Marikkar showcases his organizational prowess.
The upcoming demonstration echoes a historical recurrence.
SJB new organizer
After some time, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) mobilized its party members in Colombo and orchestrated a sizable demonstration against the government on the 30th Tuesday. This endeavour posed a significant challenge for SJB, as there was scepticism about their ability to coordinate such a protest at the time. A prevailing sentiment suggested that, following Harin Fernando’s departure from SJB to join the government, there was a lack of organizational prowess within the party to orchestrate such a public rally.
Harin, however, proved to be a formidable force in terms of organizational strength, comparable to former UNP member Gamini Athukorala. To draw a historical parallel, in 2000, 16 years prior, Gamini Athukorala had successfully organized the Janabala Mission from Kandy to Colombo after the UNP’s defeat in 1994. This strategic move led to the rallying of party members and ultimately resulted in the establishment of a UNP government within a year, in 2001.
Following that, SJB provided the country with the necessary strength to remove former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from power. That was accomplished through the launch of the ‘Gota Go Home’ campaign and a mass campaign against Gota’s government from Kandy. Hareen and Manusha provided the needed organisational support. In the end, Harin and Manusha joined the government after receiving ministerial posts from Gota Go Home. There was a significant need for someone with the strength to organise a large anti-government protest. Finding a new ‘Gamini Athukorala’ was a major challenge for Sajaba leader Mr. Sajith Premadasa, especially given that this year is an election year.
There, Sajith’s choice was none other than a young, popular and outspoken member of the party, S.M. Marikar. The first mission handed over to Marikkar was to organize a massive protest in Colombo against the Ranil-Rajapaksa government which was oppressing the people. Accepting the challenge given by Sajith, Marikkar informed Sajith that he would organize a massive anti-government protest within 3 weeks.
Accordingly, Marikkar got to work, but many questions were on his desk. The first question was how to find the expenses. Because in bringing party members from all over the country to Colombo, the seat organizers need to provide the necessary facilities, and they have to bear a lot of expenses. Accordingly, Marikkar first prepared the plan by placing more weight on the Western Province. That is, Marikkar planned to have more party members from the three districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara participate and to limit party members from other districts to two or three buses.
Although Marikkar started the work in this way, many people did not think that this would be successful at first. Because for some time SJB had not organized such a campaign, the problem of finding money was serious, and many people believed that this would be a failure due to various factors such as the problem of providing transportation facilities. But with the initiation of the campaign of the Marikkar, solved the transport problem, the situation turned completely upside down. At the same time, there was a lot of interest from the party members in the village to participate in the protest, and it was seen that almost daily the seat organizers were calling Marikkar saying that two buses were not enough for them and that they needed an additional bus due to the high interest of the party members in the village. There, Marikkar informed all of them that under the current situation, more than 2 buses cannot be provided, and if an additional bus is taken, the seat organizer should bear the cost. Due to the great interest in the party, it was also seen how many seat organizers paid money to bring the party members to Colombo.
Where are you going?
After solving this problem, Marikkar planned to solve the problem related to the location of the partisans brought to Colombo. Especially from the information received by the government, Marikkar had read that there was an attempt by the government to obtain restraining orders from the police on the day of the demonstration. Accordingly, Marikkar prepared 3 other plans in addition to the main plan which included measures that could be taken if such emerged. For that, Marikkar arranged to reserve 3 stadiums including Hyde Pitiya and Campbell Pitiya in Colombo. However, since Colombo had not held this kind of protest recently, the government had estimated that around 10,000 people would participate in this protest. But by the 28th, the information received by Marikkar’s Colombo operations office said that more than 20,000 party members were ready to participate.
Once this information was reported, Marikkar again changed the plan. His idea was that since a large number of people were coming, they should not enter Colombo by only one route but enter Colombo by 2 routes. Even then, the message that was being sent to SJB by the security forces was ‘It’s okay to come. Don’t go to parades. The message is that if you want, you can only go from Maradana Technical Junction to Elphinstone.
Two opinions inside
An argument that arose after receiving this message from the security forces was whether the parade would enter Colombo through 2 roads as previously planned or whether it would enter Colombo through one road. The reason for this was that Sajith received information from within the government that the government was quite scared after the information was reported that nearly 20,000 party members were going to come to Colombo. Accordingly, Sajith had thought that the parade should enter Colombo from one place to show the people the extent of opposition to the government. But due to the emergence of other ideas, the final decision was planned to be taken on Monday night.
