13 April, 2024

Blog

Connectivity Or Captivity?

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

If Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s (GR) visit to Delhi in 2020 is best remembered for his broken promise to Prime Minister Modi regarding implementation of the controversial 13th Amendment, Ranil Wickremesinghe’s (RW) in 2023 would be remembered for Narendra Modi’s promise to “strengthen the maritime, air, energy and people-to-people connectivity”, which included the construction of a land bridge across Palk Strait. This announcement and its implications could be viewed as part of India’s “neighbourhood first policy” or what Modi called in 2020 as India’s “civilizational duty” towards Sri Lanka. Unlike GR, RW did not have to make any embarrassing promise about 13th Amendment, because he was shrewd enough to initiate a dialogue on the subject with the relevant parties before flying to Delhi. But Modi’s thoughts on connectivity endorsed by RW would send jitters within the circle of diehard Sinhala Buddhist nationalists (SBN). The idea of this epochal connectivity is destined to rekindle the historic fear among the Sinhalese that India’s Tamil south and Sri Lanka’s Tamil north would be joined physically to pose a mortal threat to their dream of transforming this island into a one and only Sinhala Buddhist country in the world. It is on that dream that political Buddhism was born, a civil war was fought and current developments are stamped.       

From the time of recorded history, and in spite of close economic, cultural and security contacts between India and Sri Lanka the insularity of the island was never interfered with. But Modi’s connectivity plan may change that. After that legendary Rama’s bridge, built thousands of years ago with rock and limestone to invade Lanka by Rama’s mighty army with Hanuman’s monkey brigade, to recover Rama’s abducted wife Sita, defeat Ravana in the battle field, install his brother Vibishana as dummy star, and then set ablaze the island, it was Narendra Modi when visited Sri Lanka in 2017 revived that legend and expressed his wish to build a bridge. This time he did not quote Ramayana but the 20th century Tamil poet Bharathi who dreamt of a bridge between India and the “Sinhala Island”.  The fact that Bharathi called Lanka “Sinhala-island” to the disappointment of Tamils is significant. RW’s visit to Delhi has given a new lease of life to Rama’s legend and Bharathi’s dream. India would welcome the land connectivity as part of an extension of Akand Bharat or Greater India. 

But from the point of view of SBN the land bridge would open a flood gate particularly to South Indian Tamil influx under various pretentions. With an already concentrated central highlands with a community of naturalized Indian Tamils, the proposed bridge would be looked upon as a devilish scheme to jeopardize the plan to create a Sinhala Buddhist nation. There may be a possibility in the distant future for such a connectivity once the demographic topography of north and east transformed to reflect Sinhala Buddhist supremacy. The ongoing controversy and sporadic violence over Buddhist archaeological excavations, land acquisitions and construction of viharas in the north and east are part of this transformation project. This is why RW is not going to get the consensus he needs to implement the 13th amendment.  

But whether the land bridge materializes or not Indian penetration into Sri Lanka is set to speed up during the remaining months or year of RW’s presidency. If Foreign Minister Ali Sabri were to be believed, there seems to be a possibility, although denied by CBSL sources, that Indian rupee would become legal tender in Sri Lanka. RW’s every move is drawing Sri Lanka into the Indian economic and geopolitical orbit although he maintains that his regime is adopting a neutral foreign policy. But the fact that China is getting marginalized is noticeable. Even on the issue of debt restructuring India, Japan and Paris club are acting in unison expecting China to join in if it wants to. It would be interesting to watch how China is going to react to these manoeuvres when RW is scheduled to visit Beijing for talks with President Xi Jinping. China has its own backers within the ruling coalition and they are yet to react to RW’s Indian connectivity program. When RW signed of the lease over Hambantota to China, India was naturally disappointed. But now he is trying to more than compensate for that disappointment.    

Given these developments, Tamils and their political parties are not willing to compromise on power devolution although they may quarrel among themselves on the modus operandi. And behind their hard stand is the continuing pressure and support from the Tamil diaspora community, which is financially resourceful, diplomatically influential and politically uncompromising. That community is playing a role similar to what the Jewish diaspora did after World War II. This was why GR promised to meet Tamil diaspora representatives for talks when he met the UN Secretary General in New York in 2021. However, like the promise GR made to Modi, this too was not honoured. But behind the scene diplomacy of Tamil organizations abroad is making a difference on world stage in relation to Sri Lanka’s Tamil and human rights issues. There is increasing confidence among the diaspora community that they could help build the north and east of the island economically and technologically, and make it a first-class tourist destination, once the 13th Amendment is fully implemented. SBN is aware of this potential and RW’s land connectivity project would make it more than a certainty. Hence the dissension over connectivity.

