Cancellation of Indian defence minister’s visit indicate a strained diplomacy?
What was the secret deal Nandalal had with Chinese Deputy Governor?
Will Hamilton matter surface after October?
How long IMF would allow SL to purchase time?
Channel Four bomb
Minister of State for Defense Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon stated in Parliament on 06th that President Ranil Wickremesinghe will appoint a committee to look into the content of the video posted by Channel 4 regarding the terrorist attack on Easter Sunday.
He also said that if it is not possible to come to Sri Lanka to give evidence before that committee, then the evidence can be given through Zoom.
However, the minister has commented on the method of giving evidence before a committee in a background where no decision has been taken to appoint a committee.
No parliamentary committees – Bandula
Commenting on Channel 4’s report, Cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said that no decision has been taken to establish a parliamentary selection committee or to discuss it. Minister Manusha Nanayakkara had first mentioned that such a committee would be formed.
Do you believe this? Namal
MP Namal Rajapaksa expressed his views in the parliament regarding the allegations levelled against the Rajapaksa family.
A year before the Easter attack after the establishment of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna, we won more than 70 percent of the local councils. Therefore, we did not need a third party or go beyond policies to win an election. Today it is alleged that it was used for the victory of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and that it was planned together with the intelligence agencies. It is not acceptable that the person who was on the platform of Maithripala Sirisena, the son of the person who was on the national list of the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna, the person who protected Mujeeb Rahman in the Parliament, lost his life to bring a Rajapaksa to power.
Abridged version of ‘Channel 4 Full Documentary
Below is a full synopsis of the Channel 4-produced documentary
At the start of the program, Easter Sunday and a comment from a victim of the attack, video footage of the attack, comments from Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, lawyers, journalists, human rights activists and other parties are included.
The total time is 47.22 minutes.
An explanation of this attack is provided by Channel 4, and it is stated that the attack was carried out to create instability in the country in order to gain power.
Here the information is disclosed by Hansir Azad Maulana, who was the press secretary of Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan (Pillayan), the leader of the Tamil Makkal Vidhuthalai Puligal Party (Pillayan). He says the attack was not planned in a day or two. He says that a team has been selected over a period of two to three years and it has been done according to a big plan.
Maulana Hansir Azad, who reveals this information, has gone abroad in 2022. He states in this program that he has irrefutable evidence regarding the attack.
Maulana Hansir Azad says that former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that journalist Lasanta Wickramatunga should be killed.
Nishantha Silva, the former officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Department’s Homicide and Gang Robbery Investigation Division, who is currently abroad, has joined the program and expressed his views. This is the first time he spoke to the media after going abroad, and he says in this program that he fled the country due to the danger to his life. Nishantha Silva comments on the investigations he conducted regarding the murder of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga.
He says that he called Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the then secretary of the Ministry of Defense, to the Criminal Investigation Department regarding the murder. Focusing on the Easter Sunday terror attack in question, Hansir Azad Maulana says Pillaiyan told him to meet a group of prisoners linked to religious extremism. He says that he met Saini Hashim Maulvi, a Muslim Maulvi. It is also mentioned here that the Maulvi is a brother of Saharan Hashim .
Hansir Azad Maulana says in this program that Pillaiyan told him that he can benefit by this group. Hansir Azad Maulana says that according to Pillayan’s advice, he found a lawyer and arranged them to be release on bail.
In this discussion, Hansir Azad Maulana reveals that Pillaiyan instructed him to arrange a meeting between the group and the current head of State Intelligence Major General Tuan Suresh Saleh in January 2018.
During this program, a government official who does not want to reveal his identity states that Gotabaya Rajapaksa controlled the head of state intelligence, Suresh Saleh.
February 2018, a meeting between Suresh Saleh and Saini Hashim Maulvi, who was released from prison, took place in Karadipuval area of the Eastern Province. For that meeting, Suresh Saleh, the head of intelligence, came to a house located in a coconut plantation. Pasku was among the six who arrived at the same place in a white van, along with Saini Hashim Maulvi. Maulana revealed that Saharan Hashim, who was involved in the Sunday attack, was also introduced to him there.
