13 December, 2017

Blog

Politics & Development In Sri Lanka

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

It is a pleasure for me to join you here today, to speak on ‘Politics and Development in Sri Lanka’, soon after the official visit just last month to Singapore, by Prime Minister Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe.

As I stand here before you, I am reminded of the famous words of Singapore’s first Prime Minister and much admired leader the world over, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew,

“There was no secret, we had no choice but to take chance and sail into rough waters”.

In the case of Sri Lanka, I am sure you all know very well, our history, and where we stood as a country at the time of Independence in February 1948, in comparison to most other countries that gained Independence in that era.

Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was placed in a unique position among the countries in the developing world at the time. We started practicing universal adult franchise as early as 1931. We were considered a model Commonwealth country, carefully prepared for Independence, with a relatively good standard of education, two universities of high quality, a civil service largely consisting of trained locals, and with experience in representative government.

The different communities in the country showed promise of being able to live and work towards common national goals in peace, harmony and unity. They had worked together to gain independence from the British despite the fact that they followed different faiths, spokes different languages and followed different customs.

However, what followed is something that the world knows only too well. Our nation faltered. We made mistakes which saw our country plunge into torment and conflict for well over three decades.

Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew wrote in his memoires,

“it is sad that the country whose ancient name Serendip has given the English language the word ‘serendipity’ is now the epitome of conflict, pain, sorrow and hopelessness.”

Then came the 19th of May 2009 which saw the end of violence unleashed by terrorism in my country. Sri Lanka was once again free of bombs and gun-fire. By the time the conflict ended, it had taken a toll on everyone in the country. No one was left unscathed. It was not only the conflict in the North and East that the people had endured since Independence. There was the tsunami of December 2004 and two youth insurrections in the South of the country in the 1970s and in the 80s and 90s which left families and individuals scarred emotionally, and their lives sadly altered permanently.

When the violence ceased on the 19th of May 2009, therefore, it was our fervent hope that Sri Lanka could at last resume her long suspended dream for a better, peaceful, united future. However, that was not to be. We failed to seize the opportunity to achieve meaningful reconciliation and consolidate peace.

The past 6 years or so since May 2009 saw Sri Lanka take an unfortunate journey on an autocratic path. Civil liberties were curtailed, independence of institutions including the judiciary was compromised, democracy was weakened, the rule of law was undermined, and good governance practices and human rights were violated with impunity.

We failed to address the causes of conflict in a manner that would guarantee durable peace, meaningful reconciliation and non-recurrence. Divisions in society were becoming deeper along religious and ethnic lines, freedom of speech and expression were curtailed, and fear and intimidation pervaded society.

Our nation which had been a prominent and respected member of the international community since Independence, including in the United Nations, for long years, abandoned her natural foreign policy of engagement, and chose instead, to follow a policy of antagonising traditional friends and partners, and isolated itself from the world community.

It was in this backdrop of a sense of total despair, that several parties in Opposition, which I like to call the ‘Rainbow Coalition’ joined forces. We came together to field a common opposition candidate, Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, at the Presidential election in January 2015, in response to the call by a large section of people in Sri Lanka who were yearning for change.

Despite an election campaign which was deeply flawed and one-sided, the rainbow coalition of the opposition scored a decisive victory on the 8th of January, on a platform promising far reaching democratic and constitutional reforms.

The people of Sri Lanka reasserted their commitment to democracy by dislodging an emerging dictatorship through non-violence. Instead of the stones, pellets and bullets of the Arab Spring, Sri Lanka’s ‘Rainbow Revolution’ succeeded through the power of the ballot.

Over 81% of registered voters from all parts of the country exercised their franchise on the 8th of January, silently, peacefully and decisively, resulting in a swift transfer of power the very next day. The people in the North of the country who previously boycotted Presidential elections, came out in large numbers to participate in this election. They did so, even as a few urged them not to vote. By this act, they indicated their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. They staked their claim in choosing the President of the country; a united country, with one President.

It could therefore be said that this is the first time in our country’s history that we have a truly Sri Lankan leader, who has been elected through the votes of all Sri Lankans, irrespective of race, religion and language. A President who stands for a united New Sri Lanka in which ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued; a leader who would fulfil the aspirations of the people for strong and independent democratic institutions, freedom of expression, rule of law, good governance and the promotion and protection of human rights.

