28 November, 2020

Blog

The Danger Of The “Dinuwath Dinuwa, Paradunath Dinuwa” Philosophy

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

The danger of the “Dinuwath Dinuwa, Paradunath Dinuwa” philosophy becoming the guiding light for democracy in the New Sri Lanka

Recently, I wrote of the tradition among the “movers and shakers” now within the government of buying “insurance” to ensure their wellbeing irrespective of which corrupt entity runs this country and the danger of that tradition being carried on at a time when we were offered what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-establish democracy in this country.

The unbelievable and totally unacceptable delay in launching an investigation and prosecution of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his co-conspirators from January 8th /9th appear to bear out my fears in more than ample measure.

Ranil Wickremesinghe and his inner (business?) circle appear to have already given a “get out of jail free card” to those who, but for the simple bravery of those who, literally, put the lives of themselves and their families in very serious jeopardy, would have plunged this country into a repressive type of governance that would have made the first ten years of Rajapaksa Rule look like the epitome of sweetness and light.

If Ranil Wickremesinghe and many around him who did very well under Rajapaksa governance, thank you, are not prepared to have the legal entities responsible for such proceed with prosecuting those who are alleged to have sought the destruction of what was left of democracy in this country, they should as someone once suggested, “In the name of God, GO!

Sri Lanka's Secretary of Defense Rajapaksa gestures during a commemoration ceremony of fallen soldiers in GanemullaThis is not some kind of clarion call for a Kangaroo Court to dispense justice to those who used that particular modus operandi against any having the temerity to stand in democratic opposition to them. For God’s sake, what we are asking for and which is obviously being stymied by those in decision-making positions, is the dispensing of justice as required by the laws of this land.

IS THIS TOO MUCH TO ASK OF THOSE WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IT IS TO ENSURE THAT ELEMENTARY JUSTICE PREVAILS IN SRI LANKA ONCE AGAIN?

Let’s not indulge in b.s semantics. The law is very clear in the matter of sedition. There were, obviously, witnesses to what took place at Temple Trees during the hours of darkness that bridged the 8th and 9th of January. They can speak to the facts. Is it too much to expect that those who rode in on the white steeds of justice and honour and fairplay and democracy provide this minimal evidence of their readiness to live up to the promises that they gave us? Or does “insurance” in the event of the return of this bunch of robbers of the national treasury and murderers of those opposed to them become more important than those promises made in the heat of a campaign?

If the Rajapaksas, Udaya Gammanpila, G.L. Pieris, Mohan Pieris et al are innocent of conspiring against the state and seeking to subvert the people’s will, let them go free after the application of due process of law. BUT, IN THE NAME OF SIMPLE LAW AND ORDER, STOP DILLY-DALLYING AND WAITING FOR THE HORSE TO BOLT THE STABLE BEFORE YOU MAKE A GREAT SHOW OF SHUTTING THE GATE!

However, I know that while there has been the absolutely unbelievable recruitment of the Rishard Bathiudeens, the Rauff Hakeems and the Rajiva Wijesinhas to a government that was dedicated to undoing the very travesties those individuals and their buddies visited upon the Sri Lankan nation, there are still people of principle and decency in positions of authority within the legal establishment. The simple bravery exhibited by the Army Commander, the IGP and the Attorney General under the most dangerous of circumstances cannot but provide an example for the lily-livered among the new government. But will it?

What has been achieved after years of effort and sacrifice by those who have held on to the dream of restoring a decent, just and civilized Sri Lanka will be gone in a trice if the final effort to effect change democratically is thrown in the dustbin of Sri Lankan history.

If the current coalition is not prepared to move beyond the slippery substance that some of its “leaders” are only too happy to frolic in, THEY must be pitched out. Not to do so is to cast the entire effort of so many who, unlike Ranil Wickremesinghe’s first cousin, Rajiva Wijesinha and people of like “character”, put their very lives on the line to ensure that this country returned to what it could and should be. Not to do so will constitute what so many of us did leading up to the fateful January 8th election that is pithily described in that well-known Sinhala proverb that goes “like planting stakes in a flowing river (Gangata ini hadanawa wagey).”

