23 September, 2019

Blog

Accountability Or Truth Seeking Will At No Point Be A Witch Hunt: Mangala

“Accountability or truth seeking will at no point be a witch hunt the way some sections of our society are already attempt to portray. It will be about upholding the rule of law and building confidence in the people of all communities in the criminal justice system and the importance of being accountable.” Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

 Mangala and the former President

Mangala and the former President |File photo

Addressing the Diplomatic Corps based in Colombo, 28 August 2015 Mangala Samaraweera, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said;”It is about creating a culture in the country where society at large values the concept of being accountable not only in terms of criminal liability but in every sense including public accountability. Our objective is to create a culture based on the rule of law to prevent impunity for all violations including for violations of human rights.”

We publish below the speech in full;

Your Excellencies,

It is my pleasure, this evening, to welcome all of you today to the Republic building, having been sworn in early this week as the Minister of Foreign Affairs. At the moment Sri Lanka has the dubious honour having the smallest Cabinet in the world, having had the largest in the world last year. At the moment we have a Cabinet of five, but the Government will be in place by Wednesday.

In fact I recall vividly Your Excellencies, the last time I met all of you together as a group, I believe it was on the 12th of May; one of the questions directed at me was, by one of you here was when were Parliamentary Elections likely to be held. My reply at the time was that ‘only God and the President know the answer to that question’.

However, as you know, a lot has happened since then.

On the 26th of June, the Parliament was dissolved. Elections were scheduled for the 17th of August. And I am sure that all of you would have watched the developments from then until the 17th with as keen attention as all of us.

Those of you who have seen elections in Sri Lanka in the past would have noticed the difference between those instances and the manner in which the last election was conducted.

As the Election Observers said in their preliminary observations:

  • the atmosphere was more calm and peaceful on this occasion; election laws and guidelines were enforced strictly;
  • the “proactive and even-handed” approach of the police was commendable;
  • the media environment surrounding the election appeared to be, on the whole, fair to all those contesting;
  • and on the day of the election, voters were able to exercise their franchise freely in a peaceful environment;
  • election officials managed the entire polling process efficiently and transparently;
  • the police were positive and visible in maintaining security at polling and counting stations and in ensuring that violations of election law were kept in check;
  • vote and preference counting was conducted transparently and results were swiftly relayed to the media and the public.
  • And in this report they concluded that the election was credible, met the key criteria for democratic elections and that the outcome reflected the will of the people of the country.
    In fact we consider this election, Your Excellencies,
  • and the manner in which it was conducted, as a victory for the people. A victory achieved as a part of the important and decisive journey which actually began on the 8th of January with the election of President Maithripala Sirisena, to usher in good governance, and strengthen the rule of law and democracy.

The manner in which every phase of the election was conducted – the campaigning as well as the polling – was possible, mainly, as a result of the provisions of the 19th amendment to the Constitution that was adopted in April. Non-interference of the Government and the position taken by the President to remain neutral, which was in line with the duties of the President set out in Article 33 5 (d) of the 19th amendment which states that it shall be the duty of the President, on the advice of the Elections Commissioner, to ensure the creation of proper conditions for the conduct of free and fair elections and referenda, enabled the outcome that we achieved.

The way the election was conducted inspired in all of us, the confidence, that the people of Sri Lanka supports progressive reform. It is clear that strengthening good governance practices and democratic institutions, respect for the rule of law and enabling structural and legal reforms are all measures that the people cherish and support.

The Election victory of the 17th of August also signifies, I believe, the triumph of centrist politics in Sri Lanka over the extremist politics of what I would call the ‘National Socialism’ as propagated by the Rajapaksa regime. Extremism on both sides of the divide were resoundingly defeated on the 17th of August.

The people have clearly expressed confidence in the approach to governance followed by the Government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and their common vision of Sri Lanka’s engagement with the world:

  • A nation that is at peace with itself and with the world; a nation that believes in maintaining friendship and goodwill with all; a nation that believes in engagement with the world community including international organisations; sharing information, discussion and dialogue with our partners at all times to seek solutions through collaborative approaches; negotiated outcomes and consensual decision-making through reasoned dialogue in a manner that protects the interests of all the people of this country.
  • Such methods will be pursued in our dealings with our bilateral partners and multilateral organisations, not only to address issues of concern for Sri Lanka but for the global community as a whole.
  • We will, at all times, be respectful of the important role played by the UN and multilateral agencies as vehicles for international discourse and norm setting for the common good.
  • We will also work closely with all our partners to ensure a stable and secure atmosphere for sustainable economic prosperity for all our people.

