30 November, 2022

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Ranil-Gota Twosome: One Gone, The Other Is Acting Up

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

The people have accomplished what many pundits thought, and some even hoped, could never be done. Aragalaya and its July 9 explosion have removed the Rajapaksa family from the perches of Sri Lanka’s state power. The last of them, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, furtively fled the country in the middle of the night on July 12. He left without resigning as he had promised. Instead, he appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe to be Acting President while he is overseas. The Speaker of Parliament waited in vain till midnight on July 13 for Gota’s letter of resignation. Nothing came. The Speaker even considered the possibility of declaring the presidential post vacant. He should have also considered the possibility of abolishing it altogether! The letter of resignation finally arrived via email on Thursday night.

The people were expecting two resignations on July 13, and the Speaker to become Acting President. Instead, there were no resignations but two presidents – one on the run, and the other acting out. The Speaker was kept waiting. As the Bar Association has noted the uncertainty and chaos created by the non-resignation of the President on July 13 and the appointment of an Acting President under Article 37(1) of the Constitution should and could have been avoided.

Acting President, First Ever!

Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sri Lanka’s first ever Acting President, sees everything differently from everyone else in Sri Lanka. He began acting vigorously as if he has been President from 1978. He should have been honest and forthcoming, and explained to the country why he did not resign, and how and by whom it was decided that Gotabaya Rajapaksa could leave the country and leave Ranil Wickremesinghe to be Acting President. Instead, he released a televised statement at noon on Wednesday (July 13), that was ill-advised and ill-timed. It was also provocative in tone and politically foolish in content. He was not even sworn as Acting President when his statement came out and was reported worldwide.

In his statement, Mr. Wickremesinghe declared that he had ordered the military to “do whatever is necessary to restore order”. Even as he called on the protesters to withdraw from the occupied buildings and co-operate with authorities, he issued the ultimatum to aragalaya protesters: “We can’t tear up our constitution. We can’t allow fascists to take over. We must end this fascist threat to democracy.”

When did aragalaya protesters become fascists? The minute after Ranil Wickremesinghe became Acting President? It is bad to tear up even a bad constitution, but it is worse to risk tearing up the country. Even Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the military man, did not dare order the military to do whatever is necessary. Another military man, Sarath Fonseka, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s substitute candidate in the 2010 presidential election, publicly rebuked the Acting President and appealed to the military chiefs to ignore his unconstitutional orders.

To their credit, and throughout this crisis the military leadership has been cautious in its approach to the crisis and have appeared to be more empathetic to the suffering people than many of the civilian political leaders. Strikingly, after the Acting President had made his order to the military chiefs, the chiefs called upon political party leaders to meet with the Speaker and “tell them (the) next political steps they intended to take until a new President is elected and called on the public and young protestors to be calm.”

Quite a contrast to the over-the-top statement of Wickremesinghe. As well, there has been no indication of the new Acting President (AP) reaching out to other party leaders. Except, there was one report according to which the AP had asked Speaker to find a nominee for PM in parliament acceptable to both the government and the opposition? Is Wickremesinghe the Queen’s new Viceroy, expecting the Speaker of Parliament to do errands for him?

On the other hand, the reported statements of military chiefs avoided any direct reference to the order issued by the Acting President. The military chiefs described their role as defenders of the Constitution and asked for the people’s support. Military chiefs and the IGP even attended the Party Leaders meeting convened by the Speaker on Thursday, July 14. The governing SLPP did not attend the meeting, but all the other party leaders did and unanimously decided to ask, “Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to vacate his position at the earliest possible (time) to defuse the prevailing crisis situation.” Defusing the situation is what is called for and that is precisely what Ranil Wickremesinghe failed to do in his maiden statement as Acting President.

