The Presidential Secretariat has published a procurement notice in a state-run newspaper to purchase 300 desktop computers, 50 laptops, 25 touch-screen computers, 20 multi-media projectors and 25 desktop printers for a ‘special project’.
However, strong doubts have been raised over the purpose of the purchase with many suggesting that it may be linked to President Maithripala Sirisena’s desperate attempt to run for the presidency again.
With such a large number of machines and equipment, nearly 400 people can be employed in this so-called special project, a source familiar with the matter told Colombo Telegraph. “This could be a campaign office with a strong social media operation, including a troll army. They will promote Sirisena’s agenda overtly and covertly, and attack his opponents. The real problem is this being done lavishly using government funds,” our source added.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa too ran a similar operation at Temple Trees in the run-up to the last Presidential election. The unit, which had about 50 employees, mapped out the ‘behavior’ of voters in every district and it directly operated under the supervision of former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
Colombo Telegraph reported last month that the President’s Media Division had deployed a special team to delete all negative comments posted on Sirisena’s Social Media profiles.
The covert operation began after the outbreak of the October 26 political crisis, as the President’s conduct earned severe criticism of social media activists. While some activists staged demonstrations on the streets, some ridiculed Sirisena’s posts on social media in protest of his unconstitutional conduct.
Ansar / February 25, 2019
Sillysena is a goner, from the day he conspired against the State with the Murderous and Thieving MARA clan.
Any amount of PR work will never reverse that tarnished image he created for himself.
The only thing is lot of Public Money is going to go down the drain and that is a cause for concern.
Bunjappu / February 25, 2019
This man came to power promising that he would not waste any ct of people funds.
But today, the very same man to U-TURN and continue as his predecessor wasted it, is beyond all ethics and morals.
However, the kind of purchases to Pres Secretariat comes all of sudden.
Something is fishy !
We all know courts and the offices of law and order fail the fundemental needs so that they cant continue the numerous cases with the investigations. THe reasoning is known to many, that thESE offices are not well occupied. But this SORIYSENA does not seem to focus on the kind of alarming issues, but to ABUSE statefunds as if they are of his own property ? Ridiculous.. this man should be hung by his balls we cant tolerate the guy any more.
nimal fernando / February 26, 2019
Keep things simple ……… in Lanka one always have to
Sirisena was always nothing but a tool to put a spoke in the wheel of Rajapakses’ Kim Il-sung-esque dynastic ambitions. Nothing more!
To expect anything more from him is sheer lunacy ….. this is how things work in Lanka ……… just look at our past history …….
Fathima / February 26, 2019
SL is improving, using computers to buy votes is much better than arrack bottles
Amarasiri / February 25, 2019
Your days are numbered.
Are you trying to hack into othetd accounts and say how wonderful you are?
The fact is that, everybody knows that you are a Traitor, Sevalaya, Mala-Perethaya, Quisling and Pachaya etc.
Why not retire?
Simon De Silva / February 26, 2019
Even divine forces seem to be still for some reasons. This is the case also in like minded states in Africa. Some leaders were punished by god for no reasons; Bandaranayaka, Lalith Athulathmudala and Gamini Disanayaka, were among them. . In today s context, not many would be against if gods would take over since all is becoming in favour of rascals in this country today.
Analyst / February 26, 2019
Hot News latest: Quote from Prf Carlos Fonseca!! MP Ranjan Ramanayake
can be killed ” For his Honesty”,
Shocked and saddened to hear this,, how ?? This is a Buddha land for good values and honesty?? I Value this MP’s honesty and integrity. I’m sure there are many more likewise people.
He should be honoured for his Stances among the greedy vultures and Hyenas .
Why one should lose life by a low life murderer. , just because the honest people have no Place to live in this murderous island with full of murderers , gun runners, and drug runners??
Really shocked !!!! if our Aapeh Aanduwe is heading towards ANARCHY???
Shame! On every Srilankan.
mike / February 26, 2019
Analyst – Yes, Ranjan Ramanayake’s life is in danger. It can happen any time very soon. Ask Mahendra Percy Rajafucksha, Gotler, Sillysena, Ranilpaksha and an umpteen number of thugs in parliament and they will agree!
Buramphisincho / February 26, 2019
Ranjan R has risked it as nobody has ever done sofar. Now not just former goons but some men in ruling circles, are scared of not being able to go for MEDICAL check up and clear their correctness.
I think Ranjan or the like politicians dont give give a damn what even his party colleagues think of me! That should really be the right way.
The kind of fearless acts should actually be praised by INCUMBENT president since he swore before the nation, that he will do whatever he could to punish drug takers and traffickers.
Amarasiri / February 26, 2019
“Sillysena is a goner, from the day he conspired against the State with the Murderous and Thieving MARA clan.”
They ALL are after the Executive Presidency, because it allows them to steal, commit crimes, and only JVP is prompting the abolishing of the executive presidency.
Through the grape vine, bulath vine, vettila vine:
Attempt to abolish executive presidency is fulfilling Ranil’s interests
All those who rally to abolish executive presidency do so to satisfy Ranil Wickremesinghe’s interest says UPFA Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa.
The probability of Mr Wickremesinghe becoming the UNP presidential candidate is very low and his intention is not to hold a presidential election says Mr Wimal Weerawansa.
With the discussions regarding abolishing executive presidency held between President Maithripala Sirisena, the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the topic of abolishing executive presidency has come back on stage.
Recently, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa said the wish of the people in the country is to abolish executive presidency and he too supports that view.
However, Mr Weerawansa says the opposition force exists not to cure Mr Wickremesinghe’s ailment. He further said he would not allow the executive presidency to be abolished.
There have been accusations by many members of SLPP (flower bud party) that the ‘three wheel party’ of Mr Wimal Weerawansa was trying to control the SLPP. The public accusation by Mr Weerawansa of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa fulfilling the interests of Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe could be an indication of the conflict that is developing in the SLPP.
chiv / February 25, 2019
NO NO NO, This is for “Presidential Thatha’ to take up a hobby/learning some thing new in preparation for his retirement. He will be taught simple things like how to use a computer, how to type, get to social media—-etc. Being Presidential they have hired that many to instruct him and of course for translations from English to Sinhalese then back to English. Do not suspect our poor old Presidential Thatha. This way he will use his computer skills to write books on him self, as many he want. Lankans do deserve it.
mike / February 25, 2019
Chiv – How can one expect I G N O R A M U S President Gamarala Sillysena to gain computer skills? Daham, please translate and send this to your father, Sillysena!
Amarasiri / February 26, 2019
Would Sirisena comment on CT news articles and opinions, with so many computers st his disposal using his Trolls?
Trolla, Trolla, Trolla, Sirisena’s Trolla.
Rwkd / February 25, 2019
Is there no way to stop this colossal expense being made by the government to prop up an individual even if it is the president? Why is the prime minister and the line ministers looking the other way when the state monies are spent on the behest of a desperate politician who promised the people of the country not ones but many a times to uphold transperancy in monetary matters. Not only the president but the prime minister and his cabinet of ministers have failed us so miserably .
Fathima / February 25, 2019
“Why is the prime minister and the line ministers looking the other way” – It is too much to expect knowing BOND scam.
Analyst / February 25, 2019
This is known as Election Bribery for the forth coming Presidential election in which he hopes to contest .
He can be charged for bribery and corruption easily. He thinks the people are not smart except himself the smart ass moron.
So why JVP is sitting there in the Parliament nodding for this act of corruption taking place under their noses??
We know that RW gang is only there for one thing to win the race as though everything is whin their reach no need to take action . That’s absurd.
By the way. They don’t wish to upset the Rajaaakshes & Co. We know RW will not boo for a cow. Silli bugger. Go back to sleep Ranil W .
You’re In the middle of every sabotage and destruction of our nation for the last 4 years . So we can’t expect you to question Sillissena’s bribery and corruption as you would sure to say “Yes President”
I guess since the Fake Coup and the reformation of the UNP government the UNPers are shitting in their pants?? Are they so terrified of this little man Sillisena??
Are they being terrorised in the Parliament ordered to keep mouths shut???
saman hewawasam / February 25, 2019
Sandra Aponso / February 25, 2019
All those computers will be used against RW with the help of Killi Maharaja and his henchmen!
hancho pancha / February 25, 2019
If that is the Real Purpose, then it is money well spent. It will be good riddance of bad rubbish.