Your Excellencies,

Following the Parliamentary election last week and the victory of the United National Front for Good Governance led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the new Parliament as you know will convene on the 1st of September, next Tuesday. The Cabinet, reflective of the formation of what we call a national or unity government, is expected to be formed shortly thereafter.

This new Government under the leadership of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, aims to overcome one of the main ills that plagued our country since independence – that is the temptation of political parties to follow a narrow path of confrontation in order to achieve short-term political gains over the long-term interests of the people of our country.

The formation of a National Government will ensure the formation of national policies and the passage of important legislation including the provision required to adopt a new Constitution that will include a Bill of Rights that takes into account not only civil and political rights but economic, social and cultural rights as well. A Constitution that addresses the requirements of all citizens and communities; one which would allow greater participation for the public in decision making processes relating to matters in their respective areas. These measures, we expect, would enable more accountable and more responsible government in the country. Such a Constitution, we believe, with electoral reform and restoration of stronger Parliamentary government would be essential to ensure reconciliation and durable peace with justice and rule of law.

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe work with full realization, that, in order not to allow the country to slip back into unfortunate conflicts such as the insurrections in the South and the problems in the North that led to terrorism, it is important that all citizens must feel that they are equal partners with equal rights. They are firm in their resolve to address the root causes which led to the conflict as recommended in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

Your Excellencies,

This brings me specifically, to an issue which has, and continues to receive a lot of media attention. This relates to the nature of Sri Lanka’s engagement with the United Nations, the Human Rights Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his Office.

You all know very well that, for much of our history since Independence, Sri Lanka was considered to be an important member of the international community including in the United Nations. Since becoming a member of the UN sixty years ago in 1955, Sri Lanka has contributed in many ways to the UN system including in its norm setting processes. We have had the distinction of presiding over several UN conferences as well as the Security Council and the General Assembly.

However, the last few years saw Sri Lanka drift from this position of engagement. Our relations with the UN system as a whole became strained especially following the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009.

As you all know, the change of Government on January 8th enabled Sri Lanka to once again seek to pursue policies of engagement with the international community and international organizations including the United Nations.

In this context, I gave priority, soon after assuming office in January, to establish contact with the UN Secretary-General and with the High Commissioner for Human Rights while also reaching out to our bilateral partners to renew our ties.

Soon after my meeting with the UN Secretary-General on the 13th of February in New York, he dispatched the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Mr. Jeffrey Feltman to visit Sri Lanka at the end of February – early March to follow-up on our discussions. Mr. Feltman called on President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as well.

At the end of his visit, he addressed the media. He made the point that: “As requested by Sri Lanka, the United Nations is committed to assisting in the process of accountability and reconciliation, through the Peacebuilding Fund and other facilities, as appropriate. But it is first and foremost for Sri Lankans themselves to shape how to address issues of the past in order to find a common future.”

You are all aware that soon after the end of the conflict in 2009, the previous Government did two important things:

One, the Government made a Joint Statement with the United Nations at the conclusion of the UN Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka in May where it undertook, on behalf of the people of this country, to take certain steps including on accountability.

Soon thereafter, on the 27th of May 2009, Sri Lanka proposed a Resolution in the UN Human Rights Council titled ‘Assistance to Sri Lanka in the promotion and protection of human rights’ which was adopted by the Council. This Resolution too contained a series of measures to be taken by Sri Lanka including endorsement of the Joint Statement between the Government and the UN.

Thereafter, the Government appointed the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation which made a series of recommendations for implementation.

There is full realisation, Your Excellencies, that it is the lack of commitment to address issues locally – i.e. meet the promises made to one’s own people locally and carry out the duties towards one’s own citizens as well as realise the promises made in international fora coupled with the general breakdown of the rule of law and democratic space in the country over the years following the conflict that led to the call by the Human Rights Council in March 2014, for an international investigation on Sri Lanka.

This lack of commitment on the part of the previous Government, to carry out its duties towards its own people changed with the election of President Sirisena on the 8th of January 2015.

As you are aware, item 93 of President Sirisena’s manifesto in January expressed the intention of the common candidate, if elected, to address issues of accountability through national independent judicial mechanisms.

Moreover, on 4 February 2015, the Government, through its ‘Declaration of Peace’, promised to ensure non-recurrence of such tragedies in this country.

The President, Prime Minister and Members of Government have consistently stressed the importance of achieving meaningful reconciliation for durable peace and prosperity in the country on several occasions. The President has stressed many times that the greatest challenge that we have is to unite the minds of the people from the North and the South for a national reconciliation framework. On the 19th of May 2015 at the Armed Forces Day in Matara, the President emphasised that a process of reconciliation involves searching for the truth, achieving justice, dispelling fear, doubt and mistrust among all communities and building trust among communities.