From the very first day since assuming office, President Sirisena’s Government, with Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, has been pursuing an agenda of reform which I am sure you must be familiar with.

Several important steps were taken immediately to,

-ensure freedom of expression and media freedom;

-uphold the rule of law;

-strengthen institutions through legislation – the most important being the 19th amendment to the Constitution which curtailed some of the powers of the Executive Presidency;

-initiate good governance practices;

-strengthen civilian administration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces including replacement of the military Governors in these provinces with senior ex-civil servants; and

-review High-Security Zones and release land to their original owners;

The Right to Information was recognized as a fundamental right through the 19th amendment to the Constitution. The importance of civil society in the process of governance, nation-building and peace-building was recognized through several steps including Sri Lanka’s decision just last month in Mexico, to join the Open Government Partnership, becoming the first country in South Asia to do so.

We have also initiated dialogues with diaspora groups and individuals with a view to working with them and obtaining their ideas, views, and assistance for the reconciliation process that is currently underway in the country including projects that directly relate to the welfare of the people.

On the international stage, Sri Lanka is once again working closely with the United Nations Organisation and its systems and procedures. We liaise closely with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his office and we remain open to working with the OHCHR to obtain technical assistance to address several important issues including justice and accountability related issues.

I am sure that all of you are aware of Sri Lanka’s decision to co-sponsor the Resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ in the UN Human Rights Council which was adopted on the 1st of October. This decision, without a doubt, would have taken many in the international community by surprise. However, it was a carefully considered decision manifesting the Government’s open, sincere and proactive approach to dealing with Human Rights issues. It was also an affirmation of the Government’s commitment to guarantee to Sri Lanka’s citizens, its resolve to work towards achieving the norms of a functional democracy, where the universal values of equality, justice and freedom are upheld, by fostering reconciliation between communities and securing a political settlement that would ensure that the country does not plunge into conflict ever again.

In keeping with the Government’s approach of working closely with the international community, we have forged stronger relations with the United Nations and its agencies to obtain financial and technical assistance including through the UN’s Peacebuilding Fund for formulating resettlement plans, meet the immediate requirements of those being resettled, training and capacity building, and reconciliation projects. Overall, we pursue a policy of engagement, dialogue and cooperation with all countries and international organizations, and will remain open to the ideas of others, their views and opinions while sharing our own experiences and views pertaining to matters that concern not only Sri Lanka, but the global community at large.

The election manifesto of President Sirisena’s rainbow coalition included a 100 Day Work Programme which committed to undertake wide-ranging reforms including deliberation on changes to the electoral system. There was also a pledge to hold early Parliamentary elections.

In keeping with that pledge, Parliamentary Elections were held on the 17th of August at which the people of Sri Lanka once again conveyed a very clear message for change. They voted for the rule of law, they voted against impunity, and in support of reconciliation and rebuilding the nation for everyone. They were clearly against the politics of ethnic and religious division and extremism.

The victory of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) at the Parliamentary Election enabled President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to form a National Unity Government. Traditional rivals in Sri Lankan politics – the United National Party (UNP) and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) thus came together, heralding a new culture of consensual politics in the country and creating much needed political and policy stability.

An important feature in the August 17th election was the return of centrists to power in the legislature and the resounding defeat of extremists on both sides of the divide. As a result, the moderates in Parliament have once again secured power which augers well for progressive reform.

Inaugurating the 8th Parliament on the 1st of September, President Sirisena drew from the example of South Africa where the main political parties came together at a historic moment in that country. He affirmed that similarly, in the post-conflict context in Sri Lanka, the formation of a National Unity Government is essential to obtain the bipartisan consensus that is necessary to face the important challenges before our nation, which include reconciliation and peacebuilding.

So for the first time in our country’s history, under President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, one of the main ills that plagued us since independence has been set aside – that is the temptation of political parties to follow a path of confrontation in order to achieve short-term political gains over the long-term interests of the people and the nation.

The two main parties and some of the smaller parties have stepped away from the adversarial arena of politics. Instead of pure short-term political interests of winning power, holding on to power and retaining power, the political parties have finally decided that they need to reflect in their work, the long-term interests of the people.

