29 October, 2020

Blog

Depriving The Poor Of Water!

By Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

When one of the elements necessary for the very survival of any being is toyed with, it is time to cry halt to corruption at every level, particularly the local one where a simple task becomes a life-threatening one.

I live near a settlement of what can accurately be described as displaced persons and, since that term is going to raise a few hackles among those who believe that Sri Lanka is in fact Nirvana, let me relate some relatively recent history.

When the great Kobbekaduwa, as a Minister of Agriculture who had probably not planted so much as a bean seed unless the tenant farmers who his kind had parasitized did it for him, decided to wreak political vengeance on, among others, the van der Poorten family, his minions took over a swath of land that belonged to several bearing that last name, included it as a part of “Trafford Hill” group so that nothing of that family’s heritage would survive, even in name, and proceeded to run it as one of the State Plantation Corporations’ monuments to the employment of crooked sycophants without an atom of agricultural knowledge. Anyway, the edifice ultimately collapsed under the weight of the corruption of Hector K’s stooges who were widely known to arrive with a simple piece of hand luggage and require several lorries to move their personal possessions if, for any reason, they had to depart for another plantation or other destination.

The trickle escapes!

The trickle escapes!

When the collapse occurred, subsequent to this country having rid itself of the parasitic radala regime, all the workers, including many who had been, literally, born and bred on that land, were summoned to a meeting to be informed that they had no jobs the next day. An interesting concomitant to this fact was the fact that several families would also cease to have a roof over their heads at the same time, because they had estate-provided “lines” or other lodgings on the land that was, to all intents and purposes, being abandoned, except, of course for those politicos and their friends who through goodness-knows-what means acquired chunks of it from which they proceeded to exploit the timber, rubber trees (as firewood) and, ultimately, even the cocoa trees which went to the same “end use!” Pretty near 1500 acres of productive mid-country plantation land has been reduced to the on-going “take-over” of “Guinea A” grass which was originally introduced as cattle fodder and, in the absence of any bovines, has become the most invasive plant species in the mid-country.

Storage tank

Storage tank

One little piece of not-so-bad news was that the MP at the time suggested to all those gathered for the last rites that they get a rope of sufficient length that, if laid square, would constitute one acre of land. He suggested that this could be the beginnings of a future settlement.

That is, in fact, what happened and if you want an appropriate use of the word haphazard to land settlement of any description, take a trip up our hill and you’ll see a living example, in technicolour too!

People have built squatter’s quarters, some quite habitable thanks to remittances from progeny employed in the Middle East. However, roads fit to carry vehicular traffic are conspicuous by their absence, leaving primary school children to walk three miles each way to get an education and anyone knowing anything about the subject will tell you how much tired and hungry children can absorb in the way of education. Emergency medical attention? Forget it because not even a motor bike or a three-wheeler can reach any of the dwellings in the “colony” adjacent to where I live.

Factor in the reality that one of these “clusters” of “colonists” is occupied by members of Sri Lanka’s largest minority community and your picture of something less than heaven on earth will be complete.

Without exception, each home had secured some kind of water supply from some little spring up the hill behind them, making primitive little dams and using ½” PVC pipe to bring the trickle down to some receptacle on their doorstep. One of the less entertaining sights in dry weather is the desperate attempts of these people to prevent the PVC being destroyed by the periodic grass fires that race up the hillside.

About three or four years ago, I happened to be on the road when one of the local bureaucrats, I believe a technical officer of some description, arrived, unannounced, “to solve the water problem.” We were told there were “consultations” of some kind, but nothing appeared to come of all the bureaucratic to-ing and fro-ing.

More water below than above  the dam!

More water below than above
the dam!

Then, a few months ago, one of these bureaucrats from the local Pradeshiya Sabha arrived on his (Rajapaksa-delivered?) motor bike to speak with the local “rabble,” as he well might have described them

It was determined that a spring would be dammed, a storage tank installed to take the diverted water and, hey presto, not only would everyone’s thirst be quenched but the settlers would all be enjoying showers at sundown!

The slip twixt cup and lip in this instance leaves me to fall back on a word I probably use too often in these scribblings: “obscene.”

The aggregate for the concrete dam was hauled up the footpath by the “locals” as was the building sand that those same “locals” took out of a stream even farther down the hill. The cement was brought by motorized transport part way up our hill but still required to be carried the rest of the way by those who expected to benefit from this life-giving exercise.

As one might expect, there was excitement and expectation of a truly essential service before too long.

Accompanying this little essay are pictures of the dam and the large storage tank that have been erected at a cost, I am told, to the Tumpane Pradeshiya Sabha of approximately Rs. 200,000.

There is, however, one little snag.

There is a only a small spot of damp sand at the bottom of the space meant to hold a whole community’s water supply!

Even the tiny trickle of water upstream of the dam is not contained by the impressive concrete structure because it is leaking out from around what is supposed to be the “exit pipe.”

