22 July, 2019

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Seeking Victory By Default

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

One thing that strikes anyone with any experience of participating in and/or running political campaigns of any description in any part of the world is the ineptitude of the UNP’s strategists during the days since the writ was dropped for a general election.

When/if the Ranil Wickremesinghe/UNP coalition, whose long title escapes me at this time, wins the forthcoming election it will be due to one or both of two factors: the public’s monumental distaste for all that Mahinda and his Minions stand for and did while in power or pure, unadulterated good luck!

The Rajapaksa-led opposition, for its part seems to be stuck for something to use in any “attack-is-the-best-form-of-defence” strategy. Instead they are running around the country, transporting, wining and dining hordes of “catchers” much as they did prior to the Presidential election in an attempt to convince those subscribing to a “hooray for the winning side” (“dinung-paththata hoiyya”) that they better back the Rajapaksa horse in this particular race! There is also the endless bleating about the “Affaire Mahendran,” which is not particularly effective because, apart from the transaction involving a sum of money beyond the comprehension of most Sri Lankans, 99% of those being preached at wouldn’t understand a bond from the proverbial hole in the ground! The UNP coalition, of course, in one of its grosser acts of ineptitude, sought an injunction against publication of the COPE report on the subject, immediately keeping the issue alive and lending credibility to the allegation that they had a great deal to hide! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot (while walking backwards, at that!). As a footnote to that business, the most violent and venal group to ever govern Sri Lanka keep whining about the fact that not every one of the 100-day targets of the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe coalition was achieved. Coming from a government that singularly distinguished itself by its ability to “disappear” its opponents via white vans and was certainly without par in the matter of self-aggrandisement, complaining about the non-fulfillment of someone else’s 100-day national targets takes nerve!

MahindaWhat has fascinated me most about all of this posturing by both sides has been the fact that Mahinda Rajapaksa and his henchmen who are facing time in the crowbar hotel if he doesn’t make a comeback, keep claiming – continuously and without contradiction – that MR single-handedly vanquished the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

It is simply a matter of historical record that a significant time before the final confrontation at Nanthikadal – we’re talking months and years here, not days and weeks – the LTTE’s supply lines had not only been attacked but been completely destroyed. Thanks to intelligence reports supplied by the much-abused “Western Powers,” freighters bearing every kind of supply from the military to the civilian were being sunk, literally, thousands of miles before they were within reach of Sri Lanka’s shores by the Sri Lankan navy. This is not information that I have gleaned from some obscure “kalay paththaray.” These were official government bulletins appearing in the mainline newspapers of Sri Lanka.

Also, every military strategist worth his salt, has assessed Velupillai Prabhakaran’s decision to face the Sri Lanka armed forces in orthodox battle field formation as a blunder unparalleled in guerilla war history. He simply did not have the firepower or the manpower to successfully wage such battles, notwithstanding suicidal young men and women to whom death meant little. They didn’t become a human juggernaut, they simply became cannon fodder. His predicament became even worse when he was encircled on a tiny salt marsh, blasted by mortar, cannon and multi-barreled artillery, fired on from the sea and bombed from above, all of which must have made Dante’s inferno look like a Sunday school picnic!

Thanks to (now-Field Marshall) Sarath Fonseka, the wholesale racketeering in the purchase of arms and ammunition had given way to honest procurement of good and reliable supplies. In addition, there is little argument that Fonseka, despite his other character flaws, inclusive of a very short fuse of a temper and a perhaps inflated opinion of himself, was not corrupt and was a brave man with significant military and command skills who cleared the army of its major flotsam and jetsam on its way to the final denouement at Nanthikadal.

Possibly the single most important strategic element in the whole jigsaw puzzle of the war was even farther back in the history of the struggle. That was the defection of the man considered the military genius without equal in the LTTE, Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as “Colonel Karuna.” And guess who masterminded that desertion? The much-reviled Ranil Wickremesinghe during his brief sojourn as Prime Minister under Chandrika Kumaratunge’s Presidency!

The Chinese (and the Russians?) did provide armaments very freely to the Rajapaksa regime, arms which would otherwise have had to be purchased through other devious means at greater cost.