Maulana says that he introduced Suresh Saleh to the group and a discussion took place between them at the house in coconut estate, but he also mentions that he did not participate in the discussion that lasted for a long time. He reveals that after the discussion, Suresh Saleh spoke to him and said that there is a need for Rajapaksa to create an insecure situation in the country. Maulana Hansir Azad also says that Suresh Saleh said that it is the only way for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to become the President.
The program has also focused on the performance of Saharan Hashim.
It contains information about the killing of two police officers in Batticaloa in 2018 and the discovery of explosives in a coconut plantation in 2019. Maulana also says that he identified the place where the explosives were found as the place where Suresh Saleh and Saharan met.
According to the information received from the arrested suspects, it was discovered that the explosives belonged to Saharan Hashim and the organization, a unnamed government official said in this program. He says in this program that it was revealed after the terrorist attack on Easter Sunday that the intelligence agencies later gave misleading information about it. The unnamed government official further states that the Criminal Investigation Department has discovered that this organization is behind the explosives in question.
Channel 4 mentions those two weeks before the terrorist attack on Easter Sunday 2019, the Indian intelligence agencies had given information about the attack.
Maulana Hansir Azad claims that on Easter Sunday morning he received an unexpected phone call from Intelligence chief Suresh Saleh. He says that according to the call, he was told to go to the Taj Samudra Hotel immediately. He also mentions that Suresh Saleh told him that a person would be staying at the Taj Samudra Hotel and to pick him up in the vehicle and leave immediately.
Maulana Hasir Azad states that Suresh Saleh told him to get the phone of the concerned person and to take him to his desired place. He mentions in the program that Suresh told Saley that he was in Batticaloa at that time.
Presenting the footage of the attack on April 21, 2019, the channel shows how a member of Saharan’s team, who came to the hotel with explosives for an attack, received a phone call at around 8.50 am, which is close to the time when Maulana Hansir Azad received the phone call.
Maulana Hansir Azad believes that he may be the person who was informed by Suresh Saleh to take him out of the hotel.
The CCTV footage broadcast on the channel shows him leaving the Taj Samudra Hotel within two minutes of receiving the phone call without launching an attack.
The program also shows the suicide of Saharan Hashim’s brother Saini and others at Ampara-Saindamarudu.
Hansir Azad Maulana says that after this series of events, he spoke to Pillaiyan and he asked him to keep his mouth shut.
Then, the unnamed official of the government joins the program and directly accuses the head of the State Intelligence Service, Suresh Saleh, of being behind this attack and orchestrating it. He further alleges that Suresh Saleh knew about the attack and facilitated it.
Channel 4 also mentions that neither Gotabaya Rajapaksa nor Pillaiyan responded to their inquiries on the contents of the program.
The channel also states that the head of the State Intelligence Service, Suresh Saleh, directly denied the allegations of his involvement in the Easter attack. Denying the allegations, the head of the State Intelligence Service has said that he was in Malaysia at the time of the alleged meeting with members of Saharan’s organization. He also mentions that he was in India during the Easter attack.
Suresh Saleh has also filed a lawsuit demanding compensation of 50 million rupees for a statement made by Father Cyril Gamini for alleging that he was involved in this attack. He had mentioned earlier that he and his family members have received life threats due to this statement.
I was in prison – Pillaiyan
Meanwhile, on the 6th, while speaking in Parliament, Pillaiyan had said that he was in remand prison on the days mentioned by Maulana. It is related to the murder of MP Joseph Pararajasingham. Pillaiyan further says that Maulana expresses these views in anticipation of protection of a foreign country.
The full speech of Cardinal
Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith issued an announcement on the 6th about the documentary program produced by Channel 4 based on the Easter Sunday terror attack. The announcement is as follows:
An investigative documentary program about the conspiracy behind the Easter Sunday attack and the people who were allegedly involved in it was produced by Britain’s Channel 4 TV channel and broadcast yesterday (05 September) at 11.00 pm British time (around 03.35 am today in Sri Lanka time). It is a fact that everyone knows now.
