4 December, 2020

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CPA Discloses Military Visited Its Office And Condemns The Government’s Policy Of Intimidation

“As the history of many countries which have had the unfortunate experience of populist authoritarianism has shown, the attenuation of legal and political restraints on political power that is exercised, at first instance, in the form of purportedly ‘pro-people’ policies have an alarming tendency to turn anti-people before long, when governments get used to centralisation and an absence of controls. In the light of recent manipulations of the Constitution, the strengthening of the executive at the expense of both Parliament and democracy, the undermining of established arrangements for ensuring good governance, the treatment of political opponents, violence against protestors, activists and journalists, enforced disappearances, attacks on the independence of the judiciary, the militarisation of civic life, and the pervasive culture of impunity, we wish to state categorically that we see a process taking place in Sri Lanka today which is aimed at dismantling surviving liberal democratic institutions and norms, including through the demonisation of critical voices.” says the Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director - CPA

The Centre for Policy Alternatives yesterday issued a statement on the poster attacks against its Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu.

We below reproduce the TNA statement in full;

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) views with very serious concern the appearance of posters in Sinhala on Monday, 15th October 2012 in the environs of Colombo, the English translation of the text of which states: “Let us save the pro-people Divineguma Act that builds the lives of fifteen lakhs of low income families from the Paikiasothy gang that aids and abets the separation of the country.” Photographs of the poster are attached. The chilling import of the reference to CPA Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, requires no emphasis in the current political climate of violence against critics of the government and the culture of impunity for perpetrators. This is the most recent attack against CPA and its Executive Director. It must be unreservedly condemned.
The context of the reference in the poster to the Divineguma Bill, which is currently in the enactment process, and CPA’s legal challenge to its constitutionality, is as follows. When the Bill was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on 10 August 2012, both CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu in his capacity as Executive Director, filed petitions challenging the Bill in the Supreme Court, bringing to the Court’s attention a number of substantive and procedural grounds on which the Bill was potentially inconsistent with the Constitution. There are several substantive areas of constitutional concern in what is envisaged in the Bill, including the doctrine of the separation of powers, the possible reversal of certain subjects devolved to Provincial Councils, Parliament’s control over public finance and its general oversight over the executive, and public access to information held by government. We will make no further comment at this stage on these issues as the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
On the procedural issues, however, the Supreme Court agreed with the averment in our initial petitions that the substance of the Bill impacts on a number of devolved subjects in such a way as to require it to be passed in terms of the special procedure laid down in the Constitution, which involves the consent of the Provincial Councils. Pursuant to this determination by the Supreme Court, the government sent the Bill to the Provincial Councils where consent has been forthcoming, except in the case of the Northern Province, where there is no elected Provincial Council. There is currently a legal challenge by a Member of Parliament for the Jaffna District to the consent provided on behalf of that Province by the Governor. Regardless of the matter being referred to the Supreme Court on the question of the role of the Governor, the Bill was tabled for the second time in Parliament on 9 September 2012. CPA and Dr. Saravanamuttu have challenged the Bill yet again, with the matter to be taken up in the Supreme Court this week.
Aside from these attacks, CPA also wishes to disclose that the military visited CPA  on the morning of Monday 15th October, the same day the posters appeared. The military personnel informed CPA security that they in turn had been told by the Postal Department that the CPA address was one that had a connection to the Elections Department, which they were checking. Whether there is some causality between the appearance of the poster and the visit by the military, or whether it is mere coincidence, we are at a loss to understand how the military has a role in the conduct of such inquiries in terms of the law of the land.
Beyond the vilification and incitement of public hatred against an individual, we are concerned that these developments signify deeper changes that seem to be occurring in our post-war political culture. The government seems increasingly to regard not only critique and dissent from civil society, but also any constitutional restraints on its power as unacceptable to its agenda, and its stock response to any form of democratic dissent is to accuse opponents of a lack of patriotism. It seems to regard populism and majoritarianism as the only legitimate elements and forms of democracy, and needless to reiterate, CPA is founded on a set of beliefs, which are directly contrary to such perspectives on democracy.
We believe that forms of electoral democracy that are unrestrained by constitutional controls, checks and balances, the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, fundamental rights and minority protections, devolution, and a vibrant and sceptical electorate, media and civil society, constitute no democracy at all. The emasculation of these fundamental principles in the purported interests of economic development is not only a false dichotomy, but also serves to corrode the traditions of choice and change we have enjoyed as part of the democratic way of life since 1931.
As the history of many countries which have had the unfortunate experience of populist authoritarianism has shown, the attenuation of legal and political restraints on political power that is exercised, at first instance, in the form of purportedly ‘pro-people’ policies have an alarming tendency to turn anti-people before long, when governments get used to centralisation and an absence of controls. In the light of recent manipulations of the Constitution, the strengthening of the executive at the expense of both Parliament and democracy, the undermining of established arrangements for ensuring good governance, the treatment of political opponents, violence against protestors, activists and journalists, enforced disappearances, attacks on the independence of the judiciary, the militarisation of civic life, and the pervasive culture of impunity, we wish to state categorically that we see a process taking place in Sri Lanka today which is aimed at dismantling surviving liberal democratic institutions and norms, including through the demonisation of critical voices.These developments are taken lightly at the peril of our democratic future.
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Why give this NGO wallah a one more reason to whine against the Sri Lankan polity and to get even more dollars from his foreign backers

