18 September, 2018

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From The Bandaranaikes To Jayewardene: A Contrast In Discipline, Devotion & Defiance

By Vishwamithra1984

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”  ~ Aldous Huxley,

The country that S W R D Bandaranaike left behind to his successors resembled an experiment that had gone bust in the laboratory, not for reasons that the belief in the core theory was flawed, but more for the fact that those who were bequeathed to carry it forward were not sufficiently skilled and competent and their share of belief in the experiment did not match the original creator’s grandiose scheme. Bandaranaike was a great dreamer. When he was at Oxford, according to James Manor’s biography ‘The Expedient Utopian’, one day, on his way back to his room from an unsuccessful attempt at grasping an opportunity to make his contribution at a debate organized by the Oxford Student Union, meandering through the gorgeous meadows of the breathtaking English landscape, Bandaranaike made a promise to himself: ‘Before I become their equal, I must be their superior’. Such a magnificently inspiring life-goal would take root, leave alone bear fruit, only in rare and unique minds. Bandaranaike belonged to that rare species. SWRD Bandaranaike and DS Senanayake

Yet in action, he was a near-disaster as was shown in the conceptualization, planning, execution and eventual tearing up of the infamous Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact. Discipline, devotion and defiance, three critical characteristics of a great leader, Bandaranaike did not seem to possess. Both D S Senanayake and J R Jayewardene were like solid rocks in the face of storms and gales; in their presence tempests lost their force and withdrew to the backwoods while Bandaranaike wilted like a fragile stalk. As Julius Caesar told the Roman Senate: ‘Some men are ruled by their circumstances but some men bend their circumstances to their will’. D S’s and J R’s place was among the latter while Bandaranaike belonged to the former.

The BC Pact, as it was known, did not see the light of day. Contrast that to the signing of the Gandhi-Jayewardene Accord in 1987: Bandaranaike could not withstand the pressures of the Satyagraha conducted by a few Buddhist monks and laymen on his private premises at Rosmead Place. J R Jayewardene had to wither the storm of riots erupting in the capital city of Colombo and elsewhere, his own Prime Minister and Minister of National Security defying the accord openly, the whole country burning in all corners, yet, with the mighty Indian Navy defending the shores of Sri Lanka (as per J N Dixit’s narrative in ‘Assignment Colombo’), J R consummated what he began with Rajiv Gandhi and to date, that document remains the sole treaty with the Tamil people in Sri Lanka- a treaty that led to the Thirteenth Amendment to our Constitution- more than what the BC Pact promised to the Chelvanayagams of yesteryear. Let’s deal with J R later. First, the years prior to him, Bandaranaike’s widow and his relative Felix Dias and the traditional Left.

A sophisticated political dynamic such as ‘democracy’ is not suited for an uneducated, unsophisticated electorate like Sri Lanka. When in 1931, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan objected to the grant of universal franchise to Ceylon, his objection was construed as a ploy to safeguard the decisive minority representation in the then State Council, however, now it seems that his argument that Ceylon was not ready for universal franchise, mainly because she was not sufficiently educated and equipped to appreciate such a sophisticated weapon, holds water, whatever his motivations were at the time. There was another person who identified the precise character of the Sri Lankan electorate. His name was Felix Dias Bandaranaike. And he was young, only 29 years old when he first entered parliament.

In post-Independence Sri Lanka, there was no second-in-command in any government who was more powerful than Felix Dias Bandaranaike. A brilliant product of Royal College, the University of Ceylon and Law College, this egotistical political snob knew how to wield power and wield he did, during the two regimes of Sirimao Bandaranaike, from ‘60 – ‘65 and ‘70 – ‘77. During his peak, Felix Dias was feared by his enemies and disliked by his peers. Yet Sirimao maintained a deadpan posture in regard to the political acrobatics of her husband’s nephew. A man obsessed with his own mighty persuasive powers, Felix piloted the governmental machine in troubled waters and quite successfully so. Two of his noteworthy feats were quelling of the infamous coup d’état led by some former high-ups in the security forces in 1962 and crushing of the ‘71 April insurrection led by Rohana Wijeweera.