At a time when all the efforts were made by us and the citizens who value justice and fairness in our country to carry out a formal and transparent and honest investigation of this great conspiracy have failed, we commend the efforts of an international media such as Channel 4 in Britain interest and effort shown. We express our gratitude to the channel and everyone who worked hard for it. We request all citizens of this country to pay attention to the facts revealed through this reporting program. What is important to us is not the old behavior of the TV channel, but the facts it presents about the problem we faced with.
Even before the program was aired, we saw that in the Parliament of Sri Lanka, ministers from both government and opposition parties expressed their anger about it.
Meanwhile, Minister Manusha Nanayakkara said that a parliamentary committee will be established to investigate the matters revealed in this program. The country knows that even though two investigative commissions and a parliamentary committee were appointed during the current president’s tenure as prime minister since the attack on Easter Sunday, none of them have yielded the expected results. The current government as well as the previous government showed a very indifferent response to these conclusions.
Therefore, we do not think that another committee appointed by the Parliament for this purpose will carry out these investigations impartially and honestly. Therefore, we do not accept the proposal as we believe that appointing such a parliamentary committee will be a waste of people’s money and time and will mislead the people.
Hence, the immediate progression should be,
01. All the information that the Channel 4 revealed in its report program, all the important facts related to the alleged conspiracy behind the Easter Sunday attack, as well as the people who have been revealed to be connected with it, as well as the investigations and commission reports that have been carried out so far on the Easter attack, an unbiased, fair and transparent comprehensive investigation should also be started on matters which have not been properly investigated so far.
02. The investigation should be conducted by an independent international investigation team.
03. The local investigation team that will be appointed to assist the international investigation team should include all the investigators who have been conducting initial investigations since the Easter Sunday attack and have been transferred to different areas from the Criminal Investigation Department at present.
04. In order to make room for the investigation to be carried out independently, the services of all the officials who are already in the intelligence agencies and the police should be suspended until the investigation is completed.
Also, as the Supreme Court ruled those failed to fulfil his responsibilities to prevent the Easter Sunday attack, but still, the services as Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena in charge of the Administrative Division of the Sri Lanka Police and Senior DIG Deshbandhu Tennakoon, who are accused of it, should be suspended until the investigation is completed.
We sincerely expect that this government including the President will fulfil our above suggestions. We have emphasized that justice and fairness to the innocent victims of the Easter Sunday attacks will not be served otherwise than through a fair and transparent investigation through this process.
At this time, we request the relevant officials of the police and intelligence agencies as well as the security agencies, if they know certain facts that have not yet been disclosed, to come forward and testify to the truth by revealing them bravely.
We request all the Fathers in charge of our parishes to pray for the help of ‘virgin Mary’ especially for the justice of the Easter attack on Friday 8th of September at 6.30 pm in all the churches.
I hereby inform that the special service led by His Holiness D.J Anthony assistant Bishop of Colombo will be held at 6.30 pm at St. Sebastian’s Cathedral, Katuwapitiya, and the special service led by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo will be held at 6.30 pm at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Kochchikade on the same day.
I inform you that during the service, the Mass or the Holy Rosary will be recited and the people will be blessed by giving the Eucharistic blessing.
We earnestly request all Catholics to participate in this.
The Times story
Above is the situation in Sri Lanka after Channel 4 aired the controversial Easter video all over the world, as reported by the relevent website. Due to this video, a very controversial situation has arisen not only within Sri Lanka but also outside Sri Lanka, and the United Nations Human Rights Organization, Father Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, and opposition leader Sajith Premadasa have already stated that an international investigation is needed. Responding to this, Justice Minister Wijayadasa Rajapaksa stated to the media last Thursday that the government is ready to conduct an international investigation in this regard if necessary.
