19 June, 2024


Brexit – A One-Night Stand In Political Decision Making?

By Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Brexit – a one-night stand in political decision making? Complex political questions cannot be solved using referenda

The Brexit vote once again demonstrates the well understood but rarely acknowledged fact that referenda do NOT constitute a valid instrument of democracy when it comes to resolving complex questions. Most countries end up deeply divided, as also happened in Canadian French Separatist referenda. There was potential for great anguish and violence, but fortunately this was avoided due to the leadership of French-Canadian politicians like Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretian who firmly backed unity. Their politics should be contrasted with the “state-terror” approach of the 1977-1983 period in Sri Lanka.

Many countries do not rely on a blunt instrument like a referendum, but require a 2/3 majority in a parliament for taking such major steps. A Referendum is good for making decisions about some local project, e.g., where to put a school, or a traffic light. Only simple considerations are needed in evaluating such questions. But when big questions that defy professionals are asked from a divided nation, the referendum leaves them equally divided and much more alienated from one another than before the referendum.

The British participation in the Common Market was initiated during the time of Primer Edward Heath. The British-EU link was some 40 years old when David Cameron came on the scene. During that time the other partners and Britain had devoted major amounts of their energy and capital to accommodate Britain by the EU, and EU by Britain. Millions of jobs depended on this union. So, being able to just leave the union by a unilateral act is NOT democratic. Worse than that, such acts can trigger global instabilities, putting millions of innocent people out of jobs, and also stopping humanitarian aid to refugees running away from war-torn countries because the world economy itself begins to flounder. The cataclysmic Brixit has occurred just when the Western world is struggling with its own socio-economic problems arising from the impossible aspirations of some seven billion people inhabiting the Earth, aspiring to live like what they see on television.

Most people decide on how to cast their vote on a very limited “personal experience” view of the matter. Very few people can evaluate a 40-year political and economic process which even experts don’t understand. We go by our “gut reaction” even though we know the ‘shit’ in our gut. A fisherman may not be happy with his quota for fishing, because, say, the EU has ruled that cod stocks are dwindling, limiting cod fishing. Or they will grumble that the Spanish, defeated by Nelson are getting “more than their traditional share”! UK professionals who felt that “immigrants” from the EU are lowering their status in society simply voted for Brixit! It is such narrow reasons that guide individual voters.

The foolish, arrogant politician that Cameron is, he never believed that his brinkmanship will backfire and lead to not only Britain splitting off from the EU, but also UK splitting off into independent Scotland and Ireland. The Union Jack itself will have to change into just the English flag, ending several centuries of union in the madness of an early-summer “one-night stand”. There was NO need what so ever to call for this referendum. But Cameron thought he could bully the Brixit members in his own party by engaging in brinkmanship. He should have asked how many referenda had been held in England since the Magna Carta?

One does not discard several centuries of “United Kingdom”, and 40 years of EU in one measurement of the public mood, especially on a very complex topic involving international collaboration that enables one to look after common resources like fish stock, air quality, control of insecticides and fertilizers, control of coal-fired power plants, nuclear reactors etc. These are hard to do when requiring agreement from some three-dozen countries. But if they are already under an alliance (like the EU) all measures for the protection of the environment, as well as the consumer can be enforced and were enforced through the European parliament. Immigration, Crime and human rights can be better protected, (and this is exactly the argument why police powers etc. should not be devolved into provinces as proposed in 13A). All these good things as well as fiscal controls, health and quarantine controls, had been built into the European region over 40 years, and now, in one night, a mere 3% of voter majority could undo several centuries of “United” kingdom and 40 years of EU effort, because of people who don’t understand the implications of an over-crowded global village.

Politicians must give the people another chance to think and vote, just as a patient takes several measurement of the blood pressure before s/he rushes for medication. Indeed, in the French Presidential elections, there is a “deuxiem tour” after the first round, to calm the electorate and select from the first round lead contestants.

