2 December, 2020

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A Revolution Of Two Sorts In The Offing

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

I sense that the year 2015 will be written in history as a watershed year of considerable importance for Sri Lanka.

In two ways. Firstly, it will mark the liberation of the people of the island from a decade of authoritarian rule that had intermittent marks of tyranny. A third term for Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) would have, perhaps, led to the worsening of the tyrannical elements of his ruling style. Of course, he wore a smiling face. Of course, he kissed babies and embraced old folk. Of course, he used to hug the sacred bo tree at Sri Maha Bodhiya. On the other hand, he hadn’t space in his mind to tolerate opponents. He wouldn’t listen. The knife would come down.

By a strange coincidence, MR faced his Waterloo on the same day that the critical and influential journalist, Lasantha Wickrematunge, had been butchered to death on that dreadful morning while going to work. A secret party had been following Lasantha for some time before. The blood was spilt in the vicinity of a security zone. The assassins took quite a while to inflict their cruelty before they got away but they escaped unnoticed by any security personnel. Rajapaksa’s government took no real interest to catch the culprit.

That message effectively spread the word to other journalists and dissenters that they can criticize the family only at risk.

Maithri SCollectively a string of similar incidents helped create an appalling consciousness among a once free-loving people. That consciousness was described by Venerable Maduluwawe Sobitha during the election campaign as ‘maru bhiya,’ (fear for life). The influential monk stated that ‘thrustha bhiya,’( fear of terrorism) had been replaced in the country with maru bhiya. This had been the public perception. Right down to the lowest executive level of Pradeshiya Sabha councilors the threat of assault and intimidation to ‘those against us,’ prevailed in a very real sense.

Bringing the police and law enforcement servants of state under the hegemony of open political control had been deliberately done to sync with the enthronement of state terror. Justice is the last bastion of the individual seeking redress from oppressors. But Rajapaksa managed to transform the once independent judiciary into a virtual chattel service to him. There were officials ready and willing for personal gain to cooperate with Mahinda Rajapaksa in the latter’s invasion.

The Rajapaksa oppression was set up by other measures, too. For instance, the repeal of the 17th Amendment and doing away with independent commissions to manage the Police, elections, judiciary and Public Service had been on the spot. A parliament already rendered servile that included impotent old revolutionaries could do nothing but give approval to the relevant bill. The potential further dread came with the 18th Amendment that in practice would have helped ensure the continuance of dynastic rule.

In this way, Sri Lankans were asked to be ready to suffer this family for as long as their memory lasts.

I believe that the country will be liberated from much of these fears and that our people can walk head high in dignity. This is a key objective of the proposals of the common candidate, new President Maitripala Sirisena. The restoration of democratic mechanisms are enshrined in these proposals and a calendar schedule for achievement is laid down. The set of proposals is unlikely to receive opposition because these proposals are enabling anyone or any party doing politics in the country in the future. Together they are empowering the people.

I have referred to two sorts of revolutions. The second is

a revolution in political practice. The common candidate project is predicated on the understanding that in times of crisis diverse ethnic groups and other fractious groups can profitably cooperate together on a common strategy and program. The once narrowly Sinhala Buddhist JHU managed to change its stance to sit along the table that brings together the Tamil and Muslim communities, the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim communities. Sections of the SLFP represented by Maitripala Sirisena himself joined in with the dominant UNP. The JVP, although unwilling to join a coalition as such, did come in strongly in the campaign to oust Mahinda Rajapaksa. The estate Tamil groups came in and some other parties like that of Mano Ganeshan all came into the common fold in order to achieve a set of goals that are important to each of them taken individually. I believe that this sort of development would augur well for the future and I also believe that it sparks an important stage in the maturity of Lankan politics. The eventual electoral outcome demonstrated that no leader can take government without being sincerely inclusive of ethnic communities. In this instance, the extremist BBS did register serious damage to MR’s government by its link with it. This kind of evolving situation is the path to a broad policy of equalization and incorporation of ethnic and religious groups.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    0

    As always a very balanced and precise piece by a genuine intellectual. Jayawewaa! for our Motherland!
    Srima W

    • 2
      9

      You are mistaken. He just worships R. Premadasa who looked after him.

      Look at the following statement.

      “By a strange coincidence, MR faced his Waterloo on the same day that the critical and influential journalist, Lasantha Wickrematunge, had been butchered to death”.

      In fact MR was fighting the killer of Lasantha, Sarath Fonseka when he lost the rigged election.

      Talk of intellectuals.

