24 September, 2020

Blog

Democrats, Anti-Fascists & National Minorities Regroup! Pres & PM Crucified For Sheltering Crooks

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Mahinda Rajapaksa and his poroppaya scored a significant victory and the yahapalna parties suffered defeat. The electorate reverted to January 2015. By ‘reverted’ I mean, the Feb 2018 statistics are like January rather than August 2015. In Jan MR polled 47.6% of the national vote. He drew a small Muslim, Upcountry Tamil and Sinhala Catholic vote, say 4%, and therefore a core 44% was Sinhala-Buddhist (SB). This implies that about 63% of the nation’s SB population threw in their lot with him. This time poroppay polled 44.7%, nearly all SB, same as MR’s SB vote in Jan 2015.

Those, like this correspondent, who wanted racism defeated and the crooked punished are appalled – though in my inner circle I was the only lonely soul who voiced a possible poroppaya win. MR gained for two reasons; one objective and the other related to the stupidity of leaders. Sinhala Buddhism as an ideology has a grip on the mass mind, an objective fact. The subjective: Everyone, including yours faithfully, believes that President Sirisena and PM Ranil are shielding crooks, killers and bribe-takers of the previous regime, as well as corrupt yahapalana politicos. I mean it literally when I say, I have not met a single person who disagrees. Some blame either the President or the PM more, others explain that it is difficult to do otherwise, but all agree that it is happening.

The hegemony of SB ideology

The much-loved man in the street reverses my priority; he holds that the subjective factor, shielding criminals (or having links to crooks – Bond Scam, MS’s siblings and progeny) enraged the public. Hordes of UNP voters abstained while poroppaya people turned out in bulk. The former were disillusioned, the latter determined. But this is the shadow. To see the real pith and marrow of SB-substance read the voting numbers in SB dominated Pradeshiya Sabhas. I have stacks of results before me – Ambalantota, Rajagama, Padiyathalawa, Karandeniya, Bible and it goes on). Poroppya polled 50-65% to the UNP’s 25-30% in the SB heartland. And suburban petty-bourgeois cultural hubs like Maharagama, Kalutara, Horana, Galle, Matara and Gampaha responded to rata, jathika abimane.

The writing is on the wall: This is Sinhala Buddhist land, culturally unprepared to modernise or enter an economic nexus with the outside world. Devolution and liberal notions of holding Tamils and Muslims in fraternal embrace is emotionally alien. The Ranil-Manik-Mangala economic project, in the form articulated, is in shreds. Though there was hope after the defeat of Rajapaksa presidency and parliament that SB hegemony of ideology and state would recede, the hope has turned sour. True, state racism is muted – military oppression in N & E and state hostility to minorities has receded – but the perceptions of the petty-bourgeoisie mass is still primitive.

Readers will observe I am emphasising the racial dimension and Pres and PM inaction on criminality more than economic concerns. I stated in my 4 Feb column that livelihood issues would have less effect on the electoral outcome than these. The results confirm that if cost-of-living was a burning issue urban centres would have gravitated more heavily against the UNP. But the UNP won Kalutara MC Hambantota MC, Badulla MC, Kollonawa UC, Galle MC (surprise, surprise) and a spate of other urban centres in addition to Colombo, Kandy, Dehiwala and Nuwara Eliya. If this is attributed to the swing of minority community voters, it reinforces my other argument as well.

Some UNP imbeciles want a UNP-Only government so that they can pursue their economic agenda unimpeded and “win the next election”. Bollocks! The Ranil-Manik-Mangala project is not election winning populism. A UNP-Only slate can win future elections by facing a blank slate. How? Just nab and prosecute crooks; then MR will have no candidates, they will all be serving time. This is not humour, it’s a deadly serious suggestion.

The partition into urbanites, and rural farmers and suburban petty-bourgeois is a signal. While fertiliser shortage was a brief irritant, opposition to modernisation and willingness to swallow “Save Mother Lanka”, “Muslims endanger our culture” and such like primitivisms are a better explanation. Every pro-poroppaya man-in-the-street I chatted up in the last week spoke of “horakang” and “rata beraaganeema”. No surprise that in post-election pronouncements Rajapaksa continues to play the Eelam card and the LTTE card.

I once again assert, that a candidate without any minority support, say Gota, can obtain 42% at most in a presidential poll. This, however, is if bourgeois democracy still prevails. Ranil and Sira have squandered a brief democratic spring, whose residue is now being challenged by an ideologically racist, politically authoritarian, personally Rajapaksa led, backlash. In presidential unlike in general elections all anti-Rajapaksa voices and votes unite.

