21 October, 2021

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Iqbal Athas – Journalist Who Exposed MiG Deal Turns Gota Propagandist

Inexplicably the journalist that first exposed the 2006 MiG-27 deal, Iqbal Athas has turned propagandist for President Gotabaya Rajapaksa even after he recalled the horrific threats to his life and being forced to flee Sri Lanka as a result of exposing the shady aircraft purchase as recently as January this year.

Iqbal Athas

In 2006 Iqbal Athas exposed the irregular procurement in the Sunday Times causing ripples in the defence establishment then headed by Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa. By his own admission in a speech made at a public forum in January 2019 the senior Sunday Times Journalist said that the FCID had commenced its investigation into the 2006 MiG 27 procurement by the Sri Lankan Government, based on his own initial statement to the newly established police division with a mandate to investigate financial crimes and corruption. In his speech in January the former defence reporter spoke at length about how the defence ministry then led by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the state media called him a traitor and explained how he had to flee the country overnight on a tip of shortly before Lasantha Wickrematunge the editor of the Sunday Leader who followed up the MiG deal story was murdered.

“There was more disturbing news just two weeks before Lasantha Wickrematunge was murdered. A very highly placed source asked me to get out of the house that very night. I flew to Thailand. I had spent long stints there living in an apartment cooking food, washing clothes and working online. The next morning, my driver who was alerted, saw a man with an oversized bush shirt moving outside my house in a motorcycle. When there was strong blowing, the bottom part of the shirt went up. There was a pistol on his waist. The driver noted the registration number. I checked it on a secure phone from Bangkok. The registration plate belonged to a lorry.

When the so-called Yahapalanaya government came to power, they set up the Financial Crimes Investgation Division (FCID). I made a statement to them in early 2015 and investigations began,” Athas said during his speech at the Kadirgamar Institute earlier this year. He also spoke of how crowds were mobilized to protest outside his house, with some of them demanding his arrest.

But in his current political columns featuring weekly in the Sunday Times, long considered the newspaper of record in Sri Lanka, Athas who authors the column as the newspaper’s political editor fawns over the Gotabaya Rajapaksa administration almost outshining the state controlled newspapers in heaping praise on the new President and harshly criticizing the previous Government and its failures. This week the column went so far as to “advise” the Government that the failure to control the prices of essential items that have skyrocketed in recent weeks could result in the public mood turning against the President and his new Government. The column hastens to add that the price hikes had occurred through no fault of President Gotabaya. The senior journalist in penning his column also heaps criticism on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s critics and political opponents making blatant accusations with little or no basis about grand conspiracies to discredit his new hero’s Government.

Athas who was strongly defended by media rights groups and international NGOs when his life was in danger from the Rajapaksa Government in 2007-2009 has also recently been disgustingly critical of NGOs and civil activists referring to them as “NGO wallahs” and accusing them of working to discredit Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Government in order to ensure they keep getting donor funding.

Long time readers of the Sunday Times political column have been stunned about the position the newspaper has taken week after week since Gotabaya’s election as President. “There’s no information in the Times political column anymore. The columnist is just pushing a line and lately the line is entirely pro-Government. It is quite odd. Perhaps like the Times no longer feels safe enough to criticize the Government,” said one long time reader of the ST political column. It is unclear if the position is fully backed by Sunday Times Editor Sinha Ratnatunga whose editorials have taken principled positions that do not reflect the sycophancy of the large spread that is published alongside. Ratnatunga also continues to publish senior lawyer and columnist Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena’s articles which have remained strongly critical of high handed moves by the new administration and its attempts to dismantle state systems for political gain. Sources told Colombo Telegraph that Athas has cultivated a strong personal friendship with PC MM Ali Sabry the head of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s team of lawyers and another Muslim politician strongly aligned to Gotabaya.

Political observers wondered whether the journalist was adopting a particularly sycophantic writing style since Gotabaya Rajapaksa took office as President, even though he appeared to be aligned with the former Defence Secretary for months before, in order to ensure the new political administration does not turn Athas for being the first to expose the infamous “MiG-deal”. “It might be fear driving Athas’ latest drift. Difficult to imagine that the man who was once trying to hunt him down had become a saint overnight,” said a senior journalist in Colombo familiar with the Sunday Times journalist ordeal over his MiG deal reporting. (By Janakie Mediwake)

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  • 35
    6

    One reason for buying “Sunday Times” had been IA’s write-up. As mentioned here it has become like something written by Gammanpila or Weerawansa. Many including me don’t read it now.