The governments of Sirimao Bandaranaike in her two terms were an economic misadventure for the country. Bent on populism and leftist socialist policies, these SLFP-led coalitions in 1960 as well and in 1970 were entrenched in unbending doctrinaire politics. Failure of these policies was a textbook lesson for all politicians in the third world why socialism/communism-based economic policies were a great hindrance to the advancement of a capital market and progress of the average man. A populist move, nationalization of profit-making business ventures, including the estate sector, may have had a very popular appeal, especially in the context of the hatred and loathing the capitalist elites were held in, but their long-term adverse economic effects were yet to appear. The propaganda machinery steered by Felix Dias and his close associates, poured out fake statistics bordering on outright lies and their supporters and cohorts bought these lies as the gospel, and this campaign was followed up by a potentially dangerous slogan asking Sirimao Bandaranaike not to dissolve parliament on due date.

The frenzy that was generated had a trace of desperation for those in power. But J R waiting in the Opposition, the one who had exercised great discipline, whose devotion to the task at hand was never questioned and who proved that in defeat he was defiant to the end, realized that the SLFP-led coalition government was cutting a sure road to electoral disaster. J R had a unique curriculum vitae. The intangibles in his resume were unmatched in that his loyalty to the one on the throne was always total and it never wavered. On top of that unique trait, J R also showed consummate capacity for organization and the greatest of all traits a leader should possess, equanimity, being unmoved by victory or defeat. Armed with such matchless qualities, besides the educational credentials, J R was supremely confident that Sirimao-Felix-N M clan could be defeated at the next elections.

After Dudley Senanayake passed away in 1973, the mantle of leadership of the UNP fell on J R. In hindsight, I dare say that J R reached the seat of power two decades too late. But how did Dudley Senanayake perform in his four terms of Prime Minister of the country he loved so dearly? My answer is: he was rather disappointing. Dudley Senanayake, a man of scholarship, a first class parliamentary debater, and an affable conversationalist and a compelling public speaker with a sincere commitment to the service of man, his biggest folly was his stifling sense indecision. That sense of indecision cost the enactment of the Dudley-Chelvanayagam Pact (DC Pact), with that, the trust the Tamil community had in the leadership of the Sinhalese political leadership evaporated. His hesitancy also cost his party a lot, especially when changes of its faces were a dire need.

Nevertheless, Dudley was a ‘big’ human being. In a gallery of giant peers such as J R, N M, Colvin, Kuenaman, Chelvanayagam, Sunderalingam, S W R D and Felix Dias, Dudley stood the tallest in every sense of the word. A man who could laugh at himself while cracking a joke on others, the passing away of this son of our first Prime Minister caused many strong men to weep openly. At the funeral attended by the largest gathering of a grateful nation, J R, paraphrasing Horatio’s farewell to Hamlet, made the most momentous funeral oration in our lifetime and bade good bye to his dear friend thus: ‘Good night, sweet prince, may the hosts of Devas sing thee to thy sleep’. Against a backdrop of darkening skies, while millions of stars from above mourned in the twilight of the day, the Hamlet of Ceylon’s politics bade his final good bye to a lamenting nation.

When J R assumed the leadership of the UNP, the party that was drifting without any direction, suddenly found direction and a purpose. An astute student of history and politics, J R did not get into politics only to occupy a position of power. He was there to use that power to serve the country the way he thought best. He also understood that the fundamental element in survival in politics is patience and he had a load of it. And J R in the Opposition, as its leader, was no joke. Sirimao Bandaranaike may not have assessed J R’s ability to persuade key personnel to switch camps, his immense capacity for work without losing focus on the final goal, his matchless sense of timing, all played crucial roles in making the Bandaranaike-government in the early seventies extremely unpopular. Mrs. Bandaranaike didn’t help herself either. She could not control her own parliamentarians whose uncouth behavior, inside that august assembly brought dishonor to the people whom they have sworn to represent, and that alone was testimony to Mrs. B’s disregard for accountability. Indulging in politics for serving and enriching oneself instead of the masses became the norm during this time and this nasty, dishonorable trend kept continuing to date at a more devastating rate. The government’s unpopularity reached so high, it was no exaggeration to presume that the people were waiting impatiently for the polling day to dawn.

It was a new dawn all right. Next week, that dawn and its story.

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

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Latest comments

  • 7
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    Junius Richard Jayawardana (JR):
    a) Creator of the 83 anti-Tamil riots, resulting in virulently anti-Sri Lanka diaspora segment.
    b) Builder of a megalomaniacal Capital and Parliament in Sri Jayawardanapura.
    c) Author of the all powerful executive Presidency.