However, although the video was aired by Channel 4 on Wednesday, there is a bigger story behind it. In fact, Channel 4 had planned to broadcast the video about a month ago. But it was postponed due to a crisis in getting a statement from the current intelligence chief Mr. Suresh Saleh regarding the video and the statements contained therein. It is doubtful whether Channel 4 actually tried to get a statement from Mr. Saleh, otherwise, knowing that such a video would come out, Mr. Saleh would have reacted to it. However, Mr. Saleh immediately responded to this matter through lawyers and said what the Channel 4 informed was completely false and that he spent the said period in Malaysia and India.
In this situation, Channel 4 also took another month to re-examine the legal aspects of its video. Accordingly, it had been reported to the intelligence agencies of Sri Lanka that such a controversial video was going to be released, but the intelligence agencies were also puzzled as to who would act as witnesses. They came to know about it with the release of the trailer of the video. To everyone’s surprise, there was Mr. Saheer Mawlana, the former finance secretary of the party of Mr. Pillayan alias Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, who is a strongman of the current government. He had taken steps to reveal many controversial facts not only regarding the Easter attack but also regarding the murder of ‘The Sunday Leader’ editor Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga.
However, many other attacks similar to the Easter attack have now been launched against Sri Lanka from the international events. But when Gotabaya Rajapaksa was driven out and Ranil Wickramasinghe was installed as the President, both Pohottuwa and the UNP repeatedly said that with Ranil’s arrival, all problems with the international community would be resolved. They said that Ranil is an international politician, that Ranil will solve all international problems and economic problems, and that the international community will come to Ranil’s feet.
The media of this country gave a lot of space to these stories and praised Ranil’s international relations. But even at that time we said that it is not possible to solve these international crises with the arrival of Ranil. We pointed out that it will be difficult to solve international crises until a president with a mandate and a government with a mandate is appointed. As we said, Sri Lanka is currently facing many serious international problems under Ranil. This Channel 4 latest video can be pointed out as only one of them.
Nandalal in a secret discussion
The other strongest issue is the issue that has arisen in dealing with the International Monetary Fund. Last week we also reported some information about this through this column and said that there is a risk of the financial fund delaying its second instalment. That is because the government has still failed to fulfil many of the main conditions of the financial fund. At the same time, the President came to the Parliament last week and presented the Inland Revenue Bill to the Parliament without giving it to the Finance Committee and took steps to pass it, informing the Parliament that this work has to be completed somehow and not to interfere with it. That is only in relation to domestic debt restructuring. But the government is currently in a quandary based on the restructuring of foreign debt.
China has the main place in the restructuring of foreign debt. That is because China has become Sri Lanka’s biggest creditor. At the initial stage, India, Japan, the Paris Club, and China had declared that they could support Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring program, but China did not join the discussions. China said that it could not join the general talks and that it would only participate as an observer. Also, before restructuring the Chinese debt, China had also taken steps to impose a precondition that the debt of the Financial Fund and the World Bank should be restructured in relation to Sri Lanka.
In the midst of all that, a few weeks ago, a group of special representatives of the China Development Bank (CDB) had taken steps to visit Sri Lanka. Although Sri Lanka has taken loans from China’s Exim Bank, Exim Bank is also controlled by the Governor of China Development Bank. Its decisions are also taken by the China Development Bank. Accordingly, several officials including the Deputy Governor of the China Development Bank had taken steps to visit Sri Lanka a few weeks ago. But since no media had reported on that, why did they come to Sri Lanka and who did they meet?
There was no mention of what was being said. The main reason for that was that the heads of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka had worked to keep the trip of this Chinese Deputy Governor very secret. Generally, when such high-level foreign officials come to Sri Lanka, it is a common tradition to meet with the Ministers and senior officials of the Treasury, but these Chinese officials had held only one discussion in Sri Lanka.
That is only with Central Bank Governor Mr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. This discussion was held in Mr. Nandalal’s room of the Central Bank and Nandalal had not arranged to bring any other official of the Central Bank. The only official present was the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mahinda Siriwardena. Nandalal had said so because this discussion should be kept extremely secret and the matters discussed there should not come out in any way.