Foremost among these is to ensure that our nation would never again be plunged back into the nature of violence and conflict which engulfed us since Independence. And to commit to work at all times with the realization that all communities in our country, although they follow different faiths, speak different languages and follow different customs, share a common geographic space – one nation that we must all live in; and within that space, strive to work in unison for the common purpose of developing our nation which will ensure long-term prosperity for all.

Despite all the violence of the last several decades, there is a large reservoir of goodwill in my country, among the people of all communities. They are, after all, guided by the four major religions of the world which pursue peace, compassion and brotherhood – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Islam.

There is realization that politicians and leaders of communities on all sides have made mistakes in the past; that the reservoir of goodwill among communities and among people on all sides was diverted by politicians and leaders in the past, for temporary gain, which led to devastating consequences for all.

This realization is the grounds on which we now gradually build the pillars of a new nation which guarantees the protection of the rights of all, enables the creation of an inclusive society and affirms non-recurrence.

Among the steps envisaged is a new Constitution which will include a Bill of Rights that takes into account not only civil and political rights but economic, social and cultural rights as well. A Constitution that addresses the needs of all citizens and communities; one which would allow greater participation for the public in decision making processes relating to matters in their respective areas. This would enable more accountable and more responsible government in the country. Such a Constitution, with electoral reform and restoration of stronger Parliamentary government would be essential to ensure reconciliation and lasting peace with justice and rule of law. There is full realization that in order not to slip back into unfortunate conflicts such as the insurrections in the South and the problems in the North which ultimately led to terrorism, it is important that all citizens must feel that they have equal opportunities and have the ability to contribute to nation building. All citizens, irrespective of ethnicity and language must feel that they are equal partners, sharing equal rights.

In order to do this as a nation, we must rise above our fears. We must change mindsets that have got used to thinking of who did what to whom at what time. We have to rise above hatred and feelings of vengeance.

I believe strongly that our nation, Ladies and Gentlemen, has the strength to turn inward to reflect. It is true that forgetting is difficult and most often, not possible. Human memory, no matter however much one yearns, does not let go. Yet, human beings possess the capacity to rise above mistakes, rise above fears, and rise above anger and vengeance and act with compassion, humanism and wisdom. These are the qualities required to commit to work together to build a common future of peace and prosperity, where the rights of all are protected and upheld, where good governance and rule of law reigns, and all citizens will have a sense of ownership in assuring the progress and prosperity of our nation for the benefit of generations to come. And I believe that our nation, torn asunder and tormented by conflict for over 30 years, is now ready for this.

With the twin mandates received in January and in August this year, and the formation of the National Unity Government, we are now well placed to translating the ideas and vision of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, which are in line with the expectations of the people of the country, into reality – that is the creation of a new, united Sri Lanka that celebrates and draws strength from its multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual character; a nation that is reconciled and at peace with herself and with the world, upholding the dignity and human rights of all her citizens, the rule of law, and good governance including transparency; and enabling investor-friendly and sound economic policies required for stability and equitable growth that is essential for the development and prosperity of the nation.

The Tamil National Alliance which is now the third largest party in Parliament holds the leadership of the Opposition while the JVP or the People’s Liberation Front holds the Office of Chief Opposition Whip. The main Political Parties in Sri Lanka, therefore, hold Office in either the Government or in Parliament, resulting in our Parliament becoming a national forum.

The priority objective of the Government is of course the achievement of “reconciliation and development” which is essential for the nation’s long-term stability, development and prosperity.

Just last week, on the 5th of November, the Prime Minister outlined the Government’s Economic Policy in Parliament, centered on a knowledge based social market economy built on social justice principles. He explained the steps that will be taken to put in place mechanisms that will seek not only to strengthen the economic sphere but also many other sectors such as social, education and health. Important areas to focus on include generating one million job opportunities; enhancing income levels; development of the rural economies; ensuring land ownership to rural and estate sectors, the middle class and government employees; and creating a wide and strong middle class; as well as ensuring sustainable development.

The Government’s intention is to make Sri Lanka a highly competitive economy on par with Southeast Asia. The newly created Ministry of Development Strategy and International Trade will coordinate investments and economic relations. The barriers to Direct Foreign Investments including bottlenecks and delays to doing business will be removed. There will be reforms in the Financial and Monetary sectors and more stringent control of the Budgets. In order to strengthen social sector programmes especially universal access to education and health, the Government will increase the budgetary allocations to both sectors. And a new set of laws will be put in place to combat corruption and financial crimes.

