16 December, 2019

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Presidential Candidates On One Platform: March 12 Movement Organizes Public Citizens’ Dialogue

The March 12 Movement, made up of a wide range of civil society organizations, has organized a public dialogue between Presidential candidates and citizens on October 5, to foster accountability in politics.

Accordingly, at a mega event at the Sugathadasa Stadium on October 5, a number of presidential candidates will engage in a public dialogue with citizens on questions of critical national importance.

The event on October 5 will also see the introduction of 3, 000 citizen reporters from AFRIEL, a partner organization in the March 12 Movement, to strengthen election monitoring during the upcoming election period.

The March 12 Movement is an organization made up of PAFFREL, CMEV, Transparency International, national youth movements, representatives from Enable Sri Lanka, and other academics, thought leaders and CSOs.

This is the first time civil society organisations in Sri Lanka (CSOs) have come together for an event of this nature. CMEV National Coordinator Manjula Gajanayake, addressing the press at a media briefing this morning said the was a historic event in Sri Lanka.

AFRIEL Executive Director Ravindra De Silva elucidated on the importance of civil society organizations working together in this manner, towards a common goal and vision for the country. He also spoke on the need to enable and empower youth to act on behalf of their communities.

Enable Lanka Co-Founder Janith Rukmal drew attention to the fact that the10% of disabled Sri Lankans are a minority often overlooked in the political process. He said that with his participation in the October 5 event, he hoped to hold presidential aspirants to the promise of a more inclusive Sri Lanka.

The October 5 mega event, entitled ‘Presidential Election 2019—Public Platform will be held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium on October 5, from 3 PM to 5 PM. An estimated 4, 000 citizens are expected at the event and organizers invited more civic conscious citizens to participate in the process.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    17

    Sri Lanka needs a civil society candidate like Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne to be a presidential candidate – and to speak the truth about the huge national security threat that Lanka faces from the rogue state and economic terrorist nation -Tumpland.

    US puppet Bondscam Ranil, turn coat Karu, and US citizen Goon Gota all should be impeached for corruption and treason and share the same prison cell with clown Sira of course..
    Sajith and AKD are unimpressive and fooling the masses rather than telling the truth and educating people about the Easter Carnage and the fact that the US is the biggest national security threat to Sri Lanka and indeed the Asian region at this time. US set out to make people attack Muslims. and people should protest outside the US and Saudi embassy on the 6 month anniversary of the Easter carnage next month – October 21.
    US and Saudi Special Operations forces(SOF) set off the Easter carnage to turn Lanka into a massive military base while undermining national institutions and land grabbing and pushing privatization and asset stripping, while playing poverty games with MCC wasting time and energy with Fake development projects ever since the war ended in 2009..

    • 8
      11

      This appears quite an important initiative by the March 12 Movement. Main reason is that the civil society organizations should be able to deal with, pressure and persuade all candidates to come to terms with real and pressing issues of the people. Of course they or some of them can alternatively put forward their own candidates, like Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, as Shamil has suggested. However, if Shamil is from the civil society sector, I am not impressed by the language he has been using, expressing anger and mere condemnation. Civil society activists should be more sober and express more constructive criticisms. I am not denying he/she (Shamil) has critical views, but more moderate language could be more effective.
      About the event, I observe the time allocated is too limited, from 3pm to 5pm! There can be over 15 candidates. The report indicates 4,000 citizens would be participating. What kind of dialogue one can have between the candidates and the participants under such a context, even if it is well streamlined? This is just an observation.

      • 6
        0

        Laksiri Fernando, ‘What kind of dialogue one can have between the candidates and the participants under such a context, even if it is well streamlined?, constitutes a criticism, not an observation.
        .
        You know very well from where your language stems!

        • 3
          0

          You put all these presidential phonies on one platform and they gonna stink up the whole place like a “Mexican gas chamber.”

      • 5
        2

        Laksiri,
        I agree with you fully about generally accepted but unwritten standards on expressing views in public forums.

        The initiative is highly commendable but I think it needs much more detail planning. For example, can anything get accomplished in a two-hour debate involving about 15 candidates? If not, should it be divided into different subjects to be debated on different days?

