21 September, 2020

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Egypt’s Blind Alley; The Gota-Mahinda Riddle; Extremists Vs. Muslims

By Kumar David

Prof Kumar David

The style today is different; it’s not all on one theme, it is three short pieces on different topics for the reason that if I spread them over three weeks they would all be outdated. Timely comment assists in thinking through events as they unfold and is fodder for latter day historians reviewing analysts’ judgment of events and interventions prescribed. The sorry state of affairs in Egypt and crumbling of the Arab Spring is first. Second, I want to push on with a topic I recently injected into political discourse; is there a disconnect, or is it cunning coordination, between Rajapakse siblings, in recent events – Weliveriya, and violence against Muslims and mosques. The third matter is Sinhala-Buddhist (SB) extremism and the end of low key response by the Muslim community and leaders.

Revolution Betrayed

The debate whether the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or democratic-radical-secular (DRS) groups including the youth movement Tamarod, did more to destroy the gains of Egypt’s Arab Spring, can go on all night. Growling “a pox upon both your houses” is the most appropriate allocation of culpability for the period prior to the coup. The bigoted and sectarian MB-Morsi government alienated every other shade of opinion and drove Egypt’s minorities and the DRS to desperation and folly.  Then DRS jackasses, with a Judas kiss, delivered the people into the murderous jaws of the military.

The DRS first threw away the 2012 presidential election by putting forward a dozen candidates and opening the door for a runoff between Morsi and a candidate of the old establishment. From then it was all downhill as it staggered from blunder to blunder. Finally it paved the way for a coup and a de facto military regime. It is only a matter of time before the army shoots DRS activists like dogs on the streets if they venture out as the economy deteriorates and democratic rights are further trampled. (From Vannie to Weliveriya, a cynical Lankan would be wont to remark).  Elections next year! What elections with MB, the country’s largest party for better for worse, crushed? Banana republic elections under a military heel!

The bloodbath, where over a thousand unarmed civilians including women with children were mowed down, suits reactionary interests. The army has safeguarded its power and privileges and would slaughter half the population if need be. Obama shed orchestrated crocodile tears but retained the $1.3 billion military aid package. Washington supports the coup and the military crackdown; let there be no doubt about that. Western leaders who saw slaughter coming put on a show of pleading for reconciliation, but none took a firm stand threatening an economic boycott which would have prevented massacre. Geopolitics and Israeli interests are central to the West and Saudi Arabia’s encouragement of the crackdown.

Despite the army firing into tens of thousands of protesters on August 14, rallies and marches still continue in many cities. The army still uses live ammunition and fires from helicopters into crowded places. These despicable blackguards have lost every vestige of moral decency and a revolutionary war led by religious zealots has commenced. A likely scenario is that after fake elections next year a puppet civilian government will be established with the military pulling the strings in full view. Since this puppet president would not have Mubarak’s authority, the relationship will be troubled. Popular disgust with army and DRS and a longer-term backlash is preparing the ground for a near inevitable Islamic state in Egypt in the future. The DRS must rue: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley; an’ leave us nought but grief an’ pain for promis’d joy!”

He loves me; he loves me not!

A month ago I posed the question “Is there a rift between President and Defence Secretary or is it a put on show where the former tangos to please the international community while the latter does a kaavadi dance to give Sinhala extremists an erection?” I had to leave it unanswered at the time, but subsequent events indicate that the sibling team is intact (except of course for minor irritants) but has lost control of the SB extremists and sections of the army. What makes me say this? Firstly, the Weliveriya shooting; contrary to some, I doubt if Gota instigated it because it was foreseeable the consequences would be hugely damaging for the regime. Second, continuing extremist violence against Muslim places of worship and the associated vitriolic campaign is raising a scare that large pogroms will follow; this destabilises the regime. The sorcerer’s apprentices have broken free, and dance the devil with scant regard for their old masters!

Damage to the Rajapakses is not worth the supposed benefits of inciting religious extremism or using the military to teach demonstrators a lesson. Hence, these are probably not government orchestrated events but out of control occurrences. The military going out on a limb, in effect telling politicos to get lost, will keep leaders awake at night. Yes, the regime used police and military – admittedly not unwilling actors – to crush Tamils and journalists, and shield crooks, drug lords and rapists. You can play that game only thus far; then comes a point when slaves reflect “Why be pawns in other’s hands? Why not do as we please?” Similar remarks can be made of the BBS and two Ravanas. The regime used and incited them; but it is also going ahead with Northern PC elections, has not scotched 13A, and makes concessions to the Muslims when the going gets hot. None of this is to the liking of the extremists, so they now act without sanction of their patrons.  It seems, minor disagreements apart, sibling collaboration is holding, but has lost the plot as extremist and establishment forces run amok.