If the Ranil Wickremesinghe coalition is incapable of or chooses not to apply the law against an alleged, totally illegal, attempt to overturn a democratically-elected government, IT MUST GO. AND GO NOW!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    3

    Also rans at the winning post. CONFUSION !!!!!!!!

    • 2
      1

      I think you need to exclude GLP from that group. I just believe – he is though a learnt prof. just stay passive being unable to know whom to support. Either he should be sick or claiming personal inablities blocking him rasiing the due at due time. Exactly that destroyed the External ministry – as 09/11 building complex fell down creating a big cloud- as nothing could be found easily.
      May be even hitler had guys around him – they didNOT know how and when to react. I am telling this how can otherwise a learnt world class law professor to back a coup of a megalomanic rascal minded prez. Not even a basic degree holder would agree with GLP to have supported the alleged conspiracy.

      • 0
        0

        You are dubbing this guy MARA “megalomaniac rascal
        minded prez” and is it not enough for a man like
        Thummulla,not to get closer to that man?Thummulla
        was ready to be hired out by any retard,he wanted
        positions and that’s it.How else you think a man
        like him was willing to go places as part of a
        cabinet of more than hundred greedy and shady
        characters?A man who was sitting along with Mervy?

    • 9
      0

      Those who have louded and embarraced him as ” aiyyyyo sirisena” – behave today as if they genitals are taken away by aliens. Not being able to see it moving even better than had been planned – UPFA most virulent figure-Buruwanse quesitoned why it failed to keep it to 25 ministries ? No praises about price reductions made for fuel – nothing is about any other progress being made by the govt – but to attack them maliciously. This man Weerawanse should have been coming from a Pathala lokaya to behave in this way.

      • 5
        2

        Leela, are you like me, finding Emil’s new mug shot so……..oozingly sexy?

        He is a real old hottie, isn’t he, naughty lang-si rascal?

        • 1
          1

          whynot you try to have your checked by psychiatrist ?

          Urs is almost like square peg in a round hole. Better to go and join to MARA group – they may need guys of your profile to cry for them – to the very same manner Northkoreans are trained.

        • 1
          0

          Who cares so long you are a srilanken ?

          When will you change your attitude – Mr Pros – if you are not upto that today, when ?

          First, not to attack fellow citizen by their race, religion, colour or other factors. That is the basics if you failed to learn. Get well Mr.Pros.

    • 4
      0

      “what we are asking for and which is obviously being stymied by those in decision-making positions, is the dispensing of justice as required by the laws of this land”.

      Yes Emil,

      We have a long tradition of not correcting the historical wrongs, as you would know.

      For example, the Portuguese, The Dutch and British Jewish colonizers screwed us for 500 years. They massacred our village folk who bravely fought to defend their land and their women, though not successfully always due to the evil of guns the invaders had. ANd they left their mulatto rubbish for us to contend with.

      It took 50 years after independence to introduce a limited form of “Land Reform” by that great lady Mrs B to redress some of the damage. But she allowed the land thieves to keep 50 acres too many.

      You speak of MR’s conspiracy on the night of the 8th. I am inclined to accept your word for it because if there is anything those of your ilk have specialized in, it is conspiracy. On this occasion your clan worked with India and the disgruntled in Sri Lanka (Sirisena, Champuka)and the terminal loser Ranil W to topple the government.

      So you wait till they prosecute MR and send him to jail… over lots of dead bodies!

      Beware the wrath of the people when real people power eventuates after the 100 days.

    • 0
      0

      Also Voteds in desperation to get rid of the Rajapakses.

      Most of them would have feared that RW failed the Opposition THEN and would fail the government NOW.

      The author expresses the wishes of all the Also Voteds and must live long.

  • 5
    2

    There is a time and a place for everything. We should not push it, rather wait and trust the system take its due course. As it is, we need the existing 2/3rd majority in Parliament to make Constitutional changes called amendments, and also legislate new laws for good governance and delegating responsibilities. After which (100 days) we will go for Parliamentary elections. Once we have a stable Parliament, then we can go after those who were involved in mass scale fraud, bribery, nepotism, cronyism, bullying, rowdism and poor governance. If we start doing proper investigations now on all of these issues, the parties will get split beyond no return and the whole plot will be lost in a stalemate. So please hold your horses until the country is steady on its feet, since it is now in safe hands, and there is no place in the world that these bandits can go and hide. But reminding those in power of the promises made to bring to justice those of robbed the wealth and resources of the nation, will maintain and keep the pressure from simply fizzling out.

