25 August, 2019

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Preaching Good Governance From A Penthouse

By Sarath De Alwis

Sarath de Alwis

In his famous polemic on morality and its place in human society, Trotsky said that morality is relative to each society, to each epoch, and is above all, relative to the interests of the different social classes.

So, the morals of our Prime Minister and the Minister of Lotteries and Foreign Affairs are different from the morals of this writer.   

We made a terrible mistake on 8th January 2015. We replaced a tyrannical autocracy with a shameless clique that delights in moral hypocrisy.

With Mahinda we only had to keep our mouths shut. With the new bunch, to retain our sanity, we have to keep our minds shut. They think we are imbeciles.  Probably they are right!

A Sirisena presidency with Mahinda as prime minister may not be a bad idea after all. In a fortnight this writer will reach seventy five. It is an age at which it is possible to forgive Mahinda for his undoubted trespass on some of our freedoms. It is far easier than reconciling with the brazen bamboozling we are subjected to by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who promised a million jobs and a Volkswagen plant.

The Bond fiasco commenced on 27th February 2015. Eighteen days later, on 17th March 2015 Prime Minster Ranil Wickremesinghe addressed parliament on the subject. Tanks to digital archives in this age, we can listen to him whenever we need to refresh our memories of those promising days and also to refresh his own recall. 

Some extracts are reproduced. They provide an insight in to the integrity of the speaker at the time and in hindsight, an authentic measure of his subsequent performance. 

“I must tell this House that there is something happening in Sri Lanka at the grassroots level. Change is happening. Instead of poverty, corruption and injustice people see hope of prosperity, good governance and justice. For, a decade they have faced the darkest of demons and impossible odds and as one people they have spoken in January for a better way. I now speak in this House on their behalf.”

There are no facts, only interpretations said Friedrich Nietzsche. The Prime Minster eloquently demonstrated his confluence with Nietzsche.

“As a result of past misdeeds, the Central Bank has now been forced to embark on the task of re-building their credibility and standing as the country’s most credible financial institution. This is no easy task, since the spin masters have turned the institution into a wasteland. They left behind a legacy of mismanagement and misrule. They have been adopting a system of private placements of bonds. The criteria they adopted allowed the Central Bank to cut deals with Primary Dealers. Rebuilding international confidence and credibility has become an uphill task. Who are the people who are responsible for this mess? We have may be a half a Trillion to a Trillion Rupees worth of commitments made on highway projects.”

It is natural for a leader to defend his decisions. But if arrogance prevents conceding error in the light of subsequent misery he forfeits his right to lead.  The Prime Minster unreservedly defended Arjun Mahendran.

“When the Governor of the Central Bank was informed that over Rs.20 Billion bids have been received, he instructed the Public Debt Tender Board to select bids up to Rs.10 Billion. He did so in the presence of two Deputy Governors. The claim that the Governor interfered with the work of the Tender Board is not true. Thereafter the Tender Board submitted their recommendations, which were approved by the Governor without any changes.”

The Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has remained studiedly tightlipped with Minister Ravi Karunanayake cavalierly dismissing the startling disclosures before the commission of inquiry in to the bond scam. A  company called Walter and Rowe, a subsidiary of the holding company of Perpetual treasuriesnow under investigation has paid the entire lease amount close to Rs.9 Million for the Penthouse apartment that was used by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and his family.

The silence of the Prime Minister and the defiance of the Foreign & Lotteries Minister tells us that this government is far worse than the one we had before.

Mahinda’s financial profligacy was terrible. Gota’s surveillance state was unnerving. True, Mahinda appointed his brother in law the Chairman of the National Carrier. May be he wanted to please his wife. But, he never claimed his playboy brother in law to be a wizard in commercial aviation as is the present case with the balderdash dished out about Suren Ratwatte, the brother of the Prime Minister’s advisor turning around the airline. 

Mahinda did many things wrong. He had many faults. He deserved to be voted out. That said, we must be honest enough to admit that he did not regard the citizenry with contempt. Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug.

Ranil Wickremesinghe and Ravi Karunanayake should be held to account on what they have pronounced publicly. When we match their promises available on record, it is clear that they have embarked on a trajectory that will alter the public framework of what is left in our moral values in public life and public probity. Ranil and Ravi are in self-service and not in public service.

On 29th January 2015, presenting the interim budget of the first hundred days of the ‘yahapalanya’ this is what the future tenant of the Penthouse atop the Monarch Residencies told parliament. The ‘Yahapalana’ Finance Minister was the epitome of ethical propriety and probity in public life.  This is what he said.     

“The system of “Crony Economics” created a segment of the society which was ultra-rich enjoying a life of supreme luxury. They were flaunting not only their ill-gotten wealth but their muscles too. A mere two per cent of the entire population continued to prosper at the expense of others. What of the balance 98%. They were requested to tighten their belts way back in 2005 and they had to continue. Their families fell apart due to economic hardships, jewelry pawned, family heirlooms sold to ensure that home fires continued to burn. Some were facing abject poverty. Naval guards had to be stationed at the Matara Mahanama Samaraweera Bridge and at the Kaluthara Bridge to save our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters from jumping into river to end their lives, stricken with unbearable poverty.”

The Nilwala and Kaluganga continue to flow quietly to the Indian Ocean. The Ocean view in the interim has been so mesmerizing that the tenant paid a good one hundred and sixty million baksheesh to buy the damned penthouse outright. Our ‘mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters no longer jump in to those rivers as was alleged by the yahapalana financial wizard who promised a mansion tax on the wealthy. Instead they beat their collective breasts in utter revulsion of those who swindled their franchise on 8th January 2015.

Their revulsion is authentic. This is how Ravi Karunanayake prefaced his homily on good governance and financial discipline.

“Honorable Speaker, exactly 21 days ago, on 8 January 2015, the people of the country voted for a change in favor of Honorable President Maithripala Sirisena. They gave a clear mandate emphasizing that they desperately need a change. A change that goes far beyond party politics and individual aspirations to create a new political and economic culture in the country.”

Voila! There you have it. Indeed, we have a new political culture. It is a culture of entitlement that is practiced by the ruling political class.

