23 June, 2024

Blog

Aragalaya In Israel, IMF In Sri Lanka

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

Israel is having its own version of aragalaya with nearly a three-quarter million people storming the streets of Tel Aviv last Sunday to protest against Prime Minister Netanyahu’s political scheming to subordinate the country’s judiciary to its legislature. The pretext theory for Netanyahu in Israel, as with others of his ilk elsewhere, is that unelected judges should not be allowed to frustrate the so called will of the people that is conveniently expressed through the governing majority of their elected representatives in parliament. Mr. Netanyahu’s real purpose, however, is to prevent the courts from finding him guilty on charges of fraud and corruption and potentially sending him to jail. 

The scale and persistence of protests in Israel are not unlike the explosion of aragalaya in Sri Lanka. But both are different from the protests in France in that they are not about government corruption or an authoritarian President. Also, the judiciary is not implicated in the French standoff between President Macron and the people protesting over the working life span of ordinary French people, especially women and wage workers. Sri Lankan governments and Presidents, like colonial Governors before them, have had their monkeying moments with the judiciary, but the judiciary has been spared of political ignominy for some time after the cowardly impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake by Rajapaksa bullies. 

Now there are rumblings that Supreme Court Judges might be hauled before a Parliamentary Privileges Committee to clear up just who the bosses are when it comes to disbursing government funds. This is President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s tit-for-tat response to a divisional bench of the Supreme Court directing the Treasury not to withhold funds needed for local government elections that are now past their due date. This is not the same situation that Netanyahu has stirred up in Israel, and it is not likely to stir up the same level of protests as in Israel. Put another way, there will be no aragalaya for the judges in Sri Lanka.

But the judges should feel free to stage their own form of silent protest and rebuff any highhanded call to attend a parliamentary committee meeting. They can take a leaf from Justice TS Fernando’s playbook when he stood up to Felix Dias’s tricks and entreaties to drop the curtain on the proceedings of Sri Lanka’s first Constitutional Court in the 1970s. Such a judicial pushback against a clever-by-half executive will command huge public support and sympathy, even if the people may not take to the streets (or Galle Face) as they did during aragalaya, or as it is going on now in Israel. There are other differences too. 

The protests in Israel against Netanyahu’s scheming against the judiciary are also a manifestation of simmering differences between secular Jews and orthodox religious Jews over the future direction of Israel, the status of Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the provocative Jewish settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The orthodox religious Jews of Israel generally of Middle Eastern descent are hostile to the courts which often rule against ultranationalist Jewish claims and agendas. The courts are seen to be dominated by liberal judges who are Jews of mostly of European origin. 

Israel’s ultranationalist and religious Jews have largely been a fringe force in Israeli politics until Netanyahu reached a Faustian pact with them after the elections last November to become Israel’s Prime Minister for the sixth time in his checkered political career. He cobbled together a coalition comprising rightwing and religiously conservative parties, all of them more conservative than Netanyahu’s Likud Party, to form the most rightwing government in Israel’s history. Their aim is to expand Jewish settlements on the West Bank, subordinate the courts to the will of the governing coalition, and transform the state of Israel to become more religious and less secular. 

Netanyahu calls his era Israel’s golden age to the dismay of the country’s moderates and its overseas benefactors. The country including the military is gravely divided, and the protests have been successful in forcing Mr. Netanyahu to call for ‘a pause’ to his legislative scheming, to have more dialogue with his opponents. But he has given no indication that he will scale down the changes that he is pursuing. However, the PM’s pause has becalmed sections of the protesters. Histadrut, the country’s largest trade union with 800,000 members, has now called off a general strike after successfully staging a token strike that even included Israeli officials in foreign missions walking out of their embassies.

In France, on the other hand, the unions are demanding that their President follow Israel and call for a pause on the retirement age! The Macron government has responded that it is prepared to dialogue with the unions on any and all of their other grievances except the age of retirement. So, the standoff continues with no end in sight. But neither in France nor in Israel, is there any attempt to clampdown on protesters or declare emergency rule. That happens to be only in Sri Lanka, thanks to President Wickremesinghe and his political machinations. 

The IMF and its Discontents

It has been clear that after the tumultuous exit of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President Wickremesinghe has been the beneficiary of a protest fatigue in the country. Strangely enough, it is the President who seems to be bent on poking the protest tiger to give himself the excuse to impose a clampdown. His poking is all political; for on the more critical issue of the economy, the President is shadow boxing because there is no real opposition to his economic initiatives including his ‘pre-historical’ (inasmuch as Sri Lanka’s economic history is just beginning with Ranil at ’74) deal he signed with the IMF. While the Sri Lankan protest universe is mad as hell with the President on specific issues – taxes, LG election etc., no one has the stomach for a general strike over the IMF.   

While a strike may have been averted, that was no reason for government bozos to light firecrackers to celebrate the IMF deal. There is nothing to celebrate here. The IMF is not the end of the road, it is only the end of the beginning. At the same time, the old detractors of the IMF seem to be immaturing with age – to borrow Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s classic putdown of Tony Benn, then keeper of the Labour Party’s left-conscience, that “Tony immatures with age!” There is no point in rehashing the rhetoric of the 1960s and 1970s against an IMF deal in 2023. Those who endlessly bring up the venerable name of Joseph Eugene Stiglitz and his searing criticisms one time of the IMF, may want to know what The Economist said recently about Mr. Stiglitz and the IMF, that they may have “warmed to each other,” after their earlier differences. All of this is table talk that is not going to help Sri Lanka in any way. 

