THE RAVAGES OF 2015 – Part II
Posted on March 4th, 2020

By : A.A.M.NIZAM – MATARA

The utterly shameless and spineless master traitor Sirisena released a UNP concocted document as his manifesto, titled A Compassionate Maithri Governance — A Stable Country, on 19 December 2014 at a rally held at the Viharamahadevi Park. The main pledge in the said manifesto was the replacement of the executive presidency with a Westminster style Parliament and a Senate but the manifesto acknowledged that Sirisena would need the support of the parliament to amend the constitution. The manifesto also made a commitment to replace the open list proportional representation system with a mixture of first-past-the-post and PR for electing MPs. It said Parliamentary elections will be held in April 2015 after the constitution has been amended. Independent commissions will be established to oversee the judiciary, Police, elections department, Auditor-General’s Department and Attorney-General’s Department. The Commission on Bribery or Corruption will be strengthened and political-diplomatic appointments annulled.

In a separate document purely focussed on pleasing the Tamil terrorists and separatists,   Sirisena pledged that he would establish an independent domestic inquiry into the alleged war crimes during the final stages of the Sri Lankan Civil War.  By this very statement, Sirisena changed the hitherto held the right concept of the war from terrorist aggression to a civil war”.  Civil war as per international lexicons is a war between two civil groups in a country and not a defensive or defeatist war by the national forces of a country against a terrorist or rebellious group and not a war against terrorism..

In addition to this, the imbecile Sirisena also presented at the above-referenced meeting a plan called 100 days government plan signed by him and said that many fundamental changes, including constitutional amendments, will be made within the next 100 days as outlined in the programme. 

However, it seems that this power greedy Sirisena has signed this 100 days programme document written by the UNP blindly without even reading it as he refuted his agreement to the contents of the programme subsequently.  A news item in the Daily Mirror on 6th June 2018 under the title MS and the 100-day-programme carried with an appropriate cartoon.  The report and the cartoon are reproduced here:

Courtesy: Daily Mirror

Who would have thought Sirisena was not in agreement with the 100-day-program marketed by the President himself, who broke the news against it last week.   

Sirisena dumbfounded the entire country, perhaps including his family members, at a function held at the Sri Lanka Foundation to commemorate the 76th birth anniversary of the late Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thera, when he questioned as to who compiled the 100-day-programme. He said with only 47 UNP MPs in Parliament, a programme was prepared in calendar form to be implemented within 100 days. He said the right thing that should have happened was to have dissolved Parliament the very next day he was sworn in. 

He baffled the entire country by implying that he was oblivious to the 100-day-programme. It is a well-known fact that the Presidential election campaign was purely planned and put into practice by the United National Party (UNP) leadership and therefore, there may be some truth in what hopper man Siriena says. The UNP might have strategized the course of action without the knowledge and consent of their common candidate, but in the belief there was no reason for him to oppose it. And also the UNP, during its two tenures under Presidents of other parties, had been exercising the habit of bulldozing through the latter’s wishes and it might have ignored the President as he implies. 

Yet, why did he wait for so long (three and a half years) to speak this truth” to his countrymen?

It is unlikely that people would believe what he said as the programme seemed to have had his blessings and the support of the SLFP group that paralyzed former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s leadership along with him, throughout the 100 days when some of the 100 points of it were implemented. The President rightly boasted that it was he who gave necessary Parliamentary support as head of the SLFP to give effect to the main components of the 100-day-programme such as the mini-Budget with so many concessions to the people in the first month of his administration and the 19th Amendment which was passed in Parliament in April 2015. Did he mean support was given to implement a programme which he did not agree with? 

The common Presidential candidate of the opposition, Maithripala Sirisena had announced on the first day of his candidature that he would appoint UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister immediately after his election; he readily kept that promise. If he had not expected some programme – 100-day or else — to be implemented in days to come, why did he appoint a Prime Minister and board of ministers without dissolving the Parliament straightaway? 