Is there an alternative route for Sri Lanka to protect its sovereignty while building the economy and uniting the nation with constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and freedom for all its citizens? None of the parties in the opposition except NPP seems to have any counter strategy. Their policies, if there are any, look a dog’s breakfast.  This is because none of them except NPP want to think outside the box and change the ruling system founded on ethnonationalism, nepotism and corruption. These parties only differ in their labels but all of them are beneficiaries of the system and are committed to protect it. That was why the aragalaya youth raised the cry for system change.  With this system in operation there is no alternative to the RW-IMF economic plan and India’s multipronged target to convert Sri Lanka into its junior partner. Modi’s connectivity agenda and his promise of plenty to exploit a bankrupt economy is actually a trap for captivity. It seems to be the Hindutva strategy to entrench India’ regional imperialism.  This is why, the next election in Sri Lana, whatever form it takes, be local government, provincial, general or presidential is going to determine the country’s destiny. Only NPP can make a difference, but will it cross the line?  

*Dr. Ameer Ali, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, W. Australia

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Latest comments

  • 1
    8

    AA, India is too large in its land mass for this little island to get connected there and still remain independent.

    • 10
      1

      davidthegood

      “India is too large in its land mass for this little island to get connected there and still remain independent.”

      Europe is too large in its land mass for the little island UK to get connected there and still remain independent.
      However it is connected.
      So is Singapore and Malaysia.

      The idea of connectivity was first mooted by UN in the 1950s.
      Please tell us when was this island completely independent from India and rest of the world.

      Even the Chinese Admiral Zheng He who came all the way (3000 odd miles) from China, caught Kotte king Vira Alageshvara and took him back to China. This was about 600 years ago. There were numerous occasions foreign forces invaded from near and far away countries and kingdoms. Remember there were no bridges when foreigners invaded this island.

      Paranoid minds refuse to see beyond their noses.
      This island had suffered enough because the people are being force to wear imagined blinkers/blinders by various interested section of the island. The island’s mindset is the same as it was in 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

      Don’t bother developing the physical aspects of this island until the people are set free to think for themselves and …. realise …..

      • 7
        1

        “If Foreign Minister Ali Sabri were to be believed, there seems to be a possibility, although denied by CBSL sources, that Indian rupee would become legal tender “
        To anyone with half a brain reading this, imagine the following scenario:
        Let’s say you had 300,000 LKR (150,000 INR) in the bank two years ago, enough to buy a scooter. Devaluation happened, and the scooter went up to 600,000. So, now you can buy only half a scooter.
        Now, if we had INR in our deposit, we could still buy a scooter with it.
        The best thing that could happen to this country is an economic union with a stronger economy like India, EU style. In historical terms the Indian Rupee has appreciated 800% against ours since 1980. If we had used it, eggs would be still 7 rs. and bread 30 rs.At least RW has the right economic ideas. He deserves some credit for that.
        I am sure the NPP as usual will object on grounds of sovereignty.

    • 6
      1

      DTG
      “India is too large in its land mass for this little island to get connected there and still remain independent.”
      Really what use have we put our “independence” to for 75 years? You seem a rather more conventional thinker than I expected.

      • 9
        2

        It is sad that Sinhalese are prepared to barter land to foreigners (Chinese, Indians, Americans) while refusing to give fair share of the land to Tamils, who are the legitimate owners of the Dravidian legacy. Mahabraratha is being enacted here and if India plays the role of Krishna, very soon Tamils like Pandavas will get back their land.

  • 3
    0

    In the modern era insularity is unimaginable.
    (Only a frog in the well, not Sri Lankans, is the exception! )

    .
    ‘Only NPP can make a difference, but will it cross the line?’
    Ameer Ali, One has to near the line, to cross it. Can it?

  • 8
    5

    Thank you, Dr Ameer Ali for continuing to write constructively, so as to allow future generations to live with dignity in this land.
    .
    It is inevitable that although various cultural groups desire to retain their identity, in many matters, especially those relating to economic affairs, we must belong to larger groupings. The European Union is one such.
    .
    I, too, regard the NPP as the only political that is willing to think outside the box, and work towards uniting this island, so that we are treated by the more extended family as one deserving to exist with dignity.
    .
    There clearly is much more to be said about all this, and I expect to return to the discussion of this seminal article, but for now, let me thank you for the commitment shown by you.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe of Bandarawela (NIC 483111444V)

    • 6
      1

      Dear self-proclaimed interllectuals and others,
      .
      “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”
      ― Abraham Lincoln


      Most importantly we should know what does NPP possess what others dont have ?
      How does the path of the “VIYATHMAGA” differ from that of the “NPP intellectuals”?
      .
      Not only to punish the numerous vicious circles, groups but also to bring dollars into the country is what experts consider is the need of the hour (number one priority)
      in order to come out of the deep pit to which we are pushed by Mahinda Rajapakshe and his hedgemonists.
      .
      So we eagerly wait NPP promoters (Dr Panini Edirisinha or the like)
      to come forward and enlighten us with long due information about NPP’s economy related wonders (Aladin’s wonder lamp) once they are given power in 2024.

