The Pass the Pillow Politicians of Sri Lanka
Posted on October 9th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge  

The history of cross-overs in Sri Lankan politics is amusing to say the least. Political parties have no problem about the jumping jacks and political parties have no issues in passing these politicians like the game – pass the pillow. A game it is and all parties are playing the same game. They ridicule one another on stage but enjoy a good up of tea and a hearty laugh in the end. The laugh probably is meant for us – the Public. We the gullible and the fools end up making heroes out of zeroes simply because some bad eggs jump to bring an opposition party into power. Is it not time to change the entire voting system and bring in a better option for the people and the nation and not the politicians? But can we expect changes when the changes end up having to be done by people not wanting to relinquish any of their powers and quite satisfied with the status quo whether they are in government or opposition?

Global politics today is corrupt. Mega bucks are thrown in by organizations to ensure they get their ‘people’ into power because when they are in power these entities are assured of getting their agendas met. Thus, politicians end up trapped even before they enter office which is why in reality it is hard to find an honest politician and why we say there are no honest politicians in politics or politics is not for honest politicians. Perhaps the day a new political culture prevails across the world things may change.

The politicians we end up voting for and those who enter from the back door may not have qualifications even a simple O/L pass but their ingenuity is such that they have created for themselves their own goalposts – even if they cross over they do not require to leave the party though they are voting for the party that they crossed over to. What kind of logic is this and have the people been so foolish to accept this? All crossovers have to do with fulfilment of personal goals and nothing else and such people deserve no one’s respect nor do they qualify to be termed ‘respected’. The political parties will complain when they end up losing people and power but they will not complain when crossovers help their party to come into power!

What is important is that the cross overs between 1951 to 1965 had no links to perks, bribes and other factors except the disagreement in policies. With every year the demand is raised for cross overs and there are even foreign entities willing to and actually conniving these cross overs! Today we are talking about millions being demanded alongside other perks too and the logic is always – ‘why not so long as we can form a Government’ so any bad egg is welcome and all these bad eggs are having a price tag which they are proud of and not ashamed of displaying the pitiful conditions these politicians have deteriorated to and questions why any of us in public would even wish to shake hands with them!

What is even more amusing is the excuses they give for crossing over and these range from ‘putting country before party’ to claiming that they stood for ‘honesty, transparency and against corruption’ and the best one is that it was against ‘principles’ to be in a party that people were against. We have heard enough and more of these and they have a season too. The kangaroo inside each comes out at the height of elections and the public should take close note of their speeches and statements because these are dead giveaways on what they are planning to do. We need to ask why these jumping jacks are given plum portfolios especially like the Ministry of Justice when it is all too clear that the damage is being done to the country while in office and thereafter crossing over for another plum portfolio to continue the same damage! It also questions why they are even kept in office when all signs reveal that they remain only to satisfy their lusts.

Are the public euthanized to such an extent that they are unable to realize or do they also become party to the hypocrisies because they too stand to gain? Let the public be honest for a change and ask themselves how many vote for a politician because he stands for principles, for a vision to raise the country and its people or do they vote for a politician simply because they see advantages to themselves when x,y,z is voted in? Is this not why the politicians have got used to distributing lunch packets, arrack bottles and now money is slipped into envelopes and handed out during elections? With the politicians raising their demands the bribe taking voters have too. All this in the end spells a very doomed future because any amount of handouts can be given before coming to power in order to come to power, but these payments have to be repaid and how does the repayment take place? Ah, it is good if people begin to realize the evil cycle at play and also realize how guilty they too are.

The cross overs after 1965 were all to do with bribes, perks and privileges and even to avoid legal cases against them.

