20 January, 2022

Blog

JR Wished For A (Kemal) Ataturk; Sri Lanka Has A (Rajapaksa) Gotaturk

By Rajan Philips

Rajan Philips

Sri Lankan political leaders have had their inspirations from and seen their role models in national political leaders in other countries. In the last century, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were standard inspirational sources and role models for the entire spectrum of the nascent political class in Sri Lanka. The irreverent left looked up to Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and Stalin and Mao. SWRD Bandaranaike, according to his biographer, betrayed intellectual fascination for the Aryan emphasis in the Nazi politics of Germany, but the Oxford orator would not have tolerated any role-modelling to “be a Hitler.” GG Ponnambalam, SWRD’s Cambridge counterpart, briefly savoured the slogan “Ponna is Jaffna’s Jinnah.”

In fairness, Ponnambalam would have never thought of himself as Jinnah. Even his controversial Fifty-Fifty representational formula was predicated foursquare on a single island polity. And he would later (1968) wax eloquent in Parliament: “In fair weather and foul, in sunshine and in rain, I have always held aloft the ideal of a united Lanka.” To the Tamil Federal Party, SJV Chelvanayakam was not only a father figure but also the Tamil Gandhi. In the 21st century and with no connection to 20th century politics, Gotabaya Rajapaksa found his political calling in Donald Trump. From the sublime to the ridiculous, so to speak.

In this sequence, it is interesting to recall the fascination that JR Jayewardene showed for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a Field Marshal in the Ottoman army during World War I, and later the founder and builder of modern Turkey. Ataturk was also a dictator, one of a handful who arose from collapse of the Ottoman, Hapsburg and Tsarist empires after World War I. In his parliamentary and public speeches, Mr. Jayewardene held out Ataturk as an exemplary nation builder within the framework of secular modernity and eschewing all the hangovers from the ages of the dead. It is possible to see JR’s fascination for Kemal Ataturk in conjunction with his (JR’s) induction of the presidential system of government in Sri Lanka.

As Sri Lanka’s most consummate urban bourgeois politician, JRJ had every reason to be impressed by the example of Kemal Ataturk founding and modernizing a non-western nation. But JRJ himself could and did not become one – Sri Lanka’s Kemal Ataturk. He was too old to be ruthless, he is known to have confessed to his close advisers. He apparently viewed his old age and lack of ruthlessness as Sri Lanka’s blessings in disguise. He was also far too inextricable from his political IOUs to chauvinist troublemakers like Cyril Mathew. Colombo Tamil notables who supported JRJ and welcomed the executive presidential system as a consociational apparatus for forging overarching national unity, would later criticize him for not acting like a real president and not using his powers in an inclusively constructive way.

We do not know if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ever came to know about JRJ’s fascination for Kemal Ataturk. Nor if he (GR) cared to find out and study about the proclivities of JR Jayewardene or other 20th century Sri Lankan political leaders. The way GR said he was going to study about Donald Trump. Objectively and unbeknownst to himself, GR could have become Sri Lanka’s Ataturk and fulfilled JRJ’s ultimate presidential wish. This was a possibility given GR’s military background and his potentially modernizing exposures as a US Citizen and a resident of California – two factors that encouraged Sri Lankans in large numbers to support GR’s candidacy and vote for him in the 2019 presidential election. As it turned out, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been using the military as a political fortress and instead of moving forward and modernizing the country, he has been falling back on atavistic assertions and civilizational obsessions. Compounding the two is the gross incompetence of the administration from top to bottom.

This is how things are as Sri Lanka enters the third year of the Gotabaya Rajapaksa presidency and the people are looking for better things in the New Year. It is a rather depressing start for a New Year, inasmuch as 2022 appears to be a seamless continuation of 2021 with Covid-19 pandemic showing no signs of abating. The effects of the pandemic, both in public health and in the broader political and economic spheres, are likely to be significant through much of this decade. Add to that the effects of climate change and the challenges of adaptation to its recurrent fire, drought and flood disasters. The picture is grim.

