16 May, 2022

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Gotabaya’s Address To The Nation & A Personification Of Arrogance, Stupidity & Ignorance

By Vishwamithra

“The arrogant, judgmental and egotistical appear to think they are better than you. Truth is, they are attempting to convince themselves that they are.” ~ Unknow

Address to the nation by her principal leader is a big deal; it’s an occasion which is used not so frequently by a Head of State; if and when a nation is on the brink of peril, such addresses are delivered and yet they invariably contain within themselves a change in the direction of the country or a significant alteration of the strategic thinking of those who handle Affairs of State. In a democratic republic such addresses are a set of ideas, ideals and a roadmap to those ideals. They certainly are not decrees which are the usual expressions of desires and commands issued by dictators and kings.

Given the current context of our political milieu, the people of the country eagerly await such speeches with fresh frames of mind. They most unsuspectingly hope for a fresh combination of national goals defined by their commander in chief, whom they so enthusiastically elected to office two and one half years ago. With all their hopes dashed, dreams shattered and faith shaken, they yet continued to believe that their leader would not tell boldfaced lies. They justifiably try to lend credence to the massive false-image that was built around him when he was running a campaign for President.

But when the queues kept lengthening and commodities began their sudden disappearance from the shelves, in addition to being overly priced beyond their stagnant earnings, the people began to wonder. They started to exchange their anger and frustration with their neighbors and friends, with their colleagues at the working place and relatives whose visits became more sparse than usual.

The disillusionment first had its entry into their wearied minds with reluctance; though it was too little too late for a keen intellect, for the ordinary and mundane it still was a sudden surprise. Their blind faith in the leader, however, could not withstand the daily assault on their day-to-day chores. Fathers lost their hopes, yet, if gainfully employed, kept coming back home with meager household needs purchased with meager earnings. Mothers moved on despite unbearable pain of mind; their unshakeable stoicism with which all women are credited, sustained the home life without any complaining and the usual   nagging. Children, if not old enough to comprehend the subtle changes in their daily diets and lack of new clothes to wear to school, just took everything in their stride, far beyond their years. Such was their upbringing- calm, collected and principled.

But, if the children are of older age, reaching late teens or twenties, the story that is unfolding could be extremely alarming on the one hand and exhaustively depressing on the other, for they, the youth of the country, can be devastatingly expressive in their own intrinsic ways. Deep down in their collective psyche are the demons of aggression; in those volatile minds reside roots of many an unruly crop that could wreak havoc in the countryside.

It is to this audience our President Gotabaya Rajapaksa delivered his ‘Address to the Nation, a couple of days ago. The audience waited to hear the dimensions of the crisis, its origins, its projected path and plans- specific plans or a roadmap- to minimize the symptoms of the crisis at first and its elimination altogether afterwards- but instead heard an excuse of a ‘Presidential Address’, literally passing the buck to the Covid pandemic and a global predicament. Such unpardonable disingenuousness, hypocrisy and pointblank dishonesty should have no place among statesmen. Yet, we may well have overestimated the candor and honesty of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

His body language was one of sinister-kind. With fisted hands and taut countenance, he was a personification of tension, desperation and plain stupidity. Whoever wrote his speech needs to be nailed to the closest cross one can find. Devoid of empathy for his fellow countrymen, Gotabaya exhibited complete deficiency of understanding of the situation. Not only are his speech-writers, his closest advisors, if he has any, either taking him down a path that has no return from or they themselves are well fortified against the mounting shortages of essential household commodities and as a consequence do not feel the pain of the ordinary man and woman.

Victor Hugo in Les Misérables writes: “Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.” Our men and women, whether they live amongst the concrete structures in town centers or thatch-roofed shacks in the farthest corners of rural country, whether they have air-conditioned environments or been fighting to sleep in sweltering heat, whether they have gainful employment or simply unemployed, they all understand one stark single truth and that is that when they elect leaders to office, their expectation of a return for their votes is something tangible, proportional and natural and unrestrainedly justifiable.