    • 10
      0

      Typical [edited out] – turning with the changing Times.

    • 7
      0

      Me too find ST have gone for the dogs in recent weeks and stop reading it after nearly 3 decades and opt for online like CT.

      Its so sad to see ST go in this way and wonder what Wijewardana’s are doing to checkmate this situation and not making it another ‘Divaina’ or the Island rag.

    • 5
      0

      I have been a very regular reader of the Political Column in the Sunday Times. But since of late I have lost interest.

  • 29
    0

    Guy has got cold feet!!. Be a principle centered man without being a turk, They say the Fez Cap turns 360 degrees under given circumstance

    • 17
      3

      Renu

      When the going got tough aging KP (man in charge of LTTE’s procurement ) surrendered to Sri Lankan authorities and resting in Killinochi.
      Aging Athas needs respite, please let him surrender and take care of himself.
      At this age he can’t run nor hide.
      Happy holidays.

    • 15
      5

      That is nature of our sinhalaya in masses. Whenever they want to achieve their own gains, they would even be ready to prostitute. See, how our Champawathie and others behave on the CT. Wimal buruwanse is said tob e born in JVP, but today, the bugger has turned out to be capitalist. How come ? All these beasts have something in common, SINHALA genetics.
      I am born sinhalaya but i hate our sinhala folks today. Alone the manner they voted for criminals during last election is beyond my bearing.

      • 6
        0

        pls do not blame sinhalaya only in fact iqbal is not a sinhalaya this is inhuman nature of people without a backbone

  • 27
    1

    Does he have any options or alternative choices left ??? He gave the statement in 2015 and an inquiry was started and then nothing came out of it. Anyone who trusted the previous Government , will now have to totally surrender (including their pride) or else get the hell out of the country as in Nishantha and others. People who heeded to our previous government and returned are now left at the mercy of the current one. Why would anyone trust our governments (including refugees) and put their families and self at risk ???? Imagine hunted person who barely managed to escape and is fortunate to be alive returns after years trusting our government , only to get murdered ????? Remember Kashoggi ??????(

  • 19
    0

    No doubt, all these men would do anything if it goes with their own personal gains. That is why lanken situation remains as the wound of a beggar.
    Not only poltiicians, but also media men and other professionals would never be hearted enough to reveal the truths. They just walk in a circle not thinking twice.
    I dont think evne some opposition politicians in spot light today would do the job thinking about grievances of the people.
    How dare if this journalistto fall that down – today ? I do beleive, so long these men would bear sinhala genes, they would never change or do anything good this nation. Dreams of becoming or making srilanka a hub for SA will die down so long the kind of mentality is harboured ot them.

    • 7
      3

      babalawathie mudunkotuwa m,

      “I do beleive, so long these men would bear sinhala genes, they would never change or do anything good this nation.”

      Their genes are Para from India, but the 2,500 year old civilization, was drastically impacted after 300 years by the introduction of Para-Sinhala Para-‘Buddhism” , by replacing the 3rd Gem of the Triple Gem, Bodhisattva- Sangha with Monk -Sangha, and getting the populace to prostate to them.

      If you want reform. make it TWO GEMS, Buddha and Dhamma. Alternately, you can request the Chinese the way they reformed Tibet. It is drastic, but it works.

      • 1
        5

        this man is sick need treatment in angoda

        • 5
          0

          nava-ratne , new-gem,

          The imbeciles have been tricked by the Monks, calling themselves the 3 rd Gem of the Triple Gem, replacing the Bohdisattas, with monks, and getting the imbeciles like you to prostrate to them, piss in the wind, distort Buddhism and Insult the Buddha and the Dhamna.

          All those monks should be sent to Angoda, who distort Buddhism, Insult the Buddha and corrupt the Dhamma.

          New-earner, go fir the Double Gem, the Di-Ratmalana or Deja-Ratna, Buddha and Dhamma.

          PS. Do not prostrate to imbecile monks. You will become an imbecile too. It is called induction.

