4 October, 2022

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Should Aragalaya Consider A Political Movement Led By Nagananda, Fonseka & Hirunika?

By Amrit Muttukumaru

Amrit Muttukumaru

The country being in dire straits in terms of its politics, economy and social fabric and the people going through untold suffering due to shortage in life-sustaining essentials does not need elaboration. Unless an immediate credible political leadership is installed, all hell could break loose anytime with disastrous consequences.

Island-wide Aragalaya (struggle) protesters demanding a complete overhaul of the political leadership accompanied by ‘systemic change’ are all at sea when it comes to alternate leadership. Even those who may ‘fit the bill’ are fighting shy for some reason or other. This does not take away the awe inspiring contribution of Aragalaya which brought the powerful Rajapaksas and all politicians to their knees. But tragically for the country, things are now turning out ominous for reasons spelt out below.

It is all well and good for Aragalaya protesters to demand ‘systemic change’ under an apolitical leadership. But has not their inability to identify alternate leaders either from Aragalaya itself or outside it resulted in (i) Ranil Wickremesinghe being appointed Prime Minister contrary to democratic practice (ii) Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s executive presidency getting a respite (iii) members of the Rajapaksa family rediscovering their silenced voices (iv) controversial businessman Dhammika Perera appointed a ‘national’ list MP/ Cabinet Minister (v) suffering of the people worsening and (vi) Aragalaya itself being undermined?

In this context, is it not time to consider a political movement largely having the confidence of the island-wide Aragalaya under the leadership of social activist and attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and the courageous Hirunika Premachandra to represent the youth? Should not Fonseka and Hirunika promptly disassociate themselves from the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) which appears to be going nowhere with its credibility being widely questioned? Champika Ranawaka arguably one of the better minds among the politicians of today, unfortunately does not fit the bill due to his innate racist politics. One person each to represent the Tamil and Muslim communities largely with Aragalaya acceptance would be salutary.

The main positives in the names mentioned is that none of them are identified with serious corruption or racist politics and all of them seemingly convincing in confronting corruption/abuse of power. Their best credentials is the strident criticism they have ‘earned’ from questionable politicians and being ignored or misrepresented by influential sections of the media.

The greatest strength of Kodituwakku and Fonseka – particularly Kodituwakku is his uncompromising stance in laying bare egregious corruption and abuse of power wherever it occurs with all its lurid details. This is frightful to the businessmen controlled mainstream media which is the fountain head of cover-ups and manipulation of gullible masses with a short attention span to boot. Sadly this applies to most of us Sri Lankans.

Hirunika & SJB

Hirunika’s political baggage relate to some youthful indiscretions which hopefully she has now eschewed. It includes a brief political association with the Rajapaksas and her alleged link to a case of kidnapping involving her bodyguards. Her actions since then speak volumes of her courage in the public interest. It includes giving leadership to non-violent protests despite gross provocation by security forces in the vicinity of the ‘shrine’ in Anuradhapura of the allegedly wealthy soothsayer Gnana Akka patronized by leading politicians seeking ‘advise’ from her on national issues and more recently near the private residence of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe which has clearly unnerved him and his maternal uncle Ranjit Wijewardene’s dominant newspaper company Wijeya Newspapers Limited (WNL).

Is not Hirunika squandering her political capital by her continued association with the motley lot in the leadership of the SJB? SJB leaders would be hard-pressed to de-link themselves from their close association with the disappointing and lackluster Yahapalana government under the leadership of the increasingly despised Ranil Wickremesinghe who has now crept into the position of Prime Minister after presumably taking leave of his conscience and any commitment to democratic governance.

Did not SJB stalwart Dr. Harsha de Silva who never tires of projecting himself as a top economist with answers to the country’s economic woes shamelessly ‘admit’ – “Following an invitation by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, I along with MP Eran Wickramaratne attended a meeting at his office.”? (‘Daily Mirror’ 16 June 2022)

On de Silva’s credibility readers can gauge his obvious embarrassment (21:26:23 onwards) when responding to a question from a journalist on his controversial ‘footnotes’ relating to the egregious bond scam. Should he not clarify matters in this regard?

