4 December, 2020

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Even More Outrageous Conduct From Those Who Don’t Seem To Know The Meaning Of The Term!

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Recent news reports about the performance of this government, collectively and its separate elements up to and including the Chief Executive, makes one shake one’s head in puzzlement. That puzzlement does NOT stem from the disorientation that might come from having spent better than three decades in an “orthodox” democratic country before returning to the Miracle of Asia.

You have a man, Thilak Karunaratne, who speaks to the fact that he was arm-twisted into accepting the Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission making statements that simply accuse the very Chief Executive whom he considers (considered?) a trustworthy friend pushing him out of a regulatory role where he was expected to “clean house”. His crime?  Trying to do just that!

You have a politician on the stump in the recent provincial election campaign exhorting his supporters to “be not afraid” because they will be saved from the consequences of committing capital crimes if those crimes are committed in the promotion of the ruling party’s interests.
You have Mervin Silva threatening to interfere with the rituals of a Hindu temple, rituals that are considered sacrosanct by adherents of that religion.  With no admonition, contradiction or even attempt at defusing such inflammatory rhetoric from On High.  Does anyone remember the mosque attack in Dambulla and the eerie similarity of response from the forces of law and order?

You have haphazard actions by the Elections Commissioner, pecking away at inconsequentialities in a rotten-to-the-core bunch of Provincial Election campaigns.  Given, by his own admission, the (again) monumental contravention of every election law still on the statute books, why is it seemingly inconceivable that this man should have, at least threatened to cancel the polls or their results and compel a government which was brazenly contravening every election law on the books to go back to square one in the process?  Wasn’t this the only threat that was likely to get the attention of those concerned for even one fleeting moment?
Ah! But no, serving the rulers of the Miracle of Asia must take precedence over every principle of decency mustn’t it?

For those who keep appealing to the deity or deities for justice and the rule of law to return to this country, I have news: divine intervention in matters of this nature is rather a waste of time when one considers its track record.  Just in case, let me also remind you that, since time immemorial, recourse to slitting white roosters’ throats, dashing coconuts, looking heavenward while screaming imprecations has had little or no effect on those against whom such efforts are directed unless of course by some happy coincidence misfortune befell those visiting hell on earth to the citizenry at that time!

The reality is that Citizens Banda and Somawathie are on their own.  Only they can do something to fix the hell into which they are being ushered while all kinds of circuses are being promoted to obscure the ugly facts of life and the direction in which those facts are driving Sri Lankan life.

Do not expect the more thoughtful of your more well-to-do and secure citizens to have a massive outbreak of pangs of conscience and mount a campaign to relieve your misery.  They are too damned busy feathering their own nests or safeguarding what they already have and are too petrified by the prospect of losing even that to ever run the risk of doing anything to jeopardize their relationship with the powers-that-be.

For those of more militant mind-set, might I remind you that martyrdom does not come with a “morning after” component.  If you are done in, you are done for and, unless you are masochistic enough to be satisfied with the outside chance of being a footnote to early 21st Century Sri Lankan history, that’s not a fate to be contemplated.

Oh! But how about the “international community” and its humanitarian impulses? Recent history, even to those not given to reading and contemplating it, should speak for itself.  We’ve had the international “Tut-tut” Brigades quite regularly utter their platitudes about the need for democratic practices, the rule of law and all those wonderful things that are taken for granted in their own countries. However, it seems that when there is the prospect of a new round of neocolonial exploitation our potential saviours suddenly discover the virtues of “engagement,” aka collaboration, with dictators of any kind, as long as they are ready to indulge the propensity for profit that those self-same saviours might want to exercise.  Neville Chamberlain and Marshall Petain might be the most vilified of European politicians in recent Western history but their philosophical progeny seem always to be just around the corner!  Consider and contrast what one of our American “saviours’” has had to say in cables dug up by Wikileaks with his recent “engagement” strategies vis-à-vis our government.  Apart from philosophical contradictions, it proves that Mr. Robert O. Blake’s hypocrisy truly has no limits. And don’t forget that his views are representative of US foreign policy with regard to Sri Lanka.

We are on our own folks and the ultimate irony is that the only real light illuminating the end of this particular tunnel is really being shone by those who seek to envelop all of us in darkness: the current Sri Lankan regime.

