30-years of Deceptions, Lies and Political Chicanery
Posted on March 10th, 2019

By Palitha M Senanayake

The recent utterance about the sanitary facilities in Hambanthota district during the Budget speech by Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Hon. Mangala Samaraweera is typical of his flippant character and political opportunism. He stated that ‘even though the roads of Hambanthota district are paved beyond expectations there are 15,000 houses without toilet facilities in that district’ and this was targeted to ridicule the development efforts of former President Rajapakse.

The writer, as the official Editor of the last Population & Housing report 2012 of the Department of Census Statistics of Sri Lanka, wishes to state that this statement about sanitary facilities in Hambanthota is a diabolical lie spun to suit the occasion with no basis on the accepted statistics of the country.   On the contrary the number of households that do not use toilet facilities in Hambanthota district is only 600 which represent 0 .4 % of the households (155,294) in the district and it is well within the national average of 1.7 %. Comparatively the only districts out of the 22, that are doing better than Hambanthota are the districts of Colombo (0.1%) Gampaha(0.2%) & Kalutara (0.2 %) and Matara(0.2%). On the other hand the country has a serious situation in this regard with districts like Jaffna (5.3%), Batticaloa  (12.6 % ), Mannar( 11.1 %), Vavunia (9.7 %), not to speak about Mullaitivu ( 20.4%) and Kilinochchi (22.3 %). Thus, it should now be clear to everybody that the Minister Mangala Samaraweera has made yet another one of those utterances to serve his political ends smacking of any national relevance.

The problem with Minister Samaraweera is that he seemed to take pride in his charade of flippancy. In September 2018 Minister Mangala Joining the debate in Parliament against the Motion of No Confidence against the Prime Minister, attempted to portray the current Prime Minister, as the most erudite political personality that held sway over the island’s politics during the last two decades.  Citing examples from the past, he mentioned that while he was with the current PM’s political bete noire, the former President Chandrika Kumaranethunge, he commenced all the SLFP political campaigns by pasting posters proclaiming that ‘Ranil Can’t’. This, he said was a strategy designed to imbibe in the minds of the public that Ranil W is not a capable leader because in the Minister’s own conviction he knew Ranil to be the most threatening influence Chandrika K was facing.  The Minister came out with the same argument at a recent press conference when the media wanted to know who the 2020 Presidential candidate of the UNP would be. The message Mangala S was trying to convey was, that Ranil W is the most capable man and it was an act of sophistry on the part of Mangala that made him portray Ranil as ‘incapable’ when he was in the opposite political camp!

Tru to Mr Samaraweera’s record we know that he has always made serious proclamations and then, have subsequently acted quite to the contrary of those proclamations.  As examples, we could cite what he said about his current ministerial colleague, Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka, when he was with the previous regime.  No sooner Sarath Fonseka was appointed to the post of Army Commander Mangala was on record stating that SF was not even suitable for the post of Commander in the Salvation Army.  Judging by how he now eulogizes Sarath Fonseka and during the Presidential campaign he conducted for SF in 2010,  we take it that it is the same ‘strategy’ applicable there as well; Mangala had been slighting SF back in 2006 because he knew that SF was capable of living up to the expectations of the Army Commander at the time.

These statements however, should not be construed as ‘sophistry’ because sophistry is the use of clever arguments to convince that something is true when in fact it is not so. Thus, there is no clever argument in the case of Minister Mangala’s utterances and therefore those statements that he had made are, but downright degradations of a person’s n character or capability to gain a political advantage. In other words, these statements are, but plain political lies.

However, what matters here is not this act of uttering a lie but rather the impunity with which that lie is publicly admitted by the same person who uttered the lie as if it is a special talent that he is endowed with.  What is even worse is that it is now becoming an accepted trend among politicians to lie and also to act in breach of the policies the voters expected them to standby.  The public too has often adopted a very dismissive attitude towards these treacherous acts of politicians saying, Oh that is politics” or  all the politicians are the same” etc.

