16 September, 2019

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Demand Resignation Of President And Prime Minister – Friday Forum Urges Citizens, Civil Society Groups And Political Parties

The Friday Forum calls upon citizens, civil society groups, and political parties to demand the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister, in the national interest.

Issuing a statement today the Friday Forum said “This will create an opportunity to form an interim government headed by the Speaker, with a new Prime Minister, as we move towards a parliamentary election in 2020, after dismantling the Presidency, as suggested, by a 20th Amendment passed before October 2019. Article 40 of the constitution provides for such a course of action. Everyone including the President and the Prime Minister who see a future for themselves in politics, can pursue their ambitions at a general election, without embroiling this country’s future in individual presidential ambitions. Hopefully a new and younger leadership to guide the destinies of the nation will emerge in parliamentary elections without an executive presidency. ”

We publish below the statement in full:

Grieve For Our Country In Crisis: Prevent A Descent To ‘Yamapālanaya’

Even as our country was struggling to cope after the Easter Sunday terrorism, sharing in solidarity a collective sense of grief with victims, violence erupted on the 13th of May.  

Information in the public domain indicates that the destruction of private properties and businesses of some Muslim citizens and their mosques in the NWP, were deliberate and organized attacks by outsiders and thugs, supported by some politicians and people advocating an extremist communal agenda.  The Human Rights Commission has, in their letter to the Police authorities, confirmed the anecdotal evidence on the Internet that the Police failed to effectively protect Muslim citizens and their places of worship.  This is a serious violation of the government’s obligation to its citizens.

The Threat of Communal Conflict

There is a growing and disturbing environment of mistrust and intolerance in our diverse communities.

The understandable sense of insecurity and fear among our people after the Easter Sunday terrorist violence are being exploited by other groups, promoting a destructive and toxic anti-Muslim agenda, through social media and other communication channels. 

The government has failed to give a strong and consistent message that incitement of communal hatred against any community will not be tolerated, and the law prohibiting such conduct will be strictly enforced. The political maneuverings of the President and the Minister in failing to ensure effective investigation and prosecution of politicians identified with extremist groups, have further undermined public confidence in the administration of justice, and the government’s commitment to national security.   We have seen how this has led to a questionable form of protest (upawasaya) by a parliamentarian, supported by a section of the public including religious leaders.

The controversial Presidential pardon given to the monk Gnanasara, and the wide publicity given to him in print and electronic media, have strengthened a growing campaign by extremists (groups and individuals) advocating a majoritarian political agenda. Some call for isolating and boycotting Muslim places of business, and their goods and services, to cause maximum economic harm.  A recent TV spot focused on a Buddhist monk, who actually called for a “maaranthika satana” (fight unto death) in place of a “maaranthika upawasaya” (fast unto death) to ensure survival of Sinhala Buddhism in this country. Some monks have adopted the unprecedented procedure of issuing what they call a “Sangha order” against an individual whose viewpoint they dislike.  Such movements show a cynical disregard for the core values of Buddhism.

These extremist ideologies fail to differentiate between working for the legitimate protection of the human rights of minorities in a plural society, and advocating a narrow communal political agenda. This has contributed to growing mistrust between minority communities and the Sinhala Buddhist majority. The outcome has been the inability to forge a sense of Sri Lankan identity.

These are all dangerous trends that must be recognized, resisted and addressed, if we do not wish our country to spiral again into internal armed conflict and violence. Despite the government’s failure to give a united and consistent leadership through public statements and actions, many individuals, religious leaders including members of the Sangha and civil society, have promoted national harmony at this time. We have also witnessed acts of great courage in protecting victims of violence within affected communities. It is critically important to support all of them, especially youth groups, publicly rejecting extremist agendas promoted on behalf of any community. There can only be one priority at this time –  ensuring stability and a sense of a Sri Lankan identity. Our survival and progress as a nation depends on it. 

A New Political Order: No Executive President

As we face these challenges, it is also necessary to ask ourselves whether there is an urgent need for a change of course in our governance. By the end of the year we will be called upon to elect a new Executive President. Can we afford an election that will place in office, once again, an all-powerful Head of State who will abuse these wide powers for personal gain, and violate the rights of the people? We do not need a Hitler-like leader who is unaccountable to the people.  This is not a time for “benevolent dictators.” We desperately need a leadership that can help to heal the wounds, reject the advocates of communal hatred and move to a future of peace and progress.  

