Posted on April 18th, 2016

By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

President Maithripala Sirisena became Sri Lanka’s 6th Executive Present with the promise  ‘not to breach the trust’ placed in him. True to his words, he has been working untiringly to bring coherence with the SLFP to develop the Country with his new concept of a mixed government of all parties, which is a very rare occurrence.

Expressing his genuine feelings the President has been quoted once saying, The agenda of the country is more important than any political agenda.” Revoking of lands in Sampur, which had been allocated for the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka to commence investment projects, for the resettlement of displaced Tamil civilians in the area, he has been identified as a rare politician who keeps to his word!

On moral values, the President constantly maintains the way to achieve goals is through Buddhist philosophy with the promise of future programmes of implementing a universal programme to impart a far-reaching knowledge of Buddhism to the people, especially the younger generation to mould their behavioral patterns. This he wants along with the development of technology and economy.

Negative Aspects

Despite all such plus points, the President seems to be either distracted, handicapped or has been compulsorily side tracked with certain uninvited, superfluous problems. This very reason has given the opportunity for critics to point an accusing finger at the President for using the word yahapalanaya to its antonym meaning.

In this melodrama, some of his Ministers should bear the responsibility as statements contradictory to the President’s ideas have embarrassed him so far, and many Ministers having used their VIP privileges to gallivant overseas at the cost of the public purse. The President has already taken preventative measures against such waste recently to put a clamp down on all foreign visits to Ministers with new criteria.

The recent incident of an alleged ‘ hit and run case’ by a senior minister, while the authorities drag their feet, has blown the issue out of proportion giving ammunition to the general public and the opposition to make a meal out of it due to the inordinate delay in resolving the problem. This has so far brought so much of embarrassment and adverse publicity to President Sirisena, who appears to be working hard for his people but embroiled in massive political and administrative current.

Visa Problem

On top of all such glitches, the recent news about his son getting involved in a visa application to visit the UK, with three of his friends, was highlighted in the world wide web (including Lankaweb on 22nd March 2016, under Sri Lanka Diplomatic news.

In this day and age, with the change of attitudes of the human kind nothing is safe, concealed or can be treated as confidential as everything gets leaked out to the electronic media and social media within seconds.

Headline news item under the caption  UK strongly snubs Sri Lanka Over Visa Requests for Daham Sirisena whilst President Orders news blackout’ went viral in the electronic media. According to the news item ‘Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has demanded an explanation from the United Kingdom government as to why the request of President Maithripala Sirisena’s son Daham and his three friends to travel to UK had been subjected to long delays? Apparently such remonstration had met with a ‘right royal snub’ from UK authorities, which of course is not surprising due to the criteria in the British Civil Service where all Government Servants should abide by the laid down rules, irrespective of their positions or status.

The news also alleged President Sirisena attempting ‘to black out the leakage of this news to the public by apparently telephoning the newspaper editors and proprietors requesting them to refrain from giving publicity to his son’s debacle’. The  original web article blamed the President for amplifying in his own words at a recent meeting of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in Kalmunai where he bragged about the media freedom in Sri Lanka and stating the media could report anything without fear or favour”.

Monkey Pranks of the Young

Of course, people have to go by the President’s assertion that he was completely ignorant of what had happened about his son’s actions until it was disclosed to him after the incident. Sri Lanka has a track record in the past where not only the President’s sons but even Ministers’ sons behaving at times like incorrigible grammar school boys by taking the law unto themselves. Some young breed belonging to the uppermost echelons have been up to all kinds of monkey pranks inside star hotels, nightclubs and on open beaches. They have stooped to such low levels of ruffians and gangsters just by using their fathers’ might and power!

According to the news report what takes the cake is how the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoning the Deputy British High Commissioner to her office and apparently  and reproaching the diplomat in stronger terms for treating a request from the Foreign Ministry in a ‘shabby manner’! According to the same news source, however, the Deputy High Commissioner refuting Sri Lanka Government’s claim had intimated to the Foreign Secretary about the simple procedure to follow on visa applications, and in the case of Daham Sirisena with three others laid down procedures had not been followed.

Administrative Cock -up

The  root of the problem appears to be that the Chief Protocol Officer had submitted the visa application of Daham Sirisena with three of his friends’ only a with ‘Request Note.’ Naturally the British Officials had to ask for the requisite documentation prior to issuing of any entry visas to the UK. After the documents had been presented to the British High Commission Daham Sirisena’s visa had been issued, but something that shocked the British authorities appeared to be that one of the applicants out of the trio had been debarred from entering the UK five years ago for reasons of submitting fabricated documentation”!

