18 October, 2017

A “Dissenter” Writing For Publication In Sri Lanka

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

I’ve had friends ask about my recent relative silence in the matter of writing to either the print media or on-line publications and I expect I owe them something of an explanation.

As many of you know I have, at one time or another since my return to the land of my birth, contributed to pretty well all the English-language newspapers of this country, sometimes – for obvious reasons – under a pseudonym and sometimes using the name my parents bestowed on me.  With the creeping paralysis that has overtaken the media here and which has paralleled the dictatorial conduct of the leadership of this country, outlets for opinions such as mine have shrunk to nothing.  This has happened primarily for two reasons – outright purchases or blockbuster takeovers by minions of or members of that government and self-censorship driven by commercial considerations and/or rank cowardice in the matter of being critical of those ruling Sri Lanka.

In a context where those similarly targeted by this government have met fates far grimmer than mine, it is still cold comfort to be told that “you could have been worse off!”  The fact that Lasantha Wickremetunge is dead, Frederica Jansz lives in exile in the North Western United States, a bunch of other journalists are in political exile in Britain and Western Europe, Mandana Ismail Abeywardene has seemingly taken a vow of silence and Tisaranee Gunasekara, arguably the bravest and most skilled journalist in this country, cannot find a newspaper to publish what she writes is very obviously meant as a chilling reminder to any lesser lights with the temerity to raise their voices against the monumental parody of a democracy that is Sri Lanka today.

For those leopards among us who cannot change their spots, particularly when they are closer than ever to the proverbial four-score in the matter of life span, all of this statistical information is of no consequence, not because of some irresistible urge to be a 21st Century Don Quixote but because there are some matters of behaviour – classify them as belonging in the realms of morality, ethics or principle – that one simply cannot divest oneself of.  It is as simple as that and, I’d suggest, a code that every religion and philosophy extols and all those in a country so full of self-identified “religious” and “moral” people pay seemingly never-ending lip service to.

A little diversion might be in order here and that is to reference the term “hypocrisy.”  There are too many pithy definitions of the word to tempt me to add my contribution to that list.  However, suffice it to say that even that paying of lip service to the great and good things in behavior has begun to disappear and has been replaced, unapologetically, by a simple “What to do, men?” response to every new horror that’s documented.  This constitutes not simply resignation but abject cowardice and, typically, is practiced by those whose attendance at temple/kovil/church/ mosque (take your pick!) is much higher than average.  This reality certainly leaves the rest of us “unbelievers” looking like the epitome of self-righteousness when we so much as make a passing reference to such things as a “moral compass!”

You might well parrot the “What to do, men?” brigade at this point, posing the question absolutely rhetorically because you, like the majority of Sri Lankans claiming to be “educated” think that is the appropriate (and easy!) way out, knowing damned well that, at best, it is a temporizing that even puts that much-maligned flightless bird to shame.

That there will be an ultimate coming together of those of goodwill and decency in this country is no longer a “given” considering the pass to which the huge goon squad that proclaims itself as government has brought Sri Lanka.  I have consistently been portrayed as a prophet of doom and gloom, particularly by those who believe that the salvation of Sri Lanka lies in the “carpeting” of roads on which their luxury vehicles will no longer damage their suspensions or the 21st-Century version of cobbled walkways which will ensure that no overweight, middle-aged, middle-class ladies are likely to twist their ankles.  Suffice it to say that criticism from that quarter or the members of assorted “Forums” hardly deserve critical comment by such as me.  Those ambulatory monuments to cowardice and collaboration with Sri Lanka’s version of Nazism can continue their search for bigger and better “pandams” with which to identify their loyalty and illuminate the path of the violent boors from whom they derive their protection.  That is their prerogative.  When chaos descends on this country as surely as the profligacy of the brigands and bandits will bring it upon us, they are going to be, at least, the secondary targets of those desperately seeking a crust for themselves and their hungry children.  And they won’t have assault-weapon-armed “security” for their protection (unless of course they belong to the upper echelons of the group to which they pay continuing obeisance).  It might be cold comfort for those of us on the other side of the divide that separates this government from those with so much as a moral bone in their body, but it will be comfort, nevertheless, to see some of the chickens that these sycophants helped raise coming home to roost!  Violent crimes of necessity, not merely opportunity as may now be the case, will be visited upon all of us seen as being “privileged” by virtue of having three square meals a day and a roof over our heads.  We will be the newly-minted “dhanapathi” class of Sri Lanka!  It will make for strange bedfellows indeed, but who said history wasn’t usually messy?

In moments of particular pessimism, I continue to be sustained by what Margaret Mead once said and which I have quoted in the past, “”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  Maybe there is still hope for the optimists among us!

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    Emil van der Poorten –

    “In moments of particular pessimism, I continue to be sustained by what Margaret Mead once said and which I have quoted in the past, “”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Maybe there is still hope for the optimists among us!”

    Well said, There were many, many before this in different fields in different countries.

