22 October, 2017

Sri Lanka Stands At The Crossroads Of Change

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera - Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Foreign Affairs

The lessons and the choices of our history are clear to us today. We have a choice between impunity, conflict, corruption, extremism and poverty, or the rule of law, accountability, equality, multiculturalism, openness and trade. We have a choice between conflict and poverty, versus peace and prosperity.

Remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera at Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm:

Mr. Niklas Swanstrom,

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Sweden Damayanthi Rajapaksa,

Distinguished Invitees,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to have the opportunity to speak at the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP), one of the leading think tanks of Sweden. It is also a great pleasure to be back in the historic city of Stockholm. Nearly 22 years ago, I visited your beautiful city in an earlier incarnation as the Minister of Telecommunications of Sri Lanka. Today I feel fortunate to be here once again when the guns and the bombs have finally fallen silent and Sri Lanka following a new political trajectory.

The month of January holds special significance for Sri Lankan people; it was on 8th January 2015 that Sri Lanka’s transformational journey began following the presidential elections. The month of January is now associated with peace and reconciliation. In fact, last week, Sri Lanka observed the National Integration and Reconciliation Week that was declared by the Cabinet of Ministers from 8th to 14th January.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 1948 Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was seen as one of the newly independent countries most likely to succeed. A British newspaper predicted a bright future for Ceylon, and wrote that it would no doubt become the Switzerland of the East in an Editorial on the 5th of February 1948.

Sri Lanka at independence was considered a model Commonwealth country with a relatively good standard of education, two universities of high quality, a civil service largely consisting of trained locals, and with experience in representative government.

Ceylon was a flourishing and robust democracy with universal adult franchise introduced to us in 1931. The women in Sri Lanka started enjoying the franchise way before other Asian countries. Sri Lanka elected female legislators to local government bodies and the national parliament. In fact my own mother was the first female councilor elected to the Matara Urban Council in the late 1950s. And of course, as you all know, Sri Lanka had the privilege of electing the world’s first female Prime Minister, the late Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

However, as Lee Kuan Yew wrote, Sri Lanka squandered away all the opportunities over the years; in his memoirs from “Third World to First World”, he writes…“during my visits over the years, I saw a promising country go to waste”.

Communal disharmony and discord became the order of the day and wise and respected leaders of our nation, succumbed to the small but vociferous groups of extreme nationalists and their slogans of hate and mistrust.

The Presidential elections in January 2015 followed by Parliamentary elections in August heralded a new beginning for Sri Lanka under the leadership of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The people of Sri Lanka came out in droves twice in one year to end authoritarianism, corruption and the politics of hate. In short, they voted for a new democratic Sri Lanka where democracy, reconciliation, the rule of law and sustainable development would flourish.

Having achieved a significant number of promises set out in the 100 Day Work Programme of the Government, the most significant being the repeal of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, and the adoption of the 19th Amendment, fresh Parliamentary elections were called in August 2015.

The 19th Amendment, as most of you I am sure are aware,

  • Re-introduced the two-term limit of the Presidency,
  • Reduced the term of the Presidency from 6 to 5 years,
  • Established a Constitutional Council,
  • Restored Independent Commissions,
  • Recognised the Right to Information as a fundamental right, and
  • Recognised the Promotion of National Reconciliation and Integration as duties of the President.

The Government also had in its hands, the task of restoring Sri Lanka’s relations with the outside world, and restoring lost credibility.

The Government, since January 2015, therefore, started reaching out to the international community, re-engaging with governments and international organisations. Many Foreign Ministers and Heads of Government have visited Sri Lanka in the last 02 years, including your Foreign Minister Margot Wallström last year in April. The first by a Swedish Foreign Minister.

The power of Parliament has been strengthened. Oversight Committees have been set up with Opposition members chairing several key Committees.

The Right to Information Act, which was enacted by Parliament last year and is now in the process of being operationalised.

