In Defence of Mahinda Rajapakse.
Posted on January 8th, 2016

By Charles.S.Perera (revised 09/01/2016)

The government formed by Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickramasinghe and Chandrika Kumaratung , which they call yahapalanaya, is the worst government in Sri Lanka since Independence in 1948.

It is far from being a democratic government. Democracy is where the view of the majority is respected. Today in Sri Lanka the majority view is swept under the carpet and minority view is presented as the view of the majority by banding together  a set of self seeking ambitious bought over ragtag of politicians from different political parties and calling that a National Government.

Who voted this government into power ?  The UNP has its block vote which blindly vote for the elephant.  There were school teachers led by a strange Joseph Stalin who voted for the Rs.10,000 to the basic salary which they did not get. Yahapalanayta voters were mainly from  Badulla(54.76 %), Colombo (53%), Kandy (55.57%), Matale (49.84%), Nuwara Eliya(59%), Polonnaruw(50.26%) and Puttalama(50.40%),  where there are a  concentration of Muslims, Tamils, and Catholics. TNA got  69 percent of the Tamil votes in the North.  The difference between the votes of UNP and other parties,  and that of the UPFA votes is 3.28%  Hence the UNP and its allies cannot say that they have a majority of Sinhala votes.  Yahapalanaya won because of the Tamil and Muslim votes.

In fairness to Tamils it should be mentioned that in Jaffna there were a 6% of votes to UPFA at the Parliamentary election and 21.85 % of votes to Mahinda Rajapakse at the  Presidential election.

Despite all the accusations  against the previous government of Mahinda Rajapakse we hear in TV political debates in Sri Lanka, and at press conferences of Yahupalanaya ministers of the UNP, Tamils, Muslims and the JVP,  the majority of the Sinhala Buddhists have not lost their faith in Mahinda Rajapakse and welcomes a return of a Rajapakse Government.   JVP was rejected by the people- it got only 4.87% votes. The highest percentage they got was in Hambantota  9.98%.  JVP should have been a subject of a Commission of Investigations for their criminal past,

I was in Sri Lanka for one year and travelled the length and beadth of her meeting people from all stations of life, they all praised Mahinda Rajapakse while some who had voted against him for  a change regretted doing so. I also met Muslim traders, well to do Sinhala businessmen  and some administrators , who welcomed the change.  But then Ravi Karunanayake had not presented his budget; Those in favour of Ranil –Sirisena combination  may have changed their minds by now.

I  did not know or have even met the former President Mahinda Rajapakse, but I knew his father when I was working in Galle. He was a very popular political figure in the south. A friendly man  known not only in  Hanbantota but also in Matara and Galle. He was generous  and accessible to all.  Rajapakses were not known as a family that made  money from its political popularity.  They did not force their way into politics but politics came naturally to them through their popularity amoung the people.

Mahinda Rajapakse did not follow his father  into politics, but  he was more or less forced into it. In fact it was as a result of a request made by his mother to  Sirimavo Bandaranayake that he had to enter politics. Mahinda Rajapakse was an  assistant librarian at the  Vidyodaya University when his father died.  After the death of his father Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranayake wanted Chamal Rajapakse  to be the SLFP Organiser for Beliatta.  But Chamal’s mother did not want him as the eldest son of the family to take to politics and requested Sirismavo Bandaranayake to instead appoint Mahinda Rajapakse as the Beliatta Organser of SLFP.

It was then that Mahinda had to give up a probable carrier as a film star to take up politics;  He entered the Law College, contested the elections and  at 24 years of age was elected to Parliament in 1970.

Therefore those who accuse Mahinda Rajapaksa as a corrupt politician should take note that when he came to politics he was not a vagabond, wandering aimlessly without ties to a place or community”, nor did he come from a family with a dwindled economy with a  blown ambition to become  rich  as a politician and  to enrich his family. Kusala Kamma had given him a good birth, to live well without being in want

From the beginning Mahinda Rajapakse the young politician faced impossible challenges.  He was involved in a Mulkirigala murder case.  He was imprisoned.  He attended his mothers funeral under police escort.  Later he was released. He lost in the 1977 Parliamentary elections, and in 1984 by-elections of the Beliatta seat.

