GOTA PHOBIA – Part IV B (Sajith tamed while Gota triumphed)
Posted on October 8th, 2019


There is a valid suspicion that NGO vultures Chandragupta Thenuvara and Gamini Viyangoda will go underground or clandestinely leave for an overseas hideout or may even be killed for the Sajih/JVP axis to carry out propaganda assaults against Pohottuwa election campaign saying that is just the beginning of a white van culture.  Mr. Ranil Wikremasimghe used to speak in parliament and wherever he gets an opportunity to address a meeting about the so-called white van culture and a permanent seize was made to this subject by a questioned by MP Udaya Gammanpila in the Parliament.  He asked a question as to how many people are reported to have been taken by the so-called white vans and requested to provide details of names and addresses of those persons and their current status.  After dodging the issue for several sittings and being unable to avoid this persistent question theMinister of Parliamentary Affairs Gayantha Karunatilleke responded saying that there had been no white van abductions and the other questions become irrelevant. 

The white van issue was an invention of the pro tiger terrorist Kallathoni Minister Mano Ganeshan who stated several times during the war period that the Tamil youth coming to Colombo for various purposes were being abducted in white vans. He invented this canard to appease the megalomaniac terrorist leader with whom he used to share a swimming pool in Kilinochchi. 

The fact that Sajith Premadasa is not a Buddhist and he belongs to the ‘Borm Again Christians’ was proved today in handing over nominations.  All Buddhist candidates received blessings from Buddhist priests before proceeding to the Election Commission office to handover their nominations.  But this man ‘the son of the notorious father’ who was responsible for the untimely death of 60,000 southern you h (two sons of a neighbour of mine went missing and after searching for them for several months this man died ending up like a maniac), majority of them were burnt alive in tyre pyres,  more than the number of war heroes died in the 30 years of war against the terrorists, over 600 Police officers who had to sacrifice their lives to terrorists on a call to surrender made by ‘the notorious father’ and who supplied a large amount of weapons and money to terrorists who used these very weapons to kill our gallant soldiers, who perished on the roads like a dog on the road killed by a terrorist suicide bomber cuddled in his own residence, went his wife and mother to offer flowers to a statue of his father and get blessings.

It was surprising to find that none of the UNP leaders was present when Sajith Premadasa handed over the nominations on Monday.  Even the General Secretary of the party Akila Viraj Kariyawasam was not present.

The leader of the National Freedom Front Mr. Wimal Weerawansa said that that there is a conspiracy within the UNP itself to defeat Sajith Premadasa under a master plan of Mr. Ranil Wickremasinghe..  He said the auspicious time of ending the curse of this government is scheduled for the morning of November 16th and pointed out that even in the midst of the terrorist war the growth of this country was over 6.5% and under this government, it has fallen to 2.7%. He said that our foreign exchange earnings have hit the rock bottom level due to strangling of our export crop producers and the government only promoted high scale robberies. Commenting on the loser jockey he said that Ranil Wickremasinghe was convinced about the imminent defeat they would face and that was why he safeguarded his party leadership position and entrusted the facing the election to a losing jockey.  

Mr.Weerawansa further stated that in the next General Election Ranil will also get the post of the Opposition Leader. He also cited TNL TV of Ranil’s brother keeping away from promotingSajith as a further proof of the UNP leadership working against Sajith.  Mr. Weerawansa also severely criticized the stupid and anti-Buddhist utterances being made by Sajith Premadasa and further stated that UMP leader will dismiss Sajith Premadasa from the party upon his imminent defeat and appoint one of the confidantes as the Deputy Leader of the Party. 

If what Mr. Weerawansa has said last is true many UNPers will be happy as it would get rid of the one who was an intolerable pest and it would uphold the adage Kala Kala de Pala Pala de”, and Ranil Wickremasinghe would have been waiting for this day. SajithPremadasa recently said that he will not stay in the Presidential houses and he will be on the road with the people.  As things being said he will have to be on the road without people holding a begging bowl.

The veteran journalist, Attorney at Law and the Sunday Island political columnist Mr. C.A.Chandraprema (CAC) in his political column this week has said that the Appeal Court over three days throwing the entire opposition election campaign into a state of uncertainty dismissed the petition filed by two yahapalana activists Chandragupta Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda seeking an interim order prohibiting the recognition of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa as a citizen of Sri Lanka. CAC explained as things turn out, Thenuwara and Viyangoda have unwittingly done Gotabhaya Rajapaksa favor by filing that petition and enabling the latter to prove conclusively that there is no issue with regard to his present Sri Lankan citizenship.

