25 May, 2022


Regime Change In Sri Lanka

By Asoka Bandarage

Dr. Asoka Bandarage

Dr. Asoka Bandarage

The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sri Lankan Presidential elections on January 8 is hailed internationally as a victory for the rule of law, democracy, freedom of expression and good governance. The Rajapkasa government (2005-2015) defeated the terrorist LTTE in 2009 ending the longest running conflict in Asia. It also contributed to substantial economic growth turning Sri Lanka into a middle-income country in a region with the greatest concentration of poor. Despite these political and economic achievements, Rajapaksa narrowly lost the elections due to charges of corruption and authoritarianism of his government.

Rajapaksa was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena, the so-called ‘Common Candidate’ of a new political alliance which claimed that the extent of corruption in the last few years of the Rajapaksa government was “unprecedented and unheard of before” in Sri Lanka. The current government, however, is not entirely a new regime; only Rajapaksa and his core circle were replaced. Sirisena, like a number of others in his administration served as senior Ministers of the Rajapaksa administration until the election campaign. As such, they too bear responsibility for alleged excesses of the Rajapaksa regime.

Sirisena promised to bring in a new era of morality, compassion, freedom, democracy and good governance (yahapalayanaya). His Election Manifesto promised to address urgent issues during the first 100 days of his regime, notably the abolition of the Executive Presidency (established by J.R. Jayewardene in 1978) and the 18th Amendment to the Constitution that Rajapaksa introduced to remove term limits to the Executive Presidency. Sirisena also promised to implement a six-year program with the government to be established after the parliamentary elections to be held after the 100 days. Given relative absence of international media coverage following the euphoria over the January 8 election, it is necessary to look at how good governance is progressing in Sri Lanka.

Rule of Law

Sirisena came to power calling for the abolition of the ‘unlimited powers’ of the Executive Presidency that Rajapaksa was accused of abusing. Ironically, Sirisena himself has misused the powers of the Executive Presidency. The Sri Lankan Constitution does not call for change of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet along with a change of the President. Not only did Sirisena immediately appoint a new Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, but he has allowed Wickremesinghe to become the Executive Prime Minister making all the important decisions in the government. This has reduced the Presidency largely to a ceremonial function. The legality of this role reversal accomplished without parliamentary elections or a change in the Constitution, is a cause for much concern in the country. People voted to bring Sirisena to power: not Wickramasinghe. As Prime Minister in the 2001-2004 period, Wickremesinghe empowered the LTTE during the Norwegian brokered Peace Process and subsequently lost the Presidential elections to Rajapaksa in 2005.

Another controversy pertaining to respect for the rule of law by the new Sri Lankan government involved the removal of the Chief Justice (CJ) Mohan Pieris and reinstatement of former CJ Shirani Bandaranayake on January 30 (she retired the next day when Justice K. Siripavan was appointed CJ) Wickremesinghe stated in Parliament that the process by which Bandaranayake had been removed by Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2013 was ‘flawed’. Her removal, however, had come after a parliamentary majority vote, a move then supported by Maithripala Sirisena and other members of the current Cabinet. In contrast, Mohan Pieris, a close confidant of Rajapaksa was removed merely with a letter from President Sirisena, without even a ‘flawed’ legal process. As critics point out, “The only process at work was intimidation and thuggery in the form of street demonstrations demanding his removal.” There is public concern that if the Chief Justice can be removed in such a manner, the removal of persons in lesser offices can also be accomplished extra-legally and even more easily to satisfy the interests of those in power.

The new government received an electoral mandate to democratize the ‘autocratic’ Executive Presidency, However, most people expect a judicious transition under a new parliament and a new Prime Minister after electoral reforms are passed along with other necessary constitutional changes. In contrast, the controversial methods being used by the interim government to abolish the Executive Presidency through the 19th Amendment violate Sri Lanka’s Constitutional process in significant ways. The proposed 19th Amendment to the Constitution upholds every Sri Lankan citizen’s right of access to information. Yet, the process being followed does not give the public the opportunity to express their views on this important legislation. There are some 18 petitions against the bill. However, it is reported that in the rush to enact the 19th Amendment, the legal Counselors appearing for the cases before the Supreme Court have not been given the chance to study the proposed amendments. Basic differences exist between the version of the 19th Amendment that was presented in the Sri Lankan Parliament on March 24 by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and the version presented to the Supreme Court on April 1. Even some Ministers in Sirisena’s shaky government suspect a ‘constitutional conspiracy’: a hasty and secretive transfer of power from the Presidency to the Prime Minister with the ulterior motive of destabilizing and breaking up the country in the near term.

Local and international television and print media continue to bring charges against the former Rajapaksa government but overlook the dangers posed by the current Sri Lankan regime to the rule of law, democracy and freedom of expression. Discontent and protest are growing: massive rallies organized around the country by opposition parties are calling Mahinda Rajapaksa to contest the parliamentary elections. If the current regime does not honor its pledge to dissolve Parliament after the completion of its 100 days and hold parliamentary elections, greater resistance is bound to emerge.

*Dr. Asoka Bandarage is the author of the books, Colonialism in Sri Lanka, The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka and many other publications.

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Latest comments

  • 18

    Let the Ranil defenders attack her some MR defenders attacked anyone who criticized the former regime.

    There is simply no differences between the two camps when it comes to the INABILITY to take criticism.

    • 32

      Asoka Bandarage types “The Rajapkasa government (2005-2015) defeated the terrorist LTTE in 2009 ending the longest running conflict in Asia.”

      The longest running conflict is between India and Pakistan. The other longest running conflict is in Afghanistan.

      VP defeated his LTTE terrorists in 2009 with the support of Hindia. Rajapkasa was merely a tool. The planning of preparation for final all out war started under Chandrika in early 2005 at the instigation of Hindia.

      Asoka Bandarage should get her facts right.

