18 February, 2020

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Rajapaksa Family Dynasty And Namal’s Business

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Enemies of the President’s Promise: Dopey 2

Another consequence of the electoral system from which we now suffer is that simple name recognition is generally enough to ensure election. Often voters, having selected the candidate from their constituency, use their other two preferences on those whose names they know. Obviously posters put up all over the electoral catchment area help in getting one’s name known, but there are other easier reasons too for some individuals to get votes. So film or sports stars do very well at elections, as do those who obtain publicity for other reasons, through eccentric behavior, or even by being jailed, as happened with a relatively unknown character from the opposition in the 2010 General Election.

And of course if one’s father or mother or brother or uncle is already an established politician, then one is more likely to pick up the loose preferences of a large number of the voters. In short, the children of well known politicians start with a built in advantage. Contrariwise, in the past, when candidates were chosen for particular electorates, they had to establish themselves in that area, as individuals with some connection with the constituency they wanted to represent. Now however they simply have to command patronage in order to get their names on the electoral lists. So in recent years there have been increasing numbers of children standing for election, and many of them have done very well. Whereas Mahinda Rajapaksa had to prove that he was the most able of his siblings to step into his father’s seat, and whereas he lost elections under the first past the post system and was not in Parliament for several years, Namal had no difficulty in getting nomination for the Hambantota District, and in topping the list there on preferences at the election. And he will surely be able to get enough preferences in any future election to stay in Parliament, even if the SLFP becomes less popular in the District than another party.

namal-colombotelegraph (6)Namal then is here to stay, and with the passing of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that removed term limits, his father would obviously be able to stay on as President, or to be precise as the Presidential candidate of his party, until Namal were ready to take his place. This was of course understood by other members of Parliament, and many saw friendship with Namal as their route to political advancement. Sensibly, Mahinda Rajapaksa did not give Namal a ministerial position, though this too had adverse consequences, since it meant he did not give any new entrant to parliament executive office (the only exception initially being the former LTTE military wing leader, Karuna, whose support had been invaluable in dealing with his intransigent former comrades, after he left the LTTE when it was clear they were not interested in a negotiated solution).

So the President had to leave out people of proven ability since, had he appointed them, the pressure from sycophants to promote Namal, which had in any case arisen, would have been irresistible – and Namal too would have had stronger claims to a position. Indeed, when the President first gave Deputy Minister positions to new entrants, he gave a couple to those who had done best in their Districts, which would facilitate Namal’s appointment at the next reshuffle – or rather, at the next accession of Ministers, since in Sri Lanka no one is left out when changes are made.

But there were other ways to provide Namal with the opportunities for patronage for which ordinary politicians needed executive office. He headed a youth movement called Tharunayata Hetak, a Future for the Young, which engaged in a range of activities that brought him prestige and publicity. He was invited to preside over ceremonial occasions, and given credit for what was done. And when the government settled people from the south in some areas in the North, he even had a new village named after him, Namalgama.

The forces indeed gave him much prominence. He had to be present when former LTTE cadres were released after rehabilitation. I came across one particularly sad example of the unnecessary problems caused by this rage for recognition – or perhaps the rage to bestow recognition, since Namal probably would not have minded if he had not been invited to all such occasions – with regard to the restoration to their owners of some boutiques in Kilinochchi which the army had occupied. I was asked about these at a Reconciliation meeting, and I suggested the community organization that raised the question meet the Civil Affairs Office of the military, and find out what was planned. I always noted that the military had a right to take over lands if essential, but they had to ensure that this was indeed essential, and that owners were properly compensated.

The officer who came to the meeting promised to look into the matter, but as we went out he said they had already decided to give back the boutiques. When I asked why this had not been done, he said that they were waiting for Namal to be present to restore the deeds at a formal ceremony. This struck me as ridiculous, since it caused unnecessary suffering to the owners, and in any case it was the army that needed to win hearts and minds, not politicians from the south. But the system of sycophancy rather than practicality was too well entrenched for my argument to have any effect, even though the officer concerned understood the point.

