An Echelon Media Company
Friday December 9th, 2022

Sri Lankans express anger, frustration over president’s tweet after cricket win 

Sri Lanka won the ODI series against Australia for the first time in 30 years. Picture Credit: International Cricket Council

ECONOMYNEXT – Hundreds of Sri Lankans, battered by the country’s worst ever forex crisis, took to Twitter to vent their frustration at President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this week when he tweeted a congratulatory message to the national cricket team which won a five-match cricket series against Australia.

A young Sri Lankan cricket team won the fourth game held in Colombo by just four runs to secure a series win after conquering the five-time world champions.

“Congratulations to Sri Lanka cricket team on the win against Australia in the one day series. The sportsmanship shown by the Sri Lankan team has been remarkable. People of Sri Lanka are also grateful for the support given by Cricket Australia to overcome the economic challenges in Sri Lanka,” Rajapaksa tweeted. 

Sri Lankans, who have been going pillar to post to feed their families and ensure essentials like fuel, cooking gas, medicines, food, and milk powder amid lengthy power cuts, took their frustration out on the president who had just turned 73 a few days prior.

It was the first time Sri Lanka had won a series against mighty Australia in 30 years.

Many Sri Lankans see Rajapaksa and his family as responsible for the current economic crisis. Thousands of young, nonpartisan protesters have been demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation for 76 days as of Thursday July 23 near the presidential secretariat in Colombo. Over this period, Sri Lanka saw a change in prime ministers as well as the resignation of the entire cabinet twice over.

However, Rajapaksa has said he cannot leave as a “failed president” and has vowed see his term to its completion in November 2025.

“You obviously never played any sport. That is why you do not know how to accept defeat. You are a failed President. Please GO,” responded one Twitter user.

“At least learn from cricket how to make way for someone more capable than you,” another tweep said.

“Please resign and make this moment even better to give some relief to the grievances of the nation,” said another.

Some of the tweeps used abusive language in response to the president’s congratulatory tweet, and many demanded that he step down due what they called his abject failure.

“No. This is victory for the cricket team. Your dismissal is the real victory for all Sri Lankans,” said one tweet.

“Please Mr President keep out of this. The SL cricket team is the only entertainment and [source of] pride we are left with,” said another.

“How can the Australian cricket team help to overcome economic challenges? Did they bring dollars in the plane? Pls don’t take credit for our team’s win,” another tweeted.

Some more tweets are reproduced below:

“Dont think people will be delusional with this win and forget to remind you about the most important message…..” GOTAGOHOME”

“Namal went, Cricket prospered You go, Watch how the country will prosper.”

“A young team of cricketers put us back on the winning streak. Please handover the reigns to a team that can win – we as a country need to rejoice and winning back our lives we had.”

“Please don’t try to get involved in this [and] screw this one up too. Just let it be the way it is. You are NOT needed.”

One Twitter user had used crossed out images of President Rajapaksa, current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, former prime minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa with the line: “There is no point of cultivating without removing weeds”.

Thousands of Sri Lankans started spontaneous protests over the looming economic crisis early in March when Rajapaksa’s government started to impose power cuts and struggled to import fuel and cooking gas due to a crippling dollar shortage – a shortage that experts have blamed directly on ill-advised policies of the government.

Rajapaksa is also blamed for his disastrous ban on chemical (inorganic) fertilizer without providing any alternative to farmers. As a results, the country has seen record high food prices due to a shortfall in farmland produce and lack of fuel to transport agricultural commodities.

The president also appointed himself as the Defence and Digital Technology Minister and appointed his elder brother Mahinda as Prime Minister. His oldest brother Chamal was made Minister of Irrigation while younger brother Basil became Finance Minister. His nephew and Mahinda’s son Namal, meanwhile, was appointed Youth and Sports Minister, while another nephew Shasheendra Rajapaksa, son of Chamal, was named deputy agriculture minister.

The powerful political dynasty controlled the country through the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) even as the economic crisis turned into a full blown political crisis by early April. Since then, Rajapaksa was forced to remove his family members from key position due to strong protests by the public.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after his supporters brutally attacked unarmed and peaceful protesters in Colombo on May 9. A court has ordered that he surrender his passport and police has questioned him over a meeting with his supporters held just before the attack. May 09 saw violent clashes, with over 70 ruling party members’ houses and assets either damaged or burnt.

The president later appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister, but analysts say nothing has been done to supply essentials to the public with the crisis now getting worse.

Sri Lankan Twitter users had some choice words for their head of state.

“It’s time to go home”, “What do you know about sportsmanship”, “Devil, we are at fuel queues. It’s better if you go even now”, “Don’t screw up the little happiness the fans enjoy, pls leave”, and “OK, now you resign. Then it’ll be the perfect day” were among the responses that saw much engagement. (Colombo/Jun22/2022)

Comments (4)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Expat says:

    Politics is different from cricket or any conventional game of play; it is like hitting a volley ball with a cricket bat. Here, the batsman does not hit the ball with a bat, rather he hits the bat with a ball. He does not run but the audience has to run after the batsman. Even if you run you can catch him only once in five years! Miss-catches and run-outs are the faults of the audience! People in developing countries who make comments do not understand the game but lament; why? They play without understanding who the real players are. They think President is the player. When will they understand that he is only a football in cricket!

  2. lanka says:

    Well done Mr president. What some idiots do not understand is that you have the human right as a person to express your own opinion regarding the SLC victory. Some bigots think that everyone must speak according to their views and opinions.

  3. Adrian Deutrom says:

    I agree with the general view of the public comments about the president.
    This present president is a laughing stock of this country and worldwide.
    As for his presidential powers, he is doomed to his powers and has nowhere to turn even to hide his face.
    He and his cohort has sucked the life blood out of this beautiful island with corruption, greed and manipulation and his so-called presidential power
    This man had no experience of how to run a country with twenty two million people.

