H. L. D. Mahindapala
What is already known is that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will win on January 26. The question then is: what will the opposition do on January 27? Informed sources predict that they will come out crying foul on January 27 and ask for re-count or another election with the JVP-led mobs taking to the streets, hoping to create chaos.
Reason: The NGOs, JVP, UNP and some sections of the local media have already launched a massive campaign to invalidate the election on the lines of the Iranian election of 2009 which declared the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner. Another ominous pointer is that the Daily Mirror has already come out saying that it is legitimate to invalidate the election on grounds of violence.
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Saturday, January 23, 2010
H. L. D. Mahindapala
Posted by media at 11:38 PM
In the back drop of opposition claims that the Rajapaksa government messed up the foreign policy of the country, Dr Palitha Kohona foreign secretary and permanent representative to the UN, speaks to C.A.Chandraprema about the foreign policy of the Rajapaksa regime. He also touches on the current tensions with the European Commission regarding the extension of GSP+.
Q. There is this view that over the past four years, the foreign relations of Sri Lanka were strained as never before. The main reason for this was obviously the war. Is there a way that this could have been done without the acrimony that we saw in the recent past?
A. I don’t agree with your assertion that the foreign relations of Sri Lanka were strained over the last four years. We had excellent relations with India, Russia, China, Japan, Korea, Iran and a range of countries. President Rajapaksa personally handled our relationship with India and as you know, India supported us in winning the war.
Q. I was referring mainly to the west.
A. With regard to the west, we had some difficulties mainly owing to the fact that the LTTE had a well oiled propaganda machine operating in western capitals and in various international agencies. They influenced the policy makers in such a way that they tended to take a fairly sympathetic view of the LTTE. Despite this, Sri Lanka was successful in getting the LTTE proscribed in 27 European Commission states, in the United States, in Canada and so on. So we did have a number of significant successes in our foreign relations, even with regard to the west. We also had the TRO an LTTE front organisation, banned in the USA and Canada and an application to ban the TRO is before the EU at the present moment. We also succeeded in getting western countries like the USA, France, Italy, Canada among others, to prosecute a large number of LTTE operatives, fundraisers and organisers. The president has consistently maintained that Sri Lanka is a non-aligned country, and therefore, we have to ensure that good relations are maintained with all countries. It has to be said that the president’s influence on foreign policy formulation in the last four years was a significant factor in managing our foreign relations in a satisfactory way. There was a time when we were not getting what we needed from the west including military material and funding for our development efforts. President Rajapaksa turned to other friends in the region which led to Sri Lanka being accommodated by countries like India, Iran, China and Russia.
Q. During the time of Mr Lakshman Kadirgamar, tensions with the west went down significantly. But things seem to have regressed since then.
A. The proscription of the LTTE in Europe, took place after the time of Mr Kadirgamar. The TRO was banned by the USA after Mr Kadirgamar. Most of the prosecutions of LTTE operatives took place after Mr Kadirgamar. So I think it’s wrong to say that tensions were eased during one period and they got aggravated later on. By and large I think Sri Lanka as a country, both during the time of Mr Kadirgamar and subsequently, succeeded in convincing our critics that ours was a worthwhile cause, and that the LTTE which masqueraded as the sole representatives of the Tamils was a brutal terrorist organisation that needed to be stamped out.
Q. With regard to Europe, what we notice is that the European Commission seems to have gone out of its way to come down hard on Sri Lanka. If we take the two reports that they released last, year, it shows that there is some sort of tension between the EU and the Sri Lankan government.
A. It is not the European Union, but the European Commission that put out these reports, and it was done by a committee engaged by the commission. The commission has been bombarded by human rights groups and LTTE supporters and sympathizers. Like many western governments and institutions, they tend to respond fairly positively to NGO pressure. This was one such case. We have a task in front of us. We need to counter the pressures being exerted on institutions such as the European Commission.
Q. The GSP+ trade concession is in limbo at the present moment with a recommendation for its withdrawal by the European Commission. What steps has the government taken in this regard?
A. The government will take several steps. On the one hand, we continue to engage western capitals on this issue, and point out that the withdrawal of GSP+ will be a greater violation of human rights than what they seek to address thereby.
Q. How concerned do you think the Europeans are about the human cost of their reprisals? I remember watching an NHK World programme in which you were also a participant where Yasushi Akashi revealed that the Co-chairs, Norway, USA and the EU wanted to cut off all aid and concessions to Sri Lanka but that Japan blocked the move. So how do you convince a party with a mentality like that?
A. It is a curious phenomenon that on the one hand, the proponents of human rights will unsheathe their sword ostensibly to advance the cause of human rights, but in the process will not have any compunction in taking measures that will result in greater violations of humanitarian standards and human rights. It’s unbelievable that right thinking people would even dream of taking measures of this nature.
Q. The opposition says that if there is a change of government, they can guarantee the continuation of GSP+. Do you think a change of government would suffice to ensure the continuation of GSP+?
A. The European Commission has consistently maintained that they are recommending this measure on the basis of their own guidelines. As to whether a change of government in Sri Lanka is part of those guidelines, is not very clear to me.
Q. The USA has not been as half as judgmental in their State Department report on Sri Lanka put out late last year as the EU has been. What do you make of that?
A. I think it is a recognition that all the hype generated by the LTTE and its sympathizers should not be the basis of policy making. I think at last the reality is sinking in. The foreign ministry has been conducting a campaign to convince western capitals that here was another point of view in addition to that of the LTTE and its sympathizers. This is now beginning to sink in. Then of course there is another factor touched upon in that US report. Sri Lanka is an important country in that she sits in the middle of one of the busiest sea lanes in the world, and the US report acknowledges that instead of pushing Sri Lanka away, it would be far better to engage SL. This country of course will respond to friendly gestures rather than threatening actions.
Q. Coming to the question of engagement, there is this question of Philip Alston. I would say that Alston has been extremely fair by Sri Lanka in the past – much more so than most other UN officials who visited Sri Lanka. He has asked for an investigation on that Channel 4 tape. There are arguments going back and forth, but what’s finally going to be done about his request?
A. I think Philip Alston has been totally misguided in the recommendations he has made. I have serious concerns about the manner in which he presented the report. He went to New York to present the report, where the UN general assembly and security council meets. That suggests to me that he was looking for political mileage. Moreover, he chose to release the report (on the Channel 4 video) just two weeks before the presidential election. In addition to that there are serious doubts about the conclusions drawn by him on the basis of reports by his experts who were engaged and paid by him. We have contrary reports by experts engaged by the government of Sri Lanka.
Q. When the LTTE was wiped off in Sri Lanka, their overseas network remained intact. So is what we are faced with is a long drawn out tussle with an LTTE in exile?
A. The entirety of the LTTE’s foreign operations does not exist in the same form any more. Their main arms procurer and fund manager is in our custody now. There are other senior operatives who have been prosecuted by western countries. However the rump of the LTTE is still active. The government will continue to work with friendly countries to ensure that the terrorist organisation does not raise its head again. We have reached out to the Tamil diaspora groups and invited them to become partners in building a prosperous Sri Lanka. Many have responded to that call.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:08 AM
NEW YORK -- Two supporters of the now-defeated Tamil Tiger insurgents in Sri Lanka have been sentenced in New York to prison in the United States.
Nadarasa Yogarasa (NAH'-duh-rah-suh YOH'-guh-rah-suh) and Sathajhan Sarachandran (SAH'-thuh-jahn sah-ruh-CHAN'-drahn) had pleaded guilty last year to providing material support to terrorists.
Sarachandran received 26 years behind bars on Friday in federal court in Brooklyn. Yogarasa got a 14-year term.
The FBI lured the pair from Canada in 2006 to a meeting in New York with undercover agents posing as arms dealers. They were arrested after allegedly agreeing to a shipment of 10 surface-to-air missiles and 500 AK-47s.
Government forces routed the Tamil insurgency last year to end more than 25 years of civil war.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:01 AM
Move Reflects Strong Economic Performance in Recent Years
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sri Lanka will now be recognized as a country with a "Middle Income Emerging Market" status with The International Monetary Fund (IMF) graduating Sri Lanka from the list of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) eligible countries on 11 January 2010.
This upgrade would facilitate Sri Lanka to project itself strongly in international financial and capital markets, states the Central Bank.
A country graduates from PRGT only if it, (i) has enjoyed income per capita well above the International Development Association (IDA) threshold for a number of years, (ii) has the capacity for durable and substantial access to international financial markets, and (iii) does not face serious short-term vulnerabilities.
