26 September, 2020

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Why Politicians In Power Cannot Cope With Independent Commissions?

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Should the President be informed about former defence personnel been summoned by corruption investigating independent commissions?

I can understand such a privilege being applied to key serving defence personnel. By definition such cadres are crucial to the maintenance of national security and the rule of law and it would be both problematic and enigmatic if they are summoned without the Commander-In-Chief knowing in advance. But for the retired who are summoned to explain some serious allegations relating to their time in office?

If the charges pertain to robbing state funds, to money laundering, to serious sexual abuse or to murder itself? All done while they were in service? Why not? Right now there are serious charges that smell the air about retired defence and army personnel over million-dollar purchases of MiG aircraft. There are charges that retired army personnel had been employed to carry out murder. The Thajudeen murder is prominent among the latter. There are allegations that slush funds of the intelligence arm of government had been used to pay such retired personnel masquerading under spurious names. That these charges may be proven or not is not the issue. That they are very serious ones constitute the issue. If confidence in government is to be re-established it is crucial that independent commissions be allowed to investigate them all without interference from the executive or legislature. Yahapalanaya cannot be established without building public confidence in government. Besides, there is a futuristic aspect about yahapalanaya in that consequent to the vibrant working of independent bodies whose independence is guaranteed by the constitution there would be a detrimental effect on potential crimes of this nature by anybody and any government set-up of the future. Thus it is good for now and good for the future health of government-this government or any other.

Maithripala Sirisena

Maithripala Sirisena

What are the options available to the President if he is informed prior about the summoning of such service personnel. Can he give an order to stop it? No; for that would not only be illegal but would undermine the independence of the independent commissions. On the other hand, if the President fails to stop action then he will be made a victim of the anger of the serviceman concerned. What this means is that the President gets unwittingly embroiled in the issue.

At the back of this whole crisis symptomised by President Maitripala’s famous speech is an unwillingness of our politicians in general to accept the modernity, validity and necessity of having operating bodies independent of their control. The deep-rooted value, amplified no doubt during ten years of rule by the former regime, is that politicians who run government own the country as their personal property. One witnessed this political cultural trait in the notorious act of brutal bullying of the former Chief Justice, Shirani Bandaranayake. Even before former President Mahinda Rajapaksa we had President JR Jayewardene who remarked in public that he had all the powers to do anything except to make a gender change.The privatisation of government decision -making had been carried to the extreme by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The danger was that this right to government as private property trickled down to the entire political bureaucracy. We are stuck in it still-although some measurable progress has been made

I believe it is vital for yahapalanaya to rectify this fundamental canker in our body politic. The President, Prime Minister and all Ministers must set the example and the model. A constitution should create the required legal framework. The Nineteenth Amendment was indeed a breakthrough but it must be followed up by a totally new constitution.

There is another important issue here: There is a dilemma involved in this transformation. I think President Sirisena’s provocation had been a reaction to the dilemma. Independent bodies should not be perceived as acting as law unto themselves. If this does happen and if personnel driving such bodies try to foster their egos then a new form of injustice will be perpetuated.

A good illustration of apparent bad practice was the allegation made by President Sirisena that Mr A. H. M. Fowzie, was interrogated before rookie cops. This allegedly diminished the stature of the venerable political leader. Appearances of fairplay on the part of independent commission are crucial. If such an occurrence did take place the appearance did not look good.

It would be pertinent to conclude with a quote from Australia’s Chief Justice-The Honourable Sir Gerard Brennan, AC, KBE:

“The reason why judicial independence is of such public importance is that a free society exists only so long as it is governed by the rule of law – the rule which binds the governors and the governed, administered impartially and treating equally all those who seek its remedies or against whom its remedies are sought. However vaguely it may be perceived, however unarticulated may be the thought, there is an aspiration in the hearts of all men and women for the rule of law.

That aspiration depends for its fulfilment on the competent and impartial application of the law by judges.”

This statement, meant to relate narrowly to the Judiciary is applicable in spirit to the independent commissions.