He organised and participated in a protest march against the UNP Government in 1987. He became a human rights activist taking the subject of disappearances of  youth in the south between 1988 and 89.  Sri Lanka was  a  dictatorship under UNP leader JR Jayawardhane.  Mahinda fearlessly volunteered to take the case of Sri Lanka’s violation of human rights by JR Jayawardhne’s UNP rule to Human Rights Council in Geneva. He was recognised for his human rights activities in India and  rewarded by Vishva Bharathi University of Culcutta . 

 Mahinda Rajapakse was re-elected to Parliament in 1989.

Though Mahinda Rajapakse and his Armed Forces are being accused for violation of human rights by international criminality fostering USA , and the West now, Mahinda championed human rights in Sri Lanka way back in nineteen eightees.

SLFP lost the General elections to JR Jayawardhana’s UNP in 1977 and remained 17 years in the opposition.

 Without his Parliamentary responsibilities Mahinda Rajapaksa  became an active SLFP political figure. He organised the pada yatra” from Colombo to Kataragama from 16 March to 2 April, 1992. Even then Mahinda Rajapakse was fighting against  UNP Government’s privatisation policies, calling for a Commission of Inquiry on disappearance in the South and demanding payment of compensation for the families. He fought against cost of living,  and asked for a settlement of   the terrorism in the North and east. 

 His activities that kept the SLFP alive during a difficult period  won him the reddish brown ( kurakkan coloured )shawl from the then seniors of the SLFP, which he wears even to day.

Those activities distinguished him as a remarkable political leader of the SLFP.  It also became the reason for the  political rivalry between  him and Chandrika Kumaratunga.  Chandrika Kumaratunga saw her assumed importance by being a Bandaranaike”, and her political manoeuvres, being overshadowed by Mahinda Rajapakse.

Mahinda Rajapakse was infact pioneering the  implementation of  the much needed reforms to make Sri Lanka  continue the  changes that were initiated by SWRD Bandaranayake to which his late father  too had contributed.

These intiatives were the beginning of what he later proposed and implemented as the Mahinda Chintanaya- a remarkable development programme never thought of by a previous political leader, except perhaps by Dr.N.M.Perera as a Ten Year Plan.

Chandrika did not have that vision to develop Sri Lanka, and the progressive ideas of Mahinda Rajapakse became the reason of her intense  jealousy, which has made her a traitor to her father’s positive political moves, to join with impossible political partners like Ranil Wickramasinghe to  sell Sri Lanka to the west, having put as President a gullible Sirisena.

The People’s alliance government was set up by Chandrika in 1994.  Mahinda Rajapakse became its Minister of Labour and Vocational Training.  Mahinda did not stay satisfied by Ministerial power, but he began implementing his pet ideas for the development of Sri Lanka.  As the Minister of Labour he proposed a Workers’ Charter seeking to establish trade union rights, a wages commission, social security, a training institute for trade unions , and adjudication of industrial disputes. Chandrika as the President opposed it.  However, Mahind Rajapakse instituted the Vocational Training Authority in 1995 to recognise the needs of unemployed youth.

 Mahinda Rajapakse went further  with his positive ideas proposing a Hospital for Workers which was  unfortunately turned down by  President Chandrika Kumaratunga who did not see the positive aspect of Mahinda’s proposals.  Thereafter when he was  the Minister of Fisheries in 1997, he proposed a housing scheme fishermen, and  strengthened the industrial base of fisheries. 

 Mahinda as the Minister of Industries also set up a University of Oceanography-Sagara Vishva Vidyalaya,  a Coastal Guard Unit, and gazetted the construction of the Hambantota Harbour.  That was in 2001.