    1983 Riots and Tamil Diaspora (JR’s gift that keeps giving).

    Sri Lanka is still paying the price for JR’s stupidity/racism or whatever you want to call it. 1983 created the diaspora that is still funding and agitating overseas to punish Sri Lanka. It wont end till those who were say 20 years in 83 become 70 years old. That means 2030 or so.

    Law and Order
    JR put in the Prevention for Terrorism act. It did precious little to actually combat the LTTE menace. Out in the North and East it just drove more into the LTTE fold, or made them emigrate to provide more to cause and coffers of the LTTE.
    In the south extra judicial killings against purported JVPers, more in reality anti govt or private grudges were the norm. People have forgotten the necklacing, where a tire was put round suspected JVPer and set on fire.

    My nephew and drinking buddy Carmen Liyanage was burned in Ahangama. He was no JVPer, just get drunk and talk shout junk. Another friend was Weerawansa who was in Kelaniya Uni and schooled in Lumbini Vidyalaya, Thimbirigasyaya. , Thin, tall and articulate but soft spoken, Weerawansa was a staunch JVPer. Weerawansa (when I was out of country thought Vimal was the same) has disappeared from the face of earth.

    You could not travel around the country (I was in the country till 1988), if you had a Tamil name (I have a very Tamil middle name) you were harassed at every check point. Being born in the South and being able to speak fluent Sinhalese got me out of many scrapes.

    Meglomania (Sri Jayawardenapura)
    JRJ changed the capital from Colombo to Sri Jayawardenapura. What more should be said.

    Quotes from Wiki
    On the ethnic question, Jayewardene’s legacy is bitterly divisive. When he took office, ethnic tensions were present but the country as a whole was at peace. By the end of his tenure, Sri Lanka was facing not one but two civil wars, both featuring unprecedented levels of violence and brutality.

    Jayewardene moved to crack down on the growing activity of Tamil militant groups. He passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act in 1979, giving police sweeping powers of arrest and detention. This only escalated the ethnic tensions. Jayewardene claimed he needed overwhelming power to deal with the militants.

    He had likely SLFP presidential nominee Sirimavo Bandaranaike stripped of her civic rights and barred from running for office for six years, based her decision in 1976 to extend the life of parliament. This ensured that the SLFP would be unable to field a strong candidate against him in the 1982 election, leaving his path to victory clear.

    This election was held under the 3rd amendment to the constitution which empowered the president to hold a Presidential Election anytime after the expiration of 4 years of his first term.

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      sbarrkum

      Under JR’s tenure violence was institutionalised, through state and nonstate institutions. For example, the UNP controlled Trade Union Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) committed unprecedented level of violence and enjoyed impunity. Politicisation, corruption, violence, nepotism, …. went through the roof.

      Don’t forget Cyril Mathew who controlled Jathika Sevaka Sangamay was directly responsible for the 1983 riots and burning of the library in Jaffna.

      He was JR’s close ally. What JR couldn’t say in public Cyril Mathew did the dirty talking on behalf of JR.

      JR was the culprit who went on a march to destroy Banda Selva pact. By the way, his ancestry could be traced back to Tamilakam.

  • 3
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    Your opinion columns pause people to ponder. They are a delight to read even if one may disagree with some assertions occasionally. Thanks for being a different calibre of writer here. It seems like Sri Lanka is a series of missteps and miscalculations accumulated over time with massive deleterious consequences for everyone. As for democracy, the same assertion about an uneducated electorate can be said of the US. I like to look at data and whilst data on the election of the uncouth demagogue are not complete yet, you might want to look here for some of the groups voting before you excoriate Lankans or Indians for that matter where most people are subliterate or totally illiterate compared to Sri Lanka.

    URL
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/behind-trumps-victory-divisions-by-race-gender-education/

    Thanks again for your punction!

    • 0
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      uneducated electorate,
      it seams the electorate is blamed for the evil actions of the politicians. to day the country is bankrupt,there is no rule of law, poor governance etc. I am yet to see RW or Sirisena explaining to the masses the predicament of the country. They continue where Rajapakse left selling the country to debt, sending slankans to ME for slavery etc. The political class and the elite stink. it has nothing to do with ignorant masses the unaccountability of the political class and there ignorance is to be blamed.

  • 8
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    I remember Felix Dias Bandaranaike’s ‘ D’ for discipline thunder. In the same era I also heard a clerk who was absent from his desk for several hours, telling his senior officer , ” Kerranna Ekek Keralla Balapang'” ( “Do what you can and see the results”, very crudely). The present day staff officers will not dare to even ask!