Looming Uncertainty

Ranil Wickremesinghe was finally sworn in as Acting President on Friday, July 15. But he seems to be having a conveniently timed amnesia about the sequence of events that elevated him first to be Prime Minister and now Acting President. Both elevations came courtesy of an embattled President, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who for all the narratives about him as a war hero has shown neither the head nor the stomach for a straight political fight. So, he turned to Ranil Wickremesinghe to be his saviour and that of the Rajapaksa family. First, to avoid resignation in May, and two months later in July to leave the country before a travel ban could be imposed on him as it has been on his brothers and former and now disgraced aides. This is how all of Sri Lanka sees the Ranil-Rajapaksa twosome.

And that is why public protests boiled all over again on July 13 when people became suspicious that they were being duped again by the RR-twosome. They have been partially duped for sure – with only one resignation arriving via email and the other finessed away via the Acting President arrangement. The aragalaya protests ever since they began in March have had their ebbs and flows. For what they have achieved in getting rid of an upstart dynasty, the protests have been remarkably peaceful and even decorous. The excesses that occurred on May 9 and again on July 9 and July 13, will have to be seen in the provocations that preceded them.

That said, the torching of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 5th Lane residence in Colombo is an unforgivable act of arson for which no condemnation can be enough. At the same time, there have been plausible indications that the burning was not by the main protesters but a set up by other troublemakers with their own agendas. Ever since 1977, Sri Lanka has gone through spates of killings, vandalisms, burning properties and burning libraries, and years of war itself. The aragalaya emergence has kindled hopes in the minds of many activists that there is an opportunity now to recast Sri Lanka’s politics anew. Some superstructure recasting is necessary anyway to repair the broken economic base.

If Gotabaya Rajapaksa had resigned two months earlier along with his brothers, the country would have been on the path to recovery that much sooner. The question now is whether the country can survive the continuation of Ranil Wickremesinghe in one office or another without plunging into another crisis. He is certainly the lightning rod for all political castigations, most of which are self-inflicted. But he is not the only hindrance to the country forging a new path ahead.

In fact, there is no one inspirational or charismatic enough leader to take a clear lead before the people, bypassing Ranil Wickremesinghe or anybody else. When there are no outstanding leadership prospects, the preferred alternative is for the contenders to work together rather than against one another. Yet, there is no hope for a consensus candidate for the interim president position, only a growing list of contenders. A highly contested and potentially corrupt vote in parliament for the interim president will not make it easy for the winning candidate to reunite the party leaders and MPs to set up a ‘caretaker government’ until general elections can be held to elect a new parliament.

The current parliament, even though it has still not reached the halfway mark of its five year term, has totally lost credibility and it is only dragging on because elections cannot be held soon enough. Yet in the dire circumstances of IMF negotiations and procuring essential supplies, the parliament has a role to play, and the current MPs must play their part, even if they are to be corralled and coerced to doing it. Ideally, the interim president that parliament will soon elect could be someone who has no political ambition beyond the caretaker-purpose that the current parliament must fulfill before it is dissolved. In other words, the interim president must be someone who will declare that he (there is no hope for any ‘she’ emerging) will not be contesting the next parliamentary or presidential election. Such a criterion might facilitate MPs coalescing around a consensus candidate instead of polarizing around multiple contenders.

If Ranil Wickremesinghe ever thought of becoming a consensus candidate, he should not have burnt his boats by agreeing to be Gota’s Prime Minister without consulting all the opposition parties. Even as Prime Minister he fatally neglected or failed to get a handle on the fuel supply and distribution situation. He thought his lectures in parliament on the IMF and country’s bankruptcy was all that was needed to keep the people quiet. The fuel crisis was the trigger for the new wave of protests that demanded the resignations of both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned and Ranil Wickremesinghe has wormed his way to becoming Acting President. He now seems poised to become interim president with the support of the discredited Rajapaksa party – the SLPP. That might prove to be a Pyrrhic victory or kiss of death, or both. He cannot cry ‘fascism’ and order the military “to do whatever is necessary” when, rather than if, protests erupt afresh demanding his resignation. A more statesmanlike option for Mr. Wickremesinghe would be to step back from the presidential fray, but commit himself to continuing his intercessions with the IMF and other international creditors to rescue Sri Lanka from its financial quagmire. He doesn’t have to be Acting President to do this, and he doesn’t have to do anything more in Sri Lanka’s politics.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    30