    • 3
      1

      There is no need to wait for a two third majority, there is the Penal Code which is already available for all the offence committed by those who committed them to be prosecuted.
      Investgations should be commenced and charges framed before the evidence now available is suppressed and made to evaporate.
      .The voters who expect action and changes cannot be ignored if their confidence and hopes are to be respected.
      The pressure must not fizzle out if the promises made are to be honoured.

      • 1
        1

        The crimes of embezzlement that have been committed would have already been camouflaged and buried since the day the government collapsed. Don’t expect any ‘caught red handed’ nor ‘caught in the act’ drama to take place very soon.

        That said, whatever remaining evidence there is, it will still have to be investigated and proved beyond any reasonable doubt, if you want democracy to work. That process itself takes time if you know anything about our legal system, then you already know what its like. Special tribunals may have to be established with legal luminaries involved to speed up the investigative and judgement process. For a moment, I do not dispute the statuaries of the penal code that we have in force, but can you imagine what it would do if MS authorizes the arrest of all those who are tainted with corruption at this stage? The whole Parliament which is rife with such characters will turn to vote against his bills to introduce a righteous, just and fair administration. Further, it will be like putting the cat amongst the pigeons, not being able to distinguish friend from foe. It is better to play politics now and expect to succeed in that process, than to behave like a dictator and regret later.

        I am sure your suggestion would have been the more populist and even MR’s approach, when placed in similar situation of overall power, but this new breed are far more sinister but of saner counsel, although it may not too obvious to the uninitiated.

  • 6
    1

    Very well said Emil:”… IN THE NAME OF SIMPLE LAW AND ORDER, STOP DILLY-DALLYING AND WAITING FOR THE HORSE TO BOLT THE STABLE BEFORE YOU MAKE A GREAT SHOW OF SHUTTING THE GATE!” As always this too is an excellent expose’ Bensen

  • 3
    3

    Did Poorty have a nephew working as a drinks waiter at Temple Trees, serving Pol on the rocks to our Professor and the CJ to drown their sorrow.?

    Poorty must be still in Scarborough , not to have noticed the second Gamarala taking over the Telecom on behalf of the Elite and the Anglicans, while the Vellalls are planning the logistics and leadership to run the Eelaam, when Poorty’s mate, Ranil takes over with full Executive Powers…

    • 5
      0

      Sumaney:
      Even your attempt at Canadian geography is “pottey.” But why am I surprised by a cockeyed … making cockeyed statements?
      Even during the long time I spent in Canada, very little of it was spent in Ontario and none of that in Scarborough, unfortunately. But then when you are looking up from down under the whole world looks upside down, I suppose.

      Unfortunately for us and fortunately for you, Ranil is not the kind of village thug like your mentor who would really give you and your kin the kind of treatment they deserve. He probably knows that “the more you trample s..t, the more it spreads” and will, therefore keep the soles of his shoes away from you.
      P.S.
      I see you still haven’t hired that “English Tuition Teacher” so that we can laugh even louder at your stupidities when we understand more of them. What a shame!!

      • 1
        1

        Emil,

        Do not worry about Sumane. He is also famous like his Mara (Wannabe King) to ask and eat. ( Illan Kanna)

  • 2
    1

    Emil van der Poorten –

    RE: The Danger Of The “Dinuwath Dinuwa, Paradunath Dinuwa” Philosophy

    “The unbelievable and totally unacceptable delay in launching an investigation and prosecution of Mahinda Rajapaksa and his co-conspirators from January 8th /9th appear to bear out my fears in more than ample measure.”

    JVP is the main Hope.

    JVP Press Conference on 21.01.2015

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&x-yt-cl=84503534&v=8tx2f_o2Oj8&x-yt-ts=1421914688

  • 0
    0

    Could it be fear of the accused retaliating by listing the wrongdoings of the accusers. Mahinda Rajapakse did boast that he had files on people.

  • 0
    1

    ” “Dinuwath Dinuwa, Paradunath Dinuwa” “

    I remember Sir John Kotelawela making such a statement prior to an election in the 50’s which reduced the UNP to a mere 8 seats. Nothing new under the sun, as the Arabs say.

