19 September, 2020

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Good Governance & Political Will

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Error is cowardice…” – Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)

The military is a microcosm of the society it comes from. Lankan society has been experiencing a ceaseless wave of violent crime at least from 2006. The fact that murder and rape proliferate does not mean every Lankan is a murderer or a rapist.

Mahinda Sirisena RanilThere have been several incidents of uniformed men committing crimes against ordinary citizens, including child rape, even outside of the North and the East. This doesn’t mean that all military men are criminals; it merely means that some are. And they should be brought to justice, irrespective of their war record or the ethnicity of their victim.

The uniform shouldn’t place its wearer above the law. It does in practice, especially in lands where the rule of law is weak. But it shouldn’t become policy or be enshrined as an inviolable maxim. That is the sort of impunity the Rajapaksa camp is demanding when they say that no one who took part in the victorious war effort should be prosecuted for any crime.

Sri Lanka’s international woes stem not from the war against the LTTE per se, but from Rajapaksa politico-propaganda antics. The Rajapaksas renamed the war a humanitarian operation and decreed that zero-civilian casualties be accepted not as a desirable goal but as living reality. Even mentioning the possibility of any harm coming to civilian Tamils became equated with treachery. Media was prevented from reporting about civilian Tamil casualties and those media personal who didn’t abide by that code were labelled Sinhala Tigers.

‘Collateral damage’ caused by human error is something no war, however clean, is free of. The Rajapaksa policy denied the existence of this war-staple. That grotesquely irrational denial was sustained by obfuscation and outright lying.

Had the Rajapaksas done what the Americans did after the air strike in Kunduz, Sri Lanka would be in a much better position today – investigate at least some of the charges, admit human errors where warranted, apologise and pay compensation.

There is another consideration. Unlike in the case of Kunduz, the civilian victims after all were our own people. Not all crimes committed during a war can be brought to justice. But some must, if hearts and minds are to heal. Thanks to the Rajapaksa policy, not a single crime committed during the war years could be brought to justice. The denial of justice was absolute and total. It even extended to crimes which were committed outside of war zone and even before the commencement of the Fourth Eelam War. The best case in point was the killing of five students in Trincomalee in 2006.

Once the attempt to label the victims bomb-wielding Tigers failed thanks to the courageous professionalism of the JMO (who happened to be Sinhala), the police commenced an investigation. But the regime interfered in the judicial proceedings while the military threatened witnesses and families of the victims. This case proved beyond reasonable doubt that Tamils could not expect any justice, so long as the Rajapaksas ruled.

It’s when governments fail to act justly by their own people, those people turn to outside entities and forces for justice. Egregious deeds such as these debased Lankan justice system and totally destroyed its credibility in the eyes of Lankan Tamils.

Now the Rajapaksas are trying to gain political mileage from the problem they themselves created.

War Heroes and Justice

The Rajapaksa camp has only one path to power – inciting Sinhala-Buddhist racism. Like Donald Trump in the US or Marine Le Pen in France, recreating a sense of victimhood in Sinhala-Buddhist masses was and continues to be a pivotal Rajapaksa tactic. That is why the attempt to deliver justice to some Tamil victims of the war is being juxtaposed with the government promises to release those PTA detainees against whom no charges have been and can be filed.

After a period of silence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa spoke up yesterday, accusing the government of releasing Tigers while prosecuting war-heroes. Obviously Mr. Rajapaksa has forgotten the curious case of Kumaran Pathmanathan, the LTTE’s main financier and arms procurer and Vellupillai Pirapaharan’s handpicked successor.

Many Tamil men and women were locked up without charges for years, while Mr. Pathmanathan became a privileged citizen. He remains free because the AG’s Department is reportedly unable to find any evidence against him.

The Rajapaksa way of protecting ‘war heroes’ and punishing Tigers was extremely discriminatory. The main criterion in deciding who should be protected and who should be prosecuted was the stance on the Rajapaksas. Those Tigers who became Rajapaksa pets went free while those ‘war heroes’ who opposed the Rajapaksas were persecuted. A ‘war hero’ didn’t have to be a political opponent of the Rajapaksas to suffer this fate. A senior military intelligence official who got into a fight with Minister Mervyn Silva’s reprobate son was hounded, made to incriminate himself and dishonoured.

Christopher Clapham identified “the lack of organic unity or shared values between state and society” as the “single most basic reason for the fragility of the third world state”[i]. Fidelity to Sinhala-Buddhist supremacism (masquerading as patriotism) and idealisation of the military were the ‘shared values’ the Rajapaksas exploited to create and maintain an ‘organic unity’ between the Lankan state (under their near absolute control) and Sinhala society. The military was the main thread connecting the Rajapaksas with their Sinhala-Buddhist base.

This strategy failed, as the voting patterns of the last two elections demonstrate. Whether the ongoing Rajapaksa attempts to revive it succeeds depends primarily on economics. If the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration can improve living conditions of ordinary Lankans, the Rajapaksa machinations to incite fires of fear and hatred will fail. Since most ordinary service personnel did not commit war crimes, they would not be affected by any attempt to bring to justice those who did. But if the economy is not working, if the new government imposes burdens on ordinary people, the Rajapaksa cries of ‘Betrayal’ can resonate with ordinary Sinhalese – and ordinary servicemen who hail from those families.

Extremists usually make gains when an economy is in crisis and ordinary people fear for their future. What was true of the Nazis in Germany can be true of the Rajapaksas and their BBS type allies in Sri Lanka.

The Credibility Gap

In 2013, a former journalist paid a call on President Rajapaksa in the dawn hours and reportedly found him standing on his head. Upon inquiry, the President replied, “We have done so many good things. The opposition cannot see any of them. So I stand on my head to see how I could see the country in that position.”[ii]

Perhaps President Rajapaksa failed to read the danger signs in late 2014 because his vision was topsy-turvy.

Is the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration becoming afflicted with topsy-turvy vision as well?

President Maithripala Sirisena is the Minister of Environment and no fault can be found with his many utterances on the subject. The problem is how the words are translated into action – or not. The best case in point is the issue of the pollution of the Kelani River, the source of drinking water for many people in the Western Province. In recent weeks, the authorities have taken legal action against several river-polluters. This is a commendable development. Unfortunately, action is being taken only against small scale polluters, mostly householders. Large scale polluters, such as the Coca Cola Company which released a pollutant into the river twice this year, continue to stay above the law.