Denials and Dismissals

Sri Lanka and the world were in a very different place in 1922, one hundred years ago. While other empires fell around it, the British Empire was at the height of its imperial-colonial powers in 1922, commanding over a quarter of the world and its peoples. Sri Lanka was a British colony and was in the nascent throes of communal convulsions and constitutional trial and error. The bickering over a Tamil seat in the Western Province was the sum and substance of the political differences between Low-country Sinhalese leaders and Colombo-Tamil elites. The now familiar terminology of the national question was not in anyone’s vocabulary or part of their material experience. Moreover in 1922, Sri Lanka was under the “Temporary Constitution” of 1920. It would be nine years before universal franchise, 26 years before independence, and fifty years before becoming a republic.

It would be another fifty-six years before the sacking of parliamentary democracy and the imposition of an executive presidential system by President JR Jayewardene. And a full hundred years before the midlife presidential crisis of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. 2021 by far has been the worst performance by a Sri Lankan Head of State and Head of Government in 73 years. President Rajapaksa’s apologetic admirers have been hoping for a course correction in 2022, aided by the hidden or unhidden hand of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa. The emergent signs are not of any course correction, only a continuing course of denials, dismissals and resignations. There is no evidence either of any helping hand from Mahinda Rajapaksa, despite the latter’s pilgrimage to Tirupathy.

In his year-end meeting with a group of newspaper editors, President Rajapaksa provided only denials and dismissals on all the issues that have been bedeviling the country throughout 2021. On the controversial Yugadanavi LNG agreement, the President offered no explanation for the deal or an exposition of its benefits. He only blamed the Weerawansa-Gammanpila-Nanayakkara ministerial trio for their alleged failure to abide by their collective cabinet responsibility. Notwithstanding Justice Mark Fernando’s ruling that the President seems to have been tutored on, it is not the trio’s collective responsibility that is at issue. What is at issue is how and for what reasons did the cabinet headed by President Rajapaksa decide to grant New Fortress Energy the contract to build an off-shore liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal for Sri Lanka.

On gas leak explosions, the President reportedly said: “I do not see the gas explosions as incidents that occurred only under this government.” This is executive temerity in spite of all the evidence this year and the number of incidents in the months of November and December alone. The President seems annoyed with the “media publicity” given to the incidents of gas leak explosions on his watch. Media publicity only reflects the number and frequency of recent explosions. Still no explanation of what went wrong primarily at Litro Gas, who has been held accountable, and what steps have been taken by the government to ensure that standards are set and complied with, and to provide a safe supply of cooking gas cylinders.

On the fertilizer issue, the President finally seems to have conceded, “I admit that there has also been a mistake with regard to the fertiliser issue. The content of the Chinese fertilizer stock should have been tested before the issuance of the letter of credit to import them.” But who authorized the letter of credit, and why? There are no answers. Only blame, again, this time it is the fault of the Ministry of Agriculture for not correctly implementing the President’s “green agriculture programme.” Agriculture is always green, but what advice did the President ask for and receive from the Ministry before launching the programme by gazette notification?

On the ills of the economy, the President seems to be quite at peace with himself that he has nothing to do with it and it is all blamable on Covid-19. And he seems peeved that he is not being given due credit for the government’s commendable vaccination launch. Others see things quite differently and people’s experiences are diametrically opposite. And the President had nothing to say on what the government is going to do about the economy in the new year. And not a word about the IMF either. Is the government going to seek IMF help, or not? When will the cabinet, with collective responsibility, decide on this? And is Nivard Cabraal speaking for the cabinet when he insists that Sri Lanka will not seek IMF help?

Finally, as the new year dawns, the man behind the President and the source of all executive fiats and gazettes for the last two years is about to resign. The media has been reporting that Secretary PB Jayasundara has tendered his resignation to the President and is expected to vacate office later in January. The resignation apparently is the result of criticisms of Dr. Jayasundara by several Ministers for his exercising power over all ministries without being accessible to the subject Ministers. The President has publicly defended his Secretary, which is understandable, even though the same courtesy was not shown to other officials who have either resigned or gotten fired via WhatsApp. Puzzlingly, however, the President also chose to publicly berate the Ministers who have been criticizing Dr. Jayasundara, and suggested that some of the Ministers “maybe doing it to cover up their own weaknesses by just ‘playing to the gallery’.” The latter is a time-worn, old-English phrase that is hardly appropriate for a Sri Lankan President whose singular referential point in politics is the 6.9 million voters who voted for him.

