12 August, 2020

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Aiya-Malli Separation Of Powers & WikiLeaks On MCC 

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

On the scale of election excitement, the upcoming August 5 elections is more like the July 1960 election than any other past election. In 1960, following a hard-fought March election six months after the assassination of Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, the people were tired of going to the polls for a second time in four months. Today there is more political fatigue than election excitement. There is also abundance of caution on account of the coronavirus. Thank God, there are no wingnuts in Sri Lanka like in the southern states of the US, not to mention the White House, insisting on their freedom to court infection. The virus is not letting them down. And Europe is not letting them in. Sri Lankans have been smart and voluntarily complied with a national curfew despite its dubious legality and highhanded policing. 

Politically, for most people in Sri Lanka, there is nothing much to expect from a new parliament. And quite a few among them will not bother even if there is no parliament, old or new. If parliament has come to be so easily dispensable, why carry the burden of Provincial Councils? Except, you need the former to get rid of the latter. Just as the country is being advised that it needs the Prime Minister to “do the politics”, for the President to “do the work.”  A new separation of powers between siblings at the summit, no less. 

With the opposition parties still trying find a firm footing for their campaigns, whatever political curiosity that is out there is all focused on the election moves of the President and the Prime Minister. The President has admonished that his photograph should not be used by candidates of the Sri Lanka Nidahas Podujana Peramuna (SLNPP) the governing alliance led by the Rajapaksa political wagon, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). His office has also directed that those in the security forces, government service, Corporations, Boards and Statutory Bodies should not engage in political activities. 

Media reports speculating whether the President is distancing himself from the election campaign are also indicating that it is the Prime Minister who is leading the SLNPP campaign. And the Prime Minister reportedly clarified the arrangement at the top, at a public rally in Kurunegala. “He told me, the Prime Minister said of the President, “aiya, I will do the work, you do the politics.” So far, so good.    

The first sign of stress will likely come from the Election Commissioner if he has to intervene to enforce the President’s directive barring government officials from election activities, against the Prime Minister’s henchmen in public offices who are not used to sitting on their hands during election times. Another occasion for stress could arise if SLNPP candidates and campaigners try to cut corners and run around social distancing and other Covid-19 restrictions. 

The sure-fire political stress will come when the President’s work and the PM’s politics invariably overlap, and even collide, especially before the elections. It is more likely, even certain, that politics will prevail over work before the elections. Equally likely, the President’s work will suffer after the elections because of the PM’s politics during the elections. There are three critical areas where politics and work are likely to collide during the campaign: the much maligned Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC); the Economy that is in tatters; and the Constitution that can be left alone.    

WikiLeaks and MCC

The patriotic fuss over Millennium Challenge Compact is an unnecessary headache that the SLPP and the government have created for themselves. New WikiLeaks information, published by Colombo Telegraph, on diplomatic cables sent to Washington by US Ambassadors (Jeffery J. Lunstead and Robert O. Blake) in Colombo between March 2005 and January 2008 indicates that three prominent figures in the current government and administration, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Presidential Secretary PB Jayasundera, and Advisor without portfolio Ajith Nivard Cabraal were also the lead participants for Sri Lanka in the discussions with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, in 2005 and 2006. Those discussions focused on obtaining grant funding for potential projects in three areas: rural irrigation and agriculture; roads; and small and medium enterprise promotion. 

We do not know the detailed extent to which specific projects were developed, but there is no question that the Government of Sri Lanka, first under President Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa (2005), and later under President Mahinda Rajapaksa (2006) were very keen to secure MCC funding for development projects especially in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami disaster. We now learn from the diplomatic cable sent  by Ambassador Blake on January 14, 2008, twelve days after the Sri Lankan government “decided to abrogate the CFA (Ceasefire Agreement)” on January 2, that “in December 2007, the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation removed Sri Lanka as a country eligible for MCC lending for 2008.” The cancellation of Sri Lanka’s eligibility status was one among a number of measures taken by the US to signal its “displeasure” at “the escalating violence and growing human rights problems” in Sri Lanka.

