25 September, 2020

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Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Denial

By Uditha Devapriya

Uditha Devapriya

Uditha Devapriya

In an interview with AFP last Wednesday, Mahinda Rajapaksa has denied any involvement with the Bodu Bala Sena. He has called the organisation a Western conspiracy that alienated Muslims. We can assume it wasn’t just the Muslims it alienated, but let’s leave that for later. For now, we can take this statement in either of two ways. We can think Rajapaksa is suffering from selective myopia, given that he didn’t make any statement like this while in power.

We can also think he’s gaining humility. Now in politics humility rarely counts. This we know. It’s only natural that this statement will be greeted with disbelief, not just by his detractors but by his supporters as well. That’s what makes it all the more tragic.

When the former president secured an unprecedented majority in Parliament in 2010, he had the best chance to democratise the country he delivered from terrorism. He didn’t do that. Instead he passed through a constitutional amendment that he thought would ensure unlimited rule but which proved his undoing in the end. He alienated anyone and everyone who wasn’t part of his family. He listened to those he shouldn’t have listened to. And, perhaps most tragically, he let abuse off the hook, even with abusers who are now with the government and are lambasting him as though they’ve become lily-white angels.

Mahinda Dec 21 2014I have always believed that if there’s something wrong with the Sinhala Buddhists, it’s that they fall prey to political agenda rather quickly. When the Aluthgama riots were in full swing, both the BBS and Jathika Hela Urumaya (the former more than the latter) didn’t help. What they did was to inflame a situation that could have been corrected. Easily. They let emotion prevail and excluded reason. That didn’t help, clearly.

Rajapaksa should have known better, on the other hand. But he listened to wrong advice. That too proved his undoing. And it’s not hard to see how. When the Aluthgama riots boiled over, there was an opportunity open to him. He could have made a statement. He could have eased tension. He could have stopped the riots and rioters. But he didn’t. Why?

In his interview with AFP, he points out a name. Patali Champika Ranawaka. He accuses the Minister for having defended the BBS. True. Ranawaka did himself no favours during the Aluthgama riots. It was Rajitha Senaratne, the Old Left, Dilan Perera, and Wimal Weerawansa (in that order) who named names and accused the organisation. The JHU didn’t incite violence, but it didn’t help sort out the mess either.

The former president says that it was Ranawaka’s act that alienated minorities. That is only partly true. Ranawaka was not Rajapaksa’s right-hand man. If he was the statesman we wanted him to become he should have disregarded Ranawaka and resolved Aluthgama. He didn’t. Playing the blame-game doesn’t help, therefore.

It also doesn’t help that his family were perceived to be colluding with the BBS. That’s what makes his involvement-denial all the more self-contradictory. Still, his assertion that the organisation worked against his interests is spot on. Better late than never, after all. Yes, he should have acted against the BBS when he had time and they were against his interests. But then again, there were other things he should have done. He left them all undone. We now know where that lead him.

And if recent events are anything to go by, there appears to be very little substance in what he’s saying now. When Gotabaya Rajapaksa was summoned to the Bribery Commission there were supporters waving a perverted National Flag. This points more at overzealous protesters than at those they were supporting, but the move clearly backfired. If the Bodu Bala Sena was involved with this that makes the AFP interview even more self-contradictory.

Mahinda Rajapaksa must substantiate assertion. If he wants to deny collusion with the BBS he must do so to the public. He must clarify and reveal what really happened during Aluthgama. He must name names. He has the support of the Sinhala Buddhist community but he must have the foresight to embrace all and alienate none. That is why the BBS needs to be out. It may be a short-term plus-factor but in the long run it won’t help. This he must realise. At once.

*Uditha Devapriya is a freelance writer who can be reached at udakdev1@gmail.com. His articles can be accessed at fragmenteyes.blogspot.com.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    6

    What the hell are you saying, man? Rajapaksa needs to “out” the BBS? Is this your advice to help Rajapaksa win again? He didn’t lift a finger when he had the power to do something. What the hell is he going to do now?

    You just want him to spill the beans? What is your argument that he will or should do that? The point of the article is a puzzle to me.

  • 36
    3

    Mahinda is always a liar, racist and opportunistic. He won’t listen to your advice. His denial is nothing new. He undoubtedly believe that Sinhala Buddhists can be easily cheated because he thinks they are fools and they will believe whatever said with Buddhist Monks. Who is he? He was an SLFP to outside world but in real he was a terrorist backing JVP. You all know he played a game as human rights activist and he had good friendship with Lasantha and Tissanayagam journalists. He went to UN asking for International investigation against Sinhala forces who fought against JVP terrorists. When he captured power what he did to his friends? What happened to them? One was assasinated and one was sentenced for life? You don’t need to tell who assasinated Lasantha! Don’t Blame BBS!. BBS was created by Mahinda in order to establish a family Kingdom? Mahinda is not a good person at all.That is the fact!

