“We want a king” – An “Educated” Speaker

It is mandatory for Viyath Maga leader to have his name cleared immediately

Shyamon Jayasinghe (Daily FT)

My reference is to Niranjan Dissanayake’s piece dated 20 March published under the caption ‘Viyath Maga bashing’ in the FT columns. I will not labour in my response to what I see as an evidently a shabby defence of the Viyath Maga meeting held at Boralesgamuwa. Just a few points:

Dissanayake has resorted to childish attacks on my person (age, lifestyle, etc.) instead of focusing on the argumentative components of my presentation, which originally appeared in the Colombo Telegraph. Attacks on person are a common logical fallacy known as argumentum ad hominem. They are not part of civil and intelligent discourse.

Look at the picture of the meeting at Boralesgamuwa once again. The dominant front row of defeated politicians of the former 10-year-old weary regime tells the story that Dissanayake would not tell.Untitled-1

Gotabaya Rajapaksa admitted he was the one who organised this event. It is simple inference that leads to the reality that Viyath Maga is an attempt to bring back the old regime under the new leadership of the former strongman President’s brother, Gotabaya.

There is no need to beat about the bush by invoking any idea of educated people rising up against the current Yahapalanaya Government. One of the ‘educated’ speakers openly said: “Apata rajek oneh” (“we want a king”).

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, formerly of the EPRLF, is now an open and unequivocal advocate for Gotabaya as next President or ‘next king.’ The dole dukha (craving) for a king is shared even by ‘educated’ GMOA members as noticed in the speech of one of that tribe.

Now, there isn’t any quarrel about an attempt to oust the current Government and bring back the old regime under Gotabaya. No legal objection to even bringing back a king. It is up to the people to bring back a king or a devil – whatever! That is part of the democratic process.

My point is that many of these Viyath Maga front-liners including Gotabaya have serious charges ranging from theft, embezzlement, bribery and murder against them, which are being investigated. 

A few days ago, the CID officially filed a ‘B Report’ in the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court against Gotabaya Rajapaksa, accusing the latter of having run what is popularly called a ‘death squad’ during the previous regime when he was Defence Secretary. Now this is, plainly, official and on record.

The former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had, previous to the filing of the B report by the Police, made a similar accusation. He alleged that the former Defence Secretary ran a special intelligence team outside the military line of command and that persons in this team have been named as suspects behind many outrageous murders and assaults. That is also a terribly damning charge.

It is not the function of a Defence Secretary to run a body like that under his charge. I was Additional Secretary Defence when General Sepala Atygalle was Secretary and I know that legal position. The Secretary Defence is never part of the line of command. If Gotabaya had done that, it is outrageous and illegal, while at the same time exposing him to another heavy breach of conduct.

In the above patently-clear circumstances, I would urge the apologists for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to first and foremost have the latter’s name cleared prior to presenting himself as presidential candidate. It is especially mandatory for the alternative leader to do just that and to have his name cleared. He owes it to the public and if he respects law and order he must do just that and right now. Sri Lanka isn’t one of those barbarous African countries. We have a proud civilisation behind us all.