Apart from the details of the Ranil-IMF agreement, what is remarkable now is the openness of the IMF officials to engage directly with the Sri Lankan public. On March 21, after the IMF agreement was finalized, there was an extensive Press Briefing and Q & A session conducted virtually from Washington. Quite a few commentators and journalists participated from Colombo, and the IMF website carries the transcript of the whole briefing and exchanges. Questions and answers were free and frank, and covered, besides details of the agreement, even the timing of local and presidential elections in Sri Lanka. The exchanges were livelier and more informed than one might come across in today’s parliament in Sri Lanka. This was followed by a virtual roundtable meeting with trade union representatives in Colombo, in which the IMF officials indicated that the government might be able to revise the current tax proposals to address some of the union concerns.   

The onus is on the government to finally set about revamping the economy. For the opposition, there are parts of the IMF agreement that can and should be used to hold the government accountable and answerable in a very political way. These include eradicating corruption, going beyond the IMF’s goal of “reducing corruption vulnerabilities; strengthening social safety nets; and revisiting the tax concessions currently offered to potential Port City investors. The IMF Staff Report includes a number of Annexes, one of which, Annex VII. The Social Safety Net: Recent Developments and Reform Priorities could be a technical blueprint for a political manifesto. Annex VIII. Colombo Port City Project provides a sobering account of what the synthetic coastal accretion at Galle Face may or may not bring to Sri Lanka after all the shouting. There is a lot to chew here besides the shouting.  

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Latest comments

  • 1
    7

    Aren’t you happy that you are a Sri Lankan and NOT an Israelite!

    • 8
      0

      Dear Nathan,
      If I’m quite honest, I’ll have to think twice before going to reveal them that I am from SL today.
      Today I am connected with 40 countries for my work related assignments. I don’t know what others share about you, but I will share my feelings today. Their only question is why on earth our people (Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims) supported Rajapaksa again????????
      What should I explain to them? They asked me why our people never understood that Gotabhaya was nothing but the unedcuated brother of a tyrannical leader like Mahinda Rajapaksa. They compared it to politics in Africa dominated by tribal leaders.

      • 5
        3

        Dear leelagemalli,
        It is with much trepidation that I respond.
        The problems in both countries are similar.
        Netanyahu is is worse than any Rajapaksa.

        • 3
          1

          leelagemalli,
          Politics is financially rewarding.
          Sinhalese are good at politics. Tamils play it wrong!

          • 0
            0

            Nathan,
            .

            Are the Sinhalese good at politics?

            What about Tamils and Muslims? Isn’t it?

            In my opinion, if they have ” Sri Lankan DNA”, I don’t see any difference. They are all more corrupt and dishonest than the opposite.

            Perhaps the Burghers are not – that may be the reason, why they could not continue life in Sri Lanka and left the country for Australia, Europe and other destinations.

        • 3
          0

          Nathan,
          Why on earth should we worry about Israeli politics? One of our days is turning into a cancer patient’s days. I worked with Israelis. I think their issue not similar.

          Besides, they are rich nations. Even the comparison must be ridiculous. Only our housemaids are interested in Israel. What can we learn from them ?
          Our problem is that we are still not serious about our problems. Even today Tamils and Muslims are not serious about minority issues in Sri Lanka. See how Wiggy (80 yrs)gets on with tamils# buring issues. How some other MPs act.

      • 3
        0

        SRILANKEN intelligence is highly hijacked by RAJAPAKSHES rascals.
        .
        Proof.
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFfK1BQug70

        It is high time, people in this country to realize the dangerous levels of RAJAPAKSHE dogs. Not a single citizen of this country should respect the buggers.

  • 8
    4

    Sri Lanka is not a secular country. (Don’t start an argument with me. I cannot be bothered with you.) Israel will always be non-secular.
    Here, we have some chance of hope; There, there is no chance at all.
    (One more reason for us to be happy!)

    • 11
      7

      According to the available evidance Ranil is a psychopath that has to be remove from office at the earliest.

      In the run up to the second world war Germans thaught that Hitler was a visionary leader little did they realise that actually he is a psychopath capable of causing so much misery.

    • 3
      11

      N
      There is a chance for Israel when US imperialism is brought to its knees.

    • 2
      3

      N
      More importantly, Israel was created with a parochial agenda, while we sleepwalked into sectarianism.

  • 8
    8

    People I speak to back home are terrified of the JVP coming to power ……. they think their properties will be taken-over/confiscated/nationalized …… and they will be reduced to communal-living ……. several families forced to live in one apartment; back to the wonderful glorious days of pristine pure Communism and Collectivization under the freer-of-people-in-bondage, the breaker-of-people’s-shackles, visionary-guide-to-the-promised-land ……… the great liberator ……. the exemplary human Stalin. It seems no one is looking forward to that kinda “freedom:” not even the greatest Lankan die-hard Stalinists.

    Stalinism is good in theory for other people to live (and die) …… but not so good in practice for the preachers/acolytes. …….. They like to enjoy a bit of freedom, a little decadence and a single-malt now and then …….. here and there.

    I see, AKD, after his visit to Milan, wearing tan Italian suede shoes. Even Socialists have a taste for finer things in life . ……… He shouldn’t be going to the toilet at the same time with Sinhala_Man …… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoEGTc0XybQ&t=5s

    The stranglehold of “Sinhalese-Buddhism” of our minds is such ……. whoever comes we are doomed. There is no escape. It’s a curse to know beforehand, how all this is going to end. It’s a blessing not to know: Native is the happiest man alive.

    • 10
      1

      continued

      We are never going to come good under any plan devised by anyone under the spell of “Sinhalese-Buddhism.” ……. “Sinhalese-Buddhism” and success/progress are mutually exclusive. ….. It’s an Entangled Pair.

      We will only recover through some fortunate accident/coincidence ……… not by any plan/scheme devised by any Lankan. ……… The better the plan; the greater the opposition/resistance.

      We have tried Left, Right and Centre for 75 years and hit rock bottom: bankrupted the country ……….. so why not give the JVP a chance? Can they make it any worse?