There is no better example of broken Yahapalana promises than the outrage demonstrated at a press conference by de Silva and Eran Wickramaratne in the run-up to the 2015 presidential election in regard to Casino, Drug & Ethanol Mafias (11:15 onwards). Are these the people who are going to demand accountability from the Rajapaksas and address the scourge of widespread corruption?

This is where the maturity and good sense of Nagananda Kodituwakku and Sarath Fonseka come into play to shepherd Hirunika to reach her full political potential in these challenging times. It would appear that the youthful Hirunika with her fresh personality and courage has caught the attention of the youth at the Aragalaya which Kodituwakku and Fonseka will find hard to match. Together they have the potential to get the trust and confidence of the island-wide Aragalaya and the masses.

Media is the Spoiler

It is the dreadful and undemocratic appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister by

Gotabaya Rajapaksa that has given a respite to his beleaguered executive presidency and the Rajapaksa family. It has also given a lease of life to all parliamentarians – particularly from the SLPP who were under the pump after being called out by the Aragalaya protesters.

Wickremesinghe not only ‘led’ the UNP to an ignominious defeat at the August 2020 General Election where the party for the first time in its history could not even win a single seat in parliament but worse for him personally is that he himself lost the Colombo District which has long been a bastion of the UNP.

Eventually he crept into parliament allegedly unconstitutionally through the one seat the UNP was entitled to on the ‘national’ list. Although apologists for Wickremesinghe are raising issue on the ‘conflict’ between Article 99A of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Elections Act, is it not obvious that the Constitution which is the supreme law of a country clearly takes precedence? In spite of being written to on this issue by this writer, which was initially raised by Kodituwakku, his uncle’s WNL wants none of it.

The question is – if not for media manipulation would Rajapaksa struggling to hang on to the executive presidency have dared to appoint a person such as Wickremesinghe known to be hugely unpopular or even despised as Prime Minister? There is considerable print media hype that Wickremesinghe has accumulated considerable experience as a five-time Prime Minister with access to global funding and investments. This is clearly a myth.

What the media fail to mention is (i) only in one instance was he able to complete even 3 years in a 5 year term for a PM (ii) during his five-time tenure as PM, his United National Party never had a majority in Parliament (iii) his record in getting FDIs is dismal. Does anyone recall the dubious “$ 3.85 billion oil refinery in Hambantota” and the 2017 Volkswagen vehicle assembly plant in Kuliyapitiya which turned out to be a hoax? There was even a “ground breaking ceremony” for the Volkswagen plant! Was not SJB’s Harsha de Silva involved in this project? Will he clarify this?

It is apparent that the real motive of WNL to promote the disastrous political track record of its owner’s nephew Wickremesinghe (sister’s son) is to carve out a political future for Wijewardene’s laid-back son Ruwan who despite WNL’s cost free advertising blitz could not get him elected at the August 2020 General Election from the Gampaha District even with its Biyagama pocket borough.

Ruwan was catapulted to national politics virtually from obscurity by first cousin Wickremesinghe who lost no time in propelling him out of turn to the position of UNP Deputy Leader! Among many examples of this dynastic project is the ‘Daily Mirror’ (7 September 2020) Op-Ed article in vivid colour “Back To Senanaiksm And Save The Party” directly promoting Ruwan whose mother Ranjani is a grand-daughter of the co-founder of the UNP and the country’s first Prime Minister D.S.Senanayake.

Ruwan & Easter Sunday

Although Ruwan was State Minister of Defence during the entire period of the Yahapalana government, no one – not even the now unusually quiet Cardinal has demanded accountability from Ruwan for his share of responsibility for the Easter Sunday carnage. Even if he was kept away from some meetings of the National Security Council, are we expected to believe that Ruwan did not have knowledge of the attack even to the extent of Harin Fernando’s hospitalized father?

Apart from this, would not have investigative journalists from his father’s media empire have tipped him off?

Ruwan reportedly stating “there was no information to suggest that Zahran was engaged in terrorist activities” (‘Daily Mirror’ 19 Aug 2020) is contradicted by SI Srimal Sanjeewa of the CID informing the Presidential Commission probing the Easter Sunday attacks that Zahran had been conducting a training camp in the Puttalam area “from 2015 to 2019” on “the use of Type-56 firearms and hand grenades”. (‘Daily Mirror’ 1 September 2020).