Underlying the promotion of Namal by the forces was his association with Gotabaya who, without any obvious ambitions of his own as it seemed early on, clearly far preferred Namal to Basil as the putative heir apparent. Though he never evinced, and probably did not feel, hostility towards Basil, he made no bones about his commitment to Namal, and the forces accordingly pushed the latter forward.

What seems to have been Gotabaya’s indulgence of Namal contributed to the erosion of the reputation he had previously enjoyed for honesty. In 2011, when it became clear that the Ministry of External Affairs was dysfunctional, the President took the decision to appoint what he termed Monitoring Members of Parliament to a few Ministries, to overlook their work. This was an outrageous idea, because it suggested that Members of Parliament should in effect supervise the work of Ministers, but in fact it was applied to very few Ministries, and in most of them the Monitoring Member did very little. The exception was External Affairs, where Sajin Vass Gunawardena, confidante of both Namal and the President, built an empire for himself, but obviously there were special circumstances there.

Indeed the plan seemed to have been designed only for that Ministry but, perhaps since that might have looked inordinately absurd, it was made slightly less so by being extended to a few others. Later the President claimed that he had asked Members of Parliament to apply for these positions, but that was not the case, and the honour, such as it was, had been extended to just half a dozen of the new MPs.

Amongst these, apart from Sajin, the most prominent were two very close friends of Namal, who were appointed as Monitoring Members for the Ministry of Defence. One was Uditha Lokubandara, who was almost as young as Namal, and was the son of the former UNP Minister and Speaker, who had in effect supported Mahinda Rajapaksa after he became President, and had been appointed as Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province after the 2010 election.

Uditha was an enthusiastic young man, who did not present any problems. Nor perhaps did the other Monitoring Member, given the tight hold Gotabaya had on his Ministry. But this was Duminda Silva, who was alleged to be involved in drug dealing. Whether or not this was true, it did not redound to Gotabaya’s credit, which had previously been unsullied with regard to shady activities.

Matters became worse when Duminda, who had come over to the government from the UNP, was involved in a shootout during a local election with a long standing SLFP politician, Bharatha Premachandra, for the reasons of electoral rivalry recorded above. The latter died, and Duminda received a wound to the head which required protracted treatment, and seemed to have resulted in some sort of brain damage.

Gotabaya had rushed to hospital when Duminda was taken there, which may just have been basic decency for someone supposedly involved with his Ministry, but it highlighted the association and led to speculation about the exact nature of the connection. Given the extent of the fortune the Silva family commanded, which included also a media empire, it was naturally assumed that the Rajapaksa regime had benefited from their largesse. But to find it connected closely to the Secretary of Defence was a surprise that for the first time raised doubts about Gotabaya’s commitment to the ideals he professed.

This was particularly ironic, since he had recently launched a forceful campaign against drug dealers, and indeed Mervyn Silva, a maverick member of Parliament who was one of Basil’s chief supporters in the Gampaha District, was reported to have been amongst those whose activities was under suspicion. Since common parlance had it that his associates were different from those of Duminda Silva, the public revelation of Gotabaya’s closeness to the latter was especially worrying.

***

Namal meanwhile, given the need for aspiring politicians to have access to enormous amounts of money for the electoral reasons detailed above, was actively involved in business. He had set up a media organization called the Carlton Sports Network, Carlton being the name of one of the family houses in the south, and this soon obtained a monopoly on the telecasting of popular sports programmes. The profits the network could make from advertising were of course colossal.

Namal was also able to command sponsorship for any activities he undertook. He had a penchant for fast cars, so he set up an annual car race in Colombo for which sandbags had to be set up to allow for daredevil motorists, at least those able to drive expensive racing cars, to career around. Early on in his parliamentary career, he arranged a massive tamasha in this regard for which popular Indian film stars came down.