Contradictory? Perhaps, but read on.

I don’t subscribe to the theory, increasingly put forward by those who claim an authoritative knowledge of recent South Asian history, that what happened within and to the Royal Family of Nepal will be repeated here. While there is certainly a logic to the expectation that the path of untrammeled corruption and venality will lead to internal conflict, disintegration and chaos I don’t think that is the most likely denouement to our current predicament.

A more erudite journalist than I recently pointed out Sri Lanka’s increasing dependence on the Peoples Republicof China (PRC). There could be a very serious downside to that cosying up to a country that singularly lacks anything resembling principle in the conduct of its affairs, foreign or local. The PRC has been worse than the worst capitalist bandit in its absolute commitment to achieving its own narrow economic objectives irrespective of any other considerations.  Because this has coincided with the development of so-called infrastructure (harbours in their String of Pearls to protect their oil supply routes) or cultivation of vast extents of African land (to meet their food production needs), in the recipient nations, those nations have been only too ready to accept such largesse, particularly since it has helped to cover up their own monumental corruption. This was also predicated on a belief, some would say “wishful thinking,” that China would continue to be immune to any international financial downturn, something that is currently being debunked, with even the manipulated Chinese growth figures proving a cause for major concern all over the world.

Also, at the end of the day, there is a price to be paid for historic violence and cruelty.  In fact a journalist known for her depth of historical and political knowledge detailed this in a recent piece on the removal of immunity from criminal prosecution of dictators. Those individuals who believe that they can indulge in financial rape and pillage and worse and walk away unscathed certainly aren’t reading history as it unfolds. If they did they’d know that members of the Argentine junta who were responsible for the word “disappeared” assuming a new meaning are being brought to justice despite their having been accorded complete legal immunity not so long ago. The same is true of Guatemala where, famously, a head of Amnesty International said they couldn’t launch one of their letter-writing campaigns on behalf of Prisoners of Conscience because the Guatemalan government took no prisoners!

Those who are making history of the most violent and unpalatable kind need to know that they are not going to be immune to the future fall-out from that very history! If that reality dawns on those running white vans, stealing artifacts from our National Museum, robbing the national treasury, doling out our financial lifeblood to kith and kin, perhaps it will give them pause.  Or are they too ignorant to even see that obvious writing on the wall?

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Latest comments

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    Great post Emil. My concern about your prediction for a brighter future is the fact that our leaders are masters of using religious and patriotic rhetoric to get mass society to jump at their command. Until mass society breaks away from their unhealthy attachments to religious and patriotic identities, our country will continue to be run by crooks who feed society sh*t and tell them they are having gourmet cuisine…

    Shouldn’t there come a time when we stop blaming the tricksters, and start blaming the fools who keep falling for the same old tricks of the tricksters?

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      Navin Weeraratne:

      As long as the people remain stupid the crooks have field day.

      The changes should come from bottom up not top bottom.

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        Native, that is exactly what I meant. For 30 years our people suffered what was called a civil war. Yet now that it is ‘over’, they are busy making the same stupid mistakes again. Why should teh politicians change? They are not starving are they? As long as the people are happy with failure, they will continue to get failure galore…

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          Navin Weeraratne

          The nation building process undertaken by the Sinhala/Buddhist majority is structurally flawed from its inception. Every opportunity to review the process was wasted or postponed with phoney promises.

          The Sri Lankan state and its rulers conveniently found enemies within or without to distract the attention of the people. People in this case, the Sinhala/Buddhist rewarded the most corrupt/hideous/inhumane/criminals/…. with with unprecedented majority in the parliament.

          It was initially the Malayalees, Pakistanis and Indians were the enemies. Then the Tamils were seen as the enemies. Later the JVP, the LTTE, USA, Norway……….International Community including India became the enemies within and without.

          Tamil Diaspora is seen as the archenemy at present.

          When is the state and its rulers stop blaming others and seriously look into its own structure and practices?

          Sri Lankan state is running out of enemies. Soon they realise it better for them. The majority who elects the government must stop for a while reflect on their past and think how they are going to vote in the regular ritual of elections.

