27 May, 2022


Enough Of The Diagnoses, Bring On The Cure!

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

For a long time now, writers focusing on Sri Lankan ethics or morality of some description have described, often at great length, what ails the body politic in this country.  I cannot, in all conscience, exclude myself from this lot.

However, now that we’ve seemingly plumbed the depths of the ocean of corruption and violence that is Sri Lanka today, isn’t it time that we sought solutions, no matter how minor or temporary, to our homeland’s predicament?

Let me take a preliminary stab at this task, as overwhelming as the issues facing us might seem.

Those who believe in the need for and, therefore, seek change to the status quo have, first, to escape from the brain-washing that has resulted in a belief that the other side of the current political coin, totally debased as it is, presents a means of purchasing our way out of the morass that it has bought us.  Suffice it to say that I believe that suggesting that the UNP of Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa is a real alternative to what the Rajapaksa Regime (RR) has visited upon us is to pay pooja to something that has already proved its value, or lack thereof, in spades.  After all, it was the J. R. Jayewardene regime that started the ball of massive corruption and impunity rolling and these, his unapologetic successors, have not, in any way, sought to distance themselves from that legacy.

For starters, we need leaders who are not already discredited by opportunistic political behaviour or who do not already have a track record of previous, current or sporadic collaboration of any kind with the RR.  If that sounds like some absolutist dictum, so be it.  To modify an aphorism that the RR is particularly fond of, “You are either for democracy or against it.”  There can be no half measures in that calculation and to seek salvation through those who’ve either ignored or equivocated on that score is just plain stupid.

We not only need people of principle but those prepared to place their physical mental and psychological well-being on the line.  Recently, an acquaintance who had observed the demonstrations in Thailand made a very simple observation to me: that the public protests against Yingluck Shinawatra were going nowhere because the educated Thai middle classes, supposedly in the vanguard of those demonstrations, chose, literally, to go home to look after their very comfortable places of abode after their nine-to-five demonstrations and could not conceive of inconveniencing themselves to the extent necessary to remove a government that they proclaimed to be incompetent and corrupt.  That enterprise was saved, if that is the word, by the intervention of the armed forces who, according to them at least, were bringing law, order and good governance to the Thai nation.  The conduct of the Thai middle class was typical of their counterparts all over the world, Sri Lanka included, and constituted a refusal to so much as consider “short term pain for long term gain.”  Incidentally, even if one accepts as legitimate in some way the armed forces’ complete control of a nation’s affairs, and I certainly do not, this has historically not provided anything resembling an answer to dilemmas of this kind in democratic states. “Taking over a country, putting its affairs in order and then handing power back to a democratically-elected government” has never happened in the past and, particularly given the total subservience of the armed forces of this country to the Rajapaksa family is as likely as an Inuit buying a refrigerator from me!   That said, our locally “comfortably-off” are not able to get off their duffs to even do the “nine-to-five thing” because, if truth be told, the current economic chaos and corruption hasn’t hit them, literally, in their collective breadbasket. YET.  When it does, and it surely will as night follows day, it will be too late because they’ll then be so cowed into a paralysis of inaction, not by indifference but by a deep and absolute cowardice as befits those who proclaim the bravery of the Lion Race while practicing a political culture better suited to those long- and short-tailed scavengers that have traditionally tagged along behind the King of the Jungle!

Though the proverbial wisdom, at least in the western world, appears to be that social change can only be initiated by the educated middle class, 20th Century Sri Lankan history seems to suggest something different in that both JVP insurrections and that conducted by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were led by the lower middle classes of the two communities and their mass was made up from the peasant and what could pass for the working class of a pre-industrial society.  Do we have to wait for history to repeat itself and wait on those same segments of the Sri Lankan population to provide leadership to any effort to kick out the current banditry that tries to pass for some kind of elected, populist government?

