22 January, 2021

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Manifesto: False Promises With Professional Veneer!   

By Laksiri Fernando –

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Policy honesty is an incumbent requirement associated with democracy and accountability to prevent deceiving poor voters particularly in a developing country like Sri Lanka by the unscrupulous politicians. When politicians give promises, those should be realistic and supported by reliable evidence, data and information. 

Otherwise the rival political parties and political leaders competitively give false promises inflating people’s expectations and hopes which cannot be met or abandoned after they come to power which can give rise to disillusionment, outrage and even rebellion/insurrection. 

Having known such an eventuality preemptively, a standard method of some politicians would be to tighten security, laws and discipline over the people on various pretexts. Some of the pretexts may appear relevant under a particular context (i.e. Easter carnage), but in the long run such arrangements are inimical to democracy and liberty of the people.  

Two Main Dimensions  

The two main dimensions of Gotabaya Rajapaksa manifesto are (1) absolutely false promises given that cannot be met or achieved within the foreseeable future, and (2) comprehensively strategic plan to tighten State security (including of politicians) and law enforcement. 

On false promises, you attempt to win election and on the basis of a Security State, you intend to rule the country. The unfortunate predicament at present is that even Sajith Premadasa has got into the same trap or vicious cycle at least on the first count.  

In democratic countries like Australia, although the tendency for false promises is less, the policy statements of political parties are financially assessed before elections. This practice derives from two sources. One is the ‘Charter of Budget Honesty’ inaugurated in 1988. The second is the installation of the  Parliamentary Budget Office in 2010, agreed on a bipartisan basis. Therefore, all economic and social promises of political parties in their policy statements or manifestos are assessed officially and independently before elections. The voters thus come to know what is feasible and what is not before selecting a party to vote and elect. An election manifesto or a policy statement should eventually lead to budget formulation. Otherwise, there is no point in having them. 

In Sri Lanka, at least there should be a ‘Charter on Election Promises’ agreed by all parties in Parliament. This Charter should guide the ethical conditions, what is permissible and what is not, when political parties give election promises.  

There are ten policy facets unleashed by GR manifesto. These are also the chapters in the document. (1) Priority to national security. (2) Friendly and non-aligned foreign policy. (3) Clean governance. (4) People friendly constitutional reform. (5) Productive citizen – Fruitful human resources. (6) People centric economy. (7) A society based on technology. (8) Development of natural resources. (9) Sustainable environmental management. (9) Disciplined, law abiding and a moral society. 

All above cannot be discarded as irrelevant or false. Who can have disagreements or objections to a ‘friendly and non-aligned foreign policy? However, the foreign policy should be more proactive with full cooperation with the UN and multilateral organizations. Likewise, there are some good chapters or sections that could become part of common national policies of the country. That may be the contribution from the GR backed ‘professionals.’   

Key Issues 

A proper election manifesto nevertheless should have first analyzed the key issues facing the country in terms of both development and democracy. In research and scientific method, this is called the ‘problem identification.’ There is a possibility of identifying almost all problems in Sri Lanka at present under these two key areas (development and democracy), both in internal and external dimensions. However, without doing so, the manifesto just jump on to the security issue, with some scant attention to the problems and causes, almost as a miracle solution.  

Security is an issue of democracy unless it is perceived in an authoritarian manner. Although rare lip service is rendered to democracy and ‘media freedom’ in the manifesto, no proper commitment or ‘promise’ is given on human rights, personal security or equality before the law apart from equality in state treatment of people irrespective of ethnicity, religion or language. Reconciliation or national question is also part of democracy which is completely distorted in the manifesto. 

What does Gotabaya Rajapaksa think about human rights? One should question.  

These democratic issues (including human rights and reconciliation) cannot merely be reduced to economic or social issues as is the case of Rajapaksa thinking. In this sense, the ‘Prosperous Sri Lanka’ manifesto of Gotabaya is not different to the old ‘Miracle Asia’ manifesto of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Both are within the confines of traditional, archaic, majoritarian and family thinking at least in the sphere of democracy.  

Of course there are some merits in presenting the economic side of the issues in the manifesto which are utterly contradicted by the promises given. This is what I have called the ‘professional veneer’ in the title of this article. Addressing the ceremony of the launch, GR said the ‘manifesto was drafted following a series of consultations with professionals and stakeholders.’ This can be partly true. But until when is the question? After the ‘professional’ drafting, it appears that ‘exorbitant’ promises have come from other two brothers of the family, Mahinda and Basil, of course with the hope to win the election. Otherwise it is difficult to understand the apparent contradictions.  

It was at a public rally that GR said, “Mahinda called me this morning and told me, if elected, we should give free fertilizer to paddy farmers.” This is how these fellows have developed their promises in the manifesto. Thereafter, within few days, Sajith Premadasa also promised free fertilizer to all farmers! 

