A dictator in the making?

Fresh from victory against the Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka’s president is taking steps to stay in power indefinitely

A dictator in the making?

Rajapaksa (left) says he wants to build the economy; ‘75 per cent of the government’ is controlled by his family | Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Reuters

It was a ceremony fit for a king. Adorned in white dress, surrounded by powerful family members and military officials, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was sworn in for his second term on Nov. 19. The lavish procession incorporated some of the country’s dominant institutions: Buddhist monks gave their blessing, and the sound of a 21-gun salute rounded off the event. In his speech, Rajapaksa made grand promises. This would be a new era for Sri Lanka after the island nation’s brutal 26-year civil war, which he helped to end in 2009, during his first six-year term, by defeating the Tamil Tiger insurgency. He promised to employ that same leadership to maintain peace, rebuild democratic institutions, and accelerate the economy.

But leaders who win wars are not always the best governors in peace. A string of increasingly repressive and undemocratic moves by the Rajapaksa administration has caused opponents to worry that Sri Lanka’s economic growth and development are camouflaging human rights transgressions and a tilt toward authoritarianism. For one, there are the changes he’s made to the constitution since being re-elected. Though he pulled in nearly 60 per cent of the vote in the election held last January, he recently rallied a majority in parliament to pass an amendment that removed constitutionally set term limits, ensuring he can remain in power indefinitely.

The vote was also rushed through just one day after Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court ruled that the amendment could be made without a referendum. “This changes the dynamic in Sri Lanka pretty fundamentally,” says Alan Keenan, the International Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka project director and senior analyst. “The ability of Sri Lanka to bounce back from previous bouts of authoritarianism and undemocratic governments was because the president couldn’t stay in power.” Historically, Sri Lanka has been a beacon of democracy in the Indian Ocean region, despite its civil unrest. But these actions have led critics, including Robert D. Kaplan, author of the new book Monsoon, to wonder whether Sri Lanka will go the way of Pakistan and Burma—toward eroding civil liberties, radicalization and violence—instead of following democracies like India.

Rajapaksa also appears to be on a moral crusade. There have been crackdowns on anything deemed “indecent,” including posters showing “women with their legs out,” and Internet pornography. Advertising alcohol was banned, and even real-life displays of affection—kissing in public, hand-holding—have been targeted.

The media also appear to be a target. While incidences of abuses against journalists have long been recorded in Sri Lanka—in the long years of war, there have been arrests, assassinations, torture, and abductions of both local and foreign reporters—the situation may have worsened since Rajapaksa first won power in 2005. According to Amnesty International, since 2006 at least 14 media workers have been unlawfully killed, and some 20 journalists are thought to have fled the country in response to death threats, which is more per capita than have left Iran.

No one has been prosecuted for those attacks. And the campaign against free expression has recently been stepped up under Rajapaksa. In January of last year, the government imposed a media blackout on the Tamil war zone in the north, and denied access to humanitarian and aid workers who were trying to reach the estimated 300,000 civilians trapped in the battleground.

There is also the question of what happened to Rajapaksa’s main election opponent, Sarath Fonseka, a former army general and close ally of the president. After the election, Fonseka was arrested and is currently serving a 30-month jail sentence in the largest prison in the country. The government said he broke laws relating to his army conduct. Critics, however, say Fonseka was probably muzzled because he was going to give evidence of war crimes that occurred during the final stages of the battle against the Tamil Tigers. The arrest, it would appear, is a sign of Rajapaksa’s strengthening hold on power.

It’s a grip that extends beyond Rajapaksa’s own hands. “Something in the order of 75 per cent of the Sri Lankan government is controlled by the president, his brothers, or one of their sons, daughters and cousins,” says Keenan. While Rajapaksa is president, commander-in-chief and minister of defence, finance and planning, ports and aviation, and highways, one brother, Basil Rajapaksa, is the current minister of economic development. Another, Gotabaya, is the defence secretary. A third is parliamentary speaker, with the power to reject any motion to impeach the president. There’s also Rajapaksa’s son Namal, now a member of parliament, who is being groomed to carry the family dynasty into the future. “They have untrammelled authority to do whatever their will is,” says Keenan. “There are very few parts of the world where you have such absolute control by a few brothers.”

