1 December, 2020

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Erosion Of Urban Rural And North South Divide

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

Flimsy Demarcations

Come elections and ‘divides’ are conjured up as immutable lines that define separateness. The first in the caption is economic and social. The second is not geographic but an euphemism for ethnic identity. It is made out by some that never the twain shall meet and never the sides can merge. Parroting follows and a dogma is set in place. Behaviour at elections does not fall into these stereotypes. Voting defies academic notions. Unconventional approaches in reading the present and foreseeing the future, take us closer to realistic positions.

When mental decks are cleared and inhibitions get smitten, there is scope for logical reasoning. Sri Lanka is yet to become a settled state like Malaysia or Singapore. In the last four weeks, very many forces seeking to resolve issues and arrive at a desired equilibrium, are having a struggle. There is a clash of ideas and a battle for supremacy. When there is a struggle, there cannot be peace. In this last week of electioneering, we see it at its height of intensity. Yet there is a remarkable unity among all in the forefront of Maithripala’s campaign. Accepting all what happens as signs of life, we have to await the outcome.

Opposition Iceberg

If there be a mighty big force in motion, in what form and to what purpose does it move? The shape is no different from an iceberg and the target is no less than restoration of democracy. What created the iceberg? Decades of negligence and positive mis-governance. Details need no recounting as citizens know them well. For 26 years from 1983, the war was invoked in mitigation of default. The war victory of 2009, knocked the bottom off all expiatory defence since then.

Maithripala FBThe incumbent President arrogated all power to himself. That power was shared by the family and the cabal around. The people had yearned for the peace dividend. The President and his coterie; kleptomaniacs all, took it wholesale. Illicit siphoning from end of war grew in geometrical progression. Pace and magnitude were arithmetical earlier from 2006. People’s perception was universal. International cognition was likewise. Arab Spring was fresh in the memory of the ruling clique. The fate of the culprit Heads of State was far too disquieting.

Election Facade

What next? Using the façade of democracy, hold the election, corrupt it, fake the results, usurp power, rivet a tyranny and bequeath ‘kingship’ to the Dynasty, waiting in the wings. In a similar wait was the populace in a mood of insurrection. The leadership to spearhead it was quietly crystallising. It embraced every shade of disaffection and all hues of political persuasion. When everything was turning in the opposition’s favour, with all ethnicities and religionists throwing in their collective weight, the most untoward, detrimental to the incumbent President happened. It was devastating.

Consensual Collective

Emerging common candidate was Maithripala Sirisena, a senior Minister in the ruling government and General Secretary of the party in power who broke ranks with the President. He has personality and is personable. He has moved in circles of power while yet retaining his common touch. His humility has farming origins. He has won acceptability of the Opposition galaxy. Chandrika, Ranil, Sajith Premadasa, Sarath Fonseka, Mangala Samaraweera, Karu Jayasuriya, Sampanthan, Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganeshan and Radhakrishnan. Their lieutenants are as well-known and no less weighty. In contrast is the monopolist of power, a loner in the fray. Certainty of victory is heavily weighted on one side.

Iceberg in Motion

With several forces marching in step, the iceberg of gigantic proportions is in motion. It was where it was but only the tip was seen. It was variously described and differently analysed. What remained immersed in subterranean waters is now moving on its own dynamic. The movement is certainly unsettling and irksome to all retardants. Yet from 1st January this year, it has become unstoppable. Even as it moves, large chunks are adding to its size. Real weight will be estimated on the 7th and known on the 9th. The date and the outcome are anxiously watched.

Erosion of Divides

Were the changes referred to in earlier paras not observed by the people? Unlikely. To some or even many the urban rural divide is a fixation having eternal life. The country has seen several changes particularly since the ‘peaceful revolution’ of 1956. They encompass social, economic, educational and cultural developments beside many other transformations. The cumulative effect of them all has been to change the landscape and to substantially remove stratifications. In such an environment it is not appropriate to say Maithripala gets more of the urban vote and Mahinda more of the rural. It can be asserted that the pattern of voting transcends such categorisation.

By the same reasoning, ethnic animosities are declining and talking of a divide is not fully relevant. This is not to suggest that passions cannot be roused. But now a strong government can more easily contain adverse situations. It may be said that political sentiments have begun to cross communal divides and voting patterns have assumed a different perspective.

If it is clear that divides have lost their rigidity, people will follow fresh contours. It is therefore up to us to base electoral forecasts from pragmatic platforms. This has not happened and many an estimate has gone awry. In the next few days when forecasts and realities are realigned, the ever widening gap between Maithripala and Mahinda will become clearer still.

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Latest comments

  • 3
    16

    Well, finally a good post. Perhaps wisdom is slowly dawning eclipsing those huge chunky brows of yours!

    As far as Tamil identity in Ceylon is concerned I have good news and more good news.

    The first piece of good news is you will see Tamil identity while you, and indeed many who post here pass away. Once pass come out of the other end, you will find it was a dumb thing to kill, plunder and waste everyone’s time over this superficial things. What is Tamil identity good for other than an occasional Kothu Roti anyway!

    The other piece of good news is that world is converging. In the future man will narrow down to one lone identity. Everyone will mix and have a beige colour skin. Some interesting combinations are possible.

    The Jamaican for example would have merged with Italians to make “Pastaferries”. Hindus will mix with Jews and become “Hinjuice”. Someone from Philippines will mix with a Hollander and become “Jalapeno”. A gal from Cuba will mix with a guy from Iceland to produce Ice Cubes. Sinhala guy will mix with Tamil girl to make “Sintams” etc. So you know its going to be interesting.

    • 7
      1

      Sure, Tamils are willing to lose their identity the moment Sinhalese are willing to drop theirs.Also why not tell the British to lose their identity and embrace immigration? Why not tell the Americans to lose their identity and embrace immigrants from Mexico? Why not tell the the Australians to lose their identity and embrace the boat people? Why not tell the Scottish to drop their Scottish identity? So when the peoples of different culture continue to embrace their identity why should Tamils not to do the same?

      Maybe when the human race become the colour you mentioned Tamils might drop their identity.

      • 3
        10

        Hello Ranjan,

        Why not tell the the Australians to lose their identity and embrace the boat people?

        In Ceylon Tamils are the “boat people”.

        So Tamils losing identity in Ceylon is not a choice. Its certainty. Its like the toilet cleaner walking past. The smell will linger for a while.

        As I said, its a useless thing to worry over anyway. We have wasted too much time, energy and space on it anyway.

        • 6
          2

          Imbecile,

          “So Tamils losing identity in Ceylon is not a choice. Its certainty. Its like the toilet cleaner walking past. The smell will linger for a while.”

          Dream on mate. You are permanently immersed in foul odour in the form of Sinhala Buddhist bigotry. There is no wonder that the decent Sinhala people distance themselves from the likes of you! As the country regains good governance, the odour that you carry gets heavier and heaver and eventually, you will have no place to hide!

    • 8
      3

      Vibhushana

      Good you are hearing mixed messages from mixed voices in your head. It is a worrying development:

      Did Kanian Poongkuntrnar mention Kothu Roti in Sangham Litrature? May be you read this in Mahawamsa that the Demela were fed with Kothu Roti.

      “Pastaferries”, “Hinjuice”, “Jalapeno”, Ice Cubes, “Sintams”, are interesting observations however you have missed one, a beast copulating with a beauty had already produced Vibushna, Champika, ……. and other Sinhala/Buddhists

    • 4
      1

      Imbecile,

      “What is Tamil identity good for other than an occasional Kothu Roti anyway!”

      You are one hell of an imbecile! The more you write the more you reveal your stupidity in abundance! The Tamils In Sri Lanka have been nourishing the Sinhala people, the language, economy and cultures. They will continue to do so while maintaining their unique identity. They will disregard imbeciles like you as your ilk is good for nothing.

      If you really want to contribute to SL in some way; I suggest that you endeavour to educate the Sinhala that there is no foreign conspiracy to eradicate them from the earth. I encourage you to find ways to instil in them strength and confidence such that they will not be influenced by unscrupulous politicians. Basically you need to rescue the Sinhala people from the deep state of slumber insecurity that they have been cursed with since the time of Anagariga Tharmapala days!

    • 4
      1

      Vibushan:”Sinhala guy will mix with Tamil girl to make “Sintams” etc. So you know its going to be interesting.”

      With all your anti Tamil rhetoric I can understand your aspiration to marry in tot the Tamil race. Hwever that will be a tremendous intellectual and cultural leap for the Sinhala people

      I read that there is a filing in the New York court to treat the Chimpanzzes as humans. I suggest that is a good start for the Sinhala people to marry int to the Chimpanzee race and evolve gradually.

      Whether the chimpanzee race will consider the Sinhala people god enough to marry is another question though

  • 5
    2

    In this modern computer age where communication has become so easy at very low cost there is no need for conflicts in Srilanka which is only a small country, geographically. Majority of Srilankans, whether Sinhalese, Tamil, or Muslims are not communal but unfortunately for some politicians this is the best product they can market for their existence and these are people who has to be eliminated. Multi racial, multi cultural, multi religious is a beautiful way to live provided each of us learn to respect each others rights and behave accordingly.

  • 4
    1

    JHU Champika has declared that he would support MaRa if he would reduce the powers given to provincial council under 13A. And his support to my3 is because MaRa refused to do so.

    If what MaRa refused to give JHU is given to him by My3 then TNA, SLMC and Sinhalese asking tamils to vote for my3 have a lot to a answer. And if JHU is ignored by my3 after my3’s win, it is not going to go well for the Tamils or the Muslims.

    • 2
      3

      Tamils are doomed either way!

      So boycott the election as before.

  • 8
    4

    Can’t editorial sensorship curtail publishing vibushanas trash, it takes the seriousness of Sivathasans good well reasoned article.

    Virus hand exposes his ignorance in attributing kottu roti as a Tamil speciality. We all love kottu but it is more a Muslim speciality .

    So vipushana stop writing trash

    • 2
      1

      This imbecile sits by the computer to get in on the act whenever he sees words like Tamils, Tamil Rights etc! He/she is the worst of the bigots have seen on these forums I am ver sorry to say.

  • 5
    8

    The bona fide of this author remains suspect. His only motivation seems to be to see his old master Chandrika in power.

    • 4
      3

      Roberts,

      Here we go again.

      Do you have and axe to grind with Mr.Sivathasan?

      The same way DJ has with Ranil,(Ranil’s Objection to grant Presidential pardon by JR to DJ for his Escapade with EPRLF, as some one was mentioning in another forum)

      • 4
        0

        Now that you mention DJ, the latest webnews says:

        “Coordinator of the meeting, minister Dullas Alahapperuma has strongly criticised media minister Keheliya Rambukwella for avoiding his responsibilities. He praised, to a round of applause by the others, media ministry secretary Charitha Herath for having garnered the support of Dr. Dayan Jayatilake on behalf of the president. Charitha said, “After the election, we will hand Dayan over to Sajin Vaas Gunawardena. Sajin Vaas knows well about the subjects which Dayan is interested in. later on, Dayan too, will address Sajin Vaas as sir.”

        DJ has gone silent now that he knows the PE results and is busy
        packing up.!!!

        1

  • 4
    0

    “If it is clear that divides have lost their rigidity, people will follow fresh contours”
    — Very important observation and its expectable when fighting a common evil. We saw this in pre-2009 era to an extent.

    What is more important is to keep this pattern continuing after the 8th too, especially in the event of a more probable victory. It may seem natural that the bondings becoming weaker and divides taking proportions when the pressure to defeat is released. Any naive comment from a member of the coalition may spiral out of control and lead to unwanted outcomes especially with the presence of moneymongering media at service of the wealthiest but defeated of the country. A strategy to prevent these hairline cracks causing the total collapse of this iceberg should be put in place at least on its basic form.
    What is equally important if not more is to replicate this winning pattern in any upcoming parliamentary elections.

    • 2
      0

      Unfinished

      The note below is with no reference to you.

      If I were the power that be, I will ban a website without ever blocking it.

      Recruit the worst scatterbrain in the country as Master Blogger. His blog must always appear first.

      Then no blogger will ever read an article. Comments will be on comments only. The first blogger will lead all others astray and for this service he will be paid highly.

  • 3
    3

    Mr. Sivathasan

    Thank you for this article. For the sake of the Island, I hope what you say will come to fruition and we’ll all learn how to live peacefully amongst each other without exploitation and marginalization of anyone.

    Happy New Year!

  • 3
    0

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Mr.S.Sivathasan states:

    Consensual Collective

    Emerging common candidate was Maithripala Sirisena, a senior Minister in the ruling government and General Secretary of the party in power who broke ranks with the President. He has personality and is personable. He has moved in circles of power while yet retaining his common touch. His humility has farming origins. He has won acceptability of the Opposition galaxy. Chandrika, Ranil, Sajith Premadasa, Sarath Fonseka, Mangala Samaraweera, Karu Jayasuriya, Sampanthan, Rauff Hakeem, Mano Ganeshan and Radhakrishnan. Their lieutenants are as well-known and no less weighty. In contrast is the monopolist of power, a loner in the fray. Certainty of victory is heavily weighted on one side.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Mr. Sivathasan is totally clueless, that by churning out articles, which are propaganda pieces to prop up Chandrika, Maithripala and their coalition, he is repeatedly proving among other things, that he is just a serf of his feudal mistress Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga.

    Myself and my associates don’t agree with all statements made by Dr. Brian Senewiratne, or with articles posted in Tamil nationalist websites. But, in this case, I very much agree with what Brian wrote in the following article:

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankan-presidential-elections-2015-the-choice/

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Dr. Brian Senewiratne states:

    Maithripala Sirisena

    A relatively unknown entity even in Sri Lanka, Sirisena has been in the Cabinet and has been the General Secretary of the SLFP (the party to which Rajapaksa and his predecessor, Chandrika Kumaratunga belong) since 2001.

    To give credit where credit is due, he had the courage to come forward as the common Opposition candidate to contest Rajapaksa. He has taken the not inconsiderable risk of being murdered – a risk he acknowledged.

    His account of Rajapaksa’s poor governance was accurate but he was a member of this regime, and a senior one at that, for much of this time. His excuse was that he was too afraid to speak.

    Of more serious concern is that he said nothing about the major problems faced by the Tamil people in the North and East. Perhaps he was too afraid to address this critical issue for fear of losing Sinhalese-Buddhist votes. If so, it is difficult to see how as President he will address the major problems faced by the Tamils.

    Sirisena’s main agenda seems to be that he will get rid of the Executive Presidency ‘within 100 days’ of being elected as President. There is no doubt that this will be a welcome step towards democracy but the question is whether that it will be sufficient. It must be remembered that Hitler rose to power in a functioning democracy in Germany. Hitler simply manipulated the existing laws to suit his intention to be a dictator.

    Simply getting rid of the Executive Presidency and returning power to Parliament is insufficient. There is much more that needs to be done such as the separation of powers which is the corner stone of democracy.

    There was not a word about demilitarisation of the North and East – an essential step in addressing the enormous problems faced by the Tamil people in that area. As such, the change to a Sirsena government might be of no benefit to the Tamils.

    Sirisena’s closeness to the most extreme ethnoreligius chauvinists, the political party of Buddhist monks – the Jathika Hela Urumaya – is of serious concern. He has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them. If it is necessary for him to get into bed with a rabid anti-Tamil party of Sinhala-Buddhist extremists, it is difficult to see how he can deliver peace with justice to the Tamil people.

    History might well repeat itself since this is exactly what S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike (from Rajapksa’s party) did in 1956 – to ride to power on the backs of politically- active Buddhist monks and found that he had to get into serious discrimination against the Tamils. When he tried to water this down (minimally), he was assassinated by one of them. Today, the Buddhist monks are far more violent that they have ever been. Sirisena will have to be firm – something that is unlikely to happen. If it does, his survival will be in doubt.

    Sirisena has clearly stated that he will not allow an international investigation into war crimes or allow those found guilty to face justice. That will make him an accomplice to war crimes.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Photo of Neelan Tiruchelvam grovelling at the feet of Chandrika. If Mr. Sivathasan had been present, he would first grovel at the feet of Neelan, and then grovel at the feet of Chandrika for a much longer duration.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    http://tamilnation.co/forum/sachisrikantha/070802neelan.htm
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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