30 November, 2022

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Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Democratic Credentials? A Test, A Challenge!

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole –

Prof S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Ranil Wickremesinghe – the Positives?

Ranil Wickremesinghe is really an enigma to evaluate; he presents some not so nice antecedents. His unicle, Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe came to Maruthanamadam Ashram shortly after July 1983 and literally cried saying a close relation of his had had a hand in the carnage. Mr. Wickremesinghe reads a lot unlike many of us – especially in English and has therefore been exposed to many ideas from diverse sources. He believes in the free-market which will probably make our trade balances better even though the poor will not fare so well in our “want everything free” culture. He appears well-connected to the west and to businesses – these three factors seem to make him suitable to get a sympathetic ear for loans from the IMF. It is not surprising therefore that there are many rooting for him.

A careful search by me, however, revealed few indicators showing his commitment to democracy. The best I could see was from a fairly comprehensive profile by Al Jazeera that could at best say “Known as an economic reformer and ‘technocrat’ during his long political career.” He seems sailing on his free market credentials, and not any commitment to good governance or democracy.

Ranil Wickremesinghe – the Fears he Raises

Mr. Wickremesinghe’s presidency has raised certain fears in many. The World Socialist Website denounced him on 20 July 2022  upon his appointment as President saying  “Sri Lankan parliament elects rightwing, pro-US Ranil Wickremesinghe as president.”

Such fears were engendered not only from left sources. His own party’s, the UNP’s, General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara as reported in Thinakran on 22.08.2022 said that Ranil will be the president until 2030 and that there can be no confusion over that. That assertion was chilling, certainly to many.

There has been also a lot of untruth flowing from him and his government. Whilst Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardana admitted that the Sri Lankan government footed the bill to provide former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to fly to Thailand from Singapore in a chartered flight last week, the Information Department said government made no contribution for it. The Department said that the former President had spent his own private funds on his foreign visits. (DM 16 Aug. 2022). 

Even regarding the deportation of Kayleigh Fraser, the Scottish lady involved in the Aragalaya, there are different stories as to whether Mr. Wickremesinghe ordered her deportation or somebody else did. In a democracy when trust in the government is destroyed, democracy itself is done for.

There appear to be more untruths regarding the disbanding of the Aragalaya. Al Jazeera (22 July 2022) reports that “the military in Sri Lanka has taken control of the presidential secretariat in Colombo, after what members of the country’s months-long protest movement described as a ‘brutal assault’ and that soldiers overnight also destroyed tents at the adjacent GotaGoGama protest site, arrested several protest leaders and cordoned off the area together with about 100 protesters.” Many Sri Lankan newspapers however have reports that the protesters went away quietly and withdrew the court cases they had filed. Smells like foul fish to me.

The PTA

The Prevention of Terrorism Act, we were assured, would go away. But the Aragalaya Uprising participants (e.g., Wasantha Mudalige, the convener of IUSF, Galwewa Siridhamma Thero, the convener of Inter-University Bhikku Federation, and Hashantha Jawantha Gunathilake, member of the Kelaniya University Students’ Unio) have been detained under the PTA with 90-day detention orders signed off by the Ministry of Defence – a calamity for anyone, particularly peaceful protestors who were exercising their democratic right to protest. The Minister of Defence is none other than President Wickremesinghe. The Defence Secretary is Kamal Gunaratne against whom there are serious accusations of war crimes. Who the Defence Secretary is, instils little confidence in us, the ruled, and certainly calls Mr. Wickremesinghe’s commitment to the rule of law.

Chinthaka Rajapaksa

Shreen Saroor in a video has highlighted the sad lot of another Aragalaya activist Chinthaka Rajapaksa who too has been charged under the PTA. His travails under the PTA have not been picked up by the press.  

Those being charged include those who took selfies while seated on the President’s chair. The biggest bribe takers and murdering generals from Mullivaikal are given high office in Mr. Wickremesinghe’s government. The ordinary small fellow who was righteously angered by our gang of 226 rulers of whom most looted the country and rewarded our killers in uniform with high and lucrative office, is punished. They seem  clearly to be on the road back to power, facilitated by Mr. Wickremesinghe. 

