19 October, 2021

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Economy Suffers With Few People Acting On The Slogan ‘Sri Lanka Is Ours And Not Theirs’

By W A Wijewardena –

Dr. W.A Wijewardena

Behaviour like low level animals

The slogan that is being shouted in an angry loud voice by a minority section of Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhist population conveys a non-negotiable message to minorities in the country. It says: ‘Sri Lanka is ours and ours only. All others who wish to live here should do so according to our terms. So, take it or leave it’.

This type of instinctive behaviour is imbedded in the DNA of lower level animals who operate in packs for reproduction and economic power. Thus, a pack of wolves or monkeys will demarcate a certain geographical area for themselves and resist with deadly violence the entry of any intruder of the same species.

For them, the law is that ‘We’ have the right to brutalise ‘They’ who do not belong to us. Hence, exchange, interaction and cooperation – common grounds that ensure welfare, well being and prosperity – are anathema to them.

Homo sapiens is an evolved species

According to historian Yuval Noah Harari who documented the history of humankind in his 2011 book ‘Sapiens’, the Homo sapiens – Man, the Wise – too, behaved in the same instinctive fashion some 10 to 20 thousand years ago. These early humans who lived simply by hunting and gathering had to claim ownership to geographical territories to ensure the continuity of the ‘pack’.

However, about 10,000 years ago, they embraced the fundamentals of economics – producing grain by using their labour, implements and land funded by money lent by some wealthy Homo sapiens – by being farmers. Those farmers had to depend on more economics when they produced a surplus or could not produce enough to meet theirs, on the one hand, and when their needs expanded beyond domestic supplies, on the other. That gave birth to trade and commerce, migration of Homo sapiens and inter-settlement and inter-breeding.

Thus, the hard-wired DNA of Homo sapiens evolved into a new system in which they could cooperate with others for sustenance, well being and prosperity. Harari has identified three factors which have united the peoples of the globe in this manner: Money or economics, empire-building and mega-religions. Now, some sections of peoples of the world – Sri Lankans are not an exception – have proved Harari wrong. Instead of uniting peoples of the world, they have caused a ‘fight to death division’ among them. It simply shows that their DNA has not evolved beyond that of lower level animals.

Attempts to seize economic power through religion

But in a way Harari is correct. The three uniting forces are still at work. Accordingly, the desire for economic power has forced people to go for empire building. It is in turn justified by using religion. Therefore, economic power, empire building and religion go hand in hand together. This was evident in the Crusades that were launched in the 11th to 12th centuries in the Mediterranean.

It was supposed to be a religious war; but at the end, it was pure economic power that framed the rules of the game. The Oxford historian Peter Frankopan has given a number of examples in his 2015 book ‘The Silk Roads’ to substantiate this point. One is the power struggle for Venice which was at that time a thriving trading port like Singapore or Dubai today. The Christian crusaders had promised that the territories they would liberate in the Holy War would be duly handed to the Roman Emperor. They had done so by swearing an oath on the relics of the Holy Cross.

But, after the territories were captured, there was no sign of fulfilling the promise they had given to God. When they were reminded of this, one of the Crusaders, Roger of Sicily, says Frankopan, who had made fortunes out of the Holy War, had ‘raised his leg and then given a loud fart’. He had then, pronounced confidently, ‘By the truth of my religion, there is more use in that [that is, in the loud fart] than in what you have to say [that is, meeting what was promised to God]’.

Thus, the Crusaders who fought a religious war continued to manage Venice after they captured it. With that, they took control of the entire trade in the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean caliphs too used religion to consolidate economic power

According to Frankopan, about two centuries ago, the Caliphs of the Mediterranean had also grabbed economic power by using the new religion, Islam.

Says Frankopan in The Silk Roads: ‘The Muslims had taken over a world that was well-ordered and studded with hundreds of cities of consumers – taxable citizens in other words. As each fell into the hands of the caliphate, more resources and assets came under the control of the centre’.

What this means is that the battle for economic power is normally fought with religion at the forefront of the battalions. Several centuries later, the Mogul invasion of India or Europeans’ invasion of Asia and Americas too took place in the same fashion.

Priests delivering religion to those seeking economic power

Religion was, therefore, used by crafty people to capture economic power which was a sine qua non for a good life. Frankopan has put this very cogently in The Silk Roads as follows: ‘A series of chain reactions had been set in motion, whereby competition for resources and military confrontation prompted the development of sophisticated belief systems that not only made sense of victories and success, but directly undermined those of neighbouring rivals’.

Then, it was the duty of the priesthood to give moral support to those who went to war in the name of religion, but in actual practice, to gain economic power. The priests were, therefore, recognised without questioning or protest as the source of the newly acquired economic power of nations. This recognition gave them an acquired sense of self-confidence elevating them to a higher status in society.

To match this higher status, their role was extended to the spheres of politics giving them another unique power: that is to dictate terms to rulers as well as to the people at large. Frankopan has noted this originating in ancient Persia. But the examination of human history shows that it has been the general rule in all subsequent societies.

The problem with such ‘behind-the-scene political manoeuvring’ by priests is that while they have called the shots, they were not accountable for their actions. If the things were successful, there was no problem. But if they went wrong, the rulers who acted according to their advice did not suffer since they had enjoyed political power for the time being. It was the people at large who would fall victim to such political machinations by priests who are not accountable for their action.

Fear of losing economic power

Today, the old human experience is repeated in a new guise in many parts of the world. It may be the religion or ethnicity that is being put forward as the cover.

In India, even today, caste is being used effectively to keep economic power among privileged groups. The Brexit campaign in the UK was targeted against migrant ethnic groups that had flooded the country from Eastern European countries. Even the migrants from Asia and Africa are reported to have supported Brexit because of the threat these East European migrants have posed to their jobs and future.