According to the Central Bank, the Executive Board of the IMF has taken into account the following specific factors in considering of Sri Lanka's graduation.
i.The strong economic performance in recent years that has substantially lifted Sri Lanka's per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to US dollars 2,014 by 2008, well above the prevailing IDA threshold, and its per capita Gross National Income (GNI) has not been on a declining trend for the last 5 years. The strong growth performance has signaled substantial resilience to shocks, including shocks to oil prices, and to the expiration of the Multi-Fibre Agreement.
ii.The availability of an IMF Stand-by Arrangement facility as approved in July 2009 to cushion the impact of the global crisis. Further, the economic developments under the program have been stronger than expected, with GDP growth expected to return to almost pre-crisis levels in 2010, while exports have been showing signs of recovery.
iii.The country's public external debt being projected to decline gradually over the medium term. Although debt dynamics remain sensitive to currency depreciation and export shocks, the timely implementation of fiscal consolidation, as envisaged in the Stand-by Arrangement programme, will be crucial to ensure that the public debt remains on a sustainable path.
iv.The country's ability to access international capital markets in the past years and its ability to meet the market access criterion. Oversubscription of the recently issued five-year sovereign bond reflected the progress made under the Fund-supported program, and signaled good prospects for continued access to international capital markets.
This has been distributed by Qorvis Communications, LLC on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka. More information is available at the United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
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Posted by media at 2:28 AM
Friday, January 22, 2010
Colombo, 22 January (Asiantribune.com):
There is a covert move by the Western Powers to force an annulment of the Presidential election scheduled for 26 January.
Already the Western countries with their local agent in Sri Lanka are moving ahead to force the Commissioner of Elections Dayananda Dissanayake to announce the annulment of the Presidential election.
Asian Tribune learnt that even yesterday the former Chief Justice Sarath Silva, who is at present one of the advisors of the opposition candidate Retired General Sarath Fonseka, met with the Commissioner of Elections, to urge him to consider the annulment of the Presidential election, it is learnt according to unofficial sources.
The Western countries led by United States of America and United Kingdom, France, Germany, Norway, The Netherlands are behind such a secret move.
Asian Tribune learnt these countries conducted a secret poll and to their dismay, they found that the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was popular and would be in a position to receive more than 60% percentage of the total votes polled against his nearest rival Gen. Sarath Fonseka.
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Posted by media at 11:58 PM
A letter of demand has been sent to SLFP(M) leader Mangala Samaraweera by Upul Ilangamage through his lawyers over allegations made by Samaraweera regarding him. The letter states that Samaraweera has made two false allegations that were defamatory to Ilangamage.
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Posted by media at 11:46 PM
Police on Tuesday (Jan 19) nabbed 22,000 fake ballot papers with their votes casted for UNF-TNA-JVP candidate Sarath Fonseka. Senior DIG in charge of Elections, Gamini Navarathne said that the items were found by the police personnel attached to the Pettha police station.
"Police found them while inspecting two suspicious parcels", DIG Navarathne said.
Meanwhile, police sources further said that information have been received on a plan to print 30 million similar ballot papers and distribute them island wide . Investigations are being continued .
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 11:44 PM
"Any sportsman or sportswoman in the country from Dondra to Point Pedro could now engage in sports activities in any playgroun", said President Mahinda Rajapaksa when he declared open the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium today in Diyagama in Homagama.
He pointed out that it was more important to safeguard the country's resources rather than selling them. During the time of laying foundation stone to the playground, bombs were exploded in many parts of the country. The present government was able to end that period. Opportunities have now been created to travel in buses or trains without fear or suspicion,observed the President.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa mentioned the missions carried out by the present government for the future of the children. It is not proper to speak in a manner polluting the minds of the children. The words of certain people cause a harmful impact on the minds of the children. The government has not spent any money to build the international playground. Funds from the President's fund and numerous contributions were used in this connection. It is the responsibility of all to safeguard this resource. The playground is able to conduct both tournaments of national and international level.
The government, un-deterred by the main obstacle, the war, has implemented massive developing projects such as constructing highways and enhancing sports facilities.Full Story >>>
Posted by media at 3:58 PM
Forty International Election observers from 13 countries will monitor the upcoming Presidential Elections, the Observer group said today at a press conference in Colombo. They further added that 25 Districts will be covered by the observers.
According to Wei-Ta Pan, Commissioner, Central Elections Commission there will be limitations to their monitoring as there are 11,000 polling stations across the island.
>> Video >>>
Posted by media at 3:30 PM
Presidential Candidate Sarath Fonseka has insulted people's intelligence by using the LTTE bomb attack on him in one of his election propaganda advertisements, said Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella.
Addressing a press conference at his residence in Kandy, Minister Rambukwella said people should question Fonseka about the last telephone call received by the suicide bomber before she exploded her bomb. He said the Government has obtained the SIM card of the suicide bomber's mobile telephone which gave vital clues but it did not wish to betray anyone for petty political gain because it always acted with responsibility. He said the President as Head of State has never betrayed the country, Security Forces of the people for political gain and this was a major factor which enabled the country to defeat the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world.
After Sarath Fonseka joined hands with the TNA terrorism and separatism had shown signs of raising their heads again, he said.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 3:25 PM
According to information received this morning (Jan 22), the 'grenade attack' at the Nawala residence of UNF member and businessman Tiran Alles has come to light as an opposition perpetrated stunt for propaganda mileage while discrediting the government for a 'spree of election violence'.
It was reported that Mr. Tiran Alles had managed to escape the 'grenade attack', surprisingly unhurt despite his vehicle and house being caught in fire. Ironically, Mangala Samaraweera master of Tiran, yesterday (Jan 21), at a press briefing slipped the word from mouth on the perpetrated attack against the latter. Mr. Samaraweera said that Tiran's life was in 'grave danger' giving way initial information into the 'attack'.
SFB urges that Mr. Magala Samaraweera to be immediately summoned by the CID for clarifications into his information and alleged connections into the 'grenade' stunt.
SFB reliably learns that the UNF will continue resorting to such shameful and violent measures during the next few days a strategy perpetrated at looming fear among general public while using its hired-goons and murder squads to rig the polls on 26th..
Earlier, SFB through well informed sources revealed UNF preparations to replicate a '1999 bomb blast' at the oppositions final propaganda rally, wooing sympathy towards Fonseka. As it came to light Mangala Samaraweera had master minded the attack with the aid of Army deserters' from Fonseka's death-squad.
It was also reported the opposition had hired a hit-man to assassinate government whip and NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa as his revelations was perceived harsh and extremely critical on the UNF and its vote base.
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Posted by media at 3:09 PM
Leader of the United National Party (UNP), Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe recently appearing on pro LTTE TV channel GTV (Global Tamil Vision) sought support of LTTE remnants for UNF-TNA-JVP candidate Sarath Fonseka at the forthcoming presidential election. Giving an interview to a programme named "Freedom Struggle", Mr. Wickramasinghe said neither him nor Fonseka should be held responsible for the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers.
Asked why Tamil people should support Mr. Fonseka who was the commander of the Army during war, Mr. Wickramasinghe said that Fonseka was just carrying out the orders of the government but not fought on his own accord.
"Break down of the process was a matter between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE. When they got the Tamils to boycott (2005 election), Mr. Prbhakaran have had a different option. If he didn't have option then you can't blame anyone else, certainly not the service commanders who had led his services under the instruction of the government", he said.
Explaining Mr. Fonseka's contribution in the he said that Mr. Fonseka only carried out the orders given.
"Once the government gave the order, the service commanders have to go ahead and execute it. So, he was the commander who had to execute the orders given by the government... and the government gave the timeframe, and what should be done... and that's how the war developed", he said.
Asked whether he had any involvement in engineering the rift between Karuna Amman and Prabhakaran, Mr. Wickramasinghe said he had nothing to do with it and he should be not blamed for that.
"I have nothing to do with it, as you see Karuna today is with the government, I have not even met Karuna... Don't try to cover up everything by putting the blame on me ... Karuna is today a reality made by Mahinda Rajapaksa", he said.
Throughout the interview Mr. Wickramasinghe tried to convince the audience that unless for his defeat at the 2005 presidential election the LTTE could be still in action.
Also, he said that Mr. Fonseka has been tasked only to abolish the executive presidency and once it is accomplished an executive prime minister will have the power.
GTV is a London based TV channel propagating for Tamil tribalism aiming at instigating racial violence in Sri Lanka . It is one of the major propaganda arms of the LTTE, carrying out false propaganda against Sri Lanka and its people.
Political experts are in the view that UNF-TNA-JVP candidate Sarath Fonseka's campaign is aimed at deceiving both Tamils and Sinahalese in the country.
