5 December, 2020

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Gotabhaya Rajapaksha: Too Drunk With Power To Exercise It?

By Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu –

Dr.Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Excerpt from first conversation

FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa are you threatening me?

GR: Yes! I am threatening you! Write every single word I have told you if you want – you write a bloody f…..g word and we will see…

FJ: Mr. Rajapaksa I called you as a journalist to inform you of what was happening and get your version but all you have done is abuse me in raw filth…

Excerpt from second conversation

GR: Yes I threatened you. Your type of journalists are pigs who eat shit! Pigs who eat shit! Shit, Shit Shit journalists!!! Ninety percent of the people in this country hate you! They hate you!!! You come for a function where I am and I will tell people this is the Editor of The Sunday Leader and ninety percent there will show that they hate you.

GR: But I will put you in jail! You shit journalist trying to split this country – trying to show otherwise from true Sinhala Buddhists!! You are helped by the US Ambassador, NGOs and Paikiasothy – they pay you!!!

FJ: I wish.

GR: You pig that eats shit!!! You shit shit dirty f…..g journalist!!!

FJ: I hope you can hear yourself Mr. Rajapaksa.

GR: People will kill you!!!  People hate you!!! They will kill you!!!

FJ: On your directive?

GR: What?? No. Not mine. But they will kill you – you dirty f…..g shit journalist.

The above excerpts need no elucidation. They are from two telephone conversations between the Defence Secretary Gotahbaya Rajapaksha and the Editor of the Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz as reported in the Sunday Leader of 08 July 2012.s

This columnist is mentioned in the second conversation. This is not however, the issue I want to highlight in this column.  The issue I want to highlight is the behaviour of the Defence Secretary, a senior government official at the apex of power and given the dynastic structure and the nature of power, arguably the most powerful individual in the country.  Over the last seven years in which he has held this position he has a record of abusive conduct in the media and against the media. This is not the first time he has threatened a newspaper editor – the last time was in 2007 and it involved another female editor.  He has gone ballistic on international media on more than one occasion and likewise, strayed beyond his ken to venture policy pronouncements and spew out disparaging and derogatory comment with impunity.

I have called for his resignation or sacking on three occasions- the first in 2007.  I do so yet again.  The Defence Secretary is reported as telling an editor of a newspaper in the foulest of language, that people hate her and will kill her. The quoted transcript is clear as to where his sympathies lie.  In effect, his remarks foster a climate of hate and hurt and harm against Ms Jansz. It is an egregious violation of even that much -sullied pretense at governance and reconciliation we as a country are treated to on a daily basis. Should we be paying a public official to threaten newspaper editors or indeed any of our fellow citizens?

There are those who maintain that this is nothing egregious but rather attitude, language and behavior that epitomizes the current dispensation. Others maintain that this should not be taken seriously – the Defence Secretary, war hero to boot, is hot –headed and we all have our bad days, limited and abusive vocabulary!

The latter category, are clearly apparatchik apologists or just plain terrified to think or say otherwise.  The former category may well be correct about the vulgar and abusive character of the dynastic project, but their cynical acceptance of this incident may well also mask fear and their unwillingness to take exception is probably the most frightening thing about this whole episode when judged from the perspective of democratic governance.  I had the opportunity, a year ago, to remind an audience of the words of Montesquieu – the tyranny of the oligarch is not so dangerous to the welfare of the public as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.  This is the challenge confronting all of us individually and collectively with regard to this incident, as well as many others that the media dare to report.

Is the Defence Secretary a power unto himself?  What will his president/our president, his minister, his brother do about his behavior, which, whether he can help or not, is just not acceptable in any decent, democratic society. Apart from anything else, this is so egregious a violation of the Mahinda Chintana first edition and of the subsequent Idiri Dekma version! Does this country owe Gotabhaya Rajapaksha so much for his role in defeating the LTTE that his horrendous and appalling behavior should be dismissed as inconsequential, condoned by silence and nourished by impunity?

There should be a groundswell of public opinion calling for his resignation or removal.  Those of us who do will be told that he will be in his position as long as his brother occupies the seat of power and that he probably will be a repeat offender and an even more powerful one at that.  No point therefore in making a point about him, now or ever.  He will live and die in power.

The temptation to quote Pastor Niemoeller and on an issue in any way connected to the Sunday Leader notwithstanding, is it not time that we as a society stood up against such atrocity at the very heart of the regime?  Across the water, the media would surely have decided to boycott official events presided over or attended by such an individual and if not, most definitely have raised a mighty chorus for his resignation or removal? Parents surely would have robustly expressed their disapproval were he to be invited to any official function involving their children?