Dr. Dharshana W / February 25, 2019
Whether anyone likes it or not, the presidential office has the legal right to procure any ITC equipment so as they desire.
Fortunately or unfortunately, this provision has been provided for by the constitution, as long as such goes through the due process. Thus we need to stop calling it the “troll army making process”.
The writer whoever he is, is overstepping his journalistic boundaries with the use of the above phrase.
If the cabinet approves this proposal, however unfortunate, this proposal will become an affirmed government initiative, and no individual or group will be able to challenge such.
Whilst I stay apolitical on all issues, this unfortunately is our state of democracy. Down the line changes are a must if the democracy in Sri Lanka is to be brought back to a point of a stable equilibrium.
Babi Aachchi / February 25, 2019
His right to purchase the equipment (however unethical) is not being questioned here, simply how he plans to use it. And in that respect, the public who coughed up the money to buy this equipment, has every right to know.
nalmen / February 25, 2019
poor ranil now he will have to do the same
unfortunately it is public money
lustice / February 25, 2019
I hope he will give a computer to the secretary – not the political henchmen – of each minister to store data conveniently for instant recall.
Ben Hurling / February 25, 2019
Oh, what a turncoat this guy is! Has he got any respect for those promises he gave to Sobitha Thero? Isn’t this guy some sort of an ULTRA-BUDDHIST? How does this man sleep at night? Had it been me, my inner-voice would strangle me to death under the weight of sheer personal SHAME.
PS: What’s next for this guy? Colluding with Putin and Hiring Cambridge Analytica at taxpayers’ expense? Those two partnerships delivered idiotic Trump to Washington and Lunatics’ Brexit to London. Can do the same in Colombo, NOH?. Percentage of bloody idiots who can be fooled via Social Media is much higher in SL. In fact, it is so EASY here! Sri Lankans believe almost anything. Corrupt UNP pay attention! Let’s FOOL THE STUPID SRI LANKAN ELECTORATE TOGETHER AGAIN!
Eagle Eye / February 25, 2019
“Sri Lankans believe almost anything.”
Do not put all Sri Lankans to your category. Only ‘Toiyas’ believed all the stories fabricated by architects of ‘Regime Change’ project. 5.8m Sri Lankans did not believe those fabricated stories. If it is not for these dumb ‘Toiyas’ who believed those fabricated stories, Ranil would not have got the chance to become the PM and dragging this country down the drain.
Ben Hurling / February 26, 2019
Con-artist from Polonnaruwa did fool me. Give you that one. I am so utterly embarrassed.
PS: Are you still with Ali Baba & 40 Thieves? I thought you had fully recovered after that LOBOTOMY you endured recently. Get well, quickly brother!
Amila / February 25, 2019
He has already violated the constitution and verdict is already given. So basically once he submit his nominations ( presidential, parliment or any election ) and if some one files objections. His nominations will anyway get cancelled. He is wasting everyones time snd public money
JD / February 25, 2019
AMILA: IT is failed Common Candidate project. NGOs are really pissed off with the PResident. NGos will not get enough funds from MCC. Besides, Britian which doe snot have a constitution made the constitution for us. Now these Dollar Kaakkas are crying out loud for the USA written constitution. In Sri lanka, the most burning problem is the constitution and not the bond scam or the Toilet paper worth rupee or the fossil fuel smoke caused Sky rocketing Cancers or Pesticide and fertilizer causing Farmers to die from Kidney failure.
UNP only with 42 seats out of 225 talk all the BS in the world. Why even with the unpopular Mahinda Rajapakse Ranil could not win more than 42 including his own seat. Sri lankan politics is DOG EATs DOG and is very corrupt. Parliament is criminal than the Welikada. Ranjan Ramanayake says 6 Ministers and 24 MPs are drug addicts. Before giving the report to Ranil, Kiriella nee perera says there are no Drug pushers in the parliament and he gurantees it. So, Ranil escaped in advance. That kind of honest parliamentarians. Who is right. Rajan ramanayake or the Kiriella/Ranil duo.
Real Revolutionist / February 25, 2019
In case his so called violation of the constitution; the 19th one, accepted by people by voting him to the office again?