A statement by eight Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Rajapakse Government says, inter alia:

“The State has a fundamental duty to ensure that our religious freedom is preserved in this multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation . . . (T)ake decisive action to halt the trend of openly espousing religious hatred towards the Muslim community. . . The notion that there are elements in our society who can act with impunity should be totally eradicated from the public perception that has now taken root in our society.”

This from Ministers of the government, in black and white, is an impeachment of President and Defence Secretary. Even mild Jehan Perera of the Peace Council, usually careful not to give offence to the regime, makes an indictment:

“Although the attackers were clearly identifiable there are no reports of any deterrent action by the police in regard to apprehending the aggressors. The pattern of incidents that have taken place in the recent past is an indication of the threat to pluralism, multi-culturalism and religious tolerance in the country.  The attitude of the law enforcement agencies to permit those who break the law and get away without legal sanction undermines the credibility of the government as a secular one.  This lack of commitment has led to the fomenting of religious and ethnic tensions in post-war Sri Lanka”.

Still, the Rajapakses, infinitely thick skinned, will sit up only if the electorate speaks. But will it? The outcome of Central and North-Western province elections in September will be the first sign of a shift, if any.  Much as I wish to see the UPFA’s nose bloodied I am not as foolish as most Lankans bereft of the ability to separate wishes from facts. Time to watch, not predict; there are good grounds for uncertainty.

The Yellow and the Green

The arithmetically rational, albeit morally unjustifiable element in SB paranoia is that Muslim men are more virile and their women more fecund. On average, Muslims are better built, fairer of complexion and sharper at business, perhaps feeding subconscious inferiority complexes. If growth-rate differentials are sustained the proportion of Muslims in the population will rise to 20% by the middle of the Century, and if Ceylon and Upcountry Tamils procreate with passion, increasing their joint total from 15% to 20%, the hegemony of Sinhala-Buddhism will be buried in perpetuity. Such trends will not be reversed however many Mosques the BBS-2Ravana consortium burns down, nor how garish its nightmares. Remember:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Such demographics need not be a formula for strife if Lanka had what it does not have, statesman-like leaders; but the last chance of that passed with NM and his team. I say this as one who opposed coalition politics, even when up to my neck in the LSSP.

A third term for Mahinda Rajapakse will exacerbate SB exploits against Muslims and Evangelical Christians and soon extend to Catholics. What! They shouldn’t be made to feel left out, eh? I reckon assault on Greens by Yellows will gather pace and the siblings’ half-hearted responses will be manna for assailants. Younger Greens are responding with energy and this will have easy to foresee consequences.

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Latest comments

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    My question is what this Kumar David, as he is this anti-sinhala buddhist, has done in Peradeniya when he was the lecturer ?

    I can understand a lot.

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      Jim Nutty,
      Our question is why are you so nutty?

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    If it is the Sinhala buddhist extremism or extremism by other religions, how Islam became TWO billion all over the world and christians became TWO billions all over the world.

    KUMAR DAVID IS A RACIST.

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    //Damage to the Rajapakses is not worth the supposed benefits of inciting religious extremism or using the military to teach demonstrators a lesson. Hence, these are probably not government orchestrated events but out of control occurrences.//

    With all due respect to the opinion of the author I may differ with the same. Simply the incident of Weliveriya which is a natural demand of the people and leaving it to move as it is would damage the ruling regime drastically. In order to divert the attention from daily suffering the MR & Co have one and only alternative so far is letting to go with religious and ethnic based tension unattended of not directed behind the scene.

    However people of this century are not that fool to get fooled and turned to another 83 version.

    Then again leaving this unattended by the public may pave the way for another 83 too.

    I think if the media is critical toward this, it should highlight more of economic difficulties the general public faces and how hard an ordinary citizen thrives himself to maintain his dignity and respect with his insufficient income.

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    Prof Kumar David,

    EGYPT July- August , 2013

    Thanks. A good Summary. Now the general Egyptian population and the military are after the bearded Wahhabis and Salafis and they are shaving and coming out cleaner. The MB clerics are now blessing the clean shaven MB- Wahhabi and Salafis.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVMVC0tfX34

    Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed El-Baradei said the Arab Spring revolution has been relaunched by the announcemend of the army-sponsored roadmap.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/08/22/beards-niqab-become-liability-in-egypt-after-crackdown/

    Local media and the government have also loudly labelled the Muslim Brotherhood wholesale as “terrorists”.

    So-called “popular committees” — neighborhood militias — have made life even worse, giving vigilantes the chance to wreak havoc, particularly in Cairo after a night-time curfew was implemented.

    The beard and women’s full-face veil, or niqab, are often characteristics of religious Muslims, but have become conflated with support for the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Certain Brotherhood leaders sought to promote the wearing of the face veil during Morsi’s turbulent year-long presidency.

    But now such religious symbols have become a liability.

    SRI LANKA July 2012- August , 2013

    But now BBS, SINHALA RAVYA have become a liability to the Family Hegemony.

    What do they need to discard?

    Blood is Thicker than Water. So they can Discard BBS, Sinhala Ravya and the Other Terrorists.

    If you are in the Sri Lanka Army and the Police, you will be pissed off as to what is happening in the country and with respect to law and order. It us time, the Army and Police dealt with BBS and Sinhala Ravya terrorists the same way they dealt with Welveriya and the Egyptian Arm dealt with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Your Summary:

    1. A month ago I posed the question “Is there a rift between President and Defence Secretary or is it a put on show where the former tangos to please the international community while the latter does a kaavadi dance to give Sinhala extremists an erection?” I had to leave it unanswered at the time, but subsequent events indicate that the sibling team is intact (except of course for minor irritants) but has lost control of the SB extremists and sections of the army.

    2. Second, continuing extremist violence against Muslim places of worship and the associated vitriolic campaign is raising a scare that large pogroms will follow; this destabilises the regime. The sorcerer’s apprentices have broken free, and dance the devil with scant regard for their old masters!

    3. Damage to the Rajapakses is not worth the supposed benefits of inciting religious extremism or using the military to teach demonstrators a lesson. Hence, these are probably not government orchestrated events but out of control occurrences.

    4. The military going out on a limb, in effect telling politicos to get lost, will keep leaders awake at night. Yes, the regime used police and military – admittedly not unwilling actors – to crush Tamils and journalists, and shield crooks, drug lords and rapists. You can play that game only thus far; then comes a point when slaves reflect “Why be pawns in other’s hands? Why not do as we please?” Similar remarks can be made of the BBS and two Ravanas. The regime used and incited them; but it is also going ahead with Northern PC elections, has not scotched 13A, and makes concessions to the Muslims when the going gets hot. None of this is to the liking of the extremists, so they now act without sanction of their patrons. It seems, minor disagreements apart, sibling collaboration is holding, but has lost the plot as extremist and establishment forces run amok.

    A statement by eight Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Rajapakse Government says, inter alia:

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    Egypt is a Muslim country. Its allies in SL are the Muslims.

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      Egypt is a Secular country.

      Muslim Brotherhood wanted Egypt to be an Islamist Country, not Islamic Country.

      The majority of the people and the people of Egypt want it to be a secular country.

      Sri Lanka is a secular country. BBS want Lanka to be Sinhala Buddhist Country, not Sinhala Jain Country, not Sinhala Hindu Country, before Buddhism was introduced.

      The majority of the people and the people of Lanka want it to be a secular country. Some monks want it to be Sinhala Buddhist country, to maintain the Govigama Sinhala Monk Hegemony over the people and the rulers.

      The Enlightened Sinhala Buddhism or Govigama SinhalaBuddhist Hegemony?

      http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2011/9/70564_space.html

      The plight of the Sinhala `DALITS`- Karava, Durava, Salagama, Berava and Rodi. Caste discrimination in Sinhala society.
      Friday, 9 September 2011 – 10:42 AM SL Time

      The grand war time alliance of Sinhala Buddhist interests appears to have unravelled. I attribute the bad blood between the Rajapakse and Fonseka camps to vendetta and revenge. This is largely a personal feud born of a sense of betrayal. However, I wonder whether the legacy of caste has had a tangential role in the matter after all. Rajapakse is the scion** of an old southern Govigama family while Fonseka was a Karave general also from the south.