How and when the MCC’s decision was conveyed to the Government of Sri Lanka is not known. And as far as I know, no one from the Rajapaksa government (2005-2015) who worked on the MCC initiative, or from the post-2015 Wickremesinghe-Samaraweera partnership that secured the current MCC grant agreement, has made it known that the MCC initiative was unilaterally ended by the Americans in December 2007. Nor do we know if the unilateral rejection by the Americans in 2007 is the reason why the Rajapaksa brothers are opposed to the current MCC agreement. If that were so, it would be a politically understandable reason, but they should be forthright in saying so. It would be economically indefensible, however, as it will be akin to the Sri Lankan government, out of some patriotic pique, terminating trade with the European Union because during the war the EU unilaterally suspended the preferential (GSP) privilege given to imports from Sri Lanka.                 

What is more puzzling is the silence of Mahinda Rajapaksa, PB Jayasundera and Nivard Cabraal who vigorously pursued MCC grant funding in 2005 and 2006. No one is suggesting that they should be making public statements now, but there is not even hearsay about any internal attempt to impress on the President that even if it is not politically acceptable to endorse the MCC agreement negotiated by the Wickremesinghe-Samaraweera partnership, there is no point in throwing the whole baby worth $480 M with the duo’s bathwater. The MR-PBJ-ANC troika could have advised Gotabaya Rajapaksa, first as candidate and later as President, to inform the people and the American government that the new Rajapaksa government would seek specific changes to the current Agreement, or even negotiate a new Agreement. 

Mr. Cabraal, seemingly responding to Wikileaks information, has fired off a denial of some alleged insinuation that “the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government was ready to enter into a Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation that was detrimental to Sri Lanka.” But he does not say anything about the US government’s unilateral removal of Sri Lanka’s eligibility for MCC grant in December 2007. Nor does he say anything about the new Gotabaya Rajapaksa government entering into a new MCC agreement, except to religiously assert that the old “Mahinda Rajapaksa Government would have NEVER agreed to any conditions that would have put our country at any risk whatsoever.” Be that as it may. 

Port City Game

It is also not clear whether or not the SLPP is playing the same game that Ranil Wickremesinghe played so well with the Chinese and the people of Sri Lanka over Colombo’s Port City development. Needless to say, from engineering and environmental standpoints, the Transport and Land projects identified in the MCC agreement will have greater benefit/cost ratios and minor externalities in comparison to the Port City project. Technically, it would be a tough sell for the current government to remove the Transport project from any new MCC Agreement that it might pursue. Even the Land project (which btw is not 30% but 16% of the grant amount) is not some Trojan horse, but a long overdue initiative that is consistent with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s repeated directives to digitise the land registry system. 

If indeed it is the Port City game that is being played now, the SLPP leadership should have held the likes of Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila on a tight leash on election platforms. And it was a mistake to entrust impractical economic sovereignists to carryout a review of the MCC agreement. Ranil Wickremesinghe is right on the mark in calling the experts committee report, “useless,” and devoid of “anything substantial.” To put it polemically, the experts’ report is expertly useless and insubstantial for Executive decision making. In another breaking news, at the time of writing, the President has given his Ministers a take home exam – to study the Presidential Committee’s report and submit their views to him within seven days. What next? A straw poll at cabinet?    

The fact that the government is still not prepared to officially announce that it is not going to sign the agreement can only mean that it is looking for a way out of the hole that it has dug itself into. Isn’t it getting curious that Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena would take a call from the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but doesn’t want to tell the country that he duly informed Mr. Pompeo that the Sri Lankan government will not be signing the MCC agreement? Mr. Gunawardena has nothing to say to the country because he said nothing to the Secretary. 

For Mr. Pompeo and the Trump Administration, hopelessly stuck in the worst foreign policy record for any American government, getting an agreement with Sri Lanka would be a tiny feather in a badly crushed cap. President Rajapaksa could also claim that as the new head of a new Sri Lankan government, he could reach a new agreement with the American Administration which is not the same Administration that unilaterally terminated the MCC negotiation in December 2007. Whichever way the government wants to pivot, giving the political explanation to the people is best left for Prime Minister Rajapaksa. Wimal Weerawansa has apparently told the media that he would “not spend another day in this government” if it signed the MCC agreement. There cannot be a more positive incentive for the government to sign the agreement.  

