3 October, 2023


Gota’s Citizenship, US Silence & Presidency 

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

As soon as Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s’s dual citizenship became a debatable issue on the eve of his nomination by his brother’s party, SLPP, US authorities must have realised that they have been presented with manna from heaven to help them achieve what they wanted from Sri Lanka, irrespective of who wins the tight contest. In one single stroke of her pen the US Ambassador in Colombo would have cleared the air immediately, but she must have been advised not to and allow the controversy continue, perhaps until the election is over. The Election Commissioner also, either through deliberate or innocent neglect did not bother to check Gota’s credentials. Was he in cahoot with the Ambassador? 

Generally speaking, in any event or issue that dominates the politics outside its own territory, what immediately matters to any country and its government, is its own national interest, and in the case of US, its imperial interest. This is the stark reality of international relations. On that basis, US meddling in Sri Lankan politics has a long history and dates back to 1950s, but its intensity increased no sooner than when China’s influence in the Indian Ocean in general and Sri Lanka in particular started deepening. The island’s geostrategic position in the Indian Ocean is too precious to be ignored by any regional or imperial power. It is through the Indian Ocean, from the Straits of Hormuz through Bab el-Mandab Strait and Strait of Malacca that more than 80% of oceanic trade is being carried out. Sri Lanka is at the crossroad of this trade artery. One cannot therefore underestimate the crucial importance of Sri Lanka’s harbours and sea lanes. 

By gaining a ninety nine year leasehold over Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Harbour and through funding quite generously the infrastructure development of the country, China outbid all her rivals and brought closer the realisation of her One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy. Now, the Americans want to check mate China by gaining at least an equal footing in Sri Lanka. The controversial Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) are all means through which such footing could be achieved. The question is who or which government in Sri Lanka will sign these agreements and entrap the country into the imperial net.            

There is already a number of supporting voices towards signing these agreements within the present government, and if Sajith Premadasa becomes the president and his UNP captures the government after the next General Elections, US will feel more comfortable and be confident in achieving those objectives. However, it may be problematic under a Gota Presidency with a pro-Chinese Rajapakse government. This is where Gota’s citizenship issue and the court cases filed against him in California can be used as trumps by US government. Whether Gota will be allowed to remain president or be dethroned would depend on his response to US requests. US will use his citizenship as the trump. This is why US is silent now.   

Landmark Saturday 

Unlike the elections before, the Presidential Election on Saturday will be a landmark event. Reduced to a straight contest between two men, Gota and Sajith, while another, Anura, running third, the presidential race is going to determine not only the direction of Sri Lanka’s economic and foreign policies but also the future of the country’s democracy and ethnic pluralism. It is a contest between one who is promising a technocratic cabinet ruled by an iron fist, and another promising a cabinet of ministers with honesty and integrity while protecting the country’s pluralism and the framework of participatory democracy. There is a broad suspicion that the technocracy and iron fist may translate into a family oligarchy and plutocracy. Does it mean the end of democracy in Sri Lanka?

Both candidates have no clarity about their respective economic strategies to promote growth with equity, and about measures and techniques to improve the welfare of ordinary mases. Only Anura promised to narrow the wealth gap. However, given the constraints of a ballooning budget deficit, trade deficit and national debt, one is not sure whether Gota and Sajith would be able to honour their lavish promises given to the gullible during the campaign. The one who seems to have a credible alternative path, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, may have to work harder to sell his program before the forthcoming General Election.

Above all, how the leading two candidates are going to rein in the recklessness of ultranationalist Buddhist supremacists and their lawlessness against minorities is not clear. There is a threat of violence and bloodshed against Muslims after the election, and there appears to be a sinister plan drawn up by these supremacists to narrow the open economy space for the role of minorities in economic and commercial ventures. Having hijacked the public administration already and reduced the weight of minorities to just 8 per cent, these supremacists are aiming to achieve the same in the economic sector. This is a self-defeating strategy.      

