25 September, 2020

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Gintota & Racism: A Match Winning Trump

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

The Gintota racist eruption is the latest, but not certainly the last, in a sordid political match series played between two coalition teams, a UNP-SLFP coalition government, which describes itself as Yahapalanaya or good governance, and a coalition of opposition which is yet to discover a politically saleable slogan to counter Yahapalanaya.   

Under normal circumstances and in real team sports when two sides are equally matched and neither shows any detectable weakness to exploit by the other one way to achieve victory is to indulge in some foul play expecting that the referee would not notice it. This in essence is what is happening in current Sri Lankan politics. Both coalition teams play the racist card rather subtly and each of them expect the referee, the masses, to blame the other for instigating it. A minority of saffron-clad thugs and their hirelings who went on a bloodletting rampage in Gintota would not have done so without the backing from powerful political personalities. Yahapalanaya is good at blaming the opposition for the mayhem but why does it not take stern action and bring the culprits to the court? By not doing this the government is also supporting racism from behind the scene. 

Where does one place Sri Lankan racist politics in the global context?      

It is a pity that with the death of the traditional left in Sri Lanka, as in many other countries, and along with that the disappearance of contrasting policy packages for people to choose when voting at general elections the democratic populace is now being asked to pick from empty but catchy slogans and between personalities who are more the products of professional beauticians than of cerebral training. The policy differences between the contestants are so marginal that choosing between them is like choosing between Coca-cola and Pepsi-cola. The current contest between the ruling MS camp and the opposing MR camp offers the electorates a choice between form and not substance.

With the victory of neoliberalism over socialism as the ruling global politico-economic paradigm both the right and left sides of politics have come to embrace the precepts and practices of turbo capitalism. Even the so called Third Way of the former British Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair was a sinister move to drag his party to the right of centre. Thus, in many Western democracies also electioneering is dominated more by emotional issues like immigration, multiculturalism and terrorism than the day to day economic problems faced by the majority of people. It is therefore not surprising that in Sri Lanka also both camps have realised that it is racism that will offer the winning trump in their political contest.

So far no party in Sri Lanka has put forward any policy package to tackle real issues such as the spiralling cost of living that is immiserizing millions of families, rampant corruption, cronyism and nepotism that is hollowing democracy of its substance, unregulated foreign private and public investments that is recolonizing the national economy and nibbling away the country’s sovereignty, an ever-widening economic disparity that is feeding a class war, and a decaying natural environment that is jeopardising the lives of future generations. Policies and plans to tackle these issues will certainly impinge on the neoliberal order which is closely being guarded and monitored by its global managers like the IMF and World Bank.  Trapped by the system and unable to liberate from the control of its guardians and devise an alternative path for development the government and the opposition are both looking for match winning trumps, and the only one left for them is racism. This has been the sad story of Sri Lankan politics at least since 1977. 

In the course of plodding along the racist track tens of thousands of human lives have been lost, billions of dollar worth of properties have been destroyed, an unwanted civil war had been fought and above all the historic religious and ethnic tranquillity that Sri Lanka demonstrated to the world for millennia has been wantonly damaged. Under the cover of championing majoritarian values successive waves of megalomaniac and kleptomaniac politicians have driven this beautiful country towards a kakistocracy. Who or what and when will this drive to the bottom be reversed? Will the silenced speak up?   

*Dr. Ameer Ali, School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

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Latest comments

  • 8
    11

    Amir Ali: Don’t be cheap to bash buddhist monks because – saying safron clad thugs – we are silent. It is you muslims bloody thirsty vampires who kill bath the world with blood. So, do not be cheap. Do not be chicken. tell us whether it is you muslim or buddhists who have bathed the world with blood. Here after, please do not be cheap because we allow you to express yourself.
    ginthota had started after one of your muslims tried to discuss the settled incidence in his political terms. So, it is you muslim greed. It is you muslim came to Sri lanka, you buddhist hospitality, wanted headway in 1915 and now are fighting again. Remember, we di dnot live in Sinhala under Tamils for 2600 years if we were dumb. Just be considerate about buddhist hospitality.

    • 3
      0

      Presently the birth in the world is tear- jerking stories are coming out of myanmar. what happened in the ground the world news says.

    • 1
      1

      From where did you come from ? Please do elaborate.

      • 0
        0

        Is the come from aim the reason for taking the upperhand to indulge in foul play

    • 4
      1

      Jim, if Buddhists are so hospitable why are they killing the minorities? No wonder we are still a third world country.

      Aren’t Hindus and Muslims BORN as Sri Lankans?

      Learn to differentiate between good and bad.

      So sad!

    • 3
      1

      JS
      You are full of “bull”.
      Think Myanmar for Buddhist Hospitality.
      Think the pickpocketing of “Tamil North” for Buddhist Hospitality.
      Get it?

  • 6
    8

    Another loud mouthed racist rant. Nothing about the sequence of events in Gintota nor violent involvement of local Muslim politicos & thugs.