  4. Malwis says:

    There is a very few percentages of mentally distressed people in the society, who are barking all the time at Hon. president. But main public body knows the president and his vision is to take Sri Lanka to the next level.

View all comments (4)

Comments (4)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Expat says:

    Politics is different from cricket or any conventional game of play; it is like hitting a volley ball with a cricket bat. Here, the batsman does not hit the ball with a bat, rather he hits the bat with a ball. He does not run but the audience has to run after the batsman. Even if you run you can catch him only once in five years! Miss-catches and run-outs are the faults of the audience! People in developing countries who make comments do not understand the game but lament; why? They play without understanding who the real players are. They think President is the player. When will they understand that he is only a football in cricket!

  2. lanka says:

    Well done Mr president. What some idiots do not understand is that you have the human right as a person to express your own opinion regarding the SLC victory. Some bigots think that everyone must speak according to their views and opinions.

  3. Adrian Deutrom says:

    I agree with the general view of the public comments about the president.
    This present president is a laughing stock of this country and worldwide.
    As for his presidential powers, he is doomed to his powers and has nowhere to turn even to hide his face.
    He and his cohort has sucked the life blood out of this beautiful island with corruption, greed and manipulation and his so-called presidential power
    This man had no experience of how to run a country with twenty two million people.

  4. Malwis says:

    There is a very few percentages of mentally distressed people in the society, who are barking all the time at Hon. president. But main public body knows the president and his vision is to take Sri Lanka to the next level.

Sri Lanka bonds close up and while T-bills ease

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka bonds yields went up and the T-bills eased on active trade on Friday, dealers said.

“The bond rates went up, however more interest was seen in the short term bills by the investors” dealers said.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2024 closed at 31.90/32.20 percent on Friday, up from 31.25/70 percent at Thursday’s close.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2026 closed at 30.30/31.30 percent steady from 30.30/31.00 percent.

The three-month T-bills closed at 30.75/31.30 percent, down from 32.00/32.25 percent.

The Central Bank’s guidance peg for interbank transactions was at 363.18 rupees against the US dollar unchanged.

Commercial banks offered dollars for telegraphic transfers between 371.78 and 372.00 for small transactions, data showed.

Buying rates are between 361.78 – 362.00 rupees. (Colombo/Dec 09/2022)

Continue Reading

Foreign minister, US ambassador discuss future assistance to crisis-hit Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT — In a meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Ali Sabry and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung discussed ways in which the United States can continue to support Sri Lanka going forward, the Ambassador said.

Chung tweeted Friday December 09 afternoon that the two officials had reflected on the “twists and turns” of 2022, at the meeting.

Minister Sabry was recently in Washington D.C. where he US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

A foreign ministry statement said the two officials held productive discussions at the Department of State on December 02 on further elevating bilateral relations in diverse spheres, including the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations which will be marked in 2023.

Incidentally, Sri Lanka also celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence from the British in 2023, and President Ranil Wickremesinghe has given himself and all parties that represent parliament a deadline to find a permanent solution to Sri Lanka’s decades-long ethnic issue.

The US has been vocal about Sri Lanka addressing concerns about its human rights record since the end of the civil war in 2009 and was a sponsor of the latest resolution on Sri Lanka passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. Unlike previous resolutions, this year’s iteration makes specific reference to the country’s prevailing currency crisis and calls for investigations on corruption allegations.

In the lead up to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva, Minister Sabry Sri Lanka’s government under then new president Wickremesinghe does not want any confrontation with any international partner but will oppose any anti-constitutional move forced upon the country.

On the eve of the sessions on October 06, Sabry said countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom, who led the UNHRC core group on Sri Lanka, are greatly influenced by domestic-level lobbying by pressure groups from the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora.

These pronouncements notwithstanding, the Wickremesnghe government has been making inroads to the West as well as India and Japan, eager to obtain their assistance in seeing Sri Lanka through the ongoing crisis.

The island nation has entered into a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an extended fund facility of 2.9 billion dollars to be disbursed over a period of four years, subject to a successful debt restructure programme and structural reforms.

Much depends on whether or not China agrees to restructure Sri Lanka’s 7.4 billion dollar outstanding debt to the emerging superpower. Beijing’s apparent hesitance to go for a swift restructure prompted Tamil National Alliance MP Shanakiyan Rasamanickam to warn of possible “go home, China” protests in Colombo, similar to the wave of protests that forced the exit of former pro-China President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The TNA will be a key player in upcoming talks with the Wickremesinghe government on a solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic issue. (Colombo/Dec09/2022)

Continue Reading

India smogs out Sri Lanka’s China tower observers

 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Chinese-built Lotus Tower has halved visitors to its observation deck an official said as dirty air flowing from India triggered air quality warnings and schools in the capital closed.

“Masks are mandatory at the observation deck and roughly around 50 to 60 can go up to the observation deck at a time, time limits have not been altered and still persists at 20 minutes for observation,” the official told EconomyNext.

Prior to the smog, 120 observers were permitted at once to the deck.

However, even after limitations the Lotus Tower has continued to draw visitors, and revenues are coming in, the official said.

The tower built with a Chinese loan by the cash rich Telecom Regulatory Commission has been described by critics as a white elephant that eats the money earned from telecom operators mainly as spectrum fees.

Sri Lanka’s National Building Research Organization (NBRO) said India air heavily polluted with particulate matter was flowing across the island into a depression in the South West Bengal Bay. (Colombo/Dec09/2022)

 

 

Continue Reading