18 September, 2020

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Gota Needed To Throw Out Mayor Muzammil

By Granville Perera

The announcement by Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil that he is going to open the city’s pavement for hawkers again is mind chilling and is the worst piece of information the Colombo city dwellers have heard in over a decade. Muzammil has already unleashed the dreaded beggar menace and all he needs is to give the pavement to his cronies for the city dwellers to perform trapeze acts on the city roads. The peaceful strolls of window shoppers in the city would only be a dream. No pedestrian would be able to walk peacefully on the pavements that have been beautifully developed by the Urban Development Authority. Muzammil, who is trying to gain cheap popularity and a few votes for his wife at the forthcoming general election, is sadly mistaken. The UNP, which has promised her nomination, will have to review that pledge, or else the UNP will face the most humiliating defeat ever in the city of Colombo. Ranil Wickremesinghe is no fool to take this suicidal route and hope that good sense would prevail. Can the UNP claim any worthwhile developmental achievements under Muzammil’s tenure as mayor? The UNP should shove this wheeler-dealer family out of UNP politics, forever.

Muzammil and Ex- Secretary to the Ministry of Defence,

When Gotabaya Rajapaksa was in power, Muzammil was flirting with him and Ranil’s United National Party (UNP) could have lost the city of Colombo. His threats and intimidation probably forced Ranil to consider nominations for Muzammil’s wife on the UNP ticket in Colombo. What are her qualifications to demand nominations from Colombo when there are hundreds of other more eligible candidates for that slot? Muzammil wants to continue plundering the city as Mayor and his wife to be elected to parliament, so that one-day when he is thrown out as the city father, he could attempt at a seat in Diyawanna. For his unprincipled and sloddy rhetoric, he should be thrown to the crocs at Diyawanna oya. May the gods protect the city of Colombo from another term for Muzammil?

The city of Colombo was transformed from being one of the dirtiest to the fastest growing in the world as per a ranking undertaken by a MasterCard study. This is a remarkable achievement indeed for a nation that was emerging out of a protracted civil war. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, at the end of the war, mobilized the excess manpower within the armed forces towards development and beautification of the city. Ancient building that were abandoned were restored to pristine conditions. The restoration of dilapidated buildings undertaken by the Urban Development Authority are world class and cannot be disputed. This success of the beautification programme was undertaken under the able leadership Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a task master par excellence. The resources for the beautification programme, I believe came mainly from the flood control programme for the city, and today we are spared the option of swimming to work in most parts of the Colombo due to the excellent work done by the Urban Development Authority. The parliament drive and the Diyawanna lake development projects, the waters edge and athidya walkways etc. propelled us on par with any other beautiful city in the world. Our neighbours in the region envied our remarkable post war achievements. The magnificent walkways and recreation facilities at independence sqare are world class. All these were undertaken by servicemen who would have otherwise been confined to barracks, and their imagination could have run riot and their guns pointed at the government, leading to a possible military coup that would have driven us back to the gun culture. If one studies the demobilization of troops in countries where they have had long drawn conflicts, it has been very unpleasant and Sri Lanka should be proud of its achievement.

Countries like Nicaragua, Mozambique, and closer to home, Cambodia experienced turmoil after prolonged civil wars. The soldiers, especially the disabled turned their guns at civilians and intimidated them in to doling out huge amounts as ransom. Their arguments have always been that they sacrificed their lives for people to live in peace and it was the people’s turn to look after them. Gun trotting ex soldiers were a common sight in these countries. Gotabaya foresaw this and turned their energy in to a constructive force in support of development.

Of course Gotabaya Rajapaksa is no clean angel. His vengeance and hate of Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka saw the war winning General in prison. He has also been accused of the white van carnage, massive corruption, promoting hate towards minorities, mass murder of civilians at the end of the war, the floating armoury scandal, corruption and intimidation of opponents. However, after 150 days of good governance, he has not been charged and if the government doesn’t have sufficient evidence, he should be cleared. If he is not guilty of the crimes rumored, he should be asked to come back as Mayor of Colombo, and my vote is for him.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    11

    Research shows if one were to revisit history, some of the rich traders initially were pavement hawkers.

    The disparity between the rich and poor widens and people with limited resources should not be deprived the opportunities of life.

    The Ex-Ruling family made their loot through extortion / bribes, while citizens will have to foot the huge debts left behind. The government should not camouflage poverty for the sake status and a classy image.

    Pavement hawkers attract tourists and bargain hunters. Please show some care and respect for a struggling entrepreneur.