    DS’s rule was immoral and was a pace setter. SWRD’s revolution was not only spineless, but also unthered the communal wolves in this country, who yet prey on the people. Sirimavo’s rule exposed the opportunism and bankrupcy of our leftists and foisted on us the first ‘for politicians, by politicians’ constitution and undermined the public service, while enthroning politicians. The public service became the job bank for the unemployables. We were on the way to becoming servants to the politicians and a corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy. Dudley was a whimp and tried to create a breed of gentleman farmers with mini-mokes!

    The Wife made the hole the husband had started digging deeper. How the Sirimavo government dealt with the first JVP insurrection, killed our national conscience. JR ordered a Brigadier the eliminate terrorism in the north within 24 hours and paved the way for a three decade long turmoil and nasty wars. Tamil youth resistance graduated into world class and precedent setting terrorism. Two billion dollars were spent to win the war. No one yet knows how much the LTTE wasted. Premadasa played the same immoral game merrily and made bargains with the devil, as did MR.

    We travelled the path of tribalism at an accelerated pace and are paying the price in being unable to reverse course.

    The decline of Sri Lanka was already underway and empty rhetoric became our style.
    The ‘Dharmishta’ governance of strongman-JR, gave a new meaning to bad governance, paved the way for MR and his gang. Every single one of them laid the foundations for where we stand today.

    Even the Yahapalanya government cannot throw out this legacy, despite its cacophonic and increasingly sickening rhetoric!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Dr NR

      One of the greatest ironies of all time is why Tamils always supported, continue to support UNP. Banda’s Sinhala only act?

      I will never ever raise my hand to vote for UNP for just one thing – the Jaffna Library.

      If you attribute to individuals who destroyed this country it is JR jayawardana, Rohana Wijeweea and Velupillei Prabakaran in that order, JR’s being 1000 times that of Wijeweera and Prabakaran put together.

      Soma

  • 6
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    Vishwamithra1984

    RE:From The Bandaranaikes To Jayewardene: A Contrast In Discipline, Devotion & Defiance

    “Yet in action, he was a near-disaster as was shown in the conceptualization, planning, execution and eventual tearing up of the infamous Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam Pact. Discipline, devotion and defiance, three critical characteristics of a great leader, Bandaranaike did not seem to possess. Both D S Senanayake and J R Jayewardene were like solid rocks in the face of storms and gales; in their presence tempests lost their force and withdrew to the backwoods while Bandaranaike wilted like a fragile stalk. As Julius Caesar told the Roman Senate: ‘Some men are ruled by their circumstances but some men bend their circumstances to their will’. D S’s and J R’s place was among the latter while Bandaranaike belonged to the former.”

    Thanks for the write up.

    The above paragraph, described S W D in a nutshell. In Sinhala, called “Sevala Banda”, Sleazy Banda.

    S J V Chelvanayagan and the country learned the hard way. A Sinhala “Buddhist” Monk shot him dead. He laid the foundation for the ethnic conflict and the civil war.

  • 0
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    [Edited out]

    • 1
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      De Silva

      “[Edited out]”

      Are you hearing too many voices in your head today?

      Can we in anyway help you?

  • 5
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    For those Sinhala nationalists who deny Tamils were ever discriminated…. Straight from the horse’s mouth:
    “For the last 20 years, there has been some discrimination,” Jayewardene acknowledged in a recent conversation at Ward Place, a spacious bungalow in a fashionable Colombo neighborhood. The house, surrounded by mango trees and frangipani shrubs, has been his family home for more than 50 years. “We have corrected these defects. Of course, there were difficulties of implementation -there always are. But the Tamils were in too great a hurry. They were always being pushed from behind by the terrorists, who for no reason began to kill.”
    (NYTIMES,December 13, 1987)

  • 1
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    Glad to read enlightened thinking amidst us. We should first learn to agree to disagree. Then, everything shall fall in place.

  • 3
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    JR did nothing in 1983 and it was UNP goons who carried out that atrocity. The UNP regime was at the height of its powers and SLFP was in smithereens. He as usual blamed and accused and framed everyone else. He was determined and definitely a westernized well read classics man. But reality is he was a racist to the core. He was the one who launched the protest against weak SWRD and launched his march in 1957 to arouse communal passions. SWRD was weak but JR was super clever and a Machiavellian. A lot of UNPers deliberately say things like “we were not alive then” when challenges about the assaults on democracy by JRJ; rigged referendums, thuggery at greater levels(of course it existed before than and became ugly during the SLFP Regime time; I wrote about the Dedigama by-election intimidation once on CT), and burning of Jaffna library, and again the 1983 riots which was the seminal act that made a ragtag Indian backed separatist group into a popular liberation movement as more tamils wanted revenge and protection and decided to hit back at increasingly intolerant, autocratic pro US regime.

    He was foolish and misled into thinking he could join ASEAN because he was so pro US but when the Indians violated international law with the Parippu drop he realized Sri Lanka was not that important strategically to the US during the cold war. He got egg on his face! Now SL is important to the US because of China and because India is also in the US camp but not back then.

    What about kicking out the legitimate Tamil TULF opposition from Parliament?

    Extending parliament with a thuggery filled “referendum”?

    Economic damage was done during the SLFP socialist foolish days but the stupid Land reform policies which were so grossly iniquitous were hastened by the stupid JVP insurrection in 1971 which was barely 10 months into the Coalition goverment’s landslide in 1970. Yep then by 1977 the other massive tidal wave was because the SLFP regime and its disgusting politician based power structure, the food shortages, corruption and bribery(all of which are at a much higher level now and the opportunity to make money skyrocketed with the opening of the economy). JR’s best contribution was opening the stagnant state controlled, incompetently run socialist economy where people were placed in positions they were totally unsuited to occupy.

    I know because we were constantly harassed and teased in school for the sad connection to the top family. Reality is that there was belt tightening and if given time and more gradually implemented the self sufficiency program could have worked out without the radical rationing. Look at Venezuela now! same problem even though they have oil and they have ruined their economy with socialist policies.

    JR’s will remain respected for the economic progress but as you noted, in contrast to Hon Dudley’s funeral, no one seemed to care when Hon JR died.. Why is that? He also at one time toyed with the idea of a coalition with the SLFP after 1971 and approached Mrs B because he lost the leadership fight to Hon Dudley after their loss in 1970; he did so via a close relative of his and a brother of her’s but others in her camp were opposed to it. In hindsight, when he had troubles with Dudley wonder if Mrs B could have invited him in to her regime what would have happened. He also played a great game with go-betweens like Sepala Attygalle to promote Anura B to foment more trouble. Gosh I can go on about the petty partisan rivalries between the pathetic commmunist like Janaweygaya cult and the Anura B factions trying to claim the mantle. 1977 was a welcome message to the nation and even the SLFP had to change.

    He arrested Vijaya K on false charges and expected his nemesis Mrs. B to come begging to him to get him released. She did not bow down. He got rid of her politically only based on Sepala Attygalle’s false testimony for extending the Emergency laws(which was wrong) but the fact is he also voted in the NSC meetings every month to extend emergency. They abused emergency rule and so did JR later.. Sepala Attygalle shamefully carried tales and became the only unprecedented Army Commander to get an extension to his term; he did so by stooping low for a Royalist. I know because my old man was disgusted the way he carried Anura B’s briefcase on their return from an overseas trip. My father strongly felt the commander of the Army should not be a valet like person. He quietly put fear of “catholic action”(because of the 1962 catholic action coup) in her and some of her close relatives by cleverly saying “Dennis Perera is a great commander, very able but Sirima you know he is catholic”. WOW and my father opposed that and was disgusted but he was a lonely voice. My old man went to Dennis Perera at the Chinese Embassy party in 1977 after the election and apologized to him for this egregious unfair action and Dennis knew my father spoke out for him but was a lonely voice. GOSH I can go on and on…

    I agree with Dr. Rajasingham on a lot of those issues. Like I said, Sri Lanka seems to be an amalgam of missteps, atrocities, miscalculations and gross misunderstandings. But JR’s single positive step was opening out the economy and getting rid of stifling socialist policies that pulled Sri Lanka back by 3 decades. I also personally feel SL should never have changed the Donoughmore constitution and should have remained a Dominion Republic with a civil service and vibrant institutions and not change as they did in 1972. Indians would not have invaded and intervened if Ceylon had some insurance policy as being a British protectorate. After all that is why they chose not to become a Republic in 1948 right?

    • 7
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      Mano Ratwatte

      “JR did nothing in 1983 and it was UNP goons who carried out that atrocity.”

      Do you really believe in what you have just typed?

