16 May, 2021

Blog

Dialectics For A Fast Evolving Scenario

By Kumar David

Prof. Kuma David

“The question whether objective truth can be attributed to human thinking is not a question of theory; it is a practical question. Man must prove the truth — i.e. the reality and power, the ‘this-sidedness’ of his thinking in practice. The dispute over the reality or non-reality of thinking that is isolated from practice is a scholastic question”. ~ Second Thesis on Feuerbach

Don’t turn away, this is not going to be a boring treatise in abstract Marxism. I will quickly get to my topic, which is that the political circumstances we are living through are evolving rapidly and we should be alert and adjust to changing situations. First however allow me a few paragraphs about Lenin’s most dynamic years, from February 1917 till he fell seriously ill in late 1921. He died in January 1924 due to complications from bullets lodged in him in Fanny Kaplan’s August 1918 assassination attempt. The February Revolution, (old Julian-style last week of February to early March, new Gregorian-style second week of March) took Lenin and the Bolshevik Party by surprise. When first the women and then the workers of Petrograd fired up leaderless demonstrations which overthrew the monarchy, the Bolsheviks who had prepared the proletariat for revolution for 30 years were stunned! Except Trotsky the general expectation among socialists was a Two Stage Revolution; first Tsarism would be replaced by the rule of the bourgeoisie, then it would be the turn of the subaltern classes – a common at the time static misreading of Marx’s dialectical thinking.

I see developments in Sri Lanka moving fast with unforeseen changes and a regime that most of us last year considered strong and stable, now tottering. Of course it’s going to fall tomorrow but it’s wobbling and the domestic environment is changing unpredictably. Catholics are visibly angry about an alleged “cover up of Easter bombing organisers; the in the Buddhist clergy have counterattacked the Cardinal.

Farmers in several areas are on the warpath according to News First. Furthermore nobody foresaw in 2019 the havoc covid would wreck, and the ferocity of UNHRC denunciations was unexpected. It is true that red lights was flashing about debt servicing and that the economy was in hopeless straits, but the convergence of bad news has been more rapid than foreseen and the regime has quickly gone belly up. All who join a mission with a single simple objective, to protect democracy, perforce, have to adjust to a fast changing scenario. The ability to think and act on one’s feet is what makes the Lenin of 1917-1921 interesting. He remains the star disciple of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, a 5th century BC classic on strategy. While shifting and manoeuvring Lenin never lost sight of his final objectives. This is why I call him the dialectic on two feet.

Often in this column I have referred to the dialectic as the scientific method; true but how boring! Yes true enough Darwin, the best example in science was an assiduous and utterly trustworthy accumulator of data but with a mind that was alive to how phenomena change and evolve. Gautama pointed out that nothing is permanent and that all things are evolving but it took Darwin to work out the precise mechanisms by which this was happening in biology. Still, the dialectics of science and nature are slow moving.  It is not exciting, it won’t keep you awake at night. Conversely, jumping from Two-Stage theory to instant proletarian revolution on 1 April 1917, capturing state power in October in defiance of scholastic Marxism, pushing back against attempts to militarise the trade unions and the refusal to give the Germans whole swathes of land so as to commit to the treaty of Brest-Litovsk (on both Trotsky erred), and in 1921 forcing through the New Economic Policy a key market oriented concession to capitalist farming, these were momentous strategic transitions, quite breath-taking. 

Bearded boring Bolshies one hundred years ago, what’s it got to do with us you ask? I’ll tell you. The commonality is that quite unexpectedly we find ourselves in a very fast changing scenario. Lenin in 1917-1922, was an embodiment of the dialectic because he was able to think on his feet and keep his side united using his singular ability to deal with a swift change while the other side (sides to be more accurate) was confused and splintered. This is a useful example for those who seek a democratic, plural and united Sri Lanka because to date this side (I call it ‘we’) have managed to keep our message consistent and united while the ‘other’ side is splintering. President Gota bemoans his unpopularity and his inability to address challenges because “there is no unity” or some such words. I don’t have a clue what skulduggery is going on within the Royal Rajapaksa dynasty, though now is just the right time to make visible adjustments. The public is persuaded that Gota failed because he is inexperienced and his inner circle is dumb; Mahinda and Basil deftly keep out of the limelight. Less and less do you hear from those you marvelled 18 months ago that Gota as the incarnation of a strong leader who would lead Lanka to harmony and splendour? Lee Kuan Yew was a frequently quoted prototype. Where have all those people gone? On the other hand the opposition to an authoritarian new constitution, to excessive deployment of retired military brass and those worried that democracy is under threat (harassment of rights workers, fear in the mind of critics, damaging the judiciary) have succeeded in retaining a degree of commonality.

The shot in the arm for ‘our’ side was the UNHRC Commissioner’s Report and the Geneva Resolution which has de facto created a united front of Sri Lankan domestic forces and international opinion. The uprising in Burma and the opposition to authoritarianism in Sri Lanka must not allow themselves to be intimidated by reactionary nationalists who shriek about foreign support and anti-national traitors. International assistance should be accepted on our terms and in any case democracy is a universal clause. Remember that when the Germans offered to transport Lenin from Switzerland to Petrograd in a sealed train (“Like a bacillus” in Churchill’s words) he did not hesitate for a moment to accept the offer. The rest is history. In Burma as in Sri Lanka the defeat of the Junta or the containment of an assault on democracy are transnational tasks. “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel” when it is used to conceal the machinations of dictators.