      • 6
        0

        Bro Amarasiri,
        .
        I think lankens will never see it right.
        :
        Either they are born corrupted or born mongels.
        :
        If POLICE would react by their on, not caring the orders given to them, things would work good for the people.
        But politice is not hired from INDIA, locally grown sinhalaya are the sinhala police.
        :’#
        SRILANKEN situation is almost like a HEAP OF STINKY garbage, covered with nicer WALL ART.
        .
        HAMBANTOTA thugs would worsen the situation drastically.
        People will then finally get it for sure. I want this nation to be PUNISHED by every means.
        Trade embargo will be on the line now
        No GSP plus, so long HUMAN rights records are beyond all ethical levels
        No good words from UNHRC going by all the ground handling human rights issues
        No good external politics.
        All will work synergistically to a permament free fall…
        People will then see, what they had done.
        I am sad about the DESTITUTE only. All others that voted for CRIMINALS should be punished in HIGH volumes. BASTA

  • 15
    2

    For crying out loud! We had FIVE whole years to get the MIG culprits and put them behind bars. And what did Yahapalana do? Forget it people. The bird has flown. WE the people who in our eternal hope gave Sirisena a chance, have now chosen Gota. WE the people live with hope eternal; maybe this is the one that will work. He has started OK so lets how he gets on. He certainly could not do any worse. Sometimes, we have have to consign bits of horrible histories to the dustbin and get on with the here and now.

    • 1
      0

      One mustn’t be so naive, nor so unprincipled, as suggested by you, so meekly

  • 19
    2

    Athas has sold his soul to the Devils. Perhaps he has forgotten his colleague Lasantha.

    • 6
      3

      Inborn characteristics cannot be changed. Look at Rauf Hakeem and other Muslim politicians. Even in the past, Kariapper, Mohamed Ali, Ahmed from the east, what did they do?
      Take it easy. ‘Namba Nada Namby Nadawathey’ meaning ‘Be trustworthy but do not trust others’.

  • 10
    1

    Colombo Telegraph,

    Was Iqbal Atthas made an offer difficult to refuse?

    You are describing the symptoms of the offer.

    What was the offer?

    MBS, the Crown “Prince” of Saudi Arabia, made an “offer” to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, not to attend the OIC conference in Kayla Lumpur. What was the offer? Not to ask for the $20 billion on loans immediately, and other “goodies “ or “threats”.

    • 3
      0

      I wont blame him. No one has forgotten Lasantha or Prageeth. People have families that they wish to be around for sometime.

  • 11
    0

    CT,
    Maybe Iqbal has been convinced by Ali Sabri’s “Ambanaikku…” theory! By the way, if Ranil & Ravi themselves could betray their own party to GoRa, why not an aging journalist who may have lost his fire due to senility do the same?

    By the war, I wonder whether Ranil let Wijedasa, Wjira & Ravi to have deals with GoRa in order to save themsles along with Arjun Mahendran from prosecution. If that is the case, I doubt whether Arjun Mahendran would ever be brought in or if brought in, whether he will have to spend a day in protective custody! Ranil will never betray his true friends.

  • 5
    0

    Typical Sirisena!

  • 11
    1

    There are no fixed positions or permanent hatreds in these things.

    The Rajapakses who did a lot of good during their period, also abused power and did some corrupt things. The people punished them in 2015.

    As I see it, this rascal Ranil who has a permanent leadership of the UNP( the alternative party) uses the peoples anger against abuse of power( corruption) of the other party to come into power and then do worse than them while doing nothing for the country.

    All Ranil does is to get some old Royalist cronies and produce them as experts and just waste our time. As he has no skills nor leadership qualities, ranil confuses the people by appearing as a deep thinker with mystic powers of governance and economics. The only governance he knows is to hang on to the UNP leadership and the only economic achievement he can show is the robbing. the Central bank. That too he got caught within one week. That is how clever he is.

    In this context ,now supporting Gota is the only thing those who care for the country can do. Alternative is Ranil, Malik, Ravi Harsha, Sujeeva coming back !

    Even Iqbal Athas will not want that fraud back.

  • 7
    3

    Colombo Telegraph,

    Was it the sheer incompetence and shortfalls of the duo Sirisena and Ranil W over past 5 years the cause of Iqbal Attas change of mind?

    Just curious.

