The first United Nations General Assembly attended by Maithripala Sirisena as President was the September 2015 Conference. This is how Ranil’s uncle’s newspaper ‘The Sunday Times’ criticized Maithri’s visit.
Thou too sirisena: the Rajapaksa way in New York
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times compared Maithripala’s New York trip to Mahinda Rajapaksa’s New York trip. One of the main reasons why Mahinda fell into public disfavor during the 2015 presidential election was the trip to New York where his ministers, wives and advisors were taken to New York with public funds. Ranil, the then leader of the opposition, and the UNP, who was in the opposition, made fun of how the public money was wasted through these trips. After Mahinda was defeated in 2015 and Maithripala became the President, everyone was looking forward to his visit to New York. He went on his first trip to New York, taking his son and ministers instead of his wife.
‘Maithri, are you like Mahinda…?’
Ranil’s uncle’s newspaper ‘Sunday Times’ asked.
Daham Sirisena in U.N. What is he doing…?’
This is how Ranil’s uncle’s ‘Daily Mirror’ newspaper questioned him.
Although President Maithripala went to New York in an ordinary flight, he has not made any statement about his son’s trip to New York with him. Although this journey is personally beneficial to Dhamm, the public of this country will not approve of this.
In response to this, Dham Sirisena made a note on his Facebook saying that he joined his father on this visit for his mother.
Now Ranil has become the president. This year’s conference was the first United Nations conference attended by President Ranil. Along with Ranil, Ranil’s brother-in-law Ruwan Wijayawardena, the owner of ‘Daily Mirror’ and ‘Sunday Times’ newspapers, his other closest advisors, former ministers of Pohottuwa, and Suresh Vadivel, MP who broke away from Samagi Jana Balawegaya, have participated in this conference. Even though attempts were made to accompany Monaragala district councillor of Samagi Jana Balavega, he refused to go to the conference with Ranil at the last moment.
It was Mahinda Rajapaksa who started the business of taking MPs to New York with security including business class tickets and hotels. After becoming president for his second term in 2010 Mahinda took with him John Amaratunga, Member of the Opposition and Chief Organizer of the Opposition in Parliament, on the trip USA trip. Although there was strong opposition to it from the UNP, Ranil did not protest John’s visit because John helped to get Mahinda’s support to suppress the conflicts within the party.
Maitri in 2015 to win U.N.P. MPs against Ranil took them with him in the New York trip. He thus selected U.N.P MPs without Ranil’s knowledge. In the end, U.N.P. Mps travelled abroad with President Maithri. Despite issuing an announcement that MPs should get permission from the party, the U.N.P. MPs did not care and went with Maithri.
Now Ranil too is using the UN to win MPs from Pohottuwa and Samagi Jana Balavegaya.
Be it MPs, advisors, or relatives, they travel to the U.N. not with their own pocket money, but with public money. Every day, media news reports that the President’s Secretary issued circulars to limit the foreign trips of ministers’ officials because the country is bankrupt.
‘Then where did the money come from to take the MPs from Pohottuwa and the MPs from Samagi Jana Balavega…?’
When Ranil attended the United Nations General Assembly in 2003 as Prime Minister, then US President George Bush invited him to the White House for a special visit. Ranil went to U.N. in September. Ranil went to the White House to meet Bush in November. Bush told Ranil a wonderful story.
‘I have seen the presidents of African countries bring friends from outside to the U.N. I don’t even feel like shaking their hands, because I know that they spend money on the people who are suffering without food in Africa…’
This is the story that Bush told Ranil.
‘Doesn’t Ranil remember this story?’
As the Prime Minister, he went to the UN. The American President who met Ranil extended an official invitation to Ranil to come to the White House. Ranil went there. Ranil received high recognition.
‘Why didn’t Ranil get that high recognition now…?’
The main reason for that is because Ranil is a president who lost the popular vote and came to the parliament from the national list and became the president. In 2002, Ranil went to meet Bush not as the country’s elected president. As the Prime Minister who came to power by a popular mandate. But when Ranil went to the White House to meet Bush, President Chandrika, who came to power through popular vote, took over Ranil’s three ministries in Sri Lanka.
Neither America nor Bush approved it. When Chandrika met Ranil and Bush 24 hours after making that decision, Bush told Ranil that America was with him. Bush said that because he knew Chandrika became the president with a popular mandate, but Ranil has been given a popular mandate to rule the country. There was no need to teach America that Ranil’s mandate was a new mandate, similarly, there is no need to teach America that Ranil has no public mandate to be the president today.
‘C.I.A. boss came to Sri Lanka secretly by blocking the road…’
‘C.I.A. boss met Ranil…’
‘Ranil – an American deal…’
Will not allow ‘America to fall Ranil…’
Dollars rain to Sri Lanka by America..
‘This is the campaign that Ranil’s media stars planted in the past. But in Ranil’s first visit, to UN Ranil did not get the expected response from America. In a meeting held concurrently with the conference, he expressed his anger with the United States by severely criticizing the ‘Aukus’ operations conducted jointly by the United States, Britain, and Australia in the Asian Ocean. The reason for his resentment is that he did not get the response he expected from America.
Last time, American President Obama met Maithri in 2015 in UN at a round table discussion and at a dinner and talked to him for 5 to 10 minutes and wished him well.
‘Why didn’t Ranil get such an opportunity…?’
Ranil got the same opportunity as Mahinda. That is, at the banquet after the US President’s at the UN conference, the world leaders coming to the United Nations queue up and take pictures. Ranil got the same opportunity. The media planted news that Mahinda also stood in line and posed for a photo with the American President Obama. Challenging this, ‘Guruda Vigrahaya’ wrote an article. A part of that article published on September 30, 2010, is produced below.
When Mrs. Bandaranaike was the prime minister, the Western countries led by America were called exploitative imperialists. The Ford Foundation, which operated in this country on the basis of American aid, she named as run by the C.I.A. She called it a CIA den and banished it from the country.
But every time she went to the United Nations, she met the American President and discussed the issues of the two countries. No matter how much she attacked the Western countries led by America, the American president did not refuse to meet her at the United Nations or at any other international conference.
Like Mrs. Bandaranaike, Mahinda is also a leader who looks critically at Western countries including America.
But at the U.N. why couldn’t Mahinda take an opportunity to meet Obama…?’
Mahinda’s first visit to the United Nations General Assembly was after he became President in 2006. There, Mahinda was able to meet the American President George Bush for a few moments at a United Nations party. That photo of George Bush saying something in Mahinda’s ear was shown in cut-outs in all four corners of Sri Lanka. After that, Mahinda went to the General Council meetings in 2007 and 2008, but could not meet the American President Obama. Obama became president in 2008. Usually, when a new president of the United States is elected, during his term of office he meets the heads of state of the world. Presidents of the United States have met the leaders of Sri Lanka at least once during their official tenure. Obama has been president for two years then but he has not yet met the head of state of Sri Lanka.
‘Why is that….?’
The reason for that is that Mahinda’s government has angered the US by keeping it from winning elections in Sri Lanka.
Mahinda had to pose for a photo with the American head of state Obama and show that America is in Mahinda’s pocket because he angered America.
The meeting where Mahinda and Obama met for a photo and the meeting where Ranil and Biden met for a photo are both the same. The problem is that Mahinda’s media as well as Ranil’s media lied.