16 November, 2018

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Bond Scam Report – President’s Trump Card Against The UNP? But Did He Act Prematurely?

By Vishwamithra

“Being deceitful gets you nowhere and telling half-truths will always backfire on you! Be careful who you hurt, it could ruin your life.” ~Quotes & Thoughts

Sirisena

The Bond-scam Report is the trump card any politician would like to have against his opponents. In a wildly chaotic political scenario, the Bond-scam Report was released by its authors, not to the public or Parliament, but to President Maithripala Sirisena. In rushing to make political capital out of a financial scam of severe consequence to his own government, Sirisena may have committed a political blunder that might entail more severe consequence to himself and his party, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). If it is true, the answer to that question requires careful consideration.

President Sirisena, after receiving the so-called Bond-scam report from the Presidential Inquiry team, decided to make a statement relating to the findings of the Report, without any assistance from the lawyers who would have advised him to be more careful when attempting to gain any advantage over his coalition partner, United National Party (UNP), the politic al party that was principally responsible for his victory in 2015. However, he may have been advised by some lawyers whose primary aim was to create a political turmoil instead of making amends to bring about a harmonious coexistence between the UNP and SLFP.

Playing politics with a report that could have political consequences is the prerogative of the party that is billed to gain such advantages. Yet, one has to go beyond the local government elections in which context these moves and countermoves are being contemplated and extended towards a satisfactory conclusion. Any politician who plays Politricks with an explosive issue after coming to power, especially against the backdrop of a coalition-governing structure, does it at the risk of losing credibility in the long-term footings. Whatever the substance of a Report that has been the outcome of a Special Presidential Inquiry, addressing publicly on an un-debated part or the whole of the said Report by any political leader who happens to be the person who has exclusive access to the Report, is not fair nor is it wise. The parliamentarians of the UNP, including the Prime Minister, who were not informed of this public statement by President Sirisena, might feel quite hopeless and doomed about this. That is the crucial blunder President may have committed, if he has done so.

However, the veracity of the assumption that what President committed was, in fact, a blunder, can be confirmed or denied, only in the event the SLFP and its contestants do well at the forthcoming local government elections. Many blunders have been committed by even great leaders. Mahinda Rajapaksa, albeit he does not belong to the ‘great leaders’ category, made a monumental blunder by opting to hold Presidential Elections before it was due. Expressing his views, before the Bond-scam Report was released to Parliament, falls into the classification of ‘jumping the gun’. Political moves and countermoves are, more often than not, are made on instincts of leaders whose allegiance to power they hold overshadows long-term effects of such decisions. The clever ones make calculated decisions which would have either suppressing effects on the people under whose name those decisions are purported to be made or benefiting results on both the country at large and its leaders.

Such clever ones, Sri Lanka had. Among them D S Senanayake and Dudley Senanayake loom large. Bother these leaders, father and son, though born to wealth and the local elite class, emerged as selfless political leaders who made timely decisions without any concern or care for personal loss or gain. If their badge was class and dignity, their inner craving was service of their people. Never resorting to using political power to enrich themselves and abuse it to punish their rivals, they made decisions of policy and programs, whether considered right or wrong by their peers, to suit the needs of the hour. Both believed in capitalistic economic structures and philosophies that had a human face and social justice. Some of their programs may have failed in the face of mighty opposition launched by their respective opposition gangs at the time, but never could any person point a finger of corruption and personal degeneracy as is manifestly visible in most of the politicians of today.

The difference between the father D S and son Dudley was, whereas D S could read the pulse of the people fairly well, Dudley was woefully deficient in that art and craft. The only other leader who could be mentioned with D S and Dudley is another leader of the UNP, J R Jayewardene. J R had a scientific approach to politics. His mastery of mathematical calculations in politics, sometimes, dictated his policy and philosophy. A greater student of history than D S and Dudley, J R made his political calculations with the patience of a crafty tiger approaching a kill of an unprepared antelope. But when it came to reading the pulse of the people, especially the most underprivileged class, none could match R Premadasa. Premadasa’s world was different. However, his elemental desire to serve the déclassé was overpowered by an avaricious need for permanency in power- an unforgiving creed of all narcissistic authoritarians.

