28 November, 2020

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Addressing Suffering (Dukkha) Of The Poor: First Priority In New Year   

By Laksiri Fernando –

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

He who sees dukkha sees also the arising of dukkha, sees also the cessation of dukkha, and sees also the path leading to the cessation of dukkha.’ – The Buddha 

The New Year is dawn with much celebration. Millions of people celebrated in capital cities, but we should not forget that millions of people also remained hungry on this day. What we see in Sri Lanka and the world over is the primary necessity of addressing the suffering (dukkha) of the poor, if we wish to avoid injustice, instability and violence. If it is a ‘struggle,’ it is a struggle primarily for economic justice, freedom from hunger and poverty, better living standards and economic upliftment of the poor. All democratic rights of the people should be defended in the process, because otherwise the political initiatives would be grabbed by a small group of questionable people. 

In Sri Lanka, there is no point in rallying around Yahapalana (may I say) scoundrels again in the name of democracy as they have already betrayed not only the economic rights of the people but also much of the democratic rights. The task ahead is to find viable alternatives. There are possibilities that the government going against the media, journalists and independent and critical reporting in the coming future. They are already threatening them as ‘Black Media.’ 

World Bank and the ‘international community’ are undermining poverty in the world and in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities, past and present, are playing the same music by propagating the myth that they have reduced poverty from 22.7% to just 6.1% within ten years. Is it a miracle or a myth?  

International Scene 

The last year 2018 has seen dramatic events world over. Most of the former neoliberal countries are crumbling due to internal contradictions. They have still not been able to come out of the 2008 global financial crisis because of the fake nature of their capital markets and equity/financial arrangements. 

Donald Trump is threatening to close down the US/Mexican border, after a government shutdown already affecting more than 400,000 working people. US crisis will deepen in the future with implications for many other countries. In France, although people for a while thought that a ‘non-partisan’ person like Emmanuel Macron would address poor people’s grievances, he has turned out to be much worse than previous Presidents. His increase of fuel prices and mismanagement of the economy have generated an unprecedented Yellow Vest movement. 

European Union is in a major riddle and Brexit is only the tip of the iceberg. Italy, Spain and Portugal are in the middle of the crisis. More dramatic is the crisis in the British political system. ‘Deal or no-deal’ conundrum with EU has created an extraordinary crisis in this oldest Parliament in the world. Although a deal with the EU might appear a rational path of exist, the British people have become extremely suspicious of external actors, particularly of countries like Germany and France.  

It is under such a context that Sri Lanka is hilariously advocating ‘unmitigated free trade’ without any national safeguards, under the dictates of the World Bank and the IMF.          

Reasons Underneath  

What is behind all these unprecedented happenings? Bloomberg reported that ‘unequal distribution of wealth has increased in every region of the world from 2007 to 2016’ (22 September 2018). Most stark is in the United States, and China not excluded due to rapid urbanization. More recent information is given by Credit Suisse. The total size of the world economy is around US $ 317 trillion with a growth rate of 4.6%. In 2017, the world wealth increased by 14 trillion. But who gobbled this wealth? 

There are two major contradictions. According again to Credit Suisse, ‘North America and Europe together account for 60% of total household wealth, but contain 17% of the world adult population.’ Is this reasonable? What does the so-called ‘international community’ and human rights NGOs say about this situation? 

The second major contradiction is internal to these and our countries. In the EU, the top 1% gobbles 12% percent of all income, while the bottom 50% left with only 22%. If we count the bottom 10%, the share is around 2%. The situation is quite appalling not only in the peripheral countries like Turkey, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Eastern European partners, but also in the core countries like Germany, Britain and France. That is why the Yellow Vests and Brexit activists are operating. In the US, the tope 1% gobbles 20% of the wealth while the bottom 50% left with only 20%. No need to talk about the bottom 10%. No figure is suitable. US Gini coefficient is very similar to Africa!  

There is no question that income inequalities are much wider (and even camouflaged!) in developing countries including Sri Lanka. The highest number of billionaires are now present in India. China is not so behind despite President Xi’s efforts to rectify the economic imbalances on socialist lines. 

What about Sri Lanka?    

Sri Lanka has become more and more a neo-colonial country emulating Western countries and their dictates in the economy. This is done under the pretext of globalization or fake ‘internationalism.’ The country is rivalling in neoliberalism under the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank while many of the Western countries themselves have abandoned it. Most of the welfare safety nets for the poor and low income people are already disbanded and the remaining safeguards are under threat directly and indirectly. 

The public sector is neglected. For example, a poor person still can go to a government dispensary or a hospital but most of the medications have to be obtained from private pharmacies. Although the school participation levels are satisfactory, the children in remote areas do not have required facilities. Even in schools with facilities in urban areas, children from low income or poor families find it difficult to cope for the lack of financial background that the other children have.   