There is a fundamental truth about an economy, which is taken for granted by most economists and policy makers. Economic growth and prosperity cannot be achieved and sustained without the active participation of the entire nation. There is no point in talking about national product and national income when part of the nation feels left out of the growth game. In a plural society like Sri Lanka it means the participation of every component of it. That participation will not be forthcoming unless there is peace and tranquillity in the country. People are the most precious asset in any society. Of what use is foreign capital and high-tech led economic growth, if sections of local society are kept out of it and do not benefit from it? Gross National Happiness (GNH) is sine qua non for Gross National Product (GNP) and GNP in turn enhances GNH. Ultranationalists hinder both and that is why they are the real enemies of Sri Lanka. Which president will control them?  

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Latest comments

  • 3

    US Silence & Presidency

    China, India, US who will play the role of centrality China and India pendulum is swinging, and dominant will be US because beings the citizens of that or once being a citizen is the first priority Every good citizen makes his country’s honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious.

    • 7

      Dr. Ameer Ali,

      Are Gotabaya Nandesena Rajapaksa and the Rajapaksa MafiaFamily, Double Agents.

      Is the populace mean IQ 79, with questionable common sense in a position to understand this? After all almost half of them still believes in the Sun , the Moon and the planets going the Earth, and believe in Astrology.

      What does it mean to call someone a Manchurian Candidate?

      A person who is not loyal to, or who harms, their own country or political party because they are under the control or influence of another country or party: Some bloggers hint that a presidential candidate might be a kind of Manchurian candidate.

      Looks like the data and circumstantial evidence supports the above assertion.

      Basil Rajapaksa, Gota’s brother, says that he is not renouncing the US citizenship. Gota can always pull back his citizenship renunciation application.

      Gota is still NOT an Alien, as far as the USA is concerned. Many low IQ imbeciles , mean IQ 79 , seem not to to comprehend it.

      A land like no other, where the mean IQ of the populace is 79.

      • 6

        Gota phobia at its climax.

        • 8

          Eagle Blind Eye

          “Gota phobia at its climax.”

          Gota’s phobia at its climax.

        • 2

          Eagle Confused Eye,

          You need to know shit from Shinola.

          Usage notes
          Almost always used in negative constructions to describe someone’s ignorance or stupidity, such as: He doesn’t know shit from Shinola.

  • 7

    It looks as a plot made in U.S. so many issues in this drama.
    EC says it did not bother to check dual citizenship. and yet; some Mps in parliament are questioned for this matter;
    EC must have checked it before it gives nomination.
    for US it needs some one to work as it’s puppet or agent.
    It would be ideal for US to keep his citizenship and let him to win election?
    It would be like an apple pie or piece of cake if Gota wins..US needs someone to counter Chinese influence in Sri Lanka..who would be better than Gota for that…
    Gota may have been told about all this and yet he contested with support of US .
    Do you notice US never oppose this time anyone contesting from MR family.
    US give citizenship for people not for a charity but it has to protect its geopolitical interest .
    if Gota wins Sri Lanka will be sandwiched between CHINA AND US.
    good luck for Gota ??

  • 10

    The controversy about NGR’s citizenship will become an issue only if he is elected the President of this Nation at the Nov 16th election. This is highly unlikely, So all this will be of only academic interest thereafter (but those who are interested might be able to pursue him in SL courts for violating the Constitution of SL). NGR will go back to USA (where his family resides) with his tail between his legs!

    NGR is an arrogant, devious, deceitful and insidious character who is an alleged criminal, psychopath and maniac. He is refusing to face the courts in the same way he is refusing to face journalists and engage in public debates. He must be having so much to hide and conceal. He is not to be trusted.

    Voters, please use your franchise wisely, judiciously, aptly and appropriately.

    • 3

      “Voters, please use your franchise wisely, judiciously, aptly and appropriately.”