This would be a good story line for a “sitcom” if it weren’t for the seriousness of this kind of embezzlement of public funds in the name of providing a primary requirement of life.

Know what? I met the functionary who claimed to have overall responsibility for supervising this “project” on more than one occasion but I certainly wasn’t aware that, if the locals who worked with him were to be believed, he was the contractor as well!

I know, I know, this is Rajapakistan where the public purse exists so that select members of that public can dip into it.

But surely, if you spend an inordinate amount of public money to provide water to a colony of people there should, at least, be enough water at any one time to quench one individual’s thirst?

Not so.

What is truly tragic about this and I am sure the myriad similar “projects” on which public funds are spent with no tangible outcome is the air of resignation of the victims of all of this.

When the power lines were put in a few years ago, these people, barely able to put food on the table for their dependants, provided the volunteer labour and power saws donated by their owners, without so much as a cup of tea from the Ceylon Electricity Board, for days on end. I’d like to see one scrap of paper that proves that there wasn’t an allocation of (Iranian?) funding for this purpose. They didn’t grumble then and they don’t even bother to phone in protest when they don’t have power for up to half a day at a stretch.

I suppose that when you are used to being treated like the proverbial excrescence by people that owe their positions to you, you are hardly likely to rise in revolt about your money being spent to provide you with water which is conspicuous by its absence!

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    Very grim, torrid and miserable indeed – fellow human beings living on Lankan soil in such depravation. Hope they do something for those poor people very soon. Aren’t they ashamed!

    • 1
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      Ramona Therese Fernando:
      Just for the record: did you mean “depravation” or “deprivation” or both?

      • 0
        3

        hmm….not too sure…

        • 4
          1

          hmm…impulsive response from a non conceptual mind.

          • 0
            2

            …not at all bandy.

    • 0
      1

      ….guess in history Sinhala-Buddhists also went through the same ordeal……not that in these modern times anyone should live in misery and suffer for lack of water in historical revenge- very unBuddhist-like.

  • 3
    9

    “the van der Poorten family, his minions took over a swath of land that belonged to several bearing that last name”

    Hmm… How did people with that (Dutch?) last name come to own swath of land in our little island? Not natural, is it?

    I am as perplexed as the next reader.
    Could we please have an answer to this intriguing question.

    • 7
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      Siri Hettiarachchi,

      How did others, the Bandaranaikes, Senanayakes, Obesekeras, Siriwardenas, Jayawardenas and heaps of others with Sinhalese names came by their vast acreages of land?

      Are the so-called “Dutch” not entitled to own land?

      What about Tamils from Jaffna? And the relatively late arrivals, the Tamils in upcountry? The Muslims? Perhaps Christians too?

      • 0
        9

        Thank you Emil,

        But my question is how is that people with names like Hettiarachchi do not own swathes of land in Holland or anywhere else in Europe, but people with names like vander pooten are complaining about loosing land.

        All the names you have mentioed are Sri Lankans and they have a right to own lands here. But foreigners only stole our land through invasion. We are entitled to take it back like Kobbekaduwa and Mrs B did. The will be in heaven today due to that action.

        That is my point.

        • 4
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          “”how is that people with names like Hettiarachchi do not own swathes of land in Holland or anywhere else in Europe, “”

          That is why down south we say `gass gembo` prodigal son and nothing to do with ethnic/race.
          richest man in the uk is Mittal indian national but no one ask prodigal son questions because they are cultured.

          In the middle east there is oil because they kiss the ground start kissing please and buy Washington.!

          • 1
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            Now don’t go bananas Emil, just because I am asking a logical question.

            Mittal doesn’t own land in Britain. They only run steel manufacturing. I don’t understand the relevance of prodigal son or Arabs kissing ground to this issue.

            Our land was stolen by Europeans since 1505 and in 1971 Mrs B decided to do something about it. Yo should be thankful that she allowed 50 Acres. In my opinion, that is 50 Acres too many stolen lands given away.

            Hope it is clear to you now.

            • 0
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              you are built on the beggin g bowl and you cant eat the land. don’t you see stupid military men die if they go beyond a certain line-
              have you heard of cold war?
              you are not the western establishment that has the power to print money at will have the technology to bring down the price of oil by half that the world of opec cannot compete. Isn’t your government eating into the low price of oil and gas?
              Presently Lanka is pawning itself to India for the dollars in return of the excess Lankan rupees printed by your hero MR1.

              Mittals castle next Prince Charles is owned by him (his taxes are paid in USA not even India) the same way Harry Jayewardene has registered business at Gibraltar.

              I am sure your DNA will exhibit that your ancestors came in Hora Oru and you are trying to establish a nationalistic view of the island that you are foreign to.

            • 0
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              Yeah!…not fair!

