Yahapalana challenged
Posted on March 24th, 2019

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe

On 20 March, both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Minister Naveen Dissanayaka were invited to a function at the Siri Gauthama Viharaya by Venerable Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera. Speaking at the function, Naveen Dissanayaka named Rajapaksa as the next presidential candidate. Thanking him, Rajapaksa also named both Naveen Dissanayaka and his father-in-law as possible contestants.

Rajapaksa’s candidacy does not really come as a surprise, to any. Having come from a military background many expect him to instil  discipline that is solely lacking in our society. Tamils and Muslims are also beginning to express confidence in him to promise what he can deliver and to deliver what he had promised.


As Dissanayaka accurately stated, at the function, governments are toppled by Sinhala Buddhist votes. Therefore, it is very important to give this vote base a hearing. In that context, GR’s opponent even with the full backing of the powerful West, resourceful Tamil Diaspora and the UNP, JVP and TNA vote banks will have his work cut out for him.


The Yahapalana Government came to power on the pledge to eliminate corruption and bring those who plundered the State, to justice. However, within 40 days of coming to power the Central Bank bond scam took place. A year later, the same scam was repeated. As a result, all interest rates have jumped to double digits.


The aftermath of the 2015 August General Election does not speak in Yahapalana’s favour. Prioritising the West’s agenda above all else, this Government has done a great disservice to democracy. Without Cabinet or Parliamentary approval or knowledge, the Yahapalana Government has entered into a number of international agreements detrimental to the country such as the Geneva Resolution and the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore.


Representation ignored


After the UPFA lost at the 2015 General elections, the 55 MPs that stubbornly stayed with MR represented eight out of the nine provinces. Yet, on mere technicality, the Yahapalana Government refused to acknowledge them as the Opposition. Instead, the TNA was recognised as such despite having only 16 seats from just two provinces.


Further to this travesty of democracy, the JO was also refused sufficient time to speak in  Parliament; in effect, the majority of the voters’ voice, which constituted largely that of the Sinhala Buddhists were suppressed. Even when Maithripala Sirisena unceremoniously sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe from premiership and appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Yahapalana behaviour was not inspiring.


Leaving aside the political battle that ensured with the realignment of powers, one cannot agree with the drama orchestrated by not following Parliamentary procedures. This deliberate provocation led to the disgraceful fracas between the MR Camp and the RW Camp. However, much more contentiously, foreign delegates were invited to watch and cheer as tempers flared the fight.


Mockery of democracy


TNA was clearly in cahoots with the Government. As such they made a mockery of the very essence of democracy. TNA must be the only Opposition in the world to have beseeched a powerful neighbour (India) to protect the Government. (This request is not only at odds with democracy, but also with sovereignty as well.) Throughout its tenure as the Opposition, TNA failed to address the issues confronting the country or the grievances of the people – including those of their own constituencies.


The TNA’s only objective is to enmesh the country in war crime allegations and bring in the new Constitutional proposals pushed through by Geneva. If these new Constitutional proposals come to reality, it will not break the country into two, but fragment the country into nine semi-autonomous governments. This would not be devolution of power; for the Central Government would lose most of its power to the provinces. In fact, the Central Government could only function afterwards on the power donated by the provinces.


Very cunningly, TNA Spokesman M.A. Sumanthiran had assured that the TNA is also for a unitary country. However, the ‘country’ denotes the territorial landmass of Sri Lanka. Thus, no matter what the State structure (which is the country’s power base) would be, Sri Lanka would remain as one island.


Article 2 in the present Constitution specifies that the State of Sri Lanka would be unitary. It is to repeal this Article 2 that the TNA and other separatists are working, overtime. Clearly, TNA’s and other separatists’ fight is not with the ‘country’ but with the ‘State’.


Unless explained, the difference between the definition of the two words – country and State, the ordinary layperson would not easily distinguish between the two. This territorial integrity (country) can be easily misunderstood with the power base (State) as in Sinhala when the first is ‘rata’ (country) and the second is ‘rajaya’ (State).


Irrespective of the Constitution, only a very angry act of God can change the country from being unitary. Thus, when Sumanthiran assured that his party too supports a unitary country, he was playing a word game with the Sri Lankan citizens. He was clearly banking on the fact that many would not distinguish the difference between ‘rata’ and ‘rajaya’.


It is said that the Tamils are for a federal solution, whilst the Sinhalese want to retain the unitary status of the Sri Lankan State. The Sinhalese voice that can be heard independent to their political representatives, clearly stands by this assertion. The Tamil’s voice had from the beginning being overpowered by their political representatives. Therefore, it is difficult to know for certainty whether the Tamil voters actually want a federal Constitution.


Either way, if we are to assume that it is only the Sinhalese that do not wish for a federal Constitution, then Sumanthiran was trying to hoodwink the Sinhalese – majority of whom, are Buddhists.


Country and State


Sumanthiran et al are trying the same trick with the foremost place the current Constitution gives to Buddhism along with its pledge to nurture the Buddhist philosophy. This assurance is entrusted in Article 9. It is proposed in the new Constitution’s draft that from henceforth it will be the country, and not the State, that will nurture and ensure the foremost place given to Buddhism.


