4 February, 2023

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Executive Presidency – A Wretched Profile Of A Nation

By Vishwamithra

“Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, which will itself need reforming.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Everyone is now talking about the Presidential system of government. Its advantages and disadvantages, especially accruing to the people of the land, are being debated and conclusions, right or wrong, are being reached irrespective of one’s personal political beliefs. In a deeply polarized body politic such as Sri Lanka, it’s rather painstaking to analyze and arrive at the right deductions. Each person would adopt each one’s methodology or approach to untangle the messy and shambolic system that obviously has failed time after time. 

Against such a confusing backdrop, one would be more equipped to offer constructive critique of the system if one has the patience and discipline to study its birth and its evolution thereafter and how it has failed so grossly, firstly the people and secondly its practitioners.

That is why I venture in this column to shed some light on the political background and the sociocultural milieu that prevailed at the time of the introduction of the so-called 1978 Constitution which drastically changed the way in which our government is established, how its workings are to be managed, its invariable impact on the economy of the country and its inescapable binding of the people. However, one must remember that the Westminster system of government that existed prior to 1978 had failed to satisfy the greater demands of the people on the one hand and exclusive leverage that the Executive president held on the other. 

The writer was privileged to have been associated with the original thinking of JR Jayewardene who is the author of the 1978 Constitution and the Presidential System of government. A way back in 1973, soon after JR took over the United National Party (UNP) after Dudley Senanayake’s demise, a few of the student leaders who were affiliated to the UNP met the new leader at his ‘Braemar’ residence at Ward Place, Colombo 7. At that discussion JR presented his macro thinking of the country’s problems, its gradual worsening and the potential solutions, both on the economic sphere as well as the sociocultural field.

JR was quite animated in his presentation of facts and statistics and also his capacity to admit the failures of the then UNP and the various governments it happened to lead from 1947 to 1970. In 1973, when we met, the country’s economy was in dire straits. Lines were building up for a pound of bread. Imported goods were scarce. One had to produce proof of getting married to purchase clothing necessary for the bridegroom. For purchase of a bicycle tire one had to take the broken tire to the shop; rice was not available on Tuesdays and Fridays in restaurants. Rice could not be transported from point A to point B without a permit. NM Perera’s economics has plunged the country into one large pit of failures and non-accomplishments. 

Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Felix Dias were running the country as if they owned lock, stock and barrel of the nation and dissatisfaction was manifest all over the land. Failure of Socialism as a political ideology and a system of economic practice was visible. The people were utterly helpless because the Sirimavo-government was holding rallies all over the country asking them to tighten their belts in order to save the country from non-existing foreign powers. Caught right in the middle of a fierce cold war which had reached its peak between the West and the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) or more commonly known as the Soviet Union, the leftist leaders misled the common man and woman and their families.

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)-led coalition government was swept into power in 1970 despite the fact that the UNP-led government from 1965 to 1970 had had some significant achievements such as the launching of the massive Mahaweli Ganga Project in 1969. Yet the people defeated the UNP without any reservation. Dudley and his UNP were reduced to just 17 seats on first-past-the post system of elections. Dudley Senanayake did not display the same sense of defiance and stoicism which was an integral part of J R Jayewardene’s personality. Dudley, much to the annoyance and surprise of his loyalists, asked JR to be the Leader of the Opposition. And JR did not hesitate a bit. 

In 1971 the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) which campaigned for the victory of the SLFP-led coalition staged an insurrection and it was brutally suppressed by Sirimavo and her government. On top of economic hardships, the people of the land had to go through another period of utter anguish and mothers who were waiting for their children to come home from the revolution were angrily turning against the government. Yet the UNP, under Dudley Senanayake did not change; it refused to embrace the new culture that had pierced the fabric of Sri Lanka’s society. Tradition-bound, the old leadership of the UNP took more than two years after its defeat in ’70 to come out in the open and address the public. That ultimately happened in 1972 at the famous Hyde Park on Darley Road, Maradana.                                   

However, with the passing away of Dudley, the UNP began a new journey along a new path under a new leader. JR was 68 years old when he took over the Party. But he showed the energy and vigor of a man in his thirties or forties. In the aforementioned discussion at ‘Braemar’, JR explained to us the causes of the UNP’s defeats. He said that, despite it being the Party that brought about long-term development to the country, the people did not identify themselves with the UNP. A set of Colombo-educated and elite bunch of pukka sahibs ran the show, he told us. He said that the UNP had to go back to the people, not the so-called ‘common man’, but the educated villager. As a result of his approach to this new political philosophy, men like Laggala Wijeratne Banda, Haputale WJM Lokubandara, Rattota Kaviratne, Minipe Attanayake and Galgamuwa Loku Banda were elected to parliament in 1977.