Why does no one call out Ruwan for his share of responsibility for the Easter Sunday carnage? Is it the fear of WNL?

WNL Mischief on Hirunika

WNL unnerved by the protesters led by Hirunika wanting to give a letter to their owner’s nephew PM Wickremesinghe at his private residence on 5th Lane, have on the front page of the ‘Daily Mirror’ (23 June 2022) belittled the protest by merely captioning it ‘Hirunika holds up traffic on 5th Lane’! They have also published a mischievous picture of her which can have multiple interpretations where inter alia it is stated:

“Picture shows Hirunika Premachandra hugging a police officer, which has become her recent stunt.” (emphasis mine)

The next day (24 June) the ‘Daily Mirror’ gives a boost to Wickremesinghe with its front page news item ‘PM appeals to social media activists to refrain from insulting Hirunika’ – “refrain from insulting Hirunika” has been given prominence with BOLD lettering!

Conclusion

It is widely perceived that WNL has a dominant influence on the print media of this country – ‘Irida Lankadeepa’, ‘Lankadeepa’ (Daily), ‘Sunday Times’, ‘Daily Mirror’, ‘Daily FT’ and ‘Tamil Mirror’.

Since the inception of the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL) in 2003, it has had only two chairmen – Ranjit Wijewardene from 2003-2008 and ‘outsider’ Kumar Nadesan 2008 to date – 14 years! Is there no other person to hold this position in the media scene of this country?

Just one example is sufficient to showcase the farcical nature of the ‘Self-Regulation’ practiced by the PCCSL and the dominance Wijewardene has on the print media of this country. The Editor of ‘Sunday Times’ (owned by Wijewardene) Sinha Ratnatunga is also Deputy Chairman of the PCCSL. Hence, anyone having a complaint against the ‘Sunday Times’ has to complain to Ratnatunga about Ratnatunga! Why has no one raised issue on this terrible ‘conflict of interest’?

Is it not dangerous to give the media both state/private – a free pass to operate without ‘independent’ regulation? It is a myth that the privately owned media is superior to the state owned media.

It is not for nothing that the media is referred to as the ‘Fourth Estate’ after the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary.

Under the circumstances, is it not crucial to bring the ‘Fourth Estate’ (media) under the ambit of the proposed ‘Constitutional Council’? Should this not be part of the ‘systemic change’ being demanded by the Aragalaya?

A word of caution on the ‘Constitutional Council’ must be flagged. There does not appear to be clarity on its composition which is crucial to make it truly independent.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    16

    Sarath Fonseka is not fit to rule this country because, he has no brain, no policy and no trust worthy.

    • 6
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      Amrit: Today Sri Lanka is a US backed Military Dictatorship with US citizen Gotabaya and bondscam Ranil in power.
      The military are on the streets and the Washington Con-circus is in town with US special “advisors” to deepen the economic crisis, asset strip, and turn Sri Lanka into a QUAD military base while people are distracted queuing and protesting Aragala style at petrol sheds.
      Ever since RW came to power in a regime change operation on May 12, the military has been on the streets. The Araglaya if it was real should be outside the US embassy and the PM’s office at Flower road against the IMF which is in Lanka to bailout US ISB Bond holders. But Aragalaya NGOs and leaders are funded by USAID and Japanese NGOs and silent about this, so the protests are at petrol sheds- kids having fun?!!
      Better stay home and watch TV! Dont waste time at Aragala shows.
      Is this conspiracy theory? No, the CIA plays all sides – its called Disinformation and Chaos strategy, now a hybrid economic, trade and cyber op for Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD) – and Over the Horizon Operation (OTH), in Intell speak!

      • 5
        3

        In short, Aragalaya provides a facade of democracy for a US-backed soft Military Dictatorship in Sri Lanka while capitalizing on peoples woes, pain and anger — now at petrol sheds! The Aragala is a prasite protest to cause chaos not bring about INTELLIGENCE CHANGE. There is a difference between intelligent protests and kitchen sink protests– to get rid of dictators and their foreign backers and debt-holders! Aragalaya is a kitchen sink distraction.
        Why has the Aragala not protested against the IMF which is in Sri Lanka these 2 week while the Staged Fuel shortage like the Staged default is unfolding to further debt trap Lanka and bailout US Bond Traders, ISB holders, and hedge funds which debt trapped Sri Lanka with corrupt politicians with foreign backers in the first place? Why have Aragala folk not EDUCATED the people and conducted a focused and targetted protest to free Sri Lanka of the US Dollar and debt trap that is causing the crisis staged in collaboration with US citizen Gota and family and puppet Ranil?!! Because Aragalaya libraries are funded by the same folk who staged the Default and debt trap to COLONIZE Lanka in collaboration with corrupt politicians!

