19 December, 2017

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A Presidency Under Threat: Indulgences Without Principle

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

When I began this series, over four months ago, the title may have seemed excessive. And even my good friend Dayan Jayatilleka thought I was being unduly pessimistic about the President’s pulling power when I said that the UNP would poll at least 40% in Badulla. But the results there have shown that the threat is even more serious than I had thought.

Over the next few weeks I will explore how the threat might be averted. But I suspect that that will serve no purpose, for Basil Rajapaksa, who may be the only one of the decision makers who reads what I write, would by then have dragooned the President into having an early election. He did this in 2009 when, as the President then put it to me – with a hint of contempt I think for what he deemed the amateur nature of our advice – only Gota and I told him not to have the Presidential election so soon.

That haste, to entrench not the President, whose popularity was unrivalled at the time, but his rent seeking friends and relations in power, has been the root of the evils we have suffered. Contrariwise, Mahinda Rajapaksa, if left to himself, would I think have gone ahead with the reforms he had promised. And he can still save himself, and his legacy, if he works on reforms such as those so helpfully suggested by Vasantha Senanayake, which aim at strengthening the effectiveness of the Executive, not its power. But even now, understanding that having the Presidential election soon would be unwise, the rent seekers are trying to precipitate an early Parliamentary election. They ignore the fact that Parliament has a year and a half to go, and the President more than two years, ample time for the pluralist Mahinda Rajapaksa to recreate himself, free of the baggage he has been compelled to carry.

Mahinda ShavendraBut can he do this? Does he have the will and the ability to assert himself again? Sadly, the way in which he has allowed little things to get out of control, through a combination of indulgence and lethargy, suggests that the will is weakening, even if his abilities are still in good order. I will illustrate this in my column this week by exploring the sort of embarrassment to which he allows himself to be subjected, when he forgets that the leader of a country should not let himself get involved in trivialities or in criminal activities.

A horrifying example of what can happen through indulgence is the case of the present Bishop of Kurunagala, who is under investigation for having drawn for many years the pension of his dead mother in law. That something fraudulent took place, and that he even himself cashed cheques on the account into which the monies in effect stolen from the state were coming in, is not in doubt. But the Bishop sanguinely announced that he had been assured by the President that, if he paid back the monies, criminal charges would not be pressed.

I could not believe that the President had given such an assurance but, when the case was last heard, the police indeed tried to have it laid by. Fortunately the magistrate was more professional and stopped this, but it was horrifying that the police should have been influenced so blatantly. And though I am sorry that a man for whom generally I have the greatest admiration, the Inspector General of Police, should allow such things to happen, I realized when I spoke to him that, for once, he was being shifty in his answers.

But this is not the first time the President seems to have interfered in matters of Law and Order. Over five years ago, he seems to have ordered the expulsion of the then Principal of Trinity College, even though the head of the Terrorist Investigation Unit assured me at the time that he had been cleared of all charges. There had been several attempts to connect him with the LTTE, but the police knew perfectly well that this was nonsense. And the President too knew this, for he told me when I asked him that the problem was nothing to do with terrorism, but was simply an internal dispute between factions of Trinity. But nevertheless I was told that the order to cancel the visa had come from the very top.

Why does he indulge those with destructive private agendas? The Secretary of Defence, I should note, is made of sterner stuff, for he is reported to have told the Central Province Governor, a strong supporter of the current Principal, who is actively propagating the old canard about the LTTE, that the case of the Bishop was a can of worms and he should not get involved. But despite this, we had the appalling weakness of the police, even though they have enough evidence to press charges.

Now, in order to obfuscate the issue, the story about the LTTE is being resurrected, with claims that a forensic audit reveals that over 200 million rupees has been paid to the LTTE. The audit says nothing of the sort, but because the Bishop violated all norms and allowed the report to be presented in court before it had been discussed by the Board, or the Finance Advisory Committee, or the respected firms of auditors which had earlier investigated the matter, rumours have been permitted to spread – or have perhaps been encouraged by those seeking to cover up their own peculations.

Fortunately again the judiciary has been more sensible and ordered that the Report should be discussed by those with knowledge of the facts. Earlier an error of the firm chosen by the Bishop and the Principal – who have been fulsomely thanked for the honour – was pointed out at a Board meeting. But these amateurs were allowed to proceed, and have reached conclusions about missing monies that are at variance with those provided by Price Waterhouse Cooper and two other firms on high repute.

