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Veteran Communist DEW recalls modern-day bonds between China and Lanka

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Two landmark achievements of the Chinese people during the last decade were the alleviation of abject poverty and the new Silk Road Economic Project (Belt and Road Initiative). China lifted 800 million people out of abject poverty. More than one hundred countries have gained entry to BRI, President of the Commemorative Committee of the 65th Anniversary of Sri Lanka – China Diplomatic Relations Dew Gunasekara, has told an event held recently at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre, Colombo.

Among those present on the occasion were Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, former President Maithripala Sirisena, former PM Ranil Wickremasinghe and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China,Russia, Vietnam and Cuba

Gunasekera said at the outset, “May I convey our fraternal greetings to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, Comrade Xi Jin Ping and other comrades on this significant occasion of the 65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations?

“Sri Lanka – China-friendly relations are more important and relevant today than ever, domestically, regionally and globally.

“Why?”

Firstly, the 1st Century belongs to Asia after 500 years since the 15th Century; Asia has become the vanguard of the World Economy.

“Secondly, Asia is more united than ever before.

“Thirdly, with the withdrawal of US Forces from Afghanistan, Asia relatively is more peaceful, particularly as peace is dawning for the people of the Middle East since the 2nd World War.

“Fourthly, China is today the engine of growth in the Asian Economy.

The 20th Century had witnessed two world wars, so many National Liberation struggles, the birth of new Independent States, the birth of Republics also many military coups and conspiracies, ethnic and religious conflicts engineered by Imperialists.

“We entered the 21st Century with hopes and aspirations for a better future. Now a new era is emerging as China has become the second-largest economy in the world.

“Looking back, the whole historical process of transition in Asia commenced with the first Democratic Revolution of China in 1911. The feudal kingdom was abolished. However Imperialism and feudalism prevented China from enacting a new republican constitution–so the task of the second Democratic Revolution was bestowed on the Young Communist Party of China which accomplished that historic task in 1949.

“The Chinese revolution was a source of strength and inspiration to the people in the rest of Asia. From 1949 till 1975 i.e., the end of the Vietnam War, China had been for 26 years isolated from the rest of the world.

“The contribution made by Chinese people for the course of national and social liberation in Asia is significantly remembered with deep respect to the Chinese leadership.

“China after the Revolution had to rebuild from scratch. It regained its seat in the UN only in 1976.

” So, China had to look for a new economic strategy in the context of global trends of economic globalization and neo-liberalism. The new strategy of openness and reforms initiated under the dynamic leadership of Deng Xiao Ping was the turning point of New China.

“The 21st Century witnessed the rise of China in the global economy. Since 2010 China had a phenomenal economic growth of development turning China into the second-largest economy in the world.

“In 2021, despite the global economic downturn and negative effects of COVID-19, China became a $ 19 trillion economy. At the start of the Century in the year 2000, it was only $ 7 trillion. It is now advanced in all spheres of economic activity. Chinese advancement in science and technology is miraculous.

“These changes unprecedented in human history are taking place under the dynamic leadership of Xi Jin Ping – General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.

“China being the largest exporter, the largest importer, largest food producer, largest foreign exchange reserve, a huge market with a middle class alone of 500 million people is a decisive factor in the global economy.

“Chinese economists have devised new instruments and mechanisms in order to face the challenges of the global economic crisis. With the disruption of the supply chain with the onset of COVID- 19 Chinese economists through a mechanism of dual circulation diverted excess exports from the export market into the internal market.

” Karl Marx had predicted the potential market of China as a decisive factor, Vladimir Lenin in his last theoretical contribution has also stressed the need for a Chinese Revolution for the Socialist Transformation. This is precisely why the Sri Lanka-China friendship is all important today. The significance of the Bandung principles of peace and peaceful co-existence has become more relevant today.

“The reality of the new China is recognised by all and that is precisely why all political party leaders are gracing this occasion with their kind presence.