Initially this gave his career an impetus, especially when some of the stars participated in programmes for former LTTE cadres being rehabilitated. But as time passed, these events seemed very much the preserve of privileged youngsters, and served to alienate him from the vast majority of Sri Lankan youngsters. Thus Sri Lanka seemed to be playing out the tragedy of some many other third world countries, where the scions of powerful and apparently unassailably entrenched political families, such as Gaddafi’s children, whose amusements were distinctly international in orientation, held unchallenged sway. And unfortunately for the President, this was the more marked because Sri Lanka had not suffered from such excesses before. Dudley Senanayake had been a thorough and very simple gentleman, so his father’s indulgence had caused no problems, while he himself was unmarried and had no children; Jayewardene’s son had been quite old when his father finally came to power, and both Bandaranaikes as well as Premadasa had maintained discipline amongst their children and not given them political prominence.

As time passed, Namal’s business activities also took on different forms. When in 2013 a scandal broke about a plan for the Packer dynasty to set up a casino in Colombo, initially the assumption was that this was yet another of Basil’s business deals, in terms of what he saw as priorities for economic development. But Basil was critical of the enterprise, and it was then rumoured that it was Namal who had established connections with James Packer. Certainly he felt himself entitled to negotiate about investment opportunities, with both local and foreign businessmen, and the rumours spread that all deals involved substantial commissions.

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  • 11
    14

    And what about Mr Clean My3 who is going to save democracy? They are all the same.

    Daham Tharaka, the son of Senior Minister Maithripala Sirisena is alleged to have brandished a gun and threatened UNP Municipal Council member Kris Balathazaar following the annual Royal Thomian cricket match, on Saturday.

    The incident had allegedly taken place at the ‘ Floor by O’ a popular pub/ club located at the CH and FC premises in close vicinity to the SSC where the match was played.

    Balthazaar had immediately called 119, and complained.

    However, it is learnt that the UNP member is now seeking mediation and is not pursuing action.

    The Police were unavailable for comment.

    The incident had reportedly taken place in full view of the revellers, with the son of the Minister bringing in his bodyguards with defenders prior to taking out a gun.

    The son was involved in a major ruckus last year where he had reportedly assaulted the son of DIG Ravi Waidyalankara who was hospitalised.

    The incident was also brought to a close with no action against the son. – CT 14.03.14

    • 3
      12

      “what about Mr Clean My3?”

      Paul, I am reminded of a story my late friend and devotee Taraki used to say about Pirapakaran refusing to let him join the LTTE. He said that Pirapakaran always feared that Taraki, whom he thought was a “better” scoundrel than himself would have taken control of his movement.

      Taraki worked to secure Pirapakaran’s confidence by passing on information he got access to as a “journalist” in Colombo.

      Similarly, Ranil-My3 relationship is based on a scandulous MoU designed to try and use My3 to win the election (because they couldn’t find anyone else), and kick him out within 24 hours! My3, showing his lack of a backbone, agreed to this ‘cos he wants to settle his score against MR for not making him PM.

      Ultimately, they will all loose, just like Taraki lost his life when the LTTE assassins who killed inspector Jayaratnam revealed where the information came from.

      As a retired journalist, I regret my living days about getting Taraki access in to Colombo media. But it is too late for me.

      • 15
        1

        “As a retired journalist, I regret my living days”

        eat a lot of perumkayan, durian every day perhaps your
        grey matter may produce real `koons` untill then you

        are just filthy gossip- Absolute Scum!!

        • 0
          10

          Is that the best you can do, [Edited out]?

          Say sometihng original. Stop regretting Taraki’s demise.
          He got the better of you. Didn’t he?

          • 1
            0

            Ganda Koon
            You stink.
            Check Yr3 for [Edited out]

    • 1
      1

      Paul,

      Are you sure he was the Opposition CC Mr Sirisena’s son …

      Not Malaka with a disguise..

  • 6
    1

    Rajiva Wijesinha –

    RE:Rajapaksa Family Dynasty And Namal’s Business

    The Day After, Jan 9, 2015.

    Here is Something for the Medamulana Maras to”Enjoy” on the 9th of January.2015 while reading The Common Sense Sri Lanka 2014

    The Sinhala Subtitles are the Modern MaRa version of MaRa going berserk after losing on January 9, 2015.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IKHJG5ztL68

    What Hitler said in 1945 in German,and what MaRa is expected to say in Sinhala and with English Subtitles is given below.

    Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Sinhala?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YTePIi4arg

    I have translated to English the Sinhala Subtitles. You do for Tamil and distribute. Enjoy!

    I have translated to English the Sinhala Subtitles. You do for Tamil and distribute. Enjoy!

    Hitler Speaks is in ” ”

    All others are assistants speaking. Not in “ “

    The Assistant Speaks: Sir, the current election results are not in favor of us..
    There was no change even with the Fraudulent votes..
    Uva, West, North and Eastern Provinces have an unfavorable situation..

    The Hitler Says: “No need to Panic. My Hambantota People would have paid me respect … “

    The Assistant Speaks: Sir,.. Hambantota, We have lost Hambantota as well , Sir. The Results just came in..

    Hitler Says: ” Those who are here who have failed the 8th standard, G.C.E. O.L . all get out of here “
    ( The bulk leaves, leaving only 3)

    Hitler: ” Then all of them are fail” ‘” The Supervisor of Airplanes, my Brother in Law also failed GCE OL?”

    “Where, What have I Not done for this Election?”

    “Decreased the price of oil”

    “Pachavahini, TV lies, Ni T N , from morning till night lied”

    ” Because of your advice, also put “Jeyatissa” ( Shills?) people”

    “State buses were used to haul people, and…”

    The Assistant Speaks: You could have disclosed those Files..

    Hitler, ” I you your files. Yako, Do you want me to disclose that as well?”

    The Assistant Speaks: We don’t know if this was an international conspiracy, Sir.

    Hitler ” what balls, international conspiracy, F***”
    “Mothers clothes”

    ” Spent millions obtained from China. Using the boards that can be used to measure distance was used to put up cutouts”

    ” The war won by the armed forces was distributed and eaten”

    ” The gold obtained from the North was also distributed”

    ” With all that there was no profit even close to the Ass of a hair lice”

    ” Yako, if correct, with the racism and religious conflict, I should have got votes from both sides”

    “That 8-month old child when I carried, the child who could not say mother, cried, Jayaweva, Jayavewa, Victory, Victory”

    ” They gave the child to my hands, and gave the vote to the other side”

    ” To keep you, I paid millions of dollars”

    ” That was money I could have used to get my son to do night races, Yako”

    ” That was money my brothers earned by getting commissions”

    ” Now, I have to take my woman and children and get on the road”

    The Assistant Speaks: Don’t Cry Big Lady, at least the Ukku Baby’s (sucking baby’s) Moon is there

    “For 8 years, ate, ate unfortunate, only Wattalappam ( dessert)was left to be eaten..”

    ” Now everybody gets the noose”

    “Unfortunate, next month, World Cup Final, got free ticket “

    “Aiyyo Money”

    ” If we became finalists, I invited the Australian Prime Minister to watch the finals?

    • 4
      2

      Machan Amarasiri
      Now enough you bugger, you have repeated this bloody hitler post ad nauseam, and while it is a great clip with very clever editing, it’s now time to stop.

      Dan athi putha, harida? Better move on to another topic to keep us interested in your posts!
      Cheers

      • 0
        1

        If I would be the person to get elected, first thing I would do is a body to investigate how much funds have been grabed/abused by each of Rajas. And get them nationalized so that the poor can be helpful with those sums.
        There, people will be very satisifed while the thieves will face the due convictions – creating a society where justice will be safeguarded.

      • 0
        1

        Puhul Dosi

        ” That was money I could have used to get my son to do night races, Yako” – MaRa

        “Dan athi putha, harida? Better move on to another topic to keep us interested in your posts!”

        Hari, Hari, Hari Hari, Okkoma Hari, Eth, Medamulana MaRa Thamma Innava

        OK, Ok, OK, OK, but the Medamulana MaRa ia still there.

        Why not come up with some good suggestions? In should impact MaRa’s votes.

        Does MaRa have Mistresses? Any children from them? We know about the “Toys” bought for Son Namal by Para MaRa.

