Sri Lankan shares fall for 5th session on margin calls, political woes

COLOMBO, MARCH 27

(Reuters) – Sri Lankan shares fell for a fifth straight session on Friday and closed at their lowest in practically eight months as investors sold their stocks to settle margin trading ahead of quarter-end, whilst political worries also weighed on sentiment.

The main stock index ended .71 percent, or 49.31 points, weaker at six,873.52, its lowest close given that Aug. six and further moving away from the essential psychological assistance level of 7,000. It has lost six.07 percent in the previous 20 sessions.

“The marketplace fell across the board due to margin calls and month-end settlement selling stress,” said Dimantha Mathew, research manager at First Capital Equities (Pvt) Ltd.

Analysts count on the subsequent support level at six,800.

Shares of the country’s best mobile telephone operator, Dialog Axiata Plc, fell .92 %, whilst conglomerate John Keells Holdings Plc dropped .69 percent.

Shares of the country’s biggest listed lender, Commercial Bank of Ceylon Plc, fell .71 %.

The day’s turnover was 447 million rupees ($ 8.28 million), much less than half of this year’s daily average of 1.21 billion rupees.

Foreign investors sold a net 91.5 million rupees worth of shares. But they have been net buyers of three.12 billion rupees so far this year.

Analysts mentioned issues that the government’s decision-producing approach would slow down, also weighed on sentiment following President Maithripala Sirisena formed a national government incorporating the main opposition party in a bid to push by way of reforms and preserve political stability.

Reuters

The Proposed 19A – A Critique

By Nihal Jayawickrama -

Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

Dr. Nihal Jayawickrama

The Bill for the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution has been drafted, published in the Gazette and placed on the Order Paper of Parliament without having any opportunity for public consultation. As soon as a lot more, a government has arrogated to itself the sole energy to draft a constitution, ignoring the reality that the constitution belongs to the complete country and all its inhabitants. It is a social contract amongst the citizens and the state, whereby the folks agree to submit themselves to the energy of the state, and agree to the manner in which that power will be distributed, exercised and limited amongst the institutions of government. A constitution must not be the solution of political bargaining amongst competing political parties nor should it outcome from the application of the celebration whip.

The proposed Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution appears to have been drafted with care to reflect some of the commitments created in the typical programme of the typical candidate for the presidency which received the overwhelming support of all ethnic and religious groups of this nation. Nonetheless, a reading of the Bill reveals a number of provisions which, if enacted, could impede the governance of this nation, and interfere with the lives of ordinary Sri Lankans as nicely.

Access to Details

The proposed new Post 14A seeks to introduce a new fundamental proper, namely, the proper of access to info, notwithstanding the reality that the proper to seek, obtain and impart information is an element of the “freedom of speech and expression such as publication” which is currently guaranteed in Write-up 14(1)(a) of the Constitution. What is now needed is a substantive law that offers sensible effect to that basic right. Rather, what is being offered is a constitutional provision that reflects a significant misunderstanding of the concept of access to details. Post 14A seeks to grant every single citizen the basic appropriate of access to any information held by “any other person”, “being info that is needed for the physical exercise or protection of that citizen’s rights”. As far as I am aware, there is no legislation in any country in the globe that gives a citizen the right of access to information in the possession of yet another “person”.

The draftsman has apparently borrowed this provision from the 1996 Constitution of South Africa which was drafted in the context of the “secretive and unresponsive culture” that had prevailed beneath the apartheid regime. The draftsman appears to have ignored the truth that when substantive legislation was enacted in that nation, that error was rectified and the term “private bodies” was substituted for “persons”. In the absence of any such implementing legislation in Sri Lanka, will my neighbour now acquire a constitutional proper to intrude into the privacy of my property in search of info (possibly my study material !) that may be valuable to him for the goal of vindicating his rights in a court of law?

Access to info indicates a appropriate of access to information in documentary kind in the possession, custody or handle of departments of government or other public bodies constituted below the law for any public purpose. It is about open government and accountability and the strengthening of democratic processes. It is not about access to info in the possession of private individuals. Nor must the physical exercise of that correct be restricted below an omnibus clause that consists of grounds such as “the protection of overall health or morals” as stated in the Bill. Exempt documents are normally these that might prejudice a pending criminal investigation, info communicated in confidence by the government of a foreign state, trade secrets, but incomplete scientific investigation, and such like.

Presidential Immunity

The proposed new Report 35 continues to give the President with immunity from civil or criminal proceedings. An examination of comparative constitutions, which includes those of France, South Africa and the Republic of Korea, will reveal that such immunity is enjoyed only in monarchical states and not in democratic republics (where absolutely everyone is equal before the law and topic to the equal protection of the law). Even the President of the United States has not been granted any such immunity under the Constitution of that nation, although the Supreme Court has declined to situation judicial directions in respect of his official acts. Under the current and proposed provisions of the Constitution, even a president’s spouse is prohibited from instituting a civil action for divorce or for upkeep!

Acting President

The proposed new Report 37 states that anytime the President is absent from Sri Lanka or is otherwise unable to perform the functions of his office, the Speaker shall act in that office. This is a departure from previous practice in regard to the workplace of the constitutional head of state. Beneath each the 1946 and 1972 Constitutions, provision was produced for the Chief Justice (or the chief judge of the highest court) to assume that office in the course of such a period if no other individual was appointed to act. If the workplace of President is anticipated to be non-political, it would be inappropriate for an elected politician belonging to a political party even to act in that workplace. Additionally, in terms of Article 66 of the Constitution, the seat of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if he becomes subject to any disqualification specified in Write-up 91, and 1 of these disqualifications is “if he is the President of the Republic” – even for a day!