In Myanmar, minority ethnic group Rohingya is being targeted by the majority Burmese Buddhists because they feel that these minorities have captured economic power which they claim has been theirs. In Malaysia, the ethnic Malays feel threatened by minority Tamils and Chinese which led to the proclamation that Malaysia is the country of the Bhumiputras – the Sons of the Soil.

In Sri Lanka, during the whole of the post independence era, the majority Sinhala Buddhists have claimed that they have been threatened to extinction by the minority religious groups like Sinhala, Christians and Muslims or minority ethnic groups like Tamils and again, Muslims. In early 1950s, a popular slogan uttered by the majority Buddhists was the onset of a Catholic invasion. While this threat has been imbedded in their psyche, a new threat against Tamils got rooted in them since around mid 1950s and against Muslims, especially after the end of civil war in 2009.

Economic cost of ethnic war

This need not be the case since economic power in Sri Lanka and elsewhere has been captured by the state in modern days. Functioning as a secular organ, the state has to be the arbiter between rival ethnic, religious and social groups. It has to protect the rights of every citizen living within it. These rights specifically mean property rights – the right to one’s body and physical property irrespective of one’s ethnicity, faith or social standing.

Yet, clashes occur mainly due to the failure of the state to function as an impartial arbiter, on the one hand, and economic hardships that have been brought on the citizenry in general in bad times, on the other. With regard to the first case, the political power enjoyed by the majority of the citizens has prevented the state from functioning as an impartial arbiter. This leads to discontent among the minority groups forcing them to protest peacefully at first and with deadly violence later.

This is the root of the Tamil insurrection in Sri Lanka that cost its economy at the rate of about 2% in economic growth every year since early 1980s. During the five year period immediately after the economy was opened in 1977, the country recorded an average economic growth of 6.3%. After the 1983 anti-Tamil riots that propelled the country to a bloody civil war, the growth decelerated despite the maintenance of the same level of investment as before. The average growth rate during the 27 year period till the end of the war in 2009 amounted to 4.3%.

The loss of the output by about 2% every year at a compound rate precluded Sri Lanka from reaching the average income per citizen, known as the Per Capita Income, needed to reach the status of a rich nation within a generation. Thus, the proponents of ethnic violence had given the loud message to every Sri Lankan: suffer the economy.

Central Bank’s plan to stabilise the economy are being derailed

After the end of the war, the economy was driving on the high hope of ethnic reconciliation. Accordingly, the annual average growth rate boomed to 8.4% from the previous low rate of 4.3%.

But, with no effective reconciliation with the minority Tamils and the onset of a new economic power struggle with minority Muslims, growth began to falter since 2013. During 2013 to 2017, the average growth fell once again to 4.3%, the rate which the country had recorded when it had been going through the costly ethnic war.

Against this background, the Central Bank had begun to consolidate the macroeconomy providing a boost to long term investments by the private sector – both local and foreign. Inflation rate was successfully reduced to 5%, government revenue was temporarily raised to 14% of GDP and measures were introduced to tackle the alarming debt picture as well as the ailing external sector.

The hope of continuing with this program has now been shattered by organised attacks on minority Muslims in Gintota, Ampara and Kandy recently. Since the present good governance government had failed to nip them in the bud, a fear psychosis has been created among other minorities in the country, namely, Christians and Tamils.

This was voiced by the leader of the opposition and leader of Tamils in Parliament whilst participating in the Parliamentary debate on the attack on Muslims in Kandy.

These concerns should not be ignored since they will affect the economy victimising all citizens, including the majority Sinhalese. They all have to shoulder the bill to pay compensation to victims. Given the present budgetary problems, they will have to do so by sacrificing other important needs. The axe will thus surely fall on their plans to have good schools for children or good medicare for citizens. That is the direct cost to be borne by them.

Violation of property rights of minorities with impunity 

In addition, there is an indirect cost on the economy as well. It will come from the reluctance of both local and foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the country. They would be dissuaded by the fear of losing their investments if they are burned down or their lives taken away by hooligans on flimsy excuses.

The economists call this violation of property rights, the protection of which is essential for any nation to sustain its economic growth. When a section of the majority Sinhala Buddhists can take those property rights away from minorities at will and with total impunity, the feeling which investors would get that their property rights are at stake cannot be avoided.

These hooligans are at war with Muslims today. It is only a matter of time that they would extend their attack on minority Tamils, Sinhala Christians and foreign investors whom they will consider as enemies of the Sinhala Buddhist nation. Once all these groups have been taught a lesson for conspiring against them, their attention would be directed toward those among the majority Sinhala Buddhists who would do well economically. LTTE which annihilated their own members has already proved this point.

Hence, if the Government is interested in long term economic prosperity, it has to observe the rule of law to the letter. Failure to do so in search of short-term political expedience would mean only one thing as far as the economy is concerned. Sri Lanka’s economy has lost about 2% of its annual economic growth during the horrendous ethnic war in the past. It is poised to make a similar loss in the future as well.

Suffer the economy

Hence, the good governance government which is accused of failing to observe the rule of law and the extreme groups among the majority Sinhalese as well as among the minority groups have jointly delivered only one message: Suffer the economy.

When the economy suffers, it is all Sri Lankans who will jointly suffer.

*The writer, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, can be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 1
    14

    Why the Black market or under the table economics are not considered legal. Probably it is Ravi borunayake’s shipping compnay went into debt about Rs 64 million. becaose of it’s two directors employed under the usband and wife had done some fradulent transactions. Two directors had conenctions with Duminda dissanayake. so may be this happened once Galle on Ravi stepped down as the minister. IT has happened in Wathththalala. Ranil also had connections to this. it says and he says that is why he stays to counter act those. Look strange..

