29 May, 2022


Hype & Haunt Hovering Gotabaya Rajapaksa – A Sceptic’s View Of Viyathmaga

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“Neither in the sky nor in the midst of the sea nor by entering into the clefts of mountains is there a known place on earth where stationing  himself, a man can escape from his evil deeds.” ~ (Dhammapada, Paapavaggo).

Hype and Haunt

There is a connection between the hype that is being built these days around Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former Defense Secretary and once-powerful brother of the once powerful President, and the the haunt that shadows him wherever he goes. The hype is loud and we can see and hear. The haunt, less visible to naked observation, is that of the ghost of Lasantha Wickrematunge, former editor of The Sunday Leader who was butchered and murdered in broad daylight. Keith Noyahr, former editor of The Nation is also haunting Gota; yet Lasantha’s macabre and creeping shadow overwhelms that of Keith.

The stanza in the Dhammapada seems to be crying out when court proceedings are being heard about these sordid cases that happened under the watch of the former Defence Secretary under whom the Army, Navy and Police came. Says the Dhammapada:

“Neither in the sky nor in the midst of the seanor by entering into the clefts of mountains is there a known place on earth where stationing himself, a man can escape from his evil deeds.” (Paapavaggo).


Of course, nobody can at this stage judge Gota as guilty. We have to wait for the court to make that judgment. Until that judgment, Gota is innocent. On the other hand, much of the prima facie evidence that has so far been recorded does not do Gota well at all. His interview with the BBC on this issue is damning. There, Gota  threatens: “I will hang him!” referring to former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka. This evinces an arrogance; a disconcern about the right to life and liberty of men and women; and a proclivity to  abuse power at will. 

All the economics and “vision,” that Gotabaya Rajapaksa came out with at Shangri-La Hotel cannot outdo such outrageous conduct.

Sarath Fonseka (SF), even in a recent interview for the “Satana,TV program kept repeating what he had been all along saying of Gota. SF openly claimed that Gota and his President brother were behind the assassination. SF even stated he would never address either of these two persons as “Mahatha;” but just by name. as he holds no respect fior them. He gave detail account of the harassment he had received at the hands of these two. Sarath Fonseka’s cool at the interview and his dispassionateness impresses. The former Commander is improving in stature by the day and the fact that he is now in Cabinet rank will help his further political growth. 

Gota’s Plunge

Gota is, to say the minimum, under a serious cloud. Disregarding possible future action against him, Gota has taken a gambling plunge into the Presdient’s race due in year 2020. With such a sword odf Damocles over him he must be fighting a formidable battle inward in his mind. Had he taken the bold step of cooperating with the law and permitting a full investigation and then clearing his name we could never fault Gota. On the other hand, he has decided to try and distract popular opinion and focus the latter on his self-claimed ability to be an effective President.

His Viyathmaga campaign is both a preparation for the Presdiential race and an attempt to build up a wave of public support for him which, if that backing swells, he can utilise it to block his arrest. This essentially is the linkage between the hype and the haunt. His brother Mahinda did something like that by his “Mahinda Sulanga,” meetings soon after his defeat. Mahinda screated a public sympathy and communicated a fear to all officials of his possible return. Gota is hoping he can repeat a ‘Sulanga,” or even a “Kunaatuwa” (storm).

I am already receiving emails from Sinhala Diaspora with threats to the country’s security if Gota is arrested and found guilty. A gentleman form California (I will call him PF, without revealing his name as a courtesy)  sends me a copy of his latest email which reads thus:

“An incarcerated Gotabaya would generate an apocalyptic electoral outburst, the likes of which we had never seen before –the coup de grace that would wipe out yahapalanaya—Gotabaya’s popularity is at its peak –an irrefutable fact. PC elections would swing against the government ! “

 Now, PF is a former Lake House journalist.

The Economics Pundit

An amusing side of Gota’s reavmping and redefining himself is his cognitive claims to a punditry in economics. At Viyathmaga, Gota is the economics messiah who appears to deliver the land to a state of First World prosperity. Gota’s intellectual ceredentials do not point to such knowledge. He had barely passed the O’levels and has hardly shown any reading interests thus far. Somebody, like Dr Nalaka Godahewa, would have given him the script. If the notes were suddenly to fly away from Gota’s hold while at the lecturn, he would probably mix up GDP with GST and equity with debt. It is no harm for a leader to read from a script;but it is necessary that he understands what he reads and I am not sure Gota understands economic policy. This is the very first time Gota has made a claim to that understanding.

The aforementioned Sinhala Diaspora have cried out in emails and FB about the “great economic vision of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.” Gota maybe himself embarrassed. Look at the vision and you will find that they contain very commonly bandied about economic slogans that are cliches or platitudes today. I will mention a few:

1. That the global economic centre will shift to China, India and the South East. Our Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, has been saying that for many years. One reason why the government is having Free Trade Agreements with countires in the region is part of this vision. Our GMOA had a one- day strike that deprived sick patients of urgent attention, due to the Singapore Agreement. They earlier struck work because of the propose Agreement with India. GMOA undersatnds no economics

2. That economic development is the answer to all ills of the island

3. The urgent need to restrcutue our economy. This has been stated over and over again by reputed ecomists and the World Bank. It is also a task that the government has undrtaken to do.

