Friday, March 27, 2015

Sri Lankan shares fall for 5th session on margin calls, political woes


(Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares fell for a fifth straight session on Friday and closed at their lowest in nearly eight months as investors sold their stocks to settle margin trading ahead of quarter-end, while political worries also weighed on sentiment.

The main stock index ended 0.71 percent, or 49.31 points, weaker at 6,873.52, its lowest close since Aug. 6 and further moving away from the key psychological support level of 7,000. It has lost 6.07 percent in the past 20 sessions.

"The market fell across the board due to margin calls and month-end settlement selling pressure," said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts expect the next support level at 6,800.

Shares of the country's top mobile phone operator, Dialog Axiata Plc, fell 0.92 percent, while conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc dropped 0.69 percent.

Shares of the country's biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, fell 0.71 percent.

The day's turnover was 447 million rupees ($8.28 million), less than half of this year's daily average of 1.21 billion rupees.

Foreign investors sold a net 91.5 million rupees worth of shares. But they have been net buyers of 3.12 billion rupees so far this year.

Analysts said concerns that the government's decision-making process would slow down, also weighed on sentiment after President Maithripala Sirisena formed a national government incorporating the main opposition party in a bid to push through reforms and preserve political stability.


Video from Bellanwila Temple Pooja

මෙතෙක් ඔබ නොදුටු බෙල්ලන්විල පින්කමේ විශේෂ ( VIDEO ) එක ( හැකිතරම් Share කර මිතුරන්ටත් පෙන්වන්න ! )
Posted by නමස්කාරය on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FCID interrogates Ex-Air Force Commander Roshan Gunathilake

Former Air Force Commander and Chief of Defence Staff Roshan Gunathilake was interrogated by the Police Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) on the MiG aircraft transaction in 2006, Police Spokesman ASP Ruwan Gunasekara said.

He said the interrogations were based on the Rs.1.5 million spent on repairing four MiG aircraft bought in 2006 from Ukraine.

Meanwhile, former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath was again interrogated by the FCID this morning in connection with the large scale corruption alleged to have taken place at the People’s Leasing Company.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

SF awarded Field Marshal title

යුධ, නැවික, ගුවන් හමුදා වල ඉහල නිල ලබාදීම සිදුවන්නේ එම හමුදා වල ඇති පිරිස් බලය මුලික කරගෙනයි. ශ්‍රී ලංකා යුධ හමුදාවේ හමුදාපති නිතරම ලුතිනන් ජෙනරාල් කෙනෙකු මිස ජෙනරාල් කෙනෙකු නොවන්නේ අප යුධ හමුදාවේ පිරිස් බලය එම නිලයට තරම් නොවන බැවිනි. එනම් සක්‍රිය සේවයේ නියුතු ජෙනරාල් කෙනෙකු ශ්‍රී ලංකා වේ සිටිය නොහැක. සාමාන්‍ය සම්ප්‍රදාය අනුව හමුදාපති වරු විශ්‍රාම ගිය පසු පමණක් ඔවුන් දැරු නිලයට ඉහල නිලය විශ්‍රාමික නිලධාරී කෙනෙකු ලෙස ලබාදෙයි. ජෙනරාල් ෆොන්සේකා ට ද එම නිලය සහ ආරක්ෂක මාණ්ඩලික ප්‍රධානී තනතුර ලැබුනේ ඔහු කල විශාල සේවය නිසා වෙනි. නමුත් , විශ්‍රාමික නිලධාරියෙකුට ඔහු සක්‍රිය සේවයේදී අවසන් වශයෙන් දරු නිලයට නිල දෙකක් ඉහලින් නිලයක් ලබාදීමක් සිදුවන්නේ නැත. එය කිසිදු හරයක් නොමැති විහුලු සහගත ක්‍රියාවකි. ඇතැම් විට සුදු කොඩි කතාව ගොත තමන් සේවය කල හමුදාවම පවා දීමේ උදාර මෙහෙයට මෙවන් විහුලු ක්‍රියාවක් තරම් වෙන්ව ඇත.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

President allows singing of National Anthem in Tamil- Mano

In a major reconciliatory move, President Mathripala Sirisena will be sending a circular to all institutions saying that there is no bar on singing the Lankan national anthem in Tamil.

He will thus be lifting an unofficial ban existing since 2010, when President Mahinda Rajapaksa let it be known that government will frown on singing the anthem in Tamil. Schools and other institutions, which were using the Tamil version of “Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka” since 1951, stopped doing so.

Sirisena announced his decision to lift the language bar when the leader of the Democratic Peoples’ Front (DPF), Mano Ganeshan, raised the issue at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Tuesday.

“The President said that he would send a circular saying that there is no ban on singing the national anthem in Tamil. He also said that he would have the matter cleared by the National Security Council,” Ganeshan has told the New Indian Express.

It was in 1951 that newly independent Lanka adopted Shantiniketan-trained Ananda Samarakoon’s Sinhalese-language song “Sri Lanka Matha, Apa Sri Lanka” as the national anthem. Simultaneously, a Tamil version, “Sri Lanka Thaaye Nam Sri Lanka”, composed by the Lankan Tamil poet, M.Nallathambi, was also adopted. For decades, both versions were sung, although only the Sinhalese version had constitutional sanction.

But the victory of the Lankan armed forces over the Tamil Tigers in 2009, resulted in Sinhalese-nationalist parties like the National Freedom Front (NFF) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) demanding a ban on the Tamil version on the ground that countries sanction use of only one language for singing the national anthem.

On December 12, 2010, Home Minister W.D.John Senewiratne introduced a cabinet paper to officially disallow singing the anthem in Tamil. President Rajapaksa, who headed the cabinet, did not officially commit himself to Senewiratne’s proposal, but word went around that his government did not favor the use of the Tamil version. In the Tamil areas, the Security Forces insisted on the use of the Sinhalese version only. The Tamils’ argument that in several countries, including Canada and South Africa, the anthem is sung in different languages fell on deaf ears.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

President Sirisena with Azath Salley addressing Muslim Community in London

Saturday, March 14, 2015

President Maithripala Sirisena's Interview with BBC Sandeshaya

Muslim Mosque in Anuradhapura Mahamevnawa

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ravi Karunanayake’s Brother-In-Law Appointed MD of Sri Lanka Insurance

It is revealed that one T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah, brother-in-law of the Minister of Finance Ravi Karunanayake, has been appointed as the Managing Director (MD) of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation.

Bangsa Jayah has served as a Sergeant of Sri Lanka Police and is a brother of Minister Karunanayake’s wife Mela. He is tipped to receive a monthly salary of Rs. 600,000 as the MD. The Corporation is an institution coming under the purview of Karunanayake as the Finance Minister.

According to Sri Lanka Insurance website, (, "Mr. T.M.R. Bangsa Jayah is a retired commissioned Police Officer, who has experience in the Police service for 29 years. During his career with the Police Department he worked as the Chief Security Officer for the Deputy Speaker and North-East Governor. He is a product of St.Anne’s College, Kurunegala and has studied further in Aquinas College, Colombo. During his school period he has excelled in sports including Cricket and Soccer. He is a member of School Cadetting Team and has held rank of Company Sergeant Major. After his schooling he has completed his First In Laws at the Law Faculty, Colombo. Mr. Bangsa Jayah has experience in construction industry for more than 15 years and he has been a principal partner in a well known piling company."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Case Against Airplane Withdrawn

The Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) today informed Colombo Magistrate Nishantha Pieris that no offence had been committed in the incident where a small airplane was found in the stores belonging to CSN TV Channel at Narahenpitiya and that the case would be withdrawn.

