13 April, 2024

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Intervention Or Flirtation: America’s Interest: Good Governance Or Economic Stability?

By Vishwamithra

“When a diplomat says yes, it’s yes; when a diplomat says maybe, it’s no; if a diplomat says no, he’s no diplomat” ~ Anonymous

In a widely-read Sri Lankan news website, under the banner headline ‘US Ambassador Julie Chung Encourages Collaboration Between President Ranil and Opposition Leader Sajith to Counter Rising JVP Popularity..!’ appeared the following: ‘In a diplomatic move that has stirred the political landscape of Sri Lanka, United States Ambassador Julie Chung has initiated discussions with both President Ranil and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, urging them to build a common platform against the growing influence of the leftist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party. The surprising call for unity comes amid concerns about the JVP’s increasing popularity, as recent surveys indicate an approval rating of 60%.’ The news item was dated January 10, 2024. More than forty eight (48) hours have passed and the US Embassy has neither denied nor acknowledged the authenticity of the subject matter. That in itself is disturbing and newsworthy.

On its face value the story looks rather suspicious. The United States is not a government that would palpably entangle itself in a purely domestic political squabble. But allow me to set the story right as follows: Professor GL Peiris was a former External Affairs Minister. He may have had a private dinner party for the US Ambassador at his residence, which should not allow any eyebrows to be raised. Amongst the invitees may have been President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa. For all intents and purposes, the dinner party would have been another occasion GL, in his grand old tradition, hosting a foreign ambassador. Nothing looks or sounds of a conspiratorial execution of ‘political diplomacy’. Yet as one who has been in these shadowy business of ‘political diplomacy’- evening gatherings, given the present political currents, the writer has more questions than answers.

Many a question could be answered; many a road-map could be plotted and many a political marriage could be sworn to in these unscrupulous corridors of Colombo bourgeoisie from amongst whom the Wickremesinghes, Peirises hail. Premadasa’s father, of course, knew that he did not belong there. For him the Colombo bourgeoisie was his nemesis. But for Sajith, it’s a different ball game. Old traditions of class differences have vanished and in its place has arisen a totally new class of those who are in power and those who aren’t. His father’s money has provided him with a cushion of elitism and the leadership of the UNP-alternative, Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) has buttressed that position further.      

Yet, for Julie Chung, the dinner party can be easily explained away. Being a foreign diplomat, she has every right to attend a function that was hosted by a former Minister of External Affairs. To keep in constant touch with men and women who matter in society is one of the hallmark qualifications of such emissaries. There is no conspiracy here. But all other factors seem to have conspired not only to create a context for these men and women whose ultimate objectives are strangely congruent with their  professional interests; it is also coincidentally convenient to discuss matters of political affairs of the country. With no commitments and no harsh disagreements, the invitees may have retired into the gentle night, but GL Peiris, if he were the man behind the arrangement, would be a winner if and when the stated objectives are met in the near future.

In the course of after-dinner discussion, Chung, Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Peiris would have, no doubt, been engaged in an exchange of views of the prevailing political conditions in the country. It was an ideal place and space for one or two trial balloons to have been let go. Subsequent introspections on the part of Ranil and Sajith and planning and plotting the next move by Julie Chung and sheer glory of premature satisfaction for GL may have followed the dinner party.    

Both Wickremesinghe and Premadasa are not alien to this aspect of politics. One is reminded of the beginning of the process of how Dudley Senanayake became the Prime Minister after his father’s demise. It was JR Jayewardene and Esmond Wickremesinghe (Ranil’s father), who were among those who conspired and plotted to make Dudley the successor to DS; and it happened in the corridors of the hospital at which DS was still breathing, his last. If the Chung-Ranil-Sajith-GL dinner party story is true, difference is only the corridors. One was in a hospital and other, GL’s home sweet home.

The process aside, in the current circumstance of the rising popularity of the National People’s power (NPP), the substance of the subject matter is more important. The power struggle between the elite and non-elite is coming out in the open arena. However much the super-rich class is making every possible attempt to safeguard and protect its class privileges and its exclusivity to access to government coffers. Despite the IMF assistance, Sri Lanka is still struggling to raise her head above the water. Colombo, as was witnessed and enjoyed by some members of the Sri Lankan diaspora in the United States during the farcical fortnight that comes every year at the end of December and and dawn of January, is one big carnival. Shuttling between one five-star hotel and another, these members of the diaspora come back to their domicile land and pronounce that life in Sri Lanka is unbelievably lavish and there is no dearth of comforts and riches.