Targets and Promises? 

Simply said, the targets and promises of GR manifesto are contradictory. The manifesto is for five years. In the economic sphere, the overall targets are to have an economic growth rate of 6.5% and a per capita income of $ 6,500 at the end of the period, and that means by end of 2024. If this can be achieved, of course all souls would be extremely happy. The growth rate at present is 2.7% and the GDP per capita income is barely $ 4,000 thanks to the UNP’s  neoliberalism. 

It would be a miracle, however, to uplift the growth rate to 6.5% by next year, and even if it is done and maintained year by year, the per capita income cannot exceed $ 5,000 by end the of 2014. The calculations are wrong or at least too optimistic. 

The above promises are in a context where the Sri Lankan economy is in dire straits today. One of the main contradictions in the economy is the vast gap between the public revenue and public expenditure. The country’s budget deficit is above 7% of the GDP at present. Of course GR promises to bring it down to below 5%. How? By increasing the public expenditure and reducing the public revenue! 

If the recently passed Vote on Account (for the first four months of 2020) in Parliament is any indication of the budgetary situation for the next year, the public expenditure  would be around Rs. 4, 410 billion (including recurrent, capital and debt payment), while the public revenue would be mere Rs. 2,235 billion. The gap is Rs. 2,175 billion. It is over and above this expenditure that GR and also SP have promised free fertilizer to farmers, and according to reliable sources, that would cost additional Rs. 45 billion. 

Tax Reductions? 

It is in this context that GR has announced drastic tax cuts and concessions. There is no question that the tax system should be reformed, simplified and rationalized. Does that mean the complete abolition of some taxes (i.e. PAYE) and drastic reduction of VAT for example? The proposed VAT reduction from 15% to 8% would deny revenue to the government up to Rs. 425 billion per year. 

It may be that the present VAT rate is high. In Australia and New Zealand, it is around 10%, but even in Australia there had been proposals to increase it to 15%. In Britain, it is high as 20%. New Zealand has a more nuanced system where VAT rates are extremely low for food items and medicine, but high for other goods and services. This is something Sri Lanka should have considered. That is how some relief could be given to the poor people in terms of cost of living.  

Tax reforms have been on the agenda now for over a decade in Sri Lanka. The Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed Presidential Commission, chaired by Prof. W. D. Lakshman, submitted its report far back as in October 2010. But it was not implemented or not implemented properly. A key member of the Commission, late Dr Saman Kelegama, expressed the following, among other things, after the release of the report which highlighted the predicament of political determination tax rates without proper economic assessment or commitment to the country’s future. This has been going on now for some decades, bleeding the country without much hope.          

First on tax exemptions, (a) take the 1.2 million labour force in the public sector – do they pay taxes ? No. In 1979 public servants were exempted from taxation because the government could not afford to grant a salary increase to public servants in line with the private sector. Ever since then, this has become a rigid policy and Sri Lanka may be the only country in the world where public servants do not pay taxes; (b) BOI tax exemptions and tax holidays have led to approximately 1% of GDP revenue losses per annum, and (c) various exemptions on VAT and import duty from time to time have also contributed to eroding the revenue.” (Business Times, 21 November 2010) 

In Conclusion 

There are many other unfeasible promises given which are not discussed here. These might be the same or near the same when Sajith Premadasa manifesto comes into the open. A difference however would be that SP apparently has no intention or plan to suppress the people, if anything or everything goes wrong like GR. SP is a populist democrat while GR is a populist authoritarian. The focus in this article however has been on GR’s manifesto, and to show the contradictions between the development targets and election promises, and the contradictions within the promises themselves. 

I simply cannot fathom the logic behind the abolition of the PAYE tax. Until retirement in Sri Lanka, I have been a PAYE tax payer (2006-2010) in addition to submitting tax returns as a principle, although without much additional income. I had got used to these principles by paying taxes in Canada, Switzerland and in Australia. That is our primary duty as citizens. It is possible that the demand to abolish PAYE must have come from our own young colleagues and other professionals. This is what GR has said as ‘our stakeholders.’ This is the most saddest side of the story. PAYE has been a very efficient, direct and a progressive tax and after its reform in April 2018, it had become much better and reasonable. A researcher on the subject, Nazny Shamath, had commented,

Under the new tax system, 98% of the PAYE taxes will come out of the richest 30% of Sri Lankans and this is actually an increase of 3 per cent of the Government’s PAYE revenue.” 

This is what Gotabaya is scrapping on behalf of the rich and the well to do. 