    The US-backed Military dictator, Ranil, Gotta Go too!
    Bondscam Ranil who staged the biggest financial crime in Sri Lanka in 2015 at the Central Bank, destroyed the CBSL’s integrity and opened the doors for US-based Bond Traders like Black Rock to debt trap Lanka must be arrested! He now wants to represent the people in IMF talks to Bailout the Sovereign Bond ISB Traders who funded his election campaign in 2015/16!
    Bondscam Ranil is directly responsible for Sri Lanka’s Sovereign Bond Debt trap, more so than Nivard Cabraal. The US-backed soft military Dictator Wickramasinghe who became Prime Minister on May 12 in a Regime Change operation to enable colonization Lanka took power while the country was under curfew and the military on the streets on May 12. He must go NOW!

    • 9
      25

      RW was pushing the MCC and SOFA US military base operation and now is pushing the IMF colonization of Sri Lanka’s economic and policy sovereignty as the new Cold War heats up in the Indian Ocean island, as in Ukraine where the puppet Zelinski has blamed Russia for Sri Lanka’s woes even though its US ISB traders and a US sanctions on Russia and a air-sea-cyber, fuel and news blockade in Lanka that is the cause of the crisis!.
      The CIA/USAID money politics project has spread like a virus throughout the Sri Lankan body politics – to the government, opposition and Aragalaya, which supports the IMF?!
      Whoever heard of “protestors” anywhere in the world supporting the IMF which works for the global 1 percent ??!!!

      • 5
        7

        Ranil is going to win on sympathy vote. Burning of his house is a harbinger of events to come if Sajith is elected president.

        • 0
          0

          “Ranil is going to win on sympathy vote.”
          That is something interesting.
          Do the 225 cynics know sympathy?

  • 8
    0

    Acting President, First Ever! Came through the benefit from aragala and now u turn and aragalaya protesters become fascist.

    Ranils game is not working people it’s the old way of politics the, Old way change things by fighting the existing reality. Forcible suppression

    To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. He has the habit of to more provoked by confusion than the most painful truths

  • 11
    1

    CATCH 21 SITUTION

    What is the difference between Permanent president and acting President,
    Is the letter of resignation from presidency signed when GOTA was located in Singapore whereas he did not get leave from the speaker before leaving or informed him . I other words he vacated the post without permission as per protocol. It amounts to that GOTA resigned the post on 14th July the date he signed his resignation. Is the letter legally valid” Experts may clarify it
    Can the acting president take drastic decisions when serving until confirmed to reflected as President though the voting by secret ballot by MP’s If there are 3 MP;s contesting for President post and say that A may get 90 Votes B may get 80 Votes C may get 40 Votes 15 votes spoiled or absent
    Is A declared winner although he did not get116 Votes.? Is the constitution clear on this? If Ranil or another Candidate wins what is the guarantee that the economic condition will revive within next 3 years. The damage to the economy was done by successive high caste political leaders centered around Colombo 7 with caste in the background. Caste system exists not only on north but also in the South. Kandyan Singhalese claim as high caste when compared to low country western coastal region Singhalese.

