18 September, 2019

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Some Questions For The President & The Prime Minister

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

As one who has been admonished for my criticisms of the regime that has followed the Reprehensible Rajapaksas, I would like to revert to some of what has been published under my name and expand on it even if such criticism of the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe government is considered an attack on Sri Lanka’s last hope as far as a return to democracy and governance of a democratically-acceptable quality is concerned.

At the outset let me state, very categorically, my conviction that anything short of a government committed to human rights, the rule of law and all the other benchmarks of democracy is absolutely and completely unacceptable. This is not a matter of degree. It is simply a question of absolutes in the matter of the essential principles associated with democracy and democratic government. (And I hope that I don’t have a suggestion from Ranil Wickremesinghe that I should read some tome on the “art of the possible in governance” or some such claptrap.)

I have previously drawn attention to the absolute unacceptability of several appointments to Cabinet and quasi-Cabinet positions. Let me reiterate what I said then and add a few more specifics to those criticisms in passing.

Ranil Maithri Jan 25 2015That John Amaratunga and Rajiva Wijesinha had no business in anything claiming to be a change from a time of corruption and sycophancy has been proved – ‘in spades” as that old expression has it – by recent events. That Rishard Bathiudeen, whose conduct as a sterling member of the Rajapaksa cabal with absolutely no respect for the law, should never have been even a token representative of the Muslim community goes without saying. That his fellow token Muslim, Rauff Hakeem, belongs in the same category hardly bears repetition.

The more I look at this lot, the more I am beginning to believe that it is wedded to the traditional Japanese cultural concept of hara-kiri, no matter how unknowingly, the only difference being that it is we the citizenry of this country that are expected to sacrifice our lives, while they live happily ever after! How else could you explain why, instead of going after Wimal Weerawansa whose transgressions are a matter of public record, they have chosen to have his wife taken into custody, complete with media coverage of a weeping daughter understandably distraught by a mother being put behind bars?

What explanation is there for a Minister (of some description) making excuses for Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s explanation of unauthorized custody of a baby elephant (and one gifted to him by Royal Edict)?

What explanation is there for the fact that when the same Mr. Rajapaksa was required to provide information to the Criminal Investigation Department, officers of that department had to make a house call on him while, for every other citizen of this country it would have required a visit to the famous Fourth Floor under one’s own steam? Mahinda Rajapaksa has recently claimed that political vengeance is being visited on his family and supporters. Given the facts, I would beg to differ. On the contrary, the evidence is that the category to which he refers is being afforded privileges beyond ANYTHING available to the average Banda or even his local MP if he happens to belong to the current ruling coalition.

The question is WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?

Why did Ranil Wickremesinghe issue a statement to the media that Mahinda Rajapaksa had surrendered power voluntarily, following the noblest of democratic traditions when his Minister of Foreign Affairs held the view that Mahinda Rajapaksa and a cabal of supporters had conspired to retain power after his electoral loss by means of a coup d’ etat and confirmed that belief by making a formal complaint to the Criminal Investigation Department of this country?

WHY?

No matter what is said about Ranil Wickremesinghe, even his enemies have never accused him of stupidity or of running off at the mouth, going off half-cocked etc. (take your choice). If he wasn’t covering up for the conduct of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his cabal, why did he deliberately issue such a statement that ran in the teeth of a formal complaint by one of the most senior members of his government? He did not have to make any statement of any kind and chose, instead, to make a statement that was COMPLETELY CONTRARY to what Mangala Samaraweera had to say to the CID. Mind you I am not even suggesting that there appeared to be a prima facie case for prosecution of those concerned for probably the most serious crime that’s known to exist in a democratic state.

A recent piece of “insurance” bought by Minister Kiriella has been brought to my attention and it involves people I know pretty well and whom I don’t blame if this Minister of a government claiming to represent all that was correct and honourable chose to buy some “insurance” in a now-familiar manner from or through them. Typically, the “premium” for this piece of “insurance,” as with every piece of “insurance” being bought under these circumstances was paid out of our pockets, but then what else is new?

I have previously spoken of those who have bought and continue to buy “insurance” in the event that there is a return to the “good old days of Rajapaksa (mis)-governance.” That whole business appears to be growing by leaps and bounds and the IMMEDIATE result is that the very foundation on which the new government was to be built is being irretrievably destroyed.

