7 December, 2023


Identifying Traitors – I Cannot Wait Until Dr Padeniya Presents His Point Scheme 

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“We are in a most complex field. To view the scene as anything but complex is the art of the simple mind.”

Cause for Excitement

I am excited! A way of Identifying and measuring a traitor is soon to be unveiled; by no less than the President of the GMOA! Hasn’t he also qualified in some department of neurology? All the more reason to justify my excitement! If the good doctor does a serious job of that… off he goes to collect a Nobel Prize. Who doesn’t need that finding? Who will grudge that award?

”We have created a point scheme,” Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, President of the striking-prone GMOA, reportedly told a Lake House journalist. “In psychiatry there is a method to identify people who betray the country. We are going to launch this list and keep it online with the materials you publish. So we can display that you are carrying out a contract.”

Several Scenarios

Dr Padeniya refers to an act of betrayal of a country. On the other hand, a traitor is a general term used to describe an individual who betrays not only his country. The betrayal can be of one’s group, of another person, or even a principle or cause. When Brutus turned on his friend Julius Caesar, he became a famous example of a traitor. Treason is the related legal crime that  such behaviour represents. 

The term traitor can thus represent different scenarios. In early childhood we are suppose to have a betrayal disposition in the Oedfus Complex. As a matter of fact, you and I and even Padeniya has embedded in us some proclivity to betray in some context. The motivations can be money, ego or ideology and throughout our lives we suffer from such internal tension. As a schoolboy we may betray another schoolboy in order to gain the good books of the Principal or teacher. As a politically participating adult there have been incidents where individuals have betrayed their party either because they feel they have been ignored and their self-esteem thus injured. Sri Lanka’s own political history is replete with such betrayals. Often the ego factor is boosted by a money offer or the offer of a portfolio. These and others form a myriad of scenarios that reflect the act of betrayal and treachery. Thus the betrayal of one’s country seems to be an extension of an instinctual tendency.

“Traitor,” in Ordinary Discourse

In ordinary chatting, we name someone a traitor if his actions can be tantamount to a betrayal of a group, another person, country, ideology or cause. The assumption is that he is pre-committed to such a group or country or cause and now he goes and betrays. Army personal giving intelligence to the enemy is a plain act of treachery. A pre-committed socialist espousing liberal capitalism ideology  is another. In such instances, we judge the actions of a member of the group or cause from the perspective of the goals of such group or cause. The adjective ‘traitor,’ in all such instances follow consequentially from the definition of goals and aims of the group, country or cause.

It is not that there aren’t possible complications of interpretation with regard to violations in all the above examples. One can cite many, for instance, of alleged treachery to a country by a citizen, or ideology by a proponent. As an illustration, in the kinds of concerns the GMOA are known to have with regard to government policy, international trade agreements take foremost priority. GMOA may believe only a traitor can support trade agreements. On the other hand, a proponent of trade  agreements may genuinely believe in the longterm benefits that flow to the country from such agreements. Economists themselves can disagree among each other. The question is, are these alleged acts of terrorism actually so? Certainly no. 

It may even be alleged that Dr Padeniya is a traitor to the country by organising  serial strikes causing untold hardships to the suffering community of patients.

All these considerations explain why the act of branding a person as traitor following the consequences of that persons actions is in difficult territory.

The Psychiatrist Perspective

The Padeniya point scheme is, evidently, not meant to identify and measure a traitor on the basis of the latter’s actions as explained in the above account. One doesn’t need a psychiatric study for that; only an assessment with regard to actions of an individual in relation to a country’s vital needs.

On the other hand, what the doctor wants us to believe is that the science of psychiatry has devised ways of recognising a terrorist by examining the alleged offender’s mindset or mind process. The alleged act of being a traitor here is not by the comparing consequences of action along with the assumed or explicitly stated definition of a traitor. Padeniya believes that one can  delve into a person’s mind and figure out traces of being a potential traitor and determine the quantum and strength of such traces.  He means to be able to  identify the psychic tendency for a person to betray. It would be a wonderfully useful tool for all of us because theoretically you and I  can then decide whom to trust and whom not to trust.

