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Why the Mahanayakes are annoyed with President Rajapaksa and backing General Fonseka

by C.A. Chandraprema

In this country no issue remains at the forefront of the public consciousness for long. The arrest of General Sarath Fonseka last week basically put an end to the election rigging circus. Now nobody is talking about election rigging and everybody is talking about Fonseka. A new twist to events that emerged with the arrest of Fonseka is the comments that the Ven Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter made about the arrest and about democracy in the country in general. Many people may be wondering what that is about.

The vast majority of the Sinhala voters and the Buddhist voters especially, voted deliberately for Mahinda Rajapaksa in the pursuance of a national objective just last month. Why now does it appear that the Mahanayake’s are taking a stand against Mahinda? Some think it may be because wrong information about Fonseka’s arrest had been fed to them.

But the fact is that the alienation of the Ven Malwatte Mahanayake has less to do with Fonseka or democracy than with the parochial interests of the Buddha sasana. When President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office in 2005, he brought the various religious affairs ministries, the Bauddha Sasana Ministry and the Ministries for Hindu Cultural Affairs, Christian Affairs and Muslim Affairs into one ‘sarva agamika’ ministry styled the Ministry of Religious Affairs and he appointed himself as the minister in charge. For the past four years there has been no Bauddha Sasana Ministry and the Mahanayakes had requested that it should be re-established, obviously on the grounds that the Sri Lanka constitution gives foremost place to Buddhism and that it should not share a ministry with the other religions. But the president did not respond favourably. This is why the Malwatte Mahanayake complains that what they say is not taken note of by the powers that be. With the commencement of Eelam War IV from around mid 2006, other events overtook the simmering dispute and it remained unresolved.

Now the president has been re-elected for the second time, parliament has been dissolved, and a new government is to be elected into power. Obviously this is the time to strike, so that when the new cabinet is sworn there will be a Bauddha Sasana Ministry as requested by the Mahanayakes. There is no harm in the president being flexible on this matter. Having separate ministries for the various religions may not be a bad idea because that would create more goodies to hand out and senior ministers from the minority communities can be kept happy by giving them the portfolio for their religion as it may give them an edge in getting the votes of their community. Some may see this as pandering to parochialism. But then that is what politics is all about. On the part of the Mahanayakes, it may be prudent for them to consult the attorney general, the military authorities and the government itself before they make any commitments on the Fonseka issue.

When General Fonseka entered politics, he was a decorated war hero held in high esteem by the whole country and especially by the Sinhala public. Yet the present columnist was bold enough to predict that not only was he going to lose to Mahinda, but that he would not get even the votes polled by Ranil Wickremesinghe - the so called signer of the ceasefire agreement and the ‘betrayer’ of the country. In similar manner, what seems to be clear is that if the Mahanayakes seek to confront the present government, they are not going to come out on top. What last month’s presidential election showed in a magnitude unanticipated even by the present columnist is that there is an overarching national interest profoundly etched in the minds of the Sinhala Buddhist voter which they will pursue regardless of whoever opposes it.

One thing that the people don’t want to see is the joint opposition which has just been resoundingly rejected by the people going to the Ven Mahanayake’s in a delegation and Rauff Hakeem telling the Mahanayakes that the opposition was now helpless - ‘asarana wela inne’ and asking the Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter to start a process under his venerable leadership to restore democracy. This is precisely what they did to Sarath Fonseka as well. They went in delegation to him, and tried to use his credentials with the Sinhala public to further their own political project – and it did not succeed.

Having failed in that, they now go in delegation to the Ven Mahanayakes and tell them to assume leadership of their project. When the joint opposition meets the heads of foreign missions, that is always done behind closed doors. But when they meet the Mahanayakes, it’s always with TV crews in attendance. Over the past few weeks, how many times did we see members of the joint opposition going to see the Ven Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter in particular, carrying tales (kelang) against the government? Never before have we ever had a situation in the country, where the opposition has tried to get the Mahanayakes to confront the government in this manner. But then again, never before have we had a situation where the opposition would get the senior most serving soldier in the Army to resign from active service to confront his own commander in chief! These are strange times when strange things happen. The people of this country and especially the Sinhala Buddhist public are not going to react positively to this attempt to recruit the Ven Mahanayakes to carry on from where Fonseka left off.

Unsurprising finale

The arrest of General Fonseka was an unpleasant but unsurprising finale to the whole sorry misadventure that began with the joint opposition fielding him as their common candidate against President Mahinda Rajapaksa. We often hear people saying that political parties should be mindful about whom they field at elections and that unsuitable people should not be given nominations. The joint opposition was clearly not careful about whom they fielded at the last presidential elections. Given his temperament, Fonseka was a most unsuitable presidential candidate.

This whole episode was a costly misadventure for Fonseka. Never have we seen a downfall of a man so complete. After the election, I have not yet met a UNPer who is disappointed that Sarath Fonseka lost. Those who saw SF at work at close quarters and knew what kind of plans he had if he won the election, are those who are most relieved that he lost. The problem is that when UNPers go to see the Ven Mahanayakes they don’t tell the monks how relieved they are that the voting public delivered them from Fonseka! What they are now trying desperately to do is to look for a replacement – preferably someone in robes!