      • 6

        He, native vadda, you don’t know what’s going on. You must have been Chandrika’s domestic servant. Any way I’m happy that Chandrika has now at least 1 supporter.

        • 18


          “you don’t know what’s going on.”

          What is going on?

          “You must have been Chandrika’s domestic servant.”

          Please tell us what is wrong with being a domestic servant as long the servant gets an honest day’s work for honest day’s pay?

          About 2 million of our fellow islanders work in Medieval Middle East Kingdoms as domestics. Your stupid derogatory comment does not earn you any brownie points on the contrary you have reduced yourself to being a nasty little slave driver with a superiority complex.

          Don’t forget whatever the quality of life the master race enjoys came out of exploitation of workers. The domestic servants earn foreign exchange in billions simply for the pursuit of enjoyment by the rich.

          Are you gainfully employed, I would not think so. Probably a money bag for the corrupt politicians, drug dealers, … or running brothels, casinos,….

        • 1

          Ranil your uncouthness is well indicated

        • 1


          “He, native vadda, you don’t know what’s going on”

          Interesting. The Paradeshi, Para-deshi, Para talking about domestic (workers), servants, as being “lower” than the Shills, White-Washers, Liars,and Crooks who were real servants of Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa and their cronies.

          A really confused Para, aka Para-deshi on the Land of Native Veddah Aethho.

        • 0

          The separatists have a history created and sustained entirely according to their beliefs. They live in the fantasy world of blogs. The claim that the defeat of the terrorists started in 2005 falls into that category. In fact the LTTE grew so strong during 2005 and early 2006 that they took the provocative step of closing the Mavil Aru anicut. Just look at the recruiting pattern of the army, it can be clearly seen the preparations for defeating the terrorist started in early 2006.

          • 3


            “In fact the LTTE grew so strong during 2005 and early 2006 that they took the provocative step of closing the Mavil Aru anicut.”

            What is the connection between strength and provocation. Did you think before you typed those words of ignorance?

            Provocative actions are not necessarily aimed at a military victory however LTTE could have hoped to make a political point in their own perverted way.

            “it can be clearly seen the preparations for defeating the terrorist started in early 2006.”

            It was started at the behest of Hindians in early 2005. Please return to your comfy banger have a long deserved nap. Come back in 2025.

            Here is a clue, is something you may not know; tsunami struck this island on 26 December 2004 which destroyed a considerable amount of LTTE assets in the Mullaitivu region. They also lost key men and women.

      • 6

        She even fails to mention the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Sri Lanka.

        Many conscientious retired Sinhalese civil servants told LLRC about the socio-economic oppression of ethnic minorities from the time of independence till the present.

        This academic should know that there have been talks between state(terrorists – in most cases rebellion is the result of oppression by the state) and rebel(terrorists) in many conflicts around the world and that is an outcome of UN Charter and modern thinking.

    • 17


      Read her interview which was published in International Affairs Forum and you will see where her loyalty lies and her justification for the brutal treatment of war affected innocent people, completely detached herself from the people who continue to suffer to this day.

      You will also see how she twisted facts in favour of her fellow Sinhala/Buddhists and Sinhala/Buddhist state. I am still looking for intellectual with honesty and wisdom. As a female academic she should be questioning the state security forces for mistreating, humiliating, raping and killing female victims instead she defended the armed forces.

      Please read:

      International Affairs Forum: Where does the situation in Sri Lanka stand today? Is the humanitarian situation in the Tamil areas in the North as bad as it was following this year’s military offensive?

      Dr. Asoka Bandarage:First of all, in Sri Lanka there are no areas that are exclusively Tamil or Sinhalese or Muslim, and much of this conflict is about that. In the Eastern Province, there are populations from all the ethnic groups, and the Tamils are a minority there. The notion that the North is a Tamil area is not true in that there was ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims from the area. I want to make that clear from the outset.

      Along with that, it needs to be said that the majority of Tamil people in Sri Lanka live outside of the Northern Province and a very large proportion of the Sri Lankan Tamils are also outside of the country—one quarter or so is part of the diaspora. These demographics are important to understand the situation.

      With regard to the humanitarian situation, there is no question that there has been a crisis, not just following the military offensive but during the armed conflict as well. There is a lot of criticism of the government for maintaining Tamil people in camps—over 300,000 of them after the offensive. From what I’ve read, now there are less than 200,000, so 100,000 or more have been resettled. There is no question that this is the most important issue, but the issue is nonetheless a very complicated one given that many of the people in the camps came from areas that were under the control of the LTTE and there is evidence that there are LTTE cadres in those camps. For the security of all the people, it is important to make sure that potential terrorists are not released into the larger population. So checking and taking care of other security matters are important. And de-mining the northern areas is also important, since so many mines have been planted there over the years.

      One of the criticisms that have been leveled at the government is that it has not allowed media to go into the camps and that it has stopped the rest of the world from finding out what is really going on. I think that needs to be corrected, just as the rehabilitation of all Tamil civilians needs to be addressed. But there is also the reality faced by the government. It has been under a lot of attack from the international media and there have been fabricated stories and criticisms. So there is a reluctance on the part of the government to open up certain areas to the media. For example, there was a video that Channel 4 in London aired which supposedly documented Sri Lankan soldiers shooting and killing Tamil civilians. It received a lot of attention around the world. But later it was revealed that this was a concocted video, and Channel 4 expressed apologies accepting that it was duped by a group claiming to be a human rights organization which had provided the video. I’m just giving that as an example of why the government and certain segments of the Sri Lankan population are wary of the international media and human rights groups. This is not to justify keeping the media out because we need to have accountability and transparency, but at the same time, it is important to recognize the possible continuation of the LTTE, which was the most ruthless terrorist organization in the world. So, the government has to take the necessary precautions against the LTTE rearming and reactivating itself.

