High level IMF delegation to Colombo before the review

IMF and Sri Lanka civil societies to start talks.

Secret dinner of 29 Pohottuwa back benchers with two ministers

Judiciary and parliament crisis to take new turn next week

With Sri Lanka receiving an amount of 330 million dollars as the first instalment of the International Monetary Fund, many people think that ‘everything is fine now’. They said that the country’s problems are over now. They say that the country’s dollar problem is over. Most of the country’s media is currently behaving as if the country has returned to normalcy with the receipt of the first instalment of the financial fund, as all needs are being fulfilled.

IMF conditions

But as a responsible media, the ‘Mawrata’ ‘inside politics’ column and the ‘Mawrata’ website constantly pointed out the facts to the country about the loan amount received from the financial fund and the difficult conditions behind it because the people of the country should be aware of this. There we particularly pointed out that even if Sri Lanka gets the first instalment of the financial fund, the way forward is very difficult. We also mentioned that in the first phase the conditions of the IMF should be fulfilled, and in the second phase Sri Lanka should start debt restructuring negotiations and that is the most difficult part of this process, and even China is ready to present various conditions at that time.

Also, after another six months, the IMF is going to conduct a review regarding Sri Lanka, and we mentioned that if Sri Lanka does not fulfil the relevant conditions during that time, the loan program of the IMF is likely to be disrupted.

SL’s HR records

Accordingly, we are ready to reveal some more special facts regarding the loan program of the International Monetary Fund to the readers through the ‘inside politics’ column. The first of these is that the International Monetary Fund is under severe pressure from various other parties these days based on Sri Lanka. It is none other than the United States and several countries belonging to the European Commission that have taken steps to influence the financial fund.

 There they have pointed out to the Fund that human rights are being continuously violated in Sri Lanka. In particular, the failure to hold the election on time, the violation of the democratic rights of the people, the fact that severe repression has been launched across the country, and the fact that steps have been taken to influence even the judiciary are the main ones. It has been learned that they have informed the Financial Fund to think twice about providing financial support to Sri Lanka under such circumstances.

Message from IMF

In general, the financial fund, while giving loans to any country, focuses on the country’s economic crisis, but does not pay much attention to the democratic structure. But it has been learned that the financial fund has also decided to respond to the on-going external pressures based on Sri Lanka. Accordingly, last week, the Financial Fund took steps to send an extraordinary message to the Government of Sri Lanka. In this regard, no media has spoken a word so far, and we are going to reveal that secret for the first time through the ‘inside politics’ column.

Special delegation from IMF

This message said nothing but that it has been decided to send a delegation of the highest level of the Financial Fund to Sri Lanka within the first week of next June. The most serious signal is that this group is scheduled to visit Sri Lanka before the first review of the financial fund to be held next September. They come in this way to check whether human rights violations are taking place in Sri Lanka as indicated by external parties.

USA concerns

Apart from this, it has been seen how America has paid close attention to human rights in Sri Lanka like never before. Especially Mrs. Julie Chung, the American ambassador to Sri Lanka, is considered to be a person who has paid close attention to the human rights of the people. Throughout the past, she had fearlessly commented and issue announcements against human rights violations by Sri Lankan government. Accordingly last week, Julie Chung decided to meet two main controversial characters currently. They are Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and Finance Ministry Secretary Mahinda Siriwardena.

New terrorism Act !

Ali Sabry was regarding the agitation which is based on the new Terrorism Act. Mahinda Siriwardena was regarding the controversy on the basis of not releasing the money related to holding the election despite a court order. Accordingly, in a message on her Twitter account regarding these discussions, she had mentioned that she had taken steps to discuss the current situation of the country with them. But the information we have says that during the exchanges held here, there has been a long discussion about postponing the election, interfering with the courts, and the clauses included in the new Terrorism Act. Also, in that discussion, she has given a very special message of the American government to the government in a diplomatic way, the ‘inside politics’ column learns.

LG elections in August ?

In addition to this, last week we made a special disclosure through the ‘inside politics’ column and informed that the President has sent a message to the International Monetary Fund that he is ready to hold the local government elections next August. In general, as we said earlier, the Financial Fund does not give priority to political matters but to economic matters. One of the incidents is that even though nearly 10 months have passed since the President assumed office, why did India not give the President an opportunity to meet the Prime Minister of India?

In addition to this, it has been unofficially learned that they have been questioned as to why the US government has not yet issued an announcement congratulating the President. The unsaid message they said through that was that the president has not yet received official international recognition. In the same way, it is known that the financial fund is ready to question the government regarding the elections and the good governance of the country.

IMF and civil societies

As a result, at the time when the Financial Fund decided that Sri Lanka should be freed from debt, another special clause was also included in the agreement. That is through including in the agreement the opportunity for the financial fund to contact civil organizations directly to find out if good governance is being implemented in the country. There is a special story behind how it happened. When the information was reported that the Financial Fund was ready to give loans to Sri Lanka, many civil organizations in Sri Lanka had strongly informed the Financial Fund that the government was violating the basic rights of the people in an undemocratic manner.