You may recall Marx’s quip about standing Hegel on his head which in today’s language we would say has gone viral. It is about the relationship between real life on one hand and theories and philosophies on the other. Tamil agitation and at an extreme the LTTE was not an ideology of a separate state and Tamil cultural-civilisation finding expression in an uprising. Quite the converse, it was the practical conditions of a community creating such angst that it gave rise to extreme nationalism among a large number. That Sinhala-Buddhist chauvinist extremism which is holding this country hostage is about ancient civilisation, about hela jathika abimane is humbug. There were class, economic, employment in the late colonial capitalist and state economies, and education sectors which turned Sinhala blood blue with national pride. The nationalists who pontificate the opposite need to be stood on their heads.  This critique of what is called the idealism (Ideas and philosophy is what determines the principal features of the real, material world) is very well known now and I think modern bourgeois sociology goes a long way towards recognising it.

What is perhaps not quite so well appreciated is that Marx was more a pupil than a critique of Hegel (not the post-Hegel epigenomes of course) in respect of the dialectic. He speaks of Hegel as a “mighty thinker” in the 1873 post-face to capital I. certainly spurned the “the ill-humoured, arrogant, and mediocre epigones” who treated Hegel like “dead dog”. What Marx took away from Hegel was how to understand change, the dynamics of how change progresses. The conflicts and compromises in real social and human relations which at times mediate and at times determine how the history of societies evolves. The sociological companion to Darwinian evolution.

We are now live in a fruit salad world of international relations where three powers will decide our fate – over which we have little control – India, China and the US. They are each no doubt pondering what to do about our fruitcake regime. Competition among them to one side, it is in the interests of all three to unscramble this tabbouleh and avert this country’s descent into a failed-state abyss, which thankfully we have still not reached. It is not possible that they each do not have calculations up their sleeves about how to sort out this mess but an initiative from the regime itself proposing a via media to the UNHRC and to the aforementioned powers as proof that Lanka will accept its reconciliation-accountability responsibilities and will maintain a foreign policy balance which will not discomfit any great power will ease a compromise.

The Double-Paksa regime must forget about enacting a divisive new constitution to claw power into the grasp of the Executive; if firing military sorts already hired for top slots is infeasible at least it must give an undertaking that there will be no more sounding brass speaking in garbled tongues; it must put scientists in charge of pandemic control and win, as Biden seems to be doing; dump this squalid and reckless foreign policy team; it must stop manipulating the judiciary and halt asinine Presidential Commission circuses; it must stop pandering to extremists since this impedes a deal with the minorities. All this is doable if the executive is restructured and a plural orientation is adopted. If the government wishes to pull itself up by its bootstraps it must undertake the policy changes outlined in this para, restructure its personnel, pray much harder and offer trays of mangoes to the deities superintending Sri Lanka. The $64K question is whether Gota has the appetite for this healthy and fruitful menu. Those with no confidence that Gota’s Executive, Mahinda’s government or Basil-in-waiting can extricate themselves from their predicaments, must plan and act on their own outside this purview. The sole self-imposed condition is that change must be constitutional; what’s the point of a fight for democracy if one begins by abrogating it?

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Latest comments

  • 42
    33

    Mr. David, I do not know much about Marxism and Leninism. But I did mention here in CT , PRIOR to the Presidential election and there after ” it may not be that bad to lose this election ” . Post Covid convinced me , I was not just right but ” It’s going to be blessing in disguise ” for Sajith Alliance to lose the general election too.
    Now the onus is on double paksas. It is going to be disaster of magnitude which will make past look miniscule.

    • 28
      5

      It’s a very good piece …….. breathtaking in scope ……… and apparent-complexity.

      But collective-human condition is more simpler than that ………. baser selfish survival instincts govern us ……….let Native, play the altruist about town.

      Let us first look at the very simple things first ……… and take it to the complex intellectual stratosphere …….. if need be.

      Let us consider the question one of our oldest Greek ancestors asked ……… “If your mother is sick, would you go around taking votes for a person to treat her …….. or would you take her to the best doctor in town?

      Look at the years of rigorous training and exams a doctor is compelled to undergo to treat perhaps 10,000 patients in his lifetime. …………. but collectively, to run the affairs of 22 millions of us, we vote for a person.

      What you have in the country with Gota as the leader now, is not much different to what you would have if you had voted good ol’ nimal fernando to be the chief surgeon in the General Hospital. Sure, nimal, with his buddies, will do the usual song and dance, how good he is …..until he is called upon to do the first operation.

      • 22
        9

        Continued

        nimal will choose Native Wedda and Old Codger as his assistants: go on to perform the operation …….. cut the head and stitch it to the butt, cut the leg and stitch it to the head ………

        And people will go …… Wow! nimal circumvented/short-circuited ……… human physical evolution with a few deft cuts.