      The 1977 and 1983 riots and the burning of Jaffna Library should tell you something about JR’s sinister plans or he was a very weak and senile the party was not under his control.

      Did he catch any persons who were responsible for the heinous racial crimes committed in this island?

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        Sir Native Veddah, what I meant to say is his INACTION by not taking any measures to stop the 4 days of carnage. Either he was afraid or didn’t trust the police and army. He didn’t do a damn thing to stop the violence. I most certainly didn’t mean he didn’t do harm. Harm was done by not declaring curfew and ordering shoot on sight. Why? So whilst SWRD was weak what does it say about the decisive defiant dedicated leader?

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          Mano Ratwatte

          There are difficult questions many do not want to raise. This was the man who promised a Dharmista rule.

      • 1
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        No UNP or one party supporters in general carry out those atrocities.
        It is the nature of average in this country.
        Just study yourself please – the comments being added by the many, to various topics which discuss about peace and reconcilation/or Sinhala buddhism etc. That will clearly give more information abou tHE ground thinking of the masses.

        Some even observe sil for each full moon day, but they would go and support that Mangalaramaya Mad dog or BBS lead and the like monks for no reasons. I think peoples minds sets are cemented by all kind of hatreds even if they call themselves buddhists.
        No Lord buddhas teachings are in their minds not the least of them.
        This is the saddest Reality of average mind sets … Native Vedda. As Dr Dewasiri reiterates, we just need to forget talking abou tthis for the momment, but we need to continue all hearted works for reconcilation to be the reality inf not today in 20 years or so.

  • 1
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    SL also lost a lot of dynamic professionals during the 1970s and even civil servants because of the language issue and also because a lot of brilliant medical doctors etc who were products of the FREE EDUCATION system realized life was better in capitalist western nations. So a lot of them came to the US or UK and are doing extremely well and retired; this is both Sinhalese and Tamil and also Burgher people. Some of them would never have the life they have here if they were in SL and a lot of them came not just from the elite English speaking classes of Colombo’s elite schools but from Maha Vidyalayas too; I have been blessed getting to know and become friends with some incredibly accomplished people like that.

    Clearly I was guilty of being afraid to go back and can be termed a hypcrite too. But once I paid off my debt with my own money to the govt and people of Sri Lanka who enabled my studies in the US,(very relieved and proud to pay off every dime) I felt I was justified in staying on as a career professional safely ensconced in the west like most who occupy this forum.

    I remember sadly seeing our neighbors the Pintos moving away to Canada. The my grandfather’s best OA Mr. Mervyn Koch who was a volunteer Air-force officer and a thorough gentleman also migrated in the 1970s to Australia because they felt as a super small minority they had no place in SL after 1972.

    So again, I will say JR’s single most significant accomplishment was opening the economy. Indeed he was an intellectual and knew very well that capitalist open economies were superior to socialist ones. His nickname in the 1960s was “Yankee Dicky”. So I give him a lot of respect for that but not the utter devastation of democratic norms and the riots of 1983 and tyranny of the majority he unleashed.

    But people were much happier economically after 1977, so that matters too. Stifling socialist state controlled policies are dead.

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      But still what matters is the numbers Mano. I dont think all togehter 5 millions left the country since 1970.

      How many among locally graduated Med andEng professionals left the country in 70ties ? I really dont think that was greater than the numbers who left the country after 83 riots.

      Anyways all together the numbers of much less than 2.5 millions right ?

      I think not just because those qualified people left the country, but the politicians were not hearted enough to make corrections and see it further apart from the fact that they were forced to concentrate more on the national security.
      Even today, as we ssee it here, just to amend and add any changes to the constitution of the country seem taking months unlike the case in the US or EU countries. Why ? It is just the power being enjoyed by people in this country is more than anywhere else.
      Yesterday having watched few incidents where people in Kurunegala protested threatening not to continue their duties just because one man was not yet arrested by the regional police. In my days in the country in 80ties, even school going children took part in protests against some Patrikas that were about to be introduced…. so unnecessarily, people are being forced to take part in lanken politics even after they elected their candidates through elelection using their universal franshise.

  • 2
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    JR, the man who made goons throw stones to supreme court judge,
    Manmwho is responsible for 83 riots,
    Removing civic rights of Mrs B.
    Oy wishwamitra are dumb?

    Destroyed the decent society, paving the way for the threewheel culture in sri lanka.

    Mr B, used the words cunningly to split the nation to gain political power,
    Destroyed the education in the country, number one hypocrite.

