19 October, 2017

The Rajapaksas In The Age Of Kali

By Niranjan Rambukwella

Mahinda Rajapaksa

We live in the Age of Kali, the Kali Yuga, the epoch of strife and discord. Kali’s agents, the Rajapaksas and their minions, are our tyrannical masters. Alas we have no Kalki on a white horse to deliver us. Our bondage deepens, our sorrow widens. What hope? Wherefrom? When?

Fragile First Age

2% in Sri Lankan politics isn’t many votes. That innocuous figure made Sri Lankan history – especially if you were Mahinda Rajapaksa back in 2005. So today we have President Rajapaksa and not President Wickremasinghe. Turn your timecapsules back to 2005: here we have a Rajapske gingerly pieicing a coalition together – delicately keeping the Marxist JVP, the fascist JHU and UNP crossovers all purring contently in power. So demure was young President Rajapaksa that he called an All Party Conference to resolve the national question and meekly went around the world promising devolution+. He was even keen on negotiating with the Tigers.

 Muscular Second Age

But quietly, quietly plans were afoot for the Rajapaksa’s second age. The two brothers were quietly brought in to run the army and economy. The media was silenced. The LTTE’s defeat in March marked when this new age came of age. The Rajapaksas’ ruled by ballot – their overwhelming victory at the polls (with a few sweeties for crossovers) landed them a 2/3rds parliamentary majority. Even in the Second Age’s heyday, when the Rajapaksa ballot was invincible, the concrete was poured into the foundations of the third age – the 18th Amendment (bye bye term limits, independent judiciary and police etc), the and devolution (hello Divi Neguma) – in other words checks on Rajapaksa power. The economy ticked on nicely with the post-war import boom and victory euphoria lingered on.

Tyrannical Third Age

Now the clock is striking to herald the third age – the authoritarian age – the Age of Kali. The Rajapaksas’ popularity has peaked – Mahinda can only wistfully look back at those golden days when he was the Sinhala polity’s moustached darling. His family’ future is less sanguine and more bloody.  Ruling through the ballot isn’t easy with declining popularity (don’t forget it’s the economy stupid) – especially if one wants to rule Rajapaksa style i.e. no dissent and no saying no.  And make no mistake, the economy isn’t doing well – post-war growth was initially led by imports and then by debt-fuelled construction. Await the hangover – growth rates are below war-time levels. This means that protesters are going to get out on to the streets at some point in the not so distant future. While I’m tempted to talk about correlations between the price of bread and protests during the Arab Spring the evidence isn’t there yet. But a Chicago political scientist finds that the probability of a regime falling during a depression (two consecutive quarters of economic contraction) is rather high indeed.[1] We aren’t going to have a depression anytime soon but significant reduction in growth rates could tip the balance.

Dictatorship – Here to Stay

Sri Lanka is one of Asia’s oldest democracies – rather illiberal and flawed at times- but still an electoral democracy. Elections were held and governments, meekly or not, went their way and drove out of Temple Trees. The Rajapaksa’s aren’t exiting via the ballot box. Power pulls them into staying – in their second age they reshaped institutions, especially the military, so that authoritarian rule looks very attractive. Sliding into a fully authoritarian modus operandi is as easy as a Rajapaksa going back on his word. As their popularity wanes, this is the option they will take.

So what’s really stopping Sri Lanka from becoming a dictatorship proper and not just an electoral democracy (liberal democracy died in the Second Age)? I initially thought that if Singhalese protestors tried to bring the regime down soldiers wouldn’t shoot – making a popular overthrow of the Rajapaksas possible. Eva Bellin, a rather clever political scientist, pointed out that regimes were the army and population were both Sunni or both Shia were less likely to shoot civilians during the Arab spring.[2] Arab dictators were scared ordinary soldiers wouldn’t shoot fellow Sunni’s or Shia’s. I wagered the same might be the case here. Terrifyingly our brutalized battalions seem to have no qualms about shooting innocent civilians. I suspect it was no coincidence that the brutalized Task Force I, now elevated to the 58th Division, was sent to Weliweriya.

The other bulkwark that usually works rather well in these situations is leadership by legitimate communal elites. Another Chicago political scientist, Dan Slater, finds that the key to democratic transitions in South East Asia was the existence of legitimate communal elites – usually religious.  This option is increasingly unlikely in the near term for Sri Lanka. First, the Rajapaksa’s have cowed the Mahanayaka’s, the only legitimate communal elites in Sri Lanka of any real political importance. See the WikiLeaks entry where the Rajapaksa’s threatened to break their legs if they supported Fonseka.[3] Second, divide and rule, mischief is afoot – the BBS, Sihala Ravaya, Ravana Balaya (which we all know are Rajapaksa creatures) – have split the Buddhist clergy and are increasingly becoming legitimate voices. This split means that a Sangha led overthrow of the Rajapaksa is looking less likely by the day.