We as citizens are placed in an intolerable situation when we are compelled to choose among presidential candidates who have repeatedly failed the people, by putting their personal political ambitions before the well-being of the country. It is surely time to call urgently for an all- party consensus to abolish the Executive Presidency within the next few months, supporting if necessary, a revised  20th Amendment to the constitution, already proposed by the JVP.

Politicians in a past regime who abused public office, amassed ill- gotten wealth, interfered with the justice system and violated the country’s constitution by setting up an illegal regime, now claim in this crisis to be the saviors of the nation. They say that they have been victimized in court proceedings. They now announce on public platforms their readiness to take on the mantle of political office and provide leadership with good governance. It is important that we as citizens remember and recall their abuse of power and corruption -even if the “yahapalanaya” government that followed, failed to investigate and prosecute those crimes. It is time to say “enough is enough”, and take a stand in rejecting the arrogant hypocrisy and dishonesty of those who seek our votes yet again, presenting themselves in a new “avatar”, as role models and defenders of the rights of the people.

Sri Lanka on a path to a Failed State?

The President and the Prime Minister are on a collision course, pursuing a personal political agenda, with grave implications for the security and stability of the country. 

In this desperate national environment we as citizens must recognise the serious risks we face in becoming a failed State due to the refusal of the President and Prime Minister to work together in the governance of the country. The President has a record of violating the constitution – a serious ground for an impeachment, which did not take place. From the beginning of this year, he has acted in a manner that demonstrates his incapacity to fulfill his responsibilities. We have a right as citizens to hold him accountable, as Commander in Chief and Minister of Defence for the appalling lapse in national security that cost the lives of 259 people, injured 500 others, and seriously damaged properties in the Easter Sunday terrorist violence. He was out of the country at the time, without establishing a chain of command through his Prime Minister, or an  acting Minister of Defence.  He now refuses to accept responsibility, by seeking to find fault with senior officials. Is he telling us that these officials could act on their own, without reference to the National Security Council, or to him, while he is Minister of Defence and Commander in Chief? Others have pointed out that the Presidential pardon of the monk Gnanassara at this time is an abuse of the Presidential discretion to grant pardon, seriously undermining the judicial power of the courts. The President’s recent foray in the area of international diplomacy, on the summons of the President of China, without reference to his Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the officials of that ministry, is an astounding violation of the accountability of a Head of State to the nation.

The Prime Minister has also failed those who placed him in office. We recognise that a partnership in governance that degenerated into an uncomfortable “cohabitation” posed challenges. Yet, he received a second chance to act in conformity with the commitments he made on norms of democratic governance, early this year. However, he placed in cabinet office a person with serious allegations against him, failed under his watch to ensure investigation and prosecution of even emblematic cases, or implement findings of the Bond Commission. His conduct in relation to national security imperatives and his bilateral negotiations on defense with the USA government without reference to the President or parliament have attracted severe criticism and a loss of public confidence.

This irresponsible and confrontational interpersonal conflict between the current President and Prime Minister can no longer be tolerated in the national interest.

The Friday Forum calls upon citizens, civil society groups, and political parties to demand the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister, in the national interest. This will create an opportunity to form an interim government headed by the Speaker, with a new Prime Minister, as we move towards a parliamentary election in 2020, after dismantling the Presidency, as suggested, by a 20th Amendment passed before October 2019. Article 40 of the constitution provides for such a course of action. Everyone including the President and the Prime Minister who see a future for themselves in politics, can pursue their ambitions at a general election, without embroiling this country’s future in individual presidential ambitions. Hopefully a new and younger leadership to guide the destinies of the nation will emerge in parliamentary elections without an executive presidency.

