By Uditha Devapriya –
The problem with political nationalists is that they are qualitatively and temperamentally inferior to other nationalists. I neither subscribe to nor do I oppose elevating a nationalist campaign through the Parliament, but I am wary of career politicos who seem to use rhetoric to get power and then belittle those who helped them. That is why, as a citizen of Sri Lanka and an observer of its political shifts, I am also wary of those touted as the salvation for the problems afflicting this country. This of course brings me back to my first point. Political nationalists are exactly that: political. If we extrapolate from this premise, we can add that they are also amateurs.
When a set of professionals (lawyers, accountants, engineers etc) came together for an event at the Golden Rose in Boralesgamuwa, not many noticed. I did see newspaper articles touting it as being successful, but I did not bother to check out why. That is, until Dr Dayan Jayatilleka in an article summing up a speech he gave there caught my attention. The speech, I have not read. The summary, I have. This week’s column is about the political nationalist he singles out for praise, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. At the inception therefore, I insert a caveat: I neither oppose nor support the man.
In my column last week, I referred to the above class as professional nationalists, whom the Mahinda Rajapaksa cabal knows only well. This class is different to the rabble-rousing rural folk that is the base of that cabal. It was this class, not the rural folk, which stood behind S. L. Gunasekara and his attempts to form a Sinhala nationalist party. With that party, the Sihala Urumaya, Gunasekara and his cohorts (including the now dormant Malinga Gunaratne and the late A. V. D. S. Indraratne) tried to complete what S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike idealised but could not achieve: the coming together of BOTH Buddhist AND non-Buddhist Sinhalese politically.
To understand the professional nationalist class and the underside to Gotabaya Rajapaksa, it would pay well to revisit history. The Sihala Urumaya was both birthed by and opposed to the nationalist tenets espoused by the Jathika Chinthanaya, which in turn was formulated by Professor Nalin de Silva and Gunadasa Amarasekara. Both Nalin and Gunadasa were political at the outset, and both (barring the latter’s early years in the South) were bred in the city. That it was disconcerting to come across their explicit repudiation of Western science and literature is another story altogether, but for now, what’s important is that the Sihala Urumaya was an offshoot of all this, though as Malinda Seneviratne points out, there were other attempts to come up with a similar political party.
I have come to believe that there’s no such thing as a pure follower of a religion, ANY religion. There are no pure Catholics, Muslims, Jews, and from that premise, Buddhists. Because I am a Buddhist, I am qualified (I hope) to suggest that there are only two kinds of Buddhists in this country: the Sinhala Buddhist and the Olcott Buddhist. The latter term was formulated, not by me, but by Nalin de Silva. It remains a cornerstone in his philosophy. What is pertinent to note, then, is that the Sihala Urumaya and its avatars depended on this “Olcottised” professional class. It is from here, and not the village, that the Mahinda Rajapaksa cabal has picked up a campaign to promote the most enigmatic of the Rajapaksa brothers, Gotabaya.
What does Gotabaya Rajapaksa bring with him? He has experience in the military. Some say that he preferred the backbench to the frontlines. Such accusations, however, can’t be verified. Temperamentally, he stands between Sarath Fonseka and Wasantha Karannagoda, the former prone to outbursts, the other not. He was hence a mediator in those difficult war years, when a cohesive strategy transcending personal vendettas was needed to defeat the LTTE. I believe that when history is written and the Rajapaksas are assessed 50 years from now, this will be Gotabaya’s biggest legacy. That is why I am grateful, as a Sri Lankan and a young patriot. My gratitude, however, does not forbid criticism.
The biggest black-mark against the man is his authoritarian streak. Taken by itself, this is not indefensible. That authoritarian streak got Colombo cleaned and gave the military a civilian function in maintaining our suburbs. Statistics tell us that this same military opposed him in the 2015 Election, though whether that was due to his authoritarianism we do not know. We do know, however, that time and time again, he has given the impression of harbouring a raging beast within him, which he has unleashed on those who refuse to toe the line. Because nothing is ever sacrosanct, except in the political field, it’s disheartening to come across instances where he resorted to force and filth to do away with his dissidents, even if it was done to end the war. The end never does justify the means, after all.
