25 July, 2024

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Good Riddance Of Bad Rubbish & Next Phase Of Aragalaya

By Ameer Ali

Dr. Ameer Ali

Good Riddance of Bad Rubbish! Fugitive Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) has at last come to his senses and formally resigned as Sri Lanka’s most hated president. He could not have chosen a more inauspicious month to abdicate than July, because it was on 24th July 1983, the first Executive President of this country, JR Jayewardene, lost his sanity and blessed an anti-Tamil pogrom, which lasted for seven days, causing deaths, destruction and bloodshed, and earned a sobriquet, Black July. Today, Black July is commemorated every year at least by the Tamil community at home and abroad. It was that pogrom, which snowballed over the years and culminated in a civil war, described as “Gota’s War”, by one of GR’s paean writers, and the cost of that war was so colossal that it was the primary cause for the country’s current financial bankruptcy, worsened by the systematic loot of Rajapaksas. It took thirteen years for the teen agers during that war to realize the dangers of the ideological paradigm that had driven this nation to become an international pariah. Today’s aragalaya is the result of that realization.

Pretending to be the protector of Buddhist Sasana, an arrogant GR failed to read the pulse of the nation when aragalaya youth put up the slogan, “Gota Go Home”, which spread like wild fire, and condemned himself to be thrown into the dustbin of history, “unwept, unhonoured and unsung”. Had he chosen an earlier date he could have departed with some self-respect. But today his arrogance had brought nothing but humiliation and after several attempts he is reported to have landed in Singapore, looking for a permanent domicile. Would he be admitted back into the US, which citizenship he claimed to have renounced, thanks to his Muslim attorney and the oversight of the election commissioner, before becoming eligible to contest Sri Lanka’s presidency? At last, the nation is celebrating his resignation. (Incidentally, Sri Lankans have not lost their sense of humour even in the midst of suffering, as one of them said that they are expecting the next shipment of petroleum to arrive from a company owned by Rajapaksas).

However, the immediate aftermath of GR’s departure does not seem to augur well for the expected dawn of a new era, to which the aragalaya youth had dedicated themselves with heavy sacrifices. It appears that GR’s parting gift to a devastated country is to facilitate the unelected Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) to capture the presidency and rule for the rest of its current term. But the youth are not going to allow a man who shamelessly offered himself to become a stopgap Prime Minister in order to protect the interests of Rajapaksas, to continue protecting their interests by being a President. They are also aware that RW would be the last man to work with them to bring about the systemic or paradigmatic change, which they believe is the ultimate solution to the dawn of a new era. The six demands submitted by them to an interim government, if implemented, would pave the way towards that dawn. RW would have none of it and if appointed as President he is determined to uphold the current constitution and thinks rather optimistically that once the economic and financial difficulties are overcome with IMF’s and other agencies’ assistance normality would return. He is obviously expecting the SLPP mob inside the parliament to rally behind him. Aragalaya’s next phase has begun and it is going to be a tougher battle than the first.

For the moment, however, things are moving along a confrontational direction with RW acting as president clamping down curfews and ordering the arrest of so-called unruly individuals, which is a euphemism to target the aragalaya youth. He has already called them fascists. RW may also have a personal grudge against the protestors, because he seems to think that those youth were the ones responsible for the arson attack on his private residence. There is a reasonable chance that if he were to become the interim president, he would become Sri Lanka’s el-Sisi? Like JR inaugurating the 1983 Black July, RW may inaugurate its 2022 version, not against the Tamils but against the youth of this country.

In this context, one is again tempted to look back what happened in Tahrir Square where also a leaderless youth demanding the ouster of a tyrant president and demanding democracy with freedom and dignity was finally betrayed by the old guards. The interim government of the Islamic Brotherhood was never expected to last. After a short period of waiting and preparation, ancient regime came back with vengeance, massacring around 800 protestors, declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist organization and throwing President Mohamed Morsi into prison where he was left to die. Because of the centrality of Egypt in the Arab world external powers were keen to protect the old order.