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  • 3
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    Shyamon Jayasinghe

    RE: Why Politicians In Power Cannot Cope With Independent Commissions?

    Why Gon Sirisena Gamarala Cannot Cope With Independent Commissions?

    “Should the President be informed about former defence personal been summoned by corruption investigating independent commissions?”

    “If the charges pertain to robbing state funds, to money laundering, to serious sexual abuse or to murder itself? All done while they were in service? Why not? Right now there are serious charges that smell the air about retired defence and army personnel over million-dollar purchases of MiG aircraft.”

    It depends on the DEAL Gon Sirisena Stuck with the Crooks and Cronies pf Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the REMUNERATION, given from the Stolen Billions from the People.

    From the Bulath Vines, Vettila Vines and Grape Vines…

    Reason behind president’s inflammatory speech known ! Impeachment imminent as attempts are made to rescue criminals !

    Lanka Vine News inside information division has been able to track down the reason behind last week’s odious and offensive speech of president Maithripala Sirisena which compromised the Independent Commissions including the Police Commission ; criticized the judicial process and sought to rescue the rogues and criminals. This speech was so outrageously inflammatory that it was tantamount to the president voluntarily consuming a cyanide capsule to commit political suicide.

    The investigations into three main and ghastly murders committed by the deposed and discarded Rajapakses during the nefarious decade have by now reached the final stage. The three murders are : Lasantha’s, Ekneliyagoda’s and Thajudeen’s.

    The criminals responsible for the three murders have been identified , and the crucial question now is , who gave these criminal orders ? What remains is to track down this culprit . Even the telephonic discussion for over an hour that was exchanged at Temple Trees at 1.00 a.m in connection with Ekneliyagoda murder had been uncovered .

    Already 11 reports have been furnished to court by all the intelligence and security divisions that Ekneliyagoda had no links whatsoever with the Tiger organization. Hence this was a clear political murder committed by the Rajapakses . Now investigations are at the final stage , and all what remains to be uncovered is , with evidence ascertain who are the Rajapakses who gave the instructions supported by evidence .

    Maithripala Sirisena made his explosive ‘cyanide speech’ and advanced stealthily in order to save the murderous Rajapakses.

    Based on reports reaching Lanka Vine News inside information division , it is a most infamous political Bhikkhu ,and a notorious wheeler dealer minister who sleeps with the Rajapakses on the same mattress who have instilled the necessary ‘poison’ into Maithri and got him round to blabber as he did yesterday . Maithripala who suffers from puerile drives and loses his sane thinking power more often than not , had fallen prey to the poison and destructive proposals , going by his thoughtless and senseless speech yesterday .

    No matter what, last week’s ridiculous speech of Maithripala was tantamount to turning his back on the very masses that steered him to victory on 2015-01-08, and forcibly displaying his hideous back and bottom to them despite their stubborn refusal to see that ugly sight. Indeed the whole country has been provoked by his speech , and Maithripala has incurred the absolute displeasure of the entire population. Never has a leader earned so much wrath and curse of a nation in just a night , and tarnished his image this much.

    In the event of Maithripala taking the step of bringing the ministry of law and order under his purview or resorts to some other disastrous self destructive action , that will be the beginning of the end of Maithripala with an impeachment motion in parliament staring in his face.

    The political parties , Civil and professional forces, and pro good governance masses that steered him to victory were hitherto doing everything to save him as long as he was against the murderers , the corrupt and rogues , and discharging his tasks accordingly , have now realized , he is truly protecting and shielding those very criminals most traitorously . Under the present circumstances it is certain not even a dog in the street will come to his rescue .

    It is hoped Maithripala will take serious note of this warning .

    Would he? Is he counting the billions in Santhosams?

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      Why is Cope delaying and delaying release of this report?!

      Are they so unprofessional?

      This has gone on long enough and the report must be released immediately.

    • 0
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      This dirty chameleon Amarasiri keeps posting his stupid, page long remarks about any criticism of the yamapalana gang.