The idea of independent nations which lived as they wished, doing what they wished, exploiting the environment, exercising their “self-determination”, was valid in a world that had only 5 to 10 million people or less. At that time messages or imperial commands taken along the silk route reached their destinations after many months or years. Even villages in a given country were relatively independent. In Ancient Lanka a village could have its own temple, tank and local citizenry living on local produce, having little contact with the outside world, except for the traveling mendicant or pilgrim parties. Today it is NOT VALID, with every part of the globe connected at the speed of electromagnetic waves.

The effect of Brixit was immediately felt in Japan, with its stock market tanking down.

The origin of the massive refugee problem was Cameron (and Nicolas Sarkozy) becoming even more militant than US, and proceeding to bomb Libya and Syria ostensible to “install democracy” there. They became inhabitable, and the mass exodus of refugees destabilized the whole European Union. The unintended consequences of triggering rapid change in complex systems can be very great. Modern mathematical theory shows how even a butterfly wing clap in Africa can affect the weather in Mongolia (Of course this is not exactly true, because many butterflies clap their wings and there is an averaging controlled by the central-limit theorem in Statistical phenomena. But we don’t have many Brexit-type referenda averaging out each other).

Considering the Sri Lankan context, the call for a referendum to eliminate 13 A or any thing like that is equally dangerous. Referenda should NEVER be used in evaluating complex democratic processes unless ALL stakeholders are consulted in the vote which should be a timed sequence of steps involving repeats. In a Tamil separatist referendum, it is not just the people in the North and the East who are relevant, but the views of the Southerners as they too have to live with it. But a referendum for unity will not be accepted by those who want a separatist conclusion. So nothing will be resolved, but more violence and distrust will be sowed.

Complex matters should NEVER be determined by a referendum. It should be by a 2/3 majority in parliament where the parliament should consult expert committees. If the referendum is to be used as the final tool, then there should be at least three time-separated referenda, and a suitably weighted run-up decision has to be taken.

In scientific experiments we repeat the experiment many times and even then the answer is provisional. In politics one has to act on provisional results and so it is even more important to ensure that a one-night stand of a “David Cameron” does not produce a grotesque baby that burdens the rest of the world.

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Latest comments

  • 6

    Every expert who ever pontificated on the EU has been wrong. They never get it right. Do not believe anyone who tells you how hard it will be for Britain. It is a nation of 60 million people with an economy that by European standards is in good shape, it has its own army, currency, government, language, laws and traditions. Britain was standing on its own two feet for centuries before the EU was even dreamed about, and anybody who thinks that cann’t happen again is more than ridiculously stupid. The EU is a bad idea that has never worked, despite what the experts have always claimed and it never will work and the British are doing everyone a favour by showing that there is a life outside it. The EU is a stupid idea, led and supported by stupid people who never listen and never learn.

    • 4


      “Every expert who ever pontificated on the EU has been wrong. They never get it right.”

      It is understandable if a project of 508 million diverse people fails.

      When are you going get a project of 21 million right?

  • 3

    This author’s main point is not just about Brexit. It is also about the unsuitability of using a referendum in addressing difficult and complex questions. I agree totally with the writer on that point . The writer should have also mentioned that the EU was created to avoid competition between European states that led to many wars in the 19th century and two horrific world wars in the 20th century.
    It is better to cooperate than fight.

    When Britain went to war in Iraq with Bush, or against Libya and Syria it did not askthe people and go to a referendum although there was much division among the public.
    Referenda are a method that politicians use to manipulate the public. Here is a case where the manipulation backfired.

    JR Jayawardene also used a referendum to manipulate the public.
    The author has also warned that Sri Lanka should not use a Referendum on the Tamil separatist question. I agree on that. Read also what Izeth Hussein has written under the title: Case against devolution.

    The arguments for a union in Europe does not directly lead us to approve ECTA or a land bridge with India. We have never been in competition with India. India has provided the Invaders and funded the Tamil terrorists. We need to maintain an “ARMS-LENGTH” relationship with India, because we don’t want to get Finlandized (vis a vis Finland and the Soviets).

    • 1

      “When Britain went to war in Iraq with Bush, or against Libya and Syria it did not askthe people and go to a referendum”

      A referendum to start a war? – Looks bit funny!