    • 3
      1

      Dear Kuviyam,
      .
      Many thanks to you for speaking clearly and to he point.
      I have placed some comments below this article; a few appear to have seen them, but nobody has yet commented on what I have said.
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/oh-frabjous-day-callooh-callay/
      .
      I have given there these things which you must explore and READ. Go there, NOW!
      .
      https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/presidential-electionsspecial-provisions/
      .
      See Section 8 (b).
      .
      The figures that you have given add up to 225 – that is first round counting. You must explore the possibilities of Preferential Voting. These regulations have been there since the first Executive Presidential Election on 20 October 1982 – which was followed by the very unfair postponing of Parliamentary Elections (due July 1982?), by having a Referendum on 22 December 1982. All the work of J.R. Jayawardene.
      .
      The Sirima-Felix Dias administration was also at fault. You blame Colvin’s 1971 Constitution too much. He left the government in 1975, five years after they got a mandate on 27 May 1970. Sirima-Felix continued for a further two years saying that the new constitution allowed it.
      .
      Please ask, disagree, argue, all you want, starting right NOW!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 483111444V) of Bandarawela

    • 5
      1

      PART TWO
      .
      I am a 73 year-old retired English teacher, still living less than half a mile from where I was born. I have made my share of mistakes in life, but I have not cheated or lied. Mistakes: Up to 1977, knowing no better, I had voted for the UNP. That is the election when Ranil Wickremasinghe, who is only a few months younger than me, first entered Parliament. That 1977 election, which Sirima lost badly, was at least conducted fairly.
      .
      I’m not an expert on thee matters, and may make mistakes. There were irregularities leading up to the Elections of 2019 (Presidential) and 2020 (Parliamentary), but on the days when they were conducted there was clean polling. Focus, focus! You notice that I have jumped over irrelevancies. It was foolish voting, mainly by Sinhalese voters, that led to this mess.
      .
      Irregularities:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/was-the-presidential-election-free-and-fair-when-colombo-returning-officer-called-sajith-premadasa-the-son-of-a-donkey-asks-prof-hoole/
      .
      See how hard Jeevan Hoole tried to expose corruption. At these elections, I began to vote for the NPP for the first time, and I’m a steady supporter now. Jeevan flew to the United States two nights ago. I spoke to him that morning.

    • 2
      0

      PART THREE
      .
      This is something new
      that I discovered after I had submitted PART TWO. How will Ranil be accepted by the Aragalaya?
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12ydaucrOKE
      .
      Seven minutes in Sinhala; AKD says that the NPP has contacted all other parties (UNP also? Is it considered a Party?). They desire to have as President and Prime Minister individuals who do not have any future ambitions in politics. If such persons contest and are placed in office, the NPP will join the interim administration which will conduct parliamentary elections as early as possible. Asked if there are such persons in Parliament, he says yes. Some because they are old, some because they know their own limitations, some out of pure honesty. This will be the position until Wednesday. If such a candidate doesn’t come forward by then, then AKD will contest.
      .
      What I’m trying to say is that we must now make the best of the present situation.
      .
      The Aragalaya representatives also speak, and say that they will continue their struggle if Ranil prevails.
      .
      I think that I’ll now get some sleep; there is a limit to what CT will accept, and also what readers can cope with!

    • 0
      1

      (Part I)
      Kuviyam,
      “Is the letter of resignation from presidency signed when GOTA was located in Singapore whereas HE DID NOT GET LEAVE FROM THE SPEAKER BEFORE LEAVING OR INFORMED HIM? I other words he vacated the post without permission as per protocol.”
      Why should the President (HoS and Head of the executive Arm of Governance) obtain Leave from the Head of the Legislature (Head of Parliament – HoP) to go about his business or overseas??? The 3 pillars of Governance of this democracy is by those 3 pillars(Judiciary, Legislature and Executive) and their independence from each other and not INTER-DEPENDENCE, but may be harmonious working together as well-oiled machine to ensure the sovereignty of the people enshrined in them is not subservient to the other!
      The question of “vacation of post” therefore, does not arise as he is in control though not in Sri Lanka!?
      If on the contrary, the position is that he ‘per se’ has transgressed, (which doesn’t seem to be the case in this instance?), he has well demonstrated his acumen and need to appoint an acting President and Actg., Minister of Defence (MoD) and Commander-in-Chief (CiC) to protect the Republic!!?? Which, evidently one