      What is his agenda, will he come out?

      • 2
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        Daya Perera , Dimwit, Nitwit, Idiot:

        “What is his agenda, will he come out?”

        Simple. Expose, Expose, Expose the liars, traitors of the people and many Dimwits, Nitwits and Idiots cannot comprehend and understand and gets sucked by the liars and traitors.

        The average IQ is 79. That leaves a lot of room for Dimwits, Nitwits and Idiots, called modayas and mootals.

        National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

        http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

        The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

        Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

  • 1
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    The problem with politicians is that they feel repeated lies become truth. Who says for instance that the Police commission is independent? It is riddled with corruption not independence. How many times has the police commission taken action against the corrupt police. The modus operandi of the Police commission is simple. Do not address any grievences of the public but arrange mediation to white wash the crimes of the Police. The police continues to abuse the rights of the people . The reason is simple. The police has that been the arm of the politician that carries out all the illegal activity at the request of the Politician and the Politician cannot afford to install the rule of law on the Police. So we hear all this bullshit by the IGP about yahapalanaya but basically the Police continues as the most corrupt institution in the country .
    It is all very apparent when one realises that the Police commission has no legal adviser. The incompetent secretary assumes the legal authority. This is the political lie that needs investigation.

  • 1
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    First of all, these commissions are ‘independent’ only by names; in short, they are not independent commissions at all. Powerful politicians put their men and/or women in key positions of these commissions so that they could manipulate their activities from A to Z. The best case in point is the FCID whose Director General resigned recently.
    Look at the other one: COPE; everybody in the world except for the UNP accept that the Central Bank Bond Scam is the mother of all scams in Sri Lanka. FCID kept quiet on this and tried to prosecute a prominent minister from a minority group for ‘taking’ his usual vehicle when transferred from his former ministry to the new one! What a criminal act compared to the CB bond scam with a clean profit of 5.2 billion RS.

  • 2
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    Dear reader!
    Did these MIGs do the job? If ‘Yes’, please forget the rest; all governments prior to the Rajapaksas too imported arms and ammunitions in the name of Eelam war and got a percentage of millions of $$$$$$$. It is not a secret. But there is a difference here; Gota finished the job; if his first cousins had made money out of the MIG deal overseas let them keep it because they had negotiated a good deal for the Air force to have good fighter jets to do the job.
    As far as Gota is concerned I would like to mention this. When the fight against Tigers was in full swing, if Gota had asked all Sri Lankans: “I’ll finish the war against Tigers, but I would like to keep just one MIG as a souvenir for myself after the war; will you allow me to do it?” We would have said all in one voice: “Yes, sir! Go ahead, finish the job, and keep all of them (not just one), a few warships and some armed cars too as souvenirs; all the MIGS are for you for sure. We don’t want them back. You are their rightful owner since you have finished the job and saved Mother Lanka. Actually this is not enough; we and our future generations are indebted to you forever. Thank you so much”.
    Now what has happened? There are so many to ask so many questions after questions after questions. Where were they when Gota and army commanders were fighting the deadly battle?
    And also see the new development in the Phillipines as reported by the CNN today:
    “America has lost now,” Duterte said at a business forum Thursday during a four-day state visit to Beijing. “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.”
    It seems that current Yahapalana leaders of Sri Lanka can sign more lucrative deals for fighter jets with the US air force in the near future!

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      Mig deal costed, I heard only $18 million.

      Central Bank Scandle along cost Rs FIVE billion per year and it goes for how many years ? Is it 30 ?

  • 2
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    Very appropriate article. I can agree with author with more than 100%.
    Independent commissions should not be subjected to influence of any politician no matter what calibre of status they hold. Our constitution have given them right to do so.
    Maitripala Sirisena want to protect Gotabaya Rajapakse and Ranil Wickramasinghe want to protect allegation against former central bank governor.
    People did like Mahinda Rajapakse for ending war but out rightly rejected corruption, revengeful tactics done to people oppose to him and pilfering government money by his family. Electing Maithripala is a result of that and he should know that other than that he will never be the president of this country.

