The Sunday Leader

Campaign Moves On Secret Documents And Forged Signatures

Maithripala Sirisena, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Tissa Attanayake and Malik Samarawickrama

The political week began with allegations of a secret agreement signed between Common Opposition Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe inclusive of some contentious issues. Given that the revelations came from none other than the former Secretary General of the UNP Tissa Attanayake, the political circles and the voter public was abuzz with conspiracy theories and foreign funded campaigns, etc. However, barely hours later UNP Leader came out strong against the allegation, threatening legal action against Attanayake on grounds of his signature being forged.

By Thursday the lawyer representing Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena has sent a letter of demand to Tissa Attanayake demanding Rs. 2.5 billion as compensation for producing an allegedly forged document.

In the letter of demand, they have denied signing any agreement of that nature or agreeing upon such content. The letter informs that such production of a false and fabricated document is illegal and a blatant violation of the law of Sri Lanka and it is punishable as a criminal offence. However, Mr. Attanayake told The Sunday Leader that he would respond to the matter in court if and when they bring the matter in front of the court.

According to the document produced by Attanayake, Sirisena and Mr. Wickremesignhe had agreed upon going beyond the 13th Amendment to meet the aspirations of Tamil people, removing the High Security Zone in private lands and giving the land back to the original owners, implementing all the recommendations made by the United Nations Human Rights Council on war crimes and human rights violations, cutting down 40% of Defence budget and cutting down 50% of armed forces deployed in the North.

Attanayake said in the press brief regarding this document, they only said that their signatures were forged, “Sirisena has not publicly denied agreeing upon such content”. He added that Mr. Wickremesinghe had lodged a complaint about this matter to the Police IGP and the IGP will carry out necessary inquiries to check if the signatures were forged or not. “But that is a different matter altogether. My only question is that neither of them refused the content of the document such as removing 50% of the troops in the North, removing high security zones and resettling people in those areas or the fact that they would work with the international community to help war crime investigations, etc,” he added.

He accused that Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maithripala Sirisena, Malik Samarawickrama, Mangala Samaraweera and Ravi Karunanayake met several MPs of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in Taj Samudra in Colombo to come to some agreements. “If they are taking the matter to the court, I can answer where I got that document from and all the other details related to that. Now everybody seems to know who Maithripala Sirisena is. When the Tsunami Committee was brought in, Maithri stated his position very clearly to the parliament. Chandrika’s government agreed through the Tsunami committee to give Prabhakaran to rule the North for 10 years without any election. At that point, Maithri is the one who brought it to the parliament,” said Attanayake.

TNA MP Sumanthiran rejected Tissa Attanayake’s claims saying that they had no secret meeting with the members of the opposition in Taj Samudra as claimed. He added that there is no truth in that. “We have not decided whom we are going to support as yet. We have had some talks with some members of both the government and the opposition but no such secret meeting took place in Taj Samudra or such agreements were reached as Mr. Tissa Attanayake claims,” Sumanthiran assured.

Government Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella meanwhile maintained that he was positive that Sirisena and Wickramasinghe had come to a agreement of that nature. “The text of the document that was supposedly signed by Wickremesinghe and Sirisena deals with vital areas such as the withdrawal of the 50% of the forces deployed in the North, etc. and carrying out a domestic investigation on human rights violations and war crime issues during the last phase of the war where the perpetrators will be taken to judiciary. Neither Maithripala nor Ranil has denied the content in public. That is a very serious allegation which is in a form of agreement,” According to him, Sumanthiran of the TNA has very categorically said that if they were to extend their support to a presidential candidate, the candidate has to agree upon their conditions. According to Rambukwella, some of the TNA conditions were to withdraw the army from the North and war crime investigations. “Authenticity of the document can be investigated but the facts laid down in this document are on two vital areas and the very salient ones are not being disputed,” he added.

“When looking at the two parties involved – Maithri headed by Chandrika, UNP headed by Ranil it is not hard to imagine some secret agreement of that nature. These two people have a history of federalism, devolution and almost ideas leading to separatism,” Rambukwella claimed.