But even the unknown outfit in Kandy selected by the Bishop and Principal has not claimed that monies its simplistic approach could not trace were handed over to the LTTE. Sadly the old boys determined to undermine the current structure at Trinity have decided to actively misrepresent the position, to pursue their own nefarious agenda – in which they have the support, for other reasons, of the Bishop and the Principal. Ironically, the latter had to leave the army under shadowy circumstances, and was reverted to his rank of Colonel, even though he masquerades as a Brigadier, something the then Army Commander made clear was not acceptable. And the current Army Commander confirmed that he was not fit to have a position of authority. I gathered that it was only his hasty resignation that prevented investigation into allegations at the time of dealings with the LTTE.

It is clear then that the shadowy clique of old boys who are flying the LTTE kite have no real patriotic feeling, given that their chosen instruments are a man without proper qualifications who was revealed as having lied repeatedly about them, and a Bishop who countermanded Board decisions in order to keep this fraudster on. What they both gain from this is well known by those who seek admission for their children to Trinity without any clear rationale, and who succeed through a discretion exercised by the Bishop which is not explained to the Board despite promises to do this.

Why does the President continue to support a Bishop whom his own clergy called Pachaya, and a man who left the army under a cloud? The answer lies in his failure to apply any principles when he is asked for favours. And because he likes to provide instant gratification, he picks up the phone and issues orders without thinking of the consequences. Knowing this, those who have learned to manipulate him press the buttons of prejudice, with words like LTTE, unethical conversions, foreign interference, being deployed ruthlessly. And when he is told that a Tamil Bishop is willing to sing his praises, he assumed that effusive interviews in the state media will swing votes.

Uva has shown that the strategy of polarization and sycophancy simply will not work. But what this will lead to is even more pressure on the President to perform on public stages, since those who are benefiting from the current policies of the government know that he is the only popular figure left in authority on the government side. The assumption that cement and handouts are enough to win votes is absurd, and to pour in more cement and hand out more will encourage contempt not support.

But in the absence of thinking and planning skills, it is likely that we will simply have the mixture as before. The failure to implement a Human Resources Development policy coherently, the failure to encourage investment with priority given to productivity rather than commissions, the failure to work on systems that will ensure better and more equitable delivery of services, are all coming home to roost.

Adjustments would be simple. But they require consultation and this is not to the taste of the few people who now make decisions. The confusion this leads to was apparent at the last Parliamentary Group meeting, when much criticism was made of Bills government had brought before Parliament. This has happened before, and a couple of Bills had to be withdrawn. But the intensity this time, which has led to cancellation on two days of the government business scheduled, indicates that even Ministers will be more outspoken now, given the worries caused by Uva about the current style of decision making. I can only hope then that enough of what I term the traditional SLFP, which continues with the moderate approach of that party which Mahinda Rajapaksa embodied for so long, will make their voice heard in promoting the reforms we so desperately need.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    0

    Most disgusting president since indepence.
    The mass of his abuses are beyond all margins.

    This man has become a joker – aber people are in fears not being able to open their heart out. What is not controlled by Rajapakshes goons today…?

    • 4
      1

      Bravo. You have said what should be said. This is
      an unexpected letter from a Govt MP.

    • 4
      0

      “Professore”,

      What the heck are you doing hanging around a criminal regime for so long?

      Shouldn’t you be busy building the blocks of change at the next Presidnedtial election? If you mean the garbage you write.

      Writing creepy letters from the inside, while enjoying all perks and prviliges of a corrupt regime amounts to a total joke.

      A very dishonest & a pathetic joke!

      Cheers!

      • 3
        2

        So, now you all agree that this is the criminal regime that is responsible for the massacre of over 40000 innocent Tamils and international investigation is necessary against these criminals.

    • 0
      0

      Please check this picture that are worth thousand words.

      Once with low levels uneducated buggers, then guys that are kept out side to seek protection through diplomatic impunity. This man MR cant even destroy at 100 degrees. So resisent, virulent, hypocrite by nature, never honest.