If that sounds like dramatic overstatement, dear reader, please look at the headlines in the very papers that are owned and operated by those near and dear to Mr. Wickremesinghe, not to mention the justifiably-much-publicized recent statement on television by the Ven. Sobitha Thero using a folksy example to illustrate the very point I have sought to make before and am laboring again!

It is no longer only the “English-educated middle class intelligentsia” of this country who are sounding the alarm bells. The “rural hoi polloi” are beyond that stage and are simply saying, “This is not what we voted for. We want the guilty charged and jailed, we want the corruption to stop, we want the favours to the rich and famous to cease. We want fairness to prevail and to be allowed to lead lives of dignity, no matter how poor we are. We did not vote for a Yaha Palanaya to be given another dose of the same thieves and murderers that we thought we had got rid of.’

Mr. Wickremesinghe and Mr. Sirisena, I’d be only too happy to take you around any village in Tumpane or Harispattuwa to hear what rural people have to say about what you are doing and their very real fear that you are taking all of us back to even worse violence and corruption that we’ve already experienced.

You might have bought your “insurance” with the Rajapaksa Regime but that is not a luxury available to us even if we sought to go that route

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Latest comments

  • 11
    32

    Emil van der Poorten,

    What we are seeing today is not much different from what has been happening before.

    Politicians accept mass murder Ok, corrupt practices OK, Gnannasara inciting violence OK, police force and the army corruption Ok:

    People are conditioned to accept these as norms.

    If one is not immersed in an environment of excellence, he or she will not be able to perceive what excellence is. Same for democracy, truthfulness, etc.

    I remember an article by Kusal Perera implying the decadent state of the society today.

    Last week somebody said that several schools in Colombo have been furnished with false birth certificates for the children admitted.

    Do the children, who become the future citizens know what this implies?

    Truth does not matter, corruption is OK!

    • 8
      32

      Look at the body language of Ranil: Does he inspire to be a prime minister?

      • 4
        18

        Emil good one! keep it coming! Sri Lanka POLITICIANS are the most Corrupt group in the country. Both sides of the house at the Diayaweena Parliament full of corrupt clowns stink, with the exception of JVP and TNA.

        Civil society and JVP should start a street protest campaign against Ranil for the slow progress on arresting corrupt POLITICIANS and the Mahinda Jarapassa family in particular who still are above the law and living with impunity.

        Lanka need a massive protest against the failure to bring CORRUPT POLITICIANS to trial and hold them ACCOUNTABLE NOW.

        • 0
          1

          Sinhala Modaya:
          I cannot agree more with your analysis and with your suggested remedy.
          “Let’s get it on!” as they used to say!

      • 0
        6

        Ranil seems to be sporting a large belly. This is well known to be a harbinger of Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. In the interests of the nation, I would urge him and his doctors to take immediate steps to shed those pounds around his midriff and lead a more healthy life.

        We don’t want a disaster to happen, Ranil. Seriously.

    • 10
      28

      Emil van der Poorten,

      We agree that we, people need to keep the pressure on new government on yahpalanaya.
      But we cannot expect 10 years mess up to be cleaned up in few months.

      We cannot expect MY3 to throw out all the politicians and create a a brand new set politicians. He need to work out with the current parliamentarians till the general election is held. If election is held and if Mervin is given a chance, I bet, people would vote him to parliament.

      The Bribery commission itself is messed up. MY3, himself cannot investigate few thousand new corruption complains. He need Bribery commission to do that. If it doesn’t do it he will fire the top and get new people to manage the bribery commission. That’s what he did last week.

      Put you in his shoes and tell us what would you do.
      Agree we need to have goal, but we cannot take a short cut achieve the goals.

      • 6
        26

        Sumith, I agree with you to a certain extent.
        As published in the news, MR is still as popular as ever, and just as crafty. Any drastic action against him before the General Election, will sway the voters again, in his favour.

        So Ranil’s ‘Hemin Hemin’ policy seems to be the only sensible road at the moment, if we are not to slide back into the Regime of the ‘Reprehensible Rajapaksas’ after the Election!

