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Chandrika Kumaratunga Condemns The 18th Amendment

By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema

Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga condemned the 18th Amendment proposed by the government saying it is a “horrendous move” and that she could not agree with it in any way.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader Kumaratunga said that being “a total democrat,” she believes that rulers must not grab power, but on the contrary make it even more democratic. Kumaratunga said she had been firmly committed to abolishing the Executive Presidency and tried to do so in 2000 along with the devolution package, since the position was extremely dangerous to democracy. “Abolishing of the Executive Presidency was also included in the package,” she said,

“I was always against the Executive Presidency and the extreme powers vested with it. When I proposed to abolish it, G.L. Peiris said not to and asked me to keep it for one or two years. But I said it should be abolished in one year,” she claimed.

When asked if she would contest once again if the two-term limit on the Executive Presidency were lifted through the proposed constitutional amendments, Kumaratunga said she would not. “I’m not greedy for power,” she said.
“I was dragged into contesting by the party after being defeated so many times. I came in when the country was in a bad way. I made four promises and except for bringing in peace, I fulfilled the rest. Even with regard to peace, I managed to complete three quarter of the war,” she said.

Kumaratunga maintained she had made a promise to herself and her children that she would not ever contest after her second term.

Reiterating that she was not greedy for power, Kumaratunga said she was the only former President living in a government residence paying for everything with her personal money.

“Finally, Ranil Wickremesinghe shook hands with me in front of the media and agreed with the draft and when I asked if he would support it in parliament, he said ‘I suppose we will,’ However, every one knows what happened when it was presented to parliament on August 3,” Kumaratunga said.

Speaking of the callous manner in which the government is currently treating her, Kumaratunga said that many letters written personally by her to the government with regard to her facilities and security have been ignored.
“Three weeks before my daughter’s wedding in the UK, my security was withdrawn and one week before her wedding reception in Sri Lanka, the government closed down my office,” she said. “Websites maintained by the government have said that I have robbed and that I have purchased mansions overseas. But in reality, I actually live in a two-bedroom flat in London. There are a few politicians who have visited me and they know it is true,” she added. Finally when asked to describe President Mahinda Rajapaksa in two sentences, Kumaratunga said she could not respond to the question, as “a white van” would be sent for her.

“Contrary to many stories being said, I have never robbed a cent during my tenure and I now live by selling lands that were given to me by my parents,” she said adding that she has already sold four such ancestral lands for her survival. “After five years, I was given Rs. 11 lakhs by the government to paint the house and have been given three vehicles that are over 12 years old.”

Elaborating on the abolishing of the Executive Presidency she said that Prof. G.L. Peiris and she worked on the modalities of the devolution package in 2000, and then Attorney General Sarath N. Silva, Dr. Jayampathy Wickremaratne, Dr Neelan Thiruchelvam and M.H.M. Ashraff drafted it. However, Kumaratunga was unable to receive the necessary approval due to the opposition by the UNP, she said. Explaining her failed move to abolish the Executive Presidency, Kumaratunga said while the UNP agreed on almost all the content in the draft in 2000, they resorted to various delaying tactics to avoid discussion on the abolishing of the post.

“When it was time to discuss the abolishing of the Executive Presidency, the UNP asked for another date. Finally I gave them seven dates to discuss the matter, but on every occasion they asked for more time. When I asked what they were waiting for, they said they were not ready and wanted approval from the Ex-Co, as it was a crucial issue. The delegation that used to consist of six to seven members reduced to about two to three when it came to discuss the abolishing of the Executive Presidency. Ranil Wickremesinghe did not even attend some of the discussions,” she said. - courtesy: The Sunday Leader -

15 Comments

CBK, the Machiavellian - The people gave this rubbish woman an overwhelming mandate because she pledged to the people to be a strictly disciplined leader and to clear corruption and abuse of power rampant in the government business. She was extremely firm, uncompromising and committed during her election campaign to power and promised people to restore law and order, to eliminate abuse of power and for a lasting peace under her “able leadership” which would not tolerate any form of wrongdoing. By far from those idealized hopes, the political leadership under her reflected only a common or garden-variety leadership, autocratic and unenlightened. What she practiced in private was totally different to what she preached to the people during her election campaign. She was just another Machiavellian and the government under her rule was a total disaster. She betrayed the people who had placed a great faith and trust in her and simply became an easy pray of the powerful fraudster and criminal mafia that effectively control the economy. Not only did she tolerated all sorts of wrongdoing she also encouraged those who swindled the government revenue with her tacit approval. The extent of her blindness and drunkenness with power was such that at times she was bold enough to dictate her unlawful orders directed at the head of the government revenue agencies with her own handwriting.During the CBK’s term of office, there were some upright officers in the government revenue agencies courageous enough to blow the whistle and expose her abuses through the media. However, this arrogant woman, as against the other Machiavellians, was so stubborn and overconfident. She launched direct attack on these officers who expose her deceptive action in the public interest. And on her illegal order some officers were arrested charged with baseless grounds and placed under interdiction. Now, this politically bankrupt woman once again preaches about the honestly and integrity in politics and about a visionary leadership which she claims found in the MR administration. Truly this rubbish woman is one of the best Machiavellian in the recent political history of this country. She shamelessly abused the great faith and confidence placed in her by the people of this country. Probably she was one of the best who was given an overwhelming mandate to put things rights. Yet, it is very unfortunate that peoples’ judgment on her was proved wrong. She was a monumental failure. CBK was just another common and unenlightened autocrat. Look back and see her sorry plight today. Nobody bother pay a shit of respect towards her. She got everything wrong and got what she rightly deserved for being a great betrayer of the Nation, for being a utterly incompetent leader ruled the nation by deception.