Various opinions have been expressed as to whether Fonseka should have been arrested or not. However, the present columnist fails to see how an arrest could have been avoided. On the night of Fonseka’s arrest, the director of the BBC’s Tamil service Tirumalai Manivannan came on the BBC’s Asia Today programme and wondered aloud whether General Fonseka’s earlier statement to the BBC that he was willing to testify at an international war crimes tribunal, had anything to do with the arrest. Fonseka’s repeated assertion to almost anybody who was willing to listen that he was willing to testify before an international tribunal on war crimes and his repeated accusation that the defence secretary had given wrong instructions to the ground commanders to shoot surrendering LTTE leaders obviously had much to do with his arrest. Some people feel that the government should be magnanimous in victory, and ignore such remarks. If the International Criminal Court gives Sri Lanka a written guarantee that they will not regard anything said by Sarath Fonseka as admissible evidence against Sri Lanka but as the hate filled ravings of a defeated and thwarted politician, motivated by the need to bring his victorious opponents down, then I suppose the government can afford to be magnanimous and ignore Fonseka’s remarks.

But so long as he is not officially certified by the ICC as ineligible or incompetent to testify before a war crimes tribunal, you can expect the government to keep Fonseka safely locked up and gagged. Once a former army commander makes accusation such as those made by Fonseka against a serving defense secretary, and serving senior army officers, no country can ignore it. No nation can tolerate a former military officer turned politician who openly says he is willing to testify against his former superiors and subordinates who have since become his political opponents at an international war crimes tribunal as such ‘evidence’ will inevitably be coloured by the over-determining need to bring his political opponents down . This is the first time in living memory that any country in the world has had a former army commander like this - a point that the Ven Mahanayakes appear to have missed when considering Fonseka’s arrest.

All this started because of Fonseka’s clearly demonstrated tendency to loose control of his tongue when he sees a crowd. At a felicitation ceremony held in Ambalangoda after the victory against the LTTE, Fonseka shot his mouth off and said that in prosecuting this war, they had to overlook the usual norms of war and shoot even surrendering LTTE leaders who came out with white flags. The Americans picked this up and featured it in their US state department report to Congress on war crimes allegations in Sri Lanka. Fonseka is a US green card holder and his family lives there. When he went to the US late last year, this obviously would have figured prominently in the interview he had to face for the renewal of his green card.

Obviously in order to get himself out of a sticky situation, he palmed off the blame on the defence secretary whom he accused of having given wrong instructions to the field commanders over his head. That statement he made to the Sunday Leader was in my view given deliberately to exonerate himself in the eyes of the USA. Later, when pressure mounted on him to retract it, he did so only half heartedly and kept returning to the issue on the public stage where he repeatedly accused the defense secretary of having given wrong instructions to ground commanders and asserted he was not willing to sacrifice himself to protect those who gave such wrong instructions to field commanders. What he was in essence saying was that he was willing to rat on both his superiors who were supposed to have given such instructions and his subordinates suspected of having carried them out at an international war crimes tribunal. This is not an issue that the Ven Mahanayakes can solve. There is no way that they can get Fonseka to shut up or to give the war heroes a guarantee that he wouldn’t rat on them to the international community. Only the International Criminal Court can solve this by either classifying Fonseka as incompetent to testify or declaring that whatever evidence he gives is tainted because he is a now a politician and his evidence will be against his political opponents.

Puthujjana reprisals

One must also not forget the fact that Fonseka is the only presidential or prime ministerial candidate in the post independence history of this country who publicly sought a mandate to put virtually all his opponents in jail if he is elected. If one examines the speeches he made during his campaign and counts the number of times he mentioned the Rs 10,000 pay hike for example, and compares that with the number of times he promised to put those who oppose him in jail, one sees that he campaigned mainly on a platform to put half the population in jail. In such circumstances, to expect his opponents who narrowly escaped being marched off to jail not to come down hard on him is to expect too much. The Rajapakse’s are ‘putujjanas’ (ordinary unenlightened people) like the rest of us and not arahants. My personal opinion is that a sojourn behind bars will always do a politician good, and every politician should be made to spend at least three to six months in an ordinary jail in Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa spent three months in jail in the 1980s and this obviously is one major reason why he never tried to put any opponent in jail after he assumed power. In the case of Fonseka, threats to put other people rolled off his tongue far too readily for comfort and the present unpleasant experience it is hoped, will help him to become a better man.

When Fonseka was endorsed as the UNP’s choice as presidential candidate by the UNP working committee around three months ago, we heard even the party chairman saying that 99% of his constituents wanted Fonseka as the presidential candidate. At that working committee, only a few like S.B.Dissanayake, Johnston Fernando, and Azath Salley opposed the decision. However at the working committee meeting held on Wednesday last week, not one member said that the broad opposition alliance that was formed under Fonseka should be continued. The decision to contest the parliamentary elections under the elephant symbol (and therefore under the leadership of Ranil Wickremesinghe) was unanimous. Just three months ago, everybody in the UNP wanted to contest the presidential elections under the leadership of General Fonseka but today not a single member of the UNP working committee wants to contest the parliamentary elections under him. Why this change?