Accordingly, at 9.45 on Monday night, the leaders of the steering committee including Sajith Marikkar held a special Zoom meeting to take a final decision regarding the location of the protest. According to the information already received by SJB, every police station in the Colombo jurisdiction had been instructed to take court orders against the agitation. Accordingly, the group finally decided to decide the location of the protest based on how court orders were issued the next day. Also, as a strategy, the group decided to send information to the security forces that the demonstration would be held at the technical junction.
On the day of the demonstration on Tuesday, confirming the information received earlier, the police had obtained injunctions against the demonstration from several courts including Fort, Maligakanda. But Colombo Chief Magistrate Mr Prasanna Alwis had made a special statement rejecting a request made by the Kurunduwatta Police.
The magistrate issued the order and said:
Through this complaint, the police station commander has requested to issue an order to prevent the march and agitation under section 106 of the Criminal Procedure Code. It is mentioned in the sections of the Criminal Procedure Code that such an order should be issued in an urgent and necessary situation. Courts should be cautious in issuing orders for requests made on the presumption of public oppression or other acts.
There is no evidence that there is an urgent and necessary matter to issue such an order. The court should be careful not to issue orders based on the whims of each individual. According to the fourteenth article of the constitution, the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech and expression of opinion has been confirmed. There are cases where that law is limited by the fifteenth article of the Constitution.
Sufficient facts have not been presented to the court about such a limitation at this time. People have a unique right to ‘assembly’. A magistrate’s court cannot issue orders in violation of those rights. Accordingly, at this time, the request is rejected as there is no essential matter regarding an emergency,’ the Colombo Chief Magistrate had said.
Upon receiving this decision, on Tuesday morning, SJB leaders decided to start the parade from the Town Hall area, which is included in the relevant jurisdiction. From there, the final plan was to travel to Kompanjaveediya and hold an anti-government rally at Kompanjaveediya. Accordingly, Sajith was also informed that the parade is going to start from the town hall and to arrive at the town hall by 2 pm.
However, on Tuesday morning, SJB received a rather stern message from a strongman of the government, and it was said that tear gas and water attacks will be used to disperse the protest. After the message was received by both Sajith and Marikkar, an emergency meeting was held on Tuesday morning between the organizing committee to discuss the measures to be taken in case such a situation arises. Here, some people said that they should hold only a campaign in the town halls without a parade. But the position of Marikkar, Mujibar and others was that despite the tear gas and water attacks, the demonstration should be held as planned. Sajith had already received a strong warning from another party that if Sajith joined the demonstration, tear gas would be used. Despite the warning, Sajith said that the parade should be held as planned. Accordingly, it was finally decided to hold the parade and join the parade at the Sajith Town Hall area as planned.
3 security rings
In addition to all these incidents, the police and security forces also received information that the parade would start from the Town Hall area on Tuesday afternoon. Accordingly, special police teams, anti-riot units, water bowsers, as well as the army had taken steps to be stationed in the town hall area. The most special event that was seen here was that a security ring that was never seen before could be seen that day. In order to face the parade, first a police front and a military ring 50 meters behind it, and another military ring 50 meters behind it were used, leaving no room for the march to advance in any way.
Accordingly, when the parade started at around 2 pm on Tuesday, it was seen that the security forces had surrounded the parade on all four sides. When Sajith joined and started the demonstration, tear gas and water attacks were started, and it was also seen that Sajith was targeted. However, the most special incident that was seen here was the tear gas attack in the public library area behind the police cordon. A large group of children had come to the public library with their parents for a chess tournament, and after the tear gas attack, the parents carrying the children could be seen running empty-handed.
However, after the first attack, the organizing committee realized that they could not continue with the second tear gas and water attack, despite trying to reorganize and move forward. Accordingly, implementing the next phase of the plan, Sajith and his team worked to hold the rally from the same place.
A special discussion
After finishing the meeting, Sajith came straight to the opposition leader’s office. In the meantime, party secretary general Maddumbandara informed all the members of the party that an emergency meeting would be held at the opposition leader’s office to discuss the measures that can be taken against this illegal attack and to attend it. Also, Sajith had taken steps to call the party’s lawyers for the same. In that discussion, everyone’s position was that since this was a serious incident, opposition leader Sajith and SJB MPs should file petitions for violation of human rights against the police officers who were involved in the attack. It was also taken to transfer it to the party’s legal board. As it was reported that Mujibur and several members of the party had been hospitalized due to tear gas during the meeting, Sajith handed over the proceedings of the meeting to Maddumabandara and immediately went to the National Hospital to check on the condition of the group.