            • 1
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              Sirisena Hettiarachchi

              “Our land was stolen by Europeans since 1505 and in 1971 Mrs B decided to do something about it.”

              Our land was stolen since the Kallathonies start arriving on our shores 2500 years ago.

              Even the meagre land that was occupied by my people has been slowly and steadily is being stolen by the descendants of Kallathonies day in day out.

              “Yo should be thankful that she allowed 50 Acres. In my opinion, that is 50 Acres too many stolen lands given away.”

              You should be grateful to my people who benevolently allowed your kallathonie ancestors to come here, settle down, plunder the resources, ……

              On the other hand you kallthonie descendants continue to occupy and destroy 25,330 sq miles of the entire island. Don’t you feel remorse or shame?

              Remember Siri Mao or her ancestors never owned a square inch of this island 2500 years ag. Whatever she allowed, it is not from her own land, but perpetually stolen from my people.

              Your ancestral land is in North or South India. Try getting it from Biharis or Thamilans.

              “Now don’t go bananas Emil, just because I am asking a logical question.”

              Before one goes into logical questioning one must learn a few related concepts such as infer, imply, insinuate, premises, data, facts, information,states of affairs, statements, true, false,likely, probable, form, content, arguments, justification, …….. conclusions.

              Please let me hear your argument supporting your premise that you have “a logical question”.

      • 0
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        Ken Dharmapala,

        The gene pool in Sri Lanka is a mixture from many sources.

        http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lkawgw/gen1001.html

        This is of just one family.
        Many others are similar.

    • 3
      2

      The King of Kandy invited the Dutch who were already established at Bali for trade and to drive away the Portuguese who were introducing caste system. By this time the VOC (private multinational company)not Dutch government as there was no republic was the only and best in the world. At that very moment there were wars in that region to capture the powerful dutch ships etc- go read European history.
      VOC bought the hybrid nutmeg, cocoa to the plains of Kandy from Bali. VOC interchanged crops to prevent disease. Even today the Dutch are the best at horticulture and water management in the world because Holland is below sea level.
      So the king of kandy got the best but nothing comes free because its trade. Even today non nationals the world over are into real estate and they bring in the exchange the for purchase.
      What a shame UK went soft with Lanka on that economic embargo in 1968. Lanka duped UK and wriggled out unlike Zimbabwe.
      The question now arises where do these Sinhalese who have populated the island come from ?? Their DNA tells us South India from east to west as the Portuguese though driven away from Lanka still traded in humans from Portuguese Goa until 1970.
      We had land too for centenaries and this was purchased but were taken over by 1968. You must be dreaming of the wild west stories which did not take place as Asia was for trading long before.
      Even today the best buyers are Europeans not Chinese, Russians or Arabs.
      eg. Gibraltar is a gift from the king of Spain to the British monarchy for the help rendered in the wars and for the future. no amount of politicking by commoners on both sides is going to change the ownership.

      • 1
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        take_that : “What a shame UK went soft with Lanka on that economic embargo in 1968.”
        “We had land too for centenaries and this was purchased but were taken over by 1968.”
        There is some mix up about that year.

        “Even today the best buyers are Europeans not Chinese, Russians or Arabs.”
        Best buyers of what?
        They were also the greatest plunderers of Asia and Africa.

        • 0
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          Best buyers of what?

          Go fetch from exporters of garments to produce of lanka.

          They were also the greatest plunderers of Asia and Africa.

          Its your backwardness that you let them plunder- `loot` is a hindi word which is derived from the Mughals.

          everyone exploits and the west will exploit because of its technology.
          Go find yourself a safe heaven where there is no army or secret police. be a yogi on the mountain then you will not be plundered.

        • 1
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          Best buyer is based not on just volume of trade but on terms of trade.

          “Its your backwardness that you let them plunder-“
          That is why it is time for the Third World to awaken.
          It is happening slowly but surely to the dismay of imperialist West.

          • 1
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            SJ

            “That is why it is time for the Third World to awaken.”

            Third world has woken up and joined the west, Vietnam, Cuba, Countries formally were known as part of USSR, and Eastern Europe, …

          • 0
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            NV
            Time that you got back to serious jogging

            • 1
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              SJ/sekera

              “Time that you got back to serious jogging”

              One wonders whether you have extended session of a long sleeping vacation or suffering from selective amnesia?

              Please note if it is too difficult for you to recollect, you are not compelled to type here.

    • 5
      2

      Siri Hettiarachchi:
      Is yours an attempt at wit by a half wit or is it plain stupidity?
      To begin with I DO NOT owe my name to Dutch ancestry: it happens to be Belgian and I don’t think that even a moron like you is justified in confusing one with the other. If you do, would you please inform readers of this publication of when Sri Lanka was Belgian colon?

      For your information,the land I and a few of my relations still live on was BOUGHT from a Brit. at the time of the coffee crash.

