2 December, 2021

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A Century To Mrs B, The Woman Who Took Sri Lanka To The World!

By Sulakshi Thelikorala 
-

Dr. Sulakshi Thelikorala

Dr. Sulakshi Thelikorala

The 100th birthday of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike falls on the 17th of April 2016. Mrs Bandaranaike has been the most charismatic and influential female leader in Sri Lankan politics. Known as Mrs B, Sirima, Sirimavo or methini, Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike holds the title of first female Prime Minister of the world.

Late 20th century saw a few remarkable Asian ladies revolutionising the global political arena, pioneering the entry of women into world politics. Mrs B was one of them, succeeding after her husband and coming to power in an era where women were not eminent in world politics, later followed by leaders like Indira Gandhi from India who was world’s longest serving woman Prime Minister.

Mrs B was the successor to Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) after the assassination of her husband, starting a family lineage of well-known Bandaranaike’s in Sri Lankan politics. Her terms in office led to a golden era of Sri Lanka’s foreign relations. She has left unremarkable memories of Sri Lanka in world history with her mediocre foreign policy. She was highly recognised in politics despite being a woman, a leader with very good diplomatic skills, charisma and charm.

Sirima BandaranaikeDigging a bit into the history, Sirima Ratwatte was born to Barnes Ratwatte and Rosalind Mahawelatenne Kumarihamy on 17th April 1916, a century ago! She was the eldest daughter of the family of six, with four brothers and one sister. The ancestral family, Ratwattes belonged to an aristocratic background the Radala’s who stand high in the local cast hierarchy. The family had hailed from Matale and was well connected to local politics as one of the ancestor was known to be the signatory on behalf of the Sinhalese to the Kandyan Convention of 1815. Her father Barnes Ratwatte, has been a Disawa (local leader) in Sabaragamuwa and her mother coming from a respected lineage of the Mahawelatenne Walauwa in Balangoda.

Sirima has been educated at one of Colombo’s most elite private girl’s schools; St Bridget’s Convent and was not a political figure until the demise of her husband. In 1940, at the age of 24, Sirima had married politically affluent Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. He was hailing from a political family and was then a member of the State council. He was also the founder of SLFP and later the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon. Sirima and SWRD had three children Sunethra, Chandrika and Anura who are also well known in the Sri Lankan political arena.

Sirima’s entry to politics is quite sudden following the demise of her husband, Mr SRWD Bandaranaike. SWRD was shot on the 26th of September 1959 by a man dressed in a yellow robe when he was serving as the countries fourth Prime Minister.

Several key political issues within SLFP led Sirima to make her way as the legitimate successor of SLFP. One such reason was the leadership vacuum created in SLFP after a sequence of events, especially the 1960 March Election defeat under the leadership of Wijeyananda Dahanayake. Within months of SLFP leadership, Sirima led the party to a landslide victory when SLFP won 1960 July General Election taking 75 out of 150 seats and Dudley Senananayake led UNP being defeated. Thus, she became the first woman Prime Minister in the world.

It is believed that her pledge to the nation – she would follow the footsteps of her husband and his socialist policies supported the victory. Moreover, it is believed that promising to bring forth the Sinhala Only Act and carry out repatriation of the estate Tamils to India too played a helping role in securing votes. Known as the “weeping widow” for frequently bursting into tears during the election campaign, was also contributory to her fame during this period.

Taking a look at the Sri Lankan foreign policy, the post independent era foreign policy has followed much of a pro west approach under the rule of the UNP regime until 1956. ( D.S. Senanayake – 1948 to 1952 , Dudley Senanayake – 1952 to 1953 and Sir John Kotelawala – 1953 to 1956). Nevertheless, in 1956 the Sri Lankan foreign policy underwent a significant drift with Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike winning a landslide election, ending the UNP regime of eight years. Unlike the UNP regime, Bandaranaike regime is supported by the communist and other socialist groups of Sri Lanka, thus it deviates from the pro west to a more socialist approach, yet neutral in the international arena.

Bandaranaikes were known as socialists, who described themselves as leaders representing the “little man”, thus they were largely supported by socialists groups in the country. Mrs B was no different than her husband. Coming to power Mrs B followed the footsteps of Mr SWRD Bandaranaike and was principally supported by a strong team of Communists in Sri Lanka. She started her journey with the principal of nationalisation of many sectors of the Sri Lankan economy. She nationalised schools, banks, insurance and petroleum. She changed the countries official language from English to Sinhala and conducted all government business in Sinhala.

The policy of nationalism led to the deterioration of relationship with the West. The relationship with USA deteriorated due to nationalisation of oil importation and distribution in Sri Lanka. The oil monopoly of Sri Lanka after independence was mainly held by the west accounting to 80% of Sri Lanka’s oil requirement. The importation and distribution of oil in Ceylon was handled by two American companies- Caltex and Standard Vacuum American and Shell, a British company. As a result the prices of oil were subjected to sky rocketed monopolistic prices. In reducing the import cost of oil to Sri Lanka whilst saving foreign exchange, the Sirimavo government established the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation in 1961. By the 1st of January 1964 Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation came into effect in as the sole and exclusive right to import, export and distribute specified petroleum products in Sri Lanka breaking down the monopoly of western oil companies and partially taking them over facing repercussions as suspended of foreign aid by USA in return.

Thus, the pro west nature of Sri Lankan politics in the previous UNP regime changed even though Bandaranaike’s were not considered anti west. As a result, Mrs Bandaranaike moved closer to China and the Soviet Union. Mrs B during her tenures made several visit to China where China had a unique stay in her relations.

Mrs.B’s mediation in the China India border dispute was a remarkable milestone in world history that illustrated her close companionship with both countries as well as her good diplomatic skills. Hence, she played a neutral role as an arbitrator to end the China and India border dispute in 1962. It became an easy task to take both parties to negotiable table due to the cordial relationship she maintained with these two countries and the high regard she had from both these countries.

The foreign policy started by SWRD Bandaranaike, later followed by Mrs Bandaranaike is known as neutral. Mr SWRD Bandaranaike believed in “friends of all and enemies of none”, not aligned to any power bloc in the dawn of a cold war. The Bandaranaike regime was able to make Sri Lanka stand out in world politics as an influential independent nation with neutralism coming close with nonaligned policy.

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) came to play in the light of cold war. NAM is a group of states which are not formally aligned with or against any of these major power blocs. It was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely conceived by India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru; Indonesian president, Sukarno; Egyptian President, Nasser; Ghana’s president Kwame; and Yugoslavia’s president Tito. Mrs. Bandaranayke’s role in NAM was highly respected and accepted by the world leaders. She was chosen as the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement and hosted the fifth summit in Sri Lanka from 16th to 19th August 1976 with the participation of numerous heads of state. To this day it is believed to be the largest event hosted in Sri Lanka, attended by most of the world leaders.

She was gathering popularity as a world leader and enjoyed continued success in foreign affairs unlike any other Sri Lankan leader in the past. Her diplomatic ties extended worldwide, where Sri Lanka commenced diplomatic relations with Egypt, Nepal, Soviet Union, China and Poland. Sri Lankan benefited from her close liaison with several countries by receiving “gifts” of new industrial plants to Sri Lanka such as Kelani Tyre factory, Textile factory and the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH).

Mrs Bandaranaike’s relations with India was special. India being the super power of South Asia, she maintained close links with India as well as the governing Nehru family. Harnessing her close ties with India she took steps to deport estate workers migrated to Sri Lanka to work in plantations during the British rule. After negotiation with Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, she signed the Sirima- Shasthri Pact in 1964 to grant Ceylonese citizenship to 300,000 of the Indian population in Sri Lanka, while 525,000 would be repatriated to India which later in time did not have complete success. The Kachchathivu agreement was another significant pact signed during Mrs.B’s regime. Ownership of the Kachchathivu island was a controversy until 1974 when the island was administered by both countries. Nevertheless after negotiations, Mrs B signed an agreement known as the Sirima – Indira pact recognising the ownership of Kachchathivu to Sri Lanka despite the opposition from South India.

Mrs. B has her contributions to world politics in her own way. She declared the Indian Ocean a Peace Zone at the Non Aligned Movement Conference held in Lusaka, the reason being Diego Garcia, an atoll located south of the equator in the central Indian Ocean used by the USA as a Navy Base in the late sixties. This was a potential threat to shipping routes from Asia to Europe Middle East and Africa. Therefore, with the approval NAM, Sri Lanka initiated the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace to the agenda of 26th UN General Assembly in 1971.

Leaving the international fames aside, Mrs. B faced great challenges and difficulties as a political leader on home soil compared to many other local leaders. The initial challenges came her way at the beginning of her political career with a significant coup against the government. Next was in 1971, an year into her second term in office when youth movements came forth with arms. Yet, it is believed that Mrs B had faced those challenges much better than a mature politician. The final challenge came her way, giving her long pause from politics when her civil rights were taken away in 1977 by the rule of JR Jayewardene, keeping her out of politics for many years. She was not given any opportunity to return to politics until her daughter led a collation to victory in 1994. However, Mrs B is remembered even today as the first female Prime Minister in the World and the leader who gave Sri Lanka the due recognition in the international political arena.

