19 September, 2019

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A Presidency Under Threat – Perversions Of Norms

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

I had thought this would be the last article in this series, since the election will be held in a couple of days, and the threat would have been fulfilled then (or possibly averted, though that seems increasingly unlikely as I write). But the manner in which some characters in the President’s camp are behaving suggests we may still have a period of uncertainty after the election results.

First there is the extraordinary statement of Rev Nalaka that, even if he loses, the President can go on for another two years. I cannot believe that a priest could be so utterly ignorant of matters on which he presumes to speak, but that is a less worrying belief than thinking he is a liar, intent on deliberately deceiving the people. The Constitution is very clear on the fact that, if the incumbent President seeks early election, and wins, his term of office begins on the next date corresponding to the date of his previous election (ie he could get upto a year more, but certainly not two years). It is equally clear that, if another candidate wins, his term of office will begin immediately.

The pronouncement of the priest then is bad but, assuming he is ignorant, it is worse that television stations showed him making the pronouncement, without themselves providing a correction. Even private channels should have political commentators capable of making the correction, but it is worse that State Television should allow such statements to gain currency.

Mahinda FamilyA second problem is the desperate efforts of government to curry favour with the forces. They were told just before the postal vote that they would be given motor cycles, while the police were informed of a loan scheme. Sadly the government does not seem to understand that servicemen are not foolish, and I was given several reasons by ordinary members of the forces as to why these promises had no credibility.

Third we have the hysterical pronouncements of those who should know better, with regard to the commitment of the opposition to have a domestic inquiry about charges made against our forces. This is clearly stated in the manifesto, along with the assertion that an international investigation will not be permitted. Even someone like Mahinda Samarasinghe, who I assumed had at least some intellectual ability, confuses the issue and claims that what the opposition has said indicates that we are involved in a foreign conspiracy. The fact that the President himself declared, without having the courage to put it in his manifesto, that he would hold a domestic inquiry is ignored by these characters who wish to rouse panic. Indeed he has already started on one, in the form of the expanded mandate of the Disappearances Commission. But perhaps his supporters assumed that would be a non-starter, as with several other previous commitments, and so feel justified in claiming that the opposition candidate is saying something new.

Fourth are the efforts of government to ensure a boycott of the polls in the North, a stratagem in which they are being assisted by a few extreme elements amongst the Tamils. While moderates who stood firm against the Tigers, as well as those elements in the TNA that have affirmed their commitment to a united Sri Lanka, are clear there should be no boycott, characters such as Mr Ponnambalam and Ms Shashitharan keep insisting that there is no difference between the two candidates. Given the absurd attacks on Ms Shashitharan that some elements in government engaged in before the Provincial Council election, which contributed to her unexpectedly good showing, it seems as though advancing the interests of the more extreme elements in the Tamil polity is part of government strategy.

This is of a piece with the encouragement of extreme elements amongst the Sinhalese, which the Secretary of Defence seems to have engaged in. The President himself told me that he thought the Bodhu Bala Sena was funded by the Americans and the Norwegians (part of the now familiar international conspiracy to do him down), and his Secretary told me that the Secretary of Defence was involved with the BBS so as to moderate their impact. But all this is balderdash. There has been no repudiation by government of BBS support, quite unlike the categorical rejection by the opposition of unsavoury members of government who attempted to jump on the common candidate’s bandwagon.

The pronouncements of the BBS are the more worrying, in view of their capacity to engage in violence, and it is possible they may try to rouse animosities if their patrons seem about to lose. Given the failure of the government to take firm action against them in the past, it is possible that nothing will be done to stop them creating problems, and there may be a leadership vacuum that will contribute to a breakdown in law and order. I would like to think that the current leadership of the police and the forces will accept the popular verdict and act with responsibility, but the politicization of the civilian authorities over them could cause problems. Even if illegal orders are not obeyed by forces who are generally well disciplined, a failure to issue any orders at all with regard to civil disturbances could lead to unnecessary suffering. In such a context, it will be the duty of apolitical religious leaders to take the lead in ensuring law and order, a position which will I believe get the support of the vast majority of servicemen, whose commitment to the country rather than a particular regime is obvious.

