‘These people are the same as those, unless….’

Saying this, so that an investigation can be carried out

By Bandara (Ceylon Today) 

“Ape Hamuduruwane, yesterday I received a file from the Treasury. In the file it states that, in your neighbouring district of Matara, an agreement had been signed by the government with a Chinese company for the Nilwala Ganga Project in 2012. A cheque for a sum of Rs 1,000 million had been given by the Finance Minister in 2012 for work on this project. You may remember that the past presidential election was held on 8 January.

On 7 January 2015, the Treasury issued a second cheque for the Nilwala River Project. Hamuduruwane it was for 3,012 million rupees. In 2012, Rs 1,000 million was given. Prior to the presidential election, on 7 January 2015, a cheque for Rs 3,012 million was issued. The total is Rs 4,012 million. Was 7 January 2015 a day that work was done at the Ministry? Which Ministry was working on that day! Which government office worked on that day?

You are people from Galle. Matara ministers are here today. Has the sum of more than Rs 4,000 million been used to even place a mammoty anywhere in the Nilwala Ganga and Gin Ganga Projects? Nothing has been done till today.What happened to this money of more than Rs 4,000 million? Did an official have the right to issue a cheque for Rs 3,012 million prior to my election on 7 January? Where is this money? What happened to it? Who took it? Where did it go? The Treasury gave it to the Secretary of the Irrigation Ministry. There is nothing that can be traced as to what happened to the cheque after that. Now, when investigations are being carried out regarding these things, I ask you whether it is right or wrong to find out what happened to this money.”

This is a question that President Maithripala Sirisena asked the people at a meeting in Galle on 26 November. This is what the people gave as a reply.

‘You have to find out President, most definitely. That is our money. It is not the legacy of the parents. You should find out and then hand out punishments…’Image result for Presidential election cartoons , sri Lanka 2015

Cartoon from internet

That is how the people replied to the President’s question in one voice. Not only that, the day after Rs 4,012 million was sunk in the Nilwala Ganga, people elected Maithripala Sirisena to the post of President to look into dirty deals such as these. Now, the problem that the people have is, that even after two years have passed how many of the aspirations that the people voted for have been fulfilled. Now the people have to find an answer to that, too.

Democratic rights

What would have happened if the people had not thought carefully and used their democratic rights to halt such cash crimes, fraudulent activities and crimes? It would be unimaginable. If that had happened the third Rajapaksa era would have commenced on 8 January 2015.Image result for Presidential election cartoons , sri Lanka 2015

Cartoon from internet

If so, there would have been celebrations across the country for the re-election. All government media would have telecast programmes with jubilation. Papers would have published supplements with high adoration. Banners and cut-outs would have been put up on lamp posts, roundabouts and junctions across the country. Poojas would have been held to obtain blessings without discrimination at Temples, Churches, Kovils and so on. Parliamentarians and Ministers and their henchmen would have engaged in vehicle processions and dansal would have been held. The entire country would have been like a carnival for about a week or two.

While the country was celebrating a carnival, there was a chance that several very dangerous incidents would have taken place. Similar to General Fonseka being dragged off to prison, Maithripala Sirisena’s house would have been surrounded by a large force of Army and Police Officers. A live telecast of this would have been shown on television for the entire country to see. People would have been able to see through the live telecast how the Common Candidate for the Presidency was dragged to a jeep and pushed in by force. Maithripala Sirisena would not have had the comfort of the Merchant Ward, a comfortable ambulance or even the prison hospital. He would have been locked up the same room Fonseka was imprisoned, which does not have any windows for ventilation and is extremely hot because it is covered with tin roofing sheets.

It would not have ended there and the next prison cell would have been allocated to Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera. Civil organization activists would have had to eat rice on tin plates in other prison cells. Everyone who spoke against Mahinda during the 8 January election campaign would have had to face a string of utterly chilling experiences.

Early on 9 January, Maithripala Sirisena’s house, Sobhitha Thera’s Nagaviharaya and other houses would have been surrounded by the active, cheery youth of the Nil Balakaya. Loku Baba would have been in the forefront providing leadership.

Even before twenty four hours had gone by, the fate of everyone who was opposed would have become extremely gruesome.

Accusations

We cannot say that those things would not have happened according to the accusations that the Army had been called up and posted here and there on the night of the election on 8 January. It is said that there were plans to impose Emergency and suspend the results of the presidential election and to make way for an administration by force. It had been named the ’72-hour operation.’ As the former Attorney General and the IGP were unwilling to contribute to that plan then, it is said, that plan turned out to be a failure. A person who could tell us what happened to the complaint lodged by Mangala Samaraweera at the Criminal Investigation Department regarding this great conspiracy has not been found within the past two years. It seems more difficult to find someone who knows about it than searching for a needle in a haystack!

However, one thing can be mentioned with accuracy. Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and Sobhitha Thera would still be in prison. They would not have been granted bail. Sobhitha Thera would have passed away while in jail.

When such things were happening within the country, it would have been possible that internationally too, there would have been huge transformations. The Geneva Human Rights Council would have established an International Investigation into the violation of human rights in this country. As the new President Mahinda and his brothers and others, would have opposed it, Sri Lanka would have been found fault with by western countries led by America. No one at all could have prevented the imposition of sanctions on Sri Lanka by those countries.

There would have been restrictions on buying exports from Sri Lanka by entities such as the European Union. We would not have been able to make half the international trade community from isolating our country.

We cannot even imagine the gruesome fate the country would have faced by today, due to the loads of debt which Sri Lanka could not have borne.

If there are invisible forces that protect the country for not allowing it to face those things, and due to the decision made by the majority of the people of this country on 8 January and because the people were fortunate, the gruesome risk that could have taken place was avoided.

The people got rid of that gruesome risk with a load of expectations in their mind. It is President Maithripala and the Government that has the responsibility to fulfil those expectations.

Therefore, there is no reason to be asking the people whether “it is right or wrong to find out what happened”. All large-scale financial frauds, crimes, murders, thefts and criminal offences that took place during the past should be investigated. That is why the people gave a mandate.

At the same time, rather than investigating those, the Treasury Bond Fraud at the Central Bank has to be speedily investigated. A special Court should be established under the powers of the President and investigations should be carried out, people say in one voice. It is the responsibility of the government, not to leave room for people to say ‘these people are the same as those.’

People who saved the country from a big tragedy that could have occurred are waiting to see the steps that the government will take.

If that does not happen properly, there is no need to say specifically whom the people will thrash with the stingray tail. Now it is too late to untie carefully the packet of gravy named the people’s aspirations without allowing it to spread everywhere.

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