In 1975, when President Gopallawa was due to leave the Island on an official check out, the then Speaker, Stanley Tillekeratne, staked a claim to be appointed to act. At the request of the Prime Minister, I sought the opinion of the Lawyer Common on this matter. Mr Raja Wanasundera was of the view that the combination of the offices of Speaker and President would be against the whole spirit of the Constitution. He wrote:

Each as the Speaker and as a Member of the National State Assembly, he is part of the legislature which does not straight exercising executive and judicial powers. The workplace of President is one of the most essential offices contemplated by the Constitution. The President is the head of the Executive. Getting regard to the functions and duties reposed in these offices, it appears to me that the nomination of a person who is a Member of Parliament and the Speaker of the National State Assembly, to act in the workplace of President, would have a tendency to damaging the distinctions drawn in section five of the Constitution.

The incompatibility would clearly arise if the particular person concerned is deemed not to vacate the office of Speaker or Member of Parliament, or both, on acting for the President. If, on the other hand, we take the view that the Speaker vacates workplace on acting for the President, then it seems that a new Speaker will also have to be appointed. The provisions of the Constitution appear to indicate that the workplace of Speaker and Deputy Speaker are various, and the Constitution contemplates that both offices should be filled.

The Attorney Basic concluded that getting regard to the incompatibility referred to above, it was not desirable that the Speaker need to be nominated to act in the office of President. Accordingly, Chief Justice Victor Tennekoon assumed the workplace of President, and Mr Justice Samarawickrema was appointed to act in the office of Chief Justice.

The Constitutional Council

The proposed new Chapter VIIA provides for the establishment of a Constitutional Council. Nonetheless, that chapter does not seem to have taken note of the unfortunate expertise of the preceding Constitutional Council. Five persons are required to be appointed on the nomination of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. What would happen if these two opposing politicians are unable to agree on five or lesser number of persons? Similarly, what would happen if the Members of Parliament of other political parties and independent groups are unable to agree on 1 member to be appointed? Certainly, provision ought to be produced for the President to make such appointments on his personal initiative in such situations.

Secretary to a Ministry

In the proposed new Article 52, provision is created for the appointment of a Secretary for every single Ministry who shall “subject to the path and control of his or her Minister” exercise supervision over the departments of government and other institutions in charge of the Minister. In the 1946 Constitution, the Permanent Secretary exercised such supervision “subject to the basic path and manage of his Minister”. In the 1972 Constitution, the word “general” was deleted. “General direction” related to matters of policy only “direction” on the other hand could be case distinct if the Minister was so inclined. Thereby, the Minister, and via him many Members of Parliament and constituents whom he wished to humour or accommodate, became directly involved in the routine administration and selection-generating processes of government departments.

This modify appeared to have considerable assistance at the time amongst the Ministers considering that many of them believed that Permanent Secretaries who had been appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, occasionally with no prior consultation with the Minister to whom the Ministry had been assigned, had been a channel through which the Prime Minister exercised oversight and influence, if not manage, more than those Ministries. That modify stripped the Permanent Secretary of his independence, and transformed that office into that of a political agent who could be necessary to carry out the distinct directions of the Minister even on matters where independent action was desirable. Obtaining served as a Permanent Secretary under the 1946 Constitution and as a Secretary under the 1972 Constitution, I would strongly urge that the independence of that workplace (and thereby of the public service as a complete) be restored by permitting only “general” path.

Dissolution of a Ministry

The proposed new Article 52 also states that the Secretary to a Ministry shall cease to hold office upon the dissolution of the Cabinet of Ministers, which is an event that would ordinarily happen at the conclusion of a basic election. It is precisely at such a time that a Ministry need to continue to function beneath a Permanent Secretary until a new Ministry is developed or a new Minister is appointed. The conclusion of a common election ought to be the time for an orderly transition, and the Permanent Secretary ought to be the link in between the previous and the future.

Dissolution of Parliament

To curtail the energy of the President to dissolve Parliament in the course of the initial 4 years and six months of its 5 year term (except on a resolution passed by not less than two-thirds of the complete number of members – including those not present – voting in its favour) as is sought to be done in proposed new Report 70, is a recipe for anarchy. What would take place in a Parliament in which no single celebration has a clear majority, and each government that is constituted is defeated following a few months, or a budget is repeatedly rejected, and members are unwilling to vote for a dissolution till they have qualified for their pension at the end of the fifth year? Surely the President should have that reserve power to dissolve Parliament and contact a general election to ensure that stability returns to governance.

Head of Government

A lot has been made in particular political circles about the lack of a reference to the “head of government”. There was no reference in either the 1946 or the 1972 Constitutions to a “head of government”. As in both those Constitutions, the President (or Governor-Basic in the 1946 Constitution) is the head of the executive (i.e. the government), whilst the Prime Minister is the head of the Cabinet of Ministers which is charged with the direction and control of the Government of the Republic.

The Problem of the Referendum

The proposed new Report 3 offers for the President of the Republic to be “elected by the People”. A national election of a constitutional head of state is a luxury that Sri Lanka can’t afford. This provision is possibly being retained in the Nineteenth Amendment for worry that any other, much more rational, form of election (such as by Parliament) could require approval at a referendum. It is time that this unreal worry, unleashed by a 2002 judgment of former Chief Justice Sarath Silva, is ultimately laid to rest.