  • 1

    I think Politicians created a bureaucracy neglecting the lay people. People said no. Now, EU should be reorganized as a loose federation and not as the hard core bureaucracy now it is.

    How good the political or bureaucratic system is immaterial if it does not work for people..

    Besides, every successful country becomes unstable once the economy goes bad.

    That is what they did. Tried to maximize the wealth at the expense of every thing else.

  • 2

    Very well said. This was particularly bad time to call this vote in the aftermath of Syria refugee crisis and all that. It was purely done for the purpose of rescuing Cameron and he put the future of UK and some of Europe at stake with his silly move.
    Looking at the BREXIT voting patterns, there is a good message to Ranil-Maithree Yahapalanaya team. Relying in some urban elite (incl some who attended popular colleges), outwardly-oriented educated youth wont’ suffice to take the message forward. The majority is still in the other side, poorly-informed, non-elitist, simple rural folks (rural in mindset even when they live within city limits). In all matters of any significance they need to have a strong communication strategy and space for people to partner is an informed debate, whether it is ETCA, GSP, land sales to foriegners, or whatever.

  • 2

    I have the sneaky feeling that Camaroon allowed the Brexit and Scottish referendum, just to get one up on the Sri Lankan situation and force us into all kinds of referendums! In typical arrogant British style, they can’t bear to see another race having a sense of dignity and pride. Well, it really backfired on him this time!

    • 8

      “”Well, it really backfired on him this time!””

      you folk are classic villagers on croako.

      haven’t you heard of inventors gallery- Octopussy James Bond- never say die.!.
      (BTW 90% of all trade is with the west US&EU – happy snarling.))))

      Date: 9 June 2016; Coverage: United Kingdom
      Theme: Trade and Investment
      The UK was a net importer this month April, with imports exceeding exports by £16.0 billion.
      In April 2016 the value of exports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £25.0 billion, and imports (EU and Non-EU) increased to £41.0 billion, compared with last month. Consequently the UK is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £16.0 billion.

  • 3

    Not that many of the local/expat ‘experts’ have much of a clue as to what happened in the Brexit poll, but they are tempted to view such events on par with their own stands in the Sri Lanka’s national question or with their imagined implications in that context.

    EU is not a super state yet; and Brexit is not a move for secession like the Scottish and Quebec issues or for that matter the call for secession in Sri Lanka.

    I agree with the writer that a simple majority in a popular vote is not a good thing. But a parliamentary vote is not fair either,
    Both entry and exit should have been based on a 2/3 majority of the votes cast in a well informed referendum.

    • 2


      I think Brexit vote, while causing a lot of commotion, is not final. As there will be negotiations on new terms of relationship between the UK and EU, and those new terms will probably have to be ratified via a new referendum, those who want the UK to stay in EU may get another chance to have a big impact.

      The funny thing is Google search reports have indicated many in Britain didn’t know enough about the EU for making the right decision before voting, and there is enough anecdotal evidence that some of those who voted to leave were only doing so as a protest vote while assuming the remain side would win convincingly. That is not as strange as it seems, and is similar to what happens when US Congressmen and Senators vote on legislation once it is clear which side will win; they just need to do a protest vote for history as well as for the consumption of some of their constituents.

      • 3


        Did you notice that both Republican constitutions (1972 & 1978) were not put to referendum.

        Siri Mao did an efficient job (as SJ/sekera would like to believe) and didn’t trust the people but her own MP’s and the so called Lefties.

        Then the 1978 constitution was found to a parliamentary affair and the people were not allowed to express their public will. It was another sad day.

    • 7

      “Both entry and exit should have been based on a 2/3 majority of the votes cast in a well informed referendum. “
      ( one one person puts the seal and sign decision even in jazz.)

