The Sunday Leader

Gotabaya Rajapaksa – O Tempora O Mores

There is no difference or should be none between human beings. But, is that a reality in Sri Lanka? No. Certainly not. The most recent incident where Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defense Secretary lost his temper and used foul language brought home some truths about human behaviour, at least from some sections of our people.
The language and tone of the delivery evoked a huge outcry from journalists across the civilized world. The international press and electronic media were aghast and responded immediately. Just like humans and even animals who help each other to face, for example, a harsh winter. But, the local media true to form remained mum.  Why? We would leave that to you readers to come to your own judgment.
At the expense of quoting Thomas Niemoller ad nauseum, fellow journalists consider those words; “And then they came for me…”.  It could and will be you next. That is certain. Your silence is telling.
That the occupant of high public office in our land could utter such foul, lewd and disgusting words: indeed the language of the gutter – speaks volumes on the depths to which Sri Lanka has sunk.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa may have or did indeed play a pivotal role in winning the war for which we all remain grateful – this however does not give him the prerogative to believe that we remain subjugated – mere serfs – who continue to live in a land where he reigns as Lord of the Manor.
It is indeed unbecoming and disgraceful of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a public servant, to have uttered the threats he did against this newspaper, and today we wish to reiterate our position which we did during his hysterical ranting that The Sunday Leader will not be cowed by them.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa more than any other public servant has paid lip service to the building of a decent society in Sri Lanka. It is all the more shocking then, that he should conduct himself in such a low manner.
Given the office he holds, we have no doubt it is well within his power to do us harm, whether or not through the abuse of the state machinery that lies at his disposal. We have therefore no choice but to give his threats the widest possible publicity in the hope that this will persuade him to desist from the course of action he may contemplate, to eliminate the Editor of this newspaper or do physical harm.
Rajapaksa knows better than anyone that The Sunday Leader has consistently been critical of consecutive regimes not for partisan reasons but to uphold the democratic values essential to our society.  Yet, none of his predecessors have ever stooped to the level he has.
When we contacted him last week it was purely to ascertain if he was aware that the management at SriLankan Airlines had taken a decision to change a wide bodied A340 scheduled to fly to Zurich on Friday July 13, to a smaller A330,  in order to accommodate a pilot who he himself admitted “is a close friend”, to bring down a puppy dog for him from Zurich.  The change in aircraft would have resulted in 56 passengers having to be off-loaded costing the state owned airline hundreds of thousands of rupees.
He was called by The Sunday Leader not with any intention to defame him or otherwise but merely to clarify what we had been told by sources within SriLankan Airlines.  Instead, of responding with civility he resorted to abuse using foul language and threats.
Our second telephone call to him on Friday July 6, was to tell him that we had since decided not to carry this story following a telephone conversation we were told that had taken place between a confidante to the President and himself.  Rajapaksa had maintained he knew nothing of a flight schedule change and would “fly the dog down on another airline” if this was indeed the case.  The reason for the second telephone call was to tell him that The Sunday Leader would not carry the story but it was NOT because he had threatened its Editor the previous evening.
He however, again turned abusive and used the most foul, lewd and disgusting language, going so far as to say ninety percent of the people in Sri Lanka wanted the Editor of this newspaper dead.
Chilling words indeed, given that it is only a mere three years since its previous Editor was murdered in broad daylight and his killers continue to roam free.       He further accused us of accepting “monies” from the US Ambassador, NGOs and Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu – Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives.  Rajapaksa should know better than anyone that The Sunday Leader is not one to be swayed by third parties. Indeed, when there is news that is in the national interest, be assured that nothing will prevent The Sunday Leader from publishing it. We urge Gotabaya Rajapaksa, even now, to respect the office he holds, and to conduct himself with the dignity and decorum the people of Sri Lanka have a right to expect of him. It does not become his brother the President nor him that he should threaten journalists or indeed, plot violence against them.

33 Comments for “Gotabaya Rajapaksa – O Tempora O Mores”

  1. Lal.Fernando

    This is very sad a man in a very high position in the government uses this gutter language.I wonder is this because the power has got to his head or the lakh of education this man got?

    • Goobahaya Gothapala

      Both plus one extra.
      Lack of Education.
      Little Brains cant take he amount of Power he is holding.
      Tries to show he is westernizes in Longs and Tie and coat, but still has that ditrty Waluwwae habit of not knowing how to speak to people expexct by barking and ben crude. like all badly brought up, throughly spoilt, stuuborn, common man thinking big.
      He is nearing reaching ANGODA . Has trouble think of how to answer all the question he will have to answer at the UN Hu,antrain Trail in the Hague when it comes.

    • Cindy

      This is the language he is used to hear at the petrol station in states, when he was a petrol station attendant. But in his new position, though he is certainly not fit to hold, should behave in a more human and civilised manner. The rest for the readers to assume…..