  • 12
    3

    Muslims are also referred to as “Thoppi perati” – switching hats, I am told. At his
    age he must take cover, reading how a Journalist was treated in S.Arabia – it is
    really frightening what power can do to a citizen. Sri Lanka will be taking this
    route without a doubt, with time. Elections or not.

    Colombo is famous for Twin Towers – we now have Two Brothers to show off!

    • 4
      0

      punchinilame, RE: Thoppi peratis

      “Muslims are also referred to as “Thoppi perati” – switching hats, I am told”

      This is common among others as well, and Muslims do not have a monopoly. See what Sirisena did? Got 5.5 million votes, violated the constitution and switched hats? What about Wijedase Rajapaksa. and many others? However, there were many on Oct 26, 2018 who did not switch sides,.

      Let’s look at the Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhist” Monks. They switched places with the Bodhisattas.

      The Original Triple Gem was, Buddha Dhamma and Sangha ( Bodhisattas)

      The monks switch it to
      Buddha Dhamma and Imbecile Monks (Sangha)
      This is corrupted Buddhism., Distorsion of Buddhism and an insult to the Buddha and Dhamma.

      The sangha is the community of monks and hermits where dharma is imparted, during Buddhas time. However, it has been corrupted since then., just like Sirisena.

      The current monks are a disgrace. To call them the Third Gem of the Triple Gem, is sheer stupidity, and the monks want to have it that way. So the imbeciles, IQ 79, go along with it, and add insult to injury by prostrating to these monks, because it is the tradition established by the MONKS ,

      The tradition established by the Greeks and the Catholic Church was the Sun going around the Earth.

      In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is any person who is on the path towards Buddhahood.
      In the Early Buddhist schools as well as modern Theravada Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Pali: bodhisatta) refers to anyone who has made a resolution to become a Buddha and has also received a confirmation or prediction from a living Buddha that this will be so.

    • 2
      0

      Journalists, neither have permanent friends nor permanent enemies, like the politicians.

  • 6
    5

    This shows that Iqbal is true to his profession. Report false at corruption and praise what is right, while the writter of this article is not.

  • 5
    0

    If he is doing the bidding for his new found masters out of fear, then he should do the honourable thing as a real professional and hang up his boots and go home. To do otherwise would be to mislead the readers of the broadsheet, which he should know does no justice to the readership or his chosen profession.

    • 2
      0

      Sillysena must have given him access to gota

  • 10
    0

    Not just Athas, the entire paper is a joke. No news value, no investigation, no features of value. It is an advertising sheet with a few fillers in the form of standard columns and news about road accidents. No need for journalists here.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 8
    1

    KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

    I was wondering how come Hindians are occupying most of the top jobs in the USA, please read the list below:
    1. Google CEO is an Indian
    2. Microsoft CEO is an Indian
    3. Citigroup CEO was an Indian
    4. SoftBank Vision Fund CEO is an Indian
    5. Adobe CEO is an Indian
    6. NetApp CEO is an Indian
    7. PepsiCo CEO was an Indian
    8. Nokia CEO is an Indian
    9. MasterCard CEO is an Indian
    10. DBS CEO is an Indian
    11. Cognizant CEO is an Indian
    12. Novartis CEO is an Indian
    13. Conduent CEO was an Indian
    14. Diageo CEO is an Indian
    15. SanDisk CEO was an Indian
    16. Motorola CEO was an Indian
    17. Harman CEO is an Indian
    18. Micron CEO is an Indian
    19. Palo Alto Networks CEO is an Indian
    20. Reckitt Benckiser CEO is an Indian

    I am also wondering how come an American (Gota) is being empowered/allowed to rule and ruin all of us?
    How did we manage to arrive at this point?

    • 4
      2

      Gota is not American. He is also INDIAN.
      This Naive Vedda thinks Gota is an American. May be Vedda is a friend of Ashu Marasinghe.

      When Modi told Gota to come to see hinm, he wen there, first thing.

      • 7
        0

        Bodin

        Gota’s citizenship is still a mystery like the assassinations of Premadasa, Athulath Dirty Bomb Mudali, Kathirgamar, Kumar Ponnampalam, …… attempted assassination on Gota.

        “When Modi told Gota to come to see hinm, he wen there, first thing.”