The devastating effect of the Chinese growth model in China became evident last week, when Beijing went into shutdown mode, due to extreme air pollution. A foul smelling and tasting smog enveloped the city rendering the very act of breathing life-threatening. The Beijing Times very appropriately called it ‘Airpocalypse’.

This is a good enough reason to take a careful look at such Chinese inspired projects as the Colombo Port City. Environmental devastation was one of the arguments used against this project by the UNP, while in opposition. Mr. Wickremesinghe is on record promising to scrap it, once elected. Now the onetime critics are silent and there are indications the project will resume next year.

Why are the former critics of the Port City silent? Does it mean that they were wrong and the Rajapaksas were right about the desirability of the project? Or are they silent because they have been bought, with campaign funds and other goodies? Was no action taken against Coca Cola because of American pressure? Has Mahinda Chinthanaya taken over Maithri Palanayak?

The practice of catching a few sprats while allowing sharks to go free is not limited to environmental matters but common to many areas, starting with corruption. This discriminatory treatment is tarnishing the government’s reputation, turning its declarations of good governance into a mockery and providing aid and solace to its opponents.

Good governance was supposed to function as the binding agent between the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration and its base. The basic premises of good governance were to become the shared values between the new government and that segment of society which voted it in. Since good governance was depicted and seen as the dividing line between the Rajapaksa regime and the new Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government, its basic premises included eschewing the main aspects of Rajapaksa governance such as corruption, nepotism, repression, anti-democracy, anti-people economics and ethno-religious racism.

Credibility is the lifeblood of any administration. No party can hold onto power (or win power) without credibility. The Rajapaksas lost power because they lost credibility with their base. If there is too much of a gap between words and deeds, no amount of spin-doctoring or media control can prevent the erosion of credibility. And without credibility, elections cannot be won, even with unprecedented levels of power-abuse and unlimited amounts of money.

Every time the new government violates the norms of good governance, every time it emulates the Rajapaksas, its credibility erodes. This happened with the Central Bank bond scam. This happens when nepotism rears its ugly head and is defended as just and necessary by its practitioners, from the president downwards. This happens when those individuals with tarnished reputations who are willing to abandon the Rajapaksas and back either the President or the PM become re-ensconced in state and government. This happens when the Minister of Justice (and Buddha Sasana) acts in a manner which is grotesquely wrong and continues to remain the Minister of Justice. This happens when an unpardonably blind eye is turned towards the ongoing devastation of the Wilpattu sanctuary and the Sinharaja rain forest.

When governments and nations fail to pursue their interests in an intelligent manner, their crimes and errors boomerang on them. Oil rich nations in the Gulf region, led by Saudi Arabia, have long opposed climate deals which would affect their petro-dollars. According to a new scientific study, if climate change continues at the current pace the Gulf region will ‘suffer heat waves beyond human endurance’ after 2070. The temperature hikes in the region might even interfere with some Hajj rituals, warns Prof. Elfatih Eltahir of MIT: “One of the rituals of Hajj…involves worshipping at the site outside Mecca from sunrise to sunset. In these kinds of conditions it would be very hard to have outside rituals.” [iii]

Cleaning the muck of Rajapaksa rule is no easy task. Adding to the muck can only make that task harder. The Augean Stables would never have been cleaned if Heracles kept on adding more cattle to the existing herd.


[i] Third World Politics: An Introduction

[ii]The Sunday Times – 10.2.2013

[iii]http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/26/extreme-heatwaves-could-push-gulf-climate-beyond-human-endurance-study-shows

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Latest comments

  • 13
    6

    No doubt there are a number of holes in the YP government. Much of it arises from the vital need to keep the government strong against Opposition in Parliament and pressure groups like the unions outside. This felt need can only be achieved by roping in jokers from the Marapalanaya era. That is the practical political reality. The UNP did not get enough seats on its own to keep the government strong.MS & PM are making concessions to this political reality. Already trade unions are flexing their muscles.If some former bigwigs are found guilty that will relieve the situation for the government. However, that hasn’t happened. A breakthrough is urgent.
    At least the legal system has been put in place and that is the basis for law and order.
    Many complexities in governance, Tissaranee but thanks for your insightful piece.

    • 14
      6

      Another Brilliant piece Thisaranee dear. Hats off to you!

      The corruption and environmental destruction of the tree cover and density of the country is all over.

      The Colombo Municipality which has closed roads to have a massive circus for its anniversary is cutting down the tall trees all over Colombo and dissapearing the tree canopy.

      The COlombo Municipality is rife with corruption and STUPID to boot. THere is no plan for DECENT PUBLIC TRANSPORT for the city. Its only focus is on cars and the MEGA casino clown Muzamil and Pathala Champika of the Mega City and Ambition fame have teamed up to ensure MEGA POLLUTION of Colombo.

      The port city is to be built with sade dug from Gampaha and there will be an environmental disaster there soon. The sea level rise will mean that they will need double the amount of rocks and sand than estimated to reclaim land due to Climate Change and global warming. Colombo is all set for a massive DEVELOPMENT DISASTER while the jokers in charge of the Municipality and the clown of Mega city development projects party on at the Town Hall!

      • 6
        1

        Madam Thisaranee thank you!
        Now that the war has ended it has moved back to the Parliament and is visible in the fist fights in Parliament. Politicians started the war to divide, distract from their corruption and rule the masses. Now we see the corrupt politicians fighting each other since the FOG OF WAR is no longer on us!

        The corrupt politicians and political culture which was the root cause of the war is now visible to all the people to see.

        So too as Dodo says the corruption in the Colombo Municipality. There are no trees in the lawn of the municipality and no shade of cool for the people because the trees were cut down. There is clear evidence of a group within the Municipality cutting down trees bases on a list that they have constructed. Environmental degradation is not only in Wilpattu and Singaraja but also right in are faces in Colombo and carried out by the Municipality which is destroying the tree canopy of Colombo and needs to be investigated.

    • 13
      0

      Take a good look at the three faces. .MARA looks very worried. .this man is guilty from his birth. .