If you reckon I am overstating the case on race, I will return to you a Prabharan or two later! If soon, due to Sirisena shenanigans, or in the 2019-20 election cycle, a MR-GR-SLPP regime returns, I am unable now to predict how Tamils and Muslims will respond. But remember, the racist leopard does not change its spots, neither will a populace live long oppressed.

Dividends from restoring democracy

I need to make a crucial point of long-term significance. Reinstating democracy has enabled the return of independent officials to key positions. The Central Bank Governor who exercises power appropriately, the Elections Commission Chairman and Members who do what they have to and tell PM and President to piss-off if need be, the Supreme Court whose newfound independence would in Rajapaksa days have seen the old fogies impeached or ‘Lasanthad’, and the Auditor General.

This creates a new imperative. If high officials are acting without fear or favour it is of the utmost importance that only persons of high calibre head Commissions, Corporations and positions of public oversight. No more botches like the deplorable Sri Lankan Airlines Chairman and Board, the clueless but dicey Telecoms Regulator and other rotten choices of yahalana Ministers. Yes, Ministers have to be chosen to balance political factions and the public keeps returning riff-raff to Parliament, so nothing can be done to improve Cabinet quality. The way to balance this is to put tough, rough and able institutional heads in place. (See box Nothcote-Trevelyn Report). Though Sri Lanka must ensure that only the best and the brightest are appointed to head public bodies, in the wake of the rising semi-fascist backlash, such hopes may sound like farting against thunder.

Nothcote-Trevelyn Report 1853 (UK)

Quoted in Economynext 8 Feb 2018

It can safely be asserted that the Government of the country could not be carried out without the aid of a body of permanent officers, occupying a role duly subordinate to the Ministers who are directly responsible to Crown and Parliament, yet possessing sufficient independence, character, ability and experience to be able to advice, assist and to some extent influence those above them. (Emphasis added).

Brief remarks on the economy

I need to talk about getting real on economic exposition. Ranil and Mangala wet themselves fantasizing that they are neoliberals. They are not! It’s damned funny; bogus populists and dead-leftists, clueless about neoliberalism, vociferously allege that these two are neoliberals; but in action they are not. Sure, the duo sings neoliberal duets, cheered by JR’s ideological progeny, but what of their actions? They are handcuffed, bolted and condemned to a state-driven economic strategy. Who said FDI was $1.4 billion last year? Most was direct or indirect, state-to-state; Hambantota, Colombo Port City, power-projects, LNG terminal, proposed Eastern Economic Zone, new highways! PM and FM, how much private capital investment came as FDI last year and has been included in your much repeated $1.4 billion?

Ranil’s fantasies are dead in the Twenty-First Century; but it is unlikely, Ranil or Mangala, if they remain in office much longer, have the inclination or the intelligence to switch to an explicitly dirigisme, mixed-economic, strategy. Worse, if the Rajapaksa gang takes over economic policy will be pure mayhem; a swindler’s mad house!

The cornered mouse

And that brings me to Sirisena, the mouse that roared. He is in a corner; castrated, he has to go in one of three ways; kneel before MR, embrace Ranil more tightly, or choose to have no executive ambition beyond 2020. The difference is that in former two he salivates after crumbs from MR or the UNP after 2020 – a ceremonial role. Otherwise he relinquishes greed and seeks an honourable exit. Maybe he can devote time to rooting out corruption, though frankly, I think that, now, all politically controversial prosecutions will be side-lined thanks to the wisdom of our voters.

Sirisena blows as he wills; beyond logic and balmy. Be that as it may, a danger has surfaced and citizens must mobilise. To whom must a call to guard against the return of Rajapaksa be directed? Those who stand for democracy, the January 8 Movement, the left in all its complexions, the national minorities who are first in the firing line and constitute over a quarter of the population, and liberals whose spines did not jellify at the first sign of setback. The battle has only just begun. The dark side is unified and mobilising; but democrats, the left, national minorities and bold liberals are splintered into a hundred pieces. This is the first task to address.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    Thank you. Uniting the “progressives” will be a big task in part because is is not quite clear where to go, who goes where, are who to go with. Perhaps a little more time is good to give this process. The LGs have to run, if they are not run well, dissatisfactions will gather at the base, as if it were. If the Robbing Hoods become more active there, “saving the people from the top”, when the helm is won, might not be quite as easy to do or the helm as easy to win. In the N and the E if the tasks of doing what can and should be done are not done and not done well, using the opportunities that exist not the ones wished for by the PC and the TNA, change may be desired and expressed. The SB majority might seem to be reverting to an position taken before – but it might be receptive to “moderation” and realism as well. Before getting to “Singapore”, there is much water to cross. Ranil should, must be to be better aware of this – and demonstrate it with actions and policies.