Ms Jansz’s fellow editors have yet to rise to her support and in condemnation of this chilling exchange.  The same applies to our great and good, the denizens of our society in their guilds and fora and congresses. They are yet to bring to bear their not inconsiderable collective authority, secular, moral, temporal and spiritual, in even the mildest censure.   Perhaps they will. In a while…

They must; we must. Even if we cannot transform the ugly and nasty in our midst, we must surely recognize it for such.  We will be further removed from even the pretense of civilization and decency if we accept and condone it as merely commonplace.

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Latest comments

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    Thanks Mr. Saravanamuttu for highlighting the egregious of this situation. As you say, the most fearful aspect of this incident is the indifference of many people in the country. Events of this might well be premonition of doom for democracy in Sri Lanka.

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      It was an egregious error for a statesmann to show such ignorance. This again proved to many if not to all that the wrong person is in wrong position – not at all professional. This reminded the movie “The Silence of the Lambs”.

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        Excellent idea, the media, civil society, international donors and people should stand together in solidarity with Fredrica and boycott the regime… Time to speak out has come!
        But What are the women’s NGOs, the grand dames who speak Unese, engage in turf battles, and spend their time raising funds for travel on international conference circuits who pretend to work on Women and Media but have forgotten the poor women they are supposed to be working for, saying?
        Meanwhile. The spineless business community should also boycott that criminal clown Nivard Cabraal and get him to resign.
        The UNP should call for a law making it necessary for the governor of the Central Bank to be a qualified economist with the doctorate and not a third rate accountant!

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          Are you retarded, why would the business community stand up? give me one good reason…

    • 0
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      Hey Tambi, Please use your connections with the donors and international community and ask them to BOYCOTT Gota’s show next month when the Sri Lanka Army will hold the ‘Defence Seminar-2012’ with the participation of foreign experts on the post-war 5Rs – Rehabilitation, Re-integration, Re-construction, Resettlement and Reconciliation. Defence and Urban Development Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa will deliver the keynote address. The three-day seminar is scheduled to be held from August 8-10 on the theme ‘Towards Lasting Peace and Stability’.
      Over 63 countries have been invited to attend the seminar in Colombo and over 100 foreign delegates are expected to participate in the event that will present subject experts from foreign countries on post-war 5Rs spheres. The international community MUST boycott Sri lanka’s GOTA THE GOON!

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        SF and the joint opposition and civil society should have a protest outside the seminar venue, against post-war militarization since there is no reconciliation on the ground with the victims of the war..

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    Thanks for speaking out! The threats leveled at a woman editor of a leading newspaper with impunity, like the militarization of Lanka including the militarization of education under Gota the goon represents the “banality of evil” in Sri Lanka today.
    Banality of evil is a phrase coined by Hannah Arendt in the title of her 1963 work Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Her thesis is that the great evils in history were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their State and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal. Explaining this phenomenon, Edward S. Herman has emphasized the importance of “normalizing the unthinkable.” According to him, “doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on ‘normalization.’ This is the process whereby ugly, degrading, murderous, and unspeakable(speech)acts become routine and are accepted as ‘the way things are done.’
    This is the endgame of the Rajapakse regime. Lanka needs to be rescued from the grip of the monstrous brothers..

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    We have heard of the land of the ‘lotus eaters.’ Sri Lanka has become the land of the ‘kiribath eaters.’ By the time they wake up from their deep kiribath slumber it will be too late.

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      PreciDunce

      If you cannot provide a meaningful solution ,hide behind empty words and we know who you are.

      Donald Gnanakone – it seems ludicrous when a terror fundraiser sheds tears for media freedom. :)

  • 0
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    Well said Mr. Saravanamuttu.
    Right minded people all over the world support Frederica Jansz and you, and will not and should not tolerate such vulgar and abusive attacks.

    The day of reckoning and judgment will be coming soon.

    MOD is responsible for the two murders at Sunday Leader.
    Lasantha’s and the innocent Jesuthasan who was arrested and killed in jail. They cannot get away with any more…
    May Lasantha and Jesuthasan RIP.

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    O! Y O Y, U & FJ play up to the gallery cad. SHAME,SHAME,SHAME!!!