      • 4
        1

        mj

        “Take a good look at the three faces. .MARA looks very worried. .this man is guilty from his birth. . “

        He was Mara, who opposed Buddha, and playing in Lanka, the Lanka of Native Veddah Aethho,

        MaRa MaRa Chati MaRa…. Amana MaRa Hora MaRa MiNi MaRu MaRa Dhushana MaRa..

        We All need to sing Jaya Mangala Gatha, in the Original Pali.

        Jaya Mangala Gatha-Verses of Auspicious Victory (rare Pali version)-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OH9kdeLEX4

        Uploaded on May 21, 2011
        Based on the Book of Protection (Paritta Sutta) from the Pali canon, the Jaya Mangala Gatha is sung here in a rare recording by the Mahabodhi Society of India in original Pali. The Jaya Mangala Gatha is a chant recommended by the Buddha to destroy negativity and to generate auspiciousness. It proclaims the 8 major victories of the Buddha which are:
        1) Victory over Mara (MaRa)
        2) Victory over the demon Alavaka (Wimal)
        3) Victory over the wild elephant (Gamapila)
        4) Victory over serial killer Angulimala (Gota)
        5) Victory over the evil intentions of Cinca who sought to defame (Pavitra))
        6) Victory over the haughty brahmin Saccaka ? (Vasudeva)
        7) Victory over the serpent king Nandopananda ?
        8) Victory over the false views of Brahma Baka ?

        It is important to understand that most of these are allegorical stories that relate to the Buddha defeating the negative aspects of his (Mara and Alavaka) and others’ minds.
        It is said that these verses if chanted with a clear and pure intention are helpful in protecting the seeker by attracting the Good around.
        The Pali pronunciation here is exemplary and difficult to find.

        In Pali:

        Bahum sahassam-abhinim
        mita sayudham tam
        Girimekhalam udita ghora
        sasena maram
        Danadidhamma vidhina
        jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Maratirekam-abhiyuj jhita
        sabbarattim
        Ghorampanalavaka makkha
        mathaddha yakkham
        Khanti sudanta vidhina jitava munindo
        Tam tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Nalagirim gajavaram
        atimatta bhutan
        Davaggicakkam-asanlva sudarunantam
        Mettambuseka vidhina jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Ukkhitta khagga mati hattha sudarunantam
        Dhavarn tiyojana pathan gulimala vantarn
        Iddhibhi sarikhatamano jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Katvana katthamudararn iva gabbhinlya
        Cincaya duttha vacanarn janakaya majjhe
        Santena somavidhina jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Saccarn vihaya matisac caka vadaketum
        Vadabhiropitamanam atiandhabhutam
        Pannapadlpajalito jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Nandopanandabhujagam vibudham
        mahiddhim
        Puttena therabhujagena damapayanto Iddhupadesa
        vidhina jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Duggahaditthi bhujajagena
        sudatthahattam
        Brahmam visuddhi jutimiddhi
        bakabhidhanarn
        Nanagadena vidhina jitava munindo
        Tarn tejasa bhavatu te
        jayamangalani

        Etapi Buddha j ayamangala atthagatha
        Yavacako dinadine sarate matandi
        Hitvana neka vividhani cupaddavani
        Mokkham sukham adhigameyya
        narosapanfio.

    • 4
      5

      dear ageing philosopher overseas

      yes there are always excuses.

      have u not heard of the end being squeezed to death by the means? i am afraid your love for wisdom has some difficulty in standing up to your love for the uncle nephew party. or is it now the royal kollo kadey?

      the president has now appointed to an important position in the north an unscrupulous thug who comes with close criminal relatives. a matter that is clear to everyone in the north and confirms for them their doubts about the intelligence and integrity of this president. or does he not care?

      is all the nepotism also political necessity? for a bunch that came to deliver good governance?!!
      if u believe that, u probably also believe that your aunt has a blue beard.

      Trust it is pleasant weather in melbourne now and the rotarians are enjoying their reds.

    • 2
      0

      Tisaranee Gunasekara

      Thank you.

      The Three Musketeers?

      The Three Musketeers is primarily a historical and adventure set in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, aka Sri Lanka. However, they also frequently works into the plot various injustices, abuses and absurdities of the old regime, giving the saga an additional political aspect at a time when the debate in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho is between the UPFA-SLFP Corrupt Mahinda Rajapajsa and Family and UPFA-SLFP and Yahapananists UNP-SLFP was still fierce. The story continues with both parties becoming corrupt

      It is now the Mara MaRa Chatu MaRa
      SiRa SiRa Chatu SiRa
      MaRa MaRa Chatu Ranil
      MaRa SiRa Ranil Dhushana Culture

      Well come the the Sinhale Buddhist Dhamma Deepaya, the Land Miracle of Asia and the Land of Milk and Honey.

      Can We, the People, stone the three Musketeers?

    • 0
      3

      SJ
      All the things you utilised to create hatred against Rajapaksha , one by one, will prove to be political realities at THAT time. One good example is the arrest of KP. For my staunch UNP friends it was unconciable before the elections that this guy is moving free. They assured me, as if they were the private secretary of Ranil, that he would be arrested the very next day. My inner voice told me that it could be somehow a ‘political reality’. Now Rajitha Senaratna says that we can’t arrest him because they did not arrest him!

      Now my dear Shymon, holding on to this notion that we represent absolute goodnes while the enemy is absolute evil and therefore adopting enemy’s own evil methods in order to keep the devil at bay tells how rotten your moral basis is. After all what is a greater service towards God than cleaning the world of gentiles? Or those who crucified Jesus Christ?

      At least when Rajapksha maintained a mega cabinet it was NOT unconstitutional. Your contention is that it was a burden on the poor country because purpose was evil and it is no more because it is imperative to maintain good goverance – whether it is constitutional or not is immaterial.

      Don’t you feel ashamed when you think of what you told the people about the port city , mr Shymon? And per kilometer cost in constructing highways? Appointing your friend Cabral to such an Independent institution?

      My heart tells me evil to promote good only further promotes evil.

      Soma

      • 2
        2

        somass

        “My heart tells me evil to promote good only further promotes evil.”

        I am surprised to hear you too have a heart. When did you grow one?

        By the way I hate to agree with you after watching ten years of clan rule. Isn’t it why you supported MR hoping that good will eventually prevail after the destruction of LTTE.

        What a disappointment.

  • 5
    1

    ….The fact that murder and rape proliferate does not mean every Lankan is a murderer or a rapist…..