    • 5
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      Ajith, You are absolutely right. Mahinda Rajapaksa is an unintelligent person with a big ego, a pompous buffoon. He cannot be reformed. He is a liar and a cheat. He has always been that and always will be. That is his personality. All the ills of the past government are due solely to him; the frivolous development projects, murder, corruption, the whole lot. Those blamed, such as Ranawaka, JHU, even Gotabhaya, Weerawansa, et al are not true. Every action was inspired by Mahinda Rajapaksa. He can never be humble. This writer tries to make out that Rajapaksa was ill advised. Not so. All the advice was given by him and no one else.

  • 4
    3

    Uditha, One does not have to rely on research to conclude that 80- 90% of the Sinhala Buddhists are racists who are brain washed to think that Sri Lanka belongs only to them and that all “minorities” whether racial or religious are “invaders” and have no place in Lanka and are second class citizens who must be repatriated to India. This is how history is taught from kindergarten that has set this tragic mindset.

    Mahinda knew how to play to this mentality and gain the maximum political advantage to remain in power to plunder the country and hand it over to Namal to continue their feasting. Mahinda must have enjoyed every act of BBS whether it was the Beruwela case or thugs dressed in yellow robe (ie BBS for you) going and evicting people elsewhere. He was the all powerful President then and his brother weilding even more power, might and weapons! All what you’ve shown in this article is your political immaturity- grow up Sir- MJA

    • 2
      2

      “Racists who are brainwashed to think that Sri Lanka belongs only to them”. This is interesting. I believe you might be willing to wager that no other community has its share of brainwashed racists who consider the Other as invaders or in other ways imagined antagonists who must be “cleansed off”. And I don’t suppose you need research to conclude this either. A sign of maturity? Hardly.

  • 7
    0

    Uditha – You’re being extremely ‘charitable’ towards MR. The fact is that he is a pathological liar – and the genetic imperative is strongly embedded in his immediate family for all to see, as well. I saw him on TV telling a crowd of ‘supporters’, “I am not a ‘hora’, I have never stolen anything in my life. My family members are not ‘horas’..”.

    I guess when one is such a liar, one gets used to believing one’s own lies!

    However strongly this trait maybe embedded in the Rajapakse psyche, one wonders about his ardent supporters (Dinesh G, Vasudeva, Wimala W, Dayasiri, Dayan J, Mahindapala, etc) and whether they are stupid enough to believe him. If they are not quite so stupid, they must obviously have their own selfish agendas going for them.

    A great example of “The emperor has no clothes”!!

    (“The Emperor Wears No Clothes” or “The Emperor Has No Clothes” is often used in political and social contexts for any obvious truth denied by the majority despite the evidence of their eyes, especially when proclaimed by the government.)

  • 9
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    Mahinda is [Edited out]. You saw [Edited out]. Reach that his right hand man was Mangala and another was Sripathi. What happened them with MR is known to all. Another person who helped blocking Tamil votes using LTTE was TIRAN Alles. Though TIRAN is shameless dealer licking his back again what happened him earlier by MR was very well known to the public. MR before his election to Presidecy promised to appoint Anura B as the PM which he never kept. MR, GR and clan created nurtured BBS and allowed them to produce endless problems to ethnic and religious minorities for which he had to pay a price – lose the Presidency prematurely. Now he is trying to discard the BBS thugs. But match over sir you are a spent force. Tell at least your bankrupt followers like WIHILU, Gembapila, Dallas et al to end this game for they cannot sell this bankrupt communal racist policies any more.

    LOOK AT MAITHRI, HE IS AREADY SERVING THE COUNTRY LIKE A STATESMAN.

  • 14
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    We all know how much truth is spoken by politicians, especially by RaJapakse family led by Mahinda. Everyday, new revelations are being detected of the various frauds, misuse etc committed by these people where MR says the whole family is innocent With no frauds whatsoever. We are aware what happened in 2004 with Sunami donations received from abroad.

    The activities of BBS was well known to even small children and the way they behaved in many Public places and if MR denies ignorance of this now he is obviously trying to act to woo The minorities whilst using BBS to work through Got a. The masses canñot be fooled again.

  • 4
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    This is the difference between Brain and Brawn. MR had brawn but no brains and was Dishonest to amass wealth from the public funds. MR thought he could fool the majority Sinhalese Buddhists with Patriotism and covering all crime and fraud of his partners would enable him to remain in power eternally. He fooled the masses after he had a truck with the LTTE and VP to get him elected as President. Then he was allowed to betray VP by the very powers that helped him. (US and India among other countries) After killing VP and his Tamil supporters, MR arrogated power to himself with the help of a servile Judiciary. Then he became very arrogant and resorted to absolute impunity.

