23 August, 2017

CHOGM: A Carnival Emblematic Of The Ruling Rajapaksa Regime And Family

By Karu Jayasuriya –

Karu Jayasuriya MP

Karu Jayasuriya MP

Many Sri Lankans are unaware of the heavy price that we have to incur in the coming weeks and months for the enormous cost borne for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was recently concluded. The public cannot be blamed for this since the Government has purposefully left everyone in the dark regarding the exuberant expenditure for the event. Though the opposition has repeatedly asked for accounts for this event the Government has not shown an iota of transparency. What was the cost of all those vehicles that were imported and the numerous contracts given to decorate the city? Were tenders called for this purpose? On what criteria were the importers and service providers selected? These are but normal questions that a responsible Government claiming to adhere to the Commonwealth values of good governance and transparency should be most willing to answer. Not so in Sri Lanka.

One thing is of course certain. Whatever the colossal cost of this event it was borne by the people of this country. This is on top of the mounting living costs, like for example the cost of a kilo of large onions rising to an unprecedented Rs 240. It was free food and drink for all and sundry at the conference venue.

The millions of dollars and billions of rupees spawned another breed of millionaires, who won kickbacks and commissions, is all too well known. Yet the pervading fear has driven the people and the country’s media to the graveyard of the silenced. No one dare raise questions and earn the wrath of iron fisted authority.

It is relevant to take stock of at least a few aspects of the CHOGM. The most important is the fact that it was a carnival emblematic of the ruling Rajapaksa regime and family. Not one elected Member of Parliament in the Opposition was present. Making Mahinda Rajapaksa the Chair- in-Office endorses the beginning of yet another phase of autocracy. With this, it is not only the opposition but those differing in their views from the Government who will increasingly become prime targets.

Earlier, the United National Party had asked its National Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe to attend. However, mobs attacked his car on Wednesday. On Thursday they carried out further attacks outside party headquarters, Siri Kotha. Some mobs even gained entry. Regrettably sections of the security forces were responsible for transporting crowds using state owned vehicles.  This was whilst the Police watched. One can only infer they were under instructions not to enforce law and order by those who remain high and mighty. If this is how a democratically elected Opposition is being stifled, the plight of the ordinary citizen has become worse.

Such attacks have been deliberately directed at the United National Party (UNP) at a time when it has been vested with a Leadership Council. It is well known that the UNP is on the road to expand its grass roots level organizations and become a strong voice for the suffering public. Brute force, abuse of authority, deployment of private militias or arrogance of power is facets detested by the people of Sri Lanka. Hence, such efforts are doomed to fail.

Another aspect is equally glaring. Only some 23 Heads of Government attended the CHOGM, the lowest number for any such event in memory. This proved a lie the claims of the Government that 37 Heads of Government have confirmed and would take part. Wide media publicity was given to this proud boast. Like hiding costs incurred for the CHOGM, here was another instance of how the people of Sri Lanka were totally misled with disinformation. Despite Sri Lanka’s Constitution making provision for the use of Tamil, all name board and hoardings related to CHOGM were only in Sinhala and English.

At the Commonwealth Business Forum, the only investor who championed Sri Lanka’s cause was an Australian casino magnate. State run media gave wide publicity to his utterances that the country was on the road to economic prosperity. Unable to lure genuine Direct Foreign Investment, the Government is now at the mercy of casino operators to make the country prosperous and have made them the symbol of economic renaissance.

Despite a pernicious campaign by powerful elements within the Government, the United National Party pledges to continue its efforts countrywide to expose insidious attempts by a corrupt regime to foist an autocracy. Fundamental freedoms – rule of law, freedom of expression, the right for a citizen to have his own views and not necessarily that of the Government – are among those fast eroding. The time has come for every citizen to contribute their might to reverse this situation. The UNP will stand steadfastly by them.

*Media Statement by Karu Jayasuriya, Chairman, United Leadership Council – United National Party -Issued on 20th November 2013

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Latest comments

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    No it was not a carnival ,it was a circus organised by MA RA and performed by David Cameron. In the past English taught us on ride on horseback ,what a show by David Cameron who taught us ride on a lion.

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      Karu,

      CHOGM might have been expensive, but who would pay the ultimate price ??

      UNP idiots only, by getting Channel 4 to Sirikotha, just wait & see political fall out of it.

    • 0
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      “what a show by David Cameron who taught us ride on a lion”

      no it should be

      “what a show by David Cameron who taught us ride on a Donkey “

  • 0
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    Karu and the UNP appear to have at last realised that there is no law and order – only because Ranil and Sri Kotha were attacked.
    They were blind to the absence of Law and Order,and to the violence on, and persecution of, citizens of the north and east,until this happened.

    It took a foreign prime minister to tell them this.
    But even then,their response is muted.

