22 August, 2019

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Deranged

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“‘Precious, precious, precious!” Gollum cried… And with that, even as his eyes were lifted up to gloat on his prize, he stepped too far, toppled, wavered for a moment on the brink, and then with a shriek he fell. Out of the depths came his last wail, Precious, and he was gone.” ~ JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)

One man created chaos out of order and plunged an entire country into a seemingly bottomless crisis. Just one ordinary man, in a fortnight.

Would Maithripala Sirisena have been able to unleash mayhem on an entire nation had it not been for the executive presidency?

There are times in life one must turn to satire or literature to make sense of events. This is such a time. Soon after Maithripala Sirisena committed his second constitutional violation by dissolving the parliament illegally, News Curry responded with a tweet – “Sales of Marijuana, Cocaine and Ecstasy stall as drug users demand something stronger. Please give us whatever…President Sirisena is smoking,’ said several druggies.”

The drug Mr. Sirisena is on is as old as civilisation, power. He wants a second presidential term. That obsession has blinded him to every other consideration – principles, decency, gratitude, shame, ordinary common sense, enlightened self-interest. He is JRR Tolkien’s Gollum, the hobbit who found the One Ring, claimed it as his own, became its creature, lived for it, and died of it.

Mr. Sirisena who started his presidency with a solemn and public promise not to seek a second term is busy nuking the constitution to win a second term. If his transformation, from one of the architects of the 19thAmendment to its serial violator, doesn’t convince us of the dangers of executive presidency, nothing will.

Executive presidency is the unholy grail of Lankan politics. Both Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe abandoned the pledge to abolish the executive presidency. It is common knowledge that Mr. Wickremesinghe saved Rajapaksas from prosecution, in the hope of breaking the SLFP/UPFA, in furtherance of his own presidential ambitions. Mr. Wickremesinghe’s greed for a first term as much as Mr. Sirisena’s greed for a second term contributed to crisis we are in today.

JR Jayewardene, the creator of the Lankan version of presidential rule, bragged about its omnipotence, claiming that the only thing it couldn’t do was to turn a man into a woman and vice versa. The system was extremist in conception; scorning limits is visceral to it. The 19thAmendment sought to democratise it by pruning its more egregious powers and privileges. Mr. Sirisena took an axe to two of those provisions. His action is proof not of the weakness of the 19thAmendment but of the danger posed by the presidential system. It cannot be restrained or tamed. Like with the One Ring, the only solution is to uncreate it.

Every single president since Ranasinghe Premadasa won presidential elections solemnly promising to abolish executive presidency. Every one of them broke that promise. Mahinda Rajapaksa went one step further, and rammed through a constitutional amendment removing term-limits. It was the ‘precious effect’ (Gollum called the One Ring ‘my precious’). Once a person becomes the executive president, the desire to abolish the executive presidency vanishes. Instead, you spend your first term planning to win the second term.

Mr. Sirisena was probably more sincere than his predecessors in his promise to abolish executive presidency. Then he became infected by the plague bacillus of power. The man who wanted to reduce his presidency to four years in 2015, tried to extend it to six years in 2017. The judiciary ruled not per his wishes but per the constitution. Then came the shock of LG polls. The UPFA/SLFP vote-share plummeted to 12.1%, shattering whatever hopes Mr. Sirisena entertained of winning a second term on his own steam.

Had Ranil Wickremesinghe promised to back him in 2020, Maithripala Sirisena would have stayed loyal to his prime minister, at least till after 2020. Mr. Sirisena’s nativism, his cultural conservatism, his horrific homophobia are probably real; but he would have swallowed all that and more, had Mr. Wickremesinghe promised him the UNP’s backing in 2020. Since Mr. Wickremesinghe wouldn’t, Mr. Sirisena tried to incite rebellion within the UNP, probably hoping that a new leader would be more amenable to his presidential ambitions. When those attempts failed, he did the seemingly unthinkable. He formed a pact with Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Rajapaksas are here, to stay

The Rajapaksas were already on the electoral path to power, thanks to the political and economic inanities of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration. Had they waited till 2020, they could have regained power openly, legally and constitutionally. But the DA Rajapaksa museum case was to be taken up on a daily basis by the special high court starting December 4th.[i]Since Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was one of the accused, scuttling the case would have been a matter of utmost importance to the Rajapaksa family.

