Temple Trees and Ranil’s theatrics
Posted on November 26th, 2018

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy Ceylon Today

Sri Lanka’s prevailing situation would have been comical if not for the serious implications. Ranil Wickremesinghe despite being terminated from premiership defiantly occupies the Premier’s official residence
– Temple Trees. On 20 November, the Tamil National Alliance as the official Opposition met with a group of 15 diplomats to complain that a certain person even after two No- Confidence Motions (NCMs) were passed against him in Parliament, continues to call himself the Prime Minister and occupies the PM’s Office.

TNA is effectively turned tables on those who had called for Wickremesinghe’s eviction from the Temple Trees. Wickremesinghe is in effect abusing public property – a punishable offence. It was on a similar charge that the former Special Task Force Commandant DIG K.L.M. Sarathchandra was remanded on 23 November, 2016, for allegedly misusing a vehicle attached to the STF, which apparently caused the State a loss of Rs. 146,690. Apparently, the daily cost to maintain the Temple Trees is about Rupees four million.

GR was the only person to directly address the issue, even though he is no longer in the Government. However, as the Government failed to follow it up and the effort became a nonstarter. Instead, Wickremesinghe’s forcible occupation was used to gain political mileage by portraying him as insane and pathetic. Some, very irresponsible, government worthies have benevolently stated to allow Wickremesinghe to enjoy the luxuries for a few more days.

It is after all not the private holiday bungalow of any of these government worthies to extend it for Wickremesinghe’s pleasure. It is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Of course it is embarrassing when the occupant refuses to leave after his tenure expires. Nevertheless, decisive steps need to be taken to ensure that only the PM appointed by the President of Sri Lanka occupies the PM’s official residence.

Not the first time  

This is not the first instance we were confronted with an occupant refusing to be dislodged. After failing for months to convince Hema Premadasa to leave, the then government finally opted to disconnect the electricity. Any embarrassment caused, then, is long forgotten now.

Initially, Wickremesinghe justified his refusal to vacate the Residence claiming his termination was illegal and unconstitutional. However, to pass the NCM for the second time on 16 November, he on the instructions of Maithripala Sirisena removed the first clause. By doing so, he accepted not only that his own termination was well within the legal and constitutional frame, but so was the appointment of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Then the question is as to why he is still occupying Premier’s official residence.

The situation today is quite unlike the unsavory situation created by HP. In her case, she had just lost her husband in the most awful and tragic circumstances. Giving her time to gather her wits was the decent thing to do. However, in the prevailing situation Wickremesinghe is deliberately creating confusion in the country.

He as a learned lawyer declared that his termination was unlawful. He extensively quoted the 19th Amendment to justify his claim. He, however, failed to mention that the Article 3 of the Constitution blocked his manoeuvres to assume executive powers for himself in the guise of premier. As per the Constitution, the executive powers are vested in the President. To remove that power from the President to another entity, may it be the premier or Parliament; the people’s approval must be obtained via a referendum. As people’s consent was not obtained, Article 3 preserves the executive powers within the President’s domain. This was succinctly explained by President’s Counsel Samantha Rathwatte’s ‘President can Dissolve Parliament at Anytime’, that appeared in this newspaper on 22 November.

Wickremesinghe knew this, for he never sought justice for his grievance from the Supreme Court – the only body empowered to interpret the Constitution. His excuse was that eventually the matter would be referred back to Parliament. Instead, he directed his grievances to a select group from the diplomatic community. How he expected them to redress an internal issue of the country, which according to Wickremesinghe even the Supreme Court cannot, is baffling. It was only after addressing these diplomats did Wickremesinghe approach his own voters. Whether this implies that this select group is the link between Wickremesinghe and his voters is a question National Intelligence Bureau should investigate.

Even though Wickremesinghe had accepted he is no longer Sri Lanka’s premier, his continued stay at the PM’s official residence allows a life support to continue the confusion. The situation has exacerbated to the point that some even believe that Sri Lanka is without a government and the only elected person in office is the President.

Govt lethargy

The Government’s lethargy over the issue adds to the dilemma. It is as if the Government itself is unsure over the illegitimacy of Wickremesinghe’s occupancy. Their failure to resolve this simple issue adds to the impression that there is no decisive leadership in the country. In this apparent vacuum, investors are taking a watch-and-see approach.