      Whoever comes I’ll be disappointed …….. but it’ll be interesting to see if the JVP can do any worse than the rest who have been at the wheel up to now. How worse can it get?

      We would have hit it but for some the iceberg is not close enough to get some rocks/ice for their single-malt …… someone can take it even closer. For Old Codger there is always always always a positive twist. :)))


      Experiments are great, if one doesn’t have to partake in them ……… just observe from afar ………

      • 6
        7

        Nimal,
        “We have tried Left, Right and Centre for 75 years and hit rock bottom: bankrupted the country ……….. so why not give the JVP a chance? Can they make it any worse?”
        Ì thought the JVP is the Left . I did vote for them in the last LG polls.
        I am all for giving them a chance to prove themselves in local govt, including the PCs.
        But national government? Really? Too early, I think.
        Don’t forget that the JVP and the LTTE were together responsible for much of our present predicament. They destroyed vast amounts of public property, and contributed to the ballooning of the armed forces.
        Nobody , not even Sinhala Man, knows what their actual policies are. AKD convincingly talks about “good management ” and “restructuring ” of SOE’s, but his own union colleagues organise strikes to oppose just that. JVP student unions oppose even the SLIIT and NSBM. He says he’s not against 13A, but Tilvin Silva says no. Lalkantha justifies the killing of “traitors” in the 80’s. As long as the real power in the JVP is in the hands of these guys, we can’t trust it.

        • 2
          3

          AKD explains in eight minutes why all the other Political Parties will gang up against the NPP.
          .
          Actually, the NPP is stressing all the while that professionals must be paid will enough to reverse the brain drain. Even in the case of businessmen, the NPP is saying .that entrepreneurship must be rewarded.
          .
          Who then is going to be worse off? I guess all those involved in illicit trades, and those who become prosperous through exercising influence.
          .
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5ivEEbJDHE
          .
          However, the last activity that I mentioned above may cause concern for some. The temptation to wheeler deal is something that many feel that they can gain by, but, of course they don’t want that possibility extended to those outside their circle.
          .
          Actually what AKD suggests is a meritocracy; all should be happy with that!.
          .

          • 5
            0

            AKD’s accusations against rival parties are known to people.

            Even the ministers of JVP have enjoyed benefits including pensions given as former members of parliament. However, they repeatedly point the finger at others.
            These are only one-sided opinions as some school-going children do. I think JVP should lead by example before preaching “corruption and malfeasance”.

            However, in a country where the majority of the people are highly corrupt and abused in every way, thinking only about corruption and abuse will not move us forward.

            Agreed on one thing, JVPs are relatively less corrupt and less abusive. Busta.

            • 2
              0

              I did not respect the members of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna.

              I hated anyone that supported Rajapakshes. However, it is worth listening to what this minister has to say about some of the information he confirmed in this forum.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQM8fQu7hPo

            • 0
              0

              All this is factual, isn’t it?
              .
              Is there any contradiction in wanting to change the system, but continuing to subsist under the current system?
              .
              If they abuse those privileges which they enjoy under the current system, then that would be wrong.
              .
              Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela, (NIC 483111444V), currently in Maharagama.

              • 0
                0

                I’m glad that my preceding comment went in, because I’m finding myself severely handicapped after handing my phone in for a repair.
                .
                Because I haven’t used this computer for a long time, I find myself shut out of email address! That address has two-step verification on, and that normally requires the use of my mobile phone. Tomorrow is the Poya Day, but, hopefully, I’ll be back in business some time on Thursday.
                .
                Security is fine, and important, but then in certain situations one finds oneself in a fix.

        • 3
          3

          OC
          There is a lot of old baggage that the JVP has to dump to become credible– much of it is Wijewera legacy.

    • 6
      2

      Nimal , so so simple as you say and yet appears complicated to clueless Lankans.

  • 9
    1

    Netanyahu calls his era Israel’s golden age to the dismay of the country’s moderates and its overseas benefactors.
    ??? … ?
    Are there any ‘overseas benefactors’? Who are they?
    ONLY the US.
    It doesn’t matter if it is a Republican or a Democrat at the helm US will never abandon Israel.

    • 3
      0

      SJ

      Oh yes
      Hitler was focused on his survival until he had to shoot him self.

      After causing so much misery.

  • 4
    0

    Here is an interesting stand, – the tumultuous exit of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
    Those who think that Gotabaya Rajapaksa is NOT regretting his hasty decision, please raise your hands.
    What? Not a single hand?
    Do you think that Gotabaya will ever forgive Mahinda?

    • 9
      3

      Nathan,
      If Gota actually was the he-man who saved the country, he would have used the army to nip the Aragalaya in the bud, not that I advocate it.
      Any fool can win a war with a 10 to 1 advantage in manpower, and 100 to 1 in armour and airpower.
      But he was good at one thing. Going by his beautification of Colombo, his real calling was gardening. Let us give him credit for being a good gardener.

      • 4
        3

        “While the Sri Lankan protest universe is mad as hell with the President on specific issues – taxes, LG election etc., no one has the stomach for a general strike over the IMF. “
        That isn’t quite correct. There are many who do, but, faced with the stick that Ranil has used, most employees have decided that having a job is better than being unemployed. The fired union leaders who went crying to Mahinda Maama yesterday were a pathetically deflated lot, devoid of all the fire and brimstone they breathed just last week.

      • 4
        0

        old codger,
        My time is running out. I could open up a little bit, I guess.
        Sri Lanka won only because of Prabhakaran.
        Gota is not in this picture. Rajiv is.

      • 4
        0

        “But he was good at one thing. Going by his beautification of Colombo, his real calling was gardening. Let us give him credit for being a good gardener.”