        Ol’ nimal’s supporters Soma, Lester, Eagle Eye, ……… will say what a brilliant surgeon he is ……….. nimal’s detractors will ask where the hell did he come from? Has he done, not surgery, but any form of real work, before?

        This is what Gota is doing now ……. operating on the patient ………. at least he is more experienced than nimal ……. having cut up and disposed some people before.

        This is Lanka, …… and if history is any guide ……. the person waiting in the wings to replace Gota ….. will only be marginally better or worse …… can the bar be set any lower?

        This would be so funny if it wasn’t such a tragedy ……… And would be such a tragedy if it wasn’t so funny …………

        And another day goes by in Lanka …………..


        “An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.” — Charles Bukowski

        • 14
          2

          Nimal Fernando, amazing Bro. Now I understand why quite a few were excited to see you back. I always thought of myself as better teacher than clinician. But I learn from some of you here in CT how effective and efficient to communicate, which is handy for my upcoming business adventure. On a lighter note, I do remind my self does it really matter how it is communicated to Lankans ?

          • 10
            2

            As Nimal said it does not mean the next or after next in line is going to be any better
            I clearly felt and understood the economic impact during recessions in U.S especially the one Obama was faced with in his first term. There is no books written with answers to every man made financial calamities
            It takes a genuine person who is willing to listen, get help , at times take the risk of political downfall but yet try doing the most appropriate thing. People may have difference of opinion but he did help in getting the country out of meltdown. Now we see many countries applying some of the strategies of his in dire times. Lanka lacks such people and if there are, they are living abroad helping the country they reside and our politicians and self claimed wizards will not listen to such advise.

        • 7
          0

          Wonderful comment.
          .
          But “more simpler”? Wouldn’t have pointed out but for your trying to make me bedfellow of Jurie woman.

          • 4
            0

            SM,

            “But “more simpler”?”

            Yes, I was debating that …… and chose to go with Lankan Hip-Hop English …… to make Native envious ……… that I’m younger than him!

            I think you are an English teacher …. so you might find this interesting. English 101, after a few weeks of writing the professor called me aside and asked where I was from …… he had never even heard of SL. He said “Unfortunately your English is better than 95% of Americans …. well, fortunately for you; unfortunately for us.” I was stunned, as I had studied in Sinhala and knew how much better my parents’ English was. ………Now, after listening to Donald Trump and his MAGA cronies ……. I get his point.

            He said something very interesting ……… “English is a strange language …… if you know the rules, you can break them all …… so learn the rules, first.”

            I admired him a lot, not for his English but for his prowess with the ladies …… so I tried to learn the rules ……. after about 2 weeks, I got the brilliant idea, why waste years and years (like you guys) trying to learn the rules ……. just pretend you know them and start breaking them right away ……….

            That’s the game I’m playing with Native …… he doesn’t know if he is coming or going. :))

            • 2
              1

              nimal, I made a comment before seeing this.
              .
              That Yankee teacher’s advice is excellent. When rules are broken deliberately, the effect is often telling. (Not sure that “more simpler” does that ).
              .
              I was conscientious, and got at this:
              .
              https://www.englishclass101.com/
              .
              You ought to have pasted that for the guys who really need to learn their English. I don’t need to, but being a pedagogue one loses creativity – that is something you have in ample measure.
              .
              You probably don’t have the time to bother with the fate of a guy like me, but why not google these two words: “Thomian Pharisees”. I uniquely collocated them four times.
              .
              Not understanding what I have stated there means you don’t know how so much corruption gets to flourish in this land.
              .
              For writing, see also what I have told “Blabla’ below.

              • 2
                0

                “Thomian Pharisees”.

                Should be “Thomian Pharisees.” :))

                So you are a Thomian, then? …….. I was persona non grata even before I was born: not for anything I did ……. my father managed to get kicked-out ……… it sorta runs in the family! :)) …… I got kicked-out of more schools than he did.

                I was left to fend for myself …… it was a blessing in disguise …… I’m not cut from a peculiar/typical Lankan mould …….. left to feel insecure about English …….. and many other things. :))

                • 0
                  0

                  Well, have you googled?
                  .
                  What were you trying to do in the first two lines? I see no difference.
                  .
                  Anyway, they were so short of people in 1990 that Neville de Alwis wanted me as his successor as Warden at Mt Lavinia. When that fell through, purely owing to a confession of agnosticism on my part, they didn’t take anybody on for many years. Then they appointed Eksith Fernando; see the result here:
                  .
                  https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/009-SLLR-SLLR-2000-V-1-EKSITH-FERNANDO-v.-MANAWADU-AND-OTHERS-ST.-THOMAS-COLLEGE-CASES.pdf
                  .
                  Now explore. “Thomian Pharisees” tells of later developments. Unless you do some exploring, and then pose some questions, it will be a futile exercise for me to write.
                  .
                  Yes, so many of the most intelligent Old Boys (e.g. Kumar David) are ideologically so opposed to Old Boy Networks that they overlook the need to take account of the mesmerising cachet for just a school or two in the country. This has to be broken for common sense and honesty to prevail.