For now, Rajapaksa says he will focus on economic development. Since the U.S. and EU have halted the flow of money into Sri Lanka because of alleged human rights violations, the president has turned to countries like Iran and, in particular, China, which has been investing millions of dollars in Sri Lanka, outpacing even India’s long-standing ties with its neighbour.

A symbol of the budding relationship: in November, the first ships sailed into a trade-enhancing port in the southern town of Hambantota, which was built using Chinese loans. Arms from China were also used to fight its civil war. Some anaysts now say that China, in its hopes to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region through a “string of pearls”—port facilities in Pakistan, Burma, Bangladesh—has added Sri Lanka to that list. However, Nilanthi Samaranayake, an analyst at the U.S.-based Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) who focuses on South Asia, says it’s important to remember that, “Sri Lanka is a developing nation, and it hasn’t only been pursuing Chinese money. It’s been pursuing anybody and everybody’s money.” Regardless of the speculation around China’s motives, it’s clear that Sri Lanka is cooling its ties with the West as it ramps up relations with some of its less democratic neighbours.

Rajapaksa has defended his actions, saying a strong leader is what’s needed to get post-war Sri Lanka back on its feet. “This is a president who has a huge mandate and has to do a great deal of work to make sure the country moves forward,” one of his spokesmen has explained. But this quest for economic expansion has come without a commitment to resolve the ethnic tensions at the heart of the nearly three-decades-long war. For now, there’s only hope that—in a country with a history of violence and no safety valves to unseat the government—Sri Lanka’s long-awaited peacetime won’t be marred by a brutal ruler.




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A dictator in the making?

  1. The author fails to state that the Pesident wont the elections with an almost 2/3 majority. Sri Lanka has a healthy democracy where people express their views at elections. Whenever, leaders have over stepped they have been defeated. Sri Lanka has always had Presidents who have held on to power tightly. This is not the first time the president directly or indirectly controlled key portfolios. So there's nothing unique about this president.

    The one thing about him is that he's been very decisive. He said he'll crush the rebels when they were breaching the then ceasefire with not a whisper of protest of the peace keepers from the west. People recognise his achievement. on the war front and want to give him a go with the economy. You will see that he will not last long unless he maintains his record. Western media does very little historical research before publishing articles. Otherwise they would know that people in the south have also rebelled twice in the last 30 years. So, we are a nation who are quite capable of making our opinion known to the leadership.

    • Hitler was also elected by the Germans with a overwhelming majority, and how many civilians did he kill in gas chambers and other methods?

      • The Nazis were not elected with an overwhelming majority at all, the party only won a plurality in one election. Your comparison is ridiculous, but way to make it to Godwin's Law only 2 posts into a discussion thread!

    • Buddy, "healthy deomocracy in SL"? You must be a comedian!! If there was such a thing, why would the Tamils have to fight a bloody war their rights and still be pretty much wiped off the country??? Did you miss the part that journalists being killed, chased away, dissappeared, Sri Lanks on the top of the list if not at the top? Do you know where SL ranks in the number of people being dissappeared ordinary tamils apart from journalists? At the top!!………Country with a healthy democracy don't put brothers//cousins/sons/ into power positions! SRi Lanka is failed state! It's being ruled by murderers with blood on thier hands (you should watch the latest viedeos of the SL army excecuting non-armed combatants). The Rajapaksas, having crushed the Tamils, are now turning against their own (i.e Army commander Fonseka in jail) in order to amass power and wealth for themselves from the ordinary ignorant fools of the Sinhalese masses.

      • Well, nice to see your commend of the English language is almost perfect… but not so much as to mistake you for anything other than a Tamil sympathizer.
        Is that the first thing you people learn when you come here? How to use the "comments" section on all the news sites? Because nothing generates the offal on these coments sites quite like the Tamil/Sri Lanka sideshow. Maybe you should like settle in and become Canadian shopkeeps or whatever, and stop the student-level hysteria on Sri Lanka, it will never be a Tamil dominated land, but you could have a Province if you asked nice.

    • Oh…yaaa… Great Invention Damion….
      Sri Lanka is a place with healthy demorary and People can express their views??????
      Comon man, you have to come out of the that circle and see what that Dictator and his family does…..
      It's a HELL …..
      You must a very good relative to the President's family…. what $$ do make?