        Common Sense Phamplet Sri Lanka 2014 is not yet done by any writer… What a shame…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

  • 3
    1

    Rajiva Wijesinha –

    RE:Rajapaksa Family Dynasty And Namal’s Business

    This who;lse business is Medamulana MaRa Ponzi scheme, and the capital is used by the MaRa family and few of their Cronies, to accumulate wealth.

    The people will pay for it,,,, later and send the Women abroad to work as slaves…

    The Answer is blowing in the Wind..

    A ‘mega’ exposure by Champika

    http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?
    option=com_content&view=article&id=8001:a-mega-exposure-by-champika&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

    A special exposure regarding transactions that were adverse to the country, economic assassinations carried out during the Rajapaksa regime and the losses inflicted by the port, airport and road projects that are being implemented as economic strategy of the regime is to be made today (15th) by former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka say reports.

    Earlier too Mr. Patali Champika Ranawaka had stated he would reveal massive financial frauds carried out through large scale projects carried out by the government and reveal names and details regarding the mega racketeers who are behind the financial frauds.

    It is reported that casino deal to be carried out by Rajapaksa regime too would be included in this exposure.

  • 2
    2

    It looks funny that readers here compare the Daham Sirisena who was involved in a drunken brawl together with 10+ friends and the mass scale corruption done by the Rajapaksas which will take thousands of pages to document in detail.

    How Yo-Shit-A crippled the Rupavahini and got the Cricket transmissions to their pet company CSN even the production is done in Rupavahini studios.

    Then the Rocket Rohitha was involved and fake a Sri Lankan satellite which was in fact a lease space on a chinese commercial satellite.

    Namal baby is getting 30% of commission on all the mega projects and the masses have to pay this one day or the other for Chinese.

  • 1
    8

    How could a geek like Rajiva who move about and dine with the so-call international shakers know the opinion of the majority? City population in Sri Lanka is said to be around 18%. Majority voters in this country lives in villages like I do. And their aspirations are different to that of Rajiva.

    70% of the population are Sinhala Buddhists. And they’re not against powers of the Presidency. People like Ven. Rathana knows it. And that’s why he downplays Sobitha’s screams and insist Mythree will be president even after six years.

    We Sinhala Buddhist villages want peace, political stability, better livelihood, roads and more than everything an enhanced nationality. And we have achieved what they hoped than ever before under MR. Sinhala Buddhists don’t want to go back to the dark days of Chandrika and Ranil and bahubutha days of JRJ and violent days of Premadasa and the JVP.

    When it comes to elections, people either venerates elephant symbol or hates it. Lets face it, if an outsider wants to secure traditional UNP votes, he has to contest with the elephant symbol and risk alienating those who hate it. Ranil didn’t give Fonseka the elephant symbol for he wanted to secure his position in the UNP. Consequently, Fonseka in 2010 didn’t get as many votes as Ranil did in 2005. It seems Ranil didn’t want to give the elephant symbol to Maithree as well for the same reason. As usual, the traditional UNPers will be reluctant to go to the poling boot on the day of the reckoning.

    Now if we talk about those who hate the elephant symbol meaning SLFPers and leftists, they just don’t want Ranil to be the executive Prime Minister and face the backward tunes of 2001-3. So, very few anti-UNPers will vote for Maithree. Of cause, Chandrika awalams who rode thavalams will jump and vote for Maithree. When examined in reality we see that they are far fever than 3% of the SLFP voters. In the end those that’ll vote Maithree are primarily the same anti-national lot who had rallied round SF. Hardly enough to vote a President to office.

    True or false, Namal’s endeavors hardly affect the outcome of this election.

    • 2
      0

      Banda – Leela
      whine whine

      The message by Rajiva is no different from what Champika (your hero) says.
      And you reckon Rajiva is not well versed into what grass root voters say?

      Do you think MaRa vision of Sinhala Buddhist nation is the correct path?

      re- Elephant symbol- refer to the UNP constitution. Only members of the UNP can use the Elephant symbol at elections.
      How come we dont see you at Otters that often?