            • 0
              0

              This writing (comments still being accepted) is proving too good for most of us readers.
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/power-its-corruptions/
              .
              I’ve read it three times in four days, but I haven’t made my comment there yet. The author, much older than me, is distraught almost that all have ignored the article. I’ve emailed why I find it so difficult to respond.
              .
              There’s another article where nobody has said anything worthwhile – also two comments on display:
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/what-should-be-the-political-economic-alternative/

              .
              But it’s that first article, animal f that needs a few intelligent comments.
              .

              • 1
                0

                In the last line there, Nimal, the computers supposed AI has changed your name to “animal”
                .
                Panini

        • 8
          2

          nimal fernando

          Where the minister for homeland security, (Minister of Public Security) the prince of darkness?
          He is supposed to be looking for ANTISOCIAL Elements including saffron clad thugs. Please watch this clip:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7QuKIXrabw

          What do you suggest Gota should do to Sarath Weerasekera for ignoring thrill seeking young dumb asses who are bent on endangering themselves and others on busy highways instead breathing down Jaffna Mayors neck?

          Any chance they are your great grand children?

          • 7
            0

            Dear Native,
            thanks very much, I really appreciate your link.
            .

            I believe these young men are very likely Rajapakshe supporters. Like that bastard son of that brutal family then ran amok calling it ” night races” also in Kandy dalada medura premises, the kind of acts are becoming common today.
            :
            it has become their own PRIVATE property, the opposition’s resistance has no place. Thattamamalas stay in deaf and blind mode – for some reasons. All is as of today twisted, upside down. If this would have been found on a EUROPEAN HIGH WAY, traffic police would arrest them immediately, with the driver being charged with ” taking away his or her licence”. And the driver woudl have to go through psychologist exams before being released. That is the stand of european laws that control those countries leaving others in peace, and civilized.

          • 3
            1

            Native,

            “young dumb asses”

            Ah! The folly of youth! ……. Done worse: have driven around the streets of London after few bottles of straight vodka …… heading to Soho with some buddies …… lucky we never got caught ………

            Let them be young …….. as long as they don’t enter parliament later ……..

            “Any chance they are your great grand children?”

            I don’t even have grand children, let alone great grand children ….. why do Lankans always want to make me older than I am? Is that some form of insecurity? :))

            • 3
              0

              nimal, I’m sure that you are a capital fellow, and I’d dearly like to meet you.
              .
              I am a grandfather, and all that. A poor man, who’s never been outside Asia.
              .
              But what D***l did you mean by describing me as a “lecherous lout” – here:
              .
              https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/video-mrs-world-says-she-is-ready-to-hand-over-the-crown-after-crown-grabbing-fiasco/
              .
              I did make comments there, as well. I like to gaze on pretty village “Sinhalese-speaking” wenches, but I don’t approve of these parades of female human flesh.
              .
              BTW, one person who emerged from that with credit was Mayor Rosy:
              .
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RziAOm5UNdE
              .
              Yesterday I viewed her 30-minute interview with the usually horrid Chamuditha Samarawickrema. I can’t find it now. Above you seem to have only 4 minutes but even that I haven’t viewed. What a waste of time!
              .
              All distractions (others: aflatoxin in edible oils, etc) from the much more important issues being discussed here.
              .
              And nf, no hard feelings harboured by me, but let me see what witty riposte you come up with.

              .

              • 2
                1

                “lecherous lout”

                Pay no heed ……… I just tease people all the time; just ask Old Codger ………. Native is too serious for any of that!

        • 7
          1

          Nimal,
          If you donned a Brigadier’s uniform and used a bayonet while operating, I think you would get rave reviews from the Evil Eye / Jester quarters.
          Just make sure the bayonet is as blunt as Gota’s brain.

        • 6
          0

          nimal fernando,
          You deserve a clap, – an applause would be excessive.
          .
          I am coming in only because of Charles Bukowski.
          .
          Tell me. Who would you like to be, – An Artist or an Artiste. Not an intellectual is a known!

          • 0
            0

            “An Artist or an Artiste.”

            A con-artist ……. is more like it!

            But unlike Gota and them ……. I can say what I’m to people’s faces ….. and get away with it. I feel sorry for those who can’t!

            But I wish, I had my own chorus singing my praises behind me.

        • 4
          2

          nimal fernando

          Are you there, with crooks?
          Please read this, you will find a Pakistani CIA spy/agent, an influence peddler worked for our American President Gota and his brother for $6.5 million :

          Department of Justice
          Office of Public Affairs
          Political Donor Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Lobbying and Campaign Contribution Crimes, Tax Evasion, and Obstruction of Justice
          https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/political-donor-sentenced-12-years-prison-lobbying-and-campaign-contribution-crimes-tax

          Did you or have you ever in the past or present any close relationship with Imaad Shah Zuberi? The relationship was worth $6.5 million.

          • 0
            0

            Native,

            “The relationship was worth $6.5 million.”

            I made much more than that in the crash of March 2020 ……. Didn’t foresee the pandemic but was expecting a crash and had my powder dry.