Detectives said according to investigations the airplane was one built by Ray Wijewardene and not in flying condition and had been handed over to former President’s son Yoshitha Rajapaksa by film director and producer Chandiran Ratnam.

The CCD sought a Court order to return the airplane to the late Ray Wijewardene’s family and that the case would be withdrawn.

Counsel Niroshan Siriwardena appearing for CSN TV Channel and Mr. Rajapaksa said the plane was kept in the store to be used as a display item.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

මමත් ඡන්දේ දුන්නේ මෛත්‍රිට නිසාය...

දොස්තර හර්ෂ ඩි සිල්වා පහුගිය කාලයේ කට දෙපැත්තෙන් කෙල පෙරාගෙන මරහඩ දුන්නේ මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ්ගේ ආර්ථික කළමණාකරයට විරුද්දවය.  සංඛ්‍යාලේඛණ  ප්‍රස්ථාර පෙන්නමින් රුපවාහිනිය්, පත්තර් මේ යොධයා ඒ කියන කතා අහලා අපි හිතුවේ යු. ඇන්. පි ය  බලයට ආපු දාට රට ගොඩ කියලාය.

පහුගිය අවුරුද්දෙ කොළඹ කොටස් වෙළද පොලේ  29% වර්ධනයක් සමග සමස්ථ ම්ළ් දර්ශකය 7600 නැගල තිබුනත්,  චන්ද කාලේ කට්ටිය කිව්වෙ යු. ඇන්. පි ය ආවොත් මිළ දර්ශකය බලන් ඉන්දැද්දි සුරුස් ගාල 8000 ට යය් කියලාය.

29 පාරක් පැරදිච්ච රනිල් ලොක්ක  අන්තිමට මෛත්‍රි කරපිටින්, හොර පාරෙන් හරි බලයට ආවහම අපි ඔක්කොම අත්පුඩි ගහල සෙට් උනේ ගොඩයන්න  හිතාගෙනය.  විශේෂයෙන්ම කොටස් වෙළද පොල හර්ෂ ඩි සිල්වා යටතට ගත්ත නිසා වැඩේ තවත් ෂුවර් විය. දුවගෙන ගෙන ගිහිල්ල අතේ තිබිච්ච සල්ලි ටික ඔක්කොම කොටස් වෙළද පොලේ දැම්මෙ ඒ නිසාය.

වැඩේ  ටිකක් කචල් කියල ඉස්සෙල්ලම හිතුනේ හර්ෂය උදේ පාන්දරම 2011-2012 කොටස් වෙළද පොල කාපු එකට මහින්ද්ද එලවල තිබුනු  78 හැවිරිදි  පිස්සු තිලක් කරුණරත්නව ආපහු කොටස් වෙළද් පොලේ සබාපති ලෙස ගෙනාවමය. ආපු දා ඉඳල ඒ හනුමා කෙල්ලින්නෙම පිස්සුය.   පුද්ගලික කෝන්තර තියෙන කිහිප දෙනෙකුට කෙලවන අදහස  විතරක් ඔලුවේ තියාගන , නැති ගෝනි බිල්ලො කට්ටියක් ගැන පත්තර වලට කොච්චරවත්ම  කතා කරනව ඇර මේ යකාට කොටස් වෙළ්ද පොල ගැන හාංකවිස්සියක්වත් තේරෙන්නේ නැති බව 2011-2012 කාලය ගැන දන්න ඕනැම ගොනෙකුට තේරෙන්න ඕනෑය. ඉතින් එක නොදැන පිස්සු තිලක් ආපහු ගෙනාවේ ගොන් රජෙක්ම වෙන්න ඕනෑය.

අනික් පැත්තෙන් ලංකා ඉතිහාසයේ ලොකුම විදේශ විනිමය වංචාව කලා යැය්  උසාවියෙ නඩුවක් තිබෙන රවි කරුණානායක මුදල් ඇමතිය. 8 පන්තියේ ලමයෙක්වත් නොකරන වැරදි ගොඩක් පලමු අයවැයෙන්ම කරලා මුලු ආන්ඩුවම දැන් නාගෙනය. ආන්ඩුවෙන් ඉල්ලපු ඩොලර් බිලියන 4ක ණය ඇමෙරිකාවෙන්ම ප්‍රතික්ෂේප වෙලා හින්ද  අගොස්තු මාසය වන විට  සංවර්ධනය තබා රජයේ සේවකයන්ට පඩි ගෙවන්නටවත් ආන්ඩුවට මුදල් නැත.

මහ බැංකුවෙ අධිපති ලෙස පත්කරගත් අර්ජුන මහෙන්ද්‍රන් නැමති  කම්බ හොරා පත්වී මාසයක් යන්නටත් පෙර තමුන්ගේ බෑණා වන මෙන්ඩිස් අරක්කු සමාගම අය්තිකරුවන  අර්ජුන් අලොසියස් සමඟ එකතු වී රුපියල් බිලියනයකට අධික මුදලක් කොමිස් ගසා අසුවිය. දින 100 යන්නටත් පෙර  යහපාලන කට්ටියට තමුන්ගෙම මහ බැංකු අධිපතිගේ මුදල් වංචා ගැන සොයන්නට කොමිසමක් පත් කරන්නට සිදුනේ ඒ නිසාය. හැබැය් ඉතින් බිලියන් වලින් ගහපු සල්ලි වලින් ටිකක් එහාට මෙහාට කලාම කොමිසන් වාර්ථාව පිරිසිදු කර ගන්න එක සුළු දෙයක් බව මොලේ තියන ඕනෑම අයෙකුට තේරේ. ඉලෙක්ෂන් එකක් ලඟ ලඟ එද්දී කොය් කොය් ලොක්කටත් මුදල් අවශ්‍යය. නඩුත් හමුදුරුවන්ගේ ,බඩුත් හමුදුරුවන්ගේ කියන්නේ මේකටය.

ඔලුව කැපිච්ච කුකුලෙක් වගේ ආන්ඩුව දඟලද්දී කොටස් වෙළද පොල නැවත කඩා වැටිම ආරම්බ වී ඇත.  රනිල් හර්ෂ රවී ආන්ඩුව බලයට පැමින දින 60ක් ගත වන්නටත් පෙර පිස්සු තිලක් ස්බාපති කම උසුලන කොටස් වෙළද පොල 9% කින් කඩා වැටිඇත.  ඡන්දයට පෙර මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ රජය යටතේ 7600 ඉහල ගොස් තිබු කොටස් වෙළද පොල මිළ් දර්ෂකය මේ වන විට සීඝ්‍රයෙන් 7000 මට්ටමට කඩාවැටෙමින් පවතී. තව ටික දවසකින් මෙය 6000 නුත් පල්ලහාට එනු ඇත. එහි තේරුම නම් කොටස් වෙළද පොලේ ආයොජනය කර ඇති මා ඇතුලු ලක්ෂ් සංඛ්‍යාථ අහිංසක පුරවැසියන්ට ආයෙත් කෙලවෙන බවය.