Against such a disjointed yet tradition-rich backdrop of historical facts, Ranil Wickremesinghe, the leader of the UNP which was once led by D S, Dudley, J R and Premadasa, is confronted with a dilemma. How can he respond to the public criticisms by his own President, who is in power mainly because more than 80% of the votes were delivered by his party, UNP. Observation of aloofness and decorum at this juncture is very much in need. Post-independence history reveals that all coalition governments suffer splits in three to four years. S W R D Bandaranaike’s Mahajana Eksath Peramuna regime, UNP/FP (Federal Party) government, Sirimavo-led coalition in the md-seventies, all had no more than a shelf-life four years. It is the nature political dynamics.

The marriage between Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe ended up in an uncomfortable living-together between the two most dominating political entities in modern Sri Lanka. United National Party and Sri Lanka Freedom Party are the two ultimate rivals in today’s political showground. While the UNP had been out of power since 1994, the SLFP has been in the unenviable status being in power, barring a short time in between 2001 to 2003, ever since, if one considers them to be an equal partner in the current government.

The average UNP supporter would estimate and gauge the intent and motivation behind the public utterances of the President only in that light. That again is the reason why I posed the question at the very outset of this column whether Maithripala Sirisena used his trump card in this game of political bargaining too soon. The UNP and its Ministers, in this short run of three years may have committed many a mistake; they may have been deficient in transparency and accountability which elements of government President Sirisena wants established and sustained. But the criminal corruption committed by the Rajapaksa regime is far too wide and more deplorable. Nevertheless, such lofty ideals and ideas like transparency and accountability may not have penetrated into the thinking and response of the average UNP supporter/voter. Rotting away in the Opposition benches for twenty long years is a good enough reason for them to safeguard the electoral gains they made both in Presidential and Parliament Elections in 2015. That alone is good enough to drive them to the polling booth on February 10, 2018. On the other hand the voter fatigue would set in against the SLFP which has been in power for more than two decades. All these elements would have their own inner propensities to lead a fairly manageable situation into a chaotic crisis.

If the current impasse reaches a critical mass, breaking down of a carefully put-together coalition is inevitable. Many a politician might end up without portfolios and new faces would replace them. A crisis of unmanageable proportion is no alternative to an inscrutable convergence of political parties which hold diametrically opposite views. However unstable, the present coalition should not be bartered for vitriol of short-term value. When the pillars fall, the structure and its roof would collapse in no time. That won’t leave any room or time for any one, big or small, right or wrong or good or bad to escape. The collapsing pile will bury whatever underneath it. That is the unkind truth about coalition governments. After the collapse of each coalition-government, the Opposition came to power. In 1960, 1970 and in 1977 it happened. History doesn’t tell lies. It only reveals them. We all will have to turn our searchlights inwards.

In The Discovery of India, Nehru writes thus: “A civilization decays much more from inner failure than from external attack. It may fail because in a sense it has worked itself out and has nothing more to offer…”  My earnest wish is that the current coalition government has not reached that frontier.        

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com                                       

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Latest comments

  • 6
    6

    Wait for another 10 days and you will have to write a different article explaining and analyzing two questions: 1. Why the hell people voted the Pohottuwa (flower bud) so overwhelmingly? 2. What went wrong with the Yahapalana duo?
    My3pala says one thing at public rallies and a watered down version of the same that favors RanilW to UNP. RanilW confirms it and his men say My3 has been compelled to do so in order to stop his SLFP from being in the 4th place. MahindR doesn’t have to do much because he has already shown to the people he is capable of doing anything whether it is good or bad. There is a consensus among the people that MahindaR has a team and MahindaR is real result oriented doer. Even Western leader and India agree.
    People will decide whether they need a lethargic and contradictory duo or a result oriented leader!