NMSJ Chairman Karu Jayasuriya in unequivocal that they consider the Police attack on the peaceful protest march organised by the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF) on 18 August, as an attack on the fundamental rights of the people as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Shreen Saroor in her above referenced video is quite clear. While we seem to think that Mr. Wickremesinghe’s “reformist” credentials will get us the petrol, diesel and food we so desperately need, his suppression of the people, especially our righteously enraged youth who rose up against the government, will disturb the IMF, UNHRC, EU etc. sufficiently to make our lot worse, to deny us what some of us expect through Mr. Wickremesinghe’s technocratic qualifications, whatever they might be. If that denial of loans happens through totalitarian or fascist as somebody said failures of Wickremesignhe’s, it is in my view something to be welcomed as a temporary sacrifice and pain for long term gains through democratic rights and our return to civilization. Chinthana’s sacrifices and suffering must contribute to that, and we must all press for the release of all those detained – perhaps even a resuscitation of the Aragalaya.

Bad Signs for any Reform in Sight: Malaysian Parallels

As we go through these traumatic events and times, those far behind us in democracy-yardsticks have rapidly overtaken us. Malaysia provides us with two example for us to emulate.  

The first example is that in Malaysia ex-PM Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak  has been jailed for 12 years for channelling about  US$700 million in state money into his personal bank accounts. The verdict confirmed now by higher courts means that Najib will be the first former Malaysian prime minister to be jailed.

In contrast in Sri Lanka, Japan accused Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva of soliciting a bribe of Rs. 100 from Japan’s Taise Corporation.  The allegation was made by the Japanese Ambassador Mizukoshi Hideaki to ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. Thereupon President Gotabaya Rajapaksa took over de Silva’s portfolio as Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation until a formal inquiry was over. However, he had to flee the country. 

Minister de Silva strongly denies that he sought a bribe of Rs 100 million from the Japanese firm Taise. He was quickly cleared by a Committee after Gotabaya Rajapakse fled, and allowed to resume as Minister, much to the chagrin of the Japanese for dismissing their accusations so casually using a committee. RTI Commissioner Kishali Pinto-Jayawardene in her weekly column has expressed some shock at such a casual clearing of a major accusation by a quick-acting Committee. If you were Japan, would you give $1 billion to a government like this? I never will!

Ranil Wickremesinghe seems to have learnt a trick or two from his friends, the Rajapakses, on how to clear his cabinet members through inquiries.

In the second parallel example for us from Malaysia, my friend Prof. Philip Koh Tong Ngee of Malaysia has proudly reported on a  new Malaysian law that he sent me from the Edge CEO Morning Brief (29 July 2022). The story also appears in the Malay Mail (26 May 2022). The law makes party-hopping illegal. This is exactly what Mr. Wickremesinghe is encouraging, as he asks MPs to cross over to his government in defiance of their party’s wishes.

I have always encouraged the TNA to work with the government to help the Tamil people. But I am indeed concerned that if they join the all-party national government that Mr. Wickremesinghe wants, the so-far clean TNA MPs will be hobnobbing with their co-cabinet members whom we all know to be thieves and even murderers.  It might be better to stay out of the government and cooperate like Mr. Sajith Premadasa says he intends doing. 

The Required Reforms

Mr. Wickremesinghe needs to reform himself if we are not to go from the frying pan in which are, into the fire. Some 121 individuals including myself and civil society organizations have put out a document demanding the urgent need for

1. A General Election within the next six months.

2. The urgency of abolishing the Executive Presidency.

3. Upholding fundamental rights of the People as the foundation for democratic governance.

If Mr. Wickremesinghe wants a more meaningful legacy than having been Prime Minister six times and President for a very short time before he too is chased away, he would do well to give fruition to these neglected urgent needs. There is no need to beg rogues to join his government if elections are held. The people’s mood is not to vote for rogues any more.

Tests for Mr. Wickremesinghe

Mr. Wickremesinghe’s rights record is so badly soiled that I  sincerely and honestly suggest that he do the following if he is to gain our trust.

Rajan Hoole and K. Sridharan have documented the criminal activity of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s cronies and appointees who now are Mr. Wickremesinhe’s props. I challenge him to dump the crooks and murderers from his inner circle and charge them. A part of that inner cleansing must be to bring back Shani Abeysekara the former Director the CID and accelerate inquiries into any charges he faces so that he can help in the prosecutions of those accused of theft and murder.