In two years, Sri Lanka has made considerable strides from soft-authoritarianism towards consolidating a rights-based democracy with deeply entrenched institutions and values.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

We are convinced and we recognize clearly, that societies that avoid looking at the past, fail to build sustainable peace. Sri Lanka has suffered conflict several times, both in the South and in the North.

It is these realisations that cry out to us that our nation will never be able to achieve the full socio-economic development potential that our nation can reach, and our citizens are so deserving of, if we fail to address grievances, that risk plunging our nation into conflict once again, that led us to co-sponsor the Resolution that we worked on with members of the Human Rights Council in October 2015.

As the President said in his Independence Day speech in February last year, Sri Lanka is committed to the implementation of that resolution so that we as a country can deal with the past honestly and truthfully, accept that past, put it behind us, and then move forward to build our Sri Lankan nation anew.

The set of actions that the Government has identified to deal with the past in a comprehensive manner, addressing the grievances of all victims, include truth seeking, justice, reparation and measures for guaranteeing non-recurrence. As a first step, we have enacted legislation to set up an Office on Missing Persons. Now that the Consultation Task Force set up to seek the views of the public has just handed over its Report to the Government on the 3rd of January, the relevant experts of Government, in an exercise coordinated by the Secretariat that has been set up to Coordinate the Reconciliation Mechanisms will be studying the Report and finalizing the designing of a Truth-Seeking Commission and a Reparations Office.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you are aware, one of the first steps taken by the National Unity Government in January 2015 itself was to restore civilian administration in the North and the East of the country. We have also taken a series of symbolic steps to establish equality of all citizens, such as singing the National Anthem in both Sinhala and Tamil; promising the people to ensure that we don’t allow our country to plunge into conflict and the shedding of blood of our citizens by adopting a Declaration of Peace on Independence Day in February 2015.

As an important measure to prevent non-recurrence of conflict, the Parliament, last year, unanimously adopted a Resolution for the Parliament to sit as a Constitutional Assembly to draft a new Constitution that would, among other provisions.

Much of the preparatory work for the new constitution has now been completed. Wide-ranging public consultations were conducted for the first time in Sri Lanka’s constitutional history; much study, reflection and negotiation was undertaken to arrive at consensus at the six sub-committees set up and final negotiations on a draft are currently underway.

Above all, Sri Lanka’s need of the hour is breaking through the greatest obstacle that has held Sri Lanka back since Independence – our failure to accept and celebrate our diversity as a multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi lingual society.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

But for Sri Lanka’s democratic and reconciliation journey to succeed, its economy must flourish and its people must prosper. The peace dividend must reach all segments of our society in the form of economic benefits, better standards of living and more job opportunities for our youth. It is in this respect, our government is committed to make Sri Lanka one of the most advanced trade and economic hubs in the Indian Ocean.

We are tremendously encouraged that the EU Commission, in recognition of our commitment to sustainable development, good governance and human rights and the progress being made, has recommended Sri Lanka’s GSP Plus application to the European Union Parliament and the Council just a few days ago.

The government’s plan of making Sri Lanka an Indian Ocean hub are beginning to bear fruit; The Colombo international financial city; The Hambanthota, Colombo East and Trincomalee ports; and the Katunayake and Palali airports are all hives of activity. Then by 2020, Sri Lanka will have the necessary infrastructure, regulations, and companies in place to achieve its hub ambitions.

Our history tells us that Sri Lanka was the marvel of the ancient world when she embraced multiculturalism, openness and trade. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, at their heights, were home to people of all races and creeds. A spirit of celebrating diversity prevailed, and our civilization was enriched with ideas and practices from Rome, Persia, Egypt, Greece, India, South East Asia and China. We were a connected civilization proud of our position at the centre of Indian Ocean trade.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The lessons and the choices of our history are clear to us today. We have a choice between impunity, conflict, corruption, extremism and poverty, or the rule of law, accountability, equality, multiculturalism, openness and trade. We have a choice between conflict and poverty, versus peace and prosperity.