Mr. Sirisena needed a reed to hang on to in his mad scramble for a second term. The Rajapaksas needed a fast track to power. The twain that was fated never to meet thus met.

At a recent rally, Mr. Sirisena said he appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister because he needed someone capable of toppling Mr. Wickremesinghe and charging ahead. When it comes to toppling anyone or anything, Mr. Rajapaksa is a master. Now that he has a gained a foothold on power, he will definitely charge ahead. The question is not whether he will topple Mr. Sirisena, but when.

Elections can be both democratic and anti-democratic. As soon as he became Germany’s new chancellor through a backroom deal with a senile president, Adolf Hitler called for an election. The Nazis knew they needed a solid parliamentary majority to paralyse the parliament. They understood that democracy can be killed best and easiest using the legitimacy a victorious election would bring.

As Gotabhaya Rajapaksa revealed, their aim is to win a two-thirds majority. With such a majority, they can use the threat of impeachment to deactivate Mr. Sirisena. They can also replace the 19thAmendment with a 20thAmendment, removing presidential term limits and enabling Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the presidency again.

At the 2018 LG polls, the SLPP won 40.47% of the vote while the SLFP/UPFA won 12.1%. By contesting together with Mr. Sirisena, the Rajapaksas have a good chance of winning around 50% of the vote, while keeping violent and skulduggery at a minimum. (The decision is yet to be arrived at, since many Rajapaksa supporters want to go alone). But to gain a two-thirds majority, extraordinary levels of illegality and violence will be necessary. With his serial violation of the constitution, Mr. Sirisena has cleared that path for the Rajapaksas as well.

The Nazis used the Reichstag fire to ensure their electoral victory by changing conditions on the ground. The Sirisena-Rajapaksa combo will use similar tactics, if the anti-constitutional dissolution is accepted by the Elections Commission and the courts. We may hear more of that crazy assassination plot, one of the lies used by Mr. Sirisena to justify his monumental betrayal and shameless realignment. That crazy story might well be our version of the Reichstag fire, an excuse to arrest UNP heavyweights (possibly under the PTA) and create an atmosphere of unalloyed terror in time for the election.

To commemorate the first anniversary of the Sirisena presidency, some Sirisena loyalists produced a song hailing their leader as the new king from Polonnaruwa. The story leaked out and there was a public outcry. The plan was aborted and the song removed from the internet. That was perhaps the earliest warming that the plague bacillus of power had infected Mr. Sirisena.

Now the king from Polonnaruwa and the king from Ruhuna are together. That partnership can have only one ending. Perhaps it’s time Mr. Sirisena brushed up on his knowledge of folk wisdom. He might not know anything about Tolkien, but surely he has heard about the man who grabbed the tiger by the tail?

Hope and resistance

In one of those ironies history delights in, Mr. Sirisena’s attempt to bury the mandate of 2015 under a Rajapaksa avalanche has given the democratic forces an unlooked for chance to reclaim it.

When 6.2 million Lankans voted for Maithripala Sirisena on January 8th 2015, most of them voted not for the man but for the promise he symbolised, escape from Rajapaksa familial rule. Today, he had reopened the door wide for a Rajapaksa return. If the illegal dissolution stands and the illegal election goes ahead, on January 6th 2019, would be as if that other January never was?

The illegal sacking of a Prime Minister followed by the illegal dissolution of parliament has created a situation which would test the democratic reforms of the last three plus years. Are they real and lasting or are they illusory and ephemeral? Are the independent commission truly independent? Is the judiciary capable of protecting the constitution and due process from marauding political leaders? Are the democratic institutions created or revitalised after 2015 capable of standing up to an abusive executive? Is this the end of democratic hope or a mere setback?

Courts do not decide based on laws alone; especially when fates of nations are at stake, politics play a part. If the court acknowledges the illegality of Mr Sirisena’s actions, that in itself would be a victory for democracy.

But what will happen if the Elections Commission kneels before naked power and if Lankan judiciary’s independence is merely seasonal?

Then illegality will triumph; and election will go ahead. And by its very nature, that election will become not an exercise in democracy, but an exercise against democracy.