They had taken steps to seriously question the financial fund whether they would support such a government. As a result, the IMF decided to listen to the group at the last minute. Accordingly, the Financial Fund included a special clause in its agreement that it would take steps to negotiate with civil organizations within the country regarding good governance after the release of loans to Sri Lanka.

Many claim that due to the strong influence of the United States and the European Commission, the Financial Fund has taken steps to officially include this clause in the agreement. Accordingly, the delegation of the Financial Fund coming to Sri Lanka will discuss good governance with representatives of civil organizations in Sri Lanka in the future.

Arrival of Amnesty International

Another step was the arrival of a special delegation of Amnesty International to Sri Lanka last week. In the same way, the special team related to the financial fund is also going to visit Sri Lanka in the future to observe the situation in the country and give a special report to the financial fund. Under such a situation, many people are of the opinion that if the government continues to put pressure on the judiciary without holding further elections, the country cannot be prevented from falling into a more serious situation than the country’s bankruptcy. If so, it is very likely that Sri Lanka will be disqualified from continuing in the loan program during the six-month review to be conducted by the IMF next September. If so, the government will have to start this process from scratch.

NEC to meet Prime Minister

Accordingly, the state secret belt has informed that the president has unofficially informed the financial fund that he is ready to hold the local government election next August. Also, Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena is also ready to bring members of the Election Commission in the next few days to discuss the holding of local government elections. It is understood that the purpose of these discussions is to reach an agreement with the commission to hold the election in August. However, since the opposition political parties and civil organizations have already expressed their opposition to this, both parties will have to reach an agreement regarding the holding of the local government election on an intermediate date before August. ‘

Inside politics’ column has learned that the government is behind the planning of using the date to hold the local government elections and the special team coming to Sri Lanka from the financial fund.

Pohottuwa back benchers dinner meeting

Last week, a special meeting of Pohottuwa was held in a large mansion on Visakha Road, Kollupitiya without the leaders of Pohottuwa. This house has been known since then as a house where political discussions are often held. However, we first mentioned ‘without the leaders of Pohottuwa’ because this discussion was called by Sahan Pradeep, a back row member of Pohottuwa. None of the Rajapaksas participated in it, and only a handful of faces, including Prasanna Ranatunga’s, could be seen from the faces of the seniors. Apart from Pohottuwe MPs, the Minister in charge of Police, Mr. Tiran Alas, was also invited for the discussion and Sahan had taken steps to inform the MPs in advance that the matter of the Inspector General of Police was to be discussed and that they could ask any question regarding the police.

After receiving this invitation from Sahan Pradeep, several MPs from Pohottuwa who are loyal to the President spoke to the President and said that MP Sahan Pradeep had made such an invitation and decided to discuss the new Inspector General of Police there. Accordingly, the President in turn informed him to go to the discussion and report to him what is happening there.

New IGP ?

Accordingly, it was seen that 39 MPs from Pohottuwa participated in this discussion. There they also pointed out to Tiran that the current Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne should not be given any extension of service, and Mr. Deshabandu Tennakoon, who has faced various charges due to Pohottuwa and the Rajapaksa government in the past, should be given the post of Inspector General of Police.

Also, the Pohottu back row MPs took steps to make many accusations against the current Inspector General of Police. Accordingly, the vast majority of MPs who participated in the discussion had believed that CD would not get an extension of service as the Inspector General of Police and that Deshbandu Tennakoon would be appointed as the new Inspector General of Police. Accordingly, as soon as the discussion was over, several members of Pohottuwa called the President and informed him about this.

President’s meeting with Tiran & Deshabandu

Also, various media, social media and newspapers had already started a big media operation to make Deshabandu the Inspector General of Police. Some media directly said that the President has decided to appoint Deshbandu as the next new Inspector General of Police. Accordingly, the President had informed Tiran and Deshbandu to come to the President’s official residence to meet him last Friday (24). Accordingly, many people thought that since Deshbandu was also invited to that meeting, the President has definitely decided to appoint Deshbandu as the new Inspector General of Police. But something completely different happened there. The President who came to meet them on time informed them only two very short words.

Short words

‘None of you have any problem with CD? Get ready to continue working with him…’ were those two short sentences of the President. Accordingly, the President took steps to issue the letter indicating the service extension of CD by last Monday. The letter is now referred to the Constituent Assembly for approval. As soon as its approval was received, CD will serve as the Inspector General of Police in Sri Lanka for a few more months.

Premanath C. Dolawatta  

Another incident that caused great controversy in the last few weeks was the government’s attempt to summon the judges who gave the decision on conduct of election before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, claiming that the privileges of the members of parliament had been violated with the decision of the Supreme Court to release the necessary funds for the holding of the local government elections. In this regard, the ruling party member attorney at law Premanath C. Dolawatta first expressed his opinion before the parliament and presented the proposal.

