19 October, 2018

Blog

Military, Ex-Military, & Current Politics In Sri Lanka

By Jayadeva Uyangoda

Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda

The relationship between Sri Lanka’s military and politics is a topic that gets occasional media attention. However, there is hardly any serious scholarly work on the subject, despite the fact that maintaining a framework of balance in civil-military relations during and after the civil has surely been a major policy preoccupation among the country’s civilian political leaders. This essay attempts to map out some key features of the recent dynamics in Sri Lanka’s civil-military relations.

As this essay will later suggests, the theme of civil-military relations also provide a new prism through which to view Sri Lanka’s contemporary politics in a manner which is substantially different from what we usually read in the media.

Viyath Maga

The topic of military’s role, or its absence, in Sri Lanka’s current politics has surfaced in a peculiar context. The emergence of a new political grouping called Viyath Maga, partly led by some very senior retired officers of the armed forces, to back the candidacy of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former defense secretary, to be Sri Lanka’s next president has aroused a great deal of interest and controversy. Rajapaksa himself is an ex-military officer. This group of officers was also in the forefront in the last phase of the war that crushed the LTTE’s insurgency and therefore has built a reputation of themselves as ‘war heroes.’ They appear to think that because of their specific contribution to the defeat of the secessionist agency and the restoration of the islands ‘sovereignty’, they have secured a special role to play in charting the country future political trajectories as well. 

This feeling has been heightened by the insistence by the UN and powerful global states that Sri Lanka’s post-war peace building efforts should have a strong component of transitional justice and war-crime investigations. In this context, it is quite obvious that both political and military leaders who led the successful counter-insurgent war against the LTTE have organized themselves as a lobby to protect their own interests as individuals as well as corporate entities. Sarath Weerasekera, the ex-Navy commander, who became an MP at the parliamentary election of 2015, is playing the leading role in this effort.

However, what is new in the Viyath Maga campaign, of which Weerasekera is the main spokesperson, is that it has now launched a political campaign of retired military personnel. It is similar to a social movement, with an agenda to intervene in Sri Lanka’s forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. This is the main aspect of the issue that invites the interest of the political analyst.

Caution

A cautionary word is needed at the beginning, though. Sri Lanka’s armed forces and the judiciary are two public institutions that figure in very frequently in Sri Lanka’s media about their institutional role in changing social and political landscape in the country. Other than mere reporting, the media does not seem to go deeply to analyze important themes such reporting highlights. 

One major reason is perhaps the fear of unwelcome consequences of such analysis, which would be construed by the heads of those institutions as threats to their institutional autonomy. While one institution, the judiciary, is protected by some archaic practices arising from a the belief that it is placed above critical public scrutiny almost as an institutional birth right, the other, the armed forces, operate on the assumption that any public scrutiny of its actions would amount to interfering with its functions of safeguarding national security. Thus, in this essay, I will be exercising a great deal of caution in my formulations and propositions, despite the fact that I am a political analyst by training and vocation.

New in Viyath Maga

What is it that the Viyath Maga movement has to command the attention of a political analyst? The main reason is that it constitutes an entirely new phenomenon in Sri Lankan politics that has the potential to re-shape the civil-military relations that Sri Lanka’s democracy has maintained throughout the post-independence period. It is also a development that also has the capacity to alter the balance Sri Lanka’ state structure, by changing the composition as well as the role of conventional democratic institutions of governance such as the cabinet, parliament and the judiciary.  

In my view, leaders of all civilian political parties, from the UNP, SLFP and SLPP downwards, should draw their attention to this new development too, while fighting their intense and internecine electoral battles. 

Background

Since independence, Sri Lanka’s has had a remarkable record of maintaining its institutional structure of parliamentary democracy, despite severe setbacks in managing ethnic relations, social conflict, and the welfare state. The development of a strong multi-party system, with two dominant parties, and the presence of a vibrant civil society, a widespread Left movement, an active trade union movement and a politically alert citizenry with a very high degree of electoral participation have been its key causes as well as features.  The British tradition of strong civilian control of the military has also been a feature of Sri Lanka’s post-independence democracy. 

This is also where Sri Lanka and India radically differed from Pakistan and later Bangladesh. In both countries, within ten years of independence, the civilian governments were overthrown by politically ambitious groups of military officers, amidst the failure of civilian political leadership to consolidate and institutionalize democratic governance. 

Meanwhile, the two failed military coup attempts in 1962 and 1966 probably inaugurated a new thinking, even a consensus, among Sri Lanka’s civilian political leaders, both in and out of power, over one important point about managing the post-coup state in Sri Lanka. It is about how to keep the armed forces and the defense ministry under very strict civilian control. How they did do it so successfully is a theme that requires a separate essay and also a fresh research programme. Suffice it to say that this bi-party consensus between the UNP and the SLFP on managing civil-military relations is a truly remarkable dimension of the survival of Sri Lanka’s democracy, even during the four-decade long period of two civil wars, starting with 1971. This is also a theme that has not received adequate attention or appreciation in Sri Lanka’s political science literature.