      IA-Forum:So are you saying that the current policies are purely security-based? Seeing all the celebrations that occurred in Sri Lanka following the military victory, one wonders if there was there was any element of collective punishment or spoils going to the winner.

      Dr. Bandarage:We have to move beyond seeing this as a Sinhala versus Tamil primordial conflict, which is the dominant analysis of this conflict, and I take this on in my book. I’m not denying there is an ethnic dimension. But the fact is that the entire population—Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims—were all victimized by the LTTE. Terrorism is the greatest of all human rights violations. The Tamils were more victimized in a way by the LTTE than any other group. They were forced to give their children up as suicide bombers. In certain regions, like for example the Eastern Province, each family supposedly had to give a child for the cause. The LTTE established a totalitarian regime which did not allow any kind of dissent. So not having the LTTE opens up possibilities for Tamils and other groups to come together and try to fashion a better future for all the people.

      IA-Forum:What was the nature of this conflict as you see it? A civil war? A regional conflict?

      Dr. Bandarage:It is a separatist conflict with domestic, regional and international dimensions. There are Tamils as well as Sinhalese and regional and international actors supporting the creation of a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Likewise, there are Sinhalese as well as Tamils and regional and international actors supporting the continuation of the unitary state of Sri Lanka.

      As I said before, there is an ethnic dimension to the conflict, but the predominant tradition in Sri Lanka has been one of mutual coexistence. Different ethnic and religious groups have lived together side by side for hundreds if not thousands of years. But in the course of this war, ethnic polarization deepened. But, it is wrong to see this simply as a domestic conflict. In my book, I present the broader regional dimension—the demand for a separate Dravidian-speaking state of Dravidasthan in southern India and the quashing of that separatist movement by India when it passed the 1963 anti-secessionist amendment to its constitution. The spread of Tamil nationalism in southern India in conjunction with developments in Sri Lanka produced this conflict. And then, as I discuss in my book, the conflict became internationalized by the Tamil diaspora, which is quite wealthy and influential in western countries, and which is still supporting the separatist struggle in Sri Lanka.

      IA-Forum:From a counter-insurgency perspective, what worked and what didn’t? Which tactics by the Sri Lankan government improved the situation and which exacerbated it?

      Dr. Bandarage:I’m not a counter-insurgency expert but from what I understand there were a number of factors. The Sri Lankan government started working with other governments in the international community—and interestingly, it a was a Tamil, Lakshman Kadirgamar, who was a former foreign minister, who initiated contact with some of the western countries to ban the LTTE as a terrorist organization, including in the US. Efforts to cut off funding for the LTTE and efforts to separate the Tamil issue from the LTTE also had a role to play because the LTTE presented itself as the sole representative of the Tamils. Making that distinction was important.

      Also, the country became war-weary. It had gone through several peace processes and attempts at negotiation with the LTTE including the 2002 peace process. When that failed, not just the Sinhalese, but also some Muslim and other Tamil groups became fed up with the LTTE. So there were both internal and external factors which came together to create a sense of urgency to bring the armed conflict to an end. This doesn’t mean that the political conflict is resolved. There is still a lot of work to be done, but, the conclusion of the armed conflict opens the space to address those broader issues.

      IA-Forum:What, if anything, did the insurgency achieve for the Tamil people?

      Dr. Bandarage:The Tamil people really lost a lot due to the insurgency. The community lost its moderate leadership. It lost some of the best and brightest people, who left the country. That is not just a loss for the Tamil people—it is a loss for the entire country because they were among the most talented and experienced professionals. And with the insurgency, the Tamil culture and community were destroyed and weakened. The Tamil community had been a relatively advanced community, so this was a tremendous loss. So many leaders were killed. That’s why it’s important not to continue this conflict and start another cycle of war. Instead Tamils have to take their rightful place in society because they have a lot to contribute to Sri Lanka and they always have.

      IA-Forum:Not to justify it in anyway, but through the use of violent struggle, did the insurgency succeed at all in at least calling attention to the legitimate grievances of those Tamils who felt they were disadvantaged?

      Dr. Bandarage:Yes, I think so. For example, if we look at some of the post-independence legislation, which was meant to redress grievances of the Sinhalese majority that had been discriminated against during the British colonial era. In retrospect, the insurgency has made people question if those were the right steps. So I think it has opened up an opportunity to really look at the whole history of the country and relations between different communities. The loss of all those lives also raise questions about the meaning of democracy and justice for all groups. I try to do this in my book—to look at Tamil grievances but also the grievances of other groups, and how all of that can be redressed.

      One thing that often gets overlooked when we talk about the Sinhalese or the Tamils as monolithic groups is the differences and inequalities within groups. Within the Sinhalese, the majority are underprivileged. Similarly, within the Tamil community, there are differences between elites and masses and caste differences. And now, of course, you have the difference between the diaspora and the people on the ground. The diaspora supported the armed conflict, which was the longest running armed conflict in Asia. Now, after the military offensive is over, they are continuing the separatist struggle outside of the country through political means. This makes it difficult for the government and domestic Tamil groups to move forward in terms of rehabilitation and development because the political conflict has intensified. This is not to say that that political issues should not be addressed, but it should be done in a constructive way rather than in a way that polarizes communities and continues the acrimony. The diaspora and other groups should be focusing on how to bring communities together—and they should think of the people on the ground, like the people in the camps, who are the ones that have suffered the most. They are the real victims. Meeting the basic needs – shelter, employment, land, access to water, and education for children—needs to become the priorities over the political interests of elites from all communities whether they be Tamil, Sinhalese or Muslim.

      IA-Forum:Now that the LTTE has, for all intents and purposes, been dismantled, what happens next? Who represents the Tamils? Will there be new efforts at political reconciliation or will the government try to maintain a sort of status quo with the Tamils in a very weak state?

