24 September, 2020

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Dementias Can Be Shed

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Teddy Ameresekere offers a pithy and pertinent elaboration of the meaning of dementia: ‘The former regime has forgotten why they were chased out and the present can’t remember why they were elected.’  

Those who believed or were hopeful that the yahapalanists would bring about ‘change’ are largely silent. Some have resolved to dwell on small gains and talk about better times to come. The more honest criticize the Government, urging it to do better. In Sinhala they say that’s like believing one can obtain feathers from tortoises.  

As for those who are against this Government, they ask tongue-in-cheek, ‘වෙනස සැපද?’ (is the change pleasing?). Implies is that ‘change’ was for the worse and not better. This, however, is not true.  

The 19th Amendment was a joke. The Right to information Act was not. That was an important ‘honeymoon period dividend’. However, if you are talking about corruption, embezzlement abuse of state resources, infringement on the freedom of expression, use of police brutality, suppression of democratic rights, crippling of the judiciary, legislative subterfuge, abuse of power and authority and so on, then there’s no ‘venasa’. The ‘achievements’ of this Government in close to just three years is appalling and alarming. It’s almost like a repeat of the previous regime, but fast-tracked.    

Teddy is both write and wrong, and moreover his observation, classic though it is, is incomplete. Simply, the ‘why’ of it is irrelevant to politicians. In the first case, the defeated will attribute defeat to reasons other than those Teddy probably thought of — deficiencies (which the yahapalanists, Teddy believes, were serious about correcting). In the latter case, clearly rhetoric exceeded intention by quite a margin.  

This does not mean that there’s been no ‘forgetting,’ however, and that’s the missing part in Teddy’s claim: ‘The people forget that those who they elect forget those who elected them.’

We have always elected ‘known devils.’ Only the utterly innocent and the fiercely loyal would believe the parties they’ve helped bring to power were angels. Some might think ‘relatively better’ and might even say it if they were honest. For the most part we’ve pressed the ‘default button.’  

This is true of the ‘Yahapalana Option’ as well. That ‘move’ was led by individuals such as Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Rajitha Senaratne, none of whom are angels or seen as such. And then there is Maithripala Sirisena, a senior member of the previous regime. The Premadasa Excuse (‘I was nothing more than a peon’) doesn’t really hold. 

So, what this all means, is that the people either knew and didn’t care or they forget easily. They forgot the track records of those they voted for and they forget that you can’t get feathers from tortoises.  

And it’s not just about elections, electing and the elected. Those determined to protect or spread a doctrine (be it Buddhism, Islam, Christianity or Marxism) appear to have forgotten the basic tenets relevant to their preferences. Substance is readily (and even consciously?) subsumed by label. And so we can ask those who style themselves as defenders of the Sinhala Buddhists what their ‘Sinhalaness’ is and what kind of ‘Buddhism’ do they obtain from to justify word and action. We can ask similar questions from evangelical zealots peddling their version of ‘Christianity’ and from those espousing ‘Radical Islam’. We can ask why Marxists and Leftists in general don’t talk of class and are so reluctant to criticize capitalism (leave alone taking it head on!). Marxists might wonder why workers lack working class consciousness. Some might ask if the bourgeoisie knows its class interest. And some might remember the following paragraph in the Communist Manifesto: 

“The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.… All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober sense, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” 

Well, one must question the claim of compulsion considering all the forgetting, real or feigned, alluded to above. Perhaps, one can interject, that it is ‘sober sense’ that produces the dementia that Teddy refers to. Perhaps it is an acquired or imposed sense of helplessness that makes people appear to be slothful in analysis and decision, to deliberately forget, if you will.  

True reasons and confessions notwithstanding we have come to or pushed towards a state of ‘making do’ or appear to have arrived at that unhappy place.  

On the other hand, since we are taking from Marx and Engles here, just as we are conditioned by circumstances, we can shape the circumstances as well.  

We have hit a wall and we hit it a long time ago ladies and gentlemen. And we keep banging our heads against it. Perhaps it is time to look for ways around it. That wall could be many things or be made of many things, but a key element of it is the party system as we have it in this country and a political culture of self-delusion come election time pushing us to opt for ‘default’ and to think politics begin with the announcement of an election and ends with the declaration of winner(s).  

It is time to start remembering. Let us remember that the villains who ruled and rule exchanging places and visiting cards as per changed circumstances are not interested in remembering the people in any serious manner. They don’t represent and are not interested in representing the citizenry.  

Let us remember to forget, then. Let us remember to forget these usurpers of franchise and desecraters of sovereignty. Let us remember that recovery of such things is our business. Let’s get serious about our business. Let’s forget those who arrogantly and with intention of deceit wear the messiah badge are essentially (as history has shown) are not interested in leading the masses to any ‘promised land’ of any kind of verdancy. 