Where will be the judiciary?
So won’t the making of the 19th one become controversial.
You want the Judiciary not to be in such a jeopardy so promote the idea that “his nomination will anyway get cancelled”?
Such a silly idea!
It shouldn’t be forgotten that he’d sought legal advice though the SC ruling was the opposite.
He bowed down to the SC decision so any form of violation of the constitution won’t arise
The 19th one probably came to life through a dark cloud, that’s how people know that.
MPs who were in the opposition, responsible for that.
That might be the reason, the Hon. PM giving excessive importance to the 19th, (afraid, expression of some kind of delusory pleasure?)
Dear friend, we have to uphold the Judiciary but some times we have to uphold democracy surpassing Judiciary.
Real Revolutionist / February 25, 2019
1st time we see MS phobia on media.
Compelled to take pity on CT.
Estate Labourer / February 25, 2019
Sirisena has completely lost touch with reality. Who will vote into the post of president a guy who keeps on running around like a headless chicken, not knowing whether he is coming or going? At least his immediate family members must knock some sense into him! His fanatical desire to serve another term as president has completely blinded him and he cannot think rationally.
Rohan / February 25, 2019
Experts in the US and other western countries advice their governments to start teaching codeing from primary onwards for its absolutely vital for those kids to face the future else they would be left behind. In Sri Lanka, the government wants to issue tablets to the students but Sirisena is blocking it, but he has all the monies and desires to buy all these Computer Gadgets for his dirty election games. Walk on the streets, ask the people, none like him, he became zero, lost case, and yet he wants to contest. Real and utter donkey fool, and never learn anything in his life.
Eagle Eye / February 25, 2019
“the government wants to issue tablets to the students”
The Government wants to issue tablets not because they care for students but because there is big ‘comis’ behind issuing tablets. These guys do not do anything unless there is ‘something’ to their pocket.
There are serious problems that require urgent attention than giving Tablets. I do not think the Minister of Education has any knowledge about the pathetic condition of schools in rural areas. There are schools without desks and chairs for students. There are schools without adequate number of teachers while there is an excess of teachers in some areas. There are 52 schools with one teacher. There are schools without toilets. Attend to these issues before issuing Tablets.
punchinilame / February 25, 2019
Shall we the public also start a Game – Guess his Votes for PE – Mine is 22,000
The bet is (will ask T Sumathipala ) for guidance.
K.Pillai / February 25, 2019
Remember when MR was at the peak, Sajin commandeered all the computers and went on a binge nominating MR for the Time ‘Man of the Year’ award.
‘Time’ found that the vote for MR outstripped several fold, the votes polled to the other contestants put together. “Time’ deleted MR off the list.
International media shamed us with public cleanings of SL.
If MS thinks that he could achieve anything with the computers etc. etc. procured (to be?) for his office, he is in for disappointment.
The army of trolls he hires, are tradeable material!
JD / February 25, 2019
Besides that Sri lanka is highly wired and even Facebook/Cambridge analytica may be watching. I think Cambridge analytica was sold to FACE book or some one for a dollar.
JD / February 25, 2019
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2
Rohan / February 25, 2019
Hi, Eagle Eye, brick and motor schools are getting obsolete in this highly connected world, it’s smart e-learning and home schooling which are powering the new learning paradigm. If Sirisena is keen about it, thinks people are after commission, and he could do it on his own for the apex body which is responsible for spearheading the country’s digitalisation and IT initiatives is under him.
JD / February 25, 2019
Last year Ranil Provided WIFI kits to every kid in the country. UNP-education minister also said he would supply laptops to every school kid. Ask how many millions of rural poor kids got Laptops. Anyway, the UNP-Education minister was trying to get $ 100 million to develop the education because the election is coming very close. UNP has only 42 seats but they have a govt for four years.
JD / February 26, 2019
In Sri lanka, President is elected by island wide VOTE. But, he has to report to the speaker who is a National list MP, electoral district elected PM and the CIVIL society funded by the International community. Eventually, President is governed by the International community but legally and not like now when the governors phone the president 11. AM.