    With this type of one sided rants, these buggers are hell bent on further fanning the fires and then point fingers and complain. These fellows need to be treated same as ISIL (no difference in ideology make up. Will behave same as ISIL if given power).

    • 2
      0

      This is what you think not other sri lankans

  • 1
    4

    This is the newest trend of the Govigama criminality. What they do is, they have already established JHU (Jathika Hela Urumaya) the state sponsored Mafia/Terror outfit with the political backing coming to it from SLFP/UNP and other socio, religious groups. Under the wings of the JHU comes BBS, Ravana Balakaya, Mahasona, Sinhaley etc…. They coordinate among themselves about an impending attack on the Muslims. They keep a vigilantees to look for an opportunity to create the condition to launch an attack with the FULL BACKING from the Police, STF for not to come to the aid of the victims, or to come late after their mission is completed. The PM, President will be informed once the operation is conducted to come late to public to say some dumb stupid words of their fake concern about the protection of the citizens and to uphold the laws. These pogroms are well coordinated between all these parties to achieve their goal….to burn and kill the Muslims.

  • 4
    3

    The newly invented method is done by allowing the JHU/BBS to plan an attack and then the POLICE/STF is backed up to support the Sinhala mobs to complete their arson and destruction. Then the GOVI media, Upali Newspapers/Wijeya Publication/ Mawbima/TNL/Hiru/Derana /Swarnavahini is geared to give the wrong picture by easily pitting the full blame on the victims. Then on the other level, the GOVIGAMA servant Gnanasara is sent to give some public propaganda nicely blaming the Muslims but giving some responsible fake talk advising people to solve any problem amicably without resorting to violence. These are fake Media shows to fool the people to give them an idea that the Piggy minded Gnanasara is a nice man…in robe. It is they who have been planning all these violence. Their target is achieved by the he give his fake pubic talk.

  • 4
    2

    Racism, Religionism and power are the greatest enemies of the development, peace and harmony in a country. Unfortunately, in Srilanka both are joined together since the power handed over to Srilankan politicians by British Power. During the British rule power dominated and the necessity for racism was not there. Today Buddhism lost its real value, the democracy lost its principles, economy in disarray and humanity in crisis. Not only Sinhalese political leadership but also the Tamil and Muslim leadership also responsible for the current status. Though Tamils and Muslims speak same language, Muslim leadership do not accept Tamil as their mother tongue purely for political opportunism. If Tamil speaking people are united and come out from the religious fundamentalism you can challenge the threat from Buddhist Fundamentalism and Sinhala racism.

    • 0
      0

      Ajith.
      No need for rocket science to understand the “politics” in SL. The explanation is simple It’s the well known Darwinian principle; “the survival of the fittest”.
      The ” cunning pick pocket” politicians are masters at this.

  • 2
    2

    The newly invented method is done by allowing the JHU/BBS to plan an attack and then the POLICE/STF is backed up to support the Sinhala mobs to complete their arson and destruction. Then the GOVI media, Upali Newspapers/Wijeya Publication/ Mawbima/TNL/Hiru/Derana /Swarnavahini is geared to give the wrong picture by easily pitting the full blame on the victims. Then on the other level, the GOVIGAMA servant Gnanasara is sent to give some public propaganda nicely blaming the Muslims but giving some responsible fake talk advising people to solve any problem amicably without resorting to violence. These are fake Media shows to fool the people to give them an idea that the Piggy minded Gnanasara is a nice man…in robe. It is they who have been planning all these violence. Their target is achieved by the time he gives his fake public talk advising people not to resort to violence. From DS Senanayake to Maithreepala, the Govigama criminal rulers have never allowed peace to prevail among the populace for the last seven decades.

  • 2
    2

    What we see is in Sri Lanka worst than kakistocracy…
    Under Ranil UNP will never win ?
    Under m&s SLFP will never win on its own ..
    M&s is not strong leader as expected..
    He is a puppet of west ?
    Ranil too.
    China is exploiting all weakness of Sri Lankan political leaders ?
    We owe a lot of loan
    Interest to china.
    Large chunk of land is already gone to china .
    After Colombo port city Sri Lanka
    May least it 99 years for the money it got from China to build port city in Colombo.
    What is the garuntee it will work .
    Gintota is nothing but to kills Muslim economy out of jealousy.
    Some Sinhalese like dogs .
    They do not do business
    They do not like others doing business .
    Dogs do not eat hays but they do not let others to eat .
    Whose economy they destroy?.whose wealth they destroy?
    Who pay money to rebuild economy?.
    Let government pay for it

  • 5
    1

    Dr Ali

    The rabid ‘monks’ are only filling a vacuum, perpetuating our national hate agenda.
    First it was the Tamils. now it is the Muslims. As an un-venerable man in a saffron robe told me “we have a Buddhist constitution, we have a Buddhist government, we have a Buddhist army, this is a Buddhist country, and the minorities should understand this and not get too big for their boots”.
    The majority of our politicians will duck and dive in trying to control this curse on our land; None will go so far as to let the law of the land be applied to anybody in a saffron robe. Matter of fact, all parties will find a way of giving the shitheads some support; the last lot openly supported them, this lot has actually given the odious potty-mouthed slapper Gnanasara a place at top table on par with the Mahanayakes.
    No one cares for the majority of decent Sri Lankans who yearn for some peace to enjoy the freedom that we earned with independence.