    Read about, Copernicus-The Pole, Galileo-The Italian, Bruno-The Italian, Kepler-The German, Columbus-The Italian, The People of the French, American, Russian and Turkish Revolutions… and many many more…

    True. Lasnsatha was killed. Giardano Bruno was killed as well, but the struggle continues….

    Welcome to the Land of Native Veddah where the Paras, especially Para-Sinhala go berserk, based on the lies and imagination of Para-Monk Mahana of Mahawansa Notoriety/Fame.

    Want Change? Ask JVP Put up posters.

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      Emil van der Poorten –

      Want Change? Put up posters. Put Amarasir’s poster that exposes the Paras from South India in the Land of Native Veddah.

      Those who have less than 50% DNA need to be sent to South India, if they cannot kive in an Egalitarian manner in the Land of Native Veddah.

      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/624466/Vedda

      Vedda, also spelled Veddah, people of Sri Lanka who were that island’s aboriginal inhabitants prior to the 6th century bce. They adopted Sinhala and now no longer speak their own language. Ethnically, they are allied to the indigenous jungle peoples of southern India and to early populations in Southeast Asia. They have now been largely absorbed into the modern Sinhalese population; in 1911 they were reported to number about 5,300, by 1964 the government estimated their population at about 800, and by the 1970s they had virtually ceased to exist as a separate community.

      The aboriginal material culture and subsistence patterns of the Vedda were extremely simple. They lived in caves and rock shelters, wore bark-cloth clothing, hunted game with bows and arrows, and gathered wild plants and honey. Their religion was essentially a cult of the dead; ancestral spirits were believed to enter the bodies of shamans, through whom they communicated with their descendants.

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    Poor Poorten can’t get Gig while Hotta forks out 20 grand for a meal in hip joints in our new Harbour city..

    Don’t tell me Paisa is a friend of the President and Groundviews are all about how good the country is and how peaceful and friendly the ordinary punters are.

    The NGOs whopicked up the tab at Cafe Galleria hopefully will take note note of this and do something for our Mr Poorten as he is part of our contemporary history.

    I mean look at the amount of money the Dutch have pumped into the Old Fort in Galle to keep the pebble stones in tact.

    No carpeting there.

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      K. A. Sumanasekera:
      Believe me, when, on two previous occasions, I suggested you do NOT quit your “day job” for a career in comedy, it was meant in all sincerity. However, it is obvious that you, given your paymasters and your racist obsessions, cannot but tie in to what you see as an opportunity for some kind of ethnic slur, even if your knowledge of names and associated geography leaves something to be desired.
      I am particularly intrigued by your statement that goes, “Don’t tell me Paisa is a friend of the President and Groundviews are all about how good the country is and how peaceful and friendly the ordinary punters are,” which appears to be give the term “gobbledegook” yet another interpretation. Perhaps, you should provide readers of CT with a link to your dictionary of peculiar language with each of your submissions?

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “I mean look at the amount of money the Dutch have pumped into the Old Fort in Galle to keep the pebble stones in tact.”

      If you don’t like the old fort is being renewed to its old glory then demolish it.

      Why the hell your majority of inhabitants hang on to your shameful past? If you want a demolition squad please ask Gota (Auric Goldfinger) who has all the finest equipments that he collected from Vanni and the LTTE demolition boys who could do the job in no time.

      I could’t help thinking about tones of gold he stole from VP’s Vanni Fort Knox. If disposed poor inhabitants of this could be fed for another hundred years.

  • 2
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    Emil,

    I did wonder where you were. I even wondered if the white van had come a visiting. I did allude to such a thing happening on a previous posting. You are testing your fate mate, your head is clearly on the sights of the MR Mafia.

    Good luck.

    • 0
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      Actually the truth is Emil has been taken away by the white van. This is Gota’s agents writing under his name just to confuse and keep us at bay, prevent us asking embarrassing -and unanswerable – questions :-)

  • 0
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    I dont think you are in danger as long as you confine yourself to Durian and Local Govt. Dont touch the MIGs, White flags and Pet Dogs for fear of death.

  • 0
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    What no “Durian” stories !!!!!!!!!!

    cheers

    Abhaya

    • 1
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      Abhaya

      “What no “Durian” stories !!!!!!!!!!”

      Here is the answer to your enduring problem:

      Excerpts

      Dr.Mervyn Urges Woman To Contact Him If They Have Problems In Having Children

      Public Relations Minister Dr. Mervyn Silva has urged women to contact him if and when they have problem in having children.

      ……..
      ………

      “There is no point in lamenting over this problem, We need to act fact. If any woman has a problem in having children, I kindly request her to contact me for further assistance,” the Minister, who also holds a ‘Doctorate’, said.

      ……
      ….
      Thursday, 05 June 2014
      http://www.asianmirror.lk/

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        Dear Native,

        Didn’t I suggest your mate start value adding to his Durian with a Native Viagra?..

        Look at our Muslim brothers in the village who love the stuff.

