4 June, 2023

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Machiavellians Tend To Be Demonic: Stuck Between A Rock & A Hard Place

By W. Vishnu Gupta

W. Vishnu Gupta

It seems people have resigned to believe that “Aragalaya”, effectively became a “Beragalaya” to facilitate the installation of well-known Machiavellian as the nation’s Executive President unwittingly. Machiavellians tend to be demonic and can use military force or violence to quell peaceful struggles waged by innocent people due to injustice, hunger, poverty, and the hopelessness faced their families. Moreover, Machiavelli argued “…Fear restrains men because they are afraid of punishment, and this fear never leaves them.”

On 2nd December 2022, Joe Biden, the President of the United States of America tweeted:

“I just want to make a few things clear: The Holocaust happened. Hitler was a demonic figure.” A well-timed remark by a respectable democratic world leader. Furthermore, the Press Release issued by Ms. Samantha Power’s office after meeting Ali Sabri who was on a mission to the USA recently with the BEGGING BOWL says:

 “Administrator Power, who visited Sri Lanka in September, reiterated the U.S. commitment to supporting Sri Lanka to help resolve its complex crisis, including addressing the urgent needs of Sri Lanka’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities. She underscored that political reforms need to accompany economic reforms in Sri Lanka.”

It appears Ranil and Ali Sabry have no time to heed the advice of Americans on required political reforms as they are fixated in shielding away those who committed economic crimes and human right violations from a credible judiciary. It is normal for a demonic person to speak ill about the people struggling to feed their own families, cloth them and provide shelter and security. A demonic figure always depends on corruption, brutal force, support of similar minded persons such as Rajapaksas and deceptive tactics to achieve his political and personal objectives. Ranil has been a very active member of the oligarchy that existed since the departure of British colonialist and responsible for economic crimes. He is accused of being the leader who operated the infamous Batalanda Torture Chambers in 1980’s. His recent remarks about the deployment of security forces to quell any opposition that may sprung up in the country against his regime installed with the help of a constitutional coup, confirms his beliefs in the Machiavelli approaches, specifically the norm “End justifies the Means.” He has continuously defiled Buddhism by denigrating “Maha Sangha” and misquoting selected phrases of sacred Buddhist text according to his conveniences. What a charade to divert the attention of people from his incompetent administration.  Though his mother was a Buddhist, it looks like he has made every effort to hide that he hails from a rich Anglican Christian clan, his father Esmond Wickremesinghe was a devout Christian, and the paternal uncle Lakshman Wickramasinghe was the Bishop of Kurunagala, Anglican Church from 1962 to 1983 his aunt Mukta Wickramasinghe and her children Rajiva and Anila are Christians.  

Ranil Wickramasinghe, the present unelected politician, was thrust into the position of the executive president by the political struggle known as “Aragalaya” waged by an uncoordinated, leaderless bunch of men and women driven by many agendas. It is alleged that, there were many dubious characters funded by political dirtbags, and NGOs, some were staying in five-star hotels and others pretending to be ordinary citizens who were concerned about the unbearable economic difficulties but taking directions from the most unpopular and corrupt political leaders currently occupying the parliament of Sri Lanka. Accusations were levelled against many political parties, chief among them were the UNP, SLPP and JVP. It seems, those who participated in the “Aragalaya” were nothing but headless chickens running around. They did not achieve anything positive; Rajapaksas are back and living lavishly in mansions funded by the people, Ranil Wickremesinghe got his dream job without any effort. Ranil’s inner coterie including the chicaneries Sagala, Ashu, Saman Ratnapriya Silva (another dubious man who misled “Aragalaya”) and Vajira got their personal agendas and dreams fulfilled. 

It is highly unlikely to expect political reforms from a demonic leader who advocates brutality and suppression of freedom of people and vouched to use military means. No western democratic country, neither IMF nor other world organization should assist a demonic regime. Fake friendly countries like China, India and Japan will hesitate and then completely ignore and abandon Sri Lanka if their demands are not met.

Rasamanickam has put foot in his mouth again

The recent comments made by TNA MP Rasamanickam another alleged Canadian citizen sitting in the parliament of Sri Lanka; has “warned that in the event the Chinese Embassy and its Government fail to look after the citizens of Sri Lanka and refuse to restructure the debts, he is ready to lead a “ChinaGoHome” campaign with all 22 million Sri Lankans, similar to what was seen at the “GotaGoHome” Aragalaya, to chase the Chinese.“I would like to warn the Chinese, there will be a China Go Home soon, and I will lead it.”

Rasamanickam must be reminded of his bravado in the parliament is great to entertain the pollical gallery, those words are highly counter productive, it will be better if he starts to grow fingernails to scratch his rumps before threatening a superpower like China. The speaker should have admonished this TNA MP for the comments made against another country that has helped Sri Lankans during many difficult times, in this incident whether Rasamanickam is in the payroll of another international sponsor is irrelevant, but he has embarrassed the entire nation. Only a dimwit politician of a bankrupt country alleged to be a citizen of another country will think of antagonising a superpower, especially China which has given enormous development loans, nearly 20 percent of the country’s public external debt, without any strings attached. It is also highly infuriating comment at a time when the government is attempting with China, Sri Lanka’s largest bilateral creditor and, with India and Japan to restructure the country’s debt.