  • 8
    28

    The author has sounded alarm bells with good intentions. I feel the same way as him. As the Sinhala saying goes, the forest has changed but no the leopard.

    The saga of Koratota Kanda, where large scale quarrying has been going for years, to the severe detriment of the environment and the health of the people of Koratota village, is a case in point. This historical and archaeologically important rock is being blasted to the ground, to feed the needs of another environmental and political disaster, Colombo Port City.

    It was stopped with the orders of the President himself but has been restarted with a vengeance on the orders of a well-known local politician under the manipulations of the big time businessmen who own the quarries. One wonders who is in charge of this country, if this sort of thing is happening?

    Whatever ills the previous Government had, the Mahinda was in charge and no one dared to go against his orders. He may have bought his supporters and he may even have bought the controllability and the stability of the government with his money. The ship had a destination and was being navigated towards it with determination. That is not very democratic, but much better than what is happening now, where the ship is sailing zig zag course, forward and reverse, with so many different people steering it.

  • 5
    40

    Mr.Vanderpooten! Why don’t you take up teaching English Language that you claim to be well versed with, instead of straying into areas you know very little about?

    • 10
      5

      “”into areas you know very little about?””

      Sihala Urumaya Heyna, saffron coloured spotted one of night school night soil, we know scientifically that you cant win a swim or track at world stage- its what you eat (bone structure vs other races)
      & first sight inspection is by hind legs so its always hind sight opinion.

      Ramblers is the patent right to write- just file them as opinion.

    • 1
      0

      Chandra:
      I take it that, while I teach English, you will indulge in displaying your erudition by “straying into matters” about which you know a great deal.
      I don’t know how long my task will take but I’ll venture a guess that yours should be done in a flash.

  • 10
    25

    MR EMIL, Correct to the Point Sir.

    WE DID NOT VOTE FOR YOU Guys Presidency and parliment TO BEHAVE LIKE THIS?.

    First They must punish those who are guilty of misusing government Power, Resourese, and people’s money and they must be charged and jailed or HANGED.
    And THAT IS NOT A REVANGE OR POLITICALIY MOTIVETED DEEDS AS Jarapassa Clan SAYS!.

    Still The present [Mis] governance of Mr sirisena,
    [ canot blame him only as he must share the blames with his Subbordinates] be come a Hole of Mud.

    Because still they are reluctant to implement What they promised and appointed few White elephants and rough characters to their cabinet and ministries.

    That is Not The YAHAPAALANAYA,

    Thieves and Heroin dealers of guilty of Corruptions not charged, not jailed or Not Hanged.

    And Running behind a Birth Certificate and Identity card is not Acceptable to Us.

    MR SIRISENA RANIL AND OTHERS;

    WE VOTE FOR YOU TO DO JUSTCE TO US.
    If not, YOU GUYS ALSO CAN GO, AS JARAPASSes Did.

    We DO NOT MIND.
    ALL OF THE MUST REMEMBER THAT;

    MAHENDRAN JAHrapassa ,RANIL, SIRISENA,RAJITA,SAMBANDAN, or Vigneswaran IS not SRI LANKA.
    SRI LANKA IS OUR MOTHER LAND SRI LANKA!.

  • 18
    23

    Very valid and vivid points. If they can initiate prompt action against issuance of two passports for one individual, whoever it may be. Why not the same steam be shown to the following, very serious charges and allegations.

    1. The coup attempt on election night – treason of the highest order.
    2. Dimunda Silva – Drugs connected to Vele Suda and murder of Bharatha Lakshman.
    3. Floating Armoury – Bayagota.
    4. Some KGs of Gold scam involving the former first lady in connivance with CB.
    5. The vast and exorbitant wealth accumulated by most of the Ministers and MARA himself and stashed away in clandestine banks/transactions.

    Give these rogues 10 times more of their earning capacity during the MARA regime and ask for explanation for the rest. I am sure these fellows will never be able to provide a valid explanation of their wealth even for one property under their names and there will be numerous other assets which could be confiscated immediately, if cannot provide valid answers for the source of income to buy those assets. I assume it is a reasonable action for violating the trust of the public and amassing ill gotten wealth in such magnitude. It will also be a deterrent to future aspirants.