  • 1965 – 13 SLFP MPs led by C P de Silva left the government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike.  did not matter in the very early crossovers in the years 1951 to 65. Allegations were made during the 1965 crossovers that bribes were given by a media group to allure the members to change sides.
  • 1965 – when Dudley Senanayake was PM with a 7 party coalition, Dr. W Dahanayake (one man-party LPP) crossed over against cutting of rice rations, mid-meals for schools and lunch for hospital patients
  • 1999 – 12 SLFP MPS (G L Peiris, Mahinda Wijesekera, S B Dissanayake) crossed over during Chandrika Bandaranaike’s rule crashing her government  (allegations of bribes and perks offered to cross over)
  • 2000 under Ranil Premiership crossovers such as Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Wijepala Mendis, Dr. Stanley Kalpage

It is really difficult to count the number of cross overs over the years but most of the cross overs have been from the UNP to other parties giving us to ask whether UNP has become a training area for people to cross over yet keep their membership in the UNP? The count would place more UNP’ in Parliament since most of the UNPers in Government have not given up their UNP membership.

When Shakespeare said Brutus was an honourable man should we be surprised how many ‘honourable men are inside Diyawanna Oya”?

With elections announced for 2015, the bargaining game has already begun. No doubt foreign players are also involved and a lot of charts and checklists are following the eeny meeny mieni mo game to see who can be paid to be taken and who needs to be paid to remain. It would have been better to keep the announcement of elections as a surprise leaving little room for mischief.

We get the government we deserve and if people themselves continue to tolerate the same clowns proposing to jump and create a new government with the same set of bad eggs it will show that the people are no better than the politicians.

Instead, the political parties must be lobbied to include more youth, qualified and people who have through examples shown commitment to developing the nations through projects that they have innovated. A new system of including talented youth with proven records must be developed and not simply those that look good on paper

30 Responses to “The Pass the Pillow Politicians of Sri Lanka”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Whose money is ‘given’ and ‘taken’ in these cross-overs? Is it not possible for the bribery commission to follow the money trail? Is there a way to account for public purse? Who is in charge and who should be in charge?

    Jayalalitha was sent to jail for not being able to account for her riches over and above her normal emoluments. Why is it not possible to use the same yardstick in Sri Lanka to those who amass riches far beyond what they receive through legal means – salaries, allowances etc.

    It is the stupid people who are responsible for these excesses and it is they who elect these vipers time and again.

  2. Nanda Says:

    “Is it not possible for the bribery commission to follow the money trail?”

    – If they check too much they will be punished. A simple question every voter should ask is

    Despite excellent and honest management why was Champika Ranawaka was scked by MR ?

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Presidential election most likely on January 9.

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    Despite excellent and honest management why was Champika Ranawaka was scked by MR ? Too Honest JVP & not willing implement 13A.

  5. Marco Says:

    Political crossovers are morally incorrect as politicians are those elected by the people, and it is therefore a violation of their trust.
    Since a parliamentarian is elected, by a majority of his constituents, on a particular political ticket or platform; it is logical to suggest that those who had elected him, or at least some of them, might not have voted for him if he was contesting under a different party.
    Crossovers are largely and in the main to obtain Ministerial position, financial gain and perks and not based on principles, morals or policy disagreements.
    Thus I call them unethical conversions of the political kind.
    Political crossovers/conversions should be followed by an election; that is if someone wants to resign from a particular party and join another party that person ought to resign and contest an election. I doubt many will cross over.
    The basic principle should be that if you are with voters who send you to parliament on a particular issue because you are a member of a particular party and you stood for certain programmes and policies and for whatever reason you are trying to move away from that party, irrespective of whether you stay in parliament or not, it should be that the voters ought to decide on, because there is a notion of trust.

    Many will recall President Rajapakse fell 6 short to gain a 2/3 majority in Parliament following the 2010 Parliamentary elections. He successfully canvassed the UNP crossovers and coalition support (SLMC) to gain his two third majority, with the promise that he would and could change the Constitution with the 2/3 backing. What we have seen is not a change in Constitution but a authoritative and dictatorial 18th Amendment to consolidate the Executive Presidency.

    I think it was only Gamini Jayasuriya who resigned from the Govt (not crossed over) on a matter of principle because he did not agree with the conditions and provisions of the Indo-Lanka accord

  6. Ananda-USA Says:


    Shakespeare wrote the play “Julius Caesar”, but it was Mark Antony in that play who repeated during his funeral oration at the Forum in Rome for Julius Caesar, his mentor that “Brutus is an honourable man” implying that he was in fact not an honourable for he had betrayed Caesar’s love and trust.