        I would like to use this opportunity jump out of the subject to draw attention to an “ugly” debate between Ranil & MY 3 on the issue of eliminating the EP. I call it ugly b’cos it became very clear that Ravi & Ranil was trying to manipulate a word from MY 3 regarding the subject, as a final trump card in their utterly failed efforts to stop Sajith from contesting! Why should Ravi call MY 3 suggesting an unplanned urgent cabinet meeting to discuss the subject?

        I think that Ranil lied about not talking to Ravi. On the contrary, the anti-Sajith click in the UNP must have decided together to take the advantage of MY 3’s intention of taking up the subject anew in order to stop Sajith on the track. It is also possible that the reason MY 3 went public with this issue of urgent cabinet meeting after realizing the the hidden intention. I believe that this incident also exposed how close Ranil & Ravi are.

        My intention is not to hurt UNP which has a very talented team but to help expose any weakness for the good of the country. Defending errors of political leaders of any party is the worst thing any citizen could do to their beloved nation!

      • 0
        1

        This exercise is bound to end up in a shouting match and a non-starter. Consider the US model. One list of pre defined questions to be made known at the event so that contestants must give their own answers and not those prepared by advisors. It will provide the depth of each candidate’s knowledge (or the lack of it) and an independent knowledgable moderator. A key pre condition is the total ban on mud slinging at other candidates and political parties.

    • 13
      0

      Sorry but Dr Ariyaratne also represents business interest. Anyone familiar with Sarvodaya now will tell you that it is nothing but a business empire

      • 0
        0

        It has always been.

    • 11
      0

      Shamil,
      How do the Right Thinking People of this Country punish political felons who spirited public Money for their own personal Gain, advancement. The Rajapaksas ,Ranils, and most of the Ministers and Members Of Parliament Of today and Yester Years. Conspicuous Ostentatious Consumption in the form of Wedding celebrations, Gala Dinners, Political Rallies where I’ll gotten gains are spent. The Rich and Powerful and Socially Connected honored to be invited. Not a question, a murmur from the Authority Of Tax Collectors. Not mentioning The ‘Komis Kakkas’ with Political Gratuity. They have brought the Country to its knees. We are sinking in a Quick Sand of Debt and Financial Fraud Both Public and Private.
      The uninformed and apathetic citizens are unaware of the Power of the Vote. We are now faced with choosing between Racists Goons, Felons and Non starters. I see no hope for this Country. All the Gods will not be able to redeem us from destruction. It appears Gods favour rotters.

  • 15
    1

    All the Presidential Candidates should require to tell
    – the public how they will solve the Tamils problems
    – how they will legally prevent racial religious ethnic HATE speeches and violence
    – how they will get the Judiciary Independant and to deal with all the corruption and murder cases
    – etc

    • 1
      14

      Naman
      What is the Tamil Problem? Explain.
      First of all, racial, religious and ethnic hate speech and violence by Tamil and Muslim politicians should be stopped through legal measures.
      Again it is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the systematic wipe out of Buddhism and ancient Sinhalese history from Sri Lanka by Tamil and Muslim politicians in North and East.
      Judiciary is already independent. There are a few judges and high legal officials who are partial to certain political parties. They should be removed from the service.

      • 10
        2

        Champa there is no worse hate speech and violence than that in Mahawamsa which tells Sinhalese to kill Tamils as they are animals. It does not even spare the Tamil Buddhists calling them half animals. The biggest problem is the systematic wiping out of Saivaism and ancient Dravidian history by Sinhalese rulers then and now.

        • 1
          8

          Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
          There is no mention of Tamils in Mahawamsa.
          Quote and show me where did you see the word Tamil.
          The reason is, there was no Tamils at the time. There were only Kalingars, Cholas, Chauras, Pandyans and South Indians.
          Unlike Sinhalese, Tamil was not a race in ancient time. It was a language.
          Also there was no word called Tamil. It is “Thamizh” which was derived from the word “Amizthu,” the meaning of which is “nectar.” This name may have given probably for the sweetness of the language.
          You have distorted the truth again. There was no Saivaism or Dravidian history in Sri Lanka. Your history is in South India. Go and claim it. We will give our fullest support.

