16 October, 2019

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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

  • 5
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    The author refuses to admit Gota won the war, this kind of bias brings into question his credibility. The author brings up a few isolated incidents in a desperate attempt to prove Gotabaya is not a fan of democracy. The problem is that Gota has been not convicted in the courts for any of these incidents, despite the so-called “evidence” e.g. murder of Lasantha. The Rajapakses made some mistakes, there is no doubt they or their associates are corrupt, but they are not mass murderers or dictators. Dictators don’t contest democratic elections, neither do they step down when the time comes. From his speeches so far, we see Gota’s focus is economic development and national security, not going after journalists or plundering the country’s wealth.

    • 5
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      Lester,
      It is not that the ” author refuses to admit Gota won the war……” It is you and few other GR “panthankarayas” who steadfastly believe that he and only he won the war single handed. This absolute BS of a myth is completely distorting the facts…..I am sure, GoRa himself would be having a heart laugh reading this fairy tale.
      The fact is, GoRa is not a Military Strategist. The SL forces had meticulously strategised the final push and GoRa sitting in his luxury office/home, by virtue of he being the Defence Secy, merely had to be kept informed at critical points. No where in the World (other than in military dictatorships) would a layman (however powerful he may be) be drawn into military strategies. Sarath Fonseka and his top team are unfortunately been denied of this achievement.

      Another startling fact that GoRa campaign attempts to disregard and thereby distort facts is that LTTE was defeated not because of any spectacular military strategy alone. It was the betrayal committed by Karuna n Pillayen who were known to have been the field leaders and credited with all LTTE “successes” in the field were disgruntled with Prabakaran and “crossed camps”. Had this not happened, it is well recognised that LTTE was far to formidable to have ever been beaten. So much GoRa’s war victory.

      • 4
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        There is a lie being spread that Gota ran away to America. In fact, he served 20 odd years in the SLA. Rajapaksa joined the Sri Lanka Army as a Cadet Officer on April 26, 1971, when Sri Lanka was still a dominion of the British Commonwealth. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on May 25, 1972 and given his first command as an officer in the Ceylon Signals Corps after his basic training at the Army Training Centre, Diyatalawa. Thereafter he served with the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and the Rajarata Rifles.. During his 20 years of military service, Rajapaksa has received awards for gallantry from three Presidents of Sri Lanka, J.R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa and D.B. Wijetunga. He had followed signal young officers course in school of signals at Rawalpindi; Infantry company commanders course in Queta; Jungle warfare and counter insurgency course in Assam; Command and Staff course at Defence Services Staff College in Welington; and Advanced Infantry Officers course at Fort Benning. He rose up the ranks in the military, serving as the second in command of the 1st Gajaba Regiment and latter commanding the 1GR from 1983 to 1990. He served in the battlefronts of Jaffna, participating in Operation Liberation, the offensive mounted to liberate Vadamarachi from LTTE in 1987. He also commanded the same battalion in Operation “Strike Hard” and Operation Thrividha Balaya in 1990. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and served as the Commandant of the Kotelawala Defence Academy at the time of his retirement in 1992.

        • 5
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          Stupid Gotha lover

          • 2
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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! :))

          • 2
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            “Stupid Gotha lover”

            Where is Eelam now? Ask Gota for directions.

            • 2
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              Lester

              “Where is Eelam now? Ask Gota for directions.”

              Eelam is the name for entire island.
              Gota is living in it hoping/dreaming/envisioning being the next absolute king of the country. Whatever happens don’t wake him up.

              Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt – Mark Twain

    • 3
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      Lester,
      so what about Gota winning the war ??????????????????????
      Yes ! he was partially responsible for winning the war but that is no excuse to act like a bloody tyrant. As a matter of fact if he was instrumental in winning the war then he should have shown humility for his actions and not a arrogant attitude. There are many war heroes in this world who remain out of the limelight for their heroic actions.
      The Rajapakses made made many mistakes too many to name and that goes to show their arrogant way of life. Gota is not interested in economic development all he is wants is to wield undisputed power and that’s all.
      Yes ! what people like you need is a dictator who will wipe the shit of your bloody arse the hard way and leave the scars for you to remember all your life.
      Hope Gota comes into power for when he does you will be a better disciplined person and it will be for your own good and for the good of others like you.
      Sri lanka needs a Assad, Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Mugabe , Mobutu Sese Seko, for it will only then that Sri lankans will realise the liberty they had and failed to make the best use of it.