Given these potential problems, the next few days will not be easy, and perhaps there will still be threats to the country by the time I write the next column. But these can easily be averted, if only Mahinda Rajapaksa realizes that he should safeguard his legacy, rather than the future of those who have been parasitic upon him and his achievements. Though Keheliya Rambukwelle claims he is entitled to make use of those with qualifications, even though they are his relatives, since otherwise they might go abroad, he fails to indicate what the particular qualifications are of Basil and Namal Rajapaksa as to development. I am assured Namal does have a degree, even though he left the university to which he initially went, and he is also a qualified lawyer. But if these are qualifications which are evidence of his capacity, then we must wonder what gave Basil so much authority.

My own view is that, contrary to these two (and to Sajin Vass Gunawardena) Gotabhaya is more in the league of Mahinda Rajapaksa, and will continue to be respected for what he achieved if he goes quietly in accordance with the verdict of the people. That is why the stories that are circulating about abuse with regard to the forces, using religion to propagandize, and sudden transfers of troops and officers such as General Udaya Perera for unknown purposes, are worrying.

Worrying too are attempts to justify corruption. Earlier Mahinda Amaraweera claimed that, since the current government had looted so much, it was better to let them continue. They would not want very much more, whereas the opposition would be new to the game. This was so preposterous, that I thought it was a statement on behalf of the opposition, not unlikely since Mr Amaraweera is considered one of the least corrupt of Ministers, and is also relatively popular in the Hambantota District. He is known to listen to people unlike most of his fellows in government. He knows what the rest are like, and therefore that their appetites are insatiable.

But perhaps he meant what he said. Izeth Hussain has noted how corruption has risen to hitherto inconceivable proportions now, and it is possible that a new generation does not find it appalling. Thus, though I never felt I could defend Basil with regard to charges of financial irregularity – which I did with Gota for many years – I thought even Basil knew there were certain rules. This has not been the case with Namal, if Arjuna’s story of his dealings with a potential investor for a cricket stadium is correct.

Tragically, this complacence seems to have taken over Carlo Fonseka too. He now attempts to justify corruption, whereas earlier he was ecstatic about Maithripala Sirisena, in claiming that at last an honest man was in charge of the Ministry of Health. I asked him whether Nimal Siripala had not been good, for Dayan had told me he performed well at WHO meetings in Geneva. But Carlo was bitterly critical, so it is now depressing to find he is less concerned about financial probity.

With standards sunk so low, we must be wary that those who have made so much will do their utmost to stay in power. And certainly the new President will have his task cut out for him to correct a situation that has so rapidly spiraled out of control.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    Scorching reggae tune exposing the Bodu Bala Sena mad monks complicity with the Rajapakses! http://youtu.be/MnHMQJdBke0

    • 9
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      Pinguttharaya in power should leave us gracefully. We the many agreedw ith Dr. Fernando s recent article. As you – Dr. Wejesinghe – thanks very much for your revealtions one behind the other – even if your friend – nations self proclaimed political analyst -Dayan /Silva/Jayathilaka has lost somewhere being unable to get it clearly. All in all – we the law bound ones will be glad to welcome common canddiate as the nations leader with effect from 9th January. Being unable to diegest the manner people has reacted sofar, MR will have to go through all the torments these last few days – as astrolgoers also confirmed it – man is abosolutly no match to continue leadership – simlar to a square peg in a round hole really.

    • 1
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      Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

      RE:A Presidency Under Threat – Perversions Of Norms

      What will be result of Perversions Of Norms by a Presidency?

      Results on January 8,2015.

      Mahinda Rajapaksa

      Best Average Worst
      0.592 0.4465 0.301
      59% 45% 30%

    • 1
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      Hey George, where have you been all these time, man? Have you been slumbering in a slurry pit?