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Latest comments

  • 18
    3

    Yes, yes we remember Mrs B did not take Sri Lankans to the world, but instead to the Dust Bins. Thee was a clamp on overseas trips for Sri Lankans with exchange control.

    • 22
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      Putting “captured” countrymen, who had no other option but to just sit and cop it, through untold pointless misery with her social experiments which she had no comprehension of, Mrs Srimavo Bandaranayake is the Pol Pot of Sri Lankan politics. She did nothing good; not even to her children.

      Now, out of self-interest, let’s not try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

      • 3
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        nimal fernando,

        their your relatives by virtue of Portugese piracy – they changed faith to the tune while you went fishing.
        Srimavo Bandaranayake and SWRD Bandaranayake were from (Golden Balls) nutmeg pirates carted in by the Portuguese from south india.

        Portuguese even bought Chinese to Goa but that was stopped by the locals.

        • 2
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          Pistachio,

          Ah! assumptions, assumptions and more assumptions!

          “nimal fernando” is just a common Sri Lankan name I picked as a handle. Like John Doe. Comprehendo? So, I’ll stay away from your other great insights.

          ” their your relatives”

          All are my relatives! If you put a group of hot-blooded men and women on a small island and you believe they are going to maintain racial/ethnic purity, I have some Tulip bulbs from Amsterdam to sell you.

          Shall we be a wee little bit more cosmopolitan; shall we? :))

          • 0
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            nimal fernando ,

            so its a pseudo name?

            We have tulips in the UK off season too. i don’t need you to take me to Amsterdam because I know romantic Flanders too well.

            All are your relatives like the Muslims say.
            before you folk bought all this soup we used to jump over hedges and no one questioned us because all were aunty and uncle.

            cosmo- slick guy, its not a direct hit on your comment but the banda family.

            as long as there is no robin hood its fine with me or I send the steam roller and make ribbon of robin hood.))))

            • 0
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              by the way fishing is an Englishman’s great pastime and we plan to get it into the Olympics.
              fish and chips

            • 0
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              Pistachio,

              “We have tulips in the UK off season too. i don’t need you to take me to Amsterdam because I know romantic Flanders too well.”

              Romance is fine! :)) But,

              Not allowed to put links in CT

              Google for

              Market Crashes: The Tulip and Bulb Craze

              Perhaps, I should have introduced bernie madoff.

              • 0
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                street walker,
                Now, have you heard of Gent, Leuven google it- Its the first industrialized nation of europe and first trading center Europe for exquisite spices silks etc before Portugal and New World of isabel la catolica.

                you should understand or read the world before you plunge onto international CT.

                Bulbs: Come on man it has grown in our garden and we don’t need to replenish bulbs A couple passers by have stopped their vehicles to find out how we did it.- its the weird climate – we see the beauty of changes than protest like hijacking politicians.
                I don’t buy and sell- go find your corner shop guys if you need to sell.
                I have gold dust saffron too and that too grows here.
                bernie- that your breed.
                my dad always said the breed counts.
                You know the man who appeared for Enron and obtained a shorter sentence-
                present district court of columbia judge- 97-0 non political
                watch the space when Trump wins.

                • 0
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                  Pistachio,

                  “Bulbs: Come on man it has grown in our garden and we don’t need to replenish bulbs”

                  Geeze, The simple point I wanted to make was, that if there are people who believe there is racial/ethnic purity on a small island they are gullible enough to fall victim to the “Tulip-mania” all over again. Tried to use a metaphor; guess didn’t do too good a job of it, eh? :)))

                  ” When she visited New Delhi after having high jacked the common candidate and spoke to the journalist at New Delhi- she exhibited her spinning style. One said in Hindi `how ungrateful can they be. Now her son is following the Rajiv Gandhi style- I don’t like to come. The folk can never govern themselves but are a farce unto themselves. No different from Spain after Franco the Frog. Learn hindi if you folk wan’t to survive. A lease last 99 years no more- see Hong Kong – they have lost their language. All you have is words then go looking for definitions to define that word and end up becoming puddhu Philosophers- while most in government get their commissions etc and others join the Foreign Service. With which country would you go to war with when you don’t have money.”

                  On the streets ( as Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers would :)) ) we would say “Why can’t you talk proper; is there something wrong with you?” But, my latest best buddy Zorro’s those fine UCLA profs would simply use one term – pseudo-profundity. You throw-in so many things in the mistaken belief that you are dazzling people into believing that you are saying something profound. Sorry pal, you have come to the wrong place, try it on someone else. Seen them come and seen them go. You are not anywhere near the best; not by any stretch of the imagination. Granted, you are not the worst. Oh! boy.

                  ” Wattie Amma CBK” “my dad always said the breed counts.”

                  This is in no way to insult your father or you, but just to prove a point. At one end you are calling people ” Wattie Amma ” and at the other end you are talking about “breeding!” Talk about Lankan man’s duality!

                  One man, one vote. I just express my opinions as a solitary Lankan; others have the freedom to express theirs and they should. I usually say what I have to say and leave it at that. But my purpose to engage with you and Zorro was to demonstrate to the reader the point I made about the “duality” of the Lankan man. I don’t know if either of you realize I just proved my point. :))

                  In spite of all the pretence and “big words,” “big concepts” :)) hurled around, and the best efforts of the “best educational institutions” around the globe the “modern 21st century” Lankan man, wearing a fine suit of “pseudo-education” gloss still lives in a cave. “Education” – especially “Western education” – for most Lankans, is an “out of body” experience; nothing changes inside.

                  I do not exclude myself, but at least I know it! :))

                  But, we live in hope, even though living in hope is what kills us all in the end.

                  Man, I’m bored. Have a Merry X’mas.

                  • 0
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                    “Man, I’m bored. Have a Merry X’mas. “

                    I did not read your response street walker,Poly T _co.

                    ZZzzzzzzzz.

        • 2
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          Wattie Amma CBK studied at Europe like her father to be a spin doctor. Once you enter these universities its very easy to pass but coming 1st merit first is the crust. LKY and Choo did it.

          She sacrificed the lives of 2 of the men I knew so well Vijaya and Lakshman to be overall power in the island.

          When she visited New Delhi after having high jacked the common candidate and spoke to the journalist at New Delhi- she exhibited her spinning style. One said in Hindi `how ungrateful can they be.

          Now her son is following the Rajiv Gandhi style- I don’t like to come.

          The folk can never govern themselves but are a farce unto themselves.
          No different from Spain after Franco the Frog.

          Learn hindi if you folk wan’t to survive. A lease last 99 years no more- see Hong Kong – they have lost their language.

          All you have is words then go looking for definitions to define that word and end up becoming puddhu Philosophers- while most in government get their commissions etc and others join the Foreign Service.

          With which country would you go to war with when you don’t have money.

      • 5
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        Well said Nimal. The country went backwards economically during a term in office.

      • 5
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        Mrs B is the Pol Sambol of lankan politics. !!!!!!!!

        • 6
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          She did exactly what Mao did to his own people- Only on the day before pre-poya one was allowed to eat rice and this was given through janata Committees- party boys.
          Colombo:
          But rice was served at eating houses everyday for a price.

          Folk who smuggled rice in pumkin 2 seruvas by bus were arrested and jailed.
          Most folk were rummaging for food in the dustbins of colombo 7.

          Mao gave only 2eggs per week to a family of 8.
          After they were allowed WTO entry any number of quail eggs with meal or any number of chicken eggs for breakfast.

          Communism socialism and fascism are parasites that live off a multi-party democracy.
          Russia and China would be under the German and Japenese if not for the billions of dollars poured in by the american people.
          They tricked and created a single culture by killing their own people- this is the trend in lanka- and the author knows it but she is part of the fascist regime.

    • 16
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      I Wish to make 2 points:

      1. The aristocratic background? I take it with a pinch of salt. Not just for the lady in question, but for all others as well. This is a word often used for local cronies left over from British rule in SL.

      They became “aristocracy” due to serious generosity from the occupying power. They were richly rewarded by cunning Brits. With land, English education, plum positions in civil service, silly titles such as “Mudliyar” copied from South India etc.

      In return these families sold their country to Britain. The Empire. Senior Solomon Banda was an exceptionally brutal British boot-licker. As a result he was richly rewarded by Brits.

      Advantages gained from that British Springboard benefits their descendants even today’s Sri Lanka. Mrs. B’s offspring are a case in point.

      People who truly fought for Sri Lanka lost everything. Including their lives and land. Weera Puran Appu’s family members are nowhere to be seen in our country today. Why? Shouldn’t they be “aristocracy”?

      So forget about the damned “aristocracy” crap labeled on Mrs. B. I have no regard for that.

      2. She may well be the world’s first female PM. But, that is nothing to brag about really. We may fool some people who do not know facts. Mrs. B was not propelled to that position as a result of some women’s rights struggle. She was planted their by the colossal stupidity of Sri Lakans. Everybody knew this. Including Mrs. B.

