How will the govt’s final slogan, “no money,” work?
What will Mahanayake’s next move be?
What did the Rajasana mania slogan achieve?
President Ranil Wickramasinghe dropped another political bomb on the country by announcing his plans to completely implement the 13th amendment at a time when the country is gripped by severe economic problems, at a time when workers from the harbour, petroleum, electricity, water, doctors, university academics, and the working community have taken to the streets in protest of the unreasonable taxes imposed on them.
The President informed them informally during discussions with the Tamil National Alliance, but it was officially announced to the country in a special statement addressed to the nation on Thai Pongal day.
Division within the government
Along with the people who had been protesting due to economic issues, nationalist politicians as well as the Bikkus were seen raising their voices in opposition to the President’s statement. Sarath Weerasekera, Member of Parliament for Pohottuwa, was the first to object to the President’s statement, pointing out that the government is divided on the issue. Sarath, who launched a strong attack in front of the media, stated that if the 13th amendment is implemented, the country will be divided.
The MP Sarath Weerasekera, who did not stop there, went to Kandy the very next day and took steps to inform the Mahanayake Theros about this. It was very significant that Mrs. Anuradha Yahampath, the Governor of the Eastern Province, also joined the trip. Accordingly, the two of them and several others met the Mahanayake Theros and expressed their views against the 13th Amendment, but also took steps to inform the Mahanayake Theros to immediately intervene in this matter.
The immediate result was that a round of discussions started in this regard among the Trinika Mahanayake’s. After considering the requests received from various parties, the Mahanayake Theros decided to protest the 13th amendment in the first round and send a letter to the President in their presence. The letter reads:
The Honorable President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe,
Office of the President
It is about the bad effects of enforcing the 13th constitutional amendment
Your statement that you will work as the executive to fully implement the 13th constitutional amendment has caused a lot of confusion in the country. Giving power to provincial councils to exercise powers including land and police powers, ancient and historical monument records and regulation of religious societies opens up the opportunity for further implementation of separatism in the country. It is a fact that you are also well aware that the executive presidents who held the position before also refrained from fully enforcing the 13th constitutional amendment because they realized the confusion and its ineffectiveness in the country. The fact that the Executive President, who is bound by the responsibility of protecting the sovereignty of the people, is working to implement such constitutional amendments that lead to the collapse of the central government’s autonomy is also a cause of strong public displeasure.
In view of the economic crisis in the country, we as the Maha Sangharatna have emphasized that despite being pressured to agree to certain conditions in order to get the support of regional and global powers, we should work to reject such proposals that endanger the territorial integrity and independence of the country. There are many evidences in our history that show how we as Sri Lankans, who are celebrating the 75th year of independence, have dedicated ourselves to the security and prosperity of the country regardless of caste and religion.
For more than three decades, we have faced many unpleasant experiences in this country. The government has to work quickly to develop the North-Eastern provinces which are directly affected by it and improve the people’s lives. We know very well that the political leaders appointed from those provinces holding the positions of responsible cabinet ministers of the central government have the opportunity to play a great role for the development of the area as well as for the betterment of the people. But it is no secret that the implementation of the 13th constitutional amendment and the transfer of the aforementioned powers including land and police powers to the provincial councils will cause confusion in the governance of the state.
Most Venerable Tibbattuave Sri Siddhartha Sumangalabhidhana
In Mahaviharavansika Syamopali Mahanikiya
Mahanayake Sthavira of the Malwatu Mahavihara side,
Malwatu Mahavihara, Kandy.
His Holiness Varakagoda Dhammasiddhi Sri Panjananda Gnanaratanabhidhana
In Mahavihara clan Syamopali Mahanikaya
Mahanayaka Sthavira of the Asgiri Mahavihara side,
Asgiri Mahavihara, Kandy.