Lawyers protest world over

After that, the Minister of State Shehan Semasinghe also presented a proposal to the Parliament in this regard. It was seen that not only the entire opposition but even some senior ministers of the government were protesting strongly and they pointed out that this is an unnecessary influence on the judiciary and judges and harming their independence. Lawyers were also seen taking to the streets and strongly protesting against this effort of the government. Over the past few weeks, not only lawyers’ organizations in Sri Lanka but also international judges’ and lawyers’ organizations have issued announcements condemning it.

Privileges committee divided ?

Although the government has brought a proposal in this way and plans to bring the judges before the Privileges Committee, it was reported as of last week that there has been some division among the members of the Privileges Committee. Although many people do not know, another Rajapaksa is acting as the chairman of this privilege committee. That is Chamal Rajapaksa, who is considered the eldest of the Rajapaksa family.

Also, two President’s counsels representing the government are also in this privilege committee. They are Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry. Apart from this, many party and opposition lawyers are also members of the Privileges Committee. Accordingly, the ‘ inside politics’ column has learned  that these people who deal directly with the judiciary, regardless of whether they are in the government or the opposition, have expressed their objection to the summoning of supreme court judges before the Privileges Committee. That was during the last parliamentary session.

Consultation with Chamal

Many moderate MPs as well as lawyers who have met the chairman of the committee, Chamal, have pointed out that this could be a matter that could have very serious consequences. Also, they have indicated that Chamal’s good name can be tarnished through this.

Minister Chamal, this is not a very good thing to happen. It is a matter that can cause serious problems for both the government and the country. On the other hand, you are a senior in Parliament. You also acted as the Speaker of the Parliament. This will cause your good name to be tarnished. These days President’s counsel Mr. Wijayadasa Rajapaksa and Mr. Ali Sabri, who are dealing with the judiciary as government ministers, are both in South Africa. When the two of them arrived, you summon Dolawatta and Semasinghe, who presented this proposal to the parliament, and asked them what privileges of them were violated by this decision.

On the other hand, the court has not yet given a final decision about the local government election. Only an interim order has been submitted. Therefore, you should intervene in this matter…’ when the MPs pointed out, Chamal has now decided to bring Dolawatta and Semasinghe when Vijayadas and Sabri are present to discuss this matter.

Parliamentary Finance Committee

Parliament’s Privileges Committee as well as Parliament’s Finance Committee is another topic that is often heard and seen in the media these days. This is due to the fact that the Finance Committee has become a news-making place in recent times because government’s action by launching various tactics to take over the power of the Finance Committee.

Generally, according to the Standing Orders of the Parliament, a Member of the Opposition should become the Chairman of the Finance Committee. It should be nominated by the opposition. Accordingly, Dr. Harsha de Silva, who is an economic expert, held the position of its chairman in the past. However, with the recent President’s action to prorogue parliament, all those committees were abolished. After the commencement of the new parliament, as usual, the opposition proposed the name of Harsha, but the government went beyond the tradition and proposed the name of Mayantha, a member of the opposition. Although Mayantha initially accepted the position, Mayantha later resigned due to serious opposition from the party.

Finance committee in disarray

The best was seen after that. Accordingly, the government once appointed Mr. Vajira Abeywardena as the Acting Chairman and took steps to pass several money bills. Another instance, in violation of the standing orders, a minister, Mr. Nalin Fernando, was nominated as the chairman and several bills were passed. This also breaks the tradition that a minister cannot act as the chairman of the committee. The most special event that was seen there were that some MPs directly expressed their opposition to it and publicly requested that their objection be mentioned in the ‘Minutes’.

Draw speaker’s attention

However, the appointment of the Chairman of the Finance Committee should be done by the Speaker, but since this has not yet happened, last week many MPs representing the Finance Committee took steps to inform the Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa about this. There they asked Sajith to draw the Speaker’s attention to this in Parliament. They pointed out to Sajith that it is a serious situation that some ministers of the government are supporting this anti-traditional activity. Accordingly, Sajith is now ready to draw the Speaker’s attention to this in the coming parliamentary week.

Black Panther in Yala

Last week, Sajith suddenly went to Hambantota to participate in the gifting of computer equipment and smart boards to several schools in Hambantota under the special ‘Sakwala’ program held in conjunction with the 30th death anniversary of his father, former President Ranasinghe Premadasa. While in Hambantota, Sajith got to know certain special news through the media. It is the news that a black panthers has been seen in Yala forest for the first time. Sajith immediately watched the short video that the media had reported on the matter and decided at that moment to go to Yala to see this rare Black Panther.

Generally, Sajith is considered as a politician who loves forest and wildlife. As soon as Sajith gets a vacation, he goes to Yala forest and takes pictures of wild animals. Accordingly, on his way back to Colombo from Hambantota, Sajith went to Yala and waited for about 2 hours to see this black tiger, but Sajith did not get that opportunity. Accordingly, Sajith, who postponed the sighting of the black tiger, left for Galle to participate in the launch ceremony of the SJB economic program that had already been organise to be held there.

By Special Correspondent

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