In particular Mr. Wickremesinghe can order inquiries into particular allegations by Hoole and Sridharan:

1. Chief Justice Sarath Silva and Vice Admiral Sarath Weerasekera whom they accuse of inaugurating Sri Lanka’s grim club of impunity in 2005 when they legitimised and then planted an illegal Buddha statue in Trincomalee, enraging communal tensions and spurring a series of atrocities with guaranteed impunity.

2. The 2006 ACF massacre of 17 mostly Tamil aid workers in Muttur for which the same club was responsible. It was covered up by Justice Udalagama and then Counsel Yasantha Kodagoda  who was assisting the Commission of Inquiry. They allegedly worked overtime to shred the good evidence. Kodagoda they allege performed  abysmally on the Commission of Inquiry and now as supreme court justice he is likely to become chief justice unless his performance is looked into now before it is too late for us, and he is CJ.

3. The Presidential Commission of Inquiry’s July 2009 verdict exonerating the armed forces in the ACF case while criticizing the role of organizations in the inquiry, and its silence on the killing of the five students in Trincomalee.

4. A series of Naval Commanders linked to the abduction for ransom and killing of at least eleven people (children and young adults) in 2008 and 2009, and efforts to cover up the truth about those atrocities. Commander Wijegunaratne, the last Naval officer named in the case, helped leading suspect naval intelligence officer Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi flee the country.  Wijegunaratne was released on bail and has not been tried.

5. The government of former President Sirisena and its defence advisors are also guilty of gross negligence in their handling of investigations into the series of bombings that targeted church goers and hotel guests on Easter Sunday 2019, killing hundreds, pointing strongly to their possible complicity. Removing the two effective police officers involved in investigating the bombings demonstrates their patent lack of seriousness in establishing the truth.

6. Lt. Commander Ranasinghe being brought into the initial stages of the planned ACF murders and given the licence for impunity, no doubt provided inspiration for the Navy’s abduction for ransom scandal that followed. Would Justice Kodagoda, as he is today, ever find the nerve to sentence Senior DIG Kapila Jayasekera, the evidence against whose grave misdeeds he helped to subvert?

If these allegations are proved by proper investigations, it would mean an importing cleansing of our supreme court now festering with justices of questionable integrity. 

The allegations of high crime have been openly made by Hoole and Sritharan. Will Mr. Wickfemesnghe act? If the allegations are false, will his friends charge Hoole and Sritharan for defamation? That would be an acceptable alternative to a criminal trial by the stat (except for the expenses Hoole and Sritharan need to bear if they are charged with libel) since it would be a golden opportunity to bring the evidence out in court and subject the criminally accused persons to a trial of sorts. I am sure there are many people and organizations who would fund their defence of Hoole and Sritharan if Mr. Wickremesinghe continues to protect and pamper the criminally accused persons.

In 2005 when I was in and out of the Supreme Court Complex, I heard responsible and credible senior lawyers talking of a justice who would expose himself to the maid cleaning toilets and of another who came with an empty toilet paper roll and exchanged it for the new roll which he would take home.

We all had a hearty laugh. But is that not the problem with Sri Lanka? We get a laugh from the copious muck around us, but do nothing to clean up. I would like Mr. Wickremesinghe to start, particularly with the war crimes investigations that he promised in Geneva. Then I would salute him; not before.

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Latest comments

  • 28
    2

    RW may be a better administrator compared to Rajapaksas but definitely not a genuine or honest politician. For that matter, (to my knowledge ), there is not one honest politician I can remember, from any of the ruling parties. Difference is Rajapaksas made corruption a culture.

    • 8
      4

      I asked Tamil MPs to vote for Ranil, because he will play double game with India leading to geopolitical mess and will mishandle aragalaya initially security forces cooperating and subsequently refusing to carry out orders causing anarchy. I am being proven correct. Ranil is not a problem solver, but drags it on with commissions and committees and hands it over to his successor. Any Tamil politician who says that by collaborating with Ranil, they can win the demands of Tamils is a liar. Ranil is against devolution and has sabotaged the provincial councils. He is now talking about union territories like Pondichery model. He will put up Muslims to sabotage north east merger in whatever form. Unfortunately there is not a single Tamil politician who has political acumen, foresight and selflessness to counter machinations of Sinhalese.

