25 January, 2022


Building A “Third Force”

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

It is the belief shared by all non-racist, non-xenophobic Sri Lankans that, particularly after the most recent outbreak of mayhem provoked by simply being “different,” an alternative to the two main political configurations is needed and urgently so.

I have deliberately omitted consideration of the People’s Liberation Front (Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna or JVP) as an alternative because its persistent adherence to a discredited set of political beliefs and its deification of Rohana Wijeweera, its leader until he was “terminated with extreme prejudice” as the old Central Intelligence term had it. The latter, in particular, makes it totally unacceptable to people of the so-called Cultivator caste (Govikula) in Sri Lanka who believe, rightly or wrongly, that they were targeted for extermination by the Wijeweera-led JVP at the time of the second Sri Lankan insurrection at the end of the ‘eighties purely and simply because the JVP leadership and rank-and-file saw them (the Goviyas) as opposed to what the JVP stood for by virtue of their being established in feudal and post-feudal Sri Lankan society as superior by virtue of a significant majority of the Sinhalese belonging to that caste, while the JVP leadership and cadre belonged to two of the so-called ”Depressed” castes.

The primary challenge in trying to build a new political entity in a country such as Sri Lanka whose fundamental political culture has been changed by the J. R. Jayewardene-led United National Party beginning in the latter part of the 1970s, is the financial demands of such a venture. Beginning with their first insurrection in the 1970s, the JVP sought to meet this need by holding up banks and individuals. Simply put, it didn’t work and, given the fact that the Sri Lankan political establishment, irrespective of its political hue, has armed forces equivalent to the Russian army at its command is less than a pipe-dream!

I would suggest that one route to raise the funds that are required to establish any kind of new political organization could come from the kind of electronic fund-raising that has emerged in the United States of America ever since the urgency of dumping Donald Trump and all he stands for became apparent.

Sri Lankans have the reputation of being technologically savvy beyond the norm of so-called developing countries.  The fact that mobile phone usage, with all the attendant gizmos that go with that means of communication, is well above the average, even for the more economically-advanced countries, could be the, until now, hidden clue as to where this can begin.  “Texting” is no longer exotic and, particularly with younger people, has become a major part of the routine of their daily lives.

That fact needs to be exploited and an initial group of “believers”, no matter how small, needs to get the ball rolling.  The numbers of recruits could grow exponentially if enough effort is put in by those first engaged in the task.

While the preceding description might seem simple enough, the over-riding reality of the Sri Lankan political culture must not be lost sight of: the moment that any such dissident movement, no matter how peaceful and democratic, is showing signs of success the forces of repression will mobilize themselves.  And make no mistake, those forces cut across all the phony political divisions trotted out for those who’d like to believe that some sort of multi-party democracy prevails in Sri Lanka.

If the forces for change can expand rapidly enough, the very nature of that growth is going to make it difficult to contain by the hegemonists backed by a very, very large armed force to which it will feed privileges that prevent it from making common cause with the suggested agents of change.

As I stated earlier, the need for swift change is of the essence and, even if the initiative does not succeed to the extent possible or ideal, it cannot but, at least, alleviate what awaits us in the way of governing forces without any real concern for the wellbeing of those it controls.  We might, at worst get some crumbs from their table!

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Latest comments

  • 3

    Theoretically, there cannot be totally non-racist people, unless their objective is something else. Why you are scared of JVP getting rid of govikula people. where did they say that. Do they think that Farmers, plantation owners are relatives of Zar ?. anyway, an UN official came to meet Basil Rajapakse to discuss politics. I am suspicious about it. I mean what is beign cooked there. So, you wanta Capitalist govt of JRJ type but Socialists at all. Texting was neverf exotic. They collected all those and they developed software to extract the maximum out of those texts and information in the cloud. Anyway, Ranil was very quick. He did not take time to do the bond scam so he had enough money to progress and he is successful in that I hope. He also legislted a 19th amendment that he can get rid of even PResident if he wanted. I think Sri lanka is lucky that is serial thieves or too keen thieves always make mistakes.