Those who supported Gotabaya Rajapaksa and voted for him in 2019 deserved a very different, more beneficial, and less harmful presidency. On the contrary, the last two years have seen the GR presidency unfolding as it should not have. Of all things, the President picked constitution as his top priority and outsourced it to a committee of experts, so called. Their magnum opus of a draft is expected to be presented in parliament this January. There is nothing to write home about any positive achievement. Only tales of woes.

Agriculture has been temporarily destroyed by the stroke of a gazette ban on inorganic fertilizers, and there are fears of food shortage, as well as cuts to electricity and water. For the first time since its inception 51 years ago, the island’s petroleum refinery has been shut down for want of cash to ship in crude oil. In addition, the turbines at the Sapugaskanda 72MW Power Station have also been shut down for want of fuel. In sum, the government offers no pleasing prospect that people can look for in 2022. It is a depressing start and there is no point in denying it. JR Jayewardene wished for an Ataturk. Sri Lanka has got its Gotaturk.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    4

    Same story!

    • 9
      1

      With Gota, we have got Nazism ………. without the Hitler.

    • 3
      1

      Gota-baya was awarded with award ….
      .
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbJ5S6Jah14

      Immediately I thought of awarding my DOG….. because he has saved my life not once several dozens of times sofar. But looking back, Gota-Baya is awarded this for nothing…..

  • 23
    1

    it is inapt (or inept) to talk about JRJ in terms of Ataturk. From breaking the Bandranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact to the 1983 riots, he played chauvinist politics to the fullest extent. Why try to white-wash him? Later politicians outdid him but he exacerbated the chauvinism that had been initiated and later made worse by Sinhala politicians.

    • 12
      2

      Yes let us not forget that under JR we witnessed the July ’84 attack on innocent Tamils all over the island, with homes, businesses, and even little boutiques, looted and burnt, and people massacred on the streets after showing their ID card proving they were Tamils. JR made an appearance a few days later and justified it by saying “the Sinhala people have retaliated”.

      • 5
        1

        My Dear LM: The latest version of “GOTATURK” has been presented to Nandasena Gotabahaya Rajapakse by the “Kalyani Samaggri Dharma Maha Sangha Saba” of “Kotte Mahaviharamavanshika Chapter” on 2nd January 2022.

        That “GOTATURK” award is termed: “LANKADEESHWARA PADMAVIBUSHANA”

        The awarding ceremony was conducted by: Rev. Ittapane Dhammalankara Thero.

        NOTE: No “Hooting” was allowed at the ceremony. It would be done later on a chosen location near Mirihana.

        • 3
          1

          Dear Simon,
          .
          See how deep the PINGUTHTHARAYAS are fallen into.. THey are just like street women in new york city.
          :
          This so called LANKADEESHWARA PADMAVIBUSHANA award is thought to encourage him, since almsot everyone would attack him publicly as of today.
          :
          You were known to that controversal judge/Lenin Rathanayaka and how asuchi packets were flown on to him during a court session – likewise, whatever the awards would be offered to the bugger, going beyond the level of Lenin Rathnaayaka. … people would start attacking anyone with the surname of Rajapakshe in the near future.
          .
          I listened to AKD public dialogue gave to SUDAA creation this evening….
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXk3fjD5Tu4

          See he has made it clear, that the people should not wait another 3 years….. I agree with him there… people s protest could drive away the Rajapakshes from our sights. enough is enough….

  • 14
    1

    Gotaturk’s real face is not yet exposed.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hwh4UwQ6By8
    :
    Much more to come in the days to come. Today, I got to know the following video clip, which proves that the current GAS-CYLINDER BLAST issue is mastered by Ajith Cabral et al. That is known to Rajapkshes bitch s sons.
    :
    Good riddance to our people – they never think twice before going to vote. Not many are aware of the voting power.