    • 2
      1

      Ram, you imbecile. You are attributing the saying “there is nothing new under the sun” to the ARABS!

      For your education, know thee the ignoramus that it comes from the Bible: Ecclesiastes 1:4-11

      “A generation goes, and a generation comes,
      but the earth remains forever.

      The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
      and hastens to the place where it rises.

      The wind blows to the south
      and goes around to the north;
      around and around goes the wind,
      and on its circuits the wind returns.

      All streams run to the sea,
      but the sea is not full;
      to the place where the streams flow,
      there they flow again.

      All things are full of weariness;
      a man cannot utter it;
      the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
      nor the ear filled with hearing.

      What has been is what will be,
      and what has been done is what will be done,
      and there is nothing new under the sun.”

      Hope your attempt to attribute this saying to Arabs is a sign of the unlikely Hindu+Muslim friendship in Sri Lanka that gave rise to the political conspiracy there recently.

      If so, you are dreaming!

      • 0
        0

        what is the issue here -Was the Bible not written by some jewish Arabs ?!!!

      • 0
        1

        Another self-deluded religious nut, a Christian one at that. Your claim to erudition can be questioned, but what cannot be questioned is that you are no gentleman.

    • 2
      2

      Ramuuuuuuuuuuuu

      Here is an important news for you:

      Ex-IGP, MP on drug czar’s payroll – SSP

      Excerpt:

      “Gampola Vidanalage Samantha Kumara alias Wele Suda, being grilled by the officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), has allegedly revealed that he had paid millions to a former IGP, two Sub Inspectors, a constable, a sergeant and a sitting Parliamentarian from the Colombo District”

      “The Sub Inspector and the sergeant were not serving in the Police Department now and the former IG had fled the country with his wife and daughter three days back, the SSP said.”

      “According to what had been transferred so far, the MP had been given on two occasions Rs. 2.5 million and Rs. 600,000 of which the man who hands over money gets 5% commission,” theSSP said.

      January 22, 2015
      island.lk

      Do you see any LTTE/Diaspora/western conspiracy acting against the people of this island? Please feel free to rewrite this story to soothe your racists mindset.

  • 1
    0

    I think those of us who were for the CC are now wondering what the hell is happening! In their defense, I think we are being impatient and perhaps not taking in the big picture.

    The Coalition is an achcharu and My3 and Ranil have to navigate competing interests whilst ‘trying’ to instal good governance. This to a group who have not known governance let alone good governance, most of their lives.

    Since 77, anything goes was the governing philosophy. The Dharmishta govt was Adharmishhta at many levels but no one cared because the pavements were overflowing with cheap Chinese crap and CWE had Chinese chicken for 25 rupees.

    To reverse the process and re-engineer mindsets it might take quite a while. AND, when the net is cast a lot of the current groupings are likely to get swept up too. Do think think Malik Samarawickreme and Daya Gamage were starving these last 9 years?

    It is interesting that the JVP and JHU have been tasked with the anti-corruption issues, perhaps to avoid the conflicts I mentioned above. Taking the Central Bank and SEC away from Ravi K is also based on the same thinking.

  • 1
    0

    Ranil and Maithripala are carrying two tiny marbles each in their nut sack. The guys dont know what to do.

    The reason may be they both were shareholders in the loot amassed by the Jarapaksas. Otherwise, for example, why the delay in getting rid of the Cheat Justice, when Ranil himself saw with his own eyes the participation of Moham Pieris in the developing coup attempt.

    Why are both of them reluctant to declare assets?

    No point typing more; readers can get the idea.

    This is a tragedy. Sri Lanka is lost.

  • 1
    0

    The group that ran the script for the plot(If it was a coup) Ranil, Pieris, Old King and Previous Brother Prince. They are the people who were in the Temple Tree house on that night.

    So the problem here is, Ranil can not investigate Ranil. He is part of this coup.

