Chandrika sends SOS calls
Amidst widespread stories that two prominent leaders of the so-called
common opposition are planning to revert their decision and extend
support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, New Democratic Front (NDF)
candidate Maithripala Sirisena is fast turning a fish out of water.
At a high-level meeting of leaders in the Opposition alliance,
Maithripala has pleaded senior party leaders in the Opposition not to
Maithripala had said that he sacrificed his ministerial post after
the Opposition’s offer and that it’s the duty of the leaders in the
Opposition party alliance to stick to their word without buckling his
Maithripala has also accused some UNP seniors and chief organisers
for not fully throwing their weight behind his campaign had threatened
that he will have to think twice before making UNP leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe if he does not get the expected support from the UNP.
The internal power struggles in the UNP have greatly affected
When Matara District UNP parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera
organised Samaraweera’s Matara mail rally, he deliberately kept his
fellow UNP MP from the same district Buddhika Pathiarana and UNP deputy
leader Sajith Premadasa out.
Similarly, differences within the UNP ranks were evident in other
political rallies of Maithripala.
Maithripala is also disappointed that he is not getting the expected
support from the JHU, except for Patali Champika Ranawaka. Former
Western Provincial Council Minister and JHU stalwart Udaya Gammanpila
has taken a major portion of the party seniors back to President
Rajapaksa’s campaign, inflicting a severe blow on the JHU.
Athuraliye Rathana Thera who had been vociferous during early part of
Maithripala’s campaign, even threatening to get their supports to
streets, is now on a low profile after Gammanpila’s exit.
Gammanpila who returned to the government has been influential in
obtaining the support of 17 out of the 29 JHU Pradeshiya Sabha monks who
extended their support to President Rajapaksa last week. Political
observers said it was a major setback to Maithripala’s campaign which
now entirely depends on their understandings with the Tamil Diaspora and
Ranil perturbed by Chandrika’s moves
Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe has been greatly perturbed by
sinister moves of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.
Despite repeated requests from Chandrika to address the NDF
candidate’s election rallies, the think tank of Maithripala’s campaign
has effectively blocked her form opening her big mouth that could damage
the entire campaign.
The majority of the party leaders in the Opposition have said that it
would be detrimental to include Chandrika’s name in the speakers’ lists
as that would do more damage than good.
Although Maithripala had originally pledged to make Ranil the Prime
Minister in case he wins next month’s Presidential election, Mangala has
been working behind the scenes to bring Chandrika as the Prime Minister.
But the TNA has said that they will be the deciding factor and that
R. Sampanthan and Ranil should take turns as Prime Minister, three years
However, Maithripala’s confidants are adamant that their leader
should not abolish the Executive Presidency and should hold the post for
the entire six-year term, if the former minister emerges victorious.
Maithripala’s men have smelt something fishy on Democratic Party
leader Sarath Fonseka and UNP deputy leader Sajith Premadasa. Amidst
strong rumours that the duo are planning to extend unconditional support
to President Rajapaksa, Maithripala camp has deployed informants to
monitor their whereabouts.
Suspecting that Fonseka and Sajith would quit at any moment,
Maithripala’s inner circle has taken a decision not to invite Fonseka
and Sajith for crucial decision-making meetings.
Tissa discloses plans to bring in Chandrika
Former UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake said that the NDF
candidate Maithripala Sirisena had a secret agenda to appoint Chandrika
as the Prime Minister in a Government formed by Sirisena, if he wins the
January 8 polls.
“Sirisena has a hidden agenda to give the premiership to Chandrika
Kumaratunga,” President Mahinda Rajapaksa tweeted quoting Minister
Attanayake as saying at the United Peoples Freedom Alliance presidential
election rally at Kuliyapitiya last week.
The President also tweeted that Minister as saying that out of all
the agreements signed by Sirisena, the one with the TNA would be the
“Attanayake asked where were the 25 SLFP stalwarts Sirisena had
promised the UNP to bring along and said that the UNP Leadership had
failed to represent the party at two consecutive Presidential
Elections,” the President said.
Attanayake last week assumed duties as Health Minister. He was sworn
in as Health Minister by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the President's
House in Kandy.
Meanwhile, National Freedom Front (NFF) Leader and Minister Wimal
Weerawansa accused the JHU General Secretary and former Minister
Champika Ranawaka of publishing fake statistics to change peoples’
opinion on the economy.