        All Sri Lankan leaders behave like call girls/gigolos/beach boys rush to Hindia, Peacefully rising Middle Kingdom, UK, USA, ……when they get the first call. No wonder Modi invited him to …………… How did Modi know Gota came with a begging bowl?

        When school principal told you to report to his office how comfortable were you?

    • 0
      2

      by peoples choice

      • 3
        0

        nsvaratne,

        “by peoples choice”, made imbeciles , by prostration to imbecile monks, piggy backed by the politicians.

        Little do they know that the monks replaced the Bohdisattas of the Triple Gem with monks, by distorting Buddhism and insulting the Buddha, to maintain Monk hegemony.

    • 0
      1

      Dear Native,

      Pretty impressive list of Hindians which seems to beat even Americans..

      Here is what I found . Mate..
      68.8 on less than USd 2.00 a Day.
      30.0% of them are on only USD 1.25 a Day,
      It is a whopping 800 Million Human Beings.

      And they are the highest in the World in,
      Infant Mortality
      Malnutrition
      Child Labour
      Lack of Education
      Lack of Shelter
      Lack of Running Water
      Lack of Toilets
      HIV/AIDS

      I got this from SOS from Kadana.
      You should know what it is..

      BTW Our Inhabitants are far from that list.Thanks to 10 years of Post Nanthikdal Prosperity.

      Even Athas must have realized how your Buddies lead By Dr Rani and his Cabinet ruined it, for Athas to barrack for Nandasena.

      • 2
        0

        KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

        “Here is what I found . Mate.. 68.8 on less than USd 2.00 a Day. 30.0% of them are on only USD 1.25 a Day, It is a whopping 800 Million Human Beings.”

        Thanks.
        Would you also like to provide comparative figures for this island.

        Since you too are part of the Indian (umpteenth generation) Diaspora, are you doing well like your Americanized cousins? If so why don’t you help your distant cousins in India? You seem to have invested in Blue Chip companies, it’s time you got rid of your investments and become a philanthropist like American Bill Gates whose foundation work with Indian state, NGO, ….helps making improvement in Health, Sanitation, Agricultural Development, and Financial Services for the Poor.

        On the other hand your president shameless Gota an American in Sri Lanka received $550 million from Modi. Gota and the rich Sri Lankans should look after their distance poor cousins who chose to live/remain India.

  • 5
    0

    [edited out] Most of them are opportunistic and tend to gravitate towards what they see as the stronger side. Another manifestation of their low cunning!

  • 10
    1

    CT,

    Did Uqbal Athas see in Angulimala, a new transformed Angulimala?

    In the meantime, the saffron clad monks who have hijacked Buddhism, by replacing the Bidhisattvas with monks , as the third zGem of the Triple Gem, are still running amok, in the land of Native Veddah Aethho, while they preach Para-Sinhala Pata–“Buddhism”, distorting Buddhism and Insulting Buddha.

  • 12
    0

    It has been downright sickening to read Iqbal Athas’s sycophantic writings in his ST commentary. The way he now sucks up to GR is blatantly obvious and disgusting. Apart from that if he also writes the “cafe spectator” column he was gloating last Sunday that “sleuths” were monitoring the social media communications of a respected journalist who was forced to flee the country after the Presidential elections. ST descended to very low levels here.

    Iqbal must now visit (or revisit) the supreme court verdict of the “Pentagon Papers” that then helped to expose the lies and half-truths told to the American people about the Vietnam War by their own government and standing up to the bullying of the Nixon administration in the process.

    “In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” (Judge Hugo Black, writing for the 6-3 U.S. Supreme Court majority that decided in favor of the press.)

  • 1
    14

    he is a patriot not like other 5 cent media propagandist who writes for dollars

    • 11
      1

      sachj,
      Wow! This is the first time I hear from MaRa side mentioning about Muslim patriots! What a way for national reconciliation! How about singing National anthem in Arabic as well?

  • 4
    0

    Going with the breeze or whichever beneficial way the fez is facing. It is in the blood.

  • 12
    0

    I long ago stop reading these shits -Daily Mirror, Sunday times, Financial Times, and all the other Wijya Group publications. All are utter stinking shits, and gutter publications. All what they have are not worth the paper on which all are being printed.