      • 0
        0

        Still making excuses. After 4 years of their tireless investigation to apprehend the murderers of Lasantha, what is conspicuous is the absence of any progress. The biggest mistake the Rajapakses made was assuming all Sinhala-Buddhists are nationalists and sponsoring the BBS to promote that view. The average Sri Lankan, of whatever community, is infinitely more astute, with a literacy rate (98.4%) to match and as shown, very wise.

      • 1
        0

        Seems you know so well about who assassinated Lasantha, even better than his own family who say MaRa did it?

    • 2
      0

      Shyamon Jayasinghe –

      RE: A Revolution Of Two Sorts In The Offing

      “I sense that the year 2015 will be written in history as a watershed year of considerable importance for Sri Lanka.”

      Thank you.

      Yes. Thde watershed event is “Rata Peraliya,” Country transformation, just like in “Gam Peraliya”, Village Transformation.

      “Of course, he wore a smiling face. Of course, he kissed babies and embraced old folk. Of course, he used to hug the sacred bo tree at Sri Maha Bodhiya. On the other hand, he hadn’t space in his mind to tolerate opponents. He wouldn’t listen. The knife would come down.”

      MR was the Actor and the Dictator.81.52% of the Registered voters voters voted. that itself was a watershed event, despite all the abuses suffered by the people. people are grateful to the Election Commissioner in his attempts to have a fair ekection and getting a fair election. We the people have spoken, with 81.52% of the resisted voters voting. In the USA it is 50%.

      Valid Votes 12,123,452 98.85%
      Rejected Votes 140,925 1.15%
      Total Polled 12,264,377 81.52%
      Regis.Electors 15,044,490

      “I have referred to two sorts of revolutions. The second is

      a revolution in political practice.”

      Yes.

      Would you write the Sri Lanka Version of the Common sense Phamplet after the Fact?

      Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_%28pamphlet%29

  • 6
    1

    Winning is done, will this broad coalition withstand the pressures of ruling together?

    It is now that their true colours will start shining through !

    • 2
      0

      Dev:-

      “…will this broad coalition withstand the pressures of ruling together?”

      There will be no Pressures, if each member of the Coalition, places the Welfare of our Motherland and All of Her Children, First!

      Differences of Party, Race, and Religion are not Important.

  • 5
    0

    Sri Lankans should be thankful that the results gave us the opportunity for better things. The Rajapaksas, had they been given a third term, would have ruled with a vengeance, taking opportunity of the powers given by the people as justification for further atrocities. Saffron robed racists would have grown in strength, and supported by the Rajapaksa’s to cause racial tensions, when they think necessary, for devious reasons.
    We avoided a disaster, and we should be relieved.

    We should also give much credit to the Election Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya, who did a great job, making sure everyone followed the rules, and he did an amazing job stopping the law breakers in a timely manner, being very stern when necessary. It seems he was not beholden to any side, and had no ulterior motives. Hats off to him.

    Rajapaksa once dismissed the minority vote, and it seems they were determined to turn up in large numbers, and give their vote to the other candidate. Hopefully, no leader will take that vote for granted, or minimize their input. After all, every one is a true Sri Lankan and a valuable contributor to our system.

  • 3
    0

    Now new era has arrived and dawned for our journalists who freely can express and articulate their viewpoints.

    I hope that Our New President and his steering team will learn a lesson from previous regime that suppressed and banned freedom of expression and let journalists to do freely their task.

    Hope our dreams come true……

  • 2
    1

    The Rise and fall of Mahinda Rajapakse .

    Rise-The War

    Fall- The BBS factor.

    Now My3 has to systematically delete the parasite BBS from the roots,which is very very harmful to the country.

  • 3
    0

    It is now time to cleanse the judiciary – from the very top, down to the very bottom.
    Only then, the fruits of this victory over tyranny can trickle down to the common man.
    It is also time to cleanse the public service, instil discipline, ensure work is done commensurate with the responsibilities, trust and remuneration – this too will benefit the common man mainly.
    All reports of the Auditor General to parliament must be taken note of and necessary action taken.
    Cleansing of the diplomatic service too is necessary.
    Blocks on web media should be removed – let sri lankans too read CT and other blogs.

  • 1
    1

    The cleqaning up of the public service…. hand it over to Sujeewa Senasinghe

  • 1
    0

    A poignant article.
    The challenges are many. But I hope the new Government will go about achieving the goals they have set for themselves, with purpose, systematically and methodically. The ruthless Dictator MR has taken the country backwards and ruined and politicised all sections of public life for th sole purpose of establishing his and his family’s hegemony for the selfish purpose of enriching themselves while throwing the crumbs to his acolytes to keep them happy. It is noteworthy that he failed to fool the people this time around and the majority came out in droves to drive this demented maniac and psychopath out. This is ispite of all his illegal methods to win over the voters.
    I hope the Government will fulfill its promises as laid out in the Manifesto. The public should hold them to account. If they fail, we the public will get another chance to register our verdict.