Owing to this, I agree with Dr Dayan when he compares Gotabaya to Mahathir Mohomad and Lee Kuan Yew. Both Mahathir and Lee are celebrated today by the SLFP and the UNP, for transforming their economies to middle-class, consumerist societies. They can be forgiven for sweeping away the fact that for such a transformation to take place, the media had to be gagged and the opposition (which in Singapore’s case was never a problem, because there wasn’t one) eliminated. Gotabaya fits both these visionaries because he at least superficially harbours a combination of brutality and efficiency, which defines the kind of administrator that the professional nationalists adulate.
In fact, what Dr Dayan says in his article interests me because the people he alludes to bring up our collective, non-partisan, and politically neutral admiration for men of force. It is this mutual admiration for such men (not women, owing to how patriarchal politics still is in Asian societies) which tripped even intellectuals like Professor H. L. Seneviratne, who devoted three-quarters of his book The Work of Kings cautioning against the Left’s rationalisation of autocracy in Sri Lanka before praising Lee Kuan Yew and suggesting that Sri Lanka (or Ceylon) would have profited with a Singaporean political model. It comes to no surprise then, that die-hard UNPers I have met have told me that even they would vote for Gotabaya should he contest without bringing in ethnicity.
Which brings me to the second biggest black-mark against the man. Gotabaya is loathed by extremists in the Tamil community for having masterminded the defeat of their hero, Prabhakaran. That is understandable BUT NOT condonable. He is also loathed by the Muslim community for what they perceive to be his role in the formation of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). That is understandable AND condonable.
In other words, the hatred against him by the former is based on an irrational premise, while the hatred against him by the latter is based on a more empathetic premise. Regardless of their political affiliations, Muslims believe they have a reason to fear a Rajapaksa Resurgence in the form of a Gotabaya Presidency and Mahinda Premiership (the scenario that Dr Dayan envisages). That is why I have always considered him a dangerous man: not because he is the stuff that amateur, career politicos are made of, but because he projects an image of himself that is disturbingly incongruent with how he is perceived by the Ethnic Other.
Of all the Rajapaksa brothers, he is the most placid. Mahinda by contrast is more open. He has his sons. He has his family. He has ensured that even those who support him are wary of his offspring. Gotabaya, on the other hand, is not tainted this way. That is why I was not surprised when, at the launch of Kamal Gunaratne’s book Road to Nandikadal, everyone got up unanimously when he came in with the kind of hallowed silence that did not greet Mahinda (who had come earlier). This may or may not be rooted in his militaristic outlook on politics. Whatever the reason, we now know that Project Gotabaya (as my friend Hafeel Farisz, who countered Dr Dayan’s assertions in a separate article last week) has been helped by the fact that historically since independence, the Sri Lankan polity has always preferred order to chaos, and authoritarianism to anarchy.
Why has that been the case? Simply because nearly every political and personal difference between the two mainstream parties in this country has been erased by a common factor: the mainstream’s opposition to the Liberal Left. Gotabaya is to the Sinhala and Olcott Buddhists what Ranil Wickremesinghe is to the Cinnamon Gardens and Reid Avenue elite. Just as much as there is no real qualitative difference between the Democrats and the Republicans in the United States, there is no difference between the UNP and the SLFP, both of which are unified by their electorate’s admiration for men of force. Whether you agree with them or not, the professional nationalist class adores Gotabaya owing to this.
Again though, why has that been the case? The answer can be found in the role the Liberal Left played in perpetuating a federalist discourse in the SLFP. It was Vijaya Kumaratunga who (despite being the husband of S. W. R. D.’s own daughter) shifted that party from a populist-nationalist to a federalist-devolutionist outfit. I have explored this in an earlier column.