            Money begets money ……….. my resources were limited …….. if Mahinda had entrusted me with his $18 billion to invest, instead of Cabral and Lester, today he’d be among the top 10. :))

            • 0
              0

              “Are you there”

              I try to be “not there,” when I can help it …….. America is a free country alright ……. but a very unfree/restrictive society with tremendous pressure to conform to a social-mould.

            • 1
              1

              nimal fernando

              “…….. if Mahinda had entrusted me with his $18 billion to invest, instead of Cabral and Lester, today he’d be among the top 10”

              I suppose the $18 Billion could be an conservative guesstimate. You ought to count total clan’s wealth.

              Now tell us why Ranil/Hopper Sirisena refused to throw all those crooks in Jail? Did you influence them? Was Ranil scared of Chinese?
              You don’t mind large Chinese colonies are being established around Hambantota and Port City.

              Be warned of Triad, gambling, money laundering, haven for criminals, separate legal system, deliberately divided sovereignty (whatever that maybe), prostitution, Sinhala/Buddhists facing Chinese racism in their own Sinhala/Buddhist country, question of status of lion flag and national anthem, …. Lyrics in English:

              Qilai! Buyuan zuo nuli de renmen,
              Ba women de xuerou zhucheng women xin de changcheng.
              Zhonghua Minzu dao liao zui weixian de shihou,
              Meigeren beipo zhe fachu zuihou de housheng.
              Qilai! Qilai! Qilai!
              Women wanzhong yixin,
              Mao zhe diren de paohuo,
              Qianjin!
              Mao zhe diren de paohuo,
              Qianjin! Qianjin! Qianjin! Jin!

              In case Gota needed Chinese National Anthem later.

      • 3
        1

        Wonderful comment.
        .
        But “more simpler”? Wouldn’t have pointed out but for your trying to make me bedfellow of Jurie woman.

    • 1
      0

      Those who feel that GOTABAYA aka Nandasini is different to POLONANARUWA man -Sirisena, please watch the video below

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlk830MJhBQs

      What happened to ” so called law and order” ?

      I thought at least one good thing would be, that is law and order after they grabed power, but as of today, GOTABAYA’s genitals are robbed out by his own family (Mara and Basil ballige putha).

    • 3
      0

      Prince Philiph ‘s funeral will restrict just to 30 people.
      .
      See how our DOUBLE PUKSHES celebrated it that PLANTATION minister ‘s funeral amidst high risks for the nation.
      :
      UK set examples to the world, but their commonwealth partners of srilanken nature, would not follow them.

    • 2
      10

      Chiv,mate your thoughts are cruel bordering inhumane. You say losing the election was a blessing in disguise for Sajith & losers like you. Just imagine had Sajith won ,how many deaths would have piled up in our mortuaries by now? Be grateful to Gota if you or your kith & kin live here.Amid all the difficulties still our country is on the top as one of the most efficient countries that have tackled Covid successfully. Yours India is now again struggling with a 3/4 wave. Again David is on his weekly weeping barrage against Gota & dreaming we SB will leave Gota with the downward economy. Which country has shown upward turn. Of course as a small country plunged into an abyss by the so called yahapalanites ,we will struggle but there were worse doomsayers than this at the time of yours Prabakaran.

      • 6
        1

        Bro Lanka Herath, I was not sure about responding but I will copy two lines of yours for you to read again
        . 1) your thoughts are cruel bordering inhuman ( because under Sajith many would have died? Is it a fact or your predictions ) 2) yours India is struggling with 3 / 4 wave. ((I guess they are not humans) Yours Sajith, Yours India, Yours Prabakaran Mate I do not own any of them. Don’t you think doomsayers are better than those who are in total DENIAL.

    • 3
      5

      Chiv,
      “It is going to be disaster of magnitude which will make past look miniscule.”
      —–
      Dravida invasions from Hindusthan starting from 3rd Century BC intended to massacre native Sinhalayo and grab their land were the worst disaster Sinhalayo faced throughout their history.
      LTTE Tamil terrorism carried out under the leadership of Prabhakaran was the main disaster befallen on native Sinhalayo after they gained Independence from colonial rule. The disasters Sinhalayo face now are miniscule compared to the disaster brought by Tamil terrorists who massacred Sinhalayo for three decades to grab their land.

  • 39
    29

    Predictions are The Dollar will go north to 350 LKR.in few years. Government has no plans to revive economy. Chinese will further exploit the situation. No country will take the risk when budgets are tight and much better options are available in ,countries where economy is temporarily stagnated. Also when Biden administration with economy in mind , pumps trillions on infrastructure and other mega developments, it will obviously take up investments and free cash.
    I am sure many Western countries have similar plans too.

  • 34
    31

    What Kirella saying is Colombo Pong Cing is only 2nd Singapore. Because Chinese, Muslims and Tamils and Westerners are the one going to run it under its new Federal Constitution.
    Jeyawewa!
    Viva Colombo Pong Cing!

  • 38
    21

    Great article, Kumar; I’m glad I wasn’t put off by the opening para and ploughed on.