  • 0
    1

    Prof. Kumar David,

    RE:Democrats, Anti-Fascists & National Minorities Regroup! Pres & PM Crucified For Sheltering Crooks

    Yes. The Para-President and the Para-PM were crucified for sheltering crooks, and on to adding their own crooks to the pile crook garbage. It ha finally caught fire.

    Para-President and Para-PM, start with rounding up the crooks , let the law of the land take hold, and turn around your idiotic, lethargic governance.

    Shape up or just vanish. That is what the voters are telling you.

    Para-President and the Para-PM , are you guys, Deaf , Blind and Dumb?,

  • 2
    1

    Good article!

  • 3
    2

    Thank you for that, Kumar (particularly since it mirrors by feelings!)
    The hope of the non-SB, non-racist, un-bigoted, non-chauvinist people of this country is for the thieves and murderers to feel the lash of the law for the hell they have visited upon all of us. If the current bunch of coverers-up go down with those they’ve been shielding, let’s just say they are deserving of that fate in spades!.

  • 3
    2

    Good piece, Kumar. Well said and incisive. I myself cannot see a return of the Rajapakse dark era in these statistics. UNP has two years to rectify its lapses, catch the rogues and murderers, neutralise the white-anting elements within the coalition, and extending relief to the farming sector. Sirisena has to do a U-turn on his suicidal and illogical behaviour since a return of the Rajapakses will send him down six feet-for sure. As you suggest, the latter must plan an honourable end to his fortunate phase.

    • 6
      1

      Shyamon, welcome back!

      Where have you been hiding? Couldn’t face the world after last week’s election?

      What was it? Election loss no. 40 under the great “leadership” of Ranil ?

      By the way, you wrote recently that Ranil’s time is yet to come. Pray tell me, when will it come?

      Two fun facts for you to ponder from Australia.
      1) The UNP last won the presidential election in 1989.
      2) The UNP has been led by the “great” Ranil since 1994.

    • 0
      2

      Rectify lapses? That task should be assigned to Mangala. He is very good at rectification ! Qualified to play for arsenal too!

  • 3
    3

    This guy is completely senile. Claims to be a Marxist. But he views minority rights from an ethnic (Tamil) point of view – not on the basis of a wider class struggle. Even among the the Tamils, he is possibly a persona non grata, being a Colombo, Catholic Tamil with no Jaffna connections

    During his University days, the so called Marxist Kumar David went on a tar brush campaign painting crosses on Colombo houses. That was when Dudley Senanayake won the parliamentary majority in 1965., implying the Catholic Church was behind Dudley’s win. Later, he participated in a protest march against the UNP when the UNP formed a coalition gov with the then FP., shouting “Dudlige Bade Masala Wade”.
    Now the Marxist turncoat has become a UNP sympathizer & a fan of RW. Why should anyone believe this guy’s latest incarnation as a non communal commentator.

    KD’s attempt to call names and villify others who did not vote for the UNP as sympathizers of Sinhala Buddhist extremism is pathetic, whichever way he twists the numbers, SLPP won the majority of the LGs, including in some minority (Catholic, Tamil, Muslim) dominated areas including in the Northern Province. So accept it and move on.

  • 3
    1

    RW is the most pathetic pm this country has had
    a troubled childhood , suffering from aspergens syndrome
    supressing any successor to his leadership , arrogant, elitist, imagining he is an economic genius ,riding roughshod over younger members, being advised by the wrong people, big talk but no action
    the wring was on the wall on his march of folly
    he is truly a tragic figure in srilankas politics

  • 3
    3

    “Mahinda Rajapakse and his poproppaya scored a significant victory”

    This dumbo Professor do not know the difference between ‘Porpoppaya’ and ‘Pohottuwa’.

  • 6
    2

    “Just nab and prosecute crooks; then MR will have no candidates, they will all be serving time.”

    May be Kumar David has no knowledge about what happened in Maharagama. MR said vote for Motorcycle and the voters did.

