Gotabaya agrees to term-limits for Presidency – “I need only one term”

ECONOMYNEXT – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa says he wants his party to get a two-thirds majority in Parliament to make changes in the Constitution but not necessarily revert to the 18th Amendment which did away with term limits to the Presidency.

“I have no objection to term limits, in fact, I think I need only one-term to fulfil my intentions,” he told reporters in Colombo on Thursday.

He is opposed to the independent commissions he said, because “these commissions are not truly independent and are political.”

He said that during the Presidential Elections one member of the Elections Commission expressed views contrary to the rest of the Commission in public fora.

“How is this commission to function when one member goes out and expresses a different opinion in public?” the President asked.

Missing persons

STILL WAITING – Relatives of missing persons demonstrate in an undated photo, anxiously awaiting information

Pressed by reporters on the question of Missing Persons Rajapaksa repeated his assertions that most of the missing are deceased. “When there is a war going on a lot of combatants die and some of the bodies cannot be recovered. So their families believe they are missing because they have not seen the remains.”

He said that there some 4,000 Sri Lankan Armed Forces personnel declared missing. “At Muhamalai we lost more than a hundred soldiers and when the bodies were given to us by the Red Cross sometime later they were unrecognizable. So we did not accept the bodies,” he said.

When one reporter said that many of the families were asking for the whereabouts of family members who surrendered to the Armed Forces he said “there may be specific cases. But you can’t generalize.”  Asked about missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda the President said: “we don’t know whether he is alive or dead.”

Militarization

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Asked to comment on militarization and the appointment of ex-Military officers to key government positions, he said past governments had also done so and “nobody said anything. When I do it people point to it.”

He said by the time an officer becomes a General he would have followed at least 20 courses overseas and acquired considerable knowledge and skills. “These officers are result-oriented and countries around the world use their skills, so why not us,” he asked.(Colombo, March 5, 2020)

-Arjuna Ranawana 

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4 Comments

  1. Mr.president git it wrong ,
    Missing persons after the war ended ,Including Reverend Father Josep Francis.these people who surrendered by them self or handed over by relatives to security forces.arrested /captured by the security forces.
    The relatives of missing persons,the world community cannot be easily fooled. Karma will haunt culprits forever.
    Tamils should find another way to get justice.

  2. Please Sir, dont do that, I know , you are now past 70, Take take a loan from my life span. And do the job. otherwise our mother land will be SL-SORRY. COM.
    Militarization: why not,in simple lanuage, they are the only people who engage their brains into their work. As you said, we are a independant sovereign country , we do the things the way it suits us, not the the way the west want us to be , you are only boy who can do that. NATION is with you Sir. I mean not only the Sinhala, Muslims As well as Tamils. we are all with you. MAY YOU HAVE THE BLESSINGS OF THE TRIPLE GEM.

  3. Agree with your views Mr. President.
    How many missing persons there would be in Iraq, Libya, Afganistan, Vietnam ect., ???
    Its war and missing are inevitable…………
    No one accounts for missing persons other than handover bodies or the skeletal remains or Dog tags which still happen of those Americans dead in Viet war.
    Our issue in Sri Lanka is politicised. They Northern politicians keep these agitations going to achieve their own ends. Also the Diaspora is still riding on LTTe for financial gains and for the consumption of INGOs to bully Sri Lanka into submission to tow a Western line and their agendas vice versa West is capitalising such issues to bring the GOSL to heel.
    Mr. Prez., we must establish a seperate department where all NGOs have to Register with their intended project Report, and Monies received & order Audits and list of Foreign & Local employees registered.

  4. It is not unusual to seek only one term, as even MS did – a SL political pattern. The truth
    here is that during this one term the sole aim is to get himself and his extended family
    members off the hook in the shortest way – amend 19th Amendmentfor Presidential lifetime, immunity & that is why the 2/3rd sought

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