Most Reverend Dodampahala Sri Chandasiri Abhidhana
Supreme Mahanayake Sthavira of Amarapura Mahanikya,
Sri Gotama Tapovana,
Most Reverend Makulawe Sri Wimalabhidhana
Mahanayake Sthavira of the Sri Lankan Ramanya Mahanikya,
Miniolwa Vidyavasa Mahapirivena,
President’s discussions with Mahanayaka Theros
At the same time, two special activities took place on the part of the President to inform the Mahanayake Theros. The first of these was that the President and the President’s Senior Adviser as well as Chief of Staff Mr. Sagala Ratnayake went to Kandy to discuss this matter with the Mahanayake Theros. According to the information we have, the President carefully listened to the matters mentioned by Mahanayake Theros during this discussion, which was held behind closed doors without outsiders.
In particular, the Mahanayake Theros have protested against the transfer of police and land powers to the Provincial Councils in the 13th Amendment.
Karu met the Mahanayaka Theros
However, after that the former Speaker Mr. Karu Jayasuriya also went to Kandy to visit the Mahanahimis. After Ranil became President, Karu maintained a close relationship with the government. That close relationship is so much that once Karu had attended the cabinet meeting with Victor Ivan to inform the ministers of the government about the Janasabha system which was his concept and had also taken steps to deliver a speech.
Also, a few days ago, the President took steps to give Karu Jayasuriya the highest award in Sri Lanka, the ‘Sri Lanka Bhimanya’ award. Accordingly, several opinions were discussed in the political arena regarding Karu coming to Kandy and meeting Mahanayaka Theros. Some said that after receiving the award, Karu went to Kandy to hold another general discussion including that matter. Others said that Karu suddenly went to Kandy with the aim of allaying the opposition to the 13th Amendment from the Mahanayake Theros.
Also, last Wednesday, Karuda came to the Parliament to hear the Rajasana speech delivered by the President, starting the new session of the Parliament. At the traditional tea ceremony held after the end of the Rajasana speech, the President saw Karu despite the distinguished guests around him and said ‘… Anna Karu, I said your Janasabha piece in the Rajasana speech…’ while smiling and saying rather loudly, Karu expressed his gratitude which was seen clearly.
However, it is that the President’s throne speech also consists of many special events. The most important event was that all the main parties of the opposition took steps to boycott the President’s throne speech on the day of it. In order to make that decision, several main parties of the opposition had started discussions since last Monday.
However, President’s throne speech marked few special events. The most important event was that all the main parties of the opposition took steps to boycott the President’s throne speech on the day of it. In order to make that decision, several main parties of the opposition had started discussions since last Monday.
Sajith meets his team
The main opposition Sajith Premadasa’s Samagi Jana Balawega meet and discuss this matter last Monday. It was seen that there were two opinions of the group of MPs. However, many senior MPs including Kiriella pointed out that it is unacceptable for the president to end the parliamentary session twice within 7 months and hold Rajasana speeches, as no one has done in history, and due to this, nearly 4 committees including the Finance Committee, CORP and COPA Committees of the Parliament will end. Because of this, all the activities that have been done have been stopped in the middle. Because of this, Kiriella’s position was that the president’s throne speech should be boycotted.
Sajith also took a firm stand and informed the MPs that they should boycott the President’s Rajasana speech.
Boycott ‘Rajasana kathawa’
This is a time when elections are held in the country. The election commission has fixed the date for the election. We have all started the campaign. I have three or four meetings somewhere every day. In this election, the president suddenly closed the parliament and trying to make a Rajasana speeche, can we stop the work we have done and go to listen to it? I cannot be a liar to my constituency organizers and people. Therefore, we will boycott the Rajasana speech…’ After Sajith announced his position, Samagi Jana Balawega decided to boycott the President’s Rajasana speech.
Apart from this, the Free People’s Alliance representing Dallas, GL, Wimal and Maithri parties were also seen meeting and holding discussions on several occasions to take a decision regarding the President’s Rajasana speech. In the first discussions held there, they also decided to boycott the President’s throne speech. Former minister G.L.Pieris said that in a special press conference held on Monday. Mr. Peiris took steps to publicly tell the country their stand. But after Monday, the MPs of several other parties of the Free People’s Alliance were of the opinion that instead of boycotting the President’s Rajasana speech and staying out, they should do something that the government and the people feel, that no party has done before in the Rajasana speech.