          • 4
            1

            Champa your statement that there was no Saivaism or Dravidian history in Sri Lanka shows your bigoted mind. Several urn burial sites, last on in Ibbankatuwa in Kurinegala and several sites with potsherds similar to those found in Tamil Nadu, last one in Nanattan school grounds in Mannar, and two sites of around 20,000 years in Settikulam and around Giant’s tank in Mannar completely puts you out. Devanampiya Tissa and his father Mootha Siva were Saivites. Ravana a mythical figure is portrayed as Dravidian Siva worshiper and not as a Sinhala Buddhist. Government will never allow wide archaeological search to ascertain the truth. It is often said that Sinhala archaeology lies superficially while Tamil archaeology lies deep indicating which is older.

    • 1
      4

      Mr Naman
      There is NO conceivable solution to the Tamil problem so long as +50% of Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival) live outside North East and NONE OF THEM are prepared to relocate into a separate Homeland defined within North East. So far Tamil political class has not presented a draft proposal for discussion which encompasses at 90% of Tamils. Intellectuals of your calibre should take that initiative. Don’t blame the candidates for not being able to come up with a solution (which encompasses at least 90% of Tamils)

      Soma

    • 8
      0

      Naman,

      There is no Tamil Problem. The problem is Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhism “ that is a distortion of Buddhism and is an insult to the Buddha.

      Please read Buddhism Betrayed by Dr. Stanley Tambiah, published over 35 years ago, with an introduction by Lal Jayawardana.

  • 7
    0

    Shamil,
    Nicknames do not convict persons.
    Where is concrete evidence of US involvement, in any illegal manner?

    This ‘mega event’ will be the first, in Sri Lanka presidential elections.
    All citizens will wait for it.

    • 9
      0

      None of the Candidates like to face off with each other. Not capable intellectually to defend their ideology if any. Mediocre Personalities who either Read a written Monologue or berate meaningless political rhetoric to massive rallies. They don’t have the spunk or ability to answer, explain Intelligent Questions from concerned voters. Our Democracy does not permit such Town Hall gatherings.

      • 4
        0

        Dilkie this is the best comment on this article. Well said.

  • 8
    3

    The country lost US$ 480 millions, the MCC grand, – which was supposed to be used for good of the common man – owing to the stupidity of the 250 monkeys and donkeys in parliament plus brain dead PM and President. These despicable lot wouldn’t let the people or country move forward but these leeches do fine lives on the expenses of the poor masses, and they are least bothered, whether people live or die. If there any commissions to gain, they dive at it like vultures.

    • 2
      9

      Sena
      Who cares? I am more than happy to lose USD 480 million than seeing the slave government selling my country to USA for peanuts.

      • 7
        0

        Champa.
        You are so very biased and anti Uncle Sam. Uninformed. What a shame. Read the Millennium Grant and it’s purpose. This country was in receipt of Billions Of $’s in Chinese Loans which was never questioned. Loans used to Ennoble the Rulers and build useless Monoliths. Today we are drowning in Chinese Debt without redemption in sight.
        Where were you during this time????
        What do you say Champa??

        • 2
          6

          Dilkie
          Oh, please grow up. Taking more loans to settle previous loans is not the solution. The solution for the debt mountain is NOT taking any more loans and generate money with our existing resources, so that we can pay off the debt.
          I am fully informed about MCC’s peanut grant. Check my previous comments on MCC’s grant in archives under news.

          • 6
            0

            Champa.
            Peanuts are given to monkeys. What ‘nut’ grant are you envisaging?. The RW Regime does not know any other way to service Debt. They decide on the easy way out. So tell me what is the solution to the deft problem? “Generate money from existing resources” you say . Educate me. You should be in the Planning and resource Development Ministry.

            • 0
              0

              Dilkie – “Peanuts are given to monkeys.” Chimps too eat peanuts!

  • 6
    1

    Good Governance to me is a job which provides 3 meals a day and a decent Shelter for all inhabitants who want to work to look after their families.

    These Organizations I am sure must also have this as the Priority in their Mission Statement..
    And these Organizations are the ones who worked relentlessly to topple the previous regime to bring in Yahapalanaya.-

    I have one question before I come to watch the these Organizers grilling Anura Kumara, Nandasena , Nagadanada and the UNP Deputy from Keslwatta at the Premadasa Stadium.

    What is the average income of these Organizers and their members after the 4 & 1/2 years of Yahapalanaya?
    And what is the average Income of the 70% majority Inhabitant population?..

