16 May, 2022

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From Eliya To Andura & Vipath Maga In Sri Lanka

Several years ago, when the current President came forward with his “Viyathmaga” proposal and wanted to lead this nation, the Friday Forum warned of the inherent risks for our country, in a statement with the above title.

Today we are living this reality.

People from all walks of life are on the streets, despite a curfew, protesting their refusal to tolerate any longer the socio-economic crisis that the country is facing, because of incompetent, corrupt and irresponsible governance and abuse of power. This situation has impacted negatively on the lives, livelihoods and fundamental freedoms of our citizens as never before, and even in the darkest of times. The economy is on the verge of collapse and the nation on the edge of a precipice that will bring us to the status of a bankrupt and failed state without the essential institutions of governance. There is an urgent need for major reforms and institutional arrangements in, among others, the fiscal and monetary spheres. Competent professionals need to be appointed to negotiate with international financial institutions for the restructuring of our foreign debt, and relief to tide us over this national crisis.

We were informed by Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena two days ago, that “the whole cabinet had tendered its resignation to the Prime Minister”.  We watched in disbelief as this same person was, among some others, sworn in the next day as Ministers in President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s “new cabinet”. This is no time for the President to be swearing in any ministers, with the same old faces, in the same or different ministries. The public is on the streets, demanding the resignation of the President and his whole cabinet.

But we cannot have a vacuum. Since the Prime Minister cannot succeed to the office of President under our Constitution because of the two-term limit, Parliament must meet immediately and by consensus agree to a suitable person who can succeed to the office of an interim President.  Such an interim President must be tasked by Parliament to form an interim all-party national government by consensus, for a limited period of time, until the next General Elections can be held. This is critically important to help manage the current crisis. An all-party consensus must be forged to ensure that an interim government takes on the responsibility of political leadership, and to approve any necessary constitutional amendments to make this happen. No parliamentarian can ever expect to be voted into office if he or she fails the nation in this regard, at this critical time.

A new and small cabinet of key ministers, including in Finance and Foreign Affairs, must be appointed to hold office and give leadership in an interim government. They must be persons of competence and capacity who can be tasked with implementing critical fiscal and monetary policy reforms, debt restructuring and negotiations with international financial institutions. An interim government must also address the vital need to replace officials in the Central Bank, the Attorney General’s Department and the law enforcement agencies, with persons of capacity and personal integrity to help them address the serious trust deficit in regard to management of the economy and the administration of justice. There is a large pool of human resources and expertise in this country that must be harnessed by an interim government at this time to help resolve this deep national crisis.

We as citizens have a right to ask for transparency and leadership, from politicians as well as civil society members and professionals at this time. Together we must save our nation from becoming a failed state.

Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Dr. A.C.Visvalingam, Mr. Priyantha Gamage, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne, Bishop Duleep de Chickera, Prof. Camena Guneratne,  Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe, Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris, Mr. Daneshan Casie Chetty, Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, Dr. Geedreck Uswatte-Aratchi, Prof. Gananath Obeyesekere, Prof. Ranjini Obeyesekere, Mr. S.C.C.Elankovan, Prof. Deepika Udagama, Ms. Suriya Wickramasinghe, Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Mr. Pulasthi Hewamanna and Ms. Shanthi Dias.

*The Friday Forum is an informal group of concerned citizens pledged to uphold norms of democracy, good governance, rule of law, human rights, media freedom and tolerance in our pluralist society.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    12

    Friday Falsedom itself is a nasty Viyathmaga group. Dhanapala is a well-known Royal Family-SLFP Guard. He offered his blood and flesh to save Royals from War Crimes. He left when he was working with Royal to bring Langkang as 174th out of 179 in media safety. Radhika another SLFP Security Guard, saved Karuna from War Crimes in UN. She was thinking Old Rowdy was going to appoint her as the UN Secretary General. She never answered her involvement in suppressing Justice Sundaram’s report on Royals’ emblematic murders. Otherwise, when she was at UN, she could made UN to put Old Rowdy King on UN electric chair for the mass murdering and raping he is accused of, during JVP upraising & Tamils’ war, for Women and Children. Deepika openly certified war criminal Army personal to serve in UN, breaking international ethics, forget about Sinhala Buddhism’s preaching. She went below any educated human norms to protect Ranil from West. It is bloody shame for the Falsedom to quote from its history, without quoting these. Take a bath in Ganga before start to preach. Dishonest educated crooks should stay out Viyathmaga advice to People but should leave them alone to get rid of Criminals from politics. This setup should be uprooted, nothing should be saved listing to the Falsedom.

