Response to Gemunu Kumara Vijithapura - The President has to go and this is why.
Upul Ranasingha

Before going on to responding to the defense of the President put forward by the Mr Vijithapura, please allow me to clarify a few points. The writer seems to have misunderstood my position on a few points.

I am NOT an UNPer. The first election I voted was in 1977. There I voted for the UNP. I voted for the SLFP in 1989, the PA in 1994 and the UNP in 2001. I am person who votes according to my views on various issues. I worked for one of the major financial institutions, which operates closely with the government, before I retired. I have had the privilege of seeing first hand how the government of the day operates. I have also seen first hand, what the people of Srilanka have gone through.

Sir, I agree with you the blame, for the present situation we are in, lies with all politicians. Even the British have to take a major share of the Blame. But blame alone will not solve it. Finding out the reasons is only the first step.

My point is this: There are two ways to solve the North-East problem. One is by military means and the other by political dialogue. Both are no easy tasks but if you decide on a path, you have to go the whole nine yards with commitment and vigor. You can’t satisfy everyone. You have to try and satisfy the Majority of the people ­ that’s what democracy is.

Now moving on to issue of the president. I stand by every word I said earlier. She is not fit enough to be the president of a country. As for Ranil and the UNF - I will reserve judgment for the next general elections. I believe in giving a person a chance to fully carry out their vision before passing judgment. Chandrika had seven years and she proved beyond any reasonable amount of doubt that she is incapable of running a country. She was a disaster economically, politically and socially. Both JR and Premedase, made their mistakes and they were shown the way out, one way or the other. Now it’s time to show the way out to the President. Please allow me to elaborate by giving you an example in each of the areas I mentioned.

Sir you have blamed the disasters of the PA on “errors of judgment have been made during the course of a complex Administrative process”. This phrase is typical of the Presidents rule. She had an excuse for everything and It was ALWAYS someone else’s fault. NEVER HERS. It was always the public servants or the press or UNP conspiracies. I for one will agree that the Public administration in Srilanka has a lot of deficiencies. I have dealt with it personally and the experience has sometimes been frustrating. My first question is this ­ So what did the president do to improve it? NOTHING. From the very first day till the very last day she complained. Sir, when we elect a person we elect them to solve the problems of the country. Not to sit for seven years and complain. In fact she only made it worse by appointing her political stooges to key positions such as General D, who made a “fruit salad” out of our war. While we are on the subject, lets not forget who appointed Wasantha Raja a key LTTE fund raiser in the west to the key position of Chairman of the National TV. This is what i ment in my earlier writing , when i said "it is very easy to blame other for our faults". My next question is, where on earth does the appointment of the senior military officers to key positions hit “complex Administrative process”? It is ONLY the president who had the authority to appoint the JOC and the service commanders. Sir, these were politically motivated self-serving decisions taken by the President which blew up in all our faces.

One of the greatest qualities of a leader is discipline. It is part of Buddhism. I don’t think the president knows the meaning of the word “discipline”. On how many occasions have you heard of the president being on time for appointments? My neighbor is a senior manager at a leading government institution. During the past seven years, he and his colleagues had several appointments with the president. They did NOT even get to see her on some occasions. On the occasions they actually got to see her, she was many hours behind schedule. And mind you, all these appointments were regarding important economic issues. I don’t need to go into details as to how she kept world leaders waiting for hours. Those who live in Srilanka remember how Prince Charles (who was invited by the government) sweated for hours in the heat waiting, on Independence day. This was a disgrace to the whole country. If you are going to treat people like this, then for God sake don’t invite them. I remember the days of President Premedase where people were give appointment at 6 in the morning and the President would be there sharp on time. Although Ranil is no Premedasa, he has so far kept the two appointments, my neighbor had with him, on time. If you can’t manage your time how are you going to manage a country?

The parents of the President are definitely great and honest people. But that does NOT automatically make the children as noble. Respect and trust are things you earn during your life time. It’s not hereditary. Sir, if you lived in Srilanka and listened to some of the presidents speeches, you will really begin to wonder if this is really the daughter of Mr & Mrs Bandaranayaka. “Uoo”, “Moo”, “Aru”, “Uoora” (pig), “Balla” (dog), Meeya (rat), “Naya” (snake) - should these be part of the vocabulary of a president? Have you ever heard of a president mocking a persons deformity? Is this how a president of a country behaves? This might be ok for people like SB Dissanayaka or Mangala Samaraweera or the JVP or Olitha Premerathne (the UNP MP who got one of his supporters to mock the president), but for the president of a country? Disgraceful!!! Have you ever herd Ranil, Mahinda Rajapaksha, Karu Jayasooriya or Dinesh Dunawardena talking like this in public? While on the subject of integrity, Sir if you are interested I will be glad share with you how Beggedana Sanjeeva, the well known underworld criminal, made it to Presidential security division.

Sir, lets talk economics. Firstly, there was no full time finance minister for seven years. There were two government institutions I was closely worked with ­ the CPC and CWE. When the PA took over power in 94, the CPC was running at a profit and had over Rs 10 Billion in retained earnings. Seven years later, it has debts of over Rs30 Billion. The CWE was profitable and had retained earnings of over Rs 2 billion. Today, it has debts of almost Rs 10 billion. Where did all this money go? The mystery is just beginning to unfold. You must have read about Rs 45 million the CID discovered, in vaults at a leading bank. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is all blood money, Sir. Blood, of brave Srilankan soldiers.

Finally, lets talk about Uncle Nephew politics and feudalistic family politics. Today the SLFP is split on every major issue. Instead of trying to solve the problem, what is she doing? Making it worse by playing family politics. I have no bout in my mind that over 80% of the SLFPers want Mahinda R as the leader. The SLFP, leave alone the country, is not the personal property of any family. So many SLFPers sacrificed their lives for the party (e.g. CV Goonerathne). Many of them suffered physical harm at the hands of Premedasa and the JVP. You can’t compare the UNP and the SLFP. Ranil might be JRs nephew but today he is the elected leader of the UNP. It was Premedasa who brought Ranil to the forefront, sidelining Lalith and Gamini, not JR. If you were to have a secret ballet to elect the leader of the SLFP, there is no doubt as to who will win ­ Mahinda Rajapaksha.

Sir, you have not challenged any of my others points, such as the feudalistic promotions given to relatives & the military blunders the President made. So I assume you agree with me. This alone is ground for impeachment. If you go back and look at the dates of many major military operations ­ you will see that there has been a major military operation before all elections. While their children were living in comfort in London, poor Srilankans were sacrificed to blow up their political egos. If this is not the greatest of betrayals then there is no point in talking anymore. If Ranil is a traitor because of the way the peace process is handled, then lets apply the same standards when judging the Presidents handling of the war. Lets not have double standards.

What I have mentioned above is just a tiny portion of what happened during the past seven years. There is more than enough ground to impeach the president. The catch phrase is “Lets spare/save Srilanka from the president”.

Writer Responses Very Encouraging But Spare The President Please, And Go After The Real Culprits!





Copyright © 1997-2001www.lankaweb.Com Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reproduction In Whole Or In Part Without Express Permission is Prohibited.