    • 10
      0

      Nice article…. Now, the ball is in the Sinhala people’s court. They have to get out of the box and start some critical thinking and sensible action by WARNING THE RULERS to put things straight, to follow the rules and always asking the people to follow the rules, they the politicians must reform themselves and set an example first. Both UNP and SLFP allowed racists and racism to take its own course as it was always beneficial to the ruling Elites and their families to keep the goose always with them, that lays the golden eggs. Keeping a psychopathic criminal like Champika Ranawaka is a total abomination hurled against the right thinking people’s consciousness. Champika kept on doing terrorism for the last 25 years by sneaking into any government that came to power and abused the privileges of the state to destabilise the country due to his prejudices. Either he must be reformed or sent to a mental rehabilitation centre…. If not someone must BUST HIM UP and send him back to where he came from…. The Hell.

    • 5
      0

      I think safety should be above the economy right ?

      These pundits just add their thoughts not thinking twice that is all.

      I think we should feel secure above anything else.

    • 13
      1

      My Sri Lanka is not a Sinhala Country or a Tamil Country or an English Country. It is not a Buddhist Country or a Hindu Country or a Muslim Country or a Christian Country. It is not a Sinhala Country that belongs to Sinhala-Buddhists, Sinhala-Hindus, Sinhala-Muslims and Sinhala-Christians. It is not a Tamil Country that belongs to Tamil-Buddhists, Tamil-Hindus, Tamil-Muslims and Tamil-Christians. It is not a Country belonging or dedicated to any one religion or ethnicity.

      My Sri Lanka have had the benefit of several waves of cultural influences throughout its history and this multi-culture (language, religion, ethnicity, etc.) was prevalent in my country for many centuries. It belongs to all the linguistic, ethnic, religious, and ideological groups with their historical and cultural backgrounds who have become citizens of the Sri Lankan state and who are therefore known all over the world as ‘Sri Lankans’. We Sri Lankans have no other country but Sri Lanka.

      My Sri Lanka will ensure that no person residing on the territories of the state shall enjoy any more privileges than those enjoyed by any other and that the constitution of the state ensures, protects and defends this equality and prevents and punishes any and all infringements or threats of infringement thereof.

      My Sri Lanka will ensure that no person is above the law and that waiver and release of Liability conferred on the President or any other official shall be limited only to those actions performed in official capacity and authorized by the parliament.

      • 4
        0

        Excellent summary for any Patriotic Sri Lankan – should be taught in each school /this should be the oath statement for the armed forces/police/judges/presidents/prime ministers/and all other elected officials & civil servants.

    • 1
      0

      Dr. W.A Wijewardena,
      RE: Economy Suffers With Few People Acting On The Slogan ‘Sri Lanka Is Ours And Not Theirs’

      Thanks for the article. Why are the majority of the Sinhala Buddhists remaining silent, when this lunatic Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” fringe causes mayhem for Buddhism and the country? What about a Citizen’s force, surprising all law abiding citizens, (because the police is NOT fully doing their duty), with a charter to respect and protect life and rupture from marauders, rioters and killers, and to initiate civil charges against those who create property destruction,, like the American ACLU?

      https://www.aclu.org/

      To begin with those Few Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” People Acting On The Slogan ‘Sri Lanka Is Ours( Para-Sinhala “Buddhist” ) And Not Theirs, ( All other Paras), must be told the truth.

      Ask the Paras to provide DNA samples, to show unequivocally, they are Paradeshis, Paras, Strangers in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, who came from South India, their homeland, and that they are Sinhala speaking Para-Demalas from South India, per genetics.

      References:

      Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people:
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258335458_Mitochondrial_DNA_history_of_Sri_Lankan_ethnic_people_Their_relations_within_the_island_and_with_the_Indian_subcontinental_populations

      Journal of Human Genetics 59(1) · November 2013

      Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka

  • 3
    10

    What is the story, IMF is not giving the installments of lonas that the govt get. One installment is paid to an american company. Central bank withdrew some Rs 16 billion from the market but added some Rs 34 billion in another way. Maithripala Wants to establish an economic council with the Sri lankan experts but Ranil’s economic council of charitha rathwaththa, PAskaralingam and Arjun mahendran is not allowed to be dissolve by Ranil. It is the same thing that Arjun Mahendran was not allowed stepped down by Ranil and Presidnt had to force it. IMF came recently, met Ranil but not the president. there were for five days. Why even not you were invited and only Ranil was met. His economic knowledge (only grade nine passed) come from attending international economic conferences and also ticket is sent for some one else.

    • 11
      0

      Jimmy the A.. H..l.

      The topic is about muslims under attack. Not about Ranil or Mahendran.
      We can have a different session for your BS.

  • 1
    0

    How true doctor! This low level of animalistic behavior linking people to territorial land has costed the nation. This is not limited the majority community of any given nation but minorities themselves as well. Just as much as for some to sloganize that whole of Sri Lanka is ours the Sinhalese, there are others, say for some to sloganize that North of Sri Lanka (and perhaps the East) belongs to us the Tamils. Yet there are others to sloganize that South East of Sri Lanka belongs to us the Muslims. It is nauseating. This is why we must have positive steps to forge the unity among people. I am happy to note the publications in some other media that instances of say Muslims offering Alms to Buddhist Priests and in one instance where the Muslims even carried the body of a late priest. There are publications of instances of Buddhists assisting Muslims in their activities. We must encourage forging of unity among people. Why not let that outfit headed by the former Prez CBK come up with some positive, practical plans for forging unity among people? Have programs for children to start with. My attitude being comfortable with national unity springs from the fact that during my time as a school kid in my school, we had a mix of students of all ethnicities and religions in our class. To me everybody was a human. I am not suggesting replicating the model but evolving some towards it. Singapore claims that in forging unity among its diverse people, the policy in allocating housing in HDB estates played a major role. I further observe that this divisive speech contributes to the division of its people in Sri Lanka, which is strictly prohibited in Singapore.

