18 December, 2017

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A Presidency Under Threat – The Whims Of Wimal Weerawansa

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

For each man kills the thing he loves

By each let this be heard

The coward does it with a kiss

The brave man with a sword

The last few weeks have seen an appalling erosion in the image of the government. In a piece that traced our unfortunate decline from the great military and diplomatic successes of 2009, I had written of cracks within the government, but after that we had two Cabinet Ministers refusing to support the Government in a Vote of Confidence. This is unprecedented, and I believe has never happened in this country before. But there has been total silence from senior members of the government, and I suspect I am the only person who has written to the President pointing out the gross breaches of etiquette that have taken place.

What is ironic is that it is precisely the approach of those two Ministers that has so gravely dented the image of this government. I am not sure if the President has realized this as yet, and I do not suppose that he is in position to analyse the situation carefully. But he must realize now that much of what he has been pushed into doing over the last few years has contributed to the disaster that faces both the country and the government.

I propose in this series to look through what has gone wrong, and indicate the destructive impact of just a few individuals. I am still hopeful that reform is possible, because the President is an able politician, and is still streets ahead of everyone else in terms of popularity. I believe too that there is no one else who can put through a just and generally acceptable solution to the political and ethnic problems that beset us. Vasantha Senanayake put it very well in the interview I had with him on his proposal to amend the Constitution to limit the number of Ministers.  He said that this President did what was thought the impossible in getting rid of the LTTE. He should also be able then to do what was also thought impossible, namely change the appalling Constitution J R Jayewardene introduced.

But if he continues to indulge politicians who play to the gallery and want him to do so too, then affection for this government will decrease, and he will be abandoned by those very politicians. In this context I will examine here one of the main mistakes those who advise the President made way back in 2009, a mistake that continues to haunt us.

Not many people have seen the report produced recently by a body called white-flags.org, reportedly prepared by Yasmin Sooka who was on the Darusman Panel. It deals with the incident that caused much controversy in December 2009, when Sarath Fonseka said that the Defence Secretary had given orders to kill surrendees carrying White Flags.

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe was asked to conduct a press conference to deal with this allegation, and his Human Rights Consultant had found a previous report in which Fonseka had said the opposite, seeming himself to take credit for dealing with those carrying White Flags when he had been ordered to spare them. But then Mahinda was relegated to a minor role, as he told me dejectedly (I was in Kandy at the time, and had said I could not join him), and the conference was entrusted to Wimal Weerawansa. His claim was not that Fonseka was a liar, but that he was a traitor – which was obviously interpreted to mean that the incident had occurred but Fonseka was wrong to have disclosed it.

I realized later how influential elements in government were determined to milk the statement for what it was worth. Fonseka subsequently withdrew the statement, and I reported this to Philip Alston, the UN Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Killings, who had written to us about Fonseka’s statement. But I was told that this was an error, and the letter of clarification I wrote (which also drew attention to inconsistencies, so as to make clear that the charges he had made were unfounded) was never delivered. Instead Kshenuka Seneviratne withdrew my first letter after it was delivered, but as her despairing colleague Aruni Devaraja put it, this was totally unprofessional since obviously Alston’s office had kept a copy of the letter.

Our Mission in Geneva had promised an answer but nothing further was sent, and in fact they stopped responding to queries from UN Special Procedures for the next couple of years. The regular interactions we had had, with for instance the Working Group on Disappearances (which had led to positive comments about Sri Lanka in their reports) stopped, and it was only last year that we recommenced positive engagement.

Meanwhile Weerawansa went to town and accused me too of being a traitor, a term he flings about freely, and will doubtless use soon on the President as well as the Secretary to the Treasury. I am told that it was his pressurizing that led to someone deemed more popular being appointed Minister of Education, which is why educational reforms too have relied largely on cement instead of developing human resources.

His party even had a Press Conference when Mohan Pieris engaged with the Darusman Panel, and claimed that I too had gone to New York with Mohan, which was a particularly absurd idea, given that by then Mohan saw me as a nuisance, and had persuaded the President not to put me on the Committee to implement the Interim Recommendations of the LLRC. I realized later what he meant when, after I had badgered him to have a meeting of that Committee (the President had instead asked me to monitor its work), he confessed that the Committee had never met.