That is the worst case scenario, what we need to be prepared for.

We are in a time of systemic – and perhaps violent – unravelling. Still there are developments which burn bright in the gathering dark. Be it the principled stand taken by Dr. Devanesan Nesiah or the daily protests by groups of mostly ordinary citizens, the decision by the TNA and the JVP to work together to protect the constitution or the further remanding of a Navy officer accused of abducting two persons in 2009, there are signs, large and small, of resistance, courage and decency.  According to a report in the Colombo Telegraph, the Mahanayake Thero of the Malwatte Chapter has refused to meet with Mr. Sirisena. (The same treatment might have been meted to Mr. Rajapaksa, since his post-October 26thpolitical pilgrimage to Kandy did not include a visit to the Malwatte Maha Viharaya.)

Hope has been murdered, but there is no reason to despair.

Had the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government continued to meander its accustomed way, by 2020, it would have reached the depths of unpopularity. Its policy and its conduct would have driven many of its supporters either into Rajapaksa arms or into disillusionment, despair and eventually inactivity, including not-voting.

The anti-constitutional crimes of the Sirisena-Rajapaksa combo have caused a drastic change in the politico-psychological landscape, by casting into sharp relief what is at stake. The crisis is no ordinary crisis. The choices we make today would decide whether we remain citizens or we return to a subject-hood worse than earlier.

The challenge is far harder than that of 2015. It can be faced only if the UNP understands a basic truth; it cannot win this election alone, whether its leader is Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith Premadasa or someone else. This is an election about the fate of democracy and it must be fought as such. If it is fought along party lines, the UNP will be lucky to get 35% of the vote (at the LG polls it barely reached 30%; that was before the anti-Muslim violence in Kandy and the deadly fuel pricing formula).

Only the broadest possible democratic coalition has a chance to resist the revitalised Rajapaksa juggernaut. The UNP has to be a part of it, together with the JVP, the TNA, the SLMC and all other parties opposed to the serial violation of the constitution. This battle requires the most inclusive tent. It is a battle that must be waged, and waged right, irrespective of the outcome. In the Odyssey that is history, Ithaca is only a way-station.

[i]https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/da-rajapaksa-foundation-owes-slrdc-rs-47-million-for-rajapaksa-memorial/

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Latest comments

  • 21
    3

    As of now,

    1) NOt a single man joined hand with Sirisena in 2015 is with him today.

    2) This Srilal or like Lawyers seem to have misled Sirisena as his advisers.

    3) Even 5th grade pupil would know that amendements made to a system ( constitution) should be respected from the day along the path, but LANKEN President violated it as a nother

    a) Appointment new prime minister not consulation with speaker/respecting constitutional provisions is a GREATER FAILURE -unconstitutional
    b) Prorogation of parliament where newly elected Prime minister to be endorsed as the right one as President thought was right.-unconstitutional
    c) Dissolving parliament totally disrespecting the constitution –unconstitutional
    d) So those who call themselves as MINISTER of FAKE PM’s cabinet and all the decisions –unconstitutional

    THIS COUNTRY LED BY A MAD DOG TODAY IS BECOMING A LAUGHTER STOCK TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY: THOSE BAYYAS WOULD NOT CARE ABOUT ANYTHING WHAT INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAVE TO SAY; BUT LANKENS CANT LIVE ISOLATED IN THIS WORLD: THAT IS PROVABLE FACT.

    • 0
      0

      b.
      The country is led by an imbecile.
      The next one will be no better; although we live in “PARADISE”.

  • 31
    3

    Let us just wait and see the fun in the near future…
    As soon as the general election is over, whoever wins the election (UNP or SLFP), they will impeach the president and send Sirisena home. Both UNP and SLFP do not trust him, he has betrayed both, more than Ranil, the Rajapakshes hate him. As soon as the election is over, the entire parliament (UNP, SLFP, JVP, TNA, SLMC) will get together and kick Sirisena out, and it will be the end of his political career. The entire Sri Lankan nation will be happy to send Sirisena home for good.

    • 8
      0

      You may have been away from the updates.

      While Rajakshes being with Maithripalaya ( I dont name him as lanken president from day before yesterday), have taken the membership of Pohottuwa today. That means SLFP is no longer the strong constitutent on UPFA coalition. Further to this, even if Mahind aRajakashe is united with Sirisena cant long last, since Rajakashes are born high crimnials according not to us but to the eyes of Maythripala.

      The word Maythree brings brings kindness and wisdom to anyone, but Sirisena has been weakenede by that.
      That is infact not overlooked in today ‘s context.

    • 3
      0

      Keep on dreaming, you idiotic blastad.

    • 0
      0

      But will the nation be happy with his replacement?

    • 0
      0

      NIMAL: How come people elected president can be kicked out by people elected and National list MPs. WHERE IS PEOPLES’ SOVEREIGNITY. tHEN THERE SHOULD BE AN ARAB SPRING OR aRMY SHOULD INVOLVE AND SETTLE THE ISSUE FOR THE PEOPLE. Either the UNP or SLFP cannot establish a govt on their own and they want an allience. Besides, they included a national govt in the onstitution in order to fool voters. w

      • 1
        0

        whether it is the alliance of UNP with several other parties OR whether it the alliance of SLFP with several parties like SLPP and others, they will all get together on one common issue, to impeach this unreliable, untrustworthy, utterly useless, backstabbing president. Both Mahinda and Ranil will get together on this one issue, to kick Sirisena out of politics for good. And it will happen very soon, just after the general election is over. However, they may set up an Appa Kade for him in Polonnaruwa.

  • 5
    5

    Thisaranee, there is no need for you to elaborate on the behavior of MS here. Every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Edwin) is doing enough of that. The Authors are doing it and they get paid for that. Now do something for the money. Tell us what we can do.
    .
    At least one commentator ‘Concerned Citizen’ has realized this and started to get ideas from others.
    .
    So, Thisaranee, what are you suggesting? Tell us that please. It is one thing to quote from Tolkien and other sources you seem to think great. All that may mesmerize your fan club – But not me. Quoting does not indicate a wise man or woman. It only indicates someone who browses and picks up bits and pieces. That is so easy to do these days. Give me a female monkey who can use a key board and I will make her quote better than you.

  • 7
    0

    Entire Sri Lankans would be happy if Shitsena send behind the bars for the treason of violating the constitution, for which he took oath to protect and up hold it.

  • 7
    3

    We are not sure whether President Sirisena violated the Constitution because Supreme Court which has the final say on constitutional matters has not given a verdict.
    But we know for sure that some foreign Diplomats are shamelessly violating basic rules they have to follow and interfering in internal affairs of Sri Lanka.
    The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) Article 41 clearly states that diplomats cannot interfere into the internal affairs in the receiving country and such interference is construed as a violation of diplomatic protocol.
    Article 4I – I. Without prejudice to their privileges and immunities, it is the duty of all persons enjoying such privileges and immunities to respect the laws and regulations of the receiving State. They also have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that State
    Article 41 – 2. All official business with the receiving State entrusted to the mission by the sending State shall be conducted with or through the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the receiving State or such other Ministry as may be agreed.
    —————————–
    These guys do not follow what they preach. Hypocrites!

  • 2
    3

    Ranil has gotten into a precarious situation by saying he will take this matter to courts. If he goes to courts, people will jump to the conclusion that he does not respect people’s verdict. That way Ranil becomes the undemocratic villain and President the savior of democracy.

  • 0
    0

    TG, On Jan 8 2015, through lies and damn lies, you and your Kabal arranged to derange a system that was progressive socially and developmentally and plant at the helm a man whose executive capabilities were questionable at best, because that was what you were paid for by the X foundation and Y INGO which you courted, was that in New York? Now you quote Tolkien, and I will quote Voltaire.

  • 1
    0

    This is a very critical time in the political atmosphere of the country. Therefore all who hail Democracy and Rule of Law and not forgetting the Independence of a JUDICIARY have to : (1) Challenge and DEFEAT the decision of the President in “Dissolving” the Legitimate Parliament. (2) Safeguard the Independence and Strengthen the Legitimacy of the “Election Commission” by way of preventing it from acting in terms of the Gazette Notice that which stipulated to accept “Nominations” commencing from the 21st of November . That could only be done through a WRIT OF PROHIBITION issued to the Election Commission. (3) If in the event this “Dissolution” is declared “Unconstitutional & Illegal”, the Speaker must summon the Parliament at once and let the Parliament decide WHO the Prime Minister and let that PM decide on the Cabinet to go ahead with the normal business of Governing the country’s affairs. That could be the way forward to decide what the future is going to be.

  • 1
    1

    Tesaranee: This President is not only “Deranged” but also “ESTRANGED”. His “PM” Mr Mahinda Rajapakse has ABANDONED him and “JOINED” the SLPP – the “POHOTTUWA” along with a “GANG” from the SLFP . The remaining FEW of the SLFP are now revolting against their own “Leader” i.e. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena. The worst “Shit” thrown at him (MY3) by the SLPP is : “IF SLFP WANTS TO JOIN THEM (SLPP) THEY (SLFP) ARE FREE TO DO SO”. Now, what those who say their blood is “BLUE” going to do along with this “ESTRANGED” “Leader” who has been thrown out like a bucket of “Shit” by the newly found “PARAMOUR” – Mahinda Rajapakse. The worst that he (this to ESTRANGED) has to face is yet to come. The other day, Gotabhaya, (GR) presided over a meeting of the “Eliya” at Kaluthara and appealed to PEOPLE to give “POHOTTUWA” – the SLPP , “2/3” majority in the Parliament at the forthcoming election. What does that “CALL” mean? Mr. President: What does that mean to you? With all these happenings, I feel, you, Mr. President, not only “RUB” the SHIT on you but got “DRENCHED” in a well of shit. Look after yourself in the coming days and months. Beware of that “MAN” standing behind in the picture published in this article.

  • 0
    0

    PResident Sirisena, if violated it was the same crappy constitution that the Friends of the international comunity did not like. So be it. What is important now. There is clear evidence that Dollar Kaakkas representing the so called anti-Sri lankan International commuinity who wants to exploit Sri lanka as their same old colony, but now under Neo-colonialism are even though born in Sri lanka are against Sinhala – buddhists. Ranil the Samanalya and his UNP proved that he is there to destroy the country and the culture. This is the reason why 1972 liberated Bangaldesh is developed than the Sri Lanka. 225 of the Sri lanka always looks after their interests and at the expense of the country how they come to power. both Ranil with His UNP and Mahinda Rajapakse with his Lot of plunders in Jackal opposition are lining to fill the parliament. Corrupt journalists ar enot advising the VOTERS to not to vote plunders from either SLFP or UNP, not to vote Three wheeler parties as their ONLY wish is to negotiate a better things for their support. three wheeler parties never make the govt. So, public should be taught. Mahinda Rajapske is coming with his plunders in the JAckal opposition. Ranil is still wating Peace keeping forces of the so-called International community that is G& and their allies plus NATO comes and save him. What a disaster. Non-Aligned is a curse to Sri lanka.

  • 0
    0

    Tisarani Gunasekarra,

    I give below your concluding remarks,

    “Only the broadest possible democratic coalition has a chance to resist the revitalized Rajapaksa juggernaut. The UNP has to be a part of it, together with the JVP, the TNA, the SLMC and all other parties opposed to the serial violation of the constitution. This battle requires the most inclusive tent. It is a battle that must be waged, and waged right, irrespective of the outcome. In the Odyssey that is history, Ithaca is only a way-station”.

    This looks like a “one issue” campaign- only interested in opposing violation of constitution originally brought by President Jayawardene with all dictatorial features.

    The objective of which seems to be solely the defeat of Maithiripala- Mahinda alliance.

    What happens after that? Will it be the end?.

    We should learn from history- a failure to do so will result in history repeating again.