Good News for Authoritarian Rulers

This is wonderful news for authoritarian rulers like Turkey’s Erdogan, Cambodia’s Hun Sen and to the “dear leader,” North Korea’s Kim Jong. If Sri Lanka, too, is going to have such a strongman in the personality of Gotabaya as wished for by the Malwatte Upa Nayake monk, then this Padeniya point scheme would ensure that the right traitor will be picked and taken away in the night in a white van well before any damage could be done to “the country.” Looking back to some decades, Sri Lankans still mourn the liquidation of Richard de Soyza. The simple reason is that Richard wasn’t a traitor. He was an eminently cultured and talented persona and an  independent thinker who wrote for human rights. The same with the more recent case of Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader, who merely exercised the media right of exposure of Ministerial fraud in the public interest. Richard and Lasantha were perfect Sri Lankans who loved their country, as you or I do.

Hard to Access the Dark Recesses of the Human Mind

Marlene Behrmann, a professor of cognitive neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University agrees that “despite decades and decades of research we still have only a rudimentary understanding about brain function”. Scientists know a great deal about other organs like the liver and kydney; of the working of the brain and functioning of the mind, very little.

It is hard to see how such a check list of the type promised by Dr Anuruddha Padeniya can be objective. 

We have heard of objective signs of a person who is lying while giving testimony. Lie detectors have been accordingly manufactured and are used for such a purpose. The following eight habits have been regarded as “sure signs”:

1. They cover their mouths

2. They repeat themselves and provide too much detail

3. They prepare for an escape

4. Their words and body language don’t match

5. Their breathing changes

6. They change their typical patterns of eye movement

7. They get aggressive

8. They fidget

Doubtless even this scheme is plagued with practical difficulties and controversies. Besides this, the  identification here also takes place while the act is on; not preceding the act by way of examining potentiality to lie.

How then can one figure out the Padeniya scheme of picking potential betrayers beforehand?  How objective can that attempt ever be?  One can cite some of the many issues that arise.

Research on Treason

Humberto Nagera, MD in his essay, “Conflict, Treason and Terrorism. An Attempt at Psychoanalytic Understanding,” asserts:

“The subject of treason has received very scanty treatment in the psychoanalytic literature. Perhaps one of the reasons is that there is in each one of us, at the very least, a “minor traitor”, a fact that we cannot but contemplate with some horror, fear and shame.”

A paper by James Alexander (1969) which deals briefly with the issues of dissent, and particularly treason and sedition as the more destructive forms of dissent.Alexander concluded that: “Intrapsychically treason or strong treasonable and seditious potentialities implicate large areas of the total personality and the character structure of the individual in a pathological process”. As he sees it ” “The primary structural sites of these pathological processes are defects in the super-ego and ego-ideal.’

The human is an intrinsically selfish species and the offer of money and position can move us stealthily to the other side. Sri Lankans have had an abandon number of example of politcal treachery. Now, my question is could not Dr Padeniya’s point -scheme get conflated with these natural human instincts? In such event what usefulness would the 

point scheme have?

Secondly, given that a person has been clearly spotted as a potential betrayer how can one predict that such a suspect will ever carry out an act of betrayal? If one is unlikely to carry out such an act then what is the value of  measuring persons prone to treachery? Also, how do we know to what a dangerous extent a person would be prepared to betray? 


It is possible for me to go on and on showing up methodological difficulties I have encountered in my reading about the psychology of treason some of the numerous difficulties one faces in trying to identify a traitor. For the general reader what has been written should suffice to make him wonder what kind of output Dr Anurudhdha Padeniya is going to come out with. We are in a most complex field. To view the scene as anything but complex is the art of the simple mind

Yes, we are all excited doctor.