Of course the pathetic UNP deserves mention but Dayan Jayatilleka and others have made that point far more articulately that I ever will.

Where then does this leave us? I have little hope. Unless you are a Rajapaksa, or willing to be their lapdog, you’re fucked.


[1] Svolik, Milan W. “Authoritarian Reversals and Democratic Consolidation.” American Political Science Review (2008)

[2] Bellin, Eva “The Robustness of Authoritarianism Reconsidered: Lessons of the Arab Spring”.” Comparative Politics (2012)

[3] “Two days before the Sangha Sabha was to open, Buddhist contacts from the provinces informed us that temples had been told that bombs would be hurled at buses transporting monks to the council. On February 16, the mahanayake of Malwatte announced the assembly had been indefinitely postponed due to security concerns.” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/wikileaks-sangha-sabha-to-discuss-fonseka-arrest-was-postponed-after-the-monks-received-bomb-threats/

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    Majority of this country are lapdogs. And why not when you can live the high life being a lapdog rather than be just a street dog.

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      [Edited out]

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      I am not sure majority of this country are lapdogs.
      For the lapdogs the bone thrown by Rajapakse’s is a luxury.
      The street dogs are let to die.

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    The state we find today is the culmination of 65 years of pampering to Sinhala Buddhist extremism: It has reached a climax.

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    Our “Sasthara Sumane”, Director of State Bank, once said that when his Father or somebody checked horoscope of Saddarmadveepa Chakrawarthi, he found that “Diyasena Kumaraya” has born to liberate the country. Even our Dr. Mervin Silva also said the same thing and further confirmed by historian, non other than Jackson Anthony, Diyasena Kumaraya’s blood relationship with lord Buddha. Actually this Babadu Balu Senawa and other Buddhist extremist’s Balukayawal should take action against Jackson Anothony for Insulting Great Lord Buddha for connecting a Killer with that great blood.

    Now the majority of the people realized that he is not a Diyasena Kumaraya but Maraya of the nation. So this may be true that we are in Kali Ugaya as General public getting Bullets instead clean drinking water while International Casino king, Kerry Packer, Local Casino kings, Ravi Wijeratna and Waliweriya Acid Water Supplier Dammika Perera getting 30 years of tax holidays of their Casino income.

    To divert the attention of general public from the burning issues and corruption, nepotism, forced disappearance, extra judicial killings, prostitution of Judiciary, Jokers like Gaanu 5 Bababu Balu sena, Rawana Balukaya, Hela Karumaya , Sinhala Rawaya Balukaya etc. started Halal Issue, Muslim issue, Pillay Issue, Cattle Slaughter Issue and now banning cigarette etc. etc. So I feel we are really in Kali Ugaya.

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    Niranjan Rambukwella,

    You too are a lapdog of Rajapakshas in the same way the Dayan Jayathilake [Edited out] does! You are repeating what everybody knows but you have no solutions

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      How can he or any others have solutions, if the country^s opposition stay deaf ? Give me constructive responses to this please.
      What was the reaction of country^s opposition in terms of Rathupaswala water cotamination issue? Have any professional bodies dared to analyse the drinking water yet in that area ? No ? Both sides would react when first patient with health profile of Rajarata (kidney patients)are available. I guess many poor people will have to count with all kind of health problems in the days to come having consumed contaminated water even if its pH values are reported to be 3 or 4 (acidic).

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        And(a)re,

        You fool, you are more clownish thank the ancient Andare in the king’s palace. What the hell has Opposition to do here? Kadawatha Water Board Laboratory closed and do you silly moron claim Opposition raid it and put Sirikotha staff their and begin testing water samples? The cesspit and toilet cleaning army shoot and kill people but the law is silent and sweeps everything under the carpet. Do you want Ranil go there, conduct post mortems, carryout crime scene investigation, arrest the killers, go to courts and do the prosecutor’s role? You funny monkey, instead of writing dustbin rubbish expose the crimes and corruptions of the regime and ask voters to cast their vote for the Opposition. That is the way the Opposition is brought to power and not asking your barren questions like “is the Opposition deaf?”!

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    Excellent article. Sadly by the time the majority realises that they are f***ed it will be too late. This country is on course to becoming a mixture of Zimbabwe and North Korea…eg. A cricket playing, bankrupt family dictatorship that is inhabited by a majority of servile xenophobic lap dogs who are easily hoodwinked into believing what a great country they live in. The one hope that the few freedom loving Sri Lankans can have is that nothing is permanent…not even family dictatorships.

