27 October, 2021


What Went Wrong?

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Finance and Media

On the 8th of January 2015, fifty one percent of Sri Lankans voted for the vision put forth to them by our unity candidate Maithripala Sirisena: that the time for dictatorship in our country was over, and that those committed to re-establishing democracy in Sri Lanka must unite to ensure that government serves all of the people, and not a single family and their loyal disciples.

On that day, the United National Party, several stalwarts of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the People’s Liberation Front, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, the Tamil National Alliance, the Democratic People’s Front, and all together over 30 political and civic bodies came together to prove that Sri Lankans shared their vision of a Sri Lanka that was ruled by law and not through fear.

We promised to amend the constitution to restore independence to the public service, abolish the executive presidency, and enshrine the rights of all Sri Lankans into the legal bedrock of our legal system. We promised to bring those who robbed the coffers of the treasury to justice. We promised to hold accountable those who quenched their thirst for power with the blood of brave journalists and peaceful protestors. Most of all, we promised you a government that would be free of the rampant corruption that defined the decade that came before us.

Today, the people told us that we have not done enough. Despite the sincerest of efforts to inject haste and independence into a dilapidated justice system over the last three years and empower the police with the tools they need to successfully investigate complex crimes, murderers and fraudsters remain at large. Despite our government being the first in the nation’s history to insist that ministers must resign from the cabinet at the first sign of wrongdoing, and indeed the first to investigate allegations of corruption within its ranks with such vigour, justice is yet to be served.

This message from the people has sunk deep into the UNP, and we are committed to taking drastic measures to fulfil the promises we made three years ago and maintain the public trust. As we embark on this chapter in the story of our democracy, Sri Lanka can be proud of two remarkable things we saw last Saturday. 

The first is the conduct of an election under the auspices of an independent elections commission and police service. Never before has a government shied from manipulating public personnel, funds, resources and state media into an organ of their political ends. We hope that under these independent bodies, Sri Lanka has seen the last of corruption, intimidation and violence marring our elections.

Finally, it is evident that the same Mahinda Rajapaksa who in January 2015 commanded 5.77 million votes (47.6%) as his presidency waned, last week was not even able to muster 4.95 million votes or even 44.7% of voters. The UNP has a solemn duty not just to the 46% of the electorate who voted for us and President Sirisena’s SLFP last Saturday, but to the entire resounding majority of our citizens, all 6.1 million of them (55.3%) who marched to the polls last Saturday and voted against a return to Rajapaksa rule. Our duty is to broaden our own voter base by delivering results, while joining hands with all honest and democratic political forces to uplift our motherland and ensure that Sri Lanka never again returns to rule by the sword. That is our calling and we must not fail. Our democracy, our republic, depends on it.

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Latest comments

  • 23

    Stop playing with people for power . Ranil has no plans for the country .
    Do not speak of anymore economic jargon that ordinary people find
    hard to understand . It is UNP that set in motion scattered LG and PC
    elections to their advantage which MARA imitated throughout ! People
    knew the tricks and it reaches its melting point anyhow . When are you
    guys going to stop playing with people’s ignorance ? If you want to do
    that , learn HOW TO RESPECT YOURSELF FIRST and the rest will follow .

  • 21

    Mr. Samaraweera

    Bravo a very well conducted peaceful election and the dignity this regime brought to it.

    Data can be interpreted by anyone in any way in a situation like this.

    Nationally SLPP got 44.65% of the votes;
    whereas UNP got 32.63% only.
    But UPFA got 8.94% and SLFP got a paltry 4.44% its worst ever in history.

    Now you can say Anti SLPP votes add up 32.63% + 8.94% + 4.44=46.01%
    SLPP’s 44.65%



    44.65%+8.94%+4.4%=57.99% DIDN’T vote for the UNP.

    Data can be sliced and diced both ways.

    Like I always said, please beware of sycophants. Both sides are teeming with them. Also time to do some introspection on the part of everyone. SLPP won 73.% of councils. I am sure UNP can buy some of their defectors who joined MR those days for plum minister positions and then switched to UPFA and now are ready to jump to the UNP. Can you logically explain why you all broke the promise to limit the number of ministers please:?

    • 7

      M R
      As it goes “Lies, damn Lies and Statistics”

    • 2


      You can not add betel and hand to the Elephant , they don’t mix
      and that is why they went separate. Mahinda made history by
      converting almost 75% of blues into purple and whichever way
      it turns , it doesn’t turn to elephant account .Mangala won’t get
      anywhere with his false excuses for the party’s gloomy
      performance. Mangala , stand alone , My three stand alone ,
      betel stand alone and count your begging bowls now ! AND , IT IS
      MEMBERS YOU GOT . Don’t try to mislead the public with your
      magic fail numbers according to proportional voting ! You can do
      it on the presidential election ! With this kind of excuses , you will
      never count your misses and make RIGHT CHANGES. The deafening
      announcement is , MAHINDA WON AND YOU LOT (BRAND NEW)
      LOST dismally . Move on now !

