An agitation demanding the government to abolish executive presidency was held at Baddegama in Galle district.
The agitation had been organized by the JVP Electoral Organization at Baddegama.
The budget proposals presented by the government are contradictory, confusing and a destructive budget says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka.
Mr Dissanayaka charged that the budget proposals intensify the rural debt confronted by the village folk as a large amount of more borrowings have been introduced by the proposals.
He pointed out that on one hand the proposals state minor and medium entrepreneurs would be benefited but on the other massive tax relief has been given to all imported goods and added this has made the budget a contradictory, confusing and a destructive exercise.
Mr Dissanayaka said the liberalization policy that began in 1977 broke down the production in the country, trapped the country in a colossal debt snare and created a massive crisis in the import-export market. Mangala Samaraweera’s budget-2010 is an extension of that liberalization path he pointed out.
The National Peace Council (NPC) states ‘President Maithripala Sirisena and senior members of the Opposition, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa harshly criticizing the Constitutional Council and the Human Rights Commission may be due to the frustration that their power is being restricted and their political goals and personal whims and fancies do not prevail. In a statement, NPC states setting up of such institutions was approved without dissent by Parliament in which President Sirisena played an important role but now he has started criticizing the institutions as they do not act according to his wishes.
Full text of the statement:
President Maithripala Sirisena and senior members of the Opposition, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, have harshly criticised the Constitutional Council and the Human Rights Commission. Their accusations range from failing to favourably consider the President’s nominations to the Judiciary, to causing the collapse of public administration, to putting obstacles in the path of the Government’s campaign to root out criminal activities and the narcotics trade, and to even being culpable for the death of Sri Lankan soldiers on a peacekeeping mission. The National Peace Council is concerned that the unreasonableness of these criticisms erodes the commitment to basic principles of good governance.
Underlying these criticisms is likely to be the frustration of elected politicians that their power is being restricted and their political goals and personal whims and fancies do not prevail. The Constitutional Council is primarily aimed at depoliticizing the State and public service and ensuring the Rule of Law prevails. In their original formulation in the 17th Amendment, the setting up of these institutions was approved without dissent by Parliament, which included those leaders who now denounce it. The independent commissions whose members they appoint are meant to restrict the politicians’ power to interfere in the Judiciary, Police, Elections Commission, and investigations into bribery and corruption, to mention some of them.
The background to the establishment of the Constitutional Council and the independent commissions in 2000 was the negative experiences of abuse of power by successive government leaders and the need to set up a system of checks and balances to curb that power. This was reaffirmed by the 19th Amendment, which was passed in 2015 with President Sirisena playing a leading role and thereafter justly claiming credit for this vindication of good governance. In particular, the Human Rights Commission and Police Commission play a crucial role in protecting the citizens from the arbitrary actions of the State and to ensure that it acts in an enlightened manner. Their independence from the Government needs to be respected.
The National Peace Council calls on our political leaders to appreciate the work of the Constitutional Council and independent commissions without trying to reverse the good governance gains they have brought to the country. We call on the President and all political leaders of our country to ensure that an enabling environment be provided to independent commissions like the Human Rights Commission to perform their duties without undue political interference. We believe that the President and Government are duty bound to support and respect the independence of such institutions, which must be explicit in their words and actions.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe are secretly signing defence agreements with the USA turning Sri Lanka into a backyard of the USA says the National Organizer of the JVP Parliamentarian Bimal Ratnayaka and emphasized that the vile attempt should be immediately halted.
He said the Prime Minister and the President have taken steps to remove from relevant discussions even the defence experts who point out the destructive nature of such agreements. The agreements have been presented to the cabinet by the President as the Minister of Defense and he should be held directly responsible for the situation added Mr Rathnayaka.
He said this at a press conference held at the head office of the JVP at Pelawatta yesterday (3rd). The JVP Member of the Western Provincial Council Comrade Lakshman Nipunarachchi too was present.