      We voted in a referendum to join the common market not to lose sovereignty on who comes and goes and how long they stay.It is a very important event and it is about the forces of anti-globalisation, anti-unity, anti-trade that are emerging. multinationals and quality of life.
      90% of UK trade is with the EU and America. UK imports more from EU than exports. On Friday german industry insisted that UK be given special privileges as in common market or like in the 70’s `protectionism` Germany would be blighted.
      The United Kingdom mainly exports machinery and transport equipment (38 percent); chemical products (18 percent); miscellaneous manufactured articles (14 percent); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (9 percent); manufactured products (8 percent). Main export partners are: the United States (16.6 percent), Germany (10.7 percent), France (6.3 percent), the Netherlands (6.1 percent), Ireland (5.9 percent) and China (4.5 percent). This page provides – United Kingdom Exports – actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. United Kingdom Exports – actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases – was last updated on June of 2016.

      Lanka may feel the knock on effect worldwide unlike Lehman of course in it’s exports for a period of time while new markets are set in place with commonwealth members.
      The special relationship where presidents may come and go not knowing if its Buckingham or Bilderberg.
      An Unforgettable Royal Audience:
      John Adams meets King George III on June 1, 1785
      “I pray, Mr Adams, that the United States does not suffer unduly from its want of a monarchy.”
      -HM King George III of Great Britain to then-US Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of St James, the Honourable Mr John Adams, at the occasion of Adams’ audience with the King on 1 June, 1785.

      Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom referred to this episode on July 7, 1976, at the White House.
      She said: John Adams, America’s first ambassador, said to my ancestor, King George III, that it was his desire to help with the restoration of “the old good nature and the old good humor between our peoples.
      ” That restoration has long been made, and the links of language, tradition, and personal contact have maintained it.

    • 2

      I do not think the Brits knew enough about EU either when UK joined the EU (then EEC).
      Harold Wilson was wholehearted but rejected by De Gaulle.
      A problem for the post-WW2 British polity has always been the increasingly US-dominated ‘special relationship’.
      The relationship with Europe was rocky in the 1990s. The average Brit somehow was uneasy about being an integral part of Europe. That was manifested in various opt-outs that the UK availed itself to.
      Like this time even in the 1980’s, when UK negotiated its entry, Tony Benn (Labour Left) and the arch conservative Enoch Powell, for contradictory reasons, opposed British entry.
      This time the leaders of the main parties were pro-EU while the ultra right and the deprived working classes have voted for leaving. The ‘far-Left’ too was for leaving and critical of Corbyn for his support for staying.

      I am not sure what the ‘Leave’ vote will ultimately mean. We know that the EU is internally strained mainly owing to German domination. So I will not draw parallels either with the internal affairs of the US or dare speculate.
      But the damage has been done, and UK-EU relations will be strained as a result for years to come.

      To me the fuss in Sri Lanka about the implications of the ‘Leave’ vote seems a little over the top.

    • 0


      No….Not the National question. Bu5 ETCA certainly fits the bill with EU. EU didn’t work within relatively rich, and comparatively egalitarian nations. So can you imagine what will happen with the ETCA-Union working with poor nations, with little egalitarian Sri Lanka at the mercy of caste-systemed India?!!!

  • 2

    Ramona- Sri lanka is big in our eyes, but not in the mind of Cameron. Sri lanka matters only to the extent that the tamil vote matters. According to the Wikipedia, there are about 300,000 tamils in the UK which has a population of some 60 million.
    So Sri lanka doesn’t count.
    It is the sheer arrogance of Cameron who, like Mahinda rajapaksa, thought he could do what ever he wanted by using fear, manipulation, war (in the middle east for Cameron, in the North of SL for MR) etc. He thought that by going to war in Syria he will boost his status as was the case with Thatcher going for the Falklands war.

    • 0

      True….but I still wouldn’t put it past some kind of age-old resentment even with a small country such as ours.

      I mean, after all, our fellows like to boast and brag and show that we were civilized long before they were, and other such things….and they have that certain look of pride(out of all the other South Asians who subscribe to caste-systems…..and so British get wild when they don’t get the same kind of adulation and submissiveness from the Sinhalese.

  • 8

    Chandre Dharmawardana,

    “”Brexit – A One-Night Stand In Political Decision Making?””