A twist of fate
However, there is another historical story similar to this attack on SJB led by opposition leader Sajith. That was an incident that happened in the year 2000. The current President Ranil Wickramasinghe was in the opposition as the then leader of the opposition as well as the leader of the UNP. The UNP came to Colombo from Kandy in a manpower operation against the then Chandrika’s government, and Ranil took steps to join it in Punchi Borella area. The then Chandrika government called in the police to disperse the protest, and there was a shootout.
A UNP member was killed in that attack and Sujeeva Senasinghe was also shot. At that time, Sajith was the deputy leader of UNP. That UNP deputy leader then is today the leader of the SJB as well as the leader of the opposition. Ranil, who was the leader of the opposition then, is now the president of the country with the support of Pohottuwa. The irony of fate is that Ranil became the president today and attacked an anti-government rally attended by the opposition leader. However, within a year of the attack in 2000, Ranil was able to overthrow the satellite government and form a UNP government. It is too early to say whether a new government will be formed before a year has passed since the attack.
The conflict resumed
The last week saw an incident where the simmering crisis between the executive and the legislative assembly came to the fore once again. That is because the Legislative Council has taken steps to reject the name of the President of the Court of Appeal, Mr. Bandula Karunaratne, who was recommended by the President as a Supreme Court judge.
In addition to this, a fundamental rights petition filed by Cardinal Thero against the President’s appointment of Mr. Deshbandu Tennakoon as Acting Inspector General of Police was also debated last week. During this petition, which was heard before a three-judge bench, the judges asked the Attorney General if he could give a guarantee that Mr Deshabandu Tennakoon would refrain from being appointed as the Inspector General of Police until the hearing of this case. But the Attorney General had not given a direct answer.
However, on that evening, the Presidential Media Unit issued a special announcement regarding the appointment of the Inspector General of Police. The notice stated as follows.
Here is the announcement
Under Article 4(b) of the Constitution, the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka exercises the executive power of the people, including the national security of Sri Lanka.
To exercise the powers related to the national security of Sri Lanka, the President as the head of the executive is constitutionally bound to make appointments to high government positions including the Inspector General of Police by the procedure prescribed by the Constitution and by the constitutional role of the President.
Therefore, the President has to perform his constitutional duties without any hindrance or interference. Article 41 of the Constitution Under the Constitution, the appointment of the Inspector General of Police is made after the recommendation made by the President is approved by the Constitutional Council.
If the President exercises his powers contrary to the Constitution, the remedies available for that are provided in the Constitution itself.
The Constitutional Council, which is chaired by the Speaker of the Parliament established by the Constitution, functions as a part of the executive, and the Constitutional Council provides the necessary support to the President to fulfill his constitutional role.
The Constitutional Council is obliged to perform its functions by the Constitution and Article 41c of the Constitution. It is a violation of the Constitution to direct the Constitutional Council to refrain from performing its duties related to the appointment of the Inspector General of Police under the Constitution. If the Constituent Assembly exercises its powers contrary to the Constitution, remedies are provided by the Constitution itself.
The Speaker is the head of Parliament and under Article 4 (c) of the Constitution Parliament exercises the people’s jurisdiction through the courts. Therefore, Parliament is only responsible to the people.
The President will refer these matters to Parliament for further clarification.
The crisis is renewed
On the same day as the trial regarding the appointment of the police officer, a special announcement of this kind was issued by the Presidential Media Unit, and it has been seen that a crisis has once again arisen. Earlier also, a serious controversy had arisen regarding the letter sent to the Ministry of Public Security by the Constituent Assembly during the appointment of the Inspector General of Police asking for the information of the next five senior officers in the police. In this same way, an announcement was issued by the Presidential Media Unit protesting against it, and it was stated that the responsibility of appointing the Inspector General of Police rests entirely with the President..
President goes to Kelaniya
Last week, the students of Kelani University started a protest almost suddenly protesting the President’s visit to Kelani University. Last Wednesday, the President was supposed to visit Kelani University to inaugurate a newly constructed new building complex. As the information was reported that the President would be coming for that purpose, the university students took to the streets and protested since last weekend, and during the night, it was seen that they pitched their tents and went on a sleep strike until dawn. Also, the students had taken steps to put up posters saying ‘Ranil can come to Kelaniya’ all over the university.
When this situation was reported, many people told the President to refrain from participating in this event and that if any crisis arose, some measures would have to be taken to control it. Although some people say so, the President was from the beginning of the position that he should participate in the Kelani University ceremony regardless of the opposition. Accordingly, on Wednesday, the President arrived at the University of Kelaniya on time, opened the new building there and made arrangements to deliver a lecture. The most special event to be seen here was that no protest was raised during the time the President was at Kelani University. But after the president left the university, a group of students protested again.