    Very true!

    However, the picture chosen shows at least two who might be ‘persons of interest’ on an outstanding national question, and the third one with the ‘val’ smile could be doing something illegal under the table.

    • 5
      0

      …The fact that murder and rape proliferate does not mean every Lankan is a murderer or a rapist…

      Tisaranee Gunasekera is, ofcourse, correct to remind us of this. The truth is that, over the yeras, and even today our armed forces have been stuffed with good men; officers and gentlemen, and, yes, even most of the men under them. But in any barrel there will always be the rotten apples. Now, for a fact, we have more than our fair share. The country as whole are into self-preservation. We are mindful not to do anything that will incur the wrath of the mob that sadly, for sometime now, has held the upper hand in our country. You could get beaten up, your house stoned, your car torched, or you will have your life or that of your loved ones taken. Even officers will think twice before admonishing his men who just happen to be trained killers.

      The President and the Defence Secretary were quite right not to brook any outside interference; they were quite wrong to protect those who blatantly took the opportunity to operate outside the accepted norms of behaviour in those turbulent times. This was compounded by their defiant insistence that ‘nothing untoward’ took place in the face of overwhelming evidence, and their determined stance that nothing should taint the reputations of our brave fighting men.

      The article takes us through all the growing pains of the MS/MR government. The problem is that given our political culture, we have simply allowed in a fresh bunch of crooks to screw us.

      Still, what has not been touched on is, the burning question of the day. How will the Thajudeen case be resolved? One MP nearly got a whacking for having the temerity to raise the question. The Honourable Member has just been elevated to a ‘person of interest’ with a prime place on an active list. No, not on the Speakers list.

      • 2
        0

        Dear Spring_Koha,

        You are right. We can’t spend all our time monitoring what the leaders we have chosen are doing.

        They may not be as bad as what we had before, but let us focus on about four issues, and see how we are progressing.

        The Thajudeen murder is one.

        The doings of Kumarasinghe Sirisena is a second.

        Kapila Chandrasena is a third.

        Being transparent with budgetary figures (which I don’t really understand)may be the fourth.

        Meanwhile, let us hope that Sambanthan’s common sense will prevail in the North.

  • 6
    4

    “Error is cowardice…” – Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
    Perhaps President Rajapaksa failed to read the danger signs in late 2014 because his vision was topsy-turvy.

    Is the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration becoming afflicted with topsy-turvy vision as well?””

    Tisaranee Gunasekara – there is no logical necessity in human affairs.

    The Chinese think the oriental way;upside down-leave the rest to the heavens.

    How much does CBK & her cohorts pay you to write trash??

    All your ex-presidents and President are Warlords`- 500 army men 200 policemen
    Brown Boers and Bacon- if not there would be military rule- nothing to do with tamils. Tony Blair was Middle East peace envoy – job he took in 2007- June 2015. It was no desk job. He was in every event that took place. He has only 12 SAS.

    Its you who’re lonesome, fretting!
    Banana getting,
    Banana regretting!

  • 5
    3

    Very good analysis. From the very beginning what cause division in the country is economics and standard of living. JVP was the first to revolt. Not LTTE.
    Improving economy and addressing economic issues has to go hand in hand. As the author has pointed nothing has happened for last one year.Neither Maithiri nor Ranil seems to have understood or not in a position lead.

  • 8
    3

    “CLEANING THE MUCK OF RAJAPAKSHA RULE IS NO EASY TASK”.

    That really was the icing of the cake, what a phrase to finish off the article and that sums up everything.

    These morons have created such a criminal society that even in parliament we see the thug MP’s of the MARA regime behaving like beasts in the legislature.

    As you have rightly stated, these murderous morons thought that finishing the war gave them the blank cheque to rape the country and murder it’s people with impunity. The dangerous trend is they have even spoilt all aspects of the public service to cover up colossal corruptions and high profile murders.

    The present Rulers should send a strong signal to all those public servants that they will be prosecuted if they act in contravention of the norms, even if they are being pressured by the elected MP’s, PM or the President for that matter. Then and only then, can our country be saved from whoever who is coming to power.

    I will quote once more the golden words of our late Freedom Fighter and honoured prelate Sobitha Thero “IF YOU HAND OVER THE RULE OF A COUNTRY TO THE ELECTED OFFICIALS AND SIT BACK, THEY WILL EAT UP THE COUNTRY. ” RATA KALA DHAI”. So let us all voters be alert and steer our beautiful country towards prosperity and peaceful co-existence of all communities.

  • 4
    9

    TG,

    I was wondering why you were silent after getting rid of Rajapakshas. I thought maybe you were thinking in mission-accomplished terms and relaxing. In those siege-Rajapaksha days you were very vocal, creative and came up with facts buried from ordinary eyes and we were privileged to read them and gain insight.

    I welcome your reentry to the forums after hibernation. Yes, the Port City is going to consume enormous amount of natural resources, electricity, water, human energy, investment, loan amounts and a great space of our future plans and opportunities. It would also discharge byproducts, wastes, pollutants, emissions, contaminants and green house agents of great scale. We have to rethink the project, its investment and expected return vis a vis its environmental and resources cost. The recent Chinese virtual shut down and historical floods in India and elsewhere do not portend good omen for the RW’s development plan centering on Colombo mega police project. This is not a fault of RW or his standard planning practice but it now has to take into calculation the massive loss of time factor of development projects as a result of racist fascist and religio-fanatic elements repeatedly electing Rajapaksha typed buffalos for ruling the country. Had JR’s economic project been allowed to flourish under successive UNP policies or had RW been given the opportunity in 2001 to continue we would have covered much ground before other players in the world grasped the opportunities and reaped the benefits. The amount of pure oxygen and water on this planet is very small and limited. Through thousands of years of evolution and processes the ancient forests in the world have chemically changed the aerokinesis and air constituents into today’s life supporting stage. The trees, oceans and planktons may have absorbed carbon and its variants and deposited them in solid form concentrating oxygen in air. The complicated but functioning relationship and balance of the natural elements in the world has ensured the continuity of life forms on earth. The natural elements have given humans a golden opportunity to thrive on this planet. The weather gods, the earth gods, the sun gods and innumerable nature gods and goddesses had up to industrial age accepted humans to co-exist with them. But now I think humans are seeing for the first time in earth’s million years history the results of breaking the balance of natural elements. The recent environmental summit may have rung alarm bells and all humans have a responsibility to pay heed because humans are on a journey destroying their own cradle.