Post-2009 Shift

Meanwhile, a unique change began to occur in the nature of civil-military relations, not during the civil war, during which the military has expanded enormously in strength, but after the war when the national-security burden of the military became less salient. 

This somewhat unusual phenomenon was marked by the emergence of the ministry of defence as a very powerful player in Sri Lanka’s post-war politics.  The defence ministry continued to remain under the civilian President Mahinda Rajapaksa. However, its de facto head was Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary, who happened to be the civilian president’s younger brother. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had of course become a civilian by that time, but his military credentials and military mindset made him more a military leader than a civil bureaucrat. 

To state a long story in brief, what appeared during the years 2009-2014 was setting in motion a new political role for the defence establishment with a decisive role to play in Sri Lanka public policy, crucially in such areas as defence, law and order, judiciary, foreign relations and diplomacy, education, urban development, cultural affairs, human rights and peace building. 

It is the regime change of January 2015 that halted the consolidation of this unusual tendency in politics and governance in Sri Lanka’s post-war politics. Amidst all its dismal political failures, the yahapalanaya government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremasinghe should be given due credit, at least belatedly, for arresting this tendency with tact and care as a part of their overall project of restoring democratic governance in post-war Sri Lanka. This is also a theme that warrants a research paper of substantive length. 

Fonseka Phenomenon

Meanwhile, Sarath Fonseka, the military commander who led the successful ground war against the LTTE, constitutes another phenomenon that warrants analysis in relation to civil-military relations in Sri Lanka’s post-war politics. 

Even when he was leading the war under the political and institutional supervision of the two Rajapaksa brothers, there were sigs, particularly in 2008 and 2009, that the latter were cautious of the personal ambitions of Fonseka. By this time, Fonseka had acquired an enormous authority through the army’s role in the battlefield. There was even a joke among diplomats and journalists in Colombo that the three most powerful men in the country at the time were Sarath Fonseka, Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa, in that order. The fact that soon after the war ended, the Rajapaksa brothers took the unprecedented and surprising decision to swiftly remove Fonseka from his powerful military leadership position and then to ‘disarm’ him by giving him a dubious promotion, tells us, in retrospect, that that decision probably had important political grounds of course mired in, or presented as, personal rivalries. 

The Fonseka saga did not end there. It has had two very significant sub plots. The first is Fonseka’s decision to challenge President Rajapaksa at the presidential election of 2009. In that highly dramatic election campaign, what became highlighted were the personal rivalries and animosities between Fonseka and the Rajapaksa brothers. Fonseka’s candidacy received very strong backing of the UNP, the main opposition party and the opposition. He was the joint opposition challenger to the formidable incumbent President, Mahinda Rajapaksa. 

Towards the end of this highly acrimonious election campaign, there were signs, noted by only a very few journalists and observers at the time, that the UNP leader’s enthusiasm for ensuring Fonseka’s electoral victory was waning. And during the last two weeks of the election campaign, Rajapaksa campaign’s attack on Fonseka focused primarily on one point, the danger of a military government emerging in Sri Lanka under Fonseka’s leadership. There were also rumours in Colombo that the Ranil Wickremasinghe camp was feeling uneasy about the key role that Fonseka had assigned to a circle of ex-military officers, personally loyal to him, to organize not only the final phase of the election campaign, but also the task of making plans for the taking over of power after the election victory and even organizing the new government. The latter task Fonseka seemed to have initiated on his own, without consulting the UNP leadership.

These were of course rumours. They nevertheless point to the possibility that there probably was a last minute understanding between Mahinda Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremasinghe that the winner of the crucial presidential election of 2009 should be a longstanding civilian political leader. This is of course a hypothesis the testing of which requires qualitative interviews with Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sarath Fonseka. 

How have President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe been managing the Sarath Fonseka phenomenon? When we look at from the perspective of civil-military relations, an extremely interesting narrative can be constructed. The President and the Prime Minister seem to continue to honour the old consensus among Sri Lanka’s civilian political leaders that politically ambitious ex-military officers should be kept under strict civilian control. Giving Sarath Fonseka the promotion to the rank of Field Marshal and then assigning to him some insignificant ministerial positions cannot but be elements of some shrewd political thinking on the part of both President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremasinghe. 

What Next

This is the backdrop against which Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s current presidential ambitions are being promoted by an organized group of ex-senior military leaders who themselves have unconcealed political ambitions. It would be most interesting for political analysts to watch how President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa – the three senior most civilian political leaders who also lead Sri Lanka’s three leading civilian political parties  – will handle this emerging situation.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 17
    1

    Prof. Uyangoda

    The civil-military relations befitting a democratic state that existed since independence was threatened, not surprisingly, during the civil war. But, as you say, the bi-partisan consensus on managing civil-military relations saved the day. But a decisive change started unfolding after 2010 re-election of Mahinda’s regime. Having enjoyed unprecedented power during the final years of the war, senior military officials led by Gota were not too happy to simply head back to the barracks. They were enamoured by the Pakistani and Myanmar models of military-controlled politics and thought of launching something similar in Sri Lanka. The purported threat of LTTE’s return and therefore the need to keep their dominance over civilian administration in the north was used by the senior leaders of the armed forces and Gota to retain their high profile in the political life of the country. With the help of military intelligence, they set in motion the necessary steps to create a deep state. Though the totally unexpected defeat in the 2015 election halted this insidious development, it was not completely stamped out thanks to Yahapalanaya’s disarray and lack of direction. Now smelling blood, Gota and the politically ambitious ex-senior military officers are back in action and, are activating the deep state. As you correctly point out there’s a growing nexus between military, judiciary and, I would add, the bureaucracy. The ideological justification and the agenda for such an intervention/take over by the military is of course being provided by the rising tide of Sinhala-Buddhist fascism led by the increasingly belligerent monks.