හංසයාට ඡන්දේ දුන්න උන්ට හෙන ගහපන් කියන්නවත් බැරි මමත් ඡන්දේ දුන්නේ මෛත්‍රිට නිසාය.

අනේ හර්ෂයෝ, අනේ රවියෝ, අනේ රනිලෝ උඹලට තේරෙන්නේ නැත්නම් පහුගිය ආන්ඩුව කරවපු ඇත්තන්ට වැඳලා හරි මේක ගොඩදාන ක්‍රමයක් අහගන්න බැරිද?

වෙ ඡන්දේ දුන්න යෙක්

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Central Bank of Sri Lanka - FRAUD IN 50 DAYS!!! THE BIG CHANGE!


The entire business community was shocked with the blatant abuse of power of the new Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran to help his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, resulting in the fund losing over 2 billion Rupees.

The story is that the Central Bank's recently announced 30-year Bond indicative rate has jumped from 9.5% to 12.5%. Perpetual Treasuries Capital (Pvt) Ltd, owned by and CEO is Arjun Aloysius, has bought and resold the bonds and made millions if not billions on the same day. Looks like an insider deal.

The main bidder, Mahendran’s son-in-law who bid at 12.5%, obviously had inside information and as a result gained high profits, where as the banks and the other financial institutions who made their bids according to the public information given by Central Bank lost out to the company owned by his son-in-law.

Also, during the last week several 5-10 year bonds at low rates were sold by CB Governors’ son-in-law Arjun’s company and reinvested in the 30 year bond, because he had inside information from the Central Bank that the rates would go up to 12.5%.

Evidence of the unbelievable Bond rate:


Before appointing Arjuna Mahendran as Governor of Central Bank, were not Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe aware of his connection with Raj Rajaratnam? The Central Bank now directly comes under Ranil Wickramasinghe's Economic Affairs and Policy Planning Ministry.

Current CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is a childhood friend of Raj Rajaratnam as admitted by him.

Here is evidence:

Moreover, current Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake alleged to have received US $3 million from Raj Rajaratnam contravening exchange control regulations few years ago. The case is being heard in Sri Lankan Courts.

Raj Rajaratnam, who was a major financier of the terrorist outfit LTTE, was sent to U.S. Jail for insider trading in New York.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Govt. clears Rakna Arakshaka Lanka and Avant Garde Maritime Services of any wrongdoing

The government yesterday cleared the names of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka and Avant Garde Maritime Services. Parliament was told that the setting up of the companies concerned, recruitment of personnel and the payment of taxes and other dues had been done properly.

Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella, reading out responses to a series of questions raised by JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake on Rakna Arakshaka Lanka and Avant Garde Maritime Services the previous week, said that the Ministry of Defence had given permission to Rakna Arakshaka Lanka to deploy sea marshals. The organisation came under the purview of the Ministry of Defence. The organisation had recruited retired military officers. As the threat of sea pirates was increasing, the organisation had commenced deploying of sea marshals and it had done so in accordance with the provisions and standards stipulated by the International Maritime Organisation of the UN in the Circular MSC1/Circ/1443.

Rakna Arakshaka Lanka had been paying taxes due to the government regularly. It had paid more than Rs. 535 million to the government since 2011. In addition it had paid dividends to the Treasury. The amount of dividends paid by Rakna Arakshaka Lanka to the Treasury since 2011 exceeded Rs. 94 million, Minister Kiriella said.


Monday, February 23, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Judge Not, Lest You Be Judged

Colombo Telegraph; Feb 12th, 2015

The exclusive TV interview of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) by “SIRASA” TV few days ago can only be called vituperative and boastful in that, the total substance was Mahinda bashing and claiming credit in toto for the political maneuver in making Maithripala Sirisena the President. We have not seen Chandrika appearing in electronic media for some time and this was the first for many years. There doesn’t appear to be any change in her demeanor that of aristocratic arrogance and pretense.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, the all powerful President a little over a month ago is now the whipping boy of all and sundry. True, he and his regime mismanaged the country to the extreme that people got frustrated and fed up with him despite having the opportunity of becoming the greatest post worldwar (11) Sri Lankan leader who brought prosperity and peace to his country. He was digging his own grave by bad governance. The writer is not attempting to white wash or extend any sympathetic consideration whatsoever for all the MR wrong doings. As the saying goes, even the Devil should get it’s due. The TV anchor pointed out to CBK at the end of the interview, hadn’t there been any good done by MR? According to CBK it’s almost nothing !

According to CBK, seventy five percent of the war was won by her; MR did only the balance twenty five percent. So, she reluctantly gave a crumb of a credit to MR for finishing the war. The nation heard and saw on the 4th of February President Maithripala Sirisena in his address to the nation was gracious enough to credit the former President Rajapaksa and General Fonseka for the war victory. The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe too was not reluctant to mention it was MR who ended the war, while addressing the media subsequent to taking oaths. It is now public knowledge that Ranil has told MR when he met him at Temple Trees in the wee hours of 9th January that “we have to protect you for what you have done for our country”. That says everything.
What CBK knows but ignores in her favour is that one of the most ignominious defeats of the Sri Lankan forces happened during her leadership. While the Norwegians were purportedly trying to work out a peace accord, in April 2000 the LTTE launched parallel attacks on the most fortified Sri Lankan Army camps in Elephant Pass and Ayakachchi and overran those overnight, killing over one hundred SL army men. So much for CBK‘s claim for winning the war.

She failed to mention at the interview about her wisdom of PTOMS and her offer to hand over the rule of north and east to Prabhakaran for ten years. Perhaps it was convenient to ignore those subjects.

If it was not for Mahinda Rajapaksa’s single minded mission to defeat and eradicate terrorism from our land ,the democratic political change that occurred in January 2015 would not have been possible. However much efforts are taken by political rivals such as CBK to demean it ,this fact will be solidly embedded in the annals of Sri Lanka for the rest of it’s history.

Considering the axis of Chandrika-Ranil-Sampanthan now in operation, a reconciliation process based on the implementation in full,the 13th amendment is in the books. Be that as it may, R. Sampanthan and his TNA proxies of the LTTE diaspora including Suren Surandiran of the GTF who is leaving no stone unturned to bring Mahinda Rajapaksa before the war crimes tribunal in The Hague on charges of genocide, will not give up their mission to have a federal state in the north and the east which would be the stepping stone for cessation.

According to recent media reports, a decision has been taken to allow the public to see the Temple Trees to show the alleged luxury life the Rajapaksas’ were living at the expense of the public. It is also suggested that the governing party take a little effort to clear the over grown scrub on the left side of the Parliament complex so that it would bring to view a foundation of a Presidential palace laid for a lavish Rs.700 million CBK project, which was abandoned by MR after public outcry. Also just before retirement she attempted to gift herself a block of prime land near the parliament complex through a cabinet paper submitted by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The lust for power is very visible at the interview. President Sirisena would have had no chance in contesting the presidency had there not been a legal impediment for CBK in contesting. She was fined three million rupees by the Supreme Court for involvement in the sale of land at water’s edge. Her cronie Ronnie Peiris obtained for his company this 224 acre land for a song to make it a golf course. CBK was found guilty of abuse of power by the supreme court. People living in the Kotte and Kaduwela Municipality areas are ever grateful for this court decision because the decision paved way for the MR government to completely resurrect the water retention network of canals and lakes in the area while developing recreation areas and walk ways. One should remember even the Parliament got flooded during heavy rains.