    Venesula is in making : Curse go to Medamualana Rascals.

  • 10
    1

    here you will hear what Gas company has to say.
    .
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plnvCJOTRhk
    .
    The Govt has not revealed this yet to the nation. See how iresponsible the rulers are

  • 7
    4

    Well Jinnah succeeded.

    Only way forward for SL is one island 3 mono ethnic nations. Until then this drama will continue. When politicians slide in popularity they do riots, arson, genocide against minorities and win.

    Incumbent party always won after these.

    e.g. 1939, 1958, 1977, 1981, 1983, 2009.

    Even opposition parties won when they used these tactics against minorities.

    e.g. 2019

    • 4
      1

      Please get your facts correct. British India was divided into two nations not on an ethnic basis but on religion. Hindu and Muslim. Do not confuse ethnicity with religion. The land of the two major Indian ethnicities was divided on this basis. Punjabi and Bengali. The largely Muslim western part of Punjab became Pakistan and the largely Hindu/Sikh eastern part of Punjab remained with India. Later East Punjab was divided into Punjab and Haryana, as in the Haryana area they spoke a dialect called Haryanavi which was more similar to Hindi than to Punjabi and was considered a dialect of Hindi. However, the people of Haryana are the same as the people of Punjab. Similarly, the largely Muslim eastern part of Bengal became the former east Pakistan and the largely Hindu western part of Bengal remained with India and became West Bengal. The entire Sindh province was given to Pakistan as there was no Hindu majority area and the Hindu Sindhis were all forced to migrate to India or the rest of the world. However, later Pakistan divided into ethnic lines. The former east Pakistan which was Bengali became Bangladesh and everyone knows the reason for this proving race/ethnicity is much stronger than religion.

      • 5
        0

        Islam is a religion and being a Muslim is a religious and not an ethnic identity. Sri Lankan Muslims or Moors as they love to call themselves, to prove some sort of connection to the Arabs ( Moors are not Arabs but from North Africa) are ethnic Tamil Muslims of immigrant South Indian origin, most of whom migrated to the island during the early British colonial era. There have been only two ethnicities and nations on the island from ancient times. The Sinhalese and the Eelam Tamils. The other is a religious identity, now falsely masquerading as an identity, where religion and an imagined Arab origin, that DNA studies have now proven to be very minimal, has been deliberately used from British times and later by all Sinhalese led governments since independence, aided and abetted by the island’s Muslim elite and politicians, to divide and rule the island’s Tamils on the basis of religion, region, origin.

        • 4
          0

          The region, origin, caste, etc have failed but have successfully divided and Brainwashed the Muslim Tamils on the island, to consider themselves as Arabs and of different ethnicity from the Hindu and Christian Tamil brothers and sisters. You are a very good reflection of this thought. Remember Pakistan that was based on religion, has become largely a failed state, and even highly populated Bangladesh that is based on ethnicity is now more prosperous. If the island’s Muslims want a different identity from the rest of the Tamils that is fine. But it should be based on truth. It is not an ethnic identity, as they are the same as the rest of the Tamils but a religious identity and they should be correctly called Tamil Muslims or Muslim Tamil and not Moors as they do not have a north African origin and the western Asian or Arab contribution is very minimal. Their core DNA just like the Sinhalese is Tamil Dravidian. All Dravidians at one time spoke Old Tamil or Proto Tamil.

      • 1
        2

        In British India the dividing factor was not ethnicity but religion.
        In Sri Lanka the dividing factor is ethnicity.
        That is why SL must be divided along ethnicity and not religion.

        Not just in SL but also in former Yugoslavia, former Soviet Union, former Czechoslovakia, etc.
        Then highly developed and peaceful nations like Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Sweden, etc. were either blessed with single ethnicity of achieved it.
        Maldives is a small nation but blessed with single ethnicity so it is now the most developed in south Asia.