  • 1
    0

    Reason had left its seat in Sri Lanka since independence. Racist politics is the easy path to power and it is the only politics Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim politicians have known. They have stolen from the people after gaining power on the basis of ethnic chauvinism. A convention extra-constitutional entity which they appeal to is the fat cats of the Maha Sangha riding their fleet of Mercedes Benz cars. They are not worried about the factors that Ameer Ali refers to. They are only worried about their own comforts when the poor are getting ripped off. More immediately, Ameer should also address the Muslim politicians. They have also played a double game, one face for their people and another face for their Sinhala political friends. They too have got rich by playing the system and stoking fear. I single them out only because Ameer must have some influence with them. All politicians in Sri Lanka are stinking rats. Some stink more.

  • 0
    1

    Ajith!

    Are Muslims of Sri Lanka claiming that their mother tongue is Arabic or Chinese or Latin? Muslims who speak Tamil through their forefathers treat their mother tongue is Tamil, whereas those Muslims who live in Sinhalese area and got their birth name in the shape and form of Sinhalese names they treat their mother tongue is Sinhalese.

    • 1
      0

      Sorry Ahmad very few Muslims even in Sinhalese areas consider Sinhalese as their mother tongue. They may study in the Sinhalese medium but speak Tamil at home. The Sinhalese type names were given largely in the Kandyan areas in order to escape violence, when the Sinhalese started to attack Muslims fleeing Portuguese persecution and started to arrive in the Kandyan areas in large numbers. The Sinhalese got alarmed and did not want more to settle in their areas and started to attack the Muslims. King Senarath in desperation asked the Tamil chiefs in the southern parts of the east ( current Batticaloa and Amparai) , who came under his loose control, to settle them in their areas and they agreed. Many of the remaining Muslims in the Kandyan areas in order not to stand out started to take their names in the form of Sinhalese names inorder not to standout and blend. This all but they still consider Tamil as their mother tongue. In Australia I have met many Sri Lankan Muslims from the Central Province who were fluent only in Tamil and request a Tamil interpreter. Once we could not find an official interpreter as required by law and I had to interpret.

      • 0
        0

        You are from Australia. How did you go there? With a visa from Australian government or in Kallathoni as a refugee. I have many relations in Australia and I can verify your remark that you did interpretation to a Muslim. Normally all the Muslims who go there were English educated or have good knowledge in English. Other thing is you can do interpretation in a court only if are a registered interpreter in the Justice Department. Can you give the date, time, name and location of the court and I can verify this. Give the name of Muslim also. If cannot give your are making stories here.

  • 1
    0

    The leftist did not die. They committed Suicide by joining the winning party.

  • 4
    0

    If Buddhism has worked good in Sri Lanka, why are we still a third world country.

    Simple – it’s not about Buddhism, it is the stupid Sri Lankans who uses Buddhism to justify their crooked minds.

    Looks at the majority of politicians – they are Buddhists who uses Buddhism to enrich themselves and never miss photo-ops to be seen with Buddhist monks and temples.

  • 2
    0

    The Muslim population must be controlled. The Muslims are already 10% of the SL population. That’s a lot already to deal with should a Civil war were to break loose.

    Keep in mind that once this population becomes 20%, that is the end of the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamil races as we know it. At 20% the economy will be controlled by them. The legal system, the judges the major political positions will be held by them.

    They will take control of the Central Bank. The education system will be manipulated by them to convert inside the schools itself.

    The few hanky-panky buttocks wagging Colombo based Sinhalese Pontics will not procreate. The Muslim population will grow exponentially thereafter.

    • 0
      0

      I agree with you 100%

      • 0
        0

        Tharan,

        Tamils must take this opportunity to Unite with the Sinhalese. Even with the LTTE we became friends when we were not fighting. During the Premadasa era LTTE boys and we worked together on a common objective of kicking the Indians out. And boy didn’t we succeed on that.

        That’s what makes our relationship unique. Together we can overcome this threat.

    • 0
      0

      Retarded ……………………….. women sniffing Shameless Perera

      What is your problem if Muslim population grew exponentially? Unlike you they work hard and smart and create more wealth than you lazy racists put together. Isn’t it why you send your women folks to earn a few pittance in medieval middle east kingdoms?

      If you are not happy living with Muslims and Tamils I suggest you catch the next Kallathonie back to your ancestral homeland in South India.

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