Staff Expenditure of Mahinda and Maithripala

The former presidents Mahinda and Maithri have been living like drunkard sailors, with unbelievable number of personal staff at the expense of citizens of the nation. It was reported last, since 2010 they have spent over Rs.1480 million only on personal staff. It is surprising to note that Maithree has spent more than Mahinda, according to a new report.

“Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had deployed a personal staff of 2,578 from 2010 to 2014 at a cost of more than Rs.630 million. and former President Maithripala Sirisena had a personal staff of 1,317 from 2015 to 2019 at a cost of more than Rs.850 million.”

Although, Maithripala as usual has denied the charges, alleging the media and Lionel Guruge for reporting the extravagant expenditure incurred by these two failed politicians. Obviously, they have misused people’s money for glorification of their pollical careers. Maithripala has claimed that some of the funds were given out to Smart Sri Lanka program to distribute 1000 computers to divisional secretaries. The proper procedure should have been reallocation of the funds or returning the funds to the treasury. These devious politicians have been using state funds for nearly seven decades to promote their personal image among Sri Lankan gullible voters and to improve the chances of electability of their corrupt political parties. JR, Ranil, Premadasa, Channdrika, Maithree and Mahinda have always followed the unholy traditions of stealing from the treasury under different guises.

(225 +1) are unresponsive to the sufferings of the people

The temporarily elected (225 +1) men and women of the current parliament have totally forgotten the needs and wants of 22 million of citizens in the country as it was evident from the recently presented budget. A fresh report published by the World Food Programme (WFP) says; “about three out of 10 households (nearly 6.26 million Sri Lankans) are uncertain of where their next food will come from. More than 60% of households are resorting to rationing their food and do not obtain sufficient nutrition. As one Sri Lankan woman said, “These days, we don’t have a proper meal but eat only rice and gravy.” In June 2022, WFP Deputy Regional Director for Asia and Pacific Anthea Webb explained, “Pregnant mothers need to eat nutritious meals every day, but the poorest find it harder and harder to afford the basics.” Furthermore, UNICEF has warned of a humanitarian crisis, it has found depleting food stocks, gas and medical supplies have forced 70% of Sri Lankan families to reduce food intake in 2022. The crisis may be well hidden by ignoring the reports coming out of villages and small towns, it is suspected that some families have not eaten for many days. Just like the (225+1) currently focussing on tactics to ensure their political survival, the established media houses too have paid very little attention to the plight of ordinary Sri Lankans. The ensuing useless budget debates and cabinet priorities clearly shows that there is a huge gulf between the government objectives and the needs and wants of the people; for instances people did not ask or never have asked for guns, boots, or huge mechanized military force in the country. It looks like these temporarily elected men and women MPs have bent over and shown the rumps to 22 million of citizens gleefully. That may be the reason why they have opted to perform circuses in the parliament with acts such as defiling Buddhism by Ranil, Controversial Diana’s Cannabis project, Kanchana’s threats, Rambukwella’s denunciations, Susil’s sweet talk but no books for children, Sabry’s begging trips, Wijedayadasa’s noncommittal comments and equally reprehensible opposition parties’ lukewarm response to the government’s budget proposals. 

All these (225+1) scheming political figures have performed very well in the “Diyawanna” circus to ensure their survival and knowing very well that none of them truly represent will of the people. The role played by the opposition is also highly questionable, the duplicity nature off the opposition parties was further confirmed by not coming to the parliament to defeat the tax bill passed on the 9th of November, they conveniently took a passive stand on the matter. The donor countries too have become wary about the credibility of (225 +1). Consequently India, China, Japan, and the USA know very well, that most opportune time to acquire and control the highly strategically important geopolitical assets in Sri Lanka is now, and there will not be any formidable opposition in the parliament because it is rigged highly in their favor by dubious, devious, and demonic (225+1) persons in the executive and legislative branches of the government of Sri Lanka. The politicians have put our nation in peril, the state is stuck between a ROCK (IMF) and a HARD place (countries vying for supremacy in the Indian Ocean). The bankrupt state is helpless as the oligarchies and their conniving political cohorts have committed economic crimes since 1956, mainly lead by Bandaranaikes, Jayewardenes, Rajapaksas, Ranasinghes and a slew political leaders such as NM Perera, Sirisena, Ranil, Anura, Ranawaka, Vasu, Badurdeen, Hakeem, and Wimal.

Let us not forget that the UN High Commissioner’s report in October this year, it has clearly stated among many other reasons, impunity for human rights violations and economic crimes by officials as the underlying reasons for the economic crisis. Furthermore, UNHCR has called for the government to investigate and prosecute former and current public officials who triggered the country’s worst financial crisis in more than seven decades, plunging the population of 22 million into soaring inflation, currency depreciation and severe food, medicine, and fuel shortages.

Therefore, Sri Lankans should be prepared to encounter misery until fresh elections are held to introduce much needed political reforms, in other words, the system change demanded by the genuine proponents of “Aragalaya.”   

