Here’s a response to an announcement released by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa:
A media announcement titled “යහපාලන විපක්ෂයේ භූමිකාව” (The role of the opposition in ‘good governance) under the signature of former President Mahinda Rajapakse and dated 21st January 2018 has been released. This announcement is full of distortion of facts, lies, abuse and contradictory views. We are prepared for a face to face public debate regarding the censures Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has arbitrarily put forward in his announcement. However, we have decided to publish this announcement as a response of the JVP to his announcement as we are certain he would not participate in such a debate and also because the people have a right to know the truth.
It is evident that former President has been compelled to release such a derogatory document with his signature due to the critical decline he and his clique have been confronted with at the election campaign and the people’s attraction and support the JVP has drawn towards it in the campaign. The situation Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his corrupt clique have fallen into is really deplorable and pathetic and his announcement is a reflection of the fury of this situation.
However, we believe it is better to give explanations to each and every matter mentioned in Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement. The first matter in Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement is regarding the posts of the opposition in the present Parliament being held by the TNA and the JVP. It is the JVP that carries out the real role of the people in Parliament. Masses are aware of this truth. The JVP is not concerned about positions when carrying out this task.
He has forgotten the composition in present parliament which has given the JVP which has 6 Parliamentary seats the post of Chief Whip of the Opposition. On the first Parliament day after the general election, the SLFP instructed by Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA in which Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is a member became partners of the government. The Secretaries of the SLFP and the UPFA have written to the Speaker that they are partners in the government. This is how the TNA got the post of the Leader of the Opposition and the JVP got the post of Chief Whip of the Opposition. Who helped the UNP that did not get a mandate to form a government? It was not the JVP but the SLFP and the UPFA in which Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is a patron. Who represents half of the cabinet of the present government? They were the powerful ministers of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government, who supported Mr Rajapaksa at the presidential election and contested the general election with Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, who could not control his own party, hiding the truth to vituperate the JVP is hilarious. Such low conduct is not expected of someone who had been a President of a country. The distortion in parliament which Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa mentions has been created not by the JVP but by the SLFP in which Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is the leader and also represents it as a Member of Parliament.
Also, former President, in his announcement, has twaddle about institutions that carried out investigations regarding frauds, corruption and crimes in Sri Lanka. The Leader of our party Comrade Anura Dissanayaka or the party did not have under their supervision any ‘anti-corruption committees’ or ‘raiding squads’ appointed to investigate frauds and corruption by the present government as Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa wrongfully claims. If we had such an authority of management and supervision Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa including the criminals and fraudsters in his clique would not be free to insult others. The Anti-Corruption Committee Secretariat appointed by the Prime Minister to assist in investigating frauds and corruption was dissolved by the Prime Minister. Everyone who knows the truth knows that it was done on an agreement between the Prime Minister and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa. Even today some who have committed large-scale frauds, corruption and crimes have been able to remain at large as investigating frauds and corruption has been limited to pseudo pageants. We know that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is very thankful to the Prime Minister in this regard.
Former President has expressed his views regarding the local government election law as well. It is true that we mediated in getting the undemocratic, distorted electoral system that paves the way for a bi-party system and was arbitrarily passed during the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime changed. It was to consolidate the democratic rights of the masses. We know that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa and his clique are hurt that the electoral system that was compiled to their advantage was changed in a manner it would suit the country and democracy and also due to their deceitful attempt to distort the public opinion was defeated. However, the new electoral system was passed in Parliament with a 2/3rd majority and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s clique did not oppose it but refrained from voting. He was not even present when the vote was taken.
Subsequently, the Provincial Councils Act was also amended and passed to do away with the preferential system and to substitute the new electoral system that guarantees a Councilor to represent the ward and women representation. It is to hold all elections under one electoral system. It needed a 2/3rd majority in Parliament. It received 159 votes. The 2/3rd majority in Parliament needs only 150 votes. Even if the 6 JVP MPs did not vote, the amendment would have got a 2/3rd majority. It was the Members of Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s SLFP that contributed to it. If it was a wrong amendment that should have been defeated Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa could have led his team to defeat the amendment. Mr Rajapaksa, who always bragged that he has a majority in Parliament so that he could defeat the government at any time, could not do so. When the voting for the amendment was taken there were only 44 MPs from Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s clique at the first reading and only 37 at the second reading. It is indeed difficult to suppress laughter when Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who did not even use his vote against the amendment to the Provincial Councils Act makes such statements.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa hints that the JVP doesn’t oppose the government in Parliament. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa could have seen from his own eyes how the JVP acted against the government and its anti-people’s moves had he participated in Parliamentary sessions regularly. It is not surprising that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who avoided being in parliament whenever the government took anti-people’s moves not seeing how the JVP acted against government’s vicious moves. We would like to ask Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa why you were not present in Parliament whenever the vote for this government’s anti-people’s budgets was taken. Once when your own clique brought a no-confidence motion against Ravi Karunanayaka the JVP voted for the motion but you were not present to cast your vote.
We would like to ask Mr Rajapaksa to have a look at the results of a study a website on Parliamentary affairs had published. According to this study, the Leader of the JVP Comrade Anura Dissanayaka is the first among the most active and influential MPs in Parliament while Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has fallen to the 184th position. No other examples are needed to show who fulfils the task of the opposition better. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, who avoided being in parliament whenever the government was in crisis, pointing his finger at the JVP is hilarious.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has also asked why the JVP did not go to court when the incumbent President asked for a decision regarding his term of office. Though Mr Rajapaksa, who is said to be a lawyer is unaware, we knew that there was no possibility for the incumbent President to stay in office for 6 years. This is what the Supreme Court decision confirmed. It’s very strange that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is not knowledgeable about such matters.