    Ignoring this miserable pathetic creature is what the Govt should do. By giving him attantion that he does not deserve they are indirectly propping him up.

    • 0
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      Mike Hammer:
      given that the pseudonym you’ve chosen really fits your level of intellectual achievement, why don’t you reveal your identity and show us that you are “brave” enough to support your mentors in the open? Or is that not in your “dirty tricks” contract?

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        Pacha Epaa

        My intellectual achievement is no concern of yours. Please focus on what I said in my comment. It is true and if you cannot stomach it, that’s your problem, mate.

        I repeat all these slimey NGO lap dogs are not interchanble for civil society. They are in it for foreign funds, period

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          Mike alias Hammer, as Pacha Epa says your type does not need a pseudonym because you do not have to fear or be white vanned like us. On the contrary Madamulanaya might drop you a used condom to lick, which seem your forte, licking. For you to call Sara a NGO Wallah, are you not a Rajapaksa Wallah. With what stretch of imagination do you class your self as Sri Lankan polity, carrying a name as Mike Hammer or Hamanenda? Sorry for the interuption, I was only focussing on your comment where none can speak on anything happenning in this country, plundered in broad day light. If the person who happen to voice is a Sinhalese, then he is an NGO wallah working for the LTTE earning dollars. If the person is a Tamil Educated person, he is a Tiger or a NGO Wallah like Sara. Who are you? A Rajapaksa BALLAH?

        • 0
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          Dear Gamini

          I have chosen a character out of puplp fiction novels of Mickey Spillane of 1950 s ,as having seen comments of the likes of you in this forum, I have concluded that people of your calibre do not deserve anything more than that.
          You have in your comment amply displayed that you, like most of the fake asylum seekers to the West ,belong to the coolie class, the usual [Edited out] Tamil, without any intellectual refinement.
          in your hatred for MR you fail to see the point that I’m making.
          I repeat all these slimey NGO lap dogs ,especially Pakisothy,are not interchanble for civil society. They are in it for foreign funds, period

        • 0
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          Mike Hammer, you call others as coolies. The high breed that you are, your comments being edited out, unable to publish the filth used, shows your class.

    • 0
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      The Govt. not only ignores the views of people with honest intentions and the right vision for the country enlightening the people on the true state of affairs it also ignores the voters who voted it to power.

    • 0
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      CPA MUST KEEP UP ITS GREAT WORK!
      BE OF GOOD COURAGE AND STAY THE COURSE SARA! SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER AND CERTAINLY CHALLENGE IT IN THE SUPREME COURT WHICH ONE HOPES WILL BE LESS SUPINE IN FUTURE.
      CPA HAS CHALLENGED THE DICTATORIAL RAJAPAKSE REGIME SUCCESSFULLY ON THE DEPORTATION AND ETHNIC CLEANSING OF TAMILS FROM COLOMBO BY GOTA THE WHITE VAN GOON IN THE PAST, AND TODAY IT IS AGAIN DOING A COURAGEOUS ACT BY CHALLENGING BASIL the UNEDUCATED SO-CALLED MINISTER FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (WHO WAS A PETROL PUMP MAN IN LOS ANGELES) SO-CALLED POVERTY ALLEVIATION BILL WHICH IS A MEANS TO CONCENTRATE POWER IN THE RAJAPAKSE FAMILY DICTATORSHIP — TO WIN ELECTIONS THAT HAVE BECOME A CIRCUS THAT PERPETUATES A FACADE OF DEMOCRACY IN A BANANA REPUBLIC.

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    Ironically, The TNA MP Sumanthiran is the attorney for CPA in the Supreme Court filing the petition and arguing the motion.

    Is it correct that NO Sinhalese attorney would appear for CPA in this case?