He reminds that he warned in two full-page articles published some weeks ago, of the power that the Elections Commission assumes in the event an objection is received regarding a candidate’s qualifications to contest a presidential election and the need to take precautions. He says that now Thenuwara and Viyangoda have served up the best possible precaution on a platter. This is not something that the Gota camp could have done by themselves even if they had tried!

Presenting the legal tenets Chabdraprema says that according to the Presidential Elections Act, there are only three grounds on which objections can be raised to a nomination. Firstly, ‘that it is apparent from the contents of the nomination paper’ that the candidate is not qualified to be elected as President; secondly that the candidate is disqualified by reason of conviction by a court of law for a corrupt or illegal practice or an election malpractice; and thirdly, that civic disability has been imposed on the candidate by Parliament.

When it comes to objections raised on the second and third instances, the Elections Commission cannot decide on its own but has to refer such objections to the Supreme Court within three days after the day of nomination. Such petitions have to be heard by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court within a period of seven days. Unless and until the Supreme Court decides to uphold the objection the candidate concerned will stand nominated. But when it comes to objections based on a candidate’s qualifications, the Elections Commission assumes unbridled power. The Elections Commission itself will decide what the term ‘apparent from the contents of the nomination paper’ means in a context where the nominations paper is directly connected to the Constitutional provisions listing the qualifications of a presidential candidate through the declaration that the candidate signs.

The power of the Elections Commission in this regard was hanging like a sword of Damocles over Gota’s candidacy and one never knew what would happen on the 7th after nominations closed.  The Appeal Court decision now eliminates that uncertainty, and also precludes other candidates from carrying on a negative campaign against Gota by casting doubts about his citizenship. Gota is personally indebted to Thenuwara and Viyangoda for having got this matter cleared up once and for all. This unequivocal decision of the Appeal Court will no doubt give the SLPP campaign a boost. Next Friday there will be the Elpitiya PS election which the SLPP is tipped to win by a comfortable margin – which will give the SLPP campaign yet another boost.

Chandraprema points out that last week, Sajith Premadasa tried to get Maithripala Sirisena’s support for his Presidential bid. However, he has not yet approached the JVP, which is very surprising because the single most important factor that will decide the fate of the Yahapalana camp at this election is not really the SLFP or Maithripala Sirisena but the JVP. Even if Maithripala Sirisena personally joins the UNP campaign, it is very unlikely that he will be able to carry the SLFP rank and file with him into the UNP. Unlike the SLFP, the JVP voters are an integral part of the Yahapalana camp. If not for the JVP votes at the 2015 Presidential election, Maithripala Sirisena would have lost. This time, for the first time since Rohana Wijweera contested the Presidency, the JVP has put forward their own leader as the Presidential candidate and will be compelled to put their best foot forward and to win the maximum number of votes possible.

In 1982, Rohana Wijweera contested the Presidency as a Marxist candidate and fared poorly. This time the JVP has shed all such encumbrances and are going to win votes from all and sundry, Marxists and non-Marxists alike. The columnist states that every vote the JVP takes will be from the Yahapalana camp. The differences between the JVP and the Pohottuwa types have built up over nearly a decade and no Pophottuwa votes will go to the JVP. The agenda that the JVP has espoused also appeals to a yahapalana constituency and not to the pohottuwa constituency. The JVP has been with the yahapalana crowd for a decade and hence the likelihood of the UNP candidate being able to get the JVP vote is much higher than him being able to get the SLFP vote. So Sajith would have been better off wooing the JVP rather than Sirisena, he says.

CAC adds that almost all the other ‘also ran’ candidates are those who would have been with the yahapalana camp in 2015, including former Army Commander Mahesh Senanayake. The latter was among the officers sent on compulsory retirement in 2010 in what was described as a ‘military purge’ by the Rajapaksa Government against officers deemed loyal to the fomer Army Commander Sarath Fonseka. Mahesh Senanayake returned to the country after the change of government in 2015 and was reinstated in the Army. Mahesh Senanayake’s motivation to contest the presidential election had come from his bitter experiences of 2010 and perhaps a need to get his own back on the Rajapaksas by siphoning off some military votes from Gotabhaya. The organization supporting Senanayake,  are clearly yahapalanites.