One slogan protest
Accordingly, the seniors of the Free People’s Alliance took steps to call a special discussion to discuss this on Monday night. Various proposals were presented there and all suggested that they should not just boycott the Rajasana speech but participate in it and protest the President and leave it. Accordingly, it was decided to stand up in protest against the President when he came to the House to deliver his throne speech. There, several other MPs pointed out that they should all say one slogan instead of saying different things while standing up and leaving.
Accordingly, it was decided that should protest and leave the parliament by saying ‘Rajasana Mania…’. In addition, it was also decided to wear black bands on the right hand of everyone in protest of the President’s throne speech. It was also decided that all these matters should be kept secret.
However, Sirasa channel during its news broadcast on Monday night said that not only SJB and the Free People’s Alliance but also Mr. Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam from the North would boycott the President’s Rajasana speech, but mentioned that the JVP along with the Tamil National Alliance would participate in it.
JVP decides to boycott
That, quoting JVP media spokesman Mr. Vijitha Herath. Sirasa had also reported that the other party leaders representing Samagi Jana Balawega, Mr. Rishad Badiuddin, Mr. Rauf Hakeem and Mr. Mano Ganesan will also participate in it.
Even though the situation was the same by Monday night, by Tuesday, the National People’s Force representing the JVP also took a special decision to boycott the President’s Rajasana speech. According to that, when the President came to Parliament on Wednesday to deliver the Rajasana speech, as previously decided, no one from Samagi Jana Balavega and Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna was present in the House. Few Tamil MPs that is Palani Digambaram , Mano Ganeshan, Rishad Badurdeen,only were present.
Sajith busy and could not talk to all
Hakeem also did not come to Parliament that day as there was a special case in the court. Later, when Kiriella Mano, Rishad and Digambaram were asked about the reason for going to the assembly, they said that they participated because the leader of the opposition had not spoken to them. They had not been able to talk as Sajith was also traveling across the country for election campaigning.
However, in the background of the fact that the opposition was boycotting the President’s Rajasana speech, they saw the members of the Free People’s Alliance sitting in the opposition that day, but many of the ruling party MPs spoke very highly about it, but everyone was shocked and could not believe their eyes when the President walked through the middle of the House and sat in the speaker’s seat to deliver the Rajasana speech. The freedom alliance MPs left the assembly shouting ‘Rajasana mania… Rajasana mania’ the government MPs Some MPs event booing and the government MPs had nothing to say other than just watching what is happening.
13 Govt. MPs absent?
On the other hand, it was noted that several of the ruling party MPs were not seen in the assembly that day. There are currently 122 MPs representing the ruling party, but only 109 MPs came to Parliament that day. Accordingly, 13 MPs were not seen in the assembly and it was rumoured in the political arena that these 13 MPs did not come to listen the President’s throne speech that day as a protest to the 13.
A.H.M.Fauzi takes oaths and leaves
Apart from this, another special event happened in the Parliament that day. A.H.M Fauzi filled the vacancy of Mr. Mujibar Rahman, SJB Member of Parliament, who resigned to run for the position of Colombo Mayor. However, Fauzi was sworn in as an MP and spent only a few minutes in the parliamentary session that day. Immediately, he also followed the decision of his fellow members who boycotted the Rajasana speech and took steps to leave the council.
Press briefing outside the Parliament
It was notewothy that the MPs of the Free People’s Alliance, who left the parliament, came out of the parliament and made a statement in front of the media. There MPs G.L. Peiris, Wimal Weerawansa and Dullas Alahapperuma said that their group took steps to boycott the President’s throne speech in order to protest against the President’s actions without a mandate from the people.
President meets govt. MPs
Before starting the new session of the Parliament last Wednesday (08), President Ranil Wickramasinghe met with the group of members of the ruling party and had a discussion. Here, the President responded to the news that the opposition’s move to boycott the Rajasana speech in Parliament. The President said that the time given to the opposition should be used as an opportunity to attack the opposition by the members of the ruling party.
‘When I deliver the Rajasana speech there is no SJB and J.V.P. They say that they will not come either. That gives the government MPs enough time to attack the opposition. After I am done with the policy statement, have to ask what are the policies of SJB and JVP. If they are against ours, they should tell the country what their policy is. Listen to it…’ the President instructed the MPs.
Sarath Weerasekara dumb on 13?