    I think we now have to take into consideration the changes in the environment, weather, sea level, green house effects, amount of available oxygen, available energy etc. we mega level development projects are envisioned. Of what use if the Port City and mega police is submerged by water! The NASA too is shifting their infrastructure to higher elevations-so we are not going to be spared! More and more numbers of population mean more and more problems, stress on natural resources and limited opportunities for all. So what is the sustainable population for our country, how much land must be left untouched as forests which would be shelter for flora and fauna and the wild beasts and birds and reptiles and medicinal herbs? What are the industries we must avoid that destroy air, water and soil? Are our people knowledgeable about environmental issues and its delicate nature? Are we educating the masses sufficiently on these things? What measures have we taken to establish rapport with advanced nations in the world to build co-operation, knowledge and technology transfer and practical applications that are aimed at protecting the nature? Have we established a body of eminent persons, environmentalists, scientists, researchers, planers etc. who could be instrumental in designing concepts, plans and policies when we design development plans? This is an enormous yet essential task that must be implemented if the human race is to continue on this planet. Religious leaders, environmentalists, civil activists, scientists, researchers, industrialist, planners, politicians, concerned people and TG, please channel your talents to guide and drive the development models of our country along these lines.

  • 16
    1

    We are historically a country full of frauds, thugs, criminals, drunkards and murderers? Sri Lanka never gave birth to philosophers, poets, principled human rights activists, politicians of rare caliber and ethic such as Mahatma Ghandhi, Buddha, Dalai Lama, Confucius, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela…that other countries can be proud. Our history is filled with Saradiel (thug), Anagarika (Sinhala supremacist), Kasyapa (patricide), Dutugemunu (racist invader), JR (racist politician), Mahinda (political crook) and a citizenship that considers these same scum bags as their hero’s. We hide behind a heavy veil of pseudo Buddhism involving in rituals (much of which are copied from Dravidian Hindu practices) than the true wisdom and practice that Buddha preached. This pseudo Buddhist card is used as an ace to hide the fact that this citizenry is still actually uncivilized. Therefore, even when a change of governance occurs based on a change for explicit principles to eliminate corruption, good governance, human rights, justice to victims of state criminality, eliminating impunity and utter arrogance in the rule of law, recognizing the right of minority culture language identity religion and homelands….. one cannot expect much change because historically we have been a nation of bastards.

    • 1
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      Description of a Sri Lankan Buddhist is spot on!

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    SPARK: YOUR WORDS OF SELF-HATE AND SELF-RECRIMINATION SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. No country can progress when the quote below from your comment reflects the views of many writers to these threads who voted for the UNFGG…. You were simply taken for a RIDE!!

    Quote below is from Spark –
    “Therefore, even when a change of governance occurs based on a change for explicit principles to eliminate corruption, good governance, human rights, justice to victims of state criminality, eliminating impunity and utter arrogance in the rule of law, recognizing the right of minority culture language identity religion and homelands….. one cannot expect much change because historically we have been a nation of bastards.”

    WHAT “EXPLICIT PRINCIPLES”, Spark??
    You should know by now that the current leaders are liars who have no intention of delivering on promises which were made ONLY in order to get your votes FOR a Regime Change in Jan and Aug 2015.

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    I dont agree with Spark.People are neither all good nor all bad. It is our value system that matters and we do have a value system based on the worlds most popular religions. But people even when they acept the value system prefer to be religious rather than practice such ethical values. We as a people are religious but it doesn’t make them good people who follow the values expounded in their religions.
    I oft wonder what makes some people follow the ethical values in their religions while many others merely practice worship without following the ethical codes preached in their religions. It would seem that mere knowledge of good and evil is not enough. there must be a commitment to follow the good. How does that commitment come about? Perhaps through constant reminding them of the good values through sermons, ‘bana’ preaching etc? Or perhaps even that seems to be not enough? The struggle to be good and follow the ethical codes seem to be a long hard struggle-perhaps those who are selfish cannot do succeed. So the religions are right to ask us not to be selfish and not to seek our own benefit but that of others? But who then will look after our interests if we do not do so ourselves?

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      “People are neither all good nor all bad”

      Nonsense! There are people who are ALL GOOD but they necessarily do not live in Sri Lanka. There are people ALL BAD. Most of these people live in Sri Lanka. Most of them are the Sri Lankan politicians.

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    ……we do have a value system based on the worlds most popular religions.

    dear rmb, what is the weight of the “have” in the clause above? who are the we there?

    You are a reasonably educated and experienced man – have you as a buddhist truly pondered about this without resting content with empty words? or are you not a buddhist?

    And in view of what you also acknowledge in the sequel, why utter such platitudinous bilge?

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    “So the religions are right to ask us not to be selfish and not to seek our own benefit but that of others? But who then will look after our interests if we do not do so ourselves?”

    poor poor simple rmb, why so literal?

    did you never learn after all these years, that you do not read every book or hear every sentence in the same way?

    have u not listened to all the exhortations about the middle path? and tried to understand what it says about the use of language in our lives?

    Meditate a bit on that.

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    I would like to see this writer returning and actively get invloved in Sri Lankan politics, fighting out on the stage with all the heavy weights for the benefit of those oppressed whose cause she is championing, instead of wasting time and sitting comfortably in London writing reams and reams of literature. Often it is just recycling the same old mantra of her. I am not against you writer, but when it comes to social development and integration of all ethnic groups as a one nation, that is what we is needed in Sri Lanka. Come to Sri Lanka and participate in that dialogue with building multi cultural bridges actively and physically. You cannot do it in London from a penthouse and or with your words on paper. Put money where mouth & pen is.

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    Silva: Just curious. Are you that “silva” who got into a “war of words” in comments posted on the CT’s “Justice Minister Wijedasa Corrupt Since Time Of COPE Chairmanship”? I believe he is not you on comparing those “words” with what you posted here above; but if I am wrong in that assumption (same person as that “silva), it is alarming to note your capabilities in expressing so “elegantly” in “descent” English language and most vividly in analytical terms of the subject matter. Well done “silva”; if that “silva” and this “silva’ are both the same.