    Over to you MS and RW. Better act now or face the wrath of the public, once again. You people were voted in especially due to the racist ideology of the previous regime and to eradicate nepotism and corruption through law and order.

  • 6
    21

    Mr.Emil van der Poorten, you are spot on as usual. Just like the old President, the new President too is not going to co-operate with the UN. We’ll have the Full House when Maithripala/Wickremasinghe stands shoulder to shoulder with Gnanasara Thera.

    • 12
      6

      “not going to co-operate with the UN. “
      “We’ll have the Full House when Maithripala/Wickremasinghe stands shoulder to shoulder with Gnanasara Thera. “”

      Waste Of Money, Brains And Time-WOMBAT Tadpole (゜゜)~

      simply put the need then is LKY style (what he said about catherin lim if she dare write about him) knuckle duster and a cul du sac in the twilight!
      get rid of 32 rotton un’s along with lower jaw to Intubate- he sing no more- like the Vatican mafia- is UN too without policeman or army- just civil servants by name and responsibility.

      cooperate, correlate its birth after WW2 like a professor Shakespeare tragedy.

      ex-servants of governments used to the clenched fisted policies and bribes worldwide even for a bottle of johnny walker- shills at the core ; no wait ex politicians joining in on being literally thrown out..they join big plastic buck banks too as preferred consultants therefore the easy flow crash- Greenspan spammer.

      Putin refered to its failure and original tragedy sometime after libya- he is a tough mask too with a atom grenade & several in that.

      Anyway, Its all with the sleeping giant that took power as franca policeman to care for its copyright interest and moola with power.

      Did not the ambassador woman repeatedly say- come what may we are going to be training sl forces for a long time to come.

      Its the Yankees that do the talking and the telling not Hot Dog eating butter finger UN or affiliates.
      _______________

      The fact is Omalpe Sobhitha Thero (he needs a crown of atomised thorns to make it glow like 10 ton frog) & Sihala Urumaya Heynas HIJACKED So the tainted knickers were worn again- freaks of civilization
      the world is a urinal to most men and these celibacy louts don’t even wash their tinge.:-}

  • 8
    24

    Apparently Ranil has either a soft-corner for Percy Mahinda R, or the
    latter is holding Ranils “File” on something rather very serious?

    This reminds me of a story that appeared sometime ago in “World-class-Tamils” website, where the author toured Hambantota area and heard a
    story of Mahinda being accused by the Police with murdering his first
    wife. This was when Ranil was PM previously and on pleading over the phone with Ranil, who, in turn had telephoned the ASP in charge to put the matter on hold. The relevant records disappeared from the Police subsequently. (?) Now will any daring journalist make an investigative report to establish the facts or otherwise? BTW Mahindas Biography does not mention a 1st wife.

    • 2
      19

      it is said;
      that Kudu wermin knows some thing of a real story of a woman murdered by a prominent person in Hambathota area and the body of the woman was ended in Brick kiln and so on.

  • 2
    21

    The Emperor Modi is coming to see the progress. Indian block vote got Sirisena the Governors job. Ranil the Kankani is working hard.

    • 4
      2

      hijacked by last jack in the royal seepage island beyond katchithevu and between diego garcia the interfering savior sold (a gift gifted for wallan and thoppi bandas) by nasty kussi amma.

      Colamba 7 rail,the super rent attendant for NaMo BTW you misrepresent,

      beware the wolf is at your door- saffron coloured spotted heyna

      sihala hurumaya munch munch Ouch? Quite a Phew.

    • 5
      12

      Nalini

      “The Emperor Modi is coming to see the progress. Indian block vote got Sirisena the Governors job. Ranil the Kankani is working hard.”

      Here is the part you missed out in your comment:

      The tribal chief MR and his minions were invited to Modi’s coronation at Delhi Durbar, later Modi read out the riot act, MR came back tails between the legs, and lost elections, has been plotting against the democratically elected president.

      Modi is coming here to reassert his right to rule the Sinhala state of Hindia.

  • 28
    3

    Emil
    Enjoy reading your articles as much as I enjoyed Collette’s cartoons in the fifties and sixties. Hope someone will compile all his cartoons together.
    Maithri-Ranil may not last long if they call an election in June. They are fast loosing the Tamil voters. Knowing this the rats that abandoned ship will be running back by end of April.

