’s Office in 2015 was Rs. 37.5 billion. This amount is only a part of the expenses of the Presidential Secretariat. Of this President’s Office budget, Rs. 10 billion was allocated to the assistance provided by the President’s Office to Small Enterprises and Projects throughout the island. When this amount is deducted from the total, the budget of the President’s Office is reduced to Rs. 27.5 billion. Therefore, the amount mentioned as being allocated as the budget of the new President’s Office is this amount.

    Another story related by some is that USD 16 million in public funds was spent to order a special plane for my use, and that the new government has refused to take delivery of it, and has made arrangements for new owners to assume responsibility. I hereby state that no special aircraft was ever ordered for my use. While Sri Lankan Airlines was arranging to buy new aircraft for its own use from the Airbus Corporation, they had arranged to obtain a kit to remove some regular seats and convert that space into a special compartment to accommodate VIPs as needed, and had instructed their accountant to cost it as an option. The USD 15 million that was mentioned was the manufacturer’s estimated cost of this facility. It was an option that was to be provided free-of-cost.

    There is also an allegation that I have built official Presidential residences at various locations throughout the country for my reacreational use. The President’s residences at the Temple Trees, in Colombo Fort, as well as the existing residences in Nuwara Eliya and Mahanuwara, have existed from Colonial times, and were used by the government leaders of this country. The Presidential residences in Anuradhapura, Embilipitiya and Mahiyangana were built by President R. Premadasa. I must point out that none of these President’s residences were built during the tenure of my government. It was reported recently that the Temple Trees and Colombo Fort President’s residences would be opened for public viewing. We must recall that while I was living at Temple Trees, thousands of school children and elders came to tour this Presidential residence. While I enjoyed the opportunity this afforded to talk with them, I also used the opportunity to learn from them the development needs in various parts of the country. Furthermore, thousands of citizens participated in my Poya day activties at the Temple Trees President’s residence.

    A report was published that some vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secrretariat have still not been returned. It was reported that 22 Defender Jeeps were “found” in Borella, and that 53 vehicles were found to have been abandoned in a land in Colombo, Pettah. The places where these vehicles were found are the official storage parking lots belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. These vehicles were found where they were supposed to be. Many of the vehicles found in Pettah were high security vehicles from the 1980’s decade, that could not be auctioned off according to routine operating procedures. I myself have handed over per regulations all of the vehicles used by my Office. The assignments of remaining vehicles allocated to various officials and departments of the Presidential Secretariat can be found in the vehicle records of the Presidetial Secretariat.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Former President of Sri Lanka.

  4. Christie Says:

    Namaste: I am glad to see some of us are seeing what I have seen from living in the West for more than four decades. Janaki; in Australia the Third Eye is very active and has been so for a long long time and for more than four decades. I know this for a fact as I came across a Third Eye agent working for the Fairfax media. It is India who financed SWRD Bandaranayake. Janaki should have gone for a walk in Fort or Pettach to see Indian colonial parasites in the country after living in Australia to look for Sinhalese in Colombo. Jai Hind.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    LAST govt. screamed CONSPIRACY.
    NEW govt. screams COUP.

    CONSPIRACY = COUP

    My3 used to call REGIME CHANGE = MAITHRIPALANAYA
    MR calls REGIME CHANGE = MAHINDAGAMANAYA

    MR visited Tissa in prison a month after the presidential election in 2015.
    RW visited SF in prison a month after the presidential election in 2010.

  6. OaO Asithri Says:

    Janaki, Kudos! I take my hat off to you for this MUST HAVE expose. “Yahapalanaya” = UTTER DAMN DISGRACE!!!

    This was all about a REGIME CHANGE and nothing else – nothing good was ever intended in it for the SRI LANKAN.

    Keep watching…you will see the whole thing coming apart at seams soon. The Regime Change architects who pulled this off did not have a “what next” strategy and now it is coming to a head and soon the cards-train will be collapsing and then well see the real effects and consequent results of this “Yahapalanaya” !!! What a damn charade this was! What a disgusting piece of corrupt-politiking that won the day – placing our Motherland’s national security in the hand of proven TRAITORS! Phew!!!

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    The Jaffna “”Little Indian Embassy ”
    Susantha Wijesinghe – now you know who won the Eelam war IV.
    Now you know why We-Demilayas kicked out IPKF even though they offered NEP in gold plate .

    Give us What we want We will kick them out again but after that what we will do it to you that is different matter still your Mulli Vaikkal butchery is in our memory for another 100 years more.

  8. NAK Says:

    Stupid Tamils in the north voted against the very person who protected them from the invading Indians and are now crying. Damn good for them, I say.
    This regime change is not for the betterment of the Sinhalese,Tamils or the Muslims of this country, no, it was mainly for the benefit of the Indians and the west to realise their own agendas.
    We must reverse this situation as soon a possible but our portly Nimal Siripala has got the scent of Prime Ministers post and seems to be ready to throw every one else in the garbage to have go at it.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    CORRECTED VERSION:

    Dear LankaWeb readers,

    I have translated from Sinhala into English President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rebuttal of the FALSE allegations leveled against him by various officials of the new GOSL.