As Sri Lanka stands at the crossroads of change, now more than ever, it needs the support and friendship of the international community. In fact, I would like to specially mention that Foreign Minister Margo Wallström has remained a steadfast friend. Even though our two countries may be in two different corners of the world, our shared values of social democracy bind us together, and Sweden remains an inspiration for Sri Lanka in our journey forward.

I thank you.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    1

    Blah…Blah… Blah… Blaaah. This dude regurgitates the same stuff, only to the so called distinguished Westerners who backed the LTTE to the hilt.

    His boss , mentor and partner Batalanada Ranil, posed for a photo shoot with Eric from Norway , probably before this Blah Blah session.

    Begal Yapa’s 7000 item Export list to Europe and Scandinavia ,which this dude claims to have negotiated on his own, is on the Skids, Or has to be in long term storage.

    Latest communique from EU says Yahapalana leaders haven’t delivered on their promises yet..

    Yahpalanaya has to ban our inhabitant Muslims engaging in their centuries old cultural practices in marriage, although the same X marriages and LGBT Rights are in the new Constitution.

    No wonder Hilmy Ahamad is calling old Mahinde.. !!!!.

    • 3
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      Mr. Samarawickrama, Please ask your Western friendly governments to put their money where their mouth is! EU, US as well as IMF, World Bank and U.S Government’s MCC which is doing all sorts of “deep dives” in Sri Lanka, and giving all sorts of USELESS policy advise, to PLEASE track down funds in off shore bank accounts that were looted from Sri Lanka by corrupt politicians and their cronies and kept in off shore bank accounts in US and EU and Dubai and Singapore.

      Sri Lanka’s urgent economic development need and PRIORITY is get the looted funds to, to pay off the massive national DEBT that is crashing the rupee, and crippling the Sri Lanka economy, instead of borrowing more from the IMF while sinking deeper into a DEBT TRAP and loading VAT taxes onto poor people.

      Sri Lanka’s so called foreign friends are very good with useless promises of aid and friendship, but delivery is absent!
      GSP which really seem like a lot of hot air while the INCOME INEQUALITY GAP widens in Sri Lanka due to massive debt because of corrupt politicians super luxury greed and life styles of over consumption that is advertised as the Capitalist dream.

      Instead, it seems that our fine friends in US and EU are helping and advising Ranil-Sira to turn a blind eye to Financial Corruption, which is a global epidemic. So Ranil and Sira protecting Mahinda Jarapassa Brothers and Sons Inc. and continuing the corruption and pattern of DEVELOPMENT DISASTERS and DEBT TRAP for Sri Lanka.
      Land and marine resources are being sold off to the China, US and India, without any clear plan of how People of Lanka will benefit from all this grandiose projects. Moves are being made to hand over land, marine and security surveying and information systems to the US, Trimble Co. in California while China takes over Hambantota and Tinco. goes to India

  • 2
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    MFA has been repeating the same speech at international platforms for the last two years. When is the government going to implement what he says?

  • 3
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    Talk is cheap: your not the first person to speak big and then do nothing. Even MR had spoken big from international capitals, from the UN and even visited the Vatican. None of this did any good to the citizens of the country other than the politicians and the scavengers that walk behind them.

    This govt has been talking for two years not its high time to start doing some work.

  • 0
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    Worry about the ‘hub ambitions ‘ worry about the infrastructure activity that would have to be developed at the expense of people living on this hub land and the fringe dwellers that might loose on the precious commodities they enjoy at the moment like clean air , working at their own pace and adapting to any alien culture that would be imposed .Some investors like the hoteliers take the people of the area with them and involve them in the marketing of their environment to the tourist ..a rethink on the traditional way of life as exotic and value added ..But will the workers that come in with the development project will they understand ?will they think its a LUCKY deal to make money and send it home for their own families may be hard work but better than home front …How are we going to protect our own? We cannot ask migrant labour to be SriLankan or go back home like they do in the developed west .no we are the underdogs hoping to get some crumbs and look at the grandeur that is not ours …Must we be led by Singapore or some such country ? why fast forward when the world is just thinking of altering life styles to balance consumerism and the environment .. Take a lesson from the poker machines that brought millions to the investor but hurt so many families ..just stop and think when the amber light is on .before we cross the road .