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    They are all drunk with power. Power they abuse, misuse, and verbally use on anyone who dares to criticize, and question them. This is such disgraceful behavior. It seems this no class thug, does not have the qualifications, temperament, or honesty, to hold this high ranking position in the government. This is gutter language and behavior, not fitting for an official who represents this country. There is a pattern of such behavior, and it is obvious these Rajapaksa’s have thick skins, or else they would have felt shame, that even international media has reported the Secretary of Defence behaving like a thug because he has been exposed for abusing his powers.

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    Thank god he was not from Royal or Thurstan. The Village school has spoilt this brat. Brother must be regreating why he had this Govt Officer.

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      Gone are the days, that Royal and other popular schools of the country produced highly educated talents well mannerd professionals today. Honestly, in my days, two decades ago, at Pera and subesequent further studies in abroad, I have not met many from cmbo schools. As it was then, even today, most of them those who went to cmbo schools are showing off only. Further to this,I really dont think that this has nothing to do with uncivilised behaviours of the Rajapakshes and the other prominent figures in the country today.

      Best example would help this to understand, just see the nature of RW. As country´s current oppo leader may be he is not strong and as a result he is being defamated by Mervin mostly using filthy language, but I have not read anywhere that RW has attacked Mervin using lanken filthy language. These two different personalities come from totally varied backgrounds. So RW behaved himself well mannered and civilised, while Mervin abuses his way further.

      And it is not only the schools that help us to become what and how we are, but also the parents, families and the close associations we have got no apart from the several more other factors. So your point is no means acceptable.

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        sorry for typo errors. it should this has anything to do with…

  • 0
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    Yes… right mined people support FJ and not Gotas & Kalaveddahs.

    As for this Pakayasothy, Gots may be drunk with power BUT this Pakayasothy is intoxicated with $$$$$$$$$$$

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      Dagobert

      Completely agreed with you.

      Gota and co at least saved the country from LTTE terra thugs who ran a muck for 30 odd years.

      I am just wondering what this spin doctor Parki did for Sri Lanaka apart from his lip service for the entire life. He cries for his supper from his western masters.

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/
      In short:
      • If you act with maturity and consideration for other users, you should have no problems.
      • Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
      • Take some responsibility for the quality of the conversations in which you’re participating. Help make this an intelligent place for discussion and it will be.

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    [Edited out] we’re is the rights for Sinhalese people’s civil rights who died from Ltte bus bombs,don’t worry about dissapired convicted Ltte murderers.i think public will curse you including Tamils,for these economic situation our country facing coz of you betrayer .i wish you [Edited out]

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      Try to focus and address the subject here. You have turned this into a racist rant, about Tamils, LTTE, and the rights of the Sinhalese people. All Sri Lankans have rights, and the government has to take care of every one.
      Sri Lanka is supposed to be a democracy, and everyone has a right to their opinions. It does not help the debate, when people here take the opportunity to attack the writer, and once again, overlook the real culprit here. A high ranking official in our government who is attacking anyone who questions what these officials do, and who behaves like a common thug.

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    There is no defense Secretary in SL but only a secretary to the Ministry of Defense.

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    Sir,

    I propose Anger Management therapy for this guy at public expense.

    One does not have to be a psychologist to diagnose that Gota has a medical condition.

    This is not the first public outburst. Remember him screaming “we will hang him” refering to General Fonseka on BBC’s Hard Talk. That was embarrasing to Sri Lanka.

    The real problem is the slow destruction of all Institutions in Sri Lanka by the ruling family. Gota the administrator is more powerful than the spineless, aging yet title loving PM of Sri Lanka. The ruling family is the only Institution.

    God bless Sri Lanka.

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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    In short:
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    • Don’t be unpleasant. Demonstrate and share the intelligence, wisdom and humour we know you possess.
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    Unfortunately most of the population are ignorant of a lot of these excesses as they do not have access to the information that those of us do from the internet and sites like CT. More unfortunately, the ‘opposition’ haven’t got it together enough to see to it that this information is translated into Sinhala and Tamil and circulated as widely as possible. Without this, mass consensus would be impossible.

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    i mean seriously, have you guys forgotten that GR saved FJ’s ass during the white flas case? huh. I mean really. None of you guys have a pro[er reading of this

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    This is on hansan’s comment about village schools. So you think only those who went to Royal and Thurstan are good people. How many village school folks have you met. you probably don’t have the vaguest knowledge about people outside Colombo 7

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    Kalpana, obviousely you have a issue with N Cabral, you are asking UNP to take control, what a joke even they can’t control their party

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    dagobert- Well said

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    Donald J Gnanakone -[Edited out] member supporting (crying )for media freedom or still trying to get revenge from Gota who eradicated terorist from our country

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    I am normally a little wary of responses by Dr Sara and the like. But I must admit that this is a well argued and cogently reasoned point of view.