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      Douglas,

      Wait a minute! Now take a deep breath. Relax….

      This world is a strange place. The Nature has produced elements, things, combinations and beings of myriads nature and functions. Your mother gave you warmth that set in motion a wonderful unfolding process of nature that still carries on through your existence. But one day that same warmth will combine with fires of nature ignited by other elements of nature and engulf, disintegrate and transform you into other forms of nature. Here we are, living, feeling, sensing and enjoying the enormous gifts and benevolence of nature: the pure air, water, the living trees and beings, the beautiful skies, the vivid colours and darkness of nature, the unfathomable stillness of nature’s silence; we see the golden light of the day and the serene beauty of the moon in the night, there is rain, sunshine and the breeze, there are seasons and cycles-cycles of creation and destruction; and set in motion from a Big Bang there is this dynamic universe, dynamic earth and the dynamics of life-the nuclear reactions within the sun, the elixir of life it endows on us through its rays; there are new beginnings and cessations of processes of life when life reluctantly bids farewell to its transitory stay.

      And who are we humans on this sacred earth? What are we doing? Are we not destroying our very fountain of life? Are we not deforming and destroying the nature’s gene codification replication programme of nature through destructive ways of living, poisons, pesticides and pollutants? Why are we not sensitive to all these problems? Is it that we are too consumed with our own shoddy little problems and our monotonous and stereotyped existence, personal ambitions and imaginary fantasies? Why don’t we feel responsible for the all the chaos, mayhem and utter irresponsibility that are happening in vast vicious cycles?

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        Ah Mr Silva, there you are! I was looking for you in the other thread.

        Bravo Mr Silva, Bravo! Such brave and rousing words. I have tears in my eyes.

        Your brave words are second only to the rousing words of the good old Confederate General.

        “My dear fellow soldiers, remember your southern heritage, remember your fathers, mothers, children. Fight to the last bullet. Fight, until there are no fingers left in your hands to hold a gun. Then, only then, retreat. But, as I am lame I’ll start my retreat now.”

        The wee little problem Mr Silva is,

        “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” (BTW you can stay in one of Tolstoy’s old houses – it’s a boutique hotel now – and try Russian cuisine, if you have no stomach for Parippu. Something else to try, when you are through with Disneyland) :) Just kidding Mr Silva; no need to get your knickers in a twist.

        So how about starting right at home, by cutting down on verbal pollution? That has a bigger polluting effect on society than smog – especially on young children. Mr Silva, even if we like it or not, we adults gotta set an example, No! Yes? No?

        If you are the great environmentalist you rousing words demonstrate, you’ll get my drift; if not you’ll go into another one of your @#%%#@!&$#@ :))))

        Nothing personal Mr Silva. Ah just doing my patriotic duty for the motherland. Someone’s gotta do the dirty work.

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          nimal Fernando,

          [Edited out]!

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            Ah Mr Silva, I was eagerly awaiting your reply. Very disappointed.

            If you can’t express your true feelings in English in a manner that the moderator won’t find objectionable, why don’t you substitute French or Russian words just for the few words that express your true feelings and see if they pass under the moderator’s radar. In the 21st century we gotta be innovative Mr Silva. Think out of the box!

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              [Edited out]

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          [Edited out]

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            Oh Blimey!

            So French and Russian failed, eh Mr Silva?

            Use Google-translate and write in Swahili. I’ll use the same translator to translate back in to English; so we are on the same page.

            Mr Silva, we gotta find a way to communicate.

            Now, that I’ve met you, I can’t live without you.

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    Apart from all the underworld ideologies of Sri Lankan politicians there is one more ulterior motive goes without mentioning. The tackling of the minorities not to let them independent by showing a Democratic Governance to the world. Please understand Sri Lankan Politics!

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    “investigate at least some of the charges, admit human errors where warranted, apologise and pay compensation”…coming from you this is hilarious…and deeply cynical. Kill the buggers blast the whole damn lot to kingdom come regardless of the merits or legitimacy of their political objectives… throw up a sham investigation…apologize claiming that it was all a matter of inevitable collateral damage and then bribe the next of kin. The underlying strategy and it clear intentionality will remain hidden. None of those who formulate, develop and execute the strategy are harmed. If Rajapaksa had this level of cynicism and intelligence he would by now be king and would have his own growing array of crown progeny.

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    “Cleaning the muck of Rajapaksa rule is no easy task. Adding to the muck can only make that task harder. The Augean Stables would never have been cleaned if Heracles kept on adding more cattle to the existing herd.”

    That’s it, in a nutshell!

    The ball started rolling (or the shit started accumulating) with the appointment of Maithri’s brother to Telecom, closely followed by Chathu’s and Daham’s improper roles assigned by their father. Next were the riffraff appointed to Parliament, Arjuna’s display of ‘brotherly love’, the ‘Colombo Port City’ farce, etc, etc.

    Looks like the Augean Stables are destined to drown in cattle shit!

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    How come CT missed the important news where the US says it is unhappy with Wigneswaran?
    http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/US-and-India-Displeased-With-North-Lankan-CM-Wigneswaran/2015/12/13/article3175893.ece

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      Eusense,
      CT also missed the story of army operatives threatening Jaffna journalists with “white van” abductions.

      http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=38048

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        Tamilnet??
        CT has to have some respect!

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          That is be true and happy news. But you are also in that. That is very sad!

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      Don’t be well frog to read Dubois Jeyarah’s reprint in Indian express.

      There is an article in the diplomat. It is trying to analyse how could America’s path of petting the Royal Governments can evolve or revolve after Obama.

      Blake put a comprehensive effort to take Lankawe to pre 1948 humanistic path. It condemned it as imperialistic period of pre 1948. Lankawe thinks freedom is about rob, loot, hack, kill, rape, lie cheat, fool dodge…it is for all this nature of activities. Not for a sincere way of earn, live and enjoy.

      The past American presidents gave everything to Lankawe wanted, but Lanka has not moved even an inch. America is well aware of the Sinhala masses’ infatuation to Communism and the reality of any elected person can one day dive it into that. But as long as the election is intact, that is the path America wants to go. It is a real pain to Tamils, because election is the power source Sinhala Intellectuals using from 1948 to suppress Tamil. First mass scale success was the disenfranchising the Tamils. It is an unhiding explicit election manipulation. The new proposed constitution is planned to put the final nail on the head of the Tamils. 2015 was the last chance for Tamils to tell the world outside of their suffering by an election. So, after that only diaspora will the only voice for them. Foreign governments has to quickly recognize it. Some have already understanding that.