When the Egyptian parallel was drawn a few months ago when aragalaya began, few observers refused to accept it and dismissed the idea of comparing Galle Face Green and aragalaya with Tahrir square and its protestors. But given the geostrategic location of the island and the competing interests of rivalling powers, the progress of aragalaya would be closely monitored. Even IMF would prefer the old order to persist. Among the political parties that are currently represented in the parliament, except JVP and its NPP affiliate, hardly any other shows sincere willingness for a paradigmatic shift. Because, they stand to gain under the old order. Their support for and sympathy with aragalaya is therefore mostly opportunistic, and when time and circumstance turn propitious, they would be ready to pull the rug. Already, the leader of the 43-Brigade, an ethnonationalist, has asked aragalaya leaders to contest elections under the existing system. That would be suicidal for the youngsters who want a new order. Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera, a former supporter of SLPP, is demanding the protestors to vacate the presidential place. Their continuous occupation has become an irritant to the ones who are aspiring to occupy it next. If RW were to become president it would be a matter of time before he calls the tri-forces to clean up Galle Face and finish off the aragalaya, all in the name of maintaining law and order. Whether the forces would obey his command is another matter. This is why the situation is too tempting to draw the Cairo parallel once again,

History may not repeat itself. However, as the renowned novelist Mark Twain modified it, “history does not repeat itself, it rhymes”. How it is going to rhyme in Sri Lanka would determine whether this year’s July would be Black July II or Bright July for a new dawn. Aragalaya’s next phase had begun and it is going to be a tough one.

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

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Latest comments

  • 20
    2

    I don’t think any of you guys understand what’s going on …….. how the world works.

    No country wanted to welcome Gota. The Maldivian government hierarchy has a direct line to Saudi MBS (as Harsha said) …… so they persuaded him to give him some temporary refuge.
    Now, this is where things get interesting ……. the Lankan, who tormented, murdered and set fire to their businesses is prisoner in a Muslim country. If you Muslim brothers can tell all your woes to MBS and get him to do what he did to that journalist …… 7 virgins await ye! ………. Dissolving in acid there is no trace of Gota …….. ye can always claim Gota left and living in France …….. like one of the guys whom he made disappear ……

    What irony!

    • 16
      2

      continued

      None of you get what Ranil is up to ……….. he is pretending to the West, he is protecting their interests ……… saving the country from the Fascists/commies ……… I think the stupid JVP played into his hands by resorting to violence near the parliament …… old habits never die. Ranil has the evidence he wants to show the US embassy ……… he already has the backing of the US ambassador ……..

      If you think ol’ Donald is Einstein …….. wait till you meet some who run their foreign policy ……. in the state department ……..

      Only the Freemason ……. are missing from the plot ………………

      • 7
        3

        Despite all the fuss, Ranil will be President for a few days. Let’s see what all the bright lads and gals have to say, after a few weeks of President Premadasa v.2.

        • 7
          2

          OC
          That is hard reality. Skipping it will cause more problems than anyone aims to solve.
          RW as PM or Acting President for long could not have been a serious proposition even if GR did not step down.
          Asking Ranil to go is fine, but not to simply replace him with SP, PCR, SF or MS.
          None of the bidders for either post seem to realize what they are in for. (One or two may even be wrongly worried that Ranil may ‘solve’ the economic crisis.)

          • 7
            1

            SJ,
            “None of the bidders for either post seem to realize what they are in for.”
            Typical of our so-called “leaders”.
            I hope you’ve laid up at least two years worth of bicycle tubes and tyres.

            • 0
              0

              OC
              Thankfully, I am a one for walking and travel minimally.
              I have yet to buy anything with two wheels since 1970.

            • 0
              3

              Bicycle tubes will be the least of your problems. food medicines food medicines. Already Drs have no ability to go practice. but apparently these goons have gas to go to the galleface and burn up what ever they please.

              And they have no trouble playing Cricket matches !!!! . What a delusional set of people.

              • 0
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                a14455
                That advise from OC was for me.
                I eat sparingly and have no serious health issues.