    There were many indications, or if another phrase used, suspicious movements that the King had come to a conclusion that he had no ways of escape so needed to go for compromise with Ranil. He had agreed to John Kerry to leave in the event of a loss. He latter said he kept the promise he gave to American Secretary. America has not denied so far that it did obtain a promise from him. When he went to North to complete the Yarl Devi Track Opening ceremony, People did not addend to that ceremony. So he did not participate on that ceremony. It was conducted by our (Rubber) Ducky, while King was in Jaffna. That time TNA had already released its false statement that it has an agreement with the New King. With that, he had fully understood that the Tamils will be voting and that is against for him. He had calculated the election results long before it was released.

    Many part of election was conducted peacefully. This certainly indicated that he was scared to meddle with that and took a precaution for paying out if he lose. Some UNP puppets claims that Mahindha Desapriya did a good job. But that slave was the one said in the UVA election that if people are going for the violence what he can do for that?

    So if the Old wanted to plan a coup, it would not have been after losing the election, while he seems to be portraying his knowledge of his loss. In fact he is known for his schemes. Basically no commentator or writer on the CT failed to suspect that a military government would be implemented if he was not elected. If had no idea earlier to do that, after listening to the media, he would have come to a plan, if he wanted to do that, of how to do it. The truth is, after the Cinnamon Lake Hotel incident, as everyone was predicting a military take over in 2015, he was scared to do it as there would be some pre-planing somewhere else to topple his military government. He was really concerned about the 2015, March’s report and a embargo following from it on the side of the western counties, if it is not internationally.

    There were certain elements of pre-planning was there, only earlier. But, towards the end, he was too scared to go for that. So, he had come down a lot at the end. UNP’s Ranil has been working with him. Ranil, just two or three days before the election, invited him for national government. This offer was to comfort him make to release the power without much trouble. Ranil had substantial amount knowledge of where everything was going. MY3, few days before the election, declared that he will be closing the main international airport on the day of the election. This is an indication of certainity of a refection of the knowledge that Ranil had on the development rather than a call for the arrest before he leave.

    My personal suspicion of creating the coup story is to protect Ranil and New King in their involvement of the new secret power changing deal for impunity to the old King.

    Emil van der Poorten is like a baby who sticks it’s thumb into its mouth, believing this coup story and calling for to investigate it.

  • 0
    0

    Emil
    You must live long in good health.
    I wish to say the following a thousand times:

    ”If the Ranil Wickremesinghe coalition is incapable of or chooses not to apply the law against an alleged, totally illegal, attempt to overturn a democratically-elected government, IT MUST GO. AND GO NOW!”

  • 0
    0

    This is the “bleeding heart liberal” aspect of Emil that I have commented on before.

    Can miracles be performed overnight ? On one hand you call for non indulgence in kangaroo courts…on the other hand you want overnight prosecution !

    How do you know that a process has not been started ? The total unreliability of the media in most cases reporting the dreams and fantasies of the management involved, doesn’t help.

    Where do you want Ranil & co to go and what is your alternative ?

    To use your uncharacteristic reference to God……what (for God’s sake) is your alternative ??!!

    • 0
      0

      Wasn’t this election PRIMARILY about the restoration of law and order and the rule of law and shouldn’t investigating ANY attempt to subvert this by PREVENTING A LEGALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT FROM SO MUCH AS ASSUMING THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN IN BY THE SRI LANKAN PEOPLE to do exactly that take precedence over some of the significantly less important decisions that seem to have taken precedence?

      May I suggest that we are talking about matters of fundamental importance here?

      If standing in defence of the reinstatement of the Rule of Law and Law and Order constitutes being a “bleeding heart” I will enter a guilty plea. Slavish support of Ranil, Sirisena etc. etc., particularly when the former appoints his first cousin, Rajiva Wijesinha, to the position of a Minister DESPITE (BECAUSE OF?) his DOCUMENTED track record, might be indicative of something, shouldn’t it? And you want the icing on that particular cake? Look at the other appointments from within the Wickremesinghe/Wijewardena clan as well as check on who Ajith Nivard Cabraal owed his position in the Rajapaksa entourage to. It was the self-same Wijesinha lot, even though it might have been to the (now deceased) generation of it. I believe I need hardly remind anyone of the track record of Mr. Cabrall and why he has “absented” himself from the Sri Lankan scene!
      Over many years preceding the January 8th election, I consistently defended Ranil Wickremesinghe as probably the best Prime Minister/President we could have when that hardly was a popular view. However, I don’t think that precludes justified criticism of him or any other opponent of the Rajapaksa regime.
      Are we next going to see a formal submission to the CID by Mr.Wickremesinghe that the IGP, the Commander of the Army and the Attorney General were at Temple Trees to assist Udaya Gammanpila, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Mohan Pieris, G.L. Pieris etc. to formulate the the menu for lunch at Medamulana on the 9th?