 In 2002 When Ranil Wickramasinghe became the Prime Minister,  Rajapakse became the leader of the Opposition. 

 In 2004 United People’s Freedom Alliance formed a Government.  Mahinda Rajapakse was appointed the Prime Minister,  though Chandrika and JVP favoured Lakshman Kadirgamar for the Office.

 It was time that  Mahinda Rajapakse’s political carrier take another hurdle.  It came about when he was elected at the Presidential Election of 2005.  The terrorists played a decisive role in previous Presidential elections of Sri Lanka, mainly because the Sinhala voters were (and continue to be) unfortunately divided.  If the Sinhala Buddhists one day stand together then there is every reason for a  progressive government  to come into power,  over UNP block votes and Tamil and Muslim votes, and that would herald a real unity amoung the Communities, the Muslims and Tamils accepting the reality of Sinhala Buddhist majority. The bane of Sri Lanka is that the Sinhala Buddhists have failed to come together to support a progressive patriotic government. Even Anagarika Dhammapala failed in his attempt to unite the Sinhala Buddhists.

 Everything said and done Sinhala Buddhists are an example of a people able to integrate with other communities and live amicably with them.  It had always been the Tamils and Muslims who came only part of the way with the Sinhala Buddhists, refusing to go further. They have a complex short of being patriots,  and hence opt for separation from the Sinhala Buddhists. 

 Therefore, on National issues one does not know which way these two Communities will turn.  Even during terrorism except for a handful of Muslims,  the Muslim Community kept respectfully  away from military operations against terrorism. However, they do hesitate to break the queue to claim benefits.

The worst is that they –the Tamils and Muslims,  are destructive forces, such as terrorism by Tamils, and  clearing up land reserves by bulldozing  or clear forest areas  without respect to ancient Buddhist ruins to make settlements for Muslims.  Living together as Communities in the same country there should be a minimum of respect for those that are held sacred by the Buddhist Communities.

 Therefore,  the Tamils and Muslims unable to do as they wish under a strong Sinhala Buddhist leader would vote against him, in preference to a weak leader who is  prepared to give in for the sake of maintaining his  political power.

 If Mahinda Rajapakse had not been elected as the President in 2005, we would still be fighting terrorism and hundreds no, but thousands may have been massacred.  Perhaps the International Community may have intervened to set up a separate Tamil State in the North. That is what those who accuse Mahinda Rajapaakse  now fail to understand.

 Yet Mahinda Rajapakse’s recognition as a great political leader of Sri Lanka,  even greater  than SWRD Bandaranaike-who made  people understand  real Independence free of allegiance to Colonial masters in 1956, while  UNP wished to remain with  the umbilical cord of Independence attached to UK and the West ( as Ranil’s UNP is  today attempting  to graft  the lost umbilical cord ).

 Mahinda Rajapakse will  remain in the memory of the Nation not only for the elimination of terrorism, but also keeping the SLFP alive when JR Jayawardhana disabled SLFP as a political force, and the Mahinda Chintanaya a practical political philosophy that shot Sri Lanka from under development,  to a short way to  development.

 Mahinda Rajapakse organised pada yatra and  took letters of violation of human rights by JR Jayawardhane’s UNP government to UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.  Mahinda Rajapakse was also an active Minister of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government, and brought very important proposals for the workers, and unemployed youth, protection of human rights etc. which have been already discussed above.

 Mahinda Rajapakse did not enter politics planned to make his living out of politics.  His family had enough  for him to live his life even without being employed.  But when he came to politics he wanted to give of his best for the country. His determination when he was elected as the President was to eliminate terrorism and continued to develop the country,  rid it of fear of  the underworld mafia, give the people full employment, a respectable standard of living, and above all peace and security.

 He wanted to extend non-alignment , by setting up new diplomatic ties with different countries of the world. In the ambition he had for his country to make it rise above underdevelopment.