      I do not wish to tarnish Mrs. B’s life or legacy. I would respect her life and memory as much as I would respect any other woman of my country. May she rest in peace.

      Cheers!

      PS: Sulakshi Thelikorala, quit trying to lionize this otherwise average typical Sri Lankan lady. Leave her memory in peace.

      Where did you get your PhD from Sulakshi Thelikorala? What hope is there for other average Sri Lankans, if you think like this yourself?

      Cheers!

      • 10
        1

        “”They became “aristocracy” due to serious generosity from the occupying power. They were richly rewarded by cunning Brits. With land, English education, plum positions in civil service, silly titles such as “Mudliyar” copied from South India etc.””

        This is just your nationalist cry like every colony. Some of what you say may may be true as they got for services renderd- Eg when the Treacherous Portugese Catholic invaders were getting battered by the Christians. Princess Braganza of Portugal in 1661 gave Bombay as Dowery to the English Charles 2 therefore Portugese Goa was able to stay until 1970. so they transported many a slave labour to Lanka and casteism.

        you cannot class everyone with the same brush because you are not an aristrocat.
        Even in the west we do not know our ancestors beyond 300 years.
        Think a bit and don’t lose your head.
        We lost our land under Sirmavo and it was purchased not plundered or gifted.
        Gibraltar is a gift from the king of Spain and no commoner/politician can take that away- for services rendered in driving away the foe they never could beat. Hong kong was on lease 99 years and England gave it away.
        That is the difference between colony folk talk and the crown.

        • 3
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          Trunket,
          Perhaps you don’t know why Bandaranaike is spelt that way and not “Bandaranayaka” or Bandaranayake” ?

          • 5
            3

            Old Codger

            “Perhaps you don’t know why Bandaranaike is spelt that way and not “Bandaranayaka” or Bandaranayake” ?”

            Actually it should be spelt Pandaranayakam or Nayaka Pandaram.

            My elders tell me the name goes with the profession, Finance Director to use current parlance.

            • 5
              3

              Actually, it should be spelt Bandarana Yaka.

            • 4
              0

              Native Vedda ,
              Portugese went to Banda Islands first.

              Banda prefix banda islands
              Autum flower – Naike from mace the flower covering of nutmeg.

              Pirates Bandaranaike.

              QED.

          • 2
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            I do know kachcheris were burnt to destroy evidence and 1970 the vogue of adding `De` to look Spanish.
            Naike is a Spanish word for flower of autumn.

            Spain and Portugal were ruled by the Moros The Portuguese were more mixed with Moros and Africans. See the Spanish features very Mediterranean features but up north its the Basque (respected by the Romans for their strength and valour) do not have it and Christopher Columbus was Basque. Virgin Queen Elizabeth was Anglo Saxon (mum and dad Henry 8) Henry 8 first wife who never divorced him was Spanish- the catholic vs Christian wars and Catholic/Christian vs Islam wars.

            She had a problem with sudhu pukka and ended up with Nasser. Mao and Chew and Lie had their hands full not needed. Womans jelousy that she would not become pink when not in the sun during winter.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Muslim_presence_in_the_Iberian_Peninsula

            correct me if you can please.

            • 2
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              Trunket,
              Bandaranaikes are (or were) mostly Anglicans. Bandaranayakes and Bandaranayakas are mostly Buddhist/ Catholic.
              Similarly Abeynaike / Abeynayaka/ Abeynayake.
              AND Wickremesinghe/ Wickramasingha/ Wickremasingha
              You see, the spelling was different only in English, not in Sinhala.
              It probably gave them a leg up in the job stakes at the time.

              Enter this in Google and you get something interesting:
              rootsweb bandaranaike

              • 2
                0

                “”It probably gave them a leg up in the job stakes at the time.””

                He was low country so initial name came from Portuguese therefore the Spanish suffix then when the VOC Protestant were invited to drive the Portuguese away he turned Anglican- Vassi patta ta hoiya. Both VOC and Brits were out in the subcontinent following the Portuguese route 1600.
                I am interested in his and hers south indian roots. How they came to the island to create all this carnage for all islanders-

                Bandaranaike- conveniently starts with the VOC period (private period nothing to do with Dutch though there were dutch because it was Flemish secretary to the Bishop of Portuguese Goa who compiled the Portuguese trade map and published it in several languages in 1586- Flanders was the largest trading center in Europe before Portuguese.Businessman secretary (like james bond) got connection via his brother to go to Goa.- In 2 years job done map obtained they sailed to become rich.
                VOC came to Indonesia first because of Carlos1 the Spanish King and Roman Emperor stationed at Spanish Netherlands (present Belgium)had a Dutch mistress (his wife was Queen of Spain and at Spain) 1 ship went too Indonesia for VOC and 4 ships went to Philippines for catholic. Only the VOC later on came from the eastern seas to India and Ceylon. VOC were pure business class and killed only for business unlike the Portugese crusade.

                Be back soon

                Land of associations has a place for pirates.

                even the cricket commentators from England give English sounding names the wow – he is one of us- the boys and girls. Next the Portuguese and Spanish sounding names – all in the faith of pirates.

                Pirates are sent to the house of Lords even today- safest place to be.

            • 0
              3

              I think you are losing your marbles Trinket. Keep rambling on – grossly irrelevant. It is not long before the attendants in white will come for you.

              • 2
                0

                BBS Rep
                “I think you are losing your marbles Trinket.” It is not long before the attendants in white will come for you.””

                I have the nut cracker handed over to me by someone that takes off the testis.

                When Donald Trump gets in You take care. He is only going to shut the door and prove to the world what multinational corps are doing funding GOP and Dems seated on Muslim Camels.

                I know for certain you cant add to this Or did the pol ba muna attract your attention;)

                white robe or servant class white don’t bother me. I have faith in myself.

                They are Bandas in plantation wars for VOC and noting to do with religion so don’t fear- Heard of golden balls wars well check it up- it was mass murder.

          • 2
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            BTW Mao liked the winter blossom and he destroyed everything else in paintings by splashing with red- when you see the collection of 2000 years he was a nutter with no taste- he liked the flower winter blossom because it was the only flower during harsh winter. So he had 2 wives – the old one and the young one who were always present.
            SiriMao was just holman to him. Zhou Enlai had one only and was content.
            the chinese was the alibi well supported by the muslims of lanka to cover the brother muslim.
            We have to be very stupid that muslims dont believe in sex appeal and are not masters of sex- slavery.
            there are picture houses at Spain that show what Moros did with Spanish women- they are sic animals.
            It is the class from northern Europe that helped Spain overcome Islamist.

            See from 1948 its sinhala/muslim rule. Old man Dudley had a penchant for Pakistani women (I don’t want to mention the ones who got citizenship with a one night stand.)

            • 0
              2

              I think you are losing your marbles Trinket. Keep rambling on – grossly irrelevant. It is not long before the attendants in white will come for you.

      • 4
        3

        Nice one Ben Hurling.

        Like you too I respect Sirimavo Bandaranaike for the kind and generous person she was. May she rest in peace.

        However, the risk we take when we enter the political fray is that our actions will form our legacy, and our legacy will be discussed for years afterwards.

        Sirimavo Ratwatte married into the Maha Mudliyar Bandaranaike dynasty.
        Pappa Solomon had Gov. WEST RIDGEWAY as Godfather to little Solomon West Ridgeway D-B. You cannot get more sycophantic than that to the old massah, ha.

        The Bandaranaike’s and the Ratwatte’s were, among others, enablers. They delivered our Sinhalese community to the colonial masters in exchange for many goodies.

        Sirimavo herself was sent to be educated by servants of the Good Shepherd order. Saint Bridget herself would have been proud of the girl.
        The Ratwatte’s may have been Buddhists but they knew where to get a good catholic education.

        When the home-tutored ‘Anglican’ SWRD was ready, he was sent off to the old country where places were reserved for those who helped the colonial masters. He never forgot the way he was treated as a WOG in the City of Dreaming Spires.

        When the old massah left, SWRD was frustrated by Dudley and JR. Dammit, he was sure that he was entitled to the throne, and he knew how to get his clammy hands around the rabid scrote of the Bauddha-Sinhala electorate. The rest is history.

        Sirimavo was elected Prime Minister not because of the quality of her JSC education, good as it was then; it was because she was hijacked as a totem by a bunch of manipulators who capitalised on her emotional appeal to the sheepish rump of the Bauddha-Sinhala electorate. Then when the rabid leftist lot jumped aboard in the seventies it was showtime for poor Sri Lanka. Fond memories of families queueing in the dawn gloom for a loaf of bread. Bodies floating the rivers and streams of this land like no other. Exit visas. Begging letters to our foreign ‘friends’. BMICH! Anyone for tennis?

        Sirimavo’s success in foreign climes was, if truth be told, was due to the novelty factor of being the first woman Prime Minister in the world. Her peers on the world stage were both respectful and considerate, AND, Mrs Bandaranaike NEVER sold Sri Lanka short.

        It was just so saddening, to see her paraded around like some kind of good luck charm in her last years instead of being given a graceful and dignified ‘retirement’.