        And Poorten thought I was kidding.

        Put it down as another lost opportunity to become” Dr Poorten.” like Dr Mervyn…

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          K.A Sumanasekera

          “Put it down as another lost opportunity to become” Dr Poorten.” like Dr Mervyn…”

          Don’t be silly, Mr Emil van der Poorten becoming Dr Mervyn, beyond his wildest dream, as you know Mr Poorten never possessed those rarest qualities that we envy of Dr Mervyn.

          Now you are insulting Dr Mervyn Silva.

  • 1
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    Vanderporten. You were issue of the earliest boat people. You were a financial refugees descendant and you have free rice, free education for what? Most of the Burghers are grateful to the system of education that singled your people out in an apartheid system to not rule but be next in command because of your colour. Good education because you were white. So don’t wave the red flag at the bull and open your self to ridicule. What did you know about democracy then and what do you know about it now? Nothing because you wish the majority is deprived of the fundamentals of Human Rights – so you are safe in Australia, probably live in a big house while the native Australians have nothing. Good for you that the Christian soldiers go you what you want. Now can you please shut the eff up?

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      Peduru arsie shitty: firstly, get it right – it is Mr van der Poorten. I suppose you missed the class on manners and etiquette during the education that you were privileged to receive. I am reliable informed that your several nicknames during those wasted days – gandaya and south’thuva, among others, perfectly predicted what you would turn out to be in later life – a disappointment to your parents. Mr van der Poorten, like all the others, are perfectly entitled to air his views, and some us want to hear them, we do not want some scum bag telling him to ‘shut the ”’ So, Peduru, do us a favour, shut the bollocks up!

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      Peter Casie Chetty:
      With a first and last name like yours, I’d be a bit careful about talking about “boat people.”
      Typically, every single statement you’ve made is a blatant lie/deliberate fabrication. But then I expect that it is impossible to give up such habits particularly when one is financially compensated for them!

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    I am sorry for this guy who is in selective amnesia….. Nobody talk about who was the father of Goon culture and ruined values…..Who has appointed deadly murderer, rapist and thug who was pardoned from gallows as the head of presidential security…..Have you ever heard of Batalanda.. who used razor gangs in referendums and elections….once you stared the rot it is difficult to stop….this guy is lying completely and I don’t think he has any threat or nobody knows him….. He is a colombian who does not like rural people doing the same thing they were doing. They hate godaya or gorakaya ruling the country… Who got $300million from Rajarathnam the terrorist….Why the Pajaro jeeps introduced during mahawali is called pagawa jarawa…… A country needs roads and infrastructure for sure, but we witnessed during Udagama road buildings they did not last one rain as contractors put asphalt on earth without compressed metal just to please the big boss. Those days one electricity company was paid Rs5 for each light bulb per day in Gamudawa circus. … be reasonable guys…. all are same it is not different. At least these guys got rid of 30 year terrorism, that definitely deserves 10% of GDP as we spend more than that…. Long live the Company they are 100 times better than the other side… If there is viable alternative yes it is ok to support, it is good that you realised that you need to shutup.

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      Andy(ray?):
      “this guy is lying completely and I don’t think he has any threat or nobody knows him….. He is a colombian who does not like rural people doing the same thing they were doing.”
      Do any of you jackasses who need pseudonyms to hide behind despite having the security blanket of the most violent government in Sri Lanka’s history have ANY respect for something resembling the truth?
      If living about a year in Colombo in the year 1957 makes me a “Colombian” I plead guilty!
      I happen to be a “rural” person and am neither proud nor ashamed of that. It is simply a fact and I’d invite you to come visit except I draw the line at permitting the lower forms of life in our home.
      I have to admit, though, that reading through hallucinations such as yours does provide a degree of amusement!

  • 1
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    Emil van der Poorten, Do please keep writing. An alternative viewpoint from the Galagedera rural backwoods is always interesting and thought provoking.

  • 1
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    Emil:

    It is nice to know that you are still alive well and kicking. After watching coverage of the Indian Election on NDTV and how the debates were conducted in a Free and civilised manner and the freedom enjoyed by the Journalists it is a sad state of affairs to see you guys expressing your views in an atmosphere of Fear. But the wind of change with Modi in power will be blowing in Sri Lankas direction which will pay dividends in Sri Lanka of which I have no doubt.
    MR went to Delhi thinking that he can hoodwink Modi but got a taste of his own Medicine.
    Under Congress he got used to treating everyone with utter contempt and was in a World of his own but he was forced to climb down and he made a U turn on few matters which I am sure everyone knows.
    He has someway to go but with the Big Brother chipping away MR will toe the line. First change will come when he is forced to concede 13th Amendment in full including Police Powers which will open him to attack by even his ardent supporters and that will weaken his stranglehold.

  • 0
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    Actually the truth is Emil has been taken away by the white van. This is Gota’s agents writing under his name just to confuse and keep us at bay, prevent us asking embarrassing -and unanswerable – questions :-)

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