25 August, 2019

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Disembowelling The 13th Amendment?

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Nemesis, the goddess of measure and not of revenge, keeps watch. All those who overstep the limits are pitilessly punished by her”. –Albert Camus (Helen’s Exile)

One of the most incisive analyses about Rajapaksa modus operandi was made not by a Sri Lankan but by an American – Ambassador Robert Blake. Mr. Blake’s observations about how the Siblings operate have a particular resonance as the Rajapaksas plan to neutralise the last remaining structural obstacle to their power-grab: the 13th Amendment.

“The President is often reluctant to make decisions and will stall for time, particularly on important issues. Sometimes he avoids decision making altogether by delegating many responsibilities to Gothabaya or Basli, allowing him to avoid blame for unpopular decisions…. the President’s brothers play an important and influential role in shaping GSL security and political policy. Moreover, one of their biggest roles is to provide political cover to the President. The President often has Gothabaya and Basil take credit for decisions so he can appear less involved in actions that earn the GSL criticism at home and abroad”[i].

Mahinda Rajapaksa is friendly and, by most accounts, likeable; Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is brash to the point of uncouthness; Basil Rajapaksa is smarmy, even oleaginous. These varying styles, and the amazingly effective division of labour they have perfected, often create the impression that the Siblings do not possess a singleness of purpose, and that they pursue divergent (even contradictory) policy objectives. These different personality traits also give rise to myths and rumours, periodically: ‘Mahinda the Moderate and Gotabhaya the Hardliner’, ‘Mahinda fell out with Basil/Gotabhaya’, ‘Mahinda is a prisoner of Gotabhaya/ Basil’ etc.

Like all siblings, the Rajapaksas would have their personal differences. They also share a political agenda. All three want to concentrate every ounce of power in their collective hands; all three want to destroy every other centre of power/influence (their concerted assault on the judiciary is a classic case in point); all three want to safeguard familial rule and ensure dynastic succession. Sans the 18th Amendment, there could have been major opinion differences amongst them about who should don the Presidential mantle when Mahinda Rajapaksa retires at the end of his second term. Those differences may have evolved into serious schisms, providingSri Lanka (and the SLFP) with an opportunity to escape the Rajapaksa-stranglehold. But once the term-limit provision was removed, that positive potential vanished; now the brothers can work in unison to empower themselves and disempower everyone else.

Rendering the 13th Amendment ineffectual is a key component of that power-drive.

The 13th Amendment still exists because the Rajapaksas have some concerns about Indian/Western reactions to its abrogation.

The Rajapaksa political project is inherently centripetal. The Siblings’ antipathy to power-sharing is visceral and total. That is why they moved with such ruthless velocity against the judiciary when the Supreme Court refused to make a blatantly anti-constitutional ruling. The Siblings will be equally opposed to the idea of a provincial council which is outside their control. This was a non-issue so long as the Siblings were able to evade the holding of Northern provincial council elections. That changed when the regime was compelled to accept a quid-pro-quo of Indian provenance:Delhi’s backing for the Hambantota Commonwealth in return for the holding of NPC poll in September.

Given the anti-democratic and anti-devolutionary nature of their political project, the Rajapaksas have two choices: hold elections on time to a disempowered provincial council; or use the threat of an imminent disembowelling of the 13th Amendment to win Indian consent to another postponement. (Incidentally, if the TNA boycotts the NPC poll, in protest against the downgrading of the 13th Amendment, the Rajapaksas might even be able to win the NPC.)

Will India fall for this latest ruse, as she fell for all the previous ones? Or will she insist on the Siblings honouring the original agreement?

Will Delh ihave the guts to use the Hambantota Commonwealt has a hostage?

A Retrogressive Project

In the dawn hours of June 6th 2007, police teams descended on several Colombo lodges. The residents (including the very old and the very sick) were herded into waiting buses to be transported to their North-Eastern villages. The first load was already on its way before the Supreme Court intervened to stop the expulsions.

