6 May, 2021

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How To Deal To Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe

By Kumar David

Prof. Kuma David

The spat between SLPP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) and President Rajapaksa (not related I believe) has gone what people nowadays call viral. From a national perspective the stinging attack that WR launched on the Port City Bill is in the national interest. He is getting the much public attention; it would be better if a united front of the opposition led the campaign. It is true that there is a great deal of criticism of WR’s past when he was a minister in both Green and Blue governments. See for example Janakie Mediwake’s stinging rebuke in the last para of Colombo Telegraph 16 April (“Wijeyadasa-Nandasena Spat Goes Viral”) and Comments by readers of CT about his conduct as Minister of Justice. So here’s the conundrum: A chap of dubious trustworthiness is rendering useful service on an important matter; how should we the public respond even if the worst being said about him is true?

Here’s my two cents worth: This is not the time to confuse the public by bickering among those committed to the larger task of defeating this Bill, nor is it the time to disrupt fledgling unity between leftists and non-leftists who wish to work together to push back the dictatorial and militaristic plans of this deeply unpopular government. I hope WR will also join the fight against the egregious legislative proposal to end trials of Paksa family members indicted for corruption and political and military cronies accused of murder and abduction, but even if he throws his weight only against the Port City Bill while demurring on the move to whitewash criminals, it’s better than nothing.

At the same time it is not at all necessary to mislead ourselves about erstwhile allies when collaborating towards a common objective. An experience that I can never forget is how left party leaders mislead (that’s not too strong a word) their cadres about the coalition with Mrs B.  The LSSP did nothing to educate its cadre and key members (I was secretary of the university ‘Local’ at the time) and deliberately argued against and mislead the core about the nature of the game-plan. The cadres were intelligent enough (by then brighter than the aging “golden brains”) in grasping the coalition strategy. There should have been discourse within the party about how far Mrs B would go, about backward as well as useful features of Colvin’s short-lived constitution and above all the whole Party should have thoroughly debated its hazardous compromise on the national question for reasons A, B or C.

That’s how Lenin dealt with the Brest-Litovsk concessions of vast tracts of Russian land to the Germans to prevent a rout in the war and how he quite frankly accepted a capitalist road in farming in the New Economic Policy to sooth a peasant revolt. Educating the party increased its inner strength; hiding the truth would have weakened it. In 1966 when the left capitulated to the racist masala-vaddai line its cadres were distraught and speechless in front of the Tamil people. Even egg-heads Hector and Doric, the cream of the parties greying matter (pun intended), ended up with egg on their faces (pun intended again), victims of the lies they themselves had so assiduously told the party.

If today’s story was only about Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe it would not be worth the 750 miserly words that I am permitted on Wednesdays. The likelihood however is that as the Double-Paksa government’s reputation plunges and as public disdain swells more frogs will dessert the sinking ship. Anyone who turn’s against the PC Bill, or authoritarianism and militarisation in general, should be welcome to join a common platform. The more forces won over the quicker will be victory. At the same time, among ourselves, we must not forget the truth about our erstwhile allies but in the interim Wijeyadasa and all who see the light should be welcome to the common struggle!

TMR Rasseedinn, Secretary of the Ceylon Federation of labour has condemned the bill as an attack on the working class; Jayampathy Wickremeratne has clarified in CT that the Bill needs a two-thirds majority in parliament and approval at a referendum; Dayantha Mendis argues in Monday’s (19) Island that, technically, the draft is lousy. The Rajapaksas however are incredibly obdurate so it remains to be seen what calamity will eventually befall Sri Lanka.   

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Latest comments

  • 2
    5

    Calamity befell SL the days when tobacco and tea plantations commenced.

    Irreversible!

    • 6
      0

      Not when spice trade attracted seafarers?

    • 0
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      Gatam, So you talk about a time frame after the advent of the westerners. So, what is the story of the Cinnamon men and women? You did not encounter the traders and sea farers of the Silk/Arabian trade link. What about the development of the Kurunduwatte spice export gardens and those involved who came in 600 to 700 years ago.

  • 9
    1

    “The spat between SLPP MP Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) and President Rajapaksa (not related I believe) has gone viral”
    Is KD doing some knife-twisting by insinuating that Rajapaksas could be related to Rajapakshes?
    A Rajapakshe might advertise for a “caste immaterial” suitor in the “Sunday Times”, but no Rajapaksa will do so. That particular cat came out of the bag when Nandasena called WR a fake Rajapaksa.

    • 1
      7

      OC
      Be fair.
      It was not caste but clan that was intended in this instance.