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Mr. Chandra Jayaratne

For and on behalf of :

Prof Camena Guneratne, Dr. Geedreck  Usvatte-aratchi, Dr. A.C. Visvalingam,  Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Mr. Priyantha Gamage, Ms. Manouri Muttetuwegama, Mr. Faiz-Ur Rahman, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Mr. Dhammapala Wijayanandana, Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris, Mr. Daneshan Casie Chetty, Mr Tissa Jayatilaka, Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe, Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, Prof. Ranjini Obeyesekere, Mr. Pulasthi Hewamanna &  Ms. Shanthi Dias

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Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    Sirisena need to resign immediately and ranil should be behind bars.
    Dappula Livera be made the Interim Head of the Government.

    • 11
      4

      thondamany

      “Dappula Livera be made the Interim Head of the Government.”

      Is he your wife’s maternal uncle?

      • 10
        6

        Yes indeed, US puppet Bondscam Ranil must be impeached,
        RW with clown Sira and Mahinda Jarapassa and his brothers must share a prison cell.

        • 6
          1

          A journalist was murdered in broad daylight between 2 army checkpoints with a specially imported stun-gun.

          The Friday forum, all the religious leaders, the president, the prime minister and all the politicians never raised their voice to question who is responsible …………. everyone pretends and goes on as if it didn’t happen.

          Although people do not realize it ……….. it’s nagging at the submerged collective subconscious of the nation.

          Not for the sake of the man murdered but for the sake of the entire nation ………. to cleanse the soul of the nation ………… this has to be investigated to a satisfactory conclusion.

          The act of pretending not to see and going on as if nothing happened ……… has an unseen toll on the nation’s “intelligentsia,” religious-hierarchy of all faiths, politicians of all persuasions, …………..

          A small thing can change a nation than any big thang …… More than Changing the presidential system ……….. Or the resignation of anyone ………

          • 3
            2

            The real situation is that 225 + 1 are all forming a family. The drama is that they play the game changing sides at elections. To come out of this situ, citizens must vote next time a total honest educated professionally proven experienced strangers to the legislature. Promoting Sajith or any other will not change the system. They are all the same. What working experience does the MP’s have other than indulging in crime. Even voting for political parties sake too will not change the system. Vote all of them out of power. Thats the only way sovereignty could be saved.

        • 1
          3

          Youth of the country must stand with one voice to call for the younger generation to take over and lead and ban all these doddering corrupt politicians who are over 60 from contesting in the next election.

          This nasty generation of foul and corrupt politicians who have ruined Lanka, let by Bondscam Ranil and Mahinda Jarapassa and US citizen Gota – the bi-partisan UNP-SLFP corruption racket brokered by the USA to get their military bases in Sri Lanka must get out!

        • 1
          0

          Long overdue military intelligence agency is coming .
          First job of it is to gether information of local conspirator s and their foreign promoters. And get to go in public in the west in any time if necessary . While keep thongs ready for other options. If we go public many in the west appriciate will not good for jews who are the major threat sri kanka and as well as to westrn countries and wester public and thrir children safty.
          We have given them many ware, but they they do not take them. Many pieple in US canada and have urging bigger hearing to find out how Jewish groups organize threat westerners as well as countries like Sri Lanka
          Again we have get already and change government in sl. At the mean time get ready to move if any one like Jewish group try to harm new would be government

        • 0
          0

          What all website in Europe and North America tell about Jews 100 percent correct . We can bring Sri lanaka into debate in US and Europe to prove. Some retired western military officers told Jews will never learn, “They are using discrimination, get control over government and stab behind public.” Extremist Jews funded Hitler to kill other Jews for many reason. One reason is to accuse Germen public of discrimination and get control over them. This fact written by other Jews. Other one is to create war against Germany to put them down economically. One other western country help Jews in that adventure because that country too did not want Germany become a economical powerful in Europe. Though conspiracy against Germany did not stop from Hitler. It continued till today, and
          Today, Arab-Jews military cooperation is a clear step to undermine Germany and eventually to make Germany and foreigners who loyal Jews take over. Extreme Islam and Extreme Jews are same ideology. two religions with same ideal from twin brothers which make them easy to run Al Qaida and Isis.

          Next, What European public say 100 percent true. They say Jews are telling Arabs are against Jews, but Jews on other hand, smuggling Arabs and ordering rapes of European societies and attempt to make European a minority.