    Julius Caesar had just been murdered, and Mark Antony wanted to incite the Roman public to rise up against the assassins led by Brutus, Cassius and others who were jealous of Caesar’s accomplishments and his rise to greatness.

    Mark Antony came upon the murder scene, and instead of being also killed as a confidant of Caesar, was granted a few minutes permission at his request by the assassins “to bury Caesar, not to praise him”.

    It is the CLASSIC example of a strategic mistake made by a group of conspirators at the moment of their triumph that resulted in their ultimate downfall. It is also a CLASSIC example of how an able man, endowed with courage and the gift of eloquence, can seize the opportunity to turn the tables on his enemies, from the weakest of positions.

    This CLASSIC ORATION is worth reading again and again, so here it is for your enjoyment.

    Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Chapter 3, Scene 2:

    Mark Antony’s Funeral Oration for Julius Caesar on the steps of the Forum in Rome

    Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
    I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
    The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones;
    So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
    Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
    If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
    And grievously hath Caesar answer’d it.
    Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest–
    For Brutus is an honourable man;
    So are they all, all honourable men–
    Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
    He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
    But Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honourable man.
    He hath brought many captives home to Rome
    Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
    Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
    When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
    Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
    Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And Brutus is an honourable man.
    You all did see that on the Lupercal

    I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
    Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
    Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
    And, sure, he is an honourable man.
    I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
    But here I am to speak what I do know.
    You all did love him once, not without cause:
    What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
    O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
    And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
    My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
    And I must pause till it come back to me.
    [He weeps]
    But yesterday the word of Caesar might
    Have stood against the world; now lies he there.
    And none so poor to do him reverence.
    O masters, if I were disposed to stir
    Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage,
    I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong,
    Who, you all know, are honourable men:
    I will not do them wrong; I rather choose
    To wrong the dead, to wrong myself and you,
    Than I will wrong such honourable men.
    But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
    I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:
    Let but the commons hear this testament–
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
    And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory,
    And, dying, mention it within their wills,
    Bequeathing it as a rich legacy
    Unto their issue.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Putin has done it again! He has his WEAKNESSES but this is good.

    Putin has ordered to CONFISCATE foreign assets to pay for Russians affected by US EU sanctions.

    An excellent strategy.

    SL should confiscate assets of TAMIL NATIONALISTS to pay for the war affected.

  8. Marco Says:

    Ananda- Thank you
    I’m sure as a Bachelors and Masters Degree in English Lit and History from University of Delhi she must be well versed in Shakespeare.

    I wonder how ever if Mahinda Rajapakse would have contemplated those very words of Shakespeare when he paid his last respects to Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

  9. Nanda Says:

    I wonder how ever if Mahinda Rajapakse would have contemplated those very words “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones” when he betrays the Sinhale by sitting in the big seat , drunk and drugged with Thanha(greed) and lust.

    How can a Sir Lankan woman is paid $10,000 per month maintenance by a junior government minister ?

    This is the questions that people like Ananda USA , Charles Perera ( if they too are not paid ) should ask them selves , before committing 100% unconditionally ( as they imply by their statements).

    In my view time has come for a good man or woman to take over form these great sinners who using the innocence of Sinhala people to completely destroy Sinhale for ever. These buggers are the worst in out whole history.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Nanda and Marco,

    While you wander about aimlessly, like Cassius, recounting Mahinda Rajapaksa’s alleged “deficiencies” and “ambitions” in minute and exquisite detail, wonder about this too:

    That Caesar had just returned from the battle front after saving Rome from invading enemies, only to be assassinated at the foot of Pompey’s statue by his fawning “friends”, sedentary “senators” and fellow countrymen incurably jealous of his accomplishments.

    If you are familiar with “Julius Caesar” you would know about the “lean and hungry” look of Cassius who whispered treason in alleyways poisoning the hearts of Caesar’s associates and orchestrating that assassination.