4. The need to build a knowledge economy in view of the digital revolution

5. The need to encourage direct foreign investment

6. That economic zones must be set up around ports. This is already been done and the recent Hambantota Project is also that

7. The need for ensuring that we get loans only if they are repayable by the project itself.

The above are pretty simple and oft-stated proposals. In fact Minister for Development Strategy Malik Samarawickema, has written to the Dinamina  pointing out how Gota’s “vision,” is a total  copy of the Government’s Vision plan for year 2025.

This shows what a big and empty hocus pocus Gota’s Viyathmaga is. He announces this with impressive fanfare before an audience of businessmen invited to Shangrila Hotel. We are being told that Gota had sold the land where Shanagri-La stands, to China and that it is the same block where the Degence Ministry stood. The country’s Defence Ministry is now homeless. In this context, it intersting to investigate whether Gota was given the Hotal for this event as a consideration by the Chinese owners. If it were so, then Gota is gulty of bribery.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2

    The writer is a utter lair, Please, know your facts before writing and commenting

    //He completed his basic officer cadet training at prestigious Military Academy at Diyatalawa, and proceeded to Pakistan to complete the Young Officers’ Course at Rawalpindi and later the mid-career course at Quetta. He has also undergone advanced training in Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare at Assam, India. Later in his career, Mr. Rajapaksa was graduated on advanced Infantry Training from Infantry School Fort Benning, USA.

    As a staff officer, Mr. Rajapaksa completed his Staff Course at the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, India in1983. He obtained his Masters degree on Defence Studies from the University of Madras in 1983. He has also obtained a Postgraduate degree in Information Technology from the University of Colombo in 1992.//

  • 5

    Look at the image accompanying this great article. Gota-baya carrying the Karanduwa on his head. All political crooks pay homage to the Buddha. They tie pirate cool for their safety and never miss a temple event. Mahinda addresses the monks as “Ape Hamuduruwane.”

  • 6

    Why should we worry about what GR did in the US? We have to be alert about what he is going to do here while be careful with the Viy(p)ath Maga attendees.

  • 2

    Is there some hope for RW because of the rivalry in the Rajapakse family? Don’t MR, GR and Basil all want to be the next dear leader?

    • 0

      There may be hope for Ranil or not. Is that really matter? What kind of difference may it make for you?
      If you drop out orange and buy apple it may make difference. Is there lot of difference in the taste of sour when you drop out lime and buy lemon? If you come across lime first, then buy lime; if you see lemon first, buy the lemon. Why do you make much fuss? “Raman Aandalum Ravanan Aandalum Namkkoru Kavalai Illai”. or
      “Namakkum Athuvazhiye Naam Pookum Alalavum Emakken enru Iddu undu Irum” (whatever the heck can it be, but until our journey ending going on that path, without crying for those who are already going on that journey, give out to poor, cook and eat good meals for you, and live happily)

    • 1

      Yes promote that.
      That Rivalry Might be a Bone of Contention between Mahinda, Basil and Gota!!

  • 4

    Good and fearless article. I hope you soon publish an other one about our “dinasty”. Don’t leave out Namal, the exam cheater and owner of Lamborghini and racehorses.

  • 0

    So we should ‘appoint’ Ranil Kolla as president, without an election perhaps, because he will never win one in this country. Also he needs a walking stick pretty badly. What rubbish Shimo?

  • 0

    Gee Wizz Dr Ranil’s Yahapalana suckers are getting delusional.
    Don’t they know it is only the Report Dr Ranil’s partner of FDI Mallika’s , which Mallika prepared for the partner even before Dr Ranil beat the NCM.
    All Go Getter Gota did was read it at the Shangrila, by changing the date to 2030, although Mallika says it is in fact 2025.
    I am at a loss to understand why these hard core, devoted, true Green Yahapalana suckers all around world can’t understand it.
    I mean not the contents, but at least the fact that it is Mallika’s 2025 Vision , And in fact Mallika thanked Gota for adopting it .
    BTW Wonder whether most of these learned commentators who rubbish Gota’s Education, Carreer and even his breeding have done an honest days work to earn a living, instead of joining the Dole queue or Old Age Pension.

  • 1

    With all the academic qualifications and training why did Gota left the army with the Help of Ranil(Ranil assisted him during Premadasa’s time to get released from the Army) and fled to US looking for Greener pastures. He came back only after the MR got elected as President later to loot our Country with all his clan. SF remained in the country to fight the War irrespective of the fact his two children were Green Card holders in US which must have helped him to flee to US. Shangarilla lands (Army Head quarters ) are Crown Lands which can only be given under lease and not under absolute transfer (cannot give as an absolute land grant) for the company to hold freehold right to the property. It is still a illegal transaction.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.