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Latest comments

  • 38
    4

    how could w Bunch of thieves proposed ideas and manifesto.
    they are already addicted to loot public money..
    all who support them are but crooks .
    this sad side of it .
    some acamdiec support them ..
    because of support and money they got from them

    • 19
      2

      Gota mastered the art of abduction and killing, .robbery and 30% commission together with his brother Basil. Academic ???. Not in Rajapaksa family.If Gota win this time ,Rajapaksas will be very rich and you and I will have to pay for that. Please help me I am poor don’t vote for Gota…

      • 2
        16

        Man, I just love this blog ! All the Gota haters gather here to this biased, deceitful website to share the hatred with each other. I’m glad that there’s a place for Gota haters to gather. There sure isn’t anywhere in the real world for you people. You guys keep on writing your snide bulls*it from your dark rooms, because that’s what the angry do nowadays. Like a bunch of cowards,speaking out while hiding behind a website. I’m sure glad, that millions of patriotic Sri Lankans are backing me. NOT here ! In the real world !

        • 5
          0

          Istopan – You sound more like Gotler’s bedpan!

        • 1
          0

          Istopan
          “Gotabaya Rajapaksa Manifesto: False Promises With Professional Veneer!”

          Goodness graces Sri Lankan’s must be shocked and bewildered this has not ever it’s never happened in the history of Paradise political realm . The land of the Cleanest pure brown politician’s known and proved ever walked the planet.
          This observation comes from a esteem Dr. Dr. Laksiri Fernando. Wonder good Dr. is specialized in the field of selective memory loss, amnesia, dementia. ?‍♂️

    • 15
      2

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      Gotabaya, the agent of the Rajapaksa Mafia will promise anything to the imbecile populace, mean IQ 79. Unfortunately, a good fraction of the Para-Sinhala “Buddhist “ imbeciles will fall for this.

      Have they learned anything over the past 71 years, especially the past 20 years?

      Can you please write the common sense pamphlet for the imbeciles, mean IQ 79, to attain common sense?

      • 1
        10

        Knowing that I’ll never wake up like you, with this much hate helps me sleep a little bit better at night. The IQ 79, Para-Sinhala, Buddhist, imbeciles has empathy, which you the Einstein IQ, non buddhist, good boy lack.

        • 7
          1

          Istopan,

          “The IQ 79, Para-Sinhala, Buddhist, imbeciles ” and other Para-imbeciles are the measured IQs.

          Effect, symptoms and the cause.

          National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

          https://photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

          The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

          Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

          Istopan, go with the measured data. The data and the proper interpretation of the data show that the Earth rotates on its axis and orbits the Sun.

    • 8
      0

      Lankan, You say “some acamdiec support goty because of money” Academic is that GMOA Paden. who heard a voice he will be right hand of Mara. the mafia boss with a contempt of court case. They only want PAYE scrapped for his clowns and he was prominent on stage to dress it up like academic stuff. All these jokers only think of money, money and more money. Their brain pathways carry dollars, not chemicals. Greed unlimited grabs, not gives.

  • 33
    2

    He will keep his promises for one month then raise the taxes even more than this Government and beat up/white van anyone who protests or is critical of his government… that is the only way the Rajapaksas known to do things…

  • 27
    5

    Election manifesto of Gotabaya is unrealistic one example I have been paying PAYE right throughout my career we paid PAYE on monthly salaries, bonus and incentives, what bullshit is this donkey is talking it is our duty to pay taxes without collecting taxes how can the government run the country .
    if he comes to power anyway masses cannot protest and demand to implement Gotabaya election manifesto under Gotabaya strikes , demanding for our rights , media freedom ,protest in Hyde park etc etc are day dreams so better not vote for this ruthless dictator forget Gota kick him out of Srilanka he has a country to go USA , we want to protect and enjoy our hard earn freedom we don’t want anything else other issues are secondary lets get together fight for democracy.
    What I am mentioned above can I write if Goatabaya is out President noway.
    Think and vote your last chance if Gotabaya wins no more elections it will be Rajapakse dynasty

    • 2
      0

      He knows he has the majority Sinhala Buddhist vote. He also knows that the majority of them are stupid. Remember you guys voted for Sirima to bring rice from the moon. What a stupid race.

      There was some fool talking about empathy? Lol! It is this Sociopath and his bunch of goons Sinhala Buddhists that kidnapped children for ransom and then murdered. Empathy my A**.

  • 22
    2

    GR runs on not only false promises, but he expects the country to forget their reign of terror, where those who stood up to their crimes, or defied them, were demonized, threatened, ended up missing, and some brutally killed, and up to date NO one held accountable, faced a court of law, nor were these terrible crimes solved. Voters should ask themselves why these terrible murders ended when they were out of office. Do we want the days of terror again, when journalists and activists were killed, and many fleeing the country? How can anyone vote for this man, when he has NOT answered the many questions their loved keep demanding from him?
    He wants the people in this country to have amnesia, and vote for him. Are people going to be foolish enough and ask for trouble? Soon time will tell.