Let us, for the moment, forget the Arjun Aloysius-Ravi Karunanayake nexus. The busy senior Minister saddled with weighty matters on affairs foreign and turning wheels of fortune in National Lotteries, will eventually appear before the commission of inquiry.

We will then learn of his version of the alleged transaction. The Prime Minister who is an extremely intelligent man must have had good reason to allocate the subject of lotteries to him.

Mr. Karunanayake’s grip on the lottery paradox should not be underestimated. In the ranks of the UNP, he is undoubtedly a master in the logic of rational belief. If you buy one ticket, your chances of becoming millionaire remains intact at least until the final draw! So forget the nexus between the primary dealer and minister.

Let us focus on the penthouse. Therein lies the ‘yahapalana’ tragedy. Power does not only corrupt but it seduces the wielders of power. An official residence was well within the perks of a cabinet minister. Then, why a penthouse? What is a pent house? 

Cathy Ericson in realtor.com tells us what a penthouse is. If you’re lucky enough to live in one, it means you have arrived. The very word “penthouse” denotes luxury and exclusivity. It is a ‘deeee-luxe apartment in the sky.’

We live in an age of images. The story of the rich and the powerful, in this case the political class is a story based on lifestyles and self-perception. A penthouse is synonymous with opulence and luxury. It appeases the desires of those hell-bent on self-indulgent, fast living.   

A fortuitous coalition elected President Sirisena. A power hungry cabal came with that territory. Arjuna Mahendran was made Governor of the Central Bank well before the 19th Amendment was negotiated with a hostile opposition by a minority government. A hedonistic lifestyle in a penthouse atop a sky scraper next to Temple Trees was well within the logic of rational possibilities of a grand lottery. The 8th January 2015 election was a lottery. The people lost. Someone ended in a Penthouse. It was as easy as a walk in the park – a Global Park.        

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Latest comments

  • 8
    13

    What to say
    Soma

    • 6
      5

      For a moment I was scared out of my wits thinking Sarath was calling for new young leaders ……… a break from the past! …….. like in that unfortunate country France!

      I am relieved that he hasn’t made that mistake and overlooked the irreplaceable experience of Mahinda, Gota, Basil, Weerawansa ………… to once again run a corruption-free administration.

      • 12
        18

        Nimal,
        You are missing the point. The purpose of my essay if you like to call it, was to expose the hypocrisy of the PM and His Minister Ravi. Sri Lanka is not France. If Sirisena did not appear Mahinda would now be our Nicolas Maduro. You and I cannot unleash revolutions. A break from the past has to be either on the streets or may be from an implosion within this circus..

        • 6
          11

          Sarath de Alwis, What’s wrong with us all. No sooner we find one set of leaders rampaging through all our resources we replace them with a new lot who are even worst. Now there is talk of the previous ones, the proven rouges gaining ground to even topple the present lot. This is absolutely ridiculous to say the least. Isn’t there anyone else who could be better to rule this country . It seems there is none who can be trusted and entrusted with the job to steer our country out of this gloom. Well, you and a few knowledgeable ones could put forward a probable new leadership for this long suffering masses of Sri Lanka. There is enough time before the next general elections to generate the necessary momentum to present a new leader and his team. Time for a real change indeed.

          • 10
            2

            paul anthony
            He is no Wasp to eat the Spider but trying to climb the social ladder like Mahindapala down under in Rajafuckshe ambude.
            what a harangue of dried ink!! math wela de?.

          • 3
            9

            I think the only one that was capable of cleaning the country and disciplining it was unfortunately killed off at Nandikadal. I regret it now, on this particular issue forgetting that he too ransacked all the gold jewellery and green 1000 Rs notes of the impoverished and lost tamil people, which were found in sacks being transported by his son. FM SF may be the only other one on our side that is capable of and have the guts to take on these demons, but sadly people were turned against him by the very same power hungry corrupt Rajapaksha family. Now the people have no champion, and they will continue to suffer in the hands of this Sinhala political scum.

            • 3
              0

              thrishu

              So you rely on and expect little fascists to clean up this island. Little fascists grow themselves into larger ones.

              If you really believe the little fascists are the only ones who could cleanse the country why don’t you leave your door open to the national hangman, Gota?

          • 1
            5

            P.A.
            “we replace them with a new lot who are even worst. “
            Correction:
            We replace them again with the previous lot who were even worse.
            Soma

            • 3
              0

              Villager Mahadana Muttha on CT,
              and the worse is yet to follow from Mudiayansalage Thunmulle Booruwansa.
              look it up on the web.!

            • 3
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              somass Ji

              Could we have a comparative study covering the period from 1948 to 2017 on this interesting subject of corruption among the politicians. Please let me know the names, religion, region, …..gender, rank, party affiliation, of these politician you deem most corrupted?

              And how you are related to them?

        • 15
          3

          “”With Mahinda we only had to keep our mouths shut. With the new bunch, to retain our sanity, we have to keep our minds shut. They think we are imbeciles. Probably they are right!””

          But your mind is embedded in Marxist garbage no wonder the stench- like fish in a frying pan You never get over your crooked politics.

          😂Budai : The Laughing Buddha 😊

        • 13
          2

          ” You and I cannot unleash revolutions.”

          When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right.

          But you never spoke against the dictator Rajafuckshe who blossomed under an Attha pathera familial (saying her period of alla battala was the best- like Marcos)

          The PM is a classic Tao behaving like a fool and leaving the rest to the gods but not a dictator.
          Hydrocele of libturds.

    • 4
      11

      Soma

      This is worse!
      They are not just doing it to our back side while our eyes are open,
      They are planning to do it to your children too,
      Who is going to pay all these debts?

      In their talk they give the people middle finger!

      Any show of guilt, remorse! only defiance,

      Where are the elections our most basic right!

      Harsha is blaming private sector for corruption, Is it not the responsibility of the government to uphold the law?

      It is time we must have a new Macron type revolutionto get rid of this establishments of corruption.

      We need to bring in a patriotic educated and intelligent bunch of people where they have achieved in their fields and need no more to rob from the public!

      Selling national assets to foreigners? Why cannot we get our blue chips to run them?