Since the 8th of January, the Government has taken a series of steps including strengthening civilian administration in the North and the East, releasing land to their original owners, resettling the internally displaced, strengthening freedom of expression, and working with the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund and the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Reconciliation as you know will take time. It is an essential process for our country involving the broad areas of truth seeking, justice, reparations and non-recurrence. It also involves the important element of consultations to ensure ownership of processes, guarantee long-term sustainability and ensure that the deep grievances of all communities and within communities are addressed. Therefore, the mechanisms that we aim to set up and the processes that we aim to set in place will have to be evolved through wide consultations.

Accountability or truth seeking will at no point be a witch hunt the way some sections of our society are already attempt to portray. It will be about upholding the rule of law and building confidence in the people of all communities in the criminal justice system and the importance of being accountable.

It is about creating a culture in the country where society at large values the concept of being accountable not only in terms of criminal liability but in every sense including public accountability. Our objective is to create a culture based on the rule of law to prevent impunity for all violations including for violations of human rights.

This process is already underway. Justice that has long proved elusive is now becoming a reality and Sri Lanka’s courts are again vigilant in protecting all its citizens. The alleged perpetrators responsible for the massacre of eight civilians, including three teenagers and a five-year-old child, in Mirusuvil, Jaffna in the year 2000 were tried, and one of them was found guilty, in June this year. Our law enforcement officers are also now able to investigate without hindrance many of these cases. In fact, four members of the armed forces were arrested this week in connection with the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. By exposing such miscreants who tarnished the image of the armed forces over the years, we will be able to regain the armed forces’ lost reputation as one of the most disciplined and professional armies in the region. As we restore the armed forces credibility, we look forward to contributing to peace and stability around the world through greater engagement in peace-keeping and humanitarian activities.

Your Excellencies,

Having said that, there is something important that I must emphasise.

For far too long now, our relationship with the international community has been dictated by ‘human rights’.

I can confidently say that the Government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is committed to address human rights and related issues, work on changing the political culture and achieve meaningful reconciliation. In fact the President, in keeping with his constitutionally mandated duty under the 19th amendment of being in-charge of reconciliation and integration, has decided to establish a Ministry under his purview for these important subjects.

As much as we would need your invaluable support in terms of technical expertise in the setting up of domestic mechanisms and assistance for peacebuilding related efforts such as resettlement, infrastructure development, and providing psycho-social support, we think the time has now come to focus our attention to other areas as well which will contribute to strengthening our economy. This, we are of the view, will be key in ensuring long-term peace and stability and preventing the recurrence of conflict.

We want to discuss on securing access for our goods and services in the global market. We look to you for assistance in terms of expertise in enhancing the quality of our goods and services for this purpose to be able to plug into value chains.

We want to focus on making our exports competitive. We want to create new jobs. We want to equip our young people with the technical skills required for success in the present job markets around the world.

As you are aware, Sri Lanka has in place, free trade agreements with both India and Pakistan. We would like to invite investors in your respective countries to explore opportunities available in setting up manufacturing plants in Sri Lanka to access the large markets in the subcontinent.

The Government will enact necessary legislation required to create investor confidence without delay. But we are aware that legislative reform alone will not reset the investment climate. Therefore, ensuring policy stability and creating a level playing field for all investors is a priority for the new government. The bi-partisan consensus resulting from the National Government I am sure will aid in this process.

Fighting corruption will be one of the Government’s primary objectives and new laws and institutions in line with the UN Principles on Anti-Corruption will be adopted.

The Government is also keen to pursue new trade agreements with foreign countries and aims to set up 45 Economic Development zones with 11 Industrial and technological zones throughout the country including in Hambantota for ship building and manufacturing, Raigama for consumer and new technology, Maha Oya, Vanni and Killinochchi for Manufacturing, Colombo for commercial and monetary services, Kandy, Jaffna and Galle for IT.

Excellencies,

My colleagues in Cabinet and I, when the full Cabinet is formed, will share with you more details of how we can work closely together in these areas and collaborate as well in the coming days.

I am also keen to undertake the task of restructuring the Ministry of Foreign Affairs so that this institution will be oriented more towards economic diplomacy and closer engagement with all of you.

I will now conclude by thanking all of you for being present here today and for your constant commitment and determined efforts to foster stronger relations between Sri Lanka and the countries and international organisations that you represent.

I look forward to working with all of you closely in the coming days.

Thank you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 17
    2

    Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

    “Accountability or truth seeking will at no point be a witch hunt the way some sections of our society are already attempt to portray. It will be about upholding the rule of law and building confidence in the people of all communities in the criminal justice system and the importance of being accountable.” Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    Did you say, Law and order?

    Did you mean Double Standards?

