29 May, 2017

Hundred Days And After

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“…..to hold in a single thought reality and justice.” – W B Yeats (A Vision)

The Governor of the Central Bank was summoned to the Bribery Commission and grilled for six hours. A three-month travel ban was imposed on him.

That one incident demonstrates how far we have progressed since January 8th.

The journey away from Rajapaksa Rule towards democracy, accountability and the rule of law has been far from perfect; it has been slow and ponderous, with many a stop and digression. But it is happening, as the interrogation of Arjuna Mahendran clearly indicates.

Ranil MaithriThere had been many allegations of insider trading against the Central Bank under Rajapaksa rule as well. But no committee was appointed; no investigation happened; no one was questioned, least of all the then Governor.

There is no perfect government, there never was and never will be outside of utopia. There will always be bribery and corruption; politicians and officials are as likely to go astray and do wrong as the rest of the citizenry. What is necessary and possible is to create a mindset which rejects impunity and a system which punishes wrongdoers irrespective of how high they are.

The manner in which the Central Bank Bond case is progressing signifies that we are on the right road towards that future.

The 100 Day Programme was an incredibly ambitious one. Implementing it in 100 days would have been impossible even if the new president and the new government possessed a two-thirds majority. Not everything that should and could have been done in the first 100 days was done, but progress has been made nevertheless. Cost of living has become less oppressive; the mega-casino menace is over; media restrictions have been removed; the existence of an ethnic problem and the need for a political solution have been accepted; the anti-minority hysteria has receded; some Northern land has been released to their original owners; militarization of civilian spaces has ceased; soldiers and sailors have been liberated from menial tasks; impunity is receding; the judiciary seems to be far more assertive and independent; ministers drive without convoys and stop at traffic lights….

Much remains to be done. And foremost in the ‘must do’ list is the 19th Amendment, aimed at correcting the grotesque and dangerous power-imbalances created by the 1978 Constitution and made infinitely worse by the 18th Amendment.

Sri Lanka’s version of executive presidential system has manifestly failed to achieve many of its key aims. It has often worked against democracy, created instability and encouraged rampant corruption and unforgivable inefficiency (for example, the Weliamuna Report on Sri Lankan Airlines and the lawless and arbitrary manner in which the Colombo Port City project was launched). But its most deadly malaise is an inborn tendency to encourage despotic dreams on the part of political leaders. Presidents begin to act as if they are uncrowned kings, the modern day heirs of the country’s ancient monarchs. When their acolytes start hailing them as kings, disaster ensues. Perhaps it is not quite accidental that executive presidency has worked for (rather than against) democracy mostly in countries without monarchical pasts. The obvious exception to this possible rule is France, but France’s history also includes the decisive (and repeated) rejection of monarchy and a popularly acclaimed act of regicide.

In Sri Lanka the dangers and the dysfunctionalities of allowing all power to be concentrated in the hands of a single individual became undeniably manifest in the last several years. The Rajapaksa disaster alone calls for a multi-polar system where power is diffused and devolved. Sri Lanka needs a democratic system of governance with proper checks and balances, which can impede the president or the prime minister from amassing too much power. A majority of Lankans obviously comprehended this need, which was why they voted out Mahinda Rajapakasa and voted in Maithripala Sirisena.

If the victories of 1970 and 1977 could be interpreted as popular consent for constitutional transformations, so can the victory of 2015 – even more so. Unlike in 1970 or 1977, the main plank of Maithripala Sirisena’s electoral platform was constitutional change in general and the transformation of the executive presidential system in particular. His victory therefore has to be taken as a vote for a new system of governance. His mandate is not to wield the powers of the executive presidency but to change it.

Unchanging truths and infallible solutions belong in the province of religion. There are no Enlightened Ones or Gods in politics; just fallible humans who struggle with better or worse policies. The 19th Amendment is not perfect. It is not supposed to. What it should be measured against is not some utopian ideal, but the really existing system of governance. And going by that yardstick, the 19th Amendment is potentially more democratic, more able to protect the rights of the people and curb the abuses of the rulers, more likely to bring about intelligent, sensible and efficient governance.

Democracy is neither uniform nor immutable. It is not a finished product, a final destination made of unchanging stone. It is a work-in-progress, an endless experiment. In fact, its ability to survive also depends on its capacity to evolve with changing times. There are no perfect constitutions or constitutional amendments either. All we know is that the existing system is unsafe in multiple ways. The 19th Amendment will resolve some of the problems created by the existing system. But it will have its own flaws. And someday, it too can be amended or abandoned, for something better. That is a mark of democracy, the right to keep what works and dump what does not.

Political Agoraphobia

Power in today’s Sri Lanka is more diffused than ever in history, because of the uniquely broadbased nature of January 8th victory.

To paraphrase Bertold Brecht[i], Maithripala Sirisena won the presidential election, but he did not win it alone. He won thanks to the most diverse political coalition in Lankan history. The victory of January 8th truly had many fathers; indeed it could not have happened without multiple fathers. Its paternity cannot be monopolised by any one individual, party or organisation.

And though no single individual or party holds all reins of power, the country is running smoothly. There is no bifurcation, collapse or anarchy, except in the fevered imaginings of feverish Rajapaksa supporters. The calm, quiet, ordinary (almost boring!) present proves that stability is not dependent on power-concentration. We do not need an uncrowned king to keep anarchy at bay!

Rousseau famously wrote, ‘Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains’[ii]. Not every freeborn citizen values freedom. Some people do not want to be free. For these sufferers of political-agoraphobia, bondage and not freedom is the natural state. Without a leader lording it over them, they feel unsafe, bereft, lost…

Thus we have the grotesque spectacle of some UPFA parliamentarians opposing the 19th Amendment in the name of democracy. The fact that these very parliamentarians voted for the profoundly anti-democratic 18th Amendment indicates that they belong in the Orwellian universe where war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. They are no more democratic than China is socialist.

