19 September, 2020

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Chandrika The Bomb

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

A question was asked from the former president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, during his final breakfast meeting with media heads last year. ‘Who is your real opponent, Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickremesinghe or Chandrika Kumaratunga?’ He did not hesitate in responding: ‘Chandrika!’

This became lead story in all newspapers the following day. The headline in almost all newspapers was ‘Chandrika is my real opponent!’ or else versions of that same line. What happened next is interesting.

The Maithripala Sirisena campaign quietly sidelined Kumaratunga. It must be remembered that it was this lady who flanked Sirisena when he announced his presidential bid. Many who were close to Candidate Sirisena expressed the view that she did more harm than good. Her entire speech was full of invective and littered with revenge-intent, quite in contrast to the campaign theme (Maithree-Paalanayak or ‘Compassionate Governance’). Perhaps it was hard to flush the bad news down the toilet at the time, but Rajapaksa’s assertion tipped the scales, so to speak. She was essentially restricted to Gampaha. The fact that she could not even deliver the ‘ancestral seat’ of Attanagalla speaks volumes of her political worth.

Maithri-Ranil-ChandrikaOn the other hand, after declaring that she was his true opponent, Rajapaksa focused on attacking Sirisena. Had he succeeded in turning it into a Mahinda vs CBK affair, he may have fared better, one can speculate.

The fact is the Chandrika is bad news for whoever she supports. It is fashionable these days to tag ‘corruption’ to anything associated with the Rajapaksas. Yes, not just corruption but thuggery, abuse of power etc., etc. It makes sense if it is a matter of defeating a Rajapaksa-led coalition of course, but if one stands back and does not pretend to have been born after 2005 then one must concede that the dark days began long before Mahinda Rajapaksa became President.

Not only did Chandrika do nothing of significance during the 11 years she was President, her reign was marked by absolute incompetence in managing the economy, unprecedented election violence (remember the Wayamba Provincial Council Election), political victimization, harassment and murder of journalists (remember the ‘Satana’ editor, Rohana Kumara?) and of course a cluelessness about dealing with the LTTE.

Victor Ivan called her චෞර රැජින (‘Chaura Regina’ or ‘Thieving Queen’). Diehard UNPers and even the holier-than-thou JVP would feel embarrassed to talk about the CBK-days, but a short visit to the National Archives would help unearth all they had to say about the lady before Ranil and Anura Kumara Dissanayake saw her as ally as per the classic thesis ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’.

Political parties have to weigh relative merits against relative demerits. There are costs and these are checked against possible benefits. This is why, perhaps, Sirisena came to the party almost clinging to Chandrika’s sari-pota and this is also why he dispatched the lady to Horagolla not long afterwards. He would have sensed that she is a liability. He probably was savvy enough to figure out that what politicians might forget (and forgive) the electorate may not.

Today, more than six months after the Presidential Election, the euphoria of the ‘venasa’ (change) is but a distant memory. Sirisena came with promises. The delivery van after some hopeful spluttering came to a halt not too long after. His ‘abdication speech’ essentially delivered the SLFP vote base to the man he ranted about and whose defeat he sorely needs, Mahinda Rajapaksa. The UNP might believe that the January 8 result (and all the votes) were green in color, but that’s wishful thinking. The flak for all that was not done after January 8 (20th Amendment, Right to Information Act, Code of Conduct for MPs) and what was done (the Central Bank bond scam) got credited, nevertheless to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party simply because Sirisena took a back seat during the period. So when Ranil says ‘Chandrika will return and some bombs will explode’ he is showing desperation.

There are bombs that Chandrika can explode. She did toss some grenades (as we mentioned) and they almost wrecked Sirisena’s face. This time, if we go by her now obvious party preferences, she will be closer to Ranil than Mahinda. No prizes for guess who is more likely to get hurt. The point is, Chandrika does not carry bombs with her. She doesn’t need to. She’s one.

