Friday, June 22, 2007

Mr. President -- Your Slip is Showing

True to the norm of Sri Lankan politics, we are always bombarded with empty rhetoric and presumptuous posturing by an ignorant bunch of jokers.

In this news report that I came across, SLFP senior Vice President and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva, who can only be described as a chubby little ali-patiya, puts some of the recent developments in perspective. Reproduced below is the news report, and some reactions from LWB -- made in italics/color.

Door open for Mangala, Sripathi, says SLFP (Daily Mirror)

A day after ousted Minister Mangala Samaraweera threatened to topple the government, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party yesterday said the ‘door was open’ for the two defectors to return to the fold.
This is quite in contract to what his collegue Jeyaraj Fernandopulle said a couple of days ago. Jeyaraj said the party was "happy" that these unwanted elements who have been having secret meetings with Ranil Wickramasinghe have officially moved over to the opposition. Jeyaraj who is the Chief Government Whip, recently contradicted the Prime Minister when
he apologized for the eviction of some Tamils from Colombo

Addressing a news conference in Colombo, SLFP senior Vice President and Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the SLFP was a resilient party that could take any amount of beating.

Is this why the door is still open for Mangala & Sripati?

“It commands a vast supporter-base and Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi are only a small part of it. They alone do not represent the party. We are quite used to this type of challenges. This is only a damp squib,” he said. He also said the ousted ministers had acted as a bull in a china shop.

I ask again, why is the party still leaving the door open for these guys if this is in fact the case? If all this is true, kick these fellows out and move on. The UNP wasn't asking or publicly saying that the door is open for Karu Jayasuriya & gang to return? In fact, it will be recalled that Karu
Jayasuriya had no option BUT leave the UNP after he was not given the Deputy Leadership position because of his unacceptable behavior.

“When you are a member of a political party you have to observe norms of discipline. You have to show political maturity by exercising restraint in word and deed,” the minister said adding that the party was capable of defeating such moves.

Exactly. This was clearly demonstrated recently when the Prime Minister first apologized for the eviction of some Tamils from Colombo, and Jeyaraj Fernandopulle later blasted the PM for doing so. In another shining example, we had the instance of a public official Gotabhaya Rajapaksa dictating the foreign policy of the government, and also finding fault with the PM publicly.

However, Party General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena warned the duo that if they continued to accuse the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, their secrets would also be revealed. “As a political party and close friends of ours, we are not going to reveal anything about the two former ministers, but if they continue attacking the government and its officials, we would be compelled to come out with certain facts they may not find palatable,” Minister Sirisena said.

So is this an admission by the government that they are "protecting" their "friends" even if they have criminal allegations against them? I thought this government was as cleanest one ever. I'm no lawyer, and call it a wishful thinking of a retard, but this sure sounds like obstruction of justice to me.

He said he was quite confident that no government member would join the Mangala-Sripathi group which was planning to tie up with the UNP.

Sure. This is why President Rajapaksa has warned senior party members that he would be forced to dissolve Parliament if more members crossed over. Full story here. This would be another example of political leaders acting in a mature manner and speaking with one voice.

Commenting on Mr. Samaraweera’s reported apology to the country for his role in electing Mr. Rajapaksa as the President, Minister Sirisena asked whether it meant he wanted to elect UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President of the country.

Probably, in the present context, yes. Maybe Managala's apology meant that he shouldn't have been involved in the election at all. Who knows? It's all speculation of the past.

Minister de Silva also said both Mr. Samaraweera and Mr. Sooriyarachchi were going to commit ‘political suicide.’

Aney pavu... Minister de Silva seems to be so concerned about the political future of these two blokes -- who according to him has acted like fools and have crossed over. But the question is, if the political future of these guys are over, why is Minister de Silva so worried about them, leaving the "door open" for them to return and all that. And what about that other thing Percy said about dissolving Parliament? Maybe it's the political future of these ministers that would be over if another election were to be held...

Responding to an allegation made by Mr. Samaraweera that the 18 UNP MPs who defected were blackmailed into joining the government by holding up files containing bribery charges against them, Minister Sirisena said: “This is a ridiculous allegation. What really happened was that the list of the prospective defectors was introduced at a meeting held at the residence of Mr. Samaraweera by a prominent office-holder of the UNP, who coordinated the entire exercise. This prominent UNP Parliamentarian who is singing a different tune now was among the original 19 UNPers who were to cross over to the government.”

But this is not that obvious given that Minister Sirisena earlier mentioned that they would be protecting their "friends." It can therefore be inferred that this protection would not be extended to non-friends, and if protection was needed, non-friends had to become "friends." Is it a coincidence that the names of these guys are mentioned in the COPE report, with serious
questions being raised about their activities

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