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    Marchiavellian fear restrains and is demonic like Hitler’s holocaust from concentration camps, using military violence. If the leaders paid 10% attention to the welfare of the citizens who voted for them, they could have survived well even robbing 90% of national wealth, but their unlimited greed grabbed 100% like no food in holocaust. Aragalaya arose and needs harnessing now. The robbers must be jailed and money recovered.

  • 5
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    Davidthegood

    Rajapaksas and others robbed more than 100% of the assets in Sri Lanka. What about the value of assets mortgaged to foreign countries. It is alleged, all funds received by the rogue politicians have been stashed away in USA, UK, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, UAE, Maldives, Cayman Island, Seychelles, and Uganda. Who knows there may be other countries where these fellows have horded the money. If proper legal actions can be taken to bring these monies horded in foreign countries by the politicians, the State does not have to wait for IMF, China, India or Japan. Agree, we need to harness what aragalaya sowed among the people.

    • 0
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      I have said the same thing before, that Srilanka could lend to IMF if these monies can be recovered by Srilanka.

  • 7
    1

    In the article, there is only a passing reference to Rasamanikkam’s statement on an MP sitting in Parliament who is a “Canadian Citizen”. With the “21A” becoming Law, no MP who holds even a “DUAL CITIZENSHIP” could sit in the Parliament. Shouldn’t Rasamanikkam’s “Revelation” be investigated by the Speaker? Or isn’t it an “Honor” on the part of such MPs to declare their noneligibility and resign forthwith? In that respect, Basil R has voluntarily kept away from Parliament. Why not ALL others do the same and make an honorable exit?

    There is a reason why they are not doing it. Recently, the President “Accepted” that “21A” is not “LAW” in granting a “Diplomatic Passport” to a “British National” MP who is sitting in Parliament even without being a “Dual Citizen” of S/L. So, if the “KING” can break the “Law” why are we worried, could be the thinking of such MPs who have breached the Law.

    Why a “Legislature” cannot raise questions and be critical of another country that has greatly affected our economy, and sovereignty? I am proud of Rasamanikkam’s courage in doing that exercising his RIGHT in the capacity of a Legislator. Why only refer to Rasamanikkam?

  • 8
    2

    Dear Mr Vishnu Gupta,
    .
    Why blame a person like Shanakiya Rasamanickam?
    .
    Let us blame the Rajapaksas, who began all this; but even more we must blame Ranil Wickremasinghe. His religion is not of any importance here.
    .
    However, since you’ve noted that he has Wijesinha cousins, it is fair that you add a third among those siblings, named Sajeeva. What religion they follow or what the married name of Anila is, are not of any great consequence.
    .
    We are well and truly stuck between Scylla and Charybdis, that used to be how it used to be said.
    .
    Never mind all that. Are you saying that young Shanakiya Rasamanickam is a Canadian citizen or that he is reporting some other MP as being a Canadian. Never mind; he is one of the best MPs in Parliament.
    .
    Thanks for your outspoken article.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 6
      2

      For the umpteenth time, Sinhala_Man, please answer the question!

      What did you mean by saying: “Manel, the name of whose hoity-toity husband was schooled in a ‘good ol’ Colombo Christian school”?

      How does one SCHOOL a NAME?

      And, while I am about it let me also ask, once again, do you know what “hoity-toity” means?

      It would seem that you DONT, or you would never have used it of my husband. Maybe some people are impressed by certain words you scatter about but I certainly am not.

      And your excuse that yr insults were just “banter” & should therefore be laughed off by me is pitiful.

      AND! Stop prying into my “background” — for want of a better term — & fishing out people connected to me & making false statements about them.

      • 8
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        Manel, while making out that he is ‘only a village schoolmaster’, SM has opinions on everyone and everything. But he has no right to pry into anyone’s background and the moderators are failing in their duty by not banning him.

        • 7
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          Svenson

          “But he has no right to pry into anyone’s background and the moderators are failing in their duty by not banning him.”

          Hope you will apply the same MORAL and DEMOCRATIC standards to Sri Lankan state’s various STASIes, Weeping Weerasekera( built a village/street based snitch network), Kamala, Sisira ….. and ..

  • 12
    1

    Vishnu Gupta is an unrepentant liar. Without an iota of evidence, he describes Shanikiyan as a citizen of Canada. This is a diabolical lie and VG has allowed his imagination to run riot.
    China is a superpower. So are US and Russia. does that mean those countries are above criticism? That is a silly argument.
    China is a one-party totalitarian state. There are no elections, no political parties, no free press, no independent judiciary, and no rule of law. In short, China is a dictatorship. The Chinese National People’s Congress acts like a rubber stamp. It merely rubberstamps the decisions taken by the party leadership. Xi Jinping is the supreme leader.
    Like the founder Mao, the Communist Party runs a totalitarian state. Mr Xi, who became president in 2012, has become increasingly authoritarian, arguably more than any leader since Mao.
    The Communist Party does not tolerate dissent. No true opposition parties are permitted and critics of the government risk persecution.
    Communist China is a bully. It has invaded and occupied Tibet destroying Tibetans’ race, language, religion and culture. Because China flexes its miles, no power on earth, including the US, is prepared to challenge the illegal invasion and occupation of Tibet since 1959.