  • 25
    4

    As long as Ranil is the Prime Minister nothing, I say nothing will happen to MR and his family.
    I never trusted this rascal. There is no doubt that Ranil and MR are scratching each other’s back.

    • 0
      0

      n.ethirveerasingam Thank you for remembering Aubrey Collette. Besides being a clever and gifted cartoonist, he was also a wonderful, kind person. I remember going on a school trip to Lake House many years ago and enjoyed his tireless efforts to keep us occupied and his enthusiasm to teach us his craft. There must be a file somewhere with his cartoons stored, unless the new owners (the Rajapakse regime) had destroyed them out of spite.

  • 4
    17

    Emil,

    Your concerns and points are well articulated. I share your concern that Ranil and Sirisena appear not to be in any hurry to prosecute the criminals in the last govt. That said; I also feel we are being a bit impatient with them, instead of being frustrated with the systems and people in place, both of which they have to work with. You can change Ministers everyday, but prosecutions can be started only based on court admissable evidence discovered under warrant, by competent Police officers. That’s a mouthful and, we both know there are’nt too many capable, untainted officer’s around to handle these cases.

    In the meantime, they are both engaged in machinations to maximize their parties gains in the projected elections, and managing the daily crises of governance from Doctor’s to Railway workers.

    The Daily Mirror regularly features Minister Wijewardene in some role. I guess the rest of the cabinet should acquire a rag-sheet to get their names and images on print regularly. Don’t see most of the cabinet doing anything constructive except for photomoments, staged by their PR people.

    Rosy Senanayake releases a report of some sort every 10 days or so. What that does for anyone, expect to make her look busy, is beyond me. This, from a very capable person, mind you! She appoints Ken Balendra’s daughter to be in charge of the Children Bureau. What Ms. Balendra would know about Child Welfare or Social support for families in need is still to be discovered. As a lawyer she must have an understanding about the legal aspects of her job. That would be the least qualification she would bring to the table. I am not judging Ms. Balendra. I am pointing a finger at the screwed up logic of the present government and I expected better from the likes of Ms. Senanayake.

    As Churchill said, democracy is a dirty game but its the best one we’ve got. So, as much as it galls most of us to see the sinners walk about free, their time shall come. Hopefully. Unless the people send Ranil home again for screwing up an opportunity; all over again!!!

    I could not believe Ranil’s statement the other day that they had commissioned a survey about their 100 day program. Why? Did he hurt his legs recently that could’nt walk about Eye Hospital Junction or Maradana to ask the people on the street what they thought of his government. Maybe he does not want the unvarnished truth as much as he would like us to believe.

  • 27
    6

    Aiyo Emil, You took 50 days, when our 5.8 Million Dalits knewe, the bullshit of Ranil Sira and Rathne from day one..

    Now Ranil says Siripala’s mates in parliament would have killed Sirisena if Ranil didn’t protect Sira.

    Sirisena says he had to dodge the CEPA talks in Delhi , because he didn’t want to harm the country.

    Sira went even further and says a lot of countries are now offering a lot of deals to help , But they want to rule the country.( through Ranil)

    Now Sambandan bans Prema and Annathi because they burned Sumanathiran’s effigy in Jaffna.

    But Sanbadan is mum on the Reverend clan who burnedSambandan’s effigy as well in London.

    Big ass political scientists should focus on these issues which affect the Elite, Anglicans and the Vellalas, who thought they can start Rock & Rolling as soon as Mahinda was kicked out.

  • 3
    13

    Sumaney:
    UNTIL YOU GET THAT “ENGLISH TUITION TEACHER,” I will HAVE to stop trying to deal with your incomprehensible comments because it is impossible to respond rationally to gobbledegook!

    • 1
      3

      Emil,
      It appears to me that people are drunk with euphoria after getting rid of Mahinda, if temporarily. I can sense complacency in the attitudes of the people.

      They may be rudely awakened in April when the voters who voted for Sirisena get disillusioned with the present regime for not acting decisively against corrupt politicians and other culprits become apathetic.