    • 2
      0

      Tamils at the beginning never sloganized that the north and the east is theirs( it is theirs and this has been historically proved and internationally recognised. All colonial powers the Portuguese the Dutch and the British also recognised this historical fact) until the Sinhalese started to marginalise them and used all the resource’s of the state to steal their lands and settle Sinhalese on a large scale on these land in order to marginalise them and make them a voiceless powerless minority in their own lands. Now the Muslims have also taken this cue from the Sinhalese and as part of their share of the war booty from what most Sinhalese and Muslims think the defeated Tamils ( not fellow countrymen who fought for their just rights and land that was denied to them) , they want huge chunks of the east. The Sinhalese arrived in the east only in the past 60 years and the Muslims as refugees fleeing persecution , as few centuries ago. Now both these relative new comers to the east are ganging up to steal the east from the Tamils and are using the all the resources of the state to do so. .

  • 0
    2

    I don’t know any Sinhala Buddhist Inhabitant Citizen who has a Job, a Family or even one of the two saying Srilanka is Ours and not Theirs ,with the intent of targeting their fellow inhabitant Muslims Tamil Malays, Burghers or Chinese or Burmese..
    Unless one refers to GTF Boss Mr Suren Surendran, or the Tamil Eelaam PM Dr Rudrakumarn..
    In is a fact that the poor Sinhala Buddhists in the rural sector got the rough end of the stick from Dr Ranil’s Yahapalanaya.
    No need to detail it over and over.
    Tamils, Muslims and the Sinhala Buddhist and Christian UNP on the other hand got the best, big time in Economic terms.
    The only Infrastructure activity now is the Construction of Condos.
    They are all owned by one of the above 4 categories ..
    All the Hotels coming up are all owned and operated by the same .
    What did the poor rural Sinhala Buddhist get.
    Coconuts at Rs 150, No new schools, No Fertlizer for their fields. And jailing of their leaders who gave them Prayer Clothes.
    I am surprised Dr Wije used that “It is only Ours ” ” term unless Dr Wije is referring to the Blokes who are getting free supplies of Mendis Special from the brewery which is owned by Dr Ranils Family Friends.
    Or the dudes who have been brain washed by the Religious Leaders who have been Trained in Leadership skills in European Countries ,
    Of course the Tourist keep away When countries declare Curfew and Emergency .
    And Dr Ranil and his mates I thought would know it.

  • 8
    2

    Nice , but where were all you bleeding hearts , when discrimination , genocide ethnic cleansing and war crimes were committed against the island’s Tamils? All the Sinhalese Christians and Muslims were openly siding the same Sinhalese Buddhist racists ( ironically many of them with a recent Indian Tamil origin) establishment and armed forces, to kill more than 300000 innocent Tamil civilians ( 145000 in May 2009) make one million Indian origin Tamils, who had lived in the island for more than 150 years and contributed most to the economy at the time they were made stateless and chase around 1.2 million indigenous Tamils from their land of birth largely to the west. The so called Sinhalese Christians and Muslims were seen celebrating , dancing on the streets and holding victory parades , in May 2009 , to celebrate the killing of over 145000 innocent Tamils in the Vanni. at the hands of the rapist war criminal Sri Lankan armed forces and large scale dispossession of the Tamil population of their lands and homes in the north and east and being forced to live in concentration camps. How many of you voiced your concern then? Other than a few , most Sinhalese Christians were with the Sinhalese Buddhists and the Muslims were salivating and rejoicing , thinking of their share of the captured booty. Especially the Tamil east, that they still want to steal from the rightful Tamil owners. Now that it is your turn at the hands of these Sinhalese Buddhist fascists , you are scared and blinking. You never thought it will be. You common Sinhalese ethnicity will save you from the Buddhist fascists or the Muslims because of the overt and covert support they gave to the Sinhalese racists to commit genocide and war crimes on the island’s Tamils.

    • 1
      1

      Real Siva Sankaran Sharma

      You condemn everybody else in the country but you never mention the Tamil youths who were killed by the LTTE in their quest to be the sole representatives of the Tamils.

      I was living in Borella when the trouble started and was just 15 years old. It was the first time I had seen a Racial Violence. The gravity of it was realized only weeks later. I knew that if the LTTE is defeated the next target would be Muslims. I was not salivating or rejoicing but was shaking with fear. I feared the overjoyed Sinhalese will attack Tamils or Muslims.

      I studied in a multi cultural school. And even today we Sinhalese, Tamils, Christians, Muslims have a bond of brotherhood and love.

      The leaders of our country have never had a greater vision for the country and instead played the race card to win election.

      Sadly large number of youth have sacrificed their lives to this never ending saga and the future looks bleak indeed.

      • 3
        0

        I not defending or speaking about the LTTE but the treatment of innocent Tamils civilians. You just want to muddy the waters with what happened mentioning the LTTE. Like most Tamils can understand why they were formed and what they fought for. The LTTE is a child of state sponsored Sinhalese racism. That they lost their way later and became intransigent is another story , resulting in the Tamils loosing everything . They did kill Tamils but not on a large scale like the Sri Lankan armed forces of the Muslim home guards in the east. No one can accuse the LTTE of rape or plunder but can with regards to the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Muslim home guards. The LTTE is a guerrilla army and you cannot compare them to the racist war criminal behaviour of the Sri Lankan state and the armed forces , towards their own Tamils citizens and the behaviour of the vast majority of the island’s Sinhalese ( Buddhist and Christian ) and Muslims ( ironically ethnically Tamil too) towards this genocide. That you were sitting around the fire and holding hands with your fellow Tamil and Muslim students in your elite multicultural school and singing Kumbaya is irrelevant , to the behaviour and attitude of the vast majority of the Sinhalese and Muslims and I bet many of your fellow Sinhalese and Muslims students , who were holding hands and singing Kumbaya round the fire with their fellow Tamil students , later behaved in the same atrocious manner towards other Tamils, who were strangers and with whom they did not hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

    • 2
      3

      Singala writer sir Dr. W.A Wijewardena very good man same many singala peepal. This tamil man name Real Siva Sankaran Sharma all ways jelos with Muslim peepal. Now jalos also becos this good singala man say attack Muslim is bad. Sorry my englis