        OC,

        The powerful in Lanka feel they are above even the laws on nature. He would’ve been a beautification-ist alright …….. but knew nothing about road design. After every rainy season his new roads flooded the low lying areas. And the road surfaces were constantly under repair. The road surfaces are at their weakest when water-logged. Look at the designs of the old colonial English engineers …….. how much attention to detail they dedicated to get rid of surface water. Look at the old storm water disposal system in the Fort.

        First thing they teach in road/runway design is disposal of storm water.

        He wrote the bible on road/runway design. ……… https://cee.umd.edu/news/story/maryland-engineering-mourns-matthew-witczak-professor-emeritus ……. https://www.asphaltinstitute.org/timeline/roh-2002-dr-matthew-w-witczak/ …… https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/book/10.1002/9780470172919

        • 1
          0

          Nimal,
          You can still see 200 year old cobblestones in some Pettah streets.

          • 0
            0

            OC,

            Cobblestones road surfaces are still found in most English cities. They are so commonplace one overlook to notice. I can only remember some old sections of Leeds. Those were designed for horse carriages but still withstand high volumes of modern traffic. :))

            • 1
              0

              Nimal
              Cobblestones can handle cart wheels. Our highways can’t.

      • 6
        0

        OC,
        ..
        I thought his mastery was silly statements like “I am the one who did its best, Gota thamayi hariyata kare.” Am I not correct? And visiting GHANAKKA more than he goes to little boy room ?

        Election of such an low-life did NOT come automatically, srilanken media and stupid people along with YELLOW pets should be responsible for that.
        .
        Today, even school going children may be aware that It was real ” poisoned chalice” . However, people dont seem to care little , how come ? they behave like their senses are hired by RAJAPAKSHES ?
        .
        And remember the hic hic hic unique style of laughter… from BBC Hard Talk…I thought his mastery was silly statements like “I am the one who did its best, Gota thamayi hariyata kare.” Am I not correct? And visiting GHANAKKA more than he goes to little boy room ?

        Election of such an low-life did NOT come automatically, srilanken media and stupid people along with YELLOW pets should be responsible for that.
        .
        Today, even school going children may be aware that It was real ” poisoned chalice” . However, people dont seem to care little , how come ? they behave like their senses are hired by RAJAPAKSHES ?
        .
        And remember the hic hic hic unique technique of laughter… from BBC Hard Talk.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bqgVDfEDvs..

      • 2
        0

        old codger,
        Gardening? hm. Isn’t that some kind of fertiliser stuff. I thought that he messed up that, didn’t he.

        • 3
          0

          Nathan,
          True, he did produce a lot of fertilizer using his mouth….
          But I was talking about his Colombo clean-up, the walkways, etc. You haven’t been here recently?

          • 2
            0

            OC & N
            Not very recently I hope, if the last visit was two years ago.

  • 16
    20

    Hi OC, Vedda, Leela, Gamini and other Ranil fans,

    You guys must listen to your Ranil addressing some tourists at Unawatuna/Galle recently. He has big plans to tour the South into a paradise beach ! Wonder how he will find the money , I thought whatever we earn goes to pay loans. ! After that project he will turn the whole country into a dynamo , led by a ever young visionary doer ( though unelected !)

    According to Ranil , other than economics, geo-politics, history, law, Royal-thomian, dancing (Iranganie ) geography, science, he is also a expert in operatic music.

    Ranil has invited Andrea Bocelli to sing in Sri Lanka ! A brilliant achievement ! !

    • 14
      10

      Vedda,
      You may be thinking that Ranil is the last chance for you to get the Tamil issues sorted.

      Please be aware that Ranil is a Fox
      He is a man capable of playing the great political game only for his survival.

      I will not put my trust on a psychopath like Ranil.

      • 6
        0

        “Ranil has invited Andrea Bocelli to sing in Sri Lanka ! A brilliant achievement ! !”

      • 5
        3

        Sargent Nallathambi

        “You may be thinking that Ranil is the last chance for you to get the Tamil issues sorted.”

        I don’t give a toss about Tamil Issues/Tamil problem.
        In fact it is a 100 years old Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people including Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, …..

        Would you put your trust on other psychopaths, such as Rajapaksas, Svendras, Wimal, Champika, ….. Gota tried with 6.9 million and failed and our own nimal fernando the greatest supporter and the biggest fan of Right Honourable (Meythahu) Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabaharan believes believes he needs someone him to sort out problem.

        And think I want “Tamil problems” to be sorted out however I want all those descendants of Kallthonies including Wimal, Champika all those saffron clad racists, ….. to be deported to their country, South Hindia,….

        • 3
          3

          NV,
          Sargent Nallathambi should be siamese twin brother of Prof. Deepthi Silva.
          :
          No matter all the last cent is looted by Rajapakshes, Prof. Deepthi Silva or the like would not change. If s/he was found continuing so, no doubt, baira lake-punishment would have been the reality for him/her too.

      • 1
        3

        IMF is a cats paw for US power play.

      • 1
        1

        SN
        Are psychopaths so well focussed on their survival?

    • 5
      6

      DS,
      .
      Let me remind you one last time, I am not a particular fan of Ranil or anyone, however I consider his efforts for the country as a 1-man show of the interim government. Credit to him for that. Where credit is due – by and large our people are really spiteful. It is injected into them through “Sinhala Buddhism” more than anything else.

      I exchanged with a former politician in South Germany yesterday, he said that Ranil and C.B.K. are good leaders for our country. All others are like Modi of India. Rather than cursing the Rajapaksas, our illusions destroyed politics in the past. He further stated that racism in Sri Lanka should have been stopped a long time ago.

      Unfortunately, there are hardly any leaders with the necessary experience to give saline to this serious situation. According to my friends in Europe, Rajapakse and his minions must be real stupid leaders. If Sri Lanka opens up to the world, according to them, the potential of becoming a developed nation very soon is really high.