    • 5
      2

      Pavement hawkers had been given their places to sell their wares in the city.They should stick to it.
      Where do you live? Let me come there and open a shop on your doorstep.

  • 8
    2

    We had Pettah, and we had Fort, and we also had Panchikawatta. Segregate it for the rich and the poor, if one wishes to define it that way. People will find themselves what is appropriate for them

  • 10
    2

    No leadership. everyone is doing every thing. Muzzamil is doing what he wants without permission from anyone.
    Ranil/Maithree wake up and take the leadership and take the cpuntry forward.

  • 10
    5

    A well articulated article suddenly at the end of it, turns into a PRO GOTA one even promoting this psychopath to become MAYOR OF COLOMBO. He has enough blood on his hands and MOTHER NATURE’S LAW will take care of him even if HUMAN LAW is circumvented. Beautifying Colombo does not make Gota an ANGEL nor wash the Blood off his hands. The people who lost their homes for this beautification know very well the wicked ways they were treated by Gota and his thugs at the UDA.

    • 3
      5

      Gobba, I make it very clear that Gota should be brought back only if they cannot prove any of the accusations leveled against him. I would be one of the last to see a Rajapaksa in politics again, but even the devil should be given its due. Gota changed the landscape of Colombo for the better. The people evicted would have been well settled the process had continued. I have during the 10 years of the Rajapaksa regime been fighting against them, but what this stupid mayor is trying to do is beyond comprehension. I still stress, Gota would be the best mayor for colombo.

      • 6
        2

        granville

        “Gota changed the landscape of Colombo for the better. “

        Did Mussolini make the trains run on time? A myth perpetuated by his fellow fascist supporters.

        Without a doubt he did make people run for their life.

      • 2
        2

        Hat off to you Granville. You have craftily said the truth. This ‘will-do-anything-for-gota’s-blood’ type commentators of CT will say hundred and one things but the points that you raised are unchallenged. Yes Gota is not a saint and he may have done some wrong things, but, until proved, one cannot simply brand him as such. Let the law of the country and the learned judges do their job when it comes to clean his name. And as you said, my vote also goes to him if he contest for the post of mayor, Colombo, just for the fact that he turned Colombo as a lovely city.

        • 1
          1

          max

          “Yes Gota is not a saint and he may have done some wrong things”

          Such as …… …….. ……… ………. ……….
          Please fill in the blanks.

          Gota knows what he did and didn’t do, he will have live it for the rest of his life.

          However the immediate problem is not him but his b***S carriers like you.

          Gota killed, robbed, stored illegal arms dump, committed war crimes, threatened his perceived enemies, created more enemies than he could handle, misappropriated war glory, ……….. accused of attempted coup, violated human rights ………….

          What is in it for you?

          Please go on with your usual bull.

  • 1
    0

    Immediately after the earthquake in Nepal a newspaper published a photograph of cattle killed for a Hindu ceremony.It still haunts me.What I am surprised is why
    such retribution did not visit the politicians of this country.

  • 1
    0

    The decision of the mayor is utterly fool. Article is Fair and resonable. And also constructive. President and priminister should immediate action to correct the wrong and actively intervene to maintain the good work done by any one despit their party politics for sake of the public.

  • 3
    2

    This is a crime. Colombo was looking really beautiful. This p***k is going to ruin it. Bloody UNP turd.And i’ll bet its all moors he has given the pavements to.
    Screw the lot of you at the next election.

  • 2
    3

    The great Lee Kuan yew was also of a dictatorial mindset. It saved singapore and made it great. We need that here very badly.

  • 5
    1

    The pictures of the mayor gambling away with chinese women seated around him will ensure that the Mullah’s will issue an edith to castrate the mayor. He is finsihed both in poitcs as well as a Muslim. This bloody gambler should be kicked out of the mayorial position. Am sure he is the one who had convinced then then government to bring in James pakaya and other gambling lords to start casinos here. Our women would be like those chinese, striping to everyone around and we will have the macao cukture within a few months.

  • 0
    0

    I am a Sri LANKAN, born and raised in the vicinity of Negombo, now living in the USA. I came to USA in 1975 and visited SL from time to time since when. In every visit back to SL, I felt that the city of Negombo and once most the beautiful beaches in the vicinity is going from bad to worse.

    When came in 2008/2009, not an exaggeration to say that tears came to my eyes. I was riding my bicycle,(my preferred mode of conveyance at the home town) and could see piles of domestic trash burning on either side of SEA STREET(tourist hotel zone Negombo). And stench coming from stagnated water in the drains on either side of the Sea Street, added injury to insult, was unbearable.