The UNP’s experiment with Fonseka has been the costliest political misadventure in the history of the party. The gap of 180,000 votes between the UPFA and the UNP which we saw at the 2005 presidential elections has now widened tenfold to a whopping 1.8 million. Usually, when a party loses power and goes into the opposition, it has to improve its performance at the next major election. When the UNP lost power in 1994, they got close to 3.5 million votes. At the next major election they faced, the presidential elections of 1999, this had gone up to something in excess of 3.6 million votes. It is this incremental progress that helped the UNP to push the PA out and come into power at the parliamentary elections of 2001, getting over 4 million votes.

In 1977, when the SLFP lost, they got 1.8 million votes. At the next ensuing major election, which was the presidential elections of 1982, they managed to increase this to 2.5 million. (At the presidential elections of 1989, the SLFP got a little less with only 2.2 million votes mainly because of the disturbed conditions under which that election was held. The UNP’s votes also declined even more precipitously at that election.) However, it was this incremental progression that helped the SLFP to come back into power in 1994 with 3.8 million votes. A party in opposition failing to increase its vote at the next major election after being voted out of power is a phenomenon that we have not seen before. What we saw last month is that the UNP has gone backwards at a rate unprecedented in our post independence history – which is why no UNPer today talks of contesting the parliamentary election under the leadership of Fonseka.

A tragedy of errors

All the minority leaders who supported Fonseka have also been floored. The JVP is worse off after having supported Fonseka than they would have been if they had fielded their own candidate and contested separately. If Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganesan thought Fonseka was their ticket to power, all that has happened is that their sojourn in the opposition has been extended by another clear seven years with no light at the end of the tunnel. It will be Wickremesinghe who will contest the presidential elections in 2017, and there is no guarantee that he will win. So those allied with the UNP like Hakeem, Mangala Samaraweera and Mano Ganesan are obviously in a bind. They have run out of options. They put all their eggs into one basket by fielding Fonseka and with the failure of this gamble, they have come up against a rock wall which is why they have now started working on the Ven Mahanayakes.

The dream of all minority political parties in this country is to split the Sinhala vote and to become kingmakers by backing the side that is most amenable to their demands. The very reason why minority parties like the TNA, SLMC and the Ganesan group supported Fonseka is because they thought he would be able to split the patriotic Sinhala vote and thus make the minority vote the decisive factor in the election. However, the Sinhala voter had proved for the second time that this moth eaten old strategy will not work. In 2005 there was at least the doubt that had the Tamils of the north been allowed to vote, the minority vote may have brought Wickremesinghe into power. At last month’s presidential election however, even if every minority party in the country had supported Fonseka they would still not have succeeded in winning.

But one wonders whether any lessons have been learnt from this. Rauff Hakeem and Mano Ganesan, are still among the most ardent supporters of Fonseka even after his defeat. They are among those who are keen to preserve the grand opposition alliance. The reason for this is, that if the alliance continues for the parliamentary elections as well, the leader of the outfit will be Fonseka who is much more amenable to various demands than is the UNP. For example, Ganesan and Hakeem will both want a certain number of parliamentary slots in the Colombo district which the UNP will not grant them; but Fonseka will. If Ganesan wanted the UNP to sideline his better placed rival Alagan Digambaram in the Nuwara Eliya district, Ranil would have none of it but Fonseka obliged.

So these minority parties will prefer Ranil to Mahinda because they will get more from Ranil than Mahinda and they will prefer Fonseka to Ranil because they will be able to get more from Fonseka than from Ranil! The TNA preferred Fonseka to Mahinda for much the same reason. This is an unholy game of communal one upmanship against proximate rivals within the ethnic community at one level and with the majority community at another level. The minority parties will not hesitate to use the strength of the majority community party against their rivals within their own community. The TNA will support a Sinhala majority party that pledges to sideline Douglas Devananda even though he too is as Tamil as they are. Over the years, the SLMC has destroyed the UNP’s Muslim base, which was an integral part of the grand old party from its very inception, by forcing them to sideline UNP Muslims in exchange for SLMC support at elections.

None of this really has anything to do with minority rights. Rather it’s a political industry, which does no good for the country. The significance of last month’s presidential election is that this industry has ceased to be profitable. What this election showed was that the sight of minority leaders ganging up on one side is going to panic the Sinhala voter into voting for the other side so that minority leaders who try to make use of the split in the Sinhala vote for their purposes will always be left holding the short end of the stick. The Sinhala voter has now convincingly demonstrated that they will overwhelmingly vote for one side if they feel threatened ~ courtesy: Sunday Island ~

53 Comments

this persons articles are not worth of salt his job is to lick the ass of the presnt ruler. when Premadasa was there he did the same now its MR /if hair to throne come in to power (NR) he will lick the ass of him as well

Posted by: snjeewa_prasad | February 14, 2010 07:26 PM

GANDA PREME

ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY THAT VEN THERO'S ARE ALL UNP ERS, YOU MAY BE LOOKING FOR A WANDI BHATTAYA JOB FROM GOVT.
ALL WHO TALK ABOUT SF ARE TRAITORS. BE CAREFUL , YOU WILL ALSO GET A WHITE VAN RIDE

Posted by: TRUE SRI LANKA | February 14, 2010 07:46 PM

With The Final War Against LTTE, All The Human Rights Accusations Go To Rajapakshers, And All the Glories To Fonseka. What a Hypocrat!
Ven.Mahanayake Theros, Do you approve these kind of behavoiur of a person.

