18 December, 2018

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President Sirisena Unites Tamil Diaspora Groups By Refusing To Budge On Brigadier Fernando

President Maithripala Sirisena’s move to block what would have been the routine course of action following the throat-cutting gesture by Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, Minister Counsellor (Defence) in the Sri Lanka mission in London, has served to bring together the hitherto divided Tamil diaspora groups.

Facebook meme after Sirisena’s intervention

Although initially the decision was to suspend Fernando and hold an inquiry, the President revoked it. This has raised the ire of Tamil diaspora groups who have not talked to each other since the war ended and have spent years in bitter infighting. Sirisena’s decision has prompted them to come together for the first time since May 2009. They have decided to write a letter to the Foreign Secretary of the UK.

The joint letter is drafted by the highly renowned law firm Birnberg Peirce and Partners in the UK, Colombo Telegraph reliably leans. Gareth Peirce is a highly respected human rights lawyer and the law firm is known to take on high profile human rights cases.

The President has used the issue to stamp his ‘patriotic credentials’ perhaps in view of the forthcoming local government elections and low approval ratings.

Not to be outdone several ministers from the United National Party (UNP) have come out in support of the errant officer whose throat-cutting gesture at a demonstration by a Tamil organization on Independence Day caused a diplomatic furor.

Although Fernando’s status is not clear as yet, State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene praised Fernando for making the said gesture, claiming that ‘it was the right signal to pro-LTTE diaspora.’

Wijewardena told the Daily Mirror that although the Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had made a request to recall Fernando, “the President intervened and asked him to remain in the UK”.

The Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake has written to two members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils Joan Ryan and Siobhain Ann McDonagh APPG for Tamils, condemning the two for supporting front organizations for the LTTE. Dissanayake claims that Fernando pointing to the lion emblem on the arm of his uniform was ‘to countenance the disgust he felt when he saw Tiger flags displayed before him.’

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance and Media, who has not expressed opinions on the matter has complained to the Criminal Investigation Department that a letter purported to have been written by him to ‘The British Tamil Forum’ is being circulated in social media. The latter which erroneously has Samaraweera as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, carries assurances by Samaraweera to one T.R. Balu to the effect that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had requested President Sirisena to recall the Army officer.

The incident, which led to the protestors demanding action from British authorities, has created roughly two schools of thought in Sri Lanka, some demanding Fernando’s removal while others consider him a national hero. The latter has found resonance among Sinhala nationalists. The sudden outpouring of patriotic fervor by ministers and the President is likely a pitch to this voter-segment.

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Latest comments

  • 2
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    Oh my god Dayan, T.G.I.F, time for you to celebrate and have a drink, What an analysis, no one figured out Navins devastating?????? ( I do not see any)reply and how Navin and Ruwan have become buddies again, This you call as political analysis, May be in Lanka you may be able to fool few people with your earth shattering analysis. Other than that I have seen very few times you being quoted in foreign media, that too to make a point how Lanka is repeating the same mistakes to a point of no return.Keep up your great journalism, we need more people like you.