Sri Lanka is boasted to be a middle income country (lower) now with a $ 90 billion economy and a per capita income over $ 4,000. However, the income gaps have increased even under the present calculations and estimates. Incomes shared by top 10% exceeds 32% and the lowest 10% is left with only 2%. These are 2012 statistics (Index Mundi) without much change or much worsening trends. When it comes to the top 20%, they hold almost 50% of the national income, while the bottom 20% having only 5%. Is this reasonable? Or can we just blame the poor for their laziness or Karma for the situation? Or are their structural and policy reasons, national and international, for the prevailing conditions of poverty and income disparities? 

Reginal disparities of income are also alarming. Districts of Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Moneragala, Mannar, and Batticaloa are in the bottom of the pale. Some of these districts are minority districts severely affected by the war. However, the World Bank, IMF, Asian Development Bank and the likeminded organizations praise Sri Lanka for reducing poverty over the years.        

Absurdity of Official Poverty Count? 

According to the government of Sri Lanka and the World Bank, a ‘miracle’ has happened within ten years between 2002 and 2012! The policy think tanks like the IPS also have not questioned it. The following is what a great economic expert of the World Bank, David Newhouse, says in March 2017.   

Excluding the Northern and Eastern provinces, headcount poverty fell from 22.7 percent to 6.1 percent between 2002 and 2012/13. In that same period, extreme poverty in Sri Lanka decreased from 13 percent to less than 3 percent in 2012/13— lower than many of Sri Lanka’s neighbours, other post-conflict countries, and other comparable countries.” (‘Understanding Poverty in Sri Lanka,’ 2 March 2017). 

Can you believe it? Reducing poverty by 17% percent in ten years would be a miracle in any country. I was in the country mostly between these years. There was no such a miracle except relative growth and expansion of the rich and the upper middle classes. I was visiting the country again in July/August 2018. What I have seen is increased poverty in Colombo. 

All these absurdities are based on the absurd calculation of the Official Poverty Line (OPL). According to the technical notes of the Census and Statistics Department a person requires a minimum of 2030 kilocalories per day.  That is correct or even high. Then they have calculated the minimum expenditure required by a person to fulfil this target during a month since 2002. This is the absurdity. In 2002 it was Rs. 1423 and by November 2018, it was Rs. 4707. This is the OPL and this means what a person requires to achieve 2030 kilocalories per day is just Rs. 157! 

It may be possible that people who have less than Rs. 4707 per month income might be less than 6 percent of the population. Even this can be doubtful now given their professional expertise! However, they have not explained at all in the technical notes or elsewhere how a person can have 2030 kilocalories for Rs 157 per day, let alone other basic needs!   

Need for New Thinking 

Neglect of the poor and poverty is a global trend and a problem. This neglect originates from the international monitory and economic organizations themselves who dictate terms to developing and still poor countries. No need to talk about the rich countries or their ‘international community.’ For over three decades, the World Bank calculated the poverty line as $ 1.20 per day grossly underestimating the suffering (dukkha) of the people without a universal basic income (UBI). Then in 2015 after thirty years it was raised to $ 1.90 per day and now says even under that, there are over 800 million people in the world below that poverty line. It is still a gross underestimation. It is not clear whether they have done a kilojoule calculation like our officials! 

What is unjust in the world is not mere poverty, however you calculate it. Vast economic disparities are unjustifiable. These disparities have been increasing in Sri Lanka over the years and have come to an unbearable position. This may not be due to any rich person’s or business company’s direct fault, but for structural and policy failures for which the politicians are responsible. 

At Ratmalana, where I was staying during the last visit, there was a vast difference between the two sides of the Galle road. On the sea side, mainly the poor and the workers live, struggling to make their ends meet. On the land side, there was a thriving upper middle class, with high walls, modern luxury vehicles and CCTV cameras for security purposes. Attached is a picture of a poor beggar sleeping at a roadside. 

The beggar population has increased exponentially during the last couple of years. There can be some fraudulent people exploiting the situation, but the prevailing prejudices against beggars are completely unwarranted. I even wondered what the charity organizations were doing under the circumstances? 

In Conclusion: 

  • There is a pressing need in the country to bring economic and social rights of the people to the forefront of human rights campaigns. Apparently, these are neglected aspects among the foreign funded human rights NGOs, except a few. 
  • The current demand of the estate workers to raise their daily wage to Rs. 1,000 is absolutely a justified demand. All concerned people should unconditionally support it. 
  • I have previously written about a Universal Basic Income (UBI) for all deserving. It can be in the range of Rs 10,000. The bottom 20% of the population should be entitled to it, and any democratic government should be able to deliver it. 
  • Political democracy should be accompanied by economic democracy. Good governance should be established in the economy as well. 
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Latest comments

  • 13
    4

    CT
    Therefore we bring Mahinda and his clan to rule this island forever through back door or in a coup, democracy can wait until the country is being completely robbed, ….

