It is a thousand pity that the Sinhalese who constitute 75% of the population cannot find a presidential candidate outside the Rajapaksa family. Mahinda dynasty is replicating what the royals did anointing their siblings as kings and queens in the past. When Gotabaya nomination came under a cloud because of pending court cases the choice was Chamal Rajapaksa.
Gotabaya instead of fighting the war to the finish, he quietly retired from the army in 1998 and migrated to the US in search of greener pastures. He took US citizenship severing his ties with Sri Lanka. In 2005 he obtained duel citizenship. Only in 2019, he renounced his US citizenship. This speaks volumes about his ‘patriotism’!
Gotabaya has announced that he will win the elections on Sinhalese – Buddhists votes alone. It will be a sad day that a person of that mentality gets elected as president on November 16, 2019!
During his tenure as Defence Secretary 25 media personnel were killed, 23 out of 25 happened to be Tamils. He banned the singing of National Anthem in Tamil. He bundled more than 350 Tamils living in lodges in Colombo into CTB buses and sent them to Jaffna, Trincomalee and Batticaloa!
Now he proclaims on the public platform he will release all military personnel first thing on the morning of November 17th – that includes Navy intelligence personnel involved in abducting 11 Tamil students from Colombo and suburbs between 2007-2008!
Gotabaya gave orders to shoot all LTTE leaders/cadres who surrendered to the 58th Divisional army at Vadduvakal on 18th May 2009! It is cowardice on the part of Gotabaya to deny the cowardly massacre of Tamil surrendees. It is a mystery how he can go to sleep peacefully with Tamil blood dripping from his hands!
He did not spare Lasantha Wickremetunga, editor of Sunday Leader, and Wasim Thajudeen a rugby player who played with Roshsitha Rajapaksa. Wickremetunga’s daughter Ahimsa has filed a case in the US District Court in California alleging Gotabaya instigated and authorised the extrajudicial killing of her father.
What about financial impropriety? Basil Rajapaksa built a luxury villa on a 6.5 ha (16 acres) of land in Malwana at a cost of Rs.240 million but disowned it when Police wanted to investigate the ownership of the house. Basil disowned the house and the property! That was a clever subterfuge, since If he owns up, then he will have to explain the source of the funds.
Gotabaya Gotabaya along with six others have been charged for alleged misappropriation of Rs.48.5 million being balance amount due to Land Reclaiming and Construction Authority. This amount is the balance owing to LRCA in respect of the construction of the D.A Rajapaksa Memorial at Medamulana, Weerapitiya. The total expenditure was Rs. 81.3 million.
Thus Gotabaya is facing alleged extra-judicial killings, charges of murder, torture, financial impropriety etc. in Sri Lanka as well as US courts!
Recently, the Jaffna Magistrate’s Court summoned Gotabaya Rajapaksa to appear before the lower court on September 27 to give evidence in the in a Habeas Corpus inquiry into the disappearance of two human rights activists Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Muruganandan during his tenure as the Secretary of Defense. These two human rights activists went missing on December 09, 2011 when they were organizing an event to mark the World Human Rights Day in Jaffna. The enforced disappearance of the two political activists has garnered international attention on Gotabaya!
However, Gotabaya challenged the lower court order before a Court of Appeal bench comprising judges Deepali Wijesundera and Achala Wengappuli.
After Justice Achala Wengappuli recused himself from the case, Justice Deepali Wijesundera issued an interim stay order until December 3, 2019.
It will be interesting to know whether Gotabaya will avoid campaigning in Jaffna!
Sinhalese – Buddhist voters who go to the polls on November 16, should seriously think about the propriety of voting for a tainted candidate like Gotabaya.
Still Possible To Defeat Gotabaya Rajapaksa!
To be charitable to Ranil Wickremesinghe is not responsible for the security lapse on Easter Sunday.
President Sirisena who was not only the Defence Minister he was also in charge of the Police Department should the blame.
The author of the article claims “The Sri Lanka Tamils by and large feel let down by the UNP in general and Wickremesinghe in particular on whom they placed immense confidence in the run-up to the 2015 national elections which brought the UNP led Yahapalana government to power.”
If this claim is valid why “the Sri Lanka Tamil electorate would largely feel more comfortable voting for a UNP presidential candidate rather than a candidate from the SLPP. This is particularly so in the case of SLPP’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa.” This is an obvious contradiction.