According to the minister, MP Ranawaka had said the present
government was acquiring foreign loans for higher interests such as
seven per cent. “This is not true. The government had obtained all the
loans for interest lower than seven per cent. However, previous
governments had obtained loans for high interest. The loan acquired for
the Nilwala Ganga Project was 23.8 million Francs from France and the
interest was 10.85 per cent,” he said.
Chandrika claims lion’s share
Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga became the
laughing stock last week when she staked a bigger claim for the victory
against the LTTE by reiterating that 75 per cent of the LTTE-held
territory was cleared during her tenure.
She told a news conference held at her official residence last week
that at the time she took over the presidency in 1994, the entire
northern region - barring five or six military bases at Mannar,
Talaimannar, Kankesanturai, Point Pedro, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya in the
central part of the North - was controlled by LTTE leader Velupullai
Prabhakaran.Chandrika said Prabhakaran was calling the shots in the
North and even dictating terms to the government officials. “But within
a year after assuming office, we liberated the entire Jaffna area. How
can one deny it? Our people do not believe in falsehoods. Are our people
a bunch of donkeys to believe in untruths?” she said without making any
comments on the huge setbacks suffered by the Security Forces during her
Apart from over 12,000 soldiers who were killed during her tenure,
including thousands of men killed when the LTTE overran Army camps in
Mullativu and Elephant Pass, many military hardware and large hauls of
ammunition were either captured or destroyed by the LTTE.
When the Security Forces were marching towards victory, Chandrika
succumbed to international pressure and ordered the Security Forces to
halt their offensive after thousands of soldiers had perished.
Nimal discloses Opposition’s meeting with Tigers
Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva on Tuesday claimed that several
common opposition members including presidential candidate Maithripala
Sirisena had secretly met representatives of the Transnational
Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) in Singapore.
He said the Government would reveal details of their activities
during their visit to Singapore. The minister said Maithripala Sirisena,
Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sarath Fonseka, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mangala
Samaraweera, Hirunika Premachandra and Palani Digambaram had visited
Singapore from time to time since November 2.
“During the same period nine TGTE ministers had also visited
Singapore. It’s not a coincidence and people can put two and two
We will soon reveal what was discussed between the two sides with
more details in the future,” he told a news conference held at Sri Lanka
Freedom Party Headquarters in Colombo.
The minister claimed that the common opposition was plotting with the
TGTE to get their support for the opposition election campaign and to
divide the country in return.
“The opposition has betrayed and deceived the people” he said and
added that Mr. Sirisena will not abolish the executive presidency as
promised. This is only a slogan he is using to deceive the people,” he
No room for Iraq, Libya or Egypt acts here
There have been massive crowds that came in their numbers to the UPFA
rallies to support President Rajapaksa. Most of the rallies had
unprecedented record crowds ever seen at political gatherings at
There was no exception in the North. People in the North had suffered
untold hardships due to three decades of terror unleashed by the LTTE.
But that great humanitarian operation by the Security Forces under the
political sagacity of President Rajapaksa rescued the hapless Tamils in
the North who had been used as a human shield. They came in their
numbers to show their gratitude to the leaders who had served them from
the jaws of death when President Rajapaksa attended a UPFA political
rally in Mullaitivu. Addressing a massive gathering at Vinayagamoorthy
grounds in Mullaitivu on Thursday, President Rajapaksa said last week
that he cannot allow Sri Lanka to face the same fate suffered by the
countries like Iraq, Libya or Egypt.
“Look at the situation in Iraq, Libya and Egypt, we cannot allow this
to happen in this country,” he said.
Reminding the war in the country, which ended in 2009, the President
said that he would not allow the country to go back to the dark era
again. “We cannot let the terrorism to raise its head again. The
conflict era was 30 years, but we had only five years to develop the
country. If we divide ourselves into religions and races, as a country
we cannot go forward,” he said. He said the Government had resettled
39,913 families in the Mullaithivu District as of 2013, benefiting
“I want you to join hands with me to develop your area and to give a
brighter future for your children,” he said.
'I have not opened my big mouth'
When questioned by media whether she had distanced herself from the
campaign, Chandrika has said she was down with a bad cough for about two
weeks and therefore could not address any of the political rallies.