          If they too are unhappy let them go to polling booth on the election day and spoil their votes,en masse. It will show the country that they are exercising their democratic rights responsibly and preventing the ballot riggers from using the unused ballot papers.

          This could send a clear message to the candidates who take the voters for a ride.

          How would you educate the stupid masses when they are bent on making the same mistakes again and again?

          JVP and LTTE had miserably failed in their violent confrontation with the state, not because the state is powerful but because the JVP and LTTE were run by stupid people. If anything that the past forty years of armed struggle has taught us, it is that don’t rely on arms.

          Let me come come back to the point I was trying to make earlier that all these years since independence the state and its rulers blamed the enemies within and outside, in fact they are true enemies of the people.

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          Fully agree with everything you have said Native, including the spoiling of votes. The problem is, our ‘leaders’ hand out a lot of ‘freebies’ around election times, and it doesn’t take much to buy the votes of our foolish masses… So the cycle of never ending stupidity continues to go around and round…

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    The fate of the Sinhala majority is bound by tricks performed with
    adaucity and gift of the gab of Politicians we have placed at the
    helm. The society as set will continue no different to the last few
    years. This is our fate.

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    The way the government is borrowing money makes the future generations in debt for hundreds of years

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    Ha ha ha…any bets on the prices of essential items including gas and petrol prices not being increased during the T20 World Cup to be held here in a few days time?

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    On srilanka Tea only Macwoods tea brand should be sold in UK according to the wise owl.

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    Our condition will not change by cursing the rulers and leaders of this country. We are wasting our precious time. I will not blame these thugs for raping this beautiful land of ours. I will not blame them for creating illusions that will never change into something real. I will direct my anger and curses at the morons who elected these psychopaths and criminals into power. Line up the brain dead morons and set a pack of wild dogs on them!

    There’s no point trying to change the demons running the show. In the end we will still end up with nothing because the morons keep voting for them time and again. We will never understand their frame of mind; seeing they don’t see and hearing they don’t hear. Deaf, dumb and blind!

    If we are so desperate for change then let us be that change first! Let us be the diamond in the sand. Someone said it beautifully: ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE!

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      Re: ‘I will direct my anger and curses at the morons who elected these psychopaths and criminals into power. Line up the brain dead morons and set a pack of wild dogs on them!’

      Haha, good call Thug Life… Only, isn’t having the rulers we have essentially equivalent to setting a pack of wild dogs on these people? The problem is, the people are so blissfully ignorant, they see the wild dogs as their best fruiends ;)

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        Navin Weeraratne

        THUG LIFE says in anger:

        “I will direct my anger and curses at the morons who elected these psychopaths and criminals into power. Line up the brain dead morons and set a pack of wild dogs on them!”

        Now you know why the Tamils and Sinhalese remain stupid. They are full time angry, 24/7/52 raged, they do not have time to reflect nor to think.

        Do you have any hope?

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          Yes, we are very good at getting angry… It does blind us of context, but I think Thug Life was speaking figuratively… Frustration is perhaps a better word, and we need to use our frustrations to inspire us to look deeper and change bigger. Sadly frustrations more easily (myself included) lead to anger, and we tend to act out immaturely…

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    This has been a successful simbiosis since MR ´s presidency is there.

    Mervin washes his hands while MR has to washes his. This is not the first time, people will not even notice the gravity of the anarchial consequences for the country while IC observes.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/21948-slhrc-to-query-police-inaction-.html

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    Navin, my thoughts exactly. The masses worship their pack leader! Some people make a life out of being ignorant, dumb and stupid.

    Native Vedda: “thug life says in anger…” Oh, really?

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      THUG LIFE

      “Native Vedda: “thug life says in anger…” Oh, really?”

      Yes indeed.

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    Navin Weeraratne

    I agree with what you say.

    Keep hope alive. Anger has no place in progressive mind. Anger is self destructive.

    You would have read a number of comments in these forums attacking me for no reason. They are the angry lot who some how misunderstood that I supported MR clan. The angry mind cannot read, think, write or act properly. They think(?) by being angry they could change the country.

    Watch out these are the very people who would cause the next round of (self) destruction. In this respect Sinhalese and Tamils are the best in the business.

    Anger and hatred have never benefited the people.

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