    Universal Basic Income (UBI) is unconditional, regular payment made to every citizen of a country or territory, with some differences in amounts by demographic factors like age. It’s not mean tested nor only for deserving.

    NGO’s don’t drive the economy nor do they rule the country. It is for the people to set high standards for all their leaders, in politics, religion, businesses, industry, professions, bureaucracy, …. police, …. etcs above all among the academics, teachers, media, …………

    • 11
      2

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando,

      Right now the Fake PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, on whim you recommend conferring an Honorary Doctorate, is suffering from Dukkka, Sadness.

      Can you get him to contain is Thanha, Cravings to be PM? His co-conspirator, Sirisena is suffocating and suffering from his Thanha, craving be President again. Your attempts at satisfying their cravings earlier fell short.

      • 9
        2

        Amarasiri

        Why aren’t we talking about war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 1971 until about 2015?

        • 4
          0

          Native Vedda ,

          Who committed the crimes and against whom? This is referred to as double standards in the political trade

      • 3
        2

        Mr. Amarasiri,
        Your ‘Fake PM’ is comparatively a good one; why? because he:
        1. reduced RanilW’s government to a minority lame-duck one that could disintegrate and fall like a broken glass sooner than later.
        2. managed to reveal the true colors of the UNP, SLFP, TNA, JVP, and JHU. Now they cannot hide behind ‘democracy, yahapalanaya’ or any sweet word coined by the West.
        3. made the poor happy by reducing the fuel prices and forced the UNP to continue it. If there is any more reduction in fuel prices the credit will automatically go to this Fake PM.
        4. abolished the taxes levied on NRFC account holders; a great consolation for those who work abroad.
        5. cancelled the so-called SL-Singap FTA, another national achievement.
        6. Found out how funds were misused by UNP ministers including Sajit and Ranawaka: Sajit has spent Rs 3000 million and kept another Rs. 2600 million till October, just to promote his image (ego). This is taxpayers’ money.
        7. reduced Sarath Fonseka to a mere list MP and today, he and UNP deputy minister Thevarapperuma call each other ‘Porisadaya’ (gangster). People are laughing not only at them but at PM and his UNP also. The comedy series is supposed to continue until the complete demise of the UNP minority government.
        8. exposed the loop-holes of the 19th amendment and made sure it become a headache for the UNP. (e.g. tug-of war on the definition of ‘national government’)
        9. exposed to people the true relationship between RaniW and Central Bank robbers; RaviK got a minister’s post again, and Alosius and Palisena are out of custody on bail.
        10. showed the people and his critics that even within 50 day, you can do a lot to alleviate the burden of the poor.
        May I stop here because the numbers are getting bigger and that is about to exceed the CT limit of 300 words.

        • 0
          0

          Mr. Raj,

          There is an article that asks the question as to whether the Fake PM, the Legal PM and the Legal President are Jokers. Or, is it that they are turning the citizens into jokers for repeatedly electing them.

      • 3
        0

        Amarasiri,

        if anything would come from Prez SIrisena today, the credibility is obvioulsy reached to ZERO level. Nobody would give a damn to his public statements.
        .
        Likewise if anything that would come from this former Prof. L Fernando, will have any value. I thought the person was really scholar, but he proved himself he can only be biased or manipulated as it is the best example fo Prof Glp.
        :
        Anyways these both Profs have something in common – SINHALA GENETICS. I truly believe, we have something wrong in our genetics. May well be some unique mutations that do not go with the average HOMO sapiens.
        :
        I believe OUR black media (also nobody else our sinhalaya) make it worse in the country today – not passing the truths to the grass root level.
        :
        So as is the case in Kangana-Hrithik spat – which has become a MEDIA spectacle in India, lanken dirty MEDIA business seems to taking us from frying pan to hearth.
        .

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 7
    0

    When the poor continue to suffer, these political rascals are playing merry hell in the country. Disgusting!!!

  • 7
    1

    Laksiri Fernando quite rightly wants the “First Priority In New Year” to be “Addressing Suffering (Dukkha) Of The Poor”.
    In 1948 the New Year resolution was “Disempower the plantation workers”. Over a million were disenfranchised. At that time the plantation workers were the poorest of the poor and STILL are.
    In 1948, the then Ceylon (now SL) had high standard of living sustained by the sweat of the plantation workers.
    Seventy years later, only the elite Lankans make the New Year resolution “Increase personal wealth”.
    .
    Laksiri points out “………….All democratic rights of the people should be defended in the process, because otherwise the political initiatives would be grabbed by a small group of questionable people.
    Laksiri adds “……….there is no point in rallying around Yahapalana (may I say) scoundrels again……..”.
    He is looking for a suitable word to describe the ‘others’.
    .
    Laksiri has lots of numbers from various sources. He quotes what a great economic expert of the World Bank, David Newhouse, said in March 2017,
    “Excluding the Northern and Eastern provinces, headcount poverty fell from 22.7 percent to 6.1 percent between 2002 and 2012/13. In that same period, extreme poverty in Sri Lanka decreased from 13 percent to less than 3 percent in 2012/13— lower than many of Sri Lanka’s neighbours, other post-conflict countries, and other comparable countries.”
    In the Northern and Eastern Provinces, unemployment is twice national average, under-employment nearly 100% and as a result the wages are half the national average.
    .
    We have two very bad teams playing a friendly. Both teams do not seem to mind that we are near the edge of Failed-State-Cliff.