    • 7
      2

      I wonder if the Friday Forum should have had each member vetted by Mr Kleen

      • 0
        1

        Why can’t they use the Method the UOJ Sadampi was forcing CT to adopt to vet its commentators? What ways does Deva follow to appoint his Demulu Viyathmahas? Does the Flasedom have a memorandum of association, Articles of Association…… Published members’ profiles? If those documents are children of proper parents, then Flasedom can’t be address less, prostitute’s child, could be?. Why can’t the public media clean these Hypocrisy Viyathmaha Nursing Homes, so people can take care of their government? People are raising against the hypocritical government. Why shouldn’t the public media rise against these hypocritical preachers? “Inam Inaththai Serum”. Birds of a feather flock together. Your stomach pain reads many epic tales. Aaru karail Adangi nadandhidil Kaadu valam peralam Nalla panpu neri kandu Pillai valarndhidil Naadum nalam peralam “
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlpI1hSyJt0
        Listen to Vaathiyar’s Socialism, instead of Sadampi Socialism. Vaathiar is questioning “I grew up to fulfill my mother’s dream; will my son do that to me?”

    • 1
      0

      Malli,
      Are you sure all these guys aren’t Freemasons?

      • 1
        0

        Isn’t it cute that the banner behind Nandasena says “Sri Lanka 2030”?
        How cocky can you be?

    • 2
      0

      Now people have to see it the definition of VIYATH MAGA – a path of the interllectual was defined by their angle.
      :
      If a DOWN syndrome patient (not insulting the ones caught by the genetic disease) would see a problem/the world, and any average would see the same should have a greater difference.
      :
      A man who is said to have lived in the US for a period of 15 long years,… and on his return to a country…. the average folks are suffering not being able to afford basics….. to go and see GHANAKKA or ELIANTHA WHITE for his problems…. says it all.
      .
      Those who go and fall down before SO CALLED dewalayas are the ones with weaknesses of specific nature. Civilized people would never give a place the kind of HEALERs to act above leaders… but what happens so called leaders…. and their general knowledge is almost like that of ” UNEDUCATED MAN ….Dhammika Bandara” whose concoction was introduced as the number one panacea to be away from COVID infections….. This can be seen valid to stupid srilankens yet today, but not to those look at it with human psychology. Rajapaksehs are born idiots… and masters to hurt the human beings for their power struggles.. this is becoming clearer today by hour…

  • 10
    3

    What are these failed politicans waiting for. Its over FIVE days since the cabinet ,; the members were supposed to have resigned. Where is the new cabinet who is the interim PM. When is Gota going to resign?. These are the questions the public want an immediate answers.
    The rupee has gone down the drain
    Shortages of essential items are the need of the hour.
    Where is the collective opposition in Parliament? You have the peoples’ verdict. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR
    TIME IS RUNNING OUT

    • 5
      2

      RN
      The fact is that nobody has a clue.
      Nobody had anything to say other than “Got to the IMF” and now “**** go home!”
      Personally I suspect that they will like this government to hobble on until things take a turn for the batter, and then make their bid for power.

      • 4
        3

        SJ,
        Which politician in his right mind will promise nothing but hardship for the foreseeable future? Who will cut Parliamentary perks? Who will kill the 300000 sacred cows, sell the white elephants? It takes a statesman with a bulletproof vest to do that.

        • 1
          0

          OC
          We are short on both statesmen and bullet proof vests.