*The writer can be contacted at sjturaus@optusnet.com.au

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Latest comments

  • 11

    The GMOA is a national waste. They have wasted our tax money on their education, They contribute immensely to Sri Lanka’s national waste of productivity, They are a bad example to students and children of this country, they have a self serving agenda, they are a morally baron body and its time for public litigation and should be sued for instigating disharmony and discord in the country.

  • 0

    Let Padeniya’s patients judge him, not the people hiding in suburbs of Melbourne or Toronto.

  • 8

    Dr Padeniya does not know that he is a traitor by leading the work stoppages to win only the demands of GMOA by making poor people to suffer on whose money he had his education and solemnly promised under oath to work towards the well being of sick & suffering…

  • 1

    Is it a crime to criticize the behaviour/decisions/favouritisms of corrupt self-serving politicians merely because one had free education and excelled in a field and became a public servant ?
    Should such persons who serve the public by preventing disability/disease/death & improving their quality of life, live like paupers, be transferred every four years, thus unable to educate their children in one good school, be on call at home after normal hours of duty ready to go back within 15 minutes to their places of work?
    Should they also meekly accept decisions of corrupt governments which affect their work and livelihoods?

    • 1


      Are you living in the real world in SL?

      Has Padeniya & his gang ever – quote- ” criticize the behaviour/decisions/favouritisms of corrupt self-serving politicians ” ?- end quote.

      They are a bunch of yobs who keep asking for more for their own benefit & a disgrace to the noble profession. Can they honestly say that they stood for the morally right thing when it comes to numerous strikes over perks & issues like SAITM? To be ‘on call’ from home (& paid if they are called or not) instead of being in the hospital, is a privilege & how often are they on call? All Govt. employees are subject to transfers, so why should only doctors’ children be given priority to good schools?

  • 1

    Shyamon Jayasinghe can not say he is not greedy and he doe snot try to screw up Sri lanka. GMOA is no different. Everyway possible, GMOa tries to screw up patient and try to get RICH, POWERFUL AND THE FAMOUS. Besides, it is not fair to blame GMOA alone, when every politician’s attmept is to buy some groups for their advantage.

  • 3

    In one of America’s got talent episode , one candidate , out of excitement
    called the judge Simon Cowl , Sir and Simon wasted no time to tell him to
    call him Simon and not Sir ! That is a CULTURE OF LIVING AS EQUALS
    while belonging to an exclusive club ! It is also a luxury that ordinaries
    in that part of the world enjoys . It is also a hard earned achievement I don’t
    need to say anything about Srilankan social life ! GPs who are adorning their
    names with ” DOCTOR” is a kind of IDOL in the Temple rather than a medical
    practitioner in a hospital . STUPID SRILANKANS WHO ONLY LOOK AT ONE
    SIDE DON’T SEE THE OTHER SIDE THAT hospitals are a place where sick ,
    viruses and bacteria are the customers of these ALTERNATIVE GODS ! AND
    sympathy and respect and not the WORSHIP that is expected and yearned
    for by these UNPROFESSIONAL professionals from gullible and stupid
    mentality of RURAL FOLKS !

  • 0

    Ominous? The taxpayer funded Lankan Armed Services and Police have reached the point where they in a position to decide loyalty to which GoSL .
    Time to infiltrate Trade Unions. Has GMOA been infiltrated? Or is GMOA infiltrating politics?
    Indications are that Trade Unions are queueing up to get infiltrated.

  • 2

    Most of the traitors to the mother Lanka are Half baked, ran away from the fear of loosing life when the country is in difficult situation . given aligence to another country, but show off and imitates that he loves mother country but try and racked much resources or money, which way he can. And gives benfits or bribe to the fellow Vultures.

  • 2

    Anuruddha is in a different era. His Traitor Finder is nothing but Profiling. This is not accepted as a Science.
    By the way, statistically the Anuruddha (or is it GMOA?) Traitor-Finder may be correct at times by accident!

  • 11

    Psychopaths attack those they cannot manipulate or control as traitors.