Gotabaya did not display any of the salient features of governance such as ‘all men are equal before the law’. On the contrary, he pardoned and thereafter appointed convicted murderers to high-paying government jobs and that is immoral. Holding rulers to the lofty ideals of human development is of utmost significance and accountability and transparency of governance is a fundamental element of a democratic republic. Nuanced features of governance seem to evade Gotabaya’s cognitive skills. He obviously has not learnt that reasoning and intellectual inquiry which are central to wise governing. Believing in his own lies and half-truths, Gotabaya seems to be on a roll to continue his destructive power-journey dismantling the strong and stable democratic structures. Sometime back they were manned by superior men and women. Yet now they are being occupied by mediocre officers who themselves have become part and parcel of the corrupt system the Rajapaksas have been striving to sustain further. They are consuming the whole nation as short-eats available for sale on roadside.

In that now-infamous ‘Address to the Nation’, Gotabaya Rajapaksa strained to mention two words only one single time: parliament and Cabinet. In a democratic republic, the legislature and the Cabinet of Ministers are the main tools of executive power. This passing mention of these two words was no accident. It reflected his harsh and unsophisticated mindset overly consumed by personal greed and ego-centered perception of things and occurrences around him. We heard no mention about the main enemy of the country- corruption and nepotism. Corruption and nepotism has brought about the economic crisis and the dollar crunch, which seems to overwhelm everything about our current economy, are a direct consequence of the Rajapaksa doctrine. It is not socialism, it is not capitalism nor is it even crony-capitalism, it’s a new doctrine of governance that is in play and the players are undisciplined and the audience is held spellbound. Reduced to mere impotence they are grappling in darkness, nowadays literally without power!

His family, his siblings and his cronies take the pride of place. Everyone and everything else is secondary. His Ministers are continuing to plunder the country’s coffers at super high speed; at no time have they been brought before a court of law and nor have they been asked to explain as to why so many allegations are being made against them. Ignoring the allegation-current is no option. The currents are too strong and tend to drag the dregs and muck without remorse. The country would not care if President Gotabaya too will get dragged along with the muck, for they do not see a difference between muck and Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The country’s leader is entrenched in a gory quarry of self-hallucination. His idea is to muddy the water so much that those who stand aside would not dare do any of the swimming against the current. Because of his arrogance, his stupidity and his ignorance, the country has to pay a very heavy price and that price is becoming progressively exorbitant by the day.

It is ridiculous to see a country so gripped by long lines for kerosene, petrol and diesel and unending power cuts. Even a basic need such as Panadol, a medicinal tablet every household has for the mildest of headaches, is scarce today.

Reporting by the global media is being centered on the possibility of the gravest of all likelihoods- bankruptcy. Another Panama, another Venezuela, another Greece or another Libya is making its hazy appearance on the horizon. The people handed the country to the so-called soldier who is mistakenly called the one who won the war. Now they are paying the price for that unforgivable error in judgment.

I wrote in one of my previous columns that Gotabaya Rajapaksa has two options: either hold elections on due date and rig the process and retain power or assume dictatorial powers and continue without the legislature. Signals are all pointing towards dictatorship. The Twentieth Amendment further strengthened the power of the Executive President. He will not be challenged in courts. The Judiciary, legislature and the Executive are all in the hands of one man who happens not only to be arrogant, stupid, ignorant, but also demonic.

*The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com  

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Latest comments

  • 21
    1

    So, he didn’t win the war, after all, eh?

    • 8
      0

      good article, however the author forgets the power of the people, especially the youth. Change can come only from the grassroots if we want to change the whole corrupt system. this has to be a class struggle, not ethnic or religious .The rich and the poor.

    • 12
      1

      Nimal,
      “, he didn’t win the war, after all, eh?”
      Of course not. VP won it. VP tricked the Sinhalayo into spending money they didn’t have on an unnecessary “war”. Now they’re in deep shit, with a lot of inedible highways. If the Sinhalayo supported Ranil in 2005, the USD would be still around 150.

      • 4
        0

        old codger

        Please listen to G L Pieris
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp6WmLlS2UY&t=128s
        US encouraging PC elections in Sri Lanka-US Under Secretary of State Nuland,Press conference-23-3-22

        Could you tell me what G. L. Peiris is on about?
        He reminds me of Louis Heren, formerly of The Times, who advised journalists when talking to a politician you should always ask yourself ‘Why is this lying bastard lying to me?