    • 7
      2

      GEMA: Mahinda Rajapakse is good because, Ranil screwed up every thing. Otherwise, do not forget Mahinda Rajapakse had 128 (minimum Relative Rajapakses) to protect and make fat. Mahinda Rajapakse did not get prosecuted does not mean he was not another like Ranil who instigated thefts, scms, robberies. They both are ALIBABAS. So, people are stupid if they vote UNP or SLPP. I think Independent, JVP and thirdly SLFP should be voted. If president is strengthened he may get rid of thieves in his party. Ranil is an experienced thief. MY3 is a born buddhist and he is very patient. Ranil supports thieves, rapists and criminals. Mahinda Ra is also initially anglican and now Catholic mixed.

  • 6
    0

    My3 rushed the process creating the commission based on the emotional feelings of the public and hoping to get a trump card through the report.
    He did not get what he thought he was getting but he was blinded by his own ambitions and again rushed to make public statements without properly understanding the report or getting sound advice.

    The report shows a lot of unethical practices but did any of it amount to breaking the law? The report itself states that new laws are required as there were none to protect the public interest and it goes on to say further investigation is required and that should cover the previous decade which means Mahenderan followed CB stand operating practices.

    This is not the first time My3 has messed up and now he is trying to put the blame on the UNP. Until the constitution is changed and the executive presidency removed the buck stops with him.

    He has been in politics through out his life. Held the portfolio of key ministries but when opportunity struck him he was not ready or competent.

    “To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

    ― Winston S. Churchill

    • 4
      3

      BURT THE CARTOON CHARACTER: You anglican tamils want Ranil and the gang because he is going to ORUMITHTHA NADU and to say 7% of christians are equal to 70% of buddhists. Ranil is planning to make a new govt after the election with TNA and SLMC. President trusted Ranil that was the only mistake he did. As a buddhist he is slow to chase out Ranil. Actually President did his best by dissolving the govt without letting first COPE report to be released which resulted scam of another Rs 40 billion. PTL has spent Rs one billion to shread the document. I”f president supports Ranil, he should be prosecuted for cooperating with thieves.

      • 3
        2

        Dimwit:
        You should really be writing in Sinhala otherwise you will always be all over the place without making any sense.

  • 2
    0

    All what these people do is trying to keep power ..
    Ranil
    MR
    And M&s.
    What they have done ?
    Helped corrupt and looters of public funds.
    MR gave a lot of jobs for unqualified people from top to botoem at expsens of national interests ..
    Whither Sri Lanka?

  • 3
    2

    vishvamithra: what you are writing shows you do not know what you are talking. Why Lawyers should ask MY3 to make turmoil between UNP and SLFP. It is for some time they were talking about how to face the election. UNP was trying to devide SLFP in order to gain advantage. So, some how created SLPP and SLFP. Now the Presiden’t lethargy is he doe snot know what is really happening. He is in the Dark. Ranil has ruined the country, Yahapalana govt and the UNP. Sirikotha did not have money to face the election. before the last election. It is some Global Tamil forum, some ministers in UNP had given money. Now in this local govt election, they have given a international Advertising agency that works in Sri lanka too, A advertising contract worth Rs 150 million. How did they get that money. In a NEwspaper some one has written an article that UNP is preparing to make a new govt with TNA and some SLPP members. Sri lanka had the incumbent prime minister engaged in the worst and biggest finacial scandle in the Sri lanka history. Yet he saus he did not do anything and he is not stepping down. On the other hand, there is no one in the parliament who brings a NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION against PM. Yet there are so many ministers who says that President should be impeached and are threatening the president. SO, THERE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS IN SRI LANKA. EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT CANNOT FIRE THE PM WHO GOT CAUGHT IN THE WORST FINANCIAL SCANDLE. BUT THE PRESIDENT CAN BE REMOVED BY THE CORRUPT PARLIAMENT. PResident did not release the names of the 35 ministers/Mps who are accused in the scandle. IT looks the whole parliament is busy getting into power and staying in power. there are many scandles in the open but no one talks about it because the journalsits are dumb and biased. See the news that Rajitha Senarathe has given ANNUAL CAR PERMTIS TO DOCTORS, Telephone allowance of Rs 8000 (what for). I think you are writing for the money from the advertising contract.