Politics in Sri Lanka, then, is a strange game. For years, Ranil was Mahinda’s best friend and vice versa. Chandrika could have been Mahinda’s best friend but he didn’t market it right, as explained above. Ranil needed Mahinda to split the SLFP and perhaps this is why he was slothful in investigating the wrongdoings of the previous regime. It didn’t help that his buddies were busy making bucks using connections of course but that’s another story. Sirisena and Ranil were friends and still are one supposes, but Sirisena in trying to affirm loyalties played into Mahinda’s hands.

Chandrika thought Sirisena was a friend and believed that he would somehow ensure that Mahinda would not get nominated. He read it all wrong. She was peeved. She left in a huff. Ranil thinks Chandrika is a friend and has been since Mahinda effectively turned her from a Somebody into a Nobody in 2005, but she is his worst enemy.

One thing about her, though. She adds color. She makes things interesting. It’s more fun when she’s around than when she’s absent.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    6

    Sing for your supper Malinda boy sing and cry as much as you want about Mahinda and his greatness but wahtevere you do please dont try holding Mahindas hands or fingers to be precise as that will get you a thundering blow from MR ;-)

    • 16
      6

      Malinda,

      CBK came out from her retirement and unseated MR from Presidential seat and put MY3 on presidential seat. She came, she delivered and went back.

      now stop making boru/pada shows against CBK. -:)
      she defeated you gang sqaure and fair. Call it a day and go home spend time wiht your children. ::))

  • 3
    5

    What she really need is a hair-cut, face-lift, slimming and a long retirement. In fact, both ex-presidents should do so!

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

    • 1
      1

      Peronal attacks by idiots of low grade – that are the plenty in uncivilized world such as of ours

  • 13
    2

    This man MS should see it right let alone today. Sirisena emerge is not only through CBK but there were over 40 civil society groups woke against MR regime. Malinda is said to have graduated from Harward – should have the inteligence to know as to why that many people got together to defeat MR.
    MR is a born fool who can easily be decieved by low grade sooth sayers. He cant even hold a speech focusing all grieving facets. Let s listen to Prez Sirisena, his speeches are the best- i really dont think anyone with a brain would say that he is a fool compared to MR. MR could fulfil his best during the last 5 years after the war is over, but artists like Jackson Anthony and others few made out of him a KING. So MR thought he is a really king and just fall down everything including people s basic rights. Malinda as one the most biased but partial to MR would repeatedly bring articles against RW, My3 and CBK but never against anyone belong to the MR henchman category. This kind of journalists are plenty in Rajapaskeh made country – but the chances them to stay in very same unethical manner will last not that long. God save our motherland.

  • 6
    9

    Colombo Elite, Anglicans and even the Vellalas love her to death now.

    Who else can pull it off for them,going by the anti Yahapalana mood in the country.

    Whisky Madam should start her tour of duty by visiting the queues of our slightly better off Dalits waiting under the brain cooking Sun, at both ends of our great Mahinda Southern Express way.

    And the Madam I am sure will even get a rousing welcome.

    • 9
      0

      /Colombo Elite, Anglicans and even the Vellalas love her to death now./

      Yeah, you would say this. She was one of the main architects of Mahinda’s downfall.

  • 8
    0

    Most of the Sri Lankan senior politicians hail from aristocratic families and think that the Country and the governance belong to them. Voting patterns have confirmed that belief with people from such families obtaining very high percentages of preference votes.

    This phenomenon had created bad precedents for the country. On the one hand politicians boast that their kitHs & kins have ruled the country historically and they have a right to rule as they wish. On the other hand rest of the voters have lost the self belief that they can also become rulers of the country.

    IT IS HIGH TIME THAT WE AS VOTERS SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO SUCH PEOPLE THAT THE CRITERIA FOR ELECTION IS THE CAPABILITY AND NOT FAMILY HISTORY.

  • 11
    2

    Malinda:
    Read your column for amusement and wasn’t disappointed.

    Casting around for straws are we? Who did you support in the “Chandrika years?” Ranil Wickremesinghe and whatever opposition there was to her and her (now) reprehensible conduct?