However, Sarath Weerasekara spoke after that. Sarath Weerasekhara, after saying that the President will implement the 13th amendment, released statements against it, went with the Eastern Governor and met the Mahanayake Theros and expressed his views against the 13th. But, the surprising thing was that when the President was questioned about the International Monetary Fund but Sarath Weerasekera never asked or questioned him about the 13 A.
Now they say that IMF the money will come today and tomorrow. But there is no color of it coming. However IMF gives only 2.9 billion dollars. That too is given for 4 years. Can it solve these problems? That’s why the whole country is stuck in a dollar problem. Therefore, let’s get that money from the accounts where foreign people have deposited their money when Sarath made this suggestion president looked very furious and angered.
From where are you saying? How to do that? You can’t do what the way you say. Don’t come here listening to others talk in various places and talk it here. Who says that? The other matter is the IMF. They are going to give us 2.9 billion dollars. This country cannot be rebuilt with that. We can show it and get help from other countries to build the economy. That’s what we are going to do…’ Sarath Weerasekera could be seen becoming silent when the President said this in a firm voice.
Implementation of 13A
After that, another MP questioned the President about the implementation of the 13th Amendment, the land and police powers mentioned in it. The President publicly said that he will fully implement the 13th Amendment, but in answering this question, he gave a slippery answer to the group of MPs.
13 is already in the constitution. It also has land police powers. But we have an independent police commission. There is a land reform commission. Then anyone has to work under the Police Commission and the Land Commission. The other thing is that when we checked on the Google map, there are a number of registered lands in the north. They have owners. So we cannot keep them. We have to release those lands that are currently in the custody of the military. Regarding the lands that have not been registered as such, decisions have to be made under the Land Commission…’ the President gave a slippery answer.
Question about LG election
After that, another MP raised a question regarding the holding of local government elections. When this MP asked, ‘Tell us exactly whether the President is for the ballot or not..’, the President smiled and gave a wonderful answer.
I don’t know that. It will be decided by the court. But we don’t have money to hold elections.” The president smiled and shook his head to the sides, and the MPs could also be seen laughing.
Then Rohitha Abeygunawardana asked a question. Rohitha’s question was aimed at the tourism industry.
Rohitha worried about Tourism
The tourism industry, which had fallen in the past, is now barely recovering. Now some tourists have come to our side. But the problem is that now there are protests every day in Colombo. Then the tourism industry may fall due to the fear of tourists coming again. When Rohitha said, “Something needs to be done about that too…” the President gave a rather stern answer.
‘So how do I stop having struggles? I have done what I can. They will take care of the rest. If the number of tourists decreases due to the protests, they should go and tell the people in the tourism sector to oppose this. There is nothing else to do…’ was the answer given by the President.
Fake news reporting
Although the Election Commission decided a month ago that the local government elections will be held on March 9th, one by one we exposed the conspiracies launched by the government to postpone the elections through the ‘Rajya Rahas column.
While all other media organizations followed the government’s wishes and published fake news to postpone the elections and gave massive publicity to the government’s efforts to postpone the elections, ‘Mawrata’ as a newspaper, as a website, and as a web channel, appeared fearlessly and directly for the people’s right to vote along with Sirasa and Siyatha news channels.
Efforts to postpone LG election
However, in the past, it was seen that the government had launched the worst possible program to postpone the elections. One instance the Election Commission officials received death threats. Mrs. Charles, who was once a member of the Election Commission, announcement that she had resigned and the resignation was accepted. A letter sent to the State Administration Secretary through the Cabinet Secretary stating that the Cabinet had taken a decision not to accept the nominations for the election. Then Mr. Neil Hapuhinna, who was the State Administration Secretary, took steps to send a letter to all the district secretaries not to accept nominations in the election.
After that, it was said that there is no unanimity in the Election Commission. It was claimed that all the five members had not signed the gazette papers. The Director General of Government Information issued an announcement that the gazette stating the election date has not been issued and that it has not yet been received at the Government Press with everyone’s signatures. All those efforts could be seen to have been thwarted as we responded by detecting and responding at that moment through our website
Left with ‘no money’ slogan
In the end, the only slogan of the government was the slogan that there is no money to hold elections. The ministers of the government came to press conferences almost every day and continued to say that they did not have money to have election. If they go to vote, they will not be able to pay salaries to government employees. That it will not be possible to pay pensions. sramurdhi will not be able to pay. They will have to stand in oil and gas queues again.