      If we cannot achieve this, We must bring in Gota to run this country!

      Sri Lanka has no future under these thieves!

      • 6
        4

        How would this be worst ? We see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of getting the billionslost by the bond scame, while we know nothing Rajapakshe grabed from the state assets. Including tsunami embezzelment, avangarde, MIG deal, Srilanken Airline and so many not limited to few, have not been able to trace just because of the gravity of their grabs …. the alleged bank deposits in Dubai etc would take many more years to surface.

        They the previous men led by Mafia king looted to the core, but he is still roaming inthe city.

        • 4
          10

          Don’t Blame me, Blame Yahapalana government! Looks like MR is the best crook in the world, who has managed to siphon billions in such a way that not any Western super power or Indian inteligence agency cannot find!

          Are you still kidding me? Still, after two years, Could not even crack the Thajudeen case!

          What can this government do?

        • 9
          1

          Soho Mangala boasted about the accounts then went as FM and to cover the dirt for the party at heart so now he is Fine M to drive the dirt elsewhere – make 6 changes and it bores even the best of western detectives as they too have a set allocation to work with and the world of fraud is bigger than your dream.
          you have no drain to drain the swamp as the land is Brain Drained. the day SriMao and Bad -U-Din went to bed with the Gas pump I_salm humanity Nasser.

    • 3
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      somass ji

      “What to say”

      say no more

  • 8
    14

    Astounding realisation!! Sarath is an extremely intelligent guy. In understanding the dynamics in politics especially related to SL, his knowledge is far above average level of understanding of the electorate. The question is can he and others of similar capacity abdicate their responsibility and accountability in providing the most important moral backing for yamapalana power grab in 2015? And the resultant utter devastation of the country since then? What atonement is there for the sins?

  • 21
    7

    Sarath de Alwis:
    Preparing to jump ship after all you’ve written since January 2015?
    I would certainly be obliged if you could give me references to what you’ve written about the Rajapaksa’s before Mahinda was defeated in 2015 and there was “a little bit of risk” (not to mention journeys in white vans) attached to being critical of that government.
    While many of us who were NOT fans of the Rajapaksa regime have no time for the hypocrisy of the current Yahapalanaya lot either, let’s not go overboard in anticipation of the return of MR and his lot!
    I trust you will, if you are not able to provide the readership of CT with what you’ve had to say in criticism of the Rajapaksa government in this publication while they were in power, send on the links to me direct so that I might educate myself in that regard.

    • 8
      15

      Emil,
      There is no question of abandoning ship. As for what I wrote during the MR regime, I must confess that I only wrote for the Leader when it was edited by Sonali. The Island also published some. Not many but adequate . I wrote to the Daily Mirror endorsing Ranil’s CFA during the 2005 presidential elections but did not exactly endorse him. I am sorry if I have disappointed you. My statement that the Idea of MR as PM under a Sirisena presidency was only a desperate howl to stress my despondency over the betrayal by this lot. I began writing regularly when I got a computer . Do not ask me when ? I don’t remember. Dont pick on me. Pick on Ranil. For starters , ask him to give an account of his tryst with MR in Temple Trees.

      • 1
        0

        Sarath
        From reading the comments, I can’t possibly be the only one seeing that you are endorsing a change from the “norm” of SL politics in your own, yet unique way. Am I correct in assuming this? If so, why are you holding back? I honestly believe that writers like you wield a power far greater than people imagine. Why not use it for the greater good?

      • 16
        2

        You have not answered my basic question: what did you write in criticism of Mahinda Rajapaksa WHEN HE WAS IN POWER, proving that neither he nor his acolytes resorted to violence, inclusive of white vans, in rebuttal. As someone who wrote a regular column in the Sunday Leader from the time that Frederica Jansz took over as editor and till very shortly after she had to run for her life, I would be most obliged if you could give me the links to the pieces you wrote for the Sunday Leader or any other publication (now that you do have a computer) in criticism of Mahinda Rajapaksa while he was in power.
        You say, “My statement that the Idea of MR as PM under a Sirisena presidency was only a desperate howl to stress my despondency over the betrayal by this lot.” Talk about armchair rubbishy pontification, if not downright hypocrisy!
        As for being “disappointed” in you, I am always disappointed in any human being that displays self-interest at the expense of a semblance of ethics, morality and principle. Why? Because, as perhaps the eternal optimist, I will always believe people to be honest, ethical moral etc., until and unless they prove me wrong.

      • 18
        4

        Sarath de Alwis:
        This is a post-script to your response to what I’ve said earlier.
        You say, ” For starters , ask him to give an account of his tryst with MR in Temple Trees.” I’m afraid I’ve been a little bit ahead of you with regard to that very topic. Check the Sunday Leader when it comes out on the 30th or CT, at the same time. In case, you doubt that my reference to the famous tryst at Temple Trees on election night was already on its ways to at least two publishers before you made your “smart” comment, check with them as to when it was submitted.
        Mr. de Alwis, you and I march to two very different drummers!

        • 3
          12

          Emil Van Der Poorten,

          I take your word for it. Thank you. I will read it. Please find another windmill. I am not competing with you or anyone else in making occasional civic commentaries. I do not march. The drum beats you hear are your own. This exchange is closed. .

          • 7
            1

            Get doped the windmills never played for the portuguese perverts though they tried seducing the Virgin Queen.

          • 11
            2

            Sarath de Alwis:
            As long as you keep spouting what you are in acceptance of the most corrupt and violent bunch to have controlled Sri Lanka, it wont.

            • 0
              5

              Emil, where is the gentleman in you?. Sarath Alwis expressed his desire to call it quits. Why keep barking?
              Soma

              • 3
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                somass Ji

                “Why keep barking?”

                In the hope that you would learn a thing or two.

                Simple, it is known as the right of reply. As Sinhala/Buddhist Little Fascist you may find it difficult to grasp democratic principles.

          • 3
            10

            Emil Aiiya , ……. Go easy … man…….Sarath Aiiya seems to have some attachment to his Motherland and her inhabitants…..He must be hurting , to watch how the Yaahapalana mob is robbing the Country and the EPF like No Tomorrow……. Besides , Sarath Aiiya, I don’t think belongs to any of the Factions, Elite , Anglican, Vellala , ex LTTE , Wahabi and or LGBTQ which run the Country at present…….