As for the economy and the constitution, they are not the friendliest of bedfellows. Embarking on constitutional changes will be a massive distraction to the urgent and the total attention that the economy demands of the government at the present time. But the government seems to be gung ho about the constitution and less so about the economy. While the economy doesn’t need a two-thirds majority in parliament, or even  a simple majority in crisis times such as now, constitutional changes will require a two-thirds majority in good times and in bad times, and even more – a referendum for certain changes. 

And while the constitution is all about politics, the economy will need dedicated work. Does this mean the division of labour at the summit will result in the constitution being looked after by the Prime Minister, and the President minding the economy? Such a separation of powers and functions will not be without problems, because the President is only the head of the cabinet while its entire trunk resides in parliament. And the Prime Minister is also the Finance Minister. 

The campaign for a two-thirds majority may not catch fire if the economy is not fired back to some semblance of pre-Covid normalcy. Asking the people for a two-third majority when they are hurting without jobs and without income, may prove to be counter productive. At the least, it will be prudent for the government to assure the people that it will not initiate constitutional changes until the economy turns around. That might be a long wait, even the entirety of the presidential first term, given how things are. People will not tolerate if government leaders were to suggest that the country needs a new constitution to sustain the economy.           

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Latest comments

  • 16
    2

    For me personally, denying the SLPP their two-thirds majority is the great priority. It is claimed here that distortion of COVID-19 data is going to be the Trump Card of the Rajapaksas:
    .
    https://www.lankaenews.com/news/3234/en
    .
    The first thing that all of us voters should know is who all the candidates are. The most user-friendly blog I have discovered so far:
    .
    https://cmev.org/2020/05/21/nomination-list-of-political-party-and-independent-groups-parliament-general-election-2020/
    .
    But from it one can’t find out the Preference Numbers of the candidates. For that, one has to go to the gazette notification:
    .
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_WM7t8QKipCOiHVOwuVC5NZ4XGolDQ2i/view
    .
    However, beware that because not only are all the candidates listed (in Sinhalese alphabetical order within each group), but also all the polling stations, it runs into more than five hundred pages. I have downloaded them all, less than three megabytes in PDF.
    .
    Intelligent democratic voting means studying all the possibilities, although one need study only what is on offer in one’s own District. I find that far too many voters are ignorant that this time you’ve got to take your own ball-point pen (colour?) and mark first a cross for the group of their choice. Memorising the preference numbers of the candidates of your choice is not essential.

    • 16
      1

      Dear Mr SM,

      Would the voters be aware that MaRa had already 2/3 mandate also during that 2005-2015 terror period. And why would they ask against 2/3 ?

      From what I collect my info through WHASTUP and other sources, it seems, people behave as if they are memory losers on this topic.

      Following video clips will reveal you guys lot more abou tthe need of standing a
      gainst RAJAPKASHES for a better future.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvrh0lu2IRU

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUKHSf29HBg
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_SMHOeBfa4
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flkEC33WRxo

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4lmw65Fceo
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUS8BKLkoi0

    • 12
      0

      Dear All,

      those who want to see it right.. please listen to what ICC has to say about our former minister – Aluthgamage is one of the most abusive men of Rajapakshe clan.
      .
      https://www.icc-cricket.com/media-releases/1707472

      • 8
        0

        Thanks, leelagemalli.
        .
        I don’t know how you find the time for all this, but you’re performing a great service to our society. I listened to all the Youtubes and mad comments there on the contents therein.
        .
        Most of the Youtubes were in Sinhalese, but my comments were in English. We must not over-estimate what we say in English, but from Europe, you are contributing much to our society by identifying all this material in Sinhala. I’m hoping that intelligent listening to all this by young Sinhalese people will make a significant difference to the final outcome of the social changes that find expression in the Elections.
        .
        In this country, it is the Sinhalese-speaking public who really matter, not us! If only we, who in certain senses, are “minority voices”, understand that we should respect all that is good in our Sinhalese traditions, we will be able to contain the growth of this monstrosity that we now call “Sinhala_Buddhism”.

