7 August, 2020

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Gota Cannot Emulate Lee Kuan Yew

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

Gota has attracted praise for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. A largely hortatory outpouring is Sarath de Alwis said: “Although I have written plenty opposing his politics and quest for the presidency, I (am) happy he (is) president in this hour of peril”. He makes a valid point that had cockless Ranil been in charge the nation would be at sixes and sevens and clueless Sira would not know the difference between a virus, a viper and a windscreen wiper. But whether it was latent in SdeA’s message or not (probably not) there is a feeling doing the rounds that Lanka needs a strong man with an authoritarian appetite, who like Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, can take the nation by the fetlock and deliver order, efficiency, financial integrity and economic nirvana. Felix Dias Bandaranaike’s “A little bit of dictatorship is a good thing”. 

This is incorrect, not because of personality defects in Gotabaya Rajapaksa but the predicament and political environment in which he finds himself. I am not an admirer of LKY, he was not a liberty-loving democrat, but he did not flout the law though he did craft it harshly. I will leave that to one side and enumerate LKY’s achievements. He built strong, law driven, impartial institutions. The Singapore judiciary is admired and the city state is a sought-after venue to settle international commercial disputes. It is unimaginable that LKY would hide CID files, transfer officers to prevent them giving evidence before court or interfere with the Attorney General. Singapore is renowned for the competence and efficiency of its public service, a great institution building achievement. The supremacy of the civilian state, PM and parliament over the armed services and police is total, absolute and unquestioned. There is zero tolerance of corruption. If a public servant or a police-military officer is found guilty of graft or human rights violation, heaven help him. In Sri Lanka we have a legacy of the opposite type. 

Then there is LKY’s determined advocacy of ethnic equality. Racial, religious and linguistic prejudice is dealt with sternly. The mad yellow-robed mobs inciting Sinhala-Buddhist extremism would, in Singapore, be rounded up and locked up as soon as they start ranting. Singapore did have a head start in pluralism because of its small size, compact society and quickness in adopting English as its lingua franca. But this latter did not come easily; there was a period of struggle, dispute, prevarication and reform before its education system became preeminent in Asia. Furthermore, Singapore society is meritocratic, ours is nepotistic and founded on cronyism. Gota does not have the will or the ability to reverse this.  

There is not a chance in heaven or hell that Gota can achieve anything like this. I do not intend to take the micky out of him personally. Even if one imagines he is a damn fine fellow, he can’t. The cards are stacked too heavily against replicating similar institutional feats in the politically opportunist, ethnically charged, financially corrupt and religious extremist milieu that constitutes our society.  Let me name three of the challenges: Will Gota be able to kick out the corrupt rogues all around him and install a Cabinet free of rogues inherited from the Mahinda era? Will Gota be able to tame Sinhala-Buddhist extremism to which he is under obligation for placing him in power? And third, if you grant even for arguments sake that some top military people should be indicted and prosecuted for human rights violations, can Gota cut off his right hand?

Even with the best will in the world the LKY experience cannot be replicated in Lanka without cleaning out the Augean Stable of our body-politic. The fight has to be joined mainly in the mass political domain, not within the domain of statecraft. This is the principal domain, issues within government and state are of a supporting nature. There are five political outfits in the majority Sinhala South; GR-SLPP, MR-SLPP, Ranil-UNP, Sajith-SJB and JVP-NPP. This is no time for shilly-shallying; you gotta throw your weight behind one and only one. To my mind it is crystal clear that it has to be the JVP-NPP. The other four are part of the problem, not the solution, and are in cahoots with each other. For example, the MR and GR regimes and yahapalana, that is three governments, have made no progress in convicting the murderers of Lasantha, Ekneligoda, Thuddeen, the students on Trinco beach and the aid workers. Why? These four leaderships are all in cahoots with each other.