  • 6
    21

    “To the Tamil Federal Party, SJV Chelvanayakam was not only a father figure but also the Tamil Gandhi.”
    —-
    It was Chelvanayakam who wanted to be the Jinna of Sinhale/Ceylon by creating a separate country for Tamils in the North, excluding the so called ‘Indian Tamils’ in plantations. Although the political party he formed Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi in 1949 was called Federal Party in English, the real meaning was Tamil State Party.
    Tamil Gandhi came out with Vadukkodei Resolution that contained a manufactured history of Sinhale to create a separate State, declared war against the Government and Sinhala Nation and asked Tamils to take up arms to fight until they achieve the objective of creating Tamil Eelam. That was the birth of Tamil terrorist organization LTTE .

    • 4
      0

      EE,

      Does not matter. In SL people and politics are divided by ethnicity. So lets divide the island into 3 mono ethnic enclaves and relocate people. That will help everyone.

  • 1
    5

    So a new year has dawned. The opinion makers are like mathematicians trying so hard to solve a formula. Although nothing ever seems to hit the nail on the head. That is because you are not using an important constant in the equation. The constant that is the Buddha, latest being Gothama Samana whose history is intervowen to the fabric of the island. The island was his home. Try as you may, nothing will be solved until this value is introduced into your equations. For more info read https://jambudipa.quora.com . Use this constant and see how magically all is revealed.

  • 7
    1

    Rhan
    You must be joking whether Gota knows about JRJ inspiration from Kemsl Aththruk.
    Do you expect the worst one from common thug Famy of Rajapakse Clan and the worst one with two massurdets one in 2009 and the other in 2019 to k ow about World history..
    6.9 million idiots chose a war crimi Al Nd a common murderous thug as a President.
    We all suffer due to their idiocity.

  • 7
    1

    (Part I)
    RP,
    Very good, well written.
    Vegetables, Agriculture, Rice can be perhaps, luck is one’s side sorted out before it is critical!
    The prime question,
    “What would be the scenario, if the Water to the city cannot be pumped, without sufficient Power generation to operate the pumps and control system of the water purification and Sewerage plants???”
    Death, disruption and stinking hell!!!
    God save Sri Lanka then.
    People would be losing patience and understandably unable to care their families, dependants, children and infants.
    Result Mayhem, Bedlam and violence, which perhaps some opportunist may look forward to.
    Case in point to find a reason for military to step in!! is it not very convenient????
    I could see the sleight of an opportunistic hand in eliminating the Milk distributing outlet!!!
    Create anger to start an uncontrolled violence, which the public has been avoiding for the past 3-4 months amongst all Gas Cylinder Explosions 230+ of them to date.
    The difference between them and Easter bombing (not condoning) is that deaths have been handful!
    How many homes can operate the wood fired hearths?
    Why are these political patriotic (Deshapremi’s), going on sojourns, holidays and revelling at tourist hot spots (overseas or local).

  • 6
    1

    (Part II)
    They should be sitting down and contacting OEC countries and get the required oil???
    Or are they fighting shy to contact OEC, “HANGING DOWN THEIR HEADS IN SHAME” and burying Muslim dead, much against their religious bidding and not abiding by the WHO ruling on the matter for 2 years????
    Politicians seem they do not feel the pain caused by disruption?!
    That is resulting in venomous angst and hooting at people travelling in luxury A/C vehicles and security convoys?
    I am sure the President could stay with his family at the President’s house during this period to attend to his work, and administer/negotiate deals to resolve this impasse?
    When the public can’t get fuel for 3 wheelers to move about, when the President moves in a convoy, naturally the anger overflows and erupts in action like hooting!!
    This position is self created and cannot be blamed on anybody else or the system obtained for the past 70 years!
    If they do they are bullshitting the masses.
    Why this crisis now?
    The only difference is “Paalanaya”
    Defeating the LTTE as Secretary, Defence, is one thing; Governance of a democracy is another.