Speaking further Mr Rathnayaka said, “In March 2017 then-Defense Secretary of Mahinda Rajapaksa regime and the US Ambassador signed a defence agreement to provide services by the Sri Lanka government for US military activities. At the time of the signing of the agreement, the JVP opposed the agreement in Parliament as well as outside it. We said the agreement was signed by two US citizens. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was a US citizen at the time he signed the agreement. According to this agreement, the government of Sri Lanka should provide all services needed by US troops if they are involved in any military action in the Asian region. The agreement was signed secretly. The relevant agreement violates the objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement as well as the non-aligned foreign policy Sri Lanka has signed. The USA is a country which is involved in military action at any time anywhere in the world. There are ample examples of countries destroyed by war carried out by the USA. Also, it would not be possible to avoid Sri Lanka being hated by other countries for providing services for the US military.
The agreement signed in 2007 expired on 6th March 2017 after its 10-year term ended. At that moment we of the JVP making a special statement emphasized to the government not to extend the agreement. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe promised in Parliament to inform Parliament if a decision is taken to extend the agreement. However, the US defence agreement has been again secretly extended. How speedily and willingly the government has responded to this could be understood from the letters exchanged. On 23rd February 2017, the US Embassy informs the government of Sri Lanka about the expiry of the agreement. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds the same day expressing the willingness of the government to extend the agreement.
The President of our country always speaks about sovereignty. However, he is the person who presented the cabinet paper on 10th June 2017 to extend the defence agreement. The difference between the agreement signed by Gotabhaya and the one presented by the President is the unavailability of a time frame for the latter one. What is the right Maithri and Ranil have to sign an agreement to supply services for the US military for eternity? Their mandate is for only five years. During the discussions to extend the agreement in 2017 Sri Lanka’s defence experts have pointed out the destructiveness of such an agreement. What President Maithripala Sirisena has done was to remove the relevant expert from the discussions. Subsequently, the agreement was signed. The President yielded before the USA and signed the agreement. The Prime Minister lied to the country.
We have come to know that another agreement other than the one that exists is to be signed. The USA has located military bases all over the world. Also, it has signed a large number of defence agreements with many countries. The new agreement to be signed with Sri Lanka is one of them. We came to know about an agreement called the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). We asked about this in Parliament. As the answer, we were told that an agreement has been signed in 1995 to provide US troops and civilians attached to the United States Department of War various services with diplomatic privileges for military matters. Sri Lanka has signed an agreement composed by the US. It was like placing the thumb mark. However, the country was not aware of it. The agreement had been signed two months into Chandrika Kumaratunga government. The Presidents in our country, despite pledging to defend the country and bragging about their patriotism, sign agreements that give in to the USA. All Presidents – Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena – signed such capitulating agreements. These Presidents have acted according to this agreement for 24 years.
On 28th August 2018, the USA writes asking the government to enforce the defence agreement signed in 1995 and extend it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has admitted it. When this agreement was signed in 1995 the politics in countries such as Russia, China and India were different. However, currently, there is a trade war going on between the USA and China. According to the agreement in ’95 Asia was a principal war zone. A board of consultants in the US Defense Department has proposed to the US government to reinforce all military agreements that have been signed and make adjustments to them in a manner to give more advantage to the USA. This is why such proposals come up. According to this agreement, US troops and civilians attached to the United States Department of War are to be provided with various services with diplomatic privileges according to the Vienna Convention adopted in 1961. Also, all of them should be allowed to enter Sri Lanka with their identity cards only without passports. This is a proposal to make Sri Lanka a backyard of the USA. Not even the state leader of our country can enter the US with only the identity card. Despite the Commander of our Army is not able to go to the US with only the identity card, an ordinary US soldier would be able to enter Sri Lanka showing his identity card. Also, US troops in uniform can come to Sri Lanka with any weapon. If they commit any crime in Sri Lanka they wouldn’t be dealt with our law but they would be dealt under the US law. The goods and services bought in Sri Lanka by US troops, personnel of the US Department of War and all those engaged in supplying services for the US military will be exempted from taxes. They could import and export anything without bothering about the import and export regulations in Sri Lanka. The ships or aircrafts brought down by the US military cannot be subjected to inspection by Sri Lankan authorities. It is such an agreement that has been signed in 1995.
The USA signs such military agreements with wretched states in the world. Recently, such an agreement was signed with the Maldives. As the JVP, we consider that extending the two agreements would be equal to establishing a US military base in Sri Lanka. Though a military base is not established officially, the government of Sri Lanka is under obligation to provide all the facilities needed to maintain a military base. The agreements compel Sri Lanka to take the side of the US in any war created by it. Any country failing to oblige would be attacked using any excuse.