            • 1
              6

              K A S, agree with you. The yahapalanista Emil ayya’s back is burning because his buddies Rani, Ravi et al have removed his trousers including the under wear.

              • 0
                0

                Hela

                “The yahapalanista Emil ayya’s back is burning because his buddies Rani, Ravi et al have removed his trousers including the under wear.”

                Have you ever tried being a naturist?

                Whenever you are tempted to type something inappropriate always remember Emil van der Poorten owns a Durio zibethinus (Durian) plantation. Imagine how painful/pleasurable it would be to have one inserted into your brain while you are sitting on it.

            • 5
              0

              K A Sumanasekera,
              you are another extreme right portuguese Barrasso hegel thickhead sitting in the swamp. and he is extreme left portuguese Guterres hegel thickhead sitting in the swamp.
              aren’t you living the life of a fascist and sucking to your blood brain.

      • 9
        0

        “”Do not ask me when ? I don’t remember. Dont pick on me. Pick on Ranil. For starters , ask him to give an account of his tryst with MR in Temple Trees.””
        At least from N.D. we know what happened behind the scenes.(not for publicity)
        Dr Jaya and Modi made a public statement of Nepal’s change in regime but for SL he handed $1.5 billion swap and Obama an IMF loan of $1.5 with another Kor & Jap loan totaling $3.3. shape shape boys and girls.
        He will never tell the nation how weak he and the opposition were to get a smooth transition of governance. See Egypt the dictator Mubarak was released (24th March 2017) after all to have a happy ending like a Pinochet. India and Obama in particular played in creating the Rajfuckshe hordes so they finally drove him overboard.
        Only Modi vs BoJo chess game for Diego Garcia will decide the future of Lanka. My hope is for Thunder to hit the useless tree so the islanders can have a better future devoid of the tainted wall_wess of 70 years- simply put servant class porter boys and watti ammas have ruled the island- any qualification that the nation boast of are on stolen chits like Karunanidhi- glorified low class from an international perspective.

    • 6
      13

      What Sarath is saying is common sense. But the hatred of the Buddhists that is making people like Emil van der Poorten sick is preventing them from seeing the only sensible solution. Sri Lanka has to move forward from the problems caused by colonial bleeding and blood sucking, and only a leader like MR (probably without his kith, kin and thug friends like Mervin) can salvage it. MR simply is not a manager and RW is nothing. Ravi K is a HORA and Rajitha is a megalomaniac. Who else have we got left?

      • 3
        9

        Vasco, don’t you all have anyone new and better than the same old proven rouges. With or without their kin they never care about the common man but themselves. Wake up and come out with honest and sincere names to run the country. Let the HORAS and the MEGALOMANIACS WAwatch from the sides.

      • 0
        0

        There are young and old capable guys in the U N P who can take the country forward.

        Karu Jayasuriya is a capable honest man.to be the Prime minister
        other alternative is to have two prime Ministers.To handle local matters Sajith is the best.
        Let Ranil be the prime Minister to handle international affairs.If not Sajith be the deputy prime Minister and handle local issues

        Mind you the nexus between Ravi and M R.. He is the only guy felt sad when Ravi was removed from Finance Ministry
        President only wanted A G S department and Police under him to expedite legal matters in arresting culprits. .pl let him have the two departments

    • 5
      1

      Sounds like he needs free laptop and interest free car loan, or even some Sil cloth and roofing sheets?

    • 5
      11

      Mr Van Der ,
      For how long are you planning to whitewash this shitty government?
      It’s about economy! How do you think selling national assets to foreigners and appeasing India and West will bring us development?
      Wake up the dream is over, real life is a nightmare!

      • 1
        6

        Mr. Srinath,
        “It’s about economy! How do you think selling national assets to foreigners and appeasing India and West will bring us development?”
        I don’t know which country you live in, but if Chandrika had not sold half of SLT and allowed private players, you probably would be still waiting for have your phone installed, never mind the internet.
        You think Sri Lankan Airlines and Hambantota port are assets? They are NATIONAL LIABILITIES, and you damn well know who brought them to that level.

        • 8
          1

          “”I don’t know which country you live in, but if Chandrika had not sold half of SLT “

          The % is safely tucked at surrey because of military charity connections. relatives of vijaya from villages are in windfall.
          No politician came into politics to save your ass but to find fame wealth and power.- what a watti amma.

      • 5
        0

        “”Wake up the dream is over, real life is a nightmare!”
        luckless gunaratne non would grant you even a loan.
        build your own nest

      • 9
        1

        Sarath de Alwis:
        As long as you keep spouting what you are in acceptance of the most corrupt and violent bunch to have controlled Sri Lanka, it wont.

        • 2
          9

          Emil,

          Mr. de Alwis writes well, and though often well-meaning, he sometimes has a blind spot or poor judgement that is hard to explain.

          For instance, when Trump., the vilest and the least qualified US President in recent memory, talked about ‘draining the swamp’ in Washington, he wrote an approving essay that was notable for its sheer naivete.

          The people who supported and promoted Trump have to accept responsibility for the sheer lunacy of the present moment in the US, including the rise of racism, the killings of some immigrants, and the anarchic conditions at the heart of the current administration as a whole, not just at the White House. Any sane person could have predicted that it would happen.

          Mr. de Alwis could be excused on that issue since his knowledge of the conditions in the US might have been limited. But the same excuse won’t apply to SL issues. His blind spot was clear when he reviewed a book by Sarath Amunugama, with effusive praise for the latter.

          • 6
            1

            the village fool from the north boasting that his father was a scholar.
            libturds galore for a stupid block vote but never have the head above the shoulder- once a slave always a slave.!!

        • 1
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          Emil van der Poorten

          This is a reluctant, one time response. I am not ” in acceptance of the most corrupt and violent bunch to have controlled Sri Lanka.” I am reconciled to the ground reality that a majority of the majority community do not believe that they were or that they need to face retributive justice.