  • 9
    22

    RW is articalte. He is knowledble but has never being practicle. We had a low international rating. RW asked fo0r a extension for payment of bonds. Thr bond scam was a serious blow to our economy. He looked for support from World Bank, IMF and ADB. Any money he gpot was under strict terms. He tried to free the economy and prevented the import subsitution. He sold a valuble asset the Hoambanto0ta port. started a free trade project wityh china. FDI tha5t came were of outdated assets. The Volkswagen project was another scam. It is necessary to have automation in part. We have to use mechaniasation in agriculture and plantation a nd farming. Disease in agriculture ruinede our economy..Over to GR to get us out o90f this mess with MR.

  • 15
    5

    gota hora.

    • 2
      8

      Aha !! another asshole who was sleeping since 2015 – just now got up and repeating the same “manthare” that he was repeating towards end of 2014

  • 6
    20

    Although Sri Lanka is known as an agricultural country with a fertile tropical land suitable for the cultivation of a variety of crops, very unfortunately the present UNP (Yahapalana) government, its ministers and MPs are clueless when it comes to agriculture and farming. The present government completely destroyed the agriculture and farming sector. They also imported not only black pepper but Coconuts, Rice, Spices, Cashew and everything else that can be grown in Sri Lanka. For example, they bring low quality cheap cashew from India and mix with our top quality cashew and then put it to the market. It is the same with everything else. There is no proper price control for what the farmers produce. The wholesale market prices are not stable and due to the price fluctuation, the farmers are affected very badly. With very high labour charges, cost of fertilizer and many other factors like irrigation system, etc., finally the farmers are at a big loss when the prices go down. For example, if you take the coconut industry, there are times when the wholesale price of coconut had reached Rs.60 and other times it has come down to Rs.20. Why cannot the government have a price control, something like never exceed Rs40 and never go below Rs.30 (a controlled price fluctuation). This way, both the farmer and the consumer have some relief. Unlike the present UNP government, the previous Rajapakshe regime was farmer friendly. Therefore, most of the farming community have decided to vote for Gota this time.

  • 11
    26

    This author is just going out of his way in trying to insult GR. The people of Sri Lanka loves his manifesto. These are some logical policies. Even your boy Sajith Prema yells out GR/’s policies as if he came up with them. Gota did his research before making these policies. He came to meet with industry leaders from all sectors before making these. I went to one on them myself. Know your stuff before you bark.

    • 1
      9

      When the dog barks mountains will not move or sink – So let the dogs bark –

    • 4
      0

      The author has got the freedom to express views. If such views were expressed during the Mara/GR time what do you think the result would have been? What was your commission out of 30%? Were you a diver of white vans?

  • 17
    3

    None of the presidential candidates have produced any economic analysis or assessment of their policies. Gota wants t keep tight security. What is his plan? How much money he is going to spend security and where is he going to get money? Gota couldn’t answer for any questions about the past and he couldn’t deny that he will not guarantee of democracy, rule of law, independence of justice? Then what sort governance he is going to have? He wants to see the police service to the western standard and what will be the cost of that and where is he going to get the money? Of course he might say borrowing from China at high interest rate with giving land to China as they did before. The present govt is still paying interest to China. Why Mahinda is so greedy of power and why can’t they find another one out of 22 million Srilankans? Why Mahinda family? Why American? why military?

  • 14
    2

    Law and order candidate insults the courts accusing it of falsely imprisoning RANA VIRUWO.
    Promises to release and give go free card to criminals while contemplating presidential pardon for convicted murders and drug dealers.

    “Rana Viruwa was arrested yesterday in connection with the alleged rape and murder of a 24-year-old handicapped girl at Habaraduwa.”

    Police do not think that this was this Rana Viruwa’s first victim.

  • 2
    12

    It is the same Lies by Sajith Pemadasa. See how Mangala is spending on pay increases. 238% pay increases. How he is going to control Economic inflation with that. Then Sajith Talks about modernization of Military tactics or something. what Why do we need to buy more weapons. I think Mahesh Senanayake is the best to be promoted

  • 1
    7

    //
    //
    Kennedy stood before Congress on May 25, 1961, and proposed that the US “should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” Not everyone was impressed; a Gallup Poll indicated that 58 percent of Americans were opposed.
    //
    //