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    I agree with this article.
    Nobody can overthrow Rajapakse family from power.

    See what did they to CBK now. They took the case of Rukantha beaten by CBK men. Then those men were released stating those were just following orders from top.
    So what can they do to CBK if they want immobilise her. -:)

    Nobody( UNP, Ranil, JVP, SF ) can overthrow Rajapakse family from power only they themselves can do it. So just dream that to happen. -:)

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      Rajapossa are not invincible…thus they too will fly until their tide turns.

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      But I really dont think that our people would that stupid to stay hell bent to Rajapakses also in the years to come.

      With Gana raising the question now why CW authorities have allowed SRILANKEN regime to host the CW summit giving leadership to the body in next two years, I hope the eyes of other CW members (though many of them belong to poor afro states) will have to open…. I wonder why UK regime and the few powerfuls among them stay further DEAF ?

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    Superb essay!

    I’m not sure about the “declining popularity” (of the incumbent, not the regime) though and would await the results of the provincial elections in the NWP and CP. The incumbent is showing rather good form on the campaign trail and may yet be the “darling” of the majority of voters , due mainly to two factors: Ranil and the TNA/Tamil Nadu/Tamil diaspora.

    As to what needs to be done and can be done to change the game, well a last chance comes up on the morning after the PC elections, and the UNP performance becomes clearly evident.

    The thing to look for is this: After 19 years of UPFA rule, two presidents (CBK and MR), Weliweriya and electricity price hikes, has the UNP’s steep decline stopped? Has the UNP overtaken or fallen short of non-party member and traumatized widow Srima Dissanaike’s 43% after 17 turbulent years of UNP rule in 1994? If so, by how much?

    The “Kali Age” of entrenched family/clan/cartel would be consolidated only with the next round of Presidential and general elections. So there is a window of opportunity/vulnerability. A suitable candidate (and that AIN’T Ranil) would lead to a stiff fight, which, even if it results in a respectable performance and narrow defeat for the challenger and a narrow win for the incumbent, would open the road for a huge change at the parliamentary election.

    Sri Lankan democracy may be in the Last Chance Saloon.

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      And would that non Ranil candidate be yourself by ANY chance ?

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      Dr? Dayan Jayatilleka,

      The bankruptcy of your pathetic life is again on the focus. Where there is the slightest split where you can poke in your ignorant nose to sniff a rat to be used against Ranil you won’t miss the opportunity!

      Look at what this bugger says:-

      “..Superb essay!

      I’m not sure about the “declining popularity” (of the incumbent, not the regime) though and would await the results of the provincial elections in the NWP and CP. The incumbent is showing rather good form on the campaign trail and may yet be the “darling” of the majority of voters , due mainly to two factors: Ranil and the TNA/Tamil Nadu/Tamil diaspora..”

      This ignoramus person had been in the recent past writing and weeping on public media hanging out his jackal face and borrowed-style, about the imperils Sri Lanka as a country would have to face due to the Rajapakshas flouting native and international law, the disastrous consequences that would initiate at the UN human rights bodies.

      Even when considering the Rajapakshas conduct and the conduct of the election campaigns violating every law in the books, engaging in every corrupt, hawkish, thuggish, frictional, criminal and murderous activities, bringing most wanted LTTE criminals on to the regime’s election platform violating every law, draining the country of its every single resource and wealth, selling the country to Chinese exploiters together with the rights of the people and their treasures and future, depriving people even the right to pure water which is abundant in nature and killing them when they demand their rights, wasting each and every cent of tax payer’s money, the above was what this bloody bastard motherfucker had to say about the situation of the country, the despot and the fight of the common man to win their rights and to chase the despot!

      “..Ranil and the TNA/Tamil Nadu/Tamil diaspora..” !!!! [Edited out]! This is what you do for living! Slinging mud, deamonising Tamils, TNA, Tamil Nadu, diaspora!!!! This is the assignment MARA has given to you! This is the raison detre of everything you right and utter! Everything of your life ultimately end up here: “..Ranil and the TNA/Tamil Nadu/Tamil diaspora..”

      You know, this country and its people have become what they are purely due to buffalos like you. You stuff their minds with all sorts of conflicting, sectarian, fragmental, hate mongering and stupid things. You are part of the Rajapaksha rogue regime, an integral part! Everything you say or write has no practical relevance or value to people of this country. You are an inveterate stupid liar. You are on the payroll of MARA to disseminate diabolical lies about Ranil and opposition! The food you eat, the drinks you swallow, the cloths you wear are all earned through lying and blood money.