        • 4
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          Kingfisher,

          “”He never forgot the way he was treated as a WOG in the City of Dreaming Spires. “”
          He studied for free!!
          He studied at the wrong university to be called a WOG. So all you WOGS were defeated at the UNHCR by the best Christian University Cambridge Club.- now figure that out. The best of the catholic is Leuven where Ananda Coomarasawmy is held in high esteem as a Historian of Art and Culture of the South Asia.
          Passion rules the world! So it does not surprise me that you have to stick to a left party for life.
          It means you overstep Democracy multiparty system. That is the curse therefore even in the west hardly over 55% vote because there are blind voters asking for better life and flogging the dead party that cannot deliver. Keep On Keep on.

    • 8
      1

      gamini,

      She befriended the postmans son Terrorist Nasser of Egypt because they always said we come from north india muslim land.
      Tito, Indira were the charisma of Non aligned movement and China was workhorse. Both Russia and China had hoodwinked the american people of their money to create their freedom- by killing their own people and became extreme left communist and extreme right fascist.- they absorbed both the extremes.

      What is Egypt today is the course if not for India.
      Will the people draw it back to Egypt style with all the extreme left and extreme right thought?

      the nation is on Ranils revolution- where the ruling clerks free themselves and enslave the people.

    • 2
      11

      Dr. Sulakshi Thelikorala

      RE: A Century To Mrs B, The Woman Who Took Sri Lanka To The World!

      “The 100th birthday of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike falls on the 17th of April 2016. Mrs Bandaranaike has been the most charismatic and influential female leader in Sri Lankan politics.”

      “Leaving the international fames aside, Mrs. B faced great challenges and difficulties as a political leader on home soil compared to many other local leaders. The initial challenges came her way at the beginning of her political career with a significant coup against the government. Next was in 1971, an year into her second term in office when youth movements came forth with arms. Yet, it is believed that Mrs B had faced those challenges much better than a mature politician. The final challenge came her way, giving her long pause from politics when her civil rights were taken away in 1977 by the rule of JR Jayewardene, keeping her out of politics for many years.”

      Yes, Mrs. B, played a key pivotal stabilizing role during those years of turmoil, where she inherited the Sihala Buddhist Racist Policies and Sinhala Only Act of SWRD B, the 1961 Coup, the Srimas Sastri Pact, the 1971 Infantile Revolution, and Mullatiivu pack and getting more from the world leaders being non-aligned.

      The bottom line, Mrs. B did solve problems, which she was handed over by others, and they were all men. The one replaced her J R Jayawardaene was the worst. We all know the rest of the story.

      Why did she lose the 1977 Elections? Economics, too much socialism, too much bureaucracy, cost of living and corruption.

      Wonder, if she continue to be Prime Minister, would we have solved the Tamil Ethinic Issue? Was there room for the Vellahalas ( while practicing Castism and Racism on fellow Tamils) to maneuver and come to a compromise? Certainly, Indira Gandhi would not have supported LTTE, as JR tilting towards the West.

      Overall, Mrs. B did great service to the country. She did “Solve” the upcountry Tamil Issue. Given her close relationship with Indira Gandhi, she may even have “solved” the Tamil Ethnic issue, given the time. Sometimes, Amarasiri wonders, did she do more service than all the men put together.

      The Earth still spins on its own axis, and goes around the Sun every year.

      May Mrs. Sirimavo Ratwatta Bandaranaike attain Nibbana.

      • 1
        7

        amarasiri demalo:

        What is the Tamil problem.

        that is not something that can be solved.

        How many in the entire human history Tamils had a country.

        they always lived as subjugated. They love that because they can complain constantly.

        • 5
          1

          jim softy, Para-Demala Converted to Para Sinhalaya or Vice Versa?

          “What is the Tamil problem. that is not something that can be solved.”

          Very interesting remark, indeed! Why? Is it true for Sinhala “Buddhists” as well. Remember, all are Paras from Hindia, the old name for India, the Homeland of the Paras.

          1. Because they are Hindu?

          2. Because they follow castism?

          3. Because the are racists?

          4. Because the Tamils are divided into tow groups, in IQ, unlike the prices of Onions on Jaffna?

          Now getting a better understanding of the bimodal IQ distribution of the Tamils, as published in CT.

          The Story Of Two Graphs drawn by A Tamil Man: By Mahesan Niranjan Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/

        • 6
          1

          jim softy Dimwit

          “What is the Tamil problem.”

          It is you.

          There is no such thing as Tamil problem, only a Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people.

      • 1
        2

        Amarasiri
        Thanks for a balanced comment on an article which is pure hagiography and naturally invited vicious attacks.

        Paul further down says: “That’s the Sri Lankan way. Curse the politicians when they are alive and praise them to high heaven when they are dead. Truly the ‘Republic of Amnesia’.” But my reading of comments here suggests otherwise.

        I will add to your list the 1961 Satyagraha (which preceded the unsuccessful 1962 coup by non-Buddhist army and Police officers) and the “21 Demands” by the trade unions in 1963. I do not agree with her actions, but she did what was in her class interest and succeeded.

        I do not agree with her judgment on several maters. But as you said she faced far bigger challenges than any other before her and the one soon after her.
        She was decisive but not vindictive. Critics accuse her of killing anywhere between a few thousand and tens of thousand JVP youth. In fairness, it took her a few days to regain full control and she did not order he indiscriminate killings, unlike her successors from the UNP.

        Notably, there was no witch hunt once the insurgency was under control. Most of the JVP cadres were pardoned and rehabilitated much faster than Tamil insurgents after 2009.
        But again she detained Vasudeva and Sanmugathasan for unduly long. Strangely, the left partners of the UF did not lift a finger in this matter.

        Extending the life of parliament by 2 years was unacceptable and foolish.

        The UF Government was not socialist by any standard.
        NM & Co (not so much the CP) believed hat they could accelerate socialism by nationalizing small businesses (including Muslim Hotel in Kandy and even the tiny Prince Restaurant in Penideniya). It was downright foolish. (NM in 1970 also tried to combat black money by demonetizing 50/- and 100/- notes.)
        The LSSP attitude was that they could outsmart Mrs B. They could not.

        She made mistakes. She nationalized tea estates but left the Agency Houses alone.
        She had a vision of national economy and encouraged industrialization and self-sufficiency. Her mistake was to curb all imports, even those which were necessary to build some industries. Import substitution was mistaken for industrialization at times.
        Her failings were characteristic of most post-colonial national capitalist regimes after the emergence of neocolonialism in the late 1970’s.

        Judging her as a socialist is unfair. She was never a socialist.
        People even pick on trivia like the election pledge to “bring rice even from the moon”. I do not think that there were that many stupid voters to expect rice from a place that far away. But people expected her to find the rice somehow. She tried, but the 1973-74 drought made it even harder to keep the pledge.
        The Sun newspaper group was gunning for her and did nasty things to wreck the food drive started in 1973. It was not easy.
        Again, knowing the politics of Lake House, nationalizing Lake House was understandable. but it happened 9 years too late. Sycophants destroyed the credibility of Lake House papers, which could have been a pro-government but open forum for news and views. She has to share the blame.
        A sober assessment should place her among the best leaders of the country if the circumstances under which she led the country are considered. That does not mean that her administration was by any means beyond reproach.

    • 11
      0

      gamini

      “Thee was a clamp on overseas trips for Sri Lankans with exchange control.”

      Not only exchange control restrictions but an exit visa (permit)to be obtained if one wants to leave the country.

      She was scared of spending rest of her life alone in the country in case if the entire population migrated under her rule.

    • 4
      0

      ”clamp on Tamils”:

      She refused to visit Jaffna to see what followed::

      ”In the last week of December 1964 a cyclone of unprecedented ferocity devastated the Northern Province. The fishing villages of Myliddy, Kankesanturai, Point Pedro, Nargakovil and several areas within the Jaffna district were reduced to a wilderness of sand dunes, stagnant salt water and windswept debris. In the Myliddy fishing village alone, several hundreds lost their lives at sea. The Collector of Ramnad District in SE Tamil Nadu (India) contacted me to say that over 200 bodies had been washed ashore there and he had no alternative but to order mass cremations on the sea shore in order to halt the spread of disease. Throughout the Jaffna District the Kalavoham crop ( the main paddy crop ) was wiped out and hundreds of fishing boats were reduced to matchwood. The distress was appalling. …..”

    • 1
      0

      gamini

      Mrs B, was the wife of Mr. SWRD Bandaranayake, also known as Sevala Banda, and many people slipped on the Sevala, and did not know it. He claimed to be for the common man, but that did not include the Para-Tamils, courtesy of Para- Sinhala “Buddhists”. SWRD Bandaranayaka came from a family of Sevalayas,who collaborated with the Western Imperialists and Colonialist, First the Portuguese, then the Dutch and then the British and he became a Sinhala “Buddhist”.

      Certainly these traits influenced Mrs. B. Then the traits of Queen Victoria influenced her. The Non-Aligned Summit in Sri Lanka during 1976, was her glory. Only China and India were in a position to be of some help.