  • 17
    3

    This No.1 “Crook” – Gota, who administered the whole of “Defense” of the country, has, through his “Cohorts” placed at various Government positions, managed to “Scoop” off all the relevant files and information pertaining to the court cases that are pending against him. Recently the DIG of FCID who made “revelations” , has slowly scooted off to UAE – the “Hiding Den” of all the crooks under MR,s Regime. This where, Udyanga Weeratunga is in “Hiding”. Presently the CID has commenced an investigation against him. Remember, that “Affidavit”, GOTA presented to Mt.Lavinia courts re. “Mig Deal” stating that it was a “Government to Government” deal. Now the Ukrainian Government has denied, such a deal . Just imagine, what this country would be, if such a “Crook” becomes the President. What more to “TALK” and “DISCUSS” remains of an “Election Manifesto” presented to the country by such a “Crook” who even has signed a “Legal Affidavit” to mislead the Judiciary . Even in the present case of “Robbing” Rs. 33 million of State Funds to build a “Memorial” for his Late father, got caught red handed when he rushed to pay a part of it, when the investigations commenced. Do we need more than these two. among very many other “Crimes” committed, to make a judgement of the “Man” and his “Cohorts” who present us with “Election Manifesto”. Is it worth to WASTE time reading it and analyse . Not even worth the paper it is written. Just throw it to the “Waste Paper Basket”. That is where it deserves to be. It is only a “Sheep Clothe” made to wear by a “Wolf”.

  • 4
    14

    Wake up Dr Laksiri please..Srilanka is not Australia.

    Keselwatta Kid promises LKR 1500 a Day for our Estate Workers when even a BSc grad can’t earn that much a day in the Public Sector..

    Keselwatta Kid promises Two Sets of Uniforms and a free mid day meal for 4.1 Million students in Lankawe.

    Keselwatta Kid promises 1125 Viharas

    Keselwatta Kid promises free houses to 2 Million Samurdhi Inhabitants..

    Keselwatta Kid promises jobs to all school leavers from AL up wards.-

    I don’t have to mention what his nemesis in his own party Dr Ranil promised in 2015 and what he delivered in the last four years.

    Have you taken anytime to cost these Neo Liberal, Neo Capitalist promises of the Elite , Anglican Vellala Governing Party which are delivered almost every day with that ultimate Capitalist friendly Dr Ranil on stage taking the Microphne before Keselwatta Kid comes on.

    I am glad to hear that you have paid PAYE all your life even in Lankawe
    L.et alone myself I don’t know anyone even in my extended family who paid PAYE..
    That is the state of Lankawe even today..

    • 12
      4

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      “Wake up Dr Laksiri please..Srilanka is not Australia.”

      Stupid man even though you have been closely engaged with Mahinda, carrying his b***s for several years you still do not know who really cares for him.
      It was Dr Laksiri who first proposed honorary titles for Mahinda (LLB) and Gota (DSc) for their effort to severely hurting, destroying, killing …… Tamils in North and East.
      …..
      ….

      Last year he was right behind Mahinda by supporting his coup attempt in every way possible.

      What else do you want from him?

      “Keselwatta Kid promises Two Sets of Uniforms and a free mid day meal for 4.1 Million students in Lankawe.”

      If you are talking about waste, fraud, ……………. please consider the case “misappropriating Rs.600 mn belonging to the TRC and using it to distribute Sil Redi during the 2015 presidential election campaign.”

      “Keselwatta Kid promises 1125 Viharas”

      Gota’s project of building small to medium size Vihares in the North East in every square inch of the land and under every Tamil Muslims man’s amude is being successfully carried out by the unemployable members of armed forces. What are you talking about Kesselwatte kid’s promise of building 1125 vihares?

      “L.et alone myself I don’t know anyone even in my extended family who paid PAYE..”

      True, they live off government handouts, income from intermittent riots, under the table cash payments for fixing things, ransom from organised criminal activities, drugs,…. therefore they need not to worry about PAYE, income tax, …………….

      • 1
        5

        Dera Native,

        I don’t know why Dr Lacksiri gave a DR Title to Mahinda and now rubbish Nandaseana’s Economics.

        Seriously Dr laksiri as a PAYE inhabitant should have been under the Wings of Dr Ranil where all the Elite , the Anglicans , and the Vellas are parked.-

        After reading all this . it looks to me the UNP Camp of Dr Ranil is having jitters about Nandasena scoring against Keselwatta Kid.

        What the Field Marshall told a Jan Hamuwa yesterday indicates to me . the F Marshall has given up his hopes of controlling both those kick ass Ministries , The Defence and the Ministry of Justice which Keselwatta Kid promised him at that Galle Face Launch Rally,

        Here is what the Field Marshalla said.
        “If I knew Nandasen is going to get the Presidency, I could have made arrangements with Pirahaparan ‘s LTTE to fix Nandasen by ordering him to go to a nominated Bunker “..

        Now I might put a few Thousand on a Nandasena Win..

        • 5
          1

          KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

          “I don’t know why Dr Lacksiri gave a DR Title to Mahinda and now rubbish Nandaseana’s Economics.”

          Actually Dr Laksiri proposed LLD for Mahinda and a DSc for Gota and the senate approved and bestowed both the title. When you meet him next please ask him what motivated him to award these prestiges rare honours to both well known war criminals and crooks. I suspect his little lion in his tummy forced him to tear away his academic veneer of objectivity.