        • 10
          0

          Dear Mr SM,
          thank you. You always encourage me. That means me a lot.
          I find my time yet today amidst being caught by very tight schedules with my own job related stressful agendas. Sometimes, I sleep only 4 hours a day since I try to add my posts to this and other platforms on a regular manner.
          :
          . It has been my passion for the last 7 years. As lately added to you somewhere else, I am also scared of my life – but I dont think they could hunt me and make a soup out of my bone and flesh to the manner they did it with that young rugby player who was caught by their brutalities.
          The mother of Wassim Thadjudeen should be going through the torments of the tantalus regarding the justice. I can feel the pain of such mothers though I am physically not living down there.
          :
          I want you too be very careful – whatever you do in the days to come- please take good care of you Mlechcha Rajapakshe tactics will hurt anyone standing against them.. If anyone woudl do any kind of hurt to you – people like me would not stay inactive anyfurther. Our fight would become even more stronger. I wish all the youth would get the message across, so that they would stand against the Rajakashes and their criminals men.

    • 4
      0

      PART ONE
      .
      Now with seventeen comments displayed, this is my view from the Badulla District, for which I have got the assessment of one of the rare, knowledgeable, objective guys who is involved in the game, but is untouched by corruption. Do such guys exist? Yes. To what extent can “Sinhala_Man” (aka Panini Edirisinhe, NIC 483111444V) be relied on to tell the truth? Exercise your judgement relying on what I have been saying in the past.
      .
      In August 2020, the Badulla District will elect Nine Members. If you really want to see what happened on 17 August 2015, when this District elected only eight members, go here, where the results for all Districts are given:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Sri_Lankan_parliamentary_election
      .
      I don’t recommend that you waste your time on that.
      .
      This is what is being predicted for next month: the SLPP of the Rajapaksas, 6 seats. The SJB, symbol Telephone, led by Sajith Premadasa: 3 seats. The Jathika Jana Balawegaya (NPP), referred to us as the JVP – will get a few votes, but no seats in this District. A vote for them may contribute to their getting one seat on the National List. This is unfortunate, but true.

      • 6
        0

        Dear SM,
        .
        You added above that ” This is what is being predicted for next month:” I beg to differ. The election results this time would not be similar to that of 2015. Whole lot of people today believe GoRa, MaRa and BaRa are all idiots and cant do what they preach on the political stage. I believe, there are lot more among the silent majority of people, that would support SP and JVPrs.

        I really dont think people are stupid as appeared to be. Not a single pledge is fullfilled as pronounced on the election stage in Nov 2019; I really dont think people would vote for SLPPrs.
        :
        I believe, there are a significant silent majority in the coutry today that would not respect Rajapkshes and his criminal men (Jonsten Fernando, Rohitha Abeygunawardhana, Udaya Gonthadipila, Wimal Buruwanse and the lot…):
        :
        I also collect my own Data through WHATSUP and other sources, many today believe that GOTLER as a leader is not all its cracked up to be. Only a smaller portion would go after him and his PSEUDO wiyathmaga filled with alleged criminals such as Dr Gorakahewa et al.

        • 5
          0

          Dear leelagemalli,
          .
          I hope that your assessment turns out to be more accurate than mine. Certainly, you are doing all that you can to make it possible for the SJB to be victorious.
          .
          My tendency to be optimistic is tempered by my interpretation of the results of the Presidential Election. It is not the fact that Gota won that disappointed me, but that he won on the first count. So few used their Preferences, although there was such a range of candidates available.
          .
          There is little to indicate that voters in Sri Lanka set about their job seriously. I’m glad that I gave my estimate; I try always to be clear and unambiguous in what I say. I hope that those who know other parts of the country well will also stick their necks out and make predictions for their areas.
          .
          As for the Badulla District, and even more for the entire island, I hope that I’m proved wrong!