    I think your analysis is spot on, and solutions practical, but can we count on the raccoons in charge who are inebriated with delusions of grandeur, to even blink? For the sake of our country and our kids, I hope that I am wrong and that the gonaas will take heed.

    There are several typos in the article, which does affect the context in a few important places, and I would respectfully urge better proof-reading by authors, and copy editing by CT, to make these articles a better read. Rarely will one find a Rajan Philips article with such errors.

    • 23
      8

      Oh God Easton,

      I am making proofing goofs every time I make a change to a draft and fail to amend the related tense or adverb or an indefinite or definite article. My ancient vintage is no help and I suppose subeditors are too bust these days to assist. This happens in every piece I write and I am unable to overcome the deficiency.

      Apologies to all my readers.

      • 17
        7

        The capacity to apologise gets you excused.
        .
        These may puzzle:
        .
        “of course, it’s NOT going to fall tomorrow . . . the ? in the Buddhist clergy have counterattacked the Cardinal . . . from those WHO marvelled 18 months ago”

        .
        Few, on the other hand, will know if havoc “covid would wreck or WREAK havoc”.

      • 14
        5

        Interesting to see the tsunami of “dislikes” to all the comments supporting your article, KD.

        Wonder whether old Nando is getting jittery and has let the cats out?

    • 13
      0

      Grammarly is the best online version to proofread. I have found it very useful. https://app.grammarly.com/. You can register and use it.

      • 2
        0

        I agree, Blabla. I have the free version, but it slows the computer a good deal.
        .
        The paid version is very expensive – could somebody else check and let us know. Maybe over Rs 3,000/= per month, even for home use.
        .
        Going on what the free version does, the paid version will be fantastic. It’ll improve anybody’s writing – but that doesn’t mean “automatic writing”. The user has to know English, understand the suggestions, and reject quite a few things.
        .
        Retired “Village English Teacher”, Panini Edirisinhe

  • 19
    33

    The dialectic was Hegel’s idea. He used it to explain how history evolves. Marx simply applied it to economic systems. It seems Marx is correct, to some extent. Capitalism is exhausted. Productivity gains from automation have exacerbated class divisions. But contrary to the expectations of the Marxists, people will not move towards socialism and then Communism, as Marx predicted. Western/First-World governments will probably apply some kind of permanent UBI scheme to keep the masses placated. Unsurprisingly, nationalism is also on the rise. The best example being Brexit. Trump was also a nationalist president. Western European countries are expelling/restricting Muslim migrants because of possible backlash from the natives. Burka ban is taken for granted.
    KD says 3 countries control SL’s destiny. I disagree. USA is too busy with Iran. Iran has all the resources in place to enrich uranium to 90% and make a nuclear bomb. Either the USA starts a new war to stop this, or the Middle East will explode. KD is hoping for an internal uprising to get rid of Gota. Will not happen. No one wants another Easter attack.

  • 17
    36

    When is the next general election to be declared as per the Constitution?
    .
    Who is going to LEAD a popular upsiring to topple the government before that date according to Professor Kumar’s Dialectics?

    Soma

    • 22
      1

      It’s 4.35 am. The regime is rattled. Five green thumbs have appeared for soma, and nine for Lester. More significantly, 14X3 reds for chiv and Mallaiyuran, seven for Easton, and four for Kumar.
      .
      And comments have only just started coming in.

    • 23
      13

      soman

      “Who is going to LEAD a popular upsiring to topple the government before that date according to Professor Kumar’s Dialectics?”

      Why does anyone seriously want to topple an already imploding shaky government? You know anyone whose desire warrant him/her to be part of the implosion?

  • 32
    6

    There’s little doubt about it; the regime is tottering. It is up to us to keep warning those we meet that piling more racism on racism is going to be the one strategy that the Double-Pakshas still have at their command.
    .
    It is a strategy that may well work. Unless we make our warnings so clear and frequent that the silly Sinhalese just cannot ignore our prophecies. Yet, we mustn’t allow the economy to be in a shambles, and we cannot afford to topple the Pakshas in a naked coup lest we usher in endless insurrection.
    .
    I repeat; our task is to keep warning, in Sinhalese, of the horrors that the Paksha government are well on the way to inflicting on us. The spectre of economic ruin must be sensed, and nipped in the bud if the changes are to be welcomed by the huge hordes who “just vote”. That has to be our role, who cannot be heroes.

    • 3
      13

      Sinhala_man
      .
      Rajapaksa was defeated TWICE in 2015.
      Can do again.

      Soma

      • 5
        1

        Defeated by whom?
        .
        Untrustworthy My3, and by the UNP, which this time round could get nobody elected from the District Results.
        .
        Elections on 17th November 2020? They are entitled to one National List MP. Ranil has nominated nobody yet – not even himself!
        .
        Gamini Somaratne aka “soma”, guys like you use racism to whip up frenzy among the Sinhalese.
        .
        We all suffer as a result.
        .
        We will not resort to violence; I will not support separatism.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

        • 3
          0

          Dear Sinhala_Man,
          I wish to express my regret at something you had expressed, indiscriminately.
          – ‘ I will not support separatism’.
          The impression that Tamils want separation is pure imagination of those who have no good excuse to deny us our rightful place in the society.