The decision to expel Tamil lodgers (on the basis that some Black Tigers are lodge-dwellers) was taken at the highest level. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa defended this anti-constitutional and racist move stridently; Mahinda Rajapaksa did so, less abrasively.

Such an ethno-centric atrocity was unimaginable in post-AccordSri Lanka, until the advent of the Rajapaksas.

By the time Mahinda Rajapaksa won the Presidency (thanks to the boycott imposed by his LTTE counterpart), most Lankans adhered to a point of view which can be termed non/post chauvinist. A majority accepted the need for a generous political solution to the ethnic problem. For instance, according to an opinion survey conducted by the Marga Institute in June/July 2006, 66% of the respondents consented to a political solution which exceeded the unitary-state model. This public mood was in tandem with the positions of the UNP and the SLFP; both supported a quasi-federal or federal arrangement.

The retrogressive change which took place in the thinking of the Sinhala South did not happen spontaneously, but as a result of Rajapaksa rule. The Siblings made clear their non-belief in the existence of an ethnic problem, early on. They also interpreted the Fourth Eelam War as the main axis of a restorationist project aimed at giving back to the Sinhala-Buddhists the place of dominance they enjoyed since 1956 and lost in 1987, due to external intervention.

In order to create a support base for their political project, the Siblings needed to create an axiomatic link between themselves and the majority of the populace via Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism. They also needed a racist-wedge to prevent any future Sinhala-Tamil-Muslim unity on the basis of common economic woes. Since the 13th Amendment impeded their power-grab, they needed a patriotic cover to justify its eventual negation.

To achieve these purposes they had to appeal not to the best, the more intelligent and humane part of the Sinhala-psyche, but to the worst, the more inane and merciless part, the part which enabled the ‘Sinhala Only’ and the Black July, and regarded neither as a mistake.

If the North-Eastern issue was merely a terrorist problem, then the matter became resolved the moment the LTTE was defeated. If there is no ethnic problem, then a political solution based on devolution becomes not just unnecessary but also undesirable – as dangerous as administering chemotherapy to a healthy man. In this context, peace-building becomes a law-and-order exercise, with some development thrown in as relish. Peace can be guaranteed not by devolution but by erecting more military camps, buying more military-hardware and imposing stricter laws and regulations, the whole somewhat leavened by physical infrastructure projects and occasional handouts.

This Rajapaksa thinking renders inevitable the current assault on the 13th Amendment.

Disembowelling the 13th Amendment will be the new ‘Sinhala Only’. It will jeopardise peace and reconciliation, push even moderate Tamils into alienated despair, revitalise the separatist-slogan and transform Vellupillai Pirapaharan from failed leader into misunderstood prophet.

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    Can Ms T please write a piece on how the 32 Samaneras were butchered by her “Prophet” and tender an apology on behalf of her beloved TNA on this anniversary.?

    That will lay the foundation to start connecting with the great majority of the inhabitant population and may even get a positive result like Ms T’s Marga poll did, a decade ago.

    But there is a lot of work to be done by Sambnadan in between.

    He has to jettison his luggage from the LTTE days and make a clean break from the Reverend and the PM lead Diaspora.

    Finally he has to give the inhabitants an iron clad guarantee that LTTE riff raff will not be either entertained nor accomodated especially on crown land at all, whether they come from Europe or India.

    And promise that there wouldn’t be any harm to KP, Deva and Daya Master from his Police.

    Then the inhabitants may tick all the boxes even if Marga ask their view on TNA Police and Land Bank.

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      Brilliant piece Thisaranee! As always hats off to you for telling the unvarnished truth with great courage.
      The silver lining is that we now have a possible winner to END the corrupt Rajapassa military dictatorship by uniting the joint opposition – Chandrika Bandaranaiyake Kumaratunge – older and wiser as a come back kid!
      Seriously, though I was never a fan, she can unite the joint opposition, save the SLFP from the uncouth Rajapassa dictatorship and work with Sobitha Thero et als. aganda to abolish the EP while giving the other dictator Ranil who has ruined the UNP a fantastic kick!

