4 December, 2020

Blog

President Reveals True Nature Of His Governance!

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr Laksiri Fernando

It was shocking, outrageous and deplorable, but not necessarily surprising. It was shocking since he didn’t have any qualms to reveal it openly. It was outrageous and deplorable because it came from the country’s Head of State more than the Executive President! It was not surprising however since many people had come to doubt or know about it for a long time.

Here we have a President who says “we tried to cover it up quietly since he was our man. That is how we do things, No.” His speech was in Sinhala and this is a reasonable translation or interpretation.

The matters he was referring to were not only on the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, which has already boomeranged on the government, but also about one of the most publicised corruption cases against the Chief Justice’s husband in the history of the country, excessively publicised by the state media. The occasion was the opening ceremony of the new building for the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) at Malalasekera Road, Colombo, on 11 December 2012. All quotations here are translated from and the interpretations are based on the Final Cut unedited on 11 December 2012 from News First (MTV). This is undoubtedly a minefield of spicy political material; I would have given this for my final year Political Science special students for their analysis in terms of ‘good governance and ethics of politics.’

General Comments

He started with general comments on development and achievements of the ICA. Commenting on the accountants, he said they are perceived as obstacles particularly in the government sector, as they raise so many questions and rules. This is the same in semi-government corporations. Then he came to the point of referring to some corporation Chairmen and said that “they even hoodwink the Accountants.” “Then the opposition shouts and we go and punish them. But when we punish, the opposition goes and defend them.” The whole system of democracy, dissent and criticism appeared a joke to him.

He further claimed that “we most of the time listen to the opposition and when we listen and try to punish, they say the procedures are wrong.” This was like a rehearsal to blame the opposition for the impeachment! He added that “when a wrong is done what we have to look at is the facts and facts alone.” He implied that the procedures are not that important and that was obvious from his gestures. In essence he questioned the legal principle that “not only must justice be done; it must also be seen to be done.” The question of a fair trial was not at all referred to although he soon started talking about ‘laws and the importance of the constitution from a different point of view.’

He emphasised that “under the present JR’s constitution, if I do wrong only the Parliament can punish me. I cannot be taken before the courts,” he laughed. “Parliament can bring an impeachment. But when an impeachment is in motion, I cannot dissolve the Parliament. That is a limitation I have. Likewise, if a superior judge does any wrong he/she cannot be taken before a court, there is no higher court, and the method is also an impeachment.”

He also referred to a case against a judge in Kegalla rather hilariously who was apparently forced to resign by passing a resolution in Parliament perhaps as a precedent that needs to be followed in the future. Then you don’t possibly need a Judicial Services Commission (JSC), independent or not. Then he referred to the case of impeachment against Neville Samarakoon and emphasised that “it was only due to a word that he stated against the President of that time.” He implied that the powers of the President are that powerful. He asked someone in the audience whether he is correct or not also adding that “I am subject to correction, because what I say should be correct.” He also referred to the impeachment against Sarath N Silva briefly. But what was important at this juncture was how he referred to politics and opposition politics.

“In general, whatever the impeachment is about, the opposition is always against it. We are the people who shouted when the impeachment was brought against Samarakoon; it was unreasonable and so on. That is the task of the opposition; otherwise it is not an opposition. When I was in the opposition, whatever the matter, I used to go to the street and shout. That is the duty of the opposition, whether it is correct or not. That is not a concern for me, when we were in the opposition. It is the same at present.”

Apart from an effort to discredit the current opposition, the whole attitude on politics and opposition politics was alarming. The impression cultivated is that democratic politics is a joke or at best a game.

Impeachment Issue

He said that he is commenting on the issue of impeachment because it was raised. Otherwise he didn’t want to. That can lead to misunderstandings. He said that it was the opposition who raised the issue first. The full text of his declaration was the following.

“They were our appointed Chairman and our appointed Chief Justice. There was an allegation about the Chairman, who was at the NSB, I believe, about financial matter that he sold some shares, at a lower prize when they were higher. There was a big shout, in the newspapers and in newspaper headlines every day. I urgently called the people and asked them to take the shares back by giving money back. It was covered up with difficulty. That is how we do it for our man, no.” (yanthan eka vahala dala shape kela. Ehemane keranne ape minihata).

Apart from being incorrect in his interpretation of the NSB scandal, the way he had concealed or tried to conceal the matter was outrageous. The interpretation was incorrect as it was not a case of selling NSB shares but buying The Finance Company shares at a higher price (Rs. 50 per share) when the market price was mere Rs. 20. It was reportedly was a question of NSB being forced by the government to buy a stake (13 per cent) in the bankrupt The Finance Company involving Rs 390 million rupees. Non-executive Chairman possibly could have been a mere scapegoat.