But the story behind the story is utterly lamentable; its core is rotten and the outer veneer is transparent, showing the rotting core. One would not see it if one chooses not to. This is where the NPP and its leadership have to play their part. The real story must emerge; its distressing cavities and glaring incongruities must be exposed as frequently as possible. Seventy five years of deplorable rule, seventy five years of corruption, seventy five years of apathy and public delusion must be thrown away. Vehement and unequivocal condemnation, ruthless pursuit of truth, determined and unambiguous commitment to the cause of the underprivileged and unrecognized class of men and women should not waver.

Anura Kumara Dissanayake and the rest of the leadership of the NPP must make it their new year’s resolution that come what may, they must not rest until the goal post is reached. Good Governance and economic stability can coexist. Ranil Wickremesinghe is trying to say that economic stability should precede. Yes, economic stability must precede, but not at the cost of good governance. Without economic stability there can be no good governance but without good governance, there is no economic stability.

In terms of some private expressions by those who advise the government on IMF assistance, poverty in the country is alarmingly rising; corruption among the politicos and the bureaucracy is worse than before. Sugar-coated serenades to economic stability would not keep the masses down. When the opportunity presents itself by October, 2024 to dethrone the current rulers by peaceful means at the elections, AKD and the NPP must not let that chance go. For, there wont be another peaceful chance that would come about in the future. A ‘system change’ by peaceful means is possible; it’s, in fact, more than probable. A ‘system change’, that is what the privileged class fears; that is what the global powers might not be comfortable with.

Julie Chung may not be interfering with our local politics. Maybe she is flirting with Sri Lanka’s political destiny. Robbing Sri Lankans of their inalienable right of self-determination is a great transgression. Such atrocities should not be permitted by whoever the powers may be. It is the writer’ view that the USA will not go to such extreme ends to intervene. An innocent dinner party and the many natural conversations that are integral part of such gatherings should not be interpreted as conspiracies and sources of plotting. Yet being forearmed is forewarned.     

Entwined in this web of current-day politics, my mind goes back to a distant past. Evening falls on the banks of Kala Wewa. Her twin, Balalu Wewa, on the other side, bathed with the splendor of approaching twilight of the day, seemed to be hugged and be one with the entrancing roar of Kala Wewa. King Dhatusena, the builder, beholding this spectacle, must be reaching the summit of self-enchantment and delight. A marvel that today’s rulers would never be privy to. Such glorious meditation, such delightful thoughts penetrate my heart and mind. It’s better to end this column with such sublime gratitude to our elders who made this land great and her people greater.

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

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    I like the way the author has penned this piece, with caution and care alluding to possibilities in a context that nothing certain is known to him, except when he states: “Robbing Sri Lankans of their inalienable right of self-determination is a great transgression. Such atrocities should not be permitted by whoever the powers may be. It is the writer’ view that the USA will not go to such extreme ends to intervene.” – a display of naivety by his part. The US go to worse ends to secure their interests.

    • 5
      1

      Vishwamitra says:
      “Yet as one who has been in these shadowy business of ‘political diplomacy’- “, and also “The United States is not a government that would palpably entangle itself in a purely domestic political squabble. ” Rather contradictory.
      Still, the core of the article is valid. People are free to vote for anyone they like, but they must consider the consequences of their vote. I have always held that a JVP government would greatly upset the US, and perhaps India.
      To a US establishment that views even Bernie Sanders as some sort of Communist, the JVP with its trade union antics and even a hammer and sickle on its website, is a red flag, literally. It is possible that, like the Vietnamese, the JVP might work out some quid pro quo with the US, but that wouldn’t go down well with those who actually run the party behind the amiable AKD.
      Imagine having to live without anything imported. Onions, motor spares, phones, whatnot. ATM’s, private transport…… I can do without all that, but is that what the voters want? Ignorance is excusable, but not wilful suicide.