Following the common election of five December 2001 at which the UNP secured a comfy majority in Parliament, President Kumaratunga invited her principal political opponent, Ranil Wickremesinghe, to kind a government. In mid-2002, fearing that President Kumaratunga could exercise her power of dissolution at any time, the UNP Cabinet decided to seek parliamentary approval to amend the Constitution, inter alia, to make the President’s energy to dissolve Parliament topic to parliamentary manage anytime the majority of members belonged to a political celebration of which the President was not a member.

Chief Justice Silva constituted a seven-judge Bench, from which he excluded the 3 most senior judges, to examine the constitutionality of the Bill. This Bench held that the proposed amendments to the Constitution infringed Post four. A Bill that is inconsistent with Post four could be passed by a two-thirds majority and does not need approval at a referendum. The Chief Justice, nevertheless, went beyond his judicial role, and trespassing into legislative territory held that Article four was “linked” to Article three which is a single of twelve Articles of the Constitution which need each a two-third majority in Parliament and approval by a majority at a referendum for the adoption of any inconsistent legislation. He therefore retained for President Kumaratunga the energy to dissolve Parliament at a moment of her deciding on, a energy that she exercised a few months later.

Article 83 of the Constitution specifies twelve “entrenched” Articles. These, apart from Report 83 itself, are Articles 1 (The State), two (Unitary State), 3 (Sovereignty is in the Individuals and is inalienable), six (The National Flag), 7 (The National Anthem), 8 (The National Day), 9 (Buddhism), 10 (Freedom of Believed, Conscience and Religion), 11 (Freedom from Torture), 30 (Term of Office of the President), and 62 (Duration of Parliament). Post 4, which describes the manner in which the Sovereignty of the Men and women is exercised – i.e. legislative power by Parliament, executive energy by the President, judicial energy by way of courts, basic rights, and the franchise at elections, is not 1 of them.

It is interesting to recall that in the original draft Constitution ready by the Choose Committee of the National State Assembly, Write-up 4 was also included as an entrenched provision. Even so, on 16 August 1978, when the Bill containing the draft constitution was getting considered in committee, Justice Minister Devanayagam moved that the reference to Article 4 be deleted, and it was so agreed. Consequently, what the legislature deliberately omitted is what Chief Justice Sarath Silva sought to re-introduce. It may be that other judges prior to him have also shared his view, but it is Parliament, and not the Supreme Court, that can add or delete provisions of the Constitution. The sooner that Parliament asserts its authority to do so, the far better it would be for the governance of this country.

SLFP Snubs Also Get in touch with For ‘Royalist’ As Opposition Leader

Sri Lanka Freedom Party snubs right now made a call for the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe&#8216s Royal College classmate Dinesh Gunawardena as the opposition leader.

Dinesh Gunawardena is a classmate of Wickremesinghe at Royal College and recently participated at a ceremony held to pay tribute to the new Prime Minister and other Royalist Ministers at Royal College.

Dinesh Gunawardena is a classmate of Wickremesinghe at Royal College and not too long ago participated at a ceremony held to pay tribute to the new Prime Minister and other Royalist Ministers at Royal College.

Speaking at the rally in Ratnapura held to get in touch with for the nomination of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Prime Ministerial candidate, a lot of speakers named for the appointment of MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena as the opposition leader.

Earlier, Vasudeva Nanayakkara an ally of Mahinda Rajapaksa said that 50 parliamentarians of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party had signed a petition calling for the appointment of Gunawardena as the leader of the opposition.

The present Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been accused of filling the cabinet with old boys of Royal College.

The Colombo Telegraph earlier provided a list of essential cabinet portfolios which have been designated to Royalists, such as all portfolios related to finance.

Dinesh Gunawardena is a classmate of Wickremesinghe at Royal College and recently participated at a ceremony held to spend tribute to the new Prime Minister and other Royalist Ministers at Royal College.

Earlier, speaking in Parliament Wimal Weerawansa said that the mandate given to President Maithripala Sirisena had been &#8216hijacked&#8217.

&#8220The country voted for a President, and they hijacked it and appointed a Prime Minister and then they have now got there own opposition leader. What type of mockery of the parliamentary system is this&#8221 he asked.

The new appointed Ministers also incorporate Royalists, such as Ranjith Siyambalapitiya and Dilan Perera.

Sirisena Shakes Queen’s Hand Without having Gloves – Wow!

By H. L. D. Mahindapala -

H. L. D. Mahindapala

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The post-independent period is a unique segment of Sri Lankan history exactly where everything that ought to have occurred, occurred without having breaking up the democratic foundations of the nation which is a exceptional achievement. In the main, the nation faced (1) two left-wing rebellions, (two) 1 Right-wing coup led by the Westernized elite. (three) a 33-year-old north-south conflict which began in 1976 with Tamil leadership passing the Vadukoddai Resolution, (4) paralyzing strikes by the Marxists who were planning to ride into energy on the back of workers, (5) sporadic ethnic riots, (6) roller-coaster financial rides, (7) student unrest in the universities, (8) periodic adjustments of governments at the state and regional government levels, (9) constitutional adjustments leaping from parliamentary kind of government to presidential, (10) foreign diplomatic and military incursions, Indian in distinct, (11) the influence imported ideological waves that swept influential sections of the intelligentsia and (12) the all round transition from semi-feudal, semi-capitalists, semi-colonial phase to a modern day nation, comprehensive with globe conquering cricket group and a competent military machine that rose from a ceremonial army to meet the greatest internal threats to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

Of all the major events two peaks stand out as the highest. The first took location in 1956 and the second in 2009. Both have been lasting defining moments for the nation. Both were grass root forces. Each have been to regain the lost/threatened heritage of the nation. The “Silent Revolution of 1956” was to reclaim and reinforce the historical roots of the nation – a common phenomenon that rose in rebellion against centuries of colonialism in all post-colonial nations. The “The Triumph of 2009”, although violent, was to regain and defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the national heritage which were threatened by neighborhood and foreign anti-national forces.