Just as democracy needs democratic citizens, despotism requires obedient subjects. It is no accident that Rajapaksa propaganda sought to create a collective mindset which harked back to our monarchical past and equated national security and wellbeing with the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and infallible ‘Hero-King’. The Rajapaksa project has been consigned to the dust-heap of history, but the desire to turn aware and knowledgeable citizens into ignorant and frightened subjects is not unique to Rajapaksas. That danger can stem from other politicians as well. That is why we must not allow any party or leader to dilute or reduce our democratic space. That is why we must resist any attempt by anyone to treat us like permanent infants. Let political-agoraphobiacs dream of the yoke; ‘never again’ should be our determination.

The King in his Echo-Chamber

Most religions have their creation myths, some more inane than others. Take for instance, Church of Scientology’s version: “A galactic overlord Xenu expelled hordes of people to a prison planet (Earth) 75 million years ago, dropped them into volcanoes, then dispersed their spirits…with nuclear bombs. These spirits still possess humans to this day.”[iii]

Human credulity is as boundless as human imagination. The belief of the Rajapaksa-acolytes, that only the triumphant return of Hero-King Mahinda can save Sri Lanka from chaos, is a snug fit for this common human condition.

The UPFA has a majority in parliament, but that majority does not reflect current politico-electoral reality. It was the outcome of a politico-electoral map which has been rendered obsolete by times and tides. The UNP is in a minority, but if an election is held now, the UNP will emerge the single largest party. The UPFA will come second, and a not very strong second if the attempt by Mahinda & Co to break up the SLFP succeeds.

Only someone who is naive to the point of idiocy can believe that Maithripala Sirisena would want Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister. Mahinda & Co would know this. The actual purpose of the ‘Bring Back Mahinda as Prime Minister’ campaign is to hoodwink ordinary SLFPers and create the largest possible schism in the SLFP. Mahinda & Co are planning to grab a huge chunk of the SLFP’s vote base, win more seats than the official SLFP and, based on that victory, mount a coup to regain power first in the party and someday nationally.

Delusions of Second Comings apart, Mr. Rajapaksa probably realises that the UNP would be the only real beneficiary of a schism in the SLFP. But like the devil in that pithy Sinhala saying (Yana yaka koraha bindagene yanawa – translated inadequately as ‘The departing devil breaks the rice-washing pot on its way out’) he is possessed by malice. His thirst for vengeance will not be slaked until the SLFP is deluged by defeat.

Mahinda Rajapaksa still lives in his echo chamber, where he only hears what he wants to hear – the hosannas of an adoring audience, most of them brought to his house or to other venues in hired-buses. He is still misreading the public mood and cannot understand that he is treading the DUNF path. Like the DUNF, Mahinda & Co is unlikely to win more than 10% of the vote. If is any post-election haemorrhaging, the flow is likely to be from Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rump faction to the official SLFP and not the other way around.

During the presidential election campaign, as astrologer after astrologer declared Rajapaksa victory to be a divinely mandated inevitability, a beggar in Galle made a bet that the winner will be Maithripala Sirisena. Having voted for Mr. Rajapaksa in 2010, the beggar changed because of the way he and others at the rock-bottom of society were treated by the triumphant Rajapaksas. Whenever President Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa or Parliamentarian Rajapaksa was scheduled to go by, the police would forcibly herd all beggars out of the royal-sight. The beggar obviously realised the connection between his personal humiliation and the rulers’ real attitude to ordinary men and women.

Asians/Lankans are not born with a slave-particle in their brains. Authoritarianism is not a function of geopolitical location but of historical time. Today, the yearning to be free is not a Western yearning but a universal human one. The outcome of the presidential election demonstrated that a majority of Lankans share this yearning.

“I am not reconciled to a world in which a gesture or a word misunderstood can cost a life”, wrote Heinrich Böll[iv]. We are no longer in that world. 100 days on, the situation is admittedly far from perfect. The pace is slow. Much remains to be done. But the country is still on the right track and hope for a better future is entirely warranted.


[i] A Worker Reads History

[ii] Social Contract

[iii]http://www.salon.com/2015/04/17/secrets_of_the_scientologists_why_people_do_horrible_things_for_belief/