The first budget of the Government will be presented on the 20th of November and will reflect the third generation economic reforms that the Government intends to initiate, in specific detail.

Since time immemorial, Sri Lanka has been at the heart of Indian Ocean trade especially in the Bay of Bengal. The Government intends to continue in this tradition by entering into an Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Collaboration Partnership. This will be reinforced by Free Trade Agreements with Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as the ASEAN nations bordering the Bay of Bengal – Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Sri Lanka will also negotiate with the European Union for GSP+ concessions and with China for a Free Trade Agreement.

As we progress on political reform and embark on economic reform, we will be preparing ourselves for an Asia Pacific based on the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Addressing the Japanese Diet last month, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe observed that today South Asia has a population of 1.6 million and a GDP of US$ 2.6 trillion. By 2050 the region’s population is projected to increase to about 2 billion, which will make it larger than East Asia. Therefore countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia must work closely and collaborate more. Quoting from the Buddha, the Prime Minister said “a thousand candles can be lit from a single candle and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared”.

We must look to ways of working in close cooperation to achieve the best possible solutions for everyone and create high growth areas, enabling the wider South and Southeast Asian region to fulfil its economic potential and bring higher living standards to its people. Sri Lanka envisages offering many new opportunities to foreign investors and collaborate with developed nations to obtain science and technological expertise, strengthen human security, and counter climate change including adopting mitigation and adaptation strategies.

As Sri Lanka embarks on this important journey we look to Singapore, the one country in the region that is hailed as the modern success story of economic advancement combined with political stability and ethnic harmony. Although Sri Lanka and Singapore are different in many ways from geographic size to complexity of issues and challenges faced, there is much that we can learn from the ‘Singapore Story’. From the management of lean and efficient government to combating corruption; the establishment of credible performance benchmarks in the public sector to strengthening the rule of law on commercial matters; effective investment strategies and tourism promotion; creating an educated and skilled workforce that is merit-based and building strong institutions – there is definitely much to learn.

I end with the words from Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew that I quoted as I began “There was no secret, we had no choice but to take chance and sail into rough waters”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, Sri Lanka has no choice but to take this chance; this opportunity before us, which may not present itself again, and work collectively with commitment, with the assistance of the international community, to re-build our country as a strong, united and prosperous pluralistic nation, ensuring ethnic and religious harmony, economic success, political stability and a balanced foreign policy.

Thank you.

*Lecture given by Mangala Samaraweera, MP Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka on “Politics and Development in Sri Lanka” at Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore – 12 November 2015

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Latest comments

  • 8
    2

    excellent. The corner stone is unity. Unity with MR.RW and MS. Unity with Sri Lanka and India, China and pakistan. Unity of Roman Catholics, Billy Graham and other religions. Geting away from the credit dependent World. This is RWs vision.

    • 2
      6

      You are reading too much in to their plan.

      Noticed that Ranil alaos went to Singapore unannounced for a ‘medical check up’. He went to watch what Mangala was up to, our flies on the wall are saying. Ranil is paranoid about the army, Sajith, and now Mangala trying to get him.

      This lot is falling out with each other, fighting for the spoils of the Jan 8 revolution. How long will this last?

    • 5
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      Your rather eccentric comment is welcome.

      Why do I say it is eccentric? I’ll leave that to you to work out!

  • 8
    3

    Sinhala Only destroyed Ceylon internationally and now the corrupt ex-Ruling family goes Scot Free with Billions while the new government adding more debt to an ailing nation. ‘DemoCrazy’

  • 4
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    This institute of South Asian Studies in Singapor is a BIG JOKE.

    They ran after Mahinda Jarapassa and his corrupt regime and had that intellectually bankrupt clown there – Dayan Jayathilake! They also abused women academics at this institute.

    Mangala and the Sri Lanka foreign Ministry should NOT waste time with the likes of ISAS which is a joke – always running behind politician and lacking in intellectual integrity and rigor.

    • 1
      0

      Well-said. Dude.

      CanMangala make the same speeches(including the one made @ UNHRC on14 Sept) in front of Sinhala masses in Sinhala?