One has to accept the important point he articulated about the role of the SLFP under his leadership in bringing in democratic reforms after the so-called Yahapalana Government came to power. There were 142 MPs who had accepted the leadership of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa then, and without their support, no reforms could have been brought in by the UNP which had only 47 MPs. Siirisena used his SLFP chairmanship to make his party members support those reforms. The fact that he is not only the SLFP Chairman but also the Executive President of the country might have worked towards this end. 

However, the report said his outburst points out that bickering between the UNP and the President’s group in the government was worsening. And neither party seemed to be giving in which has already adversely affected the country. They have to put up with each other for the next 18 months as the law does not allow people to replace the incumbent government with another. Hence, circumstances demanded leaders from both ruling parties to act responsibly.

In a recent interview with a Sinhala weekly newspaper, Sirisena claimed that during his tenure as the President of the country only animals had been associated with him and he only realized it after his retirement.

The newspaper said that it is the text of a discussion they had with Mr Maithreepala Sirisena just 3 months after his retirement as the President of Sri Lanka.

It is now 52 years for my political life.  26 of these years I spent in the Parliament.  From

9th January 2015 till 18th November 2019 for nearly 5 years I functioned as the President of this country. 

I hold a Left Progressive political ideology and respect Social Democracy as a political vision.  When I was told that I will be made the Common Candidate, I accepted it with the objective of rendering a great service to the country in accordance with my policies and vision.

Though I wanted to carry out a clean political State Administration under indigenous thinking nurturing our values the people who brought me to power wanted to get their policies implemented,

All of you are aware that I am a person who was against corruption but within two months of forming the government the Central Bank Treasury Bond robbery took place.  From then onwards there were serious conflicts of opinion between me and Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe.  He went to Parliament and said that he would accept responsibility for that and no dispute has taken place in respect of the Treasury Bonds transactions.  But public opinion got created otherwise. It was then I appointed a Presidential Commission comprising Supreme Court Judges. 

Then it became evident that those in the United National Party had links to this Scam.  In this manner, I struggled for more than four years within the government against corruption and against follies and lapses in Economic management.

Responding to a question raised as to whether he did not think at the time of appointing a foreigner, a friend of the Prime Minister as the Governor of the Central Bank as that it was unsuitable, Sirisena has responded saying that it was the beginning of the disputes between him and Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe.  Sirisena said that he strongly opposed this appointment but Mr Wickremasinghe was firmly insisting that Mahendran should be appointed.  It is not proper to have conflicts immediately after the government coming to power.  On the other hand, it was the United National Party that made me the President.  Therefore, in consideration of these matters, I conceded to the Prime minister’s request.

Responding to the question you said that the government hindered for you to work according to your policies though it was they who had presented the policies, Sirisena said that he presented a programme of work, and he submitted a plan to appoint a Cabinet of Ministers on a scientific basis.  He said that the plan was formulated by a panel of Professors. But the Prime Minister even didn’t look at it and created Ministries joining the Highways and Higher Education together.  That also was the reason for a clash between the two of us.  After that, I presented my programme of work criticizing the government and creating clashes between us.  But there was no one other than me to implement my programme of work.  The Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers were on the opposite side. 

However, I was able to carry out a considerable volume of work on behalf of the country amidst this confronting atmosphere.  These included consolidation of democracy in the country, protection of human rights, protection of fundamental rights, media freedom etc. Whatever there were criticisms about me it was during my period that after Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s rule the foreign relations became strengthened.  I was able to make Obama, Putin and Xi Jinping look at this country without differentiation between the West and the East.  Though it was not properly used by those below me, I went around the world and brought a large volume of investment proposals for this country.  I have the fullest satisfaction that I was able to do much work for this country despite the clashes we had.