James speethy / February 26, 2019
an internal poll that was commisoned by unp has been leaked. sample size was 2500. Moe was 2.5%
Rw v GR 48 to 52
SP v GR 49 to 51
Rw v Basil 51 to 49
SP was basil 53 to 47
champika vs GR 44 to 56
champika vs basil 46.5 to 53.5
three way race between ranil . GR and AKD . 37to 44 to 19
more to come
JD / February 27, 2019
James Speethy: In the west Polls predicted that Hilary clinton would win over TRUMP. that happened in few other places too. I say polls are not that accurate. IT is easy for them to go wrong. So, your influence may not work.
JD / February 26, 2019
Ranil does not have anything to say except the bond scam and the Washington’s Harvard’s Economic consultant company economic program from 2020 – 2025. So, everything he talks is about what Maithripala is doing what the previous govt did wrong.
chiv / February 26, 2019
I here a 300 kg cocaine worth millions was seized in Colombo 2. Now we have to believe in Ranjan,s accusations about our politicians. This seizure explains the magnitude of the menace and why Ranjan,s life is in danger. Also the worst rowdy and a shit head Mahindananda son ,had hit and run a traffic OIC and now absconding. Must have been in a hurry to collect the shipment for his DAD. Jeyawewa. Hello, followers of Rajapaksas, the so called cocaine peddling patriots are you all there???? Need money and drugs for election campaigning????
Dulci aachchi / February 26, 2019
My darling Ben Hurling
So glad to see you back. Where were you all this time maye putha?
(no no I am not Daisy Achchi)
Analyst / February 27, 2019
SHUT UP Dulci aachchi. Go and play with your pussy cat.
Lorry / February 26, 2019
Whatever he is preparing for can’t be good. So much IT equipment can give he the power to record tapes of activities of the ‘butterflies’ he was referring to. Such tapes can be used to knock them out of politics. So Ranil, Sagala, Malik et al beware!
Manel Fonseka / February 26, 2019
This reminds me how MR, backed by MS, and after assuming duties as Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, used that ministry’s resources to pursue his campaign in the parliamentary election that MS announced (9/11/18) for 5/1/19.
I dont know if MR’s newspaper campaign started earlier as I only occasionally see a paper, but on 2/12/18 striking one-page ads appeared in the Sunday Island (.p. 13) & Times announcing A NEW NATION FOR OUR FUTURE! & AN AMAZING 30-DAY REVOLUTION, above happy portraits of the President & “new PM & Minister of F + EA”. It then introduced a “Relief package offered by the Min of F+EA” & setting out all the election bribes (?) promised under the headings: Agriculture, Credit Assistance, Professionals & The Consumer.
Finally, the body that is paying for these ads (which must have been in other Sunday papers, too, & perhaps began even before my seeing one) signs off: “Setting forth on a journey of greatness — Ministry of Finance & Economuc Affairs”. And the Ministry’s website, address, phone & fax nos. & email are also given .
And MS is smiling over this dubious use of public funds. Shouldnt the former “PM” repay the cost of these ads?
The President has slipped so far in these 4 years — that incredible, unforgettable first step being the post he gave his brother — that it probably doesnt even occur to him now that the current purchase looks very suspicious to many of us.
And, to my mind, at least, will probably support a wasted effort.
MirakRajBanda / February 26, 2019
I voted this A.*****E last general election (I travlled all the way from Europe) hoping he would ‘make Sri Lanka graet again’ and miserably failed like Trump and go for next round.
Saman / February 26, 2019
Nation unfortunate is the election of Sirisena as a Head of State.
Though Sinhalese are proud of a man who wear saron and speak only sinhala , he is the man who completely destroyed the country.
The day he took oath he hypocritically and insincerely pronounced to the public that he will never contest again for the post and will serve as a servant but as a president.
What happened to Sirisena….
This is the man who violated and breached rules and regulations along with law and order of the country.
He must be impeached. Unfortunately other leaders and members of parliament are the same, therefore no one is capable and able do that.
Ultimately our future generation is in the dark.
shankar / February 27, 2019
why should the people pay for this buggers political campaign.The SLFP should pay for it.After the election is over all this equipment,what will happen to it.Guess who will make a buck on the sale.
shankar / February 27, 2019
once he is out of power he should be charged for using public money for private purposes,just like gota in the D.A.Rajapakshe case for building a museum for his father at people’s expense.