      ->2

      • 5
        0

        2

        AKD is bogged down in low level arguments and not answering our questions, the SJB leader doesn’t have the basic brain to see it right.

        I feel that yours is pathological and often fall into your volatile state of mind.
        Why don’t you try to heal yourself or read a little more about Alzheimer’s syndrome??????

      • 6
        5

        Leela, Have you had too much German beer or are you a simpleton ?

        • 2
          4

          Honestly, Professor DS, look back. It will help your type of people (majority in our hell) to use brain.

          I’m sorry you’re being such a brat on this forum. No consistency at all. Knowing that the majority of our people are like you, how can we expect a real change.

          How have you ever worked in the UK?

          I will travel to London in a week, if you have time, let’s have a cup of tea and clear your doubts. I feel you need a neutral person to have a good discussion with you. I will only be there for two days.

    • 4
      0

      A bit of name-dropping to rile Native …….

      Andrea Bocelli is bit of hype (so is Pavarotti) ……. his blindness adds to his mystique. ……. Try some bygone tenors that are not in Ranil’s library ……. Carlo Bergonzi, Franco Corelli, Jussi Björling …… Mario del Mónaco (in Cavalleria Rusticana) ………. (Most people judge tenors by their rendition of Nessun Dorma ……… except for Corelli whose Nessun Dorma is up there with the best (another good one is Bruno Prevedi’s) ……. the rest’s is nothing to write home about. But their comprehensive repertoire of various composers/operas is hard to beat.) ……. Wagnerian opera requires different kind of singers, there’s none better than Kirsten Flagstad; there is a statue of her in front of the Oslo Opera House. Oslo Opera House, the location/site is very similar to Sydney Opera House …….. near/on water but the looks and acoustics are totally different.

      • 4
        0

        continued

        Once when visiting Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, Perugia ……. the upstairs was closed off and Andrea Bocelli was giving a recital for Italian bigwigs ……. the courtyard was packed with Lancias: I’ve never seen those models outside of Italy. Didn’t see Bocelli but got to hear him.

        The best Nessun Dorma I’ve ever heard and someone Ranil will never invite ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OnHZYZGXFY …….. he sings in Piazza della Rotonda, the square in front of the Pantheon in Rome. Those who live in or visited Rome would’ve seen him.

        Native, if ye want to show-off do it with élan without false-modesty ……… the only book I’ve read from Ranil’s library.

      • 5
        7

        Nimal,
        If you’re addressing Deepthi, be aware that she must be frantically searching Wikipedia for a female singer called Andrea Bocelli.
        Please don’t confuse her, she’s confused enough already.

        • 2
          6

          Nimal,
          And please, oh, please don’t provoke an endless torrent of interminable Wagner videos from Bandarawela.

          • 2
            0

            OC,

            I’m an out and out Rock and Roller and a Baila man ……. know a little bit about Classical because of my father’s record collection. And I can assure you it’s much bigger than Ranil’s ………. and no one is aiming to burn it other than me. He can make people climb walls with his rackets in the dead of night.

            They say …… Puccini’s music is not as good as it sounds …….. and Wagner’s is better than it sounds.

            Wagner was a terrible man ………. perhaps in solitary-confinement in Bandarawela he’s found an idol …….. a kindred spirit. :))

          • 1
            0

            Today is another “Bodhi lewakana day, Bodhi lick – full moon day”. At least on this day, including those people, may all be brained with positive and realistic thoughts about a common goal.
            . As a born buddhist as many others, I am very much into DHARMA than to AMISA pujas. I dont go after TEMPLEs and MONKs.. but only true DHARMA. This became clearer to me after my mum is no longer there. Earlier I went on offering DANA to ” YELLOW PETs of Mother s choice”: Today, I have stopped it.

            If NPP can compromise to achieve the common good… then we will all be helped.

            Let the NPPs brainstorm to remove the leadership of the NPP so that it matches the true aspirations of the people. we want People’s Liberation Front should be curtailed with their powers in that NPP They are the barbarians who took the lives of my good friends in ’89.

            • 1
              2

              LM,
              “Today is another “Bodhi lewakana day, Bodhi lick – full moon day”
              You’ll get CT banned if you go down the “labba” track….

        • 1
          1

          OC,
          It’s confusing, and occasionally, (Deepthi Silva) he or she (I also now think this person has 2 X chromosomes, a girl) just hits the other. Isn’t that the ultimate problem of our nation? It’s annoying, but he/she is not relevant to the topic of discussion.

      • 2
        0

        Nimal!

        Guess what just popped up on my phone today, on Google

        “Nessun dorma” – Puccini – Organ solo – Jonathan Scott
        https://youtu.be/JQ_zs3ppZsw

        Tho, sadly, as I’m deaf now I cant enjoy music as I used to.
        When I was 11 or 12 I rehearsed with my school’s music teacher to audition for a new opera Benjamin Britten was putting on, but fell ill & was unable to attend. V v disappointed.

        • 2
          0

          I think it was “The Turn of the Screw” in which there were two roles for children.

          • 0
            0

            ” “Nessun dorma” – Puccini – Organ solo – Jonathan Scott”

            Manel,

            Organ music is always/mostly recorded in churches. I think they have to have the space. Even HiFi gear sound best in large open rooms with high cathedral ceilings.

            Some atmospheric music played in a church. A band I used to like. …… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qjVyExeIk

            It’s unfortunate that you are losing your hearing.

            “The Turn of the Screw” …….. I didn’t know it …… looked up on wiki. ……. One English conductor that interest me, Simon Rattle …….. what his orchestra plays on period instruments.

            My all time favourite, Furtwangler’s Beethoven’s 9th ……. rare bootleg recordings of rehearsals for the Salzburg Festival ……. a spiritual experience. It had such an effect on me I took the family for 2 weeks to Salzburg on a “pilgrimage.” 12 days too long, nothing much to do there; my family was cursing me. ……. One can get carried away.