    • 1
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      georgethebushpig

      Medamulana Mara Vs. The People

      https://twitter.com/Amarasi69467474/status/552159372500287489

      #Salman #Mahinda2015 #SriLanka #Colombo #Cricket #Sirisena #Maitri
      #Lanka is MaRa, MaRa Enemy of #Buddha

      Mara Vs. Buddha

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUiw4IVPU3M … …

  • 5
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    Prof Wijesinghe says,
    “With standards sunk so low, we must be wary that those who have made so much will do their utmost to stay in power. And certainly the new President will have his task cut out for him to correct a situation that has so rapidly spiraled out of control”. This is a hilarious assumption that those in the opposition are paragons of virtue.
    He has conveniently ignored, that, many of them like Rajitha Senaratne, Maithripala Sirisena, Hakeem and other who have serious allegations against them for corruption and was also a part of the Government responsible for the so called low standards right up to a week or so ago, are now in the opposition camp and can we expect them to have suddenly become saints? Also, is Prof Wijesinghe saying Chandrika and Ranil are so clean and respectful of democratic practices, they would run a corrupt free nation? Even if we assume Prof Wijesinghe is correct that Chandrika, Ranil, Sampanthan, Sirisena are squeaky clean, do these people have the drive, the desire, pride and vision to take forward Sri Lanka to the heights of a non-aligned developed nation, when these opposition leaders are already criticising the deveopment Rajapakse has initiated, some of which already completed and many still in progress, which they have threatened to reverse? additionally, do we want separate administrative areas exclusively for Tamils and Muslims, but NOT for the Sinhalese, Burgers or Indian Tamils?
    Just be real Mr Wijesinghe, it is easily said than done and you are doing the easy thing, just because the President cannot be influenced by people like you?

    • 3
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      Yes yes Partriot; to this day – president can only be influenced by

      a) Rohitha Abegunawardahna – bitten by a snake on the very day his abuses were caught by lanken court

      b) Toy pistol mayor – thug of Rajapakshe kind who is said to be qualified to be juliampitya Amare in terms of any physcial assualts – giving a lead to Rajapakshe Hamba thug squad

      c) Mahindanada Gamage- one another highly courrpted man in the cabinet
      d) Arundhika Fernando – one another supportive to ethanol import/drug import
      e) Nimal Lanza – multi millionaire drug trafficker – close ones to Mahinda Raja
      f) Most corrupted criminal – of his bunch -Duminda Silva (his medial source data were a wonder to entire medical world – much more to reveal once MS is won on the 9th)
      and and ..

      • 2
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        This bloody Kudu Duminda’s skull should be medically examined and provided with a real crack once Maithri starts cleaning up the hyenas and carrion crows hanging around Temple Trees. I am sure Hirunika would love to drag the basket to the courts by his balls.

        • 0
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          You will see it – he was among the few who campaigned for Rajas – people raised the question why Duminda was made before the people why not senior men in UPFA ?

          Reason is this man Duminda is well aware of the fact – that the nation is against any kind of high crminals of Duminda kind. Wait and see, the day of his conviction is not that far… justice for any kind of high crimes will be given soon. Karmaya will take care of the fate of all the brutal men of Rajapakshe robery club.

  • 3
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    I was shocked to see the clip where Dayan Jayatilleka was interviewed in Derana 360. What a stupid liar he is. He has been trying to get on to the lap of Rajapakse for a very long time and it appears Rajapakse has either bought him with money or with an offer of a diplomatic position. Dayan has changed his colours very quickly. Diplomats and political pundits like him are a disgrace to the Sri Lankan society.

    Some one should send this clip to all the permanent representatives of the UN with English subtitles for them to get to know what type of a “depita katuwa” this Dayan Jayatilleke is.

    If we have diplomats like him representing Sri Lanka in the future we are sure to be doomed!

  • 5
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    It looks like prof. Rajiv wijesinghe is, even in Christian Standards, one without any standards or values. His value system is every where. At one time comes and say that the president is a Saint. Then the next time he comes and that this family has engaged in corruptions in highest proportions. then other non-corrupt politicians who wants this corrupt family to continue their corruptions.

    what you are talking.

    You people think, the Sri lanka is your private business that you can abuse, deceive, manipulate, exploit the way you want.

    Do you have standards or values before thinking as a politician ?

    What must be the bottom line ?

  • 2
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    Prof Wijesinghe, you’re one those who has earned a Phd however not expending that asset to a good course because you don’t want to see the reality and dwelling in the muddy well with lots of anger, hetaerism and piggishness. At least now get out of that GOTs and do something beneficial for the country.