 Mahinda Rajapakse never wanted to sully his  name connected to  any form of  corruption, because he knew that his opponents will await such opportunities to make him unpopular amoung the people as it happened to Anagaraika Dhammapala.  The enemies could be so strong that they could make any innocent person seem guilty of corruption.  Mahinda certainly did not want to fall into that trap and kept his eyes open, therefore, to-day  his opponents have a hard time to prove him guilty of any offence.

 Despite all the work he did to keep the SLFP as an important political party, sacrificing his time and risking his life, he did not believe that the ordinary members of SLFP, other than Chandrika Kumaratunga who came later to join SLFP from elsewhere, would turn out to be traitors to him later.

 Mahinda Rajapakse was accused for all types of corruption, such as opening a special account to develop Hambantota.  But there had been open Bank accounts which could have been checked and examined by any one.  There are also accusations made by the worst war criminals of the world against Sri Lanka for the way the terrorism was ended.

 Mahinda Rajapakse was an experienced , astute politician.  He after elimination of terrorism  developed the country to a great extent.  Thereafter he reflected on the work done and what has still got to be done.  He   saw that remaining structural , economic, and social development  he had envisioned for Sri Lanka could be completed by him if he were to maintain the  same speed of development without allowing it to sag.

 Mahinda Rajapakse foresaw that if the administration of the country were to change hands that would be the end of the progressive development of the country, and that new ideas and new methods of handling development would be disastrous. From what is taking place today  with the  Change of governments , Mahainda Rajapakse’s fears were not imagined, and therefore no body of intelligence would  blame him for seeking a third term in office to complete what he had started.

 Ranil Wickramasinghe after returning from Massachusetts University  in USA told the press that he learnt to topple governments. That exactly is what he did carrying out the instructions of his learned American lecturers to the letter, some of them perhaps ancient members of CIA. 

 Soon after the successful change of Regime” Ranil Wickramasinghe set up his FCID, where a politician or any one connected with Mahinda Rajapakse was taken for questioning and made not to return back,  but put straight into the remand jail. That is the sign of a Police state into which Ranil changed Sri Lanka immediately he was unconstitutionally sworn in as the Prime Minister.

 Ranil Wickramasinghe  re established the Bribery Commission and set up  the President’s Commission of Inquiry. Since Srirsena –Ranil , came into power after removal of the President Mahinda Rajapakse, there had been nothing new happening in the country, other than  taking those claimed  falsely corrupt by UNP and JVP,  to the FCID and the Commissions. This is not what the people wanted from a change of Regime, but  that is what Ranil and UNP, Chandrika and Sirisena consider  important as they are the means to make the names of Rajapakse’s   bitter as poison to people.

 In law one is not declared guilty until the verdict is given by a court of law.  But with Ranil’s Military State, the moment a person is taken to FCID the media  takes over publicly denouncing the person taken to FCID for questioning, as guilty of the offence. 

 UNP Parliamentarians when they have no valid arguments blame Rajapakses and the Previous Government, and call them names. The other day at a political debate Balaya” in TV Derana, two representative from UNP (Harin Fernando and Ajith Manamperuma) had no answers for questions raised by the opposing participants.  They did not hesitate to compared Mahinda Rajapakse to Sadam Husain, and  Idi Amin.  This is the low standard of TV debates in Sri Lanka TV.

 Mahinda Rajapakse  should be held in respect even by his political opponents, as he is the man- the political leader, who brought peace and security to Sri Lanka and united the country under one flag.

 They even exhumed a body of a Rugger player to involve a member of the Rajapakse family in his death.  The FCID is so upset that it has  not been able  for one whole year to accuse  a single person for one thing or another, it may soon begin cooking evidence” to loose face, and avoid anger of Ranil Wickramasinghe who came so well educated for toppling government by an American University.