    • 7
      0

      The military and its role enlarged with every major event of civil unrest since 1971.
      One should not ignore the Military-Police bid to seize power on behalf of the pro-West elite in 1961, which led to some changes in the Army.
      *
      Once it is clear that the government relies heavily on the armed forces for survival, the armed forces become increasingly demanding, and it takes a government with great mass support to keep the armed forces under control. The armed forces are not a social group by themselves, but get consolidated into a force with a ‘mission’ when they scent blood.
      The state had a working class to confront until the trade unions were subdued by the UNP regime in 1980. Aster the national question was transformed into war (instead of finding a negotiated settlement), there was no turning back.
      The armed forces will not make an explicit bid for power as long as they have what they want without risking public ire. The day the government cannot simply survive against civil unrest without the backing of the armed forces, people in the armed forces will get ideas.
      *
      The prospect of a fascist alliance of the military and Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinists seizing power has been suggested more than once by left analysts , but not in the mainstream media.
      The weakening of parliamentary democracy and political instability amid communal tension is a likely scene.
      Who will dare to analyze such matters in the mainstream media, without risking his/her own existence?

      • 5
        0

        SJ,
        “The prospect of a fascist alliance of the military and Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinists seizing power has been suggested more than once by left analysts , but not in the mainstream media.”
        Many editors and media owners ARE chauvinists and fascists themselves. Even the English media suffer from this disease. Forums like CT are available, but the public are glued to Sirasa /Derana etc.

      • 2
        0

        “Who will dare to analyse such matters in the mainstream media, without risking his /her existence?”
        Three observations relevant with respect to this issue can be considered.
        The first is the role of an independent media and second the the readiness of an independent judiciary and third the availability of vigilant social media un hampered with the dead weight of racial or. religious differences can combine together to avert avert the danger of any militaristic adventurism.
        The catalyst for all that that is the current public disillusionment prevailing in the country and the government’s in action over the striking doctors,raising prices,mounting uncollected rubbish at streetjunctions,pollution, spreading lawlessness etc. etc.

  • 6
    6

    Interest free loans from China coming to Sri Lanka as a last effort Chinese colonization effort soon!? With conditions to allow mass Chinese migrants to Sri Lanka!?

    • 2
      0

      With the Chinese Communist Party tieing up with SLPP (as reported in web news) it is obvious no more financing of elections by local politicians rise and will be much better organized than through Chinese Government Companies as during the previous occasion.

  • 5
    2

    Mr. Uyangoda, there is absolutely no reason to ASSUME that M.R., who ended the “war’, M.S., a blatantly dishonest and ineffective individual on whom the nation in its desperation chose over the former, and R.W., an equally distrustful “leader” whose only ambition is to trust the various temples located in India, Thailand, etc to keep his place to be the men who will have to handle this “emerging situation”. A situation will arise when an altogether NEW leader, a man or woman will come forward. Look to the CIVIL SOCIETY. This nation of 25 million has definitely a new, fresh, incorruptible, visionary leader who will take REALISTIC steps towards addressing the problems we face.

    • 0
      0

      K.S.
      R.W., an equally distrustful “leader” whose only ambition is to trust the various temples located in India,

      Malayalee Sabrimalaiyaan and Telgu Thirupathiyan are now boring subjects………Bollywood goddesses…….

      https://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/x6rgekz

      How do you become a Prime Minster man?

  • 3
    1

    excellent analysis so what is our future civil or military?

  • 6
    12

    Dr Nalaka Godahewa who is the chief spokesperson of the “Viyath Maga” is a Class Act..
    He is a Sophisticated, Educated, Well Mannered and an exceptional Orator who delivers his speeches which are all based on Facts and Figures.
    And points out the Damage which Dr Ranil and My3 Sira have done already to this beloved Nation of ours.
    And is still going on unabated with FTAs to stuff up what ever opportunities the Inhabitants are left with in Business, Jobs or owning Real Estate .
    And trying to change he Constitution behind Closed Doors in Temple Trees..
    Unlike the Pieces of Shit we have to endure from all three major Political Parties, the People who lead the Viyath Maga are like a Breath of Fresh Air.
    These Political Analysts are the same lot who barracked for Field Marshall Ponny all the way up to now.
    Although I am not sure whether they still are, after Ponny’s ” Police” was caught by the STF with his Sachet of “Crack” in Paliyagoda.
    We all who can read and write know how Dr Ranil and his Cohorts treated the Armed forces when those brave Soldiers were sacrificing their Lives like Lambs to the Slaughter House…
    All because of the pathetic Civil Control of the Armed Forces under the Ex President Mrs Kumartunga and the Ex Prime Minister Dr Ranil Wickremasinghe..
    Dr Ranil and his buddies then didn’t think Field Marshall Ponny was even good enough to be the Commander of the Salvos.
    But then Ponny would do anything for a Green Back …

    • 6
      0

      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      Do you know as to what had happened to Dr Nalaka Godahewa’s Market Development Road Map 2012? Was it also another of your pie in the sky like Mahinda Chintana? Less benefit for the poor inhabitants and loads of benefit for the crooks and clan.