“Dr. S.A. Wickremasinghe, the founding leader of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka was the first to meet the leaders of the Chinese Revolution in 1950, soon after the Revolution. The first political party delegation was led by Phillip Gunawardena. The first Cabinet Minister who visited new China was R.G. Senanayake, Minister of Trade and Commerce in the Dudley Senanayake Government.

“The first Buddhist monk, who met Thera, was instrumental in forming the Sri Lanka- China Friendship Society, Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation, and Sri Lanka Peace Council?. He was the unknown personality operating behind the Rubber-Rice Agreement.

“The first Government Official to visit China on an official assignment was Prof. Jayantha Kelegama, the eminent economist representing the Ministry of Trade and Commerce. It was in connection with the historic Rubber- Rice Agreement.

“Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was the first head of the government to visit the People’s Republic of China.

“The first Lankan Ambassador to the new People’s Republic of China was Wilmot A. Perera, a pioneer of the Sooriya Mal Movement – one of the vanguards of the Anti-imperialist struggle.

“I take this opportunity to record with deep appreciation the initiative taken by all party leaders for strengthening fraternal Relations. “



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Wimal asks for PSC probe into top officials’ complicity in violence

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Colombo HC lawyers concerned over shocking developments

By Shamindra Ferdinando

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP, says a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) should be appointed to investigate the role played by IGP C.D. Wickremaratne and Public Security Ministry Secretary Maj. Gen. (retd.) Jagath Alwis in the recent SLPP hothead attack on those demanding the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Cabinet of Ministers, including Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Weerawansa yesterday (18) told The Island that Parliament should inquire into the unprovoked attack that triggered an extremely violent response by the public as well as those awaiting an opportunity to unleash violence on selected group of lawmakers on 09 May.

The former Industries Minister said he was confident that Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, PC, would look into the issues at hand.

Responding to another query, Weerawansa said that Senior DIG Colombo Deshabandu Tennakoon’s claim that the IGP and the Public Security Ministry Secretary had interfered with his (Tennakoon’s) plan to disperse the SLPP mobs couldn’t be easily dismissed.

MP Weerawansa declared, in Parliament on Tuesday (17), that the IGP and the Public Security Ministry dissuaded the Senior DIG from performing his duties although he had received specific instructions from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to stop the march on Galle Face. The former JVPer questioned whether those conspirators wanted to show the world the failure on the part of the police and the armed forces to maintain law and order.

Asked whether police headquarters and the Public Security Ministry had responded to his accusations, Weerawansa said he hadn’t been contacted by them so far.

Pointing out that the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL), inquiring into 09 May turmoil had recorded Senior DIG’s statement, Weerawansa said that the outfit could issue an interim statement on the matter.

The Colombo High Court Lawyers’ Association said that the shocking revelation, made in Parliament, should be expeditiously inquired into.

The Association’s President Attorney-at-Law Lakshman Perera said that the ongoing investigations had taken an unexpected turn in the wake of high profile specific allegations pertaining to the conduct of the IGP, as well as the Public Security Ministry Secretary. Pointing out that the HRCSL and the CID had already recorded DIG Tennakoon’s statement, pertaining to the incidents, and the officer was among a group of 22 persons slapped with a travel ban by the Fort Magistrate, lawyer Perera said that the CID couldn’t turn a blind eye to accusations directed at the head of the department as well as Secretary to the relevant ministry.

Lawyer Perera said that investigations couldn’t be completed without verifying accusations made in Parliament.

Lawmaker Weerawansa said that the question was on whose behalf the IGP and the Public Security Ministry Secretary intervened at a time the country was under emergency and after the Senior DIG in charge of Colombo received specific instructions from the President himself.

Although the SLPP goons did not shed any blood or cause any serious injuries, unlike the well-organized mobs that caused havoc across the country thereafter, MP Weerawansa said that he couldn’t comprehend why the police and the armed forces allowed the situation to develop to an extremely dangerous level.