  • 2
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    they are all corrupt…!

  • 1
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    A good illustration of apparent bad practice was the allegation made by President Sirisena that Mr A. H. M. Fowzie, was interrogated before rookie cops. This allegedly diminished the stature of the venerable political leader.

    This would have made Maithripala Sirisena lose some muslim votes.

    Arresting Gota would have lead to lose some sinhala -buddhist votes.

    On the other hand, FCID was prosecuting only the Rajapakses and none from UNP group or other politicians.

  • 7
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    Was the salvo fired by Maitripala Sirisena against the bribery and corruption agencies a well executed exercise to divert attention away from his son Daham’s recent escapade at a night club?

    What is happening to the inquiries on the Daham escapade? Has it been well and truly buried?

    Are we once again being assumed to be village idiots and taken for a grand roller coaster ride on all fronts?

    Let the real Mr. Sirisena stand up and reveal what he stands for, and whether his intentions/ objectives are the same as they were packaged in January’ 2015?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 5
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      Dr R.N asks “Are we once again being assumed to be village idiots and taken for a grand roller coaster ride on all fronts?”

      I guess Sirisena is judging us by his own Gamarala standards.

      As the adage goes, you can take the “idiot” out of the “village”, but you can’t take the “village” out of the “idiot”!

      • 0
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        Andare

        “I guess Sirisena is judging us by his own Gamarala standards. “

        I guess Sirisena is judging us by his own Gon Gamarala standards.

        • 1
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          “I guess Sirisena is judging us by his own Gamarala standards. ”
          Amarasiri:-

          Which Foreign writer was it, Who said long ago, that if you could take a Gamarala out of His Rice Field and Wash the Mud off Him, He was Fit to be a King!

  • 2
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    Shyamon

    It is not the “appearance” of fair play, but rather REAL fair play that is critical if any SL politician or governmental agency wants credibility. I would argue that neither the state nor the elites in the private sector have or deserve such credibility.

  • 0
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    The point about privatisation of country by those in power is apt. The President and Ministers think they own the country and those running independent institutions also think likewise. It’s the ego

  • 1
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    Gamarala is trying to become a hero to build himself up for another term. if there are weaknesses in the Commissions he must strengthen them by rectifying and not bring them out to open and be insulting like this. I did not trust this Gamarala. Once a traitor always a traitor

  • 4
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    The President should always be open to criticism, not silencing dissent. Any President who does not tolerate criticism from the public is afraid of their dirty hands to be revealed under heavy light. And such a leader is dangerous, because they only feel secure in the darkness. Only a leader who is free from corruption welcomes scrutiny; for scrutiny allows a good leader to be an even greater leader.

  • 2
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    Unfortunately, corruption is widespread in government agencies and public enterprises. Our political system promotes nepotism and wasting money. This has undermined our legal system and confidence in the functioning of the state and the Judiciary.

    The government is so out of control. It is so bloated and infested with fraud and deceit and corruption and abuse of power by the Executive.

    But what really disturbs is the SLFP morons who have ruled for the past 22 years except the period 2001-2004 their job is to blame the UNP for all sins and take credit for themselves.

    Ranil has to stop this immediately if not we see a repetition of 2004 UNP fall.

  • 2
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    The Yahapalanaya Government that we elected keep making big mistakes and in return we keep supporting our government, then we are the biggest mistake for our country.
    On 8 January, nearly 54% of our people voted for a new President and for a new Government with a mandate to establish the rule of law, to eradicate bribery and corruption and establish good governance.
    However, 21 months after the Yahapalana Government was elected, there is a growing concern among the people who silently came forward to usher in the silent revolution as to whether their aspirations are being met fully and will ever be met.

  • 1
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    On what basis can we blame a father -in-law for whatever crime his son-in-law committed/ commits? Did COPE have evidence of criminal collaboration ?