[iv] Billiards at Half Past Nine

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Latest comments

  • 34
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    Probably the best piece written about the current status quo by a mile.
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      “ministers drive without convoys and stop at traffic lights….’ it’s not only the ministers but also the president MY3 himself , what a remarkable, down to earth, simple person he is ? remember how the Mafia king used to travel with his endless convoys on our main roads? weren’t we often forced to stay away from the main roads until the rouge king passes by ? Rouge King must pay for all his and other criminals sins , coming back to active politics and then becoming the premier of SL is only a pipe dream for him after 19A . our Google Mudiyanselage Thunmulle Booruwansa is getting his bitter medicine as well , first his Silly party has been kicked out from the Alliance then that thumping Helicopter bill is going to haunt him , will see how this con artist going to play “Thottha Baba part ” this time .
      • 17
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        May the spirit of MY3 be blessed the country in the elimination of Wimal Buruwanse the kind viruses from the today#s active politics.
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        You know Srilal, the problem is today’s change is not passed to the average through the journalists for some reasons. Actually the change is a sky earth when one would compare it the scenes got to see prior to 8th Jan. I really dont know why the many among the lanken journos still work for Mahabururajas.
        • 16
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          Perhaps, most of our people have Alzheimer’s decease. Already forgotten, VIPs’ and their Sons’ frequent motor brigades and … powerful fathers closing down Colombo, Kandy roads for their son’s to have private car races… Thanks Thisaranee for pointing out achievements by democratic people in the country in the last couple of months. We need help from writers like you to maintain the direction of changes even in snail phase..
          • 8
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            it’s like praising his royal highness when he was only a president elect to make him do your thing- now everyone is grumbling why he did so- you get what you ask for. Spooky TG is good at giving it to you. They accepted 10 billion at 12.5%. The selling price by the bank is official = 7.5% 5% clean kick back- [Edited out]
        • 6
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          sun , It’s not just journos , the whole bureaucratic system itself still functions according to Mafia king’s whims & fancies , case in point ,AG , is he a neutral person ? go through all AG’s post Jan 9 actions and its subsequent decisions , can we say he is a neutral person ?
      • 5
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        “remember how the Mafia king used to travel with his endless convoys on our main roads? ” Considering the number of enemies he made after destroying LTTE, to stop at all traffic lights would have meant a sure bomb blast unless all traffic lights were guarded- a more costly proposition. No such threat for nikamas.
        • 4
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          Who said Mafia king had to stop at all traffic lights ? forget about stopping at traffic lights , no one was even allowed to use the roads simultaneously when the rouge king was out on our public roads , oh yes that was to prevent bomb blasting , then what was this complete eradication of LTTE terrorism from the face of srilankan soil ,baloney !didn’t they brag about it from dawn to dusk ? did Mafia family single handedly eradicate LTTE ? what about FM Sarath Fonseka’s security ? why did the white van goon ordered not to provide any security for Gen SF then ? didn’t he say that country was safe , no more LTTE threats ! As for MY3’s unprecedented humility , you dare to say he has no such threats , do i have to waste my time on such illogical, dumb arguments ?
        • 3
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          In the same time bugger MR curtailed the security given to former Prez CBK ? Was she not in danger ? What an argument PAUL ? Meeharaka Rajapakshe looted poor man’s funds for his maintenance of Raja status. MY3 is also in Gefahr/danger in you see it in that way. But MY3 has a heart towards the average man of the country while the buger Rajapkshe had it only to fat his pocket. Coming days you will see more about the realities behiind the Rajapakshes.
        • 2
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          Check this video clip out , how our mafia king betrayed and deprived our very own Jayantha Danapala’s chance of becoming UNSG in 2006 for personal favors , hypocrisy is at it’s best , this is MR’s patriotism . MUST watch https://youtu.be/yuRAsQfQOlk
    • 1
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      What load of one-sided drivel. If this is the media that was ‘released’, it better have stayed tied up. Rudderless and vacelative, the present government is on a disaster road to nowhere. Arjuna Mahendran has committed a very clear trespass that has made his position untenable – he has to go. Striding along to floor at the time of the bond transaction, he surely has personal gains to achieve. Naive governance that has led the passionate resurgence of a call for Mahinda Rajapakse, an understandable option to the lackluster performance of the MRC trio. You will do well to find anyone who will agree with your view point, other than the arrogant Tamils of Colombo 7 or the ones who still believe in the puppeteering skills of Ranil. As the so called ‘Ethnic problem’ I have had no real answer from anyone – do you mean that Tamils should be tread differently from what the present constitution allows – where all are equal? Releasing the forces from non-military duty means de-mobilization in a large scale that comes with its own troubles and caused depressions after both world wars. Prices were reduced on 16 items – all imported – by reducing the duty applied previously, in many cases to protect the local farmer. TNA is obviously asking for their pound of flesh for voting MS in – as he could not and Mahinda could have – won the vote without them. A proxy for a terrorist organisation that has never condemned the LTTE, they are calling in the favours that is not going to sit well with the 76% Sinhala majority. So paint away as you wish but you cannot stop the nose-diving of a government that does not have – and apparently now never will – a majority in the parliament and in the hearts of the people.
  • 25
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    I hate to sound like just another part of Tisaranee’s hallelujah chorus, but what is wrong with a country that seems to have a terminal inability to use this woman’s intellect, wisdom and caring in its governance? One of my personal badges of honour is the fact that there appears to be only one English-language newspaper in this country which appears prepared to publish – ocassionally – what she or I write!
    • 18
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      “there appears to be only one English-language newspaper in this country which appears prepared to publish – ocassionally – what .. I write!” Start writing more sense, and less nonsense, who knows, you might lucky…:-)
      • 14
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        paul “Start writing more sense, and less nonsense, who knows, you might lucky…:-)” You mean imitate Dayan and praise the lord?
      • 8
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        Paul (or is it “Saul” of Tarsus?) “Start writing more sense, and less nonsense, who knows, you might lucky…:-)” Ever considered taking your own advice? Some kalay paththaray might consider publishing your contributions without your hiding behind a pseudonym!