      Dr. Bandarage:Again, I go back to my earlier point about looking at different communities and differences within the Tamil ethnic group. If you look at the group known as the Indian Tamils or the Hill Country Tamils who are the descendants of laborers brought by the British to work the plantations during the colonial era, for a long period of time they did not have Sri Lankan citizenship. They were considered stateless citizens—neither Indian nor Sri Lankan. But now they are all Sri Lankan citizens and enfranchised. As far as they are concerned, their motivation was to be integrated into the Sri Lankan state and the Sri Lankan polity rather than be separated from it. So there has been a disjuncture between the interests of the so-called Indian Tamils and the Sri Lankan Tamils, who have a longer history on the island and who claim the North and East as their homeland. The Indian Tamils have their own political parties and leaders, for example the Ceylon Workers Congress, who fought for their rights, and they have their leader who is a minister in the cabinet. They have fought for representation, and their focus has been to gain greater access and power within the Sri Lankan parliamentary system rather than to separate from it.

      And then there are the Tamils in the Eastern Province and Karuna, who was the leader of the LTTE in the Eastern Province. Now he has his own political party, which rose out of a breakaway faction from the LTTE. He is a minister in the government and his party has joined the parliamentary process. So it’s not like all Tamils are outside of the parliamentary political process. There are still other groups as well including other former militants who have joined the political process. The majority of Tamils want to participate in the Sri Lankan political process and gain greater power and strength rather than separate, but there are issues that need to be addressed in terms of the sharing of power, not just by Tamils but all groups. The decades of mistrust and the fears coming from decades of violence are intertwined. Those political and psychological issues need to be dealt with in order to bring reconciliation and lasting peace.

      IA–Forum: What does the government have to do in order to convince the Tamils that they are not second-class citizens? Might it be necessary to put aside the idea of Sri Lanka as a Sinhala-Buddhist state and make it an officially secular or officially multi-religious state?

      Dr. Bandarage:In the Sri Lankan constitution, all groups and individuals are equal. There is nothing that says that one group has privileges over the other. In fact, during the British colonial period—and I give the statistics in my book—the Tamils as a group were disproportionately represented in the higher professions and the administrative service, and had economic and political power that was disproportionate to their numbers in the population. After independence, the Sinhalese politicians tried to change that, which is what led to the emergence of the modern conflict. Affirmative action quotas based on ethnic grounds failed and created a lot of problems. It led to the perception that the Tamils are second-class citizens, but constitutionally that is not the case.

      Let me go back to the issue of the Sinhala-Buddhist state. Sri Lanka has a clause in the constitution which says that Buddhism has a special place, but if you look at the reality, Sri Lanka constitutionally allows freedom of religion and consciousness and the right to change one’s religion, which is a right that is not allowed in many countries throughout the world. This is not just the Islamic countries, where you can’t change your religion or have any proselytization in the country, but even in a liberal country like Norway, the constitution states that it is an Evangelical -Lutheran state and that the Norwegian king must always be of that religion, so on and so forth. So although there is a statement that Buddhism has a special place, in reality there is much greater freedom of religion and freedom for conversion or proselytization in Sri Lankan than is available elsewhere.

      Having said that, I still think there is great mistrust and animosity between groups, and it’s not going to change overnight. There is a lot of work that needs to be done for people from different ethnic and religious communities to come together. But in order to do that, especially for the younger generations, opportunities must be made available. Here I think the diaspora has an important role to play, because as far as the people of Sri Lanka are concerned, the military offensive is over, the war is over, and the country needs to move forward. But the diaspora, which is far removed from what’s happening on the ground, likes to perpetuate the conflict—, I hate to generalize, but a certain, small segment of it doesn’t want to give up their dream of a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka.

      It is important to work with the younger generation of the diasporas—both Sinhala and Tamil, as well as Muslim—and the international community has an important role to play. The Tamil diaspora is quite wealthy and influential. They have been influencing international media as well as politicians, using the power of votes and money to perpetuate this struggle for separatism. But that is going to continue the conflict and possibly lead to violence in the future. Also, on the other side, the enormous political pressure on Sri Lanka is creating a lot of anti-Western feeling. Many groups feel that the West or the international community is supporting the continuing diaspora separatist effort. It is contributing to the weakening of the Western—especially US—authority and influence in the Indian Ocean region and alienating many groups from the international community.

      I’m not saying there shouldn’t be international influence or even intervention, but it has to be done carefully. The human rights concerns need to be raised with an understanding of the reality of terrorism and the need to eliminate it. It is necessary to take into account the struggles of a small country like Sri Lanka to withstand the enormous pressure brought by the confluence of powerful states, NGOs, media and the Tamil diaspora.

      IA-Forum:Is there anything other countries facing similar situations can learn from the Sri Lankan example?

      Dr. Bandarage:That’s a good question. Sri Lanka is a country that tried its hardest to negotiate with terrorists, which is a position that is not generally taken by more powerful—especially Western—countries. Sri Lanka tried to do so a number of different times, and it failed. So if countries try to negotiate with terrorist organizations, what are the conditions that need to be laid down? For example, should disarmament of terrorist organizations be made a requirement? In the Sri Lankan case, that was not made a requirement because the focus was on bringing the LTTE to the table. But, it led to the perpetuation of these cycles of war and peace, where hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. The economy was weakened and the country and the society really fell behind as a whole. So there are some lessons to be learned from Sri Lanka’s experience of these cycles of war and peace and negotiations. Even this military victory cannot be taken for granted as a permanent situation, so what can be done to avoid a return to war?

      Other countries should also learn from Sri Lanka not to give into this notion that wars are unwinnable against terrorist organizations, which was the belief with regard to Sri Lanka. During the 2002 peace process, there was an attempt to give into a lot of the demands of the LTTE in order to keep them within the peace process. But it ended up creating a situation in which that group got control over a vast extent of territory in the North and East and was essentially running a de facto government keeping the Tamil people under their totalitarian control. That was not a solution to the conflict.

