22 October, 2019

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We Will Rebuild Sri Lanka As A Free Society

By Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Ranil Wickremesinghe

Winning a war or revolution, only to lose the subsequent peace, is one of the grim political truths of our time. In Iraq, a quick military victory over Saddam Hussein’s regime soon gave way to insurgency, civil war and the rise of the murderous Islamic State. In Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often-violent despair.

Today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its own efforts to consolidate peace and secure its long-term benefits. Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and I, as prime minister, are determined to win that peace, and to help our country become what it always should have been: a prosperous Asian island of democracy, civility and open society.

The risks of a failed peace are appearing only now, because, since 2009, when the war with the Tamil Tigers ended in an enormous spasm of violence, the government led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa made only the most half-hearted of efforts to bring about reconciliation with our Tamil citizens. Reconstruction of war-ravaged Tamil districts, as well as other parts of our society damaged by years of fighting and terrorism, has barely begun.

That neglect was part of a deliberate strategy by Rajapaksa, who saw keeping Sri Lanka on a semi-war footing, and our Tamil citizens aggrieved and alienated, as the most effective way to maintain his iron-fisted rule. But, though his divide and rule strategy worked for a while, allowing him to concentrate an unprecedented amount of power in his own hands, it could not hide the truth of our social divisions and continuing impoverishment. So, in the presidential election of this past January, Sirisena stunned the world by creating a winning coalition of Sri Lankans of all faiths and ethnicities who want to rebuild their democracy, not continue down the path of authoritarian rule.

In the months since Sirisena’s triumph, Sri Lankan democracy has been revived, and the hard work of building a durable domestic peace has begun. We plan to quickly call a parliamentary election, which will take place one year ahead of schedule, in order to replace Rajapaksa’s echo chamber with a fully functioning assembly, one that holds the government to account.

Moreover, presidential power is now exercised within the limits established by law, not according to the whims of one man. Our judges no longer feel intimidated. Our business leaders no longer fear shakedowns and takeovers by the president’s greedy family members and cronies.

As we liberate all of our citizens from fear, we will rebuild Sri Lanka as a free society. The authoritarian model of capitalism that Rajapaksa introduced to our country, and that much of the world seems to be embracing nowadays, is not for us.

Of course, some of our neighbors are advising us to take a different path, to reform our economy and not worry too much about re-establishing political freedom. Our experience with authoritarian rule, however, is that it undermines the goal of post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction by its need to maintain our society’s divisions artificially. The best way to avoid a relapse into conflict and arbitrary rule is to ensure that Sri Lanka’s leaders are held accountable through representative institutions.

But we cannot fully turn the page on authoritarian rule, restore the full range of democratic freedoms and rebuild our economy in an inclusive way on our own. Too much of our country’s wealth has been damaged by war, taken flight abroad or been siphoned off through corruption. We simply lack the resources to undertake the great task of reconstruction without assistance.

So we need the world’s democracies to stand with us and support us, lest our people become discouraged and be tempted by the autocratic forces waiting in the wings to return to power in the coming parliamentary election. We need to demonstrate to our people that reconciliation, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law constitute the only route to long-term peace and shared prosperity. Sadly, the help that we have received so far is too little to enable my government to be as effective as it can and should be in rebuilding our country and resetting our strategic position in the world.

Still, there is reason for hope. Though our political institutions need a thorough overhaul, I am proud to say that, despite Rajapaksa’s best efforts to corrupt and hollow them out, our victory was made possible because the election commission and court workers adhered to the law. Equally important, when the votes were counted, Sri Lanka’s military leaders honored their oaths and bravely rebuffed Rajapaksa’s unconstitutional order to annul the election and maintain him in power.

These acts of civic heroism form a strong basis on which to refound Sri Lanka’s state and society. With the world’s help, we will do just that.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    12

    I am one of the staunchest fan of RW, not because of political affiliations or any other factors. He is the only clean Leader without any allegations who is capable of steering Sri Lanka to a better and brighter future, especially for the vast majority of the middle class people.

    I almost ended up in a brawl with my uncle over an argument of who is a better Leader RW or MR. I am sure even he will be happy that his nephew was right, when most people were casting aspersions on RW. Now it is clear as crystal, who MARA was and who RW is.