Let us shed our various dementias.  Let us opt out.  

*Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer. Email: malindasenevir@gmail.com  Blog: www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 3
    3

    In place of Professor Marx and Dr Engels, we have Dr Ranil and Dr Dr Rajitha……Don’t we ?.. So why do we have to worry?…..
    Dr Ranil has already produced not one but Two Visions……..Vision Mk 1 – 2020 — & Vision Mk 11- 2025….
    Mk 1 makes us all Rich and Happy…. Mk 11 , we live in our own Federal Homelands , Happier and Richer……
    What more do you want fellas….
    Dr Rajitha not only has made our Yahapalana Doctors wage earners… But Dr Rajitha has made them into Militant Unionists……
    Wonder whether Mr ( Dr) Sirisena is a Bourgeoisie ?????
    Pity Marx and Engels couldn’t meet & greet Dr Ranil & Dr Rajitha……

    • 5
      1

      Malinda Seneviratne

      Can Para Dementias Be Shed.? Unfortunately, lies and imaginations of Mahawamsa, written by Para-Monk Mahanama, cannot be shed by the Paras.Why?

      Because it is selective dementia.

      • 0
        0

        “Because it is selective dementia”-True.

    • 2
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      KAmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      “Dr Ranil has already produced not one but Two Visions……..Vision Mk 1 – 2020 — & Vision Mk 11- 2025….”

      By the way multiple Doctorate Mahinda Rajapaksa produced not just one 5 year plan but a straight 10 year discussion paper:

      Mahinda Chintana: Vision for new Sri Lanka
      A Ten Year Horizon Development Framework 2006 – 2016 Discussion Paper

      Please find out where he managed to lift most of the ideas. This looks like 2000 manifesto of the UNP.

      “Pity Marx and Engels couldn’t meet & greet Dr Ranil & Dr Rajitha……”

      Thanks to Marx and Engel, for leaving the earth early, both didn’t have to meet Doctors Manhinda Rajapaksa and Gota Rajapaksa, travel on White Vans.

      Why did Marx write about the Asian mode of production in the Mein Kampf?

      • 0
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        Native,
        “Why did Marx write about the Asian mode of production in the Mein Kampf?”
        It was Hitler who wrote Men Kampf.
        Shades of Wimal Weerawansa.

        • 1
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          romani

          Come on. You just spoiled my fun.

        • 0
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          Romani,
          Native wouldn’t know Marx from Max…….
          His forte is Mahinda and Monk bashing……

          • 2
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            KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

            Please tell me about Marx? I know you believe Dr Mahinda is the reincarnation of Marx, and you think Mahinda Chintana: Vision for new Sri Lanka is his excellent exposition on economics of Assian Mode of Production.

            What I forgot to mention was his unwritten work, the Sri Lankan version of Mein Kampf. Will you be a member of Dr Gota’s Sturmabteilung ( Stormtrooper) under Reichsführer-SS (Reich Leader-SS) Gnanasara? Or you want to be the Reichsführer?

            Monks will remain monks. The saffron clad thugs will be competing for places in the hierarchy. I love to see you with Dr Strangelove’s hand.

            • 0
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              Dear Native,
              Thanks to Mahinda , your mate Kiriella is now on his way to make a Truck Load of Dosh, …… Again one of the main beneficiaries is a Diaspora mate…..
              Next to our Dalits remittances, the FX income is from Tourism…….
              It was made possible exclusively because of the Infrastructure which was put in place by Mahinda……
              Clearing the ground for Tourists safety is another matter which is bitter for you..
              And it will stay bitter for you until you get your exit Visa…
              The sad side of your rotten Yahapalanaya, is the valuable Infrastructure which Mahinda put in are going to pay handsome retirement income for the same Diaspora pensioners.. And fat commissions for LTTE Financiers for the next 99 years………
              Our Dalits nor our Monks understand the strategic Financial agenda of Dr Ranil and his Mates in high places…… .

              • 1
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                KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

                “And fat commissions for LTTE Financiers for the next 99 years………”

                Have the LTTE Financiers converted to Chinese Communism, and bought the slogan peacefully rising middle kingdom?

                You too have a choice, why don’t you consider yourself converting to Chinese Communism? Dosh is there for you to pick.

  • 4
    0

    It is not dementia which is the problem within the political hierarchy but ignorance and illiteracy selfishness are the main problems among the politicians in Sri lanka. The word Yahalpalana is not in the oxford dictionary but it is a word from both the President and the prime Minister to hoodwink the masses.

    • 1
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      “It is not dementia which is the problem within the political hierarchy but ignorance and illiteracy selfishness are the main problems among the politicians in Sri Lanka.” – True Sellam.

  • 2
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    You are talking about forgetfulness or forgetness. Just Read ans how the Political expert Dayan Jayathilake is screwing up the readers. that is simply academic dishonesty, Scholarly apathy for the poor voters who financed his education.