  • 2
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    Mangala correctly states that “the greatest obstacle that has held Sri Lanka back since Independence (is) – our failure to accept and celebrate our diversity as a multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi lingual society.”

    Hopefully he would have read Chamindra Weerawardhana’s post on “Sri Lanka’s LGBTIQ Equality Stalemate & Victorian Hangovers”, and if so, should lobby his fellow parliamentarians to change the archaic law.

    Sweden would certainly have welcomed the addition of LGBTQ Rights to his list of accomplishments, as according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), Sweden is Europe’s most gay-friendly country, with extensive legislation protecting gay and lesbian rights, including anti-discrimination law and same-sex marriage legislation.
    (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Sweden)

  • 0
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    Yes, Sir,
    This is what I read on another reliable Website today:
    “Sri Lanka is in talks to offer the port of Trincomalee to India!
    Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of the Raisina Dialogue here, Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Colombo’s Minister of Regional Development, said that the decision on offering the port to India will be taken soon.”
    Of course we are at a crossroad and people are waiting there for the Y-Palans.

  • 2
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    WELL DONE on the below::::>>>>

    * Re-introduced the two-term limit of the Presidency,
    * Reduced the term of the Presidency from 6 to 5 years,
    * Established a Constitutional Council,
    * Restored Independent Commissions,
    * Recognised the Right to Information as a fundamental right, and
    * Recognised the Promotion of National Reconciliation and Integration as duties of the President.

    >>>>THESE MUST BE DONE ASAP:::>

    1. Introduce Bicameral Parliament.

    A) House Representatives based on Preferential First Past the Post Geographical Area based system. (Forget your party bias set the rules of the game properly)

    B) Upper House or Senate Based on Proportional System of Voting based on reduced number of provinces . Same number of senators for each province. (Northern, Eastern, North-Central, Central, West
    ern, Southern) = 6 x provinces)
    C) Abolition of separate Provincial councils. Instead , give those responsibilities to the elected senators and house of representative members of Parliament the powers of the provincial council.

    D)Minimum qualification of A/L subjects suitable for university entry be required for the lower house election and senate entry.

    What do you think ?????? Just as a start to good governance !!!!

  • 1
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    Mangala Samaraweera – Minister of Foreign Affairs

    RE: Sri Lanka Stands At The Crossroads Of Change

    1. “The lessons and the choices of our history are clear to us today. We have a choice between impunity, conflict, corruption, extremism and poverty, or the rule of law, accountability, equality, multiculturalism, openness and trade. We have a choice between conflict and poverty, versus peace and prosperity.”

    Well and succinctly stated. Thank you, Sir. Identifying the Problem, is 95% of the solution.

    The question is how to execute on the plan and implement it.

    2. “The month of January holds special significance for Sri Lankan people; it was on 8th January 2015 that Sri Lanka’s transformational journey began following the presidential elections. The month of January is now associated with peace and reconciliation.”

    Yes, go with the momentum, before it withers away and MaRa and cronies try to disrupt it, to their own advantage. Why are the MaRa crooks, killers and cronies still at large?

    3. “In 1948 Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, was seen as one of the newly independent countries most likely to succeed. A British newspaper predicted a bright future for Ceylon, and wrote that it would no doubt become the Switzerland of the East in an Editorial on the 5th of February 1948.”

    “Above all, Sri Lanka’s need of the hour is breaking through the greatest obstacle that has held Sri Lanka back since Independence – our failure to accept and celebrate our diversity as a multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi lingual society.”

    We all know the rest of the story of the screw up by the Paras, especially the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists” and the the counter reaction by the Para-Tamils. This is all water under the bridge.

    Focus on what can be done going forward, instead of repeating the same mistakes, and make corrections for the errors. We all are in an independent and competitive world, and due to global warming many lands close to the sea will be under water.

