A reply to Sonali Samarasinghe on her article “Why the world must stop Sri Lanka’s decline?” appearing in Globalpost on 10.9.2010.
Posted on September 12th, 2010

by Charles.S.Perera

Sonali Samarasinghe appears from her hiding in the West to request her “world” to stop Sri Lanka’s decline.  Stopping Sri Lanka’s decline is to help it to improve, help it to grow.  That her “world” will not do. Because her “world” only wants to see  Sri Lanka’s decline.

The “world” to which you appeal Sonali Samarasinghe,  is the Western world of which we have had enough.  Their democracy, their human rights are only ” excuses ” used against  the developing countries to keep them subservient and kept bound to the West- their  former colonialists.  They are only slogan carriers for democracy, with neither the democracy nor the generosity to help the third world countries  to progress into development.

We have experienced their democratic ways, they withdrew GSP+ which helped our country to employ  poor  young women  from the villages, and earn  foreign currency, they set up panels to accuse  our Government  Forces which eliminated terrorism, for war crimes. We have really lost respect to these countries Sonali Samarasinghe, your friends are unfortunately not our friends.

There is nothing new Sonali Samarasinghe in your present article  against Sri Lanka other than what  you had been saying in your  previous articles and the speech. This is just the same  old wine now turning in to vinegar served  in a new bottle.

Not only Sonali but all those who had been taking their turn to write on the 18th Amendment seem to be  inviting the same old ghosts to haunt  Sri Lanka to create a semblance of fear.  Any thing is good enough for the anti Sri Lanka vampires to attack the President and the Government of Sri Lanka, when in fact the 18th Amendment neither creates fear nor does it create a Dictator or a King out of the Present President or the future Presidents.  It is just an Amendment to the Constitution  to make it more flexible with regard to the terms of office of Presidency.

But  Sonali Samarasinghe has not seen, from where she is hiding what is going on in Sri Lanka today with Mr.Mahinda Rajapaksa as its President. There  is  an enormous upsurge of  progress and development.  This surge of progress to continue unabated, there should be an assurance of the continuity of the leadership that ventured to begin the process.

Hence the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which  would help the present leadership or another progressive leadership elected by the people in the future ,   to carry forward the process of development, without an attempt by a wrong leadership to take it  backwards  to enable a “world” to which Sonali Samarasinghe appeals to cause its decline.

The Constitution does not give the President unlimited power as there are Commissions which can advise and control appointments. The President is answerable to the Parliament cannot manipulate electoral process to his advantage.  But further amendments, perhaps to set up an Upper House will be of further benefit to the country.

The 18th Amendment has not taken away the power of the people to elect who ever they want to lead the country, without placing the right of governance on one person for two consecutive terms, unless they approve the development processes he had started and want him to continue the process for a further period of time. 

Our country being for the first time in the infancy of an independent growth, away from the “world” which had not been kindly to its development,  requires a dedicated leadership as the one we have now.  That is the view of the majority of the people of the country from which Ms.Sonali Samarasinghe has distanced.

The President Mahinda Rajapakse had been in power since 2005. He has won the ordinary people’s trust and confidence and they  have no fear that he would abuse the trust they have placed in him.

Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, UN and its Human Rights Commission, and the EU had been the stumbling blocks put on the path of Sri Lanka’s progress towards development away from underdevelopment.  The Parliamentary Council will not be a “toothless body” as you say, but it will have sufficient control with some of its members drawn from the Opposition, it is up to them to speak up in defence of “democracy”. 

The President instead of being a dictator  who has all powers in his hand , will overseer the smooth function of different  administrative bodies, for  the wellbeing of the people without being a deterrent for the progress of the country as a whole.

It is only being away from Sri Lanka and reading only biased media reports, unable to look at the present development  that is  taking place in Sri Lanka under the leadership of the President Mahinda Rajapakse in the correct perspective, that you have come to the wrong and sad conclusion that Sri Lanka is a Country falling  rapidly into  decline. 

There was never a Dictatorship in Sri Lanka and there would not be one so long as Mahinda Rajapakse is in leadership.  However, the 18th Amendment has not taken away the power of the people to enable a President turning to be dictatorial to be removed after his first term of office.  The 18th Amendments gives greater power to the people, that the previous Constitution of JR Jayawardhane did not foresee, or purposely avoided such an empowerment to the people.. 

The opposition was given a chance by the President before the 18th Amendment was placed before the Parliament to discuss the issue of an Executive President or an Executive Prime Minister , but the “weak”  Opposition- as you say,  was unable to seize the opportunity to engage in a dialogue to come to a different  political system by curbing the executive powers of the President. 

This bill passed  in Parliament  on the  7th September,2010, was therefore not executed  in  haste, but  having a two third majority in the Parliament to any Political party is rare, and maintaining it being uncertain with fickle minds of “persons”- and with an expatriate Tamil Community waiting generously with  an open bag of dollars,  backed by the anti Sri Lanka countries of the west, duped by persons like you giving a wrong image of our country, it had been thought wise to pass the 18th Amendment now without prolonging discussions on it with a “weak  and non-cooperating opposition” for an uncertain period of time.