  • 5
    4

    “…economic crimes since 1956, mainly lead by Bandaranaikes, Jayewardenes,”
    Can the author be specific?
    JRJ took a path which I denounce, but economic crimes led by him?
    There was theft by important ministers under him, but I will hesitate to pin them on JRJ’s lead.
    The author is known for his ill informed comments, but striking blows in all directions should have some limit

    • 4
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      There was theft by important ministers under him, but he did not commit ” . Is this called Lankanness or intellectual laziness ??. In court of law, an accomplice in a crime, is as guilty as person who committed. Isn’t it the same excuse others too have . Basil was corrupt but not Mahinda. JRJ boasted to have resignation letters of his MP’s throughout but couldn’t prevent them from stealing ??

      • 3
        0

        Thats an interesting thought, chiv: “JRJ boasted to have resignation letters of his MP’s throughout but couldn’t prevent them from stealing.”

        Did he hang on to them after the referendum, I wonder?

        But anyway, his strategy to win the Ref. guaranteed his guys (with the exception of very few) would go all out to get a vote for the Pot & that could well have involved them in economic crimes, too. Hence, brought about by JR.

        • 0
          2

          Manel
          JR’s boast was well known from when he won the election, and it should not be news to you.
          The letters were undated.
          Was there any compulsion to destroy them? If someone got a court order demanding their surrender he may have. If stationery with changed headers was issued after the new constitution the letters would have lost their legitimacy and he may have destroyed them. I am not sure on this count.
          The point is that he had little use for the letters after 1978.
          *
          The referendum did not need them as it was public vote.
          What you may not know is that many MPs, especially in the TULF, were wishing that life of parliament would be extended.
          The TULF was hesitant to reject the pot. A tireless campaign by Jaffna based Saturday Review (edited by Gamini Navaratne) shaming the humbug of the TULF compelled it to change its mind and support the lamp only a week or so before the vote. Yet its campaign was lukewarm. That was understandable as the TULF would have lost most of its seats if an election was held.

          • 3
            0

            SJ
            I wonder how closely you were involved with the referendum. Maybe you have forgotten that it was only after JR et al had studied the results of the 1982 Presidential election that he decided to try to avoid a general election by the device of a referendum. And it is only THEN that he got Premadasa to extract resignation letters from his MPs in a special meeting.

            The new Constitution was introduced several years earlier!

            I can tell you more about the TULF, etc., once I check my 100+ paged report on the referendum (for which, btw, I drafted a joint campaigning leaflet for several parties & have the text somewhere).

            As far as I recall, the TULF all RESIGNED at the end of the period that would have culminated in the next general election because they considered the referendum result illegal.

            Dont you know the shockingly racist campaign Aththulathmidali carried out against the TULF in the Referendum, saying Amirthalingam (?) was saying “A Vote for the Pot is a Vote for Eelam”. That dangerous Slogan was pasted across the wall of the Mt Lavina (Ratmalana?) CEMETERY.

            • 0
              0

              “And it is only THEN that he got Premadasa to extract resignation letters from his MPs in a special meeting.”
              I think that he had the letters in his pocket much earlier.
              Extracting such letters after his weakness was seen at the polls could not have been easy.
              He had planned the referendum well in advance I suspect. But in any case had to be elected to execute it.

              • 2
                0

                SJ: “The TULF was hesitant to reject the pot.”
                Strange. What is the evidence for this? Do you mean the LAMP?

                Re your: “A tireless campaign by…Saturday Review…shaming… TULF compelled it to change its mind and support the lamp only a week or so before the vote”.
                The govt campaign was underway for some time before the opposition cd get its act together. Some thought a boycott cd defeat the govt. The NSSP refused, considering the whole thing illegal. Finally all the other opposition parties decided to campaign for a “no” vote (POT). Nine parties …”National Committee against Putting off the 1983 Parliamentary General Election”…incl. SLFP, CP, LSSP, MEP, ACTC & DWC ((I drafted the joint opposition leaflet). Later ACTC decided to work alone. TULF & JVP also decided to conduct independent campaigns for a ‘no’ vote…

                The govt. launched a major onslaught on the Tamil vote, intimidating Tamil voters in various ways & making it difficult for opposition arguments to reach them in Tamil. It identified a vote for the Pot with a vote for Eelam, terrorism, separation etc, (See my section: A vote for the pot is a vote for Eelam.”)

          • 4
            0

            Dear SJ
            Forgive my taking up what might seem a very small point but cd there be a misunderstanding re the undated letters of resignation JR extracted just before the Referendum? I am not aware that he kept any BEFORE that.

            On 15/12/91 The Island carried an interview by Rohan Abeywardene: “JR speaks out against critics,” in which, to say the very least, JR attempted to muddy the waters about his diabolical use of a referendum. The next day I sent a response to the paper saying that “His comments on certain aspects of the Referendum merit a detailed rejoinder, both in respect of fact as well as interpretation. However, I shall confine myself to pointing out a serious lapse of memory in his recall of the sequence of events after the results of the presidential election on 20 October 1982.”