        • 6
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          Am I the only one using pseudonyms in here? Get Ranil and My3 to recall all the white vans that were in service and sell them in a public auction, then most of might coming out in the open. :-)
          • 2
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            Before the white vans getting auctioned in public , we would like to see the real owners of white vans getting unmasked in public , didn’t Kelaniya Mervin reveal the real name of the white van owners ?
        • 5
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          emil dont be disheartened it is normal in your trade to read TG & perhaps you.- plainly said : comme ci comme ça See how Murdoch made it with the Sun page 3 like Ayn Rand `Banner` of fountainhead. He tried to compete to be the richest man in the world surpassing Bill but the Sky deal put a stop to that. English takes place only at Old Blighty- Look at London Mayor journalist, scholar of the classics and Chinese heart-throb.
        • 4
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          Emil van der Poorten , 2008 Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger 2006 Kiran Desai- The Inheritance of Loss 1997 Arundhati Roy – The God of Small Things Booker Prize winners With 66% living in villages at India With 84% living in villages at Lanka?? @ Assistant Government Agent in the Hambantota District of Ceylon. Leonard Woolf’s forgotten Sri Lankan novel- The Village in the Jungle (1913) Baddegama-Punchi Menika and Hinnihami, The western presence is there, but only at the margins, in the brief appearances of the magistrate. @ The Jungle Book (1894) Rudyard Kipling. Give the village a try you never know Bloomsbury Group would be interested in short stories like Roald Dahl. Good luck
    • 1
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      Emil, I totally agree with what you have stated. Tisaranee could do very well in many another job serving very usefully for the government, but to take her out of the press would be a hige blow to its freedom overall. In those dark Rajapaksian days she was probably the only one who remained unbowed. The editors of the local dailies were the most shameless of all.
      • 7
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        for the dosh [they] all even mahindapala on a donkey sends his daily meal- it’s ultimately a job like any other even a car mechanic who has to perform. They call it creative writing with a political high pitch.(lots and lots of bulls*** go along with it to sell of course. Unless some possessive decides to take us all to grammar school because it’s rather small from shear volume for an international operation. Finally it’s all about a villager’s (86%) life in an island- was set back a cool 50 years in July 83. pin cushions!!
    • 3
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      Emil, “Asians/Lankans are not born with a slave-particle in their brains” If you call the above “intellect” I wonder what fires in your own brain, pus patas crackers may be!
  • 17
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    Welcome back, Tisaranee! Another superbly incisive piece on the current situation and metamorphosis from the ridiculous to a more sublime path for the country. Encore!
    • 4
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      Jango, Your heroine TG says, “Asians/Lankans are not born with a slave-particle in their brains” Since you sound like you know “her” well, please do explain to me what she means by above..does she mean that non Asians/ non Lankans have slave-particles in their brains…what are “slave-particles”? is she implying that Africans had slave particles in their brains and that is why they were enslaved by the westerners? C’mon Jango you can do better than cheering this pseudo intellectual!
      • 0
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        RealityCheck (among your numerous other pseudonyms) – Your assumption that I know “her” well is way off the mark. I just know “her” from her brilliant analyses in CT. With regard to the definition of ‘Slave Particles’, do your own work and check out the definition yourself. Google will help you out!! PS: Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier, as I only just saw your comment…
  • 12
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    Dismantling a corrupt structure takes time and precise planning. Unraveling the economic mess is a tedious task, specially with spineless Prime Minister. The only fear is the cancerous Ruling family can throw away their ill gained billions to return through the system of democrazy. May God save from this calamity.
  • 16
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    It is true that yahapalanaya has not yet being able to deliver all it’s promises. However the general populace enjoy a sense of freedom which was not felt during the previous regime. The government does it’s job rather than dictating terms to citizens. Old habits die slowly just because we have a change of government all is not going to be well overnight, the transformation of people will take time and government will have a major role in making that social transformation a reality. There are still incidents of hands being cut off due to awurudu altercations, mother jumping to well and in front of trains with their children, son killing mother for Rs 3,000. We are still waiting for the big fish to be netted, all of sudden it seems everything has taken a back seat. However looking forward to the Big Bang soon. The change which majority was yearning has been brought about it is up to us to make it work.
  • 12
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    An excellent review of The 100 Days! The victory of Jan:08th was essentially a CAESAREAN operation performed on the Womb of Time. The 19th Amendment is the baby. Any MP who votes against this in the coming week wants the baby stillborn! In other words it is a case of Dial M [MaRa] for Murder!
  • 15
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    Excellent analysis of the present scenario and the upcoming election would lead to. MR will learn the hard way and he deserves that lesson not only for himself but all the Hypocrites who support him. Oh! boy am I not waiting to see the back of MR and his cronies for good?
    • 8
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      gamini “Oh! boy am I not waiting to see the back of MR and his cronies for good?” So are many in this island. However MR seems to be confident of becoming the next executive prime minister of the country as witnessed by his supporters. Has he got any confidence tricks up his sleeves to con the voters? If he has what sort of things do you think he would resort to win the elections? Why is Dayan desperately and consistently attempting to annoy readers with his garbage in garbage out typing? Is that what we are guaranteed to get if MR ever to win the elections?
      • 4
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        With the introduction of 19A, Mafia King’s day dreams have been shattered , MY3 & RW are in win win situation now, i think Ranil’s strategy going to work out resulting, forming a UNP led government. looks like SLFP going to get split in to two , one for MY3 and the other is Mafia king. Ditta dhamma karma comes to my mind!
    • 6