      • 6
        1

        1
        Not just links to AKD’s famous speeches, but NPP promoters should present evidence on how to get rid of the “cancer of the Sinhalese Buddhist monks” that is destroying everything in this country. Deluded gullible and stupid majority. It is more dangerous than human pancreatic cancer. It should be clear to JVP by today. I am often misled by some monks being seen in AKD’s stages. I have no doubt, others would also get misled.
        .
        We respect that AKD does not come with affinities such as “publicly licking bodhis (lifeless Bo-plants, and dress jangi and other decorations to elephants in perahara ceremonies) or such silly qualities as Mahinda and Sajith”. However, the NPP leadership must be serious about our demands.

        Above all, how can the JVP-led NPP become the lifeline of 70% of Sri Lanka’s poor? Who are their funding partners after the change of power?

        tbc

        • 5
          1

          2
          We are annonymous but serious commenters, and we are very interested in learning more about the effectiveness of NPPs. Considering that this whole nation is corrupt and abusive, we are tired of listening to JVP-led accusations. Asking them questions has become a procrastination of time all these weeks.

          Alternative: NPP spokesperson (Dr Panini Edirisinha) should be serious about our critical issues. CT readers over to you, you will see how talented the man is.
          .
          Solution to ethnic problem (yes or no for federal?), economic setbacks, racism (how to manage sinhala-racism), education (private unis yes or no), health, agriculture, balancing international relations, debt repayment, how to gurantee a miraculous future etc for the suffering nation, all these need construtive responses. .

          By AKD or by anyone from that “self-proclaimed” clean party we await construtive responses.

    • 4
      3

      I, Panini Edirisinhe, am adding to my own comment, but this is going to get mingled with what the lying Dan Silva has said about me.
      .
      As a VishramikaGambadaIngirisiIskoleMhathathaya. I have no PhD (Doctorate); on the other hand, Dan has been saying that I don’t know Sinhalese. This he says knowing that it is not true. I don’t inflict my Sinhala writing on anybody, but I know the Sinhala language skills that I have are quite adequate.
      .
      On the question of how to get the economy going, and of how Up-Country Tamils ought to be treated; listen from 49 minutes onward of this 71 minutes speech by AKD in Nuwaraeliya, probably today, 9th August 2023.

  • 0
    0

    Connectivity Or Captivity?

    The future depends on what we do today.

    Today Sri lanka is connecting, energy and people-to-people connectivity is captivity. All food items are cheap and in mass production than sri lanka all items will be imported from india this concentration is crucial for success and self-improvement in all aspects of life.removing the thorn from the lion’s paw, a great big thorn pressed into the paw, by removing it the lion was a friend this is captivity.

  • 12
    9

    At their hurriedly arranged meeting at the Katunayake Airport VIP lounge, all knowing Ranil Wickramasinghe gave French President Macron advise on how to attack Niger.

    RW who is tactically very sound on military matters would have sounded like Napoleon to the jet-lagged Macron !

    The Third World has talent !

    We who are bankrupt now, should send an invoice in Euros to Macron for the invaluable advice.

    • 6
      7

      DS,
      .
      I never thought that Macron’s new girlfriend is from Sri Lanka. Am I right DS, you need to go back to Kindergarten ?
      .
      Besides, we should be happy to produce a GF who can get close to a French president. Niger’s coup was not planned overnight. The French exploit such poor countries for their uranium and other resources. Those people are real slaves, maybe closely related to Rajapaksa supporters.
      .

    • 9
      8

      deepthi desperate silva

      “We who are bankrupt now, should send an invoice in Euros to Macron for the invaluable advice.”

      Are you that broke?
      Will you consider taking up selling snake oil to the Brits or rest of the Europeans?
      How about selling Eiffel Tower to Macron?

  • 4
    11

    Any territorial connection with India is a blatant violation of Sri Lanka’s Constitution which has recognized Sri Lanka as an Island. On the other hand, such a connection will leave Sri Lanka extremely vulnerable in the event there is WWIII. There is a high chance that civilian grain ships in the Black Sea that undermine Russia’s Black Sea blockade trigger a major war. Some are of the view that the two attacks on the Kerch Bridge have been launched from grain ships. In the last two days, there were two attacks on two Russian ships. There was no official statement from Russia on the matter as yet. Whether it is a deliberate provocation for Russia to attack civilian grain ships is not clear. However, it is no secret that the US led NATO is greatly disturbed by the termination of the Ukraine grain deal by Russia so much so US State Secretary Antony Blinken now seeks the help of the world to stop Russia!!!!

    • 12
      5

      Champa the senile old hag,
      .
      Once upon a time you were full of praises for Putin and his barbaric invasion of Ukraine. It didn’t occur to you that Ukraine had its Sovereignty.
      Now you are talking vehemently about the importance of the Sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
      Are you not ashamed of your self?
      Cheap scum like you are the reason why Sri Lanka is the way it is.