      2009 we enjoy no becos tamil peepal die. We enjoy becos bad man pirabakaran die. Becos bad man pirabakaran kill all peepals. He bomb too much. Tamil peepal also good. But same same this man name Real Siva Sankaran Sharma too much dangar. All care full with same same peepal like Real Siva Sankaran Sharma. This bad man same same snak

      • 3
        1

        You can post in Tamil and we can translate that into English. You enjoyed in 2009 because not because no Tamil people are going to die but on the contrary more than 145000 died and 300000 were locked up in concentration camps run by the military where they were deliberately starved raped humiliated and tortured. It is not what I state but even the what the UN states about the horrific war crimes perpetuated on the Tamil civilians by the Sri Lankan armed forces. You knew all about this and were dancing in joy your mouth salivating about stealing large chunks of ancient Tamil Hindu land in the east and in Mannar , as well as other spoils. This is why you were dancing. This is why two of your ministers immediately stated now the Muslims are the important minority and not the Tamils and wasted no time in settling thousands of out area southern Muslims along the Wilpattu corridor from funds obtained form the Gulf. In the east large scale illegal appropriation of Tamil lands by the Muslims started. This in addition to the thousand of acres of private Tamil lands, illegally appropriated by the racist Sinhalese armed forces, for Sinhalese settlement. Tamil people their homes lands and farms and even their women were treated as war spoils and most of you Sinhalese and Muslims were rejoicing . Your fake concern that there will be no more Tamil deaths and to justify what you did is disgusting . Stop pretending that your English is poor. It is not You do not fool me.

  • 4
    0

    You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear
    You’ve got to be taught from year to year
    It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    [Verse 2]
    You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
    Of people whose eyes are oddly made
    And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    [Verse 3]
    You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before you are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people your relatives hate
    You’ve got to be carefully taught

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diYlHI8Ghkg

    • 1
      0

      Mallungs
      Do you have any more worse?

      • 3
        0

        Even Hate can be taught,
        cannot with be UoJ SJ

        How is that SJ?
        Worse or Verse?

        (Nobody can teach SJ, even all the UoJ students have failed for him)

      • 1
        0

        Even Hate can be taught,
        None can be with UoJ SJ

        How is that SJ?
        Worse or Verse?

        (Nobody can teach SJ, even all the UoJ students have failed with him)

  • 7
    10

    Economy was already suffering. It’s not new. Since 2015 investors go-come-and then-go again. I don’t think the ban on FB created such a big impact on businesses. Properties have been wrecked and vandalized. It is the duty of the government to make adequate compensation. Things are getting back to normal. Therefore THERE IS NO NEED TO DIG THE WOUNDS.
    .
    Having said that, Minister Kiriella still owes an apology to Buddhists and I wish security forces commanders in future prevent from making unnecessary comments on religious leaders. Other than Buddhist priests, Archbishop Reverend Malcolm Ranjit, and Muslim/Hindu priests also played a significant role in making an awareness campaign among the communities to prevent them from falling prey to provocation as was in the past. The role played by IGP/Police with limited powers/limited resources until the State of Emergency is declared and afterwards with STF/Army/Navy is praiseworthy. At the same time, the Army Commander and his troops played a highly commendable role in discontinuing/further spreading riots. Our sincere thanks to all of them.
    .
    Unlike previous instances, something unique happened in this year’s communal riots.
    .
    It was heartening to see Buddhist-Christian-Muslim-Hindu priests along with people of all ethnicities being united to protect each others properties/religious places and in some cases, rebuilding them while condemning racial riots and hatred instigated by hooligans of politicians and extremest-sidekicks. This time the majority of people taught a good lesson to hooligans of politicians and extremist-sidekicks by distancing themselves from provocation.
    .
    I think Sri Lankans have learnt their lesson and getting better. This whole new experience of racial harmony during the riots which were instigated by politicians/extremist sidekicks, looks like Sri Lanka is grown up. I hope our friend, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UNHCHR will make a note on that.

  • 4
    21

    I have more to add (as the previous comment reached 300 words.)
    .
    The message conveyed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to all ethnicities to be calm down and show solidarity is noteworthy and praiseworthy. In addition to the President and the PM, former President also visited main areas where there were riots and held talks with religious leaders and communities. I think the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa played a great role in providing solace to Muslims who were feared and anxious for the possibility of spreading riots to other cities.

    • 11
      0

      Isn’t it strange those words uttered today, were badly missing, during his tenure as president, during Aluthgama, and the numerous other disgraceful attacks on Muslims, by Buddhist thugs and militants, and that neither he nor his brothers, CONDEMNED the violence, but stayed mute, when HE HAD THE POWER? WHY didn’t he stop the Buddhist extremists, the BBS, and other militant Buddhist groups, who were spreading hate and lies, and nip the violence in the bud? Why did Gota encourage these hateful extremists by cutting the ribbon to their new offices, paid for generously by devious foreign sources?
      Ever wondered why? Many still do.

      • 2
        0

        Navin
        As I understand, unlike 2005-2010, MR had the power from 2010-2015 only by name. I don’t think he should be held responsible for blunders made by Gotabhaya and Basil. The Muslim-Sinhala riots in 2012 were a part of the conspiracy to ousted MR by making him unpopular amongst Muslims as well as Sinhalese Buddhists who condemn violence. The extremists at the time said to have funded by foreign elements and interestingly his own brother who was accused for encouraging extremists is going be a future Presidential hopeful.

    • 7
      2

      Chimpa – No wonder Medamulana Meeharaka is ALWAYS seen at the ” scene of the crime”??

      • 1
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        Kamalawathie Sameer
        How do you know? I never knew cows are gathered at crime scenes.

  • 7
    0

    Dr. W.A Wijewardena ,
    Thanks for writing ,the government should teach the public about economy.