          • 4
            0

            Dear Mr SM,
            hope you are keeping well.
            .
            Thanks very much. Yes, unlike in Europe, the voters would not even think twice before going to use their vote. I really dont know why the media do not seem to improve the awareness of the people going an extra mile. May well be, there are hidden forces that stand on their way not allowing them to do the job in favour of the people.
            .
            I am glad NOW you are back to the usual frequency/tempo with your regular comments/posts. Your inputs to this and other articles are indispensible to my understanding. If a dozen of retired professionals could add their thoughts to the manner you are upto – the outcome would have been huge !. General knoweldge of the people in Europe is very high. I have met myself early and late septagenarians that cover all facets when taking part in day today chats.

            I will definitely come and see you oneday soon when I will next travel to srilanka. That I will add to my agenda ahead of me. There I also want to know you in person. I am going to help out a home for the aged – or houses where elderly people live in Cmbo. There you could also join me. What do you make of the following video clip ?

            • 4
              0

              Dear Mr SM,
              .
              I wonder why MaRa cant see it right yet even you the kind of retired professionals always come with unbiased thoughts. MaRa is now in his mid seventies. He should be feel like ” enough is enough”, now he should better focus on his later day life – having served two terms to the nation.
              I agree with CBK – today than any times inthe past and I remember she was telling the world ” we worked for the people, now we should allow young leaders to do the job”.

              It is very true, that you had added somewhere that all “srilanken buddhagama followers” are not real buddhists. I agree with you more here since I myself felt this each time travelling back home. Even if almsot 99% of srilanken buddhagama followers are born to that religion – not many of them, incl. buddhagama monks (Sangayas)adhere to the basics of the buddhist teachings as Lord Buddha taught it. Today monks are being assaulted by remote regions of the country.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZpT7G176KA

              This video was caught by my regular surfs, but local media did not give that publicity to the video for some reasons. That is why I am telling you today, media is being caught by Basil Rajapkashe et al.

              • 2
                0

                Thanks, leelagemalli, for the videoclip.
                .
                The details enumerated here are terrible. There are psychopaths in every society, but there ought to be mechanisms in place to deal with all these incidents at the local police level.
                .
                I really am looking forward to meeting you.

    • 4
      0

      PART TWO
      .
      The system that we now have in place for electing MPs is better than the First Past the Post system that prevailed until J.R. Jayawardena changed it, around 1978. However it is still not exactly Proportional. It still somewhat favours the larger parties. That is inevitable. We voters can’t be simpletons, but there is little in purpose mastering all that is said here:
      .
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proportional_representation
      .
      I haven’t studied that in detail myself. Keep three things in mind: the Party winning a District on number of votes polled gets a bonus seat. Secondly, there is a 5% cut off point for representing a District. Votes received for the small groups are wasted unless that party has contested many other Districts and is entitled to a National List MP.
      .
      Thirdly, the snobbery and blatant unfairness of the English-speaking “elite” has led to the existence of a huge number of families which will never vote for any party associated with the colour green. They vote for what is seen to represent “the common man” – and today that has become the SLPP. It will benefit us if those stubbornly anti-greens turn red!

    • 2
      0

      PART THREE
      .
      The average voter does very little thinking; the young in most cases follow the family tradition, and while Sinhalese Youtube programmes are viewed by a few highly visible young people, don’t imagine that internet penetration is all that high, or that what is viewed has quality.
      .
      The way that communication has already changed, this inability for the erudite to get views across will keep shrinking. On the other hand, if you have authoritarian regimes they will be able to limit our access to “the truth”. Such regimes could last fifty years, and inflict permanent damage on a given society. We have to learn to live with these changes, which needn’t always be bad.
      .
      As for these elections, not even a single postal vote has been cast yet. Our individual actions can influence the outcome. For that, we have to act rationally and act together. I’m not so cynical as to believe our fate is sealed. Each of us can exert just a little influence beyond that of the solitary vote that we each cast. What I’m now submitting for your consideration is my modest effort.
      .
      Please think!

      .