    • Buddy 1st they did not breach the ceasefire its the sri lankan government did first. There is proverb the fish get rotten from the head…….

    • Democracy without freedom of information is not democracy. If people do not know the facts how can make informed decision? This is how this dictator got elected.This is how all the dictators get elected. How is this healthy democracy?

    • you must be a rabid budhist sinhala racist or a relative of rajapaksas or completely an ignorant

      liar.

  2. 75% of the government is not controlled by his family, and change to the constitution, he still has to win the election to be president.

    • It's pretty easy to win elections when you illegally jail your opponents!

  3. I understand the writer's concerns but I think the intentions are another go at the president rather than genuine concerns for democracy. A majority Sri Lankans belive western governments secretly cheered the LTTE on. Now that they are defeated the west seem to be on a witch hunt. How about the breakdown of democracy in the West?? Why is the Wiki leaks guy hunted like a criminal? Why dont we question the US, UK and the other allies for war crimes as zealously as the rest of the world? Some food for thought….

    • That anyone would think that the West cheered on the LTTE is bizarre. Of course, fanatical Sinhalese will interpret any criticism of their treatment of Tamils (note I say Tamils, not the LTTE) as support for the LTTE.

  4. The writer's intention is very clear with a blatant charges against the democratically elected President of Sri Lanka. Most of the Western countries and the USA are hell bent to topple the Rajapkasa regime at any cost. When you read between the lines in general and particularly the last line tells it all:

    " in a country with a history of violence and no safety valves to unseat the government—Sri Lanka's long-awaited peacetime won't be marred by a brutal ruler."

    There is no brutal ruler in our country. You seem to be frantically fumbling to find safety valves to unseat the government, and you will end up with flushing yourself off the toilet seat cover like a pubic hair.

    • Democratic values are not followed by the Rajapkasa government.they have so many example are proving contumely.such as the channel 4 television is publishing the execution of Tamils by SriLankan army troops and the government keep stopping the international investigation on it.a lot of journalist assassinated after they criticized against the Rajapaksa government no one arrested yet threw the Singla democratic mechanism.no free speak at all.stat of emergence rule is still pushing on Tamil civilians ,populating sinala families on Tamil lands technically implements day to day.we couldn't find any piece of approaching to conclude Tamils political solution on their war winning campaign sounds

    • I am reading between the lines, Julia has given a fair assesment. Reading between your lines is what troubles me.

    • That's pretty skillful allegorical reference there big guy. But seriously
      Well, nice to see your commend of the English language is almost perfect… but not so much as to mistake you for anything other than a Sinhala sympathizer.
      Is that the first thing you people learn when you come here? How to use the "comments" section on all the news sites? Because nothing generates the offal on these comments sites quite like the Tamil/SriLanka sideshow. Maybe you should like settle in and become Canadian shopkeeps or whatever, and stop the student-level hysteria on SriLanka. You are upsetting Canadians with your invective as we do not subscribe to such rude and pugnacious diatribes. Hey. We even cross the street between the lines, so LEARN this and you may stay. Enuff said.

      • Yes SIR, thank you Sir….and your point is??

  5. Rajapaksa holds elections but this mean nothing to democracy and freedom. Today a parliamentarian was grabbed by the collar and threatened by Govt. parliamentarians, alleging him of holding demonstration in the UK against Rajapaksa. Several parliamentarians were killed in the past, on Christmas eve, on New Year's day etc, in gov. security zones but no one arrested.

    Today Sri Lanka govt. posts alleged war criminals – sighted by HRW, Amnesty and International Crisis Group blatantly as diplomats at the UN.

    This is the new face of Pax Sinica, A Sinhala Buddhist chauvinistic agenda that tolerates only a Chinese tyrannical democracy and holocaust denying Iran, any nation that has no regard for humanitarian and democratic norms is Sri Lanka Rajapaksa's best friend.

    • today they also arrested Wikileaks founder on trumped up charges…..you live in lala land..

    • look around you . is real democracy rally present anywhere in the globe. are people rerally free.
      i dont like the bastard my self and love to see his and his family's downfall and a better democracy prevailing in sri lanka . at least we have some form of democracy. i dont think there will be a dicta ator in sri lanka in t he true sense of the word
      we have to be grateful of the friends who hlped us in our hour of need in helping the scourge of terrorism. advocated by the brutal homicidal megalomaniac prabakaran.be objective in your assessment.