    Are you going to let MaRa MaRa MiniMaRu MaRa and GoTa GoTa MiNi MaNu GoTa get off free based on your “Memorandum of Understanding” with the Crooks and Murderers?

    Is it necessary for Gorabaya Rajapaksa, Gotabbel, Gota to run for his crimes before he is caught…

    Through the Grape wine, the Bulath Wine, the Vetilla wine…

    Run Gotabaya Run.. Is there Law and Order?. Is There a God?.

    So there is a God after-all.. the man who quit the army on a medical condition recorded as Depression; the maintenance man of a computer lab in an American University; the glorified Secretary who thought himself a war hero; the shameless fellow who called a lady a pig who eats shit…. and now the alleged cold blooded murderer who ordered the hits on Eknaligoda & Lasantha and countless others is in uncharted territories !

    His big Brothers protection is no more, so what comes of a coward who has no army to hide behind ? No dogs to bark on his behalf and no lackeys to take the fall ?

    The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, pride and arrogance; he had it all. His cruelty stemmed from weakness. He imprisoned the man who once saved him when he was ambushed by the LTTE and now he has to live forever watching in envy as that very man graces with pride as a Field Marshal.

    He has to come to terms that the journalists he allegedly ordered killed or hurt, live as heroes and martyrs in the eyes and minds of the public.

    He has to live with the indignity of being hauled into the FCID, CID, etc., like a dog on a leash for the crimes he once committed and wors, he has to read articles like this and shut up and do nothing..

    oh! Gota… Karma is a B…, isn’t it ?

    He considers himself a devout Buddhists and yet the hypocrite lived and thrived for 15 years in a capitalistic Christian nation, he unleashes Communal-ism through his cronies in a nation still healing, and now Balu Bala or whatever couldn’t secure a single seat!

    The man who once worked as a Security Manager for the Maharaja group, is the same man who 15 years later rared sharks and elephants.. is it from the money he ‘allegedly’ stole from us ?

    He gave the floating Armoury on a platter with no tenders called to the person who once purchased his home in the USA.. isn’t it vested interest ?

    He harbored or associated with drug dealers and murderers as if they are angels draped in white Satin.

    He claims he beautified Colombo.. no argument there, but what you should understand is, he was handed over 253 Billion rupees of our money in 2014 by his big brother !! Any idiot can do what he did with that kind of money.

    He talks about Karma and his religious beliefs… yet he “allegedly” siphons money for the MIG deal to ‘Bellimissa Holdings Ltd’, a company confirmed by INTERPOL as non existence after the deal!

    But .. the worst is now out, sources tell us, those who have been interrogated for the disappearance of Prageeth Eknaligoda and others have already claimed that the order came from him !!

    What right does he have to take a life of another ? remember the kids who were shot on the streets for asking water ? Can a man not express his opinion in a free country ?

    Whether he pulled the trigger or not.. all this happened on his watch. Just as he and his brother take the glory of winning the war, so then he should be responsible for these heinous crimes.

    The sins of the past are catching up. Knowing our politicians, he may still escape, but from Karma.. he never will… So there is just one thing for him to do and that is run like a chicken across Ethiopia !

    • 18
      0

      It is high time Rajapakshes to take the dust out of their Eyes. Else, days ahead of them will be darker as no other ever thought. This picutre shows that the mightious MR could be that that close his previous alleis, but those sane ones know how really the Rajakashe worked for the people. Spending hundreds of millions wastefully, on his way back to keep going on the with poor voters, he had made use to the chance to hug little ones or even farmers by joining their ploughing fields. That is how his cheating machines worked for the gawky folks. Nevertheless wave started in 8th Jan never stoped, until the boys were marginalised to this date, as nothing much about them are in air – nothing much is wrong, but mostly, only the abusive side of them are in the air. ..

    • 11
      1

      ACCOUNTABILITY….. THE KEY WORD !

      LETS SEE HOW THIS WORKS.. IN REGARD TO THE FOLLOWING …….

      Wasim Thajudeen killing
      Three ex-PSD officers traced
      Sri Lankan living in UK also linked to ‘conspiracy’
      JMO report on Sept 10: Arrests to begin within two weeks
      Rasika Jayakody

      Three ex-PSD officers – who have been identified by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as possible suspects of former rugby player Wasim Thajudeen’s killing – will be arrested within the next two weeks.

      Meanwhile, a civilian, who is presently in London, has also been identified as a person who was aware of the conspiracy to kill Thajudeen, Police sources added.

      “There is no truth in the stories that the suspects have fled to Italy. Probably, they are referring to the person who is presently in the UK. He is a civilian who was aware of the incident. But, the majority of possible suspects are in Sri Lanka and we have traced them. They will not be able to flee the country,” a senior officer involved in the investigations told the Daily News.