    • 1
      0

      “We have two very bad teams playing a friendly.”
      Not too friendly I would say.
      *
      May I add that the Tamils, Muslims and Hill Country Tamils have their own friendlies.

  • 1
    0

    LAKSIRI FERNANDO: The meaning of the word Dukka is every thing is made up of smaller components. IT gradually gets smaller and ultimately it is made up of something called Rupastaka (similar to Super strings in Science) which is made up of what is called FOUR MAHA BHOOTHA.
    What I here about the political system.is IS was changed for worse in 1978 thr friend of Ronald Reagan, JRJ. Then Pemadasa REduced the Vote level from 12.5 ro 5% so that Even defeated parties could be hired. Even though they have minority candidates in their parties, thy have a close called NATIONAL govt underwhich they recruit all the corrupts. The reason is two major parties can not establish a govt on their own. So, they want that to establish the govt and recruit those parties. 19th amendment is another thing in which president appoints the PM but he can not fire the PM eventhough he was caught as the instigator of the the Bond scam and many other corrutpions and PM delayed eventhe legislation to prosecute bond scammers. Then the uneducated idiots are in the parliament (Those who failed O/L, today the world is different) because of some crooked business they became rich and powerful in the area. So, there no electorateds instead electoral district. Every vote is used and not wasted. On top of that, The Permanent Secretary System is abolished, the minister can hire his brother, wife or daughter as both the Secretary and the Accountant. Then why do we need a Political authority to every on SOE and every department. So, they do not work. We had Local elections, One local council’s chairman is a KUDU SUNIL who is UNP. In another council it was SOTHTHI SUNIL who is SLFP/SLPP and he is a Thug, Rapist, killer etc., etc., They ask people not to appoint criminals.

  • 2
    0

    UNIVERSAL BASIC (UBI) should be stopped. That is good for DEveloped countries as the unemployed poor, Drug addcted can ransack the rich businesses and establishments by everyway. In Sri UBI created unemployed LAzy youth who are not willing to work. Instead govt brings labourers from India and China etc., and sri lankan youth are becoming drug addicts and no one is working in the paddy fields.
    Yesterday, I heard one bhikku sasying SRI lanka is only 70 years old but there are 64 political partirs. Are these all going to establish govts one day or the other. On the other hand, major political parties including JVP are corrupt and they need all the undeerhand tactics, sabotages to stay in power, national govts and are a constitutionalised corruption. Besides Sri lankan democracy is recycling the same Politician. People do not have democratic party constitutions. So the inheriting of the party to family members or relatives is easy. NEO LIBERAL CAMP IS BREAKING DOWN EVERY WHERE INTHE WORLD. where it established well, we here, mass killings by gun almost everyday. YET RANIL AND HIS GANG WHO DID NOT HAVE A DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM FROM 2015 – 2019 ARE TALKING ABOUT THE PROGRAM FROM 2020 – 2025. nOW THEY ARE BUSY lieing to people for the next election. Sri lankan education at every level, HEalth, culture (I hear numerous Liquor shops within short stretches of the mainroad) and culture all destroyed. Ministers come to the Radio or in NEWS lie like hell. Sri lanka does not have accountable and honest media. All are liers. Some good story is SIRASA TV NEWs are not in the you tube. When you tube was asked they had said, it is not the govt, it is the Embassy that asked us to delete it and not to load. When the embassy is asked they had said “IS that a Acceptable answer”.

  • 5
    0

    Democracy is just the right to vote in a “free” election. Capitalism is the right to free enterprise. Income inequality follows directly from what is called “scarcity” in economics, e.g. limited resources. Humans actually need very little to survive. If they have mental clarity, they will not desire extraneous items that are largely for material show and tell. There is something else called the “standard of living”, which is a good way to talk about the macroeconomic condition. If a society is technologically advanced, the standard of living will automatically be high, regardless of democracy or capitalism. It is the Industrial Revolution, more than anything else, that made the West wealthy. Some East Asian nations that have industrialized also reap the benefits of high technology.

    • 4
      1

      Lester

      You forgot other things that are prevalent in this island that drags the country down and keep it where it shouldn’t be,
      Corruption
      Impunity
      Nepotism
      inefficient allocation of resources and political power


      Racism
      Bigotry

      Arrogance
      and the inability of the politicians and state functionaries to see beyond their nose, and the industrialists and the people’s expectations of their unearned entitlements .