  • 7
    1

    (Part III)
    If I heard it right, that the HE ordered the police to disperse the queue outside and close the milk powder outlet that is a blunder of gigantic proportions!!!
    No excuse at all, unless you want SL to be military state Like Sudan, Burma???!
    I do not think, Sri Lanka qualifies to be that and it would be resulting in revolt, Bloodshed and should be avoided.
    The President of a country (Democracy) should exhibit tolerance, patience and Humane qualities, instead of lowering down to the level of the ignorant, ill-educated, defunct of knowledge/vision and compassion due to their undergoing trials and tribulations such a Hunger and unable to feed their children and family.
    HE President of SL cannot stoop down to their level at any cost!!
    Why then call him, “His Excellency and most exalted (Uthumanani)” in referring???!
    He is then only a “Baiya” as those commoner/gardener types, who are HOOTING at him!!!
    Anyone of good standing as President or PM and Ministers should ‘Command respect not Demand’.
    Perhaps the SLA training, only imparted discipline to be the ONLY virtue but not other qualities????

  • 14
    2

    SB wanted a Hitler and they got one with lesser IQ. ( one created by Chaplin)

    • 6
      1

      Chiv,
      .
      SB was not alone – what about the TAMIL and MUSLIM srilankens casted their votes to Mahinda also this time ?
      .
      SB and their general knowledge is no different to those average mind set bearers loud to YOUTUBE videos these days. It is fine people to learn to line up to buy things, but GAS company spilled beans yestreday, please listen to it – by clicking the link provided above.

      • 6
        0

        LM, Rajapaksas in public stated that ” SB alone can decide their/ country’s future by electing Gotha to power “. That was first time ever I heard before Presidential elections. Didn’t happen when MR stood up.

        • 4
          0

          In a civilized world, Mahinda Rajapkashe must be subjected to public crucification. Anyways, the situation in our hell hole is other way around. The situation is alarming than appeared to be.
          Today I heard fake monks have awaded Gota with a wibhushana award… wereally dont know for what purpose ?

        • 4
          0

          I am jealous of Lankans. Today news,in addition to Hitler, President bestowed by Sangha with “SriLankadheeshwara Padma Vibushana”, honorary title which takes quit an effort to just pronounce, imagine putting in paper. All that is for doing nothing. Lucky Lankans. Take a guess, Next Chancellor , anyone ????

          • 0
            0

            Chiv/
            Please talk to the joker Laksiri Fernando whose direct mediation awarded these men with honorary doctorates in 2009.
            .
            My neighbour Peter has failed to award anything yet to his guard dog although that dog saved his life for the last ten years. .
            .
            Not a joke our people are made fool permanently for their public masturbation/ a family rule. To my knowledge/ they the people enjoy it yet today/I thought it can only occur in Tripoli and Baghdad but also in Colombo in 2022🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃

    • 3
      0

      They did not.

      Hitler achieved a mono-ethnic Germany despite losing the war. Gota failed.

      • 2
        0

        Gota is the opposite of Hitler.

        Hitler achieved a mono ethnic nation for ethnic Germans but lost the war.
        Gota (or Gotler) won the war but failed to create a mono ethnic nation for Sinhalese.

        • 2
          0

          The war could never have been won, without the help of India, the west, to whom the Rajapakses promised that once the war was won and the LTTE and Prapakaran were defeated, federalism and just Thamizh rights will be granted. As usual like all Chingkalla leaders before him and most probably after them, they reneged on their promise. After the war Chingkalla triumphalism and racism only increased, the Thamizh become more oppressed, with thousands of acres of their lands forcibly taken over by the Chingkalla state and at times by Islamic extremists in the east. Many ancient Hindu places of worship in the north and east are now being falsely claimed as Chingkallam and Buddhist. In the east Arabization of the local Thamizh Muslims and Islamic extremism was encouraged, as a tool to contain and marginalize the local largely Hindu indigenous Eezham Thamizh and the Thamizh Vedda. China has now entered the island on a large scale now India and the west who orchestrated the LTTE defeat are blinking, not knowing what to do, as the Chingkallams and the Rajapakses have taken them for a ride. Whatever LTTE did they contained Chingkalla Buddhist extremism, Islamic extremism in the Thamizh areas, Chinese incursions in the strategic North and Eastern parts of the island, that border South India. Hardly anyone starved even in the north and east.