      She shoukd be credited for the Srima-Shastri pact, and the Kacchituvi pact. It was her indifference and non-concern for the fellow Tamil Citizens, that should be looked upon as lost opportunities, along with the economic policies, corruption and socialism, that created the problems. However, even Dudley Senanayaka failed between 1965-1970 Period with the proposed District Councils.

      The Separatist was becoming inevitable into the future, and Mahaveeran Periyavar VP was still a child.

      Welcome to the Land of Native Veddah Aethho occupied by the Paras.

  • 22
    3

    FASCIST OF THE NATION PRAISING FASCIST.

    ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  • 19
    2

    [Edited out]

    find place as housemaid in the medieval middle east like the poor women you send- sex on demand.
    take CBK with you. and MR1 too as kussi appu.

  • 16
    3

    The only contribution Srimavo made to Sri Lanka on the world stage is an entry on the Guinness book of records as the first woman prime minister

    • 3
      0

      “”first woman prime minister””
      They were the Pirates from Banda Island- island of golden balls.
      Pirates Bandaranaike.
      Even today pirates are knighted and sent to the house of lords.

      now you see why Ossie Corea cleanly assassinated him (he was son of Thailand Prince and virgin daughter of kapurala Colombo13 temple)

      While wanne be vellala missed and got only a eye but did the half baked (kashmir and iranian) stupid gandhi.

  • 29
    2

    A century to Mrs B who took Ceylon ( Sri Lanka ) to the world and almost down the road to beggary.

    There is nothing special about Mrs B other than to say she was the first female PM in the world.

    The lovely island that had everything in it needed for prosperity was virually turned into a genuine socialist state in the same way of those countries enslaved in the iron curtain or bamboo curtain in the 1960’s.
    The present generation of Sri lankans will not or never know what the past generation of ceylonese experienced under Mrs B leadership.

    The nationalisation of private companies, private schools, was the beggining of the road to beggary.
    The long queues for almost everything from bread, flour, rice, bombay onions, dhall, chillies, maldive fish, tinned milk, suit lengths, trouser lengths, vehicle spare parts, torch light batteries, etc you name it.

    The uprooting of tea estates and planting of manioc ( bathala ) for God knows what, other than to make the nation, a nation of Bathala eaters.

    The obtaining of a exit visa on the holders passport to leave the country, the surrender of ration books for same, all reminiscent of an iron curtain or communist controlled country.

    Mrs B didn’t give damn about the people other than for a handfull of her stalwart supporters and those in govt at that time.
    The lady kept bad company with bad eggs in the so called Non Aligned Movement, that was full of tin pot african dictators, self proclaimed kings, banana republic presidents, so called heads of state whose hands were full of human rights abuses trying to stifle the freedom and prosperity of their own citizens just to stay in power and rob.
    Mrs B was trying to do the same and almost succeeded in the end if not for divine Godly intervention via a timely general election.

    The nationalisation of the oil companies had nothing to do with rising oil prices, but was a avenue to giving employment to all and sundry from that time untill present. It can be seen that CPC has never ever bought in a penny of a profit from the day it was established. Everybody knows that it has been tax payers money that has kept the CPC from going to the grave.
    The establishment of state manufacturing corporations for almost everything as a cover to giving employment to hard core and faithfull party supporters so that the party had a solid foundation to exist on, are all reminiscent of a communist eastern block country at that time.
    Take East Germany as one example. But it was far more advanced than Ceylon.

    We all know the consequences from making sinhalese the official language and where the country has headed from then till now.
    A lot of good educated Ceylonese with heavy hearts left for greener pastures at that time, Ceylon’s loss and Australia’s gain. Some to the UK and beyond.

    Her attitude of ” friends of all and enemies of none ” was a con artist’s show as she was more heavily leaning to the communist and dictatorial world, whereas she should have genuinely been non aligned and harnessed the knowledge and know how of both the eastern and western worlds.

    Examples of the Kelani tyre factory and Thulhiriya Textile Mill were both ” take my junk and use it in your land because i don’t need it any more” attitude of the eastern block countries. Both were outdated in every way in terms of productivity and worthless junk handed to the country as a gift with a smile knowing that it was junk given as a gift.
    Mrs B cabinet was a cabinet of typical sri lankan politicians like present. Letharigic, arrogant, single minded, selfish, you name it people. Its a pity that a few persons like Pieter Keuneman, Dr NM Perera, both educated did not use their education to develope the country. Well! they were both communist minded individuals and so their education was fit for the dogs to chew.

    More can be said about the lady but we will stop here as she is no more and let her rest in peace.

    The writer of the article has no idea what life was like under the Sirimavo B govt at that time and she is not to blame but she had better write about topics she is aware of rather than create old anger and grinding of teeth.

    • 0
      13

      Faithful only has one “l” . Must be your American superior education.

      • 15
        0

        BATHALAWATHIE.

        1. Spelling mistakes has nothing to do with the topic. Your’s Faithfully .
        2. Yes ! American education is superior in many ways, more superior than your lankan education. We can see where your lankan educated polticians have led your land and lankan educated doctors like the writer of this article showing of her skills with regard to another defunct, dead lankan politician who went to her grave leaving a trail of beggary and buggery.
        3. If only people like you had a little bit more education you would not be finding other people’s spelling mistakes, but finding out the vulgar mistakes your lankan politicians have been making from 1948.
        4. There may be Bathalawthies in your land who may not be that well educated, but they may be humble people who dont seek out others spelling mistakes.
        5. I have been to your lovely land on many a occassion and enjoyed many a good time with many good lankans whose command of the english language was very basic but never ever found fault with them as they were doing well in trying to improve their lot. I wish them the very best.
        6. As for you, its a pity that evil eyed morons like you exist in a lovely land full of vibrant culture, scenery, friendship, and suggest that you wash your eyes with good soap and water if you can afford, and stop looking at others spelling mistakes by making your moronic self a better person.
        7. Finally if you can make it to America ( even walking ) then come over and get some basic superior American education as it will do you and your lovely land a world of good. If you are using an iphone, remember its a American invention thats a product of superior American education and so is the ipad, Windows OS, Linux OS, Mac OS, Ford Mustang GT, The Space Shuttle, Mc Donalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Coca Cola, The Telephone, Nuclear power plants, Polio Vaccine, Windscreen Wiper, First Atomic Bomb, etc etc etc and a lot more than your “Dimwit Brain” can ever think off.
        So stop ! finding the spelling mistakes of others.

        Subject ended ! Dimwit.

        • 3
          0

          America RE: Bathalawathie

          You need to pardon Bathalawathie, as she has been eating Bathala for quite a while after Mrs. B popularized it along with Manioc during the 1970-1977 period.

          What you are seeing is the Effect.

          What is the cause, as per Aristotelian Philosophy, love-of-Wisdom?

          Sri Lanka Average IQ =79 and the Average IQ of USA =98. Is IQ, the cause? They say there are many Modayas and Mootals, in the Land.

          National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

          The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

          http://www.photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

  • 19
    1

    “However, Mrs B is remembered even today as the first female Prime Minister in the World.”

    Wow, what a wonderful achievement! No matter that the country is stll next to Burkina Faso in the development of its people. Blessed are the fools for they wallow in their own pit of ignorant self-glorification.

    • 1
      0

      foxy JR

      “However, Mrs B is remembered even today as the first female Prime Minister in the World.”

      That is true. She beat Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Benazir Bhutto, and many others. Besides she studied only up to the 10th grade abb became Prime Minister twice.

      Mount Everest.People remember Hillary and Tenzing.Anybody else?

      Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first official ascent of Everest in 1953 using the southeast ridge route.

  • 9
    3

    Well, glowing tribute. Yet, it hides a crucial point. She barely passed grade 10 at school. Her husband was more realistic and balanced.

    Just taking one item to illustrate her stupidity.

    The importation and distribution of oil in Ceylon was handled by two American companies- Caltex and Standard Vacuum American and Shell, a British company. As a result the prices of oil were subjected to sky rocketed monopolistic prices. In reducing the import cost of oil to Sri Lanka whilst saving foreign exchange, the Sirimavo government established the Ceylon Petroleum Cooperation in 1961.

    Well, idea is indeed noble. Even world leaders like Mugabe and Chavez followed similar policies.

    However, this has been the story line ever since the petrol import and distribution was nationalised.

    Ceylon Petroleum Corporation makes Rs5bn loss up to April 2015

    Running a profitable business is EXTREMELY hard. The failure rate of business are incredible. Only 20% business survive the first 3 years.

    Caltex and Shell are subject to international competition that keeps prices low and possible even amidst monopolies like Opec.

    Its the public who bear huge losses incurred by The Ceylon Petroleum Co-operation (CPC). It would have been far more cost effective had the Petrolium was not nationalised. Even if its “foreign” they invest in Sri Lanka and provide jobs.

    What keeps prices low at the same time profitable and viable are open markets and free competition. The moment a government takes over a business that crucial element is taken away.

    Not only does the state-owned-enterprise become loss making it becomes a burden on the people whom it aims to provide cheap products in the first place.

    There are exceptions, however, few and far between when it comes to the Sri Lankan experience.

