Posted on August 14th, 2015


By M.L. Wickramasinghe

On August 13, through the evening news-bulletins of TV channels, Sri Lankans first heard the most sudden, the most unexpected but  distressing news perhaps since the first air- raid of the Eelam Air Force on Colombo. That is, the news about the  letter sent by HE the President Maithripla Sirisena to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha requesting him to co-operate with him, if the UPFA wins a majority, to give the Prime Ministership to either of the five or so named senior personalities in the SLFP.

The vast majority of the Sri Lankans believed that the issue had been closed when Mr. Rajapaksha was given the role of leading the Parliamentary Campaign (of course, as is known to the electorate, only after some warmed –up debate and negotiations, – but now we know with much bitterness too), with His Excellency the President making a decision to be a neutral force in the Campaign. Consequent to this, people believed (based on this decision) and common sense dictated that the person who lead the electoral campaign, would if successful be given the post of the Prime Minister, or if unsuccessful would be handed the responsibility for defeat.

Apparently for some reason (may be a hidden-hand) the equilibrium of the Presidential decision had been disturbed with less than 48hours for  the campaign to close. This sudden letter certainly would disturb the planned last two days of the campaign, which we all know is a crucial time for the campaign of any political party. However, having spoken to a number of friends and relations and community members, I feel this unexpected message would enhance the steely determination of the supporters of MR to strive more during these last stages to persuade the undecided to their fold, through the most effective communication method yet discovered, the inter-personal method now complemented by the mobile phone, and to a lesser extent, the social media. This is why I brought in the analogy of the LTTE air-attack. The air-attack was sudden and like a bolt from the blue; but the people, the leaders, and the security forces knew that the damage could be contained. The attack had a contrary effect- the stiffening of resolve to defeat the LTTE.

We have the utmost respect to H.E. the President Mr. Maithripala Sirisena as a person, and we believe that the SLFP under Mr. Rajapaksha made a tactical mistake by not offering the post of the Prime Minister to Mr. Sirisena. His service to the Party was more than adequate for him to become the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka at that time. Mr. Jayartana should have been magnanimous after the recuperation stage, to resign to allow his leader to institute Mr. Sirisena as the Prime Minister.

The Lankadeepa of August 13, referring to the letter of the President states in one sub-heading that the letter exhorted Mr. Rajapaksha  Jathivaadaya Awussanna Epa”- meaning ‘Do not raise communalism’. There is also a sentence in the letter giving the following meaning or similar meaning that- ‘communalists are not SLFPrs’. Both of the above IDEAS are absolutely correct as ‘ ABSOLUTE PRINCIPLES OR CONCEPTS’. However, Principles or Concepts are to be applied and tested practically based on what is happening in the environment. This is absolutely vital during an election.

During an election campaign political parties should have the freedom to discuss issues openly. It is unethical  to cut off discussion of issues pertaining to the national security and the territorial integrity of a Country that has come out of a ruthless reign of terrrorism for 30 + years, barely five years ago by heaping all discussions on national security under the heading ‘Communalism’. This militates against principles of ‘Freedom of Expression’, and the ‘People’s Right to Information’. We need to allow the people to decide at the election which Party’s specific analysis regarding the threat to national security is deemed to be accurate in the ongoing context. These are dynamic issues and cannot and should not be labeled  as ‘raising communalism’ and be kept away from public debate. The public would decide whose version they accept, as the issue of national security should not be kept under wraps. The only exception is when a party or a person uses, even national security, to indulge in hate speech. The UPFA election campaign has been clean in this regard.

Lets consider a few of the issues that are on the Table regarding national security.

  1. TNA in its election manifesto has specifically mentioned the following objectives- merging of the north and the east; establish a federal system of government in the merged N-E region; people living in such a merged federal area would have the right to decide what type of government/country they  (‘right to national self determination’).
  2. Rishad Baduideen had said that if his party gains two seats in the eastern province, the Muslim people should be given a separate governing entity in part of the Eastern province.
  3. The recent pronouncements of Chief Minister of the (NCP) ranging from committing of genocide by Sinhalese on Sri Lankan Tamils to requesting international agencies to provide direct project assistance to the North.
  4. Vijayakala Mahendran’s (the lead candidate of UNP in the Jafna) recent statement to the ‘Hindu’ newspaper about the party leader agreeing to autonomy in the North.
  5. The news that the United Nations Peace Building Fund has apparently being invited to work in the Northern province. The UNPBF is not a development arm of the UN; it is a Unit that has a political role. UNPBF has the capacity to organise referenda in developing countries or in parts of developing countries. The Asian Tribune of 06 August raises a number of issues that would impact on national security and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka if UNPBF begins operations in the north. This must be read by all Sri Lankans.
  6. The issues discussed in the leaked UN document regarding the domestic investigations of war crimes such as NPC being given a role in the organization of the investigation mechanisms.
  7. The proposal by the UNP for the formation of a national government which includes political parties that have ‘officially asked for federalism and the ‘right to self detrmination’.