  • 0
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    Dear Mr Jayasuriya
    Your statement neatly encapsulates the recent excesses of our president and government. Now you ask us citizens to ‘contribute their might’ but we have been waiting….and waiting for the elected opposition to to act their part and give us a lead. All we see is regular bun fights and, recently, a most undignified spectacle on the streets of Matara. Well, forgive us lost lambs for our lethargic response. Still, if anyone can galvanise the opposition, you seem to be our best hope; I wish you well.

  • 0
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    Everything Karu says here is true.

    However, UNP is unable to rescue Sri Lanka from this mess.

    UNP itself is hardly a transparent, democratic organisation.

    Replacing SLFP with UNP will not usher in the kind of sea change Sri Lanka needs and deserves.

    Cheers!

    • 0
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      Best option would be building a common opposition, today is still not late.

  • 0
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    Karu,

    I must remind you that each time the people voted you into power, you repeatedly failed to deliver. Are you proposing to deliver this time? How are you going to do it?

    If history is anything to go by, we people can expect nothing better from you than what we are enduring now.

    Considering the present state of dysfunction and infighting, the UNP has no chance in hell in ousting MR and Co.

  • 0
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    What was wrong with the UNP was the stifling authority of the leader who was treating others like montessori kids. The new leadership council should allow dissent within the party and listen to the voices of people at grass roots level. It shoulld nurture talent and harness the capabilities of its members.

    A more inclusive and transparent leadership will automatically take the party forward. Whereas the UPFA has become a Rajapakse domain, the UNP has the chance to be a truly democratic, secular and liberal party, embracing people from all communities and all walks of life. This is its strength. It must shun the tendency to play on religous and communal feelings of the masses as a ploy to gain votes.

  • 0
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    Mr. Karu: I feel sorry for you. The task undertaken by you is too heavy and I doubt of any change coming so soon. You left UNP and joined the Rajapakse Regime with so many others and leaving them on that side of the bridge, you deserted and came and joined the party. What did you get? You were even booted out of the Working Committee. It was after the dismal failure at the last Provincial Council election that Ranil once again engineered you to be brought to light. You being an experienced man in this political game should have known the heavy burden put on you by Ranil who is waiting to put the accusing finger at you at the next election failure of the UNP. You should also by now know that with the present set of politicians, excepting a handful, running the show at UNP, this party is not going to stand a chance to give a good run to MR.One thing you all at UNP much realize and understand is: so long as Ranil is the “Leader” UNP will never ever make it to the winning post. Only damage, he is doing to the country is: he is helping MR to rule the country for a long time.

    So Mr. Karu: Be realistic.

  • 0
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    Karu,

    All what you say about the regime is true.

    My question is, how did the regime come to be what it is?

    Are you not the primary cause by initially crossing over with that coterie of renegades, who have now proven to be nothing but vulgar mercenaries?

    We can relate to that cross-over by quoting your own words:

    “One thing is of course certain. Whatever the colossal cost of this event it was borne by the people of this country!”

  • 0
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    Mr Karu,

    Would you send a letter to Human rights comissioner regarding what is happening.

    Would you go there in March.

    Would Ranil will support you

  • 0
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    The current mood of the country, according to some Seniors, is similar
    to what obtained in 1976. This was after the NAM/1976 when Mrs. B’s kitchen cabinet and regular hangers-on misled her the country is fascinated by her hosting this large international meeting and will give her another convincing term as in 1970. The seasoned JRJ, on the other hand, thought otherwise. On May Day 1976 he organised his Party that took over the usual May Day route of Colombo streets with a large and impressive show. Within an year the UNP, under JRJ, routed Mrs.B
    and her left-coalition – the latter that usually controlled the streets.

    Can Karu J, with or without, Ranil organise such a massive show of strength of the UNP in the streets of Colombo and elsewhere in the country? The mood of the people in the Western Province and most elsewhere in the country is anti-Rajapakse. The chances are the divided UNP – in 3 clear factions – is unlikely to accomplish what JRJ did in May 1976.

    R.J. de Silva

  • 0
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    Karu is the only person who can rescue Sri Lanka from the bottomless pit, to which Sri Lanka has been pushed by the ruling family.

  • 0
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    Interesting. This would have been a balanced critique had there been any reference to David Cameron’s arrogant conduct. However there isn’t a single reference to him or it. So, going by this statement MR is a far greater foe of Sri Lanka than Cameron. Good luck with convincing the citizenry on that!

    • 0
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      Ha, Dr DJ trying another attempt at singing for his supper. Better luck this time at least! Keep polishing. You never know it may shine at last. Your sun of course and more importantly, that fat big xxxx that you keep polishing from time to time.

      • 0
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        I really dont know why the guys needs this.
        He could better be remained as senior diplomat, be appointed further or not. Some still keep the faith on him, while growing numbers incl. me hates his analyses. Only journalists I find fair right at the moment are TG, Dr. Jagath Asoka perhaps, Ms Serasinghe.