    • 0
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      If you could see JR to have made goons to stone the SCJ, you should also have seen MR the most idiot of recent past was the thakkadiya made his goons to attack former CJ Dr SB and forcefully got her out of the position. Remember ?`Why you guys have been that double standards at adding the kind of thoughts ?
      Open economy was no wrong but they could introduce it with some restrictions. Even today they can block Threewheels being imported. Why dont they reduce let alone today ? They the researchers in lanken motor related accidents surveys lately proved, that TWDrivers are the number one to create accident by their reckless driving on the roads. Besides, they TWdrivers dont care about any kind of road and the related laws.

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      srinath.gunaratnam

      “Destroyed the decent society”

      The society by 1956 had already broken.

      “Mr B, used the words cunningly to split the nation to gain political power,”

      Are you saying the people who voted SWRD B were all stupid?

  • 3
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    Mano Ratwatte

    “I remember sadly seeing our neighbors the Pintos moving away to Canada. The my grandfather’s best OA Mr. Mervyn Koch who was a volunteer Air-force officer and a thorough gentleman also migrated in the 1970s to Australia because they felt as a super small minority they had no place in SL after 1972.”

    The exodus actually started in the mid-1950s, just before the elections in 1956.

    The exodus hasn’t stopped yet.

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    “not for reasons that the belief in the core theory was flawed,”.

    Vishwamithra, beg to differ. The core theory was flawed. To progress any country based on racial divide is flawed. His Sinhala only approach was flawed. His Swabasha experiment was flawed from the beginning. Despite the hallowed status you bestow on SWRD I for one find nothing but flaws in his entire persona. Yes, Bandaranaika belonged to a rare species, a species who bloom only in the excrement of racial politics.

  • 4
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    This racist alienation of Tamils is still happening

    Public servants in East under increased pressure to alienate lands from Eezham Tamils

    The Divisional Secretary of Koara’laippattu North (Vaakarai), Ms S.R. Rahulanayaki, has been under constant pressure from the Speaker of Eastern Provincial Ms Ariyawathi Galappaththy, a Sinhalese, and the Government Agent of Batticaloa District Ms P.S.M. Charles, who is a Tamil, to collaborate with Colombo’s ministries and departments to alienate lands from the people of Vaakarai, as per informed civil sources in Vaakarai. While the Divisional Secretaries are under pressure to alienate lands to intruders from other areas in the island, the Governor to Eastern Province is busily engaged in identifying lands elsewhere along the strategic coast of Trincomalee to lease those lands out to US and other external actors, the sources further said.

    The details of lands being identified to lease out to global forces will be leaked to media soon, the sources said.

    Colombo’s Forest Department is attempting to demarcate lands in Tamil areas seized from the control of the LTTE.

    Sinhalese with UNP links from Colombo, including those having marital relationship with the daughter of late K.W. Devanayagam, a popular MP from Batticaloa who joined UNP becoming a minister in late 70s, are making claims to the coastal lands.

    Divisional Secretary Rahulanayaki, facing pressure from the Tamil people in the division, chose to challenge the erection of a Buddha statue and encroachment that was being schemed by the extremist Sinhala monk at Kaayangkea’ni. Galappaththy and Charles, on the instruction from Mr Fernando, were harassing her to drop the case.

    The GA, acting on the instructions from the SL Governor, has blocked promotions and other facilities to Ms Rahulanayaki, the informed sources further said.

    At the same time, M. L. A. M. Hizbullah, a national list Parliamentarian appointed by SL President Maithiripala Sirisena, has also been exerting pressure to alienate lands to traders from Marutha-munai.

    This government won because of the Tamils but are stil behaving in a racist manner towards the Tamils. Especially in the east, to steal it from the Tamils

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    The reason a lot of people will not talk of MR’s shameful treatment of the CJ is because that was not what the article is about. Also I can openly say cowards like me would not have dared to say anything. Well neither did the current President of SL back then!! So the issue is a Royalist; totally westernized educated in the classics, cricket captain of Royal; English speaking; Westminster Parliamentary expert allow judges houses to be stoned?

    It was a well organized attack. First they cut the phone lines and then they bussed supporters. In fact this was in reaction to the courts ruling against a Police Inspector in an FR case by Vivian Goonewardene. JR actually promoted the guy who was found guilty. His arrogance was amazing. He abused the 5/6th majority far worse than the SLFP did with their 2/3 majority in 1970. The SLFP extended the life of parliament by changing the constitution and JR did so by a rigged referendum. Both were “constitutionally legal”.