    Like Julius Caesar, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has saved his country from its enemies, and is now engaged in battle to make Sri Lanka properous and impregnable, but yet he is now assailed by “lean and hungry” jealous men who want to belittle his accomplishments, assassinate his character, and question his motives.

    I say shame on all you self-serving ingrates, all you men without honor, all you “lean” men “hungry” for power, all slavishly serving foreign paymasters and local political opponents, all attempting with every sinew to tear down the one leader in post-independence Sri Lanka who had the ability, skill and courage to restore sovereignty to our Motherland, and our national pride to us as Sri Lankans. SHAME ON YOU !

  11. Nanda Says:

    Be careful when you are using 2 names to group together.
    I am sorry if I have upset you.
    If there is an election tomorrow and MR, RUINil contesting whom you think I encourage my friends and relatives to vote for ? It is still MR.
    However, that is a choice out of both evil people but one is sill better than the other.
    After 4 years we are getting to know MR better, he too is a cunning thief who has done a lot of papa kamma by robbing the country like no other.
    As I have no “foreign paymasters ” and have lived such a harmless life strictly keeping the 5 precepts ( to the maximum possible limit of a lay person) you too has committed papa kamma by accusing someone publically to blindly support a man who not even worth 1/16th of the other. I don’t believe you have any faith on 5 precepts but I have to tell this.
    Be carful.
    May you be happy and peaceful. May no harm come to you ! may you be awakened from ignorance.

  12. Marco Says:

    Actually, Ananda you will find most if not all Sri Lankans are “ashamed” of their elected representatives. Time and time again we elect the same unprincipled lot- Thus we are all Shamed. Nothing new in that.

    My I respectfully suggest you deal with the substance of my comments and opinions rather than throw wild allegations and name calling which is rather unbecoming of you and a futile exercise.

    “We believe in Free Speech, Right of Expression that Creates Platform for Dialogue”

  13. Nanda Says:

    These jokers are no better than their Tamil Nadu counterparts.

    Sinhale should be different to Nadu, as we have pure Buddhism , but how ?

    Shame , Yes. All Sinhalas shall be ashamed of this kind of so called leaders going for elections with intention rob, kill, womanize, drink and lie. Are these fools keeping 1 precept to be praised by the wise?

    These foolish leaders are applauded by no one but worst brainless atheists. There are good atheists and brainless atheists.

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Ultimately it boils down to the LESSER EVIL of the two – Batalanda-CFA-Konawala-Sunil-RUN-NIL and MR.

    MR is still better than Batalanda-CFA-Konawala-Sunil-RUN-NIL.

    But of course MR has to improve ALOT to be worthy of winning a third term. I think VOTERS will KICK OUT all the UNDESIRABLES around MR because they are SO UNPOPULAR.

    MR should KICK THEM OUT before people throw out the LOT. MOST of these undesirables were NOT SEEN during the war. They were brought to politics, advisory roles by BARA.


    They are STILL in politics because people have a very short memory.

  15. Marco Says:

    I’m not sure if many had noticed the Order Papers of Parliament dated 25th Sept 2014.
    There was a motion by a young MP Wasantha Senanayake to propose a Constitutional Amendment to introduce statutory limitations on numbers in the Cabinet to 30.- A commendable effort which would have had the support of everyone in Sri Lanka bar 120 odd plus citizens.
    Although the motion was not withdrawn from the Parliament Order papers the SLFP leadership persuaded Wasantha to postpone the debate and include it Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional Reforms

  16. Ananda-USA Says:

    To escape responsibility for his statements, Nanda has all of a sudden wrapped himself in the cloak of a meritorious Buddhist disciple, quoting the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eight Fold Path, and the virtues of Panchaseela. All hail Nanda, for unto us, an upasaka is given.

    But yet, ever since began to comment at LankaWeb, he has been attacking President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the most unreasonable and vile terms, violating those very Buddhist principles that he has suddenly discovered today, in his own defence. Where were his Buddhist principles and convictions when he denied President Mahinda Rajapaksa his hard-earned due as a great leader who, at great personal risk, has benefited his people more than any other in recent memory?