Narrowly applying political theories of any kind in an effort to analyse the current Sri Lankan predicament and then seeking a solution to it through application of those classic theoretical concepts will not provide the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.”  We need people who are prepared to inconvenience themselves, nay, even, make some significant sacrifices in the areas of purse and person to shake the population-at-large out of its current torpor bred of fear and a “I’m all right, Jack” attitude based on a totally false foundation.  The specifics of such an attempt at change within a democratic framework needs to be determined and determined soon.  The efforts to find a “Common Candidate” to run against Mahinda Rajapaksa in the next Presidential election is a logical first step that Dr. Kumar David, much to his credit, has spearheaded and persisted with.  However, even if that is determined to be the logical first step to rid this land of the pestilential parasites that have governed us for too long, the next step(s) must be determined and worked on as well.  Remember what Margaret Mead said (and I will never tire of repeating!): “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”

Any takers?

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Latest comments

  • 2

    Seated on ice cream the opposition common candidate shall be conceived under the gorillas butt. With tree worshipers beggars have the plumb to organise, nominate a state within a temple, what an irony?

    Aren’t they getting closer to why Banda was assassinated? Psycho this is Lanka’s new faith spring.

    As long as `Boo`ts natures the pan_islam fear the nation would be hostile to liberty.

    Lanka is already in the orbit of a Gaddafi style regime for a decade, an additional score is conceivable under current world order.

    Lankan tree worshippers can dream with the begging bowl sans male chastity belt.

    emojibats ~゜・_・゜~ 

    • 1

      So Ja_vi,

      You have now gone back to basic and re invented joined up writing.

      Le us analyse:

      1) Gorrila is hiden under the ice cream and the action to conceive and create takes place after the ice cream has melted out in the open with on lookers.
      2) You are right about the tree worshipers. Have you seen TGs photos where MR worships trees. If you have havent I suggest you contact TG an she is very obliging.
      3) Banda was assasinated because there was a spare bullet. It was test firing which went horribly wrong.
      4) The fear of islam has already been iradicated after Halal was banned.
      5) Did you see Gaddafis last few hours and now his son ( Chamal)has grown a beard in jail and studying Philosophy too late.
      6) MRs dream has already come true and has a Pichai Pathiram to collect Pichai from the Cheenavedi.

      • 0

        Kallathoni Kali`mutt` U,

        My budgie lays square eggs.
        That’s amazing! Can it talk as well?
        Yes, but only one word.
        What’s that?

        J.T. Jatika Thonduva,

        Just hang up side down and make a noise like a banana.
        Crisp,you would be bearded.

        • 1

          So Ja_vi you SLAVE ( Indian Colony).

          Kallathoni is a chicken and egg situation. It depends on your pecerption as to who arrived fisrt and we have a claim to North & East and you are not going to deny it. We will not let you and you have tried in vain for 2500 years so accept defeat with humilty otherwise you will prolong your agony. But then Beggars cant be choosers.

          Budgie lays square eggs. It depends on how good your vison is and I take it that you have poor eye vision result of Glaucoma. SAD.

          Ouch that is Quack yo chicken.

          The first time I have heard banana crisp makes funny noises.
          That is a sign you are cracking up.

          There is a saying Adika Adika Ammiyum Nakarum. The trick has worked.

          Jioned up writting better than broken english. Are you taking lessons. The progress has been remarkable.

          • 0

            Kallathoni Kali`mutt` U, of J.T. Jatika Thonduva,

            When you get china boot footing even your nadu will run.
            Hindia will never enter quarrel. Indo Chino Bhai Bye!!

            right now in the island you are non entity like in Malaysia owned by democratic Chinese immigrants.-

            • 1

              So Ja_vi you SLAVE

              Lets us see if you are making any progress.
              Certainly the broken English has gone. That is good.
              Copying and Pasting has to go because that is a sign of lack of news ideas and difficulty with grasping what the topic you are commenting on. This is genetic that means low IQ. Born with it and nothing can be done.
              Choice of words noramally G_A_R_B_A_G_E may be due to speaking Mandarin confirmed beyond reasonable doubt by the following.

              “When you get china boot footing even your nadu will run. Hindia will never enter quarrel. Indo Chino Bhai Bye!!”.

              All about China BOOT FOOT RUN NEVER EVER QUARREL and finally wave GOODBYE. Cant see any connection.
              Following might have sounded slightly better.

              Put your FOOT in with Your BOOT and without QUARRELING they will RUN like HELL and wave GOODBYE.