  • 8
    0

    Excellent speech.We must begin some where,hard decisions have to be taken by breaking free of past beliefs etc as Mr. samaraweera seems to say.That said , all sections of society would have to help with the government playing the lead role. The bureaucracy’s role will be of critical value.But are they ready and willing? It is a loud nooooooo.and why? There are many officials at all levels who have willingly prostituted themselves to the corrupt previous government for position and filthy money that they are not be willing to play an active role.

    It is reported that the Presidential Commission to Probe large Scale Corruption “has recommended 13 officers from 6 government institutions be removed for blocking investigations “The problem is much bigger than this.Take the Foreign Ministry for example.In the columns of CT a senior official is said to be a link in the shady deals of Avant Garde while been posted as Acting Ambassador in Nigeria.He had personally handled Senadhilankaras visits to Nigeria.He had been specially sent to Nigeria for this purpose and had done very well too , making a fast buck .So will this Senior Official cooperate in the new governments’s work programme? Why should he when his money making ability has stopped.He will do everything to sabotage in every way possible

    .There is then that photo, shown to me by a friend which shows Mangala meeting Prince Zeid in Geneva this year.Been a beneficiary of the past regime and a powerful supporter too , this Ministry senior official is seen bending into two and hiding her face at the moment the photo was taken.Why? This officials’ brother is said to be still holding a high position in the Defence Ministry after having been appointed by the previous government.She was very powerful official in that regime’ time who immediately changed clolours when the new government came in January.So will she really help the new governments?Why should she?Instead she will try to sabotage without been noticed.Why should she not pass information to her previous masters?

    Definitely there are a number of them in other government places too, just waiting to sabotage ,who need to be weeded out, for this new government to deliver what it promised us..Otherwise this vision that Mangala has shown in this very good speech will only be a dream.

    • 1
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      Hey Kalu above !

      Why don’t you name the two officials since it is an open secret.The acting ambassador in Nigeria was A L Ratnapala ,who now is in a senior position in the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry.The woman official who you speak about purposefully hiding her face by bending in that famous newspaper photograph of Mangala Samaraweera and that Zeid the Prince in Geneva is Maheshini Colonne who holds a Director post in Mangala’s own Foreign Ministry.

      So what crap are you speaking about by praising this Speech Mr Kalu?Politicians will be politicians.Remember that .

  • 0
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    [Edited out] Please avoid typing all capitalized comments – CT

  • 0
    4

    Let’s hope that “sail into rough waters” wouldn’t include the land-bridge. Can’t they say it once and for all :”THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE A LAND-BRIGE TO tAMIL nADU!!!”

    • 1
      0

      theresa fernando may like a bridge to Portugal…

    • 4
      0

      ramona mother therese fernando

      “Can’t they say it once and for all :”THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE A LAND-BRIGE TO tAMIL nADU!!!””

      Alternatively you could and should demand land/sea bridge to Bihar or Venga.

      • 0
        2

        Purportless yawps……

        • 3
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          ramona mother therese fernando

          If mine is “Purportless yawps……”

          What is yours’?

          “”THERE IS NOT GOING TO BE A LAND-BRIGE TO tAMIL nADU!!!”””

          • 1
            4

            Native,

            There is a severe threat of a bridge to Tamil Nadu that will bode ill-will for the country (in the light of terrorists coming in and being trained in TN in recent times……500 years from now a land-bridge will be ok, as hopefully Lanka would be unified under one official language, Sinhalese, even as all Tamil Naduians, currently, speak one language, Tamil, officially….and also all minorities are told that it is in their best interests to become Tamil)……………,

            But yours and the other one’s are definitely purportless yawps!

            Your purportless yawps do nothing to argue the case. Aren’t you ashamed.

            Let me explain further as you seem to have a hard time understanding why : there cannot be then same physical bridge(as there could be to TN), to Portugal and Bihar or Venga,

            • 0
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              I think you mistake Sri Lanka for a Sinhalese country.

  • 4
    1

    As speeches go this is almost convincing.

    However the truth on the ground is different.

    The corrupt who amassed huge wealth are scot free.

    The mass murderers and the white vanners are scot free.

    Utterly corrupt and criminal politicians were incorporated into the My3 government when they should have been behind bars.

    The Minister of Justice is corrupt and is not a suitable overseer of universal justice.

    Human rights are not being practiced – 300 or so Tamils are being held without charge for prolonged periods of time.