      • 5
        6

        Inhuman touch
        I am still focused on Russia. I have a historical right to do so as my ancestors have been in the Arctic region tens of thousands of years ago, and also on balanced reciprocity as Russia stood by Sri Lanka against attempted western sanctions at the UNSC as a revenge for defeating the LTTE.
        .
        For your information, sovereignty applies to all countries equally. Ukraine’s application to NATO is a grave threat to Russia’s sovereignty, given the fact that NATO is a military block composed of three nuclear superpowers. Also, officially, NATO has 91 military bases all over the world. There could be an X number of secret military bases too. Therefore, Russia has a legitimate right to protect its borders, assets, infrastructure and citizens from NATO’s expansion and also eliminate external threats. Moreover, there is a sinister attempt to destroy Orthodox Churches in Ukraine by Ukraine itself.
        Russia’s military presence in Ukraine has become an insurmountable obstacle for Ukraine’s NATO dream. I don’t think Ukraine will ever receive NATO’s membership. Ukraine’s casualty figure may have reached 400,000 now. NATO’s callous disregard for human life is very typical.

    • 7
      1

      Champass

      “On the other hand, such a connection will leave Sri Lanka extremely vulnerable in the event there is WWIII. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. world to stop Russia!!!!”

      What all these nonsense have to do with bridge over Palkstrait?
      In case of emergency destroy the bridge.

      • 4
        0

        NV,
        “What all THESE NONSENSES HAVE to do with BRIDGE OVER Palk Strait?”
        Why even talk on that topic???
        UKRAINE, the forerunner in the FIGHT OVER BOUNDARIES in their foray against a bigger (Titan) Neighbour, is the forerunner!?
        Who have amply demonstrated how to deal with it EFFECTIVELY, if ever the BIG NEIGHBOUR tries to FLEX his muscle in an undemocratic Manner!!??
        BLOWING THE BRIDGES at different PLACES & TIMES since 2022 effectively STOPPING NUCLEAR POWERED Russian (as much as India is too) intentions of advances into its territory!!!???
        History’s lessons are real time solutions!!! Feel, See, Realise, and Follow!?
        Solution is within reach, NOT IMPOSSIBILITY, whilst at the same time enjoying the “Fruits of Access“!
        Keep up with contemporary history, BASIC erudition is necessary, to understand News being disseminated – though one may consider insane and partisan Media!!!
        Not only erudition, but also Intelligence, IMPORTANTLY WISDOM, more than ‘Cunningness’ (with due respects to Robert Knox) to discern the ultimate inherent:
        1. Advantage,
        2. Disadvantage,
        3. Misconception, and
        4. Delusion!!!??
        Which tend to agree is a very High Order for our emancipated cultured populace ‘smothered’ with 2600+ years of CIVILISATION, which THEY FORGET IN SPOUTING OUT DISSENSION to a MOVE!!!???

  • 10
    3

    The picture (Modi pointing his warning finger to Ranil W and Ranil’s facial expression- meek and subdued)) speaks volumes about what is in stock for Sri Lanka.

    That is my first impression before reading the article. I have yet to read the full text. Will come back.

    • 5
      1

      Douglas,
      Body language is a chest of information. Can Ranil be unmindful of our obscureness.

  • 9
    1

    Pettymindedness is the main reason why Sri Lanka is in the state it’s in. Connectivity will always bring smoother relationships between countries, communities, and above all commerce. The India-Sri Lanka bridge would be one of those.

    Only petty-minded individuals, Racists, and above all Chinese-funded local politicians would oppose this strongly.

    Let us all open our hearts and mind and think about how we can use this bridge for the betterment of Sri Lanka especially in attracting tourists and commerce.

  • 6
    0

    “Is there an alternative route for Sri Lanka to protect its sovereignty while building the economy and uniting the nation with constitutionally guaranteed democratic rights and freedom for all its citizens? “
    Mr. Ameer Ali,
    It looks like that the hardcore Buddhist Fundamentalists are almost ready to plan for another July 1983 using the land bridge and 13th amendment. If that happens, what is the position of NPP? Can they able to stop that happening or protect the minorities from the Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists?

  • 3
    6

    Questions the soul of our Lankans should ask:

    1. How far can India with its caste-system dystopia, take its economy and ours into the realms of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia?

    2. How far will our Motherland accept Indian caste-system which will replace our egalitarian Buddhism.

    3. How much of cheap Indian produce do we need (and vice versa) to build up our economy to look like a raggedy version on Singapore’s and South Korea’s (due to the caste system dysconnectivity)?

    4. How callously are we going to destroy an ancient underground bridge (as written about in the 5,000-year-old Indian epics, venerated by Hindus and Buddhists alike) so as to build up an economic system to eventually look like a straggly, dirty, and smelly version of Singapore and South Korea (due to its caste system dysconnectivity)?