“If I speak, it will get worse and thought it better to keep away
till I got better. There are no other reasons for keeping away. Probably
the state media may want me to die,” she said. But Chandrika has
admitted that Maithripala’s campaign through the UNP at grassroots level
has been affected after the crossover of Attanayake. Explaining
Maithripala’s campaigning at village level, she said there were issues
about coordinating propaganda activities, but those matters were being
sorted and added that the crossover of UNP’s former General Secretary
Attanayake had an impact because he was involved in planning campaign
“Normally, a General Secretary plays a key role. The UNP General
Secretary was involved at a planning level. His crossover upset some of
the activities initially. Now a new General Secretary has been
appointed. He is sorting out matters. Things will fall in line soon,”
Santa Claus comes to town
Maithripala Sirisena is playing the role of Santa Clause during the
Christmas season which leads up to the elections. He has come out with a
massive bonanza though he is unable to disclose where he would find
finances to meet those overheads.
While claiming that petrol and diesel levies will be annulled after
the January 8, 2015, Maithripala has also pledged to grant an
unrealistic salary increase of Rs. 10,000 to the public servants – the
exact figure offered by his fellow NDF candidate Sarath Fonseka in 2010.
President Rajapaksa promised Rs. 2,500, a figure which was possible
to grant, on that occasion but the masses preferred that figure
rejecting an impossible Rs. 10,000 offered by Fonseka. Similarly,
Maithripala’s Rs. 10,000 too would be rejected by people as it is
impossible to practice – increase salaries of the Government servants
while scrapping the Government revenue generated though tax on fuel.
Maithripala’s 100-day program is similar to the 100-day dream of
Ranil Wickremesinghe after he became the Prime Minister in 2001.
Maithripala has also made an attempt to win the youth by offering
them free internet and wi-fi facilities. But the people across the
country are aware that it was President Rajapaksa who developed the IT
knowledge of the students by constructing 1,000 Mahindodaya labs.
Meanwhile, Opposition United National Party leader Ranil
Wickremsinghe has said that a future Government under his leadership
would scrap the Colombo Port City Project. Ranil told tourist industry
leaders who met him last week that the project would be scrapped because
it would end up destroying the coastal belt from Negombo to Beruwala.
Guarantee on free and fair poll
The Commissioner of Elections Mahinda Deshapriya said last week that
he and his officials would resign from their posts sans pension if it
was proven that any malpractice or rigging had taken place at this
Speaking at a panel discussion, Deshapriya assured that no
malpractices would take place at this election especially when it came
to transporting of ballot boxes.
Deshapriya said a document containing the signatures of polling
agents would be pasted on the boxes which would have two more seals
affixed leaving little or no room for any rigging.
“The last occasion when the boxes were shifted and replaced took
place in Sri Lanka 30 years ago and nothing of that sort has taken place
in an election thereafter,” the Commissioner said.
He said four candidates contesting the presidential elections did not
want election monitors from the European Union because it had worked
against Sri Lanka.
However he said he cannot reveal any more details about this matter.
He added that it is forbidden, at any of the offices owned by the
state or the provincial councils, government schools, local authorities
or any institution owned by any state corporation or board, to canvass
for presidential candidates in any manner.
The distribution of handbills or leaflets or conducting meetings too
would not be permitted at those institutions.
“Therefore, all the politicians and their political activists are
hereby informed that it is imperativel to refrain from engaging in such
activities,” he said in a statement.
Mangala continues to daydream
Matara District parliamentarian Mangala Samaraweera is better known
for his media gimmicks and spreading rumors to mislead the public. He is
extremely clever in creating artificial election waves so that he could
thinking of the public.
He had even deployed his supporters from Matara to visit Colombo by
office train and busses so that those paid agents could mix with
commuters and give them a different impression.
Mangala played a similar card last week, explaining how they would
act after Maithripala “wins” the Presidential election. It was a subtle
attempt to mislead the public that the trend is on Maithripala whereas
the President Rajapaksa had taken a clear lead in all opinion polls.
Speaking as the joint spokesman for the NDF candidate, Mangala said
that Maithripala will be sworn in immediately if he is elected the
He told a media briefing that Maithripala would be sworn it by
January 10 if he wins the presidential election and would not allow the
incumbent president to continue for two years.
That was a baseless statement as no UPFA politician had made such
claim as they are pretty sure of President Rajapaksa’s imminent victory.
Mangala said the opposition had no intention of instigating violence in
the event a second preference count takes place after the election.