        • 7
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          OC,
          .
          I dont think Premadas would be the president because those in Parliament would not allow Premadasa becoming their president.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wR3ZJ1wg6Hc
          .
          If a NPP leader would have been proposed, … things would have turned out to be fine.
          :
          Now as a result of RANIL involvment, SHIPS filled with feritlizer and fuel are arrriving…
          :
          FAKE PUBLIC PERCEPTION will ruin this society … throwing them from frying pan to fire again and again.
          :
          All I can say, is GOOD RIDDANCE to our people !!!!… if they treated minorities equally.. Karma could forget all of them.

    • 14
      3

      Nimal, his troubles have just begun. There will be cases filed soon in most western countries against Gotha. Now that he is ex and does not have the immunity, he will be treated like a common man. Jester where are you ? Ameer Ali, just called your pussy cat “FUGITIVE”.

      • 3
        0

        chiv,

        Damned if I know. ………. in times like these a million things can go through one’s mind ………

        All I know is, no one gives a fig about the people ……… the “political-class” is just trying to protect the privileges of their “class.” ……. Ranil is their stalwart ……. and his trick is, trying to get everyone to stick to parliamentary “protocol” ……… as if “protocol” prevented the looting of the public-wealth ……. or prevented the beggaring of the nation ……. :))

        People say the young kids of Galle Face Aragalaya has no experience: so what? ……. Rajapakses, Ranil and the rest in the parliament had years of “experience” and this is what they did to the country! That’s how unexamined crap clog our minds! ……. Perhaps the young kids might do better: a wee little bit better …..

        After revolutions countries recover and find their way ……… so will Lanka ……. how we recover depends on the leaders …….. and I don’t see anyone in sight ……..

        As a sacrifice, in solidarity with the people, I’ve stopped eating truffles and caviar …….. restricted only to caviar ……. Not that I ate either …… just trying to get Sinhala_Man to take the bait ……… he is not biting. :))

      • 1
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        Looks like Gotha got the message. Now we hear returning to live in Lanka, happily ever after, under RW’s patronage.

  • 11
    2

    This should have been the fate of war criminal Gota.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZqfGa2qRYw

  • 10
    2

    Dr. A.A, You say history rhymes. King Solomon said there was nothing new under the sun, Eccles. 1,9 Life is the same old game with different players. No more Rajas for a while and hopefully the nation will recover its shamelessly robbed wealth. Ranil is in the spotlight now and later others aspiring will appear. Please move to get rid of these clueless President dictators becoming zero, like how Karl Marx escaped to London as a poor man and is buried there. Das Kapital self destruction is vain talk without fruit. Erase off Executive President post from Sri Lanka and the world will understand what restoration and transformation means.

    • 3
      3

      dtg
      ” …like how Karl Marx escaped to London as a poor man and is buried there. “
      The years in London were the most productive.
      BTW
      Have you heard of a guy called Jesus of Nazareth? Was he exiled or crucified?

      • 0
        0

        Jesus was crucified after receiving sins of all men on him sacrificially when he prayed to Father to forgive them as they did not know what they were doing. The Father raised him up to ascend, leaving an empty tomb which disciples who accepted him were without karma but only filled with the love of God which was the message to communicate to others. that he was alive. Marxism communicates that only self help will remove karma. Irony is that Marx hid in the capitalist city of London which allowed him, UK kingdom being christian. Marx fled from being hunted by communist and marxist groups and countries

        • 0
          0

          You make unsustainable excuses in the name of a Bibilical God whose existence is rejected by many.
          Then you attack someone for escaping persecution.
          *
          “Marx fled from being hunted by communist and marxist groups and countries”
          That will keep me laughing for days on end. Thanks.

          • 0
            0

            SJ, No attack on Marx for escaping persecution, but simply the irony of him discovering that God’s country accepted him even though Marx attacked God who is love. Why do people migrate to christian countries so much today. SJ, you reject the biblical God as you have not engaged with him relationally and in intimate surrender. Try it for larks and see what happens to you when he responds in unconditional love, triumphant mercy forgiving sins, and empowering and energising grace which flows through you. Then you will know that you are in union with your creator in oneness to keep you laughing eternally

            • 0
              0

              The irony is more acute in the case of JC, supposedly Son of God Almighty.
              You made unsupported utterances too.
              Which is ‘God’s country’? Did Marx take refuge in God?
              I reject all God creator theories. They make no sense.
              The three book religions are contextual theories.
              East Asians did very well without a ‘Creator’.