Sri Lanka had warplanes to pit against three pitiful crop-duster propeller-driven aircraft which needed one of the pilots to “invent” a “bomb-release” when they decided to “hit Colombo from the air,” creating unparalleled consternation in Sri Lanka’s capital. This description does not constitute cynicism after the fact. It is a simple re-telling of the panic that ensued when one of these “warplanes” was sighted in the skies of Colombo and the better part of its “establishment” began plans for mass evacuation!

Once the LTTE decided to go into orthodox battle mode, it was just a question of time before they would be annihilated. It was plain to see, at least two years before Nanthikadal, that the Tigers had “bought it.” I recall a piece I wrote to Montage Magazine at the time stating that fact in the simplest of terms. You didn’t need some talisman-hawking soothsayer from southern Sri Lanka to predict what was as plain as the nose on one’s face. I’d suggest you give your head a (very hard) shake if you think that Prabha’s boys could stand up to the Sri Lankan armed forces which did then, and still do now, rival those of the Russian army’s at half a million men and women!

The coup de grace could have been administered infinitely more swiftly to Prabhakaran’s rump without the massive loss of civilian lives that resulted from what was essentially, a public relations exercise, playing on the (justified) fear that the Sinhalese (and some Tamils) had of the Tigers. This was manipulative cynicism at its worst. When I recall the constantly repeated information that parents had to pick up every child at the end of the school day at the school gate to ensure their safety (from Tiger attack) on their homeward journey, I look at the hordes of parents at school-closing time at those same gates today and wonder what difference there ultimately is in the matter of fear of a random suicide bomb versus the possibility of your son or daughter not reaching home because they’ve been abducted or worse.

I don’t know about the Hague, the International Criminal Court and all of that, but I do believe that those calling the shots in the matter of military policy at that time should be prosecuted for deliberately prolonging a conflict in order to maximize the publicity they could garner from it, while, literally, thousands of civilian lives were lost. It seemed that the lies uttered as cover-up grew to yet another dimension with plummy-voiced Goebbelses fabricating one set of lyrics for the BBC and high-living Ministers of Foreign Affairs singing a different song to Al Jazeera!

The number and size of the posters and “cut-outs” grew steadily and reached a veritable crescendo before the fall of Nanthikadal. One side-bar to that progression was when then-General Fonseka, in a fit of pique, decided to contest Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Presidential election meant to capitalize on the rampant triumphalism following the final destruction of the LTTE. The triumphant trio of Mahinda, Gota and Fonny had to be reduced to two, just the Brothers Rajapaksa (on each and every poster and cut-out). It did make for a few odd-looking reconfigurations!

Earlier, when the rocky outcrop inland from the eastern coast was taken by Sri Lankan forces, not only was the event stage-managed but a stamp issued to commemorate it. I am old enough to recall an iconic event in the war in the South Pacific in 1945. That was the capture of Iwo Jima which was commemorated with probably the most famous stamp ever issued during World War II, a stamp carrying the image of US marines raising the stars and stripes on that blood-soaked little Pacific island. Guess what? The stamp commemorating the Sri Lankan event in our Eastern Province is a dead ringer for that most famous of US stamps! Coincidence? I hardly think so, given the connection between the top-most layer of the Sri Lankan army and the US of A!

Why I have gone to the time and trouble of detailing what I have in the previous paragraphs is because the unconscionable conduct of the governments that were distinguished by their absolute control by Mahinda Rajapaksa have not so much as been referred to by those talking in high-falutin’ terms of Yahapalanaya and all that’s good, peaceful and on the side of the gods, in this election.

I would submit that Mahinda Rajapaksa as the embodiment of peace, all that is good and the epitome of statesmanship and good governance is not simply a product of his crass and bully-boy publicity machine. Its underpinnings have been provided by the “insurance buyers” who have made a fine art of running with the hare of the UNFPA and hunting with the hounds of the Ranil-built coalition.

I hope I am right in my (eternally optimistic!) belief that the Sri Lankan nation will not be gulled by the demagogues and racists again and, instead will make a decision driven by the wisdom that centuries of culture should have endowed them with.