    • 2
      1

      Running a profitable business is EXTREMELY hard. The failure rate of business are incredible. Only 20% business survive the first 3 years.

      Above applies to small businesses that function with venture capital.

      Petroleum is not a product that needs advertisement or ask people to use it or need development.

      Only problem is minister or president appoints a thief and an idiot as the chairman and he/she does not know what to do except stealing.

      In Sri lanka Profits evaporates faster than petrol.

      • 3
        0

        Jim softy,
        If Shell or Caltex was running the refinery, they wouldn’t employ 20 political appointees to do the job of one man. That’s where the profits go.

  • 11
    0

    “She has left unremarkable memories of Sri Lanka in world history with her mediocre foreign policy.”

    Sulakshi, did you really intend to write this? It seems to go against the grain of your other comments like “her continued success in world affairs”.

    • 4
      0

      Manel,

      I haven’t read the article yet, but your comment caught my eye.

      I think editors or even authors themselves often play around with such things in different versions.

      When Neelan Thiruchelvam wrote a tribute to the late S.Nadesan QC in the early 1990’s, in the Colombo-based English media he praised Nadesan’s legal skills, saying he would ‘laugh case out of the courts’ despite Nadesan’s ‘undistinguished academic record.’ But the Tamil newspapers carried the same in translation and said ‘Nadesan had an impeccable academic record!’

      • 0
        0

        Manipulation by CT? ST? author?

        N.Thiruchelvam’s case:
        a.wrong translation or b.manipulation by i.the editor or ii.the author?

      • 2
        0

        Sorry the above comment was supposed to go under Manel’s second comment below about differences in the Sunday Times vs CT.

        Punitham,

        Yes, I don’t think CT editors changed anything; either ST editors or the author herself must have changed it.

        On Neelan’s earlier article, I thought Neelan probably wrote that in English only and someone else who translated it in Tamil for the ‘Virakesari’ changed it.

      • 1
        0

        Agnos

        “…..But the Tamil newspapers carried the same in translation and said ‘Nadesan had an impeccable academic record!’”

        The audience was Tamils, perhaps mostly Jaffna Tamils. Did the Tamil newspaper editors know something?

        Do you know their IQ distribution?

        Because the Tamils are divided into two groups, in IQ, unlike the prices of Onions on Jaffna? Now getting a better understanding of the bimodal IQ distribution of the Tamils, as published in CT.

        The Story Of Two Graphs drawn by A Tamil Man: By Mahesan Niranjan Onion Prices and Tamil IQ Distributions

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/onioniqdistributions/

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-story-of-two-graphs-drawn-by-a-tamil-man/

  • 7
    2

    What she did to the Tamils is conveniently forgotten here:
    In 1960 she shelved the Special Tamil rovisions Act and crushed the 1961 Satyagraha by sending the armed forces to Jaffna and started militarisation of the North in anticipation of an armed struggle(Neville Jayaweera’s memoirs) for justice when Pirabhakaran was an infant and more than a decade before the LTTE was born….. ……… ……………after nationalisation of schools funding to Tamil schools was drastically cut down…………… did away with Privy Council ………. repealed 29c from Constitution in 1972 and introduced standardisation to entry to universities ….. ……. …….. found ”innovative” ways to block employment of Tamils in govt service(submission by Sinhalese civil servants to LLRC),… …….. ……………

    Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil Wars(2005), John Richardson, Professor of International development in American University’s School of International Service and Director of the University’s Centre for Teaching Experience:
    ””Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understanding linkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history…… …….. ………….. In international setting, Mrs. Bandaranaike could speak movingly of oppression and its costs and of the feelings of oppressed people. Has Sirimavo Bandaranaike brought the brilliance and the energy to domestic communal problems that she brought to international affairs, relations between Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese and Tamil communities might have followed a different path.”

    • 1
      0

      Punitham
      There is some mix-up of years.
      There was a stalemate in Satyagraha 1961. Satyagrahais were losing enthusiasm while the government was tiring of waiting– but still reluctant to use force.
      A few ‘clever men’ of the FP, perhaps to reactivate the Satyagraha, decided without due consultation to print postal stamps, postcards & stamped envelopes and start a postal service.
      That was interpreted as a secessionist move and the government declared a state of emergency. The armed forces moved in but not stationed continuously. There was no resistance except stray incidents in parts of Batticaloa District (then including Ampara).
      Trincomalee MP Rajavarotham’s memoirs titled “Panagoda Days”, published around year 2002 has interesting revelations about the FP leadership.

      Militarization of Jaffna, a post JVP insurrection phenomenon, had much to do with rise of violent youth militancy in the Jaffna Peninsula. That is not to exonerate the government, but to point out that the FP leaders, Amirthalingam in particular, were also responsible for the developments.

      What many forget is that Mrs B was particularly careful that there was no communal violence under her rule. Her handling of Sinhala-Muslim incidents around 1975 which could have led to rioting was remarkable.
      She acted in 1976-77 to bring under control violent attacks on plantation workers in Nawalapitiya.
      But that is not to say that discrimination against Hill Country Tamils was not there.

      It may help to compare the 1970-77 regime with 1977-87 regime on state response to communal violence.
      There is no denying that Sirimavo seriously erred in her handling of the national question. But that is just one of many sides of the story.
      Communal animosity did not start with her or her husband. There have been too many forces at play for too long, and it takes clear headed leadership on all sides and resolve to solve issues to achieve just and lasting solutions.
      Electoral politics has been governed by other priorities.

    • 4
      0

      puinitham

      SJ/sekera types:

      “What many forget is that Mrs B was particularly careful that there was no communal violence under her rule.”

      Communal violence was substituted by the state violence, since 1970. SJ/sekera also conveniently forgets the massacre of more than 11 people at the cultural event in 1974.

      Probably SJ/sekera was in peking when Tamil youth were harrased, persecuted, held in custody without being charged for many months/years for merely writing slogans on the wall, ………….. Under the weeping widows rule the armed forces and police had a free hand dealing with youth through out the island. Impunity didn’t start with JR regime it was there when JR took over. It was estimated 18,000 youth lost their life in 1971.

      Perhaps this intellectual gymnast should have stayed in the island and observed what was actually happening through out the island.

      A female Polpot who carried a hand bag to beat the hell out of ordinary people.

      • 0
        0

        I can make an much longer list of things that I have not said.
        My response was in a particular context where the following was adequate:

        “Militarization of Jaffna, a post JVP insurrection phenomenon, had much to do with rise of violent youth militancy in the Jaffna Peninsula. That is not to exonerate the government, but to point out that the FP leaders, Amirthalingam in particular, were also responsible for the developments.”

        Incidentally, a massacre is a premeditated act.

        • 2
          0

          SJ/sekera

          “Incidentally, a massacre is a premeditated act.”

          It was.

          Massacre

          Noun – an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of many people.

          Verb – deliberately and brutally kill (many people).

          “Militarization of Jaffna, a post JVP insurrection phenomenon, had much to do with rise of violent youth militancy in the Jaffna Peninsula.”

          The militarisation of peninsula started long before the rise of violent youth militancy.

          “That is not to exonerate the government, but to point out that the FP leaders, Amirthalingam in particular, were also responsible for the developments.”

          FP leaders were just ordinary people, it did not justify a military response.

          Alfred Durraippa was murdered on 27 July 1975. The state decided to cow down the masses, well before the rise of militancy.

  • 7
    0

    I have just seen this same article in today’s Sunday Times where the words “unremarkable” & “mediocre” do not appear. In their place are other, positive, adjectives. How did this change come about?

  • 9
    1

    I can well understand your need to venerate this woman but glorifying what she has done is a bit too much to stomach.

    So she was the first woman Prime Minister…..our emotional voters decided to make an uneducated housewife with no political background the leader of our country…..should we commend them for their open-mindedness or castigate them for their stupidity!

    You commend her for her foreign policies……she isolated us politically and economically from the west and cozied up to a bunch of dictatorships….they showered her with praise and fed her ego, and she ate it up. You talk about NAM……..what was NAM, it was the least non-aligned organization that there ever was…..NAM was very closely affiliated to the global powers that practiced and extolled the virtues of socialism.

    You praise her economic policy….She nationalised profitable businesses and led them into economic ruin…….for the first time in our country, she made it the business of Government to run business. Land reform stole land and property from private owners and out it in the hands of the inept Government officials.
    You praise her political acumen…….she jumped into bed with NM and other rabid commies in 1970, closed our economy and sent our people through untold hell…….perhaps you were too young to feel the pain yourself.

    Don’t misunderstand me……we have been blessed with a sorry bunch of post-independence leaders, every single one of them. Even the ones who did so much good like Premadasa and Mihinda Rajapaksa eventually went insane and defecated on their legacy…..but that told……Mrs B, her Husband and her daughter have each highlighted and punctuated the very lowest ebb of our sorry Nation.

    I can only hope your very glowing review of her life was a tongue-in-cheek statement.

  • 11
    0

    That’s the Sri Lankan way. Curse the politicians when they are alive and praise them to high heaven when they are dead. Truly the ‘Republic of Amnesia’.