    People: To look clean, healthy and happy, all we need is farmlands, forests, with an egalitarian Buddhistic psyche (whatever religion followed). Then, and only then can the creativity and entrepreneurship emerge for the creation of a brand-new post-modern Motherland (a few robots included).

    • 4
      1

      ramona grandma therese fernando

      “1. How far can India with its caste-system dystopia, take its economy and ours into the realms of Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia?”

      If Alphabet Inc. (and its subsidiary Google.) has confident in Sundar Pichai (born in Tamilnadu brought up in India) then what is your problem?

      Alphabet annual net income for 2022 was $59.972B, a 21.12% decline from 2021.
      Alphabet annual net income for 2021 was $76.033B, a 88.81% increase from 2020.
      Alphabet annual net income for 2020 was $40.269B, a 17.26% increase from 2019.

      • 6
        1

        ramona grandma therese fernando

        2. How far will our Motherland accept Indian caste-system which will replace our egalitarian Buddhism.

        Levels of Multidimensional
        Poverty in Sri Lanka

        ….
        According to the headcount ratio, nearly one out of every
        six (16.0%) people in Sri Lanka are multidimensionally poor.
        The intensity of poverty indicates that each poor person is,
        on average, deprived in 41.6% of the weighted indicators
        https://ophi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/MPI_in_Sri_Lanka_briefing_2021.pdf

        We know Sri Lanka is a very poor country.
        You must have been in deep deep, deep sleep in the past 4 years.
        Wake up, wake up, ….
        When did Sri Lanka have egalitarian Buddhism?

        Almost a million people who toil, suffer and die in upcountry, still live in appalling conditions, in poverty, …. stateless until 1989, …. couldn’t vote, their children were and are deprived of education, …. cannot get pay rise, ….

        What happened to your egalitarian Buddhism?
        Wake up, wake up, ..
        You know in the last three years did not help the poor in Sri Lanka.
        It was BJP’s Hindutva along with DMK’s atheism found their way into this island, fed the the Sinhala/Buddhists, fueled them, …. …………lent $3.5 billion in loan, where does egalitarian Buddhism come into this?
        By the way only yesterday Indian High Commissioner in Colombo gave Rs 450 million to Sri Lanka as grant.

        Some times you have to be grateful to those neighbours who helped you when you were starving.

        • 6
          1

          Native,
          “Some times you have to be grateful to those neighbours who helped you when you were starving.”
          Grandma lives in Pittsburgh. Her neighbours are Mexico and Cuba, which are encouraged to be dirty, smelly, and ragged like the Motherland, by the egalitarian US government. But , while preaching to us dirty and smelly creatures in the motherland they ran away from, these oh so superior people should also consider preaching to their own citizens living in dirty and smelly tents on the streets of Pittsburgh.
          https://youtu.be/n1HkB5NXjAM

          • 0
            1

            Yeah Old Codger…that’s what India will do to us as US does to Mexico and Cuba. Difference is US is super clean with no caste system. So, now let your imagination soar…..

        • 5
          0

          NV,
          China didn’t offer aid against starvation, because its a long distance and time consuming, against Tamil Nadu sending commodities, “as easy as” in antiquated “Vallums”, Coastal Craft and “Teppans”!!??
          They were absent for “The Operation”, not because of dislike but due ‘Logistics of Operation’!!???
          “Chinese Credit,” (Chinese Ringgit would have added to CONFUSION IN CONVERSION RATE) vs. Indian Rupee INR as SL uses SL Rupees) which Chinese thought of as Interchangeable ‘Legal Tender’, though not in Reality – Fault of, RW and Nandalal – CBSL – ‘Chinese Granted Clemency and No Culpability’!!!??
          They didn’t even attempt commodities, due to their bad experience exporting ‘ORGANIC FERTILISER EXPERIMENT FIASCO’, they felt that Lankans may be reticent towards Chinese commodities too, to be likened Rejected Bio-Fertiliser not conforming, SLSI Stipulation!!??
          On the Other – Hand & Chinese felt Lankans prefer “Toilet Nadu” Rice & Parrippu (Lentils), instead of Chinese variety”!?
          They were very GENEROUS IN THEIR THOUGHT may not be much resourceful in ACTION!!!???
          “FRIEND-IN-NEED is the one FULL of thought”, not in ACTION!!!???
          That’s what you term as ‘AMBA YALUWA’ in local Sri Lankan with much affinity!!!
          So NO Blame on the Chinese please!!!??

      • 3
        5

        Yeah…all gone to Indian billionaires to build up the Western capital…..not a chance for the suffering Indian masses, is there?

        • 3
          4

          And they took even more from the suffering worker Indians to donate to Sri Lanka, so as to build up their Billionaires even further.