    Truth always prevails over falsehood and deceit. MARA was one liar and a deceiver and a hypocrite too. He really was a wolf in sheep’s cloth, now people will be able to see the real MARA when he is stripped of his clothes, which is not very far, going by the startling revelations coming out on a daily basis. The bug will ultimately stop at his feet.

    • 3
      3

      mr. ansar, what about the saga of central bank of sri lanka who’s controversial head is a staunch ally of rw – mr clean of you?

      • 2
        3

        Max,

        True Arjun Mahendran is an old Royalist known to RW as well. But do you know who first brought AM to public life? It was CBK who brought Arjun Mahendran to Public life during her time. For betraying the trust that Ranil reposed in AM, you cannot blame RW because it was not Ranil who was responsible for the deed. Why don’t you have the same yard stick to measure MR and his cronies who have done a million times worse? Why dispense selective treatment?

  • 7
    10

    Well said Mr Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
    Even if you have come through the back door, you
    say the right thing sometimes.

    Yes, yes, We need a free society. We need to
    free all wrong does. We need to ensure Mahinda
    Rajapaksa and his family are allowed to roam
    free and do what they want freely.

    As long as you are free to protect those with
    whom you have done underhand deals, you are ok.
    Wait till the elections come. You will learn
    your lesson for being a devious manipulator
    and deal maker at the expense of the party
    and the people. You are more than a disgrace.

    • 0
      3

      What back door?? Without UNP support Maithripala would not have won! Maithripala promised BEFORE the election that Ranil would be made PM. Ranil was absolutely front and centre. There is only a FRONT door and he walked straight through it.

      Secondly the free society Ranil talks about can only be a society of law and order. You cannot have freedom without laws. MR and co. will without a doubt be held to account, but for now Ranil has to play the political game to POSITION himself so that he is able to bring us LASTING justice.

      All the best to you Ranil. May your plans be fruitful. We support you all the way!

  • 3
    8

    In Libya, Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, the hopes unleashed by the Arab Spring have similarly turned into an often-violent despair.

    Surely Ranil Wickremesinghe knows his foreign affairs!! Did he write
    this or some ill informed ghost writer?

    The gaffe is alarming. The hopes unleashed by Arab springs led dictators
    to abdicate. What happened in Libya? Oh my god!! Ranil should know this?
    He should be very about those who write undiluted rubbish for him.

    • 1
      1

      There is no Gaffe..sure the dictators were deposed but what resulted ?

      The point here is that violent uprisings give way to more violence and a worse situation that the one that prevailed.

      At least the PM has the guts to speak the truth and say it like it is…without towing the American line !

  • 4
    1

    We Will Rebuild Sri Lanka As A Free Society
    April 14, 2015 | Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion | Posted by: COLOMBO_TELEGRAPH
    By Ranil Wickremesinghe –

    Mr. Wickremesinghe, Sir, Basil Fernando of the AHRC maintains to this day that he was forced to leave SL in the early 80s because his name was on a UNP hit list. There are many people who doubt this and I am sure they would like to know the truth of this accusation.- Stewart

    THE TRUTH….. REFER TO PROF. RAJIVA WIJESINGHE OF LIBERAL PARTY AND THE POWER OF THE CHURCH.ABSORBED SANS TC AND ASSYLUM.
    YOU SCRATCH MINE AND I SCRATCH YOURS FOR LIFE.

  • 6
    5

    A free society with over 100,000 soldiers roaming about the streets of Jaffna and occupying the private lands belonging to the people, cultivating their lands and refusing to resettle them and still at war with the Tamils, You want to rebuild a free society. Do not talk rubbish Prime Minister. You are at war with the first citizen of the Northern Province. Why?.

    • 8
      5

      Sellam,

      I tell you why RW is not withdrawing the bulk of the armed forces from the North now.

      There are racist elements within MR loyalists and JHU alike simply waiting for an opportunity to bring the racial cards during the forthcoming parliamentary election to defeat UNP which is expected to win due to the present democratic space.