      • "at least we have some form of democracy", enjoy it when you can.

  6. Democratic values are not followed by the Rajapkasa government.they have so many example are proving contumely.such as the channel 4 television is publishing the execution of Tamils by SriLankan army troops and the government keep stopping the international investigation on it.a lot of journalist assassinated after they criticized against the Rajapaksa government no one arrested yet threw the Singla democratic mechanism.no free speak at all.stat of emergence rule is still pushing on Tamil civilians ,populating sinala families on Tamil lands technically implements day to day.we couldn't find any piece of approaching to conclude Tamils political solution on their war winning campaign sounds

  7. How the Rajapaksa family sleep peacefully, tamils have been brutally killed by his family . One day they will realize, Budha never forgive this family. You can see what happend to Sarath Fonseka?

    Oneday This Satan Family will funished by Budha.

    • Rajapakse family and 20 odd million other Sri Lankans sleep peacefully from north to south, east to west….no more bombs or gunfire. The place is truly paradise!!

      • Even the people in the south are not living peacefully in you land of paradise. Student union leaders and jurnalist are arrested for expressing thier views.

  8. The president and his family are responsible for war crimes and genocide charges. He has to stay in power by all means to avoid being arrested.

    UK channel-4:
    .Sri Lanka video is 'astonishing evidence'Wednesday 08 December 2010 .A leading war crimes lawyer tells Channel 4 News the video apparently showing men taking part in executions in Sri Lanka is "astonishing evidence" and the United Nations must act. http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-video-is-a

  9. Tamils were prosecuted for asking their right to self-dertermination. If they can't live in their choice then what is democracy? Sri Lanka is not ruled by democratic principles. It is ruled by military rule and law. Let Tamil people live in Sri Lanka free from dictators.

    • yeah, Tamils are free of the megalomaniac Prabhakaran and his band of terrorists to live and enjoy freedom…..no more bombs or gunfire….that's peace…..its a shame those terrorists sacrificed all those lives for an unfair demand of 1/3 of the land and 2/3 of coastline for a group which is 15% population…

      • One Terrorist is replaced by another Bigger Terrorist who says he is "democratically elected"!! That is the only difference!!! After spending millions in the war and millions in white washing the "GENOCIDE". The "Democratic TERRORIST" has enriched his and his families bank accounts at the expense of the STATE!!!!

        The damage to the environment and for the people, including the future generations by use of chemical warfare and banned weapons by the "TERRORIST GOVERNMENT" is here to stay for years to come!!!

  10. Sri Lanka video is 'astonishing evidence'
    [ Channel 4 News ][ Dec 08 19:56 GMT ]
    A leading war crimes lawyer tells Channel 4 News the video apparently showing men taking part in executions in Sri Lanka is "astonishing evidence" and the United Nations must act. Last week, Channel 4 News screened new footage showing an alleged massacre of Tamil prisoners in Sri Lanka http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-video-is-a

    • let me finish your sentence……………………………………astonishing evidence of the total annihilation of the terrorists who terrorised the island for 30 years with suicide bombings, ethnic cleansing of north and east and making false claims for 2/3 of Sri Lanka's coastline……now how rich of you to claim genocide? Take that!

      Good riddance boy!

      • Go and look into the history of Sri Lanka before finishing sentences for others.

        Using, phrases such as “….now how rich of you to claim genocide? Take that! Good riddance boy!” does not make your argument stronger or valid. J

        ust don't rely on the Sri Lankan Governments propaganda alone and grow up.

  11. "Buddhist monks gave their blessing"
    yes, they did give their blessing to carry out the war crimes and to colonize and make SriLanka a Buddhist state.