Not even the UNP, whether under J. R. Jayewardene, Ranasinghe Premadasa, or (at least until the turn of the millennium) Ranil Wickremesinghe subscribed to the ideology which defined this new SLFP. Because voters felt betrayed and disenchanted by a party that was fast rejecting the values they had stood for, they found their saviour in Mahinda. Since Mahinda was seen as cohabiting with the same Liberal Left (or Old Left) which had been responsible for this paradigm shift in the party, they then shifted their allegiance to Gotabaya, who staunchly opposes the 13th Amendment. That is why it is the Elder Brother, not the Former President, who covets more attention from the Professional Nationalists (or “ProNats” as I like to call them).
Which brings me to another issue. The ProNats are part and parcel of the same hybrid class which spawned the Olcott Buddhists. This hybrid class has unearthed the fatal self-contradiction at the heart of the urban nationalist movement, which I will explain now.
With respect to the urban nationalist movement here, I can only think of Gevindu Cumaratunga, Malinda Seneviratne, Gunadasa Amarasekara, Nalin de Silva, and the rest of the Jathika Chinthanaya group as ideologues that are not enamoured of the brand of Westernisation they repudiate in their writings. I am worried, however, about the next generation, because the same ideologues that reject Westernisation let their offspring wallow in it, often at the same elite schools they condemn as being culturally castrated. Let’s not forget that this is the same self-contradiction and disjuncture we saw and see between the Rajapaksa Elders and the Rajapaksa Progeny. Such a disjuncture, we have not yet seen with Gotabaya.
Someone once chided me recently by saying, “We should protect Buddhism from Sinhala Buddhists like you!” Agreed. That, however, does not shield the Olcott Buddhist or the ProNat. As I pointed out in the beginning, though, there are no pure Buddhists. Tainted as we are by political nationalists, we can hence only conjecture as to what Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with or without Dr Dayan’s prognostications, will do IF he wins the Presidency in 2020. Until then, I can only say what a Muslim friend of mine told me the other day: if the ProNats find themselves pitted against Gotabaya one day, the man will not hesitate to politically eliminate even them. That is why he can correctly be identified as a dangerous man. Not because he is a raving lunatic, but because of all the nationalist politicians we have now, he is the least amateurish.
Uditha Devapriya is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. His articles can be accessed at fragmenteyes.blogspot.com
Words / March 20, 2017
This man will most definitely lead Sri Lanka in the near future and it will be an era of unprecedented growth, development and discipline. .
OK. . Now the haters can take over on the comments… :))
Nayakka Pandaram / March 20, 2017
“This man will most definitely lead Sri Lanka in the near future and it will be an era of unprecedented growth, development and discipline”
Come the day work to the gallows!
Leelawathie / March 20, 2017
His dangerous nature was proved during previous adminsitration.
We dont want the kind of men to represent this highly literate nation once again.
These men Rajapakshes should be out of lanken politics. Then only we the folks can achieve our goals, for a better and law bound srilanka. He is somewhat good to urban beautification projects.. but there any milltary leader would be appropriate actually.
Silva / March 20, 2017
Most Sri Lankans seem to be quite ok with having a murder or a fascist as a leader…
They are supposed to be strong leaders it seems!
Murders are strong leaders while well educated ones are supposed to be weak it seems!
Don’t be surprised if a leading party makes GR their presidential candidate!!
Sri Lankan voters are addicted to criminals, murders, gangsters, frauds and criminals of all varieties…
The day they learn to differentiate between the well educated leaders and these criminal conmen who are fooling the voters and destroying our country while looting the nation and filling their offshore accounts with the plundered money of the Sri Lankan people is the day we start our journey towards developed nation status…
lkcricket / March 21, 2017
Our country need a man or a woman who is disciplined. A man with a mission and vision. A man who loves the nation. A man who can perform and can get the tings done!