  • 2
    0

    This election is important for any party, they can claim voters accepted their policies. If People VOTE UNP they are worst TRAITORS in Sri lanka. Because Ranil instigated the worst financial frauD hither to known in Sri lanka. they have sold the country to IMF/MCC and Sri lanka is almost closer to the no way coming back or to the threashold. Sri lanka is bought by a foreign country after which Sri lanka is some one else’s all the people work for them.

  • 1
    1

    The article clearly demonstrate the level of anxiety that the backers of the great yahapalana fraud is suffering. Because they know what they try to prop up is a fraud. They are terribly scared that the voters will correctly identify it and treat it as such……a fraud.

  • 2
    0

    Very few have understood the present electoral map. Bond scam or not it is 70+20+7+3. That is on 10th of Feb. the UNP will come 30% in the pocket that is Tamil 20 Muslim 7 Christian 3. Even at at a future presidential election this will be the scenario.Tamils will not forget what MR and GR did to them for at least 50 years and Muslims will not forget Aluthgama and Beruwala for a minimum of 10 years. Future presidential election results will be on where the minorities are. For example look at the Eastern province Jan 2015 presidential vote. MR got less than 10% . Hardcore UNPers will never abandon the party even if the coconut is Rs.200.

    • 1
      0

      UPALI: for minorities, country moving to bankruptcy ans thefts are not a problem. they want Orumitta Nadu and Nasirishthan. What does christians look for.

      • 1
        2

        Jim softy

        The country has been travelling at speed of sound to hit the bottom since 1948 and broke the sound barrier in 1956. The members of the majority were in control of the destiny of the country, namely the primemisnisters, presidents, finance ministers, defense ministers, almost all the key functionaries, armed forces, ……………..

        What nonsense are you talking about?
        I suggest you take plenty of rest, take your hands off your willy, eat lots of salad, have a spoonful of honey everyday, listen to good music, …. meditate, start yoga, ………………. failing spend spell in the jungle, should do you good.

        • 0
          0

          LOL

        • 0
          0

          Native Vedda: Remember you guys shot and killed foreign minister Kadiragamar. Tamils are good at self-sabotage.

      • 1
        0

        Christians look for freedom to practice their religion This can be guaranteed only in a free enterprise system where the State is subject to the same Rule of law as the people.
        The free enterprise system is also the only form of economic organisation to ensure economic development and the elimination of poverty although not inequality. Inequality of incomes with greater reward for those entrepreneurs taking risks is the essential feature of a market economy. But it must permit private ownership of economic resources which breeds inequality since the savers could accumulate wealth.which produces higher incomes by way of interest or profits.
        RMB Senanayake.

        • 0
          0

          RMBS: English is a language that could be understood by many of the CT readers.
          Please use simple, uncomplicated English.

          In short what do you mean by the short composition above?

          Do you think that with the corruption, cronysm, sale of boys and girls since 1977,drugs, murder the economy and the social justice you refer to could be achieved?

        • 0
          0

          There has been no impediment Christians practising their religion in SL. Unethical conversions by using Christian NGO funds to exploit poverty stricken villages is abhorrent and should be denounced by all right thinking Christians. Those nasty practices in the name of God is tainted and is absolutely corrupt.

      • 2
        0

        Dimwit:
        Who does not enjoy watching dominoes fall?
        Free loaders should be really concerned as debt is choking them.

        Sri Lanka’s triple curse:
        Fake Buddhists.
        Politicians.
        Free Loaders.

      • 2
        0

        Dimwit:
        “What does christians look for”
        Not any of this:
        “Buddha statues, copies of the Quran, copper foils engraved with Rathnamali Gatha are among the bribes in kind provided to electors by various candidates contesting the Feb 10 local government polls, says the elections monitor Peoples’ Action for Free and Fair Elections (PAFFREL).”
        LOL

      • 0
        0

        Jim s,

        As 70% are Buddhists they are expected to voluntarily give what the minorities are asking if not they will be considered selfish and will suffer in samsara and not attain
        nibbana the supreme state of bliss. Ethnic problem exist because there are no Buddhists here but so called Buddhists.