      How can countries win these wars? It can’t be done by countries going at it alone. Even in the Sri Lankan case, there were many regional and international forces that supported the defeat of the LTTE. But, the issue is not just the struggle against terrorism. The broader struggle for democracy and justice too needs to be approached from a regional and international perspective, which means that fundamental issues of human rights need to include the economic rights of people—the rights of employment, education, healthcare, housing, so on and so forth. I think that if these can be addressed globally, then the potential for mobilizing people along ethnic or religious lines by terrorist organizations would be greatly reduced. The question of economic rights of all groups and individuals, is the fundamental one.

      Asoka Bandarage is a professor in the Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University. Her latest book is entitled “The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, Ethnicity, Political Economy” (Routledge, 2009)

      • 12

        Reading what she had to say of statistics, demography alone says that she has gone insane like another Prof Valli, DJ. May be Basil and wife are promising her something more
        Or the new american culture of human right bullshit by Hillary and others.

        Why has’t the white traffic police in the US chased her away??

        South Carolina police officer who shot fleeing black man ‘looked like he was trying to kill a deer in the woods’
        Michael Slager, a South Carolina policeman, has been charged with murder after killing Walter Scott as he ran away, but the father of the dead man say that the case would have been “swept under the rug” without bystander’s video

      • 2

        Is Bandarage actually an educated person. If she is educated she should know that the original inhabitants were Tamils and they were found all over the country, Dondra, Hambantota, Ampara.

        The propensity of the later arrival namely Vijaya and his thugs over came the original Tamils in numbers- rape,child abuse etc- and now we call this a Sinhala land.Gemunu killed Elara by stabbing him from behind and we call it a war.

        Leave it to Bandarages and the what ever is left behind as history will be re written and presented to the school going children within the next ten years.

        Bandarage will do another Mahanama of Mahawanse.

  • 5

    *Dr. Asoka Bandarage,

    RE:Regime Change In Sri Lanka

    It is Really a Dynastic Change In Sri Lanka.

    “The defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Sri Lankan Presidential elections on January 8 is hailed internationally as a victory for the rule of law, democracy, freedom of expression and good governance”

    Thank you for the Summary. The Meease of Mahinda Cippriptyn and devadeance need to reach the masses. On the back of envelope calculations indicate that the average IQ off the Modayas, Mootals and Fools who voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa has an IQ of 65, while that off Sri Lankans is 79.

    *Dr. Asoka Bandarage is the author of the books, Colonialism in Sri Lanka, The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka and many other publications.

    There is a Desperate needs for Sri Lankan Thomas Pines to write the Sri Lankan Version of the Common sense Phamplet and distribute that to the masses. So far, no Sri Lankan takers. The so-called Friday Forum, just plays cards on Fridays, eat Fish and drink tea.

    Common Sense (pamphlet)


    Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. The pamphlet explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence in clear, simple language. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places.

    Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2] As of 2006, it remains the all-time best selling American title.[3]

    Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[4] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[5] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[6]

    • 4

      *Dr. Asoka Bandarage

      *Dr. Asoka Bandarage is the author of the books, Colonialism in Sri Lanka, The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka and many other publications.

      Are you[Edited out]

    • 7


      “Thank you for the Summary. The Meease of Mahinda Cippriptyn and devadeance need to reach the masses. On the back of envelope calculations indicate that the average IQ off the Modayas, Mootals and Fools who voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa has an IQ of 65, while that off Sri Lankans is 79.”


      Thank you for the Summary. The Message of Mahinda Medamulana Rajapaksa and decadence need to reach the masses. On the back of envelope calculations indicate that the average IQ off the Modayas, Mootals and Fools who voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa, has an average IQ of 65, while that off Sri Lankans is 79.

      “Rajapaksa was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena, the so-called ‘Common Candidate’ of a new political alliance which claimed that the extent of corruption in the last few years of the Rajapaksa government was “unprecedented and unheard of before” in Sri Lanka.”

      Expose Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Liar, Crook, Robber and Criminal From Medamulana.

  • 26

    It is very evident the author of this article is Mahinda R crony. He is critical of everything President Maithreepala Sirisena and P.M. Ranil W have performed during the past few months. He does not want to or does not have the guts to criticise any of the frauds and/or mismanagement carried out by MR, his family, relatives and close associates during the 9 years of rule.

    He also states that with ending of the war, it has contributed to substantial growth turning Srilanka into a middle income country in the region. I do not understand as to how he is making such a sweeping statement. Yes, we have built a sea port, air port which are not contributing to the growth of the economy but a burden with so much loans taken for same. Road construction has been carried out spending large amounts of money at exorbitant, uncomparable costs in the region. In most of the government departments you open a file , may be you are opening a can of worms., e.g. Airlanka – what a disastrous management. The BOI report may not be complete – if you do a full audit of all transactions by competent auditors during the 5 years you may find much more.

    If the country is doing well why are so many citizens clamouring for jobs in Middle East and does the writer realise the country is still depending on the remittances from these employees monthly.

    The rule of law, fair play and justice has been established by the new regime. The only thing they have not done is rushing and sending to jail various culprits on corruption related charge by using “white van” style management practised previously. They are conducting various investigations in a proper democratic way and when all evidence is collected they will proceed with legal action.

    The unfortunate thing is the ordinary citizen has still not understood the degree of corruption committed by previous regime which, of course, they will understand when they are produced in courts, and at that time thry will dump all these corrupt guys to the dustbin.

    • 24

      The author is a She, and yes she is hell bent on pointing fingers at President Sirisena whom she addresses like some guy on the streets, wonder IF she would address the leader in the country which she resides in such a way.. sadly a Doctorate has not made her humble… moreover she seem to give a blank check to Ex Pres MR…who looted and plundered the wealth of this country… Ranil and MS may not be angels, but definitely no devils compared to MR…..