          • 0
            0

            Dear Nathan,
            .
            We cannot pretend that we don’t have two quite different linguistic (and therefore cultural groups) in the country. In the case of a few, our thinking in, and using, English enables us to straddle the differences.
            .
            You are right; what I said could be misunderstood. Personally, I want you and me to belong to the same country. I appeal to you to give that Single State a chance to acquire credibility.
            .
            However, I realise that it may well be too late to avoid separation. I will not fight against those who want separation. “soma’s” hypocritical tactic is to pretend to support separation so as to deny you rights within the prevailing system. If separation becomes a real possibility, he will fight against it. You’ve already told me that you don’t want separation. So, we agree. We must work to increase our numbers.
            .
            We can’t be neutral on this: “Today rightful place is not given to Tamils.”

  • 35
    4

    It seems it did not take long for Nandasena and the rest of his regime to fail. There have been other leaders in the world who were successful in combating the pandemic while keeping the country economically steady as much as possible. Nandasena was far too busy making sure Muslim lawyers were arrested, racist policies were implemented, and the minority not allowed to bury their dead according to WHO regulations. Unfortunately Sri Lanka is getting what people asked for, and disregarded the warnings when they voted for this disastrous lot.
    So are those roads still clean?

    • 13
      0

      May be not. You have the night market open as a 1st Tranche of the revival

  • 3
    27

    SL has no future as one nation.

    The island must be split into 3 mono ethnic nations equitably and people must be relocated. That is the only way to dignity, self respect, justice, peace and prosperity.

    Otherwise SL will end up either like Myanmar or Nazi Germany. Some will be happy.

    • 12
      3

      Two.
      Muuslims are Tamils who practise Islam as their religion.

      Soma

    • 2
      11

      Sinhala_man
      .
      Rajapaksa was defeated TWICE in 2015.
      Can do again.

      Soma

      • 5
        0

        soman

        “Rajapaksa was defeated TWICE in 2015.
        Can do again.”

        What is your hidden agenda?
        Are you working on cunning plan?

        Now I am being burdened with two responsibilities:
        First how to liberate Buddhists from Sinhala/Buddhism and the second being how to protect sovereignty (whatever that is) from China.

        I should take this opportunity to remind you, now you don’t have VP the psychopath/LTTE to protect this island from alien invasion (Sovereignty whatever that is).

        Look at Shavendra, he is not mentally and physically fit to lead his troops. Kamal on the other hand “all talk and no action”.

        You should take some responsibility.

  • 24
    4

    Still there is enough time for Gotabaya to correct where SL is today. All he has to do is to start first with eradication of Racism from the minds of most Majority and some Non-Majority communities. The best way to achieve it and also to prove the the UN that SL is a law abiding country is to establish an Independent Truth and Reconciliation Commission where a nominee of the President, a nominee of the Opposition and a nominee of the Chief Justice sitting at the head table . Foreign media should be given access to this commission’s proceedings. What this would do is to expose the illegal acts of both Majority and Non-Majority communities what they have done wrong and how they have hurt the other. This would be the foundation for a united Sri Lanka where we all live as Sri Lankans and not as Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Catholics ( a recent voting group created by Cardinal) etc… President Gotabaya can do this if he only puts his heart and soul on to it.

    Will he have the Guts and the Commitment to do this even if there are opposition to it from the petty minded Racist Nationalists both from Sinhalese and Tamils?

  • 21
    4

    Thanks KD, That was a very good analysis and possible outcomes. Hope democracy survives at the end for SL to keep the flag flying high, The part regarding Lenin, Trotsky and Marx was a good learning part for me.
    Why is that, if not all the time, but surely for number of times this faction of the political elite are governing with 2/3rd majority in parliament, the death knell or obituary notice of D. E. M. O’Crasy, keeps popping up. Very Strange indeed. Is it because of the grouping of the syndicate (Lemon Puff, Mapillas, doctor/professors of repute – latter respectfully virtuous of the honour and trust of the awarding institution) or lack of understanding of human feelings or educational backwardness and garnering of worldly knowledge and providing, mutual respect to other living beings in this land. That is the last expectation one would have in this thrice blessed land of SL and premier followers of Gautama the Buddha. Perhaps you could give us an insight in one of your future discourses. Look forward earnestly.

    • 1
      6

      Mahila,
      “Why is that, if not all the time, but surely for number of times this faction of the political elite are governing with 2/3rd majority in parliament, the death knell or obituary notice of D. E. M. O’Crasy, keeps popping up.”

      Because those who suffer from ‘Defeat-Syndrome’ do not like to admire anything done by the party that defeated them.
      There was no democracy at all when megalomaniac Prabhakaran ruled North East of the country but the guys suffering from ‘Defeat-Syndrome’ think democracy flourished during that time. During “Jadapalana’ Government elections were not held and the ‘Royal Gang’ sitting in Temple Trees gave orders to arrest their political opponents but the guys suffering from ‘Defeat-Syndrome’ think democracy flourished during that time.
      When the country has a democratically elected President who conducted election even during COVID-19 pandemic and planning to conduct PC elections that were postponed indefinitely by ‘Jadapalana’ Government, the guys suffering from ‘Defeat-Syndrome’ think democracy is going to die.