    • 0
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      Dr DJ,

      Please save your breath; you are the last person who can speak about Cameron’s arrogance! You pander to MR who manifests despicable arrogance.

      Cameron had reason to be arrogant; he just came from India obviously with their endorsement. On the back of two US sponsored UN resolutions against SL; 23 out of 53 countries no show; overwhelming evidences supporting grave wrong had been committed against the Tamil people; you as a leftist political scientist, need to congratulate him rather than berate him. If he had done this to the Israelis you would be singing his praises. You have become so pathetic one wonders as to what you are about!

      • 0
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        You dont need to be worried the man^s comments – DJ IS NOW FULLY NAKED.

    • 0
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      Why you seem to have stopped bringing any articles on CHOGM sarukes ? Why was that you were not seen on spot light though your very recent articles proved to have got back as LAPDOG of MR ?

    • 0
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      Dayan still singing for Geneva 2014 I see :)
      I guess there is no limit to how low you will go for that :)

      How is the work with the NGO these days? (not my words, but your masters in the (in)famous interview)

      LOL

    • 0
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      ” This would have been a balanced critique had there been any reference to David Cameron’s arrogant conduct. “

      isn’t this funny , the great spin doctor wants karu to write a balanced article by criticizing PM David C , only junta and his lap dogs would see the necessity to criticize David c ‘s conduct , well done PM DC!!

    • 0
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      Good Doctor,

      Cameron (on any other foreign leader) will only ever be a bit player in our affairs and it was right of KJ not to remind the people of the bad odour Cameron generated at the gathering.
      The crux of the article alluded to the probabilty that many pockets were lined, very generously, in the preparations. What to do? MR has to look after his friends too. Right? It’s a long established tradition.
      As for the highly choreographed events; well, the organisers were not taking any chance with elected MP’s and certainly NOT the foreign media. Even the Sangha were rationed.
      I doubt whether anyone of our citizenry will give a ratsarse for the details of plans or finances or, for that matter, the pronouncements of Cameron when the time comes to cast our vote.
      To the voters, and especially the 73% sinhala-buddhist, only one candidate would have a track-record of having delivered on an election promise.
      At the moment, much as some of us would wish, it is difficult to see anyone who could top that record. Can you?

  • 0
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    They talk of CHOGM being a carnival. What
    about the carnival at Siri Kotha with
    Channel 4 crew enjoying VIP status. Like
    G.L. Peiris, the Leadership Council Chairman
    Karu Jayasuriya has got into the habit of
    issuing statements for anything and everything.
    No doubt they are ghost written. If you compare
    them with the past,there are contradictions
    and gross factual errors.

    Only thing that has happened is Karu Jayasuriya
    has transformed from patholaya to pambaya. He
    has no sense of political direction. He is a
    principal shareholder for the current mess
    in the UNP.

    Their in fighting will not end. Ravi Karunanayake
    and Daya Gamage have apologized to the BBS. So
    they admit they harassed, intimidated and assaulted
    their members.Now their leader is saying those are
    personal apologies. There are too many people speaking
    for the UNP. John Ameratunga (very very close to the
    UPFA leadership to whom he is grateful) says one
    thing. Kiriella says another. Karunatilleke says yet
    another thing.

    Come elections and they will be further exposed.

  • 0
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    Hon Karu,

    Despite all your betrayals and double talks , still people have enormous faith in you as you have not involved in any murder mysteries, drug trafficking, financial misappropriations , corruption etc . our permanent opposition leader had managed to secure his seat again with different kind of jilmarts this time with your blessings ,and a very special thank must go to you ! when can we see UNP without RW ?

  • 0
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    CHOGM Carnival!Yes it was a carnival.But then we also had a 2001 UNP/LTTE carnival.Tamil tiger terrorists were entertained in Colombo in five star comfort.Foreign prostitutes were provided for entertainment.The terrorists were flown in by SLAF helicopters.The terrorists were provided with free joy rides to all parts of the world.Some terrorists along with UNP henchmen went on foreign joy rides ostensibly to study federalism.Then the UNP sponsored Tamil Pongu carnivals.Non fat Yoghurt were imported from Eurpoe and flown in by SLAF helicopters to Kilinochi for the consumption of Thamil Selvam.Hon Jayasuriya,who paid for it?
    Then we had a recent carnival at Srikotha.Parents of departed Tamil terrorists were entertained at Srikotha.A teledrama was filmed and produced at Srikotha by CH4. A photo exhibition was held to insult Buddhist monks.NGO $$$$ Kakkas had a field day at Srikotha.The icing of the cake was the beating the living daylights out of Buddhist monks at Srikotha.I am sure that we will have more carnivals organized by the UNP leadership council LTD whose chairman is Karu in which Kurundu Polu fame Mangala is the managing director.Hon Karu says that the UNP is making headway at grass root level.Yes,that is in air conditioned rooms.In fact the grass root level supporters are planning a grand welcome party to the leadership council.Of course there will not be Kurundu Polu.Instead Mara polu.Now that the CHOGM carnival is over,we hope that Karu&co will provide more carnivals in the future culminating in a grand finale at Borella Kanathe!Of course Fonseka will light the UNP pyre!