    Minorities contribute so much to boost the economy in Srilanka , these fools don’t realise it. The corrupt politicians use these idiots to win the election .
    In the recent riots what have these scoundrels gained ,they are the losers . The victims will get compensated .and who is going to pay for it.
    These payments have to be taken from all of us, the government should show it on the bill as riot tax to recover these funds so that they will feel the pain when paying for it.

  • 0
    7

    Some of your suggestions are very sinister. Only prolem is are all those from confused –
    Orumiththa govt. The govt is confused. MPs are chicken in a coup who have seen a fox outside. they are shivering.

  • 3
    1

    Who are these so called “ours” is it all SLankans or only sinhala Buddhists
    Don’t we minorities contribute and serve the country
    We fight for human rights not economy power don’t mix things up we fight for discrimination not base on the religion we all equal shouldn’t be base on the religion or languagfiade
    Talking about UK brexit they don’t like to rule by Brussels not all about migration even the elected London Mayer is Muslim and his parents are migrant from Pakistan,
    India-cast is nothing to do with economy power ,may be they don’t have Govigamas,late Abdul qualm when he was prez once opening ceremony he said what India made up he said am Muslim the candle I hold to light ups represent Christians and the oil lamp I lights up represent Hindu the unique how these leaders unite the people and try not to divide.

    Even our future prez candidate hold USA citizenship your legend actress hold Swiss citizenship now world is changing you don’t hold wolf and monkies territorial business learn to live side by side,move on don’t bring another mayhem
    Leave the hidden agenda thing about the generation to come
    Make prosperous country makes a program where women can earn money while with the family rather than going to herunduos countries
    Mother Lanka pls bring peace

  • 5
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    Dear Mr. Wijewardene, a much laboured , insightful article which makes one think. I think I need to read this again slowly to process all the information . Thank you very much for compiling this information.

  • 7
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    “It says: ‘Sri Lanka is ours and ours only. All others who wish to live here should do so according to our terms. So, take it or leave it’.”

    Dr. Wijewardena, You got it wrong. It is the other way around. Other communities want Sinhala community to dance according to their tune. Because of the critical role other communities played in electing President Sirisena, they thought they can dictate their terms on Sinhala community. e.g. Proportional representation in local governments was changed from 70:30 to 60:40 because of the pressure from Demala and Marakkala politicians. This has been identified as the main cause for the instability in Local Governments. Demalu want to impose a devolution package on Sinhalayo so that they can keep Sinhalayo away from the North.

    • 6
      4

      Are you Eagle BLIND Eye !

  • 7
    6

    “This type of instinctive behaviour is imbedded in the DNA of lower level animals who operate in packs for reproduction and economic power. Thus, a pack of wolves or monkeys will demarcate a certain geographical area for themselves and resist with deadly violence the entry of any intruder of the same species.”

    This applies to Demala and Marakkala people not to Sinhalayo. Demala and Marakkala people live all over the country. Now 52% Demala people live outside North and East. In Colombo 60% are Demala and Marakkala. Yet some Demalu and Marakkala people want to carve out a certain geographical area for themselves. Vigneshwaran said ‘Sinhalese are not welcome in the North”. Marakkalayo are harassing Sinhalayo in the east so that they can have Eastern Province for themselves and turn it to look like Saudi Arabia. Some Sinhalayo have already left the area. Tell me Dr. Wijewardena who is behaving like lower level animals?

    • 5
      1

      Actually according to your own government statistics 51% of the Tamils ( both Indian origin and indigenous ) live in the north and east and 70% of the indigenous Tamils live in the north and east. 90% of the rest largely live in Colombo , where they have lived for generations. Colombo and the north west coast was once part of the Tamil country and not Sinhalese. You can see from many of the Tamil origin place names , even with Colombo. The Chilaw Puttalam areas were part of the Tamil Jaffna kingdom. This is the reason many of the island’s Muslims, when they originally fled their South Indian homeland ,landed here and took refuge, as these areas were Tamil. Most of the Tamils living down south are the Indian origin estate Tamils who were settled there by the British to work almost two centuries ago and have remained there. When many of them tried to flee to the North and East from Sinhalese persecution . the all governments did not like this, as it will strengthen the Tamil population in the North East , the aim of all Sri Lankan governments from independence was to reduce to Tamil population in the north and east by harassment , not developing their areas , so they are forced to move south for employment and ethnic cleansing activities. Therefore they did not want these Indian Tamils to settle there and when they did , used the military to forcibly remove them and dump them back again in the Central province. You are in one way correct about the 52% of the Tamils living in Sinhalese areas , as 50% of the present day so called Sinhalese are purely descended from recently migrated Indian Tamils. So you do acknowledge this truth?

  • 1
    0

    Yes it is true to some extent. However in the Sri Lankan context, the politicians have a separate religion so as to rob the treasury with impunity. It is they who make discriminatory remarks and cause conflicts. Where ever in Sri Lanka, if you see some kind of violence, you would either find monk or a politician. If justice prevails, nothing of any sort would happen. Peace would prevail.

  • 0
    0

    “Country is ours not yours”

    So in reality those who say ours must be SL citizens & yours are foreigners.

    But there seems to be an indirect meaning here to say, ours are the deeply rooted & yours are not.

    Generally it’s natural to describe a country according to the population content if it’s multi-racial. so as in SL about 75% are Sinhalese & majority of it are Buddhists so it’s a Sinhala Buddhist country.

    Nobody should get hurt about it because it’s the way the country is seen & that doesn’t mean that others don’t have a right to live here.

  • 1
    0

    We can either survive and be great together or we can drown together as fools! As i have noted all this hate bieng spread by the extremists are aimed at only one thing, i.e to burn down the competition and do ethnicity based business instead of letting the talented individuals move forward.

    Sadly one of the main contributors to. This twisted, illogical and insane agenda are ultra nationalist Buddist Monks. I say this with great displeasure and regret. Unfortunately it is what it is, and there’s no point trying to whitewash this dangerous game played by a minority of monks.