      JR squeezed the voice of the Tamils by 6th amendment. But he chased out the Tamil from Lanakwe in 1983 July. This made the diaspora as the voice of the Tamils who are completely cordoned and for whom only the Sinhala Intellectuals talking in the UN, Commonwealth and other places and .

      Dubious Jeyarajah and Indian express are wooing Sampanthar. But Sampanthar had pleaded excuse for not being able to talk about not even one Tamil Candidate appointed for the five development council leaders in the North-East. Tamils have extremely qualified persons to handle this. Sinhala Intellectual Royal governments making them too handicapped by dumping all handicapped administrators there. They say one can recognize the dog which can catch hare by he shape of its nose. So, this is the government Sampanthar trying to sell in the North-East as going to merge the provinces and going scrap the 13A to honestly share power.

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      Nuisance, the racist dog has started barking again. This article has absolutely nothing to do with Wigneswaran, but he has to bring that up. Nuisance, why don’t you do us all a favor and just jump in the ocean.

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        Tamil from the north

        “Nuisance, why don’t you do us all a favor and just jump in the ocean.”

        You are being cruel to sea creatures in the ocean. Stop cruelty to animals.

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    Tissaranee Gunasekara is putting one more effort to recommence to the lost Sinhala Intellectualism on the International Area. The Father of it, Lakshman Kadirgamar was murdered by his own disciples, drama repetition of the Shakespearean Julius Caesar. When the “five star security details” he enjoyed for the job of tearing off Tamils in the foreign World was removed, he cried “You too, Brutus?”. But the fate did not change. Now in an all-inclusive article, which cooks up an “well spiced Aviyal” from Duham’s New York visit through China’s environmental pollution to Saudi Wahhabism, Tisaranee is putting forward the usual drama “naan adikirathu poolai addikkiran nee azlukirathu poolai azhu.”(I am acting like punishing you, you cry like you are hurt by it.) This is an important drama to make the IC take its hand from the New Royals. She letting the readers get a feeling that her Honeymoon with the Palanaya Regime, to help them in the erection she wrote many articles in CT attacking LTTE to the bare bottom, is over. To achieve what she wanted, she praised Champika, Athuralie… Rishad, Hakeem whom all were within her in the center line. With the name of justice, the New Royal government has refused to take any action on the murders of the Innocent tender shoots, Saraniya, Vidiya, Usanthi… It is not Colombo destroyed the evidences and appointed government paid lawyers to reverse the cases, it protects the army and the CIDs who are going to the victims’ houses and threatening them at gun point.

    Tisaranee is, by her usual convoluting, convex-ing and foul arguments, putting the unelected government as the victorious one. This is her main theme of her confused article. That is like pretending to climb a 40′ Palmyra tree using a broken small ladder. America supported the war after obtaining some promises from Attanagalla Princess Chandrika and the Old King. But after winning the war, old King took back the Dole’s Land and let America out in the middle of the sea. America, accepted in the congress it had been fooled, but, is far away from backing off. It launched its citizen Fonseka for EP while putting heavy pressure on TNA to get support him. It missed. The victorious Old King, took a full round, took the China’s hand to fully fund the election and came back and called America and India for another round of election tussle. Again he won all out victory in the Sinhala Intellectuals’ Land. But America was putting together a different rocket science math. It still had kept TNA under its thumb. TNA had to channel Tamils’ votes to against the Old Royals, instead of ignoring the Sinhala Intellectuals’ election. TNA published a false election statement, which containing concisely and precisely, with Sumanthiran mastery statement preparation talent, asking Tamils to support CC. It had so much of rosy pictures, even the CC team, for whom in support of it was released, flatly denied the truth of it.
    The statement claimed that TNA was having an agreement with the proposed new government which would release occupied lands, punish the war criminals, and rehabilitate the war widows and war victims…..TNA did know whatever they were saying all had not any truth in it. In fact there were never any agreement was reached with anybody. But this was, included America too in system design, to counter the Old Kings anti-Tamil campaign to earn his victory. It was well expected him to win in the Sinhala Intellectuals’ Land. So a math was put together to match it in the Tamil land in this way. Like the Sinhala Mass was made to believe by Old King that all of their suffers is because of Tamils and they have to be wiped out, on the opposite side Tamils were made to believe that a graceful Asoka government going to take place and all of their suffering going to be wiped out in the morning of the after election. Tamils were not told by TNA that the election will pave path to a new constitution, under which Tamils influencing the elections will be completely wiped out and it is better they staying out being fooled by these foul maneuvering. (TNA still cheating in the North and East making them believe the North-East merger under 1987 amendment, which was nullified by Weerawansa will be brought back. With inducing this false dream, it is thwarting the resentment coming out of Tamils of that not one Tamil was appointed in the Development Council’s presidency. TNA has successfully explained that if one ask at least one Tamils party candidate for out the 5 Tamils districts, the Sinhala Intellectuals world will catch fire but if they ask to bring back the North-East merger, it is will cool down and grant it. TNA thinks Tamils are more Modayas, than the Sinhala Intellectuals.)

    But America had to take one more step of to dethrone the Old King and convince to go home. It was long expected the Old King may not bring another election, but would continue on the power. But the popularity he enjoyed with the Sinhala intellectuals by his anti-Tamil actions was enormous. So he changed constitution and conducted a challenging election. Why didn’t he hold to the power with his army’s might, but conducted an elections and fell into this misstep is difficult to explain. (But if we wish, we can continue on the one of the previous creative writing Tisaranee wrote in CT about the horoscope reader of Old King. So we can conclude with her anti American feeling and that of her spicy creative writings, it is America paid for his Horoscope Reader to have allured Old King into his great downfall). As the final step, America showed its might and promised him that if he continues after election loss, he would meet it on many fronts of challenges. This brought an end for his hard earned victory with the anti-Tamil campaign in the Sinhala Intellectuals’ world.
    America’s math worked in January 2015 and didn’t too. Feeling it like an UN electric chair, Old King left the Temple Tree House chair. But America has become the farmer who cut the golden goose expecting to take the lot of golden eggs but ended up with the one and the last. Tamil will never ever in the well-structured Sri Lanka Constitution be able to influence the election result. Anti-American, socialist Sinhala mass will never go with the American way like the way they are always against India and always with China. After realizing only, the attraction of the socialist themes to Sinhala mass, Ambassador went in search of Wimal to his office. In contrast Marxist, Trotskyist, socialist, communist… parties never had enough oxygen in the North-East to freely breathe. After the proposed change of constitution, last golden egg removed the goose, even the meat of female fowl will not be tasty for anybody, will be dumped in the pit.