    While it is undoubtedy one that we all must agree with, it is also worth reminding orselves of the reasons why the outfit run by Dr Sara and others have lost the ability to actually challenge public opinion in Sri Lanka which is not all to do with government propaganda but also much to do with their own ruinous ways of acting, including the NGO extravaganzas, the double dealing with donors and their free wheeling lifestyles funded by donor money.

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      Chandra Goonewardene- would you care to substantiate ?

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        Dr Sara, I refer specifically to the newspaper reports (if I remember right, last year) in the Island among other papers which leaked internal financial documentation from CPA showing that moneys had been claimed from different donors for the same job of election monitoring.

        If these reports were incorrect, CPA should have refuted that allegation. It did not. So the public impression is that these reports were true.

        This is one example. There are many more, I would say, which ‘insiders’ know very well about.

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          1. There was no “leaked internal financial documentation”. The audited accounts of expenditure in the two elections are included in the election report. The Island journalist was supplied information he requested.
          2. “There are many more , I would say, which ‘insiders ‘ know very well about.’ Really, this is the ultimate in shoddy!

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        This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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        In short:
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      ” NGO extravaganzas, the double dealing with donors and their free wheeling lifestyles funded by donor money’ Facts please! I am particularly interested in your notion of my lifestyle!

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        Dr P.Saravanamuttu

        Ha… Ha…

        Hilarious response !!

        You have a good sense humour :)

        Thanks, you made day better :) :) :)

        Arunoda Susiripala

  • 0
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    Best medicine for this corrupt rogue junta is Boycott, Boycott, boycott all functions with civil disobedience.

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    P. Sara is a good decent man who does not indulge in gutter snipe politics, if he runs an NGO so what he is trying to do something for citizens of this country who are humiliated, downtrodden, victimised, tortured and trying to give them a decent life to live, but as usual there are the rabid fundamentalist racists who do not like to see justice and equality meted out to all citizens, so where is the democracy and equal opportunities for all citizens, rabid dogs will exist with goodness and mercy exhibited dfrom learned people in the likes of Dr. PS. Many are jelous of him but GOD WILL PROTECT HIM FOR HIS GOOD WORK AND GOOD INTENTIONS FOR ALL MANKIND to live in peace and unity, do we have to hunt him down for doing this to the citizens of this country ???
    Retribution is slow but sure and we are waiting for this day to see the dominos fall to destruction and removal from the face of the earth.

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      Rubbish woman. Utter rubbish.I will challenge the two of you to a debate anytime. Not only is he a [Edited out]. And damn your God.

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        Rowdy peter, you should restrain your language in a focum of this nature. Make your comment but do so that people will take you seriously, not like a true rowdy!

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      Helena, NGOs should stand for the moral good and there is a burden on them to justify what they do in the public interest. We cannot look the other way just because they are supposed to work ‘in the public’s interest.’ They are not accountable only to their donors – who are all too willing excuse them when irregularities occur. When you have rogue NGOs, you also have characters/[Edited out] like Malinda S. and Rajpal A. screaming venom to the heavens and using these exampes to taint everybody. That is the danger.

      That is why in this country, no one listens to NGOs except the colombo classes and the embassy crowd to who, , of course, Paikiasothy is a blue eyed boy. This is not to say that he does not talk sense in the abstract – this article is a good case of a well deserved slamming of Gota. But civil society moralists must do more than slam politicians and their kin.

      If they want to lead by example, they must set a good example.

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    Can Pakayasothy say something of those missing millions of $$$$$$$$
    when Rama Mani was attempting to introduce R2P and that grand lady had signed cheques and the Accountant was accused.

    What is that single word in english to identify a bunch of $$$$$$$$$$$ rogues ??????????

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      Quite frankly, I have no idea as to what you are talking about. In any event I cannot answer for Rama Mani or “that grand lady”!

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    Can Pakayasothy say something of

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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    Editor Colombo Telegraph
    Why are some of the rational comments I make not published? Have you a tilted version of the truth that you hope we maintain to be published? Is that what you call “Freedom of Expression”.
    If I had the same opinion of Pakiyasothy Sarvanamuttu as you have since you have allowed him to be published in full would you then use my comments?
    I dare you to publish this at least to show bona fides.