In the history after the so called INDEPENDENCE (Yet depending) there are only 2 persons that come in to my mind who are national minded. Late Sirimawo Ratwatte and Gotabhaya Rajapakse.
Were there any leader who was innocent and had clean pair of hands from Sirimawo to right through to incumbent precedent
What about Ranil Wickramasinghe? Did he farming in the Batalanda Wadhakagaaraya? It is very easy for us to say! But who ever who is criticizing here were brave enough go to Jaffna when the LTTE war was taking all the lives.
We can not advocate killing. But if some people are going in killing rampage, some one need to take care of them! That is what Gota did!
Also so called media personnel were promoting the war and influencing and helping the enemy as a responsible government can ignore such coward acts by the traitors?
These are the circumstances under which Gota had to operate and considering the circumstances, Gota did the right things and we all must thank him for ding that!
I wish Gota become the leader of the country because we need a strong leader! Not a puppet!
Silva / March 21, 2017
Lkcricket, So you are ok with all the media and innocent people who he had killed, intimidated and harassed for doing their jobs!?
By the way does finishing the war against the LTTE give him the license to kill torture and harass Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims.
Does it give him the license to rob our country!?
Does it give him the license to disappear people in white wans!?
Now you see why I say Sri Lankan voters are addicted to criminals, murders, gangsters, frauds and criminals of all varieties…
By the way he has some LTTE buddies who are close to him.
So when he gets together with the remaining tigers you turn a blind eye!!?
If you are ok with all of the above you must ask yourself are you human!!?
Remember they say ignorance is bliss…
Sinhala_Man / March 21, 2017
Thanks for what I’m sure is a very sincere wish from you for a dream leader.
However, I’m afraid that I agree 100% with Silva who has also commented on what you have said.
Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to solve the problems we are beset with. This Gotabaya Rajapaksa is about the worst person anybody will be able to think of as a leader. I know that a lot paeans are being sung about him at this moment. However, I’m sure that common sense and decency will prevail, and he will never come anywhere near being the leader of our country.
Yes, I agree that we were desperate for some way in which to get rid of Prabhakaran, so even I’m grateful to the forces that helped us prevail against the LTTE. Thanks. Now let’s build a peaceful country – a much more difficult task than massacring all and sundry and achieving the desired result.
It’s more than two years now since we helped change the direction of our country. I’m disappointed with Rani – leader of his party for life, and not so clean after all – else how can one explain away the Arjuna Mahendran episode.
And Maithri has proved to be weak. I feel that he’s a decent enough guy, but why has he not stick to that vision he once had – of being a one term President who would retire after establishing democracy.
Lastly, there may still be corruption in the country – but it is not on the massive scale that it was between 2009 and 2014.
Vasantha / March 23, 2017
Never Gotabaya…not good enough to even clean my toilet or the sewers. Awaiting to receive news about his jail sentence for all the horrendous crimes committed.
Gotabaya is in the same league as Pol Pot, Hitler, Idi Amin or even worse. Horrible, horrible creature.
POV / March 22, 2017
“I neither oppose nor support the man.” your writing clearly shows you support the man even though you claim to hold a neutral stand with him!
The writing also fails to mention that the Rajapaksas are the same kind of monster like Prabhakaran. (Maybe he fails to see the similarities)
He fails to see that majority Tamils, Muslim and some Sinhalese do not want them to have anything to do with politics because they don’t want to have a Prabhakaran like monster ruling our nation by allowing Gotabata Rajapaksa or any Rajapaksas to come back to power. (This comes from a need for good leadership instead of fascist dictatorships).
I don’t think anyone regrets the end of the war! (Maybe a few extremists do)…
One must remember even Hitler was loved and had a large following.
This would make an interesting study, do majority of voters prefer a fascist dictator!?
Ask them how many think Rodrigo Duterte The President of the Philippines is a good leader?