  • 5
    1

    Will Goaturk destroy Dhamma?

  • 11
    1

    “We do not know if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa ever came to know about JRJ’s fascination for Kemal Ataturk.”
    I very much doubt it. He has a penchant for posing in front of vast book-cases, but these are probably borrowed for effect. He probably has read textbooks on IT, but from his pontifications, it is clear that most of his ” knowledge” is based on the Mahavamsa and the ideas of his monkish advisers. The man thinks he knows everything, because he (?) managed to beat 30,000 guerillas using s 300,000 man army. Big deal.

    • 4
      1

      Dear OC,

      did you see this ?
      . I thought people would throw ASUCHI at him, but my eyes could not believe, …. slaves behave to the same manner, dog s taiil would not be straightened even if it is put in a bamboo sheath.
      .
      There are lot more among PUNNAKU drinkers that salute to President yet today. How come ?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOVJewR89wA

    • 3
      3

      OC
      Which poorly read political leader has not liked to pose in front of a big bookshelf?
      *
      With everything going electronic, that may be the only use for bookshelves

      • 3
        0

        S.J,
        The difference is that this one got 6.9 million takers. The most effective bookshelf in the world?

        • 0
          0

          OC
          None of the 6.9 million was impressed by the bookshelf.
          Many of them were thoroughly unimpressed by what they saw in 2015 to 2019.

  • 11
    1

    “But JRJ himself could and did not become one – Sri Lanka’s Kemal Ataturk. He was too old to be ruthless, he is known to have confessed to his close advisers. He apparently viewed his old age and lack of ruthlessness as Sri Lanka’s blessings in disguise.”
    Oh, so JRJ was not ruthless? That is an amazing claim! Who was the man who should bear the greatest blame for the horror of the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom? It was definitely JRJ and the atrocities perpetrated in July 1983 all stemmed from the utter ruthlessness of this man.

    • 4
      1

      CM
      JRJ’s lack of ruthlessness?
      Check it out please.
      *
      He was one of the most vindictive creatures in the island’s politics in modern times.

      • 2
        0

        JRJ was totally without scruples. Perhaps his pinning of 1983 on the JVP and some “Naxalites” contributed to 1989 too.

        • 0
          0

          OC, you are right JR was a real schemer where as MR is charmer, GR is neither but dumber

      • 2
        0

        SJ

        “He was one of the most vindictive creatures in the island’s politics in modern times.”

        Is it because he stripped SiriMao’s civil rights in 1981?

  • 3
    1

    Mr. Philips,you wrote:
    “The irreverent left looked up to Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and Stalin and Mao.”

    I wonder who ,the JVP , now promoted as NPP are looking up to.

    All are excited about them.What I mean by all , is the minority who comment on this page.
    The JVP or NPP fall into the category of:
    ” Marx and Engels, Lenin and Trotsky, and Stalin and Mao.”
    From the web:
    “The Cultural Revolution damaged China’s economy and traditional culture, with an estimated death toll ranging from hundreds of thousands to 20 million.”
    ” Snyder stated that Stalin deliberately killed about 6 million, which rise to 9 million if foreseeable deaths arising from policies are taken into account. Some historians believe that the official archival figures of the categories that were recorded by Soviet authorities are unreliable and incomplete.”

    I remember the JVP pf 1971 and 1989-92 where innocent bus drivers were killed because
    they dared to disobey the lord and master who gave a chit for a haratal.
    They were interested in getting rid of old people, who according to them are unproductive.
    Now , I too am unproductive.
    If they come into power, you too may be unproductive in their opinion.

  • 0
    6

    “JR Wished For A (Kemal) Ataturk; Sri Lanka Has A (Rajapaksa) Gotaturk”
    *
    We like to remember Ataturk’s ruthlessness, but do we talk of JRJ’s ultimate ‘role model’ Lee Kwan Yew’s ruthlessness?
    Ataturk was a great moderniser of Turkey and a leader who inspired liberation movements across much of Asia. Afghanistan’s first modernisation moves were inspired by him.
    To parody on his name in this fashion is inappropriate.