      • 1
        1

        Dear Native,
        Nothing can be worse than getting Singapore Chinese to do Leadng Tech Jobs,
        And Hindians to take over every thing from Medical Jobs to Office Cleaning Jobs.
        And house them in the Port City in Luxury Condos owned by their Rich Singaporean and Hindian Investors.
        And create satellite towns of Sinhala Buddhist Slum dwellers like the Black Africans in Sweto …
        I will be Okay with my Pad which I was able to buy thanks to the Slump in the Housing Market during Nanthikadal..
        So is you mate Galleon Ravi, although he got it during the current Yahapalana Boom, thanks to Aloysious Family Trust.
        Do you have anything mate?.
        Or are you planning to buy something next to Jaffna Fort?..

        • 2
          0

          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          You are at it again. Full of Bull.
          You still need to deal with my “profound” question, “Do you know as to what had happened to Dr Nalaka Godahewa’s Market Development Road Map 2012? Was it also another of your pie in the sky like Mahinda Chintana? “

          “Or are you planning to buy something next to Jaffna Fort?..”

          The Army’s so called commander Lieutenant General N.U.M. Mahesh W. Senanayke, RWP, RSP, VSV, USP, psc recently told the media in Jaffna that “when you say fortress it simply means, the fortress belongs to Military”.

          There were/are several old forts in this island, for example:

          Colombo fort
          Vijithapura
          Sigiriya
          Mapagala fortress
          Balana for
          Sitawaka fort
          Arandora fort
          Arippu fort
          Delft Island for
          Elephant Pass fort
          Haldummulla fort
          Fort Hammenheil
          Kalutara fort
          Kayts Island fort
          Mannar fort
          Matara fort
          Pooneryn fort
          Negombo fort
          Ruwanwella fort
          Hanwella fort
          Fort Hammenheil
          Ratnapura Portuguese/Dutch Fort
          Galle Fort
          Fort Fredrick
          Jaffna Fort
          Batticaloa Fort
          Matara Fort
          Star Fort
          Fort Macdowall
          Kalpitiya Fort
          Negombo Fort
          Mannar Fort
          Martello Tower of Hambantota
          ………….
          …….
          …..
          Tangalle fort
          Point Pedro fort
          Fort Beschutter

          Could you tell us how many of the above fortresses belong to Military and all being occupied by them.

          We know you are unable to articulate a point rationally nor are you able answer a question.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Native,
            I am only interested in who own them now.
            Thanks to the Srilankan Army, I still can walk on Ramparts and have a dip in the Sea next to the Light House in Galle, which was my old Home Turf.
            An that is all..
            The rest t have been taken over by English, German, Dutch and Scandinavians.
            except the little Line Houses which belong to Muslims.
            And the Foreigners bought them dirt cheap for Ruppiahs, and now sell them in Pommy Pounds,Deutsch Marks and Kroners..
            I don’t think anyone in our majority clan can afford them, except Aloysious and his mates.
            Both sides of Jaffna Fort are pretty cool.
            If I were you, I would be rushing to grab a piece on a Low Doc Loan if possible..
            If you wait it will be too late.
            But then your mate Wigneswaran will have total control of that Land there sooner than what I thought..

  • 10
    3

    Sarath Fonseka saga in 2010 ended in defeat due to sustained fear caused by his conduct at the last leg of the election campaign. His attitude completely changed. He started issuing threats openly. It is believed that it was the UNP hierarchy who defeated him for obvious reasons.
    The same story goes with Gotabhaya. Their is no guarantee that his attitude will not change once he tastes the power. Though I don’t believe “white van bedtime stories”, some people’s fear is reasonable.
    Both Sarath Fonseka and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are tough, opportunistic people. People are not used to their toughness. We have seen an opportunistic stern politician like JRJ. We have seen a strong statesman like Mahinda Rajapaksa. They both are civilian politicians. There is a difference between being tough and being strong. There is a difference between a civilian and a military man. A tough military man as the next President? I don’t think it is a good combination.
    We need a man who could teach people how to rewire their brains with compassion, empathy and kindness. Deepak Chopra has said something about it but now I don’t remember, which is good. Google has made me stupid by depleting my creativity.

