15 August, 2020

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Reconciliation: Looking Forward 2 – The Significance Of Sarath Amunugama

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Dr. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

My father is 91 years old, but he still has a very clear mind. I was therefore surprised when he suddenly informed me, after lunch I think it was, soon after the Prime Minister returned to Sri Lanka, that it was time Mahinda appointed that young man from Kandy as Prime Minister.

Though he is fond of the Prime Minister, given their long acquaintance, I could understand his view, given his understanding of constitutional proprieties that we need a Prime Minister who can actively contribute to political life. While the appointment in 2010 was a tribute to long service, it is clearly time, given the difficulties the government faces, which I gather have been brought to my father’s attention, that there should be an active Prime Minister.

For a minute however I thought he had lost the plot, since I could not think of any young man from Kandy who was fit to be made Prime Minister. But when he said he was talking of that Civil Servant, I realized that, at his age, Sarath Amunugama still seemed young.

But I realized too then that my father actually followed politics with more perspicacity than most, and had understood the significance of the recent appointment of Sarath Amunugama to be Deputy Minister of Finance, something that had passed me and other political commentators by.

I had been bemused in 2010 when Sarath – if I may call him that, after one of his young Kandy colleagues indicated he thought I was of the same age – was not made a Minister, but it seems he had graciously withdrawn his name from consideration. He could see that the President was under pressure, given that he had barely been elected and that, ever since the fatal delay in announcing the results of that election, there had been pressures for a formulaic approach to appointing Ministers. Doing well in the preferential vote was seen as an important criterion, and indeed we have seen this principle asserted recently too, when some of those who had done brilliantly at the election were supposed to have staked their claims to office.

Merit was clearly not a criterion at all, and so perhaps the brightest, and most rounded, intellect in Parliament was restricted to a Deputy Minister’s post. But worse was to come barely six months later, when an even more absurd formula was adopted, and several older Members of Parliament were made Senior Ministers.

Initially I hoped this meant a system to develop policies coherently, and indeed the Consultative Committee of the Ministry for Public Administration Reforms decided to set up a Sub-Committee to recommend areas in which coordination would be helpful. But that effort was stymied, and we find that, except for Mr Gunasekara, who has produced a comprehensive Human Resources Development policy paper, Senior Ministers have not made any significant contribution. Indeed the report of their Secretariat, which was submitted for the Budget Debate, is a profoundly sad document.

Sarath was an exception, not as a Senior Minister, but in actively, with his superb communication skills, and the confidence he commands, promoting international monetary cooperation. But evidently he is needed to do more, and so recently was once again made Deputy Minister of Finance.

This seems unusual, but the fact that at last we have a merit based appointment is tremendously significant. More on these lines is not likely, and I am certainly not in a position to comment on the various candidates who have offered themselves as possible Prime Ministers and to compare them with the young man from Kandy. But I hope that my father’s perceptive understanding of the confidence the President has placed in Sarath will be shared more widely, and lead to better use being made of other Senior Ministers such as D E W Gunasekara, who also command national and international confidence and are seen as models of integrity.

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    oh yeah, sure… excellent idea, he crossed over, remember? REMEMBER? This kind of prostitution of one’s being was legitimized by the CJ who should be remembered as the Father of Selling One’s soul. But, hello, the rest of us people who value the true ideals of democracy are actually alive to know that its unethical, shameles and downright a prostitution of the mandate given by the people. Both of you seniles should wise up! Shameless , so called intellectual who continue to support and feed on bones thrown at you by this unholy, brutal regime!Now recommending spineless, worthless cross overs for primiership. Atleast D.M.J was a better joker.Aleast he did not cross over.
    Please do us all a favour and stop saying these stupid things…. and Colombo Telegraph, please don’t insult our intelligence…

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    Go get your head examined by a getriatrician you [Edited out]! Take the chap from Kandy along with you. Have you no shame? In all his 91 years didnt your father teach you the meaning of shame? You feed on the blood of the people.Shame on you!Please do us a favour. Go to ITN, Rupahavini or Dinamina and tell this crap.

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      Rajiva, socially he is in the opposite camp to you ! Ha ha

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    WHy does CT gives space to this joker. May to discredit him for he is capable of exhibiting his insanity well.

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    another load of cr*p from this useless fellow who have sold his sole and liberal thinking for some car permits from Medamulana.

    Shameless baffon.

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    Rajiv says “Senior Ministers have not made any significant contribution.” I disagree. Athauda Seneviratne has been taken to court and is on bail. Ratnasiri is upto mischief (God give him more strength). Tissa Vitarana goes abroad frequently with his young consultant. Piyasena Gamage is going around cursing MR. The list goes on…..

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    Sarath A was JRJ’s stooge. A UNP man cannot be a PM in a SLFP govt.

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    Prof/Dr. Wijesinha,

    Your father, a model civil servant with a strong sense of duty, a true brown sahib, since you claim to have read literature at least for studies, you should get the meaning. He served his masters and did his duty and I hope he enjoys the autumn of his life, in spite of all the dirty things in and around the Parlaiament he served must be disgusting him and I don’t want to know what he thinks about his off springs being a party to it.

    Leave him alone, for god’s sake. Don’t prostitute your father for your self induced sycophancy. Your father got a very nice acknoledgment on his standing from Dinesh G, some years ago and ask him, may be Dinesh G. has erased that to surivive, simply.

    We common people have given up that you or, the person whom you try to send up the proverbial ‘murunga tree’ Dr. Sarath Amunigama deseves any positive word from your father for being a party to this parlour politics. He may not have been an extra sensitive civil servant in the mould of Leonard Woolf, nor as socially conscious as Charles Abeysekara
    but did his duty honestly and with dignity.

    Is there any limit to your shameless varnishing you apply to promote yourself and your quasi intellect group aspiring to ever higher posts prof. Wijesinha, while your father’s generation retired judges such as Dr. weeramantry who’d like to quietly reminisce are forced to come out and remind your bosses the whole edifice is crumbling, as you and your group on both sides of the aisle surmise whether it is sitting on one pillar or three pillars or someone’s lap?

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    Sounds good to me as once Sarath A becomes the 2nd citizen of the country Geetha K will become the queen and will give moneys worth for a fight with ole Shiranthi.

    game on..

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    Why did i just read that?%-(

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    It will be nice as there is an office right next to where our future PM lives and he seems to enjoying movies of him getting hammered by you know who!!!!

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    Hope Rajia Wijessinghe has read these comments.
    Hope he realizes that the thinking people in this country consideres him the scum of the earth. No, infact he is the fungus that feeds on the scum of the earth.He may think he’s something (he’s nothing), that he is a class apart( lowest of the low class), that just because he can write in English (he can write absolute nonsense in English) and just because he has the accidental happiness of being born his father’s son (who cares- we can estimate the quality of his fahter’s genes by the kind of intellectual prostitution Rajiva Wijesinghe carries out). The truth is , he is nothing- NOTHING. Just another windbag who harps about reconciliation while boot licking. SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

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