      Native Sinhalayo do not need guidance from ‘Koti Diaspora’ or NGO guys on how to vote,

      • 5

        Eagle Blind Eye

        “Native Sinhalayo do not need guidance from ‘Koti Diaspora’ or NGO guys on how to vote,”

        You mean the Sinhala/Buddhist fascist kallathonie converts, one cannot stop them nor should one attempt to stop those block heads who are determined to hit the bottom.

  • 2

    Failure of the present regime and contributions to such a monumental failure in every dimension of the society by so-called intellectuals who are still harping on this regime to deliver Democracy and good governance, rule of law, accountability, transparency and a corruption-free country.

    I just start writing this piece after reading an article by Dr Ameer Ali, in the Colombo Telegraph. After reading many articles from the author, the perception of Ameer Ali seems to be that there are Buddhist supremacists in Sri Lanka, but he is so confident that there are no Muslim terrorists.

    It is hilarious to see how some of the pundits who campaigned for the democracy, good governance, rule of law, transparency, integrity, accountability and eradicating corruption still campaigns for the same regime which failed pathetically.

    The regime abused the rule of law and try every strategy to persecute and hunt down their political revival.

    There was no iota of democracy as the government failed to satisfy the minimum criteria of such a society. That is holding elections when they are due. They abused the constitution to delay the elections. No intellectual who campaigned for this regime since 2015 raised voice against such blatant abuses.

    There was no accountability for any incident or issues that happened from 2015 to 2019. The government try to transfer the blame to the previous government without any rational reasoning.

    The corrupt practice of the government is unimaginable. The way the Central Bank was robbed is a case that speaks loudly about the corrupt nature of this regime. The citizen has to take the brunt of such crimes for 30 years.

  • 3

    Cont ….
    Ranil Wickramasinghe showed that he does not care at least about the integrity of a person who is holding the office of the Prime Minister. Ministers and officials also did not understand the meaning of integrity. The officials worked so closely with Ranil and some power-hungry misters to persecute the political opponents.

    There was no transparency in many matters of the government. They did not follow the due processes. Ranil Wickramasinghe went on to cancel the order of Airbus bypassing the all the due process and ultimately causing heavy losses to the Sri Lankan Air Line.
    The so-called intellectuals were vociferous on the corruption of the previous regime from 2005 to 2015. But this regime did not prove any allegations against the previous government though they had full five years. As they found no prima facie evidence to prove allegations then the intellectuals that the hierarchy of this government is saving the previous government.

    That is such a childish excuse. Do you us to belive that Ranil saves Mahinda or any other Rajapkshas for a deal? Do these intellectuals ask us to believe that Ranil sacrificed his presidential ambitions just for Rajapkshas to escape?

    That is not the case. They did every strategy to hunt down Rajapakshas but failed as all the allegations are just lies to grab the power in 2015.

  • 3

    The inefficient and corrupt acts resulted in the total collapse of the economy. The Country was adding 5 billion US$ per year on average to the Gross National Product from 2005 to the end of 2014.

    But due to the ill-conceived vision of this regime, the GNP increased only by 5 billion US$ from 2015 to 2019. If the previous economic strategy continues even from 2015 to 2019, the GNP should increase by 25 billion US$ for those five years. That means there would be 20 billion US$ loss for the country during these five years.

    If that Money was there more than half of the total external debt of the country would have completely paid back.

    For such losses, what kind of terminology these so-called intellectuals will use. I would say that is also another type of corruption.

  • 2

    The most important failure is the collapse of national security. But these pundits do not bother about such holistic concepts as the development, democracy and socio-economic stability stands on the national security.

    But despite all these disasters, ills and broken promises, these so-called intellectuals are harping on this government.
    I cannot understand what kind of integrity these pundits have. They try to conceive irrational fear among the general public against Gotabhaya. Gotabhaya can not harm such holy phenomenons because the government of Ranil has already destroyed and abused all such good concepts.

