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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2702

Honour the Vision of the Late Ven. Sobitha Thero

By M. Zulkifli Nazim

Let us analyze the actions, reactions and transactions of our President, His Excellency, Maithripala Sirisena, since he broke off from the then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

It is an undisputable fact, that Maithripala Sirisena, was elected President of the Republic of Sri Lanka on January 08, 2015, with the full backing of the United National Party Leadership under Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe, The Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, The Chief Incumbent of the Kotte Naga Vihara who established the People’s Movement For Just Society for this very purpose, together with all the supporters of the United National Party including the support and assistance of all the minority parties – The Tamil and Muslim Communities, irrespective of race, religion, caste or creed.

This was done with the sole purpose of not only bringing down a tyrannical regime; but also to take serious actions against all those who violated every norm, every human decency - Brutal Murders, summary terminations and executions, orchestrating disappearances of media personnel and those who stood in opposition against them - just to mention a few.

During this period when Mr. Maithripala Sirisena rallied against, in opposition to the Rajapaksas, he was maligned, his character was dragged through the mud and the Rajapaksa regime used everything in their power, including the media to rain insults, abusements, revilements and vilifications against him. The then Chairman of the state Broadcasting Corporation, Hudson Samarasinghe, went one step further, by describing the sleeveless vest Mr. Sirisena wore as the dress of a primate who is being dressed in the same fashion, for street performance. These are still fresh in our minds and without doubt in the minds of Mr. Maithripala Sirisena as well.

But as soon as Mr. Sirisena, came into power, he had seemed to have forgotten all about the slanderous defamations and all vitriolic attacks against him.

He suddenly became the president of his party and not the country.

The Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, tried his utmost to remind the elected president, the reason for the country’s support to make him president. Most of the writers, journalists and organizations struggled in every way possible to make him see reason. So much so that Our Most Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero passed away, with much sadness, in a state of grief and with a heavy heart all the while trying to get the President back on track.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, we can say that Mr. Maithripala Sirisena knew this and it was his conscience that made him make a vow and declare an oath on the dead body of a great priest, with a binding obligation that he will not violate his promise.

But the magnetism of his party attracted him more, to protect and serve the members of his political party rather than serve the country. He kept on postponing, delaying and suspending everything that needed urgent attention.
To add insult to injury, he started appointing persons who lost the elections, persons of questionable character, Well-known fraudsters, crooks and criminals. He publicly announces that he wants to have a clean house and dumps all the garbage inside his own house contradicting himself at every turn.

Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, The then Director General of Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, who was doing a wonderful job was forced to submit her resignation, because she was getting too close for comfort to the despots who were the president’s favourites. We understand that President Maithripala Sirisena had issued a statement to the effect that the Bribery Commission, the FCID and CID were functioning according to political agendas. Another death blow to an institution that was performing their duties without any fear or favour.

Now we come to the Local Government Elections campaigns, where the President of a country, elected by the people as a common candidate, suffered a bout of Alzheimers, started aligning himself with his party and those opposed to the Government and he maliciously, unleashes an attack on the United National Party and specially, against the Leader and Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe.

When the Local Government Election results were seen as disastrous. It was indeed ironic to see that the President’s party who scored less than the JVP, asking the Prime Minister to take a step backwards. It is he who should take many steps back and submit his resignation at the same time.

The Hon. President had also publicly announced that if all 96 SLFP MPs were prepared to support him, he could form a SLFP government, totally undermining the existing National Government and the United National Party.

In addition, it was amazing to see, the President himself has been the first signatory to the No Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister, presented to the speaker – So a typical example of “honey in tongue and venom in heart”, attitude was made clearly manifest.

With all these insults and more, that were being unleashed against the Prime Minister, not only by the President; but also by his party members and the joint opposition, the prime minister, dignified as usual, kept silent and allowed all the dogs to do the barking. If dogs bark at a mountain, what does the mountain care? This differentiates the calibre, excellence and quality of the Prime Minister and his supporters compared to the rest of the tribe.

A President who was lauded as a political celebrity suddenly finds that he has lost all credibility both nationally and internationally; in that he was labelled as Brutus, the one who stabbed Caesar in the back as well as Judas who betrayed Jesus Christ.

The President himself saw the complete rejection of his No Confidence Motion against the Prime Minister; But all is not lost, he still has a couple of years left for him to rectify the damage done. He can still recover and regain the lost dignity and once again become a luminary, a celebrity who can be an inspiration to others by shedding all differences, prejudices and preconceptions and sincerely joining hands with the Prime Minister and the unity government, to fulfill all the promises, vows and oaths he made on the 08th day of January 2015.

A last word of advice coming from the bottom of our hearts - at the time of your stepping down, Mr. President, do not get yourself labelled as a man who supported tyranny, murder and mayhem., but as a rightly guided and a just ruler who fought against tyranny and liberated his people from the clutches of authoritarianism and evil.

- Asian Tribune -

Honour the Vision of the Late Ven. Sobitha Thero
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