          When Sri lanka hearing take place, lawyers will find who gave Jews right to spy on public. However, Jews did not have to try hard. Jews own Facebook and many others and have access to Microsoft. Therefore, Jews have all private information. and plus listening to sell phones, and watching public through security Cameras. For Cameras, I give you one example, Jews directed. one Quebec man attack on Mosque through security camera. One side Jews link to Neo Nazis and other side Jews linked to Islamic groups. Israelis spy said it clear. “everything is by the way of deception”..
          Security cameras, cell phones and internet tools are theirs.

        • 0
          0

          Before next elections , the election commisioner should insist that applicants wanting to contest should be able to talk the three main language’s, and have a very good understang of all religions practised in the country agree that SRI LANKA BELONGS EQUALLY TO ALL SRI LANKANS. THE APPLICANTS SHOULD BE UNDER THE AGE OF 50. I am nearly 83 years, I feel Sri Lankan younger generation should be given a chance to run the country. The present government is well pass their sell by date!!!

      • 4
        1

        Dear Native,
        Did Thonda touch a RAW Nerve mate?..

        It is not a bad idea mate.
        If not for Livera Dr Ranil and his Royal Mate Mahendran would have been off the hook.
        =
        Aloysious Family would have been running those 34 Yahapalana Enterprises.
        Ibrahim Boys would have been busy trying to expand their Spice Business by acquiring some parts of the Aloysious Empire.
        And nothing would have happened to Kochikade.

        Dr Ranil could have even proposed Aloysious Sr as the UNP Nominee. aganst Dhammika , who I am told is a hard core Sinhala Buddhist but loves his money too much like Donald Trump.
        -.-
        BTW, Has Aloysious got his Grog Licence back?..Is Dr Mahendran related to you?…

    • 0
      0

      Thondamany, deliver this message. US, Europe, Canada and particularly Jewish groups in US and in Germany will be ALL QUESTIONS starting Tamil smuggling while Israelis running Sri lanka army and all the bombing and missing Children in US, Europe and millions babies and little girls rape and murdered in other part of the world and as well as Canada and US and many more.

  • 9
    13

    Friday Forum consists of people who think of themselves as the chosen few to issue gratis dictum on every subject under the sun. While shedding tears for the “innocent Muslims”, have they ever sympathized with the 258 lives lost in the Easter Sunday massacre? Can we compare the two incidents – numerous lives lost and a few cases of arson destroying some shops? By highlighting the incidents in Kuliyapitiya and Minuangoda you are glossing over the terrorist attacks which are only next to the 9/11 attacks in proportion to the magnitude of human lives lost. No mention about apprehending and punishing the terrorists and the Ministers and other fanatics who aided and abetted the perpetrators. No mention of the distressed families of the victims on 21st April. You have deliberately omitted to note that Rishad Badiyudeen, Hizbollah, Azad Salley, Mujibur Rahman & co who helped the terrorists with moral and material support have to be arrested and put behind bars forthwith. Keep your darn advice to yourselves.

    • 3
      1

      UNCOMMON MAN
      Look before you leap!

      Friday Forum (of which I am not one) issued a statement on 25th April condemning the bombings of 21/4 & condoling with the victims. It was published in the Island on 26th or 26th April. Another site which gives it is:

      https://johnmenadue.com/friday-forum-easter-sundays-suffering-in-sri-lanka-seeking-and-finding-answers/

      READ IT!

    • 2
      0

      Uncommon Man

      Correction: published in Island on 26/4.

      — A common woman

    • 0
      2

      Uncommon_man:
      Your take on the Friday Forum is a common bigoted man’s take. Mere propaganda.

  • 13
    0

    Both leaders Sirisena and Wickremasinghe need to go. They must go and if they refuse to go then they have to be taken out by force and shown the front door. Only the Citizens of Sri Lanka can do it and it must ( repeat ) must be done in a firm and bloodless manner. Both individuals are unblest in every manner and leave alone be leaders they are not fit to be ordinary politicians.
    Ranil is a misfit, a misfit he was a misfit he is and a misfit he will be unto death.
    Sirisena is a stubborn mule, a mule he was, a mule he is and a mule he will be unto death.

