Diplomats call Ministers over cracks in UNP-SLFP

b37a3094By Easwaran Rutnam

Diplomatic circles were abuzz on Thursday as speculation spread that the police had been placed on standby following what seemed to be a rift in the cohabitation government.

News spread that the police had been deployed to prevent clashes between supporters of the United National Party and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) in the event both sides publicly announced a political divorce.

Government sources told The Sunday Leader that a statement made by President Maithripala Sirisena and some Sri Lanka Freedom Party members on investigations being conducted on allegations of corruption by the former government led to the rise of tensions between the SLFP and the UNP.

President Maithripala Sirisena had warned that he will be compelled to take action against politicising the police Financial Crimes Investigations Division (FCID), Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC).

The President, in a public statement, said he had conveyed this message to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the cabinet.

The President had also said that he will take measures to ensure the dignity of the army is protected at every cost.

Later SLFP member and Government Minister S.B Dissanayake, speaking to the media in Kandy said that President Maithripala Sirisena was kept in the dark over the notice issued by courts on some Parliamentarians and former military chiefs.

Dissanayake noted that notice issued on the State Minister of National Integration and Reconciliation A.H.M. Fowzie was unacceptable.

The case was filed over the alleged misuse of Government vehicles worth Rs. 19.5 million. Fowzie has been ordered to appear in court on October 28.

Dissanayake said that the President and the Speaker of Parliament must be informed when a Parliamentarian is summoned to court.

He also said that all the Ministers in the cabinet had also used government vehicles in the past belonging to other Ministries like Fowzie did, so the charge against Fowzie was unacceptable.
“This incident is an attempt to discredit the President,” he said.

He also said that the President should have been informed before summons was issued on former military chiefs by courts recently.

Those statements did not go well. The UNP and SLFP were suddenly not happy together. As soon as news spread that the police was placed on standby on Thursday the diplomatic community began calling some Deputy Ministers wanting to know if there was an issue.

Government gives assurance

The government assured the diplomats that there was nothing serious. The police also informed the media that the police was deployed in the Western Province to arrest criminals and that it was not related to politics.

Sources said that the matter had later been settled between the President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before the two leaders left on two separate overseas visits yesterday.

The Janatha Vimukthi Pramuna (JVP), meanwhile, sought a clarification from President Maithripala Sirisena over a statement he made.

The JVP said the statement made by the President was very serious and seems like one which challenges the mandate he received from the voters on January 8, 2015.

The JVP said the President’s statement that the investigations units could be operating on a political mandate cannot be taken lightly.
The JVP also said the matter was more serious since the President is the head of state and head of the Government.
According to the JVP, making any statement which could undermine the work of investigations on corruption, goes against the mandate given to the government.

Civil society who backed Sirisena at the 2015 January 8 polls had also raised concerns over the President’s statement and sought a clarification.

Sirisena came to power promising to crack down on the alleged corrupt activities of some members the former regime, including former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
As a result the public statement made by the President drew widespread concerns.

The Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), a key partner in the cohabitation government, expressed its disappointment with the slow progress to take action against top officials of the former government who were accused of corruption.

JHU General Secretary and Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the JHU will continue to push for legal action on corrupt officials.

He told reporters in Kandy that even the legal process in some cases involving corrupt officials is taking a back seat.
“We may face abuse for saying this but we will not be shaken. We will take the January 8 revolution forward,” he said.

He said that there was a call to establish special courts to deal with major corruption related cases but the special courts could not be established.

Ranawaka said that now the existing courts must ensure the allegations are looked into and that justice is served.
Ranawaka also said that the JHU will in future form a broad alliance and he invited those who are supporting former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to reconsider their stand and join the JHU. (Courtesy The Sunday Leader)


  1. Let’s give credit where it is due. BodhiSira is right in a way. The slander carried out by Colombo Telegraph about his son and all else is because the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to Charities of UK. The audacity for Uvinda the trade union lout to ask SL government for Transperancy is astounding when his logo says ` truth is a process`- turned into a stagnent and putrid blog masquerading as the C.T of yore. – it’s all rigged and the threads are manipulated to satisfy his ego.
    To this end I blame Mangala and Ranil squarely- Ranil’s bird sits as High Com UK doing the twiddle thumps like Nonis. This is a disgrace to not just the president but the island and to top it the neo Naxalites are planning revolutions- this does not auger well for an island where 97% of tax monies go as repayments of loans. The island needs $4 billion by December and another $4.5billion next year.
    According to Forbes this very government has borrowed more by 25% than Rajapaksa and not done any infrastructure. It’s a vicious game of ducks and drakes by Colombo boy Ranil and to top it he says he does not know- then the shameless man must resign. Ranil’s greatest happiness is watching the ceiling like a foolish Tao and leaving the rest to the gods. He is like the brainless starfish or slippery brainless jelly fish. The old Rouges of Royal. It is my borough for generations but it was anathema for us to study there where the feathers were borrowed- royal?/
     The vast majority of charities are not subject to the FOI, irrespective of the amount of public funding they receive.
     The main way for a charity to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act is for it to be listed in Schedule I
     The Charity Commission, which regulates charities, is subject to FOI. The Charity Commission holds a reasonable amount of information about all registered charities, mostly in relation to their annual returns (financial accounts, so information about donations and spending), lists of charity trustees, and complaints about charities.
     Some public authorities are seperately registered as charities, as they meet the relevant legal criteria for FOI in their own right. Some examples of charities that are subject to FOI are shown here.


Comments are closed.