19 October, 2017

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe; A Hero Or Traitor?

By Lankamithra

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost.” ~Arthur Ashe 

Just in two short weeks the Yahapalanaya claimed its second victim. One may never know whether the political initiators of the Yahapalanaya movement would be happy about this outcome. There are advantages as well as disadvantages in a political process that entails the ouster of two leading members of the Cabinet of Ministers, a forced resignation in one case and a complicated firing of the other. The man who resigned, or forced to resign, Ravi Karunanayake, did so in consonance with the traditions of a parliamentary democracy while the one who was fired came out swinging against those who fired him.

Whatever opinions or verdicts politicians of the involved parties may present, we should be able pass judgment and ascertain the plusses and minuses that would eventually accrue to the government. More than Maithripala Sirisena, the President, it was Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister who was intricately enmeshed in both cases. Ranil is not only the Prime Minister of the country; he is also the leader of the United National Party (UNP). Both Ravi Karunanayake and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe are among the leaders of the UNP.  Ravi Karunanayake’s resignation and the issues related to his ouster have already been extensively discussed and written about in the media. But Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s ouster is different in that the firing occurred after a wide discussion had taken place in the highest decision-making body of the UNP. The Working Committee of the UNP decided, almost in unanimity, that Wijeyadasa should be removed from the Cabinet. The grounds were his criticism of the government’s decision regarding the Hambantota Project which is a breach of collective responsibility of the Cabinet, along with undue delays related to the numerous probes and investigations into the former regime’s bigwigs’ corrupt practices. While the accusations and allegations against Ravi K were of the nature of financial corruption, Wijeyadasa R had even more telling issues associated with his conduct as Minister of Justice. And those allegations were even more significant as far as the UNP members were concerned. Allegations about the lackadaisical fashion in which the probes into the Rajapaksas, the former First Family consisting of Mahinda, Shiranthi and Namal and Basil and Gotabaya etc. and their cohorts feature very prominently in the minds of the ordinary members of the UNP, leave alone its leaders in the present government. The allegation about Wijeyadasa R’s involvement with the notorious Rakna Lanka Company and its obscenely corrupt dealings dating back to the former regime and its Secretary of Defense cannot be swept under the carpet.

Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe had somewhat a fairly unimpeachable reputation about his financial integrity. Enter Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, it all changed. The veneer of purity was removed. The man who was once the Chairman of Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), a man who crossed over from the Rajapaksa’s grip to the Opposition and then joined the UNP is now standing accused of safeguarding that very regime and on top of that the revelation by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka about his unholy alliance with the Head of Rakna Lanka have now tarnished his name and reputation. It certainly is no allegation one can ignore. A picture is worth a thousand words- that is an old saying many an editor of a newspaper would throw at his trainee journalists. It could not have been truer; especially when Wijedasa Rajapaksa’s unholy alliance was exposed a few months ago Wijedasa looked almost naked and guilty of untold misdeeds. He simply cannot afford to throw stones at others, for his habitat is utterly vulnerable, more vulnerable than a house of glass.       

Ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus said thus: ‘It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters’. Both Ravi and Wijeyadasa have failed in the test that Epictetus poses in regard to men and matters. People judge their leaders more by how they withstand and endure adversity than by what they really achieve in the material world.  A very rare few would be able to go through adversarial conditions and come through life as a more learned and stoical person. Such human endurance has rare examples. History bears witness to the great ones and in no way could either Ravi Karunanayake or Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe be equated to them. Ravi and Wijeyadasa will not walk into the proverbial gentle night. The humility of the great ones in our history is not a mark of either of these two characters. A harsh critique of these two gentlemen is not unwarranted. The great burden of the very pillars of the Yahapalanaya government rested on them. When former Finance Minister Ronnie de Mel criticized the then UNP government, J R Jayewardene did not take even one single week to ask for Ronnie’s resignation and he did so without making any excuses. Negotiating one’s own resignation is not the soul right and privilege of the one whose resignation is called for.

However, leaving a lucrative position in the government must be causing an enormous amount of pain of mind. Those who embark on politics must be made to be aware that the glamor and luster associated with power is very temporary. The luster does not last, for such power does not last. The Rajapaksas who governed the country from 2005 to 2015 did not understand that fragile aspect of political power. They knew about it but human nature being as it is, the discipline and fortitude that is required of a person under pressure is not forthcoming from either of these gentlemen. It was never the case with the Rajapaksas and it will not be so with 99.9% of the current set of politicians. A great exception that is outside the realm of ordinariness, leaving office when one is on the summit of power has been an evasive human condition. Only one Sri Lankan politician who could be classified as one who would have performed such a superhuman act. That was Dudley Senanayake. No other politician could come anywhere near him in the context of withstanding and resisting the lure and lust for power.