    • richardson

      He knows People hate F. Janz with a passion because of the white flag lies.
      So he too can throw filth on a social discard.
      We do not support Gotabaya but We do hate people who destroyed a future leader

      • Saro

        Gotabaya needs no one to destroy but he is his own enemy. He has helped LTTE’s cause more than any single individual including its founder and leader. He forgets that his position is assured by his brother and not by the people. The way he shouts at people who holds responsible positions and intervene in their operational duties show that he respects no one including heads of police, army and even judges. The power has blinded him when he called journalists ‘pigs’ and believes he can overpower judges.

    • vintage voter

      THERE WERE GREATER DICTATORS DRUNK WITH POWER!!!!!

      WHAT WAS THEIR END?

      MUSSOLINI WAS HANGED BY HIS LEGS.

      HITLER COMMITTED SUICIDE

  2. sha

    I wonder if it is a new thing or he is a new man to wonder about these things. This has been going on for years now it is the Mejority Sinhala people has to take the blame. it is true he put an end to the war but on what cost ? How many innocent under went unspeakable misery and still going on. Where were all these news papers when innocent civilians got killed. Did any of the south news papers condemned the atrocities. Never every news paper was either silent or pretend to be blind and deaf. “But, the local media true to form remained mum.” Now you are worried about the fellow journalists not doing anything about this and again this is not knew. No one is worried about others problem until the same knock at your door step. I know this comment will not be published because this the voice of a tamil against the sinhala thinking. But these are the facts and everyone thinks in his own point of view. Mr. Rajapaksa is whether you accept or not is the most powerful man in this country at least for the time being. What can any one do about it ? Write articles , make remarks that’s all. You will forget these things after sometime till another incident takes place. Democracy has gone to dogs in this country so don’t worry much about what happened get on with your next task.

    • Rabid Lokkah

      With Democracy gone to the DOGS, guess that is why Gotha is trying to bring more democracy into the country, by bringing Dogs from Switzerland.
      Hullo Gotha…wake up..wont make a difference mate..The difference has to come within and from the rulers of this country.
      Ít is no ones God given right to speak and treat people like this..If you cant. go back to the US and be a petrol attendant..or go back to your village, don the loin cloth/Amuday and stay with your uncouth tribe.

  3. Lasantha wagmaarrachi

    I was a very big supporter and a defender of Mahinda and his brothers when fighting against LTTE. But it is becoming clear that they do not do beyond that point to enhance our lives back home.freedom of speech and movement and day to day things. i personally believe it is time for change where they they have to be reminded that they are here for us.To serve people. Our people are blind.They do not see the picture beyond. They are patriotic but blinded.

    I look forward for a change a clear message from this election.

    • milipee

      Hi Lasantha – I respect your remark. I wish to comment only on your last remark.
      Do you seriously believe that there will be a “clear message” with our nations history of election rigging? I sincerely wish your dreams come true for you, for me and all self respecting Sri Lankans.

  4. Nihal M

    Gotabaya Rajapakse had been a very respected man and had been above board with an unblemished record while serving years in the Army as a Senior Commissioned officer, any Senior Army person at the time will confirm it. During the recent past he did a great job in eliminating LTTE Terrorism which could not be defeated for over 25 + years and also getting rid of many underground Southern criminals.Although Govt does not reveal LTTE threat is still there as LTTE is one of the Richest Terrorist organisations in the world….Since the Whole Defense establishments in S/L are under his personal command I am sure he must be under SEVERE STRESS to keep THIS COUNTRY SAFE …Gotabaya R is determined to confront our enemies and rout out Terrorist networks ….TELL ME ISNT THE COUNTRY IN SAFE HANDS with President at the helm ,and the most intelligent 24/7 working Gotabaya????…I would request the journalists to look at Macro issues facing this country and not petty ‘Air Cargo’ issues which could have been asked from Chairman or CEO of Srilankan Airlines for clarification….

    • Cindy

      Nihal M. at what price are we getting the good work if there are any, as you say.

    • kudu

      enough butter
      here is the jam

    • Pacha Epa

      Nihal M:

      Why don’t you come out in the open and say that the current rulers of Sri Lanka may do ANYTHING they want and that NO RULES AND REGULATIONS should apply to them?

      “Macro issues?” What do you mean? Are you suggesting that blatant corruption and theft from the public purse, profligate wastage of public funds by those insistent on acting like mediaeval kings or Maharajas and similar conduct constitute “micro” issues? Only in a backwood like Sri Lanka will we hear opinions like yours expressed in public!

    • Saro

      LTTE is destroyed nationally and internationally with the help of US, EU, India, China and indeed UN itself. Hoisting flags with Tiger emblem by some wounded Tiger supporters in western capitals cannot be taken seriously so long as LTTE remain banned by almost the whole world. It is mere obsession that Gotabaya Rajapakse and his supporters make noises resurrection of LTTE as a substitute to promoting reconciliation and resettlement of displaced victims.