      “The Police will be able to arrest three of the suspects before the next two weeks,” the officer said.

      “The person in the UK fled the country after the incident through the assistance of a former diplomat who has a notorious track record. The diplomat too is under investigation at the moment for a number of other offences. It can be confirmed that he was not a member of the defence establishment,” he said.

      The CID earlier this month received information that a secret discussion had taken place at the PSD officers’ mess on Thajudeen prior to his death. The discussion had taken place with the knowledge of a very senior Police officer who had close links to the top echelons of the previous regime.

      Meanwhile, the CID has already established that no motor accident had taken place at the site where the rugby player’s body was recovered.

      “Thajudeen’s body was not even in the driving seat of the vehicle. At the time the charred body was recovered, it was in the other front seat,” a highly placed Police source said.

      Although the initial Police report said the vehicle caught fire within seconds of the accident, the fuel tank of the vehicle was half full, he added.

      “There is no way that a vehicle can burn in that manner while the fuel tank is half full,” the officer explained.

      “When investigating the vehicle, we found out that there were no signs of an accident. There is evidence to suggest that an ‘accident-event’ had been fabricated to cover up a crime,” he added.

      Following this development, the CID carried out investigations to find out whether Police reports have been ‘twisted’ to portray a wrong picture about the rugby player’s death. Initial investigations into his death was carried out by the Narahenpita Police which dubbed it as an “accident.”

      Thajudeen’s body was exhumed on August 10 to conduct further investigations into the rugby player’s mysterious death. Inquiries were carried out to ascertain whether fractures in Thajudeen’s body were in line with the findings of the CID. A comprehensive report is this regard is expected to be presented to court on September 10.

      The Police also investigated into a vehicle allegedly used to abduct Thajudeen. The vehicle had been handed over to the Siriliya Saviya Foundation, headed by former First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, by an international non-governmental organisation.
      – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/three-ex-psd-officers-traced#sthash.0dlQJAvp.dpuf

    • 1
      2

      Amarasiri, not Grape Wine, but Grape Vine. There is a difference between Wine and Vine. Look it up in the Dictionary.

      This is a problem with the confusion of the Sri Lankan Pronunciation between ‘W’ and ‘V’

      • 0
        0

        Hamlet

        “Amarasiri, not Grape Wine, but Grape Vine. There is a difference between Wine and Vine. Look it up in the Dictionary.”

        Thanks. You are correct.

        It is the plant vine, climber, not wine, in English, and in England they use vine exclusively for the grape vine. They do not have Bulath-Vine and Vellila-Vine.

        Vine is the plant, climber, on which grapes grow. Wine is the alcohol drink produced from the grapes that grow on the wine.

        Grapevine is one word, which means gossip. ( Not Grapewine).

        For the Germans, vine=grapewine, and call Rebe or Weinrebe.
        Similar Plant, they call Rebengewachs.

        vine grower is Weinbauer
        vine-growing district Weingegend
        vine harvest Weinlese
        vine leaf Rebenblatt

        [Edited out]

        So, in Sri Lanka need to use Bulathvine and Vetillavine, by analogy.

        However, I would like to use Bulath-Vine and Vetilla-Vine, so that Sri Lankans get the idea that it is coming from gossip, not yet officially confirmed.

        However, a lot of gossip, that came from the grapevine, bulathvine or vellitavine, was later confirmed.

        MaRa MaRa Chatu MaRa gossip was later confirmed…

    • 0
      0

      Dear Amarasiri

      All your emphasis is on the has been crooks, thieves, and murderers. Of course they should punished. But……

      Surprised you dont mention the highly likely employment of Blairs wife’s company by Mangala to promote Sri Lanka’s human rights and ‘fairness’ record. Have you considered the likely commission figure on an annual fee of one million dollars per year?

  • 16
    0

    Excellent start . We need all the assistance we can get from friendly countries to trace and recover the billions of dollars plundered from this fledgling nation where millions of people still live below the poverty line .

  • 12
    0

    I just about caught the twinkle in his coal-black eyes before the early Mangala gatha’s began. I should not be so uncharitable, but when you have lived long you do tend to lapse into deja-vu. Still, every good boy deserves favour, and the ‘new’ boys do deserve a chance to show us that this time they mean business. Please don’t disappoint us; WE the people can be so unforgiving (ask MR).

  • 18
    2

    The formation of a National Government under the leadership of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe will ensure that none of the SLFP big-wigs accused of various crimes over the past 9 years will be prosecuted and that both the UNP and SLFP MPs will be rewarded with cabinet posts to look after themselves. Most importantly, this arrangement will let President Sirisena to hold on to the Chairmanship of the SLFP by bribing his rival SLFPers with plum posts. At the end of two years one can guarantee that the people will be the real losers.