  12. Remove this war criminal from democratic institution and replace some to rule the country.

  13. We should send UN forces to Tamil area and clear all those Sri Lankan army to give peace to Tamil

  14. Rajapakse withdrew a able candidate for the UN Secretary General from Sri Lanka so that he could help someone who would be favorable to him to be the UN Secretary General and then goes to do whatever he wants on the human rights front in Sri Lanka. He prolonged his ability to stay as President so that he could groom his second son who is in the navy ,as his first one who is in parliament has been proving himself as an un suitable candidate . He wants to avoid his brother Basil Rajapakse from running for President in the previous constitutional set up which would have forced him to quit after two terms

  15. a. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8142550.stm
    Sri Lanka orders cuts in aid work, 9 July 2009: ‘'The Sri Lankan government has told international relief agencies to cut back their activities in the country. … But it(ICRC) says an estimated 300,000 displaced people still need food, medicine and help to return home.''

    b. http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/Sr
    Mission Report: Visit by Special Envoy of the Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict, to Sri Lanka, 05-11 December 2009: ‘'It should be noted that the problem of accessing camps for humanitarian personnel persists throughout the country.''

    c. http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/03/no_funds_to_m
    No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan, 13 March 2010: ''The funding crisis follows the government's refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)…. The UN and other humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to meet the urgent needs of internally displaced persons in the North. …''

  16. Julia,

    The statement that "historically, Sri Lanka has been a beacon of democracy in the Indian Ocean region, despite its civil unrest" is factually wrong.

    Only in matters of appearance is SL a democracy and unfortunately this where most reporters, scholars, and diplomats stop.

    In fact the country political structure is best described as an Ethnocracy (led by Singhalese ethnic supremacy) or Majoritarian State that is being transformed into a full dictatorship with elements being formally introduced in the 1978 Constitution under which the president gained:

    i)absolute immunity from lawsuits of any kind;
    ii)all the powers of cabinet, including control over the civil service;
    iii)the power to appoint or dismiss the prime minister at will;
    iv)and the ability to dissolve parliament a year after its election.

    the latest amendment to the constitution granted the president control of nearly all key public sector appointments and removes the limitation of the ruling party to use public spending to fund its own re-elections among other things.

    The supreme court in SL is a joke and in Rajapaksa's pocket. There is no rule of law in the entire country esp the Tamil areas where killings, abductions, and rape regularly take place at the hands of the Singhalese army.

    SL is post LTTE. Not post war. Not post ethnic conflict. The war in SL is against the Tamils by the Singhalese majority.

    This isn't an easy subject to write about b/c of the SL govt targets independent media, human rights activists and of course the Tamil people. But I encourage you to dig deep in your analysis and synthesis your findings to reveal the truth as to what is taking place.

  17. Justice in retreat: A report on the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka, International Bar Association, May 2009:
    Many of the problems identified in the 2001 IBAHRI Report continue to affect the independence of the legal profession and the rule of law in Sri Lanka and in some respects the situation has deteriorated significantly. Judicial independence, the increase in threats and attacks against lawyers filing fundamental rights applications, representing terrorist suspects and taking anti-corruption cases, and the situation of journalists are areas of particular concern.''

  18. War Crimes in Sri Lanka, International Crisis Group, 17 May 2010:
    ''… UN-mandated international inquiry should be the priority, ….''

    Sri Lanka: Government Proposal Won't Address War Crimes, Human Rights Watch, 7 May 2010

    Call on UN to investigate Sri Lanka rights violations, Amnesty International, 17 May 2010

  19. http://www.asianews.eu/news-en/Vanni,-northern-Sr
    Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where war has never ended, Melanie Manel Perera, 1 June 2010:
    ''The area is still actually in the hands of the military, which allowed the return of the population but force them to live in absolute poverty. The military blocks any attempts to improve their lives, but does not stop abuse and violence. … In view of the massive needs of the population for basic services and infrastructure, and the very weak civil administration and reluctance of the government to allow NGOs access to help those in need, people are compelled to depend on the military for even basic services like water…. Permission has been rejected for counselling, capacity building and empowerment activities.''

  20. http://news.rediff.com/slide-show/2010/feb/08/sli… The story of Sri Lanka, then and now, Prof Adele Barker(University of Arizona), 8 February 2010:
    ‘'The military presence in the country is enormous, much greater than when I was there in 2006 … It took me four months to get authorisation from the Ministry of Defence to travel north…. It was clear to us that the government was not eager to have foreigners or NGOs up there. Strangely, it was easier to go there in 2005 than it was this December. ….''
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/201
    Sri Lanka's human-rights and free-speech problems need international attention, Seattle Times, Peter Mountford, 26 February 2010: ‘' In post-civil war Sri Lanka, where democratic institutions are more imperiled than ever, the international press has a vital role to play — even more important than the diplomatic efforts of our governments — in forcing greater transparency and accountability. … Since the Sri Lankan press can't speak up for itself, it's the duty of the international press to speak on its behalf.''