The main effort of the President was to blame the opposition for the impeachment motion. The argument went as follows, reminiscent of the famous King Kekille. “The opposition not only went and made a complaint before the Bribery Commissioner. They also said that for the wrong that the Chairman had done, the wife also should be punished. That is also something the opposition said and not me. The governing party was silent. It was also the General Secretary of the UNP that said first that they would bring an impeachment motion.”

It is a fact that the opposition raised the NSB issue and also raised some issues against the Chief Justice. But what triggered the impeachment process on the part of the government is not the NSB issue but the Divineguma issue as many discussions on the subject has already established. The President wanted the public to believe that the 117 members signed the impeachment motion because of the pressure from the opposition!

If that is the case then it would be very easy for the government now to withdraw the impeachment motion without confusing the people, disrupting the judicial process and creating a bad name for the country within the international community. If the impeachment motion is withdrawn by the signatories even now the whole report of the PSC will become defunct. Instead what the President has proposed is another Committee, allegedly an independent one, to scrutinize the already completed PSC report! It is in effect is a government report.

Other Issues

There are two other statements which are quite alarming in the President’s speech. One is about how misdeeds of people should be handled in the country or in the judiciary in general. Second is about why he has come to the conclusion of appointing another committee. The two are not necessarily one after the other but all mixed up as usual.

He said “When I was silent, members of Parliament signed an impeachment motion saying that we cannot be at the receiving end all the time (meaning the opposition criticism). I was not happy even at that time but after it has been gone through the Parliament what is left is to appoint a committee and get a report.”

He gave the impression that he didn’t believe the charges were grave. He made a comment saying that “when somebody is fallen, then all the enemies give a hammering and that is the status of the country.” He in fact betrayed all the MPs who signed the impeachment motion sans the Rajapaksas who cunningly evaded signing the motion for some reason. He also said that “I regret the situation, I am also a lawyer and a professional, I don’t like to demean (helluwata lakkaranne) the judiciary. If somebody has done wrong, I don’t think it should be discussed openly, it is not good for the judicial system. Things have gone to that extent and regrettably though we are forced to discuss these matters. He also said that the matter has become unnecessarily politicized.”

He said that “before I take action on the report I want to get the opinion of an independent committee.” The reasoning went like the following. “I am only answerable to my conscience (mage hadawatai mama uththera diya uththay). I have to satisfy myself before I act, that it is correct. This is my own conviction and it is not there in any book or law.” This comment has already generated criticism people asking whether the President is not answerable to the people or not.

There were of course few other comments at the end referring to the duties of the people to the country and professionals going abroad and sending or not sending money back to the country, but those were not directly relevant to the theme of this article.

Conclusion

It was undoubtedly a remarkable speech, a minefield for further study, revealing rather unashamedly how Sri Lanka is governed today. There is clear cynicism regarding dissent, political criticism and opposition in the country, based on his own experience as an oppositional agitator and even the leader of the opposition. Even the present agitators and leaders of the opposition should do a soul searching exercise to see whether they come under the same category or not.

Most alarming is the way he has revealed how he was trying to fudge a scandalous share deal between the NSB and the TFC without thinking of punishing the culprits especially when the savings of pensioners and ordinary people were at stake. This undoubtedly is the way the whole economy is run. The President is also the Minister of Finance. Even in respect of the judiciary, he said that the wrongs (varadha) should not be made public in his opinion, at a second occasion in the speech.

To him the procedures are not very important in a disciplinary case, only facts are important. He appeared to view that the Parliament could punish the judges, referring to a dismissal of a judge in Kegalle in the past. He however washed his hands like Pontius Pilate to show he is not responsible for the present impeachment. He even betrayed his Parliamentarians, like Judas Iscariot, who prepared the impeachment motion, apparently on his behalf or on behalf of the family.

Many times he pointed out his powers as the Executive President under the ‘JR’s Constitution’ and that is the phrase he used. He said he is responsible only for his conscience or heart (hadavata). He is apparently not responsible for the people. The President revealed the true nature of his governance in a single speech.

The President tried to argue that the impeachment motion was brought because of the opposition. If that is the case then it would be very easy for the government now to withdraw the impeachment motion without confusing the people, disrupting the judicial process and creating a bad name for the country within the international community.