    • 3
      3

      You call Rajakashe as Stateman ?
      How come. He is the most abusive president we have had since Independence.
      Sure he was the one to have been appointed to lead the nation in 2005. But amidst all wrong doings he got elected. Sarath N silva lately added had he given the proper verdict, ballige putha would have been jailed. Even Sarath N Silva sought for an appology from the very same people who appointed ballige putha Rajapkashe int o office.
      I believe, to that time, consdieing the down fall the LTTE experienced, even any leader could win it. It was not MR s magical powers but the collectivity succeeded the vitory against terroists.

      If anyone assumed bugger MR was talented, why all ended up in that deep ?
      Rajapakshe was a rascal and he knew nothing, even got caught by the trap made by chinese to the very same manner they played it with Angola, Belarus and the like minded states, thought got developed roads, but facing all kind of economic problems today.
      Experts make it very clear, we could be blessed with lower interest loans from Japan, but Ballige putha et al and his lack of knowledge did not even think of it.. got filled his pockets as nothign could stand against. He made this nation long term debtors.
      Alone that one can agree to behead the men in previous regime.
      All gods should work on the bugger being punished by nature !

      • 2
        0

        desperate ASinhalaya
        Really? If Mahinda got caught by the trap made by Chinese, how do you explain Ranil, Maithree and their gang going down the same path?
        When Mahinda does something he is a rascal, when Ranil did the same thing even going beyond what Mahinda did, isn’t he a rascal?
        Your selective memory is a pain. If you have forgotten, this government didn’t get a single loan from any country until last year as no country placed trust in Sri Lanka to pay back the loans.
        Japan and India offered loans only after Ranil sold Magamapura port to China because it gave the confidence to other countries that if Sri Lanka can’t pay back loans, they can always acquire a port, an airport or lands in lieu of loans.
        Mahinda is coming back to power. Nobody can stop that.
        What I gather from commenters and writers here is, it is not their political view what they hold against Mahinda but their malice against him. They can’t stand his popularity, charisma and ingenuity. They can’t stand his leadership. Sometimes I am fed up, bored, hurt, and heart broken for various reasons. But I don’t want to leave and mind my business because I want to see Mahinda in power again. I am staying to make sure that he gets what he deserves. This country belongs to Mahinda not to Maithree or Ranil who brought misfortune. When I read comments like yours I get more strength and determination to reach our goal.
        From February 2015 to November 2019 is a very long time. But it is ok. Mahinda, Wimal and others in the JO fully deserved to be rewarded for the sacrifices they made for the country. 2/3 of our journey is over. There is only very little to go. People have an unbreakable bond with them. I myself too.

    • 1
      0

      Champawati,
      Deepak Chopra has said something about it but now I don’t remember, which is good.

      The problem is you have done too much of rewiring listing to Deepak; Don’t do it, FBI may want to know your living address.
      Further Wigge going to looks like Wimal and Wimal going to looks like Wigge. You may end in the court.

      • 0
        0

        Mallaiyuran
        Oh, thank you for the advice but I am not a follower of Deepak Chopra. I am an avid reader. When I wrote the word “rewire” I remembered something I read.

    • 1
      1

      Champa ………………………. Practitioner ………………profession

      “Though I don’t believe “white van bedtime stories”, some people’s fear is reasonable.”

      Do you believe Beast raping a Beauty in Sinhapura producing Sinhala Race?

      “Both Sarath Fonseka and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa are tough, opportunistic people.”

      Does it mean both should work together to commit war crimes?

      By the way Deepak Chopra also said
      “Walk with those seeking truth… Run from those who think they’ve found it.”

      I am puzzled how a habitual liar, ignorant, …..bigot, a racist could randomly quote Deepak Chopra off hand.

  • 8
    2

    excellent article by Prof. Uyangoda.
    Mr has to really do serious thinking as to whether he is going to plunge this country into real disaster by virtually by handing over the country to military thugs or restore atleast some form of democracy under civilian rule. Though Gr is his brother he has never shown any inclincation to respect civilian rule or nationatist policies. He has never worn the ‘family garb’ and he has never be seen even in national dress. Though these are only symbolic it reflects the inclination to respect some form of tradition. Even Basil says he will be virtually runnibg the country if GR wins, GR has never shown any inclination to give importance to MR or BR.

    MR has a real duty to safeguard the country and help to continue civilian tradition at this juncture. It is in the best interest of the SLPP, SLFP and UNP to come to gether at what ever cost to avert a disaster of this country falling in to the hands of military rule. This chap sarath weedasekara is already showing his thuggery,

    MR has a duty to this country and for democracy to avert this crisis. Though BR is currupt, he is an excellent administrator the best we have now. Even Dinesh will be a good option compared to GR. Charmal of course has his son hiding behind him who will be a challenge to Namal in the future.

    • 4
      0

      Bandara
      “…It is in the best interest of the SLPP, SLFP and UNP to come to gether at what ever cost to avert a disaster of this country falling in to the hands of military rule.” Together? Ha ha ha, if they do that they all will end up in political dustbin as people will never tolerate any deal between the three. What will happen is people will go for an independent candidate.
      In your own words, how could a corrupt excels in administration? Excellent administrators can’t be corrupt and corrupt administrators can’t be excellent.
      Dinesh of course is a good option.