I’m sure most would say he is a good strong leader despite him admitting to have killed people himself!
Where does this love and confusion of such horrible individuals for strong and ideal leaders come from? Surly we are not such a backward people who can’t tell the difference!?
Even if we have a well educated leader that can relate to modern times (we still have no such leader not even close) will the voters still prefer a brute over such a leader?
Modern is viewed by many as liberal and damaging to our culture creating an inner conflict with one half wanting to modernize the nation while holding onto obsolete ideas and practices that pull in the opposite direction to a more premitive way of life…
Anonymous / March 21, 2017
Someone is desperately trying to polish a turd in the hope that they can present it as a gem in time for 2020…
Rajan Hoole / March 20, 2017
When the war is written about after passions cool, there will be no heroes. The Tamil elite worshipped Prabhakaran and sent their children out of the country. Prabhakaran, not the first nor the last in history, would be marked for his instinctive genius of exacerbating the insecurity of his people, and using the anger and displacement of morality that goes with it, to make something lethal that kept an intrinsically far more powerful and populous state, and its armed forces, pinned down for decades.
On the side of the Sinhalese there is only stupidity to be spoken of. In the modern world majoritarian power is illusory. By playing the game intelligently, the Scots could make the English look small and petty over Brexit.
Communal violence with political complicity was a high point of that stupidity in Lanka. A generous constitutional settlement would have made life very difficult for the LTTE. The failure of the Sinhalese polity to cooperate in Kumaratunge’s attempt at a constitutional settlement brought in the Norwegians, who inadvertently delivered the Karuna split. The LTTE knew it was the end of the road.
I firmly believe that the LTTE could thereafter have been brought to heel with far less pain. The world is tired of superfluous heroes.
The failure to use Karuna politically rather than as a killer, in a most vulgar and nauseating fashion, was a failure of statesmanship. Prabhakaran deserved to go out with a whimper, thoroughly exposed, rather than with a bang as he actually did. We are now paying for it with backbone-less Tamil politicians trying to shelter under a heroic aura attributed to him
max / March 20, 2017
An articulated letter. A placid write up! Keep it up young UD!
Maharage / March 20, 2017
Of course, GoTa is the most dangerous man in Sri Lanka now. Because as a killer and an architect of the killing fields in Sri Lanka, he is being promoted as a presidential candidate for 2020. He is not only an uneducated moron, but also suffering from some inferiority complex triggered by his experience as a petrol shed assistant in US (for his qualification without even GCE Ordinary level he couldn’t get any better in a developed country like US) and hence displays some vengeance on educated folks in Sri Lanka.
Like Premadasa, he has a tendency to things at his own whims and fancies. Gota has notoriously stole not only billions of dollars from purchasing discarded war planes from Ukraine but also the credit from Sarath F. for strategically leading the last battle against LTTE.
So this dangerous man should never be allowed to rise as a presidential candidate
wimal / March 20, 2017
Comparing this uneducated filth with Cambridge university educated lawyer Lee or Doctor Mohamed is a stain on these educated famous rulers?
The uneducated bungler faking Karuna passport got him arrested on arrival.the tiger explosives wrapped in Sinhala newspaper,taking a gas mask
for arranged suicide bomber, right hand drive road sweepers?
After MIG and Welikada trials think about this filth?
max / March 21, 2017
I think this “wimal” out smarts prisoned wimal when it comes to stupidity! wimal, dont you think, there should a limit your dumbness? Think about it! At least for the sake your children, if you have any!
Native Vedda / March 21, 2017
“there should a limit your dumbness? “
I agree, hence I beg you to live/lead by example.
Dilip / March 20, 2017
Solid article…and you are on point!
punchinilame / March 20, 2017
Gotabaya`s International image must also be considered, compared to the Lee Kuan period and 21st
century Democracy: This article might be of interest, which prompts Gota to admit he does not want to
take to Politics. Even MR /BR support is not guaranteed?