    • 6
      3

      KASmaalam K.A.Sumanasekera

      “Good Governance to me is a job which provides 3 meals a day and a decent Shelter for all inhabitants who want to work to look after their families.”

      Alright, what does it mean to crooks, clan, patriots, b***s carriers, war criminals,…. Mahasangha, … saffron clad thugs, …?

      • 1
        6

        … and terrorist worshippers.

        Soma

        • 4
          0

          soman

          “… and terrorist worshippers.”

          Of course your typing could not be more apt, you mean the state sponsored terrorists/rioters like you, Wimal, ….. .

  • 2
    2

    What a useless idea.

    People know what’s going to be said by them.

    Civil society organizations are not felt importantly in the minds of masses.

    Tell them to go & damn.

  • 2
    0

    The event will be conducted from 3 pm to 5 pm. Allowing one hour for delays and speeches only one more hour will be available for grilling the presidential aspirants. So what can be done in that one hour? At least half an hour must be available for grilling each of the candidates.

  • 6
    0

    I believe this event will be conducted in Sinhala language. For people who don’t understand Sinhala, will there be translation facilities in Tamil and English languages. I hope the organisers will do the needful.

  • 2
    0

    The gathering attempts to bring all possible candidates into one roof, say for a pow wow. Thereafter? People can complain of problems. But who has offered practical solutions to them? Say supposing the President elected in this election is either apolitical or from a party different to the majority in Parliament. What is then the choice of the elected president? Keep on fighting with the PM or do as the told by PM? On the other hand the chap elected has the Parliamentary majority. Then what is the mechanism against flagrant abuse of power? Had a UNPer or a puppet apolitical president was elected in 2015 would there be a commission of inquiry on the bond scam? We the public would have to be satisfied with the report given by the three lawyers (three wise men) appointed by bond wicks. The previous regime went berserk because Mahinda had a terrible majority in Parliament. On the contrary nothing really moved during the CBK+Ranil regime or the MY3+Ranil regime. Will that POW WOW first provide an answer to this important political question? The other matter of importance is the value of the Rupee. Since independence the value of the Rupee receded. What practical steps will these political actors suggest to put this right? Will they say that the value would appreciate upon the country being developed with sufficient projects laying down infrastructure? Pooh! Again we are providing a formula for these animals to rob the money of the nation to have plush houses in Europe, Walnut Estates in the US and vineyards in Australia.

  • 3
    2

    What is this? Does CT have been bought into the Old Royals’ cover up campaign?

    Under what terms the Lankawe Royal highnesses can be questioned? Would the questioner would only photographed and added to list or even white vanned to home?
    Would a donkey have a tail long enough to ask “if you have not murdered Lasantha, why are you evading the American Case? Did your family helped to locate you in LA for the private eyes? ”

    This is going to be the mother of all cover up meetings in Lankawe. Even Lankawe HRCSL wouldn’t have had an idea like this in its wildest dream.
    Comedy Thamai!

  • 1
    5

    This is normal in other countries. The candidates talk about their positions on various issues. The moderators ask questions. Who will the UNP candidate be? Will Joker Ranil show up?

  • 4
    1

    Sri Lankans are sleep walking into this presidential election and it is very sad that there is lack of good policies touted by the prudential aspirants. There is a leadership drought in the political arena and the mass have been hoodwinked by the politicians from all sides. People need to wake up and demand a better leadership irrespective of race or religion. Imagine another five years of political wilderness while the country is in dire straits. i.e. alleviating poverty, better education, better health system, better and discipline fiscal management, alleviating corruption, and eradicating fanatics on the base of religion and race.
    More over, the Tamils and Sinhalese must learn to understand each other better for Sri Lanka to prosper. Shout out louder, Sri Lanka, first ..

  • 0
    4

    … and terrorist worshippers.

    Soma

  • 3
    0

    Please ask the same best question or two from each candidate while the answer of one cannot hear to the next. This is the only way we can understand and compare who does what. This can be done by leaving out rest of them in a room where no event can be listened and the one completed sent to an other room.

  • 6
    2

    Can one of the participants ask Gotha the following questions.

    Responding to the report in the Daily Mirror reagrding the confusion over the two National Identy Numbers Gotah used he gave a clarification.