 Another accusation against the President Mahinda Rajapakse was that his was a one family regime, meaning that he had all his brothers , nieces and son in Parliament holding key posts.

This he could not have avoided as some of them were elected to Parliament by popular vote. 

His younger brother who was a retired Colonel who had experience fighting the terrorists was made his Defence Secretary.  That was a question of trust. 

 Mahinda Rajapakse could not have the same trust with most of the members of the SLFP with whom he worked.  Maithripala Sirisena  the Secretary General of SLFP  turned a traitor by joining the political party -UNP he opposed all his life to become the rival Presidential candidate.  There were others like Nimal Siripala de Silva, Rajitha Senaratne, Duminda Siva, Sarath Amunugama, S.B.Dissanayake, Mahind Samarasinghe and several other that turned their backs to Mahinda Rajapakse at the first opportunity that came their way. Principles disappear when cash change hands.

 Therefore as a President Mahinda Rajapakse had to have around him  persons he could trust. He was therefore lucky to have had with him brothers who were qualified and some elected into Parliament by the people. Not even the CIA Agents in the USA University where Ranil Wickramasinghe studied could find any fault in that, because even John Kennedy had his brother Robert as his Attorney General.

 No President in a country is free from blame. A President  cannot look into every thing and , his powers are delegated, and the failure on the part of those to whom power has been delegated should not be put to the President. Persons like Mervyn Silva should have been sent out some say,  while others say that the Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne should have been asked to retire, and yet others ask why Ananda Sarath Kumara a North Western Province Counciller who forced a teacher to kneel before the pupils was not sacked from the party. But can these be taken as serious offences committed by  the President ?  Should one refuse voting for him to punish him for those minor offences if they are offences at all ?

 The Avant Garde case is the failure of the media to understand what the issue was all about.  There was no offence committed.  There was no one guilty of an offence. Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse explained it very well at the outset,  and nobody of those who accused him seemed  to have had not even listened to him. In the Sirasa TV Debate Satana there was a Journalist Saman posing questions as if he knew every thing about the Avant Garde Issue but his arguments were based on wrong information he had. These debates only mislead the people.

 The fact remains that Mahind Rajapakse or his family members have not committed any offence, and the effort of Ranil’s police force is to accuse them at any cost to damage the reputation of  Rajapakse family and see them out of politics,  even if the accusations cannot be  proved against them. That is according to what Ranil Learnt at the Massachusette University in USA…call some one a thief and after some time people may begin to believe in it.

 Whatever the number of accusations are made and no matter how many times any one of the Rajapakse’s are taken to FCID, Bribery Commission or the Presidential Crime Investigation Commission (with new powers) , and even if they are arrested on cooked evidence’ , Mahinda Rajapakse and his  family will remain  loved and respected by the ordinary Sinhala Buddhist people of Sri Lanka forever and for generations to come. Any accusation will only enhance their reputation, and the people will prefer him; hundred time more than a Maithripala or a Ranil Wickramasinghe.

 Mahinda Rajapakse is undoubtedly the greatest Sinhala Buddhist Leader to rise from the ashes of the history of Sri Lanka. His becoming the President consecrated  Sri Lanka, which had been polluted and deconsecrated by intruders, plunderers , invaders, colonialist, and terrorists for more than 500years.

Mahinda Rajapakse’s coming to politics, marks a political revolution in the history of Sri Lanka. Once he took to politics he gave all his  strength and time to make the best of it to make ancient heritage of Sri Lanka reappear amidst modernisation to make Sri Lanka a better place for all its people.  Mahinda Rajapakse  even  commenced building a Mahaseya in Anuradhapura, allowed compassionate breeze of  Buddha Dhamma emenate from the Presidential Residence, the  Temple trees.  We defend him against all miscreants, rude, vulgar political merchants, and blood stained , unclean foreign enemies.