  • 2
    0

    Ahhh! the sweetness of victory…

    Now lets get ready to deal with the realities of governance.

    Easy to criticize corruption, nepotism, criminality etc etc. It is another thing to install law and order when the entire Pradeshiya sabha system is filled with thugs and criminals of all hues, sizes and shapes. Lets not forget our sitting MP’s and their families too.

    I will bet my last 5000 rupee note that finding 25 cabinet ministers with clean records will be IMPOSSIBLE let alone finding Boards of Directors to replace the Rajapakase hirelings.

    Fun times are ahead for the sane amongst us. The rest will still nurse their eternal grievances. This time, it seems the minorities are at fault for not allowing the majority to voice their opinion without any interference. Democracy is a dirty thing when one-man-one-vote turns the tide in a different direction. Ask George Bush or even Obama. They like democracy, only if their man wins….

  • 0
    1

    Mr. Shyamon J missed two important points.

    1. He forgets that it was JHU which offered a parliamentary seat to Anandasangaaree in 2001. So JHU was not narrow even from the very beginning, long before 2014. Anandasangaaree said then that JHU was not a racist party.

    2. BBS is not an extremist group or a racist group. It is fighting for the lost rights of the Sinhala Buddhists and vahabism in Sri Lanka and unethical religious conversions.

  • 2
    0

    You should have listened to the dirty campaign of Rajapakse and his cabal.Wimal Weerawanse referred to Sirisena as ‘Sirisenayo.’ To CBK as “baduwa.” To Hirunika as ‘huta baduwa.’ To Ranil as ‘Ado Ranilayo.’ Rupavahini and ITN went wild with lies and concocted stuff. Lake House became a Kelepaththaraya.
    Can’t something be done to cleanse our nation of these filth? MR never stood up as a decent campaigner

    • 1
      0

      Ane Piyumi, why see with one eye baba?

      You didn’t see how Sagakkara was supposed to have refused a president’s offer to campaign for him, and Rajitha’s Basilgampaha email to Rudrakumaran, and Champuka’s Lester james Pieris beheading, to mention a few of the dirty tricks of your own?

      Ane oya hari ekkenekne, Aith nam aadare ne, tharahawenna epa.

  • 0
    0

    Thank you Shyamon for your candid views.
    “The common candidate project is predicated on the understanding that in times of crisis diverse ethnic groups and other fractious groups can profitably cooperate together on a common strategy and program. … … … I also believe that it sparks an important stage in the maturity of Lankan politics. The eventual electoral outcome demonstrated that no leader can take government without being sincerely inclusive of ethnic communities.”
    Good Governance for all Sri Lankans has its challenges.
    Maithri’s victory wouldn’t have been a reality without the frank and sincere appeal by the TNA to the Tamil speaking peoples (Tamils and Muslims). Their unconditional support to Maithri for the sake of upholding the sacred values of democracy, should be seen in the spirit of things when working out a solution to the National Question. The magnanimity of the majority will soon be put to the test. It is now time to reach out boldly.

  • 1
    0

    Mr.Jeyasinghe:

    A Revolution Of Two Sorts In The Offing:

    *** I disagree with you and say it was not a Revolution and it was a closely run thing. The margin was only 3.74 and if not for the minority vote and if the Tamils had boycotted the election MR would have scraped throught and it shows that MRs vote bank hasnt shrunk. Initially I was apprehensive about TNA recomending the Tamils to vote for MS who was part of the Evil Empire for 9 long years.
    I agreed with TNA in the sense that it is better the devil who is xomeing out of the House of Horrors.

    MS owes a great deal to the Tamils to get him elected with 900,000 votes which swung the Presidency his way.

    May MRs soul rot in HELL.

  • 0
    0

    A very good expose’ we can look forward to more. Bensen

  • 0
    0

    Where is the political analyst, Dayan? Is he hiding. Has he gone to Maldives with Gota. Where is HLD Mahindapala? Scratching his back? Dressed up and nowhere to go?
    Good one SJ

  • 0
    0

    Basically, Rajapaksa even with Billions of currency in US Dollars and suppot from LTTE or Sinhalese and everything lost because eventually even if you are human and powerful the Gods will bring you down.

    He has come down on the same day that his brother murdered the journalist, Lasantha Wickrematunge.

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