  • 10
    0

    Has this man gone nuts. Same old story , like a broken record . giving unwanted advice to the President who is fast losing his marbles and power.The Presidents disastrous visit to New York with a mob of over 70 friends and relations, staying at the most expensive Waldorf Astoria, and serviced by a fleet of Limos for his entourage and then his reception at the Waldorf where no head of state cared to attend., This shows his cheap ways of trying to be a world leader which he is not,The minute the man opens his mouth to speak out comes his Medamulana type jokes and homilies. nothing intellectual unless it is on a teleprompter or written by a P.R. firm costing a few thousand dollars.Add to that add the disgraceful scandal that the Ministry of foreign affairs ever faced. An uneducated cheap thug Sajin Vaas who is the Monitoring M.P.also known as the Presidents Baggage Boy. had the temerity to Assault the High Commisioner to London.And the President wants a news blackout of this serious incident. Meanwhile Dr. Nonis the man who was the victim of the assault carries on regardless as his resignation is not accepted?or if it is, how can this man ever face the Diplomats and Sri Lankans in London without any shame.The President of course will keep his Baggage man as he knows too many secrets that could be scandalous to the regimes President and his family..So Rajiva please give the President some more advice as to how he could extricate himself from more problems he is going to face before the voters will soon wise up to the way this President operates.Badulla is only the beginning the downfall of the Rajapaksa dynastic rule is only few months away if an election is to be held soon.

  • 4
    1

    Only way out for the President is to dissolve the Parliament and form a National Government with all party participation. He has an excuse to do this, the United Nations inquiry.

  • 4
    0

    I wake up to this nonsense again !

    I guess some people never tire of listening to their own voices ?

  • 0
    2

    Bravo. You have said what should be said. This is
    an unexpected letter from a Govt MP.

  • 2
    0

    YOU ARE EDUCATED, DON’T RAISE UP HAND FOR A WORLD-CLASS CROOK!

    Dear Prof. Wijesinghe MEP

    It’s very nice of you to spend a lot of your valuable time to write this column over the months. With all due respect to you by all means, may I ask you for your simple opinion about you as a SL academic cum politician? Is it not that this politics happening in SL purely a game not more than a BIG CHEAT of crushing poor masses to their bones kind for the advantage of ‘one single man’ to live a life of an Emperor? (225 members are helpless?)

    We know that your are with a respectable background, and NOT amongst the exact kind of handful of colleagues MPs who simply fall in to the category of just coming to the parliamentary meetings because of free meals, because of free petrol, because of free security escorts to boost-up the personality with an artificial stately kick…and the rest thereafter, everything else, is free until one goes to bed or sometimes to the permanent bed!

    Just because of this comfortable yet damn-mean selfish pampering given to their lives – at such an exorbitant huge burden on the poorest man’s pocket- do parliamentarians really, honestly and in their hearts need to contribute to this hell bound destruction? Is this really the meaning of a parliament in a country?

    Do you know that the chunk and chunks of taxes (indirect) that the poorest man is made to pay with when they buy their HAAL, POL, MIRIS, THUNAPAHA, DEENI AND PARIPPU are actually as high as 300%?

    All these monies, that meant to reduce the burden of the poor, instead kept stacked on and on to find the money to accommodate to fulfil the greedy desires of the so called president’s EMPORLY life is in such a cheating manner.

    For a fact, the maintenance cost for the British taxpayer in regard with the Royal family itself is stand at £40 million or thereabout per year. Every bit of that money is going cleanly in to the HMRC books for the public to see as and when they want to do so. Yet there are instances where people raise their voices, here and there about those figures, often not in favour. Anyway, if your convert this amount into our SL currency, we might get to a round figure of a 900 kotis per year. This country is rich hence we can fairly assume they can afford it.

    But did you ever…., ever know that your president’s pocket money stash ALONE is almost that much? What about the rest of his comforts and their associated unbearable costs to a country where we don’t have money if not for the slavery business and costly debts? Knowingly or unknowingly your actions are going to tighten the snoop around the neck of the nation, on each of those times you put your hand up to okay on each of those useless bills and amendments etc being or letting being passed in that chamber? Are the educated people like yourself too is going to follow-suit and fit-suit with the like those ‘nikamkakas’ who will be there to speak up genuinely prevent the country from this country from falling into deeper and deeper hell?

