28 March, 2020

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Covid-19, Globalization & Glocalization

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Coronavirus has created health and economic crises globally. While the vast majority of people are monitoring closely how their health indicators are ticking, there is one class, which is panicking about the shock waves lapping the shores of stock markets. From New York to Colombo, billions of dollars have been wiped out and signs of a quick reversal are looking dimmer. Government revenues are falling, budget deficits worsening, supply shortages escalating, airline and tourism industries are crippled and unemployment is rising. An already underemployed, or, to use a new term gaining currency now, casualised job market, is facing even greater unemployment, casualisation and job insecurity. In short, the economic impact of Covid-19 appears to be far worse than that of 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Global economic managers are obviously reluctant to use the R-word, recession.

Coronavirus has exposed once again the ugly face of globalization. Since the twin collapse of Marxian and Keynesian economic management from the late 1970s and 1980s, both with fixed exchange rates and protected markets, economies were inundated with paeans for flexible exchange rates and free markets. Monetarists and supply siders advocated for open economies, and economic managers welcomed the revolution in communication technology and electronics, which, by virtually killing time and distance, heralded the arrival of the era of globalization. The world was squeezed into a global village, and capitalism globalised itself at turbo-speed.   

When protest against economic inequities and social injustices caused by globalization emerged to the fore by the end of 20th and beginning of 21st centuries, and threatened to escalate as an anti-globalization movement, Bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda came to the rescue of global capitalists and provided them with a golden opportunity to turn world’s attention aw from anti-globalization and towards confronting terrorism, of the Islamic variety. Even the anti-globalization protestors were in danger of being thrown into the terrorist camp. That killed the protest movement, and globalization continued unchallenged thereafter. Even after the GFC, the Occupy Wall Street movement, which began in September 17, 2011, following the Arab Spring in December 2010, failed to slowdown the globalization locomotive. In globalization, Francis Fukayama even saw The End of History and the Last Man.  

There is now a possibility that what the previous movements failed to achieve a virus may be able to do. Coronavirus has shown that globalization, by shrinking the world into a village through technological marvels, has also facilitated dangerous bacteria and viruses to travel faster than before and enter anywhere in the same borderless village with devastating effects. Scientists’ ability to isolate these viruses and destroy them right at the point of origin is becoming increasingly difficult and enormously expensive. True, humans are capable of discovering antidotes, but it will take time and huge effort. Covid-19 has travelled faster and infected more people than Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) combined. It is also worse than the Ebola crisis. The antidote to Covid-19 is still years away. Even if it is controlled, the next one may be even deadlier.  

The chief carriers of these viruses are humans who are now travelling more frequently than before, and in ever increasing numbers, for work, business and pleasure. Globalization has integrated economies horizontally, and those economies are becoming increasingly financialized. While excess capacity and under consumption afflict product markets, financial markets have become tightly knit gambling dens creating colossal amount of financial wealth largely delinked with product markets. Financialization of economies are making them increasingly vulnerable to unexpected convulsions. What it implies is that the rippling effects of a disturbance in one corner of the world catch the entire world unprepared and almost instantaneously. The latest stock market crash, supply chain disruption, budget crises, unemployment and massive welfare handouts are the ripple effects of Covid-19 that started in Wuhan.  This is the horror effect of globalization and to reduce that effect national economies have to protect their own backyard. Globalization must be tamed and turned into glocalization, at least to absorb part of the economic shocks generated by epidemics and other such disasters.   

It is therefore time to think of structural reforms, especially in an economy like Sri Lanka, which is too small but closely integrated with global markets, thanks to JR’s love of capitalism. Reforms are desperately needed to withstand the shocks from global disturbances. How to make the economy resilient to such dangers is a challenge facing Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Presidency and its economic policy makers. The response needs more than a patch work of strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals and ad hoc fiscal stimulus, and requires a coordinated approach to structural transformation. With a renowned economist at the helm of the Central Bank, who has already indicated his readiness to make liberal economics more humane, the time is ripe to undertake this task. However, as the Head of Central Bank also stressed, it requires some hard hitting political decisions from the government. 