    • 0
      0

      (Part II)
      may not do, if he was deserting the Office???
      Reminded of some sinister move by a previous incumbent of previously, went to Thirupathy and Singapore, without informing and/or the appointment of an acting MoD during the Easter of 2019 calamity claimed 250 + lives and maimed another 275+ due bomb blasts, ignoring impending catastrophe warnings???
      Gota has fared much better than the Gram Sevaka/Niladhari, who in his prime of Youth or as a tenager, having a domestic disagreement burnt the paddy field of his Father!!! That president’s lame excuse always was that, “Nobody told him” – when he was the CiC and MoD and all the armed forces and intelligence reported to him???

  • 14
    2

    Ranil Wickremesinghe is so much of a smooth operator Gotabaya is heading home to claim his perks as a former President!
    RW has made Gota Go Home re-written as Gota Come Home!

    • 1
      0

      Nathan,

      Is there some news about GR coming back? I haven’t seen it.

      • 1
        0

        No, Agnos, I’m sure that Nathan didn’t mean that.
        .
        Only a manner of speaking.
        .
        Now some comments are coming in, making it possible for me to expand on what I’ve said on this page thirty-six hours ago.
        .
        I’ve also said something below this trilingual eleven minute minute video:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6V28UzqmEg
        .
        The gumption of this knave, Ranil!
        .
        Perhaps we could suggest to Professors Kumar David and Jeevan Hoole that they, too, should join us in blitzing Ranil before the voting tomorrow. Jehan Perera has given us this useful article:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/jvp-proposal-points-to-consensual-way-forward/

    • 2
      0

      Nathan,
      “Ranil Wickremesinghe is so much of a smooth operator”
      Who knows, he may soon give you and all of us 3 meals a day instead of one as at present with difficulty??

  • 15
    3

    Dear Rajan,
    .
    I’m going to say something that some unscrupulous fellows are going to twist against me. This statement of yours goes much too far:
    .
    “That said, the torching of Ranil Wickremesinghe’s 5th Lane residence in Colombo is an unforgivable act of arson for which no condemnation can be enough.”
    .
    Make no mistake. I don’t condone the action, but I feel sorry only for the books, the artifacts, the antiques, and even the perfectly livable house; may be even for his wife. But not for the guy who owned all that.
    .
    I vividly remember what somebody said when Hendrik Verwoerd , the apartheid Prime Minister of South Africa, was assassinated: “If you rule a country like that, you must expect such events.” I can’t remember who said it.
    .
    Rajan, you’re from Jaffna, aren’t you? There was far less justification for the burning of the Jaffna library by guys who were the political colleagues of Ranil.
    .
    There also are more than credible stories of what Ranil himself got done. It is for us, the citizens of Lanka, that we must shed tears. Is there no limit to this man’s craving for power, and to his exercise of cunning and telling of half-truths to achieve his craving for contemptible – contemptible what? Words fail me.
    .
    However, let me emphasise that I don’t condone the act – let’s see it in its context.

  • 6
    7

    Was RW the real choice of GR, or a choice made on persuasion by another force?

    • 13
      3

      “Was RW the real choice of GR, or a choice made on persuasion by another force?”

      SJ,
      It looks that you are afraid to identify that ‘another force’. What you are trying to say here is that Gota was forced by ‘another force’ and Gota has no option even though he or SLPP doesn’t like RW becoming Prime Minister and now to President.
      Ranil wants to protect Rajapaksas, SJ also wants to protect Rajapaksas. Another force also wants to protect Rajapaksas.

      • 2
        0

        What a spell of Wisdom indeed??!!

      • 0
        3

        I do not fear even your daft interpretations.
        Intelligent people will understand what was implied.

    • 1
      0

      SJ,
      be more specific!

      -the usual Marxist bogey man- American/CIA

      • 1
        3

        Do I need to be?
        I am sorry, I should have realized your new found post-LTTE faith.
        Not CIA– CIA operates through NED and the likes.
        Read William Blum to clear your mind. He is no Marxist.