  • 2
    0

    At least cant we appoint these poor vagabonds as ministers, deputy ministers and state ministers. After all our leaders’ main concerns are about the “akinsaka nathi bari janathawa”?

  • 3
    1

    This article by good Dr. Proves what Nassim Nicholas Taleb so eloquently pointed out in his essay
    . ‘ The Intellectual Yet Idiot’

    By the way good Dr. Brazil’s new right wing leader assumed office as well.

  • 1
    0

    We understand poverty Doctor. We also do do know people sitting in a/c rooms or never went without meals due to not having, can keep talking about it but will not be be able to solve it. I find Laksiri has taken the turn when it comes to writing. He now finds social issues which he was not able to see before and try presenting it to stay put as a freelance writer. After the initial introduction he gets to international arena and blames the usual subjects (scapegoats) for all the malaise, world is currently facing and at the end return backs to Lanka with few words to say. I do not mind this mediocre twilight writings as long he dosent get to distort facts. Even then I have a question. Doc you blame western countries, IMF, EU, world bank , capitalism for our problems. But I thought this is seen world wide and far more worse in so called socialist, communist (former and present) non western and third world countries.How did that happen in Russia,China and Venezuela. Were they pretending to be one just like us. During MR era pan handlers were there but were taken out of the city during beautification process.

    • 0
      0

      MODS CHIV: IT is the CIa that did it in VENEZUELA.

  • 1
    0

    Your writing is causing more Dukka than addressing it

  • 3
    0

    In ancient Greece politicians were appointed in the same way that jurors are appointed today. Anyone could be called upon to serve as an ‘MP’ for a fixed period. Of course this was limited to ‘nobles’ of Athens. Think about it. Could it be worse than the criminals we have today?

  • 1
    0

    Dr Fernando

    For over 85% of our population, at least, the ‘NEW YEAR’ begins on the 13/14 April .

    In any case, the poor and downtrodden, like taxes, will always be with us. Whether by making wrong choices or due to unfortunate circumstances, poverty is a fact of life. The representatives we elect to run our country should played the greatest part in alleviating poverty, however, they are too busy enriching their own wealth in order to carry out their expected duties. Do not expect any change of habits in the coming year.

    Happy New Year, everyone.

  • 1
    3


    Racism
    Bigotry

    LOL!

    • 0
      0

      @Shemale Retarded Perehera bugger, all you can do is laugh when the country burns. You were hiding under a bed while the LTTE was running amok, now you are passing time laughing. Bloody clown!!!!

  • 3
    2

    I don’t trust Srilankan statistics because Politicians manipulate statistics to their needs. There is always a gap in the income distribution. For example You cannot find the level of Mahinda Rajapakse family income. One international statistics claimed he is the richest in the country and one of the richest in Asia. If you distribute that income among the low income holders there will be much improvement in the level of income of those people. During 1971, the SWRD family were the richest at that time but they distributed their wealth (assets) nationally. Most of Mahinda’s wealth are outside the country. Will Mahinda Family bring those wealth? Never.

  • 2
    4

    CT

    It is unfortunate that many of the commenters were quite incapable of understanding what I was saying. Are they anti-poor or insensitive to poor people’s situation? Or are they bigoted by the government propaganda? Following is what the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs (under Ranil Wickremesinghe!) says in their latest Bulletin (ISSN 1391 – 4693, October 2017).

    “In 2016 poverty headcount index was 4.1 percent and it was declined from 6.7 percent in 2012/13.”

    Another miracle? According to their calculations, only 843,913 people were in poverty. How do they calculate? This is what they say in the report itself.

    “The Official Poverty Line (OPL) for 2016 is Rs.4,166. That is the real per capita expenditure per month for a person fixed at a specific welfare level with the consumption expenditure of food and non-food items.”

    In my article, based on previous figures, I said it is impossible for a person to have (2030 kilocalories!) or food and non-food necessities per day for Rs 157. Now they have done another miracle or a manipulation. According to them, a person needs only Rs. 139 per day! Can a person have one meal (or a bath packet) for this amount? Who is going to take responsibility for these outrageous economic statements?

    If anyone is confused about how I have now arrived at the daily Rs. 139 figure, just divide the Ministry’s Rs. 4,166 figure by 30.

    • 4
      0

      Laksiri
      Do not blame the reader after you destroyed your credibility with your weird logic re the constitutional crisis.
      Many doubt the sincerity of your concerns, and that stands in the way of taking your words seriously.
      It is much the same with DJ when he writes on Marxism, Cuba etc.

      • 1
        1

        SJ

        “Do not blame the reader after you destroyed your credibility with your weird logic re the constitutional crisis.
        Many doubt the sincerity of your concerns, and that stands in the way of taking your words seriously”

        What a surprise I agree with you.
        Then I must be wrong this time.
        Am I?