  • 0

    I should have written no Socialists at all.

  • 5

    Your idea would find lots of positive responses here, but put that to the street and you will be pooh poohed. Remember Goebbels said something like, he who commands the street rules the roost.

  • 6

    Good one Emil. Reads awfully like another CIA-backed, electronic media driven ‘gundoo’ to destabilise Sri Lanka. Awfully similar to the failed CIA experiment in Canada, of a thing called Forum Party of Alberta created in 1995 that later became the Equity Party, declaringitself a new kind of political party, based on the the Internet Forum idea, organized around the Internet and electronic communications.

    Luckily for Canada, the organisers were not prepared to put their money where their mouths were, and trieed a uniquely low budget operation. In 2001 its leader ‘Barry’ someone stepped down and the website quietly disappeared. Some nonentity (whose name escapes) replaced him as party president, and he was more interested in community activism and Edmonton municipal politics than reviving the party. The party was deregistered in 2004 with accusations of financial impropriety.

    This was at the time of colour revolutions, Arab Springs and other such CIA frauds. Normally they repeat their frauds at decade intervals. May be CIA agents in our country have been advised to explore possibilities.

    Bring it on, Emil.

    • 1

      Agent 007:
      Great and appropriate pseudonym for an obvious fascist!

      Thank you for taking the time to work the internet to find out who I am and what I might have done over the years. Even though the selective manipulation of “facts” leaves something to be desired in the matter of honesty, I have to admit I’m flattered by this attention that would have done a third rate CIA agent, such as you obviously pretend to be, proud.. How come you did not add an accusation of dishonesty to the plethora of rubbish you’ve put on record? Or would that have been too much like looking in the mirror?

  • 3

    How little you know Emil, about the rural Sri Lanka, of course you live there as a remnant of a feudal culture and landownership, but I would not be surprised if your workers call you Hamu. If you are genuinely familiar with the current rural youth culture you would have known that cast is irrelevant to them, most of them don’t use a family name.
    The JVP had nothing to do with cast, it is by default that most JVPers belonged to non Govi casts because JVP was strongest in the south. And in the Sabaragamuwa province most JVPers were poor Govi cast kids. JVP is not an alternative because of their outdated ideology, and more so because of their outdated methodology.
    I can understand your bitterness, your upper class (there is a new upper class now) was alienated by free swabhasha education and the land reform, and so you may hope for the country to go to hell in an Arab Spring like Holocaust, but it wont. This island is a survivor just like its poor rural masses.

    • 0

      wanni ,

      Let’s be realistic for a while . Go to the Sunday Observer matrimony
      page , Silumina Mangala yojana page and then come back with your
      point please . Naturally , if Sinhalese have done away with their cast
      line then this country has overcome one main hurdle to progress , I
      mean fast progress ! I have carefully noticed a tendency that it is
      lower cast Sinhalese that has venomous itch to take on Muslims in
      most cases . Maybe they want to seek superiority over another section
      and the easy target is now Muslims ? It is wrong to generalise the case
      of a few low casts dropping their surnames to escape social prejudice.
      In any society anywhere in the world those who have upper hand
      status will not want to disown it unless forced by some kind of radical
      political change. We did experience rare exceptions like Premadasa
      elevation to presidency but it is not common wish of the average
      although that should be the case for an equal society . If the cast line is
      now irrelevant then how come racism rules ? They are in one bundle .

    • 1


      Are you telling us the Govi/Karava competition/rivalry has stopped and parents are happy to marry their children outside their own feudal caste hierarchy?

      “This island is a survivor just like its poor rural masses.”

      Mere existence is not an achievement.
      The ruling classes are delighted to have their rural masses permanently poor, stupid and ignorant a sure and ready vote bank, tap them with wild promises that cannot be delivered mixed with a large dose of racism.

  • 2

    This sums up the state of the world right now.