      • 1
        0

        Chump,
        ” Excellent administrators can’t be corrupt and corrupt administrators can’t be excellent.”
        Your BF Wimal is excellent according to you but proved corrupt. And impotent too. Explain please.

        • 0
          0

          PUK Jayantha
          When you want to reply to my comment, first read the reference I have made. My reference is to something Bandara said. So read Bandara’s comment first. Then you will see there is no need for me to explain.

  • 14
    0

    Sri Lanka has become a Jungle where the Politicians, the military, and the rich businessmen are squeezing the common man harder and harder by the day.
    .
    The common man is made to pay for the excesses of all the so called leaders. Things are getting worst for the ordinary citizen.
    .
    Meanwhile Citizens are divided along religious, ethnic, political, cast, economic and all manner of petty lines. They don’t see the bigger picture, everyone just wants to be better than the next person amidst this carnage. That is the extent of our reasoning.
    .
    Essentially everyone has descended from the human realm to a one that is less than the animal realm. Animals have limits, sadly the same cannot be said about the Sri Lankan predators at the top, they have no limits. Their greed and wickedness knows no bounds.
    .
    The essense of Buddhism has been compromised by our own Buddhist monks who are businessmen, politicians, radical extremist, murderers, sex offenders and all. All our attitudes have been twisted to conform to this jungle system by which we are living.
    .
    At the end of the day we have ourselves to blame, the elite have taken us for a ride and we have happily taken that ride and blindly enjoyed it too.
    .
    Unless we are ready to stand up and change our pathetic positions collectively we should just shut up and continue on this descent to hell.
    .
    Lasith

  • 2
    0

    1
    It is Charlie Austin who lifted Sanga up. Charlie Austin waswith Circinfo (ESPN) journalist. He sensed money in Sri Lanka. Came and lived here, found a woman too. He became ‘Manager’ to many high profile players including Murali and Sanga. Charlie Austin with his British accent constantly spoke to Lankan companies and secured advertisments. He made millions if not billions for Sanga, Austin also profitted. So Sanga must thank Charlie Austin profoundly for making him a filthy rich man. ‘Ministry of Crabs’ is Mahela’s brain, which brain is far more superior than Sanga who is more concerned about cosmetict things like publicity.

    Rather than promoting Sanga who is a Kalu Sudda, let’s promote Mahela as President.

  • 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/

  • 13
    4

    Apart from being a liar MR, brother of GR is a big time crook (hora) who even swindled Tsunami funds. He sold the country to Chinese because he was well paid with bribes. If MR was in France (where I live) people would have hung him in public in Bastille Square. I think in Sri Lanka the similar location is Galle Face

  • 5
    8

    The constitution says Budhism is the primary religion in Sri Lanka. So all we have to do is to give weapons to the monks to guard our mother lanka from terrorism. We dont really a military here

    • 2
      1

      jim softy, the fake
      For your information it was the Maha Sangha who protected the country by providing necessary advice and strength to Sinhalese until Kandyan chieftains betrayed the country in 1815. The betrayal still continues and Maha Sangha also continuously provides the guidance and strength to Sinhalese to protect the country.

      • 0
        0

        For your information, that is exactly what I said

        • 0
          0

          That is good one!

      • 1
        1

        Champa the liar,
        “The betrayal still continues and Maha Sangha also continuously provides the guidance and strength to Sinhalese to protect the country.”
        Yes, and what ggreat guidance!!!! Like killing policemen who want to arrest them. Like using foul language on women. Like raping small boys in temples. The whole sangha is corrupt like the Sinhala Buddhists. No wonder the Sinhalese Buddhists have the highest incidence of murder and rape in the world.

  • 1
    1

    Now in srilanka the main problem is economy management failure of unp government. Unp is still on their mixed janasaviya economic system of Jr or premadasa which is the utterly fail system since the result of this system is the size of srilankan economy is only less than 20 billion usd. Until 2005.mahindas modern slfp took this country in 2005 which is top level capitalist party ever formed is srilanka covertered this srilankan economy in to 80 billion USD top class capitalist highly business oriented liberal economy with in just 10 years. The business community and the upper middle class and middle class love this higly business type capitalist economy of rajapaksas since 2005 .this capitalist group hate the parties like unp or Jvp and their Jr premadasa type janasaviya mixed economic system. Middle class in this country believe that mahindas modern slfp only can make their life style rich that is why the hate JVP or unp .this is the reason unp is loosing places where the middle class and upper middle class hugely live by 50000 majority votes like kaduwela Homagama Maharagama kasbawa mahara gampaha etc.so what ever unp or JVP doing or said they can’t reach this business class votes since business class and middle class stronly believe the high tech liberal economic style of Mahinda and modern slfp only can make rich their life style.in their eye unp is only a small party having less that 25% vote can not have an ability of handling huge liberal economy which was architected by Mahinda.the obvious nature of the world is they are selfish the the all people mechanism and media in this country are very much eager and proud to be the part of richest business capitalist party of srilanka the modern slfp of Mahinda not of the poor parties like JVP or unp.gota is their bighest choice of this business class and middle class.