The upshot of Weerawansa’s antics is that it seems now definitely established in the eyes of the world that the government was responsible for any extra-judicial killings that took place. And subsequently the very rational approach of the LLRC, that abuses had occurred, and should be investigated, but there was no evidence that these were systemic, has also been ignored. It is as though Weerawansa and those he influences believe that continuing denial will make the problem go away, whereas what has happened is that more and more evidence is emerging that will lead to charges of war crimes on a scale this country does not deserve.

But what is the Weerawansa answer to all this? The 2nd National Convention of the National Freedom Front has declared that

1)    We in this 2nd National Convention of the National Freedom Front strongly condemn “the 2014 American Resolution” passed against Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and challenge its legality and morality as it was passed against international standards at the Geneva Human Rights Council. Also we propose in this National Convention that none of the international agents  be sent to Sri Lanka to investigate the so called war crimes shall be allowed to enter our motherland.

2)    This National Convention also proposes that no investigation or inquiry should be held due to undue international influence other than what has already been initiated in accordance with the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the national legal system. Also we strongly condemn the suggestion made by various political forces influencing the Government to hold such internal investigations.

I can understand the resistance to an international investigation, but such resistance is possible only if there is a credible internal investigation. Unfortunately, given the stonewalling of the last few years, credibility will also need some international involvement, at least in an advisory capacity. But with the ostrich approach continuing, the belief that the problem will go away, the chances are that condemnation will be harsher. Indeed I am told that at a family gathering even some of the Rajapaksas have registered that charges will be brought. But there is still no effort to overcome the problem rationally.

Seven years ago, when Dayan Jayatilleka was appointed to Geneva, he discussed the need to take action with regard to the five boys who had been killed in Trincomalee. He says the President agreed, and indeed I was present once when the President rang the Attorney General and asked him to issue indictments (this was not done on the grounds that the case would be lost). Dayan says that, at the meeting, there were no objections to the decision, but that as they were leaving the Secretary expressed some sympathy for servicemen who might have over-reacted.

I was reminded of this story when I saw in the Sooka report his defence of what might have happened to those who had surrendered – “can you expect a young recruit, barely a month into battle, to recognise a senior LTTE cadre and make a decision as to shoot him selectively or spare him?” Dayan has made the point that a Colonel has to look after his men, and perhaps it is understandable that the Secretary feels protective about those under his command. But it is also necessary, for the reputation of the force as a whole, to enforce discipline and deal with those who violate it. Failure to do so leads to condemnation of the whole.

The Secretary however understands the world and would listen to reason. Unfortunately, with advisers such as the Pieris twins and Wimal Weerawansa, he has little chance to think rationally about the problems that now face us. But one must still hope that the country, the President, and our forces are not sacrificed to the whims of Wimal Weerawansa.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Hello there,

    The problem is in the first-past-the-post electoral system that does not deliver an outright power to operate on its own. This results in rainbow coalitions with minor parties wanting a “ministry” in exchange for voting with the party in power.

    This is why a ministry no longer exists to service a public need. The purpose of a ministry has become a tool of keeping the government in power.

    The D.S. Senanayakes or JRJ Jarawardane’s would never have destroyed the constitution this manner. It was the soup kitchen Socialist left lunatics such as Colvin. R. De Silva and the Bandarakayake who sent everyone down the drain starting the 1972 constitution.

    JRJ had taken over a deeply flawed system with economic calamity and insurrections in both corners of the island don’t forget.

    • 1
      0

      I remember that Weerawansa advised the Sri Lankan air force during the war (reported in Sri Lankan press) to bomb whole Tamil villages to kill the LLTE in the process. That means that he egged on the air force to commit genocide of Tamils.

      The armed forces obviously followed his advice as we know that more than 147,000 innocent Tamils were killed by deliberate bombing and shelling by the armed forces. Mahinda also took his advice to order the genocide.

      Sarath Fonseka’s statement confirms the deliberate killing of unarmed Tamils.

      If UNHCR wants they can get those reports from the archives of those newspapers who reported his utterances.

      What the hell is the author worried about? It’s all in the public domain. Even Gotha’s interview in the BBC justifying the bombing of hospitals.

      There is nothing you can do to save your genocidal president, whom you claim to be bright: My foot, he is a mass-murderer and must be jailed in the Hague.

  • 7
    0

    Can’t the President think for himself? You always defend him and pass the responsibility on his advisers

  • 12
    0

    Weerawansa who is not an educated fellow and he is able to bend the arm of the President, whereas Dayan, Rajiva and other learned persons cannot even get their message to the President. How many seats did Weerawansa win in the election? HOw many votes does he command, none! What does this show, its shows that the leadership does not have leadership qualities but possess only manipulative qualities. We are all being manipulated for the benefit of one family who are trying to save their neck.