    Ranil on the other hand, had the brains, honesty and the commitment. He had to contend with the type of Dayasiri Jayasekara, Jhonston Fernando, Tissa Attanayake, Sajith Premadasa and crowd to win. Realising the type of undependable characters he had to rely on, he yet had the patience and the strategy to oust MR, that nobody thought he could. It is sad that people on whom he reposes trust can not keep up to the expectations. So RW cannot be blamed although many of his critics try to heap blame on him, trying to project as if he is corrupt. Time will tell once the Corrupt are weaned from Politics in this country and he ushers a new Political culture where the whole Nation will benefit not just the UNP.

    • 2
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      Gamini – Too bad that Ranil made a bad choice with Mahendran / CB, and then compounded it by appointing his own ‘Commission’, leaving a bad taste and room for critical judgements that are hard to defend. He must be aware that he is making Maithri’s task even more difficult with this sort of behavior!

      Time for him to take a leaf out of Maithri’s book and learn a little humility.

  • 2
    0

    Mahinda has started admitting mistakes one by one.he is trying to show remorse but does it in a very jovial/casual manner. in truth there is no genuine remorse. it is only an act to show fake humility. he states mistakes will not be repeated. you can not trust the man. it is all an act and please do not fall for it, my dear fellow citizens.

  • 0
    0

    Now we have so many touting racial harmony, including the PA and UNP. And even the very BBS. On the day of Aluthgama riots, only the Catholic Church was magnanimous enough to release a statement requesting the communities to be in harmony. The Chief Prelate of Asgiriya Chapter did release a statement but it was requesting the government to stop the following week’s night races scheduled in Kandy. Such was the callousness shown by all and except for a few genuine friends. Why? Everybody found BBS to be a convenient pole to keep the other religions at bay. This included the MR government. They thought the division will keep any of the communities gaining upper hand. Now we cannot pass the buck to anyone. The BBS was a master brain by Norway and Indian RAW. Others thought it was an excellent scapegoat. This is just as like the ISIS is fully funded by Israelis.

  • 0
    0

    Well, denial is part of the political culture of the world. The Turkish government is denying the Armenian massacre or genocide of the Ottoman Empire even after 100 years. Germany accepted finally and apologized for Hitler’s Jewish holocaust. And then Lankans will do the same, one day or the other if they are interested in real reconciliation.
    Mahinda is a good example for a very bad political human and there is no surprise of him denying everything !

  • 1
    0

    We so proudly hail Mahinda Rajapaksa for distancing himself from the BBS. It has made a huge difference and completely changed the way people looked at it before. There is no question as to why he didn’t do it before. What matters now is his statement, claiming that he had no involvement with the BBS. People who were drawn to BBS have realized their mistake. Therefore, BBS will never be able to incite people again. People very well understand the pressure Mahinda Rajapaksa was in, when he was in power. He doesn’t need to listen to advisers anymore. He will only listen to his own heart and mind. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a true legend who touched us all with his genuineness and sincerity.

    I don’t understand this brouhaha over a flag. Surely it has been brought to discredit the real motive of the protesters. It was a flag depicting a symbol of a gold coloured lion holding a sword on a yellow and crimson background. One can argue that it has some similarities to the national flag. It doesn’t matter as it is their freedom of expression. Is it illegal to carry a flag with a symbol of a lion? I don’t think so. In order to clear the matter once and for all, this flag can be recognized as the ‘lion flag’ so that everybody can distinctly separate it from the ‘national flag’. The controversy ends there.

    When we look at the ‘lion flag’, who do we remember, we remember Mahinda Rajapaksa. Same as the ‘lion flag’, Mahinda Rajapaksa plays a significant role in the political history of Sri Lanka. Same as a ‘lion’, Mahinda Rajapaksa is dignified, powerful and strong. Thanks to his bravery, the most brutal terrorist organization in the world was defeated. Mahinda Rajapaksa is the lion in the ‘lion flag’. Is it illegal to hold ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa’ in your hand or carry ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa with you? Of course, not.

    • 1
      0

      Champa,

      It is certainly not illegal the Lion MR to be entertained in your hand or carry him up on yourself. Not only Shiranthi has but Pavithra W. and so many others have. Just take your turn and decant him. We have no objection whatsoever.

      • 0
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        To Gamini

        I am honoured, man! Thank you.

  • 1
    0

    Uditha,
    You say “We can think Rajapaksa is suffering from selective myopia, ……”?. Now, what on earth is “selective myopia”. I’ve heard of selective amnesia but not of selective myopia, before. Is that a uniquely Rajapakse condition?

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