It should be mentioned that the above are also bordering on communal themes; but the leaders or the citizens did not say they do not have a right to raise these issues or when these were raised, that the ‘TNA was raising communalism’. The playing field should not be tampered with by any authority; it should be allowed to be the same for all parties and all individuals.

The Constitution of Sri Lanka indicates that the onus of the President of Sri Lanka is to request an elected member (person) who has the confidence of the elected members of a registered party or a coalition of group of parties that wins the highest number of seats (after an election) to be requested to form a government and be given the post of the Prime Minister. In this respect the two potential leaders who meet these conditions are Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha ( by virtue of leading the UPFA group at the election campaign instituted to this position through popular acclamation of the rank and file of the UPFA, and also having the total confidence of the UPFA group contesting the election) and Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe ( by virtue of the fact of leading the United National Party). There can be an exception only if either person who wins, stand down voluntarily. We do not see either of the winning personality volunteering to stand down or being compelled to stand down by a last minute fiat, as serving the best interest of the country or the people. If that happens the country may stand to be destabilized from the first day itself of the new government.

This would weaken the State of Sri Lanka exposing the country and people to innumerable risks and threats. We hope that saner counsel would prevail.


  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    To the ALWAYS FAITHFUL Patriots,

    A Heartfelt Tribute in Gratitude!

    Semper Fidelis, Patriots of Lanka

    By Ananda-USA

    Our Motherland, resplendent Sri Lanka,
    Hallowed be thy name!
    Thy children flock today to vote,
    To preserve thy immortal flame!

    The Lion Flag flutters proudly aloft,
    To remind us this freedom’s day!
    Our duty to keep thee, safe and strong,
    As our forefathers did yesterday!

    A Mahinda Rajapaksa by deed and word,
    Strode forth boldly to eternal fame!
    To lead his people to a safer world,
    When all others retreated in shame!

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Somarama Sirisena’s DYNAMITE letter BLOWING UP in his own hand!

    Former Sri Lankan president asks his successor to respect people’s mandate

    Aug 14, Colombo: Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on Friday asked President Maithripala Sirisena to respect the mandate of the people in the upcoming parliamentary election on Monday.

    Responding to the letter sent by President Sirisena yesterday stating that President will not allow appointing him as the prime minister in the event of a UPFA victory at the upcoming election, Rajapaksa said the choice of the people should be respected.

    In his letter, President Sirisena said there were many other senior party members deserving the Prime Minister post if the UPFA forms a government after the election and asked the former president to graciously allow one of them to become the Prime Minister

    The former president vehemently rejected the “baseless criticism” of him made by the President “on information obtained from other sources”.

    Rajapaksa in his letter to the President Sirisena said that he re-entered politics based on a request made by the public and several senior opposition UPFA members by February 2015.

    “I expect you to honor the wishes of the people at the general election in the same way I did after the January election,” Rajapaksa wrote in his letter to President Sirisena.

    The former president said he is happy that President Sirisena has acknowledged that UPFA would obtain a majority in the parliament.

  3. mahesh fernando Says:

    “Jayawewa UPFA/SLFP”

    Mahesh Fernando From CA USA

  4. Christie Says:

    ඉන්දියානු ජඩයින්ට සින්හල අපි සක්කිලි (Dalit)යන්ය . උන් එදාත් අදත් අපේ සතුරාය. එක්වන්න මහින්ද වටා රොක්වන්න ඉන්දියානු ජඩයන්ට හා ජඩවාදයට එරෙහිව නැගී සිටින්න
    For Indian Imperialists we are Dalits. Indians are our enemies todaya and yesterday. Unite with Mahinda and stand up to Indian Empire and Indian imperialism.

  5. Sarath W Says:

    “We believe the SLFP under Rajapaksa made a tactical mistake by not offering the post of Prime Minister to Mr Sirisena”

    I think this is totally a false belief. This man would have never stopped at that.Then he would have wanted to be the president and would have back stabbed Mahinda any way. Sirisena (I will never call him H E because he is a shameless traitor.) is a very selfish man and would have traded his mother for power. Obviously he has an inferior complex and is very jealous of Mahinda and in his rage against Mahinda he has not only betrayed the party, but our beloved country as well. People should never forgive him for that.

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