    • 1
      0

      And a fsiled manipulator us moaning about his current inabilitirs to manupilate just like his CV posting friend Dayan Jayatillke. This is good because the sense tha the sh….www.www. is going to hit the ceiling soon. So instead of being csught with their pants down – they have started saying, did we nit say so. The rats can smell the sh…. before the rest can. So this is encouraging.

  • 2
    0

    Dear Mr. Wijesinghe,

    It seems like you have no access to the President’s office anymore because I see you writing messages thru web sites like CT, hoping MR will take notice. You should know by now he not a well read chap, let alone learned. And, the people keeping you away from his ears will not whisper your thoughts in his ear.

    MR operates on a very simple premise. If a problem exists, let the vested parties battle it out and if clear victor emerges, then he is encouraged by ‘Royal’ dictate. If a stale-mate develops let everyone suffer until it becomes useful to play the role of messiah and save the day! Look at how strikes, deadly shootings, cabinet fights and Diplomacy are handled. Rajapakse is the savior, when allowed.

    This he can do only locally. As you should know he is pariah on the International sphere that he cannot even get invited to anything higher than Sudan, Bolivia, Uzbekistan and Zambia!!!!

  • 1
    0

    Surely, the way in which ministers like Weerawansa defy Presidential authority and get away with it is the inevitable consequence of unprincipled politics. Mahinda Rajaapkse in his quest to stay in power has formed a coalition of a motley crowd and induced the immoral crossover to government ranks of equally unprincipled UNP elected MPs and others of similar ilk. It is not only Weerawansa who is guilty of breaching cabinet solidarity. What about Minister Hakeem who, while remaining a minister, sees fit to refer alleged mistreatment of the Muslims, to the UNRHC? Where is ‘collective responsibility’ and ‘cabinet solidarity’ ? Hakeem has got away with it before and can with confidence continue in the same fashion. In the meantime, we can expect the President to continue in his accustomed fashion, doing what is expedient without great regard to the ethics involved.

  • 1
    0

    Mr Rajiva Wijesinghe, you say there is no one else other than president Rajapaksa “who can put through a just and generally acceptable solution to the political and ethnic problems that beset us”. If so, isn’t it a good idea to tell him that? You are in a good position to do so.

    You can also tell him the obvious, that (1) at the end of the war, the Tamils would have accepted the most minimalist devolution (2) if the president came to such a settlement, that would have evaporated the diaspora because their reason for existence would have been gone, and (3) that also would have neutralized the arguments of the international community against Sri Lanka.

    Most of all Mr Wijesinghe, why don’t you remind the president that why he has done nothing is because he didn’t intend to do anything, except staying in power by hook or crook, and building a dynasty. The fact that he is pursuing these vehemently is obvious to any one with a modicum of awareness. Equally obvious is that in this process he is also aggrandizing through massive corruption and the sale of national assets. There is no need to list further the elements of his empire of misdeeds and stupidities.

    One more thing Mr Wijesinghe, while you are talking with the president you might as well tell him too, that popular support for him is slipping, and a grassroots movement against him is swelling up, and a civilized government is going to be set up, based on the time tested Westminster model, and his frequent and fraudulent statement that “nobody is above the law” is going to be applied to him and his fellow criminals.

  • 1
    0

    Our President?…Gross breach of etiquette?…Well, know ye this: our President wouldn’t know a gross breach of etiquette if it crept up and bit him on both cheeks of his bum, for he is but a oik.

  • 3
    0

    rajapakse does not have the balls to do anything.
    He kept on harking about the war but it was someone else General Foseka who achieved victory over terrorism.
    And now he has capitulated to this ignoramus modawansa.
    what a joker. what a joke government. what a bunch of no hopers in it.

  • 0
    0

    Tell me Professor, why would some of us think that this article is all about ‘ If only the Prez had listened to me things would be so hunky-dory and everything in this garden of Eden would be nice’n rosy’? Alas, the Prez has other things on his mind and has no time to read your sanctimonious ramblings. But keep writing Professor, nothing produces the urgent need for a sip of my preferred tipple in these pestilential humid days than another diatribe full of ‘what might have beens’.

  • 3
    0

    Rajiva,

    The Executive President Mahinda Rajapakse has to take absolute responsibility for everything that has gone wrong in this country. He cannot pass the buck and you should not help him in this effort. The decisions and moves he has made, have rapidly shifted from the ridiculous, to the stupid and now to the insane plane.