    While I am a committed Buddhist, I do not seek refuge in Buddhism to escape criticism for my actions and statements, for everyone knows that religion is the last refuge of the serial scoundrel.

    Nanda, my dear fellow, stand up like a man and bear the heat; if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen! At least, stop throwing stones at those who deserve honor, not brickbats!

  17. aloy Says:

    There was a time when we all praised MR. That was when he stood courageously against LTTE and their supporters. However after winning the war he got other ideas. He did not listened to our pleas ( of many in this forum) not to encourage the divisive powers by allowing those forces to resurrect and now think of getting even their votes to continue defrauding the nation. How many times the above commentators plead with him not to allow the NPC?. Did he listen and why he didn’t?. Now they want to remove the army and the last Buddhist statue in the north.

    My IP address has been blocked though I have been commenting on matters important for our country without throwing mud at anybody in this forum. Perhaps this may be my last posting here.

  18. Nanda Says:

    You will se at your death, who is right.
    “But yet, ever since began to comment at LankaWeb, he has been attacking President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the most unreasonable and vile terms, violating those very Buddhist principles that he has suddenly discovered today, in his own defence. ”
    – This proves you are lying. All readers will see if they bother to look back 4 years of records. I too may have done some mistakes, but not purposely.

    I shall stop this, as I don’t like to drag you down further.
    I discovered Buddhist principles and especially truthfulness, since I was a toddler, so your Paapakamma keeps on increasing which is not good. Obviously it is difficult to keep to the principles immaculately as we live in the world, but human ability is there to sacrifice and being not fearful of accepting faults.

    ‘There was a time when we all praised MR. That was when he stood courageously against LTTE and their supporters. ” – same with all of us, like Lorenzo, AunD, Ratnapala to name a few.

    Ananda has reached new low, unashamed lying.

  19. Nanda Says:

    Aloy, I don’t think they will block your IP, there are problems in the Website. If they want they can easily delete comments.

  20. Lorenzo Says:


    PLEASE keep posting.

    I don’t think they have blocked anyone. Just connection problems.

    My comments were blocked for a week for a GOOD reason. I take responsibility for that and respect the rights of others.

    e.g. When we drive on a road we have to abide by the rules of the owners. Otherwise roads will become slaughter houses.

    Sometimes there is a mandatory period when comments go into moderation. Please bear with that as I did.

    We have to WORK WITH each other, NOT AGAINST (unless they are against UNITARY SL).

    What you say about MR is right. PARASITES flocked around him after the war victory to SUCK UP THE PEACE DIVIDEND like unknown “friends” and “relatives” would flock around a gambler who won the lottery. They leave as the gamling money dries up.

    I think he is slowly coming to realize it. It may be TOO LATE for him. Lets hope not because MR is the BEST available so far and dream of a TRUE PATRIOT leading the country one day.

  21. Lorenzo Says:


    Ananda-USA has ALWAYS defended SL. So please DROP IT.

    From an outsider view, both of you are saying the same thing about SL. You + I differ with Ananda on MR which is OK. Still we don’t HATE MR. We only HATE the blunders he does. But there are some who HATE (HATRED) MR.

  22. Nanda Says:

    Ananda-USA may have defended SL , but what he defends is an ideal Sri Lanka which is ruled by Kalu Suddas, exploiting the natives. What he is doing is clogging the hard drives with cut and paste from Lanakapage, which is anti-Sinhala Buddhist.
    You and me and alloy are world’s apart from him- even though our races, religions are different we have similar values on humanity and have some wisom to understand each other. We simply cannot stand eating the country off in the name of “loan based development with 60% to pocket 40% to project policy”, which a huge Paapa Kamma (evil which cannot be washed away by any God). We simply do not defend evil like he does.

    Now that even the government has gone as low as LTTE level of open lying, there is no point even commenting. Our government did not lie like this before. This bugger has ruined our culture.