That is from the point of view of those who suffered the indignity of having to resign, either forced or otherwise or being sacked from the portals of power. From the point of view of the government, particularly in the context of the Yahapalanaya rule, the forced resignation of Ravi Karunanayake and firing of Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe are two deliberate acts by the government to wash its dirt off their untidy governing structures. To quote Jawaharlal Nehru’s landmark oration that captures the essence of the triumphant culmination of the Indian independence struggle against the British Empire in India: ‘we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially’.

Yet we cannot rest on the laurels of these two acts which in fact were imposed on the leaders of the government by outside forces. It did not materialize from within; nor did they manifest themselves as natural qualities of leadership of the governing coalition. What both Ravi and Wijeyadasa did were no acts of negligence of duties. Both are being accused of exceeding the boundaries of fair-play and transparency. Neither of them has been found guilty in a court of law. But in politics, such exigencies are not the measure by which those who engage in it are judged. Public opinion is an immeasurable exigency. When the tide turns, it gushes and takes you along with its currents and cross-currents. The previous government was grossly insensitive to the task of handling power. Their avarice consumed them to such an extent, they did not realize that the ultimate consequence of such avarice and unawareness of those consequences would eventually catch up and when they did catch up, it was too late for them. But the real tragedy is not that they did pilfer the country’s coffers and behaved like kings and princesses, but it lay in the fact that they were living in the blissfully ignorant notion of ever-lasting power!

Those who chose to be politicians carry with them an unenviable yet a unique burden; that burden is not one bereft of weight or gravity; it’s no bag of goodies one looks forward to enjoying once that power is assumed by the pursuer; it’s not a sin city in which the holder of power indulges in in his lustful greed. In the dark and deep annals of power, rests many a skeleton of men, if exposed to the fresh air, it becomes almost impossible to breathe. The suffocation that ensues will end a long journey towards that noble end of political power. Political power taken in isolation is no different from an alluring witch shrouded behind a sweet damsel’s costume. Take the shroud off, what is visible is a skeleton with no flesh or blood, but mere bones. Both, heroes and traitors, are hiding behind that skeleton.

The writer can be contacted at lankamithra1955@gmail.com

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  • 6
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    “Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe; A Hero Or Traitor?”
    …………………..
    No. A sex symbol.

    • 8
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      Tendency of becoming traitors are common in sinhala genes than any other folks of the earth. Else, I dont have any reasons to see, as a lawyer to support highly disgusting, record corrupted bunch – today they are called as JOINT opposition.

      This man Wijedasa aka Dealdasa should have much in common with all high level money launderers… even if he fought to change the pervious zimbabwian style Regime held by tyrannt Mahinda Rajapakshe.

      • 3
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        I think SF is right calling this man to have made profits from AVANDGARDE.

        Anyways, the bugger utters nothing about that.

        But today we see him sitting next to former mafia king at Bellanwilla temple ceremonies. Can you imagine ? How can he even be called a lawyer ?

        There should be country specific DEFINITION for the LAWYER position in this country. Most of lawyers are the highly corrupted men in spot light.
        This balllige putha had been honeymooning with Rajapakshes. But inthe same time sitting with UNP senior men.
        He has always been sitting between stools not having honest feelings to support the people.
        If he sees that there are slow moves of lanken investigations, he could work on getting necessary lawful paragraphs done, as the minister of JUSTICE. there he thought it was also and interference to the judiciary. I think this man Dealdasa does not what JUSTICE means.

    • 8
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      About him, nobody can say anything about him would be.

      However, he has been for sure ananother highly corrupted Lawyer in the country.

      Not just passing 24 hours, he has gone to sit with dogs – that is what I happened to see today.

    • 3
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      This is neither about heroism or traiterism. This is another political game that is going throughout the history after 1940s. Since independence, the politics reamains focused on one thing, that is to change this nation into mono ethnic, mono relegious, mono cultural Nation. We talk about UNP and SLFP as competitors but in reality it is the same. There is no difference between UNP & SLFP or any other minor party’s. It is the same pool of people timeto time move around without any damage. We talked about corruption of Mahinda Rajapakse family but what happened to them? Nothing. Even now we talk about cooruption of Karu, what happened? Nothing. The jaffna library was burnt under the guidance of two ministers. What happened? Nothing. Both UNP & SLFP were in power. For example Mahinda openly told the two ministers were responsible for the burning of Jaffna library. Did he take action? No. For the crimes we talk, the level of corruption they involved, they should have been in jail forever. But, this will go on. Now, the direction of the focus changed and we don’t talk about new constitution at all. Election is going to come again, probably another genocidal attack on either Tamils or Muslims and change of power but no change.

    • 1
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      Lankamithra ,,

      Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe; A Hero Or Traitor?

      Wijedasa, aka Deal-Dasa is an Opportunist, Self-Promoter, and corrupt crook who took santhosams, bribes, from MaRa MaRa and cronies to the detriment of We the People and the country.

      Yes, he is Traitor!

    • 0
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      Wijaya dasa aka Dealdasa

      1) May be does not know what he has been doing to this nation
      2) He has proved not just once but a dozen or more times how he has been in lanken politics
      3)In today s context, he could not do the least to change or serve the justice as promised
      4)He was rather making efforts to protects high crimes doers
      5) He just louded prior to 2015 since he wanted to have some power on him
      6) He is one who has WORDLY translated, field marshal as WELWIDANE…
      not respecting an Army commander who fought the fought to end but instead supporting power hungry Rajapakshes
      7) What this man has to have learnt as a lawyer is nothing but just few words that help his cases but protecting thugs.
      8) He is no second to that SN SILVA who once said, his verdict was a lie against Tsunami embezzelment issue
      9)All in all at the time, Mangalaramaya issue came up, this man behaved as if he has no something like to prove he has been a man….. just taming that MONK did nothing …. it took days but the message went out to the world, that sinahlayas aare even more racists agianst tamil minority folks… remember that gentleman GSevaka stood next to Mangalaramaya monk while provoctive verbal attacks were rained … that indicident broke everything… actually, Mangalaramaya man in robes should long have been jailed for that along.. he had even beaten visting female police constables.
      Nothing happened against them.
      So was the case with Agreesive Balusara
      10) NOthing happeend at the time, Naawala pitiya revealed how outrageous the issue had been… in terms of soil digging by that Anurudhdha familiy
      Even that Sarana Gunawardhana is protected by Raja men.
      All these are just nothing for former JUSTICE minister the most known backlicker of the day in terms of former tyrannts.

    • 0
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      I respect only Dr Harsha De Silva.

      He said last week, this country is filled with corruption and all kind of illegal nature.

      So he is so fed up of even concentraing issues based on lanken development.

      He is right… so how can JUDICIARY be not corrupted/abusive. They are no foreigners.

      From Kinder garten to all higher levels, you will only find corruptions and abuses.
      So why to point the fingers only at My3, PM and few others in this country.

      Wijayadasa being in the front run, has done everything to protect FORMER abusive men: That proved everything.

  • 5
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    A joker

  • 0
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    [Edited out] Please avoid typing all capitalized comments – CT

    • 3
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      NN – “Please avoid typing all capitalized comments.” You have been told this by CT several times. You don’t get it, do you!

  • 2
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    I think there’s more to his sacking than meets the eye .

  • 1
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    ‘Waste of Space’

  • 5
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    Wijedasa is a traitor to himself,his conscious, his deeds. He was considered a successful lawyer,avaricious and conceited. Even in parliament he was trying to defend himself as if he is defending a client in courts. Of course his other clients were/
    are Mahinda, Gothabaya and the likes. Unless he defends them he falls flat and will be exposed of his misdeeds. The Maithripala/Ranil came to power promising to move the sun and the moon and the earth to bring to light the previous rogues. It is a blessing in disguise that Wijedasa soft pedal or did not pedal at all with regard to the former culprits which resulted in this boomerang. The path is now clear to take action against those were eclipsing them selves behind Wijedasa supported perhaps by RANIL..

  • 4
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    Corrupt being hunted by the corrupt. Where will all this end up is beyond my imagination. If there is one lesson to be learned from Rajapaksas it is political power is transitory. Hatred unleashed , constantly being kept alive , Himalian levels of retribution demanded by Yahapalana backers are beyond the capacity of both Ranil Wickramasinghe and Maithripala Sirisena who are conscious of the possibility that one day they themselves could be on the receiving end as Rajapaksas today. They are trapped. They unleashed those evil forces to snatch power but now they are well and truly trapped. I don’t think people of the calibre of Vishvamitra are doing any favour to them. For those of us who vividly remember 1971, 1983, 1989 and the war and resigned to let them pass for the greater good of the country financial corruptions are relatively insignificant.
    Soma