    • 1
      0

      One my friend he is a Tamil business gentleman talled me recently that he voted for maithree in 2015 election and voted for unp in general election but he didn’t vote for any one in local government election and he talled he can’t do business under this poor economy management of unp if unp government continues he has to beg on roads so all of his 6 family members will definetly vote for gota only for their business economic policy .this is the reality in srilanka.the small group of people who likes unp can write or say any thing even they do not have food.but people are very much keen on economy or their life style may be what ever ethnic there from since all of them are srilankan citizens.this is why they are choosing modern slfp of rajapakse. They can not do any thing with unp since unp does not know what this business liberal economic policy which was architected by modern slfp. Now unp can not do any thing with their Jr ,premadasas janasaviya mixed economic system

  • 5
    0

    COMING COLOUR IS NOT GOOD.IN TIME TO COME SRILANKA WILL BE LIKE BRITISH GUYANA AND FRENCH GUYANA AND WILL BE CALLED NORTH AND EAST AS INDIAN LANKA AND SOUTH AS CHINESE LANAKA -JAWAWEEWA

  • 5
    1

    An excellent, thought provoking analysis by Prof.Uyangoda.It provides food for thought,analysis and very importantly action for the political / democratically elected establishment (whatever that it constitutes right now or in the future)to ensure that the armed forces-the Army in particular- is kept under a tight leash.The essay forcuses in quite some detail on Fonseka.However it does not forcus as much on the militarization of the Sri Lankan state in the period 2010-2015.This perhaps requires another essay.The period saw a dangerous militarization of society where the army cancerouly spread itself into civilian pursuits such as agriculture,hoteliering,restauranting,, providing air services, shipping to brutally suppressing civilian desent such as in Rathupaswela.The forces were even used to daily wash the Beira Lakepavement near Temple Trees , cleaning and maintaining Galle Face , Victoria Park and maintaining the grounds at the Old Race Course where the Rajapaksa boys played rugger.All this was done by Colonel (Retired)Gotabaya Rajapaksa using a civilian position of Defence Secretary with unlimited Political influence and power.This uneducated military man( he failed to pass even the elementary GCE Ordinary Level-at Ananda College ) specializes in only one thing:Brute Force.His intellectuals ability is Zero.So is his civilian oriented abilities.He is the God Father of Sarath Weerasekera & Co.which has immerged as a powerful backer of Gota’s Viyath Maga Campaign.Several key institutions such as the UDA were militarized.Scores of army men poured into following civilian oriented courses such as those conducted by the Colombo University and Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Traing.The Kotelawal Military training place became a fully fledged University having even a medical faculty.Now just imagine what this brute Gota and his Gang would do if he gains control of the leavers of Political Power.Sri lanka will surely immerge as a military state.Once again ,an excellent thought provoking essay by Prof Uyangoda.This type of essays are remarkably absent from our so called Dons in Sri Lankan academia.Hope every body wakes up to the dangers of supporting the Viyath Maga Gang of murderers.

    • 5
      0

      Kautilya,

      What we now see in sum total is the gradual process of the collapse of what we knew as Sri Lankan governance – by law, by order and vide some form of democracy. Sri Lanka is the only country in the SE Asian origin that didn’t fall into military rule – other than India and, in a way Nepal. I am not taking the much smaller Maldives into the equation. 1962 was not a Coup in the accepted sense. It is believed to be masterminded by some benign officers who – either understood or misunderstood – the notorious Leftists in the Cabinet were about to effect a communist take over. Note one of their main aims was to safely despatch Mrs. B to the UK, in the event of the success of their mission, with the children for the latter’s education. 1966 was not even a Coup.

      But what we are courting now – encouraging both India and China into our deep internal affairs – is only for some of our political crooks to make “big” money for them and their families. This is likely to earn for us the status similar to permanently war-torn Afghanistan. In this event we may never get out of the morass without losing our geographical integrity. The people in the North-East, will sooner or later, regain their Tamil Homeland. The quarrelling Sinhalese -divided into Kandyan, Southern, Goigama Vs the Rest would have by then sold the South to the Chinese (a portion of the work has already been done in Hambantota) and the hapless Sinhala masses will be left to scatter to any country that will take them. The internal war of the Sinhalese (Goigama Vs others) that Wijeweera inspired will bifurcate the Sinhala land. The Kandyan Sinhalese, under that scenario, may negotiate with Tamilnadu to recognise them reminding them of their mutual relations in the early 19th century when some of the Kandyan chiefs signed the Kandyan Convention in Tamil.

      Vanangamudi

  • 0
    2

    Stupids are confused of fundamentals.