Posted by: Diamond | February 14, 2010 08:02 PM

Needless to say , everyone knows that this chandraprema guy is in Mahinda Rajapakses payroll. Ofcourse he has the freedom to criticise anyone, but this guy is bias towords Rajapakse family because he make living with their dirty money.There is no vision, no social conciousness. There were many Andare`s is the past.There job was to perform in front of king for his satisfaction.But they had backborns and respect than this kind of cheap people.

Posted by: Sapumal | February 14, 2010 08:03 PM

The writer who was earlier a close pal of late Ranjan Wijeratne is like a katussa jumping from party to party for his personal gains. He can be compared to the high jumper S B Dissnayake in many ways. He has a grouse against the UNP and owing to that jealosy he hates General Fonseka.

We ask the writer nicknamed Tahdi Lakshman to refrain from insulting the Maha Nayaka Theroes whom he says are angry with Mahinda Rajapaksa for not creating a seperate Ministry of Buddha Sasana. This champion writer who is now the chief political analyst for the Island Group of newspapers have taken shelter. perhaps the Island is now not caring much for him.We ask Thadi Lakshman not to insult the Buddhist clergy.

Posted by: anuradha ratnayaka | February 14, 2010 08:25 PM

The issue of democracy and human rights is resonant with the core values of Buddhism. However many Sinhala Buddhist tend to ignore this and act along communal or political lines. Right and wrong is clearly defined and no one has the liberty to redefine it, even the hallowed Maharajaneni.

Hence the stand taken by the Venerable Mahanayakes is fundamental to Buddhist teachings and is important if Buddhism is to survive as an universal religon. This should serve as an eye opener for our Deshapremi Nationalist types. You cannot have the cake and eat the cake all the time.

Posted by: LightOfAsia | February 14, 2010 08:26 PM

Where were these saffron clad Ayatollahs when thousands of Tamils were being massacred?

Did a Buddhist monk assassinate one of our Prime Ministers?

These guys should get back to their temples ASAP!

We don't need the monks to get involved in politics.

Douglas de Silva.

Posted by: Douglas de Silva | February 14, 2010 08:28 PM

I like the comments than the article. Total crap and I think he is in Gota's.

Posted by: smith | February 14, 2010 08:42 PM

the name Chandraprema? I think he wrote a book about the JVP; he claimed he was a friend of Taraki Sivaram, but had no problem in wholeheartedly supporting the present criminal regime. I also recall that in the Island newspaper he once made the laughable claim that Velupillai Balakumar was a close 'relative' of Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Posted by: Expatriate | February 14, 2010 09:02 PM

Well said Douglas. These Buddist Monks live in palaces and are driven around in Benz cars. The JVP talking about democracy is the biggest joke. Who are these JVP ers. They killed thousands of Sinhalese youth in 1971 and now talking about democracy. The president said he will work for all communities. Let us give him an opportunity to do that now that the war is over. If Fonseka has betrayed the nation by giving out state secrets, punish him to the full extent of the law.

Posted by: jayray | February 14, 2010 09:13 PM

government propaganda..Chandraperuma is MR in disguise!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2010 09:27 PM

When passing their view about the prevailing alarming situation right at the moment in the country, even monks have their rights, as citizens of the country to come with their stance. This means necessarily not that they invovle in politics but protecting the rights of the nation. There are numbers of examples monks that they openly express they just want to make the general public much aware of the danger we are about to fall in. With over 70% of us have been buddhist by the religion, our day today life have been influenced by the instructions of buddhist clergy from that day on. SF´s abduction has been seen an injustifible act in our democracy. There are also numbers of abductions that none of us have no clear explanation.

Posted by: sam | February 14, 2010 09:33 PM

SF is guilty of Treason,Mutiny and for conduct unbecoming.He is aTraitor and should be Court Martial.

Posted by: Andy | February 14, 2010 09:35 PM

you are of the jarapaksa

Posted by: saman | February 14, 2010 09:43 PM

douglas
before you do any comments pl read our history

Posted by: ranjani | February 14, 2010 09:43 PM

Mahanayaka Thero,

SF is guilty of Treason and he is traitor betraying the country.

Posted by: Andy | February 14, 2010 10:06 PM

The country and it's democracy is in huge trouble. People who supported opposition are being harressed by various ways even death threats using pro government militia. Corruption and nepotism has gone sky high.Recent Election was rigged. Public owened media is being used only by Government Supporters. Jounalists are being killed. Independent media Instituions are being sealed. Country is controlled by a Dictatorship.

In our history monks have come forward in every difficult situation to save the Nation. It is not politics. I appreciate Mahanayaka's brave action.

