30 October, 2020

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The True Beginning Of The Rajapaksa Fall

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein.” – Bible

January 8th was not really the date of the fall from grace of Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. That marked, no doubt, his electoral defeat. But his false image never died. It continued with the “Mahinda Sulanga” phenomenon. Leaders fall only when their public images fall. With the verdict of the Bharatha Lakshman murder case delivered on Thursday 8th September 2016 the tragic fall of that image of the former Sri Lankan dictator begins.

Former Mahinda Rajapaksa’s and Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s key backer and Minister, Duminda Silva, and four others were sentenced to death. The rest of the 15 defendants were released.The case was heard before the trial –at-bar comprising High Court judges Shiran Gunaratne, Pathmini Ranawaka and C.B.S. Moreis.

It was a sultry day and clouds were gathering in the outside sky.

mahinda-and-dumindaThis has been one of Sri Lanka’s highest profile cases as big guns of the former government were involved. The gruesome murder itself that took place in the open streets shocked the nation. The murdered and the convicted murderer had both been Mahinda Rajapaksa supporters but they hopelessly fell out over the issue of the UPFA government’s decision on the Kolonnawa Organiser. The personality acrimony had been developing fast and Mahinda Rajapaksa took the side of Duminda. According to testimony the two met on the streets and the brawl broke out into murder. Duminda had gone ready with his pistol.

Shortly after, Duminda rushed himself to Sri Jayawardena Hospital and, reportedly, among the earliest visitors were both President Mahinda Rajapaksa and powerful brother Defense Secretary, Gotabaya. That had been one of those numerous acts of impunity on the part of the former President. Mahinda still continues that behaviour visiting convicted jailbirds of his former government. Not the model behaviour of those with Presidential status. But the incident made it clear to everybody that the two powerful would back Duminda right along the way. As another typical MR ‘shaping’ tactic, Bharatha Lakshman’s wife got the job of a Presidential coordinating secretary! Among the prestigious panel of such advisors were political fall-outs, musicians, and astrologers.

MR, perhaps, believed that the whole matter could be hushed up this way. There was no serious attempt to bring this up to court until the new Yahapalanaya government came into being. That confirmed speculation that the government was doing its best to cover up Duminda. Hot gossip lines kept ticking: It was alleged that the hospital staff had been all transferred that night when Duminda arrived to enable the latter to put on a new costume and commence an elaborate act. He had claimed brain damage as a result of the “accident.” Government arranged to despatch Duminda away to Singapore for “special treatment.” That was at taxpayer expense and it did take a long time for Duminda to return, “cured.” When he eventually returned and attended court he claimed he had amnesia and couldn’t remember anything that occurred on that dreadful day in the streets. Duminda became the butt of Facebook jokes. The Rajapaksa government’s reputation got a bad assault. But a President who thought he would never be beaten in elections didn’t bother. The 18th Amendment was in his pocket.

The obvious MR/Gota backing for Duminda was made even more clear when MR with Gota’s consent appointed the “cured” Duminda as Supervising MP for the Ministry of Defence. In the circumstances, that was an appalling decision. First, to make an obvious murder suspect a Minister and a Supervising MP in the very Ministry that oversees the police! This act demonstrated, once again, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s overwhelming sense of impunity. He just didn’t care about accountability or appearance. He was a cocksure President. He didn’t bother about the dignity of his high office where manifest appearances of justice and fair play are crucial. “Justice and honesty must not only be done but must manifestly appear to be done,” particularly by those in the highest offices of state. But have you seen our former President caring about such courtesies?

Despite all these acts of horrible misdemeanour Mahinda Magic still lasted and it had been easy for MR to draw crowds at Mahinda Sulanga meetings and Pada Yaathraas. Most people didn’t believe in all the bad gossip about him and his cronies. “They were all exaggerated,” they thought. Let’s tolerate the man who “won back the country.”

On the other hand, the Bharatha Lakshman murder verdict represents no fancy gossip; but court verdict. It is also a cue for many of the other alleged crimes entering the zone of fact.

Yahapalanaya, at last, seems working. The justice system is made to work after at the dark age of its abuse and political massaging. The peoples’ doubts and scepticism about Rajapaksa behaviour have begun to be confirmed. True, there is more that must come for the Rajapaksas to go tumbling to I don’t know where.