  • 10

    What went wrong? What really went wrong is you guys could not realize that every critical thing is going wrong until LG polls.

    • 8

      Mahinda has 58 lacks of Kapuwath Mahinda vote bank and UNP has nearly 35 lacks of Kapuwath unp vote bank though both types are gradually and slowly decreasing in numbers. What matters is not them but the rest who were expecting a high moral leadership as an alternative to misplaced charisma of plundering Rajapaksha clan. Ranil knew he couldn’t provide that high moral leadership, and people first looked towards ven. Sobitha thero. Then with the concurrence of Ven Sobitha and Ranil people settled to accept Sirisena saw the moral leader in him. But he did not meet the expectations of the people from the day one when he had secret discussions with Gota and then showed that he is no better than Rajapaksha when he appointed his brother as the lucrative Chairman of the TRC. Then he started emulating Mahinda’s deshapremi band wagon, obstructed justice in the case of Eknaligoda and the 11 innocent students abducted and killed by murderers who called themselves Ranaviruwo. Lately he tried to hoodwink people by highlighting the bond scandle, but people were not convinced of his genuineness. People never expected a moral leadership from the UNP after the death of Dudley, but expected that the common candidate would not betray the high moral grounds established by Ven Sobitha.

  • 6

    Mangala Samaraweera: Keep on lieing and assume people are dumb and they can be cheated. Give them a choice which consist of honest and capable politicians. Then you will see even what your fate is. You do not know what the grass roots are thinking. UNP lost. A major party lost and accept it, because of the bank robbery. Saying SLFP lost is wrong. what is SLPP. Mahinda Rajapakse still garners support because of his involvement in the WAR. But, in a real fight, things will be different. SLFP faught against SLPP only as UPFA. So, don’t try to fool the readers.

  • 5

    What does a “BARBER” know about politics??
    Go to your saloon and get on with the job you faggot !!

    • 1

      Sunil Perera

      “What does a “BARBER” know about politics??
      Go to your saloon and get on with the job you faggot !!”

      You stupid asses, you still believe in caste to impose your will on people whom you think lower than yourself because they were born in a particular family that was condemned to a particular caste.

      Your arrogance and lack of gray matter should have condemned you for life yet the people are generous to let you read and write in English. What a waste of time, money and history.

      The great man Christopher William Wijekoon Kannangara must be turning in his grave.

      If you don’t like “BARBERS” in this island why don’t you go back to your ancestral homeland India and live among your caste conscious distant cousins happily ever after? It is well worth it even if the remaining descent people need to meet the cost of your one way passage out of this island.

  • 2

    The Goebbelsian spin doctor at it again.

  • 1

    What went wrong? That is the pertinent question for the UNP no doubt , the answer is crystal clear to all and sundry except perhaps for the UNP hierarchy. It is due to it’s callous disregard for the avowed promise the UNP and other stake holders made to the Nation at the Last Presidential Election and the subsequent General Election. I think there is no use in trying to educate these politicians about honesty and dignity.People are aware of the deceitful conduct of the UNP politicians including the leader and the other ministers. Best and only option for these individuals is to resign gracefully from their positions in the Party without causing further damage and disgrace to the our country. Thank you.

  • 2

    Coconut 100
    Rice 95
    Dhal 160
    Sprat 900
    Dollar 155
    Onion 400
    Arujuna M robbed in daylight
    No progree on unemployment
    North east people fooled
    No good progress in solving long term ethnic issue
    No punishment to culprits only arrest n bail drama
    So how can you all survive?
    The same MR too face wail n see

    • 0

      But Ranil haamu and Harsha De Silva both promised FREE WI-FI. Aiyo Siraa was marooned with Haal mitiya and Ranil was left with eunuchs. WE CANNOT EAT WI-FI

  • 1

    Neither MR nor MY3 or RW contested the LG election, therefore to equate SLPP’s 44.6% to a MR vote is similar to equating the UNP’s 32,5% to a RW vote and the SLFP’s sorry 4.4% to a MY3 vote. Is that what you are saying Mangy dear?

  • 1

    This is absolutely breathtaking logic! This dimwit wants us to believe that YAHAPALANAYA actually won the LG elections.He says that 55.3 % of the electorate voted against the return of the Rajapakses, last Saturday. He conveniently forgets to say what percentage did not wantt the UNP. This is the kind of blatantly false propaganda that YAHAPALANAYA bruited around since they took up Govt. The same Samaraweera sent a Dear Bala letter to the Eelam Govt in UK apologising for the brave action of Brigadier Ariyaratne..When he realised that it was a politically suicidal action the bloody rogue claimed that he did not send such a letter and that it was a forgery. Will he now tell us whther he made an official complaint to the Police about the alleged forgery, and what has transpired since then.I doubt he will. The man is a damn fraud,hypocrite, and should never be trusted by the people.