So it appears that virtually all the ‘also rans’ will be eating into the yahapalana vote bank instead of the SLPP vote bank. The appeal of the also rans are also pitched at the disappointed yahaplana voter of 2015 rather than the pro-Rajapaksa voter. It’s a moot point as to whether the also rans would be able to appeal even to the new voters who have come of age during the past five years.

The Indian journalist P.K.Balachandran(PKB) writing an article for Newsin.Asia website states that the political situation in Sri Lanka returned to normal on Friday, after the Court of Appeal rejected a petition by two NGO activists to bar Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), from contesting the Lankan Presidential election set for November 16. The petition, filed just a few days before the date set for the filing of nominations (October 6), charged that Gotabaya Rajapaksa had unlawfully obtained a Dual Citizenship Certificate. Therefore he had no right to contest the forthcoming election.

Petitioners Prof.Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda, had sought the cancellation of the Dual Citizenship Certificate issued to Gotabaya Rajapaksa on November 21, 2005, and the Sri Lankan passport and National Identity Card (NIC) issued to him thereafter.

A three-judge Court of Appeal, headed by Yasantha Kodagoda, heard both sides for nearly four days and finally threw out the petition Friday evening, without granting the petitioners leave to proceed. If the petition had been allowed and leave to proceed was granted, [KB says Gotabaya Rajapaksa would not have been able to contest the election. In that case, the entire complexion of the election would have changed and Sajith Premadasa, the candidate of the ruling United National Paty(UNP) would have had the best chance of winning the Presidency as none of the other candidates in the field, including Anrua Kumara Dissanayaka of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna(JVP), has the capability of Sajith Premadasa. The UNP has the largest voter base among the non-SLPP parties. The UNP is also exceptionally united and charged up now because it has, at long last, found a candidate with a common touch” after putting up with an elitist and distant leader like Ranil Wickremesinghe, the current Prime Minister PKB says.

Right from the start, political pundits had been considering Gotabaya of the SLPP (founded and led by the charismatic former President Mahinda Rajapaksa) as the front-runner in the Presidential race. As Defense Secretary and also as the Urban Development Secretary, Gotabaya had distinguished himself as a dynamic official and a creative leader, though he also had a reputation for using strong-arm methods to quell The separatist terrorists. 

Appearing for the petitioners, Suren Fernando recalled that before 2003, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was a citizen of Sri Lanka by descent. Thereafter, on or around January 31, 2003, he had become a citizen of the United States of America. From that day onwards, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ceased to be a citizen of Sri Lanka under the country’s Citizenship Act. He said that subsequently, in November 2005, when his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa, won the Lankan Presidential election, Mahinda wanted to make Gotabaya Defense Secretary to help him prosecute the war against the Tamil separatist terrorist group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. For this purpose, Gotabaya, who was a US citizen at that time, had to be given Dual Citizenship.

Appearing on behalf of the Attorney General, Controller General for Immigration and the Registrar of Persons, Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Nerin Pulle told the court that the former President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had signed the Dual Citizenship Certificate of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in 2005, had the power to do so as the relevant Minister. He explained that after the Presidential election, the cabinet stood dissolved and Secretaries to the Ministries had also quit. But as per the 1978 constitution, all executive powers were vested with the President during that period and as such, the President could sign any document that a Minister would have signed exercising his plenary powers” to take decisions of Ministers in the absence of Ministers. Pulle also argued that the subject Minister’s recommendation was enough and the Ministerial Secretary’s signature was not needed. And the subject Minister at that time, in the absence of a cabinet, was the President himself.

Counsel for Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Romesh de Silva, said that the litigation against his client had been brought by political opponents to prevent him from standing for the Presidential election. This was tantamount to breaching the right of people to vote for the candidate of their choice. The petition had been drafted in cahoots with the leaders of the UNP, he charged.

De Silva also took objection to the fact that the writ application had been filed while an investigation into the same facts was taking place under the supervision of the Colombo Magistrate.

The counsel for Gotabaya further stated that the petitioners had not included in their plaint, 21 others who were given Dual Citizenship Certificates on November 21, 2005, the day on which Gotabaya was given the certificate. On this technicality alone, the petition should be dismissed, he said.

The Political Editor (PE)of Sunday Times in his weekly column dated 6th October stated that President Sirisena’s latest overt and covert moves  to join the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP)-led Sri Lanka People’s Alliance (SLPA) failed miserably.,The PE said that President Sirisena and the SLPP’s National Organiser cum architect, Basil Rajapaksa, had been engaged in consultations for two hours of talks on Monday and the Rajapaksa trio (Mahinda, Gota, and Basil) declined to accept Sirisena’s requrst to change the symbol.  They have insisted that it is not possible for the forthcoming presidential election for political and legal reasons. 