K.Pillai / March 20, 2017
Remember when the former regime was riding high, Gota sued a newspaper? The paper naturally consulted lawyers. The then Lankan Defense Ministry website called the lawyers “…… traitors in black robes ……”. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute was so concerned, they pointed this out to the then GoSL.
The same website claimed that “… not a single Tamil was killed or injured during the civil war …….” (or something to this effect)
Remember the skeletal remains at the Matale Hospital foundation excavation? First explanation “Pre-historic men wearing jeans”
Remember the BBC interview in which the name Sarath Fonseka was mentioned.
Remember the fight changes to deliver a Swiss puppy for Mrs Gota saga?
Remember the tongue lashing that Fredrica got?
The list is incomplete.
The man is an insecure brat ant no more.
lalith / March 21, 2017
Excellent write up Uditha,
I don’t usually post comments but there is one line that made me think a bit. You say “Gotabaya is loathed by extremists in the Tamil community for having masterminded the defeat of their hero, Prabhakaran”
While that statement does look fairly reasonable, and understandable, I think the truth of the matter is a bit more subtle than that.
Of course I think it is true that a lot of Tamils, may be most Tamils, hate him. Are they all extremists or fans of Prabhakaran?.
A Tamil co-worker of mine, who left the North in fear of LTTE taking his children away from him, once told me Gota and Prabakaran are very similar men with very similar mindsets. They are the kind that would give orders to kill anyone (regardless of who they are) without batting an eyelid if they think that is in their interest.
That sounded so absurd when I heard him say that. Of course that is true when it comes to Praba. But how can you compare Gota and Praba?.
But then it downed to me. When Sarath Fonseka contested ,the Tamils voted overwhelming for him just after he destroyed the LTTE! If they are holding a grudge against Gota for finishing Paraba, then why din’t they feel the same about Fonseka who led the battle? Is it possible that the Tamils hate Gota for a different reason?
Gota has killed a lot of people outside the context of war. He has admitted he was running the white van show. His answer to a BBC question regarding Lasantha’s murder (in video) falls just short of confirming he did it. (As did Lasantha’s own letter from the grave). Under his command, the army was sent to shoot people – Sinhala Buddhist people – in two occasions -once because they protested against the polluting their drinking water, and the other time because someone burnt an effigy of MR. During a time when, in and around Colombo, you cannot travel 500 meters on any road without passing a checkpoint, do you think vans without numberplate can travel around freely with armed men kidnapping journalists and political activists without Gota’s blessings?
Much more of the same must have happened in the North, where a lot of innocent lives were taken including many journalists in the North simply because of Gota’s brutal nature. And that my explain why he is unpopulour among Tamils
You say “..the man will not hesitate to politically eliminate even them.” Well, to be more accurate, I would remove the word ‘politically’ from the sentence.
Native Vedda / March 21, 2017
“But how can you compare Gota and Praba?.”
This island history is full of Good People, Bad People, lot of Stupid people, and a few psychopaths. The three prominent psychopaths, Rohana Wijeweera, Velupillai Prabaharan and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Sinhala_Man / March 21, 2017
Spot on. NV!
jim softy / March 21, 2017
Only the good killers would have been capable of facing LTTE head on and that happened.
Mahinda Rajapakse and SF were good at that.
Native Vedda / March 21, 2017
“Only the good killers would have been capable of facing LTTE head on and that happened.”
Is that why Gota practiced his skills on Lasantha and others?
“Mahinda Rajapakse and SF were good at that.”
Does Mahinda know how to kill?
SAMANTHA GUNARATNE / March 21, 2017
In 2020 we have to select somebody as president
MY3 or ranil?