  • 12
    2

    Good speech & hope that govt. will have the courage , commitment to deliver on it.

  • 8
    0

    Mangala

    You can’t give the freedom pass to witches. Witches must be hunted and dealt with. Otherwise, these witches in hiding will produce more witches and you will face difficulties in implementing your proposed good governance practices.

    You must move away from the rotten Mahinda Chinthanaya and eliminate the roots of the witches -the product of this damming chinthanaya.

    Mahinda is the head of the witches and please hunt him down.

  • 10
    0

    How can you build confidence of people and the International community in the governance institutions Sri Lanka, if you have a cabinet of corrupt 90 clowns, who have been bribed by the party leaders?!

    There will be so much policy fragmentation and incoherence that the entire country and economy will suffer from paralysis with so many uneducated, rent seeking Ministers putting their figures into national institutions?!

  • 14
    1

    Mangala, accountability starts at the top. Having a cabinet of 90 shows exactly how corrupt political culture in Sri Lanka is today.

    Why cannot the leaders of the party EDUCATE there ministers rather than bribing them with cabinet posts – to reform the rotten institutions in the country and hold corrupt politicians accountable?

    What Sirisena and Ranil are doing is perpetuating the corrupt political culture rather than cleaning it up. Sri Lanka has NO HOPE for change as long as this absolutely corrupt and intellectually and morally bankrupt generation of politician – Jarapssa-Ranil and Sirisena, the accidental president who is proving to be the deadliest of them all, are chased out of town..

    • 1
      0

      Dodo,

      just to pick up on the point you have made. The proliferation of Ministers is partly the giving favours to keep them onside, and partly the incompetence of our political class. Many of them have never done a proper job in their lives. Most of them would find chewing gum and breaking wind at the same time a tough challenge. Usually, the National List would have brought in a few truly capable professionals who might not care for the hustings, but, as we have seen that has been hijacked to accommodate failed candidates and other hangers on.

      • 4
        0

        Spring Koha

        “Usually, the National List would have brought in a few truly capable professionals who might not care for the hustings”

        Well you should always remember G L Pieris, Rajiva, etc.

  • 5
    0

    The criminals who were in the past government are now in the present. The fact is,they cannot put anyone to jail. If they do it, then we are going to have a civil war in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    1

    If the total number of Cabinet Ministers in India,Pakistan,Bangladesh,Nepal,Butan-All SARRC NATIONS are counted will it reach 90?
    90 eGG hOPPERS,90 Hakuru hoppers,90 Milk Hoppers 90 Plain Hoppers will be the minimum requirement! After the hopper feed will they cross over as a knee-jerk reaction?

  • 1
    0

    ‘Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? … from the King James Bible …”

    • 1
      0

      “Look not to the faults of Others,
      Nor to their Omissions or Commissions.
      But rather look to your own Acts,
      To what you have Done and left Undone.”

      Dhammapada Verse 79 – The Buddha

  • 1
    1

    Mangala Samaraweera had said that the investigation would not be a witch hunt. He had mistakenly put the word “NOT” as it is obvious when the US grants permission, it is said and done. The Tamils have to wait and see the results. It would take more than 5 years and there would another general elections and Rajapaksa will become Prime Minister. The TNA and the Tamil people would be fooled again.

  • 10
    2

    With the revelation of information that a fake LTTE had been maintained by Army intelligence to carry out certain political assassinations and the assassinations had been carried out with instructions from those who were in power at the time Ajitha Kadirgamar, the daughter of distinguished foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other family members, say a methodical investigation should be carried out regarding Mr. Kadirgamar’s assassination. The information regarding the fake LTTE was revealed while investigations on the disappearance of Cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda were being carried out.

    Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar was killed when a sniper shot at him while he was at the swimming pool of his residence at Bullers Road in Colombo on 12th August, 2005.

    Mr. Kadirgamar was on top of the LTTE hit list and he should have been given special security. However, the ‘Commando’ regiment that was in charge of his security has not been able to give him the necessary protection.

    When Mr. Kadirgamar was assassinated Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga was the President and Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Prime Minister.

    Mr. Kadirgamar’s daughter, Ajita Kadirgamar, in an interview with ‘Ceylon Today’, has said though belated the family was now planning to urge the new government to launch a comprehensive probe into her father’s killing that took place a decade ago. She said despite the passage of a decade, perceptions in several quarters remain nebulous about the manner in which her father was killed.

    After Mr. Kadirgamar’s assasination previous regime had acquired their ancestral lands in Jaffna when all the legal ownership documentation was available. The land that once belonged to our family has been converted into a Presidential Palace”, said Ms. Ajita Kadirgamar.