  • 0
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    The issues is not that Wijedasa is traitor or NOT an important .. The UNP is/was political Party that timely & currently in governances has been undermined system of operation of democratic that all norms are violated, its principles by President and Prime-Minister.
    1 Indefinitely keep distance of Right to Vote by UNP leadership and SLFP coalition support by MS.
    2 UNP and alliance came to power by promised an eradicated corruption ,now turn into committed crime of CB Bonds scam led by Ranil Wicks and Ex-CB of Governor Arjuan Mahandaran and some Ministers.
    3 Parliamentary largest number of Opposition members that become illegal opposition? Back by USA and UK Embassies in Colombo allied with UNP, SLFP and MS
    4 Country supremacy of Sovereignty of Law ,which that is insecure by interfering Rule of Judiciary by
    UNP ministers and Primer?
    We are neither democracy nor Feudalism? But we are working towards new Dictatorship by UNP.
    Its called for a an unrest suitituion in country? UNP asking for New uprising ,it will be advantage them remain in power of in the Governances until year 2025!

  • 4
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    He is neither a hero nor a traitor but he thinks and acts as if he is a smart patriot.

  • 1
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    One may be tempted to feel that Lankamithra’s question “Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe; A Hero Or Traitor?” is intended to gauge something(?)
    Answers will arrive till the cows come home.
    One may well ask “Was Mao was a hero or traitor”. Or Ho Chi Ming, Jumo Kenyatta, Mandela, Castro, Stalin and the list is endless. To Godse, Mahatma Gandhi was not a hero. One may consider Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed, Rama too.
    The answer to Lankamithra is “WR is not a hero”

  • 2
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    “Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe; A Hero Or Traitor?”

    Is there a option for Sleezw-Bag?

    • 0
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      [Edited out] Comments should not exceed 300 words. Please read our Comments Policy for further details.

      • 0
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        Vishvamitra, in this article, largely mentions two senior ex-Ministers Ravi K and Wijedasa Rajapakse. Having interacted with both of them earlier, my view – nothing personal – is both are mediocre rascals who came on top subverting our fragile and dishonourable system. If there is a common factor in both – it is that both of them are poor in the English language – an indication of the poor quality in their claim to leadership. Ravi, the Royalist and from elite stock, is the lesser offender. I believe Rajapakse is from a humbler rural background – but that is nothing to be ashamed about.
        It will be difficult for me to accept the argument excellence in English or something near thereto is irrelevant to the argument. I submit, being a post-Colonial British country, it has everything to do. Whether one likes it or not, on the whole, ones social class even today is gauged by the level of English proficiency of the family. This is why every rural family that reached social/political/financial heights is desperate the children are fluent in English. Sri Lanka is not alone here. It is so in the Sub Continent and in the rest of the 3rd world.

        Wijedasa R makes a fool of himself whenever he tries to speak in English in public fora – what with his bad grammar and so forth. In fairness, I must concede Rajapakse may be a good lawyer – in Sinhala. Have you ever heard Ravi K speak impromptu at any educated audience? So how on earth can we compare these comics with the class of NM/JRJ, Ronnie de Mel (former Finance Ministers) et al and our Parliamentary giants (Cont’d).

        A.D.J. Perera

      • 0
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        (2)

        As to Ravi K, his avarice and ambition is limitless. He cares tuppence for personal integrity. As the Sunday Times editorially commented years ago, he makes no secret he wants to be President – in a hurry. He has even gone into the Ariya Sinhala suit. Wijedasa R is out to make his bid as the poster boy of the politically activist Buddhist Sinhala priesthood.

        The contribution made by both these notorious characters to the decline of our governance and political system is immense -and, yet both desperate men are determined to make a political comeback – giving two hoots to principles. And, our punnakku eating and short-memoried voting public can be counted to vote both rotters into the parliamentary system again – to rush this nation to its early ruination.

        A.D.J. Perera

  • 2
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    @Lankamithra
    The quote by Arthur Ashe is too soft on Dealdasa who deserves to be publicly vilified or canned not for being a traitor but covering up for murderers. A scoundrel such as WR bereft of any morals are worse than those who actually commit murder because they abuse their power when called upon to deliver at the the highest seat in the ministry of justice, and then go about destroying the very pillars that justice rest. This daemon deserves not just a sack but to be held accountable, convicted and hanged if found guilty for covering up for murderers. I share these astute words from Marcus Cicero who once said that “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” I am sure the readers our clever to get my point. We are absolutely a nation of fools!

  • 2
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    @Lankamithra
    The quote by Arthur Ashe and the entire article is too soft on Dealdasa who deserves to be publicly vilified or canned not for being a traitor but covering up for murderers. A scoundrel such as WR bereft of any morals are worse than those who actually commit murder because they abuse their power when called upon to deliver at the the highest seat in the ministry of justice, and then go about destroying the very pillars that justice rest. This daemon deserves not just a sack but to be held accountable, convicted and hanged if found guilty for covering up for murderers. I share these astute words from Marcus Cicero who once said that “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” I am sure the readers our clever to get my point. We are no doubt a nation of fools that allow ‘murders’ to go scot-free.