  23. Ananda-USA Says:


    My dear fellow, forget about my paapa karma and just worry about yours; you are fast accumulating loads of paapa, and is falling headlong into hell; it is just that you are unaware of it.

    Everyone who has read what I have written over the years, long before you began to comment at LankaWeb, knows that I am not in favor of “Kalu Suddas”, and that I have always stood for the best benefit of the ordinary Sri Lankans irrespective of their race, religion, caste, wealth and sex, and for defending my Motherland of Sri Lanka at all times.

    On the other hand, those who are trying to demonize and oust MR and the UPFA, are working on behalf of the “Kalu Suddas” ousted from power and dying from frustration and jealousy on the sidelines, and have allied themselves with the UNP, the Eelamists, local and foreign NGOs, and Western Neocolonialist powers attempting REGIME CHANGE in Sri Lanka.

    Those very Kalu Suddas are precisely the people on whose behalf you are vociferously arguing on the eve of the Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka, to demonize and oust the GOSL that defends and protects the ordinary people of Sri Lanka. I fully expect your allegations and accusations against MR to become more FRANTIC and SHRILL as that Election becomes closer.

    But rest assured, all of your FRANTIC ACCUSATIONS and DEMONIZATIONS of MR will come to NOUGHT, because the ORDINARY non-“Kalu Sudda” people of Sri Lanka know who protects their interests and who secures their Motherland from people like you.

    Finally, I know of no better way to get whatever point I am making in a comment, than to support it with EVIDENCE in the form of a RELEVANT news article from an independent third party. If you don’t like it, then ignore it because many others find that information useful rather than rely on my assertions only.

    Furthermore, you could not be more wrong than to accuse Lankapage of being anti-Sinhala Buddhist. It just shows just how FLAWED & DOWNRIGHT WRONG your perception and your judgment are on many topics on which you blindly spout vitriolic invective.

  24. Nanda Says:

    Paapa kamma is accumulated by making false accusation of the good. If I too have accumulated see you in hell but stop make false and come to the point, argue with the facts.

    As long as you do not condemn 60% to pocket 40% to project policy but praise those who do it, will accumulate more.

    “Those very Kalu Suddas are precisely the people on whose behalf you are vociferously arguing on the eve of the Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka, to demonize and oust the GOSL that defends and protects the ordinary people of Sri Lanka. I fully expect your allegations and accusations against MR to become more FRANTIC and SHRILL as that Election becomes closer.”
    – You are completely wrong friend, my criticism will depend on what they do. But your praising of MR will grow louder and louder may be, because you have this stupid attachment to MR which is WRONG. You statements are out of failure and fear. My statements are not out of fear, it is the will to show what is just. This is why I cannot see you in the hell.

    I don’t care whether there is a Presidential Elections coming or not. Criticisms of clear mistakes is not demonizing, because right is right and wrong is wrong. I am not here to bring anyone to power.

    My only point commenting is to show dangers of wrong doing, expose the truth as far as I am aware.

  25. Ananda-USA Says:

    MR warns over Facebook politics
    Monday, 13 October 2014

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday warned the parents on a move by certain quarters to drag the school children into politics using social networking websites such as Facebook.

    He said that the government had received information about such attempts, which was raised in the Parliament as well recently and that he had ordered the authorities to initiate an investigation into it.

    Addressing a function at the Panduwasnuwara National School the President also requested the political parties in the country not to use the students for political purposes and destroy their future.

    Mr. Rajapaksa told the parents that the Facebook had been very popular among students and called on the parents to be watchful of the activities of their children.

    He reminded the period in the past when students had been mobilised by political groups to engage in political activities which ended up in them being killed on roadsides.

    “There were about sixty thousand names of those killed in a list I had compiled. Even Prabhakaran used the school children for his terrorist activities, the result of which we witnessed during the war,” the President stated.

