21 September, 2020

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Rajapaksas’ Isolated Mindset And Smear Campaigns

By Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

There has been an unexpected reaction to my article last week titled “Rajapaksa dynasty and their education qualification saga”. A State controlled Sinhala daily carried a front page news item last Tuesday (10) which claims this writer is living in exile in New York and runs a website with NGO help and pays money to some people living in Sri Lanka for false information which he in turn spreads.

The news item further said; State Intelligence Service has identified this writer’s motive is to tarnish the Government of Sri Lanka in front of the international community. The very same story was reproduced on Swaranavahini’s “Mul Pituwa” program which is hosted by the Chairman of the state owned Lake House group and was also reproduced by the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

This clearly shows the mindset behind repression. In my article on the Rajapaksa dynasty and their education levels, I only asked two questions. I wrote; there are plenty of political leaders who do not have proper educational qualifications. So why should Rajapaksa? Yes, it not a problem. But, on one hand does the public know about their ruler’s education? Does he admit his school results, if yes, then it can be a great example of courage and determination. On the other hand someone like him needs good educated advisors. What about his chief advisor?

I rang the editor of the Dinamina Mahinda Abeysundara and asked, “what is the motivation behind this news?” He said even he did not know about it until it was published, but it could be because of my article on the Rajapaksas’ education. He then asked me, “why are you writing for The Sunday Leader?

The same evening the Government Information department carried a slightly different version of the Dinamina front page story, which I reproduce here.; “The Intelligence Units have found that those who held various posts in the Free Media Movement and those who have fled the country are working from foreign soils to misinform about the country and defame the image of the country, particularly among the western nations. It has been found that these anti-national elements sustained on foreign funds have sent about 700 petitions calling for the suspension of the GSP+ facility to Sri Lanka. These petition programmes has been carried out by persons such as Sunanda Desapriya, Poddala Jayantha and Uvindu Kurukulasuriya who have used financial resources of the free-media movement for their personal benefit. It has also been found that a person calling himself as the convener of the free-media movement has discreetly gathered information for this petition together with a politician of the United National Party, and these activities have been carried out by staying in a house at the media village. The intelligence sections have found that these persons who fled the country with the killing of the terrorist leader Prabhakaran are still carrying out various conspiracies against Sri Lanka.”

The irony is that these are the people who teach Journalism ethics and ban websites claiming that those websites are unethical.
I categorically deny all the allegations made by the Sri Lankan government. This clearly shows the mindset behind repression. In my article on the Rajapaksa dynasty and their education levels, I only asked two questions. I wrote; there are plenty of political leaders who do not have proper educational qualifications. So why should Rajapaksa? Yes, it not a problem. But, on one hand does the public know about their ruler’s education?Does he admit his school results, if yes, then it can be a great example of courage and determination. On the other hand someone like him needs good educated advisors. What about his chief advisor?

I made another observation on heir apparent Namal Rajapaksa. I wrote; Namal Rajapaksa had been accommodated separately in an air-conditioned room with internet enabled computer facilities to sit for his Law College examinations. Sadly President Rajapaksa managed to place a black mark on his young energetic son and heir apparent Namal Rajapaksa’s face.

If the Rajapaksas are an educated, cultured and civilised family they should have either admitted their educational qualifications or denied it making public their school certificates. Instead of doing that they are proving former president Chandrika Kumaratunga’s claim that, “the Rajapaksas are uneducated and uncultured rascals”.

Starting smear campaigns against his critics shows the mindset of Rajapaksa. Maybe this is the mindset, which he proudly claims, of his southern village roots.

US Ambassador Robert O. Blake wrote in a “SECRET” cable on December 2007;

I made another observation on heir apparent Namal Rajapaksa. I wrote; Namal Rajapaksa had been accommodated separately in an air-conditioned room with internet enabled computer facilities to sit for his Law College examinations. Sadly President Rajapaksa managed to place a black mark on his young energetic son and heir apparent Namal Rajapaksa’s face.

“The President proudly pointed out a statue in the town center of his father who had served as an MP for the district 1945 to 1960. These roots in a southern small town clearly drive the President’s thinking and self-image. One MP who has worked with the President for three decades told us the President is very conscious of his lower class roots from a village in the south that contrast with the upper class urban roots of many in the UNP such as former UNP Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.”