    • 4
      1

      SJ

      “Ataturk was a great moderniser of Turkey and a leader who inspired liberation movements across much of Asia. “

      Likewise VP was inspired by Pol Pot who was in turn supported by China.
      China killed its own people in the name of cultural barbarism, Pol Pot killed tens of thousands of people in the name of Year Zero, Thiruvengadam Vellupillai Prabaharan killed so many in the name of nationalism so did Gota. Both thought they are on a journey to build their imagined respective country like Singapore. One thing is common for both they suffered/suffer from Psychopathy.

      By the way you have forgotten the other side of Ataturk who was supposed to have consummated the Armenian Genocide.

  • 10
    1

    Sorry JR was no statesman in my opinion but a Chauvinistic Sinhalese Buddhist racist, who is also one of the major reasons for this calamity. Ironically like many of the so-called Sinhalese leaders, he was born a Christian and has a recent South Indian Tamil ancestry. His cabinet was full of Sinhalese racists and hardliners like Lalith Athulathmudali, Cyrin Matthew, Gamini Dissanayake. We all know their contribution to the 1983 anti-Tamil pogrom, the deliberate burning of the Jaffna library, and what happened later. We also know JR’s most insensitive and racist TV address during the 1983 anti-Tamil July Pogrom. Apologizing to the Sinhalese profusely for the inconvenience caused to them, whilst Tamil homes and businesses were being burnt and destroyed by Sinhalese and Muslim mobs, Tamils were being raped tortured, and brutally killed by these mobs. Not a work of sympathy for the Tamils. It was this behaviour and pogrom and what happened later to the Tamils, that started the war and provided huge support for the LTTE. Statesman indeed. There is no Sinhalese leader from the time of independence who is or was a statesman or woman. They all pandered to Sinhalese racism and Buddhist extremism.

    • 2
      0

      Shame to keep such a nation in one piece (ruled by such people) while complaining against it!

      Only solution is one island 3 mono ethnic nations. Until then 25% of the people will live like third class citizens JR or GR.

  • 2
    0

    Gota’s only experience was as a trained shoulder, finally engaged as an officer in charge of an Army battalion fighting L.T.T.E cadres at Mandativu off Jaffna.; whilst Deputy Commander Kobahaduwa at the vicinity, unfortunately, killed by a land mine and that made his escape to Colombo and find shelter in the U.S.A. for over 10 years. Thus, the only merit he had is born as a brother to President Mahinda Which brought him as Secretary to Defence being an army escape. Therefore, winning the war should go to others including Com. Sarath Fonseka.

  • 2
    0

    OMG, Basil is tipped to become next PM replacing senile MR”. If true Lanka will have two U.S citizens at the top.

  • 4
    0

    6.9 million thought that Gota’s role model is Lee kwon you noh?

    Now everybody knows that it is a no show.

    Looks like the SLPP / pohottuwa/ Rajapaksha show is coming to an end.

    So who will be the next great showman who can entertain the simple the islanders.

    • 2
      0

      Sargent Nallathambi

      “Looks like the SLPP / pohottuwa/ Rajapaksha show is coming to an end.”

      I don’t think so.
      The country will be mostly destroyed before it gets better.

  • 0
    0

    “In the last century, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were standard inspirational sources and role models for the entire spectrum of the nascent political class in Sri Lanka. “
    *
    Perhaps to the Tamil political class.
    Tamil nationalism wrote off SJVC’s “Gandhi model” after the 1961 failure. Nehru cut an image with some Sinhalese but not as a model to follow.
    Actually the DMK (imagined as successor to Periyaar) had a greater impact on Tamil politics since 1956.
    *
    The left relied on community work to grow.
    Trotskyism in Lanka was a tragic accident of history, and Trotsky was just another name after the “revolution ceased to be round the corner”. The father of Trotskyism, Philip dumped Trotskyism by 1956. I do not know what Trotskyism was there post 1956 in the LSSP or its clones. Even the few Internet Trotskyists have none except the ritual name-calling of communists as Stalinists.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.