By Shyamon Jayasinghe –
“…..these are only some of the few seen and unseen development outcomes under the leadership of Sirisena and Wickremesinghe. Wickremesinghe’s entire focus is on economics, whereas your buddies MR and Gota, had no clue on the subject. Your favourites led one of the most corrupt and dictatorial regimes in the history of Sri Lanka. Ordinary pedestrians holding onto their ‘siri siri’ plastic shopping bags had to turn their miserable arses and hold onto the nearest wall when Gota and other VIPs used to hover about in Colombo. You want to see these guys substituting for the current yahapalanaya government? You must be crazy, man!”
Dayan Jayatilleka (DJ) hallucinates being an oracle. Like the famous oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece? People in ancient Athens used to listen intently to that oracle when he makes utterances and predictions from time to time. The oracle, then, was the signal for public belief. In Dayan’s case, despite his incurable over-assessment of himself, discerning readers are increasingly looking at the man as a fool. Not a simple, naive, fool but an intrepid one who is mindlessly writing his two cents. Every paragraph in his latest foray in Colombo Telegraph (under the caption, “Ranil the Curse and Mahindagamanaya 3 and Gota) is false, sickly and vulnerable.
Dayan Jayatilleka and Rajiva Wijesinha
One commentator tries to compare DJ with Rajiva Wijesinha. I think that is a disservice to Rajiva who is a man of class and who is utterly civil and decent-although I have disagreed with the latter, too, recently. That is a different matter. The point is, Rajiva Wijesinha is in so many ways above DJ. First, he never uses rude and impolite language when criticising those whom he disagrees with. In a comment dated 16/1/18 on one of my articles at Colombo Telegraph this man described me as a “scumbag.” Mind you, in my piece I never referred to DJ overtly or covertly since I do not treat him as a significant opinion writer anymore. DJ refers to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as “a knave.” Now, Rajiva did criticise his cousin, Ranil, with whom he is in bad terms; but he dis that at the level of a true intellectual. Nothing vulgar and nothing even derogatory. That’s what a gentleman is. In my response I did credit Rajiva for that.
Besides, Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) is not only the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. At base, his is the leader of the largest political party in Sri Lanka. Has been Prime Minister four times. He won a Parliamentary seat this time seat gaining over five lakhs of votes in Sri Lanka’s most educated and modernised electorate. He Is the one political leader in our country today who can confidently and on par face international personages such as the British Prime Minister or the Federal German Chancellor. I cannot see any other political leader in our island today who can do that. We had persons like Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake but they are gone. I cannot see any other political leader today who has such a grasp of economic, social or political policy. Friend or foe (not the DJ foe) must admit that. When, recently, Ranil addressed the respected and learned body of lawyers here in Melbourne he gave such a brilliant and erudite speech that one of the senior political leaders commented to me, “you should be proud to have a Prime Minister like that!” The problem is that RW does not go boasting. He is to himself-considered and deliberate and often inarticulate. That is, perhaps, a fragility.
Now, I must emphasize that I am not a fan of RW. I stand always to defend those unfairly attacked, when there is nobody to do that. I write with verification and I have given the evidence in this instance, above. I don’t need to be a sycophant of any political leader, RW or any other, for the simple reason that I have absolutely nil ambitions in Sri Lanka. I met and spoke to Ranil for the very first time in my life when he came to Geelong, Melbourne. Of course, he knew about me because of my profile in the Public Service and in my role in the cultural scenario of Sri Lanka.
Now, DJ slashes Ranil for giving India a foothold in the deep South. The Rajapaksa regime had planned to give that strategic base to China. Is that any better? China has big- power ambitions and so they would have been far more dangerous. Besides, China has already been given the dominant strategic hold in Sri Lanka by the previous government that DJ wishes to get back. Due to huge debts given at commercial rates, we are already a virtual vassal state of China-unable to extricate ourselves of that embedded dependence. We failed to negotiate our way out and to our advantage over the Port City Project. China is close to being our new colonial power, if one goes by contemporary forms of colonialism. Our great neighbour was getting too nervous and had to be placated somewhat. This is geopolitical balance in foreign policy. Sri Lanka cannot frighten its neighbour. JR did that once and we got into trouble as India started training the LTTE cadres in their soil.
Besides, Sri Lanka had an unmanageable debt on the Harbour Project and there was no way of earning revenue for repaying that debt. Hence, the government hit upon the brilliant idea of selling equity on a joint basis on that harbour project. Our huge debts are now diminishing. The IMF recently commented favourable on our debt management and fiscal management, which had taken the country to bankruptcy under DJ’s favourite government.
Indeed, DJ, Ranil is a curse to you as you cannot get rid of him. In a more serious way, he is a curse to all the Rajapaksas because he is the king pin behind this government. If he falls, the government falls. So, keep trying to bring him down. That is the logic of the Opposition and that is how they politicised the Bond issue against Ranil.
See how his yahapalanaya outfit has already achieved so much. Like me to show you? Then open your eyes without reluctance or blink. Take your hatred out and try a bit of ‘upekka.’ Democracy is restored. People are seen freely protesting without being hammered by mafia and thugs with iron bars or shot by the soldiers as in Rathupaswela, when villagers protested asking for water. The evil men of murder whom your pet, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, is said to have developed as a secret force in Colombo are not to be seen. Editors of newspapers have not been murdered on the streets and they roam free while ruthlessly attacking the government with their newly-won freedom. No white vans tapping the doors of journalists in the dead of the night and taking the latter away-leaving behind whole families crying, wailing, and weeping! No add to this all, court is not conducted in Temple Trees anymore. We have an outstandingly impeccable Chief Justice. We have the Freedom of Information Act in force. We have Independent Commissions in action. Our exports have recorded an increase after so many years. Road and rail infrastructure is coming up. Colombo City will soon have a new road network. Sri Lanka is friendly with all foreign countries.
Under your favourite regime the people were enslaved; only the Rajapaksas were free.
Your Excellency DJ, these are only some of the few – seen and unseen – development outcomes under the leadership of Sirisena and Wickremasinghe. Wickremasinghe’s entire focus is on economics, whereas your buddies MR and Gota, had no clue on the subject. Your favourites led one of the most corrupt and dictatorial regimes in the history of Sri Lanka. Ordinary pedestrians holding onto their ‘siri siri’ plastic shopping bags had to turn their miserable arses and hold onto the nearest wall when Gota and other VIPs used to hover about in Colombo. You want to see these guys substituting for the current yahapalanaya government? You must be crazy, man!