Posted by: Tilak | February 14, 2010 10:08 PM

What a load of rubbish. This is the first time that the Ven Mahanayakes have taken such a stand. Opposition parties have been meeting the Mahanayakes for donkey's years and to suggest suddenly their charm that wooed them over is absurd. Although I agree that due process should take place with SF, it is pitiful and sad to try and subtly attack the Mahanayake's and insinuate other motives for taking a stand against the executive. In a democracy and anybody is free to voice opinions/take a stand on issues of public importance - If you can't deal with go and live in Burma.

The Mahanayakes of the Malwatte and Asgiriya Chapters have usually remained a-political and have historically not taken sides. The fact that they have done now is unprecedented and very telling. A telling blow to the govt.

Posted by: Shanaka Abeykoon | February 14, 2010 10:08 PM

The Brothers undere siege will stop at nothing. Under pressure the Mahanayakes have entered the snake-pit - against their wishes since most people began questioning why they do not act when the country is slowly burning. The writer is set up to start a process to discredit the Mahanayakes - while the Vermin
and others are being asked to work up the more vociferous of the younger monks to create disturbances in the Sangha Assembly. The Supreme Court on the other side is placed on the dock. How they react to pressure from the Govt on the issue of releasing Fonseka is being closely watched both by the country and the world. Can the Rajapakses overcome this twin major problems???

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | February 14, 2010 11:48 PM

Mr. Chandraprema your arguments of priests are trying to get a Ministry of Buddhism after next election doesn’t hold the ground. Don’t prostitute the noble profession.

Posted by: Gotabhaya | February 14, 2010 11:55 PM

Dear Mr Chandapema,
This is another paid advertisement for the Royal family and against the real people's opinion.Are you trying to say that you are the only one who understands the prevalent political situation in this country and all the others including the Ven. Mahanayakes are idiots,morons and nincompoops?Your readers are laughing at you because you are coming out with a dump of rubbish asking us to accept it.I hope it is advisable for you keep your both ends shut as long as possible.

Posted by: paul | February 14, 2010 11:57 PM

If the main reason of mahanayaka to go against executive is not estabilishing ministry of budhasasana , it would have given long time back.

One should not forget that we have so many ministries under MR government why not just another ministry of buddhasana.
This writer has no clear objective in his writing. Only fact that remains clear is write supports MR and he too got confused as his leader. What a pathetic situation. MR > hero to zero !!!!!!1

Posted by: Anonymous | February 14, 2010 11:59 PM

Ven. Mahana yakas back Fonseka, Maha Shanthi Nayaka Lord Buddha blesses Rajapakshe!

Posted by: Diamond | February 15, 2010 12:23 AM

If not establishing ministry of buddhasasana is the sole reason behind mahanayake to
go against MR , he would have established one easily and promptly. There are so many ministries why not just another ?

Posted by: Manjula Wickramasinghe | February 15, 2010 12:27 AM

Mahanayakas never knew what people wanted.They have to respect Buddhism first.All these Mahanayaks live in luxury and are racists.That is the only reason they have Nikayas and it is very much against Buddhism.They should not support either Rajapakshas or SF or UNP.They should clean the SASANAYA first.

Posted by: ashok | February 15, 2010 12:38 AM

Chandraprema is excited and worried that the likes of him are geting exposed by the findings of the Maha Sangha.If he sees only good in every action of the MR government and holds Mahanayakes to question he really is a blind ass.

Posted by: mahanama | February 15, 2010 01:12 AM

Fonseka is a traitor and Ranil tried to sell our country. I can't understand how people can still vote for this kind of people. They should be banished from Sri Lanka for good.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2010 01:14 AM

This fellow looks like a bit of crap.Mahanyakas are not fools neither opportunists like that fagots in Sihala Urumaya.Biggest thieve of that lot is ATHURELYA RTHANA MAHATHAYA WHO WAS A GANJA SMOKER.

Posted by: Athula | February 15, 2010 01:22 AM

The writer's comments are absolutely biased. There is no balance to the article other than going on one track hitting the opposition and praising the King and his family. These kind of journalist needs to condemmed fully.

Posted by: Wije | February 15, 2010 01:44 AM

This type of authors are destroying SriLankan democracy. Please don't publish his articles any more.

Posted by: tanya Pollen | February 15, 2010 02:16 AM

Very sorry to see that the article is written believing Rajapaksa got 58% votes. Do you know that actual poll counts finalized at counting centers were not published? Poll counts you heard were all fabricated to give advantage to Rajapaksa. Please try to locate a few poll counting center chiefs. They will tell the truth unofficially but they are not willing to testify due to fear.

"Campaign for Free & Fair Elections (CaFFE), in another letter to the Commissioner of Elections has reminded him regarding their request for the carbon copies of results sheets of the presidential elections issued by the counting centers."

Posted by: Gamarala | February 15, 2010 02:17 AM

What Chandrapema says is exactly true... Mahanayakas do not hv enough information to judge on this issue while Govt has enough suspicion to get to this matter with how SF was behaving lately.

Blaming the writer as Rajapakse bias makes those who blame biased to SF. Nobody cannot overrule the possiblities of SF being an ally of the US (knowing or not knowing) to distabilize Sri Lanka. His role exceeded the opposition candidate's, so MUST BE investigated thoroughly.