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      It is always a welcome experience to read the down to earth political analysis of Tisaranee G. We missed her carefully structured thoughts for a while. For a country where the quality of English writing, for which we were known for many decades globally, has declined drastically Tisaranee does us proud. 100 days is too brief a period to demonstrate to a people who have suffered so much for so long that the departed King was made of husk and the people were fooled in many directions. But the world continues to be full of suckers. There shall be no shortage of the supply. The Sirisena government tells us fair governance is still possible using the laws prescribed in the Constitution. An army of sycophants and rogues may have robbed us of our meagre resources and cherished Commonwealth of good governance. But all is not lost. The thieving and uneducated Rajapakses have no other source of income to continue their long and notorious over-indulgences at people’s expense. They will move heaven and earth to get back to power – giving two hoots to the good of the country and the nation. Perhaps divine help saved the country on January 08. It must do so again. The country is in the shadow of going down the abyss of anarchy and disorder – the Rajapakse gang of thieves are conspiring in. Backlash
      • 12
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        “”For a country where the quality of English writing, for which we were known for many decades globally, has declined drastically Tisaranee does us proud. “” Stop reading Frederick Forsyth’s conservative demagoguery. “Only one man can do the job…a former head of Special Ops at Langley.” “What’s his name?” “I don’t recall him, sir…but his operational name was….THE COBRA.” Fucking seriously? These books are cartoons for fascists. That leaves him a cartoonist. A moral caricaturist. Please get outside your community well for a bit of fresh air and give harry potter a chance like the rest of the kids- language is a changing phenomenon
  • 9
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    ” The Governor of the Central Bank was summoned to the Bribery Commission and grilled for six hours. ” Yet the case against the Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, summoned to appear before the Court on the 29th of January seems to have hit a brick wall. Such is Yahapalanaya.
  • 4
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    Let us hope that our people will truly (1) refrain from offering and accepting bribes. There are many, going by the “thumbs-up” and “thumbs down” who still regard the previous two Presidential terms as being good. This is despite the well-established, yet unproven corruption charges against so many and (2) that “sooth-sayers” and the practice of “timing” will end.
  • 3
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    I think it is their genetics to ignore the truths. That is the reason why the many seem further supporting crime friendly abuses friendly than any goodies work diehard to introduce new systems.
  • 11
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    Welcome back Tisaranee. Excellent article as always. CT is read by almost 30000 people around the globe.So Tisaranee and Emil keep on writing. I wish someone will take the trouble to translate these articles inSinhala and Tamil.
  • 6
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    Today, the yearning to be beggars while talking politics is truly a south Asian yearning and not a universal human one. The outcome of the presidential election demonstrated that a majority of Lankans share this yearning. Cheers Abhaya
    • 3
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      Abhaya , I was waiting for you to reappear, got you at last , we ‘ve got some unfinished business to finish , haven’t we ? here is it in a nut shell , Abhaya’s response : “Jackass Nalin de silva is genius . and I know him and his family well . and no it is not possible to complete a Phd in 18 months . ” My response : “Prof. Nalin de Silva was born on 20 October 1944 in Kovilagodella, Panadura, Sri Lanka. He had his secondary education at Royal College Colombo.[9] He entered the University of Ceylon in 1963 and graduated in Mathematics in 1967. De Silva entered University of Sussex in January 1969 and obtained his Doctorate in Theoretical Cosmology in 1970. He is married and has two sons and one daughter.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nalin_de_Silva Abhaya’s response : “He graduated in 1967 . got his phd in 1970 . that is 3 years ” My response : Either you are extremely dumb or trying very unsuccessfully to cover up your stupidity , which one is it ? Prof. Nalin finished his bachelors Degree in 1967 then after two years time he had started his P.hD in 1969 and completed in 1970 ,that is less than two years , even a grade grade two student wouldn’t say that is equivalent to three years but you , wonder why ? now don’t try to drag this in to my P.hD or other irrelevant topics , try to stick to the point , didn’t you say “it is not possible to complete a P.hD in 18 months .” haven’t i proved your dumb argument was dead wrong with a matching story ? can you substantiate your silly argument with facts and figures than resorting to use filth or deviating from the main topic , that is a challenge , take it if you have balls ! PS: if one had finished his/her first degree in 1985 and worked for 15 years and then deciding to do his/her P.hD in year 2000 . finally he/she competed it in 2003 .now according to your dumb theory he/she had taken 18 years to complete his/her P.hD , is that right Abhaya ?
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        Ado Sirila Gona , talk about the subject at hand not about things that dont concern it
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          Abhaya , Great , this is what i was expecting , your true character is coming out , isn’t it ? before talking about the current subject , don’t you think you owe an apology for being extremely silly & rude ? i’m still waiting for you to call your family friend Prof. Nalin and reveal the veracity of the story . now ,why do you try to avoid some thing which you were cock sure before, didn’t you brag about your close association with Nalin as well as your in-depth knowledge of P.hD studies ? didn’t you call me names and said it is not possible to complete a P.hD in 18 months ? why are you avoiding this now ? isn’t it true that you have no logical answers to provide hence trying to use obscene language as a cheap tactic to get away from the issue? thank you Abhaya for being a such a gentleman !
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            Srilal Nalin de Silva was a big time Eelamista before he joined Amaradasa and Champika.
            • 1
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              All i know is , Nalin desilva needs urgent professional help , Period !
              • 6
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                i wish sometime soon Nalin is placed on the sacrificial alter and an elephant convicts him as a fascist like the Portuguese of yore. (thats how archer was sealed even after 250k books sold) Then suddenly, you would have the auto winding of tamil, muslim, and sinhala majority buttressing with faith based square headiness like coconuts that elephant(not the party pls) individual/collective would be my hero. Elephants have the ability to predict the solar eclipses. We have to let the sun shine in on the island.
          • 0
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            Abhaya is a not a PhD holder. Nor has he the least knowledge about the doctoral tasks. This is pefectly known to us- one reasearcher from the states, cheers Rarityminds
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          [Edited out]. You have no guts to face an argument like a sane person.Logic must be like Magic to you.
      • 2
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        This particular Abhaya has no idea about anything but just add his low level comments. Remember not beinga PhD holder what he added lately about the duration of a dissertation. This kind of fools would have no choice than rally round to support most abusive leaders like MR. Srilal@, I am glad to hear that former Prez has been questioned by BC today… this is the great news of the day. Please just ignore this Abhaya – so called director for an Ami company in Detroit.. are Amies that fools to appoint this man for the position ?