      • 2
        1

        Bernie was no capitalist. He I believe was more towards Social Democratic policies. His book “it’s okay to get angry about capitalism” should tell that.
        .
        He was influenced by a brother of his in the UK who if I can recall right, is a Green Party UK member, and was the greatest influence on him – the source of most of his progressive green policies, the Green New Deal, which the US thought they could do without for petty reasons.
        .
        The US lost a great moment in history, with grave consequences to the world at large, an opportunity to be the voice and the leader of a progressive global political movement. An opportunity they may never get back. They only have themselves to blame.
        .
        This dinner looks like the brain child of Kaputa who appears to have gone US bound – to see if they could rope in the US to their advantage. I doubt the lady ambassador was instrumental in initiating it or would embark on any endeavor of the sort that the author has alluded to.

        • 2
          0

          Continued from above…
          .
          The US was okay with Taliban running Afghanistan. Ideologies eventually boil down to pragmatism. Neither, China nor Russia nor Cuba nor Vietnam are communist anymore, despite any symbols they may or may not have on their flags and parties.
          .
          Bringing Gota was a sign that they had lost faith in Sirisena-Ranil combo. Aragalaya I believe is a sign that they weren’t happy with Gota either.
          .
          So who else is left? Sajith doing more of the same? All the signs to me appears to be pointing to AKD/NPP!

      • 3
        5

        oc
        The JVP will not do what you fear.
        It may disappoint its radical left electorate, but survival is prime for the JVP.

        • 3
          0

          SJ,
          True, I have a feeling that all the fire and thunder will amount to a whimper when reality strikes. But, as I said, I could do fine without air-conditioned banks or a big car.

          • 3
            1

            “I could do fine without air-conditioned banks or a big car.”

            But can you do without gals? JVP gals are better looking …… as good looking as the ones in Pittsburgh ……… in your photo collection! :)))

            • 0
              0

              Opinions of the salt of the Lankan earth ……… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FD-y4Lzozg

              • 1
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                nimal fernando

                Thanks for the clip.

                Watch the following clip (though impressive women presence) and tell us how many women members are given places in their hierarchy, Politburo, central committee, ….. and their names please, at least for token gesture, …..
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvaXTXq-U_U

                Don’t we have a weeping widow to represent the them , ….?

          • 1
            0

            OC,
            As previous elections.
            Btw, I am afraid of the fate of OUR poor SINHALA MAN after the next election. This can cause him to kick the bucket. Had he spent his precious hours teaching English literature to the youth, it would have comforted him in his later days.

        • 2
          0

          Radical left in Sri Lanka is a dying species. I doubt if any of the younger generations still find it appealing.
          .
          There are still a few like Dew Gunasekera, Wickramabahu Karunaratne (wonder what’s happening with him – he has been rather quiet for a long time), Vasudeva Nanayakkara, and ofcourse our all important prime minister Dinesh Gunawardene, who themselves are mostly nothing but members of land-owning class turned leftists, perhaps for ideological and intellectual reasons.
          .
          They are desperately trying to stay relevant by pledging allegiances to capitalists that they should ideally work against, in solidarity with the working class. A rather odd phenomenon in itself – but survival matters more than an abstract ideology I guess.
          .
          Then there are the trade unionists of various colour and flavour, who if left leaning, most probabbly owing to lived experiences and circumstances that they have inherited and can’t escape, more than anything else.
          .
          A group I believe would be amenable to genuine reason and pragmatism, especially if its coming from its own class.

          • 0
            0

            Continued from above…
            .
            Then there are the trade unionists of various colour and flavour, who, if left leaning, most probabbly owing to lived experiences and circumstances, that they have inherited and can’t escape, more than anything else.
            .
            A group I believe would be amenable to genuine reason and pragmatism, especially if its coming from its own class.

          • 0
            0

            “Radical left in Sri Lanka is a dying species. I doubt if any of the younger generations still find it appealing.”
            Radicalism emerges from situations. We may be movign into one fast.

            • 0
              0

              SJ – Can’t disagree, but when you said radical left, I took it as a reference to ideology. Radicalism emerging from general behaviour of a populace could be a different matter altogether, and could occur without being driven by any political ideology, as you said emerging from situations or even from the politically right wing factions, as exemplified by the January 6th Capitol Hill riots. But what makes you think we are moving into one fast?