    • 10
      2

      Chiv,

      It should be RAJAPAKSHE MADE CORRUPTION A RELIGION.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_zix9L1_U
      .
      Everything is relative. Any leader is better than Mahinda Rajapaksa. At the core of all the problems we face today, Mahinda Rajapaksa and his greed for politics have created it.
      So, we should be very careful in putting them all in one group.

      Btw, Is there any good politician produced or introduced by our motherland in recent times?
      .
      The answer is no.
      .
      It is normal for that country. If a native of that country is corrupt and criminal regardless of race, religion or other factors (for me it is a crime not to react against criminals), of course, if the majority of voters are not corrupt, neither are the majority of MPs.

      The number of uncorrupted or less corrupt people in Europe is relatively high. This is why good governance works better in Europe than in Asia. Status consciousness, hierarchy and several other structures are still more prevalent in the UK than in other European countries. The UK’s systems are far more corrupt than in other European countries. My visit to the UK last year involved pre-COVID testing and testing kits to be used upon entry needed to be ordered prior to entering the country. However, the test kit I ordered was not delivered to the hotel as promised.

    • 2
      1

      You are contradicting , if they good administrative they bring the house and the country in order,
      This myth of tree dont blooms flowers, but we offer variety of flowers and food to attack the nature

    • 5
      1

      chiv

      Our mate nimal fernando who has no qualm about using violence against whom he hates must have been appointed as the head of Ranil’s official assault and arrest brigade.

      Saffron Brigade Ele Gunawansa is competing for the same job.
      nimal fernando must be warned.

      • 2
        4

        Native, I believe Nimal will not harm women/ladies but what about Ele , does it / gender matter at all ???

    • 7
      7

      Dr. Hoole: It seems that Ranil Rajapakse is Washington’s Economic Hit man to enable US setting up a military base in Mannar and Poorneryn after Adani and BlackRock asset strip Sri Lanka as part of an IMF Bailout’ of US and EU sovereign bond traders!
      They are targeting Tamil lands to start a new conflict and divide and rule Lanka. But BIG QUESTION is on what basis did the IMF assess Sri lanka’s public debt as unsustainable when all the data shows that it is Adani’s debt that is unsustainable?
      Washington is using Ranil Rajapakse as IMF Spokesperson and the IMF to attack China and Sri Lanka will soon be another proxy war site like Ukraine!
      Sri Lankans are guinea pigs of the US-China, Ranil Rajapakse regime, and there is a Power Cut Game and famine and fear Narratives Psychological Operation going on to keep the people destabilized…

      Executive Board of the [Extended Fund Facility] program would require adequate assurances by Sri Lanka’s creditors that debt sustainability will be restored.”

  • 23
    4

    Ranil Wickremasinghe is a White Collar Criminal, nothing more, nothing less!
    All these politicians are simply playing games and fooling the public and making asses of the people.
    Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ex-president, appointed a committee to study the matter and advice him on the issue of releasing the Tamil Political Prisoners who have been languishing in prison for an unconscionable length of time and without proper charges being brought against them.
    Who were the individuals who were appointed to this committee?
    How many times has this committee met?
    How long has it been since the committee was appointed?
    Has the committee finished its work and submitted its report?
    If it has not done so, when is it expected to finish its work and submit the report?
    Will the incumbent president pick up on this matter and proceed with it or let it lie by the roadside?
    There must be continuity in the work of the state even when the old president leaves and a new president is installed.