  • 0
    2

    People who rite here in Ct, whether they are so-called academics or other professionals are all concentrating on issues. that is, in this case, whether Wjedasa Rajapakse is villain or hero, Yet, no one is talking about the embedded crooked system where. Politicians, particularly, preisdent and Prime minister (in this case, Priminister is a syspecgt who should step down in order to facilitate fair investigations) pretend they know what they are doing or they stepping to a side or simply they are avoiding the responsibility. Anyway, WR saga is just one episode of the whole story. Even president come and say no one can bother the AG department. the next day, AG says he met Prime minister and nothing happened. What should we believe. ————What we have to discuss is the whole story. Even sir Oliver Gunatilake that is first governor had said to have stolen money from the govt and bought vineyards in France. That is on going. during the last govt and this govt it is at the peak. Because of Rajapakses, CEntral Bank robbery, many other robberies carried out by the cabinet and the politicians go unnoticed. Because, it is too much. I am pretty sure Maithripala sirisena and Ranil are part of the scam. I mean they let it happen. that is not the leadership even if they say, it is Mahinda rajapakse that doe snot allow us to work.

  • 0
    0

    neither a hero nor a traitor. just a Political non entity trying to attract attention on himself.

  • 0
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    Ex-Minister of Justice Wijeadasa R.. played leading role to form MS led- UNP and SLFP National govt. of by so-called “Rainbow revolution” in 2015 January 8th by advocating “Good Governances” and “Rule of Law” for our People of an Island?
    It was failure to delivered that promised policies last 32 months by MS led governances and Primer of
    so-called “Nation Government”. Of UNP -SLFP support by TNA and JVP?
    The very Democracy is not that word ,to gain political power, it has Values and Morals had been delivered by after assumed in power. ——-By having their Ethics of conciseness of means of governances by Democracy of good governances .Fail to delivered by MS leadership .
    The ruled by President and Prime and ex-President ( CBK) has lost their head after assumes power of State —2015 January 8th?.
    In Modern democracy has enrich long-struggle of very beginning of Renaissance 1453 of the downfall of Constitunopale .
    The democracy of bourgeoisie classes has added more values of many fundamental that Rule of Governances were in favorable for existences of Humankinds in world and as well as good for
    Sri lanka..too.
    The lost of values or betray those democracy guidance you having NO RIGHT to RULE our nation by MS Ranil Wicks and CBK?
    Indeed the mandate( 2015 January 8th, 6.2 millions of votes) of legitimacy of Democracy is violated by current regime that deterministic hypothesis democracy has vanished and mandate become an invalid for MS led regime .
    I assumes that ex-Justice Minister WR is challenge for that .This is gap between political -power of MS and Conciseness of Mandate (6.2 Millions) of Democracy. We need fresh social contracted and mandate to resolved this issues by people verdicts.

  • 0
    1

    It is 200 hundred years since the worst act of treachery and most heroic epic in this country’s recent history.
    When Madugalla connived with the British invaders and had Keppitipola beheaded while he was seeking peace with himself.
    The history has run a full circle. Ranil, Maithree and the western stooges have re-encated teethe episode. History repeats itself. We are again in the throes of the western imperialists.
    Lankamithra is no friend of this country. He reminds me of Madugalla

  • 0
    0

    Ok Lankamithra, The biggest allegation of all is against Ranil W. for overseeing the biggest robbery at Central Bank under his watch. When will you ask for Ranil’s resignation? It’s being said that Wijedasa was ousted to save Ranil from the bond scam (nothing to do with so called allegations of SF another crook).

    Can you also call for the removal of Rajitha Senaratna for the allegations against him as most recently leveled by Anura Kumara in parliament? Or would you call the MPs to support the no confidence motion?

    The continuous erosion of yahapalana credibility cannot be washed away by bashing the previous govt. One by one, the leading members of yahapalana are required to be sacrificed in order to save the masterminds behind the massive theft of nation’s wealth. Eventually it will catch up with the masterminds too.

  • 0
    0

    He is neither a hero nor traitor But an ambitious opportunist. He has never been known for ” patriotic die hard sinhala buddhist ” kind of rhetoric as spoken by Wimal Weerawansa but since a few months back he adopted this kind of rhetoric & I remarked about this & predicted that he was considering a political somersault. As events unfolded this was even more obvious to me & I have been proved correct.

    Also he was brought into politics by CBK & he never acted like a Sinhala buddhist hawk which image he cultivates at present.

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