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Latest comments

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    Whenever the two main Brothers go out and speak in public fora they put their foot where the mouth is. If they happen to speak in ingreesi
    it usually ends up in disaster. In this case it was, for the speaker, the more comfortable Sinhala. The well-heeled Accountants got a taste of a different quality of Sinhala. This time the language of the Underworld with which the First Family seems to be more at home – apey miniha, shape kala, weday dunna – and so on. One thing is mercifully clear. This kind of pithy language will not make it to the more urbane language of the Accountants/Auditors in their Annual Reports.

    Sri Lanka has since long bid adieu to leaders of learning, upbringing
    and the finer features of a cultured environment. As John Adams noted “an Eagle was never hatched from a goose’s egg”

    Senguttuvan

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      Time has come to turn the tables and IMPEACH MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE and his brothers for misconduct and bringing disrepute to the judiciary and the legislature and the executive office by corruption, law breaking, denial of natural justice and due process by running a Kangaroo Court in the guise of a parliamentary select committee (PSC) to impeach the Chief Justice.
      The Rajapassa brothers have brought great disrepute to the organs of the State, the country and the sovereign people of Sri Lanka. They are a NATIONAL DISGRACE and should be impeached!

    • 0
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      Tamils had to suffer a megalomaniac for 30 years and it is only fair that the Sinhalese should suffer through a different megalomaniac for the next 30 years, isn’t it? Only then would both sides will realize the crazyness of selecting a barbarian as their leader. As it is the Sinhalese still think they are the lucky ones to have defeated megalomaniac number one.

      Besides, think about it… if it didn’t happen this way, all those religions will end up becoming false teachings, don’t you think?

  • 0
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    “Ehemane karanne ape minihata” – Very dirty and ugly precedent created by the Head of State. Mr. Laksiri Fernando, your article is great and excellent and written very bravely in the midst of White Vans. As I have stated earlier, in Sri Lanka where criminals rule the country, anyone can kill or assault or do any crime like drug dealings or extortions or any type of thuggery and get away scott free if the crimes are being committed by the rulers or their henchmen or by becoming henchmen of the rulers. In other words, you can kill someone and you are promoted if you belong to the ruling party or by joining the ruling party and become a boot-licker. God Bless our poor country which was the Pearl of the Indian Ocean and the country of smiling people prior to 1971. Now, only a few smiling people are left in Sri Lanka and our CJ is an exception still exhibiting a very innocent and a beautiful Sri Lankan smile in the midst of all bogus and fabricated charges against her by the same people who made her the Chief Justice. She is a “GOLDEN LADY” and not an Iron Lady honest and brave enough to rule and make Sri Lanka a corrupt-free (to a great extent) country.

  • 0
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    This is another ‘exposure’ by professor laksiri!

  • 0
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    The entire nation and more specifically the sinhala nation becomes a laughing stock before rest of the world when our leaders talk such rubbish and tend to backtrack on their set agendas with pitiable glee.

  • 0
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    Laksiri, you having such an analytical mind and ability to comprehend issues, I sometimes wonder how you got attracted to support this Moron MR. Anyway what is important is your present stand. I congratulate you on your effort to salvage this country and the Nation at time of need. I trust you will understand in RW who will never shift his stance to save any from wrong doings as this man claiming ‘Apey Miniha’. He will not attempt to save nor persecute any, but will leave it for the proper authorities to dispense their responsibilities. I believe we have a responsibility in our little way to contribute to that larger picture to save this country and the Nation. Thank you.

    • 0
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      Thank you.

  • 0
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    He is a good man. Hear no evil, do no evil and speak no evil.What an innocent man. Do people know how he became a lawyer and he calls himself a professional Now the independent committee will be a dependent Committee.Well whom is he trying to bluff. As for the NSB shares it is Board decision.Why pick only the chairman?

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    He is a good man. Hear no evil, do no evil and speak no evil.What an innocent man. Do people know how he became a lawyer and he calls himself a professional Now the independent committee will be a dependent Committee.Well whom is he trying to bluff. As for the NSB shares it is Board decision.Why pick only the chairman?

  • 0
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    IT IS A TRUE SAYING THAT WE “SINHALAYA MODAYAS ARE KAVUN KANNA YODHAYAS.
    WE OPEN OUR MOUTH TO SWALLOW THE “RASA KAVILI”, OTHERWISE WE OPEN OUR MOUTH AND UTTER BULL SHIT. THIS IS TRUE WITH “APE’ MINIYA” AND HIS FAMILY.

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    The present political culture in Sri Lanka cannot be said to be honourable, honest or sincere. It is in that context, that “pithy” language should also be tolerated by the more refined professionals who have mature ideals and value systems.

