By Malinda Seneviratne –
Ranil Wickremesinghe is a politician. Yes, not a statesman. A politician, let us reiterate. The next election and not the next generation is what fascinates him. Like other politicians from other parties of course, leaders included. Yes, like Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. Ranil Wickremesinghe is a lawyer. He is not just a politician but a seasoned one. So when he says that DEW Gunasekera, then Chairman of COPE, was out of order in releasing a draft of the COPE Report on the Central Bank bond issue, we have to take note.
Wickremesinghe’s argument is that after Parliament was dissolved, COPE ceased to exist and therefore has no legal standing. Consequently nothing that ‘DEW’ or anyone else in COPE says about any ‘COPE affairs’ is incompetent and irrelevant. DEW, for his part, has promised to respond.
Wickremesinghe claims that it’s not only DEW who is guilty of the ‘contravention of the Parliament Powers and Privileges Act’ but newspapers and other media that had published sections or the entirety of the ‘draft report’. His argument, apart from COPE ceasing to exist, is that some COPE members were not present when COPE deliberated because they were busy politicking.
It is strange that Parliament was dissolved before the COPE could conclude its deliberations. It is strange that Wickremesinghe and the UNP campaigned tirelessly for a dissolution and that this campaign intensified as word got out that the COPE report could constitute damning indictment of key members of the UNP.
All this is of course ‘politics as usual’. What is disturbing in the Prime Minister’s complaint to the Secretary General of Parliament is his attack on the media. He has referred to a newspaper by name for contravening, like DEW, the Parliament Powers and Privileges Act. On earlier occasions too he has seen fit to vilify media institutions and journalists. This, even as he lambasted political opponents for doing pretty much the same thing.
Wickremesinghe, in the fairytale days of the Maithripala Sirisena election campaign and into several weeks of post-victory euphoria talked about media freedom. Only one concrete fact has emerged in the five and a half months when Wickremesinghe operated as though he was ruling the country as Sirisena’s proxy: the inability to move a single muscle to get the Right to Information Act passed.
His agitation about the COPE, therefore, should not mask Wickremesinghe’s latent, sorry very real, antipathy towards media freedom. The Chairman of his party, let us not forget, is reported to have instructed all state media (now UNP-controlled) to toe the party line. That directive most probably was endorsed by the Party Leader.
What all this shows is Wickremesinghe’s true media policy, stripped of rhetoric readily lapped up by Rajapaksa-haters and rights advocates who make a living talking about rights and freedoms.
The letter to the Secretary General of Parliament regarding the COPE report therefore has to be read as a gag-seek in view of possible negative impact on the UNP campaign. It’s about power and privilege, yes, but not of the kind he refers to and certainly not of any diminishing of these things.
Mahinda Rajapaksa could have graduated into a statesman, but didn’t. Wickremesinghe, especially after helping Sirisena defeat Rajapaksa on a ‘yahapaalana-pledge’ was even better positioned to advance. He has not.
Amarasiri / July 13, 2015
Malinda Seneviratne Makinda Rajapaksa shill and whitewasher,
RE: Ranil’s Anti-COPE Eyewash
When is your Contract over? Are you still paid using the stolen Billion?
Don’t get lost in the Forest for the Trees.
The Forest now comprises MaRa and his Cronies.
‘This Alliance is to defeat deposed Rajapakse’s counter revolution’ -Ranil ; UNP , SLFP ,JHU, SLMC , TPA form ‘UNF for good governance’ (Video)
Through the grape wine.. Why not focus on the traitor Sirisena
The deposed Mahinda Rajapakse is manuevering to reverse the people’s revolution of 8 th January , therefore as a counter revolution , a number of parties have united under the elephant symbol as a temporary expedient . However after the elections separate registration will be made ‘ said UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe when placing his signature for the newly emerged Alliance, ‘United national Front for good governance’ this morning.
At a function today at 10.00 a.m. held at the Temple Trees , when the agreement was signed , the JHU , the SLFP group against the corrupt Rajapakses , the SLMC led by Rauff Hakeem , Tamil Progressive Alliance led by Mano Ganeshan participated.
On behalf of the UNP ,its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe the prime minister , Minister Karu Jayasuriya , UNP General secretary Kabeer Hashim ,deputy leader and finance minister Ravi Karunanayake ,minister Wijedasa Rajapakse and UNP leaders participated.
On behalf of the SLFP pro good governance group that is opposed to the corrupt Rajapakse , that took part were minister Rajitha Senaratne , Minister Arjuna Ranatunge , minister M.K.D.S. Gunawardena and Earl Gunasekera among others.
Minister Patalie Champika Ranawake and Ven. Athureliya Rathane Thera representing the JHU , leader Rauff Hakeem of the SLMC and Mano Ganeshan of the Tamil progressive alliance also participated .