    • 8
      12

      Deepthi slva,

      It would do you and Rajan Phillips good, had you seen how Demonstrators are handled in America, Japan, Germany, France, UK and many other Countries, where the Videos were in circulation in Social Media, to compare how our Forces acted with so much of restrain here. The dogs bark, but the Caravan marches on.

      • 10
        11

        Those countries have elected governments with a mandate from the people .

        Are you saying the Rajapaksa led parliament still has a mandate and more important a mandate to chose a President ?

        • 4
          5

          ds,

          The issue in discussion is how a country’s Forces deal with Demonstrators and Demonstrations and not about Leaderships elected. Is our Leadership not in accordance with the Country’s Constitution? You are supposed to be a Prof of some sorts in the same category as GLP, and the rest of Mediocrity, produced from an out dated Free Education System that sucked up to the Rajapaksas for crumbs from the table? Damn disgrace for Professionals and Academics.

          • 5
            3

            Gamini why are you getting violent with your words ? I have read your comments in earlier articles. You are so partial you could be a brother of Ranil !

            Who actually got more than crumbs from the Rajapaksa table ? It was the Rajapaksa family that made Ranil President voting against their own man Dullas Allhaperuma ! So dont ever use this line about eating at the Rajapaksa table!

            Yes we are all mediocre, only Ranil,you and Mahendran are of superior brains. That is why people reject this rascal with such contempt.

            You dont think how a man ( she man) became a leader of a country is important when we talk of him suppressing peoples rights ?

          • 1
            0

            gamini ,

            JRJ loved to read Machiavelli quotes . Machiavelli said : ” When you
            disarm the people , you commence to offend them and show that
            you distrust them Either Through Cowardice or Lack of Confidence ,
            and both of these opinions generate Hatred .”

            Machiavelli also said this : ” War is just when it is necessary ; arms
            are permissible when there is No Hope Except In Arms .
            Another one : “The First Method For Estimating The INTELLIGENCE
            of A Ruler is To Look At The Men He Has Around Him.”

            You will defeat Machiavelli , I’m sure , because Court decided Basil
            does not own the House In Malwana and you , such a noble citizen
            do Respect Court Decision and offer Basil the great Honour of being
            a Man of Integrity !

  • 18
    22

    OC please tell your lackeys (vedda,Leela …) to put thumbs down against my comments.
    It is too trivial a job for you !

    • 6
      8

      DS,
      I have only one thumb.

      • 4
        8

        DS,
        Sorry, I have 2 thumbs, not 15.
        How do I contact my “lackeys “? I don’t know their addresses.

        • 2
          4

          It is not the number of thumbs OC, it is number of URLs under your thumb that count.

    • 8
      2

      Knowing that the 2020 election result was based on “Gotabhaya” who is now considered the fool in the history of Sri Lanka, I think looking back it should be turned to zero.
      Your circles that supported MR et al should resemble today’s “naked” icons. However shamelessness is in your genes.

      Nevertheless, I do not think that the election results obtained by UNP and JVP in that election are valid anymore. Their scores should be higher in millions than reported.

      And Mahinda Ballala, who came to power to take back everything that was sold, behave like “shameless” buggers how come ?

    • 7
      8

      deepthi ^ silva

      “OC please tell your lackeys (vedda,Leela …) to put thumbs down against my comments.
      It is too trivial a job for you !”

      Your typing deserves a million thumbs down.
      old codger needs no lackeys, ….

      • 10
        10

        Vedda, You sound very fond of an old man !

        What is the secret ?

        Is OC molesting your immature, hero worshipping mind !

        • 9
          9

          DS,
          “You sound very fond of an old man !
          Is OC molesting your immature, hero worshipping mind !”
          So, why do you complain when others admire your titanic TTs?

          • 3
            0

            You mean they can sink ships?

          • 2
            0

            DS has lot more common with those who are in the buff today.

            Nation’s pariah – Mahinda Rajapaksa still has the courage to appear before the very same people. Either people are stupid or both ? Doesn’t that answer your questions about all these “animals”?

        • 4
          5

          deepthi ^silva

          “Is OC molesting your immature, hero worshipping mind !”

          We are worried about you.
          OC is too dangerous if left alone with a 65 years old spinster.

          Please avoid him and take care of yourself.
          nimal fernando will confirm it.

          • 4
            0

            Ha ha ha ha …….. Old Codger is dangerous at/to-gals-of ……. any age!!

  • 21
    18

    OC remember Ranil got less than 1% of the general vote in our country !

    • 14
      12

      DS,
      If getting more votes is a qualification, why did the guy who got 69% run away with his tail between his legs?

      • 13
        13

        You sound like a man full of hate and a chap for whom little learning has sent mad !

        Yes Gota resigned, may be he did not want to shoot the protestors . Perhaps he is a better human being than the man who is ruling against the wishes of the people.

        Codger, what really are your principles ? is ranil principled ? Are you for democracy ? Or is everything excused as long as they fall into the pattern of your warped character

        • 12
          10

          DS,
          “Yes Gota resigned, may be he did not want to shoot…
          Codger, what really are your principles ?”
          “Are you for democracy ?”
          Ah, so many good questions.
          My principles include not voting for idiots. But, unlike many on this forum, I don’t think idiocy is a crime, and that all idiots should be hung at Galle Face.
          You would have to be hung twice, because you voted for Gota too. Very messy.
          Democracy? Yes, one vote for you, and 5 for me.

          • 11
            13

            OC you are a mental case, not worthy of a reply

            • 8
              6

              DS,
              “OC you are a mental case”
              But not an idiot.