    Another time took a stroll on either side of PETTAH pavements. Literally there was hardly any waking space for the pedestrians, who were pushed out into street and walking dangerously close to moving traffic.
    I left SL with a heavy heart.

    I returned back in 2013. I was on my bicycle as usual. I was astounded by the change. There was no garbage on either side of the road. The polluted drains have been flushed out. Negombo did not stink like the previous time Trash removing and clean up gangs of crew members seen keeping the city and the vicinity clean, at a level hither to unseen.
    How did this happen?. I was exhilarated,as I was breathing clean fresh sea breeze full into my lungs.
    Later I learned Mr Gotabaya, was responsible for the clean up.
    I remember Gota having political skirmishes, with the Muslim Mayor of colombo, who brought the race card into this scenario, accused Gota of forcible displacement Muslim city dwellers. I am not aligned with any political party or power in SL. I am very pleased to extend my gratitude and thanks TO THOSE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE for this change.

  • 0
    0

    Gota should contest the central Colombo electorate under the Sirisena camp and made the minister of urban development again. He also should be made the deputy minister of defense so that he will have access to the soldiers to do the job. Yes, he may even organize a coup, but that is something Sirisena need to bother about.

  • 0
    0

    Why the hell is teh UNP keeping quite about it? Do they approve this leach’s statement>

  • 0
    0

    The Muslim community will black list Miza and family, especially after the Casino pictures became viral

  • 0
    0

    “Is there no law,act or other regulation about this? Can a mayor make a decision that might be against existing regulation that the police and CMC should enforce? I think not. This is maybe another case of a politician taking power that he does not have. In that case where is rule of law?”

    That is what I asked some days ago. Today Daily Mirror has the answer. According to police officers the mayor has actually no power to make decisions like he has made.

    I am happy that the police officers have taken up rule of law and politicians interfering with their work.

    I am unhappy because nobody has clearly told the mayor that he can not decide against law and order. He should become a bad example for other politicians.

    Who is responsible for stopping our politicians taking the law in their own hands?

    “Police officers who wish to remain anonymous told the Daily Mirror that this decision would lead to violation of several statutory laws of the country including the Penal Code, the Police Ordinance and the National Thoroughfares Act.

    Colombo Mayor A.J.M. Muzammil had told that he had given permission for the vendors only along the by-roads of First Cross Street, Second Cross Street and Third Cross Street in Pettah to carry out their businesses and their stalls would be given an identification card to operate.

    An OIC attached to a key police station in Colombo stated that this situation would allow politically motivated gang members to operate back in the Colombo city. He stated that police have found that there were several instances that drugs and pornographic materials were being sold under the guise of pavement hawkers. He stated that if this situation continues it might lead to rapid theft and other offences in the Colombo city after victimising the locals and foreigners who visiting the Colombo C ity.

    “Under Section 63 (f and k) of the Police Ordinance, the police officers are empowered to exercise their duties to prevent obstructions and nuisances on roads. It is the prime responsibility of the politicians to adhere with laws and make necessary arrangements to provide sophisticated places to the vendors,” a Police Inspector who wants to remain anonymous said.”

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/77869/police-officers-express-dissatisfaction-over-pavement-hawkers

  • 0
    0

    Where is Rule of Law??? Did we not vote for it?

    Who will stop our politicians? The AG?

    I keep repeating this question but suspect that very few care or understand. As long as citizens, voters, civil servants and media accept that politicians do not have to follow law our country will be a mess and there will not be real progress.

    Would municipal and provincial politicians in any developed country order the police NOT to do their work? Would the police listen to the politicians? Answer is of course a CLEAR NO. In our country our politicians have sort of divine powers to be above the law.

    In the Daily News today again an article where nobody mentions rule of law. Politicians, street sellers and everybody else seems to have the right to choose what the rules are!

    What kind of power do or did Colombo Mayor A. J. M. Muzammil, Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga and Western Provincial Council Commissioner Chandrani Samarakoon have in this matter?? Is the IGP the correct person to remind them of existing binding regulation that they cannot legally bypass?

    http://dailynews.lk/?q=local/hawk-or-not-hawk

  • 0
    0

    Now it is almost certain that Gota will get back in to action. I hear his boys in the intelligence have started their celebrations because of the few extras they earned from the floating armoury. Hendawitharana has already started his office to back Gota

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