      You stupid political pimp suffering from inferiority complex, you are one of the few crankies we seldom come across who call themselves Dr, Mr etc. What type of a quack doctor are you? You bloody feel, you harangue on the roof top that you were instrumental in preventing UN resolution against SL. What bloody nonsense is that? No one would bring in any resolutions against any country in the world without giving that country sufficient time to correct their mistakes which was what happened there at that time. Apart from your silly nonsense, have you ever done anything for the common good of the people? Can you point to a single contribution you every have made to common good out of your much harangued “political scientist-hood”?

      “..I’m not sure about the “declining popularity” (of the incumbent, not the regime) though and would await the results of the provincial elections in the NWP and CP…”

      Hah…! Is that the political scientist or the political parasite in you that dribbles the above moronic statement? Few weeks back you invented ‘Dayanian International and UN Theorem” against the Rajapakshas discounting any positives from them and now suddenly proclaim them the victors! What piggish nonsense is this?

      “..A suitable candidate (and that AIN’T Ranil) would lead to a stiff fight, which, even if it results in a respectable performance and narrow defeat for the challenger and a narrow win for the incumbent, would open the road for a huge change at the parliamentary election..”

      Ha..haa..haa! Stupid [Edited out], we can almost read your mind now! Where is this [edited out] “suitable candidate” anyway? Why don’t you ever answer that question? And why do you want him to get “narrowly defeated”? !!! The cat has jumped out, isn’t it? You really don’t want Rajapakshas to get defeated, but what you really want is to remove Ranil from Leadership! Why? We know the answer, it is so simple! There are people who witnessed your self-travail! You walked kilometers and kilometers telling the story of the “abandoned by Ranil” story of your “stupid political scientist” in you! Ranil never wanted to use you as crutches, he did not need your “consultancy”, the rubbish you vomit because Ranil was self-sufficient! He could manage his office and political affairs on his own. He would employ appropriate people should the need arise. And that was exactly why you fell out with him. Ever since you have been wandering in the political wilderness, attacking and mudslinging at him, disseminating utter diabolical lies about him and trying to create a “king of your liking”, a weak person whom you could manipulate according to your perversion theories. Is it KJ, Sajith, Milinda or has him not yet born?

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      Dayan ( Dr removed)

      I thought you would have been busy reading your PhD instead of wasting time to write something for which you still haven’t acquired the necessary standard. May be in about 3 years but by then you master will be languishing in a jail.
      But let me tell you something and the reason for sharp the decline is UNPs fortunes is simply due to the large increase in the support for the racist policies of Rajapakse siblings.
      That is nothing new as you lot are Inherently Racists and MR is exploiting every bit of the racist nature. He will win the elections in the South because you lot are grateful for defeating the LTTE. But I am sure even you will appreciate that the North is drifting away from your grasps and there is nothing in the World you can do to stop it.
      America has already said it is no longer a Sinhala Tamil Issue but a Jaffna Issue. What that means is America considers the North to be a separate entity and that is on the record. The sooner you comes to terms with the new reality the better for all concerned.

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    A good summary of the Mahinda Rajapakse politics aimed at preserving the Familial Rule for as long as possible.
    The UPFA lap dogs in parliament,provincial councils & predeshiya sabas assist,to continue their own perks and protection from prosecution for bribery,corruption,mismanagement and even rape of femal tourists.

    Though the DNA tests show evidence of rape by a pradeshiya chairman of a female tourist,the judiciary is postponing prosecution – maybe,until CHOGM is over.
    Same, with STF members arrested for murder of five students in Trinco long ago.
    The 102 lankan peacekeepers who were expelled from Haiti by the UN for sexual offences on Haitian females,mostly children,are yet to be prosecuted.

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    A nation gets the leadership it deserves. We are country that voted for Rice from the Moon! Lest we forget. And, have been voting on the same vein ever since. Leaders that cared about the country are dead and gone. So are the people who could differentiate between good and bad, right and wrong. Now its about survival, and in that mode everything is good for me, bad for you!

    Do you blame the briber, or the bribe taker. One cannot happen without the other, no matter how much logic you can apply to your argument. The breakdown in law and order is because good people have chosen to be bad people, because it is to their advantage.

    If my children should go to International schools, I will taken a great interest about how the schools are run because my money is being taken. If the owner of the school is a political kiss-arse who gets the authorities to ignore the quality and training of his teachers, there is very little I can do to change that. I can taken my kids out of school, but that does not solve my problem with teaching quality, does it?

    In the last 25 years Sri Lanka has regressed on ALL fronts, blinded by a war and the end of it! Now, we are stuck with no where to go but lower than banana republics and failed states. Even Bangladesh and Bhutan are doing better than us. How f’d up is that?