    Sri Lanka is a very blessed and beautiful country the best country in all of South Asia and if Sri Lankans want it to be that way then they have to act now and not later. Opportunity knocks once and if unanswered then it goes away.
    So !!!!!!!!! Sri lankans sit down and think and think seriously because your actions will determine your future and the future of the next generation.
    The lovely country needs its former glory when it was Ceylon where the culture flourished amongst all the ethnic groups and religion was confined to places of worship and politics within the Parliament.

    Go Ranil !!!!! just bugger off and same to Sirisena. As long as you Morons are there Prosperity will never flourish.
    Wish all Sri Lankans the best in their quest for Peace, Prosperity and Progress.

    • 4
      6

      We cannot demand resignation. The People have to vote them out democratically. What rubbish are the convoluted ‘intellectuals’ of the Friday Forum demanding?
      Friday Forum is a defunct delusional body of ‘have beens’ who serve no purpose.

      • 4
        3

        Dilkie,
        The people have to vote them out democratically and vote in another set of thieves and rogues democratically. This may be your idea of democracy instilled in you by some NGO and while you are democratically voting buffoons in and buffoons out good people will be paying the price for your so called democracy.
        Wonder whether you know and will ever know the value of the piece of land that you are living in surrounded by the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
        No !!!!!!!! you will never know until you wake up one day and realize that you have lost it.
        You need to live in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal or some far flung village in India to experience what a gift of a country Sri Lanka is in comparison to these shit holes.
        Hope that when Misfit and Mule are kicked out by the good Citizens you too will join them and be banished for ever.

        • 0
          0

          Good thing at least you learned how crooks come to Sri lanka feel. this same feeling Tamil Tamil Nadu have

        • 0
          0

          Getting some German technician into Sri lanka and build all submarine and others is possible in return we can station German in other countries to learn how and who create wars and smuggle people into Germany. And if Germany help us, We can help Germany more, but right now only possible private connection. There are other countries too who can provide technician.

    • 4
      2

      Getting rid of Sirisena and Wickramasinghe alone will not be enough. There are many others that we should rid of too. SLFP-SLPP alliance is going to be cesspool to deal with.

  • 1
    0

    USA does in fact occupy a special privileged position in Imperialism as empire state of Republic .
    This stage not derive from its identities to OLD Imperialism powers ,but shifted , its has differences.
    The hegemony of US these differences can be recognized clearly by focusing very foundation of Constitution by means the formal of the written documents that along with later amendments to the Constitution.
    By and larger that further enlarge by legal apparatuses of judiciary are that turn to material sources of the Republic Constitution .That was result of uninterrupted formation and re-formation of the complex development of social forces of US system of “good governance” of democracy! ..Timely an Advocated by World Bank & IMF –$$$
    Any of right thinking historian has to know that Jefferson was ideological founder of that Newly form Hegemonism of USA@
    This hegemonic of US an idea has survived and matured past which One hundred years of history of 20th and 21st of of centuries by WARS ,Violences and the Practices of blood bathed .
    Needless to say that US system of global governance has emerging criminal system of hegemonism .
    Eventually misstep of ‘ right to intervention’ by that unfortunately claim of that Friday Forum being proposed two alternatives as ‘one of the most’ intelligence think-tank in Sri Lanka.!
    The role of these elites kept in their set of mind on going acute political crisis, its solution in Sri lanka?
    1 Change constitution without executive Presidency by “New Political Order”?
    2 Over come path of “Fail State” . …by prevent thtern of communal conflicts.!
    Here is important point that how they address key issue under Prime-minster base Constitution proposed by Friday F…..