    THIS IS THE WAY RAJAVASSA FAMILY KILLED AND TOOK OUR LAND WITHOUT COMPENSATION. THEY SHOULD BE IN JAIL!

    • 5
      0

      @Rohan Polwatte, I agree with you 100% with one minor question. I am not sure whether this dirty fellow (MR) was already PM at the time Kadirgamar was assassinated. I believe CBK was going to appoint Kadirgamar as the PM and Goat had his goon squad killed him so that his brother can take his spot. LTTE killed all the Tamil intellectuals and if they could have they would have taken out Kadir as well. But this was not done by the LTTE, this was the handiwork of Goat. After the assassination there was no cordon and search operations for about 2.5 hours.

      I also cannot understand why people gave you thumbs down, maybe truth hurts??? Rohan, please keep your comments coming. Truth should be known!!!!

      • 3
        0

        Tamil from the north east west south Pakistan

        Mahinda Rajapaksa served as prime minister from 6 April 2004 – 19 November 2005.

        Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated on 12th August 2005.

        • 1
          0

          NV, thanks for clarifying that.

  • 2
    0

    Thanks Rohan.

    Anyone reading your line would know who was Lakshman Kadirgamers killers!

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 2
    0

    Any politician whether in power or not makes this type of speeches written solely by their “speech writers”. That is nothing new and strange to us. What we are concerned is not the speeches; but the action that follows. This Government is called upon to let us know what happened during the period 2010 t0 2014 during the regime of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse and what action would be taken to bring those responsible accountable and make them to make good the “LOOT” to the public funds. It is very disheartening to note how some of the court cases against the present CB Governor and the previous Governor and Mahinda Rajapakse have been “withdrawn” simultaneously. The cases against Mr. Cabral and Mr. Mihinda were very much important to us, because they “mismanaged” and committed serious crime against the poor wage earners who contributed their hard earned money that went into the EPF. That is a crime “Unpardonable” and must be forthwith brought to justice. Is this Government ready to do it? Mr. Samaraweera that is what those “EXCELLENCIES” you addressed want to know. Please STOP sweet talk and take action without further conning around and beating about the bush.

  • 2
    0

    Accountability should be based on the principle of equality. Can we adopt a ‘restorative justice’ model to the LTTE fighters and a ‘punitive justice’ model to government forces and to groups that supported the GOSL? In my opinion, an appropriate mechanism should adhere to principles of equality, natural justice and fair trial. Moreover, if a criminal justice model was adopted, not only the wrong doers who are directly responsible for those acts should be punished, people who are in the chain of command and people who are responsible for aiding and abetting those perpetrators are also should be punished. Otherwise, the justice will not be served in adopting a punitive justice model.

    There is no doubt, we can punish most of the perpetrators of war crimes, but we only need some changes to local criminal laws and procedures. As Ms. Kishali Pinto Jayawardene stated in her recent Sunday Times column, punishing the criminals ‘is the primary responsibility of the State after all’. However, is this the primary responsibility of the State in a post-war context?

    It is not. The primary responsibility of the State in a post-war context is to break the cycle of hatred and mistrust that could pave the way for another bloody war. How do you do that? By adopting a process of sustainable reconciliation. In the Sri Lankan context where the society has been deeply polarised, you must approach issues carefully paying attention to social psychology. A small retribution has the potential to ignite the flare of violence.

    From..
    “The Domestic Inquiry Vs. Reconciliation” – By Dinesh D. Dodamgoda

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-domestic-inquiry-vs-reconciliation/

  • 1
    0

    Mahinda Rajapakse went around in circles to hide his bluffs but eventually he was stripped naked for people to see what a pathetic liar he was.

    The sincerity of the current govt in the accountability issue will be severely tested in the coming months. My gut feeling is there will be some cosmetic approach and treatment but by and large the regime will bank on something like a truth and reconciliation commission. Despite the misgivings the Tamils may express, if such an approach goes along with addressing most or all of their requests, this may find a closure to the long standing bad blood between the two communities.

    The South African initiative was borne out by the statesman-like presence of Nelson Mandela. It also was a SINCERE and HONEST attempt at seeking the truth. These are important ingredients. The all-important issue of the missing/disappeared needs to be addressed in an honest manner. Being truthful and honest can soothe the gaping wounds and the govt needs to deal with the hurt and pain and suffering of those who have been unceremoniously dismissed whenever they raised such issues.

    “It is better to vote for the devil you know…” It is armed with this statement that MR went to seek votes from the Tamils while campaigning for his last presidential election. Even in that moment he can only think and potray himself as a devil. The Tamils hated Sarath Fonseka as much as MR but didn’t they vote for him (SF) against Rajapakse. MR may still be the president had he moved on fast enough to resolve the post-war issues in a fair, judicial and humane manner. Instead, he inflamed the anger and despise of the Tamils when he continued with the oppression and hurt – just like the war remembrance event. He had the clout but was, and still is, a devil, like he put it.