For all his faults Ranil is a democrat. The best our of the bad lot. He is less communal than all other Sinhalese leaders barring perhaps Mangala Samaraweera. Even today, he is the only politician to declare that there must be wide devolution of power to address the ethnic conflict. No one else has admitted this.
Sumanthiran MP has a soft corner for Ranil because he listens to the grievances of the Tamil people. You cannot do this with Mahinda.
Credit must be given to Ranil for upgrading/modernising the KKS, Myladdi and Point Pedro harbours must go to Ranil and no one else.
Credit also should go to Ranil for upgrading and elevating the Palaly airport as Jaffna International Airport at a cost Rs. 2,250 million!
Not to be left out is the new Building for Jaffna Municipal Council costing Rs.2.35 billion.
Under Gampereliya, 25,000 houses are being built for the war-affected families in the North and East. Ten billion rupees had been allocated to build 10,000 housing units this year. A total of 4,750 houses has already been completed.
Under Gamperelia Rs.37,565 million has been allocated to North and East.
To be charitable to Sumanthiran, he has castigated Prime Minister Ranil as someone without a backbone when the latter allowed the constitutional process to grind to a halt.
It is Ranil and no one else responsible for creating space for democracy and eliminating white van culture, killing of media personnel, violation of rule of law and fear psychosis that prevailed under Mahinda/Gotabaya 9 years dispensation.
Among the Sinhalese politicians, Ranil Wickremesinghe is the most honest, straightforward and hardworking. A friend of mine told me the Prime Minister’s office staff works late in the night almost every day. Ranil is the only politician who has a vision about future Sri Lanka. A Sri Lanka where every citizen will feel proud to sing the National Anthem and hold the National Flag. But that day seems to be light-years away if we listen to the speeches of SLPP politicians.
At the Anuradhapura SLPP rally, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he will release all members of the armed forces now facing court cases on the morning of November 17. Members of the armed forces, especially the intelligence personnel, are accused of abduction for ransom, torture and killing. In Colombo and its suburbs, 11 Tamil youths disappeared between 2007-2008 after taken away in white vans.
So the charges against them are not related to crimes committed in the battlefront. They are related to offences committed outside the battlefield. But Gotabaya will release them the day after he was sworn in. This is an ominous message to the country’s judiciary. It will be back the days when Chief Justices wrote judgements not according to evidence led in the courts, but according to political expediency.
This is the real Gotabaya speaking from his heart, not camouflaging, not taking refuge under diplomatic nicety.
Gotabaya is accused of ordering scores of LTTE leaders and cadres when they surrendered on the morning of 18th May 2009 carrying White flags. Both Basil Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa advised the surrendees to hold the white flags high as they approach the military camp. Yet all of them were gunned down after torture. Photographs and video footage showed their bodies strewn on the ground with burnt marks.
Likewise, a group of LTTE stalwarts who surrendered to the army on the same evening (18th May 2019) were taken away in CTB buses apparent for a short inquiry witnessed by their spouses, friends and others. None of them came back and all were gunned down. Rumour has it that some of them like Thilakar, the TRO chief, were placed inside a cement mix equipment and ground!
The most gruesome murder is that of 12-year old Balachandran son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran. Pictures showed an innocent boy seated on a bench inside an army bunker munching some nuts out of a packet. The poor boy hardly imagined that his executioners will summarily execute him within a short time. In his case too his bullet-ridden body was seen lying on the ground.(https://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-war-crimes-video-womans-body-identified)
Now, why on earth did the army kill an innocent boy? Who ordered the shooting? As Secretary of Defence did Gotabaya ordered the shooting(s)? Did Sharvendera Silva, the commander in charge of the 58th Division carried out the executions on the orders of Gotabaya?
Soon to be ex-President Sirisena lies through his teeth when he says nobody was killed, no crimes were committed by the patriotic armed forces and no one will be sent to the electric chair as long he is alive! Ditto with Mahinda Rajapaksa!
The heinous killings tantamount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is as simple as that.
Gotabaya, if by any chance gets elected as President, but god forbids, will not be able to travel abroad despite his diplomatic immunity! He will be a national embarrassment to the country.