If Minister Samaraweera now admits that he lied to the public back in 1995, then the issue is, with what credibility should the public treat the statements he is making now? Thus, when he states that former President Mahinda Rajapakse has amassed a fortune worth of US $ 17 billion during his 9-year rule, could we be sure that it is not another flagrant lie that he will retract in a few years?  Judging by his admission of this perfidy, the public could well expect Miniter Samaraweera to come out with a statement in a few years hence, maintaining that, former President Mahinda Rajapakse is the ‘cleanest’ politician ever to govern Sri Lanka and it is because he wanted Maithreepala to win that he lied in 2015”.  Does Mr Samaraweera think that the voting public in this country are damn fools because they continue to vote the likes of him to power?

As pontificated recently, the high point in Minister Mangala Samaraweera’s political career is getting down the former US Ambassador to the UN Ms Samantha Power to deliver the keynote address on the event marking his thirty-year political career. Well,  Samantha Power campaigned against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC and brought two unsuccessful resolutions against the country for eliminating the LTTE. This was done as a punitive measure by her as the Sri Lankan Government dis not accede to her request back in February 2009 to suspend its war against terrorism. It is well documented that she discussed with Richard Armitage, the Deputy US Secretary of State and Roberto Blake, the Under Secretary for South East Asia and decided to frame war crimes against Sri Lanka back in March 2009 ( i.e. before they were alleged to have been committed in May 2009). In addition her record as the Senior Advisor on  Foreign policy to Obama Administration is as follows.

  • Power spearheaded the US strategy to undermine the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood at the United Nations thereby preventing peace in the Middle East.
  • Samantha Power consistently stood on behalf of Paul Kegaman, the head of the Ruwanda Patriotic Front, who was responsible for the large scale genocide in Ruwanda.
  • In 2012, Power turned her attention to Syria, convincing the White House to establish an Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) thereby creating a situation where US got fully involved in the Syrian crisis killing thousands and displacing millions of Syrian
  • The Obama administration that pledged to withdraw from Afganistan at the strat continued to kill civilians, under Power’s advise, calling those ‘necessities of peace’ in a peace bid that never saw the dawn of peace up to today.
  • In 2015 Samantha Power paved the way for the US to take the Sadi Arabian side in the Yemeni conflict which is continuing to inflict untold sufferings on the Yemeni women and children even today.
  • In 2016 Samantha Power betrayed public trust by using her security clearance as a U.N. Ambassador to review private conversations by U.S. citizens. She was brought before the House Intelligence Committee to explain her actions. Thus she is now the ‘former US Ambassador to the UN’.

Mangala Samaraweera by electing to choose a person of the caliber of M/s Samantha Power to make the keynote address at his all-important political milestone has made his message very clear; ‘power is the be all and end all in politics while deception, treachery, betrayal and lies are the means to it’.

4 Responses to “30-years of Deceptions, Lies and Political Chicanery”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Mangala (Mahinda’s first Foreign Minister) has made many false claims.

    However, his claim that Sri Lanka needs more sanitation facilities is true.

    Like him or not, Mangala is behind the election/reelection of all 3 former presidents. CBK would not have won in 1999 without Mangala’s aggressive election campaign. Mahinda would not have won in 2005 without Mangala’s aggressive election campaign (Mahinda’s campaign manager). Same goes for Sirisena.

    Mahinda also participated in that event with Samantha Power.

  2. Randeniyage Says:

    Problem with us commentators is we forget these write ups are political campaigns only. Comparisons are not valid.
    Mr. X previously did the same but when Mr. Y is doing it it become “selling the country”. When Mr. X previously did that he becomes Pal Hora but Mr. Y does the same but he is still honest man. It depends who is writing. It depend on the face. Country seller is always a country seller and Pal Hora is always a Pal Hora no matter what they do.
    In a way is fair enough. Not fair for the people who pay by sacrificing so much of private life make these politicians rich.

  3. Christie Says:

    Thanks Palitha for stats on toilets.

    The areas with least toilets are where Hindus live and they like not to use toilets.

    The toilet issue in Hambantota is a trick to give people Rs.40,000.00 or more close to the election in order to buy votes.

  4. jay-ran Says:


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