Thereafter signing of nomination papers took place : Rajitha Senaratne for Kalutara and Arjuna Ranatunge for Gampaha .
Ranil Wickremesinghe , Rajitha Senaratne and Patalie Champika spoke on the occasion . Vide video tape
Roshan / July 13, 2015
Mara, Mara, Mara. Coming closer to you A ‘Mara’ Siri, poor senile demented soul
Don Quixote / July 13, 2015
Who the hell are you to determine a politician from a statesman ?
A shameless, unprincipled, boot licker is that the qualification required to tell the difference between a politician and a statesman ?
Point of View / July 13, 2015
Did we have a statesman for the last 10 years ?
What we had was an uneducated, uncivilised, corrupt bloody rogue & a thug. What a shame for the country ?
So, Malinda, we don’t need your cock and bull stories. Ranil is respected not only in SL but around the world !
No matter what, your ‘Hotugemunu’ is kaput !
Rohan / July 13, 2015
“A politician, let us reiterate. “, did you say, Mr. Journalist? Who are there with you when you say, WE?
“His agitation about the COPE, therefore, should not mask Wickremesinghe’s latent, sorry very real, antipathy towards media freedom. The Chairman of his party, let us not forget, is reported to have instructed all state media (now UNP-controlled) to toe the party line. That directive most probably was endorsed by the Party Leader.”….?
This comes from a blatant apologist of Kurakkan Samagama regime!
With respect to COPE and the interim report…. It is very lear why DEW Gunasekera released the draft or interim report. Where was DEW when his previous reports were thrown in the bin? Where ws DEW when his other red/blue brother’s APC report was thrown in the bin?
Now, why in the world Milinda is wasting everyone’s time with his verbal cholera? If anything he want to do, he should write about how bad he was during the previous regime.
Jango / July 13, 2015
Malinda – I have to agree with just about everything you say here, except perhaps the line postulating that politicians are only concerned ” .. about the next election and not the next generation”.
You must know that your favorite Mahinda is most concerned about the next generation – limited of course to his progeny. But what the hell, that’s natural, right?!!
Now if you were only able to analyse Mahinda’s nefarious actions with similar objectivity you may go a long way to being “better positioned to advance” as a decent journalist.
Mallaiyuran / July 13, 2015
After the COPE investigations D. E. W. Gunasekera, is the prime candidate for COPE investigation. Will he submit his for the COPE, Malinda?
What did he do the all other corporations’s report?”calf always learn to eat the filth from the pig”. That saying is very true with D. E. W. Gunasekera, This is not an effort to save Mahendra. We have written in many palaces that who are the new, two Tamils appointee. Sri Pavan went to Dalada Maligawa to fell on Buddhist militants feet. He is not a Buddhist. He is a person have to issue verdict based on secular principles. The only reason he went to Dalatha Maligava is secure him a safety on the Job. Mahendran made the same mistake the Colombo Chetty Pradeep Kariyawasam did with the National Saving Bank robberies. Had he paid the share of the Sinhala Intellectuals, like Sri Pavan did, he would have been thriving on the job by now. He had forget that he is Tamil and he had to pay the “Kappam”
Roger Dodger / July 13, 2015
What you’ve articulated here about Ranil Wickramasinghe , is probably true. Having said that, I would still vote for him , because he is the lesser of the two evils.
Navin / July 13, 2015
tinpotjihadi / July 14, 2015
RW will sweep the election. MR won’t even get 3 million votes. Malinda, mark this for Aug 19th analysis. UNP and Jihadis will get at least 120 seats. Eelam parties will get 30. Fonseka will get 2 at most. JVP will get 7 to 10. MR won’t even garner 50 seats. Mark my word.
gigurawa / July 15, 2015
Malinda epitome of fork tongued journalist, wishy washy, wraping truth and fact in journalistic jargon. How else one could explain bringing Mahinda in to his argument. ‘mahinda did not graduate in to a statesman’ Why did this man have to bring Mahinda in; Mahinda has nothing to do with this robbery and the covr up.It is only Ranil and the Governor of Central Bank whom he appointed in contempt of the accepted norms of the country who are responsible.
Another Colombian stooge of the west, who pretends to be friend of democracy but in his heart cannot shake off his one foot in sri lanka and the other foot in the west mentality.
all leading new media, including Mirror group, island, Derana, Mwawbima mean business and money for them , not presenting the facts and the truth so that the unbiased yet intelligent readers can ascertain the truth.
You people are worse than the power hungry politicians. These journalists are the bane of democracy of this country just as it is in in most undemocratic country in the free word, that is USA.
Suresh / July 15, 2015
Malinda, you know nothing of journalism or anything.
Just because you are paid big bucks by some trashy politician/s,
You think everyone is screwed up like you.
Get into a profession you are capable of doing without wasting space doing something you were obviously not born to do.
Your mother must be rolling in her grave at what you are writing.