  • 4
    1

    A Friday Forum (FF) highlights, {“A recent TV spot focused on a Buddhist monk, who actually called for a “maaranthika satana” (fight unto death) in place of a “maaranthika upawasaya” (fast unto death) to ensure survival of Sinhala Buddhism in this country”}.
    Buddhism survived 500 years of colonial occupation because the hierarchy did not flex brawns. They led humble lives. Their food were not five-star hotel orders.
    PS: Who or what is this Sinhala Buddhism?
    .
    Prof. Savitri Goonesekere and Mr. Chandra Jayaratne, on behalf of the Friday Forum, briefed us yet again, on our ever changing predicament.
    There was the stress on the ‘tragedy’ that was the 2019 Lankan Easter Sunday.
    But the solution suggested, namely handing over the governance to a Friday Forum selectee, changes to the constitution etc. is not rateable ivory-towerish but is ‘Jack and the bean stalk’ stuff.
    Fa Fe Fu Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a ‘Terrorist’.
    The ‘tragedy’ is attributable to some radicalised Lankan Muslims. Moderates accept that.
    Are the BBS-Buddhist Gnanasara, patrons, the Mahason Balaya and the like, ‘Terrorists’?
    We dare not ask. This is one of our banes FF.

  • 1
    2

    I am wondering the attack inside the shangriLA hotel in Sri lanka and the name SHANGLI DIALOGUE in Singapore – are those names just coincidence. FRIDAY FORUM can advice us they are intelligent

  • 1
    4

    Let me share something which I saw in youtube from Father Jagath Casper’s interview. This is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YQACuVVlPg

    Muslims never had any problems with Christians. Then, why Muslims attacked Christians, on the 21st? Because, those brain-washed-radicals were carrying out the orders of their Local Terrorist Masters (LTM). Who are those LTMs? Still we don’t know for sure, but Muslims have nothing to do with this crime!

    There are Sinhalese-Christians and Tamil-Christians. Similarly, there are Sinhalese-Majority-Churches and Tamil-Majority-Churches. Why only the Tamil-Majority-Churches were chosen to be attacked? Because, Local Terrorist Masters wanted to attach the Tamils only.

    ISIS or Al Bagdadi don’t know and no need to attack Tamil Majority Churches! So, ISIS are not likely involved. The web site, which announced ISIS claim for the blast, could be a fake website, the Father says. So, it was executed by a military outfit of LTMs, using some radicalized Islamic youths as mere tools.

    ‘Kill the Tamil Christians and put the blame on Muslims’ is the plan. Here, the Muslims have to be careful, because they are being targeted and their economy could be destroyed, like what happened to Tamils in 1983, the Father says. (Accusing and maligning the image of the Muslim political Leaders could also be a part of the same plan).

    The early warning, received from India and other sources, must have reached some, who were the supporters of LTM. That’s why none in authority have tried to stop this crime of 21st, he says.

  • 5
    0

    I am dead sure that Sirisena, Ranil or other 225 crooks will never resign, no matter what happens to the people or the country. They will stay in power as nothing has happened and continue to rob us merrily. We, the people must force them to resign by organizing a massive street protest & a general strike. There is no other way to chase these crooks away.

    • 1
      0

      Jayantha deAlwis

      “I am dead sure that Sirisena, Ranil or other 225 crooks will never resign,”

      Actually other 224 crooks.
      Why should they resign?
      Number of years they put in parliament is counted towards their pension pot.

  • 4
    0

    “Demand Resignation Of President And Prime Minister “

    those who try to drag these two out of their post will all die of fatigue.

  • 0
    0

    Demand Resignation Of President And Prime Minister, no one is coming forward to apply fastting theory. active only on minorities.

  • 4
    0

    This same bunch of pseudo intellects in the Friday Forum took a lot of credit in 2015 for the change of gov in 2015. Now they are asking for a change of the constitution and the gov to resign.

    Should anybody take these completely out of touch, Friday Farts seriously?

    • 0
      0

      Exactly. Excellent analysis

  • 0
    0

    Ok..Ranil-Sirisena resigns..what about the rest of the goons?? The whole lot most go and the people need to carefully select a new set (if that’s even possible :-( )

  • 1
    0

    Ha….ha…..ha…….

    Shadows of (Gota)baya are evident all over the article……….

    It is these buggers who created this mess by electing an “accharu” yahapalanaya and yet have the gal to preach us what to do. Should we listen to them any more?

    • 1
      0

      Helass

      “Should we listen to them any more?”

      The alternative is the clan, do you want us to listen to the National Hangman Gota, leader of the failed Coup d’état, Namal Baby, Weerawansa, …..?

      You loved Sirisena when he illegally appointed the crook as the prime minister.

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