Both dates are interconnected. What was won peacefully and silently in “1956” was threatened from the day it was born by the Westernized Sinhala and Tamil elite. The militarized and violent antithetical forces opposing “1956” came up from the Northern political elite. In 1976 the entire Tamil elite decided to opt out of the democratic mainstream and take the gun to reverse the historical gains of “1956”. It can be argued that “2009” rescued from “1956” fading into oblivion.

The Vadukoddai War, endorsed in the Vadukoddai Resolution (1976) officially, was conceived as a method of the ruling Vellahla elite to ride on the backs of the Tamil youth to ride into power. But it backfired on the fathers of the Vadukoddai Resolution. When they legitimized the Vadukoddai violence, power slipped out of the Vellahla elite for the initial time since they rose to rule Jaffna from feudal instances, and fell into the hands of the lower-castes and the rebellious youth who turned their guns 1st on the high class fathers of the Vadukoddai Resolution. The classic Saivite Vellahla fascism was replaced by the political fascism of Prabhakaran. For some time, the 1-man rule of Tamil fascism seemed unassailable and seemed poised to win by defeating the Sri Lankan forces. But winning the “unwinnable war“ changed the political landscape by eliminating Tamil fascism and restoring democracy from coast to coast. The “Triumph of 2009” not only reinforced the historic achievements of “1956” but also stands out as the second decisive and defining moment in post-independent history that saved the Tamils – and the nation &#8212 from the a single-man dictatorship fascist Prabhakaranism. .

Maithri - Queen

*Picture by way of Marithripala Sirisena&#8217s Facebook page 

Historically speaking, “2009” is the logical and inevitable corollary to “1956”. Both reveal the inner dynamics of the invincible grass root forces that will rise, again and once again, to defend its historical heritage. The greatness of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike, who was far superior to the theoretically stunted Marxists, was in recognizing the aspirations of the grass-root individuals who have been gasping for oxygen in an oppressive and suffocating colonial atmosphere. Each as a Christian and a scholar of Western classics Bandaranaike was steeped in the greatest of Occidental culture and its roots. Of the Westernized ruling elite of the day he alone felt the pulse of the individuals, leaving the Right and the Left stranded in their ideological deserts. His intellectual rejection of the Western ideologies made him the most perceptive and far-seeing prophet of his time. The Left was buried as well deep in the dying Western theories of Marxism. The Right was too addicted to the colonial traditions which they inherited and perpetuated with hardly any structural adjustments to address the increasing expectations of one of the most politically alert electorates of S. Asia. .

Like all iconic revolutionaries of the colonial and post-colonial era Bandaranaike believed in the superiority of the indigenous culture which he was bent on reviving and reinforcing as a prime political want of the time. Although the Right and the Left had been emphasizing material and bread-and-butter troubles he focused on the cultural aspirations which proved to be stronger than bread. As in most of the post-colonial nation there was nearly a xenophobic rejection of something that came from the West. But Bandaranaike stood in the middle attempting to build bridges amongst the two. He knew he was in an age of transition drifting in between two worlds, one particular dead (colonial) and the other (national) struggling to be born. (Mathew Arnold). If the Western models have been to be incorporated into the neighborhood culture it was to be absorbed with suitable adjustments to local situations. The model for this trend was set, for instance, by Bishop Lakshman Wickremesinghe, the major light of the Anglican Church. He introduced oil lamps as an alternative of candles in Churches. Like in Buddhist temples, he insisted that devotees getting into the Church must leave their shoes at the entrance. He even introduced a tinge of yellow into the cincture that was tied round middle of the cassock.

Blending each cultures without offending any person in certain was the intended middle path selected by Bandaranaike. He not only gave Sinhala Only but Tamil also. This, nevertheless did not go down effectively with the Anglicized ruling elite of all communities who earned their crust via English. At the exact same time, he was conscious of the require to adopt the overarching principle of getting superior to the White Man just to be his equal. That was his motto at Oxford. He wasn’t going to be overawed by the dominant culture of the colonial masters. When he dropped the Western garb and donned the national costume he wasn’t putting on a “kapati koat” like contemporary day politicos. He pioneered the national dress and expressed his contempt for the Western garb by declaring boldly that you put on the coat and trousers only when you go for dog shows.