    Soon judges in the Supreme Court would be avoiding to hear such cases..

    Welcome to paradise… Is P Sara being targeted for a taste of paradise like Judge Manjula T, or even a fate like Lasantha?

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      Donald Jayantha Gnakanone

      what makes you think that Sara is in the same league as Lasantha ??? Sara is just another NGO lap dog

      • 0
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        Daniel Day Lewis:
        What an infelicitous choice of pseudonyms! Not only is DDL a giant in his field, his father was in his. I just wonder what your pedigree is given the fact that you are yet another of you-know-who’s dirty tricks squad!

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        You call the one man courage enough to challenge the might of the Rajapaksa regime an NGO lapdog? You are nothing but a typical shameless Rajapaksa lapdog.

        • 0
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          SARAVANAMUTTHUS ARE NO”LAPDOGS” OF NGO’S.
          THEY ARE DECENT STOCK AND THIS MAN AND CPA HAS STOOD UP BOLDLY DESPITE THE THREATS OF THE RUHUNU PARIAH DOGS
          PAKIASOTHY KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK.
          “IT IS BETTER TO DIE ON YOUR FEET, THAN LIVE ON YOUR KNEES”
          IT IS A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THESE “CARDBOARD DICTATORS” WILL
          FALL FROM THEIR PEDESTAL.WE ARE SEEING THIS HAPPENING ALL AROUND THE WORLD. HOPE OUR “ROYAL FAMILY” WILL LEARN A LESSON

    • 0
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      Rajapaksa’s ‘DIVI NASUMA BILL’ for the general public for the ‘DIVI NAGUMA’ of the Rajapaksas, thou shalt not oppose. What a ‘BLOODY DEMACRAZY’ is this? If a citizen can not take up an issue in Courts which is the right of any citizen, do the MODA SINHALESE want the Tamils to ask through the GUN again? The Logic of those posting comments against Sara, is Comic if not fiendish. Every right thinking CITIZEN should stand up for JUSTICE not for TAMILS or SINHALESE.

      • 0
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        Let us face FACTS. Tghis DIVI NASUMA BILL should have been taken up by a Sinhalese and not a TAMIL. I believe the SINHALESE have no back bone.

        • 0
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          No Sinhalese Lawyer appeared for the case filed by Vasudeva Nanayakkara against the corrupt and questionable privatisation of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation which involved powerful Govt. persons and a very influential business magnate. It a Tamil, Sumanthiran, who appeared and won the case for the people of the country. He appeared free of any charge. Here comes a ‘true patriot’ of the people and the country.

        • 0
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          Lanka Muslim, Vasideva filed action against the Insurance Corp privatisation because MR wanted to have his end over CBK and not that Vasideva is a clean bugger. If Vasideva is keen on Honesty, he should be living in Courts for the amount of Corruption committed by MR. Vasideva is no different to his brother Hema Kumara another Vasipaththata Hoiya. Now he is a used Condum licking and waiting. By the way what happened to his new Political Party? Bloody Rogues the whole lot of them!

        • 0
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          Gamini, I do not disagree with you on Vasudeva and the intention of MR on the matter. I meant to mention the contribution of Sumenthiran on the matter.

    • 0
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      Donald – you are mistaken. Attorney Sumanthiran is appearing for a TNA MP. Attorney Viran Corea is appearing for the CPA!

  • 0
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    Since 2005 November when the Rajapaksa family came into power, things in Sri Lanka have gone from bad to worse to horrendous…it’s so sad to see most of the people scream blue murder when the cricket team loses one more WC final but act like deaf, dumb and blind zombies when thuggery, murder, rape, corruption and the hijacking of democracy takes place in broad day light…

  • 0
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    Just a few months back, most of our opposition leaders and NGO dollar sharks like Dr. Paikiasothy had spent a great deal of time and money trying to bring about an ‘Arab Spring’ kind of democracy to Sri Lanka. In the name of pluralism, democracy and minority rights, they have also helped separatists and terrorists in Sri Lanka in every possible way until May 18th 2009. I can write a full article about it.

    Need we say, Paikiasothys much expected ‘Arab Spring’ for Sri Lanka had turned out to be an ‘Arab winter’ everywhere that Arabs have agitated for it in the Middle East? In many such places Al Quada type jihadists are on their way to grab power. Is that what we want here? No chance.

    Western democracy and Arab (Islam) democracy does not see eye to eye. Not just that the ground situation in Sri Lanka is different to that of Arab countries. But Paikiasothys just tagged on to their pay masters wisdom for a few dollars more.