The deals done by Ronnie Peiris,the CBK crony, is far too many to mention in detail. The Katunayake expressway project was previously awarded to Keangnam Ltd. during CBK presidency and it is alleged that the deal was manipulated by Ronnie Peries. The JHU and the JVP which are lambasting MR now for being surrounded by deal makers should also look into whether CBK’s deal makers are back in business.

One would remember the daily power cuts over three hours; the country faced during the previous UNP regime. The church in Puttlam did everything to stop the construction of the proposed coal power plant and as a result the country was facing dire consequences by not having adequate electricity. Neither Chandrika nor Ranil had the back bone to counter these disruptive elements. It is MR who took the bold decision to go ahead despite the protests. Similarly upper Kotmale was also launched despite protests from the environmental lobby. Norachcholai coal power plant may have had its initial teething problems but it now bears the major part of the load of power needed by our country.

Neither the Mattala Airport nor the Hambantota harbor were fancy projects of Mahinda Rajapaksa as claimed by his detractors. As per international air safety rules, a country like ours should have a second air port in the event of closure of one air port. We experienced this draw back during the war when Katunayaka had to be closed many times and planes diverted to Chennai or Maldives costing extra fuel to Aircraft. The idea did not originate from MR .He only implemented it and the present location was selected when many other areas close to Colombo were given up on account of objections from people. A Character like Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu could even prohibit Sri Lankan planes landing in Chennai in an emergency. There is no assurance that this would not happen in the future and it is no fantasy.

Similarly the port at Hambantota was a concept which prevailed for last four decades on account of the it’s ideal location, being close proximity and halfway in the busy east west shipping lanes. Singapore is having a virtual monopoly as a bunkering port. Annual traffic on this route is around 36000 ships and 4600 tankers. The busy shipping lane is just 12 miles off Hambantota port. The Sri Lankan government first offered the project to India but they were smart to decline since it would have affected Indian ports such as Mumbai and Chennai. What is now required is a concerted effort to market the port by giving better services than other ports such as Singapore and lure the ships to the port than looking for scapegoats.

Hambantota is the one of most economically backward areas in the country. The effort to develop the area is worthy of credit. It was a hotbed of militancy in the past due economic deprivation and social injustices as the cast system. MR being born in the district may have had a special bond with the region in him but other areas of the country too ,specially the war torn north saw immense benefits extended to the war weary population in raising their standard of living.

The standard of the net work of the roads was raised to unprecedented levels during MR regime.Reducing the distance between people, markets, services and knowledge – or simply ‘getting people connected’ – is a great part of what economic growth is all about.

Although virtual connectivity has become increasingly important today with the emergence of new communication avenues, a good and reliable transport network remains vital. There is a very strong positive correlation between a country’s economic development and the quality of its road network. The criticism that this is not a priority in Sri Lanka is coming from those who have no vision or else they just require MR vilified claiming these road projects are grandiose.The alleged corruption on these road projects are not a reason to vilify the vision. Those allegations are needed to be investigated and proved. Let’s not throw away the baby with bath water. The Colombo Jaffna and Colombo Kandy highways should be given priority in the economic program of the new government. Who gets the contract for the projects is immaterial. The reconstruction of the rail road to Jaffna is a project done by MR with foresight.

It was reported in the media that this government has the intention of probing the human rights violations that happened in this country during the last phase of the war through an internal probe as an alternative to the UNHCR probe. It is the most welcome thing to do rather than allowing UNHCR to do it. However, investigations should not be limited to the short period of last phase of the war only. This is a trap laid by the Diaspora and the so called international community. The probe should cover the entire period of the war against terrorism.

The prevention of Terrorism act implemented in 1983 during the JR regime led to unbridled torture of citizens not only in the north but in the south as well. Nearly thirty thousand Sri Lankans in the prime of their youth perished after capture by Sri Lankan forces. Most of them found dumped on the road sides tortured and killed. There are large number of people specially parents and wives still seeking justice for what happened to their dear ones under the JR regime. The infamous Batalanda torture chambers come to one’s mind. It was the “Abu Ghraib” of Sri Lanka. The commission which investigated the issue was very specific that RW was aware of the chambers existence. The report states “Wickremesinghe and the SSP Nalin Delgoda, are indirectly responsible for the maintenance of places of unlawful detention and torture chambers in houses at the Batalanda Housing Scheme”. The commission strongly recommended to government of CBK to bring the wrong doers to book. It was strongly believed Douglas Peiris the Policeman who was in charge of the torture chambers were given amnesty for his testimony against RW. The irony is that MR who is now being accused of human rights violation during his rule was a human rights campaigner who went to Geneva, to place before the UNHCR the situation in Sri Lanka at that time.

To mention just one of the numerous scams done by RW regime in the two year period they were in power 2001/02; Yasasiri Kasturiarachchci the strong UNPer and businessman who obtained a loan of 4.1 Billion from the People’s bank was given a crooked bail out formula by then RW adviser and famous fixer Paskaralingam through DR. Wickrama Weerasooriya another RW fixer to declare that the outstanding amount is not Rs.4.1 billion but 100 million and Kasthuriarachchi to pay an amount of Rs.10 million from this outstanding amount and given below is what CBK the President at that time had to say the Chairman of Peoples’ Bank Lal Nanyakkara.

“It is extremely unfair for a State Bank to extend privileges to an individual, however politically powerful he may be which are denied to others, less influential.

I consider such patronage to be a travesty of justice. I categorically state that the privileges not extended to others should never be extended to Yasodha Group and any violation of this practice will be investigated into.

I also learn that your Board is considering reaching a settlement on the basis of the recommendations by this third party investigator”.

As the Head of State, I severely warn you to desist from any unjustifiable settlement and any steps taken by the Bank, which lacks transparency, will be subject to a special inquiry and dealt with severely.

It is in your best interest to strictly adhere to legal process through the Court of Law.” (Daily News – February 2, 2004)

Prime Minister RW‘s attempt to send Navy Commander Karannagoda for a two weeks foreign trip so that two LTTE ships bringing arms for the LTTE deliver the goods safely was thwarted by CBK during the time the CFA was in operation.

Another astonishing thing that baffles many people is that an important portfolio, if not the most important, Minister of Finance is held by someone indicted by the Supreme Court for money laundering of Rs. 390 million. While it is correct that one is not guilty unless proven, a person with such allegations should have been kept out from any responsibility until the verdict is given. Besides, Ravi Karunanayake’s past record as the trade minister does not warrant a higher responsibility to be given to him. He has become famous for unmaking of institutions such as SATHOSA. It baffles me why a person like Dr. Harsha De Silva was not considered for this all important post. He is young and fresh blood devoid of dark clouds hanging over him. For that matter, Eran Wickramaratne would also have been a choice.

RW should actually have done an MR by dumping the out dated senile seniors such as John Amaratunga, Joseph Michael Perera, Jayawicrama Perera Et Al. as senior ministers.

John Amaratunga should resign before the no confidence motion, if the governement is serious about god governance.