          Are you a masochist or sadist or both?

    • 2
      1

      Foreign living, educated Sri Lankans, apparently thinks they are masters of Sri Lankan affairs than we who are living here and suffering due to bad politics of our hapless aimless rouge politicians -during last four odd years we saw the way UNP government ruin this country beyond repair – So nobody with a peanut brain will want them back in power

  • 16
    2

    do we need a racist dictator? do we need a po; pot or gota hora? no. lets be realistic, a security guard cannot run a country. and this crook will make us all poor and kill our children.

    • 1
      0

      Well said mate. This fellow should be questioned for easter sunday bomb blast. Even american ambassador should be questioned. America failed to get things done via Ranil so there plan is to get this half sri lankan and use him as a puppet. They can nicely control him via his american wife and son…

  • 8
    1

    Both Sajith and Gota has given false promises .Who has given more false promises already. Sajith or Gota.

  • 2
    0

    Promises made in the wake of elections by contenders to political office are essentially sweeteners. We all know that. The most important aspect I would prefer to look is value for human life and dignity. In my assessment that is not a matter for any of the contenders. Mark my words. Some time after the elections, be prepared for white van abductions and disappearances. Presence of hit men in Trailer bikes. The list of the fear apparatus is long. If you want to live don’t offend the mighty and the exalted. The only difference can be in the form of expressing the feigned agreement to the command. One is “Yes! Sir!” and the other is “Ehemai Hamu”.

  • 6
    0

    Professional veneer but lacking in details, depth, and the rationale that only a true subject matter expert can offer.

    To be fair, as for election promises, Sajith is right up there with Gotabaya. But one is a bonafide devil.

    Hope voters choose the better of the evils because the few candidates (two at most, for example, Dr. Ajantha Perera ) who are revolutionary and highly competent don’t have any chance of winning the election in this country of a vastly functionally illiterate population.

    • 2
      0

      “functionally illiterate population” is the perfect description of the mass of our people. They are like that because they know only one language, Sinhala or Tamil, with only a smattering of another language.

  • 3
    2

    Gotabhaya;s manifesto is a total disappointment to Sinhalese, especially Sinhalese Buddhists.
    No where in his manifesto, he has pledged to protect Sambuddha Sasana.
    His manifesto has proved that he is ALSO for a secular country.
    The existence of Buddhist temples in North and East are under a serious threat.
    We are on the verge of losing our Gurukanda Vihara ancient temple in Mullativu. The caretaker and the chief Buddhist priest were threatened to kill by TNA politicians.
    The same way, Potuvil Muhudu Maha Vihara is becoming a place not safe to visit. Busses carrying Buddhist pilgrims to the temple were stoned by Muslims.
    Ancient Buddhist ruins in Vavuniya was also destroyed last week.
    Therefore, a pledge to protect Buddhist temples and ancient ruins especially in North and East is a must for Presidential candidates.
    Gotabhaya has failed to show that he has any concerns of the sad predicament of Buddhist temples in North and East.
    Gotabhaya and Basil have no regard for Sinhalese. They both only want the power by hook or crook.
    As Prof. Nalin de Silva has very clearly stated, Mahinda has no say in Gotabhaya;s administration.
    Mahinda has betrayed Sinhalese by fielding someone who has no regard for Buddhism, and also someone who cannot unite Sinhalese.
    All the vociferous Maha Sangha and all politicians in Mahinda;s side are silent today for fear of confronting Gotabhaya and Basil.
    Mahinda made a serious blunder. There are all the signs that Gotabhaya will lose the election.

    • 2
      1

      Hay Champa – do not worry too much about your concerns – this is election time – he has to provide something acceptable to everybody living in this country

    • 0
      5

      Champi Hoorah for Gotabaya. Who the hell is going to finance sajith’s 1200 shit holes full of cement and sand ( concrete)?

      This got to stop. All safron clad, whether they have been promoted to main priesthood or not should have their enema syringes surgically emoved.If not behead them

    • 3
      2

      Champass

      “There are all the signs that Gotabhaya will lose the election.”

      Then what is your pimp unemployable windbag weerawansa going to do? Is he planning to storm Prime minister’s official residence, bomb parliament, carpet bomb Vanni, …….. farce on to death, boycott google, yahoo, Kentucky, …. or claim Mahinda is not just a name but the country, ….. ?

      • 0
        0

        OMG….did you seriously just post that ?

        Hahahaha.

  • 4
    0

    Tax reduction! God forbid. Sri Lanka is already a basket case with debt to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) running at almost 80%. Sri Lankan, are you going to borrow from China more money to service your current debt and mortgage the half of your Country. GDP must be increased gradually to service your current debt. Export more and import less, increase tax. Fiscal discipline lacks in Sri Lanka and Gota being an economic blankness is not the person to pull Sri Lanka out of this conundrum.