Posted by: Chinthaka | February 15, 2010 02:49 AM

Lord Buddha gave up politics and became a monk in my country monks give up buddhism and become politicians
I think after Sir John Kotalawella the monks are going to face a real leader who is looking after the people.
a small advice to these monks " Balla ge wadea Balla karendona Booruwa ge wadea Booruwa Karendona" Ven Theras please " oya ge wadea oya karenda ...."
thank you

Posted by: KANTHAN | February 15, 2010 02:50 AM

The begiing of your article itself is not correct and does not portray aclear picture of what happened and is happening in sri lanka at the moment.and there fore I lost the interest of reading it till the end.

how do you come to a conclusion that yhe majority of monks and voters certified President Mahinda Rajapaksja 's victory under the circustances that the final result is being chanllenged by thee oppositionand the creditbity of the statement made by the commisioner of election is queztioned by the vast majority of public?

Posted by: jayathilaka | February 15, 2010 02:50 AM

For the people who asking to punish Fonseka for treasom.Please open your motuths widely and ask the MR to punish Karuna for killing thousands of civilians,bombing Dalada Maligava and Killing monks in Aranthalawa same time, if you all are standing for justice.If Karuna should not be punished for those crimes please explain why? He also tried to kill MR by being a member of LTTE.

Posted by: Kuma | February 15, 2010 04:27 AM

The people are talking about Betrayal by SF without knowing the inside of the Story.

White flag incident is the origin. Three terrorists wanted to surrender to the troops at the last moment and contacted various International Organisations including UN. So these International Organisations liased with Gotabhaya and Gotabhaya said to them come with white flags. In the same time Gotabhaya has instructed .................. ..... with the knowledge of media. This was in the newspapers following morning. Intention of Gotabhaya may have been to take political gains from South. So this was very famous story. After few months Gotabhaya went to US and someone queried about the incident and he was answerless and has told that it is Army's work. After that The SF went to US and the same person queried him saying that Gota said that the incident is Army's work. He has been very upset.

SF came to the Island. After his retirement he blasted the story saying that I didnot want to safeguard anyone who has played double games. So he became a Traitor.

This is a rumour ordinary people in Srilanka are talking.

Posted by: Chandapala | February 15, 2010 04:31 AM

who is chandraprema? we know about you very well.Thawa haien mahindata gotta allanna.
Pl. remember, people are not stupid.This is the first time, Mahanayaka'a hamuduruwo's coming to forward.what is doing member of parliament Hamuduruwo.I studied with aheliyagoda mahavidyalaya.At that time ellawala medananda hamuduruwo also work as a teacher.He changed his eye glass with another lady teacher.what did they do? nothing.saman

Posted by: saman | February 15, 2010 04:33 AM

Andy/Jaray

when political history of Sri Lanka is explored, it is naive to have any hope in MR that he would develop this country, intstead his clan and affliates would rob public funds and resources. Thus Ven Mahanayakes have taken a bold step to convene all buddhist monks from the island.

Amal

Posted by: Amal | February 15, 2010 04:46 AM

Why write about the Fonseka issue alone? What about the kdnapping, killing and other forms of harrasments meted out to jounalists, people who voted for the opposition and other innocents? Certainly it is time that not only the Mahanayakes, clergies of all religious faiths should give the lead to the people to rise against anti-democratic and the corrupt activities of the MR administration to the extent never seen before in the history of Sri Lanka.

Posted by: Lanka Muslim, UK | February 15, 2010 05:42 AM

When Amhanayaka theoro says MR should be the president for 25 years, He is having great sense.

But when he is saying govt should relese/pardon SF, he has no sense.

Posted by: JIMMY | February 15, 2010 06:08 AM

There is no democracy in Sri Lanka. Anyone who prepares to lick Mahinda's and his clans' asses would be given oportunity others are shown the door. If Mahinda can embrace murderes like Pillyan and Karuna why the hell he can not accept an opponent, Like Fonseka. Mahinda does not know that history repeates. So he has to be very careful otherwise the consequenses would be dire and beyond his control.

Posted by: afthabz@yahoo.com | February 15, 2010 06:12 AM

Before calling General a traitor please deeply analyze what this regime has done to him as soon as he joined the oppsition. his security was removed. asked to vacate the residence in few days, huge mud slinging campaign started etc. etc. etc. This is after he dedicated 30 years of life for Sri lanka. Prabhakaran in his last few calls to KP seeking international assistance was saying Fonsekas strategies are very different to others and LTTE was facing a complete anhilation. Therfore do not judge General Fonseka by few head lines. nothing basically happened to Sri lanka because of those comments. government gave the highest pulicity to those comments without letting it die down.

Chandraprema is a lizard who can change his colors. in chandrika's time he was writing a column in Lakbima heavily in favor of Ranil. no credibility whatsorever in his writings. Hats off for mahanayakas for coming forward to do the right thing at this critical juncture.