      Chandrika who messes up last time also because of LTTE intransigance will be a great PEACETIME president for reconciliation as she has the intellect and knowledge and commitment to values of liberal pluralism and minority rights to set Lanka right..

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        @dinuk

        You seem to be having such a high opinion of your Comeback Kid so much, despite her screwing the country for so long, that I strongly feel your real name is Mangala the Sari Pota man and not Dinuk. Sri Lankans are not suffering from amnesia and remember very well the mess created by the father, mother and daughter trio. So, please keep your opinions to yourself and cast your own solitary vote for another decade of damnation and ruination if you so wish but dont speak for the rest of us.

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          And what about the mess created by Ranil the looser who holds the record for defeat in Lanka and shamelessly refuses to hand over to the younger generation?
          CBK is a damn site better and will split the Rajapassa Juggernaut.. CBK will kill 2 birds or dictators with one stone, though yes she was pretty bloody awful last time around, but may be better next time.. Like Pakistan’s Nawaz Shariff..

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            Yes, I agree with Dinuk,

            I truly belive Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike should rescue her Father’s party from absolute corrupt thugs and thieves. Only she can do it with the help of senior party members, sobitha thero and with truly honest and country loving Candidates from all communities.This is her obligation to the Party as well as to the country.Also she should not be afraid for Barking Dogs. Also should build her friendship with the International Community.

            I still believe Ranil as another do nothing, know nothing selfish dictator. The other side of Crook JRJ’s nephew who will take the party and the country on a dictatorial path. His only aim is to maintain his party leadership while keep the rest of the members under bondage and nothing else. His expiry date has lapsed long ago. Giving fake and boring TV interviews will take him nowhere.

            Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike has her Obligation to take back the party from Alibabas, thieves, rapists, thugs, murderers and Tsunami and Commission Kakkas.

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              You are right.

              But I dont think that MR and his thugs will ever allow CBK to rise again. But I believe in miracles.

              For all the accusations that MR regime deliberately spread – should be an end. Cold bloodedness is in Rajapkshes genes. They have no care against respect and dignity.

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      Sumanasekera, before going on to ‘Samaneras’ go back and think for the reasons that lead the tamils to arms. Think of the ‘Black July’ and the all the “Kolale” that springed with ever trifle issue, sometimes over personal debt and killed and destroyed tamil lives and properties. I guess now you get the answer for the killing of ‘Samaneras’. Ms.Tissaranee is suggesting to find solutions that will bring lasting peace while you guy taking a ‘scene’ out of context. Join Tissaree and others to live in a peaceful country or join Rajapakse company to ensure a war for next generation.

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      Sumane,

      There is much doubt created here about who you exactly are and that you write under different names. I have a better opinion of your appreciation of the Lankan quagmire. But trying to portray the brilliant writer TG along anti-Sinhala lines, as you do here, is below your grain. There is little doubt you are a Govt plant – but that is perfectly OK. TG or other writers writing/commenting against perceived State shortcomings and mistakes should not be presented as
      anti-Patriotic. Those are really the basic features that produce the very essence of democracy – and. therefore, should be supported and encouraged. Weakening the role of the opposition, crudely and subtly, as the Rajapakses have done from Day One is one of the most damaging features this regime has inflicted on our political culture.

      Senguttuvan

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        Senguttuvan

        “There is little doubt you are a Govt plant”

        Even if K.A Sumanasekera is a government plant,the pertinent question should be is he doing a good job what is expected of him? If I were MR I would not employ him as I don’t think I would be getting value for money.

        I like him for exposing the state of the nation far better than the ones who are in full time opposition.

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          Dear Native,

          Now you are starting to tickle me too,

          Young Packer, I am sure you are familiar with forking out 350 Mil Aussie to build a Hotel and Gaming Venue.