 

4 Responses to “In Defence of Mahinda Rajapakse.”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Well said Charles. All I can say is in the song given below. May Mahinda live long and prosper.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5OZNrTPLEk

  2. Amila Says:

    Thank you Charles for the wonderful article. Good to know some lesser know facts about our fearless leader.

  3. Christie Says:

    Namaste: The 2015 Sri Lankan Presidential election: How it happened? What it means for Sri Lanka? What it means for Indian Empire (Indian Union & its colonies)?
    How it happened? Another Indian job. The former President called an early election. The Indian imperialists (India) were ready to correct its mistake in 2005 when it backed Mahinda Rajapaksa over Ranil Wickramasinge. Then, Indian imperialists advised Indian block vote in the island to abstain from voting. The reason for the preference was Indian imperialists thought it will be easier to negotiate with Mahinda an unknown matter for India. Unfortunately for India, Mahinda did not follow Indian directions as former Sri Lankan leaders did since 1956. In 2010 India enrolled General Sarath Fonseka as a presidential candidate against Mahinda and failed. So behind the scene as Indian imperialist always do they were planning for years and got former governor Chandrika Bandaranayake-Kumaranatunge to do the job and succeeded with doing a repeat of what India did with her father Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranayake in 1951. India did not have to wait for four year this time. India managed to divide the non-Indian vote and got the Indian block vote for Maithripala Sirisena the new governor of Sri Lanka who may be the proxy for the real governor Chandrika.
    What it means for Sri Lanka? Nothing much. It will be the same as what the island nation had from 1956 to 2005 and before from 1792 to 1948. The Indian minority will run the country with the privileges they enjoyed since their arrival under the cover of the British fire power and their own nonviolent aggression and oppression. They will claim they are the victims of Majority Chauvinists; the same claim that they make in other colonies from Fiji to Guyana. For example; finance and justice; most important ingredients in the world and heads of these two institutions in the island now are from the victimized minority and one of them has been brought from another colony.
    What it means for the Indian Empire? It means a lot to the Indian Empire. The former partner of the British-Indian Empire from Fiji to Guyana that is all former tropical colonies of the British-Indian Empire. India lost its control over the island nation since 2005 as the new government of the island nation managed to wipe out the Indian terrorist arm; trained, armed, financed, managed and branded Tamil !Tigers by India. Since the election of the new governor Indian cars and food have become cheaper with reduced tax on Indian products. Indian Imperialists have already indicated massive investments and projects in all sectors of the economy. This will not be a hard act as the island nation’s economy has been in their hands for more than two centuries and the business language in the country is an Indian language spoken by more than 75 million of them in India. The wealthiest in the island are Indian though their wealth is not stored in the island but most of it in India. Reclaiming the control over the island nation will supplement its control over the Indian Ocean and Indian Ocean countries. With its unchallenged military power; with ICBMs, Aircraft Carriers, Nuke Subs, Nuke (Peace) bombs and purchase of hundred billion dollars’ worth of military hardware the island nation provides the best step with Mauritius a third State of India to lay a drag line across the Indian Ocean.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Thank you, Charles, for this article. We agree with all you say here.

    ———–

    Sri Lanka is a valuable Trade Route & Port country. So, for a long time now, many outside ‘pirates & plunderers’ want to rule over Lanka. What have they not done to achieve this ? !

    Mahinda Rajapakse is one of the few leaders who have succeeded in unifying Lanka. When he left the Presidency, he said that he is handing over the country to the People of Lanka. Will the People of Lanka succeed in keeping the country intact and improve the Economy and also avoid future strife ? All the Sinhala/Buddhists and all right thinking folk of Lanka will have to come together to achieve this. Let us protect MR & his Family, whenever we can, from unjust accusations.

    MR also said that over 27,000 in the Armed Forces have died for Lanka. “Think about it” he said. Yes, let us think about the enormous sacrifices made by them over long periods of time. It is now the turn of the People to protect the Armed Forces of Lanka too from any unjust accusations, wherever we can.

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