"At Sinhala audiences , Fonseka tries to sell him as the only war hero who won the war singlehandedl... but for the Tamil communities he wants to show himself as a innocent government servant who had no other option than to carry out what he was asked to", one expert told ToL.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 3:27 AM
Thursday, January 21, 2010
'Only 3 per cent of the war displaced remained to be re-settled in Trinco'
Major General Prasanna Silva says that a section of the international community not only rejected Sri Lanka's calls for arms, ammunition and equipment but also prevented aircraft carrying urgently needed items from flying over their airspace.
The former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 55 Division said that President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government had bought in the required armaments to bolster the army's firepower in spite of obstacles.
Silva, currently the GOC of the 22 Division headquartered in Trincomalee said that contrary to claims, the Rajapaksa government had provided a range of weapons and equipment, which helped the government forces to destroy the LTTE's military wing last May.
Participating in a Sinhala language programme aired over Rupavahini, the former Special Forces Commander paid a glowing tribute to the Sri Lanka Air Force for throwing its weight behind the army. Commenting on operations carried out by the 55 Division under his command, Silva said that the SLAF jets and helicopter gunships had made their task easier. The SLAF had facilitated the evacuation of the wounded, a challenging task, particularly when the infantry crossed a lagoon under fire, he said. Despite severe constraints, the SLAF had played a remarkable role, he said emphasising he had never seen the SLAF going all out during previous engagements. SLAF personnel had engaged in evacuation operations even risking their own lives, he said.
Silva said that the deployment of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) on surveillance missions had provided real time battle ground pictures to him, thereby helping him with decision making.
Maj. Gen. Silva said that there was absolutely no truth in the claim that the Army had killed LTTE cadres, who surrendered on the Vanni front. The Army had evacuated wounded LTTE cadres, some of them airlifted to hospital though some interested parties criticised the government for ill-treating the enemy. No one should forget that there were over 11,000 LTTE cadres in government custody, he stressed.
Silva said that the government should tell the world how the enemy was treated during the war and after the end of operations last May.
According to him, one of the primary reasons for their success was the availability of the required manpower. Challenging battlefield objectives couldn't have been met without the Army receiving fresh recruits, he said.
During the final phase of the offensive, his Division advancing along the north-eastern coast rescued about 15,000 men, women and children without any loss of life among the civilians.
Responding to interviewer Chamuditha Samarawickrema, Silva said that at one point the Army had wondered whether they could hold their Muhamalai frontline let alone break through the LTTE northern defence line, a well built complex backed by artillery pieces, mortars and strong points.
Unlike any other previous leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had visited frontline troops to boost their morale.
The former soldier Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had, Maj. Gen. Silva said, brought the three services and the police together. He had acted swiftly and decisively, intervening to deploy the SLAF to evacuate a wounded soldier from Vakarai during the height of the battle in the East. Since the end of the Eelam war last May, the government and security forces had done a tremendous amount of work in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, he said. In the Trincomalee District there were only three per cent of IDPs to be resettled. The resettlement process had been somewhat delayed due to slow progress in mine clearing operations, he said. The army de-mining units were primarily engaged in mine clearing operations in the Vanni thereby causing a delay in humanitarian de-mining operations in the Trincomalee District, where two areas were to be cleared. The second reason for the delay in completion of resettlement in the district was the need to relocate the war displaced elsewhere as the government had taken over their land for development work, he said.
The Army was actively supporting development work in the District in support of the government's overall strategy to restore normalcy in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, he said.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 3:33 PM
*Give verdict against betrayal
*Will never allow rebirth of LTTE
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday emphasized that he would never allow the subjugation of the freedom achieved and the democracy protected by sacrificing thousands of precious lives. Speaking at a massive public rally in Polonnaruwa attended by an estimated crowd of over 100,000, President Rajapaksa said that he was confident that the people would rise against such attempts and would never allow the ugly head of terrorism to rise again or attempts to divide the country....>> Full Story
Posted by media at 3:30 PM
Patriotic National Movement leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, yesterday alleged that Presidential candidate General (retd) Sarath Fonseka was planning to have some attacks carried out on the Opposition as well as himself in a bid to gain sympathy of the general public.
"I earnestly request the general public not to be duped by such tactics," Weerawansa told a press conference at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday.
He also said none of the Presidential candidates of the past had used foul language as Fonseka does. Fonseka has a lot to hide and that was why he lost temper, unable to defend himself, Weerawansa said.
Weerawansa challenged the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan and Fonseka to prove that there was no agreement between them on high security zones, release of LTTE cadres and the north-eat re-merger...
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 3:25 PM
It has been conducted according to employment and unemployed basis as well as on urban, suburban and rural levels.
It has been pointed out that more people in urban areas speak on the candidate of the new democratic front. Participating in the Subarathi discussion programme of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Piyadasa further said that the threatening of the Lankadeepa media person, who revealed facts on the agreement reached with the Tamil National Alliance, could be regarded as an attempt to prevent the disclosure of truth to the masses.
Lawyer Ali Sabir said it was the responsibility of the people to elect a leader who listen to their opinion. It has become clear that Sarath Fonseka is a person who does not heed the opinions of others, by the manner he abused a person recently.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 2:42 PM
by Ranjith Soysa
Mr Clean, as the Presidential candidate Retd Gen Fonseka expects him to be known because of his crusade against corruption and nepotism in Sri Lanka has become the centre of many alleged unsavoury episodes.
The information now in the media including the internet makes one wonder his proclamations and rhetoric are similar to the older crabs attempting to teach the younger ones to travel straight while the older ones continue their winding ways.
Since the clean up of the veritable Aegean stables is Mr Clean’s major platform as many of his vocal Colombians followers also agree, it is of utmost importance for Mr Clean to prove that he is indeed is clean as a white lily.
Here are some key questions which should be answered urgently by Mr Clean.
1. Did Mr Clean had to face an inquiry into a act of grave misconduct when he was a Major in the Army? What was the outcome of the inquiry?
2. Were there any victims who had to suffer immensely because of Mr Clean’s above stated misconduct? Were the victims compensated?
3. Was Mr Clean involved in any financial embezzlement or misuse of funds when he was a member of Sri Lanka Army? If so, indicate the details.
4. Is there any truth to the stories that Mr Clean misused his office and harassed a number of female members of the army?
5. Did Mr Clean confer upon himself any Army honours which he is not entitled according to the Army procedures?
6. Were there any irregular, unlawful payments made by the Army to Mr Clean’s family members?
7. Did Mr Clean or his family members derive any irregular, illegal benefits from the Army through contacts etc?
8. Did Mr Clean know about the business run by his son-in –law, Mr Tillekeratne and did he allow his son –in-law to derive any undue benefits? Did Mr Clean declare that there was no conflict of interest vis a vis his son-in-law’s supply of arms and Mr Clean’s position in the Army?
If Mr Clean is really interested to strengthen his ONLY VIABLE and POSITIVR claim in the coming Presidential contest he should come out with a statement with acceptable clarifications soon as, the Sri Lankan people have now come to know that there are dark spots in the lily which is marketed by him and his supporters of Ranil- Mangala-Mano Ganeshan- Hakkem-Somawansa-Sambandan clans.
Over to you, Retd General.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:58 AM
Vice Chancellors of all Universities and Academics today declaired their support to the candidature of President Mahinda Rajapaksa
They jointly commended the efforts & the vision of the President implemented under the "Mahinda chinthanaya ", a vision for a better future for the country.
They also recognized the success achieved over the past four years under the leadership of the President and called upon all the people to support the Mahinda Chinthanaya ,the only way forward for a brighter future for the country.
These Vice Chancellors claimed there was no comparison that could be drawn between the Mahinda Chinthana & the opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka's Manifesto - "Believable Change". "The President's Manifesto is more comprehensive and practical",they noted.
The Vice Chancellors who attended the press conference were Prof:Gamini Samaranayaka the Chairman of the University Grants Commision, Prof.Susirith Mendis the Vice Chancellor of Ruhuna University, Prof. Nandasena the Vice Chancellor of Rajarata University, Prof. N.L Karunarathna the Vice Chancellor of Jayawardanapura University, Prof.Jayasena Kottegoda Vice Chancellor of University of Aesthetic Studies,The Vice Chancellor of Colombo University Mrs.Kshanika Hirimburegama.,The Vice Chancellor of Open University mUpali Widanapathirana,The Vice Chancellor of Kalaniya University Dr.Sarath Amunugama,.Mahinda Rupasingha of Sabaragamuwa University, S.M.M.Ismail the Vice Chancellors of South Eastern University, J.A.Liyanage ,Director of The Gampaha Wickramaarrachchi Aurweda Institute and Dr.K.Premakumara Vice Chancellor of Eastern University.