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    The subject of this article is no doubt an aberration. However, it is a supreme irony that the author of this article is not above reproach. He blames the “dynastic project”, but is very close to another dynastic family for political and other reasons! He manipulates the socio-political scene, especially through the international community, just as much as the subject of this article does domestically. He raises concerns about parents inviting the subject of this article to functions where their children are involved, but he is known for excessive drinking, pseudo intellectual arrogance, abusive language and vulgar behavior at functions!

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    I will not repeat my response to you on Groundviews, but since part of your comment was edited out there, I must admit to a tinge of curiosity regarding your charge of me being “known for excessive drinking, pseudo intellectual arrogance, abusive language and vulgar behavior at functions!” !!!!

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      Dear Dr P.Saravanamuttu

      I deeply appreciate your brave stand for truth and justice in Sri Lanka

      I would ignore, blogger Dagobert’s comments and dismiss his empty rhetoric
      as the usual Rajapaksa Government’s BS.

      He… like another Rajapaksa Government-paid propagandists… belong to the tragic circus Sri Lanka is now

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    He guys SRILANKEN has reconfirmed it now.

    http://www.lakbimanews.lk/images/stories/2012.07.15/5-4.jpg

    So why to discuss this issue any further. Disparaging and derogatory comments can help nobody, cant go foward either. Just take the example from the comparable blogs of the west. At the beginning, immediately the issue was published on CT, though I felt GR was not polite at all,but since he made the matter clear later.. I now feel it should now be forgotten. It is worth discussing more other alarming issues like enability of enforcement of law and order in our country today.

    It is our people s blood to attack the other extending the issue. Perhaps, attitude changes could bring us further.

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    This is what I had to say to P.S. on groundviews (over the same article), i.e. in response to each of his comments over mine: http://groundviews.org/2012/07/12/gotabhaya-rajapaksha-too-drunk-with-power-to-exercise-it/?replytocom=46868#comment-46876

    Dear P.S, I am rather surprised at your inability to refrain from responding. Perhaps the embarrassment is too great to bear. The likes of you could do much for the younger generation if you lead by example and maintain moral character, decorum and credibility as responsible members of civil society. That includes responsible public pronouncements, decent behaviour, objectivity, intellectual integrity, professionalism, humility and honest dealings with the international community. Else, this country will continue to be caught between the devil and the deep blue see; bad governance and equally bad opposition and civil society. There is no point in being part of the problem; one must strive to be part of the solution. Perhaps it is too late for introspection on your part! Yes, the decent thing to do is to be compassionate towards you and to leave you to your sorry plight. It is too late for you to see reason and achieve something beyond verbose and hypocritical criticism! Unfortunately, it makes bad governance (the subject of your article) and civil society, as personified by you, evil twins who actually collude for their own existence! The public does not matter, does it? Your stylish references to “Churchill” and “the Commons” cannot extricate you, as you find it so difficult to make an earthly point without calling great philosophers and great men to your aid. That’s futile pedantry and intellectual bankruptcy!
    ————-
    Your response, to begin with, shows how embarrassed you are by the truth. Oh, how futile to hide behind Churchill here in Sri Lanka! Perhaps you have no words of your own! Since you have done so, I will finally leave you with a more appropriate quote of Churchill’s: “criticism is easy; achievement is difficult.” R.I.P.
    ————
    My Dear PS, I have done my part for democracy, good governance and the rule of law in this country without trumpeting about it. I continue to do so! I did not refer to your “public comment on public affairs” as being “manipulative,” but your actions through the IC. The subject of this article has, unfortunately, gained a certain degree of credibility among the public (a process especially set in motion by the excesses of 2002 CFA, civil society ineptitude etc etc etc). I am also of the opinion that he is an aberration. But the likes of you, my dear fellow, have no credibility or bearing to have a positive impact on public affairs (I don’t disagree that it is your democratic right to sincerely attempt). You too, in that sense, could be described as an aberration; an example of the sorry state of Sri Lanka’s civil society as much as its governance. That brings the country’s public affairs to a sad impasse, affected by the selfish interests of those who claim to serve the public! Your behaviour (at functions, forums etc), if I may clarify, is something for me to know and you to find out yourself through a bit of introspection, perhaps when you are sober! Democracy could be better advanced if there is more discipline, good manners, objectivity, credibility and humility in its advocates and activists; perhaps you could begin by buttoning-up your shirt, being more sober, sincere, decent and less pedantic! Remember, there could be children around!

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    Is anyone expected to respond to this concoction of prissy drivel and bile ridden opinion? Where are the facts?

  • 0
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    People who hold high offices should be articulate in dealing with others. GR is got a medical problem, uncontrollable anger. Getting treatment for this is good for him and for his countrymen.

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