    • 0
      0

      SJ,
      Do you seriously know that he had enough space, resources and time to choose???

  • 4
    7

    “The Speaker even considered the possibility of declaring the presidential post vacant. He should have also considered the possibility of abolishing it altogether! “
    What is this excitement about?
    GR planned to be in Singapore before 13the July.
    One could imagine intention not to resign, but did it make sense?
    Some of us are impulsively mixing issues of legality and morality.
    Which saviour’s arrival are we awaiting on Wednesday?
    The question “what Next” after Gota goes is more valid than before.
    *
    Are we counting on 225 untrustworthy individuals (less a few absentees) to elect a trustworthy president?
    It does not make sense to me.

  • 11
    2

    Dinuk
    “The US-backed Military dictator, Ranil, Gotta Go too!”

    Today I read a news item that the estimated the internail and external debt amount by an expert organisation appointed by Central Bank came up with the shocking figure of 97 billion US dollar of which 50 billion internal and 47 billion external debt as at 31st December 2021. This amount would have gone up substantially now. If this figure is true, not only IMF but also any other institution can bring back the country for many decades.
    Even though Gota has gone, but nothing has changed yet in the country because Ranil was appointed as President by Gota and Ranil is not prepared to take any legal action against Gota or Mahinda or any others to get back the looted money from them. He cannot function as independent because his power fully depend on Rajapaksa family. Even if he has the executive power, he can’t survive another day without Rajapaksa support. He cannot bring the stability with his military power for even a day. He can make threats and call “Aragalya” or people as Fascists but in real he can’t ask military to kill people easily as he thinks unless he decides to massacre 22 million people.

  • 16
    2

    SL Tamils who wants to continue to live AMICABLY with the Singhalese needs APOLOGY from the Lay + clergy singhalese for the past evil acts and should cease continued suppressive activities in the North and East of the country. Building Buddhist Temples and stupas in these areas are very very PROVOCATIVE actions. In addition We need the GoSL to cut down the Army camps to one or two only. SL needs a central government and ONE Provincial council for a combined North and Eastern areas of SL
    In the eyes of Tamils all Politicians of majority race are equally NASTY.

    • 6
      0

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

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 0
        0

        What a shame EE???
        Blocked!!
        You want to explain to Naman, it was the “Battu Kotte” (Vaddukoddai) resolution or ‘concoction’, which caused all the problems for the Tamils as a consequent??!! or it was created by the High caste ‘Vellala’ of ‘Yapanaya’, so no apology whatsoever is required???!!!
        Take it easy??!!
        “Confluence of thoughts of Wisdom, synchronised harmoniously by great minds” indeed?!!!
        Said it to ease your pain of mind that may have been inadvertently caused, not being able to express so??!!

    • 5
      0

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

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 7
      9

      Whoever becomes the president is of no use to Tamils and the atrocities against them will continue. Some Tamil MPs will get money from Sinhala politicians or foreign agencies and vote accordingly. Sumanthiran who was lackey of Ranil has started Ranil bashing to please Sinhala elite in Colombo. Only salvation for Tamils is to put Sinhalese against Sinhalese and reap the benefits. Best for Tamil MPs is to vote for Ranil, so that Aragalaya will continue and the country will continue to be in turmoil. If economic recovery returns to Srilanka, Tamils will be forgotten.

    • 2
      3

      Naman I see the Tamils too have their share of nasty racists.

    • 1
      0

      Naman,
      Not only Army camps, but the Cadres and resources, which the government can ill afford when they are running short of funds for essentials?? Face reality and cut down all unnecessary expenditure!!