The UGC Chairman Gamini Samaranayake stated that the President's leadership has helped to transform university graduates to become nationally & economically developed citizens.He asked the people to elect the President for the next six years so that we can transform the country to a developed country in the future.
Then the Vice Chancellor of the Ruhunu University Susiritha Mendis highlighted that if Sarath Fonseka came into power the country may fall into a millitary dictatorship thus undermining the democracy the country has gained from its Independence.Further he elaborated the power of the five forces that the President has mentioned in the Mahinda Chinthanaya's second Manifesto which will bring forth future development for the country under the President's leadership.
Jayasena Kottegoda, Vice Chancellor of University of Aesthetic Studies stated the President had a clear vision to manage Sri Lankan economy while fighting a separatist terrorist war in the country.Further he said that the President increased the per capita income of a person in Sri Lanka from US $ 1000 to US $ 2000 during the past 4 year period.
Then the Jayawardanapura Vice Chancellor mentioned that due to the government's poverty alleviation projects such as ' Gama naguma', 'Maga naguma' many people were benefited and it helped to develop the country.
The Vice Chancellor of the Colombo University called upon all the women in Sri Lanka to be grateful to the President for defeating terrorism and giving the people the opportunity to live peacefully and happily. Thus she asked all Sri Lankans to elect The President in the upcoming election and give him power for another six years so that we will have the opportunity to sustain the development of the country in the future.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:48 AM
By Shenali Waduge
What has America learned from the Obama “Change” experiment?
By end 2009, almost 700,000 Americans had lost their jobs, 1.4million Americans were unemployed, a further 30,000 US troops had been sent to Afghanistan & Iraq was being replaced with Iran. Summing up the disappointment felt by most Americans on the Obama “Change” was a single poster that read “He has a Dream, We got a Nightmare”. It is now Sri Lanka’s turn to carry the CHANGE slogan & the common candidate is outlining a long list of CHANGE promises that repeatedly demands voters to think twice.
If viewers are exasperated by the manner in which the present election campaigning is taking place we need not be surprised for it is obviously a trend & the perfect way to steer voters away from the real questions that candidates desire not to answer. Yet, we question whether voters have the maturity to actually question candidates based on what their policies are & whether these questions are based on demands that will be beneficial to the country & not necessarily to cater to the needs of a few individuals.
That candidates come into power on the strength of the rural vote complicates this effort for by & large the needs & desires of urban & rural voter differs greatly. A simple example is the issue of escalating gas prices in urban Sri Lanka which is however an insignificant topic for rural voters. Therefore politicians are shrewd enough to tailor fit their promises to suit the voters they address resulting in deviating from country-specific topics. Thus, the voters too have become hypnotized into believing that their needs are likely to be met through the power of their vote which in reality is hardly likely to happen – our vote is powerful only upto the time we cast our vote – thereafter we have no option but to await a further 6 years to continue or change the status quo.
When promises become a hallmark of election propaganda we can deduce that candidates have easily summed up how to fool the voter. Promises have been an excellent tool to fool voters who surprisingly fall for single lines that promises immediate relief – reducing the price of bread, reducing price of rice, reductions in price of petrol, diesel, kerosene & promises of salary hikes are all easy gimmicks of politicians vying for support. In the euphoria that these promises will be met, does the voter actually wonder for how long this reduction is possible…how the candidate is likely to balance the status quo & discrepancies that may arise therein? No…
The promise of a Rs.10,000 salary hike was never questioned with – is this to be given monthly…from when…& for how long…or is this to be a single handout? Other than saying that Rs.10,000 would be given…there was no mention of the modalities of how it was to be given. The next question is the fairness of giving 1.2m public sector workers Rs.10,000 & the injustice to 14m private sector employees who will end up footing the bill by carrying the burden of additional taxes? The ultimate outcome of these salary increases will only result in higher Inflation, having to print more currency & the natural urge by the JVP to commence strikes. These are clear signs of a failed state & reminds us of Zimbabwe where inflation is 231m%. What it will end up doing is making Sri Lanka a prisoner of the IMF & the World Bank for eternity & future generations having to pay for the warnings that were not heeded - why are the UNP economists mum & not advising Fonseka properly?
Therefore until the voter departs from the mentality of believing that a minimal reduction in essential items is what steers their choice of candidate….we are likely to have politicians continue to fool us with false promises that was never meant to be kept. In other words when candidates realize that voter mentality depends on an easy promise to reduce essential items, it is natural for candidates to offer promises instead of drawing attention to his plans to govern the country.
Thus, the election of the next President should not be belittled to selfishly seeking the realization of promises that are unlikely to last right through a 6 year term. Yet, until the people can think & put country first this is the type of political campaigning that is likely to take place in future as well.
It is unfortunate that within 8 months of eliminating a 30 year conflict the two main architects of the war are now contesting each other. While it is everyone’s right to vie for the post of President we can but wonder what has steered the man who declined to ever enter politics to contest the Presidency by aligning himself with a disparate set of political parties & politicians that ridiculed & scoffed his ability to lead the army. It is not too difficult to deduce that apart from the JVP, all other Opposition alliance parties chose to provide fuel to external forces by criticizing the military efforts & even finding fault with the humanitarian effort.
If a COMMON ALLIANCE was ever called for it was morally upto the UNP to have backed the Government when relentless pressures from the UN/INGOs & foreign governments descended upon Sri Lanka to stop its military onslaught & re-enter negotiations with the LTTE. While the JVP was all the while supporting the military efforts, elements within the JVP who had discreet ties to members of the now common opposition alliance is presently steering the party & their stand that Norway is a “friend” depicts the manner that JVP too has made a 390 degree transition. Supporters of the common alliance promoting a common candidate have very interesting reasons to support its candidate but so wide and varied are these reasons that prompt us to once again remind these voters to think twice before they cast their vote.
The Common Alliance & the Common Candidate them all started with the assumption that the Executive Presidency was the reason for all of Sri Lanka’s ills & the common candidate was to proudly announce that all of its alliance members were in agreement that he would abolish the Executive Presidency & in its place create an Executive Prime Minister making room for Ranil Wickremasinghe to function within that post. If we wondered at the logic in bringing in a man foreign to politics & made to contest elections against a very popular President & hand over power to the present Opposition Leader who is destined to loose elections, our doubts were proved right when the common candidate has deviated from any talk of abolition of the presidency & instead has announced that he did not intend to send the present President home & for him to go home as well. Reiterating his position he insists that he must hold the portfolios of Education, Defense, Health, Finance as well as the right to send any minister not functioning properly home. In the context of abolishing the executive presidency & creating an executive prime ministerial post under Ranil …very few have demanded to know why the common candidate has suddenly changed his stance (not even Ranil or the UNP) & this once again should remind UNPers in particular of the debacle they suffered at the Colombo Municipality Elections wherein they thought a proxy candidate would hand over power to the UNP – which ultimately did not happen!
Not many supporters in the common alliance are even wondering what is likely to be in store for the political parties that are currently supporting the common candidate – it is surprising how very few UNPers have even cared to wonder whether all these dubious & contradicting statements by “their” common candidate will ultimately result in the demise of the United National Party? Has General Fonseka ever acknowledged the backing given by Ranil, Somawansa, Mangala, Hakeem, Mano Ganesha, Sampanthan publicly …has Fonseka ever acknowledged the support given by the supporters of these political parties – HE HAS NOT…therefore we can deduce that Fonseka is subtly evading acknowledging these parties or its members by covering up with a slogan that all these parties & politicians have formed an alliance based on their “trust” in him & in one another & functioning under a single “goal” to oust the present President. What a humbug!
How fortunate Sri Lanka would have been if this same mission & COMMON ALLIANCE prevailed to oust Prabakaran instead of having to sacrifice the lives of thousands of armed forces, civilians & a country that suffered countless assassinations, bomb attacks, suicide missions etc!
Therefore, from a country’s point of view this is a very dangerous alliance for the entire retinue is aligned purely on one mission & that mission is to get rid of the incumbent President & their campaign or policies has nothing to do with the needs of the country. This danger is further heightened by the fact that the alliance members are once more obtaining the backing of external forces who desire to maintain an unstable Sri Lanka. The key to this destability remains the 10,000 or so LTTE cadres that are likely to be used to resurrect the LTTE & for which the Tamil Diaspora & foreign governments anxiously wait – India too must be enviously looking upon the vast developments that Sri Lanka’s post-LTTE annihilation has resulted in even to now be declared the world’s preferred Tourist Destination.