The intellectual subtleties and nuances that changed the colonial culture and reinforced the people-based culture was either prostituted or neglected by these who succeeded him, employing his name, which includes his third-rate progeny. We can dismiss his daughter who qualified more in imbibing French wine than in political science at Sorbonne. So let’s take the case of President Maithripala Sirisena’s metamorphosis soon after 1st official pay a visit to to London. Soon after he returned residence he has been projecting the image of a born-again evangelist for the West, distancing himself from his initial Marxist days and the current al-lay, val-lay and pal-lay common man from the Polonnaruwa paddy fields. In his address to the SLFP Organizers meeting he was glorifying his check out to Buckingham Palace where the Queen amazed him by shaking his hand with no wearing a glove. The fact that she provided her ungloved hand to him and his wife, Jayanthi, was marketed by him as a mark of particular respect conferred on him by the Queen. Great old Bandaranaike would have taken it in his stride, becoming familiar the Western culture and the Queen’s antecedents greater than the Queen. But not Sirisena, the boy from al-lay, val-lay and pal-lay from Polonnaruwa. It was like gama-yata magic,

Sirisena also announced with some pride that David Cameron walked out of his official residence to get him on the macadamized entrance to No: ten, Downing Street, with a hand shake and to escort him personally into the inner sanctum of the Prime Minister’s residence. Shaking the ungloved hand of the Queen, which enabled him to touch the skin of the Queen, and David Cameron coming out to greet him outside No: ten Downing Street, were reported to the SLFPers as important achievements of his check out to UK. In gloating more than these experiences there is much more than a touch of the naivety of a very first-timer being overawed by the big names in massive locations.

His report to the SLFPers was meant to impress the party large wigs that his first trip to the West was a triumph of his personal diplomacy abroad and that he is no longer the backward rustic from the paddy fields of Polonnaruwa. Shaking the ungloved hands of the Queen was placed just before the SLFP audience as an additional instance of his breaking the international deadlock that has bedeviled post-war relations with the West.

He also claimed credit for acquiring the West to postpone the scheduled presentation of the UN report on Sri Lanka to UNHRC in March. He said that the planet was divided more than Sri Lanka and his initiatives had united the world. He mentioned that the activity now is to unite. “And it is I who did it,” he announced, exuding a touch of personal glory.

There is some symbolism attached to the Queen offering a gloved and the ungloved hand. The Queen who shakes the hands of tens of thousands yearly, wears gloves partly for hygienic causes and partly for decorum. Her royal wave, for instance, is constantly gloved. She provides her ungloved and gloved hand to thousands and there is practically nothing particular in Mr. and Mrs. Sirisena shaking it ungloved, even though Sirisena gave the impression that it was a privileged concession granted to him and his wife.

All that is properly and good. Sri Lankans ought to share the cordiality that greeted him at Buckingham Palace and No: 10 Downing Street. In Sirisena’s Marxist days, nonetheless, his political guru, Shanmugathasan, would have hooted with belly laughs if he heard that a single of his cadres was ecstatic about the Queen shaking hands, gloved or ungloved. There is no doubt that he would have looked at it disdainfully and dismissively as the hand of a blood-stained imperialist who was heading the global killing machine of UK. But it’s different now. Those days the craze was to pose with Mao Tse Tung. Now the erstwhile radicals take wonderful pride in shaking the ungloved hands of the Queen. Boy, O, boy! How roaring radicals change into pet mice overnight!

The cosmetics at Buckingham Palace and at No:ten Downing Street can be dismissed as much ado about practically nothing. Even prior to Sirisena went to London the West knew that he was there point man in Sri Lanka. They were merely buttering him up to show their appreciation of the shift in foreign policy from the East to the West. It does not price them significantly to shakes hands cordially with their new client state. Clearly, Sirisena has not grasped the hidden meaning of the Queen and David Cameron going out of their way to be added courteous. It could either mean that they were patting President Sirisena on the back for doing the job of overthrowing their bête noir of the West in a bloodless coup. Or it could imply that they are satisfied with the return of a prodigal colonial boy to his old colonial masters. It could also mean that they are glad to welcome one more dependable client state to partner in the Western agenda.

On his return home, the President spoke glowingly of the lovey-dovey affair at Buckingham Palace which, soon after all, is only glove deep. He implied that he had opened up a new era of friendly relationship with UK soon after Mahinda Rajapakse rejected David Milliband’s intrusive intervention to cease the war in 2009. Milliband, working on behalf of the Tamil lobby in UK, was merely attempting to reassert the lost colonial powers by forcing ex-colonial nations to fall in line with their neo-colonial political agenda. That failed. So is it surprising that UK is overjoyed at Sri Lanka returning to the neo-colonial royalty on genuflecting knees?

But, as they say, there is no such factor as a totally free lunch or a handshake. The query, consequently, is how significantly is that handshake going to expense the nation? There is a price tag to be paid. What is the value that the nation is expected to spend in return for the thrill of touching the skin of the Queen? For instance, will it modify the pro-Tamil political stance of David Cameron who is funded heavily by the Tamil Diaspora? When he pressed the hand of Sirisena was he batting for Sri Lanka or for the Tamil Diaspora?

Sirisena’s speech to the SLFPers raised the 4 political sources that matter to him specifically which reflects his new mind set. 1st, he described the Indian Prime Minister Modi who had asked him what he thinks of his experiences following sitting in the Presidential chair for just two months. Oddly sufficient, he skips answering the question, leaving the audience to wonder whether or not he answered the question at all or whether he wants to hold it a secret. Second, he reflects on the Queen’s ungloved handshake in rather ecstatic terms. Third, he gives a glowing account of his meeting David Cameron, the man who hated Sri Lanka below Mahinda Rajapakse. And fourth, he claims that for the 1st time in the history of Sri Lankan politics all the Tamil parties sat with him when he went to Jaffna. All this was wrapped in his general theme of providing into the demands of the TNA. Sirisena appears to have acquired a lot more courage and inspiration following his return from UK to accommodate the demands of the North.