One such decision is the solution to the national question. President GR called for co-operation of the entire nation to eliminate Covid-19, and his Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa wanted ‘all Lankans’ to come together. Why only for this? Don’t they want that same co-operation extended to build the nation and its economy? Why is it not forthcoming? 

Sri Lanka is a plural society that embraced a democratic political structure after four and a half centuries of colonialism, and each of the plural component must feel equal in all respects. If democracy is hijacked by one dominant group and strives to consume the whole not only the substance of democracy but also the cohesive ethos of pluralism are jeopardised. It is rationally and ethically wrong and nationally destructive for one component of that plurality to claim supremacy and preferential treatment while the interests of others are sidelined. This is the fundamental issue that thwarts collective effort and that leaders of major political parties are failing to address. Hunger for power has blinded the leaders’ national vision. In trying to drive out a global pestilence, let us also drive out our own domestic pestilence of ethnic and religious hatred.

Finally, Covid-19, like the environment, is teaching us one good lesson. That is, one cannot survive by the loss of another. It is not a zero sum game. Only a collective national effort can convert zero sum games into positive sum games. Will the supremacists learn this lesson and strive to find a solution to the national question?    

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Latest comments

  • 5
    3

    More virus will appear when you see rapid increase of injustice, aggression, transgression, killing and all kind of exploitation by western countries. When a dog dies in any western countries, all media, and people are making a big noise about it. when millions of people die in third world countries it is as if some animals or insect die in western countries. All wars are run by weapons produced these cunning western countries. so, there is not justice in the world today. so, karma is now turning on them. It tell us there is a supper power behind all affairs of world. You call him God/Allah or with any other name. So, it looks like Doom day is nearing humanity. Nothing else. More and more virus are predicted in future., you do not need nuclear weapons.

    • 3
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      Dr. Ameer Ali,

      “Finally, Covid-19, like the environment, is teaching us one good lesson. That is, one cannot survive by the loss of another. It is not a zero sum game. Only a collective national effort can convert zero sum games into positive sum games. Will the supremacists learn this lesson and strive to find a solution to the national question? “

      Are Cardinals, like the Popes, infallible too?

      Cardinal (not the bird) Ranjit Malcolm says that that COVID-19 was man made by a rich country to control the world. Have you Heard of WMD.

      ECONOMYNEXT – The head of Sri Lanka’s Roman Catholic Church Sunday alleged that the highly contagious Coronavirus may be man-made and wanted those responsible prosecuted for “genocide.”

      Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith addressing the faithful during a closed-door Sunday mass said the United Nations should initiate an international investigation into the origin of COVID-19 which he said was causing death and destruction.

      He said a “rich and powerful nation” was behind the virus, but stopped short of naming names. However, his remarks, both in Sinhala and English, were on the lines of the Chinese foreign ministry claim on Friday that the US military was behind it.

      • 2
        1

        Dr. Ameer Ali,

        There are 170 irresponsible, unethical, selfish Sri Lankans who are spreading the COVID-19 virus in the country, to other unsuspecting innocents.

        The Ministry of Defence said that over 170 passengers, who have returned to Sri Lanka from Korea and Italy have not been subjected to quarantine process and requested to contact the police or relevant authorities to get them into the screening process.

        It also said that If they still fail to heed to the request, legal action will be taken under the Quarantine and Prevention of Diseases Ordinance by the Police against them.

    • 2
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      Dr Ameer Ali,

      “While the vast majority of people are monitoring closely how their health indicators are ticking, there is one class, which is panicking about the shock waves lapping the shores of stock markets. “

      The markets will follow the global spread of the infection.

      Current Situation, March 16, 2020.

      Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
      Situation Report – 56

      https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200316-sitrep-56-covid-19.pdf?sfvrsn=9fda7db2_2

      Reporting Country/
      Territory/Area†
      Total
      confirmed

      cases
      Total
      confirmed
      new cases1
      Total
      deaths
      Total
      new
      deaths1
      Transmission
      classification§
      Days since last
      reported case

      South
      -East Asia Region
      Indonesia 117
      0
      4
      0 Local transmission
      1
      India 114
      7
      2
      0 Local transmission
      0
      Thailand 114 39
      1
      0 Local transmission
      0
      Sri Lanka 19
      8
      0
      0 Local transmission
      0
      Maldives 13
      3
      0
      0 Local transmission
      0
      Bangladesh
      5
      2
      0
      0 Local transmission
      0
      Bhutan
      1
      0
      0
      0 Imported cases only 10
      Nepal
      1
      0
      0
      0 Imported cases only 52

  • 3
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    There is now a possibility that what the previous movements failed to achieve a virus may be able to do economic shocks generate forbidden menu is the worst form of violence or city for virus, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest breath free every one screening inhale pure air to eliminate a danger. Environment, is teaching us one good lesson Virus understand no religious, and the standard for permissible food and non-permissible for consumption food must be enlighten. Not ‘hate’ messages on prescribed method of animal Packaging labels but to trust the labels

  • 4
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    “One cannot survive by the loss of another” true but that is what the government is trying to do – loss of Tamils and Muslims will be beneficial to the Sinhalese?

  • 4
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    The current situation in our Motherland, with ALL Sri Lankans having to face a common deadly enemy, necessitates that we all come together putting aside our political, social, economical, cultural and religious differences and work together for the common good and survival of our people.

    It would be so heartening and encouraging if Contributors to social media and mass media journals bear this in mind when preparing their next and all future literary contributions.

    Continuing to focus directly or indirectly on the perceived failings of the Rajapakse and Yahapalanaya Governments and on the actions and deeds of extremists on all sides of the divide is counter-productive at this point in time and prevents the coming together of all Sri Lankans.

    A moratorium must be declared by all Contributors, of their own volition, regarding the writing of such articles for the moment.

    • 1
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      Kemo Sabey

      “Continuing to focus directly or indirectly on the perceived failings of the Rajapakse and Yahapalanaya Governments and on the actions and deeds of extremists on all sides of the divide is counter-productive at this point in time and prevents the coming together of all Sri Lankans.”

      Concrete decisions to prevent spread of COVID – 19
      http://www.dailynews.lk/2020/03/14/local/

      Excerpt:
      Several firm decisions have been taken under the guidance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to combat COVID -19 in the country. Measures initiated by the Government since January have been instrumental in preventing the disease coming into the country.

      Kemo Sabey

      According to Daily News Gota together with Mahinda have successfully preventing COVID – 19 entering this island. A few days ago Keheliya Rambukwella assured the people that for those who won the LTTE, Corona is not a challenge.

      Therefore we can just relax and don’t panic.

      • 2
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        Naked Vedda, you can relax in the West, we cannot.

        • 1
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          Adrian Aged 13 3/4

          “Naked Vedda, you can relax in the West, we cannot.”

          You can’t I do understand you need to wind yourself up continuously, rage on a 24/7/52 basis, …… blood thirsty, …………..

  • 4
    8

    Dr Ameer, Corona is part of HYBRID WAR to promote DE-GLOBALIZATION and attack Asia’s main economies.

    Corona is certainly bio war fare by the biggest Rouge State in the world to attack Chinese people, Economy and Asian economies that now lead the world– in order to “Make America Great Again”.

    The sooner we stop pretending that Corona is a global pandemic the better, because it is the western global media and big Phamaceutical industries and related humanitarian disaster capitalists that is hyping up the Corona crisis to destroy the global economy, promote de-globalization. We in Sri Lanka are also being distracted from the CIA – Saudi Easter Terror attacks that were staged to set up military bases by the biggest Rogue State in Lanka.

    • 2
      3

      Dinu—-

      Don’t you know that ——-

      —–Snake Eating Uncivilized China manufactured Corona to attack developed countries. –Already found that the job was done in the Wuhan Genetic Engineering Research Institute —

      ——Fortunately, Chinese secret plan boomeranged on CHINA itself ——driving Canibal China into the next recession—– –with over 50% Chinese factories disabled —

      ————Now corrupted China is in a big shit hole as well as the doomed POHOTTUWA led by Gothapaya-MaRa-Namal Clan —

      Lankawa will soon be there —-Remember, what happened to Lankawe for emulating China and Russia in 1970s under Sirimao —

      Jayawewa !!!!!