Sirisena in the meanwhile has won the Central Committee approval last Monday (September 30) to seof 3  MOUs to the SLPP leadership which had been prepared by the SLFP’s Senior Deputy Chairman Nimal Siripala de Silva. One was to be signed between the SLFP and candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the second MoU between the two parties and the third between leaders agreeing to the SLPA Constitution.

Chairing the CC meeting, Sirisena sounded out members on the party’s next move and said those gathered that the SLPP had so far shown disfavour to their request for a change of symbol and he suggested that they meet again on October 11 (Friday) evening to take a decision on the SLFP role at the presidential election. It is said that he had in mind the results of the Elpitiya Pradeshiya Sabha elections on October 11 and to take that too into consideration and he had also hoped that the Court of Appeal (CA) verdict in the case where the issue of a National Identity Card and a Dual Citizenship of Sri Lanka to Gotabaya Rajapaksa was challenged would not go in Dota’sfavour. An ‘advisor’ is reported to have told that the CA would disqualify Gotabaya Rajapaksa and have believed it, and wanted to exploit the advantages coming his way and has even based some of his strategies on it. T

However, the Court unanimously dismissed the case, which had generated considerable public attention during the week which turned out to be a clear political victory for opposition candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose counsel claimed that the two NGOs activists had filed the petition for political revenge. It was pointed out by participants of the SLFP CC that the date Sirisena suggested would fall only after the nominations on Monday and hence, it was agreed that the CC meets on Saturday (October 5). That was a crucial day for Sirisena who has been shunting between the SLPP and the UNP (Sajith faction) to obtain a good political deal.

 As a result of behind-the-scene moves by a front-line group of Sajith Premadasa loyalists, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam received a call from Premadasa asking him to arrange a meeting with SLFP leaders to discuss current political developments. Kariyawasam has written to his counterpart Dayasiri Jayasekera on September 28 asking for a date and time and it had been with the approval of his leader Premier Wickremesinghe.

It was reported that the meeting Premadasa loyalists sought was with President Sirisena and his close allies. Contacts thereafter via telephone made this clear. This was on the grounds that it is Sirisena who could take up a position on behalf of the SLFP and not other party officials.  Playing a key role in this exercise was Krishantha Prasad Cooray, now a close confidant of President Sirisena and staunch supporter of Premadasa. He is the Chairman of Lake House newspapers and Hotel Developers Ltd., the owning company of Colombo Hilton. Later, he sat at the discussion together with Kabir Hashim, Mangala Samaraweera, Malik Samarawickrema and Akila Viraj Kariyawasam. On the SLFP side were Dayasiri Jayasekera, Mahinda Ameraweera, and Lasantha Alagiyawanna.

At the meeting, Premadasa’s remarks appeared to be an apology of sorts. He was referring to the many mistakes made by the UNP in four and a half years of governance. He was alluding to the bad air between President Sirisena and the UNP leadership. I will assure you that such mistakes are not repeated,” he declared. Premadasa noted that the support of the SLFP was very essential” and would be a welcome addition to his victory. If there was a suggestion during the dialogue for Sirisena to join the Premadasa campaign in some way, it did not work out. Mata Ranil ekka yanna behe mey gamana,” or I cannot go on this journey with Ranil,” he declared. Therefore, he said, his party would have to oppose the UNP. That effectively ruled out a formal tie-up. Sirisena was making clear that he could not be on the same campaign platform as Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Sirisena declared that he had not done politics with the UNP. He has said that he had only been a partner in governance and has added that his party had a very difficult decision to make. and hehas briefly referred to his talks with the SLPP but has not givem any indication of what he had in mind.

What Sirisena was planning next surfaced only thereafter.he has summoned SLFP organisers countrywide for a meeting in Colombo on Friday afternoon. The reason – having failed in his multiple efforts to join the Sri Lanka People’s Alliance (SLPA), or come toa deal with the UNP (Sajith faction) – he wanted to contest the presidential election as the SLFP candidate. For this purpose, he wanted to sound them out. Thereafter, he expected the party’s Central Committee to approve it when it met Saturday night. .Sirisena’s illusopry game plans are reported to be going on yet and now he is scheduled to announce the final decision of the SLFP on 9th October Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the latest posting in the said that international media has reported that Sirisena has resigned from the SLFP and MP Mahinda Amaraweera has assumed the SLFP leadership. 

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