    • 1
      0

      Jey, Fiscal discipline and Gota’s economic blankness are relevant to remove PAYE from professional suckers.. Gotha never knew how to create wealth and family robbed nation and murdered the media who exposed them. Their corrupt grabbing was to create a dynasty with wax figures of family in a museum, a Do It Yourself replica of kings and emperors. Next robbery will be for mummification in tombs to rise again. Who burnt Thajudeen alive?

  • 5
    0

    I am not sure the extent to which the SL voters take ‘manifestoes’ seriously considering there is no accountability, checks and balances to ensure all initiatives are properly funded and costed by a reputed body (e.g. Treasury). Also historically, most politicians / parties have not honoured their promises and pledges and there don’t appear to be repercussions for such lapses.

    NGR is an airhead who knows next to nothing about the various issues of the current society. That is clear to a keen observer. He is not educated and experienced enough to have that acumen. Afterall, he is supposed to have been doing a mundane job in the USA? He cannot afford to look to the right and to the left for answers. He needs to have a vision, knowledge, understanding expertise and insight on how to address the many issues facing the Nation at the present time. Just parroting and reciting what another has written would not cut the mustard. Furthermore, he is carrying too much baggage to be convincing to the voters. There are too many unanswered questions regarding his past deeds and actions.

    The candidate who is more appealing and convincing to the voters will win the race. Let’s hope and pray that person will be a young, healthy, efficient, honest and trustworthy person who has the capacity to deliver on the promises made. Actions speak louder than words.

    Voters, please use your franchise judiciously!

    • 1
      0

      Do we have to believe the majority of the sinhala-buddhist-govi’s (SBG) are aware of the GR manifesto? forget about what will be implemented or not. They understand only Tamils, LTTE, and now some muslims are their enemy and they should be vanquished. This why GR and MR and the saffron robed thugs are talking about national security as number one issue. My simple mind is telling not a single country, including China, will not like to have this SBG morons as their subjects. These morons would like to have free rice, parippu, and dried fish, this is all what they understand.

  • 3
    1

    Laksiri, MR is like a magician, who will thunder on stage to bring the moon and the retards go nuts. But Gotha is just an assistant to the magician MR. His strength is only talking about security,(because of this, he was censored from all debates and meeting press alone ) which is not much of a priority right now. Though some LTTE uniforms are found random at request, Rajapaksas announced the whole world (and took credit) LTTE is no more. Hence Easter served as a new purpose to make security a priority again for Gothas sake, to win elections. Now US confirmed “BIG DADDY” is no more. My question is will Gotha need a dummy ASAP for target practice before elections ???? or will Easter alone be enough to see him cross the line.

    • 2
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      chiv, Your question “will Gotha need a dummy ISIS” Yes and yes. Not much before elections, but certainly after he loses. Already GMOA political terrorists on stage hoping to get a nomination, but afterwards with failure will create manipulated chaos for profession/health, govt/nation. Not just revolution but fascist destructive combination of Hitler/Stalin. Yet for all a bigger divine justice awaits them and their amassed wealth from murder and robbery.

  • 1
    0

    How is the debt trap be paid. How is the budget gap be bridged. Many countries have non tarriff protection. We too should have protective tarrifs like President Rrump. In agriculure and plantations we should have protection. Agriculture we will have fertilizer free. We should also Sound meateolical prediction. This department ghas a number of criteria for farmers. This information should be free. The agriculture has a number of sites for crop cultivation. The books should be free as well as an audio available free. MoreField officers should be recrutyede with access to new technology as well as drones. The Meateological department data should be able to give the crops to be grow. in paddy7 there are differdentperiod that different strains take. different crops also could be grown asccording weather prediction.Large scale cultivation that isw mechanised. They should tax these growers. Large scale import substitution will help us to pay our debts. We sould be careful of Neo colonist who are exploiting us.

  • 2
    0

    Close to the elections he will promise free rice to all Sri Lankan citizens. Bensen

  • 0
    6

    Dear Retired academic,

    Please do not write useless rubbish without knowing the subject. I have down loaded this document and read it. From my reading, this document has been developed by several experts in different subject areas. For professional managers, this is a vision document, target is to acieve as much as possible. There is nothing impossible, if you have the brain and work hard to achieve the targets. But I have read your article and realised that you can not understand what you write. For example, you mentioned about the PAYE. That does not mean that high income earners are exempted from tax. They have to pay the tax, if they meet the cut off point of the income. As a bean counter, I have read the several times, the sections on education, economy, and taxation sections. This is an excellent document and it has included all the main areas that should be considered in developing Sri Lanka.