    • 1
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      Hey!Lester you are a real Jester , suitable to be in King Gota’s
      Court. Keep it up!

    • 2
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      I thought it was Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka who was put in prison after the war to grab the colors? He had to give the orders and control the shots where as the top were working in air conditioned rooms.

  • 5
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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.”

    • 6
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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.”

      Democracy is not a precondition for economic development. There are two obvious historical examples: (1) the Third Reich (which achieved 100% unemployment) and (2) China, which enjoyed double digit economic growth for several decades after Deng Xiaoping made use of limited free market reforms. Even the USSR achieved superpower status while under the iron grip of Marxism. Even for attracting foreign investment, democracy is useful, but not necessary. Again, we can use the example of China. In my opinion, a bigger hindrance to economic development than lack of democracy is religious fundamentalism. Sri Lanka has the resources and the people to move forward with development, what is missing is the organizational framework. Whether someone like Gotabaya can provide that remains to be seen.

      • 3
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        Lester

        You have the habit of writing history as you go along, however this time around it appears you are attempting to rewrite political economy of the entire world in one paragraph.

        Writing Political Economy is too serious a branch of knowledge to be left to a moron.

        Developer Faii Ong has designed a device which is something similar to an Aerospace Grade Gryroscope which helps to control “Essential Tremor” in the hands of patients. You should try one on your head and hands. Patients are said to have benefitted from these devices.

  • 7
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    Part 1
    Sarath
    Despite my reservations about your earlier admiration for Gotha I give you credit for change of your perception about this man who is a danger to the Minorites and to Nation as he is an opportunist and he is only contesting to save himself from prosecution in the USA. He cannot save the Country but the question is from what. If he loves his Country as he says he does he will sare it the agony of isolation for the next 5 years as he is a liability.
    With CTs 300 word cap let me analyse some of it in two parts as with all due respect some of your assertions are factually incorrect.
    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 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.
    *** I am glad finally people like yourselves have woken up to the danger he poses but sadly you are a tiny minority as he draws his support from the masses who are dare I say overtly racist and adore him.
    2) 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.
    *** This is where I take issue with you and part company as majority of don’t accept this but true . With all due respect Gotha didn’t win the War it was won with the help of India and especially Sonia who took revenge.
    cotinued

    • 2
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      Kali,

      You are giving too much credit to India. India is still struggling with basic sanitation. Modi’s campaign pledge was to build more toilets. What about the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, terrorists were able to take over the Taj hotel for 68 hours straight before the Indian commandos came. The only advantage the Indian military has over the Sri Lankan military are the nuclear weapons possessed by India. India cannot even capture Kashmir (which is very small) from Pakistan. Sonia Gandhi was never after revenge; she commuted the death sentences of the LTTE who killed her husband. As Rahul Gandhi (son) said, ” “We were very upset and hurt, and for many years. We were quite angry. But, somehow, (we have)… completely… in fact, completely (forgiven them).” The only assistance India provided in 2009 was aerial intelligence and diplomatic cover at the UN. The SLA got new weapons, these were from Pakistan, China, and Russia. It is these new weapons that let the SLA win the war.

      • 5
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        Lester

        Sour Grapes. and truth hurts . I dont expect you to love India and I dont care whether you believe or not . . Learn to accept hard facts. There is more to come once Gotha takes over. It suits us fine.

      • 5
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        Lester

        It is obvious that your hatred of Tamils and India has clouded your judgment and you are talking a lot of rubbish . I openly admit that I hate Sinkalams for what you have done to us but I am nor a Racist. But you and the vast majority are born Racists . If you want to prove me wrong start behaving like a decent nd civilsed human being if you are one.

        • 2
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          Kali, you should “hate” the Tamil diaspora for financing the LTTE. While Tamil diaspora children went to elite schools in the West, the LTTE were using Tamil children to fight grown men. Let me give you a specific example: around the Elephant Pass perimeter in 2000 were hundreds of mines. LTTE could not capture Elephant Pass without getting past this minefield. The first few waves of LTTE were used to blow up the mines (and themselves) so the next waves of LTTE could enter the base. Many of these in the first waves were young children. Anyway, Kali, LTTE never had a chance to “win” the war, based on demographics. They managed to steal some territory from that idiot CBK and Ranil. As soon as a fox like Mahinda came into office, the game was up. It took only a few years to clean everything up. So if you believed in the Eelam dream, you should not be disappointed, as it was only a matter of time.