  • 3
    2

    Author observes that RW is the first Acting President. I am notified that on one occasion President CBK appointed the premier Ratnasiri Wickramanayake (Ironically RW) as the Acting President when she was out of the country as some important matter was on the offing at that time. Rajan states that the speaker on one occasion wanted to declare that the position of the speaker is vacant. Constitutionally that is not possible. The only authority who can declare in consultation with the speaker that the president is incapable of performing his duties is the Chief Justice. “Aragalaya” it self is a mix up of different kind of persons who rallied round under any given tag starting with “Gota go Home”. Basically, it was peaceful but subsequently hijacked by other elements. I cannot call a man driving a baco machine to break barriers as a peaceful protest. Nor can I call it peaceful as per reports flowing in three of the Aragalaya fellows threatening the bank staff when they withdrew about 45 million rupees with Aragalaya treatment if questions are asked as usual for large withdrawal of money. I am not a fan of Ranil but maintaining peace is timely.

  • 4
    2

    The way the choice is turning out, Ranil Wickremasinghe with his educational background and experience has surged forward as PRIMUS without PARES – First having no Equals.

  • 5
    0

    I dont understand that our Aragalaya members are celebrating vicotory while allowing the culprit doing shopping in Singapore

    • 7
      1

      lankan100,
      Console yourself that Gota did not pursue purchasing the outlet itself!

  • 4
    0

    Rajan- you got the basics wrong
    “The Speaker even considered the possibility of declaring the presidential post vacant. He should have also considered the possibility of abolishing it altogether!”
    Sorry- you are totally wrong- abolishing the Presidency as per our crazy constitution only possible after 2/3 and possibly a referendum!!

    • 5
      1

      Yes this is a crazy constitution. I don’t agree with electing the President by secret ballot either.

      People voted parliamentarians by secret ballot and sent their representatives by majority vote. Now that majority does not know whether that rep is representing them or his personal interest.

    • 1
      0

      L. Goonatilake,
      Sadly, you missed the sarcasm in, ‘He should have also considered the possibility of abolishing it altogether!’. Sorry.

  • 3
    10

    RW will win and will do what GR failed to do i,e. stop the violence. Who do the protesters think they are? Do they represent 22m people? The way 22m people change leaders is by Presidential and General elections. If the protesters want to do that they must form a political party and stand for election.
    Also they have created a precedent for future protests. If one protest is allowed to change the President why can’t another? Where will all this end? These are the very people who are complaining about a lack of democracy.

    • 4
      0

      Ah! Svenson, buddy ……… thought you’ve gone missing ……. done the ol’ vanishing trick.

      Was starting to miss you, pal ……… you’re one dude who can intelligently express your stupidity. :))

  • 0
    0

    Ranil can be the consensus candidate, if he announce that he will be quitting politics at the end of the term. At the same time resign from leadership of UNP. This is one way out of the quagmire.

    • 0
      0

      S
      Ranil did not bargain for any of this.
      There are vested interests that want him there for now.
      His election if at all will be by an electorate that wants to be in parliament for as long as possible. That is the consensus.

  • 3
    1

    Looks like RW will wheel and deal to become the next president ( not sure for how long ), The initial recovery signs alone will take anywhere from minimum one to two years, provided, austerity measures are implemented. It’s still a blessing in disguise, not to become the next President, without appropriate plans / help in place. At the same time , if anyone capable of getting us out of this self made mess, deserves to be our president (not winning a war ). Like Rajapaksas, presidency may eventually end RW’s cunning politics. In my opinion, as long our current politicians are around, recovery is highly doubtful.

    • 4
      0

      According to media reports, few experts warned Gotha as soon after becoming president about possible economic melt down, depleting foreign reserves, debt burden—etc ( not just me to anticipate ). But Gotha being typical Rajapaksa ignored all to focus on his SB agenda.

      • 0
        0

        C
        True. That warning had been there for a while. Why it was not given media publicity in time is another issue.
        GR did many things against the views of MR, so that MR kept out of matters for long.
        GR was surrounded by a group that insulated him from anything that made sense.
        MR is cunning, dishonest etc. etc. but not stupid. He would have avoided some stupid decisions, but not arrested the crisis.

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