    • 8
      1

      nimal fernando

      “So, he didn’t win the war, after all, eh?”

      You are right he didn’t win the war.
      The war was won by Velupillai Prabaharan for the clan.

    • 4
      0

      nimal,
      Buddhist Sinhala fundamentalism wanted to destroy this island and buddism at the expense of people of this country and it finally won the war on all aspects of the fundamentalism. Their ultimate enemies were honesty justice, rule of law and their friends are corruption , violence and massacre. It is wrong to sap VP tricked Sinhalyo. Their war was against not against Sinhalayo or buddhism.

  • 17
    1

    I do not understand why people wait to listen to these “Emetic” speeches coming out of a Presiden in “Embryo”. The people of Sri Lanka, who voted in massive numbers with huge expectations of a President to be born to serve them have ultimately found out that “GESTATION” is over and ended in a “Self Infused” abortion.

    The period of nearly three years “In Waiting” for a “People Friendly President” to be born has been a catastrophe and let that last speech that came out a week ago be the “LAST”. Not anymore, please.

    • 8
      1

      The 6.9 million only elected him for one person not to serve them or anyone but to finish off the Thamizh for once and for all. No matter what happens. They got what they wanted and should not cry now. He earnestly started to marginalize not only the Thamizh but the Thamizh Muslims and Christians( Chingkalam), many of whom also voted for him. Therefore why are they complaining now? They got what they wanted. No matter what happens the Thamizh are being marginalized and now even starting to flee to South India to escape starvation. They may have thought by marginalizing the Thamizh and finishing them off, they are going to prosper. It never happens. The Germans learned it the hard way during the second world war. You only prosper through your hard work not by discriminating, marginalizing others, stealing their possessions and lands, and committing war crimes on them. You only become a beast and not a human. Hope this will be a good lesson for the Chingkallams but I think unlike the Germans and others, they will never learn. The Mahavamsa myth and the brainwashing from the time of independence, that the land only belongs to them is fully ingrained in them.

      https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/two-sri-lankan-tamil-families-arrive-at-rameswaram-in-fibre-boat/article65248717.ece

  • 19
    1

    Another article, reflecting what I feel about this man; but does he ever listen?

  • 11
    1

    Thanks to the 19th Amendment, we are stuck with the Rajapakses for 2 more years. I dread to think of the situation if the country can last that long under the present regime. Tough guy Gaddafi who dreamed of being the all powerful leader of the arab world was found hiding in a ditch before he was beaten to death, The same fate may befall the Rajapakses if the country continues in the current trend & hungry people becoming more & more desperate & angry. Most probably GR will take flight back to the US when that situation arises but otherwise, according to the SL constitution, a regime change will not happen for 2 more years but even then, the possibility of rigging the election & voter intimidation to keep them in power cannot be ruled out. God save SL.

    • 4
      0

      Raj,
      It is well-nigh impossible to make Constitutions or constitutional amendments to suit situations of elected people thinking, that they are elected and in power, forever and start monkeying around!
      19th amendment was the result of monkeying by MR (2010 post conclusion of war for re-election) and CBK (2004 instigated by JHU and NFF) sacking elected parliaments for flimsy reasons and to suit their whims and Fancies.
      Which was absolutely an abuse of power to force alignment of the elected representatives to tow the line of the elected executive; HE the President, which enabled to the abuse and autocracy. 1978 to 2015.
      That’s why the stunt of “Sorrysena” in October 2018, at the instigation of MR and his acolytes, to grab power illegally was thwarted to change the PM without parliament consensus.
      The amendment also reduced the term of parliament from 6years (1978 constitution) to 5 years to align with the original Soulbury constitution and give a opportunity for a ballot sooner.

      • 2
        0

        Mahila,
        .
        When you said 19th amendment, didn’t you really mean the 18th?
        .
        I’m not blaming you. One of us is wrong. Why? Because our Constitutions are jokes. When that becomes an accepted situation, I shudder to think of what the future holds. Rioting that leads to a revolution will not be fun.
        .
        I know that what is happening in the Ukraine is a war started by the horrible Putin; not a revolution. But the destruction will be similar. Civilisation reduced to rubble.
        .
        See the last four minutes (out of 20 in English) of this:
        .
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sYRIT_8cqs
        .
        Shanakar Gupta in “The Print”..