  • 2

    Dear Shyamon,
    You are correct. Padeniya method of finding traitors is at best pseudoscience and comes closer to soviet methods of incarcerating political opponents using psychiatry as a weapon. (In the USA, they simply keep death penalty for that and use various other methods to do so, including self-censorship. The corporatist’s method is much advanced psychologically I should say).
    Padeniya was a fool to use psychiatry as a method of finding and to publish his list of bad guys. Padeniya is leading the GMOA to disaster, if he continues like this. But the general membership of the GMOA supports at least the fighting of the threats that they see (and for salary advances and the vehicle permits as well)
    Look closely and see this as well. Not only the GMOA, there are many many professional bodies fighting and fought for the rights of the country as a whole when it comes to curbing external influences. This is a National (Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim) thing. If they prey on the masses that they are to support, let the people live here decide on that issue. A day will come when all these are unnecessary when people realise who and what forces control us from within. Mind you the Bar association is reported to be under the control of USAid!
    A trade agreement signed with a small city (Singapore) which does not have fauna or flora of its own or nuclear plant, contains provisions of exporting almost anything out of Sri Lanka and import nuclear, and more worrying given the ease of manipulation and the size of the market, electronic waste.
    Do you want all citizens of the country to observe Sil and wait (as some of expatriates in Australia does) and allow anything to happen when the whole Nation (which includes Tamil, Sinhala and Muslims and our children) gets sold out with its natural resources and culture?
    Thank you for bringing this up.

    • 0

      All doctors should be asked to pay back the free tuition fees paid for their education by the poor public of the country before they are allowed to do private practice.
      All citizens whether Sinhala Buddhist Tamil Hindu or Muslim have the same rights as citizens

  • 1

    What Padeniya says is irrelevant. Traitors are those who victimise Sinhala Buddhists, the rightful owners of this country. Woe unto them.

  • 0

    You don’t need to wait till Padeniya. If you analyse actions of your friend (you always bum suck) then you know everything you want to know.

  • 7

    The point scheme was applied to Padeniya himself by his significant other, and now he is sleeping on the couch.

  • 1

    Sometimes a traitor can become a patriot. See Gota who escaped to US when the war was bad for us. How he returned later when the bro became President. How he became a patriot today. Also see how he refuse to give up US citizenship until he is certain of victory.

  • 2

    Where were Dr Anuruddha Padeniya and his cahoots during the dictatorial rule of Emperor Mahinda Rajapaksa from 2005 – 2014? Did they go on strike over Trade Agreements? South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) a private university which came into existence during the tenure of Mahinda Rajapaksa?
    What has the Trade Agreement between Sri Lanka and Singapore to do with GMOA?
    Is not Padeniya greedy when he asks for the best National Schools for the children of Doctors? What is special about Doctors who get paid by the government and also by the sick people?
    The ongoing fee to consult Padeniya is a cool Rs.2000 for a single visit lasting about 15 -20 minutes? Who else in Sri Lanka are earning tons of money like the Doctors?
    The next time the GMOA goes on strike sack the executive members and muster retired doctors to take their place. If necessary bring in Indian doctors. That is the only way to deal with these greedy Doctors!

  • 0

    Two in the picture agree on power mania, saturated with greed and are traitors pretending to be nation builders. TU AP is a confidence trickster, a so called neuro paediatrician pretending to be an adult psychiatrist claiming to be lecturing in Wayamba Rajarata state med. understaffed without professors. The nearby village called Padeniya makes it safe for AP to lecture psychiatry by a so called neurologist, which standard med. schools should not allow. He told colleagues that he heard a voice saying he would be right hand of former Prez. , this TU head with contempt of court case against him in a week, now putting forward a mad point scheme of psychiatric proportions of traitors. He should be reported to the GMC and have his name erased, so gullibles here can embrace him to topple governments as well as ruin medicine through infiltration of SLMC. Next prez. beware of getting this dangerous terrorist and goons too close.

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