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  • 2
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    The war was literally over for the LTTE when the government forces made sure that they cleared Madhu of the rebel forces. The rest was a tamasha for the Government. The vindictive regime prolonged the agony of Tamils dragging the war when there was nothing but political mileage to be won.

    The unwanted civilian deaths was the result of callous indifference to human lives, particularly of Tamils. The Sinhalese soldiers too paid for that tamasha of the regime, with their dear lives.

    The ending has come and gone without even an iota of improvement in the lives of ordinary men and women, on either side of the divide.

    • 0
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      Guys, why dont free media men seem not interviewing former president to ask why he did not react adequately in order Aluthgama riots to avoid happening ?

      Why he let Rathupaswala incident to end up in that way ?

      Why he let Kahawatta to end up in that way ?

      Why he as a leader turned up to Lanza and protected him on that way not allowing him to be arrested by Police ?

      Why lasantha Murder was not given first hand trial during his terms ?

      Why did he provide the alleged with all protection in the Baratha Murder case ?

      Why he allowed Duminda Silva to abuse the nation in that way ?

      Why MR abused all the state assets for his election campaign, sending Rajarata people (nephro renal deadly patient) dead for no reason ?

      Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why Why why why why

  • 5
    8

    Mr Poorten is dead right…

    Even UNP supporters wouldn’t know a Bond from a Pond..

    Otherwise how can they still go behind Batalanda Ranil begging for Economic salvation, when Ranil has given his mate Mahendran’s SIL a caveat on UNP Taxpayers, their children and even grand childrens’ income tax for the next 30 years.

    Until Aloysious Perpetuals 9 Billion bond is paid out in full, after servicing it for 30 years at 3 % more than the current market rate.

    Here are some Economic stats for the Sugar daddies in the UNP and the Yahapalanaya to digest.

    Srilanka’s GDP in 2005 was 25 Billion in USD’

    It was 75 Billion when Batalanda Ranil took over in 2015.

    Per Capita Income in 2005 was 1150 USD .

    It is USD 4000 in 2015..

    GDP to Debt ratio in 2005 was 93 %

    It was only 75 % in January 2015.

    That is 20 % reduction whilst increasing the wealth of the Nation almost three fold.

    Elite and the Anglicans can’t be idiots not to understand these real time Economic Stats.

    But their agenda is not development of the Nation . It is purely Regime Change to get their hands in the Till.

    Give the West total control of our Harbours, Airfields and natural resources if there are any.

    Last but not least give Sambandan his Eelaam so Surendrans can come to enjoy retirement in their long awaited Tamil Nation.

    Poorten got a point.

    Our great majority of the inhabitant population who are simple people don’t understand what is happening in the big picture.

    Elite Anglican strategy is to keep chanting Hora Hora Hora,,

    Because they have no plans or capabilities to better those Economic stats?

    How can they call themselves honest money managers when Batalanada Ranil’s mate Mahendran lifted LKR 9 Billion in one hit, in favour of the SIL.

    This Horakama, the Heist an the Central Bank will go down as the biggest ever and no body will ever be to match it.

    • 2
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      KASmaalam K.A Sumanasekera

      Emil van der Poorten writes:

      “There is also the endless bleating about the “Affaire Mahendran,” which is not particularly effective because, apart from the transaction involving a sum of money beyond the comprehension of most Sri Lankans, 99% of those being preached at wouldn’t understand a bond from the proverbial hole in the ground!”

      Emil van der Poorten has lost confidence in your ability to break down the complex components of bond issue and explain to the poor dalit inhabitant of this island.

      It appears you have been typing here just to please the Vellalas, Abrahams, Diaspora, rich and famous, ………. and I believe you are not interested in educating Dalits on Financial wheeling dealing.