    Nepotism is rife.

    The promise of abolishing the EP is in the backburner. My3 is embellishing his residence as well as upgrading his security detail including purchasing luxury limousines – evidence of My3 preparing for the long haul.

    Flowery words Mangala but I am not convinced. The rainbow coalition is nothing but a rainbow. The rainbow was in the horizon in plain sight at one time and in a trice the rainbow vanished.

  • 10
    2

    MR. Mangala Samaraweera

    Politics & Development In Sri Lanka:

    *** With all due respect Actions Speak Louder than words. Since being elected you have been Globe trotting making speeches but nothing to show for so far, except trying to Protect THUGS, CRIMINAL and THIEVES.

    To prove my point I will comment on a few things you have touched on. You have identified the causes and what went wrong but havent shown any remorse and if anything pointing the finger at us.

    If we are to move on ACOOUNTABILITY is a Pre Requisite. But from your actions it is obvious that you have no such intentions.

    1) Just to pick your Brain what happened to the Coup attempt. It is nearly 11 months why no one hs been brought to Justice. Is it because those guilty were War winning CRIMINALS.
    2) Avant Guarde: It is a big Joke.
    3) Killers of Lasantha: Is it because the trail leads back to Mahintha
    4) Killers of Thajudin: Is it because the trail leads back to Mahinthas son.
    5) The Secret Army Camps:: The existence was only revealed after exposure by UN.
    6) Wimal the Wansa is still making Patriotic speeches and RW intervenes to secure his release.
    7) Gotha: Justice minister intervenes to save Gotha.

    But compare that with the speed with which ” Pillayan” was apprehended.

    **************

    1)The different communities in the country showed promise of being able to live and work towards common national goals in peace, harmony and unity. They had worked together to gain independence from the British despite the fact that they followed different faiths, spokes different languages and followed different customs.

    *** How can you say this when you unleashed attacks on defenceless Tamils during Race riots in 1958 and that continued unabated.

    2) However, what followed is something that the world knows only too well. Our nation faltered. We made mistakes which saw our country plunge into torment and conflict for well over three decades.

    *** Not just mistakes but Monumental errors based on pure hatred.

    3) Over 81% of registered voters from all parts of the country exercised their franchise on the 8th of January, silently, peacefully and decisively, resulting in a swift transfer of power the very next day. The people in the North of the country who previously boycotted Presidential elections, came out in large numbers to participate in this election. They did so, even as a few urged them not to vote. By this act, they indicated their commitment to the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. They staked their claim in choosing the President of the country; a united country, with one President.

    *** This is where I part company with GOSL. Despite being elected by the Tamil vote MS, RW & SF categorically denied Army committed any Crimes this despite overwhelming evidence. After the UN report instead of being neutral MS and RW and SF chose to support the Army ingnoring the plight of the Victims.

    4) It could therefore be said that this is the first time in our country’s history that we have a truly Sri Lankan leader, who has been elected through the votes of all Sri Lankans, irrespective of race, religion and language. A President who stands for a united New Sri Lanka in which ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity is respected, celebrated and valued; a leader who would fulfil the aspirations of the people for strong and independent democratic institutions, freedom of expression, rule of law, good governance and the promotion and protection of human rights.

    *** Can you touch your hand on heart and tell me whether you mean what you are saying. You know it is not true.

    5) From the very first day since assuming office, President Sirisena’s Government, with Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister, has been pursuing an agenda of reform which I am sure you must be familiar with.

    *** Tamils havent seen anything Tangible to prove.

    6) uphold the rule of law;

    *** How can you say when those who are Guilty are given State of the Art Security.

    7) strengthen civilian administration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces including replacement of the military Governors in these provinces with senior ex-civil servants;

    -review High-Security Zones and release land to their original owners;

    *** I will belive you when I see powers devolved under a Federal Structure where we have a Tamil Police Force responsible for our security ( to avoid the Horrors of Krishanthy and thousands like her) answerable to elected CM.

    8)On the international stage, Sri Lanka is once again working closely with the United Nations Organisation and its systems and procedures. We liaise closely with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and his office and we remain open to working with the OHCHR to obtain technical assistance to address several important issues including justice and accountability related issues.