These are random thoughts which come to one’s mind when politicians in power talk of good governance. Seeing on TV news the other day, CBK getting a courtesy kiss from her childhood friend RW one cannot but conclude to what brazen levels our politicians go to gain power.

These are the custodians of “good governance”.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Prime Minister should not have lists

Turmoil erupted once again in the coalition government as yet another State Minister, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, in charge of Higher Education, threatened to resign. Faizer Musthapha, State Minister for Civil Aviation, resigned not too long ago. The common issue among the increasingly disgruntled ministers is that Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, insists on running a one-man show, not too different from the leadership of the previous regime.
Ceylontoday, 2015-02-18 02:00:00
Prime Minister should not have lists
By Zahrah Imtiaz

Turmoil erupted once again in the coalition government as yet another State Minister, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, in charge of Higher Education, threatened to resign. Faizer Musthapha, State Minister for Civil Aviation, resigned not too long ago. The common issue among the increasingly disgruntled ministers is that Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, insists on running a one-man show, not too different from the leadership of the previous regime.

Following are excerpts from an interview with Prof. Wijesinha

Q:There are rumours that you have resigned from your portfolio as State Minister. Is it true?
A: I told the President that the whole situation is untenable. There are several reasons for this. First, I was upset I was not made a Cabinet Minister as promised in the manifesto.

Q:Was there a promise in the manifesto that you would be made a Cabinet Minister?
A: There is a promise that the Cabinet would consist of representatives of all parties in Parliament. I never asked for this, but two people of enormous significance, myself and present State Minister of Education, V. Radhakrishnan were left out. The Prime Minister called on Saturday and so I mentioned this to him and he asked 'did former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga promise you?"

I had been told that, when they were convincing some people to cross over, some had asked for portfolios and even money. But, those are his problems, and he should not think we are the same. Many of us did not make our decision on the basis of something for ourselves. Radhakrishnan, current Deputy Minister of Tourism and Sports, Wasantha Senanayake, Faizer Mustapha, did not ask for anything as far as I know. But, when I mentioned some cases to the President, he said that in good faith he had entrusted Cabinet portfolios to Wickremesinghe and former President Kumaratunga. He told me to speak to them, but I said this was not something I could do. When President Kumaratunga spoke to me on another matter, and I mentioned the unfortunate way Wasantha had been treated, she told me that she had not been concerned with the UNP, but she had been responsible for making me the Higher Education Minister. I said it was an interesting portfolio, but it was not a Cabinet Ministry as had been pledged. I also pointed out that Wasantha Senanayake had not joined the UNP, and had written to her to this effect beforehand.

The real problem I realized was that President Kumaratunga is not familiar with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) now, and certainly not with the UPFA as it has evolved in recent years. Wickremesinghe got his way and got a predominantly United National Party (UNP) Government. This is most obvious from the appointment of inexperienced Digambaram to the Cabinet while leaving out Radhakrishnan. But, the former was elected from the UNP and the latter is from the UPFA.
Anyway, I agreed to work initially because according to the Constitution I would report directly to the President. A week later, Cabinet Minister of Highways and Investment Promotion, Kabir Hashim, was also appointed Cabinet Minister of Higher Education. But, when I spoke to him, he said he would allow me to handle everything in that area, and also technical education too, as he is also busy with the election in addition to the Highway and Investment Promotion Ministry. Hashim is such a decent and honest man so I thought I could work with him.

What happened next was that they had a meeting with the Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) and then took decisions. When the problem erupted and I told the Prime Minister about this, he said he had told me to come but I did not. I said I had told his staff I had fixed a lecture at that time, but I could brief him beforehand, but I would be happy to brief them. His staff had failed to tell him that. And then, after the meeting, he did not brief me on what happened. He said he thought Kabir would have briefed me, which did not happen. Instead, Kabir started to act on his own.
First, he ordered my secretary to investigate matters in this ministry. I think they wanted to get material against SB, and that would not be a problem given our commitment to transparency, but they asked my secretary to do something without informing me, which is wrong. So I wrote a letter to Hashim and said that this was extremely unethical behaviour. We are here for good governance after all.

Then, while I was away he had ordered the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC) to resign. Then I had two problems to deal with, one was my position and my ability to act independently, which he had promised me. The second was how to get things done without the UGC. None of these people read the Acts. According to the Act, the minister has no powers. He has the responsibility to ensure that the Act is implemented, and his powers are confined to asking the UGC to do A, B and C. Without a commission what do I do?
The worst thing was that during the last week I had found strong evidence of corruption, so I asked the secretary to appoint a commission to investigate. But, he said he could not do it and that he had to ask the UGC to do that.
I then checked the Act which states clearly that anyone who resigns 'shall' continue to perform until replacements are appointed. So I told the chair she must act but she wanted to go home given the criticism she might face again. But, I told her she should fulfil her responsibilities, in addition to all else there is a great problem about the 2013 and 2014 results and we need to resolve it in a way that benefits students.

Q:When will a new chairperson be appointed?
A: A new one can be appointed any time after her resignation is accepted, but till that is done she must carry on as must her colleagues. So she agreed to carry on and now it seems FUTA is angry with me about it. However, my point is that the work must carry on, we can't sacrifice the entire student population and stop decisions indefinitely.
In the meantime, my position was questionable so I met the President and told him about it and offered my resignation though I mentioned two other possible alternatives. Then Kabir called me and I told him, this was not the correct thing to do, he said he was under a lot of pressure from the FUTA. I told him you don't act under pressure. We are attacking public servants for giving into pressure of the former President and Ministers. One of the charges against UGC Head, Prof. Hirimburegama, is that she did political things under pressure. Kabir said, 'you know she had openly campaigned for the former President, and I told him, he is quite young so may not be aware of this, you forget that this was started by the UNP in the 1980s by getting vice chancellors to sign petitions.'

What we need to do is put in systems and laws which ensure that this does not happen. I suggested that they draw up a code of ethics and remove political rights for officers of the university. Academics can have them but not officers. Officers need to be seen as public servants.

Q:But are they not public officials anyway?
A: No. They are seen as academics. University officials are very keen that they not be seen as public officers, because of the retirement age and all. During the good old days academics did not engage in politics, but since then things have changed, and not just under the last government.

We have to protect people like the Chairman and other public officers from pressure. Giving into FUTA pressure is also the same. It is the duty of the government to put in systems that would protect public servants from such pressure.
To go back to my conversation with Kabir, he said I should not bother, since he would gazette all universities under me so I can decide who the new UGC Chairperson would be. He said there were lists in the Prime Minister's office, and I could pick. But, my point was that there should be no such lists with the Prime Minister. The UGC is appointed by the President. I did not want to have appointments made for political reasons and had said as much to two ministers who had given names for the Jaffna Council. The previous Council had been criticized because it was claimed Douglas Devananda had appointed it. We should not do the same for other politicians, but of course they or their protégés could apply direct to the appointing authority, not through the responsible minister since he should apply no pressure at all.

Kabir had previously asked me if I could appoint some UNP dons to the UGC, but I said that would be inappropriate, and in any case I thought there was no point in a UGC with all academics. You need a mix, some who can provide a world view, business people, educationists, and Kabir agreed. Now I am being asked to look at a Prime Minister's list including I believe a FUTA list too. That would be terrible, to get rid of people they do not like and then appoint those they like, though of course they can make recommendations like anyone else.