      You Tamils have to wait for few more months after the election then I am sure Sambanthan is already in some understanding with RW for a widespread reconciliation process. Please read between the lines in the above write up regarding the reconciliation such as
      ” We need to demonstrate to our people that reconciliation, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law constitute the only route to long-term peace and shared prosperity. “

      RW is the right political leader of the hour that the country needs very badly now. There is a proverb in Tamil. – Do not break the pan when the butter is about to melt -.

      Let us wait with patience.

      Acumen

      • 6
        0

        “”Please read between the lines in the above write up regarding the reconciliation such as ” We need to demonstrate to our people that reconciliation, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law constitute the only route to long-term peace and shared prosperity. “”

        PLEASE- READ GREAT EXPECTATIONS BY CHARLES DICKENS STUPID MORON.

        Former colony US like Lanka West Indies (at least us is honest and its history starts with Columbus) Won civil rights therefore Obama can be a president but The reality is that the conflict represented a struggle to build a nation that was only half won by the forces of liberation, that the demand for equality was controversial even among the enlightened and that America has yet to resolve the problems it sought to address. A significant proportion of Americans have won their citizenship yet are still regarded as scarcely capable of actualising it. They await their full and proper Reconstruction.

        THIS IS CLASSIC LANKA IN ACTION AND NO OTHER THAN SINHAL BUDDHIST FOREIGNERS
        CAN RULE FROM 1948.
        South Carolina police officer who shot fleeing black man ‘looked like he was trying to kill a deer in the woods’
        Michael Slager, a South Carolina policeman, has been charged with murder after killing Walter Scott as he ran away, but the father of the dead man say that the case would have been “swept under the rug” without bystander’s video
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/11523591/South-Carolina-police-officer-who-shot-fleeing-black-man-looked-like-he-was-trying-to-kill-a-deer-in-the-woods.html

        • 1
          0

          mummy#

          Are we discussing about the racist state of this country or the USA?

          Please get back to the issues pertaining to this island.

          • 5
            0

            “”Are we discussing about the racist state of this country or the USA? Please get back to the issues pertaining to this island. “”

            Gobi is not a Hindi word that Gota picked up at Madras during his study but from USA – run and shoot.

    • 0
      0

      100 Thousand soldiers roaming around Jaffna? YOU are talking rubbish because the entire army – military- consists of 224,000 personnel and according to you 40% of that number are in Jaffna. Sir, please write facts. Not lies. The citizens of SL are well educated and informed. The first citizen of the NP DECLARED war against the GOSL when he brought the resolution on Genocide against all successive governments and you want the rest of the country to believe hat this is reconciliation? More than three hundred throusand Tamils from the North have moved to Colombo and her suburbs over the last 30 years, so what is your problem? Jaffna or anywhere else in SL is NOT the exclusive abode of an exclusive community. Get a life.

  • 2
    0

    in spite of what you say and do to establsh/restore democracy, human rights and media freedom still there are people who would like to go back to pre sirisena era.i cannot understand why? i think you are not making proper inroads into the mass of people making them to understand your accomplishments and empowering the forces which support you. you have to look for the best brains in the country among all ethnic groups. go for real professionals in the area of governance, finance, economics,education, development etc. there are a few even in the private sector.pay them attractive salaries. bring the srilankan professionals working abroad. learn something from malasia and singapore.
    you are capable of emulating those leaders like mahathir and lew kuan. because you are clean. more if you contact.
    sandara, [Edited out]

  • 3
    1

    Ansar.

    I do agree. We did not see a Dudley Senanayake type of Leader after 1973!

    Is Ranil W. a close approximation?

  • 2
    5

    Troops must be there to prevent the separatist come back again.

    • 3
      0

      IN THAT CASE RUB THE BEGGING BOWL ON YOU HEAD-
      TRY SHIRANTHI RAJAPASSA [Edited out]

  • 5
    4

    Unless Ranil Wickremasinghe joins hands with C.V.Wigneswaran, he cannot build a free society. It is far better to rely on C.V.W than on M/s.V.Maheswaran. there is a great difference between CVW and M/s.V.Maheswaran. Atleast Ranil Wickremasinghe should make use of D.M.Swaminathan to have an alliance with CVW, which will be the beginning of a healthy relationship between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

  • 5
    6

    Give the man 5 years of governance and see what a difference he will make. The educated, the young are with him. All the game mattas are going behind satakaya aided and abetted by media who wants to go to bed with Mara after seeing what is inside his sarong.