            I hope CT will permit me to take advantage of their space, at the end of all the posts below this article, to present my response (“A Presidential Memory Lapse,” Sunday Island 29/12) to JR’s lies. I will try to shorten it. Remarks in square brackets were originally footnotes.

          • 0
            0

            Dear SJ
            Chiv said: “JRJ boasted to have resignation letters of his MP’s THROUGHOUT.” Any backing for this claim? When did JR first obtained them?

            You added: “JR’s boast was well known from when he won the election.”
            Which election? Prez 1977 or 1982?

            Then u said (a) “he had little use for the letters after 1978”; (b) “the referendum did not need them.”
            I agree with (a) but don’t believe he had any then. Backing? But if you believe (b) why on earth did he extract them again when the Referendum was announced?! I have a detailed press account of that whole event. You can check with Migara, too. He is still active! Write to him at his paper. The reasons for JR putting his MPs’ future in his pocket are obvious but I wont elaborate.

            SJ: “…he had little use for the letters after 1978.” Wrong.

            SJ: “What you may not know is that many MPs, especially in the TULF, were wishing that life of parliament would be extended.“ Evidence for this? Why then did the TULF MPs all resign in 1983 because they believed the extension of that parliament for another 6 years illegal?”

            • 0
              0

              Manel, my point was more about the total control JRJ had on the party and members but somehow didn’t stop them from stealing. What is the message behind such enabling leadership?? Definitely not that”Dharmishta” crap as claimed. Finer details about dates, signatures possession are of no significance to me. Not to forget JRJ, was yet another racist.lacking remorse and empathy.

            • 0
              2

              “especially in the TULF, were wishing that life of parliament would be extended.“ Evidence for this?”
              You should take a look at the Saturday Review’s taunts at the TULF at the time. Did you ever read the SR?
              Also check when the TULF made up its mind.
              Enough evidence?
              *
              “President J.R. Jayewardene, who obtained undated letters of resignation from his MPs to thwart crossovers” (http://www.infolanka.com/news/IL/1102.htm)
              ” JR had a Bill kept with him at his residence, which he had designed upon assuming office as Prime Minister in 1977. That Bill gave one way passage for crossovers where only those in the Opposition could cross over to the government.” (https://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/35849)
              When do you think that happened?
              Are you sure that there was a second time round for this?
              Please name a reliable source for it, as I am curious.
              I seriously doubt if anyone in the UNP had a pang of conscience about the referendum.
              *
              As for the response to C (Read the text carefully before shooting your mouth), it was about another matter where he remarked on a comment by me.
              As for your inquiry, I cannot speak for another.
              *
              As for the referendum debate, I admit that made no headlines like some of you folks. But I was clear in my stand and followed the debate closely, especially in the N&E

      • 0
        2

        Read the text carefully before shooting your mouth.

        • 3
          0

          “Get well soon”.

          • 0
            0

            Native, answering to your question “what is possible”? 1) Lanka being first world country by 2048, as RW promised ??? that will be more “vistas of prosperity and splendor”. Least we can do is pray for the sick person.
            Manel, NOT one SB backed Government since INdependence, was genuine having intentions to share power / treat Tamils (now Muslims) equally. 2)Tamils who were in denial for decades now seems to be either angry, still bargaining, or depressed. (stages of GRIEF). 3) If people thought “Tamils missed out on certain deal”, not really. Whatever that deal would have been swiftly rolled back by the next Govt, by manipulating / exploiting constitutional amendments and SC verdicts. This is my personal opinion.

            • 2
              0

              Sick person getting better may not be possible. But can country prevent 1) businessman getting kidnapped, tied to his car seat, chocked with a wire, and left to die in Borella Cemetery. 2) Champion boxer abducted from his home, critically assaulted, and burnt, left to die near a playground in Hantana, Kandy. 3) Social Media activist, attacked with sharp weapon and now hospitalized. Meantime sick Lankan guy (eternally being silly and stupid, can be considered sickness in few) is concerned about the judiciary system elsewhere.

        • 2
          0

          SJ
          Is it me that you are telling ti read the text before shooting my mouth?
          Do u.mean yr posts or Vishnu’s article?

          I’m sorry, but can you please quote the relevant bit of text, SJ?

          I was very much involved in the Referendum, SJ, partly as a member of the Civil Rights Movement (CRM). I amassed a lot of material & , with great difficulty during the tense months of 1983, when police regularly dropped in on us at home in the night, produced a substantial report. But such was the situation that it was impossible to publish it in SL or under my name.

          Parts came out in a book on SL ed by James Manor, “Sri Lanka in Conflict & Crisis”. Then a Norwegian Inst. Published it in full under the name Priya Samarakone. Priya for a dear friend whose life was harassed by the vile politics of her Sin. NAt. father, Econ. Prof , FR Jayasuriya. And Samarakone for my grandmother.

          I will pull it out asa I can to check up on the TULF & one or 2 other things. It’s almost exact 40 years ago si we can all be forgiven for getting some facts wrong.
          …2

          • 2
            0

            2…
            SJ
            I’m not quite sure what you mean by a “public vote” or why that would obviate the need for resignation letters.