  21. Human Rights Watch:
    "This horrific new evidence demonstrates graphically that the Sri Lankan army engaged in summary executions of prisoners during the final days of fighting in May 2009," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The government's failure to investigate these serious war crimes in the face of overwhelming evidence shows the need for an independent, international investigation." http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/12/08/sri-lanka-a

  22. Get him on the next Tamil illegal imigrant shp to Canada. He could be Prime Minister.

    • Well, thank you for at least staying on topic.

  23. His 2005 and 2010 election manifesto said that he would reduce the power of the executive presidency but went on to maximise it by passing the 18th Amendment annulling the 17th Amendment which has checks and balances on the executive presidency. The President who introduced the Executive Presidency in 1978 said that he could do anything but change a man into a woman and a woman into a man.

  24. Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka 's Civil Wars(2005), Prof John Richardson: In 1993, Arun Gandhi invited me to contribute to a volume, entitled World Without Violence by choosing one of the following:
    1. Wealth without work, 2. Pleasure without conscience, 3. Knowledge without character, 4. Commerce without morality, 5. Science without humanity, 6. Worship without sacrifice, 7. Politics without principle and 8. Rights without responsibilities.
    I chose 'politics without principle' and drew two lessons from Sri Lanka 's experience.

  25. Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development- A POLICY ORIENTED ANALYSIS, John Richardson(1996) “Democracy alone cannot ensure ethnic harmony. Instead, it may allow freer expression of ethnic antagonisms and legalised persecution of minorities. In Sri Lanka, both S.W.R.D. and Sirimavo Bandaranaike won democratic elections by appealing to Buddhist-Sinhalese nationalist sentiments and denigrating the ethnic Tamils. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Communist Party Chief of Serbia and General Franjo Tudjman of Croatia won their presidencies by appealing to the most divisive aspects of Serbian and Croatian nationalism”.

  26. There is no democracy, no low and order in Sri Lanka, if you are a Tamil then you are a suspect by most of the Sinhala people.

  27. Who cares? It's just another third world sh*thole.

  28. Survival of WikiLeaks from brewing legal challenges in the U.S. Courts is essential for bringing charges of war-crimes and crimes against humanity against Sri Lanka officials. A recently released cable from US Embassy in Colombo has revealed U.S. diplomats believed "responsibility for many alleged [war] crimes rests with the country's senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka." The remaining 3324 cables from Colombo are likely to contain information of interest to Tamils on the evolution of US policy towards Sri Lanka conflict.

  29. One thing everyone forgets! What did the Canadian government do to Tamils in this stage of killings, abductions, rapes and executions? Harper was helping the SL government and alianating Tamils and still do the same.

  30. Srilanka's Sinhala population is almost 80% of th Country's population. I am not surprise If the current presudent get 80% of the votes! because Sinhala people always vote Sinhala leader who kill more Tamils. Go and review 70 years of Srilankan history; Then you know. This world must impliment some new laws to protect minorities from the governments like Srilanka? will this $$$ hungry world will do something??? I really don't think so !!!!

    • Thought this was deserving of one more posting and you're "it"…

      Well, nice to see your commend of the English language is almost perfect… but not so much as to mistake you for anything other than a Tamil sympathizer.
      Is that the first thing you people learn when you come here? How to use the "comments" section on all the news sites? Because nothing generates the offal on these coments sites quite like the Tamil/Sri Lanka sideshow. Maybe you should like settle in and become Canadian shopkeeps or whatever, and stop the student-level hysteria on Sri Lanka, it will never be a Tamil dominated land, but you could have a Province if you asked nice.

  31. We the people of Sri lanka fully support President Rajapaksa. We will never yield to terrorists sympathisers. Minorities are welcome to enjoy all rights that the majority community enjoy HOWEVER we will NOT allow anyone to divide Sri Lanka. Tamilians who keep dreaming of Peelam should focus their efforts in the old west since this is something that will NEVER happen in Sri lanka

  32. Is this really going to benefit the country?!

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