  • 3
    5

    Mr. President, I hope you will see this. I have no other place to make this request.
    .
    Another item on my list has come to the surface now, which is Mattala. I understand that Ranil intends to sell (ok even 99-year lease is also a sale in installments) Mattala Airport to India for peanuts – for less than US$ 300 million. Forget about the airport. The sovereign airspace to be used by India alone is much more worth than this amount. Our Parliament, corrupt to the core (except WW+NFF), will never object to this, same like Magampura Port. They have already sold their souls to Ranil. Mr. President, please stop this and save Mattala to Sri Lanka. You may not see the benefit now, but you will realize in future. After selling Magampura to China and then selling Mattala to India is sheer stupidity. The loss is mammoth considering not only the airport but the adjacent lands and our airspace go along with the sale. In future if India decides to expand the airport, we will have to give more lands. Mr. President, Ranil misled you with the Magampura Port by attaching it to debt recovery. As you see, the documented total debt is 10 trillion. There is no way this amount be paid by selling our assets one by one. Ranil is trying to keep his leadership in the party intact by offering moneymaking avenues to his Ministers, MPP and their family members, relatives, friends and party stalwarts, by way of taking more loans and sale of country’s assets, even roads, lands, hotels, businesses, whatnot, This debt would never be able to pay off this way. You got to stop this irrationality. With Port City and Magampura Port being acquired by China (I don’t find fault with China. The fault is with our politicos who lack foresight), we will lose entire ocean-belt from Colombo to Hambantota in future, with increased activities in the sea. We won’t have the power to stop that. Therefore, Mr. President, you are the only person who could save our national assets. If you don’t do that, the present and future generations will curse you, not Ranil. Our country; our lands, our sea and our airspace all of them are under soft invasion by foreigners under Yahapalanaya government. These are not investments. We have given a bad example by selling Magamapura port in lieu of loans. Other countries will demand us to follow suit in other such instances too. I don’t know how many people have realized this.

    • 3
      2

      Chimp.

      The grama sevaka cant understand english.

      • 0
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        Chamuditha
        So what? There are other world leaders who can’t understand English. They use interpreters. Look at Trump. He speaks English like Greek – what he says is incomprehensible nonsense.

    • 2
      2

      Stupid Champa, see what is happening in Maldives, a proxy war between China and India to control the state. Current President is taking Un-democratic steps including arresting of Supreme court judges, with tacit support of China. Like how MR did by constructing white elephants in his name with money from China and thereby getting Srilanka into a debt trap, Maldive President is doing the same. Former President who is in exile in Srilanka has requested India to restore order by military intervention. The same thing is likely to happen in Srilanka due to geopolitical rivalry between India and China, and country will be the net loser due to MR’s folly.

      • 2
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        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
        Why should I bother about what is happening in Maldives? It is an internal matter.

        • 2
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          Champa

          “Why should I bother about what is happening in Maldives? It is an internal matter.”

          Why should you as a kallathonie descendant worry/talk about Sri lanka at all?

  • 0
    0

    ‘ The greatest antidote to evil is Truth.
    ” Let your credo be this.
    Let the lie come into the world…
    But not through me ..
    We have to condemn publicly, the
    Very idea that some people have
    The right to repress others.
    In keeping silent about evil,in
    Burying it so deep within us that no
    Sign of it appears on the surface, we
    Are implanting it ..and it will rise
    Up a thousandfold in the future”
    ( Aleksandr solzhenytsyn. ‘ The Gulag’)

  • 0
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    ‘ There is a Time to keep silence and
    A Time to speak…” ( Ecclesiastes.ch.3)
    Shouldn’t everyone on the side of
    Truth speak up now?

  • 4
    5

    My heartfelt gratitude and deepest appreciation and thanks to all those who stood by our country in Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s matter with special mention to the President, the Army Commander, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, the State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene, Minister Navin Dissanayake (I don’t remember his portfolio) and all other politicians and the general public.
    .
    As someone from the public, this is what I would like to see. What matters to us is our country. Everything else, party politics, other differences don’t matter in a situation like this. We are proud of you, in this case. We have witnessed again that LTTE is still active overseas and enjoys a considerable influence and power even in countries where LTTE and its flag is banned such as UK, with the support of Parliamentarians, NGOO and other organizations in such countries. It is time to make our Embassies and lobby groups active again for another round of mobilization to completely halt LTTE activities overseas.
    .
    Thank you, too, print and electronic media including Colombo Telegraph, Ada, LankaCNews.