Things that were talked about
However, the ‘Inside Politics ‘ column has received a lot of information about this discussion and the matters that were discussed there. But because certain matters are extremely sensitive, we are not ready as a responsible media to reveal them to the country. But only one thing can be mentioned here. It is that these Chinese officials have informed Nandalal and Mahinda Siriwardena about a matter previously reported by us through the ‘Inside Politics’ column.
That fact is that before the restructuring of the Chinese debt, those institutions should also work to restructure the debt of the Financial Fund and the debt of the World Bank. It has been learned from the information received by this column that no matter how much Nandalal and Siriwardena tried to change this condition, the Chinese officials have not changed their position. Accordingly, somewhat confusing situation has emerged from the Chinese debt restructuring side.
The Hamilton issue
Based on the financial fund, the next question that has arisen is that the judgment of the financial case filled by the Hamilton Reserve Bank of America against Sri Lanka in June 2022 in the New York Court is scheduled to be delivered. In the past, when the government sold bonds, foreign investors had bought those bonds, and Hamilton Reserve Bank of America had also bought bonds worth 250 million dollars.
But the government had decided to suspend the payment of these foreign bonds due to the declaration of bankruptcy. Hamilton Reserve Bank has filed a case against Sri Lanka in New York and they have asked for a court order on repayment of their money. If by any chance an order to pay money is issued by this judgment, the government will have to settle the debts of all foreign bond holders. In view of the current dollar crisis, it is very difficult and impossible.
On the other hand, the most serious issue here is that after such a judgment is given, if the payment is not made, there is a risk of confiscating the properties belonging to Sri Lanka in those countries. Apart from embassies properties, the laws are strong enough to seize even airplanes. However, the Sri Lankan government has already informed the court that it is working to restructure the foreign debt and that it will take some time.
According to the government’s request to grant a period of 06 months, the New York court had taken steps to grant that period. Accordingly, the decision was to be given in the first week of this month. Many people thought that this decision would be announced in favour of the Hamilton Reserve Bank.
But to everyone’s surprise, the US Department of Justice had taken steps to intervene in this case a few days ago. They had informed the court to postpone the announcement of the verdict. Accordingly, the court has postponed the announcement of the verdict of this case until October 2nd. It is a relief to Sri Lanka on the one hand and it is more favourable to Sri Lanka. Because a team from the International Monetary Fund is scheduled to come to Sri Lanka to conduct the first review of the International Monetary Fund by next October, it is advantageous that Sri Lanka has not received an adverse judgment. On the other hand, if the New York court decides to order to pay money on October 6, Sri Lanka will have to pay the money. In case of non-payment, the relevant bank will take over the assets of Sri Lanka.
We are reporting this information through the ‘inside politics’ column for no other reason than because no media in Sri Lanka is talking about this bitter truth. Because of that, the people of Sri Lanka do not know any of this information. The people of Sri Lanka also think that all the problems are over now due to the fact that the Sri Lankan media reports that there is no problem in Sri Lanka. But we are reporting this information because it is the media’s responsibility to point out the real situation and risk in advance.
The fund is also in a dilemma
Based on this situation, the International Monetary Fund is also facing a difficult situation regarding Sri Lanka. On the one hand, Sri Lanka has still fulfilled very little of the terms promised to the International Monetary Fund. Therefore, they are also hesitant about giving the second part of the loan instalment. But looking at the situation in Sri Lanka, if the second instalment is not released, the situation cannot be prevented from turning to worse. Therefore, some people say that there may even be a situation of postponing the second instalment, and some are of the opinion that it will be the last time of loan instalment postponement.
On the other hand, there has been some talk about whether the Financial Fund signed agreements with Sri Lanka without knowing about the current situation prevailing in the international community. In the face of such a situation, if the financial fund takes steps to suspend its premium exemption, the risk of declaring Sri Lanka a bankrupt country is very high. In this way, the world is not without countries that have declared their country bankrupt more than once. To avoid that situation, their government should first complete the foreign debt restructuring work and build financial stability.