    What a barrow load of rubbish.!.

    the Belgians did the Brits have done it many times by consensus/contagion.
    the english distrust of theories and slogans, the englishman’s way of slowly bungling, if necessary, but in any case slowly finding his way . Unlike you the Brits have tentacles in their brains and prod along with self respect, individual freedom, good sense and love of order than all the logic of german dialectician.

    An excellent illustration of a perfectly sound mind by the english.The english have bad logic, but very good tentacles in their brains for sensing danger and preserving life.
    I have never been able to discover anything logical in English behaviour or in their national history, the historical growth of the uncatalogued/unindexed constitution. The very strength of the British consists in the English lack of cerebration, in their total inability to see the other man’s point of view and in their strong conviction that the English way is the only right way and English food is the only good food. The moment the Englishman learn to reason and lose their strong confidence in themselves, the British will collapse. For no one can go about conquering the world or interfering (yours is not the only well there are several) if he has doubts about himself. You can make nothing out of the English attitude towards their Queen their loyalty to, and their quite genuine affection for a Queen who is deprived by them of the liberty of speech and is summarily told to behave or quit the throne…

  • 6

    “”The origin of the massive refugee problem was Cameron (and Nicolas Sarkozy) becoming even more militant than US, and proceeding to bomb Libya and Syria ostensible to “install democracy” there.”

    As at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya’s downfall was its highly educated in the west (diaspora) convincing the CIA that they can do. Invasions don’t take place otherwise. Origin!
    Why doesn’t Obama or you of stupid left convince yourself that the debacle of Libya was his pussie secretary- Rice, Hilllary, Samanta? how did the ambassador die- riding high. Cameron and Sarkozy are smart not to topple Obama Hussain the outsider who gave the order after boasting.

    “In politics one has to act on provisional results and so it is even more important to ensure that a one-night stand of a “David Cameron” does not produce a grotesque baby that burdens the rest of the world.”

    Ha ha a begging bowl after nasty comments requesting charity to care for the trade concessions and add a few more pennies to the bowl.
    Cheeky republic you better ride the american subic bay concept.
    England has always rewarded its faithful. Cricket alone is not life.

    The competent men Prof Dr Raghu Ram comments on brexit knowing Mark Carney is a proven maverick- all eventualities are planned for by both. Lanka will take a knock on effect because it has no internal market unlike India, China.

    Still too early to call Brexit watershed anti-trade event:
    Dr Prof Raghuram Rajan
    ET Now: Will Brexit prove to be a God sent for India with Fed’s decision delayed and any possible flight of capital postponed? Even crude prices may stay benign for a while. So, do you think this is a God sent?

    Raghuram Rajan: If you are asking whether there are silver linings in all this, yes there probably are. On one hand, the effect of a slowdown in the UK and perhaps in the Euro areas may have resulted in an adverse effect on our exports but on the other hand, the boost given to us by a fall in commodity prices especially oil offsets that a little bit. In general, I am of the firm view that adverse events elsewhere in the world do not necessarily help us but in relative terms yes we are a largely domestic oriented economy, lot of domestic consumption, some pick up in domestic investment may help. We are a little more immune to outside events than other countries are but I would be far from saying that we are totally immune.
    ET Now: Do you believe that Brexit is going to further push out money that will flow out of India; will it aggravate the flight of capital when the FCNR maturity does happen?

    Raghuram Rajan: Whether it does or not, we are anticipating something like 80% of what was put in will go out, if it becomes 90% it is actually not that material in terms of the kinds of buffers we have. So, I would believe that to be well managed. The FCNRB outflows will be a non-event but of course we have to take precautions. We are in the process of building up some of the forward positions we had. We are taking delivery on them and as we build up those forward positions, we will be less reliant on people having to come up with the dollars at the the right time. We will already have it and we can supply them whoever needs it at that point.

    ET Now: Would you have wanted your next generation to inherit a world that is becoming far more inward looking than it has been in the past?

    Raghuram Rajan: No, it certainly is a worrisome development. But at the same time as the forces are about looking inward, they are also about talking about independence not being subject to the constraints imposed by entities that you have no control over. This message is coming out from this Brexit vote. We need to understand this mix of a desire for recapturing your sovereignty even while we want countries to participate in the global economy and not erect barriers vis-a-vis one another to trade and cultural exchanges. So this really calls for rethinking global governance. We have taken it too lightly and I think this is a wake up call across the world.