I want a system where criteria must be given and reasons for appointments given. FUTA had issued a statement on what kind of UGC they want and that is exactly what I want. But, whereas I would interpret things correctly, others will have a political agenda. FUTA should be pleased with the fact that within a week of my becoming minister, I got the UGC to put on their website their criteria for appointing people to University Councils, and they are welcome to fine tune this, since I believe it should be in the Act, so that future ministers cannot go back to political approaches.

I told Kabir the President did the right thing by asking him to talk to me. I said, 'he didn't go over your head. So he said the best thing is for you to be made cabinet minister and I will recommend that to the PM.' He said he would tell him that last Thursday evening. On Friday I did not talk to media which questioned me, but by Saturday I felt I could not dodge the issue any longer, so I answered media queries.
Then the PM called on Saturday afternoon and asked what the problem was. It turned out that Kabir had not talked to him on Thursday, or the next day. I think he then did speak to Kabir, but I heard nothing, and on Friday with the media pressing I called Kabir, who reiterated his recommendation and said he would speak to the PM and call me back. He did not, but the PM called me that evening and said he needed to speak to President Kumaratunga, who was in England, and would let me know the situation today. As at 3 p.m., I have heard nothing.

Q:It seems that your main point of contention was that you were not given a Cabinet portfolio?
A: No. I agreed to work as a State Minister under the President, and I even went on after Kabir was made the Cabinet Minister. But I was upset when, contrary to his commitment, he began to do things without even consulting me.

Q:Doesn't this seem like an ego trip rather than a matter of policy?
A: It could have been construed perhaps as an ego trip if I had not flung myself into work despite the initial breach of promise, or if I had resigned after Kabir was appointed. But, I think Kabir is a good and honest man, and I thought he was efficient and believed in good governance, so I went on. But then he approached my secretary behind my back and got people to resign, and used the name of the President for this. He said in his letter that it was per a directive of the President, he told me it was under FUTA pressure, and then Ranil said it has nothing to do with FUTA but they had taken a general policy decision to ask all commissioners to resign. Whether that was the reason or not, it would have been a polite thing to do, but that was not in Kabir's letter – which was not even copied to me.
Kabir has since sent me various problems to deal with (some of which I had already dealt with), which will obviously continue to happen if he is called the Cabinet Minister. Then if people don't like what I do they're going to appeal to him. And he should be in a position to say that he doesn't have anything to do with this. In addition, he thinks he has to report everything to the PM and the problem is that the PM thinks he knows everythingHe will not delegate, except to people like Tissa Attanayake it seems, who do not have independent credentials. But, I believe a leader should be able to pick ability over political convenience and I know that, if this continues, whenever there is a politically contentious issue, there will be interference.
One thing I have learnt over the years is that you can do anything if your superiors have confidence in you, but if they don't, you can achieve nothing.

Q:You said, when you were informed about the meeting with FUTA, you had told them you had a lecture to attend. Don't you think that in a moment of crisis, as the State minister you should have given priority to the meeting instead of the lecture?
A: I had fixed a lecture to deliver myself, and it would not have been correct to cancel something which had been long requested, at short notice. Besides, in such a situation the proper thing would have been to refer the problem to me, or to Kabir and me together. But, if the Prime Minister thought his presence was essential, he should have tried to arrange a time with me, or, as I suggested, been briefed by me beforehand and then ensured that I was briefed afterwards. Failing to do any of this is not good governance.
This was the problem with the previous regime too, where the President took everything into his hands, or Basil did. I remember telling John Seneviratne once that he should not let Economic Development usurp all his powers, and he said Economic Development was doing that to everyone. If Ranil Wickremesinghe wants to behave in the exact manner Mahinda Rajapaksa did, he must learn that the same would happen as in 2003, he had a wonderful opportunity in 2001, but he flung it away.

Q:What exactly has been gazetted to you as the State Minister?
A: According to a letter last week, they wanted to give me what the previous minister had. Kabir had previously said he wanted to give me technical education too, which made sense, as well as science and research, which I told him I preferred him to keep. He did not come to the science meeting but when I went to the technical meeting, he also showed up and gave me the impression the PM wanted him to keep these. I told him to speak to the PM and let me know, since before he came I had been giving some ideas to the various institutions under him. He said he would, and let me know, but never did. Only his Secretary told me that they would keep technical education. The PM said this was not his idea, and then Kabir said he had allocated only universities to me because his secretary had advised him to keep technical education. Why I have no idea, nor did Kabir, given that it should clearly go with Higher Education if we are to work swiftly to fulfil at least some of the promises in the manifesto.

Kabir told me that the PM had told him to combine NAITA and VTA, which makes sense, but obviously Kabir and the PM have no idea that there are several institutions working in this field which need consolidation. And if he wants to look after technical education, he should be responsible too for SLIATE, but that has been passed back to Higher Education. I am not sure that his secretary has worked in education before, so why he only took his advice is beyond me. Contrariwise, that has been one of my concerns in the last few years, and I had written so much about it to the previous minister that he instructed his secretary to have a meeting of all institutions in that area to discuss issues with me.

Q:What exactly do you have?
A: Not me, but the State Ministry of Higher Education has I believe the UGC and 15 universities under that, two Buddhist universities and the Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technical Education.

Q:When will the new commission be appointed?
A I have no idea. The old one was supposed to meet on the 16th and Kabir said there are lists for a new one to be appointed but no one has told me whether the resignations have been accepted or not. At the moment there are only four UGC members remaining. Two resigned earlier and I immediately recommended names to the President, and one passed away recently. But, I am not going to go through names until the resignations have been accepted, and I know I can recommend. The minister cannot ask the UGC to resign. The correct way is for the President to ask for it through his secretary. When I asked the President, he said he did not know about it.
I gather that letters of resignation were sent to Kabir, I am not sure whether he has forwarded them to the President.

Q:FUTA has been protesting against the UGC chairperson. There are a number of allegations of political favouritism against her. Her husband is the Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University, which she is supposed to oversee. How can she not be partial?
A: I think this person being appointed Colombo VC was a mistake, and I have suggested he resign, but I can do nothing if he will not listen. The problem is, he had stood for election, and though she should have dissuaded him, if he insisted, that was his right.

Q:But he got the lowest number of votes?
A: No, I checked that. He got the second highest.

Q:Why wasn't the highest given the post?
A: According to the chairperson she didn't know. She said she didn't sit at the meeting and that the UGC had decided to give him the post. But, this is not the first time this has happened. I remember blatant discrimination against my own Vice-Chancellor when he got the most votes by far and then the UGC refused to put forward his name. That is why I believe there should be greater transparency in the process, and also any appointing authority must make public its rationale for choices.

I personally believe that the Colombo VC is not the right person for the job and after various improper replies about exam problems, I have asked the UGC to investigate the matter (though unfortunately the UGC was dismissed so no inquiry board can be appointed). But I should note that there are no blatant allegations of financial irregularities against him. One of the issues was a problem in the examinations and one candidate had not been treated fairly, I asked him for an explanation and he wrote back an idiotic letter not worthy of an academic.