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Latest comments

  • 6
    5

    Sri Lanka does not have intellectuals or real patriots all we have are those waiting to run out of the country seeking greener pastures.Those who remain are the cohorts and cronies of the idiots who rule the country. Let’s get this dream that Sri Lanka can become a Singapore or Gotta be a LKY. Gotta is brain dead and so are our politicians and the people were conned and there is a lot of regret as to electing him as the stupidest President, a man with no brains or self respect or even scruples. We thought Sirisena was a clown but this guy is a clown on top of a clown. He is in for a severe storm worse than the Tsunami

  • 6
    3

    Adding fuel to fire, release of a murderer who killed 8 civilians in cold blood by presidential pardon by Gota has hit a nail on the coffin of Gota and ensured he can never be a Lee-Kuan-Yew!

  • 7
    3

    Gotha the CRIMINAL today pardoned a Barbaric Soldier whose appeal was turned down een by the Sinkala Appeal Court. This is Gothas Achievement. I am sending a copy to Modi

    • 0
      1

      A very intelligent synopsis. Whither Sri Lanka?

    • 0
      0

      “I am sending a copy to Modi”

      Even Modi might become sympathetic, the surrounding Tamilised Bramins, Kerala Nambothiri Bramins, Nairs, Menons Raos, Sonia, Hindis etc. will chuckle seeing the plight of Tamils and that they have completely and successfully genocided and power of Tamils and covered it up, with the active collusion of US and UK.

  • 5
    2

    Hard Man Gotha has finally proved how hard his ball is by pardoning the War Criminal the Barnbaric Soldier. He has now put the final nail to his coffin and there is noCome back for him after he has defied the Higest Court.

  • 2
    2

    I feel so insulted so do many Singaporeans if you have the cheek to say Gotha is like Lee Kuan Yew.

  • 2
    1

    why do all Tamils want to emulate LKY . /they have some inferiority complex?

    Gota will be Gota.

    • 2
      2

      Yes Abhaya

      We have a complex and that is your mum was a woman ( I hope ) but your dad was a lion and when they mated they produced you . We dont have the same killing power like you lot and now you know and can you imagine how violent the mating would have been . Can you answer it

    • 1
      2

      Abhaya Premawardena

      “Gota will be Gota.”

      Of course he will be.
      Wait until the general elections, he will prove himself being raging Gota on 24/7/52 basis .
      Matale, Mannar, ……………. pits, white van franchises, …………posing with begging bowls, ….

      • 1
        1

        resident jobless idiot.

        yes I am waiting for it. It will be fun

        • 1
          0

          Abhaya Premawardena

          “yes I am waiting for it. It will be fun”

          Hope so, look behind you Shavendra is ready with his red hot iron rod.
          Once he has done his job tell us how you enjoyed receiving the red hot iron rod from your behind.

          “resident jobless idiot.”

          I have my own free will/mind, hence I need not to ape you.
          By any chance you are the Bla, Bla Blabhaya?

  • 0
    0

    Gotabaya Rajapakasa cannot be Le Kuan Yu. Why is that so? It has not reflected philosophy of Lankan mindset. The issues is not persons but ours origination of differences past of historical substance of knowledge of realities.
    We were thought by Buddhist theory of casualties was which ours governing laws of land.
    Ours civilization is a different from West and current evolving of development of Island by colonial politics -economic-social order are dramatically opposite to Singapore model of colonialism. We are concise about of modern Singapore ‘s Capitalism has been nexus s to USA and other world Economies.

    The peculiar nature of world-outlook of Sri lankan having own identity are different from path of Singaporean. We follows with historical methodology is suited to us…of that lessons on history .
    We cannot blindly an apply model of development of Singapore.NOT suited our objective conditions economy fundamentalist.

    The future development of sustainability of all sphere of Science, Technology and Economy lay on to suited ground realities of aspiration strategies vital interest of that People of Sri -Lankans.

  • 0
    1

    OUR esteemed Prof. is out of time. When the entire nation is talking about home grown Kaththuru murunga leaves brew as a panacea for all world ills, our prof. is talking about China grown LKY and suggests GR follow suit. We have the White Van solution for all our problems.And it is 100% home grown product. It will and should be the future of Sri Lanka and far better than the failed Yahalapalanaya Elixir concocted by International Luminaries.

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