      • 6
        0

        old codger

        Adaderena reports
        “The Chief Prelates (Mahanayaka Theros) of all three Buddhist Chapters in Sri Lanka have called on President Ranil Wickremesinghe to implement the law against the organized groups of people who they claim are spreading false ideologies regarding Buddhism and are harming the Buddhist philosophy and its cultural values.”
        https://www.adaderana.lk/news/96399/mahanayaka-theros-call-for-necessary-legal-provisions-to-prevent-distortion-of-buddhist-teachings-

        Do the prelates want Ranil to use catch all provisions in Prevention of Terrorism Act (or the New Counterterrorism Bill) to cajole …………… A B C …… Z ?

        • 4
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          Native,
          Perhaps all that is a response to the new “Bodhisattva” who has suddenly appeared in a limo.
          Only the Approved Version of Buddhism is to be tolerated.

          • 4
            0

            OC,
            “Only the Approved Version of Buddhism is to be tolerated.”
            What is the approved version??? Where does one find it?

            • 3
              0

              Mahila,
              “Where does one find it?”
              Ask any Malwatta Mahanayaka.
              In a nutshell, only what they hold to be true is acceptable, and must not be questioned. That includes certain relics, footprints, snakes emerging from rivers with more relics……but not bodhisattvas emerging from limos. The spoils are not to be shared, you see.

          • 3
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            OC and NV,

            I think it is due to the lack of education and the lack of knowledge of the danger that threatens the nation.
            Yet, ironically, these high chapter monks are seen as the nation’s leading figures.

            Rajapkashes are/were seen often being with temple monks, whatever the tiny matter arises in this country. what was behind that was to fool the nation at first place.
            JVP too are keeping some monks in their public stages despite their permament cries are louder against mediation of monks in politics. However, they dont pronounce it louder just because their hidden game is to grab more votes by misleading the very same stupid average.
            .
            However, RW is NOT seen often as RAJAPAKSHES when it comes to those visits to sinhala-buddhist temples.
            Non-English-speaking Europeans consider the conservative nature of the English monarchy as their guiding light to be the greatest obstacle to their politics. However, they act promptly when a threat arises to their nation, whose support for the continued existence of the monarchy still prevails among this population.

      • 0
        0

        Hello OC,
        You said “Imagine having to live without anything imported.” Maybe in your part of Sri Lanka it is different, but here in central Province we don’t need to imagine – it is the present😢
        Best regards

  • 8
    1

    The US Government will poke its nose everywhere if it’s for its own benefit. This is one such situation. Since JVP is gaining the upper hand USA is worried that the Chinese and Russian influence will grow in the Indian Ocean.

    Even SL Government sending ships to the Red Sea is an action by Ranil to satisfy a request by the US to protect Houtie’s attacking the Israel connected ships. This is being done by Ranil because Ranil signed a secret agreement with the US without presenting it to the Parliament.

    • 14
      0

      Buddhist1;
      It is not only the USA but also all the countries who are powerful financially and militarily will poke their noses for their benefits. We all know the USA, Russia, China and India are powerful enough to keep the poor countries under their control using their financial power if not military power. But all of them find some excuses or opportunities to use their powers over Sri Lanka. USA and India used the human rights violation to interfere into exercising their power but China used its financial power and the veto power it has on the UN. Fortunately, Sri Lanka managed to keep them under their control by playing a double game. Unfortunately, this double game made the country become poor and poor.
      There is a simple way to avoid this happening by improving human rights, removing the barriers to improve the judiciary, and implementing the rule of law, eliminating racism and equal opportunities to all.

      • 4
        4

        “USA, Russia, China and India are powerful enough to keep the poor countries under their control using their financial power if not military power.”
        By conveniently lumping them together you divert attention from the real culprit, the US ans its partners.

        • 3
          0

          SJ,
          I know you don’t like including China in the list but you cannot deny the facts.

    • 3
      7

      B1
      The US will have no worries if it does not have hundreds of military bases dotted around the region.
      RW does not need a US request. He will volunteer without one.
      *
      What is the Houthi has only one purpose: put n end to Israeli killings in Gaza.
      Those who endorse Israeli action deserve what they get. Escalation of the conflict will cost heavily to the West.
      They will never learn.

