19 October, 2018

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From Nandikadal To Impeachment And Beyond

By Kumar David

Prof Kumar David

Now patience, preparation and determined mobilisation; From Nandikadal to impeachment and beyond

This is the time to take a long view of history, understand how we got here, and take measure how to meet the challenges of the coming years. To proclaim that the regime is moving to dictatorship with implacable determination is repetitive waste of newsprint, it is the best known fact of the current political conjuncture. Newspapers are saturated with furious articles, grave statements and editorials bewailing the loathsome deed; thank you, all excellent in preparation for the next step. But what is the next step? How did we get here? What is the balance of forces at this time? This is what must occupy our attention now; but there is little said on this score.

The journey that brought us here started four years ago on the shores of the Nandikadal. Sure Prabaharan was a brute; sure LTTE terrorism was no better than state terrorism; sure by subordinating politics to an outlandish military project, Prabaharan and the LTTE sealed their own fate and are a party to the traumatisation of the Tamils. None of this is in question. However, a tangential aspect is where the collapse of Lanka’s politico-constitutional order originates. (Make no mistake; the post-independence liberal-democratic project has collapsed). When the Sinhalese people cheered-on their military and their government to make race-war, they also loaded the guns that would one day be turned against them. The brutalisation of Tamil civilians and the trampling underfoot of human rights, to which they acquiesced by silence or cheered-on drunk on majoritarianism, are the chickens now coming home to roost. The power and the glory that tramples on judiciary, decency and constitution, was fashioned on the anvil of race-war.

How much I warned the Sinhalese people in this column that they were sowing the wind and would reap the world wind, but few took notice; it’s like that in race things. The impeachment is only a scene in a bigger unfolding where the Rajapakses are preparing to entrench a Corporatist State, a certain type of dictatorship, in Lanka. The ink and hot air decrying the brutish regime does little good unless it grasps this larger dynamic and mobilises to counter this momentous threat. It is we the people, or those of us who cheered militarisation, that created a lacuna in public consciousness allowing goons to patrol the streets of Colombo unchecked, and an opportunist lapdog turned traitor blurt out: “We have told the judiciary to go to hell!” This was so obnoxious, even DEW and Tissa had to distance themselves; they could not bear the stench any longer.

Welcome, wakeup; this is the new Lanka under the sway of the Rajapakses, their goons, and their toadies. Dictatorship has arrived and the Sinhala-Buddhist petty bourgeois, generically as a class, raised not a murmur in protest! Who is to blame, the dictator, or the nation that lies prone, like a bitch, to welcome a mount by the dictator? Every people gets the government it deserves; and in Lanka, as the people sleepwalk into servitude, they have nobody but themselves to blame.

The balance of forces

I have attempted to briefly map the road which brought us to where we are; not because it gives me great joy to say “I told you so” (it does, but only a little), nor because it is gratifying (it is not) to say that the many are mistaken much of the time; rather because it facilitates the drawing up of a balance sheet of the correlation of forces. The regime is strong, not because of hirelings, stooges and assorted murderers and drug peddlers, the regime is strong because it retains the support of a majority of the Sinhala-Buddhist semi-urban petty-bourgeoisie (the classes in the informal economy) and the Sinhala-Buddhist rural population. I have said Sinhala-Buddhist twice in one sentence because the Sinhala Catholics and Christians have deserted it, and the Tamils of course always despised it. The Muslims do not support the Rajapakses per se, but they will for the time being, follow the Muslim Congress like Mary’s little lamb.

Is the government’s Sinhala-Buddhist base beginning to erode, are there signs of large sections peeling off? No, I don’t think so, not yet. There are no short-cuts in the tasks facing the political opposition in year 2013. The JVP, unlike the UNP, is showing fire in its eye and passion in its belly, but I believe it is positioned to make headway for another reason too. The 2010-2011 specious economic short-boom is over; the bust part of the cycle commenced in early 2012 and will persist this year.

I will have to reserve discussion of short-term economic prospects for another essay, but I do believe that in year 2013, the disappointment of 2012 will persist; there is no reason why it should not. I see no way the trade deficit or the fiscal deficit can be reversed, I don’t see how inflation can be held to substantially below 10%, I don’t see how the government can go on borrowing to pay interest and living from hand to mouth. But Ranil and the UNP have lost the plot; it’s the JVP’s game to play. It has shown shrewdness and tactical agility in recent months; I hope it can sustain this momentum while holding in abeyance the anti-Tamil chauvinism that it is congenitally prone to.

Two more comments on the balance of forces and I am ready to move on. The Rajapakse regime has lost the educated middle classes, the professionals (lawyers, university teachers etc) and the capitalist class. I think it has lost these classes in perpetuity. It never had the Tamils or commanded Muslim loyalty directly. In a nutshell, the UPFA and its stooge parties are weaker now than they were at the time of the provincial elections last year. This hypothesis will be put to the test in upcoming local elections this year. The reason why the government is attempting to do away with the next parliamentary election and extend the term of parliament till 2023 is because, obviously, it senses weakness.

There were sound economic grounds why the petty-bourgeoisie stayed loyal in the last three years. The country expanded from seven provinces to nine; produce flowed in from the North and East. Economic activity expanded; after the war farmers all over were secure and extended cultivation to previously shunned marginal lands. Small and informal businesses (food vans, small trade, small contractors, transport services, etc) expanded. There was in fact a post-war economic dividend that benefited the petty-bourgeoisie, but big capital, smacking its lips in expectation foreign investment, joint ventures and export growth, withered, except in hotels and tourism. This short false-boom has ended and the government is desperate to climb out of the 2012 downturn but as I said before I do not see the fundamentals to support it. The end of the false-boom has not hurt the petty-bourgeoisie yet, but steep price increases have commenced, menacing the regimes support base.

The second comment is about the International Community (IC). Though patience with the government has run out the absence of a credible alternative government holds back the IC. It is the local scenario that is decisive though export and import trade, finance, banking, and the accoutrements of material and cultural life are West-dependent, and tightening this lifeline will drive the regime to crisis. Instead the IC expresses grave concern, wrings its hands and sighs!

The regime shrewdly counts that the IC is all piss and wind and no action. It is not concerned about the UNHRC sessions in Genevain March or cancellation of the Commonwealth Heads Conference later this year. It is confident that after a few hearty bursts of flatulence the IC will quieten down and impose no sanctions or penalties on the regime or its leaders. So long as the IC allows Colombo to thumb its nose at the community of nations, there is nothing it can do to restore democracy and human rights in the country. The fight for democracy in Sri Lanka will be a lonely one in this fateful year

Preparation and mobilisation

The most important qualities at this time are patience and determination. The masses will not wake up to the appalling transgressions of this regime overnight. The regime has to expose its own criminality by its own deeds as Mervyn has done in Kalaniya. Cannibalism will become more frequent and ever more rats will jump from the sinking ship; DEW, Tissa and Rajiva Wijesingha have started walking the plank. Among my friends, yesterday’s Rajapakse apologists are today introverted. It is beginning, but only just, and such folk are ever ready to walk back.

I have been pushing hard for political education and mobilisation and the Marx School that a few of us conduct is for this purpose. The misuse of state and private TV (all outright stooges) is responsible for the shocking ignorance of the petty-bourgeois. Nevertheless this challenge must be taken on board by the opposition and defeated. A quote from an e-mail I received makes the point from another direction.

“The CJ and the judiciary have gone as far as they can. The task of impeding the regime from violating the Supreme Court ruling belongs to us, those elements of political and civil society who have not succumbed to the Rajapaksas”.

Appealing to the good sense of the Rajapakses is a waste of time. NGOs, business chambers and professional bodies should stop wasting their time and turn to the urgently needed tasks of building public awareness and well planned mobilization of the public at large. They have to coordinate and plan over a medium time-period. Issuing statements and writing appeals to the President is all stuff and nonsense. Those who want to intervene in practical ways must do it in Sinhala. Is it not incredible that there is not one Sinhala daily – Ravaya is a weekly – to educate the public about the regime’s appalling activities?

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Latest comments

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    The weakness of the opposition is highlighted. In the absence of a credible alternative the people have nowhere to go. The UNP is impotent under the leadership of a political eunuch.

    The JVP is making headway but needs more maturity and responsible behaviour if it is to appeal to the middle class. It is more associated with strikes and agitations especially amongst the student population.

    General Fonseka is like a wounded lion without his civic and political rights. If these are restored he would be able to make a significant impact.

    The impeachment drama has severely wounded the reputation and credibility of the regime. It has fallen in the eyes of the people. For the first time the president was hooted at by his own people at a funeral in kelaniya. His popularity is on the wane as his chinthana fails to bring the expected results. Around 70,000 have deserted the forces as they have been reduced to the level of labourers, waiters and gardeners. So the regime is on the decline as is the economy. It is a matter of time. The problem is there is no alternative in the waiting. Our local Mr Bean is not a suitable choice.

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    Most people in south wanted a president who can oppress tamils and their rights ruthlessly and to be good,honest ,democratic and selfless otherwise.Which is a rare combination to find.There is no vegetarian cat.
    Unless the masses understand all these even the regime change wont be a meaningful solution.

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    Kumar David has courageously fought Sinhala Buddhist supremacist forces in the past. Few moths back, he proposed Maduluwave Sobitha(a non-Buddhist progressive, internationalist and minority rights fighter) as a viable candidate to counter Sinhala Buddhist supremacist Rajapaksa.

    We should be prepared to go further than Kumar says. History has shown us that we can even use forces like CIA to spearhead similar campaigns as they did in Iran with the White Revolution to counter the Mullahs.

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      Nice thoughts Silvas. Are you going to request that from CIA? Will they listen to you? Stop pipedreaming.

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        Kumar David says:

        “The journey that brought us here started four years ago on the shores of the Nandikadal.”

        It didn’t, it started with the ethnic cleansing of upcountry Tamils just after the country became independent from colonial powers. Those who built the economy were made stateless with a stroke of citizenship act.

        Since then there had been many acts including state organised violence which put the foundation for building an illiberal state. The author too have a short memory of Sri Lankan history.

        Being the Majority the responsibility squarely falls on the shoulders of Sinhala/Buddhists for they elect their parliament and man the civil services and armed forces.

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          Native

          You are confusing us in CT. Did you say in many forums that all non-vaddas to leave your land. This upcountry tamils who brought by Britich Colonists are one of the groups that you alway need to chase away.

          Why do you make something diffrent here. I am lost.

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            Vani Pulendran

            I will make it simple for you.

            I want all non Veddahs to leave my ancestral land.

            If necessary we will have to use DNA tests to identify all descendants of Kallathonies who arrived here over the past 2,500 years.

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    The UNP dictator, Ranil Wickramasinghe, and the parliament of uneducated morons, goons, crooks, thieves and geriatrics who fancy themselves above the law and have become a bi-partisan fat cats club-mafia, with all sorts of “privileges” paid for by Sri Lankan tax payers and the mighty accumulated national DEBT, remains the single biggest obstacle to a resistance movement to the Rajapakse dictatorship.
    For Lanka to become a democracy the Augean stable that is the Parliament of thieves, thugs and scoundrels of Sri Lanka and the political culture of nepotistic and /or geriatic dictatorship within ALL the parties – UNP, UPFA, TNA, JVP needs to be cleaned up. A new generation of politicians who know the meaning of democracy, power sharing and checks and balances is needed.
    As Mr. Nihal Jayawickreama wrote: “Parliament is no longer a legislative body that can hold the government accountable. With two-third of its members serving as salaried officers of the Executive, it has been transformed into a mere legislative arm of the Executive.”
    It is not just two thirds of parliament but whole of it, that has been transformed into Mahinda Rajapakse’s salaried officers, of which the highest paid is the clown Ranil Wickramasinghe, for being a puppet opposition leader.

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    Excellent article. A thorough analysis of the state of play and the options. Who is to bell the cat? For a start will this article appear in Sinhala? That will go a long way. There is a large population of sinhala youth on the FB belonging to the petty-bourgeois who regularly exchange views in the vernacular as their understanding and use of English is limited.
    For a start we can get them interested in reading articles such as these by giving web links on FB if the material appears in sinhala! That may spark an appeal in them and the awareness battle can begin.

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    No point writing Anna.

    Come forward and contest the elections. We want you, not your writing.

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      Selva

      Please finance Kumar David election campainge with your own pocket. People in SL would not take kumar serious.

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    Well said.The analysis should be translated into Sinhala and Tamil.One obstruction to the rise of a mass movement is the ignorance of average person about serious issues affecting their lives.At the moment they are being brainwashed with stupid lies through the State media. As long as there is no social media addressing the Sinhala and tamil speaking polity the status quo will remain. tamil people atleast can understand English it is the illiterate Sinhalese Buddhists who form the bedrock of the Regime.The strongest slogan is unta Lambogini apita badagini that will be understood by them.The massive corruptions in millions and what could be done to the common man with that money like how many hospitals schools,houses,built and expansion of university education etc. These can be taken to the villages through University students ,school chidren in the form of cartoons, kavikola and kelapattara, andabera etc.The other issues we cry about will not shake this govt.

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    yes david, your analysis is correct…….and i suggest you to write some articles in sinhala either rawaya news paper or other alternative one………and it is absolutely sad that no more comments such a this kind of article,shown deep analysis through studying the all stratum of people, attached in sri lankan socio-economical body, than other impulsive articles

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    accurate reading of the recent past while pointing out a sensible way forward, after sometime from this writer. It’s unfortunate, however, if he’s still wondering why no sinhala daily to educate, unless it’s a rhetoric question, after making such sharp observations on how little political space the successive regimes – Rajapakses take the cake – leave for a sinhala press, and all dissenting sinhala views ( Ravaya is allowed to do for V Ivan and the paper and man both shadows of former selves) are only on the web, operating from abroad, and can be viewed through FB or proxy.

    Isn’t that a clear indication itself of the fury and monopoly of violence this state commands, as Weber stated and how much tough the journey forward we nevertheless have to take ?

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    The Sinhala antigovernment Traitors, the NGOs the Tiger supporting Diaspora and the politicians in the west duly financed and looked after by the Diaspora have tarnished the good name of the country. Also stupid statements such as the White Flag utterings by the Ex General turned saboteur and the dodgy Ex CJ have all done their part in tarnishing the Motherland. However Sri Lanka has a very able leader Mahinda who has the strength of character to fight the evil forces and withstand any issue or any pressure. SriLanka is also blessed with a good leader of the opposition Ranil who is the only decent man in the opposition. Though Ranil is a strong critic of the government he does his criticism in a responsible manner. I hope both these good leaders will stand together to safe guard the Nation. The Commonwealth should appreciate that Mahinda and his government eradicated the evil terrorist forces and brought peace to the country.

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    Who is this guy ? which stone did he crawl out form under ? Where was he during the war ?

    He seems to think that the sun shines out of his arse ?

    He will be no better than the Rajapakses’ his ego seems out of control already without even having a semblance of power and just having his articles read !

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      Don

      Interesting questions that you raised for Kumar David.

      It would have been that Kumar David was hiding behind his big Mamas Saree with wet pants when LTTE was running a muck in SL for last 30 odd years.

      Never noticed him at all.

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      Don Quixote

      “Where was he during the war ?”

      He was very much alive in Sri Lanka and is a prolific writer.

      If you really want to make a background check you only have to google his name. He regularly contributed to Island in the past.

      Please type his full name Kumar David.

      Free tip for surfing:

      Google won’t pick up his articles if you type “He seems to think that the sun shines out of his arse ?”

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    Sri Lanka will continue to move forward, if you say it is going backward then you do not know what is politics in the strategic location of the Indian Ocean, but listens to the foreigners who are the masters of dividing and fooling others. I have an obligation to support the President as a Sri Lankan intellectual. I do not take arms against fellow countrymen. I do not join with the foreigners to undermine fellow countrymen either. I work with fellow countrymen to change or develop the country. I lead others by my intellectuality and good deeds. Lets ask ourselves one important question. What is the value of the Democracy and Commonwealth? The Chinese do not believe in democracy, nor part of the Commonwealth, but they are advancing much faster than us. The Westerners ruled and ripped off our country for more than 440 years, but they never done anything to eliminate the caste systems, gender inequality, and racial, language and religious discriminations. Because they knew it will continue to eat us and keep us under them forever. Furthermore, India the largest democratic country by its population created the Tamil armed groups to keep Sri Lanka under its wings. However, India also understood that letting the Tamil armed groups grow beyond its control would be detrimental to India. This is the reason Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi reached a very good political solution for the Tamils’ issues in Sri Lanka under the Indo-Sri Lanka agreement. Unfortunately the LTTE did not see what Rajiv Gandhi did, because of the Tamil diaspora. The 2002 ceasefire agreement between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government also broken by the LTTE. A reasonable political minded person knows that Prabhakaran would not have fought against India without the help of the Westerners through the Tamil diaspora. And also Prabhakaran would not have broken the 2002 ceasefire agreement with the Sri Lankan government without the help of the Westerners through the diaspora. If you can answer the following questions you will know who have most of the Tamils’ and Sinhalese’s blood on their hands. Who have been deliberately stopping the peace agreements? Who have been guiding the diaspora? Who have been fuelling “hate and bitterness” among the Tamils and Sinhalese? Who have been facilitating the funding to the LTTE, even though they had everything within their reach to stop money get transferred from the diaspora to the LTTE. The answer is Western political minds through their intelligence network. Think about the lost lives since 1987, think about the suffering since 1987, think about the lost opportunities to develop the country and people’s lives. The Westerners created bitter divisions among the Tamils, Sinhalese, and the Indians through the diaspora. The Westerners act like peace makers, but they are not. They talk about democracy and human rights to fool others, in order to turn people against their own governments to destabilise the developing countries. The truth is, the Westerners have a vital interest to divide every community and every country to rule others. There is a most ugliest face underneath their white faces, it is pure evil. Not many people have the ability to see their real face, but few of us do through our hard work and sacrifices. Ask Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, they will tell you more about the Westerners evil side. Julian Assange and Bradley Manning are Westerners, but they exposed the truth and ended up in a prison in the US and stuck inside an embassy in London, UK. Some Sri Lankans and some other Asians are backing the Westerners for their own self-centred lifestyle, they don’t care about their own people, or their motherland.

    The removal of the CJ is not something new in the world, it happens in the world, including in the United States. However, some eliments may use this opportunity to bring chaos into the country, in order to achieve their ulterior motives. Remember, few eliments were fuelling the civil war and benefited by the war, but not the Tamils or Sinhalese. We must not let that happen again. The president appointed the CJ, the 2/3 of the parliament wanted her to leave the office. If I was the CJ, I would have resigned once the parliament decided to remove me from the office. Taking this matter to the UN is not advisable. It is a new beginning for the CJ. The Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has a huge potential. She has a lot to give for the country. She must get involved in politics and bring new ideas to the table. Lets people decide whether she is worthy or not. She must not go to the UN, but go to her people and put her ideas forward, in order to develop the country. She must not go to the enemies who divide others, invade others’ countries and kill millions of people to keep themselves on top. Do not go to the devil to get justice. I encourage every Sri Lankan to bring forth good ideas to the table to develop the country. If you want to get involved in politics to help the foreigners then you will fail utterly as Sarath Fonseka. Mr Fonseka recently reiterated that he needs outside help to topple the government. I am extremely disappointed by his statement. I urge every Lankan to stop listening to the enemies who divide us, they use every opportunity to bring chaos into the country to rule us. We must understand what is missing, then find a solution within us, looking outside will create more problem and chaos than a solution. The country has been fighting for thirty years, people are free from fighting for only three years. Just wait for few more years, be patient, you all went through the bloody war for thirty years for nothing. The Sri Lankans have been suffering from the independence, due to lack of smart leadership. As intellectuals, we are sharing our ideas with the leaders to make them act wisely, it is process it will take time. I know very well about the parliament members, can we change those MP’s mindset overnight? I am also well aware that Rajapaksa brothers are dominating the country. Does it really matter if Rajapaksa brothers are developing the country? The extremely talented Sri Lankans will continue to direct the country leaders into the right path. The President does not have an answer for everything, but he has the ability to deal with the external threats better than any other leader, this is extremely important ability, because Sri Lanka is in a strategic location, the past, the present and the future superpowers want to influence the country. Therefore, Lets approach matters very pragmatically for sake of the innocent people who have died due to the bloody war. The Tamils are in the bottom, because of their disunity. I never seen such a unity among the Tamils as I seen among the Rajapaksa brothers. May be we need such a close family ties to overcome the Westerners’ and Indians’ divide and conquer strategy. The Indians and the Westerners can easily fool the Tamils, because of their disunity. People like us who are enlightened and committed to bring a change can’t do anything. I am isolated by the Western governments. The propaganda against me are shocking, even my family members, relatives, and friends believe the Westerners more than me. Due to my writing the Westerners do not even allow me to get a job, they did not even allow me to sell my house for a profit, because they knew the money will be used to expose their evil deeds. They are keeping me in financial hardship and perfect isolation by their dirty propaganda. My fellow Tamils are keeping silence, they gave millions of dollars to the LTTE, but nobody would support me to have a website to expose the Westerners evil deeds. The Tamils are prepared to undermine their fellow Tamils, in order to cater their own self-centered lifestyles. We all know how the Tamil armed groups fought and destroyed each other, the TNA has its own agenda, the TGTE has its own agenda, Global Tamil Forum has its own agenda. They all concern about being leaders, they are not concern about the Tamils. If the TNA is leading the Tamils, then why TGTE leader call himself a Prime Minister for the Tamils? I am ashamed to call myself a Tamil. I really don’t believe the Westerners could have isolated me this much if I am a Chinese, because the Chinese are very close to each other, this is the reason the West could not invade China, or could not stop China overtaking the United States economically.

    The Westerners ruled and ripped off the Indian Subcontinent for more than 440 years, but they never done anything to eliminate the caste systems, gender inequality, and racial, language and religious discriminations. Four hundred years is very long time, at least 10-12 generations. The Westerners could have done a lot to the Indian Subcontinent, but they deliberately done little to keep the Asians under them. The Westerners have a lot to talk about the Indian Subcontinent’s failure than China’s communism, but they won’t talk about it, because it will highlight their deliberate misleading to keep the Asians under them, plus the Indian Subcontinent is not a threat to their dominant power, but China. “English are to blame for India’s backwardness” published by the Dominion Post, written by Philip Collins, on page B5, Dated January 5, 2013. The Dominion Post is one of the major newspapers in New Zealand. Not all the Westerners are naive or blind, there are people like Philip Collins who sees the Westerners’ evil side. The Indian Subcontinent has enough intellectuals to develop the Subcontinent, but the system won’t allow the intellectuals to lead. Therefore, the intellectuals leave the Subcontinent and develop the Western Countries. This system was developed by the Westerners, in order to keep the Indian Subcontinent poor and weak. We fought against the Westerners to have our freedom, but we still trust them, listen to them and run our political system according to them. This is a huge disaster. The Indians are too scared to change the manufacturing sector, because they don’t want another East India Company. However, they are happy to run a political system recommended by the Westerners. The Chinese are really smart, because they have chosen a political system to suits their culture and ideology. The Chinese did not choose a political system recommended by their enemies. We must stop listening and trusting our enemies. We must develop a system according to our culture and ideology, like the Chinese did, otherwise the Indian Subcontinent will be struggling forever. We must depart from the old system and bring some changes. Being part of the Commonwealth is only helping us to stay behind. Time for us to move forward, our policies are not helping the Indian Subcontinent to move forward as China. Am I recommending a communist system? Not at all, but we need some changes, if we come up with something good, the Indians may even consider our system in the future. We must find a way to lift the whole Indian Subcontinent. India can’t try something new, because it is too big. In India 627 million people do not have access to toilets, the Indian politicians do not even provide basic needs to their own people, but they believe in God and democracy, they are vegetarians too, but love their bribes. Sri Lanka is a small country, and its leaders are committed to their people more than the Indian leaders, at least the Sri Lankan leaders provide access to toilets to their people. As Sri Lankans we must try something new and help the whole Indian Subcontinent, otherwise we will be betraying our future generations.

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