          China giving the inhabitants another 2200 Mil real Dollars to build a freeway ,all the way to ex Diaspora Land.

          Japan is investing 500 Mil to start high tech Industries.

          Not a bad State to be in.

          By the way the “Dual” applicants specially Aussie ones are getting pissed off because the real eastate in juicy suburbs where your vigilantes are, becoming beyond reach with the arse falling off the Aussie Dollar.

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            K.A Sumanasekera

            Giving and receiving loans is a process best known as “tying balls”. Irrespective of whoever pulls, it hurts both.

            That is geo-economics for dummies.

            In the case of Sri Lanka it would hurt the ordinary inhabitants.

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      Do you know the size of loan that this island owes to the Hindians?

      May I take this opportunity to remind you that Hindians include 80 Million of your Tamilian brethren too.

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        Dar Native,

        Do you know the size of loan ,the adopted land of your elected PM and your Tamilian brethren owes the Chinese?.

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          K.A Sumanasekera

          Please stop tickling me.

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          Sumane, aka Leela aka ?:
          That last drink you took before this last post should be avoided in future because it was even more incomprehensible that your usual rubbish. But then that’s what you get paid for, right?

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      K.A. Sumanasekera:
      The jackass brays again!
      “And promise that there wouldn’t be any harm to KP, Deva and Daya Master from his Police.” Anyone who wishes some kind of amnesty for these butchers doesn’t have to be exposed. He’s done it for himself already! You must be the single most disgusting invertebrate contributing to CT, by far!

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    We can’t tell any thing to Mr Gota Because he saved our lanka from the LTTE…before three years. He was the leader of our military …but so sad to tell..our sri lankan people didn’t remember the past….why people can’t think in a good way in good position???

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      Shirantha,

      You say…..”We can’t tell any thing to Mr Gota Because he saved our lanka from the LTTE…”

      I wander if you were in a deep sleep for 15 years during the hight of the war to say Gots saved our country when he and his brother Basil were in excile in USA during the crucial period. He and his brother Basil came to Sri Lanka only after his brother Mahinda Rajapakse won Presidential election to get top Ministerial posts which they hold upto now.

      It is a shame on you not to appreciate the real hero who won the war which is Gen.Sarath Fonseka.

      Gota created more trouble to both Armed forces,tamil refugees, surrendered LTTE carders and to Sri Lanka Government during and after the end of war.

      Please watch killing fields in You tube to see the reality of LTTE war.

      Remember that small knowledge is dangerous.

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      Shirantha:
      WTF are you talking about? If you can’t express yourself in English why don’t you try it in the language that spoken by a few million people in a world population that now exceeds 7 BILLION?

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    13 amendment is a really trouble for all.this is the time to finish this.Dr.President please try to finish this.now we under one flag for thankful three forces and president with the government.if the opposite party in the power now we are buggers in a TAMIL country.thank to MR we are proud nation now.

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      Proudly begging nation !

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      Are we really a proud nation?
      You in a coma. when you come round perhaps its too late.
      China economy is declining, do you know that? No you dont. Because
      you are a pro-regime fool sadly. Yes Western and some other countries
      going to stop Chinese dominance. Its already started.
      When china reduces its oxygen supply to SL Rajapaksas will be choking. thats will be the end of this ‘PADASHOWS’.

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      @Hashini
      Ignorance Is Bliss.
      Your perceptions are your reality.
      Anura

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      Hashini:
      Did you take English lessons from Shirantha or at the Rajapaksa tutory?

  • 0
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    Just wait…what will happen is going to happen.

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      J.muthu

      “Just wait…what will happen is going to happen.”

      You sound like a Bhagavad Gita Guruwarayo. You are a man of many talents. Or just name dropping simply following Dayan.

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      Brilliant analysis of the situation. I particularly admire the innovative grammar. Please write more.

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      @J.muthu

      Brilliant analysis of the situation. I particularly admire the innovative logic. Please write more.