The HRCSL in its initial reaction to the unprovoked attacks on those who had been demanding the resignation of the government condemned the violence caused by a group of people who made it very clear that violence was their intention.

HRCSL Chairperson retired Supreme Court Justice Rohini Marasinghe said: “The failure of the police to prepare for this eventuality and prevent and manage the violence and destruction is a gross failure of public order. There must be an immediate inquiry into this matter. The inaction of the police to prevent the clash is condemned.”

The Island brought the latest developments to the notice of the HRCSL yesterday as MP Weerawansa said that those who conspired and planned the project that involved those at the helm of Temple Trees then and the SLPP should be arrested. The conspirators shouldn’t be allowed to escape justice while the CID arrested those who carried out the actual attacks.

Police spokesman SSP Nihal Thalduwa said that the department couldn’t respond to what transpired in Parliament. Acknowledging that he was aware of the allegations made in Parliament, Attorney-at-Law Thalduwa said in case their response was sought through proper channels, whatever the queries would be answered.

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Dr. Pathirana says IGP, Public Security Ministry Secy. allowed goon attacks

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Galle District parliamentarian Dr. Ramesh Pathirana has reiterated that IGP C.D. Wickremaratne and Secretary to the Public Security Ministry, Maj. General (retd) Jagath Alwis had facilitated the 09 May unprovoked attack on anti-government protesters.

The former Minister Pathirana declared in Parliament yesterday (18) that National Freedom Front (NFF) leader MP Wimal Weerawansa’s allegation, pertaining to the origins of the violence, was true.

Dr. Pathirana said that he was among those who had brought supporters to attend a meeting chaired by the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The vast majority of those who attended the Temple Trees meet on May 09 wanted to thank the war-winning President as he gave up active politics, the MP said. However, some unscrupulous members had instigated the participants there.

Dr. Pathirana said he had been at Temple Trees at that time and as he feared violence could erupt due inflammatory speeches, contact was made with Senior DIG in charge of Colombo Deshabandu Tennakoon. Dr. Pathirana said that the senior police officer had assured him that the police were ready to face the situation and confident of preventing those who attended the Temple Trees function from reaching Galle Face.

“Thereafter, I left Temple Trees for a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. There were several other members. When trouble erupted, President Rajapaksa immediately got in touch with Senior DIG Tennakoon, who revealed he had been asked not to use force by the IGP himself.”

Dr. Pathirana said the President had asked the senior law enforcement officer why he didn’t carry out instructions issued by him (the President).

The Galle District MP emphasised that the IGP and the Secretary to the Public Security Ministry were responsible for the violence at Kollupitiya and Fort police areas which triggered violence in many parts of the country. (SF)

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New Deputy Speaker not from Rajapaksa political dynasty

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Newly-elected Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapaksa said that he was not a member of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s clan.

The Hambantota District Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) lawmaker said so when The Island asked him whether he, too, was a member of the Rajapaksa family now under fire over the continuing political-economic-social turmoil.

Rajapaksa polled 109 votes at a secret vote held in Parliament on Tuesday (17) to secure the Deputy Speaker’s post. MP Rajapaksa defeated Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Rohini Kaviratne, who polled 78 votes.

The SLPP rebel group members refrained from voting for Rajapaksa after the top SLPP leadership ignored their appeal to fill the vacancy through consultations with the SJB.

Rajapaksa succeeded SLFP’s Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, who quit the post twice, the second occasion after beating SJB’s Imthiaz Bakeer Markar at a secret vote.

Deputy Speaker Rajapaksha said that he had served as the Chairman of the Ambalanthota Pradeshiya Sabha in 1997. Subsequently, he became a member of the Southern Provincial Council.

Asked whether he was a resident of the Rajapaksas’ home base, Deputy Speaker said that he was from Pallerotta, Ambalantota. (SF)

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