    *** Without Accountability we cannot move on and MAHINTHA must serve time.

    9 There is realization that politicians and leaders of communities on all sides have made mistakes in the past; that the reservoir of goodwill among communities and among people on all sides was diverted by politicians and leaders in the past, for temporary gain, which led to devastating consequences for all.

    *** You cant blame the Tamil Politicians other than to say they were Naive to trust the Majority but that weakness created LTTE.

    10) Since time immemorial, Sri Lanka has been at the heart of Indian Ocean trade especially in the Bay of Bengal. The Government intends to continue in this tradition by entering into an Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Collaboration Partnership.

    *** I have always said this and I repeat. Sri Lankas Sovereignty is limited to Indias Security.

    11) Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Today, Sri Lanka has no choice but to take this chance;

    And it is MAKE or BRAKE. The World is watching and March 2017 is not very far.

  • 5
    0

    Waxing eloquently again Mangala – pity the words are so rarely matched by any actions in Sri Lanka. Stop promising the world things you can’t deliver on the ground.

  • 2
    0

    All these wonderful words but still no real and genuine reconciliation and the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the island’s indigenous Tamils from the North and East still continues under your government too. Typical Sinhalese politician, all words no action. They are all wedded to the Mahavamsa myth and to pander to racist Sinhalese Buddhist society

  • 1
    0

    Not a bad speech. Hope you are not following your former boss MaRa’s style of dragging to find lasting solutions to national problems by hoodwinking the majority of the Sri Lankans and the international community.

    By the way I read somewhere MS has been invited for born again Gemunu, Mahinda ‘s birthday prayers in Ruwanweli saya and Maha Bodhi and thereafter to his sermon in Mihintale. Have you been invited for this ?

    I understand that Mahinda will present his enlightened stand why Mahinda Chinthanya and Mahinda Palanaya are far superior to any other rulers’ Chinthanya and Palanaya in the history of mankind. Also the necessity of him coming as the leader again.

    His rathu disciples like Weerawansa, DJ, Dines, Vasu will be there to garner more support for their Nayakaya.

    • 0
      1

      Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs has delivered this reassuring lecture on “Politics and Development in Sri Lanka” at Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore – 12 November 2015, being a responsible cabinet member of Government of Sri Lanka.
      It is the second time such an assurance has been given in an International Forum, first being at the Geneva, UNCHRC sessions last September.
      A lot is talked about the so called National Government, conventionally rivalry political parties venturing into a new theme of forming a united government.
      Can this physical combine to form a National Government itself alone resolve the issues that have been perilously deepened since independence of Sri Lanka? Have the Members of this hybrid Government understood the main objective of forming a National Government? Do they at least know what the objective is?
      We must first acknowledge that there do exist a willful huge blunder in the interpretation of this National Objective first within the Parliament, and secondly within the ruling coalition party apart from those quadrophonic quibblers thirdly within the extended Cabinet itself and finally within the implementing administrative system. The blunder that exist is interpretation of “Jathika in Sinhala” to English – for all the members of above groups that I am trying to segregate from the very tiny number of representing the above all governing entities.
      It shouldn’t be construed that Jathika means only Sinhala Buddhist only or as only Sinhala or only Buddhist, particularly when such criteria has been the only order of the day for last ten years, and it has been a priority approach of the State for 67 years.
      Unless we understand and acknowledge that “Nationalism” is integrated of all diversified ethnics and religious instead of only Majority community, there will not be any evocative purpose in just running an ostentatious hybrid government. Very importantly the final implementing administrative system should preoccupy this diversified curriculum shedding off its old solo sole shoes.
      So then the National Objective of a national government, should be to get rid of the rivalry between the major political parties based on just preventing the minority concerned issues that will confer them an equally dignified citizen within the nation of plurality well defined. For example both political shall take a firm stand for devolution of powers, which is the long standing appeal of the minorities, but may differ in how would be the additional powers be granted without affecting the civic of majority community in their day to day life. It is a human nature to go in an easiest and laziest thinking pathway to achieve the election victory just to deny and finding a sordid reasoning of prejudiced of against the true national interest. A Himalayan Task in Sri Lankan standard, but not an impossible task for integration elsewhere particularly Singapore.
      -///////////“initiate good governance practices” /////////
      It has to be extended to the people of the North and East as well at the earliest possible who are still in captive of directly war affected.
      /////////“Strengthen civilian administration in the Northern and Eastern Provinces including replacement of the military Governors in these provinces with senior ex-civil servants; and“-Review High-Security Zones and release land to their original owners;” ///////////
      It has be to be expedited since most of the people are first to be rendered as refugees within their own country by their own defense system still are lingering as refugees in many relations house one after another.