    If the writer is correct in his assertions, the danger is the sense of unaccountability and feeling of impunity from adverse consequences due to the operation of law and order.

    I believe that people at all levels must learn to correctly identify and analyse the workings of those in power. They must also regenerate an interest in politics and government, not resigning themselves to fate and accepting the status quo.

  • 0
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    Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech to the accountants clearly revealed that he was unsuitable to lead a country other than to disaster. That he was not a learned man who was able to understand the intricacies of good governance is manifestly clear.His style is that of a goon and with goons like Mervin Dilan and Gonwansa. He came and did a good job where Prabahakaran was concerned now he must step down and the country will recgnise him for all time.If he plans to stay that is to serve the Samagama
    In the midst of a learned CJ he is a muppet.That is why he said EYAGE OLU IDIMILA.
    There should be a sustained campaign to restore the independence of the judiciary and all should act in unison
    Heaven help Sri Lanka

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    He & family are the initiators,they should resign,leave office.

    Long time ago people voted for just one man,therafter tens of family came out of the woodwork and have been eating Lanka like Termites!

  • 0
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    Wow!! What a fantastic analysis by Dr. L F. What is appalling about MR’s this speech is the way he described the NSB deal literally lieing through his teeth, telling entirely different account of events that transpired in the froudulant equity trade. I believe he did this to protect Renor Silva (kudu Duminda’s brother )who looted nearly quartet billon rupees of savings belonged to poor pensioners and other under prevellaged innocent Srilankans. It is all about having another TV and Radior station to promote Rajapakshas. This madness will come to an end when the government can not service it’s humongous debt. Unfortunately when that does happen most Srilankans will have to pay a very high price.

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    I was very surprised by his gall to publicly announce how he conducts government business illegally and immorally. Obviously the man was cock sure he could get away with it. This kind of impunity has boldened many in his government and other criminals associated with his government to act as they wished. Is Sri Lanka a failed state? It certainly is!!!

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    This country is being run as if it is the private property of the Rajapakse family. All others have to bend before them and carry out their orders. It is sad to see so many educated people behaving like servants of Rajapakse Pvt Ltd.

    So the professional body of accountants were treated to a sample of his ethics and governance of Sri Lanka. No doubt similiar to a mudalali running a they kade. No need for accountants. Nivard mahaththaya and PB is enough. With their cooking the books MR can run the whole country.

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    Thanks Laksiri for opening the eyes of the fellow Sri Lankans and guys like you should take the lead in getting Sri Lanka on its past glory.

    Its pity that the 99% of Sri Lankan masses do not get a view like this and only the Govt media like 2 state controlled channels/SLBC/Lakehouse and those so called independent media whose Editors and owners have a monthly tea time discussion with the dictator and answer some pre-planned/approved questions and again this is something Hitler did not do.

    The message given to the leading accounting body by the all powerful executive President is ‘is Ape Miniha’ you can manipulate whatever and get him free.

    Sri Lanka – oh.. the day will come Rajapaksha’s will turn the multi barrels that was given by China & our Buddhist monks did pirith on those smaller military flags in the Sri Maha Bodhi to genocide scored of Tamils to Singhalese and that will be the full cycle.

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    Thanks Dr.Laksiri of writing about this since it is the duty of the intelectuals to guide our politicians .
    If they know how to speak in a professional forum , it is sure that they will never want to be a joker.
    So thanks very much for the very constructive criticism
    But this is a shame
    And Mr. President what about the other opposition protests like
    about Duminda
    Mervin
    18th amendment
    prison
    mihin
    srilankan air lines
    srilankan air line Mr Wickramasighe’s forein currency case
    Your ministers like Rohitha Abeygunawardhana
    Sarana Gunawardhana
    NEpotism
    Abdul Cader, Duminda, Anton Earl Gunasekara Mrs Milroy etc of case withdrawals or president pardons
    Not viable projects
    White van abductions
    Ruggby captain death etc etc

    Please look in to those also Mr. President please please

    • 0
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      Please add Mohan Lalalalalalala lal Grero

  • 0
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    Isn’t this writer belittling the intelligence of this gathering of Accountants?.

    Surely the accountants are not that dumb to not to know what the share deal of the the “Hubby” was?.

    There is nothing wrong in saying that all Oppositions in democratic countries oppose what ever the Govt does. This is particularly the case in Srilanka and the current Opposition.

    Isn’t the current Opposition leader on record saying that the victorious Srilankan security were still in Pamankada, when they had overrun the mega LTTE base ,where hundreds of our valiant soldiers were masscred by Prabakaran when it fell into their hands?.