  • 22
    0

    Prof Kumar David,
    Historically the so called Marxist never understood the essence of Marxism , but spent all their energy on hair splitting arguments and ended up in self destruction whereas the capitalists understood capitalism and allowed it to evolve all the time from Laissez-faire capitalism, state capitalism, neo liberalism and of course globalization and used democratic and human rights facade to hoodwink the masses.

    The outcome of all these manifestations is that capitalism still survive of course in new avatar, leaving Marxism/ Communism/ socialism to the dustbin of history.

    The proof of this thesis is found in the last Para of this article of Prof Kumar David – an unrepentant Marxist where he advises Gota to reform himself and establish real capitalism in line with JR. Jeyawardene.

    Dialectics to serve capitalist masters?

  • 25
    1

    While reading the articulate and sophisticated article that denotes some class, I was distracted by the YouTube video clip of a saffron clad individual who referred to His Eminence Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith just by his name while insulting and challenging him at the same time. I am a Buddhist, my parents too were Buddhist, and we hail from a “respectable” family in Kandy, having had much in the way of historic relationships with its ancient Buddhist temples. It makes me ashamed of my religion’s purveyors and advocates in Sri Lanka to listen to such low rhetoric and abuse. To be quite frank, it is disgusting to watch such video-clips as it indirectly demeans my religious belief system as well.

  • 5
    10

    L.P.
    Ignore this lonely loud mouth. A Rajapaksa hater to the core.
    Malcolm Ranjith’s prority is national unity. His neutrality has irked UNP hardcore who go by the dictum he who is not us is against us.
    Majority of Sangha hierarchy do highly admire and respect Malcolm Ranjith.

    Soma

    • 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

    • 9
      2

      soman

      “Majority of Sangha hierarchy do highly admire and respect Malcolm Ranjith.”

      Do you know why Sangha hierarchy highly admires and respects Malcolm Ranjith? Sangha know Ranjith is a cross dresser, inside his catholic robe he wears a kāṣāya?

  • 4
    4

    That GR cannot deliver on the economy was expected; but it was feared that his chauvinist line would have the opposition at bay and keep down mass protests. Seemingly effective handling of COVID-19 and the myth that the Army did a good job gave credence to that view,.
    It was possible to keep infection down without putting the public through undue hardship. GR and his advisors blew it. Keeping competent medical personnel out of decision making denied them the chance to learn from early inexpensive mistakes. The tragedy, more than the avoidable spread of COVID-19, is the impact of mishandling on the livelihood of low income groups. That poses a serious threat to GR.
    What would an early collapse of the regime, even if possible, mean for the country? What are alternatives?
    Speculation about which foreign power will hold sway takes us nowhere.
    Where will political instability combined with economic crisis take us?
    The immediate scenario I fear is a right-wing takeover. The armed forces are not quite up to the task. It will take an alliance of SB chauvinist populism and sections of the armed forces.
    No opposition party or alliance is ready to arrest it by countering the ideology in command. They still play ball with it.

    • 3
      7

      Where do we go from here?
      It is all too easy to denounce the culprits and blame all and sundry, and be satiated with a sense of achievement.
      I do not expect answers to emerge from this forum.
      But it is not a bad place to raise pertinent issues if it will even only provoke serious thought.

    • 0
      2

      “Seemingly effective handling of COVID-19 and the myth that the Army did a good job gave credence to that view,.”

      Nonsense. The data speaks for itself. A mortality rate of less than 1000.

      “but it was feared that his chauvinist line…”

      Of course Gota appears as a “chauvinist” to the separatists and Eelamists because he executed their surrendering heroes on the spot. What is conveniently left out is that these same heroes held 30K civilians hostage and shot in the legs those who ran to the Army side. These heroes were also busy forming regiments of 10 and 12 year old child soldiers – wearing bata slippers – to fight grown men, during the last days of the war. Keeping in mind, why was Gotha elected at all? Because some members of the minority decided to attack churches and hotels. If Gotha was a real chauvinist, he would demand monetary reparations from the Islamic community, both to the victims families and as allowance for the ensuing economic damage.

      “The immediate scenario I fear is a right-wing takeover.”

      There is no right-wing takeover as long as useless opposition parties like TNA, UNP, still exist.

  • 0
    0

    L
    We are talking about a country that could have limited infection to two digits and deaths to one digit.
    It was 2-digit infection in late February and 3-digits in mid-May (despite prayers for worse by some). The climb that started in October has lifted the figure close to six digits.
    Deaths crept up to 20 through October, which meant that infection-mortality ratio was 0.2%. Very impressive.
    Now we have 600 deaths making the infection-mortality ratio 0.6%. That is not impressive.
    We have to figure out what went wrong in October, and why.
    Comparisons have to be in comparable contexts. We could have been among best performers in Asia, but have slipped up.
    *
    There are many who have consistently rejected separatism but consider GR to be a worse chauvinist than his better liked brother.

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