    • 6
      3

      Emil van der Poorten

      “Malinda: Read your column for amusement and wasn’t disappointed.”

      If one is constipated it is better for one to read column by Malinda, Dayan Silva, MAHINDA’s-pala to name a few. It gives a loose motion, apart from amusement!

  • 15
    2

    Oh Malinda, the MR whitewasher, still has hopes of his master returning and now trying to run down Chandrika. The talk of the town, today, is MR and how many preferential votes he could gather, whether he could top the UPFA list in Kurunagala. Further, which back bench would be he assigned in the parliament as UP A’S defeat is imminent. What a shame to President for 10 years and now return to parliament as New ordinary opposition M.P.
    Why Doesn’t Malinda think of this scenario to unfold soon.?

  • 12
    3

    Malinda’s emergence out of that closet is now here for all to see. Gone are the wishy-washy ‘neither here nor there’ attempts to hoodwink the readers as to his objectivity. Now it’s ‘Mahinda’s my man’ time!

    And although he states that “Mahinda effectively turned her from a Somebody into a Nobody in 2005”, he forgets that it was Chandrika who made Mahinda into a ‘somebody’ when she saved him from the Tsunami Robbery and made him effectively the leader of the party.

    Whatever Chandrika was is irrelevant at present, what she did in the present context in contributing to the emergence of Maithripala and his coalition is what is important and helped with the eviction of Malinda’s ‘main man’.

    And that, Malinda, is worth its weight in gold for the majority of our citizens (hard as that may be for you to swallow).

    • 1
      1

      Those who have let their brain cells to wander to the backside – only write the kind of article, if I am honest. Towards end of last year, during my visit paid to my parents, I was so fed up of being helpless looking at the manner that people were compelled to kneel down Rajapakshes. I had no spit left to throw on this posters that were displayed almost every half meter in the colombo city. WHose moneies the bugger abused, higly wasted if not those of tax payers – even Rajarata nepro patients to let die that way, leaving them without proper medication – were all connected to the huge wastages of the sums collected for their family benifits rather than those of the nation in general. There, Rajapakse will never be able to pay them back tothe nation. Just because his term together with the collectiveness of all forces and civil organisation, the war against the LTTErs were eleminated. There people will respect him to some extent, but no the educated would see it right when he abuse the nation to the manner he did upto 8th Jan – if I am very honest. Today, even JPVers can take the lead to bring this country a properous nation. Even UNP or any other young leaders can work on the development projects. For that matter, Rajapakshe should not be elected again. Hope majority folks would see it right this time, who will be the MPs of their choice … then the future will be much nicer for sure.

  • 8
    2

    With his need to talk about a ‘has been’, Malinda has proved he is no longer required even as top lapper. He has consigned himself to the dustbin of bankrupt journos. Of course after August 17th he will find solace in the Senile Club in Australia with Mahindapala.

  • 10
    1

    During the years he was President, his reign was marked by absolute incompetence in managing the economy, election violence, political victimization, harassment and murder of journalists, cronyism, nepotism, corruption, drug dealing, uncontrollable wastage, lack of accountability, militarisation of civil and diplomatic services, and of course a cluelessness about dealing with the BBS.

    Where were you at that time Malinda>? In the pockets of Maharajah???

  • 12
    1

    “It is fashionable these days to tag ‘corruption’ to anything associated with the Rajapaksas. Yes, not just corruption but thuggery, abuse of power etc., etc. It makes sense if it is a matter of defeating a Rajapaksa-led coalition of course, but if one stands back and does not pretend to have been born after 2005 then one must concede that the dark days began long before Mahinda Rajapaksa became President.”

    One does concede that “dark days” began long before 2005. But why continue the “dark days” into the future by bringing back Mahinda Rajapakse?

    Let’s try to shed some light in the future and for the future generations. One certainly wouldn’t want a Namal Rajapakse to charter the future of this country in our children’s time!