So how does a voter put one’s country first? This is an extremely important question & makes any to immediately question how far our politicians have put their country first. This naturally brings home the one argument for which the Opposition alliance has been able to harness support on the grounds that the present Government & its ministers as well as key public figures are corrupt. This is the CHANGE that is being promised within 72 hours of coming into power. How democratically this can be achieved & the sanity of such a statement is somehow never questioned. It is desirable to live in a country with zero corruption but how far Third World countries or even First World countries function in a zero corrupt governance is also noteworthy. Yet, when the common candidate himself has upteen allegations of corruption, nepotism, questionable demeanor not to mention the foul language used when cornered being targeted at him, it only prompts to remind us that members of this common alliance are no strangers to charges of corruption as well. It should certainly demand voters to be hundred percent certain that these common opposition members require to function under zero corruption & how far that is likely to happen again steers voters to be cautious before casting their vote! Then what is this CHANGE that is likely to take place?
A country’s governance is handed over to members chosen by the people who are tasked to steer country-specific programs using the public sector while making them productive, efficient & effective. Handing over governance does not equate to feeling that these members are above the law & need not be accountable to the public for though the voter is denied the means to remove these inefficient members out of office, their conscience should provide the basis to deduce whether their actions are in the interest of the country or not. As leaders on whose shoulders the country’s development rests, it behoves them to ensure that the interest of the nation comes first at all times.
We cannot deny that the incumbent President has done what other leaders have failed to do or lacked the guts to do. It was this stewardship that was focused towards the elimination of the LTTE that demands us as citizens to be appreciative of his one promise that was delivered to the people. There is no better example of how a leader has put country first in the manner he & his team were able to steady a country that was the center of world attention with unbelievable stories created to ridicule & attempt to cease the military onslaughts. The nation must never forget the manner in which the victory came about for these reminiscences will provide the much needed pride that resulted when the announcement came that Prabakaran & his LTTE was no more.
Therefore, at this critical juncture the importance of this election is as important as the previous election for had the 2005 runner up took office instead of the incumbent President the LTTE would still be prevailing & the former army commander & present common candidate would have been sent on retirement & enjoying 5 years of it by 2010. Therefore, the public may like to wonder the outcomes of a 2005 Ranil Presidency & how much of territory that would have being conceded officially to the LTTE through the treacherous CFA agreement on the grounds that this was an “unwinnable” war & the need for a federal devolution was the “only” solution. Was Ranil not in power for the same period it took for the military to eliminate the LTTE fire power as well as its leaders? Was Ranil’s period in power not plagued with vat scams to the tune of 300billion & did not the LTTE double their supplies of arsenals & stock weapons & armory facilitated by Govt officials & did not Ranil’s Defense Secretary function as official envoy visiting injured LTTE officials in hospitals? This only part of the damage that the 2002-2004 period of Ranil’s rule offered Sri Lanka. With all of Ranil’s connections to foreign governments why could he not have secured a settlement with the LTTE outside of giving part of Sri Lanka to call Eelaam – dividing the nation is NON-NEGOTIABLE.
As a nation we are all thankful that we can walk safely & our daily discussions do not now refer to LTTE – our children will no longer live in fear & the next generation will only read who Prabakaran & the LTTE was.
Alongside the military efforts development was also taking place. A lot more needs to be done but that there are 5 airports, super highways, overhead bridges, energy generating power plants, developments in port infrastructure are all positive signs that things are happening. The only negation we can agree upon is that the public sector must stop being a base for politicians to absorb people from their electorates. The Government must be firm that free education does not mean that the Government is bound to provide employment to graduates & certainly not to dole out jobs as teachers. Any teacher entering the profession must first of all have the passion to teach…it should not be a JOB. The single positive outcome that we can expect of a Sarath Fonseka presidency is the possible stop to all STRIKES in future which will probably bring a major dent to JVP strategies – thus doctors, nurses, trade unions etc may well have to forget to adapt work to rule strategies & strikes!!!
It would be interesting to see how far the incumbent President plans to steer Sri Lanka with the same commitment he carried out the elimination of the LTTE. We are all in agreement that corruption prevails not only in the public sector but in the private sector too. For the incumbent President to go down as one of Sri Lanka’s most revered Statesmen..he needs to make drastic changes…do we or do we not accept the 13th amendment – we need to finally decide, what are the views on the 17th amendment? It is time to finally use this last term for Yes or No replies & firm commitments…Crossovers must be completely banned in parliament. If we are to continue the provincial council system more power must be distributed to the provinces & left with the Chief Minister…if not Sri Lanka does not require ornamental roles that only burdens the public & a system that departs from practically bribing a party for one’s allegiance must stop. All public officials must perform & systems must be brought in to remove those who do not perform…including those of Ministers. Ideally the UNP should resurrect itself as a single political party & both parties need to nurture young & nationalistic minded leaders. This way it will automatically alienate political parties that are based on “ethnicity” – for Sri Lanka does not need such parties moving forward. Sri Lanka can rise to be a First World nation but the irony is that members of parliament who are looked upon as rogues are the only people who presently have the power to change legislation for the benefit of the country…who else can actually change this…if the incumbent President in his 2nd term with the unlikelihood of another term can actually bring about significant changes ….this is the CHANGE that Sri Lanka can look forward to.
Change euphoria in the present context aligned to the campaign of the common candidate remains only targeted at ousting the incumbent President & the promises that are tied to the opposition candidates manifesto clearly indicates a Sri Lanka that should not end up tied to external factors that are likely to strangulate Sri Lanka into appeasing to the whims & fancies of foreign dictates. The alliance & its leader whose entire campaign is based on mutual hate, vengeance & revenge realistically speaking looses all objectivity of what is needed to take Sri Lanka forward.
The CHANGE campaigners having possibly realized the common objective will eventually embark on major in-house bickering & conflicts for all these political parties & individuals will begin fighting for a piece of the cake & the foregone conclusion is likely to be disappointments all round & the emergence of an elected dictator & a nation suddenly waking up to the allegations that they chose to ignore… by that time it would be too late leaving a Sri Lanka left in peril.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:36 AM
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Sorry Mr Fonseka, you won't have Rs 810 billion for your Grand Promises!
By Dr. Ranjith Bandara, Senior Lecturer in Economics, University of Colombo
Mr Sarath Fonseka and one of his media spokespersons have claimed that the "corruption" of the Government is unprecedented, and is costing the country in economic terms as much as, or even more, than terrorism. By eliminating such "corruption", they have pledged to find the money to fulfill all of Mr Fonseka's grand and expansive promises. They have also indicated that "corruption" has denied the people a total sum of Rs. 810 billion, and have also attempted to lay the blame for such "corruption" on President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The main basis for these allegations appears to be an ad-hoc 2007 study report on the "Impact of Corruption on Poverty and Economic Growth", commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development and prepared by an organization described as ARD, Inc. for the USAID-Association for Rural Development (ARD) Anti-corruption program consultative committee at which the Sri Lanka Economic Association (SLEA) too, had been represented. Accordingly, it is of vital importance to study such report carefully and assess Mr Fonseka's claims, particularly because his economic team has suggested that the funds for all the massive salary increases, lavish disbursements to various pressure groups, and the many extra generous welfare schemes are to be found by eliminating this Rs 810 billion "corruption", and then directing such funds to fulfil Mr Fonseka's promises.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:44 PM
The official website of the United National Party (UNP) ensures a landslide victory for incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa today (Jan 20).The screen shot taken around 3.20 PM (Sri Lanka Time), on the internet poll results conducted by the website depicts 52.4% of the votes to Mahinda Rajapaksa and 47.6% to UNF-JVP-TNA candidate Sarath Fonseka.
Meanwhile, Sirikotha sources confirmed that the result shows the discontentment of the UNPers over Sarath Fonseka’s behaviour.
"Majority of the participants to this poll are true UNPers. They have shown their disapproval of the party leadership and its decision to support Fonseka", a UNP activist told ToL.
The sources further said that Fonseka has caught in to the worst form of his rages after hearing the news.
"Now, he has ordered Ranil to bring the web editor to him. He said he would give the guy a treatment that he had given to Lalith Alahakoon", sourced added.
Yesterday , Pradeep Jayewardene, grand son of late UNP president JR Jayewardene extended his fullest support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming election. Earlier, Vasantha Dissanayake, great grand son of UNP’s founding leader DS Senanayake pledged his fullest support to the incumbent president.
Posted by media at 10:24 PM
TNA Wanni District parliamentarian, Sathasiwam Kanagarathnam has pledged his support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming Presidential Election.
Kanagarathnam is presently engaged in the election campaign of the President and has addressed meetings in support of the President at Malaavi, Yogapuram and Thunukkai in the north.
Addressing those meetings Kanagarathnam has said that the people in the Wanni District should vote for the President because it was the President who liberated and rehabilitated the people before and after the war.