        • 2
          1

          “Sarath Fonseka is not fit to rule this country”

          Very rarely have Lankan leaders led ……. other than to destruction.

          When you look at the inability of the president and the 225 in the parliament to solve any of the current problems …….. one is left wondering if they ever solved any problem ……. or did the problems solve themselves? :))

          If they can’t solve the problems now …….. how did they solve them before? ……. Or did they?


          The importance/capabilities of leaders/politicians are grossly overestimated/overstated.

          Only when the tide goes out …… you discover who’s been swimming naked.

    • 9
      9

      Sarath Fonseka? Another Gota, but in a green shirt?
      Nagananda shoots his mouth off too often and seems to think frivolous Supreme Court challenges are good forhis image.
      Sorry, I can’t comment on Hirunika for fear of being called a sexist.

      • 7
        1

        Dear oc,
        .
        Why in such a mean mood today?
        .
        You have reservations about all three persons who are acting admirably in this crisis. Of them, I have met only Nagananda, but I have listened for many hours to the other three as well.
        .
        Your criticisms of them are valid, but haven’t they redeemed themselves by their recent conduct? I was critical myself of Hirunickers, but yesterday I saw this. Trying to locate it again, I realised what a lot of YouTubes there are of her. This is not recommended because it is 70 minutes:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pA7ITSTIzw
        .
        She is accounted very pretty, but not my type!
        .
        I’m sure that there must be videos of her speaking English, but what we must pay heed to is the courage she’s been displaying; doing such a lot in Jaffna.
        .
        I think that you must look at more of her, dear oc.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)
        .

        • 0
          4

          SM,
          “Why in such a mean mood today?”
          Well, only these 3 names have been suggested. At least if someone else was in the list, preferably not an SB, I might have a different reaction. Why do our voters keep on repeating the same experiment expecting different results , when only one non-SB led the country for a couple of years, and even he was thrown out for not being one?
          In my estimation, popularity doesn’t equate to efficiency.

          • 0
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            SM,
            “I think that you must look at more of her, dear oc”
            And here I am, taking you for a staid and straitlaced iskolamahattaya.

    • 9
      5

      Ajith,
      We don’t need a ruler; We need a leader. We need a Sarath Fonseka until to get rid of all the crooks. After that, it is up to you and others to decide on the brainy people you want to settle for.

      • 9
        5

        I don’t think Sarath Fonseka as a good leader, may be better military leader but he is a racist.

    • 3
      5

      Giving Fonseka the Presidency, Premiership or key portfolios will be “GOTA 2.0” for sure.

    • 5
      7

      Ajith,
      “Sarath Fonseka is not fit to rule this country …”

      Why you took 12 years to realize this.”

      In 2010, Tamils thought Sarath Fonseka is the best person to rule this country although he was charged by Tamils as the person who carried out genocide of Tamils.

      • 8
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        EE,
        I did not take that decision. It is a decision by TNA because when compare Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka Sarath Fonseka may be better than Mahinda to this country and Sinhala people. It is now proved that Mahinda Family is dangerous to this country.

        • 1
          3

          Ajith,
          “It is now proved that Mahinda Family is dangerous to this country.”
          No way!
          He (Mahinda) is still admired as the darling ‘Appachche’ of 6.9 million voters!!!??
          They are Kings of Sri Lanka and remain to see they do not go out of office as failed politiians??!!
          The new Maxim!!

    • 3
      1

      ‘he has no brain”
      Who scanned his head for you— or his bottom in case it descended there as the idiom goes in Sinhala?

      • 2
        2

        “Who scanned his head for you”
        Professor SJ from China.

    • 2
      1

      Dear Ajith.
      On the flip side, who would you suggest or nominate.
      At least whom you consider the best of a bad lot.