  • 7
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    I’m in total agreement with you Emil on the war victory. When Prabhakaran decided to take on the SL Forces conventionally, he was doomed from Day 1. His megalomania dictated that he didn’t mind the quantity of bodies that piled up, so long as he could try to outwit the SL Forces. Given the odds, I’m at a loss to understand all the hoo-haa that went on when he was defeated. MR was and is a charlatan in my book, who’ll use any means to come to power and avoid the inevitable international war tribunal and corruption trials at home. RW/MS is the best hope we have at this stage, so we must assist them in any way we can.

  • 10
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    Ranil acts arrogant only to cover his total lack of self-respect. He knows the country does not want as prime Minister or even as aMP. But he hides behind unfortunate fact that MR cannot win alone and by talking of a national government. Any way let RW have his pathetic moment in power so that he can imagine he is a hell of a doer. He is a man who does everything by cunning and manipulation. Never an accepted leader .Mahendran affair is just a small indication of what the country is in for.

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  • 0
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    Pooty [Edited out] .

    When you open your mouth do you wonder if you are talking from your front or back side? . why dont you go and live under a rock in galagedera . Do you have to show off your idiocy to the whole world .

    [Edited Out]…

    Cheers

    Abhaya

    • 4
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      Kabbaya:
      I speak from the orifice adjacent to where the human brain is usually located.

      You seem to do the same except that your brains appear to be located in a part of your anatomy usually referred to as the “nether regions.”

      P.S.
      One of your educated friends (if you have any) should be able to enlighten you as to what “nether regions” are. However, let me give you a hint: its what most humans sit on.

      • 1
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        To answer your points will be to enable a lunatic and a troll . but for an uneducated clown you have a very healthy ego . I am thinking a Durian fell on your noggin in your childhood .

        Cheers

        Abhaya

        • 2
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          Abhaya, do you think you are eduated ? why then you sit with dogs (Rajapakse) ?.
          Give us any good reason why you sit with dogs further ? Why you cry for them while most abusive minister of MR regime has turned his mind to go against him (none other than Mervin the vermin from Kelaniya). Are u a shameless bugger with a big mouth to attack anyone that fearlessly stand against high criminals ?

        • 0
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          Kabbaya:

          You obviously can’t differentiate wit from being a half-wit, despite your pretence to some expertise on the subject of durians. An educated guess might suggest that you are the misbegotten result of the alleged aphrodisiac qualities of durian hence the babbling that does a great deal to advance the cause of abusive incoherency and little else.

          • 1
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            pooty

            Sad to say you are not even a half wit , more like a nit wit.

            Cheers

            Abhaya

            • 0
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              bla bla blAbhaya

              “Sad to say you are not even a half wit , more like a nit wit. “

              Then what do you call yourself?

              A zero sum brain.

    • 1
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      Abhaya – the man not second to Toy pistol mayor of Hambantota but got the chance to live in the US, has always added the kind of low comments. No matter he would even have been abuducted or rape out – man would never ever utter a single word against Mr Madmulana. TOday, Mr Madamulana et al are down with all bad thoughts if not would not not get elected, how would they have to face the allegations levelled against the royal family and each of his men – to that time allegations will turn to real convinctions since all these are now being investigated. Even if MR would have been elected to the parliament, he would not be able to do anything against on going investigations based on the alleged high corrupted events by his previous regime. These men including Rajpaakshe have proved that they can easily be caricatured by low grade sooth sayers of the country side. So people are well aware of thei rmind sets. I have no doubt, Rajpaakshe will have to face his cases after 17th Agust election

      • 1
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        I dont really care who the president is All I care for is for the country to be developed . These [Edited out] have no idea how to do it. all they know is to complain about the development that was done .

        Any idiot can sit around and complain but only a few can do something . I am convinced MR is the best head of state I have seen rule SL . I am not saying he was a saint or had no weaknesses but results speak for themselves.
        Forgive me if I dont care for your political affiliations .

        The only chance SL has is to start on the stagnated development thanks to the LTTE inbreds and the inbred politicians who ruled till 2005 . To me This Gon Sira is another fool who talks lot but cant get a thing done . Ranil Ravi and all the others are just about the same . The 100 days of no development could turn into 10000 days of non development. and that would be the end of the country . Which nearly ended if not for MR GR and a few others like him .