He said he has decided to attend the all meeting in support of the President in the North.
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:22 PM
B. Muralidhar Reddy
COLOMBO: In his message of condolence on the demise of veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Tuesday said his death was a loss to the people of India and all people of South Asia who look forward to such leadership, especially for the uplift of the peasantry and the working people, and national unity built on pluralism.
The message said: “During this period he saw the breakup of the Communist Party of India and as leader of the CPI(M) he steered the party away from the politics of extremism to that of democracy and pluralism.”
>> Full Story
Posted by media at 10:20 PM
The UNP has forged an unholy alliance with the ultra-nationalist JVP , the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the pro-LTTE Western People's Front , the single member SLFP (M) and a minor plantation TU the National Workers' Alliance (NWA) and has fielded General Sarath Fonsekara, retired Army Commander, as their common candidate to contest the January 26 Presidential Poll. Their alliance known as United National Alliance (UNA) has also entered into an agreement, in writing or otherwise, with the TNA whose parliamentarians are well-known LTTE proxies
While the details of the agreement they have entered into with the TNA has not been disclosed, speculations have been rife in the recent days that the agreement recognizes the Tamil motherland concept of the TNA and also their right to self-determination which were demands on which the now defunct LTTE waged its three decade long terrorist struggle. The TNA parliamentarians are persons who carried out propaganda and disinformation campaigns throughout the world on behalf of the ruthless LTTE terrorists , saying that the Sri Lankan Government was in the process of annihilating the Tamils under a mass genocide program, torturing the Tamils, kidnapping them, keeping them in detention incommunicado and snatching away lands of their homeland for colonized settlements of the Sinhalese. They propagated that the LTTE was only waging a ' freedom struggle' . Every time the LTTE exploded bombs in the Southern areas killing hundreds of innocent civilians, belonging to all three communities, they kept mum without expressing any word of concern or protest. But when Government took steps to tighten security in the capital city and elsewhere in the Southern areas they made a hue and cry saying Tamils were being harassed, tortured and their HR were being violated. Being parliamentarians of the Sri Lankan Government and enjoying all perks and benefits, including housing and vehicles, they worked to turn the whole international community against their own motherland and their own brothers of the South, the residues of the campaigns are still remaining. There is no history that they ever expressed and appreciation to the good works done by the Government to protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and pluralistic nature of the country. They have always sought to establish a rapport with the ultra-nationalist politicians across the Palk Strait in Tamil Nadu, in total betrayal of their motherland. No doubt, they are capable of doing it in the future as well. Is Presidential candidate General Fonseka (retd.) going to be a party to that?
President Mahinda Rajapaksa did not compromise on the demands of the LTTE because he, as great national leader who loved his motherland more then anything else, knew that it would be their stepping stone towards carving out their much sought after 'Tamil Eelam'. He resolutely spearheaded the war to defeat and completely annihilate the LTTE. Consequently the country emerged as a multi-racial unitary state with restoration of peace, communal amity in all parts of the country and every hope of future prosperity.
It was the UNP that introduced the Executive Presidential system and it was under the regime of its then leader President J.R.Jayardena that communal violence was let loose on an unprecedented massive scale on the Tamil brothers of this country that portrayed the majority community as barbarians in the eyes of the international community. The growth of the LTTE as a strong terrorist outfit with monetary and other support to it were sequence to that 'Black July'. Ranil Wickramasinghe is also partly responsible for the growth of the LTTE because he signed the February 22, 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) with them giving them all opportunities to re-group themselves, purchase arms, ammunition, military hardware and other military equipment. President R.Premadasa also supplied them with everything from funds to cement and weapons to fight against the Indian Peace Keeping Force that had come to enforce the Indo-Ceylon Peace Agreement of July '87. The rest of the history of the UNP is known to the people of this country.
The constituents of the UNA, with their history of unpatriotic, jeopardize this historic achievement and no doubt would reverse the country back to the former state of chaos and misery for their own narrow political ambitions. If we carefully analyze the past history of the constituents of the UNA and also that of the TNA, which has pledged support to them, their unpatriotic characteristic and their traitorous nature 0could be understood.
The SLMC led Rauff Hakeem is a political party founded by political icon of the Eastern Muslims M.H.M.Ashraff. The founder leader later founded the National Unity Alliance (NUA) considering the fact that a communal-based political party would be detrimental to national unity and communal harmony. His intention was to completely disband the SLMC . After his untimely tragic death his widow Mrs. Ferial Ashraff , took over the leadership of the NUA. She is a cabinet minister in the UPFA Government and is an ardent supporter of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his policies incorporated in 'Mahinda Chintana'. Whereas Rauff Hakeem, who is not a representative of the Eastern Muslims but hails from Kandy, unscrupulously became leader of the SLMC and was successful in getting the support of
others of his caliber in the Eastern province. His political ideologies are , apparently, detrimental to national interests. During the period of the infamous Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 02.02.2002 that was entered into between LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and UNP leader Ranil Wickramasinghe, through the connivance of certain foreign powers with vested interests, Rauff Hakeem undertook several visits to LTTE hide-outs in Kilinochchi for meetings with Prabhakaran and other LTTE hierarchy. Speculations were rife that he had then also entered into a secret agreement with Prabhakaran on extending support to self-autonomy to the Northeast people under the leadership of the LTTE, on the pre-condition of being offered a unit of devolution for the Muslims of the North and East, annexing all areas of their non-contiguous domicile. Even recently Hakeem was reported to have stated that the TNA should take advantage of the current opportunity to get the right of the Tamils of the North and East for self-determination, going beyond the unitary characteristic of the Government. Although the Eastern province was de-merged from the North under a SC order and a Provincial Council administration was established through democratic elections after driving away the LTTE from the province, Hakeem is continuing to reiterate on his stance of re-unification of the Northern and Eastern provinces. Many of the parliamentarians belonging to the SLMC quit the party, formed their own national political parties and joined the UPFA Government, including leaders and ministers Rishad Bathuideen, Ameer Ali, Hisbulla (Eastern PC)leaders of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress (ACMC) , A.L.M.Athaullah, leader of the National Congress and Puttalam ex-SLMC chief organizer and present non-cabinet Minister K.A.Baiz. The SLMC that was an ally of the UPFA Government quit during a no-confidence motion late 2008 hoping to overthrow the Government in connivance with Late. Anura Bandaranaike and the UNP but miserably failed in that conspiracy. It is a party with out any lofty ideologies and principles and would be willing to betray the country for its own ends.
The other constituent party , JVP led by Somawanse Amarasinghe is not a fully committed leftist party with socialist ideologies, unlike the CP or the LSSP which are allies of the UPFA Government. It has no clear policies or aspiring goals on crucial national issues , including on economic matters and resolution of the ethnic problem. The JVP leaders including Somawansa Amarasinghe fled the country and were in hiding after sacrificing the lives thousands and thousands of our youths in their futile rebellion five decades ago and returned with their blood-stained hands to do politics. Their hands are not clean and their minds are not clear on which path to tread. The little political support that they had among the people has steadily deteriorated and, with no other alternative to ensure their political existence, they have joined hands with the pro-capitalist UNP. Their political allies call it their 'political transformation' instead of calling it their political opportunism. It has been evident from many events of the past that they are not patriots. Strangely enough they have also endorsed the TNA support to the UNA because their ultimate motive is to return to power by some hook or crook. The All Party Representative Committee (APRC) of which Minister Tissa Vitharana is the chairman held over 110 meetings in an effort to work out a political solution to the long festering ethnic problem. The APRC meetings were attended by political parties represented in the parliament but the JVP did not attend the meeting while the UNP stopped attending after a few meetings.
Western People's Front leader Mano Ganeshan is another well-known LTTE supporter who had paid numerous visits to former LTTE strong-holds and their de-factor capital in Kilinochchi while disguising himself as a human rights activities and a proponent of Tamils' rights. He is a businessman by profession inheriting businesses owned by his father with ambitions of self-aggrandizement but with no political ideologies, principles or policies. He has brought many of his family members into politics in the Central Hill Country unscrupulously rousing the communal sentiments of the plantation community.
The other constituent is the minor TU-based political party led by Sathasivam who was, until the last PC elections in the Central Province, was advisor to the President on problems of the plantation community. With no support base in the Central hill country he has been jumping from one party to the other and now he calls himself the supporter of the UNP and Presidential candidate Gen. Fonseka (retd.)
And their Common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka is a US Green holder and actually he is a common candidate of a certain western power and no doubt he will dance to the tunes of powers that are all out to bring about instability in our motherland because we don't cow down to their dictates. It is no secret that Gen. Fonseka is being funded by those countries for his election campaigns and other related activities.