  • 4
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    Mangala: Sri Lanka needs a NEW environmentally and people centered ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MODEL and policy, but Bond Scam Ranil is talking rot in Davos about Free Trade Agreements (to manufacture what?!!) when the rest of the world has turned its back on FTA because they only benefit big business and cause massive Economic Inequality, poverty and VIOLENCE.

    All the hot air about FTAs and sustainable development policies is just that empty talk.

    Every year there are massive droughts due to climate change and DEFORESTATION in the Sri Lanka country side, because of environmentally destructive and resource stripping, “development” that are ruinous to the people and environment just because Bond Scam Ranil is mad about Free Trade Agreement (FTA) when the rest of the world has turned its back on FTA which only benefit multinational corporation and big business and beggar local people.
    The irrigation and agriculture sectors are ignored, water tanks and wewa bunds broken, and faming communities ignored, while building high ways, concrete apartment that need AC and guzzle electricity and getting thousands of SUVs for corrupt politicians is UNSUSTAINABLE development.

    Building concrete apartment blocks that need massive energy for air conditioning and the port city to Chinese and Indian corporates and tourists when there is NO WATER and massive annual droughts in the country side due to over building and resource rape in the name of city DEVELOPMENT is a joke!

  • 1
    0

    Mr. Mangala:
    the ugly begging bowl and AID DEPENDENCY mentality of Bond Scam Ranil and corrupt Malik needs to END!

    Development needs to be bottom up and build on assets of the country and ADD VALUE- not sell them off! Sri Lanka needs a people friendly and environmently SUSTAINABLE development policy developed by SRI LANKAN EXPERTS.

    In Country Sri Lankan Talent and development experts are marginalized because Ranil and Charitha Ratwatta are running behind and following outdated advise of Harvard Economic Hit men at Center for International Development which works for the United States interests.

    Ranil, Charita and Malik should ask Havard economic hit man Hausmann and IMF to track down funds looted from Sri Lanka by corrupt politicians and their cronies and kept in off shore bank accounts in US and EU and Dubai and Singaproe, to pay off the massive national DEBT that is crashing the rupee, instead of loading VAT taxes onto poor people.

    The world is turning its back on FTAs because of growing INCOME INEQUALITY and Violence but Sri Lanka’s Bond scam Ranil is signing FTAs and selling off Sri Lanka’s land, marine resources and services to China, India, US.

    Ranil and Malik in Davos were a disgrace with their presentation of hot air FTAs and talking about free trade agreements with India, SIngapore, Japan, when the world is rejecting FTA and knows that free trade agreement (like TPP which EU rejected and Trump has put in the dustbin), only benefits multinational corporations, while local people are impoverished and land and marine asessts of countries are degraded and sold off for a song in the name of development! Ranil and Malik have a retrograde development plan which will be an environment and security disaster for Lanka!

    Sri Lanka is being sold off to the China, US and India, without any clear plan of how People of Lanka will benefit from all this grandiose projects. Moves are being made to hand over land, marine and security surveying and information systems to the US, Trimble Co. in California while China takes over Hambantota.

  • 0
    1

    “The government’s plan of making Sri Lanka an Indian Ocean hub are beginning to bear fruit; The Colombo international financial city; The Hambanthota, Colombo East and Trincomalee ports; and the Katunayake and Palali airports are all hives of activity. Then by 2020, Sri Lanka will have the necessary infrastructure, regulations, and companies in place to achieve its hub ambitions.”

    He is trying to fool the International community.

    Yahapalana is totally dependent 100% on Mahinda Rajapaksha development plan and could not find any alternative path including good relations with China. Neither administrative capability. They only squandered two valuable years. Politics of hatred is their forte.

    Diplomats in Colombo including the Chinese and the Indians are well informed. Though delivered at international fora all these are meant for local consumption they know.

    Soma

  • 2
    0

    Many good things happened within the short last two years, especially ensuring democracy, stop corruption, money laundering, white van abductions and murdering of dissidents and journalists.