      King Vijayabahu in the 11th century DENIED ACCESS TO THE SO-CALLED LOWER CASTES to venerate the Buddha`s footprint at the summit of Sri Pada or Adam`s Peak. These castes were confined to a lower terrace further down. This led to an immediate counter when a 12th century rock inscription of King Nissanka Malla warned that the Govigama caste could never aspire to high office.

      The Kandyan Buddhist clergy – the Siam Nikaya – DENIED ENTRY into the Buddhist monkhood to the non-Govigama. They EXCLUDED THE KARAVE. This led wealthy Karave merchants in the maritime districts to finance the journey of Ambagahapitiya Gnanawimala Thera to Amarapura in Burma for the ordination into the Buddhist monkhood in 1800 AD. While the newly founded Amarapura nikaya had 21 sub-sects defined on caste lines (i.e. Karave, Salagama and Durave), it nonetheless offered a rare opportunity for the Karave to join the Buddhist religious order.

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    Egypt has gone back to square one, but not quite. The blood of the matyrs will be avenged and the US backed military will be at the recieving end, as will be the US. It is a question of time, the damage has been done and stability impaired.
    The regime is in damage control mode after Weliveriya and Grandpass. The Zealots are silent. There is a respite due to CHOGM. Thereafter things could liven up. But then there is Geneva 2014, Lok Sabha 2014 and perhaps Presidiential 2014. Also the Budget 2013-2014 will be interesting. Plenty to look forward to?

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    While Dr Kumar David is into Erections and Orgasms the great majority of the inhabitant population , who happen to be poor Sinhala Rural Buddhists are only interested in finding a job and putting food on the table for for their loved ones.

    I must admit that a heck of a lot of Muslims as well as Tamils. especially the non Vellalas are in the the same boat with the majority.

    with the current Economic growth, and low unemployment, a few may be enjoying erections,without expensive stimulants. but orgasms are a long way off for them , unlike our Facebooking followers of Dr Kumar’s ilk.

    Whether the higher birth rate of our Muslim brethren has got anything to do with their superior number crunching abilities is a moot point.

    But they will be the largest minority with in a few years.

    Increasing incomes and improving living standards will give the majority to focus on better things to do rather than hurt their neighbors and friends,

    Recalcitrants whether. they are Buddhist or others will find it hard to incite them.

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    US and the West never expected that the “Egyptian Spring ” which they Engineered and Cairo Elite executed would give them Morosi.

    Nearly one hundred percent of the over 50 % majority Norosi got are from the Egyptian rural poor.

    Rolling Morosi was on the cards since the election.

    Isnt it surprising that Dr Kumar David didn’t know that Egytian Military and the Cairo Elite are both managed by the US?.

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    “I doubt whether Gota instigated the Weliveriya shooting, the attacks on the Mosques will bring bigger Pogroms which can damage the Govt”

    Is Dr David letting the side down?.

    What can the myriad of HR guardian I/NGOs in Colombo show Ms Pillai to convince her that Gota anad Mara are bad for the Christians and Muslims as well

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      For me, Kumar David is a Tamil Racist.

      I think, he certainly should have given higher marks to Tamil students favouring them over the Sinhala Students. I don’t he were a fair teacher ever.

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    What we are experiencing are the birth pangs of our future island world. A perfect world governed by Bhikkhus and protected by an armed force whose finest hour was with the raising of the Buddhist flag over Nandikadal lagoon. Ofourse the rump of muslim, christian and hindu communities will be tolerated and evidenced as ‘Buddhist tolerance’. The signs of this are all around; a government descending into self-destruction, disorder and impunity in the country, disarray in the opposition, pariahdom internationally, and a despairing Sinhalese-Buddhist majority searching for a comforting refuge. Nirvana beckons as the ultimate fate of the ‘mirale of asia’ and we will then all chorus ‘vena swargayak kumatada?’

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    This David fellow seems to be having a great deal of fun at the expense of people like Jim Softy and KA Sumanasekera. I expect that soon he will start making fun of caste as well. (Is that within CT guide lines?) I doubt if JS and KAS are G; I mean people from good families and backgrounds don’t talk like they do. (Of course I agree that it is not only low caste people who have bad mouths).

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      Good one Golding.

      You must be a Vellala of the West.

      Our Vellalas didn’t have a reason to convert to Christanity.

      Will David take your advice?,

      Depends on how Vellalas will run the show in the North.

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