During the latter part of my presidency, I issued around 62 gazette notification which was very essential for the country.  I assigned thousands of acres of lands to Sinharaja. Although Somawathiya and Madu Church had been declared as places of worship they did not have sufficient land and fulfilled this lacuna.  The 36-year-old Saman Devale perahera of Ratnapura was made a national heritage.  I loved the ministerial portfolio of environment similar to the president post I loved. That was why I made a sacrifice like this. 

Responding to a question that despite the claim of strengthening international relations, there were severe criticisms from the opposition that the government has betrayed this country, Sirisena admitted such betrayals and said that it was because of his opposition more such betrayals could be prevented. He said that he had no connection with the Hambantota agreement.  It was not even discussed with him.  He said that he suspended the Singapore pact.  He said that the country would have dwindled to the abyss further if he did not oppose for things, and he was happy about it. 

Q: You became so desperate because of the 19th Amendment.  Didn’t you make a lot of efforts to bring in that amendment?

A: Yes.  Even votes from Mt. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s side was received for the 19th

Amendment.  Ranil Wickremasinghe had only 42 seats and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa had 142 seats.  After one week of my becoming the president, the party was handed over to me.

Whatever it is that blessing was a strength for me to carry out my work in the first year.

It was because of the support we received from the 142 seats of Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa we were able to adopt many Bills such as Drugs Act, the Act related to the warning on cigarette packets, and Bills that needed 2/3 majority in accordance with the 19th amendment.

Q: But you said later that the 19A was a conspiracy?

A: I say that even today.  19 was a political conspiracy.  More than curtailing powers of the President, what happened through the 19 was creating 3 powerful individuals, such as the President, the Prime Minister and the Speaker.  The Speaker has got a superpower.  The power to steer the whole State apparatus.  The Speaker got these powers from the 19.  The Independent Commissions did not become independent. The independent commissions completely acted in the way Karu Jayasuriya wanted.  It was the way he wanted that appointments to Commissions and other Institutions took place.

Additionally, see the way how the 19 was adopted.  It was debated in the Parliament for two days. On the second day, voting was adjourned for two hours to take up the existing amendments. During that short time, these amendments were made even without heeding the opinions of constitutional experts. It was done as per the wishes of those representing the Parliament. It was a clandestine act done by Ranil Wickremasinghe and his NGO cabal. Therefore the country faced a collapsing situation.

Q: The support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party was also received for the appointment of the current President Mr Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Now it is three months since he became President.  What is your assessment about the performance of the President and the government during this period?

A: What I have noticed during this period is that President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is making a great effort to take the country forward.  Therefore it is my policy to extend unconditional support to him.  I and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party will extend our unconditional support to strengthen him. The reason is that that a single individual can never uplift a country. There should be a united responsibility either to the President or the Prime Minister to uplift a country.  There should be a united commitment of the President, the Prime Minister, Ministers, the Parliament, public servants as well as the general public.

It is not a secret to anyone about the economic problems being faced by the country. Because of the Corona epidemic, this situation has got further aggravated.  It is not only our country even the powerful countries of the world have got affected economically. Therefore we have a great danger in the future.    Therefore anyone who loves this country should extend his/her support to the President.

Q: Although you state so, yet there is no common agreement between the SLPP and the

SLFP on contesting the general election.  Isn’t it?

A: There is no conflict between the two parties although the media is attempting to invent such a thing. I even discussed recently with all these leaders.  The second and third level members are making various statements without knowing the agreements that exist at leadership levels. The other thing is that we signed two agreements prior to the presidential election with President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and with the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Hence we expect to act according to those agreements. After we signed these agreements both Mr. Gotabhaya and Mr. Mahinda told in all meetings that since the Sri Lanka Freedom Party has joined with them their victory was certain. It denoted that the members of the two parties could hold hopes, and that is why they were contesting.

There is no question about the symbol. It doesn’t matter what the symbol is.  What is needed is to have the Alliance. We are not taking those things with us when we die. Only we have to think about the country.

Q:Sri Lanka Freedom Party was one of the two leading political parties in this country. There are allegations that you zeroed this party?