    • 1
      1

      Banda should be the nation s Gonthadiya not to have grasped it at least in his mid 70 ties that war victory can NEVER be used as the licence to grab the tax payers funds of this country.

      Can you or any filthy Soysa prove us how Namal baby to own 5000 lacks to run a TV sender ? How can he afford Lamboginis while his brother spends 2-3 lacks for a pair shoes these days if his father did not allow him to grab them from state treachery ?

      Or there should be a magical formula MP of srilanken parliament to multiply their sums within 5 years ? After the new govt is appointed, everything will come to surface.

      You bugger, talk about villagers, having spent 3 wks in the country lately, I got ot know that villagers views slowly turning to facts and figures these days. Not any single wheel driver agreed with MR regime. People have been facing a life stuggle today not being able to collect sums to afford them just 3 meals.

    • 1
      0

      U dont need to be Uni degree holder, if you would just see how Namal baby could afford what he s got in hand today – that alone is sufficient any average men and women of this country to decide whom to vote on the 8th Jan.

      Now there is no war situation. Nor would any elected bring war situation. Even SF, CBK or RW would not bring any wars again all them being srilankens as we are. But all will bring a situation allowing better leader to be elected next. Latter is the wish of majority of folks in this country. Nor would agree with any leader who would continue looting people s funds.

    • 2
      1

      Bando [Edited out]bando, I wonder why the bugger in power did not appoint you to any diplomatic position. As one who once lived in the UK, he could appoint you as the high commissioner for UK since the educated Dr Nonis resigned following the baggage boys physical assualt to him. You as most known [Edited out], you deserve to get posted to somewhere leading you to control his stolen funds atleast….

  • 1
    1

    gamanpila will be forming new jahu front with BBS terorists and leader is Bayagotha.

  • 4
    0

    People are blind.
    Mahinda Rajapaksa never bought any Chopper or horse from any country.
    They are toys.
    As a very clean and genuine head of state he does not do any corrupted thing.

    He and his brothers are very simple and never spent any cent from tax payers money or Chinese loan.
    They use only toy vehicle, choppers and Air Planes.
    Basil and Gotabaya have bought many toy houses in USA. They are real like what Ranil and others have.
    Please do not blame Mahinda Rajapaksa and his family.
    They are very innocent and simple.
    J.R.Jayawardhana, Ranasinghe Premadasa, D.B. Wijetunga, and Chandrika had spent millions of millions of Rupees and Dollars to buy many things for children. But Mahinda has bought only toys.
    They are very good.

    • 2
      0

      Well said Saman. Rajiva must be at a loose end to have said so much rubbish in in praise of the Rajapaksas then and now to say so much sense in being critical of them. It is indeed baffling. Bensen

      • 0
        0

        that is the shame of Sri Lankan politics.
        Its more on shame for Rajeeva W as he have some pedigree as the son of the long standing secretary of the parliament of Sri Lanka – Sam Wijesinha.

  • 2
    1

    Copied from the above article

    Uditha was an enthusiastic young man, who did not present any problems. Nor perhaps did the other Monitoring Member, given the tight hold Gotabaya had on his Ministry. But this was Duminda Silva, who was alleged to be involved in drug dealing. Whether or not this was true, it did not redound to Gotabaya’s credit, which had previously been unsullied with regard to shady activities.

    Rajeeva is trying to project Gotabaya as a person of unsullied character.

    Can Rajeeva explain Gota’s involvement in issuing a Diplomatic Passport to Karuna under the name Kokila Gunawardene? Whom is Rajeeva trying to hoodwink that Gota ever had a clean record?

    • 4
      0

      gamini

      Didn’t Gota’s men broke into LTTE’s safe and steal gold? Didn’t he sell part of the gold to Tamil MUdalalis in Colombo?

      Rajiva should start investigating the Tamil Mudalali not Gota as he has unblemished record.

  • 0
    1

    “The exception was External Affairs, where Sajin Vass Gunawardena, confidante of both Namal and the President, built an empire for himself, but obviously there were special circumstances there.”

    This para takes one to that Empire –
    [Edited out]

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