      • 4
        6

        “What is the Houthi aim?
        It has only one purpose: put an end to Israeli killings in Gaza.”

        • 2
          0

          SJ,
          Many who spout knee-jerk mumb-jumbo about “terrorism ” forget that Israel, not Iran, has the nukes.

          • 2
            0

            Hello OC,

            It must worry the US Biden administration, considering how little that Israel listens to their concerns, that Netanyahu might, if faced with some form of defeat in Gaza, use some of his Tactical Nuclear Weapons against Iran. This might be one of Biden’s reasons for his support – supplying conventional weapons and ammunition.
            David the Good is waiting for Jesus, the Muslims are expecting the “End of Days” and “at the end of which fire would burn forth from the Yemen”
            Most of us in Europe experienced the apprehension attendant upon the Chernobyl disaster on 26 April 1986.
            Here in Sri Lanka lets hope that the prevailing winds are in the other direction if the “Nukes” are used.

            Best regards

          • 0
            3

            oc
            “…forget that Israel, not Iran, has the nukes.”
            If people will only remember little details like this, there may be more sense in their comments.

  • 8
    10

    “Colombo, as was witnessed and enjoyed by some members of the Sri Lankan diaspora in the United States during the farcical fortnight that comes every year at the end of December and dawn of January, is one big carnival. Shuttling between one five-star hotel and another, these members of the diaspora come back to their domicile land and pronounce that life in Sri Lanka is unbelievably lavish and there is no dearth of comforts and riches.”

    My God! Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed at all since the time of the colonials, when colonials and colonials mixtures (mixtures that also had much of the colonial money), created a culture of dancing and reveling and playing pucks with the locals and local culture. (It was also shamefully there also in the early 80’s,when I was in school there….only in Sri Lanka did that nonsensical British colonial culture continue on….Anglicanism, prayers with put-on colonial faces and all…..yes, many have gone to Australia and USA also, to continue on the party). I mean….we need the tourists, but I’d bet you the non-Lankan tourists don’t come to dance biala for 31st ‘nite. Nothing wrong with biala-ing in fine times, but our fellows should be mindful of the sufferings of the masses before partying in first-world style at this time of grave economic crisis. They should have come on a spiritual pilgrimage instead.

    • 4
      0

      “I’d bet you the non-Lankan tourists don’t come to dance biala for 31st ‘nite.”


      I danced the night away on the 31st, Ramona! ……. Baila and then some …….. mostly foreigners and keen to learn the Baila!

      If they are not starving and suffering in Lanka …….. they’ll be starving and suffering in Africa, Afghanistan, Palestine …….. even in the USA ……. you name it!

      I leave humanity, conscience, repentance, guilt, self-flagellation ………. to Native and Sinhala_Man they are good at it.

      I’m good at dancing. ………. (You should see me: you’ll leave OC!)

      People just gotta do what they are good at.

      • 2
        1

        …ok,ok. …biala-ing is fine. Some fellows are very interesting to watch and dance with :) . It’s the 5- star hotel thing…….should’ve gone to the provinces and paid the tickets for a few suffering locals to eat and dance instead…..immoral for Colombo to be a party city over the suffering masses.

  • 8
    8

    The G.L. Pieris dinner party is about how to utilize the Rajapaksa offshore accounts for the benefit of the US.

    On the other hand, Chung also met with AKD a number of times. So it seems that US is mulling over things: To be with a Capitalistic wannabe Sri Lanka, or let our nuisance of a country rest easy with Lankan Socialism where will build up our systems, processes, and procedures with greater care for a more sustainable future, with an immediate reprieve for the tax-payer.

    Capitalistic Sri Lanka will be a harder job for US to handle as our crooks will sit playing them against China at every turn even if Ranil pledges 100% allegiance to US. Either way, US will utilize the stored money of the Rajapaksa offshore-accounts and let some of it trickle back.

    We can only hope and pray that Sajith alliances himself with the JVP-NPP camp.

    • 3
      0

      Ramona – Sajith will most probabbly still be the leader of the opposition.