    • 2
      2

      I think Dinuk is right. Small pharmaceutical is dominating the world, and is a multi billion dollar industry. Probably, they are smaller only to the Petroleum industry.
      For some Bio-pharmaceutical – vaccines come under that – is working hard to make the bio-pharmaceutical – vaccines, customs made protein drugs for cancer or similar conditions – a big industry.
      They are now promoting the world corporation too.
      So, this attack may be multi – purpose.
      Latin America, also developed important vaccines. But, they do not like others coming into the market or the global trade.
      Yahapalana govt also signed into the Vaccine and bio-pharmaceutical industry in a big way.
      Petroleum and both groups pf medicine alone can bankrupt Sri lanka.

    • 1
      2

      “Saudi Easter Terror attacks that were staged to set up military bases by the biggest Rogue State in Lanka”

      Will Covid-19 overshadow 1st anniversary of Easter Sunday bombings during the April 25th election to jeopardize a two-thirds majority?

    • 0
      1

      “Saudi Easter Terror attacks that were staged to set up military bases by the biggest Rogue State in Lanka”

      Will Covid-19 overshadow 1st anniversary of Easter Sunday bombings during the April 25th election?

  • 4
    3

    Lets look at the facts, figures, and DATA, and stop panicking in South Asia and self-destroying our already debt trapped economies because slaves to global media hype!

    1. There have been ONLY 2 corona virus related deaths in South Asia – both in India
    2. Corona came to India and South Asia very late – only after Donald Trump came and went after selling 3 billion USD weapons to Modi at the end of February! Until AFTER Trump’s visit there was no Corona in India.
    3. Corona virus does not spread rapidly in hot climates.
    4. Normal influenza kills way more people than Corona, globally and in South Asia.
    5. Corona targets the Chinese genom but seems to be mild in other populations.
    6. Corona was intended as an attack on Asian Economies and the Rouge State that manufactured it has succeeded in making Lanka and its US citizen first family panic and self-destruct the national economy. Many poor people are out of jobs today as a result of this attack on the economy, just like the Easter Carnage last year.

    • 1
      0

      I agree with Kalinga. Stop vehicle imports to see how many deaths per day is reported. Publish crime and death statistics and the cause to see and compare with Covid-19 or FLU virus deaths.
      But, I do not say Covid-19 is unimportant. Sri Lanka needs to get prepared by setting up R %D facilities.

    • 1
      1

      Kalinga ,

      Different Data.

      100 million locked down in Europe, 16 March – Dr. John Campbell

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

      Sri Lanka is getting from Italy. Others got from China.

  • 2
    1

    What Sri Lanka has to think is expenses and draining of the economy if the virus attacks are going to be of normal occurrences. Think about tourists bringing viruses from other countries. Sri lanka has to ask another country to help developing vaccines. That is enough to make the country again a impoverished third world country.
    Sri lanka to build Immunology departments into some universities which do research in the vaccine area. As Sri lanka is a buddhist country, must go with eggs and cell culture. Sri Lanka must get UN help and build those education and research, pilot plants and manufacturing plants ASAP.
    COVID-19 is a animal virus and it has become prevalent in meat eating countries. Remember Beef eating brought JACOB felt – CROHN disease or some brain infection something which is 100% fatal. Eating POrk also has some disease (that is why muslims are prohibited to eat) but it is under control. Eating chicken cause, via live bird, cause so many viral flues. Many not that fatal viruses come from the China side because they eat many types of animals. Minorities need to be explained that. Indonesia, Korea, China, Singapore are all in that category. There are so many bird-flues all come mostly from chicken and other birds transmit it.