There are two meanings to this constellation of political forces: 1. it is this quartet that brought him into power and he plans to keep it going for his benefit two. it marks the starting of the reversal of history developed in the post-Nandikadal period. Repeatedly he emphasized, most vociferously, the need to give into the 13+ demands &#8212 a common lead to with the quartet that helped him to win. Earlier it was the Wickremesinghe-led UNP that was going all out to accommodate the North. Now the leader of the SLFP too has joined the bandwagon. Is this the which means of the “national government” : giving into the extremist demands of the North with hypocritical JHU and JVP tagging along with Wickremesinghe?

Does this herald the starting of the drift to the dissolution of the state in the guise of constitutional reforms? Or has Wickremesinghe outwitted Sirisena and taken the SLFP below his wing, as the head of the elusive “national government”, to break up the nation? Is this the finish of Bandaranaike’s SLFP, with his daughter, joining hands with Wickremesinghe, to sell the nation down the river? And is the new wave of Mahinda Rajapakse which started in Nugegoda the logical political counter to save “1956” and “2009”? Whichever way you appear at it, the combination of the four forces pointed out above – the Queen, David Cameron, Narendra Modi and the Tamil parties in the Diaspora and Jaffna &#8212 is a significant threat to the nation.

Playing The Devil’s Game To Exorcise The Devil

By Shyamon Jayasinghe -

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

This time it is a diverse strategic manipulation. The master stroke of picking Maitripala Sirisena as Typical Candidate had an air of ethical good quality: offered that Maitri had to threat his neck and given that the then President have to be stopped in his damaging track it had been a sort of relief operation. This time, the ethical air has to be evoked with some difficulty and amidst immense controversy.

Official sources urge that a National Government has be formed with the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party within a single fold, below the President. The idea of National governments is both salutary and sine qua non in instances of crises. War is the common occasion. Sri Lanka has, for now at least, completed the war. The most crucial national duty is to eradicate the Executive President system. Revd. Maduluwawe Sobitha, Jayamapathy Wickremaratne and a host of other individuals should be credited with possessing developed the necessary social consciousness for the modify. Left to the political parties, the latter would have preferred to engage in musical chairs for the workplace of (executive) President. The far more educated classes, experts, and writers had been quick to sniff the require for radical adjust. Revd. Sobitha’s movement gave leadership, path and technique to achieve the need to have that was flourishing in demand.

The guarantee was created formal in the course of election time that the new government under the widespread candidate will within 100 days exorcise the devil in the constitution. It might be Mahinda Rajapaksa then but could be one more subsequent. The point is that there had been increasing realization that it is the constitution that is the root result in. The constitution offers space and chance for even very good males or women to be monsters. Just before he became President Mahinda had been a really sporty guy but with huge energy in his hands he morphed into one thing foreboding and frightful in possibility. Mahinda did one particular signal service: to bring to the public notice the danger of our constitution. The danger was felt below its creator, JR, and beneath CBK and Premadasa but that was not palpable danger. Under Rajapaksa the danger came out into the open. MR carried the function to its logical and disastrous end like in a fated Greek tragedy.

New Cabinet 22 marchQuickly after Maitri’s victory all opposition rallied round with promises of assistance for the one hundred-day system and the changes to the constitution that have been spelled out. Nonetheless, as time went on-not months but only days- that enthusiasm dropped and faded away. The possibility of a return of Rajapaksa wearing the same stage costume became a reside 1. Even a government companion, the JHU kept nudging that they by no means wanted the executive Presidential system to go and that all they wanted was for the “excessive powers “of the President taken away. In so attempting to differentiate themselves Minister Champika Ranawaka and other isolated JHU personnel did not understand that to start with Mahinda Rajapaksa had been content to occupy the reduced finish of the spectrum of power presented by the constitution. Seeing the opening available at the other end MR moved swiftly to boost the energy of his office toward plain absolutism. The bigger than life portrait of the Absolute President that now presented itself suggested that he could make a criminal an innocent and an innocent a criminal overnight. He could at will make the living element of the dead and he could make the forthright and honest a cringing and servile particular person worshipping at his feet and asking for morsels. Sri Lanka became the land of the Absolute Star!

In the face of a desperate need for numbers to pass the amendment to the constitution sans modification the Maitri-Ranil government had to devise some move. The option had been frightening to conceive of, namely go to the polls right after the 100 days nonetheless with the constitution unchanged and the possibility of a return of a devil at some future date. Maitri would most possibly not be the devil. Somebody else soon after him? Imagine a Wimal Weerawansa in the function? As the cliché states the government was amongst the devil and the deep blue sea. The ‘devil’ in this case is literal.

“So let’s play the devil’s own game,” would have been the considering of the now duo buddies-Maitri and Ranil. They place their heads with each other and got a page off the former President. Induce the necessary numbers from the SLFP and then we are shaped! In this instance, the inducement was status or ‘thaththwaya.’ The likelihood for generating anything is not there.

In came the old pole vaulters from the SLFP. One particular senior MP was appropriately assigned the portfolio of Minister for Disaster Management. One particular former senior lout was fortunately not place in charge of his former haunt. He hasn’t much muscle now to strip CBK naked and send her on the streets crying. Except for just one portfolio provided to a cultured but term-expired character, all others provided as benefits to the new cross-overs constitute innocuous positions. This is the merciful element of the operation.