    Further, although he has been elected president twice, the vote for him was not overwhelming. What is the gauge you are using to measure his current popularity? If he is yet overwhelmingly popular, something is seriously wrong with us the people. If what you say is correct, only God can save this country.

    This presidency cannot be saved now. It is too late. It is a rotten apple that has to fall. That is law of nature.It is the laws of Karma in operation – ‘Kela kela dhey, pala pala dhei’/ ‘Vinai vithaithavan vinai aruppaan, thinai vithaithavan thinai aruppan’/ ‘ One has to harvest what one sows’. No one escape this karmic dictate.

    The people have to seriously consider alternatives to Mahinda Rajapakse.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 1
    0

    Wimal Aiyah is a No.1 Socilist left hypcrite. He has no basic education. All these lefties took to left in order to hoodwink the average peasants who had fallen prey for their scemes. Take for that matter Vasudeva. How many somersault he made. He was clinging onto Mrs. B’s saree then got himself attached to Cumaratunge Aiya. When he was assassinated he got onto Chandrika’s saree. Finally his resting place is Mahinda Aiyah.
    This was the guy who was all out to speak for minorities and peasants but living in absolute luxury. His family had 10 cars at the height of recession in the rest of the coutry.

    Don’t trust any politician. That’s all I can tell

  • 1
    0

    President doesn’t have an upstair to look at the complex matters that is brewing in the country’s door step.President runs the country like a Village Headmen who runs a local area with the help of illicit alcohol brewers,cattle thieves, owners of the houses of rising sun. Governing a country is too much for him. He reject intellectuals but live with side kicks like Mervyn Silva, Wimal Weerawansa.

  • 0
    0

    “This is unprecedented, and I believe has never happened in this country before”

    Cut the ‘bull s–t’ man. We have seen this happening in other govt. institutions/societies all over the world.

    “I suspect I am the only person who has written to the President pointing out the gross breaches of etiquette that have taken place”

    Are you trying to score points here?. If you are a decent Politician /Professor, with the etiquettes you are on about you should resign from the Raja/BBS/JHU clan led govt. first. Let me educate you on another subject you were and are never good at professor.

    You are full of ‘Greed, Hatred and Dilution’, ask your inner self this question, am I or am I not? I guarantee you that the answer will be a ‘no’ every time. It will take aeons for you to be free from those three ‘Kileshas’ unless you start thinking straight (Samma Ditti) from now on.
    ” Appamado amthapadam”

    “Wisdom does not come from studying great philosophies and theories, but observing the ordinary”

    Mettha!

    • 0
      0

      Correction with million apologies!!!!!

      You are full of ‘Greed, Hatred and Dilution’, ask your inner self this question, am I or am I not? I guarantee you that the answer will be an ‘YES’ every time.

  • 0
    1

    Hello is it correct for this professor to disclose so called sensitive material after attending meetings where he was invited to participate as an MP and supporter of the government. I don’t think I can take the side of a man who betrays those who trusted him.He says MR called the attorney General and instructed him to forward indictments ! Gosh I thought that Attorney general performs as a judicial officer and makes his own decisions ! In this period I think it was Mohan Peiris who was Attorney general. Now he is the Chief Justice ! One telephone call and judgment will be delivered ! Maybe the President even calls the Auditor General and tells him how to conduct his audits !

  • 0
    0

    It is high time for Rajiva to step down instead of misleading Sl Citizens.

    He was very adamant over the Ch4. video evidence and more have come up
    since his firm stand that they were LTTE propaganda output ex-Chennai!

    Now he can read between lines of the white-flag debacle. This is the simple
    reason that none other than an Independent International Investigation IS A
    MUST – the family involved on one side itself realises it as per Rajiva. He
    becomes a traitor for speaking out in advance?

  • 1
    0

    The objectives of the JVP….NFF led by Wimal Weerawasnsa ….JHU led by Champika Ranawaka is to capture the power of the Country at the right time …they worked towards this since 2000..there is nothing wrong in such thoughts as the Constitution of the Country has granted that right.