The Police had meanwhile recorded the statements from Ranil Wickremesinghe and Sirisena. According to the Police Spokesman SSP Ajith Rohana, Wickramsinghe had said that the signature used in the document is not his signature and his signature was forged. “In Mr. Sirisena’s statement he said that it was his signature but was scanned from a different document and placed in this document,” SSP added. He said that the police have not recorded Mr. Attanayake’s statement yet but is waiting for Tissa Attanayake to give them a time to record his statement. He also added that the police have sought the assistance of the Examiner of Questioned Documents (EQD) to investigate on the authenticity of the signatures.

Meanwhile concerns were reportedly arising from the Opposition camps that UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, touted as the Prime Ministerial candidate in any Sirisena administration, has ‘discovered ‘that Presidential aspirant Maithripala Sirisena has a different viewpoint than he on the matter of brining to book those who have been involved in corruption and poor governance.

At the ‘Lets Unite’ forum aimed at the business community held last Monday at a Colombo hotel, Wickremesinghe was asked by The Sunday Leader newspaper if he would continue with the investigation he launched against President Kumaratunga when he was Prime Minister.

Wickremesinghe at first tried his best at being flippant saying that he ‘does not investigate friends, that Rajapaksa too was his friend and that as a habit he does not look into his friends. When he was asked to be unequivocal on the answer he said “I did not start any investigation and I will not initiate any investigation.”

It is however unclear if it is by design, for political expediency or a combination of all of these that Wickremesinghe appears to have forgotten what he discussed with his colleagues at the time he was Prime Minister in the two-year government.

After the Cabinet meeting held on the 8th of May 2002 Prime Minister Wickremesinghe met with his senior Ministers including G. L. Pieris, Bandula Gunawardena, S. B. Dissanayaka, Milinda Moragoda and UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema. They decided to introduce the constitutional amendment not only to allow a conscience vote but also to undo the President’s power to dissolve parliament at the end of one year.

However, Wickremesinghe himself told his ministers the president was working towards sabotaging his peace efforts using the JVP as the cat’s paw. Given this situation, on CBK sabotaging his peace efforts, the prime minister Wickremesinghe has given the green light to expedite investigations on the privatisation of Air Lanka, Shell, the locomotive deal, and the Katunayake-Colombo expressway project, with special emphasis on the Bahamas link of Ronnie Peiris.

This matter the prime minister specifically discussed with Defence, Transport, Highways and Aviation Minister Thilak Marapona, who has already called for the files on the expressway project.

Wickremesinghe however admitted that he will not investigate deals or alleged malpractises carried out by President Kumaratunga. Yet, Wickremesinghe is seeking election by proxy at the forthcoming presidential poll by using Maithripala Sirisena. Wickremesinghe for all his bravado in 2002, has now very conveniently forgotten the alleged deals under that regime with huge cost over runs in many a project. That government’s action on the Katunayaka Colombo highway project was and still is, of much concern. Sri Lanka ended up paying the Keangnam company – there was no responsibility taken by Kumaratunga and finally poor faith and purpose of mind displayed by Wickremesinghe.

In his quest for power and to achieve regime change, Wickremesinghe has cast aside Kumaratunga’s faults.

For a man who is respected as being clean, Wickremesinghe’s brazen-faced admission that even in a new government the people can expect deals and corruption (as stated by the UNP and its current allies) to go un-probed. Yet this is the man who seeks that our franchise is cast in favour of his proxy, Maithripala Sirisena.

The presidential aspirant however was having none of this friendship nonsense: he stated – apologising for cutting in at the end of the Wickremesinghe response to The Sunday Leader – whoever has been involved in any malpractises and has not been investigated, will be investigated no matter what their position or station in life.