      • 2
        0

        My View,
        First, I accept that I am not an expert or knowledgable to suggest or nominate a person to the future leadership of this country. I wouldn’t suggest or nominate any one from the current parliament at this moment because no one has clear programme or policies to resolve the economic and political crisis. Even those nominees given by the author have not come out with any programmes or policies.

        I would say that an experienced talented Chief Justice or an Administrator who had no record of criminal or corruption who is acceptable to Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims as the head of the government and a group of experts from all communities to assist to run the government temporarily with a task of uniting the people or bringing peace with the protestors and unions and creating an outline of major changes needed to the country such as accountability, devolution or power sharing, role of religions, rule of law etc.

        • 0
          0

          I agree with above but scaling such Utopian Heights is not so easily
          reached. In fact no State has that situation, at present. In this, remember even after Marcos Sr stole millions, his son Marcos Jr is president after 36 years. These are the vagaries of nature and crowd behaviour.
          So as I said : At least whom you consider the best of a bad lot.

  • 17
    0

    Dear AM,
    Your exposure of our servile press is timely. But has any TV journalist asked a politico being interviewed any searching questions to counter their statements but only put some docile slow balls to allow him to get off the hook.
    As you rightly said – Political leadership is one ingredient that was absent from the Aragalapitiya and that very subjective condition seems to be going abegging from the Aragalaya.
    In fact it was they who said no political involvement is required – quite naively as it now shows – and was instrumental in its own inability to sustain the momentum.
    In fact, AKD mentioned this within a couple of weeks of the Aragalaya.
    Further the trio of Nagananda Kodituwakku, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and the courageous Hirunika may not stand the test of time as NK & SF are very strong personalities and likely to clash at some point. If they can compromise and work together, it would be good all round.
    On the other hand Champika is not the same one of the Hela Urumaya and has shed some racist mentality, and hence Gammanpila formed the “Pivihturu” H U to keep that racist policy going with Madava Aravinda. Champika may be an opportunist, but a shrewd one having new stripes on his coat. Also he is capable but too ambitious to get to the top quickly.
    He is now wooing some SLFP and SLPP guys to get ahead.

    • 8
      2

      “But has not their inability to identify alternate leaders either from Aragalaya itself or outside “
      The problem is that there aren’t any.
      What sort of leaders do we have? We have the Pohottuwa lot, whose stock in trade is pitting the Sinhalese against the minorities to gain votes. Their answer to unemployment is an Army bigger than Britain’s, and an obese civil service that’s anything but. The SJB has a few bright sparks (I exclude Sajit P) , but these are either not Buddhist or Sinhalese.
      There are two components to a solution.
      1 There must be a LOT of permanent belt- tightening. People must be told that many of the luxuries they have become accustomed to are not affordable. No fancy cars or even scooters. Fuel should be priced to create a preference for public transport. Restrictions on 3 wheelers as employment. No air conditioning at least till recovery.
      2 Integration with the very large Indian economy. Power connections, Logistics, etc. It is good that the government has decided to buy oil through India, taking advantage of the higher quantity discounts. There are other imported food items too that would be cheaper via India due to economies of scale. To those who are fixated on toilets, well, here’s your chance to export some.

    • 3
      1

      MV
      ” But has any TV journalist asked a politico being interviewed any searching questions to counter their statements “
      They have been questioned harshly on several chat shows in the past. But the media have their undeclared agenda.

      • 2
        0

        Dear SJ
        That is what the author AM himself says: “if not for media manipulation”.

        • 3
          0

          MV
          Did I suggest anything otherwise?
          The dominant media were manipulative from Day One, for they were owned and control by the filthy rich. Not just recently.

  • 2
    11

    Amrit, are you crazy?? Can you weld steel with plastic…??? Trying to put these three together is just like that!! Besides, none of them have any brains to run a country….or an economy….just hot air only!!

    • 2
      0

      J
      Have you heard of composite materials?
      Wood apparently is the oldest known (comprising cellulose fiber held together by lignin), but there have been many man-made ones like mud bricks and concrete for centuries.

      • 0
        1

        SJ, I used the word ‘weld’.

        And I found a good definition :)
        “…..Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal…..”