    This letter, which strictly confines itself to FACTS ONLY, CLEARLY SHOWS the DEVIOUS & UGLY nature of the PAID MUD SLINGERS who are trying to tarnish the image of this DECENT, HONORABLE and COURAGEOUS man that we Sri Lankans were fortunate enough to have as our President for 10 years, during one of the most difficult, yet victorious and productive times in the history of our Motherland!

    Jayawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa Janadhipathithumani !

    Obathumata Thunuruwan Saranai !

    Hatarawaran Devi Pihitai !

    NB:
    1 kotiya = 10 million
    Please feel free to bring any necessary corrections to my attention. Thanks!

    ……………….
    Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Carlton, Tangalle

    Phone: 047 2240344
    Fax: 047 2241113
    Web: www DOT MahindaRajapaksa DOT lk
    E-Mail: MahindaRajapaksaPresident AT gmail DOT com

    ————————————————————————————————
    February 09, 2015

    PRESS RELEASE

    Members of the current government are continuing to make false and misleading allegations regarding me.
    I believe it is necessary to respond to these charges to prevent the public from being misled.

    In a recent Rupavahini program, it was reported that a sum of Rs. 100 bilion allocated for 2015 to the Presidential Secretariat by my government was reduced by the new government to Rs 2.72 billion, and that the balance was released to provide assistance to the public. I would like to categorically state that at no time did I allocate a sum of Rs. 100 billion to the Presidential Secretariat. The full funds allocated to the Presidential Secretariat for 2015 was Rs. 9.59 biliion. There were 25 government departments, including the National Salaries Commission and National Maritime Committee, operating under the direction of the Presidential Secretariat. The expenses of the previous Presidents and their families also fall under the purview of the Presidential Secretariat. The Executive and Administrative departments of the Presidential Secretariat provided all the services, and the most of the funds, necessary to maintain these departments. Therefore, all of the funds allocated to the Presidential Secretariat do not go towards maintaining itself.

    The total funds budgeted for maintaining the President’s Office in 2015 was Rs. 3.75 billion. This amount is only a part of the expenses of the Presidential Secretariat. Of this President’s Office budget, Rs. 1.0 billion was allocated to the assistance provided by the President’s Office to Small Enterprises and Projects throughout the island. When this amount is deducted from the total, the budget of the President’s Office is reduced to Rs. 2.75 billion. Therefore, the amount mentioned as being allocated as the budget of the new President’s Office is this amount.

    Another story related by some is that USD 16 million in public funds was spent to order a special plane for my use, and that the new government has refused to take delivery of it, and has made arrangements for new owners to assume responsibility. I hereby state that no special aircraft was ever ordered for my use. While Sri Lankan Airlines was arranging to buy new aircraft for its own use from the Airbus Corporation, they had arranged to obtain a kit to remove some regular seats and convert that space into a special compartment to accommodate VIPs as needed, and had instructed their accountant to cost it as an option. The USD 15 million that was mentioned was the manufacturer’s estimated cost of this facility. It was an option that was to be provided free-of-cost.

    There is also an allegation that I have built official Presidential residences at various locations throughout the country for my reacreational use. The President’s residences at the Temple Trees, in Colombo Fort, as well as the existing residences in Nuwaraeliya and Mahanuwara, have existed from Colonial times, and were used by the government leaders of this country. The Presidential residences in Anuradhapura, Embilipitiya and Mahiyangana were built by President R. Premadasa. I must point out that none of these President’s residences were built during the tenure of my government. It was reported recently that the Temple Trees and Colombo Fort President’s residences would be opened for public viewing. We must recall that while I was living at Temple Trees, thousands of school children and elders came to tour this Presidential residence. While I enjoyed the opportunity this afforded to talk with them, I also used the opportunity to learn from them the development needs in various parts of the country. Furthermore, thousands of citizens participated in my Poya day activities at the Temple Trees President’s residence.

    A report was published that some vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat have still not been returned. It was reported that 22 Defender Jeeps were “found” in Borella, and that 53 vehicles were found to have been abandoned in a land in Colombo, Pettah. The places where these vehicles were found are the official storage parking lots belonging to the Presidential Secretariat. These vehicles were found where they were supposed to be. Many of the vehicles found in Pettah were high security vehicles from the 1980’s decade, that could not be auctioned off according to routine operating procedures. I myself have handed over per regulations all of the vehicles used by my Office. The assignments of remaining vehicles allocated to various officials and departments of the Presidential Secretariat can be found in the
    vehicle records of the Presidential Secretariat.

    Mahinda Rajapaksa
    Former President of Sri Lanka.

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    Stupid Tamils in the north voted against the very person who protected them from the invading Indians and are now crying. Damn good for them, I say.- no sorry you got it wrong , We are not crying actual we are laughing you clever Yakko Sinhalase machang.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    The Jaffna “”Little Indian Embassy ”
    Also they are fishing in their land now nothing much we can do !!!
    Velu where you ???
    Gota please do something ? what happen to his Green card . still he owns his candy shop in USA.

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