          • 6
            0

            🐸”” I am reconciled to the ground reality that a majority of the majority community do not believe that they were or that they need to face retributive justice.””🐸
            mother was a mare said the `mule`!!
            Say HeeHaw, HeeHaw when caught with your pants down like thickhead António Guterres with the 2 x10 million refugee influx loaded with ISIS.

            In the US, the two major political parties are frequently represented by an elephant 🐘 and a donkey.🐎

      • 7
        1

        Srinath Gunaratne:
        Unlike those pretending otherwise while supporting a return of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his horde, I do not and have not supported the MR2 (Maithripala/Ranil) government unequivocally.
        In the matter of sly support of reprehensible conduct in governance, I have one suggestion: those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

  • 18
    6

    Ranil, your reputation is at stake, if you continue to harbor brazen rogues in your government.

    If you have an iota of decency still left in you (never mind the common sense) you must ask Ravi Karunanayake, your Lottery and Foreign Minister to resign.

    Whether the stories are true or not, the stink it leaves is bad. The only way to get rid of it is through the elimination of the source.

  • 0
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    • 3
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      Pity.

      • 5
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        Mr. Alwis,
        Ravi K. is a humbug and very much on the make.
        Ranil is arrogant and overly loyal to his (mostly corrupt) Royalists.
        But this a bit over the top:
        “Mahinda did many things wrong. He had many faults. He deserved to be voted out. That said, we must be honest enough to admit that he did not regard the citizenry with contempt. Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug.”
        MR did shoot otherwise dispose of many citizens. Was that not contempt? If you watched what was shown on TV of his mother-in-law’s funeral, you would have come away with the impression that she was a devout Sinhala Buddhist, not a Catholic. Was that not humbug in your book? I could give more examples, but you get the point, don’t you?
        I agree with you that the present outfit deserve a kick in the pants, but bringing in the OTHER lot would be suicide. One does not repeat a mistake hoping for a different outcome.
        It is entirely our fault that we are stuck with only these two choices. What can one do when many sane (?) voters think that the Asgiriya Mahanayaka can over-rule Parliament?

  • 5
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    “A Sirisena presidency with Mahinda as prime minister may not be a bad idea after all. In a fortnight this writer will reach seventy five. It is an age at which it is possible to forgive Mahinda for his undoubted trespass on some of our freedoms. It is far easier than reconciling with the brazen bamboozling we are subjected to by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who promised a million jobs and a Volkswagen plant.”

    Oh dear! Mahinda and Maithripala ruling us “may not be a bad idea after all”??? Come on man, you know as well as all of us who voted the Rajapakses out, that they were not only brazen thieves and (dare I say it?) murderers, not to mention all the other descriptive adjectives that will suit their despicable actions whilst in power. And you want to couple MR with Sirisena, who has turned the proverbial ‘blind eye’ and has been ‘tone deaf’ to the machinations of RW and Penthouse Ravi! Give us a break, will you!

    And you think (notwithstanding your seventy-five plus) that these two proven ‘unsuitables’ will lead us wisely?

    You also have the gall to state that “Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug”. In my view you are being far too kind, Sarath. He was a lot worse than a mere “humbug” and maybe going through your past posts will help refresh what appears to be a failing memory – that is, unless your values have taken a drastic change for the worse!

    Hopefully this has been a temporary loss of objective assessment and you will quickly regain your incisive views and commentaries that make a lot more sense than this one does.

    Get well soon!

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      Oh my lovely buster, (guess you bust a lot, aintcha?) Its really sadden me witness this. I guess people like you never change. Just like those who worship previous president, you lot will never see the treacherous corruption of this “Yahapalana” Gang. Meh, here you are criticizing sarath, probably inside of some air-conditioned luxurious apartment plus using some free laptop given by US Aid for the “Yahapalanaya Mission”. Or else you might be some close-kint fella of our current big boys. I hope you get you relieve, and may be you can go further by consulting physiatrist.

      Thanks God, this land is blessed with some sensible people. I might not agree with some of your points Sarath, Yet here you have understood the mindset of the ordinary citizen. They will not be pleased to see a MS & MR rule, but the way these things are going it wont be too long before they will even consider to make a deal with the devil.

      Keep up your good work

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        @Chaya – It’s difficult to respond to your unintelligible crap, so I’ll not attempt to, except to say that you would do better to comprehend what is being articulated before you attempt to respond with your garbled nonsense!

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          duster,
          Now, that’s not an intelligent way of gliding away when you yourself are in the swamp!!
          stop being a Ba*** carrier.

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    He deserved to be voted out. That said, we must be honest enough to admit that he did not regard the citizenry with contempt. Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug.—————– Mr. Sarath De Alwis. How do you propose again Mahinda Rajapakse to be some one important. That Video clip says, Mahinda Rajapakse was silent when they were spending 100s of billions without any plans and approvals. He can say, I did not do it was people around me. then where was his leadership. He has deceived people. IF not how come Two airlines lost hundreds of millions of US$ and no one know where that money went. ————– Even the Jackal opposition says they won’t go behind Ravi Karunanayake. You can understand that. Ravi Karunanayake got few million dollars from Raj Rajarathanm. Mahinda Rajapakse was silent on that and Ravi karunanayake solved it to his advantage when the 100 day govt came. ———-I heard there are corrupt primary dealers who are complaining because they lost the pie eating contest. —————Where did you get money to write this article ?

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      Keep deceiving your self!

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    I think both Ravi Karunanayke and Johnston Fernando got money from LTTE. they were spending that money. Only Ravi Karunanayake is being criticized because he may be contesting for UNP head postBoth Ranil and Mahinda Rajapakse did not object winning the money laundering cases against those two who got money from LTTE. Ranil has explained his position. Ranil’s only problem may be he is working for the IMF and the world bank Remember his new economic staretegy went bust when he found how Mahinda Rajapakse had spent money. Probably, he was sleeping as the opposition leader. He did not check out what Mahinda Rajapakse was doing and he forgot at least to check what the status of the finance ministry and the central bank was. He is a guy who gave justice of peace positions to criminals.————-Your proposal is we don’t have leaders. So elect the discarded stuff again.. Keep them until their children are ready. IS that what you say ?