    • 4
      1

      even the idiot on the street knows the infamous Ranil clinging onto position for his gang of filthy rich henchmen- that has always been his standard and UNP- people vote for party.
      He is PM without election because he aolng with CBK masterminded a coup in coup out.

      It takes long to be young- PP

  • 0
    0

    Analyst, in his/her April 14 comments is putting words into my mouth in saying that I am rooting for Mahinda R and his crowd. This is a sad interpretation.

    Analyst should instead address the issues raised by me.

    By the way, who or what is Jarapus?

  • 5
    0

    Elite can’t find a bigger bullshit artist than this dude.

    He said the other day that he is going to develop the coast from Bentota to Koggala as a big time tourist precinct.

    Even the elite who use LKR 8000 ( for six people ) day excursions to our beach resorts in the South know that the tourist precinct is already developed there from Kalutara to Mirissa, where the big ass Merriot Hotel is already completed.

    The real time development on the other hand ,like to Packer Casino is stopped so that his buddies can renegotiate revised commissions.

    The landscaping in, exits and entrances at our major Freeways have been neglected with weeds taking over big time.

    All this bullshit talk is a smokescreen to cover up the secret manoveruring behind closed doors to kill the SLFP and give homelands to Sambandan and Hakeem.

    Not only Cameron , even Ed Milliband is holding the blow torch to their buddy Ranil’s belly now, to speed things up.

    Meanwhile our Field Marshal in full attire, is in combat with Galaboda Gnanissara to help the former’s his mate Ranil Wickremasinghe to hoodwink the masses..

    And no body in our Parliament has time to check how Ranil’s mate Mahendran is doing in his Homeland..

    • 2
      1

      K.A Sumanasekera

      Good to hear from you. As usual, fellow sane commentators would ignore your comment and start mocking you for being K.A Sumanasekera.

      Your unusually long absence from this forum made me wonder whether you have opted to spend a spell in the jungle as I have advised several times in the past.

      It seems you haven’t change a bit. Thanks for being K.A Sumanasekera. Forum sharers need more people like you so as to poke fun regularly.

      Be a man and be active.

      Please have a testosterone replacement therapy which could boost your sex drive, erectile function, energy and reduce depression, ….. But then being a Sinhala/Buddhist bigot and official clan ball carrier no treatment will work.

      How sad your life continues to be.

      • 5
        0

        Dear Native,

        Never thought you guys adore our Ranil so much..

        But can he deliver your Eelaam?

        FPS would have given your Vellala mates the North and Bathdeen the East.easily under the testosterone injected PM Ranil’s Premiership after Bodhi Sira castrates his PPs, himself.

        But our Estate brothers and Secular Muslim cousins have thrown the spanner in the works.

        They want Multi Ethnic Members from Ranil’s national list in Gampaha, Kandy, Kurunagala, Colombo Matara and even Galle , my Home Turf.

        Wonder how Galaboda Gnannissara will take that?

        Wonder where our Sinhala Urumaya guardians are nowadays?…

        • 1
          1

          K.A Sumanasekera

          Its for the Hindians to decide whether they are willing to put up with Tamil Eelam, Sinhala Eelam or a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto.

          Just forget about carving out a piece of land around Hambantota to establish your most cherished reactionary state of Sinhala/Buddhist Eelam with those MR supporters who are considered to be the most smart ass patriots.

          Hindia will never allow a slave owning Sinhala/Buddhist southern confederacy in this island. Therefore get back to the idea of United States of Sri Lanka. In other words unity in diversity.

          Are you a Southern Sinhala/Buddhist Aryan redneck (blackneck)?

    • 4
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera,

      How was your trip to China and the ant industries??.
      There is so much to learn from those ants who work irrespective
      of government funding and banks.- most of them are world leaders in the production of their specialty. That is the niche in the market that they have captured from others.

      What is the point of Fonny being a Field Marshall when he nor the present government are able to sell the anti- terror machine to the Saudi and become rich like a Singapore?? the Muslims sell only the poor Sinhalese women and young boys.