  • 3
    1

    I still cannot comprehend as to why Ranil W (to me still the PM) his Government and all the citizens do not understand and accept that the country elected a “President” at a Constitutionally dictated election called “The Presidential Election” and NOT a “Government” at a “Parliamentary Election”. This “Precedent” was “First” established in 2015 January 9th by the then “Government” of the then PM , Late Mr. Jayaratne, by allowing the UNP Leader (Minority party) to become the “PM” with only 45 seats in the Legislature. That was an “Unprecedented” and an “Unacceptable” move by the then “Government”. Now, after 2019 November 16th “Presidential Election” , the “Government of the Majority in the Legislature” handed over the “Government” to a “Minority” party to carry on with “Governing Affairs”, thus establishing that as a “NORM”, which I feel is “Irregular” and “Unacceptable”. The President is elected to be “Head” of the STATE and NOT the “GOVERNMENT”. To me the “Government” of “Yahapalanaya” should have “CONTINUED” until the “Parliamentary Election” that which is entirely different from the “Presidential Election”. This uncalled for “Precedent” is being given “Recognition” and “Strength” by all the “PANDITHS”, (Intellectuals, Academics of “Mahachariyas” including the “MEDIA MOGULS”) including this “Athas”. In short, this position of “President” has come to STAY as the “SOLE AUTHORITY” in “Governing” a country. In that context DO WE NEED another “Election” called “Parliamentary Election” anD spend millions and millions? Rather better to have the “President” as the “HEAD” and entrust him to “PICK & CHOOSE” , as done now, his “COTERIE” and “RULE” the country. That will “SOLVE” the problems of these “TURN-COATS” too.

    • 1
      0

      Douglas and Thappu,
      .
      There are some things that you cannot comprehend, and the thing that surprises me is why you have had nothing to say on education:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-thomian-pharisees-are-adamant-on-the-need-to-cheat/
      .
      You’ve got only three days to go.
      .
      I wish you both a Happy New Year!

      .

      • 3
        0

        Dear Sinhala_Man, Your name is Panini Edirisinhe. In the article of yours, how many of those who had commented had spelt your name correctly. None. They insert the ‘g’ where there is none. I hate to see such irresponsible conduct of those who comment. It is not proper.
        .
        I was myself a teacher at S. Thomas’, under Mr. Ilangakoon. He was an exemplary man. I do not entertain discussions about S. Thomas’ College, in public.
        .
        I consider myself an Educationist. Our adults have to unlearn most of what they have been taught as children.

      • 1
        0

        Dear Thappu (also paging Spring Koha),
        .
        Yours is a fascinating comment. First about my name. Thanks for being so fastidious. I stick to what my father modified from my great-grandfather’s Surname: de Alvis Edrisinha. Rohan Edrisinha is my nephew – his father Eardly was a teacher in my time in Mt Lavinia – 1966-67.
        .
        Actually, while appreciating what you’ve said, I think it was the family trying to get some cachet, and distinguish their caste – something that we ought to leave behind us, not carry forward into the next generations. I had to e-mail Prof Rajiva Wijesinha earlier today at the request of Nagalingam Ethiveerasingam, who was called “Ediri” by Sinhalese athletes, same as I was in village schools!
        .
        I knew Lyn Ilangakoon, but not particularly well. Rajiva was Sub-Warden and has written about 35 pages of sleaze (almost) about the BoG, just after his well-known rows with Illangakoon. No, I don’t think that I should put them on the web, and let this exchange between us remain here. I respect your scruples.
        .
        As for Spring Koha – he makes such wonderful comments. Why did he hurt me the way he did? And my classmate, Gammampila’s use of the word solicited?
        .
        Thappu, I’ll keep these overly personal grumbles here, where not many Thomians will see, unless they are really conscientious.

    • 0
      0

      Douglas,
      It appears that you haven’t followed several CT columns discussing exactly this topic appeared during election. Under the 19 A, power of the presidency is vastly diminished but, since he is elected through a national election, the public perception seems to defy the constitutional provisions on power of the presidency. Also, there is no stated prohibition in the constitution if the cabinet, including the PM, is willing to accept president’s leadership unless challenged in the SC. 19 A allows the president exert authority over the cabinet by; 1. Allowing the Prez to appoint secretaries to the cabinet and delegating duties.; and 2.via the power of prorogation. MY 3 used both these powers to disrupt the operation of last Gvt.