    This document is an excellent policy document, with compared to the gobba inconsistent, talks given by main rival candidates. Therefore my kind request is to obeserve, what is happening in the future.
    The main issue is finding the required capital, after useless Yahapalanya. But Collection of Professional Managers and other experts, I think that problem also can be resolved.

    Dear retired academic, your brain can not fathom new managerial skills and thinking. Your theories are no longer working in the practical world. GR has already shown his telent in completing several , impossible, projects. I have complete confidence in him. His other task is to find the capable ministers to handle these tasks. For that, he has to keep useless apathayas away.

  • 0
    2

    Yes, his plans are over-ambitious. Should’ve had more austerity and fiscal discipline and things.

    • 6
      2

      ramona Grandma therese fernando

      “Should’ve had more austerity and fiscal discipline and things.”

      Do you really know/understand what you are talking about?

      • 0
        4

        NV,
        *
        Terrified of Marxism aren’t you. Aww….how selfish. It’s the choice of who’s going to secure kleptocratic wealth, over a return of the monies to the suffering masses. But there are a lot of good rich folk out there this time, who see the value of distribution. Those patriotic Lankans see a greater return of
        country wealth and honor in the long run with the JVP.

  • 0
    0

    The club of Washington consensuses and deliberation that advocated by so-called self-appointment elites nowadays says that challenge on GR’s Presidential Election pledge are flash ? I have no idea how far that is true!
    Undoubtedly that ” good governance” and “rule of law” has been praise by writer since 2015 Jan 8th as key member of that UNP regime.All in all 15/1/8 pledges are flash !@
    An Obviously that UNP -regime was foreign-funded political outfit did not delivered nothing last 5 years > One and only UNP was delivered that how to be corrupted that political-economic-social order of island governance to us.
    But writer has dodge key issues of people of Sri Lankan by the that way he kept of silent on that?
    Paid ours price to People Sovereignty is a poor measure of value of democracy of Republic Sri lanka.
    Well to do that Regime change of 15/1/8 by handed over to UNP leadership which was an installed by vested interest of USA hegemonic domination in region covered central location of Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean .
    We feel that GR Election pledge is reflected ground reality of our nation challenging
    by catastrophe is associable to the People of Sri Lankan.

  • 1
    0

    Gotlar already destroyed SL economy by making the easter sunday bombing. He was the mastermind behind it and was well supported by americans. As soon as the bombs went off, next day he said he will contest the presidential election ! Americans were found in hilton with high tech equipment as well. So we should defeat this american proxy by all means…

    • 0
      0

      Amila, If US could track Osama and Abu in hideouts and put their bodies in the sea as food, why did they allow GR to pay Zahran and keep him going to destroy church people, knowing that martyrs blood has consequences greater than shedding of innocent blood. Vagabonds mentality is to destroy like orphans without parents and homes.

  • 0
    1

    People know what can be given or can’t be given/what can be done & can’t be done.

    People know who can give it or who can’t give it too.

    It might be the unwise who’re excited & write volumes on these heedless promises.

    What’s important is other interests of people.

    However it’s good if anybody; (@ present context, Gota or AKD or SP) can do it; not to collect tax & rest the responsibilities on people; to run the government with a least fund depriving politicians a chance to steal. (no heaps of money to steal)

    Paving the way for rogues to withdraw from politics.

  • 2
    0

    Could those Sinhala – Buddhist zealots please ask Gotabaya Rajapakse to settle the balance amount due to Land Reclaiming and Construction Authority being the cost of constructing DA Rajapaksa Foundation’s Memorial and Museum at Medamulana. This was a project approved by Gotabaya while he was the Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development. The original cost was Rs.81.2 million and only Rs.33.9 has been settled so far leaving a balance of Rs. 47.9 million.
    I am sure the old man must be turning in his grave seeing his sons constructing a Memorial and Museum at taxpayer’s expense! Is this not a disgrace for the Rajapaksa family? Is this not a case of misusing state resources for the benefit of the Rajapaksa family?
    Basil Rajapaksa disowned a house and property constructed at a cost of Rs.250 million because he could not prove the source of the funds.
    Moreover, Gotabaya’s hands are soaked with the blood of innocents killed by government sleuths. Lasantha, Eknaligoda, Wasim Hussein just to name a few who are citizens of the country. The other day, Gotabaya obtained a stay order from attending Jaffna District Court on a habeas corpus application citing security as a problem. But then he travelled to the very same town to hold rallies in support of his candidature!
    A close look at the cases winding up the steps of law courts against Gotabaya will reveal he is treated like a holy cow untouchable by the long arms of justice. It is claimed that Minister Sagala Rathnayake was shielding Gotabaya when he was the Minister of Law and Order (11 November 2015 – 25 February 2018). The then Chief of Police Finance Crimes Investigations Division (FCID) Ravi Vaidyalankara was also responsible for safeguarding Gotabaya.

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