The President’s immunity, under the former Constitution lasted for two consecutive terms of   Presidency. But with the adoption of the 18th Amendment he loses that privilege, as the Presidency is renewable after every single term of office.

In 2005 Mahinda Rajapakse came on a platform- not of war, as Sonali Samarasinghe says “”…”but on a “platform” to remove terrorism peacefully with a dialogue with the terrorist leader.  But  Prabhakaran not only refused to meet him personally, but also refused  to participate in negotiations for  a peace settlement.

Prabhakaran  showed  his opposition for  negotiation of peace by blasting a claymore bomb massacring  a busload of  passengers, and closing the sluice gates of a tank depriving the farmers of water.  The President then had  no alternative but to resort to military operations.  That is  the situation that Sonali carefully avoids speaking about,   calling the government’s military operations against terrorism a “racist war”.

On the 18th May,2009, the President with his Armed Forces eliminated terrorism, despite the efforts by the Western countries to give a life line to the terrorists for some unknown reason. Subsequently, these  Western countries  angered by their failure to save the terrorist leadership  continue to accuse Sri Lanka for violation of Human Rights.

There are many local media persons like Sonali Samarasinghe who helped the anti Sri Lanka moves by the foreign Media to bring discredit to Sri Lanka putting forward all sorts of unsubstantiated allegations.

It is wrong to say  that Sri Lanka during the past five years  achieved only a modest economic growth.  On the other hand Sri Lanka  despite the military operations against the terrorists during the last four years made a remarkable economic growth, as well as an unprecedented  infrastructure development, which would surprise Sonali Samarasinghe if she were to visit Sri Lanka with an open mind and see them for herself.

Sonali Samarasinghe should not continue to discredit Sri Lanka, by talking about the doctored  Video evidence planted by the UK Channel 4, which had been apparently amply compensated  for their deplorable work by the pro terrorist Tamil Expatriates in UK, and strengthened by an equally deplorable journalist of your late husband’s Sunday Leader. It is not necessary to go back on it as it had been repeated ad nauseam.

With regard to the appointment of the brothers of the President that you seem to  revert back to, you may perhaps know that one brother appointed as the Defence Secretary was a Colonel in the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and fought against the terrorists for nearly 20 years.  Therefore, that was an appropriate appointment as he already knew of the tactics used by the terrorists, and knew how to coordinate the three forces -Army, Navy and Air Force and provide them with appropriate arms and ammunition.

It was an appropriate appointment despite the fact the appointee was a brother of the President. We now know that he played  a key role in the military operations that brought terrorisms to an end in Sri Lanka.  He was a person on whom  the President could place his complete trust and confidence, which was an important factor at the time.

With regard to other two brothers and his son they contested  different Parliamentary seats in the country and were democratically  elected by the people of the country. Therefore harping on that is a mere effort to baselessly discredit the President.

All his appointees to important positions in the government sector were qualified for the posts and they have carried out the work entrusted to them in the interest of the country, of which you are out of touch, and repeat stories concocted by anti Sri Lanka persons whose company you seem to keep.

Arrest of the former Army Commander is on evidence of his misconduct not in keeping with his office as the Commander of the Army.  His arrest was not a personal vendetta of the President, who may even today pardon him if he were to ask for it.

As you are biased against Sri Lanka you will fail to see positive aspects of the Presidency of Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse.  On the same account you will be blind to the efforts of the West, securing the support of  the UN, UNHRC, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International ,EU and the International Crisis Group, to take revenge from the President and the Government  for its refusal to let their Agents, David Milliband, Bernard Kushner , or  Blake to enter the war zone during the final phase of the war against terrorists to rescue its leadership.

We are an Independent Nation with a literate population.  Our Academics, the Judiciary, and the intelligentsia are “noble”  as much as they are in the West or perhaps more so. They could be trusted to carry  out independent objective  investigations  into what ever Commissions they are appointed ,  

Therefore Sonali Samarasinghe when you say , ”  Many have no faith in such homegrown inquiries that have been more about the reinforcement of the government viewpoint, denial, botching evidence and creating confusion rather than genuine investigation.”, you are joining in chorus with all anti-Sri Lanka elements in the west. It is an unpardonable insult to our institutions and our learned intellectual community. 

The “Many” you refer to may be the people of your ilk, and those biased Westerners, whose company you keep .  But the people of the country  have confidence in the investigators appointed to various Commissions, as well as  those appointed  to the Reconciliation and Lessons Learnt Commission, except of course  the local political opponent of the President and his government .

Some of our media, and media personnel are the bane of our country that discredit the Country and the President  for the most part inventing incidents and reporting them to the western media as manoeuvres by the President and the Government .

You and those who prompted the writing of your article have let all your minds run wild in trying to imagine  how to condemn the  adoption of the 18th Amendment  as a means to make the incumbent President more powerful. 

If you had looked at it without bias against the President and the Government  you may have seen more clearly the  adoption of the 18th Amendment does not attempt to make the incumbent President more powerful than he is.