  • 21
    2

    Wow, the murderous criminally horra boru aiya malli paiya combination as I suspected seems to be tattered not even 8 months after the ill-fated November 2019 poll.
    =
    The kallathoni of a so-called president knows nothing about the intricacies of a civilian government, being a well-reputed overseas experience gained COOLIE is totally dependent on his fellow like him war-criminal military dudes to assist him in running this sad sorry isle as an occupying till death do him part by-force military dictatorship.
    =
    The bull-shit talking aiya paiya does not and will not agree to this as if he allows it to happens the grandiose plans that he has carefully groomed to make his bogus lawyer of his eldest son to become the next big baba of this already sunk Kota Uda bankrupted by themselves the very soon to be dismembered rajapuka clan and their unsavoury cohorts.
    =
    The dreaded coronavirus a gift to the globe from the godfather China has arrived at the right opportune moment where the aiya paiya’s much dreamt 2/3rd electoral majority has now gone sailing with the wind and is now adrift and about to have a glorious demise or a right-royal sinking.

    • 4
      0

      rj1952
      .
      I don’t care who has approved your comment twenty times.
      .
      Your attitudes have alienated millions who are decent, non-English-speaking, poor, and born into Buddhist families. Totally unnecessary. It is damage that is very difficult to undo.
      .
      Such people are not Buddhist in the strictest sense of the word. I have not studied the Buddha Dharma. No time, and I was brought up in a different sort of family. However, I know enough to realise that study of the Dharma can bring more useful insights than the teachings of almost any other “religion”.
      .
      The eschatology that goes with “Buddhism” I regard as bunkum. Some of the art and architecture left behind by now forgotten sensitive individual artists (only their patrons, the kings, are remembered) is sublime. The monstrosities being put up by politicians are disgusting.
      .
      But you are even more disgusting. If you have left us for Australia, assimilate to life there. Leave us alone.
      .
      Lastly, please do not express yourself on a public platform in anything except chaste language.

      • 3
        0

        Dear Mr SM,
        .
        I think rj1952 will replace his wording next days.
        :
        At least I hope so. But I still respect the contents of his posts. What we ve been facing today is nothing else – RAJAPAKSHE MAFIA-.

    • 4
      0

      Dear rj1952 / July 5, 2020 ,
      I agree with your posts but it is advisable to u replace your wording. Then you could outreach masses.
      Right at the moment Rajakashes seem to have their own problems within their family circles.

  • 9
    2

    Sinhala Intellectual governments are making pacts with Tamils from 1947, starting when they wanted Tamils to ratify the Soulbury constitution. They are implementing 13A for India from 1987. They are changing the constitutional head from EP to PM from 1994, for Sinhala Buddhists Modayas crowd. So now they are signing MCC from 2004 to America. Nothing is strange in that, anyway. What the possible game King’s government would play on MCC is, buck up America like this for some time. While doing that, they would make deal with China for a commission loan for $500M, and get China to do lousy work on Transport and digitizing the land deeds. & then they will laugh at America that it was trying to force them an unwanted loan, but they saved the country. When China finished Nuraicholai, it stopped working. When China finished Hangbangtota Harbor, China left a big rock in the harbor water and Lankawe had to pay $80M additional to create a way even small ships to come in. The Pahatu tower is not completed even after two years behind time. But China charged $15M on Lankawe for delay. China charged $280M for sanding delay penalty on the island reclamation contract. That was only for labor, because sand and rocks were given free by Lankawe.

  • 16
    0

    Rajan, like in medicine every issue has precipitating, predisposing, exacerbating causes. Once the disease is on course , all of the above need to be identified and addressed (if possible). Just treating the disease/symptoms alone will not solve it. You can apply the same to all economic,political, constitutional and even life issues. Remember MR prior to elections ,told my brother will be elected president, I will become PM, he then will hand over powers to be and we as family will live happily ever after. May be Aiya would have miscalculated Malli but family greed for power is real.These plans were in place prior to Tsunami , and they have managed to execute in full except for few self made astrological mistakes This included breaking up major parties, getting necessary trusted people on their side to go the work , getting control of media and the ability to create Shaffi like stories. For such plans huge amount of money is needed and hence came BR and rest (Cabral) in building up vast amounts of illegal money. What we have is a family mafia now in full control which our naive Lankans will never be able to get rid of , except for glimmer of hope ,where family greed and territory control leading to inner battle.(like in Mafia families) Otherwise say Good Bye to Lanka,