              • 7
                9

                Only an idiot will go about saying he is no idiot ! Will Einstein go about saying he is no idiot ? Unlikely, he is too intelligent for such absurdities.

                What have you done with your self -declared intelligence ? Born in a tiny island, whole day spent on a website, associating with Veddas and Leelas, loving Ranil and hating the Rajapaksa family ! ! Very intelligent in deed !

                You accuse me of voting for Gota. Actually I did not vote at that election as I was not in the country. My sympathies are with the left any way.

                Using your huge intelligence please tell us who your idol Ranil W. voted for at the last presidential election ? For Premadasa, Anura Kumara or Gota ?

                • 7
                  5

                  DS,
                  “not worthy of a reply”.
                  But you’re replying……can’t stay away from me, eh?
                  Okayyyy.. I get the picture.

        • 2
          2

          (Part I)
          DS,
          “Yes Gota resigned, may be he did not want to shoot the protestors. Perhaps he is a better human being than the man who is ruling against the wishes of the people.”
          Probably, he didn’t have access to “STUN GUNS” used to SLAUGHTER LAMB FOR MEAT PROCESSING, TO REPLACE THE T56 GUNS, which is STANDARD ISSUE WEAPONS to SL security forces!!!?? Access denied by the present Secretary Defence and “NANDIKADAL HERO” (NH), because of the humanitarian outlook of the latter (NH) is better than both the “RUNAWAY” AND INCUMBENT PRESIDENTS!!!
          So does NH take the KUDOS???? We must accept and grant that to NH the Gallant Officer of SLA!?
          ALSO UNAVAILABILITY OF PERSONNEL FAMILIAR WITH USAGE OF STUN GUNS, INSTEAD OF T56 – which may have caused usage of such weaponry impossible at short notice!!!!????
          The 6.9 million elected the, “so called” ‘FLEING PRESIDENT’, as he was recommended for the position by the SANGHA NAYAKAS for Nomination as he has
          (TBC)

        • 2
          3

          (Part II)
          QUALITIES EQUIVALENT to HITLER!!!???
          Or,
          ARE YOU ATTEMPTING TO SUGGEST, THAT THE ‘HOLOCAUST’ and GENOCIDE OF 6+ MILLION JEWS DURING WWII is a FARCE and FABRICATED UNTRUTH AND RUSE TO ‘FOOL’ THE WORLD and thereby making a “BIG HOLE” in the theory and myth forming ISRAEL – carved out of Middle East in Palestine territory by UNO after WWII concluded as a result of the holocaust!!!??
          Mass murder of Jewish people under the German Nazi regime 1941–45, if it is true as well as members of other persecuted groups such as Romani, Gay people, and Disabled people, were murdered at concentration camps such as Auschwitz in Poland, then we may have to presume and accept the relevant Maha Nayakas were well informed, knowledgeable and the wisdom to discern the intrinsic qualities of the “FLEEING PRESIDENT OF SL”, WELL IN ADVANCE!!!???
          We collectively “Raise our Hats” to the Learned Monk of Erudition and Wisdom, promoting the Presidency of the “FLEEING PRESIDENT” of Sri Lanka pursued by the ARAGALAYA!!!???
          WHAT A FEAT!!!???

      • 2
        0

        Is getting more votes a qualification? If yes, for what?
        .
        1) As I predicted, all the criminal investigations filed against Rajapaksa and his henchmen were aimed at acquittal. If anyone checks the archives, I added my comments on this topic before November 2019.

        Even after that, can we call our court an “independent judiciary”. Yes, it is possible, because people are multiple times stupdier than appeared to be.
        2) Voters in Sri Lanka have proven that their mentality as eligible citizens is similar to that of many tribal states in Africa and South America (I think if they were normal the Rajapaksas should have killed themselves, because one person with shame can’t do that. They are equally shameless simlar to tribal folks)
        3) That mandate proved further that sinhala buddhist monks are dumber than they appear.
        4) Above all on 09 July 2022 (led by the direct intervention of foolish women like Professor Deepti Silva) it was proved to Sri Lanka and the whole world the level of our stupdity in this country.

    • 6
      6

      “Ranil got less than 1% of the general vote in our country”
      It is not surprise that Ranil who got less than 1% of general vote becoming a President for next two years or getting 60% in the 2024 elections. Who thought the 69 million voted militray powerful President was chased away by less than 1% of of the total population. The fact is Sri Lankans who had much greater education are still slaves of uneducated monks and uneducated members of parliament. They cannot think of other than Ranil or Rajapaksa as their rulers. The brain of mother lanka people of this country boils every 5 or 10 years interval asking for blood and they are happy to take blood for mother lanka and Ranil and Rajapaksas are happy to do that as a God will.

      • 4
        3

        “They cannot think of other than Ranil or Rajapaksa as their rulers. “
        Perhaps.
        Can you suggest some names (other than mine of course)?.

        • 2
          0

          How about SJ?

    • 6
      0

      Election results have no credibility any more. Rajapaksas fed you guys with their pills.That is I think it is high time to hang them for our comfort.

      Mahinda rajapakshe has no right to live as a normal citizen considering the number of huge crimes the bugger et al committed against own people.
      :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shpK9lMABmc

    • 6
      5

      deepthi ^ silva

      “OC remember Ranil got less than 1% of the general vote in our country !”

      Are you suggesting we empower and bring back 6.9 Million strongman?