The rest you really need to prove.
With regard to his appointment, the President may have appointed him with or without her involvement. You must realize that one of the key tactics of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime was to grant favours and then lay people under obligation. Many people told me I should not have been so critical because I had been appointed to Parliament, but my point was I had not been appointed to Parliament as a favour, and I felt no obligation at all.

Friday, December 26, 2014

End is nigh for Maithri and his achcharu coalition | The Sunday Times Sri Lanka


I feel it is my duty to respond to the comments of my unseen friend Viruddha Pakshikaya last week, as he has attempted to paint a bleak-and false-picture of Sri Lanka under President Mahinda Rajapaksa — and is already behaving as if the election has been won by Maithripala Sirisena. I’m told that the joint Opposition is already fighting for portfolios among themselves!
My answer to Viruddha Pakshikaya comes in the form of just two words: Tissa Attanayake. Now, I don’t know Tissa personally but this is the man who looked after the nuts and bolts of the UNP’s election machinery for the last ten years after Gamini Atukorale’s untimely demise. Yes, the UNP did not win many (or indeed any) elections during his tenure but with a leader like Ranil Wickremesinghe, that is hardly Tissa’s fault.
Tissa quit the UNP, joined the UPFA, was appointed Health Minister and is now a star attraction at UPFA rallies, spilling the beans on what it is like to be in a dysfunctional Opposition. Now, if Tissa believed the Opposition could win, he wouldn’t be doing all this, would he? And he should know.
I can almost hear Viruddha Pakshikaya scoffing in response to this, saying that Tissa was only a National List MP who was beholden to the UNP for his seat in Parliament. And my answer to that comes in the form of another two words: Udaya Gammanpila.Now, here is a bright young man with a political future ahead of him. Even though he was from the JHU, he obviously attracted enough SLFP votes to emerge second in the preference votes at the recent Western Provincial Council election. And he too “rejoined” the UPFA campaign last week.
He had left the UPFA a few weeks ago to join the Maithripala Sirisena campaign. What he saw there frightened him so much that he came running back to the UPFA. His explanation was that he couldn’t be part of a Government that included Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Kumaratunga.
Viruddha Pakshikaya accuses me of not getting ‘good grades for history at school’. Let me enlighten him on a little bit of recent history if he is the pundit in history: let us remember, shall we, the last time when Wickremesinghe and Kumaratunga were in the same Government? She was President, he was Prime Minister. It was 2001.
Kumaratunga complained bitterly about how she was treated by the UNP Cabinet. She was accused of bringing a video camera in her handbag by Ravi Karunanayake. Kumaratunga took over three portfolios while Wickremesinghe was gallivanting in Washington. There was chaos all around. That was the cohabitation Government we had.
Tell me, Viruddha Pakshikaya, is that the state of cohabitation to which you want us to return to? And this time around, there are even more people than just Wickremesinghe and Kumaratunga pulling Maithripala’s puppet strings: Sarath Fonseka, Champika Ranawaka and maybe even the JVP and the TNA.
Viruddha Pakshikaya has two main complaints about President Rajapaksa continuing in office: the role played by his family and his alleged persecution of so-called ‘opponents’ such as Sarath Fonseka, Mangala Samaraweera, the JVP and Shirani Bandaranayake. It appears as if Viruddha Pakshikaya needs to refresh his memory.
Family politics is part of South Asian politics. That is why, for most of its history, the UNP was led by the Senanayake-Jayewardene-Wickremesinghe clan and why it was known as the Uncle Nephew Party. The Bandaranaikes led the SLFP for fifty years so maybe it is now the Rajapaksas turn.
As for the ‘persecution’ of opponents, Sarath Fonseka is free to say what he wants and campaign for Sirisena only because he was pardoned by the President! About Bandaranayake, the CJ 43 as her supporters like to call her, I do recall the UNP maintaining that Parliament was above the judiciary, when her impeachment came before the House!
And just so that our readers don’t miss the point, let me add that Maithripala Sirisena was a part of all those decisions: he raised his hand to impeach CJ Bandaranayake, to pass the 18th Amendment, to encourage crossovers to maintain a majority in Parliament, so why has he suddenly woken up from slumber now?
The answer is that Sirisena and those pulling his strings believe there is a shortcut to power. They think — incorrectly, of course — that the people would reject President Rajapaksa simply because he has been in office for two terms. The people of this country, Viruddha Pakshikaya, are smarter than that. And they are a grateful people, as well.
The choice before them is, in fact, quite straightforward. One, a leader with a proven track record who won a war that all of his predecessors lost, and jump started the economy which under Chandrika Bandaranaike once got a record zero per cent growth. The other, simply a representative of an array of political forces whose only common ground is their dislike for President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The outlandish things they say are hilarious. For example, Chandrika claims she won 75 per cent of the war. The lady who wanted to bring LTTE representatives into the P-TOMS after the tsunami, and give them ‘Federalism’ through a ‘package’ and an ISGA (Internal Self-Governing Agency) says she won 75 per cent of the war. You don’t win 75 per cent of the war. You need 100 per cent of the war, and that is what our President did.
Take Maithripala Sirisena’s manifesto released this week. Viruddha Pakshikaya, if you can understand the English in which it is written, you will see what a hoax it is. They are nothing about nothing. It’s all wishy-washy stuff. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
So, as Viruddha Pakshikaya himself says, the end is nigh not for the President but for Sirisena and his accomplices. For them, the writing is on the wall, not only metaphorically but literally as well, if one were to assess popular support using the posters for the respective candidates as a barometer!
I do agree with Viruddha Pakshikaya that come the eighth of January, there will be a ‘maithree paalanaya’ but sadly for him, it will not be headed by Maithripala. It will be headed by Mahinda Rajapaksa who will govern with maithree or loving kindness, even to Maithripala and his achcharu coalition.

Presidential Elections: CBK-Maithri-Ranil-TNA Eelam deal & Sri Lanka’s National Security

The voting public of Sri Lanka whatever their political colour or preference of candidate must firmly say no to any move or agreement attempting to destabalize the country, divide its territory or create an atmosphere of chaos. No election campaign or coalition understanding should be allowed to bargain with the national security of the country in particular promise to reduce or remove strategically placed military bases and military personnel as election promises. National security is not a bargaining tool. Political debate in the West never use national security as bargaining tools for their election campaigns. As a priority voters need to first identify and eliminate political parties attempting to weaken national security as part of their agenda for providing political support. However, bad a local leader is, he cannot be as bad as those attempting to rule Sri Lanka through proxies and puppets. It is the patriotic duty of the masses to overrule any attempt to gamble with the national security of Sri Lanka.

The choice of Common Candidate
Whatever the coalition claims, the choice of the common candidate remains secret. No one has so far come out to say why they proposed the name of Maithripala Sirisena as candidate. These details remain very much secret from the public. Moreover, if we are to believe Colombo’s anti-MR chants and the English social media and conclude that Mahinda Rajapakse is unsuited to lead, UNP could have easily contested as a single party and fielded a UNP candidate to win the elections. Why was there any need to hire someone for a 100 day role?

If Ranil was not the choice it is so because of his own failures, and it is on that ground that he is rejected by the voters. Thus, the selection of Maithripala as Presidential candidate is based on the reality that Ranil Wickremasinghe can only command urban votes where non-Buddhists dominate. It is to fill the void and to either break or take the Buddhist votes that Maithripala has been brought into the picture. If this argument is to be believed coupled with the slogan of pluralism that Wickremasinghe preaches and promotes, Maithripala should be considered no hero of the Buddhists for he would by complicity help push the Buddhists further into oblivion and gradually remove their power.