            In the contrary, JR extracted them at THAT point, notvwhen he first came to power in ’77. They were the driving tool to ensure his MPs pulled out all stops in the Referendum, whatevervtheor private misgivings may have been

            I wish you could read my report, the Elections Com’s report and a 3rd one which I never managed to see, but which appeared some years later, by a Peradeniya don, maybe Wickrema Weerasooriya or something.
            I am hoping to put mine on line sometime but if anyone shd care to see a copy I can ask the Norwegian Inst to email it. Maybe via CT somehow.

            • 2
              0

              Apologies for a lot of typos above…e.g. One should, of course, read, “On the contrary”.

              By the way, SJ, if you were a regular reader of the “SaturdayReview”, I wonder if you ever saw anything by me there. One article was about Sending Tamil Public Servants on Special Leave….do you remember that shocking measure by the govt? Another was when I was a plaintiff in a case in which former Senator S. Nadesan appeared. I cherish a number of letters I had from him in those years.

              • 1
                2

                Manel
                I rarely looked at who wrote what in SR or elsewhere, but read SR for its interpretation of political events, especially in the North.
                How come you missed the foot dragging by the TULF?

          • 1
            2

            Dear Manel
            Sorry.
            It concerned another person who works in tandem with another of his kind.
            I rarely name him in my responses.

  • 8
    0

    Politicians in SL, particularly, the leaders & their cronies since independence (Dudley maybe the only exception) have been on a gravy train & the gravy has become thicker exponentially since CBK. Bandaranayakas changed their faiths to benefit politically, so have others, therefore, Ranil changing faith is no big deal. After all, faith is personal belief & anyone has the right to change if enlightened but it is the hypocrisy that defines a person.

    RW has skeletons but any doubt is now confirmed by his tough stand with ‘agitators’, all the markings of a despot. Peaceful protest is a human right in any democracy but in authoritarian regimes as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, it is punishable with death, & though we do not have such draconian laws, we are only a step away with the PTA, where protestors can be beaten up & banged up indefinitely without charge.

    I have seen a clip where Tiran Alles claims that he facilitated meetings between MR & the LTTE, & that he had witnessed cash being paid to prevent voting in the North & East, & as a result, MR, presumably, benefitted. Had that clandestine operation not taken place, RW may have been elected legitimately by the people. Instead of seeking justice, he has now given in to the very people who deprived him of this opportunity & happy to be an unelected President with help from the same people who opposed him.
    Cont.

  • 5
    0

    Cont.
    Alles doesn’t seem to be aware that he had aided & abetted treason by enabling the Rajapakses to connive with the enemy, for which, in times of war, is punishable by death. Death penalty or not, it is a serious crime but Alles & RW, even with the powers bestowed to them now, seem to have conveniently forgotten this crime, while several alleged terrorists still languish in prison without even a trial. Hypocrisy or what?

    Despite this revelation, the Rajapakses are considered war heroes, saviours of Sinhala race & Buddhism. If I am not mistaken, Slimy Sira & RW, both had Maybachs, a custom built Mercedes even the Chancellor of Germany is not privileged to have, during their tenure, therefore, Sira & MR having more than 1000 employees at their disposal at govt. cost is hardly surprising. As a direct result of this extravagance & other corrupt practices, the govt. has now resorted to printing money to pay salaries but the resulting hyper inflation, causing suffering to average citizens, is denied, even by the former CB governor. What a bunch of yobs we had & continue to have while the average citizen has, & is, being truly f****d all the time.

  • 5
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    SJ

    Bandaranaikes and JRJ were instrumental in laying the groundwork for economic crimes through changes to the constitution and opening ways to rob national assets. If you do care, just take some quality time analyze the various bills and parliamentary acts brought by these politicians.

    • 3
      4

      V
      The phrase concerned is: “…economic crimes since 1956, mainly lead by Bandaranaikes, Jayewardenes,”
      *
      Now that you have an alternate version, can you please tell us more about how they “were instrumental in laying the groundwork for economic crimes through changes to the constitution and opening ways to rob national assets”.
      SWRDB did not even amend a constitution.
      Kindly go ahead an explain how the Constitution of 1971 achieved what you claim it did.
      The one of 1978 led to opening up of the economy and with it many ills. But still I like to hear you out.

      • 2
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        A small point, SJ, actually Colvin’s (?) Constitution was 1972. Sorry to nit pick.

        It was TELO who, initially, anyway, called for a boycott, which must have created some confusion among northern voters. The false slogan “A vote for the pot is a vote for Eelam”, started by Lalith A, was pushed in the govt media & coupled with the emergency which led to the banning of Suthanthiran in Jaffna, & the seizure of Mrs B’s Tamil media print from the press, avenues which wd have carried the the opposition campaign, were closed down. Instead, extremely inflammatory literature was spread in Sinhala, including publications like Cyril Matthews’ “Diabucal Conspiracy”. It was just unpatriotic to vote for the vote.