Hence, we emphasize that governments in Sri Lanka have no authority to sign such defence agreements. Once these agreements are signed revoking them is no easy matter. Sri Lanka becoming a US military base through these agreements cannot be avoided. We demand the government not to sign or extend such capitulating agreements. Also, we call upon the people in the country to rally to oppose such vile moves.”
He has received complaints that a person called Rizwan, who commenced a business in Wattala area is a person who maintains a money laundering business concealing the origins of money obtained illegally by underworld criminal Makundre Madush says convener of Voice Against Corruption (VAC) Wasantha Samarasinghe. He said the person called Rizwan, who is said to be a close associate of Madush has a very close association with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and MPs such as Mujibur Rahuman and A.H.M. Fowzie.
Mr Samarasinghe also revealed that the taxi company begun in Wattala by Rizwan was ceremonially opened by Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Mr Samarasinghe said he has received photographs in which Rizwan has posed with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and UNP MPs Mujibur Rahuman and A.H.M. Fowzie and he hoped to make a complaint to the CID to get the real information regarding the connection between Rizwan and the UNP MPs.
රනිල් සමග සම්බන්ධය මධුෂගේ ගෝලයෙක් ගැන පැමිණිලි කිරීමට මම සූදානම්….
Posted by Wasantha Samarasinghe වසන්ත සමරසිංහ on Saturday, March 2, 2019
Ms D.A. Karunawathi, mother of Neththikumara family that helped and protected the founder of the JVP Rohana Wijeweera during the period of state terrorism passed away yesterday (1st). The part the noble lady played in sheltering the party and its leaders is portrayed in the film ‘Ginnen upan seethala’ (The Frozen Fire) as well.
She was known as ‘Aparakka Hamine’ and had immense affection for the patriotic fighters during the 88 – 89 period and dedicated herself for their cause. She was 87 years old at the time of her death.
Her remains lie in state at Aparakke Gedera at Mailagama in Katharagama and the cremation will take place at the family burial ground tomorrow (3rd).
The rulers who have come to power in this country have not fulfilled the promises they have made to the people when asking for their votes says the Leader of the JVP Anura Dissanayaka.
He said this while visiting Nuwara-eliya District to discuss issues of the estate sector employees and decide a plan of action in order to get solutions to their issues. Mr Dissanayaka will visit several areas to meet estate employees during his visit to the district which will take place from today (1st) until the 3rd of this month.
Speaking at a meeting held in a tea estate Mr Dissanayaka said the rulers who have come to power in the country have not fulfilled the promises they have made to the people. He said all that they do is rob people’s money and the era of such rulers should be brought to an end.
He said the issues of farmers, fishermen and workers have been utterly neglected and the estate workers are the most affected due to the mismanagement of present and past governments.
Mr Dissanayaka pointed out that signing an MoU regarding wages is a betrayal of the estate workers by Tamil politicians.
The JVP Leader for Nuwara-eliya District, Councilor of Ambagamuwa Pradeshiya Sabha Manjula Suraweera Asst. Secretary of All Ceylon Estate Workers’ Union Miss Krishnan Selvi were also present.
The estate community was pleased to receive Mr Dissanayaka and he was warmly welcomed by the workers.
The officials of Ceylon Mineral Sands Corporation, who had gone to protect mineral sands collected for the Pulmoddai Mineral Sands factory on information that sand is being illegally removed, have been attacked by residents in the area.
Pulmoddai mineral sands deposit belongs to Sri Lanka and is an important natural resource that could be a boon to the economy of the country. However, due to illegal activities, the deposit is being destroyed.
It has been proposed to build a protective fence around the deposits and yesterday (28th) a team of officials had visited the site to inspect the construction work.
A group of residents who had been angered due to the construction of the fence as they would not be able to illegally remove the sand had attacked the officials in the presence of the Chairman of the Corporation.
An official who was injured in the attack had to be hospitalized and a complaint had been lodged at Pulmoddai Police. Two residents were arrested and were released on bail after producing before Kuchchaweli Magistrates Court.