It all shows what a lot it indicates to our pollies to be deemed a Minister. In countries like Australia, exactly where I live, there is not this hankering following Ministerial portfolios. The answer is, I suppose, in the nature of the economy. Great jobs are available and excellent space for organization is obtainable to men and ladies who have some standing. In Sri Lanka there is the added possibility of milking portfolios for money and perks.

Be that as it may possibly. The move by the government is bad and smelly when looked in isolation from context. But, then, one particular does not interpret events without having the relevant context. In contextual terms the move can only have justification as a signifies to a noble end and as a short-term arrangement to get more than a crisis. The Devil’s Game can, certainly, extricate the devil from our constitution.

From the snares of the devil in the constitution totally free us , Oh Lord!

National Government: Presidential Election Betrayed

By Sumanasiri Liyanage -

Sumanasiri Liyanage

Sumanasiri Liyanage

Spinoza after stated, “those who laugh last, laugh best”. People who voted to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa regime out of power on January eight may have celebrated their victory. Nevertheless, even ahead of passing magical one hundred days, numerous of them may possibly be pondering the modify is just a chimera. New Ministers, State Ministers and Deputy Minister were sworn in creating the size of the cabinet of ministers to 44. If you add the number of state minsters and deputy ministers the total number may be closer to the quantity of ministers in the MR regime. As The Island reported, &#8220The quantity of Cabinet, State and Deputy ministers rose to 77 yesterday as 26 SLFPers had been sworn in prior to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat.” In this sense and in numerous others, Maithripala-Ranil (that I call MR II) regime has no much difference from Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR I) regime. Even in the climax of war, Sri Lanka did not have a national government, nor throughout the Tsunami catastrophe. So one particular may possibly justifiably ask: why now? For what? Prior to answer these concerns, it is crucial to raise two points.

Initial, if we reflect on some of the views expressed by men and women who wholeheartedly supported Maithripala Sirisena candidacy on January eight, a single thing is clear. All of them have currently disappointed over the overall performance of the regime. The MR II regime has currently shown political impotency, financial sterility and administrative incapacity so that it is extremely unlikely to materialize what had been promised by Maithripala Sirisena for the duration of the election campaign. Despite the fact that some prominent citizen oriented civil society practitioners hoped and anticipated that MR II regime would be primarily distinct from the MR I regime, in the context what has been taking place now it is clear that much more affinities than differences exist among the two. This convergence is clearly depicted by the formation of the so-named national government that is in fact a coalition among the UNP and the SLFP.

Maithripala and RanilSecondly, it is required to comprehend the nature of the MR I regime and its technologies and modalities of governance. Let me concentrate only on crucial characteristics. Mahinda Rajapaksa preferred unipolar governance in a seemingly bipolar or multipolar political context. He did not want to crush the opposition, he in fact stated that he stood for a robust opposition. Nonetheless, he utilised both the carrot and stick in order to weaken the opposition by inviting opposition members to the cabinet. He had occasional coffee with the leader of the opposition. The presence of formal bipolarity was not an concern for him. This technologies of governance worked fairly well with neo-liberal financial policies place into practice in a nation in which democratic elections are a function with of great significance.

Three demands that created Maithripala Sirisena candidacy eye-catching to a wide spectrum of peoples are: (1) relief from economic hardships (two) democracy and democratization and (3) good governance. However, it is required to maintain in mind that these three demands had been understood by various segments of society in various way. The way in which democracy and democratization was understood by the Internally displaced individuals in the North differed significantly from the way in which it was understood and interpreted by Colombo civil society. In spite of preparing one hundred days or 180 days calendars, these 3 demand can not be implemented totally inside the neo-liberal financial framework. However, MR II like MR I has no selection. The class configuration of the MR II regime may not be in a position to develop an alternative financial framework. As soon as once more, it has resorted to loans from the private sector as nicely as from the international economic organizations. IMF has already warned that it will not lend cash to this regime till and unless it shows ‘fiscal discipline’.

The formation of the so-known as national government demonstrates how and in what way MR II regime has proposed its governance strategy. MR I weakened the opposition whilst MR II brought in both the government and the opposition below a single rubric of the government, the President and the Prime Minister (Subha and Yasa as I mentioned in my previous report). So it was quite logical to amend the draft bill of 19th Amendment specifically mentioning that the President would appoint each the PM and the Leader of the Opposition. As the Minister Rajith Senaratne informed us that the two parties would contest subsequent election separately but to form when again a ‘united’ government reshuffling the members of the Parliament into government and opposition. Hence MR II is organizing to strengthen the unipolarity that was one of the characteristics of the MR I regime.

Can the so-named national government guarantee democracy, great governance and relief for poor classes? In my opinion, the JVP Parliamentarian, Sunil Hadunneththi was definitely right when he told that this is an try to hide some of the malpractices and corruption of the politicians of the prior government and to prepare the condition for UNPers to engage in the exact same practices. The cabinet technique of government is preferred against the presidential technique of government primarily since the later brings in multipolarity into the method of governance. Democracy also demands independent MPs who do not belong to group politics. These two circumstances have been erased when the Second Republican Constitution of 1978 was enacted. JR had absolute majority in the Parliament while his successors had to maintain the majority in the Parliament by throwing carrots in the kind of minister posts. It began with President R Premadasa. Maithripala Sirisena is adopting a distinct approaches by bringing in each the government and the opposition under him using not only the Constitution but also the Constitution of the SLFP. Hence the national government is a naked try at redesigning neo-liberalist rule.