  • 11
    1

    The above comment are not just a wild speculation. People who know the history of great mafia families are aware how they sustained power by buying trust and support of locals with money and establishing rapport over years.(attending every family functions of peasants, and identifying them as part of family) Another example is Comrade (????) Putin. He as a former KGB Czar had his plan in motion post Glasnost/Perestroika. He was smart to realize with the end of cold war KGB was over. While in absconding he made his plans, got trusted KGB and , financiers into confidence and systematically executed his long term plans in such way, in between handing over power to his most trusted so that people do not get alarmed. He also made a pact with established conglomerates (for money and resources in return of monopoly and political favors) and highly powerful Mafia (used them to get rid of rivals and some of those financiers who helped but later was thought potential threats). With such resources and power now he is not only able to stage SHAM elections in his own country but influence elections of others. So much so Russians have given powers carte blanche for life. Russia has evolved from Tsar/Czar to comrade to Perestroika and now democratically (????) elected Czar. Politicians are getting smarter but people???Will Lankans learn

    • 4
      0

      Thanks, chiv, for not forgetting the land of your birth, and for all the intelligent observations you make to help us.

      • 2
        0

        I think Chiv currently lives in Brazil. Right at the moment, COVID patients lead in that country than any where else. However, the total ignorance of Brazil s president – people in that part of the world fell deeper.
        :
        https://apnews.com/8ceb44235a63dfb59da10f2ceffb9160

  • 4
    0

    Aiya-malli (elder brother and younger brother) Separation Of Powers has now become an interntal familiy comflict.

    Aiya consistently challenges malli about the presidency came into being because of Aiya’s voters. So, Malli has been caught by learnt submissive nature within a traditional srilanken family (not to stand against elder brother – primitive tradition of tribal folks) – always the younger would not go above the says of the elder. That is the tradition in that part of the globe. No matter, Aiya would continue ruining the nation to the very same JUNTA manner, his misadministration proved it to by 2015, younger brother (current president) has no other choice let his aiya to do what he thinks is right. This situation is comparable to a road bitch and traffic police officer (in the same time a regular customer of the bitch) would not go against the officer because he is a regular customer… got it ??? I doubt though.
    :
    And current men to ask for 2/3 of mandate for a better future, should be a joke when comparing the status of the MaRa ‘s govt (2005-2015) which was also blessed by 2/3 or more, but what they deliberartely committed was HIGH CRIMES.

    • 5
      0

      contd.
      2)Unarmed prisoners were gunned down to the manner Duterte did it with drug peddlers/consumers in Manila. The investigations never held on the high crime yet today. If started by GG govt, there ahd been various threats by MaRa men not to go continue them.
      .
      3)Lasantha Wikramathunga (Sunday Leader weekly news paper widely ciculated and accepted to be telling the truth- editor) was brutally murdreed by Rajapakshe family ( there are sufficient evidence to prove this) with numerous journalists were hurt and short dead. Many left the country for escape their lives. The successor Editor to the aforementioned paper left for the USA not being able to feel safe in the country. Nobody else, today presdient threatened her life.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIe6yVWiKn8
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHmio5i7NHI
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHmio5i7NHI
      :
      4)Entire world except SWAZILAND, BELARUS and ANGOLA stood against SRILANKA and the manner Rajapakse tyranny ruled the nation. It was then comparable to that of Mugabe in Zimbabwe.. and commonwealth nations stood stickly against Rajakshe tyranny. Rajapkashe was not allowed to hold his speeches at Oxford for the session he was then invited for.

  • 13
    2

    The way President Gotabaya acts quickly on militarising the country and the Prime minister Rajapakse’s long term goal of a permanent family rule are not matching and Mahinda started to feel that whether he made a wrong decision to bring his young military brother to the Presidency. Mahinda ‘s mouth is shut now and the way Mahinda’s long term friends like left oriented Vasudeva, Vitharane etc. uttering their frustration like blaming the Task Force on Eastern Country archeological comments by a member (monk) about the history of Tamils in Srilanka. Even Mahinda couldn’t stop Gota’s Sinhala only Srilanka policy. I am sure Mahinda is now against changing the constitution or getting two third majority in Parliament. Mahinda knows well that Sinhala only policy is dangerous to the country and his political goal. Even Karuna amman’s speech is a planned one to reduce the two third majority to the SLPP.