These days, the next main topic that is said along with the presidential election topic is the topic of alliances. The reason is that almost all the main candidates are building alliances and holding discussions to strengthen their party with the aim of the presidential election. It has already been confirmed that opposition leader Mr Sajith Premadasa will run for the presidential election, and leaders of minor parties including Hakeem, Rishad, Mano, Digambaram have already publicly stated that they will ally with him. In addition, it has already been announced that many MPs who are independent from the government will join the coalition in the future.
Meanwhile, as of last week, the United National Party had also started holding district rallies saying that the candidate of the government and the UNP was the president. But after that, the president has not yet made a firm decision to run for the presidential election and is waiting for the results of two special opinion polls for that, and is ready to make a statement on whether or not the president will run for the presidential election after receiving the relevant results, most likely at the end of March or early April. Due to our disclosure, it is seen that the meetings which had started at the district level of the UNP have been stopped in the middle. So what is happening now?
A meeting with President and Namal
According to the information we have, a special meeting has been held between the President and Mr Namal Rajapaksa at his house on Paget Road, Colombo to discuss this matter. In this discussion, the president has talked about how to reorganize Pohottuwa with the aim of the upcoming national elections, holding the presidential election, etc., and it is learned that Namal has been informed that it is now time to come forward within the party. However, it has been learned that the President has not specifically informed Namal that he is contesting the presidential election, but has only given some hints in this regard. It is reported that Namal also discussed with the President the issues that have arisen within Pohottuwa and the issues between the government and Pohottuwa.
However, it must have been after this discussion that the work for a special operation inside Namal Pohottu was started. Especially due to Basil’s visit to America and the temporary withdrawal of Dhammika Perera, who was going to run as the presidential candidate of Pohottuwa, there is a kind of laziness that has been created in Pohottuwa. But avoiding this laziness, last week Namal started a program called Dasabala Sena to bring the pohottuwa back to the village. Namal started it with the blessing of his father Mahinda.
At the same time, in the internal discussions inside Pohottuwa, the most common idea is that Mahinda still has about 25% of the votes in the country, and in an election, Mahinda can be shown to another Rajapaksa and not someone else. Accordingly, it has been learned that Namal should be the presidential candidate in Pohottuwa. It has also been learned from sources in Pohottuwa that Namal’s opinion is the same. Also, Namal thinks that Pohottu should not be involved in alliances built based on friendship between Nimal Lanza and Sri Lankan freedom Party which broke from Pohottu.
The discussion stops
Meanwhile, last Thursday, the President called a special meeting at the Presidential Secretariat to discuss the upcoming presidential election. Steps have been taken to invite Pohottuwa as well as the SLFP and Nimal Lanza’s team. Although Namal was also invited, he was not seen participating in it.
Starting this discussion, the President proceeded to inform the group that an election is coming in the future and to prepare for it. The most special event to be seen here was when the President finished his speech, Mr. Sagara Kariyawasam, Secretary General of Pohottu, who was present at the discussion, spoke expressing his objection.
‘We don’t know that you called us to talk about something like this. If you are officially discussing an election or the presidential election, you should first have an official conversation with the main party in the government. We need to talk to Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is the leader of Pohottuwa, and Mr. Basil Rajapaksa about it and reach an agreement. Otherwise, there is no point in talking about this with all these parties first. When Sagara said, “We have already informed you about this as a party”, the President ended the discussion there by saying that he would discuss it with Mahinda and Basil in the future.
Rannan’s next lie
A few months ago, we made a special disclosure in the ‘ inside politics column about the information from an opinion poll conducted by Dr. Rannan Eliya. It was mentioned in the opinion poll that JVP leader Mr Anura Kumara Dissanayake would win the next presidential election with 51%, and it was also seen that the opinion poll has gained a big place in the embassies of this country. Also, political analysts were seen using this opinion poll to criticize. But it could be seen that none of them had taken the information from the fruit without any investigation as to who these lovers were. But when we found out who Rannan Eliya is, we found out that he is an employee of Neelan Thiruchelvam Institute, and his scope is related to the health sector, not politics. Accordingly, we made a special disclosure in this regard and said that Rannan Eliya is fulfilling a contract to bring together Sajabaya and UNP, and by presenting false and unacceptable opinion polls, they are convincing the country that JVP can be defeated if Sajabaya and UNP unite. After the discovery we made, it was seen that Rannan had closed the shop without conducting the poll for some time.