Ranil Wickremesinghe quoted extensively from the article written for the Wall Street Journal by internationally acknowledged economist, Dr Razeen Sally currently seconded from the London School of Economics to the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Sadly for the twice Prime Minister of Sri Lanka he chose to be rather economical with the truth. He only quoted the sections of Dr Sally’s opinion of Sri Lanka’s economic policies – and pointedly only referred to the area where Dr Sally writes about the policies of the UPFA administration.

Dr Sally had this to say on Ranil Wickremesinghe’s own policies:

“But the anti-Rajapaksa opposition also has its share of authoritarian elements.

The opposition’s terse “Common Programme” is purposely silent on ethnic relations, since it, too, includes Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinists in its broad tent. Those who favour genuine ethnic reconciliation will have to fight their corner. Long-delayed devolution of powers to provincial councils, including those in the north and east, is part of the solution.

The opposition platform is decidedly interventionist on the economy. This makes it all the more urgent for Sri Lanka’s tiny number of economic liberals to make the case for a radical economic overhaul. Priorities should include the repair of public finances; domestic deregulation to liberate the private sector; trade liberalization and an open door to foreign investment; public-sector reform; and lower defense spending. This should be complemented by a reorientation in foreign policy, emphasizing better relations with the West and India.”

The wily politician that he is, President Rajapaksa seems to have finally taken the steam out of the Opposition claims on the accumulation of Executive powers, the reform of the electoral system, Law and Order and Good governance. The President has given an altogether more realistic time frame to formulate a new constitution – twelve months in marked contrast to the 100 days that the common alliance has announced.

In spite of the opposition’s long running unhappiness with the Mihin Lanka project Ranil Wickremesinghe has not really admitted that the notion of a second airline was promoted by his own government way back in the 2002 ‘two year’ joint effort with Kumaratunga and Wickremesinghe in the hot seat. Wickremesinghe went as far as to say that expressions of interest had been received and that Thilak Marapona was to look into this. The opposition’s anti-second airline stance would have been far more palatable if Wickremesinghe had admitted that it was his government that first mooted the requirement for a second airline.

Wickremesinghe has also not fully revealed as to why there was a need for a second airport for the country. These were requirements of ICAO which gave Sri Lanka plenty of time to have a second airport as it only had the one runway capable of handling all international aircraft.

In Wickremesinghe’s tenure he had wanted to locate the second airline in Matugama as part of his Mega City project. The only real difference is that the second airport is located in Mattala as part of a different leader’s vision for a different area.

7 Comments for “Campaign Moves On Secret Documents And Forged Signatures”

  1. nelson

    the president has promised for a new constitution with in 12 months as you very happily mentioned it but he failed to do in 10 years
    is very clear to whom you are supporting dear editor


  2. Seyed Bazeer

    A UK based Tamil reliable website confirms that there was a secret meeting held on 22 December 2014 , between the TNA (Sumanthiran ) and key members of the Opposition. The link is attached.

  3. Seyed Bazeer

    A translation of this write-up in English will reach more of your readers who look for TNA’s exploitation of Tamil population.

  4. Seyed Bazeer

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    A UK based Tamil reliable website confirms that there was a secret meeting held on 22 December 2014 , between the TNA (Sumanthiran ) and key members of the Opposition. The link is attached.A translation of this write-up in English will reach more of your readers who look for TNA’s exploitation of Tamil population.

  5. Seyed Bazeer

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    A UK based Tamil reliable website confirms that there was a secret meeting held on 22 December 2014 , between the TNA (Sumanthiran ) and key members of the Opposition. The link is attached.

  6. Seyed Bazeer

    A UK based Tamil reliable website confirms that there was a secret meeting held on 22 December 2014 , between the TNA (Sumanthiran ) and key members of the Opposition. The link is attached.

  7. Annette Pintoe

    It is a shame and a joke to say that Sri Lanka is a Democratic country.
    Where people cannot elect a decent person for its presidency without
    stooping to threats and underhand activity by corrupt politicians. Sri Lanka
    people needs to think for themselves and not way laid by threats.

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