      I believe Ken Dharmapala brings another focus to your stinking racism as well.
      Incidentally, I would be interested in matching ancestors’ birth certificates with you because Sinhala is, in fact, “mother tongue.”

      • 0
        3

        I have to hunt you all over the comments EMil?

        Dutch or Belgiq does not matter to us. You would have come in a Dutch East Indies ship and screwed some poor local woman by deception. That does not make you Sri Lankan.

        Th elad is ours.

        • 0
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          Siri Hettiarachchi

          you sound like a terrorist ` bin larden` after Europeans?

          Are you an understudy of Boruwanse/Modawanse who incidentally sent 3 of his children to British School because Lankan is Goo!
          It cost him £35k per child per year. Even as minister he did not earn it.
          you don’t have the balls to play him and want to play Europe??
          300k Sinhalese in the UK would beat you with pol pittha if you fight the west.

        • 1
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          SiriHettiarachchi:
          WTF does, “I have to hunt you all over the comments EMil?” Is that supposed to be some Sinhala-Buddhist Singlish?
          Also, would you mind scanning and sending a copy of each of your parents birth certificates and, perhaps, yours to CT for publication so that the matter of your “legitimacy” might be settled? I’d hate to hate to but have no choice but to apply the “B-word” to you in the meantime. And I don’t mean “bugger” either.

          • 0
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            [Edited out]

            • 2
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              Siri Hettiarachchi

              “[Edited out]”

              Thanks for keeping it brief and logical.

    • 4
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      The Dutch who settled here after 18th Century chose to stay here and some of them rendered yeomen service to the country in many fields, unmatched by their local counterparts.
      There was elitism among Dutch Burghers, as was there among the elite of every ethnic group. But that is class rather than race.

      Many Dutch Burghers left for Australia in the face of rising parochialism. Even there they feel much nostalgia for this country.
      Those remaining here are here out of love for this land and its people.

      The government is inviting multi-national parasites to own land here. We do not object.
      But we are petty minded towards those who share our values and interests based on their ethnic origins.

      • 0
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        hmmm…that sounds about correct!

      • 0
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        sekara,

        Thank God the Burghers were forced to go to Australia. Otherwise Sinhala/Tamil Sri Lanka would have been ruled by European descendants in plantation fashion, like places in South America. Civil war and all is still better than having a bunch of White descendants Lord over the Natives. As per VDP,…..well, a few of them can be remembered with nostalgia of the grand time that was, for a few lucky Natives.

        • 6
          0

          Ramona, “thank God” you left this country, otherwise we would be stuck with another bigot, and a stupid one to boot!

          What do you know about Burghers to spout such crap?

          And for your information (since you seem to be so ignorant) there were many others of different ethnicity that left the country due to the abysmal policy of SWRDB.

          • 1
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            I’m 1/2 Burgher DBU. SWRDB policies gave rightful place to the majority.

            • 3
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              1/2 and 1/2 from the sea.
              did your family make the slippers for the banda family??

              • 1
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                No, they did not.

                But people who made slippers- now they were certainly enterprising.

            • 2
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              ….should have been a more gradual implementation, though.

              But whatever the Burghers and others suffered, it was nothing compared with what the average Sinhala man suffered – beggars on the roads, servants in the kitchens, overworked bus and taxi drivers,…it was sorrowful to see. Our Burghers, even the poorer ones, were busy singing Engelbert Humperdinck and twisting around in polished shoes.

              • 4
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                AND, what did you do?

                Instead of staying at home and helping to raise the standard of the ‘poor average Sinhala man’ YOU Burghered off.

                Nice! Very nice. So typical.

                • 2
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                  True….but they were beyond my control as I was a youngster at the time…..upon marriage, it was again beyond my control…..

              • 4
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                Ramona, the more you comment in this forum, the more you display your unlimited ignorance and stupidity (as many other commenters have noticed and dissed you in the past).

                But getting back to your comment that “.. whatever the Burghers and others suffered, it was nothing compared with what the average Sinhala man suffered – beggars on the roads, servants in the kitchens, overworked bus and taxi drivers,…it was sorrowful to see. Our Burghers, even the poorer ones, were busy singing Engelbert Humperdinck and twisting around in polished shoes”.

                Here you go again! So, in your twisted logic, it seems that you blame the burghers for the beggars, servants, etc, etc. What about all the others of differing ethnic groups that had servants, took the buses and taxis and experienced the beggars? And you also seem to think that it was only the Burghers that “were busy singing Engelbert Humperdinck and twisting around in polished shoes”.

                Please spare us your BS!

                • 2
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                  It’s all to do with proportions- only a small percentage of other ethnic groups had servants, gave money to beggars etc.

                  Burghers- all were above the beggars, servants etc. Have you ever seen a Burgher beggar, bus-driver?

                  If the servants, beggars, bus and taxi drivers, ME-maids could read English (70% and more of Lanka’s population), I’d have more positive feeback.