In addition to this ‘ruralization’ of the Party, JR also pointed out that the existing Westminster system acted as a decelerating system to fast development of the economy. It is here that he came out with the proposition that an Executive President system would accelerate the country’s development. Although JR had been vocal about Executive presidential system for some time, even in Parliament, this was the first time he told a small group of students the pros and cons of such a system of government.

At the time we did not pay much attention to JR’s proposition, yet when he introduced the 1978 Constitution within which was included the Executive Presidential way of governance, we were actually not surprised. The rest, as they say, is history. Now allow me to discuss what happened after the introduction of the Executive Presidential system.

When JR was President, there was no presidential secretariat. He ran his office with one President’s Secretary (WMPB Menikdivela). His advisors were an unofficial inner Cabinet that comprised of R Premadasa, Gamini Dissanayake, Lalith Athulathmudali and Ronnie De Mel. JR’s adherence to the old parliamentary system did not desert him during his tenure yet with a vigor of ‘an old man in a hurry’, as K M de Silva wrote in JR’s biography, JR made many a slip and especially his deafening silence in the wake of the ’83 July riots still remains as one of his tragic legacies. 

In the Executive President system, JR provided for himself room and space for President to be above the rule of law and that element in the Executive Presidency is a defining flaw in the current context. All those who succeeded JR as President, including JR himself, abused such unlimited powers to the hilt. From R Premadasa, Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) to Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Ranil Wickremesinghe are being derided for exercising this element of powers that is invested in Executive President. But with all his abuse of power and failures, corruption is not one badge that JR wore. His successors cannot be spared of that accusation. Corrupt to the core, they stand apart from JR in that ignoble sphere of personal dishonesty, corruption and insecurity. While JR was quintessentially secure in his position, all other Presidents have time and again shown their sense of insecurity in power. JR was never shy or uncomfortable with the so-called pundits and intellectuals. His successors were utterly uncomfortable and insecure in such educated company. 

While JR presided over an economic boom, all others, except perhaps Premadasa, showed their sheer incapacity and incapability to manage a country’s development. While JR delegated his work, all others refused to embrace such a successful management principle. Yet the Presidential System, as is being shown even today, remains a ‘thornish’ element on our governance-principles. Had JR introduced the Presidential System for a limited period of time (he could have done it because he had the five sixths of parliamentary majority at the time), the country may have had the chance to recover from the pits his successors had driven into during their respective tenures in office. But it is futile to indulge in such speculation now.                             

Presidential system, as a governing organism and a political process has had its beautiful and productive moments. But its nasty and dangerously devastating flashes have overshadowed those beautiful profiles. During JR’s time the massive Mahaweli Development program was completed with six reservoirs built and more than one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) families settled in newly irrigated land. Premadasa’s housing projects and the development of the Colombo Port were all successful programs that were completed during those seventeen years in which the UNP was in power. Despite an on-going war, the country’s stability was never a question. Nonetheless, the country’s current status could be largely attributable to the unlimited powers vested in the Executive Presidency. No future government would want to change this system. The only way it could be changed is, whether one agrees or not, through an ‘Aragalaya’. 

The Aragalaya happens to be taking a much-needed pause. The month of October is relatively a dull period in Sri Lanka. Being situated in the tropics, away from the vagaries of seasons which otherwise temper the regular climatic changes on the globe, Sri Lanka, in a very acute sense, goes through these whether changes in a matter-of-fact manner. Intermittent torrential rain that batters the wet zone claims its inevitable victims- landslides in the hill-country, floods accompanied with its regular debris hugging the land and resultant camps to accommodate the victims of these natural irregularities. The sun breaks through, piercing the morning mist and shedding much wanted light on a sleepy population. With the chores of the day completed, as twilight approaches, the autumn moon dominates an otherwise dark sky. Billions of stars are keeping company to a solitary moon and the usual lullabies and serenades begin their evening meditational twirling, bringing forth the calmness and serenity to an expectant land. Let’s indulge in the magnificence of this moment.