      There was a man called Chamberlain who was a champion of “appeasement” in another day and age. Are we trying to crown a Sri Lankan equivalent in the 21st Century? I certainly hope not!

  • 1
    0

    Dear Emil
    I can understand your eagerness to have action initiated and taken more swiftly than is apparent, and frustration that the wheels of justice seem not to turn fast enough, but please spare a thought for those now in charge and try and give them the room with which to take things in a manageable order.

    Remember, many people around these columns would have given anything just to get rid of the previous yokels, and will have settled for ‘even a broomstick’ as that eloquent engineer Dr Kumar David has oft said, but the people of Lanka have been served a more palatable dish overall, despite the presence of a few tainted individuals amongst the current crew. We need to just give them a chance to prove they were serious, and after a lapse of time (the 100 days seems like a good milestone?) if they haven’t set things up appropriately to bring miscreants to book, then the people have the right to call them to account.

    Peace, bro – I admire your guts and the fearless positions you always take!

  • 2
    0

    Maithreepala wins due high minirity turnout with minority votes- Eric Solhaim-The Hindu- We have accept that truth should move very carefully.

    The most difficult challenge for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena will be reconciliation with the Tamils

    Anyone who two months back bet on Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidential election in Sri Lanka would be a millionaire. Most international experts expected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win and strengthen his family rule. He controlled the resources of the state to fund his election campaign and administered thousands of buses to transport people to election rallies. The state-controlled media broadcast Pravda-style propaganda and outright lies about high-profile defections from the opposition, even on election day. Fake pamphlets called on Tamils to boycott the elections. The economy was good and Mr. Rajapaksa, who so brutally ended the long war with the Tamil Tigers, was still popular with the Sinhalese majority. But more and more voices from Sri Lanka itself whispered to me — please wait and see, the opposition may still win.

    Victory for Sri Lanka

    The victory for Mr. Sirisena was a huge victory for Sri Lanka. Mr. Sirisena led one of the broadest coalitions in politics seen anywhere at any time. It included the left wing party Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the right wing United National Party (UNP) party. It was supported by Tamils and Muslims as well as the hard-core Buddhist nationalist of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) party. The two historical leaders Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickramasinghe joined hands with cricket stars and general Sarath Fonseka, who led the war against the Tamil Tigers.

    The victory could also not have happened if not for the brave people in public service. There was limited violence because army and police chiefs at the end stood up to support democracy. The head of the elections commission personally marched over to the state television channel and threatened to shut it down unless it retracted and stopped spreading lies. Votes were counted as they were cast. Sri Lanka may move towards an Indian federal style of independent bureaucracy with integrity.

    President Sirisena is unknown at the highest level of politics. But he has important qualities: he is widely seen as honest and hardworking, was an effective Health Minister, and a party loyalist in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). He has appointed Mr. Wickramasinghe, an experienced and visionary politician, as Prime Minister. Mr. Sirisena originates from the Sinhala heartland of Polonnaruwa and has first-rate credentials as a devote Buddhist with rural roots. This is important as it may be easier for a leader deeply rooted among the Sinhalese to make true concessions to the Tamils.

    The election victory was possible due to massive support from all Sri Lankan minorities. Mr. Rajapaksa won 90 out of 160 electoral districts and came out on top in nearly all Sinhala-dominated provinces. Mr. Rajapaksa roughly won the Sinhalese vote by 55 per cent. This was compensated for by Mr. Sirisena winning around 80 per cent of the Tamil vote and an even bigger share of Muslim votes. For this was payback time. Mr. Rajapaksa had either instigated atrocities against Muslims last year or, at the very minimum, failed to protect them. The election was also a major setback for those in the Tamil diaspora who called for an election boycott. Tamils decided with their feet — they went to polling stations in high numbers and nearly all of them preferred the “unknown angel” Mr. Sirisena to the “known devil” Mr. Rajapaksa, as the latter himself put it during the election.