But this case gives a definite signal that, one by one, it will all come. The Thajudeen case? The Lasantha Wickrematunge case? We are living in exciting times-indeed!

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Latest comments

  • 8
    21

    Another display of Shyamon’s pathetic attempt at clinging at any available straw to sling mud at MR. Because he knows MR still command support of the majority of the majority. I fully agree with Gos. Two thugs shoot at each other, one dies the other gets the noose. In the meantime the dead thug’s daughter continues with father’s thuggery ways. More than anything else, people will see the selective nature of yahapalana justice in due course. Shyamon may have to be emotionally prepared for two things. First when the political force that MR leads gain power. Second when the Batalanda murderers receive the death sentence. Happy days Shyamon in Oz till then.

    • 3
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      Anyone critical of Shyamon’s writing as ‘pathetic attempts at clinging on to any available straw to sling mud…’ is unable or unwilling to digest facts and reason which appeal to men of average and above intelligence and decency.

  • 15
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    Mahinda Rajapakse and his brother Gotabhaya are badly exposed by this incident. See the smiles on their faces whenever they meet Duminda. Duminda has a bad reputation for being a drug dealer-king pin. I remember his wife fleed from him and settled down in Adelaide with her son. She used to complain how dangerous it was to live with Duminda.

  • 20
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    Thank you Shyamon for taking us down the memory lane. Had Raajapaksa won the January 2015 elections this case would not have seen the day light. During ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s mis-rule 26 journalists were killed, not one was brought before a court of Justice. The killers enjoyed impunity from the long arm of the law. Here is the list:

    RECORDED LIST OF KILLINGS OF JOURNALISTS AND MEDIA WORKERS December 2005- MARCH 2O09

    2005

    1. L. M. Faleel (Netpittimunai Faleel) – Writer / 02 December

    2. K. Navaratnam – Media worker/ 22 December

    2006

    3. Subramaniam Suhirtharajan – Journalist / 24 January

    4.S. T. Gananathan – Owner / 01 February

    5. Bastian George Sagayathas – Media worker / 03 May

    6. Rajaratnam Ranjith Kumar – Media worker / 03 May

    7. Sampath Lakmal de Silva – Journalist / 02 July

    8. Mariadasan Manojanraj – Media worker/ 01 August

    9. Pathmanathan Vismananthan – Singer and musician / 02 August

    10. Sathasivam Baskaran – Media worker / 15 August

    11. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah – Media owner / 20 August

    2007

    12. S. Raveendran – Media worker / 12 February

    13. Subramaniam Ramachandran – Media personnel / 15 February

    14. Chandrabose Suthakar – Journalist / 16 April

    15. Selvarasah Rajeevarman – Journalist / 29 April

    16. Sahadevan Neelakshan – Journalist / 01 August

    17. Anthonypillai Sherin Siththiranjan – Media worker/ 05 November

    18. Vadivel Nimalarajah – Media worker/ 17 November

    19. Isaivizhi Chempian (Subhajini) – Media worker/ 27 November

    20. Suresh Limbiyo – Media worker/ 27 November

    21. T. Tharmalingam – Media worker/ 27 November

    2008

    22. Paranirupesingham Devakumar – Journalist / 28 May

    23. Rashmi Mohamad – Journalist / 06 October

    2009

    24. Lasantha Wickrematunge – Editor / 08 January

    25. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy – Journalist / 12 February

    26. Sasi Mathan – Media worker/ 06 March

    The Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna was attacked and valuable machines torched, but no one was arrested. The attack was carried out by suspected military intelligence wing of the army in collaboration with EPDP thugs. Here is a recap of planned attacks on Uthayan newspaper.

    ·  On 02nd May 2006 night, an unidentified mob had forcibly entered Uthayan office and started shooting. In this attack two employees namely Bastin Jeroj Sahayadas (36) and Rajaratnam Ranjithkumar (25) lost their lives. Three others were seriously injured. Further, Editorial furniture and pre-press equipments were destroyed.