  • 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/

  • 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/

  • 3
    0

    Thank you Prof Jeyadeva Uyangoda for raising awareness of the need to look at the role of the Armed Services. MS recently announced his intention to give police power to the Armed Services and so the role of Police may be added.
    It is not Rocket Science to conclude that the person/s having the loyalty of the two services controls the country. Eventually the Services takeover.
    Lateral thinking is required.
    .
    Take for example Zimbabwe. Freedom fighters ‘liberated’ Southern Rhodesia. The suit wearing Mugabe wanted the credit. The way he edged out Nkomo indicated what was in store. Mugabe used the craftiness and ruthlessness of Emmerson Mnangagwa to achieve control of the Armed Services and Police. Emmerson patiently waited for his turn till a new Mrs Mugabe exerted authority. Mugabe was pushed over but in return the Mugabes were promised safety.
    There was this recent election at which Zimbabweans expressed themselves. Right now Emmerson is busy cleaning up dissent in the usual way. Mass disappearance will follow.
    .
    Myanmar Armed Services (Burmans Only) have gone the extra step and for all practical purposes ’own’ the country. Egypt does not disguise the ownership. Pakistan’s Armed Services (mono-religion Only ) is able to influence the elections.
    .
    Do we go the same way? Are we in denial?

  • 2
    1

    DS deported Tamils- It didn’t strike to the Sinhala Society, by Bankruptcy, Hangbangtota Port is going to be sold.
    SWRD brought Sinhala Only – It didn’t strike to the Sinhala Society, by Bankruptcy, Hangbangtota Port is going to be sold.
    JR Marched to Kandy – It didn’t strike to the Sinhala Society, by Bankruptcy, Hangbangtota Port is going to be sold
    Sirimavo brought republican Constitution. – It didn’t strike to the Sinhala Society, by Bankruptcy; Hangbangtota Port is going to be sold
    ………………………….
    …………………………
    Formation of Maha Viyath has not incited wondering within the Mind of Sinhala Society what is going to be the long term effect of this. China has 200 years Contract on the Port. China owns the Colombo Pong Cing. China will like Sinhala Society serve for it for the rest of the history. Maha Viyath is saying it will bring the rice even from Moon, an story in every election Modaya Voters have heard. They are fooling the Western World that their economic policy is Market Economy. But they only can bring loan arms from China, nothing else. China threw a BMICH and caught the Hangbangtota Port.

  • 1
    1

    Dear Professor and all participants,
    What is next for Sri Lanka should be known to you as an educated and responsible citizen. It will be just as what was next for Sri Lanka after 1948. What is the difference now from then? Who is responsible for the situation in Sri Lanka today and how was it allowed to come down from a prestigious and envied position in Asia. It is the same political parties with the same insight/ ulterior motive joined hands to safeguard their friends from severe humiliation from war crimes and swindling the Country. There is no individual, or political party, or responsible citizen to take any criminal to task. Instead you know very well the same story allowed to repeat in spite of the situation of the Country. It is therefore strange to find even the responsible author of this article is expecting the same old friends to deviate and do something better. Of course when you listen to the present leaders they are talking of moving the Country towards Singapore. But the reality is not different from the last 70 years. You bet the Country is marching towards and is almost reached Myanmar. The Country’s Executive, Jurisdiction, and Constitution is decided by the religious leaders, and military is coming forward to take care of the rest of the ethnic communities just like in Myanmar!

  • 0
    3

    Why Viyangods is so scared to Military. Because he was in JVP mahanaduwa ?

  • 0
    2

    A similar BS like Sarath De Alwise’s “truth” telling………..The elite UNP connections to attempted military coups can be traced to as far back as 1962. If Ranil was so conscious of civilian-military relations and the need to keep military out of civilian politics, he certainly wouldn’t have brought SF as a candidate in 2010. Why would Ranil conspire with MR against his own candidate SF? Bythe time of 2015, SF was a political non entity. He has been clearly rejected by the electorate. Yet in Ranil’s infinite political wisdom, that that this former JVP stalwart so eloquently tries us to believe in, he brings SF back to political relevance through the back door and elevate him to (paddy) Fiels Marshal with a ministry to boot? What a genius eh?

  • 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/

  • 0
    0

    SLPP should wake up. GR is trying to have a easy run with SLPP front and replace everything with ex military men. This is an end game. We cannot allow a handful of gangsters to ruin the country. Basil is the only hope to keep GR at bay.

  • 1
    0

    Read political history of UNP since 1977? Then you can understanding that WAR turn politics was initiated by JRJ line of Neo-Liberalism aligned with Western political package.
    JRJ -UNP package was included anti-Democrat methods by promoting anti-establishment politics of TULF JVP and later LTTE join this bandwagon. During 17 years rule of UNP has shifted new line of Politics had been replace INSTALLED of BALLOT by politics of BULLIETS .

    That was root cause of politics of war drag in to on 30 odd years, until 2009 May 19th .This is truth of history. By facts of history denied by writer short essay in has been an appear in CT !
    The so-called elites of anarchist -oriented by that Western backing did not got that facts in deeds and misinterpreting modern history of OUR Nation political in that of our soil !
    History reads that by facts of seeking truth of UNP that Male -governances and mismanaging of whole nation values of norms of Democracy by JRJ one party rule democracy has ruin democracy . His politics is carry forwarded by of R-Premapala or Dasa , BD.Wijetuna , CBK of 11 years 1994 to 2005 and Ranil Wickas .. 2001 to 2005 again 2015 January 8th by MS ???

  • 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/

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.