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          Supun Jayawardhane, We must not let these Abhaya type charters to dominate this forum , if and when , we see their sheer arrogance & stupidity , we must challenge them to back their claims with facts & figures , if not let them eat humble pie.
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            Desperate donkeys . sucking up to Phds . what a bunch semi educated Morons . Nobody cares about the topic I was commenting on , instead like little children bringing up an old argument , No wonder this country cant develop . full of pingittrayas like sapun and sirilal . and Maitree who was happy the queen shook his hand with which she wipes her butt . [Edited out] Cheers Abhaya
            • 5
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              Abhaya , “Desperate donkeys . sucking up to Phds . what a bunch semi educated Morons . ” who is the semi educated Moron ? who tried to show off by claiming “i know every thing about P.hD ” when challenged ,who hid the tail behind his …. and disappeared in to thin air ? “Nobody cares about the topic I was commenting on , instead like little children bringing up an old argument , ” I did , you had the nerve to call me a jackass simply believing you were dead right, but what happened in the end ? trying to find out escape routes to avoid the humiliation , oops…. too late , you have been exposed ! “No wonder this country cant develop .” Absolutely , As long as mutts like you around we will be another North Korea. “full of pingittrayas like sapun and sirilal . and Maitree who was happy the queen shook his hand with which she wipes her butt . ” you have amply demonstrated your true colours and skills , by the way are you related Wimal Booruwansa or kaleniya Mervin by any chance ? please come and join them , they desperately need people of your caliber to defend themselves.
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                Sirilal please get a life . and stop trolling Cheers Abhaya
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                  Abhaya, Why are you hearing voices?? Cheerio!
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                Srilal@, please ignore this idiot-Abhaya – he seems to have close ties with Rajapakshe mafia family. We are all happy today that the bugger is finally locked up. Anyways, people pains would only be healed off after all these are clear to the nation. How many billions of tax payers funds have been grabed by them should be revealed soon.
                • 0
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                  [Edited out] Cheers Abhaya
  • 5
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    The 100 days may be showing results for Tisaranee and most of the ColTel commenters who are clearly Yahapalanists. But the general population is quite disenchanted and regret they voted for “Venasak”. People have been taken for a jolly good ride! Promises made and a mere few kept. And the appointments of various MY3 relatives and Royalist friends of RW to positions of importance have not gone unnoticed… and in these 100days already? One would have thought that after all the sermonizing and the screaming for “squeaky clean” governance, they would have been a little more careful about such blatant nepotism so early in the term too. They did a trial run on Mahendran to prove they are unbiased in going for the fraudsters. Nobody is convinced by that bit of staged drama except TG and the Yahapalanista. Tisaranee has also developed a little amnesia about the fact that My3 voted for the 18th Amendment! Come! Come! we need some honesty from these “squeaky cleans”.
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      Honesty from Thisarnee [Edited out]
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        Abhaya , Many countries set up traps to steal wealthy people from China. Even the rich govt. officials are moving their assets oversea. Soon China will have no millionaires left. Meanwhile, the super US Congressional and Govt. heroes in Washington DC will soon pass world laws that it is illegal for China to have millionaires. These US officials are brave to protect wealthy Chinese from harming themselves (sort of like the humanitarian b-oombing in Libya by NATO so that dead Libyans could not harm themselves anymore). The measure of intelligence is the ability to change- With just a 14% in the urban environment what we have is a pick pocket government so diligently cultivated by ¬spooky muslim anti rajapakase journalis Tisaranee Gunasekarat¬ playing the socialist mouth organ. Even the great USSR fell because they had no food or canned cat food but just guns and bums like bears quarreling. “”The 100 Day Programme” Only a skin head could have proposed that lie to the idiot voter.- long live the Seuvra.
  • 5
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    Hey, I got off scot-free, thank to P. Ranil. Committees are appointed and nothing is done under Mahinda. Committees are appointed and people are cleared under Ranil. https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/ranils-committee-clears-arjuna-mahendran/
  • 5
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    “The journey away from Rajapaksa Rule towards democracy, accountability and the rule of law has been far from perfect” WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE ? AM OR PDD ( PUBLIC DEBT DEPT) OR TENDER BOARD COMMITTE (TBC)? 43 billion even before 75 days. “The 100 Day Programme was an incredibly ambitious one. Implementing it in 100 days would have been impossible even if the new president and the new government possessed a two-thirds majority.” Tissaranee…Make a promise.PROGRESS IS USELESS IF promise is not kept. Ifs, Buts, & Nevertheless were not included. IF THE YAHAPALANAYA FAILED THEN IT amounts to ROBBING THE VOTERS. “Only someone who is naive to the point of idiocy can believe that Maithripala Sirisena would want Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister.” IF THIS IS SO, COUNTRY IS HEADING NOWHERE……REST IS YOUR SPECULATION TISSA RANEE. “(Yana yaka koraha bindagene yanawa – translated inadequately as ‘The departing devil breaks the rice-washing pot on its way out’)” THIS IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW THE VENGENCE SHOWN BY CBK (A SPENT FORCE) TOWARDS MR. Yaka is CBK. Sirisena is trapped in the weave of CBK. Unless he frees himself of this stanglehold sri lanka is doomed. neither ranil, Sira or mahinda will be able to do anything for the citizens and the country.
  • 4
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    No “100-day” programme would be possible had Rajapakse not defeated the LTTE. War calls for hard sacrifices: media silence, militarization, disappearances, basically everything Tisaranee labels a “menace.” That is why people like Mahinda get elected during war-time and not like the likes of Tisaranee. Students of history will know how Japanese were re-located to internment camps during WW2 and how the Americans used nukes to kill tens of thousands of Japanese civilians (to prevent the Soviets from reaching Japan first), etc. What a coincidence that 60 odd yrs later, Sri Lanka uses brute warfare to finish its war & has its own version of camps targeting a specific ethnic group. But surely no coincidence that Tisaranee makes no mention of the historical parallels. Much easier to single out Rajapakse for all societal evils and pretend that utopia is now on the way, with these silly 101 witch-hunts against the past regime.