      Ranil the unelected PM is on cloud 9 talking of a free society like Cameron.
      He is very much like uncle JR the Muslim from Colombo.
      the present trend is that development brings about a sense of belonging but a free society is a far cry even in the UK or US.

      Now in the UK we have the famous public prosecutor of “Twitter Joke Trial” fame contesting as labour to become a minister in a grand coalition.#
      And paddy power once again : This is not the first time Paddy Power – who employs Harriet Harman’s son, Harry Dromey as its ‘Mischief Champion’ – has courted controversy.
      On the Paddy Power Offers page, a tweet was published that read:
      ‘Newcastle have suffered more Kop beatings over the last 20 years than an unarmed African-American male’. (a spokesman for Paddy Power said: ‘It’s clearly an acerbic reference to recent police activity in the US. And obviously, no offence was meant.’)

      • 2
        1

        Simiyon

        “Ranil the unelected PM is on cloud 9 talking of a free society like Cameron.”

        Does this country elect its Prime Minister in direct democratic contest?

        My Elders tell me the president appoints the Prime Minister and the parliament can oust him if it has no confidence in him.

        How about bringing a no confidence motion against Ranil in the crooks infested parliament?

        Have you checked the constitution for clarification or are you being one of those smart ass patriots?

        • 4
          0

          Be practical man before you behave like the bookworm.

          If a no confidence has to be organised then the rustic sira himself would end up like Humpty Dumpty- balance of power.
          what all loud mouth trolls elected is what you got- now live with it…eat it ..see it?? ha ha.

  • 0
    0

    How come a statement such as this that projects thoughts on strategy for peace building in our plural society made by the PM was not reported in a our newspapers? An over sight.

  • 1
    4

    Since there are many folks who contribute to these forums – as if they were chat rooms – where they find time to insult each other without reference to the contents in the article ………

    Let me contribute, like wise ……

    This is in respect to an article written by Dayan J with the heading ” RAnil’s real agenda revealed” appearing in the CT.

    It is common knowledge that the former President (MR) presided at the top of the pyramid scheme of corruption. The second tier was controlled by his family, the third tier were all the corrupt politicians who used their influence to kow-tow to the every whim of MR & his family.

    The first three tiers of this pyramid of corruption, compromised the lower tiers by fear or favour to do their bidding. In such a scenario they compromised the judiciary; the forces; businesses; diplomats; virtually every public servant was compromised in that they were forced to follow order received from the tiers above them in this pyramid of corruption. The were compromised by the “fear factor”. This is the reason for the inordinate delay for taking all the crooks to task. The people who have been entrusted with bringing to task have also been compromised in one-way-or the other by the previous regime. The current cabinet of Ministers comprise of many who have aided and abetted the rogue President – in the passing of the 18th amendment – without as much as a whimper.

    Mr. D.J. too has been compromised – for fear or favour – and the only way he sees to hide his omissions and commissions is to bring the rogue back into power. Hence, his rhetoric against the current regime. He states in this article that RW is a shrewd man – and DJ seems to have identified all the problems – so he says – making him as astute. Why then is he just shouting about the problems? If we are to take his selfies seriously, then he should be offering the solutions to ” GOOD GOVERNANCE “.

    Come on DJ – the noise you are making – in this article – is your perception of what you read between the lines with respect to that article in the Japan Times – Why don’t you read the lines and see how you can contribute to the ” GOOD GOVERNANCE” instead of giving us half truths and full lies just to be able to save your skin – when your shit hits the fan !

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] Please write instead of just posting links – CT

  • 0
    0

    Mr. RW, event might overtake you, before you complete your targets.It is high time that you act decisively.

  • 0
    0

    Let RW to work.

  • 0
    0

    It is necessary for us to know more about our country. Ranil Wickremesinghe on a web browser comes out with details to get an understanding on Local and friegn affairs. As his father before him he is known for his interpretation on our problems. This can be translated into help and aid from abroad. Read more of the writings of Ranil. Advise others too.

    What ever happens in parlimentary elections the framework to prevent corruption is irrevesible. Ms will see to it.

