By Meera Srinivasan
Former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he would move a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe next week, and claimed he had the support of some legislators in the PM’s United National Party (UNP).
Declaring that he was close to bringing the government down, Mr. Rajapaksa said: “The UNP’s own members are doing that, I don’t have to do [much].” He was speaking to Colombo-based foreign correspondents at his residence on Thursday.
In late 2016, about two years after his election defeat, the former President had vowed to topple the successor government. The country’s first national unity government helmed by President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Wickremesinghe remained stable through 2017 despite tensions.
However, the outcome of the local government elections held in February 2018 pushed the government to a virtual split.
(“Exclusive” Report in “Sunday Times” of March 18th 2018)
On a bitterly chilly wintry morning in the Ukranian capital of Kiev last year, an investigation team from the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) sat down to a conference with officials. Present were the country’s Prosecutor General and top officials of Ukrinmarsh, the state agency that exports military products and related equipment.
The FCID team leader, Senior DIG Ravi Waidyalankara, who is the head of the FCID, asked a senior official of Ukrinmarsh about the sale to Sri Lanka of MiG 27 fighter jets and a trainer to the Sri Lanka Air Force. “What sale?” he asked and exhorted “there has been no sale of any MiG-27 aircraft to Sri Lanka from us. There never was.”
How then did claims arise that there has been a “Government-to-Government” deal to procure these MiG-27s in 2006? In fact, a voluminous document said, “CONTRACT BETWEEN THE SRI LANKA AIR FORCE FOR AND ON BEHALF OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA AND M/S STATE SELF-SUPPORTING FOREIGN TRADE AND INVESTMENT FIRM ‘UKRINMARSH’ (SUBSIDIARY OF ‘UKRSPECTSEXPORT”) UKRAINE”
The answer – the so called contract of July 26, 2006 is fictitious and was not the real one. So is the reference in the fake contract to a Designated Party – Bellimissa Holdings Ltd., 2nd Floor, 145-157 St. John Street, London. This was just an office with a desk and a table and fund remittances ended up in a secret bank account in British Virgin Islands (BIV).
Continue reading ‘So -Called “Govt to Govt ” Multi-million Dollar MIG 27 Aircraft Deal with Ukraine During Rajapaksa Regime Was Bogus and No-existent:FCID Intensifies Search for Udayanga Weeratunga’ »
Sarath de Alwis
Perfection, of a kind, was what he was after, And the poetry he invented was easy to understand; He knew human folly like the back of his hand, And was greatly interested in armies and fleets; When he laughed, respectable senators burst with laughter, And when he cried the little children died in the streets.’ Epitaph on A Tyrant – W.H. Auden
When Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was remodelling the city of Colombo, he was guided by his own definition of perfection. It was a tyrannical perfection. He had his share of admirers. Affluent middle class matrons found the Independence Arcade delightfully dashing. The Dutch Hospital refurbished is à la mode to those who can afford it.
As the poet Auden tells us what is chic and elegant for the few can be terribly wrong for the many. Gotabhaya made many little children cry, when their families were forcibly ejected from their homes to fit their miserable souls into Gotabhaya’s grand design in urban renewal. He knows human folly as the back of his hand.
We have forgotten how we feared Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s invisible long arm moving levers of power before January 8 2015.
As Milan Kundera the novelist philosopher announces with lyrical elegance, ‘Our struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.’