          One and only one reason Lankans are multidimensionally poor : Building up the Billionaire set, Indian style.

          Only one decent outcome: JVP-NPP!

          • 5
            1

            Ramona,
            If your own city, Pittsburgh, has smelly and dirty people living on the streets, how do you expect India or Sri Lanka to be better??
            https://youtu.be/n1HkB5NXjAM
            Stop being so bloody superior. Get the NPP to rule Pittsburgh before you preach to us dirty smelly ragged black creatures. This is our motherland, not yours.

            • 4
              5

              Old Codger,

              Hu1ge differences…… but you just have to come out in your usual rhetoric don’t you OC. My motherland is Sri Lanka. Your’s I believe is Europe. You’re an old colonist who took the resources of MY Motherland and forced me out to survive.

              Pittsburgh is of drug addicted people. India is of whole families living the lowlife for the past 5,000 years, and not on drugs.

              • 4
                1

                Ramona,
                There is an old saying that you shouldn’t look up and spit. If this is your motherland, at least don’t insult the people who didn’t run away as “dirty and smelly “. Do you think that real white Americans regard you as anything other than a brown foreigner eating smelly food?

                • 0
                  2

                  Old codger,

                  Why bring race and color into this? Shame on you!

                  I never said anything about my fellow Lankans. I was talking about the caste-driven Indians. No, our place with its poverty is far different from India with its so-called recent riches. When you place a society into caste groups, the whole place gets dirty, even is there is plenty of wealth – even Indians regretfully acknowledge this, but the caste system is too ingrained.

                  Indian food is aromatic, like ours. White people love it, but most can’t take the strong pepper and chilly. We can still have all the flavors without the heat. Do they see me as a brown foreigner? Too many races around for them to sit around analyzing these things. As for you Old Codger…..alas!…and in Sri Lanka too!

                  • 0
                    2

                    Talking bout race and color in Sri Lanka too, I mean.

                    • 0
                      1

                      Native Vedda and Old Codger,

                      Our farmlands are being destroyed by Ranil! Why, aren’t you horrified? What a cruel and horrible thing to do….to take our farmers’ water for electricity! Government will destroy our ancient paddy lands and set up factories for Lankan workers to make spare part components for Indian robots and other trinkets, and dye for garish saris for beauty contests and other silly things.

                      Guess you two have placed your money on the Indian-merge stocks. Now you are twiddling thumbs awaiting the returns. No wonder Old Codger is desperate on the alternate view-point. Quick, withdraw your monies….hope it’s not too late. Aww….you shouldn’t have been so greedy in the first place, in the face of the suffering Lankan peasantry.

                      In Rajapaksa’s time, it was all about us becoming another Dubai. How delusional was that. With Ranil, it’s the opposite end of the Lankan delusion. Pray, tell me how Alphabet, a multinational conglomerate American company with Sundar Pichai having a few low-paid workers in India, going to boom Sri Lanka into Singapore? Believe me : Cyberspace needs no bridge over ancient sites.

                  • 2
                    0

                    Ramona,
                    “Why bring race and color into this? Shame on you!”
                    You did, when you talked about dirty and smelly people. You might be an American now, but you were born in South Asia. Don’t spit on your own ancestors.

                    • 2
                      0

                      Ramona,
                      Why would we want to be horrified? There is no rain. Whose fault is that? And they aren’t YOUR farmlands.
                      Anyway, if the harvest fails those dirty and smelly farmers in TN will send us rice. Not the clean and fragrant white farmers in Pittsburgh.

                    • 0
                      3

                      No, I spoke about dirty smelly cities, not people. Caste system puts people without adequate sanitation and also education. It’s due to no personal fault of their own. Still the people ensure personal cleanliness I’m sure. Read the above properly. Anyway most of me is of Lankan ancestors even if some percentage might have come from India over 500 years ago. Anyway, they came into a Buddhist system of egalitarianism. Yes, Buddhism made us evolve differently. We’d lose our uniqueness if we join India too closely. We’d end up their lowest State. You lose, OC. Should’ve placed your money patriotically on the Motherland.

                    • 0
                      1

                      And OC, as a patriotic Lankan, I do care about my Lankan farmers who many of my recent ancestors were part of. Our Lankan farmers in especially the South always had adequate water. But after Rajapaksas built the power-plants, Ranil is ensuring the water keeps his electricity grid going 24/7 so as to be successful with the India-merger.

                    • 0
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                      Oh God!…before someone starts talking about caste (not you OC), I only mentioned ancestors to show a love for the farmers; the significance of farmers who give us our daily bread; they who are the ancient custodians of the land. I myself am a mixture of all employments.