    • 0
      0

      Hello Jansee,
      I really liked your comment. It would be an excellent comment if your are a Sinhalese. But, it doesn’t matter. At least you understood what went wrong. My question is, are we trying to put all the blame on Mahinda and easily forgetting what has been happening before his period ? It is a fact that Mahinda is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocents in his period from 2005 to 2009. But, what about before his period ? Weren’t any Tamils killed,kidnapped or disappeared before him ? J R Jayawardena was in power when 1983 riots happened. Premadasa was in power when thousands massacred in Eastern province. Especially Mayilantahanai, Chenkalady, OOrani, Kokkaticholai and so on. Chandrika was in power when Semmani mass graves were found. When Mahinda took charge, there were more than 70,000 Tamils died already in the war started in 1983. Mahinda finished it off with a big bang at the end.
      If we are talking about reconciliation through truthful accountability, the process should start from early 1980s. Not only that, we should be ready to give what we have taken from other communities, such as state sponsored colonisation of majority community in minority areas, job opportunities to minorities, rights, education and so on.
      Without being ready to do all this, I don’t think just war crime investigation will do anything to eliminate bad blood between two communities.
      What do you think ?

      • 3
        0

        Ranjith

        “If we are talking about reconciliation through truthful accountability, the process should start from early 1980s.”

        No the process should look into and start from 5th April 1971.

        “I don’t think just war crime investigation will do anything to eliminate bad blood between two communities.”

        In order to eliminate bad blood the investigation should dig into the past, find truth and bring the process to closure. Past began on 5th April 1971.

  • 1
    0

    I think it is somewhat significant that 8 months after Mahinda was removed from office neither him nor any member of his family have been arrested and charged for any crime. I don’t think there was ever any plan to hold him or them accountable for the crimes they committed against the Sri Lankan people.

  • 0
    0

    All good to read and hear. But, what are we going to achieve by this ? Did Mahinda and his brothers carried out these war crimes and crimes against humanity on Tamils because of their personal problem with Tamils? No, the entire Sinhala population wanted Mahinda to do that. When city after city fell in to Army hands, they rejoiced and welcomed it whole heartedly. When reports on mass civilian massacres started coming out from war front, they either denied it or welcomed with teaching a lesson to Tamils. The entire military operation was completely supported and backed by Sinhala people. Not a single person from the Sinhala community opposed the war on Tamils. All they wanted was get rid of Tamils with Tigers at any cost. Tamil civilian casualties been enjoyed equally as Tiger casualties. International organisations and journalists were harassed fiercely for bringing out the truth. The entire local media was doing propaganda work for the war on Tamils. Mahinda and brothers enjoyed every bit of this new Sinhala nationalism. When Mahinda was kicking Tamil asses, all are happy .
    But, once the war is over and the Sinhala masses brought back to life, they realized that Mahinda has taken them for a ride. Once Mahinda started fiddling with their own people’s life, they woke up. People been kidnapped, murdered, forced to give away businesses, opposition been systematically razed down to earth and so on. Now they don’t want him any more. The theatres been running houseful “Nava Thutugemunu movie”been deserted by their own people.

    The real reconciliation will happen when we give the rights to oppressed people. By punishing individuals for a crime of an entire society will not bring anything. Unless we change our mindset to accept other communities as equal people as us, people like Mahinda and Prabakaran will keep coming up in the history. But, are we ready to do it ??

  • 0
    0

    Great, sincere and honest argument Ranjith. Unfortunately nothing is going to happen. No one will do anything. All crimes will go unpunished, especially those waged against Tamils or minorities, as always. So there will be more crimes against humanity and Tamils for sure. That’s what all the governments and majority people are doing for the past 64 years. They won’t sleep until the ‘mission’ is accomplished.

    The people who suffered are mainly Tamils and why punish the perpetrators !
    Let there be more riots, crimes, killings, kidnappings,famous lankan rapes, disappearances…everything is good for the majority. Why UN, UNCHR, Geneva …all just time passing humbug dramas. Tamils suffered the worst after all and who cares ?! Do not have any hope of peace in the country. We are living with butchers, vultures, killers and murderers who some how justify all the crimes against Tamils. What to do..it’s their bringing up and their crude mentality. Never ask or fight for justice which you will ever ever get it.
    Trust in god, nothing but god.

  • 1
    0

    MR is telling Mangala, if I was in power this is where I would have shot you. MR is a darling of SL politics, NOT!!!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.