    • 8
      3

      Dear Captain Morgan,
      .
      The persona that Ranil Wickremasinghe presents for us is certainly that of a clever “White Collar Criminal”. But he has been more than than that. Think of Batalanda and all that.
      .
      And now look at what he’s now planning:
      .
      http://www.colombopage.com/archive_22B/Aug25_1661405683CH.php
      .
      There is a lot of “White Collar” in his having tricked the system in to appointing him the “Legal President” in a democracy where his performance on the 5th of August 2020 showed us that the handful of votes that he received island wide were from “habitual UNP voters”, senile, illiterate, and unthinking. Some may be speakers of English who in this post-colonial society are thought of as educated. In Sinhalese they are referred to as “kapuwoth kola” – that is they themselves claim that if their skin is cut, their blood will be green.
      .
      But only relatively a handful; 2.15% of voters. All the other 97.85% knew him by appearance and had heard him speak on media – and wanted nothing of him.
      .
      See what he now plans:
      .
      http://www.colombopage.com/archive_22B/Aug25_1661405683CH.php
      .
      Rivers of Blood.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

  • 7
    1

    These three factors seem to make him suitable to get a sympathetic ear for loans from the IMF.
    Everyone know how to get loans Mr. Wickremesinghe reads a lot unlike many of us cant he do something without getting loans in future more talented people must be raised to pay the loans.
    Books are not about passing time. Or how to get loan it is Far from that. Wanting making country to open doors for self-sufficient solution will flow like a river. Why there was no corn farm raised cultivation is possible like tea industries which is bringing profit. What happening is solution
    poring like a river by price increase. Kerosine and food stuff.

    His knowledge bring structural change shift or change in the basic ways a market or economy functions or operates.

  • 20
    8

    RW is a dirty politician.

  • 8
    3

    Ranil W. is NOT going to listen to Prof. Hoole & turn to be a STATESMAN. That will be the DREAM come true for not only the ARAGALAYA movement but also the long suffering Tamil speaking SL citizens. The rest of the world does not really care for the sufferings of Lankans. They are keen to see who will dominate SL and control the Indian Ocean. Proxy wars are held in someone else’s country. eg-Yemen/Ukraine
    I hope SL does not become like that.

  • 4
    3

    It is time for the President to dissociate from the SLPP Members who are corrupt and to request the uncorrupted parliamentarians to join the GoSL. We want a really ALL PARTY government and a new constitution [not the 22nd Amendment] asap.

    • 6
      3

      Naman, I fear that you are wrong.
      .
      We need Parliamentary Elections. In real terms, they will not cost much.
      .
      Not having elections will prove expensive. There’s little production in this country, because none of us can now plan for anything more than subsistence level.
      .
      And after the elections? I don’t know. No improvements in entities like “Balance of Payments”, “Cost of Living”, and GDP, of which I know little.
      .
      We have a fertile land, but one that is over-populated by humans, half of whom think that they have a right to migrate. Nobody will take them. Let there be no post-Rajapaksa “baby boom”. Let us learn to live at subsistence level plus one other thing for the active young: provide them with condoms for the next decade.

  • 2
    3

    Better bring back Gota try again, he listened to Sangam he clearly said he is not a politician but insist to be Hitler. What a clergies, he fled before build the chambers, and run out of gas may be QR
    What a thicks celebrate the independence with milk rice crackers and kites

  • 6
    1

    Ranil is a SHREWD politician who achieves his aim by hook or crook.
    He is selfish too in not letting go the UNP leader post to any of the other party faithful who are much better than him. Mahinda R made sure in various ways for Ranil W to be always a Leader of the Opposition. Ranil has his chance to prove that he can be the Political Leader who rescued SL

    • 3
      3

      Naman,
      .

      The “Party Faithful” are not with him; they have all migrated to the SJB.
      .
      Most in the the SJB are honest, but there may be a few criminals there as well, who realised that in the long-term Ranil cannot succeed.
      .
      We have tell the World Community that we desperately need to be rescued, but not be butchered by this man who projects himself as “White Collar”.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

      • 2
        0

        Sinhala_Man: “Most in the SJB are honest”. Do you really think that way? Can you ask its “Leader” Sajith, What happened to the funds that were held in three Bank Accounts of the “Cultural Fund” during his term as a Minister in the Yahapalanaya Government of “My3/Ranil”?