        • 1
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          bla bla blAbhaya

          ” I am convinced MR is the best head of state I have seen rule SL”

          Why?

          Is it because he killed more Demela’s than the ones before him?

          Demela’s have been hit hard where it hurt them.

          For being the head of a Kleptocracy.

          For running a despotic dynasty.

          Are you looking forward to being humiliated, tortured and killed by Gota’s goons? If you want Gota can get an expert to explore your posterior with a hot iron rod.

          “These [Edited out] have no idea how to do it. all they know is to complain about the development that was done”

          Here is an excerpt from UNP 2000 Manifesto:

          A strong economy can only be founded on modernized infrastructure and transport facilities. If we are to increase productivity, transportation of commuters should be efficient. We will make every effort to institute and maintain bus and rail services that are punctual, efficient and comfortable.

          We will remove road barriers, which close up roads unnecessarily and choke traffic.

          Diesel tax will be abolished.

          We will minimize commuter time through the better coordination between public and private transport services.

          We will electrify the railways and modernize the buses to provide reliable and comfortable services to the people through planned investments.

          Roads bring development to the village.

          As a matter of priority, we will build a network of highways to suit the 21st century.

          http://unitednationalparty.tripod.com/manifesto.htm

          • 1
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            NV nit wit

            Why publish a manifesto that was not followed and could not be followed . are you checking to see if you can read it ? I think your senility is taking over . Go take your Alzheimer pills .

            There would have been more Demalas killed if not for the war having ended moron , if this was the criteria to go by MR would not have been the choice would it nit wit . ?

            Demala’s Hit hard ? really you moron have to been to killinochi and north since after the war ? have you seen how much better off they are than the poor Sinhalaya’s in the wanni ? despite all the bitching and moaning.

            You are just a true retard . just like your uncle parba .

            Cheers

            Abhaya

            • 0
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              bla bla blaAbhaya

              “Go take your Alzheimer pills.”

              Where do you buy yours?

              “Why publish a manifesto that was not followed and could not be followed .”

              The road construction was not MR’s great idea. Continental connectivity was first proposed by UN in the late 1950s.

              Had your brethren Vellupillai allowed a free and fair elections in 2005, probably Ranil would have won and he would have carried out what was an international obligation.

              Though you live in a highly developed country you still behave and act like a little islander.

              What have learned from wherever you are.

              What is the different between you and a Punchi Banda from a village.

              Punchi Banda may be better a human being than an ignorant Sinhala/Buddhist whose sole motive is to live off from other’s misery.

              What you have proved from all your little typing is that there is no connection between education and wisdom. Thanks for proving my point.

              • 1
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                NV Nit wit .

                There is no difference between and punchi banda from the village and me, I am proud to be a punchi banda from a village rather and a pretentious arse like you or [Edited out] pooty.

                And I am an islander and will all ways be and think like one . I like to think the world will be a poorer place if not for the islanders .

                I dont live off any ones misery . misery is to see our oppotunities being destroyed by fools

  • 4
    2

    Mr van der Poorten,

    Didn’t you know that Ranil was working for Mahinda? If not, how on earth could he have made such a mess in 100 or 180 days?

    Talking of the Rajapakses, the final slaughter of the Tigers and the civilians, was nothing but an exercise to win the hearts and minds of the terrified “patriots” who are now cheering Mahinda Rajapakse all the way to parliament and from there to the President’s House. As you rightly say the war could have been won without so much carnage.

    The best advice I can give the prime minister in waiting is to stop teaching English once again in Sri Lanka. Then he, and after him his son, could feed any rubbish to the masses in state controlled media and expect them to venerate the family as the North Koreans do, well into the future!

  • 1
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    [Edited out]

  • 1
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    9 billion robbed is an exaggeration by buying at old rate and selling for the new rate they have earned only the difference. For insider trading how many should be fired? The entire banking system should be revamped. This might be the reason apex court considered this irrevocable. On what basis BoC granted the big loan so quickly for 30 years?

