Who made fake Chinese letter?
Life Threats to NEC members
Much awaited gazette published
All the tricks that the government played for several months to postpone the local government elections have now backfired. Not only that, but the government and the heads of the government were embarrassed and embarrassed in front of the country and the international community. Another trump card used by the government a week ago to postpone the vote was Mrs P.S.M. Charles, who was a member of the Independent Election Commission’s resignation.
The news that Mrs. Charles has resigned from the commission was released on the 25th night. This news was published in the Lankadeepa newspaper, owned by the family of Mr. Ruwan Wijewardena, who is the deputy leader of the United National Party, an advisor to the President and a relative. The news was broken to the country for the first time. Accordingly, other websites and social media networks had started publishing this news published by Lankadeepa newspaper, so it was seen that the whole country was in great confusion.
Lankadeepa news on Mrs Charles
However, although the Lankadeepa newspaper published this news, there appeared some suspicious gaps in the news. Earlier too Lankadeepa newspaper had published various false and fabricated news aimed at postpone the election according to the wishes of the government, so many people like us have taken steps to find out the truth and falsity of this news. In this occasion too we had doubts because Lankadeepa newspaper published news that Mrs. Charles had resigned, but did not publish the related letter with the news. This news also stated that the relevant resignation letter has been sent to the President. Accordingly, highlighting the fact that there is no unanimity regarding the conduct of the election within the commission was evident through this incident, the government stressed to the country very next day and claimed the election cannot be held without a member of the commission.
No public statement
But the surprising thing was that Mrs. Charles had not publicly stated anywhere that she had resigned from the Election Commission. At least she had not forwarded her resignation letter to the Election Commission. She had also not even verbally informed the Election Commission that she had resigned. Apart from that, she had not given any such notification to the parliament that appointed her.
On the other hand, according to legal provisions, even if a member of the commission withdraws at a time when an election has been called, it does not hinder the conduct of the election, so it was also seen how the election commission could continue its election activities as usual.
Life threats to others
Meanwhile, the government had hoped that after the news published in the Lankadeepa newspaper that Charles had resigned, several other members of the commission would resign with various reasons. The reason for this was that two other members of the commission, Mr. Mohammad and Mr. Divaratne, had received threatening phone calls to resign immediately. Not only did they receive phone calls with such death threats, some people had also taken steps to send death threats to them through WhatsApp messages. In this regard, Police Media Spokesman Mr. Nihal Talduwa said that these threatening calls and text messages were received from a number in Dubai, and the investigations are quite complicated as they were forwarded through WhatsApp technology.
Call for security
However, in addition to these messages, there was also an incident reported last week where some people entered the houses of the two members of this commission and took photos of their vehicles. It was none other than the Chairman of the Election Commission, Mr. Nimal Punchihewa, who disclosed the facts in front of the media for the first time in this regard. Moreover, Punchihewa had even sent a letter to the President asking him to immediately provide protection to the members of the commission. The most special event that was seen there was that Panchihewa made a firm statement that no other member of the commission would resign even in the face of these threats.
It was also seen that there was strong opposition against Charles from various parts of the society. Especially the representatives of the opposition political parties severely criticized her behavior when an election was called. Moreover, a group of lawyers of the National People’s Force were ready to file a case against her in the court. It is under the allegation that the members of the Election Commission have acted with the aim of disrupting an election while it has been called, and under the allegation that a person holding a responsible position has neglected that responsibility.
Accordingly, it did not take long for the masterminds who created the news of Charles’s resignation to realize that happenings are not very good. This resulted in the Lankadeepa newspaper owned by Mr. Ruwan Wijewardena’s family publishing news stating that Charles’ resignation letter had been received by the President, but the President had decided not to accept it.
Meanwhile, another peculiar incident happened. The Director General of Government Information issued a three-line special announcement related to the election under the letterhead of the Government Information Department. The brief announcement issued by the Director General of Government News, who was once a member of the editorial board of the Lankadeepa newspaper, stated that the commission has not yet forwarded the gazette announcement related to the election to the government press signed by all the members of the commission. It is not clear as to whose advice and for what reason the Director of Government Information issued such an announcement, but it was obvious at first sight that there was a serious problem and ignorance in the announcement.
Election commission response
Accordingly, ‘Mawrata’ newspaper immediately inquired about it from Mr. Saman Sri Ratnayake, the Director General of the Election Commission, and he also said that the Government News Director had done something not within his preview. The director general of the commission said that since this year’s election is very complex, more than 80,000 candidates are competing, and it is planned to send the relevant gazette announcement in the form of attachments, and if you do not know that, then you should find out how the gazette was sent in the 2018 local government election.
More than 80,000 contestants
In 2018, for the first time, more than 80,000 candidates appeared, so the relevant gazette announcement was issued almost a month after the announcement of the election date. The other is that if it is done by the commission, it will be done by the election officers in charge of those divisions. Even when the Director of Government Information issued this announcement, it was not possible to see how more than 90% of the Election Officers had completed their work.