          • 4
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            Lester

            You are a typical Ignorant Sinkalam. You are talking a lot of rubbish. I repeat without Indias support you would never have beaten LTTE. History repeats itself and you elect Gotha and you will be fighting for Freedom. I am not going to die tomorrow and Gotha will be humiliated and you will be isolated for the next 5 years. Mark my word . Under pressure Gotha is pretending to be reaching out to the Tamils but it wont work
            LTTE were a product of your brutality for 71 years.

            • 2
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              Kali, if what you say about India winning the war is true, why did the LTTE try to kill Gotabaya in 2006 in a suicide bomb attack? You are also forgetting the attack on the Anuradhapura Airbase in 2007. Why did the LTTE try to destroy the airpower of SLAF if it was not effective? Tactically, these were good moves by LTTE as Gotabaya was in charge of organizing the Forces, killing him would require significant re-organization. Taking out the SLAF planes would let LTTE engage in some conventional battles, at least temporarily. Both of the moves failed. As I said before, the new weapons were pivotal… more than 100 new armored carriers, T55 battle tanks, more than 40 helicopters, etc. The size of the Forces also increased to 200K by the end of the war. In the last 3 years of the war, the Forces lost only 6200 men, so you can see what a difference these weapons made.

  • 5
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    Part 2
    The other crucial factor was which you might not appreciate was India saw LTTE as a threat to the Indian Union. What India wanted to avoid at all costs was a Tamil Eelam next door to Tamil Nadu which was the only rebellious state with similar aspirations. Without Indias crucial role Sri Lana would never have beaten the LTTE When I saw the charred bodies of the LTTE carders it reminded me of Halabja and because of the weapons India gave or used India has helped Sri Lank from being brought before the ICC
    He has arrived at this point through a combination of Self Interest and deceit and Lethargy from RW.
    3) 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.
    *** How do you do it and in my view by bringing those responsible to pay for their Crimes but accountability and Reconciliation are simply talked about and not put into practice.as with the appointment of Shavendra which was a slap in the face for the Victims.
    4) 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’.
    *** I agree with Neelan Thiruchelvan but not Kardirgamar who was a swine. As I still remember how he described the mass exodus.
    5) 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.
    *** I have already addressed this.
    6) 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.

  • 5
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    Part 3

    *** NO you are wrong as he is accountable in the US courts as he is still an American citizen and he committed all the Crimes as an American Citizen and is under the illusion that a Presidency will give him Immunity but that will plunge the Nation into darkness and despair.
    7) 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.
    *** That includes Basil , Wimal the Wansa etc. MR is the 6th Richest in Sri Lanka a pauper from Hmbanthotta.

    8) 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.
    *** He is certainly not heading to STARDOM but to the dust bins of History
    9) 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.
    *** You use the word Compartmentalization and in Physics this is what you call Nuclear explosion, the amount of energy released when it finally explodes and one day during his presidency it will explode engulfing Sri Lanka leaving a BLACK HOLE the start of another UNIVERSE.
    It covered a broad spectrum. However, the all-encompassing wizardry had its inherent flaws.
    10) We the average citizenry must pause and ask; when striped of the puffery, what is the truth of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s politics?

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    While I was reading all the comments on GR and his character, an advertisement appeared at the corner of the screen advising me to make a Will. Can any of the experts writing here please tell me whether this is an omen?

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    10) We the average citizenry must pause and ask; when striped of the puffery, what is the truth of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s politics?
    *** His Politics is Live One Day at a time as he doesn’t know what next day will bring whether it is Summons to Appear for Trial or an Arrest Warrant.
    11) 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.
    *** How wonderful . His motto is I will be barred from Travelling with an Arrest Warrant at least let others travel.

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    There was a death notice published in the obituary columns of ‘Daily News’ a few years ago. It was the Death Notice democracy’ by somebody, very cleverly worded and disguised as a real death notice of an individual, This was later copied by Readers Digest too?. I wonder whether the full text of it could be published by someone who could lay hands/mind on it, please.

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