The Wickremesinghe-led administration became unpopular, not because of their failure to capture the crooks”; the co-signing of a resolution against our own country; the federal featured Constitution in the pipeline; selling of national assets or even the Central Bank Bond scams. It was the economic mismanagement where 500,000 people lost their livelihoods. The aforementioned list just added to the grievances.

Even the recent fracas in Parliament over the haphazardly conducted NCMs did not bother the common man as much as certain interest groups hoped. Their worries continue to be dominated by rising economic woes.

Therefore, Government’s top priority is to restore the investors’ confidence. This will not happen if the Wickremesinghe-led camp is allowed to effectively portray that Sri Lanka is without a government.


Now the TNA had chosen to ridicule MR on the same basis Wickremesinghe was, by the Government worthies. Adapting that very same tone, TNA is stating that some person is claiming to be the PM and is occupying the PM’s offices.

Their argument is that two NCMs were successfully passed against this person” and therefore he is no longer the PM. Just as Wickremesinghe they are deviously hiding the truth. The two NCMs were passed in contravention to procedure and the Speaker interpreted the vote on the ‘voice’ he apparently heard the most. It is incredible that he heard any distinguishable word over the cacophony. Speaker’s verdict is unacceptable not only to Sirisena, but to any intelligent person. When both NCMs were not accepted by the President of the country, TNA is spreading a falsehood.

The NCMs were on the basis that MR does not command the Parliament’s majority. However, the TNA is the last body that can howl about it. The reason being, though they are the official Opposition, they were never the largest Opposition body. Earlier it was the 55-member Joint Opposition and now it is the Wickremesinghe-group that has over 100 members. The TNA has only 15 members and that too from only two of the nine provinces.

When the TNA has not addressed a single national issue, only the insane could accept them as the Opposition. During the race to muster the majority in the Parliament to be the justifiable PM, TNA continued to be self-serving. They pledged support to the side that will give them a written assurance to deliver their demands. Thus, they chose to keep the entire country in suspense for the gain of a small, select group.

If MR should vacate the PM’s post on the basis he does not have the numbers, then so should the TNA, for they too do not have the numbers (or the integrity) to be the Opposition.

Just as Wickremesinghe chose to create political drama when terminated and  refused to follow the proper procedure for an NCM. Had he done so, he might have ousted MR but would have exposed himself also for not having the numbers to form his own government. As he needs the TNA and the JVP to be the official Opposition”, he himself is without a majority.

Thus he opts to create confusion and chaos so the country cannot move forward. If to escape from Wickremesinghe’s theatrics and the Government’s indecisiveness, people must agitate for a general election so as to be given an opportunity to select a strong, patriotic government to lead the country forward.


4 Responses to “Temple Trees and Ranil’s theatrics”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Thank you Shivanthi for drawing everyone’s attention this maniacs antics. He is a law unto himself. He has signed so many major international and other agreements by himself without consultation with either the parliament or the President. That is why he was sacked by Chandrika in 2004. He recently tried to pass a bill to sell state land to foreigners by himself and it was only the intervention of the President that saved the country.

    If Ranil says that appointment of MR was illegal then his own appointment in Jan 2015 was illegal. After the Presidential election, he exerted pressure on Maithri through the international agencies and made Maithri appoint Ranil as the Prime Minister. He then immediately sacked the existing Cabinet and appointed his own. He brought the Ministry of Finance under himself and appointed Paskaralingam as head of Treasury and imported Arjun Mahendran as the head of Central Bank. All these actions were illegal and yet the JO and the other Parliamentarians remained silent. When Maithri appointed TNA as the opposition and relegated the group with the largest majority to the boondocks Sri Lanka’s fate was sealed. At the time UNP was broke and were in debt to the tune of Rs 3 billion. The bond scam was done to extract money from the EPF and other savings to fund the UNP activities.

    The question now is not the legal niceties of the constitution but to consider what is at stake if we appoint Ranil back as the PM. He will run amok with his UNP thugs and will pass the bills he likes such as selling state lands to foreigners, selling the Trinco port, selling all the profitable Govt run businesses to foreign business interests. From his performance to date we can see what he has done. MR in spite of the war got the infrastructure going, got the Hambantota port built, the Mattala Airport built, the work on the Colombo Port City was started. MR had recovered some of the factories Ranil had sold off earlier such the sugar factories, paper mills, and the Co-op centers, etc. when he came into power. As soon as Ranil came in he stopped all the work MR had done and laughed at the Port City. In 2014 the Rs was at 130 to the dollar. Today it is at nearly 170. The debt had been brought down by MR in 2014 to 75% from 95% at the time MR inherited from CBK. Today it has shot up again.