    • 3
      0

      (Part II)
      The electors know jolly well that once they cast their votes, for whoever they choose, that they are stuck with it for that period. The 6.9 million also granted near 2/3rd majority, which the voters if they were knowledgeable should have known had bad effects in 1970-77 and 4/5th in 1977!!!
      The executive found the balance few members by coercion, which happened SL history many times.
      There is provision for parliament to dissolve itself by simple majority; but who will bell the cat, with government party having 2/3rd majority.
      So the voters in this case the emancipated, 2500 years culture backed and packed intellects took the choice to go down this path and they and all others thought that he may deliver. Unfortunately NOT!
      Whatever his faults and shortcoming and idiocy, Prabhakaran, the villain had one and only thing at least right; Sri Lankans do not remember anything beyond 2 weeks!!! True to word, everyone forgot 2006 to 2014 episodes of many attributable horror stories, robbing of public funds – present catastrophe!!!
      So we are stuck with that choice until 2025
      God help Sri Lanka

    • 6
      0

      The almighty up there is laughing out loud uncontrollably looking at the stupid ever created. Raj, as you say what ever happened to Colonel Gaddafi inturn happened, which I strongly doubt, Lankans have US to blame.

  • 14
    1

    There are 69 lax of voters now behaving as if they never vote to bring the Gota to power. They have either knowingly or unknowingly contributed to the destruction of the country. I have seen one journalist publicly admitting his mistake trying to correct it by moving people to topple this family regime. It is the duty of this 69 lax of voter to correct their mistake and so there presence against this corrupted family rule.
    If they have stolen public money they should be prosecuted and punished by the law.

    • 9
      0

      Jack , do not underestimate the common man/ woman of Lanka, if there is an election right now Rajapaksas will still manage to scrape by a whisker. 6.9 million just needs a booster as in Easter to see to that. I hear Counter apps are up and running ” we stand by Sir” “Iron man never dies”.pride of Sinha lee”.

      • 7
        0

        In real world, parties/leaders present manifesto, give answers or solutions which they think are appropriate in addressing issues and not use after as an excuse, candidates debate each other, candidates face the voters who are free to question them, where as in Lanka all it took was, Rajapaksas to stand in front of dead bodies and promise eternal security.

      • 2
        0

        chiv,
        .
        I see that as a real danger.
        .
        Even if that doesn’t quite come to pass, and the Rajapaksas are defeated (and they may not bee able to hold on for more than six months – remember that I’m in what has become a hell hole for human inhabitants, {although other life forms may be glad that our onslaught on Nature has abated somewhat}). Yes, even in that event, they may elect people who are as bad.
        .
        /b>The voters must THINK!
        .
        However, the voters are also such fools that I tell the voters of the South that my choice is almost definitely the NPP (since they don’t know what that is, I add that the group is dominated by the JPV. But non-JVP Member of Parliament, Dr Harini Amarasuriya – even women don’t know that there is such a blue-stocking in Parliament – is not smothered by them).
        .
        chiv, what you should be telling Tamil-speaking voters, I don’t know. I’m hoping that the NPP will come to be seen as a Party representing all Lankans.
        .
        A useful discussion, but let not Jehan Perera imagine that his articles are doing good.
        .
        I checked and realised before the sentence was complete, that this is a response to the good Vishwamithra! Let the Freudian slip stand!

    • 6
      0

      What is unbelievable is that they KNEW who the Rajapaksa’s were, and that with them it was nepotism, corruption, racism, and mismanagement, yet they voted to have them back, because they were made to believe that only the Goat man is capable of handling the terrorist attack on Easter day….the terrorist attack that now we have learnt, was orchestrated by the Goat man, to cause fear in the country, and get into power.