With people like you  who do not want to see the merits of the 18th Amendment, we can discuss until cows come home and you will still remain with the same bias as  that with which  you started the discussion.

Finally you come to the new Amendment, by which the President  must attend Parliament every three months making him answerable to the Parliament, where you say that,  ”  a provision his supporters argue will increase accountability. In fact, such a move will only serve to increase presidential power, manipulation and interference in the parliamentary process and remove any semblance of the independence of parliament and the separation of powers.”

 This shows that you are unable to look at any thing objectively when it comes to Sri Lanka , it is under these circumstances  that one wonders how you came to be a “award winning” journalist with such a muddled mental attitude.

The final cutting  wave of your  sword comes , with the statement, ” Certainly for a country that has seen some of the bloodiest years of its 27-year civil war under the present regime, the culture of impunity, the fear propaganda, the persecution intimidation, murder and muzzling of the press is nothing new.”

But leaving aside insinuations, Sonali Samarasinghe should know that  this country saw, with the coming of President Rajapakse, the end of nearly a thirty years of suffering bringing untold misery to the Tamil Civilians in the North and East and assassinations, murders, massacres, fear and uncertainty to the rest of the country.  It also saw the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka with the end of  terrorism. 

There had been no muzzling of the press at any time and even now the media both local and international continue to berate, insult, discredit and level accusations to the President and the government of Sri Lanka, without a word of angry reaction by the President or the Government.

Please stop your vendetta against the President and the Government and come to Sri Lanka to see for yourself what has become of Sri Lanka since you have left , what progress  it has  made, before you write another  meaningless article remembering Sri Lanka for what it  had been under a ruthless terrorism ” in command”.

 ( for Sonali Samarasinhghe’s article:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100910/why-the-world-must-stop-sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-decline  )

4 Responses to “A reply to Sonali Samarasinghe on her article “Why the world must stop Sri Lanka’s decline?” appearing in Globalpost on 10.9.2010.”

  1. Nihal Fernando Says:

    Sonali has successfully added her name as another IDIOT to the list of Seven Idiots by acting delusions of grandeur.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Something tells me Sonali got her husband – Lasantha killed in just 3 months of marriage, received a huge insurance sum, left the country and now living in the lap of luxury abroad. Lasantha’s popularity has given her a livelihood in addition to her engaging in the world’s oldest profession. Lasantha and Sonali were carrying on for years. Why did she suddenly marry him in late 2008? Government was a ready scapegoat because Lasantha was against the ruling party. We are looking at the wrong places for clues of his murder.

    When Lasantha’s wife of 3 months weep for years, even his real wife for 10 years and children don’t cry so much.

    Government should investigate the insurance connection.

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    In Australia the Priminister can be elected an unlimited number of times. So why is it wrong for SriLanka to elect their President any number of times they wish to? Is it because the USA can elect their president only for two terms and therefore all other nations should follow their system to qualify to be a democracy? Sri Lanka needs a strong patriotic leader willing to work with all well wishing nations whether Western or Eastern and most of all to withstand the current onslaught directed against it by the a segment of the western nations and their INGO puppets like the George Soros funded HRW or the AI or their backdoor military intervention tools the R2P and the LTTE.

  4. Leela Says:

    For Sonali, the ‘world’ means the so-called western countries that sponsored INGOs like the one that prop-up her ex-husband’s newspaper – ‘The Leader’. That paper has been the most vicious and hypocritical weekend English language paper ever published in Sri Lanka.

    Sonali; if Sri Lanka takes the countries you name as its true friends, I say, Sri Lanka doesn’t need enimies. Just think of some acts before 2009 by the countries that you plead to rescue us.

    Did those countries not continue a ban on selling defence material to us? Did they not try to force a tactical delay on a loan from IMF to Sri Lanka? Did they not try to sabotage if not stop our effort to eradicate the LTTE that send all kinds of human bombs to include pregnant women to blast our buses, trains and public places where the sick, old and young gather.

    Did they not, allow LTTE – designated as terrorists to collect money in their countries on the sly. Did they not, allow LTTE (a more ruthless terrorist than Al Qaeda) leader to operate from their capitals? With all their bending backwords to assist LTTE, we have managed to wipe it out with all its leaders.

    The countries that you may call friends never liked our eradicating LTTE. Otherwise, why would they harassed us for vanquishing the world’s most ruthless terrorist organisation for good. Why would they accuse our leaders that led the war as war criminals? Really, they should have been lined up to congratulate them.

    Sri Lankan patriots knew all along those countries that Sonali call friends had other motives. They were hoping LTTE would one day divide this country and rule the North and East. They thought that way they could destabilise India and also have their land as well as sea bases in the North of Sri Lanka. One only has to follow defence analysts of the west and understand their fear of the Chinese help to Sri Lanka.

    When they failed to screw us on HR they tried a run on the former army commander’s stupidity. When they failed that they withheld GSP+ on false pretenses. We can go on and on. But I think this is enough to prove my point.

    Sonali has no clue what is happening in Sri Lanka. So let us put her in the same catogory as those countries and let them live in a fools paradise. Amen!

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