*The writer can be contacted by vishwamithra1984@gmail.com   

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Latest comments

  • 11
    1

    Half baked analysis.
    Executive Presidency by label does not say anything.
    Separation of powers and checks and balances are key factors.
    US is the closest system that has separation of powers – no one from legislature is part of Executive- and horizontal separation of powers with federal and state and checks and balances makes no body absolutely powerful.
    No wonder politicians will not want it. They will put the blame Executive Presidency and go back to West monster system where they control both legislature and Executive live happily thereafter.
    But I can not understand the intellectuals and social activists including people like the AUTHOR wants Bury their head in the sand

  • 10
    0

    The author has titled this essay: ” Executive Presidency- A Wretched Profile of A Nation”. What an indecent way to disgrace the “Nation”?

    Remember it is not the “Nation” that is “Wretched”. Then who were and are “Wretched”? None other than ALL the candidates who HELD and still HOLDING this position are the “WRETCHED”. As a result of ALL of their “WRETCHDNESS” the Nation suffered and continues to suffer immensely.

    Just think of the “WRETCHDNESS” and “SUFFERINGS” all those who held and holding have done to this country and the nation. This must be ABOLISHED sooner than later.

    • 5
      0

      Simon

      Do you smell a rat?
      Is Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe planning to contest next presidential elections and become the next Executive President?

      According many comments (of course by our practicing Legal Eagles) it appears that the 22A has not lost its core ideas, executiveness..

      • 3
        0

        NY. Yes. Of course without a doubt. This Wijedasa is a No.1 “HYPOCRITE”. I remember him having a “Media Briefing” held in Narahenpita Abeyaramaya along with Muruththetuwe Ananda ( a member of the Saffron Brigade) to protest against Gota’s “20A”. But what did he do at the voting? He voted “YES” to “20A”.

        In the 2015 “Yahapalanaya” Government under Rani/MY3 combo, he was the Minister of Justice. He was tasked to set up “Special Tribunals” to hear all cases of “Financial Crimes” against the “Mafia Boss” and his Goons. He evaded that task for three years and allowed “MR & CO” to roam of free will. Having observed his conspiratorial behavior, a campaign arose from within the Cabinet resulting in his ouster. Next, he joined Gota. That is a very brief account of this “Hypocrite”.

        Shouldn’t this “NADE” be kicked out of politics? YES. It is a MUST.

        I said this “21A (previously 22A) is a “Cut and Paste” job.

        • 1
          1

          Simon,
          “Shouldn’t this “NADE” be kicked out of politics? YES. It is a MUST.”
          Agree with you. 64 million dollar question is HOW??
          The 6.9 million SMART herd, would think otherwise, like in 2019 as the only salvation and way out for this country?? They along with able guidance of the Saffron Robes like the “well nursed one” anoint and install ‘Deal Dasa’ come 2024??
          Mission accomplished!!
          When the country fails again, without any signs of promised “Vistas of Prosperity and splendour” after another 2.5 years thereafter (mid 2028) these professional “King Makers”, will “KEEP MUM” – not a word – as if nothing extraordinary happened in this world!!?? Stoic silence!!
          That silence doesn’t mean anything else but another decline of the USD parity – same dip tp SL Rs 900 per green back!!
          We could “pat on ourselves on the backs”, that we are EQUAL STATUS TO UGANDA/ZIMBABWE – carry ‘Jute hessian’ money bags to the nearest bakery to buy loaf of bread!!??
          Not even India to help with rice – stave-off Starvation
          Then atleast Gananathan – our Ambassador to Uganda would decide to “PARK”, the Messiah’s plane in Colombo airport, instead of Kampala!!??

  • 19
    0

    Let us assume that we have a presidential system and parliamentary system with a majority support from all nine provinces and all three major communities and the country has a constitution with devolution of power to all nine provinces and all three languages as the government official languages and educational languages and independent judiciary, military and police services. Do you think it will lead to major problems? No. What is our problem? Where it started? It was strated by JR Jeyawardena’s protest march against Banda-Chelva Act in 1957, which also lead to 1958 massacre of Tamil civilians. Since then Racial and religious division of people encouraged by Political leaders instead of economic focus. Sri lankan leaders become leaders of Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism whether they are left or right. So, whether you change system or not, the racial and religious agenda is the great barrier for the development of this country.

  • 10
    23

    1983 did not come from outer space , it was building up for a long time, especially since the LTTE began killing various people including policemen in Jaffna since 1974 or so. After 1977 the killing and the other attacks accelerated.
    The so called royal/loyal opposition led by TULF and Amithalingam excused these attacks and even justified them. The people in the south began to think this was utter hypocrisy, enjoying the peace and security of the south while supporting terrorism against that very country in the north.
    These terrorist were described fondly by Tamils as ‘boys’
    The rest of the country felt that these chaps were playing the army and the police and fooling the entire world as proper peaceful citizens !
    Even JR was very disappointed with the whole game.
    We must examine 1983 with all the facts, not only the facts which support one bias interpretation.