These political parties and groups have no common political ideologies or policies. They have united only as part of a conspiracy to overthrow the people's government by giving hundreds of impracticable election promises and putting a man in front who was Army Commander and who acted on the timely and strategic decisions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his advisors. All these unpatriotic elements together will bring nothing but disaster to the country and will ruin the freedom, communal harmony and hopes of a bring future that have been won after the defeat of terrorism. Full Story
Posted by media at 4:54 PM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only patriotic national leader who had the strength , determination, self- confidence and valour to go ahead with the war to liberate the country from terrorism that rocked the country for three long decades, causing destruction of thousands of lives, properties and economic deterioration. Prompted by his love for Mother Lanka and all her children, he made all possible and reasonable efforts to reach a negotiated settlement of the long festering ethnic problem which all his predecessors failed to resolve, including Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe. After all his efforts, including foreign mediations and talks at several world capitals, failed obviously due to the uncompromising attitude of the LTTE, who were hell bent on causing any amount of destructions with the ulterior motive of achieving 'Eelam', he, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the armed Forces, resolutely went ahead with military onslaughts against the LTTE terrorists to liberate the country. He achieved it in spite of pressures from many Western countries who tried to dissuade him for their own ends. While fighting the most ruthless, well-established and powerful terrorist outwit in the world, he also implemented massive development projects in his four year term as Executive President, the fruits of which have reached people in every nook and corner of the country.
Opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe who willfully or otherwise contributed towards the re-grouping and strengthening of the LTTE through his infamous Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of 02.02.2002 has now joined hands with his arch rival, JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe, a small SLFP breakaway group led by Mangala Samaraweera, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) led by Rauff Hakeem who has lost all his credibility and vote base in the Eastern province and the pro-LTTE Western People's Front led by Mano Ganeshan ,with ulterior and mean political ambitions.
Let us, in our imagination, try to portray the fate of the country with Ranil Wickrerasinghe as Executive President and General Sarath Fonseka as Army Commander during the last four years ! Would the total annihilation of the LTTE , the apprehension of all its hardcore elements and uncovering all its international networks and fund bases been possible? Could the liberation of the North and East and restoration of communal harmony and peace become a reality? Could the de-merger of the North and East and creation of an environment conducive to holding Provincial Council elections in the East been possible? Above all , the Chief Minister of the Eastern PC is a former LTTE frontliner who returned to the democratic mainstream and contested polls to become CM! Would that become possible? Would holding of MC elections in Jaffna and UC elections in Vavuniya been possible? More important is the current process of rehabilitating the LTTE child soldiers, the admission of a large number of them in popular schools in Colombo and elsewhere for them to pursue their studies. Many of them have been reunited with their families. Nearly 12,000 LTTE ex-combatants are also under rehabilitation, housed at over 15 welfare camps.
Any person with common sense will agree that nothing of the like would have happened but on the contrary the country would have been led to the very verge of instability, insecurity and poverty with the LTTE having grown more powerful with most of the areas of the North and East under their control and administration, posing constant threats and problems to the Southern areas. The infamous Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) of February 02, 2002 would have remained in force under dictates from Norway. With support from their Western allies, the LTTE would have grown from strength to strength so as to be able to forcibly carve out separate 'Eelam'. Ranil being the stooge of Western powers would have enforced every word of the US, European Union, Norway and other countries. He would never have thought of waging a war to eliminate LTTE terrorism but instead would have fostered the terrorist outfit. And Army Commander Sarath Fonseka also being a US stooge and their pet with no sincerity to the motherland would have followed the footsteps of the impotent Ranil and the dictates of his Western superiors.
Foreign powers would have had a hey day in the country , having successfully enforced their 'divide and rule' policy segregating the country and putting lives of the people in total misery and disarray. Ranil, Sarath and all their Government colleagues, with their US Green Cards, would be constant visitors to the US, for consultations and other personal and family benefits.
This is what Ranil would have achieved had he been the President of the country during the last four years with Sarath Fonseka as Army Commander and this is what he is now conspiring to achieve in connivance with Sarath Fonseka and his other political allies. Full Story
Posted by media at 4:49 PM
No election in Sri Lanka's history confused the voters to the extent that the forthcoming presidential election 2010 has done. For the first time, they have been a given a choice between a well experienced statesman and an ambitious military commander to be elected as their leader.
Hence, it has become a choice between a predictable future and an unpredictable one that may settle anywhere between a perfect democracy and the worst form of a military junta. It is a decision if made errantly, will cause generations to suffer. To make the situation worse, the amount of allegations brought against each party are so serious that they cannot be discarded as mere mud bombs thrown against each other to gain political advantage.
On the opposition side, the allegations are only made with a singular aim of slinging mud at the family of the incumbent president. Almost all of these allegations have been answered by the government and none of them have been established with facts by the opposition. Basically, the allegations represent jealousy, hatred and vengeance; perceived by some as the only recognizable aspect of Fonseka's political vision.
The allegations brought against joint UNF-TNA-JVP (Fonseka Party) presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka are yet to receive any acceptable answer from his side. In fact, there have been no answers at all other than a series of denials.
Unfortunately, the government too is using these allegations as a way of slinging mud at the opponent candidate, rather than taking action to bring them to the books. There is nothing wrong in keeping the people inform about the truth at press briefings, news bulletin, election rallies, etc. Yet, it should be noted that the government's inaction will only reduce the credibility of their claims in the peoples' minds.
For instance, there has been a great hue and cry over Norway pumping billions of foreign funds to Fonseka's campaign. Also, it is said that Fonseka had made millions of out of shady arms deals during his tenure as the army chief. The government political stalwarts making these allegations are also seemed to be very confident over their claims. The paper advertisements and emails about the Hicrop scandal are so convincing that it leaves only one suspicion in the peoples' minds; why Fonseka is not prosecuted so far for what he had done? Fonseka's so claimed close friend, Mr. Upul Ilangamge makes allegations that no flawless individual can ever tolerate. The most recent allegation is about an attempt to bribe a government parliamentarian to make a cross over to the Fonseka party.
The questions that automatically comes a discerning mind are: Where does the so claimed "Clean Government Servant" have found money to pay 30 million rupees to a parliamentarian ready to make a cross over? What kind of relationship that the former army chief has with the foreign powers. According to M. Musammil, he had been offered a safe living in a western country for the rest of his life.
The discerning mind always searches for the answers for these questions. Particularly, when it is about to make a crucial decision that would decide the future of a nation. Obviously, it does not want to risk the country's future with a weak but mean-spirited individual who is ready to betray anything for his own advantage. Yet, the mind craving for the truth is getting increasingly anxious as the moment of truth is just few days away. The government inaction will only confuse them and can even mislead them to make a decision that they never dream to make.
In that case, the credit should go to National Freedom Front (NFF) for taking the initiative. The party has caught the opposition trying to bribe one of their MPs red handed, shown the evidence for their claims to the public and now ready to go for before the bribery commission. Now, the people want to see the government authorities paid by their money to clarify how the opposition candidate who claims himself to be so uncorrupted found this much of money. Was it from Hicropp deals or from a foreign country trying to destabilize our nation? The time is fast running out and we waiting . Full Story
Posted by media at 4:45 PM
Sri Lanka's First Executive President JR Jayawardane's grand son, Pradeep Jayawardane yesterday (Jan 19) pledged his fullest support to incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming presidential election.
Speaking at a press briefing at his ward Place residence Jayewardene expressed his conviction over President Rajapaksa for his ability to bring lasting peace to the country. He said no other leader could possibly crushed LTTE terrorism which had been a curse for nearly thirty years, hampering all development work and causing misery to all sections of the people of this country.
"I had been supporting President Rajapaksa right from the time he launched an assault on the LTTE and I was confident from the very start that he would defeat terrorism and usher in peace in this country", Pradeep jayewardene said.
Former Gampaha Deputy Mayor Gamini Senarath and Patha Hewaheta Pradeshya Sabha member D. M. Dipal A. S. Gunatilleke were associated with Jayawardene at the conference.
Late JR Jayawardane is considered to be one of founding members of the United National Party (UNP). Also, he is the creator of the executive presidency and the present constitution of the country.
Earlier, Vasantha Senanayake , great grand son of Hon DS Senanayake, Sri Lanka 's first Prime Minister and the founder of the UNP, pledged his support to Mhinda Rajapaksa.
Posted by media at 4:38 PM
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This was not his prediction but expectation. However the government had other plans and the government’s plan succeeded in ridding the country of terrorists.
Fonseka knew that he was just a tool in the hands of the Defence Secretary in winning the war. And Fonseka knew the war is ending by May 11, 2009. Even laymen knew it! That was when he made one last ditch attempt to earn big money in an unprecedented way.
