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DateLine Monday, 19 February 2007

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Don't be a traitor Mangala

TREACHERY: Premadasa had won with great difficulty. He just managed to scrape through. When the results were pouring in, it was touch and go. One of the electorates that sealed his victory was Nuwara Eliya.

Gamini had worked tirelessly to ensure Premadsa won the battle. At that time, no one was interested in the role that Thondaman played in the gruelling battle.

The credit was given to Gamini, the King of Plantations. Premadasa was hated by the Colombo based decadent elitists. Lalith was loved by them. Lalith went to their school of first choice, Royal.

He later boasted that he was the only Minister in Asia, or perhaps in the whole wide world, who had attended the two best Universities in the World, Oxford and Harvard.

Lalith won his electorate handsomely. He campaigned for Premadasa tirelessly and contributed in no small measure to his victory.

When the Commissioner of Elections, Chandrananda de Silva was delaying the announcement of Premadasa's victory, it was Lalith and Gamini who stormed the office and almost forced Chandrananda to announce the results.

Such was the unity with which the UNP worked. What was the contribution that Ranil made? Ranil who? One would ask. He was a political accident.

As Ravi Jayewardene hated politics and was instead the architect of the STF, the unit which turned out to be the most formidable opponents the terrorists faced in the East, as if to propagate the Jayewardene dynasty a loser called Ranil Wickremesinghe entered politics.

After Premadasa was installed as the President, and the subsequent General Elections, there were meetings held at Lalith's residence to plan the strategy for his victory and make him Number One in Colombo.

There, I was privy to a discussion, where Lalith made certain comments not very appreciative of the President. He was more interested in the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition and the possibilities of Premadasa being unseated.

This profoundly shocked me. Similarly, Gamini was talking to his henchmen disparagingly about the President and laughing at the manner Premadasa pronounced English words. Then came his reference to Premadasa's caste.

The old wounds, the old hatreds had surfaced again. Lalith and Gamini were trying to destabilise the government and unseat him to become Presidential candidates and win the next elections.

Gamini never addressed Premadasa as Sir or any other appellation. He never addressed Premadasa as H.E. Though Premdasa was criticised of not appointing Gamini or Lalith as the Prime Minister, I dare say he was absolutely correct.

You cannot have a Prime Minister who is constantly conspiring against you and who tries to throw you into the dust bin of history and take over your position. The conspiracies continued until all of them were killed by the LTTE.

History never repeats, so they say. The greatest lesson in history is that men never learn from it, Huxley said.

Today we see before our very eyes the Premadasa episode being enacted again. Mangala and Sripathy were responsible for publishing a newspaper targeting Mahinda as the leader of the opposition.

Obviously, at the behest of Chandrika, who was determined to push Mahinda into a hell-hole. Like Premadasa, Mahinda did not have Royal blood or the right of succession or inheritance to the throne. They both came from the South.

Both Mangala and Sripathy worked tirelessly to make Mahinda win. Sripathy did a tremendous job as skilful debater over the TV. Many UNPers hated his guts for the thoroughly researched presentations which Ranil's UNP representatives could not refute.

Mahinda won by a narrow margin. Why did Gamini and Lalith or Mangala and Sripathy work so tirelessly for Premadsa and Mahinda respectively?

The reason is that all of them would be hounded if the opposition came to power. The skeletons in their cupboards would be exposed.

They would suddenly realise that out of power is out of business, like the portrait of dead policeman. No one is frightened of a dead policeman. Possibly everyone would spit at him. Thus, self preservation was the primary reason.

The same scenario of Premadasa's era was re-enacted. Mangala wanted to become the Prime Minister.

Like Premadasa, Mahinda appointed Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, a Chandrika loyalist as Prime Minister. Chandrika trusted him absolutely. Mahinda would have known that Chandrika was not wrong when she did so.

The discontent was simmering. Everyone expected Mahinda's alliance with the JVP to falter. But strange things happened.

The war, which was said to be un-winnable, the LTTE which was supposed to be the most ruthless terrorist organisation in the world was found to be not so deadly, as was told by everyone.

A new Defence Secretary was appointed. Everyone expected Gotabhaya to fail as others did. Some expected the LTTE to eliminate them.

Even the suicide bombers failed. For the first time the LTTE was experiencing difficulties in accomplishing their missions. How did this happen? Had the LTTE become weak, or the forces stronger?

The masses are not fools. They have, with utmost patience, waited to see the outcome of the war. The deserters are re-joining the ranks. The youth are queuing up to join the forces.

The soldiers often express their desire to fight for the country as there is proper leadership.

One classic example was during operation Vakarai, the soldiers were eating dry ration for two weeks inside the jungle and did not even want to be relieved of their duties after the mandatory two weeks. They said they would come back only after the operation was accomplished.

When these unusual things were happening in the East, Mangala made a statement saying that someone in the South is being abducted every eight hours. Is this true? What are the reports? Even the LTTE website does not publish such fancy claims.

This is another method of weakening the Government and strengthening the LTTE. The LTTE has fought this war for nearly thirty years with the support of the Opposition in the South.

But yet I cannot recall whether the LTTE got the support of any government Minister. We have come to a position where these statements, made by powerful ministers in the Rajapaksa cabinet, have strengthened the now weakened LTTE.

When the JVP was on a killing spree, there were massive human rights violations and everyone in the UNP Government stood united against such onslaughts by local and foreign organisations.

Today Rajapaksa has an unenviable task of defending his Government's anti-terrorist policies from the enemies within. The LTTE has found a loyalist and supporter to their cause in the former Foreign Minister.

The people of this country are undergoing untold hardship due to the high cost of living. But, they remain silent. The city dwellers are being harassed by constant road blocks and security arrangements. When this happened in the past there were strikes and people were openly critical of the Government. But today, the masses are silent. Why?

Whatever the propaganda blitz by the Government or the Opposition, they know the truth. For the first time after 30 years of LTTE domination, there is some hope that the Rajapaksa Government is at least doing one thing correctly and that it is fighting terrorism as true patriots.

If anyone in the Government is trying to destabilise the Government, then he is a traitor not second to the Sinhalese Army Major who worked with the LTTE. The Major worked for the filthy lucre and the politicians are working to strengthen their hands at the expense of the nation.

At times of war, every single government in the world has violated human rights. When Chandrika blatantly abused her authority and committed atrocious crimes, which were well documented by various human rights groups, why did not Mangala make statements condemning such acts?

He was a resolute defender of her corruption. Mangala, do you remember when 'SB' and you got into a vehicle and commanded the underworld thugs headed by Baddagana Sanjeeva to attack a UNP rally?

Was it in keeping with the human rights that you seem to fervently uphold now? When a human skull was sent to the editor of a newspaper, to Kily Maharajah you did not open your lips. When Rohana Kumara, and Kumar Ponnambalam were killed, why did you not express your displeasure publicly?

You and Sripathy defended 'Chandrika' like an Alsatian. Today, there are no attacks on politicians in the opposite camps. No abductions and disappearances of any politician. The allegation is quite contrary to what happened under Chandrika. National security is under severe threat.

There is responsibility not only to thwart the LTTE but to protect Colombo. Hasn't the Government done it effectively with minor blemishes?

Let us all get together and weaken the LTTE and find a lasting solution to the Tamil question without pulling the rug under the feet of Mahinda. History will portray such minions as traitors. Don't be a traitor Mangala.



Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Kapruka - www.lanka.info

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