    A grand coalition with a common programme led not by power hungry politicians, but by a team of charismatic leaders who place country before self may be an option

    .The first issue after victory may be the abolition of executive presidency and drafting in a new west minister type constitution

  • 2
    0

    The serial rape metaphorical and literal of our country post independace by successive politicians and governments has beggared us leaving us financially naked in the international arena . That we are on our knees , palms outstretched for alms / baksheesh from whoever for pennies $ or should it be yuans ??!! is a given . Can any politician then DARE to spout off about external interference in our internal affairs ? Lenders benign or malign have vested interests in their investments . Returns expected in cash or kind . Alleged ‘assistance ‘ from China to bid for cross—overs in the present crisis our country is engulfed in needs verification but is plausible given that country’s massive presence on the ground here on the basis of their one belt road master plan . Are we as citizens never going to shed our apathy and wake up to the reality of what is happening under our noses ? What are we waiting for ? Another colonization ? The two party system must go . We need a new political order . Drastic surgery has to be performed on our laws , statutes and now it appears our constitution which are rife with loopholes and lacunae incentivizing political chicanery and brazen disregard for the people whose interests they are supposed to serve . This is not the time for the general public to hang on to political allegiances to red blue green purple or any particular hue if the color spectrum . Let us ALL TOGETHER rally under a single banner , storm the streets and cry ENOUGH . It is not necessary to wait for a hastily promulgated general election which may or may not be ruled as illegal to vote yet again for the same ‘ room to let ‘ corrupt , greedy , self seeking , unpatriotic , despotic lot to get another chance of destroying this blessed country forever . Come on Sri Lankan’s … mother Lanka is waiting for her children to save her from drowning .

    • 0
      0

      We don’t have the People Power that could chsnge the course of Political culture. What banner are you proposing? The ‘green horns’????
      Pun intended.

  • 0
    0

    Tisarrane, your article clearly explains what happened in the past two weeks and the background.

  • 2
    0

    In 2005 you guys portrayed Rajapaksha as the most vicious criminal ever and chose his subservient accomplice (https://youtu.be/8-4aDbeSgzA), used his avarice for power, enticed him to betray his leader and appointed him to lead your epic moral journey towards good governance and emancipation. This Tisaranee was in the front row in deceiving the masses then. CT won’t allow me to say the rest.

    Soma

    • 0
      0

      Soma, Still, Mara is the most vicious criminal ever. Behind every minor criminal there is a master criminal like Mara.
      .
      Soma with your female brain you can guess who that minor criminal is. Mara trained him so well that he supersedes the Guru as well.

  • 0
    0

    Eagle dont you think it is time to get your eyes and brain checked. You sure keep coming out with hilarious counter points. Please refer to your so called constitution (if there is one),before you start quoting on Vienna and the rest.Vienna is not your Lankan constitution to alter when ever you wish. I heard some one just used your constitution to wipe their back after natures call.Have you seen the Lankan news in international media. Dude it is all over being flashed. How MS, MR,SB and few others , Namal being the conduit have been planning this for more than 3 months now. MS lied and came with a excuse which was not even convincing to Lankans. Why do you think Modi notified him ASAP and gave a warning.You are in your own world keep repeating the the same crap for your supper.Why MS dissolved is exposed in the media.( numbers are always a possibility for MR with time and money to bribe, but on the day of votind few of your MS/MR supporters were going to rebel and vote against MR,s premiership, you moron).Stop pretending.

  • 0
    0

    Eagle dont you think it is time to get your eyes and brain checked. You sure keep coming out with hilarious counter points. Please refer to your so called constitution (if there is one),before you start quoting on Vienna and the rest.Vienna is not your Lankan constitution to alter when ever you wish. I heard some one just used your constitution to wipe their back after natures call.Have you seen the Lankan news in international media. Dude it is all over being flashed. How MS, MR,SB and few others , Namal being the conduit have been planning this for more than 3 months now. MS lied and came with a excuse which was not even convincing to Lankans. Why do you think Modi notified him ASAP and gave a warning.You are in your own world keep repeating the the same crap for your supper.Why MS dissolved is exposed in the media.( numbers are always a possibility for MR with time and money to bribe, but on the day of voting few of your MS/MR supporters were going to rebel and vote against MR,s premiership, you moron).Stop pretending. On or about 14th the plan was to show majority for MR by having a no confidence motion.But with the help of TNA,Muslim congress,UNP and rebels of MS/MR they were going to see MR out. That is the blood shed MS is referring to in his speech.

  • 0
    0

    Tissaranee you forgot to mention the orcs. With so many orcs in the parliament it is apocalypse now for Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    It is high time to abolish this executive presidency for the sake of democracy

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