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    [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

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    Another LLRC. Another National action plan.

    He was in Singapore. Delivering an speech not for Modayas. Not ready to say if Lankave will honor the accountability agreement with the UNHRC. He has initiated that development id the priority.

    Developments! That is what the Old Royals said too!
    It seems, even on dodging, New Royals have no new ideas. They are just following the Old Royals old ideas.

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    ”Over 81% of registered voters from all parts of the country exercised their franchise on the 8th of January, silently, peacefully and decisively, resulting in a swift transfer of power the very next day”:

    It took about 10 days of wrangling to appoint thugs of the last regime(after being rejected by the voters) as National List MPs and Ministers inflating the cabinet to a dangerously large size and only shameless things have been happening to this day.

    Hope those academics listening to Mangala’s speech
    a.are watching what is actually happening inside th country and
    b.had already read the two articles by Prof Sasanka Perera of South Asia University, one(with hopes and wishes) a few days after President Sirisena was elected and the other(with utter disappointment at three weeks after the new govt was elected that had also seen 7/8 months of the President’s governance) and posted on groundviews.org

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    ”Over 81% of registered voters from all parts of the country exercised their franchise on the 8th of January, silently, peacefully and decisively, resulting in a swift transfer of power the very next day”:

    It took about 10 days of wrangling to appoint thugs of the last regime(after being rejected by the voters) as National List MPs and Ministers inflating the cabinet to a dangerously large size – only shameless things have been happening to this day.

    Hope those academics listening to Mangala’s speech had already read the article, The inevitability of the Banana Republic, by Prof Sasanka Perera of South Asia University, written three weeks after the new govt was elected in August and 7/8 months after the President was elected in January) and posted on groundviews.org on 29 August 2015.

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    ”They had worked together to gain independence from the British despite the fact that they followed different faiths, spokes different languages and followed different customs.

    However, what followed is something that the world knows only too well. Our nation faltered. We made mistakes which saw our country plunge into torment and conflict for well over three decades”:

    There has been a serioes of racial policies beginning at independence in 1948 and continuing to this day and armed rebellion started in 70s and ended in 2009. Thus the Minister has only to learn simple Maths:
    conflict over six decades and war over thre decades.

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    I only read the heading of this article and that should better be read as ‘politics & developments’ because there is no development taking place at the moment in Sri Lanka except the innumerable developments taking place on a daily basis.

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    An honest appraisal of our inability to govern ourselves since gaining independence.

    We escaped the catastrophic damage that many countries suffered after the second world war. We were the richest country in Asia. We had everything going for us unfortunately we self destructed. We turned all the positives into negatives. We voted for Idiot, racist, politicians who must rank as the most corrupt in the world.

    We made a catastrophic mistake in 1956, but instead of realizing that we were going in a different direction to the rest of the world in encouraging state sponsored racism.

    Oh how we laughed at all our poor neighbors like little Singapore trying to create a true multicultural society.

    Oh how we pursued our chauvinist agenda with vigor.

    X (1956) + Y (1972) + Z (1978) = 1983 and we continued to believe that our policies were the correct ones despite the evidence that we were driving the wrong way down a one way street and wondering why we aren’t progressing.

    Lee Kwan Yew was not only a genius but was also a far sighted Statesman.

    Have we ever produced a Statesman? The obvious answer is no.
    Will we ever produce a Statesman? The obvious answer is no.

    Just look at the politicians we elect- Corrupt Brainless Thugs.

    We get what we deserve.

    Are we the next Singapore? What a joke, we will keep falling behind the rest of Asia because we don’t deserve to progress as long as we continue to elect Corrupt idiots.

    Its is a long held truism `People get the Governments they deserve`.

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    Sri Lanka’s Goebbels – the trouble is the world now just thinks all Sri Lankan governments tell fibs, not just the Rajapakses. Actually, the Rajapakse’s were relatively honest. This government is just duplicitous. Says one thing to the UN, does another on the ground. I guess they hope that if they hold out long enough and give away a few defence assets the US will just leave them a lone eventually.

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