      • 5
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        S.J,
        Here’s some info on the matter. He is supposed to be a D. Even Chamal called himself a “hamu” in his parliamentary spat with Sarath Fonseka. These things are just below the surface with the Sinhalese. With the Tamils, they are on the surface.

        https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/wijeyadasa-rajapakshe-the-man-vs-the-hero/amp/&ved=2ahUKEwiQ0cTW95XwAhW-H7cAHfa6BCEQFjAAegQIBhAC&usg=AOvVaw03MkRcp0uJEFgl9wnZBhZj&ampcf=1

          • 2
            1

            OC
            I do not deny existence of caste arrogance.
            But I was doubtful about the Rajapaksa name.
            “http://karava.org/family_names” identifies Rajapakse as Karava.
            “https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Govigama” lists Rajapaksha as Govi. It also recognises Rajapaksa among with those who “became Christian and had Portuguese/Christian names (some strangely adopted during British/Dutch times) such as Don Davith (Rajapaksas).”
            *
            Rajapaksas were a wealthy clan, hence my view that it was clan rather than caste that was emphasized.

            • 2
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              S.J,
              There is no Rajapaksa clan, as far as I know (except as a family) I believe it is something like “Ranasingha”. Malaladevage Asoka Ranasingha is a Deva name. Imbuldeniya Arachchige Asoka Ranasingha is G caste. Quite likely, the Rajapaksa name could be attached to any caste. I think it is significant that the Bandaranaikes, Wickremesinghes, and Rajapaksas have ” lost” their ge names probably indicating a Christian past. No doubt in the first two cases.

              • 2
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                S.J,
                It’s quite possible that the Rajapaksas and Rajapakshes are Karawe clans. There is a barber caste among the Karawe .
                But, according to the article by Ratnawallie, WR’s ge name is Rajadurage.
                Very complicated.

                • 0
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                  OC
                  Sorry. There was error on my part.
                  I did not pay attention to the ‘e’ in the spelling of WR’s name.
                  *
                  Ratnawalli said: “My speculation that Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe may be Salagama was based on his authorship of ‘C.P De Silva,…”
                  But his affinity for CP de Silva is exceptional.
                  The Buddhist priest did not name WR’s caste. Salagama were for long (well into 20th Century) not considered ‘real’ Sinhalese even by the Karawe.
                  So it could be the priest’s aversion for the caste that led to rejection of the Salagama identity.
                  *
                  Speculation that he is Durawe based on his forename “Rajadura” could be erroneous.
                  It could be a genuine Salagama ‘Rajadurai’ very probably written as Rajadura as Sinhala does substitute the diphthong ‘ai’ with a ‘yi’ (like in ‘bayisikal’) in the middle of a word or simply an ‘a’ (like in Panadura etc.) at the end.
                  *
                  If there is a Durawe family name “Rajadura”, he is very probably of that community. But etymological speculation that Rajadura refers to the caste is inadequate.

                  • 0
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                    S.J
                    Read Siri (Gamage’s) post at the bottom. I think the horse has spoken.
                    You raised an interesting point. Is the name “Rajadurai” used among the Salagama?

            • 3
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              Dear SJ,
              .
              The Rajapaksas of Medamulana were wealthy, but not to the extent that you possibly imagine.
              .
              When I say this, I don’t mean to be nasty: how could you know? You’d have had your “elders” telling you about prominent families in Trincomalee (and even other Tamil areas) when you were a kid.
              .
              BTW, what sort of kid were you?
              .
              I’ll try to give a few more details, time permitting.

              • 3
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                Dear SM,
                Thank you for this comment. I believe this can surely open the eyes of the masses in our motherland.

                If any auditor generals did their job to the manner, european counterparts have been up to…. all the untold stories how some became unimaginably wealthier, untouchably wealthier would come to light within hours. This is not at all a mammoth task in today. Self recherche on the web could help easily any interest parties to clear their doubts.
                .
                Just shortly before 2005, Mahinda Rajapakshe was reported to have no vehicle for his own, and his party sympathisers had made some collections to get him one. They were then known as ” beliattha, cattle thieves”. Mahinda Rajapkshes was known as ” Rasthiyadhu karaya ” in late 70ties. Not to put them down, but self adulations and various misleads made Mahinda Rajapakshe a leader to the very same people. His fake actings such as licking the floor immediately put the feet back on BIA ground, went viral, but the very same man was seen behind – misterious killings of Jamal Khashogi nature, but in SL, Lasantha Wickramathunga#s murder on broad day light, … and Thadjudeens brutal murder… and the list would not cease…

            • 0
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              SJ, Rajapakse cousin Jaliya Wickramasuriya belongs to the Amarapuras. Funeral of Amarapura chief recently was a major national event.