  • 3
    10

    Dear Mr Malinda Seneviratne

    i have no idea who on earth you are even though you carry a name almost the same as mine. let me tell you, that you are an excellent writer whose writings have been a pleasure to read.

    i am sure your articles will get responses of a most destructive kind as do mine. just ignore them as i do.

    you are doing an outstanding job. keep it up and dont be disheartened by the comments of a few who have nothing better to do than leave destructive responses. they are not with bothering with.

    Brian Senewiratne

    • 5
      3

      Brain

      There is vast different between you and Malinda.

      Malinda writes to the point and you write to glorify LTTE masters to collect penny for your supper.

      We have seen how independent of your writing for 30 odd years Mr Self-Claimed Bandaranayake!!!!!!!.

      By the look at the pot carefully if you could. See what finger that SL Pinna PM uses to Vanni Gamaya and the madam Whisky.

    • 1
      2

      Although I was impressed with your stance on minority issues and your critical views of successive government in SL re minority’s issue, this comments makes me to think that in SL, if not LTTE, at the least you want MR on power to make your hearth burning. This seems to highlight that your ilk and you have your work cut out if a good governance in SL were to take hold.

    • 4
      1

      Malinda, I’m sure you have the highest regard for Brian Senewiratne (same name and all!) and his writings!

      What a compliment!

    • 3
      1

      Mr Brian

      What about sincerity in a journalist? When your namesake was lapping the top of Robber Baron Rajapakse, his Lord and Master, particularly during the last six years of the regime, did you endorse that too?

    • 1
      1

      Comments of the few?

      Are you blind?

  • 6
    2

    Malinda

    “Chandrika does not carry bombs with her. She doesn’t need to. She’s one.”

    Well, Chandrika is at least a bomb. Whereas you are a [Edited out]

    • 5
      1

      Let me then be more charitable and less poetic:

      You are like the unfulfilled promise of a blank that occasionally escapes one’s exhaust chute.

  • 8
    2

    Malinda

    Hmm, she just adds colour, and she make things interesting….that makes interesting after she brought down MR’s empire with no drop of blood on the floor which he or his able shark loving brother never thought was possible.

    And, once she did that, she could have kept MS in her pocket, she didn’t do that. The fact she didn’t expect anything from MS in return or interfere with his decision, says a lot about her… about how much she cared about SL. To say she could flushed out what MR did to her is an insult for a person who put her live on line against a totalitarian who doesn’t care about the consequence of whatever nasty he does. What did she gained now by unseating MR? What we have gained as average citizens of SL. Even this is a good dose of medicine for MR and his gang even they re-emerged as winners, didn’t you think brother?. Do you think a defeated presidential candidate while MR holding the top position was able to have meetings or able to end up in a military court or a civil court?. You write all what you have been writing because you know it is not worth even being neutral at this point in time if MR and Co win in Aug. So, if you can, keep bluffing on…may be you would be rewarded some hansom dividend, fools that voters are. If nothing worked out, tall about sovereignty…My only fear is if grease devil would re-emerge again if…

  • 1
    2

    Hasn’t got the same impact like when you say it in Sinhala …” BOMBE”…

    • 2
      0

      Sumane

      you mean “duck”?

      Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not a bad guess mate.

  • 5
    1

    Dr Brian Senewiratne,
    You have been a bit hasty is supporting Malinda’s writing in castigating CB. That’s understandable knowing the ‘love’ you have towards your ‘niece’.
    But in supporting Malinda you have inadvertently supported his views about MR as well!
    Can you please confirm that you do.
    If not, I suggest that you write an addendum to explain your position in relation to MR to clear your good name.
    Best wishes Brian.
    Sara

  • 6
    1

    Why this venom…Mr.Malinda S ? Chandrika is a person with a decent upbringing and child of two illustrious parents. She has raised 2 intelligent and kind hearted children Yasodhara and Vimukthi who are keeping strictly away from dirty politics. Slandering her is so unfair. I do not carry a brief for any political person but feel that this article referring to Chandrika as a ‘bomb’ contains a tinge or more of hatred and ill-will coupled with ignorance – dwesha and moha – two defilements which the Buddha speaks about. Pinsalee.