  • 0

    It is not today the people told us that we have not enough, as you have mention.
    Sir you got it wrong again, old way of thinking the new generation count on
    The leader ship is not about the election what have you done for the next generation.

    Only promises no commitment, people judge on performance

  • 0

    Mr Samaraweera is one of the Archtects of UNP defeat also accelerated by Rajitha Senaratne. You guys cannot feel the pulse of the people. The party SLPP is a new entity having a run at polls for the first time. If you can activate FCID to probe on to any minister including yourself we can expect some good governess. How on earth Rajitha was never investigated. His sons affiliations with CIA is only available now. Dilan Perera is another person suspected of making a fortune in the previous government. How did Ravi made his fortune. Then Gamini and Athlathmudali including JRJ. There are lot more to be investigated and penalized.

  • 0

    Pontification & obfuscation are the hall marks of UNP politics. At last the Sri Lankan voter has woken up to the sound of reality.

  • 0

    What went wrong? Everything! Everything from Geneva to Colombo 7.

  • 1

    What the hell this Mangala talking about. Match is finished UNP Lost by innings with a day to spare.We people of Sri lanka has given the verdict of this Yama palanaya government.This is like
    blaming the pitch when the match is lost by innings.Come on Mr Mangala I challenge you have a general election now

  • 0

    So what this man is saying is that Mahinda in fact lost the election !!
    How many UNP pandankarayas will vociferously agree? This is incredible. Only possible in Sri Lanka. A Party That has his local Govt representation cut down to historical lows claiming that they performed better than the winners.

  • 0

    Counting figures would’t help after inviting damage on your self. You let down all who voted for Srisena in 2015. Please figure out the pros and cons of what you have done and try to remedy the situation though late. Useless crying after pouring oil in the sand.

  • 0

    Mangala, where were you when H.E destroyed SAITM with a few words, no protocol or procedure of a govt. approved UGC interviewed legal Medical Faculty where the not so rich paid full fees in millions. Court verdict was for SLMC registration of their precious degree earned like all other state MBBS with hard work.
    Your UNP called democracy (neoliberalism) put out a 1000 young lives headless, penniless, rudderless, futureless after 8 years of medical study and now GMOA illegally offering KDU and Russia for their own survival, contempt of court of AP. Do you not see the injustice of H.E abandoned with empty skull. All this robbed money could fund so many medical schools for those cut off without education and jobs.

    Does it take a lot from you to convince PM and H.E to correct this gross injustice done to SAITM by GMOA/SLMC. Affiliate to a new state med. faculty still without final MBBS students who protest to protect degree like Colombo in NCMC. Does it take such brain power to correct injustice GMOA is fabricating for February court.

  • 0

    FRCS cabal=Former Royal College Students Cabal. ARROGANCE ARROGANCE ARROGANCE

    Why did a close relative of Ranil’s become High Commissioner to Britain? What are her qualifications? Political science degree? Why has she not protested banned Eelam Tamil terrorists waving a banned flag? We shouted when MR appointed his cousin the light fingered man to USA and his ethically challenged nephew to Russia and Ukraine, why can’t we talk about this lady? Elite Colombo 7 English speaking Walawwey haamu. Yahapaalanaya ammagey redda.

  • 0

    Mr. Samaraweera, I used to respect you as a “can do” minister of the CBK inside circle government. So bear with me.

    UNP can still win the Presidential election because it accounts for all Tamil and Muslim minority voters as well. But your analysis on this local government election was just another spin. You can slice that data to suit both sides.

    MR still remains the most beloved politician amongst the majority community. We cannot say they are all racists or fools; that is unfair. Then we have to say the same about Tamil voters who keep voting for segregationists. May there never be war or hatred or UNP engineered violence like the Black July of 1983; the seminal event that started everything.

    FRCS cabal=Former Royal College Students Cabal. ARROGANCE ARROGANCE ARROGANCE

    Why did a close relative of Ranil’s become High Commissioner to Britain? What are her qualifications? Political science degree? Why has she not protested banned Eelam Tamil terrorists waving a banned flag? We shouted when MR appointed his cousin the light fingered man to USA and his ethically challenged nephew to Russia and Ukraine, why can’t we talk about this lady? Elite Colombo 7 English speaking Walawwey haamu. Didn’t you promise not to appoint unsuitable people to critical diplomatic posts?

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