    In 1983, innocent Tamils who were killed in organized manner by fascist mobs with strong links to the then UNP government. The end result was massive recruitment to LTTE and a cursed war that (to keep in simple I will ignore India’s evil role in arming, training, and financing them to use them as a geo political tool).

    To this date, no responsible UNP leader has apologized to the Tamil people.A first positive step was made by the PM Hon RW when he apologized for the heinous attack on the Jaffna Public Library.

    President CBK did even though she was almost killed by Tamil Tiger terrorists. Why hasn’t PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was a cabinet minister and a powerful member of HE JRJ’s government not done the right thing? She told me “I do not hate tamils for what a few of them did to me” when I asked her how she could not hate them for what they did. Actually born again Sri Lankan evangelical friends of mine said how she deployed police to protect evangelical churches that were coming under attack by buddhist mobs and they were grateful to her. MR did not do that. She also said “if Islamic jihadi terrorism comes to Sri Lanka my gosh it will be far worse than the LTTE”. Pretty perceptive.

    1983 was the seminal event in modern Sri Lankan history. Whether it was ethnic cleansing, or whatever word you want to use, it was a cursed event for which the sole responsibility is with the regime of that date and the DECISIVE DEFIANT LEADER’s FAILURE TO order shoot on sight and curfew on Day One itself.

    Even recently I was visiting a very old friend of mine who happens to be Sri Lankan Tamil Mixed heritage(father tamil;mother sinhalese both doctors) family living in the USA. His wife also a daughter of 2 doctors(tamil and chinese lankan) and of a classy highly respectable prominent family. . She still remembers being scared and having to walk back from her school in Bambalapitiya to Mount Lavinia and being in fear for her life as she was barely a teenager then when the attacks started.

    She said “I like to visit Sri Lanka but I do not remember it the way you do; why would I want to live in a place where I had to live in fear of my life once?”. Such stories are echoed tens of thousands of times.

    Same sort of sentiment is expressed by thousands of Sikhs who fled after the systemic Congress-I goon sponsored ethnic cleansing/genocide/barbaric massacre in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination on Oct 31st. Estimated number of innocent Sikh men, women and children who were burnt alive, slaughtered, chopped to pieces by Hindi speaking Hindu mobs run by Congress I goons and politicians ranges from 3,000 to over 10,000.

    Again what does it matter what we call it? It was genocide by Hindus of Sikhs; a group of people I admire the most iin India. I want to bring this to the attention of Sri Lankan audiences because I lived in India at that time and had many wonderful Sikh friends who were scared to go back to New Delhi.

    Enough Enough Enough of foolish miscalculations. We will have a joy ride of such under Trump’s supremacy soon.m

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    The fact remains that SWRD created the ethnic problem by his Sinhala only policy in 24 hours and economic mayhem by nationalization policy. Before the Soviet Union and China embraced capitalist economic policies we were moving smoothly on private sector lead growth policies. Now that the entire world has moved towards private sector lead growth policies we realize the folly of SWRD policies.After a costly experiment now we know that the Govt. cannot run buisnesses. Several generations have lost economic wellbeing due to erratic economic policies of the left. The present state of acceptance or rejection by the people of the JVP, LSSP, MEP,NLSSP is ample evidence of the failures of their thinking. None of these parties can win elections without aligning with the UNP or the SLFP. Time is ripe for the left to say sorry for the damage done and set sails to move with the winds. Otherwise they will sink deeper. Vociferous Trotskyaist Phillip made amends when he accepted a portfolio in the UNP Govt. just before his demise.

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    He has merely made character analyses of mostly leaders of the major race maybe to gratify himself. For all those differences between Sinhalese leaders the most commendable aspect they had is that they all were at one in sabotaging any plan or framework to grant justifiable rights to the Tamils, and the foible and frailty of the Tamil leaders is that they had never been united until 1975. That unity too unfortunately failed to work consistently and constructively. Their folly and lack of foresight brought the Tamils to the verge of devastation.

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      Shan

      “Their folly and lack of foresight brought the Tamils to the verge of devastation.”

      Later Hidndian machination too exacerbated the already fractured unity.

      I wonder whether Sinhalese and Tamils really understood the concept of grass root democracy. Being stupid both make ill informed choices at every critical juncture.

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