NEC press briefing
Accordingly, the day after the announcement of the Director of Government Information, the Chairman of the Election Commission called a press conference and expressed his views on this and said that he sympathized with the ignorance of the Director of Government Information. Also, the chairman of the commission said that he has done work that is not his own, and informed that since all the work has been completed, everything is ready to issue the gazette notification related to the election.
Publication of the Gazette
As soon as it was said, the Election Commission took steps to issue the gazette announcement related to the election on the same day. However it was noted that Mrs. Charles had also signed the gazette announcement, according to the Lankadeepa newspaper had sent the letter stating that she had resigned from the position to the President. She had brought the relevant gazette notice to her home and signed it. Accordingly, Charles drama, which was created by the government last week, also ended up achieving the same result as ‘Hapuhinna drama’, which the government did to postpone the election.
Lanadeepa fake news
In addition to this news of Charles, Lankadeepa newspaper had taken steps to publish false news targeting the election last week. In the news, it was said that the Election Commission is also ready to declare that they agree to postpone the election together with the government. When we asked the Chairman of the Election Commission about that, he said that there is no such agreement and that the Commission is working to conduct the election as scheduled. Accordingly, in the same week, both the lies of Lankadeepa were proven false.
Release of Wasantha Mudali
Antare convener Wasantha Mudali, who was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act kept under detention for 167 days, was released by Colombo Magistrate Prasanna Alwis last Wednesday (01). (The judgment given to Wasantha is published on another page.) While releasing Wasantha, the magistrate made several controversial statements, the main one of which was that it does not appear that Wasantha has committed any wrongdoing under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and that the police appear to have fabricated evidence subsequently.
However, due to the accusations levelled against Wasantha and certain statements made by the government leaders, many people thought that there would be no opportunity for Wasantha to come out. Wasantha also said in his first press conference held after being freed that some police officials also told him that he would have to spend at least two years in prison.
Topic at a wedding
However, Vasantha was also discussed at a wedding ceremony presided over by senior government officials and ministers last Saturday. This wedding ceremony was one of a relative of one of the most powerful secretaries of the government and a strong member of the United National Party also had a relationship, so many people from the government and the UNP were present. It was also said there what has been discussed is Wasantha will not be able to come out as long as the strongmen of the current government are in power.
But surprisingly within 72 hours of making this statement, Wasantha was released after a controversial court decision. Due to this, the Rajya Rahas column has learned that the political field has been shaken with the judgment of the case.
International pressure to hold election
Last week, we made a special disclosure through the ‘Rajya Rahas’ column and said that soon the government will be strongly influenced by the international community. We also said that this impact is due to the government’s violation of human rights and the government’s plan to postpone the local government elections. As we said last week, the US National Security Council’s Senior Director for South Asia, Rear Admiral Mrs. Asilin Lobasher, came to Sri Lanka and met the President and while discussing regional security, informed that local government elections should definitely be held in March. Also When Indian Foreign Minister Mr. S. Jayashankar came to Sri Lanka, steps were taken to give an indication to the President that the election should be held.
Mrs Victoria Nuland
In addition, another special representative of US President Biden visited Sri Lanka last week. That is Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the US State Department. Nuland, who met the president, then attended a press conference alone and directly said that the government should arrange for the local government elections to be held on March 09. Many people are of the opinion that the United States has sent a serious message to the government notification by sending message through a powerful representative of the American government is an indication of serious concerns US has over the LG election.
March 9 election confirmed
Also, after the discussion with the President, Mrs. Nuland also took steps to meet the representatives of the minority parties in the country. Rishad Badiuddin, Rauf Hakeem, Mano Ganesan, Gajan Ponnambalam, M. Siddharthan, Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran were present. Even though the ministers of the government and some people in Pohottuwa continued to say that the local government elections would be postponed, the representatives of the minority parties were surprised by a certain statement made by Mrs. Nuland in this discussion. There, she said that the President informed her that he will definitely conduct the local government elections on March 9. Accordingly, she pointed out to the representatives of the minor parties that the holding of the local government elections was guaranteed.
Court verdict on the 10th?
With Nuland’s statement that local government elections should be held, the United National Party and Pohottuwa are now completely waiting for the verdict of the case brought before the court on the 10th. But based on the court’s decision in the case of Wasantha Mudali, it is also heard in the ‘Rajya Rahas’ column that the UNP and Pohottuwa are at odds. The outcome was seen last Wednesday and Thursday when the UNP immediately called the management committee of the party to Sirikotha to prepare for the election and Basil called the organizers of Pohottuwe to the party office in Battaramulla on Thursday and informed them to prepare for the election.
UNHR periodic review
In addition, last week, the Universal Periodic Review was held in conjunction with the 42nd Human Rights Session of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The most special event witnessed here was that many countries, including America, Britain, and India, made recommendations regarding the protection of Sri Lanka’s Mawa rights. Among those recommendations, abolition of the Terrorism Act, protection of human rights, creation of harmony, creation of freedom of speech etc. were the main ones. It was seen that India had made a special recommendation and included the full implementation of the 13th Amendment and the holding of the provincial council elections.