In addition to this, the President himself intervened and issued a circular not to spend money on any activity except for essential activities. Also, the Secretary of the Treasury went to the court and gave an affidavit that there is no money for other activities except essential activities.
Check on EC?
At the end of all this, two special operations were launched with the aim of postponing the local government election on Thursday, the day before the court was to give its decision regarding the holding of the election. One of them was to hand over a letter signed by 14 members of the ruling party to the Speaker to appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to look into the performance of the Election Commission.
Also, on Thursday (09), it was seen that a message that was circulated from one place to the Members of Parliament as well as to various people in the political field. The message said that the court will order the postponement of the local government election by few months on Friday, and that the decision will be taken based on the financial factor. This message, which even reached the parliament, said that the election will definitely be postponed. As a result, many MPs also believed the story as true.
Historic decision by SC
In this way, the trumps played for several months to postpone the election failed one after another with the court order received on Friday. In the morning, the Supreme Court Judges S. Thureiraja, M.Nawaz and Mr. Shiran Gunaratne decided to allow the election to proceed as planned by the Election Commission. Accordingly, all the plans launched by the government to postpone the election for months came to an end with this historic decision given by the Supreme Court.
IMF approve Bangladesh and Pakistan facility
It has been a special situation that the government has been asking for support from the International Monetary Fund for several months, but it has not yet been able to enter into related agreements. The IMF has taken steps to provide two loan facilities to Bangladesh, which requested assistance from the International Monetary Fund after Sri Lanka, and they have also taken steps to approve the loan to Pakistan.
But the central bank governor himself said about 03 months ago that Sri Lanka will be able to get loans from the financial fund by December. Also, the ministers of the government said from time to time that the IMF The money will be received today or tomorrow. But from the current information, Sri Lanka is still receiving loan assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the related negotiations have not been completed.
The issue with IMF?
What is the real problem for the financial fund regarding Sri Lanka? The main problem here is that IMF has not received the kind of debt restructuring guarantee from China the way IMF is hoping get. Although the Financial Fund expects a 10-year loan concession from China, China has given a letter to the Financial Fund that it is ready to provide a 02-year loan concession to Sri Lanka. Accordingly, the financial fund issued a statement saying that the letter is absolutely unacceptable to the financial fund.
Government or Bank?
The other problem with this letter is that it was issued by the Exim Bank of China. Generally, the IMF does not expect a letter issued by a bank, but a letter issued by the Chinese government. For example, the Indian government gave the letter agreeing to the debt restructuring of Sri Lanka. But because this letter has been issued by China Exim Bank and the conditions of the financial fund have not been met by the relevant letter, it can be seen that the letter cannot be submitted to the executive council of the financial fund.
Negotiate with Xi Jinping
On the other hand, Lazard, which has been entrusted to discuss Sri Lanka’s debt, has negotiated with the Chinese Exim Bank on several occasions, hoping for more relief, but they have informed that they are unable to provide relief for more than 02 years. Accordingly, this has now become a diplomatic crisis between China and Sri Lanka. Now it can only be resolved through an agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Accordingly, President Ranil Wickramasinghe has asked for the opportunity to negotiate with the Chinese President through various channels, but all those efforts have failed.
IMF – China tug- of – war
In addition to this, the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Kee Shen Hon, who has been very attentive to Sri Lanka in the past, had gone to China for a long vacation, so an acting representative of the embassy had been appointed to look at the work there. Many thought that Mr. Shen Hon would not return and that the Acting Ambassador would continue to cover the affairs of the post. But with the letter sent from China Exim Bank to the Financial Fund, Mr. Shen Hon has come back to Sri Lanka and has taken steps to start his duties.
Accordingly, due to this tug-of-war between China and the IMF regarding Sri Lanka, many are pointing out that even the Executive Council meeting of the IMF scheduled to be held next March will not be able to present the proposal regarding Sri Lanka. In that case, the period for Sri Lanka to receive loan relief from the Financial Fund will stretched further.