    When did Perpetual Treasuries get invoved in Treasury Bonds? Was there any evidence of foul play before 2015? Could anyone else in the know within the Central Bank have leaked information, knowing that Arjuna Mahendran was new on the job? Was the increase in the quantum of the bond issue at the request of the Teasury, lead to the increase in interest rates?

    How many in COPE understand the intricacies of Treasury Bond related issues? Are they relying solely on the Auditor General’s report? Why did it take so long to issue the report after driving out Arjuna Mahendran? Why did Arjuna Mahendran stay on in Sri Lanka, after he was driven out, if he was guilty?

    I hope the COPE report provides the answers and the media will study it with a critical eye.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 1
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      Rubbish man! The whole bond market was running on insider trading before Arjuna came and set the hidden hand free and naturally the hidden hand dealt a knock out blow…Before Mahendra what used to happen is that just before the bond auction the central bank would phone all the primary dealers and tell them how much it would take at between what and what price. The bond dealers would then decide which of them would take how much of the loot. Arjuna came and broke up this nice game by keeping the actual amount to be taken and the rate at which it would be taken unknown till the decision was taken and that decision was taken after the bidding opened…BANG!!! the central banks blue eyed boys were thrown out onto the pavement on their FAT ASSES…and those who had done their analysis and decided on how they would bet…had a field day…

  • 0
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    [Edited out]

  • 0
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    “if the President fails to stop action then he will be made a victim of the anger of the serviceman concerned”…NONSENSE…!!! this will happen ONLY IF the president was responsible for the actions having been committed in the first place. This Chinese Communist was part of the government that ordered the service personnel to commit the murders and other crimes. THAT is why he is afraid of them because they will expose HIS role in this criminal activity…!! This president will have to GO.

  • 0
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    Where IS Sumanasekera?

    • 0
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      machang saliya, sumane is searching for words or must be in the laundry department at medamulana

  • 1
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    TO Saliaya. Sumanasekera is trying to figure out how the army officer who says he killed Lasantha and hanged himself was infact at his home at the time of the murder.

  • 0
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    I think you guys are unfair by President Sirisena. He is scared of an army coup and thinks this is a way to please the forces.

  • 0
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    Serious Sira is wrong here. Being independent is not a 100 per cent thing. Definitely, we observe much much more independence in the way these commissions are doing their job compared to the old Rajapaksa days.

  • 0
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    I think Sira is upset after Fowzie was taken for questioning. Fowzie is about ninety years old and should have been left alone. What about the numerous other outstanding cases? Shiranthi Rajapakse, Wimal, Keehliya, Basil, Yoshitha -so many just getting postponed and forgotten.

  • 0
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    “Why Politicians In Power Cannot Cope With Independent Commissions?”

    how can the bribery commision which Director general is the first cousin of the prime minister be considered and independent commission.therein lies the root cause of the problem.Heads of government agencies must be appointed on merit and merit alone like in singapore,not political appointees.There should be a truly independent body to vet all applications to the public sector and approve them.

    • 2
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      shankar

      “Heads of government agencies must be appointed on merit and merit alone like in singapore,not political appointees.”

      Are you out of your mind?

      • 0
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        native

        no,but just thinking out of the box.Then maybe srilankans will accept that the world is indeed flat and not round and not consider me mad.

  • 0
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    The writer should not pontificate from a pedestal where Her Majesty’s governance applies. He was a civil servant of then Her Majesty’s Ceylon and now domiciled (perhaps a citizen) in Her Majesty’s Australia. The writer should know that the so called “independence” created by the 19th amendment is a sham. Politicians and that includes both Prez MY3 and Premier Ranil has no mood for even for an independent judiciary leave alone independent commissions. All of them want the entire Government, whether legilslature, executive and the judiciary be under their boot. I know, enough of lawyers give adequate explanation not to file cases against the government but necessarily suffer in silence stating that filing a case is useless and is a waste of money.