        Incidentally, in Kayts, Kankesanturai, Udupiddy, Point Pedro, Nallur, Jaffna & Trinco, the Pot polled over 50% more votes than the total Opposition did in the Pres election 2 months earlier.
        …2

        • 1
          2

          Thank you for the correction.
          But was its really Colvin’s constitution? Pity, the document failed to declare its author.
          *
          As for the Tamil vote at the referendum, the TULF was totally discredited in the North and east by then. Some MPs would dare not go to their own electorates.
          *
          BTW, the paper Suthanthiran got hostile to the TULF after 1978. It backed a rival group including SC Chandrahasan and MK Eelavebnthan among others

  • 2
    0

    This is a response to SJ’s comment re resignations. I quite understand if CT rejects it.
    “A Presidential Memory Lapse,” Island 29/12/91:
    Former President J.R. Jayewardene’s… comments on certain aspects of the Referendum merit a detailed rejoinder, both in respect of fact as well as interpretation. I shall confine myself to pointing out a serious lapse of memory in his recall of the sequence of events after the results of the presidential election on 20 October 1982.

    (He)… says that the letters of resignation obtained by him from the government MPs were voluntarily offered up to him after the Referendum, because of some qualms on the part of the government MPs about their term of office being extended without an election.

    These letters of resignation were in fact obtained by the president [I would prefer to describe it as ‘extorted by him’] at the same time the Referendum was announced, almost two months before it was to be held. His MPs were asked to append their signatures to undated letters (to be dated, thereby made effective, at his will).

    • 2
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      Manel
      I am only sure of the first set of undated letters on parliament stationery.
      About the second set, I do not know, and there was little need for them in my opinion. In fact he could sack anyone who dared to cross over.
      Did you hear any mumble from the ranks of the government about the ethics of the referendum?

  • 4
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    2…
    The DN 28/10/82 (‘Referendum to extend sitting parliament: Some MPs to go?’) reporting the government’s decision to hold the Referendum, said…Minister of State Anandatissa… told newsmen after…weekly Cabinet meeting: “President Jayewardene will seek the resignations of all UNP MPs so that he could re-constitute his parliamentary group as there is opposition to certain MPs continuing for the extended period.”
    “…Later in the evening the UNP working committee unanimously endorsed the Cabinet decisions and authorised Mr Jayewardene to obtain letters of resignation from UNP MPs….”

    The DN reported 29/10/82: “MPs of the UNP signed undated letters of resignation that were distributed at yesterday’s parliamentary group meeting, addressed by both President J… and Prime Minister P…. President J… told the group that the letters of resignation would be acted upon at a later date as he thinks appropriate.” [An MP’s future was no longer to be determined by the voters but by the president!]

    Political columnist Migara in the Weekend on 31/10/82 gave this account: “So when all Cabinet Ministers walked in for their scheduled meeting (i.e., on 27 October) almost all of them were taken by complete surprise (some even by consternation) when Cabinet Secretary G.V.P. Samarasinghe presented each one of them with a cyclostyled copy of an undated letter of resignation.
    >3

    • 2
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      Manel
      Thanks for the evidence.
      But the second set of letters of resignation would have been of use in the case of members of the cabinet, who had much to lose.
      One not aspiring for a cabinet post could risk refusing to sign as it is not easy to unseat him.
      Two points emerge: JR was unsure of his support base; the MPs were spineless.

  • 4
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    3…
    “After a brief outline by President Jayewardene of the decision to hold a Referendum, Prime Minister P… proposed to his colleagues that they all, including himself, should tender their resignations as MPs forthwith to President J….

    “The brief letter was drafted at the Cabinet Office stating only that the Ministers were submitting their resignations ‘under their hand’…under Section 66 (b) of the Constitution. This Section states: The seat of a member shall become vacant “If, by a writing under his hand addressed to the Secretary-General of Parliament, he resigns his seat.”

    “The Ministers were made to understand that the newly re-elected President would accept the resignations of whichever Cabinet Minister at whatever time H.E. desired.

    “The Cabinet of Ministers had of course no other recourse. They all had put on their best smiles and signed the letters abdicating their seat (and perhaps their office) when Secretary G.V.P. Samarasinghe walked up to each one of them with the undated black [It is not clear why Migara calls them ‘black’. Maybe he meant metaphorically] letter and his golden Parker pen….

    “Once the President dates any one of those letters, the minister’s resignation from Parliament becomes effective.…
    >4

  • 3
    0

    4…
    “The decision by the Working Committee to endorse the Cabinet decisions was a mere formality. And so was the next morning’s meeting at the Parliamentary complex…where government MPs…nearly 130 of them…submitted their resignations to the President…signed and returned…the statement prepared for them by the Presidential secretariat….

    “The responsibility of dating that undated letter of resignation and also of addressing [it] to the Secretary-General of Parliament so that it becomes effective was solely at the pleasure of the President.

    “Now the President has become all-powerful. The President of all he surveys. The resignations of all his Cabinet Ministers and all his members of Parliament are in the pocket of his national dress.” [end of Migara quote]

    The fact is that possession of these letters gave the president tremendous powers over his MPs. It placed an extra onus on them to pull out all the stops during the Referendum campaign (stopping, presumably, at nothing). It was immaterial that the electorate was asked to decide on a single question, namely, could the Parliament (as currently constituted) continue until 1989 or not, i.e., should there be a general election in 1983, as was due.
    >5

  • 3
    0

    5
    The irony was that it worked against a popular, decent MP who felt it was against his/her conscience to prevent the holding of the due election, and allowed his/her voters to vote according to their choice and conscience and request that the election be held, during which they might still elect re-elect him/her.

