Support For Maithri’s Airport Statement

Maithripala Sirisena, the opposition common candidate, claimed recently that some media have distorted the statement he made regarding his intention to bring those involved in fraud and corruption before the law when he wins. According to him, necessary legal steps would be followed to bring them before the law. As some claimed, he had stated that he would close the airport when he wins the election to avoid any person involved in corruption flee the country and over those claims, people are agitated if he was already sounding like a dictator.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader, several politicians and civil society members expressed their opinion regarding Maithripala’s comment.

 

I do not think he sounded like a dictator

Nimalka Fernando - Attorney-at-law and women’s rights activist

He has not made that statement. I have listened to the statement he made.
What he said was that he would deal with all people who have been involved in corruption as soon as he assumes power. I do not think he sounded like a dictator.
I personally do not believe that Maithripala could be a worse person than President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who has used all constitutional powers – there is nobody else in this country that has ever abused power to that extent.
It is very important, we as civil society urge whoever who comes to power in future to make bribery and corruption a major issue – and urge to strengthen independence of commissions to look into bribery and corruption of all those in power. It has to be a reality in this country – not only during election time.
I actually do not know how some children of some politicians can have luxury vehicles when their fathers earn a salary of about just rupees one to two lakhs.
The citizens of this country ought to know how some of them can afford cars like these. I hope women also in this country will stand against bribery and corruption,

 

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Those who want to see him as a dictator will say so

 

Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu - Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA)

Those people who want to see him as a dictator will most certainly say so.
Simply all what he says is that if there are people who are guilty of such corruption, when he comes to power the process of law would apply with regard to such matters of fraud and corruption.
That is all he says. People are just pressing on it and taking it in a different direction because of their political biases.
But all what Maithripala is saying is that if there are allegations of corruptions against any person, those allegations will go through a judiciary process.
Even when it comes to the current election, there are concerns such as election violence and grave misuse of state resources by the ruling party. It is a whole scale looted plunder.

 

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I am not very sure whether he said that

Shan Wijetunga- Senior Manager, Transparency International 

I am not very sure whether he said that he would not let people leave the airport but according to what I heard he has said that he would definitely take action against people who have been involved in corruption and fraud.
I haven’t seen anywhere in print saying that he would not let anybody leave the airport or close down the airport, etc. I cannot see him as a dictator.
As far as I know he has made a statement about people who have done wrong and taking actions against those people.  As people who are pushing for integrity, we do not think he can take law into his hands – he has to definitely take some actions to eradication corruption.
For that purpose he has to strengthen the commission that is probing corruption and strengthen the other laws to capture people who have done fraud and corruption.

 

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We have to look at his actions

Nishantha Sri Warnasinghe - Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU)
National Organizer 
and Media Spokesman

If anyone is involved in corruption they should not be allowed to flee the country. If there is any person who is a suspect involved in any kind of corruption should be brought before the court.

Then through the court, those people should be prohibited to leave the country and according to my knowledge the court should confiscate their passport – thus a legal process should be taken.

The judiciary has to be strengthened and the independence of the judiciary should be established to follow a legal process in that regard. Only if the judiciary is independent they can do that. If there are frauds like that they need to be punished and not be allowed to flee the country.

We cannot prejudge him as a dictator from what he says – we have to look at his actions. In the political stage people can say various things on the spur of the moment.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he has files of everybody. Then people can come to the conclusion that he had been giving shelter to those who did corruption which keeps him above the list of most corrupt people. But those kinds of statements made on the political stage should not be held against them – instead let their action speak. Besides, some people are just twisting some statements and using it for their own political benefit. We should not let that happen.

 

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It was a general statement

Mano Ganesan - Leader of the Democratic People’s Front

I think what Maithri meant was that he will not allow anybody to escape or run away from the long hands of law of Sri Lanka.
We are witnessing a large number of lawbreakers enjoying impunity within this country and another small group of Sri Lankans living overseas enjoying safe heavens outside our national jurisdiction. Those who are enjoying impunity are well connected to the regime today due to the political power they are holding. What will they do if their power base is broken at the elections?
They will try to run away from the country and join those already enjoying safe heavens overseas. It is a child’s guess. Therefore any responsible would-be-leader needs to make his or her position clear on this issue to the nation. So did Maithri.
You and I are aware that the only formal escape route to overseas in this country is the airport. I don’t think he meant any particular name here. It was a general statement.
I call upon those who find fault in Maithri for his opinion, to first concentrate on the movements of the persons involved in mega sized deals and large scale corruption.

 

5 Comments for “Support For Maithri’s Airport Statement”

  1. VOX. POPULI

    It is the crooks who are misinterpreting what he said. Millions of others have not said anything because they have no reason to bolt from their homeland.
    Those statements are of those who are desperate and fear what could happen if the incumbent loses.
    As for me I am sick of these politicians nod their gimmicks.

  2. Criminals have to be prosecuted according to the law of the country. There is no question about that. Certainly lot of ministers and relatives of our current President robbed our wealth by way of commission. If these people are not brought to justice then it will encourage others to follow their way. If a Police man takes a small bribe we bring him to courts and suspend him from his work. But at the same time when mega back hand is taken by our politicians they are not brought to justice because they are safe guarded by our President. This culture has to be stopped. I support Maithiri for that and many other reason. By the way Maithir will win this election with 69% percent vote.

  3. Brian Perera

    Please be truthful to oneself & NEVER play to the gallery.Hon. Mathripala Sirisena is simply saying the ROUGES of our beloved nation, will be blocked from escaping justice..This is a God given opportunity to our Beloved nation.. VOTERS, now you make it happen for the good of ALL SRI LANKANS.

  4. Nalaka

    Horage Ammage pena ahanawa

  5. cw

    Look who is talking. Traitors of the nation.

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