Posted by: Teddy | February 15, 2010 06:22 AM

This author is probably not a sinhala buddhist,or he doesn't even have a race or a father.Otherwise how can he challenge the judgement of the Mahanayake's? He is probably sitting on his brain as he bluntly says that the Mahanayake's who are the greatest religious leaders of the country are accusing Mahinda for not giving them enough privileges like a separate ministry.He thinks that the mahanayakes are the same as the KATU LEWAKANA BALLO around mahinda these days.This guy is a traitor who betrays Buddhism and the core values of our nation.Such people should have no place in news sites like this.

Posted by: mahinda | February 15, 2010 06:23 AM

it clearly shows this article is completely one sided.I strongly believe our Buddhist mahanayakes have the right to stand when democracy is over run by thugs.dear Srilankans,why are we still fighting against us?sometimes I feel so pity on us.regardless of our religion,cast we're one nation.we're proud Srilankans.most of my life I lived abroad and we do have respect in almost every country I've been through.but unfortunately we don't have a respect for each other in our own country.whether we like it or not General Sarath Fonseka is a hero for all of us.we agreed on that and we saluted him when the war got over.now due to politics we started hating him.is that correct?no one is perfect in this world.maybe he has committed some mistakes.so let them try him in a proper way.in a proper courts.whether he got defeated from the election,he has the same right what we all srilankans have.if we don't respect others,how can we get respect for our selves?

Through the media we show how police and thugs react with civilian protesters.they were unarmed and peaceful.so do you proudly call this democratic?can't you openly see what's happening in our country?once again we're fighting with each other not knowing what's happening,but blindly taking sides.ignoring the facts.though the war is over,now we're fighting with each other.what picture are we going to give to the world about us?other than few people, are we all going to get personal benefits with any government unless they develop our country well and maneuver our country democratically?

I respect what our ven Mahanayakes actions.they have the right to guide our country.they maybe having luxury lives,but at least they are trying to fight for our rights.our democratic rights.we elect our rulers,but some are trying to make our ruler as our king.we don't have monarchy in our country and let's not think to crate a monarchy.

Mr.C.S Chandraprema expressed his views.he will be greatly regarded as he is clearly supporting the present government.but if someone else post any comments against the current situation,he will be banned,taken away by the police or will be disappeared from the face of the earth.is this democracy?.don't we all have the right to express our feelings under democracy?

Dear Srilankans,let's not fight each other for taking political party sides.let's fights together for democracy.our freedom of rights.for our own selves.we are one.we are srilankans.

Posted by: Ryan Gregory | February 15, 2010 06:29 AM


You raise some good points, including SF's (pay 10,000 to half the population) and put in jail (rest of the the population), i.e. the 10000 rupees that is increased needed to be paid back to maintain the jails.

"The gap of 180,000 votes between the UPFA and the UNP which we saw at the 2005 presidential elections has now widened tenfold to a whopping 1.8 million."

Had it not been the hat-trick (SF) that they(UNP) have pulled, the gap could easily be have been whopping 5.00 million.

Posted by: Aeka | February 15, 2010 06:32 AM

This article is a crap. Just white washing Maha Raja as if he is the most patriotic person, with stolen tax monies fro Aston Martin's

Posted by: Anonymous | February 15, 2010 07:16 AM

Well,Chandraprema is doing the talks of Helaurumaya
because MR is walking the walk of the same urumaya.
If minorities are trying to make kings and the kings
themselves are proposed from the majority,what's the problem here? Minorities are longing to choose some
one who can patriotically embrace all communities in
all their endevours.What people like this writer tries
to put into unsuspecting minds, is hatred.It's this
hatred that has gained popularity in the south.People
lke this one got on to the platforms of UPFA with a
place well guaranteed,to mislead the people on real
issues of the country.These minorities have been a
blessing to our country all along the history.Messup
started, thanks to people like you losing one eye.The
way post-independant multiparty system started to run
in our country,didn't start based on patriotic visioned opposition party structure.Even though it had
elements to slow down deterioration,it can not completely recover from this destruction because it
needs destructive elements for survival.If Sinhala votes were not split in this election,it's thanks to
the pseudo patriotism.That's why mahanayakas have lined up now to seperate themselves from this power
struggle.They don't want to be a part of this process. The message is, patriotism must not be hijacked.Even
the mahanayakes desire is,"Let's all live in harmony"
It's pathetic to see Chandraprema can not manage to give it a better hearing.

Posted by: muzammil | February 15, 2010 07:37 AM

saman,
Do not Talk BS man. It is Treason

Posted by: Andy | February 15, 2010 09:56 AM

It is a very good political analysis and you have exposed the opportunist and culprit minority politicians .We can easily identified them as Sampanthan and his pro LTTE gang ,Rauff Hakim and Mano Ganeshan.But you have missed only one thing.You didn't mentioned that there was existed a pro ltte and pro imperialist plot behind this political scene .The reactionary imperialism has succeeded in Yugoslavia in separating Kosovo under the leadership of Mafia and pro-imperialist Kosovo liberation front but it is totally failed in Srilanka.Because we are supported by Asians, Russians and the other friends.
It is said in your last paragraph ,"None of this(Sampanthan ,Suresh Premachandarn,Mavaisenathirajah,Rauff Hakeem Mano Ganeshan and etc.)really has any thing to do with the minority rights.Rather it is a political indutry which does not good for the country".
Therefore now it is our immediate task is to totally defeat these culprits and through away from the political scene of our mother Lanka.As we have defeated the proxy ltte we have to defeat the pro imperialist TNA.It is the duty of the UPFA and its leaders like Basil Rajapakse and others.We are the patriotic Tamils expect more form the leadership of Com.Basil Rajapakse and others.