  • 15
    0

    The only way to curb these rascals is to have a strong opposition in Parliament, they should not be given ultimate powers to act above the laws, change the laws, or manipulate the laws. We should have checks and balances, and a have a restrictive barrier, to make sure our brothers in charge will not get too carried away with their powers. It seems there is no opposition anymore. I guess we have to thank Ranil Wickremasinghe for his shoddy leadership, and the weakness he has shown, that has resulted in these two brothers bickering in power, surrounding themselves with criminals willing to kill for them.

  • 11
    0

    Election result should be almost 50% to Pohottuwa and UNP; and the balance 50% to JVP, TNA and SJB. If not Mahinda will start buying SJB elected MPs for money to get 2/3. He has done it before and we already see people like Ravi Karunanayake and Dissanayake are already on the fence to fall into the lap of Mahinda.

    If we see the candidates we find that all the crooks are with Pohottuwa and UNP. It appears for all purposes SJB, TNA and JVP candidates are clean and educated.

    Its time to give a chance to SJB,TNA and JVP to form a government.

    • 5
      0

      Dear Buddhist01,
      .
      Your observation is spot on. It is best that we vote for the SJB as a group, but we must exercise care about the individuals to whom we give our preferences. How those voting in “Tamil areas” should exercise their franchise, I don’t pretend to know.
      .
      It is a secret ballot. Not every voter may have the freedom that we seem to have to talk about what we have done or are going to do. I hope that so many voters (non-English using, placed in vulnerable circumstances within the family units that so much dominate our society) will pay only lip service in public to candidates who make all sorts of personal promises.
      .
      I know that there are many villagers, especially the young, who will act independently – and in secret – within the polling booth. That said, I must tell you that analysis of the voting patterns at the 2019 Presidential Elections doesn’t allow optimism. We had a choice like never before with 35 candidates. Although AKD’s tally was significant, it should have been more. The votes seemed automatically to go to the two major candidates.
      .
      We will never know how many listed the preferences for which there was provision in the Presidential poll.

  • 6
    0

    “Politics for Aiyya and work for Malli”

    That precisely was the case earlier when Aiyya was President (Politician) and Malli was a top Bureaucrat (Defence Secretary). Malli had a Free hand to do whatever he wanted but he Knew his limits and even when Malli Crossed the Lines, Aiyya could easily correct the situation. Now, it is an Entirely Different Scenario with both Aiyya and Malli being Politicians with each having well defined Powers and Limitations, with Aiyya enjoying more Powers as PM than Malli as President, thanks to 19A.

    Being two different individuals with their own ideas, thinking and Plans, a Conflict of Interests is Sure to develop Sooner than Later. Where will that lead to? Will it be another Yahapalana? Lets hope, it is Not worse.

  • 0
    0

    “In 1960, following a hard-fought March election six months after the assassination of Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike, the people were tired of going to the polls for a second time in four months.”
    *
    I wonder what scale the author uses to measure tiredness.
    The polling rate was almost the same.
    Also the understanding between the SLFP and the parliamentary Left made a difference to the SLFP vote. The people were clearly tired of Philip G’s MEP and W Daha’s LPP.
    The voters rejected both as spoilers.
    If at all, voting was more enthusiastic in July than in March.
    Also the UNP’s communal line in its campaign accusing the SLFP of making a deal with the FP to divide the country did not produce results. That was out of sheer bitterness that the FP did not join the UNP in government.

    • 3
      0

      SJ,
      .
      hope you are keeping well. I missed your posts all these days.
      :
      I think voter turnout will be even less than 50% in July. There is a significant portion of silent majority that would not want Rascals be occupied in the parliament. Most of SLPPrs are alleged high criminals.

  • 1
    0

    Going from past trends, I believe that people (despite covid-19) with limited knowledge and awareness about the behaviour of SARS Cov-2 will still turn out in order to ensure an SLPP victory. It is difficult for ordinary people to see the difference between a war hero or strategist and a family project. If Nepal some years ago is anything to make predictions by, there would probably be a tussle for power from within the core of the family…but that will be many years still ahead..

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