The Ambassador and his family were invited by Sri Lankan First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa to be chief guests at the annual music pageant for the Carlton primary school in the southern town of Tangalle. After the meeting Blake wrote, “This was a somewhat disjointed but nonetheless useful conversation between second and third grade musical and dance performances. The President was at ease and mused that he was happy to have someone to talk with during what he jokingly described as ‘this annual agony’ that he loyally attends to recognize his wife’s efforts.”

Another classified “CONFIDENTIAL” cable details Presidend Rajapaksa’s decision making process. The cable was written on May 15, 2007 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake. Under the subheading “Rajapaksa Trio Powerful, But Isolated” the Ambassador wrote, “The recent cabinet reshuffle, which left Sri Lanka with one of the largest Cabinets of Ministers in the world, perversely has contributed to the centralization of power in Rajapaksas’ hands because many ministers have overlapping or undefined responsibilities. The resulting confusion has meant that the most important issues are handled by the President and his advisors, not by the ministers. The President himself holds ministerial portfolios including Finance, Defense, Ports and Aviation. He thus directly supervises over a hundred government departments and administrations. Together with discretionary Presidential spending powers, he personally controls over 60 percent of the national budget.”

“The President also has bypassed the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which says the President should appoint the heads of key commissions and certain senior government officials on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. His personal appointment of these officials calls into question their independence, and means there is little oversight of his decision making. The constitutional changes that his SLFP put forward in its ‘devolution’ proposal would, rather than decentralizing power, actually tend to increase the President’s prerogatives. For example, he would appoint two-thirds of the new Senate members under the SLFP draft.” he further wrote.

Ambassador Blake also wrote, “At the same time, the Rajapaksas are increasingly isolated. The President both fears and despises what he disparagingly refers to as the “Colombo 7 Crowd,” Colombo’s western-educated, wealthy elite (most of whom live in the 7th district of the city). He has not included them in his inner circle and is not in touch with their views. In addition, his brothers lived out of the country until just before the election in 2005. As a result, they have a limited understanding of the Sri Lankan public’s concerns and few contacts within the country’s elite. This isolation has meant that almost all important decisions are made by a small inner circle with limited exposure to input and ideas from the country’s public or elite”

Another  US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead wrote as a Prime Minister Rajapaksa freely admitted he had only limited knowledge of some issues. For instance he wrote in a “CONFIDENTIAL” cable on November 21, 2005 “Our discussions with Rajapaksa during his term as Prime Minister revealed an affable, pleasant and obliging interlocutor who seldom had anything of real substance to say. Kept out of “hard” issues like the peace process and tsunami reconstruction by his jealous President, Rajapaksa freely admitted to us and the visitors we brought to meet him that he had only limited knowledge of these issues–and no wish to run afoul of Kumaratunga by wandering out of his depth.” (Read colombotelegraph.com for full cable)

So why can he not be “affable, pleasant and obliging” now and explain his school educational qualification, instead of carrying out smear campaigns against his critics? Has Mahinda Rajapaksa really failed maths in his GCE Ordinary level exam? I am curious because he is not only the President, he is Finance Minister too!

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Latest comments

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    Bogus lawyer and the isolated father. good photos. thanks for this.

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      MARA looks drunk. ????? mathata thitha!!

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    I am thankful to Uvindu Kurukulasuriya, for his investigative and truthful contributions.
    At the end of each one of those articles, I ask myself the same question, over and over again.
    “Do I live in a democracy, or a banana republic?”
    The undemocratic, disastrous and shameful things that Uvindu continues to expose were common, only in the Banana republics of South America, ruled by Trujillo and Somosa in the 50s and 60s.
    The Rajapaksa regime has a Parliament to hide behind and hood-wink the international community.
    Its membership is a bizzare galaxy of drug-lords, book-makers, underworld characters, child molesters and ageing courtesans.
    They vote for any piece of undemocratic or draconian legislation in exchange for perks and privileges.
    So the Rajapakse regime can get away with day-light robbery with the help of a kept Parliament.
    I have never met or seen, Uvindu Kurukulasuriya. Neither do I know whether he is here in Sri Lanka, domiciled in a foreign land or even exiled. However I do know one thing; he is a gem of a jounalist, in a country where most journalists write for the love of biriyani, egg-hoppers and arrack.

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    What a laugh! A synthetic lawyer posing for a picture with his parents. On a different note our regime chief requires a brassiere??

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      Exactly Raymond! ;) :)

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    BBC reported last Wednesday

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2012/01/120111_fmm.shtml

    The Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka (FMM) says that it did not campaign against the European Union’s Generalised System of Preferences plus (GSP+) facility to Sri Lanka.
    It said that FMM only campaigned for retaining GSP+ by urging Sri Lanka government to respect human rights obligations.

    Public opposition

    The Convenor of FMM, Sunil Jayasekera told Sandesaya that recent allegations levelled against FMM by the government is to counter the growing public opposition on government attacks on media freedom.

    The Sri Lankan government Information Department website on Tuesday accused the FMM of carying out a campaign requesting the termination of the GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka.

    The government said FMM personnel who have fled the country had sent petitions to EU against Sri Lanka.

    FMM convenor, Sunil Jayasekera answering to a question by Sandesaya about the activities of exiled journalists named by the website; Sunanda Desapriya, Poddala Jayantha and Uvidu Kurukulasuriya have put Sri Lanka government to difficulties by their work said that anyone with a free mind and thinking can express their ideas freely.

    Human rights

    “Free Media Movement made its observations about the GSP + when they are not in Sri Lanka. We wanted the government to respect human rights conventions that are agreed to by the Sri Lankan authorities” convener Jayasekera said.

    Sri Lanka government has accused former conveners of FMM Sunanda Desapriya and Uvidu Kurukulasuriya and former President of Working Journalists Association of Sri Lanka, Poddala Jayantha saying that they have used financial resources of FMM to carry out the campaign against Sri Lanka.

    Convenor Sunil Jayasekera rejected these allegations

  • 0
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    Thanks CT for publishing all this information to the world. they should know what kind of govenment we are under now. HITLER !!!

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    thank you for publishing the informations regarding Rajapakshe’s educational qualifications. I would also like to inform that Baya Gota was also a below average student at Ananda college and he was selected to the army as an officer caddet because of his fathers and brothers political influence during Mrs Bs government.

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      If you simply pass O/L you can go to Army and Police those days. even at 90s its only O/L for Cadet Officer in Army and SI in police. That’s how Gota and Chamal ( now the Speaker) joined the Army and the Police.
      UE&UC rascals .

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    Mahinda’s Attany at law came from Mrs B’s dicision to educate the MPs at Law Collage which was the only private intitute that paid students can attend.

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    MR & his party has won a Presidential election with over 50% of the votes polls, a near 2/3 majority i a parliamentary election and secured most of the local bodies in local body elections , all in the last two years. These were all high polling elections passed as fair by more than one group of international monitors With this track record anyone who thinks that MR is out of touch is the one out of touch.One has only talk to the rank and filers in SL to realise that.
    However, the only local body outside the north and east that he failed to secure is Colombo, indicating a significant disconnect between Colombians and others who are the majority of Sri Lankans.
    Those who think that MR is out of touch are the acolytes of Colombians who are the ones out of touch with the majority of Sri Lankans,

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      Must add that all the “journalists” involved and members of the Free Media Movement were inspired by Lucien Rajakarunanaya blackmailing the UNP and then getting to the upper echelons of the Kumaratunga regime. The only person who was sincere was LasanthaWickrematunga who was not interested ion being a political refugee bore the brunt of the attacks by the CBK government and certain sections of the Armed forces. He paid with his life. Mahinda Rajapakse has been a friend of the Media since he entered Parliament and still is for those who speak the truth.
      Why is UvindU making class positions important? Being from a rural family does not mean you are low caste and not everybody in Colombo is high caste. Poddalage Jayantha was a working journalist at the Dinamina, Sunanda Deshapriya was attachjed to the NGOs of Pakiyasothy Saravanamuttu. If the people involved with the FMM can write what they want about the members of the Government why do they not want the truth about them published and why would thois man want to question the Editor of the Dinamina? Is he afraid that what has been said will diminish his reputation with Sri Lankan people? As far as I am concerned his styance is untenable.

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      I applaud your bravery to publish this article. May be you might have put yourself in danger for publishing this article. Tamil population was 32% in 1948 in Srilanka. Now it is merely less than 16% Many well off Tamils left the country. They had to go through LTTE dictatorship to corrupt Srilankan hegemony rule.! Srilanka is going from better to worst dictatorship its justice system is similar to coconut court system. There is no justice. Tamils have to bribe every official in Srilanka to get a ordinary Birth certificate to passport. Rajapakshas and India has robbed everything from Tamils; LAND, JOBS. JEWELRY ,BUSINESS etc.

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    Listen Uvindu. It’s natural to steel, it’s in human nature. It’s a evolutionary thing. The water flows down. Its everywhere. May be Namal wants that star in his hat so that in future he can easily heard this fools. That’s how we are. We never know Soaman Dias Bandaranayaka had a imperialist given name Richard in his name. Mr. bandaranayaa wants it out of focus. that’s for political gain . Here Namal wants it for his later plans. So your news is not news. I’ve heard most of the countries accept Sri Lankan Diploma / Degree holders without a dought . They know we are qualified if we have that certificate . That’s for the poor people like us. But these guys need it for that star same like Mr Solamn Richard Bandaranayaka dont want that Richard part. Of course Namal will not use his digree or whatever. As I told you before. Our education system needs and overall change. Starting form a rural school teacher to the university lecturer. They don’t have balls. I’m drunk. I must sleep now.

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    This is a good title to the article. Though this government is mocked at for being buffoonish, they have good propagandists here and ‘patriots’ who clean tables, sing at underground stations for money and generally crawl to their white ‘superiors’ but who carry on smear campaigns on their ‘master’s wishes’. Some are bankrupt journalists hoping for favours, others are far more sinister but they all have a lack of qualifications common to their master and his son!!

    It is true that when exposed, they crawl back to their mudholes but their attacks are like rabid dogs. Like their master, these rabid dogs should be directly confronted. Excellent article Uvindu!

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      Some people have to use their talents to sing for money where ever. Those people have also played cricket for money.
      Uvindu does not want any blemishes on his name but everyone in Paris knows that the musician in the “underground” was also in a band called the Cascade at the same time and the reason he had to play in the metros was to earn more money and travel widely playing music.
      Chandra Goonewardena is probably someone who has no talents. Find out who the first President of the Sri Lankan Cricket Club in France was and who was the founder Member of the Federation for Cricket in France was. Find out who translated from Sinhale into French the applications of Sinhale refugees in France was. Find out who stopped the assaults on Sinhale people in Paris in 1983 was by organising a conter attack on Tamil thugs.

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        Oh ho Chetty! Why are you putting ‘on the hat’ and being so defensive about ‘busking’ in the undergrounds of the West and accepting coins that magnanimous Westerners would throw you, seeing a poor starving ‘brownie’ I guess!
        I did not mention you by name but if you want to put the hat on, thats’ fine by me!

        I do not want to waste my time trying to find out the ‘nonentity’ that you are or these self styled organisations that you refer to. I hope that you can fully understand that English term. If not, go look up a dictionary!

        Fawning brownies like you who ‘busk’ overseas and then stir up mischief locally by their rantings and ravings as a ‘patriot’ are the worst type of defenders that this government could have.

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    The best thing is that the State Media does not deny the educational background of MR and his progeny

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    Now that Namal has a Master’s degree, the Sri Lankan academic qualifications will be heavily questioned around the world. In the past, the elite sent their children to USSR (Lumumba, the People Friendship University of Russia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peoples'_Friendship_University_of_Russia) and other places for a degree. Rather than producing a fake certificate, Rajapakses are formalising the forgery through the system. The big mouths have their mouths shut now. What about Gothabaya’s qualifications? He is a computer expert from US, remember? Nobody demands a highly educated leader, but everbody expects a truthful one.