    That is why we have to rally around under the leadership of Ven Sobhitha Thero + Messrs Ranil+ Anura+ Fonseka+ Karu + Sampanthan + Hakim + Mangala + Maithri + Nimal+ Ravi + Harin + Ruwan + Sajith…..+++ of course the former president and many thousands of intellectuals and those who want to create the ‘change’ you mentioned in your article. They understand as to what does it meant in there in deed! It would be only that way we can repair this country which is unavoidably meant to go in the direction of cats and dogs now.
    Thank you Senaka

  • 6
    2

    Prof.Rajiva,

    In short, Mahinda Rajapakse and his family are messing up this country, as never before. What 30 years of war could not do to the whole country, has been done by MR is five years. He has seriously eroded the soul and destroyed the value system in this country. He has made everything sacred utterly profane.

    Lankapura of Ravana, was a beautiful city engineered by Vishwakarma himself. Ravana besotted with Sita, not only destroyed himself and his family, but also Lankapura! Our Ravana besotted with power, pomp and ceremony, has also lost sight of what is right.

    After the next presidential elections, MR will return home as described of Ravana in the Kamba Ramayana. ” Sinthura Kaliru Koodam, Pukkena,Kovil Pukkaan (Enterned his palace like a war elephant covered with blood returned to his stable)”

    Dr.RN

    Dr.RN

    • 1
      9

      Dr Narendran,

      How did you miss the Water Tank still lying on its belly in your former political capital where Suppiah was in charge of you lot?.

      Now Ravanas are building leading edge Science and Technology labs in central schools even in Mullative for the Dalit kids to get on par with Vellalas in Jaffna and Colombo.

      Your Vellala TNA and the UNP may send Rama to Medumulana.

      But the Dalit kids in the ex LTTE territory will one day say that they got into Medicine or Engineering thanks to Mahindayoda Science Labs. and Central Schools.

      • 0
        0

        Suppaiah/s is/are no more and thank God there is a new water tank, brand new roads and brand new and refurbished buildings. Unfortunately everything else of value expected have gone belly up- dead, rotting and smelling to the high heavens, due to the antics of Mahindaiyah.

        Dr.RN

        • 1
          4

          Dr Narendran,

          Wonder what is more important for the Dalits (in all races) than Potable Water,Electric globe to illuminate the shack, safe and proper roads to ride their bikes, and send the Kiddies to learn Science , and Commerce thesame way as the Vellala kids in proper schools with proper facilities.

          And of course earn a quid doing a proper job than being bonded to Vellala Land lord and Vellala Madams in Colombo and else where just, to get a few crumbs.

          Obviously your are not talking about them … Are you?…

          • 0
            1

            The old Vellalahs , the new vellalahs and those climbing the ladder to become newer Vellahlas, are yet human and desire more than three meals a day, hospitals, schools, roads, liquor aplenty, other comforts and the opportunity to sleep peacefully at night. It is five years since the war and the freedom that is the birth right of all humans and even animals, is overdue.

            They need the freedom to determine their future, ensure their security and be what they want to be. They want to be equal citizens with opportunties open to them as it is for other citizens. They do not want to be incessently spied on and do not want their lives controlled by others through insipient threats. They do not want their lands stolen.

            They want their elected Provicial Council to function as per their overwhelming mandate. They do not want a bunch of opportunists and thieves thrust on them and paraded as their leaders. They do not want to be under the jack boots of anyone, as they have suffered from the pain of jack boots of various kinds for several decades. They also want to be Tamils and their children, grand children, great-grand children and those to follow, to be Tamils and not Sinhalese- the new demand of the BBS, which I believe is what this government is scheming to bring about.

            I think freedom is the aspiration of all humans- Velalahs, Goviyas and others born into such meaningless clasifications. It is their birth right!

            Dr.RN

            • 1
              3

              Dr Nazarendran,

              It is the Dalit Sinhalese and Muslims who live in little shacks alongside Tamil Towers in Wellala Gardens whose feel like second class citizens.

              I am disappointed that you still insist on a Bantustan for the Dalits in the North.

              TNA rulers in the North including your Vellala CM retreat to Cinnamon Gardens on the Weekends.

              Is it because they enjoy in Colombo all what you reckon are denied to the inhabitants in the North?.

              I think the bottom line is you don’t want the Dalits to climb the Vellala ladder full stop..

              TNA needs them in the North to be their rulers, because the Vellalas in Colombo are not going to allow the TNA to rule them.