  • 1
    3

    Dr. Ameer,

    Thank you Sir for such a great article so important in the current context…….
    ——Your question: —

    ——“Will the supremacists learn this lesson and strive to find a solution to the national question? ” — must be answered by Racist POHOTTUWA Leaders —-Gothapaya, Mara, and Ra—-Pakse Tribe–

    —–Bankrupt Sinhala Buddhist supremacists’ days are being numbered along with the ticking of the Corona Pandemic —

    ——Without support from Tamils and Muslims, POHOTTUWA – the Para Sinhala Buddhists – will lose the majority status at the upcoming election — Perhaps, end up with a minority government —— begging support from minorities for survival ——

    —-In the so called blessed island of Lankawe, —Gothpaya -Mara and their POHOTTUWA clan are destined to die a painful death ——-very soon —–in the face of havoc caused by their own tribalism -cannibalism combo—-

  • 0
    0

    There are some conspiracy theories behind it.
    some say it is man made disaster,
    some say it is accidental
    some say it is Karma..
    what is right

  • 2
    0

    Dr. Ali writes
    If democracy is hijacked by one dominant group and strives to consume the whole not only the substance of democracy but also the cohesive ethos of pluralism are jeopardised.
    But in a previous article he screamed saying that the “Sharia Univwersity Building” has been taken over for a quarantine space and there by discriminated against the Min ority community. I am from that minority community, and I was ashamed of the sectarian and narrow thinking of ths “intellectual””. He looks at every thi ng only from that narrow poi nt of view. There are 14 or 15 quarantine centers, and placing one in a Majpoirty Muslim area is not discrimination. Similarly, unless the minorties cooperate with the majority, the majority is going to IGNORE the minority, as has been done in most countries. In the US the Jews don’t ask for special rights, or ask for use of Yiddish in the national anthem (as per Wigneswaran et al).
    Instead, they use their financial power.
    There is no power devolution in the US to Hispanics (nearly 18%) or Jewish people (>12%), while the Tamils are only about 10% while the Muslims are o nly about 8%.
    Same is true of Europe.
    Political devolution on a race or religion basis is DANGEROUS in countries where Islam is a minority religion. We minorities can have power by dominating in various economic sectors, That is real power.

  • 4
    0

    Dr Ameer started Okay ,
    And I was about to say Good on Ya Mate for trying to educate the Elite , Anglicans , Vellalas and even Dr Ameer’s own mates who joined the former to be a part , of their full blown Globalization after last Easter..

    Dr Ameer’s main agenda seems to me to be is to give a Plug for the UNP and their Yahapalana Policies. using this sad situation the Global Community is facing due to the joint effect of CORONA Virus and the Dowjones Virus.
    So D this .alleged Supremism is a load of Hog wash.

    Majority of the inhabitant population are poor inhabitants . In fact 70 % of them are Sinhala people who are poor .
    30% of them live under 2 Dollars a Day.

    They wouldn’t have a clue about this Globolization of Industry, Businesses , and Monetary Systems .
    All they want is to improve their living standards..

    Yahapalanaya which came to power promising them a Singapore , ended up nearly giving one third of their Land to the exclusive benefit of the just 15% of the population plus the UNP Elite , Anglican , Vellala and the Wahabi factions supporters. .
    And 12.000 Acres of their Land to be under Americans…

    That is why they were forced to get rid of that Yahapalanaya .
    And installed the new Lot to keep the Country in one piece .
    And hoping them to build a foundation for everyone live as equals.

    Dr Ammeer and his mates seem not happy about it , because of their affection for Dr Rani’s UNP Yahapalanaya.

  • 3
    0

    “Finally, Covid-19, like the environment, is teaching us one good lesson” : There is no God or God has better things to worry about.

    Soma

  • 3
    0

    “One such decision is the solution to the national question”
    Even if they find a vaccine for Covid 19 there is no conceivable solution to the Tamil question.

    Soma

    • 0
      1

      Soma, There is no solution to the arrogance of SB majority till they find the true God who is not chanting but counselling in love and wisdom. He is here right now to save, heal and deliver and no need to go on pilgrimages to tamil hindu gods of the Buddha in India. Today 10,000 priests and pilgrims need money for special plane to bring them back from India. US has started giving a vaccine for Covid 19, and nations are to look to that God for answers.

      • 1
        0

        ‘..the true God who is not chanting but counselling in love and wisdom’.

        Citizen, is this the same God who created the Coronavirus or a different one?