    Read more at:

  • 1

    Alfred Domino
    Hold it mate, you Italian with an anglo-saxon first name
    knons little of the Brit mind. The Brit really has no m ind.
    It the Brit had, the Brit mind never took decisions.
    The decisions were taken by the upper classes. The Landed gentry.
    The didn’t like the blustering Europeans. So they got us mates to vote as they want!
    The Brits are a highly hierarchic society, a bit like the Vellala system in the North. You see, the Birts have their velalals, Airforce men, seamen and so on.
    The referendum was what the Landed gentry wanted, and not what the
    working classes or the bean counting types at the banks wanted.

    • 7

      “”The referendum was what the Landed gentry wanted, and not what the working classes or the bean counting types at the banks wanted. “”

      The referendum was first echoed by Maggie Thatcher when it all went beyond common market. She was not landed gentry but a corner shop keepers daughter with a degree in chemistry and english values.
      English is one language that does not have an academia unlike French, German boot legs. Look how charming the language is like attachment to UK.(508 million; hindi 487 m; mandarin 1.2 billion.

      has been widely dispersed around the world, it is official language in 83 countries/regions (ISO), spoken in 105 other countries (E).

      Curiosity: English language does not have official status in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

      Truly multicultural language unlike Mandarin, Hindi Spanish French etc.

      “a bit like the Vellala system in the North. You see, the Birts have their velalals, Airforce men, seamen and so on.”

      Thats for the comics.Even pirates go to house of lords.Of course as in any society of dignified humans We have class- prince of cambridge married tudor class like his pop charles.

      “The Brit really has no m ind. “

      there is the wisdom of the foolish.

      so we invented the plane and WWW for you to move your butt dignified in the sky?
      Gass Gembo drinking Croako playing croak_et.

      “The didn’t like the blustering Europeans.”
      therefore the maximum number of charities in the world are at UK. The tsunami aid was maximum from UK public especially school kids against rest of world.
      You sinhala buddhist Tsunami hora!!
      Don’t tell us how europeans think because there is diplomacy – surreal discussions than finger pointing and we critically comment from our student days like the sports we play from winter to summer, aqua, gliding etc. Above all we have our music festival, cultural shows – the land of entertainment like no other is what europeans have to say- always before time.

      • 0

        “The referendum was first echoed by Maggie Thatcher….She was not landed gentry but a corner shop keepers daughter with a degree in chemistry and english values.”

        Mrs Thatcher was the voice of the City in Parliament. She was backed by the City where her quiet but influential husband was well rooted.

        The ‘Leave’ vote was mostly an expression of anger by the economically deprived sections of England and Wales. The Tory right was for quitting as was the extreme Left.

        But the immediate gainers, as always in times of troubled economy, will be in the Far Right.

        • 4

          you are as clueless as most colonies about how the Brits think.

          You never, never `tell` an englishman what to do but you have always asked him what to do.

          Before immigrants found their ba**s with tony blair his enlargement policy of inviting poor and desperate european nations plus refugees there were co-ordinated protest by the old left against multinational corporations, then with the fall of USSR simply left carried this out but it was hijacked by islamist and blacks, sri lankans , etc bringing their own brand of racist protest and silencing the folk by sheer numbers because of 20 years (racist) strict sentences.

          Even the new mayor of london a bus drivers son at his final debate vs Boris (he is not anglo saxon but of eastern european heritage too) said brexit was a `hate` campaign. The intelligent Boris ignored and dismissed as much as Dr Raghuram Rajan who retorted to the indignant Dr Swamy- my mother in law would say Do kundalini yoga ..and carry on with the work (Swamy’s MiL is a foreigner.)

          This vote is to recapture our sovereignty as money is surreal.
          (wide political solidarity has led many EU citizens to be resentful of the degree of control Brussels wields over their lives.)
          We lost industry, agriculture, fishing because of subsidy France loved to keep its faulty tower social system working.
          Margaret Thatcher — ‘The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.’