    • 12
      4

      So 1956,1958, 1977 came from outer space

    • 17
      5

      Please also examine yourself, your reasoning and your brainpower, before posting extremely biased racist rubbish and false propaganda. The LTTE and Tigers are the children of state-sponsored Chingkalla racism. violence, pogroms and marginalization of the island’sThamizh, from the time of independence. Especially after 1983 and still continues, even 13 years after the demise of the LTTE. It proves who is at fault and who is racist. There was no LTTE or any Thamizh militant group in 1951 when the citizenship act was passed to make Indian origin estate Thamizh stateless, in 1956, in 1977 and in 1983, when all the anti-Thamizh pogroms took place and there is no LTTE now, but the anti-Thamizh hatred, violence, land grabbing, and marginalization of the island’s Thamizh still continue.

    • 12
      2

      deepthi silva

      “it was building up for a long time, especially since the LTTE began killing various people including policemen in Jaffna since 1974 or so.”

      No you are wrong.
      1915, 1958, … 1961, 1974, 1977, 1981 …. were like volcano, bottled up colonial anger of 450 years or maybe 1000, 2000 years of Chola Pandya anger bursting out, …. .

      In fact you people need good riots periodically, books burning rituals, Tyre pyres, watching floating bodies in rivers, game of rape and kill, electing and appointing thieves, looters, rapists, racists, arsonists, murderers, fascists, to parliament and top jobs, …. ….

      You should write up a memo (maybe a small handbook) stating all your reasons for why you act and justify as you do title how to blame the victims.

      You are doing well on your own, you do not need any outside help however in case you if you are stuck with writers block help is available from many old fossils, young saffron brigades, politicians, army men, …………….. editorials, ….

    • 4
      0

      DS
      “1983 DID NOT COME FROM OUTER SPACE, IT WAS TIME building up for a long time, especially since the LTTE began killing various people including policemen in Jaffna since 1974 or so. After 1977 the killing and the other attacks accelerated.
      The so called royal/loyal opposition led by TULF and Amirthalingam ‘excused’ these attacks and even JUSTIFIED them. The people in the south began to think this was utter hypocrisy, enjoying the peace and security of the south while supporting terrorism against that very country in the north.”
      The issue has got convoluted, because we have START AT INCORRECT TIMELINE!!??
      All this culminated around 1931 with small irritants, political attritions administrative set-backs!! However, the WATER SHED MARK LINE, was 1956 – SINHALA ONLY OFFICIAL LANGUAGE POLICY”!!
      1. Tamils (Hindu, Christian, Muslim) in public service lost their positions qualified 2-3 years
      2. Burgher community in public service lost their positions unless,qualified 2-3 years
      3. 1959 – Unilateral abrogation of Banda – Chelva Pact on amending official language act to provide, the reasonable use of Tamil in North East administration
      (TBC)

    • 3
      0

      (Part II)
      4. 1960 – Vehicle & Street Name signboards converted to Sinhala – TAR Brush Campaign
      5. 1961 – Satyagraha (Ghanaian style non-violent sit down protest in North East = NE)
      6. Above was broken up violently, no less violent than the Gall Face Aragalaya break up!?
      7. 1966 – Violence after the failed District Councils bill!!
      8. 1971 – Standardisation, instead of the Merit system of entry to all Universities!??
      9. NE schools classified as higher level and deemed that those students should attain much higher score to enter Medicine and Engineering (Colombo school Std.) than South SL
      10. Majority disillusioned youth migrated overseas – qualify professionally and seek livelihood
      11. Consequentially, youth took up farming, essential food items Chillies, Onions, Potatoes – started earning livelihood thus instead of engineering/medical profession!!
      12. 1977 – Liberalisation of the economy, farms became desolate due to imports
      13. 1980 Farms became desolate, youth educated and unemployed started migrating for jobs
      14. Uneducated youth unable to migrate and/or seek employment became recruited to revolutionary groups and insurgence as they had no livelihood, enhanced the terror groups to sustain a livelihood in the given circumstances and absence of alternatives!!!???
      (TBC)

    • 3
      0

      (Part III)
      15. Then came 1983 and the riots and JRJ’s cleansing western province greater south SL of the ‘evil’ group from Panadura to Wattala/Kandana/Jaela and westwards to wardsAvissawella, progressively to the balance 7 provinces of SL!!??
      16. The progression of above events as detailed above (not from time-tag 1983 instead time-tag 1956 should be used to understand, the chronology of events and frustrating discriminations towards the minorities, culminating in 1983,
      a. Thinnavely Land mine blast killing Lt Vass Gunawardana and 14 soldiers
      b. Which enabled the 1983 riots in the south – nomenclature by JRJ after lapse of 1 whole week of terror as the “SPONTANEOUS RESPONSE OF THE SINHALA PEOPLE”, which deflected the blame form the government to the Sinhala people which I found atrocious as the Sinhala people are more human than that!!??
      c. Aftermath of the 1983 riots, meant loss of jobs as most establishments were burnt down and the Jobless Tamils trekked to Northern and Eastern provinces to swell the LTTE cadres by the 1000’s –from a mere 50 to 100 until 1983 by unqualified youth unable to migrate!!
      (TBC)

    • 2
      0

      (Part IV)
      d. This may be true, as according to newspaper reports of military intelligence and other sources, the cadre strength of LTTE at the time of Thinnavely Landmine, was NOT EXCEEDING 30, WITH 19 HARDCORE CARDRES PARTIICIPATINGIN THE EVENT!
      17. We then had a 26 year war, and great loss of life of both security forces, police, terrorists and civilians to conclude in May 2009victory after annihilation of the LTTE by the valiant forces led By Sarath Fonseka at Mullivaikal!!
      18. That is the cost of an elitist foreign (Oxford) educated ambitious and only son of Maha Mudaliyar claiming Lineage to Neela Perumal Pandaram of Nawagamuwa Pattini Kovil , to become PM of Sri Lanka?? Todays’ population starving unable to bear the “PANGS OF HUNGER” DUE TO THIS SHORTSIGHTEDNESS!!??
      19. What a price this country had to pay to satisfy that vanity!!??
      20. Hopefully DS, have better understanding of this sordid episode!!
      (Concluded)

      • 3
        1

        Mahila,
        You are wasting your time. DS only talks, she doesn’t listen.

  • 7
    2

    What happened to the erudite contributions of Eagle Eye please??

    • 7
      2

      So 1956,1958, 1977 came from outer space

    • 4
      2

      Bald Eagle was too old to live this damnding earth

    • 3
      2

      Bald Eagle was too old to live on this demanding, strenuous earth. So, do not worry of which world he is now, but if you have been longing, time to pay your tribute or write your eulogy. That will help you to lower your lonely feeling. And, at least temporarily, keep your company with deepthi silva and/or UOJ Saddampi.

      Feel better!

  • 7
    0

    ….” The sun breaks through, piercing the morning mist and shedding much wanted light on a sleepy population. With the chores of the day completed, as twilight approaches, the autumn moon dominates an otherwise dark sky. Billions of stars are keeping company to a solitary moon and the usual lullabies and serenades begin their evening meditational twirling, bringing forth the calmness and serenity to an expectant land. Let’s indulge in the magnificence of this moment….”

    This was the best part of the article. Brilliant story-telling that conjures up vivid images of an otherwise glorious and enchanting land…alas, the people that inhabit it could be far better if they wanted to..

  • 2
    1

    Everyone is now talking about the Presidential system of government.

    It’s not healthy for a society if the people hate their own government he not from the people & Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy in this country, Now

  • 14
    5

    deepti silva

    YES 1983did not come from outerspace. It came from the sinhala barbaric mindset from the continous progroms from 1959, the sinhala only act the marginalisation of tamils by standardisation ETET. The 1983 was created by the sinhala superiority BUT no merit in this regard mindset!!!! Are you blaming the tamils for you sinhala screwing up sinhala land and making it a BASKET BEGGAR NATION now famous for exporting sinhal toilet cleaners to other countries.

    • 9
      28

      Hold it you guys, I am not justifying 1983 or 56 or any thing else. In an academic discussion we must look at every element and be dispassionate.

      During the LTTE reign in the North, if there was a Tamil who sympathized with the Sinhalese, what would the LTTE have done to him ? Please be honest.

      During the gulf war if there was Muslim living in the US, enjoying what that country gave him, but was openly supportive of Saddam ,or Iraq, I am sure he should expect trouble from at least his American neighbours.These are realities.

      Before 1983 the Tamil politician and some businessmen were supporting the “boys” while making a good living in the South. this created a lot of resentment. That is what I am saying.

      • 13
        1

        deepthi silva

        Are you sure you know what you are talking about?

        Both UNP as well as SLFP had close connections with LTTE, both have been wheeling and dealing, that is real dealing, with your Leader Velupillai Prabaharan.

        You should be ashamed of yourself to have let your Leader Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabaharan to fight the Hindians, while allowing your brave soldiers (including those Generals already retired and still marking time at state’s expenses, …) to hide behind women folks and VP’s fat bum.

        When your air force shit bombed in the north, bombed churches, temples, people, … what the hell did you do? When your brave soldiers killed innocent civilians left right and center in 1971, and between 1987 and 1991 were you enjoying your holiday from moral outrage?

        • 5
          1

          NV: You rested at “1991”. I would like to take it forward to “2008” – the year in which 11 young men were “ABDUCTED” for a “RANSOME” by the Navy then under the command of Vasantha Karannagoda. To date, their whereabouts are not known. A case – “Trial at Bar” is being held against Navy personnel. Case No. 732 B.

          Vasantha Karannagod and his successor( if I remember correctly Wijegoonawardena) are named “Respondents”. However, AG has tried to take off Vasantha from the name list of Respondents.

          Interestingly;y, one of the vehicles taken along with the “Abductees” has been “Repainted” and numbered as belonging to the Navy. The other vehicle is in court custody. This fact was revealed in courts. A “Miracle” of Asia?

          • 3
            0

            Simon,
            The long exposed nation to corruption, nepotism, Kidnappings, Rapes and Plundering wealth – replace by word – LOOTING, has been rampant last 18 years in this country by top politicians, IT VIRTUALLY HAS SEEPED INTO EVERY VAIN, MARROW AND MUSCLE OF THE ENTIRE FABRIC OF THE NATION!!
            Peons were bribed even 50-60 years ago, but that was OCCASSIONALLY!!
            NOW PART OF THE PROFESSIONAL SERVICES OF THE PEON AMOUNTS TO FEE ENSURE DELIVERY!!
            Interestingly, one of the vehicles taken along with the “Abductees” has been “Repainted” and numbered as belonging to the Navy.”
            NO SURPRISINGLY, the Weeraya, who was holding the portfolio of Internal Security recently was seen driving in a vehicle which was before the courts and pending criminal matter!!
            HE WAS A REAR ADMIRAL. NOT VERY FAR FROM WASANTHA K AND WIJEGUNARATNE – ADMIRALS OF THE FLEET???
            AS SAID BEFORE NO STOPPING DECLINE!!!???

      • 11
        2

        Pretending to be reasonable but in reality not, posting racist Chingkalla propaganda and being an apologist for state-sponsored Chingkalla racism against the Thamizh. What is your problem with Thamizh people through their own hard work and industry doing very well in the south or in any part of the island? Sour grapes? Unlike the Chingkallams, who are provided with a lot of support, if these Thamizh or for that matter Muslim Thamizh have done well, it is through their sheer hard work, overcoming many obstacles. Thamizh also pays tax and are citizens of the country and are also entitled to do well not just Chingkallams. Will not allow Thamizh to make a good living in their own areas or anywhere on the island.

      • 8
        1

        DS
        I am not finding it dificult to see your point, as 1983 or 1956 can be analysed on a “stand alone” basis as you have done, while they are also responses, when seen in historical perspective.

        My problem is with how the police and the armed forces acted and more with how the government even at the highest level tried to justify it.The call on the “government” is different, and not supposed to be partisan unless they are making a statement that they are a “Singhala only” nation.This seems to be their larger response.

        As you speak of the US, I am actually in Pennsylvania right now on a visit and have been to see a university football match. Publicity has been given to race police violence, in the past but the government does not pretend it is non- existent, as errant cops do get charged and convicted too ( without presidential pardon).They are not above the law, though not perfect for sure.
        There is a fringe media and vocal groups here that will guard the minority freedom with the intent of keeping the majority also free from Hitlersim. One will recall the number of whites that marched during the “I cant breath” cop excess.

      • 6
        1

        deepthi silva,
        Don’t pretend yourself as a genuine chap. Just go back to what you said in your first comment. You started with justifying from 1970s to 1983 ignoring the history from 1950s. You compare the gulf war and the support of Muslims in USA supporting in Irag. What you are trying to say that this island belongs to only Sinhalese. The LTTE armed struggle by LTTE or armed struggle by JVP are not against the country or people but from the people of this country against to oppression of the people by the so called government. Now it is well established that the country failed because of the racism and fundamentalism. The rulers are the robbers of this country. You are not with people and people rights.

  • 3
    4

    When the Constitution of 1978 was introduced there were many great minds that sang its glory.
    (0nly a few expressed their concerns.)
    The media was mostly dismissive of the opponents.
    Has anyone apologised so far?

    • 7
      0

      Almost all of the leaders who were in power should apologies including SWRD, Srimavo, JR Jeyawardena, Premadasa, Chandrika, Mahinda, Gota and Ranil etc.

      • 0
        3

        A
        Four cannot oblige you.
        You have missed good old DS, Dudly and, DBW.

        • 2
          0

          SJ,
          Okay You can add also RP.

  • 9
    4

    deepthi silva,
    You seem to take the moral high-ground with your ‘enjoying the peace and security of the south’, as if Tamils have not been contributing to peace and security of the South.
    You are also asking us, ‘Please be honest’.
    Can you take honesty? I doubt.
    Tamils don’t speak. Because, we don’t want to lie, and you dan’t take honesty kindly.
    Be honest yourself, first. Why are you bringing up LTTE? Isn’t it to win an argument?
    Start being honest yourself before demanding it from others.

  • 1
    0

    Only reason Jaywardena seemed a success story on capitalism was because he was the first to start the capitalistic process out of the uselessness of the pseudo-socialist past.

    A temporary success burst forth together with the ready availability of foreign loans (never paid back of course, but always shamefully rolled into refinancing).

    Yes, 150- thousand families were resettled in the Mahawelli scheme with big pomp and glory. Yet at the same time, an unknown few millions were displaced off their livelihoods and traditional agriculture for this big capitalistic scheme…..displacement came imperceptibly you see. Then Premadasa had to use the country capital to build homes for these very displaced.

    Future capitalistic governments only held on by driving their people to labour camps in the Middle East to satisfy the capitalistic ego. Thereby, successive capitalists could never have the glowing countenance of Jayawardena. Right now its all brutal tactic.

    At present, Ranil is attempting to prise out Rajapaksa money of the hardworking-suffering-Lankan- Masses. He might/mightn’t be successful. Whatever he does, it’s all about big wheeling-dealing capitalism wielded with a big stick towards the common man……sooo outmoded and immoral in these present times. Great are his taxation policies, but it is to be used to finance even more the high-flying business venture.

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      We need/always needed, a full dose of Democratic- Socialism reign ( bordering Communism) to delve deep into the ability, needs, and spirituality of the Lankan masses

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    Who said that the SL armed forces are barve must be joking!!! Just read that army soldier in Jaffna snatched gold chain from 15 year old tamil studens neck caught by other tamils and handed over to police and the barbaric sinhala armed forecs camed to the police station and wanted to get him out!!! Only thieves rapist and murderers the sinhala armed forces!! in brutalising the tamils.

    Now exporting sinhala women to other countries in a big way who are tortured mistreated and sexually abused.

    When I come across philipino women in my coutry I think about what the locals say ie they are the “Dearest”. For those who dont get it money plundering of the local spouses!

    When I see sinhala women now in my copuntry I think toilet cleaners and sex slaves!!! Budhha’s KARMA!!!!

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    I asked a relative in the UK why the locals dont attack the muslims after a Jihadist attack on innocent civilians and the response was that the British leave it to their police and dont take the law in their own hands.

    In SL the police armed forces and the sinhalas all are in cahoots to rape kill loot and arson against the tamils.

    Inevitable progressing to an ABYSS for SL because the whole wretched country and its parliamentarians are wretched peoples. RW is supposed to have granted from SL treasury a fortune for the RAKSAHPAKSES to rebuild their burnt down homes. ALL CROOKS!!!

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    Gus you only have to type Tamil and rape into Google to see how many Tamil women are raped by Tamils all over south India. You really are an ignorant racist.

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      Svenson

      Well are you preparing ( because impunity enjoyed by rapists of this island) your men folks for regional RAPE Contest?

      You sound/imply as though the women folks are ever ready and voluntarily available themselves and have them raped by men.


      By the way did Indian women ask you to monitor how and how frequently Tamil women are being raped in Tamil Nadu?

      Whats wrong with you men in Sri Lanka?

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      S
      Certainly, Tamil criminals are raping and killing Tamils. But are we missing something big here ?
      It is no secret that those who abducted any Tamil youth were justified as patriots by populist leaders who were voted into power on this basis.
      Such conduct cannot keep a country together and any sane human being should not seek to justify it also like criminals.
      Leave alone Biden I don’t think even Trump could have got away with such cheap glory !
      While US is no great country many Sri lankan heros are based there…… and wonder why the voters are so impressed?
      Till the country has a national father who is able to muster votes, it will have cardboard heroes.

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      Svenson,
      Why you are going to South India. I typed Rape Women and Sri Lanka I couldn’t finding other than Sinhala military rape Tamil women. I thought your military always carry Mahawamsa in one hand and Gun on the other hand.

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    Writer appears to be a good follower of J R Jayawardene who salvaged the failing UNP from the rot and succeeded in winning with resounding majority in the 1977 general election. Whatever said and done Sirimao Bandaranayake the then PM was too cautious in spending foreign currencies but was keen to improve agriculture sector and local industries. During her tenure as prime minister she succeeded in building Polgolle Dam solely on country’s funds without the help of any other countries was a remarkable achievement. In addition there were many local industries covering many segments of the market was a boon for the country. Assembling of Upali Fiat car was one of them. There were factories assembling radio sets, televisions and batteries where I also got an opportunity to work in one of the factories. It was very unfortunate that when J R Jayawardene took over he boasted that his government promoting open market and allowed imports that killed locally produced items. Even locally produced food items flooded the market that ruined local industries and as a results many people left unemployed. J R Jayawardene empowered and helped Pettah Mudalalies by allowing them to import anything and everything at sight. During the regime of J R Jayawardene started the rot that spanned for 17 years where the current president Ranil Wickremesinghe had been a cabinet minister and later became the PM.

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    One indifferent comment from me and all of you, Vedda, OC,Dilshan,mahila, pandi kutti, Gus, nathan have dropped your masquerade ( western oriented intellectuals ! !) and have confessed to their roots , villages and true selves !

    When they carry such bias and hatred can anyone take them seriously ! I suppose if I also had to look like them I will also have a lot of anger ( look at vedda) !

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      DS,
      ” I suppose if I also had to look like them I will also have a lot of anger ( look at vedda) “
      Yes, the guy in the photo does have a lot of anger. A mass murderer, in fact.
      But then, it seems your education and world-view don’t enable you to recognize it as a photo of Pol Pot. I suppose you don’t even know how to Google a photo. So, sadly, this is the mental calibre of defenders of Sinhala Buddhism.
      It’s not we who are masquerading. It’s you masquerading as a reasonable non-racist. Pull the other one, please.

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        old codger

        Poor deepthi, without her we are not going to have fun.

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          Native ,
          She’s hiding at the bottom of the page. Be easy on her.

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    Svenson

    So if you google rape in tamilnadu there are lots of rapes you say?

    So does that justify barbaric sinhala armed forces raping tamils or sinhalas raping their own daughters after indulging in alcohol from moneys that their toilet cleaner wifes send from overseas??

    So does that justify rapes and sex slavery of sinhala females (per recent news reports) in ME countries eg Dubai etc?

    What logic. Progressing at a rapid phase toward sri lankans being considered further a pariah peoples!!! Note Theresa May said in a pongal speach that Ceylon Tamils punch above their weight!!!! Sinhalas punch below the belt!!!!

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    deepti silva

    Me not a western basic educated person. Ony western educated professionally.

    Came from an asian country to SL enrolled in Royal College. Within one week being bashed by sinhalas and not knowing why??? Obviouslyly because tamil but not tamil speaking!!!
    Subsequently ran into leader of the mob in another town on his own and he ran like the coward he was whenever he saw me,. Only brave in a mob.

    1983 constant bashing by sinhala armed forces because of nothing else than being a tamil.

    Wowed that if I ever had money to fund the tigers, and may have done so and contributing indirectly to the current beggar status of the sinhala land and its people.

    Ali Sabry blames UN. resolutions for SL bankruptcy and beggar status and NOT his best mates the pariah Rakshapakses!!! I wonder if India decide to indirectly unban the LTTE (defeated by Indian RAW intelligence to SL) and support the LTTE (like India is doing in Baluchistan as retribution to paki supported Kashmiri terrorism) which is a possibility to mitigate china threat via SL how the brave SL will fare???

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      Gus

      “(defeated by Indian RAW intelligence to SL)”

      Well LTTE was defeated by Thiruvengadam Velupillai Prabharan and not by RAW. You should get your facts right.

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