Ranil Or gota??
whom would you feel a better choice??
we already tasted the MY3 and Ranil too in one glass!!!
do we need to choose any one of them..?
we see how the democracy is dying ,,, we see how the economy and the growth is killed,, with showers of lies and deception and corruption,,
there is no choice to people any more both SLFP and the UNP are one ..
the only one light we see which can at least challenge the joint stealers to correct them selves is a third stream,, might grow enough to overthrow the SLFP uNP venture in 2020 and the peoples choice to lead may be Gota,, It is high time for ranils or his class to come forward with various arguments and points to make path for Ranils victory ,,, So you may have many articles of this type coming in near future,,
No matter whether it is gota or somebody else what we all should say is No more ranil and no more MY3
then it is easy to choose!!
Spring Koha / March 21, 2017
Whoa Mr Devapriya….what’s this?….’I agree with Dr Dayan when he compares Gotabaya to Mahathir Mohomad and Lee Kuan Yew.’. Surely some mistake!
What a travesty. LKY was a giant whose vision for his little island home was forged with perseverance and determination. Mahathir too achieved success. But to mention Gota in the same sentence is taking things a bit too far.
LKY who once upon a time saw our placid Sri Lanka as the Pearl it was claimed to be, later confessed his sadness and disappointment that it had turned out to be boil of the arse of the Asian continent.
You have already examined Gota’s credentials and concluded that ‘The biggest black-mark against the man is his authoritarian streak.’ Well, maybe that is just what this country needs. If he clears the stables of the present lot of mainly self-serving scum who are playing musical chairs with power, then he would have done the country a greater service than what he did in 2009. The proviso – there always is – that he rids himself of the nationalist scum who are waiting for him to get in the saddle.
Time, as always, will tell.
upali / March 21, 2017
By any count killings by a Buddhist country cannot be condoned. Tamil people asked for self government not our eyes heads flesh and blood. Buddha donated all this voluntarily and even his wife and children. Here we calling ourselves good Buddhists kill when minorities ask for their rights . We only want to print it in the constitution and say that ‘we will give the first and foremost place to Buddhism’ but will not practice what we preach.According to Buddhism we know what is in store for the killers. It is already happening. Dittadhamma
vedhaniya Karma and Aprapariya vedaniya Karma. Watch.
Sinhala_Man / March 21, 2017
Dear Uditha Devapriya,
Thanks for another suave and seemingly balanced article. All lavished on an unworthy subject!
Huge numbers of the unthinking among us Sinhalese have always longed for the ideal military leader who would put all right in this country. Gotabaya is the archetype of such a leader.
Fortunately, I feel that the silent majority will NEVER approve of this crude and vulgar butcher. The message of Peace, Tranquility, Equanimity and Tolerance that are at the heart of Buddhism probably has much to do with this – however much Buddhism has got equated with “Sinhaleseness” in Sri Lanka, and however desperate we were to be rid of that other Monster, Prabhakaran. Native Vedda was inspired when he added Rohana Wijeweera to complete the triad of evil guys in post 1960 Sri Lanka – the Sri Lanka that we remember.
I know that what I have been spewing forth above is a great deal of invective against Gota. So let me try to be more restrained and rational. The problem with military dictators, even if they are elected to office, is that you cannot get rid of them, when you’ve had enough of them. He is not going to be any sort of solution to the problems that we face (despite his beautification of Colombo).
Fortunately, I feel that this most recent journey of his is not going to last long – that is my conviction. I’m not going to bother with the guy any more!
Samithi / March 23, 2017
Why go into such depth to talk about the Rajapakses. They are history.
Gotabaya was a gas attendent in the USA and Basil was doing an odd job in USA too. Unknown entity .
So forget about these scoundrels. They are not worth even remembering. Did irreparable damage to our lovely country.
Dont understand why they dont go back to their old jobs in the USA and leave us alone.
piraba / March 25, 2017
Tamils will rejoice if Gota is elected president in 2020 as it will harbinger the independent state of Thamil Eelam inevitably. May the triple gem bless gota in his endeavours to create Tamil Eelam.