          EU somehow was styled like present day India to become at its best like USA .
          India is not sustainable in its present mode of `buddas` old men or as a community- no industry,no export but raw material to china yet wants selling missiles to china’s aggressors.Aggressive Modi toadies,
          Dosa is expensive because the technology has not changed and the same man is making it- Dr R Rajan
          In January 2017 with Boris and Trump you can expect hard cheese enterprise- democracy everybody needs turn and don’t need commies pulling down drawers, do we?

  • 2

    Did Chandre Dharmawardena comment on the EU referendum before 23 June? From the night of 23 June Britain is desperate. It is easy to wiite what Chandre wrote after feeling the pulse.

    Chandre says “………….Their politics should be contrasted with the “state-terror” approach of the 1977-1983 period in Sri Lanka”. This was the JVP era and the term “state terror” is apt. But Chandre does not consider the 1958, 1977, 1893 pogroms against Tamils and the 2014 pogrom in Aluthgama as “state terror”. This says a lot about Chandre.

    Chandre pontificates “Many countries do not rely on a blunt instrument like a referendum, but require a 2/3 majority in a parliament for taking such major steps”. Surely has Chandre forgotten how the two term limit on Lankan presidency was lifted?

    Chandre goes on “One does not discard several centuries of “United Kingdom”, and 40 years of EU in one measurement of the public mood” About 450 years back Scotland was an independent state before merger into what is now UK. By the way at that time the island now called Sri Lanka consisted of a Tamil Kingdom and two Sinhalese Kingdoms. The third coloniser Britain, merged the kingdoms for ease of administration and called it Ceylon.

    • 5


      Please tell us when did you first feel the need to respond to Chandre Dharmawardana and treat him a serious impartial contributor who brought new knowledge to any discussion.

      • 1

        Dear Native Veddha,
        Do not worry about this idiot called Chandre Dharmawardana, after all he is not a British citizen. Older generation of Srilankan British citizens both Sinhalese and Tamils overwhelmingly voted for BREXIT and are happy about the result. British economy will bounce back and this is good for future generation of Srilankans who wish to migrate to UK on high skill capacity, who are finding it difficult now to get a visa even to study in UK. We are proud that we stood with English people in their hour of destiny.

        Already there is a call for similar refrenda in France, Slovakia and Netherlands. I will not be surprised if Germany will also follow suit. Scotland voted for BREXIN and should be allowed to secede and join EU, as Britain can still be the same economically and politically without Scotland. However if they do not allow Scotland to leave then there will be problem. Who knows, Northern Ireland may too leave Britain and join Replblic of Ireland on a confederal basis, leaving England and Wales in Britain.

        Bringing in Tamil problem into this, shows his racist mindset. He is frightened of the result if a referendum of independence is held among Tamils. He should know that referendum of independence was held only among East Timorese and South Sudanese. He says that 2/3 majority in Parliament is the best, but fails to realise that it was by using this principle that all discriminatory laws were passed, discriminatory practices carried out and atrocities committed against Tamils were covered up by Sinhalese.

      • 1

        Why does Pillai mention ONLY the pogroms against Tamils? What about Tamil pogroms against Muslims?
        I have noticed that Native Vedda goes into an orgasm when ever the journalist Darshani RatnaValli writes, because these Vellala-Vedda types are used to mouth watering when ever they see a feminine target. She writes historical facts which the Vedda and many Tamil extremists (and even Mulslim extremists) don’t like. So, when this article mentions the period 1977-1983, Pillai (and Vedda) are not happy. The writer (who should habve mentioned TULF terror) is expected to mention the whole nonsensical Genocide claims linking 1958, 1977, 1983 “pogroms” against Tamils and the 2014 pogrom in Aluthgama. What about 1939 by POonnambalam? Many of the attacks on Tamils were caused by the Tamils who provoked an indolent majority because they WANTED TO polarize Sri Lankan society to split the society on racial lines, to support their objective of Arasu.
        The Aluthgama terror was organized against us Muslims by the US and Norway funded BBS and LTTE-NGOs. It was part of the plot against Rajapaksa by the Neo-Cons. It is also the Norweigians who pushed the LTTE to the international level and gave Prabhakaran much support. The K. Pillai types coming from the Pillai class (only THEY have the right to Arasu, they think) have forgotten the pogroms of the Tamils against the Muslims, even when they were praying, e.g, Kattankudy. What about the continuous progroms of Tamils by Tamils sanctioned undedr the Manu Dharma that was, and is being practiced WITHIN Tamil society?