    Isn’t that the Leader and the party this writer in particular try to prop up by hanging shit on Rajapaksa?.

    • 0
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      P.S.
      Dear Mahin

      Xmas is near and I haven’t got my pay cheque for laundry services rendered. Please be good enough to keep it in the Temple Trees kitchen. I will collect it tommorow when I come to collect the laundry.
      God bless.

      • 0
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        Wait a minute. What about my monthly pay cheque? You want me to go hungry for Xmas. Dirty Samare!

        • 0
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          why go hungry.
          licking not enough?

  • 0
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    The man appears to be totally intoxicated, if not on the edge of madness – his words, manner and style during his outrageous speech suggests as much. How much longer will his ‘ministers’, MPs (other than the Mervyns, Dumindas and that illiterate lot) and other apologists like Rajiva W, Dayan J, Malinda S and Rajpal A, among others, be able to tolerate such behavior if they have even an iota of love for this country? Hopefully he will really go off the deep end one of these days.

    “Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad”

  • 0
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    is this the president of SL who is delivering this speech or is it a low life thug?

    • 0
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      I would say it is a low life thus for sure Dr. Ruki. Actually even a thug can talk better sometimes. This is a madman who needs to be sent to a mental asylum immediately.

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    These jokers of the government should be kicked out as soon as possible to save Sri Lanka being wiped out of the world map. check the amounts of money they waste on foreign trips, thats all the poor mans money they waste is if they are their family money. Not only the government members should be kicked and wiped out, all the other supporters of this bunch of rogues also should be wiped out to save Sri Lanka.

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    This is what I’m telling you man…

    Rajapaksa would slap a man and then get him to apologize for having his head where Rajapaksa’s hand was going to be.

    People of Sri Lanka are so dependent on their politicians that they will defend any BS, just so that the can keep “their guy” in power. Just look at what has happened to those who were riding the UNP; they are like walking zombies. The politicians themselves, if they have at least 100K votes, can switch sides, but the rest will have to hang around like frogs waiting for rain.

    People of Sri Lanka have lost their conscience and no longer are rational beings. They have turned into a bunch of blood sucking parasites waiting their turn to suck out the life blood of this once beautiful land.

  • 0
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    Dr Laksiri
    You can not polish turds. Sri Lanka is full of them.
    If you give this speech in a civilized country?

    • 0
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      Don’t generalize. We are a civilized country with a few uncivilized people in crucial positions who need to be replaced! Sadly the accountants who attended are dick heads who first invited him to open the building and then clapped when he spoke.

      The majority of accountants did not attend nor did they applaud. At least now we know the riff raff within that profession!

  • 0
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    Apey Mahinda Aiya honda mans kenek

    Oya kattitya boru sevala danne nathuwa eyata shide eken podi shupprot ekak dunnoth okoma shape wela yanawa.

    Meeta….Gori Sira

  • 0
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    It is clear from the President’s statements at the ICA building opening how he thinks and Governs. There is no question of right and wrong here, as it is completely his interpretation that holds water today.

    That is why giving such a person who is so conflicted in his own thoughts the overall right to do as he pleases, leaves the Country naked without a defense for any to attack.

    It is therefore the patriotic duty of the people of Sri Lanka to question his motives, and come to their own conclusions on his ability to govern, despite whatever term he has left.

    In law therefore it is for right thinking people to impeach him, and thereby rid this nation of a huge liability. However the majority in Parliament are not right thinking, and so we are destined to wallow in squalor till we are able to see right from wrong.

  • 0
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    Good analysis Dr Laksiri. Unfortunately this is how the system works. Forget about what Mervin Silva said after his son assaulted an Army officer saying that it is a normal a normal fight between two people and the media is blowing it out of proportion, when the president is making such remarks. They have excuses for all wrong doing and whatever they do it is a small thing. This president who robs the nation of the Tsunami fund what can we expect. We have to hit ourselves with hammers for electing this corrupted politician for the second time.

  • 0
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    Most people participating in fora like this one do not like the way MR governs. However, it appears that the masses in SL approve it. Otherwise how come he wins the elections? How do we convince the masses that this is not the way to govern?

  • 0
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    What can you expect from a dog like Mahinda Horapakse. He & his family (brothers)are from the gutters and he knows only the language of the sewer and the gutter. He needs to be flushed and sent to the pit where human excreta is collected and thrown with the excreta into the sea.

  • 0
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    Majority Sri Lankans and world countries accepts MR,hence it will be a while one can shift him.also as long as ranil is the leader in unp and also rudderless jvp,will help him.

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