Loan instalments and interest should be paid properly. As mentioned earlier, we are reporting these things because there are still some people who think that the country will become a paradise because they are fooled by the beautiful stories of politicians, and because the people of the country should be aware of the real situation.
The next international issue we are about to uncover is even more dangerous than the previous ones. That is about India. When the Rajapaksas were in power and when the Rajapaksas were out of power, we repeatedly said along this belt that no matter who is in power, we should maintain a very close relationship with India, which is a strong neighbour. We have taken steps to report on this channel how the governments were protected while working closely with India, and how the governments went against India’s opinion and angered India and collapsed.
Especially during Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s time when he had to face the corona virus, the country was on the threshold of the dollar crisis. At that time, there was a situation where people were dying without food and medicine without dollars even to buy daily food, medicine and fuel, let alone paying foreign debts. At that time, none other than India came to Sri Lanka’s aid. Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, who was the Minister of Finance at that time, went to India and took steps to get a loan of 4 billion dollars to get out of the current crisis. The people of Sri Lanka were able to recover from the situation where they would have died without food and medicine, thanks to the 4 billion dollar loan provided by India.
Under this situation, everyone thought that as soon as Ranil came, he would maintain a close relationship not only with the western countries including America, Britain, but also with India and China. But now the other side has happened. Due to the Chinese ship incident, India is currently at estrangement with Sri Lanka. Also, due to another incident that happened last week, it may have been seen that the relationship between Sri Lanka and India has become strained.
The incident started when the Indian government took steps to suddenly cancel the visit of the Indian Defense Secretary Mr. Rajnath Singh to Sri Lanka. While everything was arranged for Rajnath’s visit to Sri Lanka last Saturday, the Indian Defense Ministry announced at 9pm on Friday that the trip was suddenly canceled ‘due to unavoidable reasons’. But the announcement did not mention the inevitable reason.
Rajnath Singh is generally considered to be the strongest leader in the Indian government after Prime Minister Modi. If such a strong person is coming to Sri Lanka, there should have been some preliminary preparation in that regard. But no such preparation or interest in the visit was seen from the government side. At least the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the President’s Secretariat did not seem to be working on it.
Everyone got to know the information about Rajnath’s trip to Sri Lanka not from the Sri Lankan media but from the news published in the Indian media. There some said that Rajnath is coming to Sri Lanka to talk about the Chinese ship. Others said that Rajnath is coming to Sri Lanka to discuss the North-East communal problem and the Provincial Council elections. However, at 4 pm on Friday, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had announced that Rajnath had planned to come to Sri Lanka to meet the President and Prime Minister and visit Trincomalee and Sita Kovila in Nuwara Eliya. Despite this, it was a special event that no announcement was made by the Sri Lankan government.
An announcement from Prasanna
Despite this, on Friday morning, special news in the name of Prasanna Ranatunga, who is the chief organizer of the ruling party and also a cabinet minister, was published on some websites. It was said that Prasanna Ranatunga has declared that the government led by the President has agreed to give all the other powers of the 13th Constitution except the police land powers. The information we have says that before Rajnath’s visit, the government’s opinion regarding the 13 had been put out by publishing such news. The ‘ inside politics ‘ column also reported that information about that news had also been reported to India.
However, further confirming Rajnath’s journey to Sri Lanka, on Friday afternoon, an Indian defense warship, INS. The ship had arrived at the port of Colombo and was also engaged in investigating the security situation of Rajnath’s journey to Sri Lanka. Generally, if the Indian Prime Minister or a strong member of that government goes abroad, it is a common tradition that Indian warships arrive in the country in advance to confirm the security situation. INS The ship arrived accordingly. Despite this, an emergency announcement issued by the Indian Ministry of Defense at 9.04 pm on Friday said that due to unavoidable reasons, Rajnath’s journey has been postponed indefinitely.
Although this was not a big news for the Sri Lankan media, it was a special event that the Indian media took steps to give it a big publicity. The reason for that was because the Indian media understood that the cancellation of the visit on Friday night while the Indian Defense Minister was scheduled to visit Sri Lanka on Saturday morning was a serious situation. In short, the reason is that the Indian media has understood that it is not a very good sign in diplomatic affairs.