    Most of us laughed at Mervyn when he came around with a doctorate. No wonder! He wanted to outdo his leaders. Even there was an order in Sri Lanka to stop issuing doctorates to imposters. Rajapakses were worried about printing business cards for their 100+ ministers with Dr. in front of their names. Oh, by the way, can someone find out who lobbied for a doctorate for Mahinda?

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      @Rohan. The person who got the doctorate for Mahinda is the shameless Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo who advanced in her ‘academic’ career only by bowing and scraping to every power that be until she got her Vice Chancellorship! She has no academic quality to speak of!

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    excellent article Uvindu..!! We all know that you had clean hands at all the time. specially when you were at FMM as a convener. We know that you are the one who dig out all FMM finance corruptions which has happened in previous finance year [Sunanda’s time]. Agreed to DMS, you are one of the best & courageous journalist i hv seen [like Lasantha] Keep going.

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    I have no reason to doubt what is written here. The present President is a master politician. He will lie through his teeth forgetting that he has uttered something diametrically opposite in the near past. He banks on the short memories of the population. Thankfully there are journalists who keep records. These are what would expose the President. He has taken the vast majority for fools. When he comes up with answers there is no one to question him. The Statae media just carries what he says. When a courageous journalist finds that he is lying, there is no way that he could confront the president. So Uvindu, be careful. I admire your courage. This could be the last response you are getting back in Sri Lanka. If you are abroad, you would certainly have a longer life span.

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    I think that we are missing the point. Should we focus so much on qualifications? Lets take this question. If MR was an excellent statesman, would we not be hailing him for hs leadership qualities despite his lack of qualifications. R. Premadasa who actually did the littlest possible to interfere with Sri Lanka’s judiciary during his term (granted, he had only a short term!) as compared to JRJ, CBK and MR, also had no qualifications. Yet, whatever the killings that occurred during his time, there is no doubt that there wwre many excellent things done by his administration, right?

    Should we not focus on the personality of the leader rather than his qualifications? Uvindu, you are a journalist, right. Many journalists do not have formal qualifications but they are excellent journalists though their nyumber is dwindling in Sri Lanka. Tarzie Vittachi was not yaken on board as a head of the Journalism Unitat the University of Colombo since he lacked a doctorate or maybe even a masters. But the fact of the matter is that Vittachi, during his time, was one of the finest and most principled journalists that we have seen.

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    Uvindu, I hope you are not in Sri Lanka because these uneducated, uncultured bastards are every where looking for educated, cultured gentlemen for white-vanning and assassination! Under Rajapaksha rule and with their posterior-lickers Sri Lanka is doomed!

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    We could understand that MR regime must retire as soon as possible.Unfortunately he can’t rule our country professionaly. We asked several times to allocate at least 6% budget allocation to the Higher education and increse the salary of a senior professor to a minimum 2 lacs rupees.This Government considers students as terrorists who are majority the sons and daugters of teachers, government servants, workers ete. How many children of the parliamentarion s are studing in the Universities of SriLanka?
    Only we could say is Hon.MR please retire. You can’t rule our MATHRUBUUMI>.

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    Congrads. someone told me “put all 4 R Bros and you will hardly
    get an SSC among them” This may be slightly exaggerated but it makes the point.
    Actually, Nirupama’s father and his brother – also from Hambantota – were the more
    elite Rajapakses. One (or both) played Cricket for Royal. The Medamulana gang
    only could go close to Royal. Mahinda also went to Thurstan.

    I know both families well. In my ten years close moving with Mahinda I have not heard
    him make a speech or comment worthy of an average learned man. On severl of my meetings
    when I asked him to speak, he just laughed this off. I had to do the talking.
    Lasantha, my close friend, knew of some of these things.

    I am glad you boldly speak out but I am not sure how safe this is in an administration
    identified and moving in cohorts with Contract killers and drug-traffickers. Look who is
    the Spokesman for the Govt on the GoSL-TNA talks. A former Wharf-Clerk with a
    prison record – in Sri Lanka. Sajin has played out several banks when he ran that
    business in the FTZ. Naturally, Tamils cannot trust Mahinda’s bona fides in the talks.

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