Soon following the announcement of the so-known as national government, company neighborhood seems to have responded favorably. Ceylon Finance Today reported: “The formation of a national government as reported in the lead story of this newspaper on its yesterday&#8217s (Sunday, 22 March) edition will augur properly for the economy, market place sources told Ceylon FT.

A national government will give the needed political stability to attract that significantly wanted foreign direct investments (FDI) in to the country, the sources mentioned. That will lend stability to the beleaguered rupee, at the moment buffeted by depreciating stress due to a combination of import demand, foreigners exiting from the government securities marketplace and Government of Sri Lanka&#8217s (GoSL&#8217s) foreign debt servicing commitments.”

*The writer is the co-coordinator of the Marx School &#8211 e-mail: [email protected]

Sri Lanka Have to Emerge From Its Tragic Modern History

By Lasantha Pethiyagoda -

Lasantha Pethiyagoda

Lasantha Pethiyagoda

Passing an age of decimation of civil liberties and individual freedom, carried out in the name of fighting manufactured enemies of selection, any civic selection will have shackled citizens to an interconnected police and safety state, unprecedented in modern Sri Lankan political history just before the preceding regime.

In a tyrannic serfdom, the freedom of the wild ass is no freedom at all, as the popular dictum exclaims, whilst the search for unbridled power and limitless terms of office, symbolised these in explicit kind.

Contemporary tyrannies are deceptive. In the age of technology, it has to do with the need to hide its true nature from the eyes of those on whose assistance and indifference its maintenance depends. Effective tyrannies excel at hiding reality from public view, turning the truth on its head and criminalising its manifest victims.

The greatest purveyor of corruption, vice and violence in the country have to surely have had state patronage not merely to survive but thrive. Its varied mechanisms, as properly as getting the major exponent of the deadly arrogance that has poisoned the atmosphere for so extended and having been whitewashed from the discourse should constitute the most significant threat to civil society.

Sri LankaIf not for its timely finish in January it would have installed a far deeper malady within the Sri Lankan spirit than had hitherto been seasoned. No significant social issue &#8211 wealth inequality, underworld violence, racial and religious disharmony- could be resolved whilst the state remained an entity that continues year in year out, spending much more cash on military “defence” and grandiose projects than on applications of social upliftment &#8211 a most specific recipe for a spiritual death of the nation. It ought to be incandescently apparent that no one particular who has any concern for the integrity and life of Sri Lanka could have ignored that status quo.

This is the overarching point that drives our existing debates about injustice and militarism even by way of right now. The debasement of the national psyche, the callousness toward continuous targeted killing and violence, the belief that the state has not only the correct but the duty to bring violence anyplace in the land that it wants: that is what lay at the heart of Sri Lanka&#8217s embrace of endless militancy. A rotted national soul does certainly allow leaders to wage endless wars of attrition, but endless violence also rots the national soul. At times this seems to be an inescapable, self-perpetuating cycle of degeneration and degradation.

Sri Lanka’s elite despised the subjugated, poor, malnourished and weak. They felt unequal and wanted a discriminatory technique that lacked any sense of frequent decency. They have been pretentious and cowardly they encouraged religious bigotry with out morality or compassion. They helped the authorities to criminalise independence and freedom abuse ladies and kids revel in vulgar exhibitionism of wealth and opulence, largely in undesirable taste.

For Sri Lankans to endure what lies ahead they will have to harness the human imagination. It is this imagination that makes possible transcendence from darkness to light. In order to nourish and sustain this imagination, the people require to form a basis for widespread grounds.

These will be the forces that they will have in spot of the freedom they lack. The oppressed would be the first, since they know their fate, to admit that on a rational level such a notion may appear absurd, but they also know that it is only by way of the imagination that they or their future generation will survive.

The collective consciousness of ordinary citizens is the most potent power that can turn the tide towards a saner atmosphere.

How this is inspired and sequestered by accountable forces, from within or without in the a variety of factions, will establish what follows in the decades to come.

The effective elite had been specifically interested in moulding their younger generation into becoming a chosen individuals. They wanted their offspring to be folks who esteem energy and strength with awe even though despising and getting contemptuous of financial, physical and social weakness in their serfs.

This young generation will be incapable of becoming outraged with indignation of a society in which the powerful, influential and rich would invariably have had their way whilst the marginalized majority poor and powerless masses were denied even their impotently ineffectual say a new generation habituated into perceiving intolerance as the moral-ethical regular and raw violence as the only solution to all issues or variations future generations only focused on ‘getting ahead’ and incapable of resisting the unrelenting tide of injustice.

Operating against this endogenous imperialism is the privilege and the burden of all who deem themselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than the superficial nationalist humbug of racist bigots headed by some militant saffron clad traitors, and which go beyond our nation&#8217s self-defined ambitions and positions. We should speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for these the ruling elite fictitiously referred to as the enemy.

For centuries, minorities and the marginalised had small handle over their destinies. Forces of bigotry and violence kept them subjugated by the majority aristocrats. Suffering, for the oppressed, was tangible. Death was a continual companion.

For a state whose leaders had historically been guided, in most instances by nobler dictates and motivations, like the ten leadership qualities (dasa raja dhamma), and the general populace&#8217s belief that all blessed things, like timely rains, fair climate and bountiful harvests, and general effectively-becoming and prosperity of the populace comply with when rulers reign justly and righteously (devo vassathu kalena, raja bhavathu dhammiko), our contemporary history leaves a lot to be desired, for numerous good and clear causes.