    It is the very reason why JVP supported President CBK to dissolve the then UNP Govt and take over the powers…and then they objected to late Mr.Lakshman Kadirgarmar appointment as the Prime Minister…the JHU that was in the Govt and the Provincial Govt also supported MR who had threatened to march to Colombo with Buddhist Preists against CBK decision to appoint Late Mr Kadirgarmar…

    Look at the ages of those who led the President to Victory in 2005….NFF -WW 45 – 50 …..JHU -CR 50- 60 ….JVP AD 45-50 years….and the President MR is 70 years. They were the very People who instrumented in connaivence with the Buddhist Clergy the mass recruitment of young people to the Army by drumming up the patriotism…because they had a ling term goals & objectives ..this is their long march to the Power….in this WW crossed over to UPFA for better control of the Govt…

    So Dr Wijesinghe infact is admitting the White Flag issue is true ..” WW did not did not say that Gen Fonseka is not a liar but a traitor…” and all the drama upto UN investigations are manipulations of the Patriot Trio…

    ARE WE TO BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A IDIOTIC PRESIDENT WHO ONCE WALKED IN TO A PIT IN THE NIGHT ..NOW CONTINUOUSLY FALLS IN TO PITS THE DAYLIGHT ….HIK…HIK…HIK….

    DR WIJESINGHE …THERE IS A FAMOUS SINHALA SAYING AMONG SOUTHERNERS…” NIKANG BABA HUKUN DHAANNA EPAA…” THIS SAID PEOPLE WHO TRIES TO BEHAVE LIKE BABIES WHO DOES NOT KNOW ANYTHING AFTER PLOTTING AND COMMITING THE MOST HENIOUS CRIMES…

    If President sincerely desires a future for the generations yet to be born to those who voted him in to power ..what needs is a radical change in his thinking and revert to the old parlimentary system by abolishing the Executive Presidency … imagine one of the bloody Patriot Trios becoming a President..!!!!! Mind you .it is not an impossibility under the present circumstances the things are taking shape….they wouldn’t mind even with an inevitable division of the Country as long as becoming the President of Sinhala Buddhist people.. thev13 mn idiots who would certainly vote for them..

    HOWEVER..THE PRESIDENT’S SINCERITY IS VERY VERY DOUBTFUL..AS HE HAS LIED TO PEOPLE ENOUGH…” ATHEY PATHTHU VENA BORU…” ..HE WANTS TO PERPETUATE HIS GLORY FOR THE NEXT 12 YEARS PEOPLE NOW KNOW THAT HE IS AN A GRADE LIAR..

    ” ABA SARANAYI..” ..SRI LANKA

  • 1
    0

    The articles Prof. Rajiva Wijesinghe writes can infuriate many people. He always avoids making any direct or indirect criticism of the president or his brothers. He always blames other for the madness of the Rajapaksas. His favourite target is, not without reason, Prof. G.L Peries.

    But, being of learning, he surely must know the buck stops at the presidents desk. Or is he another pussyfooting professor like his bete noir?

    Aman

  • 2
    0

    Dear Mr Wijesinghe,

    What have you gained from writing articles that somehow put the blame for everything on some other person beside the Rajapakshes. Do you seriously believe that your stand is supported by the truth? The wee wees, PCRs, Gamini,s etc. are all hangers on or [Edited out] as you your self appear to be. It is a crying shame that you continue to do this with your intellect. At least Dayan can claim J.R. had him assaulted therefore, he has an Axe to grind against the UNP. What has anyone done to you for this shameless act? When wee wee speaks he is the mouth piece of MR. He says what MR cannot say openly that is the fact your rubbish article not withstanding.

  • 1
    0

    Prof are you saying that the President is mentally challenged and needs the advice of others to make any decision?.
    Dont you realise that you are sucking up to the President by making such statements?.Are you left out in the cold where nobody is listening to
    your 2 cents worth of advice?.

  • 0
    0

    It is obvious that Rajiv has an axe to grind with WW ! WW IS a Vermin, we all know that, but why should an educated guy try to protect the biggest vermin MR from a miniscule WW?
    Rajiv, please stop playing double games like Dayan, and stick to a principle? We still have a bit of respect for your role in 2009! Don’t lose it.
    On another issue, it was MR who used WW and Mervyn (and others) by proxy for his dirty work! Can you remember the Lemon Puff story and the UN? Who sent WW there? Who gave him water to break the pseudo fast?? In Sinhala there is a Saying “sarapai redde asse dagena, hapuwa, hapuwa kiyanna epa”(don’t put snakes in your sarong and then shout i was bitten!” There is another saying, if you sleep with dogs don’t complain of the ticks! Dear Rajiv, it applies to you and others sleeping with the dog MR,!!
    it’s now time for the tick bites to start itching!! We can see that from many fronts!!

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