              I thought you are an inhabitant of the Global Village with your title and stints in the West.

              Yet you can’t take off those blinkers which Mr Sambandan has put on you recently..

              And it is disappointing.You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

              Specially the low blow about Tamils are being forced to become Sinhalese.

              How would your new Vellala CM feel, when he reads your comment, about the Tamils wanting to have grand children and great grand children all pure bred?.

              Even the Diasporians who have daughters hanging out with other nationalities including even Sinhalese .will be shocked..

              • 0
                1

                We prefer pure bred dogs, cats, cows, horses,sheep and goats and pay premium prices for them. This is despite the benefits of cross breeding ressulting in HYBRID VIGOUR. Only layers and broilers are crossbred to get the benefits of cross breeding. We are not broilers and chicken. While inbreeding is deleterious, slective breeding among separate pure bred lines within breeds, permits the expression of hybrid vigour.

                There is beauty in diversity and variety, especially in terms of culture-language, food, religion, dress, music, dance and architecture. I want this diversity, the result of evolution in particular and locationl environments to continue. It is a very valuable heritage. All my grand children may not be pure bred Tamils, because of the choices my children have made. It is their choice, not mine. They yet are MY grand children to be loved and cherished. However, I regret a long line of evolution as cultural entities in our family has come to an end. This can be the exception and not the rule for the Tamils or any other cultural or communal entity.

                Further, most Tamils Tamils in Vellahthotam are living like pigeons in these high rise building, while they yet own ground level houses and land in the north and east. They do this because Colombo offers them employment and other opportunities, the north and ease yet lack. They also live with the fear that they may become targe to or transported, if there is another riot? Would it not be the north and east?

                BBS has enunciated its policy that everyone in Sri Lanka has to be a Sinhalese and Sri Lanka should becone Sinhale. The President has said there are minorities in Sri Lanka. is’nt the BBS being protected by this government? If not why is Gnanasara the thug in robes not in jail? I have only underlined the continuation of the Dutugemunu principles even after the disgraceful and inhuman war.

                I am a global citizens who respects and admires the diversity in this world. I am also am a global citizen who considers every human in the world is equal and has to have his rightful plce in this world as a citizen. No one is superior or inferior to another, because he or she is different.

                The Vellalah CM is the epitome of what is the best in Tamils and humans.
                I am glad is symbolically representing the Tamils as a people . He is cultured, educated, decent and has an admirable track record. Does his birth as a vellalah- an acident of birth or karma- disqualify him to become the CM or Tamil leader. VP-of the Karaiyar caste- also ruled the roost for a long time and was accepted by many Vellahlas and those of other castes, by choice or helplessness.

                The Vellalah CM is the ideal choice to be the next President of Sri Lanka, to retore dignity to that office, pull out this country from the quagmire of misgovernance she has been pushed into. Will you accept him as the President of Sri Lanka?

                Please do not try to justify the unjustifiable in Sri Lanka and cover it up using meaningless jargon and irrelevant diversions.

                Dr.RN

                • 0
                  0

                  Dr Narendran

                  This guy K.A Sumanasekera is a freak affluent in diatribes. He does not know to engage in a civilized manner. His comments in the CT are full of hate mongering and he is an anti-Tamil rubble monger enjoying thrill having gained experience in writing nonsense in extremist Sinhala websites.

                  Please do not respond to his idiotic rages as he gets sadistic satisfaction by provoking people.

  • 2
    0

    Why does Rajiva continue to be an apologist for the conduct of someone who is supposed to be a leader and decision maker? Is this what a President is elected to do? Is it any surprise that there is no justice and a breakdown in law and order ? Of course all this is justified by Rajiva on the basis of bad advice! What poppy cock!! When will this man’s blinkers be removed!

  • 1
    0

    Why does Rajiva continue to be an apologist for the conduct of someone who is supposed to be a leader and decision maker? Is this what a President is elected to do? Is it any surprise that there is no justice and a breakdown in law and order ? Of course all this unprincipled conduct is justified by Rajiva on the basis of bad advice! What poppy cock!! When will this man’s blinkers be removed!

  • 3
    3

    Rajiva Wijesinha,

    You sound exactly like the hysterical BBS, and similar Sinhala racist organizations screaming ‘Buddhism under threat’: The only difference is in the slogans; in your case, ‘A Presidency Under Threat’

    All these boil down to the same thing: Let’s spread Sinhala Buddhist supremacy over the island and its peoples!