Next Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, as usual, has stated several eccentric views about 1971 and 88 – 89 period in his announcement. He should be asked whether he had forgotten this history he mentions when he signed a MoU with the JVP to win the presidential election in 2005 and when he appealed to the JVP to join his government after his victory. He himself reveals the calibre of his power hunger and opportunism. Mr Rajapaksa, who speaks about so-called assassinations the JVP is said to have committed, forgetting the massive human massacres committed by the UNP cannot be a chance happening. For, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has reasons to conceal UNP’s murderous politics. This proves to us the truth of the views expressed by the masses regarding the powerful politician in Hambanthota District who was behind the murders of such Comrades as Sathyapala Wannigama, Wijedasa Liyanarachchi, distinguished leaders of the JVP in Hambanthota District.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who offered the post of vice-president of the SLFP, the Parliamentary seat from the national list that was grabbed from the JVP and deputy ministerial portfolio to Karuna Amman who is suspected of bombing the Temple of the Tooth and is responsible for murdering a large number of innocent unarmed people in the East reminding such a history is a mockery of history.
The contradictions in the arguments in his announcement indicate how panic-stricken Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is due to the inevitable defeat he is about to face. He accuses the JVP of carrying out an armed struggle against the introduction of Provincial Councils System in 1987 and blames the JVP for not doing anything for a ‘new constitution’ that has not been compiled yet. Despite he is unaware of the duplicity of his view anyone with intelligence would understand it. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who hides behind the patriotic shawl has never taken any genuine action against the division of the country. This is why he scoffs at those who laid down their lives when an attempt was made to divide the country in 1987 through the Indo – Lanka pact.
Throughout the past, his practice was a pretext. In 2004 when Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga attempted to bring in Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) the JVP gave up its ministerial portfolios to fight against it but Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa kept mum as his premiership was important to him and he did not want to get into the bad books of the President.
Also, he never took any measures to de-merge the North and the East that had been merged when he was elected President in 2005. Instead, in November 2005 he also signed the Gazette that was necessary to maintain the merge annually. Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is not aware of many things in history, should be reminded that the Eastern Province was separated from the Northern Province and P-TOMS was abolished by court orders taken by the JVP. Everybody who knows history knows that it was the JVP that played an important role in defeating the ceasefire pact signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and Prabakaran in 2002 and Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was the Leader of the Opposition then, did nothing about it.
The present government has not compiled a new constitution yet. We believe that adopting a constitution that protects rights of all people, strengthens democracy and abolish executive presidency would be ideal for the country. We fully aware that the danger of dividing the country cannot be defeated without accepting the rights of all the communities in the country and without building national unity. Communalism can only divide people. As such, Mr Mahinda Rajapaka has no reason to fear a constitution that has not been compiled yet. ‘The constitution’ is another fabrication like the ‘electric chair’ for the presidential election in 2015.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa also mentions Uma- Oya project in his announcement. According to him, it was the only project Comrade Anura Dissanayaka presented for cabinet approval when he held the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture. When Comrade Anura Dissanayaka was the Minister he launched several projects including Deduru Oya Project and Weheragala Project that was built damming Menik Ganga. Later, Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially opened these projects after removing the plaques that were placed when the projects were launched. Uma – Oya project too was a project that was presented at that time. However, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report and a feasibility report should have been studied before the project commenced. The project should have commenced only if the reports were favourable and with an experienced institution. However, it has been revealed that during Mahinda Rajapaksa administration the environmental assessment reports were distorted, feasibility reports had not been asked for and the project was handed over to an Iranian company that was not capable of handling such a project. As such, everybody except Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa knows that it is not the person who presented the proposal to the cabinet that is responsible for the destruction but Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa who arbitrarily and without any scientific basis carried out the project with Iran that is responsible for the destruction.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has also mentioned Thissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha in his announcement. The people handed over Thissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha not because the JVP had a connection with Ms Chandrika Kumaratunga’s administration or Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime. Stating so is an insult to the people in Thissamaharama. At the elections held in 2002 and 2006, the political parties Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa represented contested the Thissamaharama Pradeshiya Sabha. On both these occasions, people in Thissamaharama defeated Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s party as well as the UNP and gave victory to the JVP. We know that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was enraged about this. This is why Mahinda Rajapaksa regime came out with false accusations in 2011, immobilized Thissa Pradeshiya Sabha and grabbed it.
What Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa has done by his announcement is something like undressing in a glass cubicle. Isn’t Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa being made to display his political nudity in public a mockery of history?
Whatever, we believe Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement that is full of distortion of facts, lies, abuse, contradictory views personal insults and mudslinging is not expected of a former President of a country. As such, we think it would have been better if Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa had read the announcement before he kept his signature on it.
Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa’s signature at the end of the announcement reflects the misfortune, drawback, defeat and its agony suffered by him and his clique at this election. There is also the sign of the mighty victory the JVP is about to achieve. However, if Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to hold the views he expresses in his announcement we would like to repeat that the JVP is prepared for a public debate with him regarding the matters he has mentioned.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna