Category Archives: american imperialism

Evaluating Jehan Perera’s Assessments of the Presidential Candidates

Edward Upali in Canada, via Email Memo to Thuppahi, September 2019**

In his opinion piece on the Presidential Stakes Jehan Perera (JP) evaluates three of the more likely candidates at the next Presidential Election in Sri Lanka (SL).  However, I have some concerns relative to the criteria he uses to evaluate the prospective candidates.  It is a common practice in Problem Solving, to use the same criteria to all alternatives and score them to choose the best solution.  However, JP who claims to be a lawyer by training, appears to use several sets of criteria /attributes to evaluate three prospective Presidential Candidates

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Gotabaya’s Presidential Candidacy Highlighted in World Press … with Forked Tongue?

A Short Press Item by Sankalp Phartiyal and Shihar Aneez for REUTERS — typically brief in the style favoured by news media worldwide — has appeared in more or less the same words** in several  news reports in powerful print engines (see partial list below). They all bear the same title:  “In Sri Lanka, a polarising politician reaches out to minorities but suspicion lingers”

In Sri Lanka, a polarising politician reaches out to minorities but suspicion lingers© Reuters/DINUKA LIYANAWATTE FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka’s former wartime defense secretary and presidential candidate Rajapaksa shares a moment with Muslims during his visit at Ketchimale mosque in Beruwala

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The Kili Rasputin manipulating Sirisena’s Presidency

TB Bambaradeniya, in Colombo Telegraph with this title “Why The Maharajas Hate Karu Jayasuriya: Failed Coups And The Number 8”

The reclusive Chairman of the Capital Maharaja Organisation R. Rajamahendran, or Kili Maharaja as he is better known, has manipulated and steered the Maithripala Sirisena presidency almost from the outset.

Kili Rajamahendran capitalised quickly on Sirisena’s gratitude to the Sirasa network for being courageous enough to cautiously back his candidacy, when his campaign was being blacked out across all other media loyal to the Rajapaksa regime. Hours after Sirisena was sworn in as President in January 2015, Kili installed failed UNP politician Shiral Lakthilake as coordinating secretary at the Presidential Secretariat. Kili convinced Sirisena to take Shiral Lakthilake on board during a breakfast meeting soon after the election. Lakthilake being staunchly anti-Ranil Wickremesinghe, helped to begin the cold war between President and Prime Minister that has crippled governance for nearly five years and prompted Sirisena to attempt a coup-d’etat in October 2018. Continue reading

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Shavendra Silva Appointment in USA’s Gunsights

Rajeewa Jayaweera, in Island, 23 August 2019, with this title “Howls against Gen. Silva’s appointment”

The appointment of Lieutenant-General Shavendra Silva as the 23rd Commander of the Sri Lankan Army by President Sirisena has resulted in howls of protests from leading members of the so-called international community including the UNHRC Chief. In the home front, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has condemned war time Divisional Commander Gen. Silva’s appointment. Nevertheless, they wholeheartedly supported wartime army commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka’s bid for the Presidency in 2010. TNA spokesperson MA Sumanthiran MP tweeted, the appointment “was a serious affront to the Tamil people.” Sumanthiran forgets the election of his leader who recognized LTTE Supremo Prabhakaran as the sole representative of Tamil people, as Leader of Opposition in the Parliament. It was an equally serious affront to the Sinhalese people. People refrain from giving voice to their feelings on the subject due to the charade called reconciliation.

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The US Embassy in Colombo: Its Internal Structures and Lines of Responsibility

An article entitled “Ambassadors don’t make policy. They just carry out orders from their administrations” has drawn useful clarifications from two Sri Lankan ‘Insiders’ who worked within the US Embassy in Colombo in the late 20th century and more recently during Eelam War IV, namely, Daya Gamage and Brig. Sri Mudannayake.

 

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A Populist Strongman in the Wings in Sri Lanka

M. R. Bhadrakumar in Indian Punchline, 12 August 2019, where the title runs “The return of the strongman in Sri Lanka”The announcement in Colombo on Sunday by former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa that his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa will be his party SLPP’s presidential candidate in the election due to be held before December 8 electrifies the politics in the island country. The announcement was expected, but there was an element of uncertainty lingering insofar as the incumbent president Maithripala Sirisena also harboured ambitions to seek a second term and Gotabaya himself was awaiting the approval of the US administration on his renunciation of American citizenship, which would qualify him to be a candidate under Sri Lanka’s electoral laws.
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (L) and SLPP Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa (R) wave at supporters during the party’s National Convention, Colombo, Aug 11, 2019

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American SOFA Proposals generates Sharp Debate

Marwaan Macan-Markar, Asia regional correspondent, Daily FT, 14 August 2019, with this title “US-Sri Lanka military negotiations hit a roadblock”

A Sri Lankan marine stands guard in front of Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga docked at Colombo port. Japan, along with India and China, have many ships going into the port – Reuters
The US government’s new military blueprint in the Indian Ocean is facing headwinds in Sri Lanka, a strategically located South Asian island also being courted by India, China and Japan in a scramble for geopolitical influence.  In the crosshairs is a Status of Forces Agreement initially signed by the countries in 1995, paving the way for the US military to access Sri Lanka for logistics.. But Washington’s push to negotiate a new military cooperation deal under the SOFA, which lays out a raft of protections and privileges for visiting US troops, has come under intense scrutiny.

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