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                      The family name is Fernando, which means, however much she denies and now claims all sorts of ancestry, her ancestors most likely originated from one of these southern three districts of Tamil Nadu, all of which have large Catholic populations, thanks to the Portuguese, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi or Nagerkovil, migrated to the island when hundreds of thousands were imported and settled along the northwestern, western and southern littorals, by the Portuguese/Dutch colonials, to do menial service work or to work as indentured slave labour in the southern spice estates. Now she is spitting on Tamil Nadu and India and calling them all sorts of names.

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                      Rohan,

                      Incidentally, Fernando is my married name (husband belonging to the Sinhalese Suriya clan and with the Sinhala farming mixture). Me, mixed of mixed blood, am also proud to also have the blood of the Sinhala farmer in me – my maternal grandmother being Govigama. We understand the sanctity of our farming community. A only a caste driven Tamil can come up with that comment and attempt the ruin the sanctity of our Motherland and people.

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                      And Old Codger,

                      “Why would we want to be horrified? There is no rain. Whose fault is that? And they aren’t YOUR farmlands.
                      Anyway, if the harvest fails those dirty and smelly farmers in TN will send us rice. Not the clean and fragrant white farmers in Pittsburgh.”

                      Those farmlands always had plentiful of water with the rivers providing the water even during times of drought, till those unnecessary power plants were built. Only reason farmers in India are sending us rice is because the Rajapaksa’s built their electricity grids of which Ranil is operating 24/7 for the Indian merge (of which even the Indians do not want). Now India is short of rice and have reduced their exports…..goes to show how far Modi will go will Ranil to for the Indian merge.

                      ps. The US has been sending us plenty of wheat and also rice seeds over many years. So love them too.

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                      Ramona,
                      “Quick, withdraw your monies….hope it’s not too late.” That’s the sort of economics
                      that ruined economies. If we were allowed to save in a currency that doesn’t depreciate like the LKR, we wouldn’t lose our savings periodically. Ranil has proposed a solution to that, which is to allow deposits in INR. Do you even know that the INR has appreciated 800% since 1980 against the LKR?
                      Even though India is, according to you, caste-ridden, dirty, and smelly?
                      Don’t you think it is better to be a little smelly than to be clean but lose 80% of your wealth?

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                      How selfish to your countrymen can you be Old Codger! You are looking at the skewed INR figures with such itchy fingers! Even if INR has appreciated 800% since 1980, Slum Dog Millionaire scenarios still retain abundantly (although I heard they have grudgingly built some toilets since….any more toilet building and the money would automatically depreciate to a negative 800).

                      Our poor people live in rural areas with trees around, and don’t congest the cities in deplorable conditions. True our money is not as high as India’s, but our country looks nice and clean. Every Lankan politician, bad or good, ensured this….till of course, Ranil! We need to live within our means within Socialist conditions. If we could have joined Singapore or Malaysia with the billionaire status, it would have been welcomed. But India is a huge No, No.

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                      True India gave us much money and we need to thank them, but many suffering Indians were against Modi giving us this money when they needed their …..infrastructure….built. And last thing they too want is a land bridge over the sacred ancient site.

                      Yes, let’s work with the Indians without the land bridge and without the billionaires taking all they hard earned wealth to place on Western concerns.

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                  OC,
                  .
                  I could not agree more.
                  :
                  But our fake Prof. Deepthi Silva would not.

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                    Ramona,
                    “Those farmlands always had plentiful of water with the rivers providing the water even during times of drought, till those unnecessary power plants were built. Only reason farmers in India are sending us rice is because the Rajapaksa’s built their electricity grids of which Ranil is operating 24/7 “
                    I don’t know which reduces me to tears more, your historical expertise, your agricultural expertise, your genealogical expertise, or your electrical engineering expertise. Peace on your Govigama cum Suriya Karawe husband..

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                      There, there…..wish I could help, but facts are stubborn.

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                      Yep, in 2014 R’s commissioned 100% more electricity to be produced by those dams, thereby forcing even more water from the rivers.

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                      And Old Codger,
                      – Husband is cool right? 😊 Modern day racially evolved Sri Lankan!

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            Our poverty did not happen overnight. It has been stacked since 2005.
            You granny Romona should also be accoutable to have paid silence as ” srilanken american ” living in that country because your expt-community could stand against JALIYA wicxkramsooriya and his money grabs at that time.

            Time and again family decisions of the Rajapaksa regime with the applause of AKD led JVP.
            In 2005, JVP should be held responsible for making “cattle thief Mahinda Rajapaksa” president because they did not see it at that time.
            With the disclosure of the electricity bill that had been spent on the tax payers’ money of 5000 invitees to Namal Baby’s wedding, it is now becoming clear how much the Rajapaksa abused the state. Mahinda Rajapaksa did many misdeeds in broad daylight yesterday, but JVP/NPP was still in the country then.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-pUUz3vW9E

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    It is all clear for both India and the Paradise . ” Modi warns Ranil , glad you
    accepted or else Sajith will ” .