    I can understand our main opposition party UNP under RanilW going for it for it is truly an opposition party against Sri Lanka. I say that with plenty of facts: UNP had acted irresponsibly or rather anti-nationally while the government waged that decisive war to end terrorism in Sri Lanka. Not just UNP ridiculed the army commander, but made fun out of army victories against terrorists. But no sooner the war is over, the UNP, NGOs, LTTE proxies and all those peace nicks who tried their best to stop the war joined hands to pit the gullible army commander to contest against his commander in chief.

    In the so-called oldest democracy to where Paikiasothys worship daily, the UK, the government is Queen’s and the opposition is also Queen’s. So when the Queen’s government back the US to invade Iraq on the pretext of finding ‘weapons of mass destruction’, Queen’s opposition backed the Queen’s government to the hilt. When the US took its war against terrorists to Afghanistan, Queen’s government and Queen’s opposition joined hand and even approved sending their prince to the battlefield. Where are those those precedence when it comes to Sri Lanka?

    Paikiasothys do not expect RanilW to follow those UK exemplars in Sri Lanka. They want RanilW to do what Queen’s Opposition does against Sri Lanka government not Queen’s government of the UK. Paikiasothys didn’t say it is undemocratic or unconstitutional when RanilW concealed the contents of that infamous peace accord with LTTE and signed it without showing it to the President. Everyone does realpolitik to suit in Sri Lanka. So, to expect President Rajapakse to do politics of Queen’s government is absurd.
    Leela

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    A visit, from the kind of politicised and sycophantic military ours is, making an unsolicited visit to the office of an NGO is to be deplored. CPA makes no bones about upholding its right to be transparently and loudly critical of both Govt and the Opposition wherever necessary. This is a calculated assault of the democratic rights of our tradition of free speech. The idea is to clerly intimidate in the most crudest form.

    The international community should make careful note of this and remind GoSL, at its highest level, this is totally unacceptable before the established and shameless attack dogs take matters to their hands.
    It is not an exaggeration to state Dr Saravanamutthu’s safety is, once more, compromised.

    Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Senguttuvan, do you seriously think that the International Community is unaware of the villany committed by the Rajapaksas, that you are suggesting the International Community should make careful note and remind GOSL at it’s highest level? Yes indeed Saravanamuttu stands at RISK, like GG Ponnambalam Jnr. Nadarajah Perumal and a host of others who paid the supreme sacrifice. What did the International Community, do to prevent any?

  • 0
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    The only accusation made against against Dr Sara by the Rajapaksa running dogs and sycophants is that he is an NGO. These idiots don’t have the courage to challenge the actions of the regime that will affect the rights and freedoms of the entire Sri Lankan people. The fact that he is a Tamil challenging their Sinhala “king” is something that these racist Sinhala pseudo patriots are unable to stomach. I salute Dr Sara for his courage.

  • 0
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    It is simply a “Pest Control exercise my dear” … There are lots of pests around colombo.

  • 0
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    If the bill is so marvellous for the poor of this country why do those people selected to work for the implementation of it have to sign a secrecy oath. Not to divulge any information with regard to what ever way they wish to disburse the funds . why no transperency. Naturally sensible honest people have a right to challenge it.

  • 0
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    Dr Saravanamuthu heads the CPA, which is a foremost and fearless agency that defends liberal vaules, human rights and democratic freeedoms of all citizens. He and the the agency have long been vilified, threatened and attacked by goons and lackeys of the Rajapakse regime.
    Dr. Sara has always held very balanced views on key questions of the day, but never feared to take on the establishment on behalf of the people.
    If there had been no international scrutiny, he would have been assassinated- as so many other progressive people.Attacks by evil forces only confirm the righteousness of one’s actions.

    We may not agree with all the political convictions, ideological positions and methods of the CPA, but certainly applaud the solid work it is doing to save the country from the chauvinist-militarist/ crony mafia Capitalist Rajapakse Regime.

    Surendra,
    Secretary,
    Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)

    • 0
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      WELL SAID SIR!!!!!

  • 0
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    Gamini – I submit to your wisdom. Civilised behaviour, as I know it,
    is when others gently remind you to refrain from a particular unpleasant and unpopular action, this is immediately done. But what does one do when the seeds broadcast fall on rocky soil? There is an
    Argentinian proverb that says even if you dress the monkey in silk, it still remains a monkey. A friend reminds me we are not merely in a Failed Society but more in a Doomed Society – now subverted by plunderers. Dr Brian Seneviratne describes them best – at first hand.

    Senguttuvan

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