    As far as the president was concerned, that MP had as good as lost his seat and would have to resign – or be resigned, rather. The fact was, however, that the more unpopular and thuggish MPs were more likely to ‘win’ the Referendum in their electorates than the more democratically inclined and possibly popular ones.

    Let’s see how JR recast this scenario in his 1991 interview:
    “Soon after [Note the shift in the time frame] the Referendum it became clear that in some electorates the Members of Parliament would have been defeated, if a General Election was held [This is simply not the case. The Referendum question was not about any individual MP but about (1) postponing the due general election, and (2) continuing the same Parliament for a further six years].”
    >6

  • 3
    0

    6…
    “At a UNP Parliamentary Group meeting held soon after that I was informed that many members felt that since their term in Parliament was extended without an election, they would like to give the Leader of the party, the right to decide whether any member should continue as a member or not.

    “They suggested that they were willing to give letters of resignation for this purpose. This was also mentioned in the Cabinet and after approval by the Working Committee and the Parliamentary Group of the Party, all members of the UNP Parliamentary Group voluntarily handed in such letters of resignation.

    “These were used to created vacancies in the 18 electorates where the MPs would have lost if an election was held. Bye-elections were held to these (sic) and the UNP won 14 out of 18. The letters were given voluntarily.”

    In effect, govt MPs who failed to resort to every means available, foul or fair, to prevent voters from casting their votes against the Referendum question, lost their seats at the president’s hands – upon his dating their resignation letters. The Referendum was turned into a general election – of a kind – with the voters’ role of selecting their representatives being usurped by the president.

    • 1
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      Yes, Manel,
      .
      Many see that Referendum as the point at which the country began to go off the rails. It’s clear that you fought as hard as possible against it.

      • 4
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        Sinhala_Man

        “Many see that Referendum as the point at which the country began to go off the rails.”

        Not exactly.
        However since the birth of the public racist Anagarika Homeless Dharmapala the island started to bleed.

      • 4
        0

        Sinhala_Man and Manel

        Interesting arguments, yet the the economic crisis and economic crimes and all related problems did not start from “referendums” and fake elections held in the country. The root cause for failure of Sri Lanka is the corruption, Bandaranaikes and JRJ clan equally responsible for economic crimes, The prepared the ground work for economic crimes by weakening the State of Sri Lanka. I hope you all understand the difference between the STATE and the GOVERNMENT. The first attack on the state was to take away the powers of the state. Bandaranaikes abolished the independent Civil Service which was there to safeguard the sovereignty of the STATE and brought it under the control of temporarily elected corrupt politicians. SLAS is lead by the minions appointed by the corrupt politicians. Subsequently JRJ, and his acolyte RDeM were crooked to the highest degree, when they introduced principles of market economy, they were more interested in advancing political security for themselves and their political party. They initiated and promoted the culture of earning commissions from various development projects introduced under the guise of Globalization. That Prior to 1977 the politicians were known for accepting small and puny bribes from businessmen and the voters promising government contracts and jobs. Premadasa, Chandrika and Rajapaksas have refined the art of making illegal commissions.

    • 0
      1

      “In effect, govt MPs who failed to resort to every means available, foul or fair, to prevent voters from casting their votes against the Referendum question, lost their seats at the president’s hands – upon his dating their resignation letters.”
      Did it ever happen to any?

      • 1
        0

        “Did it ever happen to any?”
        Now, here, my memory fails me, SJ.

        I think there were 18 bye-elections to seats lost by the LAMP, which meant that their owners were as good as resigned by JR. But I need to check. Definitely the popular Shelton (Kodikara?) was one who “resigned”, having refused to work for cancellationt of the due election.

        • 1
          0

          SJ, but this much I can say: Most of those MPs whose constituencies showed an absolute drop in UNP votes at both the presidential election & the referendum had to present themselves for re-election in May 1983. (Extraordinary really, since the first was more a test of the President’s popularity & the latter an attack on the holding of a due election.)
          This resulted in the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution to re-introduce bye-elections.

  • 2
    0

    Dare I reiterate something which probably helped to confuse the memory of the Referendum?

    JR’s Island interview in 1991 presented a totally wrong version of aspects of the Referendum.
    He was a blatant liar!

    Just the gist of what he said:
    “Soon AFTER (!!) the Referendum it became clear that in some electorates the MPs would have been defeated, if a General Election was held [This is simply not the case. The Referendum question was not about any individual MP but about (1) postponing the due general election, and (2) continuing the same Parliament for a further six years].”
    “At a UNP Parliamentary Group meeting held soon after that I was informed that many members felt that since their term in Parliament was extended without an election, they would like to give the Leader of the party, the right to decide whether any member should continue as a member or not.

    “They suggested that they were willing to give letters of resignation for this purpose…. The letters were given voluntarily.”
    _
    Absolutely NOT TRUE. Read Migara, at least.

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