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    Mr.Sarath De Alwis has echoed the thoughts of millions of ordinary Sri Lankans who voted en masse to oust the previous regime , and are feeling they have been used as condoms by the current set of charlatans. Let’s not shoot the messenger, please .

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    Mr. Alwis,
    Ravi K. is a humbug and very much on the make.
    Ranil is arrogant and overly loyal to his Royalists.
    But this a bit over the top:
    “Mahinda did many things wrong. He had many faults. He deserved to be voted out. That said, we must be honest enough to admit that he did not regard the citizenry with contempt. Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug.”
    MR did shoot otherwise dispose of many citizens. Was that not contempt? If you watched what was shown on TV of his mother-in-law’s funeral, you would have come away with the impression that she was a devout Sinhala Buddhist, not a Catholic. Was that not humbug in your book? I could give more examples, but you get the point, don’t you?
    I agree with you that the present outfit deserve a kick in the pants, but bringing in the OTHER lot would be suicide. One does not repeat a mistake hoping for a different outcome.
    It is entirely our fault that we are stuck with only these two choices. What can one do when many sane (?) voters think that the Asgiriya Mahanayaka can over-rule Parliament?

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      “2It is entirely our fault that we are stuck with only these two choices. “”

      The matara kattaya soho hooker was kicked out by MR not for failure or being a human rights hawk. Did he not take the whole of london setup inclusive of the blog boys for suckers to mould the government in a libturd image for the viper clan. The marriages of convenience in the real and political opposition for the public to see.

      Who makes your parachute??

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    4000 Sq Feet of Unadulterated , Pure Luxury, for Lootto Ravi and the Missus, to watch the Yahapalana suckers who are not in the Elite, Anglican and Wellala class trying, to get into A/C Buses in Colombo after a hard days work…………With 360 views they can see from Wellala gardens to Modara and to even Kotte where Lootto is building his Mansion……..Lootto, I am told was issuing bouncing cheques , before Dr Ranil gave him the Finance Gig …….Good on him and the Missus of course…..Mr Alwis I hope has at least a two bedder in Dematagoda………….

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      he plans to present hong kong island in the SARC region with sabena airline fraud branson ding dong!

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      They are not only watching, The family stand at the edge and piss on the masses while enjoying the 360 views they can see from Wellala gardens to Modara!

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    Sarath , You are a brilliant writer. But, do you really mean we should replace crooks with crooks !! Previously, we not only experienced mass scale looting of peoples resources, but also, daylight murders and abductions of journalists, white vanning, family despotic rule and absolutely no hopes of having independent instruments for governance, including a Right to Information, the best available and acclaimed instrument at global levels for containing corruption in the public domain. We also lost GSP+, a ban was imposed by the EU on fisheries exports, income on exports dropped below 20%, lost our acceptance by our traditional trading partners, and massive loans were taken, without much plans for their repayments.
    Taking the above mentioned facts into consideration,when we look at the Balance Sheet, one can safely say that the present lot have done better than the previous lot. Of course, it goes without saying that there is much room for improvement and that the corrupt within the Yahapalanaya, must be got rid of. The Yahapalanaya and particularly the UNP Leadership should begin by asking Ravi K to resign on a matter of morals, ethics and honor pertaining to good governance, if they are really serious about Yahapalanaya, particularly in a case where he has compromised his position to a person being investigated for a bond scam. After all, the Prime Minister of new South Wales resigned for accepting an expensive bottle of wine !! This will be in the own interest of the present government and will serve as an example to others. This will also enable to speed up the numerous cases pertaining to the charges pending against the previous lot.

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      R.P. Perera, my thoughts exactly. Crooks for crooks will not do of course. But who is going to clean the team and get rid of the corrupt within the Govt. ? It is a splendid idea really.

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    Dear Comrade,

    Excellent writing in simple form but with one or two major flaws.

    “You and I cannot unleash revolutions. A break from the past has to be either on the streets or may be from an implosion within this circus “

    How about the Maha Sangha ? I thought they are the protectors or guardians of SL ? Even MR wrote an open letter to the Mahanayakes or the Sangha.

    Will Maha Sangha ask both MaRa regime and Sri- Ranil regime to retire immediately from politics and join the Mahasangha and let the younger generation leaders run the country.

    Let this new expanded Maha Sangha play a new role in elevating the morality of the modern SL society which include diaspora as well.

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      “”Let this new expanded Maha Sangha play a new role in elevating the morality of the modern SL society which include diaspora as well.””
      Libturds, Say HeeHaw, HeeHaw,
      Do you give geopolitics of the world a politic/economic thought when the island is dependant on the europeans of the west for its exports?? The west is right wing at present and is doing its own revolution. You have no water even to drink and the arabs can’t compete the oil glut with the new tech fracking that will never be sold outside. Crude is retained at $50 a barrel do you feel it at the pump? no the europeans hold the patent rights and its not for sale so putin and china india can swing like monkey

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    For the sake of the trust and belief people had in the yahapalanaya, Ravi must pay for the bad deeds done.

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    Good governance can only come from teachings of Budha. These bloody politicians are instead making money in the name of Budhas. if we can bring a successful coup, we should be able to instate Ven maha Gnanasara Esq as a president.

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    Mr Sarath de Alwis

    I don’t want to split hairs over which is marginally better of the two regimes but you are comparing bull shit with horse shit & the fact remains that both are shit. Donald Trump came to power promising to ‘drain the swamp that is Washington’ & in that context, our Diyawanna Oya is a cesspit but I would prefer an educated Emanuel Macron to a brash, uncouth billionaire who avoids paying tax (very much our current bunch of hypocrites), to come forward to clear the mess. I doubt very much such a person to come forward at the next election but the prospect of a MR, MS power base is my worst nightmare.

    Until such time, if at all, a messiah emerges, the likes of RK, the shameless hypocrites who are enjoying the gravy train that is considered to be politics in SL, should be brought to light & exposed to face justice, at least by the public.