    • 2
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      Or, Malinda, just look at your own writing (actually not writing) during the jarapakse era. DJ and Malinda are cut from the same clothe. Both were academic failures, big time. Had not guts to utter a word against, jarapakses. In fact, both enjoyed the perks came from them. Both are dreaming big time a second coming of the killers.

  • 5
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    19 th amendment a joke? ! I guess for Malinda it is. After all, it brought back term limits for presidents, reintroduced the constitutional council, provided for the right to information as a fundamental right, removed presidential immunity in fundamental rights cases, provided for the audit service commission…

    The RTI act was made possible because of the 19 th amendment – so how is it that RTI Act too is not a joke in Mali malli’s book?

    Are the above accomplishments a joke? Surely you owe us that response?

    S

  • 4
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    Malinda Seneviratne

    RE: Dementias Can Be Shed

    ‘The former regime has forgotten why they were chased out and the present can’t remember why they were elected.’

    A good one. Furthermore, both don’t know they are Paras, in the Land of Native Vedah Aethho, from India.

    “This is true of the ‘Yahapalana Option’ as well. That ‘move’ was led by individuals such as Chandrika Kumaratunga, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Rajitha Senaratne, none of whom are angels or seen as such. And then there is Maithripala Sirisena, a senior member of the previous regime. The Premadasa Excuse (‘I was nothing more than a peon’) doesn’t really hold. “

    The MaRa Shills are active again. The Yahapalanaya is certainly giving them a lot of space.

    Why don’t you get Mahinda Rajapaksa to debate Anura Kumara Dissanayaka?

    The

  • 2
    0

    “Let us remember to forget, then. Let us remember to forget these usurpers of franchise and desecraters of sovereignty…….” if as the author suggests the issue is dementia !what is there to forget….?

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    0

    The basic premise of Malinda’s piece is:
    The Sri Lankan ruling class is absolutely corrupt.
    The voters keep electing corrupt governments, forgetting their past record,
    So what does this mean? We as a nation are incapable of governing ourselves. If we have done nothing more than create a mountain of debt in 68 years, what more is there to say?
    So what to do about it? It’s too late to call the Brits back.
    We must immediately call for tenders to run the country from:
    1. China
    2. India
    I would prefer China for its proven expertise in handling uppity Buddhist monks.
    But again, Hindi movies are MUCH more interesting than Chinese ones.

  • 0
    0

    ………the meaning of dementia: ‘The former regime has forgotten why they were chased out and the present can’t remember why they were elected.’
    The former regime has NOT forgotten why they were chased out
    The present regime can BLOODY WELL remember why they were elected.
    Where does dementia come here? A dementia patient cannot get on with life.
    The present and former regimes are living the way they have always done.
    What the hell are you trying to say Malinda?
    Nero fiddled when Rome was burning. Nero was not a dementia patient

  • 2
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    Sangha is the last resort to defeat the nitwit constitution by the nitwit for the nitwit !

    This article clearly explains the political bankruptcy of Sri Lanka and undelivered human rights and strengthening of democracy promised, come what may the amendment to the F ing constitution!

    We need a party devoid of scum bags! Not a new constitution,

    The signs are there to destroy the free education and the health service in the country too!
    What more magic to come from the Ranil’s under pants?
    Greatest philosopher Sri Lanka ever produced!

    Maha sangha may be following wrong tactics, But they have been the saviors of the Buddhist Sinhalese for centuries! There are lot to improve in the sangha society as inthe lay society,
    Looks like There are no Sinhalese in UNP govt to speak for us!
    Is Daya gamage sleeping? Has he got a conscience? Where are the Sinhalese Buddhist MPs? Have they all been bought like JVP?

    How did that happen? From Premadasa to this Nitwit?
    Oooohhhh UNP, I cry for thee!

    • 2
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      srinathan.gunaratnam

      Could you summarize your above typing in two sentences lucidly.

      • 1
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        I would do it in 2 words (No offence): F You!

        • 1
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          srinathan.gunaratnam

          “I would do it in 2 words (No offence): F You!”

          Its too brief, could you clarify the above.

  • 3
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    “When the undercurrents change, the scum floats to the oposite bank”. I quote myself.

    Malinda, as long as the elected can cross over for the highest bid and as long as rejected can be appointed to a national list, there is no democracy in this resplandeciente island. If you want to do good, do work towards a legislative solution to prevent cross overs and to prevent national list appointments for the ones who lose.

  • 1
    0

    This Black boy Milinda apparently is a very educated chap. But I for one, can’t understand a word of what he writes. Perhaps, a product of the flawed Sri Lankan University education system.

  • 0
    0

    Dementia is a dangerous disease. When both the Prosecution and Defense suffer from self induced dementia the best way to solve it is by means of euthanasia..

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