          • 2
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            Thanks, oc, for that link.
            .
            I haven’t made any comment on that article by a person who I later felt could be Champa.
            .
            Seeing how many of those who used to make the sharpest comments have dropped out makes me sad. Why?
            .
            Because most have given up any hope of salvation for this nation that we belong to.
            .
            Willynilly, there’s no escape for me, so I continue to say what must be said.

            • 1
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              S.M,
              Ratnawallie the archaeologist writes excellent English and is knowledgeable. Champa isn’t close.
              About caste, some seem to feel that I have been biased. But no, I am not a fan of any caste, or the system itself. I spent 20 years in a Deva village myself. But it exists, and the better one understands it, the better one understands what goes on under the surface, and the better one understands cryptic references.

      • 3
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        No, SJ,
        .
        I feel that we know the ugly realities better. It is caste!
        .
        Yes, it is getting less significant. Most young people are getting less obsessed with it, for a variety of reasons. A certain amount of social mobility, and also the distractions created by technology.
        .
        oc’s observations are to the point, but SJ, I agree that the best way to defeat this vicious aspect of human thinking is, for a person like you, to ignore it.

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

      For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

      • 1
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        a14455 / April 25, 2021

        WELL DONE
        .
        Thanks for making it short !

  • 8
    0

    Mr. Kumar David: What were our expectations when “20A” was presented in Parliament? Remember the “Campaign” this Wijedasa Rajapakse and others from the SLP carried on with Abayarama Temple Chief Rev. Muruththettuwe. What happened at the voting time? ALL, including this Wijedasa R abandoned the prelate and several others and voted for it. To complete the required “2/3rd” the “Rajapaksas” made “Deals” with a few Muslim MPs and MPs from SJB. That being the “Calibre” and “Uncouth” behavioral patterns of these Parliamentarians, please don’t have any “Trust” and expect the “RIGHT” thing to happen.

    • 0
      1

      Q.Is there a good parliamentarian today? If the sysem ir rotten, how can you expect good ones? Party system as it is has to go and a broader social movement has to emerge from all those splinter groups(ego based).

      • 0
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        Siri No is the short answer. Rotten to the core and they collaborate and collectively make sure there avenues for gaining wealth and power.
        Mr. Clean is no exception after 2015-19 Yahapalanaya administration. No election promises were kept.
        What is the alternative? The party system has to be revamped but cannot be done away with, as the result of that will be total and absolute chaos.
        That will take another 2 decades if not a generation – a long time to contend with this miserable fellow.
        What is the immediate future. It is very cloudy indeed.

      • 2
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        SIRI,
        .
        I really dont think that all 225 are bad as painted in the media. Please listen to their speeches. They reveal lot more. And there are also a significant portions, that would nt want opposition to succeed for some hidden reasons. I really don tknow what would people really expect from srilanken LAWMAKERs ?
        :
        Eran Wickramaratne, Dr Harsh De Silva, AKD, Sajith Premadasa and young SJB MPs are all good. They would not go after ” pocket filling tactics” as seen under POHOTTUWA men.
        :
        The problem has been, POHOTTUWA leadership would never be exemplary as leaders. We perfectly know their unbreakable records in their high crimes committed during JUNTA REGIME 01 between 2005 to 2015.
        .
        Today, we are all in anxities, thanks to the silly decisions made by RAJAPKSHE MEN with their so called GIANT projects through -much higher interest loans provided by CHINESE banks. Not many would discuss it loudly, since local media giants are sitting on the lap of Rajapakshe criminals.

  • 4
    0

    “… his trustworthiness it is alleged needs to be taken with a pinch of salt”
    A pinch of salt? The Putalam saltern may just about do.
    The man’s credibility will lose genuine support for any cause, good or bad.
    Unprincipled alliances deliver short term goals like the Sirisena presidency.
    The price to pay?
    When will we ever learn?

  • 4
    0

    ……….so it remains to be seen what calamity will EVENTUALLY befall Srilanka…..

    Lion Lager would be replaced with Tiger Beer.
    Prof: your erstwhile friend Vasu will have to fill his Goblet with the latter.