While Mahinda Rajapakse is judged on accusations of corruptions by a select few surrounding him, the Coalition is being judged from multiple fronts all of which lead to the fear that the country would fall into neo-colonial hands or be earmarked for division. If Maithripala is a proxy of Ranil and Ranil is a proxy of Western Christian nations this reality is more than possible and the manner that Ranil led the UNF in 2002 is prime example of what to expect. Link this to the manner CBK led throughout her 12 year rule and what is in store for Sri Lanka rings alarm bells. The allegation of Ranil being a Western proxy is proven by Ranil Wickremasinghe’s membership in the IDU – International Democratic Union – made up of Christian political parties. It is alleged that the UNF Government formed in 2001 comprised 60% Christians and visas were granted to Evangelists to spread their faith while Buddhists were given step-motherly treatment.

The current revelation of a pact signed secretly with the TNA giving assurance to remove military bases, reduce military personnel in the North as well as remove non-Tamil settlements deserves the attention of the voters. There is also the assurance to carry out a war crimes inquiry which as an election manifesto does not convey much faith in our forces. Ideally what should be said is that our forces did not commit any war crimes and those that accuse so must produce the evidence first, and the reality is that for 5 years apart from accusations and editing film clippings nothing to substantiate war crimes as being produced as evidence.

The exposure of the secret pact comes in the wake of numerous other pacts signed without the contents being disclosed to the public. We have had the Indo-Lanka Accord signed in 1987 under emergency with Ministers having to hand over signed resignation letters. Then came the 2001 Cease Fire Agreement that placed LTTE and a sovereign government as equals and legally demarcated territory as ‘LTTE-controlled’. The period saw LTTE putting up its own courts, own police, own civil administration and openly amass weapons through Sri Lanka’s customs! The next set of secret pacts came in the form of the ISGA and PTOMs – these agreements were signed by Ranil and Chandrika Kumaratunga now the shadow-leaders behind the common candidate. Should the voters not have a right to question what their actual plans are? Are these concerns not more important than simply wanting change? What assurance can they give when the corruptions under UNF and CBK rule are nothing they can debate in public? The public is well aware that ALL POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT. However, what is more important is the stability of the country. As citizens and stakeholders of the nation do we not have a duty and right to wonder if the country is likely to fall to peril because of the same people that betrayed the nation not too long ago? To reverse the damage they did thousands of soldiers had to lay down their lives.

The first to betray the nation was Don Juan Dharmapala ready to function as a puppet of the Portuguese – incidentally Ranil wanted to celebrated the arrival of the Portuguese forgetting the thousands of natives the Portuguese brutally murdered and converted. In fact the common candidate as General Secretary of the SLFP refered to Ranil as a traitor coming from the lineage of the Dharmapala clan though now the common candidate promises to hand over to Ranil the leadership mantle after 100 days. The betrayal of the nation began on 2nd March 1815 with the signing of the Udarata Givisuma and ever since numerous other pacts necessitate the nation to remain on the alert against traitors.

The Colombo coterie eternally complaining may like to respond to what their contribution was to ending terrorism when they join the UN bandwagon not wanting the people to remember the war victory. They do not want the people to recall the war victory simply because they played no role in it.

Terrorism has to remain on our minds primarily because the deals being struck is with the same political party that was created by the LTTE, the same party that is linked with the Diaspora organizations that the GOSL has banned, the same party that even the EU Elections Monitor Cushanan claimed was the mouthpiece of the LTTE and the nation seriously questions why the GOSL does not take legal action against this party without allowing it to do the damage it is doing using its political privileges?

The memoirs of Nevil Jayaweera (handpicked to be the GA Jaffna in 1963) are referred to recollect and show honor to Mr. N Q Dias (father of Mr. Gomin Dayasri) for his visionary plan to set up military bases in the North taking stock of the possibilities of Tamil Nadu illegal immigrants pouring into Sri Lanka. Again, for petty political motives the reduction of these military bases by JR Jayawardena drastically undermined the national security of the country when Tamil militants began their terror. What Mr. N Q Dias envisaged for which he drew counter measures was proven when in November 2003 the LTTE declared that 35% of its cadres were from Tamil Nadu!

Mr. N.Q. Dias, CCS (civil servant) then Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defense & External Affairs under Sirimavo Government knew exactly the importance of placing the country’s armed forces at strategic points well ahead of any calamity which the present Defense Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapakse realizes too – what right do politicians have to bargain with the national security of the country? Thus, the GOSL is questioned on why it should give in to demands to reduce and curtail security presence instead of remaining firm on the threat to national security. The GOSL is next questioned on when it will take legal action against all those that have directly and indirectly contributed to LTTE terrorism over the years. For victims to be given any justice people who were linked with LTTE terror needs to be identified and placed before the courts.

The announcement of a secret pact with the TNA to remove or reduce military bases is connected to India’s claim that LTTE continues to fight for an Eelam that includes Greater Tamil Nadu, though it does question why India insists on the implementation of the 13thamendment and full devolution unless India too plans to compete for a separate North that the West would like to use as a base for itself in Asia. It also raises the question why India celebrated the 1000thanniversary of the ancient Tamil King Rajendra Chola (1014ce -Rajendra Chola I was the first Indian king to take his armies overseas and make conquests of these territories). India must realize the message it sends out in being proud of ancient Kings that invaded neighboring nations and questions the relevance to the current context of things.

These angles may be headaches for a lot of voters in Sri Lanka in particular those in Colombo, but their future depends on a secure Sri Lanka. There is nothing more important than the national security of the country. Everything falls into place only when the country is secure and stable. People can enjoy comforts only when the country is safe. The other issues all are secondary and this is why the voters must view how far and who can keep the country stable and the stability comes in ensuring that there are no deals struck with parties that are out to divide the country, dilute the sovereign powers of the country and create chaos thereafter. The examples of Libya, Kosovo, Iraq, Sudan may differ because they are Muslim, located in Middle East/Africa /Eastern Europe but the same players that broke up and have created chaos in these nations are now looking East towards Asia and this is why national security should become the key election pledge by the candidate. Assuring national security by forging secret pacts with players that are working towards dividing the nation has to be firmly rejected in the same manner that people should reject leaders who have secretly signed pacts without divulging its contents to the people and not even to their party members on previous occasions.

No one should be allowed to ridicule attempts to secure the nation’s borders and secure the country. No political party should be allowed to bargain and compromise the national security for petty political gain. Agreeing to dilute the National Security of Sri Lanka cannot be allowed to become as a political propaganda tool. The price of peace remains eternal vigilance and vigilance does not happen without preparation and processes.

In the end every voter has selfish reasons that determines who he/she casts the vote for. That decision must be based on who can provide peace and stability in Sri Lanka while not undermining the national security of the country. No person or organization can hope to live in peace or prosper if there is no peace in the country. Let us be reminded that all those that profited during the 30 years of war were those that were party to the terror and the rest of the country is only now picking up the pieces and it is just 5 years since the end of 30 years of LTTE terrorism.

by Shenali Waduge