    The only solution i see is to identify, disrobe them and rehabilitate the lot. If that doesn’t work there’s no other way but to put them behind bars for life to keep them away from civilized society.

    Sri lanka cannot afford yet another unstable war like conditions which would virtually plunge this country into a deep hole we will can never climb out of. Those who say no to ‘SANHINDIYAWA’ should be jailed or chased out.

    I’d also like to point out the admirable restraint and patience the Muslim youth have shown over the years despite all the hate, filth and attacks that has been hurled at them. It only goes to show they are a very disciplined people and are worthy of this land. They are a race all Sri Lankans should be proud of and take on as their role models in these times of turmoil.

  • 2
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    All others who wish to live here should do so according to our terms.

    Our terms means
    The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) In Buddhist Scriptures.pdf, Please google

  • 6
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    “These hooligans are at war with Muslims today. It is only a matter of time that they would extend their attack on minority Tamils, Sinhala Christians and foreign investors whom they will consider as enemies of the Sinhala Buddhist nation. Once all these groups have been taught a lesson for conspiring against them, their attention would be directed toward those among the majority Sinhala Buddhists who would do well economically.”

    Well said W. A Wijewaradena

  • 7
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    What else can you expect from a race who claim that their progenitor was fathered by an animal

    • 2
      1

      Now, now, now, though tempting please do not paint all Sinhalese with the same brush, a large proportion of Sinhalese would puke at the thought of sharing the views of the likes of Jim Softy. Please do not stoop to the level of an ignorant person, for one day the wisdom might dawn on him, let’s hope.

  • 6
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    Wow…. Sane words WAW!!

    But, can’t someone rein in the stray monks, particularly the extreme ones? Can’t we use Prevention of Terrorism Act against them?

  • 2
    0

    Dr, being economist and good citizen of the country, we salute you for taking up and championing the course of country’s economic well being and good lives of all. Dr, you just mentioned 2% of compounding rate of GDP lost annually during 30 years of the war but it should be shown in the real numbers for this brainless forks to comprehended it well, and to show the magnitude of damage to the country and good lives of all. As per former Indian foriegn secretary USD 460 billion lost in real numbers. Hence, USD halfer trillion got wasted and gone in the drains. I don’t how these gullible forks would understand this huge number. If all were sensible and avoided all these senseless destructions, with this kind of money, the country could have been made a paradise for all. Our leaders and politicians of all shades let down the country and the people badly and miserably by take up racism, short cut rout to power, owing to their terrible greed for power, positions and wealth, and no point in having faith in them for a better country. It’s high time for the civil society to take up this corse with real vigor, and make the people understand that rascism and racial politics are destroying their good lives, and for them to deserve good futures, they avoid it all, at all cost.

  • 8
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    A truly enlightening article by Dr Wijewardena. Not only he uses his vast knowledge of economics and financial matters, the effects of religion, politics and empire building he brings out vividly affect the prosperity of a country tremendously. Without prosperity everything else in the society, including peace, becomes futile.

    To start with the Buddhist hierarchy believes in Sinhala Buddhist supremacy, but their knowledge in science, technology, economics, and other important fields of modern knowledge is lacking. They may be versed in Buddhism, but even that they fail to practice faithfully.

    For the last seven decades these priests and their racist views have been guiding the ruling politicians, who are an opportunist, and corrupt lot. So we have to fight these two evil forces in the society.

    Many educated Sinhalese also hold racist views based on Mahawamasa and by the influence of the clergy. Professionals go along with the status quo and make a good living, exploit the bias, or go abroad to lands with rule of law and prosperity.

    The judiciary is a pliant lot dancing to the tune of the rulers.

    I have seen the prosperity of the country sliding for 6 decades. Unless the society produces a strong and enlightened strong person with vision and sincerity, who can rise above priests and the corrupt politicians nothing will change, and Sri Lanka will muddle through.

    Democracy is interpreted as the rule of the tyrant majority ethnic group, and the emotions of the masses are manipulated by the opportunist politicians to come to power and stay in power.

    Even the external forces take advantage of this situation to profit from these divisions in the society.

    Like many of the third world countries Sri Lanka will continue sans rule of law the society will suffer, especially the poorer lot.

    It is very difficult to see the light at the end of this dark tunnel the country has been going through for seven decades.

    • 1
      0

      You are correct I studied in one of the most prestigious Protestant Christian Schools in Colombo, actually Mt. Lavinia and most of the Sinhalese students there were racist to the core. Many of them were Christians and came from prominent Sinhalese families, political, economic and professional and the, vast majority of them held racist views based on Mahavamsa that the country only belonged to them and the minorities , especially the Tamils have no place. On the surface many of them were pleasant but scratch them a bit and this nasty racist side comes out. Especially if they hear some unfortunate student speaking in Tamil, they immediately start to taunt and bully this unfortunate person and demand to stop speaking in Tamil but only in English or Sinhalese. Now many of them must be holding prominent positions in various fields.

      • 0
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        Thanks, Rohan.

        It’s good to see you facing facts, and acknowledging the uncomfortable.

        By the way, what vintage were you?

      • 0
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        Part 1 of 3

        Correct, Rohan.

        You are right when you say that the Tamils were not sloganising fifty years ago.

        The rest of your analysis is also consistent with my observations on three visits to the North (centred upon, Jaffna, Trincomalee, and Mannar, respectively) during the past two years in a group of around forty retired Sinhalese school teachers from a Madya Maha Vidyalaya in Uva. In outlook, they were mixed – obviously.

        One or two were downright racist, almost all the others were quite devout Buddhists. Two exceptions: me and a committed and sincere Marxist and his wife. She was actually a candidate in the February 2018 Local Government Elections for a place near Hatton where they got eighty odd votes – much better than in Kolonnawa and Kayts where their Social Equality Party also contested. These are people who are culturally absolutely Sri Lankan, but about the most purely non-sectarian – except in relation to other Marxist groups.