    1) That in addition to the old number he also gave the new number ( which according to him was a complicated one) to avoid mistaken identity . How wonderful.
    2) This coming from a man who obtained the numbers when he was not entitled to it .

    My take is as follows:

    Gotha went to file monination papers and he saw the White Van oustside . He may have got scared so in order not to be aprehended gave the Old Number which Identified him as the ex defence secetary and the New Number to confirm that he is the President or would be president. He was told that the white vans have been reintroduced by MS & RW to deal with the threat faced by the Nation from Terrorists ( Muslim) Separatists ( Tamils) and to keep them at bay.
    Poor Edirisinghe who was abducted in a white van only last week is languishing in the House of Horrors ( Temple Trees) and interogated by RW to find out if he is a supporter of Sajith

  • 0
    0

    When the last Parliamentary Election was to be held, this “March 12th” organization issued a “Guide Line” to all the Political Parties and in fact got their signatures to comply with a “Criteria” to be followed in nominating candidates to contest. In addition, I remember, some Civil Society Organizations and Religious Leaders issued a similar “Guide” to be followed in nominating candidates for elections. Before this “October 5th” dialog starts, I would urge the “March 12th Movement” to do a “Comprehensive and a Complete” check on all the Candidates” Credentials and see such nominations are in compliance with the “GUIDE”. If any one does not comply with those “GUIDE LINES”, please REFRAIN from bringing he/she or allowing such “Disqualified” person a SEAT on the dialog podium. If any one or more such candidates are not allowed to be present, PUBLICLY ANNOUNCE the names of such candidates with all the details for the REJECTION. This is best possible way and means to send a message to the VOTER who is ultimately the DECIDING FACTOR. I know, this is huge “CHALLENGE” ; but worth IMPLEMENTING it.

  • 0
    0

    To discuss what , recent cremation fracas ??? Who arrived first ??? who killed less ????who looted more ???? Is Mahavamsa myth true or not ?????? Pimp or a Murderer ????? Lankan elections are fought on religion and race, nothing else . Do not waste time in depth analysis, heated debated, intellectually stimulating talks, mind boggling discussions on topics such as unemployment, foreign policy, environment, budget deficits —-Blah, Blah, Blah. which do not exist. So called political pundits go find another job, for living. Since independence all it mattered are religion and race. Our politicians, religious bigots and SB public shall ensure this tradition.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lanka needs a civil society candidate like Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne to be a presidential candidate – I don’t agree. From Sarvodaya (no money) to a business organization. Even A T Ariyaratne had some allegations.

  • 0
    0

    Hope Nagananda Kodithuwakku is one of the participant once he announce his candidacy

  • 0
    0

    The Last time, these NGOs lost the ploy of using the SObitha thero as the bait. Foreign agents of the Parliament were screwing up Sri lanka in every direction. Everything was ready to handover Sri lanka on a platter. The very last moment when Ranil was Ready to Travel to Washington with all the legislation he modified, the coup was exposed. People are in Sri lanka ready for the Quick action.
    anyway, what NGOs say here is we need employment, We also like to drink Imported whiskies and live in seven Star hotels. Any minister would do what they ask if the percentage his henchmen say ” Minister like 10% or 20% in order to do this”. so, when will be the Railway and CTB will be sold. Private buses will go bankrupt ot sold for the what ever the bid. circular road will be built soon dividing Sri lanka into Two. They will be in the middle and run Tourist and Travel packages.

  • 0
    0

    Nominations have not closed. Is it fair to invitee some candidates? To leave out some saying they will not be elected?

  • 0
    0

    We do not need that 12 candidates could come to common platform by interest of USA conspiracies.
    Look at ex-Army Commandeer who failure to search that Muslim attack on 21/4/19 by ISIS terrorist against THREE CHURCHES during his period of Commander ?
    How can that be that such Man is going to safeguard “Democracy of Republic “of
    Sri Lanka?
    Mashaes Senenayakae is that a Army man did nothing by ISIS TERRORIST ATTACK lost of 500 lives and 800 casualties .What is to don of that about his an ACCOUNTABILITY of such crime?
    He could brought before that court of law by undelivered his duties of criminal offence by criminal Justice in Judiciary order in an Island ?
    He must charge promptly by Attorney General?
    Why such Army man bring before public platform?
    That is disgrace to Democracy of our Republic of Sri lanka!@ by $$$$$$.

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