A: It is like this.  Not only the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, Ranil Wickremasinghe even diminished me. Ranil Wickremasinghe filed cases against 70 MPs of the SLFP.  These cases were filed in the Bribery Commission and in the Courts via the Attorney General.

All these cases were framed by Ranil’s Anti Corruption Secretariat Office operated from the Temple Trees.  By now all are aware who functioned in this office. 

Q: Do you say that the allegations were baseless?

A: Just see, a case was filed against Minister Fawzi saying that he took a vehicle.  That vehicle was not lost.  It has been taken from one Ministry to another Ministry.  Then a case was filed against a relevant Minister alleging that he had given a job to the daughter of Priyankara Jayaratne.  A large number of similar concocted and invented cases had been filed.  These things were done by the so-called Anti-Corruption Office and then they told Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa that it was not Ranil who was doing that but it was the President.   I did not have police with me, CID with me, FCID with me, and Attorney General with me.  All these were with them.  It was with all these institutions they carried out all those things. 

Q: Will you contest in the forthcoming elections?

A: Of course.  I will contest from Polonnaruwa.

Q´ But there is an objection from your district about it?

A: What is there in this country that has no objections? A few days ago there were 7 protestations in front of the presidential secretariat.  In the political world protestations and Satyagraha are ordinary things.  They are signs of Democracy.

Q: During the last period of your rule, you made a great effort to activate capital punishment for those who have been convicted with the death sentence.  Did that also become unsuccessful because of internal clashes?

A: I signed papers for capital punishment for four persons.  There was a fundamental rights petition against it.  The Supreme Court gave judgment against my ruling.  Yet this case is not completed.  Who filed this case? It was the agents of the judges. 

Regretfully I must say that at that time leaders of the government as well as the opposition said that it was wrong to carry out capital punishment.  However if those

4 persons were given the capital punishment the drug trade in this country could have gone down.  It was a national calamity rather than my set back.

Q: At the zenith of clashes between you and Ranil Wickremasinghe you dismissed Ranil

Wickremasinghe from the premiership and appointed Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime minister.  But the Cout decided that it was a decision taken against the Law?

A : I took that decision based on opinion provided by a panel of Sri Lanka’s much reputed and popular Lawyers.

Q: It was claimed that foreign diplomatic offices carried a joint operation from the time you became the common candidate until your victory.  The opposition said then that it was a foreign conspiracy? 

A: I do not accept that it was a foreign conspiracy that made me a common candidate.

Even after Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa called for elections and started the campaign work the UNP did not have a candidate capable of winning the election.  Even in 2010, the UNP didn’t have a candidate.  Then they brought in the Army Commander.  In 2015 too they did not have a candidate capable of winning the election. At that time a group consisting of Chandrika, Rajitha, and Ven. Sobhita Thero held discussions and selected me.

Q: How the former President Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunge who was instrumental in making you the common candidate fell out with you?

A: She went on Ranil worshipping.  She abandoned the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and went after a highly corrupted person who had betrayed the country. 

Q: This house that is having this discussion is reported to have been repaired by you spending a colossal sum of Rs. 80 Million. Was there any truth in it?

A: Why I should spend.  None of these is things made for me.  This was the house resided by Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.  I came to reside in it after getting it cleaned.

Is it this house or the house where Chandrika is residing more valuable? That house is in Torrington, Colombo 7.  Further, all the previous 5 Presidents got houses.  J.R.Jayawardene has adopted an Act titled Presidential Entitlement Act – Act No. -04 of 1986” This Act clearly states that a retired Presidents should be provided with all facilities entitled for a Cabinet Minister.  It was in accordance with the hat after the assassination of President Premadasa all Presidents were provided with houses.

Who said that several million were spent on this house? It is a vulgar statement.

Q: What is happening to the Sri Lanka Freedom Party?

