Sri Lanka: From National Security to Soothsayers — Revisiting Karannagoda Report

The findings in the report suggest that the highest naval officer in independent Sri Lanka manipulated a nationally important case to fulfil his desire for vindication.

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Happiness of receiving a lagniappe: Admiral of the Fleet Wasantha Karannagoda sworn in as North Western Province Governor. [Photo: President Media Division, Sri Lanka ]

by Our Defence Affairs Editor

The recent revelation of leaked pages from the Karannagoda report has sparked a lot of interest among the Sri Lankan public. One particular aspect that caught everyone’s attention was the involvement of a well-known soothsayer named Gnana Maniyo. Gnana Maniyo, a former hospital attendant turned soothsayer, has attracted a significant following among corrupt and wicked individuals in the country by promising good fortune. Despite criticisms against her, she has managed to accumulate wealth and power by hook or crook. Many leading politicians and businessmen have sought her protection and guidance, and it is rumoured that she even advised then the highest politician on which side to support when Russia launched a limited military action on Ukraine to “demilitarize” and “Denazify.” But it is surprising to note, according to the sources with knowledge of this incident, that Gnana Maniyo, despite her influential position, was not even aware of the existence of a country named Ukraine.

However, her success story is one of the best in the history of deception in Sri Lanka. Her rise to power and influence is a testament to her cunning and ability to manipulate people for her own gain.

The leaked pages of the Karannagoda report have shed light on how hard the board of inquiry worked to find the inability of security forces in protecting this soothsayer’s property. Krannagoda’s emotional reaction to Gnana Maniyo’s involvement in the investigation is understandable. It is a tragic reminder of the rot that has set in the country’s political and social structures. The authorities must take steps to curb the influence of such individuals and ensure that the country’s resources are used for the benefit of its citizens. What we believed is that Gnana Maniyo’s story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked power and the need for transparency and accountability in all spheres of life.

As we delve deeper into the Karannagoda report and its findings, we cannot help but question the Admiral of the Fleet’s extra focus on protecting the property of a soothsayer while leaving the residences of many legislators vulnerable to angry protestors. According to the report (point 17 of page 7), over 250 Army personnel were deployed to protect Gnana Maniyo’s house in Anuradhapura, yet they were unable to prevent the damage and arson that occurred. The question that needs to be asked is why such a large number of troops were deployed to protect the property of a single individual, especially one whose profession is considered by many to be fraudulent.

Karannagoda must answer to the nation on which ordinance or legal provision empowered the army to protect the property of a soothsayer instead of blaming security personnel for not protecting hers. It is absurd that a soothsayer would become a pivotal person in the national security of the country while many other narratives were left unattended. The report raises serious questions about the priorities of those in power and their willingness to use state resources to protect the interests of a select few. It is a clear violation of the principles of democracy and accountability, and it is up to the authorities to take swift action to rectify the situation.

Let us not forget that the duty of the armed forces is to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation, not the properties of fraudulent soothsayers. It is time for us to demand a clear and honest accounting of the events that led to the deployment of troops to protect Gnana Maniyo’s house and to ensure that such actions are never repeated in the future.

As we argued yesterday, the Karannagoda report has proven that he is the least credible person to be assigned such an important task. The report is a clear indication that he played politics instead of prioritizing the norms and ethics of transparency and impartiality. The findings in the report suggest that the highest naval officer in independent Sri Lanka manipulated a nationally important case to fulfil his desire for vindication. Furthermore, it is important to hold Karannagoda accountable for abusing the power vested in this Board of Inquiry. His actions have tarnished the reputation of the Sri Lankan Navy and the country as a whole.

Should we allow individual political stooges like Karannagoda to use their positions and power to manipulate nationality important cases for their own personal gain? The consequences of such actions can be devastating for the country and its people. The Karannagoda report is a clear indication of the need for greater transparency and accountability of inquirers. It is up to the authorities to take swift action to rectify the situation and to ensure that individuals like Karannagoda are held accountable for their actions.

We must demand answers from our leaders and hold them accountable for their actions. The people of Sri Lanka deserve transparency and fairness, and it is only through collective action and persistent questioning that we can achieve these goals. Only then can we build a better future for Sri Lanka and its people. The people of Sri Lanka deserve better than the current state of affairs, and it is up to all of us to work towards a brighter future.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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