      • 3
        1

        NV,,
        “Are you suggesting we empower and bring back 6.9 Million strongman?”
        DS probably would agree!!???
        DS may be convinced that if the wish of the 6.9 million comes true ONCE AGAIN Sri Lankans could at least survive in CONSUMING THE ORGANIC FERTILISER STRAIGHT ON TO THE DINNER PLATE, instead of wasting time converting the nutrients through the soil and on to Rice plants and cooking!!!
        Certainly our emancipated SB friends would be delighted at it!!! BELIEVE THE Chinese VARIETY OF ORGANICS ARE WELL SOUGHT AFTER!!!??
        We will then have unbeatable world record of 20 million MORARJI DESAI’S in SL compared to ‘ONE AND ONLY KNOWN INIMITABLE INDIVIDUAL IN 1.4 BILLION INDIANS’!!!???
        WHAT A FEAT!!! BRING HIM BACK IN EARNEST!!!???
        VIYATHMAGA RESTRAINED COMMENTS!!!??

  • 5
    9

    Yes Deepthi
    Ranil is a scum bag
    We have to get rid of the bugger ASAP.
    Ranil followers are the the biggest F heads in SL.

    • 4
      2

      Sargent Nallathambi

      “Ranil is a scum bag”

      Yes he is.
      Remember he is a politician.

      Who will make the next best leader?

      Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Ganapthipillai, saffron clad Athuraliye Rathana, Gnanasara, Chana Jeyasumana, Surgeon General, the Prince of Darkness aged 71 years Weerasekera, General Kamala, …………………………….. Namal baby, ……

      • 1
        2

        Native,
        Paraphrasing what some US Defence Secretary is supposed to have said, “Yes, he’s a scumbag, but he’s OUR scumbag!”

        • 2
          0

          old codger

          “Paraphrasing what some US Defence Secretary is supposed to have said, “Yes, he’s a scumbag, but he’s OUR scumbag!”

          The above quote has a long history and several versions:
          He Is a Great Rascal. Ah! But He Is Our Rascal
          https://quoteinvestigator.com/2021/02/24/rascal/#more-439265

      • 4
        0

        NV,
        SN seems to be closely related to Deepti. Deepthi is obviously Rajapakshe slave.

        SN has no constructive argument, but adds his obscenities.
        .
        It seems that these slaves are lost somewhere in a situation where the last penny of the suffering nation has been robbed by the Rajapaksas.

        Not only Ranil, many people in Sri Lanka are scumbags. It’s a question of less crappy people in that part of the world. It was not the rich class of Colombo who fought that struggle, Gota must have made it a Somalia.

        Why cant we put all
        “Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Ganapthipillai, saffron clad Athuraliye Rathana, Gnanasara, Chana Jeyasumana, Surgeon General, the Prince of Darkness aged 71 years Weerasekera, General Kamala, …………………………….. Namal baby, ” in one single cell ?
        .
        There are enough high crime cases against each of them.

        • 5
          0

          leelagemalli

          “Wimal Weerawansa, Udaya Ganapthipillai, saffron clad Athuraliye Rathana, Gnanasara, Chana Jeyasumana, Surgeon General, the Prince of Darkness aged 71 years Weerasekera, General Kamala, …………………………….. Namal baby, ”

          I want them to be deported to South India.

  • 4
    2

    Benjamin Netanyahu: He is planning to subjugate the Judiciary to the Legislature because he is in imminent danger of getting a prison term for being accused of fraud.

    In like manner our President Ranil Wickramasinghe wants to “TAME” all “Aragalaya” participants (strike actionists, Trade Unions, and even Political Parties) and all other “Organizations” (Civil Society) by introducing the “NEW” Legislation “Anti Terrorism Act”.

    These are all “PROTECTIONISTS” who plan “Protection” for themselves in the present and future i.e. if they happen to continue but not aimed at “National well-being”.

  • 2
    10

    Oh yes Ranil is a Kallathon president.
    He is a reflection of the failed state

    A old codger like Ranil cannot deliver for SL.

    We need new blood.

    Get rid of the bloidy Minas…….

  • 5
    1

    The IMF and the UN Human Rights Council both have requested the removal of PTA act. In such a situation Sri Lankans can ask their opinion on the draft bill (as they have requested the removal of PTA). The IMF may not provide an opinion but the Human Rights Council is bound to give an opinion.

    Further, the opinion of various foreign groups such as G7, Paris Club, SAARC, and other countries which give aid and loans to SL should also be asked to give their views on this draft bill of “Deal Dasa”.

    • 3
      1

      B1
      Have you considered the prospect that the IMF was keener on the loan than Sri Lanka was.

      • 1
        1

        SJ,
        Yes, that’s because the USA wants a foothold in SL.

  • 3
    4

    IMF did to Tamils on this loan, whatever UN did to Tamils in 2009. After withdrawing all UN officials when the circumvented Tamils by rapists were pleading to stay, the UN made a fake commission, in the style of Langkang way, to investigate what went wrong in the UN office in 2009. No one was held accountable for criminal activities like Vijaya Nambiar or UN notorious officials. Now the IMF has released the loan without obtaining any guarantee for achieving anything for this loan. It gave 46 fake conditions to Langkang. Believe me, you may not be sure of it, but every official in the IMF is more than 101% sure that the Evil Emperor Administration will not fulfill even one condition out of the 46. (The joke is, the IMF already claims that Langkang has fulfilled 9 of them by the time they released the loan.) What is going to happen is the IMF will be releasing $3B + four years of interest for their delay.

  • 3
    4

    During the 4-year IMF will be praising Langkang for having efficiently fulfilled all of them. End of the 4th year some NGOs men questioned the IMF. Then the IMF too will appoint a fake commission like what UN did and tear it off the report and throw it in their wastepaper basket but will not release it to the media or hand it over some authority to act on that. In the CFA, in 2002, Japan, Norway, and the EU promised to give $4.5 billion if the warring parties resolve it peacefully. Old King got the SLMM removed by Secretary Condoleezza and ended the war with Genocide with the Help of Sonia. But Japan and other countries paid the promised Grants to Langkang and Old Rowdy King promptly, without any waste, deposited that money in Dubai Banks.

    Jeya Wewa for Appe Aanduwas’ Aappa Diplomacy.

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