    I like to know what the UNP did with all the monies they borrowed during the last three years. They did nothing other than import luxury vehicles for MPs tax-free which they sold and made a lot of money. Ranil went on global tours with his entourage of Mangala, Ravi, Arjun etc including Davos which is one of the most expensive cities to visit since one night in a hotel costs about $2000. It is rumored that about 40 people went to Davos. This was the meeting of the worlds richest people. What did he hope to get out it? What did Sri Lanka get out of it? Ranil has been a disaster for the country for 40 years. The Batalanda Commission recommended that his civic rights be removed. If so how did this man become the Prime Minister? Today he is waging a war against the President trying to show that he has a majority in the Parliament. He can show a majority because the JVP ironically who were killed by Ranil in 1980 are on Ranil’s side now and so is TNA who have no love for the country. I am sure a lot of the bond scam money has changed hands. Ranil is desperate to not have an election because he knows that even if he buys the whole parliament he cannot buy the entire country.

    As far I can see the two sides are very clear. One side you have Maithri, MR, Dinesh, Wimal, Gammanpila plus the JO while on the other side you have Ranil, Mangala, Karu, plus UNP, TNA and JVP. You can see clearly who loves the country and who are there to get what they can get out of the whole issue. After doing nothing for 31/2 years after the UNP lost the local government elections they suddenly panicked and started doing what MR had done in 2005 which they had stopped such as Gamperaliya etc. It is one huge bluff to fool the people. In 2015 the foreign Govts brought false accusations against our war heroes and put MR and our Govt off balance and it is only now that a lot of facts have come out about what happened in the war against the terrorists. Now the same countries who were so vociferous have fallen silent. As I have always said eventually the truth comes out and the people always win in the end.

  2. nilwala Says:

    Shivanthi R must have as usual a clear perception of the situation wherein RW is running an operation out of Temple Trees and is using all the National Security apparatus there for his purposes. There is no reason why he has to be holed up there. The 2 “out-of- character” players are RW and the Speaker (who probably entertains the possibility of running for President). In the midst of all these diversions, hopefully President Sirisena gets going with his PCoI on the Yahapalana doings over the 3 1/2 yrs, as well as one on the “Assassination Conspiracy”. That’s when the TRUTH will all come out as to who gave the orders and to whom, and all that has happened since.
    Everything is now in the hands of the Judiciary, who hopefully will act with complete honesty and responsibility for a nation calling upon it for the Constitutional rationale needed to survive against a conspiracy aimed at existential nullification via modern Machiavellian tactics.

  3. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    MY3 should not mollycoddle this monster who did so much damage to the Sinhalese race, Buddhism and Sri Lanka.
    Traitor chief die hard catholic token Buddhist bay gal karaya mega thief mega thakkadiya walking crime bomb
    (against Sinhalese Buddhists, Sri Lanka and Buddhism only) pol pot r@ni_leech wickrama Sinhala killer and the
    low live’s thieving, murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only), lying gang should be thrown out of the Temple Trees
    without delay since the Wandakaya using it to organise all treacheries against Mother Lanka, destroying tourism
    etc depriving people of their jobs, from there.

    TURN OFF POWER, WANDAKAYA WILL DISAPPEAR WITHIN AN HOUR! When the murderous (Sinhalese Buddhists only) alugusowa leaves the den, it should be taken to Welikada for
    Batalande torture and murders for being Buddhists
    Dragging the Bheeshana samaya and killing 60,000+ Buddhists with the help of its top catholic police top brass
    dragging the war of catholic tigers of tamil drealam for 30 years and sacrificing 100,000+, mainly Sinhalese
    Central Bank robbery with its catholic buddy maha horandran
    Millennium City intelligent officers deaths
    Giving half the country to its catholic buddy barrel man hitler mala paharan
    Stealing pensions from Government servants
    Trying to enact sanctions on Mother Lanka to save the low life’s pathetic neck etc. etc. etc.

    The list of crimes (against Sinhalese Buddhists, Sri Lanka and Buddhism only) is endless. Wandakaya should be
    tried and hung for the crimes it has committed during the last 40 years to teach a lesson to future traitor chiefs!

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Batalande Wandakaya’s some of the treacheries against Sinhalese Buddhists, Sri Lanka and Buddhism.









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