    “The writing is on the wall: This is Sinhala Buddhist land, culturally unprepared to modernise or enter an economic nexus with the outside world. Devolution and liberal notions of holding Tamils and Muslims in fraternal embrace is emotionally alien. “

    Why devolution when majority of Demalu and Muslims live amongst Sinhala Buddhists. Low caste Demalu in the north have told not to give land and police powers to Wellala dominated NPC. Sinhala Buddhists have no problem living with Demalu but a handful of racist fascists Demala politicians have a problem living with Sinhalayo in the North. Do you know how many Demalu were saved by Sinhalayo during 1983 riots? Sri Lankan Army saved the lives of nearly 300,000 Demalu who were kept as a human shield by that four legged megalomaniac. Did Sinhala Buddhists chased Demalu who moved to Sinhala areas after the eradication of LTTE? In reality more and more Demalu moved to Sinhala areas after peace was restored by the Sri Lankan Army. Now the majority in Colombo are Demalu. Demalu in the North did not allow Sinhala people who were chased away from North to return. Vigneshwaran openly said Sinhalese are not welcomed in the North.

    If Demalu want to live in peace with Sinhalayo get rid of Wellala racist politicians. Kumar, go and preach your sermon to those racists Wellala politicians.

  • 3
    3

    Ranil is negotiating this crisis admirably and with great skill. Never seeking to escalate but yet sticking to his guns

    • 0
      0

      KArunarathne Gamage: He is there atached like a LEECH, that is his skill. In a Law abiding society and in a country where the Law enforcemtn is active fair, by now Ranil is inthe jail for sometime.
      See how many looters are there to protect him, abandon him and find some greenr pastures. Try to change that.

  • 3
    1

    So long as the leader of this country is decided by a set who believe that “Tis tun kotiyak dewi dewatawo” is protecting this country, even when the so called Tis tun kotiya failed to protect every individual that came forward to save this country from the abyss it is falling into, all I can say is, this country is a lost cause.

  • 4
    1

    I posted this under DJ’s article, but it more relevant here:

    MS was elected by a coalition of voters, with the UNP, a section of the SLFP, and the vast majority of Tamils and Muslims. But he misinterpreted that mandate and tried to bring in a large number of SLFP’ers aligned to MR into government, and assumed the leadership of the SLFP. That wasn’t called for. What was called for, was the creation of a new party which would have UNP in it as a major component, but also the MS-CBK wing of the SLFP, with the support of the major parties representing minorities. The new party could be called something like ‘United National Freedom Party’ and it would be a centrist party, moderating the hard right economic policies of certain sections of the UNP.

    If Mangala Samaraweera could join UNP without issues, MS-CBK should have no problems in joining such a new party, and leaving the JO/SLPP behind as the old SLFP. If such a coalition had been created and strengthened with good policies, and the bond scam had been addressed quickly, the new party would have won the local elections. Even now, if such a party is created, it will allow MS to gracefully exit as President in 2020 on a high note, having taken the country in a new direction with a winnable coalition. But does MS have it in him to do such a thing?

    DJ has repeatedly made the false argument that one needs the majority of the majority to win elections. If that had been the case, Obama would never have been elected as president twice in the US. What MS needs is clear thinking on who really elected him: less than 50% of the majority community representing both the UNP and SLFP, plus minorities.

    • 3
      0

      Agnos
      Not only Mangala Samaraweera even Anura Bandaranaike joined UNP but not MY3. He is an out and out Nidhas paksa aficionado. He will not agree to join a new political party. CBK thought she could use MY3 to recover what she thought was her ” boodale”, the SLFP.
      Professor David thinks Gota is not electable. Do not be so complacent. Mahinda will outfox a known enemy very easily. If Gota can harness 42 to 44% of SB votes (“rata beraaganeema” votes), all he needs is 20 to 25% of the minority votes. Given the recent showing of Douglas ‘ EPDP in North and Thondaman’s CWC in Hill country, all he needs is some of the Muslim and Shiranthi/ Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith catholic votes. Rishard B will be willing to do it for the right price.This is going to be akin to protecting a doubleton queen in a game of bridge. If you want to prevent Mahinda from coming back to power, work on the EPDP, CWC, and Muslim parties that could be bought.

      • 2
        0

        Berners-Lee,

        I agree with you that Dr.KD is underestimating Gota’s chances of becoming President by hook or by crook.

        On the other issues, whatever CBK thought, she should by now that the old SLFP has no place for her now. And in politics, MS was willing to become a common candidate with UNP’s support, so he should be able to ignore what he might have said in the past about being a true SLFP’er and focus on what is achievable and what is good going forward.

  • 3
    3

    I don’t think people want A Rajapakse regime again as they know what harm they did to the country. No law and order, No GSP plus, No FDIs, Robbery as and when they liked, The relations were involved

  • 2
    1

    Agnos

    Yo hit the nail on the head, this is the only recipe for success for MS and Ranil in any future elections, hope saner council will prevail at-least now!

  • 0
    0

    KD: Why do you deny democratic rights to sinhala buddhists. One person-one vote. So, the Sinhala buddhists are majority. Why they should not have their say
    Ranil is a thief and Gevala – perethaya (mala perethaya) if you know the meaning of the word.