    On 11th Aug 2006, Uthayan Provincial Reporters were threatened.
    On 15th Aug 2006, Uthayan driver S. Baskaran (47) was shot dead in Puththoor, while he was returning in his vehicle after delivery.
    · On 18th Aug 2006, Uthayan main stores in Kopay Raja Veddi was completely burned, in the Kopay police area.
    · On 10th Sep 2006, 07 persons armed with guns forcibly entered Uthayan office and when they tried to the editorial, the Police in duty stopped them. The Police allowed the gunmen to leave by the Police without any interrogation and so far no action has been taken against them.
    · On 29th April 2007, Uthayan office Reporter S. Rajiwarman (22) was shot dead while he was returning to the office.
    · On 21st June 2007, Uthayan Editorial staff V. Nimalraj was abducted on his way home, whereabouts of him still unknown.
    · On 26th Feb 2009, our ex Editor Mr. N. Vidhyadaran was abducted in a white van in Colombo. Later it was said that Vidhyadaran was arrested.
    · On 24th March 2009, Grenade attack was made at the Uthayan Chief Editor’s residence.
    On 25th June 2009, Uthayan Newspaper copies were burnt in there different places.
    On 28th May 2011. Uthayan Reporter S. Kavitharan was attacked on his way to Uthayan office.
    On 29th July 2011, a murder attempt was made on Uthayan News Editor G. Kuhanathan who remained unconscious for three days in hospital.
    On 27th Nov 2012, Uthayan Editor Premananth was attacked by the Army in the Jaffna campus premises.
    On 28th Nov 2012, Uthayan Managing Director, Mr. E. Saravanapavans’s vehicle was attacked and seriously damaged near the Jaffna university. Complaint was lodged at the Jaffna Police by him and his driver as well but no action had yet been taken by the Jaffna Police.
    On 10th Jan 2013, Uthayan Circulation employee was attacked in Nelliyadi and his Motor Cycle and newspaper copies were burnt.

    • 5
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      Thanga,

      Those who were responsible for the loss of innocent lives of all these journalists should be made to pay for – now. This became habitual under the Rajapakses who wanted to turn this country into a Police State. The conspiracy is for they and members of their family to enjoy uninterrupted rule – like that African (Zimbabwe) despot Mugabe.

      One sure way of catching these rogues is to allow the Inland Revenue to go after these rogues. Many of them and their illicit spoils can be unearthed if the DIR is allowed to do his job as he should do.

      A.D.J. Perera

  • 0
    0

    Sumane- [Edited out]…… !!!!!

  • 2
    4

    Shyamon and his admirers will do well to remember “One swallow does not a summer make”. Remain vigilant.

  • 0
    0

    Lester in Ruwanda there are elections. Does it make the President there a democrat?
    Please answer me clearly

  • 4
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    Actually this is a beautifully written piece. It pinpoints the guilt of Mahinda & Gota who were backing Duminda to the hilt. Duminda is alleged to have raped a school girl,too but that was also hushed up. In the matter of Bharataha Premachandra the two heavyweights had connived and planned the dress-up of Dumnida sa a brain-damaged man. In crime stories this is common. Criminals attempt to save themselves by pretending to be brain-damaged during the conflict.
    Brilliant,Shyamon J!

  • 6
    0

    This may be just the begening. But like those who rise in defense of a killer, who robbed the country ,together with sons brothers and wives .
    All these parasites stood to gain during that era. They do wish for more. What a sick bunch! Those who committed the crimes and those that were thrown some crumbs who, think they have to defend them. If they are not brought to book by the justice system natural justice system most definitely will!

  • 2
    1

    Murder is Murder whether the victim is a thug or not… This is just one such case; How many murders have been swept under the carpet? Many murderers are still at large and some living luxurious lives too as if they are saints. But they will soon be dealt with by God above even if they will be Scot free for awhile.

  • 2
    1

    This message is for Hela who says wait till the political force led by Mahinda comes back to power. Do you mean poltical farce, Hela? Next to go inside will be Namal boy. Hela can take his Mustang car and drive around the Maligawa.