  • 4
    0

    Kaputu Kak Kak has apparently flown to his homeland united istates of amerikakkak. I wonder if he was already there at the time of the alleged dinner took place?

  • 4
    3

    Some Tamils, who are licking the Evil Emperor’s boots, seem to have been begging him to release a well-wishing Thai Pongal Statement. The racist Evil released a statement saying that Chola Kings, around 1000 years ago, started the Thai Pongal. If he hates Tamils, being a matured political leader, he could have stayed out of releasing any statements like he did to the Christians on the Easter Sunday, on which Yahapalanaya government arranged to bomb Tamil Churches, but he need not to have hurt Tamils on their happiest day, Thai Pongal by wring a Mahavamsa Bestiality story about their Pongal. Even Solomon West Dias Ridgeway, after installed Sinhala Only, in 1956, before he is proposing the Banda – Chelva pact, said in parliament that the Tamils proud of their language and culture because of its antiquity. But Evil is insisting that he will only follow Don Stephen’s racist policies, like the one disenfranchising Tamils votes. Other than this racist Sinhala Buddhists ignorant leader, world leaders have recognized Thai as Tamil’s customary cultural month. Further, in their statements they pointed out that it was too ancient to fix the starting time for Thai Pongal. In the coming parliamentary Tamil MPs must ask this Evil to release a correction statement and an apology to Tamils for this purposeful insult.

    • 3
      0

      M,
      How could the President be all-knowing of any religion other than Buddhism which he embraced or Church of Ceylon Christianity, he was born with, as most Sri Lankan Leaders except a handful FEW!!!
      Intelligent move is to IGNORE STERILE, DISINFECTED IGNORANCE!!!???

  • 6
    2

    Secret meetings, private dinner parties, US conspiracies, assumptions, speculations, ‘fake news’, all make good bed time reading. From what I have concluded so far, 70 years of mismanagement & escalating corruption has made SL what it is today but it was the citizens who continuously voted for yobs, thugs, even murderers & knowingly turned a blind eye to corruption. So, what is the ‘system change’ as the solution to all problems? A socialist regime which promises politicians with integrity & a new (experimental?) model of governance with a mixed closed & open economies? A non aligned foreign policy but expecting mighty powers & capitalists to invest in SL? Vishvermitra is already speculating the US concerns of a socialist regime in SL, so all those meetings with capitalist countries the NPP are said to have are confirmed support or threats?
    SL is geographically strategic but that advantage has already been squandered. Previous regimes have been openly indicated of corruption, therefore, particularly, the unions are suspicious of foreign investment or is their own interests they are concerned about? A change of pillow is not the solution but looking at all options & holding those responsible accountable with firm commitments.

    • 2
      3

      ” A change of pillow is not the solution but looking at all options & holding those responsible accountable with firm commitments.”
      .
      Who is going to do that? Ranil?

      • 3
        0

        Ruchira

        I am referring to the voters. Voters should look at all the parties have to offer instead of voting for the opposition, in this case, the NPP, who can boast of their clean hands which could be due to the fact that they couldn’t get their hands in the cookie jar. Addressing corruption is fine but there is the question of how & that alone is not enough for an economic recovery

        • 2
          4

          “Voters should look at all the parties have to offer instead of voting for the opposition,”
          Is this what happens in UK?
          They seem to repeatedly vote back to power a government of charlatans.

          • 0
            3

            Hmmm…. is Sunak also one of them? ;)

            • 1
              1

              Ruchira, Sunak at the moment seems to be fairly successful in the path he is going

              • 1
                1

                dtg – which path is that, one that of charltans?

              • 1
                0

                Is Sunak on track to convert?

          • 3
            1

            SJ

            Seems quite rich to call UK politicians ‘Charlatans’ from a person of a country overflowing such politicians. I suppose the experience makes you an expert in identifying them.
            Maybe there is an odd joker like Boris J but many are educated & certainly better than the the charlatans in SL. At least the British voters don’t change pillows expecting a better outcome at every election.

            • 1
              3

              R-UK
              Charlatans are charlatans regardless of who calls them that from wherever on earth.
              Disprove it if you can rather than play tricks to discredit the author of a comment.