      Sri Lankan Airlines run ate a huge loss and borrow from Arab banks to try to balance the book. It is of high public interest to assertion if Gotabaya intervened in order to off-load regular 56 passengers to help his friend-pilot and transport a dog. This may be a minor matter to his supporters but of paramount important to the passengers who booked the tickets and to the tax payers of this country, who pays to the salary to Rajapaksas and the loss-making airline..

    • Sujee

      I totally agree! This is very low level journalism, trying to trap this great person through totally trivial issues that can not even come closer to the huge macro issues that he is handling and well delivering.

      This is a totally unnecessary issue and below the belt approach by Sunday Leader. Respect the man for what he did to eliminate the most ruthless Cancer we faced for decades without any answers!

      If Gota did not undertake the President’s vision of eliminating the LTTE, no one would have been there to execute it. Gota did it..

      ..and anyone would lose temper when a news paper tries to dig totally trivial matters giving utmost importance, when once task is much much bigger!

    • DudleyL

      Your analysis of this incident is quite fair. This is a person who has done yeoman service to our country and people have not forgotten it at all ( although some people would like the masses to quickly forget the defeat of the LTTE for political and personal gain) as seen by the popularity of the President even at a time when the cost of living has soared and in addition some of his partymen are playing havoc.True GR lost his temper but as a person holding high governement office and being the brother of the country’s President he should know better and not have uttered these words not even to a male journalist. I believe a personal apology to FZ would bring this matter to a close rather than allowing media to pour more fuel to the fire.Media also need to conduct themselves with a high degree of discipline and should not be ‘ targetting individuals, just so that they can catch them off guard at a vulnerable momemnt and capitalise on it.

    • Somapla

      Nihal M

      Do you know the grades the most intelligent man Gota got at A levels.

  5. Faqi

    Well said.

    • Lakshman Eknayake

      We the people of Sri Lanka, Salute the editor of ‘The Sunday Leader’ for being very and unafraid& bold in publishing the true facts.
      The Sunday Leader is surely the leader, bringing in the true facts in Sri Lanka
      One again I salute the editor.

    • P.A.Samaraweera

      Why is the Editor stalking him. Neutral observers feel that It was the Janz who provoked him. Leave him alone and let him now clean up the City.

      P.A.Samaraweera, Melbourne

    • Having read media reactions about foul language uttered by a leading government official, I recollect a press comment years before the ethnic war, viz. “the government has not gone to the dogs…the dogs have come into the government”.

  6. RENU

    Sometime people can go mental, when there is pressure from all over the world regarding Human Rights , CCJ, UNHCR & the US, There is something that runs in the family , ask brother Tudor,now unheard of

  7. Dear gota do you know?,barking dogs not eating.a.v.g senevi

  8. One cannot give full credit to Gota for ending the war though he and his Presidential brother love claiming it. Strategic planning by Fonseka and the military would have more merit.
    Political brutality and the white van syndrome has left the masses in fear of raising their voices in protest. To whom could one report of harassment or intimidation by thugs of even local government politicos these days let alone Ministers or Secretaries? Certainly not to the Police – unless at the risk of gatting murdered or vanishing from the face of the earth.
    The Rajapakse Brothers and those connected to them are alienating themselves and the country from democracy and the western world whilst bonding with countries like China selling off prime chunks of land. What do not these brother own in industry and businesses in our land? Free media is lost. Our children may one day ask us what it was all about.
    We Sri Lankans are losing the right to live – because we seem to be tenants under the Rajapakse landlords. We are doomed… What future lies for our children and those of theirs? Sad, so sad.

  9. Piranha

    It is indeed shameful that the other media in Sri Lanka have not commented on the behaviour of Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. This shows how much the press in Sri Lanka has been cowed by the Rajapaksa regime, particularly by Gotabhaya.

    My hats off to the courageous Ms Jansz and her newspaper who have single handedly stood up to this bully Gotabhaya.

  10. VICTOR

    THIS IS A LAND WHERE OPPOSITION LEADER NEVER UTTER ANY WORD ON CRITICAL ISSUES. HE IS BUSY IN RECONSTRUCTING SRI-KOTHA,WHILE HIS PARTY HAS BEEN DESTROYED BY HIS OWN DEPUTY, AND BY HIMSELF. KARU HAS LITTLE FRENCH COURAGE.

  11. Leela

    Funny how people think the LTTE was destroyed. Explain how the LTTE is now more stronger with more power than ever before? The genocidal SL president cannot leave the country without being in fear of jail in other countries for human rights violations.

  12. This is clearly a case where Fredrica Janz has used to provacate Gota and to put him into trouble. Unfortunately in this case Gota got trapped and played into the hands of Sundayleader leader. That is what happened and there is nothing much to jump up and down ,as every Srilankan knows about the people from Ruhuna. Sunday leader and Fredrica Janz should learn not to work for foreign NGO’s to get back hand money. Shame on you people.

  13. Ralph Anthony Kern

    This is nothing but tyranny. The language used by him shows his bread. The whole world is watching you. You better get ready to face the music. Disaster is round the corner.

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