    • 7
      0

      Metadata analyses on sl history will provide us with lot more as to why our average let them rape or molest again and again..
      .
      They are trained to be passive even if their lovely ones are being raped and murdered/ because they are made to believe it is due Karma
      .
      Sinhala buddhism vaccine based on jathaka stories are multiple times powerful that Covid or other vaccines😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉

    • 0
      0

      Hi Jack,
      That is if you are able to track down ever the funds are stacked or hidden. That may be near impossible if sleuths like Shani Abeysekera (SA) are made to disappear from the face of the earth. Even if they are there when government changes, will they be willing to pursue the guilty (No one in their right mind will in the SL system public administration and judicial procedure and PTA) after seeing what happened SA!!
      6.9 million People who voted this government believing that they would be the only party for the provision of “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”, Security and Sovereignty of the inhabitants (which includes Food security and right to life amongst others) must take responsibility for that!!
      During the term of the government they replaced (Yahapalanaya), such phenomenon as Food, Gas. Fuel shortage and people dying waiting in queues dying did not occasion.
      One must give the devil its due, they were good and also fuel prices were realistic, reflecting the cost fluctuation in the international Oil market!! No underhand skimming of profits!!!
      During Yahapalanaya too there was heavy repayments of loans taken by government 2009-2014 being settled by those governing!!
      (Continued)

    • 0
      0

      (Part II)
      What was the difference??
      Election promises to win the Presidential election and thereafter Parliamentary 2/3rd Majority, to amend constitution to mainly accommodate dual citizens and repeal 19th amendment!!
      The newly elected, started changing the Tax provisions reducing revenue to please the new government supporters and mismanaged the Customs Duty on Sugar imports and allow control of imports of sugar from 80+ importers to a few. Amounting to corruption and favouritism to please supporters at election time.
      Then they pegged the US $ at an unrealistic figure:
      1. Making our exports dearer (expensive), and
      2. The inward remittances declined as the remitters were not getting realistic value
      This over a period of 2+ years from a party promising that “They were the only people who took prompt action to rectify all ills Sri Lanka faced”!!
      That was a Farce! Fact of the matter was they (Governor CBSL, PM – Previous FM, Current FM, and Secretary to Treasury) were all “Sleep Walking”, whilst the economy was nose-diving w/o restraint!!

    • 0
      0

      (Part III)
      Why on earth do we need a cabinet ministers of 30 and further 30+ state ministers and plethora of officials, (GOVERNOR CBSL IS OF CABINET RANK!! – what Tom Foolery), if they could not sense and do a ‘course correction’ in time to avert this painful disaster???
      Accountant (glorified Penny Counter) trying to do Economist Job!!
      Pithy Sinhala, “BALLAGE WEDA BOORUWA KORONAWAWAGE”??
      When and who will correct this anomaly?
      This is the problem of Universal franchise (voters were not knowledgeable, gullible and fooled to vote them in) and also openly and brazenly bribing voters!! Both caused present problem.
      IF THE ELECTORS, sincerely DO NOT APPROVE THE ELECTED FROM TAKING BRIBES AND BEING CORRUPT in their dealings, the VOTERS MUST RESIST BEING BRIBED, AT ELECTION TIME!
      The question is will they resist openly? Poverty!! Too tempting for the poor to do otherwise!!!
      Save Sri Lanka??!!

  • 15
    1

    “…The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance…” – Einstein.
    This man has both and ++++

    • 7
      0

      Jit/.
      .
      It is not arrogance not knowing who and what they are.
      .
      With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain.

  • 10
    0

    When a citizenry normalize a court sentenced murderer being pardoned by President, have whole family representing the cabinet, death of journalists, political killings, corruption, crime, immorality, military appointments , white vaning … not just accepting for decades but rewarding by reelecting, what changes are we expecting?? Be real.

  • 9
    0

    Panama, Greece, Libya and even Venezuela are still left with few things to depend on , by way of resources, international aid, sane people ( case of Greece) but not Silly Lanka. We have nothing. What ever was there is either pawned, sold, taken out of country, left country for good… Lanka is now left with just “one big fat family”. In my opinion except for few African countries Venezuela economically was in worse situation but still have plenty oil, sane people , and most importantly they do not have Rajapaksa Mafia family. Recently PortoRico officially came out from years of bankruptcy. Where as Lanka under Rajapaksas have no chance what so ever.