      • 2
        1

        SJ

        Thanks for your opinion. But what is the ‘credibility’ I had with the readers that you talk about? When I started writing in 2012, criticising the Rajapaksa regime there was a similar crowed criticising and even insulting me. The Editor personally advised me that I should counter and reply. Then it subsided. Then there was a group applauding me (including Amarasiri from Germany!) when I intensified the criticisms over Rajapaksa and calling for a regime change. I don’t need to give the number of articles that I have written in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Well, when I started criticising the Yahapalana regime beginning the Bond Scam, some people were baffled but didn’t criticise me very much until the recent ‘constitutional crisis’ and for what I expressed about it. Of course there were some expressing critical opinion (like Native Vedda) continuously. I don’t mind that, but appreciate if people could come up with their real names, if they want to insult and unleash personal accusations. Otherwise, where is the responsibility for the freedom that they use? On the present article, many of the criticisms were based, in my opinion, on their support for RW (temporary may be!) and also their contempt for the poor. That is very clear to me.

        What is the ‘sincerity’ that you talk about or they expect from me? Who are they anyway? I am sincere to what I write whatever mistakes I might make. I still believe I was correct in my main positions and arguments on the constitutional crisis and perhaps that correctness might prove in the coming future. But I cannot ensure a pseudo sincerity that other people expect from me.

        • 1
          0

          Your justification of the constitutional coup did not impress many.
          You passed on the issue of violation of bourgeois democratic norms by MS and MR.
          People may have criticized you for your earlier stand, but I doubt if they questioned your integrity then.
          When one’s integrity comes into question, sincerity follows suit.
          *
          If you do not care about what others think of your views, why should you protest at their responses?
          If you have no respect for one, just ignore him/her.

          • 2
            0

            SJ

            “If you have no respect for one, just ignore him/her.”

            Of course ITS A good idea.
            I believe forum sharers are looking for intellectual honesty in every contributor.

            They do know you are a pro Chinese, pro Pol Pot, pro SLFP, Pro Weeping Widow, pro Abimael Guzmán, … a Self Hating Tamil, …………. At least you are honest about your preferences. Deep down you believe China and Siri Mao could do no wrong.

            Dr. Laksiri Fernando is a closet Sinhala/Buddhist nationalist (voted honorary PhD for each of the war criminals) right from the beginning. Unlike you he keeps his one sided views deeply hidden in his smooth writing. Go back a few years and review all his articles and you will see how he dodged serious issues for example, Federalism, War Crime investigation, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, ………….. above all he has infinite love for the clan.

            • 0
              1

              Native,

              I think you are lamenting for Prabhakaran. What do you say? Do you consider him as a terrorist or not?

              • 1
                0

                Laksiri Fernando

                “Do you consider him as a terrorist or not?”

                Good question
                Only a child who was born yesterday could ask such silly question.

                Prabaharan was not only a Terrorists but a psychopath like Dr Gota (DSc), Rohana Wijeweera, Somawansa, ………….. however he was your psychopathic terrorist wasn’t he? Then he is alright. He fought your wars against the Hindian IPKF, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, …………… and won a 30 year war, and two elections for your hero Dr Mahinda (LLD) immortalized in your writings, ..

                In case if you have missed my comments I have been saying the same thing since I started commenting on various websites and in person many years ago. I do not have to sweet talk to please the crooks, their clans, cronies, and their killing machines.

                Ask yourself a question how could a learned man (referring to your PhD) like you ever campaign to restore a crook and war criminal illegally to one of the top jobs in this country, assuming it is a top job, not just him but his entire corrupted clan of nearly 150 men and women, never mind their cronies..

                “I think you are lamenting for Prabhakaran.”

                Aren’t you?
                His absence is a great loss to the clan and cronies. Their reliable source of threat factor is no longer present in this country in order to appeal to their block voters with typical rallying call, … hence loss of power and huge unearned income. Aren’t you sad?

                By the way you wowed not to respond to pseudonyms.

                Nothing personal.

                • 0
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                  Why are you so angry? Read again what you have written. Go before the mirror and look at your face. Don’t apologise at the end ‘nothing personal’ after unleashing all your anger against me and others.

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                    Laksiri Fernando

                    Anger?
                    Nothing personal was not an apology but an assurance to you that I meant what I wrote, … and as far as I am concerned hypocrisy, bigotry, racism, fake analysis, partiality, selective amnesia, … common among academics ……….. should not be left unchallenged.

                    “Go before the mirror and look at your face.”

                    When I last checked while grooming my beard my face was still in the front part of my head.

                    Did you think it was my anger.
                    You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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                Laksiri Fernando

                “I think you are lamenting for Prabhakaran. “
                -.
                Finally, you have decided to use Bush-kin’s logic, “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”. There has never been middle path in this island.