    • 3
      1

      Srima,
      this has been Malinda s style since then.
      He covers all maraurders while attacking CBK and RW for some reasons.
      This man to have got his degree from Haward should be a great lie.
      May be her second term did not work as expected. But had CBK reacted, Mahinda would have hurt over 62 lacks of people of this country, even today. There, none of the lankens can call her as a BOMB.
      In the same time, this men to protect MR further is my question. Malinda Senviratne has proved that he is a biased journalists. May all right thinking bodies consider all the nature of Malinda when awarding him the next prize.. motherlanka will never praise of the kind of journalists.

    • 3
      1

      The “venom” is due to the desperation the MR acolytes are feeling as their time is drawing nigh. Anything goes these days for Malinda and his fellow writers who prefer the corruption, lawlesness, impunity and robbery to a more democratic and decent form of government.

      ‘Chandrika is a bomb’ is Malinda’s pathetic effort to badmouth Chandrika for her success in dethroning Mahinda.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Gamarala and others, Kindly listen.There is no doubt that Malinda, sister Ruwani Freeman, and parents Mr (retd CCS , English Special,a Unique Art Critique for 2 generations in Sinhala & English etc) and Mrs (deceased) Gamini Seneviratne writer and exceptionally talented English teacher at Royal College ,Colombo are all great writers and have brought fame to mother Lanka. The internet will prove what is written above.

    Mr SWRD B. , being of Indian Dravidian descent from the house of Pandara Nayakam Perumal, a Kapurala of Navagamuwa, knew the worthlessness of Sinhala Aristocracy so called.HE OPENED THE ERA OF THE COMMON MAN AFTER OBSERVING THE FOLLY,. Mr JRJ’s clan was also of Indian Dravidian origin…”Thomby” was the name of the ancestor; not a Muslim…read the D’Oyly’s diary published by the Royal Asiatic Society at the RAS at the Mahaweli Kendraya building( which stands opposite Mr Gamini Dissanayake’s STATUE … WHO WAS ONE OF the great politicians and greatest PATRIOTS WHO EVER LIVED IN SL AND WHO, ACCORDING TO EVIDENCE SET FIRE AND DESTROYED THE STATIC, UNMOVING, INNOCENT JAFFNA LIBRARY and father of the great brainy , always intelligent things speaking very bright NAVIN AND WHO ENJOYED MUCH BENEFITS FROM MR AND WHOSE MOTHER NEARLY WAS GOING TO BE MR’S HE the AMBASSADOR IN INDIA.) or at the National Archives near the Cinnamon Gardens Police Stn and the old Grand Stand of the CTC.Another 2 Aristocratic families so called were Sir Paul Pieris’ , Peiris Deraniyagala Siriwardena familywhose member Sir Paul Pieris as a student of genealogy mentioned at least at a RAS meeting followed by a meeting at the YMCA, when the plays were popular and sarcasm reigned re ethnicity, that his clan has African blood. Similarly, one Mr J.Dias Abeysinghe whom Padma Edirisinghe considers to be a Keerawelle (may be sarcastically), has written that Oebeysekeras…SIR S.C. OBEYSEKERA, SIR DONALD O., SIR JPO, FREDERICK O. WERE ALL WITH THE NONDESCRIPT CLAN NAME TUPPAHIGE AND THE ORIGINAL ANCESTOR CAME FROM A DRAVIDIAN CLAN IN INDIA HAD appeared first in the Galle District, then in Batadolle had the GE NAME” TUPPAHIGE.”

    SO, GAMARALA WHERE IS THE ARISTOCRACY IN SL? ITS THE EMPLOYER AND HIS/HERS SERVANTS WHO CREATED THE ARISTOCRACY AND THE WALAWWA CULTURE.

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