The ‘country’ as explained above is the territorial landmass. It is hence not a living being. Therefore, it cannot be responsible for the nurturing of Buddhism. The ‘State’ on the other hand is the power base. As Sri Lanka is a Republic, the State is where the supreme power is held by the people and their representatives. Therefore, it is only the State that can assure the nurturing the foremost place to Buddhism.


Whenever this debate heats up, the proponents of the new Constitution are quick to assure that Article 9 would not be touched. However, if a federal or a State with semi-autonomous Governments comes into effect, then Article 9 would automatically become nullified.


According to the Supreme Court’s definition, every place of Buddhist worship and historic significance and practice becomes part of the Buddhist Order. This makes entire Sri Lanka part of the Buddhist Order.


If the State structure changes as per the Constitutional draft, then the responsibility on Buddhism and Buddhist Culture falls to a provincial level. The State would no longer be responsible for the Buddhist Order. 

Therefore, even if Article 9 is left untouched, it becomes a dud deed as it cannot be put into effect under the proposed Constitution.


Throughout the past four years the Yahapalana Government and its subsequent residue had tried to play with the confidence entrusted on them by the people. Breaking the country into nine separate semi-autonomous governments will not benefit the people. Revoking the foremost place given to Buddhism that fosters the right for other religions to practice as they wish will not benefit the people.


Yet, the Yahapalana Government had been partners in both these concentrated moves. In addition, the Yahapalana Government had lied to and robbed from the people, whilst allowing the underworld to rise. All these are in contravention to Buddhist practices.


In an attempt to please the West, the Yahapalana Government and its residue had alienated all communities. They came to power on a pack of lies and they ruled for four years with another pack of lies. The contender from the Yahapalana camp will need a very creative campaign to overcome the damage the Yahapalanites wrought on themselves.

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4 Responses to “Yahapalana challenged”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Quote – The contender from the Yahapalana camp will need a very creative campaign to overcome the damage the Yahapalanites wrought on themselves.

    True.

    However, for some strange reason, they seem to be confident of winning. Otherwise they will not have 4 hour power cuts. They’d rather waste it fully so the next regime will be in very serious trouble. Yamapalanaya crowd certainly lacks creativity and even basic thinking capabilities.

    Another strange matter is the citizenship of GR and BR and LTTE Diaspora’s role (or the lack of it), particularly that of TGTE. If any American citizen has a pending court case against him, his application to revoke citizenship is delayed until the case is over. US based TGTE, Tamils for Clinton, etc. have made no such attempt to block GR and BR. LTTE Rump is not at all clumsy unlike Yamapalanaya fools. They grab any opportunity. Why hasn’t the LTTE Rump done so? For whatever reason, the LTTE Rump doesn’t seem to mind GR becoming president.

  2. Christie Says:

    Calling names, does not explain things but only confuse.

    In 2015 Sobitha was used to divide the Sinhalese on slogans Good Governance and Corruption.

    Nanasara was used to alienate Christian votes and Muslim votes from Mahinda.

    Things have not changed since 1956 except for few years under Dudley and Mahinda. The rest have been governments under the influence of India and Indians. Tamils are Indians.

  3. Vaisrawana Says:

    A few weeks ago, Navin Dissanayake vowed that the UNP must win at a general election and form a fully UNP government (presumably, under a president from the same party) ‘by hook or by crook’ (to express the idea he stressed in Sinhala). At the later event that the photograph above relates to, he praised Gotabhaya to the skies (tongue in cheek, no doubt) and congratulated him on his alleged presidential candidacy. Gota’s response showed that he saw through Navin’s hypocrisy; he seemed to attach little credibility to the latter’s sincerity on that occasion; Gota reversed the praises and the best wishes to the Navin’s father-in-law Karu Jayasuriya, who is widely predicted to be the UNP’s choice for its presidential candidature, being the obvious Colombian rival to Sajith where Ranil is not likely to be fielded. It is even possible that Navin D was inwardly chuckling as he referred to a future executive president, because the post will not survive the passage of the proposed 20A in parliament, which now seems increasingly likely with traitorous Sirisena, most probably, ending his false alliance with his easy dupe Mahinda.

  4. A Concerned Citizen Says:

    @Dilrook Indeed. Frankly it is good that other candidates from outside the corrupted mainstream parties have announced they will run. There are other names other than those who have been in office for the last 15-20 years. And at least two of the new ones have openly advocated and stated they will remove the 13th amendment.

    As for policies, I also don’t see any of the above mentioned names proposing pro business and development policies. They all seem far too partisan. I myself have offered some proposals in a recent post on Lankaweb (A Proposal to Restore Paradise). It does not appear as though GR is promoting such policies at the moment any longer, though one can only hope.

    The country is badly in need of competent, clean and gentlemanly/lady like politicians to take our country forward. We have freed the streets from terror, only to free it up for the criminal and the corrupt. The island has so much potential, and its progress is being squandered like no nation on Earth has done before.

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