  • 2
    11

    People, People!

    Guess you guys didn’t see the suffering of the masses, and that your privileged positions had to take a 1/2 a step back for the common good of so many more. Did you see the beggars and slum dwellers;did you see the servants; did you see the sarong-jonnies dawdling around in despondency out of work? No! You fellows were worrying about how to celebrate weddings in hotels and about educating your children in private Montessori’s. Very selfish indeed! This venerable lady saw all of these things and did the unpopular task what was necessary for the Nation.

    • 16
      0

      Whom are you praising ???????
      Is it the writer and the person concerned. If so then you are in a different world. You call the lady venerable ???????
      The meaning of ” venerable ” is as follows.
      ” Commanding respect by virtue of age, dignity, character, position etc. “

      Mrs B had nothing in her to be called venerable. She was arrogant, selfish, petty minded, destructive, basically educated, ( St Bridgets Convent Colombo 7 ), it is the school that is her only qualification and thank God it was the best Roman Catholic girls school up to present, thus far and no further.
      Every thing she did was an unpopular task so much so that she was silently cursed for all the unhappiness and hardships she inloaded on the nation. She too has blood on her hands just like the bad company she kept within the Non Aligned nations, the banana republic African dictators and other mad meglomaniacs whose hands are still soaked in blood even though some are no more.
      The only pride that gives her some recognition is that her only two grandchildren have kept out of the stinking cesspit of Sri lankan politics and are doing well in the UK. May they both continue to be blessed and prosper.

      Mrs B was indirectly and in a subtle way messing around with religion in her time particularly the Christian faith and given time she would have hounded out and sidelined all those who practised that faith, but God was watching very eagerly her every subtle move.
      Finally please remember that no individual no matter how powerfull they may or are can mess with GOD and get away with it, and live to tell the tale.

      • 1
        9

        Charles Paul:

        What part of Christ administering to the Masses don’t you understand?!!!

  • 17
    1

    She left us with the terrible ” legacy” of a daughter by the name of CBK…

  • 18
    0

    What a sham of an article! As a blogger here commented previously this woman certainly took the country into the dustbin of the world. And if not for Fate which thrust her into the echelons of power and fame, this barely educated Kussi Amma would have been just another thankless widow toiling with the daily chores of bringing up her fatherless children. She did not even have a Grade ten education when she shed crocodile tears at her assassinated husbands funeral and crept into the hearts of the foolish illiterate voters. Once she was voted into power, the innocent weeping widow soon metamorphosed into a stout, egoistic and iron-headed Marie Antoinette who ordered her starving masses to cultivate manioc and bathala if they were keen to survive. Deprivation created by her short-sighted policies was everywhere and this sychopantic writer has certainly glorified this mediocre woman to the heights of a local Margaret Bitcher. A wag upon reading this article commented ” Gonaata Ang Dhamma Wagey”.

  • 13
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    Mrs.B gave orders for the erection of ‘hal pollas’ – wooden barriers across roads leading south out of the northern province, to prevent northern farmers from transporting their bumper harvest of rice and red onions for sale in the south, where there was a demand for these items which were in short supply.
    Instead she ordered import of red onions from India.

  • 20
    0

    Hi Sulakshi,
    You look very young…may have been born in late 80’s ….that means you are very well fed as the rest of the people in the country….
    What do you know about 1970 – 1977 UNF govt that ruined the Country…? For your information…
    – wedding ceremonies were limited to 100 – 150 guests
    – wedding suites / bridals were given only on production of the Marriage Certificates..which means prior registration was required…
    – infant milk powder was given on production of the Birth Certificate certified by the Grama Sevaka…
    – all food was issued by the Co-op on ration
    – transportation of Rice/chillies were banned from one region to another…popularly identified as ” Haal Polu…Miris Polu” because police was used to capture the people…Imagine !
    – cotton fabrics were available at Co-op issued on ration ..certified by GS…very cheap quality..
    – eating rice was restricted to 3 days a week…rest of the days we had to eat ” kos/Del/bathala/Maiyokka and all other yams…
    – bread was restricted 1lb per family ..parents & 2 children…which means 1/4 lb per person..to get that we had to be on queues ..morning 4.00 ….evening 4.00 …collection was ticked on the ration card..
    – the good stuff…cheese butter ham bacon susages porkies grapes apples chicken beef turkey dhal Iraqi dates etc…etc… were flowing in houses of those who ruled the country and theses were connected to the administration
    – the salaries were very poor…as a result the Society became utterly malnourished…..walking skeletons..
    She became the 1st woman Prime Minister of the World….She created History because people voted ….but look at the cost of it at the end…all those who voted had to go through misery for 7 bloody years…except for about 2000 families who were politically connected and business people……there are many who were petty clerks Managers who robbed the Govt at the last stages who identifies themselves as ” business magnates “…today….

    You parents should have taught you of the era…..

    • 8
      0

      She also did away with the Senate House that acted as the check and balance for the Parliament filled with Postal Peons, Kavi Kola Karayas and Kassippu Mudalalis. Grama Sevakas and the Co-operative Managers rode the High Horse who were party supporters who were Corrupt to the core. Here started the decline of the Public Service in the Country to the levels it is today. Otherwise we had a Public Service that was second to none.

    • 16
      0

      Well said ! Very well said. If the writer can’t digest this then she can’t digest anything.
      Parents dont teach children things about dark eras. They teach them things only seen in the limelight. Most probably from her educational and family background she must have been brought up in that Colombo 7 style not knowing what it is to have and have not.

    • 5
      0

      Lion, you have brought back memories of a dark era. As pre-teenager, I had to queue up at 6 am for a loaf of bread as I was the ‘man of the house’, my father being stationed far away as a Head Master of a Govt. school, & my mother had to wait in endless other queue for our daily rations at the local CO-OP. My uncles were paddy cultivators but we could not bring our share of the rice from the village because of ‘haal polu’ & had to buy rubbish imported rice from China. The inedible loaf of bread had to be eaten with unhealthy magarine, chillies being in short supply for a ‘sambol’. A school friend of mine still blames the lack of nourishment in the foods for his stunted growth. We were taught at school about the great Non Aligned Movement as the challenge to the First World Countries but in fact was a club for despots & dictators, & the movement itself fizzled out soon after the great party hosted by Mrs B as it’s head.
      The foreign & economic policies of an uneducated, hypocritical, perhaps, misguided woman, who has the honour of being the first female PM in the world because she was elected on a sympathy vote, took SL backwards economically & every other way.

    • 4
      0

      Yes Lion you are very right. Mrs. B brought about famine in the land. Families across the country were left hardly anything to eat. Most families had to manage with a single meal for the day. I can vividly remember traveling in the Udaratamanika train the scenes at Gampola station. Starving people were fighting for the left overs of passengers’ food when it was thrown over. It is a cite I can never forget and God forbid , would not want to see it again . She mismanaged everything and lived on the blood of the masses. I believe she had Tito on her side. Is this a qualification for her to be remembered as a great leader?. Not in my book

  • 17
    1

    To: Sulakshi Thelikorala,
    if you are able to get into a time machine and go back to the sorry days of the Sirimavo Bandaranaiuke regime, you will no first hand what the people underwent at that time.
    Off course ! there were grass eaters then like now who did not know a spade from a fork, but good people suffered a lot because of the inwardly arrogant woman. Her only qualification to come into power was on her assinated husband’s grave other than that nothing else.
    Her husband started the ruination of the lovely land, she continued and her daughter nearly accomplished the end of it.
    Her only son who could have used his talents to undo what the parents did and bring about a glorius change ended up a drunkard ( sorry that it has to be revealed ) and died a sad death.
    As one writer stated, she kept bad company very bad company of all dreanged meglomaniacs and ultimately was turning herself into one.

    More can be said but let the past be forgotten and the woman less remembered or not at all. That name Bandaranaike is a bad omen to a beautifull island that has much to offer.

    PS: If not for her RASCIST attitude SRI LANKA would be CEYLON today prospering abudantly with a multi ethnic background, a melting pot of ethnic harmony and life. Sadly that pot was dashed on the ground by her and her MARXIST oriented followers.

    ———————————//————————————

  • 13
    1

    “A Century To Mrs B, The Woman Who Took Sri Lanka To The World!”

    Good riddance of bad rubbish!

    Saadu, Saadu!

  • 8
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 10
    0

    Load of bullshit.

  • 11
    0

    This family has done so much damage to SL.

    Sinhala/Tamil problem goes back to her husband.

    With the nationalization of the industry, she ruined the economy in this country just like Indira Gandhi ruined the Indian economy. We have not recovered from it as yet even after 50 years. The country is losing $ billions and the corruption is rampant in the state institutions. This is crazy as every successive government has continued with this madness. Sri Lankans are not getting cheap electricity, petrol or telephones because of the government ownership. The government should not be in the business of running industry. It has not worked any where in the world.

    Her daughter wasted another ten years as nothing happened in the country during her rule.

    This Doctor has a lot to learn about the 60-70s. I left SL with three Pounds in my pocket and my air ticket was sent by a friend.