      However, if the PM and the cabinet (Gvt) is from the opposition party of the Prez, things can get very “colorful” as witnessed already with MY 3. In a democracy, check & balance is the key to control politician either from abusing power or being inefficient or both. The real challenge for any Gvt is to keep voters happy while doing the right things. These two interests may not coincide always mainly b’cos, quite often, attractive election promises may not be the real priorities of the country. This conflict is the main reason why voters get angry at incumbent Gvt. GoRa Gvt is already facing this challenge sooner than expected! The question is whether GoRa turn towards his habit of autocracy in order to tackle what he perceives as priorities or bow to democratic norms and accept voters will.

  • 6
    0

    Now you found out what Iqbal Athas’s price is!

  • 13
    0

    This man is a disgrace to all the yesteryear’s professional journalists. I used to respect this man very much as a true and brave journalist in our generation until he started to act like a third grade gossip columnist. When he brought up SOFA, ACSA, MCC issues I trusted him until I saw the real factual facts on Sunday Observer paper. Still I had some trust on him, I thought he was given wrong and biased information by some people had access to sensitive information, who wanted to gain political or professional benefits by using Athas. But after GR took office as President, his sycophantic writing style makes me sick to my stomach, and makes me think whether someone else is wring for him. Now I believe he started to create a “Goni Billa” situation to help GR to come to power by using SOFA, ACSA, MCC issues. Seems he had a pact with GR before the Presidential election. Maybe he was promised a Chairman position, or any other higher position in the future. Maybe he is working hard for the coming General Elections for GR to get 2/3 majority, for him to get his reward. Some say that is the way with Muslims in general that they will turn to “thoppiya harena paththata”. I strongly disagree with that saying because I know many Muslims who are extremely principled and honourable. In that case our saffron clad “cheevara dhareen” are the worst kind (no disrespect to our Venerable pious Buddhist Priests).
    Mr. Athas; this is a treacherous behaviour. We the readers didn’t expect you to betray your colleagues like Lasantha, Poddala Jayantha, Ekneligoda and many, many more. Taking a neutral position is one thing, but this boot licking is despicable.

    • 8
      0

      I never respected him knowing how he then wrote articles. But few months ago, I happened to read that the bugger turned up after a long time. There I did not know until CT made it clear that he was among the few Journos who revealed bit more about MIG deal of Rajaapakshe mafia bosses.
      :
      I now trust nobody if belongs to SINHALA race, though I am born to that race for my bad luck.
      :
      My wish at the dawn of new year is to see, RAJAPKAKSHE be punished by KARMA and leave lanken people in peace. I never hated this much to anyone, but today to Rajapajseh for all the blatant lies and all various kinds of tricks being applied for their political survival.
      I have never seen the kind of ill fated politicians in our country since indepenence.
      They should fall on the SHARPEN side of the swode, leaving us all in peace.
      Not a single person inthat bugger family could be trustful for lanken politics.

    • 0
      3

      According to statements made during the time Lasnatha was bumped off, by opposition politicians, it was a cabal under the direction of Army Commander Sarath Fonseka who killed Lasantha. If Ranil and Rajitha and Champika has any solid evidence against Gota then they would have incarcerated him and clenched the matter. But after five years, they could do nothing. Only thing that happened is that Nishanatha Candappa profited by free visas and getting set up in Switzerland.

    • 6
      0

      Suranga,
      you made a very valid point. Athas and the bandwagon were shouting at the top of their lungs saying Mangala Samaraweera was going to sell our country to USA through those agreements, US troops are going to rape our women in broad daylight and so on. And now Gomman says 70% of MCC project is very good and they are going to study it. If it was that bad before the elections, how come it became 70% good all of a sudden? Why would we have to study such a monstrous project? Wouldn’t our women get raped if it signed under GR? Wouldn’t we have to get visa to go to Anuradhapura if it signed under GR? No hum about ACSA, which can be cancelled at any time under GR now. Actually he was the one who signed it first during MR time. Why Athas and the bandwagon are quiet now? Why aren’t they shouting and screaming now? Is it because they knew from the beginning it was not harmful to us as they tried to carve into us ? Have they got what they were promised before the elections by GR? Without any doubt it is very clear Athas was promised to get kickbacks once he fulfilled Rajapakse dirty work.
      I wonder what was Athas’s price to get into this low level by selling his soul, without caring for his fallen colleagues by GR. How can he sleep at night without thinking about Ahimsa Wickramatunga’s tireless effort to get justice for her father? Only answer is the “REWARD” he got from GR could be very high. What a shame?