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                I think Prabakaran was a freedom fighter.
                :
                If we consider Rajapakshes to allow ruin this nation and consider any doings being done by him as no harm, why not we call Prabakaran s then acts were to protect notherners ?.
                .
                I am sinhalaya, but i feel this way. Sorry about that Laksiri Fernando. And at the time, JVP leader fought for their men, there too we never trust us to call him a terrorist
                .
                To be honest, I now feel we the sinhalayas are worst than nothern rebells. See how they yet today inflict crimes. Their verbal attacks are beyond all ethics and morals. Demala, and marakkalaya thamabiya are still stuck to their voccabulary.
                :
                Sorry Native, I jumped up to say my thoughts even if the question was made to you by LF.

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                  Concerned Sinhala Man

                  I beg to differ.
                  No one has the right to kill, maim, harm innocent person or destroy or steal another person’s property. What Rohana Wijeweera, Vellupillai Prabaharan and Dr Goata did was terrorism of the worse kind, innocent people have been directly targeted by these psychopaths. We can discuss it some other time.

                  “Sorry about that Laksiri Fernando.”

                  A classical case of misplaced loyalty. Perhaps deep down he is grateful to Rajapaksas who taught the Demelas lessons they will not forget.

                  Have happy new year.

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                  Concerned Sinhala Man,

                  You say: “I think Prabakaran was a freedom fighter.”
                  I respect your view although I cannot agree. I question more of ‘terrorism’ than ‘terrorists.’ I have met some of them in Sri Lanka and elsewhere who were quite understandable persons. However, when they indulge in massive violence or terrorism, it is necessary to suppress them for the sake of others. Freedom struggles should employ different and peaceful strategies, then they can be undisputable ‘freedom fighters.’
                  I am not commenting on your other views in detail. I simply don’t think there can be much difference between Southerners and Northerners when it comes to crime, verbal attacks or ethics. However, considering the numbers and political power etc. the Northerners are at the receiving end. I may be wrong but this is my view at present.

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            SJ,

            Thanks for your advice again! Now you are talking about integrity, previously talking about credibility and sincerity. Are you talking on behalf of others or yourself?

            If others, how do you know they are correct? If yourself, what are the proof and evidence? Why do you hide behind others always? How can expressing views on constitutional or other matters be matters of integrity, sincerity and credibility?

            Why you or some others (not all) cannot comment/criticize on the themes or facts of the articles but mostly go against the authors. Is it poverty of knowledge? Is it intolerance of other’s views? Or is it a tendency for personal vengeance? Do they expect conformity of ideas in their own image or preference? Don’t you think these are primarily the main ailments of Sri Lankan politics among politicians, parties and people? I am all for improved, more responsible and constructive ‘comments culture’ in Colombo Telegraph and in general.

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              Laksiri Fernando

              “How can expressing views on constitutional or other matters be matters of integrity, sincerity and credibility?

              Why you or some others (not all) cannot comment/criticize on the themes or facts of the articles but mostly go against the authors. “

              Am I concerned about your judgement may be a little. Am I concerned about your intentions, yes I am. Am I concerned about your partiality, yes a lot. Am I concerned about your sense of humanity a lot, ………….

              I have been consistently pointing out what you wrote and what you meant, two different things. It is not about your judgement that should concern us whether it is right or wrong but your intentions that is most worrying.

              My anger or lack of it should or would not distract others from your main focus, a hidden agenda perhaps, and hope they understand your approach to reconciliation, peace, good governance, constitution ……..is nothing more than a charade.

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                Native,
                What is your intention? Protecting and defending rouges like Ranil?

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                  Laksiri Fernando

                  “Protecting and defending rouges like Ranil?”

                  Once again you have decided to use Bush-kin’s logic, “You’re either with us or against us in the fight against terror.”. There has never been middle path in this island.

                  Please feel free to support Rajapaksa and his clan or whomsoever you chose however there is no need for you to justify whatever you do. Your flawed ethical, constitutional, .political ……. logical, …. arguments have belittled you.

                  You have already stoop yourself so low, there is no need for you to proceed further in the name of your patriotism, therefore please keep your dignity intact.

                  My intention is to point out hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty, to remind war crimes, human rights abuses, …………… remain impartial and sane …..

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              Laksiri,
              Do not get agitated, it harms reasoning.
              You complain: “Why do you hide behind others always?’
              Do I?
              My position is that your stand on the constitutional coup was flawed. Your impressions of Ranil W cannot justify his unconstitutional dismissal and dissolution of parliament.
              Several had made the point and there was no need for me to add to that.
              *
              In this instance, I did not want to add to the acrimony after the discussion had, as usual, drifted from the theme.
              I kept my distance until you vehemently protested at hostile responses; and only tried to explain the phenomenon.
              I said: “Do not blame the reader after you destroyed your credibility with your weird logic re the constitutional crisis.”
              And I stand by it.
              *
              You moan: “Why you or some others (not all) cannot comment/criticize on the themes or facts of the articles but mostly go against the authors.”
              Have I gone on the attack on personalities, even when I was at times a victim?
              *
              My impression is that you have harmed the positive image that many had of you; and I repeat, I was only explaining the responses, not justifying them.
              *
              There is general intolerance of people to anything that they do not like to hear. (Your correspondence does not help to make you much of an exception.)
              *
              Many react negatively to Dayan J, irrespective of what he says, because there is, understandably, an impression of intellectual dishonesty on his part.
              *
              If people go outside the theme and get personal, ignore them as Kumar David would do.
              “Holier than thou” posturing not only loses friends but also makes you lose the debate.
              It helps to have a good sense of humor, especially in the face of hostility.