    He assured that he would not allow anybody to use school children for political purposes. (Pushpakumara Jayaratne)

  26. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sri Lanka’s iconic Yal Devi train arrives in Jaffna after 24 years

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 13, Jaffna: Marking another milestone in Sri Lanka Railway history, the iconic north-bound Yal Devi train reached Jaffna this morning after it stopped running between north and south 24 years ago.

    Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa flagged off the train at the auspicious time of 9:30 a.m. from Palai station and rode the train to Jaffna as a special passenger.

    The President declared open the newly constructed train stations in between Palai and Jaffna at Chavakachcheri, Nawakkuli and Kodikamam and the Jaffna Railway Station at the end of the journey.

    The massive crowd gathered welcomed the President according to traditional Hindu rituals. Following the warm welcome the President declared open the newly constructed Jaffna Station.

    Ministers Kumara Welgama, Douglas Devananda, Bandula Gunawardena, Indian High Commissioner Y. K. Sinha and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa accompanied the President on the train ride.

    The Northern Railway Line from Vavuniya to Kankasanthurai in the northernmost tip of the island was completely destroyed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists during their reign. The rebels uprooted the rail tracks to build reinforced underground bunkers.

    The rail line was reconstructed in stages by the India Railway Construction International Ltd. (IRCON) with the financial and technical assistance from India.

    Tamil Tiger terrorists bombed the Yal Devi train at Kokavil on January 19, 1985 killing 34 people and destroying the train tracks. The attack effectively ended the north-south rail transport.

    After the war ended in May 2009, the Yal Devi recommenced operations to Thandikulam on June 6, 2009 and then extended its run to Omanthai on May 29 of 2011. It commenced services to Kilinochchi in September 2013 and extended the service to Pallai in March this year.

  27. Lorenzo Says:

    Without settling Sinhalese and Muslims in Jaffna it is a FOOLISH decision to restart YARL DEVI without changing the journey.

    The journey from Jaffna to Colombo must be broken in Anuradhapura. People should get down and get into another train.

    Otherwise Tamils from the north will OCCUPY all seats as they occupy land, etc. without allowing anything to others. This means Sinhalese will have to sit on the floor.

    If the train STOPS in Anuradhapura and a new train starts from there, non Tamils have some chance to sit and travel with dignity.

    Mark my word, the RACIST MENTALITY of northern Tamils will lead to FIGHTS, DISGUST, etc. in this train. This has happened in 1970s and 1980s and will happen again.

    IF MR thinks he can win votes from this, he is wrong. BOTH Sinhalese and Tamils will NOT vote for him over this. Sinhalese gain NOTHING but LOSES their previous COMFORT of travelling well because when the train came to Medavachchi, etc. it was mostly empty and they could SIT. Not anymore.

  28. Nanda Says:

    “Otherwise Tamils from the north will OCCUPY all seats as they occupy land, etc. without allowing anything to others. This means Sinhalese will have to sit on the floor.”
    “Mark my word, the RACIST MENTALITY of northern Tamils will lead to FIGHTS, DISGUST, etc. in this train. This has happened in 1970s and 1980s and will happen again.”

    – You were not even born Lorenzo, how do you know these truth ?

    As a fresh engineer travelling to Mahaveli areas frequently I remember this very well. We were serving the country residing in pol-athu huts , sleeping on “Booru endan” ( camping beds) , getiign deceases like Malaria, constant fear of poisonous snakes, wild elephants. Only one Tamil friend were with us ( he too was a drunkard but I salute him). Others chose comfort, had connections to get comfortable jobs. Yes, even if we get some seats ( often we give up fro the benefit of the needy without regard to race), I remember how hard the travel when coming back.

  29. Nanda Says:

    When coming back, no way of getting a seat. we had to stand for 5-6 hours. But we were not angry with government. Never made a complaint to UN or India.

  30. Nanda Says:

    But Ananda is happy. Is he a patriot ?
    I too am happy that Transport getting better ( Indian and tax payer’s money not MR’s own) but a good leader will have to think ahead work for the masses, thinking 20 years ahead. Now forces are being withdrawn from the North as an elelction goondu. I simply don’t know how to praise this bugger.

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