                  Burghers can’t be blamed of course. But I can blame their Colonialist forefathers.

                  • 2
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                    “”I’d have more positive feeback.””
                    You mean French kiss.
                    You are beating dead horses.
                    The past is for reference, not residence.

                    • 0
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                      Reference of the past gives interpretation of present circumstances. Once one has greater understanding of the past, one is able to formulate a more considerate path for the future.

                    • 0
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                      fool, still waters run deep.
                      you never understand the power of words `ref and res.- why do you fight because you have much to hide with your plagiarism isn’t it?

                      BTW the majority of Muslims came to Malaysia from Indonesia. Islam was taken to Indonesia from Gujarat.
                      The rest of your story about immigration is stereotype Australia, New Zealand Canada are still open for immigrants they need to fill up post.

                    • 1
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                      Pistachio,

                      From your insults, guess I must be writing something really worthy……all for the mother country……

                    • 0
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                      Someone says You are no saint on this forum- Punjabi dress and guitar!

                      You are very nationalistic like the Cyril Matthews because of perceived insecurity but not the real world.

                    • 1
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                      Pistachio,

                      I am being objective on this forum….any corporeal ways I leave aside to pursue use my conceptual understanding of things.

                      I never wear Punjabi-dress…..ok, maybe when I was a teenager I wore it once or twice (in the cool of the evening), because people used to ask me if I was from Bombay and so I wanted to try out the feeling………nothing wrong with Punjabi-dress. Playing the guitar soothes the soul.

                      Cyril Matthews – he was Sinhalese. I have too much Tamil in me to be anything against Tamils. I am not a cabinet minister, and merely make comments on CT.

                      Anyway, what Cyril Matthews said was very true about the displacement of Sinhalese. However, we are in quite a different era where any talk about sufferings of Sinhalese should bring about riots. If it does at this time, it will be due to the selfishness of the Sinhalese who are not looking after their own, but running to the West with money created out of thin air with former Chinese loans, and that the ME maid will have to pay back. Actually in Cyril Matthews time also it was because of Sinhala elite not looking after their own people. Many displaced Sinhalese have been rehabilitated since. But yet there is the monetary imbalance of city and rural sectors- nothing that adequate taxation can’t equalize, if the Sinhala government is bold enough to take that step.

                      Malaysia belongs to Indonesian grouping. They are all Malay Muslims and have no animosity with one another. Sinhalese, on the other hand, are Buddhist, as opposed to Tamils who are Hindus. If all were Buddhist, the races will be one (a Hindu god or can be included). It’s up to both races to find the common ground.

                    • 0
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                      did not display an icon with punjabi dress and guitar on CT? dont make a fool of yourself most bloggers know it.- anyway you folk came from north india 2500 years ago so don’t feel shy and women wear any type of dress.But remember the north indians don’t believe a word of it. BBC/CNN business correspondent Gujarati from Pakistan Brit put Dr Nonis on track when he said 2500 years without ridiculing him much.
                      Cyril Mathew came has his bearings in Kerala where muslims had invaded areas of trade and ruling until the portugese arrived and wanted all muslims killed because portugal was ruled for 800 years by muslims and they were made into sex slaves. You see the problem the animal cyril caused- the country went back 50 years.
                      Its not just the Chinese money. MR overprinted SLR like the japenese or Americans who can afford because they have the trumps- Technology and Communication. He thought after imitating Bush and doing Faluja in the north he can get away with cash.That is hard because both Gaddafi and Saddam lost their life and country because Moneda franca is $$US not his free oil wealth which he d or his people are unable to extract profitably. If Trump win a barrel would come down to $30 but the price at the pump would be eaten by politicians even in the west.
                      There is Dansal, Pansal in Sinhala culture not charity as in European Christian culture so don’t blame the rich who have worked hard to be what they are.Giving is not easy because one gets hit by the receiver too and it is common so we have specialist dealing with it.
                      When you read LKY fight for independence from racist malaysia At parliament LKY informs Dr Mathir his friend and the rest of the malay MP’s where Malays come from and obtains the small coral reef but the west is not happy with LKY policy…yet he succeeds and today Singapore is a model for the west to learn from.Indonesia/Malaysia will always be outwardly friends because of islam and blasphemy but nothing else.Malaysia has resources which Lanka does not have and whatever it has it does not know the technology to make 100 times over eg Graphite converted to Graphene the super material. To set up industry one must first bribe the buddhist monk.(I am sorry i cant tell you more about foreign contracts about these commissions because its sickening).
                      Patent rights don’t come easy and cost runs into billions so even india is unable to get FDI. the chinese did not buy most patent rights but all the yellows Taiwan, Korea japan found the hard working mainland and built it there but tested the product in their own land- but the chinese were stealing too.Now you see the Chinese with a bit of money in the pocket they want to fight japan.
                      The country is sinking and MR2 is pawning the nation because it is difficult for him to borrow at will with no market. Interest rates in the US almost 0% but nobody wants to borrow. Will india swap SLR again after RBI Chief caution?.
                      Lankans evaded the economic embargo by voting MR2 now its Lankans own embargo- learn hindi soon

                    • 0
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                      it was a dress from Macy’s.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Besides, Pistachio, it is your Northern ladies who love to spout Punjabi dress, in spite of the hot climes. Rest of the South is of sari and dress. Only certain Muslims and Punjabi people wear Punjabi dress in the South.