Not feeling well?
However, some people in the government realized that this was not a good situation when they looked at the space given to it by the Indian media. Accordingly, a campaign by the government said that Rajnath Singh’s trip to Ceylon was cancelled due to some sudden illness. But it was confirmed that the campaign was a lie because on Monday, Rajnath took part in launching a massive campaign called Jana Samabhaya Yatra aimed at the Indian general election. Rajnath had arranged to make a special speech there. Accordingly, many are of the opinion that the government should pay close attention to the ‘unavoidable cause’ mentioned in the announcement issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence.
A message to Sajith
With the video broadcasted by Channel 4 channel, it has been seen that the politics inside the country as well as the international politics are in great turmoil. Especially last week, it was seen that there was a lot of discussion in the parliament based on the facts contained in that video. The video revealed information about the murder of Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga, and opposition leader Mr. Sajith Premadasa took steps to question whether the suspects involved in Lasantha’s murder are in the government.
After Sajith spoke about Lasanta in Parliament, the next day Sajith received a short message on his phone. The text message was from none other than Lasantha’s daughter, Ahimsa Wickramatunga. Ahimsa is currently living in America, and has started to file a lawsuit against Gota in the American court on behalf of Lasanta. Accordingly, Ahimsa sent a text message to Sajith to express special thanks for raising his voice in Parliament about her father.
A committee again
Last week, a special discussion was held between the president and the state ministers. The reason for that was a complaint among the state ministers for a long time that they were not given powers. The state ministers had complained about this to the Prime Minister in the last meeting of the ruling party’s parliamentary group chaired by the Prime Minister, and requested to immediately prepare a discussion with the President. Accordingly, in the discussion held with the President, two requests were made from the state ministers.
The first request was to appoint a separate secretary for the state ministers. The second request was to publish the subjects of state ministers through the gazette. The state ministers made this request to the President knowing full well that both requests would not be fulfilled. Also, the state ministers, who were well aware that the president would appoint a committee to avoid this problem, laughed at the beginning of the discussion and said, ‘Oh, Mr. President, please give a solution to this today without naming committees’. Accordingly, the state ministers presented both these demands and took steps to show the good side of it to the President.
However, no matter how many points were explained, the President ended the discussion by appointing a committee headed by the Prime Minister and the President’s Secretary to resolve this issue. Accordingly, concluding the discussion, the state ministers boarded their official cars, saying to each other, ‘we will also give a good return to this sometime later?’
Ranil – Malik
Malik Samarawickrama is known as a figure whom make news from time to time in Sri Lankan politics. Malik is Ranil’s schoolmate as well as Ranil’s closest confidant. Because of this, since then Malik was involved in the work of the government and the work of the party together with Ranil. However, in the last presidential election, Malik and Mangala Samaraweera were of one mind regarding giving the party’s candidacy to Sajith.
Their position was that Sajith should come out of the UNP and form a new party and take power in the country. Accordingly, many people thought that there was a conflict between Ranil and Malik on this incident, but it was not so. Both maintained their friendship in the same way. In some places it was said that Malik had intervened to convey certain messages between JVP and Ranil. In other places, it was said that several rounds of negotiations have been held at Malik’s house to bring some SJB seniors into the government. Once in a group meeting of the Sajith party, Malik had taken steps to publicly comment saying that he was trying to break the party.
However, although the friendship between Malik and Ranil was the same then, it was not seen much outside. But this affinity has recently been seen to have slipped out due to an unavoidable reason. When Ranil went to Kandy to watch the Randoli Perahera, a photo of Ranil and Malik together was circulated by the Presidential Media Unit. Malik was seen sitting on the sidelines during the meeting between Ranil and Malwatu Asgiri temples. Accordingly, it is a mystery whether the photo was released by the Presidential Media Unit without knowing it, or whether it was released to the media at someone’s request.