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 0
    4

    Since 1951 founded of SLFP belonges to most refomist classes of national bourgeoisie of 20th century that combined with rular poor and urban labor and middle petty bourgeoisie.

    It was this class on Nationl bourgeoisie of SLFP which that against Imperalism and colonialism by center Britsh Colonial, which had in fact done away with with Monarch of colonial empire-British by 1972 Republic Constitution.

    By and large right-wing bourgeoisie its landlords and its compardor bourgeoisie as whole by most anti people against reformist measures undertaken by SLFP that including large scale of nationaltion of that UK and USA interest in 20 th century carried out by SLFP leadership in Sri lanka.

    In fact 1956 victory was aginst USA and UK vital economic and political interest ,they determined to phycial eliminated leader of SLFP-SWRD in 1959 September 25.

    Needless to say SLFP that classes behind forces most truly rvoutionary class in 20 th century -that against UK and USA imperalism combined to opposed that task undertkan by SLFP leadership . They luanch wage of political war against leadership of SLFP.Time was crucial when Mrs B being ladership of SLFP 1960tees.

    Result of that ther killed SWRD 1959 september 25th by allied local and internationl recationary forces. SLFP was party in leaderlees and national bourgeousie has lost its leaders,so serch for New leaders withing it own rank s nor replace wtihing rank ,at last Mrs B was most sutiable for that time.
    That is how she being to leader of SLFP.

    BY the essay writer well explain her (Mrs B ) role as leader of SLFP over 40 odd years,that was most progessive and democratic act of role play by her as leader of SLFP time of anti-imperlaist was in hieght colonial countries.

    Indeed the process of de-colonilization of Non ailed movement play vital role for liberation Aisin, Africn and Latin Amceriacn countries nation and People agains US headed Hegemonies. US imperlaism mandess as we see it was the waging of wars for division of wrold and annexed territories for the new independent state in third world countries for the division of super profits.

    In is these act and views find synpathy at all supresed countries of NAM at all cross-roads ,it was becuause NAM properly express the best interest of the newly Independent countries, the interest of developing of all people of third world nation by Mrs B as chairman of NAM 1976.

    What there is ample of evidence are there ,indeed that millions upon millions of people must now Mrs B..be kept away her role of nationl politics and role of nationl bourgeoisie or misinterprted by right-wing political calss currently in power denied the soveregity and Independent Sri lankan is crime of democrcay by MS UNP-Ranil.W.. and CBK of neo-colonilist .

    US led Imperalist always are paralysed national politics create fear with local reconationaties class having to the counter-revolutionary howls by UNP allies.
    But when a serious and decisive moment came in our history Mrs B… at one fully admitted this truth of Imrelaism supressing people of Lankan, she openly declaring that independent and democrcay that a certian victory over local class enemy at home was more important than the position against the foreing enemy. That was great contriubation of National stuggle as leader of SLFP.

  • 2
    0

    No point in writing things by just collecting what you can google or plagiarize from other articles. Reality is her policies were a mixed bag of goodies that did more harm than good. She was not a Mrs. Gandhi in the sense Mrs. G was groomed to take over. Mrs. B was said to be expected to raise the kids of a gender preference ambiguous man and be a housewife. Where she excelled was having a great team and listening to them on foreign policy. She realized the need for strengthening the Navy by managing to get the Russians to gift a ship. When she went on an official visit, she surprised Brezhnev who asked her what she wanted and she said a warship for the Navy. Even at that time the Navy was the weak link.

    But everyone knows including her not so fortunate relatives that her economic policies were a disaster. The 3 children had special privileges whilst others including her relatives did not. But she was great in choosing diplomats in contrast to her daughter, Premedasa and above all Rajapakse. She balanced that act well but domestically people were raging having to suffer the food queues, foreign currency restrictions, ban on going abroad to study(except for her kids), nationalizations, press control, landreform etc.

    You are too young to remember the wet damp brown sugar rations, rice rations, food queues, Haal polus. All this time while her 3 kids were enjoying western lifestyles in France and England.

    HYPOCRISY is the word.

  • 4
    1

    Hello Sulakshi,

    You said that SWRD was killed by “a man dressed in a yellow robe’.
    Strange set of words given that Somarama Thero was a respected ordained Buddhist monk of long standing.

    Talduwe Somarama (born 27/08/2015)was a fully ordained Buddhist priest who was given the mantle of Thero in Kandy in 1936. He was a practicing Buddhist monk from 1936 to 1959, when he decided to kill the Prime Minister.

    Somarama Thero was hanged in 1962. Somarama despite being a long standing Thero, renounced Buddhism and got himself baptised as an Anglican Christian two days prior to being hanged.

    Sulakshi, I understand your difficulty in accepting that Buddhist monks could conspire and carry out such a dastardly act. But that is Sri Lankan Buddhism for you – then and now.

  • 4
    0

    The rot in Silly Lanka started with the old Nari Banda. His wife Bathalawathy worsened it while her daughter Whisky Madam took it to greater depths. This is how the country was triple cursed by this family.

  • 3
    1

    Both she and her husband were anti Tamils who together with another anti Tamil J R Jayawardene created all this mess that the country now finds itself in. The Bandaranaikes the Ratwattes as well the Jeyawardenes all are of recent Indian Tamil extraction. The Bandaranaickes descended from a 17th century Tamil immigrant named Neela Perumal. Their original Ge name was Neela Perumalge. Banadarnaicke is a Sinhalised version of the Tamil name Panadara Naiyakan. The Jayawardenes are again descended from another Tamil immigrant Thambi Mudalai or Mudaliar. As for the Ratwattes they Sinhalised their original Tamil name Ravathai to Rathwatte to safeguard their wealth and now blend with in with the new Sinhalese identity after the fall of the Tamil Naicker kings. Mrs Banadaranaicke’s direct ancestor is one the many Kandyan kings chiefs who signed the Kandyan convention in Tamil. He signed this under the name Ravathai now Sinhalised to Ratwatte.
    All these recently Sinhalised descendants of Indian Tamil immigrants are now the biggest anti Tamil. Just go to the Lankaweb site more than 90% of the bloggers and commentators there are from the descendants of recently Sinhalised Indian immigrants.

  • 2
    2

    Dr Thelikorala

    I fear that something must have got lost in translation; you wrote

    …’Her terms in office led to a golden era of Sri Lanka’s foreign relations. She has left unremarkable memories of Sri Lanka in world history with her mediocre foreign policy.’

    As I recall, her success in foreign climes was, if truth be told, due the novelty factor of being the first woman Prime Minister in the world. Her peers on the world stage were both respectful and considerate. AND, Mrs Bandaranaike never sold Sri Lanka short.

    Sirimavo Bandaranaike was a noble, kind and generous lady.

    She was elected partly due to the emotions that swept the Bauddha-Sinhala electorate in the aftermath of the assassination of SWRD, and partly due to the manipulations of the devious sycophants who gathered around, seeing her as the opportunistic way to getting power that they would not have in their own right.

    However, as Our Prime Minister, totemic, she was used, abused. and unlucky.

    Sadly, my abiding memory of those turbulent years is always clouded by the sight of families huddling in queues in the early morning gloom hoping to secure a loaf of bread.

    It was rather sad that those who should have known better continued to parade her in her last years for political capital. Most undignified.

    She deserved better.

    • 2
      0

      Spring Koha

      My elders told me that there was a trade union strike organised Bank employees union in the early 1970s, I am sure you would remember to this day. The strike was called off because NM hired unemployed youth to break the strike and those who were recruited on a temporary basis were sent once the strike had been broken.

      NM decided bring all those untaxed money kept under the pillow back into the economy and declared currency with large denomination were made illegal tender. There were long queues to exchange old notes for new ones through bank account.

      It was an utter failure because people who were wealthy were tipped off by the treasury insiders. The cost of printing new notes would have outweighed any benefits.

      Were you tipped off by NM himself?

      • 0
        0

        “Were you tipped off by NM himself? “
        That was first tier only.
        The peking wall cotta road commie rouge had a second tier of agents who exchanged it for ½ prices at the central bank. There were Muslim traders of sanitary ware Colombo 11 who had buried their money and when they dug it out found that maggots had eaten it- the man was in tears saying it was hard earned.

      • 0
        0

        Native Vedda

        Thank You for that nice reminder of those hazy, crazy days.

        No, I was tipped off…..but NOT by NM.

        I laughed when I read the comment by ‘Halifax’ because there were so many ‘businessmen’ in similar circumstances. For sure, it was a time of tears. Tears of sadness for some, tears of joy for others.

  • 0
    0

    Commenter “Brando” is insulted other writers by taken from Google or other sources.

    Yes, present day every story having full of information ,but ideology is different in nature and line of politics has noting to do with money oriented journalism.

    I am not comment or who talk gossips of politics.

    As well that Colombo Telegraphy need writer by elaborated facts and educated other as much as possible.

    There is lack politics of Sri Lankan parties, classes and other as well.

    Which has to be address by elitism by sooner or later.

    That is why important persons are interest to read and comment on CT.

    The enrich Journalism and as well as guide for new knowledge also important part play by CT.

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