      • 7

        Snowden Edward Asange

        “The author is a She, and yes she is hell bent on pointing fingers at President Sirisena whom she addresses like some guy on the streets, wonder IF she would address the leader in the country which she resides in such a way.. sadly a Doctorate has not made her humble… “

        The paid Shill and White-Washers of Mahinda Rajapaksa can be He or She. There is ample money stolen from the people to take care of this.

        • 6

          you are right even nappy is uni sex like the trouser and shirt coat tie/scaf.

    • 3

      All what you have stated are lies. MR DID NOT rob the country, those are all mud slinging of Sirisena and the clan just to grab power. Don’t be a fool to believe in all that.

      • 3

        Paid servant of MR? Washerman perhaps!

      • 1

        ………..and I have a Bridge for sale in the USA..care to buy? going cheap..very cheap… last call !!!

    • 1

      Correction : he should be replaced with she.

  • 7

    Dr. Bandara is a scholar who has in her quiet way brought out dangers against the country with callous decisions. Dr. Bandara is aware of the undercurrents against Sri Lanka from a vantage point not seen by those who are inward thinking and blinded by politics.

    This article is not about taking sides for MR or MS. It is about the level of manipulation the country is being put through that is not seen by those in power who are playing with the future of the country. MR stood firm for the sovereignty of the country. Corruption was evident, nepotism was rampant. But it must be remembered that both those ills could have been remedied if the leader of the opposition RW did his job. He was also corrupt to take all the “goodies” from MR and go to sleep!!! In bribery the giver and taker are equally guilty. So losing the country to imperialist shadow powers is far more dangerous than bribery and corruption that could have been corrected and was within our power as a country. But when we have to fight for our National Security– it is not so easy.

    Dr. Bandara is concerned for the country. As long as there are ignorant fools who read everything as MR or MS supporters or the unelected executive Prime Minister, the country will go down a slippery slope because of politics. We cannot be more idiotic than that!!!

    • 8

      “”We cannot be more idiotic than that!!! “”

      by hiding in India from the day of independence the citizens became much more lazy and stupid with the new found diplomatic powers like Nasser the proletariat who finally died with a heartache- the cause of setting one white super power over the other white.

      See how they perform under western governments. Dr means PhD= Pakistani healing Dance

      Lankans with independence can only get stupider till they become cannibals.

    • 3


      “The TULF was committed to separatism, but it was also the main opposition party in parliament and the only democratic political voice of the Tamils” – The Separatist Conflict in Sri Lanka: Terrorism, ethnicity, political economy
      by Asoka Bandarage (2009)

    • 5


      Please read her interview above then tell me whether she is an impartial observer of the island’s politics and history or another bigot covered in academic clothing.

      She praises Laxman for working with other government which led to the banning of LTTE in Europe and other countries however she has omitted the fact that Laksman was denied equal opportunity to being appointed as Prime Minister. All because the SLFP thought MR was most suitable racist to govern this island than a man from minority community.

      She justifies the privileged position the constitution provides for Buddhism. Any secular scholar would have opposed it. Intellectual honesty and the little islanders don’t mix.

      This is another public racist believing and supporting the status quo of Sinhala/Buddhist hegemony.

      Because of people like her majority Sinhalese and Buddhists suffer too.

  • 19

    The author seems to be missing life under Rajapaksa rule.

    Massive rallies organised by the opposition parties? Don’t be a fool. The crowd are bussed in with bribes of buth packets and cash stolen from the national coffers by Rajapaksa. Sirisena may seem weak but I am sure Ranil and Chandrika will ensure Rajapaksa will never raise his head again in Sri Lanka politically.

    • 7

      Sirisena MAY seem weak but he is not. She seems to like a chest-thumping Tarzan instead !

      She is another Dayan / Rajiva. Need to take her with a pinch of salt !

    • 3

      Yes Sirisena is weak and a pambaya and Ranil & Chandrika with the support of USA and the WEST will ensure the country will be dragged into conflicts and the region will be in a mess.

    • 5


      “cash stolen from the national coffers by Rajapaksa.”

      Also cash and gold stolen from VP’s Fort Knox which belonged to the people.

  • 11

    Asoka Bandarage,

    “Sirisena also promised to implement a six-year program with the government to be established after the parliamentary elections to be held after the 100 days. Given relative absence of international media coverage following the euphoria over the January 8 election. People voted to bring Sirisena to power: not Wickramasinghe.”

    Václav Havel’s was known for his essays, most particularly The Power of the Powerless, in which he described a societal paradigm in which citizens were forced to “live within a lie” under the communist regime.[

    Even Václav Havel’s Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution could not establish anything in 100 days. Only Sri lankans are good at boasting about images.

    There are 2 men who brought proud to the country after independence and both sportsmen of world class – Laffir and Murali where are the Sinhalese??
    All on DPL passports, heroin in PM’s office and sending their women to Medieval Middle East or advertising young boys in European Gay magazines

    A week before his death, he met with his longtime friend, the Dalai Lama, in Prague;
    Michael Zantovsky, Yale historian Marci Shore summarized his challenges as president:
    Havel’s message, “We are all responsible, we are all guilty,” was not popular. He enacted a general amnesty for all but the most serious criminals, apologized on behalf of Czechoslovakia for the post-World War II expulsion of the Sudeten Germans and resisted demands for a more draconian purge of secret police collaborators. These things were not popular either. And as the government undertook privatization and restitution, Havel confronted pyramid schemes, financial corruption and robber baron capitalism. He saw his country fall apart (if bloodlessly), becoming in 1993 the Czech Republic and Slovakia

    • 0

      You have left out Ethirweerasingham, Sangakkara and Jayawardene.

  • 12

    This very racist lady and [Edited out] along with the Malindas and Dayans that are talking about the Mahinda resurgence despite all the criminal revelations show how the intellectuals in our country are so completely at ease with criminality and thuggery. It is really shocking.. she is said to be teaching at Georgetown- do they know about this side of her I wonder.