  • 10
    1

    This year’s July, hopefully would be a bright July for all the Sri Lankans. The STRUGGLE [ ARAGALAYA ] should continue till a NEW CONSTITUTION is passed by having a people’s REFERENDUM during the next few months or ASAP.
    Will our “United Youth” be ready have a SECULAR country, where
    —-everyone is equal/ Law and order is applied equally applied without discrimination/ Judges and journalists aren’t pressurised or threaten by the Rulers/ Meritocracy and Honesty is observed / religious and ethnic hatred is eliminated / innocents aren’t sent to prisons / people can live without fear because of FEAR.

  • 13
    4

    It is true Gota has gone but Rajapaksas base remains and Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism remains silently in the form of RW to protect Rajapaksas and Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism. The people of Sri Lanka do not have the brain to understand between true Buddhism and Buddhist Fundamentalism which is the weapon that they always use to cheat Sinhalese masses.. He is much dangerous as Rajapaksas and the powers of the world whether it is USA or China or India they are there to protect the Fundamentalism to their power and they don’t like true democracy in Sri Lanka or even in India.
    So, there is a necessity now to stop RW becoming President thorough existent Parliament for next two years where Rajapaksas SLPP is still in majority. We all can remember that RW was the protector of Rajapaksas corruptions and Crimes. Not a single SLPP men or Rajapaksas was brought to justice during his period.

  • 7
    3

    Very comprehensively said about the Ranil scenario, AA!

    Ranil called the protesters fascists. What is fascism in simple terms?
    : a political system headed by a dictator in which the government controls business and labor and opposition is not permitted.( from the internet). Sounds more like where he is heading to.

    And the armed forces are to retain law and order and save lives, he says.  The military will tear gas, water cannon, baton, and shoot at protesters exacerbating any mayhem a 100-fold more.

    Aragalaya wants to ensure Ranil is also out – even more than Gota. But will any foreign powers support them like it is presumed they removed Gota?

    In the end, is it to be about our nation belonging to the China–Russia-Saudi axis via Rajapaksas, or to the Western axis via land-bridge separatist Ranil?

    Let’s hope the US is for AKD, so our Motherland can be built up from scratch.

  • 5
    2

    Tiananmen Square?……….

    Is Ranil toying with the idea of a Round of Tiananmen squares will secure him for the next two years or so……….
    We are still in July………Ides of July…..

  • 5
    1

    “It took thirteen years for the teen agers during that war to realize the dangers of the ideological paradigm that had driven this nation to become an international pariah. Today’s aragalaya is the result of that realization.”
    Really?
    The Aragalaya has some more bad luggage to shed before any such claim can be imagined.

  • 6
    1

    Not have a (snowball’s) chance in hell for Gota RAKSHAPAKSE war criminal and murderer of tamils (Internationally well know Pariah) getting any other than temporary sojourn in Singapore with it sizable tamil and ceylon tamil population. My expectation is that eventually what happened recently to the Canadian Sikh accused of the bombing of the Air India plane will be the fate of ALL the Rakshapakses. GROBR of all of them

    • 4
      5

      Gus
      Singapre is simply not in the habit of giving poltical asylum.
      If it does for any reason, what all the “sizable tamil and ceylon tamil population” say would not be worth tuppence.
      Did any Tamil cabinet minister in Singapore, however prestigious, dare try to influence Singapore’s stand on Sri Lanka?
      Concentrate on what needs to be done here than dream of what some foreign government will do to any individual.

  • 8
    0

    Gota is a changed man now. Give a chance for a man to change. Think of Angulimala, how a murderer became a follower of Buddha. Now Gota already undergone surgery in Singapore for circumcison and recovering at Arjun Mahandran’s home. Arjun nursing his wound and feeding him with rasam and jaffna food. Soon Gota will be in Saudi. No more anti muslim attacks. Even Gnanasara thero and HLD from melbourne are expected to join him.

    • 0
      0

      “Gota is a changed man now. Give a chance for a man to change.”
      BL, make up your mind: has he or has he not?