A: We are now working with the government.  Hence I think that all of us will become successful. There had been governments based on Fronts, and Alliances concepts since

1956. Therefore, no one can form governments in the future without getting united.  Even the UNP has gone for an alliance. 

Q: You have gained experience as a President.  How it would be the experience that will be gained as a former President?

A: It was after I bid farewell from the pst of President I clearly understood the difference between human beings and Inhumans.  I identified the beasts camouflaged in the guise of human beings after retirement.  It became clear in the last month.  But it doesn’t matter because of our long-time political experience. We have been victorious and we also have been defeatists. These are very familiar now.  However, of I contest and get defeated the situation will become worse.  And the other thing is at the time of my retirement I had supported the candidate who was victorious.  That was also one reason to minimize the pressure that gets built up after retirement.

Q: Will a member of your family enter politics after you?

A: Not yet.  It has to be seen after 2025.  I have no intention to be in politics after 2025. 

After that, if one of my children had any wish they may come.  Had been a President of this country.  Therefore, I think that there is nothing wrong if my children come to politics after me. 

The treacherous Sirisena who attempted to portray himself in the aforementioned article and the interview as an innocent and flawless person has accidentally coughed out a plan to destroy the SLPP as well despite the compassion shown by the SLPP leadership ignoring the valid and justifiable objections raised by some Ministers and State Ministers who were founding members of the SLPP.

This utterly shameless and ungrateful treacherous Sirisena addressing a meeting in Polonnaruwa has said that he is similar to a merciless Falcon that snatches away the fish caught by a halcyon (a kingfisher) he would attack the SLPP at the right time in a right manner. This statement has brought a flurry of criticism from SLFP parliamentarians, SLFP party members, from the SLPP and also from some UNP parliamentarians and members and the general public. 

In a subsequent speech this Falcon fellow, who seems to be out of mind due to being out of power, has said that he will not allow all and sundry to lay their eggs in his nest.

He has said that the kidney patients hospital in Polonnaruwa is a gift given to him by the Chinese President and it is now being used by some others for their political advantage and many public servants in the Polonnaruwa district by now are being subjected to political victimization.   Criticizing the cancellation of the land deeds he has said that he will go to Courts on behalf of the farmers.

Many former SLFP MPs and members have sought SLPP to accept them as their members and also to give them nominations claiming that they will not get votes if they further associate with stupid Sirisena after his Falcon speech.

Minister Wimal Weerawansa sternly criticizing Sirisena as a historically proved betrayer has said that this Falcon fellow has no gratitude at all for the favors dome to him despite his well-known treachery since his last supper with Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa om 21st November 2014.    He urged the voters to ensure that only those who can contribute to the vision and aspirations of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa elected in the forthcoming elections so that this country can be rebuilt as envisaged by the patriotic masses.  He vehemently condemned the Falcon speech of Sirisena and said that all Falcons and Chameleons should be sent home without any mercy.

Meanwhile, the former UNP MP Palitha Range Bandara has said that Sirisena deliberately ignored Easter Sunday bombings and he is a fellow who has no concern for anything that could befall on this country.  He said if Sirisena properly acted on reports received from intelligence services all the people who lost their lives untimely in the Easter Sunday carnage could have been saved and the terrorists could have been arrested.  Referring to Sirisena’s Falcon talk he said that it was his Falcon attack that kept Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernande and the former IGP Pijoth Jayasundera under remand custody for several months as mere scapegoats while Sirisena and his family were enjoying presidential perks. 

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa responding to the recent statements of the treacherous Falcon Sirisena has said at a meeting in Kurunegala that it was the poor and innocent people of this country who had to endure unbearable hardships owing to the factional fighting among the rulers and some people trying to be falcons and snatch away the possessions of others. Mr Rajapaksa pointed out that in the Falcon/Butterfly government, the President was not agreeable with the Prime Minister and similarly the Prime Minister was not agreeable with the President and these controversies only caused the people to suffer extensively and no service was rendered to the nation.

To be continued………

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