    You can go round the mulberry bush, but people can decipher your thinking and words.

    Sinhalese like you are cunning people, aren’t they?

  • 3
    0

    Oh Professori, another diatribe of I, us, we, me and another thinly-veiled play for being Keeper of the President’s Testicles. Alas, sometime ago, your malicious kneading of the truth and your twisted mealy-mouthing of blatant lies of behalf of this Regime has black-guarded your credibility forever.

  • 1
    0

    We need a Mujica or a Koirala to be head of our nation.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/04/02/move-aside-president-of-uruguay-we-have-a-new-poorest-world-leader/

    I am hoping for this miracle.

  • 2
    0

    The worse leader Sri Lanka has got. This idiot solved the LTTE problem thanks to SF.If not we will be still having the LTTE problem. This is the worse period of sri lankan history. I think its worse than when 30year old war existed. At least there wa law and order in the other parts of the country, there was judicail independence, democracy.

    • 2
      2

      Jon Amarasinghe

      “This idiot solved the LTTE problem thanks to SF.”

      Thanks to Hindia and 30 other countries

  • 0
    2

    Professor,
    You write about the Bishop drawing his dead mother’s pension. Didn’t your father draw 2 pensions before he got caught ?

  • 0
    2

    Has Rev Dr Duleep Chikera engaged this Professor for damage control?..

    What is the big fuzz about drawing your mum’s pension?..

    Aren’t the Elite. the Vellalas and the Anglicans doing it really tough post Nanthikadal, according to the mass of grievers here?.

    I mean the Bishop in Kurunagala whom the Professor is referring to, must feed and cloth his family too.. Right ?..

  • 3
    1

    Prof:

    You are an intelligent Individual but you are not reading the Pulse of the Nation Correctly and let me tell you why.

    ***When I began this series, over four months ago, the title may have seemed excessive. And even my good friend Dayan Jayatilleka thought I was being unduly pessimistic about the President’s pulling power when I said that the UNP would poll at least 40% in Badulla. But the results there have shown that the threat is even more serious than I had thought.

    I am sure you know that UVA is not a typical Sinhalese electorate and in UVA people voted on Bread & Butter issue.
    But that will not be the case in the rest of Sri Lanka at the next election. The 20 million RACIST electorate will give MR another term ( if Sarath cant stop him) in the hope that he will complete Colonisation which takes priority over Bread & Butter issue.

    In my view this how one should read the state of affairs in Sri Lanka so please don’t waste your time speculating that somehow the Sri Lankan Electorate has matured. It certainly hasn’t when it comes to the RACE issue. It hasn’t shown any signs in the last 64 years and why would it change now.

    THE RISE OF MR:

    He rose to power on the promise that he will rid Sri Lanka of terrorism which we call Freedom Fight. But he won the war against the Freedom Fighters with the help of Traitor India and replaced it STATE TERRORISM. Where else would you find a decorated ( in the eyes of the majority) 4 Star General being dragged along the corridor by ordinary soldiers ( when the man who ordered “Gotha” was on holiday) and banged up.

    THE FALL OF MR:

    Fate will have it and this will happen when he fails to deliver his promise of Ethnic Cleansing and Colonisation. Coupled with sanctions after the UNHCR report and we have already been given a taste of what the report is going to contain.

    As for MRs dirty tactics in desperation to bring back the fear of LTTE to win votes it wont work and just read the following

    ***’Fear of LTTE regrouping unfounded and untrue’
    Sept 29 (CT) BJP Global Convener of Overseas Affairs, Vijay Jolly, who is also a member of the BJP Executive Committee, says although India has committed US$ 1.6 billion as development assistance to Sri Lanka, following the end of the war, they are not satisfied with the progress. “The absence of confidence between the govt and the people needs to be rectified on an urgency basis,”

  • 0
    0

    To use the term “bemused” by this Rajapaksa sycophant’s critique of presidential conduct in the matter of the TCK saga, is to understate the case in a major way! Just as someone pointed out in the case of the Nonis-Vass Goonewardena contretemps, these are all peas from the same (rotten) pod!
    Do I detect a desperate attempt to return to seek a life-jacket of respectability by a rat adrift from a sinking ship here?

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