                  • 0
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                    Pistachio,

                    What?!!! shizzzz…..

                    • 0
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                      “”Sinhalese, on the other hand, are Buddhist, as opposed to Tamils who are Hindus. If all were Buddhist, the races will be one (a Hindu god or can be included). It’s up to both races to find the common ground.””

                      You sound like you come from housemaid stock and have never read substance.

                      I don’t care even if you have swiss blood but i address the problem.
                      Modi is not encouraging Ambedkar conversions because it is a failure and folk would dare not become muslim in the present climate. One must be a desperate peasant to become an untouchable buddhist. Its better not have any religion because it is an emotion better kept private.

                      Stalin and Mao carried out genocide with American funds that were sent to defend itself. SWRD onwards has done the same with the village tamils and you are part of it.

                      If you were a man and had the opportunity you would be killing the minorities Tamils.

                      the best thing that can happen is let the country sink economically on its own accord then your majority is one of beggars in a civil war.
                      After the storm india would bring in calm.

                      ” I have too much Tamil in me to be anything against Tamils.””

                      Are you fatso VP’s relative to say so while for the past several years on CT you have been castrating tamils.

                      Finally you are a serial liar so better you sit on not just your brains but your hands pls.
                      Now please go away because even the writer of the article has a comment below.

                  • 0
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                    Ramona,Ramona,
                    “Burghers- all were above the beggars, servants etc. Have you ever seen a Burgher beggar, bus-driver?”
                    What is this you are spouting??
                    I am old enough to remember poverty-stricken and illiterate Burghers in the 50’s and 60’s. Bus drivers included, as well as shoe repairers, motor mechanics and waiters at Nectar Cafe(I don’t suppose you have ever heard of that establishment)
                    I have seen an old Burgher lady begging in the arcade at Cargills ,Fort about 3 years ago, and even now there is a Burgher lady near where I live, who is practically destitute. She used to do housework for Sinhalese families.
                    Don’t generalize, Burghers were no better off than the rest.

                    • 2
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                      Old Codger,

                      Yes, this is true. Many Burghers, especially those who came from up-country(some who were my relatives), had a hard time after the British left. Many had bungalows who they let out to the British, and some used to be nannies for the British children – they lost out on these after independence. But it was for a generation or two that it was uncomfortable for them. They were English educated and had a considerable advantage. They got help from those outside of Sri Lanka, especially Australia. Keeping up to the colonial standard, was the challenge for the Burghers. Guess the Burghers in Sri Lanka nowadays have to rub shoulders with the average Sinhala man.

                      For whole communities of Sinhalese on the other hand, it was a complete annihilation of their traditional existence. Millions were left destitute, and come in droves to the cities without colonial education and the ability to speak English. Most were lucky to get jobs as lorry and taxi drivers. If it looks like the Burghers suffered, what the Sinhalese suffered was far below the average person’s livable experience.

                      Tamils, had a branch monetary network from Tamil brethren in TN. Muslims also had their Islamic monetary networks. Sinhalese had to sit back in horror and watch the others creep up in prosperity, whilst their very own suffered degradation and humiliation. Even the Tamil tea-pluckers and rubber-tappers had settlements to call their own.

                      Sinhalese then started doubting their own intelligence, and forcing their people, at an unfair advantage, to keep up with the minorities (the results rarely came to fruition). All of these left the Sinhalese embittered and jealous of the other races. Killing sprees came only too easily. As a race, they then retreated into mortification at their wrongdoings, further exacerbating their helplessness by giving way to the minorities in gross apology, before the next step of rumblings happened again.

                      Their next step was money creation from thin air, to get one up on all the others who do better than them. However, unlike the minorities, their networking skills with others of their own race, was far below par – it was an individualistic undertaking that created kingpins in local circles or sent the more educated Sinhalese to the West (they did not have much of a hold of their capital city scene, and strived to do what they couldn’t do in their own capital city, in communities in the West).

                      Hope the Sinhalese are more aware of their flailings now, and are able to implement a robust taxation system (amongst other things), so that money that is beyond their mode of exchange, will be manna from heaven for the whole country and themselves.

            • 7
              1

              HALF Burgher! Which half? NO, don’t tell, kiri-panni. Let me guess. Bottom half. Right? That explains your comments.