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    Its no big deal.

    But, what we must consider is that Sri Lanka has one too many tiers of politics…………
    This Provincian Councilare duplicating governance.

    The Grama Sevaka and the Local Government tiers are more than sufficient to to see to the needs of Grass roots and overall District repreesentation through parliament.

    Infact, Provicial Councils are a White Elephant.
    Better have a refferendum and get rid of it once and for all.

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    K.A Sumanasekera, shirantha, hashini mutts,

    “..and transform Vellupillai Pirapaharan from failed leader into misunderstood prophet..”

    This is what is going to happen to you bastards, the world coming to believe Pirapaharan to be the ‘misunderstood prophet’ and helping tamils to fulfill the prophet’s dream!

    Oh! god save SL from these K.A Sumanasekera, shirantha, hashini buffalos!

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      Tamils get peelam ?

      do you remember how your dream was floating on the muddy water ?

  • 0
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    A very realistic analysis
    Bensen

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    The resolution in the UNHRC instructed Sri Lanka(SL) to solve the ethnic problem.

    Both the UNP and the UPFA are addressing issues outside the ethnic problem instead of addressing the problem itself.

    The rebel and unilateral constitution of SL in 1972- in Southern Rhodesian style in 1965 by racist Ian Smith- by and for Sinhala Buddhist citizens only, was the problem. Rightly and democratically, the predominantly Tamil North and East, voted in 1977, for Tamil Eelam(TE) as an independent sovereign state.

    This is the ethnic problem and will remain so for 100 years and even more until resolved.

    The following are issues arising from the problem, mistaken as the problem itself;

    1. Liberation war by Tamil combatants.
    2. Indo Lanka Accord and the 13th amendment to
    the illegal and fraudulent constitution.
    3. War crimes and genocide of Tamils.
    4. And now, an attempt to establish a “unitary state”,
    again in rebellion, against the UNHRC resolution,
    by the Sinhala Buddhist.

    It is very clear that SL could not address the ethnic problem for the past 41 years and cannot address the problem.

    Therefore, the UN must intervene and resolve the ethnic problem by its own mechanism.

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    Kachchativu is also an issue. If 13A goes, so will Kachchativu which was ceded under the same agreement. Already TN is asking for it.

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      and that’ll have a knock on effect on the maritime boundary and hence our fishing industry, and through that on our coastal communities, and through that the economy and the rest of the country.

      But what does Rajapakse care? Let the country go to hell, as long as he gets what he wants. People with their forequarters lodged in their hindquarters will keep defending this insanity.

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    No need to disembowelling the 13 amendment.

    Just scrap it from the constitution. How long does it take!

    • 0
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      Hurry to that.

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    Give away Kachchaitivu voluntarily in the process of amending the 13th
    amendment, which HEs mouth-peices Wimal & Champika will not object and
    BBS too, thereby silencing TN for some time. Maintaining the Dynasty
    is all that matters to the Siblings.

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      Siblings will sell the country even for Pennies to stay in Power. They have already ruined 70% of it. Very few left to ruin and they will do it.

      Very soon the true facts and figures will come into highlight.

      Siblings are taking the country on a HARAKIRI MURDER SUICIDE MISSION.

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      When SL got the Kachchatevu dowry, SL had to accept 500,000 Indians. Return the dowry and the 500,000 too to India.

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        India lost over 1,700 of their Piece keeping forces men and over 7,000 injured during the Eelam War which was part of the 13th Amendment MOU signed with Sri Lanka Government.

        Get ready to pay compensation.

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    TG correctly pin points to the myth that is fabricated ‘MR is good, the fault is with the badly brought up Brothers’. This was the refrain before 1945 and not infrequently after, that the despicable features of the Holocaust were not Hitler’s but Himmler’s.

    In SL, JR got it carried to the Tamil leadership that his statesmanship was thwarted by Cyril Mathew. The message conveyed was what can HE do when that man controls 4 million votes? ‘That Man’ when sacked went out in a minority of one.