  • 4
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    Prof, the same army you advocated for in the international media will be set to unleash it’s evilness on you and the opposition after the elections. Oh the irony Professor, Karma is indeed a funny thing.

  • 3
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    Srilankan Opposition party which has been in the Opposition for 20 years continuously, is the Party of the Elite. Anglicans and the Intelligentsia.

    The Ruling SLFP is the party of the poor, rural folk who make up the great majority of the inhabitant population.

    The former couldn’t topple the latter in 4 Presidential elections.

    The Professor and his Western backers, therefor put this un- holy alliance together to gain power by deceit.

    The great majority today enjoy freedom, development. employment and last but not least. Security .

    The real time aims of the Opposition are, to stop development because it is Chinese ,

    Give the Tamil National Alliance 13 A plus.

    Demilitarize the North.

    Give the UNP leader Ranil leadership without him getting even one single vote from the inhabitants.

    And start paying long over due Dividends to the starving UNP backers and Financiers.

    And of course make the US, UK, Canada, EU Embassies get involved with all aspects of our Elite , Anglican and s Vellala lives in Colombo, with regular Cock Tail parties to discuss progress.

    In doing so , our inhabitants , the great majority will be back to the same experiences they had in the past.

    No CWE, No CTB, No Govt jobs for the poor rural inhabitants .

    Because privatization and culling Govt Service are the forte of the UNP lead by Ranil and our inhabitants have experienced it first hand.

    To top it all half the Armed Forces will be on the Dole, .

    Sambandan and the TNA Police.will be manning the Omanthai Entry point.

    And SLMC will be running at least some parts of the East with his own police if the other Muslim parties allow him.

    Ms Pillai’s 5 years of hard work won’t be in vain when the UNP hand over the brave Commanders to Foreigners to face justice for liberating the country from Terrorists.

    While the Foreigner Citizens who bank rolled the Terrorists will be building luxury resorts and holiday homes on Govt Land ,which the brave Armed forces liberated by sacrificing 25,000 lives.

    The Professor can tell porkies , but the poor inhabitants won’t buy it…

  • 3
    1

    Prof:

    I know you and Dayan have a hotline to MR. Pass on my wishes ( not best) to him that we are all rooting for him to win the election by rigging so that West can take the drastic measures and impose Sanctions coming hot on the heels of Fisheries ban to punish Sinhala Lanka . A victory for MS will delay proceedings and we have waited for justice long enough and we cant wait any longer. We will get to the promised Land of which I have no doubt with Britain and the US at the forefront.

  • 0
    2

    Rajeew,

    I am trying to understand, is it vanity hatred or the sheer arrogance the root behind these articles.

    Apart from similar arrogant interviews to foreign media, what is your real service to the nation? Is it not that you got your MP post thanks to Mahinda?

    What kind of understanding do you have over thinking of common people?

    I think Dayan has better wisdom to forsee the incoming uncertainity of the kanda haliya group

  • 0
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    WE want to live in a peaceful Land where there is Law and Order.
    Along with MR, we also fought and won the war. Hence we Elected MR for the Second Term with a Comfortable Majority.
    “Who Won The War?”
    Why can’t M Sirisena and Sarath Fonseka claim FULL Credit for winning the war?
    Why Give MR The Full Credit for winning the war?
    It was all our efforts that defeated the LTTE.
    This Election is NOT about, Who Won the War, but about Corruption, Nepotism, Law and Order, Cost of Living and Our National Assets being Plundered by the Rajapakse’s Clang in the Name of “Defeated the LTTE.”
    All of us defeated the LTTE, Not only the Rajapakses.
    Why can’t the Opposition put this across to the masses instead of Letting MR stealing the Show for defeating the LTTE?
    Under MS the country will prosper even faster with help from China and the West. Smaller Cabinet, Less waste.
    Law and Order; Be Proud to be a Sri Lankan.

  • 0
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    Rajiva,

    It is distressing to note that you had this awareness (as displayed by the content of this article) when you wrote the reams of garbage defending the MARA regime , over so many years !

    I really don’t know how you can live with the knowledge that you sold your soul…and for what ??

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