  • 10

    This so called Dr is a Rajapaksa crony. She must be missing tge haer share of the loot.Her comments are hillarius.

    • 10

      damn… sheuses so much make up… like being embalmed.. seems she likes to make up MR’s personality too. I am awed if she is teaching at Georgetown..

      • 7

        Snowden Edward Asange

        “damn… sheuses so much make up… like being embalmed..”

        This is not the nice thing to say about people with whom you disagree.

        Whatever she does to her face or body is her own business. Whatever she says or types for public consumption is our business.

        As long as we understand the dividing all is fine.

  • 6

    Dr. Bandarage

    At least show that you have some decency to thank Maithripala Sirisena who allowed people to read CT.

    Before Jan 08 you had no chance to let us read your monologue, wailing about the defeat of MR and his clan,

  • 5

    ”If the current regime does not honor its pledge to dissolve Parliament after the completion of its 100 days and hold parliamentary elections, greater resistance is bound to emerge.”:

    Any suggestions how this govt can make sense of the mess created by the Rajapakses?

    • 5

      ”If the current regime does not honor its pledge to dissolve Parliament after the completion of its 100 days and hold parliamentary elections, greater resistance is bound to emerge.”:

      wonder if that is a threat… umm IF what she thinks doesn’t happen, then MR is going to use his POWER and topple the govt? LOL these ppl can talk BS from the luxury of their offices in other countries… It’s the boots that are on the ground that makes things happen..So let the VOTERS who live in SL decide… the way we DECIDED to send MR packing….

  • 5

    Well said Piranha. 3 cheers to RW and CBK for their excellent job. MR & clan with their corruption unlimited and murders (white vanning ….. ). MR has been nailed to his coffin. Crooks and what not the corrupt MR lot are not an ounce of conscience (it is total greed and wanting to rob what is left back in the country). Having sleepless nights as well all the crooks!

  • 7

    The author should get her facts correct. Under the Sri Lankan constitution the President has the power to appoint the Prime Minister. I recall when Mahinda was elected for the second term it was Mr. Ratnasri Wickramanayake the Prime Minister. I don’t think he resigned he was replaced by President Rajapakse with Mr.DM. Jayarathne. President Sirisena followed that convention. The President appoints a person as PM who in his opinion commands the support of the members of Parliament.Subsequent events have proven the steps he took are correct.
    Just because some bankrupt politicians whose chances of getting re elected are remote hold rallies, you cannot judge the popularity of a President who was just elected by the popular vote.
    Everybody remembers how the 18th Amendment was rushed through as a result of which the country is suffering.
    When Ranil Wickramasinghe lost the elections in 2005 by a thin margin he nor his followers never went around the country holding rallies they accepted the will of the people.That is Democracy.Whether we like it or not the will of the people should be accepted and respected.

  • 7

    Dr.Asoka Bandarage, who resides in he US and is undoubtedly a recognised academic and author, has in this instance misread the current Sri Lankan situation. The opinion survey reported in the Sunday Times (12/4/20), illustrates public perceptions of this government fairly accurately:

    “Dissolve Parliament by April 23, keep your promise, says BT-RCB opinion poll

    An opinion poll this week tracking the progress of the new Sri Lankan Government and its 100-day programme has concluded that most of the respondents want parliament to be dissolved by April 23 as promised.

    The poll was conducted earlier in the week before the President on Thursday announced the April 20th debate on the 19th Amendment to be followed by the dissolution of parliament.

    Asked -“Should the Government dissolve parliament by end April and hold parliamentary elections by June as scheduled?” most the respondents in the Business Times (BT)-Research Consultancy Bureau (RCB) poll said ‘Yes”. The poll covered over 1,000 respondents through email (BT) and street interviews in Colombo (RCB). To this particular question, 75 per cent (RCB) and 69 per cent (BT) responded with a “Yes” answer. The response clearly implies that the Government should keep to its word, prorogue parliament (with only President Maithripala Sirisena authorised to do so) and hold elections by June.

    This is contrary to the results of the previous BT-RCB’s March 8 published poll which showed that 53 per cent of the respondents (both BT and RCB) preferred a postponement of the election, suggesting that the Government needs more time to deliver on all the reforms promised in the 100-day programme.

    It was the third poll tracking the new Government following opinion polls that were held on February 8 and March 8. Unlike the previous polls where there was a slight disagreement of views between email and street respondents when asked almost similar questions, the latest poll showed that both segments had similar views on the performance of the Government.

    To the question: “Has the Government made progress in tackling corruption of the past regime?” 68 per cent of the RCB respondents said “No”. In the BT response, 46 per cent said “No” while another 42 per cent said “Yes”. In the March 8th poll, the result on this same question was as follows: 79 per cent “N” from RCB and 67 per cent “No” from BT.

    Some BT respondents said while there was progress, it was not enough.

    The improvement in the Government’s rating of tackling corruption, comparing both polls, comes a few days after the release of a scathing report by a 3-member committee probing loss-making SriLankan Airlines and Mihin Lanka, which recommended criminal action against the airline’s former chairman, CEO and other senior officials.The poll was also positive for the Government in terms of two other questions: “Has abuse of power reduced?” and “Has the Government succeeded so far in its 100-day programme to reduce cost of living (COL)?” On abuse of power reduction, the BT poll gave an 88 per cent heads-up (“Yes”) vote while 76 per cent of RCB respondents said “Yes”. On COL, 81 per cent (RCB) and 75 per cent (BT) agreed that the Government had reduced living costs.

    Respondents were not pleased with the reduction in presidential powers or the progress of electoral reforms. On Thursday the Government presented the 19th Amendment to the Constitution curbing the powers of the president.

    However several respondents said that the President has shown his willingness to reduce powers and was adopting a very low profile.
    Respondents were also not happy with the overall progress of the 100-day programme to tackle corruption.