    The minister says, “the greatest obstacle that has held Sri Lanka back since Independence – our failure to accept and celebrate our diversity as a multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi lingual society.”

    Lee Kuan Yew wrote, Sri Lanka squandered away all the opportunities over the years; in his memoirs he writes…“during my visits over the years, I saw a promising country go to waste”.

    The conflict in Sri Lanka convinced Lee Juan Yew that communal harmony is the basic for development and progress and in that he defied the mainland (Malaysia) policy of ‘Malay Only’ and made all national languages parity of status with English as the link. Now Singapore, without any natural resources is comparable to developed countries of the west while Sri Lanka has slipped to be a banana republic.

    Even today the application forms either for jobs or other purposes, police reports and other government notifications concentrate on the religion and ethnicity of applicants instead of referring them as just Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka has to go a long way in treating all Sri Lankans equal, otherwise, all citizens will not feel themselves as part of the nation and won’t work hard to develop it.

  • 3
    0

    Words words words, what happened to the bond scam?

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
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    The amzing thing is voters in MAtara vote this guy. Should be with the same load of BS.

  • 3
    1

    Are you ready to face the new realities and significant changes in the Western world? Samantha Power, Kerry and Bishwal were all political appointees and are out of jobs as of today.

    You have always been an enlightened liberal. But right now, the west is going through a period of economic and cultural nationalism. People do not like their identities being lost. BREXIT happened for a reason. Trump happened for a reason.

    Multiculturalism that was touted is dying in western societies fearful of being overrun.

    What will you do if FREXIT happens if Marine Le Pen wins?

    What will you do if Merkel loses? EU is kaput in that case.

    So try to change policy goals and please focus on trade. Trump will not bother about political correctness and multiculturism. That era is gone.

    There was a backlash even bigger than what I sensed. I still thought crooked Hillary will scrape through on Electoral votes but she did not. Working class blue collar whites voted against her in critical states. She lost. GTF lost as a result.

    Keshap will get new orders. Trump has recalled all political appointee Ambassadors back by today Jan 20th and did not give them a chance to complete their terms.

    TRADE, ISIS and Russia will be their key focus not HR or war crimes.

    Political correctness and multiculturism is leading to a backlash by tolerant Western nations. Immigrants and refugees who refuse to assimilate and adapt to secular tolerant western nations and want absurd laws of their own and are even acting like savages molesting women (Cologne incident) are leading to an angry reaction in polls.

    Please reevaluate official positions vis-a-vis USA and UK. Immigrants need to adapt not insist on their values or their languages being forced on US, Britain or Germany etc or even France.

    There is almost a pre World War II sort of change building up. VP Mike Pence is an anti gay Christian conservative

  • 3
    1

    As expected the political multicultural and tolerant stances have changed. Keshap will have to gyrate to defend new positions.

    Whitehouse has already deleted references and pages related to LGBT and Climate Change initiatives. After all the new President once said “climate change is a hoax”.

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/20/trumps-white-house-website-deletes-climate-change-lgbt-pages/

    You had the courage to leave the MR regime when they were at the height of their power on principle. But I feel your Foreign Ministry is woefully short on analysts and strategic thinkers unlike in India or the US or big nations. I doubt if you expected Trump to win on an anti Free trade platform.

    I said many things about him in write ups, against advise, on CT, but I said there was a good chance he could win because I sensed the enthusiasm.

    US Focus now is on christian values and christian led govt. Pence the VP said Gays can be cured by conversion therapy. He said “God first, country and then constitution”.

    Now you can see why right? Backlash because the pendulum swung too far to a politically correct left.

    Today the inauguration had 5 Christian pastors and one Jew. That is all. both Abrahamaic faiths. This is not an inclusive regime here.

    First time in 36 years we have NO Hispanic cabinet member but awesomely we have an INDIAN AMERICAN of Sikh Punjabi descent. But she is a born again evangelical. But she is no bully like Samantha P but she will promote the US ahead of anything else. Human rights fly out. GTF does not seem to have any clout.

