16 October, 2019

Blog

Death Of Truth At Shangri-La

By Sarath De Alwis –

Sarath de Alwis

Democracy will not come

Today, this year

Not ever 

Through compromise and fear. 

I tire so of hearing people say,

Let things take their course. 

Tomorrow is another day.

I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. 

I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread.

‘Democracy’ Langston Hughes (1902 – 1967) 

‘Actioning the Blueprint’ was the title of the presentation. The venue was the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo. The packed audience included everybody who was somebody in industry, commerce, and other professional disciplines. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender. He is well on his way to the presidency; a hazardous prospect that should send chills down the spines of those who cherish essential human freedoms, specifically the freedom from fear that interferes with the citizen’s right of democratic dissent. 

This essay is intended for my fellow citizens who are not morons to be mesmerized by the magic of a monster.

The nation has reached a watershed moment- a matter that has escaped the comics whom we trusted and voted for in 2015 to abolish the aberration of the executive presidency. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa commands a sizeable constituency with a finely tuned political apparatus. 

How has he arrived at that point? His unique selling proposition is that of a demonstrated doer- a proven performer. He claims that as secretary of defense, he ended a thirty-year war in three and half years.  

Now that is not true. We would not have won the war if we failed to make those who claimed to be freedom fighters, unpersons who practiced mindless terror. 

That achievement belongs to others- in particular, brave principled souls such as Neelan Thiruchelvam, Lakshman Kadirgamar under the dispensation of the presidency that preceded that of his ‘family’. 

How and who won the war is another debate for another day. Let us return to the thrust and substance of this essay – the dazzle of Gotabaya’s vision and the authenticity of Gotabaya’s promise.  

He is not the common place, customary politician. His politics is built around his persona. A fact Mahinda Rajapaksa and many others are yet to cotton on to. 

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has a special advantage. He is not accountable and is blissfully comfortable with his beliefs.  He is untroubled by contrary evidence. He has an overdose of opinions.  

What was significant about the grand event is that it focused on the core constituency of GR; the best of the best, the crème de la crème of the oligarchs who have  amassed enormous wealth in the four decades of the executive presidency and the open economy it spawned. 

The erudite blowout at the Shangri-La was far removed from the mob mentality of his street fighter brigade advocating virulent Sinhala nationalism. Gotabaya Rajapaksa was happy to quote Parag Khanna advisor to US National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 program. 

A fact that should gladden the hearts of all his acolytes including those pseudo Marxist relics Vasu, Vitharane and Dew. So, now we have a rough idea of where Candidate Gotabaya is headed to.  

It served to demonstrate the efficient compartmentalization of his militarily managed multipronged effort to win the presidency. 

This was an elite exercise for the middle class, the upper echelons of the parasite class, not to mention the wealth extractors masquerading as wealth creators at post budget fireside chats.   

It covered a broad spectrum. However, the all-encompassing wizardry had its inherent flaws. 

Gotabaya is an Achilles with plenty of defects in his heels. We shall deal with a few of them before addressing the subject of this essay – the death of truth in the hands of a Presidential aspirant.  

The vision statement at the Shangri-La is ‘manufactured reality’. As Noam Chomsky has so kindly defined it, it is the whole point of good propaganda.

“You create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.”

We the average citizenry must pause and ask; when striped of the puffery, what is the truth of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s politics?  

He has plans to develop our tourism industry. Tourism, he points out “has the space to grow to generate an income of at least USD 10 billion. ….“

His purpose was to create a prosperous nation of productive citizens, living in a disciplined society with content families. 

He reminds us that the 21st century “is recognized as the knowledge centered era”. Our would-be President knows how tourism could contribute to development. He wants to create a prosperous people living in a disciplined society. He knows that modern technology has created a knowledge centric environment. 

Now dear reader, please put candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to the test. Use your cell phone and google the words Sri Lanka and Khuram Shaik. Wikipedia will tell of our track record in promoting tourism when Gotabaya was deciding the law and directing our social order.   

“On the Christmas Day 2011 a Briton, Khuram Shaikh Zaman was murdered and his Russian girlfriend gang raped in a resort in Tangalle, Sri Lanka. The incident had a negative impact on the tourism industry in Sri Lanka and made the then ruling Mahinda Rajapaksa regime unpopular for interfering in the judicial process. “ 

At the Shangri-La soiree candidate Gotabaya was equally eloquent on sovereignty and the rule of law.   So dear Reader, google the words Sri Lanka, Sovereignty and Khuram Shaik.  You will find the link to a report in the respected Brutish newspaper- ‘The Guardian’ claiming Britain’s Prince Charles helping to get redress for a Brit killed in Sovereign Sri Lanka.  

The Guardian newspaper will tell you how Prince Charles made friends with the Rajapaksa family that ruled Sovereign Sri Lanka where a British national was killed while trying to prevent the rape of his partner. 

The high-profile case of Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker from Rochdale who was killed in 2011, has cast a shadow over the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Colombo next month, which is due to be chaired by Prince Charles and attended by David Cameron.

Shaikh, whose girlfriend was the victim of a serious assault in the same attack, was allegedly killed by a figure who is a close friend of the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and a key political fixer for his Sri Lanka Freedom party in the country’s south.

Despite forensic evidence linking Rajapaksa’s ally to the crime, no charges have been brought, and this has prompted allegations of a coverup.” 

Candidate Gotabaya told us that as President he will defend Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Let us see his track record. 

British member of parliament Simon Danczuk travelled with the brother of the victim to find out what happened in Sovereign Sri Lanka. The British parliamentarian has memorialized how we  defended our sovereignty  under the rule of the Rajapaksa family. In the New Statesman of 19th March 2013 he writes ; 

It was in the basement of the Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department where I found out how my constituent Khuram Shaikh had died in a cowardly attack on Christmas Day, 2011.

Although it was midday, the windows were blacked out and we sat and listened as a group of senior police officers took us through the case. 

My stomach churned as we learned of the sickening and horrific details of the completely unprovoked attack that Khuram and his partner had been subjected to.

“Politicians here get away with everything, they’re completely untouchable,” was a view I heard time and again. It was hard not to conclude they were out of control. In the 48 hours I spent there, another two British tourists were hospitalized by an attack from a politician. I heard shocking stories of tourists from all over the world being subject to sexual attacks, and a local newspaper ran a cartoon referring to hundreds of Sri Lankan families having lost loved ones to “violence unleashed by political goons”. When I told a journalist that back in the UK a cabinet minister had just been jailed for lying about speeding points, he burst out laughing and assumed I was joking.”

The reader must forgive me for reproducing these lengthy extracts. As I said earlier this is a watershed moment for our nation. If truth is dead, we must not rush to bury it. We must learn how truth perished.  

Candidate Gotabaya is committed to the ‘rule of law’.  He says that there can only be one law in a country and that law must be equal to all. His declared democratic credentials seem consistent with great enlightened thinkers such as Thomas Paine. Gotabaya now thinks that in our free republic the law was ‘king’.

Let us examine his track record, his respect for the rule of law, and his desire to preserve, protect judicial institutions. 

On 11th January 2013, the Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa announced the vote on the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake. The then defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was on hand to celebrate the event. This is how the Daily FT reported the event. 

On Friday, 11 January moments after Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa announced the results of a vote on the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, fireworks lit the night sky outside the Parliamentary Complex on the banks of the Diyawanna Oya where history had been made.

The beautiful Geoffery Bawa designed building comprises several balconies, terraces and foyers, with stunning water views across the lake. On a foyer of the second floor, a group of men in suits, stood in a semi-circle watching the fireworks display across the water that had been arranged by the Sri Lanka Navy unit at Parliament.

In the centre of the circle, stood Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, flanked by several officials and Ministry secretaries and Director of the Media Centre for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle. The Defence Secretary had arrived in Parliament at about 4 p.m. a few hours before the vote on the impeachment was to be taken” 

Now, dear reader you must know why it was necessary for us to recall how Gotabaya got the Navy to put up a fireworks display when his brother the Speaker announced the vote for the impeachment of a chief justice who happened to be an  inconvenient obstacles  for his other brother – the President of the Republic. 

Our Candidate Gotabaya tell us why when he is President he will insulate “Government officials who discharge their duties in good faith and with utmost integrity” from “ being subject to politically motivated witch hunting.“  

The naval ratings lighting fireworks in the Diyawanna lake were of course performing their legitimate duties in good faith.  

Our budding Mussolini seeking to be the il Duce under the Lotus bud has his own definitions of the legitimate duties of government officials. May be, celebrating the impeachment of a chief justice with fireworks is Gotabaya’s idea of a well-functioning democracy. Afterall we are a nut country, aren’t we?

Earlier in the week the Candidate made a lengthy statement on Democracy, Justice and the Rule of Law at the Lawyers Forum of the Podujana Permuna held at the Kingsbury hotel. 

“noble concepts of democracy and the rule of law must be safeguarded at all times to ensure the wellbeing and the advancement of the people… “ 

“Whilst citizens must always abide by the law, there was a problem if they fear the institutions and persons who uphold it. We must always keep in mind that the institutions and individuals entrusted with upholding the rule of law are also subject to it.” 

That was really sweet of the man to concede that the law must equally apply to those who exercise the coercive powers of the state mechanism.

Do we take him at his word? Not me, for sure.

Habits die hard. In a retrospective assessment of Gotabaya’s performance as Defense Secretary and Czar of state intelligence there is a little screaming cry that covers the ten years when we feared the state as ordinary people. 

When a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go. It becomes a source of terror to all citizens.

The following anecdotal recall of events is warranted in the context of candidate Gotabaya’s declared respect for due process and the rule of law. 

According to Lal Wickremetunge, brother of slain Lasantha, when Gotabaya sued the Sunday Leader and its editor, he requested court to allow him to give evidence via a video link from his office in the Ministry of Defense. The court agreed despite protests of respondents. It was appealed against and the Court of Appeal held with the respondents compelling Gotabaya to appear in person. 

He did so in customary style. That was after Lasantha was no more. On the day the then powerful Defense Secretary appeared in court he did so accompanied by the three service commanders. 

“The courthouse was cleared and emptied. Lawyers were not allowed to park their cars in the premises. The street was lined up with armed troops. When Court proceedings commenced Lal Wickremesinghe found that he had no lawyers to represent the paper. After the curious dispatch of the editor, the lawyers he had retained, refused to appear for the beleaguered broadsheet.

Publisher Lal Wickrematunge requested court for time to retain new counsel. Thereafter he managed to retain Lawyer M.A. Sumanthiran who was not in parliament at the time. Senior lawyer Upul Jayasuriya together with a group of lawyers appeared to lend some sense of solidarity with the respondents who were being subjected to what the Americans called ‘Shock and Awe’ tactic by the might of state machinery. 

The Defense Ministry website carried the pictures of the lawyers alleging that ‘Black Coated Terrorists’ appeared for a terrorist organization. 

The World Bar Association frowned on the unfair accusation and the Defense Ministry website responded with an élan characteristic of the strong man then on horseback. The Defense Ministry website gleefully glowered “Frightened Black Coats run to their Nanny to complain.”

The ownership of the paper under siege changed. So did the presidency in 2015. The new owner fired the lawyers and reached a settlement by agreeing to publish an apology.  

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a good man. Only problem with him is that he doesn’t like the idea of mounting the witness stand.  He is a competent manager of men and matters.

When he says that he is committed to the rule of law, he is dead sincere. It is what he perceives to be the law and what he decides as the applicable law.     

Politics is public debate of shared values. When an authoritarian leader – a control freak takes over, normal politics must necessary collapse. It happened then and it will happen again. 

Candidate Gotabaya says that we must marry the virtues of democratic inclusiveness with the effectiveness of technocratic management. Indeed, we have heard it before. 

This is the military mind delinking decision making by the state from public opinion and civil society. It is done by bludgeoning public opinion and the people’s will. Ordinary people do not know what is good for them. Technocrats know better. 

Candidate Gotabaya says that in a country with a well-functioning democracy, people are provided with the opportunity to express their opinion of their Government through timely elections.  

Aha! It is that plain and simple. Opinions of the people must be confined to election time.

So, the people at Rathupaswala were wrong. They should have waited until the next election to demand for potable water. Moral of the story: People of Gampaha should have remained content with the piddle pissed out by Gotabaya’s technocrats handling urban planning until the election of 2015.  Not that it made a difference!    

Authoritarianism is the systematic suppression of public debate. It makes criticism of the government a criminal act. What happens then? A fabricated reality based on the leader’s vision is accepted by well-intentioned citizens. This is how democracies are turned in to authoritarian carnivals in free elections. 

Once in saddle, the regime takes over the public debate. It constructs a false narrative about “reality as perceived.” They have the willing collaboration of a conservative religious order that complains of erosion of religious values in a decadent society. 

So, with a tray of ‘Jasmines’ held atop his head, the future President moves from one pocket of bigotry to another covering the length and breadth of the land. 

Undisturbed, he constructs his own narrative of a society that must be protected from its own basic freedoms. 

Let us not fool ourselves. The candidate has an excellent team assembled for the task. 

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    If good men do not move, the bad will entrench.

  • 1
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    The essence of the article is to beware of the candidates’ face value and expressions. It must be compared with the actions of the past. With the dismal past the next question is whether the candidate is performing a superb act to cover his past and make him look really good.. Now this yard stick of evaluation has to be equally applied to all the potential candidates and it follows that none from established parties are really worth their salt.

  • 3
    13

    Take me to a village school in India and China. Looking at the children my ‘heart’ will instantly say which system is better (better for these children), Democratic or Authoritarian. My sister’s opinion whose children are attending a high fee International school in Colombo could be different from mine (considering her children).

    Soma

    • 10
      3

      ” the wealth extractors masquerading as wealth creators”

      Bravo Sarath!

      You have said it as is; no mixing of words.

      For some people truth is like water on the devil’s hide; it soulders and hisses …….. there are a few here who have a great aversion to the truth …….. their pain and squirming is a joy to behold ……. Oh boy!


      Makes my day! :))

      Keep it up solider ….. never a backward step!


      If I’m allowed to ask just 2 questions from him, I’ll show how hollow good ol’ Gota’s “vision” thingy is!

      Anyone wanna bet?

      Ah! Lankans! What would I do for entertainment without them!

      • 3
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        Dictatorial tendencies are already in the air …….. the Rajapakses have taken over my spellchecker!


        For sticklers for correct spelling.

        mixing —> mincing

        soulders —> smoulders

        • 0
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          An Awesome recollection of forgotten memories unfortunately the majority of Srilankan suffer the dreaded disease called short term memory loss. There is a common saying that every day is not Christmas sooner than later God’s wrath will be upon the wicked history has proven this in no uncertain terms.

          • 1
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            Who cares about few dead people when thousands were saluted like dogs on the street or even burnt alive on the streets.
            Unfortunately you also suffers from that dreaded disease.

  • 5
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    The country reaps what it sows

  • 17
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    Excellent piece of writing by Mr.Sarath De Alwis as usual!

    The psychopath is under a lotus bud instead of a gun in 2019. Brain dead citizen zombies are fooled by his gimmicks and applauding him with smiles. The real citizens are praying in dark corners for Sri Lanka!

    • 3
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      “He claims that as secretary of defense, he ended a thirty-year war in three and half years. Now that is not true.”
      /
      The author must write another piece without delay, outlining who ended the war, declared unwind able by leaders such as CBK, Ranil et.al.
      [edited out]

  • 8
    2

    So, lawyers and judges can and are capable of being intimidated by the military.
    This is happening very often in the north and east even now.. Successive attorney generals have ignored the plight of dozens of citizens held in custody for years since the war ended – some even call them ‘political prisoners’.
    They were arrested and incarcerated as ordered by the now ‘candidate’ Gotabaya when he was in charge of the “Terrorist Investigation Division” without any proof of criminal acts.
    Many are/were also under “rehabilitation” which is really a course of planned intimidation and torture of captive humans.
    Cases which at long last were filed in court, are/were being transferred to courts in “Sinhala areas” under Sinhalese judges who cannot understand Tamil.
    It is good that Sarath De Alwis has discovered the negative character of Gotabaya – and the Military, even if only because he became a candidate for the presidential election.
    Sarath, congratulations – are you a UNPer?

  • 16
    1

    I’m not a fan of any of the presidential candidates. None of them look sincere. However the question is – can a poor, small, corrupt, country like Sri Lanka with a lazy bunch of non-law abiding people afford a 5-star democratic system. Singapore did not have a democratic system. Malaysia did not have democratic system. South Korea for years was under Chun Doo-Hwan’s dictatorship while Taiwan had name sake democracy. Western style democratic systems we all aspire have not delivered much outside Western Europe, North America and Australia/NZ. The only exception being Japan. However, the Japanese as a race and a nation consist of absolutely honest, patriotic, hard working and law abiding people with integrity hardwired into to their DNA. We Sri Lankans certainly do not have the mindset of the Japanese. I firmly believe that Sri Lanka can never be uplifted from this pathetic plight we are in under a Western style democratic system with freedom, liberty, justice and the rule of law. At least popular politics have failed us for 71 years. If, I repeat…., IF we were to succeed as a fully developed country under a 5-star democratic system we would be the world’s first outside the Caucasian and Japanese systems.

    • 6
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      Yonag

      Are you saying that a ”poor, small, corrupt, country like Sri Lanka with a lazy bunch of non-law abiding people” would benefit from a (perceived) tough talking alleged war criminal with court cases pending from murder to massive corruption & misuse of public funds (not to mention pledging his allegiance to another country as well) as head of the country?

      • 4
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        Raj-UK, I never said that nor did I imply. In my opinion all our leaders should be placed against a wall and whipped for treason including GR. However I believe Sri Lanka will never be able to rise as a fully developed & prosperous country under a Western styled 5-star democratic system. Our people have always been ruled under feudal systems long before the arrival of Western powers. That is our ‘ethos’. Sri Lankans took orders from Kings and chieftains and were told what to do. That’s how how our kings ensured the stupas, temples and large irrigation systems were constructed and maintained. Any form of decent was violently suppressed and punished. Even Buddhist priests were whipped for breaking the rules. (see the whipping post in Polonnaruwa). Western countries too had similar systems from the time of the Greeks and the Romans down to the English Kings like Henry the VIIII known for his barbarism and cruelty. The industrial revolution, the French revolution and the colonization of North America brought upon a different ethos amongst its people that has greatly benefited them, albeit taking a long time. China understood this clearly and has successfully brought nearly 500 million people out of poverty in a short time. True, China does not even know the meaning of human rights but China believes that economic development takes precedence over freedom and justice. In the Sri Lankan context, democracy, freedom and prosperity are mutually exclusive. Not many have understood this. Mahathir Mohamed and Lee Kuan Yew figured that out very well and now you see the results.

        • 1
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          There is some truth in what you are trying to say ……… but,

          “That is our ‘ethos’. Sri Lankans took orders from Kings and chieftains and were told what to do.”

          Before Magna Carta this was the case with the English as well ……… but there is a thing called social-evolution …….. now they are one of the best “democracies” going.


          Since 2015 the government has been chaotic …… with a putsch and bombings to boot ………. but no one was murdered ……. the stocks didn’t get pumped and dumped ………..the elections were the most peaceful and fairest in living memory – whenever the government could muster enough courage to hold them.


          And now, to the perennial old chestnut ………. good ol’ “Economic Development”

          Mahinda, Gota and Basil had a dictatorship from 2010 to 2015 ……… trampled the laws of the land, ran roughshod over everyone and did as they please ………. without talking about their future potential (or what they can/going to do in the future) can anyone please please please name one single “economic achievement” of the Rajapakses in those 5 years?

          Just one!

          Anyone game enough? :)))

    • 4
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      What you are saying is correct. A five star democracy will not work in Sri Lanka. But the solution is definitely not turning SL into a military state under some maniac who has a half dozen murder accusations against him. .We have had our fair share of dictatorships before and look how that turned out…I also think SL should be a tough democracy, no arguments there, but only under a tough leadership who abides by the law with a level of integrity.

      • 3
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        Samitha , I totally agree with you. Sri Lanka needs to be an authoritarian state. However that means curtailing the freedom we take for granted. In Singapore a gathering of 4 people or more for a protest warrants an arrest under their National Security Act. No strikes, no demonstrations, no freedom of expression, state controlled media, capital punishment for murder and drug offenses, your told what you can study in school at HS, where you can live with compulsory military service for boys over 18. Can Sri Lankans live with that? But we all go to Singapore and say ‘Oh how lovely the place is. Why can’t we be like Singapore? “

    • 1
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      In your pinion, can you possibly identify the underlying factor, why Sri Lanka can never be uplifted to a 5 star democratic system. Is it the mix of religion with politics, lack of worthy aspiring candidates having either recognized professional qualifications or time tested and proven track record as a business leaders having had much success, so much that people can trust them to hold responsible political positions, or is it the shortfalls in the judiciary where the justice system has failed to win the people’s confidence, due to its lack of independence and glaring political bias, including the unwarranted delays and demoralizing lethargy in which it operates, or is it a combination of it all. It is true, a lot can be said where our country lost its way, and everyone who did come forward proposing to put things right, truly lost their head and became so emboldened by the power of authority, that they soon became undisciplined and greedy. They virtually immerse themselves into so much power combined with all of the rich strapping as Head of State. They couldn’t care less of the poor masses who elected hem, instead treat them disparagingly and the same goes to all of the people and the rest of the country as well. They become interested only in what is there for them to benefit from this country and its rich resources, just to enrich themselves and their families for the rest of their lives. Answerable to no one. No wonder this country will never become a shining 5 Star democracy as long as this ridiculous System is in place. Our people are also so poor that they are trained to fall down on their knees and beg for handouts and money, they expect everything to be State provided, from birth to death.

      • 1
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        Marwan, the points you have highlighted are true. Sadly our Sri Lankan ethos comes in the way. After all politicians are but a microcosm of society and they espouse our values and mores. Am I correct? You and I could be a minuscule minority left to despair but given an opportunity, what are the chances of us too being like the very people we despise? I’m shocked that some of my own relatives and friends have subscribed to these new values.

    • 2
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      “However, the Japanese as a race and a nation consist of absolutely honest, patriotic, hard working and law abiding people with integrity hardwired into to their DNA.”

      On full display during World War II. Japan is the most brutal of Asian nations.

      ” We Sri Lankans certainly do not have the mindset of the Japanese.”

      We have a much better mindset, as the Japanese system overemphasizes respect for authority.

      “t least popular politics have failed us for 71 years.”

      The Sri Lankan economy stagnated under 30 years of Tamil Tiger terrorism. Most of the money spent on the military could have been used for economic development.

    • 1
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      It is mind boggling that anyone would consider the suppression of individual freedoms and the acceptence of authoritarianism as a condition to achieving “full” development. What part of “full” development encompasses being a sieve to an unrepentant and corrupt family of dictators.

      Sir, please go live in Singapore. I will continue to enjoy whatever freedoms we have left in an “under” developed Sri Lanka.

      No wonder the biggest propagators of slavery were the Africans themselves and we have droves of Sri Lankan Uncle Toms willing to sell the majority of the country to the Rajapakse plantation to achieve whatever the heck “a fully developed country means.”

      • 0
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        Uly Grant, Sir I don’t have to live in Singapore as I am very happy in the place where I am. All I am saying is that ‘You cannot have the cake and eat it’ – in the Sri Lankan context. So here are the facts. There is not a single former third world country (outside of North America, Western Europe, Australia/NZ and Japan) that has come out of poverty as a stable and prosperous country under a 5-Star democratic system. Show me an example and I will applaud you. BTW, South Africa is the world’s first to go from First World status to Third World in a short span of time. We all know what happened there under democracy.

  • 5
    7

    But he is going to win. That is all that matters.

  • 7
    2

    a wolf in sheeps clothing
    hitler goebbels and himmler rolled into one
    millionaires will become billionaires but for the rest of us it will become a boring country
    ranil has ensured his survival but the unp will be dead

  • 2
    0

    THE RURAL SINGALA budist people all have short memories.only person they always thinking in their dreams is none other than LTTE AND PRABAKARAN.this is the only advantage the RAJAPASKE GROUP can use to win elections.IF GOTHA WIN THE ELECTIONS HE WILL HAVE RE-NAME A9-HIGH WAY FROM COLOMBO TO JAFFNA AS PRABAKARAN MAWATTA-JAYAWEEWA.

  • 2
    2

    Is “yahapalnaya” a reality or “reality as perceived”? Was Sarath De Alwis a willing contributor to that fake reality knowing the utter fake nature of the slogan “yahapalanaya”? Sarath knew the track record of the political masterminds (RW, CBK, Mangala Goebels et al) behind the “yahapalana” political coup. He knew the the nature of the “achcharu kenda haliya” called “yahapalanaya” which had NO cohesive plan or programme to govern the country other than defeating Rajapakse. The country is still suffering immensely from that political coup for which US Secy of State John Kerry congratulated Modi of India (not Sirisena, not Ranil nor CBK, Mangy et al). That track record (that he reminds us so many times in this article) tells us Sarath has NO credibility to lecture or preach us.

  • 3
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    If someone would and revolve country finances around the traditional occupations like farming and fishing, that would be best. Yes, Gota’s visions are too full of oligarchic ambitions. And the ambitions rely on Saudi Arabian funding. Mahinda’s were on China; Ranil’s are on the USA via India. Purely USA with the local economy in mind will be the best way to sustain our Island. Is Sajith up to this?

  • 3
    1

    “On 11th January 2013, the Speaker of Parliament Chamal Rajapaksa announced the vote on the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.” Whichever way anyone could argue for and against what was done (I don’t agree with it either), it followed a certain process through the existing democratic institutions. MR used the majority he had like JR or previous govts of 70-77 & the past to get what he wanted through the parliament. What is the track record of “yahapalanaya” (built by UNP, CBK faction, TNA, JVP et al supported by NGOs and Sarath De Alwises) in dismissing the next CJ? Did they wanted to show at least any veneer of due process that a proper yahapalanaya truly meant? Now the same forces are gathering under other slogans like “jana balaya” and other “balayas” to hoodwink us again. Saraths and their ilk have begun the “kasakaraya” job…….

  • 5
    2

    there is a story about a comedian from myanmar who came to thailand to get a tooth out
    the thai dentist asked him why did you come here arent their dentists in myanmar
    he replied there are but in myanmar i cant open my mouth

    if mahinda thinks he can control him he is sadly mistaken
    he needs the family and monks to help him win the election but after that he will trample them under his feet because like mugabe he wants to be president for life

  • 5
    9

    Predictably and understandably Sarath doesn’t want to talk about GR’s contribution in ending the 30 year devastating war, the singularly biggest achievement in contemporary Sri Lanka’s history and the world as assessed by world renown top military strategists. We know Sarath is not a military strategist. Therefore we cannot expect him to provide any wisdom to readers in that regard. However, more importantly he shows his dishonesty by lying and trying to give laughable credit to Neelan Thiruchelvam and Lakshman Kadirgamar, two honourable gentlemen who don’t need such insults.

    Sarath is deafeningly silent what Colombo achieved under GR’s tutelage as head of UDA. Below is what MasterCard study (2009-2015) said.

    “Sri Lanka’s capital city Colombo has been placed on top of the list of fastest growing cities in the world, an annual travel study by the MasterCard stated. Among the 10 fastest growing cities in the world -based on data gathered over the last six years-, seven are in Asia. Colombo is first in growth with a staggering 21% surge, with Chengdu, the capital of China’s Sichuan province, following in second.

    MasterCard has just released its annual travel study, the Global Destination Cities Index, ranking 132 destination cities around the world in terms of total international overnight visitor arrivals and cross-border spending.”

    This is what a doer can deliver. We have lot of questions to clarify about candidate GR and his vision/policies (though he is the ONLY candidate willing to submit his vision/policies for public scrutiny at this point). However we must be honest enough to give credit to the man for what he has done to the betterment of the country.

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      …but he is an alleged fraudster, war criminal and orchestrator of extra-judicial killings.
      Allegations that are more likely true than not in most cases..
      What about that?

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    Possibility of another rajapaksa’s era is created by ranil. The biggest headache and fool in Sri Lanka politics.. If the unp had a stronger leader like Premadasa, JR, Gamini or Athulathmudali or even anyother person, then rajapaksa’s or rajapaksa’s supporters may not have acted like thugs. Hope ranil dies soon like the two recent mp’s so that it will be good for the country and party as well.. People should never vote cowards like Ranil to parliment in future..

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    Mr. Alwis,
    Can you write similar articles about Sajith Premadasa, Anura kumara, and RanilW in order to be impartial as a journalist.
    When you write about Sajith and RanilW, do not forget to write about Richard de Soyza. You can get some important info from a Time magazine article published after he was brutally killed during the Premadasa regime where RanilW was also a prominent and responsible cabinet member. (Was he also the leader of the House at the time?)
    People have not forgotten Anurakumara’s JVP at all, specially the period between 1988-89..

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    Lankawe is stuck with three bad maladies after 1948- Sinhala Buddhism, Democracy & Market Economy. There is no cure for those in the modern world.
    A true democracy doesn’t need rules. Democracy needs agreements on how the people are going to conduct their governing business. If the agreements are treated as permanently binding, then, in a democracy, those agreements are laws by people for the people. In third grade countries where there is no functioning democracy, law cannot adhere in the system (function). It is because there the law is by the rulers for the people. So it becomes high handed domination, but no democracy there. There election laws are made by rulers to have established the dynasties. Elections confirm their primacy or kingship by ballot. In every election the previous, old Genie opened from its opposition chair hibernation. Incumbent goes into hibernation to rest. Only ghostly genies get the royalty ruling power.
    Lankawe laws decide who the ruling race is and who the slave race is. Under Universal Franchise, they label the race that elects the rulers. Laws may applied with equal force to the salves and masters. But slaves are governed by different set of laws like, Sinhala Only, Standardization, Sinhala Jury only verdicts, No leader no commander no soldier is punished ……… but applied with same strength of the mollycoddling laws to the master race. JR, Old King, Chandrika, New King could not be sued for the crimes they committed.
    When we voted for Yahapalanaya, we wanted leaders who can save the War Hero from Western Sanctions. So that time we put the incumbent Genie to hibernate and come back at another date. Now it is time for them to return. Whoever it is, as nothing new or surprise, one ghostly Genie will come and sit on the Chair, this time too. From the time British Colonialists handed over the keys to notorious Royal leader Don Stephan, ruling chair is exchanged with musical-chair game within the royalties.

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      Mallaiyuran
      “Lankawe is stuck with three bad maladies after 1948”
      Lankawe got stuck with two bad maladies after 1948. First is racist Wellala Demalu. Chelvanayakam was the father of Demala racism. Second is Sinhala ‘Kalu Suddas’ of whom majority was Christians. Both these groups were determined not to allow Native Sinhala Buddhists to raise their heads and move forward after colonial parasites left this country.

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        Eagle Eye,
        Mahanama has been brainwashing the Sinhala Buddhists saying that they are the cups of a rapist wild lion. Then Champika and a lab in Florida have been brainwashing the Sinhala Buddhists, dating the wildlife Language the SinhaLE as even existed before Dinosaurs. Then MLDM has been brain washing the Sinhala Buddhists Modayas as they are the natives of Lankawe. Now you appear to be brainwashed by MLDM’s theories. But readers have been saying MLDM and the Eagle the Blind are same. Then, does it mean that MLDM has fallen in the pit he dug for others?
        Working hard with White Sudas, Tamils were putting you free rice in the place, until 1970s. That free rice malady made JVP & Sirimavo to get together to burn the country in 1970s. That spoiled brats spoiled the free rice you have been getting. Then Sirimavo went Moon to get new ration of free rice. End result of that was you ended up standing in bread queues. As solution to that Sirimavo brought the standardization & started to give you free certificated without you go to school. That made you lowest education graders in the world and made you to send your women to Middle East & wash the Muslim’s toilets, in exchange for Biryani and Arrack for you back at home.

        Now, for that all, why are blaming the Kalu Suda and Tamils. Do me favor please. If are ready to put a picture of yours in CT, I tell you whether you are a hybrid Malay, or Kalu Suda or a coolie hired by Europeans to peel cinnamon. That will clarify you, your story of Nativity of Lankawe.

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    Sarath,
    I do agree with your characterization that GoRa is in Achille with plenty of weaknesses on heels but I’ m not sure whether the middle class is his true refuge. I don’t even believe that all the so-called “elites” that packed into Shangri La did so as true supporters of GoRa. Speaking of the middle class, in political sense, it can be divide into two sectors: Politically dependent (asphalt & concrete politics) & apolitical with intellectual trends and holding strong political views. The former is composed mostly of grass-root & middle level MaRa supporters (PS members) whose income depended mostly on “asphalt & concrete contracts” during MaRa regime. It is them who keep SLPP politics alive.

    The latter, which is the majority which include the traditional middle class, is not particularly GoRa friendly. This and the younger generation is the target of “Viyath Maga”. Therefore I’m not concerned much about Shangri La crowd except for one reason: It is the presence another team which Sarath characterize as “parasites that sucks wealth” that provide real strength to Gora both financially & morally. They are the one that love dictators b’cos their interests are well protected by hassle free investment protection dictators provide. Without them dictators can’t survive in developing economies unless it is the other extreme like utterly poor Zimbabve’. In other words, the real strength of GoRa’s political campaign come from the business group and “concrete & asphalt” political groups, not from the ideologically independent middle class.

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    Sarath de Alwis, yet again, had tried and failed. The best he could pull out of the bag of recycled garbage is an incident of a murder and a rape (not to lessen individual events) likes of which happens almost monthly basis in this resplendent island, before and after the said event, and blame it on by some mysterious warped logic on Gotabaya Rjapaksha. Sarath, mate do you hear what I hear? It is the fat lady singing! Cows are already home.

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      wannihami,
      This is exactly what I tried to imply in my reply: There are certain groups who don’t hear noises of GoRa’s crimes. Dhammika Perera wouldn’t have disagreed with the use of force at Rathupaswala. SLPP supporters would have defended MaRa’s support for Thangalle rapist. Union leaders who made fortunes from stealing from Gvt institutions (remember the audit report at Hatton CTB depot during the 52 Black Days!) wouldn’t care either. And then, there are monks like Elle’ Gunawanse, Medagoda Abhayathissa, Uduwe’ Dhammaloka, etc., who don’t care as long as some bills get squeezed into their palms

      There is no mystery at all in “warped logic”; it is human nature. That is why there are Hitler and Stalin worshipers still around. Sarath may never be able to get the attention of people like you but, there are plenty of voters who would care to listen.

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    Thanks, Sarath, for speaking your mind so clearly and effectively. Yes, this is a do or die situation for us now.
    .
    What is worst is that psychopaths of this sort are quite sincere in what they protest.
    [edited out]

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    Mr Da Alwis, your quoting the American Harlem renaissance writer Langston Hughes shows your commitment to ‘American style’ democracy, and your wish for the same in this little island.
    /
    Don’t you think American style money-driven duopoly has been at the root of corrupt political culture here, just as in the USA. Money attracts certain corrupt types to politics and they make more money through politics. There are no policy differences between the two sides.
    /
    There are some who think we can do without corrupt American style politics.

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      Who really won the war must be discussed NOW. If the US and India hadn’t given us the satellite data on the LTTE ships in late 2007 history would have been different. For that US collaboration Rw and lk must be given credit. Rajapakse’s can’t dominate the narrative

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    Gotabaya Rajapakse probably should be in prison. Period.
    If the Sri Lankan masses don”t care about the character of their President, they can go ahead and commit suicide by voting for him.

    It beggars belief how some of the asinine commentators on this blog keep bestowing the sole credit for ending a war at his feet and make it the be all and end all of the argument for him.

    Sri Lankans truly seem to suffer from some form of mental incapacity that has held them back since independence. They sure know how to kill the goose that lays the golden egg with their warped mindset.

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      Lankan, Gora is not accountable to any higher authority. Takes law into his own hands and will murder, rob, topple govt. using any rebel group he pleases, to create chaos, and then will promise a solution with more killings. He is very sincere as that is the way his mind works. He should not be condemned but considered, using peoples votes wisely. But where can one find wisdom when population is brain dead due to ragging and religious mind control

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    We enjoy violence. Our history is violence. Our religions are violence. Day to day life is violence. Parliament is violence. So why worry. Wish you a happy and a pleasant and a peaceful violent future.

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    “The packed audience included everybody who was somebody in industry, commerce, and other professional disciplines.”

    He wanted to display all what he lacked by marketing these professionals. There is no two words. He and his brothers are war criminals. No need to go beyond that to disqualify them.

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    I love the writings of Mr Sarath de Alwis..

    His love for Lankans is unbelievable..Specially his determination to give our poor Lankans Democracy and a happy ending.

    I don’t know why the blokes like Muththaia Mullaritharan says our inhabitants have enough Democracy.
    And all they need is Social. Political and most importantly Economic development to live their lives in a peaceful environment in a country where Terrorist Suicide Bombs do not go off every os often.

    Murali said he has been doing some voluntary work in the North..I am not sure what he has been doing though…

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    Mr Sarath de Alwis

    You have certainly exposed the hollow words of Gota’s vision for SL. An impressive political manifesto can be written by professionals & the Rajapakses are known to have used public funds to hire international PR companies to boost their image & even write their speeches, so it’s not surprising Gota has an able campaign team, perhaps even International, behind him. In fact, a few years ago, in a sting operation by Chanel 4 News to expose the unethical (& illegal) doings of a ‘Data Management’ company by the name of Cambridge Analytica ( which managed Trump’s campaign), pretended to represent a ‘well funded political party from SL’. The fact that SL was selected to add credibility in this undercover operation is an indication that SL is well known to dodgy international companies.

    While many rational minded people will see through Gota’s pledges, those in denial & opportunists hopeful for (relative) scraps from Gota’s table will be euphoric with a ‘pohottuwa’ victory. In my thinking, the only opposition to Gota will be from AKD, the UNP & the SLFP no longer being in contention but at the end of the day, the gullible masses believe what they want to believe & vote with their heart & not their head.

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    This “Monster” had the “Guts” and “Courage” and no “SHAME” to “Deliver” a speech written by this “Rouge” outfit called “Viyathmaga” at a location and in a “Building” built on a PIECE OF LAND that once belonged to this small island called Sri Lanka, SOLD OUTRIGHT to a “Foreign Country”. The PEOPLE of this country must for generations to come REMEMBER the name of that “Bastard”- the “SELLER” is none other than this Presidential contender named “Gotabaya Rajapakse”. Does he has any RIGHT to ask for our VOTE or Do we have the MORALE RESPONSIBILITY to ELECT him to be the Head of our STATE? Dear VOTERS! Please remember and get reminded of this FACT and that FACT alone , when you go into that small cubical to mark your VOTE . Just VOTE HIM OUT and let him RETURN to his “CHOSEN” dwelling and JOIN his wife and child in USA. That is the place where he should be and that is the CHANGE we NEED to have for this country. Please don’t allow this “FAMILY” to SELL our country in PIECES to any foreign country .

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    The Pohottuwa supporters seem highly elated after the Shangrilla Meeting of Viyathmaga and is thinking they have succeeded in sending a clear message to the masses of the country that Gota’s victory is a certainty. Yes of all the Professionals, Academics and the Corporate Body attended on invitation does not mean that all are supporters of Gota. Majority have attended due to compulsion and not commitment. It was a captive audience. If they believe all are supporters, let them learn the hard way at an election.

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      Oh boy! I just love Lankan “intellectuals”!

      For the sake of the country, I wish they had spend as much time to develop their intelligence as much as they have spent to develop their English.


      In true Lankan Uncle Tom fashion they have got their English down pat …….. but simple logic has gone missing in the bargain!

      All the talk of “dictatorships” being good for Lanka is not because Lanka needs a dictatorship but because Gota has dictatorial tendencies!

      The chicken has already arrived ……… now all the Lankan “intellectual” Einsteins are desperately running around trying to create the egg!

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