    Bumpy way forward

    Can Mr. Sirisena and Mr. Wickramasinghe deliver? The way forward will be bumpy. The immediate issue is working with the present Parliament. The President has set a 100-day deadline for putting in place democratic reforms. A parliamentary election will be called if the present Parliament with many Rajapaksa supporters proves unworkable. That will pull Sri Lanka into a new election frenzy and widen conflict.

    This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create lasting peace and democracy in Sri Lanka and set the country on a path to inclusive growth. The coalition includes communists and liberals with widely different views on economic and social policies. This rainbow coalition differs when it comes to reconciliation and the Tamil issue. There are three main dishes on its plate. In order of complexity they are: restoring democracy, launching inclusive growth and resolving the Tamil national question.

    The restoration of democracy is where it is likely to have most immediate success. The election showed how deeply rooted democracy is in Sri Lanka. Reforms will strengthen this democracy by making the courts, the central bank, the army and police more independent from politicians of the day. Those people who became ambassadors and judges purely out of their loyalty to Mr. Rajapaksa will be replaced with more competent people. Media censorship will be lifted and journalists will be free to challenge authority and expose corruption. Houses of torture will be closed. The independent personal security apparatus of Mr. Rajapaksa’s brother Gotabhaya will be dismantled. Journalists and activists, most often Tamils, will not disappear in the night, no more to be seen.

    Sri Lanka is one of the richest countries in South Asia and has huge potential for more investments in tourism, fisheries, shipping and the IT industry. The economy is growing at a good 7-8 per cent and the population is well-educated and hard-working. The big challenge will be inclusive economic growth that benefits all ethnic groups. India and western nations should rapidly match the useful Chinese investments in the land. Tourists should be encouraged to pour into the Thailand of South Asia. The government should reach out to the Tamil diaspora, probably the most economically successful diaspora on the planet. They are doctors, entrepreneurs and stock brokers and can provide investments and expertise.

    The most difficult challenge for the new government will be reconciliation with the Tamils and with the Muslims. But President Sirisena can start a process that will create lasting peace and will solve the issue that has preoccupied Sri Lanka for the entire lives of today’s people. A lot can be done right away — language rights of the Tamils can be restored and the army can be removed from some of the lands it occupies in the north. Political talks with the Tamil National Alliance, the elected representatives of Tamils, can start.

    Investigations of the most outrageous crimes and human rights abuses such as the murder of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickrematunge or parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham can start. The international community will and should continue to pressure for accountability for the unspeakable atrocities during the war: brutal murders, rapes and killing of innocent civilians. The global human rights community and the Tamil diaspora will keep these issues alive. But the global powers must give the new government some space. It cannot be expected to move on accountability issues without being able to bring Sinhala opinion along. Based on experiences from places like Chile or Serbia, accountability unfortunately takes time. But in the end it comes.

    Domestic troubles will dominate the new Sri Lankan agenda. But we will also see a new foreign policy. Delhi will again be the central foreign capital. Mr. Sirisena will for sure continue the hugely beneficial relationship with China and encourage continued investments in energy and infrastructure. But China will no longer be the only friend of Sri Lanka. Mr. Sirisena will go to India for his first state visit, invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Unlike Mr. Rajapaksa, who was not invited by anyone, we will see Mr. Sirisena or Mr. Wickramasinghe in the White House and in European capitals fairly soon. In the end Sri Lankans voted for the “unknown angel,” Maithripala Sirisena. With support he may become Sri Lanka’s man of destiny.

    **********

    Erik Solheim was the central albeit controversial figure in Norway’s unsuccessful effort to resolve Sri Lanka’s Tamil question through mediation with the LTTE. A prominent Norwegian politician, Mr. Solheim was Oslo’s special envoy to Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2006, and remained an adviser on relations with Colombo until 2010. The perception that he was close to the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran dogged his peace diplomacy, and remains a point of contention in Sri Lanka even today.

    Keywords: Sri Lankan Presidential elections, Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lankan Civil war, LTTE insurgency, Velupillai Prabhakaran, Lankan human rights record, UNHRC report, Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim, Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamil eelam issue

    • 0
      2

      This is an article by itself. Why didn’t you publish it under its own caption, was it because you may have had to give your name ?

      In future use sycophant …we understand !

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.