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      ” to ‘drain the swamp that is Washington’ & in that context,””
      The donald is draining the swamp like LKY did indoors with drugs and immigration .
      Trump Says Immigrant Gang Members ‘Slice and Dice’ Young, Beautiful Girls
      Americans are “screaming from their windows” thanking immigration agents for liberating their cities, the president said at a rally.- this is very true and the Libturd billionaires resistance have scattered like monkeys kicking dust.

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    Both Ravi Karunanayake and Johnston Fernando [Edited out] That is enough to do what he is doing. both Ranil and Ravi KArunanayake talked against the war. Remember they saying did not go to alimankada, instead went to pamankada . Sarath De alwis in his own admission has got the free laptop as well as the free car loan too. His Own video clip about Ranil’s Talk show how They spend billions of rupees without any plans how they built frineds as billionaires. How they installed people into banks from no where, how they increasd corruptions and made the Central bank a joke, Now he wants Mahinda Back. On the hand, Ranil can not be a politician who stops corruption. Because Ravi Karunanayake has forwarded some cabinet papers which shows the corruption in the day light. Ranik installed corrupt people knowingly. Probably, Ranil is very sophisticated politician.

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    I can not believe whether whether Sarath de alwis is suffering from some insomnia or amnesia because of old age. He has written something no one can expect. did Maithripala sirisena want you to write this article in order to test the waters ?.what Sri lanka needs is a third party which does not include any of these thieves or incomptetants. It can by any means it does not matter as long as they understand the needs of the country and not theres.

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    Oh God… here we go. Making comparisons and trying to insidiously make Mara look good. But I guess Aluthgama riots makes the proposition of a mara presidency alluring to some people.

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    The 08 January 2015 election was unique. We were told of corruption, nepotism and the prevailing culture of impunity. We confirmed this in August parliamentary election. Lankans set aside the language/religion divide and mandated a change.
    We now find that politicians are there to grab wealth for themselves. Here is another lesson- we must MANDATE a new GoSL to wipe out the evils for good or else……..we will throw you out.
    We need to urgently address a few thingys:
    Is a military type of discipline enforceable fairly?
    Should we find the way to get off UNHRC radar?
    Are the defenders of religions doing more harm than good?
    Do we need a new constitution?

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    RW is just as guilty to Ravi’s scam. RW is the leader of this bunch of the scammers and if this leader pretends to be blind to what was going on, then he does not deserve to be a leader. He was not as naïve as he is pretending to be. A shrewed politician he was the one closest to all, and since the discoveruy of the scam had been trying to whitewash it. This is the sign of a mastermind behind this scam.

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    Can we have another Presidential Commission to investigate the proliferation of Official Residences for Ministers, whilst they seem to have pocket change lying around to buy mansions and penthouses.

    We have not bred or educated a leadership capable of leading our nation. To expect the gangsters and kudu mallis who normally run on party tickets, and are very faithfully voted for by all of us; to be un-corrupt and sin-free is asking for too much.

    As loud-mouth Sujeewa Senasinghe said the other day….we cannot wipe of corruption and bribery but, we can work towards reducing it. He left himself and his gang, a little bit of room to survive on crumbs. Harsha De Silva at the same seminar asked if the briber or bribee was more responsible.??
    These are the ‘educated’ in our cabinet…one a lawyer and the other an economist….Rata ballata gehin..

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    This is all Crap. Writer explains his stand. [Edited out]. You should have listened to as a newspaper says, what Ravi karunanayake had said. He had said, that people think, that politicians should listen to people and run the givt. but, it is not so. Once they have the govt, it is what they say. People whether like or not must obey.

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    Sarath Alwis hides and writes for Rajapakse. Over this Ravi Karu’s fraud he cries for Rajapakse to return as Prime minister with Sirisena as President. What an outrageous proposal and illogical! We got sick of ten years of murderous rule and robbing by the MR family who have now hidden their ill-gotten wealth. Come on Sarath De Alwis!!

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    to Badusena,
    You wrote: “We got sick of ten years of murderous rule and robbing by the MR family who have now hidden their ill-gotten wealth.”
    Man, Where did they hide this wealth? Instead of continually accusing and making allegations against the MR family why have you and your Yahapalana leaders failed miserably to find a single Rs/$ stolen and deposited in local or/and offshore banks. Many Sri Lankans are sick of these allegations and they now think MR’s family had hidden their wealth either under your mother’s ‘redda’ (a popular Sinhala saying: Thoge ammage redda asse) or on the moon. Therefore, I’m suggesting to check both places immediately.
    You can help us by checking your mother’s ‘thing’ and we can suggest to Donald Trump to send a team of investigators to the Moon to check the Banks on the Moon. (Trump can add to the team Ban Ki Moon who slavishly supported Hillary Clinton, and David Cameron to ruin developing countries).

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      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/

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      “”(a popular Sinhala saying: Thoge ammage redda asse) “”
      Yakoo tathi ge sarema eke from oxford came the Race & Religion catalyst for the crime. then Ossie gave the works for Watti Amma Radala to sleep with the Gas Pump Nasser and we are talking of chain link by marriage to the funds. Or else why did CBK permit Tsunami Hora and 3 days after Lakshman K told BBC at London – not a red cent received he was found dead?? He knew too much about offshore banking than your dream.
      Rajafuckshe hordes hid the loot LGBT Soho moved it further to hide Watti Amma connections. Gibraltar offshore private banks does not disclose company accounts but individual. If the nation pulls him and the hordes to ICJ then watti Amma will have to go too along with Jayawardena relatives.
      Aren’t you
      “”But according to Forbes, China’s Ambassador Yi Xianliang has clearly told PM Ranil Wickremesinghe that: “We are not interested. We want our money, not your empty airport”.

      Sri Lanka is having trouble repaying its debt. Sri Lanka now owes $58.3 billion to foreign lenders and 95.4 percent of Sri Lankan government’s revenue is now going into debt-servicing.””

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    At least Emil maama and Sarath maama both LIVE and function and WORK in Sri Lanka no? Most of us who write here do not; we spew hate, venom and also use totally abysmal language full of grammatical errors to show how SUPERIOR we are and “oh look how important we are; hiding under a mother knobbing nom de guerre” and insulting people. Emil and Sarath write and respond with their own names. I too live abroad but I am not superior to anyone; I am just a pencil pushing clerk enjoying the benefits and largesse of Australia like Shyamon J. Thanks Emil and Sarath.