Geneva effect on IMF
However, there is a risk that the results of this meeting held in Geneva will be directly related to the money to be received from the International Monetary Fund. Not only the heads of the government but also the Governor of the Central Bank Mr. Nandalal Weerasinghe has said that Sri Lanka will receive the relevant money in March. But we said from the beginning that due to the government’s human rights record and the issue of the mandate, there is a risk of not receiving financial support.
Will IMF assistance be a reality by March?
When all the other media published the statements made by the heads of the government that money would be received in the same way without criticism in their media, we said from the beginning that the financial fund is not ready to give money as the government says. At that time, not only the government but also the Governor of the Central Bank said that the money would be received by December, but we very responsibly said that no financial assistance will be received in December. There the story we told was confirmed and the story told by the government turned out to be false. But even today the government says that the funds will be received next March. But from the information we have, it is said that even in March, the assistance expected from the financial fund will not be received.
We say this because India has agreed to restructure Sri Lanka’s debt, but China has not agreed to the kind of debt restructuring expected by the IMF. Although the IMF expects a 10-year loan concession from China, China has given a guarantee that it can provide a 2-year loan concession. Victoria Nuland, who came to Sri Lanka, said it publicly, raising the risk of the money to be provided by the financial fund.
Have a mandate?
On the other hand, the mandate of the government is also a matter that has attracted the attention of the financial fund. This was confirmed through the Financial Fund taking steps to release the first part of the loan instalment last week to Bangladesh, which requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund after Sri Lanka. There, the financial fund worked to provide two loans for one loan due to the fact that a government with a mandate is in power in Bangladesh and they are leading the government by respecting human rights. But due to the absence of a mandated government in Sri Lanka, many people in the field are of the opinion that it is not possible to have confidence that they will receive assistance by March from the financial fund.
Letter from Beijing
In this way, the Chinese Embassy in this country also had to face a big problem last week when a new issue about China came up. That is through some group changing the letter sent by the Beijing administration informing that the loan can be restructured in two years. This letter was sent from Beijing to the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka in a very confidential manner and then the Chinese Embassy took steps to forward it to the Sri Lankan authorities.
But before the relevant letter was officially released to the media, a great controversy arose when some group changed the period of 2 years mentioned in the relevant letter to 5 years and released it to the media. Amending an official letter sent by a foreign country without the country’s permission or knowledge is a serious diplomatic problem, so the Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka was very disturbed when it saw this letter.
Accordingly, the acting Chinese ambassador to this country immediately started discussions with the Beijing administration in this regard. The advice received from Beijing was that since this is a very dangerous situation, a written complaint should be submitted to the top leaders of the government.
Accordingly, the Chinese Acting Ambassador took steps to submit a written complaint to Mr. Sagala Ratnayake, the President’s Senior Advisor and Chief of Presidential Staff, and Mr. Tiran Alas, the Minister of Public Security. There, he emphasized that the Criminal Investigation Department should immediately start an investigation regarding this act, and the people behind this should be found immediately. It is also reported that the Chinese Acting Ambassador not only met with Sagala and Tiran and complained about this, but also met the officials of the Criminal Investigation Department and took steps to discuss this. There is also news that some names have been discussed. Accordingly, it is noted that China is planning to strongly follow behind this issue.
New independent commissions
Last week, through the Rajya Rahas column, we made a special disclosure and brought information about a conversation between Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Parliamentary Secretary General Dhammika Dasanayake in the Legislative Assembly with Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa. There we pointed out how the Speaker and the Secretary General of the Parliament had decided to publish newspaper advertisements despite the opposition leader’s objection that new representatives should be appointed to the 10 independent commissions including the Election Commission, and how Sajith protested strongly and postponed it until Monday. In a background where no other newspaper has written a word about this, we have decided to publish the events and conversations that happened there in the same way.
However, last Monday, the Legislative Council met again to take a decision regarding the appointment of members to independent commissions. In addition to the Speaker, the Secretary General of Parliament, Mr. Dinesh Gunawardena and Mr. Nimal Siripala de Silva also participated in this discussion which was held through Zoom technology. Here too, the speaker and the people of the government pointed out that the representatives of the ten independent commissions should be appointed as soon as possible.
But Sajith also said that there is no problem with other independent commissions and that it is unethical and illegal to appoint new representatives of the election commission when an election has been called. But the representatives of the government pointed out that even if new representatives are appointed to the Election Commission, it will not hinder the election. Accordingly, it was seen how the Constituent Assembly decided to publish notices for the appointment of new representatives for the commissions amidst the objection of the opposition leader.
After that, Sajith could be seen getting angry due to a matter raised by Nimal Siripala. That is because of he mentioned that everyone should take steps to protect the confidentiality of the matters discussed in the Legislative Assembly. Sajith, who was furious, said that if anti-people decisions are taken in the Legislative Assembly, he will take action against them.
What secrecy? If wrong decisions are taken by the Constituent Assembly, I will publicly protest against them. I am ready to talk about them anywhere. I am not ready to raise my hand in anti-people decisions. Also, if such decisions are taken further, we should think again whether I and my representative will continue to participate in the Legislative Assembly…’ Sajith said.