              Anyway, how ironic that the scion of a family that benefited hugely from our colonial masters were able to give back something to the majority who they helped to keep silent so that the colonials could do their business in peace. Don’t forget that your favourite SWRD was named after his godfather SOLOMON WEST RIDGEWAY….

              Kanthi Anti was right; better to keep you mouth shut and appear a fool, than open your mouth and prove it.

              • 2
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                Spring Koha,

                I agree – our Sinhalese hierarchy were/are no better than the colonial counterparts – worse, actually.

                The Sinhalese who are/were the first to speak of all kinds of nationalism, are the first to run to the West to show of their ability to do so. The means that they do so, are underhand and corrupt, but they somehow justify it somehow, and skew the laws of the land to their benefit.

                The Burghers that are now in Sri Lanka are an amiable lot. They integrate with the Natives well, and are one with them. But one time it was not quite like that.

                It would have been almost like South Africa, if the Burghers had remained….well, maybe not as bad, but I give it to the Sinhalese to have had the aptitude to take over, once and for all, what was theirs for millennia.

                Trouble is, with 80% of Sinhalese suffering direly, there was no other way around it actually. How do you get a country together to function properly with an ancient people who are in majority, when about 80% of them are suffering untold hardship, deranged, and are dumbed down as a result of what the colonials did?

                Other countries of Asia, like Malaysia, brought in the Bumiputra system after colonization – Malaysia for Malays-, and changed their official language to Malay soon after independence. Their Eurasians were given some autonomy in the areas of Malacca, but it was a heritagal autonomy as opposed to a political autonomy. Many M”sian Eurasians went to Australia and other parts of the West, but certainly not in the droves the way the Ceylon Burghers went (with the wealth of the land that even further incapacitated the country).

                When one thinks of body-parts so readily, one can’t think too clearly, can he? shame, shame!

      • 1
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        Sirisena Hettiarachchi:
        Does one need a better example of your all-consuming racism than your responce to a question by someone using the pseudonym “Butti” by further invective against me! There used to be a term for the likes of you – “loony tunes,” which I hope has not gone completely out of use.

        • 1
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          Emil van der Poorten:-

          All these silly irrelevant Comments on your Post!
          Please look at this on Utube; What a Good Education and Compassion can do for Our Earth!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCLZT5m6jaA

      • 0
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        sekara,

        Well said!

    • 3
      1

      Siri Hettiarachchi

      I am NOT a perplexed reader, so I am obliged to comment.

      What stone have you been sheltering under these past many years?

      I have been to many homes of Sri Lankans in the diaspora where for many years they have lived peacefully, and mostly without having damn-fool questions being asked about their entitlement. WE exported our talent to nearly every English speaking country in the world. I wonder where we acquired the skill to master English in those days? Yes, in the United Kingdom, America, Canada, Australia, and many other countries, hard-working, successful, Sri Lankans have acquired much desirable real estate.

      Siri, what’s in a name, ah? SOLOMON WEST RIDGEWAY D B…….(SWRD if you wish) does the name qualify to be a landowner in Sri Lanka?

      Yes, in many cases the colonial master just gave land as gifts to those who became their Maha Mudliyars, Rate Mahemaththays, etc and delivered a quiet local population.

      What Siri, would you have told Sir John Kotelawela if you met him at his 100-acre Brogues Wood Estate in Kent. I can tell you that if you had so much as raised the subject, he would have rewarded you with a thundering slap.

      I hope you find your answer to the question that intrigues you.

      Better still, stop being a frog-in-the well and get au fait with today.

  • 6
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    Emil,

    You have touched on a very important point. Why do Sri Lankans, especially the poor, allow themselves to be played out by the bureaucrats who hold their positions because of political affiliations and, the politicians themselves? If I may use an impolite word, why are they allowing themselves to be screwed?

    When will they ever stand up to these thieves? When will they teach these rascals a lesson, not just at the ballot box, but whenever they get hold of them on the highway?

    No wonder these politicians have their own private armies of thugs to protect them from the people?

    • 2
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      Ken Dharmapala:-
      “If I may use an impolite word, why are they allowing themselves to be screwed”?

      This seems to be the fault of a lopsided ‘Education’ System, which concentrates on Learning off ‘By Heart’ to answer set Questions rather than Training Students to Think for themselves!

  • 0
    0

    May be there is a solution to curb crooked politicians. A one-term limit for parliament or other elected provincial and local government. Not that it will solve the problem of corrupted politicians. It will give a chance for 20 million to earn some extra cash when they turn 18!!!
    I dont know why Marx and Lenin didn’t think of this to spread the wealth. I guess they were too focused on getting rid of Kings, Queens and Czars to think of this democratic way of distribution of wealth! Or because they were not crooked to think of such an alternative.

    • 0
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      “I dont know why Marx and Lenin didn’t think of this to spread the wealth. “
      Lenin nor Marx understood the English/American way of doing things.