  • 2
    0

    Prof. Kum admits that writing about the fuss that Wijedasa Rajapakshe (WR) alone is not worth 750 words. With a mix of events written what is he trying to drive at? Is it to give value addition to his discourse? It is interesting to note that his experience as an active member of the LSSP, in not receiving adequate explanations from the leadership but to follow the dictates of the same by the rank and file is the same model that any political party in Sri Lanka would follow, particularly if they are in power. The dictum is clear, “Be disciplined! I am your leader! You must exactly do what I say”. It is interesting to note that WR dramatic performance was displayed even in the 20A affair but Prez NGR did not make Telephone calls at that time. It is an intelligent hunch that WR’s opposition to the Port City Bill irked somebody that NGR cannot ignore and to that somebody, the passage of 20A was not that important his/her/there interests. Some web pages reported that Prez Xi of China made two telephone calls to NGR giving “strategic advice”. Obviously China must do good for its efforts.

  • 1
    1

    SJ , above comments of OC shows that unfairness is not limited to the acts of the Rajapakses and their tribe. . When we want to make a point, show our bias or hate someone we do not hesitate to be unfair and one sided .

    Sadly it is a national trait.

  • 3
    0

    WR is not related to Mahinda, Chamal, Gota clan even closely. He is a proud Vahumpura(Deva) caste person from the Mulkirigala electorate. I think the village name where he was born and grew up is Horewela near Walasmulla. I gre up in the same area before going to Peradeniya University in 1968.

    Vahumpura caste people in that area consist of an important voter block. However they have been divided between major political parties from the 50s. Some support the UNP. Others the SLFP.Later SLPP. In the last few decades Rajapakses from Weeraketiya dominate the political field.

    WR lived,educated and worked in Colombo most of his life. For someone from that background to rise up to be a national figure(throrugh law,education, politica and even family businesses) is not an easy deed. He is obviously linked to the political establishment and playing a political game but he sems to have some firm convictions about the national interest when it comes to mega projects with the Chinese. His criticisms should be taken seriously.

    • 0
      0

      Siri, Very well written and erudite. However, I thought that the caste system is only workable in the Northern and Eastern Province, with the Vellalar’s holding on the caste barriers to “choke” the minority castes in the north to win their votes to keep them forcibly down, without allowing them rising up through the ceiling to bring the Vellalar dominance down. HLDM need to explain and I am sure he has a valid explanation for this transformation. I am sure he will say that Dakkhinadesa is following the example of the north and improving on it by granting them to exercise the block vote to come to power. Perfidy.
      How come it is also prevalent in Walasmulla the deep south of Dakkhinadesa in SL. Is it after the focus of the leadership of the “Hamu” clan changed the seat to his power from Weeraketiya/Mulkirigala/Medamulana, to the NWP to join his erstwhile Lieutenant JF and make way for NR’s progression and uplift in politics?
      An insight would be welcome.

      • 0
        0

        Manila,
        In the Sinhala mind, the best solution to an embarrassing problem is not to talk about it.
        The Tamils wear caste on their foreheads. Sinhalese carry it in their underwear.

    • 3
      0

      Siri,
      .
      it is better not to discuss caste and creed anymore on this platform. SM is right, older generations are entwined with caste and creed, also yet today, than anything else.
      :
      Srilanken have various other problems than focusing on CASTEs.
      :
      The problem with WR is that he just ignored his ministerial power to do the due at the time he was the ” minister of justice”, although the bugger promised before late Rev. Sobitha thero to go for it by hook or by crook. If WR did his job keeping the word, today’s criminals (MR, GR, BR, NR, YR, RR even that gold buiscuit busness queen and and ) would not have returned to their usual mode.

      That AVANGARDE patta pal hora became the man of the match today, not because of anything else, but due to the total ignorance of WIJEDASA RAJAPAKSHE. We have no doubt, WR has got collosal sums of funds being offered by NS.
      .
      Just imgine, how MR misled the people, at the time, dollar value went up to 180 or so, ” give us the govt, then we will show you how to handle it… deela balannako”: the very same after grabing power, behaves today, as if he BECAME blind and deaf. That bitch s son -BANDULA GUNAWARDHANA does not know how he would get on with his prevarications.

  • 1
    0

    Will the indiscriminate killings of Tamils one day be considered as genocide by the international community?

    “(CNN)President Joe Biden on Saturday became the first US president to officially recognize the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire as a genocide”

    This took over 100 years.

  • 2
    0

    He is silenced again!
    Apparently Mahinda had a word with him

  • 1
    0

    Where is our Jester Blind Eagle alias HLD. It is boring without him. I am going to teach the guy REAL sri lankan history to know the truth.

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