  • 2
    0

    Why does Ali doubt the willingness of the army to resort to extreme violence, mass arrests and human rights violations against the protestors to defend its own corrupt economic interests and stolen properties it presides over in the northeast of the country? The hiding of the Rajapaksas in navy vessels, military resorts and safe houses and Gota being smuggled out of the country on an airforce plane tells us where they stand. Ranil’s strategy is to mobilize the repressive state apparatus while cynically performing the facade of legal and parliamentary proceduralism which in fact he has violated. He will present himself as acceptable to liberal democracies-donors and the IMF as he kills Sri Lankan citizens on the street and insures the economic interests of the terrorizing armed forces and the MPs who support him. His presidency is a matter for the Supreme Court and the barristers who have been supporting and advising the protesters. Araglaya’s new hunger strike demonstrates their commitment to pacifist protest and that they are not “terrorists” and “fascists” as claimed by the ‘Actor’ President who once ran torture centers.

  • 2
    1

    Stunningly or astonishingly, there is no confirmation that Gothapayal has resigned. So far, I have not heard that anybody is holding a piece of paper evidence for this. But it is confirmed that Evil is appointed Evil as the acting of the Gothapayal and many hi-fi activities keep going. The important one is that acting ordered the Tri force to do any necessary action to get rid of the protestors from Colombo. An Open warrant to “Shoot to Kill”. In order to help that “Anything”, he has lavishly proclaimed Emergency & Curfew. Some commonsensical leaders had withdrawn the protestors from the occupied palaces to prevent those becoming new Batalanda massacre chambers. Not just the Sinhalese are Modayas for Sinhala Buddhist Intellectual politicians, but they count even the international community also, only at that level. Evil is saying that “Ranil is with protestors in saving the country, but against only to Fascist.” But the crook is on his mission to save the people discarded Royals, locally and internationally.

  • 2
    1

    Slap Party, which has no leader now, is hiding under Evil, while Evil who has no party, because he wound down the UNP in the last election, wants to lead the Slap Party so he can stick on the President’s seat. Evil Ranil is spewing more venom to substantiate his claim of authority. He is talking about taking on someone called fascists. To cut the story short, who is this fascist, even Evil Ranil enviable horrible Satan? 1). Leader Pirabakaran’s Tamils. 2). JVP’s Kumar 3). SJP’s Valaiththodam are the known enemies of Evil. I was learning to pick Tamils, but Colombo media is suggesting it is Valaiththodam. A reason could be that Valaiththodam is contesting for both EP and PM positions. If he wins any one of these positions, it will turn out to be a nightmare for Evil, who has already ensured him as the EP. Whatever it is or anybody can come to any position, the coming next three years will be worse than the last Yahapalanaya time, i.e., no one has any idea of what to do and no one wants to get along with another one. Nandan Lala is no longer a needed bugger in Singa LE, Wildlife Sanctuary, so he can return to his Vykundam, Australia.

  • 4
    0

    Bad rubbish, yes. Bad, incompetent rubbish, much more accurate. Many more well earned adjectives to add.

    Looks like we’ll have to put up with the bad incompetent rubbish making up at least 2/3rds of the parliament until the next election.

  • 0
    0

    In physical sciences, it is not Newton or Einstein who intentionally made scientific discoveries to make paradigm shift Or Darwin in Biological sciences.

    It was a historic process.

    Paradigm shift in Sri Lankan socio political and economic context will happen not because someone wanted it ,not happen because Ranil doesn’t want it.

    It is a historic necessity, it will happen, because it has to happen, it i9s a scientific prediction, irrespective of anybody’s preferences

    • 0
      1

      Some more from Paradigm wonderland.
      I asked a simple question sometime ago? Forgot?

      • 1
        0

        I am always prompt in my replies even if the question is complex and foolish or even if it is intelligent..
        I had already replied your simple question about “Paradigm Thinking’.

  • 0
    0

    Despite the uncertainty we are faced with, Ameer Ali is full of optimism. Since the occasion calls for it, let me point it out. RW was the man behind the defeat of LTTE.
    .
    Mahinda Rajapaksa used him well. Gotabaya has shown faith in him. The man on the street now knows how sneaky he is.
    I hope that the ‘aragalaya’ youth are up to the task.

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