    That is only the story of the election. We show how the New King was crowned plucking the power out of Old King. But Ranil Mahatha installing the Yahapalanaya government is another story. Of cause, Don Stephen told, “Tell me if he is a Tamil. I can but him with a cup of coffee”, like other destructive customs initiations he established to destroy the Sinhala-Tamil relationship, this is another customs he established to buy and sell MPs in the parliament, as the first prime mister who sets up customs. In his tenure, it was not just Tamils MP and ministers were bought and sold, even Sinhala ones too. In Sirimavo’s time, it was entire team of communists who were going on sale for fish market’s Maldives dried fish price. When JR came to power, MP’s price was less than rotten fishes, and he had massive herd he swept through with a surprising victory, he put an end to it. He had all these elected peoples to sign a resignation letter on undated letters. Because this is a basic feature needed in the Sinhala Intellectual world, by piece meal basis, it was brought back, after JR left. So, in his time, the Old king had swooped back from UNP’s GL Perris to Deva, Hakeem, Rishad like clowns, from UNP.

    In this this time, the majority of the UPFA wanted to be the opposition under the leadership of Old King. It was said he lead the party and minimized the loss in August 2015 election. With the Anti-UNP JVP, if UPFA and TNA had sat on the opposition, it would have created a balance and would have put the UNP out track by now. But this was the time for UNP to do the same damage to SLFP whom did the same thing to UNP after 2006 election. So UNP trusted the opposition into the hands of TNA, which with its loose head, convulsing to get it. UNP undertook the job of plucking the quills from the thorny porcupine, the SLFP, one at a time patiently. Porcupine protested at the start. But if you put a strong cloth over it, like the one “defeating the IC investigation and saving the SLFP leaders, commanders and soldiers from it”, the porcupine’s protest will go un noticed. So back again, from Rajitha Senaratne to Thondaman are in UNP.

    There is a very compulsive reason for Yahapalanaya government to appear as in the tract until Sec.Kerry goes out. He, by mistake, compared the Burma’s one and only Military government to Lankawe’s plural, UNP’s and SLFP’s elected governments. If somebody manage to take away the power from the dictatorious Myanmar government, that will be a permanent change. There was no way of taking the dictatorship from Lankan leaders like Don Stephen, Solomon West Ridgeway Dias, Sirimavo, Junius Richard, Premadasa, Percy or Ranil, because these are elected dictators.

    So the basic theory that Tisaranee has built her Mahavamsa creative story, “the election victory” is as fraud as the Lanakave’s Royals governments.

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    It is always a privilege and pleasure to read and learn from the liberal thoughts of this fine Sri Lankan – Tisaranee G. It is the sad fate of the declining country that enlightened citizens like her, able to see far across the ethnic divide, are in the minority and in the upper middle class grouping. If the mass of the reading public coming from the Southern Sinhala society have access to the analysis and thoughts of these fine writers, we will move closer to unity, peace and reconciliation soon.

    The tragedy of recent Lankan history is summarised in the observation
    “The Rajapaksa camp has only one path to power – inciting Sinhala-Buddhist racism” Worse, an electorate, claiming to be politically wise and over 95% literate simply keeps getting fooled by one leader after another during elections. Mrs. B and the Rajapakses came on the Sinhala-Buddhist racist platforms. JRJ, in 1977, recognised the cure lies in
    bolstering the economy – and so he did. He had the help of the richer nations in the world. His mistake was that his UNP ruled far too long – not necessarily legally at the latter stages. In 1982, he should have gone for General Elections and campaigned on the basis of the economic performance of his regime. Ranil knows this all too well but he is trapped in a partnership with mediocrities, unprincipled opportunists and rogues.

    Sri Lanka continues to engage political turbulence and turmoil. There are more signs of the country declining in the short term than overcoming her many challenges. The next few months will be crucial.

    The survival of the present generation depends in improving the economy, creating employment and gaining political stability in governance.

    As the Americans said during the Bill Clinton era “It’s the economy, stupid”

    Kettikaran

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    Tisaranee is always an acute analyst of events. But, the militarization of Sri Lanka cannot be solely attributed to Rajapakse. It was a progressive event. It took a distinct communal form when the army was lax in suppressing riots against the Tamils and overzealous in dealing with Tamil militancy. More importantly, the manner of the crushing of the JVP rebellions ensured that it became brutalized. Many innocent young Sinhalese were killed. It is surprising that the Sinhalese were passive onlookers at the destruction of their youth. They could not be expected to protest at the massacres of the Tamils. There was a failure on their part which has much to do with the difficulties in establishing good governance in Sri Lanka. It seems to be a problem innate in a people. The Germans massacred six million Jews but spent much of their time ensuring that a state system was built that would ensure no repetition. Such will is lacking in Sri Lanka, ensuring the survival of Rajapakse-like political chauvinists who will ensure that the country remains mired in the same old much of ethnic chauvinism. That is why good governance will remain a distant prospect in Sri Lanka.

    It was a brutalized army, with restraints removed, that was unleashed on the Tamils. The Rajapakse brothers had a lot to do with the structuring of the army not only to fight the war but ensure their political longevity.The war led to brutalities on both sides but the last incidents indicated that the Tamil civilian casualties were immense, justifying their characterization as calculated acts of genocide. The restoration of decency requires that there be a credible system of accountability instituted. The international community is intent on establishing such a machinery. It would be to the good of the country if this is done. We can then see good governance which as Tisaranee points out the present government seems to be veering away from.

    Tisaranee makes too many points in the article. It comes out as a disjointed piece. Maybe, coherence would have required separate articles.

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    All in all a very good analysis. Bensen

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    The picture sums up the problem of the nation: the three most powerful men, and their goons standing and salivating and staring at the table of goodies!

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