        • 1
          0

          OC I saw this in the Island. ‘Power transfers in Sri Lanka have always been based on false pretences, contingent on unrealistic promises. This is because reality will never win votes. It is almost as if the populace were willing to be deceived by the best fairy tale.’ Quite accurate isn’t it. https://island.lk/blueprint-for-a-new-dawn/

          • 0
            0

            Paul,
            “It is almost as if the populace were willing to be deceived by the best fairy tale.’
            And the Rajapaksas are maestros at it.

      • 2
        0

        SJ
        What a shameless and gutless outfit Real parasites

      • 1
        1

        Go to China.
        Peacefully rising China must come to their country Sri Lanka.

        • 1
          1

          Wimal told it was time the government went to China.

        • 0
          0

          NV,
          Rajapakshes to ignore IMF was their close relations with China. But China is silent. Why is that ?

          • 0
            0

            leelagemalli

            As long as Hindia is silence China explores and acts as it pleases it.
            Frankly we should not get in between the two as you know the Africans say
            ‘When the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled. When the elephants make love also the grass gets trampled.’

            Therefore we better stay far away and watch what is happening.
            Do you think SJ still believes we should become Chinese colony?

      • 1
        5

        SJ,

        It’s too bad the LTTE either assassinated all of the worthy Tamil intellectuals or drove them out of the country. There is absolutely no Tamil voice in the democratic campaign to oust Gotha. Someone like Lakshman K or Neelan T could have seized the opportunity here to use their leadership skills and talents for the benefit of the whole country, including Tamils. Instead you have Sampanthan and TNA asking for separation in the now-defunct Parliament while London terror doctors and fake veddas continue the online propaganda campaign.

        • 1
          1

          Lester,
          “It’s too bad the LTTE either assassinated all of the worthy Tamil intellectuals or drove them out of the country.”
          I suppose that’s why two out of three in Gota’s advisory council are Tamils. Who drove Coomarawamy out of the Central Bank? The LTTE, I presume. At least read up before you spout racist rubbish.

          • 1
            1

            Codger,

            As usual, you are writing half-truths and rubbish. Coomaraswamy replaced Arjuna Mahendran, who is wanted by Interpol for fraud. Mahendran ran fraud schemes for Ranil. Anyway, bankers do not enter politics, but you wouldn’t know that.

            • 0
              0

              Lester the master of koheda yanne malle pol. What are you smoking?

        • 0
          1

          Were nt you ilks first who drove them out in 1983. At least tamils come to ramanadhapuram to avail three time meals in refugee camp, where will you go ?.

          • 0
            0

            The Tamils are still there because of the three square meals You would say!
            Stop patronizing.

          • 0
            0

            mani

            “where will you go ?.”

            China.

    • 2
      1

      Ratnam Nadarajah

      “When is Gota going to resign?”

      Dictators, spies and politicians don’t resign/retire.
      They die.

      • 2
        0

        Yes, NV they rot in hell and rightly so

  • 4
    0

    Friday Forum,
    Even if there is one good man among the 225 and even if that good man is elected as the interim President, where is the guarantee that he will continue to be a good man and that he will not turn into a crook as usually happens to all good men in our blessed country.

    It is the system that corrupts, not merely the individuals.

    Then the interim President is tasked to appoint a new and small cabinet of key ministers to hold office and give leadership in an interim government and that they must be persons of competence and capacity who can be tasked with implementing critical fiscal and monetary policy reforms, debt restructuring and negotiations with international financial institutions.

    Do we have such individuals with necessary integrity among the 225?

    Moreover will they be able to work as a team or each one of them moves at a tangent?

    Doesn’t your proposal simply postpones and makes the crisis much more grave?

  • 6
    1

    srikrish: Your concerns: “what is the guarantee that a good man will not turn into a crook as usually happens to all good men”. Tell me of ONE GOOD person who became the “HEAD” (PM, President) of any Government up to now, who usually turned into a “Crook”. For your information and records, ALL who led and presently leading the country were and are acclaimed “CROOKS”. We never had “GOOD” men.

    • 1
      0

      Simon,
      I will just give you three examples, but will not elaborate.

      Ranil Wicramasinghe,
      Chandrika Kumarathunga and
      Maithiripala Srisena

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 0
    2

    Simon. It is certainly true. Friday (crooked) Forum is a coterie of self promoters. None of them will ever stand up for a real cause.