Entertaining purchasing officers to luxury is an old trick played by some traders. It is particularly common in the defence trade when third world countries are involved. Since Fonseka assumed the role of the purchasing officer, he and his family was entitled to spend a week in luxury at the Fujitsu Royal Hotel in China. Their trip started on May 11th and lasted till May 17th.
Room numbers 1620, 1630, 1620A, 1618, 1519, 1521, 1626, and 1628 were reserved for them. These rooms were for Sarath Fonseka, his wife Anoma Fonseka, his two daughters Apsara Tillakaratne and Aparna Fonseka, his son in law Danuna Tillakaratne, a major general and his wife, one Brigadier, two Lt Colonels, one Captain and one Lieutenant. This was the time the decisive battle for peace was fought in Mulaitivu. An army commander has no bigger joy than participate in the final battle. But not in the case of Fonseka. What was so important for Fonseka that he even neglected the final victorious battle and ran away from Sri Lanka?
During this long trip Fonseka and Danuna who owns a weapons buying and selling company, visited two main corporations specialised in selling weapons to third world countries. They are NORINCO and Poly Technologies. Sri Lanka army, navy, air force and the Ministry of Defence have been purchasing weapons from both these companies for a long time. For instance in April 2007 a classified purchased of US$37 million was made from these companies. However, in May 2009 things were going to get bigger!
This time the value of the purchase order was a staggering US$ 200 million which is higher than the total annual defence capital budget!This act also contravenes the gazette notification on 30 July 2007 prohibiting the purchase of many defence items by entities other than Ministry of Defence owned Lanka Logistics and Technologies (Pvt) Ltd. By the time the deal was done, the war has ended in Sri Lanka without Fonseka. Purchases made by Fonseka assumed the war to continue and now they were not required.
Defence Secretary had no choice than to ask Fonseka to cancel the order. It doesn’t feel right when you have benefited from the hospitality of a supplier with the promise of giving business and subsequently cancelling the order. What’s more embarrassing was that the Defence Secretary asked Fonseka to declare the cancellation himself. Reluctantly Fonseka cancelled the order in July 2009. It is the first time in the world an Army Commander cancelling military purchases. In other countries and in Sri Lanka before Fonseka assuming high office, the Army Commander and the Chief of Defence don’t get involved in purchasing. Purchasing includes cancelling purchase orders.
Now Fonseka is trying to release hardcore LTTE terrorists are restart the war so that more and more weapons will be needed. When it comes to purchasing weapons he and his family will benefit immensely.
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Posted by media at 2:56 PM
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Posted by media at 2:30 PM
Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka’s central bank Governor Nivard Cabraal kept benchmark interest rates unchanged at a five-year low to spur investments and aid economic growth after the end of a 26-year civil war.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka left the reverse repurchase rate at 9.75 percent, the Colombo-based bank said. The repurchase rate was also maintained at 7.5 percent. The economy will expand more than 6 percent this year, Cabraal said in a Bloomberg Television interview today.
“The rate is sufficient to stimulate growth as well as ensure that any risk of inflation is also curtailed,” Cabraal said. “We need not have any fear” of inflation now, he said.
“The rate is sufficient to stimulate growth as well as ensure that any risk of inflation is also curtailed,” Cabraal said. “We need not have any fear” of inflation now, he said.
The island’s biggest companies including John Keells Holdings Plc and Aitken Spence & Co. are expanding their hotel and shipping businesses to take advantage of a rebound in the $41 billion economy. President Mahinda Rajapaksa is holding an election two years before his mandate expires after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels in May helped push growth above 4 percent in the third quarter.
“The central bank wants loan books to grow and money to flow into the economy,” Saminda Weerasinghe, research manager at Acuity Stockbrokers Pvt. in Colombo, said before the report. “Inflation pressures aren’t that great.”
Sri Lanka’s inflation rate was 4.8 percent in December, less than half that in January 2009. Today’s rate decision took into consideration a potential pickup in inflation, Cabraal said in the interview before the central bank policy statement.
“Projections of inflation for 2010 indicate benign inflationary pressures, enabling inflation to be in single digits by year end,” the central bank said in the statement.
The economy may grow 7 percent in 2010, the fastest pace in four years, spurred by company investments and construction of new roads, ports and power plants, Cabraal said Jan. 4.
John Keells, Sri Lanka’s biggest diversified company, said in November it will invest about $100 million to build new resorts to benefit from a tourism revival after the war.
Aitken Spence, Sri Lanka’s biggest operator of resorts, plans to expand its hotel and shipping businesses while Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, the nation’s biggest private lender by assets, aims to extend more loans in the northern and eastern regions, which were recaptured from the Tamil Tigers.
Rajapaksa scheduled presidential elections to be held on Jan. 26, betting the economy’s recovery will boost his popularity.
Cabraal has kept interest rates unchanged for two straight months. He lowered the central bank’s reverse repurchase rate by 75 basis points and the repurchase rate by 50 basis points in November. A basis point is 0.01 of a percentage point.
“We have seen a sharp increase in lending during the past month which indicates to us there is stimulation taking place,” Cabraal said. “If we find there is a bubble being formed or too much liquidity being created, then we would think it’s time for us to increase the rates. But we haven’t seen any such danger right now.”
Sri Lanka’s benchmark stock index, the Colombo All-Share Index, jumped 125 percent last year, outperforming the rest of Asia and trailing only Russia worldwide, on prospects of an economic rebound in the Indian Ocean island.
The International Monetary Fund, which granted Sri Lanka a $2.6 billion aid package in July, expects the island’s economic growth and credit demand to pick up.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anusha Ondaatjie in Colombo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Posted by media at 9:12 AM
Several acres of paddy land in the Jaffna peninsula which were under certain high security areas have now been released for cultivation, Northern Province Governor, Maj.Gen. GA Chandrasiri said.
He said the land had been vested in the lawful owners to start cultivation. These lands were abandoned for many years due to the war.
The decision to release these lands were done on the instructions of Senior Presidential Advisor, Basil Rajapaksa who spearheads the Northern Spring concept to redevelop the North.
The government will provide facilities to the farmers who would begin cultivation on these lands already released.
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Posted by media at 9:04 AM
Monday, January 18, 2010
*One minute silence for slain UPFA supporter
*We will defeat any conspiracy
*Govt will protect unitary status of country
While condemning the killing of an UPFA supporter in Madurankuliya by a group of gunmen on Saturday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he will not allow thuggery to take root in the country under any circumstances. The President was addressing over 100,000 people who flocked to the Maligapitiya grounds in Kurunegala in support of his victory at the upcoming election.
President Rajapaksa along with the Ministers observed one minute’s silence as a mark of respect to the UPFA supporter who was shot dead by an armed group, before he commenced his address.
“We should not give any room to the person who thinks that he can get political mileage by killing innocent people,” he said.
“We will put a full stop to thuggery and conspiracy to divide the country by remerging the North and the East on January 26,” he stressed. He added that the people of this nation gave him power at the eleventh hour to save the country which was under the threat of LTTE terrorists and their followers in the South.
The President reiterated that part of the country was handed over to the terrorists by an agreement and by the time he came into power and the terrorists have set up their own administration for a separate State.
The President stressed the Government pioneered liberating the country from the clutches of terrorism to ensure a better-country for posterity.
He said several traders were engaged in a futile attempt to create an artificial rice shortage in the country by hiding their stocks. The President reminded that this type of consipiracy was in place during 1977 and all hidden stocks came out after the 1977 General election.
He said that the people are ready to teach a lesson to these bogus traders and the conspirators who are involved in betraying the country on January 26. The President said that he is familiar with the life in the rural village as he hailed from one of the most under developed villages in the South.
“Certain elements have said on election platforms that I will be sent to a cottage in a rural village after the election. He said these elements of the pampered class have neither seen a cottage nor experienced the life in rural villages in the country”, he said.
He added that he did not sell any property belonging to the State during his entire tenure as the President. He said the Government has brought several State ventures which were privatized by previous administrations under its control during the past four years.
President Rajapaksa said some weak leaders in the country did not identify LTTE members as terrorists in fear of their lives at that time.
He stressed that more than 30,000 service personnel sacrificed their lives to safeguard the unitary state of the country and the Government is bound to protect and promote the unitary state of the country.
He said that the Government has clearly outlined in the Mahinda Chinthanaya that the Government is committed to protect and promote the unitary status of the country.
Enterprise Development and Investment Promotion and Media and Information Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Rural Industries Minister S.B. Navinna, Nation Building Minister and Hiriyala SLFP Organizer Salinda Dissanayake and NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa also spoke.
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Posted by media at 11:15 PM