    Ranil to Modi : ” Oh , no worries , JVP / NPP will have a brand new Bribery
    branch with a new set of files , just next to their Head Quarters at Battaramulla .

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    “From the time of recorded history, and in spite of close economic, cultural and security contacts between India and Sri Lanka the insularity of the island was never interfered with.”
    Really? What then was the IPKF doing in 1987-89?

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    “Really? What then was the IPKF doing in 1987-89?”

    Being a Maoist, you should be happy IPKF was containing US expansion in Indian ocean. Hindia used your favorite armed nationalist psychopath Velupillai Prabaharan.

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    Native Vedda and Old Codger,

    Our farmlands are being destroyed by Ranil! Why, aren’t you horrified? What a cruel and horrible thing to do….to take our farmers’ water for electricity! Government will destroy our ancient paddy lands and set up factories for Lankan workers to make spare part components for Indian robots and dye for garish saris for beauty contests and other silly things.

    Guess you two have placed your money on the Indian-merge stocks. Now you are twiddling thumbs awaiting the returns. No wonder Old Codger is desperate on the alternate view-point. Quick, withdraw your monies….hope it’s not too late. Aww….you shouldn’t have been so greedy in the first place, in the face of the suffering Lankan peasantry.

    In Rajapaksa’s time, it was all about us becoming another Dubai. How delusional was that. With Ranil, it’s the opposite end of the Lankan delusion. Pray, tell me how Alphabet, a multinational conglomerate American company with Sundar Pichai having a few low-paid workers in India, going to boom Sri Lanka into Singapore? Believe me : Cyberspace needs no bridge over ancient sites.

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      Stocks and bonds for the Indian-Merger!*

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    Dr Ameer Ali, I do not know what Poet Bharathiyar meant when he called the island Chingkalla Theevu, in his famous poem, was he calling the entire island the land of the present-day Sinhalese( which definitely was incorrect but most people, even in Tamil Nadu, were not aware of an ancient Tamil presence that was also indigenous to the island in the north and east of the island from prehistoric to ancient times. They were only aware of the Indian-origin estate Tamils who were taken to the island by the British in the 1850s, and they thought all the island’s Tamils were descended from these estate Tamils, the British also were largely responsible for this misunderstanding and misinformation, as they were only portraying the Sinhalese as indigenous to the island but not the indigenous Tamils from the north and east, who have a far more ancient history on the island than the present day Sinhalese.

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      Or on the other hand, was he using one of the ancient classical Tamil names for the island, Chingkalla Theevu, which has nothing to do with the modern-day Sinhalese or Sinhalese ethnicity, but means the red land or copper-coloured land( Chem( red) or Chepu( copper)+ Alam( land)= Chingkallam This was one of the ancient Tamil names for the island. The others are Eelam or Eezham meaning land of toddy or metal( like the Eezhavas or Thiyyas ( A corruption of Theevar) of Kerala, who are said to have been Tamil Buddhists, migrated from the island to ancient Tamil Chera Nadu ( Kerala Nadu), these people are still associated with toddy tapping. Funny the Tamil word for toddy is Era in Jaffna and it is Ra in Sinhalese, the E omitted. Cherantheevu ( meaning the island of the Naga) is another ancient Tamil word for the island, Chera is another name for Naga, this is the then western Tamil country called Chera Nadu, as it was full of Naga tribes. Ilankai is also another name from the old Tamil word Ilanku meaning to shine/glitter, show or be resplendent.

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        As I stated earlier the Tamil word Chingkallam used for the island during ancient times had nothing to do with the present-day Sinhalese language/ethnicity, which evolved much later with the arrival of Buddhism 2300 years ago and the large-scale conversion of the semi-Tamil or properly Tamil speaking largely Dravidian Yakka and some Nage tribes in the south, central and western parts of the island, and the gradual corruption of their local Tamil dialect with the Pali/Prakrit that largely arrived on the island with Buddhism.

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    This new language and identity gradually took the ancient Tamil name that was used for the island, Chingkallam or the Prakritised version Sinhala and has nothing to do with lions or North Indian migrations. These are myths and stories that were later incorporated to explain the name and create a different identity and origin for the Tamil Buddhists on the south of the island from the Hindu Tamils, especially after the evolution of a new language. There was some North Indian migration but these immigrants got assimilated into the local Dravidian population and did not create the Sinhalese identity. This is why this North Indian DNA is found both amongst the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils, as a minority contributor to their genetics. This is the same with the name Malayalam, now used for the modern language spoken in Kerala and the ethnicity of this language speakers. Original and ancient Malayalam was the western Cheral Tamil dialect, which was the predominant spoken language of 85% of the population even until the 1820s. The new language and identity that started to evolve from around 12AD and became fully evolved and became the Majority language from around 1820, took on the name of the old Chera Tamil dialect from which it evolved, just like the way ancient Tamil Chingkallam became modern Prakritised Sinhalese.

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