Posted by: nagananda31 | September 4, 2010 09:24 PM

iam amused to read what this so called democratic woman says.according to victor ivan she is the queen of the thieves,and i add she is also a big liar.she may say she is not greedy for power,but the reality is not even the people from attanagalle wants her. ranjit de mel berlin/colombo

Posted by: ranjit de mel | September 4, 2010 10:18 PM

Dear Author

Both CB and MR are same evils the only different she is Female shit. Both are greedy shits. Both destroyed the country and she cannot deny all what she has in England. What she told was total craps.

This was the women said I do not have money to buy medicine for my mom’s sickness before her Chief Ministerial post for Western Province. How can she buy palace in England when she retired from the Presidency. Wait and see Rajapakse will buy the Buckingham Palace if he continues for his third term.

By the way, please before you write anything think twice whether they are true stories. Don’t publish just for the sack of she was president. If she was smart president she could have abolish this f—king presidency during her time with the executive power which she had and she could have done a great job during tsunami impact recovery. She was one of the worst and uneducated people in history who did not have any knowledge about natural disaster and do not have any idea to appoint correct people to do the job:

for example to appoint Tara De Mel for executive director for national disaster and appoint the very same GL pieris and Law Minister. Now she is telling that GL refused to accept her proposal. What she thinks? She may think that she is smart… but she does not know there are billion people are watching she is one of the worst persons in world history.

Posted by: respect | September 4, 2010 11:02 PM

CBK says that the 18th Amendment proposed by the government saying it is a “horrendous move” and that she could not agree with it. Speaking to the Sunday Leader she has said “I’m not greedy for power”. “I was dragged into contesting by the party after being defeated so many times. I came in when the country was in a bad way. I made four promises and except for bringing in peace, I fulfilled the rest. Even with regard to peace, I managed to complete three quarter of the war,” she said.
The people gave this rubbish woman an overwhelming mandate because she pledged to the people to be a strictly disciplined leader and to clear corruption and abuse of power rampant in the government business. She was extremely firm, uncompromising and committed during her election campaign to power and promised people to restore law and order, to eliminate abuse of power and for a lasting peace under her “able leadership” which would not tolerate any form of wrongdoing. By far from those idealized hopes, the political leadership under her reflected only a common or garden-variety leadership, autocratic and unenlightened.
What she practiced in private was totally different to what she preached to the people during her election campaign. She was just another Machiavellian and the government under her rule was a total disaster. She betrayed the people who had placed a great faith and trust in her and simply became an easy pray of the powerful fraudster and criminal mafia that effectively control the economy. Not only did she tolerated all sorts of wrongdoing she also encouraged those who swindled the government revenue with her tacit approval. The extent of her blindness and drunkenness with power was such that at times she was bold enough to dictate her unlawful orders directed at the head of the government revenue agencies with her own handwriting.
During the CBK’s term of office, there were some upright officers in the government revenue agencies courageous enough to blow the whistle and expose her abuses through the media. However, this arrogant woman, as against the other Machiavellians, was so stubborn and overconfident. She launched direct attack on these officers who expose her deceptive action in the public interest. And on her illegal order some officers were arrested charged with baseless grounds and placed under interdiction. Now, this politically bankrupt woman once again preaches about the honestly and integrity in politics and about a visionary leadership which she claims found in the MR administration.
Truly this unworthy woman is one of the best Machiavellian in the recent political history of this country. She shamelessly abused the great faith and confidence placed in her by the people of this country. Probably she was one of the best who was given an overwhelming mandate to put things rights. Yet, it is very unfortunate that peoples’ judgment on her was proved wrong. She was a monumental failure. CBK was just another common and unenlightened autocrat. Look back and see her sorry plight today. Nobody bother pay a shit of respect towards her. She got everything wrong and got what she rightly deserved for being a great betrayer of the Nation, for being an utterly incompetent leader ruled the nation by deception.


Posted by: Nagananda | September 5, 2010 12:50 AM

Chandrika is a thief,corrupt politician ,like all that have past in the last 20years and that will pass in the next.