  • 3
    2

    It is feasible that the writer may be getting part of the Rs 150M allocated by RW for his Goebbelsian propaganda campaign…….

  • 4
    1

    Viswamithra your argument is so unethical and expedient.

    What you are saying is that everything is subject to political interest and especially to the interest of Ranil W.

    So even the laws, investigations etc must be done to suit political needs of who ever. A major crime is committed (Bond scam)A commission is appointed. Its report must only be used in a political way .

    There is a thing called due process, democracy, transparency and good governance.

    We must not let sick minds like Ranil and Visvamithra pollute these things

    • 3
      2

      Vishvamitra is a worshipper of evil.
      Soma

      • 2
        2

        somass

        “Vishvamitra is a worshipper of evil.”

        Are you sure Vishvamitra is a worshiping you?
        I don’t think so.

      • 0
        1

        Somakka, Vishvamtra is a re-birth of Tisaranee, like Tisaranee, Visva cannot write a single article without bringing up the hate of Rajapakshas, Vishvamithra is carrying a Rajapaksha hate through Sansara, one has to be sorry for this poor soul, hatred consuming its innards.

    • 2
      0

      Every thing in Srilanaka is politics and is for personal gains.Take for example Azath Sally. he will not hesitate to sell himself to the highest bidder as long as it serves his personal glory. If I remember right he has ’embraced’various political parties but it appears the parties concerned did not embrace him that much, knowing his swings.
      When he was the Deputy Mayor,, on his invitation two of us went to meet him over an issue of cheating relating to our apartment complex, where the developer was supposed to be present. But the developer was not present. MR.Azath Sally appeared to call the developer over the phone in our presence and pretended to talk to him when in fact no body was at the other end. There after he informed us that he will call the developer on an another day and talk with us. This never happened.. It is evident from his smile, that, he will smile and while he smile he will cut your hearts. Unfortunately he is being prominently displayed in an electronic media- the reason GOK (God Only Knows)

  • 1
    0

    President MS challenged party leaders at a recent political rally to debate the Bond Commission report and the PRECIFICS report before the LG polls. He said they would not dare to do so since there exists a ‘rogue alliance’ of thieves, scared of the debate. That’s why they decided to take it up after the polls President further added.
    There are only two persons constitutionally allowed to convene parliament under special circumstances: PM or President. If President challenges, he does so to PM. Therefore, PM was compelled to make a decision and set the debate for Feb 8 and 9. MR disagreed and wanted a date before Feb 7. True; nobody would otherwise know what the outcome of the debate is due to electoral prohibition of publicizing/disseminating election related news after the midnight Feb 7. As a result, the date has been changed to 6 & 7.
    Now a real issue has emerged. How would MS’ SLFP ministers face the debate; will they attack PM and UNP. Will the PM and UNP attack SLFP and MS’s ministers? If they do so, how would it affect their unity government after LG polls? If MR’s Pohottwa wins a majority, don’t you think that Yahapalana alliance is kaput.

  • 1
    1

    ‘Baiya’ UNP!!

    Did you guys see the video clip put out by the UNP called ‘ Baiya’.

    Aptly describes the party though it was meant for Mahinda Rajapakse. So funny.
    He! He!

  • 4
    0

    It appears that Maithree has been pushed to the wall. He is in a do or die mission. Hence, unless he show the people that he means business he will drown in his own shit.

  • 0
    0

    In the melee, the opportunists are at work.
    The Russian freighter has been bought – no one knows whether it is new or second hand!
    Cabinet approved the Bambalapitiya Flats redevelopment to be ‘entrusted’ to a certain person
    Emergency fertiliser import – watch out what else is there in the containers!
    Emergency rice import
    and so on.
    We are NOT short of people of integrity – we do not have any!

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