Rannan once again
However, Rannan Eliya suddenly took steps to reveal the results of another opinion poll last week. This time he had conducted an opinion poll aimed at the general election. But the result was similar to the previous opinion poll. Accordingly, it was stated that the Janata Vimukti Peramuna-led National People’s Force will have 39% of power in the next general election, Samagi Jana Balavegaya will get 27%, Pohottuwa will get 10% of votes and UNP will get 6% of votes. Through that, Rannan had said without saying that if UNP and Sahabaya unite, they can defeat the National People’s Force.
However, by submitting this opinion poll, Rannan disclosed some information related to a previous opinion poll. It was stated that the last poll was conducted according to the funds received from Neelan Thiruchelvam Institute. But this time, it was not mentioned who provided provisions for the opinion poll conducted by Rannan Eliya. Accordingly, Rannan Eliya should explain who pumped money into this poll. However, since the lie of the last opinion poll was revealed to the country, this time no one got to see Rannan Eliya’s new opinion poll being discussed.
Tamil MPs are also in Uganda
Many other matters that have not been revealed so far in the President’s visit to Uganda are now coming to the fore one by one. Another fact that came out last week was that an MP representing the Tamil National Alliance was also present during the President’s visit to Uganda. It is none other than Adaikkilanathan MP. During the President’s visit to Uganda, Aliraja Subhaskaranda, a businessman representing the Tamil Diaspora, was in Uganda, and the current information says that Adaikkilanandanda was in Uganda with Aliraja. However, despite having a close conversation with the President, at no time was a photograph of Adaikkilanathan and the President together published anywhere.
The President avoids
In addition to this, we are ready to reveal another special event that happened in Uganda this time under the inside politics column. Earlier, we mentioned that during the few days of the President’s stay in Uganda, there will be a meeting between the President and Alirajah, where the sale of Telecom and Ceylon Hospital will be discussed. But this time we are revealing in this tape that the President avoided meeting Aliraja while he was in Uganda. Or that there was no meeting between the President and Alirajah. We have now come to know that despite Aliraja’s efforts to attend the official reception of the President at the High Commission in Kampala, he has not been able to do so. At the end of the visit to Uganda, the President had taken steps to come to Sri Lanka separately, and there is also news that Aliraja along with other ministers who had participated in the visit to Uganda had arranged to come to Sri Lanka via Dubai on another plane. It has been learned that Aliraja had tried to meet the President in Colombo on several occasions, but he had not received an appointment from the President.
New political party
Apart from this, this time we are ready to reveal another special matter related to Aliraja from ‘inside politics’ column. It means that Aliraja has bought a new political party to compete in the upcoming elections. The name of that party is the Arunalu People’s Alliance. Its sign is the tap. The current information says that Aliraja’s purpose in buying this new party is to bring together all the political leaders who will break away from the TNA and other parties and form a political alliance in the next general election.
In addition, after Mr S.Sreedharan became the leader of the Tamil National Alliance, he may have seen an ideology of getting federal again within the party. This came out publicly for the first time in the meeting held with Mr Santosh Jha, who was appointed as the new Indian High Commissioner in this country. According to the current information, the discussion was somewhat heated due to Sreedharan’s position in the discussions regarding the devolution of power. There Sridharan told the Indian High Commissioner that the 13th amendment or 13 plus amendments are of no use at this time and that the North needs a federal solution. Sridharan also told the Indian High Commissioner that no acceptable division of power has taken place in the North.
Given Sridharan’s statement, the Indian High Commissioner has mentioned how the economy of the north should be developed and that the method developed by the Indian city of Hyderabad can be used for that, and how the Chief Minister of Hyderabad worked and India can also support such a method. Sreedharan has made some accusations and said that India did not actively intervene in the division of power in Sri Lanka, at least India did not influence Sri Lanka to get elections. The Indian High Commissioner denied the accusation and stated that India could intervene in the economic development of the North. However, the state secret belt has heard that Sreedharan remained adamant throughout the discussion.
Meanwhile, it is also reported that the Tamil Alliance leaders including Sreedharan are going to New Delhi within the next few weeks. It was to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discuss the upcoming political affairs of Sri Lanka.
Advent of Baskaran
While Sreedharan is building a strong position in the North in this way, it is reported that many prominent figures of the Tamil Diaspora have also supported him. Its main character is none other than Baskaran Kandaiya, another Tamil billionaire who was born in Sri Lanka and currently resides in the Netherlands. It is reported that Baskaran has built a huge communication company based in the Netherlands called Kandaiya Libera and I.B.C., which operates based in London T.V. He also has a media network called It is reported that he owns many well-known websites such as Lanka Sri News and Tamil Win, which are popular among the diaspora. It has also been learned that Baskaran’s so-called media network has directly advocated for Sridharan’s victory in the recent TNA leadership election.