        • 1
          0

          J
          “Can you weld steel with plastic…??? Trying to put these three together is just like that!! “
          You spoke of welding two things, then went on to putting ‘three things’ together. I only said that such things happen in nature and artificially.
          *
          I saw this article just now:
          “Joining of Thermoplastic Composites with Metals Using Resistance Element Welding” by Juliane Troschitz et al.
          Thus there is hope for you.

          • 1
            0

            SJ, I am so happy to let you tread on with your journey in physics as I have to rush to the stove to finish making my dinner………
            :))

    • 2
      2

      Jit: BRAVO…..BRAVO. You said it. You concluded by saying “…just hot air”. No doubt, quite a large number go “CRAZY” when they cannot fathom the “Deep Hole” we are in. In situations like that not only do very many, including the pseudo pandits go “Crazy” but tend to hang on even to a “ROTTEN STRAW” to get out of the deep hole they have fallen into. That is the time opportune for some of these “PSEUDO MESSIAHS” to appear and I place Nagananda Kodithuwakku in that category. For NK there is NO OTHER person other than “HIM” and “HIM” alone who professes to be the “Messiah”, waving all the time a “Constitution” that “HE” had made. Also being a “Lawyer” who files court cases at every turn of event, but not WINNING a single case, yet to become a “TALK SHOW ARTIST” . Of course the people fall for such “STUNTS”.

      • 1
        0

        Simon, I have nothing against them…personally! I do not despise any of these three personalities, to be frank! They are very good firebrands. But you know…fire is a very good servant but a very BAD master!! Likewise, these three would be good in cabinet portfolios under strict supervision but NOT as leaders!! I just wanna say that, to pull SL out of this utter mess, there need to be a very strong characters who should have both knowledge and the exposure to SL politics for a while, at least 2-3 decades. Neither SF, Hirunika nor NK have that. Then someone may point out RW…huh!!….you know how it is!!
        AKD might fit in ….has good local knowledge, but shows immaturity in international dynamics and trends. His weak allegiance to China (only) and anti-Indian stance is a big roadblock for his own way up!! SL cannot think of any future divorcing India which is just 40km away……..and JRJ paid a hefty price doing so!!!

        • 2
          0

          Jit: You know why “JRJ paid a hefty price”? It all began with the “Removal of Civic Rights of Sirimavo Bandaranyake”. “Bandaranayaks” were erstwhile “Relations” more than mere “Friends”. That action of JRJ was an “Unpardonable” offense that the “Gandhi” family never ever expected and was not ready to pass by without awarding a severe “Punishment”. That was the “Starting” point of accommodating the “LTTE” in “Training Camps” in Tamil Nadu together with “Assigning” the task of “Taming” JRJ to Dixit. Didn’t “Dixit” see that “Assignment” fulfilled to the extent of JRJ being hauled into a hotel room where Piribakaran too was “Held” for negotiations? This is only a very, very brief “History” well recorded by very reliable “Investigative” journalists. Interestingly “Dixit” himself has “Confessed” to some of those “Facts”.

          • 1
            0

            Simon, I agree that Sirima’s civic right issue was one factor for India’s hostility post 1977. But I disagree with their rationale because friendships should not interfere with internal politics of sovereign states. Whether we agree with or not, SL was a legitimate government that imposed the punishment and India should not get involved with it. Did SL govt protest when Jayalalitha was jailed for corruption in 2014 despite millions of her fans here? No, we didn’t and we cannot!

            How I understood India’s wrath on JRJ was multi-fold:
            1. JRJ’s clear allegiance to USA since 77, which was sharp contrast to Sirima’s to both Indian socialism and other communist blocks.
            2. JRJ’s open economic policies. It was a slap in the face for India’s tightly closed, then near bankrupt economy. Remember thousands of Indians flocking to Colombo duty free shops to buy Japanese electronic appliances? Actually, it was a political threat to socialist Indian govt where people were questioning their closed economy. What Manmohan Singh did 10 yrs later was exactly what JRJ did in 77.
            3. JRJs open hostility towards Indira and her son. ‘Cow and calf’ rings a bell?? Indira took it quite personally – naturally!
            4. MGR, Karunanidhi factors and the Tamil Nādu voter base.