Only a REVOLUTION by a clean and honest person with a brain is what can lift the country out of its disaster......... Selling our women as near slaves to have foreign exchange , what a shame the Citizens don't stand up to the distruction of our culture, we are blinded by Dollars ,that will soon have realatively no value.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2010 01:51 AM

Chandrika is a thief,corrupt politician ,like all that have past in the last 20years and that will pass in the next.

Only a REVOLUTION by a clean and honest person with a brain is what can lift the country out of its disaster......... Selling our women as near slaves to have foreign exchange , what a shame the Citizens don't stand up to the distruction of our culture, we are blinded by Dollars ,that will soon have realatively no value.

Posted by: Veera Puran appu | September 5, 2010 01:53 AM

This is called hypocracy, she enjoyed her time with executive powers, also made a failed attempt to extend her period after the 2nd presidential election. She is also putting the blame on to GL Peries of not agreeing to abolish the executive presidency

Posted by: LJaya | September 5, 2010 02:44 AM

If it is true that former President was spending her own money, during her tenure as President I salute Her & take my hat off with a bow, because the majority of poor people in Sri Lanka who pay indirect taxes are sufferering at the expense of corruption.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2010 02:56 AM

she must have wanted to stay in power and keep executive presidency ,even if she could abolish it. why did she listend to GL? people choose a leader to lead and not to follow, she olny did what her father did. came in to power, thereafter,just managed day to day rather than leading the nation.

what MR did was leading the country as a true leader of the present,so he got a sencond term, she is only jelouse and just want to be in the media spot light

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2010 05:09 AM

It looks like what Chandrika's father SWRD's regime did within 24 hours in 1956 is going to happen in another form. This time it is Mahinda regime which is going to do in one parliament sitting. The first turning point created by SWRD leadership consolidated the majoritarian power with no opposition from China or India.

This turning point by Mahinda with the support of both China and India will entrench the supremacy of the Sinhalese not only in SL but all over the world where Sinhalese has followed the Tamils for different reasons.

SWRD did not have the advantage of past history to anticipate Somramas, Osicoreas and Buddharahittas. But Emperor Mahinda has the advantage of many things like full support of China and the East Asian countries, India and Tamil Nadu, and the US.

Tamils used to labour for the british empire but it appears that this time around the have to serve for many empires for a long time. Karunannidhi probably knows the reality and wants to focus more on development - development of the wealth of his family members.

Posted by: Somarama | September 5, 2010 06:28 AM

I never thought this site this much bankrupt to publish this much of rubbish! Who is Chandrika Kumaratunga? What she did to the country? She is a whore, She stole public bilious of money, this woman didn't do any good thing to the country. but talking about democracy, GOOD GOVERNANCE etc etc. Hilarious!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 5, 2010 06:53 AM

From the comments here this Ex Prez does not enjoy much affection or sympathy of the public.

The current President's move to sideline her at the SLFP conference makes sense.

Posted by: Godzilla | September 5, 2010 09:27 PM

When this wommen came to powwer, Sri lanka was much better position than now, Premadasa regime was finished and D.B.wijethunga was rulling the country it was going slowly to democratic whay.
She had no plan how to build the country. at her Period billions of government money stolen by her frends with her permishen,
He had enough opertunites to change Execative Presidency, but did nothing, was drinking wisky and sleeping all the time.

when J.R.Jayawardene president he did a lot for countrys devalopment,
Premadasa was a dictator but he dun some devolopment for rurel areas like udagama project.
Wijetunga was president for small period he brought for country pease again.

Mahinda rajapksa finished the war.
This stupid wommen did nothing

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2010 07:28 AM

The fact that not a single commentator here has good word for Kumaratunge so far, says it all. So, I shall pen my comment in just three sentences.

Chandrika K gave a promise to JVP in writing to abolish the executive Presidency in six months. UNP was ready to support her, but she deliberately evaded the issue until after six years. And, she has become a lier than Billy the Lier.

Posted by: Leela | September 6, 2010 01:36 PM

She came to power promising bread at Rs.3/50 but in
2 years it went to Rs.12 with Prima officials walking in and out of any Ministry at will. We saw mile-long
queues at petrol sheds in 1994 and thereafter. People have forgotten these. Victor Ivan wrote in his best seller Ronnie P used Temple Trees facilities to do business and met his foreign business visitors there. Also that Sanath G lived there - and God knows for what. The economy declined, Cost of Living soared and the country overall went down.

The story continues in different ways. Apologists defend the regimes and the moribund opposition is more at battle with itself than the faulting government. That is also the story in many developing countries in the world. The vast majority are against all of this but the way what goes as democracy functions there is very little one can do about this.
The politikka,once in power, takes the voter for granted (or to use standard American "takes him for a sucker") and he is near-God from that time onwards
till the next elections.

ISS

Posted by: Ilaya Seran Senguttuvan | September 7, 2010 07:44 PM

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