    • 0
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      The ‘Heist’ is the biggest achievement of the ‘Yahapalanaya’ government. Who wouldn’t give an arm and a leg if one could make 3% over 30 longs years on some Rs 5 billion, without, in effect, utilizing any of one’s own capital. It was done without any attempt at all to hide the misdeed and how many within the ruling ‘elite’ had their snouts in the trough is the question. It was certainly beyond the comprehension of the Village headman.

      A President with executive powers and a modicum of integrity would have cancelled the sorry affair at the first opportunity. But then, this is Sri Lanka.

      • 0
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        Correction-3% pa

        • 0
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          @ram, suppose if the UNF is defeated and UPFA came to power, will they cancel the bonds (BoC reimbursing) who will pay the initial difference in sudden increase of interest rate through the parliament ratification. This is what the complexity here. The deal is legal in all counts, only the insiders be punished!

  • 1
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    Mr Poorten doesn’t have to lose any sleep worrying about a Rajapaksa Government.

    His mate Kirra has come up with a brilliant idea.

    Batalanda Ranil’s next Yahapalana Government after August, will have no Government or a Opposition .

    Sounds strange No..

    Not really, Apparently the Elite Anglicans and the Vellala have tried it before and it worked.

    And it has a an eye catching name too.. It is “Don More” System.

    What a fitting name…

    And guess what … Red Baby Elephant Brigade has already ticked it.

    And Kirra says all elected Members will be in Government, as ministers I guess.

    Just imagine Batalanda Ranil, Mahoinda Rajapaksa, Galleon Ravi, John Vatican Amaratunga, Poorten mate Kiriellala, Hirunickers, Ranjan Aiya, Arjuna Uncle, Rosy beauty,our own Wimale, Champakaya, Mangalan, Keselwatta Kid,Sarong Harin, Dr Harsha, Poodle Club President’s Son, Mahendran’s Body Guard pretty boy Senasinghe, s Field Marshall , Son in Law , the Missus and a lot more sitting all together to give Yahapalanaya…

    What an array of stars .

    Wnder whether they have done any Economic Modelling to predict what our GDP, Per Ccapita,Income, Foreign and Local Debt for the next 5 years would be under this system ?.

    BTW will Vellalas and the Dalits join too with their TNA & TPA not forgetting the CFD ,,

  • 0
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  • 1
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    The children’s parks built during Rajapaksa dictatorship remained almost empty,when he was removed these parks started to fill and remain filled because people now feel free?

  • 0
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    I still want to know to whom I should send a bag of cash and a floral arrangement close to 17thml. You haven’t given me the Victor yet m can you not consult your astrologer and let me know please? I’d like to get a bank or insurance executive director position. Or so an Apollo Hospital directorship or an Ambassadorship because I desperstely need money for a dowry for my grand daughter, drive around in a fancy chauffer driven car and use a credit card issued by the government. I’ll like to drink 21 year old single malts at government expense Emil.

    You need to tell us all by Aug 5th who will ein so I can be pandam kaaraya, waterboy, dinana pathtata hoiya, ehey haamu, sycophantic sri lankan.

    Jokes apart, always enjoy your articles from inside Sri Lanka. Should I cosy up with Ranil Haamu or Mahinda Raja?

  • 0
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    Harry Hatton
    Can you name any present day politician who is not cunning and manipulative? I believe it is like the Sinhala saying “Kalu Nika Hoyanawa wagey” or English saying ‘Finding a needle in a haystack.’

    • 0
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      Yes, already few of JVPers are not cunning. Their pulse are not felt by the many in the country though. See, how they argue against high abuses being carried out by former regime men. They are fearless. That are not their tactics, but they are just geanuine. I am not JVPer, but I respect them more than I do to other parties today than had been in the past. Only what they lack is long years of exp in lanken kind of politics. It is not easy lanken politics since it is an another developing nation, whoever whatever being explained about their higher social indicators. Paradoxially, even if their literacy rates are similarto that of Singapore. Over half of the vote eligible should be fools or easily manipulative by tricky politicians. Most of them seem to have no knowledge about the facts of the events that the ruling regime has been doing. THey dont worry about any kind of higher corruption level, since they seem to be not knowing about justice and injustice.

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