  • 4
    0

    good article, however the author forgets the power of the people, especially the youth. Change can come only from the grassroots if we want to change the whole corrupt system. this has to be a class struggle, not ethnic or religious .The rich and the poor.

  • 7
    0

    Jit/.
    .
    It is not arrogance not knowing who and what they are.
    .
    With stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain. 🐕😎🐃

  • 3
    0

    Will we ever learn? No. Give us some goodies to celebrate the upcoming New Year and we will vote you in again and again and again. There are these brazen headed people around us who talk about price hikes and non availability of goods BUT “what can the government do? The whole world is going through an economic crisis”.
    When we knowingly elected the man who had so many criminal cases against him but one who keeps on reinforcing his commitment to the Sinhala Buddhists only, what changes can one expect?
    Thank you Colombo Telegraph for providing a platform for airing the feelings of a nation that bleeds; a nation that bleeds but one that will surely follow the path along which a few grains will be cast and will be enticed and fooled by that yet again.

  • 5
    0

    Even without Covid or Ukraine invasion, Lanka would have been in this pathetic situation before end of Gotha,s term. Reportedly China has shown the door to Lanka by refusing any more financial aid. This situation was created during MR,s time with not just foolish decisions but rampant corruption. It was the same team then, brought in by Sir Fail. GR with his Vyathgama, BSed the public for votes, knowing well he has no real political base. RW did try to salvage but even then pandemic and Covid would have been a death knell. All in all bankruptcy was obvious almost a decade ago. Last global recession ( Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus) should have been a lesson for major correction but Lankans were busy celebrating cooking milk rice. Lanka will carry the unique history of bankruptcy after ” war victory “. Let me remind the words of MR ” my brother will be elected and I will still be the king of Sorry Lanka “.

    • 4
      0

      Reportedly for the first time in history India crossed 400 BILLION in revenue from export markets, the target which was set in 2014. Reason amidst higher fuel prices there is significant uptick in prices for commodity, manufacture and agricultural products. Apparently India also had booming harvest at the right time fetching windfall. Sir Fail and his team repeats the same lies/ jokes ” not just Silly Lanka but all around world countries are bankrupt like us”

      • 2
        0

        Chiv, tell that to ‘Gulle Anawansha’ weerrawansha, gommanpilla etc.,
        They are major reasons why the country is in such a mess.
        So called Sinhala balavegaya….or Ravana balavegaya bashing Indians, painting greatness of Sinhabahu…utter nonsense!!! ….
        I was in Colombo to support the Yahapalanaya movement in late 2014 (my last) and couldn’t believe there were notices by the Aviation Authority Chairman in the airport display boards requesting people to come out with evidence to support Ravana had a ‘Dandumonaraya’ (air craft). I could not believe my eyes about the lowest level a civil servant can drop to, going to the extent of making official announcements on myths, fables and yarns!!
        What else can you expect from Appuhamy???

        • 2
          0

          Jit, “Dandumonaraya” airport display is news to me but not surprised. Even here in India there are religious fundamental groups claiming there was internet, surface to air missiles and Ravana’s spaceship, but the difference is followers are not willing to starve or die for it.

  • 2
    0

    There are Great Men and Famous Men.Both Greatness and Fame come their way after several years.
    There are also Evil Men and Notorious Men. Normally, it does not take too long to reach that state.
    But in Srilanka, Being A Land Like No Other, the Head of State has reached the latter state in double quick time, a mere 27 months.
    Even a Ukranian citizen fleeing the War would have now heard about our Head of State.
    Thanks to the 6.9 M voters eh…………………

  • 0
    0

    I would put whole blame on Srimavo B for letting Mahinda R As a Young MP to join the Ceylon Law College without much qualifications. We all doubt whether the Father and son really passed the final exam. Most systems have become corrupt.

    • 1
      0

      Naman

      “I would put whole blame on Srimavo B for letting Mahinda R As a Young MP to join the Ceylon Law College without much qualifications. “

      Instead Banda and his party stalwarts should have prevented Siri Mao from playing a key role within the party and in the country.
      If that happened SJ would have been up in arms.

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