  • 6
    0

    The pen doesn’t talk anymore. Money does!!!

  • 3
    5

    Thamil Selvam would have been the Secretary to the Premier Velu Pirahaparan of the North East Federal State of Eelaam , with the Prime Minister Dr Ranil running the UNP Government in Colombo, if not for those the MIG 27s..

    UNP Staleart Ranjan Ramanayaka told the Media , he is willing to give Prez Nandasean a Double Salute..
    I am not sure what it is, but at least he didn’t insult the Monks or the Sinhala Buddhists in his Media Briefing.
    I just saw our Great Cricket Playing Muslim Boy Dilshan who brought a lot of pride to the Nation agreeing to contest the Election from the UNP Muslim Stronghold of Gaalla ..

    May be Mr Athas realized his past mistakes and has decided to give a hand to his mate PC Ali who did a marvelous job at the last last Election.
    And is gearing to do even a better job in the new year, to steer the misguided Muslim Voters who went behind Bathudeen and Rauf Hakeem after Easter..

    I can’t see anything wrong with it… .

    I wish both Athas and Ali all the best in the coming year.

    • 4
      2

      KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

      I was wondering how life changes over a period of time.

      The Highway Robber Utuwankande Sura Saradiel (1832 to 1864) was recognised as patriot.

      Rajapaksa who supposed to have won the war hence the patriot later turned out to be the quintessential Chinese Highway Robber.

  • 3
    9

    In the years to come there will be more and more ‘critics’ of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa joining with him to build a beautiful Sri Lanka where all ethnic groups live like members of one family. That will be a real unity in diversity.
    Mr. Iqbal Athas has foreseen this trend; some intellectual journalists have a nose for news as well as a nose for future trends.
    Iqbal Athas may be one of those rare types. Diaspora Tamils and their comment writers may not agree but that’s their negative mind, not the future that we are talking about here. What good can they see about Sri Lanka? Have they seen anything good anywhere in the world?
    Their fear is understandable; if Pirabaharan happened to survive in Nanthikadal, he might also turn 360 degrees and start praising President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. Unfortunately, a bullet before the ballet was his foolhardy choice!
    Iqbal knows the positive trend that he noticed about Lee KwanY in Singapore. Many of his critics changed their mind eventually and started praising LeeKY and some even joined with him.
    Congratulations Iqbal!

    • 5
      0

      Richmond Peiris

      “In the years to come there will be more and more ‘critics’ of President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa joining with him to build a beautiful Sri Lanka where all ethnic groups live like members of one family. “

      Well, you have a dream.
      Hope it does not turn out to be a nightmare and then turning into reality.

      “he might also turn 360 degrees and start praising President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.”

      Isn’t it why Hindians got Prabaharan killed?
      Whether VP would carry Gota’s b***s or not is another matter.
      Rohana Wijeyweera, Prabaharan, were psychopaths and Gota is, therefore there is no way these fascists would have changed their attitude, habits, thought process, ….

      Those who never own up their past and present mistakes including robbery, human rights violations, war crimes, ………… will have no chance of reforming themselves taking the country to the future. Gota sniggered, and in his squeaky voice, not only dismissed his part in war crime charges but also laughed off the the charges, urged people to forget the past because he is taking the people to future which was of course not defined.

      Back to the future is a fantasy until he summons up his courage, find his b***s and say to the world he was responsible for all those crimes, and apologise to the people, and then beg for pardon.

      Aung San Suu Kyi found her b***s, summoned up her courage and faced off the court in the Hague.

      Psychopath is as psychopath does.
      As a supporter you should take him to the best psychiatrist in town for an assessment.

  • 0
    7

    Thank you Mr. Peiris. You have correctly analyzed the situation. With the country facing an economic crisis and a new leader coming in people pin all their hopes on him. If and when he fails the very same people will turn against him. Among journalists Iqbal Athas has proved to be a courageous man exposing corruption and human rights violations. He is not blind and will probably answer his critics through his column. We must not be hasty to criticize him.

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