The news report further added that the British High Commission had categorically advised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it was ‘not honorable for the Ministry to demand visas for third parties without proper documentation in keeping with UK laws,’ as the issuance of visas was at the sole discretion of the UK government.

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  1. Christie Says:

    Look at the voting for Sirisena. He is just an Indian Coolie.

    Bloody British they have no balls any more eating Chicken Tikkas and listening to diatribe of Indian MPs.

  2. Dham Says:

    Sirisena is a liar. A liar is capable of doing ANY Paapakamma.
    However lying is a prerequisite to enter the Kotte Gava Maduva.

  3. Nimal Says:

    Sadly we are subjected to severe restrictions due to many reasons and the reasons are many, just as many third world governments not willing to find the reasons and rectify it so that our passports as good as those of Singapore,Malysia.Japan,South Korea etc.

    To start with,our leaders aren’t worried or care about us resulting in we been left far behind the countries that have visa free arrangements.
    To be visa free, the countries must have their economies and other social factors in line with countries mentioned above.
    When some people were in power they even abused the diplomatic passports, bringing the nation’s reputation that low level, no one will respect us.
    One must accept that countries like UK,Germany are the best places to live and there’s a great attraction anyone who wants to get there.
    I personally know that persons from US,Canada,SA and Aus wants to settle here and in one or two cases they are being given time to apply for a NI and a job that pays above a certain level to prevent them seeking benefits. I agree with that rule as we the hardworking tax payers will finance their idle lifestyles once allowed in.There are reciprocal arrangements with some countries as well where those countries have similar economic structures and standard of living to ours in UK.
    Sadly our countries will never allow us to achieve our standards in every aspect to the least level of, say Singapore?
    This is simply because our leaders, our day to day lifestyles and even culture had made us unattractive and even a liability and a threat to them. So the likelihood of escaping our countries for a better life is great and some of them who come could be a liability in many aspects so there are understandable restrictions in place.Can we blame them when our governments keep sending useless people to work in missions abroad that will be a future liability, should they sought refugee status or try to stay permanently. These very people become a liability to the host country when they live permanently on the benefit system and add insult to injury by behaving in a such a manner that they become less attractive for employment,etc. They too insult the host country by their association of the same kind who wants to detached themselves from the majority that brings resentment of the majority of people in the host country.
    This subject is too complex to write and likes of Thilak should know this.
    I am very sad for my people left behind in SL and should I seriously fall ill in UK, likelihood of anyone getting here to be at my bed side is decimal.
    Two years ago my son got married to a Chinese girl from a well to do family from Indonesia and his wedding was chaotic and there was great sadness for all of us the parents, because there was little time that was given for them to get married where her relative and mine book no leave or get an visa in short time. Damage control was done by his working colleagues and my friends, indigenous to UK where they arranged every bit of the wedding while we were still in SL attending to a medical procedure. They were in much sympathy but the facts are stubborn where we have to face the reality of strict immigration controls, the price we have to pay for a stable and a fairer country.
    As I always maintained we must make SL like UK then people will respect us and lack of interest in our self seeking politicians will never get our people to accepted, though their(our politicians of the crooked third world kind) days are numbered in spite of acquiring millions to buy their way to settle in these countries as that money will be scrutinized, however much any documents of ownership is produced will be well scrutinized.
    We too restrict the first world genuine individuals to settle and do business in SL and expect them to treat us fairly. I am very sad that I have to go to SL to see my friends and dear relatives leaving my businesses while they can’t come here that easily. They are very sympathetic yo our agony but odds are very much against our people for reasons that are obvious. We and our leaders are to be blamed.
    I meet many leaders and business men from these countries who fell and concerned like me and in one country they have gone out of the way to welcome the people here to settle and make a living, resulting in one of their leaders taken off the hook over HR violations and genuine business people are allowed in very easily and they are actively encouraged to attend UK government sponsored seminars which would improve trade and cultural relations and when say cultural it refers to good and efficient administration of their various departments back home.

  4. Nimal Says:

    Sorry for any grammatical errors as I have little time to go through it.

  5. NAK Says:

    Sirisena is a liar. Incapable of thinking logically only able to twist things,he thinks,to his favour.

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