    President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon told a gathering of the far-right in France that they should be proud of being called racists. “Let them call you racists,” Bannon said to members of the French National Front party at their annual congress. “Let them call you xenophobes. Let them call you nativists. Wear it as a badge of honor.” Bannon spoke in the French city of Lille, where he also met with the party’s leader, Marine Le Pen.

    Why should members of the far-right wear the racist label as a badge of honor? “Because every day, we get stronger and they get weaker,” Bannon told the crowd. In his travels throughout the world, Bannon has learned that “history is on our side” because “globalists have no answers to freedom.”

  • 2

    Remember this. Trump rose to power AND WILL WIN AGAIN in 2020 with White Christian supremacists and white racist votes. He has used racial slurs against a respected senior Black Congresswoman from California calling her “low IQ”. That is the sort of dog whistle they use. “GLobalists” are a reference to Jews.

  • 1

    Oh no, no, no, EVDP!…… JVP was against the capitalistic nature of a few govias who tended to capitalize on small-farm holdings and make it a neo-feudal enterprise (e.g. Sirisena’s bunch of paddy-lands). But JVP was never against the individual small-holding farmer. Indeed they were all for the individual small-holding and wanted more lands freed up for the “depressed” classes who were originally driven off their lands with guns by certain colonists for their tea, rubber, coffee and tobacco plantations.
    Yeah, our technology savy Sri Lanka certainly hasn’t considered the vast chunk of country resources going towards technology-saviness. Indeed, developed countries are most frugal with their technology-saviness, and the masses have to work hard for their right to own it (hence their better health-care, universities, and plumbing facilities).
    Lankan young men don’t have proper jobs, flood victims are suffering, and citizens have to suffer in the Middle East to make ends meet, and Government just has to show off tech-saviness (from technology of the West, mind you), to boost up Lankan feelings of infallibility. Once your dissident movement that you incite comes about, country’s monetary resource will come to a zilch :( .

  • 0

    The best ‘Third Force’ for SL is a coalition of near equals. We have it but the coalition does not know that they have stumbled on the solution.
    They must learn to administer the correct dosage of checks and balances.
    Of course there is scope for improvement of this ‘Third Force’.

  • 3

    The worst scenario has not unfolded as yet. Young Gotabaya has declared himself to be a candidate at the next Presidential elections in 2020. The effects of natures Global warming will not be as soon as that!

  • 1

    Emil, I think you are referring to liberal democracy as an alternative. We already have the Liberal party – with no seats in parliament.

  • 3

    US and India will not allow Goatabaya to win. He also cannot win. No Tamil or Moor will vote for him. Even if he gets 70% of the Sinhala vote, with UNP’s solid reliable 30% plus all the Tamils, Estate Tamils and Moors voting RW will become our next President and it will be for the better. We are going to form a union with India. Already from drainage workers to IT workers South Indians are over 100,000 in Sri Lanka. They love living in Sri Lanka compared to their Shithole. RW wants the bridge to India. We might as well become a Union territory of India or a State. What is wrong? nothing. We go to them every time we have a disaster and so why not a merger?

  • 0

    I understand why you deleted my comment. check PAthberiya.

  • 2

    Dear Emil,

    Let me address this under the three different headings.
    a) non-racist Sri Lankans
    b) non-xenephobic Sri Lankans
    c) an alternative.

    a)Sadly 90 % Sinhalese are Tamil & Muslim haters. You might wish to gloss over it but sadly it is true. On the other hand Tamils are not born racists but made to dislike Sinhalese.
    b) Xenephobia is dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries but in Sinhala Lanka it is dislike and Prejudice against the minorities.

    People like you are a tiny minority and there is nothing you can do. Let me ask you a question how can you turn tide against the Mighty MR & BBS. You can never create an artificial Third Force not by persuasion but may be by force. But is it possible and the answer is NO. Can you hold public meetings and call for LOVE THE MINORITIES. You will be stoned to death by MR & BBS and these days even by MS & RW.
    Sad but it is true.
    Sweet dreams.

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