  • 7
    5

    These writers must not dwell on now highly defunct methods of political game-playing when toppling a dictatorial regime that defies public will. Instead they must lend their voices to empowering the struggle for freedom that can only come thru a concerted effort by the mainstream community that will stop the oppressive regime in its tracks, so that a new generation of intelligent and committed young leaders may emerge to lead the now almost dead country to some form of recovery in the future years.

    • 2
      2

      LP,
      Agree, but that is for another forum.

  • 4
    0

    Should Aragalaya Consider A Political Movement Led By Nagananda, Fonseka & Hirunika

    The purpose that increases the wellbeing and prosperity for all, any peaceful movement accepted.
    Ranil & Rajapakshe also had movement so others. People found mischief of Late Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and ended for the better place for the people than today. Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.

    • 1
      2

      “….People found mischief of Late Gandhi and Nelson Mandela….”

      Which human is perfect RBH59?

      Isn’t it the big picture they created for the betterment of humankind more important than focusing on their early morning toilet farts?

      • 1
        1

        RBH
        The mistakes of MK Gandhi an Nelson M were no secrets to be ‘found out’.
        Even their few betrayals were known early if not almost as soon as they happened.

  • 0
    6

    Sri Lanka today is a US-backed Military Dictatorship, with US puppet Ranil and US citizen Gota and the military on the streets and the economy deliberately destroyed to deliver Lanka to Washington to colonize and set up its military base.
    The Aragalaya is dangerous because it masks this reality of Sri Lanka being a US backed Military Dictatorship with a Parliament of puppets and puppet protestors.
    After all, RW and Goat could have easily imported fuel from Russia at discount rates weeks ago in exchange for tea to keep the economy going but they did not. Why???
    It is called Over the Horizon (OTH) Full Spectrum Dominance – a hybrid economic, trade and cyber war on Lanka by Uncle Sam to colonize the island and turn it into the QUAD’s unsinkable aircraft carrier in the IOR – like Diego Garcia CIA blacksite.
    Sri Lanka is remote controlled by external actors today.. the Default is Staged and so too the Aragalaya that enabled regime change and installation of US puppet Ranil to back US citizen Goat and cause massive social, economic and political DISRUPTION in order to enable the Eagle to land. This the CIA’s Chaos Strategy also known as Arab Spring or Colour Revolution! And now the Washington Con Circus- IMF, WB and US special advisors are is in Colombo these 2 weeks to asset Strip and make BlackRock and Adani richer.

  • 7
    3

    I have much faith in Naganada K. but not for the others As far as I am aware, he was the only person to speak out against the duty free permits which shows he has a social conscience for a fairer society. As for Fonseka & Hirunika, a definite NO. I don’t trust a Military leader & according to some lower ranking army personnel at the time of his peak at the end of the war, he was certainly not leading from the front & didn’t care much about casualties. His hand in the white flag fiasco of surrendering LTTE & his failure to maintain discipline in the army by turning a bind eye to the vigilantism of foot soldiers & lower ranks certainly doesn’t make him fit to lead the country in the eyes of the world. As for Hirunika, didn’t she cosy up to MR even after MR defended her old man’s killer & she & her mother accepted the free salary & perks after her old man death? Didn’t her social conscience trouble her for accepting blood money from the tax payer, dished out by MR? Her other antics only reveal her true nature, which is nothing better than to expect from a ‘basket woman’ (apologies to hard working female vegetable & fish vendors but it is their upbringing & social environment that is to blame).

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    I am sure the Americans are behind the current SL situation. How come they are allowing Basil Rajapaksa freely moves between Colombo and USA. has the US TAX Department investigated is wealth acquition? What did NGR discuss with Robert O Blake Jnr in2018/2019 ?
    I will put forward the names of Eran Wicremaratne and Rasamanickam to lead an Interim GoSL.

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    “In this context, is it not time to consider a political movement largely having the confidence of the island-wide Aragalaya under the leadership of social activist and attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and the courageous Hirunika Premachandra to represent the youth?”

    Sarath is crooked, but he will make a good defense minister. There is no question of giving in to devolution or other nonsense. No need for Hirunika, she is no different from Anarkali Akarsha and risks becoming another CBK. For President, you really do need someone well-educated. I would suggest GL Peiris with energy minister Wijesekera or Harsha De Silva as PM.