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      It seems the 2 of you are from the same lefty bogey. “” no coincidence that Tisaranee makes no mention of the historical parallels. “” Truman- Passa. similar traits. Game keep turned poacher – fraudster mass murderer. Wisecrack Roosevelt made the mother of all weapons but died a week before completion of Big & small boy or the war would have been defeat of Russia. (It took Stalin 4 more years to build) N.W.O. (Isabella catholic envisaged.) Even school drop out Churchill the fascist was not wanted by the Brits after job done. There are very few `Bose` excellence in enterprise and scholar.
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      Lester, If you start looking for “ifs” and “buts” the list is countless. 1) if DSS didn’t break his promise to the Minorities we might have been far ahead of even Singapore? 2) if stupid Banda did not bring his disastrous ” Sinhala only” today we would have been ahead of even India in Information Technology in the world! 3) if Sirimavo didn’t destroy the well balanced Soulbury constitution and bring her own majority centric republican constitution the communities in the country may have never polarised beyond repair. 4) if only the wily Fox JRJ had used his two third majority to solve the ethnic divide without crowning himself as the executive president with unlimited powers, we would have had no LTTE to wage a thirty year war to destroy this Frankenstein’s monster!
    • 0
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      Well said Lester. This lot got the country on a platter. RW was able to bring peace to the country way back in 2001 and what did he do? Decided against apprehending the LTTE Leader. The author and the other idiots who seem to have forgotten the past do not understand why MR needed more security than the current lot. He is the one who got rid of the 30 odd year old menace and naturally had a lot of “friends” who wanted to see him gone. Why would RW and MY3 need security anyway when they have agreed to the western govts to give what the the separatists want. Look beyond the obvious. Just google and read web sites like the Trans National Govt of Tamil Eelaam. The price will be paid not by us who are living now but those who are to be born in SL. We will be the Palestinians of Asia, with Tamil Nadu taken over the land belonging to the Sinhala people. I am not a racist but a realist totally aware that the Sinhala people do not have any other than SL unlike the Tamil people who have Tamil Nadu (land of the Tamils) to fight for their rights. As far as I am concerned MY3 and RW are traitors of the highest order. Feel free to have a go at me but I know I will have the last laugh if I live that long. BTW, countries like Australia had street car races called V8 and they attract a lot of business and tourists and unlike the Sri Lankans they encourage these events. No wonder these countries have progressed.
  • 8
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    “………………………..the country is running smoothly” Is it? Don’t you visit the north and east nowadays? Or, read about what is happening in the universities? Or, how the waste oil and grease from Chunnakam power station secretly dumped into wells has polluted the ground water in a large area – and, names of those who did are not even mentioned? Or, about military intelligence being present when the Paranagama “disappearances commission” interrogates complainants? And, how the army offers cash and ‘death certificates’ to people to prevent them testifying? Or, how northern journalists are harassed, hammered and then remanded by courts? Or, why northern female heads of families live in fear? Or, where the tamil women recruited & trained by the army, have gone – they are not in the east, north or anywhere else.
  • 2
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    You pay lip service to democracy and then condemn people who voted for the candidate whom you did not like. So democracy means: condemning voters of those who voted for MR, impounding passports, generating a steady stream of anti-previous government propaganda, shuffling parliament and trying to switch presidential and prime ministerial powers (not the names). You can write what you want but don’t pretend that party politics is democracy. In democracy it is the people who choose the leader, once he is chosen what is he supposed to do, refuse the position? If the people who supported MR are the problem then maybe you should start attacking them – using propaganda as violence is not permitted under Yahapalana. Or has it already started?
  • 2
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    There are three kinds of so-called ‘analysts’ these days: the ones who still sing about the glory of the Sinhala warrior King Mahinda (who, unfortunately, still seem to be the majority, which is yet another indication of the amassed wealth of the Rajapakses that they can continue to pay these bootlickers handsomely: though, some MR supporters are plain racists and defeating the Tamils is what counts for them, even if the Rajapakses rape their own Sinhala daughters), The ones who supported MS and co but are now disappointed because they expected Sri Lanka to become heaven on earth overnight and that hasn’t happened, and those who support justice, human rights and fair play, and yet are realistic and have the presence of mind to realize that attacking MS and co only helps the worse evil. It is refreshing to note that a brilliant mind like yours is following the third path. It is little known that not only hard line Sinhalese but also a few hardline Tamils voted for MR in the last election, though for opposite reasons: but hardline or not, in real terms the Rajapakse regime would help no one but itself. Neither Sinhala hardliners nor the Tamil ones would have achieved their aims through Rajapakse, and the Tamil ones would do well to realize that that kind of strategy previously resulted not in Tamil Eelam but in Mullivaikal. But once the island starts traveling irreversibly towards democracy and rule-of-law, not having to worry about the ‘come back’ threat, it will remain the burden of all of us with a liberal outlook to seek the truth regarding the ethnic problem and sort it out with honesty and forthrightness, rather than playing for our own side.
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      “”There are three kinds of so-called ‘analysts’ these days:”” Cock -A -Doodle Do,Clucking for Change?? Alter woodworms from the rattans STOP holding hands! There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, like the apple cockpit the middle is always evil,. | The political function of rights is precisely to protect the individual (minorities) from oppression by majorities.
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    Spot on as usual. Unfortunately democracy is not something the old guard of the SLFP understands or appreciates, after years of deceit and expediency. It seems that the only way forward for the President is to dissolve Parliament with or without 19A, then control the nominations of the SLFP, so that we have a better hope of passing 19A with a fresh parliament elected under the existing PR system. Hope the President would do this before they (the corrupt old timers of a by gone era) try to impeach him.
  • 3
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    Tisaranee Enough for your bullshit. Can anyone agree with the verdict given by the panel appointed by Ranil?
  • 2
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    Am I the only one using pseudonyms in here? Get Ranil and My3 to recall all the white vans that were in service and sell them in a public auction, then most people hiding behind psdnms might consider coming out in the open. :-)
  • 13