    In terms of practical politics, it is clear that Prez Sirisena has come out in the open against the institutions that were probing “corruption and fraud”. In real terms although the government is a coalititon slowly premier Ranil is having his way in many spheres and not to the liking of the Prez. Both of them have no choice but to continue with the present arrangement as the Parliament cannot be dissolved like what Prez Chandrika did with Ranil as Premier. Again in practical terms what the President fired is a salvo in the air. If the heads of those institutions were truly independent they need not bother with that verbiage because the independence is secured under the constitution. However, if those heads of institutions have compromised themselves such as having skeletons in their own cupboards or depending on the President for a rise in their career, then the remark of the President is pretty serious and for them it is better track back.

    The latest salvo of the Prez is directed against the PM indirectly stating that if the so called investigators are “behaving” like this “exceeding their mandate” (in real terms not to the liking of Prez Sirisena) how can a two thirds majority be secured for a change in the constitution? The message is pretty clear. Premier Ranil! If you control these institutions the way you want you have no co-operation from me to change the constitution!. That is the starter. There were moves even to change the subject and functions of the Minister in charge of Law in such a way that the Police would fall under a Minister who is a Sirisena confidante and not a UNPer.

    Any keen observer would note that all is not well in the relationship between Prez MY3 and Premier Ranil.

  • 1
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    One thing is clear. President Sirisena does not have the smartness of a good politician. What he should have done was to call the Speaker under whom the independent commissions function and sorted the issue out. President should have never used a public forum to protect those who have committed crime, let it be the defense secretary or the heads of armed forces. As per the laws of the country every one is equal in front of the law. Further it was the courts that ordered these individuals to appear before the courts its not the DG Dilrukshi. Dilrukshi only filed the case. Which ever way we look at this issue, President as the head of the state has the duty to protect the law. His mandate came from the people not from Gotabaya or the navy commanders. He cannot have deals with these individuals just because President wants to protect his position and also wants to show the Sinhala Buddhists that he is protecting those who killed the LTTE fighters. Every one hated LTTE no doubt, but at the same time no one expected the secretary of defense and head of armed forces to have used inhuman ways to get rid of LTTE.

  • 0
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    There was a mention about ‘MIG aircrafts’ in the article. I asked a clear question about it but I hear no comments from Yahapalana bros. My question:
    “Did these MIGs do the job? If ‘Yes’, please forget the rest; all governments prior to the Rajapaksas too imported arms and ammunitions in the name of Eelam war and got a percentage of millions of $$$$$$$. It is not a secret. But there is a difference here; Gota finished the job; if his first cousins had made money out of the MIG deal overseas let them keep it because they had negotiated a good deal for the Air force to have good fighter jets to do the job. As far as Gota is concerned I would like to mention this. When the fight against Tigers was in full swing, if Gota had asked all Sri Lankans: “I’ll finish the war against Tigers, but I would like to keep just one MIG as a souvenir for myself after the war; will you allow me to do it?” We would have said all in one voice: “Yes, sir! Go ahead, finish the job, and keep all of them (not just one), a few warships and some armed cars too as souvenirs; all the MIGS are for you for sure. We don’t want them back. You are their rightful owner since you have finished the job and saved Mother Lanka. Actually this is not enough; we and our future generations are indebted to you forever. Thank you so much”. Now what has happened? There are so many to ask so many questions after questions after questions. Where were they when Gota and army commanders were fighting the deadly battle? And also see the new development in the Phillipines as reported by the CNN today: “America has lost now,” Duterte said at a business forum Thursday during a four-day state visit to Beijing. “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way.” It seems that current Yahapalana leaders of Sri Lanka can sign more lucrative deals for fighter jets with the US air force in the near future!

  • 2
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    Siribiris has to remember that Lasantha was murdered after he made revelations about the MIG deal.

  • 0
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    Mr Jayagath the law is that PM cannot control Independent Commissions. So, your assumptions about Ranil are not correct. Even president cannot give directions. That is how Independent Commissions are as they are set up by the constitution

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