Posted by: Canadian and Srilankan Tamil | February 15, 2010 03:04 PM

Self deception , story by Aesop

"An amateur singer who had not the voice used to sing all day, accompanying himself on a lyre, in a house with plastered walls, which amplified the sound so much that he imagined himself to have a first rate voice. His conceit made him think he was cut out for the stage. But when he appeared in the public he sang atrociously that he was chased off with a volley of stones."

In the same way there are some would be politicians (like Mr.Fonseka) who in the schools pass for men of ability but are complete failures when they enter public life. Mr.Fonseka was the wrong man for the job. There is no way to restore him. He is a vengeful man with many personality problems. He should never be the President of Sri Lanka. Those who want to see chaos and destruction of the country are hell bent on supporting him. I hope we have heard of last of him in public life. Lets wish him a merry retirement.

Aesop stroy is from a traslation by S.A.Hanford/Penguin books/1954

Posted by: Aravinda Fernando | February 15, 2010 03:34 PM

Mahanayake's with all due respest where were you when we needed most! As a person from Kandy I agree with the author about the blatant bias extended by the Mahanayake's. Where were they and this summit when thousands of poor youth being murdered along the roadside with a tire around their neck and left along the roadside for all to see. not when Such a display of inhumanity never deserved by even a dog, or a wild beast accidentally run-over by a passing by vehicle. Not when tamils houses were torched, some were killed, as a faction of the erudite traditions not when Jaffna library was burnt. Not when farmers committed suicide when they can' afford to pay loans(not any assistance to their kids-but screams loud when churches are running in to assist them seeing the opportunity led wide open for them)Where were they, non even spoke against UNP Government. And the only venerable sangha who spoke against that were the Gatambe Rajamaha viharaya monks and they were heavily retaliated by the then chief monks of the four chapters. Never given their due sangha sabha promotions, or never elevated any of them at a significant because they spoke against the atrocities of the UNP governments. That is the tradition of these Sangha chapters. They always moved with the rich and the famous and never for the common man(poor man). They are filthy and it is well known in the area that they are UNP stalwarts. Never used their earned riches of the till to give away to the poor needy students. Every time they are given a benze by upper echeleon politician, they will happily accepted it I guess Rajapaskes have forgotten to give them their due benze.and it is a shame that they are trying to pressure a government to pardon someone even before being tried in the court. Their reasons only show their nakedness. They support Fonseka to maintain their business interests(because it is a commonly believed UNP is good for business and their micro managed business empire will thrive more under him) and they think SF's ultra buddhist and will serve them well where as MR wont. They dont live by the Buddhist philosophy of simplicity, and you should see the list food they ask for in the menu if someone interested in offering a dhana for them. No one can't take what they like they'd give you a list of all the best food, only Basmathi rice, Chicken byryani, list go on with 45 items of so on and a normal person can't handle it or never afford it nor he'd be given chance to offer dhana only arostrocratic high-fi people in or outside Kandy would get that chance. and they are preaching another person of good governance, it is ridiculous and hilarious. Not to mention their brazen bias towards cast system and never accept children from lower casts to priesthoods in their temples. No diyawadana nilame from lower casts too. that is how president Premadasa's fallen out with them and his son was denied competing for DN(if they disagreed on the grounds that a leader is pushing in his son foregoing the due fair process that is a valid reason and needed to be applauded. But he was rejected due to the cast. This only to name a few. I'm not on the premise that they should be cow-towing towards MR government. But, knowing them, I am sure their support in SF had swayed only by a personal interest and it had not anything to convey towards national unity or democracy. I am a buddhist sinhalease and Kandyan, and I'm ashamed of their behaviour for the last 30 years. I can only hope at least it was better before that. They are bunch of hypocrites in make no sense than mullahs do.

Posted by: Shiran Vijay | February 16, 2010 01:00 PM

CAC,

You win. The Mahanayakes have got cold feet. MR knows how to play and survive.
I remember an old piece of yours when you talked of irresponsible Buddhist
monks and the term "Monks-on-hire" who can be taken to meetings they don't know where and what for. I wonder what the general buddhist public - other than those who live on the filthy lucre of their political masters - think of these senior monks who do not fail to claim "our duty is to come to the aid of the people and the country when it is in trouble - or in danger" in monotonous regularity. The elders should not rush into a decision - and once made should stay by it. I drew attention to Cardinal Sin who helped throw out the corrupt Ferdinand Marcos and helped in the popular Corazon Aquino. Clearly, a poor analogy.

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | February 16, 2010 06:15 PM

The Sri Lanka constitution gives foremost place to Buddhist rituals only. Anyone espousing Buddhist principles is derisively labled a traitor or a conspirator in the pay of the sinister US and EU.

Posted by: dingiri | February 17, 2010 05:08 AM

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