    I wish you guys do your homework and send a powerful educated delegation to lobby Wilbur Ross. He is the key. I tried to tell Harsha DeSilva, your affable and open deputy. Trust me on this. Do you know how to get in touch with him? No more TPP and NAFTA to be renegotiated. China very worried.

    • 0
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      Mr Ratwatte

      I don’t know how social networking operates but Harsha de Silva seems to be on Twitter. Maybe you can contact him that way.

      I had an email for him once. If I can find it again I’ll paste it here for you.

      • 0
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        Mr Ratwatte

        Here is an email you might try:

        dmfa.bureau@mfa.gov.lk

      • 0
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        Manel and Mano,

        Dr Harsha is on Facebook also.

  • 2
    1

    America first. You have an opportunity to barter and trade now. Offer the US a port or a military base and get them off the UN punishment route. Nikki Haley aka Namrita Randhawa is the new UN ambassador. She is a very conservative born again christian from a Sikh Punjabi family.

    Trump said America first; Be American Buy American and fired a lot of shots. SL will not be on their radar and definitely multi culturalism and Political correctness is gone.

    Here are some words from President Trump’s inauguration speech.
    ******************************************************************************
    What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

    Everyone is listening to you now.

    You came by the tens of millions to become part of a historic movement the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens.
    Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public.

    But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

    This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.
    We are one nation — and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams; and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home, and one glorious destiny.

  • 2
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    Are you ready to deal with Trump’s regime? America first, ,forget globalization and forget inclusivity, multi culturism, climate change or LGBTQ rights.

    Reference quote below.
    Less than an hour after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Trump began purging the executive branch’s website of any and all pages devoted to the issues of climate change, LGBTQ issues, the Affordable Care Act, and even civil rights.

  • 1
    0

    I fully Agree with Mano Ratwatte’s lengthy comment. I think this is an historic opportunity for the current Sri Lankan government to free herself from the West’s and India’s influence if the responsible leaders act responsibly. I don’t think Prez Sirisena has a clue about these changes but PM Wickremasinghe and the educated bunch of the government should understand the changes occurring in the world and adapt their strategies accordingly.

    • 0
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      My3 may not have a clue at this moment. However he is in this can be explained to him.

      All young people in this country who consider themselves educated, imagine that they must migrate to Australia. This includes even do not have adequate English. It will take some time some of these people to understand what has been happening in white societies throughout the world.

      Thanks to those making an attempt to get this message across to the public.

      • 0
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        Please pardon garbled second sentence in the comment which I dictated.

        I meant to say that My3 is intelligent; therefore educable.

  • 0
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    Now we have been stuck at that cross road for a very very long time and the world love to hear that ..the world of investor culture looking for variables that suit their ambitions . .Come on make decisions with an open agenda ..May be be decisive like Trump and let the opposition educate us to make a balance judgment .There were may protests when things were happening detrimental to the environment ..like use of cheap coal power , mega deals with China to reclaim land , Hambantota invasion to impose a development that was not in keeping with the culture of the area that needed not a radical upheaval but a smooth transition to the present day . to keep the youth in their home environment to develop the arable land and respect wild life around them .. ..We are still making our choices ..ME MONA PARE .RAYIGAM PARE .one person leads the blind folded ‘friend ‘ in this game and have a last laugh by taking him to the unknown !

  • 0
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    “Sri Lanka Stands At The Crossroads Of Change”

    I couldn’t help laughing when I read the caption. Funny isn’t it – SL has always been at the crossroads. It never knew how or did not want to CROSS. And this “crossroads for change” – is it for the better or worse?

    Why I am not inspired by this gibberish talk. Look at it this way. It so appears that Mangala becomes obsessive for his “charity” talk just before the report card is flashed in the UNHCR. Well, let us give him some credit – that he means well but not surprisingly his PM and President have become famous for shooting information in the opposite direction, something that would not make any of us feel comfortable at all. What actually do you think is happening?

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