    • 3
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      @Round the bend, your statement indicates no understanding of how political history flows. Imprisoning people cannot stop rising of political forces. They grow when there are vacuums and suppressions. Through undemocratic actions of Yahapalanaya in hijacking the will of the people who opposed a UNP rule at the general elections and denying the true opposition their due space, Shyamon’s and yours celebrated ajapalanaya has created space and conditions for an alternate political force to grow whether you like it or not. The ‘pada’ show about Namal’s Mustang was created to divert your beloved masters to unload their duty free vehicles. As long as immature & servile minds such as yours exist, the ajapalanaya has hopes.

  • 1
    3

    Mr. Shyamon Jayasinghe says ‘The true beginning of the Rajapaksa Fall’ started with the verdict given by SC on Duminda Silva. If this is a symbolic example, the high profile murders occured during each previous regime (including JRJ’s, Premadasa’s, CBK’s, RW’s) can be taken as examples and reasons for the FALL of those regimes. Does he agree? And can he elaborate on those cases as well? If he does not, (because he writes only about the Rajapaksas for some reasons) can someone else do it for CT readers?
    I have this ‘funny feeling’ that Duminda Silva stands a very good chance of winning the appeal since any murder should be proved 100% without any doubt and in this case this was a divided judgement. Finally, benefit of the doubt may go to DS just like in any other court case!
    The million dollar question here is: if it happens, will it symbolize that fallen Rajapaksa’s return? As a curious reader I am requesting Shyamon Jayasinghe to elaborate on this matter as well.

  • 3
    1

    Duminda will soon have royal company: Namal boy, Yoshitha, Basil, Gota and Uduwe who is to be charged with having stormed the Allen Methinyarama temple with Gota’s support.Lesser men like Arthanayake will follow. They can play cricket in jail. At the final act the High King will join! Better take sil

  • 0
    0

    This response is to Ruvan’s post of 10/9. Thank you, Ruvan.
    The standard of evidence in a charge of crime is rigorous. The persecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty. The emphasis is on ‘reasonable’ and this rules out frivolous doubt. The fact that one among the panel dissented does not make the persecution’s case doubtful in terms of evidence. The doubt must relate to the evidence and not to the doubter. In this case, two of the three judges in the panel were of the view that the evidence did logically lead to the only conclusion that the act of murder had been committed by Duminda Silva and four others. Duminda is now, in legal terms, a convicted criminal. He is no longer the object of an accusation.
    Of course there is provision for appeal but that has to be on legal issues and no more on evidence. If the appeal is allowed then the accused is set free. We ,as writers, are allowed to write on what are deemed as transpired FACTS and not on speculation about future courses.
    I hope this satisfies you

  • 3
    0

    How while in power Duminda Silva raped many women? are these crimes swept under carpet? The Yahapalana must sincerely uphold justice without any exception who the perpetrators are?

  • 0
    1

    Brilliant tunnel vision Shyamon. How easy it is to victimize rulers from one era and turn a blind eye on everything similar that happened in the past and what is happening now

  • 0
    0

    Today’s newspapers say Hirunika is demanding that the neurosurgeon, Maheshi Perera, be also charged for her “false evidence” that Duminda had a a forgetting problem.The Mahinda Rajapakse regime would have gone to any extreme to pressurise the doctor. Did Duminda pay her? All this must be examined and culprits should be brought to court. Let the people of our country know once and for all never to do things like this as they will be caught. They say Duminda had billions out of drug money. Where was our country heading to? MR started his government by bribing the LTTE.

  • 0
    0

    Take a look at the bulletted head of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. It is in Hirunika’s Faceboom. Since the former President and Defense Minister had apparently aided and abetted this is another case of state terrorism. LTTE terror was replaced by state terrorism. So what’s the difference? Over 26 journalists were killed or missing. Lasantha was beaten and murdered.The yahapalanaya government must pursue all this so that it would be an all-time lesson for Sri Lankans.

  • 0
    0

    Duminda-one time bounty giver and powerful Rajapakse man-now in jail along with the notorious criminal Chandima Jayantha of Dematagoda and Wele Suda. What a majestic company for Mahinda Rajapakse.Birds of a feather flock together

  • 2
    0

    Mahinda Rajapakse started political life as a young MP while he was working hand-in-glove with the Hambantota thug Wambotta. He seems to have love such company. What a character for the President of a country!

  • 0
    0

    CHOKA MALLI,ANOTHER MR THUG, WILL BE INDICTED TODAY BY AG

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