              Malaysia owned by “Poomi Bhuthiras” not by Cheenavedis.

              Let us see what the morning after brings.

    • 1

      Emil, having looked high and low for a suitable common candidate, we find that Sobhita, Fonny, Ranil, Sajith or Karu are not common enough.

      Will you please put your hand up for the job? With your obvious hero status around the CT drinking hole, you may be our only hope.


      • 0

        Sounds like common drowning rodents, looking for ba**s!
        use mouse to mouse resuscitation.
        The hardest part is getting the bucket underneath them.

      • 0

        unfortunately, indecent exposure is not my forte, so you’ll have to find a candidate appropriate to your needs elsewhere.

        • 0

          I only meant “show balls” figuratively, not literally!

          Don’t they speak English in Belgium or haven’t you got enough brains to work out that you are beating nothing but thin air?

          Put up or shut up!

  • 1

    A common candidate should be agreed on the following conditions:
    Remove executive powers within three months:
    Create a new constitution.

    United Country recognizing Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims are equal partners of the Nation.
    All citizens have the right to choose to live anywhere in this island irrespective of race, language, religion color, caste, gender and disability.
    Full Devolution of power to the regions based on the population distribution as of 1948.
    Independence of Security, financial, Judicial services accountable to Public.
    A proper investigation of all crimes, corruption and human right abuses.
    A proper accountability system for public and private institutions including parliament.

  • 1

    Thank you Emil.

    Will we get the cure????????????????

    “Sri Lanka must ensure justice for Tamils: Modi” http://telo.org/?p=55342

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged Sri Lanka to ensure “equality, dignity, justice and self-respect” for its Tamil minority.

    Modi made the appeal when a six-member delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Sri Lanka’s main Tamil political party, called on him.

    “The prime minister stressed the need for a political solution that addresses the aspirations of the Tamil community for equality, dignity, justice and self respect within the framework of a united Sri Lanka,” an official statement said.

    Modi urged “all stakeholders in Sri Lanka to engage constructively, in a spirit of partnership and mutual accommodation, towards finding a political solution”.

    This should be built “upon the 13th amendment of the Sri Lankan constitution”, he said, referring the India-backed amendment of the 1980s which called for devolving autonomous powers to the Tamils.

    Modi also assured the TNA delegation of India’s continuing support to provide relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction work in Sri Lanka’s northeast, the former war zone where thousands have been displaced.

    He said New Delhi’s focus would be on projects relating to housing, livelihood generation, capacity building, education, hospitals and infrastructure.

    The statement said: “The visit of TNA leaders is part of India’s continuing engagement with the government and political parties in Sri Lanka.”

    The TNA delegation briefed the prime minister on the situation in Sri Lanka and their assessment and expectations regarding devolution and national reconciliation

  • 1

    The “CURE” in any democratic society is Free and Fair Elections – a phenomenon so far not experienced by Lankan voters since independence – whereby, any voter can choose his candidate without let or hindrance.
    Every election is like a mini war between rich thugs and supported by corrupt beaurocracy who thrive under their protection.
    One needs millions, an army of thugs and corrupt cops, and now, after the war, an army of “heros” who thrive on corrupt crooked self serving politicos, to support/contest any post including those even in sports bodies.
    There is no cure as things are. A few good men’s voices are not heard.
    A citizens’ revolution like what has happened in a few countries, is needed.
    But the state has become all powerful and ensures that this will never happen.
    Now,it is the desire of all lankans who have the means, to escape to other countries

  • 3

    Emil van der Poorten –

    RE: Enough Of The Diagnoses, Bring On The Cure!

    “For a long time now, writers focusing on Sri Lankan ethics or morality of some description have described, often at great length, what ails the body politic in this country. I cannot, in all conscience, exclude myself from this lot.”

    Emil, Thanks.

    Well, Well, the core problem is the Para-Sinhala-“Buddhism”. Racism and Chauvinism, in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. This is the Core sickness of the Para-Sinhalese “Buddhists”.

    Isn’t the Nationalist a Mental Patient?


    Reproducing historic article by Dr E W Adikaram

    At a time when few practise what they preach, Lankan scholar, writer and social activist Dr E W (Edward Winifred) Adikaram (1905-1985) was an illustrious exception.

    As a public intellectual, he had the courage of his convictions to speak out on matters of public interest — even when such views challenged widely held dogmas or went against populist trends. As a sceptical inquirer as well as a spiritualist, he always ‘walked his talk’. He never hesitated to take the often lonely (and sometimes bumpy) high road.

    Adikaram’s worldview was shaped by both science and the humanities. He initially offered science and mathematics at Colombo University College but later switched to Pali and Sanskrit. Having won a government scholarship, he went to England where he obtained his MA and Ph D from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His 1933 PhD thesis titled “Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon” (published in 1946) is still considered an extraordinary body of historical research.

    Young Adikaram was a contemporary — and personal friend — of leading Ceylonese leftists like Dr N M Perera, Dr Colvin R de Silva and Leslie Gunawardana. While he shared their broad ideals of self rule and equality among humans, he did not join socialist movements as he disapproved of using any kind of force — even for the greater good. Instead, he preferred the (Gandhian) non-violent approach to political and economic independence, and chose a career in education upon return to Ceylon.

    He became a teacher — and soon, the principal – at Ananda Shastralaya, Kotte, managed at the time by the non-governmental organisation Buddhist Theosophical Society (BTS). Within a short period, he founded several schools including Anula Vidyalaya, Nugegoda; Ananda Sastralaya, Matugama; and Vidyakara Vidyalaya, Maharagama. He also emerged as a prominent champion of non violence, promoter of vegetarianism and a campaigner against alcohol and tobacco.

    In the mid 1940s, a chance reading of a book by Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti transformed Adikaram’s life. Krishnamurti was proclaiming a message of inward liberation by understanding the ways of one’s own mind. He rejected the rituals and paraphernalia of organised religion, and saw nationalism as a ‘fatally divisive force’.

    Isn’t the Nationalist a Mental Patient?

    By Dr E W Adikaram

    Are you a Sinhalese? If you are a Sinhalese, how do you know that? I have asked this question from many who call themselves Sinhalese. I have so far never received a satisfactory reply from any of them.

    I have also asked those who say that they are Tamils, Telegus, etc., as to how they know that they are Tamils, Telegus and so on. From them too, I have never received a satisfactory reply.

    When this question is asked, some get annoyed. Some ask back why I should ask this question when the reply is so obvious, some consider that the question is asked merely for fun. Still others reply that they have never given thought to this question. Anyway a satisfactory, a logical and an acceptable reply does not come forth from any of them.

    “I am a Sinhalese because my parents are Sinhalese.” This is the argument of many. This surely is not a reply but only shifting the question a little further, as the next immediate question would then be “How do you know that your parents are Sinhalese?” This shifting can go on further and further, but the question will not thereby be solved.

    “A person is Sinhalese because he speaks the Sinhalese language.” This is another argument that is usually adduced. But there are people of other nationalities who speak only Sinhalese because they happen to be brought up from early childhood in homes where only Sinhalese is spoken. Simply because they speak the Sinhalese language they do not thereby become Sinhalese. And also there are Sinhalese people who speak a language other than Sinhalese because they were brought up in non-Sinhalese homes. They are not considered non-Sinhalese simply because they cannot speak Sinhalese. It is therefore clear that one is not a Sinhalese just because he speaks Sinhalese. Similarly a person does not become an Englishman simply because he speaks English.

    If so, how can one conclusively know that a person is Sinhalese, Tamil, English, German or Japanese? There is no reply that could be given to this question. A right reply can be given only to a right question. A right reply cannot be given to this question because the question is wrong. When in truth there is no such thing as a nationality, how is it possible to give a right reply when one is asked to which nationality a person belongs?

    If you have an infant child, please examine its entire body as carefully as possible. Is there any special part of its body or mark which differentiates it as a Sinhalese child? However much you may search you will never find such a distinguishing characteristic. There are people different in colour of skin such as black, brown, white, yellow etc. That is due to the fact that their ancestors lived for thousands of years in places differing from each other in climatic and geographical conditions. But that colour does not give an indication as to what nationality a person belongs. As that child who is common to the entire human race grows up he will be given a name and will be deemed to belong to a particular race or nationality. That child who at the time is incapable of logical thinking, who cannot discern fact from non-fact and who hasn’t the ability to compare and contrast, accepts unthinkingly and unknowingly the nationality that has been thrust upon him. Having accepted it he gradually comes to believe that he belongs to that particular nationality. Please think over the fact that you become a Sinhalese not because you had some thing naturally Sinhalese but because of the belief created and imposed on you by the environment and society including your parents.

    Species of birds differ by birth from one another. Between the eagle and the dove, between the quail and the peacock there is a natural difference. Is there such a difference between the Sinhalese and the Tamil, between the Englishman and the German?

    So are the other animals. They have species differing from one another. There are natural characteristics that differentiate the tiger from the bear and the horse from the bull. Is there such a difference between the Japanese and the Jew or between the Chinaman and the Eskimo?

    Unlike birds and animals, all human beings in the world belong to one species only, the human species. In truth there is only one human race: what goes as Sinhalese, Tamil, English and a thousand other nationalities are only designations born out of belief and having no intrinsic significance whatsoever.

    If one sees things that do not exist and believes that they do exist, such a person we call a mental patient. On one occasion when I went to the mental hospital at Angoda to visit a friend who was a patient there, a person calling himself His Majesty Diyasena the King of the Sinhalese spoke to me and got into conversation with me. Not only did he firmly believe that he was King Diyasena but in his behaviour he even showed an affected regal demeanour. If any one told him that he was not Diyasena, he would naturally consider that person a lunatic.

    If we consider as insane a person who calls himself a non-existent King Diyasena, how can we consider as sane those people who call themselves Sinhalese, Tamils, English when in truth there is no such thing as a Sinhalese nation, a Tamil nation or an English nation.

    There is only one human race. We are human beings and not Sinhalese, Tamil or English. Biologically this is so. But those who are fettered with the belief that there is racial difference are incapable of seeing this fact.

    As the idea of nation has come into being by assuming as existent something which does not exist, nationalism has to be necessary considered a form of insanity. Not only here but in the whole world the vast majority of people are tethered with that belief, with that delusion.

    The main cause for all the wars that took place in the world in the past was this psychological aliment, namely nationalism.

    Even in the modern world which, due to advancement in Science, has all the opportunities for comfortable living, man has to suffer because of this disease of nationalism and its inevitable political tentacles.

    In big countries those who suffer from this madness contrive to bring about murder on a big scale with nuclear weapons etc. In small countries like Sri Lanka they kill human beings on a smaller scale and they hurt people’s feelings with various ridiculous mad activities such as the defacing of name boards written in languages other than their own.

    Mankind today is living in a most critical stage. Many do not understand how dangerous the present situation is. We should understand that the forces that work in the world today are different from those that existed in the past. Even a slight mistake can make the entire human species disappear from the face of the earth. We can avoid that catastrophe and survive this critical period only if we act sanely with the feeling that this is our world and not by murdering each other saying that this is our nation and our country.

    Shouldn’t we therefore be free of this insanity of nationalism and thereby cease to be enemies of mankind?

    Nationalism is not the road to peace.

    Truth alone will bring us peace and freedom.

  • 4


    An amazingly insightful judgement of the Sri Lankan mind-set. Always waiting for someone else to make the first move, the sacrifice, and then to move up for the photo moment!

    Yes, we have had a few men and women who made the greater good of Sri Lankan society their only guiding principle for all the choices they made in their lives. Unfortunately they were not enough and spread far in-between to make a firm difference in values and attitudes.

    Today, its a dog eat dog mentality. Its all me-me and more me!

    Unfortunately to change an ingrained mind-set it requires dramatic and sometime painful incisions. As you say, it has taken military interventions to do that in most countries and the ill-effect of that phenomenon is that it stays in the national psyche for ions. Every time there is stress in the political climate, the expectation of the military intervening is used as a threat and cudgel by all parties. And, the military inevitably rises to the occasion!

    Sri Lanka does not have the educated technocrat-type leadership that can steer the ship of state away from the mess the last 25 years have created. We specialize in producing the Jayasundera, Cabraal types. If they do exist, they are still not in the front lines and will not be, because of the threat they would pose to the present clique.

    Harin’s move was a master-stroke in contemporary politics. I am sure he took the UNP leadership by suprise with his resignation. They had no choice but to go with him. Now they keep back-peddling and speaking from all their bodily orfices, hoping he does not succeed and end up challenging them!

  • 0

    Enter the DVP (durian vimukithy peramuna) Jaya wewa



  • 0

    The heading if read as “Enough of the Diagnoses, bring out the Cruel” !!

    The right answer is:


  • 1


    “Suffice it to say that I believe that suggesting that the UNP of Ranil Wickremesinghe, Karu Jayasuriya and Sajith Premadasa is a real alternative to what the Rajapaksa Regime (RR) has visited upon us is to pay pooja to something that has already proved its value, or lack thereof, in spades. After all, it was the J. R. Jayewardene regime that started the ball of massive corruption and impunity rolling and these, his unapologetic successors, have not, in any way, sought to distance themselves from that legacy.”

    **** Corruption in Sinhala Lanka is a by product of opportunities created by the Lethal and Toxic enviornment that exists as a result of the ethnic tensions trough a combination of NEED and GREED to make sure that the dream of Sinhalamisation lives on and is completed after 2500 years of waiting.
    No one plays it better than MR and the attempt to look for a Common candidate shows that we have taken the eye off the ball and the country is bankrupt of candidates. It is the message which is important and to win elections in Sinhala Lank and the race card is importantant and is the most potent weapon.

    So my advice to any potential presidential material is sharpen your attack on the Minorities and promise to hasten ( that you will do it quicker than MR )the time within which colonisation and Etnic Cleansing will be completed and frankly nothing else will suffice as otherwise you are wasting your time.

  • 0

    Underneath his eclectic coat, this man has his fingers on the national pulse and pulls no punches (as usual.)

    Even for a ‘small and dedicated group’ of leaders, it would be a Herculean task cleaning out our national stable. The proverbial stench will only be matched by the squeals of the porcine vermin as they scatter. ‘Our small and dedicated group’ will also have to run the gauntlet of a million knockers as they go about their business. But, to me that sweet day, when all our lotuses bloom at once, is a long way off.

    Before that heavenly day comes, the people will continue to the bottom of the pile, electing, and being exploited by all the usual suspects. each with their own unique recipe of shit and corruption. Only one thing is certain in these vexatious times – WE the people will only be an afterthought in the minds of those being elected.

  • 0

    Poor peasants and poor workers gave mass to the LTTE which was run by the lower Middle Class. says Mr Poorten.

    Dead right, Isn’t he?.

    Who reaped the benefits ,,It is the middle class and the upper class,

    Most are well established in the West .And the rest have taken over from the LTTE on behalf of the Diaspora and driving the same agenda.

    And the poor peasants and the poor dalit workers are still in the same boat.

    The Opposition which had the grand vision of getting rid of Rajapaksa by using the LTTE proxy TNA and its allies in the West and the UN Boss Pillai. is now in the doldrums .

    Does anyone in his right mind think the Colombo Elite and their young off springs will come to the streets to get bullets in the chest, when their lot have done extremely well since Nanthikadal .

    Besides, when did the Elite in Lanka ever had the Balls to do Arab Springs, since the Burghur Tamil putsch in the 60s.

    Mr Poorten must be smoking Durian to think that there are common candidates who can topple this Govt?…

    • 2

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Besides, when did the Elite in Lanka ever had the Balls to do Arab Springs, since the Burghur Tamil putsch in the 60s.”

      My Elders tell me that the Coup was planned by 12 Sinhalese, six Tamils and six Burghers, a sort of unity of purpose and unity in diversity.

      S W R D Banda was an Anglican.

      Wasn’t Colonel Fredrick C de Saram who represented the army component of supposed junta, a cousin of S W R D Banda?

      It is interesting that S W R D Banda failed in his responsibility to politicise and convert his cousin into Sinhala/Buddhism.

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