      So it has nothing to do with theory of human affairs which itself is art not a science. the word Buro has been synonymous from the days of the Portuguese.

      But to prosper it depends on the culture and their application to issues etc.

      Václav Havel Czech play writer was able to steer his nation in a new direction peacefully because of their culture.
      Its a prosperous nation doing well within the EU but not part of Euro Currency.

  • 1
    0

    May be there is a solution to curb crooked politicians. A one-term limit for parliament or other elected provincial and local government. Not that it will solve the problem of corrupted politicians. It will give a chance for 20 million to earn some extra cash when they turn 18!!!

    I don’t know why Marx and Lenin didn’t think of this to spread the wealth. I guess they were too focused on getting rid of Kings, Queens and Czars to think of this democratic way of distribution of wealth! Or because they were not crooked to think of such an alternative.

    • 0
      0

      Sorry mate, Marx and Lenin were concerned about the ownership of the means of production.
      As for crooked politicians, perhaps they did not have a bright guy like you around.

  • 5
    1

    We are all a bunch of ungreatful people. We should be thankful to Portughese, Dutch and British for doing so many good things for our country and people. One cannot expect them to give us everything free.

    The American missionaries gave us great education, Dutch taught our farmers how to do horticulture, grow tobacco in the North and make money. Lot of families depended in tobacco cultivation in the North.

    British gave us rail roads, parliament, post office and great mail service, railways and linked all of Sri Lanka. Created tea estates, rubber estates by utilising many uncultivated lands in the country.

    Gave Lankans products to export and made a name in world tea market. How well they managed the tea and rubber estates and how they are run or ruined today ?
    We Lakans just go on complaining about every thing but never do anything right or useful and today we are going down the drain.

    We only created dishonest, lousy, good for nothing, thieves as politicians to rule us and now loudly complaining and criticising the people who helped us as robbers and land grabbers. You guys would have only grown more ‘kos’, eat and sleep under. Shame on all

    Be honest and do not just go on criticising the others who came and ruled us. They took their share or little more but don’t forget that they gave us a lot….and we are destroying everything given by them. Be fair ! Look at British ruled Malaysia, India and how they are prospering ! Lanka is a tiny little nation and all those colonials got only some ‘pea nuts’ in return for their immeasurable time, trouble and investments.

    You fools chased away all the efficient people and they are working for others and making those adopted nations prosperous.
    You guys still go on beating around the bush,fighting about who came first and about 2500 year old, unpracticed, unpracticable blah blah..and stay in the well, while others are developing and going far ahead in every sense. You will never wake up from under the ‘kos’ tree. Vote for the thieve poiticos, kill people, sideline all minorities and everything will be hunky dory.

    • 0
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      Belatedly, THANK YOU Billa for your cameo paean to the Burgher community who gave much and expected little.

      One fine example was Mr Schoorman, a planter in Daluwakottuwa (between Negombo and Kochchikade) with a largish estate, who before he ‘burghered-off’ to Australia in the early seventies, sold half his estate and divided the rest between his faithful workers. He was a fair, kind, and ultimately generous employer. They sing his praises even today.

  • 3
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    Billa:-

    “You fools chased away all the efficient people and they are working for others and making those adopted nations prosperous”

    No one said a Truer Word!

    Al the best Sri Lankan Brains have Emigrated to Pastures New, where their Expertise is Recognised and Appreciated!

  • 1
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    I think the issue is competance, after all, wouldn’t a politician like his project to run like a well oiled new duty free machine so he can get where he wants?

    See my point about compulsory education for all politicians. Political science, Engineering and how to overthrow foreign conspiracies.

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

      • 1
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        Siri Hettiarachchi

        “[Edited out]”

        Thanks for keeping it brief and logical.

  • 1
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    Since there appears to have been a lull in the outpourings from the IOP (Idiots on Parade) it probably justifies a summing-up: Not ONE of those writing (abusively)critical responses have made any reference to what the column contains!
    Perhaps, that is significant and indicative of the detritus that the MKR1 regime left behind!

    • 1
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      Emil van der Poorten

      “Not ONE of those writing (abusively)critical responses have made any reference to what the column contains!”

      Oh it is the unique cultural trait all Sri Lankans inherited from their ancestors, a shared value to be treasured and passed on to the future generations.

      I am doing my best to preserve it when I found out I was unable to expunge it.

    • 0
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      That pipe fitting is a misadventure- at the joint with the concrete there should be shoes/flange with rubber washers on either side. then it will not leak.
      Because of fire: over here we use engineering nylon even for our hot water pipes but there your solution is to bury them.
      Electricity: Try wind or solar and be independent.- write to a charity in the west and you would get all the parts. to talk to the lanka establishment you must throw a lot of money and yet because they are poor and their votes count it wont be done.

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