Category Archives: Presidential elections

Peiris Confronts Samarasinghe and Other Pundits

Gerald H Peiris

Having collaborated with Professor S. W. R. DE A. Samarasinhe (Sam) in several research projects, I have had the occasions to admire his extraordinary analytical skills and his clarity of thought. I also recollect that he was one of the earliest in the intellectual firmament of Sri Lanka who applied his expertise in ‘Banking and Public Finance’ to expose procedural irregularities in the infamous issue of ‘Central Bank Bonds’ early in the tenure of the Yahapalana regime, disregarding his own leanings vis-à-vis the party configuration of Sri Lanka. However, I have to say that his article titled ‘Implications of the Supreme Court Verdict’ (The Island of 15 November) is a rare instance of his departure from scholarly understanding and impartiality.

In the first place, what the Supreme Court (SC) issued on the 13th of November was not a ‘verdict’. As explained to me by two of Sri Lanka’s most respected lawyers about 45 years ago, an ‘Interim Injunction’ is no more than a postponement of a verdict. Despite Sam being aware of that, it is disappointing to see him in the political mob (which includes representatives and lackeys of  the global powers that contributed substantially towards the processes that installed the Yahapalana government) attempting to persuade the people that the Court issued a verdict against President Sirisena’s decision announced on 26 October to reformulate the Cabinet and, on 9 November, to dissolve the parliament which was prorogued at that time. Thus, what did happen was that, due perhaps to the legal intricacies concerning the presidential decision, the SC gave itself and the lawyers on both sides of the dispute 22 days until it could sit once again to arrive at a decision. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka’s Political Story from 1948-2018 in a Slash-and-Burn Nutshell

Qadri Ismail, in Groundviews, 3 November 2018, where the title is “WHAT, to the minority, is democracy?” ….with emphasis insertedby the Editor, Thuppahi

Maithripala Sirisena violates the constitution, stands to destroy democracy itself. Liberals, overwhelmingly Sinhalese, are aggrieved, appalled, aghast.

As a minority, I laugh. Not the happy laughter of someone enjoying a good joke. But the bitter, mirthless cackle of someone forced to read this script many times before – like every full moon, when the temple speakers blare its bana and you can’t blot out the noise with sleep because the liquor stores are closed.

All postcolonial Sri Lankan heads of government, all of them Sinhalese, have consistently violated the constitution and/or “threatened” democracy – usually by practicing it – and/or oppressed minorities. One could deem it a job requirement.

Just a few months after independence, Don Stephen Senanayake denaturalized, then disenfranchised ‘Indian’ Tamil citizens, already alienated from this country by their naming. Constitutional? Probably not. Democratic? Absolutely – passed by a majority of Parliament. Continue reading

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The Situation of the Tamils in the Present Saga — Guruparan

Kumaravadivel Guruparan in Scroll, 5 November 2011, where the title is Sri Lanka’s political crisis explained, and what it means for the island nation’s Tamil community”

In November 2014, Maithripala Sirisena, who was then a cabinet minister and member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, broke ranks with his leader, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and agreed to be the common presidential candidate of the Opposition, led by the United National Party. Sirisena won the election in what was then hailed as a “democratic revolution”.

He undid that “revolution” on October 26 this year when he sacked Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and appointed Rajapaksa in his place. He did so ignoring the constitutional amendment he had helped pass after coming to power in 2015, which had done away with the president’s power to remove the prime minister. He thus triggered what is being called Sri Lanka’s first unconstitutional transfer of power – a coup.

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A Naked Display of Double Standards by the West in Sri Lanka

Tamara Kunanayakam, in Island, 3 November 2018, where the title is Tamara: Why was West silent on wrongdoings of former regime”   ………..Note: the highlighting is the work of The Editor, Thuppahi

Tamara Kunanayakam, Economist, Expert on international affairs, Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN at Geneva, Former Cha”irperson/Rapporteur of the UN Intergovernmental Working Group on the Right to Development yesterday asked why West had been silent on some grave wrongdoings of the ousted Premier Wickremesinghe.  Kunanayakam, speaking at a briefing organized by Eliya Organization said: “What is the explanation for the West’s silence on the postponement of local government elections for some three years and delays in holding Provincial Council elections, all under the Premiership of Ranil Wickremesinghe?

 

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Illegal! Sirisena’s Coup Indefensible insists Welikala

Asanga Welikala, in Groundviews, 1 November 2018, where the title reads  Nailing Canards: Why President Sirisena’s Actions Remain Illegal, Unconstitutional, And Illegitimate””

There have been intense public debates over the meaning and interpretation of the Constitution, and especially the far-reaching changes introduced by the Nineteenth Amendment in 2015, since the dramatic and ongoing attempt at an unconstitutional transfer power that began on the evening of Friday 26th October. Unfortunately, the discussion has been clouded by the attempts of those who are trying to uphold the approach taken by Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa, to present arguments that are – at best – simply wrong, without any valid legal basis, or based on a lack of understanding of the Constitution – or at worst – motivated by a deliberate desire to lie, dissimulate, distort, and misinform the public.

 

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Apey Ayithivaasikam: Guarding Sri Lanka’s Right?

Sri Lanka Guardian ….

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Good Governance in Sri Lanka? Wherefrom Minihaa!!

Stanley Samarasinghe aka “Sam”

ONE =  MEMO Sent to The Editor, Thuppahi

Unfortunately the present government has discredited the concept of Good Governance and many voters have become cynical. But Sri Lanka has no alternative but to think afresh and make an effort to convince at least 50%+1 of the voters that Good Governance must be given another chance. If not we will elect another set of corrupt politicians.  My argument is that this time the younger politicians must take the lead and not Civil Society leaders. For sure Rev. Maduluwave Sobitha played a decisive role in 2015. But civil society leaders have no power to deliver. Recall that before his death Rev. Sobitha himself expressed his frustration a few months after the new government was elected.

  

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