        • 1
          1

          Adrian Aged 13 3/4

          “Citizen, is this the same God who created the Citizen, is this the same God who created the Coronavirus or a different one? or a different one?”

          It appears so, not only Coronavirus but also other Rana-Virus, …..

  • 3
    0

    “Sri Lanka is a plural society that embraced a democratic political structure after four and a half centuries of colonialism, and each of the plural component must feel equal in all respects.”

    I am not sure whether majority Native Sinhalayo embraced democratic political structure or enforced that on them by British, Sinhala ‘Kalu Suddas’ and Malabar Wellala racist politicians. Even if Sinhalayo embraced it, it is high time to make an assessment to find out to what extent this political structure has helped to achieve the aspirations of Sinhalayo who were brutally oppressed by Portuguese, Dutch and British from 1505 to 1948 and oppressed by Sinhala ‘Kalu Suddas’ (mostly Christian) and Malabar Wellala racist Demalu who dominated the Administrative System after British rule ended. If a large majority of Native Sinhalayo are convinced that this political structure has not produced results they expected as an Independent Nation, they should discard that and look for an alternative. Native Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo should have the say how this country should be Governed.

  • 3
    0

    Before the start of colonial rule, Sinhale was a Sinhala Buddhist country with a small number of Hindu Demalu who were the remnants of Dravida invaders and Muslim refugees who fled Hindusthan to escape persecution by Hindus.

    The demographic composition of the country was drastically changed by colonial parasites who imported millions of Dravida slaves and dumped them in Sinhale.

    Muslim population increased rapidly because Sinhala Buddhists saved them when they faced slaughter by Portuguese butchers, accommodated them in interior parts of the country on the orders of King Senerath, allowed Muslims to marry Sinhala Buddhist women and convert them to Islam and breed like rabbits.

    Should the present generation of Native Sinhalayo shoulder the responsibility and suffer for the crimes committed by colonial parasites to exploit the resources in this country and blunders committed by our elders?

    • 0
      2

      Idiotic eagle,
      “The demographic composition of the country was drastically changed by colonial parasites who imported millions of Dravida slaves and dumped them in Sinhale.”
      You still continue with your senile rantings. At least say something different.
      Most of the “native Sinhalayo” , including yourself, are descended from Indian migrants of the last 500 years, They planted everything from cocoa to cinnamon .
      You have the fking nerve to call tea workers slaves while you enjoy the fruits of their labour. They are here only because your lazy ancestors refused to work. Even now you prefer to send your women to Dubai and get drunk on their money. Pl. go get yourself admitted to a good elders home.

  • 1
    0

    Native Sinhalayo have to face this never ending ‘Ado~nawa’ because King Senerath saved a deadlier virus than Corona without allowing Portuguese to eliminate that from the soil of Sinhale and spread that all over the country.

    • 0
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      Actually it was a Muslim fleet from Malabar that saved Senerath from being eliminated by the Portuguese.

  • 0
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  • 0
    1

    Ameer Ali:One such decision is the solution to the national question. President GR called for co-operation of the entire nation to eliminate Covid-19, and his Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa wanted ‘all Lankans’ to come together. Why only for this? Don’t they want that same co-operation extended to build the nation and its economy?

    Read this: I do not think muslim like Sri lankan becoming a developed country. That is why Zaharan blew up and introduced terror and fear of muslims in to civilian mind.

  • 1
    1

    No political solution acceptable to the minorities (with regard to the National Question) will pass the Sinhala-Buddhist voter test as long as Buddhist monks are opposed to it. The leadership to resolve the issue in a fair manner must come from leading Buddhist monks and from the heads of the Nikayas. Without their whole-hearted support and active campaigning for a fair solution, no political leader will survive.

    Perhaps Gotabaya Rajapakse, given his high standing among the Sinhala-Buddhists, may be able to get the monks to take such an initiative. It may eat into his political capital, but he can afford it. It is unlikely that the support base of the UNP and the JVP (now NPP) will oppose such a move. And Gotabaya Rajapaksa will go down in history as the true redeemer of modern Sri Lanka. Should this happen, he will also be remembered as the leader who re-initiated true Buddhist values among the people.

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