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    TG says: “That one incident demonstrates how far we have progressed since January 8th.” The CB offered 1 billion at a coupon rate of 12.5% as per the newspaper advertisement. They accepted 10 billion at 12.5%. Everyone who bid from 9.5-12.5 got quantities. Perpetual did not get the entire 10 billion as you incorrectly stated. ‘Lanka Reserves Expected to Boost from Indian Currency Swap’ The bank also announced today the cutting of policy interest rates for the first time in 16 months. The deposit facility Rate and the lending facility rate of the Central Bank are reduced to 6 per cent and 7. 50 per cent, respectively. “ Clean 5% kickback. This is the standard UNP commission from Mahaweli days. Anyone in the business of multinational contracts must be aware of it. Fact of the matter the native Sinhalese cannot govern.- period Lanka is on its way like Sikkim, Nagaland so be happy and count your blessings. Nasser learnt it the hard way never to play big power against one another-Nasser accepted UN Resolution 242, he died of heart that day. A couple of years ago we saw Arundhati Roy at Quaker House and she was `yes girl of Manmohan administration` like Vasu and TG you are on the same road too.
  • 14
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    TG: 1) This is Sri Lanka and I am not surprised at the differential treatment meted out to different people. One is a Liberator MR The other is an easy prey for the ills of the past. 2) The Governor of the Central Bank was summoned to the Bribery Commission and grilled for six hours. A three-month travel ban was imposed on him. *** But the Crooks such as Gotha were paid a courtesy visit by the Officers who are appointed to inquire into corruption to hear his side of the story. This is one rule for one and one rule for another. Jungle Justice. 3) That one incident demonstrates how far we have progressed since January 8th. You are joking aren’t you. 4) The manner in which the Central Bank Bond case is progressing signifies that we are on the right road towards that future. You don’t mean that surely. What about the man who previously held the post. Cabraal. He has been allowed to go scot free. 5) Power in today’s Sri Lanka is more diffused than ever in history, because of the uniquely broadbased nature of January 8th victory. *** I am at loss to understand the above. Although the Tamils helped to dethrone MR they have no power which is vested in the South by the Majority. As a token Gesture we have a Tamil who is the head of the Judiciary. We have a Sinhalese Governor in the North. The President, Prime Minister the heads of the Army, Navy, the Air Force are all Sinhalese. What can we wield. We cant even wield an axe and if we did that we will be charged for Terrorism. 6) And though no single individual or party holds all reins of power, the country is running smoothly. There is no bifurcation, collapse or anarchy, except in the fevered imaginings of feverish Rajapaksa supporters. The calm, quiet, ordinary (almost boring!) present proves that stability is not dependent on power-concentration. We do not need an uncrowned king to keep anarchy at bay! *** The above might be true in Sinhalese South areas but not in the North. The only thing which is running smooth in the North is the Army Trucks. 7) Human credulity is as boundless as human imagination. The belief of the Rajapaksa-acolytes, that only the triumphant return of Hero-King Mahinda can save Sri Lanka from chaos, is a snug fit for this common human condition. *** Whether we like it or not the above is a real possibility. But I take comfort from the fact that the UN report which is due in September will be the death knell for MR. 7) Only someone who is naive to the point of idiocy can believe that Maithripala Sirisena would want Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister. Mahinda & Co would know this. The actual purpose of the ‘Bring Back Mahinda as Prime Minister’ campaign is to hoodwink ordinary SLFPers and create the largest possible schism in the SLFP. Mahinda & Co are planning to grab a huge chunk of the SLFP’s vote base, win more seats than the official SLFP and, based on that victory, mount a coup to regain power first in the party and someday nationally. *** That will be political suicide by the die hearts. When the UN delivers its verdict which is going to accuse MR of Genocide Sri Lanka would have proved to the world that she is not capable of bringing those who are guilty to books and is not Genuine about Reconciliation. 8) Mahinda Rajapaksa still lives in his echo chamber, where he only hears what he wants to hear – the hosannas of an adoring audience, most of them brought to his house or to other venues in hired-buses. *** But can you blame him because they form the Majority and all he hears is the Blast from the past and in a democracy that is what matters. 8) Asians/Lankans are not born with a slave-particle in their brains. Authoritarianism is not a function of geopolitical location but of historical time. Today, the yearning to be free is not a Western yearning but a universal human one. The outcome of the presidential election demonstrated that a majority of Lankans share this yearning. *** How can you say the above in the context of what the Majority of the Majority voted for. They wanted to remain Slaves under King Mahintha. It was the Tamils who wanted to be Free but we are still captive like ” Kunte Kinte” ( The American Negro). 9) “I am not reconciled to a world in which a gesture or a word misunderstood can cost a life”, wrote Heinrich Böll[iv]. We are no longer in that world. 100 days on, the situation is admittedly far from perfect. The pace is slow. Much remains to be done. But the country is still on the right track and hope for a better future is entirely warranted. *** Go and tell that to the Journalists in the North who face arrest for reporting the truth.
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    TG, another splendid analysis and it is so refreshing to read your articles. With the enlightenment and reasoning that has been so prevalent in all your articles, you can serve the country better by participating more directly in the administration of this country. Please approach RW and team and volunteer to run the ministry of human rights and democracy. You can make a greater contribution by becoming a minister of the current government.
  • 8
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    T.G., do you honestly believe the bullshit you write or are you just smoking something special? I challenge this retarded govt. to call an election immediately if they are so confident. The people are so ready to teach these jokers a lesson. It feels like this country just stopped breathing these past 3 months. Here is another perspective T.G.; 1) Not a single charge or prosecution for the corruption that took place. 2) Central Bank Bond fiasco- It took less than 50 days for these crooks to dip their hands in the honey pot.Thanks to this fiasco, we the tax payers have to pay an additional Rs. 42 billion annually. 3) The Prime Minister appoints a commission to investigate the Bond corruption which comprises of 3 of his close stooges.Guess what? The committee finds the Central bank governor innocent of all charges. Yeah!, and Hitler had nothing to do with the Jewish holocaust…. 4)No new Foreign direct investment since Jan 2015. 5) No infrastructure development projects undertaken since Jan 2015. 6) No reduction in cost of living despite a reduction in fuel and LP gas prices. 7) Thanks to impotent leadership, our fish resources are being looted on a daily basis by India. 8) Thanks to impotent leadership, we now have no foreign policy. What we do have is an India policy which is primarily driven by the West. And, this retarded govt. wants us to believe that India is our loyal friend. It only took 28 years for the head of govt. from India to visit this country. A loyal friend…? Here is another headline. We can obtain visa on arrival when travelling to India. Only catch is that they have more than tripled the visa fee for Sri Lankan passport holders. Yes, that’s what loyal friends do. 9) Thanks to suspension of several infrastructure projects, tens of thousands of people have lost employment. As a result of the politically motivated suspensions, our economic growth forecast has been downgraded several percentage points.

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