  • 3
    1

    Universal Franchise was opposed by that time Tamil-Sinhala Leaders. But, without properly analyzing their reasoning, they were branded as selfish elitists. Now there are every indication that how farsighted and foresighted they were. In Lankawe, voting is used only to capture the power and loot, people’s money in all possible ways. All kind of low grade mechanism is used to win an election and capture power. Further, the revived Mahavamsa day’s racial hatred is used in these election manipulations to ensure the dominance of Majoritarianism. In the usual traditional way, by saying “No Leader, No Commander, No Soldier will be prosecuted” the current Yahapalanaya administration came to power. Though they won election with this slogan, outside, they are only ostriches hidden their heads in sand. Every country in the world, whether it is China who supports Yahapalanaya and seeks to reap maximum out of this conflict, all knows every bit of the genocide war the Appe Aanduwa carried out on Tamils. But Yahapalanaya is not willing to understand the dilemma it is facing, but clawing into it more.
    A rapist army war criminal flashed improper sign Languages from world’s most famous cosmopolitan’s city’s embassy porch. The country’s head have shutoff any investigation on that without saying anything to anybody and just reinstated this war criminal. Then he is shameless out there on denial of he didn’t do it. The head himself is an accused war criminal. He lacks knowledge of the civilized world’s etiquettes. His traitorous behaviors condemned and compared to Judas by his own gang. By this defective nature, he is missing the purpose of maintaining a luxury building in an expensive town, staffed with high salary on poor people’s tax money. If the purpose of this high expensive embassy is to bring Murderers and Chandiyas from Colombo and show their rowdiness to the world, it is nothing but going to take bath and coming back rolled filth.

  • 4
    1

    President Sirisena Unites Tamil Diaspora Groups,

    but TNA and Mr Sambanthan need to explain honestly the future of Tamils in an unitary, united, indivisible, majoritarian, Sinhala, chauvinistic, Buddhist regimes.

    70 years of experiment in nation building has continuously failed the nation.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 3
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    Young Navin Dissanayake maybe laying the foundation to burn the British Council Library devastatingly to use the term of Castros comrade Dayan.J.!

    • 2
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      Navin mentioned in his letter about his fathers death but failed to mention the the heinous crime his father was suspected of.

      “The destruction took place under the rule of the UNP at a time when District Development Council elections were underway, and two notorious Sinhala chauvinist cabinet ministers – Cyril Mathew and Gamini Dissanayake – were in Jaffna. Earlier on the 31st May, three Sinhalese police officers were killed during a rally by the TULF (Tamil United Liberation Front).

      Nancy Murray, a western author, wrote at the time ”uniformed security men and plainclothes thugs carried out some well organised acts of destruction”.

      “They burned to the ground certain chosen targets – including the Jaffna Public Library, with its 95,000 volumes and priceless manuscripts…no mention of this appeared in the national newspapers, not even the burning of the library, the symbol of Tamils’ cultural identity. The government delayed bringing in emergency rule until 2 June, by which time the key targets had been destroyed.”

  • 4
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    Tamils should not vote for the app(e)a(hopper) president since he has betrayed Tamils several times. He is a gamrala and nothing much, worse than MR.

    • 3
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      Peter:
      He has betrayed Sri Lankans period.

      Constitution amendment within 100 days. First item to abolish the presidency.
      Getting rid of corruption and holding corrupt politicians accountable (He brought the crooks people rejected through national list)
      Justice to war victims and other high profile murder victims.
      Independence of the judiciary.

      Has he fulfilled any of this.

      DO NOT VOTE SLFP

  • 0
    0

    Peter:
    He has betrayed Sri Lankans period.

    Constitution amendment within 100 days. First item to abolish the presidency.
    Getting rid of corruption and holding corrupt politicians accountable (He brought the crooks people rejected through national list)
    Justice to war victims and other high profile murder victims.
    Independence of the judiciary.

    “Feb 09, 2018 (LBO) – Auditor General’s Department has found out that 826 billion rupees received during Rajapaksa regime, had not been included in the financial statements.”

    “Sri Lanka debt sustainability: public debt Rs8.9tn; assets Rs1.1tn”

    Has he fulfilled any of this.

    DO NOT VOTE SLFP

  • 1
    0

    The brigadier’s gesture is a well-known Masonic threat, and not to be taken literally. His opponents were shouting LTTE slogans and waving LTTE flags. He showed courage and defiance of the terrorists.

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