        Current Sinhala colonisation was all too obvious – based on claims that thousands of acres belonged to temples. Those claims were based, I feel, on grants by kings of old; I’m sure that there must have been other grants of those same lands to quite different people. The Buddhists were quite proud to claim places like Thiriyaya for “ours”, but there was no conscious racism in it. My Marxist friend and respected their devotion, without sharing in it.

        Colombo based readers may not be aware of the extent to which there has been encroachment on State Lands during the past forty years. It was inevitable. Expanding populations, and no policy of granting land to new young families. Encroachments tend to get regularised if it is Sinhalese who are involved.

      • 0
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        Part 2 of 3

        I was not sure enough of being able to meet possible challenges by writing an article, but after each trip I made lengthy comments to articles by others. I think that it is a duty of all humans now living on this planet to ensure that populations do not grow any more. Else we are all doomed, as Stephen Hawking, who passed away just yesterday, maintained.

        Certainly, the so-called “Developed Countries” have got their populations under control, and we fondly imagine that we can go settle there. Very possible twenty years ago, but we must now ensure that the exodus stops – by creating conditions here which allow young people to have hope.

        That war which ended in May 2009 went on so long that few can think clearly on these most fundamental issues. I sometimes now wonder whether the war has really ended; we appear to be in a phase of cold war. To me it seems that the various religions are a problem. The adherents of each imagine that they own the truth; a variation of this is that people say that since they belong to a certain religion, something is the truth for them, but not for others. Education seems not to involve clear thinking.

        These articles that dominate the news have all been triggered by the attempted pogrom against the Muslims; it may be politically incorrect, but this may be where it has to be stated that many Muslims are among the most difficult to convince that there are ethical truths more fundamental than the teachings of any given religion.

      • 0
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        Part 3 of 3

        I have made these observations in relation to Rohan’s reservations about the prestigious Protestant Christian-run schools that educate a majority of non-Christians. I know that many of their progeny end up in International Schools, but is it not true that many families still identify with the “alma maters” despite some being in the newer schools? This may sound pretty confused. I will claim that the validity of these observations is complicated.

        I think, Rohan, that you will grant that your observations do not apply to all the products of these schools. Those educated in these schools have received the benefits of interaction with others, and some of them may understand the issues pretty well, and act accordingly. Good Sense is probably one of them. However, you are quite right in observing that one often gets a nasty surprise when you “scratch them a bit”.

        It may also be that the next group to “receive attention” may be the products of these schools. If so, we ourselves are to blame. We must face up to the fact that many Sinhalese who are nationalistic in a positive way get turned in to chauvinists by our own hypocrisy. This happens when they see that there is some truth in what the racist politicians are saying. Ranil W. is a product of State-run Royal College, but he is attacked for being a member of the “Anglican elite”. With Rt. Rev. Lakshman Wickremasinghe being his uncle, and his foremost critic, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha being his first cousin, it is difficult to contradict.

        So, noblesse oblige, Rohan. Those in a position to influence must now do so. Many thanks to Dr. W.A Wijewardena, an economist who has used the language of Evolutionary Biology to alert us.

  • 5
    1

    ‘North & East of Sri Lanka (Tamil Eelam) is ours and ours only (Tamil speaking people). All others (non-Tamil speaking) who wish to live in the North & East should do so according to our terms.’

  • 3
    1

    The country has lost its soul and there is no morality left whatsoever. in the backyard of the sacred buddhist site- the temple of the tooth, Sinhalese buddhist were torching the properties, livelihood and places of worship of the innocent muslims, but the chief prelates of the sangha next door were all silent, in other words there are in agreement with whats happening – hatred created out of lies, jealousy( tanha) and taking or destroying others properties illegally.

    When there is no morality in the people, the country will never prosper or progress.

    Only more chaos and destruction will follow this year again, we can wait and see.

  • 3
    1

    Where is this bloody country aheading going back to stone age,even the next prez candidate don’t have the stability of the future he had safe haven (USA) only gives up if he will be elected candidate.
    How many business people looking for dual citizenship
    Have we learn anything from the last 3 decades of the bloody war,
    Look at the neighboring countries hoe they are progressing we don’t end up like Somalia
    We have lived side by side for centuries. What is the sudden scary,

  • 3
    2

    Champa, you and your hooligans are behind the act of violence.

    • 1
      1

      rahula
      So, go to the nearest police station, show the evidence and tell them to arrest me.

  • 0
    0

    The title is funny.
    It will be great if “few people” acted in an undesirable way.

  • 7
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    Social media (Face Book, Whatsapp, Viber etc ) is blocked only to prevent truth being revealed to the world. They do not want this slogan ‘Sri Lanka Is Ours And Not Theirs’ go viral around the globe. It is also to protect the criminals of the majority community who attacked helpless Muslims.

  • 5
    2

    The fundamental reason for all the negative things happening can be assigned to two categories. One Mahinda Rajapakse who is trying to come to power to protect himself, his wife, his sons and his brothers. In order to achieve it he being an SLFP member is promoting SLPP/JO most of whom have legal cases pending against them. Second fact is our weak President. He promised to bring so many from SLFP to UNP when he was elected it did not happen. Then he took over SLFP leadership becoming a traitor to all those who voted for him. Now he does not even want to appoint strong ministers like Sarath Fonseka to Law and Order in order to protect Mahinda and other SLFP rogues. What a shameful situation. They all are good in making speeches but in action its below zero. See what recently happened during emergency – Keheliya’s son threatened two students with a gun, another local government member and his wife hammered a driver and threatened with a gun, that too during emergency. The SLFP MPs who gave speeches to start the riots and the Buddhist monks who started the trouble are still roaming free but only the small flies are caught and remanded. When the leader and former leader are behaving like this how can anything else improve in the country? Its time young MPs take over the country with Sarath Fonseka. We need a very strong leader to make things right.

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