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      “” full of grammatical errors to show””
      No DNA, but Oh another in the shadow of Church_ill the fascist who could never rule at peace time.
      Now that is the type of English (2D lit) I don’t put up with in the 21st C past 2 decades.
      Yakooos down under with dried ink the land does not belong to your mom or pop but “පෙත්තප්පු” . another hora oru that landed on the thread then finds a sling and breaks his arm to wear it. Patholaya!!
      The simpleton Bard of 7 tragedies left us with a wealth and one such is What’s in a name a rose 🌹 can be called by any other name it still smells as sweet. To Be or Not To Be.

      You and Cobblers Awls are Marxist `ants` in ideology and dream boats instead of individuals- I am sufficient as I am!!

      Marx himself a product of Hegelian logic of more than a century ago and a product of the English classical school of economics of mid Victorian period. Marx is dead so is his impractical philosophy when the west rules. 55% of all Lankan exports are to the west. Passions must be ruled by laws of propriety- Priest are men who never wanted to earn a living. They hang onto a useless tree like Rilawooo. Braying HeeHaw, HeeHaw.

      Nothing is so old fashioned today as Marx himself. What Marx forgot to calculate was the human factor of England and USA and the way Englishman and American’s `way of doing things` and solving problems (Marx and Lankawe had Sobita the terrorist wriggle in last time to be in the swamp) The great omission of all immature economics is the neglect to provide for a ` je ne sais quoi factor` in national affairs.

      Silva la dolos denek (12 silvas) all like fish in a frying pan just like Thunmulle Booruwansa

      the city of arts and entertainment not the land of thieves we sent down under.

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    They think we are imbeciles. Probably they are right!

    Sarath, Shakespeare said it differently some years ago:
    “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves, we are underlings”

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      ¬¬They think we are imbeciles. Probably they are right!¬””

      Even Atlas found it difficult to escape from two words ` no continuance`

      The Marxist ideologist De Alwis in transcending turned exponential to sell his dead as ever ideology at the present moment in time.
      (Mao and his people starved (I met them then and now) until uncle Sam in pity opened the doors of WTO)
      Instead of men, we have members of a class; instead of ideas and personal prejudices and idiosyncrasies’, we have ideologies or class thoughts; instead of personalities, we have blind forces; and instead of individuals, we have a Marxian dialectic controlling and foreshadowing all human activities with unfailing precision. Lankawe folk are progressing happily and enthusiastically toward the mould of the Ants- than humans.
      .
      “”Mahinda Rajapaksa was many things but not a humbug.””

      (Sounds like a renuka thiru shadow I suppose so since he is an airways man- but I give him the benefit of the doubt for the present as it’s a one off)

      **Buddha, Sangha, Sasana –
      Thrice blessed, triple gem (forgetting the 4th & 7 th path)
      Three`Humbugs` of Buddhism are Fame Wealth and Power- how much did the Tsunami Hora (supported by party Watti Amma) and his hordes make in his life time as a politician not forgetting the exponential 2 terms (he became greedy to try a life as king of kings of the ambude)

      “penthouse”- that money is £0.75 million and does not even pay for 2 bed apartment (with quiet neighbours) in the west which cost £2.5-3 million plus service charges at £500-1000 per month.

      De Alwis is like Rip van Wrinkle in a time machine because he wrote in anger
      .(it happens so let it pass)

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    “” full of grammatical errors to show””
    No DNA, but Oh another in the shadow of Church_ill the fascist who could never rule at peace time.
    Now that is the type of English (2D lit) I don’t put up with in the 21st C past 2 decades.
    Yakooos down under with dried ink the land does not belong to your mom or pop but “පෙත්තප්පු” . another hora oru that landed on the thread then finds a sling and breaks his arm to wear it. Patholaya!!
    The simpleton Bard of 7 tragedies left us with a wealth and one such is What’s in a name a rose 🌹 can be called by any other name it still smells as sweet. To Be or Not To Be.

    You and Awls are Marxist `ants` in ideology and dream boats instead of individuals- I am sufficient as I am!!

    Marx himself a product of Hegelian logic of more than a century ago and a product of the English classical school of economics of mid Victorian period. Marx is dead so is his impractical philosophy when the west rules. 55% of all Lankan exports are to the west. Passions must be ruled by laws of propriety- Priest are men who never wanted to earn a living. They hang onto a useless tree like Rilawooo. Braying HeeHaw, HeeHaw.
    Cont-

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    Cont-
    Nothing is so old fashioned today as Marx himself. What Marx forgot to calculate was the human factor of England and USA and the way Englishman and American’s `way of doing things` and solving problems (Marx and Lankawe had Sobita the terrorist wriggle in last time to be in the swamp) The great omission of all immature economics is the neglect to provide for a ` je ne sais quoi factor` in national affairs.

    Silva la dolos denek (12 silvas) all like fish in a frying pan just like Thunmulle Booruwansa

    the city of arts and entertainment not the land of thieves we sent down under.

  • 0
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    “A Sirisena presidency with Mahinda as prime minister may not be a bad idea after all. In a fortnight this writer will reach seventy five. It is an age at which it is possible to forgive Mahinda for his undoubted trespass on some of our freedoms.”

    This I note is an astounding statement. How on earth could Sarath (who otherwise comes across to us as a very mature, well informed political analyst) pen these words above?

    Mahinda unleashed all of his tyranny on all of us, and none of us could pardon him as it affected the whole populace. If he did something to hurt anyone of us personally, he could be forgiven by such affected persons, but no one has the right – however old one might be – to absolve him of blame for all the atrocities what happened under his reign, as the buck stops with him.

    I would like to believe that Sarath in an injudicious moment – no doubt overcome by the sheer frustration of this government’s absolute inaction against blatant fiscal mismanagement – allowed his frustrations to cloud over his better judgment. I would not read anything more than that, into what he has written.

    Rajapakse reign was bad in any language. The average citizen will not excuse or pardon it, under whatever circumstances. This country must move forward; not backwards. Evil must be ousted, never to return.

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