  • 0
    0

    In our buddhist language, but in your terminology, Ranil,once dead will be an evil spirit in the presidential mansion. He does not like to leave. Temple Trees is not his target.

  • 0
    0

    By incidentally even 10 February 2018 election compare with 2015 January 8th districts level in Island showed MR of SLPP alliance an increased in favor of the People forces and despite that the bring
    so-called “Rainbow revolution” initiated by MS, RW and CBK of UNP led coalition promoted by David Kumar even long before 2015. This gang of UNP back politicians and their classes of its political aim is that interrelation of Tamil political classes of separatism that corresponds to foreign power of USA, UK,EU and RAW of Indian intelligence road map.
    Meanwhile UNP and its alliance of MS, RW and CBK that anti-establishment of TNA ,JVP and by that
    so-called left -wing old school of LSSPs Trotskyists has been host Tamil petty-bourgeoisies democratic are lulling the people sleep by trifling away their time by asserting self-complacently, which that we will regain everything without difficulties or by very easily that most important democracy gain is still there and same thoughtless ,ignorant ,downright and well known criminal nonsenses advocated by current UNP and their alliance in control state power in center of Colombo? This hipcorcies of so-called ‘democracy’ that believers has nothing to do with relationship of the People aspiration of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims of our country.
    They did not see there are sings of sea changes are pregnant in our old order of Democracy system of governances since 2015 January 8th? I wish advice to DK, which it is inevitable we are approaching political catastrophe ,economic crisis and dislocation and social upheavals are demand turn towards the transfer political power support by majority democratic loving people in ours Island….of……Sri lanka.

  • 0
    0

    The ones who were happy after the 2015 January election are ALL very sad over the behaviour of the current President and Prime Minister. The election of these two was meant to bring in corruption free Government but we see them guilty of it: They were supposed to bring in the former president and his entourages to the court to face charges of corruption and murders

  • 0
    0

    Comment on Agnos ..
    Political and their classes that inside and outside Lankan has taken place rapid shifting, by that the revolutionary in nature. It has different perspectives’ in Economically, Politically and Socially.
    It cannot give leadership purely depend on by class of UNP’s bourgeoisie there are many social forces behind that .
    Timely which Sri Lankan that power of state in hand of counter-revolution forces led by UNP bourgeoisie class. Ongoing political crisis and Republic democratic Constitutional instabilities has tear down everything conventional and norms of democracy; by denied values governances of democracy by UNP.
    It has shatter all illusions of bourgeoisies democracy by Ranil Wicks of UNP , MS-SLFP or New UNP leadership and CBK of Tamil federalist.
    By and larger that shatter all illusions political promises in 2015 January 8th in publically which undermined entire order of Parliamentary Democracy by UNP current leadership.
    But all UNP leadership are ignorant of their faith and consequences are unable to realized by their members.
    The basic question ongoing political crisis of any changes if nature of democracy and its revolution? This revolution is different from 2015 January “Old Rainbow Revolution” led by RAW , CIA and MI 15 of Indian USA and UK?
    The current regime has ruin economy they cannot carry the RUN National economy or cannot do it without money? No body of USA or British or Indians won’t give any money if power in hands of UNP by looted CB Bonds scam in billions of rupees.
    While IMF, World Bank, ADB or other capital belongs to western companies has stop investing last 37 months?
    We have come closed to truth this is not limited to political, it has gone beyond that collapsed of National Economy by ruin UNP that by looted Bonds belongs to public treasury of Sri lanka.
    Well said is not that impending economic crisis as well as political catastrophe which has that man made created by Ranil Wicks MS and CBK of their self-interest .

  • 0
    0

    While the rest of the world is shaping up to face the realities on ground and keep up with the ever increasing speed of change of the state of things governed according to Moors Law, we the stupid emotional junkies are hanging onto an archaic ideology of Sinhalese bigotry.
    The reality is that the status quo is changing so fast that we cannot afford to pause to take a moment and ponder what really is happening as technology is leapfrogging us and it has reached a point where humans are being overtaken by machines. We in this Island are oblivious to this and hold on to mahawamsa (past) even if it maybe just a mere figment of someones imagination.
    Mahawamsa like stories keep our egos well oiled and hence we continue in a state of slumber thinking that all is well.
    If care is not taken Nature will start applying the principle of Natural selection to humans over artificial intelligence and in the near future we the Sri Lankans will start to feel its effects.
    The reality on ground is that we have to gear up for a future where we will have to prove our worth over machines for survival.
    You will see what I mean starting now.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.