      The vile political actors rallying around Mahinda, when they strike for their Sinhalese votes which they got in presidential election, things can turn without notice. This is a life and death battle for Mahinda and his junta.

      By keeping his opponents happy and freely roaming about, Sirisena is making a big blunder to his detriment, and for the hopes of people who voted for him.

      Two months is not a long time to see how it rolls out, but the prognosis is not good.

  • 2
    8

    Mr van der Poorten, you have been around long enough, so you will appreciate the dilemma facing the current Presidency. When it was clearly evident that the election results were going against them, the Rajapakse brothers made what can only be called a ‘strategic withdrawal; in fact all the moves had been choreographed earlier, and the plan more or less firmed up, at what-if meetings, in the days before. If the proverbial fly on the wall could speak it would tell us that the signal for that ‘withdrawal’ came from GR himself. A knowing brotherly smile in the bowels of the midnight bunker silently said to Big Brother, let us handover, retire ‘gracefully’, and live to fight another day. RanilW was then called in to confirm what had already been tacitly agreed in the earlier horse trading.

    The dilemma? That the highest echelons of the Sri Lankan body politic is so corrupt that there is not one senior politician who can confidently stand up and cast the first stone. The (very) few who can are hamstrung and haven’t the clout to do what WE the people have clearly demanded. Of course the apologist will tell you that in these times of good governance not only must we do the right thing, we must do it properly. Putting together protracted, and believe you me, complicated cases relating to cleaning out state coffers, and other creative asset stripping, will take years. If our judiciary revert to making properly considered judgements, any case brought to court half-cocked will be thrown out, and celebrated by the crooks and their circus with public gloating and cheena-pattas. There lies the rub.
    The day will come when the younger generation will do our beloved country proud and rid us of the crooked, self serving politicians of today, and their army of anti social elements.

    WE the people have to be patient. Now is just a turning point in our battle; the fight for a truly compassionate and clean country has only just begun. The road will be long and winding.

  • 0
    0

    Emil

    You’re an intrepid character ! you call it as you see it – please keep up your analysis – you’re a legend !

    JAYAWEVA !

    RR

    • 0
      0

      Ranjit Rupesinghe:
      I am flattered but I certainly don’t see myself as “a legend in my own mind!”
      Simply put, I belong to a generation when principles, which went beyond putting money in your pocket, mattered. Sadly, there are many of that generation, some of whom I thought shared those values, who do not and, even more sadly, have made a great deal of money conducting their lives accordingly!
      C’est la vie!

  • 0
    0

    Congratulations my friend, the worm has turned. Comments that were utter abuse have now turned to compliments !

    Don’t let it go to your head, your audience is only as good as the Government in power.

    Old Sumane continues his faltering and increasingly incoherent battle.

    Aren’t you asking for too much too soon ? 10 years of abuse to be unraveled in 100 days ? All in good time. remember during the darkest days when I said this was like the Perons’ in Argentina…..that it was simply a circus and a show and that it WOULD go away ?

    • 0
      0

      Don Quixote:
      What worries me more than the lack of speed in delivering justice is what is increasingly beginning to look like deliberate cover-ups and avoidance of taking what are obvious steps against thieves and murderers. What makes this even more unacceptable is the flood of allegations and detail about crimes committed that are pouring in to various quarters, including this publication.

      If you haven’t watched John Amaratunge when Ajith Rohana, the police spokesperson, was speaking about the transfer of the files about the death of “Wassa” Thajudeen (the young rugby player) being transferred to the CID from the Narahenpita police because the medical evidence was that it was NOT an accidental death, you should. That video clip, replete with Mr. A’s body language speaks a thousand words!
      I know it is said that the wheels of justice grind slow but that they grind extremely fine. However, allegations of DELIBERATE inactivity on the part of those responsible for getting things rolling and the increasing proof that powerful members of the current regime are covering up and letting the thieves and murderers escape is becoming very hard to ignore.

      • 0
        0

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      • 0
        0

        Emil,

        They would have done “DEALS”, surely you understand that “THEY” always do.

        Why do you think Percy is reluctant to re- enter politics…it has to be part of a deal.

        When you are that rich and powerful you NEVER get locked up. Innumerable examples from all over the world.

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