    • 0
      0

      hanchopancha — who the devil are YOU!
      What do you know about the individual members of FF that gives you the b—-s
      to write them all off?
      Come out from behind your mask & PROVE that none of them will ever stand up for a “real” cause. Will you? OPENLY?

      I’m NOT a member of FF & I do see one or 2 people whose pre-retirement life/career gave little sign of concern for some of the things they are fighting for now, but, on the other hand, there are several that that I feel pretty sure could put you to shame.
      She’d probably hate me for singling her out but I can speak in total confidence about at least one person in the list who has more or less devoted her life to fighting for justice, civil, political & human rights, not only here but also internationally. Though a fully qualified advocate, her legal work has been mostly (totally?) pro bono. S. Nadesan was one lawyer she assisted in crucial cases.
      …cont…

      • 0
        0

        …cont….
        She was/still is one of the main moving forces of the Civil Rights Movement (set up in 1971) & has been totally committed to that ever since — unpaid, voluntary work. For a number of years, CRM was totally run on its member’s subscriptions & contributions.

        In 1990 CRM shared the Carter/Menil Prize for human rights with a Guatemalan organization for “exemplary performance & remarkable courage in documenting violations & seeking to promote respect for basic right in their respective countries.” And the friend & colleague I speak of here is hugely responsible for this achievement.

        HC,
        Why dont you look into the history of at least a few of those you dismiss before slandering them. And in the case of the extraordinary member of the CRM referred to above, please at least look at “The People’s Rights: Documents of the Civil Rights Movement of Sri Lanka 1971-78” and “21 Years of CRM: An Annotated List of Documents… 1971-1992”. You can find copies in the Nadesan Centre for Human Rights through Law. As for the subsequent, nearly 30, years, maybe you can volunteer to go through the records & bring the overview up to date.

      • 0
        0

        Come on Manel. How would you explain it that a country of such distinguished people does not even have a bowl to beg?

  • 0
    0

    Friday Forum: The most important and urgent thing to do in this critical situation is to “Re-Establish” the STATE FUNCTIONS, that which is already in tators. There is no proper Cabinet of Ministers and not even a Minister of Finance. The Central Bank is without a “Head” and Finance Ministry is without a “Secretary” to handle its functions. These are the most URGENT State Functions that must be strengthened. This is not the time to trace the history of corruption, waste, and mismanagement. An organization like “Friday Forum” must come up with SOLUTIONS and what NEEDS to be done.

    You suggest that a “Person” from the Parliament must be selected” to be the “Interim President”. You are out of your proper senses. How can you do that as long as the present President is holding on? If he is not RESIGNING, how can the Parliament appoint a person as “President”? Don’t you realize the incumbent President has to FIRST “Resign” ” Die” or be REMOVED for the vacancy to occur?

    Can you consider that and suggest a WAY to create that “VACANCY” that is needed for the Parliament to move into fill the vacant position of “President”?

  • 0
    0

    Together we must save our nation becoming a failed state is the prayer of the Friday Forum…………….

    Srilanka the Land Like no Other became a Failed State a couple of days ago.

  • 1
    0

    Just go through the first two sentences of this article. Friday Forum’s prediction was uncannily correct! Most others who made predictions were completely off the mark.

  • 2
    0

    If this is a people’s and worker’s protest why have the Trade Unions not organised a General Strike? Is it because they are all controlled by political parties? Can anybody explain this?

    • 0
      0

      Paul
      You have a point.
      Those who are battling now are folk with nothing too lose in it, but not the workers though.
      *
      Trade Unions do some sums about the outcome before climbing to the diving board.
      They may get sucked in, but not yet.

    • 0
      0

      Paul,
      Where is the GMOA and Padeniya?

  • 0
    0

    Dear Paul,
    You wrote:
    “If this is a people’s and worker’s protest why have the Trade Unions not organised a General Strike? Is it because they are all controlled by political parties? Can anybody explain this? “

    I saw this elsewhere.

    https://youtu.be/h13k9zX9UZg

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