      • 2
        3

        Raj – sentiments of the voters as reflected by opinion polls as of now are clear, but from what I have gathered they differ from yours.
        .
        Just to clarify – You have stated: “…70 years of mismanagement & escalating corruption has made SL what it is today but it was the citizens who continuously voted for yobs, thugs, even murderers & knowingly turned a blind eye to corruption.”
        .
        So who IN YOUR VIEW are these “yobs, thugs and murderers?”
        .
        Then you go in to say – “A change of pillow is not the solution” – AREN’T YOU CONTRADICTING YOURSELF? Are you suggesting that we should AGAIN elect the very same people who has plundered the country for 70+ years like you yourself has stated?
        .
        You also say: “Looking at all the opions…” – no arguments there!)
        .
        Then you say: “…holding those responsible accountable with firm commitments.”
        .
        So who AGAIN in your opinion is responsible and who has the firm commitment to hold them accountable?
        .
        Honestly I can’t make sense out of your comment. Either my English skills are bad or you aren’t making any valid point.
        .
        Could you clarify?

        • 3
          1

          Ruchira
          Opinion polls don’t always reflect the true picture. Accuracy of the polls depend on the extent of the survey & how the questions are framed. A biased poll will give a distorted result, therefore, polls should not be taken as the gospel truth.
          Apart from a few, I consider, particularly, the current set of politicians as yobs, some of them are thugs & even murderers are amongst them. If you want names, the list would too long to mention but I am sure you know better & correct me if I am wrong.

          Almost 6m Sri Lankans voted for the Rajapakses, including, their punks cronies, knowing very well about their mega corruption & mismanagement allegations. It is time voters demand capable people with integrity from political parties, not the village thug or the racketeer who can bribe them for votes. We don’t know much about the key NPP members who are being nominated but the NPP is cagey about naming them. Voting should be for the right person, not necessarily, the party per se. Voters should ask questions & political parties take heed & nominate capable people able to answer those questions.
          Cont.

          • 4
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            Cont.
            A political manifesto is a firm commitment but if the party is unable to deliver as pledged, then they could be held accountable, starting from the top. Liz Truss lasted on 42 days as PM because her economic policies were disastrous & her own party forced her to stepdown as ‘damage limitation’ since their pledge to bring down inflation was unlikely under her.
            I have tried to explain with the best of my English knowledge but if you are still in the dark, maybe I need English coaching or you do.

            • 0
              0

              Raj – will get back to you after I get some coaching.

          • 2
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            “Opinion polls don’t always reflect the true picture. “
            True. The questions as framed are a factor.
            But within a given framework they send a message of sorts.

    • 5
      6

      “Secret meetings, private dinner parties, US conspiracies, assumptions, speculations, ‘fake news’, all make good bed time reading.”
      They may be to you.
      However, these things happen regularly in many parts of the world.
      I can add t your list.
      But I do not wish to wreck your dream world by shocking you to reality.

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        1

        SJ

        I am referring to the apparent private meeting as revealed in this article & various assumptions arising from it. Whether the website posting was fake news or GL invited diplomats & some politicians for dinner & a chinwag or to discuss strategy is pure speculation. I don’t give a monkey’s who has secret meetings & where, I was just commenting on Vishvermitra’s conspiracy theory as I understand it. At the end of the day, it is the voter who has to decide & I hope the decision will be rational, not based on speculation & assumptions. I don’t have a dreamworld & it is the SL voters who should be realistic in their expectations from political parties.

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          4

          How are you so sure that such meetings do not occur?
          If you think that a particular comment is false, be specific and put the record right.
          Do not make sweeping generalizations as if such things are figments of fantasy.

          • 4
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            SJ
            As I said before, I was commenting on Vishvermitra’s speculations. There is no particular statement to dispute or agree. I think any figments of fantasy, as you may put it, maybe with Vishvermitra in his assumptions in total.

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    0

    The crux of this excellent column is the statement that “Yes, economic stability must precede, but not at the cost of good governance. Without economic stability, there can be no good governance, but without good governance, there is no economic stability.” There lies the challenge for the JVP/NPP. While there are signs that they recognized the validity of it, they are still to reveal a strategic plan as to how economic stability will be established that would lead to good governance! – Nandi Jasen.

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