        • 1
          0

          Thanks, Simon, for forcing me to qualify what I have said.
          .
          Quantifying the “honest” SJB guys is indeed very difficult. People like me tend to be never sure who belongs to which Party. And, it may be, that I shouldn’t be too harsh on myself. Cross-overs of MPs, elected not as individuals, but as members on a list, and allowing them to remain in Parliament, seems totally irrational.
          .
          To be specific, every time I mention Sajith, I think I add a caveat about him. I don’t think much of him.
          .
          Consider this as well: had Ranil allowed real democracy to prevail in the UNP, I don’t think that Sajith would have emerged as the leader of the breakaway faction. As it is, when there was an overwhelming desire to be rid of the JRJ inheritance, UNP members opted for the son of another Party leader.
          .
          For meritocracy to prevail, there should be a minimum of tension. I hope that makes some sense!

  • 4
    1

    Defence takes up 11.49% of the GoSL’s Annual expenditure. Are we spending so much to defend the SL citizens or only to protect the crooked parliamentarians and business people who support them. It’s time for both defence and Judiciary be on the side of the RIGHTEOUS.

  • 2
    2

    What we have today is a Ranil-Pohottuwa-Military Junta, in an ascending order of significance and power. In such a situation, requesting Ranil to launch the above 6 inquiries is like asking him to dig his own grave. All the requested inquiries involve the Pohottuwa-Military tie-up. The military treated Ranil like a Pariah during the war. And again during the Yahapalanaya, military hierarchy put pressure on Sirisena to keep Ranil out of the Security Council meetings and briefings. Soon after the Easter Day Bombing, Ranil summoned the Security Council as Sirisena was out of the country. But the top military officers and the rest of the defence establishment refused to attend. Now the situation is reversed. Ranil knows he lacks a mandate: though his elevation to the presidency is ‘legal,’ he knows it lacks legitimacy. The Aragalaya knows this too. Hence Ranil needs the full backing of the military to stay in power. That’s why his first act as soon as he was sworn in as the President was to visit the Army HQ. The military has reciprocated warmly. The military appreciates the special powers assigned to them by Ranil. That will help them regain their shine that has been overshadowed by the bravery of the Aragalaya. Both have the same urgent need to crush the Aragalaya.

  • 3
    2

    SM if Ranil is even moderately successful, the ‘Party Faithful’ will migrate back. Sajith will be left holding the telephone. If a week is along time in politics, imagine what two years is. Unfortunately, we live in interesting times.

    • 1
      0

      Svenson

      “Unfortunately, we live in interesting times.”

      Who is living in interesting times?

  • 1
    2

    Basically Ranil is a man who believes that he is not from the ordinary ! He
    believes in breaking the law and tradition lawfully using loop holes
    available in plenty in our constitution . That is how he got into the parliament
    ridiculing people’s rejection of him in the general election ! There’s something
    called Moral and Principle , and if he had any of these , he would not have
    come into the Parliament through the back door . This is enough for anyone to
    judge him ! We are truly being governed by a bunch of worst than under world
    creatures ! This is the darkest ever era the country has ever witnessed !
    SOME ONE WE REJECTED HAS FORCED US INTO ACCEPT HIS LEADERSHIP !
    How anyone wants to explain this Constitutionally forced version !

  • 1
    2

    Ranil may have read many books (which he claims) he may have knowledge , he is not educated. He had Gonawala Sunil has his secretary (a child rapist who was released b his uncle before he completed his jail term – may be on ranils request). He was involved in Batalanda torture chambers without being defence minister or office of any sort to oversee torture. He robbed the central bank with the help of a singapurian. Ranil cannot stand desent or criticism. He riducules journalist or gets angry when he cannot answer a question. He totally distroyed UNP by his undemocratic ways and greed for power. He doesnot respect the spirit of democracy exemplfied by greedily taking power and hangging on to it. He is a inhuman undemocratic fellow. He will stop all imports and sell all profit making govt institutions to get dollars to import fuel and gas to keep the masses quit. But this wont last long. He himself has told politics is a blood game (in a video he himself generated- we have not seen that interviewer before or since that so called “interview”.

  • 1
    0

    Ranil. W should have groomed his successor well before the Nov 2019 Presidential Election. But he failed to do so and also he facilitated Rajapaksa clan to regain power.
    Ranil W is not a saviour of SL Citizens.

  • 2
    2

    On balance a very good piece by Prof Hoole.
    Lays out the unenviable but unavoidable choices we as a nation are faced with.
    Democracy; A parliament-of rogues; Belt-tightening; IMF support & economic restructuring; oh God!

    Kumar David

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