    • 0
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      Everybody talking about CHOGM carnival. Why nobody talk anything only praise when Bathalawathy held Non-Aligned tamasha and invited people like Gaddafi and Tito and Chou-en-lai? Also, Bathalawathy imported Peugeout 505s for the guests when people were starving at home not even Kos to eat and people dying in hospitals no medicine. Eveything ration ration and bread polimas near Wijaya bakery in the evenings. Now talking about CHOGM what is this nonsense.

  • 0
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    Hon Karu, I certainly agree with you. A carnival it indeed is. However, there is nothing to beat the carnival that YOU youself staged not many years ago by crossing to the other side with a horde of your party men including your erstwhile son-in-law. That was the Mother of all Carnivals like Saddam was wont to say.

    • 0
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      Yes we have a carnival!But who is the clown in chief?Karu,Mangy or Bahu?

  • 0
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    Can anyone enlighten me on this please.
    What does Karu Jayasuriya mean by saying
    “exuberant expenditure.”

    Exuberance is explained in the Oxford
    Dictionary of English as “full of energy,
    excitement, and cheerfulness.” Another
    definition is “characterized by a vigorously
    imaginative artistic style.” Yet another,
    the Dictionary says, is “growing luxuriously
    or profusely.”

    Which of these definitions are relevant to
    expenditure? KJ seems to be running out of
    words. Probably he won’t know that such
    words have been used!! What a facade and
    what hypocrisy.

  • 0
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    A. Machang

    Anything goes with KJ my friend. After becoming
    Chairman of Leadership Council, he is exuberant
    and extravagant with words. Let the poor guy be.

  • 0
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    Friends,

    If we keep on harping about what the UNP did or did not do in the past, we can never ever chase this corrupt regime. If you still want to keep them for another 10 years, we can argue about the past of the UNP and do nothing useful.

    What we need now, is to strengthen the UNP’s council to have an alternate leader. Karu is not the average politician we see everywhere. He may regret being with MR for a short time. But, he’s not corrupt, not into violence and other evil. He’s honest and flexible.

    Anyone who knows about the change of the UNP will not talk of the past. Leadership council has all the party powers now, legally. Even Ranil is under that. Some people don’t know this. Ranil is only the opposition leader; in the parliament. We can’t just chase away all the seniors if we want. That’s not the way to revive a party.

    At this time, we must gather all these forces to send this corrupt regime home. If we argue, we can strengthen them for 10 more years.

    • 0
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      Janaka ,

      i share your sentiments and agree up to a certain point , True Karu is an officer and a gentleman and deserves respect from SL public , having said that , what we need is a tough , no nonsense straight forward leader who can take the bull by the horns attitude guy , with MR style of politics neither Karu nor RW will ever be able counter attack any thing in SL politics , just look at the recent Sirikotha fiasco , while banning demonstration for the public , junta had sent Ganasara Guy and other “polu Brigade ” to assault Sirikotha and its occupants disregarding all the VVIP presence and curfew atmosphere in colombo , what does it say , MR doesn’t give two hoots about decency, rule of law or any thing , basically my way is high way !
      its pity that Gen fonseka is not the official opposition leader , had Gen Fonseka was the opposition leader , i’m sure he wouldn’t have let go things this easily , where was RW during the SHOGM ? he was compelled to stay behind due to this unprecedented personnel attack on him , i’m sure had this attack never directly effected him , he would have attended the SHOGM , RW’s choice of number UNPer ,Muzammil has proven his credentials without any sense of guilt or shame , UNP’s cancer is RW , as long as RW remains as the leader of the opposition ( with all these cosmetic surgery ) majority of UNP supporters would stay away from poling booths , that is the reality !

  • 0
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    Janaka (if that is the right name) says ” Karu is not the average politician we see everywhere…”

    Agreed. He is not the average. He is below average though apologists
    like Janaka will not be able to see this.

    It is this average politician who was forgiven by the Leader Ranil
    for taking 17 MPs to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government. It is this average
    politician who had his deputy leadership restored. It is this average
    politician who then tried to oust his leader.

    Now, for people like Janaka and the other hurrah boys, Karu is the
    greatest. Sajith may be a glorious idiot and is manipulated by Tiran
    Alles and group. But he never left the party and never stabbed the
    leader in the back. So much for an officer and a gentleman.

    Don’t keep fooling all the people all the time, Janaka. You will not
    get anywhere.

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