President Sirisena put his supporters ‘six feet under’, he had lost control over Mahinda’s fraudsters.
I had No control over nominations: President tells civil society reps
Former Sri Lankan leader Mahinda Rajapakse (R) signs nomination papers as party general secretary Susil Premajayantha (L) and his wife Shiranthi Rajapakse (C) look on at his home in a suburb of Colombo on July 9, 2015 – AFP
Sobitha Thero snubs Sirisena, refuses to attend Wednesday night meeting
President Maithripala Sirisena who met civil society leaders that strongly backed his presidential bid in January at his residence on Wednesday night, said the final decision on granting nominations to his predecessor Mahinda Rajapaksa was not in his hands.
Leaders of civil society movements and trade union collectives were invited for talks with President Sirisena at 8.30 PM on Wednesday, where they expressed strong opposition to Rajapaksa being allowed to contest under the SLFP. “We informed the President that there was no people’s mandate for a Maithri-Mahinda Government,” Trade Union leader Saman Ratnapriya said.
The President had informed the group that he had no real control over deciding nominations, even though he was chairman of the UPFA, Ratnapriya said.
President Sirisena had claimed he was personally opposed to granting Rajapaksa the nomination, Ratnapriya told BBC Sinhala.
Civil society leaders including Dr. Gamini Viyangoda, who leads the Purawesi Balaya movement that strongly supported the Sirisena candidacy in January, told President Sirisena that his decision had the potential to put his supporters ‘six feet under’, Daily FT learns.
Meanwhile Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, one of President Sirisena’s key allies in his contest for the presidency refused to attend the meeting on Wednesday night.
Sobitha Thero who met President Sirisena last weekend, is reported to have told him in no uncertain terms that his decision was going to endanger the lives of all those who had worked towards his victory in the presidential poll earlier this year.
“White van operation” is the most used mode of enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka at present. Enforced disappearance violates a range of human rights including the right to security and dignity of a person, right to a legal personality, humane conditions of detention, right to fair trial, right to a family life and when killed, the right to life.
The disappeared person is often tortured and in constant fear for life, removed from the protection of the law, deprived of all their rights and is at the mercy of the captors. Do you respect these rights seriously? What would you do if you or a family member experiences abduction?…………. read more
Discovering the White Van in a Troubled Democracy: An analysis of ongoing “abduction blueprint” in Sri Lanka
They come in unmarked white vans. The people they take are never seen again. Activists say one person is taken this way every 5 days. Leena Manimekalai met the families of Sri Lanka’s disappeared.
Tamils Against Genocide [TAG] has obtained testimonies of surviving abductees and interviews of affected victims, that enable us to identify individuals involved in abduction and torture targeting Tamils and non-Tamil dissidents. TAG has identified a number of detention complexes and torture centers participating in “white van” operations, where “white van network” is a term widely used in Sri Lanka to refer to both the physical transport and general modus operandus of abduction and disappearance. The information gathered forms an evidentiary basis for a blueprint of the operational logistics of State-sanctioned white van networks.
White van networks are part of a cluster of cooperative partnerships with other State instrumentalities – such as the judiciary, the prisons, the defense establishment, hospitals. They have become an instrument of State machinery which beats at the heart of Sri Lanka’s culture of impunity. White van networks are an embedded element of Sri Lankan democratic politics. They are necessary agents for incumbent administrations to sustainably and strategically undermine the panoply of fundamental liberties associated with citizenship in modern constitutional democracies, such as free speech and due process.
Sri Lanka’s State-sponsored white van networks are operated as a joint criminal enterprise, characterized by a definable command hierarchy, conscription and/or use of paramilitaries, private criminal gangs and government military personnel, and general complicity of State institutions. White Van abduction networks have active or dormant states. TAG’s interviews and testimonies indicated that, in the dormant state, the white van network(s) can be activated by directives from the command hierarchy, especially the top echelon of the defense establishment, the Rajapakses. For example, Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s confident threats targeted at Fonseka, Vithyadaran, and more recently Frederica Jansz, are predicated on the sustained operability of white van networks, dormant or active, to target enemies of the State as needed. There exists reasonable evidence of his clandestine power to abduct and eliminate people who are perceived as a threat to his command and reputation……………… READ MORE