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    It all depends with lapdogs amongst the elite and the poor villages to keep the kali times to continue.
    untill then – no change and merrily we go on.

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    a whole lot of drama about nothing . Dictators dont hold elections certainly not as many as Sri Lanka does . Weliveria though unfortunate is not a major incident . More humans have been killed in Bus Bombs that were going off daily in the South . All the repression is in the minds of the writers and editors who are using every incident to get asylum . The Average Tamil who lives in the Vanni or Jaffna is happy only the diaspora keyboard worriers are jumping up and down

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      and the keyboard BUMSUCKERS keep changing their names !

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      you just jump over from Jupiter,
      and telling us that Jarapassa killers are saints,

      what happened to your other names?.

      is this your birth name or step father given name???.

      are they still using your bum to get piggy back and to?.

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    Niranjan Rambukwella –

    “Mahinda Rajapaksa
    We live in the Age of Kali, the Kali Yuga, the epoch of strife and discord. Kali’s agents, the Rajapaksas and their minions, are our tyrannical masters. Alas we have no Kalki on a white horse to deliver us. Our bondage deepens, our sorrow widens. What hope? Wherefrom? When?”

    1. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a coward. He is afraid of lesser troublemakers like the BBS, the Sinhala Ravya and others. If he is president he should be decisive, but unfortunately cowards are not decisive.

    Perhaps, this chaotic situation, the flux they are after to suppress the populace and continue the Ruler-Monk Hegemony Axis.

    They will use Race, Ethnicity and Religion to their advantage to get the fools to believe them.

    Look, 470 years after the publication by Copernicus, after 400 years after Galileo’s observations of the phases of Venus, still, yes still, about 25% of the World’s population, USA and EU included, believes that the Sun goes around the Earth.

    So what percentage of the Sinhala Buddhists believe Rajapaksas?
    Nirvana, Nibbana, Samsara,and Rebirth?
    Hell, Heaven, Limbo and Purgatory.

    Still a lot of room left for myth based religions and racism.

    DeJa Vu…

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      Mahinda Rajapakse is an expert in the art of what we call in Tamil ‘ thotilayum artti, pillaiyayum killurathu’ ,meaning ‘ rocking the cradle while also pinching the infant’. The infant knows it is being pinched and is screaming blue, while those around only notice him rocking the cradle. He has made this cynical ‘duality’ into a fine art and the key to his short/medium term success.

      It is the Kali Yuga indeed, where all principles and norms of conduct have been thrown to the winds.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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        The Rajapakses are trying to be half dove and half hawk. That kind of peace will not fly in the Sky of Peace or Reconciliation.

        Thamilthambi

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        Dr R N,

        This not Kali Yuga, It has become “KAALI Yuga” of blood suckers within the Governance of Your friend, M JARAPASSA.

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          Your understanding of the meaning of the word ‘ Friend’ is beyond comprehension.

          Dr.RN

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        This is the reason why he does not seem to listen to people^s agonies in terms of crime investigations of many crime cases known to us all recently. Nor does he seem to give a chance responsible minister to react. So is MR.

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      He is not a coward but a real opportunist.
      He only thinks of his future. Voters greedy mentality. He has been planning it nicely for Rajapaske generations.
      Tell me did the bugger dare to go against Pradesheeya Saba member who made a teacher kneel down before that PS member, though the unique incident embarrassed all the respect of the teachers in the country. No.
      Radio senders and at least few media institutions report regularly how these Pradesheeya Saba members together with regionl police harmed the area people. What happened to those victims.. nothing.. it is all becasue the man is seen to be paying blind eye to all these.

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    Correction – that kind of bird (not peace)

    Thamilthambi

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    Abhaya-are you living in the Vanni and hiking to Jaffna and back to know that the Tamils are happy ?

    You forget that the disspora is made up of Tamils who suffered at the hands of the singhala thugs from 1958 and along the years.The key board is being played loud and clear.Notes haven’t gone wonky,no lies nor Jathaka stories.

    The tune the same the keyboard the same.
    Hear it or leave it,your judgement is suffering from palsy.Looks like the diaspora will keep playing it untill heard.

  • 0
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    Niranjan,

    The marriage is over and Divorce petition was served on the 21st and only the ancillary matters to be settled once the Divorce has been finalised by the International Court.
    1) How the property is to be divided
    2) Custody of the children if there is any.

    Once that has happened you are free to marry who you want whether a Coalition of the Racists UPFA or the Pro LTTE UNP.
    It will be a new beginning for you lot and hope it will be happy marriage with lots of children.

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