  • 2
    1

    Good combination. Sarath fonseka a good internal security minister to bring the crooks to book. We need someone else to lead them probably from the civil society. The Aragalaya should push few from the intelligentsia to be nominated to parliment form the list

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    None of you guys had the decency to compliment Amrit for the super article. He has made a good analysis going deep into the deeds and misdeeds of some politicians some o whom we thought were faultless. Its very easy to forget.
    Amrit please keep writing and let the people keep looking for that elusive leader if they cannot figure one from here.

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      Dear pakisB,
      To lump everyone as “NONE of you guys had the decency” is unfair.
      I have complemented : “Your exposure of our servile press is timely”
      & “As you rightly said” of the article of the Author, and I feel, (subject to your correction if any), added my comments decently on certain connected matters.

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    If they change to become a political party and the members turn to politicians that will be the story of any politician. Look at Wimal Weerawansa for example. He started in the JVP shouting at the top of his voice like Hirunika Premachandra, criticized politicians as rogues, living comfortable lives, driving expensive cars, and when he got elected became one of those he verbally attacked. Same was with Mahinda Rajapaksa.

    I should have known this. This is the start of many politicians. Everyone starts as a watchdog and does an MGR style of the yesteryear stunts being a people’s man. Then contests elections and the people elect him to Parliament thinking he will clean the mess and ease their lives. But alas, he becomes one of the other parliamentarians abusing their privileges and now driving expensive limousines with tinted glass.

    Watch-dogs best remain as Watch-dogs. I can tell, that only Paikiasothy Saravanamuththu remained as a watchdog.

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    Dear All,

    1) If further proof is needed as to why Ranjit Wijewardene owned Wijeya Newspapers Limited (WNL) is desperately trying to give a LIFELINE to his nephew Ranil Wickremesinghe, look no further than the coverage given a few days back to the NONSENSICAL utterances of his laid-back son Ruwan:

    2) “Some political leaders have got disturbed and are asking for the premiership and the government as negotiations with donor agencies and countries are on the path to success, UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene said yesterday.” (‘Daily Mirror’ 29 June 2022)

    3) As part of DYNASTIC politics, Ruwan was propelled from virtual OBSCURITY by first cousin Wickremesinghe to give him out of turn appointment as UNP Deputy Leader!

    4) Does not all round ‘good governance’ demand that the ‘Fourth Estate’ (media) should also be brought under the ambit of the proposed ‘Constitutional Council’? Should this not be part of the ‘systemic change’ being demanded by the Aragalaya?

    5) It will be interesting to have the views of readers.

    Amrit Muttukumaru

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      Dear AM.
      As much as the term implies ‘Fourth Estate’, it is the fourth leg of the Quod with independent Judiciary, Executive & Legislature. Hence at first glance, theoretically, control by any authority destroys that independence. Each of the four must and should work “independently”. (Not one Law for you and another for me).
      However, control is essential, and it can be resorted to, within an independent judiciary and legal framework, and strict application of the laws of libel, harmful publication with intent, etc., and foremost with a legal system which dispenses justice without undue delay, to those affected.
      May be asking above is fanciful in the present context of SL.

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    Sarath Fonseka did not accept the PM post if he had accepted Ranil will be with Aragala as he did before Sarath fonseka is addressing the happening a good back to one leads the Country.as he was in the field and give technical advice in his trade.

  • 0
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    Short answer to the question posed in the title is NO. Aragalaya should have its own leadership council. Thus far the leaders have shown their ability to read the situation, what is required i.e. system change etc. But they are short in terms of future strategy. It should involve a) electoral strategy, b) policy formulation strategy 3) communication strategy and 4) a coordination strategy. If they want to involve failed politicians they will lose credibility. In terms of electoral strategy, they should aim to field candidafes in the next parliamentary elections at least in 20-30 electorates or selected districts. Not all. The mistake a lot of new partries and individuals make iis to think that they can win Presidential elections in one go and become the President. Aragalaya leaders should learen more about how election campaigns are designed and run, what resources are needed, how to uitilise social media, grass roots strategy to spread their messages to the rural and remote areas and urban areas and how to gain international attention and recognition? A news paper or a journal(monthly later bi weekly or weekly) can be an idea. Print medium still matters. Short pamphlets can be useful too. Committees in villages around temples can be formed. In workplaces too. A Union of unemployed youths can be organised and registered.

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