        What about the very claim of “Traditional homelands” which is the basis of their ethnic cleansing efforts that made them drive the Muslims out of Jaffna. According to Captain Percival’s report, there were more Moors in Jaffna in 1812 than Malabars (Tamils). Are we going to have a Tamil-exit similar to Brexit for consolidating the “homelands” after some devolution given to them by a thankful Ranil?

        The Tamils have no more claims to the North and East than Muslims have. Read captain Percival.

        I think if Native Vedda embraces our religion, he can legally have four wives and then he will be a more calm man with less agitation. Then he will be able to think clearly. Pillai need not become a muslim as the lower caste women are his birthright according to Manu Dharma.

    • 2


      You are correct in calling the bluff of Chandre D’s selective arguments.

      There is now voting going on, on a request for a Second Referendum, which the British Parliament is obliged to debate on.

      • 1

        Scots will never have a second vote soon because they never won the first.after over 200 years. I doubt Tamils will have one either.

        Trump won’t let them have it either because Oil prices are not sustainable and Scotland has enough English debt it will have to pay upfront. How does it provide social services to EU students Where does the money come from.
        Its like husband and wife where husband brings the money and the wife donates to relatives.

        Its the Socialist French who have been the parasites of the EU with large rebates for Agriculture, Industry etc.- they must pull their socks because the old enemy Dutch are not happy.
        They are trying to bug the Brits (get out immediately) but the Germans would have none of it because UK is Germany’s 3 largest trading partner exporting vehicles.
        The French should join Putin and get F…ed.

  • 2

    Yeah, referendum is a Blunt Instrument – Because you can buy 2/3 of idiots in the parliament easily than 51% of the population!

  • 2

    Nigel Farage’s and Boris Johnson’s one night stand organsam.
    Now UK is fcuk ed

  • 0

    BREXIT an Indian perspective

    We are erring in taking a one-dimensional view of Brexit by limiting our concerns to its implications for financial markets. Its political fallout can be way more far-reaching and serious

    In these angry times it challenges the very basis of the modern, democratic state evolved over the centuries. There is a fashionable new clamour for direct democracy. It includes, besides frequent referendums, right to recall, proportional representation and disempowering the establishment. It could only lead to anarchy. And no, I am not worried primarily about Arvind Kejriwal’s call for a referendum in Delhi to decide whether its “people” want full statehood or not. Fortunately, our Constitution does not provide for it, or we could very well have tested out the idea in Kashmir first. But there is a larger threat to the credibility of the modern state.


    Business Standard: http://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/shekhar-gupta-brexit-s-political-waves-116062401332_1.html

    • 4

      “”Its political fallout can be way more far-reaching and serious””

      Northern Europe would always be the same politically towards South and east as it has always existed.

      Its not another Lehman read Raghuram Rajan on ET.

      Its just America won’t have a broker to present the continent but UK is NATO and will lead europe not France.
      90% of trade is western and contagion is negligible. Lanka teas are veddhi khatta and this goes to ME and Eastern europe. Garments would be purchased for another 20 years until 3d printing replaces.2017 american rocket engines built on 3D printing- better than russian rockets used and 60% cheaper and 1000 times faster.

  • 0

    Another Fantastic article by Satyajit Das. Much of what he observes is probably applicable to ECTA. e.g. “The reality is that experts [and elite] no longer relate to ordinary people.“ In essence, for those who believe they are born to rule, Brexit signals the need to limit democracy to ensure that important decisions are left to self-certified experts or as EU Martin Schultz said: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate”.

    Be a Democracy; Hold a referendum on ECTA

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