  • 0
    0

    Mr. PM, How come you appointed your very close relative to the board of Apollo/Lanka Hospitals to replace GOTA who was also just the state overseer and not an owner? back then the know it alls claimed “gota ispirithaalayak gaththa; eyaataney dhan Apollo aithi”. What load of crock.. He was appointed as the state appointee and had to quit when governments changed. So why qualifications does Ranil’s cousin Rohan have? he quit practicing medicine long ago and failed in every restaurant business he dabbled in. He also got into a shipping liner with a ship he owned with a chinese woman. so anyway Ranil yes Arjuna Mahendran is a good bloke first brought in by CBK but you appointed him. How do you explain away appointing your cousin Rohan W to Apollo?

  • 0
    0

    M[Edited out]( sorry Ranil) Wickramasinghe To “We Will Rebuild Sri Lanka As A Free Society” you must have the guts.You seems to lacking in that depertment

  • 0
    0

    Those who address Ranil Wicremasinghe an individual who made deals with MR to protect MR Family and cronies of MR.

    this is Sri Lanka including me citizens of Sri Lanka here the facts also What may be the clear reasons to maintaining soft type rule rather strict red tape administrations over corrupted, crooked, blooded hands of Mahinda Rajapakse and his entire crooked family members plus political aides, disciples, wrong doers :

    *If any one taken into punishment except Mahinda Rajapakse the sympathy of criminals powerful than deliverance of Justice.

    ** If Mahinda Rajapakse get punishes blind / unrealistic / crooked/ uneducated rogue Wimal Weerawansa will be National hero …. visionary politicians Ranil W and Mahithri S will be narrate the democracy to people of Sri Lanka to decide whether these crooks worthy to send parliament or abandoned them from peoples mandate.

    unless people of Sri Lanka never stick with crimes backgrounds they stick with sympathy what created by expertise pow wow barking dogs like Wimal weerawansa.

    And those who trust and admire Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe one reminding who is not just politician who was scored first class Honors graduate in L.L.B in prestigious University of Colombo who is elite product of University of Ceylon till date.

    If no interim government headed by PM Ranil Wickramasinghe from 09 Dec 2001 to 06 April 2004 under strong patronage of Executive President CBK presidency split of Karuna Ammaan was the major achievement Sri Lankan political history, i still remember the English news paper titles MP. Ali Shahir Moulana naked the PM Ranil Wicramasinghe by revealing LTTE split Karuna Factors……..Ali Shahir Moulana brought with higher security escort on Helicopter from Batticaloa to Colombo and sent to USA. this fact covered or denied every time war chauvinism or credits goes to Mahinda Rajapakse every crackers every slogans also equally goes to Chanakkya of Sri Lanka Great Wisest Politically unbeatable Ranil Wickramasinghe ………

    If any Tamilian says it’s shame to praise Ranil a question then why LTTE made Mahinda Rajapakse victory by boycotting Northern votes …..the world known factors but Sri Lankan people doesn’t have any idea LTTE leadership blatantly wants to revenge Ranil W at 2005 presidential election due to splitting Karuna from organization in fact Karuna Ammaan a greedy dog who were loitering with weakest mind of luxury seeks, lust, wealth etc….anyway those betrayers not worthy to stay in trait within Ranil Wicramasinghe a politician who uses his words and thoughts as weapon to split or weaken then worlds strongest unimaginable rebel organization with his peaceful of course most deceptive skills. If you say it’s illicit bribe worst terror organization to be president an acceptable act ???

    flawless quote when he is at Guruvaayur im neither partial to India or China as PM of Sri Lanka i think react betterment of Sri Lankan people….. how bold in bloody thirsty cruel Indian soil a Sri Lankan politician not even Executive powered who says Im what i am.

    He is worthy to lead this county despite from all other half baked craps, crooks, criminals, maniacs, Alzheimers, Prostate cancer patients, deceive people by touching their heads and hits their stomachs.

    thrice PM of Sri Lanka does any road or school or any toilet named as Mahinda Rajapakse did ?

  • 0
    0

    Explain why he could not win a presidential election on his own? I guess there are not enough rich western leaning people in Sri Lanka

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