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                SJ,
                I didn’t complain about you hiding behind others. I questioned? Why do you drag this time people like DJ and Kumar for your sermon of course for different reasons? Your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ appear based on politics. Are you a defender of Ranil?

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                  Laksiri
                  You have enough language skill to read text correctly I pressume:
                  “Do not blame the reader after you destroyed your credibility with your weird logic re the constitutional crisis.
                  Many doubt the sincerity of your concerns, and that stands in the way of taking your words seriously.”
                  That was in the wake of your wailing about hostile responses to you.
                  Who you are never bothered me; and who I am need not bother you. I only exchange views not personal attacks.
                  *
                  I said that you destroyed your credibility. I did not make any further accusations.
                  The evidence you seek is in the way people have reacted to you, and you are intelligent enough to see that I merely pointed out that your integrity became questionable to many because of your pathetic defence of improper deeds.
                  *
                  It is hard to find one’s self suddenly isolated. But hitting out at people does not improve matters.
                  Try laughing at yourself, it should help.
                  I do whenever I do something silly and it helps.

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                SJ,

                Don’t talk about ‘sense of humour’ after accusing me of ‘sincerity,’ ‘credibility’ and ‘integrity.’ I asked for proof, but you have dodged the issue. Who are you by the way? Is this the type of ‘democrats’ and ‘liberals’ that we have in Sri Lanka today?

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      Dr. Laksiri,
      Manipulation is nothing new to Srilanka. It was well practiced during the period between 2005 and 2015. Even you manipulated that the illegal constitutional coup of Sirisena & Mahinda as legal. Bribe is the major factor to the economic failure but you supported the bribe of Mahinda. If the country to be developed and the income distribution gap to reduce, bribe should be stopped. For that you need to find a permanent solution to the Tamil Problem.

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    Dear Laksiri,

    What you say would be taken differently by those of different mind cultures. In any case, as per my belief in Lord Buddha, Dukkha’s source is not lack of money. If it was, Lord Buddha would have not renounced money wealth but rather would have distributed it to the money poor. Dukkha is experienced when we desire that which we have not earned – including status. As highlighted above by Amarasiri, Thanha / Desire is the cause of Dukkha. One of the first Buddhist lessons I learnt in school in Jaffna was that Lord Buddha said Aasai Aramin – renounce desire. A money poor Sri Lankan without desire is certainly richer than the political leaders you supported during the recent coup. We need to be pure of desire to naturally share peace of mind with all those who come within our mind aura – including through our writings

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      Gajalakshmi Paramasivam,

      I used Buddhist teachings to show material suffering of the poor. I am sorry if you cannot understand. You or Amarasiri used Buddhist teachings to attack your political enemies. You pretend in your last sentence that you have achieved ‘pure of desire’ and ‘peace of mind’ including in your writings! Or is it just preaching others? Based on what you learnt at school, you want the poor in Sri Lanka to renounce their desire! Are you really out of your mind? Or is it to keep yourself and your class rich?

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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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          Retarded ………………… Shameless Perera

          Brilliant
          Infinite monkey theorem
          The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type any given text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.
          en.wikipedia.org

          Please keep trying.

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    Dr Fernando

    The name of the game is that you write, we the readers comment. We the readers are like the three blind men out on an afternoon excursion to the zoo, and each came back with a different view of the magnificent elephant they encountered.

    Dukkha transcends material poverty. In which statistic does the well-fed beggar with two mobiles outside the Majestic shopping centre get recorded?

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    Am I missing something ; were you supposed to write about

    Addressing Suffering (Dukkha) Of The Poor Rajapakses: First Priority In New Year

    you steadfastly supported his fake PM; you even misinterpreted the constitution in favour of him

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    Thank you Laksiri for responding. I did understand as per my belief in Lord Buddha. So please do not be sorry. As Spring Koha says we – including you would be reporting about the elephant as per our own perception. Buddha’s teaching is the elephant here. When you say that I pretend to have achieved peace of mind you are leaving your own experience of the elephant and you are relating to mine through yours. Wherever you go your Truth comes with you and mine with me. We will enjoy the full elephant so long as we do not speak for the other’s experience through another part. Truth is beyond relativity and therefore the physical. It does not need any calculations to prove Itself. Take it or leave it.

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