    Respondents in the BT poll included business professionals, lawyers, accountants, CEOs, students, etc while street interviews by the RCB were conducted amongst the working population and others”.

    The positive changes in the mode of governance and reduction in the cost of living are quite tangible to the people. There is a thirst for members of the previous governing apparatus to be punished rapidly and severely. Many evn want MR punished, despite the immunity he is entitled! However, the stance of the present government that due process must be followed is also understood. The rallies sponsored by MR allies, have not impressed the people,
    as they have witnessed how this apparent public support was mobilized and displayed during the last presidential election. The style of the new president being a stalk contrast to MR’s is appreciated.

    The people also understand that the government had swallowed more than it can chew with its 100 day program and understand the difficulties of working with ramshackle political arrangements. The media, abundantly assisted by the loose cannons within the government and the new found freedom, is also engaged in subtle mischief making. Ven.Sobitha Thera has become the concience of this nation and his opinion counts much more now than in the period immediately preceding 8th Jan’2015.

    In my assessment, MR and those who want to enthrone him back in power are very unlikely to succeed, given the current state of public opinion.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 6

      So realize that the Sunday Times is owned by Ranil’s family? That’s credibility out the window in terms of that news article.

      • 15

        I misjudged Ranil… He is not a moron.
        He is only a case of arrested development

        Ranil wants to shoot Indian fishermen who are not allowed to carry a cell/GPs after the Bombay attacks by Muslims.

        Ranil does not know the might of Indian air Force- they have taken many an American co-pilot captive during Pak/India wars.(peace keeping is for small countries to make money)

        Sinhala army are continuously trained by the best American forces to counter terror.

        Sinhala Buddhists are saints born in a coconut shell and believe in Samsara.

        Sinhalese Boasting about being the only force on earth to beat terrorism.

        Sinhalese government are debt ridden due to corruption to the core.

        600,000 Sinhala Buddhist women serve as toys/maids in the Medieval Middle East while they advertise their young boys in the European Gay magazines.

        Now is the time for the Hyena men to prove that they are Lions by assisting their employers at Saudi to win the war on terror at Yemen.- Do the Sinhala men like Gota or Fonny have balls or their women??

        The Saudis are prepared to clear all debts of Lanka so why are Sinhala Buddhist hiding and killing women and children in the island??

        Smelly Pin Cushions must lead with their bana for sana Yemen action from street to street.

        Now is the pay back time. Saudi will clear all your debts and more.

        Analysis: M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad Saudi Arabia has been a major foreign donor to Pakistan – some say perhaps the third-largest after the US and China. Late last year, for example, what finance minister Ishaq Dar initially described as a $3bn (£2bn) “gift from a friendly source” turned out to be Saudi largesse that was used to stabilise a free-falling rupee against the US dollar. Soon afterwards Pakistan officially backed the Saudi position on Syria. ____________________

        Sinhalaya moddaya GO NOW Clear your Debts : go to Sana Yemen the gold glitters. Lanka government news: In an in-depth analysis of the Sri Lankan government’s defeat of the LTTE, the ‘Indian Defence Review’ has identified Eight Fundamentals of Victory.
        These are listed as the ‘Rajapaksa Model of fighting terror’ and are described as:
        • Unwavering political will
        • Disregard for international opinion distracting from the goal
        • No negotiations with the forces of terror
        • Unidirectional floor of conflict information
        • Absence of political intervention to pull away from complete defeat of the LTTE
        • Complete operational freedom for the security forces -Let the best men do the task
        • Accent on young commanders
        • Keep your neighbors in the loop The July-September 2009 issued ‘Indian Defense Review’ carries a detailed article on the Eight Fundamentals of Victory or the ‘Rajapaksa Model’ of fighting terror by V. K. Shashikumar.

        • 8

          In a democracy when there is no money Go to War.- no alternative as printing does not help but US $ only.
          Opportunity waits for no man.- Conscript all the thugs, armed forces and high talking politicians and send them to Yemen –
          Financial crisis solved- Miracle of Asia.

  • 6

    This is a pure an simple defence of the Rajapaksa authoritarianism and corruption. She even believes uncritically the “middle income country” bullshit cooked up by the gambler Cabraal. If she believes in what she says here, she is colossally ignorant of the culture of Sri Lankan politics, the damage that Rajapaksa has done to the country, and what Maitriplala and Ranil are trying to do to restore some sense to the country. No academic worth the name can talk like she does here. Only a partisan bootlicker of Rajapaksa can.

  • 4

    A poor piece written by someone who doesn’t or didn’t know the ground situation.

    The apex of learning is to be balanced and neutral in assessment. Bandarage does not seem either, in this effort.

    • 1

      Dear Justice and Firplay, Scott, Native vedda, Snowden and the associates,
      Please note that she writes in English that we can understand.
      None of you can write a meaningful sentence in English. No doubt you are hired [Edited out]

      • 3

        Coconut head,
        Ho ho, Easter just passed,
        Go back to bed Green Gassy Gembo!!

        or play more croaket and drink much hot croako.

        stop sitting on your hands and rub the ointment on your head.

  • 1

    I’m disappointed that this author is willing to call LTTE as terrorist but not SL Government as genocidal mass rapist. Hence the article must be a propaganda material of racists.

  • 3

    Dear Asoka

    The implied message of your article is that the defeat of the Rajapakses and the advent of Sirisena-Ranil government to power is the result of a conspiracy by the pro-LTTE west spearheaded by the US. I like to believe that theory but I have a conundrum to solve. How come Gota and Basil are US citizens and you are also teaching in a US university, training Americans to screw us more efficiently. If you really believe in your theory, you would renounce the perks provided to you by our enemy and instead return to Sri Lanka and educate our Sinhala Buddhist children to better defend and protect our country and heritage. Won’t you?

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