    Accordingly, if one analyzes with facts, these so-called intellectuals do not bother about democracy, good governance, rule of law, transparency, integrity, accountability and eradicating corruption.
    But why these pundits try to portrait an evil character for Rajapakshas.

    That is not because they believe in Democracy or any other good governance principle.

    But because they have class interest (some are serving the class interests of Ranil as slaves) and another reason is that they get Money (maybe in US$), grants and travel perks to go to foreign institutions for studies. They can have social status.
    In conclusion, I would say that the hypocrisy and blind partiality of the so-called intellectuals with vested interests are among the main reasons for the failure of the so-called Yahapalana Government.

  • 3

    Such a huge fuss because Gotabhaya is a US citizen is to divert the attention from the crimes committed on April 21st, 2019.

    In Canada, had Prime ministerial candidate Andrew Scheer won the election, he too would have been a dual Canadian-US citizen. No big deal in the modern world where more and more people carry more than one allegiance.

    • 3

      “No big deal in the modern world” – Perhaps this is how MS thought on October 26, 2018 when he took SL Constitution for a ride?

  • 6

    Ameer Ali

    “US will use his citizenship as the trump. This is why US is silent now.”

    Have you considered the possibility that the U S would have ALREADY made a DEAL with Gota on its OWN terms and Highly FAVOURABLE to it? Perhaps, it would be more correct to say that such a DEAL was IMPOSED by Uncle Sam on Gota who has Absolutely NO Choice given the Rajapakses’ Thirst for Power..

    Under this DEAL, should Gota win and the citizenship becomes an Issue, Uncle Sam is sure to step in and CONFIRM that Gota’ is NO MORE a US Citizen. Then, Gota will DO Every Bidding of Uncle Sam. With such a Pliant President, Uncle Sam has NO Need for the UNP.

    Do we need a President who is a SLAVE of the US? If we Sri Lankans seriously want to remain Independent and Free from Foreign Domination, we should use our Precious Vote wisely on Nov. 16th. May God Save Sri Lanka from becoming a Vassal state.

  • 3

    if this Citizens ship nonsense is all that Sajith has it is a sign of how bankrupt they are wrt to ideas,

    • 4

      Mr Premawardena,

      Absolutely. The bigger concern here is that even more than Sajith, it is the Muslims that are concerned about everything. LOL.

      Muslims are very worried about Gota’s US citizenship.
      Muslims are concerned about the erosion of democracy should GR win.
      Muslims are petrified about the Sinhalese village girls not having sanitary pads.
      Muslims are worried about nepotism.

      It seems like the only thing the Muslims are Not worried about is serving justice to the victims of the bombings of April 21st, 2019.

      • 2

        exactly. Muslim UNP supporters , Tamil Terrorists and UNP monkeys

      • 6

        A Load of RUBBISH as USUAL from the retd. Ole fella who is Really Monkeying

      • 1

        Rtd. Lt. Reginald Shamal Perera – “serving justice to the victims of the bombings of April 21st, 2019”

        Sympathy Votes? Explain why Gota then?

  • 2

    You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can not fool all people all the time. Abraham Lincoln

    Authors of various publications in Colombo Telegraph are erudite, judicious and sanguine. Same can not be said about some of the commentators who descend to level of gutter press, who take no notice about what others think and say about their comments. Taking on board, analysing and learning from what others think and write is part of democracy and accepted in literal society, rather than political blindness.
    I believe last part of the Lincoln statement “You can not fool all people all the time” will prevail in this election.

    • 1

      quit sucking up you brown noser, Write something worth reading

  • 6

    Its interesting that ppl want to fight the minorities within their own country, but does not care about country is sold off for China or US. End of the day all of you will be slave to China or US. I don’t mind.. who cares. They will be better for the minorities anyway. Atleast they will treat all SL Srilankan equal. haha

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