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    The GOSL has schemed to make the 13A totally ineffective and impotent. Will iindia have the spine to question it? I very much doubt. Even with a mere skeleton of provincial autonomy, the TNA has no option but to contest and win. It is going to be a long haul. But the struggle has to continue through one means or other as otherwise the identity of Tamils as a nation in the island will be totally lost in no time.

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      MR is identified with the enormous and irresponsible destruction of State property – buses, railway rolling stock, CEB power-lines and others costing losses to the State in billions – during those dark days of 1987 when the Indo-Lanka Accord was presented. He came to power with established anti-Indian sources like the undivided JVP, PNM and others – all fanatically against every single letter of the 13th Amendment – whether they understood much of it notwithstanding. And now he finds the pendulum swinging back and in that hot seat to give effect to the “much despised” the bilateral Accord – a product of two governments that solemnly endorsed it after years of accord and study. It is not the good or bad features of the Accord that is under attack – but the prejudice built around it by the Sinhala extremists like Weerawansa, Nalin de Silva, Gunadasa Amerasekera, SL Gunasekera, Gomin Dayasiri et al. It is legenday Weerawansa’s wisdom also includes the belief the Internet is useless and Google is a conspiracy by the USA calculated only to harm the Rajapakse government. With such intelligent senior Ministers in your bosom, anything is possible.
      As to India, senior advisor Shiv Shankar Menon is in record saying
      “the 13th Amendment is your law” Meaning you can do anything with it you think is necessary.

      Senguttuvan

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    Jayanatha says, “..Siblings are taking the country on a HARAKIRI MURDER SUICIDE MISSION..”

    Quite true!

    One birdbrainer chirped “..Give away Kachchaitivu voluntarily in the process of amending the 13th amendment,..” India will station their military forces on Kachchaitive and the doom of SL would draw nearer and sooner! And these fuckers will not be there to write these bullshit comments or to save the country on that they!

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      as if it cannot be done right from Rameswaram end? If every Indian
      spits at one & same time, we all will be drowned!! This is reality.

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    “All parties must get together for an all-inclusive political solution. We cannot import a solution, and it cannot be a Rajapaksa-Sampanthan agreement,” the President told a visiting Indian Parliamentary delegation.

    At last our generally not so smart president has got some brains.

    SWRD Pantaranayaka died 2 years after signing B-C pact.
    Dudley Chenanayaka LOST power forever 5 years after signing D-C pact.

    Don’t follow them Raja.

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    One Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman is sentenced to death. There are about six others with evidence of involvement in heinous crimes, but not indicted, because of their party affiliations. They will go to jail if there is a change of government.

    No government has given police and land powers to any provincial council, knowing very well the consequences. You must be mad to think of awarding land and police powers to the Northern Provincial council,studded with plenty of former militants. Tigers can’t change their spots!

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    “One of the most incisive analyses about Rajapaksa modus operandi was made not by a Sri Lankan but by an American – Ambassador Robert Blake. Mr. Blake’s observations about how the Siblings operate have a particular resonance as the Rajapaksas plan to neutralise the last remaining structural obstacle to their power-grab: the 13th Amendment.”

    Three Words. Politicians self interest.

    The Mahanama Monk Sinhala Buddhist Racism is being played again.

    The Curse of Lanka.

    See what the Good Monk Ven. Sobhita Thero has to say.

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    “Will Delhi have the guts to use the Hambantota Commonwealt has a hostage?

    The answer to that is “NO”

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      When Rajapakses holding it’s own Citizen as Hostage while Gambling with their lives, anything is possible from India’s point of view.

      Why do you think an Indian delegation suddenly came to visit Rajapakses.

      Remember how India voted during last two UNHRC Geneva vote on Sri Lanka.

      Anything is possible when the Republic Becomes a Joker’s Polkudu Banana Democratic Republic.

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